“S.T.R.I.P.E.” certainly feels like the back half of a strong two-part opener, and makes for another fine instalment of DC’s Stargirl.
This recap of Stargirl season 1, episode 2, “S.T.R.I.P.E.”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
DC Universe’s Stargirl proved to be one of last weekend’s pleasant surprises, and its second episode, “S.T.R.I.P.E.”, continues to flesh out the relationship between Courtney (Brec Bassinger) and Pat (Luke Wilson) while weaving its superheroics into a coming-of-age high-school drama. This is the right mix and the right tone for this show in its early-going, with Stargirl episode 2 having Courtney learning about Starman and the Cosmic Staff contrast nicely with Brainwave (Christopher James Baker) and co. getting on with typically villainous meddling.
Given the episode’s title, it’s no surprise that Pat spends some time figuring out how to pilot the powered armor suit while also trying to reign in Courtney’s teenage impulsivity. There’s some happenstance that allows Courtney’s identity to be put together, but heroes and villains more or less meet in the middle here – this show evidently isn’t interested in teasing things out gradually, which is probably for the best.
With an exchange demanded, Pat tries to take matters into his own hands but finds himself woefully unequipped to tackle Brainwave alone – luckily Courtney, complete with a new suit and a new Stargirl identity, arrives just in time. This is the big “taking up the mantel” moment in “S.T.R.I.P.E.”, and it partly makes me wish we’d gotten this episode in a twofer along with the premiere; it would’ve made a fine double-bill.
With Courtney excited about her superhero future with her new sidekick, Brainwave comatose, and the villains out for revenge, Stargirl season 1, episode 2 ends with plenty of potential for future episodes. This continues to be a surprising highlight in DC’s otherwise quite morbid catalog, and hopefully it picks up enough fans to continue its run – provided, that is, the rest of this first season doesn’t drop the ball. So far, so good, though.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.