“Wildcat” joins the ranks of the new Justice Society in the latest episode of Stargirl, which is as confident and likable as ever.
This recap of Stargirl season 1, episode 4, “Wildcat”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
It’s always a pleasure tuning back into Stargirl for that just-right balance of teen drama and superheroics, and the latest episode is no different – in fact, it even brings a new hero into the fold in Yolanda (Yvette Monreal) while still maintaining the same tonal balance, upbeat sense of energy, and careful development of a lingering background scheme.
Stargirl episode 4, then, begins with an introduction to Yolanda, who is running as class president, sends a sexy picture to her boyfriend, Henry, and has to wear the weight of humiliation when he subsequently shares said picture with the entire school. Classic high-school shenanigans.
That was three months ago. In the present day, Courtney is still formulating a plan of action for the new Justice Society, with a bit of a rift persisting between her and Pat, while the Injustice Society continues to work on Project: New America, with Jordan agreeing to hand over the body of the Wizard to help further that cause. This forms the early status quo of “Wildcat”, as we begin to focus on Courtney’s relationship with Yolanda, and Yolanda’s abilities as Wildcat, which are suitably impressive to Courtney.
What follows is the classic let’s-see-if-we’re-ready sequence, as Stargirl and Wildcat decide to see if Brainwave and friends are at the hospital. Working together they spy some odd goings-on, and Beth spots them in turn; this is Stargirl working to build some structure, with Beth presumably the next in line for an invite to the inner circle. This, and Stargirl episode 4 ends on a cliffhanger of Denise going missing. That’s a lot of setup for later in the season, and it’s welcome in a show that really seems to know what it’s up to.
Of course, the central question of whether Yolanda will embrace the Wildcat identity is kind of a foregone conclusion, but it still helps that she gets some personal focus and backstory so she isn’t just an archetype in a costume. The underlying vibe of excitable teen girls getting to save the world remains deeply felt throughout the show, and it’s a likable tone even for a moody old bloke like me with all the ingrained cynicism that comes from doing this job for a decade. That’s the real secret to Stargirl – it isn’t just well made, it’s genuinely likable when so few shows – let alone DC superhero shows – truly are.
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