“Hourman and Dr Mid-Nite” eases off on the superheroics in favour of fleshing out the supporting cast in a quieter but still solid episode of Stargirl.
This recap of Stargirl season 1, episode 5, “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
It might be named after a single hero, but the word of the week in Stargirl episode 5 is “team”; Courtney continues to assemble hers, and the show itself continues to flesh out its supporting players. It might ease off on the superheroics in order to do so, but in a way that’s a good thing – it shows that “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite” is confident enough in its audience that a quieter week won’t scare them away.
We begin with a flashback to a young Rick being left by his parents with his Uncle Matt while his folks have an unfortunate run-in with Solomon Grundy (born on a Monday, obviously). Nine years later and Rick will become a focus of this week’s episode. Is he related to the Justice Society? How does he know about ’66 Mustangs? Why does Courtney’s hourglass flash in his presence? All this, and we have some lingering plot threads from previous episodes that “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite” tugs on, including Pat trying to figure out how much of the Injustice Society is situated in Blue Valley, and Beth earwigging on Courtney and Yolanda after what she discovered in the previous episode. Oh, and is the Principle the Fiddler? Isn’t that a really, really terrible name for a principle to have? Questions!
Beth’s precociousness continues to get her inadvertently involved in the superhero world, as it becomes clear that Rick has a kind of inherited place in the team given than his father was Hourman. Stargirl episode 5 smartly blends in its teen-drama elements with some frostiness over Beth’s sudden inclusion in the gang, and an obligatory Halloween party where Beth and Courtney look for Rick and eventually try and recruit him. He’s reluctant, but it’s Beth who’s able to make herself useful and get through to him, even if he only really seems interesting in avenging the death of his parents.
While Stargirl season 1, episode 5 is hardly teeming with action, that’s obviously by design; it ends with another team-member recruited, this one driven by unpredictable emotions, and with Pat discovering what Courtney’s up to, suggesting to me that it’s putting the pieces in place for lots more drama to come. These kinds of episodes are necessary and can often be fun on their own terms, which I’d say “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite” is, especially in how it doles out interesting backstory for characters – heroes and villains alike – other than its title heroine.
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