Stargirl review: “Summer School: Chapter Two”

Stargirl is gearing up for one heck of a second season in this week’s episode, “Summer School: Chapter Two.” At the conclusion of last week’s premiere, (Brec Bassinger) got into a scuffle with Jennie (Ysa Penarejo), Green Lantern’s daughter.

Jennie was drawn to the Whitmore/Dugan home after she put on her father’s Green Lantern ring, and they had the physical Green Lantern there. Courtney immediately viewed Jennie as a threat — she did break into their home, after all.

And that’s where we pick up this week. It becomes obvious very quickly that Jennie means no harm, but with Courtney’s constant need to seek out villains to fight, she’s reluctant to believe that. The distrust towards Jennie lays the groundwork for the rest of the episode as Courtney struggles to accept Jennie as her family and her friends do.

I’m sure many DC fans will agree that having Green Lantern around is a cause for celebration. We haven’t seen much of that lore, so I’m very excited to see Stargirl put this story front and center.

More on that below, and SPOILERS ahead.

Eclipso strikes again

“Summer School: Chapter Two” kicks off with Bobbie Burman (Lesa Wilson) getting a visit from Cindy (Meg DeLacy). It’s not exactly a happy family reunion, as Cindy is there under Eclipso’s (Nick E. Tarabay) orders and uses the stone to mystify Bobbie. Throughout the episode, Bobbie is haunted by Eclipso’s voice, which ultimately leads to her demise.

Towards the end of the episode, Cindy shows up at Bobbie’s house and they fight. The violence causes Eclipso to manifest in Cindy. We watch her face darken to purple and black; cracks break out over her skin, and a sinister smile splits her face as her eyes burn red.

With a blast of purple light, Cindy Eclipso stops Bobbie from attacking and pulls her soul and being into the stone. Eventually, Cindy takes over once again. She looks at her stepmother’s ashes in horror, realizing what has happened. She speaks to Eclipso through the stone, demanding that he stop taking over her body. I have a feeling he’s not going to listen.

Stargirl introduces Green Lantern’s daughter

I am so excited that this episode finally explored Green Lantern lore. Last week we saw Jennie break into the Whitmore/Dugan home, but this week’s episode shows us how she ended up there in the first place.

Because of her age, Jennie was forced to leave the group home she had been living in, and as a parting gift was given something her father had left behind for her: a ring (the ring) that immediately lit up when Jennie touched it. In fact, she herself glowed with green light as the ring whizzed around in the air.

After Jennie’s fight with Courtney, Pat (Luke Wilson) and Barbara (Amy Smart) are furious to see the state of the house, which is completely demolished. Things get interesting as Pat begins asking Jennie questions about her father, Alan Scott, and how the ring was drawn to the lantern since it was lying dormant all these years. All the while, Courtney is extremely wary of Jennie, and that Pat, Barb and Mike (Trae Romano) are so welcoming of her. They even give her Courtney’s room to sleep in and are happily having breakfast with her the next morning.

We viewers, we understand that Courtney is coming from a very biased place. Here is a stranger who breaks into her home and instead of being punished is welcomed with open arms. On top of that, Jennie has everything Courtney wishes she had. Jennie’s father was an actual superhero, while Courtney learned she is not actually Starman’s daughter. And Jennie treated Pat with more respect than Courtney did when they first moved to Blue Valley. There are a lot of things to feel guilty and crappy about here, hence why Courtney is behaving the way she is.

Summer school

While Pat takes Jennie to the garage to get the Green Lantern working, Courtney is forced to attend her first day of summer school. Ah, summer school…don’t miss it in the slightest!

She’s pleased to see Yolanda (Yvette Monreal) is also there, but not so pleased when Yolanda seems to side with Courtney’s family about Jennie. She doesn’t think Jennie sounds like much of a threat and thinks Courtney is being too harsh for no reason. That’s exactly what someone wants to hear when they’re dealing insecurity, right?

While all this is happening, we see Rick (Cameron Gellman) out in the woods with boxes of pizza. It seems he’s still trying to reach out to Solomon Grundy, who is watching him from somewhere in the woods…

The Green Lantern comes back to life!

With Pat’s help, Jennie is able to use the ring to conjure up whatever she pleases. She struggles at first but is able to project an image of a classic car. It’s pretty darn cool and yet another reminder of Stargirl’s large budget; it looks really good compared to other DCTV shows on The CW.

Courtney and Yolanda arrive at the garage just in time to see Jennie working her Green Lantern magic while Rick, Pat and Beth (Anjelika Washington) watch in awe. Once again Courtney is quick to put Jennie down and question her, asking her why she is there in the first place. Perhaps because she found out about the new JSA?

Jennie takes the hint and walks away from the group, which finally helps Courtney realize she’s been in the wrong this entire time. She confesses to Pat that she’s insecure around Jennie because she’s everything Courtney wanted to be.

Pat is quick to remind her that, like Courtney, Jennie just wants to know about her father. That was Courtney’s mission once upon a time, and it’s why she was so welcoming to Yolanda, Rick and Beth in the first place.

As Barb calls Pat away, Courtney takes a moment to apologize to Jennie for her behavior. She finally welcomes her into the group, but Jennie is upset by everyone thinking she has everything. She just wants answers. Her anger ignites the Green Lantern back to life (Pat mentioned earlier on that Jennie’s emotions are connected to it) which then whizzes out of the garage and into town.

Introducing Shade

This week’s episode introduces viewers to Richard Swift, aka Shade (Jonathan Cake). He’s literally a shady character, and struts into town in a fancy car. His first stop is at Barb’s office where he asks about the late William Zarick’s magic collection. As a collector of antiques, he’s very eager to get his hands on it.

Barb brushes him off with the promise to look into it. She sends him to Richie’s diner to get a cup of coffee and informs Pat of his sudden arrival. Pat drops by the diner to check Richard out, but isn’t able to glean much information because something else catches his eye…

The new Green Lantern

As the kids and eventually Pat chase the Green Lantern, Courtney figures out that Jennie is the Green Lantern. The ring turned on because she was the one charging it, and now she’s the only one who can control it.

Jennie manages to absorb the lantern’s power right before its energy explodes. We get a pretty epic scene of Jennie enveloped in green light as she floats into the air — she can fly, too?!

The next morning, Courtney awakens to find that Jennie left the house earlier that morning. Where did she go? Will she be back? Tune in to find out!

As the episode comes to a close, Pat realizes that Richard Swift is actually Shade, the last remaining member of the Injustice Society. He’s not pleased to know Shade is in town, but Courtney is ecstatic to learn that she finally has a new villain to fight.

And just like that, Stargirl returns with her staff in tow!

Stargirl was all kinds of fun this week. We got major character development, one new character, and more background on Jennie, who will presumably be a huge part of this season.

I loved seeing so much about Green Lantern, especially because we’ve gotten so little over the years. Sure, there was Ryan Reynolds’ Green Lantern movie, but do we even count that?

Hopefully there’s more of this in the coming weeks of Stargirl as the JSA prepares to take on Shade!

Grade: B+

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime, and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels