“#Stargirl Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Wildcat”
Well, it finally happened.
After three episodes, the writers finally gifted the audience with some insight into Courtney’s classmates, also known as the next generation of superheroes and supervillains.
It was about time, and Stargirl Season 1 Episode 4 didn’t disappoint, as the backstory of Yolanda Montez and her new role as Wildcat were front and center.
To start with, is it wrong to say that Yolanda is way more likable than Courtney?
She’s a pretty badass character — even before she officially became Wildcat — and her presence on screen tempers some of Courtney’s rougher edges, making the protagonist more tolerable as a whole.
Part of the appeal could be viewers can see themselves in Yolanda.
She’s a teenager who, in typical fashion, made a mistake and continues to face the consequences, whether it be her classmates’ bullying or her family’s disappointment.
And due to the whole sexting incident, she’s been forced to re-evaluate who she is and what she wants out of life.
She’s on a journey of self-discovery like many young adolescents in high school.
Please, I need you to really hear me, all of you. I made a mistake. I trusted someone I shouldn’t have. I did something I shouldn’t have, and what I did brought shame to our family. I know that, and I’m sorry, but that was months ago. I feel like I’ve learned my lesson, and I’ve been punished enough. And I’m not going to apologize anymore. You’re my family. I love you all so much, so I’m asking for your forgiveness. Help me move forward with my life so I can be the Yolanda Montez I used to be.
She’s just now figuring out who she is when Courtney approaches her with this crazy new adventure, and like any teenager, being a superhero has a certain appeal to it.
Who wouldn’t want to escape their life, even if momentarily, and become a superhero, especially if you had all these cool new abilities at the tips of your fingers?
It’s enough of a draw for Yolanda, who’s understandably had a tough go of it over the past three months, and watching her and Courtney test out Wildcat’s abilities were fun to watch.
Though some viewers have taken issue with these “training montages” as I’ve come to refer to them, they continue to be a highlight for me.
These moments, though expository, really nail the light-hearted theme Stargirl is going for due to the sheer and unbridled joy experienced by their characters.
It was also particularly funny that Courtney and Yolanda used Wikipedia as a guide, something that real teenagers nowadays discovering they had superpowers would probably do.
Even though Yolanda was getting acclimated to her new reality, she still wasn’t afraid to call Courtney out on her bullshit.
And while Pat also isn’t afraid to call Courtney out, she seems to listen to Yolanda and take her new friend’s advice in stride.
Yolanda: How long have you been doing this?
Courtney: Uh, I don’t know, like a week.
Yolanda: A week? And how long did your dad train you?
Courtney: Technically, he didn’t.
Yolanda: Then why am I listening to you?
As Stargirl Season 1 has proven so far, Courtney tends to leap first and ask questions later.
However, with Yolanda by her side, Courtney is forced to consider the possible consequences before she acts, thus enabling her to be a better and smarter superhero.
That is most definitely a good thing, seeing as Courtney wanted to cut the power in a hospital where patients rely on machines for life support.
She didn’t think that one through, though Courtney never does.
Part of the reason for this may be that Courtney sees Yolanda as an equal, something which unfortunately cannot be said for Pat.
To Courtney, Pat’s just this downer of a sidekick who keeps lecturing her on the importance of safety and patience.
Yolanda, on the other hand, is a willing participant in Courtney’s shenanigans.
The new Wildcat may challenge Courtney, but since she’s willing to go along with Courtney’s crazy plans, Courtney listens to Yolanda’s comments.
Courtney: I think you’re really freaking brave coming back here day after day. I mean, I don’t know if I’d be strong enough.
Yolanda: I never should have sent them those.
Courtney: He never should have shared them.
Yolanda: I knew he could be a jerk, but he was so nice to me. After a few months, I thought it was getting serious, but I guess not for him. I don’t think he ever saw me as anything more than the next girl. My parents were destroyed. They won’t even come near the school anymore. They don’t bring me to church. My whole life has changed. They act like I don’t even exist. I don’t want to hate anyone, but I do. I hate Henry King.
Courtney: You want to see how I blew up his car?
Yolanda goes a step further and helps Courtney formulate a plan to identify the other members of the Injustice Society of America.
Checking the visitor log was a decent idea, though the same cannot be said for furthering Courtney’s inane plan.
To be fair, though, Yolanda has no idea what she’s up against.
In giving Yolanda the quick superhero lowdown, Courtney seems to have skipped over the very real and present danger of what the duo could encounter.
Sure, Courtney mentioned the Injustice Society was responsible for her father’s death, but she failed to mention the role Icicle had in Joey’s death.
If Yolanda had all the relevant facts, including Pat’s hesitation, she might not have been as eager to join the good fight.
But since Courtney only mentioned the upside of being a superhero, Yolanda, whose life is otherwise pretty miserable, decided to throw caution to the wind and join Courtney.
And with the following installment titled “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite,” it looks like more will soon follow.
The remainder of the episode dealt with Pat and his brief interactions with Denise Zarick, also known as The Wizard’s wife and Joey’s mother.
While Pat doesn’t know Denise that well, his spidey senses should be tingling after seeing her car abandoned in the scrapyard.
Pat: How much?
Zeke: That’s an exhaust pipe for a dump truck.
Pat: Yeah, I’m actually working on a dump truck, a pretty big one.
As viewers, we can posit that the Injustice Society took care of her somehow based on what we know about her husband.
Denise was certainly chatty to a new acquaintance about her suspicions surrounding The Wizard’s death.
She doesn’t seem to know her late husband was a supervillain, but she knows that he didn’t die from natural causes.
That knowledge was enough for Denise to get out of dodge, but maybe not before she asked some questions, the Injustice Society didn’t want her asking.
Icicle had no problem killing Joey and The Wizard, so what’s one more body to him?
Denise’s disappearance will most likely lead Pat down a road where he’ll reunite with Courtney in the future, as both are still trying to identify the Injustice Society members, albeit in different ways.
Courtney’s theory about the Injustice Society being people in power is gaining more credence as the season continues.
First, there was Brainwave, a brilliant doctor.
Pat: I know what it’s like to lose a friend.
Courtney: Joey wasn’t my friend, Pat. He never got the chance to be. We should be out there recruiting new JSA members like now.
Pat: We can’t drag anyone else into this.
Courtney: You said it would take more than us to stop the Injustice Society.
Pat: I said that we couldn’t stop them.
Courtney: That’s the same thing.
Pat: No, no, it’s not, and if there are other villains in Blue Valley, I need to know who they are, and I need to find them without them finding us.
Courtney: And how are you going to do that?
Pat: I don’t know yet all right, but when I do, I’ll alert the authorities.
Courtney: What if they are the authorities?
Then, The Wizard, who was a local politician.
And who could forget Icicle, the head of the American Dream, and his trustee No. 2, The Gambler?
Now, viewers have learned Blue Valley High School Principal Bowin may be a supervillain, though her alter ego isn’t clear yet.
At the end of Stargirl Season 1 Episode 2, there was a portrait of the Injustice Society within their base of operations, but Principal Bowin wasn’t one of the depicted members.
Who was in the portrait was the Fiddler, a supervillain who channels his magical abilities through his violin, which include hypnotizing others, shattering objects, and creating force fields.
Principal Bowin likely has some connection to the original Fiddler, but she also bears a resemblance to the comics character Virtuoso, an Indian woman who comes into possession of The Fiddler’s violin.
My best guess is she was the original Fiddler’s wife, which would explain how the violin came into her possession.
This theory is also backed by the Fiddler being Isaac Bowin in the comics.
Yolanda: You’re checking Wikipedia?
Courtney: It didn’t come with an instruction manual.
In the series, Principal Bowin has a son named Isaac, who is a musical prodigy.
So it’s possible the teenage Isaac Bowin was named after his father, who possibly shared his name, something that seems more likely based on the Kings.
This, of course, is complete conjecture, and the series could take a different route in explaining the mythology.
Either way, Principal Bowin seems to have aligned herself with the Injustice Society, making her an enemy of Courtney and the rest of the Justice Society.
Maybe Pat — whenever Courtney briefs him — will have some insight on the matter.
Or she could just look it up on Wikipedia.
Some stray thoughts:
Courtney has no idea what it’s like to be bullied in high school. She was presumably pretty popular before moving to Blue Valley based on the whole Valley Girl vibe she has going on, along with her continued interference on Yolanda’s behalf.
Courtney may think she’s helping, but all she’s doing is drawing more attention to the situation and making Yolanda and herself even more of a target. Bullies don’t respond well to confrontation and only redouble their efforts.
Cindy may not be supervillain evil, but as the Queen Bee in high school, she wields a lot of power and isn’t someone to be trifled with.
Courtney should start replacing some of the items she breaks. First, it was Brainwave’s car. Then, all the school’s sewing machines, and now, it’s the toaster. While breaking the toaster doesn’t impact anyone besides Mike, she should still try to keep the property damage to a minimum.
Leaving a wake of destruction in her path isn’t the best way to stay under the radar.
Dr. Ito/the Dragon King made an appearance this episode. What sort of weapon do we think Icicle has tasked him with building? It’s got to be something pretty explosive, right?
So what did you think Stargirl Fanatics?
Is Yolanda better than Courtney?
What happened to Denise?
How does Principal Bowin fit into the Injustice Society?
Don’t forget to hit the comments below to let me know your thoughts. If you happened to miss the latest episode, remember you can watch Stargirl online at TV Fanatic.
Jessica Lerner is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.
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