S01E12 & 13 "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part 1 & 2"
I feel like things kind of wrapped up quickly, maybe that's just me.
The gang takes shelter at a cabin in the woods since the ISA is hunting for them. As they're packing to leave, Sportsmaster and Tigress attack Pat's auto shop. Mike distracts Sportsmaster with a drill while Pat knocks him out, and Barbara takes out Tigress with a potted plant.
Dragon King unveils his machine, a giant set of satellite dishes that he plugs Brainwave into to expand the influence of his telepathy. The dishes emerge from under the high school's football field. He's going to brainwash most of America into living life the right way. Icicle is finally on board with killing all the heroes. The Gambler is still sitting in his mom's basement hacking internet stuff. Sportsmaster and Tigress are always up for a good kill.
Rick (Hourman) manages to decode his father's journal and coupled with Dr. Mid-Nite's magic goggles they can map out the entirety of Dragon King's underground lair. They decide to go in and split up and defeat the villains.
Along the way Yolanda runs into Henry Jr. who apparently wasn't killed by falling debris and was hiding out waiting to help the heroes, disguised as one of Dragon King's zombies. But it's a switcheroo, actually Henry Sr. in disguise and Yolanda guts him with her claws, becoming the first JSA murderer. That's not good.
Mid-Nite's goggles get crushed and that seems to be the end for A.I. Chuck. Or is it? Is he only contained in the goggles or does he have a mainframe somewhere?
Pat in S.T.R.I.P.E. gets to have a giant monster fight with Solomon Grundy who is 20 feet tall in this version. Grundy ends up tearing all of S.T.R.I.P.E.'s limbs off and Hourman has to activate his hour of power to fight the brute. He actually gets closure on his hatred of Grundy, the monster who killed his parents, when he realizes he's just a mindless animal and not really evil.
Cindy's cell is broken open during the melee and instead of killing the heroes as promised, she kills her dad. I would have rather seen more of the abusive relationship of serial killer mad scientist and daughter. Then she gets knocked out and in a post-credit stinger (I think) she finds Eclipso's black diamond. She'll be a version of the Jean Loring Eclipso, probably? I guess they can always give it to Alex Montez later on if they want to.
Sportsmaster and Tigress don't last too long. Stargirl and Wildcat destroy the big machine. Pat tries to rescue Barbara from Icicle who is going to throw her off a bell tower in downtown Blue Valley. He gets his butt kicked, but Stargirl shows up for the save. Icicle gets thrown to the ground where he would probably recover, but he's shattered into a million pieces by a truck driven by Mike, making him the second JSA murderer. Hmm.
We never find out why the Cosmic Staff is sentient. Even though the genie's pink pen was teased 2 or 3 times during the season, it's forgotten. We never got to see Sir Justin suit up as the Shining Knight, I hope they do that for season 2 or just leave him out. He says he's off to find the rest of the Soldiers. The Fiddler's son plays a tuba but may become as evil as his mother (The Tubist?)
Sylvester Pemberton shows up in the post-credits too. And we see the Shade arrive at ISA headquarters, must be the season 2 villain.
I will say that Brec Bassinger grew on me as Stargirl throughout the season. More surprising was Luke Wilson, whom I usually like, I found kind of dreary here as S.T.R.I.P.E. The JSA kids (who should really be called Infinity Inc.) were all fairly one-note so it was hard to get a read on them. I liked Wildcat when she was heroing, I liked Mid-Nite for comic relief. Hourman was a bit of a bore with his teenage angst but he showed promise in the finale. I didn't like the villains that much other than Brainwave towards the end, and Sportsmaster as the douchey gym owner.
Gotta agree. Liked most of the cast, pacing needed a lot of work.
And the whole "Wildcat spends the whole episode telling Hourman not to kill, then straight up rips out Brainwave's throat," didn't really work for me.
I'm thinking "not dead" Starman is a shapeshifter of some sort, but I think that's because I was hoping for almost any of the other old JSA members to come back first.
Great summaries as always.