Monday, 8 June 2020

Stargirl - Wildcat

Courtney has a friend. Finally. Honestly, seeing her spend time with other people besides her family and the Cosmic Staff is great. This show certainly has a massive ensemble of characters full of potential, and its great to finally see more of Yolanda, who has certainly been a bit of a mystery since the pilot.

Until now, Yolanda, the girl who sits at Courtney's table was closed off, and we find out why. We are treated to an introduction silent montage played to a cheerful song. Three months before, she was a somewhat popular girl with an A-type personality. She was running for class president and was dating Henry King Jr, son of Brainwave. What went wrong? Well, she sent Henry a sexy pic, assuming she could trust him. Then, as he is privately showing the picture off proudly to his friends, Cindy Burman, the popular girl and Mike's girlfriend in the present takes the photo, and shares it with the entire school, humiliating Yolanda, ruining her relationship with her parents.

Cut to the present, with Courtney looking for members to recruit for her superhero team. Seeing that Yolanda is a boxer, she seeks to turn her into the new Wildcat. Yolanda certainly doesn't make it easy at first, but she lets Courtney in. Things flow a bit too well, but Courtney's optimism is infectious. It also helps that she blew up Mike's car with the staff. Yolanda gets the suit, and once she puts on the mask, the suit, like magic automatically fits her.

I have to say, that given the scope and ambition of this series, her costume is awful. Or, at the very least, the bodysuit is average, but I hate that mask. It looks like something you can order off eBay. The episode is light on superhero action, by having none at all, and that is fine. I am eager to see Yolanda's fighting style in that suit. The two of them go on a small mission to find out who has been visiting Brainwave while he is in the hospital in a coma, and the principal of their school ends up on their radar. I appreciated the little touches that show that Courtney needs the help. She has no idea what she is doing.

This is Yvette Monreal's episode. She shines in each scene she is in, giving us a character with emotional resonance, especially in the scene shared with her parents, trying to convince them to go back to the way things were. She and Brec play off each other well.

Pat's storyline may seem small, but it hints at huge repercussions. As he is searching for old car parts to continue working on his robot, he encounters Denise, the wife of the Wizard and mother of Joey. She is leaving town. Pat, being who he is offers her compassion, and she responds by warning him that Blue Valley isn't what it seems, and lets it slip that her deceased husband was more than just an advisor. The episode ends with him back at the junkyard, and he notices Denise's car destroyed. Is she dead? Unknown, but it makes sense that the ISA wouldn't just let her leave and ditch their plans.

We are also given a formal introduction to another member of the Injustice Society: The Dragon King. As previously stated, I'm not into a lot of these costumes, but he nevertheless presents a creepy vibe, especially since he wants to use The Wizard's corpse for unknown reasons. Perhaps we will see a zombified version of him later in the season.

Mike continues to be a weak link. I don't know why, but his pop tart song offended me for some reason.

Beth Chapel, who is a comedic delight is hinted to get her episode next week, but there was something about her that felt off. She was way too happy. Last week, it was shown that she and Joey were at least friendly with each other, but his death doesn't really seem to have affected her. Her, or the entire school. Hell, even Courtney was back to her perky self in this episode. The episode didn't have to be all doom and gloom, but an event like that shouldn't be a one-off. Courtney's first failure should sit with her for a while so she can learn.

I also have to question how famous that Justice Society was. Yolanda had no idea who Starman was, and to learn how to use her powers, she and Courtney went through Wikipedia. The effect that superheroes have in this world aren't really discussed. Sure, the setting is in a small town which probably isn't known to be very exciting, but it should be common knowledge. Are there other superpeople in the world? Who knows? This show certaibly doesn't tell us.

The visual effects this week weren't much, but I do wish that this being Wildcat's introduction, they spent a bit more time making her powers look cool. The wall climbing at the hospital didn't look great. These things should have been worked out. Sure, they seem little, but given the nature of how this series was made, it may affect how people feel about the season as a whole.

Wildcat is a fine world-building episode that introduces a new hero featuring a standout performance from Yvette Montreal, but little story holes and a lack of visual flair drag the episode down.

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