There are many words to describe DC Universe’s Stargirl, but jaw-dropping is the first one that comes to mind. Episode after episode, the series' first season won our hearts with intense fight scenes, emotional plot twists, and deep references to comic-book lore. So let’s break down 10 of the season's most jaw-dropping moments.
THE FALL OF THE JUSTICE SOCIETY
What Happened: If you’re a lifelong DC fan, then Stargirl was a dream come true. Although the Justice Society has been a DC staple since the Golden Age of Comics, many of their members had never been seen in live-action until this series. While most superhero shows begin with a childhood flashback, or a character building scene, this series went straight to the action by giving us the Justice Society’s final battle against the Injustice Society. We saw characters like Hourman, Doctor Mid-Nite, Wildcat, and Starman in the flesh, and got cool Easter eggs for Green Lantern, the Flash, and Sandman. When a series begins with the defeat of DC’s original super team, then you know you’re in for an exciting ride.
STARGIRL TO THE RESCUE
What Happened: When Brainwave threatened to kill Barbara, Pat told Courtney to stand down so he could face the villain on his own. Even though he was piloting S.T.R.I.P.E., Pat knew he was probably marching into his death. Things were looking grim, until Courtney flew in on the Staff to rescue her stepdad. Clad in her superhero costume for the first time, Courtney introduced herself as Stargirl, as the score blasted her heroic theme. This moment was more than a heroic debut, it was a scene that spoke to the core of Courtney’s character. She wasn’t going to let Pat sacrifice himself, and she was willing to put her life on the line to save the day. It was an inspiring moment, and one that we’ve rewound over and over again.
ICICLE ENDS THE ZARICK BLOODLINE
What Happened: Don’t mess with Jordan Mahkent, because he’s as cold as ice. William Zarick, the villain known as the Wizard, clashed with Jordan over the way the Injustice Society was being run, and within two episodes his entire family was murdered. First Jordan transformed into Icicle and engineered an accident that killed William’s son Joey. This provoked William into confronting Jordan, which was Icicle’s plan all along. Within seconds William was frozen solid, and that was the end of the Wizard. Even Denise, the Wizard’s widow, wasn’t safe from Icicle’s wraith. Denise tried to leave town, and the next day Pat found the wreckage of her car. Lesson learned, if you challenge Icicle your entire bloodline will be wiped out.
SPORTSMASTER AND TIGRESS TAKE ON THE NEW JSA
Episode: “The Justice Society”
What Happened: The new Justice Society thought that taking out Gambler would be a simple assignment, but they didn’t count on Sportsmaster and Tigress. You’ve heard of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but they’ve got nothing on Mr. and Mrs. Crock. Sportsmaster and Tigress threw everything they had at the new heroes, and the teens were barely able to keep up. Sportsmaster used a variety of gear to wear down Hourman, and Tigress almost slaughtered Wildcat with her arrows. Even Stargirl’s Cosmic Staff had a hard time, as Sportsmaster almost destroyed it with an exploding hockey puck. Mr. and Mrs. Crock retreated after the arrival of S.T.R.I.P.E. giving the heroes and viewers a chance to exhale and catch their breath. What a battle!
SEVEN SOLDIERS OF VICTORY
The Episode: “Brainwave”
What Happened: Who would’ve thought that one of the most jaw-dropping moments in season would be Pat showing Courtney a photograph? Pat gave Courtney a history lesson on the previous generation of superheroes by showing her a photo of his first team -the Seven Soldiers of Victory. For diehard comic fans, this was a shock to their systems! While viewers knew this series would introduce the JSA, the inclusion of the Seven Soldiers came as a complete surprise! Green Arrow, Speedy, Vigilante, Crimson Avenger, Wing, Shining Knight, Star-Spangled Kid, and Stripesy were there and they looked comic book accurate! No metallic armor or leather costumes, and the kid sidekicks were actually kids instead of 26 year old high school seniors (Looking at you Batman Forever)! For more on the Seven Soldiers of Victory, check out this handy article.
THE DEATH OF HENRY KING
The Episode: “Brainwave Jr.”
What Happened: When we first met Henry King, he was slut-shaming his ex-girlfriend Yolanda, which didn’t put him on anyone’s good side. By episode 10, viewers were crying over his death, despite the negative first impression he gave. That’s one of the beautiful things about Stargirl, the characters arcs are emotionally compelling. The showrunners and actor Jake Austin Walker sold Henry’s redemption, making audiences root for him. During Henry’s final moments he stood up to his father, and protected the Justice Society. Before taking his last breath, Henry told Courtney that people were good at heart, and that she shouldn’t let his father’s betrayal change her mind. Henry refused to let that optimism die, even in the face of his father trying to kill him, and the revelation about his mother’s death. This one hit us hard, and it’s easily one of the best written and best acted scenes from the season.
PAT PUNCHES A DEADBEAT DAD
The Episode: “Shining Knight”
What Happened: This season gave us many memorable battles, but the most satisfying sucker punch wasn’t given to a super-villain. Sam Kurtis, Courtney’s long absent father, made a brief visit to Blue Valley and broke his daughter’s heart. Courtney was shattered when she realized that her father was a deadbeat who didn’t care about her, and Pat was furious. The hero formerly known as Stripesy caught up with Sam before he left town, and gave him the punch to end all punches. Sam fell to the ground, and viewers cheered. After all the heartbreak the Dugan-Whitmore family had suffered, that punch was emotionally satisfying.
CRUSHER VS PAT
The Episode: “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One”
What Happened: After learning about Pat’s secret life as a hero, Larry “Crusher’ Crock took great pleasure in handling Stripesy on his own. Crusher cornered Pat in his garage, and the former friends had a brutal fight. No Sportsmaster gear, and no S.T.R.I.P.E. robot, just the two of them using their fists and whatever tools they could find. It was intense! Pat was tossed around and slammed into a door. This was one of the most exciting fight sequences in all of superhero television. To everyone’s surprise, it ended when young Mike came to his dad’s rescue by sticking a power drill into Crusher’s back. Don’t mess with the Dugan family!
SOLOMON GRUNDY BORN ON A MONDAY
The Episode: “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two”
What Happened: During the first episode we saw Grundy in the shadows, and throughout the rest of the season we heard his growls as he sat behind a locked door. Viewers finally got to see Grundy unleashed during the season finale battle royale, and he lived up to the hype. First he took S.T.R.I.P.E. apart piece by piece, and poor Pat would’ve been pulverized if Hourman hadn’t stepped in. Hourman had been itching to fight Grundy ever since he learned the beast had killed his parents, and he let loose! In the end, Rick realized Grundy was just a scared animal and let him go, but that fight was still amazing. Grundy looked fierce, and it’s possible that this is the best live-action version of him we’ve ever seen.
The Episode: “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two”
What Happened: The season finale had plenty of jaw-dropping moments, but the biggest one came during the episode’s final seconds as Sylvester Pemberton showed up alive and well! WHAT WHAT WHAT?! We all saw Starman die in the series premiere, yet here was Joel McHale smiling without a care in the world. Where has he been? How did he survive? Is this a trick? We haven’t stopped speculating since the episode ended, and we have a feeling we’ll be pondering theories until season 2 premieres.
HONORABLE MENTION: Literally almost every moment of the season. It was hard to pick just 10, because Stargirl was a love letter to DC lore, with so many great surprises, Easter eggs, emotional moments, and explosive action. In fact, as soon as you’re done reading this article, why not relive some of these great moments by watching again? It’ll help make the wait for season 2 go faster.