We open the first of this two-part episode series of the freshman origin story under the guise that decades ago, the original Brainwave discovered he could hear others’ thoughts and move objects. Meanwhile, what started as protecting himself in a mugging, ends up being his first kill. We see video diaries from Henry’s father explaining as such, and how he had experimented on himself. While Henry watches some of these, he experiences the same headaches and signs, just like his dad.
Meanwhile, Courtney is talking with Pat about bringing Henry into the Justice Society of America. Except that she also tells how she could hear Henry’s thoughts in her head, feeling everything he felt, everything. Pat believes the best-case scenario was that the Injustice Society came to Blue Valley to hide after killing everyone from the JSA. Except, if Dr. Ito is Cindy’s father, they are planning something. Records show Dr. Ito to have died a hundred years ago, but Pat believes the man cannot be killed given how he experimented on himself. Pat reveals he and Sylvester fought Dr. Ito years ago when they were part of another team with Robin Hood and others, the Seven Soldiers of Victory. When they were part of this team, they even helped take down a weapon Dr. Ito had created to destroy New York. Needing all the help they can get, Pat wishes he knew how to get in touch with some of his former Seven Soldiers, while Courtney believes they just need Henry.
Beth monitors Cindy’s house and confirms there is no one home, despite records of her withdrawing from High School, Beth, nor anyone else believes Cindy dropped out to study abroad with her mother. The reality is that she is still locked up in the tunnels beneath the very streets Beth is riding her bike on, trying to talk her way out of the cell her father, Dr. Ito, put her in.
Henry watches tape after tape of his father’s realization of abilities and trains himself at home with these, as much as he can anyway. When Courtney proposes the idea of bringing Henry into the group, Yolanda refuses to be on a team that includes him. Rick/Hourman agrees with Yolanda as well. In the videos, however, we learn how Brainwave became who he is, childhood trauma. Being held over a dark well as a child would be enough to traumatize anyone, but being able to render someone blind and push them in front of a bus without touching them is a sure way not to feel powerless anymore. Henry receives news a lawyer called about his father, and to the hospital, he goes, but not without the letter opener he drew to his hand using telekinesis.
Later on, Dr. Ito meets Jordan/Icicle for a meeting, assuring that he is an ally to the ISA in Project: New America despite previous conflicts. He shares the news of Henry having the telepathic ability and may be the key to using the recently built machine. Dr. Ito believes Henry to be strong enough to help their side carve out the New America… but is he, and would he want to join your side?
That evening, Barbara, Courtney’s mom, apologizes to Jordan for leaving him behind in Oakdale the night of Courtney’s “accident.” She notices Jordan is a little off, while he expresses that a project he has been working on for years is now complete, despite the time away from his son, he feels no sense of accomplishment for it. He mentions how his wife used to make a big dinner when he would come home from a trip, as a reminder of what he was working for. Barbara then invites him and the family over for dinner.
Henry goes to the hospital to see his father, listening to everyone’s thoughts on the floor before arriving at his father’s door. Henry expresses that he heard his father and proceeds to question his comatose dad to see if he needed help. Henry does hear the nurse’s thoughts, though, that he has been here for months, and they should terminate life support. Hearing this about his own father, Henry agrees with the point dear old dad made in the videos; people are monsters.
Beth and Rick stop by the shop to talk to Pat, but Yolanda is missing, and the kids want to know why Pat let Courtney talk to Henry in the first place, being that it is a classic anti-Pat plan. Pat reveals to the kids that Courtney went into a tunnel at school, while Beth found one in Cindy’s basement. He wants to know if there is a connection between the two and if the system that could have been devised by the “other founding fathers” of Blue Valley is not only real but being used by the ISA currently. Pat called the kids to the shop to do the work, to look through old books and research if the tunnels are connected, with the hope that Beth’s goggles can help provide answers.
Courtney finds Henry at the hospital visiting his father, while they argue about Courtney putting his father there in the first place. Courtney explains that what she did was not on purpose, and in talking, the two of them are on the same page as far as what they know, and she asks Henry for help in preventing more damage from being done. While Henry believes maybe some of the people his father hurt deserved it, not everyone did. Henry brings up the fact that hearing everyone’s thoughts is hell on earth, and that if she thinks he is a jerk, everyone else is far worse. If his father hurt anyone, he had a reason to, believing that deep down people are angry, twisted, hurtful monsters. Courtney appeals to the little bit of good that is left in Henry by pointing out that yes, people can be awful, but they can also be kind and compassionate, that not everyone is awful. That behind pain and fear, there is love, and that people want to be loved. She asks Henry if he has tried looking deeper, and may find something better, despite his doubts. Courtney leaves, telling Henry that she believes he wants to do the right thing and come talk to her when he is ready.
Pat walks into a home with a very frazzled Barb cooking a family dinner for eight since she invited Jordan and his family over, and she didn’t want to burden him with his latest responsibilities with work and to fix his car since Courtney’s accident. He wants to tell his wife about the JSA, Courtney’s involvement, and update her completely, except Courtney comes in and says instead that she failed a history test. Just then, the doorbell rings, Jordan and his family, including Cameron, are all over for family dinner. Icicle, who killed Starman, is in the house of S.T.R.I.P.E. and Stargirl …
We move back to the hospital where Yolanda/Wildcat grasps Henry, threatening him to stay away from Courtney and her family. He doesn’t want to be bothered by Courtney anymore than necessary, but she believes his soul is worth saving. Yolanda has a different opinion, turning to threats instead, to slash him and watch him bleed to death without caring right then and there. She really wants him to stay away from her and her friends.
At the combined family dinner, Jordan introduces a Norwegian Family Grace, which translated to, “Blessed be the fallen land of Niflheim and our great ancestors. Lay power in this food and us. So that our enemies might suffer.” After a bit of small-talk about Courtney’s gymnastics and Cameron’s painting, Jordan finds out why the family moved back to Blue Valley, and brings up that the next generation should be more focused on families, like how he and Barb believe. Courtney brings out a scalding hot refill of their dinner straight from the oven, but Jordan grabs it no problem, holding on to the casserole plate for a good share of time and is perfectly fine. She calls Pat to the kitchen to discuss her theory of Jordan Mahkent being Icicle, and her worry that if he is one of the ISA, does that mean Cameron is too? As the family is leaving, Jordan pulls Courtney aside to ask if she knows why he was really here, she thinks she is busted as Stargirl, but Jordan claims its to meet the girl his son has been talking so much about.
She immediately goes downstairs to get the Staff when they all leave. Pat says they are not doing anything else until they tell her mother everything, which would be fine if Barb didn’t see the Staff go from floating and lit up to clattering on the floor and dark without being dropped by either one of them.
Anther staff incident this episode is that at the school, our friendly janitor is cleaning the floor when the cosmic staff transforms itself from the mop handle he is holding. As it clatters to the floor, it is just an ordinary mop.
In closing, Henry is paid a visit by a lawyer at the hospital, informing him that his father’s life support would only be carried on for a limited time. That time is soon coming to an end, except Henry can hear the lawyer’s thoughts, that he needs the signature for the money from his dad. In Henry’s anger, he accidentally telepathically murders the lawyer! Henry hears a familiar voice call “Junior?” and Brainwave himself is awake again.
Find out what happens next week in part two of this tale on Stargirl, Tuesdays at 8/7 on The CW.