‘DC’s Stargirl’ Recap: Courtney Makes Her Superhero Debut in Season 1, Episode 2 “S.T.R.I.P.E.”


DC Universe/The CW’s newest series, Stargirl, is in full swing, and in the second episode, Courtney works with Pat as they try to not only figure out who killed the Justice Society of America but also why the Staff chose Courtney. They come in contact with Brainwave and try to stop him, meaning that Courtney officially becomes Stargirl.

Find out what happens in this week’s episode, “S.T.R.I.P.E.”

Immediately starting where the pilot ended, Pat shows up in his armored suit, and Courtney, still holding the Staff, tells him to stay away from her. Before Pat can explain, he needs to get Courtney somewhere safe. He, as the robot, holds out his hand for Courtney, and they fly away once Courtney is on his back. After making a somewhat rough landing, Pat opens a garage door and walks in, turning off the robot, and Courtney gets off. She’s out of breath and bleeding, glowing Staff still in hand, not knowing what to make of all this. Courtney pleads with the Staff to just give her a minute, and she sets it down, hands shaking.

Pat asks if she’s okay, and Courtney says she’s not, asking him about the robot. He tells her it’s a prototype that he built after Sylvester died. Pat asks Courtney what her attacker looked like. “I don’t know. Creepy. Red hair.” Courtney mentions he threw tires at her with his eyes, and Pat tells her it was with his mind. He’s called Brainwave, one of the Justice Society’s enemies, and also a member of the Injustice Society of America. Courtney wants to know who Brainwave is, but Pat is just trying to protect her. “Did he kill my dad?” Pat tells Courtney that Starman wasn’t her dad, and Brainwave killed a lot of his friends that night. Icicle killed Starman, and Pat doesn’t know where he is. Courtney bets that Brainwave knows, telling Pat there’s no way it’s a coincidence this psychopath is in the same small town he is.

“No more secrets, no more lies.”

Courtney keeps prying, telling Pat she wants the whole truth. Pat tells her about Hourman, a teammate of Starman’s and a member of the Justice Society of America. Hourman had survived that night and took it upon himself to follow the Injustice Society’s trail across the country. Shortly after arriving at Blue Valley, he and his wife died in an accident. Two years ago, Pat followed Rex’s research, and that’s when he met Courtney’s mom. Pat says when he got to Blue Valley, he couldn’t pick up the Injustice Society’s trail. He would never have moved them there if he thought any of them actually stayed in Blue Valley.

Courtney says that Brainwave’s in town somewhere, and for whatever reason, they have to find him. Pat tells her she’s being careless, Brainwave might not even be alone, and he saw her. “You know, you might laugh at those red-and-white stripes I wore, but people looked at those instead of my face.” Pat tells Courtney they had costumes for a reason, to protect their families. Courtney tells Pat she totally sees his point.

“Protect the family. Superhero rule number one.”

Rule number one is that Pat is doing this without her. Courtney says this is her chance to do something for her dad, but Pat tells her again that Starman wasn’t her dad. She’s not going to touch the Staff ever again. Courtney tells him she’s not going to sit on the sidelines like he did.

Luke Wilson in Stargirl. Image courtesy of The CW.

In the morning, Courtney comes down for breakfast, trying to hide her face from her mother. However, Barbara notices something’s wrong and sees the scar, wondering what happened. Courtney lies and says she fell down the basement stairs, then Pat comes in with a scar on his face, saying the same thing. They both fell down the basement stairs? Courtney says there’s a bad step, and Pat adds that there’s a couple of bad steps down there, telling a whole story of him “fixing” it. Courtney changes the subject to the pancakes that Pat is holding, and they both reassure Barbara that they’re okay. Suddenly not in the mood for eating once Barbara leaves, Courtney sneaks downstairs and opens Starman’s chest. She sees his costume and takes it.

Henry reluctantly meets with his dad in his office. Dr. King tells him he has a few more questions about the other night, wondering if it was a girl that did it. Henry says he told him it was some guy, but Dr. King says he always knows. He asks Henry if a girl beat him and his friends up and destroyed his car, and Henry says it was too hard to see. Maybe it was a girl.

At school, Courtney goes into a sewing classroom, taking out Starman’s costume, and gets to work, making the costume her own. Later at lunch, Courtney sees Beth eating with her parents via video chat. Beth’s mom works with Dr. King, who, in the background, is looking up medical records, trying to see if anyone matches the burnt and torn-up Blue Valley Student ID he found. Dr. Chapel tells Beth they have to get back to work, saying they’ll see her at the open house later that night. Dr. King overhears, and Dr. Chapel assumes he and Henry will be there.

“Oh, we wouldn’t miss it.”

At the open house, Henry wonders why they’re there; they never come to these things, but all Dr. King does is tell him to get him some punch and walks away. He starts reading peoples’ thoughts, trying to figure out who the girl is. Meanwhile, Courtney is trying to find any sign of Brainwave, but Pat tells her to stop looking; he’s got it. However, Courtney isn’t listening, telling him they can cover more ground if they split up, and she walks off. While looking around the gym, she spots Dr. King, realizing he’s Brainwave, and quickly turns around. Brainwave starts following her as Courtney is trying to look for Pat. She gets out into the hallway, but Brainwave finds her. Courtney tells him to stay away from her, and Brainwave wonders if she’s Starman’s daughter. She keeps thinking of him over and over.

“You’ll pay for what you did to my dad and the JSA.”

Brainwave tells Courtney she’s frightened, just like her father, of so many things. Courtney’s going to bring him the Cosmic Staff, and she’s going to come back there with it at midnight. Courtney’s head starts hurting, and in her mind, she can hear Brainwave saying he’s going to kill her mother if she doesn’t bring him the Staff. He’ll make sure it looks like it was a stroke and that her death was painful. Courtney runs away.

Brec Bassinger in Stargirl. Image courtesy of The CW.

Courtney finds Pat in the gym, telling him that Brainwave is there and what happened. Pat looks over at Barbara, who is talking to some parents and walks over to her. He tells her he’s not feeling so hot, and they leave. At home, Courtney is about to leave, and Pat asks her what she’s doing. She’s going to face Brainwave; he’ll hurt her mom if she doesn’t. When he says that, he’s not lying, but Pat tells Courtney he’ll do it to her, too. Courtney should be scared, but she can’t right now.

“My whole life, I’ve waited for my father to show up, and now I know why he didn’t.”

Brainwave and the others took him from Courtney, and the Staff is giving her a chance to get justice for that, for her dad, the JSA, and Pat’s friends. Pat doesn’t care that the Staff works for her; she’s staying there. He tells Courtney if he’s not back in the morning, she gets her mom and Mike, and they leave Blue Valley. “You leave, and you never, ever look back. You protect your mom. And you get her out of here. Tell her I love her.” Pat leaves and gets the prototype ready.

Meanwhile, Barbara knocks on Courtney’s door, telling her that her getting along with Pat didn’t go unnoticed. With the move, a new stepbrother, a new stepfather, and an instant family, Barbara thought it’d all be perfect. She’s grateful for everything that Courtney’s been doing, and Barbara knows that everything hasn’t been as easy as she had imagined it would be, but they’re going to make a good life. “That’s all I want for you.” That’s all Courtney wants for Barbara, too, and she’s holding back tears as Barbara continues to promise her they’re going to figure this out. After Barbara leaves, Courtney looks out her window at the sky, wondering what to do.

Brainwave is waiting in the school parking lot and sees the prototype flying, Pat landing in front of him, and he wonders who he is. “Who am I? Someone looking for justice.” Pat tries to throw a dumpster at him, but Brainwave deflects it; the same with a car. When he tries to throw a punch, Brainwave sends it right back to Pat. At home, Courtney takes out the newly redesigned costume and suits up, using the Staff as a board. Brainwave wonders where the staff is; at that moment, Courtney comes through.

“I’m Stargirl.”

She fights Brainwave with the Staff as he uses his mind on her. Brainwave has Courtney pinned, telling her she’ll die for attacking his son, but first, she’ll feel such pain and starts getting into her head. Just when hope seems lost, Pat shines a light from the prototype toward Brainwave, and Courtney is able to grab the Staff, putting it right to his face. Objects start moving, and a small dome appears; then, everything stops, and Brainwave is down for the count.

Brec Bassinger in Stargirl. Image courtesy of The CW.

Later, Courtney wonders what happens if Brainwave dies. Pat tells her it’s not her fault; his mind short-circuited. Courtney picks up the Cosmic Staff, asking if it’s alive, but Pat doesn’t know how the staff works. Starman didn’t build it; a man named Ted Knight did. Pat never thought there’d be another Starman. “Stargirl.” Courtney says they took down Brainwave, and they’ll find the others that killed her dad and the JSA, and they’ll get justice for them, too. Pat tells her he can’t do this. He doesn’t know why the Staff works for her; maybe she is Sylvester’s daughter.

“But whatever the case, you’re the one who didn’t give up.”

Courtney’s the one who saved him and stopped Brainwave. She says they stopped that freak together. “Come on, sidekick, don’t flake on me now.” The last time Pat was a sidekick, his partner got killed. This time, Courtney tells Pat he has a freaking robot. He can do this. The Staff chose her, and she chose him. Instead of Stripsey, Courtney comes up with S.T.R.I.P.E. for Pat’s name. Subatomic Tactical Robot Internet Pat Enhancer. “So, which one of the bad guys is next?”

A guy shows up at a building and walks into an office. He uses his handprint to open a secret passage; down below is a lair. He gets to a steel door, which is holding in a creature. Even further down below is the Injustice Society’s HQ. A guy welcomes him back and shows him security footage of Stargirl, saying whoever that is, took out Brainwave. What do they do? They don’t worry.

“I killed one Starman, I can kill another.”

Stargirl airs every Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on The CW, streaming free the next day on The CW app.

Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.

Leave a Reply


Related articles

‘DC’s Stargirl’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 13 “Frenemies — Ch. 13: The Reckoning”

In the series finale of DC's Stargirl, our heroes confront the remains of the ISA for the last...

‘DC’s Stargirl’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 12 “Frenemies — Chapter Twelve: The Last Will and Testament of Sylvester Pemberton”

It's the penultimate episode of DC's Stargirl, and it ends with a shocking plot twist no one saw...

‘DC’s Stargirl’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 11 “Frenemies — Chapter 11: The Haunting”

In this week's episode of DC's Stargirl, Sylvester struggles to deal with his anger as Icicle attempts to...

‘DC’s Stargirl’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 10 “Frenemies — Chapter 10: The Killer”

In this week's episode of DC's Stargirl, the true culprit behind the Gambler's murder is revealed as the...