This week’s episode gives us two new members of the new JSA (well, technically one, but I’m really rooting for Beth here). We delve into the backstory of Hourman, and Courtney continues to recruit new members in her quest to defeat the ISA. But will they join her, or strike out on their own? And how does Pat feel about all of her (thus far secret) efforts? Read on to find out what happened in “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite.”
The episode opens with another flashback to nine years previous, with Rex Tyler (Hourman) frantically preparing to leave Blue Valley with his wife, Wendi. In order to keep their son Rick safe, they drop him off with Wendi’s brother Matt Harris, even going so far as to change Rick’s name. The ISA doesn’t know that Rick exists, and they’d like to keep it that way. Matt isn’t thrilled about being given parenting duties, but when Wendi hands him $50,000 and explains he’s the only one they trust, he reluctantly relents. After a heartbreaking goodbye between Rick and his parents, Rex and Wendi drive off. They don’t make it far before undead monster Solomon Grundy slams into their car, causing it to careen into a tree. Both are killed instantly. In the present day, we see Rick painstakingly restoring his father’s yellow 1966 Mustang. But he’s missing a part he needs, and it comes out that his terrible uncle Matt sold the part because he needed the money. Their relationship is neglectful at best and abusive at the worst, and Rick is definitely carrying a lot of anger over his parents’ deaths. He walks to school and punches the tree his parents’ car slammed into as he walks by.
Back at the Whitmore household, Courtney has a close call when her mother almost finds her JSA artifacts in her closet after waking her up for Halloween. Not wanting to take any chances, she stuffs them into a duffel bag to take to school with her – but she misses Dr. Mid-Nite’s goggles and leaves them behind. On the way to school, she and Pat talk about Councilman Zarick, who Pat believes was The Wizard. Courtney adds that she saw Principal Bowen playing the violin in Brainwave’s hospital room – maybe she’s the Fiddler? Pat thinks it’s more likely that she’s the Virtuoso instead, and also warns Courtney to stop trying to find the ISA on her own.
Beth follows Courtney and Yolanda to try to figure out what they’re up to as they discuss who to recruit next, slipping on a massive puddle in the process. As this is going on, Steven Sharpe meets with a delivery man about transporting a satellite dish, giving him a chocolate coin as thanks on top of the money he’s owed (seems like a weird tip, but I would also work for chocolate so I get it).
When Pat and Courtney drive home from school, their car breaks down on the side of the road. Rick walks by and offers his assistance since he clearly knows a lot about cars. Pat is especially interested to learn that Rick has a yellow 1966 Mustang that belonged to his father (making him think of Hourman, perhaps?). Courtney notices that the hourglass in her bag is lighting up, making her realize Rick must be related to Hourman somehow. When he leaves, Pat asks if Courtney knows Rick, and she pretends not to. She insists on walking as an excuse to go after Rick, taking her bag with her. Courtney goes to follow Rick to show him the hourglass. But it doesn’t react, and Rick leaves while dismissing her as crazy.
Beth heads to Courtney’s house, greeting Barbara at the door. Barbara is glad to hear she’s a friend of Courtney’s, but Beth quickly bores her by talking about how much she loves ants (I adore Beth.) Barbara tells Beth she can wait in the living room, where Beth finds Max chewing on the goggles Courtney left behind earlier. Beth takes them and heads up to Courtney’s room, where she puts them on. When she does, she’s inundated with information from Dr. Charles McNider/Dr. Mid-Nite, who she immediately nicknames Chuck. The glasses function as a real-time version of Wikipedia, giving information on everything she sees.
Courtney arrives home to find Beth wearing the glasses, and before she can come up with an excuse, Beth tells her the goggles have told her everything. She knows Courtney is Stargirl, and she knows all about the JSA. But most importantly? She knows that Rick Harris is actually Rick Tyler, Hourman’s son. This makes sense to Courtney due to the hourglass lighting up earlier, and she enlists Yolanda and Beth to help her bring Rick onto the team. They head to Cindy’s Halloween party after Chuck informs them that is where Rick is. Yolanda is annoyed that Beth is the new Dr. Mid-Nite and that her superpower is talking too much, but Courtney says she got the glasses working, sidestepping the issue of whether Beth will actually join the new JSA. On the way in, Yolanda spots Henry. Not wanting to confront him, she stays outside while Courtney and Beth head in. Cindy and Henry fight over his depressed mood, with him remarking that his father is in the hospital. It’s also too loud inside for him, and when he goes outside to get relief, Yolanda thinks “jerk” at him, which he hears.
In disguise, Courtney goes to Rick and tells him about the JSA and his father. She is joined by Yolanda, who she introduces as Wildcat, and Beth, who Courtney says is simply borrowing the goggles for now and isn’t an official team member. Beth helpfully tells them that the hourglass has to be turned over to work, and will give Rick superhuman strength for one hour. Rick tests this by turning the hourglass over, and he is bathed in a golden light. He crushes a keg like it’s a beer can, and he thanks Courtney for the tip. He wants revenge on the people who killed his father, and he wants to do it alone. Courtney protests that he can’t just take the hourglass, but he retorts that it belonged to his father and he can do what he wants with it. He leaves, and Yolanda tells Courtney she just gave a teenage delinquent the power of a “super beast.” Courtney is determined to get Rick on their team, but Yolanda is extremely skeptical. Courtney says maybe he’ll listen if they are in their super suits, and when Beth excitedly says they’ll have to suit up, Courtney makes it clear she’s not inviting Beth.
Rick walks alone down the street, noticing his uncle’s car. He punches a massive hole in the side and smiles. Beth is talking to Chuck, saying that she wonders how she’d feel if her parents died in an accident like Rick. Chuck shows her what really happened to Rick’s parents, and she’s shocked. Courtney and Yolanda find Rick, and Courtney tries to convince him to join them. He says she can’t understand how angry he is and how “poisoned” he feels by his parents’ deaths. Courtney argues that the best way to honor their legacy is to suit up for good, not revenge. Rick doesn’t agree, and Courtney pulls out her staff. She says she can’t let him keep the hourglass if he’s going to carry this anger – he could hurt himself or someone else.
Rick sarcastically asks how exactly she’s going to stop him, and it appears they’re going to fight until a breathless Beth runs up. She tells them Hourman’s death wasn’t an accident, having Chuck show them the scene. It shows them everything, including Wendi’s last scream, and a traumatized Beth falls to the ground. Courtney tells Rick that the people who killed his parents are the same ones who killed her father, and that’s why she’s assembled this new version of the JSA: to stop them. Rick agrees, crying, but makes it clear he’s only in it for the revenge, not to save the world. Courtney’s staff sings in agreement.
A truck is stuck in the road on the other side of town. When the drivers exit, Principal Bowen is waiting for them. She begins to play her violin, and one man is enchanted while the other asks what’s happening. Steven Sharpe appears and shoots the other man as we see the delivery man from earlier poisoned by the chocolate coin (a literal death by chocolate). Pat is reading Rex’s journal, finding the description of the Mustang. He goes to Courtney’s room and sees that the window is open, realizing she snuck out. But he also spots the Green Lantern in the duffel bag, leading him to the rest of the equipment she’s been hiding. He sighs and mutters “Courtney …” as the episode ends.
Stargirl airs Mondays on DC Universe and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.