In the first part of the Stargirl season one finale, the fight is on as the new JSA and the ISA go head to head. Mike finally finds out the truth, and the full extent of the ISA’s mind control plan is revealed. This is the biggest test of Stargirl and the rest of the team yet, with the shocking final twist setting up a must see finale. Read on to find out what happened in “Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One.”
The episode opens with Brainwave telling Jordan that Sportsmaster and Tigress have been sent to kill Stargirl and the rest of the Whitmore family. He also reveals that the Gambler is making the signal from their machine look like it’s coming from Russia, which will buy the ISA time to complete their plan since the U.S. authorities won’t realize where the mind control signal is coming from. Jordan doesn’t react much, only telling Brainwave that he wants to be informed when the Whitmores are dead.
While Courtney and Barbara are packing, Pat and Mike head to the garage. Mike is upset that everyone but him knows what’s really going on and walks away as Pat tries to show him S.T.R.I.P.E. Before Pat can go after him, Sportsmaster arrives. He sarcastically says he didn’t realize Pat had so many secrets as Pat sneakily picks up a crowbar. Sportsmaster wants to know where the robot is, and Pat acts like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. They start to fight as Sportsmaster kicks the crowbar away. They fight, with Pat convincing Sportsmaster to fight him man-to-man (Sportsmaster just can’t resist a challenge). It looks like the villain is winning before Mike takes a power drill to his back. When Sportsmaster turns on Mike, Pat attacks and beats him, telling him to stay away from his son. Mike is excited about the robot, asking Pat if he built it and who the guy on the floor is. Pat remarks that he did and that Sportsmaster is an old friend.
Back at the Whitmore house, Tigress arrives and shoots an arrow at a surprised Barbara. Tigress throws her into a table but is quickly stopped by Courtney wielding the Cosmic Staff. Barbara can only watch her daughter in awe as Courtney manages to match Tigress as they fight. Barbara even gets in on the action by pulling Tigress off of Courtney just before the staff shoots Tigress through a door, knocking her out. In a sweet moment, Courtney apologizes to her mom for ruining the door and Barbara just says that Courtney is awesome. They exchange a smile before heading to the safe house. Barbara and Courtney greet Yolanda, Beth, and Rick at the cabin, with Justin following close behind. As S.T.R.I.P.E. lands with Mike and Pat on board, Barbara is stunned yet again. Mike immediately asks Pat how old he needs to be in order to drive the robot.
Back at the ISA headquarters, Cindy and Brainwave are fighting. She wants to be a true member of the ISA, but Brainwave coldly tells her she failed in her task to protect Henry Jr. He also adds that her father thinks of her as a failed experiment as the rest of the team does. He locks her away as she pounds on the door, furious. He goes to Dr. Ito to begin the mind control experiment. Ito warns that this could kill Brainwave, but Brainwave believes the benefits outweigh his potential death. They turn on the machine, and Brainwave can suddenly hear the thoughts of millions of people. He screams in pain and the machine cracks slightly from the pressure. But he is unharmed, and he turns to Ito, telling him it will work.
Chuck tells Beth about the power surge and how Brainwave absorbed Henry Jr.’s powers. Rick continues to try and crack the code his father left him, with Justin proving to be less than helpful. Mike and Courtney finally talk, with Mike joking that maybe the staff could work for him too. Courtney lets him try, and it doesn’t light up. She feels bad, but then Mike says he doesn’t mind. Pat doesn’t have powers either, but he built himself into a superhero. He can do the same.
Tigress and Sportsmaster are recovering from their injuries at the Whitmores when Bowin shows up. She says she’s here to make sure the two don’t fail again by using her own abilities. Sportsmaster retorts that that’s no fun, but Bowin just says the couple are sadists. She then adds that their daughter Artemis will be wild like her mother, which makes Sportsmaster angry. He asks if she’s insinuating they don’t love their daughter, and before Bowin can respond Tigress shoots her with an arrow, killing her. They share a romantic moment together over Bowin’s body, with Sportsmaster saying he loves Tigress.
Pat and Barbara also talk, with Pat apologizing for how much he kept from her. He says he just wanted to keep her safe. If he’d known Blue Valley was still filled with the ISA, he would have told her more from the start. He asks if they’ll be okay, and Barbara says she wants them to be. Pat goes to Rick, who is frustrated he can’t break the code. Pat suggests 1966 may be the numbers needed, since that’s the year Rick’s father’s beloved Mustang was made. It works, and Chuck is able to unscramble the message. Turns out that Rick’s father knew about the ISA’s tunnel network before his death, and that’s why he was killed. The group sees that there’s an entrance big enough for S.T.R.I.P.E and plans to stop the transmission. Beth will go to The American Dream to cut off their power source, with Barbara accompanying her since she doesn’t want teenage Beth to go alone. Mike asks what he can do, and Pat tells him he gets to stay home with the dog: “the most important job of all.” Mike is more than disappointed at this but doesn’t object.
Stargirl and Pat reach the tunnel while Wildcat, Justin, and Hourman go to the tunnel entrance at Cindy’s house. Beth finds the ISA’s manifesto that will be reprogrammed into people’s minds. It doesn’t sound bad, with universal healthcare and a plan to stop global warming. But Pat knows there must be more to it than that, and Chuck finds that the ISA thinks up to 25% of the population will fight the reprogramming and die. It also only affects adult minds. Stargirl realizes that could be 25 million people, and Gambler pipes up with, “give or take a million.” He’s been watching their progress, making it clear he knows what they’re up to. Beth realizes they’re too late: the counter has 30 minutes left until the programming is complete, not 30 minutes left to launch. Barbara and Justin’s eyes glow – the reprogramming is already working on them. Brainwave says he’s controlling them like Pat controls S.T.R.I.P.E., and as Stargirl frantically tries to get Pat’s attention, she realizes he’s under their control as well when the robot braces for a fight. S.T.R.I.P.E. is about to attack Stargirl.
The second part of Stargirl‘s season one finale airs Monday on DC Universe and Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.