Friday, October 7, 2022

‘DC’s Stargirl’ Recap: Season 3, Episode 4 “Frenemies — Ch. 4: The Evidence”

THE CWDC'S STARGIRL'DC's Stargirl' Recap: Season 3, Episode 4 "Frenemies — Ch. 4: The...

On this week’s episode of DC’s Stargirl, Sylvester struggles with whether to hang up the Starman suit permanently while Cameron’s powers begin to manifest in uncontrollable ways. The JSA is on the case of another suspect in the Gambler’s murder, but is Courtney’s optimism giving her a blind spot for the most obvious suspect?

Hard Evidence

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The cosmic staff wakes Courtney up and drags her to the crime scene, showing her an unconscious Sylvester. They rush him to the hospital, where Beth’s mother tells them he’s stable for now. She noted an unusual puncture wound much like the Gambler’s, reporting it to the police as a hit and run to not cause suspicion in a sweet attempt to help her daughter and the JSA. Courtney feels guilty that Sylvester left the staff behind while Pat tries to reassure her.

Sylvester wakes up, bruised and sore but otherwise fine. His pride was wounded by the ambush, and he didn’t see who attacked him. Courtney tells him she wants to amend their agreement: if she’s not around and he needs the staff, he should take it. Sylvester agrees on the condition that she do the same. Pat arrives with McNider, and the group discusses what to do while a mysterious figure watches from hidden cameras in an underground lair.

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McNider believes Sylvester’s resurrection and fast healing now are both a result of the staff slowly altering his physiology over the years, like Jennie and the ring. Sylvester asks if he misses being Dr. Mid-Nite, and he says that passing the torch to Beth has given him more satisfaction than being a superhero ever could. He asks if Sylvester is happy, and he can’t answer.

Yolanda hides her JSA activities from her mother by claiming she’s working extra shifts to help the family after her father lost his job. The group heads to the trailer to investigate the crime scene, but it’s been wiped clean. Stressed and suspicious, Yolanda accuses Cindy again. But Cindy just says that if she did it, she would have made sure Sylvester was dead. The goggles detect a skin cell on the counter that doesn’t belong to Starman, so it must belong to the attacker. Beth and McNider analyze the cell, which isn’t human or identifiable. But McNider suddenly remembers where he’s seen this kind of result before: Cindy’s father, the Dragon King.

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Courtney wants to warn Cindy that her father is back, while Yolanda questions if she’s working with him. Courtney tells the full story of what happened in the Shadowlands, believing that after all those years of abuse she would never help him. Meanwhile, Cindy is in pain once again and experimenting on herself while the group wonders if maybe he came back to find Cindy. Mike wants to go to the tunnels under Blue Valley to look for the Dragon King and beat Courtney, while Jakeem has his reservations. But when they wish for the key to S.T.R.I.P.E, they accidentally get a huge pile of random keys.

Passing the Torch (Or, Um, Staff)

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Pat brings Sylvester home to recover. He confides that after talking with McNider he worries that he isn’t letting Courtney shine, believing she was doing great before he came along. He feels like he doesn’t have a purpose without a family or job. Pat reminds him that he has a family with the Whitmore-Dugans.

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At work, Tim is suddenly a big supporter of every Barbara project, much to her surprise. Paula checks in to “casually” see how things are going with the new manager. She also drops off a handmade, taxidermy animal to say thank you. Crusher does the same with Sylvester, dropping by with a six-pack of beer. Trying to mend fences, Sylvester invites him to watch a movie with him and Pat.

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Later that night, Sylvester tells Pat he wants to retire from being Starman permanently. He sees that even the villains he used to fight have settled down, and he feels like he doesn’t have a place in the new JSA. Pat urges him to consider being a mentor to this new generation, noting how much he’s helped Courtney. He surprises Sylvester with a brand new Starman suit, telling him that “if I ain’t retiring yet, neither are you.” Yolanda and Rick go to Sylvester with the news about the Dragon King, and since Courtney is out with Cameron and not answering her phone, he agrees to help them search the tunnels.

Melted Hearts

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Throughout the episode, Cameron struggles to manage his icy powers while his grandparents encourage him. They force him to give up his art, wanting him to put all his energy into his future with his powers. He sadly agrees as he feels his artistic talent has faded and it no longer brings him joy. In the art room, Courtney pushes him not to give up, but he loses control and ices the whole room. Cameron apologizes for what happened, thinking Courtney is “normal,” and she plays along. He believes his father died trying to help people, which is what his grandparents told him. He says he avoided her because he was scared of hurting her, and she says she’s not afraid.

They go for a walk through the town, with Courtney encouraging Cameron to view his icy gift like he does his art and express himself as they arrive at the gazebo. He wonders how she can be so calm after finding out about his powers, and she doesn’t reveal her own secret identity. But she does tell him that she knows he’s a sweet, kind person who would never want to hurt anyone. She trusts him, and she knows he can control his powers by embracing love and hope as she has in the past.

She repeats the monologue Sylvester told her about channeling the love she has for her family and friends, and Cameron tries again. But this time, the ice falls in beautiful snowflakes reminiscent of the snowflake scene in Edward Scissorhands while Courtney spins. She exclaims that it’s “magical,” and he takes her hands as he softly adds, “just like you.” The music swells, and they hold hands as Cameron leans in for a tentative kiss. It’s romantic, swoon-worthy, and the kind of movie magic moment that this show is known for.

Things don’t stay happy for long. Underground, Cindy writhes in pain as she searches for a solution. She pulls down her sleeve to reveal scaly skin. It seems the Dragon King isn’t back: the skin cell belonged to Cindy all along.

DC’s Stargirl: Frenemies airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. You can find the rest of our coverage here!

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