REVIEW: ‘Stargirl,’ 3×02: ‘The Suspects’

Season 3, Episode 2 of ‘Stargirl’ suggests this season is going to be incredibly different than the two before it.

Blue Valley is that perfect little slice of America, a town that seems as if it’s a glimpse back into the ’50s with such a vintage feel, what could ever go wrong? Ever since the Injustice Society rolled into town on Stargirl? Well, it would seem a whole lot. Since Season 1, we’ve seen the town shaken with mind-control and even a chaos demon, but this time around, a murder has hit Blue Valley, and it has taken Steven Sharpe, aka The Gambler, with it.

When we traveled back to Blue Valley in the season premiere, tensions were already high. This was due in part to the Justice Society’s bubbling leader, Courtney, working to make the transition period between the team’s oldest members more comfortable with the welcoming of Cindy Burman, looking to turn a new leaf. However, this dynamic isn’t exclusive to just the kids, as the people all around town are looking for a fresh chance. The Shade, Tigress, and Sportsmaster are all villains who have returned to Blue Valley with better intentions but, in the end, it just results in them all being considered suspects in the murder of The Gambler.

Burman, of course, is the team’s biggest suspect, and it could not have come at a worse time as she continues to find her spot amongst the Justice Society. Half of the team lacks trust, and it is understandable as to why. Not even Courtney’s optimistic outlook and Beth’s voice of reason can help her find a way out of the hot seat.

While we know that there are larger plans at play, it would be a bit more beneficial to the story if they could touch on it a bit more. It’s good to let the tensions amongst the characters develop a bit more as the mystery continues, but it feels like the antagonist could be a bit stronger if he was more of a present threat. As of right now, we can only presume that Mr. Bones and Helix are the ones surveying Blue Valley through the strange network of cameras planted about town. It feels like our characters’ growing agitations and feelings towards each other will pay off much better if the upcoming villains just felt a bit more like puppet masters in an “experiment” that currently doesn’t feel like a very controlled one as much as it was led on to be.

With Courtney, of course, already appropriately being the shining star of the series, the growing mentor and mentee relationship between her and Sylvester is still one of the series’ most interesting. It’s exciting to watch as they find this middle ground in whose turn it is to be the red, white, and blue staff wielder, and how Courtney can grow alongside Sylvester. It is even more interesting to see how Sylvester reacts to a world that he left ten years ago, to see how it has changed, how he is still caught in 2010, and that person who voted to kill Bruce Gordon still finds his way out occasionally. In a way, Courtney is teaching Sylvester just as much as he is her, sharing her compassion and softhearted nature with him to eventually lead to both being the best versions of themselves.

With Stargirl Season 3, Episode 2, fans are quickly going to realize this is a very different season than either that have come before. It is a much more character-oriented season. So far, Season 3 looks to be testing character limits by making them question who they let into their lives and if they can be genuinely rehabilitated in order to let go of their past villainous actions.

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