Blue Valleys’ resident superhero is back! The third season of Stargirl is setting up what looks to be a much more character-focused, slow burn compared to previous seasons. The Frenemies theme teased towards the end of the second season makes things feel a whole lot more personal this season and the dynamics that it brings into this chapter could be the most enticing aspect of the season, as it feels like it’s the only thing really going on.
Season 3 brings quite a few familiar faces back into the spotlight, with characters such as Sportsmaster, Tigress, Gambler, and the long-awaited arrival of Joel McHale as Sylvester Pemberton, who returned at the tail end of Season 2 after being teased over the course of the past two seasons. Pemberton’s return brings the dynamic between him and Courtney into focus, bringing up the question as to how the two would be able to co-exist as the only two who’ve ever been able to wield the cosmic staff. Courtney is obviously a bit hesitant but eager to learn more about the cosmic staff from the old hero.
Courtney has gone on to make a life in Blue Valley as Stargirl with the support of both her family and her friends; Sylvester never properly gave up the mantle and of course, his first notion would be to find the staff as its really all he ever knew, he lived and breathed those cosmic rays until he was put six feet under by Icicle. The whole mystery behind his return is still a bit murky, with Sylvester speculating that the staff may have made him almost immortal with the energy it radiates.
Courtney has always been the show’s strongest character, which is a good thing when she is your title character, and the hatchet burying this season really allows room to explore the heights and limits of her heroic nature. We get to see these limits put to the test as she must juggle working alongside Cindy Burman after facing the consequences of releasing Eclipso. Courtney works as the glue, the optimist amongst the few who don’t trust as easily as she does. Cindy’s inclusion in the Justice Society obviously leaves some members feeling a bit uneasy about the situation, as they believe she doesn’t deserve redemption.
The end of the episode provides quite the revelation. The Gambler’s return is quickly shuttered, as the retired Injustice Society member is cut down by a mysterious assailant, just after discovering a system of cameras had been setup around Blue Valley. These cameras are likely monitoring the town for what could only be the experiment teased by Mister Bones at the end of season 2.