TV SERIES Review: Stargirl S1E11 – Shining Knight ⭐️⭐️

Season 1
DC Universe / CW
July 26, 2020 @ 9:00pm PT (GMT-8)

Episode 11 – Shining Knight

Every Sunday night on the west coast in the United States at 9pm PT, a new episode of Stargirl!

It’s Justin the janitor time. He is having trouble remembering who he is. He has a vision that Stripesy can help him remember his past, including the location of his prized “white steed.”

Meanwhile, a stranger arrives in town on the bus. He claims to be Courtney’s father. Barbara confirms, but Court doesn’t want to believe it’s true. This guy isn’t Starman. Barbara wonders where the guy went, he deserted them over 10 years ago.

Justin shows up at Pat’s garage wielding his knight’s sword. He is having conflicting visions of seeing Pat/Stripesy as Doctor Ito. Beth/Doctor Midnite and Hourman are at the garage, ready to go to battle if Justin goes off with the sword, but he calms down.

Brainwave, now even more empowered after his son is gone, has total recall and wants to kill Pat and Courtney, knowing their superhero identities. Jordan/Icicle tells him to back off, it will ruin their plan to take them out this soon.

Courtney goes to breakfast with her father, as he tries to get to know her. He wants to get to know her and tries making amends. What it seems he’s really after is the locket he gave her all those years ago. She gives it back to him.

Back to Justin the janitor who says he used to clean the stables in King Arthur’s time when he was given the sword Excalibur. He’s from the past and Pat believes him. Justin was brainwashed in the tunnels under the city by Doctor Ito.

That painting looks foreboding, but when will we see these guys waging war?

Will Justin/Shining Knight be joining the Justice Society? Will Courtney/Stargirl be able to power the staff now that she knows Starman is not her father? Will the team gang up go back underground and fight the Injustice Society: Dr. Ito, Icicle, Brainwave, Grundy and their minions?


Another origin episode, but attempted dramatic twist with the addition of Courtney’s father — another cast member seemingly to learn about (or forget about) — that is not Starman. Also, we finally learn at least some of the story behind Justin, albeit in an extremely boring storytelling way.

So many characters in this show. It’s like the first season is setting up more seasons now, instead of rolling out some epic conflict and making viewers all in here and now. That’s what it looked like might be happening based on the amazing episode 10, that the rest of season one would be more action-oriented and we’d stop doing all these slow origin episodes.

The Justin / Janitor memory flashback could have included an exciting battle scene with Excalibur in the past. Instead we get a scraggly bearded janitor firing off more exposition. That’s the real star of this show: exposition everywhere again. What’s missing is left to the viewer’s imagination.

Stargirl teases live action comic book battles to come … someday. Guess that’s why I keep tuning in because I’m excited by what could be here instead of what too often turns out not to be. The most interesting parts of each episode are often the very last couple minutes of each episode. Like the writers realized, hey we better do something cool in the last couple minutes so they tune in next week.

Earlier in the series I mentioned the 1970s show The Incredible Hulk starring Bill Bixby. That should have provided Geoff Johns and his team the basic episode structure that Stargirl could follow, instead we get each episode essentially introducing new characters and setting up potential conflicts … somewhere in the future. This one just finding interesting pictures to take for this post was challenging.

For pretty much the entire season the foreshadowing, origin and backstories have been rolled out for a huge conflict like we saw at the beginning of the first episode. We keep getting mostly teased in 40+ minute chunks. Not a fan of this episode or this tease-heavy storytelling overall, because again, most of this could have covered this in 15 minutes of run time earlier in the season when we met Justin the first time. As for Courtney finding out about the truth of her dad? Yeah, that adds another dimension to her character, but weren’t there other more interesting ways to blend him into the storyline? Perhaps he could have been found by the Injustice Society? Used as pawn to lure in Stargirl and her team underground?

This is more of a soap opera episode that doesn’t even move with soap opera cuts and pacing. Fine, if that’s the show others want to watch every week. Not what I’m tuning in for. A bummer letdown for me from episode 10, which was fantastic. Two more episodes. Hope it pays off. Finally.

Overall episode rating: ⭐️⭐️

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