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This article is about the Season 1 episode. You may be looking for the supervillain of the same name, Henry King Sr./Brainwave.

"Brainwave" is the ninth episode of the first season of Stargirl and the ninth episode overall.

The episode premiered on July 13, 2020, on DC Universe, and aired on July 14, 2020, on The CW.


"DADDY DEAREST — Tensions rise among the JSA members after Courtney suggests who she wants to recruit next to the team. Meanwhile, Barbara invites Jordan and his family over for dinner, and Henry Jr. makes a surprising discovery about his father."[2]


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Decades ago, Dr. Henry King Sr. walks out to the parking lot and is threatened by a mugger, asking for his keys while pointing a gun to his head. Dr. King, terrified, hands over his keys, and realizes he can read the mugger's mind. The mugger decides to shoot Dr. King anyway since no one will know, but the gun suddenly flies out of his hand. Confused, the mugger surges forward to attack Dr. King but is intercepted by a wave of telekinesis. Dr. King then attacks the mugger with his mind, causing him to have a seizure and die. Shocked, Dr. King runs back to his lab, and films himself, saying that he thinks he killed a man.

In the present day, Henry King Jr. walks into the armory he found in Shiv Part Two, and sees a tape marked, "Day 1". He picks it up and puts it into the VCR, watching as his much younger father explains the event of the night he killed the mugger. Dr. King Sr. explains that his desire to expand the human consciousness has led his peers and superiors to turn against him. He ended up experimenting on himself and found out that he had a lot of headaches and migraines, and that he could hear others' voices in his head. He reveals that once he "silenced" the thoughts of the mugger, he felt relieved and that his migraines went away, saying that his first test is a success.

Henry Jr., still confused, picks up the "Day 2" tape.

Meanwhile, Courtney is talking to Pat about how she was able to hear Henry's thoughts in the battle that night. She says that he felt confused, sad, and scared. Courtney says that she knows he's not his dad, and even though he hurt Yolanda, she wants him to help them defeat the ISA, and that he knows that he's a good guy.

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Pat says that their best-case scenario is that the ISA came to hide after defeating the JSA ten years ago, but since Dr. Ito is Cindy's father, and that he's here, the ISA is planning something bigger. Courtney asks about Dr. Ito since he's supposed to be long dead, according to Chuck. Pat tells her that Dr. Ito experimented on himself until "he became something beyond human. Like Cindy, but much worse." Dr. Ito had spent his whole life creating weapons to kill off tens of thousands, and Pat reveals that he and Starman were part of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, showing Courtney a picture of the members and that the Seven Soldiers helped the JSA in destroying the weapon Dr. Ito designed to eradicate New York, but didn't get the credit that the JSA got. Courtney repeats again that they need Henry for the JSA.

At Blue Valley High, Justin the janitor is mopping the floor and has a vision of his mop turning into the Cosmic Staff. He looks at it and drops it, turning it back into a mop.

Beth asks Chuck if Cindy's house is empty, and Chuck states that there are no heat signatures inside the house and that school records state that Cindy is currently studying overseas with her stepmother. Beth doesn't believe it and wonders where she went, as she bikes off over a manhole.

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Underneath the manhole, Cindy is trapped in a prison cell by her father in his lair. She is begging Dr. Ito to let her go, since she isn't the problem, Henry is. Finally giving up, she swears that she'll kill her father, just like she did her mother, if Dr. Ito doesn't let her go. At that, Dr. Ito walks over to her cell door and closes the hatch to shut her up. Cindy groans and screams in frustration, releasing her wrist knives to claw her way out, but the door is made of a tough metal, which retaliates against her shivs, making her scream in pain. Dr. Ito tells his henchmen to turn on the gas, as "it always calmed her as a baby." He realizes that he doesn't need to wait for Brainwave to power his machine; Henry Jr. can do it for him.

Back at the King residence, Henry Jr. is putting in the tape for Day 10, watching as his father reveals that he can move things with his mind and manipulate objects, while he tries to control an empty can, managing to just lift it off the table with his mind before it crushes itself. As Henry Jr. puts in the 23rd tape, and is finally able to control objects, making them float around him in the air, and sends a dagger flying, lodging it in a wall.

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At the gym in Blue Valley High, Yolanda is incredulous that Courtney wants to recruit Henry Jr., asking Courtney how she could even think about it after what he did to her, and Rick steps forward, saying people don't change, even if it's on the surface. He claims that people will never change deep down. Beth says that's it's not true or fair, since they've all changed since joining the JSA. Yolanda says that Henry's his father's son, and won't think twice about hurting people. Rick agrees with Yolanda, and Courtney tells them to take a leap of faith. Rick says that they will, and they'll end up falling on their face. Courtney retorts by saying she took a leap of faith with them, and she's still on her feet, claiming that they need every advantage they can get. Annoyed, Yolanda takes her things, telling Courtney that she's not on any team with Henry on it, and leaves the gym.

Henry is still watching the tapes, as his father reveals that he wasn't allowed to by a rubber ball that lights up, so he stole it from the store and got caught. Henry Sr. says that he threw the rubber ball into a well, and his father held him by the ankles over the well, and said that he would drop him if he ever disobeyed him again. Henry Sr. says he still remembers how powerless he felt then, and how powerless he's been feeling until he finally got his powers. Henry Jr. picks up the tape number 91, and puts it in. Henry Sr. says that he read a man's thoughts on the subway, as the man looked at a woman, his mind with dirty thoughts. Henry Sr. rendered the man blind, and even then, he was thinking horrible thoughts. As he got off the subway, Henry Sr. pushed the man with his telekinetic powers towards an oncoming car, and the man died, just like that. Henry Sr. said he felt "better" after killing the man, until he heard another thought, and another, realizing that humans are monsters deep down inside.

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Suddenly, there's a creak at the door, and Henry Jr. stands up, grabbing the dagger from the wall and holding it in his hand as the maid walks in, asking if Henry's okay. Henry reads her thoughts that show she worries about him sometimes, and says he's fine. The maid tells him that a man called--a lawyer that wants to talk to Henry Jr. about his father, and silently thinks that he would be better off dead. Henry Jr. tells her to shut up, just as his head starts hurting again. Suddenly, Henry Jr. hears his dad's telepathic thoughts, and calls out loud for Henry Sr. He receives a telepathic thought in return. Henry looks at the maid, puts the dagger down, and tells the maid to stay out of his way, storming out of the room.

At an ISA meeting, Anaya Bowin asks if Icicle has news, since he called them all to the meeting. Jordan shakes his head and says that Dr. Ito has news, much to everyone else's discomfort. Dr. Ito walks in, saying he knows they've all had their differences, but that he has news for everyone. He reveals that Henry Jr. has his father's powers, and that he no longer needs Brainwave's powers anymore; he'll just use Henry Jr.'s to send thoughts through an amplifier that will send the message to everyone in 6 states, turning it into "our America."

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Jordan is looking at a file when Barbara walks in, apologizing again for leaving the trip in Oakville early. Shaking his head, Jordan says it's okay, since her daughter was in an accident. Barbara notices Jordan's expression, and asks if he's actually okay. Jordan reveals that he had been working on a project for years, that took him around the globe to work on, and that it cost him time with his son. He then says that given everything's he's done, he thought he'd feel a sense of accomplishment, but doesn't. Jordan adds that there's nothing a little family time couldn't fix, and says, half to himself, that Christine used to always make a family dinner once he came back from a trip. He thanks Barbara again for stopping by, and she leaves the room, only to stop halfway and ask if he and his family are busy tonight.

At the hospital, Henry Jr. walks in, hearing others' thoughts, and realizing how horrible some people are on the inside. He heads into his father's room, and asks if he inherited his powers from his dad, who is still comatose. He asks if Henry Sr. can hear him, and if he needs his help. Just then, the nurse walks in to check on Henry Sr., and Henry Jr. is reading his mind. The nurse thinks to himself that he's never liked Dr. King, and that they should terminate life support, since he's been in the hospital for months. Henry looks at the nurse as he walks out, telling his dad that he's right--people are monsters.

At the Pit Stop, Beth and Rick greet Pat, who asks where Yolanda is. Rick says she's pissed since Courtney wants to recruit Henry, and asks why Pat would let Courtney recruit him in the first place, saying it's a "classic anti-Pat plan." Pat tells Rick that Courtney trusted him when no one else would, and Rick retorts that he's "never sent pictures of some girl around." Rick asks what they're doing here in the first place, and Pat wants them to find out if there's a tunnel system under Blue Valley, showing them old books, and saying that Beth can use her goggles. Rick asks why Pat asked them to come in the first place if they're going to look at old books, and Pat says that planning and preparing is all part of being a superhero, standing up and leaving. Beth asks why he's not staying to help, and Pat says he has some family business to take care of.

Beth tells Rick that they should get started, and Rick says that Beth and Chuck have got it covered, while he's going to find out what his dad left him in the journal, much to Beth's protests.

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Still in the hospital, Henry Jr. is talking to his dad when Courtney arrives to talk to him and try to recruit him. Courtney thinks to herself that she doesn't want to hurt him, like she did to his dad, and Henry Jr. hears it, asking her what she did to him, and realizing that it wasn't a seizure, it was the Cosmic Staff. Courtney starts getting a headache from Henry's powers, and tells him she didn't do it on purpose, calming him down slightly. He reveals he knows about the ISA, and knows about as much as she does. Courtney asks Henry to help her find out who else is in the ISA, and make sure they stop killing people. Henry looks up, and Courtney starts naming people, like Joey and William Zarick, and her dad. Henry says that maybe they all deserved it, and Courtney asks if he thinks Joey deserved it. Henry softens a little and says that Joey was a nice kid. Courtney asks why Henry isn't a nice kid, and Henry says that it's hell on earth to read thoughts, and that even though he's a jerk, other people are too--that if his dad had killed anyone, he had a reason to, and he claims that people are monsters, and that they're hateful and twisted. Courtney tells him that life isn't that black and white, and that people can be bad and good too, and kind and compassionate. She says that even though the thoughts he's read are horrible, he should try looking a little deeper, claiming that everyone wants to feel loved, including him. Henry asks what makes her think that, and Courtney tells him what Yolanda told her about his dad, and how even though his dad treated him horribly, Henry's still by his side, making Henry mad about how she's talking about Henry Sr. Offended, Henry Jr. tells her to get out, which makes Courtney's head start hurting. She says she'll go, and just as she leaves, she tells him to talk to her when he's ready.

Pat enters the kitchen and sees Barbara fussing around the food, and asks what she's doing. Barbara tells him she's making family dinner, and that she thought it would be easy, except it's for eight people. Pat says that if he knew there were people coming over, he'd have helped her. She says that with him taking care of Mike and Courtney, and fixing his car, she didn't want to bother him. Pat tells her that he needs to tell her something he should've told her long ago, just as Courtney intercepts and says that she failed a history test, much to Pat's annoyance.

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Just then, the doorbell rings, and Barbara asks Courtney to get the door, while Pat tells Courtney that they have to stop lying. Courtney pouts and walks to the door, opening it and seeing Cameron, trying to hide her surprise and excitement. Cameron greets her, and she stammers a welcome to the Mahkents, inviting them in. As Cameron walks in, he smiles at Courtney, who says hi to him. He returns the greeting, and Jordan introduces himself to Courtney, who seems to only be able to say hi. Jordan attempts to shake Courtney's hand, but sees the bandages and ends up just lightly taking it. Cameron's grandmother, Lily, goes in for a hug, and expresses concern for Courtney after hearing about the "accident."

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Back at the hospital, Henry Jr. is going to the water dispenser to get water to take with his migraine pills, and is suddenly thrown into a room by Wildcat. He looks up, and sees her, realizing that she's Yolanda. Wildcat tells him to stay away from Courtney and her family. Henry tells her that Courtney needs to stay away from him, and Wildcat tells him that Courtney thinks his soul is worth saving, and that she knows it isn't. She pounces and lands in front of him, telling him that she should kill him. Henry repeats what Wildcat said, and thinks that she really wants to kill him for what he did to her. Wildcat tell him that he can read thoughts, and tells him to, which leads to him hearing her want to slash him and watch him bleed to death, threatening that she will if he goes near her or her friends ever again. Henry reads her thoughts, which reveal that Yolanda trusted and even loved him. Henry tries to talk to her, but she tells him to stay away from her and her friends again before jumping out the window.

At the Dugan-Whitmores', Jordan remarks that everything smells incredible as Courtney sits down next to Cameron, and Pat tells him that it's a Dugan family tradition--chicken and dumplings. Jordan tells them that they have a tradition too, a Norwegian grace, and asks if they mind. Pat says they don't mind at all, and Jordan and his parents say grace, which translates to, "Blessed be the fallen land of Niflheim and of our great ancestors. Lay power in this food and us. So that our enemies may suffer."

After the prayer, Courtney looks at Cameron, slightly confused, hoping for a translation, and Cameron tells her that he studied French, not Norwegian.

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Back at the Pit Stop, Beth has found something with her goggles, and calls Rick over. She says that Blue Valley was settled in 1876, by a group of Freemasons that called themselves The Other Founding Fathers who wanted to make the land free of interference from the outside. Rick bluntly states that Beth thinks that a group of separatist freaks built the tunnels, and Beth tells Rick that it explains why the ISA chose their town--because they could meet in secret, underground and in secret.

During the dinner, Jordan asks Courtney about her gymnastics skills, saying that Cameron's mentioned it before. Courtney laughs nervously, looking at Cameron, before saying that she was a gymnast. Barbara says that she was the best on the team back in Valley Village, and asks Cameron about his artistic skills, implying that Courtney's talked about him too. Cameron looks at Courtney before saying that he uses mostly paints, to which Lily adds, "like his mother."

Jordan asks about Pat, who tells him that he mostly fixes up classic cars, but since the town's small, he fixes whatever comes by. Jordan asks why he moved to Blue Valley, when he could fix cars anywhere, and Pat replies that the pace and the people around the town are nice, and that Barbara grew up in Blue Valley, to which Jordan adds that with the cornfields and the theater nearby, it's the perfect American life. Barbara says that Blue Valley wasn't perfect back then, and Courtney hastily adds that it's not perfect now. Jordan says that it's getting there. Barbara agrees with Jordan, saying that Blue Valley is going to be rebuilt on the most important building block of all--families. Sofus tells Lily in Norwegian that he likes Barbara, while Lily replies that Courtney bothers her.

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Mike is scooping the last of the chicken dumplings when Jordan says he'd like some more. Pat says he'll get more, when Courtney volunteers to go get them. She stands up and heads to the oven, and retracts her hand back from the scalding hot plate. She grabs the oven mitts and takes them out, bringing them over to Jordan, who picks it up with his bare hands and scoops some into his bowl. Courtney notices, realization dawning over her, while everyone else is distracted by Buddy, the Dugans' dog.

Courtney sits back down next to Cameron and suddenly announces to Pat that she left something in the oven and that it's going to burn. Pat goes with her into the kitchen, and Courtney opens the oven to make it believable as she tells him that she thinks Jordan is Icicle. Pat asks if she's sure, and she tells him about the hot plate. Pat closes the oven and stands up, Courtney following him, as he asks if she's sure. Courtney looks over at the table, where Cameron is smiling back at her, and gives him a quick smile as she suddenly worries that Cameron might be like his father.

At the end of the night, Cameron puts on his jacket and walks to the door, asking if Courtney is okay after noticing her slightly disturbed expression. Courtney lies and says that it's her face when she eats too much, and Cameron says that it was really great to see her tonight, only to be responded with silence. He asks her out then, saying that they should do something together soon, and Courtney hesitantly responds with a "sure." Cameron leans in for a hug, and wraps his arms around a slightly wary Courtney, who hugs him back.

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He lets go, and heads back outside with his grandparents as Jordan walks over, asking if Courtney knows the reason he came over for dinner. Courtney backs up slightly and Jordan puts a hand on her shoulder, asking if she knows. She shrugs, and he says he had to "meet the girl my son has been talking so much about," and says he approves, thanking her for their hospitality, walking out the door as Courtney closes the front door.

She runs down to the basement and picks up the Cosmic Staff, much to Pat's concern. Courtney asks Pat if they can use the Cosmic Staff to figure out if Jordan is Icicle, to try to figure out "his scent.", while Pat says they're not going to do anything until they tell Barbara, just as Barbara sees the Staff and asks what it is. The floating Staff suddenly turns off its light and falls to the ground, scaring Barbara, who asks, "What the hell is that?" Pat replies with, "It's, uh..." just as we cut to the next scene.

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In the hospital, Henry Jr. is still with his father when there's a knock at the door, revealing the lawyer Dr. Ito sent to terminate Henry Sr.'s life support. Henry Jr., reading the attorney's mind, realizes that he's lying, and that Mr. Green (the attorney) is only doing it for the money, and that the papers are fake. He confronts Mr. Green, who denies faking the papers, and ends up giving the attorney a seizure, causing him to die on the floor of the hospital room, just as Henry Sr. wakes up, asking his son what's going on.



Special Guest Star

Guest Starring


  • Jim France as Sofus Mahkent
  • Kay Galvin as Lily Mahkent
  • John Crow as Mr. Green
  • Wes Jetton as Nurse
  • Tim Peek as Old Man
  • Sean Michael Gloria as Mugger
  • CC Castillo as Mercedes

Notes and Trivia

  • This is the only episode to be both directed and written by women.[3]
  • Yvette Monreal teased a scene between Yolanda and Henry that takes place during this episode. Yolanda confronts Henry on their past and they share a scene together that is their longest one this season.[4][5]
  • Henry King Sr. awakens from the coma he was placed in during "S.T.R.I.P.E.". Courtney's involvement in the coma is mentioned for the first time since its occurrence in the same episode.
  • Brainwave is the first episode that Courtney doesn't wear her Stargirl Suit since its introduction in the Season 1 episode, "S.T.R.I.P.E.".
  • The Seven Soldiers of Victory were seen in their super suits in a photograph. They were also mentioned by Pat.
    • In the comics, The Seven Soldiers of Victory, also known as the Law's Legionnaires, are a super-hero team that fought during World War II as part of the All-Star Squadron. Their adventures originally took place during the Golden Age. Their founding members were the Vigilante, Crimson Avenger, Green Arrow, Speedy, Shining Knight, the Star-Spangled Kid, and Stripesy.[6]
  • Crimson Avenger and Wing are the oldest DCU characters to appear on Stargirl, having debuted in 1938 before Batman.[3]
  • The Soder Cola brand is an actual DC Universe property, with this episode being Soder Cola's first live-action appearance. It has previously appeared throughout DC Universe comics and video games.[3]
  • Graphic designer Shawn McBee originally had the Seven Soldiers of Victory image in color, however, Zoic changed it to black and white for unknown reasons.[3]
  • For an exclusive interview with Christopher James Baker and a breakdown of the episode, along with some incredible Easter eggs and behind the scenes information, click here.




Behind the Scenes


Title Artist Scene Description
Insane in the Membrane Cypress Hill Henry Jr. watches his father's tapes and practices his telekinetic powers.



Season 1 Episodes
"Stargirl" "S.T.R.I.P.E." "Icicle" "Wildcat" "Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite" "The Justice Society" "Shiv Part One" "Shiv Part Two" "Brainwave" "Brainwave Jr." "Shining Knight" "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One" "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two"