"AND SO IT BEGINS — With the ISA on their trail, Courtney, Pat and the team regroup to figure out their next steps. Meanwhile, Rick makes a breakthrough, and the team prepares for a showdown with the ISA."
With less than 12 hours to go, Brainwave informs Jordan that the orders to kill Courtney and her family have been given, with Sportmaster and Tigress on the hunt. Dr. Ito will turn on his machine, and the Gambler will cause a massive communications blackout using Russia as a proxy, and by the time the government realizing it's coming from within the country, it'll be too late. He warns the reprogramming will come at a great cost, but afterwards they'll think like them. He congratulates Jordan that his dream is about a reality, and says his wife would be proud. Jordan maintains a stoic face, but asks him to tell him when Stargirl and her family are dead before leaving, to Brainwave's smirk.
Courtney brings two large bags downstairs and is informed by her mother to get the sleeping bags. At Pat's garage, Mike complains about the surprise camping trip, sure that Courtney knows why they're leaving. Distracted by a power drill, Pat tries to explain he brought Mike to show him something. Mike seems uninterested, causing Pat to yell at him. Mike retorts to stop treating him like a little kid, and angrily leaves. Hearing something fall behind him, he finds Crusher ominously walking up to him with a bat. Pat asks him what he's doing here so late at night. Draping himself on a car, Crusher says he really shocked him and had no idea he had it in him. Pat is confused, but Crusher elaborates that friends don't keep secrets and is hurt he never said anything about his big robot. He questions him on the robot's whereabouts. Pat, slyly picking up a crowbar, tells him he needs to calm down. Crusher, amused, tells him as far as famous last words are, he's underwhelmed. He smacks the crowbar away and attacks.
Back the Dugan-Whitmore house, Barbara unknowingly avoids an incoming arrow, and is met by Tigress. Terrified, she runs behind the couch to avoid the next wave of arrows. As she tries to flee, Tigress knocks her into a table in the next room. She remarks they have a lovely home, but before she can pounce on Barbara, the Cosmic Staff blocks her and Courtney kicks her into the wall. She sends her through the doorway, and Courtney grabs her mother. At the garage, Crusher gleefully remarks the cardio's paying off. Pat raises his fists, making Crusher decide to take it old school as well. They match up against each other, with Crusher egging Pat on. Pat punches him in the face. Unfazed, he scolds Pat that punching power comes from the hips and tells him to try again. He punches him again, making him swerve to the side. Crusher says he likes him, before sending a first to his stomach and sends him flying into the wall and then onto the ground. He asks if he's ok, but Pat punches his jaw. Grabbing him by the neck, he delivers a beatdown and proceeds to smack a door into his body. Back at the house, Tigress trips Barbara but she's caught by the Cosmic Staff, which brings her to her feet before knocking into Tigress after she throws Courtney to the next room, continuing the battle. At the garage, Pat desperately crawls to S.T.R.I.P.E. as Crusher compliments the robot, calling it a beauty. He kicks Pat, and grabs him by the shirt. Telling it by 8:00 AM it'll be over for everyone, he apologizes he won't be able to see him before brutally punching Pat's face. However, Crusher screams in pain as Mike drives the power drill into his back. Crusher focuses his attention on Mike, giving a sinister smile until Pat calls to him, telling him to stay away from his kid before striking him with a giant jack.
Barbara watches on in awe as Courtney and Tigress fight on, but intervenes when the latter pins her daughter to the counter and smacks a vase into her head. Courtney aims the Staff and sends the villain through the side door, leaving her unconscious. Courtney briefly apologizes to her mother about the door, but Barbara tells her it was amazing. They agree they should go.
Pat asks Mike if he's ok, but Mike looks at S.T.R.I.P.E. with delight. He asks if he built that and who's on the floor, which is answered by Pat as yes and an old friend of his. His father tells him to bring his drill gun as he turns on the robot.
At The American Dream, Jordan's mother Lily remarks in Norwegian that Barbara wouldn't have made a suitable wife, to his father's agreement. Sofus asks his son if Cameron should know. Jordan says no, but Sofus insists he's old enough and it's his birthright. Jordan gets a call from Steve and is informed Stargirl and her family escaped, much to his disappointment. He makes a call to Anaya Bowin.
At school, Anaya finds her son upset in her office and in concern questions what he's doing her so late. Isaac sadly tells her he's being bullied. Sympathetic, she tells him his father was bullied because of his favorite instrument, gesturing to the violin on display, and says he never stopped during his passion and he never let them to get to him. Isaac asks why, and after a moment of hesitation, Anaya bluntly states he took the bow of his violin and sent it through his bully's eardrums. Isaac then looks at his tuba.
The Dugan-Whitmores arrive to their cabin, and Courtney is reunited with Yolanda, Beth and Rick. They spot an incoming vehicle, but after a moment of suspense, Janitor Justin announces he brings forth a feats. Hearing a loud rumble, S.T.R.I.P.E. arrives from the sky and is "parked", much to Barbara's shock. Mike comments when he can drive him. Beth asks if that's everyone coming, and Barbara remarks probably.
Brainwave arrives to Dragon King's lair, and is stopped by Cindy, who asks if Stargirl is dead. A furious Brainwave reprimands her, remaining her of her job to watch out for Henry Jr.'s powers emerging, so that he could have time to help him, but because of her, he had to end him. Cindy snaps back that what could have helped Henry was if his father wasn't in the hospital wearing diapers while everyone else had to pick up on his slack. Brainwave approaches her door, taunting her of what her father's truly thinks of her - a failed experiment. Cindy tells him her father loves her and that he's a liar. Brainwave asks her why he would lie but Cindy begs him that she could be a valuable member of the ISA. Brainwave coldly tells her they feel the same way as her father - they don't want her. He slides the panel in her place, leaving her screaming and smacking against the door. Dr. Ito arrives, asking his colleague if he's ready for the test. Brainwave confirms, and they walk down an empty but illuminated hallway. Two metal doors open, and Brainwave looks shocked at the sight - an enormous room with a giant, blackberry-shaped metallic foundation with three enormous satellites at the top. With 9 hours to ago, he straps him to a chair at the end of the short walkway. Brainwave asks about the risk - either it will work, or turn every cell in his pre-frontal cortex and spinal cord will melt. He understands, and Dr. Ito goes to turn on the machine. Electricity begins to zap at the fixtures on the walls, and then to the pins at Brainwave's temple. He begins to hear to overlapping thoughts of every person within half of the country, and as he screams, the voltage of the machine reach its maximum amount and power valve cracks. After a shockwave, Brainwave collapses, smoke emitting from the pins. He recovers slowly, remarking he could hear the million voices, their wretched thoughts and ugly truths. He tells Dragon King it will work, much to his satisfaction.
At the cabin, Beth converses with Chuck and is informed of the large electrical surge in Blue Valley, and that Brainwave absorbed his son's powers after his death. She asks Yolanda if she's thinking about Henry, and Chuck catches her lie. Upstairs, Justin asks what Rick is doing, and he talks about his father. Rick thinks the ISA killed his father after he found out what they were planning. He says the answer is in code, and the key is an equation and he needs a number to solve it. Justin says all things come in good time, but Rick reminds him that the deadline is tonight. He asks the janitor if he might have any idea, but he suddenly says he'll go clean the bathroom, much to Rick's dismay. Elsewhere, Mike finds Courtney outside. She says she thinks they're all safe. Mike comments she has a magic staff and his dad's got a huge robot, adding that the Staff might've worked for him if he found it first, joking it would have made his paper route easier. He tentatively asks if he could try out, to Courtney's permission. He tentatively touches it, but it doesn't light up. Courtney expresses her sorrow, but Mike says his dad doesn't have any powers himself and seems hopeful he could build something out of himself.
At the Dugan-Whitmore's, Crusher complains to Paula he's going to rip Mike's arms off and that his back hurts as he stitches her up. Hearing the front door, they find Anaya Bowin and question why she's here. Anaya answers Jordan sent her to make sure they didn't fail a second time, and that she'll immobilize them so that they're hard to miss. Crusher says what's the fun in that, but Anaya admonishes them for their love of violence and labels them as sadists, adding she feels sorry for how their daughter will turn out - a wild animal like her mother. Crusher whispers if she's saying they don't love their daughter. Anaya turns around to deny it, and fails to see Tigress shoot an arrow into her chest, causing her to collapse on the ground. Standing over her body, Crusher tells Tigress he loves her.
At the cabin, Barbara asks if he has everything and Pat confirms, telling her he's going to fix up S.T.R.I.P.E.. Barbara asks her husband why he didn't say anything about this to her before the marriage. Pat admits that everyone who knew ended up dead, and that their family was all that mattered to him. If he had known the truth about Blue Valley, things would be a lot more different. He asks her if they'll be ok, and Barbara says she wants them to be.
Rick is still pouring over the book and angrily throws it, hands on his head in frustration. Pat picks up the book and asks him if he's ok. Rick grumbles that he's tried birthdays and number symbolizing hours but nothing's working. Pat asks if there was anything, he cared about that had a number - Rick reports that he doesn't know. Pat asks about the car, the Mustang. Rick, enlightened, responds it's a 1966 Mustang and gets to work. He subsequently cracks the code.
He instructs Beth to scan the numbers, revealing it's the coordinates of a map for the tunnels and that the late Mr. Tyler must have gone down there and scoped. Beth's goggles project a hologram of the tunnel network, and Rick points out the entrances and the big room holding their machine. Beth reveals they built a synaptic transmitter, meant the transmit brainwaves on a large scale. Courtney asks if there's an entrance big enough for S.T.R.I.P.E., which Rick confirms it's by the river. She proposes that she and S.T.R.I.P.E. go into this entrance and that Rick, Yolanda and Justin enter one at the opposite side of town, and to meet up at the machine. Beth says she can hijack the power source is at the American Dream, and Barbara volunteers to go with her. Pat objects, but Barbara reminds him he's letting a 15-year-old ago by herself. She tells him if there's a problem, she knows that building better than anyone else. Beth announces it's a plan, and Mike asks what his job is. Pat says he has the most important job of all - taking care of the dog much to his displeasure.
At daybreak, Stargirl and S.T.R.I.P.E. head into a large but dark tunnel, Beth and Barbara run into the alley next to the American Dream, and at Cindy's house, Hourman, Wildcat and Justin enter the tunnels.
Sitting down at a desk, Beth's surprised the password is the name of a boy band but marches on. Chuck hacks the network, finding the countdown of 35 minutes and a manifesto of the ISA's broadcast and informs the others via telecom. She tells them they call it the New Constitution, and in a confused state announces they're planning on eliminating global warming, embracing solar and wind energy, discrimination and universal healthcare, far from diabolical. Rick demands to know from Pat if they're on the right side, but Pat is convinced there's something else. Beth uncovers that it only affects develops minds, i.e. adults. She adds that the ISA estimates 25% of people will fight too hard against the reprogramming, and the brain will shut down - effectively killing them. Stargirl repeats they're planning on killing 25 million people, and suddenly Steve Sharpe's voice confirms it's within a million give or take. He proudly announces his hack and asks who he has the pleasure of speaking to. Chuck answers she's Dr. Mid-Nite, but a stunned Beth says there's nothing she can do, which Steve confirms. She says they have 30 minutes to go, but Steve laughs and says the broadcast already started - Brainwave has 30 minutes to finish. Beth notices Barbara looking to her right in the distance, her pupils lighting up. Hourman notices the same in Justin. At the machine, Brainwave announces he's controlling all of them, like puppets, like Pat Dugan. In the tunnel, Stargirl tries to get Pat's attention, but he's being controlled. S.T.R.I.P.E. sizes up, and in a fighting stance, he sends a punch.
- Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl
- Yvette Monreal as Yolanda Montez/Wildcat
- Anjelika Washington as Beth Chapel/Dr. Mid-Nite
- Cameron Gellman as Rick Tyler/Hourman
- Trae Romano as Mike Dugan
- Meg DeLacy as Cindy Burman/Shiv
- Neil Jackson as Jordan Mahkent/Icicle
- Christopher James Baker as Dr. Henry King Sr./Brainwave
- Amy Smart as Barbara Whitmore
- Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan/S.T.R.I.P.E.
Special Guest Star
- Nelson Lee as Dr. Shiro Ito/Dragon King
- Mark Ashworth as Justin
- Neil Hopkins as Larry Crock/Sportsmaster
- Joy Osmanski as Paula Brooks/Tigress
- Hina Khan as Anaya Bowin
- Eric Goins as Steve Sharpe
Notes and Trivia
- The episode's title, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E., is a reference to the series of DC comic book series which featured the second Star-Spangled Kid and her stepfather, the original version's sidekick Stripesy.
- This is the first episode of the series to include a "Previously on Stargirl" card and montage recapping previous episodes.
- This is the first episode in which Beth is referred to by another character as "Dr. Mid-Nite". She previously called herself the "new one" when referring to picking up the mantle of Dr. Mid-Nite in "".
- Mike mentions that it's November.
- For an exclusive interview with costume designer Lara Jean Shannon and a breakdown of the episode, along with some incredible Easter eggs and behind the scenes information, click here.
- This episode concluded with a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers – S.T.R.I.P.E. attacking Stargirl! Which are a reversal of the cliffhanger in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #12. Like his screen counterpart, Dragon King had the ability to brainwash people into becoming drones, but the process only worked on young minds. This meant he was able to brainwash Courtney, which resulted in the Star-Spangled Kid attacking Pat. Interestingly, the screen version reverses things by giving the Injustice Society the ability to brainwash adults.
- During Pat's heart-to-heart with Barbara, he mentioned all the friends he's lost, including Sylvester Pemberton’s parents, and the Justice Society’s FBI informant. Sylvester’s parents, John and Gloria Pemberton, first appeared in Star-Spangled Comics #1. John and Gloria were typical socialites, and they were blissfully unaware of Sylvester’s life as the Star-Spangled Kid. They employed Pat Dugan as their chauffeur. At times they treated him as a valued family member, while at other times they regarded him as “the help.” When Sylvester returned from being lost in time (Justice League of America #100-102), he learned his parents were dead, leaving the Star-Spangled Kid without a sense of closure.
- Pat Dugan is also doing the best he can to salvage his shaky marriage. The Dugan-Whitmore marriage has been in trouble ever since Barbara found out that Pat had been keeping his double life from her, and the couple finally had a chance to hash things out in this episode. This emotional moment was reminiscent of a scene in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #13 where Pat apologized for hiding everything. Their comic counterparts were able to make up and move forward.
- The comic version of Mike Dugan envied Courtney’s role as the Star-Spangled Kid and kept claiming the role should’ve been his. Things got so bad in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #11 that the step-siblings played tug of war with the Cosmic Converter Belt until it broke. This was unfortunate timing because Shiv and her drones showed up seconds later. Mike also wondered if he had a future working as the JSA’s resident mechanic, which is a nod to what Pat told him in Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. #14.
- This episode also sets up a bit more of the Mahkent story that may continue in Season 2. During the conversation in Jordan's office, Lily and Sofus question whether Cameron should know about who his family is. Jordan tells them that his son is not to know who they are. It is also heavily implied that Jordan and by extension, Cameron's powers were inherited rather than caused by a third party like in the comics, though it is unclear which of Lily or Sofus would have the powers, if not both of them.
Behind the Scenes
|Run Wild||Thutmose ft. Nombe||The JSA split up to attacked the ISA underground while Barbara and Beth go to The American Dream.|
|Season 1 Episodes|
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