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Stargirl - Stars And S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One - Review: By The Dawn's Early Light

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Here we are, the beginning of the end of Stargirl's debut season. I got to say it's been quite a wild ride, all leading up to a highly anticipated finale. Gotta say, though this is technically the first half of that finale, it seems like the show has lived up to the hype. The short of it: this episode was incredible.

The first part of the episode saw Icicle sending Sportsmaster and Tigress to take out the entire Whitmore family. This was an exciting, action-packed opening and a great way to kick-off part one of the finale. Tigress attacked Courtney and Barbara at their home, where we got a thrilling fight between Stargirl and the aforementioned villainess. On the other side of town, Sportsmaster attacks Pat in his garage. Pat got what was by far the bloodiest beatdown of anybody this season. Luckily, Mike was there to drill a hole in his back, which I found both morbid and oddly hilarious.

After the confrontations, the JSA decides to meet up at a cabin deep out in the woods. With the ISA's plan in full motion, the heroes formulate a plan to take down the evil group once and for all. After Rick finally figures out the code to his father's journal, the team is able to acquire a map of the ISA's underground hideout. The team is finally starting to really gel here, and it's great to see in action. We haven't gotten to see much of the entire team together in this season as I had hoped, so this to me was a nice development to see.

What this episode especially excelled in, was showcasing the villains and what really is behind their master plan. I always love when the ISA members interact with each other, and though there were almost always a few interactions every episode, like the JSA, it wasn't often enough for me personally. Much like the parents in Marvel's Runaways, the villains here play excellently off each other, and I wish we got to see more of their relationships play out throughout the season. For example, the dynamic between The Fiddler and Sportsmaster/Tigress seemed interesting, but Tigress straight-up murdered her. While that was a good twist, it would've been cool to see them interact more throughout the season.

The biggest development here was by far finding out what Project New America actually entails. Well, it turns out what the goals of the ISA are, aren't so bad. They plan to rid "New America" of discrimination of all kinds, as well as end Global Warming and provide a host of other benefits. Sounds all good right? The bad news is that they plan to force everyone to conform to their ideals and kill them if they refuse. The catch? It only affects adults. So it's up to the kids to save the day.

Overall, a fantastic episode that has me hyped to see how this all comes to an end next week. The biggest question still on my mind is: what do Jordan's parents have to do with all this?

What do you think of the episode? Post your thoughts in the comments!

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