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Stargirl -Infinity Inc. Part Two -Review : No Good Deed

Beware of spoilers for the episode in the article. Please do not continue reading if you haven’t watched the episode yet and you are not okay with being spoiled.

This episode felt like a Halloween special episode with its black and white scenes in the Shadowlands, gloomy atmosphere and its other primary setting, the mysterious Helix Institute. A big theme of this episode was that things aren't always as they seem and we must not judge a book by its cover.

The Shade :

The episode begins with Pat and the Shades adventure as they are trapped in the Shadowlands. The Shade is not able to use his powers to escape the Shadowlands due to the corruption of Jennies ring. Whilst the Shade blames Pat for them ending up in the Shadowlands he also ran to save the girls too, he cares. The Shade says one thing but his actions throughout his time on the show have shown us that he isn't a completely terrible person ( he is more grey than anything ). He even warns Pat about how the Shadowlands work and how to survive there, he could have simply left Pat and tried to make it out alone but he didn’t do that.

The Shade explains that places are only significant if they are important to a particular person in the Shadowlands , the Blue Valley diner becomes important to the Shade as the place he refused to forgive the Gambler ( something he clearly regrets but doesn’t want to admit ). The shadow apparition of the Gambler clearly got to him so he ran.

In the second instance the Shade scrambled as he tried to run away from his painful memories of sisters death too. The Shade has spent his whole life running away from his past mistakes, after the Gamblers death he even mysteriously leaves Blue Valley. Running away has been his default for so long. Pat helping the Shade to deal with his feelings was an important step for the Shades character development. The scenes with the Shade were also important for Pat to see that the Shade is not just a villain he is human too and he has made mistakes in his life just like everyone else and he is capable of doing good. The Shade will thus seek to do good by helping Jennie and Todd, which is a good first step.

Pat :

Pat was haunted by his own horrible fathers shadow apparition. His father was verbally abusive to him as a child and Pat has carried that childhood trauma in his adult life. Pat is a far better father than his own father ever was to him but I think part of the issue with Pat is he has had to be the support for so many people in his life that he hasn’t been able to just have someone support him at least not outside of his healthy relationship with Barbara. Pat was literally a superhero sidekick. Pat telling his father's shadow apparition “I still miss you” as he walked away was sad but Pat is a very strong person and every bit the leader his father believed he wasn't. Pat is a great leader. The show has for the past three seasons dealt with this theme of parenthood intertwined with that of legacy. Courtney and Pat both have or had a terrible biological father. It's nice that they have both found each other. I really hope Pat gets to hear Courtney call him Dad.

Pat's Dad and Barbara's shadow apparitions brought forth into the light from the shadows the fact that whilst Pat isn't verbally abusive as a father his own childhood trauma has influenced his own parenthood regarding how he treats Mike, which has unintentionally made Mike feel the exact same way Pat felt as a child ( giving insight to the audiences about Pat and Mike's relationship and why it is the way it is). Mike really wants and needs his father's approval which Pat doesn't give him ( which Pat also wanted from his own Dad as a child ). We also finally found out that Mike's mother abandoned him when he was around three /four years old. That's horrible. No matter how strong and independent Mike seems to be, that will affect any child.

Pat clearly has a lot of his own issues , he has never mentioned Mike's mother or talked about her with him at all. Pats Dad's shadow apparition saying Mike feels as unwanted as Courtney does, gave me season One flashbacks to Mike being jealous that Courtney and Pat had gotten so close and they were spending so much time together. Looking back Mike probably felt as though Courtney was replacing him. That feels like amazing foreshadowing leading up to this point which is a great quality about this show. Mike was barely in the episode but the episode is extremely important for his character development not just Pats.

Jennie and Todd:

Todd's powers are clearly as uncontrollable as they are due to his own childhood trauma which was eating away at him for a long time. Nurse Love says Todd's powers can swallow up the whole world if he doesn't get his powers under control which shows just how consistent the power development on the show is. Emotions have always had such a big impact on superpowers on this show, when Courtney lost faith in her being Stargirl in season One she wasn’t able to use the staff. Jennie saving Todd was an amazing moment , particularly the scene of their younger selves running towards each other and embracing. Alan Scott used his ring to reunite his children from the grave. Jennie and Todd being each other's balance ( the light and the darkness) is powerful. I'm glad the episode ended with the siblings reunited.

Courtney :

Courtney ends up trapped at the Helix Institute after Pat and the Shade end up in the Shadowlands. I initially thought Courtney really needed the staff this episode until I realized Courtney's heart and empathy is really her greatest power , she is a natural born leader and her empathy is one of the reasons people are drawn to her. Courtney was able to convince Mr Bones to take her suggestion to help Todd all without having to use the staff. I liked that when Courtney was talking about Pat with Nurse Love she referred to him as her father. Pat is her Dad just like Barbara is Mike's Mother , Pat and Barbara are the only real Dad and Mum they have ever had.

The Helix Institute :

We see minor glimpses of a few residents of the Helix Institute beyond Todd Rice in the episode. Penny dreadful , Tao Jones and Carcharo namely. Mr Bones is considering forming his own superhero team. Will the team be heroes or villains or something in between ?. That part of the episode and the minor glimpses of the Helix residents felt like the setup for something bigger (this isn’t the last we have seen of the Helix institute). Before the CW sale I would have assumed that was the setup for another CW television show spinoff.

Mr Bones :

The episode marked a new change to the main story as Nurse Love and Mr Bones didn't actually seem like the bad guys this time around. Whilst they were trying to do good, trapping people (Courtney and Jennie were definitely trapped for a small period of time) isn't good either. Do we buy that they are completely good ? As we've seen before with this show, good and evil can be complex. Nurse Love said none of the residents at the Helix institute are there against their will (which Todd confirmed ) and she allowed Pat and the crew to leave but I’m still not sure they can be trusted fully Mr Bones knows information about the JSA , everything from Courtney and her staff , Yolanda and her suit , Rick and the Hourglass and Beth and the goggles. He has clearly been keeping an eye on the JSA.

Courtney coming face to face with Mr Bones was a big moment for the episode. Mr Bones story is heartbreaking , he is unable to touch anyone. Nurse Love rescuing him explains their strong connection. So he appears to be trying to do the right thing and help other people like him. This is an interesting change from the comics since Mr Bones is a JSA villain in the comics. Mr Bones and Nurse Love also said that they didn't install the hidden cameras in Blue Valley and they aren’t spying on the JSA , they said they found out all of that information on the JSA from research and honestly it is believable. Courtney walks around in Blue Valley with the cosmic staff during the day without her costume and mask on sometimes which we saw in an earlier episode this season.

That ending scene:

The ending of this episode confirms that the murder mystery has not been solved at all. Todd was too uncontrollable to have been the Gamblers killer so it's highly unlikely he was sent to Blue Valley to murder the Gambler. In the final scene of the episode a hooded figure is seen spying on the JSA underneath Blue Valley , who is this mysterious villain ? Why is he /she spying on the JSA ?

Additional Notes :

1. Part of me is still hoping for a full on Helix institute vs JSA battle scene , just because I know it would look really cool.

2. Is this the beginning of a Pat and Shade friendship ? Nothing bonds people together quite like a trip to the Shadowlands. It did a lot for Courtney and Cindy so maybe we might get a Pat and Shade friendship out of it too.

3. Episode 8 had a lot of Pat scenes , does it qualify as a Pat centric episode ?

4. Pat and Courtney having to ride a bus home was a light way to end the episode after a very emotional hour. The Shade could have taken them back home first before going to save Sandy though.

5. Pat was definitely affected by his experience in the Shadowlands. I hope he starts focusing on helping Mike now and he finds someone he can talk with about his experience.

6. Fun fact Carcharo the Helix institute member is actually Yolanda’s cousin in the comics.

7. Jennie , Todd and the Shade ended up going on an adventure to help Sandy Hawkins (Wesley Dodds the Sandman's nephew ). I hope we get to see Sandy on the show eventually.

Join me weekly for more reviews of Stargirl season 3 on the CW.

"Do you believe that Mr Bones isn’t involved at all in the Gamblers murder ?"

"Who are your primary suspects for the murder ?"

"What did you think of the episode ?"

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