Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The End Of Stargirl Season 1 Explained

Contains spoilers for DC Universe/CW show Stargirl

The first season of the DC Universe/CW superhero saga Stargirl has come to an end, and with season 2 officially greenlit and moving exclusively to the CW, we can be safe in the knowledge that there will be plenty more Justice Society of America heading our way. Courtney "Stargirl" Whitmore (Brec Bassinger), Yolanda "Wildcat" Montez (Yvette Montreal), Rick "Hourman" Tyler (Cameron Gellman), and Beth "Doctor Mid-Nite" Chapel (Anjelika Washington) all embraced their legacy superhero identities and proved their mettle in one way or another, while the villainous Injustice Society of America saw its plans thoroughly foiled.

Well made and full of heart, Stargirl had a lot of potential from the beginning, and though its inaugural season unleashed plenty, it also made abundantly clear that the show has more aces up its sleeve for the future. Join us as we delve deep into the ending of Stargirl season 1. 

Stargirl season 1 showed its heroes' growth by turning powerful villains into cannon fodder

Stargirl season 1 was essentially about a group of young heroes confronting their issues and becoming a legitimate fighting force for good. Nothing illustrated this better than the way they ultimately managed to defeat the very supervillains who had easily destroyed their heroic predecessors. 

From its very beginning, the show made clear that the heroes weren't dealing with just any random baddies. The way the Injustice Society of America tore through the original Justice Society of America in the pilot episode showed that the villains were borderline unstoppable, easily defeating Starman (Joel McHale) and the original versions of Wildcat (Brian Stapf), Doctor Mid-Nite (Henry Thomas), and Hourman (Lou Ferrigno Jr.). This threat carried throughout the season. Even though Stargirl and her robot armor-wielding stepdad/sidekick Pat Dugan (Luke Wilson) were capable of temporarily taking down villains like Brainwave (Cristopher James Baker) early on,the Injustice Society of America remained a credible threat until the very end ... at which point, they were essentially curb-stomped. 

To truly demonstrate the extent of their defeat, several ISA members die in the season finale, most notably Brainwave, who perished at the hands (well, claws) of Wildcat. Curiously, apart from Brainwave, none of the evildoers fell their opponents, what with the Fiddler meeting her fate at the hands of fellow villains Sportsmaster and Tigress, and Cindy "Shiv" Burman (Meg DeLacy) killing her father, the Dragon King (Nelson Lee). Perhaps the strangest of all deaths was that of the season's big bad, Icicle (Neil Jackson), who was almost comically run over by Courtney's kid brother, Mike (Trae Romano). With the blood-spattered Rick on the scene and Brainwave's brutal death a recent memory, it was something of a tonal shift.

Hourman embodied the themes of Stargirl season 1

The first season of Stargirl explored themes of revenge, responsibility and growing up, as the members of the new Justice Society of America all struggled with different combinations of these emotions. Courtney was quick to adapt to superheroics, but immediately started hunting down the villains who took down her predecessor, and had to mature considerably over the season. Yolanda was a popular girl turned outcast who struggled with a school scandal, and when she became a superhero, she ultimately killed the supervillain Brainwave (Christopher James Baker) in retaliation for him murdering his son-slash-her former boyfriend, Henry King Jr. (Jake Austin Walker). Beth started out as a social reject and relied heavily on the first Doctor Mid-Nite's AI-powered goggles, slowly rising to the task ahead until finally overcoming the brainwashing of Justin (Mark Ashworth) and Pat with a plan of her own.

The JLA member who best embodied all these themes, however, is Rick. When he was given the powers of Hourman, he first used them for selfish means, and pointedly only joined the team to get revenge on the Injustice Society of America for killing his parents. Despite all this, he eventually learned to be a honorable hero. In the finale, he actually managed to beat his parents' killer, the hulking Solomon Grundy. Fortunately, he managed to overcome his desire for revenge when he saw the cowering Grundy, and spared his enemy's life. That's character growth!

What's in the future for Stargirl?

The ending of Stargirl season 1 finished many storylines, but also made clear that the adventure is just beginning. Solomon Grundy and Shiv are on the loose and dangerous. What's more, Shiv now possesses a jewel containing an entity called Eclipso. In the DC comics, Eclipso is a powerful magical creature with the ability to possess people. Its CV of villainy is staggering, and it even manipulated the all-powerful Spectre to start eradicating magic from all of reality, which was bad news to magically-powered superheroes like Shazam. It'll be interesting to see whether Shiv's planning to give herself a sinister upgrade, or to unleash Eclipso on someone.

Continuing the trend of creepy villains, the series finale also teased the ominous Shade, whose shadow powers killed the original Dr. Mid-Nite in the pilot episode. In the comics, the Shade is a practically immortal Victorian character who can control darkness and use it to teleport huge distances, as well as to manifest tangible shadow constructs. It remains to be seen what his future role will be, but if he decides to take on the Justice Society, the combination of him and Eclipso will be a truly next-level threat. 

Of course, chances are that Stargirl and her teammates won't be fighting alone. Justin, the school janitor who turned out to be the superhero Shining Knight, is on a quest to locate his old superhero team, the Seven Soldiers of Victory. What's more, someone who looks a lot like the original, supposedly dead Starman, Sylvester Pemberton, is now out and about. What does this mean to Courtney Whitmore? Who gets to wield the cosmic staff if Pemberton survived? 

Brec Bassinger sees great conflict in Stargirl's future

The ending of Stargirl season 1 featured enough twists and turns to sustain a full season of a lesser show. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Brec Bassinger discussed the season's ending, and what it meant to her character. She says that Wildcat killing Brainwave will doubtlessly cause conflict in the future, because Stargirl herself would never take a life. "[Stargirl] doesn't feel like she should be able to play God," Bassinger says. "It's not her right to take a life, especially as a hero. That's not the goal. And so to have one of her teammates not honor that or not see eye-to-eye, it's definitely going to cause conflict next season. But also speaking for Yolanda, I feel like she's going to struggle with that, too."

Bassinger also feels that Stargirl may find it difficult to trust people because of the type of villain she has faced so far. "The ISA were kind of hidden in plain sight among the American Dream as normal people," she says in describing her character's mindset. "She is going to keep that in mind going forward, so even though she might have stopped them, I think she's always going to have her eyes open for more evil hiding in plain sight."

The teased return of Joel McHale's Starman may also cause problems for Stargirl, since her predecessor probably won't be happy that someone else is now wielding his Cosmic Staff. "I imagine he will be upset," Bassinger predicts, while also wondering whether the staff will even work for Courtney once Starman is back in the picture. "There are so many questions that I don't even know the answers to. So I'm curious to find out," the actress admits. We wholeheartedly share the sentiment.