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The Worst Episodes Of Stargirl, According To IMDb

Stargirl, the Geoff Johns comic creation who has turned up in multiple DC television series over the years, finally has a show that's all her own. And with one full season in the rearview and a second coming in 2021, Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) has had an intense journey already. She inherited Starman's Cosmic Staff, found a father figure and superhero mentor in her mom's new husband Pat (Luke Wilson), and she rebuilt the Justice Society of America (JSA) with brand new members.

Although the new JSA may have had success preventing their counterparts in the Injustice Society of America (ISA) from enslaving the human race, that doesn't mean they didn't stumble along the way. In addition to faltering with their respective powers, not knowing whom to trust, or how to rise to the occasion of saving the world (or even just each other), meta-textually, the show experienced some early growing pains as well.

Since we've gone through the five highest rated episodes of Stargirl on IMDb so far, let's look at the five lowest rated episodes from season one and see where the show struggled most in its debut.

Stargirl Season 1, Episode 1: "Pilot"

Pilot episodes — even when they're good — are often still deeply flawed. Whether it's a limited budget, uncertainty over where the show or characters will ultimately go, or the actors still working to find those key details that shape who their characters are, pilot episodes are predictably uneven more often than not.

And while Stargirl has existed in the mind and pages of Geoff Johns and his comics for years now, that doesn't mean her first outing on a show of her very own was going to go smoothly. Stargirl's pilot has all the pieces necessary to tell that first story: it introduces the original JSA and ISA, it shows us a young Courtney Whitmore struggle at a new school in Blue Valley, and it gives us the story of her finding the Cosmic Staff. Predictably, she's not great at using the staff and accidentally destroys Henry King Sr.'s (Christopher James Backer) car leading to her being discovered by an unamused Pat.

It is fun seeing Joel McHale appear as Starman. And it is right for the story that the pilot closes with the reintroduction of Brainwave, confirming that Blue Valley is likely home to more members of the ISA. But that's just it — the pilot for Stargirl is safe in that it is very by-the-numbers. Our heroes are good, our baddies are bad, we get a cameo from a more famous actor. and we end on a season-arc-introducing villain reveal. There just aren't many surprises in Stargirl's pilot, thus making it neither great nor terrible — which lands it at the bottom of our lowest rated list.

Stargirl Season 1, Episode 2: "S.T.R.I.P.E."

As you'll see when we dig further into this list, Stargirl's cardinal sin in its first season is that it struggled on the dismount — not terribly, but just enough that the first few episodes don't rate as high as most of the rest. If episode one introduced us to Courtney and introduced Courtney to both the Cosmic Staff and its consequences, then episode two, "S.T.R.I.P.E." is focused on introducing us to the world through the eyes of a veteran, namely Pat.

Before he married Courtney's mom Barbara (Amy Smart), Pat was Starman's sidekick Stripesy — think Where's Waldo if he were Robin. Pat spends much of this second episode giving us the backstory, explaining that the original Hourman and his wife were killed in a car wreck in Blue Valley and that Pat wants to figure out what really happened.

We meet Pat's giant robot suit S.T.R.I.P.E. and we watch him also try (and fail) to fight Brainwave. This is the episode where the hardened older hero recognizes that the younger, would-be hero is worthy, and, that only together can they face off against and defeat the enemy.

Much like the pilot, S.T.R.I.P.E. is still a little by-the-numbers. And when Brainwave, a villain who has already figured out who our heroes are ad how to defeat them, winds up in a season-long coma, it feels less earned and more contrived. Again, it's not a bad episode, it's just that we can see where it's going before it gets there.

Stargirl Season 1, Episode 3: "Icicle"

The third sequential episode in a row on our list is "Icicle," which once again, makes the next logical step after telling a new hero story and then an old hero story — it tells a villain story. And while Brainwave comes back later in the series for destructive purposes, at this point he's down for the count, which means it's time for an even scarier baddie — Jordan Mahkent aka Icicle (Neil Jackson).

The way you know Jordan is an extra bad guy is simple — he isn't afraid to kill other bad guys and their kids. For example, William Zarick or Wizard (Joe Knezevich) is a member of the ISA that's slowly started to move away from the evil fold. While Zarick isn't a good guy, he could at least cease being a bad guy — but Icicle isn't interested in that happening. As a result, we see an orchestrated death of Zarick's son Joey (Wil Deusner) and the outright murder of William as well.

But just like the previous two episodes, even the shocks aren't that shocking. There's an effort to connect Courtney with Joey, but there simply isn't enough time spent developing their friendship for his death to feel as heavy as it should. And, yes, a villain killing another villain to prove they are the biggest villain of them all is well-trod ground.

The one really important development from this episode is the introduction of Yolanda Montez (Yvette Monreal) who will eventually don the Wildcat suit. For now, though, she's just a girl Courtney fails to help.

Stargirl Season 1, Episode 11: "Shining Knight"

The first 10 episodes of Stargirl are dedicated to a number of things: Courtney learning how to use the Cosmic Staff to the best of her ability, reforming the Justice Society, discovering what the ISA is up to, and defeating them. However, Courtney spends a lot of the first two thirds of the series trying to do one other thing — prove that she is the secret daughter of the original Starman. To her credit, the Cosmic Staff does respond to her and she is (almost) a natural at fighting the forces of evil — even Pat begins to at least think she might actually be his old partner's kid.

"Shining Knight" is the episode that pulls the rug out from Courtney because it's the episode that Sam Kurtis (Geoff Stults) shows up. Kurtis is Courtney's real father, at least based off what we know at this point. And we spend a lot of time watching Courtney wrestle with this revelation and try to accept it, but ultimately, find herself betrayed when Kurtis takes her locket (which she has had her whole life) to sell it for money. It's a very sad story and it's also, again, one we've seen many times on television before.

In addition, we also get another classic superhero story — the one where our hero loses their powers. Much like Peter Parker before her, Courtney's lost confidence means that she loses her power, and in this case, it means the Cosmic Staff no longer communicates with her. Naturally, she eventually gets her power back, and she and the staff become more powerful together than ever before.

On the plus side, Kurtis appearing in this episode is a nice nod to fans of the original Stargirl comics, as he was Courtney's dad in those stories too. The downside, similar to all of the other examples, is that this story feels a little redundant.

Stargirl Season 1, Episode 5: "Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite"

Before we talk about the lowest rated episode from Stargirl's first season, let's state something for clarity: none of these episodes have a "bad" rating. Episodes 1-3 all currently stand at 8.1 on IMDb, and this final entry still hovers at a perfectly respectable 7.9. That being said, it's not hard to figure out why this, of all the episodes, is the one with the lowest rating overall.

"Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite" is an episode which deals with two of the more frustrating characters from Stargirl so far. Beth Chapel (Anjelika Washington) is the dorky character with low self-confidence and an over-attachment to her parents and Rick Tyler (Cameron Gellman) is a bad boy with a chip on his shoulder. Before each of these characters can mature into the kinds of people humans would want to spend time with, they first need to overcome some personal obstacles.

It's fun watching Beth activate the Mid-Nite goggles and commune with Chuck (the A.I. with the memories of the original Dr. Mid-Nite), but Tyler spends the entire episode angry — and that can be frustrating to watch after a while. Similar to a lot of heroes, Tyler has a tragic backstory. His real parents were murdered by Solomon Grundy, leaving him in the care of his abusive uncle. When Tyler finds out who his parents really are and Courtney gives him the Hourman Hourglass, he doesn't use it for heroics. The Hourglass grants its user one hour of super strength for a day. Tyler uses it to destroy his uncle's truck and knock over the tree his parents crashed into before their death. It's understandable for Tyler to react the way that he does, but it's nowhere near as enjoyable as watching him rise to become the new Hourman later on in the series.

Stargirl is available to stream now on HBO Max.