Stargirl: Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
On this week’s episode of Stargirl, Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite, Courtney (Brec Bassinger) attempts to recruit a local boy who she thinks could be the son of Hourman (Lou Ferrigno Jr.) while Beth (Anjelika Washington) becomes aware of who Courtney really is.
Unlike other episodes of this season so far, we actually don’t get much of our usual cast of heroes and villains and things are more focused on not just one, but two new members we get for Courtney’s squad. We’re treated to another sad opening that shows us the last moments of the original Hourman trying to escape Blue Valley with his wife. Obviously scared that the Injustice Society would kill his entire family if they all decided to run together, Hourman, or rather Rex Tyler, and his wife make a choice that no parent ever wants to make – leaving their son Rick (Boston Pierce) behind. When it was happening, I was thinking how they were kind of being shitty parents as they simply leave their son behind, change his name, and leave him with an uncaring relative named Matt (Adam Aalderks) to be cared for. However, once they left and we see them meet an unfortunate fate with another glimpse at Solomon Grundy, it was definitely the right move.
We are then taken back to the present where we see the results of an older Rick (Cameron Gellman) living a less than desirable life with his uncle Matt, who suffers from being a complete and utter asshole, and is filled with anger. Rick lives a loner life – sitting at losers table at lunch and trying fix up his yellow ’66 Mustang. Overall, it’s a great opening that, aside from another on the nose song choice, really makes us understand the angers and frustrations that have been building inside Rick since the day his parents left. Not to mention, we also find that he has a connection to the hourglass necklace that glows when he goes to help Pat (Luke Wilson) with some car troubles, so we knew that it wouldn’t be long until he discovered his superhero lineage – especially with Courtney still being super obsessed with finding new recruits.
Now carrying around the iconic tokens of the JSA in a duffel bag so that Pat doesn’t become suspicious of her, Courtney’s ready to try to build the rest of her team. Looking down the BVHS halls, Courtney and Yolanda (Yvette Monreal) are scouting out potential newbies for their crew – including the overly competitive Artemis Crock (Stella Smith). For those that don’t know, this is likely the daughter of Sportsmaster and Tigress that could play a pivotal role later in the season or future seasons. Regardless, the two don’t find what they’re looking for, but after seeing them invade the hospital last week, Beth is looking to join the ranks.
Ah, Beth – the lonely nerd who also has been residing at the losers table at lunch and trying to chat it up with her parents even though they aren’t too interested. There’s definitely a likeable charm to Beth that Washington brings in her excitement and intrigue about things, but man does she talk a lot. I understand that Beth is quite the talker because she really doesn’t have many people to talk to but it’s a trait that can be a little overbearing at times. To the point where you almost don’t blame other characters for trying to get out of conversations with her. Even her nosiness can be a little much with her just invading Courtney’s room just because she has a hunch. However, all of these traits end up working when she meets a new friend that doesn’t mind talking and is nosy as hell – Dr. Charles McNider a.k.a. the original Dr. Mid-Nite (Henry Thomas).
Although Dr. Mid-Nite did perish at the hand of the Injustice Society along with his JSA brethren, he did leave behind a part of himself that his successor, in this case Beth, could use to stop the Injustice Society. After putting on the goggles that Courtney’s dog dragged in front of her, Beth discovers that Charles McNider has implanted an AI version of himself into the goggles that allow Beth to uncover a seemingly endless stream of knowledge and see in multiple of different ways – including night vision, x-ray, and infrared. Whether it’s information about her and family or stats about the JSA’s finest, McNider knows all – or just about all at least. There’s even a small nod to Red Bee, one of the most unknown of DC’s hero roster, and even some good chemistry between him and Beth. Frankly, it’s the kind of interaction where they were meant to find one another, and I like that Beth eventually gives him the name Chuck to make things easier. The only ones who aren’t too thrilled about Beth and Chuck becoming friendly is Courtney and Yolanda, but this newfound friendship does lead them to a big Halloween party with some big reveals.
First, we see that Brainwave’s (Christopher James Baker) son, Henry (Jake Austin Walker), is actually starting to gain his own telepathy powers. It’s actually a great tease that could set up something really interesting down the line and I loved how simple they make it with him getting headaches and being able to hear Yolanda call him a jerk in her head. The second big discovery actually happens before they even head to the party as Chuck reveals that Rick is actually the son of Hourman. While it’s not a surprise for viewers since the opening pretty much reveals that, but it is to Courtney and the three of them head to the party without their costumes, which is kind of lame in my opinion, to tell Rick about his legacy.
As per usual, he doesn’t really believe them at first, but when they give him his father’s hourglass and he flips it to become super strong, he feels a sense of power that he’s never felt before. Basically, the powers of Hourman are that he can flip his hourglass, that only works for him, once a day and gain super strength. Yes, on paper, this power is that kind of stupid comic book logic, but if he had it when he wanted he’d just be another Superman character and this limitation creates some strategy and logic to his powers that are very unique. Rick’s reaction to this is also very unique as, rather than see this as an opportunity to be a force for good, he sees this new power as an opportunity for revenge. It’s actually kind of interesting to see him not immediately want to or even care to be a hero with this new power and be driven to give into his destructive anger that’s been building in him for years. Even though Courtney and Beth are able to get him to understand what actually happened to his parents thanks to Chuck, his hunger for revenge is still there and it’ll be interesting to see him be a part of team dynamic, especially with Beth seeming to stick around, with this revenge agenda.
It’s also worth mentioning that we get some more information about Principal Bowin (Hina X. Khan) giving Brainwave a violin recital at his hospital bed. Although Pat doesn’t believe it to be true, it’s possible that Bowin is somehow related or has obtained the powers of a villain known as The Fiddler. While there’s still more to be said about this connection, I got to say that I’m a believer of this as her episode ending moment that helps Steven Sharpe (Eric Goins) move forward with his unclear shows that she is quite powerful with that little violin – or fiddle I guess.
Stargirl gives us a two for one special with two new recruits for her modern JSA squad and a new piece of tech with Chuck that will likely lead to some of the Injustice Society being outed and some battle lines to be drawn. Although Icicle’s big plan is still a mystery, things are starting to become clearer and it’s only a matter of time before these feuding sides are going to go head to head.