Cindy Burman’s plan on Stargirl is forming fast and furious. The Injustice Unlimited group is already halfway complete; all she had to do was ask and the allies came running. In particular, it was the beginning of Isaac Bowen and Artemis Crocker. “Summer School: Chapter Four” gave some much-needed character development for these two recurring characters. With Cindy’s group becoming the next iteration of the Injustice Society of America, Stargirl needed to establish their motivations for joining Cindy’s side. Thankfully, “Summer School: Chapter Four” created new layers for these two villainous teens and fleshed out their roles as established characters.
The biggest difference after the fall of the ISA was how Isaac and Artemis changed. I liked how “Summer School: Chapter Four” spent considerable time showing how the teens were affected when their parents were defeated. Stargirl didn’t shy away from the negative effects that Isaac and Artemis experienced. As much as the first season ended on high notes for the heroes, the children of the villains also suffered as a result; it’s great that the plot played into those aspects as it felt like a stronger motivation for their eventual supervillain turn.
Isaac’s rage had been teased through his earlier fights, so his character stayed consistent and continued down that path. He’ll probably have the most anger when fighting the JSA as he learned from his mother to harness that wrath, and once he masters his father’s fiddle, he could become even more dangerous. Though, what will happen once he figures out that Tigress and Sportsmaster were the ones who killed his mother, not the JSA? Cindy could play off his anger to join Injustice Unlimited, but the two people truly responsible would be behind bars and he’d be working alongside their daughter (Artemis). This alliance could be a recipe for disaster if he wants to get retribution on them.
Artemis, on the other hand, is an interesting case because her parents did eventually come clean that they’re supervillains and deserve to be behind bars. She could be angry at them for keeping secrets from her and/or their actions negatively ruining her life. Her motivations to join Injustice Unlimited would be different than everyone else’s on the team, but those differences could be what gives her a redemption arc into becoming a hero. I’m not fully on the “Artemis is a villain” train just yet. “Summer School: Chapter Four” tried to make Artemis a sympathetic character based on how bad her life became, so this could lead to her seeing the errors of her way after what happened to her parents.
Speaking of her life, Artemis had it rough post-ISA defeat. Her foster mother clearly had no interest in her except for the money, and her rage was becoming too much of an issue. I disagreed with the football recruiter who passed on the opportunity to sign her. Her anger would’ve been something she could work on and foster into her craft. Why didn’t he do his research on her to know that her parents are supervillains? A simple search would’ve given him all his information. Artemis could’ve explained that she was dealing with that heartbreak and working on those issues. TV series have shown in the past that the preference for recruiting storylines was to get the talent and figure out all the issues later on. For him to pass on her after seeing all her talent, he’s either a bad recruiter or he was looking for a reason to cut her. Artemis should look for other opportunities besides that one school that didn’t know what they were missing.
Did anyone else miss Tigress and Sportsmaster? Having them back was a noticeable presence that Stargirl has been without. They’re such charismatic and fun characters who love being bad and doing whatever they want; the couple is also a strong pair who play well off each other with their chemistry. Stargirl made the right call by promoting them to series regulars for the upcoming third season. We need more of the buddy friendship between Sportsmaster and Pat, and the growing friendship fostering between Tigress and Barbara. Could you imagine them all working together?! The magic would be priceless.
Having “Summer School: Chapter Four” focus on them escaping prison just to see Artemis tryout showed an interesting side to the parents. Regardless of them being supervillains, Sportsmaster and Tigress were heavily involved in Artemis’s sports career and cared about her well-being. Most of the parents in the ISA had a similar mentality, except for Brainwave and The Dragon King, so for them to keep with that motivation proved there was some humanity left in the villains. Artemis could be what redeems these villains and work with the JSA.
The Shade was another supervillain who could be on the side of the good (or at least, on the neutral side). Should Courtney and the JSA trust his word? Does he truly want to destroy Eclipso once and for all? He’s being very coy about his actions and he seems shady in his demeanor, but if they’re all on the same side, the groups should be working together to find the crystal. The Shade might have more of a secret reason up his sleeve for finding Eclipso on his own; he wouldn’t be pushing the JSA away if he didn’t have other intentions too.
“Summer School: Chapter Four” reunited familiar faces to relive the magic from Stargirl Season 1. The pieces are being set up for Cindy’s plan, which has positively pushed the momentum forward. We could be heading in a good direction for the development of the season now that more members are joining on both sides.
DC’s Stargirl airs new episodes Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW and streams Wednesdays on cwtv.com.