The list of suspects is growing by the day on DC’s Stargirl. Who murdered The Gambler? “Frenemies – Chapter Two: The Suspects” picked up right after the body was discovered and focused on the main possibilities. With a town full of reformed supervillains, any one of them could be the killer. Or this could be a case of a hero making a very villainous decision? If this were a murder mystery, this chapter highlighted the deduction portion, so it was a lot of interrogation and getting the first few targets (and red-herrings) into the mix.
The first suspect came in the form of Cindy Burman (aka. Shiv). “Frenemies – Chapter Two: The Suspects” didn’t give us any other clues if it could be her, except for the fact that The Gambler was beaten and stabbed to the heart instead of shot. Cindy did have a literal smoking gun in her hands when the Justice Society of America found her over the body, but the victim died from the stab wound. However, Cindy has blades built into her body; she would have perfect access to a murder weapon without having to get rid of it.
And her having The Gambler’s missing laptop is another strike in her direction. Why did she take the laptop? The JSA is hedging all their bets on the murderer having the laptop; if they find out that she has it, they’ll think she murdered him. My best guess is that Cindy isn’t the killer. Yolanda and Rick are still too distrustful of her, so it would be too obvious for her to be the killer. Also, as we discussed in last week’s review, Cindy is too focused on being included and wanting a family to ruin that. There must be some information hidden in The Gambler’s laptop that she needs, like something to do with the scientific research and the beaker she was doing in the laboratory.
The second suspect was The Shade. He had a temperamental history with The Gambler, and he did threaten him in the few hours before his death. However, since The Shade left town after his fight with Sylvester, he can be marked as a red-herring. The Shade wanted to redeem himself in life, and he proved himself as much by working with the JSA to defeat Eclipso. This was a perfect case of someone putting in the work to get the trust he deserved. Sylvester should’ve backed off and listened to Courtney; his actions only pushed an ally away and made it clear that he was not ready to trust any of the former villains.
One aspect of “Frenemies – Chapter Two: The Suspects” that shined brightly was the training and stark difference between Sylvester’s Starman and Courtney’s Stargirl roles. Sylvester had his longstanding history and anger toward the Injustice Society of America, but he couldn’t look past it to see who they were now. His mindset was too stuck in being Starman and who they were in the past; this also applied to his friendship with Pat. On the other hand, Courtney’s natural mentality is to believe in the good in everyone; from Cindy to The Shade, she had unwavering trust and optimism. Courtney’s light is much brighter than Sylvester’s. Her call to the Cosmic Staff was stronger, and her “Shooting Star” move was far and above more powerful than what Sylvester could’ve done. She is the true Stargirl and wielder of the staff.
The next two suspects—Paula and Crusher (aka. Tigress and Sportsmaster)–are interesting topics of discussion. They definitely know something and have a reason to hate The Gambler due to their past with him. However, Paula has gone more out of her way to prove that she’s innocent and for Artemis to join the JSA. Neither would risk their chance of being with their daughter just to get revenge on The Gambler; if Crusher stopped himself from attacking earlier, there’s no reason he’d go back to finish the job. There’s still some shadiness afoot with these two, but there’s no evidence yet that they did it.
And I do agree with Mike that it was a cop-out for Thunderbolt’s wish to say, “The killer has many names.” There was no way he or Jakeem would’ve known that the killer had multiple names. Like, is it an alter-ego? A fake name? A nickname? This scene felt like it was a way for DC’s Stargirl to bypass a potential plot hole so that no one could say that Thunderbolt would have the answer. Sure, the group will have to do more investigating and give us more scenes of the mystery, but it’s dragging out the inevitable.
The last (current) suspect is Cameron. His grandparents are molding him into the next supervillain after his father’s death, and now that he knows the truth, he’s lashing out more and more. Plus, those headaches could be tied to his growing parents. Could he have killed The Gambler as his first step to getting revenge on all the JSA and former ISA members?
“Frenemies – Chapter Two: The Suspects” laid out the cards for how this murder mystery is starting. Friendships and frenemies were tested, old wounds were opened, and new beginnings seemed out of reach. Plus, some cliffhangers could open the door for where the villains might develop next. This wasn’t an action-packed episode; it felt more like a stepping stone to push the plot forward. We got a lot of exposition, but not much excitement in the grand scheme of DC’s Stargirl fun.
DC’s Stargirl airs new episodes Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW and streams Thursdays on cwtv.com.