Stargirl – Season 3 Episode 7

Oct 23, 2022 | Posted by in TV

“Chapter Seven – Infinity Inc (Part One)”

Stargirl introduces some new faces and brings back familiar ones as it takes a large step in moving the narrative forwards.

One of the most recurrent issues this season has been the struggle to maintain all its moving parts, sacrificing narrative development for the sake of ensuring everyone involved gets a turn in the spotlight. This episode, however, goes a long way to getting things back on track, its opening scene and very title promising things are in progress.


Darkness emerges

In case you’re unaware, Infinity Inc is a superteam from the comics largely made up of teenage scions of the Justice Society, somewhat akin to the Teen Titans or the Young Justice group of former sidekicks. Amongst others, its original lineup featured Jade and Obsidian, aka Jennie and her lost twin brother Todd. The season 2 tease of the latter now pays off with an introduction of what happened to him six months ago previously after he and his sister turned 18.

His introduction sees him and his boyfriend Danny breaking into a fancy restaurant, the latter wanting to do something nice for him for his birthday, and his gift of bus tickets to go look for Jennie clearly demonstrates how much he cares about him. The brief reference to the pair “living like street rats” suggests that while Jennie’s adolescence in group homes might have been unhappy and friendless, at least she actually had a home in the first place. Although we sadly learn little else of Todd’s prior life, there will hopefully be more details revealed in forthcoming weeks that further his characterisation. The scene also acknowledges that Todd is gay without forcing the issue or making a big thing about it, each sadly still being a somewhat notable achievement.


Not a fight Yolanda can win

The scene is interspersed with the simultaneous events seen last season where Jennie was unceremoniously turfed out after legally becoming an adult, and at the same time, their father’s Green Lantern ring powers up and her eyes ignite in emerald fire, Todd’s (Tim Gabriel) dormant powers also manifest. However, unlike Jennie’s powers allowing her to control verdant light, Todd’s abilities manifest dark shadows over which he has little control. His confusion and fear are evident, not helped by the suspiciously quick arrival of two police officers who know who he is. He ends up at the Helix Institiute where Jennie, Courtney and Pat were searching for him last season, where we also get a re-introduction of the facility’s director Mister Bones (Keith David), the sonorous baritone of his voice hypnotically commanding. Even though his physical appearance makes his proffered declaration of helping those who are different seem genuine, the thoroughly sinister nature of the place would make even the most trusting of us sceptical.

To be honest, if this entire episode had just consisted of Todd’s story and Jennie’s search for him that would have been interesting enough, but developments also tie things back to the principal narrative and bring main characters into it. The issue of the Shade’s malfunctioning powers is revisited when he brings Pat and Courtney to the basement of Helix. He makes the point that it’s specifically Courtney he needs, as opposed to Stargirl or the Cosmic Staff’s current wielder, which given the girl’s mounting existential crisis is exactly the kind of thing she needed to hear, reaffirming to her that even absent a superhero identity she still has worth.

It’s confirmed that the green sparks seen flickering in the Shade’s shadows hinted at his woes being something to do with Jennie, explained by the previous season’s moment when Jennie and Beth were investigating the signal of dark energy at the school and a glob of black matter from the portal to the Shadowlands infected Jennie’s ring, the moment being so throwaway that I forgot to make periodic complaints about it never having been followed up upon. Even though Jennie and the Shade were both present at Eclipso’s smiting the dialogue suggests this is the first time they’ve encountered each other, and even though any interaction they might have had off screen would have been brief and insignificant, it’s still a little jarring. The open antagonism and mutual irritation between the two are refreshing changes from this season’s repeated dynamic of strained mistrust, but since they are each also in the best position to help the other deal with their mingled powers they’re stuck with one another until their respective light and darkness is untangled.


A prison of light

Back in Blue Valley, everyone else goes about locating the hidden spy cameras, Beth first knocking out the town’s power so their search goes unnoticed after some painfully wooden attempts to act normal to prevent their discovery from being discovered. It will come as a surprise to nobody that Rick’s decision to walk around with Hourman strength 24/7 is proving a short-sighted one. He has swiftly surpassed the barely controlled anger management issues he exhibited in season 1, and is openly displaying aggressive violence by unnecessarily punching into walls to find the cameras and lobbing heavy objects across rooms. It’s comparable to the unfocused aggression displayed by many men who abuse bodybuilding drugs, and is likely an intended parallel that will become increasingly blatant as the season progresses.

There’s a reference to Gambler being killed for stumbling across the camera feeds, and while given what the characters currently know it’s a plausible enough theory, we’ve already seen that the pretentious hacker only found the surveillance right before he was killed, meaning that unless the unseen observer was a few yards away he was taken out for another reason. A lot of the season’s early focus was on those suspected of being the killer, but just as significant is the motive, and the seemingly erroneous assumption reminds us that right now we don’t actually know either.

Yolanda’s long-pending confrontation with her mother finally comes about, the latter learning her daughter has been lying about where she’s been each night and kicking her out when she refuses to come clean. It leads to an emotional scene when she turns up on Courtney’s doorstep, knowing that even though the two of them are at odds the Whitmore/Dugan home is somewhere she can always turn. Barbara’s immediate acceptance of her reinforces the notion of familial connections not necessarily bound by blood, the moment feeling faintly uplifting even as tragic as the circumstances are.

Jakeem attempts something a little more direct by wishing for every camera that Gambler’s killer ever touched, resulting in vast piles of useless electronics that indicates he’s still getting the hang of wording the requests to get what he actually wants. Zeek suggests that the ambiguity lies not in what he’s wishing for, but rather his own knowledge of what it actually is, since the magic may be unable to actualise something he himself is unsure about. It remains to be seen whether there is some truth to the rambling mechanic’s speculation or if the summoning of myriad obsolete devices instead suggests the killer has been around for quite some time (perhaps tying into their “many names”), but either possibility will lead to an interesting development.


Narrative oratory

Courtney’s assertion that it was feelings of love and family that allowed her to overcome Eclipso’s influence and purge herself of his darkness might do the same for Jennie’s ring, meaning that rescuing Todd is the most pertinent course of action because of course it is. The fun of the Shade’s dismissive condescension has been missed since he disappeared in a dramatic flourish, and with its return, it’s become even more amusing now that it’s being directed at a situation affecting him personally.

At the same time as the group make their deliberations, Todd is being observed by Bones and Nurse Love, the growling of the former indirectly suggesting nefarious plans for the boy’s powers. His presence in the Institute would also suggest my postulation that he is the figure skulking underground in Blue Valley is incorrect. There’s still the issue of the Gambler’s killer being both huge and superhumanly strong, so there’s still at least one surprise waiting for us once we see who and/or what they are.

Locating Todd turns out to be straightforward enough, possibly even suspiciously so given he was being closely observed only a few scenes previously, but it turns out he doesn’t want to leave. While it’s entirely plausible the glorified torture actually is keeping his literal darkness at bay (regardless of whether or not he genuinely does possess the power to destroy the world), it in no way means this is the only way of containing it, and is far more probable that Bones and Love are keeping him under control until they can figure out how to use both him and his abilities for their own benefit. Whatever the truth we’re going to have to wait for part 2 next week, as the twins’ physical contact releases an explosion that destroys the epileptic lighting and releases Todd’s dark wraiths that thrust Pat and the Shade into the Shadowlands, and it’ll be interesting to see what hidden shames and regrets the purgatorial realm dredges up this time.


Back to unreality


“Infinity Inc (Part One)” is a vast improvement over the narrative stagnation this season has found itself in. Todd has quickly become a welcome addition to the series, and it hopefully won’t be long before we learn more about him. Although we’re reminded how few definite answers we have about the season’s central mystery, that they’re being highlighted means some kind of answers should be coming sooner rather than later.

  • 8/10
    Infinity Inc (Part One) - 8/10


Kneel Before…

  • The introduction of Todd and his backstory
  • The matter-of-fact reveal of Tood being gay
  • Courtney feeling like she has worth beyond the Stargirl identity
  • Zeek’s speculation on the nature of wishing
  • Barbara’s immediate acceptance of Yoalnda


Rise Against…

  • The implication that Jennie and the Shade had never met before


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User Review
8.5/10 (1 vote)

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