'Stargirl' Episode 7 Review: Cindy Burman proves to be a complicated, intriguing villain
The episode introduces Cindy as a complicated and intimidating villain, while Stargirl herself learns a lesson about self-centeredness
Spoilers for 'Stargirl' Season 1 Episode 7 'Shiv, Part One'
The Justice Society of America (JSA) has been formed, but that hasn't stopped the show from delivering more origins, week after week. With the new JSA in place, we now turn to the next generation of villains and we start with the one person who is already well on her way to having become one - Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy), also known as Shiv.
The episode fleshes out Burman's character in interesting ways. At first, it seems like we were being shown a more sympathetic side to the character, as it's revealed that she's more than just a snippy villain's daughter in a 'Mean Girls' skirt; she's had to deal with family that isn't there for her and the loneliness that comes with that. She's also intelligent, a scientist in her own right and she's not someone who is unreceptive to friendship. Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) does nothing but reach out to her to get Cindy to open up.
Once we see what Cindy's life is like at home, though, the show does a sharp 180 degree on portraying Cindy in any kind of sympathetic light, she's already a villain in all-but name. She's not just every bit the bully we've seen her so far, she's so much worse. She terrorizes her stepmother, wants a seat at the table for the Injustice Society and kills a random minion in her father's employ for no higher reason than frustration. She's a complicated villain, yes, but the show leaves little room for doubt as to how much of a bad guy she is.
Stargirl, in the meanwhile, is having trouble actually understanding the concept of a team. From the start, being a superhero and building the JSA has been her project; she's been the one to convince everyone to join, to fight and to suit up in costume. Now, however, the team has become something more than just her and she is finding herself a little put out when she selfishly messes up Pat Dugan's (Luke Wilson) ISA dummies, robbing both her team and the audience of the training montage we've so patiently waited for.
The episode furthers other plot points that have been going on in the background, such as revealing that the janitor (Mark Ashworth) is in fact, Sir Justin, the Shining Knight, a reveal that's no surprise for anyone who has read the comics, but on its own, it's a completely bizarre turn of events to see a janitor wielding a sword to stop a superhero fight between two teenage girls on a giant fake record player. Just another day in Blue Valley High.
Mike Dugan (Trae Romano) reveals that he's been feeling a little resentment. Though he's gotten close to Barbara Whitmore (Amy Smart), he's a little upset that his own father seems to have more time for Courtney than he does Mike. It's a sad beat for a kid who has, thus far, been nothing but wisecracks and it begs the question of just how long Pat and Courtney can keep their superheroics a secret from their own family.
The episode parallels Courtney and Cindy in terms of how much they're being held back. They're both fierce, gifted teenagers with more fight in them than training. They both have a recklessness that works well enough for someone like Cindy and her healing factor. For Courtney, however, finding out that she's in over her head has come with a mortal stab wound. The action continues to be incredible on this show, showing off the best of what superhero action can be to an extent that even several of DC's films can learn from and certainly a cut above standard CW fare.
The show has a lot of characters to keep track of, but it's dedicated to fleshing out all of their stories, bit by bit and it hasn't stopped being entertaining yet. Through Shiv, we see new facets of Stargirl's personality come out and hopefully, she survives the experience to be able to come back and show us all some more.
The next episode of 'Stargirl' airs July 6 on DC Universe and July 7 on The CW.