Mike is the newest member of the JSA as the new wielder of Thunderbolt, but he blew it.
Stargirl season 2 episode 3 is Mike-focused. Stargirl’s younger stepbrother didn’t have his chance to properly shine in the first season, except for the moment where he shattered Icicle (it was murder, but we’ll look over the other way because it was a supervillain who died).
The Current Status Quo
Here’s where the members of the new JSA stand as of the end of episode 2
- Beth is devastated. She suspects her parents are getting divorced after she found the divorce papers.
- Yolanda is still suffering from the trauma of killing Brainwave.
- Rick is still skipping summer school, occupied with his swamp/forest friend.
- Courtney is taking summer school seriously, keeping her promise to Pat to prioritize her responsibilities to her family.
- Jenni-Lynn is left Blue Valley after the destructive incident at the end of episode 2
The episode starts on December 25th, 2021, Christmas eve. We get a few glimpses of old news articles showcasing the graduation of the Star-spangled kid to Starman. We also get a mirror reflection of the Stars-spangled kid costume at Pat Dugan’s garage.
Pat’s fixing his car when Jhonny Thunder walks in looking down and disappointed. Pat asks him what’s going on and Jhonny pours his heart out about how bad it feels to be benched despite being the strongest member of the JSA (with Thunderbolt as his command).
He continues to admit that in spite of Thunderbolt’s powers, he seems to always end up a liability. This is explained by the fact that Thunderbolt is a trickster genie. He grants wishes that are literal. The less specific the wish is, the more outlandish its execution might be.
When the two start to bond over being benched, Wildcat walks in announcing that Starman requested Jhonny Thunder’s help. Stripey chimes in and says he could help as well, but Wildcat shuts him down.
Stripey ends up submitting but with hurt and disappointment splattered across his face and voice. He, once again, finds himself feeling unwanted and lonely. That scene was supposed to be a mirror scene to when Mike meets Thunderbolt.
Mike Is Bullied Then Meets His Instrument Of Retaliation
Mike is going about his daily newspaper delivery when his bullies surprise him as he takes the corner of Buttercup street. He makes a joke about the time being early for bullying and they tell him they’re here for his paperboy money. Fully knowing that he’s outmatched, he doubles down on the jokes and asks them if they need the money for a brain transplant (a witty way of calling them dumb). Needless to say, he gets beat up.
When he gets back home, no one pays any attention to his torn clothes and ragged appearance. He sees a file with the Shade’s name in it that Courtney put on the kitchen table, and he tries to get involved. Pat tells him it’s nothing that he should worry about, not once bothering to take a careful at his son. Eventually, Mike takes his cue and leaves, upset.
Upstairs, he gets a phone call from his boss with more papers to be delivered. Mike tries to get out of it by recommending his friend Jakeem, but his boss insists and gives him the address. Mike’s pen doesn’t work, so, he dashes into Courtney’s room and grabs Thunderbolt.
On his second round of delivery, he starts seeing the words “SO COOL!!” everywhere. Mike rounds up a corner and his bike trips on a rock, causing him to fall flat on his back. As he grabs one of the newspapers that fell, he says the words “SO COOL!!” out loud. Thunderbolt leaps out of the pen and startles Mike. The young teenager freaks out and asks the genie who he is, to which Thunderbolt replies “I’m your new best friend”. The two get to talking and Mike learns a little history of the JSA and Thunderbolt’s origins, but most importantly he learns the powers of the Thunderbolt.
After a few trials and errors with the wishes, he learns that he has to be carefully specific or his wishes may backfire.
Debriefing At The Garage A.K.A The Young JSA’s Headquarters
After learning about the Shade’s presence during the last episode, Pat and Courtney hold a JSA meeting in the garage. When Rick arrives late, Pat asks him what’s the holdup. Hourman lies saying he was feeding his dog (clearly the writers’ way of maintaining the suspense). Pat buys it and proceeds to debrief the youngsters about the history of the Shade and that the villain is the one that killed Dr. Midnite.
After explaining the depth of Richard Swift’s powers, the teenagers wonder how they would defeat a person with such superpowers and Stripsy says the Starman was once able to incapacitate the Shade with the cosmic Staff. At the end of the meeting, Yolanda asks Pat what to do with the Shade once captured and he answers with an “I don’t know”.
The Shade Is After Eclipso
Barbara is at the William Zarick archives going through inventory
The shade surprises Barbra while she’s doing inventory at the William Zarick archives. Since she’s in the loop with the JSA and knows about Richard Swift’s real identity, it appears that she’s trying to help out the young heroes by figuring out what the Shade is after.
The supervillain uses his powers to scare the bejesus out of her appearing out of thin air. He apologizes in his charming British manner and suggests they go on a treasure hunt to locate the item he’s looking for.
Barbara goes for her phone but Swift had already pick-pocketed it and killed the battery (however that happened). He makes an innocent remark about how unreliable modern technology and his attention is almost immediately shifted towards a specific item: The diamond box Cindy Burnam (Shiv) found in the last episode of season 1.
He was looking for Eclipso’s black diamond, yet, much to his dismay, found the box empty. He then asks if he could keep the box but Barbra refuses, so he steals it in a true Shade manner (lights going off and disappearing into thin air).
Isaac Bowin Is an Eavesdropper
During class, Yolanda has one of her intense migraines. What’s intriguing about the headaches is the soundtrack accompanying them: Brainwave mind control soundtrack. Could it be the trauma’s effect?
Courtney expresses her concern and that’s when Isaac Bowin tilts his ear in their direction, careful not to be seen. Yolanda tells Courtney that if they’re stopping the Shade, they have to find a way that doesn’t involve murder because she can’t do it and Courtney agrees.
The young ladies (and Isaac) are interrupted by a question from their teacher, which Courtney answers brilliantly. Apparently, she’d kept up with her History homework.
Mike sees his bullies trying to hustle a girl scout selling for-free cookies. They say they’re not willing to pay $5 per box and demand 3 boxes in exchange for them leaving the little girl alone. The girl scout stands her ground and refuses, so, they grab 3 boxes and make a run for it.
Mike is repulsed and makes a wish of Thunderbolt for them to stop. The genie, always the playful trickster, makes the sky rain stop signs. The bullies freak out and run away.
Courtney and Yolanda, on their way back from school, witness the stop-sign rain and confront Mike.
A Case is Made For Mike
Back at the garage, a case is made for Mike. Stripsey asks his son to give back Thunderbolt, but Thunderbolt refuses. Stripsey then wishes to speak privately with Thunderbolt. Their conversation reveals that Mike is feeling alone. Thunderbolt can only choose a partner that’s like him; someone who feels alone.
Meanwhile, outside the garage, Mike pleads with Courtney to help him become the newest member of the JSA. After some back and forth, Courtney agrees. The young JSA pleads Mike’s case to Sptrisey, who eventually yields. They then use Thunderbolt to locate the Shade through some intricate and specific wording of their wish. And what do you know; it worked.
The team’s all happy and excited. When Mike says “Let’s go”, his dad pulls out the ultimate dad card it’s too dangerous blah blah blah and benches him. Mike is visibly upset.
The JSA vs. The Shade
The Shade turned out to be squatting (sitting Britishly at the dinner table would be more suitable) at William Zarick’s house.
Mike is on the phone with Barbara giving her the rundown of their plan to restrain and capture the Shade. Spoiler alert, his plan is doo-doo.
Pat and the young JSA break in expecting a fight, yet Richard Swift asks them to join him for some tea and biscuits (hence why I said “sitting Britishly”). They reluctantly agree to hear him out.
So far, The Shade seems to bear no ill-will towards the young JSA. The 2 adults get into a conversation where The Shade admits that he suspected Pat to be Stripsey and that he was never a member of the ISA, that he was only working with them because their interests aligned until they didn’t.
Courtney then confronts him about his motivation for returning to Blue Valley and he tells “Young lady, I’m not being coy, it’s just better than none of you know”.
This is when Mike barges in with a specific wish of his own. That little stunt irritates the Shade who retaliates by manhandling everyone. EVERY ONE.
With his last words “Stay out of my way”, the Shade goes poof into the shadows.
Mike Loses Thunderbolt
Mike feels bad for his bad decision. Yolanda asks if he’s okay and he answers truthfully; that he’s no okay and that he blew their chances with the Shade. Yolanda seeks comfort with her trauma by asking Mike if he feels bad about killing Icicle.
Mike divulges that it was an accident. His last words “I’m no hero” may be foreshadowing his recruitment into the ISA. The pen ends up at Jakeem’s, Mike’s friend.
The Episode’s Ending
The episode ends with the Shade standing at the clocktower (where the final battle of season 1 happened) saying “Eclipso is going to kill those children”.