Review: ‘Stargirl: Frenemies’- “The Evidence” (S3 Ep4)

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Greetings my fellow Stargirl fans, how is everyone doing after last week’s episode “The Evidence”? Do you feel like you’re any closer to figuring out who killed The Gambler (Eric Goins)?

I don’t know about you, but it felt like “The Blackmail” was the beginning of a turning point in this season’s murder mystery. The last scene alone was enough to make me gasp in shock and jump out of my chair. In those final moments, not only did my perspective change about one of the characters, but the entire season shifted in a new direction, as renewed pressure was applied to the Justice Society of America. So what exactly happened in those final moments that felt like such a dynamic shift? We’ll get to that in a moment.

Stargirl: Frenemies “The Evidence” saw the return of Walter Carlos Garcia, who also directed the previous episode, which makes sense for the sake of cohesiveness between the two episodes. Episodes three and four felt more like a two-part story than separate sections, as the aftermath of “The Blackmail” became the core drive of “The Evidence”.

Writing this episode is Paula Sevenbergen, who has written four episodes of Stargirl as well as serving as story editor for every episode since the first chapter of the second season. It seems like Sevenbergen has a deep understanding of the characters, which is necessary for such an emotionally driven and more human story than other episodes from Frenemies. Together this duo brought one of my favorite episodes of this season. So let’s explore what Stargirl: Frenenemies “The Evidence” delivered to its fans.

[Warning: Spoilers from Stargirl: Frenemies “The Evidence” are below!]

Bloody aftermath from “The Blackmail”

At the end of last week’s episode, we saw (more so heard I suppose) something large and scary attack Sylvester Pemberton (Joel McHale), who returned to the scene of The Gambler’s murder by himself. So when this episode picks up Sylvester’s story not long after that attack, things look rather grim as Courtney (Brec Bassinger) finds him at the trailer and unconscious.

After being rushed to the hospital, Doctor McNider (Alex McNider), who is brought to the hospital by Pat (Luke Wilson), informs Sylvester that because of his bond with the cosmic staff, his physiology has changed. Meaning that he will heal from this attack quicker than a normal human, which might also explain how he was able to return from the dead.

Doctor McNider’s appearance in this episode also gave way to a heartfelt conversation with Sylvester about legacy and finding happiness. It’s also the first time that we see Sylvester interact with another hero from his iteration of the JSA, with the exception of Pat.

The conversation between the two allowed for a change of perspective with Starman, humanizing him for me more so than any other moment this season. While I still think there is something else up with Sylvester’s return and his uncontrollable anger, I have a bit more sympathy for him.

Stargirl: Frenemies "The Evidence
Luke Wilson as Pat Dugan and Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore / Stargirl, and Joel McHale as Sylvester Pemberton / Starman in DC’s Stargirl (CW)

Following up on the mystery of who killed The Gambler, which the JSA assumes is the same individual who attacked Starman, the gang finds a skin cell at the scene. Specifically, Beth (Anjelika Washington) finds it with the help of her nifty goggles.

The majority of the episode is spent attempting to find out who the skin cell belongs to, with both Beth and Charles McNider eventually agreeing that it appears the Dragon King has returned to cause some issues for the heroes of Blue Valley.

Stargirl: Frenemies “The Evidence” finds love in a frozen place

Even though the murder storyline continues, it feels like that was set to the side for a large chunk of this episode, specifically for Courtney. One day at school, Courtney attempts to talk to Cameron (Hunter Sansone) which really seems to anger him. For the entirety of this season, Cameron has been on the outskirts of the high school, struggling with his art, and (as the audience is aware of) developing ice powers similar to his father. However none of the members of the JSA are aware of these powers, that is until the moment Courtney angered Cameron in the art room.

At that moment, Cameron unleashed a blast of wintery ice that Elsa herself would be jealous of. However, instead of panicking that Cameron was exhibiting similar powers to his villainous father, Courtney with her heart of gold instead embraces him and hopes to guide him into a positive future. Cameron tells her he wishes to continue helping others, with Courtney encouraging him to do so through his art. This somehow results in the two of them kissing, you know, typical high school stuff.

The dynamics between Cameron and Courtney in this episode were excellent, however, I could understand if this storyline isn’t for everyone. The high school relationships in Stargirl have a very CW feel to them, however having cut my teeth on shows like Veronica Mars and The Vampire Diaries, this relationship storyline felt familiar in a good way. I find myself incredibly excited to see how their relationship continues to grow as the season progresses.

Cindy Burman is going through changes in Stargirl: Frenemies

Believing they know who the skin cell belonged to, the JSA set off in the tunnels underneath Blue Valley which were previously occupied by the Injustice Society. While Sylvester, Yolanda (Yvette Monreal), and Rick (Cameron Gellman) assume they are going to find The Dragon King, what they almost discover is Cindy Burman (Meg DeLacy) who was experiencing some issues of her own.

Stargirl: Frenemies "The Evidence" Cindy Burman
Pictured (L – R): Meg DeLacy as Cindy Burman / Shiv and Brec Bassinger as Courtney Whitmore / Stargirl (CW).

As seen earlier in the season, Cindy had been experimenting on herself, but audiences weren’t quite sure why. Well in true Stargirl fashion, a bombshell was dropped in the closing moments of this episode. The skin cell doesn’t belong to The Dragon King, but to Cindy whose skin is mutating into scales.

So is Cindy the one behind the attacks, or at least the one who attacked Sylvester? It definitely seems the show is pushing it that way, however, I have my doubts.

The look on Cindy’s face at the appearance of the dragon scales was one of panic and worry. It wasn’t the face of someone openly attacking people across Blue Valley. There is the chance she’s attacking people without knowledge of it, like a werewolf who changes in and out of form.

Also, this development makes more sense about why Cindy wanted the laptop and into The Gambler’s file on her father. She needs answers before she becomes the monster she’s been working so hard this season not to be.

Final thoughts on Stargirl: Frenemies “The Evidence”

This episode was a strong entry into the season. I liked that there was a bit of a step back from the overarching mystery to allow for some breathing room for these characters. The episode gave some fantastic humanizing parts for the characters, such as more glimpses of Yolanda’s home life. It did well to remind viewers that these people are humans and not just superheroes. 

This episode also helped me to cross Sylvester off my list of suspects, however, this season has spent way too much time trying to make us believe that Cindy is the villain. Can we let this old and tired trope go? Cindy is as much the villain as Stargirl, I would bet money on that. Hopefully, it all becomes much clearer soon, before permanent damage is done. 

Stargirl airs new episodes Wednesday’s only on the CW and the next day on the CW app. Have you watched the latest episode? What did you think? Let us know on social media. And if you need a refresher of the latest episode, check out my review!

Review: Stargirl: Frenemies “The Blackmail”

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