Look out, Court! Cindy Burman’s origin story comes alive in this week’s Stargirl episode, Shiv: Part One.
Cindy Burman is just plain MEAN! This week’s episode of Stargirl which is entitled ‘Shiv: Part One’, details why she is so horrible. Meanwhile, the new JSA begin their training with Pat, only there are a number of hiccups and they all involved their fearless leader, Courtney.
Elsewhere, Barbara gets a job offer from Jordan while Mike becomes jealous of his stepsister spending so much time with his dad.
[CAUTION: This Post Contains Spoilers For Stargirl Season 1: Episode 7: Shiv Part One]
The New JSA Embrace Their New Leases On Life
We open the episode with the new Justice Society going about their new routine.
Courtney bids good morning to her staff.
Rick craves into the tree that was involved in his parents’ deaths.
Yolanda trains in the gym with a punching bag while Beth sings karaoke with Chuck (her googles) in the bathroom.
Meanwhile, Courtney’s stepbrother Mike arrives home from his paper route and overhears his dad and stepsister talking.
Barbara enters and overhears something about Mike and driving.
Pat reassure her that that he wasn’t talking about Mike driving and he was telling Courtney about the fundamentals of driving. Obviously, this causes raised eyebrows from both the kid and Barbara.
The Beginning Of Cindy’s Bad Day
At Blue Valley hospital, Cindy Burman stands in the doorway of Henry King Snr’s room while her boyfriend, Henry Jr takes medication for a headache.
She tries to be nice to him and brings flowers to ‘brighten’ the place up. This whole situation is a massive chore for her. She beings to prattle on about Homecoming in which Henry snaps at her and says he doesn’t care about the dance while his father is in a coma.
Cindy agrees to stay with him for a while which is really not what she wants to do, but she does it for Henry.
Courtney Questions Why Cindy Is So Mean
At school, Rick, Yolanda, Courtney, and Beth walk together through the halls when Cindy barges into them and calls them losers.
Courtney questions why Cindy is so mean. Beth explains that she wasn’t always like that and only came terrible because her mother died when she was in the fourth grade and basically changed overnight. She adds that Burman’s father married twice. Rick says that it isn’t an excuse to be a horrible person.
Beth then shouts her excitement for JSA time after school, which causes her friends to tell her to be quiet.
Barbara Accepts A Job Offer From Jordan
At work, Barbara is summoned to Jordan’s office where he asks for her help with the sale of a sewing machine factory that he hopes they can get their hands on.
Barbara is surprised at the offer but she has to make sure it’s okay with Pat first. She thanks him for the opportunity which he says is his pleasure as she knows Blue Valley better than most and that her family should be proud.
Cindy’s Bad Day Continues
Back at the school, Cindy’s bad day continues as Jenny tells her that Travis asked her to homecoming which her bestie [Cindy] responds with disgust. Burman rejects the idea of a double date and says she’s not going to the dance.
Jenny then makes the mistake of asking why she’s being such a bitch. Cindy doesn’t like this while her BFF says she’s glad she’s not going to homecoming as their friendship needs a break.
After her fight with Jenny, Shiv – ah! Cindy – runs into Janitor Justin and drops her books which is seen by Courtney. After throwing down the man’s mop, Burman stalks off with Whitmore running over to help the disguised superhero.
Finding Henry, Cindy demands that they go to homecoming. However, he tells her that he’s not up to it and that he’s not even playing in the football game that night. He also tells her that if she wants to go so badly, she’ll have to find someone else.
Note On Henry
Just a small note on Henry Jr. The last couple of episodes have hinted at him coming into his telepathic abilities given his grief and stress over what happened to his dad.
‘Shiv: Part One’ is where his powers are beginning to manifest on a much deeper level. More on that later.
Cindy And Courtney Reluctantly Team Up For Chemistry Class And Henry ‘Cheats’ On His Exam
In class, Courtney is forced to pair with Cindy after all the other students pair off. Neither is happy with the idea but have no other option.
Meanwhile, Henry is sitting in the middle of an exam when he begins hearing people’s thoughts including the answers.
Back in the chemistry class, Cindy catches Courtney staring at her and asks why. Whitmore says she hasn’t looked at the instructions once.
The soon-to-be Shiv explains the experiment is child’s play to her as she and her dad use to do science experiments all the time when she was little. The teacher congratulates them before the bell rings.
As they’re packing up, Cindy asks Courtney if she’s going to the dance. When she says she wasn’t planning on going, Burman suggests they hang out.
Cindy Threatens Her Stepmother And Demands To Join The ISA While The New JSA Begin Training
Continuing on her journey to become Shiv, Cindy arrives home and proceeds to threaten her stepmother into doing what she wants.
She then goes down into her father’s lab to speak with him.
At the Pit Stop, Courtney and her friends arrive to begin their training with Pat.
However, their idea of training isn’t what Pat had in mind. Rick makes the point that he can use his fists. Yolanda can climb up walls and murder toasters. Beth knows about everything (thanks to Chuck) and Courtney has a glowstick (her staff) that can blow stuff up.
Pat mentions what made the OG JSA so great and shows the kids their training dummies which disturbs them.
Back at the ISA HQ, each of the members discuss their own experiences with the new JSA. Paula (Tigress) suggests bringing their own children in to identify the new heroes as her husband, Crusher (Sportsmaster) issues his own opinion.
Anaya Bowin (the new Fiddler) says they agreed to keep their children out of the situation. Paula says she [Bowin] coddles her son Isaac way too much.
Bowin says that the new JSA could already know who they are. Jordan says they don’t as they they would have done something already if they did.
Cindy, who has been listening in, is pulled away by her father.
Courtney Goes Overboard
Back at the Pit Stop, Pat begins his training session, but it doesn’t go to plan. He tells the team that their main target is Icicle who is responsible for the death of Joey Zarick. Courtney chimes in and says he also killed her ‘dad’, Starman.
Pat goes through all the training dummies, telling the new JSA who is who. Courtney, wanting to rush things along takes out all the training dummies, which pisses off her teammates and her stepdad who calls it a day.
Cindy Sees The Shiv Costume
After being pulled away from the ISA meeting by her father, Cindy complains that her stepmother is a glorified babysitter. In her frustration, she kills one of Dragon King’s acolytes using one of the blades that grows out from under the skin of her wrists. She demands to be made a member of the Injustice Society immediately.
Dragon King tells his daughter that she has learned nothing from her mother’s death. Not to mention it is implied that she had something to do with it. He also makes the point that he gave her powers to protect her, not to enhance her tantrums.
Cindy spies the Shiv costume, despite her father telling her not touch it. She tells him that she basically runs the school and that everyone in it does exactly as she tells them. She then complains about Henry and tells Dragon King to pull the plug on Henry Snr. Her dad tells her they can’t as they need Brainwave’s abilities to power his machine.
Shiv says her boyfriend hasn’t got powers and alludes to not even liking him. She also tells her father that Henry does not have his father’s powers. She even complains that all her boy toy does is sit at his father’s hospital bed. This doesn’t go down too well with Dragon King who tells her it’s for the best that all the ISA kids don’t know about their parents’ true identities.
Cindy gets upset and says that if at least one of the ISA kids knew who their parents were, she might have someone to talk to. She expresses her loneliness which her father simply brushes off. That’s when the conversation turns to who Stargirl is.
Dragon King tells his daughter that it has nothing to do with her but she demands a seat at the table and she wants it now.
Parallels Between Cindy And Courtney
Back at the Pit Stop, Courtney argues with Pat, saying she’s not a novice hero anymore. Her stepdad tells her that it’s no longer about her as she to look out for her friends as well as herself when they’re out in the field or someone’s going to get hurt.
Courtney then suggests that Pat send her out on a mission while the others train so she can get evidence that Principal Bowin is a member of the ISA.
In Dragon King’s lair, he gives Cindy a similar lecture that Pat gives Courtney but mentions that his daughter has selfish needs. He then tells her to go home and not to take her frustrations out on her stepmother again as he doesn’t have time to prepare another one. He then says that his daughter is his greatest experiment.
Cindy cringes as her father touches her face and calls him awful before storming off.
Barbara Heads Off On Her Business Trip
Back at the Whitmore-Dugan house, Barbara questions Pat to see if he can handle both Mike and Courtney on his own. He tells her they’re not babies.
Mike reassures his stepmom that they’ll be fine as his dad is taking him and Courtney to the homecoming game, a notion that surprises his stepsister. Barbara is sad she’ll miss getting to bond with them. Though she is touched when her stepson gives her a bag of road trip snacks. She then pulls him and her daughter in for a group hug.
The family says goodbye to Barbara as she heads out.
Cameron Asks His Father For Advice
At the Mahkent residence, Jordan is preparing for his business trip with Barbara when Cameron comes home. When he sees his son is quieter than normal, he asks what’s going on.
Cameron tries to sidestep the conversation that is coming but can’t. He tells his father that the homecoming dance is the next day and that there’s a girl he want to ask but doesn’t know how to go about it.
Jordan tells him about the time he asked his late wife (Cameron’s mother) Christine out for the first time. It took him a while to build up the courage to do so, but discovered later that she’d been waiting for him to do so as she’d spent a lot of time sketching him. He also mentions he had competition and says he ‘killed’ the competitor. Though, we’re not sure if he was being literal.
Jordan suggests that perhaps the girl his son is interested in might just be waiting for him to ask. This links up with our theory about a possible IceStar… StarIce…? romance. We say that because Cameron is known as Icicle Junior in the comics.
Back to the scene, Jordan tells Cameron that he put on the Earth to find love and not to let anything get in his way to at least try.
As he turns to leave, Cameron asks his dad if he’s happy, knowing his mother would want him to be. Jordan replies that he is, ending the conversation.
Courtney And The Dugans At The Homecoming Game
Sometime later, Courtney is sitting between Pat and Mike in the bleachers at school as they watch the game, much to her discomfort.
The game starts and Pat asks if the kids want food. Courtney declines, but Mike rattles off what he wants. His dad cuts him off and says he’ll just get hotdogs.
As Pat gets up to leave, he notices Courtney watching Principal Bowin a few seats below them. He tells her to leave her alone and not to do anything. Mike questions them about who they’re talking about and they reply at the same time, “No One.”
Once Pat’s out of earshot, Mike tells Courtney that he doesn’t like all the time she’s been spending with his dad. He then brings up that he doesn’t spend 24/7 with Barbara because he doesn’t have a mother. The younger Dugan then mentions he and his father have been through a lot which hints at something that might’ve happened to his mum.
Courtney tries to call him back, but he storms off. Watching him go, she is surprised when she hears Cameron behind her who then awkwardly sits beside her. Him asking her to the homecoming dance catches her off guard for a moment but she says yes. However, she explains that she has to reschedule her get together with Cindy, which surprises him.
Courtney Discovers An ISA Secret Passage
Leaving an ecstatic Cameron in the bleachers, Courtney goes to explain the situation to Cindy (later Shiv) but it doesn’t go the way she expects.
Cindy cannot believe that Courtney would ditch her for Cameron. She then turns her back on her ‘ex friend’. Ahh… they weren’t actually friends to begin with. You did ONE little science experiment together.
In the bleachers, Courtney sees Bowin on the phone and decides to follow her. Meanwhile in the food line, Pat is approached by Crusher who calls him out on his food choices.
Courtney follows the principal and discovers a secret passage inside the school that leads directly to the ISA headquarters.
Pat returns to the bleachers to find Mike and asks where Courtney is. His son replies that he doesn’t know and nor does he care.
At her locker, Courtney suits up with the cosmic staff ready for combat. This is heard by Janitor Justin who is working near by.
Courtney and the staff discover the passageway and ventures down into the lair.
Cindy Becomes Shiv
Cindy runs down into the lair to find her father but he is nowhere to be found. She screams at one of his lackeys but gets no response. Seeing the Shiv suit, she decides to take matters into her own hands.
She spots the security monitors and sees Stargirl headed her way and decides to pounce but not as herself. As her new persona; Shiv.
The Ultimate Girl Fight
As Courtney finds the door leading back into the school, she is attacked by Shiv. A massive fight begins.
In the bleachers, Pat is beginning to grow worried about Courtney’s sudden absence and decides to go look for her.
Back inside the school, Courtney struggles in her fight with Shiv as she is a tough opponent. She even melts her face, but it heals on its own forcing her to realise that she’s in massive trouble.
Shiv cuts Courtney’s hands, forcing her to release the staff before it too cut down, but is still function. Before Cindy can deliver the killing blow, Justin hurries in and protects Stargirl.
The staff reactivates and goes to find to Pat while Justin keeps watch over Courtney. The sentient weapon finds its wielder’s stepfather who goes running in search of his stepdaughter.
Cindy is injured but is able to get away after Justin knocks her out. Courtney, however, is in bad shape.
As the episode closes, we see Justin surprised to see Pat and mutters, “Stripesy…” as the stepdad holds his unconscious stepdaughter in his arms as the staff hovers protectively.