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‘Stargirl’ series finale review: “Frenemies – Chapter Thirteen: The Reckoning” ends on a bright note

By December 10, 2022No Comments6 min read

The end has arrived for DC’s Stargirl, but it’s only just the beginning for our favorite characters and the Justice Society of America. “Frenemies – Chapter Thirteen: The Reckoning” was an extremely satisfying and heartfelt ending to one of DCEU’s best TV shows. We’ve followed Courtney Whitmore’s journey as a new girl and superhero in Blue Valley for three seasons; there have been ups and downs, but now it’s a more hopeful future for her and her allies. All of that came to be after the thrilling conclusion to the fight against Icicle, Dragon King, and the Ultra-Humanite.

As we’ve discussed in previous reviews, Stargirl has some of the best fight choreography scenes and special effects. “Frenemies – Chapter Thirteen: The Reckoning” didn’t hold back with the battles; the series knew to end the action with a bang. When Jordan Mahkent (aka. Icicle) led the JSA to the scrapyard, you just knew that something big was about to go down. A big venue like a scrapyard with plenty of disposable cars and equipment makes for the perfect arena! Plus, Jordan’s mother was pissed, “Starman” was on edge, and the JSA already knew that Starman had lied to them. These pieces had all the makings of a ticking time bomb. I loved that all the characters just went for it in battle.

Particularly, the fight between Starman and Pat (who thankfully didn’t die!) was a moment that was a long time coming for Stargirl fans. Even if the Ultra-Humanite tried to forgive Starman’s past woes, Sylvester still treated Pat like a hopeless sidekick. Pat kicking Starman’s butt and dishing out decades of delayed vengeance was so satisfying and worth it. Sure, Pat still cared about his best friend and he was hurting the Ultra-Humanite, but the past can’t be forgotten. It’s great to have Pat take on Sylvester with no S.T.R.I.P.E. machinery or Starman’s Cosmic Staff to tip the balance.

Even the battle between Dragon King and Cindy (aka. Shiv)/Jakeem/Mike was a good fight. Sure, the battle ended with a punchline, but it gave some resolution to Cindy’s longstanding hatred of her father. I would’ve loved it if “Frenemies – Chapter Thirteen: The Reckoning” explored more of the tension between them since Cindy just discovered he was alive again. The finale rushed too quickly through their battle to process everything. However, she got a few punches in before Thunderbolt turned him into a stuffed toy bear. It was the biggest battle, but she got her vengeance and that’s all we could hope for.

The most surprising-yet-hilarious death to come from the battle was Lily Mahkent. Did anyone else get Wicked Witch of the East vibes after the car fell on her? All you could see was her feet sticking out from under the car. Between Lily and Sofus, she was always more inclined to Jordan’s mission, and she was the bigger villain of the two grandparents. When she decided to turn against her husband and try to kill both him and Beth (aka. Doctor Mid-Nite), her villainy was kicking up a major notch against two weaker characters.

The CW

So, for her to die by accident after a failed attempt to kill Yolanda (aka. Wildcat), it just served a delicious dish of karma. A satisfying and hilariously cruel way to go for a villain who had been given every chance of redemption. All she had to do was choose to protect Cameron and not go after the JSA, but she never listened. It’s no wonder both she and her son Jordan were equally as stubborn. Plus, it was a strange turn of events for her to have been heartbroken over Sofus’ heart attack prior and then decide she would kill him if he got in her way. You can’t trust a villain like that.

Speaking of Cameron, was anyone else happy that he stood up to his dad? Jordan always preached that his goal was to create a better future for his son, but he kept murdering and being a supervillain. It was never about Cameron—it was about power. I’m glad Cameron finally saw through his controlling nature and protected his friends/girlfriend against Icicle’s attacks. The JSA needed an equally powerful ally to get the job done, and his earlier betrayal could easily be forgiven. Case in point: the great special effects of Cameron blowing up his dad in the snow blast.

Cameron and Courtney finding happiness together post-battle was a great end to their story. There had been a lot of flirtation throughout Stargirl’s run, with the pair finally dating and exploring their romance this season. If Cameron had pushed away Courtney yet again, his dad’s manipulation would’ve won out and made him into a bitter, lonely villain. Instead, Cameron’s character showed great growth by reaching out and seeking help from Courtney’s offer. We love strong character development!

And that applies to all of the JSA members. It was heartwarming to have each main character process one of their biggest challenges and overcome it for their betterment. Like, Yolanda calling her mom to tell her the truth, Beth inviting her parents to help her superhero career, Rick admitting he had a problem with the hourglass, and Courtney acknowledging she was worthy of the Cosmic Staff. With “Frenemies – Chapter Thirteen: The Reckoning” being the series finale, Stargirl needed to give the characters closure before the future. Thankfully, each ending put the heroes on a hopeful start that didn’t feel tacked on or too sweet; it all felt true to the storylines and their development.

Artemis’s revenge against Jordan also came across as true to her character. Let’s not forget that Icicle killed Sportsmaster and Tigress in cold blood. If anyone deserved the satisfaction of stopping Icicle, it would be the hero who was wronged the most by him. I loved how she knew exactly how to stop his regenerating abilities; she planned her revenge perfectly, right down to the step. Artemis is a skillfully tactile hero who can get the job done, especially when she’s pushed to the brink.

One of the best parts of the Stargirl series finale was the flashforward into the future. The look into the new JSA headquarters and the tidbits about the members gave a heartwarming resolution to the series. Discovering that Courtney and her Blue Valley friends, as well as new allies (like The Gambler’s daughter), would come together as a team to continue saving the world fulfilled the mission from the first season. The Justice Society of America was successfully reformed and its legacy would continue to live with new members. It’s a beautifully touching ending for any Stargirl fan who’s watched since the beginning.

“Frenemies – Chapter Thirteen: The Reckoning” closed the book with a thrilling superhero story and a beloved DC TV show. The JSA defeated three of their biggest enemies yet, and the members started on a new path toward a brighter future. The Stargirl series finale was a satisfying end that wrapped up everything quite nicely.

Feature image courtesy of The CW

  • - 9.5/10
Justin Carreiro

Justin is a fun-loving geek living in downtown Toronto, Canada. He’s an avid TV buff, movie fan, and gamer. He's written for publications like Entertainment Weekly's The Community, Virgin, TV Fanatic, FANDOM, The Young Folks, and his blog, City Boy Geekiness.

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