What exactly happened in the final episode of ‘Stargirl’?
Editor's Note: The following contains spoilers for the Stargirl series finale.Life in Blue Valley, Nebraska has been anything but ordinary for Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) and her loved ones. Since the moment Courtney, Barbara (Amy Smart), Mike (Trae Romano), and Pat (Luke Wilson) moved in, the battle between good and evil has been waging. Allies have joined Courtney’s cause and her new Justice Society of America — like Yolanda (Yvette Monreal), Beth (Anjelika Washington), and Rick (Cameron Gellman) — while threatening enemies have grown, evolved, or come back from the dead to haunt these teenagers once more. Throughout the third season, the JSA has been tested unlike ever before as a mysterious figure has been watching their every move and killing various people around town while having their own personal struggles to overcome. In the penultimate episode of the series, the truth finally comes out about who has been causing mischief around town.
The returned Starman a.k.a. Sylvester Pemberton (Joel McHale), who had presumably died years prior, is actually the nefarious Ultra-Humanite who has been around for decades masquerading as various people in bodies he has taken over by surgically implanting his brain in their heads. While Starman’s body was preserved by the cosmic staff, his brain was not, giving the Ultra-Humanite an opening to become a figure worthy of adoration once again. Said Ultra-Humanite also killed the Gambler (Eric Goins), working from the inside to take down the JSA and their frenemies with Dragon King and Icicle (Neil Jackson) in the shadows, both of whom were also believed to be dead after the events of the first season. Once Pat was in his way, the Ultra-Humanite reveals this to him before burying him alive, then meeting with his evil allies to move to the next step of their plan. Meanwhile, Courtney and the JSA are beginning to put the pieces together about Starman after Rick finally reveals how Sylvester conveniently gave him the information about the limiter in his hourglass, which since removing the piece has caused Rick to deteriorate mentally. So, with the truth revealed and three dangerous villains on the loose, how does the story wrap up? Let’s break down the series finale.
The episode opens on the heels of the previous one, with the Ultra-Humanite standing over Pat’s fresh grave. In a flashback, we see the Ultra-Humanite had been lying to Pat, at least a little bit. Nine months earlier, Icicle and Dragon King dug up Sylvester’s preserved body and reanimated it by injecting him with something. This caused Sylvester, the real Sylvester, to wake up, proving the Ultra-Humanite lied about Sylvester’s brain no longer being viable. Instead, Sylvester is strapped down to a table next to the Ultra-Humanite (in primeape form) in one of Dragon King’s laboratories. They reveal their plan for the Ultra-Humanite to take over as Starman to put Icicle’s plan for a better America into action once more, eventually building to the Ultra-Humanite as President Pemberton running the entire country.
No longer pretending to be fully civil toward the Justice Society, Icicle has Cameron (Hunter Sansone) call Courtney to trick her and her friends into coming to the junkyard where the final battle will take place. Cameron is stricken with guilt over this but follows his father and grandparents’ lead. When Courtney and the others arrive, still suspicious of Starman, Pat is noticeably absent. They question Starman a.k.a the Ultra-Humanite about it, and he says Pat went into the forest alone and was killed. Fortunately, Pat arrives at the fight in STRIPE after digging himself out of his shallow grave, revealing the Ultra-Humanite’s true identity to the group before they can fall for any more of his lies.
From here, an incredible battle commences. Rick still struggles with the effects of the hourglass but is helped through it by Courtney, who still doesn’t have the cosmic staff. Cameron begins to fight Rick, seemingly choosing his father’s side in the war. Yolanda once again faces off with Lily (Kay Galvin), but an ill-timed icy shot at Yolanda misses and causes a car to collapse on Lily, killing her on impact. Sofus (Jim France), after being threatened by both his wife and son for not trying to kill the children, doesn’t fight Beth. Instead, he works with her to try to stop the fight. Meanwhile, the Ultra-Humanite, with the cosmic staff in tow, is demolishing Pat, mere steps away from killing him. When Icicle attempts to kill Courtney after taking down Rick, Cameron finally chooses his side and fights back against his father. A wicked blow causes Jordan to leave in a cloud of icy fog, officially stopped, but what becomes of him is unclear. Having taken down his father, Cameron runs to his grandfather’s side as the two are forced to reconcile with their losses. Cameron explains to Courtney that he’s leaving, he doesn’t want to see her, and he just wants to get back to some kind of normal.
On the other side of the junkyard, Cindy (Meg DeLacy), Jakeem (Alkoya Brunson), and Mike are facing down Dragon King in the Ultra-Humanite’s primeape body. Jakeem and Mike hide as Cindy stops running and uses her father’s “improvements” to attack him, but she struggles, especially given his enhanced form. Finally taking charge of the Thunderbolt, Jakeem wishes the most beautiful girl in the world wouldn’t have to deal with her father anymore. Mike exclaims that just because Jakeem thinks Cindy is the most beautiful girl in the world doesn’t make it true, but Jakeem counters with the fact that it is true to him. After struggling for so long to get their wishes right, the Thunderbolt does exactly as Jakeem says, saving Cindy from Dragon King and turning him into a stuffed animal.
Still, the Ultra-Humanite remains after Icicle and Dragon King have been stopped, and he’s arguably the biggest threat. Pat is struggling in their fight, on the brink of being killed. Courtney doesn’t know what to do because the staff works for him now, not her. But, after arriving with the new crossbow that Paula (Joy Osmanski) taught her to use, Barbara offers a few powerful, motherly words of advice. The staff works for him because Courtney allows it to, losing her confidence in her abilities as Stargirl. Then, it clicks, and suddenly why the Ultra-Humanite had to shatter Courtney’s confidence makes sense. He never could have made the staff work without her. So, Courtney confronts him and with one sentence about how the staff doesn’t work for him, she regains control. They fight, but it’s Pat that officially stops this devious villain with a rock to the head, knocking him unconscious.
The events of the season have had a heavy personal toll for our heroes. After stopping three villains that never quite seem to go away, they have an opportunity set their lives back on a track they want, not one predetermined by the Ultra-Humanite. In the basement of their home, Pat and Courtney come to terms with what has happened, admitting to overhearing their respective fights with the Ultra-Humanite where Courtney admitted that Pat was her dad and her hero. Courtney also expresses how sorry she is that it wasn’t the real Starman who returned, but Pat begins to think about the lies the Ultra-Humanite told, wondering whether Starman is really gone.
At the hospital, Starman’s body lay comatose as the hit to the head left the Ultra-Humanite brain-dead. They decide to keep his body on life support in hopes they will find Starman’s brain somewhere, just as the audience is taken to a lab where Sylvester’s brain sits in a jar. Pat then faces something he has been putting off for several years, giving Mike the opportunity to see his mother once again. Pat, Mike, and Barbara sit outside the diner where the meeting is going to take place. They encourage Mike to go inside, promising they’ll wait for him. When the meeting goes well, Mike seems happy and is grateful to his father for asking him if this is something he’d like to do. Barbara is noticeably a little upset though but tries to hide it. But, when Mike thanks her and calls her “mom,” Barbara lights up, just as Pat did when Courtney called him her dad. It’s the final piece to the Whitemore-Dugans becoming a fully-fledged family.
After pushing her parents away, Beth walks back her decision before dinner at the Whitmores and allows her parents to become more involved in her superhero life. They agree to be her sidekicks, bringing a whole new meaning to the family business. At the same time, Rick apologizes to Beth and her parents for how he has been acting, not placing the blame solely on the misfiring hourglass. At some point, Rick visits Solomon Grundy’s grave once again, where the monster finally comes back to life. Back to the dinner, Yolanda watches Beth with her parents and decides it is time to give her parents a chance to fully accept her by admitting her role as Wildcat. She calls her mother, admits to lying to her and offers that she hopes sharing the truth can bring them closer like it has for Beth and her family. Though we don’t see much of the call, Yolanda returns looking slightly lighter and more hopeful than she has in quite a while.
Courtney is late for dinner, however, and we find her making a trip to see the Gambler’s daughter Becky. Courtney gives Becky some much-needed closure, along with a letter, about how much her father wanted to be in her life. Becky thanks her and gives Courtney a hug, giving us one more glimpse of Courtney’s greatest superpower: Her compassion. On her way home, she passes by the empty Mahkent home, still stricken with emotion over Cameron’s exit and the loss of their relationship. But, when it starts to snow, she finds Cameron behind her. He once again asks if she truly thinks she can help him, and the two share a hug which definitely teases there is much more to come in their relationship.
In Denmark, we find Icicle three months later having survived the blow from Cameron in Blue Valley. As he walks into the night, he steps into a very unpleasant-looking substance. Just then, Artemis Crock (Stella Smith) reveals herself in the shadows having somehow tracked Icicle down to get revenge for him murdering her parents. She reveals that the substance he just stepped in is something her father created, which is highly flammable and can even burn on water. Seeing as Icicle survived his previous death by the ice of his body melting and reforming, it’s a brilliant plan that Artemis puts into motion. She watches him burn and crumple to the ground, justice for her parents glimmering in her eyes as she removes her mask. The finality of Icicle’s death gives the appearance that he won’t bother the Justice Society of America ever again, as well.
Ten years later, the Shade (Jonathan Cake) is leading a tour through a museum and showing off the Justice Society of America’s meeting table. As he does, he gives updates on each of their lives. Courtney is now known as Starwoman, Cindy as Dragon Queen, and Cameron as Icicle. Cindy, Cameron, Artemis, Jakeem Thunder, and others officially joined the JSA over the years, and the JSA has faced more world-ending threats and come out on the other side. Rick and Beth are getting married. All seems well, and the JSA has more than proven themselves as the world’s greatest heroes. However, their adventures are never done. Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) arrives in the series finale moments — destroying the table that the Shade is showcasing — and announces that the JSA faces a new threat and needs the Shade’s help in stopping it.
Jay Snow is a freelance entertainment journalist. He lives in the PNW, and enjoys anything to do with witches and superheroes. Follow him on Twitter (@snowyjay) for more on what he’s watching!
Stargirl Series Finale Ending Explained: Where Do We Leave the … – Collider
What exactly happened in the final episode of ‘Stargirl’?