Last week, Stargirl fans were treated to a phenomenal origin story for Yolanda Montez’ Wildcat. This week’s episode brings the new Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite into the fold, and while Dr. Mid-Nite’s introduction was a mixed bag, this was really Hourman’s show and he exceeded all expectations. Rick Tyler’s introduction convinced me that Hourman, as a character, could be one Stargirl’s finest accomplishments.
That’s not to say that other parts of Stargirl disappointed me. As I’ve said in my previous reviews, Stargirl isn’t perfect, but it has immense potential and continues to delight with every single episode. We haven’t even seen Hourman suit up yet and I am already yearning for a spin-off.
Stargirl Introduces Two Memorable Faces
“Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite” opens up with the tragic death of Rex Tyler, the original Hourman and his wife Wendi at the hands of Solomon Grundy. After fleeing their home in the country and leaving their son Rick with his uncle Matt, they were brutally attacked by the Injustice Society’s gargantuan beast, Grundy. Rick grew up with his unseemly and sleazy uncle Matt as Rick Harris, never knowing the truth about who his parents were or how they died. Losing his parents at such a young age, and being raised by his unseemly tool of an uncle, turned Rick into a bitter, raw outcast.
His origin and chip on the shoulder attitude might have come off as somewhat cliche, if it wasn’t for actor Cameron Gellman’s phenomenal performance. Gellman played Rick with a constantly crackling that was either right under the surface. When he threatened to break the customer of his keg-sale’s arms, Gellman sold Rick’s rage and inner darkness perfectly. His conversation with Stargirl at the end of the episode, where he tells her that he’ll join her Justice Society in pursuit of not justice, but vengeance, genuinely gave me chills.
Stargirl’s mission to recruit Rick to her JSA team was the driving force behind this week’s events, and their interactions impressed me with how genuine and honest they were. Brec Bassinger and Cameron Gellman have great chemistry, especially in scenes where they’re in opposition to one another. As a JSA fan, it’s extremely rewarding to have three interesting and exciting members set up in the first five episodes of the Stargirl series.
I wish I could change that three to four, but Beth Chapel/Dr. Mid-Nite hasn’t won me over yet. Beth Chapel (Anjelika Washington) has been present, albeit as little more than a background character since the first episode. And to put it bluntly, she can be more annoying than charming. Washington’s performance isn’t to blame, for she puts her heart and soul into bringing Chapel to life. The truth is that Chapel is, by design, a somewhat grating socially awkward teenager with a strange fixation on her parents.
In “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite,” Beth Chapel eavesdrops on Courtney and Yolanda’s conversation about the JSA in the hallway. Later that day, she goes to Courtney’s house and ends up finding Dr. Mid-Nite’s A.I. enhanced goggles. An A.I. rendition of Charles McNider serves as Beth’s JARVIS, and I have to say that their back and forths were both charming and entertaining. The chemistry between Dr. Mid-Nite past and present is fantastic, and I could see myself growing to love Beth Chapel. However, much like Yolanda, I’m not convinced that Beth deserves a spot on the JSA roster quite yet.
Hourman AKA Rick Tyler is easily my favorite addition to the show so far, and I cannot wait to see him suit up next week. “Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite” is my favorite episode of the series so far, and if further chapters can build on the momentum and beautiful groundwork laid by episode five, DC fans are in for one hell of a ride.
Watch Stargirl on DC Universe on Mondays or The CW on Tuesdays. DC fans, it’s well worth your time.