DC’s Stargirl Episode Nine: Brainwave Recap & Review


On DC’s Stargirl episode nine titled Brainwave brings more drama to the Justice Society of America as Courtney wants to recruit a new member.

dc's stargirl poster

DC’s Stargirl is a show that I knew I was going to love right from the start. I was hooked after the very first scene of episode one. As the show went on, I grew to love — or love to hate — all of the characters. More and more heroes, and villains, joined and each of them was a perfect fit. 

This show is a great family show to sit and watch with your tween or teen. They touch on some deep issues, while bringing a superhero twist to it. DC’s Stargirl episode nine is titled Brainwave so as you might guess, we finally get some of his backstory.

Warning: Spoilers for DC’S Stargirl Episode Nine.

This episode kicks right off with a flashback of Brainwave, who is clearly struggling with something. I immediately thought this must be when he first learned about his powers, or at least how to control them. He kills a man without meaning to, so it must have been before he was a villain. 

Flash forward to the present, and we see his son Henry going through recordings that Brainwave took of himself. I have to hand it to the writers because this is a great way for viewers to learn more about Brainwave’s past alongside Henry.

In these recordings, Brainwave says that his theoretical methods to expand cerebral capacity were deemed too extreme and his funding was denied. He ended up performing a trial test on himself. Which increased his headaches, caused him to hear voices, and ultimately hear someone’s thoughts. It was clear that he was going to become a villain and use this power for evil when he mentions that after silencing a man’s thoughts for the first time, he felt relief.

stargirl ep 9 henry

As the tapes go on, we actually see Brainwave get more villainous. His transformation is physical as well as mental. It turns out that whenever he reads someone’s mind, he gets a terrible headache, until he kills them. Why? Because he has learned that people are monsters. No matter whose mind he reads, they have vile thoughts.

Henry goes to visit his father at the hospital because he starts hearing him in his head. On the way he pays attention to everyone’s thoughts and realizes exactly what his father said in the videos, people are monsters. 

Courtney goes to see him at the hospital and he tells her the same thing. Henry defends his father, saying that if he killed someone then he had a good reason to. She tries to explain it away, and tell him that sure people probably think awful things sometimes when they are hurt or scared, but that he should look a little deeper. 

stargirl ep 9 courtney

Courtney Takes A Risk

Courtney tries to explain to Pat what she experienced at the end of the last episode. That she could hear Henry’s thoughts in her head. What is surprising is that she is sympathizing with him. As she describes how confused, sad, and scared he was, it was obvious in her voice.

Then she drops a bomb on Pat. Courtney wants to recruit Brianwave to the JSA. It was right then that I knew this meant there was going to be a lot of tension with her and her fellow heroes this episode. Poor Pat is still trying to comprehend Dr. Ito being alive, and Cindy’s father. He knows that this means the ISA is in Blue Valley not to hid, but because they are planning something.

During Yolanda’s episode, we learned that Henry was behind ruining her life. He shared a topless photo that she sent him with the whole school. Which is the reason her family has her grounded for life. Viewers know that this was mostly Cindy, however, Yolanda does believe that it was Henry. So of course she does not want him to join the JSA. And neither does the rest of the team.

Just Who Is The Janitor?

From the very first time we saw the janitor, I knew there was something up with him. The camera shots and things that he did made it very obvious to me that he was going to come into play at some point. Well, because of this episode I completely changed my thoughts on him.

Toward the beginning of DC’s Stargirl episode nine we see him mopping up the school floor. Then he looks at his mop and pictures it as the Cosmic Staff. He is a little bit freaked out by this, but shakes it off and continues to mop. 

Since Courtney’s friends are not the descendants of their predecessors, aside from Hour Man, this could mean that she isn’t Starman’s daughter. So could Starman have been hit with amnesia or brought back after being so close to death that fateful day? Could he be the janitor. I am not sure but it seems that the show could be moving in this direction.

dc's stargirl episode four

Stargirl — “Wildcat” — Image Number: STG104a_0378b.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Nelson Lee as Dr. Ito/Dragon King and Neil Jackson as Jordan Mahkent — Photo: Jace Downs/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Cindy & The Dragon King

When we last saw Cindy, she was being dragged underground by her father’s minions. In this episode we see her locked up underground in her father’s lair. She even threatens to kill him, like she killed her mom. He doesn’t seem scared of her at all and simply closes the small hole on the door so that he doesn’t have to listen to her anymore.

Now that the Dragon King knows Henry has powers like his father, he starts discussing plans for his machine. We, as the viewers, don’t know much about this machine, but apparently it has be powered by Brainwave’s ability. Or Henry’s. 

When Dragon King meets with the ISA, he explains all the plans for the viewer. Their machine will broadcast telepathic thoughts across all of America, taking control of everyone. This will create the world they want and they call the project, Project New America.

icicle stargirl

Stargirl — “Icicle” — Image Number: STG103a_0369b.jpg — Pictured: Neil Jackson as Jordan Mahkent — Photo: Jace Downs/The CW — © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Icicle Comes Over For Dinner

If you recall Courtney’s mom, Barbara, works for Icicle. When talking with him at work, she realized he was depressed and missing his wife — and the big family dinners she would cook when he completes a project. She ends up inviting him and his son Cameron, and his parents, over for a big meal.

The thing is, Icicle kind of outs himself at the dinner. Courtney brings a very hot pan to the table, and without thinking, he picks it up and scoops food out of it, no problem. This makes her rightfully suspicious, and she confides in Pat about it. Her biggest worry is that Cameron might be part of the ISA too. 

On his way out, Icicle tells her that his son has been talking about her non-stop, and that he approves of her. Cameron asks Courtney if they can do something together soon and it is obvious that she is a bit shaken after figuring out his father’s identity. 

One of my favorite things about this show is how they are intertwining the villains and the heroes. 

Another Cliffhanger Ending

DC’s Stargirl has been giving us a lot of cliffhanger endings! In this episode, one of the last scenes is Courtney’s mother seeing Courtney and Pat with the Cosmic Staff in the basement. Looks like the cat is finally out of the bag, just like Pat wanted it to be.

And at the very end of DC’s Stargirl episode nine —  and this is a MAJOR spoiler so stop reading if you don’t want to know it — Henry kills his father’s lawyer because he realizes that he just wants his money. And then… Brianwave sits up in his hospital bed. Yeah. I was like WHATTTTTT… and also super excited at the same time. What does this mean for the JSA? I am not sure, but I cannot wait to find out.

stargirl ep 9

DC’s Stargirl Episode Nine: Brainwave

Tensions rise among the JSA members after Courtney suggests who she wants to recruit next to the team. Meanwhile, Barbara invites Jordan and his family over for dinner, and Henry, Jr. (series star JAKE AUSTIN WALKER) makes a surprising discovery about his father.

Have you read my DC’s Stargirl reviews for the other episodes?

About DC’s Stargirl

DC’s STARGIRL follows high school sophomore Courtney Whitmore as she inspires an unlikely group of young heroes to stop the villains of the past. This new drama reimagines Stargirl and the very first superhero team, the Justice Society of America, in an unpredictable series.

The project focuses on the character that started executive producer Geoff Johns’ career as a comic book writer when he created her in 1999, lovingly inspired by his late sister, who was killed in a 1996 plane explosion.


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