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Julian Hughes
Julian Hughes

[S1E8] Shiv Part Two

The buildup of Cindy's reveal was amazing. Even I couldn't tell if she knew the truth or not, just based on the double meaning behind every word. Meg DeLacey played those moments to perfection and even had me convinced at some parts she was clueless until the big "I love your staff, Stargirl" line.

[S1E8] Shiv Part Two

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Once they are inside, they must leave their phones and enter an underground party with many rooms. It appears everything goes, and, within reason, you can do whatever you want. Tom is excited and tells everyone that Shiv gave him the green light. Greg later asks what this means, and if Shiv is allowed to do whatever she wants. This makes Tom uncomfortable and he begins to have second thoughts, and starts a round of phone calls to Shiv. She tells him not to worry about it, as she is busy working with Gil, and unbeknownst to Tom, Nate as well.

During Tom's bachelor party, Shiv Roy is working alongside her father's nemesis Gil Eavis and her ex-boyfriend, Nate Sofrelli, who is constantly trying to start up a relationship with her again. She always declines, but allows continuing flirting and touching. Eventually the two are in bed together, but Shiv doesn't seem to consider this cheating, as both she and Tom have the green light.

Back inside Tom's bachelor party, Ken is informed by Frank that Angela has decided to work with someone else. This immediately annoys Ken, who asks her why. She is also at this underground party. The two exchange words and she eventually tells him to fuck off.

The night ends with everyone rounding up, and Tom informing Greg he received a blow job from Tabitha (Caitlin FitzGerald), a girl they met at the party. Tom boasts that, after Tabitha kissed him, she put his own cum back inside his mouth for him to swallow, an act which he assumes is supposed to be very sexy. It doesn't take long for everyone to hear about this news, and to make fun of Tom, while they all wait for their car together. Before the night is over, Shiv and Logan have dinner together. The two get into an argument and leave before they can eat. That night Marcia Roy calls Shiv, to tell her that Logan can no longer come to her wedding, claiming that he is too sick. Shiv is aware the two events are clearly related.

The secret identity has long been a standard trope of comic books and the movies and television shows centered around superheroes. The logic is that vigilantes need to hide their true identity, lest some villain figure out who they are when they aren't fighting crime and threaten their families. The reality is this rarely works well for the heroes and their loved ones inevitably wind up endangered anyway. More often than not the secret identity is instead used as a cheap source of drama, introducing complications so the hero has one more problem to deal with apart from fighting a supervillain. It is for this reason that many Marvel & DC heroes have abandoned the idea of secret identities in recent years.

Later, "Shiv Part Two" parted ways with the usual cliches once again, revealing that Shiv had figured out that Courtney Whitmore was Stargirl. This revelation came after Shiv paid a visit to the injured Courtney, playing the role of the concerned friend. In truth, she had made note of which of her female classmates hadn't shown up to school and worked from there to find the most likely suspect. The time spent hanging out with Courtney and watching her twist in the wind gave the analytical Shiv all the proof she needed as to who Stargirl was behind "that stupid mask." This represented another major break with superhero tradition, as proud villains like Shiv usually can't conceive of their archenemy being someone so ordinary with whom they've interacted before. Even the normally brilliant Lex Luthor had a blind-spot when it came to the idea that Superman was secretly the mild-mannered Clark Kent.

Roman is frustrated by his father's ruthless expectations for him, yet eager to prove his business acumen. When he learns of a secretive, drug-fueled party in Brooklyn that is frequented by business titans -- including the influential local TV mogul Sandy Furness -- Roman shifts Tom's bachelor party plans to the event so he can network on behalf of Waystar. Kendall, Greg, Stewy and Connor are all along for the party.

Tom is excited about his bachelor party and warns Shiv of the potential debauchery he might partake in. Shiv, who has been cheating on him with Nate, gives Tom permission to do whatever he wants at his bachelor party. Once there, Tom meets a young woman and does exactly that.

At the party, Stewy connects Kendall and Sandy, and reveals their larger plan -- Sandy and Stewy are working on a bid to take over Waystar and want to pay Kendall generously for his portion of the company. Kendall counters with a new proposal, which would bring Sandy into Waystar so long as Kendall returns to his job as CEO and removes Logan from leadership. Though Roman is unaware of the extent of Kendall and Sandy's negotiations, he's frustrated that he's being left out of the conversation.

DC Comics is built around legacies and that's particularly true of the heroes making up the Justice Society of America. It's also true of the Injustice Society of America, which saw new incarnations built out of the sons and daughters of its villainous founders. Henry King Jr. was somewhat unique in that he was a product of both organizations, having also been the son of the superheroine Gimmick Girl. He would go on to uphold both his parent's legacies, trying to be a hero while falling prey to the mental instability that came with his psychic powers.

Henry King Jr. first appeared in All-Star Squadron # 24 in August 1983. Athletic and attractive, Henry seemed to favor his mother, Merry Pemberton who had fought crime in World War II armed with nothing but a costume full of gadgets and pure grit. Different comics offered different accounts of how Gimmick Girl came to became married to the villain Brainwave, with at least one story suggesting their relationship was not consensual. Whatever the case, Henry King Sr. was not one for settling down and continued to live the life of a supervillain apart from his wife and son. This led Henry Jr. to grow up free from his father's influence and away from the world of superheroes, until he discovered his psychic abilities as a young adult.

Unfortunately, while his father's bequest made Henry King Jr. more powerful, it also drove him insane. He dropped the "Jr." from his name to become the second Brainwave, and founded a villainous group called the Legion of Doom to take on the Justice League. He was later housed in a special insane asylum funded by the first Green Lantern, Alan Scott; partly as a favor to his daughter, Jade (who briefly dated Henry King Jr.) and partly due to his own battles with the original Brainwave. Henry King Jr. later escaped and joined with Black Adam's team of heroes, who fought to liberate the nation of Kahndaq and establish Black Adam as its ruler. However, it was ultimately revealed that he was under the control of the telepathic worm Mr. Mind, who had made himself at home inside Brainwave's brain. The JSA was able to free Henry King Jr. from Mr. Mind's influence, but he retired to the jungles of Parador rather than risk hurting anyone ever again if he lost control of his powers.

The near-loss of his father seemed to awaken something in Henry King Jr., who began hearing voices and suffering from intense headaches. These symptoms came to a head in "Shiv Part Two," when Henry went into his father's study looking for painkillers and found that he could move the pills with his mind after he was paralyzed by one particularly painful seizure. Henry also discovered the secret chamber where his father kept his costume and his correspondence with other members of the Injustice Society. He was horrified to discover that his relationship with his girlfriend, head cheerleader Cindy Burman (aka Shiv), had apparently been arranged by his father, who wanted someone to keep an eye on him while at school to see if he was showing signs of developing powers.

Henry went to Cindy's house to confront her over the letter he had found, only to stumble across a battle between her and Stargirl. Overwhelmed by the situation and the voices of the two teenage girls filling his head, Henry released what appears to have been his first Brain Blast, sending both girls flying and leaving them dazed. More confused than ever and unable to stop himself from reading Stargirl's frantic thoughts about her battle with his father, Henry ran off into the night, unaware that he was being watched by Cindy's father, Dragon King. It seems likely that the battle for Henry King Jr.'s allegiance will be a major part of the continuing battle between the JSA and Injustice Society, as the first season of Stargirl continues.

Stargirl began its journey as both a part of the slate of DC Universe streaming shows and The CW, but it's moving exclusively over to The CW for its second season. We already know that Courtney Whitmore (Brec Bassinger) and the rest of the new Justice Society of America are due for their first, small crossover with the former Arrowverse when John Wesley Shipp has a flashback cameo as Jay Garrick, aka the Flash. We've seen Shipp as both Garrick and Barry Allen's (Grant Gustin) father Henry on The Flash, but he's set to appear as a member of the original JSA on Stargirl when the series returns sometime in 2021. 041b061a72


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