Follow TV Tropes

Following

Heartwarming / Stargirl (2020)

Go To

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

    open/close all folders 

     Episode 1 - Pilot 
  • Starman's last words are that Pat was a good friend.
  • Even before she warms up to him, Pat is never anything but protective of Courtney, and really tries his best to be a good dad to her.
  • After at first being freaked out by the staff, Courtney's 'training' session with it proves to be this as the staff enables her to practice and perform her gymnastics, after finding out Blue Valley High cancelled the gymnastics program shortly before she arrived. After an episode of her being angry and moping around with no positivity to her day, it's nice to see her smiling so brightly.
  • Courtney not even hesitating to defend Yolanda from Henry Jr's bullying.
  • Meta-example: One of the photos on Courtney's bulletin board is a picture of Courtney Johns, Geoff Johns' younger sister and the inspiration for Stargirl.
Advertisement:

     Episode 2 - S.T.R.I.P.E. 
  • Despite a rocky first start, Courtney genuinely tries to bond with Pat and gives him an empowering speech that he is better than he thinks he is. Probably the nicest thing she said to him since the move—heck, it might well be the nicest thing she's ever said to him!

     Episode 3 - Icicle 
  • Joey fails at an "Is this your card?" trick, but Courtney can't bring herself to call attention to it when everyone is watching, so she tells him he got it right, getting him cheers from his classmates.
  • Cameron painting over the word "Slut" written on Yolanda's locker with an image of beautiful flowers.
  • Courtney, once again, sticking up for Yolanda against a bully.

     Episode 4 - Wildcat 
  • Yolanda finally letting down her walls and accepting Courtney's friendship, along with the mantle of Wildcat.
    • Special mention goes to when Yolanda tearfully tells Courtney about what happened to her, and when she says that she never should have sent Henry the photo, Courtney cuts her off to insist it's Henry who was the guilty party for sharing the image. Yolanda's reaction makes it clear Courtney is the first person to absolve her of any wrong-doing and be completely on her side, which stands in stark contrast to her family, who all seem to blame her.
    • Yolanda and Courtney testing out Wildcat’s powers together seems to really bond the two heroes as they become closer friends. After spending the first part of the episode alone and miserable, it is really heartening to see Yolanda embrace the Wildcat mantle to become the hero she was destined to be.
    • When Yolanda is testing out Wildcat's powers, we see the Cosmic Staff being absolutely giddy over it. Whether it's because the staff is seeing a new Wildcat in action or because of seeing Yolanda opening up and embracing the experience, it's pretty adorable to watch.
  • Yolanda clearly contemplates using her new powers to get revenge on Henry King Jr. for his mistreatment of her, but restrains herself when she sees how devastated he is by his dad being in a coma. No matter how much she hates his guts, she's not so heartless as to kick him when he's down. Courtney made a good choice for her first partner.
  • Yolanda's little brother. When the episode opens with Yolanda's (previous) perfect life we see how proud her family is of her with her grandma, mom, and dad wearing 'Vote Yolanda' pins and her brother wearing a 'Vote Yolanda' t-shirt. In present-day while the rest of her family have more or less written her off, her brother is the only one who will still stick up for her at all.
  • A small one but given that everyone, up to and including her parents are exasperated by her enthusiasm, it's nice that, when Beth visits her mother at the hospital, the night watchman greets her warmly and actually has a brief but friendly conversation with her.

     Episode 5 - Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite 
  • When Yolanda is reluctant to enter the same party as Henry Jr., Courtney immediately understands and lets her stay outside so that she and Beth can find Rick. Despite her reckless and brusque personality, Courtney is shown to be considerate of her friends and their feelings.
  • When Courtney shows concern for Beth when she is briefly overwhelmed when she recreates the deaths of Rick’s parents despite being annoyed by her perky personality and lack of social skills.
  • Even though Rick has a reputation as the school delinquent, Courtney doesn't give up on him and empathizes with his anger over the loss of his father. After he learns the truth about Hourman's death, she tells him that she wants to get justice for everyone the ISA has killed and re-extends her offer to let him join her team, despite having previously intended to take back the hourglass.

     Episode 6 - The Justice Society 
  • Yolanda and Beth both expressing their gratitude to Courtney for including them in the new JSA.
  • Courtney defending Pat when the other JSA members question his usefulness.
  • Barb showing up to see Mike's candy volcano at the science fair, just when the boy was starting to regret not telling his family to come. They later eat the remains together.
  • Courtney gradually learning to appreciate Pat and accepting that she and the whole team need his experience to continue. Slowly but surely their bond is becoming stronger. The smile they share at the end also counts.
  • In a rather morbid way, Sportsmaster and Tigress genuinely love each other and adore their daughter, who they want to have a good future. Unfortunately, they are not above casually murdering people who they see as interfering with her dream.
  • Joey is not a Forgotten Fallen Friend—Pat brings him up in this episode, and Courtney looks appropriately stricken.
  • The bond between Jordan and his son is very palpable. They truly do care about each other, which is either extra sweet and/or a bit disturbing considering how easily he had Joey murdered. When a waitress overhears their conversation, she brings a slice of birthday cake with a candle, assuming it's one of their birthdays. As it turns out, today was Mrs. Mahkent's birthday. Jordan tells the waitress not to worry about it, and tells his son to blow out the candle.
    • What's particularly notable was him not getting mad at the waitress for her mistake. She barged into their grief and forced them to verbalise and explain to a complete stranger why they were eating, and how it is not a happy moment to celebrate. However, he doesn't lash out at this woman and instead assures her its fine, recognising she was just trying to do a nice thing and was just unaware of their loss. Putting aside his willingness to kill a child, its a reminder that Jordan is Nice to the Waiter, in this case literally, and isn't at heart a malicious person incapable of kindness.
  • Pat at the end accepts that these kids are the New Justice Society. Partially its down to the realisation he can't stop them, but he resigns to supporting and helping them get ready to take down the ISA. While he playfully needles Courtney about the difficulties of leadership, it also shows how he's readying himself to be the Team Dad to a bunch of teenaged heroes.
  • The kids don't think much of Pat at first, thinking of him as a mere sidekick, but they all change their tune when they see S.T.R.I.P.E., marveling at Pat's ability to construct such a thing by himself.
Advertisement:

     Episode 7 - Shiv Part One 
  • The very first scene highlights the team gradually becoming happier than they were at the start of the series:
    • Courtney greets the Cosmic Staff and it happily moves through the air around her.
    • Rick carves an hourglass into the tree where his parents crashed into as a reminder of who he is and what he is fighting for.
    • Yolanda states admirably at the Wildcat helmet after a workout and has a moment of pure joy as she hugs it.
    • Beth and Chuck have a karaoke session and her parents are stunned by her change in behavior (becoming less attached to them).
  • Rick in particular smiles more in this episode than he has in the previous six. But the sweetest of them all has to be him walking down the halls, seeing Courtney and just beaming.
    • Really the whole Power Walk scene is for the whole group. Despite starting the series as outcasts and loners, they all came together to fight against evil and become better friends.
  • Like in the last episode, Sportmaster and Tigress are fully confident in their daughter’s abilities and believe that she would be a great addition to the ISA. Despite wanting her to become a supervillain, they love and are proud of Artemis.
  • Courtney trying to befriend Cindy. Of course the audience knows that it won't end well and that Cindy is not only aware of the ISA but wants in, but to Courtney she's just another misunderstood teen at school who could use a friend. It's sweet, if misplaced.
    • For a few brief, shining moments, they even get along, inasmuch as Cindy has the ability to get along with anyone.
  • After Cindy slams into Justin the Janitor, he responds with a quote from Don Quixote: "There is no book so bad that it does not have something good in it", which can be interpreted as a suggestion that Cindy embrace her nicer qualities (such as they are) rather than being mean. She blows him off, but at least he gave it a shot.
    • After this incident, Courtney helps him pick up his mop, for which he thanks her.
  • Justin pulling a Big Damn Heroes moment to protect Courtney, and then watching over her until Pat arrives.
    • He even recognizes Pat as Stripesy!
  • Jordan telling Cameron about how he met his mother and encouraging him to ask out the girl he likes. Cameron in turn encourages his dad to find someone as well. Overall, it's a very sweet scene and another reminder that Even Evil Has Loved Ones (well, except for the bit where Jordan admits that he killed the other guy who was interested in her).

     Episode 8 - Shiv Part Two 
  • The fact that Pat is willing to crash his beloved Buick (and subsequently injure himself) just so he and Courtney can pretend that her post-battle injuries were from a car accident. Even Courtney seems surprised that he was willing to do this just for her sake.
  • Mike bringing his injured stepsister the last of his pizza rolls, not only to nourish her but to apologize for snapping at her during the football game. In the end, he finally learns to "share" his father with Courtney and warmly accepts her as his sibling.
    Mike: I'm also kinda glad that he's your dad too, 'cause that makes you my sister, and that's pretty cool.
    Courtney: Thanks, little bro.
  • The whole team is concerned about Courtney and would like nothing more than to confront Cindy about it. Points to Rick, who initially only joined the team for revenge, demonstrates that he genuinely cares for everyone, despite not showing it much.
  • After a heartfelt talk from Pat, the Cosmic Staff actually listens to him for once and initially resists Courtney from going to confront Cindy. After it is implied it doesn't even like or trust him.

     Episode 9 - Brainwave 
  • Just like before with Pat, Courtney tries to tell Henry Jr. that he is a better person than initially believed and that just because people have ugly thoughts doesn't mean that they are bad people. Despite rebuffing her, Courtney doesn't back down and still keeps her offer open.

     Episode 10 - Brainwave Jr. 
  • As sad as the moment is, Henry Jr's last words:
    Henry Jr: (to Yolanda) I am sorry. (to Courtney) You're right. People are good. Don't let this change your mind.
  • Given the chance to leave Courtney behind and save himself, Henry Jr. uses his powers to save her first, even though it means being left alone with Brainwave.
  • Seeing Henry Jr. get attacked by Brainwave, Yolanda starts furiously clawing at the iron bars in an attempt to come to his rescue. After everything he did to her, she still tries to save his life. It doesn't work, but it illustrates that deep down, Yolanda really is a hero.
    • Before that, Yolanda had told Courtney, angrily, that they are not friends anymore after she put trust in Henry despite what he did to Yolanda. However, despite her anger, Yolanda constantly jumps to Courtney's aid during the battle in the tunnels; she leaps at the drones when they're overwhelming Courtney, and when she's fighting Dragon King she leaps to free the Cosmic Staff so that she can fight properly. Hell, before that, she refused to let Courtney go alone with Henry because she still didn't trust him and didn't want Courtney to be put in danger. Despite her previous anger, she still cares about Courtney.
    • Not only Yolanda, but also Beth and Rick trying to save Henry Jr. from his father. It is noted that Rick doesn't even like Henry Jr. for his bullying ways and agreed with Yolanda to not let him join the new JSA. Despite only joining for revenge, Rick undoubtedly has the makings of a true hero as he tries to punch the bars to rescue Henry Jr. You can also hear him begging Henry to get up as he's doing so.
  • In a bittersweet way, the fact Henry dies before the truth about Courtney's father inevitably comes, so he faced his end believing he had connected with his mother's family, the heroic side of his family.
    • Although it's also hilarious, Courtney's initial Freak Out! to accidentally seeing Henry Jr.'s memories immediately leads into her hugging him in the middle of the street and declaring "We're cousins!" While Henry awkwardly points out that it's probably something to go over later, Courtney was also clearly thrilled to find a connection to her (supposed) heroic legacy.

     Episode 11 - Shining Knight 
  • When Justin is wandering by a farm, he sees a flag. He reminences that he held Starman's staff and was remembering things, but couldn't find out why he can't remember more. He then sees an image of Pat in his Stripesy outfit, and happily says "Stripsey can help me!"
  • Upon seeing Justin, all Pat wants to do is help the man. He has nothing but sympathy for what has happened, and is quick to tell Rick and Beth all about how, while he might be broken now, this man used to be one of the best heroes around. It's a solid reminder that at the end of the day, Pat adores all the people he's worked with.
    • Special mention also goes to Barbara, who with barely any questions, completely allows Pat to bring this stranger into their house. Despite his scruffy appearance and mentally unwell nature, she's got nothing but empathy for him and complete trust in Pat.
  • Justin admiring S.T.R.I.P.E. Even in and out of lucidity, he clearly thinks highly of the former sidekick on his old superhero team.
    Justin: My glory days may be behind me, but you have built a fine suit of armor!
  • When Sam, once again, leaves Courtney abruptly, Pat offers to let her take out her anger on him. Instead, she just hugs him and cries. In this moment, it's clear who Courtney's real father is.
  • Everyone encourages Courtney after she's devastated by The Reveal of her true lineage. Beth and Yolanda remind her that they're not related to their legacies either, Rick tells her it doesn't matter, Pat assures her that the staff chose her because she was right for the role, and not just because it mistook her for Sylvester's daughter. Even Barbara, though terrified of losing her daughter, encourages her not to give up because of all the people unknowingly counting on them.
    • When Courtney tries to lift it again, this time with the encouragement of her parents and renewed faith in herself, the staff is even more powerful because now, it's not just running on Courtney's false belief in her lineage, but in her belief in herself.
    • Seeing the above, Justin proudly declares Courtney "a queen", acknowledging her as a worthy successor to his former teammate, Starman.
  • Also an Awesome moment, but Pat confronts Sam and tells him not to come back after he breaks Courtney's heart. Sam doesn't intend to, then makes a disparaging crack about Barbara's looks. Pat decks him. Note that he was clearly wanting to deck him for how he treated the girl he's began to see as a daughter, but restrained himself into just telling him to never come back. Sam pushes his luck, so Pat lays him out. He would've done more had they not kinda been busy with everything else.
  • Despite worrying about her daughter, Barbara encourages Courtney to be the protector Blue Valley needs.
  • When Pat only finds Beth and Rick at his garage, Beth informs him that Yolanda decided to go to church before school so she could pray for Henry Jr. It's a touching little reminder that, despite everything they went through, she still cares for the guy.
    • It's also especially sweet because she'd previously mentioned that her parents had grounded her from going to church. At least they're not totally without a heart.
Advertisement:

     Episode 12 - Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part One 
  • Barbara watching in awe as Courtney fights off Tigress in the living room. You can tell that she really is proud of her daughter for her bravery.
    Barbara: Court, that was...
    Courtney: I know, dangerous.
    Barbara: Amazing.
  • Similarly, Mike is genuinely amazed when he sees the S.T.R.I.P.E. suit for the first time. in his own words, he thinks it's "badass" for his father to build such an incredible robot from scratch. He also has a sweet moment with Courtney that evening where he expresses his admiration for his sister.
  • Rick finally manages to decode his father's journal and seems genuinely happy for maybe the first time in the series.
  • It's subtle, but when the Gambler confronts Beth after hacking her goggles, Chuck is quick to stand up for her and confirm to his old nemesis that she's his successor.
    Gambler: And with whom do I have the pleasure of speaking?
    Beth: (Nervous) I'm... I...
    Chuck: She's Doctor Mid-Nite.

     Episode 13 - Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E. Part Two 
  • Pat and Courtney; this episode firmly establishes how, over the course of the season, they now firmly consider themselves father and daughter. To wit:
    • When Pat is brainwashed, Courtney calls herself his "daughter" and goes on about how he's been there for her at every moment she's needed him. It's enough to make Pat start fighting from the inside, but instead of dropping dead like the others, he has enough Heroic Resolve to stay alive. When he's free, he tells Courtney how he heard every word she said. Her response? "I meant every word."
    • When Jordan scoffs at Pat, wondering what his plan is to fight him since he's got not Starman or STRIPE, so what's he going to use to protect Barbara. He replies with "our daughter." Just in time for Courtney to pull a Big Damn Heroes moment.
    • After everything is said and done, we get the flash-forward to Christmas at the Whitmore-Dugans. While a great set of scenes on its own, in particular Courtney gives Pat a present: The present she'd intended to give to Sam Kurtis all those years ago, which is revealed to be a "World's Best Dad" mug. The kicker is she says she's wanted to give it to him for a really long time, indicating that she fully sees Pat as the dad she was really waiting for.
    • What makes the mug extra significant is that past episodes have shown Barb using a similar "World's Best Mom" mug, meaning the two are a matching set. It just proves further how Pat completes Courtney's family.
    • Finally, the final scene before the credits, where Courtney goes for a Christmas morning fly across Blue Valley with her staff, stopping off on top of an old water tower. Then Pat joins her in STRIPE, and the two enjoy watching the view together before going off on their next adventure.
  • Chuck refers to Beth as his "best bud," and she absolutely beams. It's immensely clear that no one has ever called her that before, and it's just so sweet to see him confirming that she really is not just his owner, but his friend. His best friend.
  • How does Yolanda see through Brainwave's ruse, pretending to be Henry Jr.? He calls the JSA "[her] friends". As far as Yolanda is concerned, the JSA were Henry's friends too, and slashes Brainwave's throat, avenging her ex-boyfriend's death.
  • Rick, after months of wanting to kill Grundy for killing his parents, gets his shot. And, over the course of five minutes gives the monster a vicious beat down. With seconds left of his Hour of Power, Rick's about to execute him with a large rock, but sees that Grundy is scared. It becomes clear Grundy is not even remotely intelligent, more like a big dog or a small child, and Rick can't bring himself to kill him. So, he just scares him off.
    • Note that later, we see an inverse of Vengeance Feels Empty. Having chosen to spare Grundy, Rick is actually now much more relieved and happier than he's ever been; he helped stop the ISA so he's gotten justice for his family, but he did it the "right way", and by learning of Grundy's true nature, he seems at peace with forgiving the monster rather than killing it. Pretty much as soon as the fighting's over, he's unable to stop smiling.
  • The Christmas scene. Rick, Beth, and Yolanda are apparently spending Christmas with the Whitmore-Dugans, who consider the trio completely part of the family — to the point Mike calls them all together for a family photo, including them. We also see during this scene Rick is utterly happy and seems to have developed a paternal respect for Pat, while Beth is helping make the Christmas cookies and Yolanda is beaming with joy — which is uplifting after the tragedies that they suffered during the final battle.
  • Mixed with a moment of awesome, Beth, the one member of the team who cannot fight, earns her own victory against a supervillain when she and Chuck rid the Gambler of what he treasures most, his money, and she does it in a way that reflects her kindness, by donating all of Gambler's money (which seems to be over a billion dollars) to charity. Her happiness as she defeats a villain by helping those in need and Rick and Yolanda's happy smiles as they listen to the whole thing helps drive this home.
  • Justin heads off to look for his horse, but promises Courtney and the others he'll be back when they need him.
  • Right before The Stinger, we get a quick, simple message that packs a lot of meaning: "Dedicated to Courtney Elizabeth Johns".
  • In a brilliantly touching detail, notice where Courtney places the family Christmas photo on her wall: right between a picture of herself and a picture of Courtney Johns. This shot, alongside the aforementioned dedication, serves as a beautiful tribute to the young woman who started it all.

Meta

  • Yvette Monreal (Yolanda) and Meg DeLacy (Cindy) are best friends in Real Life. That's pretty sweet considering the negative relationship between their respective characters.
  • This featurette, while full of funny moments by showing everyone's amusement at Geoff Johns Promoted Fanboy status, also illustrates how much of a passion project this show is for the man.
  • Just as a reminder, but as noted in the above video, the comic that the show is based on was inspired by his younger sister, Courtney Johns, who died in the TWA Flight 800 plane crash. This isn't just a tribute to Johns' favourite comic book team or his personal creation, but also to immortalise his younger sister.
  • Brec Bassinger eventually posted the In-Universe picture of Courtney Johns and Courtney Whitmore on Instagram, and with it, she included this incredibly touching message.
    Brec Bassinger: Last night Stargirl premiered. Some of you may have noticed this photo on Courtney’s bulletin board, but you may not have known the story behind it. This is Courtney Johns, the inspiration behind Stargirl. Seeing this photo on set everyday was a constant reminder of the real reason we were there. I am so proud and honored to be a part of this show. Geoff Johns you are a superhero to me. Thank you. To Courtney.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report