I guess it's always been my problem that I get ahead of the story and start predicting where it's going to go, and I'm almost always wrong. When this episode started we see Yolanda Montez at home, we see family photos and an old black and white photo of a man boxing. I thought okay, that's Ted Grant and he's an old family friend, 'Uncle Ted' like in the comics, a mentor to Yolanda. Which may still be true. And because of that, when Courtney starts recruiting she will show Yo the swag she stole from JSA HQ and she'll recognize Wildcat in a picture as 'Uncle Ted' and choose that as her superhero identity due to the personal connection. But I was wrong, Courtney chooses Wildcat for Yolanda for no particular reason. Well then.
The Wildcat suit also has built-in Wolverine claws that can cut through anything, which also allows her to stick to walls like Spider-Man. The suit also increases her balance, agility, strength and durability if she can really "jump off a building." So Wildcat wasn't just a well-trained guy in peak condition, he had an advantage, as will Yolanda. Like with Courtney, giving the gimmick more power requires less of the user which sort of downplays their heroism. But they're kids, I guess it's the same thing they did to MCU Spider-Man. Geoff Johns in the "JSA" comic also gave Ted Grant nine lives, if nothing else. Once we got to the girls in the suits it was pretty fun watching them figure it all out, the best part of the episode.
Icicle shows us the Injustice Society HQ and Dragon King or Dr. Ito is waiting for him. He was the main villain of the "Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E." comic if I recall correctly. He's working on 'The Machine' and Icicle is working on a plan called 'New America.' Dragon King looks a little goofy but not too bad, I think he reminded me of The Terror from Amazon's "The Tick" show. Hoods are hard to pull off in live-action. One day, Cobra Commander. One day. Oh, and they mentioned The Shade, a villain of both Ted and Jack Knight, the Starmen. He must have been behind the shadow hand in the first episode.
We started the episode with a sexting misadventure for poor Yolanda, one that turned her against Henry King Jr. but he seemed as surprised as anyone. Now it's looking like he may not be as bad as we thought, but the heroes don't know that. I think the girl with the skunk-streak is related to Dragon King, right?
Meanwhile the Wizard's wife vanishes mysteriously after warning Pat about this dangerous town they're in. I mean, what are the chances that the JSA and ISA both set up shop here?
I'm glad Pat opened an auto shop and started working, I was starting to think his wife was bringing home all the bacon while he just tinkered with S.T.R.I.P.E. all day long.
S01E05 "Hourman and Dr. Mid-Nite"
Now we're in full on recruitment mode and we don't have to worry much about family drama or Courtney's school life. She fishes through her bag of swag she stole from the JSA and finds Hourman's hourglass and it's glowing. Later she's riding with Pat and their car breaks down and Rick Tyler stops to take a look and the hourglass starts glowing again.
We see Rick's backstory. When he was a kid, his dad Rex (the original Hourman) and wife Wendy run off in the middle of the night after looking through Rex's journal. Something important seems to be happening. They leave Rick to be raised by Wendy's brother Matt Harris who seems to be an abusive dude who doesn't really like kids. Were there no orphanages available?
Meanwhile Beth Chapel, nerdy girl from the 'loser's club' table at school, overheard Wildcat and Stargirl talking at the hospital where they visited a comatose Brainwave last episode, and now she's come over to Court's house to snoop. Court's not home so she starts going through her room and finds the goggles of Dr. Mid-Nite. Putting them on she starts talking to an onboard AI that has the personality of Charles McNider, the original Dr. Mid-Nite, which will certainly help with exposition dumps in the future. In the comics McNider has a unique condition which makes him blind in normal light but he can see in the dark, so the glasses are simply dark glasses. But this is post MCU Iron Man so we need more gadgets. These glasses can see in x-ray, infrared, and can track every object with facial recognition and can connect to all information ever accumulated by the JSA which seems to be more than the internet even has. Beth says the goggles allowed a blind man to see, but how did he see the heads-up-display?
The three girls track down Rick and tell him he is the legacy of Hourman and they should all form a new JSA since the ISA are probably gearing up to do something bad. Rick doesn't care because his parents were killed in a car crash, he thinks, but the Mid-Nite goggles show us that their car was actually run off the road by Solomon Grundy so it was murder, and now he's onboard. How did the goggles have a recording of Grundy killing the Tylers? The good news is that Rick doesn't have to take drugs like in the comics, his powers instead come from the magic hourglass. It's probably full of nanites or something from the Tyler android from the future (if that comic character ever gets name-checked).
And Hank Jr. is having headaches after visiting his dad Brainwave at the hospital. Are his telepathic powers starting to manifest?
And the Fiddler can control peoples' minds, I guess? The other big guy must be the Gambler, is that his name? Roulette's dad? (EDIT: Roulette was unrelated. The Gambler's granddaughter was Hazard). Watching the Fiddler do her thing seemed derivative of Ellen Page fiddling in the Umbrella Academy but I have to remember that show and comic may have been inspired by the DC character in the first place. (EDIT: In the comics, Fiddler's legacy is called Virtuoso, but that was a bit after my time).
It seems like we have ditched the pretense of everyday life and now it's just a rush to jam as many character origins together as possible. Which may work to the show's benefit. It's weird to imagine the JSA as teens but when they are just trying to figure out how to do the hero thing, that's the best part of the show so far.