Stargirl's Series Finale Ending, Explained

DC's Stargirl came to an end Wednesday night on The CW. After three seasons of fighting to save the world, Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl (Brec Bassinger) and the JSA faced down some of their fiercest foes in a battle that was also deeply personal and tested the young heroes like nothing before. In the end, the heroes won the day but the series finale "Chapter Thirteen: The Reckoning" was an hour of television packed with stunning twists, surprising moments, incredible Easter eggs as it delivered what may have been among the finest finales in DC television history. Now, we're breaking down the ending of DC's Stargirl and unpacking all of those major and emotional moments. As you can guess, there are major spoilers for the series finale beyond this point. Read on only if you want to know.

Some of the biggest developments in the series finale started in the opening moments of the episode, which flashed back to nine months prior and revealed how the Ultra-Humanite became Sylvester Pemberton (Joel McHale). As it turns out, the Ultra-Humanite lied to Pat (Luke Wilson) about Sylvester's brain being dead even after his physical resurrection. Sylvester very much had his mind — though Dr. Ito, Icicle (Neil Jordan), and the Ultra-Humanite still went forward with their plan to remove said brain so Ultra-Humanite could have Starman's body. The reason? Icicle hadn't given up on his plans to brainwash the world and felt that having "Starman" on his side would help.

The bit about Starman's brain being viable is important. After defeating Ultra-Humanite (in Starman's body), Courtney, Pat, and Dr. McNider decide to keep it on life support just in case they someday find the brain. Viewers are shown that the brain has been stored in a lab on a far-flung mountain, but fans weren't left wondering if Starman would be left in a jar forever — but more on that in a moment.

The final showdown also resolved a few things regarding the Mahkent family. Sofus Mahkent ended up choosing not to fight the JSA in the end while Lily ended up killed in the battle, crushed by a falling car. Cameron (Hunter Sansone) came to realize that his father really was the villain, but even after teaming up with Stargirl to stop him, decided he was going to leave town, much to Courtney's sadness. Fortunately, his departure isn't forever. One night not too long after, Courtney is walking past the Mahkent home when Cameron returns and asks her if she truly can help him and the pair embrace.

As for the aftermath of the showdown, there's a lot to unpack. Courtney ultimately tracks down The Gambler's daughter, Becky, and gives her the letter he wanted her to have. Both Rick (Cameron Gellman) and Beth (Anjelika Washington) apologize to her parents — and they end up becoming Beth's official sidekicks. Pat and Barbara (Amy Smart) help Mike (Trae Romano) reunite with his biological mother, though there is also a sweet moment where Mike calls Barbara mom. Yolanda also starts the process of reuniting with her own family, reaching out to them to finally tell them the truth. There's also a surprising return and a shocking death in the aftermath as well. Rick goes to visit where he buried Solomon Grundy and finally, the big guy comes back to life. And as for that death? Artemis Crock (Stella Smith) gets justice for her parents. She tracks down Icicle to Denmark and kills him, using a substance her father had in his hockey pucks to let her burn Icicle alive.

Now, you may be thinking that that was a lot to pack into an ending but there's still a bit more. In the very last minutes of the episode, we get a flash forward to "10 Years From Now" and in the future we see Richard Swift/The Shade (Jonathan Cake) leading a tour of the JSA museum — complete with the iconic JSA meeting table — where he regales the visitors of the victories of the team. It's revealed that Courtney is now Starwoman, Cindy is now Dragon Queen, Rick and Beth are soon to be married, Jakeem Thunder is part of the team as is Sand and Damage. We also find out about some of the team's victories in the future. It's revealed that the team finds Sylvester Pemberton's brain and restores the hero, and, at some point, they save the Seven Soldiers of Victory by defeating Nebula Man, neatly wrapping up the story hinted at back in Season 1. And then, the tour is crashed by a speedster, Jay Garrick's The Flash (John Wesley Shipp) who arrives and says that the JSA is needed. They are always needed. It's as the ending title card says, it's Never the End for the JSA.

"It means a lot. In the world of the story, it means that the JSA goes on forever," series creator Geoff Johns told TVLine.  "And these wonderful characters have great lives, and their adventures continue. We were just able to present you with a handful of the early years. But they went on to become the world's greatest superheroes. And then in the world of the viewers, it's never the end because there are always the memories we have. There are always these episodes you can watch again. There are always these characters you fell in love with; they will always exist. And then it refers to the relationships we made creating the show, with the cast and the crew and the writers and the post-[production] team. I made my best friends making this show. It's been the most amazing part of my career. And we all still talk and hang out and see each other, and that's incredibly rare. Also, we wanted to be uplifting. And 'Never the End' is so much more uplifting than just 'The End.'"

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