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With Their Powers Combined, Runaways Delivers a Disjointed Episode

Halfway through Runaways, one glaring absence stands out: runaways. To be sure, our teen heroes have grown quite distant from their parents; every new revelation pushes them further away. When will they actually run away, though? Will it be this episode? Let’s see.

runaways with their powers combined!

Recap

Who likes flashback? Seems like we get a lot of them on Runaways. We see Geoffrey Wilder eighteen years ago while still in prison. He goes to meet with his lawyer but instead finds Julian McMahon, who wants to buy a piece of property Geoffrey owns. His lawyer turns out to be his future wife Catherine, Alex’s mom, who busts in. They agree to the deal, but only if Geoffrey can be his partner.

Geoffrey goes to his buddy (who took over his construction site earlier this season) and asks him to confess to Geoffrey’s crime so he can get out early, a condition of the offered partnership. He promises to take care of his friend’s family with the money he gets. The friend agrees.

Cut back to the present where this guy turns out to be the one who kidnapped Alex last week.

Nico tries and fails to call Alex and leaves a message. She and Karolina wait for the others to show up so they can rescue Alex, and Nico comforts Karolina when she freaks out about her family possibly being behind the kidnapping. Molly and Gert arrive and Nico uses her mother’s wand to find a trail leading to Alex. Gert is reluctant but goes along.

They can’t reach Chase, who is still working on his gloves with his father. They bond over the project and Victor apologizes for mistreating Chase. He also tells his son about wanting to work on a project he abandoned before his family came along.

Alex’s kidnappers bring him to the house of Geoffrey’s friend’s Nana B’s. He tells Alex about their life growing up and about Geoffrey breaking the promise to take care of his friend’s family. Naturally, Alex isn’t surprised to hear about the bad side of his father—after all, he saw him murder a teen girl. The kidnapper uses Alex’s phone to call his father and show him he has his son. He demands a million dollars for Alex’s safety.

Geoffrey hides this from Catherine and makes a call asking for backup to go rescue Alex.

Karolina does her best Crazy Taxi impression to follow the trail leading to Alex, while Molly cheers, Gert panics, and Nico is just supportive. Chase notices the missed calls on his phone and finds out about Alex from Gert. While waiting for his father, Alex asks one of the people that kidnapped him, Andre, how they found him and it turns out he is a tech wizard. When Alex asks why someone so smart is committing crimes, Andre talks about the lack of opportunities.

Then Geoffrey shows up with his backup and starts a shootout (even though he easily could have shot Alex as well). Andre has a chance to kill Geoffrey but Alex shoots him first with the gun he stole. Geoffrey’s old friend gets a gun back on Alex and leaves with him. Karolina and the others arrive, too, and follow their getaway vehicle. Nico tries to use her staff to stop the car, but, finally, Molly is able to use her super strength to hold it in place.

They all get out of the SUV and pull guns, but Karolina uses her rainbow powers to scare away everyone but the ringleader. Then Chase arrives and uses his laser gloves to blast him. Nico finally makes the staff work so it can create a barrier protecting them when the guy gets up and starts shooting. At least, he wisely chooses to run off.

Alex runs to find his father, who is putting Andre into a vehicle. He tries to convince his father to help Andre. Geoffrey says that he will, but refuses to let Alex accompany them. When Alex accuses him of lying, his father orders him to leave. Geoffrey calls his wife to say Andre can be a Pride sacrifice.

Elswhere, Karolina’s mom Leslie Dean talks with the creepy wrinkled guy, who seems close to death. She assures him they will help him in time.

All the teens have a celebratory party before Alex comes to ruin the mood by telling them about Andre. He suspects Andre will be a sacrifice and wants to help him. They all confirm each other’s powers (except poor powerless Alex) and agree to stop their parents.

We see Pride prepare to sacrifice Andre while their kids hurry to stop them. However, the kids arrive at the previous sacrifice spot in Alex’s house and find it empty. Alex tells his friends about shooting Andre and feels he killed Andre. He struggles with protecting his father despite everything he knows, and Nico again plays comforter before they start making out. Karolina interrupts and looks pretty jealous.

Chase finds a camera and Alex uses it to try and find a location. He discovers that the footage is stored at Nico’s parents’ company. They can’t crack it. Chase tries to argue they might have a good reason for what they do. Whether it is ultimately for good or ill, we witness Pride’s reason when Andre’s sacrifice seems to restore the old wrinkled testicle guy.

Alex questions his father about Andre later and causes Geoffrey to lose his temper. Alex then leaves the house. Catherine walks in afterwards, having overheard. She tells her husband to deal with his old friend immediately. She also demands that he never keep another secret from her.

While Karolina angrily destroys her room, Molly and Gert go to visit their dinosaur and talk about their parents. Nico is caught by her mother returning the wand. Tina isn’t surprised and in fact supports her daughter using it. She lets her daughter keep the wand for the night and hopes her daughter can trust her eventually. Chase returns to his father’s lab and finds him working on the previously mentioned passion project, which turns out to be a time machine.

Well, kind of. It is supposed to let you see into the future, not visit. Only the thing doesn’t work and Victor smashes it in anger. He collapses and tells Chase he has brain cancer. He also promises that he can beat it. As they walk off we see that the time machine does actually work, as an image of a collapsing Los Angeles displays on screen.

Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, Frank Dean wakes up and is told he failed the church’s Ultra test. Meanwhile, Leslie enters her meditation room where it turns out wrinkled Mr. Freeze is Julian McMahon! Thank goodness it’s not her father. They make out and celebrate and Julian McMahon asks to “meet her.” Who is “her”? Why does this request freak Leslie out?

Tune in next time at the same Runaways time, same Runaways channel!

Review

First things first: it was so cool to see everyone come together and show off their powers. It was a huge step forward for Runaways and a serious fist-pump episode. Did we jump from discovering the powers/building tech to chasing away gangsters somewhat quickly? Yeah, but I’m not complaining. The season is halfway over and we needed this to happen.

This moment was the culmination of everything the teens have done since they first discovered their parents’ twisted community service meetings. I figured this was it. By the end of the episode we’d have everyone on board to take their parents down.

And then Runaways walked backwards.

Alex, Karolina, Molly, and Gert are certainly still on Take Takedown Our Evil Parents, but Chase and Nico were suddenly given reasons to stick by them. Chase especially; this is the second episode in a row seeing him grow closer to his father. For Nico this apparent attempt is shakier. One episode ago she was dead certain her parents were murderers and willing to tell the police. If she backs off now it will feel out of character with the person we’ve seen so far.

I’m also hoping this doesn’t delay the coming confrontation between the two sides. I appreciate the effort to explain the parents’ side of things, but unless they throw us a twist where the parents end up on the side of their children, it all feels like stalling. It was weird to see half the episode bring everyone to the point of breaking from their parents and establish their ability to do so, only to back away in the last third.

Nico has her staff. Chase has his laser gloves. Molly showed off her super strength, while Gert has her dinosaur. Karolina’s blasting rainbows at fools. It’s time to make this happen, especially since we just got a look at what I assume to be our bad guy.

Runaways comic readers probably know who this guy Pride revived is. I’m sitting here with a dozen questions and even more speculation. He is definitely Karolina’s father, judging by the “I want to see her” line. I assume Karolina inherited her powers from him. He has been in Pride’s lives for around eighteen years, which could mean a ludicrously evil amount of sacrifices to bring him back from his wrinkled Mr. Freeze look.

What is he? Why did he need Geoffrey Wilder’s property? Is he alien, mutant, or what? Is he the source of all Pride’s advanced tech? Why did Karolina’s mom look so worried about him “meeting her” when she’s clearly happy to have him around? This new guy raises all kinds of questions about Pride that could possibly lead some of the parents to side with their children. If so, a decision to pull back on breaking the two apart was a good one. In this scenario we would obviously need background so a future team-up doesn’t feel sudden or unexplained.

If not, well, it’s time to break. Let’s make it happen already. I haven’t found the parents compelling enough on their own to justify stalling things so much.

Runaway Thoughts

  • I thought Julian McMahon was playing a younger version of Chase’s dad in the flashback. They look so much alike.
  • “Currently training on Dagobah.” Alex is such a nerd.
  • Molly is my favorite. No question.
  • How dumb is Alex’s dad to just show up and open fire on people within inches of his son?
  • The action sequences were awkward, but it was cool to see everyone with their “powers”.
  • “I’m sorry this isn’t one of your grass fed free range sacrifices…” Runaways brought the quotes this week.
  • Los Angeles of the future is falling apart. Is this something sure to come or something preventable?

Images Courtesy of Hulu

Bo
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Bo relaxes after long days of staring at computers by staring at computers some more, and feels slightly guilty over his love for Villanelle.

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