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Runaways Makes Things a Little Better

Okay, I know I’ve been hard on Runaways lately. After a start with a lot of potential, the show has stalled in place and gradually gotten worse over the past few episodes. The focus was taken off the kids in favor of the parents, the plot has been delayed needlessly, and the Victor Stein subplot has been questionable at best. With three episodes left, I hoped things would turn around.

Did Runaways start nudging back towards something better? Well, kind of. A bit. Not as much as I hoped.

runaways tina gun

Recap

Things pick up right where they left off. No flashbacks! Chase and Janet are left with a dying Victor while Nico grills Alex. The Wilders show up packing heat at the Stein estate to find the Minorus already present.

Alex tells Nico about some of the suspicious circumstances regarding Amy’s death that Nico didn’t know, including Amy hacking her mother and getting caught. In a flashback Amy talks to one of her father’s security guards, who tells her to tell the truth. Amy’s understandably reluctant. Alex feels bad for not doing more while Nico directs her anger at him for keeping secrets.

Alex tries to deflect the blame and Nico calls him out for it. Then Nico starts thinking back and decides to go looking for Amy’s phone in her room.

The Wilders show up to see the carnage in the Stein’s house. Chase is there and gets a taste of the Pride dynamic through some half-truths the parents tell him. Janet takes him away. Everyone thinks Victor is screwed. Meanwhile the Yorkes take Molly to her new home and it goes about as bad as expected. They ditch when Dale gets an urgent text and Stacey is clearly shaken deeply.

Chase and his mother have a drink together where Chase makes excuses for his father’s latest violent outburst. They’re interrupted when the Yorkes show up. Pride wants them to fix Victor and they give it their best. I love this scene. Somehow they end up the calmest people in the room.

Up in his room, Chase tries to call Gert but she’s hanging out with her dinosaur. He calls Karolina afterwards and gives nonspecifics about the situation with Victor. Karolina’s mom walks in afterwards and they talk briefly about how weird Frank asked. After she leaves she listens in on her daughter leaving a message for Nico about what Chase said.

The Yorkes stop Victor’s bleeding but not before he slips into a coma. Leslie shows up and says he’ll call Frank. He shows up with the healing gloves and they argue about Jonah. Leslie tells him he can’t tell anyone else about her and Jonah. Meanwhile Molly and her new guardian talk over dinner, and she’s given an envelope her parents left for this lady before they died. The message inside tells her to look for her stuffed elephant. There’s also a key inside.

Gert takes her dinosaur up to her room and sees her missed calls. She calls Karolina and they talk about Molly being sent away as well as Chase’s call. Gert also brings up Karolina liking Nico.

Frank’s healing gloves end up killing Victor. Gert, Karolina, and the dinosaur show up at the Stein house right before Jonah pulls up and sees Victor’s dead body. Turns out Tina called him. He pulls out his energy box to resurrect Victor with the boxes and wants Janet to be the sacrifice. While this happens, Gert, Karolina, and the dino sneak into the house.

Molly wonders about her parents’ message and thinks back to losing her stuffed elephant at the train station one time. She sneaks out of her new house to the nearest train station.

Chase tries to rush back to his father and Frank stops him. Karolina arrives out of nowhere to get control of Chase and send him back to his room. Frank takes her sudden appearance shockingly calmly. He’s also confused when Karolina’s angry about his involvement with Pride, because he doesn’t know the truth. Chase finds the dino in his room and understandably freaks out until Gert reassures him.

Back down in the garage lab, the Pride members argue over who should be sacrificed until Jonah threatens them to make a quick decision before he kills everyone and their kids. Eventually he threatens to put Chase in the box if Janet refuses and she agrees. Meanwhile Nico searches her sister’s room and finds her cell phone in a hidden backpack. She puts it on a charger.

Robert argues against Janet going in the box and convinces her to go say goodbye to Chase. When she leaves to do so, Robert gets in the box instead. Tina pulls out her wand and destroys the box. Leslie angrily confronts her but Jonah stops them from fighting. Robert appears to reconcile with his wife. Over at the café, Alex’s hack finally goes through and he gets the video of the first Pride sacrifice.

Nico happily returns to Alex to tell him about the phone. He tells her about the video in turn. Back in the lab, Victor is put in the box to keep preserved so he can be revived later. Janet lies to Chase about everything. Once she’s gone, Gert says Alex texted them and they leave. Elsewhere, Molly uses her key to open a storage locker at a train station. Inside is a VHS that completely confuses her.

Once everyone else is together, Chase argues vehemently against releasing the video and Karolina agrees. They argue until Chase grabs the laptop, starting a fight with Alex. They keep fighting until Chase gets a chance to smash the laptop.

Damn white boys always ruin everything.

Thankfully Amy’s phone is charged, and the episode ends with a flashback of a text warning Amy that “he found out” and she should run. He’s too late and someone stands in the doorway.

Review

For a while, this episode seemed like a great step back towards the promise I thought I saw in the original batch of episodes. The balance between the teens and their parents was good, the content on both sides compelling, and the episode seemed to build towards a decisive moment at the Stein house.

Seeing the frantic rush to save Victor’s life and the stress resulting did more to make the parents compelling than every other scene of theirs combined. Finally we saw everyone together in a situation not only exposing the truth of these people but both confirming and fracturing the dynamics between them. I actually cared to see how Janet Stein reacted when Jonah asked her to sacrifice herself. I loved the scene where they argue over the sacrifice.

They all fought like real people in a real situation where they were scared for their lives and reacting accordingly, in their own ways. Ways that actually fit each of them perfectly. The parents definitely carried their end of this episode for once and were a pleasant surprise.

There were certainly elements of it that felt forced. I can’t reconcile an evil organization with immense wealth and influence not having an on-call doctor to patch up bullet wounds, for example. I can forgive silly oversights like that when I’m interested in the product on screen though, especially when it was meant for situations like the Yorkes having to do the surgery.

So what’s the problem, right? The parents were the problem lately and here they weren’t. Well, this time the teen plotline dropped the ball.

Again, it looked like they were heading in the right direction as well. Chase called Karolina, Karolina called everyone else, Alex decoded the video, and everyone was converging on the Stein house. Chase’s involvement when Pride showed up in the beginning added another interesting layer. Molly was about to figure something out regarding her parents. Amy’s death came back into play.

Like the parents, these scenes were also just really good to see. Molly’s story may be completely heartbreaking right now, but she’s bearing it strongly. Nico actually went right at Alex about the password when I thought they might forget again. Gert and Karolina put their feud behind them. We got the freaking dinosaur back and it was amazing. I love this dinosaur and want to see as much of it as possible.

I thought I was wrong about Runaways stalling everything interesting until the finale. Then it turned out I was unfortunately right. I just don’t understand the decision to have Chase smash the laptop and send everyone back to square one.

His desire to bond with his father made total sense. Thing is, his father reverted back to normal and abused him again. Why did Chase treat it like a surprise, or something different? You can tell me he never acted that violent but I just saw him beat a much younger Chase last episode. Why would he react so violently last episode before Janet shot him? Because it looked like the first time Chase fought back.

Chase’s continued loyalty throughout this episode plainly made no sense to me. What happened last episode was his father returning to normal. He said as much before the fight. For him to completely deny it as some result of Jonah’s “cure” strikes me as completely incredulous. Once again, I feel like Runaways forced an unnatural set of events meant to stall the plot.

Chase needed to smash the laptop so everyone else didn’t expose Pride, because exposing Pride is obviously the point of no return.

I just don’t get it. I don’t get why Runaways keeps putting this off. The more I learn about the comics, the more I wish they had just dived right in. It felt like they were going to when everyone had their powers/gadgets by the middle of the season. Yet here we are.

Still, this was a good step back towards something better. I hope the parents can continue to pick up their end of the slack because I’m sure the teens won’t fall short like this very often. With two episodes left I have to believe this stalling is just about done. Amy’s phone is charged, Molly found something, Chase’s actions will still force them to do something, anything.

Unless they’re planning on keeping this up going into next season. Please, please don’t do that, Runaways.

Runaway Thoughts

  • So did Alex know about supervillan Pride before the night of the sacrifice?
  • Chase called Gert first, haha. I loved it.
  • That was a subdued reaction by Karolina’s dad to her being there.
  • How did Nico’s parents NEVER find a backpack in Amy’s room?
  • Please tell me Nico’s prayer to the Mother, Maiden, and Crone was a reference to ASOIAF.
  • I laughed so hard at Molly having no idea what a VHS is. She shook it like it was a box.
  • Jonah probably killed Amy? Hmm. I wonder if her parents know.

Images courtesy of Hulu

Bo
Written By

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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