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Recap | Marvel’s Runaways | Episode 6

Runaways - Marvel - Episode 6 - Metamorphosis

Marvel’s Runaways

Season 1
Episode No. 6
Episode Title “Metamorphosis”
Air Date December 12, 2017

What happened?

We opened with a flashback, as it seems all episodes of television must these days. (See yesterday’s recap of The Walking Dead.) This one, fifteen years prior, showed what I presume was the Pride’s first ever human sacrifice. Nobody looked a day younger. And also present was a couple whom I assume were Molly’s biological parents.

This… didn’t entirely work. The point of the scene, as far as I can tell, was to show the members of the Pride as being reluctant; coerced by Jonah, and appalled at the realisation of what they’ve done. Except nobody really seems that bothered. Leslie Dean provided the sacrifice, and was, of course, well up for it. Tina Minoru slyly recorded the footage and uploaded it securely to her company’s servers, presumably for blackmail purposes. As if. I guess if you’re being handed properties and untold riches, converting the odd floppy-haired hippie into “pure energy” isn’t too much of a big deal.

So that’s what the sacrifices are?

It seems so. We fast-forwarded back to the present day to find Jonah just as smug and healthy-looking as we left him last week. The sacrifices obviously revitalise him for an indeterminate amount of time. His end-game is still a bit nebulous, but we learned his cover story: That of a billionaire benefactor of the Church of Gibborim. Except now he wants to take a slightly more public role in the Pride’s affairs. Leslie is understandably worried. She’s much happier keeping up appearances and giving him the occasional glowy handjob. Now he wants to meet Karolina, and to attend school fundraisers.

Of course, we wouldn’t have a plot if he didn’t. But the in-show reasoning for this is that he’s threatened by Leslie’s limp-wristed new fella. Which is relatable, I guess.

I suppose so.

Anyway, we also got to learn some more about Nico’s magic staff. Tina is teaching her how to use it after catching her with it last week. Turns out, it’s not magic. It’s some kind of advanced technology that literalises the user’s neural impulses. They think it, the staff does it. That seems to be a theme this week: Arthur C. Clarke’s third law, “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Just like Victor’s energy-conversion pods, which he explained in the opening flashback, it’s all just science. Which I quite like, as a fairly unglamorous justification for a superhero story.

What I like more is how Runaways uses these typical scenes of characters learning to better understand their abilities – or, in this case, their gizmos – to sneak in moments of humour and pathos. Since discovering that their parents are supervillains, the kids have each become somewhat closer to them. We saw it last week with Chase and Victor, bonding over the manufacture of Chase’s laser-gloves. And we saw it this week with Nico and Tina. The rift between parents and children always sprouts because the kids think their folks are boring and old and joyless. But it’s hard to be boring when you have a magic staff, even if you are using it as part of a ritualistic child-murdering cult.

Speaking of Victor, how’s he doing in Marvel’s Runaways?

Not too well. Still dying, still bonding with Chase over those space-mittens, but also well-aware of his wife’s infidelity. Got the car bugged, hasn’t he. He’s been listening in to her and Robert Minoru planning to a) tell him about their affair, and b) prepare to kill him, just in case he doesn’t take it well. I’m sure that’ll work out for everyone involved.

Aren’t the kids in this episode?

Very much so. The gang are getting glammed up for the Pride gala, where they hope to do some sleuthing. But far more pressing is who’s wearing what and who’s picking who up. This is still a young-adult show, after all. Gert is upset because Chase is after Karolina and she likes Chase. But Karolina is busy looking at Nico like she’s going to eat her alive. And of course Alex and Nico are still kind of a thing. It’s the same dynamic, but slightly more pronounced this week. When teenagers put on tuxedos and prom dresses, they seem to expect their crushes to fall at their feet.

Oh, a gala. Fancy.

Yeah, it took up most of the episode and was mostly fantastic. While Alex and Nico busied themselves trying to pilfer damning evidence from the Minoru company servers (mission successful), the rest of the evening was jam-packed with great character moments and little developments. Gert asked Karolina about her obvious crush on Nico, which Karolina was a giant bitch about. She nicked a bottle of cheap vodka and sloped off to the roof, where she got drunk and accidentally learned that she could fly. I mean, literally. She can fly.

Jonah met Leslie’s new husband, whose name I keep forgetting, and he was gloriously smug about it. He also met Karolina and was pretty smug about that. Then he cured Victor Stein of brain cancer (science!), but not before Victor had given a speech to the entire room about how his wife was having an affair with Robert Minoru. Except after the miraculous cancer-curing treatment, he didn’t seem too concerned about the affair after all.

I’m sorry?

The implication seems to be that Gert’s dad (who helped Jonah “cure” Victor) can somehow delete people’s memories. There’s another bit when Jonah is patronising Leslie’s husband when Gert’s dad says that Leslie’s hubby shouldn’t be able to remember him; that he “saw to that personally.” Of course, Leslie’s husband has a vague flashback to catching her and Jonah having sex. Whatever will someone remember next?

So, this was a good episode?

As usual. Some might have concerns about the show running in place rather than really advancing its overarching plot, but the relationships between the kids and the parents, and the steady drip-feed of revelations, continues to make Marvel’s Runaways incredibly compelling.

Was there anything you didn’t like in episode 6?

Unfortunately, the episode tee’d up a cliffhanger ending by having Molly behave incredibly stupidly. Obsessed with having Catherine Wilder give her some info about her real parents, she for some reason gave away that she saw the Pride’s sacrifice. The whole scene just didn’t play right. Molly’s weak attempts at being forceful are massively out of character and for her to blurt out, “I didn’t see anything” without any context whatsoever just feels like a betrayal of the show’s otherwise-excellent writing.

Any stray observations in Metamorphosis?

  • I loved the scenes of Gert and the security staff playing the Star Wars arcade machine. The gala didn’t go too well for her, what with Karolina being awful to her and Molly telling her about Karolina and Chase sharing a rooftop smooch, so the burly security guard having the hots for her was a great moment.
  • Stan Lee Cameo!

Should we keep watching?

Absolutely. I look forward to it every week and plenty of other people do too. I’m sure I’m not the target demographic here and I still don’t give a fuck – Marvel’s Runaways is great and if you don’t think so you’re a loser.

Enjoyed reading this recap? Then you will probably like listening to us too, so check out our podcast below.

Marvel's Runaways S1E6: "Metamorphosis"

7.8

Plot

7.0/10

Writing

8.0/10

Direction

8.0/10

Performances

8.0/10

Production

8.0/10

Pros

  • The gala was excellent.
  • It's always fun to see these relationships develop.
  • Karolina and Nico got some important development regarding their powers/toys.
  • They also got some relationship development.
  • Aw, someone has a crush on Gert!

Cons

  • Does Alex have any powers? Seriously.
  • It's a shame that Molly had to behave totally out-of-character just to set up a cliffhanger.
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