Marvel’s Runaways Season Finale
|Air Date||January 9, 2017|
Oh, we’re still recapping this show, are we?
Yeah, yeah, I missed a couple of episodes. It was the holidays – sue me. Some stuff happened in Marvel’s Runaways, and I was too drunk to write about it. Stranger things have happened.
Anyway, I figured rather than try and recap, like, two or three episodes at once it’d be easier just to recap this one. The internet’s a big place – you can find out all the stuff you missed easily enough.
With that having been said, let’s talk about the season finale.
They ran away! It finally happened. And I, for one, am pretty glad it did. The finale – which comes on the back of a few not-so-great episodes – didn’t really feel like a finale in the traditional sense. There was no big resolution. No climactic final battle. All the questions that did get answered only really served to raise new ones. We don’t know much more now than we did in, say, episode six, where we left these recaps.
That’s mostly fine.
It’s true that Marvel’s Runaways suffered somewhat from trying to fill time in a ten-episode season that only had 6-or-so episodes’ worth of plot and character development. That’s why we had reiterations of the same small arcs, between both the kids and their parents. Fallouts and reconciliations. One petty obstacle after another. Now, at last, it feels like we’ve properly established our characters and stakes. “Hostile” was the thematic finale. Somewhat fittingly for a young-adult show, this was where everyone came to terms with who they are.
And how did that come about?
We began this episode where we left the previous one – with the standoff between the kids and the Pride, at the Wilders’ construction site. Despite the team finally embracing their powers and relationships, they needed this moment. It was humbling. They’re still no match for their parents, and certainly not for Jonah, who ****** them all up with very little effort.
The fight wasn’t really what was important, though. The fallout from the ****-up is what mattered. Karolina’s lava lamp competition with Jonah revealed her true parentage. Frank’s betrayal of her, and the group’s decision to rescue her from the Church of Gibborim, revealed both the depth of her mother’s betrayal, and the loyalty of her friends. She realised she can’t trust anyone else – so she put all her trust in the runaways.
With that trust, she was able to embrace who she is; not just a glowing, flying space-person, but also a lesbian. Turns out Nico’s up for that too. Which kind of leaves young Alex out to dry, but frankly, I still haven’t figured out Alex’s utility in this group. That opening battle made it clearer than ever that he’s a bit of a hindrance.
But he’s their leader!
Nominally, I guess, but he doesn’t seem to have many leadership qualities. Most of his character development was in his lusting over Nico, and even when Chase nutted him and smashed up his laptop – an incredibly frustrating moment, by the way – you can hardly say he put his foot down about the issue. This is probably why he ended up turning to Darius in this episode. Of all people! I don’t know what those two are plotting, but I’m relatively sure it won’t do Alex any favours.
Speaking of favours – looks like Frank’s sucking up to Jonah isn’t going to pay off for him. Good. I hate that prick.
What else did we learn in Marvel’s Runaways Season Finale?
It turns out that whatever is hiding at the bottom of that giant hole in the construction site is alive. We still have no idea what it is or why Jonah wants it, but if we connect the dots with that ropey time travel gizmo Victor Stein knocked together several episodes back, we can confidently surmise it won’t do much for Los Angeles real estate.
We also learned that Leslie killed Molly’s parents, and that Jonah killed Nico’s sister, Amy. Well, we already knew that. But the rest of the Pride didn’t, and now they do. Thus beginning the parents’ inevitable face-turn.
I’m not sure I buy that.
Yeah, it’s a bit of a stretch. The show has consistently made an effort to have the members of the Pride be sympathetic, but still. They lie to each other, sleep with each other’s spouses, kill each other, and cover up the murder of each other’s children. And that isn’t even mentioning all the kids they “sacrificed” to stave off Jonah’s eczema. I’m not sold. Luckily Marvel’s Runaways has already been renewed for a second season, so I guess we’ll get to see how it plays out.
How’s Chase handling Karolina and Nico’s fling?
He has his own problems. After doing the no-pants-dance with Gert, that relationship hasn’t really been explored until this episode, which revealed that his hesitation comes from the fact that he’s into her in a way that obviously panics him. I’m glad that even the finale made room for small character moments like that, as they really have been the backbone of this entire season.
And the dinosaur?
Poor Old Lace has been tremendously underused, and especially in “Hostile”, where she was promptly tranquilised by Gert’s dad and spent the rest of the episode foraging in a bin. I mean, seriously, we couldn’t have her **** up one person? Not even Robert Minoru? Nobody likes Robert.
She did leg it with the rest of the team, though, so again – maybe next season.
So, that’s where we left things?
Yeah, pretty much.
Do we tune in for the second season, then?
Absolutely. That we didn’t exactly learn anything new or interesting in this episode isn’t as much of a criticism as you might think. For the first time, we find Marvel’s Runaways with clearly-defined character dynamics, a threatening short-term villain, long-term stakes, and various compelling intangibles. Yes, it took a whole, slightly too-long season to get there. But that’s how these things work. You can’t just throw a dense and complex young-adult story on-screen and expect people to care, even if there is a dinosaur involved.
So, there we go. The first season of Marvel’s Runaways is a wrap. It didn’t quite fulfil the lofty promises made by the first few episodes, but I’m excited for the next season, which is kind of the point, isn’t it?
I’ll see you there.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.