“The Great Escape” gets the gang back together, while an old enemy does the right thing to save them.
This recap of Marvel’s Runaways Season 3, Episode 2, “The Great Escape”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Chase is bored. And you can understand why; still stuck inside the algorithm, the same scenario keeps repeating itself with crushing inevitability. The glitching within the program is getting worse. As Janet cheerfully explains, if the whole thing collapses, they might die with it, mentally or physically or both. But they put their heads together and realize that they can stave off the process by willing things to change, removing elements of the programming to reduce the strain. It works, and it gives Janet an idea.
Not-Tina confronts Not-Victor about Karolina in Runaways Season 3, Episode 2. She also reveals some of Stacey’s plans to leave. The one-way trip off-world has a limited number of seats, and Not-Victor suggests that perhaps they could leave Not-Stacey behind and take Karolina in her place. Not-Tina sees this as an opportunity to bargain. On the conditions that her brother is stripped of power and she takes over when Not-Victor steps down, she’ll keep his plan to abandon the missus quiet.
Stacey arrives at Dale and Gert’s hideout — it’s where they created Old Lace — to deliver some exposition in “The Great Escape”. After interacting with Molly in the previous episode her old personality has taken over, for now, meaning she can reveal that the alien family plans to leave through a portal which they will then leave open so that a cleanup crew can come through and wipe out everyone who interacted with them. Just as she’s about to reveal the only way to defeat them she loses control and morphs back into Not-Stacey, who is rather annoyed. They all fight, and Old Lace eventually grabs her and headbutts her unconscious for long enough for Gert and Old Lace to escape.
Meanwhile in “The Great Escape”, Alex and Nico try to figure out how to break the algorithm. Molly and Xavin arrive to help by stealing one of Not-Tina’s cars while Not-Tina herself acts incredibly bizarrely in a company board meeting. This is all played for laughs and lighthearted slapstick. Less funny is the situation in the Stein house. Not-Victor goes to see Karolina in the algorithm, while Nico, still trapped in the house with Alex, begins to lose control of her powers. To make matters worse Nico also left the Staff of One laying around so that Not-Victor is able to deduce she’s still in the crib.
Since she has wished away so many elements of the algorithm, Janet is able to meet with Chase properly in Marvel’s Runaways Season 3, Episode 2. They’re also able to hook up with Karolina. All three find the exit door, but it’s locked. On the outside, Not-Victor cuts off the oxygen supply in Chase’s tank so that he begins to suffocate, in an attempt to make Nico reveal herself. Karolina is able to use her powers to fight against it. Nico falls for the trap, though, and confronts Not-Victor in full witch frenzy battle mode. They fight over the Staff of One and it breaks, so they fight physically while Alex hacks the algorithm. Molly, Gert, Xavin, and Old Lace arrive as Alex unlocks the door and Xavin locks Not-Victor in a portable containment field. In a classic self-sacrifice, Janet has to remain inside the algorithm to hold the door open for everyone else, essentially becoming one with the programming.
By the end of “The Great Escape”, the gang is back together. But things aren’t as straightforward as they were. Xavin is still visibly annoyed with Nico and Karolina’s relationship and everyone is annoyed with Chase, who started all this in the first place by defecting back to his parents. Gert is especially angry with and suspicious of him, but Molly fights his corner, saying he’s family. Xavin reminds everyone that the alien brother is still on the loose, and that as long as he is, nobody is really safe. Nico agrees since she thinks he’s hiding inside her.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.