“Rite of Thunder” brings a major plot of the season to a close while introducing another to be getting on with.
This recap of Marvel’s Runaways Season 3, Episode 4, “Rite of Thunder”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Since we learned at the climax of the previous episode that Alex is secretly harboring the missing alien brother, “Rite of Thunder” opens with Xavin giving some convenient backstory about how notoriously charming, cruel, and sadistic he is. And this is who’s currently taking care of Leslie, whose waters break. Uh-oh.
While Chase tries to figure out how to turn the inhibitor technology into weaponry, the other kids look for clues that Alex may have left behind, Xavin has a human moment in which she cries, Nico sees Morgan through a mirror and reaches inside to touch her, and everyone watches the news of Catherine’s death on the TV.
Rather than a hospital, Alex takes Leslie to Tamar so that she can help deliver the baby, but Marvel’s Runaways Season 3, Episode 4 quickly reveals that Leslie has figured him out. She gives Tamar a message and tells her to get herself and her own child out of the house. When Alex returns and finds them both gone, he realizes that Leslie has deduced his identity. But Tamar hasn’t really left. She tries to knock Alex out but it doesn’t go well, though luckily the other kids arrive in the nick of time. Nico and Karolina pursue Alex while Xavin and Molly help Tamar deliver the baby. (Chase and Gert are giving medieval weapons anti-alien properties.) Alex is able to escape by planting doubt in Nico’s mind, suggesting he might jump into her body next and kill Karolina.
Leslie’s baby is delivered successfully in “Rite of Thunder”, and in the presence of the royal heir, the Abstract goes haywire. Through it, Xavin learns of the teleporter escape plan, which is apparently happening tonight, and she makes mention of the “scrub squad” who’ll come through the portal to clean up if the family is allowed to leave. But at least the kids are able to arm themselves with their new special weapons.
If you’re wondering how Runaways is going to navigate having a newborn among the cast, don’t. Leslie discusses with Xavin her father’s original Gibborim teachings, and how his prophecy matches hers. She believes that the sprog is destined for great things and that someone other than her will take care of it, meaning both Xavin and the nipper are on their way out of the show posthaste.
Marvel’s Runaways Season 3, Episode 4 begins to build up to its climax. Chase confesses his love for Gert, fearful they won’t make it back, but she doesn’t really reciprocate his affections. Not-Alex steals the baby, news of which greatly annoys Not-Stacey, who can’t believe the extent of her husband’s infidelity while he was figuring out how to free his family. Not-Alex wants to stay behind and lead the kill team.
The kids arrive for the big fight to cap off “Rite of Thunder”. Everyone tussles. Xavin arrives with a mission from Leslie to take the kid back to her homeworld, so the kids hold the aliens back so she can leave. Just as the kids begin to be overwhelmed, Nico fully embraces her powers, summoning another Staff of One from her own body and seeing the aliens off with a spell from Morgan. They are, at least temporarily, victorious.
In a last-minute development, Marvel’s Runaways Season 3, Episode 4 sees Robert wake up in the hospital, as Morgan, now in the real world, tells him they have a lot of work to do.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.