“Enter the Dreamland” is a surreal episode that brings the kids and their parents face to face with the past.
This recap of Marvel’s Runaways Season 3, Episode 5, “Enter the Dreamland”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
Set pretty much entirely in a surreal, hellish dreamscape, Marvel’s Runaways Season 3, Episode 5 opens with the kids waking up at a weird, old-timey party at the Hostel. After interacting with a magician and discovering that they don’t have their powers here, said magician reveals that he has seen their parents. This is the world between worlds, and the longer they stay here the more they’ll forget about who they are and where they’re from until this is all they know.
The kids all see different realities that are personal to them. Gert encounters Stacey — it’s actually her memory — in the lab where a prototype Old Lace is held; when Gert sees too much, Stacey injects her with something. Molly interacts with her biological parents, who still think she’s a little kid since they never got to see her grow up. Karolina encounters Destiny and the 17, a displaced community of Pride sacrifices led to their destruction by Karolina’s light. Chase encounters his grandfather abusing his father, and Nico meets her relatives.
These visions begin to distort and shift in “Enter the Dreamland”. Nico’s family get lairy and aggressive until she’s saved by Ninja Amy, her sister, though Amy doesn’t remember her. Nico reasons that she has to find her friends before they too forget. Chase saves Victor from his baseball bat-wielding grandfather, while Molly deduces that her parents, apparently doing charity work at the Church of Gibborim, are actually choosing the sacrifices for Pride.
Most of this is deeply personal to the characters, and Marvel’s Runaways Season 3, Episode 5 reveals how some of these events shaped their lives. Nico and Amy return to the day of Amy’s death. Gert learns that Stacey erased her memory of the Old Lace prototype when she was 13, which was when her anxiety started. These parents didn’t just sacrifice children, but they lied to and manipulated their children throughout their entire lives.
The 17 tie Karolina up as a sacrifice to “the darkness”, who comes every night and eats one of them — it turns out to be a rotten version of Nico, who drags the scaly body of Jonah around. Karolina is able to trick her and escape, thus freeing her from the responsibilities of carting him everywhere she goes. In other words, she frees her from the guilt of having killed him in the last season.
Stacey’s defence — and this is a common one echoed everywhere in Runaways — is that everything she did was to protect Gert, who argues that she doesn’t need protection. In that case, Stacey says, she can face the dinosaur prototype alone, which doesn’t go particularly well. Luckily Chase arrives, and takes both Gert and Stacey with him and Victor.
Everyone reunites with Molly and Karolina at the Church of Gibborim. Molly can’t remember Stacey. They all return to the Hostel, where Amy arrives. Tina believes she can get them all out with a blood magic spell, but she’ll need Nico’s help to do so. Once she cuts herself, she produces a staff once again, and they open a portal together (Stacey: “Holy Stephen Hawking!”). Amy, however, can’t leave with them, since Morgan would sense her presence in the real world.
When the kids arrive back at the present-day Hostel, they discover they’ve been gone for six months. And in worse news, Alex is still trapped inside — with Anthony “AWOL” Wall.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.