We’re in the endgame now. So far, Runaways Season 2 has taken several shifts, both in focus and tone. There are many questions left unanswered as of episode 10, such as, what happened to Topher? They introduced a character from the comics, only to quickly get rid of him and focus on several brand new characters and storylines. What’s the deal with Jonah and his family? Are they alive or not? There has been an awful lot of filler this season, and surprisingly, that continues through these final 3 episodes.
In Episode 10, it was revealed that Nico may have something dark going on that we don’t know about. We know that she is dabbling in Wiccan practices, but could there be something more? Her eyes seem to reveal a connection to the Dark Dimension, though that is never confirmed. Nico’s relationship with Karolina is still in shambles. This is not helped by the voice in Karolina’s head that sporadically communicates with her.
Meanwhile, Gert, Chase, and Old Lace are being held semi-captive by the Yorkes’. At first, the parents play good cop, but end up drugging Chase and using truth serum to get answers out of him. The humorous scene that follows must have been inspired by Ant-Man and The Wasp. Eventually, the other Runaways show up to break Gert and Chase out, but unfortunately, Old Lace gets left behind.
After abandoning the Church of Gibborim, Leslie is forced into a “Reconditioning” by Frank and the church. At this point, both Frank Dean and the Church of Gibborim have taken a major turn for the villainous, going so far as to mind wipe (and assign numbers rather than names to) those who have lost the light. They have also amped up security around the church. While resisting being reconditioned, Leslie learns that her mother, Susan, has been through the same process and was not the person she thought she was. There is a nice mother-daughter reunion, eventually. Though Susan first rejects her real name and who she is, she eventually opens up to Leslie and decides to help her escape, while still maintaining her belief in the church’s teachings, and that Frank is the real villain who has manipulated the church.
After returning home safe and sound and having a really great night of fun in the form of Molly’s Quinceanera, things get turned upside down when Chase decides to leave the Runaways. Victor reached out to him and revealed that he is sick, and wants to spend the rest of his time with his son at home. Chase, after having spent the episode defending Gert’s parents and clearly dealing with some inner turmoil, decides to return home to his parents, splitting the team up again. Upon returning, PRIDE recruits him, promising to give the entire organization and all of its resources to their kids, so long as Chase can get them home.
We are introduced to a shape-shifting being, who, as it turns out, was that voice in Karolina’s head. At first, the effect is done off-screen, but at the end of episode 12, we see the effect in full. For a television budget, all of the effects look great, including the shape shifting. We learn this character is Xavin, who, in the comics, is a Super-Skrull, but that’s not the case here. She is a Xartan, which are another cosmic Marvel alien race. I was hoping for am actual Skrull, but it makes sense to save them for this year’s Captain Marvel. Xavin claims to be Karolina’s soul mate, connected eternally. This is a lot to throw n both Karolina and the audience, especially in the last few episodes. Besides an awesome opening scene to episode 13 that reveals Xavin’s back story as a stowaway on Jonah’s (or “The Magistrate’s”) ship, this story line doesn’t really go anywhere, and it seems it’s mostly set up for season 3.
After Frank captures and imprisons Karolina, she is eventually able to meet up with her grandmother Susan. They have a nice moment of meeting each other, despite Karolina not knowing she was even alive. They rescue Leslie, who is now carrying a holy baby of some sort, a la the Virgin Mary. Their escape attempt almost fails, but the Runaways get there just in time to almost rescue them. However, Karolina uses her powers to give the Church a holy sight, and everybody bows. Susan turns the church on Frank, and he is held in the same wooden prison he threw his own daughter into. Susan stays with the church to lead it, and the remaining Deans go with the Runaways. Despite Alex (who wields the Fistigons now) protesting, Leslie stays with them.
For the past several episodes, Victor, Tina, and Stacey have been acting- funny, to say the least. they have been acting strongly out of character, and having lapses in memory. Victor even seems to be infected with the same disease Jonah had. Xavin reveals that the explosion of Jonah’s ship did not kill his family, and that Nico did not kill him. Rather, their light forms sought out new hosts. Jonah- I mean, the Magistrate- has been taking over Victor’s body for the past few episodes. It is unclear how much control the Gibborim have over these hosts, and how often they do.
After a mini showdown with PRIDE drones, and despite Chase meeting with them and failing to bring them home, the team is left fragmented. Dale Yorkes has borderline kidnapped Gert and Old Lace in order to take a “road trip” to get away from “Stacey”. Nico has an awesome final fight with her parents, in which she uses dark magic to defeat them, something Tina remarks she has “seen before”. Alex frames his parents for a gun being fired in public, the same gun that Catherine used to kill Darius. Victor, aka the Magistrate, corners and kidnaps Chase, Karolina, and Janet. In a final twist of the season, it turns out they are being stored for consumption by Victor, Tina, and Stacey- who are all Gibborim hosts. The only remaining members of the team are Alex, Nico, and Molly, accompanied by Xavin, Leslie, and her unborn baby. Xavin reveals that there is a full-on Gibborim invasion coming, and it’s up to the remaining team to kill this family of aliens.
3.5 Alien Babies out of 5
While I’m totally on board with this show at this point, there is still way to much filler. Not to mention the fact that we keep getting teased with epic things that don’t fully pay off. Neither season 1 nor 2 of Runaways really had an ending, just teases for the next season. This is the exact thing that has made so many other MCU Tv shows either fail or get cancelled. Many of these shows tend to tease great things while filling in their current season with anything they can come up with to fill it in. If season 3 doesn’t give us a massive showdown, complete with full-on giant-sized Gibborim beings in their true form, like in the comics, I’ll be very disappointed. The problem with these cliffhangers, as Agent Carter saw, is that you don’t always get a third season. There is also a major lack of villainy from many of the parents, when they all should be the main villains. All of this being said, this is still quite the entertaining Marvel show, filled with great characters and an engaging plot.
- Seriously, where was Topher all this time?
- I wonder if all this alien stuff is going to lead to a mini secret invasion story on the small screen.
- In recent news, it seems ***Cloak and Dagger*** might be crossing over with ***Runaways*** at some point in the near future, so I hope we get all of them vs giant aliens. They’ve proven they can handle good CGI on this show plenty of times.
- It’s funny that Alex does the same “flossing” dance that is seen in the ***Shazam!*** trailer.
- In ***Ant-Man and the Wasp***, truth serum is called something along the lines of “nonsense from TV”, and here, Dale says the truth serum doesn’t work like in the movies. These jokes are pretty similar and I believe this was an indirect nod to Marvel’s most recent film.
- I miss Molly being the young one. Having her be 15 while everyone else is 16-17 doesn’t seem like a big enough age gap.
- We finally got a reference to the wider MCU (beside WHiH World News) earlier this season in a nod to Wakanda. I hope this trend continues in Season 3.