Runaways is continuing to exploring the broken relationship between a group of teenagers and their parents. Even though the entire season was released in one, similar to the Netflix shows, it feels like the season consists of two split storylines that interconnect. There is a major shift in the stories direction as of episode 7 that completely turns the show’s direction on its head. It is similar to how Daredevil‘s second season started off with a story centered around Frank Castle only to bring in Elektra at the halfway point. This might be the reason why we got a longer season this time around with three additional episodes. After the short Topher storyline, the show finally gets back to its main focus as of episode 6 to build up to this big surprise. What would normally be a season finale was just the midway point. Jonah finally gets more focus as we uncover more about his main goal and fascination with his daughter. They aren’t the only of their kind and he wants to free them.
Pride, however, fears that letting the spaceship fly off may cause massive earthquakes that may destroy the city. Their move against Jonah. Everything builds up to this very moment as Jonah tries to keep himself alive. He is falling apart and even goes out of his way to sacrifice Geoffrey Wilder to expand his own lifeforce. Luckily for him, the Runaways accidentally discover him while trying to save Victor, who was still stuck in stasis. He gets out thanks to his wife, who figured out that he had already been healed and was only kept in there to create another life transfer device. The mind games between the Pride and Jonah are quite enjoyable, especially if you throw in the wild card Frank.
It all builds up to the final confrontation between the Runaways, Pride, and Jonah at the dig site. Alex convinces his father to join their side as they try to keep the ship from flying away. At first, we saw glimpses of what seemed to be a classic ship design, especially after Janet was showing some schematics. Yet, in an interesting twist, the ship is alive and looks like it is made to contain Jonah’s race as they travel through space.
Lyrica Okano gets the biggest moments throughout this final showdown. First, she jumps out of the crater with a classic superhero landing out of a self-made tornado. Shortly after, she finally takes the opportunity to take revenge for her sister’s death as she stabs Jonah in the back. In a rather surprising twist, Jonah seems to change and Julian McMahon talks in his original Australian accent. At that moment it just clicked, the reason he had to keep his body alive through sacrifices was that he did not actually have a body. The ship gets destroyed and we see light particles floating around that almost seem to be alive. Their race actually consists of those particles that are flying around. The only one born with a body is Karolina, as she is half human. With that realization, we entered a completely new story direction that will have many Skrulls jealous. Runaways will feature its own Secret Invasion storyline.
The eight-episode confirms this very fact, as we witness the origins of the Chruch of Gibborim and how Jonah took over the body of a kind Melbourne doctor. I adore world-building and hope we get more hints at the history of this religion and how far back it goes. Karolina shares that opinion, as she tries to find out more about her past, as she believes her people are gone. They certainly are still around, as at first, we notice that Tina, Victor, and Stacey are acting out of character. The normally stern Tina enjoying a cake was kind of adorable but I personally hope that we get the original characters back. Just imagining that these kids might never truly be able to see their actual parents again because they lost their body to an alien soul is quite tragic.
As great as the twist is that the ship is destroyed mid-season, it does derail the story a bit. The new focus is now divided between the various kids. Gert wants to go to college and gets into a fight with Chase before falling ill because Old Lace gets sick. Alex tries to prove himself to his new lady love Livvie. This all leads to a rather fun house invasion episode, as the Pride’s new hitman AWOL tries to get his hands on the kids. Molly gets a bit of a backseat but it makes sense as she was a main focus in the first half, especially with the storyline surrounding Topher. While it feels disjointed, I think that is the point of the storyline. It helps to split your attention while the main body snatcher storyline builds up slowly. It is a bit obvious with how different some of the character is suddenly played but it does add a new layer to the show. Moreover, every one of the Runaways getting their own smalls storyline might be a hint at them going their separate ways at some point.
The “midseason” finale was quite a highlight. We got some great action, the character dynamic was at the center and we got some great moments involving Jonah. There was a lot of tension being built between Pride and Jonah, which really helped flesh out the parents a bit more. Everyone gets their moment to shine but Lyrica Okano is a true standout this season. Nico has a lot to juggle and is also a great character that does some self-reflection as being the leader of the pack. The new direction is great but does also feel a bit disjointed at times. There are a lot of stories being handled as they build up towards the final arc but the show really knows to handle this large cast of characters. Here’s hoping that the final episodes can keep up the current pace.
- Anyone else wishes they did a Bodysnatcher homage at one point? Just me? Okay.
- It is weird that we still have no confirmation what race Jonah and Karolina are from. At first, I thought they might be called Gibborim like the religion but those were completely different beings in the comics. I wonder if they will be called Majesdanian
- We hear the name Xavin used by Jonah. Fans of the comics might recognize that name as being the Skrull warlord, who was part of the team for a short time period.
- The new alien language that exists in the MCU reminds of the Skrull language we saw in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and makes me wonder if it will be used in Captain Marvel.
- Nico’s eyes cracking was quite similar to what happens in Doctor Strange. Nico might be going down a darker path that may bring in Dormammu’s dark influence. There was a hint that it had an effect on Tina as well, so perhaps we will see more of it later down the line.
- Just a general thing I am amazed at is how they found a way to include Old Lace as much as they did, especially with these amazing practical effects.