Runaways 1.10 Review: “Hostile”

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Runaways 1.10

Following nine episodes of drama, mystery, and superpowers, it’s time to see where the Runaways leave us at the end of Season 1. Picking up right where we left off, the teenagers decide to fight their parents.

After all of the lies and secrets this season, everything is out in the open. And while it’s painful to see the families torn apart, there’s also a jolt of excitement seeing the Runaways band together.

But Jonah isn’t afraid of a bunch of teenagers. Ignoring the pleas from the Pride members, Jonah decides to use his full powers to attack all of them.

Despite them all wanting to stand together, Karolina realizes she’s the only one who can match Jonah’s powers (though it’s not clear if she has figured out they’re related yet).

We don’t get to see the ending of Karolina’s fight as it’s shown from the perspective of the rest of the Runaways who only see a blast of power. After all of the build-up last episode, the climax of the showdown is relatively short, leaving 40 more minutes to fill.

The group decides they have to move on without her or risk capture, much to Nico’s protest (it appears she might share some of Karolina’s feelings after all).

Cut to what is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, the Runaways are crossing the street as the sun rises in LA. And Chase is pushing the dinosaur in a grocery cart with a blanket draped over to conceal her.

Also, important to note, they have FINALLY run away. But they decide they won’t actually leave the city until they find Karolina. We seem to be edging closer and closer to reaching comics continuity after a long period of plot written just for the show. While the show has done an excellent job of humanizing the parents, this season has felt a lot like a welcome but extended prequel to the story comic fans may be waiting for.

The bond between the kids grows even stronger, but the previous night’s events have driven the Pride even farther apart. Now that they know about their children’s powers, they all question what other secrets the group has been hiding. One thing is certain, they’re all afraid for their children and need answers.  Unfortunately, the one kid they know the location of, Karolina, is hooked up to a machine and unconscious.

For maybe one of the first times this season, Nico and Chase have a scene alone together and bond over their burgeoning romances. Despite Chase’s cheesy, borderline offensive joke about now understanding why Karolina isn’t into him, it’s a warm and fuzzy moment for the two who don’t share a lot of screen time.

Unfortunately, they have to lose another member of the team and leave Old Lace behind (who finally gets her name this scene). In the quote of the episode Gert protests, “But she’s good! She doesn’t chase squirrels. She poops in the trees!” Apparently Gert thinks Old Lace is like a trained dog.

Ariela Barer has had to play tough and sassy so much of this season, but her goodbye to Old Lace lets her show off another side of Gert again, a more vulnerable one.

No Woman Left Behind

Remember Vaughn? Yeah me neither, but he’s that church employee who was guarding Leslie’s office and the teenagers’ last hope for finding Karolina. He’s hesitant to help though and he has a point.  He believes in the church, and retorts, “Now a bunch of weird kids in bad wigs tell me it’s all a sham?” Touche.

Fortunately, Karolina is still alive and wakes up to learn a hideous truth: Jonah is her biological father. It’s no episode of Maury, but still shocking for Karolina to hear. Despite attacking her the last episode, Jonah doesn’t threaten her but offers himself as a friend, saying the truth can be lonely. Meanwhile, at the site, the Yorkes find out whatever is below the surface is a living creature. This news surprises even Leslie and forebodes evil to come.

Gert points out even if they do find Karolina, what are they going to do? Run away and live in a commune? (Which is either a nice dig at the comic or foreshadowing).

To save Karolina, Molly and Chase go undercover as runaways at the Church of Gibborim. There they run into Vaughn who decides to help them out after all.  They just barely escape and we find out Leslie told Vaughn to help them, though Jonah then gets a mysterious text saying “mission accomplished.” It’s unclear who the sender is, but given Leslie’s track record we know we can’t fully trust her and she might still be playing double agent.

Alex, also hiding out at the Church of Gibborim, overhears his parents saying they won’t listen to Jonah anymore. The look on Alex’s face makes me think he believes them. He doesn’t seem to have much incentive to stay with the group, with Nico and Karolina growing closer and kissing again, and so he doesn’t.  But he doesn’t turn to his parents either, and instead, he meets up with Darius asking for an undisclosed favor.

Leslie joins forces with the rest of the Pride, even admitting the most horrible truth. Jonah was the one who killed Amy and Leslie was the mysterious person who texted her a warning that he was coming since she didn’t trust he wouldn’t hurt her. It’s hard not to feel the excruciating pain of Robert and Tina and Leslie, all betrayed by people they trusted. While I don’t fully feel sympathy for Leslie, I do start to believe she doesn’t trust Jonah any longer.

Unfortunately, Jonah has one ally left and that’s Frank, who is willing to do anything for Karolina’s safety.

The one constant in this season has been secrets. But at this point almost every mystery has unraveled. The only question left is what’s under the dig site?

Alex returns from his visit with Darius with a wad of cash. We don’t know what price he’s paid in return, but I bet it involves his father. Meanwhile his parents vow to go to war to protect him.

As the final minutes of the last episode wind down, we’ve finally arrived at the namesake of the show. At the bus depot, the group prepares to run away, for good this time.

But before they can escape a story breaks on the TV. An amber alert has been issued for Molly and the group is wanted for their involvement in Destiny’s murder. As they run from the depot, the camera fades on a final shot of torn newspaper telling us there have been earthquake warnings in LA.

Final Thoughts

After a perfectly-paced episode nine, the finale felt awkward. While it does end with a nice break, the plot of this episode felt like a mashup of random storylines pushed together to get them to the bus depot.

The biggest mystery remaining after this season is Jonah, and we’ve barely skimmed the surface with him. In a lot of ways it has felt like the other mysteries (Amy’s death, the subplot with Darius) have all been fillers giving the show some room to breathe and build characters before really tackling Gibborim. I’ve enjoyed the performances and the journey, but the finale left me wanting just a little bit more of a payoff.

The good news is the show has already been renewed for a second season, so the answers we’ve been waiting for are coming…eventually.

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