Marvel’s Runaways Season 1 Episode 4: Fifteen Recap

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The Runaways get serious about their investigation of their parents this week, while their parents get serious about fixing the mistakes made the night of the ritual. By the end of the episode, we’ve gotten a pretty clear idea about the morality and criminal competency level of many of the parents, though a couple remain elusive. The kids start the episode with differing opinions about their parents, but by the end, their investigation brings them into alignment.

The cold open shows us the Minoru family discovering Amy’s body after her suicide. Nico finds Amy dead in bed before school. She looks blue, but that could be a lighting effect. Nico reacts normally, screaming for her parents, crying, calling 911. Tina and Robert react calmly, almost as if they expected this. They seal the house rather than calling for help. Tina uses a jolt from her staff to knock Nico unconscious so that she can’t call 911, then locks Nico in her room. When Nico wakes up, she uses the house cameras to spy on her mother, who is busy paying off a local police detective.

In the present day, Nico reads Amy’s diary. The rest of the kids call to talk about Destiny’s murder and their investigation. Nico tells them that according to Amy’s diary, she was happy, and not in a frame of mind to commit suicide. The kids go back and forth about whether their parents are capable of murder, especially involving their own children. Chase points out that Geoffrey was in prison for murder, but Alex says it was a long time ago and the charges were dropped.

The kids continue to have opposing opinions about their parents capacity for wrongdoing, based on their relationships. Chase and Nico are sure of the adults’ guilt, and plan to take steps to keep themselves safe. Molly tries to tell the gang that she can be their muscle, but Gert shuts her up. Gert and Karolina still think their parents couldn’t hurt anyone that way. Alex is the most impartial of the group.

When the call ends, Alex goes straight to his father’s study to check the secret passage and ritual room again. The secret coaster switch has been traded out for real coasters. As he’s feeling around for the new switch, Alex discovers a hidden compartment in the desk drawer with cash, passports, and a gun. Alex takes the gun and points it at himself in the mirror for a bit of a Travis Bickle moment. “You talkin’ to me?”

Geoffrey has his contingency plans ready, though he hasn’t updated his security since Alex was an infant who could be stymied by a stapler. I admire a man who’s ready to flee the country at a moment’s notice.

Stacy and Dale multitask, preparing the ingredients for a fresh, healthy smoothie, and making plans to search the LA metro area for their missing dinosaur. The girls overhear part of the conversation, and are told that Stacy and Dale are looking for a missing hedgehog.

Stacy and Dale decide that they’d better get out right then, before they reveal anything else. They walk out, leaving the smoothie ingredients in the blender. Outside at the car, they congratulate themselves for their smooth lying abilities. They get a message calling an emergency Pride meeting, which they decide to skip and focus on their search.

Not sure which is more dangerous, making Tina mad, or leaving a dinosaur loose in the suburbs. On second thought, it’s a small dinosaur. Tina’s definitely scarier.

Gert and Molly are used to their parents’ antics and automatically move to finish the smoothies. They agree that Dale and Stacy are the worst liars ever.

Victor has decided to take responsibility for replacing the sacrifice. He’s found a prostitute, gagged her, tied her up, and put her in the back of his van. She’s yelling for help, so he turns the music up. Sadly for him, this means that he doesn’t hear her escape.

At the meeting, the Pride agrees that they need a replacement sacrifice. Victor wants to try again. Tina orders Robert to help him. Leslie says that the old man is sicker than ever. She can’t leave him alone for long. Tina will reprimand the Yorkes for skipping the meeting.

At school, Nico tells Alex that she’s going to the police about Destiny’s murder, and to get Amy’s death reclassified as a murder. Alex tries to talk her out of it, because their parents have too much influence, but she won’t be budged.

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Chase has another run in with the rest of the lacrosse team. Brandon and Lucas aren’t sorry about what they did to Karolina. The school blames Karolina for the team problem, which is given voice by mean girl Eiffel. Karolina is upset at the thought that something terrible could have happened and she wouldn’t remember it.

Leslie returns to the old man. He asks for extra help. She takes off her clothes and gets into bed with him naked. When she cuddles up to him (under the blankets) her groin/belly area glows with white light. He seems happy. Okay then. Didn’t see that coming.

Frank is waiting for her when she leaves the old man’s room/her private meditation room. She tells Jeff that she’s set up the ceremony for him to go Ultra, tonight.  It sounds ominous, even without what happened to Destiny.

Karolina and Gert decide to do some research into Church of Gibborim rituals in an effort to exonerate their parents. They ask Alex along, but he decides to back Nico up instead.

Looking for the perfect victim, Victor and Robert drive through a tent city full of homeless people. They pick an elderly man who appears to be sleeping. As Victor tries to bash the man’s head with a crow bar, the man wakes up and grabs Victor instead. He’s surprisingly strong, and they scuffle. The police show up, and everyone is arrested.

Victor says he’s calling Florez so that he can get them off. It’s sad to see Spike fall to this level of criminal incompetence.

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Karolina and Gert look through Leslie’s office and laptop. They discover an encrypted file that seems to relate to going Ultra, so Gert copies it onto a drive for Alex to decrypt. Then Chase shows up at the door. He’s quit the Lacrosse team because they’re all douches, from the players to the coaches. Now he needs to talk to Karolina.

Alex catches up with Nico. They hold hands and step up to the police counter, telling the officer that they’re reporting two murders. They’re left waiting for a long time. Eventually, they see the detective they’re waiting for across the room with Victor and Robert. It’s the detective who took the bribe for Amy’s case. He’s in the Pride’s pocket. Nico and Alex try to sneak out, but Florez, the detective, sees them.

Chase tells Karolina what happened at the party. She takes him upstairs to keep an eye on her while she tries taking her bracelet off again. She doesn’t pass out this time, and sparkles and glows all over instead. Chase thinks it’s beautiful. They realize that the bracelet inhibits Karolina’s powers somehow.

Alex and Nico talk in Alex’s car. They realize how serious the situation is. Alex shows Nico the gun and tells her they have to protect themselves.

Tina pays off a man named Kincaid who did a deep background search on the Yorkes. He clearly found something she can use against them.

The Yorkes can’t find the dinosaur, but decide that maybe they should just leave for Mexico anyway. They have enough money already, without the sale of the serum, and the situation with the Pride is spooking them.

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Molly is home alone when the dinosaur comes back again. They fight back and forth, with Molly using her powers. They seem evenly matched. Gert comes in the front door, and sees them facing off. Gert yells at the dinosaur to stop, and she does. Gert continues giving vocal commands, and the dinosaur listens. Eventually, the dinosaur lets Gert rub her head.

The Yorkes get home right then. They’re surprised to see the girls with the dinosaur. They round up the dino and put her in her cage. They’re about to tell the girls the truth, when Tina comes to the house. She sits down and holds court, playing the godfather, all full of threatening innuendo. She lets them know that she knows everything about their plans. The cash transfers, the ranch, the Yucatan. She doesn’t seem to know about the dinosaur. She makes sure that they know that they won’t be going to the Yucatan safely anytime soon.

After she leaves, Stacy and Dale take a moment to be terrified of Tina. Then they snap at Gert for wondering what’s going on.

Gert sends Alex the file from Leslie’s laptop. Once he decrypts it, he finds church documents, and a list of runaways. Fifteen runaways. One a year for the last fifteen years. Until Destiny, they were all so alone in the world that no one went looking for them when they went missing. They were all found and approved by Leslie, using the code  “per LED”.

While Victor’s out, Chase uses his lab to work on the glove weapons he’s designing. Victor comes home and catches him. Chase tries to get out before Victor can examine his project, but Victor hones right in on it. He takes one weapon out of the box, looks at it for a moment, and throws it on the floor. But then he asks Chase to tell him, in detail, about the design. He wants to help Chase create his fistigons.

The barista tells Alex that his car alarm is going off. He goes out to see to that. Nico calls Karolina to tell her about the file. Leslie and Jeffrey are laughing in the background. Karolina is stunned by this confirmation.

Nico realizes that Alex is taking too long, so she goes outside to check on him. Just as she gets outside, she hears him trying to fight someone off. They throw him in their car, and drive away with him. Nico tells Karolina that Alex has been taken.

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It’s been strongly implied that the old man is Leslie’s father, so the scene with them in bed together is an interesting turn of events in a few ways. #1, obviously, potential incest. #2, Leslie has powers, too, and either her bracelet isn’t an inhibitor, since she kept it on, or she’s strong enough to overpower the inhibitor. #3, Leslie’s light has healing and/or pleasure giving properties.

Frank going Ultra is worrisome for his character. Those cultbots don’t seem like their brains are altogether there or under their own control. Maybe the Ultra ceremony sucks what’s left of their independent thoughts out and leaves a programmable servant. Frank doesn’t seem very close to Karolina. Maybe she wouldn’t notice the difference in her father, since everyone is expected to follow Leslie’s orders.

Leslie to Jeff: “Don’t thank me. You did this all on your own.”

In other words, you brought it on yourself by asking too many questions.

Gert ends up with three recruits for her Undermining the Patriarchy Club, enough to make it viable. One has changed an “I’m with her” shirt to “I’m with Gert.” She postpones the first meeting to help Karolina.

Molly works on an email for Catherine with questions about her parents, all trying to figure out how she got her powers. Gert has an odd connection with the dinosaur, and Molly has super strength. Were they both genetically engineered? Were all of the kids?

Remember in episode 1, when Alex told his parents that the Pride wasn’t the mob, they could get out any time? Actually, it’s worse than the mob.

Victor needs a win right now. Chase’s design is probably just the type of inspiration he’s been lacking. He looks really terrible though. He’s constantly sweating and disheveled, slightly out of it, and screwing up things that would normally be easy for him. Either he has a serious illness, he’s addicted to something, or he’s trying to kick an addiction. Or maybe someone used magic or a serum on him. Who knows, with this show.

 

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