This week on Runaways the characters reached some major turning points. The kids all banded together for the first time to fight off a common enemy. The Pride accomplished the goal they’d been working toward for 15 years, and revived Dr Doom. We found out more about Geoffrey, Catherine, Victor, and Tina, giving us more insight into their characters, and possibly the future timeline of the show. And we might have met Karolina’s real father.
The cold open shows us a flashback to a prison in LA, eighteen years ago. Geoffrey and Darius are incarcerated together. Geoffrey has a visitor. They assume it’s his lawyer, but it’s a man named Jonah. He makes a $5 million offer to buy a run down strip mall that Geoffrey owns in Compton, one of the worst parts of LA.
Catherine has arrived during the conversation, and she helps Geoffrey work out a deal to sell, but retain partnership rights with Jonah to manage the property, since it’s in a poverty-stricken black neighborhood. Geoffrey just has to find a way out of prison in the next month. He talks Darius into confessing to the murder that Geoffrey committed, in exchange for Geoffrey promising to take care of Darius and his family for life. Darius will do a minimum of ten extra years in prison for Geoffrey’s crime.
Cut to the present day: Darius has kidnapped Alex to get to Geoffrey. He takes Alex to Nana B’s house, and explains Geoffrey’s sins to Alex. Alex isn’t surprised, and apologizes for his father. Darius is surprised that Alex already knows the truth.
Darius calls Geoffrey to demand one million dollars in ransom. Geoffrey assures Catherine that everything is fine, then calls Florez and requests three guys in an unmarked car. He and his backup goons descend on Nana B’s house with bullets flying, including from an automatic weapon. What kind of father puts his son in the middle of a shoot out, with automatic weapons, no less? He couldn’t save the revenge until after the rescue?
Andre ends up with his gun pointed at Geoffrey, so Alex pulls the gun out of his backpack and shoots Andre in the shoulder. Geoffrey runs over to check on Andre, while Darius holds his gun to Alex’s head.
Karolina, Gert and Molly rush to the coffee shop to meet Nico. Nico takes out her mother’s staff and tells it to find Alex. A colored light signature flows out of the staff and down the road. The girls decide to follow it in Karolina’s tiny car.
Karolina is still very upset from the news that her mom has sent 15 kids to their deaths. Nico hugs her and comforts her.
Mama Gert is the voice of reason, worrying about Karolina’s driving, their lack of preparedness, and running off without Chase. The others vote her down.
Chase and Victor are building the Fistigons with the help of a 3D printer. They’re both excited about the work, and enjoying working with each other. Victor tells Chase that he’s been hard on Chase to try to get Chase to be the best. Victor decides to dig out one of his old abandoned projects for them to work on next.
Gert has been trying to call Chase, but he’s been busy with his father. Once he notices her calls, he grabs the newly finished Fistigons and goes to meet them.
The girls get to Nana B’s house at the end of the shoot out, as Darius is kidnapping Alex at gunpoint again. Geoffrey doesn’t try to stop him. He’s much more interested in Andre. The girls follow Darius’ car.
When Darius’ SUV stops at the next red light, Nico jumps out and tries to get her mother’s staff, known as the Staff of One, to do something helpful, but it won’t cooperate. Thinking quick, Molly hops out and lifts up the back of the SUV so that Darius can’t drive away. Darius and his goon get out of the car. Karolina also gets out, slips off her inhibitor bracelet, and shoots sparkly, glowing energy beams at the bad guys. Molly is thrilled that she’s not the only one with super powers.
The goon runs away, and Alex runs over to the girls. Chase pulls up to the scene, wearing his Fistigons. Darius approaches, but Chase fires at him, propelling him away. When Darius comes back, Nico tells the staff, “Protect us!” It puts up a shield barrier that stops the bullets Darius fires. He gives up and drives away.
It’s the first team effort, and it was fabulous. They’re all beginners, so it wasn’t going to be an Avengers or even Defenders level physical blowout. It was enough that everybody figured out when and how to jump in without stepping on each others’ toes, and that they actually got their powers and devices to work. As it was, Chase accidentally blew himself backwards when he set off his Fistigons high-fiving Nico. That was a nice touch, to remind us that it was literally the first time he’d used them.
Next time, Gert and Old Lace need to be involved, though. I don’t know how the dinosaur issue is handled in the comics, since she doesn’t fit in a backpack, but I don’t want Gert sidelined all the time because of logistics or special effects budgetary issues.
The kids decide to quit while they’re ahead, rather than chasing Darius. Alex runs off to catch up with his father, who’s busy with murder prep. Andre apologizes to Alex for the whole thing, it was just business. Geoffrey says that he’s going to take Andre someplace off the grid to get patched up. Alex should get himself home. Alex sees right through him. Geoffrey doesn’t care.
A tearful Leslie sits with the dying, flaking man, who tells her he’s always loved her. Without a sacrifice, he’ll die soon. I’m having a major moral dilemma here, because Andre’s grown on me in his few minutes of screen time, but obviously the whole show is set up around the intriguing man in the bed. We need to save him and find out who he is. Show, how could you turn me into a Pride member?
Back at the coffee shop, Molly comes up with the conversation stopper of the night: “And speaking of superpowers, Gert has a dinosaur that she can order around.”
Everyone compares notes on their powers and parents and awesomeness, but once they’ve had a minute to wind down, they realize that they have to save Andre, as Alex has been advocating.
The Pride is busy with their ritual prep at that very moment. Janet makes an obvious move for Robert in front of their spouses. Tina says that the ritual will be fine without the staff, just this once, which suggests that they only used it for the shield. And she knows Nico has it.
Leslie asks how Andre was shot. Catherine says: “I’m sorry this wasn’t one of your grass-fed free range sacrifices. But whatever Geoffrey did, just be glad he did it.”
It’s funny, but it’s also threatening to Leslie, who I thought was higher up in the Pride structure.
The kids break into the ritual chamber at Alex’s house, but it’s empty. Since they have no idea where else to look, they can’t stop the sacrifice. Alex confesses to Nico that he shot Andre, and feels like he killed him. Alex was protecting his dad, and he’s not sure it was the right call. Nico comforts him. She’s just so glad they got him back. They end up making out.
Karolina interrupts them to tell Alex that Chase discovered a hidden camera and they need his hacking abilities. Karolina looks sad to see Nico making out with Alex. She’s been showing signs of being attracted to Nico for a while now.
Alex finds that the camera’s data is being offloaded to a database at Nico’s parents’ company. Alex is discouraged, since it’s the most hacker proof network anywhere.
The Pride is performing the ritual at the Church of Gibborim with the two black boxes in the same room, a few feet from each other. A white energy beam flows between them. When it’s done, one box is empty. Leslie says the ritual worked, and dismisses everyone. Victor looks reluctant to leave.
Back at home, Alex tells Geoffrey that he knows his father is a bad person, and goes to sleep in the guest house. Catherine overhears, and doesn’t much care about Alex’s disillusionment. She doesn’t want there to be secrets between her and Geoffrey, since they have so many secrets from the world.
Karolina trashes her Church of Gibborim mementos.
Gert and Molly go to the dinosaur’s habitat to sleep. Molly asks how their parents can do such horrible things. Gert answers, “Because our parents are horrible people.”
Nico sneaks into Tina’s study to put the staff away. Tina catches her, but she’s surprisingly nice about it. She tells Nico that they’re the only two people in the world that the staff will work for. She wants Nico to learn to trust her again. Nico tries to give Tina back the staff, but Tina tells her to keep it for the night, saying she trusts Nico.
When Chase returns home, Victor is still in the lab. He’s dug out his failed time machine and has been able to fix the flaw. It looks like a small TV that only shows visual images of the future. Victor asks the machine to show future Los Angeles. He gives it about 2 seconds, then swipes it to the floor when the image doesn’t appear.
Victor collapses with another headache. He tells Chase that he thought his latest treatment was working. It’s shown promise for glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer. Victor hasn’t told Janet yet. Victor and Chase hug. Victor assures Chase that he’ll find a cure. He’s invented other impossible things, after all.
As they walk away, the time viewer on the floor shows the LA skyline falling in the future.
Frank Dean wakes up in a tent. The cultbots inform him that their tests show that he didn’t make Ultra.
Leslie enters a bedroom in the Church. Jonah stands up and embraces her, saying that was a close one. He’s excited to be alive. He says that when he was laying there dying, the one thing that he was scared of was dying without looking into her eyes. He asks when he can meet her. Leslie looks unsure. It’s clear he means Karolina.
The strip mall must have been where the school is being built. Obviously the school is a front for something else. If the ritual chamber was built long before the Wilder’s house, maybe the strip mall also stood over an important underground structure or artifact, possibly one that will keep Jonah young and vibrant indefinitely.
Geoffrey’s better at faking empathy than Catherine, but he’s as much of a psychopath as she is.
Alex and Andre bond over their techno and hacker wizardry. Alex realizes that he could have easily turned out like Andre. He starts to get a sense of how much of his circumstances are due to luck.
Gert, saying what we’re all thinking: “She’s beautiful and she glows. Great.”
As their spouses grow closer to each other, Tina and Victor have decided to turn to their children, but it may be too late. On the other hand, Victor’s illness could give him a new perspective on life. Having lost Robert and Amy, Tina may want to fight harder for Nico.
Just who is Jonah? It’s implied he’s Karolina’s father. The Pride has sounded like they’re almost done with the murder rituals. Why? Did he need the energy from 16 lives to fill him up in some way? Can he drain energy by himself now?
The Pride doesn’t seem to be done, or close to done, even though the members spoke like it would be after the next transfer. It seems like they’re moving to a new phase, at most. Some are becoming more bold and violent, some are softening up and making more of an effort with their families, some are doing both.
Glioblastoma is a tough diagnosis to overcome, with very few patients surviving 5 years. However, occasionally someone will survive longterm, so the show could get away with curing Victor.
How far in the future was the destruction of the Los Angeles skyline? If it’s 1,000 years, well, the city had a good run. If it’s 5 years, then that’s too close for comfort. We need more knowledge about Victor’s time viewer (time machine is a misnomer) before we jump to any conclusions based on its images.