Marvel’s Runaways Season 1 Episode 6 Review: Metamorphosis

Runaways hits some redundant character beats as Jonah integrates himself back onto the scene.

Runaways on the December Sci Fi Fidelity (at 17:16)

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Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage have always known how to throw a TV party. Marvel’s Runaways proves they’ve still got it, as truths come to the forefront at the height of The Pride’s big fundraiser celebration in “Metamorphosis.” Meanwhile, Karolina learns to fly, and Alex and Nico secure the evidence that could put their parents away for good.

While no one was made to be held accountable for their actions in “Metamorphosis,” there were some minor advancements in the tension between the adults and the kids. The kids now have hard evidence against their parents, but Catherine and Geoffrey are onto the kids because of Molly’s slip. With Jonah back on the scene, the parents have to be particularly careful about how they play this out. While The Pride obviously feel protective of their kids, something tells me that Jonah would sacrifice pretty much anyone (save Karolina) for his goals.

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Unfortunately, much of this episode’s time was given to the exploration of the tangled romantic web within the Runaways. It’s frustrating to me that the teen’s storylines have become so defined by their romantic interactions with one another. It’s not that I am not interested in seeing these teens fall in love (or, in particular, the story of Karolina learning to embrace her sexuality), but it feels like a conflation of their complicated dynamic to have so much of their interaction be about who has a crush on who. The best scenes with this group continue to be the ones they’re all in together, bantering like they genuinely grew up together. 

This shared history, alluded to in little moments, continues to be the best parts of the kid/adult dynamics, too. In “Metamorphosis,” we get a few moments between the adults and kids who are not their own that call upon the fact that these adults have watched these other kids grow up, too, and probably care about them. A good example of this was Stacey staying with Chase when his dad was hurt, or Stacey and Dale awkwardly saying hi to Karolina when she walked by. I’d like to see more diversity in dynamic. There are so many random relationsips to explore in this world, that would only serve to make this show feel more lived-in.

Speaking of which, one of my favorite aspects of this episode came in the further exploration of the Frank/Karolina relationship. As Jonah desperately waits to meet his biological daughter, we see more of the effortless love between Frank and Karolina. Both father and daughter are in similar places: they are both questioning the church that has been a major part of their last 15 years. For Karolina, that means her entire life, which is perhaps why she is so thrown by her revelations. For Frank, doubting his relationship to Leslie and to the church does not negate the relationship he has with his daughter. In a sea of parent-children relationships defined by lies and a lack of trust, the relationship between Frank and Karolina remains healthy. It’s nice to have the comparison.

While Frank may be the only parent who isn’t all-out lying to his child, “Metamorphosis” demonstrated how the parents’ respective commitments to The Pride are not created equal. We saw the first sacrifice, and the varying degrees of prior knowledge the adults had about it. While all of the adults quickly became implicit in this conspiracy of murder, it was Leslie, Tina, and Victor who knew what was going to happen to that first kid and who played a part in entrapping the other adults in it. That’s not to say that the other members of The Pride should not be held accountable for their actions, but it does create some diversity in immorality.

While Tina is shown to be invested in the plans of The Pride from the very beginning, “Metamorphosis” also proved to give her some much-needed depth both in her personal life, both in her acceptance of Nico, and in her devastation when finding out about her husband’s affair. However, as nice as it is to see Runaways create some nuance in its adult characters, I find myself increasingly frustrated with the way the show is dragging its feet in bringing the tensions between the adults and kids to a head, instead hitting redundant beats. These kids will always have conflicted feelings about bringing their parents to justice, but I’m ready for that journey to truly begin.


3 out of 5