This Marvel’s Runaways review contains spoilers.
Marvel’s Runaways Season 1, Episode 9
“Doomsday” might not have included the eponymous disaster it teased, but it distracted us with enough answers, developments, and showdowns that it hardly mattered. It also brought about the event this has all been leading to: a confrontation between parents and children. Runaways will never be the same after this climactic episode.
The truth about Molly’s parents.
As I’ve discussed before in these reviews, while everyone in Pride must bear a certain degree of responsibility for the terrible things they have done, some of these parents have done more terrible things than others. At the moment, Leslie and Tina are winning that particular honor. As we see in the flashback to the fire that killed Molly’s parents, it was Leslie and Tina who made it happen.
Even worse? It seems like they intended for Molly to die in the explosion, or at least didn’t go to the trouble to make sure she wasn’t in the Geosciences Research Center when it exploded. The only reason Molly survived was because she was protected by the mysterious rocks the Hernandezes dug up from the Pride dig site, imbuing her with the super strength she possesses today.
When Molly and the others watch the VHS tape her parents left for her, it becomes clear that the Hernandezes were killed because they were starting to ask questions about Jonah’s larger plan. It’s kind of dumb that, instead of sending the tape to the cops, they left it for their toddler in the hopes that she might one day watch it, but it does make for a pretty dramatic and emotional reveal.
Frank chooses power over family.
In a surprising twist, it turns out Frank, the one parent who is not an active killer (yet… unless he purposefully killed Victor) on this show, is also the worst. After Karolina confides in him about everything the teens have found out, Frank uses the information as a power play to gain favor with Jonah, telling him everything.
While Frank may not know just how dangerous Jonah is, it’s still a dick move, but one that is entirely in line with his character as he’s been presented to us thus far. He is a man who feels emasculated—by Leslie’s relative power in the church, Leslie’s affair with Jonah, and the loss of his own acting career. He will do anything to get that sense of power back, including selling out his own kid and actively becoming part of a conspiracy that murdered 15 kids and might destroy the world. Priorities, Frank!
The teens finally make some decisions.
Well, actually, they made lots of decisions. This episode was defined by the teens finally going for what they wanted and what they thought was right. Personally, this meant everyone kissing who they want. Superhero-wise, this meant declaring to their parents that they are not on the same side.
Let’s start with the kissing! In what has been a very rough week for Chase, the teen finally figured out that Karolina is just not that into him and that Gert is awesome. The fact that Gert was the first person Chase called after his father was shot says a lot about how he thinks of this purple-haired force of nature. This week, this revelation evolved into starry-eyed gazing at Gert. Personally, I love it.
The two end up sleeping together during the school dance, though don’t have any time to discuss what it might mean, given that they are trying to prevent their parents from ending the world in the same night. In a bout of anxious defensiveness, Gert tells Chase that it was probably a one-time thing, right? Chase, being the emotional dolt that he is (it’s not his fault—he does not come from a family of communicators), goes along with it, even though he obviously likes Gert. To be continued!
In the other, much more brief hook up, we see Karolina finally go for who she wants, kissing Nico and telling the other girl that she’s wanted to do it for awhile. Nico seems surprised, but into it, however, these two don’t have time to talk about it, either. For now, it’s just a great moment of bravery and embracing identity for Karolina.
Of course, the teens also got way more decisive when it came to dealing with their parents. For an episode that started with the gang more at odds than ever over what they should do, we’ve rarely seen these teens as together as in the final moments of the hour. After sabotaging the Pride construction site, their parents show up on the scene.
“There are no sides. We’re family,” the parents tell their angry, vengeful, justice-seeking children. “We‘re family,” the teens shout back. Teen angst has rarely had such high stakes. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
Additional thoughts & quotes.
It was a nice and believable character update to find out how close the Yorkses were to the Hernandezes. While the Yorkses are still straight-up murderers, they continue to be the most sympathetic of the parents—especially Stacey. Discuss?
In other news, Robert and Tina working things out, I guess?
Janet: “Does me voice really sound like that?” Chase: “When you lie? Yeah.”
“You’re actually worried that I might die? Who are these people?” Chase and Janet may have the most communicative relationship of the parents/teens, perhaps because they were forced to be a team against Victor for so long. Though Chase yells at his mom way too much about the wrong things.
“How did we get here? How do we make it stop?” Chase, asking some relevant questions.
“No, we can’t disband the group. We never even gave ourselves a name.” – Gert
“How about the Runaways? For all the kids we couldn’t save… or avenge.” – Alex
“We’ll take five tickets, you hateful bitch. If there’s nothing left for us to do, let’s dance.” – Gert
“What we lost, we’re never getting back.” – Tina is obviously super messed up from Amy’s death, but I can’t help thinking about how she was willing to do the same thing to Molly that someone else did to Amy.
“All I believed is that you would good on your threats,” Tina tells Jonah after he visits a young Amy. Throughout this episode, you see a pattern: the women seem to understand the danger of Jonah much better then the men do. Catherine steps in front of Geoffrey to keep him from confronting Jonah at the constructive site. Tina and Leslie will murder for him. Frank willingly enters into a contract with the man and sets him after his child.
“Step on up, and witness a great leap forward for humanity!” These are the kinds of things Jonah says.
“Drive separately. Dress nice. Lie to your parents.” – Alex, or maybe the show’s unofficial tagline?
Gert “I Regret Nothing” Yorkes
“Thank you, Frank. I’m following along.” – Jonah
“I’m gonna take a Lyft.” Of course this show supports Lyft over Uber.
Does anyone else think that Darius could potentially be an ally for these kids or any of the parents who want to get out of Pride? I don’t know. Just spitballing here.
“Remind me never to leave another one of their children in her care.” – Dale
I love that the dino is getting more screen time.
“It might suck, but it’s real.” This was a very good Chase episode.
“I always saw you.” – Chase, to Gert. How could she think this was a one-time thing?!
Alex and Molly get a moment together, making me wish this show had more time to develop the relationships that haven’t gotten as much love.
“Don’t look at me. I’m not saying I wouldn’t, but I didn’t.” Tina knows who she is.
“I wouldn’t want to save the world with any other group.” – Alex #foundfamily