It all comes down to this. Will the Runaways actually run away? Will they get some payback on their parents? “Hostile” is a finale that leaves us with a lot of questions and it’s good we’re getting a second season. Let’s jump into this but be warned, there are spoilers throughout.
1. The Showdown
“Hostile” opens up with the showdown teases in last week’s episode. Parents versus adults for everything. Well, maybe not everything but the stakes are high. The kids throw everything at their parents but it doesn’t work. Their parents are more experienced and they have an extra player – Jonah. Jonah enters the fight and Karolina decides to take charge and face him. The rest of the kids run away and let Karolina handle this. The fight between Jonah and Karolina is fairly one sided and Jonah’s light show works like and EMP and short circuits everything. The kids can’t contact Karolina again because of this and they decide to keep running. I’ll get more into this later in this review/recap but I loved everything about this showdown for a bunch of reasons. Not only is shot well but it’s great payoff to what’s been going on all season. Jonah is no longer hiding how bad he actually is and Karolina is aware of her parentage now. What I think I like most about this showdown though are the reactions of the rest of the parents. They don’t want to do this. There’s nothing nefarious about their desires in this specific situation. They don’t blame their kids for anything and don’t want to hurt them. I genuinely believe this but under all that is this manipulation. They want the kids to behave but they aren’t willing to actually hurt them to accomplish this but secrets and lying does more harm than good and this is something they have to deal with now.
2. Laying Low
After this showdown, the kids have to get away. They almost have a run in with the cops and they decide to head to the hills and hide out in the woods. This is their chance to regroup and figure out what’s next. They have almost no money but they know they have to be proactive in running away. First, they decide to save Karolina. Secondly, they vote that they have to say goodbye to Gert’s dinosaur, who is finally given the name Old Lace. She’s too big and they don’t know how they’re going to actually feed her. Gert assures her that they’ll be back for her and she says her goodbyes. Later, they start to talk to each other about a lot of the lingering secrets and issues the group has. Everyone has kind of decided to forgive Chase for what he did a couple of episodes back. Nico, the real leader here, talks to Gert and Chase separately about their hookup and what it means. She’s trying to bring them together because they both really like each other but are being typical stubborn teens about the whole thing. It’s this kind of thing that makes Runaways a really special show within the Marvel universe. It’s definitely within the superhero genre but it’s also a drama, specifically one about teens. The writing can be clunky but I appreciate all this romance and melodrama within the bigger story. It’s something the comic was good at and I’m glad the show has found a way to factor that into the story it’s telling.
3. A Fractured Pride
The Pride is a mess. The Wilders have gone off on their own because they want Alex back and they want out of this mess with Jonah. They are angry with Jonah and they are especially angry with Leslie so they have a lot to discuss. Leslie reveals two very big secrets but before she does that, she realizes that she may have made a huge mistake in her alliance with Jonah. She let love blind her and now, after seeing what Karolina can do and what Jonah does to her in their fight, she’s got regrets. These regrets force her to come clean about what she’s done. She tells the group that she is the one who killed the Hernadezes and she also admits to being the reason that Amy is dead. Amy was never after anything involving the Pride. She was after Wizard and it was a completely familial thing that was going on but Jonah dealt with Amy on his own and that resulted in her death. Tina and Robert are besides themselves because this is confirmation of something they suspected. Everyone here (aside from the Wilders, because they’ve gone rogue) is angry and wants to be done with Leslie (or worse) but she tells them that she’s the only way they can kill Jonah and that’s what they decide to do. All season, I’ve talked about how much I like what was done with the parents. I like complicated villains. Complicated doesn’t mean I agree with them but I like watching villains who make decisions I can logically put together. These people were guided by selfishness and a desire for something more than what they had and it’s led them here. They’ve lost their kids, they’re possibly losing everything they’ve gained and they deserve it. It’s a big step up from their comic book counterparts.Continued below
4. The Great Escape
After deciding to go back for Karolina, the kids go to their favorite coffee spot and corner Vaughan, the worker at the Church of Gibborim and Leslie’s closest assistant. They want him to help them get her but he says no. Chase and Molly decide to pose as homeless kids and get taken to the church with the other kids. Once there, Vaughan has a change of heart and helps them out by showing them where Leslie’s private meditation room. Molly uses her super strength and busts in there and Vaughan runs away. Karolina is in the room and she leaves with Chase and Molly. As they make their escape, we find out that this was orchestrated by Leslie as Vaughan told her what happened and she had him help. Once they escape, they take Karolina back to their spot in the woods and she and Nico have a short but very sweet heart to heart and they share another kiss. Nico and Karolina FOREVER Y’ALL! Alex, meanwhile, takes off in the night after talking to Nico about talking to his parents. He doesn’t contact them but he does call Darius and makes some kind of deal with him that results in Alex getting a gun and a ton of money. They decide to go to a bus depot and are joined by Old Lace, who was following them the whole time. At the bus depot, before they can pick a place to go, they see their faces all over the news. An Amber Alert has been issued for Molly and the whole group of them are being blamed for Destiny’s death. And it is here that THEY FINALLY RUN AWAY! The Runaways are running away and who knows where they’ll go.
The escape from the Church of Gibborim was a last bit of action to whet our appetites. This is a superhero show after all, you’ve got to give people their action. The real big thing here is that they have to run because of what they are blamed for. It makes all this more complicated and I love it. It feels like a nice little bow on the season as a whole but it does feel more like a mid season finale instead of a whole season ender. They’re finally running but it’ll be a while before we see what happens next, which is a bummer.
5. Final Thoughts
Runaways without a doubt had some pacing issues but this was by far, the best of the Marvel TV shows as far as I’m concerned. Runaways did a similar thing that Preacher did in its first season. The last episode ended where the first issue of their respective comic book series ended. Preacher was a show that didn’t need to do this, Runaways did. Runaways took a basic premise and erased all the cut and dry good versus bad from it. It created an engaging television show by twisting the source material into something much more complicated and far more compelling. The show became about all these people involved in this story and made me actually care about the parents even if I’m still not on their side of things. It falls into the superhero genre but avoided a lot of the cheesiness that existed in the comic. The Pride in the comics was as generic as generic D list villains get. Taking them out of costumes and making them important business people, inventors, scientists and tech geniuses made them feel real instead of these silly villains. We got to see these relationships between the kids and their parents and the relationships between the parents. I liked all that. It made for good TV even if it’s not the most faithful adaptation. The show was faithful in the ways that mattered most: the Runaways themselves. These kids are those same characters in the comics. The relationships were the same and the personalities matched. They basically jumped right off the page and I love them all dearly. Runaways took a chance and was its own thing and it paid off. The season featured some clunky dialogue. It made weird choices with Chase and the sexual assault subplot early on but on the whole, it did so much right. I honestly can’t wait for more.