Marvel’s Runaways – “Doomsday”

Marvel’s newest show Runaways is about a group of teens who discover their parents are part of an evil organization called PRIDE. It’s fantastic and you should watch it if you aren’t. Catch up on the previous episode here.


 

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Source: ABC Studios/Hulu. Marvel’s Runaways. Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru, Virginia Gardner as Karolina Dean.

It’s not a Runaways episode without a flashback of shockingly terrible events, and this episode is no different. Ten years ago, PRIDE members Gene and Alice Hernandez are in their lab with their four year old, Molly. The couple has found something out about the upcoming PRIDE dig, and they refuse to proceed. They plan on moving. As Molly plays with her stuffed elephant Elian and the mysterious glowing rocks they found, they find the door locked. Then Alice notices a bomb on the ground. Gene goes to cover it, and thus ends the lives of Gene and Alice Hernandez.

But who did it?

Walking from the explosion site, PRIDE leader Leslie Dean calls fellow member Tina Minoru and tells her that the Hernandez’s will no longer be a threat. Tina is so surprised, she burns her hand on a frying pan. What do you know, that wasn’t a lie after all. Hiding in the wreckage, Molly huddles close with Elian and the glowing rock. Her eyes begin to glow.

So that’s where she got it from.

In present day, Molly’s second cousin and current legal guardian Graciela Aguirre looks for Molly the morning before school and is unable to find her.

Before getting ready for school, Tina’s daughter Nico Minoru goes into the room of her deceased sister Amy to check the phone she plugged in for clues, but finds her dad Robert staying there. Tina is willing to give Robert a second chance after cheating on her, but won’t let him sleep in their bed. Amy’s room gives him more comfort than the guest bedroom.

As Leslie’s daughter Karolina Dean gets ready for school, she tells her dad Frank everything she learned about PRIDE, the so-called charity that is sacrificing runaways, and what they have been planning. He warns her to stay uninvolved; he will take care of this. Leslie is blissfully unaware of the family conspiracy behind her back.

The same morning, Chase Stein watches a press conference his mother Janet gave on the disappearance of his famous father Victor Stein. She truthfully admits that Victor is suffering from a brain tumor, but lies that he is retiring from public life to receive care overseas. In reality, he is being held comatose in a strange, magical box by a mysterious alien named Jonah after Janet herself shot Victor. At school, everyone is telling Chase how sorry they are – including members of the lacrosse team whom he beat up for trying to rape Karolina. Alex Wilder watches, sickened. Chase’s dad was a monster just like the rest of their parents, and Chase just destroyed the only evidence they had that their parents were super-villains. They might as well disband before coming up with a cool team nickname. Alex biting suggests the Runaways for all the kids they couldn’t avenge thanks to Chase. Alex, Nico, Chase, Karolina and cohort Gertrude Yorkes head into school when resident school bitch mockingly invites Karolina to a dance. In retaliation, Gert buys tickets for all five of them.

In their car, Robert is grateful for a second chance. He just wants things to go back the way they were before he cheated with Janet Stein. Tina tells him that they will never have what they used to have. In a flashback fifteen years ago, when Nico was just a baby, Tina comes home to find that the babysitter is gone. Instead is Jonah, the unsettling alien who controls PRIDE behind-the-scenes. He is having a tea party with a very young Amy and not-so-subtly threatens Tina’s family for seemingly no reason.

That’s one way to ensure loyalty, I guess.

 

The PRIDE (currently consisting of Karolina’s mom Leslie, Chase’s mom Janet, Nico’s parents Robert and Tina, Alex’s parents Geoffrey and Catherine and Gert’s parents Dale and Stacey) arrive at the dig site where they are due to begin construction – with or without the comatose Victor Stein. Geoffrey, who manages the dig site, is pissed to find that Jonah has replaced all his ex-Crip construction workers with enforcers from the Church of the Gibborim, his (and the Deans’) religion. They have Victor’s giant drill in place, and are ready to begin shortly. Outside, Geoffrey’s old Crip partner Darius Davis tries to find out what exactly is going on here and why they were replaced.

At school, Molly jumps out of the bushes and surprises her adoptive sister Gert and the rest of the gang. They have no time to waste; she found a VHS from her parents and has no idea how to work it. Alex, who used to be in the AV Club, is able to hook it up on the old VCR in the library. Molly begins to cry as she sees a video message from her parents Gene and Alice. They explain that they are in PRIDE but trying to stop the dig, and if Molly is viewing this tape, they failed. There is something strange and glowing about the soil and rocks they recovered, and they believe that this dig will – as predicted by Victor’s time machine – set off a series of cataclysmic earthquakes that will destroy Los Angeles.

Well, the parents just got a whole lot worse than a few ritual sacrifices.

Molly is upset that her parents were evil too, but Karolina points out that they tried to fight PRIDE’s ideals – and Nico theorizes that they even died for it. This helps Molly feel better.

Meanwhile, at the Church of Gibborim, Frank Dean tells Jonah that he has some information that could prove useful to him.

Frank, don’t do it! He’s the bad guy! Your heart is in the right place, but you are not smart!

Chase gets ready for the dance and sees his mom Janet still cleaning the blood from when she shot her husband. She says now that Victor isn’t around, Chase can take any vehicle he’d like. Even the Leapfrog! While Alex gets ready, he gets a call from Amy’s phone. It’s Nico. She comes over and shows him a text on Amy’s number from an unknown sender saying that she should get out of the house now. To Nico, this proves once and for all that Amy didn’t kill herself – and at least two people know. They rule out Robert, Tina and Tina’s enforcer Kincaid as suspects.

Dale and Stacey Yorkes try calling Graciela to check up on Molly, but the older woman calmly tells them that she isn’t there. She left in the morning and didn’t come back. She never called them because she doesn’t trust them; the Hernandez’s didn’t either, or else they would have left the key to the videotape with them. After hanging up, the Yorkes’ are confused and hurt by this news, but realize that the Hernandez’s knew they were compromised and so left something personal for Molly. They think that maybe they know how to stop the dig. Dale gets a call from an unknown caller and answers, thinking it is Molly. It’s Jonah, calling an emergency PRIDE meeting now.

Gert waits outside the dance in her car all prettied up, and Molly sneaks in. Molly Hernandez’s Day Off was pretty fun – she mostly hung out at the La Brea Tar Pits (a nice nod to the comics). Molly can’t enter the dance without a ticket, but says that Chase is already there, and asks if Gert prettied herself of for Chase. Gert says its for the mission. Molly tells her to go get him, and then plays with Old Lace, Gert’s deinonychus, who she snuck under some blankets in the back seat.

The rest of the kids arrive as Gert goes inside to find Chase. They talk a bit, and she admits that though Chase always turns heads when he enters the room, no one notices her; her super-power must be invisibility. Chase sees his old friend Brandon with his ex Eiffel and doesn’t care – he’s a new man, and he likes his new life and new friends. Since the world is ending, Gert asks for one last dance. They dance alone in the kitchen, and Chase admits that he always noticed Gert. They begin to kiss passionately and then start making love in the kitchen.

Waiting in the car, Nico decides to go see what is taking Chase and Gert so long. Alex asks if she needs any company, but she is still mad at him from last episode so she invites Karolina instead. As soon as they get inside, Karolina does something she has wanted to do for a long time – she kisses Nico. To the surprise and delight of comic book fans everywhere, Nico then kisses her back.

We’re going off the books, people, and I love it! We have had Justin Hammer, Joey Gutierrez and Jeri Hogarth (as well as implied gay characters like Victoria Hand and Valkyrie) but we have never had a moment this gay in the MCU. Celebrate!

Chase and Gert, half-dressed, walk in on Nico and Karolina. I’m not sure who feels more awkward. They all head out.

To offset that five minutes of fulfilling shippers dreams, at the PRIDE meeting, Jonah repeats the infamous broadcast line: “It’s 10 PM, do you know where your kids are?” The parents say that their kids are at a dance, but Jonah says their kids are all liars. He explains that they all saw the sacrifice of Destiny Gonzales, and have spent the last few weeks conspiring to take PRIDE down, using the gala to break into the Wizard servers. He then goes on to say that the parents are no better, with Dale and Stacey hiding his serum away and doing experiments on it, and colluding with Geoffrey and Catherine to move Molly out of harm’s way. Luckily, one member told him the truth. Tina and Leslie, the most likely suspects, both deny this. Jonah asks again: Do you know where your kids are?

The parents run home. Leslie doesn’t see Karolina. Robert and Tina discover that the Staff of One is missing and Nico is nowhere to be found. Dale and Stacey find that Old Lace isn’t in her enclosure, and Gert isn’t home either (or Molly for that matter). Janet doesn’t see Chase, nor the Fistigons or X-Ray goggles in Victor’s lab. Catherine and Geoffrey don’t find Alex, but are relieved that the gun is still there. However, the key to construction site is not.

Darius meets with his girlfriend Tamar at a Korean BBQ restaurant and tells her that he is going to figure out what Geoffrey Wilder is up to once and for all. He arrives at the construction site and hides in the shadows as he watches it all go down:

The kids arrive at the construction site and decide to keep the dinosaur in the car. They all brought weapons except Alex, who brought access. As they break in, an enforcer from the Church of Gibborim tries to stop them. Alex tells them that he is with Wilder Construction, but they aren’t in charge anymore. Karolina steps out and he recognizes her as the daughter of his pastor, and she says they are there for a church photo-shoot and to call her dad. He calls Frank and thankfully, he gives the okay for everything. Then we realize he is sitting in the car next to Jonah.

Goddamn it, Frank! It was you!

The team enter the dig site and notice a hole being dug. A really big, really deep hole. Chase and Gert leave to work on the drill controls (and have a conversation about what their relationship is going forward) and Chase destroys the panel with the Fistigons. Meanwhile, Karolina and Molly find a large truck and Molly exhausts her super-strength to push it down the hole, into the drill. Nico tries to use the Staff of One to fill the hole when it flies from her hands – and into Tina’s.

The parents try to reason with the kids, but the teens are ready to fight in an epic standoff moment. They’re a family now, and they’ll fight if they have to. Karolina rips off bracelet and shows her true, Majesdane glowing glory. The parents are stunned, but none are more shocked than Leslie. She has no idea – but this is what she was afraid of.


Next week, we cover the finale! Will the kids run away? Will Old Lace get a name?

In the meantime, check out the most recent Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap here!

Author: Jesse "The Clairvoyant" Rolufs

Film star. Chemical engineer. Dancer. Comedian. I am none of these things. What I am, however, is a huge geek hailing from the frigid wastes of western Canada. I couldn’t even tell you when it started - I’m told the first words out of my mouth were “I swing my +2 DEX war axe and attack the dragon.” My name is Jesse (also known as “The Clairvoyant”) and I am a big nerd when it comes to video games, board games, movies, anime, TV, RPGs - and I am possibly the one of the world leading experts on comic books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Joss Whedon. You can find me on twitter as @JesseRolufs. Don’t be afraid to check out my informative Joss Whedon-themed podcast @whedoncast, and my hilarious bargain-bin-movie-bashing podcast @BlindBuy!

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