This is the post for the Runaways first season finale! If you don’t want spoilers, turn back! The previous episode is here! Otherwise – proceed at your own risk.
Instead of a flashback, we start with a showdown, just as we left off. As Darius Davis watches from afar, Chase Stein, Gertrude Yorkes, Molly Hernandez, Nico Minoru, Alex Wilder and Karolina Dean get ready to beat down most of their parents: Janet Stein, Dale & Stacey Yorkes, Tina & Robert Minoru, Geoffrey & Catherine Wilder and Leslie Dean. The currently-unnamed deinonychus Gert stole from her parents joins the kids in the fight, but is tranquilized by Dale. Chase tries firing with his Fistigons, but it is blocked by Tina with the Staff of One – as are Karolina’s lightbeam attacks. Molly tries to throw an oil drum, but is hit by a beam of light.
Karolina’s father Frank and her biological father Jonah have entered the scene.
Despite the protests of the parents, Jonah attacks the kids with lightbeams of his own, revealing himself to be a Mr. Negative-like Majesdanian like Karolina. Karolina tells the kids to run and faces Jonah alone, in a Harry Potter-esque energy beam stand-off. The other kids escape, but duck behind a car as the shockwave from the duel hits them. They hide there for a long time, but after Karolina doesn’t show, Nico fears the worst for her secret girlfriend. She alone returns to the site, only to find their parents coming, so she warns the others and they make their way into the city.
The team (sans Karolina) walk through the city with their dinosaur in a shopping cart covered by blankets, avoiding the cops. By morning, they make their way to the woods. Chase and Molly just want to sleep. They try to arrange a battle plan for when they wake. Nico wants to find Karolina, but Alex wants to flee the city and the group agrees – they don’t know where Karolina is, or if she is even still alive. Nico, exasperated, pleads that they need to find her. Chase and Gert realize that it’s because Nico has feelings for her, and the team agrees to help look for her.
PRIDE gathers (with the exception of Leslie) and discuss Molly’s super strength, which the Yorkeses didn’t know about. They speculate that it was related to when Molly survived the explosion that killed her parents, and they try to force Tina to come clean. Tina again maintains that she was not involved in Gene and Alice Hernandez’s death – but admits that Leslie was. All she knew was that Leslie was going to “take care of it”, not that she would kill them for Jonah. They decide that in order to find and protect their kids from a similar fate, they need to talk to Karolina.
Karolina is currently in her mother’s private study, hooked up to the breathing machine that the dusty flaky old Jonah was using, and Frank and Leslie Dean are waiting for the daughter to recover. Leslie is upset that Frank would ever go to Jonah, and he points out that she is the expert in betraying their family. He insists that though Jonah may be her real father, he is her dad. Jonah enters and says that Karolina’s recovery is coming along nicely and asks Frank to leave.
Chase, Nico and Molly take a trip into the city and raid a vintage clothing store to remain inconspicuous. The outfits they choose are ridiculous – but actually pretty accurate to outfits they wear in the comics. Chase and Nico talk about finding each other hooking up with Gert and Karolina respectively. Chase admits that he likes Gert, and promises not to tell Alex about Karolina. Back at the camp, Gert waits alone with her dinosaur when Alex arrives from a solo trip into the city, followed by the rest of the kids. Alex decides that it is best that they say goodbye to the deinonychus. The other teens all agree it would be too dangerous. Gert has a tearful goodbye with her pet, saying she is the Costello to her Abbott, the Harpo to her Groucho, and the Old Lace to her Arsenic. She wishes Old Lace well and says goodbye.
Leslie’s assistant Vaughn is at Timely Coffee arguing with the barista who spelled his name ‘Yawn’, when Nico steals his coffee. He chases her and comes face-to-face with The Runaways – who are at this point, in fact, actual runaways. They tell him that Karolina is in danger, and try to convince him of the conspiracy at the Church of the Gibborim. He must have questioned why runaways go missing every year at the same time, right? He starts to believe, but admits that the church is the only place he feels at home. He refuses to help, so Nico refuses to return his coffee. The team form a plan, and Chase and Molly pose as runaway teens to get recruited by the Church of the Gibborim.
Karolina wakes up to find Jonah in her room. She wants to see her parents, but Jonah tells her that she is a smart girl – put two and two together. She and Jonah exhibit the same abilities. He is her real father. He admits that he doesn’t feel alone anymore, and promises to show her how to use her new abilities.
Dale and Stacey Yorkes go to the dig site and start running seismic tests to see that it is that they are really fighting for, and Leslie shows up. They lie and say they were examining for any damage, which is what she was doing. She doesn’t buy it. Their true intentions come out when they are shocked to discover that something is living down there – something gigantic. Leslie had no idea. Jonah has been keeping secrets from her, too.
The Gibborim from the comics? Is it the Gibborim from the comics!?
Outside the Church, Gert and Nico wait for the mission to play out. Gert mentions that she knows Nico is doing this because she likes Karolina. Nico asks about Chase and her sleeping together, and Gert says it was a one time thing. Nico reveals that Chase actually really likes Gert. Meanwhile,Alex is looking for a getaway car to steal. He ducks behind a car as he spots his parents entering. He overhears, and they are looking to talk to Jonah. They refuse to work for him anymore, and just want their kids to be safe. As Alex steals a car, the Wilders confront Jonah and he tells them that he is looking for them too, and wants them to be safe. They don’t buy it, and decide to quit.
As Molly and Chase are filling out their application forms at the Church of the Gibborim, Vaughn has a change of heart. He takes them to Leslie’s private study and says that if Karolina is anywhere, she’s there – but only Leslie knows the code. Molly breaks off the door, so Vaughn leaves, wanting no part of this. They free Karolina and try to play it cool, but are faced with the Gibborim recruiters Frances and Aura. They flee, and are picked up just in time by the rest of the gang in a stolen Gibborim van. As they drive away, Vaughn tells Leslie that he helped them escape. She is glad; she went behind Jonah’s back to protect her daughter.
Meanwhile, Jonah gets a text: “Mission accomplished. Let me know what’s next.”
Who sent it!? In the comics, the Runaways have a traitor in their midst – could it play out this way on screen, too?
As the teens set up camp in the woods again, Alex expresses his doubts, wondering how long it would take to walk home, and wondering if Nico plans on ever calling her parents. Nico leaves to find Karolina, and the two kiss. Karolina is happy that Nico came back to find her. They notice Alex is missing, and Nico realizes he left to make a phone call. Using the payphone, Alex agrees to meet up with someone.
Doing research on what is living under Los Angeles, Dale and Stacey determine it’s huge, ancient and possibly related to Jonah in some way. They plan to reverse-engineer the serum made from Jonah’s blood to find out a way to kill him, when they are interrupted by the doorbell. What is left of PRIDE is going to meet.
Alex meets with the person he called: Darius. He needs some help, and the enemy of his enemy is his friend. In exchange for knowledge of what PRIDE is doing with the dig site, Darius agrees to help Alex out.
Robert, Tina, Dale, Stacey, Janet and Leslie meet. It’s crazy that they are down six members: Frank was mind-wiped, Victor is in a coma, Gene and Alice were killed and Geoffrey and Catherine want nothing to do with Jonah. The parents confront Leslie about killing the Hernandezes, and she says she only did what Jonah wanted. She reveals an even more awful truth: Jonah killed Amy Minoru because he thought she found out PRIDE’s secrets. She was the one who sent Amy the warning text, but she doesn’t know if she got it in time. Tears stream down Tina Minoru’s face as she realizes her daughter was murdered for no reason. PRIDE resolves to kill Jonah.
In an unknown location, Jonah meets with Frank in front of the black pod where Victor Stein is currently recovering from his coma. Jonah promises a bright future for both of them and Karolina, whom they are both resolved to protect, but they need Victor to do it. He stealthily looks at his arm, which is starting to get crusty and scaly again.
Is his power killing him? Will this happen to Karolina? How can Victor help?
In the middle of the night, when the other kids are sleeping, Alex returns to camp. Nico is still awake, and confronts him about meeting with his parents. He admits that he didn’t meet with his parents, but won’t tell her who he met with. All that matters is that this friend wants to help. Alex shows a huge wad of cash – more than enough to get them out of the city.
Geoffrey Wilder just wants his kid to be safe, and is willing to go to extreme measures to ensure this so they can go to war with Jonah. He tells Catherine that he’s going to make a call that will “change everything”.
The kids make it to a bus stop and plan to leave, when Gert hears rustling in the dumpster. She opens it to find none other than Old Lace, eating trash. She is ecstatic, even if she has no idea how they’re gonna bring the old girl along. She runs into the bus stop to tell the others, who are trying to figure out a good destination. Suddenly, the fruits of Geoffrey’s labor become apparent. On the TV, an amber alert is issued for Molly Hernandez, who was kidnapped by Chase Stein, Alex Wilder, Nico Minoru, Gert Yorkes and Karolina Dean – teens who are wanted for the death of Destiny Gonzales. An old homeless man notices that the kids are standing right there, so before he can do anything, they do what they do –
They run away.
Wow, lots of exciting stuff for comic fans here! Comic outfits, Alex is keeping secrets, Old Lace got a name, Geoffrey framed the kids, the kids ran away and there is something living under Los Angeles. I love it!
It does feel like a bit of a strange way to end a season, however. I wouldn’t say it was a weak episode, it just didn’t have the uumph or closure a finale usually provides. The series has already been renewed for a second, longer season of 13 episodes, and one feels that the show-runners must have known by this point. It feels like the adventure is only beginning.
And hopefully it is!
We have no more Runaways to talk about for a long time, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is still going strong. If you dropped the series, I strongly advise you give it another chance! You will be surprised. My most recent S.H.I.E.L.D. recap is here. After that, I will be covering Cloak & Dagger starting in June.
See you later and, as the Runaways say, try not to die!