TV Review: Marvel’s Runaways Season 2 (2018)

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Marvel’s Runaways has returned! I thoroughly enjoyed season 1. It did start off a little slow, which is fine, it didn’t bother me, I watched it twice. I think if you haven’t seen the show and are curious about watching it, then I think you should. The good thing, it is on Hulu which allows for a complete watch without having to wait each week for an episode. My friend and I watched it in two days and I really liked this season.
I did a review for season one here. I also did a piece where I talked about Alex Wilder from the show and the comics as he is my favorite character in both mediums. I had a lot to say so please check those two pieces out! As I already did a formal review for the show, I’m not particularly going to do that again so this review will be a little different.
On to the review!
The Runaways
I think once again these characters are interesting. They have the makings to be really good characters and I think for the most part, they manage to remain so throughout the season. Instead of going through each like I would normally do, I will hit on the Runaways, giving more emphasis on those I thought stood out.
  • Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Feliz): I think he is the most layered of the Runaways so far and definitely the stand out this season. I thought he did really well with what he was given in the first season which wasn’t much, but they really dug more into him this season which I appreciated. The season hit the ground running and I think he could tell he wasn’t wanted so he removed himself from the equation (he even says which made me cackle “I’m just the NPC in the MMORG of your lives), and it shows that everyone treats him this way. He even tried to help them have a steady flow of money by working with Darrius. While helping, a romantic relationship started to form between him and Livvie (Ajiona Alexus) who was Darrius’s sister in law type person? They were cute and I liked that he seemed to have moved on from Nico (who doesn’t deserve him anyway!). We got to see him go through a lot this season within himself. He’s been the only Runaway who didn’t give up on the fact that their parents are criminals and have killed teenagers regardless of how much they may love them. It seems to personally affect him the most because he was close with his parents and would never think they would hurt anyone or hurt him. I like that he’s steadfast in that and he’ll do whatever he thinks he can to bring them down. Sure, not all of his plans are fool proof nor is he perfect, which is something he also talked about with Chase. He wants to show the others that his presence is necessary and he wants to do right by them. He may be logical but he’s also emotional in some of his decisions. The fact that he acknowledged that I thought showed tremendous growth. I find it interesting how the others know that he always has a plan but they always talk crap about him. *sighs* I’m trying not to rant but sooo many feelings lol. Rhenzy Feliz continues to do a great job with his character. His emotions play across his face very well and my friend and I always mention his nostril flare lol but I’m glad he had a lot to do and he’s the MVP this season.
  • Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano): I like Nico for the most part but she can be soooo judgey. When the season started and she was still being mean to Alex and then we saw his name in her cellphone, I was like *hard eye roll* but she did go to him to express some of her feelings towards him. I don’t think things were fully hashed out between them because I feel like Alex doesn’t stand up for himself enough, so I hope they have a full heart to heart later on. In this season, Nico uses the Staff of One in some pretty dope ways to the point where she makes decisions that affect others and she has to deal with it. It’s easy to tell that she’s afraid of it while also wanting to learn more about it. There are a few moments where it seems like instinct just takes over even when she’s exhausted to help out and I want to see more of that and I want to know where it comes from! I think Lyrica Okano has good chemistry with Virginia Gardner, which is necessary for her relationship with Karolina but I don’t know how I completely feel about it. I mean, it’s cute, but I still think it was pretty left field and that Nico may not feel the same way as Karolina which might blow up in their faces later. I know about her whispered confession when Karolina walked away but that doesn’t mean anything to me right now. I liked that she got a little closure about Amy (now we just need to find out why Alex didn’t go to the funeral), and that she’s a bit more confident in herself now. I think Lyrica is a very good actress and I hope to see her do more physical stuff because that scene with her and her parents was DOPE.
  • Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner): In this season, Karolina is learning who she is, what her powers are and how she can use them without limitations. I mean, she still has limitations as she is still learning but I’m glad we got to see a lot more of her using her powers than in the first season. She is kind of the optimist of the group, and still religious even though her religion is a sham. I don’t think we got a ton of growth from her this season as she is still the same person she was, just a bit freer? I guess I would consider her the voice of reason in the group. Now, she does some stupid stuff and I cannot believe she got away with it for the most part, but ya know, she’s nice and stuff. I think anyone could understand her when it comes to her how she reacts around her parents and Jonah. She’s confused so I’ll give her that. I hope in season three, we really get to see her shake it up with her powers. Virginia Gardner is extremely likable as Karolina, even if she’s annoying sometimes.
  • Gert Yorkes (Ariela Barer): Gert was going through it this season. She has anxiety which was in full force this season, plus she didn’t have her meds to help keep her sane. I felt for her but it also took her out of a lot of action this season. A lot of her storyline was her relationship insecurities with Chase and I was annoyed. I like that Gert is outspoken and will say whatever she wants, but I also don’t want her to just be a typical SJW whose only real conflict is steeped in a boy. There was an interesting storyline where Old Lace got sick which in turn got Gert sick, it was cool to learn just how deep her mental connection to her dinosaur goes. I find Gert likable, I know a lot of people are annoyed with her but she’s okay to me. I just need her to do more things than just sit on the sidelines and talk. Ariela Barer does a very good job with the emotional side of Gert, now I just need to see a bit more layer.
  • Chase Stein (Gregg Sulkin): I like Chase, I think he’s sweet, especially in the way he treats Molly and Gert. It’s clear he likes Gert and is nowhere near as confused about it as she is. I think it’s clear he wants to have a relationship with her, he’s learning her quirks and how to respond to her. He tries hard to really show her that he’s in her corner but as she continues to do or say things that pushes him away, he’s never really sure how to bounce back. It’s also clear that he’s the one who wants to go back home the most. In the first season, he was the one who often wanted to give their parents the benefit of the doubt, and that doesn’t really change in this season. I do think he’s learned a lot about being on his own. However, I’m not sure what to think of him for the next season. Gregg Sulkin is likable, even when he’s all like “You suck Wilder” lol which makes me do a heavy eye roll but he’s cool and I like Chase, I just need him to not be so naive. He’s so aggressive towards Alex about his decisions and so naive about his own that it actually baffles me but I can’t find myself disliking him.
  • Molly Hernandez (Allegra Acosta): I continue to love Molly lol. She’s great and I like how she’ll say the stuff that no one else will say. Now, I know in the comics she was a lot younger, which in ways could excuse her behavior or her reactions to things, but she’s supposed to be 14 in the show and she makes some duuumb decisions. It wouldn’t bother me as much if she was younger. The whole thing with Topher, I get it and I get why she was so intent about it but it was also dumb. She is still vastly underused when it comes to her powers and I think she needs to learn how to fight. We don’t need her to succumb to the Superman syndrome where she’s just a powerhouse without any actual fighting ability. Allegra Acosta is great as Molly, she’s likable, I can’t imagine anyone actually disliking her and she just enjoys what she does. My main gripe with her is that I don’t buy it when she’s emotional, it doesn’t fully connect for me. Her best acting was episode 11 “The Last Waltz”.
Character Relationships
A large part of the show banks on how these characters interact with each other. I have a love/hate relationship with how the show handles these as well. I like overall, how they work as a team whenever they allow themselves to be a team and work together. When Topher showed up, they all had a mutual distrust for him, minus Molly, and I loved how they were all on the same page because it just makes sense. Also, when they stand together against something is some of my favorite moments because all of the drama between them falls away because there is something bigger going on than their teenage drama. There were some nice moments they had as a large group, like Molly’s birthday. The last 20 minutes of that episode was one of my favorites, it was super cute and it solidified that they were a family in the end. Alex and Gert had a nice moment. Alex and Karolina had a few nice moments, I even think she was wearing some of his jackets at some point (I saw someone on Tumblr say they don’t like Alex because he hates Karolina, that’s clearly fake news). Alex and Chase have a ton of good moments but their relationship always seems antagonistic so it’s very whiplashy. I don’t mind that they’re not best friends or anything, but I think they would understand each other a bit more. Something I thought was interesting was the fact that everyone went to Alex whenever they needed a one on one talk. Literally EVERYONE.
Gert and Molly had such a great relationship in the first season and it was a bit of a struggle in this season because of Gert’s issues. However, whenever they managed to have their moments it was sweet. Molly and Chase also had a few nice moments this season. They seemed to have gotten close because of their mutual feelings for Gert.
Now on the other hand, I have a major dislike for how the other Runaways treat Alex. I ranted about this in my season one review, I did an entire post dedicated to his character and I have a major problem. I know his storyline in the comics up to a certain point, I know what happens to him and while I don’t condone his actions, I completely get his reasons. As for the show, there hasn’t been any indication that he would do what he did in the comics, or at least something similar to link his fate in the show. He is the smart one and he really tries to think with everyone’s best interest at heart. It may not always work out the way he wants it too, or it may backfire in his face, but at least he has a plan and at least he tries. Nico continued to be mad at him for something that was out of his control to the point where she treated him like crap, even after he made sure to get money for them and brought tents for them to sleep in. Then Chase just loved to bring up the fact that Alex suggested regrouping and returning for Karolina once they had a plan. Alex even SAYS his intention was not to leave her behind but to make sure they knew what they were getting themselves into first. I don’t see the problem with that. Not to mention, when everyone else makes mistakes or dumb decisions, none of them get nearlyas crucified as Alex does. What about in season one when Chase destroyed the computer with the evidence? Not a big deal. What about the lying and sneaking that Karolina did this season? Oh, we’ll be mad at her for like a few minutes. I know Molly is 14 but even when she made her mistake, it’s ‘oh she’s a kid’ but ya know so was Alex when he kept Amy’s secret. I mean, I could go on about this but I won’t because I think the dislike for him is unfounded and I cannot stand the distrust because so far, he has been the only one actively trying to make sure his parents face justice for their crimes. Since he’s always thinking about the others, I don’t think it’s terrible that he wanted to them pay for what they did.
The Action
This season has a bit more action compared to the first season which hardly had any. This season we get the chance to see everyone use their abilities more in different ways and I think everyone kind of gets their chance to shine. Chasecontinues to work on the Fistigons and uses them when he needs to. Nicoworks with the magic/technology of the Staff of One and continues to learn it’s limitations and it’s secrets. Karolina learns how to access her abilities (I just need her to be a bit more active with her powers and be quicker on the draw when using them), Molly is still vastly underused with her abilities, I need her to learn to fight since she’s so strong but when she does use them it’s still pretty cool. Gerthad a lot going on mentally this season, so unfortunately, we didn’t see Old Lace in action that much so I hope moving forward we do. As for Alex, being that he doesn’t have any powers, he continues to try and make the plans and use his computer and nerd skills to be awesome. In episode 10: Hostile Takeover, Alex makes an enemy with this guy who comes to their hideout and it was great, probably one of the best of the season. Nico really got to shine in that episode and Alex got to take the lead with a plan. I don’t know if this meant anything, but Alex did this thing where he thought of a plan and he the camera zoomed in on his face and he kind of moved like his brain was moving 1000 miles a minute. Similar to a Jimmy Neutron Brain Blast. I thought it was cool, I don’t know if it’s an actual thing or not but they should do more of that lol.
Teenage Melodrama/Romance
They are teenagers so goossssh the drama is so annoying sometimes. They’re all stressed because of what they know of their parents, not to mention the stuff with Jonah. I get it, it’s so stressful. But they really need to get some perspective sometimes. Y’all are sixteen. Y’all acting like y’all been living for so long on your own and pay bills and what not… please. Karolina and Nico’s relationship, while cute sometimes, is very annoying. They have become soooo co-dependent it’s ridiculous. I don’t even believe that Nico truly likes Karolina in the same way she likes her. At least at this point. It feels more like she’s exploring, which is fine. Gert and Chase *sighs* I think they’re cute as well but Gert was so all over the place this season that I don’t even know if want them to even bother right now, that child needs to get her life together first. Alex had this thing with Livvie which was super cute as he got to experience the world his father grew up in while working with Darrius in Compton. I don’t know if we’ll see her in season 3 or not, but I thought she and Alex had great chemistry and I think if things went differently, it would have worked out really well. I just wish we got to see them have a better relationship even while just being friends because it didn’t turn out too well towards the end. I guess he just can’t catch a break.
There was this whole thing with this new guy that showed up Topher and, in the comics, he’s a vampire or whatever, so I was expecting something bad to happen and what we learn is actually kind of tragic. I thought it was a nice little three-episode arc and while it was soooo dramatic, it was handled well.
My hope for season 3 is to focus on them as a family and to really get to the meat of the story instead of focusing so much on the romantic relationships. I know it’s a teen show so that’s going to be a big part, which is fine, but I think the selling point is the characters more than the romance so let’s let these characters really shine in their elements and dial back a little on the melodrama.
The Parents
I remember when I read the first part of the comics, just how intimidating the parents were. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy them in the show but they’re inconsistent in how they come off to the audience, I think. If I had to pick, the most ruthless of the group is Tina Minoru, Victor Stein and The Wilders. In the first season, I would have counted Leslie Dean in that but she goes through it this season which didn’t alleviate my like of her but it made her less “scary”? Annie Wersching makes some of the best faces though.
In this season, we got to see a truly ruthless side of Catherine Wilder, that I think we all knew was there. Now, I am curious to see what happens with them in the third season since Alex was the only one who managed to do what he set out to do and he was so giddy about it lol. I really like The Wilders because they’re the only ones who don’t really have a reason to be in Pride anymore, but since Alex is a runaway, they worked with the others to bring him but they have no reason and they’re still intimidating.
I think overall though, the parents are still interesting with how it ended, I’m very curious to see how things work out. I want Janet and Robert to have more to do. They both got a bit of an upgrade this season, Robert has an awesome fight scene with Tina and Nico and we need more of that kind of stuff. The Yorkes are still quirky and funny, but I’m over the whole “we’re the nicer ones” in the group thing because they can be pretty intense too. I know they all just want their kids back home and what not but they all operate in gray areas which is interesting but let’s see what they can really do because so far, it’s been a lot of standing in a group and talking. The Minorus and The Wilders were really the only ones we see do anything physical. I know like the Steins and Yorkes are scientists but I feel like we can see more in general.
More Character Growth
I liked in this season we got to see a bit of growth from the characters. Some more than others and I hope the momentum continues. I cannot imagine with all that’s going on, our Runaways won’t continue to learn and grow. I think Chase has grown a lot, he’s become more mature, which is something he does mention in an episode. He does make a choice, while dumb, was mature in his reasons. I think both he and Alex have the most growth but Chase the most, especially since he is learning how to deal with Gert and her issues. I just hope we see more from everyone moving forward.
Villains
Obviously, the parents are the villains with Jonah in there as well. He remained this threat throughout both seasons but we didn’t know what he was really up in the first season. Of course, there were theories. It’s different from the comics but it’s not hard to kind of guess what’s going on. I think it’s pretty cool, it’s not completely original but it’s cool. I’m curious to see how things go in the third season as the ending of season two left sooo many questions.
Overall
I really really like Marvel’s Runaways and I think they are doing really well with having these teenage superhero stories told on the small screen. I would love to see them pop onto the big screen at some point but I’m glad they have their debuts on TV. I like all of the characters for the most part and the story has been interesting. I’m curious to see where it goes in the third season and I hope it gets one because there is so much more to tell.
Spoilers Below This Warning
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My theory
Soooo basically Jonah is from an alien race “Gibborim” and at the bottom of the hole is his family which was stuck in the ship. Now, Xavin was also there, who is a shape-shifting being who is betrothed to Karolina (which I think they are officially a thing in the comics so I’m very interested to see how this plays out in the show) and it seems like they are on the Runaways side, mostly because of Karolina but also, they know what Jonah plans to do in the end. So, the Runaways and the parents work together to destroy Jonah’s ship as it was going to cause a massive earthquake and knock California into the ocean, so they stopped that. However, Mother, Sister and Brother (and Xavin) managed to escape and find hosts.
It turns out that Jonah is just a host body and the Magistrate (the alien) was inhabiting his body. So, when Nico stabbed through the body with the staff, it only killed Jonah not the alien inside which seems to be just a wisp of light energy. We don’t really know what their true form is yet. It seems that Victor is losing certain moments. He was all intimate with Janet and then was a bit confused about it later and I’m like “oh that’s Jonah then” and Stacy Yorkes has this super cutthroat moments where she takes off her glasses and I’m like “that’s another one of them” and Tina has these almost child-like moments. So, we can assume that three of the parents have been inhabited. We know that Karolina has a brother as Jonah told her she did when he showed her the ship. So, the question remains, who did Brother go into since both the Runaways and their parents were at the site when they exploded the ship? It can’t be another parent because no one acted outside of themselves. So as everyone else on the internet has said, Brother is either in Nico or Alex.
I say Nico because she’s passed out twice now from overexerting herself while using the Staff of One. In “Hostile Takeover”, she had to hold two draining spells for a long time and passed out. She lifted up all possessed like and called the Staff to her and then shouted, “GET OUT!” while the skin around her eyes got like this…
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which reminded me of homie from Doctor Strange.
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I don’t know if this means anything, it could since Marvel’s Runaways is part of the MCU. However, who knows. This happens twice. The second time is when she fought her parents in an awesome fight and the picture above is from that fight. Now, Brother could be expelling something in her that makes this happen, or it’s just that since now the Staff completely belongs to her, there’s something that Tina didn’t take into consideration when she created it. I’m thinking more along those lines though.
It could be Alex because one the other aliens jumped into hosts that reflect their own gender and Alex is the only male left in the group since Chase has been taken and put into a suspension pod along with Janet and Karolina. Not to mention, outside of his frustration with his parents and the others, he’s been pretty level headed. He doesn’t seem to be forgetting things, or losing time like shown mostly with Victor, nor has his personality completely changed like Stacy’s and Tina’s. However, there was a scene in Hostile Takeover, when AWOL was in their mansion and he has Chase’s fistigons, he’s frustrated and he takes the fistigons and he kind of starts trying to burn the guy and the others around him were shocked. When he snapped out of it, he looked shocked himself and backed off. That could indicate him being inhabited by Brother… or it could just be the ruthlessness from his parents finally coming out. Listen, if they use this Brother thing to try and make Alex do what he does in the comics, fine, but that should not be the end all be all for him. I’ll be upset if so.
That’s all I got for the spoilers as I just had to share my theories! Thanks for reading everyone, I hope you enjoyed it!
Please comment your thoughts on the show and please be sure to like and follow this blog for more reviews!
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