RUNAWAYS Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Fifteen

One of the biggest changes Hulu's RUNAWAYS has made from the comics, with implications yet to be properly explored yet for those unfamiliar with those stories, is that of the introduction of Nico's sister Amy. Already dead 2 years before the events of the pilot, her spirit and absence act as a driving force to the story of our young heroes. And in this week's episode, we finally got a little information on how she died, although I'm sure not is all as it seems. 

You see two years ago, a pre-goth Nico found Amy, the apparent victim of a self-inflicted overdose. But the fact that her parents immediately had their house A.I. put itself on lockdown, refusing to call paramedics and instead calling in one very shady looking man who Nico overheard would “take care of it” left me with more questions than answers. Then there was the recent discovery of Amy's diary, hidden away by Nico's mother Tina, which gave the impression she was a happy girl who'd never think to take her own life. All this went a long way to explaining precisely why Nico is the way she is, her distrust of her parents going a lot deeper and back far further than any of the other kids. It was for this reason that Nico decided to go to the police over the death of the runaway Destiny and maybe with hope, find justice for Amy. Though Alex had a much harder time believing his parents were outright evil, even defending his father's past prison sentence for murder – the charges were dropped after all – he did still end up “borrowing” one of the guns hidden in his house for protection. He accompanied Nico to the police station, but when Chase and Nico's dads were brought in, following a bungled attempt to kidnap a homeless person as a replacement for their failed ritual sacrifice, it was revealed the shady man Nico saw on the night her sister died was none other than a cop. Ducking out of the station before they were spotted, Alex and Nico realised The Pride's influence went deep and if the law couldn't be trusted to help, they'd have to find another way. 

Karolina, finally putting two and two together over exactly what happened at that party when she passed out, found herself slut-shamed, such is the culture of victim blaming when it comes to ruining the reputation of the school's lacrosse team. Thankfully more than just literally fighting to defend her honour, Chase up and quit the team, realising he wanted no part of the hyper-macho, rape culture BS. In return for this gesture and for generally being a stand up guy, Karolina revealed her secret glowy power to Chase, making him privy to two of the girls super-secrets now that he also saw Gert's dinosaur last episode. Thankfully Chase is a man of his word, keeping quiet for now but it left me hoping for a time when all the kids would finally be on the same page. 

For example, Molly keeps trying to tell the others she has super strength, even at one point suggesting to the others she could be their “muscle”, but they always end up talking over the poor girl. But just when you thought the character was getting sidelined, Molly ended up fighting with Gert's as yet unnamed dinosaur, right in their own house no less. Thankfully before things went too far, Gert turned up and used her influence over the Deinonychus to calm her down. Then their folks walked in and boom, you're left dealing with the fact that Gert's parents know that she knows, but only about the dinosaur but not about the sacrifices. Also no one knows about Molly's super strength. Yet. Which is for lack of a better word, confusing, because despite everything I'm kind of rooting for the Yorkes. They're easily the most likeable parents in the show. Which is why when Tina Minoru greeted them with a thinly veiled threat, it really hurt. 

You see Nico's mum Tina had a guy, a different guy from her dirty cop, look into another couple within The Pride because she suspected they were up to something. The show obviously wanted us to think they meant her husband Robert and Chase's mum Janet who we know are having an affair due to how emotionally distant – or downright abusive – their respective spouses are. But alas, that's another secret within The Pride that will have to go unrevealed for now, though I do appreciate the show runners efforts to turn what was some simple clique style backstabbing within an already small inner circle, into outright salacious drama waiting to explode in everyone's faces. 

By way of a for-instance; Karolina's dad Frank, the poor sap, has nothing to do with The Pride as he hasn't “ gone Ultra” within his wife's own Church of Gibborim, even going so far as to accuse his wife Leslie of having an affair because of how much time she spends she spends in her “meditation room”. All very different from the comics. Little does he know that she's really spending her time getting naked and using her own glowy powers to warm the loins of a flakey old dude in a weird looking gas mask, a man that might well be her father. Like I said, very different. To deflect his suspicions however, Leslie convinced him that she had actually been preparing for him to “go Ultra” after all, something which filled the faded child actor with a sense of worth for the first time in what seems to be some years. Unfortunately I got the impression that this was a promise that wasn't going to be made good on and that Frank's days may well be numbered. If only he'd been content to be a kept man. 

Inspired by Karolina's revelation Chase, the poor boy obviously totally in love with the oblivious girl, headed home to work on the creation of his own design, the Fistigons. These devices were purely his father's creation in the comics, but the show manages to compromise on this when Chase is caught by his dad Victor rummaging in his workshop for parts. Victor (masterfully played by James Marsters) had been having a bad few days what with his teleport pod not working, the failed sacrifice, pressure from The Pride to make it right and the failed kidnap attempt mentioned earlier. All this on top of his own mental health issues and his seeming loss of a grip on reality. But instead of lashing out at Chase, as his son seemed to expect, Victor was impressed by his son's vision, perhaps the first instance that maybe father and son share something in common, sitting him down and proceeding to help him with his design. 

In a coffee shop tech genius Alex, along with Nico, accessed an encrypted file taken by Karolina off her mother's computer that revealed a list of names of The Pride's victims. One a year for fifteen years, the Fifteen of the title. Amy however wasn't among the names, though as Nico suggested, there's little chance her death had nothing to do with The Pride. Before they can figure out what to do next however, Alex was lured out to the parking lot and was taken by unseen kidnappers, something with I feel has less to do with The Pride and more to do with Alex's father's past catching up with him. Either way, it's going to be up to Nico, a character who in the comics became an Avenger no less, to assemble the others and try to get to the bottom of it and get him back.

Written by Nick Whitney, RUNAWAYS Beat Writer

Related Posts:
Marvel's RUNAWAYS Episodes 1–3 Review

Hulu Releases Official Trailer For Marvel's RUNAWAYS Series