Runaways 1.04 Review: “Fifteen”

Spoiler alert: They still haven’t run away. Instead, episode 4 (“Fifteen”) starts with a flashback where Nico finds her sister Amy dead, seemingly overdosed on medication. Runaways is a superhero show, but first and foremost it’s a teen drama with all the tropes that come with that genre.

Before Nico had a chance to call an ambulance though, she was knocked out by her mother, insinuating there is something to cover up. Nico awakens to find a mysterious man at the house, who promises to “handle” the situation. In the present day, Nico reads Amy’s diary for clues and realizes her sister was happy at the time of her suicide.

The Runaways hear the news of Destiny’s found body, with some of them still not willing to accept that their parents murdered her.

Meanwhile, the Pride calls an emergency meeting with the promise of a new sacrifice, but Victor shows up empty-handed. They need to act fast. The mysterious man hidden at the Church of Gibborim needs a sacrifice to stay alive. The Yorkes, however, have a plan for escaping the Pride, which they plan to act on as soon as they find their escaped dinosaur.

Destiny’s murder isn’t the only thing coming back from episode 1. Chase’s teammates confront him, but he refuses to back down. During the confrontation, a classmate tells Karolina she caused the fight by hooking up with those boys at the party. Seeing Karolina scared and hurt leads Gert to approach her and the two bond. (Right after, in a hilarious gag, a small group of students approaches Gert for her feminist club wearing “I’m With Her” shirts covered in marker to say “I’m with Gert”). The two decide to research the Church to look for an explanation and steal a computer file on “Project Ultra” for Alex to unencrypt.

After seeing Gert and Karolina team up, Alex realizes Nico needs his support and they go to the police station to report Amy’s suspicious death and Destiny’s murder.

Whether they like it or not, the Runaways are changing. Some changes are small, like Chase quitting the lacrosse team. Some are big, like Karolina realizing she lights up like the galaxy when she takes off her bracelet. For such a huge reveal, Chase doesn’t seem that shocked. But then again, they also saw their parents murder someone in a cult ritual so “shocking” might be relative at this point.

Runaways 1.04

Nico and Alex almost run into Robert and Victor at the police station and Nico recognizes the cop from when Amy died. The Pride’s power extends to the LAPD which means the Runaways have no one to turn to.

It’s that same power the Yorkes want to run away from, but Tina has been spying on them and learns their plan for escape. On the bright side, their dinosaur shows back up at home…with Molly and Gert there. They try to take the girls and leave, but Tina intercepts them.

Without lacrosse practice to keep him busy, Chase works on his prototype for his fistigon. gloves. Victor finds him in his lab, and in a twist, instead of being angry he seems interested in Chase’s work. This moment would be touching if it hadn’t already been established that Victor abuses his wife and children. The writers pretty much made his character past the point of redemption from the getgo, but he remains one of the more interesting, dynamic adult characters along with Tina.

Alex opens the encrypted Church file to discover a list of names: all runaways, including Destiny.  Nico warns Karolina, but shortly after someone kidnaps Alex.

Once again, things are not looking good.

Additional thoughts: 

  •  I’m not sure what the budget is for this show, but the special effects for Karolina’s powers do look great. Hopefully, any future effects in the show meet this quality.
  • Favorite LA joke of the week: The scene where a barista asks if anyone drives a silver Prius and everyone raises their hand.

  • I have a feeling Alex’s kidnapping right after opening the file is a false lead. Instead of the Pride, I believe it’s his father’s gang rivals trying to get back at him.

A new episode of Runaways streams each Tuesday on Hulu. Stay tuned to The Marvel Report for coverage all season long.