Runaways – Season 2 Overall Review

Runaways S2

The first season of Runaways was a pleasant surprise to me when I finally sat down to watch it, and thankfully Season 2 kept the momentum going, even if it did slow to a crawl in the middle… Anyway, let’s take a look at Runaways Season 2 overall then!

Synopsis:

After being framed for murder, Alex, Nico, Karolina, Chase, Gert and Molly are on the run with nowhere to live, and barely anywhere to get food. Meanwhile their parents are back to trying to juggle their children’s wellbeing while keeping forceful alien Jonah at bay…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

Runaways S2 1

Our lead cast! … and Alex’s dad in a straitjacket.

Alex Wilder (Rhenzy Feliz) – Alex is not only on the run, but he now owes notorious gangsta Darius money… and he may need to ask for more…

Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano) – Nico is on the run, but without the magic staff that helped her and her friends so much… still, at least her relationship with Karolina is a bright spot!

Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner) – Karolina is the daughter of a human mother and an alien father, the latter of which is the reason the Runaways’ parents had been murdering a bunch of people, so her life is quite complicated. Still, she has super powers and a new girlfriend, so… not all bad.

Chase Stein (Gregg Sulkin) – Chase is used to the easy life, but after his own Dad tried to kill him with his own “Fistigons” he doesn’t mind going on the run with his friends, and new girlfriend…

Gert Yorkes (Ariela Barer) – Gert is able to communicate and, to a certain extent, control a dinosaur she calls Old Lace, but even that hasn’t come greatly in handy as she and her friends have ended up runaways from their parents after being framed for murder… Well, at least she has Chase, who against all odds, she’s now in a relationship with…

Molly Hernandez (Allegra Acosta) – Molly’s parents were killed by Jonah and the Pride parents, and even though she did like her adoptive parents and has come to view Gert as a sister, nothing really makes up for that horrible fact… well, maybe the super powers, that’s not so bad…

Jonah (Julian McMahon) – Jonah is a member of an alien race and has spent the past few decades trying to excavate his family from their ship that has lodged itself deep underground. To do this he’s been sacrificing innocent people in order to keep his human host alive, and now he’s so close to achieving his goal…

Leslie and Frank Dean (Annie Wersching and Kip Pardue) – Leslie is still stuck heading up a church dedicated to the alien father of her daughter, Karolina. She only wishes to help her daughter and keep her safe. Frank on the other hand has come to view the church as the role of a lifetime, and he doesn’t want to give it up for anybody…

Janet and Victor Stein (Ever Carradine and James Marsters) – The last time this couple were together was when Janet shot Victor in order to save their son, so it’s a rocky relationship, no doubt. Victor is still alive, mind you, but in the hands of Jonah…

Tina and Robert Minoru (Brittany Ishibashi and James Yaegashi) – Tina is as cold-hearted as they come, perfectly willing to kill any number of innocent people if it gets the job done. Robert is less inclined to harm, except if its someone like Jonah, who is responsible for killing their other daughter…

Catherine and Geoffrey Wilder (Angel Parker and Ryan Sands) – Catherine gives Tina a run for her money in the cold and calculated stakes, being more than willing to get her hands dirty to help her son, while Geoffrey comes from a tough street-raised background, but one that follows a certain code. They can both agree on one thing, however, and that’s that they want their son Alex back.

Stacey and Dale Yorkes (Brigid Brannagh and Kevin Weisman) – Stacey and Dale are the two scientists of Pride, and the two who have had the least backbone when it came to killing innocent people and all that. They want their daughters back, but to do so they know they’ll have to get rid of Jonah once and for all…

Plus more!

The Good:

Runaways S2 4

Mmmm, satisfying!

This season is two stories, really. The first seven or so episodes are the conclusion of everything set up in the last season, then the rest of the episodes sets up some major plot points for Season 3. Due to this, however, there is a noticeable bunch of downtime in the middle of the series, but I’ll get to that later…

The first half see the Runaways … well, running away, eventually finding a buried house in the mountains that they can call home. This leads to some hit-and-miss teen drama, though I did like Alex finding out that “evil gangsta” Darius isn’t as bad as he seems (though he’s still not a nice guy in the long run, but he cares for his family at least!) and he falls for his sister-in-law Livvie, but is soon horrified as Darius is killed and framed for the murder he and his friends were previously framed for by his Mum (not that he knows that). This leads to a breakdown between all parties, and sets Alex off on a darker path than he had been previously.

Chase and Gert’s relationship also goes under great strain as the latter is without her meds, and Karolina is put under the microscope as she begins to meet Jonah in order to find more out about her alien-side, the very man they need to defeat in order to save themselves and city. Oh and Molly meeting someone with powers similar to her, but then he turns out of be a bit of a addiction-laden knob was a fine mini-story that admittedly just ate up time, but it was still entertaining.

As for the parents, well they continue to be plenty entertaining themselves. The Wilders fall out after Catherine kills Darius and frames him without Geoffrey’s knowledge (as it would have gone against his code), the Steins reconnect as Janet begins to show her technical know-how and Victor is stuck in a false reality while hooked up to one of Jonah’s alien machines, an experience that helps give him focus, and the rest are… well, the same, really, except they band together to stop Jonah and help their kids, rather than just going along with everything. A scene where Robert Minoru very nearly kills Jonah on his own was a highlight.

This all lead to the big showdown, where the runaways and the Pride parents converge at the dig site and Jonah’s family ship is destroyed by the parents, moments before Nico drives her staff through Jonah’s chest, seemingly killing him. She then freezes the parents and the runaways run away again, leading to a slow period as Karolina and Nico split up due to the whole evil alien Dad killing, and everyone generally scrambles as to what to do next. Alex is once again interesting here, as he still hasn’t forgiven his parents for what they did to Darius, and he becomes convinced he needs to get payback. Eventually the reassembled Pride hire a new thug called AWOL and his gang to track down the kids, and they do, which leads to a great stand-off in their underground hangout that sees Nico turn all the intruders to dust while becoming all weird and possessed (which understandably freaks her out and leads to her wanting to bury the staff…)

At the end of the season they all run off in different directions as the parents hunt them down via drones and other weapons. The elder Wilders get arrested and framed (or rightfully caught, I guess) by their son, and it is revealed that Victor Stein had been possessed by Jonah, while Tina and Stacey have been similarly controlled by other members of Jonah’s family. The three aliens have Karolina, Chase and Janet in tubes ready to feast on as we go to credits. A good end, though a very annoying cliffhanger to end on!

The Bad:

Runaways S2 3

Oh yeah, Janet is pregnant. Forgot about that bit.

When this show was announced I remember thinking “Oh God, it’s going to be all high school drama and teen relationship bollocks, isn’t it?” and then I was pleasantly surprised. In Season 2, we may not have had any high school stuff, but there was a lot of teen relationship bollocks. Gert and Chase’s troubles in the first half was fine, and made sense, but at the same time Karolina and Nico were having trouble, then they split in the mid-way point, before Gert and Chase split for a second time (and then sort of get back together before splitting for a third and final time… in one season!) all the while Alex and Livvie are on-and-off until they’re finally off. It was a lot of screen time dedicated to the same couples breaking off and then on again, and it really should have been reeled in.

As I said a couple of times already, the series really slows down in the middle, with several plot points that go nowhere and generally keeping the characters running on the spot until we reach the big finale… that is really a big part one with a second part next year, so isn’t very satisfying. A sub-plot with Frank trying to take over the church and re-condition Janet, leading to Janet’s own mother being unveiled as a brain-washed church member, just wasn’t that interesting. Gert and Old Lace being sick and Chase leaving everyone to go back to his parents should have been good, but they were both hampered by Gert and Chase love drama, and Xavin, an alien that Carolina is apparently destined to marry, gets introduced right at the end and delivers a bit of exposition before being knocked out and doing nothing else.

So my main problem really, is after a strong first half the series just becomes dull until we’re treated to half an episode before a “see you next year!”… at least I hope it’s next year, if this show gets cancelled now I’m … not going to be pleased, let’s put it that way!

Overall Thoughts:

Runaways S2 2

This room has gone a bit Tron, as the phrase doesn’t go.

Runaways Season 2 was very much a tale of two halves, with the first half doing a good job of tying up all the loose ends from Season 1, and then the second half just stalled the series until a big reveal in the final half of the finale, leading to Season 3. I guess it only makes sense then to give it a 3, the score that’s right down the middle!

3 Star Watch

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