Marvel’s Runaways is the kind of show you’d expect to be on FreeForm thanks to this eclectic group of angsty teens who are coming of age and discovering their immense powers.
|Creator||Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage|
|Writer(s)||Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage|
Trigger Warning: Rape Like Situation in Episode
Poor Alex. Seemingly between the troughs of high school and with the death of his friend Amy, this group he was part of collapsed. Nico, Amy’s sister, is now a goth who stays to herself. Karolina has become heavily involved in her mother’s religion, based on her grandfather’s teachings. When it comes to Gert, she has become a social justice warrior of the most annoying variety and her adopted sister Molly is just, this sweet girl. Lastly, there is Chase, the one who used to make fun of the popular kids only to become one of them and just like them. Thus leaving Alex all alone and on the anniversary of Amy’s death, trying to bring his friends back together.
Which, considering two of them are discovering new things about themselves, and they all learn their parents are into some weird cult stuff, they may need each other more than ever.
Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments
- The town they live in is Brentwood.
- According to ComicBook.com, Runaways takes place in the same universe as Netflix’s Marvel shows and The Wrap follows that up with saying the events of the cinematic universe also exist but won’t play a heavy role. However, the article is from the TCA around July 27th, 2017, before Disney announced it was creating its own streaming service. Which implies Disney will only pull their movies from Netflix and not their co-produced, through Marvel, television shows. So, with this new service in place, who knows if Disney may be willing for crossovers on networks they don’t own or share ownership of. However, according to the Hollywood Reporter, it seems the idea is for this show, Cloak and Dagger, alongside New Warriors, is to do as we saw in the MCU. That is, establish each entity independently before potentially having them cross over.
Some people hide behind makeup, others behind a smile. It’s still hiding.
Molly & Alex
With so many characters fitting into tropes, whether we are talking about the parents or the teens, Molly and Alex sort of stand out amongst them. Molly is this sweet girl who, while on her period, we discover has these monstrous powers which give her super strength! Plus, with us learning she is adopted by the ever so odd Dale and Stacey, after her parents died in a fire, there comes some intrigue gone into more below.
Then with Alex? What can I say, I’m a sucker for nerdy Black kids. But also, there is something sweet about him in a fashion similar to Molly. Especially in terms of his friendship with Nico which sort of implies something is, or once was there, and it pushes you to want to not just invest in him but her as well. Making Alex seem like an excellent lead for he helps push these characters past their almost shallow and straight trope depictions.
The Mystery of the Church of Gibborim
Between the cult the parents are in and this church based on Karolina’s grandpa’s teachings, the side eye is strong with this show. Especially with the bracelets they have which clearly are more than jewelry. Karolina, for example, after taking hers off, experiences the first sign of her having powers which overwhelms her to the point of passing out. Yet, when Chase puts it back on, after his “friends” seemingly were going to rape Karolina or take embarrassing photos, she pops right out of her fainting spell.
On The Fence
So Many Slightly Cringey Tropes
While I recognize people drift apart in high school, and especially after a member of the group dies, there is just something about Alex’s friends that are worth rolling your eyes. First and foremost is Gert. Oh my god, I’m all for social equality but she is the kind of social justice warrior which makes people shy away from calling themselves feminist. She is so agitating that it is hard to say whether she is supposed to be a person or a parody.
Yet, despite saying that, as she tries to reconcile with Chase, by offering to teach him Spanish, there seems to be hope for her yet. Same goes for Nico. Based on the picture on Alex’s phone, it shows there was a time she wasn’t gothic and seemingly trying to summons demons. And while a gothic character is by no means terrible, like with Gert, you get this vibe that we’ll have to wait a bit for the actor to settle into the character for this to feel authentic. For right now it is like watching someone put on a Halloween costume and play pretend.
From there we got Karolina who honestly is a bit too boring to talk about, never mind analyze, and then there is Chase. You know, your usual, “We were best friends in middle school but now he has become my bully” kind of guy. Who, like with the rest, they try to create jagged edges with. In his case, it’s by showing his dad isn’t the nicest of people but while Sulkin showed on Faking It, he can sometimes be convincing as an actor, I can’t recall him breaking away from the idea of him not being a pretty face and a set of abs.
But, who knows? That show ended a while ago and maybe he is out of the “Learning on the job” stage of his career?
The Cult of the Parents
The main reason the kids know each other is because of their affluent parents. Of which contain CEOs, real estate magnets, lawyers, and then there are Gert and Molly’s parents who are into holistic things. Alongside keeping some kind of monster behind a huge metal door. But, we’ll have to wait until episode 2 to hopefully learn what the hell they are into.
But while the cult definitely is intriguing, especially considering how each of their jobs are likely connected, it is hard to gauge the long-term potential here. If only because the show honestly fits The Secret Life of the American Teenager era FreeForm, back when it was ABC Family. Meaning, the writing and acting is by no means award-worthy, but there is something about the stories which give you hope. The kind that, as actors settle into their characters, and things pick up, you hope this doesn’t end up like the majority of Marvel shows not on Netflix.