Runaways Season 2 Premiere, "Gimmie Shelter"
Written by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage
Starring Rhenzy Feliz, Lyrica Okano, Virginia Gardner, Ariela Barer, Gregg Sulkin, Allegra Acosta, Ryan Sands, Angel Parker, Brittany Ishibashi, James Yaegashi, Kevin Weisman, Brigid Brannagh, Annie Wersching, Kip Pardue, James Marsters, Ever Carradine
Produced by ABC Signature Studios, Marvel Television, Fake Empire Productions
‘Rama Rating: 7 out of 10
Runaways returns December 21 on Hulu with a new binge format. The first episode of the new season focuses on how these privileged kids are struggling without their life of luxuries. That’s because the children are finally on the run. Unfortunately for them, as Nico says in this episode, the “Runaways” actually suck at being runaways.
From TV to comic books, Runaways’ strongest elements are relationships and character work. This episode takes this in stride. Nico continues to be the strongest character of the show. Lyrica Okano is great at portraying subtleties. This allows for even the smallest of moments to carry emotional weight. For example, Nico and Karolina’s romantic relationship is expressed by non-verbal cues, which compliments their dialogue.
As a comic book fan, I really enjoyed Nico’s dynamic with Alex. The team doesn’t fully trust him. This causes a tug-of-war between Alex and Nico for control of leadership. It’s a conflict that I can only see growing and becoming more direct as the season continues. Alex’s history in the comic books makes his television character even more interesting to follow. The season premiere lays the foundation for a darker Alex as he teams up with his father’s old partner, Darrius. Will Alex become evil? I love that the show gets to walk that line, allowing even comic book fans to feel surprised with whatever choice they make with the character. The show isn’t dictated by the comic books, and that’s a good thing.
One of the most gratifying stories of the premiere was seeing the development of Karolina’s character from last season on full display. Even though the teens must physically run away from their parents, Karolina, for the first time in her life, doesn’t have to hide anymore. She’s allowed to be open about her feelings for Nico. Their relationship is very sweet, and I can’t wait to see how it develops.
In this episode, Molly has a very emotional moment that strengthens both Chase and Gert as characters. Molly’s anger felt a bit out of place compared to her comic book counterpart but makes sense in this continuity. In this moment Chase takes his role as the “dad” of the group to comfort Molly, while Gert feels guilty that she couldn’t do the same for her sister. We see the best and the worst out of these characters’ personalities, which made for some interesting interactions between Molly, Chase, and Gert.
The weakest characters in the premiere were the parents. Last season, I enjoyed seeing more screen time from them since they were less developed in the comic book series. However, they had too much screen time with very little substance in this episode. Anytime they returned on screen I just wanted to go back to our Runaways because the kids have a more compelling story. I hope as the season continues the parents get more individual storylines like they did last season to allow their scenes to be less sluggish.
The Runaways Season 2 premiere is solid. The series is already a lot more action-packed, and I loved the underlining social commentary as the kids are forced to deconstruct their own privileged lives. Although the cliffhanger of the episode will split the audience, especially comic book fans. I still don’t know how to feel about the direction they are taking this particular character, and this brought my mood down after watching an overall enjoyable episode.