Runaways (TV series)

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Runaways
Runaways logo.jpg
Genre
Created by
Based on
Starring
Composer(s)Siddhartha Khosla
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons2
No. of episodes23 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Kelly Van Horn
  • Emma Fleischer
  • P. Todd Coe
Production location(s)Los Angeles
Cinematography
  • Ramsey Nickell
  • David Stockton
  • John C. Newby
  • David Perkal
  • Bradford Lipson
  • M.G. Wojciechowski
Editor(s)
  • Jeff Granzow
  • Lois Blumenthal
  • Adrienne McNally
  • Jesse Ellis
  • Joseph Mitacek
Running time43–54 minutes
Production company(s)
DistributorHulu
Release
Original networkHulu
Original releaseNovember 21, 2017 (2017-11-21) –
present (present)
Chronology
Related showsMarvel Cinematic Universe television series
External links
Website

Marvel's Runaways, or simply Runaways, is an American web television series created for Hulu by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films and other television series of the franchise. The series is produced by ABC Signature Studios, Marvel Television and Fake Empire Productions, with Schwartz and Savage serving as showrunners.

Rhenzy Feliz, Lyrica Okano, Virginia Gardner, Ariela Barer, Gregg Sulkin, and Allegra Acosta star as the Runaways, six teenagers from different backgrounds who unite against their parents, the Pride, portrayed by Angel Parker, Ryan Sands, Annie Wersching, Kip Pardue, Ever Carradine, James Marsters, Brigid Brannagh, Kevin Weisman, Brittany Ishibashi, and James Yaegashi. Julian McMahon also stars in the second season as Jonah, after recurring in the first. A film from Marvel Studios based on the Runaways began development in May 2008, before being shelved in 2013 due to the success of The Avengers. In August 2016, Marvel Television announced that Runaways had received a pilot order from Hulu, after being developed and written by Schwartz and Savage. Casting for the Runaways and the Pride were revealed in February 2017. Filming on the pilot began in Los Angeles in February 2017. The series was officially ordered by Hulu in May 2017.

The first season was released from November 21, 2017, to January 9, 2018. In January 2018, Runaways was renewed for a 13-episode second season, which was released in its entirety on December 21, 2018. In March 2019, a third season of ten episodes was ordered.

Premise[edit]

Six teenagers from different backgrounds unite against a common enemy – their criminal parents,[1] collectively known as the Pride.[2] In the second season, the teenagers are now on the run from their parents, living on their own and figuring out how to stop the Pride, before learning there may be a mole among them who contacts Jonah, the leader of Pride, aiding his dangerous plan.[3]

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Rhenzy Feliz as Alex Wilder: A nerd who longs to reunite with his childhood friends. He has a high intellect and is the leader of the Runaways.[4]
  • Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru:
    A Wiccan who isolates herself with her gothic appearance and is the second in command of the Runaways.[4] Unlike the comics, Nico does not summon the Staff of One through self-harm. Okano said this was tweaked, "for good reason" as there would be "a lot of young teenagers watching the show and we don't want to promote anything like self-harm because that's serious". She added that an element of drawing blood would still be involved.[5]
  • Virginia Gardner as Karolina Dean:
    A human-alien hybrid burdened by her religious upbringing who wants to pursue her own desires instead of following in her mother's footsteps, and is a member of the Runaways.[4] Karolina has the ability of flight, to glow with rainbow-colored light, and to shoot beams of light.[6]
  • Ariela Barer as Gert Yorkes: A riot grrrl, social activist, and a member of the Runaways. She also has a telepathic link with her genetically engineered dinosaur, Old Lace.[4]
  • Gregg Sulkin as Chase Stein:
    A high school lacrosse player who is often dismissed as a dumb jock, but displays brilliance in engineering and is a member of the Runaways.[4] Sulkin and the writers wanted the character to be "more layered" than the comics, and Sulkin felt that Chase was the most changed of the Runaways from the source material.[7] The character is depicted as having the potential to be as much of a genius as his father is,[8] and builds gadgets, including powerful weaponized gauntlets called "Fistigons".[9] Connor Falk portrays a young Chase.[10]
  • Allegra Acosta as Molly Hayes Hernandez: The youngest member of the Runaways who is characterized by her positive attitude. Molly discovers she has the ability of superhuman strength and invulnerability.[4] Evelyn Angelos portrays a young Molly.[11]
  • Angel Parker as Catherine Wilder: Alex's mother, a successful lawyer, and a member of Pride.[2]
  • Ryan Sands as Geoffrey Wilder: Alex's father and a self-made business man who had a grueling path to his success and is a member of Pride.[2]
  • Annie Wersching as Leslie Ellerh Dean:
    Karolina's mother, one of the leaders of the cult-like religious group, the Church of Gibborim, and a member of Pride.[2][12] Mia Topalian portrays a young Leslie Ellerh, while Charlie Townsend portrays her as a toddler.
  • Kip Pardue as Frank Dean: Karolina's father, a former teen star who is struggling in his professional acting career and becomes one of the leaders of the Church of Gibborim.[2][12]
  • Ever Carradine as Janet Stein: Chase's mother who has a brilliant mind, is "a perfect PTA mom", and a member of Pride.[2] Sorel Carradine portrays a young Janet.[10]
  • James Marsters as Victor Stein:
    Chase's father, an engineering genius and a member of Pride.[2] Marsters was inspired by Vincent D'Onofrio's portrayal of Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, saying it was "exactly opposite of what I was expecting", and also looked for common ground with Victor, saying, "I'm not an abusive parent but I'm not a perfect parent. I don't think anyone is." He added that Victor just wants Chase to live up to his potential.[8] Tim Pocock portrays a young Victor.[10]
  • Brigid Brannagh as Stacey Yorkes: Gert's mother, a bioengineer, and a member of Pride.[2]
  • Kevin Weisman as Dale Yorkes: Gert's father, a bioengineer, and a member of Pride.[2]
  • Brittany Ishibashi as Tina Minoru:
    Nico's mother who is a brilliant innovator, ruthless CEO, and perfectionist "tiger mom" who is a member of Pride.[2] The character previously appeared in the film Doctor Strange, in a minor role as a Master of the Mystic Arts, portrayed by Linda Louise Duan.[13][14][15] The producers felt free to recast the role and create a different version of Tina Minoru since Duan was not named as the character in the film.[16]
  • James Yaegashi as Robert Minoru: Nico's father and a member of Pride who is a brilliant innovator.[2]
  • Julian McMahon as Jonah:
    Karolina's biological father and the benefactor of Pride.[17] McMahon described Jonah as "the wealthy guy who's pretty ego-driven and mission-driven... who's trying to accomplish certain things and if something were to get in his way he'd plow through it", which he felt was similar to Victor von Doom, who he portrayed in Fantastic Four and its sequel. He also revealed that he did not appear in the earlier episodes as the character in his near-death state, as he had been cast after the first four episodes had been completed.[18] Ric Sarabia portrayed the character in this state,[19] which McMahon stated took five hours of make up application to achieve.[18]

Recurring[edit]

Introduced in season 1[edit]

  • Danielle Campbell as Eiffel: A girl who attends Atlas Academy and looks down on Karolina.
  • Pat Lentz as Aura: A member of the Church of Gibborim who works for the Deans. Sarah Ann Vail portrays a young Aura.
  • Heather Olt as Frances: A member of the Church of Gibborim who works for the Deans. Alexa Marie Anderson portrays a young Frances.
  • DeVaughn Nixon as Darius Davis: An old associate of Geoffrey's who holds a grudge against him.
  • Cody Mayo as Vaughn Kaye: Leslie Dean's assistant at the Church of Gibborim.
  • Alex Fernandez as Flores: An LAPD lieutenant who works under the Pride.
  • Ozioma Akagha as Tamar Davis: Darius' wife who is pregnant with his son, Xerxes.

Old Lace, a genetically engineered Deinonychus telepathically linked with Gert Yorkes, appears in the series. The character is portrayed by a puppet that was operated by six people, including one person pumping air through the puppet to show the dinosaur breathing. Barer called the puppet "incredible ... You see her emotions. We don't not make use of that."[20]

Introduced in season 2[edit]

  • Ajiona Alexus as Livvie: Darius' sister-in-law and Alex's love interest.
  • Helen Madelyn Kim as Megan: A millennial employee at Pride who is unknowingly abused by her bosses.
  • Myles Bullock as Anthony "AWOL" Wall: Flores' corrupt partner who goes after the Runaways.
  • Clarissa Thibeaux as Xavin: A shape shifting alien who believes in a prophecy that she is betrothed to Karolina Dean.

Guest[edit]

Introduced in season 1[edit]

  • Zayne Emory as Brandon: A member of Chase's lacrosse team.
  • Timothy Granaderos as Lucas: A member of Chase's lacrosse team.
  • Nicole Wolf as Destiny Gonzalez: A young woman who joins the Church of Gibborim and is sacrificed soon after by the Pride.
  • Nathan Davis Jr. as Andre: An associate of Darius' who is used as a sacrifice for the Pride.
  • Lee Fraley as David Ellerh: The founder of the Church of Gibborim and Leslie's father. Nathan Sutton portrays a young David.
  • Ryan Doom as Alphona: Chase's lacrosse coach.
  • Devan Chandler Long as Kincaid: A man hired by Tina Minoru for devious purposes.
  • Kimmy Shields as a supporter of Gert's club.
  • Anjelika Washington as a supporter of Gert's club.
  • Cooper Mothersbaugh as a supporter of Gert's club.
  • Amanda Suk as Amy Minoru: Nico's sister, Alex's best friend and Tina and Robert's daughter who died prior to the beginning of the series. Chandler Shen portrays a young Amy.
  • Vladimir Caamaño as Gene Hernandez: A geologist who is Molly's father and a former member of Pride who died in a fire.
  • Carmen Serano as Alice Hernandez: A geologist who is Molly's mother and a former member of Pride who died in a fire.
  • Jorge Diaz as Earl: A friendly social activist that Gert befriends.
  • Marlene Forte as Graciela Aguirre: A distant relative of Molly's.

Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance as a limo driver.[21]

Introduced in season 2[edit]

  • Ryan Dorsey as Mike: A homeless biker who causes trouble for the Runaways.
  • Jan Luis Castellanos as Topher: A mysterious street kid with super strength who briefly joins the Runaways.[3]
  • Efrain Figueroa as Joseph: Topher's father who was injured by his son.
  • Rose Portillo as Eileen: Topher's mother who kicked him out of the house.
  • Veronica Diaz as Sofia: Topher's sister who is a nurse.
  • Damien Diaz as Oscar Gonzalez: Destiny's brother who Frank kills in self defense.
  • Elayn J. Taylor as Nana B: Darius' mother and Tamar's mother-in-law.
  • Brie Carter as Mary: A millennial employee at Pride who is unknowingly abused by her bosses.
  • Steve O'Young as Mitch: A member of AWOL's strike team.
  • Kathleen Quinlan as Susan Ellerh: A member of the Church of Gibborim and Leslie's mother.
  • Kara Royster as Wendy: A millennial employee at Pride who takes an interest in Chase.

Episodes[edit]

SeasonEpisodesOriginally released
First releasedLast released
110November 21, 2017 (2017-11-21)January 9, 2018 (2018-01-09)
213December 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)

Season 1 (2017–18)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
11"Reunion"Brett MorgenJosh Schwartz & Stephanie SavageNovember 21, 2017 (2017-11-21)
A girl named Destiny is "rescued" by the Church of Gibborim from two muggers, who were actually trying to save her. Six months later, friends Alex Wilder, Nico Minoru, Karolina Dean, Gert Yorkes, Chase Stein, and Molly Hernandez have grown apart since the death of Nico's sister, Amy, two years earlier. Alex uses a meeting for their parents' group the Pride to reach out to the others, but they turn him down. They later change their minds: Karolina removes her Church of Gibborim bracelet at a party, sees her hands glowing, and loses consciousness—Chase rescues her from being raped; because of this, Chase stands Gert up for a study session, and she picks up her adopted sister Molly who has discovered that she has super strength and that their parents have a creature in the basement; and Nico arrives after failing to contact Amy's spirit in a ritual. The gathering is awkward, but they soon discover a secret passage in the house that leads to their parents sacrificing Destiny in a ritual. Molly's camera flash is seen by the parents.
22"Rewind"Roxann DawsonJosh Schwartz & Stephanie SavageNovember 21, 2017 (2017-11-21)
Before the ritual, Geoffrey Wilder had confronted an old associate from his time as a criminal, threatening him against interfering with the Pride's construction project; Victor Stein was having issues testing the container used in the ritual; Leslie Dean convinced Destiny not to leave the Church of Gibborim until she reaches the stage of "Ultra", which involves the then upcoming secret ritual; her husband Frank, an actor who is not a member of the Pride, lost his agent due to his role as the co-founder of the Church. The group are all reluctant to sacrifice someone the same age as their children, but go ahead anyway. When they see the flash, they race to investigate, but are convinced by the children that there was an electrical problem in the house. Geoffrey later finds Molly's hairpin outside the entrance to the secret passage, while Victor realizes that his container malfunctioned and Destiny is still alive inside it. Meanwhile, Frank unsuccessfully attempts to enter Leslie's private study, where a decrepit figure lies on another of Victor's containers.
33"Destiny"Nina Lopez-CorradoKalinda VazquezNovember 21, 2017 (2017-11-21)
Karolina is told that Destiny is officially in London for a Church trip. Nico investigates the Staff of One, but is unable to control its power and calls Alex for help. Chase and Gert use some of Victor's inventions to search for Destiny in the Steins' house, and then discover that the creature in the Yorkes' house is a dinosaur genetically engineered by Gert's parents. Tina and Robert Minoru attempt to deal with their deteriorating marriage, due to Amy's death, but it ends with Robert continuing a secret affair with Janet Stein, and Tina returning home to find Nico and Alex (pretending to be romantically involved to avoid suspicion). Catherine Wilder confronts Molly, but the latter lies that she had been sneaking around to steal alcohol for the other children. Catherine promises to tell Molly about her parents, who died in a fire when Molly was young (members of the Pride blamed each other for doing this). The Yorkes plan to move with Gert, Molly, and their dinosaur to a remote ranch in Yucatan now that the Pride is over, but then Destiny's body is found.
44"Fifteen"Ramsey NickellTamara Becher-WilkinsonNovember 28, 2017 (2017-11-28)
The Pride holds an emergency meeting, though the Yorkes are out searching for their missing dinosaur. Victor accepts responsibility for the failed sacrifice; he and Robert go to find a new one. They attempt to kidnap a homeless man, but they bungle the act and are arrested. Karolina is shunned at school as a slut, and Chase is told to apologize to his lacrosse teammates who he injured when he stopped them from raping her. He instead quits the team. Karolina reveals to Chase how her body glows without her bracelet. She and Gert also look for proof of their parents' innocence, but with Alex's help they realise that Leslie has been selecting people from her church to sacrifice for years. This does not include Amy, who appeared to commit suicide but Nico believes was murdered by the Pride. She goes to the police, but leaves when she sees Victor and Robert talking with a policeman apparently on their payroll. The Yorkes find the dinosaur, doing what Gert tells her to do, and are then threatened by Tina who knows about Yucatan. Alex is kidnapped.
55"Kingdom"Jeffrey W. ByrdRodney Barnes & Michael VukadinovichDecember 5, 2017 (2017-12-05)
In flashback, Geoffrey makes a deal with the mysterious Jonah to buy up land and has to convince his cellmate Darius to take the blame for shooting someone to get out of prison. In the present, Darius has kidnapped Alex as ransom for Geoffrey to pay one million dollars. Nico gets Karolina, Gert, Molly and Chase to come to the rescue, using the staff to find Alex. Geoffrey shows up with LAPD to take out Darius and his men, Alex shoots Andre, one of Darius' goons, but he gets taken again. Alex's friends show up and using their newfound abilities cause Darius to run. Alex makes it back to Geoffrey who tells him to go home while he preps Andre for a sacrifice. The kids all barge into the secret room only to realize that the Pride has moved the sacrifice somewhere else. Tina reveals that she knows Nico used the staff, but allows her to use it and Victor's time machine shows Los Angeles crumbling in the future. Frank fails going Ultra and the sacrifice works revealing that the man the Pride was reviving is Jonah who demands to see Karolina.
66"Metamorphosis"Patrick NorrisKalinda VazquezDecember 12, 2017 (2017-12-12)
Jonah has all the parents recorded during their first sacrifice so as to keep them in check and to prevent them from leaving the Pride. The Pride hosts their annual gala and the kids use the time to download footage of the previous sacrifices from the Minoru's servers. Gert deduces that Karolina is a lesbian, but she gets mad at her for not being honest with Chase. While drunk on the roof, Karolina discovers she can fly and Chase kisses her which she is placid to. Alex and Nico break into Tina's office to get the footage causing Nico to become suspicious of him as he knew the password rather easily. During the Pride members speech, Victor reveals his knowledge of Robert and Janet's tryst and collapses from his brain tumor. Jonah uses his experimental medicine to revive him, making him happily euphoric with his family. Frank appears to know about Leslie and Jonah's secret relationship, but keeps this information to himself. Molly, in an effort to know more about her parents, accidentally lets slip to Catherine about her knowledge of the Pride.
77"Refraction"Peter HoarQuinton PeeplesDecember 19, 2017 (2017-12-19)
Victor sees a message from Chase from the future telling him not to pick up the fistigons. Frank gets healing gloves from Jonah causing Leslie to become suspicious. Molly becomes distant from the others and tries joining the cheerleaders who disregard her and finds solace with Karolina. Dale and Stacy discover that Jonah's cure makes people hyperactive and euphoric, but gives them a drawn hangover. At the open house, Leslie gets Janet to break up with Robert who agrees due to Victor's changing behavior and has Tina take Robert back. Geoffrey and Catherine tell Dale and Stacy that they must do something about Molly as she knows about the Pride's activities. They tell Molly she is going to be sent away which angers her and Gert comforts her. Frank discovers that Jonah has been living for a long time and finally confronts Leslie about what she and Jonah have been doing. Nico forces Alex to reveal how he knew Tina's password. Victor suddenly becomes violent again and attacks his son with the fistigons only to get shot by Janet.
88"Tsunami"Millicent SheltonRodney Barnes & Michael VukadinovichDecember 26, 2017 (2017-12-26)
Victor bleeds out as the Pride members arrive to try and patch him up, though this proves to be inefficient. Leslie has Frank arrive to use his healing gloves, but it sends Victor into a coma. Tina contacts Jonah who instructs them to have Janet be sacrificed for Victor causing the Pride to argue. Robert decides to sacrifice himself instead, but Tina destroys the pod reaffirming her devotion to him. Victor is carried away to be revived later. Karolina decides to tell Frank everything she knows about Pride, getting him to her side. Alex reveals to an angry Nico that he was aware of Amy's snooping and was told to keep her information secret. Molly is living with her relative, Graciela, who gives Molly a letter containing a key. It leads her to a locker that holds a VHS tape. Nico finds Amy's things and Alex successfully gets the footage of their parents, but his laptop is destroyed by a sympathetic Chase. In flashback, Amy learns from Alex that her laptop was hacked and confides her findings to Kincaid. Upon "him" finding out, Amy tries to run away from home, but is caught.
99"Doomsday"Jeremy WebbJiehae Park & Kendall RogersJanuary 2, 2018 (2018-01-02)
Ten years prior, Leslie murders Gene and Alice Hernandez with a bomb while Tina listens on the phone. Molly survives due to strange glowing rocks giving her powers. In the present, Janet covers for Victor's absence to the public as Jonah tasks the remaining Pride members with his current plan; to use Geoffrey's drilling company to dig a hole underneath Los Angeles. Darius monitors the area and voices his suspicions to his wife. Molly returns to the group with the VHS tape which contains a video from her parents warning her about the Pride's activities. The kids decide to use the school dance as a cover to infiltrate the drilling site. Before leaving, Gert and Chase have sex while Karolina kisses Nico, revealing her feelings to her. Frank reveals everything he knows to Jonah who relays the fact that the kids know everything to their parents. The kids arrive at the drilling site and manage to stop the drill. The Pride arrive to confront their kids who have all decided to finally take a stand. The kids reveal their powers and the Pride is shocked.
1010"Hostile"Marc JobstQuinton PeeplesJanuary 9, 2018 (2018-01-09)
Karolina is kidnapped by Jonah while the rest of the Runaways hide. They make it to the woods outside L.A. and Gert is forced to let her dinosaur, now named Old Lace, go. Finding new disguises, Chase and Molly sneak into the Church of Gibborim to rescue Karolina while Alex waits outside and overhears his parents announcing their intent to find him by themselves. Leslie and the Yorkes discover that Jonah is digging for something that is "alive". Leslie reveals that she was indirectly responsible for Amy's death and that she is unsure of Frank's loyalty. She manages to convince the Yorkes, the Minorus and Janet to join with her in killing Jonah. Alex makes a deal with Darius by telling him everything about the Pride. In return, Darius gives Alex hundreds of dollars for him and his friends and a gun. Jonah plans his next move with Frank over Victor's body and reveals that he needs another sacrifice. The Runaways make it to a bus stop and are reunited with Old Lace, but are forced to run upon seeing that they have been framed for Destiny's murder.

Season 2 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date
111"Gimmie Shelter"Allison Liddi-BrownJosh Schwartz & Stephanie SavageDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
While Pride continues to search for their children, Chase gets his gauntlets and Alex's money stolen by a homeless biker named Mike on a Bike. Alex, who will not explain where he got the money, goes off to get more from Darius who has him paint his unborn son's bedroom. He also meets Livvie, Darius' sister-in-law, who finds him attractive. The Yorkes learn about the Hernandezes' VHS tape and go to Graciela to get it. When she reacts violently, Tina is forced to kill her to make it look like she died of natural causes. The Runaways find her body and hold a memorial for her at a homeless gathering. Jonah speaks to an unconscious Victor and tells him that they need to help each other get better. The rest of Pride decide they need to act against Jonah and Tina takes command with Geoffrey as her "co-captain". The Runaways find Mike on a Bike and get their stuff back while also finding a hidden hostel in the mountains that they call home. Karolina meets with Jonah privately to discuss their relationship when they feel a violent earthquake.
122"Radio On"Chris FisherWarren Hsu LeonardDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Jonah teaches Karolina how to use her powers without her bracelet. Alex finally tells the other Runaways that he is working with Darius, much to their chagrin. Jonah seeks Janet's help with Victor's work. Afterwards, she takes a book from Jonah that she must translate and tells Geoffrey about what she is up to. Karolina, Nico and Molly break into the Minorus' house to steal the Staff of One and fight Tina. After some coaxing, Tina relents, but tells Nico that they are no longer family. Nico realizes that Karolina does not need her bracelet and accuses her of holding back. Chase and Gert further their relationship and try to bring power back to the hostel. They blow a fuse and together use Old Lace to scare away the power workers and steal some of their equipment. Alex returns to help Darius and gets closer to Livvie who does not believe the news about him. Molly sneaks out of the hostel and the Wilders decide to frame someone else for Destiny's murder to bring their kids out. Darius calls Geoffrey to tell him that he knows where Alex is.
133"Double Zeros"Larry TengKirk A. MooreDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
The Runaways attempt to use their new abilities without Alex who is still conversing with Darius and his family. Gert is still antsy without her medication which concerns Chase. Molly continues to sneak out and use her powers to "fight crime" with Nico reprimanding her, though she does not tell Gert. Leslie is upset with Frank for taking over the church, but he tells her that he is just playing along with Jonah. Jonah has Leslie get his DNA from the Yorkses and tries to get Victor to study his blueprints. He sends Janet into Victor's mind and she has him help her decode Jonah's language. Darius finally sells out Alex to Geoffrey who in turn tries to make amends with him by giving him a hotel key card. Alex secretly sends help to the Runaways who come and save him. Darius arrives at the hotel and meets Catherine who kills him and frames him for Destiny's murder, clearing the Runaways. Alex situates himself back with his friends while Gert discovers Molly's midnight runs. She is followed back to the hostel by another teenager named Topher who covers for them.
144"Old School"Patrick NorrisTracy McMillanDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Everyone, except Molly, does not trust Topher despite his friendly and knowledgeable outlook of the streets. Nico notices him applying a strange substance to his wrist that he uses to show his strength, but keeps it to herself. In the morning, Topher bonds with Molly over their possible relationship. Geoffrey chastises Catherine for betraying Darius. Karolina once again sneaks off to meet with Jonah under the guise of looking for employment. Alex realizes that they need to get a computer drive from Atlas Academy, so the group plus Topher go there to look. While Topher is inside, the Yorkses trigger an earthquake at the drilling site, causing the students to exit the school. Gert sneaks in, but is caught by the nurse, alerting the parents who come looking for their kids. The Runaways get the computer drive and escape. Jonah and Karolina head to the drilling site and spot the Yorkses leaving. Nico snags Topher's substance from him and demands to know what it is. A sickly Jonah takes a curious Karolina down the drilling hole for answers.
155"Rock Bottom"Scott PetersJake FogelnestDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Topher explains to the Runaways that he was kicked out by his parents and that he found the rocks in a terrarium in an alley way. While still untrusting the group let him stay and Molly tells him about the dig site. Karolina and Jonah get to the bottom and the latter learns of her alien roots and extended family. Topher suddenly takes off in the morning and the Runaways give chase upon learning of his plan. Leslie and Frank reconnect over Jonah's lies with the latter angered upon learning of him being with Karolina. Robert tries to intimidate Jonah about the whereabouts of their children, but he is overpowered by members of the church and brought back to the rest of Pride alive. The Runaways find Topher at his parents house and learn that he lied about his past. He witnessed the Hernandezes' deaths and became addicted to their rocks. A fight breaks out resulting in Topher getting wounded. Molly makes up with the Runaways. Karolina sneaks out to talk to Leslie about Jonah, while Gert sneaks out to a hospital to get her medication for stress.
166"Bury Another"Ami Canaan MannAshley WigfieldDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Jonah confronts Pride by bluntly telling them his plan to have his ship unearthed and then go home without any trouble and that he will leave some of his technology for them to use for humanity. Pride still has trouble believing him as his ship could potentially cause an earthquake disaster. Leslie tells Karolina that Jonah should not be trusted and that he was the one who murdered Amy. Gert has Janet sign for her at the hospital. Chase comes to pick her up and he has a bittersweet reunion with Janet who tells them that Jonah plans to make another sacrifice. Desperate, Jonah kidnaps Geoffrey to use so that he can retain his body longer. Janet informs Dale and Stacey about Gert and Chase being okay and Leslie and Frank stand up to Jonah about his actions. The Runaways break into the Church of Gibborim and find Geoffrey and "rescue" him. Janet frees Victor from his stasis after she realizes that he has been fine for a while. Karolina tells Nico about Amy's murder leaving her shattered. Alex has Geoffrey tied up and tells him that he will answer to him now.
177"Last Rites"James MadiganQuinton PeeplesDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Twenty years ago, Jonah watches David Ellerh die as he takes Leslie under his wing. In the present, Karolina tells the Runaways she has been seeing Jonah and that he just wants him and his family to leave. The Runaways are upset at this news, but they have her stall Jonah through his texts and decide to perform a rescue mission for Karolina's family. Victor sees Chase's message from the future and is moved. The Steins and the Yorkeses prepare to defeat Jonah and his ship. The Runaways and Geoffrey distract Jonah's church army by hacking their vans and then sneak into the construction site. Frank is confronted by Destiny Gonzalez's brother Oscar and accidentally kills him. The Runaways fail to rescue Karolina's family as everyone arrives. Pride takes out the ship by blowing it up. Jonah is furious, but he is killed by a vengeful Nico. As he dies, he suddenly speaks with an Australian accent and cannot recognize anyone. Nico puts Pride to sleep as she and the Runaways escape. Karolina is disheartened by Nico's decision to kill Jonah.
188"Past Life"Anna MastroKendall RogersDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Decades ago, the entity that would eventually become Jonah took possession of a Melbourne doctor after his previous host dies and helps establish the Church of Gibborim. In the present, Pride is glad to be rid of Jonah so that now they can focus on their children. Gert plans to attend college. Chase later finds out and is upset by it. Karolina refuses to talk to Nico and heads to the church to find anything about Jonah. She finds a recording device from him and learns of her history. Livvie tries to clear her brother-in-law Darius, but Catherine orders Flores' partner AWOL to attack her and her family as a warning. She teams up with Alex and the Runaways to prove Darius innocent and discover Catherine's involvement. Frank tells Leslie of Oscar's murder and the latter calls Flores to cover up the crime. Frank then tells the church followers that Leslie was the murderer. Geoffrey goes to Tamar to help her and she promises to get back at him. The Runaways escape the hotel they were staying at, but Molly stays behind to allow the others to escape.
199"Big Shot"Wendey StanzlerKirk A. MooreDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Molly holds her own against Flores as the Runaways come and retrieve her. Flores tells Pride that their kids plan to get back at them and they respond by creating "weapons" to deal with their kids, though some of the parents are against it. Tina begins acting strange by being flirtatious with Robert and Stacey is being secretive with Dale. Alex devises a plan to get to AWOL, but it does not go as planned. AWOL angrily confronts Flores about the kids having abilities and he tells him to stay in line. Geoffrey and Catherine tell Tamar that they will protect her, but she is secretly working with AWOL to get back at them. AWOL makes a deal with Alex to get at their parents and keep him off which angers Livvie. She informs the rest of the Runaways and they berate him for it. AWOL becomes the Pride's main agent and he kills Flores. Karolina begins hearing a strange voice, but she cannot determine where it came from. Old Lace gets sprayed with a pathogen that makes her and Gert sick and bedridden. AWOL turns on everyone and kidnaps Livvie to find the Runaways.
2010"Hostile Takeover"Jeffrey W. ByrdAshley WigfieldDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
AWOL and his men arrive with Livvie at the Hostel, but Nico puts up a camouflage spell to hide them. They attempt to negotiate, but AWOL gets more and more desperate. Gert and Old Lace continue to get sick and Chase is forced to flee with them to get help. The Runaways trick AWOL into entering and hold him hostage. As the rest of his men come in, Nico falls unconscious, but then suddenly arises and uses a new power to make them all disappear. Livvie realizes that she cannot stay and that she must protect Tamar. Chase gets Gert and Old Lace to the Yorkeses and Stacey is revealed to have made them sick to get them home, angering Dale. Victor begins displaying strange behavior when he does not remember having sex with Janet and Tina continues to act in a flirtatious manner. When Victor and Tina meet they seem to be different people. Leslie tries to convince Frank that the church is a lie and that they must leave it behind, but Frank and the church members put her through reconditioning. Victor leaves strange alien messages across the city.
2111"Last Waltz"Ramsey NickellTracy McMillanDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
The Yorkeses attempt to interrogate Chase about where the other kids are, but they are interrupted by Tina who they are forced to lock up as well. The rest of the Runaways deduce where Chase and Gert are and rescue them, but Old Lace is left behind and tranquilized. The Yorkeses decide to use Old Lace so that they can continue to track Gert. Leslie is taken by Frank and the church to the Crater for reconditioning and discovers her mother, Susan, who reveals that she knows she is hiding another unexpected pregnancy. Nico buries her Staff of One as she feels that it is dangerous to use. Molly reveals that her birthday was the day before and the Runaways decide to throw her a quinceañera. While shopping, Karolina meets a strange woman named Xavin who mysteriously disappears. Victor uses a special signal to contact Chase and tells him that he is not getting better as previously believed. The Runaways have the quinceañera, but Chase reveals afterwards that he is going back to his parents, angering and upsetting everyone.
2212"Earth Angel"Stephen SurjikWarren Hsu LeonardDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Church member Vaughn contacts Karolina, who recruits Nico and Molly, and the four head to the crater to rescue Leslie. Karolina receives help from Susan and together they convince the church goers that Frank is corrupt. The kids and Leslie leave, while Susan takes control of the church and locks away Frank. Victor reveals his illness, which is similar to Jonah's, to Chase and he has him intern at Pride. Chase becomes suspicious after overhearing two other employees who earlier were used as guinea pigs in a Pride experiment and he does some digging. Alex gets a gun with his fingerprints from Tamar so that he can get at his parents and Gert realizes that she is still connected to Old Lace. Victor finally shows Chase the actual Pride headquarters and finally convinces him to join on the condition that they not harm his friends. The girls bring Leslie back to the hostel which Gert approves of, but Alex is concerned. As Karolina rests in her room, she is visited by Xavin, who is a shape shifting alien, and she tells her that she is her betrothed.
2313"Split Up"Jeffrey WebbQuinton PeeplesDecember 21, 2018 (2018-12-21)
Xavin explains that she was promised Karolina as part of a prophecy. While speaking with Leslie, Xavin reveals that she is pregnant with Jonah's heir and that his family has inhabited other bodies that will come for her and Karolina. Chase meets with the Runaways and tells them that their parents will come for them with weapons. A chase ensues and the Runaways split up. Nico confronts her parents at Pride and fights them, resulting in shattered glass getting embedded in Robert's neck. Alex gets chased by Geoffrey and Catherine, but he tricks them into getting caught by the cops and has them arrested. Karolina, Janet and Chase realize that Victor is actually Jonah and are all captured. Molly outruns Dale while Stacey, once again acting out of character, captures Gert. Dale decides to flee with Gert and Old Lace. Alex, Molly, Nico, Leslie and Xavin try to plan while Victor actually Jonah, Stacey and Tina, who are all possessed, wonder where their missing member is and decide to use Karolina, Chase and Janet to prolong their lives in their new bodies.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Brian K. Vaughan was hired to write a screenplay for Marvel Studios in May 2008, based on his comic book Runaways.[22] In April 2010, Marvel hired Peter Sollett to direct the film,[23] and a month later Drew Pearce signed on to write a new script.[24] Development on the film was put on hold the following October,[25] and Pearce explained in September 2013 that the Runaways film had been shelved due to the success of The Avengers; the earliest the film could be made was for Phase Three of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[26] In October 2014, after announcing Marvel's Phase Three films without Runaways, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige said the project was "still an awesome script that exists in our script vault ... In our television and future film discussions, it's always one that we talk about, because we have a solid draft there. [But] we can't make them all."[27]

Marvel Television, based at ABC Studios, was waiting for the right showrunner before moving forward with a television take on the characters. Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, whose company Fake Empire Productions had an overall deal with ABC, independently brought up the property during a general meeting with the studio,[28][1] and, by August 2016, the pair had spent a year conversing with Marvel about turning Runaways into a television series. That month, it was announced that streaming service Hulu had ordered a pilot episode and scripts for a full season of Runaways, to be co-produced by Marvel Television, ABC Signature Studios, and Fake Empire Productions. Hulu was believed to already have "an eye toward a full-season greenlight".[1][29] Executive producer Jeph Loeb felt "it was an easy decision" to have Hulu air the series over the other networks Marvel Television works with, because "[w]e were very excited about the possibility of joining a network that was young and growing in the same way that when we went to Netflix when it was young and growing on the original side. It really feels like we're in the right place at the right time with the right show." Loeb and Marvel Television were also impressed by the success of Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, which helped further justify the decision.[30] Schwartz and Savage wrote the pilot, and serve as showrunners on the series, as well as executive producers alongside Loeb and Jim Chory.[1][29] In May 2017, Runaways received a 10-episode series order from Hulu at their annual advertising upfront presentation.[31]

Fake Empire's Lis Rowinski produces the series,[1][29] and Vaughan serves as an executive consultant.[4] On this, Vaughan noted he "did a little consulting early in the process", but felt the series "found the ideal 'foster parents' in Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage … [who] lovingly adapted [the comics] into a stylish drama that feels like contemporary Los Angeles". He also praised the cast, crew and writers working on the series, and felt the pilot looked "like an Adrian Alphona comic", referring to the artist who worked with Vaughan when he created the characters.[32] Loeb said that it had been Schwartz and Savage who had asked that Vaughan be involved, and said that this was something that "a lot of showrunners don't immediately gravitate towards". In discussions with Vaughan, Marvel found that he "really wanted to be involved and make sure that it was done, not just properly, but in a way that it would last 100 episodes".[33] On January 8, 2018, Hulu renewed the series for a 13-episode second season.[34]

On March 24, 2019, Hulu renewed the series for a ten-episode third season.[35]

Writing[edit]

Schwartz was a fan of the Runaways comic for some time, and introduced it to Savage, saying, "When you're a teenager, everything feels like life and death, and the stakes in this story—really felt like that." Loeb described the series as The O.C. of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU),[28] which Schwartz said meant "treating the problems of teenagers as if they are adults" and having the series "feel true and authentic to the teenage experience, even in this heightened context".[16] Loeb noted that it would deal with modern political issues by saying, "This is a time when figures of authority are in question, and this is a story where teenagers are at that age where they see their parents as fallible and human. Just because someone is in charge, doesn't mean that they're here to do good."[28] The producers did note that the series would explore the parents' perspective as well, with the pilot telling the story from the Runaways' perspective, and the second episode showing the same story from their parents'—the Pride's—perspective, with the two stories converging midway through the first season.[36]

Schwartz likened the tone of Runaways to that of the comics it was based on, calling it "so distinct", saying much of the tone Vaughn used when writing the comics overlapped with the tones Schwartz and Savage like to work in.[16] The pair were excited by the freedom given to them by Hulu over the usual broadcasters they were used to working with, such as allowing the children to swear in the show, not having set lengths for each episode, and being able to explore the parents' story; Hulu wanted "something that felt broad and where we could push the envelope in places". Schwartz described the series as a coming-of-age story and a family drama, with focus on the characters that can lead to long stretches of the series not featuring super powers, so "if you didn't see the show title, you wouldn't know that you were in a Marvel show for long stretches ... That was our aesthetic starting place, but there are episodes where there's some good [Marvel] stuff."[33]

Speaking to the second season, Schwartz felt the series would "accelerate" since the season would be following the kids on the run, saying, "Our focus shifts to these kids and trying to survive in the streets… there's a greater sense of tension and momentum in keeping with where we are in this part of the story." He added that the kids' experience on the run would force them to grow up and make them confront and deal with adult themes quickly.[37] He added that the relationship between Nico and Karolina that began at the end of the first season would be "the emotional core" of the second.[38] As for the parents in the season, Schwartz described them as racing against the clock "to find their kids before something catastrophic potentially could occur".[37] Since the kids know about their powers, they are utilized more in the season. Additionally, the hostel the kids move into is a dilapidated mansion under Griffith Park.[39]

Casting[edit]

In February 2017, Marvel announced the casting of the Runaways, with Rhenzy Feliz as Alex Wilder, Lyrica Okano as Nico Minoru, Virginia Gardner as Karolina Dean, Ariela Barer as Gert Yorkes, Gregg Sulkin as Chase Stein, and Allegra Acosta as Molly Hernandez.[4] Shortly after, Marvel announced the casting of the Pride, with Ryan Sands as Geoffrey Wilder, Angel Parker as Catherine Wilder, Brittany Ishibashi as Tina Minoru, James Yaegashi as Robert Minoru, Kevin Weisman as Dale Yorkes, Brigid Brannagh as Stacey Yorkes, Annie Wersching as Leslie Dean, Kip Pardue as Frank Dean, James Marsters as Victor Stein, and Ever Carradine as Janet Stein.[2] Loeb praised casting director Patrick Rush, explaining that all of the series regulars for Runaways were the producers' first choice for the role. The majority of the children are portrayed by "fresh faces", which was an intentional choice.[33]

By August 2017, Julian McMahon had been cast in the recurring role of Jonah.[17] He was promoted to series regular for the second season.[40] For the second season, Schwartz noted that "really popular, exciting characters" from the comics would appear.[37] In October 2018, it was announced that Jan Luis Castellanos had joined the cast as Topher.[3] Clarissa Thibeaux was cast as Xavin, a casting and role that was not revealed until the release of the second season.[41]

Filming[edit]

Filming on the pilot began by February 10, 2017,[42] in Los Angeles,[43] under the working title Rugrats,[44] and concluded on March 3.[45] Director Brett Morgen was given free rein by Marvel and Hulu to establish the look of the series,[46] and wanted to create a feel that was "very grounded and authentic".[33] He also looked to differentiate between the hand-held, gritty world of the Runaways and the more stylistic world of the Pride. He felt the latter could be explored more in the series moving forward, but was not available to direct any more episodes of the season.[46] Following completion of the pilot and the show's pick-up to series, there was concern among the cast and crew that the impending writers' strike would prevent the series to move forward. However, the strike did not happen, and filming on the rest of the season began at the end of June, again in Los Angeles.[7] Production on the season had concluded by October 21.[47]

Production on the second season began the week of April 23, 2018, again in Los Angeles under the working title Rugrats.[48][49] Filming on the season continued until late September 2018.[49][50]

Music[edit]

In May 2017, Siddhartha Khosla was hired to compose the music for the series.[51] Khosla said that, due to his history as a songwriter, his scoring process involves "working on these song-stories and weaving them through different episodes". He described the Runaways score as being "completely synthesized",[52] utilizing analog synthesizers from the 1980s, specifically the Roland Juno-60 and Oberheim Electronics' synths. Khosla compared the "alternative feel" of his score to Depeche Mode, adding "there is an element of rebellion, so sonically going for something that is a little bit outside the box, non-traditional, I felt was an appropriate approach. I feel like I'm making art on this show."[53] Alex Patsavas serves as music supervisor, having done so on all of Schwartz and Savage's previous series.[16] On January 12, 2018, a soundtrack from the first season consisting of 12 licensed tracks plus two by Khosla, was released digitally.[54]

Additionally, the original score for the series was released digitally on January 26.[54] All music by Siddhartha Khosla:[55]

Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-ins[edit]

Loeb confirmed in July 2017 that the series would be set in the MCU, but that the show's characters would not be concerned with the actions of the Avengers, for example, saying, "Would you be following Iron Man [on social media] or would you be following someone your own age? The fact that they've found each other and they're going through this mystery together at the moment is what we're concerned about, not what Captain America is doing." The showrunners considered the series' connection to the MCU to be "liberating", as it allowed them to set the series in a universe where superheroics and fantasy are already established and do not need to be explained to the audience.[56] Schwartz said they "were very capable of telling the story that we wanted to tell independent of any of the other Marvel stories that are out there."[16] Loeb added that there were no plans to crossover across networks with the similarly themed Cloak & Dagger on Freeform, as Marvel wanted the series to find its footing before further connecting with other elements of the universe, though "You'll see things that comment on each other; we try to touch base wherever we can... things that are happening in L.A. are not exactly going to be affecting what's happening in New Orleans [where Cloak & Dagger is set]... It's being aware of it and trying to find a way [to connect] that makes sense."[36]

The series mentions Wakanda, a fictional country that previously appeared in the MCU films.[57]

Release[edit]

Runaways premiered its first three episodes on Hulu in the United States on November 21, 2017, with the first season consisting of 10 episodes,[30][58] and concluding on January 9, 2018.[59] The series aired on Showcase in Canada, premiering on November 22,[60] and aired on Syfy in the United Kingdom premiering on April 18, 2018.[61] The premiere episode made its broadcast debut in the United States on Freeform on August 2, 2018, following the airing of the first season finale of Cloak & Dagger; the airing is part of Freeform's ongoing marketing partnership with Hulu.[62]

The second season, consisting of 13 episodes,[34] was released in its entirety on December 21, 2018.[63]

Marketing[edit]

Cast members and Schwartz and Savage appeared at New York Comic Con 2017 to promote the series,[64] where a trailer for the series was revealed, along with a screening of the first episode.[65] The series had its red carpet premiere at the Regency Bruin Theatre in Westwood, Los Angeles on November 16, 2017.[66]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported an 86% approval rating for the first season, based on 77 reviews, with an average rating of 7.75/10. The website's consensus reads, "Earnest, fun, and more balanced than its source material, Runaways finds strong footing in an over-saturated genre."[67] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 68 out of 100 based on 22 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[68]

The second season has an approval rating of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 21 reviews, with an average rating of 6.69/10. The website's critical consensus states, "Runaways hits the ground running in its sophomore season, but though it deepens the connections between its expansive cast, formulaic stories and an over-dependence on plot devices holds it back from fully maturing into a compelling character study."[69]

Reviewing the first two episodes of the series, Joseph Schmidt of ComicBook.com praised the show for its faithfulness to the comics, but also for some of the changes it made, appreciating the increased focus on the parents. He thought the cast portraying the Runaways was "pretty spot on", but "many of the parents are scene stealers", highlighting the performances of Marsters, Wersching, and Pardue.[70]

Accolades[edit]

Runaways was nominated at the 44th Saturn Awards for the Best New Media Superhero Series.[71]

References[edit]

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