Tuesday, November 21, 2017

REVIEW: 'Runaways' - The Teens Begin Their Investigation of Their Parents Which Leads to More Tragic Reveals in 'Destiny'

Hulu's Runaways - Episode 1.03 "Destiny"

The kids are reeling following last night's events. As an investigation begins, they discover their parents may have more to hide than they could have imagined.

"Rewind" ended with the teens all agreeing to pretend that everyone is normal as they investigate what their parents were really up to in that secret lair of theirs. They had seemingly fooled all of their parents until Geoffrey stepped on something in his office that could only have come from Molly. That was an enticing note to end on that makes the audience want to see the next episode right away. And "Destiny" proves to be a significant episode for Molly as well. The hour opens with a flashback to ten years ago when her parents were killed. It's revealed that they were members of Pride as well. And so, these families really have been connected for a long time. When Molly's parents died, the rest of the kids where just young and innocent to the world. The parents are the ones openly speculating about what happened. There are already very suspicious of each other. Dale and Stacey believe it's important for them to take in Molly to avoid getting any of that suspicion themselves. Meanwhile, Tina and Robert are accused of having something to do with the accident. It's a story that is largely just setting up a new mystery. But it also serves as confirmation that Molly would have been a part of this crazy world no matter what. It highlights how the Pride supports their own even when there are fears that they have started killing one another. It once again supports that the parents don't really enjoy being around each other. But they also need each other in order to emerge as the top minds and innovators in their respective fields. This villainous group is beneficial to all of them. But the focus right now is on Molly. She's just an innocent girl who has lost her parents. It's even more tragic later on when she tells Catherine that she doesn't even remember them.

When the action does go back to the present day, Catherine is immediately willing to believe that Molly saw what the Pride was doing with Destiny. To her, it's much more sensible to believe that one of the kids saw and that was what that light was from. She seemingly has physical evidence tying Molly to Geoffrey's study. So, she intends to inject her with a drug that will make her forget whatever she saw. It's an experimental drug that Dale and Stacey have created. They are hopeful to sell it to the U.S. government so that they can retire to a ranch to continue their animal experiments. And so, it's especially twisted that this drug is going to be used on their surrogate daughter. Catherine tracks Molly down. She's isolated because the rest of the teens are investigating their own claims and mysteries about their parents. Molly is left with nothing to do but homework. But instead, she finds herself getting interrogating. It seems like she is going to crack under pressure. Catherine can tell that she's lying and is going to strike. Molly feels the need to make her escape by breaking out of a bathroom window. But that just serves as more evidence that her superhuman strength tires her out immediately. It makes her easy to catch just as soon as Catherine looks outside. But that leads to a more encouraging moment with Molly's ability to lie. Her first attempt wasn't successful but her second was because it's believable that the rest of the teens would try raiding Geoffrey's liquor cabinet. It's based in the truth and is just enough to buy Molly some more time. In fact, it opens the door for a more meaningful relationship because Catherine offers to tell Molly more about her parents as well.

Elsewhere, the main investigation with the teens is trying to figure out what happened to Destiny. They need to know if their parents actually killed her or if she is in London like a photo sent to Karolina implies. Of course, it's not a mystery for the audience. We know that she is still trapped in Victor's device. That provides a few more hints at just how unstable and erratic he is at the moment. He is hallucinating Destiny when she isn't there. He's haunted by her and that informs his actions later on. He's quick to act before Chase and Gert go down to his lab looking for evidence. All of his research and experiments are just there for anyone to see. It doesn't appear as if he is hiding anything. But of course, he's hiding a lot as well. He's tested this device to see if it works. It didn't. It failed. But Destiny's body is gone. There is nothing left behind for Chase and Gert to find. So, their corner of this investigation meets a swift conclusion. As such, they choose to investigate Molly's claim that there is some creature in the Yorkes' basement. Gert knows about the animals down there. She has fed them before. She believes it could be another place the parents are keeping Destiny against her will. Instead, their discovery is even more astonishing. Chase opens the door after his x-ray goggles provide no answers. Out comes a dinosaur. It's incredible. It's a terrifying sight as well because of how fast this creature moves. And yet, Gert talking seems to calm it as well. That's a curious sight. But it's also more important that this dinosaur stays on the loose. It doesn't go back to its cage. So, that's just a new complication added on top of this narrative.

Meanwhile, Nico is looking into the magical staff that Tina used to create the barrier in that secret lair. The kids were very fortunate that that wall was there and their parents couldn't hear or see them right away. It's allowed them a certain sense of safety and protection. Plus, that staff is just up there on the wall in the living room. All it takes is the right tricks to open the display case. But that only creates more mysteries for Nico. She doesn't understand how this staff works or what its purpose is. She instead gets distracted by one of Amy's diaries she finds in her mother's desk. She sees a piece of paper that reminds her of snow. And then, it just starts snowing in the living room. That's unexpected and out-of-place. It creates a mess that Nico needs help cleaning up. Tina and Robert's date night isn't going according to plan. In fact, it highlights how their marriage has essentially failed due to Amy's death. Tina pushed Robert away and it's too late to try to make things work again. He's already willing to commit to a new life with Janet. All of this just means that Tina arrives home much sooner than Nico was expecting. She invites Alex over to help clean up the mess. That proves that he can't touch the staff in the same way that Nico and Tina can. That's an important detail. Plus, it's pretty miraculous that the two of them are able to clean everything up in the time it takes Tina to drive four miles. Plus, they trick her into believing that they are becoming a romantic couple so that she doesn't suspect anything more is going on. That's quick thinking on Nico's part. But again, it's a lie based somewhat in reality because the spark is obviously there between the two of them. Alex is willing to act on it even though he's still awkward around Nico.

All of this is building to another episode ending twist that will probably want the audience to view the next episode right away once more. "Destiny" ends with Destiny's fate being discovered to the world at large. The Pride operated under the belief that putting her into the chamber was the last time they had to kill someone like that. It appears that procedure was suppose to transfer her energy to the man Leslie is trying to help. He's not getting stronger. So, she knew something was wrong long before that news report came out. As such, it proves that Victor has some explaining to do. He got rid of the body by just dumping her on the beach. That ensures that it becomes a story picked up by the local news. It's enough to send the Pride worrying about what went wrong while having the understanding that they'll have to meet all over again. They believed they were done with all of that. But now, they need to find one more sacrifice. That's an ominous tease. It's not what they were expecting their lives to be. It also provides an explanation for the teens as well. This serves as confirmation that something tragic really did happen to Destiny. Karolina was looking for proof that she was alright. But now, it's just clear that the picture was doctored and someone is obviously giving her false information. Destiny showing up died is tangible proof for the teens that their parents are evil. That's a reveal that could send them all spiraling very quickly.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Destiny" was written by Kalinda Vazquez and directed by Nina Lopez-Corrado.
  • Karolina also realizes that the bracelets from her church don't grant powers of light to everyone. She questions another member about it and he has no idea what she's talking about. So, it's something completely unique to her. But she doesn't remove her bracelet again to discover what these powers actually are. It's her just continuing to question the world around her that is seeming more and more foreign and strange.
  • Again, Molly creates a huge hole in the bathroom wall during her escape from Catherine. And yet, Catherine doesn't notice it at all. She just accepts that Molly snuck out that way. She doesn't need to investigate it. If she did, then she would know that there is much more going on with Molly right now. She is developing powers that could also become a complication to the Pride's mission.
  • It's also established that Gert suffers from panic attacks. When Molly is trying to tell her about her own struggles, Gert believes she is talking about the same thing. She just wants to attribute it to them being raised in the same world despite not being actually related. It shows how Gert isn't really being there for Molly. But it's also establishing how Gert freaks out upon seeing the dinosaur in her basement. Of course, that would be a pretty natural response to such a reveal too.
  • All of the teens are trying to investigate their parents while they are out for the day. Most of them run into problems with their parents coming home earlier than expected. Alex wants to explore more of the secret lair underneath his house. And yet, he is incapable of doing so because his phone apparently failed to deliver a message when Geoffrey actually sent it. As such, he calls his father even though they are in the same house.
  • Robert is ready to take his relationship with Janet to the next level. He has already bought an apartment for them to move into. However, she is worried about what this will do to Chase. Plus, she's still scared of how Victor will react - especially considering he's demanding her to always be supportive of him no matter how crazy he seems.