Friday, December 21, 2018

REVIEW: 'Runaways' - The Runaways Struggle to Find Shelter While Evading Their Parents in 'Gimmie Shelter'

Hulu's Runaways - Episode 2.01 "Gimmie Shelter"

The kids struggle with their new lives as Runaways, but find a hideout. Alex goes to work for Darius while Pride plots to kill Jonah. Jonah initiates a plan to build a new box.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. Premieres and finales may feature longer reviews. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Hulu's Runaways.

"Gimmie Shelter" was written by Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage and directed by Allison Liddi-Brown

The first season began with a death. And now, the second season begins with a death. Graciela was a little more important as a character than Destiny was. Destiny's death mostly put the various stories into motion. Graciela's death proves to the Runaways that there are consequences to their actions. She pointed Molly in the direction of a tape her parents wanted her to have. That produced meaningful information about what's truly going on beneath the city. It's also not inherently wrong for her to create an insurance policy to allow that information to get out should something happen to her and her friends. However, she didn't realize that that would make her last remaining family member a target of the Pride. The Runaways don't know that they have to try and protect her until Pride has already made their move. As such, they arrive too late and Molly has lost another member of her family. That is devastating to her. Hopefully, it doesn't ruin her plucky spirit that is so infectious in this world. It's still meaningful when the camera features her snuggling up on the couch of the new hideout for the teens. But there is a fair amount of gravitas and empathy during the impromptu funeral for Graciela. This hour has to prove that these teens aren't great at running away but are still very in touch with each other and want to help ease the pain of their friends. Niko may have robbed from Graciela. But she also sees the value in this ceremony. It brings an entire community together as well. Molly feels that she is suddenly all alone in the world. That's not true at all. She has the support of her friends. Plus, everyone else in this homeless community rallies for this moment. At first, it's random when they start adding objects to the shrine as well. But it ends in a really beautiful place that proves that total strangers can still be so compassionate and understanding. Gert feels that she doesn't do enough to support her sister during this latest tragedy. Chase is the one who steps up to protect her upon seeing her latest family member dead. Moreover, it's clear that Pride are still antagonists even though they are unaware of Jonah's grand plans for the city and are conspiring to eliminate him as well. Tina is willing to kill Graciela the moment that she becomes a problem. Dale and Stacey are willing to rip away her memories. Geoffrey is quick to intimidate and threaten violence in order to solve his immediate problems. As such, the parents are still villains even though the narrative has made them more complex by showing a genuine interest in protecting their kids while trying to get to the bottom of the same mystery.

Of course, this hour also has to show how much the Runaways are struggling. They don't know how to evade their parents. There is a manhunt for them. Pride isn't hoping for any of them to get hurt. But this is a story that has gotten citywide attention. The Runaways are recognized in the community. Sure, they are only recognized when it's convenient for the plot. That may prove just how self-involved people can be. However, Pride has the technology to examine and monitor the entire city in the hopes of getting some clue as to what's going on with the kids. Meanwhile, the Runaways just stumble upon their new hideout that will provide sanctuary for them. This entire hour is about them running away from danger. Alex reached out to Darius hoping he could offer financial support. And now, that money quickly disappears. That makes it seem incredibly repetitive without the audience trusting that this is something important that has happened between the characters. It also just ensures that there are new secrets that are being kept amongst the Runaways. The new couplings have been exposed. And yet, Nico and Karolina are much more stable than Chase and Gert are at the moment. They have already accepted this relationship for what it truly is. Plus, they are honest with each other. Well, they are honest to a point. It's miraculous when Karolina stumbles upon this new abandoned mansion in the hills of the city that the Runaways can make their home while they plot their attacks on Pride. However, it's very precarious when it's also revealed that Karolina is secretly meeting with Jonah. There was the tease that one of the Runaways was working against the best interests of the group. And now, that mystery has already been answered. Karolina was always the obvious choice because Jonah represents a source of answers to her about who she actually is. She has discovered these powers but doesn't know what they are or where they came from. She stands opposed to Jonah with the actions he is willing to take especially if it could destroy the entire city. She won't immediately accept his views of the world and what needs to be done in order to survive as a member of this mysterious species. And yet, she could still be persuaded. As such, that puts immediate pressure on this secret considering Jonah has put a renewed sense of purpose into his mission in order to keep from dying.