Monday, December 24, 2018

REVIEW: 'Runaways' - An Attack on the Hostel Forces Niko to Make a Dangerous Action in 'Hostile Takeover'

Hulu's Runaways - Episode 2.10 "Hostile Takeover"

Leslie starts dismantling the cult she helped create, but Frank has other plans. AWOL uses Livvie as bait to confront the Runaways. The teens must protect Gert & Old Lace, who are sick, and AWOL's team storms the hostel. Victor doesn't feel like himself.

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.

"Hostile Takeover" was written by Ashley Wigfield and directed by Jeffrey W. Byrd

There are some powerful teases that come out of this hour that prove that there is so much more going on this season that not everyone is fully aware of yet. Sure, there is also just a bunch of random stories that mostly feel like filler in order to give those cast members something to do. The melodrama between Leslie and Frank has felt like that all season long. The show feels the need to keep the Church around exactly as it is for a reason. That just means that the pressure is on to condemn Leslie to a fate of being brainwashed. That should be agonizing and horrifying. But it's still too difficult to care. That's a development that mostly feels like it's still spinning its wheels. And yet, it's so tantalizing and menacing to see that there is an extreme cost to Nico using the Staff. There was always the fear that the power from being able to do virtually anything could corrode her sense of morality. Instead, she has really stepped up as the leader of the team this season. She always has the level head with a mind for strategy. Here though, Alex is the one calling the shots after Livvie is forced into giving AWOL the location of the hideout. He is the latest person tasked with tracking down the kids for Pride. Nico has to use the staff in order to conceal their location. But it drains a lot of energy from her as well. The Runaways only survive because of how strong and powerful she is. It's inspiring because her love for the team fuels her. And yet, it's exhausting to keep all of this up while still expected to do even more. As such, Alex is forced to improvise by using the fistigons to keep AWOL and his agents away. But it's so damning to watch as the Staff seems to possess Nico for a moment. In that moment, she no longer is herself. Instead, it's a dark energy that consumes her and is willing to wipe all of these threats from existence. That's absolutely traumatic. Alex, Karolina and Molly are all having the moral discussion of whether or not they can kill in order to survive. Alex sees it as something they have to do because they are fighting against people who are willing to kill them. Karolina insists that they need to be better than that. She has already suffered a loss this season. She can't bear to see anyone else compromised like that. Nico still ultimately makes that decision. But it's also so mystifying because it's unclear if it's truly Nico casting the spell or the Staff making a play for control. Right now, the show is asking the audience to question who is really in control of these characters. Victor and Tina are now revealed to be taken over by aliens from the spaceship who are looking to reunite with anyone else who happened to survive the destruction. That's an ominous tease as well because it shows just how casual they are when it comes to the weapons they are developing. Sure, they have developed completely different personalities. Victor and Tina are still alive somewhere in their bodies as well. But this is the same process Jonah took in order to change bodies. He ultimately won full control. That's what is seemingly going on with Victor and Tina as well. It ensures that a new threat emerges without the show having to add yet another new character to the mix. It also only confirms this with Victor and Tina. Stacey has acted differently too. But that may just be to show that she is equally bad as everyone else in Pride because she poisoned Old Lace just to get Gert back home. Her plan worked too with Gert and Chase now needing to be rescued.