Tuesday, December 25, 2018

REVIEW: 'Runaways' - The War Between the Runaways and Pride Leaves Both Sides Divided in 'Split Up'

Hulu's Runaways - Episode 2.13 "Split Up"

Angry at his betrayal, the Runaways meet with Chase. He offers them a choice: surrender to Pride or face the consequences. As the kids attempt their escape, they're separated and forced to survive against an enemy far more pernicious than they expected.

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.

"Split Up" was written by Quinton Peeples and directed by Jeremy Webb

There is a certainly a lot to unpack with this season finale. That was always going to be the case thanks to the sheer volume of plot featured in this show. This hour has to delve into all of the Runaways having some form of confrontation with their parents. Some of them are more important than others. Karolina and Nico actually get into these elaborate fight sequences with their respective parents. Meanwhile, Molly and Gert are just trying to outrun Dale and Stacey in a shopping outlet. Sure, the intensity is high for all of these individual stories. But this hour is satisfying because it provides more answers as to what has been going on during the second half of the season. It has already been revealed that Victor and Tina were possessed by aliens. There was the sneaking suspicion that Stacey was as well. It has become a little difficult to track in any given moment who is in control of those respective bodies though. The aliens note that it is a fight with the individual spirit that has resided in this body they have possessed. It's difficult for the one in Tina for example because she is so strong and obsessed. As such, it's easy to see the epic fight between her, Robert and Nico as something genuinely happening amongst that family. Sure, there was the sense that aliens were helping each other earlier in this confrontation. Tina was steering Victor to Karolina so that he could reunite with his daughter because the alien spirit of Jonah actually resides in him. That too is a huge revelation. It's something that Janet and Chase only come to realize after the fact. All of this may prove that Janet and Leslie are the least evil members of Pride. They were still complicit in the kidnapping and killing of teens. But they aren't the ones actively participating in this attack. Leslie is on the sidelines learning that her new baby has royal blood and will likely be targeted by the aliens that have been set free on the world. Meanwhile, Janet and Chase don't have the proper tools to fight back against Jonah because once again they were keeping secrets from each other. But all of this doesn't detract from the looming threat that comes from everyone having even more threats to deal with. Jonah was always a wild card player in all of this. He has officially made his return. Plus, he has two more aliens by his side who will support him no matter what. Of course, the Runaways have an alien as well with the addition of Xavin. She was the alien whom Jonah was contacting to captain the ship underground. But now, he has no use for her because she comes from a different species. She is a shapeshifter. She has found a comfortable body for now but is still trying to learn what is appropriate amongst the people she is now living with. She also immediately deems herself as Karolina's betrothed and protector. That's awkward but at least she is able to provide some sense of the tactics necessary to defeat these aliens. It's not impossible to kill them even though everyone thought they did so earlier this season. But it will remain very difficult especially because the teams are scattered to the wind at the moment.

Pride has long wanted to break up and never have to see each other again. They never could do so because they were unified in this fight with their children. They had a common goal of rescuing their kids. They aspired to the same plan of wiping their memories to ensure that everything could go back to normal. They desperately want to be the families they were before the discovery of what Pride was actually doing. And now, they have the weapons to capture their children. Chase can't get them to come in peacefully. He foolishly believes that their defeat is inevitable. It's because they don't have enough awareness of everything that is going on. As such, it's fascinating to see which Runaways make it back to the hostel and which are captured by Pride. Alex frames his parents for murder. That's his long game of revenge that he has been carefully planning. That means they could be operating from within prison cells during the next season. Meanwhile, Dale has kidnapped Gert and taken her and Old Lace on a road trip to get as far away from the chaos as possible. He doesn't really care about what happens to Stacey or Molly. He just hopes for the peace that he has long wanted with his work. Elsewhere, there is the possibility that Nico has killed once again. Her parents seem like they have the upper hand because of their weapon that can stop her from making any logical sense. However, the darkness within her once again rears its head. Tina and Robert are confused right before they are hit with a blast. It's a moment that Nico doesn't remember at all. And yet, it leaves Robert bleeding out from his wounds. He may not have survived all of this. So, Nico could be dealing with the torment of her powers killing her father just as Karolina's father came back to life through Victor. Moreover, Tina actually recognizes what is going on with Nico and notes that there are some things with the Staff that she has failed to mentioned to anyone so far. And finally, there is the reveal that there is at least one more alien out there. It's likely that it has possessed one of the Runaways as well. Victor, Tina and Stacey come together to catch up as a family of royals reunited. They plan on using Janet, Chase and Karolina to heal their bodies through an energy transfer. However, Karolina's brother is still out there. The aliens assume he survived and possessed one of the children. And yet, that should make the audience go back to see if any of the Runaways have been acting strangely since the destruction of the ship. With Victor, Tina and Stacey, it was always clear that something was going on with them that was shifting the way that they were dealing with the world. Nico has been losing a sense of time as well. However, that has largely been attributed to the mysteries of the Staff. Chase and Karolina can be taken off the list as well because they are currently being kept prisoners by the aliens. But that still leaves Alex, Molly and Gert. So, it will definitely be interesting to see how the character dynamics continue to shake up in the future for this show.