Saturday, December 22, 2018

REVIEW: 'Runaways' - The Runaways Meet a Potential New Ally Who Can Help Them Survive in 'Old School'

Hulu's Runaways - Episode 2.04 "Old School"

Topher helps the kids break into Atlas Academy, but the plan is blown when Dale and Stacey trigger an earthquake and the parents rush to the scene. Jonah's body continues to break down as he leads Karolina into the hole.

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.

"Old School" was written by Tracy McMillan and directed by Patrick Norris

The audience spent an entire season waiting for the Runaways to actually run away. They discovered that their parents were actually villains who were killing kids. They tried to stay in that world and investigate. However, it was also just delaying the inevitable of the teens needing to get out of those toxic environments. And now, the energy of the show has gone up with the idea that everyone has to be very careful in order to avoid being found. That's what makes it so frustrating when the show just decides to take a return trip to the high school in an early episode this season. That wasn't an interesting environment in the slightest. It mostly just propped up meaningless melodrama amongst the characters that really had no purpose whatsoever. Sure, there is bound to be some twist when it comes to what Chase had to do in order to get the master key to the school. However, it's mostly just frustrating because it's the show still wanting the audience to care about these teens missing this school and their lives before they had to run away from their parents. Their lives have imploded so much. As such, it does prove just how privileged and special they were because of the lifestyles afforded to them. But the show still wants the protagonists to be sympathetic. That's a little difficult to do when it also comes to them figuring out if they can trust Topher. He presents himself as another super-powered individual in this world. He has the same powers as Molly. That makes her immediately attached to him. Of course, it's so completely silly that she believes they could be long lost relatives simply because they both speak Spanish. That's crazy and makes no logical sense. Sure, it's just one of the reasons she lists for how they could have some greater connection. But it mostly proves just how naive and blind to the world she truly is. She still refuses to see the situation she broke up as a pimp hurting one of the girls working for him. That comes after so many context clues that reveal that's exactly what it was too. Topher even says as much. And yet, she still wants to believe that it's a guy having a disagreement with the woman he's dating. That's so silly and really puts Molly in an awkward position. She's the one defending Topher amongst the group. She immediately sees him as someone who can help the Runaways survive in this world. She sees so much value to keeping him around. She feels connected to him as someone who understands the powers that she has. But it's also so plain to see that he is deceiving all of them. There is really no nuance to the situation either. When he presents his powers, it's through a completely different way than Molly. Molly can just activate them whenever she wants. With Topher, he has to rub some substance on his wrist in order to become powerful. It's something that Alex and Nico pick up on right away. That continues to make them seem like the smart and perceptive ones of the group. And yet, Alex is also the one who comes up with this scheme to break into their former school. Meanwhile, no one is worried about Karolina just breaking off from the group with some half-convincing lie about trying to find a job. She doesn't want to trust Jonah. And yet, she feels the pull to him because of the answers that he can provide. That's the same dynamic that Molly has with Topher. But it's so much more effective with Karolina and Jonah because there is already the sense that it will be consequential in a way that informs character instead of just being another massive plot complication to disrupt the characters' lives.