Sunday, December 23, 2018

REVIEW: 'Runaways' - Alex Comes Up With a Plan to Help Darius' Family Which Could Hurt Molly in 'Past Life'

Hulu's Runaways - Episode 2.08 "Past Life"

In the aftermath of the battle against Jonah, Karolina searches for answers about Jonah and the others help Alex and Livvie try to prove Darius' innocence in Destiny's murder. But Livvie's curiosity just might catch up with her.

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.

"Past Life" was written by Kendall Rogers and directed by Anna Mastro

This is a very weird episode. It's a comedown from the epic conclusion between the Runaways, Pride and Jonah. But it's also very much rehashing the past in the hopes of finding a new way forward. Things hit their climax with Jonah. He is gone as a serious threat. At least, that's the way that things are currently being played. There is always the potential of him returning in some new vessel because of the belief that energy is never truly lost in the universe. This hour starts by showing how he came to embody his current form. In fact, it shows that he only stayed in Jonah's body because he wanted some consistency throughout Karolina's life. Even though she just recently found out that he was her father, he wanted to carry the same face throughout her life. That just forced Pride to kill random runaways to keep the body from decaying because of the strain of the light-based powers. All of this is intriguing information. The fact that it's coming out after Jonah's apparent death though should probably signal to the audience that this threat isn't over just yet. However, the rest of the hour is very much dealing with the outcome of that battle in the broadest and dumbest way possible. It refocuses on trying to get justice for Darius' death by clearing his name. It's a mission that Alex and Livvie are passionate about. They want to expose Pride as the frauds that they are. Of course, it's also just getting the Runaways up to speed with everything the audience already knows. As such, we are operating ahead of them. So, it's not really surprising when they learn that it was actually Catherine who killed Darius. The audience already knew that. It has put a great deal of tension in the marriage between Catherine and Geoffrey. But it's also just weird how things seem to happen instantly whenever Pride issues an order. Alex explains that one has to actually access the video feed on site in order to see inside the room where Darius was killed. By the time he and the Runaways get there though, it's already too late to find the evidence. It has already been tampered with by Flores and his unit of corrupt officers. Moreover, this hour establishes Flores as the new wildcard in this entire story because Pride wishes to disband. He has been their loyal fixer for a long time. He is skilled and discreet. However, he feels betrayed upon learning from Leslie that these will be the last missions for him from Pride. He doesn't know everything about the behind-the-scenes machinations. And yet, he knows enough that the teens are still wanted by their parents. That means that it's so menacing when he shows up upon capturing Molly in this hotel. And yet, it's a painfully contrived reason why Molly stays behind and gets captured in the first place. She didn't have to fight off the security guards. She already did enough to keep them at bay while the Runaways escaped. Her going back was justified only because the show needed to add some tension to the proceedings. That's very lame and makes it feel like the show is once again back in wheel-spinning mode. It's just bidding its time until some new, big revelation can occur in the narrative. There is simply no other explanation for Leslie and Frank now getting into a war over the church because she wants to end it knowing that it's all a part of Jonah's lies while Frank still feels power from it. It's the only way he can cope with killing a teenager. And yet, he quickly becomes a duplicitous individual because he's willing to frame Leslie for the murder he committed in order to keep his power. All of this could be interesting if the Church was actually something of importance to this season. The power of faith is real. It could be interesting to see all of this called out as fake and challenged amongst its believers. There are just no characters within the organization who still genuinely believe and are compelling in the overall narrative.