Sunday, December 15, 2019

REVIEW: 'Runaways' - The Runaways and Pride Have Their Climatic Confrontation with Morgan in 'The Broken Circle'

Hulu's Runaways - Episode 3.09 "The Broken Circle"

Morgan's plans come to a head as the Runaways find unexpected allies and face an unimaginable tragedy.

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. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Hulu's Runaways.

"The Broken Circle" was written by Russ Cochrane & Kirk A. Moore and directed by Geeta V. Patel

Gert has always been actively planning her future. She has long held onto the dream that she could still have a relatively normal life. She envisioned going to college. She wants access to education to be a dream for all of her fellow Runaways. She understands its importance and the profound impact it can have on the way they live their lives - especially with powers. However, that's not the future Molly sees for herself. She is a superhero who is incredibly strong. She may be young and naive. But she is also resilient. She has the strength to face these lethal threats head on not knowing what might happen. Every time she gets knocked down she has the resolve to get back up for as long as she can. That is the most profound lesson that she can pass along to her sister. Gert takes it to heart during the final confrontation with Morgan. It's notable that the penultimate episode is the one in which the Runaways and Pride come together to battle the threat to life as they now it. It concludes with Morgan being defeated too. With one episode to go, there is already the sense that something more is bound to happen in this story. However, there is already a tragic coda that occurs here. Gert is the one who stands up to Morgan at the last moment and has the simple plan that traps her with enough time for Tina to cast the final spell. Nico has carried the burden of this moment by herself for so long. It has even made Karolina fear for their future together. She can't understand or embrace the darkness that only seems to be growing within Nico. That may actually inform the Runaways' decision when they opt to bow in front of Morgan after it appears their initial plan has failed. There is still so much they don't understand about the world. That is only exemplified further regarding the physics and abilities in the Dark Dimension. Morgan is a master of these dark arts. She has accumulated a whole lot of power for herself. At times, it seems like it is too easy to disrupt her plans. For the second time this season, the enchantment she has over one of the parents is broken without her realizing it right away. She may have known that Geoffrey was no longer under her spell. She was simply distracted and didn't see him as a viable threat to what she was planning on the roof with Molly. And yet, Geoffrey and Tina successfully rescue Molly from being sacrificed in order to open the doors to the Dark Dimension. That's what Morgan wanted. She still ultimately achieves that. Molly didn't have to be sacrificed in order for this spell to actually work. That takes a whole lot of narrative weight out of the proceedings. It feels more like an empty threat that allows the Runaways and Pride to reunite as they brace for this battle. It also gives Molly the right perspective so that she can have that one-on-one with Gert. This episode isn't overwhelmingly foreshadowing Gert's pending doom. However, it certainly hits a number of moments that signal that this is coming. The season to date has already proven to be quite lethal. Catherine and Robert are dead. Janet lives within technology now which makes it so much easier for her and Victor to disrupt the hold Morgan has over the citizens of California through the new Wizard phone. Again, her plan is easily disrupted based on the technology of this world. She has so much contempt for how simple yet destruction this reality is. She views her power as rising with the creation of a new world order. Everyone would be smart to fall in line and join her glory. And yet, she fails simply because she is so narcissistic and believes she is unstoppable. She is condemned to the same fate as before. She will forever be trapped in the Dark Dimension. Nico is grateful for that. She can have a sense of independence over her life once more. But again, all of this ends in tragedy because Gert dies. It's a heartbreaking moment. It also comes with the fear that Old Lace will lash out and start killing because their psychic connection has been destroyed. That should absolutely be a major concern. It may also prove that there is a significant cost to life with powers. Gert went into this battle knowing that Old Lace had to be locked away. She still stood by her friends. She is a true hero. She just doesn't survive this fight. She won't get to live the future she always deserved to have. That is immensely tragic for the Runaway who always pushed her peers to be cognizant of the world around them.