Last year I was mesmerized by Marvel’s Runaways, it was right down my alley, a teen drama with some superhero powers on the side and the second season did well to hone in on what made it popular while still fixing a lot of the errors of the first season.
1.The parents were worse but also better
One of my favourite things about the Runaways comics series is that they got rid of the parents pretty early on but the series turned things around by making the parents not quite the pure evil like in the comics. The first season shows the parents being manipulated and blackmailed by the nefarious Jonah, but in the second season we see the parents acting in their own interests more – we see Catherine’s murderous side, Leslie’s maternal side and Janet’s brainy side and all of them fighting for their children and their family’s safety.
2. The history was explored
What perplexed me about the first film was the mythology that the show is based upon. In the comics, Karolina and her family are aliens posing as actors, but in the show the Dean family own a Scientology-esque megachurch with questionable beliefs. Where this comes from and how it tires in with Jonah, as well as the truth behind where Jonah really comes from is explored this season. And although it’s not exactly original, it does thicken the plot without convoluting it.
3. Oh the relationships
I’m a diehard shipper, and Runaways is one of the few shows where I was full-steam ahead with both of the main ships. Gertrude and Chase, as well as Nico and Karolina, and both relationships worked at different paces and had different trials and tribulations, but I enjoyed every second of it. We got to see Gert struggling with anxiety without her medication and Chase struggling to support her, we had Karolina and Nico dealing with trust issues – like any teenage relationship albeit with aliens, wiccans and dinosaurs. Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage know how to write teen dramas, and they do it well in Runaways.
4. The little moments
If anything the group of Runaways progressed from friends in season one to family in season two. One of my favourite moments (however implausible it might be) was when the group throw Molly a quinceanera, with everyone in elegant gowns and the underground mansion that they live in completely decorated with fairy lights. These are poor, runaway kids…okay. But the scene itself was a beautiful signal of growth in the team and of each individual character.
There is a lot up in the air as the show ends the second season with the question of the bodysnatchers: where is the alien brother? What does Nico’s connection to the dark dimension mean? What alien powers does Karolina have? WTF is up with Leslie’s pregnancy?
There were parts that didn’t work though. Such as the new character of Topher, his appearance seemed random and unnecessary, whereas the character of Liv and the Darius plot point seemed to have legs although it seemed to be off on its’ own tangent most of the time. However, even though I enjoyed season one of Runaways, season two was even better, so I have high hopes for the trajectory of this show.