Marvel’s ‘Runaways’ S1. E5 Recap: “Kingdom”

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Last time on Marvel’s Runaways, the kids discovered concrete evidence that their parents are murderers. The news affected Karolina the most, who never imagined that her mother would be the one choosing the victims herself. Just after she was told, Nico witnessed Alex being taken away in a random car, and she needs the help of her friends to save him.

This week’s episode begins with a look into Geoffrey Wilder’s life 18 years ago. While in prison, a random businessman offered to buy property off of him for millions, a proposal that Geoffrey knew could change his life. He accepts the deal, but the only way he can get a fresh start is having his close friend Darius take the blame for his crimes. Even though Darius agrees, he knows deep down that Geoffrey will forget him once he forms a better life.

We return to present day in Darius’ car where Alex has been taken, and he’s on his way to learn the secrets of his father’s past. Nico, who now has Karolina by her side, continuously tries calling Alex to no avail. Karolina is panicking, and suspects that the Gibborim took Alex because they went into Leslie’s files.

Nico immediately comforts Karolina with a hug, which calms her down and gets super gay in the process. I nearly thought Karolina was going to kiss her (which would’ve recreated a memorable moment from the comics), but I’m counting on you down the line, Runaways. The two of them have unmatchable chemistry, and it’s awesome that the show isn’t playing coy.

Molly and Gert then arrive to help rescue Alex. Nico invokes the Staff of One to lead them to him, and they take off in Karolina’s car. Gert continues to call Chase who is absent from the mission, bonding with his dad over engineering.
Meanwhile, Darius has taken Alex to places where he and Geoffrey grew up together, and tells him the truth about his dad’s betrayal.

From the look on his face, Alex’s respect for him is diminishing more than it already has. Darius then calls Geoffrey to threaten him with the money he owes him — as well as Alex’s safety — and Geoffrey leaves to go save his son. Mayhem breaks out when he arrives, and Alex shoots one of Darius’ gang members who was aiming at his dad. Nico, Karolina, Gert and Molly arrive just as Alex is put back into Darius’ car. Refusing to abandon Alex, they decide to follow.

Nico attempts to stop the car’s engine with the Staff, but it doesn’t work. No one believed Molly about her super strength and now she can finally prove it, which she does by lifting the back of the car to halt its movement. Everyone exits the car just as Karolina removes her bracelet, blinding them all with her glittery light beams. Immediately after, Chase arrives and blasts Darius away with his newly constructed Fistigon gloves.

Darius comes back for one last chance to fight them, but Nico creates a forcefield around them with the Staff to block his bullets. It feels like everything in Runaways has led up to this moment: The kids are finally becoming superheroes, and their unique abilities are making them more cohesive.

After their first crime fighting experience, they relocate to bond even more (including Nico and Karolina being unable to keep their hands off each other). Alex then proposes a new mission – their parents’ next sacrifice – who he suspects is the guy he shot earlier. They all agree to stop them, but are shocked to find the ceremonial room empty.

 

Nico follows Alex after he storms off, leading to a kiss between them that poor Karolina walks in on. Chase discovers a hidden camera in the basement, which contains footage that could be used as evidence. As a result of his relationship with his dad growing, Chase believes that there could be a good reason for all of the sacrifices, much to everyone else’s disagreement.

Meanwhile, the new PRIDE sacrifice — which worked this time around — took place in Leslie’s mediation room. She kicks the rest of parents out once the sacrifice is complete, as she knows that the man she’s been keeping in the room is finally cured because of it.

The kids are back home as the episode’s end approaches: Alex argues with his dad, Karolina’s bottled up emotions are let out as she smashes things around her room, Gert and Molly bond with their pet dinosaur, Tina catches Nico with the Staff and trusts her to use it, and Chase learns that his dad has brain cancer. Also, Victor has created a time machine that predicted the destruction of L.A., which I expect will have significance later on.

The final scene takes place in Leslie’s mediation room. The man she’s been keeping there is the same man from the beginning of the episode, who made the business deal with Geoffrey. It’s clear that he and Leslie are in love, and he confesses, “When I was laying here, my biggest fear wasn’t dying, it was that I might die without ever having looked into her eyes. I want to meet her!” We can assume that ‘her’ is likely Karolina, which indicates that he could be her biological father. We don’t know much about him other than his ties to PRIDE, but things are going to get way more interesting for the Deans.

It’s easy to call this episode of Runaways the most thrilling one yet, but they continue to raise the bar each week. Seeing the team unite with their powers gave me nostalgia from the comics, but the show is creating an aesthetic of its very own. And speaking of raising the bar, how about Karolina and Nico’s heartwarming chemistry? We’re only halfway through Season 1, and Runaways has proven that it’s getting more dynamic — and gayer — from here on out.

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