Last time on Marvel’s Runaways, Operation Save Victor Stein was a total failure, leaving the future of PRIDE at stake. Things aren’t looking up for the kids either; they’re back to square one after Chase destroyed Alex’s laptop, which contained crucial evidence they needed to turn their parents in. Molly is living with a relative now, where she discovered a mysterious tape that her birth parents left behind for her.
The penultimate adventure begins with a flashback ten years ago, to the night that Molly lost her parents. An earlier episode revealed that someone in PRIDE was behind the fire that caused their death, hinting at Tina Minoru. It turns out that Leslie Dean was the culprit, who locked the Hernandezes in their lab with a bomb. Young Molly survived the explosion, and a mysterious rock that her parents were studying was the catalyst for her superpowers.
Back to present day, Nico attempts to look through Amy’s phone for answers, but is interrupted by her dad, who is back living at home after Tina gave him another chance. At the Deans’, Karolina confided in her dad about the truth of PRIDE, since he isn’t a member. Instead of encouraging Karolina and her friends to continue their mission, Frank wants to take over on his own. Karolina doesn’t seem completely confident in him, but she knows that he’s the only adult who can be trusted. At the Steins’, Chase questions his mom about what’s really going on with his dad and PRIDE. Janet tells him that it’s better for him to know less about the ordeal, as making waves could be more detrimental to Chase’s life than Victor’s.
Over at school, the kids are still tense about the night before, especially Alex, who is furious at Chase over breaking his laptop. Not to mention, Nico is still frustrated with Alex after keeping events that led up her sister’s death a secret. But even if their mission is over, none of them want to disband the group again. After Gert regrets that they never came up with a team name, Alex suggests “Runaways,” for the kids they couldn’t avenge, but the rest feel the name is “too dark.”
As the group walks off together, Chase is offered a free ticket for a dance that night, but turns it down after looking back at his friends. Gert decides to buy tickets for all of them to attend together, because if there’s nothing left of their mission, why not dance?
Molly managed to sneak away from Graciela’s and meet up with the group at Atlas Academy. She tells them about the tape she received, and asks for help. They find a room with a VCR player, and watch as Molly’s parents give a message to their daughter: PRIDE was told that they needed to dig a renewable energy source deep into the city. Before the Hernandezes died, they discovered that disturbing the dig site could cause many catastrophic events, capable of destroying the world. Molly’s parents apologize to her for failing to stop it, and she begins to cry. Realizing that stopping their parents is more crucial than ever now, the team comes up with a plan. They’ll use the dance night as a cover, before ditching to stop the construction site from becoming more of a threat.
Meanwhile, Jonah gathers the parents to the construction site, telling them that a great leap forward for humanity is upon them, all due to PRIDE. As Jonah refuses to give them details — and replaced Geoffrey Wilder’s security with Gibborim workers — the parents are beginning to wonder what’s really going on. A large drill has been placed atop the site, and they all look astounded as Jonah activates it.
Now that Frank is equipped with knowledge of the kids’ mission to stop their parents, he goes to Jonah with this information. Later on, Jonah calls PRIDE together for an impromptu group meeting.
That night, the kids arrive at the dance, and Gert immediately goes to look for Chase. When they meet up, Gert confesses that she’s always felt invisible, especially around him. Soon after, the two find an empty room to slow dance. Now that Chase has realized his feelings for her (and finally, Karolina’s lack of interest), he tells Gert that he’s always noticed her, to which she all of a sudden agrees. Didn’t Chase ditch her the entire season?
After they begin making out, we cut to the rest of the group waiting in Gert’s car, wondering what’s taking her and Chase so long. Nico decides to go look for them, and brings Karolina along with her. As they glance through the empty hallway, Karolina stops Nico, getting the courage to finally kiss her. Nico is taken aback, but that didn’t stop her from reciprocating the confident move. Karolina’s journey has obviously been my favorite aspect of Runaways. She went from being afraid of who she is, eventually accepting herself, and then being brave enough to kiss the girl of her dreams.
When they pull away, Karolina apologizes, but not regretfully. She admits to Nico that she’s wanted to do that for a long time, and after tonight’s mission, she didn’t know if that chance would come again. Before Nico can respond, a disheveled Gert and Chase stumble back into the hallway. The two couples exchange looks, and awkwardly leave together.
The PRIDE meeting that Jonah called for has begun, which has made everyone tense. Jonah tells them (without revealing Frank as his source) that the kids know everything about PRIDE, and have been conspiring against them for weeks. He’s also upset that the adults have underestimated his leadership, and he ensures severe consequences if they continue to do so.
After he asks if they know where their children are, the parents rush to their homes for evidence: Tina and Robert find the Staff missing, the Yorkes discover that Old Lace is out of her cage, and Janet realizes that Chase took the Fistigons with him. Geoffrey Wilder’s gun wasn’t taken from the house again, but he notices that his key to the construction site is missing, revealing the teens’ destination.
The Runaways arrive to discover that the site is now in control of the Church of Gibborim, instead of the Wilders. Karolina tells the guard that they’re at the site for a school project, and asks him to call her dad to authorize it. He calls, to which Frank confirms, but Jonah is sitting right next to him — is Frank truly on his daughter’s side? The entire time, Darius (Geoffrey Wilder’s former best friend who kidnapped Alex a few episodes back) is onlooking from afar.
Once they’re inside, they divide into teams. Gert and Chase’s goal is to shut down the drill; after a few failed attempts, Chase destroys it by using the Fistigons. Molly’s goal is to use her strength to push a truck down into the hole, in order to halt what’s going on underneath. Once she does, Nico commands the Staff to fill the hole, but it soon leaves her grip. Tina called it back, and she’s arrived with the rest of the parents.
Everyone is in formation, ready for battle. Molly’s glowing eyes shock the adults, but Karolina’s lights are an even bigger revelation to them. Leslie never knew this about her daughter, and reveals it’s something she had feared. As we end on a cliffhanger, the final showdown will have to wait until next week’s finale.
After a few uneventful filler episodes, Runaways is back. Not only are the teens finally rebelling against their parents, but they’ve accepted their independence, close bond, and have become more confident throughout their journey. Many of our questions have been answered, but a few mysteries still remain (like Nico’s true feelings for Karolina, perhaps?). Whatever happens next time, an exhilarating end to a fascinating show awaits us.