RUNAWAYS Episode 2 "Rewind"
Visual Design
Plot
Characterization
Summary
With a deeper focus on the evil parents of the Pride, RUNAWAYS Episode 2 goes a long way to humanize this series' villains. Though it sacrifices screen time for the young heroes, this episode totally captures the same darkly comic, realistic tone of the original RUNAWAYS Comics!
95 %
Flashback to Brilliance
User Rating 0 Be the first one !

The RUNAWAYS comics have always focused on the struggle between youth and maturity. The entire point of the series by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona is to empower young people and teach them that their voice matters. As such, the primary focus of every issue landed on our young heroes.

Sadly, their evil parents and the rest of the villains fell to the wayside. However, as we rumble into the Hulu’s RUNAWAYS Episode 2, viewers get a special glimpse into the lives and minds of the Pride’s fearsome members. Spoiler alert: it is amazing.

RUNAWAYS Episode 2 flashes back to the start of Episode 1, but instead of focusing on the young team, it tells the parents’ story as they prepare for their annual sacrifice. Geoffrey Wilder must handle an uprising from his former gang. Tina Minoru bickers with her husband over the invasion of their late daughter’s room.

Victor Stein attempts to correct failings in the transmatter device the Pride uses during their “meetings.” And Leslie Dean prepares the young runaway Destiny for going “Ultra,” a.k.a. being sacrificed by rich Los Angelinos. The focus returns briefly to the children after the sacrificial proceedings as the children attempt to act casual within a group of mature murderers.

Effective Storytelling: THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON 7 – Where’s the Happiness?

Utter Brilliance

RUNAWAYS Episode 2
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

I fell head over heels for RUNAWAYS Episode 1. As a long time fan of the comics, this adaptation spoke to me in a way that other MCU stories don’t. The characters were spot on to their comic counterparts, and the young actors did well with their roles. My big worry in the last episode was that the parents didn’t receive the same time on screen. I feared the same mistakes from the comics were reoccurring.

Thankfully, this flashback episode eases all of my worries. The adult actors of the series really managed to strut their stuff in this episode. Looking at the plot, I enjoy the fact that a lot of overlap didn’t occur between the two episodes. RUNAWAYS Episode 2 has just enough of connecting moments, i.e., the children leaving for school, to keep it contextually fluid while still focusing on the new story. Nearly everything in RUNAWAYS Episode 2 is new information, and it highlights the humanity and brutality of the Pride.

Geoffrey Wilder’s Old Crew

Runaways Episode 2
Ryan Sand as Geoffrey Wilder. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

While Angel Parker’s Catherine Wilder didn’t truly have her time on screen, Ryan Sand’s Geoffrey Wilder dominates his scenes. I enjoyed the dichotomy of his character. Unlike many of the other Pride members, he cares deeply for his son, Alex. He also questions the Pride’s actions and his role on the team. He feels wrong killing kids as old as his son, and this episode sees him feeling like a weapon more than a real estate agent.

Top 5 Comic Book Movie Moments of 2016

At the same time, Sand exudes this imposing force. When his former gang stops construction at a Pride funded school, Geoffrey arrives on the scene without weapons or anger. He pulls out a tablet and threatens their families. While the scene loses some intensity in the slightly kitschy acting of the gang members, Geoffrey infuses this scene with just enough tension for this YA TV series. The scene is brilliant, giving a brief look at the character’s past and present.

Tina Minoru’s Grief

Runaways Episode 2
Brittany Ishibashi as Tina Minoru and James Yaegashi as Robert Minoru. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

I mentioned Brittany Ishibashi in my review for RUNAWAYS Episode 1. Her portrayal of Tina Minoru was frightening with her cold exterior washing out her every scene. Mixed with the warmth and kindness of her husband, James Yaegashi’s Robert, the contrast leads to strong moments whenever they share the screen.

RUNAWAYS Episode 2 shows more of their disjointed marriage with style. Tina wishes to seal off her late daughter Amy’s room. Robert sees this as an avoidance technique so that she doesn’t have to deal with their daughter’s death. The fight escalates until Tina uses the Staff of One to magic up a wall, sealing Robert in. While the scene is short, it gives great insight into the characters and the emotions at play.

RUNAWAYS: 10 Best Moments of The Pride’s Children

I should also mention the visual effects, which are used with simplicity in this scene. Tina forms a barrier with her staff, one that seals Amy’s room with a cloudywall. Still, the magic felt more real than the spells from DR. STRANGE. The simplicity of the geometric patterns in the wall matched the aesthetic of the series and grounds Tina’s powers more physically.

The Stein Family

RUNAWAYS Episode 2
James Marsters as Victor Stein. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

In RUNAWAYS Episode 1, we witnessed Chase’s fear of his abusive father. While we never see Victor Stein raise a hand to his son, the threat of the action is there. James Marsters does a fantastic job handling this role. That doesn’t change in RUNAWAYS Episode 2, where we see Victor away from Chase. Even alone, experimenting in the basement, Victor seethes. His experiments fail all around him. These failures, mixed with those he sees in his family, drive him to threats and emotional abuse.

It’s a testament to Marsters’ acting, as well as Ever Carradine as Janet Stein that these abusive moments are hard to watch. Marsters looms over his scenes with neurotic power. While Sand manages to give a calm grace to Geoffrey Wilder, Marsters feels like a bomb nearing explosion. This anger is only balanced by the kindness and calm of Janet Stein, who attempts to buffer Victor’s anger throughout. While Janet doesn’t have a large role, Carradine’s acting manages to draw eyes to her character every time.

How Hulu’s RUNAWAYS Could Shatter a Millennial Stereotype

Leslie Dean’s Conquest

RUNAWAYS Episode 2
Annie Wersching as Leslie Dean. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Of the most intrigue in RUNAWAYS Episode 2 is Leslie Dean, played by Annie Wersching. Her character is also the most distinct from that in the comic book series. The leader of a religious sect called the Church of Gibborim, Leslie gathers young runaways to herself for the Pride’s rituals.

Her role is pivotal to the Pride’s actions, and Wersching rises to the challenge. Despite butting heads with Sand for command of their scenes, Leslie Dean feels so unique to the story. She is outwardly the kindest member of the Pride, raining comforting words throughout the episode. However, it seems like a trick. Something just beneath the surface feels off about Leslie Dean, and yet she manipulates her flock so well.

RUNAWAYS Episode 2 also includes our supposed first look at the Gibborim himself; while the comics depict the Gibborim as a trio of giant deities, here he is a single old man. Mind you, he wears a glowing gas mask while his skin falls off in sheets, but still a rotting old man. While we don’t yet know his role, the energy from Destiny’s sacrifice seems to be transported to him. Again, nothing concrete yet, but the practical effects on this character are terrifying.

The… Leftovers

RUNAWAYS Episode 2
The Runaways. Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Which such high praise, some might think that RUNAWAYS Episode 2 is nearly perfect. For the most part, I think it is. I am surprised that the final members of the Pride, Dale and Stacy Yorkes, didn’t get the same focus. They do have a couple of short moments, and each sees Kevin Weisman and Brigid Brannagh at their best. Their characters are so lighthearted and fun, but by the end, I felt that the episode lost something by not giving them their due.

10 Funniest GHOST ADVENTURES Moments, Ranked

The same goes for the teenage heroes. While limiting their roles made complete sense, I do wish that we get a little more in the closing minutes. The ending of Episode 2 is satisfying, with Alex thinking quick on his feet and great homages to the comic books.

We also see a tender moment between Nico and Alex, but in the end, it felt unnecessary. Essentially, I wanted more of the kids or nothing at all. I almost would have rather waited until Episode 3 for the outcome of Episode 1. Still, the kids weren’t the true focus, and it barely detracted from the viewing experience.

Final Thoughts: RUNAWAYS Episode 2

RUNAWAYS Episode 1 was very, very good. RUNAWAYS Episode 2, though, upped the ante. By shining a light on the parents in all their caring and/or terrifying glory, viewers grow attached to the villains of the story.

This, in turn, raises the stakes and the tension as we slowly grow to care for the whole cast. Despite not exploring the entire Pride, RUNAWAYS Episode 2 gives a context to the series that we haven’t seen before. Needless to say, it has me excited for what is to come.

Advertisements

One Comment

  1. Christopher Fokken

    November 12, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Thank you for the rad hype increasing review, comicsverse crew. My enthusiasm dial is officially cranked well past the safety limits. This show is going to be my everything 😱

    Reply

Show ComicsVerse some Love! Leave a Reply!

Check Also

MIGHTY THOR #701 Review: Fight, Thor, Fight!

MIGHTY THOR #701 has War Thor battling the Mangog. There's solid art by James Harren and D…