runaways episode 8
RUNAWAYS Episode 8 "Tsunami"
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With an in-depth focus on the show's biggest questions, RUNAWAYS Episode 8 is a joy to watch. WIth superb acting from the entire cast and a busy plot that barely gets jumbled, this episode renewed my faith in the RUNAWAYS series.
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Revitalizing the Magic
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Marvel’s RUNAWAYS hit viewers’ screen in a rush. Despite a cult fanbase for the comics, the Hulu series had little spotlight. Fans, though, have fallen in love with the series. Its self-aware nature, as well as its “superhero soap opera” aesthetic, has given it a unique place in the MCU. In RUNAWAYS Episode 8 “Tsunami,” the story of this series deepens with revelations about a key death. With the team divided by emotions and distance, can they overcome the rising tide?

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In true RUNAWAYS style, Episode 8 focuses in on a flashback. Two years before, Nico Minoru’s sister Amy had possibly committed suicide. Nico has recently found out that her sister’s death may not have been as cut-and-dry as they believed, tying back to the Pride.

After breaking into Tina’s office at Wizard Enterprises, Alex Wilder reveals to Nico that he knew Tina’s password thanks to Amy. Just before her death, Amy had hacked her mother’s servers on a dare. Amy couldn’t have known that those servers held a video file implicating the entire Pride in murder. Followed by mysterious figures, Amy packed a bag to leave but never made it out the door. The next morning, she was found dead.

In the present, the Pride must deal with the near-death of Victor Stein. Victor, an abuser, attacked his son with a powerful new weapon. Janet, his wife, shot Victor before he could kill Chase. With Victor on death’s door, the Pride must scramble to save this crucial scientific mind. Chase, Gertrude Yorkes, and Karolina Dean turn to an unexpected ally in the form of Karolina’s father, Frank. And Molly Hayes, sent away by the Yorkes, visits her parents’ childhood home only to delve deeper into her family’s deepest secrets.

Divided but Powerful

RUNAWAYS Episode 8
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

As can be seen from the plot summary, RUNAWAYS Episode 8 covers a ton of ground. From the flashbacks to the four present narratives, this episode gets a bit overwhelming. And yet, I never once felt myself at odds with it. I never felt like I needed to rewind and catch up. Part of the reason for this came from my engagement; I ate RUNAWAYS Episode 8 up. The events of this episode are interesting, but more than that, they are so important. This episode rewards long-time viewers for sticking with the series, giving crucial information on Amy, Victor, and Jonah.

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I have to give the writers credit. Even though a lot happens in RUNAWAYS Episode 8, very little fluff comes to the surface. Everything that happens is succinct and taken with the due seriousness. While Victor Stein lays on his deathbed, the feeling in the room emits fear. Alex Wilder’s talk with Nico comes across with the due sobriety that it deserves. And yet, the series isn’t afraid of funny moments, laying into reactions to Gertrude Yorkes’ pet Dinosaur, Old Lace. RUNAWAYS Episode 8 may not feel quite like a superhero show. It does give one of the best plots of the series thus far.

The Loss of a Sister

RUNAWAYS Episode 8
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

RUNAWAYS Episode 8 is memorable for a lot of reasons, but the biggest has to be the first on-screen appearance of Amanda Suk’s Amy Minoru. We’ve seen Suk in pictures, but this marks the first time we’ve seen her acting chops. I’m very sad we don’t get to see more of her. Her persona as the panicked runaway carries a real weight behind it.

This role could have been easily overacted. However, Suk manages to run the gammon of true emotions. She starts out afraid, but as the flashbacks continue, she shows a deep streak of intelligence as she plans for all outcomes. Also, Suk’s on-screen chemistry with Rhenzy Feliz (Alex Wilder) really sells their relationship. In the show, they are meant to be best friends, and that comes across in the opening moments between the two.

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What really sells this scene, though, is the emotional resonance it carries into present day events. As Alex recounts these events to Lyrica Okano’s Nico Minoru, the pain in the dialogue feels palpable. Nico and Alex have had a budding romance and deep friendship from the start. This closeness dies as Alex reveals his secrets to Nico. I felt satisfied that this grand secret finally came out. The mythos is only enhanced by Amy’s tragic passing, and the mysteries around it have only drawn me in deeper.

Dispersing the Shadows

RUNAWAYS Episode 8
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

When Episode 7 ended with the shooting of Victor Stein, part of me was a bit heartbroken. Yes, Victor has trapped his family in a vicious cycle of abuse. However, his character’s psychosis and attempt at recovery have been one of the most interesting aspects of the show. That isn’t to say that the varied villainous personalities haven’t brought intrigue, but James Marster’s Victor blew me away with his persona.

RUNAWAYS Episode 8, though, gave the cast a unique chance. Marster’s acting has overshadowed many of the other great actors and this episode manages to give others a chance at the spotlight. I enjoyed the fact that Ever Carradine’s Janet Stein actually got to show off her acting chops. Janet overcoming abuse has always defined Carradine’s role, but here, she has a chance to break forth on her own. She talks about her desire to protect Chase but also her fear of moving on. She knows that her husband is a monster but she can’t escape. It displays the sad reality that so many people trapped in destructive relationships have to endure.

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Striking Fear in the Pride

RUNAWAYS Episode 8
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

As with Carradine, the rest of the Pride’s cast shines in this episode. As a group, the Pride’s only true uniting factor is fear. They fear punishment from Jonah, their leader, for Victor’s death. RUNAWAYS Episode 8 shows a unique side to these villains. For the series thus far, these characters have been in total control. Every choice they have made has been planned. Most of them have even shown themselves to be total badasses. Yet they quake in their boots when Jonah’s name comes up.

This group dynamic only fuels the individual acting. Each family has the chance to prove to the viewer why they were chosen for the Pride. Ryan Sands and Angel Parker showcase the Wilders as a punitive force, willing to enforce the Pride’s rules. Brittany Ishibashi and James Yaegashi bring magical and technological might as the Minoru’s, but it is there total blind loyalty to the group that truly makes them stand out. Brigid Brannagh and Kevin Weisman play into their wacky Yorkes personas, but it is their medical know-how that makes them key team players. Each character has a role to fill, and it all comes across clearly in RUNAWAYS Episode 8.

The Lost Files

RUNAWAYS Episode 8
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Another key plot point RUNAWAYS Episode 8 stems from is Allegra Acosta’s Molly Hernandez. With the knowledge that Molly may know about the Pride’s dealings, Dale and Stacy Yorkes send their foster daughter away. Now living with a distant cousin, Molly must deal with swirling emotions of abandonment.

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The scene where Dale and Stacy leave Molly comes across as heartbreaking. Dale and Stacy care for their daughters deeply, but their obligations to the Pride seem more important. On the other hand, Molly has only ever had Dale, Stacy, and Gertrude Yorkes for support. Allegra Acosta does a great job selling Molly’s pain and loneliness. As always, Acosta manages to portray Molly’s inner strength with every second she is on screen.

Acosta’s role isn’t merely that of a lost little girl. It is one of renewed hope as Molly learns of a tape left behind by her parents. This derailment becomes a beacon of hope for our heroes, giving them a rallying cry. The plot aspects here, the subtle mystery, give Molly’s sections a lot of staying power. However, it is the empowerment of the youngest Runaway that gives this story purpose.

Dinosaurs and Fistigons

RUNAWAYS Episode 8
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The final plot thread of RUNAWAYS Episode 8 is the weakest of the four. While Gregg Sulkin (Chase), Ariela Barer (Gertrude), and Virginia Gardener (Karolina Dean) do a fantastic job with their roles, their sections are overshadowed by the game-changing events around them. I did enjoy the subtle moments between Gert and Chase, and the sense of closure between them. The moment when Gert realizes that Chase, in his grief, called her first for comfort is both satisfying and somewhat funny in its handling. Meanwhile, the inclusion of the visually stunning velociraptor puppet Old Lace gives its scenes the superhero edge the show has needed for a while.

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Still, I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed by the plot in this section. Despite Old Lace’s inclusion, Chase, Gert, and Karolina don’t really add much. Chase’s fears over his father’s life feel genuine and relevant, but it doesn’t carry through well from start to finish. By the end, there are so many moments where Chase’s fear and loss make him the Runaways’ worst enemy, and that’s hard to forgive for one of the series’ best characters.

Final Thoughts: RUNAWAYS Episode 8

Despite ending on a somewhat sour note, RUNAWAYS Episode 8 reclaims the magic of the early episodes. While the recent episodes laid into the human angle to a great degree, RUNAWAYS Episode 8 succeeds in showing us more super-humanity. The plot gets jumbled up at points, but the feel couldn’t be better. As always, the acting is superb, and the new study on the Pride gives this show a much greater depth. While the section with Chase, Gert, and Karolina didn’t carry the same weight, the total experience gets two big thumbs up.

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