RUNAWAYS Season 2 Episode 3 "Double Zeros"
Acting
Plot
Visual Effects
Summary
RUNAWAYS Season 2 Episode 3 delivers the fast-paced plot of a show built for binge-watching. In short, it's entertaining. Logistically, the acting and visual effects stray from perfect, but with the storyline RUNAWAYS is currently delivering, that is easier to ignore.
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RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 3 is another episode full of big moves. Most series have “filler episodes” that focus on character development while minimizing plot in order to give viewers a bit of a break. RUNAWAYS season two, thus far, doesn’t seem to have many, or any, fillers. Season one also had a fair amount of action, but it wasn’t anything like season two. Now, the stakes are higher, the characters are packed full of angst, and the plot is rocketing forward at a blinding pace.  So much happens in this episode, which makes me wonder just how far this season will go.

With this speedy pacing, what exactly are the RUNAWAYS producers trying to accomplish? Are they leaving room for the Gibborim giants from the comics? Or are they simply worried that Hulu won’t renew RUNAWAYS for another season (like so many other superhero shows) so they’re speeding it along? Whatever the reason, I’m honestly pleased with the high-speed pace of the show. Season one’s storyline became a little stale after a while, so season two’s “move-it-along” attitude is appealing. Whether or not this speedy pace can hold up throughout the rest of the season is the real question.

Family Drama

Like the past episodes in the season, RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 3 shows the slow fragmentation of the kids’ once-solid group. Alex spends most of the episode away from the other kids as he attempts to learn more about his “roots” from Darius. He also, somewhat inadvertently, falls for a girl from the same neighborhood. Without Alex, the kid’s struggle and Gert’s continued withdrawal symptoms from going off her anxiety meds only make matters worse. Nico tries to get the team to better their individual powers, but her efforts are mostly fruitless. Even Molly, the youngest and friendliest of the bunch, distances herself from the others by becoming a masked vigilante at night.

RUNAWAYS Season 2 Episode 3
Runaways — “Double Zeroes” — Episode 203 — (Photo by: Greg Lewis / Hulu)

At first, Alex’s newfound relationship with Darius appears healthy. They almost create a sort of father-son dynamic, playing games and spending a lot of time together. Naturally, this doesn’t last. RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 3 sees Alex’s first run-in with his parents since season one. Darius hands over Alex to Geoffrey in return for the deed of the Pride construction site. The kids rescue Alex before Geoffery can escape with his son and Catherine kills Darius before he can do anything with the deed. In quick succession, an open storyline becomes a closed one.

Tons of other things happen in this episode as well, but perhaps the most exciting thing (for comic fans at least) is the appearance of Topher. The character originally appeared in the comics as an untrustworthy vampire. We only get a glimpse of his in RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 3, so he’s still a mystery on-screen.

Anger Issues

Acting wise, RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 3 is tough, especially for the kids. The training scene, where almost all of them become overcharged emotionally, is a train wreck waiting to happen. While I wouldn’t consider this scene a total disaster, it does leave something to be desired when it comes to the acting. These characters are stressed, anxious, and terrified so their emotions should be boiling over by the point, but the way many of the actors approach these strong emotions feels forced.

RUNAWAYS Season 2 Episode 3
Runaways — “Double Zeroes” — Episode 203 — (Photo by: Michael Desmond / Hulu)

Ariela Barer (Gert) and Lyrica Okano (Nico) deliver somewhat bland performances, especially compared to some of their past scenes. The fact that all of these actors are trying to bring max-emotion to the scene might be why it falls flat. The scene itself could have come about a little more organically. Frigidity in the kids’ relationships needs screen time, but the writers could have scripted the scene a little differently. Having shorter, smaller scenes focusing on one or two characters’ fraying emotions would have been a little easier for the actors to manage.

Alex The Mole

We’re all thinking it, even if you don’t want to admit it. Alex in the comics has one defining characteristic: he’s a liar. During the final battle against the Gibborim, Alex dies trying to protect his parents. His character goes from being a nerdy but lovable computer genius to a slimy and despicable mole. For readers, it’s one of the most memorable parts of the RUNAWAYS comic.

RUNAWAYS Season 2 Episode 3
Runaways — “Double Zeroes” — Episode 203 — (Photo by: Greg Lewis / Hulu)

So, is Alex a mole in the show? From what we’ve seen so far, it doesn’t look like it. Alex clearly still hates his father and doesn’t want anything to do with him. However, Alex’s obsession with understanding his father’s past does show an interest in keeping up his family ties. More so than most of the other characters (excluding Karolina) Alex cares about his family’s past, even if his own father doesn’t.

Personally, I don’t think Alex will turn out to be a mole. His on-screen character is a complete diversion from his comic self. There were tons of hints throughout the comic RUNAWAYS of Alex’s disloyalty, but I haven’t noticed any on-screen, aside from Alex’s interest in Darius. Still, I don’t want to rule anything out. RUNAWAYS season 2 is all about fast pacing and big plot changes. Something that seems true in RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 3, might not be true in the next episode.

Catherine The Murderer

We already knew that Catherine Wilder is a murderer (remember all those sacrifices) but her preference for cold-blood killing reveals itself for the first time in RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 3. Without much warning, Catherine kills Darius in the bathroom of a fancy hotel, mere minutes after his and Geoffrey’s exchange.

RUNAWAYS Season 2 Episode 3
Runaways — “Double Zeroes” — Episode 203 — (Photo by: Michael Desmond / Hulu)

She sees the murder as tying up loose ends, which honestly makes sense. Catherine needed someone to take the charge for Destiny’s death (which PRIDE had previously placed on their kids). If Catherine had to kill someone to get Alex back (and handcuff free) she was willing to do it. Like Graciela’s death, Darius’ death reminds viewers of the gravity of the situation. One minute Darius was playing “bones” with Alex and the next he was dead. The same can easily happen to the kids if they become too risky. They have to tread lightly if they want to survive.

Final Thoughts On RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 3

RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 3 isn’t a perfect episode. At parts, the acting falls flat and some of the special effects (particularly Molly’s eyes and Karolina’s glowing skin) could use some work. Still, the fast pacing helps me forget those things and focus solely on the enthralling plot. When a show has such a maze-like storyline, the logistical aspects of the show are still important, but I can sometimes overlook them. After all, on an average day, I’d rather have something worthy of binge-watching than something the Academy would approve of.

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