runaways season 2 episode 5 "Rock Bottom"
Acting
Plot
Special Effects
Summary
Although RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 5 isn't my favorite of the season so far, I highly recommend watching it! It's a great reminder of what makes this show so bingeable. Not to mention the fact that there are some real stakes in this episode.
94 %
Cliffhangers Galore

Have you ever watched a show and thought, “wow I’m so glad I don’t have to wait for the next episode?” That’s exactly how I feel about RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 5. I’m thankful all of the episodes are coming out at once because I don’t think I can wait to see what happens next! Episode 5, titled “Rock Bottom,” essentially ends with a few cliffhangers, even though episode 6 is waiting there for you to click “play next episode.”

Should We Really Trust Topher?

RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 5 is the direct continuation of the previous episode. Karolina is still sinking into the hole at the dig site with Jonah, still searching for answers. She gets an answer that we as viewers probably guessed, but it still surprises her. Meanwhile, the rest of the kids are questioning Topher about his mysterious vial. He explains that he found some glowing rocks, which are the source of his powers.

Of course, Molly is ecstatic that she found someone who’s exactly like her. The rest of the team still isn’t so sure about him, but reluctantly agree to trust him, or at least pretend to for Molly’s sake. Molly jumps straight to telling Topher about her parents and the dig site, which ends up causing even more problems for the group later.

Robert Steps Up to the Plate

The parents get a good amount of screentime in RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 5 and it’s really almost everything I could have asked for. After almost catching up with their kids in the last episode, it’s nice to see them get a bit more of a chance to shine in this episode. Leslie and Frank, in particular, have more interaction with each other than ever before. Or at least, since Frank found out exactly what his wife and friends participated in. Plus, Robert steps up to the plate to take his turn against Jonah. Yes, Robert, the same guy who tries his hardest to be a nice guy.

runaways season 2 episode 5
Runaways — “Rock Bottom” — Episode 205 — (Photo by: Michael Desmond / Hulu)

Circling back to the cliffhanger effect, so much happens in the last 10 or so minutes of the show that this episode feels like it could be the mid-season finale. Gert finally decides to do something about her anxiety and mental health, Topher makes a surprising choice, Molly and Nico go at each other, Karolina confronts her mom, and Robert might be dead! I cannot recommend watching this episode enough.

Shouldn’t This Be Shocking?

That being said, I do have some issues with the acting in RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 5. Virginia Gardner’s portrayal of Karolina in her big revelation scene with Jonah feels wooden. Karolina is finding out information that changes her whole world. She should seem shocked, or at the very least somewhat taken aback. Instead, she barely reacts.

Julian McMahon’s Jonah also comes across as wooden in this scene. However, I’m willing to give more leeway here since I don’t know Jonah’s true intentions. Why is he revealing all of this important information to Karolina now? What is he hoping to gain from all of this? So, I can’t tell if his acting is truly wooden or if Jonah is acting like that due to some ulterior motive I’m not aware of yet.

Nico and Molly’s confrontation also felt like it was missing something. Molly’s anger towards Nico feels oddly forced. It doesn’t come across as a natural anger for Nico’s actions. It feels like Allegra Acosta is trying to play up the mature side of Molly. But instead of it coming across as a mature anger, it just seems like Molly is trying to find some reason to be angry because it’s in the script.

What is Topher’s Fate?

runaways season 2 episode 5
Runaways — “Rock Bottom” — Episode 205 — (Photo by: Michael Desmond / Hulu)

So much goes down with Topher in RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 5 that it almost feels too fast. We fully met him in the previous episode and now we’ve learned his entire backstory and he’s seemingly out of the Runaways’ lives. While his fate is relatively uncertain, he did end up betraying the Runaways, just like I thought he would. Although his betrayal isn’t him turning the kids into their parents, it still comes at a cost.

Will Topher be back in the Runaways’ lives? The last shot we get of him makes me inclined to say no. But honestly, his reappearance isn’t out of the question. He was only around for roughly two episodes, so there is still a ton of potential left for him. Plus, the Runaways haven’t really had any real danger so far, so him coming back would be a nice change of pace.

The Steins

So far in our RUNAWAYS reviews, we haven’t really mentioned what Victor and Janet Stein are up to. I think now is the finally the best time to discuss the pair. They’re making big strides and are heavily impacting the storyline, even if we’re stuck with delayed gratification as to how they’ll impact it.

Even though Victor is stuck in his mindscape, he’s still heavily influencing what Janet’s working on in the outside world. Yet, he isn’t the same domineering man he was before he got shot. His mind is the only place he really exists, with Jonah as the only regular visitor. So what else does he have to do but mellow out? Of course, he also got shot. So that probably plays a role in it as well. But overall, the transformation of Victor from season 1 to season 2 has been outstanding. I was not a fan of his in season 1 (was anyone?), but now I’m starting to come around.

Runaways season 2 episode 5
Runaways — “Rock Bottom” — Episode 205 — (Photo by: Michael Desmond / Hulu)

Janet is also fully coming into her own. She may have been a housewife for many years, but she is a smart scientist in her own right. In RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 5, she finally figures out what is so important about Jonah’s ship. She knows that her husband isn’t always the greatest person, but they’ve stuck it out this long and she knows she needs him. In fact, it’s almost surprising how steely she is with him. I figured that once Victor started acting decent towards her, she would cave. Instead, she’s becoming her own person again and standing up for herself. I can’t wait to see what else Janet uncovers this season.

Final Thoughts on RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 5

RUNAWAYS season 2 episode 5 isn’t my favorite episode so far. There’s too much of a lack of emotion from the actors for me to fully enjoy the episode. That being said, is it worth watching? Most definitely. I stand behind thinking that everyone should watch this episode. So much crazy stuff happens and it does leave us with cliffhangers. This episode is a great example of just how bingeable RUNAWAYS season 2 is. As soon as this episode is over I’m ready to watch the next episode so I can find out how our Runaways are doing.

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