Runaways - Season 3 - Review By Jamie Coudeville (December 22, 2019, 9:00 pm)
Front and center: So, I think anyone who saw this season will agree that Nico took the main stage this season. I can’t help but wonder if the writers intended for every Runaway to have a season with a centric storyline. I guess we’ll never know now (thanks a lot Marvel). But after the events of last season, it was time to address the darkness in Nico. I must admit, the storyline did not quite go as I had hoped. I get why Nico would be drawn to Morgan, but I sort of expected a bit more common sense. It was clear to everyone from a mile away that Morgan was bad news, to everyone but Nico it seemed. And while she did figure it out faster than characters on other shows would have, it still wasn’t fast enough for me, mostly because this was only a 10-episode season. I did like the growth in her relationship with her mother. Yes, the parents did a lot of bad things but for some reason, Tina slowly became one of my favorites. As for Future!Nico, I understand why she made the choices that she did. She looked so much better after learning to control her powers, so grown up. But I wonder if Nico will still be able to get to that point without receiving that training? Or will her powers continue to get the better of her? That version of Nico from the alternate world scared the crap out of me (so I can understand why it scared Karolina), was she still at risk of becoming that? I assume we would’ve found out in future season since Nico’s character growth was far from over. Alas. Talk about a rollercoaster: Alex had a lot going on this season. He went from being possessed by an alien, to being trapped in another world, to maybe turning evil. And all of that in only 10 episodes. First things first, I have to believe that the alien was dormant in Alex for a while, because most of his actions before the reveal seemed like him. Even the last conversation he had with his mother before she was killed seemed relatively normal for him. So what exactly was the reason that the alien stayed dormant for so long? He seemed pretty powerful once he was in the driver’s seat. And I’m not sure if this was mentioned, but did the people who were possessed retain the memories of what the aliens did? If so, Alex was stuck with some messed up memories, including Nico being prepared to shoot him. Then there was the stuff in the prison world, I must applaud him that it took so long for them to break up, but break him they did. It sucks that we saw so little of what was done to him because it clearly messed him up. Unless the desire to steal everyone’s powers was already there from the beginning? It’s possible, it has to suck to be the only one without any real powers or weapons. Tandy’s vision was definitely an “Oh crap” moment. The question is, would he have acted on it? After being confronted by his evil future self, he seemed adamant to stay good but still. When he read the note that his future self left, it was clear that the writers were keeping the door open for an evil Alex storyline. I don’t think it would’ve happened in a fourth season, but perhaps in a fifth?
Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated: Let’s see, getting kidnapped by a parent, realizing your mother mind-wiped you in the past and dying. Yeah, Gert sure had a rough season. Meanwhile, she was trying to hold her anxiety under control and planning for college. Well, at least she had her act together. Her relationship with her parents is a complicated one (not that unusual on this show, I know). Dale meant well by kidnapping her, even though is execution was extremely flawed. But Gert is used to his antics by now and seemed to handle herself more maturely than he did this season. Stacey, on the other hand, was messier. Gert got a different look at her mother, one she didn’t like at all. You know that moment in your life that you realize Frankenstein’s monster is the actual monster, the doctor that made him is? That’s basically what happened here. You can justify it by science all you want, but what Gert’s parents did to Old Lace (and Gert) was not okay. And what struck me as the most disturbing with Stacey was the lack of remorse. And then there was Gert’s actual death. I have to admit, while I love Gert, I was sort of sad to see it undone. Just because the scene was so beautifully done. And the music was absolutely perfect. Still, though, it would’ve been so wrong for this show to end won that note. And while I’m not a huge fan of the “going back in time” trope (more on that later), I am happy with how everything ended. Sidenote, who else was reminded of Daenerys and Drogon when they saw Old Lace’s reaction to Gert’s death? They have grown so much closer this season, it’s a shame we won’t get more of it. Back to the future: And then there’s Chase. First things first, while Karolina and Janet had happy fake realities that they were trapped in, Chase’s was full of death and guilt. What was up with that? Wouldn’t the whole point of those realities be to keep someone complacent? I mean, this kind of had the opposite effect. Chase quickly figured out that none of it was real. I’m guessing a lot of it had to do with the guilt he felt about leaving the Runaways. Something that he made up for this season. He was actually a pretty reliable guy this season. Even his relationship with his parents improved, despite his mother now being part of a computer. And I loved seeing him stand up to his grandfather (even if it wasn’t real), showing his father that he will not continue the cycle of inflicting that same violence on his children, but instead tackling the problem head-on. And of course, Gert’s death hit him very hard. How could it not when he professed his love for her more than once. But this guy actually invented time travel to bring her back and in the end sacrificed himself for her.
So tiny but so strong: And then there’s the youngest Runaway, Molly. She did a lot of growing up this season. I think it was easy for Molly to forget the role her own parents played in Pride since they died when she was little. Of course, she knew they were a part of it, but she was never confronted with it the way the others were. Until this season. And there’s no way of knowing if that’s what her parents were actually like, but my guess is that it wasn’t that far off. On top of that, she got mind controlled by Morgan and nearly used as a sacrifice. She got hit by actual lightning and walked away. Sometimes I forget how strong this girl is. But I think she would’ve taken lightning several times over losing her sister. I expected future Molly to be a mess. I mean, she can’t really count on Dale and Stacey and she lost her sister, who was always there for her. But instead, we found a Future!Molly that was thriving. I doubt Gert not dying will change any of that. On the contrary, I expect her to thrive even more with the support of her sister. It’s a shame we’ll never get to see this. Not shining so bright this year: You know, I nearly forgot to talk about Karolina, which I feel is a bit representative of her role this season. Did you realize that the only time we saw her light up completely was when she was making out with Nico? It was just quite a change from last season where her storyline was front and center, while now she was more of a supporting role to Nico. I get that everyone deserves their time to shine, and I did really enjoy Nico’s storyline this season, but it felt like some other characters didn’t get the screen time they deserved. And I’m not just talking about Karoline here. Anyway, more on her relationship with Nico later. I guess there’s not much to say about Karolina’s progress this season other than that I found her to have really matured. Often she was the level headed one in discussions. I think she learned a lot from last year’s drama with Jonah. And even when her mother restarted the church her first reaction was to be skeptical. This just shows how far she’s come from the naïve girl in season one. It’s a shame we won’t see more of this character (thanks a lot Marvel). I would’ve liked to have seen her grow into a leading role for the group. Two weddings, a break-up and a possible reunion: And that was all just Karolina and Nico. Boy, did these two take us for a spin. Let me remind you that these two had only recently gotten back together after the events of last season. But this season we went from love declarations and having each other’s back to a rift that grew quite quickly. What Karolina saw in that other world clearly shook her. Understandably so, seeing someone you love like that isn’t easy. And I wish Nico had seen it too because I don’t think she really understood what Karolina was feeling. Nico assumed that Karolina was afraid of her, and while this may have some truth, I think she was mostly just afraid for her. And so the rift grew, which Morgan took full advantage of. And while I don’t think the rift was insurmountable, Nico leaving really didn’t help matters. Karolina thought that Nico had given up on them so she moved on. But it was so obvious that the feelings were still there. So while they weren’t quite back together by the end of the season, I think it was only a matter of time.
Be still, my heart: Gert and Chase also had a rift to overcome. One that Chase put there when he left. I mean, Gert already had trust issues (who wouldn’t with parents like that) and Chase only made things worse. However, Chase slowly seemed to win her heart back. He even invented time travel because he didn’t want to live in a world without her. And while Gert wanted to keep hating him, it was clear that the feelings were still there. She would’ve never been that angry with him if she didn’t love him. Back in season one, I considered these two an odd pair, but they really work. Redeemed, I guess? It seems that compared to aliens and an evil witch, the Runaways’ parents didn’t seem all that bad, huh? While none of these parents came were forgiven easily, I did feel like maybe everyone was a bit quick to forgot what they had done. Catherine got the roughest deal, getting killed in prison, which was not entirely undeserved. Janet is now a part of a computer. I’m not sure if it’s really a good thing that that she’s happier than she ever was with her husband and son. Though, I guess you can’t blame her with an abusive husband. That abuse should’ve had more consequences for Victor, in my opinion. Then there was Robert, who died after being mind-controlled by Tina. I mean, he did give his life to help Nico destroy her. And Tina has now lost her daughter and husband (and also her company, I think). Her relationship with Nico was starting to improve but those two still have a long road ahead of them. Then there are the Yorkes, they seemed to have gotten off too easily. Geoffrey got his own little happy ending. That was quite the contrast compared to how things ended for his wife. Leslie had to give up her child but then restarted the church which didn’t really seem like a good idea. That’s like putting a hacker near a computer. It’s bound to end badly. So while I’m glad they’re not evil anymore, I still feel like some of them were redeemed a bit too quickly. All wrapped up with a nice bow: Did anyone else feel like the alien storyline was over rather quickly? Here’s the thing. I’m not sure two sets of villains work when you’re season is only 10 episodes long. If it were a 22-episode season, no problem. In fact, then I’d encourage it. But this just made everything feel a bit rushed. And this is coming from the girl who prefers storylines that move things along. I mean, poof, with one spell the aliens were gone and we never saw them again. The supposedly, unkillable aliens. I did like the way the Xavin storyline was wrapped up, because, honestly, the destiny thing was starting to seriously get on my nerves. But I really liked that they went with the love for a child rather than romantic love. Let’s face it, romantic love is overused. I’d like to see more shows focus on different types of love (like platonic love, that does not become romantic love).
The crossover!! So, while I did watch Cloak & Dagger, I’m not super familiar with Tandy and Tyrone as I am with the characters from this show. I think I just tend to watch shows I review differently. However, I did very much enjoy their guest spot this season and I kind of wish it had lasted more than one episode. I mean, the Runaways could’ve kind of used all the help they could get in the battle against Morgan. And is it me, or did Tandy and Tyrone come across as more mature on this show? They just really seemed to have their act together. Maybe that’s because they do compared the Runaways, who are very often all over the place. And I really wish Tandy had been more specific on what she’d seen when she touched Alex. I feel like the details were kind of important here. Since Cloak and Dagger was also canceled (again, thanks a lot Marvel), it was nice that we got a final chance to say goodbye to these characters. You will be missed. Present-day Morgana: So I’ve never read the Runaways comics but I’m assuming Morgan had some relation to the Arthurian legend since it was even referenced. However, I strongly prefer Katie McGrath’s version over whatever the hell this was. First of all, the cleavage was I bit much. I get it, you’re evil. But it shouldn’t be that distracting. Her storyline was also rushed, just like with the aliens. It probably has to do with the six month time jump. We never actually saw the beginning of her plan. Overall, I wasn’t a huge fan of this villain. Her relation to Tina wasn’t properly explained, I would’ve loved some flashbacks, nor was her backstory. Honestly, I thought the parents and Jonah were better villains. Not my favorite trope: As I said earlier, going back in time is not one of my favorite tropes. Time travel in general, really. But it was nice to see everyone both older and younger. Nico seemed to have grown out of her goth phase and seemed so much more mature. That last one goes for Molly and Karolina as well. We saw several versions of Future!Chase. The one that was still working on time travel and the one that actually managed to invent it. Both seemed incredibly tired. And then there was Future!Alex. I still don’t understand most of his motivations. He thought one of the Runaways tried to kill him so he decided to kill all of them? It just didn’t make much sense. But I am happy that Gert is alive and well. It would’ve been too sad to end the show without her. Could you have imagined if the penultimate episode had been the series finale? Yeah, let’s not think about that.
That’s all folks: So, as I stated multiple times throughout this review, I am none too happy with Marvel right now. As upset as I was over the cancellation of Cloak & Dagger, I am even more upset about this show ending. I think the writers knew it was a likely possibility since the show did not end on a cliffhanger this season (thank god). Still, it’s unfair. This show and these characters had a lot of stories still to tell. And if this is all because of Disney+, couldn’t they have just moved the show over there? Along with every other Marvel show that got the ax this year (including Ghost Rider, which never even got a chance to start). I know how to hold a grudge when it comes to TV shows. I’m still pissed over how How I Met Your Mother ended and I have not forgiven the CW for canceling The Secret Circle. This will also be one that I’ll remember for a long time. Best quotes: Gert: “Holy shit, I’m driving Old Lace.” Xavin: “She knows we’re here. Otherwise, why the barbaric sound torture? Prepare to battle.” Molly: “Shhh, it’s just K-pop.” Gert: “I hate to admit it, Chase is right.” Chase: “You don’t actually have to hate to admit it…” Alien!Alex: “I take it your friend here didn’t work out much.” Nico: “Not really his thing, no.” Karolina: “The staff was cool and all, but you do look pretty hot with that thing.” Nico: “So, you like a girl with a sword.” Karolina: “Only if that girl is you.” Nico: “I’m allowed to say more than one word?” Robert: “Of course. A book about her. Narcissism 101.” Tandy: “Okay, easy Hot Topic. We don’t even know who you are.” Tamar: “You can’t beat evil Beyoncé alone.” Alex: “Oh my god, of all the people in the world you get to become a Time Lord? That is so unfair.” Nico: “I assume that’s a Doctor Who reference that, like always, lands with a thud.” Please be respectful in the comments, any unnecessary rudeness isn't welcome.