Marvel’s Runaways Episode 4: ‘Fifteen’ Asks: Which Team Are You On?

by Rachel Bellwoar

[*Warning! Mild spoilers for Runaways Episode 4 below!]
Usually one perk of adding supervillains to high school (or vampires, werewolves, etc.), is you’re not pressed to account for how you spend your time. Who’s got the presence of mind to topple the patriarchy for a club you (almost) started, when your entire perception of your parents has been shattered in one night?
While unable to skip school, since they haven’t run away, most of the characters are able to let their student lives slide in order to deal with this revelation. Gert and Karolina form Team There-Has-To-Be-Another-Explanation. Nico’s ready to involve the police. Alex is undecided, and Chase’s team, while technically more traditional, makes you wish this was a show that could leave high school behind.

Ariela Barer, Virginia Gardner and Rhenzy Feliz (Photo by: Greg Lewis/Hulu)

Chase and Karolina needed to talk about what happened at the party, but having their talk prodded by the lacrosse team expecting Chase to apologize for preventing Karolina’s rape should be a joke out of their nightmares, not the current state of affairs.
We don’t know what made their parents agree to murder fifteen people (this week’s episode gets its name from that number, and also puts a different spin on the title, Runaways, by referring to the reason the parents haven’t been caught — there’s nobody to look for their victims) but, like his parents, Chase is encouraged to think of his future when making his decision. Sports are his ticket to scholarships. His grades won’t be enough.
Chase does what his parents couldn’t. He quits. Already, in high school, he’s able to make the right choice and not support people who treat others with cruelty. It’s not a long struggle for him to make up his mind and his parents failed. Like episode two, “Rewind,” which held on to the murder scene, Runaways isn’t minimizing their failure but methodically knocking down every defense they might take up.
Team Nico
It’s not like Nico was coming out of left field before, when she was first to adjust to the new status quo of their parents being murderers, but actress, Lyrica Okano, is episode four’s MVP. Everything you needed to know about where Nico’s been coming from is cleared up by the flashback to the morning she found Amy. Her death was ruled a suicide, but their mom refused to let Nico call 911 and, since then, Nico has had to let her suspicions fester. This is her chance to nail them, and if she comes on strongly it’s because it’s a relief to be able to stop doubting herself and collect evidence.
Lyrica Okano (Photo by: Greg Lewis/Hulu)

Other thoughts on “Fifteen”:

  • While Karolina’s mom is implicated by the information off her laptop, Karolina’s dad’s ties to Pride haven’t been confirmed. If he’s looking for a way to weasel control away from his wife, being the only parent the kids (think) they can trust could give him the leverage he needs.
  • Before they need to address the hole in the ceiling, from Molly pushing off their dinosaur, Gert’s parents start to tell the truth, and demonstrate regret by wanting to run off to the Hernandez’s ranch. Destiny was meant to be their last job but in the comics the sacrifices weren’t over when the kids found out. That means on the show, If everything hadn’t gone haywire, they could have finished without spilling their secrets.
  • Best Visual Taken From The Comics: Karolina’s powers (especially the colors, originally done in the comics by Brian Reber and followed by Christina Strain, who added sparkles)
  • Runner-Up MVPs This Week: James Marsters and Gregg Sulkin, for the scene where Victor walks in on Chase working on his fisticons (a cool change from the comics lets Chase be the one to design them).
  • From the sheer terror in Gregg Sulkin’s eyes, to the way Marsters plays this monster at the moment he’s probably proudest of his son, it’s so unnervingly confusing in a very realistic way. Victor isn’t just imagining the ghost of Destiny this week, either, showing that his problem is bigger than his latest victim.
  • Quotes most likely to land on t-shirts after this episode: Karolina’s “I’m going to take off my bracelet.” Gert’s “Of course. Yeah. I’m everyone’s friend.”

Marvel’s Runaways streams Tuesdays on Hulu.

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