Hulu presents Marvels Runaways Season 1

Why yes, that IS a dinosaur!

Reviewed by: Alicia Glass
Published on: February 22, 2022

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Teenagers can never keep spoilers a secret either!

When one is a teenager, it often feels as though events going on around and about a person are gigantic, life-and-death struggles. If he doesn’t ask me to the prom, I’ll just die; if she sleeps with my best friend, I’ll just kill myself, etc., right? Marvel’s Runaways posits that, for a group of kids whose parents are involved in some seriously shady shit, their teenage revelations may really be the end of the world!

So when we meet our Runaways, all their parents are still in league with each-other in something they call Pride, rumored to be some kind of charity organization, while their kids, whom the ‘rents used to insist hang out together while they worked their shady deals, have kind of fallen out from each-other since high school. Events that lead all the kids back together begin falling out around them, as the kids realize their parents aren’t just organizing outreach programs for homeless teenage runaways through the Church of the Gibborim.

Alex (Rhenzy Feliz) more or less finds himself leader of the pack when he begins calling all the former kid friends together to spy on whatever the hell their parents are doing together. Nico Minoru (Lyrica Okano) is the rebellious Goth chick, whose sister was killed in a tragic accident that may not have been so accidental some years back, and quite possibly involved the Pride too. Gert (Ariela Barer) is what’s known as a “Riot Grrrl”, part of a feminist punk movement who can’t keep her damn mouth shut when it comes to stuff she feels passionately about, which is just about everything anyways. Molly Hernandez (Allegra Acosta) is Gert’s adopted sister, the perpetually positive one who just happens to start showing powers like superhuman strength and certain invulnerabilities. The standard dumb jock character gets a spin in Chase (Gregg Sulkin), a lacrosse player burdened by his overbearing father and useless mother, harboring a secret that he’s actually a gifted and brilliant engineer. And finally is Karolina (Virginia Gardner), important only child of the leader of the Church, Leslie Dean (Anne Wersching), who makes a whole bunch of startling discoveries when she begins questioning the Church’s other, more covert activities.

The parental units are a mixed bag of regret, ambition, ruthless actions and covered-up consequences. Nico’s mother Tina Minoru (Brittany Ishibashi) is quiet and cunning, a CEO worth a ton of salt, a woman willing to do anything and everything to protect that which she considers hers. Nico’s father Robert (James Yaegashi), he and Tina have separated less than amicably, barely having weathered the death of their other daughter, much less each-other’s company afterwards, so it should come as no surprise that Robert found comfort elsewhere. Sadly it turned out to be with another Pride parent, Chase’s mother Janet Stein (Ever Carradine).

The Steins are all a prickly bunch, but the patriarch Victor is the worst of the lot, constantly stressing on his son to do better and having inexplicable fits of rage at the most inopportune moments. Victor Stein (James Marsters) is another engineering genius and he builds and maintains some very secret and sensitive equipment for the Pride. Janet Stein is a loving PTA-mom-type, but somehow unable or unwilling, at least previously, to save her son from his fathers ambitions. Chase himself begins to outshine his father as the show goes on, which of course leads to yet another confrontation and screaming fit and ends in just a literal bloody mess.

Catherine (Angel Parker) and Geoffrey Wilder (Ryan Sands), Alex’s parents, are a lawyer and self-made businessman, respectively, and despite their wealth and success, one wouldn’t necessarily figure them for the Pride’s kind of secrecy and covert actions. But it turns out, Geoffrey’s contacts in the construction business is essential to the plans the Pride have been putting into motion for the last decade.

Gert’s parental units Stacey (Brigid Brannagh) and Dale Yorkes (Kevin Weisman), are highly eccentric, to say the least. Both are bioengineers and unabashed in their enjoyment of all things science-y and growing. It seems as though Gert has inherited a lot more than just their combined smarts, and when a hell of a surprise pet is discovered in her parents tropical basement cages, Gert discovers she has the ability to converse with, order around, and even weaponize a freaking dinosaur. And you can bet no-one expected their adopted daughter Molly to begin getting freaky with mutant-like powers, though considering that both her original parents were members of the Pride too, and it seems likely they both died because they decided to stop following orders, someone should have guessed it.

Finally is Leslie and Frank Dean (Kip Pardue), Karolina’s overbearing Church-leading mother and her former-actor-turned-activist stepfather. The Church of the Gibborim sure looks kind and friendly, but their outreach program to reform runway teenagers has some deep shadows that no-one’s been looking into, because no-one’s really been paying attention – until now. Karolina has always felt burdened by her mothers Church activities and secrecies, but she never would have guessed the biggest secret of all her mothers harboring, in her super-private room deep inside the Church, where not even her new husband is welcome without permission.

So what is Leslie hiding, that begins the whole cycle of fear and murder and shadows for the adult members of the Pride, that also begins to trickle down rushing stream onto the heads of their children? A person. Note I didn’t say human, because I rather doubt he is, but a very important person. A person who needs the sacrifice of young teenage energy to revitalize himself into a handsome, ruthless and determined much younger-looking person who calls himself Jonah (Julian McMahon). Which is an interesting choice of name, given the story of Jonah from the bible.

The sins of the parents are visited on the heads of their children freaking biblical-style in this show, and its glorious to watch. The kids all have your standard over-blown teenager emotions, and yet, they band together with their burgeoning powers and gifts and do manage to make a significantly powerful stand against their imploding parents, and Jonah. The move they get slapped with in response, though perfectly valid on a life-stage game, was kind of a low blow, clearly setting the line between adults and, well, their ‘Runaways’ kids. Beautifully explored, the conflicts between parents and their children, blood-tied or not, and how the secrets they keep from one-another only push them farther apart, ‘Runaways’ is smart and can be seen and appreciated from every point of view, from teenager to full adult age.

Go pet the dinosaur and catch the first season of Marvels ‘Runaways’ on Hulu now!