What Works Best and What Doesn’t Quite Work

While the season is stellar overall, there are a few potholes. Just as Topher is wasted, the character of Darius (DeVaughn Nixon) is also underutilized. If you remember correctly, we saw Darius during Season 1, and he has a potentially deadly grudge against his old Geoffrey Wilder, who sold him out to get his own freedom. Darius returns in Season 2 and negotiates a deal with Alex, who wants to get revenge on his parents, their mutual enemy. While Alex develops a relationship with Darius’ niece, Livvie, the real relationship is the wise uncle/older brother relationship that Darius has with Alex, despite the fact that he’s actually betraying Alex, because he’s using the runaway to make an even better deal with the Wilders to turn Alex over to them. When they temporarily get Alex back, Catherine doesn’t trust Darius, and in a two-birds-one-stone move, kills Darius and frames him for the murder of Destiny Gonzalez, the Pride’s sacrifice in Season 1 which the kids witnessed. Child-actor-turned young adult star Nixon is a bright spot portraying the hustler with a heart of gold, which is why it would have been great to see more of him. But there is heavy emotional impact here due to the way Darius died and the fact that the audience probably came around to the character right before his death. So this is different from the character of Topher, who more than likely does not carry the same emotional toll on viewers.

There’s also AWOL, a character and storyline that doesn’t quite make sense. AWOL, a rogue corrupted cop, is stuck in an uninteresting plotline, although newcomer Myles Bullock is uber-compelling as a bad boy villain. He ends up in the Runaways story as he takes over for the first cop on The Pride’s payroll. But the fact that he nor the corrupt cop storyline does much for the main story at hand makes all of this feel like a waste of time – time that could have instead been devoted to the several strong moments of the season. In short, there should have been more Darius and way less AWOL.

Speaking of the several strong moments of the season, eventually there would need to be some internal lines drawn in the Runaways and the Pride, and Chase’s defection isn’t as good as that of Leslie Dean, who somehow ends up pregnant with another alien child and in the care of the Runaways. The whole Scientology-esque storyline of the Church of Gibborim is meaty material for the always-fantastic Annie Wersching and is a highlight of the season. Another huge highlight was the L.A. dichotomy and culture shock for Alex in comparison to Darius, Livvie, and Tamar. There is a storyline here of black family and black community, the way they interact with each other, and how, despite having not good intentions, the family takes Alex in as one of their own while he’s on the run. Though Darius was killed off, I’m hoping more of this can be seen in Season 3.

Then we have the Minorus, with excellent performances from both Brittany Ishibashi and Lyrica Okano. One of the best parts about the season was that it began to expand the Minoru women’s powers further from reality. Before Season 2, Karolina’s alien lineage was the only aspect of the Runaways original story that retained most of its “out there” elements. Even Molly’s powers as a mutant are more grounded in reality than they should be. But with the Staff of One and Nico, we got the witch we deserve in Season 2.

A Black Panther Mention and Possible Doctor Strange Connection?

Black Panther crossed over to California a little bit during the blockbuster film, and for Season 2 of the Cali-set Runaways, there was a Wakanda mention when Alex mentions that he could have hidden Livvie’s phone in the mountains of the technologically-advanced African nation.

But in a more direct and possibly true storyline-connected crossover, there is a very, very good chance Nico has access to the dark dimension seen in Doctor Strange. In a showdown with her parents (one of whom was inhabited by Jonah’s alien daughter), Nico suddenly gets access to extreme power and the area around her eyes become cracked. This is similar to how Kaecilius got power from Dormammu in Doctor Strange. As stated before, the Staff of One is becoming less and less grounded in reality, not the work of science as Tina stated in Season 1. So the Minoru women could have access to the Dark Dimension, and after all, a version of Tina Minoru did appear in Doctor Strange anyway.

Multiple Hosts and a Season 3 Setup With New Squads

At the end of Season 2, both the Runaways and the Pride’s plans have been turned upside down. They thought they destroyed Jonah and his family, but the aliens actually inhabited new hosts. Establishing a sort of “new Pride,” Jonah is now in Victor’s body, his wife is in the body of Stacey Yorkes, Tina Minoru is one of their children, and they’ve kidnapped Janet, Chase, and Karolina as potential sacrifices. Constantly fighting off the actual Victor, Stacey, and Tina, they are also looking for their son, who has not been found yet. (A current theory is that he’s in one of the kids.) As for the other Pride members, after being set up for murder by Alex, the Wilders are arrested. Dale, scared of Stacey and scared for Gert’s safety, kidnaps her and heads on a cross-country road trip. Robert Minoru is still wondering what’s off with Tina. Could he team up with kids like another Pride member?

Speaking of the kids, with Karolina, Chase, and Gert MIA, this just leaves just Alex, Molly, and Nico to return back to the hostel, joined by Xavin and a pregnant Leslie Dean, leaving this group as the new “Runaways” headed into Season 3. This means that the junior outing for the show already has a lot of ground to cover as the other Runaways need to be saved, the Pride still has to fight off their alien inhabiters, and both the Runaways and The Pride still need to save earth from Jonah and his alien family.

Runaways season 2 is currently available on Hulu.

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