Posted January 8, 2018 by Katelyn Barnes in Comics

REVIEW: Runaways S01E05 – Kingdom

Episode: S01E05 – Kingdom
Air Date: 5 December 2017
Executive Producer: Rodney Barnes, Brian K. Vaughn
Created by: Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage
Starring: Rhenzy, Lyrica Okano, Virginia Gardner, Ariela Barer, Gregg Sulkin, Allegra Acosta, Angel Parker, Ryan Sands, Annie Wersching, Kip Pardue, Ever Carradine, James Marsters, Brigid Brannagh, Kevin Weisman, Brittany Ishibashi, James Yaegashi, DeVaughn Nixon, Julian MacMohan

Every time I think I have a handle on Runaways, that I’ve acclimated to its mix of warmth, humor, and darkness, it goes and surprises me. In its fifth episode, “Kingdom”, Runaways manages to surprise with deeper looks into the relationships of the past, as well as a glimpse into the future. A dark, dark future.

© Paul Sarkis/Hulu

We open on Geoffrey in prison, eighteen years ago. He’s in there with his best buddy, Darius, and Darius is excited because Geoffrey has a visit with his hot lady lawyer. It isn’t his lawyer waiting for Geoffrey though, its Julian McMohan in his usual attractive-slash-smarmy guy mode. McMohan, or Jonah, is a real estate agent and he’s there to make Geoffrey a deal. Right then, Geoffrey’s lady lawyer appears and surprise, its Catherine! She’s furious at Jonah for getting in without her okay, but he continues with his pitch; a ton of money for a few acres of land in his neighborhood. Geoffrey is puzzled, but agrees, if he’s made Jonah’s partner. Jonah points out it’d be hard to be business partners with a man in prison. Catherine has an idea. We cut to Geoffrey sitting in the cafeteria with Darius. Geoffrey looks pained, but he makes his pitch; take the fall for me, Darius, and I’ll take care of you and your family for life. Darius agrees.

We’re in the present, and Alex is in a car, kidnapped by Darius, of course. While Darius is giving him a speech on how awful his father is and Alex is dismayed but unsurprised, Nico, Karolina, Gert, and Molly are desperate to find him. Nico has the idea to use the Staff of One to track him down, and steals it out of her mother’s office pretty easily. The kids jump into a car and Nico revs up the Staff. It creates a path through traffic and off they go, Karolina at the wheel.

Alex, meanwhile, is bonding with Andre, a teenaged lackey of Darius’s, while Darius calls and taunts Geoffrey with Alex’s phone. Darius demands money, but Geoffrey comes with guns and men with gun. Jeez, Darius, its like you don’t know the man at all. A firefight ensues, and Geoffrey is on the winning end, until Andre pulls a gun on him. Andre looks terrified, but cocks the gun, and then, he’s winged by Alex, who’s standing behind him with the gun he stole from Geoffrey’s office. Geoffrey bends down to examine Andre, when Alex calls to him. Darius has his gun to Alex’s head, and is able to hustle the boy into the car with him.

A few feet behind, Nico and co. take off in pursuit. At a stop sign, Nico rushes out with the Staff, in an effort to stall Darius’s engine. It doesn’t work, likely because the effect would not help Nico personally in any way. Then, Molly rushes out and picks up the back of Darius’s car, allowing Alex to get out and run to them. When Darius and his crew get out after him, Karolina is there with her blinding lights to slow them down. When Darius gets closer, Chase pulls up in his car (he’s been spending the day with his dad), and punches the man with his Fistigons. Darius goes flying off the road. Darius is determined though, and comes back with two guns. It’s then, that Nico gets the Staff to obey. By shouting, “shield us!”, she’s able to block the bullets until Darius runs dry and takes off.

© Paul Sarkis/Hulu

The kids are excited, but Alex runs back to his father and Andre. He tries to get into the car with Geoffrey and a wounded Andre, in an effort to shield Andre from becoming the newest Pride sacrifice, but Geoffrey orders him to take the bus, and then calls Leslie, because of course Andre is the newest sacrifice.

Alex rushes to the coffee house where his friends are waiting, and he has to convince them to help Andre. They’re a little burnt out, what with their parents’ relentless taste for murder and their new magical powers, but Nico agrees with Alex and gets the rest of the gang to agree and off they go, to break back into the murder room under Geoffrey’s office.

The parents are committing the sacrifice, red robes, murder coffin and all, but it isn’t in the murder room, its in the room where Leslie’s masked husband rests. So, the kids are wholly unsuccessful in their rescue, and Andre dies, all in the name of…. Jonah! That’s right, one dead teenaged boy and Sexy McSmary Jonah is back and ready to love Leslie and meet his daughter, Karolina. Dang, has Jonah been out of commission for sixteen years with one sacrifice a year made in an effort to bring him back? That’s freaking dark.

© Paul Sarkis/Hulu

Chase and Victor are back in Victor’s lab, and Victor is excited to show his son his long-neglected time machine. Chase is excited too, and Victor orders the machine to “show future L.A.” The machine takes a few minutes to boot up, though and that triggers Victor’s volatile mental state. He shoves the machine to floor and then collapses. When Chase rushes to his side, Victor admits the truth. He has brain cancer.

Next, we get a glimpse of Frank, alive after all, and in a sweat lodge in the desert. Attendants stand around and tell him, disapprovingly, you didn’t make Ultra and man, does that suck for Leslie. Poor, clueless Frank is crushed.

And then, in the final moments of the episode, we get a shot of the time machine, forgotten on the floor of Victor’s lab, showing the future, after all. That is, an utterly destroyed L.A., collapsed buildings, dust and pandemonium.

Dang, Runaways.

Katelyn Barnes is a fast-talking, karaoke-loving, geek of all trades. If she isn’t belting out the best of Foreigner, then she’s got her nose in a book. She often does both at once. She is also a true devotee of all things geeky in television. It began, long ago, with Buffy, and now encompasses the best sci-fi and fantasy shows television has to offer. Born in New England and raised in the American Midwest, Katelyn has earned degrees in English and History. She spends much of her time writing and traveling to as many new places as she possibly can.