Previously on Marvel’s Runaways, “Fifteen”
Promises Made/Promises Broken
“Kingdom” begins with a flashback to Geoffrey’s time in prison. He and Darius, his old friend from episode two, have heads full of hair to indicate the jump in time. Geoffrey is called into a meeting with a man he doesn’t know and Angel, who is going by the name of Catherine Henderson. The man offers Geoffrey $5 million for some land that Geoffrey inherited from his uncle. The going rate for the land is far less than this, so the deal is pretty astounding. Geoffrey offers to partner up with the stranger, but the man refuses the offer because Geoffrey is in jail. When Angel says Geoffrey will be a free man in a month, the stranger reconsiders. To gain his freedom Geoffrey asks Darius to take the blame for the murder that Geoffrey’s incarcerated for. In exchange, Geoffrey promises to take care of Darius’ family including his Nana B.
Back in present day it turns out that Darius and his crew are the people who kidnapped Alex. Despite the gun trained on Alex, Darius is clearly not going to hurt him. Instead Darius wants to show Alex who Geoffrey really is. Just as importantly, he’s wants to send a message to Geoffrey. They go to Darius’ Nana B’s house and Alex learns that his father didn’t really keep his promises to Darius, including taking caring of Nana B. Who can blame Darius for seeking recompense? That’s despicable to not even take care of Nana B’s health. Darius calls Geoffrey and raises the stakes by demanding that he pay $1 million for Alex’s safety.
Meanwhile, Molly and Gert meet up with Nico and Karolina to try to find Alex. Nico has stolen her mother’s magical staff and uses it to trail Darius. The group is scared and think it might be The Gibborim or even their parents who hired someone to kidnap Alex.
Geoffrey arrives at the meeting place and attacks Darius and his crew. When Darius’ assistant Andre tries to shoot Geoffrey, Alex shoots the young man with the gun Alex found in Geoffrey’s office. Darius manages to recapture Alex just as the teenagers arrive at the scene. Despite their fear the group follows Darius and Alex. Starting with Nico, they all get out of the car at a stoplight. Nico attempts to use the staff to stop Darius’ SUV engine, but it doesn’t work. Molly comes in with an assist and lifts the vehicle with everyone including Alex still inside. After Darius, Alex, and the driver exit the car Karolina takes off her bracelet and blinds Darrius with her light long enough for Alex to run to his friends.
Chase arrives fresh from the lab where he was enjoying some father/son time. He uses his gloves to knock out Darius. Nico’s staff starts to work, and she is able to deflect Darius’ gun shots. He’s rightfully shaken up and runs away. Alex goes back to the meet up spot and finds his father in the midst of moving an injured, but alive Andre. Geoffrey claims he’s going to take him to get patched up. This is clearly a lie and Alex calls him on it in addition to a few of Geoffrey’s other lies. Knowing he can do nothing, Alex gets on the bus and leaves as ordered by his father. Geoffrey alerts Pride that poor Andre is going to be the new sacrifice.
The group debriefs and discusses their various powers. Molly tells everyone about Gert’s dinosaur and everyone takes note that Chase kept both Gert’s dinosaur and Karolina’s glowing a secret. Chase is definitely a good confidant. Alex convinces the group to try to save Andre from their parents. They go to the secret entrance and have to use Molly’s powers to open the door, but Pride is not conducting the ceremony in their usual spot. Instead, the parents are in the secret room at Gibborim headquarters, where the decrepit man in the Bane mask resides. The ceremony works, and Leslie quickly dismisses everyone.
A frustrated Alex is comforted by Nico and they make out. Karolina finds them and calls them to the library to figure out where a hidden camera’s feed is being sent to. Karolina looks a little disappointed to find Nico and Alex getting intimate. Could she be interested in Nico? Later on at home, to no avail, Alex searches the internet for information about Andre’s death. When Geoffrey returns home, Alex confronts him and tells his own father that he should leave his room. Alex acted as if he really didn’t understand who his father is even after time with Darius. Geoffrey, like any parent dealing with a petulant child, reminded Alex whose roof he was under by using the time-honored phrase, ‘you’re renting this room’. While Geoffrey might not be exhibiting the excellence of Black fatherhood that is Joe West from The Flash, there is no way Alex is going to continually get away with recklessly speaking to his father. Granted it’s hard to respect Geoffrey’s choices, Alex has to learn to react differently. Before he can get himself in anymore trouble, Alex goes to the guesthouse.
The others are still recovering from the evening. Karolina destroys her room in a fit of anger. Molly and Gert visit the dinosaur. Nico’s mother catches her returning the staff. Tina tells her daughter that she wants to create a trusting relationship and lets her keep the staff overnight. Chase returns the gloves and his father shows him a project that, until recently, he hadn’t worked on in years. The project is a time machine and Victor’s work with Chase inspired him to tinker with it. Thinking he got it to work, Victor attempts to show Chase. When the machine appears not to work, Victor gets angry and throws it down. He also writhes in pain and reveals to Chase that he has brain cancer. The camera pans to the time machine and it appears to work.
Let us not forget Frank, the only parent not involved in Pride. He’s sweating it out in a tent on his spiritual quest only to be informed by the church ladies that he hasn’t reached ultra level. While Frank is dealing with yet another disappointment, Leslie eagerly enters the secret room in a negligee. Awaiting her is the man from the beginning of the episode. Pride’s sacrifice of Andre has helped transform the decrepit creature into a fine specimen called Jonah. Jonah and Leslie embrace while he tells her that he’s looking forward to meeting “her.” By the look of fear on Leslie’s face, it can be surmised that her means Karolina.
Subtle Highlights and Questions
- The team finally got to show each other their powers. They work well together and there is a lot of potential to utilize each person’s strength.
- Poor Frank. Not only did he not make ultra, but Karolina might not be his daughter. Can Frank have anything nice?
- Geoffrey should be ashamed of himself for not taking care of Nana B. We need to know how and why he decided to renege on those promises.
- I like the shift in Victor and Tina towards treating Nico and Chase with a little gentleness and kindness. Will Nico and Chase stay loyal to their friends and continue trying to figure out Pride or get close to their parents?
- I like the uneasy alliances between the parents. Angel had bars for Leslie when they were preparing to sacrifice Andre. Angel told Leslie that she would need to make due with Andre and that he wasn’t one of Leslie’s “Grass-fed free-range sacrifices”.
- Julian McMahon as Jonah is a great addition to the show. He plays charismatic and dastardly evil so well.
Marvel's Runaways S1E5 Review Score
Starring: Allegra Acosta, Ariela Barer, Brigid Brannagh, Ever Carradine, Rhenzy Feliz, Virgina Gardner, Brittany Ishibashi, James Marsters, Julian McMahon,Lyrica Okano, Kip Parude, Angel Parker, Ryan Sands, Greg Sulkin, Kevin Weisman, Annie Wersching, and James Yaegashi