WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Season 1 finale of Marvel’s Runaways, “Hostile,” streaming now on Hulu.
Marvel’s Runaways ends its first season today with perhaps its most conventional episode to date, if you can consider a group of teens pushing a dinosaur in a shopping cart through the streets of Los Angeles “conventional.” But that aside, “Hostile” falls back on well-established tropes, as the kids line up against their “evil” parents, Karolina Dean (Virginia Gardner) has her own Civil War-style face-off against her biological father Jonah (Julian McMahon), and the titular Runaways … run away … in slow motion.
All the while, the Hulu drama continues to subvert expectations, with Pride establishing itself as the resistance against Jonah’s mysterious (and likely apocalyptic) plans, and as the protectors of their children — even if their kids don’t yet realize it.
With the show’s ever-changing status quo shifting yet again in the closing moments of the finale, we’re left with some major questions about Runaways as we await Season 2.
What’s in That Big Hole?
Avoiding the pitfalls of so many other shows, Marvel’s Runaways has deftly solved some mysteries — Who’s the withered guy in the mask? Who killed Molly’s parents? Who killed Nico’s sister? — even as it raised new ones. By the end of the season, we’re left with plenty of questions, none bigger than what’s at the bottom of that enormous hole at the dig site?
It’s not the “clean, renewable energy source” that Jonah promised Pride, and it’s probably not the skeleton of an ancient dragon (hi, Defenders). We presumably got a glimpse at what lies beneath in the Episode 8 flashback that depicted the death of Molly’s parents. Some sort of … glowing, moving … coal? We know it had something to do with Molly’s superhuman strength, and as the Yorkes discover in the finale, it’s big, and alive. Could Runaways be planning to introduce the Gibborim after all?
What’s Frank Dean’s Game Plan?
We spent much of the season feeling sorry for Frank Dean (Kip Pardue), the fading former teen star used by his wife Leslie (Annie Wersching) to lend legitimacy to the Church of Gibborim. Dismissed as “Leslie’s beard,” he was mind-wiped to make him forget what he knew about Jonah and Pride, pushed to the fringe’s of the church, and led to believe he’s Karolina’s biological father. As he began to uncover the truth, it seemed like he might be a valuable ally for his daughter and her friends in their fight against Pride.
Instead, time and again, he used the information for his own gain, betraying Karolina and Leslie, and ingratiating himself to Jonah. We get why he would want to stab Leslie in the back, repeatedly, but why Karolina? (Despite everything he knows, he still considers himself her true father.) Is it all a power play, after years of being powerless? Or is Frank Dean smarter than he lets on, and a couple of steps ahead of Jonah and Pride?
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