An Affair, A Witness, And Old Memories: Marvel’s Runaways Episode 6: “Metamorphosis”

by Rachel Bellwoar

It was the night of Pride’s fundraiser gala and all through Wizard Labs, not a creature was stirring but Alex and Nico trying to break into Wizard’s servers to obtain video from Alex’s basement. This is the evidence they need to incriminate their parents and they get what they came for, if you trust Alex but, like a lot of things after the gala, that’s no longer a given.

Ever Carradine, James Yaegashi, Brittany Ishibashi and Ryan Sands (Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

“Metamorphosis” is an uncomfortable episode of Runaways. If I had to pick one word to describe it, I’d even go with “sleazy”. For one, in a big production of look-how-gross-people-can-be, you’re with Karolina on wishing the night would come to an end. Besides that, some of Runaways recent creative decisions are leaving a bad taste in the mouth, and not in a challenging way, but a disappointing one.

“Cheating’s much harder when your husband isn’t being a d*ck,” Janet tells Robert, and the same goes for murdering parents. Not running away makes the kids wishy washy. In the comics, they took a bold stance and, before they could change their minds, their parents went nuclear, reaffirming their decision. At this point, on the show they know their parents are guilty but are trying to separate the murderer from the parent. It’s frustrating, as much as it’s understandable, and when you have Molly getting loose-lipped (or loose texting) to Catherine, you know how syringe-happy she can get (in Molly’s defense, why hasn’t Catherine found time to talk about her parents?).

Small Comforts

The forget serum the parents are using isn’t as fool proof as they believe. Karolina’s dad, Frank, starts to remember walking in on his wife with Jonah (Julien McMahon). In other medical news, Victor’s given a cure for brain cancer, but could there be a touch of the forgets in that as well? After making his wife’s affair public record, Victor comes out of the cure calling Janet his loving partner, as if nothing’s changed. Either he doesn’t remember or the predator’s back, laying down a false sense of security.

Flashback to the First Pride Meeting, 15 Years Ago

These are some of the smartest people in the world, yet we’re supposed to accept they stumbled into Pride by accident? Victor, Leslie, and Tina knew what they were signing up for, but the others had no idea, and then were blackmailed into submission. Jonah needs them, to the point that he became chalky guy, yet he holds all the power. Could they never have walked away at some point?

Wand-Slash-Staff Lessons

Lyrica Okano and Brittany Ishibashi (Photo by: Patrick Wymore/Hulu)

While Tina’s wand was the first chink in her marriage to Robert, Nico and Tina bond over how quickly they take to using it. Robert mentions Tina brought the wand to bed with her and, when Tina grabs Nico for training, Nico pulls the wand out from behind her pillow. Besides inspiring a fun name for a company that’s adamant, its products work using science [Wizard]; could the wand be a corruptive force on the two Minorou ladies?

Determined to keep Nico on the path of distrusting her parents, Alex lies about her mom’s password, so she doesn’t get sentimental. Taking away Niko’s choice to make a well-informed decision, this isn’t how you treat someone you love. These are the kinds of lies Pride is built on.

Other, small scenes that irked me in “Metamorphosis”:

  • Gert being used as a distraction. Admittedly, this probably wouldn’t have bugged me so much if they had stuck to discussing Kafka, but the older guy starting to question her age, and going there, underlined how much she’s been used lately for the crime of being single.
  • Karolina falling off the roof to find out she can fly. Like the fight scene last week, it’s pure chance that she comes out alive and that Chase pulls off her bracelet when she falls. It’s too much avoidable life-endangerment for a show where kids can, and do, die.
  • Robert giving Janet a gun. Expanding the parents’ roles from the comics didn’t have to be a bad thing but, in catering to their melodrama, the show’s losing its focus.
  • The way the Hernandez’s are wasted in the flashback. After getting over the fact that there’s this other couple in Pride we’re not used to seeing, this is our chance to meet the Hernandez’s and we’re left no wiser than Molly.

Marvel’s Runaways streams Tuesdays on Hulu.