Runaways: Rewind
November 22, 2017 7:52 AM - Season 1, Episode 2 - Subscribe

The kids take a back seat and the adults take the spotlight in the second episode of Runaways.

AVClub: Marvel's Runaways hits the rewind button in its momentum-halting second episode
What “Rewind” does especially well is establish the fact Pride isn’t a mustache-twirling cabal of pure wickedness. When the six runaways stumbled on their parents’ underground ceremony, it wasn’t a “gentleman, to evil” situation. Pride is a group of human beings with regrets, infidelities, and scars all their own, carrying out decidedly unpleasant tasks in service of...something.

That “something” is a much, much harder point to pin down. I appreciate a good bit of mystery-building as much as anyone, but Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage chose “Rewind” to pile on the unexplained questions and enigmatic proper nouns thick and heavy. It’s as exhausting as it is interesting.
posted by 1970s Antihero (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
My take: Adapting a comic book of teenagers can be tricky. Lines on a page don't have strict rules regarding overtime, but child actors do, especially in California. Hence, an episode where the adults get most of the screen time.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:53 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I wasn't a fan of us skipping back to show us more of the adult backstory, especially since I didn't really care about the adults but did care about how the kids were going to react to what they saw at the end of episode one. The pacing of the first episode didn't bother me, but the pacing of this one did.

I did find some of the changes from the comics interesting. I don't know if it's worth doing a books only discussion - but the fact that the pairs of parents aren't united might mean things are different later on.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:16 AM on November 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Yeah, understand why they did this and I guess we will see more from the "adult" side of the story than in the comments but also ehhh, I think it's important to connect with the kid characters first, and I feel like I know the adults better at this stage.
posted by liquorice at 10:27 PM on November 22, 2017


From what I've gathered, Runaways seems to be at least somewhat open ended in its story plans. There's no indication I can find that it's being planned with a defined narrative arc to fit X amount of episodes. Brian K Vaughn was quoted as saying (He) "really wanted to be involved and make sure that it was done, not just properly, but in a way that it would last 100 episodes." That suggests the show is more about building a world to tell long form stories than it is about telling "a" story. If that's the case, then the added emphasis on the adults means the show will likely continue to deviate from the comics quite a bit and will have more shifting alliances and possibly drop major events from the comics or alter them to maintain a longer run.

That could pose some odd problems for the show, not least due to the slightly advanced ages of the children, given at 17 they aren't going to be "runaways" for long, they'll be adults soon, though that process could be slowed considerably by taking a more day by day approach to their story if so desired. Making the story more about the adults though also runs into the problem of them already being defined as murderous "villains", making hints of redemption or doubt in values more problematic. The second episode already had some of that with the Darius sub-plot contrasted against the would be killing of Destiny. Geoffrey Wilder threatens Darius' grandmother but then flinches at Destiny's murder. The balance there is hard to find since, even as Nico says in the show, killers often lack empathy, which is what allows them to act against societal values. Trying to thread a needle where some of the parents aren't really "bad" killers is difficult and could move the show into a different realm from how the comics, and "reality" would align with it in an analogical sense. The working metaphors the story relies on would shift, in possibly problematic ways.

The Darius example already hints at that. Darius is introduced by the generic signifier of rap music blaring from a car driving into the scene, telling us the vehicle is likely driven by young black men who are likely to cause trouble. This sets up the contrast between Darius and Geoffrey, where Darius is what Geoffrey once was, but has moved on from. Thanks in part to the ambitions of his wife who is shown as the more status seeking of the pair. Part of Geoffrey's dilemma, such as it is, comes from his feeling, in essence, he didn't stay true to who he was, where he came from, or keep things real. To the extent that continues, it posits Darius as "real" and Geoffrey as "faux", as if being part of a gang is somehow more defining of black masculinity than being wealthy and successful. That it also shows his wife as the more willing to do whatever it takes to get and maintain status is also a bit problematic for fitting stereotypes about overreaching black women and the boundaries between white and black society. How it plays out, of course, could change that dynamic, but that's the direction they've been working from so far with some enthusiasm.

There are, perhaps, hints that the show will be willing to make more radical changes as it goes, having, for example, Kevin Weisman from Alias and James Marsters from Buffy in the cast at least nods to the possibility the showrunners found those shows inspirational and may be willing to violate conventions in like manners. That's a bit of a reach perhaps, but casting has sometimes suggested influence so perhaps they are setting up stereotypes only to better blow them up later, which is what Buffy often did on the character level and Alias did on the level of plotting.
posted by gusottertrout at 12:13 AM on November 23, 2017 [2 favorites]


If that's the case, then the added emphasis on the adults means the show will likely continue to deviate from the comics quite a bit and will have more shifting alliances and possibly drop major events from the comics or alter them to maintain a longer run.

Honestly, I hope so, because as much as I like Runaways it does have some stuff that's hella problematic in hindsight. Especially revolving around the Wilders, some of which is starting to come up already, as you point out.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:52 AM on November 23, 2017


Thanks for the pizza and sadness!
posted by snofoam at 4:15 PM on November 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


My take: Adapting a comic book of teenagers can be tricky. Lines on a page don't have strict rules regarding overtime, but child actors do, especially in California. Hence, an episode where the adults get most of the screen time.

There's only one child actor in the cast (Molly). The rest are older-- Chase is played by a 25 year old!
posted by acidic at 11:26 AM on November 25, 2017 [2 favorites]


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