[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Runaways.]
This week's penultimate episode of the Marvel TV show Runaways season 1 finally revealed The Pride's plan, proving that everything from Jonah to Molly's powers are connected. Hulu's adaptation of the Runaways comic has certainly changed a few key story points, but it's managed to craft a compelling, youth-focused drama that may or may not be set in the MCU. Regardless of connections to a larger world, however, Runaways has carved out its own little place on superhero TV.
This week's episode, 'Doomsday', did a lot of work setting up the season 1 finale. While The Pride and Jonah's plan has always been a mystery, especially given the deviations from the source material, this week's installment of Runaways indicated that the immortal villain, Karolina's and Molly's powers, and the site of The Pride's school are all tied together. At the heart of it all is a collection of supernatural looking rocks that seem to be the source of all things fantastical on the show. As for Jonah, he's willing to do whatever it takes to secure them.
EW spoke with showrunners Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage about this week's episode of Runaways to find out if Jonah is really willing to accept so much potential collateral damage just to get at the strange rocks at the bottom of the drill site. According to Schwartz, Jonah will stop at nothing to finish his work, California be damned:
"There’s something down there that’s incredibly valuable to Jonah, and if the cost of getting it is California breaks off into the ocean, so be it. He’s playing on a bigger field."
While The Pride was pitched on the idea that the rocks were some sort of renewable energy source, Molly's parents died learning the truth. What exactly their true purpose is we don't yet know, but they're powerful and dangerous items. What's more, but it looks as if every unexplained thing on the show has all emanated from the same source, according to Savage:
"The hole, the rocks, the box, Jonah’s power, they’re all connected. So anyone whose superpowers come from the rocks is going to face some complications at some point."
We've known that Jonah and the various abilities and tech around him were all tied together, and it's not hard to imagine Karolina's powers are as well, given that Jonah seems to be her father. What 'Doomsday' revealed, however, is that Molly actually gained her abilities due to the influence of the rocks and likely the addition of the explosion that killed her parents. On top of all that, it seems safe to assume the near-limitless abilities of the Staff of One are also related to the rocks.
All of this is at odds with the original comics, though we don't yet know if the source of the rocks will tie back to Gibborim. Either way, the Runaways showrunners have found a way to unify ideas from the page while incorporating fresh elements into the TV iteration. One final element from the comics, however, is Alex's story arc. According to Schwartz, we've yet to see a version of that play out on the show:
"The Karolina story is not the mole story or a substitute for the mole story. When she went to Frank, he’s not a member of Pride. She had every reason to believe him. When we get to that mole story, it will be somebody in the group who is more actively going against the will of the group to be the mole. This is Karolina recruiting what seems to be the one innocent parent in the whole group."
There's no telling who the mole will be, but it looks as if the betrayals we've seen from Alex, Molly, Chase, and Karolina haven't taken the place of the big twist from the comics. Who will end up betraying the team is up in the air, but next week's finale of Runaways will likely be an explosive episode.
Runaways season 1 concludes next Tuesday on Hulu.