Marvel’s Runaways season 2, episode 4 recap: Old School


The Runaways head back to school in episode four.

While last season of Runaways spent almost the entirety of its time showing these wealthy kids adapt to learning about their parents’ crimes, this season focuses on how much they’ve changed. Luxuries like smartphones, organic food, and even school are things they can no longer afford. “Old School” shows us that these kids still have a ways to go in order to be “street smart” but they’re no longer the same teenagers from the first season either.

This episode picks up where the last one left off, with Topher entering the Hostel. Not everyone is excited about his arrival though, with Alex, Chase, Gert, and Nico adamant that he’s dangerous. When Topher is encased in a barrier thanks to Nico, the group debates whether they should help him. Karolina believes they shouldn’t turn away a kid in need and Molly is already smitten. When Topher rubs a weird substance on his wrist, his eyes begin to glow and he breaks out of the barrier.

Since it appears like he has the same powers as Molly, the Runaways tentatively agree to let him stay. With Old Lace watching over him of course. Meanwhile, Gert’s anxiety is becoming harder for her to deal with. Anyone who suffers from this can easily relate to her situation, as she feels required to apologize for her feelings constantly. Nevertheless, Chase tells her all is okay and sweetly tries to help her work through it. But her anxiety returns when Gert discovers Topher has punched through the wall and escaped.

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He didn’t go far though since Topher was only “urban farming” for breakfast. He knows all the dumpsters to find day-old pastries and every fruit tree in the area. Molly is ecstatic and is quick to open up to him while they’re alone. She thinks he’s her long-lost brother, a notion which Topher seems to entertain. The rest of them aren’t interested in eating food from a guy they don’t trust so Topher lays down some hard truth. They don’t have any other options and “other street kids” might sell them out if they’re rude.

If this is Topher’s way of making friends, it’s definitely not working. Chase and Alex talk about why they distrust this guy so much while talking about their plans. Alex realizes they need a stronger computer in order to get the job done. Unfortunately, this means most of the team has to return to Atlas Academy to steal one, including Topher.

In the car ride there, Topher is flirting constantly with Nico. She’s not reciprocating but after he recites some Wicca values, she seems to be sold. However, we really doubt she’s flirting with him for any other reason than to find out his secret. Namely, he seems to insinuate he takes a drug to have his powers.

The parents finally catch a break when the thief from the premiere is brought in by the soup kitchen volunteer. For fifty bucks, he confirms the kids are all alright and healthy but have a dinosaur. It’s not much, but at least they know their children are somewhat safe. Their day is made even better when Atlas Academy gives them a call about Gert being on scene.

Their plans are disrupted by a timely earthquake which puts the whole school in an emergency protocol. Topher disappears into the crowd, while Gert is busted by a nurse when trying to steal some medication. With PRIDE on their tails, Alex and Chase need to work quickly to get into the computer lab. Sadly, no one brought their gear, so the two need to resort to normal teenage antics. This means Chase needs to break into the gender-neutral bathroom to cut a deal with Eiffel (Daniella Campbell) for a key.

Before they can get to the computer, PRIDE shows up sending everything into disarray. Just as the kids make it over the wall, they find Topher holding the prize. He claims he just followed Alex’s directions but it seems a little suspicious. Nevertheless, the team is grateful and apologize for ever doubting him. Topher also says his eyes change color because it runs in his family. But Nico is no idiot, she had grabbed his drugs during their flirtation earlier and realizes he gets high from it. He probably followed Molly because he wanted a new stash.

Karolina spends most of “Old School” separated from the group after Jonah contacts her. It seems like she is technically the mole but not in the way everyone expected. She hasn’t told Jonah where her friends are and she isn’t helping PRIDE. But she is lying about what she’s doing when she tells Nico she’s leaving to go job hunting. In reality, Jonah is dying and he wants to show her one last thing. He even offers her all of his money, and we are wondering if his devotion to his daughter is genuine.

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The earthquake is caused by the Yorkes injecting their Jonah death serum into a substance from the dig. Unfortunately, they’re busted by Jonah and Karolina at the end of the episode. Now he knows what PRIDE is up to, and they know he’s in touch with at least one kid. Looks like there’s going to be a battle coming but which side will Karolina choose?

What did you think of this episode of Runaways? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!