Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched up to the Runaways episode "Refraction."
With all that's already gone down on Marvel's Runaways, one might think the Hulu series would need to pull back the reins, but the twisting and turning drama is only getting wilder and crazier. For instance, the episode "Refraction" digs into the magic of Jonah's serum, it lays out Molly's exile, it seemingly cements the Minoru's crumbling marriage, and it gives Frank a little more to do. But the episode's biggest shocker came in its final moments, when Janet shot and probably killed Victor for attacking Chase with the fistigons. Craziest part? Victor was warned about the incident by a message from the future.
Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona's comic book series unapologetically embraced its sci-fi and superhero elements, and the TV show is exhibiting quite the same kind of approach. When "Refraction" kicked off with Young Victor and Young Janet having a conversation about time travel, it was obvious that narrative device would come into play fairly soon. And after watching Victor's harsh treatment of Chase as a child, it seemed clear that their relationship would be affected the most by whatever happened. Then came Chase's voice through the time scanner doohickey, warning Victor not to pick up the fistigons...and so of course we all expected Victor to pick up the fistigons, which he did.
The once-rational Victor, whose exuberance from being "healed" by Jonah's serum was quickly wearing off, watched and heard a bespectacled and bearded Chase attempting to change the past, although he offered far too few details explaining why Victor needed to leave the weapons alone. In his message, Chase apologizes to his dad and says that he knows he could be screwing things up by sending that message, and it initially seems like he's just trying to save his father's life, by avoiding any situation where Janet would put a bullet through his chest. But what if it's not just a son grieving his father, but something bigger?
For one, we're not entirely sure that Victor is even dead. A point was definitely made to show the bullet going right through the left side of his chest, as well as to show that his eyes were open and empty whenever he was laid out on the ground. But those signs are not proof of death, especially for a character who was already miraculously saved from his own medical maladies. (Just a Pride perk is all.) So what if Victor survived his gunshot wound -- delivered by his unfaithful wife -- and struck out on an even more villainous tear? What if the brilliant engineer winds up destroying the city or worse, simply because he was too angry?
Widespread destruction would be a more understandable reason for Chase to risk the sanctity of timeline physics by sending the message to Victor. Sure, it's believable that Chase would want to keep Victor from dying simply because of familial ties, but their relationship was pretty awful 90% of the time, so something bigger almost has to be coming as a result. Even if Victor himself isn't the direct cause of the potential impending mayhem, perhaps his death is the catalyst. Something tells me Frank and his new god complex are going to be involved. And maybe, just maybe, the teens could actually do some running away because of it.
Like the Stein family men, we need answers, dammit, so we'll hopefully we'll get some as soon as next week's episode begins. Runaways airs Tuesdays on Hulu at 12:01 a.m. PT. To hear what we think about the show, check out the Runaways-themed episode of The Cord Cutter podcast, and to see all the other new and returning shows hitting the small screen soon, head to our 2018 midseason premiere schedule.