‘Marvel’s Runaways’ Season 3 Review: An Uneven End For A Fan-Favorite Series

The final ten-episode season of Marvel’s Runaways will be available to stream in full on Dec. 13, 2019, on Hulu. Nico, Karolina, Gert, Chase, Molly, and Alex continue to face enemies both new and old. Here’s our review of the show’s last chapter.

Season 3 of ‘Marvel’s Runaways’ is almost here

Runaways began its run in Nov. 2017. The first season, which is comprised of ten episodes, was rolled out over several weeks. In it, we meet a group of high school students, who were previously friends but have drifted apart. They come back together when they discover that their parents have been keeping a dark secret from them.

In Season 2, the show finally lives up to its name. The teenagers flee, living on the street until they find an abandoned mansion which they nickname the Hostel. Throughout the season, they split up into different groups, form romances, and eventually are separated from one another, which is where we left them.

It doesn’t feel as character-driven as past seasons

The third season begins right where the previous one left off. Karolina, Chase, and Janet are being held by Victor, Stacy, and Tina, the latter three of whom have been possessed by Jonah, his wife, and his daughter. We learn that there’s another being, a son, who is inhabiting the body of someone else, but we don’t learn who right away.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the season is how it is less character-driven than Seasons 1 and 2. While this might come from them frequently being separated from one another, it feels more like there was so much focus on what plots they wanted to get through that there wasn’t enough time for all of them to interact in unique ways.

The treatment of Wicca is all over the place

'Marvel's Runaways' Ep. 302: Nico (Lyrica Okano) and Alex (Rhenzy Feliz)
‘Marvel’s Runaways’ Ep. 302: Nico (Lyrica Okano) and Alex (Rhenzy Feliz) | Michael Desmond/Hulu

Addressing witchcraft and Wiccan culture can be difficult territory for a TV series. It’s well-trodded, certainly, but there are plenty of issues with how it’s been broached in the past, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Marvel has focused on mysticism with Doctor Strange, but never this aspect.

Sadly, this rich subject isn’t particularly well handled here. Many fans have been eager to see how Marvel would explore Nico’s Wiccan culture. Though Nico is ultimately the focus of much of the season, the series never truly delves into her familial history and what is involved in witchcraft, though there are plenty of opportunities to do so.

It does give a nice nod to how far the teens have come

One thing that handled well is referring to the past. For example, at the beginning of the series, Molly is an aspiring dancer. This hasn’t been talked about much since Season 1, but it does receive a callback in Season 3. The writers work to remind us that these are “normal” teenagers still, to some degree.

Will fans be pleased with the ‘Cloak & Dagger’ crossover?

Another Marvel series, Cloak & Dagger, aired for two seasons on Freeform (which is owned by Disney). In Oct. 2019, it was revealed that though the show wasn’t coming back, there would be a crossover episode in which the heroes, Tandy and Tyrone, appeared in Runaways.

Fans may have mixed reactions to this episode. On one hand, the characters are used adequately — they get more than just a few moments of screentime. And while they are helpful to the plot, they really just feel shoehorned in there in some ways. So you’ll have to decide for yourself whether it was a worthwhile appearance.