The latest episode of Marvel's Runaways does not begin where last week's cliffhanger left us dangling, instead taking us back to a time before the kids were born.
We visit Geoffrey Wilder in prison, a much friendlier time between he and Darius. They talk about how Geoffrey has a beautiful lawyer who is pulling out all the stops to secure his release (remember, the kids talked about how he was sentenced for murder and was later acquitted), and how Darius has "one foot out the door."
Though Geoffrey expects to see his lawyer in the visiting room, he is greeted by a mysterious man in a dapper, silver suit. It is the first appearance of Julian McMahon's character, and the former Doctor Doom has a proposition for Geoffrey.
Catherine (not yet Wilder) shows up just in time to hear mystery man's business proposal. He wants a piece of land that Geoffrey owns, an old strip mall in South Central Los Angeles left by his deceased uncle. And he's willing to pay $5 million for it. They agree to it, but he wants to stay on as a partner.
The mystery man denies the counter, saying he needs a partner who is not in jail. Catherine chimes in and says she can get him out of jail in a month, but in order to do so Geoffrey needs a favor… from Darius.
Geoffrey asks Darius about Nana B's need for an oxygen tank, her grandkids, promising to take care of them for life if his friend takes the rap for the murder. Wilder needs to get out of jail to make the deal, though he sweet talks Darius into "moving up to a different life" if he helps him out.
Thinking of Nana B, Darius takes the deal and tells Geoffrey, "Just don't forget me." Guess how that turned out!
We cut to the back of a black SUV, where the bitter Darius sits with Alex Wilder. Darius wants to give Alex a history lesson.
After the title sequence, we jump back to the Timely Coffee shop where Nico and Karolina are freaking out over Alex. Karolina wonders if her mom's church is to blame.
Nico hugs her, and the two share an intimate moment that looks like the beginning of Tumblr's next favorite ship. They're interrupted by Gert and Molly, ready to help find their friend. Nico shows off her mom's staff, using it to follow Alex's trail. They don't know who they're up against, but they decide to follow against Gert's protests to wait for Chase.
Speaking of the Steins, we cut to the fancy basement laboratory where Victor and his son are actually getting along while building the Fistigons. Victor apologizes for his abusive behavior, and confides that before his company became a conglomerate that he loved inventing things. Inspired by Chase, Victor wants to work on an old invention that he could never figure out. Meanwhile, Chase's phone rings, but Gert cannot get hold of him.
Darius takes Alex to his father's old neighborhood. Giving up his phone, Alex realizes he still has his dad's gun on him, but elects to wait for a better opportunity to escape.
Arriving at Nana B's, Darius tells Alex about how he took rap for Geoffrey in exchange for setting up his family for life. Darius says he doesn't much mind that Geoffrey screwed him, but messing with Nana B? That pissed him off. They make a video call with Geoffrey, who willingly offers the $50,000 Darius first demanded. But that much money isn't enough anymore.
Darius makes a new offer: Alex in exchange for $1 million.
Geoffrey lies to Catherine about Alex's whereabouts, telling her there's an emergency he must tend to. He calls Flores, the crooked detective from the last episode, telling him he needs a goon squad to back him up for the inevitable confrontation.
The girls are chasing some magic apparition conjured by Nico's staff, closing in on Alex's location. Gert calls Chase again, whose dad is being nice for a change and actually offered to get his son a coffee refill. Chase notices the missed calls, learning about the rescue attempt. He grabs the Fistigons and leaves to meet up with them.
Alex talks to one of Darius goons, a younger kid around his age named Andre, who reveals that they cloned Geoffrey's phone in Episode 2 to track down his son's location. Alex seems impressed, but Andre takes offense.
The meet does not go down as intended when Geoffrey shows up with the goon squad, blasting uzis at Darius and his crew. Just when Andre corners Geoffrey and it seems like papa PRIDE is dead to rites, Alex pulls out his dad's gun and shoots the kid in the back.
While Geoffrey examines Andre's body, Darius puts a gun to Alex's head and escapes in the SUV — but the girls have arrived and they're hot on his tail. The SUV gets far enough away to obey traffic laws.
The girls jump out to rescue Alex, starting with Molly grabbing the SUV's bumper and lifting the back wheels, preventing them from driving off. Karolina removes her bracelet and blasts Darius and his driver with blinding beams, allowing Alex to join them at their side.
The driver runs away in fear, but Darius holds them at gunpoint — until Chase arrives to blast him with the Fistigons. Angered, Darius starts blasting them with his pistols, but Nico uses the Staff of One to cast a protection spell to stop the bullets. Confused and defeated, Darius hops in the car and drives off, giving the Runaways their first victory.
Alex ditches them and returns to his dad, who is relieved that he escaped, but is suspiciously concerned with loading up Andre in the back of his car. Geoffrey tells his son to take the bus and that he is going to get the kid some help, but Alex knows he's lying. He reveals what he knows about Darius.
Geoffrey orders Alex to leave, then he calls the PRIDE. He just found another sacrifice.
We finally visit Leslie Dean, who is consoling her crusty-skinned sex pal. She wants to help him, but they don't have much time.
Back at Timely Coffee, the gang is celebrating their win until Alex, ever the buzzkill, beckons them to rescue Andre. While they aren't on board to save the attempted kidnapper at first, the thought of stopping their parents seems more important. They decide to go to Alex's murder basement and stop PRIDE's sacrifice.
But the PRIDE are already red robed and loading Andre up with booze juice. Victor catches his wife Janet getting close to Robert Minoru, and Leslie questions how the Wilders found a sacrifice with a bullet wound. As they prep the kid, the scene cuts to the Runaways reaching the murder basement… but no one is there. The PRIDE are performing the ritual elsewhere.
Alex confides in Nico, revealing that he shot Andre to protect his father even though he's not sure Geoffrey is worth protecting. Nico calms him down, the two share a kiss, and are interrupted by a forlorn Karolina.
They found a hidden camera in the library, which uploads the footage of the sacrifices directly to servers on WIZ property, the company owned by the Minorus. They concoct a new plan to break into WIZ and find the footage, incriminating their parents of all the murders they've committed over the years. But Chase starts to sympathize with his dad, who is finally being nice to him.
The PRIDE have gathered in Leslie's secret prayer room, transferring Andre's energy directly into the crusty dude's pod. Leslie is relieved that this sacrifice finally worked, and she kicks the other members out to have a moment alone with her decrepit lover.
Alex attempts to find evidence of Andre's death online when he's interrupted by Geoffrey. He tells his dad he realizes he's not a good person, causing Geoffrey to lose his shit. But when he realizes he's scaring his son, he attempts to calm down. Alex refuses to forgive his dad and takes off.
But Catherine overheard everything, realizing that Darius is back in their lives. She wants to help her husband take care of their latest problem before it gets out of hand.
We get a brief montage of the kids coping with the events of the evening set to the smooth sounds of Bleachers. Karolina flips out amid her existential crisis, while Gert and Molly hang out with Old Lace.
Nico tries to sneak the Staff of One back into her mom's office, but Tina catches her. She's surprisingly cool about the breach of trust, and seems more amazed that the staff responds to her daughter's commands. Nico thought it was an heirloom from her grandma, but Tina reveals her mother never gave her anything — and she doesn't want to have the same relationship with her daughter. She allows Nico to hold onto the staff, attempting to earn her trust once again.
Chase returns the Fistigons and finds his dad back in the workshop, working on his old passion project. Chase has inspired Victor with a breakthrough, and he's solved it; he's invented a time machine.
It's not a time machine in the sense that most sci-fi nerds are used to seeing — it's a monitor that shows visuals from the future. But when the machine doesn't work in its first test run, Victor gonna Victor. He screams in anger and tosses it to the floor, but then he gets another sharp pain in his head and falls to the floor.
Victor reveals to his son that he has brain cancer. The two embrace, and Victor vows that he's going to beat his illness.
They leave the lab and the final shot reveals Victor's time monitor has worked, showing the future of Los Angeles. Things don't look too promising, as the future skyline crumbles.
In the California desert, Frank Dean is attempting to go Ultra, but the Gibborim advisors cut his meditation off. They tell him his readings are falling short, and that he's not able to go Ultra.
Leslie checks in on her not-so-crusty dude; it's the mystery man in the beginning of the episode played by Julian McMahon. He kisses Leslie, telling her he feels great like he always does after a sacrifice.
The mystery man tells Leslie his biggest fear wasn't dying, but dying without ever being able to look into his daughter's eyes. He demands to meet his daughter, causing a concerned look to come across Leslie's face as the episode ends.