As it turns out, the Pride is really bad at being supervillains. They’ve been falling apart ever since they screwed up Destiny’s sacrifice, and now here we are, with Victor bleeding out next to his prized cars and no one able to fix him, despite all their resources.
The mission to rescue Victor starts off on the wrong foot immediately, when the Wilders arrive and Geoffrey draws his gun. He’s seen Tina holding the firearm, but Janet explains what happened as quickly as she can — especially as Chase is still in the room. Chase is stunned to find that his parents count the Pride as their closest friends, but when he’s told to go to his room, he does.
PREVIOUSLY: Runaways recap: ‘Refraction’
Even without Chase there, the rest of the adults panic. Janet has sent out the code word “tsunami” to summon her fellow members, but the Yorkes are late — they’re trying to put Molly at ease at Graciela’s, but she’s too angry to give even Stacey a hug — and by the time they arrive, Chase is openly drinking liquor upstairs, and the rest of the Pride is there staring at Victor in shock. (Only Leslie isn’t present; they figured she was too close to Jonah and didn’t want her snitching on their latest screwup.) Dale and Stacey do their best to stem the bleeding, but as they’re not actually surgeons, they can’t bring him back fully. He winds up in a coma.
Good thing, then, that Leslie finds out what happened. While Chase had been freaking out upstairs, he tried calling Gert first — she didn’t pick up, having decided to drown her sorrows at losing Molly with her dinosaur downstairs — and then calls Karolina, telling her that his dad’s hurt. He has enough sense to hang up eventually, but Karolina calls Nico afterward, telling her that the Steins aren’t alright. Leslie, waiting outside her daughter’s door after bidding her good night (and learning of Karolina’s suspicions about Frank), overhears the conversations and moves to take care of Pride herself. (Little does she know Karolina will then call Gert and head to Chase’s with Gert and the dino in tow.)
When Leslie arrives, the Pride almost seems relieved that there’s someone who might be able to save Victor after all. They’re fearful she’ll call Jonah, but she doesn’t; instead, she summons Frank and his healing gloves to take care of business. Even with those handy (heh) devices, Frank fails. Though the gloves light up just fine, Victor only wakes for long enough to grasp Janet’s hand before convulsing and fainting again. Welp.
And so, in the end, Jonah shows up — Tina made the call — and assesses the damage. He determines that they’ll have to use the box and sacrifice someone immediately to save the inventor, who’s more valuable to the cause than some other members. Like Janet, for example: Jonah tells the Pride that it’s Janet who should be sacrificed this time, because she’s the one who started it all.
Janet tries to defend herself, kicking off a series of increasingly absurd scenes in which each of the members explains why they shouldn’t be turned into absorbent energy. Dale is accused of doing too little for the Pride, while Frank is offered a potential solution, seeing as he isn’t even a part of the Pride. Jonah tells them to hurry up, so they start arguing properly, and Dale even draws a gun, saying he doesn’t mind if Tina’s the one they lose. Of course, Geoffrey also has a gun, and so the men end up in a standoff that… results in Janet getting ready to get in the box anyway, after all that.
Robert, having stayed silent the whole time, finally asks for a moment alone with his ex-lover. He tells Janet to go say goodbye to Chase one last time, and when she leaves to do so, Robert strips and uses a fistigon to keep the others away as he prepares to go inside the box. Tina, though, won’t stand for her husband to sacrifice himself on behalf of Janet Stein and the Pride. She uses the Staff of One to destroy the box Robert’s approaching, turning it into a pile of ash. So, uhh, what now, Pride? Will Victor survive? (Next: The kids play detective…)