Welcome to Bae Watch Wednesday, where I tell you all about the fictional characters you ought to be crushing on. This week let’s talk about the real bae of Marvel’s Runaways: Old Lace.
Who Is Old Lace?
Old Lace is a character in Marvel’s Runaways. She’s a dinosaur. Old Lace was bioengineered by the brilliant but ditzy scientists Dale and Stacey Yorkes, who work for a shadow organization called PRIDE. Dale and Stacey want to leave PRIDE and run away, and are keeping the dinosaur in hiding. It’s supposed to protect them when they leave, but it is also a feat of modern science that they’re very proud of. In the meantime, they have also hidden the dinosaur from their children, Gert and Molly.
One night when Molly is home alone, she hears strange noises coming from the lab, but doesn’t know that Dale and Stacey have a dinosaur down there. Soon, Gert, Molly, and their friends learn that their parents – all members of PRIDE – are murderers, and swear to bring them to justice. Gert investigates her parents’ lab with Chase, another of the kids, and they open the door to the dinosaur habitat. They panic upon seeing a live dinosaur, but amazingly, the dinosaur responds to Gert’s commands.
Gert starts bonding with the dinosaur, who has a psychic connection to her. They team up when the kids confront PRIDE, and the dinosaur protects Gert, who has no superpowers of her own (unlike some of her teammates). However, when the kids lose, they go on the run. They plan to take a bus out of town, and Gert is told to leave the dinosaur behind, as she is too conspicuous. Gert tearfully parts with the dinosaur, who she named Old Lace after the movie Arsenic and Old Lace.
Old Lace doesn’t go far. She follows Gert to the bus station, and they have an emotional reunion in a dumpster. Gert plans to sneak Old Lace aboard the bus into the cargo compartment and go inside to tell her friends. However, they then learn that they have been framed for murder, and are now persons of interest. They run, trying to find somewhere to hide from both their parents and the police.
Old Lace inadvertently helps them find a home when she chases down a man who stole Chase’s weapons, leading the runaways to discover an old mansion on the outskirts of town. They make the mansion their home as they plot to take down PRIDE. Old Lace remains close to Gert, who is dealing with mental health issues and medication withdrawal. When Gert sneaks out to go to the hospital, she speaks to Old Lace through their connection, telling her she loves her and is sorry.
Later, after Gert returns to the hideout, they face another problem. Old Lace was poisoned while out hunting. Nobody sees it happen, so they assume she is just sick, perhaps from eating trash. But Old Lace continues to get sick, and as she gets worse, Gert starts to decline as well. Fearing for their lives, Chase takes them back to the Yorkes house, where they learn that Stacey, newly viciously, poisoned Old Lace to trick Gert into coming home.
Three of them escaped after Dale saved Old Lace, saving Gert as well since she was only psychosomatically sick. But when Chase leaves and PRIDE uses him to track down their kids, Gert and Old Lace are kidnapped by Dale, who’s afraid of Stacey’s new violence. He takes Gert and Old Lace on the run until things calm down.
Why Is Old Lace Bae?
Listen, I just really wanted to write an article about the dinosaur. She’s a dinosaur. She has a nose ring. She loves Gert. That’s really all you need to know.
What’s Not To Love?
Runaways has a lot of great characters. I really identify with several of the characters, and there’s a lot to love among the massive ensemble cast. But Old Lace stands out – and not just because she is, you know, a dinosaur. Old Lace may have been a bioengineered reinvention of an extinct lizard species from millennia ago, but she’s no Jurassic Park scare. In truth, Old Lace is one thing: a puppy.
We see the truth of Old Lace through her relationship with Gert. At first, the dinosaur is scary. Gert and Chase think she will kill them, and later Molly has a run-in with the dinosaur that ends with her being attacked. But as Old Lace bonds with her psychic partner, she calms down and shows that she is really just a big, goofy pet. She’s the definition of the “she attacc but she also protecc” meme. She cuddles with Gert and eats trash. While I was watching Runaways, one prominent thought that kept crossing my mind was: protect the puppy at all costs.
I can’t wait for season three to reconcile Gert and Old Lace’s storyline. The finale of season two saw them separated from their friends and taken away by Dale, who seems to have their best interests at heart (but we really shouldn’t trust him as he is a serial killer). The good news is that they’re still together, and that means they have a better chance at breaking free and returning to their friends where they belong. But no matter what happens, I just want the puppy to be okay. Save Old Lace 2k19.