Run Episode 2 Review: Kiss

Ruby and Billy can't quite get on the same page in the latest episode of HBO's Run.

Domhnall Gleeson and Merritt Weaver in Run Season 1 Episode 2
Photo: HBO

This RUN review contains spoilers.

Run Season 1 Episode 2

Part of what made Run’s pilot so interesting and alluring was the good sense to withhold not only information, but action. I’m not talking about action like car chases or fight scenes, I’m talking about the kind that Poison was singing about back in ‘86. By wisely keeping the sexual tension simmering and only doling out small pieces of our central characters backgrounds, mystery and anticipation helped drive Run’s pilot, but how long would it last?

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I was worried in the opening scenes that Ruby and Billy would consummate their reunion a little too soon. Surely our central pair finally giving into the magnetism between them would be more climactic than this. Fortunately, I was right. Even if their train car room wasn’t comically small and causing all sorts of problems, Billy can’t seem to get Ruby’s family out of his head. He clocks her C-section scar and is more concerned about who may be on the other end of Ruby’s phone call than she is.

Perhaps Billy’s concern for Ruby’s family is masking the guilt he feels over leaving his own family high and dry. We still don’t know the exact circumstances that led Billy to send that fateful text. However, we see him right after sending the text, bleary eyed with beer bottles strung across his hotel room. Presumably on the phone with Fiona, Billy says “Don’t bring him around here.” Is he possible talking about his child? It’s unclear at the moment, but it would certainly explain what’s keeping him from giving in to his lust and reconnecting with Ruby on a physical level.

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Not understanding why Billy is suddenly tensing up and rejecting her, Ruby attempts to make him jealous. She tells him that she’s going to sleep with the next person that leaves the bathroom, and lucky for her, a handsome young gentleman exits. She’s able to follow the ruse long enough to get the guy back to her room, but ultimately chickens out on going further with him. The guy makes a last-ditch effort to shoot his shot, attempting to seduce her with dirty talk, but nothing comes of it.

Eventually, Ruby and Billy meet back at the bar. She tells him straight that he hurt her pride, and they reconcile long enough to begin playing a drinking game with Ruby’s friend and the bartender. After drinking all night, Billy makes a crack about Ruby’s age, and it’s her last straw. She had already warned Billy about wounding her pride, and this was the final straw. Though she told her hapless husband that she was going on a week-long yoga retreat, she makes an effort to return home.

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Unfortunately, when she goes to withdraw money from an ATM her card is declined. It’s a curious development considering that we saw Billy rifling through her credit cards when she exited their room for a moment. Her next move is a call to her husband Laurence, but her call goes to voicemail, where we hear a bitter Laurence explain that his wife has abruptly left their family. Did Billy do some damaging meddling when he was perusing Laurence’s Facebook page?

Ruby and Billy may have chemistry, but their playful banter turns to bickering fair too quickly. Perhaps this is why the couple never made it this far in their relationship. Billy is clearly running from something, and it appears he may be sabotaging Ruby’s chance to back out of their arrangement, so he isn’t running alone. Ruby has already proven to make grand, rash decisions, so who knows how she’ll react when she learns that Billy has effectively trapped her with him in Chicago?

Rating:

4 out of 5