This RUN review contains spoilers.
Run Season 1 Episode 7
“Trick” is the season finale of Run, but you’d be forgiven if you didn’t realize that. Personally, after the episode aired, I had to check HBO’s schedule to be sure that another episode wasn’t coming next Sunday. The half-hour concluded with Ruby walking away from Billy, the murder investigation unresolved, and the fallout from Ruby’s weekend getaway unexplored. You would have to assume Vicky Jones and company are confident that they’ll be returning for a second season, otherwise this unsatisfying conclusion would be even more of a head-scratcher.
Ultimately, Run failed to live up to the potential shown in its engrossing pilot. It’s been stated before, but the concept would have worked like gangbusters as a feature, but doled out in 24-minute installments and forced to pad its story with a murder-mystery component that took focus away from the show’s most enticing element, the relationship between Ruby and Billy, the train went off the rails. To think that the show could potentially come back for more after struggling to stay interesting for just seven episodes is curious for sure.
“Trick” almost perfectly represents the entire season. The episode begins bizarrely out of place, with Ruby and Billy rushing to hitch onto a truck in the daytime after the last episode ended with them leaving the bar at night. One of the show’s biggest issues and one of the reasons the story feels like it should have been a feature is because the episodes begin and end with little rhyme and reasons, as if a complete story were just sliced arbitrarily by timestamp.
Billy and Ruby get back on their train, and things immediately get hot and heavy. It’s here that the show taps back into Wever and Gleeson’s chemistry and reminds viewers why the pilot was so compelling. Billy bears his heart to Ruby, telling her that he knows that she’ll leave him to return to Laurence, but he wants to make their remaining time so special that she will miss him every day for the rest of her life. It’s a wonderfully acted scene, emotionally affecting even though I’d basically lost interest in the show.
The sweet moment is spoiled soon after by Ruby discovering the video that Billy made where he spoke about the pairs’ arrangement and his plans to leverage it for a book deal. Betrayed, Ruby exits the train and reunites with Laurence. Billy tries to explain himself, reiterating that everything he said on the train was true, but Ruby walks away anyway. Elsewhere, Detective Cloud and Laurel track down the train, but the editing in the story is so confusing, it almost feels like parts of Cloud stopping and boarding the train were left on the editing room floor.
The Cloud and Laurel scenes are cute, but feel like something plucked from an entirely different show. It’s hard to feel invested in characters that were only introduced in the last two episodes of the season. Also, with where the season ends, their contribution to the story amounts to nothing.
Run appears to be banking on getting picked up for a second season, and though the story warrants more, I can’t honestly say that the show deserves to return. Without Gleeson and Wever’s impeccable acting, Run’s first season would have fallen apart much sooner. The Run train has stopped for now, and I’m not convinced anyone should get back on.