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Run: Season 1, Episode 5 (Jump) - Review

Run, episode 5

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THINGS took a very dark turn in the fifth episode of Run, which also threatened to place the series at a crossroads. Will it maintain a mix of comedy and drama? Or are we now entering an altogether darker second half of the story?

Jump hit the ground, quite literally, jumping – with leading duo Ruby and Billy (Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson) having to jump from their train in order to pursue Billy’s former business partner, Fiona (Archie Panjabi) and the money she has stolen from them.

[Spoilers ahead]

After a somewhat bumpy landing, the two track Fiona down to an apparently abandoned house and corner Fiona, only for things to go bad very quickly. That is to say, Fiona dies while attempting to jump out of the window, impaling herself on some fork-like gardening devices.

The incident happened off-camera, while Ruby was attempting to maintain her own pursuit. So, are we to assume that Fiona lost her balance and mis-judged the landing? Or did Billy push her?

From his reaction (vomiting, disorientation), we should perhaps assume the latter.

But just as Billy and Ruby were attempting to come to terms with what had happened, Ruby received a phone call from her husband, Laurence, who demanded to know whether she was having an affair with Billy.

Shaken by Fiona’s death and its implications, Ruby hesitated before denying that she was having the affair. But she really had no other choice. To have admitted the affair would have been to end her marriage instantly. Laurence had threatened as much.

But even though she hung up, Laurence had her past text – the ‘run’ exchange that kick-started the series – and doubtless has trouble believing her.

In the ensuing emotional turmoil, Ruby puts down her phone and grabs the cash, coaxing Billy into leaving the scene and heading back to the train. But guess what? She forgets to pick the phone back up. And, to make matters worse, as the couple sprint away from the scene of the ‘crime’, a third figure – a potential witness – is seen fleeing the house in the opposite direction.

Again, the implication is that Ruby and Billy will now be reported to the police and will be forced to run for a different reason.

Thereafter, Billy and Ruby are picked up by a stranger (Phoebe Waller-Bridge as a taxidermist), who gives them a lift to the station, only for them to eventually realise that Ruby’s phone is missing and left behind at the scene. The episode ends with them resolving to have to return to the scene in order to try and receive it.

And so, we’re now in deeply unfamiliar territory, approaching a crossroads. Will Run maintain the will they/won’t they nature of their relationship? Or will it turn into a chase thriller? Or will the series creators attempt a mix of both?

There’s another reason to suggest it may purely be turning into a thriller. The opening scene of the episode actually revealed that Billy’s initial text was a ploy to acquire a new book deal. And it had been hatched with Fiona. So, were Billy’s motivations always money-driven, rather than feelings driven?

Does he actually care for Ruby? She certainly now seems to be the character with the most to lose.

With two episodes remaining, there’s a lot to be answered, particularly as we’re no nearer the real truth about this couple’s feelings for each other. Every time we think we have a better understanding of where they’re coming from, Run pulls the rug out from under you.

Certainly, Billy seems much less likeable than at first seemed – although Gleeson still manages to mix enough light and shade to keep you kind of rooting for him. Surely, he can’t be that cynical and manipulative? Or did the revelation that Ruby had given up a family to run with him turn things around?

Jump may not have been the best episode of the series, but it did feel like a transitional one. The dynamics shifted. And the Hitchcockian element really seemed to take more of a grip.

And while it was good to see Waller-Bridge making a cameo (given that the show is the latest from the creators of Fleabag), it didn’t really add anything other than being a surreal distraction.

Hence, while certainly feeling like it took a largely unnecessary creative indulgence, Run still has us utterly hooked, if slightly more sceptical about where it may ultimately be heading. Certainly, any prospect of a happy ending now looks over for this couple.

But will it be fun finding out? Or more nervy and dramatic? We’re hedging our bets on that one!

Read our review of the previous episode