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Run: Season 1, Episode 6 (Tell) - Review

Run, Episode 6

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

THE penultimate episode of Run‘s excellent first season saw the primary couple really getting to grips with their predicament. And it seems there are now no easy answers or quick fixes for either of the still likeable protagonists.

In the aftermath of Fiona’s death in the previous episode, Ruby and Billy (Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson) had tough decisions to make both for themselves and each other. And it was time to really get to know one another beyond the ideals they had in mind when they first exchanged the ‘run’ texts.

[Spoilers ahead]

The question I had in mind concerning Billy’s involvement in Fiona’s death was dealt with fairly early on. Did she fall or was she pushed? Billy’s determination to go to the cops would seem to suggest the former. Yet, crucially, Ruby seemed to have doubts.

The exchange between the two of them, as the issue of trust reared its head, was one of the episode’s highlights.

For sure, Billy’s motivations haven’t always seemed honest. His decision to up and run with all the money, for starters, suggested something more underhand was afoot. While, similarly, last week’s revelation that the sending of his run text was done with a new book deal in mind has yet to be properly resolved.

But his admission that he would never have walked out on a family, as Ruby had, shows some kind of moral compass, no matter how skewed. Likewise, his admission that he wished he had kids of his own, with Ruby, shows that he does have genuine feelings for her.

So, in spite of Billy’s selfish inclinations, there is a humanity to him that makes for an endearing, fallible persona. He’s by no means the lost cause he had been threatening to turn into.

Ruby, on the other hand, is getting more complex. She doesn’t want to go to the cops. But her motivations remained muddled. On the one hand, she fears that knowledge of her involvement with Billy and, by extension, Fiona’s demise, would lead to her children being taken away (by her husband).

But in spite of this fear, she still seems determined to see things through with Billy. So, where do her priorities now lie? Is this the longed for chance to find happiness with Billy? Or will her love for her kids, of not her husband, prompt her to decide to go back to them.

Certainly, there was something heartbreakingly honest about her own admission, when she confessed to sometimes feeling like the worst mother and wife, while simultaneously acknowledging that she could also be the best at both. But that life [or marriage and subsequent parenthood] had stripped her of her identity.

It’s a sentiment and a concept that Run has thrived on since its first episode: escape. Any parent will doubtless admit to that feeling of wanting to run away at some time, potentially with someone from their past, while qualifying it with the subconscious knowledge that the grass might not necessarily be greener.

But once that initial rush of adrenaline subsides, and the harsh reality of the complexity of life gets back in the way, things may not be as escapist as they seem: or as rosy.

Tell, this sixth episode, confronted this in riveting, emotionally compelling fashion and, in doing so, provided Wever and Gleeson with the opportunity to deliver their best performances of the season to date. We felt the weight of their dilemma.

That’s not to say that things were all weight and no comedy. But by focusing primarily back on Billy and Ruby, Run regained its momentum and made the final instalment absolutely essential viewing. Right now, it’s difficult to see how this can provide a satisfying resolution for either of them.

The comedy, meanwhile, came from new arrival Deputy Detective Babe Cloud (Tamara Podemski), the lead police officer in the investigation into Fiona’s body. She’s a cop in the Fargo mould – seemingly backwater but disarmingly intelligent.

There was something Coen-esque about Cloud’s initial exchange with her partner, which gave rise to plenty of chuckles. But then came her interview and subsequent relationship with Pheobe Waller-Bridge’s taxidermist, which has something charming about it.

There’s is now a new fledgling relationship, with Waller-Bridge also getting the chance to flesh out her character (she had given Ruby and Billy a lift in the previous episode, while also loaning Billy her jacket).

Rather than seeming like a self-congratulatory cameo, Waller-Bridge’s presence now seems pivotal to how Run may now play out. For while the loaning of a jacket seemed innocuous, Billy’s forgetfulness in leaving it behind in the bar that Waller-Bridge sang karaoke at, may now spell disaster for the couple’s hopes of making a clean getaway together.

It was the rediscovery of her coat, left in the bar, that brought the episode to a close, and which may prompt Babe Cloud to apprehend the duo before they can make it to the train.

Do we want them caught? Or do we want them to continue running? Can there be a happy ever after for them? The first season finale looks set to be a cracker if the creative team can find a way to wrap things up in a suitably satisfying fashion…

But with no second season renewal confirmed as yet, will they seek to draw it to a close or leave things open-ended? We await that answer with baited breath.

Read our review of the previous episode