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RUN Series Premiere: “Run”

by Alexandra Mitchell
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The new series RUN opened and I think not only am I going to enjoy it, but it’ll also provide some philosophical debate. Are you the same person you were 15 years ago? And would you give everything you have up to now to be with a person you knew 15 years ago? For me, I don’t think I could ‘run’. Although, if I knew it was Domhnall Gleeson waiting at the other end, I could be a little bit more motivated.

Domhnall Gleeson stars as Billy, who sets all this in motion when he texts his college love, Ruby (Merritt Wever). She’s sitting in the shopping mall parking lot, clearly miserable. I think it’s a great credit to Merritt’s acting how much her despair immediately comes across. I’ve loved her since seeing Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip by Aaron Sorkin. When her husband, Lawrence (Rich Sommer) calls she puts on a voice and talks her way around the situation. It’s unclear if she’ll even follow through with what she even says, staring out the window. *DING*  The little moment that changes everything.  “RUN” and with that Ruby responds and takes off. You see the premise of this whole thing is that a pact was made between Ruby & Billy that wherever they were in life if one needed to bail out of their troubles just text ‘RUN’ to the other and they would do just that very thing, together. 

a6b5f7df4502f357a7cf23e0e5886336a6f57c39A plane ride, lipstick choice, and hair tussle later and she’s ready to see her college flame again. But will he live up to the image in her mind?  She clearly still has some feelings or urges, as she has to tell her vagina to take it down a notch. As a woman, honestly the most relatable scene. Men have very visible signs when they’re aroused. Women not so much. But I know I’ve been there having to tell my uterus to chill out for a minute. Once Ruby and Billy reconnect, it only takes moments before it’s like old times. The whole exchange with the couple across from them was charming. But how long before doubts? How long before questions start to bubble up? I appreciate their moratorium but that’s not going to last. At some point, you have to come completely clean. Otherwise, what kind of life are you starting here? Can you turn it all off and completely walk away?  Not ever acknowledge the past? a828e608-1158-4d4e-9371-1cb38e8769d2

Wever and Gleeson have wonderful chemistry and build sexual tension quite well. Their mutual trade-off visits to the bathroom for sexual release were funny. But it can’t stay light and happy forever.  Reality is still there and eventually, she asks why he sent that text. “I was getting hammered in the bar of a crappy hotel […] and I had this moment of clarity that there wasn’t a single person I had ever met in my entire life that I ever wanted to see again. And then I thought of you.”  What a mood. It’s hard not to feel something for that kind of emotional connection. On the other hand, what kind of emotional connections are you leaving behind, Ruby? And when do you plan on being honest with Billy about it?  Can’t wait to see more, I’m definitely all in on this one. 

Let’s check out an Inside The Episode clip & what’s ahead. Run, don’t just meander to RUN Sunday nights at 10:30pm ET on HBO. 

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Jef Dinsmore April 17, 2020 - 9:11 am

I love the premise of this series and you are right, it does lead to great debate. Would or could you ‘run’? Looking forward to how this plays out and what the thriller element is.

What is crucial, however, is the chemistry between Ruby and Billy and Wever & Gleeson. At first, for me it was off-balance. As you pointed out, Ruby showed great conflict from the opening moments. Wever played that beautifully. Glesson wasn’t given as much to work with. His performance didn’t click for me until the end when he was worried that Ruby didn’t make it back on the train in time. That, for me, was when the chemistry kicked in.

But upon reflection, I see that that impression is largely due to the type of character Billy is. He is a bit aloof, mysterious and shady. He toys and plays with her, he goes through her purse when given the chance and has something to hide.

RUN can only build in interesting ways from here.

Huckle April 15, 2020 - 7:09 pm

I would run a marathon for Domhnall Gleeson haha. He was great in Black Mirror and the only thing I enjoyed about the new Star Wars. Glad he is with HBO!

Alexandra Mitchell April 17, 2020 - 6:28 am

I completely agree about the new Star Wars! He was fantastic and one of the few things I liked.


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