A Cat Catches A Mouse in ‘Run’ Season 1, Episode 4: “Chase”

17 Min Read
Image courtesy HBO.

This week’s episode of Run takes the show into thriller territory, with Fiona’s motivations clearly revealed. We also get more of the tension Ruby feels as her home life takes a turn for the worse, and we realize Billy has been keeping even more secrets than we initially knew about. The show has sparkled even more since Archie Panjabi joined in the previous episode, and it’s the cat-and-mouse game she plays with both Billy and Ruby that makes “Chase” the compelling episode that it is. Read on to find out what happened …

The episode opens on stage with Billy as he’s conducting one of his motivational seminars. While the audience is laughing and playing along, we see Fiona in the wings, stage managing. Billy gets a text while he’s talking, and she checks his phone for him to find a message from Ruby: “RUN.” Without saying a word, Fiona deletes the message. As Billy continues, she mouths the words to his speech, which it appears she actually wrote. He looks to the wings and smiles at her, and she smiles back. The crowd erupts into applause as Billy finishes, and Fiona looks on, pleased.

Image courtesy HBO.

In the present, Billy and Ruby are in bed together post-sex. She wakes up first and sees the time, realizing they might miss their train. They run out of the hotel, both looking like a hot mess (Billy’s bedhead being the highlight.) In the back of the cab, Billy says that next time they have sex, he will be better since he recognizes last night wasn’t his best. Ruby sweetly says, “I wouldn’t have wanted it any better,” and after a beat, Billy says, “so it could have been better?” He then says, “well, nobody’s perfect,” which makes Fiona realize Billy didn’t think she was on her game either. She awkwardly tries to figure out “which time” he means, and Billy makes things worse by saying, “I just remember it being …” and not finishing that sentence. As Billy and Ruby run through the train station, the camera pans to Fiona, watching from the balcony. They just make the train, with Billy saying it was perfect timing and Ruby quipping “well, at least something’s perfect.” Billy realizes he’s messed up and says he’s a “d*ck,” which Ruby doesn’t dispute.

Image courtesy HBO.

They fall asleep in their roomette until Ruby wakes up and notices the scenery going by. Her happy mood doesn’t last long – when she checks her phone, she has thirty two missed calls from Laurence. She goes to the bathroom to call him back, but it goes straight to voicemail. Now worried, she lies back in bed with Billy but can’t relax. A phone chimes and she scrambles for her phone, but it’s Billy’s. He looks, and it’s a text from Fiona: “I know you’re not alone.” He lies unconvincingly, saying it’s his grandmother and she’s “taunting” him. Ruby notes that it’s the middle of the night in Ireland and says, “your grandmother taunts you by text in the middle of the night?” He texts Fiona back to ask where she is, and Ruby says he shouldn’t encourage her. When Billy tries to lie again, Ruby says, “Grandma my ass!” and tries to grab the phone.

Image courtesy HBO.

Billy shouts, “new rule!” and Ruby stops. He proposes that if either of them says something questionable, they don’t doubt each other and just assume they are “wanted and adored.” Ruby is understandably skeptical at this rule, but when Billy says it works both ways, she agrees, not wanting what’s happening with Laurence to affect them. They are both startled by a knock on the door, Billy clearly fearing it’s Fiona. But it’s just the ticket collector and Billy signs in relief. Ruby, still worried, tells Billy she’s going to text her grandma, invoking their new arrangement.

Ruby, worried, begs Laurence to call her back as she runs through the train. She walks right past Fiona, who stares after Ruby as she passes. She gets up and calls to Ruby, who is thrilled to see “Alice” from the department store. She confesses to Alice/Fiona that Laurence isn’t taking her calls and that she knows something is wrong. Fiona offers her phone in case Laurence is screening Ruby’s, and Ruby says she’s paranoid that Laurence knows who she’s with. She says, “if it was anybody else, it would be disastrous, but with Billy … ?” which leaves the audience to wonder how much Laurence knows about Billy. Fiona asks if Billy knows about Laurence or her kids, and Ruby just sighs.

They sit and have coffee, and Fiona tells Ruby she thinks Ruby is amazing, choosing herself over everyone else. Ruby says she’s not sure that’s noble, but Fiona insists that it is in a way. She asks if they have plans for after they arrive in LA, and Ruby says she’s not sure what Billy is thinking. She tells Fiona about the bag of money, and Fiona tries not to show how interested she is in this. Ruby asks Fiona what she is doing there, and Fiona quips that she’s meeting a lumberjack from eHarmony. Archie Panjabi is perfect in this scene, mixing warmth and manipulation. It’s not clear what Fiona’s endgame is, and you almost believe Fiona is on Ruby’s side. Ruby and Fiona both go their separate ways, Ruby calling Laurence again and Fiona clearly looking for Billy. Billy, meanwhile, is trying unsuccessfully to hide his duffel bag full of cash. Fiona goes through different roomettes, looking for the duffel. She finally finds Billy and Ruby’s, but the duffel isn’t there. Out of spite, she eats all his M&Ms and texts him to say, “I prefer the peanut ones.” Ruby is increasingly frantic and panicked as no one picks up.

Image courtesy HBO.

Billy gets the text and runs to the roomette, but Fiona has left. He sits in a seat, and when Ruby arrives, he asks her to mind the bag, calling it “our money.” Ruby asks why it’s all in cash (a question she probably should have asked last night, but hey, better late than never.) He jokes he’s going to dig a hole for it, echoing a joke Fiona made to Ruby. Ruby says that Alice said that’s what he would do, and when Billy asks who Alice is, she explains about the department store. As she talks, it slowly dawns on Billy that “Alice” is Fiona, but he tries not to let on, asking if Ruby had spoken with Alice about him. She says they may have gossiped, then gasps “do you think Laurence is having me followed?” She laughs, but Billy certainly isn’t laughing.

Image courtesy HBO.

Just then, Fiona arrives, and Ruby happily calls her over to “meet” Billy. Both Fiona and Billy play along, Fiona clearly enjoying this and Billy not so much. Billy asks what “Alice” is doing on the train. She says the lumberjack is taking her to Disneyland and asks if Ruby has ever been. Fiona says, “you should take your -” and then pauses as if forgetting that Billy doesn’t know about Ruby’s kids (of course, Billy does know about them but has been keeping that knowledge to himself.) Just then, Ruby gets a text from Laurence. It’s a photo of her son with his wrist in a cast. She gets up and runs to call Laurence as Billy asks what’s wrong. Fiona slides right into her seat.

On the phone, Laurence says the reason he didn’t take Ruby’s calls is that they were in the ER all night after their son Scooter fell off a trampoline. Ruby crumbles, saying she’s sorry she wasn’t there. Laurence says it’s okay, and we see him for the first time. She confronts him about freezing her cards and the voicemail message, and Laurence says he’s sorry, but he was upset. She asks to talk to Scooter, but he’s asleep, and Laurence says he’s “been through a lot,” which Ruby can’t argue with. Laurence pauses, then asks, “Ruby … are you having another breakdown?” She puts the phone down as Laurence calls out to her.

Fiona asks Billy if he really did clean out the bank accounts, as Ruby said. He says it’s his company, but Fiona reminds him that it’s their profits. He asks Fiona to stay away from Ruby. Fiona says the second she saw him with Ruby; she knew what was happening: “RUN.” She sarcastically says she can’t wait to read the book he’ll write about the experience, and Billy responds that he really is running away and that a book has nothing to do with it. Showing concern for Ruby, Fiona says, “she’s a phase. I think this is a big deal for her, but once you get over it, she’s f*cked.” Billy tells her to leave, and Fiona says she’s glad Ruby doesn’t know about the real reason Billy texted “RUN.” She texts Billy, who stares her down as he checks his phone. It’s a video of Billy in full motivational speaker mode. He refers to Ruby as his “love,” giving details behind their pact. It’s clear he meant to make some kind of content out of it, maybe even a book like Fiona mentioned (though there’s nothing indicating when the video was taken.) Fiona smiles knowingly, and Billy desperately grabs for the phone. He says he’s already given her a lot of money, and Fiona says, “well, I’d quite like some more.”

Ruby is still on the phone, apologizing to Laurence. He doesn’t want to hear it, and Scooter calls for him. Ruby demands to speak to him, and Laurence hands Scooter the phone. She asks how he is, and Scooter mentions their “new au pair” Sarah is taking them for ice cream and is the one who took them to the trampoline park. Ruby desperately tells him she loves him and will come home from her “vacation” right away, but Laurence hangs up. Ruby hears a knock on the door and answers it. It’s Fiona, still in Alice mode. She asks if Ruby spoke to Laurence, and Ruby confesses that Laurence already got a nanny and that Scooter doesn’t even miss her. Fiona says that shouldn’t stop her; they’ll be happy to see her once she’s home. But Ruby wants to be home with them, and Fiona tells her that in that case, she should go to them. Ruby protests that Billy needs her and Fiona says he doesn’t need her and that Ruby doesn’t know him anymore. Fiona then says she’s been working with Billy for years, and Ruby’s eyes widen as Fiona says she’s so gullible.

Fiona reveals her game: by letting Ruby use her phone, she got Laurence’s number. She has the recording of Ruby and Billy having sex from the night before. If Ruby doesn’t give her the money, she’ll send the clip to Laurence. Ruby protests that she was her friend and Fiona deadpans “well, I didn’t expect to like you.” Defeated, Ruby hands Fiona the duffel. As she leaves, Fiona says, “Billy won’t ever be fully honest with you. Remember that.” She leaves, and Billy enters, just missing her. He starts to confess Fiona’s identity to Ruby, but she stops him and says she knows. In a very funny bit of comedic timing, Billy confesses that that’s not all. The night he broke down on stage, he called the audience members the c-word, and they turned on him. Now there’s talk of him being charged with murder because of the death of the husband of the chosen audience member (how on Earth did Ruby not hear of this before getting Billy’s text?) Ruby also pauses before saying she gave Fiona the money. Billy, in shock, at first doesn’t seem to hear this, but then freaks out. Ruby tells him to pull himself together by pointing out that Fiona is on a literal train and couldn’t have gone far.

They search for her, with Billy asking a train attendant who has seen him with both Ruby and Fiona if she’s seen Fiona. The train attendant simply says, “Your other girlfriend? She went that way” as they run past. Suddenly, they spot Fiona as Fiona spots them, and they all race through the train. They knock down an old man in the process, and Ruby says, “oh, we’re going to hell” as they keep moving (god bless Merritt Wever for this line reading.) They trap Fiona in the last car, with Billy yelling, “give us the money back!” while Ruby simultaneously yells, “can’t we go back to being normal friends?” Fiona screams, “f*ck you” to them both … and jumps out of the train into the woods. Billy is dumbfounded, saying only, “where did she go?” as the episode fades to black.

Run airs Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET on HBO. Check out the promo for episode five, “Jump,” below!

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By Jules
I am a nurse and dedicated nerd from Boston, MA. When I'm not at work, I'm rewatching old favorites like Supernatural or discovering my new obsessions (too many to count!). When not fangirling, I can be found reading, writing, or listening to a true crime podcast. You can find me on Twitter @juleswritesblog for more nerdy nonsense.
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