What a journey it has been for our two star crossed lovers. Over the course of seven episodes, Ruby and Billy have found themselves running from more than just their shared history as both make decisions that cost them dearly. But in this finale, it turns out their love just isn’t enough to sustain them. The episode is an emotional gut punch for the audience. Along the way, Vicky Jones has made sure to show the flaws both characters have, from Billy’s tendency to manipulate those around him to Ruby’s deep insecurities about the direction her life has taken. But it seemed like these two had at least one thing going for them: their unquestioned feelings for one another.
By ending on a cliffhanger so brutal that I need a season two announcement as soon as possible, Jones asks if love is strong enough to save a relationship built on lies. Merritt Wever is perfect as always as Ruby must make her final choice, but it’s Domhnall Gleeson’s Billy that packs the biggest emotional punch in this episode. We finally get to the man beneath all the bravado and lies to find a lost soul desperate for one last chance at the love of his life … only to have that love ripped away from him as a result of his own past actions. For one last time (until season two is announced because I am MANIFESTING IT), let’s take a look at what happened in “Trick.”
Ruby and Billy chase after a truck, which is their only ticket to making the train on time. They both climb in, panting from exertion and elated they’ve made it. Back on the train, they kiss, with Ruby trying to spice up the moment by saying they’re fugitives running away together. Billy pauses and asks if she thinks people really are after them. A knock at the door startles them both, but it’s just one of the staff. She notes they requested breakfast, winking at Ruby and Billy and calling them lovebirds. No one on the train realized they were gone, as Ruby predicted. As they both realize their alibi is secure, Ruby jumps on Billy, ready to have sex. Getting away with manslaughter really helps set a romantic mood, I guess!
Babe Cloud walks down the stairs at Laurel’s house where she apparently spent a sexy night. (I admire her commitment to romance even as she investigates a murder. Priorities, am I right?) She finds Laurel downstairs, fixing the badger from earlier. They flirt briefly, but then Babe tells Laurel that what she did was unprofessional and she’s sorry for crossing the line. Laurel says she won’t tell anyone and Babe is relieved — until Laurel asks Cloud to clear Daniel in the murder case in exchange. Laurel tries to play it off like a joke but Babe isn’t laughing. She goes to leave and hears the stairs creak above her. Daniel has been hiding in the house this whole time. Babe chases him down and tackles him. He tosses a cell phone at Laurel before running away from Babe. Babe arrests Laurel for obstruction of justice in a huff, but Laurel just laughs.
Billy and Ruby talk about Laurence, with Billy asking if he’s funny or kind. Ruby doesn’t really answer, and Billy asks if he will take her back. He gives an emotional speech to explain his feelings:
I’m not stupid, Ruby. I know what you think of me. You think that I’m vain and full of sh*t and that I’m a liar — and I am. But I’m also fun and I love you to f*cking pieces, so you took a break to be with me for a while. It was always just a break. The second I saw your photo of you and your family in that f*cking phone I knew you wouldn’t choose me. I’ve known this whole trip that you’re going back to him once it ends. All I’ve been trying to do the last four days is make you like me enough that you miss me. I want you to miss me every day for the rest of your f*cking life. I want you to think of me, want me, and love me even though you’re with him. And I need you to remember me well because you’re the love of my life. And I know you’re leaving me again for good, and I understand why, and you’re right.
Domhnall Gleeson deserves an Emmy for this speech alone. He is the picture of a resigned and devastated man who knows he’s not the one his love will choose. In the end, he’ll go back to what remains of his life while Ruby resumes hers largely unscathed, and he’s at peace with that. As Billy cries, Ruby tells him she’s decided to leave Laurence. In disbelief, he asks if she promises, and she says yes. Ruby apologizes for not watching his talks, ignoring his protest that most of it was BS. She asks him to cue one up for her to watch.
In the police car, Babe and Laurel hear a tip come in over the radio. Someone saw two hikers jump off a truck and head to the train to LA. This spells trouble for Ruby and Billy, since Laurel can identify both of them. Ruby starts to watch the video, but soon disaster strikes. From beyond the grave, Fiona still has one last card to play. An email pops up onscreen, and when Ruby clicks it she sees an email with the subject line, “don’t let ruby see this” from Fiona. It’s the video of Billy’s book proposal, and Ruby clicks on it. Billy doesn’t realize that’s what she’s watching and looks at her expectantly, waiting to see what she thinks of his speech.
Meanwhile, in another exciting detour into the land of questionable police work, Laurel is trying to break into the phone Daniel left behind. Babe protests that she needs to give it to forensics, but when Laurel suggests they just call the last number on it, Babe reluctantly agrees. It reaches Laurence, folding laundry. He yells at the caller to stay out of their business, assuming it’s Fiona. But he is even more shocked to learn it’s the police on the other line. Back on the train, Ruby is stunned, and Billy assumes it’s from the power of his words. He asks what part “got her,” and Ruby just says “you really got me.” She gets up to go to the bathroom, and Billy thinks it’s because she needs time alone to process his awe-inspiring speech (lots of misplaced confidence there, considering Fiona wrote most of his work anyway). As she gets up she says, “it was very impressive. I had no idea you were capable of something like that … or maybe I did.” Flattered and not catching the double meaning in her words, Billy kisses her hand and looks at her lovingly as she walks away, telling her “I love you.” This moment was difficult to watch. We as the audience know that Billy never intended for Ruby to see that clip and obviously changed his mind about the book, but the fact of the matter is that he proposed it in the first place. He’s clearly head over heels for her, but the brief trust between them is now gone.
A devastated Ruby sits in the bathroom when her phone chimes. Laurence tells her he’s not sure what she’s gotten herself into, but she needs to call the police. They told him they can help her and he gives Ruby Babe’s number. Worried after Ruby takes a while to return, Billy gets up to go look for her. But after his betrayal, Ruby feels she’s out of options. She calls Babe, who tells her not to worry. They’ll work this out as long as Ruby does exactly what she tells her. Billy keeps walking when suddenly the train stops. As the PA announcer lets everyone know a passenger pulled the emergency brake, Billy has a dawning realization when he sees the police car outside the train. Babe goes to board the train and find them, not wanting Laurel’s help. Laurel kisses her and tells Babe to “get ’em.”
Back in the roomette, Billy desperately tries to call Ruby but she’s not answering. He gathers his things, hoping to hide among the crowd when they reach LA. As he does so, he sees the video on his laptop and realizes what Ruby really saw. He texts her “don’t run” in a desperate attempt to stop her and explain himself. Billy walks quickly through Union Station, still trying to reach Ruby. He spots her across the street and smiles in relief, thinking now is his chance to prove himself. But his smile stops as Ruby’s boys call out “mom!” and run to her, Laurence in tow. She hugs them both as Laurence looks on. They look like they are about to leave when Billy decides to make one last ditch attempt at salvaging this relationship.
He runs up to Ruby, telling her the video was from months ago. Ruby calls him an assh*le, and Laurence echoes “that’s right!” before taking the kids to the car. Billy tells Ruby every word of what he said on the train was true, except one thing. He doesn’t just want her to miss him, he wants her to choose him. He says he knows he’s about to be arrested and will take the fall alone, but that he needs to know that she knows he loves her. Ruby hesitates for a moment, but then walks back to her family, saying nothing to Billy as the screen fades to black.
Run is available in full on HBO Now and HBO Go. There is no word yet on a second season, but keeping following Nerds and Beyond for the latest news and updates!