WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Season 1 of HBO’s Run.
HBO’s Run has unraveled a series of unfortunate events as Billy (Domhnall Gleeson) and Ruby (Merritt Wever) seek to take a break from their career and family. The lovers have literally left their old lives behind, with Ruby no longer keen on her husband and two kids back home. It’s why she’s trying to milk this train trip across America for what it’s worth, living in the moment with her bestie and soul mate, and looking to deal with consequences later.
However, in the show’s third episode, Billy’s past catches up with him big time as the series’ true villain reveals herself. She’s his agent and chief operating officer of his self-help company, Fiona (Archie Panjabi), who’s a sadistic megalomaniac.
It was never revealed what out exactly Billy was running from as his inspirational books and roadshows were making a lot of money. Here, though, as the couple stay in Chicago for a night, Fiona’s tracking Billy down via his phone. In fact, she’s controlling everything, including his bank accounts, which drives Billy to a bank to take out all the cash. It’s a long, drawn-out process, so he slips Ruby some cash to buy a dress for a romantic night as he doesn’t want to scare her with Fiona’s issues. While he gets the cash in a duffel bag, Ruby’s having a torrid time picking out clothes. She gets stuck in a tight dress and a woman named Alice helps her out. They actually have a schoolgirl moment as they bond, shoplifting the item.
Ruby admits what she’s doing and Alice assuages her guilt, telling her just to make it a one-time thing and head home. As they part ways, Ruby readies herself for Billy, only to find the cash in their hotel room. But she can’t get any answers because Billy’s downstairs meeting Alice…who’s really Fiona. It’s a shocking moment because it seems she’s been spying on the couple and was playing Ruby all along, manipulating her as part of some endgame. As Billy and Fiona argue about how he abandoned the company will ruin them financially and professionally, he gives her $10,000 cash to part ways but she makes it clear she wants everything. She knows his secrets but despite being fearful, Billy thinks he’s in the clear.
When Ruby confronts him later on, it becomes clear that he actually fled because a woman chided Billy on stage at his last show after revealing Billy’s books inspired her husband to kill himself. Billy had a mental breakdown, accepting the blame and feeling like a fake, which is why he ran and asked Ruby to meet up for this train ride. However, Ruby understands his troubles as they know each other inside out, and they make love. But this is a very disastrous move because Fiona’s hacked Billy’s phone and is recording them having sex. She’s outside their room smiling because this is the ultimate leverage to blackmail Billy.
He’d do anything to protect Ruby’s integrity and this could even see Fiona blackmailing Ruby’s husband. The trailer for the next episode hints Fiona actually goaded Billy into admitting his faults on stage, so it appears she had a weird plan to keep building his brand, and Billy no longer bought into the gimmick. That said, with Billy holding the cash, chances are she’ll try to steal it and as she’s incognito, with Billy nor Ruby knowing she’s disguised as Alice, the mind games will continue. Fiona knows his biggest weakness and she’s ready for all-out war. She wants to claim the money she thinks is rightfully hers before Billy self-destructs and takes the empire they built down with him.
Starring Merritt Wever and Domhnall Gleeson, Run airs Sundays on April 12 on HBO at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT.
Season 1 of HBO's Run finally revealed its big villain, and it's a sadistic megalomaniac who's willing to do anything to claim Billy's money.