Thread: 311 Runaway
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Old 09-19-2013, 03:15 PM   #13
Donofrio_QLTD
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It's the middle of the third season... and here come the "downers". Almost in the vein of the episode "Camikazi Kid", another Paul Brown episode, "Runaway" is yet another average work. Not as enjoyable as most of the previous episodes, but still much more enjoyable than the very next episode, "8 1/2 months". Again, as much as I liked it, because I truly do (in fact it's one of the episodes I play the most), that wasn't enough to distract my attention from the problems I had with it.

Unlike "Camikazi Kid", I liked most of the characters here... but they were all so one-sided and self-centered I begin to wonder: "Where those times really this way? Or is it maybe only Paul Brawn's writing that suffers from these little cliches?" Here we have the complete cast: the macho but good-intentioned husband, the frustrated "feminist" housewife (but also good-intended), the bully, pain-in-the-bottom, yet harmless big sister, the successful long-lost friend with some "antagonizing" moments, his serious, well-educated daughter whose job is to stare awkwardly most of the time because she wants help understanding what the adults are talking about, and, just because he wasn't there, but Butche, the kid nobody ever listens to just because he's too young to have a real point about life.

This episode deals with many topics at the same time: family, bullying, women liberation, jealousy, jealousness, advantage, marriage and love itself. It has a way of dealing with all these topics with a very light touch, almost as if I was watching a generic Lifetime melodramatic TV production. Something I got to give to this episode is how, even when they were a very dysfunctional family, they cared for each other in the end. It had to be with the worst of situations, but still. Another thing I liked was how Hank and Alexandra show fears, concern and defense at some point. That in itself is what gives them dimension as human beings and not just cartoons. The friend was still very one-dimensional, and I can't help viewing Emma as the "damsel in distress". That's what she was all along and nothing changed in her. She talked about liberation but she constantly wanted to and had to be saved by others. The "antagonist" friend (because he wasn't really a bad guy) running away at the end when he sees there's potential trouble was a cop-out to me, but it was expected from him.

What I liked the most: All the final act. Things play out like in crescendo until the suspense explodes, like with those fireworks, haha! Very well played out, the suspense, and I have to admit that it still keeps me on the edge of my seat. A bit over-the-top with the rope (very cliched even for the early 90's) and all the screams, but it was still very good.

M favorite part: Hank was always bullying Butchie about his reflexes, and when he wants to slap him, Butchie repels the attack. Of course it was Sam, and in a very tense situation, but that finally shut him up.

Another favorite part: At the end when, no matter what, Alexandra still calls him a twerp. She will always be the big sister, and nothing will ever stop her about teasing his little brother.

My rating: Average.
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