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Retro Review: Runaway (2006)

This short-lived TV show sees a man jump bail and go on the run after being accused of the murder of his mistress. He, his wife and three children change their names and hide from US Marshals in Bridgewater.

Jim (Donnie Wahlberg of ‘Blue Bloods’), Brenda (Leslie Hope of ‘Doppelganger’) and their children Jason, Kate and Mikey are in Iowa hiding from the law. There is angst and flashbacks to the wealthy Washington DC life they abandoned. Jim’s affair with Erin ended in a murder. Now they’ve changed their names, their hair and Jason misses his cheerleader girlfriend and there is no sign of their dog. Mikey can’t stick to the story, Brenda claims Kate and Jason are twins when in fact he is older and waves away their lack of records or ID by claiming they were victims of Hurricane Katrina. This was goodish; Jim’s real name is Paul.

Identity Crisis
Jim heads to Chicago to meet a man who sent a threatening IM. Brenda gets a hospital job so she can steal asthma medication for Mikey. Huntley a US Marshal is after the family. Jason has a tattoo of his girlfriend’s name, there is teen drama and Jim misses being a big shot lawyer. Brenda’s real name is Lily and Kate’s real name is Hannah. This was okay.

Mr Radar Goes to Washington
Jim goes back to DC. Jason breaks, enters and steals to get his family fake ID. Jason is thick. This was okay with an ominous ending.

Kate does something stupid. Flashbacks show how they went on the run leaving Mikey’s beloved dog behind. Their neighbour Bob (Chris Potter) has a nervous breakdown after his son is kicked off the football team. Jason whose real name is Henry has more teen drama. Mikey steals a dog. This was okay.

Best Lines:
“All those years of private school really paid off.”

“Grapes Of Wrath; reading it I was like: why is everyone in this book old and poor?”

Father Figure
Jim learns his long estranged dad has had a heart attack. Jim’s brother Kevin has been helping them, something not mentioned until now. Jim’s wanted poster shows up in town. Okay.

True Lies
Jason sneaks off to St Louis to meet his girlfriend. The moron family keep having public discussions in which they use their real names. James Blunt warbles on the soundtrack. Okay.

Turn, Turn, Turn
Jim and Jason have a fight. Gina the realtor is on to them. Huntley the US Marshal is obsessed and there is a direct comparison made between her and Tommy Lee Jones in ‘The Fugitive’. Subtle show, subtle. This was okay.

There’s No Place Like Home
A tornado hits Bridgewater. Brenda apparently went to medical school and Jim’s wall of crazy about Erin’s murder is blown into the street. This was okay.

End Game
This was the final ever episode. Jim decides to turn himself then he learns who really killed Erin and everything takes on an ugly new light. This was okay and the revelation of Erin’s murderer is twisted. Jason has more drama, Kate’s friends turn on her and Mikey is thick. This was better than ‘Kidnapped’, ‘Justice’ or ‘Reunion’. There is no overarching conspiracy just a revelation that leaves Jim (and viewers) doing a reappraisal of all that has gone before.



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