Sitcoms/Variety Shows
Running Man: Episode 52
by | July 24, 2011 | 48 Comments

Watch your backs Running Men – someone’s hot on your trail. It’s the Hunter vs. the Hunted and the cast is picked off one by one. Who is this mysterious hunter and what does he want with the Running Men? Who will be the victor of this epic battle of agility, speed, and wit?

[Note: It turns out that this week's episode is the 1 year anniversary episode. Oh well. I was misinformed. In any case, it doesn't take away any of the AWESOME that was this episode.]

Episode 52. Broadcast July 17, 2011

We’re back with a traditional opening with the entire cast at Seoul Station. They reminisce about their recent trip to Thailand, still awed by their massive popularity overseas. Kwang-soo mentions the fan who donned his signature mustache, and Gary has a new haircut to match his newly found Hallyu fame.

It’s time to hear about today’s mission: Race to Kyungjoo and find the 7 gold crowns. Find the most and you win! Hold up there Mr. PD, isn’t there a catch? Of course there is. The cast will roll a die at every station and its outcome determines whether they’ll keep going to Kwangjoo with everyone else or find their own way.

The cast relies on rock-paper-scissors to determine who rolls first. Sometimes, you just can’t make this stuff up when you classically see one member fall so short. And that unfortunate member is Ji Suk-jin. He loses out on rock-paper-scissors and rolls a “fail,” which forces him to find alternative transportation.

The other members joke that it would be hilarious (and awkward) if their top star, Jong-kook and their worst, Suk-jin, were eliminated together. It’s as if the variety gods heard their cries and what do you know… Jong-kook loses on another round of rock-paper-scissors and the die. Man can’t catch a break from last week huh?


Everyone else is off to Kyungjoo by train and Jae-suk suggests a game to pass the time. They previously picked up a box of sweets, and their roll order depends on which one they pick. It’s enough to set off some anxiety as some members reveal their number and others’ sweets are blank. Finally, it’s between Jae-suk and Ji-hyo and when they pick, it’s Jae-suk who must roll first. Aww, it’s always the person who suggests the game!


They’ve got no time to dilly dally at the next stop and Jae-suk reminds the others that no matter who is eliminated, the remaining members will pile back into train without any qualms. Jae-suk throws the die into the air…and the others zoom back into the train car faster than you can say “fail.” LOL. Jae-suk is eliminated third, sulking along the Sandglass soundtrack, and a sweet in his hand.

Haha suggests that they choose the next order by voting on who they’d like to see eliminated. With these four, you’re bound to get some irregular answers: “Haha. Because it’s Haha,” “Gary. Because he’s ugly,” and finally (the best, I think), “A bad personality, scolds (me) all the time, and a sharp stare…Chun Sung-im (Ji-hyo’s real name).” You can guess whose is whose.

The eliminated think of ways to get to Kyungjoo. Jong-kook and Suk-jin decide to arrive in style by plane and Jae-suk opts for a later train. Slick, slick Running Men.


Back to the remaining four, Ji-hyo rolls safe from elimination and in pure glee Kwang-soo rolls…a “fail.” Just like before, the others zip back towards the train without looking back. His elimination is like the shot heard ’round the world. Poor puppy. It only gets worse when someone recognizes Jae-suk, asks to take a picture with him, and hands the phone to Kwang-soo. Get this boy a teddy bear!

Everyone is racing to Kyungjoo and it’s Ji-hyo’s turn to spin again. But of course Gary slips in before she rolls, “(Haha) get lost if Ji-hyo’s safe (from elimination).” Ji-hyo rolls safely and jumps into Gary’s arms. Long live the Monday Couple! Alas, Haha is eliminated fifth and the corresponding number is placed on his back. Hmm, something’s afoot, methinks.

Who makes it to the Kyungjoo amusement park first? It’s Jong-kook and Suk-jin who traveled by plane. The other members follow in after them: it’s time to look for the crowns! The Monday Couple look mighty happy to be searching for the crowns together. Gary attempts to scare Ji-hyo to poke a little fun, but he spots the crown before he gets the chance, much to Ji-hyo’s chagrin.

But there’s something, or rather someone, lurking in the amusement park, carefully tracking their every move. Leave it to the Capable One Jong-kook to notice that the scenery is eerie, as if people will disappear one by one. Well now that you mention it…

It’s Sukjin who’s afraid of roaming alone and calls Jong-kook but doesn’t notice the lingering shadow behind him. It’s the hunter! Suk-jin is no match for the hunter aka guest, actor Choi Min-soo (Warrior Baek Dong Soo, Father’s House). Choi Min-soo says: “You were the first…” and we flash back to the very beginning, when Sukjin rolled his fate and when Choi Min-soo received his mission: take the members out in order. Now the pieces are starting to come together…

How is it this man is so nimble and agile? Choi Min-soo is just climbing over gates and traverses through tall grass as if they were annoying little obstacles in his path. He’s a man on a mission and his next target is Jong-kook. The captions play up their potentially epic battle: It’s Hunter versus Spartakooks and Min-soo’s voiceover narrates that between beasts, there exists a different language…


Which is why I love Jong-kook’s transformation from a manly man from one second, to an obedient puppy the next. Jong-kook catches on fairly quickly and sans an epic battle, is taken away by men in black. Thus is the swift and quick end to Jong-kook.

This man must have keen hunter instincts or something because he spots Ji-hyo dragging two scaredy cats, Haha and Kwang-soo, to an amusement park ride in the distance. Min-soo: “The scared stick together.” True that, brother. Then suddenly, insight. Haha figures out that Min-soo must eliminate them in accordance to the order on their t-shirts. He doesn’t worry since Jong-kook is tough to catch. Oh, how little you know, Haroro!

It takes a dangerous close call for everyone to refocus on the mission at hand: Find the seven gold crowns. Come on, time’s a-tickin’! Jae-suk gets to work but he walks right up to where Min-soo is hiding. Yooruce Willis is an easy catch for Min-soo. A terrified Jae-suk asks to confirm if his mission is to hunt down the Running Men. Min-soo: “What number are you?” Jae-suk: “3.” Min-soo. “Then you’re right…”

In jail, Choi Min-soo takes a breather with the eliminated, educating them about all things Hunter. He chastises Jae-suk that he talks too much, calling him “5 mm deep,” as in, shallow. Oof. Min-soo mentions that fish that swim in shallow water move rather carelessly whereas deep-sea fish move in swift, calculated movements. When Suk-jin mentions, “Doesn’t it differ on the species of fish?” he’s met with a sharp smack to his thigh. HA.

It’s Jong-kook’s uncomfortable and awkward sitting position in this entire conversation that has me in a fit of giggles. Never has a man so dominating look so timid.

Haha did you really think a snailing train ride would save you from the Hunter’s grasp? It’s easy pickings for Min-soo to hop across the wall and capture Haha – for fun. Oh my god, dear man, you’re giving ME a heart attack! Evidently, they’re neighbors and it looks like Min-soo harbored some resent towards Haha for not greeting him properly. To remedy this social sin, Min-soo employs Haha to bring him Kwang-soo instead.

Kwang-soo is hiding in a corner, hoping to remain alive. He heads towards the carousel, and just when he turns the corner, something scares the living daylights out of him. It’s Min-soo, who has been patiently waiting inside the booth. Min-soo even offers that they “ride the carousel for a minute,” even breaking out into a smile before he rips off Kwang-soo’s nametag. I can’t tell if you’re being cute or scary anymore Choi Min-soo…

Okay, this man is not someone to be trifled with. Haha comes back, confident that he’ll take his elimination like a man, and Min-soo offers him a last chance to run for it. The offer shakes up his confidence and Min-soo taunts, “If I chase you…who do you think will win?”

That’s enough for Haha to run away and after some time, a noise in the darkness jostles him and he screams, “Just take my nametag!” Min-soo hunts him down a second time just as easily as the first. Two Running Men left and just one crown…

Gary realizes that they haven’t checked inside anywhere. Hand-in-hand, Gary and Ji-hyo enter the haunted house. Slowly they make their way through and BAM! Min-soo jumps out in front of them, capturing Gary, and Ji-hyo evades the attack. Some creepy lines later, a smiling Min-soo says that he’s fond of the Monday Couple. Heh, cute.

It’s now Ji-hyo versus Min-soo in a last stand and Ji-hyo’s heart is racing – and points to her belly. Oh Ji-hyo. Keke. She continues to search all over the park for the remaining crown, all the while, we hear Min-soo’s booming voice calling out her name.

Aha! Now this is Ace Ji-hyo as she removes the last crown from its hiding place. Now it’s a matter of just setting it down with the others…

Ace Ji-hyo darts across the park, slinking her way through openings, setting a false trail for Min-soo. Will she get there first? Will she be caught by Min-soo? We see her running as fast as she can and sets down the last crown, sealing the victory for the Running Men! Yes, Ace Ji-hyo! This is why we love you!

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48 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. jae

    thanks gummimochi…it’s cute name! ^^
    song ji-hyo, mansei! good luck on your newest drama!
    from running man and family outing die hard fan ^^;

    • 1.1 purplesheesh

      YAY! Thanks gummimochi! I’m really in love with Mong Ji Hyo..she’s the best! :)

  2. jandoe

    awww sounds so good. thanks gummimochi for this! oh man how am i gonna keep up if i start watching this (on top of 1N2D and dramas?!) :O

  3. Alvina

    LOL. Sounds like a super fun episode; I’ll have to catch up then.

    Seems to me that CMS is playing a character; utterly creepy but utterly amusing. Running Man just clicks when they invite these kind of people to the show :D

    And Haha, forever and ever you’ll be my awesome smarty-pants. I still have that clip in my mind of you laughing and laughing despite the horrible anti-comments people were saying. Stay strong bro.

    And poor Kwang-soo (hugs). You needed that.

    • 3.1 Ani

      Kwangsoo plays the puppy to a hilt considering he’s not the conventional definition for a puppy “cute and adorkable to boot”, but his sidekick ways males him a star in his own right and worthy of a puppy status. X)

      • 3.1.1 Ani

        *makes

  4. Tottoro

    I love running man so thank you for such a surprise present reviewing it! Be it Monday couple, gwang su, or cute spatar man, I’m so hooked!

  5. seasea

    Love it when the girl is the one who brings down the victory for the gang. Ji Hyo is awesome!!

  6. ajewell

    There are still quite a few things about this game I don’t quite get. Like for instance, what exactly is at risk for the winners/losers at the end? Is there some kind of prize/penalty, and does it change every time? Is it pride? Money? Immunity? A vacation?

    I mean, if Ji-hyo hadn’t won, what would’ve happened?!

    • 6.1 mary

      The punishments change every episode, sometimes the running men agree on the penalty. It’s usually a combination of an embarrassing task done right after the show, so the members are tired from all the running and hiding on top of it all.

      One of their most common punishments is wearing hot pants (a really really short and tight thing) and going to public places to (ie) eat noodles or spicy rice cake.

      • 6.1.1 shikurai17

        I love the hot pants punishment. No matter what season, they go out wearing that and do their awkard walk. I die laughing. XD

        • 6.1.1.1 mary

          I love it when Song Joongki loses.

          Joongki + hotpants = O___________O

          • 6.1.1.1.1 student viewer

            but joongki is gone….he should have come back for the 1st year anniversary. i started the show (when it debuted) because of him. and his legs are scrawny, but he was smart and so cute when embarrassed.

        • 6.1.1.2 bittercandy

          I guess I’m the weird one. I don’t really watch Running Man to see who is winning/getting the prize/penalty. It’s the fun, hilarity and the chemistry that makes me smile, laugh or scream like a crazy gal. Win or lose – It’s addictive and entertaining!

          Speaking of penalty, the memorable one to me is Haha & Jong Kook kiss. This was the doing of Ji Hyo who gave Haha’s head a push. Goodness knows how many times i rewind that!

          On the hot pants – does anyone notice that Suk Jin seems to be bigger down there compare to others? :P He’s old and I’m not into him.. just saying

  7. momosan

    I don’t normally watch Running Man, but for Choi Min Soo, I’ll be watching this episode! ::runs off::

    • 7.1 bittercandy

      Not a fan of Choi Min Soo cos of his scandal a few years back. Even though he apologized – I dislike this sort of people.

      I’m watching Running Man for the main cast.. Just saying..

  8. smiles

    I have a major crush on Lee Kwang Soo – is that weird?????
    I just love his awkwardness, shyness and then every now and then he delivers a biting one liner that makes everyone laugh or turn the tables.

    Then he’s back to being awkward again….Bless him

    • 8.1 MinKy233

      And I thought I was the only one :D

      I find him infinitely adorable too.

    • 8.2 Ani

      I wouldn’t say I have a crush on him, but I love what he brings to the table for Running Man. I love it when he creates these rumors about the other members. And his biting one liners are awesome. I love it when he ends up in puppy mode and Saint Agnes plays in the background. HAHAHAHA. I think he’s wonderful.

  9. Cynthia

    I watched this episode several days ago, and let me tell you, having Choi Min-soo prowling around in the dark hunting the RR was no joke to watch – especially at the end where he was stalking Ji-hyo, bellowing her name. It was really kinda creepy and scary, cameras or no cameras.

    Of course, some of my reaction comes from seeing Choi in Warrior BDS – he’s eating the scenery up over there playing an equally creepy dude.

    However, just watching HaHa practically peeing his pants in fear and rolling over in supplication and tearing off his own badge to HAND it to Choi was priceless! HaHa cracks me up every show – his being the secret spy to Kim Hyun Joong was by far my favorite Running Man.

    Thanks for the recap – it was terrific!

  10. 10 natureii

    This episode was so much fun!!! hahaah just to see Spartakooks reaction hahahaha he was a puppy haha.

  11. 11 van

    CMS played his deranged stalker/hunter role to the hilt! One second, he’s riding the carousel with Gwangsoo, next second, he’s putting Gary in a headlock. And he does it all with that maniacal smile on his face!

    And Song Ji Hyo isn’t called the ACE for nothing! Despite the constant blank look on her, she has the sharpest eye out of all the members, and her game instincts rival that of Jong Kook’s. This girl is seriously beyond awesome! :D

  12. 12 Marj

    I’ve yet to thank you for doing running man recaps! It’s become one of my favourite variety shows and am so glad that it’s being done on dramabeans :) Thank youuu.
    And how awesome is Ji-hyo. She totally fits this show, and I’m loving that she’s the only girl and yet still kicking ass!

    • 12.1 Ani

      I know. Ace Jihyo kicks butt like no one else can.

      • 12.1.1 Raptor

        Yup look how many times she caught sight of CMS

  13. 13 Kim

    This episode sounds so awesome. I can’t wait to watch it. Now I just have to wait for the sub. Thanks for the recap =)

  14. 14 kk

    yaya, thanx for the recap. running man never fsils to make me smile. n so glad to c ace ji hyo being ace and not ‘blur’ again

  15. 15 Ani

    I love many Korean Variety Shows, and of all the ones currently airing Running Man holds a very special place in my heart. As underrated as it is and with all the flak it gets, I’ve noticed that unlike some variety show where I have a favorite cast member that I can’t wait to see in action (like my undying love for Eun Jiwon in 1n2d, a place he has moved into since the absence of our Mongkey), Running Man is that one show where I love the whole cast. Don’t get me wrong, I love popular things like 1N2D, and I enjoy everyone in the cast, but Eun Jiwon is above all for me. In Running Man, I love every member. They each have that special something that makes them the Running Man cast. Some people who dislike RM hate it for how it is partly scripted, or would get tired of the Monday Couple (MC jjang~) or the Donsaeng-Hyung love between the Commander and Haroro, or the Sunflower and Sun relationship between Yoohyuk and Big Nose Hyung, or the gossipy ways of the Framer, but these are the things I love about this show. It’s like when I’m with my Best Friends we can’t help but fall into these roles of some being the motherly ones, other being hotheaded, and breaking down our group into smaller units, two or three share something between that they don’t share with the others, but when they partner up with anyone of the others, there’s also a role that they can’t help but fall into. It’s this familiarity that makes this show adorable and how they constantly use these different relationships to do something ridiculously witty or crazy that puts a small on my face. HAHAHA. Thank you for the subs.

    P.S. I feel as if the commander is really going into a slump right now. He hit a slump before, but he came back fighting. Yeesh. I sure hope he starts scaring everyone again unless the fear he used to instill in these guys will disappear. XD
    P.P.S. Ace Jihyo, I’m glad they had the foresight to add a female to the show because someone has gotta show the world that women can outdo the men. ^_~
    P.P.S. Running Man jjang~

    • 15.1 Ani

      *puts a smile on my face

    • 15.2 sherry

      I believe all variety shows is partially scripted but I still love Running Man the best. The one and only variety show I cannot live without. I kept every single episode in my hard drive.

      • 15.2.1 mingtsai

        Running Man Saranghae!! Seriously… I keep every singly episode in my portable hard drive as well ^__^

    • 15.3 bittercandy

      Wholeheartedly agree with you.. such an underrated show. In Family Outing, I actually dislike a few of the main cast… Same with 1N2D, but not in RM! No, no, no… All of them click so well together…and I adore every single one of them!

    • 15.4 pigtookie

      i agree, every time i try to name a favorite, i think joong kook? what about kwangsoo? gary? when i watch dramas or variety shows there’s some people who i don’t mind skipping but i don’t do that much with this show. every cast member is winning in their own way, and yoo jaesuk is good at incorporating the guests into their games too.

  16. 16 min

    i was rather disappointed with Spartakook in this episode though…

  17. 17 swui

    I like RM because all the casts is so funny and “individual” and I like that the PD tries to improve and tweak the format every now and then to suit the guests…

    And I love this episode….CMS is really scary…and I can see the casts were genuinely stunned…this is like the episode where Haha turned betrayer with KHJ….that was so much fun…

    I used to like 1N2D a lot too….but for now I prefer something with a little action…hahaha. I wished JoongKi comes back as a guest at least one day…

  18. 18 indy

    thanks gummimochi… I think this episode spent to much time on Choi Min Soo hunting. And I kinda hope KJK fight a little bit not turned into an obedient puppy, ahh…it’s should be thrilling…
    But still RM is my favorite variety of all (along with IC), it’s so funny & entertaining. I love all the members, they’re all so funny with their own characteristic.
    And I think Gary is getting funnier, love this man…

  19. 19 sherry

    Thanks alot gummimochi! Great show and awesome awesome recap! :) Appreciate your hard work on this. Truly enjoyable to watch the show without the subs and read your recaps!

    Hope you can continue to recap Running Man for future episodes (doesn’t need to be anniversary episodes :P) Cheers to you and Running Man fans!!

  20. 20 atwork

    awesome episode! thanks for the recap :)

    ps. sparta kook’s tamed expression while in jail was priceless hahaha!

    • 20.1 bittercandy

      I love Kim Jong Kook in Running Man.. There is so many sides of him in Running Man compare to Family Outing or the good ol’ XMan days. He talks alot more and surprise surprise! he can act cute!! so lovable..

      Ji Hyo mentioned in Happy Together (Crime Squad guests) that she like CUTE guys… I wonder when Jong Kook started to act cute – before or after Happy Together? :P I love Monday Couple and Song-Song Sibling but I have feeling there is something going between Jong Kook and Ji Hyo…

      • 20.1.1 atwork

        agree, he is so much more at ease now so he talks a lot

        about ji hyo, i guess time will tell but i actually think the monday couple are kinda real now based n their actions so i can’t see kjk betraying one of his kids…

      • 20.1.2 kookie

        I’d love it if it’s true toward KJK & JH, after beginning to watch these episodes orderly.

        But I rather don’t think it’s possible right now. JH doesn’t seem to pay attention for KJK anymore, not the same as in many former epi.

        ps.Thanks for a recap, what a pity sparta KJK.
        and I felt that he’s nagging too much, pls.lessen them.

  21. 21 RMF

    Youve got to watch it to see how scary it is!
    and im not even exaggerating!

  22. 22 Alexis

    OMG!!! The guest was truly scary. Who wld hv thought of gg in thru the exit of the haunted house to ambush the Monday couple when he saw them gg in. And Haha!! wat happened to him was so scary. Imagine turning ur head and finding the hunter behind your back! Yikes!

  23. 23 zodd

    Love this series. Like how the PD of Running Man is willing to make changes/tweaks to keep the show fresh. One of the reasons I don’t get bored watching Running Man. Plus the cast for Running Man is PERFECT. Miss Joong-Ki, hope he shows up as guest.

  24. 24 zodd

    Episode was recently subbed at kshownow .

  25. 25 Cinderella

    I think this has got to be one of my favorite guests! They have to bring him back…

    It was such fun watching them be decimated to bits, especially Spartakooks!

  26. 26 kaekae

    The best part was HaHa’s “suicide.” I watch this ep (well, starting when they arrive at the park), when I’m having a bad day, and I just found it last week. (I also watched all the other MinSoo eps one after the other).
    This and grasshopper hunting are my favorite eps.
    Also, Kookie is no longer my fav. Running Man – MinSoo is. :)

  27. 27 Raptor

    There’re people who claim that SJH only wins because she is always let off easy by her male counterparts or when she cheats her way through.

    Watch the last few minutes of this episode, and say that again.

    Idiotic haters.

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