Note: There was no episode of 1N2D last week. However, because the files follow the Happy Sunday numbering, we jump from episode 343 to 345. Rest assured, we haven’t skipped any precious episodes — and why would we, when they’re as hilarious and entertaining as this one?
EPISODE 345. Broadcast on July 31, 2011.
girlfriday: I freakin’ LOVE this episode!
javabeans: Dude, what an awesome episode. I love the games and the camaraderie, but I REALLY love when some hard thinking is required — when the boys are forced to scheme and puzzle out a difficult clue, and come up with different solutions. I actually stopped it midway through just so I could savor the fun a little longer. Hee.
girlfriday: Haha. I totally do that too. If something is really good, I want it to last longer so I’ll take more breaks in between.
javabeans: The cast has been assembled at 4am, which they interpret to mean that they’ve got a bit of traveling to do today. They would be right…although they’re kept guessing as to where they’re meant to go. Na PD gives them a couple hints, but it’s up to them to decide how and where to go. Eek!
girlfriday: So it’s another mystery destination, with clues along the way? All Na PD tells them is that it’s a Waterfall Special. Ho-dong sighs knowing that waterfall = mountain climbing. Ji-won cracks that maybe it’s not that kind of waterfall, but a waterfall of TEARS. Heh. The boys find out that it’s an individual race to the waterfall, and the first second and third place winners get the mother of all prizes: a wish.
javabeans: Na PD: “You will need to use that wish.” Su-geun, imagining the trials in store for them: “I’m sure we will.” Despite not knowing their actual destination, the boys are given their allowance, and to their surprise it’s quite a lot of money. But it wouldn’t be 1N2D if they didn’t have to earn it, so they are given a game to win their spending cash, which they’ll use for transportation, meals, everything. First place gets a whopping 200,000 won (nearly $200), second and third places get 100,000 won, fourth and fifth places get 50,000 won, and last place gets a measly 10,000. Damn, that’s mean. That’s a cheap lunch, not even enough for cab fare to the airport, much less transportation fare for the entire trip.
girlfriday: The real question is where is the destination, if the guy in sixth place is supposed to get there on ten bucks.
javabeans: The game is a tough one, called Go, Back, Jump. The principle is simple enough, but it’s all the added twists that make it crazy hard. First, each member counts in turn. However, on multiples of 3, you’re not allowed to say the number and must therefore say either go, back, or jump. If you say go, the game proceeds as normal with the next guy counting off the next number. If you say back, the direction reverses. And if you say jump, you skip the next guy.
girlfriday: Okay, this is officially the hardest of their childhood games. It’s like 3-6-9 crossed with Uno, and a side of jittery nerves. They pretty much play the entire game not fully understanding the rules. It’s kind of hilarious. As expected, Tae-woong is the first to lose. He’s the poorest one with the 10,000 won allowance, Seung-gi and Ji-won each get 50,000, Su-geun and Ho-dong get 100,000, and Jong-min is the big winner with the 200,000 purse.
javabeans: It’s a huge disparity, and I’m wondering how the hell Tae-woong is supposed to get anywhere on that amount. The guys confirm with Na PD that it’s technically possible for each person to win, and that confuses them because their immediate thought upon hearing the grand prize allowance is that they’d have to fly there. It stumps them for a good while.
girlfriday: All the boys stand around, not knowing where to start. Ho-dong and Su-geun think the best strategy is to wait till Seung-gi figures it out and then just follow him. They get their first hint — the waterfall only exists after it rains, and is located at the entrance of a small cave. Everyone busts out their best google-fu. What did we do before smartphones?
javabeans: Or — gasp — the internet? On the other hand, I kind of think an old-school version of 1N2D would be a hoot. Granted, even now they can’t use their gadgets most of the time, but just knowing that it wasn’t even a possibility back in the olden days adds that extra layer of difficulty and entertainment — like, the crew wouldn’t be able to check in with each other without cell phones and such. *Ponders this.* It would probably be a production nightmare, but that’s why I’m intrigued.
girlfriday: There’d be a whole lot of radio calls, and trails of beans. I’m picturing lots of bean trails.
javabeans: Or chalk messages written on the pavement, like those YA detective books? Do you know what I’m talking about?
girlfriday: Like Choose Your Own Adventure?
javabeans: Three Investigators! (Thank you, google!) No, it’s this series, sort of like Encyclopedia Brown meets Hardy Boys, where you have three 13-year-old boys who have their own detective firm, and they used to carry pieces of chalk with them. Each boy had a different color, and if he was in trouble, he’d write a question mark on the ground (or wall, or tree, whatever) with his chalk, so his friends would immediately know. I thought of that when City Hunter toyed with the XYZ code.
girlfriday: That’s cute. I read more murder mystery stuff when I was young, like Agatha Christie books. More death. Less chalk. Well, maybe except around the dead bodies.
javabeans: Shudder. I read Agatha Christies until there was one where the victim was dismembered, then I couldn’t touch one ever again. And I read Christopher Pikes until the humans-eating-humans one, Monster, which put me off them forever. Ick. I preferred the cheesy fluff of Sweet Valley High and Nancy Drew.
girlfriday: Omg, I totally loved Sweet Valley High. HA. CHEESE.
javabeans: So bad. But addictive. But ANYWAY….
girlfriday: It’s looking more and more like Jeju is the place to go, but they wonder how the people with 10 or even 50 bucks are supposed to get there. When asked directly, Na PD finally admits that maybe, perhaps the last-place guy would have to get a loan to get to the destination. Oh, NOW he tells them! All the boys scatter immediately, because that’s pretty much confirmation that Jeju is right.
javabeans: Some beeline to hail a taxi, while others (like poor Tae-woong) have no idea where to start, since going to Jeju on ten bucks is pretty much a fantasy. And here I am, imagining scenarios where he has to hitchhike and stow away on a boat and such.
girlfriday: The first alliance to form is Ho-dong and Su-geun, the comedian pair. They ditch Seung-gi and Ji-won right away, so there’s already a clear division between rich and poor. Meanwhile Tae-woong runs after Jong-min to ask for a loan, and he gives him 20,000 won, but refuses to let him ride along in the cab. Aw.
javabeans: Aw, if Tae-woong had more killer instinct, he could’ve worked an alliance, I think — like, negotiated that Jong-min has the money, but Tae-woong has the brawn and the physical prowess, as we saw in their Ulleungdo trip. But no, he’s so shy and unassuming that he sorta just asks, then backs off without pressing the point.
girlfriday: Then Ho-dong runs up to bait Jong-min onto their side, so the natural alliances form this way: the three richest vs. the three poorest. What’s funny is that it’s also Team Scary vs. Team Babo (Stupid). Basically, it’s class division at its baldest. I know it’s basic instinct, but it seems wrong! Socially unjust! And just plain mean!
javabeans: But also slyly funny. You dummies have the money, but we have the brains. Who will prevail? I do love how Team Stupid keeps urging/pleading with itself not to betray itself. Ha.
girlfriday: Team Scary gets left behind, none of them with enough money to get all the way to Jeju. And then Seung-gi has a genius moment: “We just have to get one of us in at third place!” They realize that they have plenty of money if they pool everything and just send one guy, who will then use his wish to include the other two (for instance, if it’s dinner, then all three get to eat).
javabeans: It’s a well-timed revelation, and explains why the wishes are built into this challenge. There are enough hints for the teams to pick up on this strategy, but with time ticking, the fact that Seung-gi realized it so quickly works in their favor. It’s also requires total trust, because you’re literally putting all your eggs into Seung-gi’s basket.
girlfriday: And then Ji-won one-ups him of course — if Seung-gi can manage to be in first place, then his wish can be to make Ji-won and Tae-woong the new 2nd and 3rd place winners, and that way they have TWO more wishes for their team. HA. He really is a genius! Team Scary giggles in delight. So both teams head to Kimpo Airport, though no one’s entirely sure that’s where they’re supposed to go. Su-geun calls them to see if they’re heading in the same direction, and Ji-won wonders, “If Jeju is right, then how come we only have one VJ, and the rest of the crew isn’t moving?” He hangs up, satisfied at his strategy to plant a seed of doubt. And in turn, he confirms that they’re on the right track because the PDs told them to bring their ID cards today, which you’d need to get on a plane.
javabeans: I love how Seung-gi asks if he trained with the national intelligence service, ‘cause he’s working his spy brain to full effect today.
girlfriday: He’s seriously in full-on James Bond mode today.
javabeans: And then later, he’s like, “Seriously hyung, it’s not too late to apply for the NIS.” HA.
girlfriday: Babo Team arrives at the airport first and they ask one airline when the first plane to Jeju is. She tells them 6:30, and then asks if they’re with the 1N2D people who booked the 6:50 plane. She lets slip two crucial bits of information, and this is how Team Stupid processes it — (1) that Jeju is where they’re all going, and (2) that Team Scary called ahead to book the 6:50 flight. Well if the team name fits…
javabeans: This is the point where the rabbit loses that crucial lead over the tortoise — because they’re thinking, “If this is the flight that the crew has booked, then we’re solid! Let’s take it!” Meanwhile…Team Scary quietly slinks into the airport and finds a different airline…whose first plane out departs at 6:35. Booyah!
girlfriday: It’s so great that the team that’s scraping together every last dime finally catches a break. They manage to get an earlier flight AND a cheaper one. Woot! Seung-gi scrambles to change (apparently he’s planning to hike/run/climb the second he gets off that plane) and almost loses his plane ticket in his other pants. Ji-won and Tae-woong’s hearts nearly stop — it’s so palpable that Seung-gi is their one and only hope.
javabeans: I just about had a heart attack when he thought he lost his ticket. Oh man, that woulda been such a downer. It’s weird how usually, I don’t heavily favor one team over another, because I generally like both teams equally. But I’ll admit when it’s Scary versus Babos, I’m Scary all the way. Is it because they’re usually the underdogs, who manage to come from behind? Or is it the magical combination of Ji-won, Seung-gi, and Tae-woong? (Okay, let’s be fair. It’s mostly Seung-gi and Ji-won. Tae-woong is adorable and sweet, but he’d be the same on either team. But you put together the two brains…)
girlfriday: Oh, it’s TOTALLY Seung-gi + Ji-won. They’re the two that are the two. Heh.
javabeans: With their mix of brains and deviousness, they make a pretty awesome team.
girlfriday: Omg, could Ji-won and Tae-woong be any cuter, sending Seung-gi off like he’s a little kid going on his first trip away from home? Tae-woong gives him more money and Ji-won tells him to eat ice cream and other delicious things on the way, and they totally over-worry like a pair of moms. And then Seung-gi hugs them goodbye! Awwwwwww! It’s a bromance explosion!
javabeans: Seung-gi says it actually made him feel like crying, and I don’t think he’s exaggerating because it made me almost tear up, too. Seung-gi describes the feeling as Mom wanting to send along a little something to her kid leaving home — that’s how it felt when Tae-woong snuck in that extra money, like, “It’s not much, but I want you to take care.” *Tear*
girlfriday: I know! Tae-woong sneaks his last 10,000 won in Seung-gi’s pocket before he boards without a word, and then calls him when he’s already on the plane to let him know. It’s so endearing. Like he’s really giving his son his last pennies as he leaves home.
I can’t help but root for Team Scary all the way because there’s so much adorableness going on from all sides. And theirs is a strategy built on trust, while Team Babo is a tenuous partnership based on money and a whole lot of distrust. They think it’ll be an easy race because no one from the other team can afford to go. Su-geun scoffs: “Even if they put all their money together, only one could go!” Wait for it…. Wait for it…. *lightbulb* It FINALLY occurs to Ho-dong that the other guys need only get one man in at first place to win it all. They’re not quite as far as Ji-won’s strategy, but they get the gist of it, and realize that it might not be so in the bag.
javabeans: I love how they shrewdly guess pretty darn close to Team Scary’s real strategy. Su-geun figures that if Seung-gi wins, he’ll use his wish to bring along his teammates in 2nd and 3rd place. But they assure themselves with the thought that in this hypothetical scenario, Team Babo comes in 2nd and 3rd and still has two members with wishes, so they can negate Seung-gi’s wish. However, Team Scary has thought of that and plans to ask — granted that Seung-gi comes in first place — that his wish be to name Ji-won and Tae-woong as 2 and 3, immediately — meaning that the wishes are stolen away from Ho-dong & Co. Crafty!
girlfriday: It’s downright diabolical. Seung-gi lays out the plan as his plane takes off, and he imagines Ji-won and Tae-woong riding along on each shoulder. Heh. Their trust in him makes him feel the weight of his team that much more. Can they just CG a little angel Tae-woong and devil Ji-won onto Seung-gi’s shoulders for the rest of the episode?
javabeans: I love when Seung-gi actually talks to his shoulder-angels, like they’re telling him what to do. Heh.
girlfriday: Team Babo starts to realize that if the other guys really gave Seung-gi every last penny, then he’s got more money than everyone but Jong-min. Ho-dong wonders if their teamwork was really that tight though. The caption: “It totally was.” HAHAHAHAHA.
javabeans: All the songs are pretty cheeky, too, in this episode. I’m gonna have to go back and check ‘em out again. I’m amazed at how much humor comes out of little things like captions and sardonic song placements.
girlfriday: Seriously. Like when Seung-gi gets on the plane while waving to his hyungs, the song’s like: “I trust in you. I trust in me. We truuuuuust in each other.” Hee. The editors and PDs are the ones to actually draw out the laugh in how each moment plays out. They’re merciless, but all the funnier for it.
javabeans: It must be such a kick for them. Like inserting little inside jokes at every opportunity.
girlfriday: Tae-woong and Ji-won are left behind, and it’s only now that Ji-won finds out that they’re completely broke. He seems really sad about it at first, but then later when he calculates how much the other team has, he realizes that Tae-woong did the right thing in giving Seung-gi their last 10,000 won. Aw. What’s a little starvation in the name of brotherly love?
javabeans: No kidding, they don’t even have a dime for vending machine coffee, because Seung-gi had taken even their coins, thinking every last bit important. They’re basically stranded back in Seoul, waiting to be called into action or whatnot.
girlfriday: So now poor Ji-wong and Tae-woong have nothing to do but wait. They try playing Go-Back-Jump, and Tae-woong loses. Again. The PD asks if he was often last place in school. He admits without any shame, “Yes, I was last often.” Hee. That could only be cute coming from Tae-woong. Why are all his childhood stories so pathetic?
javabeans: I think he’s SO bad at athletics and games (and math and so on) that he’s not even ashamed to admit it — like, he doesn’t care because it’s so clearly the case. Nothing to dispute. I wonder if it’s the result of growing up with a bunch of noonas. Didn’t Uhm Jung-hwa say they used to dress him up and and stuff? And how he never played outside like other boys, but just sat around with his dolls?
girlfriday: Yeah, I think she said once that Tae-woong was like another sister because they used to dress him up like a girl and stuff. Hee. Poor maknae with a bunch of noonas. Whadduya gonna do? They end up going to a temple because there’s nowhere else to just park for free and wait.
javabeans: I love the image of them standing outside just looking at the gate, ‘cause they can’t even go inside.
girlfriday: Tae-woong says he once brought a girlfriend here for valentine’s day. PD: “Did she like that?” Tae-woong: “No, of course she didn’t.” Ha. She tells him that it would be frustrating to date a guy like him, and he totally agrees. He admits that most of the time when girls talk to him, he doesn’t understand what they’re saying. LOL.
javabeans: It’s not even a point of frustration for him, because it’s so foreign, like he landed on an alien planet and is completely at a loss.
girlfriday: This is something I hear from guys all the time — that they know they’re SUPPOSED to be sorry about something, because they can tell you’re pissed. But when asked the deadly question “What are you sorry for?” they always come up blank. It’s the great mystery, why girls always ask, and why guys never know.
javabeans: So the two teams — er, Team Stupid and Seung-gi — take off in their respective planes. Seung-gi’s all tense with nerves, while Team Babo is sitting back comfortably, rather pleased with themselves. They think they beat Seung-gi to the airport, and are all ready to pat themselves on the back for wielding their money advantage so effectively. Oh, if only they know.
girlfriday: Seung-gi feels such a burden to win for his hyungs that he can’t even sleep on the plane. He wonders if this is what it’s like to be the head of a household, to have people counting on you like this. That’s so cute it kills me. He says he had to fight back tears when they gave him their “entire life savings.” Aw. He finally lands and decides to rent a car and heads out. Though he’s ahead of Team Babo, he worries that they can afford to take a taxi, which means they could catch up.
javabeans: He grabs a map and some directions, and is told the waterfall is over an hour’s drive away. It’s a relief that Mommy Tae-woong thought to give Seung-gi that extra ten bucks, because he wouldn’t have been able to rent the car without it. Seung-gi asks the rental car folks not to tell the team behind him that he came through, but you can’t be Lee Seung-gi and not attract notice, and the other airport employees are definitely aware.
girlfriday: Sure enough, Team Babo lands and gets confirmation that Seung-gi arrived before them.
javabeans: Not only that, but he passed through the exit about 40 minutes ahead of time. Team Babo hears that the waterfall is — if you speed — 40 minutes away, and they worry that Seung-gi’s practically arrived already.
girlfriday: That alone is enough to put a rift in their very tenuous partnership. Jong-min is the first to take off running without a word, and Ho-dong chases after him. Su-geun is left trailing after them, shouting, “Hyung, you said we wouldn’t run!” They catch a cab and leave Su-geun in the dust. See, this is what happens when you form an alliance based on wealth!
javabeans: Ha, and Ho-dong was the one who was so preoccupied with his teammates not backstabbing him! But the moment he sees Jong-min running, he senses what’s going down and his survival instinct kicks in.
girlfriday: Su-geun gets stranded with no money for cab fare, so he’s forced to give up on the race and just take a bus. He calls Tae-woong to tell him he got ditched, and Genius-won immediately figures out a way to bring Su-geun onto their side. He makes sure that Su-geun is telling the truth, and then asks him to take their side when the wishing war goes down. Ji-won really should consider a career in politics. It’s impressive the way his mind works. Su-geun jumps ship wholeheartedly of course, freshly scarred from being left on the curb.
javabeans: What’s so clever of him is not merely his skill for coming up with clever plans, but his ability to consider all options and pick the most likely one, and more times than not, he’s right on the money. It’s amazing. You might think, oh it’s easy enough to predict what’ll happen. But Team Babo does the same exercise — what will Team Scary be up to? — and they tend to come up just short of the truth. But Ji-won keys in on that… thing at the core and moves in for the kill. In this case, it’s Su-geun’s betrayal. And he’s smart enough to check out whether Su-geun is lying or not — because he’d totally lie — by double-checking the story.
girlfriday: What’s hilarious is that Su-geun now has the moral high ground with Ho-dong and Jong-min.
javabeans: I love that he tells Ho-dong that he’s gonna get reamed on the internet message boards, and hones in on the fact that Ho-dong seems to be battling his own sense of guilt, fearing public backlash.
girlfriday: That cracks me up. The internet will scold you!
javabeans: It’s doubly funny because you could use the same argument for Jong-min, but it’s Ho-dong who’s particularly weak to this mode of argument.
girlfriday: Yes, he’s gotta be loved by all, at all times. And Su-geun is relentless, smelling Ho-dong’s guilt. He tells him that if he doesn’t turn around and pick him up, it’s over.
javabeans: Even when everyone meets up after the race is over, Ho-dong tries to convince himself that what he did wasn’t wrong. That it wasn’t that he ditched Su-geun, but that he was thinking of the entertainment value of keeping the race going! He was doing this in the name of variety! He is actually devoted MC! He is hero! …right?
girlfriday: And then the PDs edit in Ho-dong’s declaration of brotherhood from earlier that morning, now tinged with bitterness and betrayal.
javabeans: Ho-dong then changes tack, saying it was actually Su-geun’s fault for not running with the rest of them. As if he had no choice but to press forward, and Su-geun’s laziness was to blame for him getting left behind. Oh, man. His desperation not to be the bad guy is palpable and hilarious.
girlfriday: Su-geun spends his time writing tragic poems about betrayal amongst brothers, and finally Ho-dong goes back to pick him up, after finishing the race of course. He tries to rationalize his choice till the end, and asks Seung-gi what he would’ve done, if the choice were between variety and image. Seung-gi doesn’t hesitate — it’s image over variety for him, no question. Hahaha. So no help from Seung-gi there.
girlfriday: They pick up Su-geun at a cafe, and Ho-dong starts in on the excuses, and this time the soundtrack isn’t even the PDs’ doing. SNSD’s “Genie” starts filtering in: “Yes I love you / I always trust in you / Tell me your wish.” Hahaha. Ho-dong, I think the universe is trying to tell you something.
javabeans: So Seung-gi wins first place, with Ho-dong and Jong-min in second and third place. (For now?)
girlfriday: I love how the waterfall they travel so far to see… has no water. Pffft!
javabeans: And after they’d hyped it up so much in the morning about being so beautiful and special. To compensate, the four members are taken to a different waterfall, the only one in Asia that empties into the ocean. Back in Seoul, Ji-won and Tae-woong hear the good news and cheer, then are schlepped over to Jeju with the rest of the crew to meet the team. But curses, we have to wait a full week to find out what happens when Seung-gi makes his precious wish. Ack!
javabeans: (Btw, do you think there’s a chance that if Tae-woong gets named 3rd place, he’ll give it to Jong-min, in thanks for lending him money? They did make it a point to say in the morning that he had to pay him back somehow…)
girlfriday: I don’t know if a 20,000 won loan is wish-worthy, but he’ll probably get a bite of food or something.
javabeans: Perhaps. But without the loan, they wouldn’t have won…
girlfriday: I think if it were up to Tae-woong, he’d be nice and give him anything, but Ji-won’s the boss, so I can’t imagine he’ll be giving away one of his team’s wishes. That would be really funny though, because that means it’s every single guy EXCEPT for Ho-dong on one team….