Yo yo yo – it’s time to represent, Running Man! Try to spit your best verses and don’t forget the swagger and slang. But watch your backs, Running Man – there are spies afoot!
EPISODE 59. Broadcast September 4, 2011.
It’s a Hip-hop Special on Running Man and our cast arrives fully clad in baggy clothing and sunglasses with MC Hammer booming in the background. Everyone is prepared to meet our guests and show off their bling, even childish Haroro who sports his Pororo necklace with pride.
We’re introduced to today’s guests: rapper Tiger JK (Drunken Tiger), his wife, rapper/singer Yoon Mi-rae, Simon D (Supreme Team), Choi Ja, and Gaeko (Dynamic Duo). It’s time for some freestyle introductions and Jong-kook goes first and declares that he’s the original JK and he hails from “An to the Yang” or better known as Anyang, a city just outside of Seoul. A ballad singer trying to rap … Error – does not compute.
Anyway, it’s pretty funny how the Running Men try to be “with it” in their stereotypical late ’90s gear whereas these respected artists simply ooze with authentic cool.
Ji-hyo is introduced next and she starts off, “I live in Gary—” to Gary’s bewildered but pleasant surprise. Ha! She wraps up that Gary will speak for her. But don’t worry – Monday Couple Boyfriend has got your back as he asks if she lives in his heart. Aww.
It’s a Hip-hop Race Mission and the last man standing is the winner for their respective teams. The teams are divided as: Tiger JK, Mi-rae, Jae-suk, and Kwang-soo as one team, Haha, Jong-kook, Simon D, and Choi Ja as another, while Ji-hyo, Gary, Suk-jin, and Gaeko are placed in the last team.
Jae-suk is quick to notice Haha hesitate when Jong-kook’s name is called right after his. How unusual indeed, since he and Jong-kook are classically known as “my hyung – my dongsaeng” for their longstanding friendship. Hm, what’s going on?
We travel an hour back before the opening and see a secret meeting between Haha and the staff. Mr. PD informs him that he’s a spy today and his face falls, “I’m a terrible spy!” Aww, but it’s true, given his previous display of stealth skills, or lack thereof when Kim Hyun-joong was a guest. Mr. PD continues to reveal that today there’s a spy team, so he’s not alone, much to his relief and excitement.
The other two spies on his side are Ji-hyo and Tiger JK. The Spy Team’s objective is to fail the mini missions the first time around and have one member remaining at the end to win. Ji-hyo worries if her subsided determination to win will give her away because she’s known to do her best as mission as Ace.
They worry about Tiger JK lying to his wife and Haha asks if Mi-rae can tell if Tiger JK lies to her. He answers that she finds out right away, even stammering when doing so. Uh-oh!
Everyone heads out toward their first destination: a playground in Hongdae. They’re all pumped to win, but it seems that the Black Team is more worried about the sudden awkwardness between Tiger JK and Mi-rae. Mi-rae overheard that her husband didn’t want to be teamed together and Jae-suk performs some marital counseling that of course a married couple should be on the same team!
Their lovers’ spat makes the other two break into awkward laughter as JK coolly says, “I thought I’d love [Mi-rae] forever.” Mi-rae: “Well, nothing lasts forever.” I have a feeling these two are going to crack me up this episode. That or I should worry that this mission will make or break their relationship.
The Black Team is still intrigued by the guests’ hip-hop style and Tiger JK teaches them a new slang, “SWAG!” Jae-suk and Kwang-soo test it on the Pink Team and a confused Gary makes a sound that resembles vomiting. Hahaha.
Each team receives the mission, which is to complete several activities in the playground in under 50 seconds. The Spy team contemplates how they’ll kill time and Haha does his best, such as distracting Simon D, and Ji-hyo naturally falls to the ground after spinning in a tire. All the teams fail to succeed the first time around, securing a win for the Spy Team.
I died of laughter when Gaeko’s hat kept falling off over and over again when he spun around the bar, and moreso at his frantic expression of trying to retrieve it. Having a bald head ain’t a crime!
All the teams succeed the second time around and they drive to their next location. The car interactions probably my favorite part about Running Man. For instance, Gary admits that he’s unsure of the roads and Ji-hyo reassures him that they’ll meet the right gil (road). At the mention of this, Gary explodes in jealousy and asks if Ji-hyo likes Gil, the other member of Leessang. Oh you two.
At the restaurant, the teams are asked to pick between three characters and eat a bite of spicy octopus whenever their character is heard in the song. Jae-suk gripes, “Can’t we just eat in peace for once?” Seriously, Mr. PD.
The Blue Team picks “Ding” and Simon D jokingly asks if their song is Shinee’s ‘Ring Ding Dong.’ The music starts and the song shrills, “Ring Diggi Ding Diggi Ding Ding Ding!” Oh man – that’s just cold, Running Man.
They come up with a few creative methods to eat quickly, like spooning some octopus into a bowl (and Simon D keeps eating because he’s hungry) or to stick the octopus on toothpicks (and Jong-kook ends up with a mouthful of toothpicks). Hahaha.
All the teams pass (eventually) and head over for some tongue-twisters. This mini mission almost seems made for our rappers as they spew out the words with ease. Then it’s off to an old train station for a good ol’ game of Hide-and Seek.
Each team opens up their respective bags to reveal their nametags (from small to absurdly large), a way to contact each other, and gloves to catch their opponents. Okay, I thought the large name tags were bad, but mittens to catch each other? HAHAHA.
Haroro is a hoot. His team finds out they’re stuck with the megaphones and Haha quips, “Oh, for when we have to secretly contact each other? Jong-kook hyung!!” Snerk. He catches the other teams in the window and shrewdly deduces that they’ve already created an alliance.
An early surprise attack by Jong-kook enables the Spy Team to slip away from the others to get better gear while the allied teams strategize how to eliminate the Blue Team. They decide on an ambush in the lobby, sending Jae-suk out as bait.
Jae-suk is spotted by Choi Ja who runs in to catch him and both teams swarm around him for a swift elimination. Jong-kook follows after him to take Gary out, but the pack is too large for him and flees.
As Jae-suk aptly puts it, “See?! Even the lion runs from a pack of hyenas in the animal kingdom.” Yeah, I’d like to see you say that when you’re alone.
In another part of the building, Tiger JK hides the other team members and lures Kwang-soo to an abandoned corridor. There Tiger JK reaches over Kwangsoo’s back and rips off his name tag. It takes a minute for reality to kick in and Kwang-soo is taken away, speechless.
The Monday Couple snoop around and Ji-hyo checks her surroundings to see if they’re alone. Once she’s sure in the clear, she sneaks up to Gary and eliminates him. It doesn’t register to the poor man that he’s eliminated at first, let alone by Ji-hyo.
In jail, the eliminated recount their stories in utter disbelief – why were they taken out by their own team members? Kwang-soo had tried to warn Tiger JK that they were on the same team and Gary wonders if it’s some kind of anniversary for the Monday Couple. Not too sharp, these fellows.
I love how the Spy Team’s back-up excuse is to blame the eliminations on Jong-kook. After all, he is Spartakooks and quite frightening.
Meanwhile, Jong-kook sends out Haha and Simon D to look out for the other team members. Haha pretends to search the hallway before doubling back towards Simon D’s hiding place and casually rips off his name tag. When Simon D’s name is blared on the speakers, Haha lies to Jong-kook that he doesn’t know how their teammate was eliminated.
Ji-hyo and Tiger JK follow Gaeko down the stairs and quickly eliminates him out of the game. Another down.
Jae-suk heads downstairs and spots the Blue Team hiding in the basement. He calls for all reinforcements and starts making empty threats that Jong-kook is harmless, since he ran away from them and all.
But Jae-suk isn’t quick on the uptake and wonders if it was Jong-kook, which means he isn’t downstairs as they previously thought. Jae-suk confidently moves in to eliminate Haha but Tiger JK suggests they go back and strategize.
A little while later, Ji-hyo heads downstairs and puts on a pretty convincing act, afraid to approach the Blue Team – she is the only one left on her team after all.
The noise alarms Jae-suk and heads downstairs again. But it’s a trap as the three members corner him, securing Jae-suk’s elimination. But Jong-kook isn’t in the clear as Haha reaches over his back and rips his name tag off. Before they can process the situation, Haha and Ji-hyo run off.
Jae-suk and Jong-kook arrive dumbfounded and are finally clued into the Spy Team’s tactic by the others. Jae-suk realizes that they have to warn Mi-rae via walkie-talkie and Mr. PD runs to prevent them from doing so. LOL.
They all worry that Mi-rae will feel extremely betrayed once she finds out and Kwang-soo adds that they were performing marital counseling in the car. Hahaha.
The remaining four sit down together and they point out the clues to Mi-rae one by one: they all have matching gloves and Tiger JK left for work earlier than she did. The truth seeps in once she sees Tiger JK’s gloves and backs away, lost for words. She warns her husband, “You realize after this, you’re coming home with me.” I have a feeling hubby is gonna sleep on the couch tonight.
As a compromise, Tiger JK suggests that they eliminate each other simultaneously. They reconcile with a kiss and both of them are eliminated. So cute.
Everyone gathers together and Gary protests that he wants to be a spy too and that he’d be good at it. Well Gary, your wish is Running Man’s command!