Running Man: Episode 69
Wait, what was that noise? It can’t be… ? The Hunter is back, and this time he’s got one target: the Grasshopper. Get ready for an action-packed episode of hilarity, intrigue, and revenge stuffed within every minute. Will the Grasshopper be able to evade the Hunter’s attacks or become fodder for the dogs? There’s only one way to find out.
EPISODE 69. Broadcast on November 20, 2011.
We start this episode with a dark, gloomy montage of the Hunter, Choi Min-soo, reminding us of his motives for today’s ultimate revenge mission. Betrayal, suspense, vengeance – I’m stoked.
At the same time, our cast is gathered at Incheon Chinatown dressed in green, and Jong-kook notes that Jae-suk is grinning from ear-to-ear about today’s dress code. Jae-suk attempts to downplay his love for the viridian shade but Haha points to his bright green sneakers and green shoelaces that say otherwise. I love that they’re playing up this green gag which also suits his Grasshopper nickname.
Mr. PD introduces today’s mission: Survival Quiz – they’ll be drilled on trivia and two members will be eliminated at each stop until one person remains for the final round.
Ace Ji-hyo asks if it’s a team effort and the Easy Brothers announce that they’re a team, remember? And she kicks them in response.
Speaking of whom, dear Ji-hyo, ever since you chopped off your long locks, your hairstyles have been questionable. Someone get her a new stylist!
In the car, the cast astutely deduces that there’s always something brewing whenever the staff makes them go through quiz missions. They get dropped off their first stop and they race around the streets, hurrying to arrive first.
The Easy Brothers puff up for beating the others but once they hear that an incorrect answer will automatically put them out of the running, they start sweating bullets. And Gary saunters in with a knowing smile that being first wasn’t to his advantage.
It’s no surprise that both Kwang-soo and Suk-jin give incorrect answers to the cheers of the rest of cast, who leave with a skip in their step.
Back in the car, Jae-suk muses how entertaining today’s episode is turning out, and curious about what lies ahead. Don’t you worry; your curiosity will be quenched soon enough.
They ask about the question (Who was the author of ‘Demian’) and they all draw a blank. Mr. PD, this is considered junior high material? Then Gary gets it right, “Isn’t it Hermann Hesse?” and now I’m super impressed.
The next stop is an art museum, and the cast starts brushing up on their art trivia. Haha asks who painted ‘Munch’ and Jae-suk tells him that Munch is the artist, not the painting. Oops!
They line up, and this round they start with Gary at the end of the line. He gets it right (must be his lucky day!) to everyone’s surprise, and he says that he couldn’t get it wrong for entertainment value because it was something he knew. Jong-seok: “It’s funnier that you got it right!”
Both Haha and Ji-hyo are eliminated, and the boys head out.
The eliminated arrive at the Incheon Culture & Arts Center and are promptly mysteriously led away individually by pairs of men in black. Where are you taking them?!
The boys contemplate what the big reveal is and in voice-over, Min-soo gives us a clue: this quiz mission has been designed to draw out his sole target, Yoo Hyuk, a walking trivia bank. He easily passes the next round, with Gary and Jong-kook getting pretty close. That is, if you consider the three elements of music as, “feel, soul, and my life.” Heh, oh Gary.
Jae-suk is rightly suspicious when Mr. PD announces he’ll get dinner before the final mission. It’s like fattening up the prey before it’s killed. He takes it out on his VJ, who alas, doesn’t have a clue either.
After dinner, the staff locks him in and Jae-suk enters the vast, empty auditorium still in the dark about today’s mission. He spots a tape recorder on the stage, picks it up and hits play to a resounding, “Hello…Grasshopper…” and the hairs on the back of his neck stand on edge.
Min-soo’s recording states that he’s lurked in the shadows, only to emerge when Jae-suk thought he might be safe, complete with evil cackling laughter. The best part is when Jae-suk says he’s going to go crazy and it’s as if the recording answers him, “Ahh this is fun…”
So the Grasshopper’s final mission is to save the others who are currently trapped in various locations. But only four of those members have the code that unlocks the key to their freedom.
Speaking of whom, they’re panicked – the battery on their phones quickly draining in power, and they wonder what past crime they committed to explain why they’re trapped. Gary confesses to swiping a pencil when he was a kid and à la Oldboy, tells Jong-kook, “Order me some dumplings!” Ha!
Meanwhile, Jae-suk jumps at every sound and roams the halls, checking room after room to no avail. Until he hears someone’s desperate cries down a corridor. It’s Haha and once he hears Min-soo’s name, says he’ll remain tied up. Hehe, smart boy not to mess with the Hunter.
Jae-suk grabs the code only to face a foggy hallway and another brightly lit corridor. Um, usually they tell you to go towards the light, but I really advise you don’t Jae-suk. No? You’re going to keep walking to it? You don’t think Min-soo is going to find you this early?
Wrong. What did I tell ya – you’re easy pickings for the Hunter who recounts a fable to a frightened Grasshopper: There once was a village where a Tiger dwelled, and a newbie Grasshopper moved in (Jae-suk: “They could live together…” Min-soo: “Sure they could. Keep listening.”). All the other animals were afraid of the Tiger but the Grasshopper forgot that.
Moral of the story – the Hunter hates those who backstab him. Note to self: Don’t have Min-soo telling me bedtime stories anytime soon.
But it isn’t over yet and Min-soo gets a taste of revenge, via tickling. Hehe, why so scary and cute Min-soo? He tells Jae-suk that tonight will be a constant chase of cat-and-mouse, ripping off his name tag to reveal another.
Once he’s gone, Jae-suk admits defeat, unable to play along with the Hunter’s orchestrated battle of wits, citing how weak he is to tickle attacks. Does anyone else get Bender vibes from how Min-soo is dressed?
With five more members to save, Jae-suk continues to search the place. He stumbles upon Kwang-soo, confused and scared when he hears Min-soo’s name. Jae-suk takes a chance, ripping his name tag… and the alarm blares throughout the entire building.
He makes a run for it, but it’s no use and his punishment, an appropriate grasshopper get-up, is placed over his head.
Jae-suk finds a note on a covered platter of food from Min-soo and he takes a moment before uncovering it, salivating at the mere sight of it. Too bad the menu is grasshoppers (I’ll save your stomachs) and he protests that Grasshopper is just his nickname – he’s not an actual Grasshopper.
He further argues that Min-soo isn’t a
lion tiger either and that tigers don’t eat insects. Said the man with a grasshopper on his head. Hahahaha.
Jae-suk discovers Spartakooks next, and tears off his name tag thinking that Jong-kook couldn’t possibly have the other one… but he does and he runs out. Not before getting squirted with perfume so that the Hunter can track down his scent. Brilliant.
I can’t possibly go through an episode without a loving Monday Couple moment. Gary receives a SOS text from Ji-hyo and so he calls her back, using his lips. It works – if only Ji-hyo’s phone got any signal.
Lonely Gary wonders who might save him when the door flings open and Jae-suk calls for him, to which he says, “Gary’s not here!” Methinks he hoped the Ace would walk through the door.
You can’t snub out the MC in Jae-suk for explaining the entire mission along with his misfortune to everyone he saves. For instance, he explodes, “Min-soo hyung is going to kill me three more times!” Ha, so much for being optimistic.
The rescued occupy themselves in the van where Haha and Kwang-soo pass the time by making faces at the cameras, as if trapped inside a horror movie.
The real horror story is about to unfold as Jae-suk strolls down a quiet hallway, thinking it’s been some time since he’s seen the Hunter… and he slowly emerges from inside a fake cupboard.
The bell on his shoes rings his presence and Jae-suk barely escapes into an empty room. Once he thinks he’s safe, he opens the door and falls into the Hunter’s grasp. His screams echo through the hallway, but they’re cries from another tickle attack. Heehee.
They take a moment to breathe and Min-soo asks again if Jae-suk betrayed him. Jae-suk replies that he slightly touched his back and he asks seriously, “What’s ‘touch’ in English?” Jae-suk: “That is English.” Min-soo covers up his slip by asserting that he’s a scorpion, pointing to his belt, but growls when Jae-suk peeps he was a tiger before. Hehe, these two.
The Hunter rips off another name tag (revealing perhaps the teeniest one I’ve ever seen on RM) and sends him on his merry way.
Jae-suk tracks down Ji-hyo just as she’s about to send out her location to the others, (smart girl!) and now he has two lives left, with only Big Nose hyung to rescue.
The eerie music settles in, the fog continues to rise… and the Hunter appears out of the darkness. Jae-suk darts out of the theatre, trying to lose the Hunter’s tail, but thanks to the Grasshopper’s distinct scent, he corners him in a dead end in no time.
Aside from the Grasshopper’s odor, Min-soo’s nose picks up a whiff of something else – right now, Jae-suk has the smallest name tag on, which means that there’s another one floating around.
Come hither, terrified VJ. And sure enough, there’s another name tag underneath his sweater and Min-soo easily rips it off. In response to the staff’s little trickery, Min-soo declares that next time will be RM VJ hunting. After that? RM PD hunting. Hahaha!! I so want him to fulfill that vow because everyone is afraid of him.
Jae-suk gathers himself, readying for the final showdown with one last member and one life remaining. He scours the halls until he finally finds Suk-jin who’s been trapped for over five hours. Now with the entire combination, it reads: 0724 or July 24, the fateful day he betrayed Min-soo.
They run to the van in the garage, Jae-suk hurrying to unlock the combo, even forgetting to open the door in his haste. He yells to Suk-jin to get into the van, when a figure creeps up behind him…
The Hunter had sneaked up, with skeleton-like makeup, and blended in with the Running Man, waiting for the opportune moment to scare the Grasshopper. He calls the end of Grasshopper Hunting, and turns to leave.
Dazed Jae-suk then realizes, “I’m not out yet. He didn’t rip off my name tag.” He ushers everyone back into the van once Min-soo is out of sight, but before he can drive out, Min-soo appears again, “I seem to have forgotten something.” and cleanly rips off the last tag.
Together again, Mr. PD informs them that the Hunter has left without a word, to everyone’s surprise. Jong-kook says that Yooruce Willis can breathe a sigh of relief that Min-soo left him (sorta) unscathed and Jae-suk says, “Min-soo hyung’ll get mad again if I say this, ‘Hyung, the score’s 1:1 now.'”
Oh NO you didn’t.