Welcome to Hong Kong Running Man! You’ve got 24 hours to unlock the secrets of the Nine Dragons and the entire city is your stage. This episode is going to get your heart pumping and you’ll feel the adrenaline rush every second. The clock’s against you so it’s time to get a’crackin’!
EPISODE 72. Broadcast on December 11, 2011.
It’s 3 PM and our cast has just arrived at Hong Kong, revved up at the start of their new international adventure. Well, most of them anyway because Jae-suk complains that his phone doesn’t get service here.
They’re too busy with the opening to notice our guests’ entrance: returning guest, Jung Yong-hwa (You’ve Fallen For Me, CNBlue) and actress Lee Min-jung (Midas, Cyrano Dating Agency). The boys are absolutely beside themselves, fumbling over their words and actions in front of the pretty.
Haha complains that Jae-suk addresses Min-jung by her first name, which alludes to a sense of familiarity, and they poke fun at Jong-kook flexing his guns moreso than usual.
A few selca shots later, it’s time for the group to greet the few fans – holy cow, that’s a SEA of fans who’ve swarmed the place, waiting for a glimpse of the Running Man and holding up their placards excitedly. There’s even a small sign for Jae-suk’s VJ and the maknae FD!
There are so many of them, in fact, that their security detail escorts the crew through a different exit, but the fans have flocked to the entrances as well. The reception is absolutely incredible, and it really speaks to the power of Hallyu in recent times.
It’s time for our guests to pick teams and poor Suk-jin remarks, “I’ll bet my life savings they won’t pick me.” Aww. Yong-hwa goes first, and the flustered looks on the boys’ faces when Yong-hwa fakes them out is hilarious. He picks Ji-hyo and Jong-kook (to the other’s rousing cheers) rounding out the best of the best.
Min-jung’s next, picking Haha and Jae-suk but I love how both of them are tightly-lipped at first, and then Haha yells out, “Open your eyes fools!” That effectively leaves the Easy Brothers and Gary to form the last team.
All of the members are left flabbergasted – how did Running Man get Jackie Chan to participate? And Yong-hwa chips in “Gu-ryong/Sung-ryong/Yong-hwa” (Dragon/ Jackie Chan/Yong-hwa – they all have similar sounds). Oh Yong-hwa, you’re so punny!
All the while in Jae-suk (Green)’s car, Min-jung excitedly asks if their task is simply solving the mystery and if they can go eat dim sum then.
At the hint of Min-jung’s competitiveness, Jae-suk explains that he’s noticed that beauties tend to be competitive and get annoyed easily. He asks if she falls under that category and she quips, “Well, I’m not a beauty!” Cut to a bashful, infatuated VJ.
First stop: Soho. Their mission here takes place on the Central-Mid Level Escalators, the longest outside escalators in the world. The Green Team climbs out to more cheering fans.
The first round is a Speed Quiz while piggybacking a team member and to answer three questions before reaching the end. Haha offers to answer the quizzes (as to avoid using his strength, or lack thereof).
They fail, and they gripe at the PD for conveniently leaving out that the quiz only applies to the first part of escalator. Yeah, I kinda wanna grab you by the collar too, PD.
The Red Team doesn’t fare any better and before they completely explode, Mr. PD kindly reminds them that their Hong Kong fans are watching. Got to maintain that image Spartakooks!
Out of all of the teams, however, it’s the Yellow Team I worry most about. They think that they’ve taught the locals a new rhyme (that they’re already familiar with), and are clueless about the mission. It’s no surprise that they fail before getting even one right.
The second round is a bit more complicated: one member runs up to the bar, tosses a die, concocts a cocktail, all before the other two teammates arrive by escalator and guess the contents of the drink. Given the selection, a combination of three could be really tasty (like apples and pears!) or rather nasty (Cola and OJ, anyone?)
Haha speeds to the bar, and starts mixing up the drink, nearly spilling it all in his haste. Jae-suk thinks for a moment and answers, “Lemon, apple…courage, and confidence.” HA.
The Yellow Team move on to the second round but they fail to identify the one ingredient in their cocktail – lime. So Mr. PD revises the rules, so that they need to match two items. But I don’t see how it makes things any easier (goes to concoct own juice cocktail).
The Green Team gives it another go (and Haha blushes at the chance to share drinks with Min-jung) and succeed. They pick up a gold chained medallion and Jackie points them to their next destination: Tsim Sha Tsui, or TST for short.
Meanwhile, Jong-kook zooms up the hill like a bunny slope as Ji-hyo strategizes how to guess the different kinds of juice by color. Smart girl. And like the Ace she is, she rattles off the correct answers without skipping a beat.
They’re off to TST too, and our clock reminds us that two and half hours have ticked away.
The Red Team hits a snag when they spot a Running Man sign in the street and they get out, thinking it’s the ferry terminal. But their VJ was mistaken (and gets a light beating from Spartakooks) and they employ the help of some fans to grab another taxi.
Turns out that the sign the Red Team mistook as their stop is for the Yellow Team, now in last place, headed to Victoria Peak via tram.
All the teams drink in the breathtaking Hong Kong evening skyline from their ferries and tram. Gorgeous.
At the second location, they receive their next mission: Dictate a song by ear and sing it back accurately. Jae-suk is a movie fanatic and is fairly confident about the songs from A Better Tomorrow 2, but worries about butchering the pronunciation and offending their Hong Kong fans.
Luckily for them, the speakers blare the theme song from the first movie and Jae-suk quickly starts jotting the phonemes on his pad.
It’s like the RM staff has piled on all the hard missions today, so I don’t blame them for getting frustrated.
And then there’s the Yellow Team, too busy taking selcas with the skyline versus focusing on the task at hand. Time’s tickin’ fellas! Their song is from Comrades: An Almost Love Story. Gosh, I could watch these guys dance all day – it cracks me up.
The Red Team moseys in last, but their tune is a familiar one from Once Upon A Time in China, much to the dismay of the Green Team. But they don’t call Ji-hyo the Ace for nothing because she soon gets the crowd to sing along to tweak their mistakes and the others readily follow.
And I mean a huge crowd, because it keeps growing the longer they stick around. How much do I love that Jong-kook’s kryptonite is women and that he freezes in place whenever Min-jung gets close to him?
But the Red Team passes… to find out that they’re second to the Yellow Team. What the? But that’s right because we see the Easy Brothers and Gary pick up the gold medallion.
All our teams revel as they drive through the brightly-lit streets, careful not to stand up in the open double-decker bus. Haha: “It doesn’t matter to me. I can jump.” Haroro, you’re not that short!
The lightning-fast fans crowd the third mission location: a shopping mall. What’s impressive is that they’ve filled nearly every nook and cranny, nearly 5,000 in all and even made headline news.
Now it’s the midst of Hour 9 and because of the crowds, everyone relocates to a hotel for their following mission: find the lady with the golden ball.
Each team receive their respective hints (a body part) and given a secret phrase to help identify their target. They at least identify that they need to find a woman and wonder whether a popular actress might be their third guest.
So the teams roam the halls, and note that the extras are particularly well-trained to keep up suspicion. Even the Red Team finds the mission difficult also, though they’re armed with the cream of the crop teammates.
Yong-hwa’s so adorable, shouting out the key phrase to the entire room and it falls on deaf ears. Heee.
The clock continues to tick and it becomes clear to us that the Running Men need to find Carrie Lam, former Miss Hong Kong. The closest is Kwang-soo, who examines the halls for her and fails to recognize her as she climbs into the elevator.
But never fear as Gary spots the same group of ladies and slowly approaches them, reciting the phrase, and she reaches into her pocket… revealing the golden ball. Score – things are looking up for the Yellow Team!
It’s a race to the final mission destination with the Green Team hot on their tail. The Yellow Team arrives first, picking up the last gold medallion and head inside to Jackie’s video message.
Wait, what do you mean this isn’t their final destination? Jackie has left another message for our teams and the Yellow Team listens in: there’s only one real medal out of the 9, and tomorrow morning, they’ll find a sign outside the door of where the real medallion is located. Ooh, nice twist RM!
What’s better is that although the message is the same, each team gets a different version: a dubbed Korean, an English, and lastly, a Chinese version for the Red Team. The increased level of confusion on their faces with each version has me dying in laughter. HAHAHAHA.
Now the tables have turned – it’s every man or woman for themselves. They distribute the medals among themselves and head to bed as the timer hits the halfway point – Hour 12.
Sleep well, Running Men… and keep a sharp eye out. Only one of you has the real medallion….