It’s the second-half of the Hong Kong 24 hour Race and the Running Men have got mere hours to track down who’s got the real medal, where’s their final destination and who’s got their back? I smell a fresh pot of betrayal brewing…
EPISODE 73. Broadcast on December 18, 2011.
With 12 hours left on the clock, everyone heads to bed, exhausted after a full day. In the night, a staff member roams the hall and places the tag on the door which carries the real medal.
It’s late but Kwang-soo peeks outside to check where the tag is hung. Confirming that it’s outside Jong-kook’s door, he tiptoes back to his room, when Yong-hwa appears to check for the tag himself.
They whisper in the hall about the location of the real medal and propose to work together. So they move the tag to hang on Suk-jin’s door, the truth of its true owner only known between them.
Yong-hwa heads back inside, but we see Kwang-soo slouch in front of his door, perhaps to guard against another member’s trickery in case the tag moves again. So much for sleep.
Come morning, the cast appears outside their rooms one by one. Suk-jin thinks that he’s got the real medal with a little smirk, and Kwang-soo gives a knowing glance without being seen.
As they check out, they’re asked to pick up an envelope which directs them to a different mission location. That is, everyone except for Gary, who is busy catching every one of his 40 winks.
How cute is it that Min-jung checks if it’s real gold by trying to bite into it?
Haha’s mission takes him to a local park to find someone who knows K-POP and can sing along with him. But this task proves to be harder than it looks and he draws in stares of “creeper stalker” despite his best efforts of, “I’m famous in Korea, I swear.”
Jae-suk is brought to a giant panda’s pen, to capture a photo of the sign that it’s coincidentally sitting on. The panda happily chomps on its bamboo near the clue, and Jae-suk waits for his opportune moment, figuring the task impossible given he can’t lift the panda for a moment to see what’s written.
But mid bamboo-feast, the panda moves away and the rest of his breakfast obstructs the clue from view. Jae-suk waits, and waits, and 20 minutes later, his crew of three are still hanging around while the panda moseys around his pen.
Still none of these are quite as grueling as Kwang-soo’s mission: he’s stuck riding a roller-coaster to capture his own clue on camera. The problem is that he keeps missing his chance, snapping photos of his VJ instead.
It’s gonna be a long day as he alley-oops over and over again, his terrified shrieks filling the sky.
Gary finally rolls out of bed, grumbling that no one bothered to wake him up. He muses that the only person who’s got his back is Jackie Chan. Time to get going sleepyhead!
Yong-hwa’s mission leads him to a fortune teller, who reads his palms to tell his fortune. Granted with full health, the teller advises him to marry late and he exclaims, “That’s the same thing my parents said!” Hahaha.
He asks how he’ll fare in today’s race and the fortune teller tells him that he’ll be in first or second place. Yong-hwa determines to pick up the pace, his mind fixed on winning.
An exhausted Haha finally stumbles upon someone who not only recognizes him, but also a fan, singing his song, “Rosa” perfectly. He nearly breaks into tears, touched.
One at a time, the cast succeed their missions and heads out to the next location.
Except for this man. Nearly two hours later, Jae-suk looks longingly at the panda still rolling around in another part of his den. Then, a breakthrough: the panda returns to finish its snack and nearly sits up before setting its bum back down again. Is he ever going to get his shot?
As if the variety gods heard his plea, the panda suddenly picks up the cardboard to reveal the clue for a single moment before the wind covers it again. Another gust sends it to a rock. The third time’s a charm, and thanks to the last breeze, Jae-suk gets his shot.
Our cast must travel by cable car to their next mission site. Their mission card informs them that they possess the knowledge of their final destination and the cast rack their brains, unable to pinpoint the location.
This isn’t just your ordinary cable car. Its transparent floor triggers different reactions from the cast. Ji-hyo laughs, dying to see Haha and Jae-suk’s reactions. They’re glued to their seats with terror-stricken faces.
Yong-hwa guesses that Min-jung’s sitting back comfortably, adding that they’ll probably cut to a shot of her at the mere mention of this. Then we see Min-jung, concocting ideas from action movies about how the villain would fall through the floor to his demise. Hehe.
Running Man, pay attention to what’s going on below you! The PD notes to a petrified Jae-suk that he should take a look; there is a hint written for them on the mountain. Jae-suk finds that hard to believe – they’re on a mountain for crying out loud. He even berates his VJ for checking with his camera.
He wills himself to look down for a few seconds and he sees them: large written characters on the path. He catches a few, blaming his initial missed chances on a PD switch. As they approach their destination, he spots the staff members who tirelessly trekked the mountain for hours.
Meanwhile, Jong-kook stares down below, reading the chain of characters while munching on popcorn.
Min-jung runs into Kwang-soo in the streets of Ngong Ping Village. He cautiously asks if she knows the message from the cable car, clearly trying to weasel any information from her, and she readily answers, “Oh, white-headed Mr. Chung?” Oh naive, sweet Min-jung.
The full message reads: “Find white-headed Mr. Chung.” Min-jung tells him that he’d better spill on what he knows, since she’s told him everything. Honey, I don’t think it works that way. But before he can answer, she stops in front of a white-headed elderly man. Alas, he’s an ordinary Mr. Chung.
Gary trickles in last, cranky after a terrifying cable car ride and the mat-hyungs try to coax him to hear how much he knows and Ji-hyo snaps, “Don’t tell them.” He claims that he didn’t see any, but they see right through his ineffective lies.
When Haha catches up with them, Jae-suk pretends to chastise Gary for sleeping in, but he’s just as transparent and Haha says that he’s not an idiot – he knows when someone’s trying to pull a fast one one him.
Min-jung and Kwang-soo stop to chat with Haha when she suddenly darts past them, targeting a strange white-headed man. She gives chase down the streets, hot on his tail
But speedy Yong-hwa swings over, one step closer than Min-jung, who runs behind, out of breath. He nabs him, and why it’s our friendly maknae FD who identifies himself as Mr. Go., not Mr. Chung. Close but no cigar.
Yong-hwa gets pressed to share the hint with Haha and Ji-hyo, which he does. He turns to leave, claiming he can’t trust anyone. But you’ve told them everything already, and Haha wonders why Yong-hwa gave in so easily.
Ji-hyo checks in with a light-haired Gary, who’s still clueless about their mission. The clock ticks down… 2 hours remain.
In another part of the village, Jae-suk tries to cajole Min-jung for the hint, telling her about his deathly fear of heights. She stands firm and he tells her that all he brought was his mouth (as an MC).
She agrees to share one word: white-headed (baek-bal). Jae-suk asks, “108 (baek-pal)?” He watches her leave, and muses that although they were teammates just yesterday, she won’t cave either.
A hungry Haha stumbles in one of the shops to find some grub when he spots him: Mr. Chung. He’s here to tell our cast if the medals are real or fake, and Haha hands his over. Mr. Chung examines both Haha and Ji-hyo’s medals to determine its authenticity.
Once outside, they share that both of their medals are fake – what now? They’ve got two strategies: either steal someone else’s or wait for them to come across the real Mr. Chung. Yeah, both of those sound fairly difficult to me.
Meanwhile a group of our cast convenes outside, brainstorming ideas about Mr. Chung. Gary suggests that they rip off someone’s name tag, particularly Suk-jin, since his door was tagged this morning. He’s right, as Jae-suk tears it off, revealing the character “ji,” and earns Big Nose Hyung’s medal to boot.
All the pieces fit together to uncover their final location. Since they had it plastered on their backs all day, I guess they did know it after all.
Min-jung nearly discloses this recent hint to Haha and Ji-hyo, who press her for more information. She asks what Haha will give her in exchange for her tip, and he says, “I’ll give you everything.”
Ace Ji-hyo asks who he’ll choose: herself or Min-jung and he tells her, “We’re a team, but I’m going to date her!” You playboy wannabe.
The rest of the boys wonder if it points to a name and Jong-kook suggests eliminating the odd ones out. Jae-suk proposes Haha, but Gary tells him that his last name ‘Yoo’ isn’t that popular among them either.
Spartakooks slowly edges towards Gary, commenting on his light hair, and then the others grabs him. It’s Kwang-soo who does the deed, discovering the next character, “gil” and Gary wonders, “Is Gil [the other half of hip-hop duo, Leessang] here?”
Haha and Min-jung meet up with the boys who are busy trying to rip off Jae-suk’s name tag. He’s let go for now, and Jae-suk peers towards one of the stores… when Ji-hyo reaches for his back, but fails to eliminate him. She’s alone, abandoned by Haha, and she persuades him to head inside to affirm a new alliance between them.
Jae-suk spots Mr. Chung and Ji-hyo darts to her hiding place to eavesdrop. His is fake too, and so we begin to hone in on the true owner…
The newly founded Dumpling alliance runs into Haha and Min-jung. After a few false alarms, Haha reaches over and cleanly rips off Jae-suk’s name tag, “hye.” But before he heads to jail, Jae-suk whispers the clues in Ji-hyo’s ear, even the one they’ve just taken.
He shares one final hint, “Is it something like ‘Wisdom Path’?” Oho, you’re pretty useful Jae-suk.
In jail, Jae-suk comments that the same people eliminated today were also in jail in Thailand, save for Kwang-soo. Heh, and they add a holographic Kwang-soo. Haha soon joins them (having tasted betrayal for himself), and Suk-jin says that he wants to see Jong-kook, in jail, by himself one day. Now that’d be pretty interesting.
Now with only five of them remaining, Yong-hwa signals to Kwang-soo – now’s their chance. In a distracted moment, Yong-hwa speeds past him, reaching for his name tag. But you’re messing with Spartakooks, who swivels around instantaneously.
It’s a match of strength between Jong-kook and Yong-hwa, with Kwang-soo shrinking in a corner. All the while, the jailed boys watch this scene unfold from afar, like spectators of a sport event.
Yong-hwa and Jong-kook reach over each others’ backs, their fingers inching towards the name tags… and RRRIIPP!! Each of them eliminates the other simultaneously. Double whammy.
What’s even more astounding is that Kwang-soo is still in the game, beating both the Capable One and Ace Yong-hwa.
Min-jung and Kwang-soo have yet to see Mr. Chung and they assume that he’s at their final location. Min-jung rightly guesses that he’ll be able to tell them which medals are real or not, and with that, they head out.
Yong-hwa tells the others about the tag switcheroo earlier that morning, and according to Kwang-soo, it was hung outside Jong-kook’s door. He’s left stunned, now knowing his medal is with Kwang-soo.
The dragon statue awaits the final trio as they arrive with just under a half an hour left. Kwang-soo places Jong-kook’s medal to match with the other half… but it doesn’t fit.
Min-jung tries next and the bottom half locks in, but the top doesn’t, and she says, “I guess this means it doesn’t fit?” as she awkwardly forces it in.
Ji-hyo steps up and click, it fits perfectly. They ask whose it was and she smiles, “Mine.” Wait, what’s going on here?
The real medal was the one with a silver chain from their very first mission, and she placed the tag on Jong-kook’s door before she went to bed. So Ji-hyo earns this mission’s Running Ball!
Ack, Ace Ji-hyo, you sly, clever genius, you!