It’s the Christmas Special on Running Man this week! What happens when the Running Men get superpowers? It’s Survival of the Fittest – who will be the ultimate superhero?
EPISODE 74. Broadcast on December 25, 2011.
Merry Christmas Running Man! We meet up with each of our cast members who receive a special invite to a RM Christmas party at a secret location. It’s a couples-only event, so find a date!
They’ll need to procure one by sharing a pair of gloves. Simple math tells us that out of 7, one person will be left out. Which means there be lies, betrayal, and broken hearts up ahead. Approach with caution!
Ji-hyo mentions that she’ll have to pair up with Gary – it is Monday, after all. Say Ji-hyo, you look mighty pretty today. Is it for Gary, perhaps?
As soon as Jae-suk reaches for his phone to dial, there’s someone already calling. It’s Kwang-soo, who tells him he’s nearby and that he’ll pick him up. Must be the new ‘do or the glasses because Kwang-soo really does look like Harry Potter.
Kwang-soo wonders, “Should it be this easy?” The quick answer? No.
Jae-suk sees that Ji-hyo’s called him too, and gloats at his sudden popularity. But when he calls her, he gets a busy signal.
That’s because the Monday Couple are too busy acting cutesy with each other over the phone. They agree to meet where she last betrayed him (In a previous episode, she’d abandoned him to join another team). My fingers are crossed for more Monday Couple moments today.
When Kwang-soo fails to show, Jae-suk checks in on him, but this time detects the wariness in his responses. Climbing into a taxi to meet him half-way, he again wonders if he’ll end up alone.
Meanwhile, Haha calls Jong-kook, who picks up in delight. Confirming that they’ll pair up together, he picks up Jae-suk’s call on the other line. Haha tells Jae-suk that he’s seen Min-jung just now, to which Jae-suk tells him that she was on a bus earlier, both referring to posters of Min-jung.
Oh, these two, fighting over such trivial things. He lies to Jae-suk to set a sneaky switch to leave him hanging.
Only that plan backfires when Haha draws him out to Hongdae. He flubs, giving away his own position in a nearby coffeeshop and ends up coupled, reluctantly, with Jae-suk.
Gary waits outside, coffee in hand with a worried look on his face. Would Ji-hyo betray him again? But thankfully, she calls to tell him to turn around, and there she is, smiling. She excitedly runs out to give him a hug to his genuine and pleasant surprise.
Choding Haroro whines in the car that he has to go and asks the taxi driver to pull over at a rest stop. It’s such an absurd request that Jae-suk asks if it’s the first time he’s heard of such a thing, to which he nods.
So Jae-suk’s left waiting for a while with the meter running until Haha finally shows up. He quickly apologizes, slams the door, zooms to… Jong-kook’s car and waves good-bye. HAHAHA!
Jae-suk throws up his hand in defiance to show him their shared gloves and Haha yells back, “These [lifts linked gloves] are the real ones! Those are the ones given by my coordi!” Those evil little elves…
The Easy Brothers, who have chosen each other, don’t make the betrayal any easier. Kwang-soo, amused: “You seemed so arrogant earlier…” But Kwang-soo still tells Jae-suk where the mission location is even though he’s solo.
Off to KINTEX at Il-san for our final mission. Each couple is led inside to a cozy, intimate Christmas party whilst Jae-suk is stuck outside in the bitter cold until everyone else arrives. He even asks for a small table to accompany his lonely chair for his own Christmas party of one.
But Jae-suk maintains his pride the best he can, insisting that he’s warm, and slaps on a fake smile that makes me giggle while the others laugh joyously inside.
The way the Easy Brothers think really cracks me up. They arrive dead last, fumbling over their pair of gloves. It takes a quick turn for them to realize the stupidity of their mistake, looking at the detangled string in surprise.
All the couples rub salt into Jae-suk’s loneliness – even Suk-jin tells him this is the result when he pays too much attention to the guests than his own members. Oof.
Everyone gets a personalized Christmas gift and Jae-suk exacts his petty revenge against the others by deliberately hitting Kwang-soo as they open their presents.
Mr. PD introduces the sequel to the Running Man: Survival mission and instructs them to open up their mission cards. Jae-suk asks, “This power…” and the rest of them stare at him: “Powers?!” Jae-suk stutters in response, but it’s too late – the cat’s out of the bag.
Haha figures, “Today, we’re like Wolverman/Wolviverman?” Jae-suk: “It’s Wolverine.” I’m a little disappointed Haroro. Shouldn’t you know your comic book heroes?
They’re each led to a different room, directed to drink a bottle that contains their new abilities. What the… is this Alice in Wonderland or are we getting all Secret Garden up in here with the CG effects? In any case, they down its contents, and our RM heroes are born.
Time to introduce each of our superheroes:
- Haha (Time Controller) has the power to reverse time to one hour prior once;
- Jong-kook (Sixth Sense) can sense the others if they’re nearby;
- Gary (Duplicator) has 4 other Garys to create diversions;
- Ji-hyo (Mind Controller) knows everyone else’s abilities plus another secret power…
- Jae-suk (Space Controller) can move everyone else to a different location once;
- Kwang-soo (Death Note) can eliminate one person by writing their name on the Death Note;
- Suk-jin (Phoenix) has 3 lives, with the added rule that the same person cannot tag him out again.
Jae-suk walks around, amazed with the aesthetics of the building when a noise draws his attention and a distant figure catches his eye, “Gary?” Then, there’s another Gary, and another one, a sight that completely boggles his mind.
They’re his copycats, creating a ruckus and being a distraction. They’re so good that the Running Men have a difficult time at first trying to keep track of his replicas, let alone the real Gary who is equally confused. Hehe.
The other boys try to guess each other’s powers and they notice Jong-kook’s earpiece, claiming that there’s someone’s instructing him. He denies it, but follows up with, “Ji-hyo’s coming.” Yeah, way to blow your cover there buddy.
Ji-hyo turns around before Jong-kook can rip off her name tag and he sizes her up, trying to figure out her power. When she tells him that she’ll trade her freedom for knowledge of someone else’s ability.
He figures it out, “She knows everyone else’s powers.” Man, you can’t get anything past this guy!
So he cautiously asks if it’s safe to take out Suk-jin and she smiles in return.
Jae-suk gathers everyone together and comments that everyone’s apprehensive because their superpowers are unknown to each other.
So he proposes to team up to eliminate the obvious choice: Gary. He won the first Survival game after all, and his power seems most useless as of now. Using his Sixth Sense, Jong-kook pinpoints the real Gary, but thanks to his minions, he slips away.
Jong-kook catches up with Suk-jin who oddly flaunts his invincibility, daring Jong-kook to eliminate him. He catches a whiff that something is off and they dance around until Ji-hyo rips off his name tag. One life lost.
Suk-jin tries to play it off dramatically, but Ji-hyo says, “But oppa, you have another life.” Secret’s out for both Suk-jin and Ji-hyo.
The swarm of Garys finally slow down and the Running Men corner them. In a last ditch effort, the real Gary pleas for his life, but Spartakooks pulls away his copycats with ease. And so, Gary’s out.
Kwang-soo warns the others that if he lifts just one finger… and Ji-hyo instructs them to steal his pen, which catches him off guard. Since he can only write down one name, both Jae-suk and Ji-hyo follow him.
Jae-suk taunts that he can’t possibly write anyone’s name down now that he’s cornered, but Kwang-soo’s one step ahead of them – he’s got everyone’s name written down and all he has to do is choose one.
And the Death Note falls onto Jae-suk: “You wrote it [already]?” HA.
OMG I love that all the Garys have followed the real one into jail. Jae-suk complains that he didn’t even get to use his own power though he found it to embarrassing to shout out, “I wield power over space!”
Kwang-soo joins them ’cause you can’t beat SpartAce. Gary berates him that he should have written down Jong-kook’s name since he’s the only one who they can’t beat and the truth of that realization finally settles in.
Haha runs into Jong-kook who tells them that they have to take out Suk-jin. If either of them are eliminated, Suk-jin will win automatically since Ji-hyo’s tagged him out once already. Thus, no one else to take him out.
But Suk-jin is harder to take down than Haha initially thought, and Jong-kook runs to save him in the nick of time. In the end, Suk-jin is eliminated.
But guards go right back up again, now with only the three of them left. Haha points out his earpierce. Jong-kook: “I’m listening to music.” Haha: “Who?” Jong-kook: “Turbo.” Hahaha. He even dances to an oldie to prove his point, but ends up looking like a dork anyway.
With the SpartAce closing in on him, Haha has no choice but to shout his phrase, which sets the clock back one hour. Ji-hyo: “I told you not to say anything!”
Now with one hour gained, the Running Men strategize a new gameplan to eliminate the weakest link: Suk-jin. Jong-kook and Jae-suk head out to track him down.
But as soon as they start walking, the speakers boom Jong-kook’s elimination. And Kwang-soo jumps gleefully with the Death Note in hand, “I took out Jong-kook by my hand! I did it!”
He must be running on extra adrenaline or something because he gets the courage to reach for Ji-hyo’s name tag next and rips it off. Only she says coolly, “You’re out.” Huh?
That’s right – her secret power is that the first person who attempts to eliminate her gets shackled into jail himself. This means karma’s a bitch and Kwang-soo’s headed straight into the lion’s den. Kwang-soo: “But Jong-kook hyung will kill me!” Um, yeah he will.
Here’s a once-in-a-lifetime event: The Capable One, sitting alone, in jail, stewing. This is pretty awesome.
It’s too bad this image is short-lived because Kwang-soo arrives soon afterwards, his head hung low. Hahaha, I love the added touch of the ‘Godfather’ soundtrack here – it’s so appropriate. And no, Kwang-soo, I doubt that adding that teeny heart on the Death Note will do much now.
Gary sends out his troops to find Suk-jin with a “roll, roll!” (how resourceful!) which makes his second elimination an easy one.
Now it’s just the matter of Haha, who’s hidden somewhere. Jae-suk steps up to the plate with his awkward and embarrassing, “I wield power over space!” causing the Monday Couple to burst into laughter.
He orders Haha moved in front of him with his back for a prime elimination position. You can imagine Haha’s surprise being dragged because he’s been hiding for the majority of this mission.
Haha tells Jae-suk that if they’re eliminated, it’ll be down to the Monday Couple just like last time, so Jae-suk lets him off. The captions read: “Enemies one minute, allies the next.”
Meanwhile, the Monday Couple are busy strategizing their next move. Ji-hyo mumbles that she’s out of powers now and Gary looks to his copycats and says, “We have to protect Ji-hyo.” Awww.
And they actually huddle around her! But their efforts are futile as Haha rips off Ji-hyo’s name tag and Gary tears off Haha’s moments later.
A short while later, Jae-suk slithers through the pack of Garys to reach the real one, who notices at the last second. It turns into a battle of man vs. man.
Gary and Jae-suk both reach across each other’s backs to tear off the nametags… and by a mere second, Gary pulls it off of Jae-suk’s back, which makes him the Ultimate Running Man Superhero!
Back together again, Mr. PD reminds them that the victor would receive a prize of their choice. Some are pretty hilarious, like Jae-suk asking extra name tag and Kwang-soo to be a spy, but it’s Gary’s wish the staff will grant.
Gary looks at the staff in disbelief – will they really meet their end of the bargain? He’s won a trip to Europe (awesome!) and he guffaws, awestruck. He reaches for Ji-hyo in celebration and murmurs, “Wanna go together?” Keke.
Now I wish this was real.