EPISODE 78. Broadcast on January 22, 2012.
Happy Lunar New Year Running Man! The cast sends their warmest New Year greetings to their audience with a big bow (and Ji-hyo starts with a small one and belatedly switches to a big one).
Oh Haha, what do you call that sponge on your head? The others give him grief about it and Haha turns it right around to Jae-suk, teasing him about how he’ll end up with a perm too. I’ve seen a preview of his perm on Happy Together. Veto!
They convince him to try on Haha’s glasses to change up his style and wow, he seriously resembles a Grasshopper now.
Jae-suk thanks the RM fans again for their wins at the 2011 SBS Entertainment Awards and then everyone congratulates each other. That is, everyone except Gary and Suk-jin, who didn’t receive an entertainer award.
Never fear, because the staff has prepared a special ‘event’ for them, with presenters. Say hello to our guests: actor Lee Bum-soo (History of the Salaryman, Giant) and actress Hong Soo-hyun (History of the Salaryman, The Princess’s Man). They mimic the awards like a real ceremony, full with banter and tension-filled waiting, conceding to each other to announce the winners. Soo-hyun tosses the baton back to him, and Bum-soo quips, “Then should I?” I kinda love you now.
Gary and Suk-jin receive their awards (and a staff member awkwardly pops in to give them bouquets). They start to give their thank-you speeches, but Haha enacts the role of the director telling them to wrap it up. This is awesome – moreso because they’re outside in the middle of nowhere.
We’re introduced to today’s mission: the Chohanji race – it’s a war between Chun and Ha, and ultimately, the teams must track down the nine pieces of the royal seal. Then Jae-suk adds that there are those present who don’t know what chohanji is, then darts his eyes to Haha. Bum-soo: “That’s right, that’s right.”
(For clarification, we know the drama as History of the Salaryman, but ‘chohanji‘ can also be translated into ‘contention.’)
Our teams today are divided like so: Team Cho (Jong-kook, Haha, Gary, and Soo-hyun) and Team Han (Bum-soo, Jae-suk, Ji-hyo, Kwang-soo, and Suk-jin). Onto the battle!
For our first mission, our teams must locate their flag in a haystack and then hang it on the opposing team’s flagpost. They start digging, along with some pushing and shoving. Team Han finds theirs first, but not if Spartakooks has anything to say about it as he starts shoving the weaklings off.
Then, a rarity. Kwang-soo lifts Jong-kook by the leg and Jae-suk joins in. Together they hoist Spartakooks in the air. Jae-suk screams, “Take a photo!!!” HAHAHA!!
Team Cho uncovers theirs too and now it’s a race to whoever raises their flags first. Team Cho hits their drum… but the flag’s sideways – no good! And Team Han use their mistake to their advantage, winning the first round. An irritated Gary says, “Wait, you can’t look at it like this?” and cocks his head.
The losing team must eliminate a team member and Gary jokingly suggests Soo-hyun. Too bad it’s you, buddy, and Gary gets dragged away.
The next mission location takes us to a school, and our winning team gets to munch on some snacks. Bum-soo kindly hands a pastry over, telling the boys to give to Soo-hyun (keh). They tease the Cho team about their dwindling numbers, and Soo-hyun says casually, “After this, we could be down to two.”
It’s time for our teams to meet in battle once more, hence the separated desks in the hallway for a 1:1 fight. So the schoolyard trash-talking begins, showing off their mat-hyungs. Jae-suk: “You don’t have anyone born in the 60’s, do you?!”
Haha and Jae-suk duke it out on Round 1: Knowledge Quiz. The first question is a string of consonants “ㅇㄹㅅㅇㄹㅅ” It leaves them puzzled, until Ji-hyo hints that it’s a cast member’s name. Haha spews, “Yooruce Willis!” I’m oddly impressed.
These two try to one-up each other calling “common sense” their motto and their son’s name to the point where it gets kind of ridiculous. Oh their petty bickering – I never tire of it. Jae-suk brings the score back up to 1:1 and Haha mulls over the other choices – how awesome would it be to have a Nonsense Quiz?
And sure enough, the scroll unveils a Nonsense Quiz. HA! The question (If a lion falls into soup…?) gets them scratching their heads for a good few minutes until Haha, the Nonsense King bursts out, “the animal kingdom!” Dude’s on a roll.
Then he gets the last answer right (“generation”), rubs it into Jae-suk’s face, reveling with a victory dance. What a tragic loss for Jae-suk, the trivia king.
Round 2 consists of lifting weights, increasing them with each turn, and drinking water from a pail. Haha versus the Easy Brothers? Ruh oh. Haha passes with ease, but Big Nose Hyung… gets the water all over himself. 2:0 for Team Cho.
Round 3 is a battle between the beauties. Ji-hyo says modestly that she can’t be compared to Soo-hyun and Jong-kook pipes in the background, “You think you’re prettier than her!” Hehe.
Here, they’ll have to choose a guy from the opposing team and whoever can raise their heartbeats to a higher number within 1 minute will be declared the winner. I love this game – you can’t lie to a heartrate monitor!
Ji-hyo immediately calls out Haha, completely confident. This ought to be interesting. Trash-talking ensues about how to jog his heartrate and then Bum-soo says, totally laid back, “Cheap fella…”
Ji-hyo starts off about how Haha sent her a text at the end of the year and if he thought she’d fall for him because of it. She scoffs, “Love?!” and takes out her phone as evidence. She follows it up with how she heard that he’d wanted to be set up with her – was that why he texted? This effectively gets him all riled up and she delivers the last blow, “Sorry, I’ve never seen you as a man.” I’m dying right now.
Results are in – it’s 149. Knew you could always rely on Haroro‘s short temper.
Next up is Soo-hyun and she’s picked poor Kwang-soo. OMG, it’s been 5 seconds and his heartrate has skipped over 120. Oy, I worry. Soo-hyun asks him to call her by name, and he hesitantly mutters her name in response.
She leans in… whispering in his ear this time and this boy cannot contain his excitement as his heartbeat accelerates at an alarming pace. Time’s up and the PD declares the result – 142. Soo-hyun coolly says, “I’ll have to erase your number then…” Crack – that might’ve been Kwang-soo’s heart.
The final round’s got 2 points on the line and it’s team leader against team leader in a ddakjichiji (딱지치기) match to flip a paper square. Turn after turn they fail, and Bum-soo kneels down to examine the square and says (in a very Yoo Bang-esque voice), “This is too thin.” Pfffft.
Jong-kook wins for his team and Bum-soo looks to his teammates, deciding who to eliminate. Jong-kook tries to convince him that he should get rid of the older folks (aka Suk-jin) but Bum-soo makes his decision – Kwang-soo. Aw, but it’s no surprise.
At the final mission location, the cast is to find the nine pieces of the royal seal. And as always, the first team to do so is the winner. They scour the place for any hints. Well, sort of because Jae-suk quickly scans with his eyes, concluding that he can’t find anything when nothing catches his eye.
Meanwhile, our ChunHa exiles arrive at the final mission location. When the PD asks if they’re willing to betray their countrymen, they readily agree. Heh, no loyalty among the banished. Keke, and then they have to step back from their revenge shot, afraid that it might ruin their makeup. So they’re vain outlaws then.
They’re each given one piece of the puzzle with a mystery clue. Their incentives? Help one team win and split their prize or receive an apology (and Gary chooses the prize, keh). Or help neither, stick it to the end, and receive your own prize. Ooh, interesting. Thus, Team Ji is born.
Jong-kook tracks down a piece (and Ji-hyo catches on in a flash) and pretends to act cutesy to distract the others. Soo-hyun’s genuine surprised reaction, however, gives it away.
I love how some Running Man guests have a strong competitive spirit. Bum-soo searches high and low, mistaking a bar of soap for a puzzle piece, until he finally tracks one down. I’m getting some Si-won vibes from his earnest desire to win.
HAHAHA. It’s been 10 seconds since Team Ji headed out, and already Ace Ji-hyo is patting Gary down for any clues (rawr?). Kwang-soo tries to stop her, and helps to untangle a nametag caught in her hair. She doesn’t let her guard down, so in desperation, he bites down, hard. Worst. Spies. Ever.
Soo-hyun and Haha track down Kwang-soo. She asks him to take off his shoes and Kwang-soo asks what she’ll do in return, so she pulls out her cell phone to call him. His cheeks flush red again.
It’s an odd conversation about her being okay with him not bathing, but she wants to see him anyway and that she wants to take a whiff of his feet. Ew. What a skewed relationship, even if it’s just about the mission.
Kwang-soo resolves to share his secret with her anyway, unveiling the hidden puzzle piece. She asks for it right away, and when he hesitates, she pulls out the aegyo guns. He nearly crumbles and the captions read his heartrate is probably past 160. He promises to give it to her later and asks for an aegyo encore.
They say that the best place to hide something is in plain sight. The Suk Brothers (Jae-suk and Suk-jin) complain about how difficult it is to discover the clues, all while it’s blatantly staring right at them. Finally, Suk-jin notices it and tacks it on his chest.
Gary is displeased at Kwang-soo’s infatuation with Soo-hyun, telling him that he shouldn’t fall so easily – it’s been nearly 80 episodes with Ji-hyo. When Kwang-soo grows bashful at Soo-hyun’s admission that she texted him, Gary shouts at him to keep his eye on the prize – revenge.
His mission gets outed by Haha thanks to his awkward acting. He adds that both teams need them as they have the final piece of the puzzle. He offers to help the team who betrayed him to share in the prize. And Haha gives him a quick peck on his temple in thanks.
Team Cho looks to have figured the mission to the last crumb again – they have to out Team Ji before the time’s up or they win. Then there’s Team Han who ushers Kwang-soo into the dressing room to strip him down to find the clue. Nothing turns up, which sparks Ji-hyo’s radar and she grabs… a water bottle?
Clever, clever Kwang-soo, who stuffed the clue into the empty bottle to avoid notice. He hangs his head, dejected, unable to keep his promise to Soo-hyun after all. And then Team Cho grabs Gary’s clue.
But even with nearly all the clues, both teams are baffled about where to go and what to do with them. Kwang-soo muses with a smirk, “A person’s greed knows no bounds…”
Those smiles reveal that the boys received an extra clue, used only in dire circumstances. Kwang-soo gets a key and Gary learns of the mission location: an ice rink.
Team Han apologizes to Kwang-soo, who is slightly miffed when they basically send him on an errand as soon as he accepts their apologies. Then Bum-soo tells him, “Do you think that Tom Cruise was some kind of errand boy in those Mission Impossible movies?” HAHAHAHA.
Soo-hyun calls him soon afterwards and Bum-soo adds that he’s figured it out, “the spy who’s fallen in love with the enemy.” Suk-jin asks if that kind of spy succeeds and he chirps, “He dies!” Well, there’s your movie ending.
Time is tickin’ away and Team Cho reel in Gary to spill about the ice rink. The two teams resolve that they trade for what they need – a perfect opportunity for Team Ji to slip away. But the others catch on quick and Jong-kook grabs both puzzle pieces, running to rink.
It’s no use if the entrance is locked. The memories from earlier today flood Kwang-soo’s head, and he slips the keys into Soo-hyun’s hands.
Now it’s a race as both teams hurry to quickly assemble the pieces together. It’s complete madness, with pushing, shoving, and swiping squares from each other. Team Han finishes theirs first, securing their victory. Since Kwang-soo provided the key to Team Cho, they refuse to split the prize with Team Ji.
You can’t put a price on love, can you Kwang-soo?