EPISODE 374. Broadcast on February 19, 2012.
girlfriday: Oh noes. The beginning of the end. Hold me!
javabeans: It’s so funny because I’ve only been with this show for, what, less than a year? Which i know is longer than most dramas. But I still feel like a casual watcher, and maybe it’s because Ho-dong is gone and the group has changed that I’m not all emotional about this.
girlfriday: Whereas I’ve been watching this show for five+ years, and am a blubbering mess.
javabeans: Is it wrong of me to laugh at you? I’m pretty sure I know the answer to that.
girlfriday: Hate you.
javabeans: Actually, I shouldn’t talk yet. I’m probably going to bawl anyway at the end, like I do in every single sappy TV moment ever, because K-dramas have made me easy like that.
girlfriday: The boys start out singing to Su-geun, because it happens to be his birthday. Right after Seung-gi’s? Two for two. They ask what he wants for his birthday, and he starts to say that they could get him a group gift…
javabeans: Tae-woong has a “gift” for Su-geun… and then plants a big ol’ kiss on his cheek. Smaaaa~ck!
girlfriday: Eeeee! So cute! They get all squeamish and point out that the kiss would’ve been less weird if he hadn’t done it… slowly. HA.
javabeans: The boys are like, let’s talk dramas! Seung-gi and Tae-woong both have shows coming up and they start comparing roles. Seung-gi’s playing the King, as we know, while Tae-woong’s in the melodrama Equator Man and says, “I’m just playing a person.” They press for details and he goes, “I didn’t really read the synopsis.” Ha! Caption: “Contract first, read later.”
girlfriday: Pffft. Too bad they’ll be competing with each other in dramaland. The other guys start taking bets, but Tae-woong isn’t really instilling a whole lot of confidence with his sign-first-read-later confession. Su-geun is the one to announce that this will be the last trip with these five members, and starts to get nostalgic as he talks about the old days with Kim C. Seung-gi: “Are you gonna cry already??”
javabeans: They ask each other how they felt coming out here today, knowing it would be their last trip. Seung-gi asks Jong-min to start, and he blurts, “But I came yesterday.” Ha, he’s one to get caught up in semantics. Apparently he was worried he’d be late so he took extra time to get here early, and Seung-gi revises, “How did you feel coming out of your motel this morning?” Haha. Jong-min, bless his heart, says in his usual offbeat way that his life flashed before his eyes like a film, and on that film, 1N2D “was a really big thing.” Everyone cracks up, teasing him for not being able to say one final word without tripping over himself.
girlfriday: And in keeping with that theme of business as usual, the boys and Na PD declare that this trip will be just like any other. He announces a race, to begin now, and directs them to their first destination: a 40-year old restaurant. They wonder what the catch is, since he’s not likely going to start off the day giving them breakfast. Their guess is speed-eating. Seung-gi: “Our teeth will fall out.”
javabeans: They don’t mind this idea so much, since at least it involves eating. Seung-gi asks Na PD for verification — even if they lose, they’ll all eat, right? Na PD: “You’ll have to get there to find out.”
girlfriday: As much as they say nothing’s different today, even a short walk down the road gets them talking about how the weather always sucks when they shoot, but it’s nice out today. Ji-won trails behind to play with a pair of puppies, which reminds me of how much he loved Sang-geun and the way he used to roughhouse with that giant dog.
javabeans: In the car, they start reminiscing on how much they’ve changed over the past five years, and now they’ve aged. Seung-gi was practically a teenager, and Ji-won says he was a pretty boy idol. And now here he is, all married and thirtysomething.
girlfriday: In some ways, Ji-won grew up the most, and in other ways, he didn’t grow up at all. Tae-woong wonders if they should search the car for clues, but Ji-won says they shouldn’t today, which shocks Seung-gi, who thinks Ji-won’s giving up his tricksy ways. But it’s because he’s figured out that it’s not that kind of mission. Heh.
javabeans: As they approach their destination, Na PD radios in the instruction to select one member in their group “with the most luck.” It’s a puzzling directive, and Seung-gi quips, “I used all mine.” They wonder what a breakfast restaurant mission could possibly have to do with luck, and Su-geun figures that since it’s his birthday it’s a luckier day than normal for him.
girlfriday: He hesitates, saying he’s not good at speed-eating hot foods, and Seung-gi whines, “Hyuuung, you can live without a tongue!”
javabeans: They make it to the restaurant, with its (young-looking) 81-year-old granny who’s been operating the same shop for 40 years. Damn. Na PD sits them down and everyone tenses up to hear their mission. Su-geun’s the lucky guy, but he looks alarmed when Na PD says that his manager will have to participate. His head snaps to attention and he murmurs, “This sounds dangerous…” Haha.
girlfriday: As they wait to hear the mission, they sigh all fake-concerned, “What will Na PD do with his life after this?” like he’s about to be homeless and jobless. Flashback to their conversation in the car where they declare his face not exactly a money-maker. Ha. Na PD describes their theme for today — Memories — and says that seeing this restaurant taught him that memories are not just in the past but can be kept alive in the present, and shape the future. Aw. They all clap.
javabeans: Oh, this is great! Na PD holds up a wallet taken from Su-geun’s manager, confirms that it is Su-geun’s, and explains that their “luck” hinges upon the amount inside… because the cash will allow them to buy whatever they wanna eat for breakfast. Yesss! Su-geun looks excited (knowing he’s got cash) and the boys all cheer… until Na PD finishes by saying that they will have to use up ALL the cash. Seung-gi exclaims, “See, I knew it!” and Su-geun suddenly looks worried. Uh-oh. This was not the time to go all baller-style.
girlfriday: How much cash could he possibly be carrying? I thought celebrities didn’t even carry wallets.
javabeans: Damn. That’s a lot of bills. Seung-gi asks the ajumma, “Can we just have 200 glasses of liquor?” Su-geun says he just got his allowance yesterday from the wife (so cute), and they count it up… 400,000 won, which is just shy of $400.
girlfriday: Holy crap. That’s a lot of hangover soup.
javabeans: They start doing some math, but it’s hard when this is your standard neighborhood restaurant and the dishes range from two bucks to eight, each. They ask if they can buy for their managers and staff too, and then Genius-won pipes up, “Do you do delivery too?” The ajumma says yes, and the guys cheer up. I LOVE Na PD’s “Urg, dammit!” face when the boys point out, lawyer-style, that he did NOT expressly state that they had to eat it all right now… He just said they had to eat all the food they ordered. So they could order delivery to the basecamp later!
girlfriday: Hahaha. You can always tell when they have Na PD cornered. He doesn’t want to budge, but they point out their good hearts (in feeding the staff with their delivery food), so he caves. They eat blissfully and all praise the ajumma, Jong-min even calling her “Mom” by accident. Aw.
javabeans: Stuffed (pleasantly), the boys continue their car trip up a snowy mountainside. The second mission involves picking the most talkative member, and they immediately decide that’s Jong-min. Or is it Seung-gi? So they debate who talks more, and Seung-gi asks, all surprised-like, “Do I really talk that much? Is that my image?” Haha. I think it’s hilarious that he’s surprised.
girlfriday: Seriously. I’d say it’s Seung-gi right away. He over-explains EVERYTHING.
javabeans: Ji-won cuts him down with one line: “You’re a blabbermouth!” The guys decide to outsmart their PDs by not picking the obvious choice, and Ji-won offers himself up because he’s such a great arguer. They put in a practice round with Seung-gi playing the part of PD, and Ji-won basically argues the hell out of every little detail. Seung-gi: “Well, to help you digest your food now…” Ji-won: “We’ll take care of the digestion on our own, thanks.”
girlfriday: They get to the base of the mountain and the PD tells Ji-won to get in a cable car right away. He gets a look of panic in his eyes and tells Seung-gi: “We said if it was going up, you’d go!” But it’s too late, and off he goes, alone in the cable car. Nervous, he asks if it’s safe, and an ajusshi assures him that it is, and then adds that it was built in 1980. Cue terror.
javabeans: He makes it to the top, at which point the mission is revealed. It’s a charades game! Wait… they have to play from OPPOSING cable cars? Going in opposite directions?
girlfriday: Wha? How long could the passing time possibly be? A few seconds?
javabeans: And if you miss it, do you have to keep going up and down, all day? His first word is honeymoon. Damn.
girlfriday: Aw man, that’s a two-part clue, any way you slice it.
javabeans: I think it’s worse that he has so long to think about the clue before doing it, building up the nerves. The boys spread out to get as much window space as possible, and Ji-won starts motioning the wedding march… and the other car zoooooms by.
girlfriday: Omg, that’s freaking fast. From their point of view you can only see tiny Ji-won as he’s approaching, gesturing wildly, and then in a flash, he’s gone. How on earth are they gonna do this?
javabeans: Ji-won shouts, “How the hell are we supposed to get this?!” Su-geun actually gets the wedding march (it helps that Ji-won yelled the song before beginning), but now they’re stuck trying to interpret his arm-wave motion (for “after”?), which looks like he’s miming Superman. They’re actually really close, if they listen to Su-geun. They guess “wedding ceremony” and are wrong, and get a second try.
girlfriday: This time Ji-won realizes his wedding ring is a better prop, and so he motions to his ring, and then a box (luggage? oh that’s gonna confuse them) and then the plane again.
javabeans: Ohhh, is his flying motion supposed to be an airplane? Hahaha. He walkie-talkies a hint to the boys, saying that Su-geun is likely to guess correctly. He says this because it looked like Su-geun got his wedding/ring gesture, but then the boys waaaay overthink it, wondering if it’s a birthday thing since it’s Su-geun’s birthday. No! Then Jong-min wonders, “But he was running. Where was he running to?”
girlfriday: They decide that he was running to give the ring in a box (see I knew that box would trip them up) and land on: Propose.
javabeans: Third time’s the charm! Ji-won motions to wedding ring, shoves writer Dae-joo at them (who recently married), then points up into the sky.
girlfriday: Yay! Man, that was the hardest way to play charades ever.
javabeans: Their last mission is a riff on one of their previous challenges — the go-to-a-public-place-and-not-be-recognized task. Only, this time they’ll all file into a movie theater 5 or 10 minutes into the show, and the mission fails if one person’s name is called. Can you imagine the mayhem if they’re discovered, though? Stuck in a row with nowhere to go.
girlfriday: Ten minutes before the show starts is basically setting them up to fail. Ji-won guesses as much–that they’re all sleeping outside tonight. They file into the back and Na PD hands them their tickets to Dancing Queen, and Tae-woong gives an adorable little cheer for his noona’s movie.
javabeans: The guys bundle up and borrow hats, which leads to the comment that they look like gangsters, haha. They head into the theater where the previews have already begun, and duck inside, prepared to shush anybody who looks like they’re going to say a name.
girlfriday: Oy they have to crawl over people to get to their seats, which is sure to get them noticed.
javabeans: The woman to Tae-woong’s left seems to recognize him, and starts to motion to him. He hurriedly puts a finger to his lips and goes, “Shh!” Hahaha. Trouble is, Su-geun had to go to the bathroom and is now separated from the group and has to join them late. A second chance to draw attention.
girlfriday: He safely gets to his seat, but then a few minutes later, a couple approaches, saying that they’re sitting in their seats. Oh no. He’s totally looking Jong-min straight in the eyes, but maybe he doesn’t want to cause a ruckus, ‘cause they just sit down one row behind.
javabeans: And then the person behind Su-geun leans forward and asks, “Excuse me, are you from 1N2D?” Eep! At least they didn’t say a name, and Su-geun ignores the question.
girlfriday: It’s his fault for looking back, because apparently the woman was kicking his chair, but that gave her cause to talk to him.
javabeans: Aw, how cute. The movie starts and there’s a reference in the dialogue to Kang Ho-dong, and the guys all giggle.
girlfriday: They start to settle in and watch the film, but then suddenly the screen goes black. It’s dark for a few seconds, and then words pop up: “You’re surprised that the screen went dark, aren’t you?” What?
javabeans: The onscreen descriptions match what happened earlier in the screening — someone’s tapping your chair, a couple tries to take your seat. The guys start clueing in to something going on, being pre-planned, and then — aw, then the real show begins, highlighting the last five years of 1N2D.
girlfriday: *sniff sniff* Aw man, as if I weren’t already gonna cry, they do this?
javabeans: It’s super sweet. The guys suspected they’d prepare some kind of event for the last trip, but it speaks to the show’s constant idea-machine that they can still surprise them. And it’s sweet to include fans in the last event, who’ve been bussed in.
girlfriday: Flashback to early that morning, when the crew was busy setting up the whole charade, with actors playing each part like the chair-kicker and seat-stealers, all made up of 1N2D fans. They even get coached on their movie-reactions, which cracks me up because the boys were commenting on how strange this audience was, like their reactions seemed over-the-top. The reel continues: “It’s annoying to be asked to standby at 4am, pay for breakfast with your own wallet, or have members who get the quizzes wrong, isn’t it? But when these things pass, they all become memories.”
javabeans: A long montage screens highlights from over the years. Are you sobbing through them?
girlfriday: NO! *hides mountain of tissues*
javabeans: They’re super touching, although most of the scenes I don’t recognize so I don’t get the same emotional kick. After that ends, a second part of the screening starts up, this time reminding us that Su-geun was once criticized for not being funny enough, but now he’s become one of the top MCs around. Then there’s Seung-gi, who spent half his twenties on the show. Wow, that’s a reel of bad haircuts if anything. “Uhm Jung-hwa’s little brother” became “1N2D’s Uhm Tae-woong,” Jong-min went to army and back, and Ji-won ruined his pretty image, but is a choding through and through.
girlfriday: Aw, man, Papa Bear Ho-dong piggybacking Baby Bear Ji-won just gets me in the heart. I miss that bromance so much. It ends with a hilarious long list of where everyone “went,” like Hong-chul who went to Infinity Challenge, Mong who “only sits at home” (aw), Kim C who went to Germany, the PDs who went to other networks, and Dae-ju who went and got married. It ends with: “And Ho-dong retired.”
javabeans: The lights go up, the song ends, and the guys take a bow to clapping fans, wiping at their eyes. Na PD starts to emcee, but has to stop because he’s crying too. The sound of his breaking voice gets everyone worried — it’s like when you’re a kid and you see your dad crying for the first time, and it’s strange and weird.
girlfriday: Auuuugh, I’m a mess. Watching Na PD cry just does me in. *whimper* The montage made me cry, but Na PD falling apart has me bawling.
javabeans: Then the five members take the stage and each go through a short speech about their feelings on the end. Su-geun starts off with a few light jokes that get people laughing, and ends on tears. Seung-gi is really subdued, for once not in his MC mode, which somehow makes it feel more real. And Ji-won says, “I feel like I’ve graduated from elementary school.”
girlfriday: That’s so cute. Jong-min confesses how hard it was for him when he returned from the army and couldn’t get back in his groove, breaking down in tears. But the fans speak up and encourage him, which is really sweet.
javabeans: I feel so terrible for him, because he’s so sincere and says how he spent so much of the last two years feeling sorry to everyone — the other members, and the PDs. He ends with “I’m sorry and thank you.” The thing about Jong-min is, he’s terrible with words but you can always see his sincerity anyway.
girlfriday: Tae-woong says he was worried that he wouldn’t be sad because he’s the newbie, but he says that a year is actually a long time, and that he must’ve grown attached, voice breaking as he starts to cry. Su-geun quips that somehow, the three guys who are remaining on the show are the ones crying. HA.
javabeans: Seung-gi joke-wonders why he and Ji-won aren’t crying, and Su-geun quips, “It’s because we’re thinking of all the suffering ahead of us.”
girlfriday: They call Na PD up to the stage, who wipes his tears and thanks them for their hard work over the years. He thanks the fans for their help with the big event, and that wraps up Part 1 of the Finale. I don’t even know if HAVE any tears left for Part 2.