This is the episode you’ve been waiting weeks for: the boys have arrived. It’s nearly impossible to contain Big Bang in one episode, so this week it’s the first half of the most epic Hide-and-Seek you’ve EVER seen.

Big Bang versus the Running Man – who will come out victorious?

EPISODE 84. Broadcast on March 4, 2011.

What a grand entrance for our Running Man cast. Dressed in all black with some swag in their step, they gather by the Han River.

It hasn’t been five minutes yet and Mr. PD declares that today’s episode will be a battle. Jong-kook wonders if today’s guests will arrive by boat, but not a moment too soon, the sound of whirring blades alerts them to look to the sky.

That’s right; today’s guests arrive in style by helipad. These boys need no introduction – Big Bang has arrived. But just in case you might need one, we have: G-Dragon (or GD), Taeyang, TOP, Daesung, and Seung-ri.

Big Bang’s arrival leaves the cast all aflutter as they immediately switch to fangirl/fanboy mode. Suk-jin tries to capture a selca, and the others gripe about how their outfits pale in comparison to the fashionistas.

Jae-suk: “You should have told us if they were coming! I already had something set aside for it!” Said the man in the yellow-plaid hat.

Apparently Haha’s already declared victory against the boys, but now he’s dragging his feet, afraid to face them. Mmm Haha, I don’t think competition against Big Bang in the music charts will work towards your favor either. Big Bang has already garnered millions of views on Youtube just on “Blue” alone.

Poor Daesung. As soon as they compliment him on his platinum blond ‘do (which I LOVE), Jong-kook derails the mood: “But your skin is way too dark [for it].” Don’t worry VIPs, Jong-kook and Daesung go way back from Family Outing.

Time for the mission! It’s Hide-and-Seek, divided into two halves where each team gets a turn to be the seeker. Aw yeah!

The Running Man cast is given a handicap, so two members will be linked via a paper bracelet. If this link breaks, both castmates are eliminated. As soon as they hear the rules, the cast changes their original election of Ji-hyo and Kwang-soo to the Easy Brothers instead.

To everyone’s surprise, GD chooses the recent unlikely team pairing, Jong-kook and Kwang-soo. If you think about it, it’s a fairly smart move to eliminate both the strongest and weakest link. Birth of the Spartavatar (Spartakooks + Kwangvatar)!!

The team who rolls the highest number gets to choose amongst several boxes of various sizes that will help them in the battlefield. TOP looks like he’s going to have a heart attack as the die tips towards one…then to his relief, lands on 4.

Our cast, however, don’t fare as well, rolling a 3 then Haha rolls a measly 1. Desperate to salvage the embarrassing moment, he shouts, “The power to control time!” Jae-suk: “The power to be ineffective at everything!”

Mr. PD sends them off as soon as they pick their boxes, adding that it’s to their advantage to head out quickly. Adorably, Taeyang enthusiastically jumps around before running off by himself. Don’t you love it when they’re so eager like that?

The cast tries to strategize who will take on whom: Gary can take Taeyang (’cause they both swagger?), Daesung with Jong-kook (’cause they both have small eyes?), and Seung-ri to Suk-jin (HA! They use a play on words here as Seung-ri = Victory and Suk-jin is referred to as a Loss).

Haha gets passed over twice, so he finally bursts, “Am I their manager?!”

Looks like our boys picked up the boxes that contain their secret weapon: a special name tag that will eliminate both the chaser and chased. In the car, Daesung explains that their best-case scenario would be to use it against Spartavatar, and that it would be a waste should it fall upon someone like Big Nose Hyung.

He coaches his members through the rules of the game (yay variety veteran!) and I know a certain blogger who love seeing TOP learn the ways of Running Man.

Big Bang enters the museum, and Daesung suggests they hide first, to relieve their anxieties. And I love that GD immediately counters how that could be true. But as the variety veteran he is, he says it’s a smarter tactic to play defense to gauge their opponent. Smart boy.

Their mission is simple: track down 5 Running Man scratch-offs before you get tagged out. Time to hide.

Heehee – is it okay that I enjoy that TOP follows Daesung around like a lost puppy? And that he runs around in excitement even though the ticket he found is a fake?

TOP obediently listens to the Variety 101: Evading Captors lecture by Professor Daesung which includes tidbits: you scratch and run, never leave clues behind, and always be on the move.

So the boys scour the halls, scratching card after card only to fakes that say some combination of Run – Zero – Man.

The Running Man enter the museum and how flimsy is that paper bracelet? Spartakooks can tear that with his teeth. They revel in the sound of the bells and Kwang-soo notes that Jong-kook’s bell always seems to ring loudest. Enjoy it now until the tables are turned.

Boy does GD seem to have some rotten luck. He mutters to himself while climbing the stairs and Haroro pleasantly surprises him with a reply. So he dashes down the hall, only to meet Ji-hyo coming after him.

He’s cornered in a dead end, and so childish Haroro decides to have some fun. Haha pretends that he’s looking for Ji-yong (GD’s real name) and GD slips away, answering that he doesn’t know.

Then there’s Spartavatar who are stuck together like glue. Jong-kook comments that Kwang-soo needn’t be so nervous – it’s not like he’s holding hands with a girl. Um, that’s because you’re the dominant one in this relationship. Heehee, and then he ends up splattering water all over Kwang-soo’s face because he’s too tall.

Smart boys – they’re catching on that the tickets in plain sights are likely to be fakes, so they need to snoop more carefully. How funny is that Taeyang sifts through the grasshopper display and then finally finds one?

This is absolutely brilliant. Seung-ri happens to discover a bag of bells. He pulls Gary aside, showing off his new bling and declares they’re on the same team. Gary’s hesitant at first – there’s no spy to his knowledge and Seung-ri tells him that’s what the staff wants them to think.

He takes the bait, but before he leaves, he adds, “You’re not…trying to fool me or anything ’cause I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed?” Of course not, Seung-ri replies.

You can never rely on Gary to keep a secret, so Seung-ri pulls in every Running Man cast member he sees, going through that elaborate explanation repeatedly, and each time they believe him.

You’d think by now the cast would be able to discern the truth from lies by now, but I guess Seung-ri’s so earnest that they want to believe him. But that pretty much all goes to hell once Jong-kook finds the bag of bells by their feet.

Dude, you could have tried to stash them first. Perfect execution, sloppy dismount. Jong-kook: “You know what Gary told me? ‘Hyung, we have silver bells, but Seung-ri has a gold one.'” Tsk tsk.

Even though Big Bang lost Seung-ri, they find a total of 3 real Running Man cards to make up for it.

TOP finds himself by Suk-jin and a short chase later, he’s caught by Suk-jin and Haha. But he’s strangely cooperative, which Ji-hyo points as much. “Why’s he staying still and not trying to run away?” Yes TOP, why are you complying with the Running Man…

With a firm grip over his name tag, Suk-jin rips it off. Oho, so TOP was armed with one of the secret name tags. Both men are eliminated.

Jong-kook deduces that it’s likely that Big Bang has searched through the top floors, so they’ll have to man the bottom ones now.

Daesung risks exposing his position in the open and the Monday Couple chase after him. He manages to evade them, but ends up in the clutches of Spartavatar. Two Big Bang members remain.

GD sifts through an auditorium when the sounds of bells alert him of the Running Man’s presence. It’s Haha who spots him right away again and GD smoothly counters, “I was looking for you, hyung.” They playfully tease about GD’s missing invisible doppelganger before Haha lets him off.

If you were thinking that Haha was just being nice, think again – he worries out in the hall if the VIPs will understand that eliminating GD is only a part of the game. They continue playing this cat-and-mouse game until GD finally decides to make a run for it.

His moment of solitude is quickly interrupted when Haha tracks him down and GD runs at top speed to evade his captor, even losing his VJ in the process.

But he can’t run forever until, finally out of breath, Jae-suk catches up to him, tearing off his name tag. He’s got one last trick up his sleeve as Jae-suk discovers the second secret name tag and both members are eliminated. Collapsing to the ground, GD cries, “Running Man is too tiring!” Aww, poor baby.

Taeyang waits with bated breath as all the Running Man cast gathers around the lobby looking for him. One click of the lock, however, gives his position away.

The cast whispers outside the door, trying to listen in on his every move and Jong-kook leans in… and so does Kwang-soo. Pffft – so much for stealth mode.

Jong-kook whispers to him that he should just stay put and you can almost see the blood rising on Kwang-soo’s face – he’s been flailed and ordered around all day. Finally fed up, he rips Jong-kook’s name tag off.

Wait…this is the second time in two weeks you’ve been betrayed, Jong-kook. He simply looks at Kwang-soo in disbelief as Kwangvatar rants about how he couldn’t talk, walk, or drink without permission. Too bad that as soon as he finishes, he gets eliminated by Haha, who thinks he must have been a spy.

Oh man and then Kwang-soo finds the situation so absurd that he slaps Haha. As he gets dragged away, he cries, “Doesn’t [Jong-kook] need some time to cool off first?”

That face is not going to cool off. Jae-suk reminds him that he’ll be stuck with Jong-kook in the latter half of the game and Jong-kook tells him, “Looks like there won’t be a single shot of you broadcasted this week.” Yikes.

The remaining three Running Man manage to pry the door open, telling Taeyang it’s all over, but they’re sure taking their grand ol’ time about taking Taeyang out. So while they decide who gets to do it, Taeyang uses the opportunity to slip away.

Unfortunately, that freedom is short-lived as Haha and Gary trap him in a corner and finally eliminate him. Victory to the Running Man in Part 1!

In the car, the Running Man laugh in the riches of their win, and Big Bang prepares to wipe those gloating smiles off of their faces.

Next week – Big Bang are the hunt.


Tags: , , , , , , , ,