Sitcoms/Variety Shows
Running Man: Episode 99
by | June 24, 2012 | 85 Comments

Who will be the Ultimate Conqueror? This week the Running Man cast conquer nations and lands to add to their ever-growing empire. Careful that another kingdom doesn’t come to steal the land from under your nose. Because land can be more precious than gold.

EPISODE 99. Broadcast on June 17, 2012.

We open on a fine summer day at Changuimun (one of the four smaller gates of northern Hanyang, modern day Seoul). Just as the cast wonders about who today’s guests might be, someone runs through the gate – it’s Gary, who’s arrived late.

Today’s guests seem to explain our current location: actors Lee Tae-gon (King Gwanggaeto the Great) and Im Ho (I Love Lee Tae-ri, King Gwanggaeto the Great, Queen Seon-deok). Having wrapped up their latest sageuk project, King Gwanggaeto the Great together they’re here to insert some variety in their lives. And after filming 92 episodes, I can’t blame ’em.

I think I’m in love with Tae-gon already as he (literally) pushes Jae-suk aside to greet the cast. Jong-kook astutely points out that Jae-suk can’t pull his A-list Celebrity Friends card today, noting his use of ‘Tae-gon sshi’ (equivalent to ‘Mister’). Jae-suk whispers back: “It’s ’cause he can fight well…”

Despite the age gap (Im Ho was born in 1970 whereas Tae-gon is a 1977er), we can see that Im Ho is on the receiving end of the scolding stick. He sighs, “This is how I lived for a year.” I guess it’s tough to revert back to regular social hierarchy when you’ve played The Great Conqueror for so long.

Im Ho’s played his fair share of kings as well and he explains that in a given 50 episode series, he’ll spend a majority of time doing one of three things: eating, lying in bed, or lying dead. HA.

Today’s mission is to conquer as much of the 9 areas. Time to choose teams/kingdoms. Im Ho chooses Spartakooks as his protector (Jae-suk: “The king in this kingdom might change soon”) and Tae-gon makes direct eye contact with Jae-suk. I foresee lots of hits and a rough road of subservience ahead.

The kingdoms are as follows: Ho Kingdom (Im Ho, Jong-kook, Kwang-soo) Gon Kingdom (Lee Tae-gon, Haha, Jae-suk) and Song Kingdom (Ji-hyo, Gary, Suk-jin).

Wait a minute – Gary and Tae-gon are donggap? And Tae-gon has to call Jong-kook ‘hyung’? My mind is blown right now.

Jae-suk has enough trouble as it is looking directly at Tae-gon and when he tests the waters, teasing him about Tae-gon’s immaturity, Tae-gon deadpans, “Do I have to play it up for variety or for real?” Don’t wake the sleeping dragon!

Haha likens Tae-gon’s competitive spirit to Choi Min-soo and he answers that he thinks he’s far more considerate. Maybe, but not any less scary right now.

Cut to: Im Ho being berated by Jong-kook. I swear nagging his hyungs must be a pastime for Spartakooks.

Both the Ho and Song Kingdoms stop by the parlor shop where they’ll have to withstand getting a Trump style ‘do (that awful 80/20 part). Problem is, they’re up against that same martial arts expert PD we saw chasing you with a cart a few weeks ago.

What ensues is absolute hilarity and I’m more amused by the outcome than the whole fight to avoid the inevitable combover. Dude, that’s a whole lotta mousse you’re slathering on that comb so it’s no wonder that it gets practically everywhere.

Jong-kook is the only one who can overtake the PD (though the PD just cracked up just looking at him before they started) and the staff insert CGI as if he were the Hulk. HA – Gary actually looks better than he did before.

The staff tweak the rules and surprisingly, it’s Kwang-soo who’s able to hold up against the PD long enough to declare victory for the Ho Kingdom. Aww look at him rejoicing with the comb still stuck in his hair.

Meanwhile, the Gon Kingdom pull up to a cafe where they need to get the resident cat, Maru, to hop onto their knees (Kitty!!). I love their various tactics to try to lure Maru near them. Haha: “Come eat the Grasshopper!” Jae-suk: “Maru! *slaps knees*” Tae-gon: “C’mere Maru, hyung wants to talk to you.” No matter how hard they try, Maru simply ignores them… like any cat would.

That doesn’t dissuade Tae-gon from giving up and he uses a cat toy to coax Maru instead. I’m more amused right now just watching him in Serious Mode, ignoring his teammates (and pushes Jae-suk’s chair around with his feet) to draw Maru’s attention.

After what feels like an eternity and a day, Maru finally jumps on top of them and they’re in the clear. Oh hi product placement of digital camera with fancy schmany upload abilities! Didn’t think we’d be seeing each other so soon.

In the car, Jae-suk asks if Tae-gon is hungry because he keeps suggesting they head to a restaurant next. Tae-gon uses the excuse that the roads are better, etc. but I saw you swallow some spit there, man. ‘S okay to be hungry – it’s not the staff is going to make sure you eat!

They ask him to give a cheer – regal sageuk style – and Tae-gon bellows, “Gather up your strength everyone!” and then breaks into the cutest smile. Off to the restaurant.

It looks like the Song Kingdom has thought the same thing and they gulp at the delicious food (Did I just take 5 screencaps of this? I did.). Only the team who correctly identifies the dish to its explanation gets to eat. No free lunch in Running Man!

Gary explains for the Song Kingdom which seems like a great choice considering he’s a rapper and he can channel that creative energy but it doesn’t quite translate to his teammates. Like how a black sesame seed rice cake is “Chewy / Something else inside bursts inside/ and sweetens my tongue/”

Outside, we see Tae-gon explaining the dishes to “his men” in that same sageuk tone and they beg for forgiveness when they get it wrong. “Forgive us Your Highness!” Tae-gon corrects: “Your Majesty.”

Their sageuk roleplay can be heard from inside and Gary steps out to explain the rules (only strict descriptions of the taste are allowed) and Tae-gon roars, “What is this?! Go away!” and Gary squeaks out, “Friend hyung!” (Those born in the same year can call each other ‘friends’ to become closer. Adding the more respectful hyung makes it more detached yet hilarious.)

The Song Kingdom gets their dish correct literally seconds before the Gon Kingdom does. No lunch but time to conquer more lands!

The Ho Kingdom are busy playing Speed Picture Charades and it’s a good thing the staff writer can draw fairly well because the guesses remain relatively consistent… it’s just that Im Ho isn’t the greatest guesser. As usual, he gets yelled at by Jong-kook. Aww.

The Gon Kingdom arrive at their next location with the Song Kingdom right at their tail. They’ll need to toss an ice cream stick a trash can to conquer this land.

Did Tae-gon just chomp down on the ice cream in two bites? Twice?! Then he simply dusts off the ice as if it were some nuisance. Wouldn’t you get brain freeze? He goes for Toss 4 (cue epic Last Match song) and misses.

While Ji-hyo struggles to down just one ice cream bar, we cut to Tae-gon who’s busy melting two with his hands and exposing it to sunlight. HAHAHA. I’m sure he’s not even trying to upstage the other kingdom on purpose.

No matter how many times I see him down that thing in 2 bites, I burst out laughing every single time. Another large bite later, Tae-gon aims for the goal… and misses again. How many is this man going to have to eat?! But it’s the Song Kingdom who win again as Ji-hyo coolly sinks it into the basket. Daebak.

We flashback to all of Tae-gon’s tactics and failed attempts as the Gon Kingdom stare in shock at the lucky shot.

Maknae FD welcomes the Gon Kingdom at their next stop where they’ll need to correctly answer 5 multiplication problems. But it’s just their luck that they run into the Song Kingdom for the third time today.

So they decide to up the stakes for punishment from getting splashed on their backs to being splashed with water from the opposing team. This oughta be interesting.

Heh, I love how not only has Gary started to call Tae-gon “Friend hyung” but Suk-jin’s adopted the similar, “Dongsaeng hyung” as well.

Suk-jin deals out some wicked water shots at the Gon Kingdom but that’s nothing compared to Tae-gon’s revenge. You don’t anger the king that’s for sure. He’s at least cool about getting hit by water himself then exacts his revenge as Ji-hyo gets a string of problems incorrect. Suk-jin: “Whose side are you on?!”

The water attacks get personal but then the Gon Kingdom pulls through, finally defeating the Song Kingdom.

We follow up with the Ho Kingdom who has just completed another mission (and are those pink earmuffs Im Ho is wearing?) and that brings our tally to Ho: 3, Gon: 2, Song: 3 with one final area left to conquer remaining.

Even though we haven’t kept up with the Ho Kingdom all day, we get the general jist: Ho does as he’s told by the Hulk Commander aka Jong-kook. Like how Jong-kook re-explains the mission to him again and warns, “Don’t do anything else except what I tell you too!”

The other nations cluck on the sidelines, “But you’re the king! What’s wrong with that country?!” At least he’s not the only one being yelled at because Kwang-soo gets the brunt of the scolding as well.

All the teams fail to jump 5 times with their rulers and it’s the Ho Kingdom’s turn again. Aw, and Tae-gon really is considerate, cheering on Im Ho on the sidelines. Taking Jong-kook’s tip that he should burst in like the wind just like Tae-gon did, Im Ho bides his time…and then runs straight into the rope. Poor king can’t catch a break today!

Jong-kook continues to lecture him through Jump Rope 101: “*tang* *tang* You have to come in then!”

The cast comments on how it seems the ex-Monday Couple seem like they’re on better terms now if they can snipe at each other so coolly, like Demi Moore and Bruce Willis.

It’s the Gon Kingdom who acquire the last bit of land and they give the floor to the Ho Kingdom to try jump roping together one last time. They succeed with flying colors. Yay!

At the final mission location, the kingdoms will have the chance to acquire other nations’ land by ripping off their name tags. You know, even though it’s been nearly 2 years, I’m still impressed by the creative ways the staff works to enhance the simple “rip rip rip” concept.

The Gon Kingdom strategize how to distribute their land and Tae-gon focuses to learn the best way to rip off someone else’s name tag. He’s a quick study, so I’m not too worried.

The Song Kingdom (whom the caption tells us has no strength at all) walk in, they’re immediately attacked by the Gon Kingdom in the elevator. Eep – Gary does his best to stall the other men as Ji-hyo flees. Why? ‘Cause she has all three of their lands under her tag.

Everyone else watches as Tae-gon overpowers Gary, ripping off his name tag only to find it blank. Damn, that’s some strength.

The Ho Kingdom observe all of this from a distance and try out their walkie talkies. Im Ho tests: “Save me.” HA.

The other nations look for Ji-hyo and Suk-in who have mysteriously disappeared. And then an announcement – Im Ho is eliminated. Huh?! When?!

The news seem to confuse his own teammates too and Jong-kook watches as Im Ho is taken away…

Suspicions fall on notorious traitor Kwang-soo who claims they were apart for just a moment. They wonder if Im Ho was overpowered 2:1 but Suk-jin was in another part of the building. Tae-gon muses, “Does that mean he lost to Ji-hyo 1:1?” HA.

He runs into Suk-jin and Ji-hyo a little later both of whom plead innocence. Suk-jin proposes if they can take out the Ho Kingdom, they’ll hand over their land. I love how Ji-hyo’s all, No I don’t wanna do that!

Tae-gon gives them a head start but then leads them straight into the arms of the other teams. They jump on Suk-jin first and once he’s dealt with, that puts Ji-hyo in an extremely dangerous situation.

Ji-hyo looks to Jong-kook, who’s silently been assessing the situation and informs him to think hard: It’ll be a 3 vs. 2 battle if she’s taken out. Jong-kook tell warns them not to eliminate her, but they do. She points at Kwang-soo, “Let’s see how well you end up!” despite his protests that he wasn’t the one who eliminated her.

But the Ace knows that something’s off and Kwang-soo sure is assertive about ripping off name tags today…

In jail, Suk-jin tells us that it’s true – it was Kwang-soo who eliminated Im Ho.

Flashback to before the opening and Kwang-soo nearly breaks down with tears of joy as Mr. PD issues his spy mission to eliminate all the Running Man cast. We see Kwang-soo taking out Im Ho near the start.

Back to the present as Tae-gon arrives at that same conclusion while Kwang-soo gapes, stuttering in response. Tae-gon picks up on that odd hint as Jae-suk asks outright if he’s a spy. Then Tae-gon asks: “What’s that? Spy? What’s a spy?” Have you never seen Running Man?

Kwang-soo asks what happens if it isn’t true and Tae-gon coolly responds, “If not, I’ll buy you something delicious.”

All of this information starts to confuse Jong-kook who sends Kwang-soo off that he “needs some time to think.” Sending him away for now is “the best present I can give you.” Out of context, one might think they were breaking up or something.

Safe for now, Kwang-soo collapses to the ground, finding the entire spy role tiring and he looks straight at the camera that there’s more to do and he’s not ready for it. So they can make him be a spy again 2 years from now.

Jae-suk suspects there’s more than one spy… and Haha pipes, “You think it’s me?” He calls for Tae-gon for backup who appears like lightning and they start to close in on Jong-kook… who proposes that they can continue this standoff after they’ve eliminated Kwang-soo first.

It’s still betrayal but it makes sense and Kwang-soo hears this exchange overhead. He breaks down, “I really can’t be a spy!”

Tae-gon runs into Kwang-soo and explains to him that the race can’t start while he’s still in the game. Kwang-soo asks again what if he’s not and Tae-gon pulls the “I’ll buy you food” card again.

He attacks Kwang-soo who reaches for Tae-gon’s back as well… and they simultaneously eliminate each other.

Once Jae-suk discovers the truth, he screams for Jong-kook: “Catch Haha!” Haha reasons that all they as the Gon Kingdom have to do to win is to eliminate Jong-kook but Jae-suk isn’t so sure…

…which is when Kwang-soo reveals that there’s another spy who remains…

The three remaining men go through a round of It’s not me! Jae-suk asks Haha, “Are you a spy” to which he evades and Jae-suk noticed before that Haha didn’t offer his back to safeguard their land.

Both men suggest that Jae-suk can eliminate them if he rips off the other name tag. It seems that the suspicion radar pings more for Haha as he screams, “Think of your wife and child!”

Jong-kook closes in on Haha who issues a last warning, “Once he takes me out, he’s going to pounce on you.” That makes sense but Jae-suk has already made his decision. After Jong-kook tears of Haha’s name tag, Haha bursts into a rage and declares, “I’m a spy!”

We see that Haha also joined Kwang-soo this morning, both picked at spies for being the best at betraying their own.

Back to Haha who marches into jail, grabbing Kwang-soo by the hair, telling him that eliminating Im Ho was the first mistake. “I told you we should have gotten rid of Jong-kook first!” Tae-gon: “So Kwang-soo ruined everything?”

The jailed hear the noise outside and Ji-hyo wonders if they can’t watch.

Sure they can watch Jong-kook play with his food, tossing Jae-suk around a few times before finally eliminating him. He wins it all for the Ho Kingdom.

All bow down to Jong-kook – the Ultimate Conqueror.


85 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. KMushi

    Im the first happy

  2. KMushi

    Ok dont like this episode and the guests I personally dislike that actor Taegon for me who loves korean Tv for the last 7 years I dont know him meaning his not that popular his so annoying n very disrespectful I cannot belive tge pds n writers tolerate that even if he says they r close one shouldnt treat a person like that moreover a senior or older than him. I wish Jaesuk oppa will not associate on these type of people who thinks they are all that jerks If that actions are scripted well Iam so dissapointed with the staff to treat the Nations Mc like crap I know Jaesuk nim is nice but give him his right place his the main host character of Rm n he is being bullied in his own ground Shame on Rm staff I really really dislike these episodes worst ever he needs to apologize n not ever appear besides the Mc side or we the fans will throw rotten eggs on him yeahhh Iam so pissed n KJk also needs to know his place n not to be too overreacting n respect Jaesuk nim

    • 2.1 aryast

      Oh get over yourself. It’s scripted.

      • 2.1.1 jenny

        maybe the games are but the action and talk in Running Man are not scripted.
        if their actions and talks were scripted then it’s just the same as drama don’t you think?

        • aryast

          Lemme rephrase then. It’s semi-scripted.

          • Alan

            ok, since it has been rephrased, yep don’t like lee tae gon either ~

          • Atiras

            dont bother with these antis. these are probably snotty nosed 14 year olds with nothing better to do. ignore. its the only way else they just keep gaining in importance.

    • 2.2 Cynthia

      Well, this is interesting.

      I was just reading about the negative criticism that “netizens” had a bad reaction to this ‘Kings’ edition of Running Man – and then lo and behold, we have one right here posting on this thread.

      Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. In this particular instance, it would behoove the Negative Nellies to understand that RM is a VARIETY SHOW where to a large degree, everyday, expected manners are pretty much put on hold for the entertainment value gleaned. RM and their guests are fairly polite and respectful to each other, but the goal of the game is to WIN, with some respect falling to the wayside as game events dictate.

      Tae-gon very clearly asked Jae-suk at the beginning of the ep (in the car) if he should react in entertainment mode or serious mode – and Jae-suk gave him the ‘go-ahead’ for entertainment with the serious goal of winning. So in effect, the netizen-viewed ‘abused’ gave permission to the ‘abuser’ to pull out all the stops. And Tae-gon did so, and effectively amped up the laughs for this episode, much to the delight of RM cast and crew.

      So, that being said, if the RM people didn’t get their panties in a twist over Tae-gon’s behavior, then do you really think you should? Chill, dude (or dudette – whichever). It’s a game show. Period.

      Scolding over. (It’s like channelling SpartaKooks!) πŸ™‚

      Thanks for the recap, Gummimochi – the 100th episode looks epic!

      • 2.2.1 satsuki92

        @cynthia aahhhh you said exactly what i thought! i mean seriously, i don’t get the whole deal over this situation!

      • 2.2.2 analeeze

        Well said, very well said. I couldn’t reiterate it more. It’s a V-A-R-I-E-T-Y SHOW.

        • Atiras

          cynthia and folks

          as i mentioned earlier, research on antis indicate that most are young males with apparent social behavioral problems.

          ignore them! the more responses they get the greater their perceived importance.

          we cannot correct their anti-social behavior one on one via online venues like this. they seriously need professional help.

          • sherry_laruku

            i believe the antis are mostly female….. when it comes to entertainment industry

    • 2.3 afjfa

      I find it funny that just because you have been watching korean dramas for 7 years, you think you know who is popular or not.

      • 2.3.1 Atiras

        doesnt matter if its 7 years or hours. everyone is entitled to their opinion. who are you to judge? is there a degree on korean dramas in your world?

      • 2.3.2 leene

        true. becuz the 7 years she/he watched might be some popular shows and maybe half of them are not even popular shows to begin with so how do u see popular actors LOL

    • 2.4 bd

      I thought Tae-gon made this ep; he was really entertaining and not a wallflower like some of the guests.

      And really, people need to get over themselves about “dissing” the Grasshopper/Nation’s MC – it’s called VARIETY.

      People got pissed about Spartakooks “mistreating” the Grasshopper on Family Outing from time to time, but that’s the “relationship” they have (on camera) and it’s all so funny.

      Same for goes for Hyori who put the hurt on the Grasshopper several times on FO (including the infamous crotch shot).

      And here, the RM cast ran w/ the whole “king” theme, giving Tae-gon the deferential king treatment.

      Anyway, I thought Tae-gon was one of the better and more entertaining guests on RM.

      I really wanted to see a Tae-gon/Spartakooks battle but of course the Giraffe had to ruin it (he also ruined things for the spies by prematurely getting rid of Im Ho).

      Jaesuk should have really taken the Kookster’s offer to take off his nametag (Jaesuk could handle Haha on his own) or even gang up w/ Haha to take out Kookie 1st.

    • 2.5 jane

      1. this is a variety show. maybe you watch dramas for 7 years, but I guess you’re new to variety show huh?

      2. Jae Suk knows this is just for the show. and besides they’re close in real life that is why Tae Gon is comfortable enough to do that to Jae Suk. If Jae Suk is cool with it, then why should us (his fans) upset about this?

      meh too bad I’m too lazy to write anything long right now.

    • 2.6 jenny

      okay I promise I have written a comment here but it just suddenly disappears.. now I have to write again, -_-
      so here’s for you KMushi.

      1. This is a variety show. maybe you’ve been watching k-dramas for 7 years, but you must be new in variety shows, huh?

      2. Jae Suk knows and understand that Lee Tae Gon is doing this for the show. Tae Gon only wanted to be funny but people take it in a wrong way.

      3. Lee Tae Gon and Jae Suk are actually close in real life. that is why Tae Gon is comfortable enough to do that.

      4. Jae Suk is cool with it. so why should we (his fans) be upset about it?

    • 2.7 gummimochi

      I understand your concern and your anger towards this particular episode. From a viewers’ perspective at first glance, it can seem disrespectful since yes, as you’ve said, seniors should be regarded with respect.

      Many of your fellow readers have addressed what would be a majority of my reply. Unfortunately, Tae-gon isn’t the first guest who has acted that way towards MC Yoo nor will he be the last.

      In variety, the social hierarchy rules are much more flexible and the cast members adopt a persona/character. Additionally, MC Yoo’s style is to present guests in the most entertaining light. He’s taken some brutal abuse over the years but he’s got a tough enough skin to take it in stride. If you’ve seen some of MC Kang Ho-dong’s shows, he also takes some verbal abuse but the intention isn’t mean-spirited between the cast members or MC to guest.

      Lastly, for Tae-gon, he just got off a year-long stint of playing a king, so they’re playing up the King Who Rules All role, again for the sake of entertainment.

      Thanks for your comment (and your replies everyone!) I truly appreciate that you have such a passion for RM! πŸ™‚

      • 2.7.1 bd

        To further clarify, cast members and guests have certain PERSONAS they play up for a particular ep.

        In this case, as already stated, Tae-gon was playing up the King/ruler and challenger to the Commander role.

        And the thing is, the closer the guests are to cast members (much less cast members to each other), the more they are apt to “play around” and bend social mores (remember how polite Mong Ji-hyo was for the 1st 4-5 eps before she started to let loose w/ her personality/character persona? If Mong had stayed totally polite and like she did in the early eps it would have been so boring – when she hits or kicks the boys, it’s FUNNY).

        Same thing happened on FO when KJK joined the cast – he and Hyori were all awkward and polite to each other b/c they didn’t know each other (otoh, KJK and YSJ messed w/ each other b/c they knew each other from their X-Man days).

        But that didn’t last long, soon Hyori was bossing around/scolding KJK like she did all the other male cast members (once she and KJK got to know each other and felt more comfortable).

        It’s like silly netizens complaining about Hyori making snide remarks or giving jealous glances when FO had a female idol/actress or 2 as guests; she wasn’t really snarky or jealous, it was her persona to create some tension/get a laugh.

        And then other netizens complained when Kim Won-hee guested on FO and then proceeded to boss Hyori around, include grabbing the collar of her shirt. This was all done in fun since KWH took the persona as being the “new Queen” who usurped Hyori’s place w/ the male FO members being totally gleeful that Hyori was getting a taste of some of her own medicine.

        • Cynthia

          To this day, Jae-suk cringes at the thought of Hyori guesting on or becoming a member of Running Man.
          His ‘scars’ are still healing from Hyori’s sharp tongue…

          • satsuki92

            but it would totally be awesome if she did *snickers*. she and jae suk were born to do variety together

          • Cynthia

            It would be a total dream episode!!

          • bd

            Methinks YJS would also make sure to wear a cup that day. lol

          • Atiras

            she guested in the very first episode didnt she? wish she’d come back again with sweet and scary ye jin. it was fun when ye jin guested with kim su ro. i miss FO1

          • Cynthia

            Hyori was on the first ep of RM?! I need to go find this, STAT!

    • 2.8 Atiras

      seriously…. its VARIETY!!!! and Jae-suk’s standard line is “my pride is hurt!” EVERYTIME.

      Tae Gon was a fun guest! I wish RM staff will get him to come again maybe with Choi Min Soo as the other guest. in another GET THE GRASSHOPPER! episode.

      if you dont like RM dont watch it! but stop being an anti and ruin it for others.

      go RM!!!!!

    • 2.9 Melissa

      Try getting your grammar right first. .___.

  3. lily

    i dont really like this episode, but oh well, I enjoyed it too… hurm

  4. nhetski

    I’m a fan of both KJK and MC Yoo but oftentimes I get sad that while both of them play up to their ‘character’ in RM, KJK always gets the hate. I guess he’s really playing his character well coz normally in a drama, the villain is always hated. But as a fan, i really wish people will see KJK as a respectful person that he truly is (if he’s not, then why is he close to all the members?!). RM is a show, while it is not fully scripted, the characters are scripted!!

    • 4.1 Ezan8

      i have to agree with you on that. KJK is seriously one of the nicer guys yet he is always shown as the villain. But I love all the RM members!!! Haha and Gaeri FTW!!!

      • 4.1.1 bd

        Not sure if KJK is the “villain” in RM; he’s just Jaesuk’s foil and main rival (I mean, c’mon, Spartakooks has a huge fanbase among RM fans).

        Also, KJK wasn’t the villain in the other variety shows he did w/ YJS (FO and X-Man), and I think most people know the relationship that YJS and KJK have (KHD even crap about KJK being a YJS “comedy/variety disciple” on Strong Heart).

      • 4.1.2 Atiras

        well he is known for his competitive spirit and those awe inspiring muscles. poor guy has no choice. in most of the variety shows he has done (Xman, FO1, RM etc) he has that natural tendency to take charge hence the nicknames ‘commander’, spartakook etc. i think he is a natural leader (RM too its him and Jae suk that are the leaders when they get into 2 groups).

        but, RM folks do make him all soft and mushy around female guests and he does collaborate with ace ji hyo whenever possible. we do see the nicer side of him then.

        i agree that since he is the resident strong man, his character has to be a little harsh but i think its ok. KHD was just being his usual goofy self. its also for the SH show itself. his persona in that show is like that.

        just enjoy the commander as he is in the show. i am sure he is having a grand time bossing everyone around πŸ™‚

        in the more recent episodes in RM they have him play up the ‘trainer’ persona a lot more. me thinks its a nice tactical move away from the harsher commander persona. whaddya folks think?

        • Cynthia

          What I think is that one of my biggest revelations about SpartaKooks is the fact that he’s logically clever – not just the big, overbearing, muscle-bound jock that he portrays on the show.

          For me, he’s really only displayed his calculating smarts on this current season – and I am surprised EVERY time he accurately figures something out. Talk about not judging a book by its cover….

          • Atiras

            agree. he is never represented as a dumb persona in any of his variety shows. its brain and brawn!

    • 4.2 Ani

      I find it weird that there’s even any noise these days about the Commander bullying Yoo Jae-suk. The whole run of the show we’ve seen these two go toe-to-toe as rivals. Why would people start complaining now?

      I don’t think anyone is complaining about Kim Jong-kook though. I think they were complaining about Tae-gon, which is also weird since he seemed to be playing a character similar to the Commander’s character. Sigh. I understand how it’s a cultural thing, but it’s not like Tae-gon went too far did he? So don’t worry nhetski, Kim Jong-kook is not getting any heat (or hate, heh) for this. Poor Tae-gon is, but I agree with Cynthia that people are blowing this way out of proportion.

  5. Laila

    I adore Kim Jong Kook. He is just good with everything and hands down that he is the best Running Man.

    He not only have the brawn but he definitely has the brain. I’m glad that he won this week because he surely deserves it. My least favourite has got to be Kwang Soo. Used to adore him for his naive antics but his disrespect and over-the-top attitude towards Jong Kook during the episode with Park Ji Sung (the kicks during the football match and kick and arm-twisting during the tug of war) makes him really annoying to me.

    Anyway, I still love RM very much and I hope to see more of Jong Kook winning the missions and challenges.

  6. Anao

    I don’t get why people got bothered by Tae Gon in this episode. I mean, sure, he pushed Jae Suk a little in the begining, wich may be disrespectful in Korea because of their age sistem but it’s a variety show (I thought only K-netizens taek this things way to seriously, but it seems I was wrong) and afterwards they seemed to work well as a team and I liked their sageuk talk. And don’t the RM push each other all the time?

    I was a little dissapointed that there were spies this episode.

    • 6.1 aryast

      Ikr. Some people should stop getting so riled up over tv and instead enjoy the popcorn.

    • 6.2 bd

      Yeah, the whole spies thing did ruin the whole kingdom vs. kingdom aspect (and I really wanted to see a Tae-gon/Spartakooks battle.

  7. Stardust

    Contrary to the rest here, I humbly state that I found this episode very funny and enjoyable, and I probably liked this better than the zombie ep… I suppose as a non-Korean, the respect card did not affect me at all, and I thought Lee Tae Gon was very amusing and awesome as a King guest. Did you see him tear off the ENTIRE popsicle with one bite… He must have awesome pearlies to not feel any pain… XD Im Ho was quite weak in his kingly aura, and thus got bossed around alot hahha
    Thank you for the recap gummi, u filled in gaps I missed heheh

    • 7.1 nadeelife

      I have to agree with you…I’ve been following RM since the first episode, but lately my interest seems to slow down…However, I enjoy so much with this episode…I dont find Taegon shi being disrespect towards his hyungs but I am amused by his character…We can see few times during this episode,that he is a considerate person…this is a variety show,Taegon shi must not meant any hurt when he pushed Jaesuk shi,it’s just a joke… STARDUST, I fall in love with Taegon shi when I saw him bite the whole popsicle…hehehe…

      • 7.1.1 2d1n+runningman fan

        i agree..i skip few runningman ep lately..

  8. Han

    It is a variety show, (K- Netizens is taking things too seriously). It is true being respectful to seniors is a important culture in Korea but it is a variety show after all.

    Everyone knows their role well, Kwang Soo (being annoying and making all those silly decisions), I personally think that it is his character in this Variety Show. I am not sure if you you realized it but, Kwang Soo sometimes do have more screen-time then the other cast, even the mighty KJK, of course this doesn’t include our Super MC YJS – no one beats him when it comes to screen-time.

    Chill and enjoy the show, the Running Man Staffs have given us so much laughter with set-up in each episodes.
    Their planning and creative writing have been top-notch, I personally am grateful of the things that they have contributed to the show. Cut them some slack.

    Long Live Running Man

  9. Sabah

    An OK episode with some really fun moments. I think I have been spoilt after Park Ji Sung’s chemistry with the running man team. Nowadays I seem to just be waiting for Choi Min Soo’s return, if that could ever happen. *sigh* Still running men and gal are there to brighten my day.

    Spoilers ahead.

    I think Lee Gwang Soo is better at being a spy when he isn’t actually a spy and just does spy acts, well just because he feels like it. E.g. episode 85 and 92. Let’s just call him the ‘unofficial spy.’

    I loved that look on Yoo Jae Suk’s face after Ace Ji Hyo gets the popsicle stick in the trash can, ‘Oh no! Our King is going to take this out on us!’

    • 9.1 Atiras


      it could happen….. remember YJS challenged CMS in the grasshopper episode that they currently stand at 1 win 1 loss? πŸ™‚

      others were trying to shut YJS up terrified that CMS heard it. RM should bring him back. loved the i-am-going-to-tickle-you-now punishment for YJS.

  10. 10 Daisy

    I’m getting about tired of the spies concept.. I still love running man though πŸ˜€

  11. 11 Daisy

    I’m getting a bit* tired of the spies concept.. I still love running man though πŸ˜€

    Stupid autocorrect

  12. 12 aramint

    woah, chill everyone, it’s just a variety show.Tae-Gon might’ve been seen as “disrespectful” but I honestly think that’s just how he is, and he’s trying his best, like how he’s asking how should he do this, how should he do that, and I think he’s funny in his King style. ^^

    Perhaps I’m the minority here, but I do enjoy this episode. It gave me great laughter; during the Mary the Kitty game, the ice-cream tossing game, the water slap (oh Jihyo, how can you be so bad at multiplication table..haha) and especially when Jae Suk was hella confused on who’s the spy (I really thought the other spy was Jong Kook lol)

    And talking about Jong Kook, I love how he stopped Tae-Gon from hitting Jae Suk at the beginning. Sure, what he said after that about how you can’t hit our hyung, our MC might have been for variety sake, but the fact that his hand went up almost immediately to block Tae-Gon speaks a lot more.

    Spartakook loves his grasshopper hyung…aww… ^_^

    • 12.1 aramint

      ooops, Maru the Kitty I mean..heh.. ^^

      • 12.1.1 aryast

        I whole heartedly agree with you on the whole thing. It’s obviously half-scripted as are with most k-variety shows. Take a chill pill peeps. Or two.

  13. 13 Jackie

    Yes I pretty much agree with most of the comments. I didn’t find it offensive at all, partly because well it’s a variety show so I never take what the celebs say to the hosts to heart to begin with…it’s all a playful banter. To be frank, if Tae Gon treated Ji Suk Jin with that attitude most netizens will turn a blind eye to it, because it’s Suk Jin’s character to be ‘weak’ or be the one most ‘bullied’ (I give Suk Jin props for that, he should get his time to shine in this show <3).

    This was a fun episode, loved just about everything in it.

  14. 14 Mika~

    Taegon kind of reminds me a little of Super Junior’s Kangin. They both instill fear with their strength, they both treat pretty ladies with extra care, and they’re both not very modest. I guess that these qualities might overlap with others, but I just… felt they were similar.

    Anyway, if I had been Jaesuk, I would’ve teamed up with Haha – whether or not he was the spy – to rip off Jongkook’s nametag, because Jaesuk is pretty much powerless against Jongkook, but if he were up against Haha, he would have a very good chance of winning.

  15. 15 jl

    i didnt watch this episode, and i didnt pick up on any signs of disrespect from reading the recap, but i see all these comments about “RELAX people its scripted” etc etc.. but i only see like one comment on how disrespectful tae gon was, how could he do that, blah blah blah. so.. maybee the people defending tae gon should chill too. 😐

    ANYWAYS sure kwang soo can be quite over the top but i still feel bad for him. and suk jin as well.. although he isnt as funny. honestly, my least favorite member is jong kook. his…role i suppose on the show is quite annoying, with his scolding and how his power, how everyone is afraid of him etc is always emphasized. does that make sense? .~.

  16. 16 Dee

    Lee Tae Gon = HOT
    chubbier these days….but still hot

  17. 17 Mashmallow

    I cannot believe these guys who are saying chill out its a variety yeah it is and theirs a line being cross and definetely that TaeGon dude gets overboard I agree he is a total JERK and No sense of respect he calls him Hyung F! Him I dont like the spy thing too I want to see the old episodes when they split the teams in two cat n mouse game I enjoy watching the most

    • 17.1 jenny

      seriously, it’s normal. it’s to make the show funny. take a chill pill.
      and if you don’t like it, just don’t watch it anymore, so that you won’t have to complain..

  18. 18 Mashmallow

    I disagree @jenny did you see the reaction n what Jaesuk said about TaeGon doing to him n did you not see how KJk irritation to TaeJon when he said why ur hittibg our hyung girl watch it not hating too but I love Jaesuk and These is the first time I think a guest dusrespect him over n over dude even if you are close its totally not cool to be like that to a hyungnim in Korea so I cannot put stones on people who hates TGon for acting bad to the Nice Mc

    • 18.1 jenny

      have you ever watched Kwang Soo get bullied by Jong Kook? you see what Kwang Soo did when he got bullied? he acts as if he’s hurt. Gwang Soo even got angry and yelled at him, he spit water on him (LOL) but actually they’re very very close. really, Jae Suk says “my pride is hurt” or anything like that is to make the show funny. he’s not serious. really.

    • 18.2 bd

      Both things were done in a JOKING manner.

  19. 19 Mashmallow

    And I wish RM will step it up its getting dry n the spy is wayyyy not fun anymore I want too see them freakin run but cant blame The team if they are too tired especially Jaesuk but its the theme of the show I want it like the early episodes when they are running for their lives hehehe and the punishment bring it back thats so hilarious not funny wen ypu give them perks they have money to buy Pdssss what gifts for the A listers stars who have all the money punishment is the viewrs wantsss let the Stars go out there n have some FuN walking in tight skimpy shortssss

  20. 20 Mashmallow

    Dont watch it Seriously why are that narrow minded teen who cannot accept two sides of opinions STUpId grow up or read a book so you can feed your empty brain hahaha oopss I bet your going to response with bad things u take your pill that suits you better maybe it will broaden your Bird Brain hahaha

    • 20.1 Kim Yoonmi

      Thanks for trolling, but I think you’ve had enough attention for now.

  21. 21 kirandeep sraon

    regardless.. i loved this one.. waiting for the next 1 to b subbed tomorrow

  22. 22 Ani

    I swear nagging his hyungs must be a pastime for Spartakooks.

    Seriously dude! It’s like Spartakooks is forever the nagging wife to, well, a whole lot of people. Hahahaha. I just love how he played with Jae-suk in the end. Hehehehehe.

    So Kwang-soo ruined everything?

    Of course he did! Hahaha. A Strategist Kwang-soo is not. Adorkable and pitiful he is. And that first screenshot of Haha combing back his wet hair? Geez, why do I find that so hot? I can’t wait for his hair to get longer. Yum! And Ji-hyo really is jjang! Loving the little Ex-Monday Couple Moments here and there and everywhere.

    • 22.1 aramint

      haha..the ex-monday couple really did bicker like an old married couple… ^.^

  23. 23 aramint

    haha..the ex-monday couple really did bicker like an old married couple… ^.^

  24. 24 Kim Yoonmi

    If you’ve been watching Running Man from episode one and loving every episode, you’ll see how the trust between the cast has built over time. You don’t spend two days a week with people and don’t play around and become close. You can even see the cast playing with the cameramen, too.

    But there are moments when even though there is a script, they still shine–for example the water slapping. You could tell that when they all agreed to it, there was a lot of trust that it wasn’t malicious–even so for laughs they yelled at each other.

    The closer the guest is with one of the cast, usually the more stops that are pulled out. This cast has shown tons of trust in each other, which is why Kwang Soo can take all of the ribbing, Sparta Kooks is comfortable with being ribbed as scary, and the writers are comfortable with making writing jokes like Sparta Kooks as a flower boy. (And he’s comfortable playing out the joke).

    Plus, if you remember waaaayyy back when they were first starting and didn’t have much of a writing staff (where they invented their own games and then the actors caught up to the script… (the jumping rope episode where they finished early)) you will see things like Jae Suk showing tons of love for the cast and the cast doing a group hug (through the lie detector episode) which didn’t work… because the cast trust in each other was pretty high. (Jae Suk even got teary-eyed)

    Seeing those moments where they trust each other *that much* and are willing to take a hit for a laugh (Like Gary being told he can’t lie…) kinda make the show for me–that the cost to pride isn’t a real cost. I don’t think the show would be quite the same without one of the cast members. I still feel the loss of Joongki at moments–he was good at sweeping strategies and he often said things I wish I could say.

    Every time that Tae Gon made a hit on Jae Suk, Jae suk kinda half defended him in between saying, “You know we’re really close… in between saying, “Why are you doing this to me?” which is why the other cast members were willing to play along. Also, Tae Gon gave the green light.

    Contrary to what most TV shows show–cast members do not work well if they all hate each other. A good cast is one that has chemistry in the sense that they will trust each other. The founding exercise in acting troupes is often trust exercises. You need to be able to trust that your fellow member is going to be on time for you to deliver the line, cover your flubs, etc. Running Man partially survived this long because of that built up trust between cast and crew. (Also because the writing stepped up to the level of the talent.)

    So yeah, I don’t talk about favorites. I sit back and enjoy the laughs of this show and hope that one day Yoon Eun Hye will show up… ’cause that’s an epic episode waiting to happen. (Bong Sun with her????)

    • 24.1 Cynthia

      Yoon Eun Hye vs Bong Sun = Epic RM!!
      (except for the fact that Bong Sun is fully capable of throttling YEH, and probably would. Girl doesn’t mess with her one-sided love!)

      • 24.1.1 Atiras

        i think bong sun is the only girl KJK is truly scared of….. scared that she might just hook him unawares πŸ˜‰

        • Cynthia

          Omg – just watching the two of them together is flat-out hilarious. He’s terrified and she’s manically determined to score with ‘her man’. I recall an ep of RM where they were in a stadium searching for clues on sneakers? and Kooks and Bong were doing like a whole other side plot with her just whaling away on anyone who posed a threat to her love. No-one wanted to get near her. I laughed myself silly.

  25. 25 meiyih

    i really miss the searchin for guest o the guest searching for RM for elimination…i even rewatched the Jang Hyuk’s episode to laugh back those times…i hope they can mix in some of these bcoz the spy game had been playin too frequently dat every week u’ll expect who n who b the spy so it’s losin its freshness … i still love RM thou, i enjoy laughin at their reactions towards each other after in the game

  26. 26 Gongkie

    Yoo Jaesuk is such a good man that some people think that its ok to bully him his wife said that his too nice people disadvantage him I know how Kjk love Jaesuk who doesnt I want a hyungnim like him who is humble and super rich. I agree that their are two sides of opinions bad and good and I dont understand why others seems taken back if someone dissagree and call them netizen. Netizens in KoRea is no joke I live their to study but its too crowded I went back home. Saw ep 100 and I thought here we go again I dunno but Iam getting dissapointed with RM I watched the early episodes and totally RoFl What should RM do ? Their in desperately need need for something AWeSome:$$$

    • 26.1 Atiras

      its interesting you mentioned YJS wife’s alleged comment. in the lie detector episode YJS actually failed the test when Haha asked if wifey would be YJS choice in the next life πŸ˜‰ most wives think everyone is after their husband’s money.

      dont watch RM for a while. then maybe you will miss the cast and come back for a peek πŸ™‚

  27. 27 Gongkie

    I missed the Running Grasshopper and the hunting lionnnn punishment is truely missed also

  28. 28 Octopus

    Oh yes please!
    Bong Sun with YEH as guests on the same episode will definitely make my day! πŸ™‚
    Here’s to hoping, producers? πŸ™‚

  29. 29 Jzom

    I like this episode so much that I have watched it several times.. I fully understand that RM is a variety show and that what they are showing to the viewers is great entertainment..
    I especially like the moment when Ji Hyo’s team won over Jaesuk’s team.. the look on their faces during the ice-cream eating game was just epic..
    I am so amazed with Jongkook.. he really is like an investigator.. he should consider that as a career.. hehe

  30. 30 satsuki92

    thanks gummimochi for this wonderful recap! i thoroughly enjoyed this episode. Tae Gon-sshi was awesome as the bossy hulky king and Im Ho got me with his dorky “useless” king persona.

    highlights for me were;

    1) Tae Gon’s power ice cream eating (he should consider doing adverts for sensitive teeth toothpaste)

    2) Im Ho getting nagged at constantly by Spartakooks (who really should be called Grannykooks LOL)

    onward to the 100th episode we gooo ^^

  31. 31 julier

    I was the WITHS2 timer for the King Gwanggaeto the Great subtitle project so literally spent countless hours/months with that drama (92 eps!) and I was so happy to see the two Kings on RM. I consider myself a big Taegon fan and adored him in Jewel Bibimbap, but I just could not warm up to him on RM. And, I wanted to really badly! I thought he seemed like kind of a jerk but maybe it was just an act. In contrast I thought Im Ho was adorable. Regardless I loved the episode and all the Gwanggaeto references. Very fun! My 11 year old daughter and I are still laughing about Taegon eating the ice cream and Jongkook playing with Jaesuk at the end. I’m a new RM fan after it was added to dramafever and I can’t get enough of this show. I’m slowly going back to watch older episodes and love reading the recaps here. Thanks gummimochi!!

    • 31.1 Shiku

      So is King Gwanggaeto good? I keep on hearing bad things about it.

  32. 32 Marcandcarlalove

    Omy gosh ep 100 theres Eun Hye face is that a clue that shes soon be a guest that will be daebak hahaha KjK didnt overreact Good coz its like so over yearsss ago and Did they really had a relationship? Some reports said they didnt oh well whatever its like a decade ago love love so much Jaesuk and haha together they blend so perfectly a whining kid vs a scolding dad how cute

    • 32.1 bd

      Denials about relationships in K-drama/pop-land don’t mean much.

      But who really knows?

      One thing for sure, YEH wouldn’t attend a wedding and be on KJK’s side of the family if they weren’t close.

  33. 33 insatiablekookie

    I like this episode so much. I always love when KJK won. He deserved it ^_^.

    I think for most of times he has to control his strength in the battle with the other cast in order to not hurting them. And that’s one of the things I love about him. That’s why in this episode I love the scene when he challenged the strong PD, it really showed his real strength.

    Thank you for the review. ^_^v

  34. 34 Raptor

    All these silly comments about Tae Gon being disrespectful to YJS, but all blatantly ignoring how KJK ‘bullies’ Im Ho throughout the ep (for the sake of variety anyways).

    Double standards, really.

  35. 35 danelle

    I have watched almost all running man episodes and i have never disliked a male guest except Tae gon. He seemed mean and rude. Maybe he’s not showing it in the right way but oh well…

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