It’s time to make some final summer memories down in Busan and who better than to spend it with than five movie star hyungnims? The cast will need to use their wit, brains, and strength to slide into home base and be called safe. Or you’ll be screaming your head off like Teddy Bear Ajusshi.
One thing’s for sure – this is no ordinary Busan Vacance.
EPISODE 111. Broadcast on September 16, 2012.
We open at Busan and the cast drinks in the ocean air. Jae-suk directs everyone’s attention to the flowery entrance and wonder if they’ll have female guests today. Kwang-soo thinks it’s a Couple Race which gets everyone excited. Methinks that you are being set up for disappointment.
They take one look at the unmistakable male silhouette and congratulate Ji-hyo. And our first guest pulls down the curtain and shoots an air free-throw: actor Lee Jong-won (Last Match, Lights and Shadows).
They liken Ji-hyo to Da-seul, the heroine, and when Jong-won compliments her, Jong-kook quips, “Don’t tell her that – it’ll become a bad habit.”
The boys are still hopeful but then “Gangnam Style” starts and their second guest breaks out dancing. (Kwang-soo: “He’s not good!”) Meet actor Son Byung-ho (Gaksital)and already I can tell he’s bringing his A-game energy today with his cute rubber ducky necklace. Circus Boss Jo, you’re alive!
That Busan Romance dream is quickly slipping away from their fingers and their third guest is none other than Go Chang-seok (Gone With the Wind, Rough Cut). Teddy Bear Ajusshi! And whaaattt – you’re 4 years younger than Suk-jin?!
Now they’ve got different expectations for their following guest (“He’s slim! And young!”) and out pops actor Shin Jung-geun (Gone With the Wind, Detective Cha). Jae-suks asks, “What brings you here?” Jung-geun: “I just came!”
And last but not least, we meet our fifth and final guest: actor Im Ha-ryong (Me Too, Flower). I like your fedora, good man.
Now that we’ve been introduced, it’s time to address the age hierarchy. It goes: Ha-ryong, Byung-ho, Jung-geun, Jong-won, and Chang-seok pipes, “I’m the maknae!”
He’s just a year younger than Jong-won and then they compare his face to his donggaps like Lee Byung-heon and Cha Seung-won. Mind is blown.
Mr. PD announces teams for today’s Busan Vacance and Diamond Race starting with Lee Jong-won. How much do I love that they play the Last Match OST whenever they mention his name?
He teams up with Gary, Haha, and Ji-hyo to form the Last Match Team. Jae-suk: “Who’s going to play Sohn Ji-chang?” Answer: Haha. Which means Gary plays Jang Dong-gun? LOL.
Ha-ryong is quick to notice the upcoming dread written on the cast’s faces and sure enough his team (Jae-suk, Suk-jin, and Byung-ho) are the oldest of the bunch (Haha: “Their total age is over 200!” Jae-suk: “I’m the maknae!”). Which leaves Kwang-soo, Jong-kook, Jung-geun, and Chang-seok as the remaining team.
Haha in particular loves the name of today’s race and the captions tell us it’s to congratulate his upcoming marriage. Today’s race is in the shape of a diamond and they’ll be running through the missions Go-Back-Jump style until they slide in home base. (Go: forward, Back: reverse, Jump: skip.)
In the car, Coach Kookie breaks down the Running Man formula to Jung-geun who doesn’t seem all that excited. He asks, “Are you sure there isn’t going to be something brutal waiting for us? I don’t like amusement parks!”
The 2012 Last Match Team rev each other up, calling themselves “the visuals” today. Pfft. Turns out Jong-won’s daughter happens to be a Running Man fan and she gave dad a bit of advice: Never be the one to pick/choose. Haha: “But that’s the main part of the show!”
They arrive at the market and gripe at the mission where they’ll break into pairs, eat separate foods and try to get matching cards. Gary: “It’s a matching cards game.” Mr. PD: “It’s telepathy.” Tomato, tomahto.
They do a practice round and the ex-Monday Couple both call out the same number. Gary blushes – is all hope not lost? Caption: Is this Answer Me 2011? He reaches out a hand and Ji-hyo flicks it away. Darn.
The Hyungnim Team arrives just as the other team is about to head out (while wearing tubes). The cast is warmly greeted in the streets by the crowd and then one ajumma runs up to Suk-jin and cries, “[Yoon] Jong-shin sshi!”
The Professor Atom Team (because Chang-seok resembles Professor Atom from the Astro Boy comics) arrives at the amusement park and they gape at the rollercoaster karaoke mission.
Jung-geun is nervous as usual and he’s like, “Is this possible? Shouldn’t we contact our physician first?” When Mr. PD confirms it’s very possible, he concludes, “Variety is like a challenge now!”
Chang-seok worries that he’ll get laughed at and when asked why he’s so afraid of that, he responds, “Who in the world likes being insulted!” He and Kwang-soo seem fairly confident but their voices start to waver as they climb that first hill…
…and scream for dear life at the drop. They sing in and out, “In Busssaaaaaannn AHHH!!!!”
Who cares about singing?! AHAHAHA. By the time they come back around, it looks like they’ve aged a few years. And unfortunately, they don’t get a high enough score to pass. Chang-seok face reads: I have to do that… again? *blank*
The other two teams rely on their “telepathy” to choose the right card. The Last Match team worry because they both selected the middle card. But lo and behold, they get it right on the first try. Aww and then Jong-won says, “Can I have it as a souvenir [for my daughter]?”
They chant for Jong-won to replicate his famous CF move and he does with ease. His team further cheers when they get “Go”. Onto to amusement park!
The Hyungnim Team fail to make a match (but Haha points to the star, “It’s Byul!”). Ji-hyo wonders what lies ahead for them and Gary muses, “Do we have to ride a rollercoaster?” Bingo.
Oh man when are these guys ever going to pass? After their fourth try, the music leads us to think that they’ve finally passed but then we see Mr. PD crack up at the score: 69.
I really love the positive energy of the Hyungnim Team and it seems like they’re enjoying eating the food more than the actual mission. They’re like, What’d you have? That sounds good.
Second time’s the charm and they “jump” over the amusement park.
It’s actually pretty lucky of them because the Professor Atom Team is still there on their seventh run. How is it that whenever we cut to them it’s always Chang-seok’s turn on the ride?
But I am impressed that they keep singing until the bitter end and all that hard work pays off for a 95. Chang-seok rolls a “jump” which leads them to a baseball field and Jung-geun gripes, “Do they ever feed you?” Are you familiar with Running Man sir?
They stop by for some snacks and make fun of Chang-seok when he’s like, “I want a hot dog and an ice cream.” Aww and he gives a big goofy smile when he gets it. Why so cute, Teddy Bear Ajusshi?
Today must be the Last Match Team’s lucky day because both Jong-won and Ji-hyo sing their hearts out (Ji-hyo screams) and get a 94 on their first try. Not only that, they get a “jump” so it’s onto the baseball field for them as well.
Cut to: Chang-seok thoroughly enjoying the last of his hot dog.
Is Jung-geun already falling asleep? The boys call him out on it and Jung-geun denies it and looks at Kwang-soo, “So this is how you incriminate people…” He adds, “My daughter said that you should be the first person I take out.”
Wait, did we really just cut to the hyungnim’s conversation about an auction? Jae-suk tries to redirect them back to the mission at hand but worrying about that seems the furthest thing from their minds.
Their battle cry: Live a long and frugal life. Then Ha-ryoung states that at their age, strength comes from rest, not battle cries. HA. This really is a vacation for them, isn’t it?
Jae-suk comments that they’re talking about things that are rarely brought up in variety and Byung-ho starts up again about real estate. Jae-suk: “We’re not done with this conversation yet?”
Even when they get to the restaurant, there’s no question of, “What’s the mission?” or a sense of urgency. Heehee.
At the baseball field, their mission is for one person to hit the ball and yell “Home run!” long enough for their other teammates to run around the field back to home base. Chang-seok: “Did you do a simulation?” (of course) Jung-geun: “Is this Running Man or Mission Impossible?”
Chang-seok is their first batter and he lets out a pretty impressive long cry and gives out at second base. They pick up the pace their second try but Kwang-soo’s voice fades mid-way.
The initial cheers for Kwang-soo are nothing compared to Ji-hyo’s entrance and the bleachers literally thunder chant her name. Woah. Aww and then they chant Byul’s name too. So sweet.
The Professor Atom Team get to move on and they gripe at their next mission entitled “40 steps” which doesn’t sound fun in the least. Turns out the Hyungnim team arrives there as well, and like the tourists they are, they marvel at the steps featured in the film Nowhere to Hide.
After they take a souvenir pic, they finally get to the mission at hand. Here they’ll have to kick their shoe off and hope it lands on the step they’ve chosen in order to pass.
The Professor Atom Team fail to get their shoe to land on the right step. Then Ha-ryong kicks his shoe into the air… and it lands on the correct step. Then Byung-ho kicks… and his slipper lands three feet in front of him. Whoops.
A fan screams her heart out for Suk-jin (Hey, anything to make it on air right?) and his shoe falls to the same step. And then when he goes to thank her with a congratulatory cheer, she leaves him hanging.
HAHAHA – Chang-seok, did you really just chuck your shoe on top of an air conditioner? They invite the same student out to give a practice kick and she’s chucks it as high as she can scream.
Jung-geun’s shoe is the first to land on the right step and it eventually comes down to Kwang-soo. Before he kicks, an ajusshi wholeheartedly sings the “Traitor Song” and calls, “Will I be on TV?!”
He kicks… and it lands on the right step. The crowd erupts into cheers and the same ajusshi yells, “Thanks to me!”
In the car, Jung-geun admits that the Hyungnim Team really do have it easy – they got to eat twice and kicked some shoes. He admits, “I can’t stand it when the PDnim laughs at me!” Welcome to variety, good man.
It’s really the dry delivery that kills me as he continues, “There’s no need for someone to be so overly bright!” He decides he’s not going to act that way if he sees someone else suffering. Life lesson?
The Last Match Team is the only one taking a shortcut through the village. They’ll need to find a mission container that inscribes their finish line but Mr. PD warns them to be careful – they’re being watched.
The team is lightening fast and realizes that their name tags are in danger. A minute later, we see who they should be careful of: all the ajummas who lie in wait with their water guns. HAHAHA.
It’s kind of funny watching them approach carefully and then run away from the ajummas who wield deadly weapons. Don’t let those visors fool you for a minute!
Jong-won is absolutely hilarious – he uses his ajumma popularity to his advantage and goes around proclaiming that they’ve wrapped filming already. He nearly gets away with it too and then starts running again.
The team continues to search high and low until they run into a suspicious grandma’s house. Sure enough, they find the container they need and receive a key that’ll come in handy when they slide into home base.
And oho – we get a closeup to a chest that awaits them in home base and see that they’ll need TWO keys to open it.
The Hyungnim Team arrive on shore and their jaws drop when they learn that if they don’t eat the dried persimmons within a given time, they’re automatically out of the game. Not like that worries them in the slightest and Ha-ryong asks, “We can write in our name tags in pen and still play right?”
They’ve got one minute and it’s one of those games where slow and steady wins the race. Ha-ryon the mat hyung manages to catch it with a little over 20 seconds to spare and wonder if he’ll be the only one left. Only Byung-ho is left but he fails to eat it.
He takes his loss graciously and sends a video message to his daughter, “Sooner or later, people fail in life. In war, victory goes back and forth – that’s what life is all about.”
Ha-ryong: “You’re putting your life on the line for dried persimmon.”
The Professor Atom Team hears their mission: they’ll have to avoid being caught by ajumma Maknae FD for 3 minutes or they’re out. What’s worse it that the staff rearranges their nametags so that it’s even easier to grab. Jung-geun: “I feel like I’m getting drunker each time I hear the instructions.”
HA – and Chang-seok fits snugly into a small space like the teddy bear he is.
Maknae FD goes straight for that same spot but Chang-seok won’t budge. In frustration, Maknae FD yells, “I can’t get his back!”
Spartakooks manages to evade Maknae FD’s grasp pretty well, even pushing him away when he comes towards his direction. Jung-geun gets caught and Kwang-soo’s practically hanging out of the bus to avoid Maknae FD.
The three minutes pass and after they press the bell, Chang-seok tumbles out. Jung-geun helps his teammates and they pass.
Mr. PD hands over a key to both the Hyungnim and Professor Atom teams for winning their respective missions. As they leave, Jong-kook jokes that at least two of the hyungnims will be eliminated here.
The Last Match Team is the first to arrive at home base where they’ll have to find the hidden treasure chest we saw earlier. The winner of course is the first team who opens it. They keep their key safely hidden beneath Jong-won’s name tag.
Gary finds the chest and realizes that it requires two keys to open which means they’ve got to steal a key away from another team.
Now all the teams have arrived at home base and only Jae-suk and Ha-ryong remain for their team. They hide their key beneath mat hyung’s name tag and run into the Last Match Team as soon as they get off the elevator.
A lightbulb goes off in Jae-suk’s head and manages to distract Haha long enough to rip off his name tag. Just like that.
Chaos ensues as the Last Match Team gang up on him to exact immediate revenge while the Professor Atom Team look on.
These two teams circle each other and Jong-won declares that he knows that Chang-seok has the key. Why? Jong-won: “It’s written on his face. K-E-Y.”
Chang-seok: “I told you guys I couldn’t do it because I was too obvious!” Heehee. Then he does the signal to “change it up,” calling for a substitute. There are no subs in this game!
Little do they know that Jae-suk has overheard this juicy bit of valuable information.
The teams go head to head (HA – I love that Kwang-soo goes straight for the Ace) and Gary rips off Chang-seok’s name tag. Pretty soon, Kwang-soo’s out too.
Jae-suk bides his time, waiting for the weaker links to eliminate each other. Then Jong-kook rips off Jong-won’s name tag, acquiring the key for himself, and Gary gets eliminated too. Phew – you still with me?
Aww, the eliminated trio leave together, hand-in-hand. To clarify, now Jong-kook has one key while the hyungnims have two.
Jong-kook and Ji-hyo are the only ones left on their respective teams and Ji-hyo has no desire to ally with Spartakooks. But you’re SpartAce! Together, you’re invincible!
Turns out that Ji-hyo knows the chest’s location (well, sorta) and she isn’t gonna give in anytime soon. Though I’ll admit that I thoroughly enjoy SpartAce‘s push-and-pull relationship. Jong-kook: “What’s your plan today?” No answer.
Jong-kook’s got a sharp eye and he’s suspicious of Ji-hyo’s rejection for an alliance. He knows that when push comes to shove, she’ll eliminate Jong-kook in a flash. So he should take this opportunity to take her out now.
And whattt – Jae-suk overhears this conversation too?
Back to Ji-hyo who asks, “You think you can beat the two of them?” Isn’t that an obvious answer?
The hyungnims finally act and save Ji-hyo from Jong-kook’s grasp. Jong-kook repeats, “What’s your plan today?” Ji-hyo fumes: “To rip off your name tag and then get eliminated!”
Jae-suk manages to evade Jong-kook’s initial grabs and says that after two years, he knows exactly how Jong-kook attacks his targets. Then Ha-ryong asks, “What if Ji-hyo goes after us?”
Jae-suk: “She won’t do that – she’s way too angry at Jong-kook right now. Ha-ryong: “I dunno, a woman’s heart is fickle.” HAHA.
She goes for Ha-ryong’s name tag anyway and then all four of them get caught in a tussle. In a chivalrous(?) gesture, Ha-ryong eliminates Ji-hyo and now it’s 2:1 against Jong-kook.
That advantage doesn’t last for long because we hear a rriiippp and off comes Jae-suk’s name tag. And Jong-kook heartily greets Ha-ryong, “Hyungnim!” Gulp.
We take a break and check in with the jailed. Either they’re bored or extremely tired by this point, breaking out into a hearty laugh to lift their spirits.
Soon, they’re joined by both Ha-ryong and Jong-kook, both of whose name tags are missing – what happened?
We flashback to see Ha-ryong and Jong-kook go head to head by the treasure chest. Jong-kook managed to tear off mat hyung’s name tag first but he hands over the prize: a 2 night 3 day vaycay in Busan.
Ha-ryong does a little happy dance.