Running Man: Episode 118
It’s time to settle the score between the Hunter vs. the Grasshopper in this conclusive finale. This man needs no introduction… because he’s already standing behind you, waiting for the opportune moment to pounce. You ready to go up against the Hunter? Let’s go.
EPISODE 118. Broadcast on November 4, 2012.
We start off this windy afternoon at the Han River as Jae-suk gives a curious look at the lone sign: “R – I want to become a Monday Couple too.” Ah, so are we using the pretense of a dating reality show (“Jjak”) before we’re formally introduced to the Hunter? Sure, let’s go with it.
Then Mr. PD says to Jae-suk, “You’re covering the sign.” Ha.
Spartakooks comes marching in without a jacket and in loafers which basically tells us that this man is never cold. Suk-jin tugs at his half-buttoned shirt and it snaps open, giving us a sneak peek of those pecs. Now I know what I want for Christmas.
Haha and Kwang-soo walk in together and the boys freak out for a split second before Gary ‘the Troublemaker’ rushes towards them, dispelling their doubts that he’s gone MIA. Phew.
The boys lean in to hear today’s mission: Jjak – the Running Man edition. The six of them will be Bachelors and today’s six Bachelorettes are on their way. That sounds like an empty promise, Mr. PD!
The Bachelors smile at the thought of all being paired off, particularly Jong-kook. Then Jae-suk reminds him, “You’ve got Geun-young!” Is she going to be the new joke? No more Yoon Eun-hye?
Their suspicion radar pings when only two vans pull up. Their first bachelorette is none other than Ji-hyo who’s looking mighty pretty today. They’re speechless for a moment and then fit in a round of compliments before teasing her about her love for the nightlife.
Mr. PD shifts gears to announce their second and last bachelorette which gets the boys all wound up: “You said there were six!” Didn’t you think that previous statement was too good to be true?
But they quickly change their minds when the second door opens to reveal actress and returning guest, Park Bo-young (Wolf Boy). Anyone else sad that Joong-ki isn’t here with her? I suppose he’s busy filming a drama like the nice guy he is.
They’re still a little hopeful, and Jae-suk asks, “Is there anyone else here with you?” Bo-young: “… It’s just me.”
Kwang-soo covers Bo-young with his jacket but the other five bachelors don’t let this chivalrous act go unnoticed. “Don’t try to act cool!” So they strip him – literally – and Kwang-soo comes out from behind the sign covered by his animal print scarf. As if you already didn’t look like a Giraffe enough, keke.
Anyway, back to the mission. Successfully being coupled in the missions will earn them a date coupon. Once their feelings are confirmed for one another (methinks we’ll never get there), the last couple standing will be declared the winner.
If they’re talking about couples, Jae-suk notes that the ex-Monday Couple already have an advantage. Gary: “Does this mean we’re already in first place?” Ji-hyo: “You don’t know if I’ll pick you or not!” Gary: “Don’t make me laugh. You’re feeling blue [in the fall]!”
Time for introductions. Bachelor 1, Jae-suk, explains that he’s been working in broadcasting for the past twenty years to which Bachelor 6, Kwangsoo, asks, “How old does that make you now?” Jae-suk: “I started when I was 10!”
I love that Ji-hyo’s sasy attitude has made a comeback as she interrupts Jae-suk, “We’ll see Bachelor 2 now!” It’s like, Let’s move it along, people!
Before Bachelor 3, Jong-kook, can say anything, Jae-suk declares, “He’s Moon Geun-young’s boyfriend! If you google him, both Eun-hye and Geun-young come up in the searches too!” HA.
Then there’s Bachelor 4, Gary, who calls himself a troublemaking playboy who “wants to cause trouble today!” With whom? Bachelorette 2: Ji-hyo.
Despite Bachelor 5’s “soon-to-be married” status, Haroro makes one last desperate push with his playboy antics: “Bachelorette 1 [Bo-young]! I love you!” and then mouths into the camera (to his fiancée, Byul): “I’m sorry! I only have you!”
Then Kwang-soo, Bachelor 6, is referred to as “Song Joong-ki’s friend.” Awww.
It’s apparent that the bachelors favor Bachelorette 1 during the ladies’ introductions. Ji-hyo remains unperturbed as the boys makes jabs at her and flippantly comments, “I won’t be picking [enter Bachelor Number here].”
Each of the cast are pulled aside for a private reflection check-in. Oh man, these are so hilarious. Jae-suk: “I think Bachelor 4 and Bachelorette 2 had a little ‘something-something’ goin’ on before.”
Bo-young’s initial impression on the bachelors crack me up. “Bachelor 1 is kind-hearted but he’s got a kid. Bachelor 3’s name is attached to those women. I heard Bachelor 5 is getting married soon. And Bachelor 6 is too tall!”
Cut to Bachelor 6: “[Bo-young]’s about 40% fallen for me but I’m keeping my options open with [Ji-hyo].”
It’s time for lunch and the group heads to the local convenience store owned by Maknae FD. The boys fret over what to buy whereas Ji-hyo shrugs her shoulders – there’s no need for her to buy food. She and Bachelor 1 bicker some more, making their disinterest towards the other loud and clear.
It’s Bachelor’s Choice for lunch and as the majority of the men rush towards Bo-young, Gary and Haha sit with Ji-hyo. And why am I not surprised that Jong-kook, the health addict, is like, “You need to eat healthy things too!” and takes out fruit juice.
Haha complains that Table Bachelorette 1 is too rowdy and Jae-suk stands up, his mouth stuffed with food: “If you wanted to eat somewhere quiet, go eat at home!”
Oh Haha, did you really think a half-eaten hotdog would win Bo-young’s heart? Her reply [via Kwang-soo]: “I wanna skewer you with this.” HA.
The group is ushered into a fancy camping car to head to their next mission location. They laugh in the car ride over, save for a moment when a coffee cup slides off of the table onto Suk-jin’s lap. Ouch.
Elsewhere, we get a glimpse of the Hunter…
At their first mission location, it’s a race to be the first to grab an umbrella and chivalrously cover their lady of choice with it. The ladies, however, have the option to refuse that suitor.
They set off, and surprisingly it’s Bachelor 5, Haha, who runs ahead of the pack, umbrella in hand. But before he can open it, Kwang-soo yells out a congratulatory reminder (or is it warning?) to Haha about his upcoming wedding.
Haha chooses ‘pocket girl’ Bo-young who throws it onto the ground. One man’s despair is another’s happiness and the other bachelors burst into cheers.
The bachelors push and shove each other and this time, it’s Bachelor 6, Kwang-soo, who beats the rest to the punch. He’s like, “Who’s the one who elbowed me?” Easy. Spartakooks.
He holds his umbrella out for Bo-young… and she accepts. Kwang-soo gapes while the others gripe in playful jealousy, “This isn’t entertaining! Are you trying to ruin this show?!”
Then they flock over to Ji-hyo with a pat of sympathy. At the start, they’re all, “We’re coming for you!” and the Ace just gestures, That’s right. Come to me. HAHA.
Jong-kook bashfully walks in between the two ladies… and then Kwang-soo shoots him this look as if saying, Don’t you dare. Oh but Kookie does dare, stepping towards Bo-young who chucks Kwang-soo’s umbrella aside.
While the cast bickers about how Bo-young’s name will be added to Jong-kook’s ever-growing ladyfriend search terms, the Hunter waits with bated breath among the reeds, eyeing his target.
At the opportune moment, he kidnaps one of the staff. Oh no – not Kwon-ryul VJ! So he was serious about the RM VJ hunting?
When we check back in with the cast, Gary establishes his rightful position, standing between Ji-hyo and any other guy who thinks otherwise. Ji-hyo’s “Jjak” sticker starts to come loose and Gary shouts:”Your other half is right here!”
Ji-hyo’s going to give Jae-suk a hard day as she throws his umbrella to the ground. Poor Jae-suk but yay ex-Monday Couple!
They all pile into the camping car and the rejected sit on the top bunker. Bo-young offers Jong-kook a sausage. When Ji-hyo reminds her that the health addict might not eat it, the peanut gallery chants, “Eat it! Eat it!”
… and all the while, they have no idea who’s driving them to their next location.
The couples are awarded a barbeque (YUM!) and Ji-hyo astutely asks, “Why are they feeding us? It makes me uneasy.” Bo-young feeds Jong-kook a lettuce wrap and Gary does the same for Ji-hyo. It’s just that hers is filled with garlic. Gary: “I put in 4!” Pfft.
Another mission is announced, meaning another date coupon. The ladies will wait in a random tent and coupled with the lucky bachelor who finds them.
The bachelors head out and Jae-suk immediately notices that it’s not his trusty Kwon-ryul behind the camera. When asked about his VJ’s whereabouts, the substitute answers that he doesn’t know.
The search continues but the boys find dud cards that instruct them to return to base camp. What’s stranger is that the ladies really are waiting in some unidentified tent. What’s going on here?
Just then, a shadowy figure lingers outside of the tents. Kwang-soo: “Bachelorette 1?” Gary: “If you’re a girl, answer me. If you’re a guy, go away!”
Haha’s figured enough is enough and decides to investigate. Bad idea! BAD IDEA! Sure enough, he nearly has a heart attack as the skull-masked figure swoops in, pinning him to the table.
Then the Hunter ever so slowly rips off his name tag and locks Haha away before running off into the darkness. Totally badass.
Meanwhile the boys fume with jealousy, thinking that Haha’s been paired off. Jong-kook sighs that he should be the one protecting Bo-young and Kwang-soo yells back, “She was just playing you!”
Ji-hyo returns to join them – something’s definitely gone awry. Suddenly, a message projects onto the screen before them, instructing them to pair off to find the mission card. Rather than being alarmed at this, the cast groans at the added note to link arms (Jae-suk and Jong-kook exchange looks.)
The ex-Monday Couple head out and Gary remarks that this setup is eerily reminiscent of most horror movies: The couples are formed, then scattered, and then… disappear. He goes, “Boo!” and Ji-hyo nearly bursts into tears.
They can’t find the mission card anywhere, so Gary wonders, “Then what do we do here? [Go on] a date?” Ji-hyo all but rolls her eyes but plays along, even averting his attention away long enough to playfully poke his cheek.
That’s how you became the Monday Couple in the first place!
Eep, I know that’s just a high bar but it gives off that creepy, unsettling feeling of an unused gallows. Every little thing puts Jae-suk and Jong-kook on edge, especially that standing wooden plank conveniently placed underneath the bar.
They’re both say to the other, “YOU knock it over.” Both men talk pretty big, “What’s this that I can’t knock it over *air kick*” “You do it! The mission card’s beneath there!”
So Jong-kook resorts to pushing Jae-suk into the wooden plank which falls over… and reveals nothing.
Elsewhere, the Easy Brothers rifle through boxes in a room when the lights flicker off and the skull-masked man approaches them slowly…
The other couples regroup and spot Kwang-soo in the distance. But this expressionless robot isn’t the same happy-go-lucky giraffe we know and love. He utters one message: “Gather at the playground.”
They follow his instructions despite their suspicion that he may just be relaying instructions from someone else. Kwangvatar continues to bark orders via the little voice in his ear.
As soon as Kwangvatar says, “Grasshopper,” Jae-suk’s face falls. Min-soo hyung is here?! He starts to sweat.
Kwangvatar then calls Jong-kook to approach and then slaps him. Uh, that’s more like something YOU would do.
And as if Min-soo read my mind, he instructs, “I wasn’t the one who called that order. Kwang-soo did that of his own accord. Relay that word for word.” Kwangvatar stammers and Jong-kook gives him a little taste of his own medicine.
The cast becomes more convinced that it’s Min-soo on the other end of that line the more Kwangvatar keeps talking. Jong-kook tries to talk his way out of it and Kwangvatar barks, “Kim Jong-kook! That mouth!”
Another avatar glitch moment and this time, Kwangvatar chooses not to relay the correction. Instead saying, “It’s your mouth that’s the issue.”
Kwangvatar relays that they’ll play a game of “Red Light/Green Light” and to the winner, Min-soo promises that he’ll give them a kiss. Kwangvatar: “What?” HA.
They start their game and elsewhere, the Hunter affixes his mask and pops the hood over his head. Time to make his grand entrance…
Min-soo reaches the playground at a ‘red light’ moment and Kwang-soo gulps. The cast is immobilized and unable to see behind them, they ask frantically, “What is it? What?”
Min-soo strides towards them, and then wraps his arms around Ji-hyo and Jae-suk. Jae-suk screams.
There aren’t enough words to fully describe the chills that run down my spine as Min-soo ever so calmly instructs his avatar to continue the game. Gary’s the only one left standing and Min-soo rips his name tag about two-thirds of the way off before he lets go.
Jae-suk asks where Min-soo acquired the skull-mask and he answers, “Do you want to see my face?” Is there a Door Number 3? He unmasks himself and the game continues.
But then at the very last second, the cast makes a run for it. Min-soo isn’t at all and calls out in a ringing voice, “Jong-kook, stop right there!”
He instructs Jong-kook to raise his fists – they’ll do this man-to-man. The dark cloak doesn’t seem to slow down Min-soo down in the slightest. He throws lightning fast punches as Jong-kook defends himself.
And then somehow, Min-soo whips around and grabs Jong-kook’s name tag. He gives a hair raising smile before he tears it off.
The terrified members run away and see skull-masked Kwangvatar in the distance who wonders, “What will become of me now?”
We flash back to that frightful moment when Easy Brothers were left speechless by Min-soo’s arrival. He simply told them, “You two fight.” And so they did.
Kwang-soo tore Suk-jin’s name tag off with his teeth and became Min-soo’s avatar.
But then we roll the clocks back even further and see that Min-soo had planned out every teeny detail of this wild goose chase from the camping grounds to his sneaky entrances. Keh, I love that he flashes a quick smile for the cameras.
In jail, Min-soo dryly explains that he’s set up a way the Running Man cast can win. All they have to do is collect the pieces of the Hunter’s name tag and attach it to his back.
At the same time, Ji-hyo comes to this very same conclusion: Min-soo didn’t have a name tag on him. They start their search for it, though they have no idea the pieces are scattered.
The jailed think of ways to relay this secret to the others which include paper planes and a paper cup telephone. HAHAHA. Suk-jin’s totally convinced and puts a cup to Haha’s ear, “See if you can hear anything. Can you hear me?” Haha: “I totally hear you.” Snerk.
Haha’s paper airplane takes a nosedive on its maiden journey right outside the window. A VJ retrieves it for him but before he can throw it again, Min-soo rounds the corner. Uh oh.
Min-soo tells him to read it aloud and Haha lies, singing praises about the Hunter. So Min-soo orders him to hand it over and Haha tears it into pieces, stuffing it into his mouth. HA.
Min-soo’s voice booms from the speakers and he instructs the remaining four members to search for boxes lest they be hunted down. Gary clings to a pole, “It’s better off that I get eliminated early!”
A hunter plays with his prey before he chomps down and he chases Gary around until they reach the jail. Gary pleads for his life and Min-soo’s got bigger fish to fry. He lets Gary know but the reason is, “Because I can always catch you again.” *chills*
A hunter also knows where his prey is hiding and he literally pounces on Kwang-soo who begs as well. And though Kwangvatar was a poor avatar, Min-soo drags him alive for now…
Jae-suk and Gary both find pieces of Min-soo’s name tag. Meanwhile, we’re brought back to that creepy high bar. Min-soo jots down a note, ‘If you save Kwang-soo, I’ll bite you.’
And he leaves Kwang-soo humming and hanging by his arms.
The other boys successfully find the boxes and head back to the projector as instructed. However, Ji-hyo is still deep in the woods trying to find hers. She opens it as soon as she does but then something grabs her by the knees: the Hunter.
Her screams of terror can be heard from basecamp and Jae-suk jumps in his seat.
Gary discovers Kwang-soo just as the wooden box beneath him tips over. He puts it back but when he reads Min-soo’s message, he tips it over again. Aww.
Jae-suk’s heard Kwang-soo’s yelling as well and by the time he runs over, Kwang-soo’s barely holding onto the bar by his fingers, his name tag slowly tearing away from his back.
But he can’t hold on any longer and Kwang-soo lets go and collapses to the ground while the name tag hangs in the air. And though Kwang-soo is in a ball crying, Jae-suk marvels at the hanging string, “This is what it’s for?”
They exchange a dramatic and tearful goodbye. Jae-suk: “Kwang-soo you tear off my name tag!” Kwang-soo: “Hyung, you’re the only one who can win this!”
Jae-suk deduces that he’s playing cat-and-mouse with Min-soo and that he’s last on the Hunter’s Kill List. Gary thinks along those same lines and hands Jae-suk the piece of Min-soo’s name tag he found earlier.
The projector flickers on and Min-soo’s looming voice narrates, “Do you know what the heaviest thing in this world is? It’s air.”
Why? “The very last breath you breathe before you die. You guys might resent me. It’s okay if you do. But don’t make it obvious. Because I’ll bury you.” The boys shift uncomfortably in their seats.
There’s more. The pieces of Min-soo’s name tag are where their fellow members were eliminated.
He turns to Jae-suk – he still can’t forget that day when Jae-suk attached his name tag to his back. Jae-suk: “That was two years ago!” Min-soo gives another menacing smile…
…and then pops out the screen, scaring the living daylights out of Jae-suk, Gary, and myself. He pins them to the ground as Jae-suk asks why he had to come out of the screen like that. Min-soo deadpans, “It’s not my first time.” Hee. Why so scary and funny?
Min-soo makes them engage in a rock-paper-scissors match and sends Jae-suk off when he wins. Then when Jae-suk actually gets up to leave, Min-soo’s like, “You’re actually going to leave? And leave [Gary]?” Omg stop with the mind games!
Jae-suk: “Gary… See you next week!” HAHAHA.
Min-soo throws Jae-suk a thumbs-up. “You’re this.” and then rotates it 180 degrees: a thumbs down. “And you’ll be this.” Jae-suk just twists Min-soo’s hand up again which gets him to genuinely laugh.
As Jae-suk runs away, he vows that he’ll eliminate Min-soo. Yeah, in what universe? It looks like luck might be on his side as he retraces his steps and finds the rest of the pieces.
The name tag now reassembled, Jae-suk walks around the camping grounds cautiously. Suddenly, Min-soo leaps out and chases him around the tents. Jae-suk drops the name tag and Min-soo steps on it.
He tells Jae-suk to retrieve it and starts rearranging his cloak. Now the velcro is in front of Jae-suk’s eyes and he goes to stick it on… and Min-soo blocks his hand instinctively. Woah.
Min-soo sits Jae-suk down and turns around, giving him another opportunity. So Jae-suk throw it and it flies into the air… and Min-soo whips around at the last second. Daebak.
Min-soo whispers that they’ll continue this battle in the forest and the Hunter retreats. He calls out Jae-suk’s name in a reverberating voice that echoes across the camping grounds.
Jae-suk trudges up into the woods and spots a mysterious dark figure in the distance. The Hunter has his back turned and Jae-suk quietly walks towards him. The name tag is now inches from his back. Just a little more…
Jae-suk stops short and realizes that it isn’t Min-soo after all. Kwon-ryul, is that you?! But then that means…
…and the real Hunter sneaks up behind Jae-suk and grabs him into a hold. He cleanly rips off Jae-suk’s name tag and Jae-suk stammers, “Hyung, do you always have to eliminate people like this?”
Min-soo asks in return, pointing to the masked man, “Aren’t you curious to see who that is?”
Aww poor Kwon-ryul gets ripped a new one for helping Min-soo instead of Jae-suk and Kwon-ryul squeaks that he was captured.
Min-soo ties Jae-suk to a tree and shoots him another thumbs up before he turns it into a thumbs down. The Hunter disappears into the woods and Jae-suk easily slips out of the rope.
Will this be the last we see of the Hunter?