Running Man: Episode 123
This episode is permtastic. Who knew that making kimchi would be this much work? Our Running Man cast run around like farmhands, gathering ingredients to concoct that perfect batch of kimchi. But in order to look the part, they’ll need to pull on some comfy ajumma clothes, don that classic hairstyle, and be willing to get their hands dirty with… cabbage.
EPISODE 123. Broadcast on December 9, 2012.
We open at Jungeup where all of our members await outside in the chilly cold. They look with curiosity at their own bus stop and all gape when they’re told they’re waiting for the “Running Bus.”
But we’re interested in who they’re waiting for. Meet today’s guests: actor Go Soo (Bandage, Will It Snow on Christmas?) and actress Han Hyo-joo (Bandage, Dong Yi).
Man, Running Man is impressive if they can get two stars you hardly see on variety. Their first mission is simple: Pick up two Running Man cast members on your team.
They pick two random numbers (and Hyo-joo pulls out the paper too quickly, heh) and they’re off to meet their teammates. It looks like Hyo-joo is happy with her choice as they pull up to the first stop and she covers Jae-suk’s eyes with her hands.
Jae-suk starts rattling off endless compliments about “Hyo-joo nim” on the bus. Their next stop is at ‘3’ and Mr. PD offers that they see who they’ll be passing by. Jae-suk: “That’s too bad for them. There’s no need to see!” Cut to: Kwang-soo.
Ha, and then Jae-suk steps outside and sneaks up to Kwang-soo who thinks that the guest is here to pick him up. That initial surprise turns into shock when Jae-suk gets back on the bus without another word.
Jae-suk teases that he’s on the same team as Hyo-joo and Kwang-soo calls out, “I’m totally friends with her!” (They filmed Dong Yi together.)
Haha is in utter shock when he sees Go Soo. He then hilariously stares at him like the living doll he is and exclaims, “He’s alive!” Then Jae-suk and Haha bicker back and forth how they’re mere mortals compared to the living statues sitting beside them.
Poor Ji-hyo gets passed over (and so does Suk-jin) and Go Soo steps outside to complete his team with Spartakooks. Now Gary is left and when he turns around, he pretty much dies of blissful joy.
Everyone exchanges greetings when they see each other and Jae-suk keeps the other guys at bay. Suk-jin comments that Gary looks like a laborer compared to Hyo-joo and Ji-hyo adds, “Why do you [Gary] look so ugly today?”
But Gary isn’t deterred in the least and retorts: “I’m going to logout of you starting now!” Ha – totally over your feelings now?
Mr. PD introduces today’s mission as a Kimchi Race. They’ll win necessary tools throughout the day and the team who makes the most delicious kimchi will be declared the winner. Yum, I’m getting hungry already.
If you’re going to become a kimchi ajumma for a day, you definitely need the ajumma pants. Go Soo struts around in his new threads and they wonder where Ji-hyo’s gone.
Suk-jin wonders if they should give her a talking-to but then Ji-hyo shoots laser beams from her eyes. Maybe you should rethink that.
For their first game, they’ll need to spin 10 times (7 for the ladies) and jump the bales of hay and grab a radish. Jae-suk complains that they’ve got two members who appeared on Dream Team (an obstacle course variety show) and even notes that Go Soo is tying up his shoelaces to prepare himself.
The Yellow (Ji-hyo) and Purple (Hyo-joo) teams face off first and Coach Kookie makes sure everyone follows the rules to the letter. When Go Soo makes a comment for Kwang-soo step back, the Giraffe exclaims, “He’s a good looking Kim Jong-kook!”
Ten spins later and they’re off… towards the wrong bale. HA. They’re so dizzy that they just fall into the hay and Jae-suk tumbles around, sending the bales down like domino.
But no one said that they can’t play dirty as Kwang-soo kicks a bale and Jae-suk does the same. They’re never going to get to the radishes at this point.
So spin and jump and tumble they go. Just trying to walk straight is enough of a challenge let alone jumping bales of hay. Thanks to her tall height, Hyo-joo fluidly jumps with ease and ends up winning the round.
I love it how the stickler about the rules is now reminded by Mr. PD to stick to the rules. “Jong-kook, make sure to touch your nose!” Well, that is if he can reach his nose given those ginormous arms of his. Bales of hay are nothing for Spartakooks who clears them easily.
Go Soo needs a minute to gather his surroundings and Jae-suk… runs right into the camera. HAHA. They distract each other and pushing off each other’s bales but soon it’s down to Haha and Hyo-joo.
They’re neck and neck by the time they reach the radishes… and then Haha pushes Hyo-joo away and then he softly sends her to the ground. The other members gasp and laugh as Hyo-joo tries to deliver a taste of his own medicine but Haha manages to return to the finish line first.
As Hyo-joo fumes in disbelief, the other boys kick and punch Haha for treating their guest and a woman that way. Hyo-joo chucks the radish in his direction and the Purple Team wage war against Haroro.
When Mr. PD congratulates the Blue team on their “beautiful” victory, Hyo-joo finally bursts, “Beautiful!”
Each team earns something to cut their ingredients with and hey, is that a machine that juliennes the veggies for you? Woah.
In the car, Go Soo (or Go-vid as they call him here. Like the Statue of David?) mentions that he can’t recall the last time he’s been on a variety show. This show looked like it would be so much fun and he was too anxious to sleep the previous night.
Haha belatedly feels guilty for how he treated Hyo-joo which is exactly what the Purple Team is talking about. She actually appreciated how Haha didn’t treat her like a delicate damsel actress. They ask if Hyo-joo’s ever made kimchi before and she comments that it’s her first time.
Their second mission location is a marketplace and they marvel at a skatefish. Haha: “I found Gary!” HA. But they won’t be shopping just yet as they’re first led to a hair salon. With a kimchi recipe on the line, one of the team members will get a lovely perm whilst their teammates completes the mission.
Hyo-joo volunteers herself, to everyone’s surprise. Jae-suk clarifies that she mentioned that she doesn’t want to be treated delicately. Haha and Kwang-soo sit down to join her.
There’s no time to lose either – they’ve got 3 minutes to complete the mission or need to start over. Which means the longer they take, the greater the perm.
It’s pure chaos as all the teams run around trying to complete their missions before their teammate gets a full on ajumma perm. The Purple Team rushes in first but they return well outside the time limit.
Aww, Kwang-soo actually looks super cute with his tight curls and he jokingly yells into the camera not to film him. While the teams run back outside for Round 2, the three cast members chat it up like ajummas in a hair salon.
Looks like the ajumma mentioned that they shouldn’t burn Haha’s hair given his upcoming wedding (This episode was filmed prior to the event.) and he shouts, “Of course not!”
It’s both good and bad news for the Purple Team: They completed their mission but now Hyo-joo’s left with a half-done perm.
Meanwhile Haha and Kwang-soo are getting full on perms and they wonder where their teammates are. (Hint: Go Soo and Jong-kook are eating.) Kwang-soo’s hair is rather short to curl and he jumps a foot every time the curling iron accidentally touches his scalp.
Haha scolds his teammates, pointing to his perm. He demands to know what they ate and when Jong-kook hesitates, he screams, “I can smell the jjajjangmyun on your breath!” HAHAHA.
They up their game the next round, and Kwang-soo starts breaking down sending his perm twin off first. Haha cries, “Grandpa!” as they shed a tearful goodbye. And aww, Kwang-soo’s nice enough to take a picture with his hairstylist o’ the day, perm and all.
It’s sweet that the members try to make light of the perms. In the car, Ji-hyo teases that it makes Kwang-soo look like Gu Joon-pyo from Boys Over Flowers and snickers in the back as Kwang-soo rearranges his hair to resemble the iconic character.
As Kwang-soo embraces his new persona, Gu Kwang-pyo, he waves out the window like it’s almost paradise.
Here at their third mission location, the first team who acquires 10 cabbages for their team wins. It’s like a Cabbage Wonderland and soon, the Purple Team has already found three.
The teams race through the village to hunt down the cabbages. Well everyone except Go Soo who strolls through, carefully combing through the houses and asking the staff questions. Uh, you know you’re on Running Man, right? Less talkin’, more runnin’!
The Easy Brothers start chasing after Hyo-joo who has a cabbage each in her arms. They steal it from her but then those get stolen by the Blue Team. Go Soo makes off with two of the Purple Team’s cabbages.
Jae-suk messes up Kwang-soo’s perm calling him “Michael Jackson” from the children’s show ‘Dooly’. Kwang-soo: “They called me Gu Kwang-pyo!” Caption: Wake up…
The Yellow Team hover around the Purple Team’s cart like a pack of hyenas and when all is said and done, the Purple Team is left with four cabbages out of their original ten.
Both teams hide their stash in their houses and Go Soo swings by the Yellow Team’s house as Ji-hyo stands watch. He first throws out the excuse that he’s cold and then assures her that he’s not the type to steal. But… you just stole from Gary five minutes ago.
But as he bickers with Ji-hyo, his cabbage suddenly pops out of his arm. He’s lightning quick to recover it and then he saunters out of there with a relaxed gait.
Jong-kook manages to sneak into the Purple Team’s home and swipe two more cabbages so Hyo-joo resolves that they need to hide their remaining stash elsewhere. But at that very moment, Kwang-soo appears.
Reasoning with him doesn’t work and soon, two out of her three cabbages are stolen from her.
The Blue Team now only needs one more to win it, so the other teams resolve to join forces against them. They try to push through the door to no avail and Hyo-joo gets pulled away in the chaos.
Go Soo stands in front of the door as Hyo-joo tries to butter him up, “We were getting along so well for a few months…” and he pretends not to hear her.
Meanwhile, there’s another fight brewing as Haha attempts to steal from Jae-suk who locks him inside. Kwang-soo manages to toss a few cabbages to Suk-jin the tussle but soon, Jae-suk has them both pinned to the ground.
Go Soo rushes in and successfully catches a cabbage from Haha. All he needs to do now is get back to Jong-kook… but he gets pulled away, mere inches from the door.
Ha – I love that Jong-kook locks himself inside and just shouts instructions, “Keep holding onto it!” Go Soo: “Got it hyung!” By the end of the struggle, he’s left with an outer leaf (which makes it void) and he collapses, out of breath.
Man, I feel bad for the Purple Team – they’ve been getting their stash stolen all afternoon by everyone else. The Yellow Team manage to get all 10 first and an exhausted Hyo-joo looks into the sky and asks in a dreamy tone, “Is it snowing?”
A worried Gary: “Are you seeing things now?!”
It time to make some kimchi at their final mission location and some of the members comment that the setting is eerily similar to a little show called Family Outing. And perhaps like old times, oldie Family Outing member Jong-kook barks at Jae-suk to go find them some dinner.
The Yellow Team earns both diced garlic and shucked oysters while the Purple Team is left with unpeeled garlic and shelled oysters. Gary: “I’m NOT going to do make kimchi!” HA. (It’s a wordplay off of “un-” and “not.”)
But Jae-suk adds that they should be grateful – they had to EARN their oysters and garlic separately in their Family Outing days.
It appears the Yellow Team has the biggest disadvantage without a recipe to fall back on. (Though, it should be noted that there are numerous ways to make all different kinds of kimchi. Also, different families tend to tweak the basic recipe to make it their own.)
Ji-hyo’s confident in her kimchi-making skills, though I’m getting flashbacks of an earlier episode and a cooking challenge. With just an hour to complete it, everyone gets to work.
The Blue Team call up a food stylist (and actress Choi Jung-won’s younger sister) and I’m immediately amused how her voice goes from super professional to sing-songy sweet once she’s told that Go Soo is on the line with them. HAHA.
Hyo-joo sweetly asks Go Soo just for a few unpeeled cloves but he ignores her again, completely focused on his mashed garlic. Then there’s poor Gary who’s stuck shucking oysters, trying his best to tamp down his frustration, “I’m going to ruin my image by shucking these!”
The Yellow Team run into an issue with their radish, seeing as one knife won’t get them very far. So Suk-jin sneaks the julienne slicer from the Purple Team and quickly gets to work. Too bad for them they’re caught red-handed by Jae-suk within a few minutes.
After a failed trade of the slicer for some shucked oysters, Jae-suk catches Kwang-soo try to snatch it anyway. He waves Kwang-soo away, who cries, “Am I like a dog? I’m here to film too! I’m a celebrity too!” Jae-suk jokes: “You’re kidding me… I’ve never seen you on TV!”
Jae-suk shows them how to use the tool properly and then the Blue Team calls for everyone’s attention: they’ll be busting out their huge slicing machine. And within a minute, they’re already done. Haha shows off their perfectly sliced radishes and the others marvel in amazement.
Haha offers to cut the Purple Team’s radishes for them and Hyo-joo matter-of-factly replies, “No thanks.” Ahaha.
Kwang-soo sits in a corner and after a few snips, he present his heart-shaped leaf to Hyo-joo… who eats it. Kwang-soo looks at the bitten leaf, aghast, and Hyo’s like, What, you didn’t want me to eat it? But it’s food!
The Yellow Team keeps a close eye on the Purple Team as they start putting their ingredients together. I love it how they’re all, No, we’re not cheating! We’re just… remembering as we go! Mhmm, okay.
The Purple Team’s kimchi looks like it’s coming together whereas the Blue Team’s looks… red. LOL. Haha taste-tests a long piece (thanks to Go Soo’s coarsely chopped greens) and comments that something’s lacking.
So when Kwang-soo catches them trying to open a bottle of soda, Go Soo quickly makes the excuse that he’s thirsty. The others gripe at this, so he hands it over to the staff. But it winds up in Kwang-soo’s hands and he pours some into their batch before Blue Team swipes it back to put in theirs as well. Hahaha.
After everyone makes their kimchi, Hyo-joo offers a piece to Suk-jin who admits that theirs is delicious. He returns the favor but this time, Hyo-joo gives an honest answer, “It’s salty!” Suk-jin: “But Ji-hyo said it was good two minutes ago!”
Looks like Haha’s stickin’ with the petty today as he offers a taste to Hyo-joo but at the last minute he sticks it in his mouth. Her astounded expression is priceless and you can tell she’s trying to curb her temper before she bursts again, “Beautiful!”
Mr. PD tells everyone a job well done and says that they’ll be doing a blind taste test to determine the winner. The judges? The cast members themselves.
Haha’s up first and he sits down in front of the three tables. HA – I love that he has this quizzical expression for a few seconds before digging in, trying to stuff as much pork and rice into his mouth as possible. Heehee – I’d forgotten they haven’t eaten dinner yet.
Then to another one, he criticizes, “This one’s salty…” Caption: That’s yours… The funniest part to all of this is that though it’s a kimchi blind taste test, all Haha can exclaim is how delicious the pork is. HAHAHA.
Both Jae-suk and Hyo-joo comment that Number 1 (Yellow) is way too salty. Then the female staff members are all aflutter when Go Soo comes into taste test (I mean, not that I blame them.)
Jong-kook promises to wrap it up quickly. With his sensitive palate, he’ll definitely know which is which. Once he’s inside and tries all of them, he admits, “I can’t tell…” I think what’s funnier is that he points to Number 1 and is all, “I’m pretty sure this one’s ours…”
Gary vehemently proclaims that Number 3 (It’s his) is really awful. Then Kwang-soo unknowingly says the same thing for his team.
Time to announce the votes. As they count, the team jokingly comment about which number they couldn’t bring themselves to eat.
The Blue Team are up by three votes to two for the Purple Team. But then the Yellow Team gets two more votes, keeping them in the running.
Soon they’re tied with the Blue Team with one last vote remaining. And it’s the Yellow Team who win it with 4 votes. Spartakooks gripes at Haha (it’s in his handwriting) and Haha retorts, “Well, Hyo-joo lost!”
The Yellow Team marvel over their prize set and the other members immediately exclaim they should hand it over to the guests. Kwang-soo: “Then what was the point of making kimchi today?!” Touché.
Suk-jin makes sure that his entire team takes their share. He tells Go Soo, “Go buy some yourself!” and then swipes the Hanwoo beef from Hyo-joo’s arms.
Poor Hyo-joo hangs her head and to finish the most tiring day of her life thus far, she bellows, “Beautiful!”