Running Man: Episode 131
This week, our cast go against each other to fight for the coveted throne of the King of Ddakji. But there’s some tough competition to beat and I’m not just talking about Spartakooks. Who knew that watching people flip a piece of paper over can be so riveting and engaging to watch? Will the Ultimate ddakji champion be able to keep his throne or will someone else come to take his place?
EPISODE 131. Broadcast on February 3, 2013.
It’s still pitch dark when everyone gathers at the university library. Still yawning, Jae-suk immediately complains: “‘Good morning?’ It’s 4AM! It’s barely daybreak!”
Their suspicion radar pings as Mr. PD leads them inside, one by one. Nametag ripping at this ungodly hour? Bingo.
Wanted posters line the wall and Suk-jin notices that the combined reward for the Betrayal Trio doesn’t even amount to Ji-hyo’s capture. Kwang-soo looks at his own poster: “300 Won?” Aw, that’s like 30 cents.
Gary tells us about his dream about being chased by ghosts (which sounds more like a nightmare) and then the speakers announce today’s guest: actress Lee Shi-young (Wild Romance, Poseidon). Collective looks of initial shock and then the cast sighs in defeat because Shi-young is a champion amateur boxer.
Jong-kook is the only one who isn’t all that scared (“It’s nametag rippin’, not boxing.”) but that smile fades when they hear there’s one more guest: mixed martial artist Chu Sung-hoon. Don’t let that charming smile fool you – this man is a beast.
Everyone looks like the Devil came lookin’ for them today and Kwang-soo’s like, It’s not really him, right? When the PD tells him it is, Kwang-soo answers: “…”
Sung-hoon cuts off his sleeves as if they were some kind of nuisance and elsewhere Gary’s like, “I’ll be going home now.”
Thus begins the Rewards Hunting Race where only one person will come out as the victor. Sung-hoon seems pleased to have the highest reward (900 Won) and then crumples Jong-kook’s wanted poster. He’s going to bring his A-game and asks how fast his VJ can run. Gulp.
I love how everyone’s first thought is to hide from the guests (or should we call them fighters?). Shi-young’s name alone is enough to raise the hair on the back of their necks but then they hear a soft voice call out: “Hello?” Time to run.
Sung-hoon is crazy fast once he catches sight of Haha and chases him down in no time. It’s sorta hilarious how Haha is like, “Nice to meet you!” but Sung-hoon ignores him, flips him over, and rips off his nametag all in a span of 10 seconds.
You could easily mistaken Shi-young for another dainty actress if you just heard her gentle voice. But Gary knows better and is rightly cautious in her presence. She offers an alliance and he agrees because, “I am a guy after all.” Sure, but who’s actually going to be the one who needs a bodyguard?
And right around the corner is Sung-hoon, who immediately gives chase while cheerily shouting, “Hi! Nice to meet you!” They’re cornered in a stairwell and Gary tells Shi-young to make a run for it. So she pulls Gary towards her… and tears off his nametag. Like I said, who’s the one who needs protecting?
Gary and Haha exchange formal greetings with Sung-hoon on their way to jail and Haha points out the man’s ripped sleeves. Sung-hoon answers casually, “They were too small.” Sung-hoon has a definitive target today: Jong-kook, who’s currently hiding behind a bookshelf.
Elsewhere, Sung-hoon spots Jae-suk and chases him down a few flight of stairs. He lets Jae-suk off this once (and the latter’s knees crumple beneath him).
When Jae-suk recounts this moment of leniency to Ji-hyo later, he’s like, “He didn’t let me go because he felt sorry for me. It’s because he knew I was a formidable opponent!” HA – like we’re going to believe that.
Jae-suk’s bloodhound nose picks up Sung-hoon’s scent nearby and he approaches cautiously before bolting towards the opposite direction. And sure enough, we see Sung-hoon a few hundred feet away, searching the halls.
Kwang-soo joins them (and Jae-suk regales him with the same “Sung-hoon was scared of me” tale) but then the trio notice Shi-young and bolt up the stairs… where Sung-hoon is waiting for them. Um well, crap.
Both Ji-hyo and Jae-suk manage to slip away and as for Kwang-soo, he pleads with Sung-hoon to let him go free. Sung-hoon counters that he’s gone easy on a lot of people today. Kwang-soo tries to persuade him some more and Sung-hoon sighs: “You sure talk a lot.”
But the next moment, we hear a rrripp and Kwang-soo whirls around to see Shi-young with his nametag in her hand.
Neither Jae-suk nor Ji-hyo are surprised to hear of Kwang-soo’s elimination but there’s no time to dwell on it because Sung-hoon peers down above them. Though Jae-suk loses Sung-hoon, he picks up another tail: Shi-young. She’s so focused on the game that the first question she asks Jae-suk is: “How much are you worth?” Pfft.
One by one, the rest of the other members go down and soon, it’s just Shi-young (with 1,200 Won), Sung-hoon (1,000 Won) and Jong-kook.
Now Jong-kook emerges from his hiding place and comes face to face with Sung-hoon, who flexes his muscles for the upcoming battle. Sung-hoon’s like, I’ve heard rumors about you! and when asked where he’s heard them, he answers: “Naver (aka the internet)!” HA.
Shi-young appears from the doorway and Jong-kook now finds himself sandwiched between the two guests. Sung-hoon manages to grab ahold of the Tiger’s nametag for a second before Jong-kook wiggles himself free.
Sung-hoon shifts over to Jong-kook and then in a surprise twist, he edges to Shi-young and eliminates her. And then Shi-young reattaches her nametag, refusing to admit defeat since it means handing over her hard-earned money to Sung-hoon.
Sung-hoon smiles like an excited little boy when he learns Shi-young’s reward is 700 Won. Then he turns to Jong-kook: “You’re worth 800 Won, right?”
Now this is the fight we were waiting for: brawn vs. brawn. Both contenders wear broad smiles as they try to overpower the other. It’s pretty funny because they both compliment each other (“You’ve been working out!”) before another quick attack.
Then, either Sung-hoon’s getting tired or annoyed, because he finally bursts, “Just hand over the 800 Won!” HAHAHA.
Both of them have lightning fast reflexes and really, words can only say so much. You have to see this epic battle to believe it. They’re both focused and ha, I wonder if Sung-hoon momentarily forgot himself because he almost jerks his knee to hit Jong-kook where the sun don’t shine.
Sung-hoon grabs onto Spartakooks‘s sleeve and pulls the man towards him. In a flash, he tears off the nametag and beams with pride. He wins 2,500 Won in total.
Mr. PD introduces today’s race as King of Ddakji, as a continuation of the Ultimate Ddakji competition a few months ago. The rules are simple: earn money to buy ddakjis and whoever wins at the final battle is the winner.
The cast members look at Sung-hoon and ask if he knows what a ddakji is. He doesn’t but totally understandable if you spent your childhood in Japan (His Japanese name is Yoshihiro Akiyama.).
Sung-hoon chooses Haha and Jae-suk as his teammates and the PD stop for a moment to ask, “Did you [Jae-suk] just call Sung-hoon ‘hyung’?” Jae-suk vehemently denies it at first (because he’s actually older than Sung-hoon) and then brushes the moment under the rug. “It doesn’t matter what I call him!”
Thus our teams are: Blue (Jae-suk, Haha, & Sung-hoon), Red (Jong-kook, Shi-young, & Suk-jin) and Green (Gary, Ji-hyo, & Kwang-soo).
Jae-suk and Suk-jin tease Shi-young about her amateur boxing status, pretending to throw a few jabs in the air. She nearly buries her head in embarrassment.
It’s a seat cushion quiz game where they’ll have to roll towards the table and place their seat cushion to answer the question. Jae-suk warns, “If you’re not careful, Shi-young will hit you!” Shi-young says that she’ll do no such thing. Caption: …Really?
Then she hits them anyway while rolling towards the table. The guests are quick but the problem is that they don’t know the answers. So then what’s the point of trying to beat everyone else?
Gah, and then Kwang-soo has the gall to give Sung-hoon the wrong answer before they start. Hey, you walked into the lion’s den all on your own buddy.
Haha is the first one to get the answer right and Shi-young complains about his pronounciation. Potayto, potahto. Then when Jae-suk and Kwang-soo gripe that they’ve been hit numerous times, she looks up at them with doe-like eyes. Jong-kook comes to her defense and that’s the end of it.
Mr. PD acknowledges that her actions aren’t out of bounds and then Shi-young turns to Jae-suk: “You can hit me too!” Um, I know you mean well but I don’t think they’re gonna be able to do that to a guest, let alone a girl.
After a few more false starts (and everyone still get the answers wrong, heh) Ji-hyo whizzes forward and gets it right. What the – now you’re asking them to spell out their answers? So Gary does… and it’s hilarious.
Oh dear, Shi-young. I know you’re speedy but getting the right answer is part of the game too. Gary gets another answer right (and spells it out for us again, ha) and soon, only four members remain.
Man, this last question is a toughie (“Which hand is placed on top when you give your New Year’s Day greetings if you’re a daughter?”). Formal bows are confusing enough but there’s a particular order and answers come out flying. “Right hand comes second!” “Right arm comes fourth!”
Jong-kook and Suk-jin try to convince Shi-young that her guess is wrong (and Shi-young’s like, We’re on the same team!) but it turns out she’s right and she glares at them as if saying, See?!
Poor Kwang-soo is left to fight off two of the Blue Team members who adopt this new strategy of wrestling the Giraffe to the ground. Sung-hoon gives a thwack on Kwang-soo’s forehead and he reels in pain. Ouch.
Kwang-soo must have some sort of deathwish today and he manages to capture Sung-hoon in an armbar wrestling move. But then Sung-hoon easily flips around and gains the upper hand.
Kwang-soo keeps trying and then Sung-hoon gives him a wedgie with his foot. It’s so childish and yet I’m dying.
Sung-hoon is huffing and puffing by the time he gets to the table. He gets the answer right and when Mr. PD asks him to be more specific, Kwang-soo’s like, “Can’t we put an end to this?” End the suffering, good man!
Kwang-soo, did you just smack the man? Sung-hoon’s eyes flare and drags Kwang-soo towards him. Then Kwang-soo somehow manages to scramble to the table and places the seat cushion first… only to find out that the one in his hand was Sung-hoon’s. His face is one of genuine heartbreak.
Sung-hoon reminds me of those guys who forget how strong they are. The next time around, he accidentally throws the plastic seat too and it breaks. I’m pretty sure it’s like the fourth seat he’s broken today.
Kwang-soo actually gets the answer right and then jokingly gives Sung-hoon a thumbs down. Dude, you are ASKING for it. The teams receive their rewards and Jae-suk jokes that the 1000 Won for the Green Team isn’t enough to pay to treat Kwang-soo’s wounds.
In the car, Jae-suk jokes that he’s got over 30,000 ways to tease someone and that his wish is to use up Kwang-soo’s quota in his lifetime. HA.
The conversation turns serious when he asks Sung-hoon about his upcoming Ultimate Fighter competition in the summer. Those fights are intense because it’s like an Anything Goes, as long as someone doesn’t die situation.
Sung-hoon admits that he feels the pain as soon as the match is over. He also mentions that the nervousness he feels right before the match is like “no other in this world.”
The teams arrive at the Muddy Beach of Doom and Jong-kook wonders if it’s a wrestling match. Bingo. Jong-kook gives Suk-jin some tips and when Shi-young tells them to stop, I wonder if she means that they’ll get hurt. But she clarifies that the other teams are watching.
The PDs on this show crack me up ’cause they’re all excited about being in the mud and the cast is like, Y…ay? First up is the Ace vs. Champion Boxer and Jae-suk’s introduction of the two is: “Shi-young runs 8 km a week, and Ji-hyo eats 8kg a week!”
The ladies’ battle is pretty intense but Shi-young wins that round. Shi-young topples Kwang-soo over but the poor guy gets kneed in the groin on his way down. Ouuuch.
The Red Team advance to face the Blue Team thanks to Suk-jin’s win and the PDs allows Shi-young to choose between the ‘winning’ and ‘losing’ rule (The losing rule means that the one who loses [i.e. hits the ground first] is in fact, the winner.)
To everyone’s surprise, she chooses the former and Haha steps out of his character image and asks, “Really?” He’s got his pride on the line and the match begins. Shi-young loses her boot but still wraps her foot around his ankle, bringing him down. It’s a hard loss for Haroro to swallow.
Shi-young wins the match against Jae-suk (“My feet couldn’t move in the mud!”) and Jae-suk asks for a rematch. Myuk PD grants it and when Haha calls for a rematch for him too, Myuk PD answers: “You definitely lost.”
They go for a barefoot rematch and Shi-young totally has her game face on. And this time, she beats Jae-suk fair and square. Myuk PD laughs that this footage is going to be saved forever in the archives. One thing’s for sure – this lady is a beast.
Shi-young chooses the ‘losing’ rule when she goes up against Sung-hoon. As expected, he takes both her and Suk-jin down pretty easily. Jae-suk pipes on the sidelines: “I’m jealous! At least Suk-jin got to lose against Sung-hoon!”
It’s down to Jong-kook versus Sung-hoon and Myuk PD asks for a word about their strategy. Jong-kook’s like, “I just have to win!” Sung-hoon: “I’m going to flip you.” Then Jae-suk interrupts again, “Sung-hoon, you have to win so that everyone will forget about [my] loss!”
The whistle blows and both men bide their time, waiting out their opponent. It’s a long minute as both contenders look immobilized… and in a split second, Sung-hoon lifts Jong-kook into the air and spins him to the ground. Woah.
Jong-kook takes his loss without regret and though he has some wrestling experience under his belt, the captions remind us that Spartakooks is a singer. HA.
Jae-suk starts in this long-winded recap speech about how both men channeled each other’s energies for that final burst. Then Haha cuts in, “And Shi-young channeled all that energy to beat you!”
The cast arrives at their ddakji competition where each of them will need to “buy” their ddakjis. The variety is hilarious – ranging from a ddakji made from ice, to another burnt to a crisp.
The first round begins and I raise an eyebrow at Shi-young’s choice: cardboard dipped in water? But it turns out it works just fine as she flips Kwang-soo’s “sketchbook” ddakji over.
That is, until Gary steps in and flips it over with his “R” ddakji. What’s really surprising is Haha’s “fashion magazine” ddakji – strong enough to both attack and withstand the others. With Gary’s loss, the Green Team is out of the running.
Jong-kook reminds us why he’s the Ultimate Ddakji Champion, flipping Haha’s ddakji after a few tries. Then the two strong contenders face off once more. Jong-kook throws… and it doesn’t move.
They try to badger Sung-hoon, who finally has enough and launches himself at Jong-kook. But he fails, giving Jong-kook another chance… and he flips Sung-hoon’s ddakji over. Epic.
The ddakji champions, Jae-suk and Jong-kook now face off. Each slam their ddakji to the ground and surprisingly, neither ddakji moves.
They go back and forth like this a few more times and everyone waits with bated breath. Gary breaks through the tension: “Can we end with a ddakji competition every week?”
Jong-kook revs up, determined to see the end of it… and Jae-suk’s ddakji flips over. Daebak. The Red Team wins it and Jong-kook keeps his throne as the King of Ddakji.