This week’s setup is nearly three years in the making as today’s hero is none other than the notorious Betrayal Trio, who is on the run from the law. They’re wanted men on the loose and it’s up to the Running Man detective force to stop them. Who needs gold and jewelry when you can steal the limelight and horde the glory of victory for yourself?
EPISODE 146. Broadcast on May 19, 2013.
We open at Gimpo Airport, and today, the Betrayal Trio gets their wish: a chance to prove themselves as heroes. I love that they literally jump with excitement at the news and enthusiastically hum the Mission Impossible theme song.
Marked as criminals, their job is to unlock the hidden chest at the final mission location. Completing each mission will help them discern the one correct key out of a total of 200.
Unfortunately, three heads aren’t better than one as Suk-jin asks, confused: “Then, are there 199 missions?” Ha, not quite. Then they confuse themselves over the details of how their opponents can catch them.
Haha argues that they truly have to work together since this opportunity only comes once in a blue moon: “If we mess it up, it might take another three years [for another chance]!” Then Kwang-soo quips, “Suk-jin hyung will be in his fifties by then…”
So it’s off to Gyeongju and the Betrayal Trio oh-so-covertly sneaks out. Well, sort of.
Who better to chase today’s bandits than our resident Running Man detective force. This also means the return of former team leaders and rivals, Jae-suk and Jong-kook. They’re in charge of Teams 1 and 2 respectively, and… did Jong-kook just break his pair of handcuffs? Heehee.
Today, they’re joined by two guests, here to promote their movie Montage: actor Kim Sang-kyung (Tower, White Christmas) and Uhm Jung-hwa (Dancing Queen). For those who may not already know, Jung-hwa is Uhm Tae-woong’s older sister.
Our detective teams are told that the criminals have made off with the key, so it’s their job to gather a photo composite (or a montage, if you will) of the suspects to secure their arrest.
The Betrayal Trio is in high spirits in the car, so they decide to sing in celebration of this momentous occasion. They break into trot-acapella, and it’s pretty hilarious to watch Suk-jin throw himself into the cheesy song lyrics about how this is “their time.”
He finishes it off with how their own greatness puts them in the same class as Iron Man. Puhaha.
The detective teams head out after they receive their first mission: to get past the hordes of water gun wielded ajummas to get to their informant.
In the car, Sang-kyung tries to make small talk, saying that it must be nice if Jae-suk gets to film in his hometown given the cast’s history of shooting overseas. Jae-suk replies, “I’m from Seoul…” Hahaha.
Though Jae-suk graciously plays off the moment, Sang-kyung does just fine on his own with an explanation of his love of small talk as an enjoyment of conversing with others.
Meanwhile, Jong-kook’s admission as a fan of Jung-hwa’s sparks Gary to tug at a potential love line. Jung-hwa is all for it (“How many years older are you okay with?”) and readily doles out compliments in Spartakooks‘s direction.
The Betrayal Trio heads out to track down that same informant. They find themselves running away from the ajummas as soon as they step into the village. And boy, are those ajummas ruthless, armed and ready to attack.
Jung-hwa is the only one who doesn’t let a little water deter her from nabbing her informant. But information comes at a price, and soon her teammates find her in the middle of doing sit-ups.
Too bad all that hard work was for naught, and an irritated Jung-hwa holds up the fake clue in her hand and screams: “Poop?!” HA – it’s a poo-shaped plush toy.
We catch up with Haroro, who’s assigned to win against the neighborhood kids in rock-paper-scissors. Hee, how appropriate. He finds this adorable toddler girl… who totally beats him over and over again. Oh dear, it’s going to be a long day.
Elsewhere, Kwang-soo relays to his fellow crooks in a panicked voice that he just ran away from the cops who are on their tails. Suk-jin is quick to point out his grave mistake: “Why would you run away? We haven’t done anything wrong!” Innocent until proven guilty, then.
But it’s just a matter of time before they’re surrounded by detectives, and kick up a fuss that the cops can’t prove anything at present. Then Kwang-soo hilariously tries to explain away the suspicious looking briefcase in his hand: “It’s a house for my dog!”
The Betrayal Trio‘s stubborn protests just make them look all the more guilty, and Jae-suk threatens that Haha will “be eating rice and beans” soon; a saying that basically means he’ll end up in prison.
The idiom refers when prisons used to serve poor quality food consisting of an highly disproportionate bean to rice ratio. Which then explains Jae-suk’s following comeback: “There are just two grains of rice for every hundred beans!”
It cracks me up that the criminal’s collective stance is thus: “Come back with incriminating evidence!” as if daring the detectives to come after them.
Aw, how cute is it that Ji-hyo yells out “Mom!” when she’s tasked to name the person she loves most? Then Gary finds her mid-write-name-in-air-with-butt, and quips, “It looks like you’re writing my name from here!” If only, my good man.
This time, Ji-hyo is in luck, and she heads out to arrest her first suspect: Suk-jin.
I must say that I really enjoy Jung-hwa’s refreshingly frank one-liners so far. Her face falls when she hears that her clue requires yet another workout to open. She remarks, “I came [on this show] to go on a diet, didn’t I?”
She completes her jumping jacks without further complaint. The aerial shot of this famous actress and singer doing calisthenics has me in a fit of giggles. Her clue points to Suk-jin as well, and now the entire force is after the mat-hyung.
Suk-jin is no dummy and he immediately bolts at the sight of Team 2. But Spartakooks catches him in no time, and Suk-jin immediately crumbles at the sight of such damning evidence. Fade to black.
Then we cut away to Haha, who briefly stops to stuff his shoe lift back into his sneaker. Heh. Thanks to his discovered clue, he instructs Kwang-soo to do away with keys 151-200. At the news that Suk-jin is in danger, the remaining two head out on a search and rescue mission.
Not that Suk-jin needs saving since he manages to slip away out of Team 2’s clutches. He even makes it back to the car, ready to leave whenever his teammates show up.
They arrive soon enough, but Jung-hwa is hot on their heels. Unable to let the baddies slip through her fingers, she climbs on top of the hood in order to bar their getaway. Ha.
Jung-hwa misses them by mere seconds, and dramatically collapses onto the ground. The Betrayal Trio take off anyway, and Jung-hwa sits up. Out of breath, she says: “I even pretended to faint! How can they just leave me like that!”
The Betrayal Trio counts their lucky stars in the car and continue their law-breaking activities. This time they hijack a boat and hold the owner, Maknae FD, hostage. It’s hilariously appropriate that their “torture methods” are childish, like tickling or poking him.
Looks like our detectives’ equipment needs replacin’. Team 2 hears the word “dog” instead of “boat” over the fuzzy radio connection, which just gives everyone a good laugh.
Man, I love the Betrayal Trio, but they’re pretty horrible criminals. The detectives could care less about the hostage until Kwang-soo yells: “He knows where the composite is!” That doesn’t really help you out, buddy.
Still peeved about before, Jung-hwa sends the boys her love: “You’re dead meat if I catch you!”
The detectives will need to answer three of the criminals’ questions correctly in order to acquire their next composite sketch. Not only are the baddies power hungry, they’re physically hungry as well, and they demand to be fed. It is lunchtime after all.
A little while later, another boat pulls up with their lunch order. The food delivery system in Korea really is awesome. I recall an episode from different variety show (Hot Brothers, for the curious) where the delivery boy actually dropped off and picked up the food at a subway stop. Now that’s hardcore.
In any case, the criminals tune out the detectives’ threats as they fill their stomachs. Jae-suk tries to grab Kwang-soo’s attention, and the latter pushes his hoobae boundaries by shouting: “What, kid?!” Then he quickly revises his answer as if he said, “What, Mom?!” Hee.
Oh gosh, all this delicious-looking foods makes my stomach grumble. *fast forwards*
Now that everyone’s stomachs are full (including mine), we get back to our mission at hand. The criminals toss out a nonsense quiz question about legendary figures one might find at an arcade. Jung-hwa jumps forward and answers: “X-rated movies!”
It’s wrong, but thanks to Gary, they get the question right anyway. How predictable that the Betrayal Trio has just prepared nonsense quiz questions, and the detectives easily knock them down, much to the criminals’ surprise.
Ha, I admit that the last question (“How do you say goodbye to a king in English”) is pretty funny. “Bye King!” does sound like “Viking!” when you say it in Korean.
In any case, the criminals are forced to hand over their hostage, and Haha’s criminal identity is confirmed.
In the car, Suk-jin tries to boost the team’s morale in his typical awkward delivery, figuring that they can count on the variety gods favor upon Kwang-soo again. Uh, I don’t think Kwang-soo’s perpetual bad luck will help you out here.
At the beach, the Betrayal Trio is tasked to search for boxes which contain the number sets that identify the wrong keys hidden beneath the sand.
The hyungs send Kwang-soo out to dig by himself since he’s the only one without a paper trail (yet). As for themselves, they decide to lock themselves in the car and wait for the opportune moment to help.
While our detectives are kept busy with a different activity, Kwang-soo suddenly screams with excitement, having found his first box. Ack, have you forgotten about the part where the detectives don’t know about your separate mission yet?
But before the detectives can question, the music starts and per the game rules, both teams drop everything and start dancing. Hm, this kind of advantage feels shoehorned into the mission as the other criminals run out and start digging, only to run back as soon as the music winds down.
The music, which are all Jung-hwa’s former hits, returns a minute later. This time, the criminal hyungs use the opportunity to hinder the detective’s mission. Now that’s smart thinking.
Then there’s Suk-jin, who just dances to the music. Less dancing and more diggin’!
Now the teams finally get around to stealing the inflatable tubes from each other. Sang-kyung has no reservations about swiping a few from his movie co-star, Jung-hwa, who in turn makes off with a different one.
There’s even a tube hanging from one of the cameras, just out of Jae-suk’s reach. Jung-hwa isn’t afraid to show some skin and aegyo to curry favor. She grabs it and adds it to her team’s pile.
Sang-kyung huffs and puffs from the physical exertion. Nearly out of breath, he sends a message to the audience, and breathes: “[The cast] really work hard on this show! I didn’t know it’d be this hard!”
After another dance break, Team 1 only needs one more tube to win the mission. Kwang-soo successfully runs off with it, but Jae-suk just grabs one tube after another. Eventually, Team 1 wins it.
The composite sketches are as basically as good as an arrest warrant for today’s mission. However, each team only possesses a different pair of composites. For clarity’s sake, Team 1 can eliminate Suk-jin and Kwang-soo whereas Team 1 targets Suk-jin and Haha.
Additionally, the criminals are only allowed to evade capture from the detective force. No nametag ripping for the wicked!
The Betrayal Trio heads towards the outside stage as per their mission card instructions. Hm, could the case be hidden here?
Meanwhile, Jo PD briefs the detective teams. In order to reduce the chances of escape, one member from each team will enter the field in fifteen minute intervals. Once all the criminals are caught, the first team who opens the hidden case first will be today’s victors.
Both Jae-suk and Jung-hwa are sent off first with a sketch of Suk-jin in their hands. It’s nice that we get to hear Jung-hwa’s teammates give her a few tips before she heads out.
She spots the Betrayal Trio right away, and they’re quick to offer her a deal: In exchange for her help, they’ll make sure she wins today. She remains noncommittal, and keeps a close eye on them.
When she asks what they’re looking for as they dig into the earth, Suk-jin answers: “Your first album!” You mean from nearly two decades ago? Jung-hwa: “It’s hard for me to find a copy too!” Ha.
The Betrayal Trio is suspicious of Jung-hwa as well, and they start running as soon as they spot Jae-suk in the distance. Jae-suk catches up in no time, and nabs Suk-jin.
They’re soon joined by Jung-hwa, but it’s Jae-suk who eliminates Big Nose Hyung. She’s still upset about the missed opportunity a minute later when we see her chase Jae-suk down a hill, yelling: “That was supposed to be my [arrest]!”
He’s put a considerable distance between them, so Jung-hwa feigns injury to lure him back. She doesn’t gain any sympathy points from Jae-suk who tells her: “You can’t walk? You can just stay there and sit.”
Her fake injury act is embarrassingly hilarious, and even she can’t help but laugh at herself. She keeps up the act, even after chasing Jae-suk for another quarter mile, who’s nice enough not to run away, but wary not to get too close.
A few exaggerated fake injuries later, Jae-suk tries to reason with her, arguing that it doesn’t matter who eliminated the criminal, but that they were arrested. She whimpers: “Then let’s split the gold.”
He advises that they eliminate the criminals first, but Jung-hwa is hungry for revenge, and she replies: “I want to eliminate you first.”
The combination of exhaustion and a desire to win makes Jung-hwa spout out everything that comes to mind. Then she draws out the sympathy card, saying that she’s still unmarried in her forties. Jae-suk stops and answers: “I hope you get married!” and bolts. HA.
Sang-kyung has witnessed the entire scene unfold from a distance, and he remarks that Jung-hwa’s nickname on set was “Crybaby” aka Uhmsahl. So she may say that she’s tired, but: “Look at how fast she runs!” Hahaha.
He enters the area along with Gary. The Team 1 detectives follow the criminals to the athletic field, and suggest that the baddies turn themselves in.
But Haha brings up a fine point that Team 2 has Jong-kook – how do the puny detectives plan on taking down Spartakooks? Jae-suk: “We’ll figure it out.”
Then Jae-suk grabs hold of Haha’s hand through the fence in order to trap him. Kwang-soo returns the favor just as Team 2 arrives. That provides a perfect opportunity for Jung-hwa to exact her revenge on Jae-suk, and eliminates him.
She runs over to help Gary, but Sang-kyung already has a hold on his nametag, and Gary is taken out of the game. With this moment of distraction, the criminals make a run for it.
The guests are told by their respective teammates to stick together, since arresting the criminals is their number one priority. As Jae-suk and Gary walk away, the latter exclaims: “At this rate, Jung-hwa will eliminate Jong-kook!”
Haha and Kwang-soo head back to the outside stage and unearth a case. Haha: “Now all we have to do is find the right key out of the 140!” Oh man.
They relocate to an empty room, where they sit down and try out each key in order. Oy, this is going to take forever. Aren’t you better off choosing at random?
At the thirty-minute mark, SpartAce finally makes their entrance.
Jung-hwa discovers the filled-in hole, and wonders what it was the criminalss uncovered. Her first thought: “Gold?” Hahaha.
She runs into Jong-kook walking along with the recently eliminated. In an brightly innocent voice, she asks him: “Didn’t you tell me to attack Jae-suk?” The Grasshopper shoots Spartakooks a glare.
Jung-hwa reports that the criminals have made off with something. Still fixated on the prize, she asks: “You think they have my gold?” Ha, suddenly it’s already yours?
The two run into Sang-kyung inside, and both sides agree to cooperate in order to take out the criminals. An alliance it is, then.
By the time we check back in with Haha and Kwang-soo, they’re on Key 82. Wait, so you’re actually going through them one by one? Not that I have a better method to offer you, but still – that’s a lot of time.
I suppose it doesn’t help that they start losing track of which keys they’ve tried already. Just then, they hear Sang-kyung’s voice outside. The door opens (you didn’t lock it?) and Sang-kyung’s jovial voice rings: “I knew something smelled fishy in here!”
He takes on Haha and Kwang-soo with Jung-hwa’s help. But as the criminals cower in fear, Sang-kyung can’t help but see that Jung-hwa’s nametag is in the open… so he rips it off. So much for an alliance.
Jung-hwa is taken by genuine surprise and left utterly speechless by the betrayal. By the time Jong-kook arrives on the scene, Jung-hwa helplessly points to Sang-kyung before she crumbles on the ground again.
I’m getting the feeling that Sang-kyung didn’t really think this plan through. Now he has to face Jong-kook himself, and as they face off, Haha and Kwang-soo run off.
At least he’s totally honest in his explanation: “Her nametag was right in front of my eyes!” Ji-hyo swoops in as the voice of reason, and while Sang-kyung answers “Uh-huh” to line of logic, he sends Jong-kook a wink that says Let’s take her out. Hahaha.
They could stand here all day, arguing, if they could. But time is of the essence, and they head out. All the while, Sang-kyung’s endless stream of excuses continues: “If only you came earlier! I had them cornered!”
Haha and Kwang-soo settle somewhere outside and they hurriedly try key after key, to no avail. It’s not long before Jong-kook spots them and they split up.
Interestingly, Jong-kook is here to solicit Kwang-soo’s help in order to eliminate Sang-kyung. Or so he says; one can never be too sure on this show. It doesn’t work and soon Kwang-soo is back on the run and our detectives are back to arguing again.
Frustrated, Ji-hyo says that they have to move on; there’s no time to belabor the same points over again. The boys continue to point the blame at each other. Her patience running thin, she barks, You guys argue, I’m going to go find them!
That’s exactly what they do, and the boys hang back to settle this once and for all. Eek, that glint in Jong-kook’s eye is certainly disconcerting.
Sang-kyung keeps changing the subject in an attempt to stall for more time. I’m honestly not sure if his “I’m a ballad [singer]!” running joke refers to a softer attack approach or to a previous singing career. Got an answer? Let me know.
But Jong-kook isn’t easily deterred and both men grab for each other. They both have a hand on each other’s backs… but it’s Sang-kyung who tears off the nametag first.
Ha, I love that the first question that pops into Haha’s mind when he hears Kwang-soo’s voice is: “How is that kid still alive?” It really is a miracle.
Turns out slow and steady really does pay off, and one of the last remaining keys opens the case. They burst in silent excitement at the certificate, until they both read that only one of them can continue from here.
Which is when Kwang-soo tears off Haha’s nametag. There really is no honor among thieves.
Just then, Sang-kyung and Ji-hyo enter the room. We get a close-up shot on the certificate that has a blank for just one name. Moreover, whatever this prize is, it’s effective until the end of the year.
Kwang-soo is apprehended just as he’s about to write his name in. His cries turn desperate, but the detective take him down anyway.
Everyone gathers together again for the closing, and we learn that the certificate grants the bearer (Ji-hyo) an episode that is solely dedicated to them. The Team 1 detectives are bestowed gold medals for their victory, and Jung-hwa asks to try them on.
Jae-suk eventually complies, and as Jong-kook places it around her neck, he jokingly whispers, “Run!” Hahaha, so Jung-hwa ends up with her gold after all.