Sitcoms/Variety Shows
Running Man: Episode 150
by | June 23, 2013 | 97 Comments

Today, we meet the Running Man Avengers. Every superhero has an origin story, and it’s no different in varietyland. Yet with so many superpowers to keep track of, it’s hard to differentiate who are the superheroes and who are the super-enemies in this universe. Will the heroes join forces to pool their superpowers or will they abuse them to achieve their own goals?

EPISODE 150. Broadcast on June 16, 2013.

It’s another ordinary day in varietyland which is about to turn extraordinary when Jae-suk is met with an unexpected surprise: Dong Fury (aka Maknae FD) whose blackface cosplay reminds me that Korea still has much to learn about its offensive displays of stereotypes.

They’re soon joined by Jong-kook, and the servicemen bicker as usual. But there’s no time to lose as the world is in need of their superpowers. Thus, it’s their job as team captains to assemble their teams.

We check in with our other superheroes who lie in wait, leading normal, everyday lives. Vet Kwang-soo rushes to rescue a giraffe, Rocker Ji-hyo leads her band in song, while Chemist Suk-jin hurries to find the cure for his peculiar condition.

Time is of the essence and the team captains rush to pick up their teammates. It takes some time to drive to Haha’s far-off location whereas Jae-suk already as Kwang-soo and Gary in tow when they call Ji-hyo.

She smiles when she hears that Gary’s been yelling for her, and when she’s momentarily silent, Kwang-soo asks, “Are you about to confess [your feelings]?” Gary: “Be careful! You’re on speakerphone!” Puhahaha.

Jae-suk has three teammates versus Jong-kook’s one by the time they race to Ji-hyo’s location. It’s Jae-suk’s team who arrives first to see her rock out to—what else?—a LeeSsang song. Gary takes the mic and we get an impromptu Monday Couple mini-concert.

Their elated mood quickly deflates with one threatening text: a picture of Jong-kook’s bulging bicep. Gulp.

Fear and panic settle on their faces when they run into Spartakooks outside who cheerily calls out “The [car] door’s open!” Jae-suk’s teammates are reluctant to climb back into the car, but do so anyway… except for the Monday Couple, who dashes towards Jong-kook’s car.

Ha, Jae-suk has to coax the Easy Brothers to stay when they try to follow. He does, however, remark on the noticeably changed mood: “It feels like a cold winter breeze!”

In the other car, Haha guesses that he’s Iron Man because he was given his own arc reactor earlier. To this, the others wonder what superhero they will become today.

Both teams arrives at the mountainside where Dong Fury is already waiting for them. Kwang-soo guffaws in shock at Maknae FD’s bald appearance (“I thought you were Gil [the other half of LeeSsang]!”), and Haha remarks on his leather trenchcoat: “Aren’t you hot in that?” Pfft.

However, Dong Fury remains in character as he explains that the superheroes aren’t Avengers just yet; they’ll have to earn their stripes to become a member. So it’s a survival defend-the-flag paintball match, pure and simple, and the losing team will have to go through remedial training.

Jong-kook’s team starts off as the offense as they carefully get into position. Kwang-soo fires the first shot, but he quickly raises his hand in defeat when Ji-hyo threatens to shoot. Ha. To everyone’s surprise, his next shot eliminates Gary.

Leave it to Jong-kook to be on the move as he swiftly climbs up the hill, and then Kwang-soo yells as he runs across the battlefield, getting hit by paintball bullets along the way. Ow, that oughta hurt.

Ji-hyo stays behind as the boys slowly but surely make their way upwards, pressuring their opponents. After a few more shots, Jong-kook loses both of his teammates, and to make matters worse, he’s out of bullets.

Jae-suk’s team takes full advantage of the situation and fires madly at Jong-kook until he too is eliminated.

Elsewhere at the airport, two mysterious young lads arrive and receive their mission.

Meanwhile, the superheroes-in-training arrive at the action school where a group of stuntmen (and stuntwoman!) puts on an impressive performance. Here, Jong-kook’s team will be put through additional training in order to receive their memberships.

Their first game (Killer Dodgeball) ends up with Gary clutching his family jewels in the first few seconds. The other boys do a pretty good job to evade oncoming attacks as the timer ticks down until they too are eliminated. Aww, and Ji-hyo gets hit with just five seconds remaining on the clock.

Jae-suk’s team puts on a classic act of bravado which quickly dissipates when the clock starts, and they frantically try to hide behind each other. Suk-jin makes an impressive save, only to be tagged out seconds later. Then we see a glimpse of another arrival…

I’m not the only one who’s getting Secret Gardenflashbacks with the second training course, right? The teams are tasked to beat the stuntman’s 71(!) sit-ups in a minute in a relay. Jong-kook’s team puts their backs into it (and Haha’s hair flails back-and-forth, ha), but even with Jong-kook’s last spurt, they’re just two short.

Then it’s up to Jae-suk’s team to show us how it’s done, but Jong-kook’s team can only gape at their strained faces: “You’re so ugly up close!” Ha, then Suk-jin has to hit his own head in order to pull himself up. I’m not sure if I feel safe knowing these guys are out there to protect me.

Thankfully, Jong-kook’s team pulls through on their next turn and receive their superhero memberships. Jae-suk: “Weren’t you planning on giving them to us anyway?”

We’ve arrived at the final mission location where the superheroes finally learn of their alter-egos and superpowers:

  • Jae-suk: Captain Running Man (Captain RM) whose water-gun/shield can enlarge opponents’ nametags.
  • Kwang-soo: Giraffe Eye whose arrows can bring misfortune to his opponents.
  • Suk-jin: Dr. Ji who can transform into the Hulk when angry.
  • Jong-kook: Kook Thor whose hammer can obstruct his opponents’ vision.
  • Haha: Iron Ha who has all of Iron Man’s capabilities to fly, fire weapons, and high-tech gadgets.
  • Ji-hyo: Black Mung who can steal other superheroes’ powers once they’re eliminated.
  • Gary: Spider Gary who can shoot webs and has another mysterious power.

Whew. Let’s see if we can keep them all straight.

I love how everyone bursts out laughing at Captain RM’s outfit and I don’t blame them—the man has a bunch of R stickers on his person. Kwang-soo: “Are you Pororo?” Like the famous cartoon character penguin?

It hadn’t occurred to me that Dr. Ji’s transformation might take some time as he starts running in place to raise his heart rate. And then Iron Ha slips into his lair to pick up some essential gadgets.

Black Mung’s ability comes with another stipulation: She’ll need to mark her targets in order to gain their powers later on. So she distracts Dr. Ji with compliments to keep his anger at bay, and to leave her mark. Hilariously, he responds to her atypical aegyo behavior with “Just act like you normally do!”

She then wraps her arm around Spider Gary, who turns to her: “What’s the meaning of this?” Ack, it’s been so long since we’ve heard that line!

Just then, a sound blares through the speakers to announce the arrival of our mysterious guests: the 2PM Twins (Taecyeon and Chansung) where one is invincible and the other is not.

But that’s not all—another familiar musical introduction rings through the speakers. Their suspicions are confirmed with Chu Sung-hoon aka The Fighter‘s entrance. He has three chances to spar with an opponent in the ring. Huh, so are our guests the superheroes or the super-enemies?

The Avengers quickly relay the Fighter’s arrival to each other and Captain RM gripes: “Why does he always come at 4 AM?” For now, it’s imperative that they stick together.

Then it cracks me up when they all peer over the railing to get a look at the Fighter, who cheerily calls back, “I’m here to bother Jong-kook!”

There’s yet another musical introduction and everyone’s confused faces express my thoughts exactly—who ELSE is here? Don’t we already have enough superpowers flyin’ around here?

Meet martial arts director Jung Doo-hong (Fighter in the Wind, Berlin) aka Master Jung who knows everyone else’s superpower. That’s everyone, right?

It’s only now that the Avengers have noticed the Black Mung’s marks, and their ensuing argument echoes through the mall. Down below, Master Jung comments: “Sounds like a fight broke out.” Will this group form an alliance or turn on each other?

Everyone’s suspicion radars are now at high alert. Captain RM is the first to use his superpower on his own, and Giraffe Eye’s nametag is swapped out for a larger one. Then Kook Thor suffers the same fate.

With knowledge at his disposal, Master Jung throws an offhand remark that Giraffe Eye was hit with water. But he’s sharp enough not to disclose his own ability to the others.

Meanwhile, the 2PM Twins roam the mall, and Chansung mentions that the cast’s motto is to betray each other. Ha, that’s so true. That must mean they’re running around by themselves and they zero in on unsuspecting Spider Gary.

Spider Gary’s “web” misses but the other Avengers have heard the commotion. They’re too late to come to his aid and the twins eliminate him. It’s only when they leave that we see Spider Gary’s hidden ability… and his still-attached nametag drags behind him.

The twins approach Iron Ha, who finally shows off his ability to fly. It’s a neat trick but why do I get the feeling that Haha will be at the mercy of his attached wires today?

Then Spider Gary’s reappearance throws them for a loop. I love their “Didn’t we eliminate him five minutes ago?” faces. They’re also adorably gullible to the Look! Over there! trick.

But Spider Gary isn’t out of the woods yet as the Fighter gives chase… and then calls for a fight.

Next thing we know, Spider Gary and the Fighter face off in the ring. But they circle around each other for so long that the one-minute limit passes and Spider Gary is sent off scot-free.

It’s definitely not a superpower you can hide, so Sung-hoon’s attempts to downplay it that it’s nothing are pointless. But the combination of a wasted opportunity and with Jong-kook nowhere in sight nag at Sung-hoon’s growing annoyance.

Speaking of whom, Kook Thor is hidden somewhere in the mall at a loss with his super-sized nametag.

Dr. Ji persistently tries to raise his heart rate, and even asks for Giraffe Eye’s help to stir his temper. But the unlucky arrows work against him and Dr. Ji is led to a relaxation room. Hahaha.

He tries once more by doing various exercises, and this time it works. The beast inside him awakens… and the Hulk is ANOTHER guest? I thought we were done with all the Act 3 guest intros!

The Hulk aka Kim Dong-hyun, a UFC fighter, emerges on the scene. Everyone makes a run for it, including the Fighter, who recognizes his hoobae.

Now that is one serious superpower. At least the newest addition remains in character as he clambers up the escalator. The Hulk grabs a tight hold on Spider Gary, who panics to whip out his web… which comes out all tangled.

They tussle for a few more seconds until the Hulk pounces, rips off his nametag, and disconnects it from the cord. Now Gary’s eliminated.

The Fighter’s surprise appearance catches Captain RM off-guard, and he even drops his water-gun. Oh no! The Fighter calls for a match but once they’re in the ring, he’s confused by Jae-suk’s taunts.

They’re joined by a few other heroes and Iron Ha temporarily fends everyone off with his glove that shoots sparks. The minute quickly passes, and the Fighter chases the 2PM twins down the hall.

Iron Ha tries to evade his captors by flying to the second floor… where the Fighter is waiting for him. He cries: “Bring me down! Bring me down!” But with both floors occupied by super-enemies, he’s left floating in the air. Hahaha.

He touches ground a little later and the 2PM Twins attack once he’s out of sparks. Aw, he’s easily eliminated.

Meanwhile, Kook Thor remains in his thunder pit as the Fighter and Captain RM cautiously approach. But before he can call upon the heavens, the Fighter jumps and eliminates him. Afterward, Jong-kook complains that he won’t have any airtime this week. But maybe you should give that injured leg a rest!

Dr. Ji works hard to transform into the Hulk once more, but the Fighter appears to eliminate him before he gets the chance.

Only three Avengers remain to battle their enemies, and Captain RM confiscates Giraffe Eye’s last arrow so that he doesn’t waste it. As they bicker, the super-enemies are busy ganging up on each other.

Even though Taecyeon’s nametag is ripped off, he’s still the game. Ah, so Chansung is the weak link.

Two of the Avengers are chased by the Fighter, and their alliance is quickly dissolved as Giraffe Eye is eliminated. Then Sung-hoon stops to say that he could have sworn he just saw the Hulk pass by, to which Jae-suk is like Who??

Once it registers that the Hulk is indeed the UFC fighter, Jae-suk turns onto the staff: “Are you kidding me right now?!” Oh god, THANK YOU for saying it.

But at the mention of his name, the Hulk comes charging through, and they make a run for it. Pfft, I love that he stops long enough to explain who is behind his transformation: “It was Ji-hyo!”

The Hulk is reluctant to turn his back on his sunbae to pick on smaller fry. The possibility of the transformation flies over Captain RM’s head, and he solicits Taecyeon’s help. But the Hulk makes a run for it, leaving Jae-suk to face two enemies on his own.

Jae-suk does a fairly good job against them, but he quickly grows tired and breathes heavily, “Why can’t you be eliminated [Taecyeon]?”

That’s because the other 2PM Twin is currently running from the Hulk. Chansung desperately calls out to his hyung, and the Hulk in turn yells, “I’m just fine!”

Both sides struggle against their opponents and at the end of it, both Captain RM and Chansung are eliminated.

Now only Black Mung remains and her two enemies make sure to stay close so she can’t transform into the Hulk. Sung-hoon hints at her to let the men duel it out, and she agrees on the condition that neither man doesn’t get upset should she eliminate them.

Ji-hyo knows her limits but she’s not going down without a fight, so she asks to face Sung-hoon as long as he keeps one hand behind his back. He agrees to her terms and they face off.

Sung-hoon grabs her nametag just as Ji-hyo pulls her towards him to grab his… and they both let go.

Then Sung-hoon grabs hold of her nametag once more, but he’s surprised when it won’t come off as easily as he hoped. But Ji-hyo persistently tries to reach across his back… until her nametag rips off. Dayum, give this girl a medal.

Now the Fighter calls upon his superpower for the last time to face Master Jung in the ring. Master Jung is lightning quick to reach across Sung-hoon’s back, but misses. They engage in another struggle, and Sung-hoon gains the upper hand… and finishes it for the win.

But wait—we’re transported to a secret room where Giraffe Eye sits with Dong Fury, who is displeased at the Avengers’ lack of teamwork and poor performance. He deems every Avenger (apart from Ji-hyo) unsuitable for the field.

Then he mysteriously adds, “There’s no time. There’s a war approaching…” and leaves a flabbergasted Giraffe Eye in his wake. This story is to be continued…


97 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. jel

    I guess it was an ok episode I guess, though I know many had high hopes for this episode.

    Love the Ji Hyo-instigated betrayal over to Jong Kook’s team, second time she has done so. Paintball was new and fun, and the guys on Jong Kook’s team were awesome in situps.

    Not much I have to say about the final game though (although Ji Hyo was sexy personified in her costume). But meh, I’ve not really been a fan of Choo Sung Hoon on the show

  2. CutiieAngiie

    “whose blackface cosplay reminds me that Korea still has much to learn about its offensive displays of stereotypes.”

    I do get that the controversy on MBC’s Quiz World because they MADE FUN of black people but here, I don’t see where is the problem.
    I mean, FD Go is known to do impersonations of characters like Matrix’s Neo in episode 128. I just think they wanted him to fit the character better and so, Nick Fury’s famous outfit. Maybe I’m the only one thinking like that ? They didn’t make fun of black people. He just happened to be the Nick Fury of Avengers move : Samuel Jackson.

    Anyway, I enjoyed the episode because heck, super heroes are my favorite characters and the running chase was GOLD with guests running really fast (Chu Sung Hoon chasing 2PM. So fast LMAO)
    But my only complain is the number of guests. It is good to have a lot of people but I think they should think about the interaction and screentime. For example, 2PM were funny but I really want to see the UFC fighter and Martial Art Master more because you don’t get to see these people on a variety show often. They seemed very entertaining and it is a shame that they couldn’t show it more. Hopefully, they will be guest on another episode 😀

    People always critized Kwang Soo for his betrayal, especially in episode 92 when he killed Jung Myung because people anticipated the big fight and blablabla. But it is ridiculous how Jae Suk doesn’t get any complains at all. WHERE IN THE HELL WAS HE GOING TO WIN OVER ALL THESE OPPONENTS ? It just calls for bad decision and I wish most RM fans would stop jumping on the hatred and have more objective view on matters.

    Anyway, I do recall Secret Garden during the stuntman scene. I thought that Gary and Jihyo was going to do the “close proximity” thing but heck, a shame they didn’t.
    The scene where they fought and climbing … etc was so cool. You could see that the members were amazed and I like this part of Running Man. Aside of wanting to eat korean food so bad, they introduce us to landscape, occupations, jobs while doing games. I know that other shows do that too but still, I have to say it ^^

    Thanks for the review 😀

    (personal opinion ; that episode was freakin’ better than the last two. I can’t still get over the fact that I wanted to skip some parts really bad. Never happened to me in RM and so, I hope they won’t invite these guests again or at least, do it like Kim Soo Hyun and makes a really fun episode where you are sure that the guest would be entertaining or at least participating.
    I’m disappointed on So Yi Hyun. I found her gorgeous in Alice and thought she would be the funny competitive kind of girl but even though her complains could be see as cute, I find it annoying when she did it all the times.)

    • 2.1 Kaekae

      On blackface, it is very easy to cosplay characters of a different ethnicity without resorting to that. and bonus, you don’t PO the original actor (I remember LaVar Burton being very annoyed at someone who blackfaced as Geordi LaForge).
      He would have been instantly recognizable as that character without the blackface.
      IMO (and I know I’m not alone in this), Blackface is not Ok. Neither is, for that matter, nonAsians slanting their eyes to play Asian characters. I think they used to call it yellowface.
      we shouldn’t be limited to our own ethnicity for cosplay – but neither should we insult others.

      • 2.1.1 bd

        Had no problem w/ the use of blackface here since Dong Fury was clearly playing off Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury from the Avengers film (and not the character from the comics) and not making fun of blacks in any manner.

        Hollywood still does yellowface, and in cases of the film “Balls of Fury” where Christopher Walken plays Feng, a total stereotype of an Asian male character, it’s insulting.

        But in case of numerous films depicting the life of Genghis Khan where a white actor has played the role (including John Wayne). the criticism is over a white actor taking such a prominent role while Asian-American actors have a hard time as it is getting work in Hollywood.

        Same goes for plays/musicals/operas – such as “Madam Butterfly”, “Miss Saigon” and “The Nightingale” (in “The Nightingale” – funny how the producers were able to find Asian-American actresses to take the roles of Chinese females, but all the major male Chinese characters were white – and this is for the BAY AREA!).

        And Korea, like the rest of Asia and parts of Europe don’t have the historical context of blackface as the US (many parts of South and Central America do and yet they still use blackface) and even so, we still see blackface tho in a different context – such as Downey Jr. in the film “Tropic Thunder” which got the seal of approval from the NAACP.

        The maknae FD doing Dong Fury here isn’t making fun of blacks, but just doing a “straight” version of it, just like how Korean actresses have done photo shoots w/ blonde wigs as Marilyn Monroe or the various K-pop singers who have taken the lead role for the Korean version of the musical “Legally Blonde.”

        And let’s not forget, there have been numerous cases of black entertainers doing the “whiteface” in Hollywood – and in cases such as Dave Chappelle doing whiteface, he is actually making fun of a certain white stereotype.

        One of the funniest bits on X-Man was when YJS, Kang Ho-dong and Lee Hyuk-jae performed as the “Latin Boys” – costume and all with the fake facial hair and wigs – dancing and lip-singing.

        Totally hilarious but they weren’t making fun of the Spanish/Latin culture – the ridiculousness was in their interpretation of it.

        • Quiet Thought

          This sort of argument is one of the reasons the controversy–and sensitivity about the issue–still remains as current as it was sixty years ago. A black comedian doing a white-face routine may be tacky or silly, but that isn’t the reason black-face routines stopped being part of American comedy. They were banned sixty years ago because they contributed to a virulently racist culture that hurt tens of millions of people. Putting them on the air, for whatever reason, reinforced racism and comforted racists. It still does today, decades after after formal racism was written out of the American and European legal systems and international law.

          Nothing Dave Chappelle does is going to contribute to anything but the accumulation of occasionally brilliant but often just tasteless overburden of comedy shows on American cable.

    • 2.2 my opinion

      I didn’t really think it was offensive either. It was clear he was just playing a role, and trying to look as close to the character as possible; he wasn’t making a racist statement about black people, or being inappropriate. If anything, it’s an homage to the awesomeness that is Nick Fury as portrayed by Samuel L Jackson.

    • 2.3 Shiku

      First of all, the original Nick Fury in the comics is white, did you see Samuel L Jackson paint his face white so he could be a believable Nick Fury? No he didn’t. The costume is enough! I was at a recent comic-con in my city and you could absolutely tell who was who without them changing their skin color eg black Spiderman, white Storm, etc.

      Second of all, cosplay is costume play not skin color play. You can’t just wear black skin for funsies and then take it off when black people live with it and experience the prejudices that come associated with it on a daily basis. We do not live in a post racial society y’all.

      Thirdly, it hearkens to the days with the minstrel shows where white actors painted their faces black and had like big red lips so that they could make fun of black people.

      • 2.3.1 CutiieAngiie

        “He just happened to be the Nick Fury of Avengers move : Samuel Jackson.”

        I happened to do some researches on the character and that’s why I pointed the Nick Fury of the movie.
        The thing is, I didn’t know that Nicky Fury was white and I’m sure I ain’t the only one. For foreigners, the success of the movie made it seem that Nick Fury was black originally hence, the RM team thought that maybe, to stick with the success of the Avengers movie, the better would be to portray the character with as many details including the skin color.

        I guess we have different opinion on the matter based on how we see racism
        But for me, it’s like the old times where people were complaing there wasn’t any Disney’s princesses black and so, called them racist but when they introduced a black princess, complains rose because they thought it was racist …
        I’m a dark colored Asian living in France but never in my life I was victim of racism maybe that’s why I don’t find it offending but I do get the point that it could have been fine if they just put the outfit.

        • Betty

          It is not because you haven’t experienced it first hand that it makes it ok. It’s like in France when people want to imitate black people they will automatically speak with West indies accent. It is NOT OK! Being black is not a costume! But I do think that they were not trying to be offensive, but I guess it’s just a lack of judgement.

          • bd

            So is being “white” a costume?

            Korean actresses donning a blonde wig for photoshoots as Marilyn Monroe or the various K-pop idols who played the lead role for the Korean version of the musical “Legally Blonde”?

            Or what about all the black entertainers in Hollywood who have done “whiteface” – and in the case of Dave Chappelle, he was actually making fun of certain white stereotypes.

            Or Robert Downey, Jr.’s character doing blackface in the film “Tropic Thunder” which got the seal of approval from the NAACP?

          • Shiku

            Tropic Thunder was satire and if you watched it you would see they showed how ridiculous the guy was.
            White face (if there is such a thing) isn’t the same as black face because being white is desirable to many people. They have all privilege, suffer little to no discrimination and aren’t looked down upon.

            Black face is problematic because black people are looked down as a race, they face prejudice every day (even in America), they were enslaved for hundreds of years and they were regarded as something less than humans. Black face was created by white people to make fun of black people and make them feel less than human. Other races (taking their cue from white people) also started making fun of black people for laughs till now because black people aren’t seen in the same desirable lights as white people. RM absolutely did this for laughs because Maknae FD always wears the outrageous costumes for laughs. Hey were like hey, Asian Maknae FD is now black Nick Fury.

            White face isn’t the same as black face and I’m actually bothered you equated them. They are not the same.

      • 2.3.2 Saturtledaisy

        I think this was a pretty good explanation on why blackface is not okay. Skin colour isn’t just ‘part of a costume’.

      • 2.3.3 Quiet Thought

        When this issue of black-face comes up in the States, I point out that black-faced comedy and casting whites as black characters (Amos & Andy the most famous examples) went out of fashion here in the 1940s, before the civil rights movement and racism became prominent national issues. Because, black-face and the style of humor that went along with it was such an obvious and ugly expression of racism that even a society where racial stereotyping was the norm saw how awful it was.

        Consequently, when people in the United States show up at parties and activities in black-face, the assumption is–and it is usually correct–that they are expressing racism and/or taunting the people who object to their expressing racism. Why else would it occur to them to DO something like that, a half-century after it dropped out of popular culture? In this decade, it is on a par with cracking rape jokes in public after hearing about a brutal sexual assault.

        • my opinion

          Yes, but this is also from an American viewpoint, where we have a very deep and personal connection with the idea of blackface, racism, and the connotations that go along with it. Korea doesn’t have that same connection or history, so though it may be in poor taste to us foreigners, this occurred in a *Korean* variety show. Why force them to comply with our cultural expectations, when we portray negative Asian stereotypes all the time? Especially when they clearly didn’t mean anything offensive by it; it was a costume, nothing more.

          • Quiet Thought

            I noticed but wasn’t particularly bothered by Maknae PD appearing in black-face, as it was not a caricature and I’m pretty sure he never even tried to try to mimic Samuel L. Jackson’s voice.

            I was, in my previous comment, trying to explain WHY Americans tend strongly to react to black-face impersonations. It is part of our cultural baggage, a meme used for deliberate and casual sharing of racism. Sharing racial stereotypes is part of everyone’s history of tribalism, of making excuses for mistreating each other, just as negative caricatures of Asians are used in America, just as negative caricatures of Americans and Koreans are used in Japan and as negative caricatures of Japanese and Americans are used in Korea.

            The black-face routine can occasionally be used to good effect for comedy, in a self-aware context, as it was used in ‘Tropic Thunder.” However, in most contexts, it comes off as crude and ignorant.

          • Quiet Thought

            It helps in these exchanges, by the way, to avoid cliched arguments. For instance, the term “PC” for “Politically Correct” was a useful one back twenty years ago, when student activists were nagging and scolding people on university campuses to say the right things and tow the line on certain moral and political beliefs. Nowadays, with that sort of activists being generally unpopular–nobody likes nags and scolds–it is far more likely to be thrown into conversation by someone wanting to slap down criticism of their own bigoted remarks.

            All that said, I was reminded of those old-style scolds in your comment. No one here, of course, is trying to “force” anyone to follow American standards in this matter. Just sharing impressions. And, of course, why, in a world run by civilized adults, would it be relevant that Americans use negative stereotypes of Asians? This isn’t a child’s playground or bar full of drunks or some movie about macho swordsmen, where someone spitting on your shoes is justified because your father once spit on his shoes.

          • Shiku

            But they still know its wrong. When they had the 88 olympics they stopped doing black face gags in shows because they know it wouldn’t fly with the games. When they did a skit making fun of Arabs they actually apologized when Arabs took offense to it because they know they did wrong. I just don’t think they hold black people in high regard or care about their feelings and that’s why they keep doing black face.

      • 2.3.4 bd

        Um, where in this case were they making fun of blacks?

        It’s a “straight” portrayal of a Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury from the Avengers film.

        And of course, Jackson didn’t paint his face white b/c the producers of the film cast him b/c they wanted to bring some “diversity” to the cast,

        Many roles which were white in the original source have been recast with black characters so as to add “diversity” and not be accused of being exclusionary or racist, such as for the film “The Shawshank Redemption” where Morgan Freeman’s character in the novel was white.

        The new “Ironsides” TV series stars Blair Underwood and Hollywood has remade entire films/series with an all black cast such as for “The Honeymooners.”

        Meanwhile, aside from Hollywood/theater having used and still using “yellowface” (some of it is OK aside from not giving more opportunities to Asian-American actors), black entertainers have used “whiteface.”

        Dave Chappelle and Shawn and Marlon Wayans have donned whiteface and were doing so to actually make fun of white stereotypes (the Wayans in the film “White Chicks” also crossed the gender gap).

        Eddie Murphy also played an old Jewish man in the film “Coming to America” and crossed the racial divide a no. of other times.

        This situation, much like the one where Robert Downey, Jr. donned blackface for his role in “Tropic Thunder” is quite different from the those harkening back to the minstrel shows.

        Along, the same line, Korean actresses have donned blonde wigs to play white characters – with absolutely zero racist intent behind it.

        • sel

          I think calling it a “‘straight’ portrayal of a Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury” is the best defense you can make for this–saying that they’re not portraying the character, but Samuel L. Jackson playing the character.

          But I still don’t think that holds. All the cast members here were playing white characters, but they didn’t feel the need to Caucasian-ize themselves to fit the role–they just assumed the characters clothes. There’s a lot going there on seeing black skin as part of the costume, whereas the white skin is an accepted default.

          I don’t think we can even compare “white-face” and “blackface” on the same level–one is an aesthetic people aspire to, especially in Asian cultures, and the other is an aesthetic looked down upon.

          And on top of that, we can’t deny that this was played for laughs. I mean Maknae FD is constantly in ridiculous costumes for the humor factor, and blackface was a part of this one.

          I have mad love for Running Man, and some major instances of sexism/racism is unavoidable on this show–doesn’t mean we have to hate the show, but we should call it for what it is.

          I get why people wanna defend it; this isn’t like racism on the level of vaudeville blackface, and though it comes from ignorance, it’s not from a malicious place or with bad intent. But…it’s still pretty bad. Totally crossed a line, and was disappointing.

      • 2.3.5 Brynn

        Oh my goodness! Just…oh my goodness! This episode in no way made fun of black people, unless you yourself find the skin color of black people to be a subject for embarrassment. Vaudeville minstrel shows that degraded and mocked those of African decent cannot be placed in the same category as this. How could you be so ignorant?
        Yes, racism persists and it is one of the greatest tragedies, not merely of our culture, but of the world in which we live. Humanity hating humanity has always perpetuated itself in one form or another.
        The depiction of Nick Fury was entirely innocent. If black people weren’t the victims of racism, would it be all right to don darker makeup in order to depict an actor who portrayed a superhero character? I just don’t understand why this is offensive. I’d really like to, but it seems to be a bit of a desperate attempt to see oneself as a perpetual victim because of ones skin color.

    • 2.4 Lady

      I think this article has a pretty good response as to why any and all blackface is offensive, regardless of intent.

      There are probably better articles out there but I happen to enjoy this one.

      • 2.4.1 MEalways

        Thanks, Lady.
        It is a good writing. I kind of agree with him. I also never found ‘Tropic Thunder’ was funny. I watched it due to the huge responds of this movie (most of the reviews thought it was ‘genius’, ‘very funny’, etc…). So I thought….
        I should learn more and better, since this is the age of internet…

        So yeah, it could have been better.

  3. alive

    This ep could have been awesome if not for the fact it had, I thought, way too many guests. If it was just down to the 7 RM themselves, I think it could have flowed much better.

    I thought the superpowers were sorta uneven, with some clearly much better than the others. And yes, I didnt agree with Jae Suk taking out Kwang Soo. It made no sense given who were left in the field.

    This ep might have been much better if Gary hadnt been eliminated so early, and if Jong Kook was healthy. We needed the two physically strongest RM against such powerful guests

    • 3.1 bd

      Agreed that this “superhero/Avengers” ep would have been better if the PD kept it to the RM cast themselves like the “super powers” ep and the “break out of prison” ep or just had 1-2 guests like the “change/vote for the king” ep.

      This allowed for the alliances to take form and fall apart whereas here, it was just an wild scrum with no rationale behind the moves.

      As for Spartakooks, aside from him not being 100%, it also didn’t help when he just waited within the confines of his thunder pit as he was too worried about his oversized nametag.

    • 3.2 FanBoi

      This ep was sadly disappointing because I loved the superpowers given. The powers weren’t really that showcased which sucks. I feel like the PD added that many guests to bring a huge challenge to the RM Team, just like The Avengers. Their goal should have been to work together and take out all the guests before going for each other. Who knows, maybe the plan all along was that if the RM aka Avengers team took out the guests, they would all be claimed victors. The powers were clever in the sense that they could work really well together. For example, Gary’s net thing seemed like a failure but that’s only because it wasn’t used properly. If the Avengers were a team, someone such as Iron Ha could provide a distraction with his flashy spark glove and flying ability. This would give time for Gary to open up his net and trap/wrap one of the guests inside the net while they were distracted and finish the job with help from his team. Also, in the case of the 2PM twins, I feel like they RM team could have worked together to trap the both of them (this is before they no which one is vulnerable) and have Captain Running Man use his soaker to enlargen both there tags in case they choose the wrong one and Chansung gets away. Then while they’re held down or something by Hulk, they could rip off the tags. Even Girin Eye’s arrows could be used for misfortune like when The Fighter uses his powers to put one of the team members in the ring. He could fire his arrow at him and it would probably give him some bad luck to make the tables turn. Hell, if they were a team they could just let JiHyo take all their powers from the start as a failsafe in case she’s the last one standing, which she was. All in all I believe this episode was supposed to be an entertaining parody on a classic SuperHero story with interesting abilities and characters designed to force RM to work as a team. Chansung pointed out that their motto is “Betray” which just goes to show the RM Team should have left that motto behind and work together. Overall, this episode could have been alot better so hopefully the team learned there lesson and they can FINALLY work together the next time!

  4. Kaekae

    Overall, I was disappointed and not just by the blackface. However, there were some very funny moments.
    I had to pause it when SukJin smacked himself, I was laughing so hard.
    Also, “Oppa, it’s me” the look JaeSuk’s face when the Hulk called him Oppa.

    not nearly enough JongKook for me. (He really needs to take care of that leg, carrying what’s her face last week couldn’t have been good, and now he’s playing in the ADC)

    One very good thing about this. No one can say it was scripted – you’d have to be a horrible scriptwriter to write “KJK hides in his little strobe light fortress and never uses his power.”

    Poor Gary – he keeps getting the worse powers ever.

    Concept was good, but the execution needed work

  5. ida

    Ugh. no offence to the cast cos I do like them for the most part but i’m struggling to keep myself interested in the episodes these days. :/
    It’s cute and gives me some entertainment, but I dunno… Something about RM just doesnt resonate with me ad much as it used to. Perhaps it’s just variety fatigue.
    One thing I wish they could do but probably won’t is bring the episode duration shorter to what it used to be like. Even before it was fairly long, but I just feel like the episodes are too long at times. It’s as if they’re just waiting for that golden variety moment, and it’s mildly entertaining before they hit it, if they do, but it’s super tiring to watch one round of a single game go on for ages with the cast shouting and trying to make it seem more exciting/funny/whatever.
    It’s not every episode that’s like this, but they’ve gotten worse at somewhat streamlining the show a bit. I dont expect a lot of streamlining. Just enough to keep the momentum of entertainment and the attentions of viewers going…

    • 5.1 Katie

      I completely agree with you. I used to be addicted to watching RM and catching up on old episodes, but lately I just haven’t been very interested in it. The guests have been so-so and the missions have been a little boring. I mean I was super excited for 2PM but they didn’t even have a very big role to play. I wish RM would stick with 1-2 guests and do missions again like traveling or visiting different locations. I guess it’s hard to be creative though after 100+ episodes. Bring back Song Joong Ki for an episode! That would awesome.

      • 5.1.1 CutiieAngiie

        I guess I am the only Running Man’s fan who finds Song Joong Ki boring and not entertaining at all. Sure, he has his flower boy persona and there wasn’t much room to improve his character but he didn’t really bring anything to the team. Even Suk Jin who didn’t have any screentime back then was funnier than him.

        Plus, it is too late if they bring him as a guest and permanent member again because the chemistry and the bond of RM has been much stronger and he would just be left out. I also noticed that RM’s PD doesn’t seem to want him back too.
        Look at episode 66 when he came as guest. Sure, the cast was split so he couldn’t spend a lot of times with the other, but when they saw him, it wasn’t the “OH MY GOD, it is our Joong Ki !” They were meh.
        The same with episode 71 when he presented the mission. Except for Kwang Soo, you didn’t see any members being delighted by this cameo.
        And again with episode 97 when he participated to the match too. The cast cheered for him and Kim Jong Kook said some words to him too but the way the editing was done feels like he wasn’t even part of RM at all. It was cold between them so I don’t really know what happened between SJK and RM’s team but I don’t think they will bring him back again. Maybe as guest but that’s it.

        • TiniWiniBiti

          I know I’m going to suffer fangirls’ wrath from this, but yeah I also don’t want SJK to return as RM’s member. It might increase the ratings, but I think the cast is solid as they are right now, and bringing back SJK would throw the chemistry off balance. And frankly, I found him boring there (when compared to the other members, even JSJ, just like you said). Now, I would rather have Yong Hwa as permanent member though, just because he’s really entertaining to watch and he has good rapport with the members.
          I wouldn’t mind if SJK comes as a guest, but not as a member again.

        • Yoeda

          I think SJK one of the reason RM become globally popular. Like me i keep digging about him when i watch SKKS and i found RM. Mb he doesnt really funny but we must remember he left after episode 42. At that time all of the cast still searching their own identity in this show. We can deny his persona on screen that brought people to watch the show and make it popular until now. But i agree once he left theres no need to bring him back as permanent member. Mb as a guest in special episode will do. Now this show really need to look back n think what make people love RM long ago. Spontaneus and honest episode and doesnt really scripted is better.

        • bd

          You’re not the only one.

          While I really like SJK, it’s as an actor and not on variety shows.

          Right now, each of the members of RM have their own persona/characters and have no problem messing around with each other or their guests.

          SJK is too much like other young idols or actors/actresses – usually refraining from messing with others due to insecurity or respect for their elders.

          Every once in a while SJK did have a nice quip or 2 – such as the time they went to the aquarium to take photos of animals that looked like them and when Mong-ji was thinking about her future wish, quipping that it was to be a “foul mouthed ajumma restaurant owner.”

          • dkaoru

            The Aquarium ep is a rare ep where Joong Ki is actively trying to be funny. A lot of times in previous eps, I think he’s just reacting. But I really like him as an actor, and I read somewhere that Running Man is his first variety show, so you know, don’t be so harsh to the pretty boy 🙂
            I would love to see Joong Ki back on Running Man to be honest. Or at least come as a guest. Song Song siblings man se! hahahaha

  6. LK

    This episode wasn’t as good as expect… Well first, I thought it was a RM members only episode! But there were 5 guests… The super powers could have been cool but most of the members forgot about it and didn’t really use them, like Jongkook! Anyway, wasn’t as epic as it could have been.

    One thing I loved though was how Jihyo demanded a fair fight! And she was like “I hate when they see me as a weak woman”! Oh Jihyo, you’re so awesome!

    I didn’t think the “blackface” was offensive. I see how it could be, but he was just dressed up as Nick Fury! The skin color was added to be more accurate, not to make fun.

    • 6.1 gg

      agree, Ji Hyo was awesome in that one to one fight with CSH. CSH was cool as well for keeping his promise of using only one hand to fight 🙂

  7. onyxx

    i had such high hopes for this episode — it suppose it’s okay, just nowhere near where i expected it to be. the superpower theme is always great idea (for RM), if handled right.

    i think it would have been better if only the RM cast members were involved (and maybe a single entertaining guest). the way things rolled out — there were just too many threads (and way too many guests) to follow, and some of the superpowers didn’t work out too well (unwieldy, almost useless). continuity was also a problem, despite all the editing they’ve done.

    a complex setup like this would be easier to handle if the producers had kept things within a small confined space like they did in the first “superhero” episode. even the guests seemed more like a distraction. hmmm… hopefully they wil be able to fix things in the next (continuing) episode.

  8. JC

    I wish they’d limited the number of guests, to give more airtime and level the playing field for the RM cast members.

    I thought the cosplay as Nick Fury was okay (and actually quite enjoyed it), since it’s just a recognizable part of the character; in the original comic he was also dark skinned, and Go PD in just the eyepatch and leather jacket probably would’ve been unrecognizable as the character he was trying to portray.

    My favourite part of the episode had to be Ace Ji-hyo though <333 SO AMAZING for trying to take on Chu Sung-hoon, and even almost tearing his nametag a couple times.
    I can't wait for the episode that's going to be just for her!

    • 8.1 Shiku

      Actually in the original comic he was white, he is still white there but in one of their alternate universe offshoots he was made black.

  9. yoeda

    i watch kim dong hyun and jung doo hong in lets go dream team before. they are funny and athletic in their own way. mb its not really scripted like RM here.

  10. 10 Andrea

    I was super excited about it, and even if I kind of liked it, it was nowhere near my expectations.

    Usually, I love when RM limits their themed episodes to be featured by the cast, so I was like “WTF” at the number of guests. Like, maybe if they weren’t introduced so suddenly at the third act or if there were more interactions, it would’ve worked out better.

    There were some awesome moments though: Monday Couple ones (singing, holding hands, “What’s the meaning of this?!”), the “training” had some good, funny ones too, and obviously, Ji Hyo going against The Fighter. I love her, she’s awesome.

    Concerning Jong Kook… He basically spend the latter half of the episode hiding. That freaked me out. It’s not normal for him to be like this. And I repeat this, and I will continue to repeat it: he needs to rest, because I prefer missing him for a few episodes than watching him leave the show eventually because of his health.

    That being said, I guess the concept was really good, but there were a lot of “meh” moments in the execution. Mostly, I was dissapointed at everyone going against everyone, ’cause the cast was obviously at disadvantage. And just throwing this out there to the cast: The Avengers are a freaking team you guys, they work as a freaking team. So, hopefully, the second part will be better. I think it should be, ’cause the ratings were low, therefore that should lit a fire under everyone’s asses.

    • 10.1 nomad

      Yep, it seems like for the final part the RM forgot that they were a team and like usual betray each other constantly :(. I had too high of a hope for this episode, cause my favorite episodes ever were the ones involving the super powers. I hope the second installment would be better. I’m actually glad that Kooksmaster disappeared for the second half, because at least he got some rest, right? Please say that he got some rest…

      • 10.1.1 Andrea

        If you put that way, well he did rest. Still, it scares me. I’ve been marathoning the old episodes, and watching him then and now… Yeah, it’s a big change. I hope he gets better.

  11. 11 Running Man Fan

    I think High expectation leads to greater disappointment. I was really excited about this superhero episode but was disappointed with the outcome.. Running Man team could have display more teamwork against the enemies. What is RM captain Yoo Jae Suk doing?
    Great moments:
    1) Ji Suk Jin smacked his head in order to pull himself up while doing sit up.. Funny big nose hyung but I really admire his determination at this age.
    2) Ji Suk Jin to ask Ji Hyo to act normally.. Lol
    3) Monday couple moment – cute duet (love Gary rapping)
    4) Gary first betrayal when he and Ji Hyo left Jae suk car. The betrayal duo hesitation. Haha. Jae suk have to force them into the car
    5) Ji Hyo fight against fighter sung-Hoon. You go girl! Proud of the ace.
    6) the fearsome kim dong Hyun.. Love how he chased everyone and how he adorably address Jae suk as oppa when he act as Ji Hyo
    7) the twins 2pm although did not do much is adorable and provide eye candy moments.
    8) The team leaders Jae Suk and Jong Kook. I always love them as leaders and competitors.
    9) Kookie uses his bicep to threaten his team mates.. It is for variety pruposes and to balance up the members in each team. I love the ‘terrified’ face of the Members. Hehe.
    10) the bullet game and how awesome Jae suk team is.. Hmm Jong Kook team lost was unexpected
    11) the stuntmen and their performance.. Only jong kook team can pass this test.

    I dislike:
    1) Jae suk betrayal to Kookie and Kwang Soo
    2) Jong Kook has little screen time and he did not use his power at all.
    3) Haha was trapped in between his enemies when flying up. Some power should be revised I think because while some were good but others were just a hindrance.. For instance Gary power was useless.
    4) I rather see the MMA fighters fight against each other and see a more active Running Man in actions. But it can’t help that they were suspicious of each other and Jong Kook is injuried, plus his power is limited in that space.
    5) I cannot decide is guests good for this episode… Yes it provide more excitement but more confusion was mess up.
    6) the goal of the mission is unclear.. I supposed it should be team work before individual race. Perhaps RM gonna figure that out themselves.

    Worst super power:
    1) Gary Spider-Man – what’s up with the web?
    2) Kwang Soo – unfortunate bow arrow was useless and he only used 1 on teammate Ji suk Jin
    3) HaHa – ironman keep flying around aimlessly. Most of the time is defense.
    4) kim Jong kook – what is his power?
    5) Yoo Jae Suk – a gun again? He should use it wisely
    6) ji suk Jin – Hulk need time to be angry.. Yeah at least that is a good one
    7) Ji Hyo – great advantage of gaining powers. A pity she was discovered early by sharp eye jong kook which created mistrust among themselves

    I appreciate the hardwork of Running Man team. As always looking forward to the next episode Thank you for the recap. 🙂

  12. 12 darkpurple

    the avengers’s theme was great..but it became very chaotic with too many guests..and it became worse because almost all members seemed they were confused with their power..the super power episodes is kinda hit or miss,reminded me to christmas’s super power episode,when initially the game almost done without something interesting,till haha used his power to undo the game and later it became very interesting because all the members already adapt to their power compared to the first game..anyway,i really love kim do hyun the hulk,he was enjoyable and funny, i ilke to see him again in RM!=)maybe the concept ‘less is more’ is more appropriate for this episode..too many happened,too many guests and useless powers make our minds in chaos=(

  13. 13 Saturtledaisy

    I actually liked this episode – blackface aside. But I do think there were just too many guests which made everything chaotic. But I just like the superpowers – though I do think they should’ve been used more often.

    Personally, I’d just like to see Runningman working as a team more often, rather than everybody chaotically betraying eachother. This episode might’ve been better if it had been Runningman Avengers versus Villains, where they had to team up.

  14. 14 Alinka

    That’s the first word that came to my mind after I finished watching the episode. I sincerely like RM since their very first broadcast, and I always find a reason to justify some not-so-good episodes, but this episode.. Let’s say that they should have managed the guests’ appearance better. Way too many guests can overshadow what may become a kickin’ episode. Thanks for recapping, gummi

  15. 15 maymay

    I got confused over who’s who on the paintball segment. But did enjoy the situps.

    Overall I think it’s a little all over the place…possibly because there were so many guests on top of so many superpowers. Ji hyo was awesome – she almost got Sung Hoon eliminated….and she looks good in her black catsuit

    The rest of the RM members mostly brought their own downfall by not cooperating among themselves…

    I think it’s a mediocre episode…hopefully the next one would be more fun.

  16. 16 Hari

    I love RM, but I agree with other commenters…execution was off. There were some funny moments & I hope the bit at the end leads to more on the Avengers theme.

    That first view of the PD as Fury disappointed me. I don’t know alot about cosplay, but that was way to literal. RM has done this before, I think Jaesuk was dressed as a char from Dooley(?) & was wearing dark makeup. I’m African-American & began watching South Korean TV shows & listening to Kpop last year. I was surprised at the stereotypes about African-American & Africans that are considered “ok” to say, portray & are accepted as factual in some of the South Korean media. 1 of the Super Junior members was playing Oprah Winfrey = dark makeup AND cartoonish big lips prop; Gil (Leessang) & HaHa in dark makeup as Olympic athletes like Usain Bolt(?); a Korean-American singer portraying a African-American woman in which dialogue & movement was eyerolls, neck popping, ATTitude filled; a sub translation indicating excellence in “African-American English” on “Happy Together” recently; 1920’s NatGeo African tribesmen graphics displayed when Africa is referenced. One dimensional sterotypes that evoke laughter but little respect. I don’t want to see it American media, let alone in global media!

    PD as full on Samuel Jackson as Fury did DID disappointment me even though I don’t believe the RM crew’s intent was to perpetuate stereotypes in order to belittle African-Americans.

    • 16.1 bd

      Some of those other portrayals of blacks are indeed bothersome, but no way limited to Korea.

      Heck, we see that buffoonish/stereotypical portrayals in Hollywood in projects heralded by black entertainers – such as the loud, angry and overweight black woman which has been done not only by Eddie Murphy, but by Martin Lawrence and Tyler Perry has built an entire entertainment empire around it.

      And in shows geared to the black audience in the US, Asians have been just as badly stereotyped as shows geared to the white audience.

      The maknae PD doing Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury was played straight-up so is on an entirely different level.

      • 16.1.1 Shiku

        Asians have been stereotyped to be brilliant smart professors, doctors, lawyers, business people and students. Isn’t it better to be stereotyped that than a druggie, thug, thief and murderer? Asians are actually treated better than other minorities in the US.

      • 16.1.2 Brynn

        I agree. This summary (not the actual episode) was definitely tainted for me after reading that pretentious statement made by the author.

  17. 17 Jayda

    I wish RM would bring in the JYJ boys, Jaejoong, Xiah Junsu and Yoochun… That would be fun 🙂

    • 17.1 bd

      Nah, eps with idols tend to be a bore (see the 2 eps with “Big Bang”).

    • 17.2 millaredwitch

      I second that!!! last somebody mention their name! They are a bunch of quite funny, eccentric and quirky people so I think they will be able to spice up the atmosphere~~~~ Been waiting like ages for them.. hopefully our wish will come true in this near future….

    • 17.3 dkaoru

      I think they’re still banned??

  18. 18 Ms__Mase

    I have been a fan of Running Man from the first episode but this episode was really disappointing for me on the cultural front and the content front. First in the matter of blackface, I have heard every explanation under the sun in the last week but it was still too far. Cosplay is not an excuse, this was announced as an Avengers episode and had Dong Wan had just a bald head, eye patch, and beard with the trenchcoat he would have been recognizable as Nick Fury in the current Avengers adaptation. I have never seen someone darken or lighten their skin for cosplay unless it was for a nonhuman character. As a Black fan it really hurt my feelings to see that especially when this show is known for being international, I mean the PD talked about wanting to take the show to the Sahara or getting Michael Jordan for a Super Powers basketball episode. I expected better in terms of cultural sensitivity from the staff who are well aware of the program’s global reach.

    But ultimately I was disappointed that this episode was overloaded with guests. These special episodes are the only times we get to see the great chemistry between the cast members without a guest interfering with this. I know that a lot of us f hi who have been there from the early episodes really missed it as of late. I am optimistic that the part two of the Avengers episode will be even better. It seems like the true contest amongst the cast will be in that episode. If it is like episode 93 the Nonstop episode then it will be epic!

  19. 19 Pineapple

    The ep was so-so. But yessh cos play is cos play, I didn’t think it was offensive at all. That PD is always funny!!!

  20. 20 Betty

    This episode was all over the place.

    Also concerning the impersonation of Nick Fury from the Avengers movie it made me feel uneasy and I skipped the parts where he appeared as much as possible. I don’t think it was mean spirited but still it didn’t feel right.

    Anyway average episode. Thanks to Ji Hyo’s fight it ended it on kind of a good note for me. Ji Hyo was very sexy and her last fight was awesome. Loved it!

  21. 21 nxa

    the Korean zombie!!! I nearly died when Kim Dong-hyun showed up…highlight of the episode for me! <3
    I do agree with everyone, though, in that there were too many guests. I also think the episode was way too long, and thus some parts felt a little draggy. However, if the story continues, as it seems it'll do, I think they'll probably have a better sense of what went wrong in this episode and will probably fix whatever was askew in this one.
    Joong Kook really needs to take some rest, though, it has been really weird for me to see him so….weak, I guess, not only in this episode but in the previous ones as well. As some one said before, I rather miss him for a few eps than having him not being able to continue the show.

    • 21.1 Bro

      The Korean Zombie aka Chan Sung Jung wasn’t on there haha. Dong Hyun Kim is Stun Gun.

  22. 22 Cookie

    Yes. Kim Jong Kook became too weak now and I don’t know what the Running Man team are doing.. Jong kook is not the strongest opponent anymore and the fighter can stop be so annoying to fight with Spartakook.. Obviously Spartakook take things easy now 1) he is injured 2) he is not young anymore.. If he continue to underperform, it will only make the show draggy and painful to watch… It gets to me that KJk look like he is in pain but carry on with the fliming.. For the sake of everyone, just rest for a long time and come back with a bang… He has not been chasing people recently.. He is the best in that and I notice Running Man members are not afraid of him anymore as compared to before… Spartakook is losing his touch and simply not his normal self anymore with these display of weaknesses..

  23. 23 Cookie

    Lastly: all the black face comment is up to individual opinion. I for one is not bothered about the cos play. I do not find it offensive.

  24. 24 Bro

    I didn’t find the black face thing racist and I truly didn’t even consider it racist until I arrived here and read the comments. It’s like with Robert Downey Jr. in the movie Tropic Thunder. It’s meant to be a joke. I’m Asian and I don’t get offended when people do the slant eyes. Only when it’s obviously meant as an insult is when I get mad.

    But on the episode, I really enjoyed this episode as someone who watches and follows MMA. Nice to see Dong Hyun Kim starting to do variety (even though he’s not the most exciting fighter to watch at times). He was really into it. I also found it ironic how Jihyo is the only one deemed acceptable but her spider bite marks was what split the group up by making them paranoid. And yeah they need to give Jongkook a break. Dude has had back surgery. That ain’t no joke and you never truly comeback 100% from that.

    • 24.1 myzoya

      I agreed!! I don’t find this black face PD thingy is a racist at all. They just want to copy Samuel L.Jackson character in The Avengers movie to a ‘perfection’!! I don’t understand what the fuss is all about..honestly… And they didn’t even make any slight ‘racist’ comments whatsover.. *sigh*

    • 24.2 Shiku

      Black fave in Tropic Thunder was done to shoe hoe ridiculousness of it, Maknae FD thing was done for funsies.

  25. 25 On a QIHM High

    I appreciated the concept but the execution was weak. The superpowers weren’t probably developed and ended up being more of a handicap at times than strengths.

    I was also pretty disappointed in the RM team for not deciding to fight together when they found out they had such strong guests. Betrayals are fine but in small quantities – if you keep betraying constantly and especially when it’ll cause you to lose, then it becomes a bit stupid. Like the betrayal at the beginning made sense because it evened things out but all the betrayals in the actual game didn’t. I think the RM team should have known better, and the PD shouldn’t have had to tell them (people keep saying it’s the PD’s fault). I’m getting pretty annoyed at the betrayals because the harmony and the teamwork I saw in earlier episodes (and what drew me in) seems to have disappeared lately.

    But I did enjoy the first part of the episode and I liked the fight between Ji-Hyo and Sung-Hoon. It was intense! And the guests were all amazing too. I hope part 2 fixes the flaws of this one.

  26. 26 Mia

    The Hulk, Kim Do hyun, was really funny! 😀
    He kept saying “oppa! oppa! It’s Ji hyo!” that it just confused and freaked out the others.

    Ace Ji hyo is really awesome! I’m so proud!

    • 26.1 ffiza

      I agree.Kim Dong Hyun is the MVP for this episode despite being around for only 10 minutes

  27. 27 Someone06

    I have mixed feelings about the episode too. Not only there were too many guests, but they appear only half way through the show.
    I’m not sure what to think about the very chaotic last battle, but it was still entertaining and for once it didn’t seem scripted one bit, which was refreshing!.

    And finally, am I the only one to be super excited for the upcoming episodes? Next week actor Jung Woo-sung, who I love, with Park Hyo Joo who was really fun the first time on the show. And in a couple weeks, Park Ji Sung in Shanghai!

  28. 28 bjharm

    Like many it didnt even accure to me that the PD wearing black makeup was some how deemed rasist by many, but then I do not have the US cultural baggage of slavey and the like, so I will pass on any comment.
    As for the show itself, episodes like this that have scripted events to fit in ‘clever’ stunts and gimmics, it either works or dosn’t, this time it didnt really work. That said the episode seems to have been made as a two parter, thus the RM betraying each other and not working as a team was scripted into the show, so to lead to that end scene and the next epiosde…the war is coming..da da da

  29. 29 Quiet Thought

    Finally watched the show through to the end, and, as I expected, the badly thought out “superpowers” screwed up the episode so that I simply skipped through most of the second half.

    Dong Fury’s little bridge to the next battle summed it up nicely: Ji Hyo was the only regular who didn’t embarrass herself in the tag contest. Most of the powers were next to useless, using them discouraged cooperation, and none of the male regulars seemed interested in anything but doing schtick.

    Note to all costume departments everywhere: I know it was just for laughs, but no one with a receding chin like Jae Suk should ever, ever wear that 3/4 head mask.

  30. 30 bd

    Like for many others, this ep was a bit of a disappointment – was decent but had the potential to be so much better.

    The superpowers could have been better thought out for some and too many guests – and would have been more fitting to the theme if they were supervillains which would have made the RM cast more apt to stick and work together.

    As for the costumes, Spider Gary had way too much of the way of the padded muscles while YJS’s Captain RM could have used some (Captain America is more muscular/bulkier than Spiderman).

    Kook Thor’s costume was ill-fitting and actually hid, instead of showing off KJK’s physique.

    I would say that Iron Ha had the best costume (and best powers), except that Black Mung’s black costume takes the cake (can’t decide if Mong-ji as the rocker or as Black Mung was hotter).

    As already stated, thought that the PD should have stuck to the them and made the guests supervillains – aside from the one playing the Hulk alter ego and for that I think CSH would have made a better Hulk than KDH due to his larger physique (tho it was funny seeing CSH running away from somebody).

    Despite being “outmanned” – liked the fact that YJS’s team won in paintball tho it is easier being on defense than offense.

    KJK’s team finally wizened up w/ regard to the order in doing the sit-ups, but despite the stuntman’s 71 sit-ups, really was too easy of a task (would have liked to have seen what the other training tasks were).

    3-4 people should be able to beat a single person doing sit-ups b/c things really slow down for the last few, even for a person who is in great shape (70-72 was pretty much what I used to be able to do in a minute).

    Unfortunately Mong-Ji was the only one who really played the name-tag game hard and well.

  31. 31 Grumpble

    Love the character intros however my expectations of a battle flop the Avengers is so daebak to RM members that the Pds fell short too much guests yes just the RM themselves would have been much better but also fighting Loki was the main point of Avenger I wonder if the continuation is better My main dissapointment is Garys character Spiderman is so out if place what where they thinking so Out of the whole Avengers Theme. Its a total disaster. And he got alot of shot which is not cool. And Kjk character he shd have had a showdown with Jaesuk or Haha but he just sit all that time. Iam totally demoting who finalized the script its a messed. Verdict totally dissapointed.

    • 31.1 zodd

      Spider-man makes sense if you read the comics. He’s been part of the Avengers/S.H.I.E.D for many years, same with Wolverine.

  32. 32 Grumpble

    Seriously you must be kidding me if tou think RM is not scripted Hello thats why they have writers and what show on TV is not scripted always they need a story and a structure to start a SHow. However I think RM members they go with the flow I think pds give them instructions and adlib so viewers think it so real and not scripted. But really people who says a variety show is not scripted is a Fool seriously Think. Sorry but its really annoying.

    • 32.1 Quiet Thought

      Before you call everyone fools, could you be clearer on what you mean by “scripted?” I am pretty sure everyone here agrees that the PDs have a course of events in mind for the show each week and that the regulars, at least, have an idea of what roles they play on camera. So do the people who put on professional football games. However, if I thought the OUTCOME of the games were scripted I wouldn’t go anywhere near the show, and given some of the peculiarities I’ve seen on various episodes, I doubt that could be happening.

  33. 33 Barloppie

    Yes it is dissapoitment and to think it looks very expensive episode. The black thing is so funny and I dont think its racist at all its a portrayal like the RM team the black racist is so wayyy out of the picture and when there is an Asian portraying to be black its always a fuckin Issue thats why racist is still so present bec of the stupidity

    • 33.1 Shiku

      Which proves my point that the black face display wasn’t a homage to the character, it was done for laughs which is the whole problem.

  34. 34 Barloppie

    And Please Joongki is so Over yes he is boring he is no Lee Seunggi who is smart and stupidly sometimes hehehe Innocent Funny. Jongki is fitted to be an actor not on variety maybe a host but not in a showlike RM I watch him cry at episode wirh Seven and its so childish Gosh his a Soar Loser he cannot be in a game he is not a sport and Jaesuk seems annoyed with him he is full of himself and I think he is selfcentered thats why when tou watch Early episodes he is not funny at all. And he only guest I think once after he left which mean his not that close with all the RM team/family. Iam just being honest and its just my observations not an Anti just my opinion.

    • 34.1 shiningcat

      It’s “just your opinion” but why are you dissing him and calling names at him like this? Plus, your comments are absolutely biased towards Lee Seung Gi, I see?

      Let me list out what you called Joong Ki: boring, no Lee Seung Gi (who is smart and sometimes he is innocent and funny), childish, sore loser, can’t be in a game, not a sport, makes Jaesuk annoyed, full of himself, self-centered, not funny at all, not close with the RM team/family.

      Wow! I’m surprised that your opinion could be so harsh! What did Joong Ki do to you and your precious Lee Seunggi? Try to put yourself in Joong Ki’s shoes and try to think about if you were dissed like that.

  35. 35 dkaoru

    Bruce Banner is a physicist, not a chemist. Just sayin’ 🙂

    I totally agree with the PD assessment on the Running Avengers. Need more training. More eps on superheroes, hurray!

    • 35.1 bjharm

      they where getting the myths mixed with Jeckel and Hyde me thinks.

  36. 36 sleepingisgood

    I wonder if this episode was originally going to be a 2-parter and then something happened to change the schedule. The editing usually is pretty great, but for this episode it seemed off, the beginning games/superhero training seemed really rushed.

    • 36.1 zodd

      Yeah, it was odd because it felt almost as if the PD had set this up for the RM team to fell, so that whenever the 2nd time RM Avenger theme happens they would actually work together.

      • 36.1.1 dkaoru

        wonder when the 2nd RM Avenger will be 🙂
        I like eps where the Running Man works together.
        The next ep I think is better than this ep. Yeah for teamwork!

  37. 37 Lilian

    Jong Kook didn’t get much screen time. Not too sure whether coz he is still not fully recovered. but I love this episodes for a few reasons.
    1. The couple duet in the beginning
    2. the Monday couple betrayal at the start
    3. The suits mostly looked cool, and Haha was like a kid. It was awesome seeing him . XD
    4. Jihyo was plain awesome and so smart in getting the mark on Suk Jin and Gary. Granted that Gary should have been the easiest =P
    5. Seeing the Hulk transformation!
    6. Jaesuk hiding by lying down on the floor and asking why they invited crazy guests like these!
    7. Gary trying to use the web to trap people. He was always too slow. Haha…

  38. 38 Raptor

    Agreed that the idea was interesting but the execution was much less than desirable. When I first watched the ep, I was quite appalled that there was almost ZERO teamwork among the RM members even when they’ve been informed of the guests coming. I think even the PDs and editors caught on on that, the subtitles showing how the RM members did not bother working TOGETHER to overcome their adversaries.

    For example, if they’d strategised and allowed Ace Ji Hyo to mark them, then at least she would have had more options when her RM members got eliminated. And what in the world were Haha,YJS and KJK doing? Plain ridiculous! I have to say some powers were quite lame, but if they’d worked together somehow, I am sure the outcome would have been much better. YJS shooting the name tags of his own RM teammates was the STUPIDEST thing I’ve seen him do in a while!!!

    In the end it was up to Ace to duel the fighter. SO RIDICULOUS but awesome in a way cuz she was the only one playing the game properly, as compared to the other RM members.

    Seriously that was what really bothered me, and not the fact that RM lost.

  39. 39 endut

    this is totally OOT, but anyone knows the title of an opera(?) song played at Chu Seung Soo’s entry? Thank you… ^^

    • 39.1 myzoya

      It’s “Con Te Partiro / Time to Say Goodbye” by Andrea Bocelli duet w/ Sarah Brightman. There are 2 versions, with the first w/ full Italian lyrics & the latter is mixed w/ English. Check them out at youtube.

  40. 40 meiili

    i’m watching it while doing my face mask. and I nearly cracked my face when jong kook send his bicep’s photo. :))))

    can anyone tell me the title of Leessang’s song Ji Hyo sang with her ‘band’? thx

  41. 41 Brynn

    “Dong Fury (aka Maknae FD) whose blackface cosplay reminds me that Korea still has much to learn about its offensive displays of stereotypes.”

    I truly and innocently don’t understand why that was offensive or stereotypical? In order to portray Dong Fury, who happened to be African American, Maknae wore darker makeup (I would hardly call it blackface, however). I am not racist and am perhaps insensitive slightly to the topic because I really don’t understand why targeting the color of someone’s skin in a negative or cruel way is even done; it’s so immature and ignorant. That being said, I don’t know why putting on makeup to portray the color of a comic book character’s skin is offensive, either? They weren’t doing it to be offensive and I didn’t see anyone doing anything that was off-color or derogatory. While racism most definitely and shamefully exists, hypersensitivity to anything remotely pertaining to racial reference is also a problem worth addressing. If by “a lot to learn” you mean “Paranoia to be adopted”, then I do agree with you. Why is everyone so up-in-arms about innocent things like that? I’m sorry if I unintentionally offend anyone, but I hope that my observation/opinion at least inspires people to think a little.

  42. 42 jenji

    i’m little confused
    i don’t get it, how jihyo was approved
    i mean she didn’t help any member
    not even was involved in any battle until she had no choice

    • 42.1 RMfanatic

      Yes, honestly I think she was one of the main reasons that split up the teamwork between the RM members. When the guests entered, Jong Kook sincerely suggested to work together to eliminate the guests who are too strong. Even though the RM members have long lost trust in each other through so many betrayals, they seemed to agree with KJK as they were stunned and scared of the guests. But right at that moment, the black marks on Gary’s and Suk Jin’s necks were spotted and that put the whole casts in paranoid as they lost trust toward each other. Yes Ji Hyo did the marks before the guests entered, but if only she honestly confessed her power then the members might have trusted her again. But she selfishly stayed quiet and did not want to cooperate with anyone.

      Another huge disappointment was Yoo Jae Suk. It annoyed me when he shot KS’s and JK’s name tags and tried to eliminate them when they were supposed to combine force to ‘out’ the guests. And every other member was disappointing as well as they were all selfishly thinking to win for themselves. But I think it was pretty entertaining how Suk Jin was trying to increase his heart beats LOL he saved the episode imo.

      Urrr it could have been a much better episode if the Avengers trusted each other and worked together to fight against the villains even with the huge number of powerful guests. Anyway that was cool that at the end FD Dong Wan evaluated the Avengers. I agreed with all of the valuations except for Ji Hyo’s. It was thrilling to see she was the last one standing and fought against the fighter as a powerful woman but she, just like the other RM members, only thought of herself.

      I felt like the RM casts in this episode did not represent the Avengers at all. They were no different from the villains (the casts). Hope Part 2 is gonna be better.

      • 42.1.1 sp

        It’s extremely unfair to lay the blame on Jihyo for RM’s lack of unity. Yeah, they all agreed with KJK that they should work together but on the back of their mind, they still only think for themselves. ALL of them are. PDs sure didn’t help when they intentionally divided the group into two in the beginning. None of them were willing to reveal their superpower to each other, including KJK. The distrust amongst the casts run so deeply there’s no telling if they’d be willing to let Jihyo marks them even if she told them her power. My bet is they wouldn’t. Afterall, the only way she can get their powers is for them to be eliminated and with this being an individual game, that itself may invite pre-mature attacks on herself. She already can’t fight them physically, why would she reveal the only card she has when everybody else was also selfishly not cooperating with the team?

        YJS played the worst and I am really disappointed to see he attacked Kwangsoo and JongKook right off the bat and no intention to fix the situation at all after that. I think PDs know them too well and totally expected this outcome. This is a wake up call for them, can’t wait for the next instalment.

        By the way, as much as I loved Jihyo and her final fight I agree she shouldn’t be given approval. A side note commending her bravery perhaps but RM failed as a team none of them is excluded.

  43. 43 yusman kacak

    running man is the best

  44. 44 Jjang

    What could be an epic nametag elimination fight with so many powerful guest turn to waste because the members seem didn’t want to fight with the guest or rather waste energy doing so, as you can see even yoo jae suk and jong kook showing their back easily like they just wanting to get eliminated quickly, something which they themselves will never do if they try the best,

    someone said ji hyo was the reason of non unity between the members, maybe she is one of the reason but there are so many reason why they didn’t work together, and she did it because she trying to be the best in games,

    what i dont understand is yoo jae suk, he as a captain of running man should have united them, and yet he ousted kwangsoo when there is Sung-hoon between them, it would be epic if instead they work together and try to beat sung-hoon,

    The PD itself is to be blamed, yes maybe they trying to show the members lack of unity is a problem, but they should have make it interesting for the viewer. Regular nametag elimination is probably the best for such many powerful guest, or Heroes vs Villain, instead of all nametag elimination

    and maybe reintroduce Punishment so the members are all trying their best to beat the game rather than to make it funny all the time

    maybe dramabeans running man fans can help write the PD to suggest an idea, you can do it here

  45. 45 Okay

    Just because you like running man means you can’t understand simple wrongs they do? They were obviously ignorant as hell. I cannot fathom how people in these comments are okay with this literally blackface. Some of you are saying its funny, and some are saying its a Cosplay to get more into the character. First of all, a race should never be turned into a Cosplay. Of course you can Cosplay someone outside of your race but you don’t paint your face. That’s where you get racist. It’s funny? It helps you get more into character? I’ll remember that when I Cosplay disney’s mulan, as I use tape to enhance the “Squinty eye.” Nothing wrong with it, apparently.. Just trying to get more into character, ya know?

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