Running Man: Episode 154
Our cast continues to prepare for the Asian Dream Cup for the chance to play alongside soccer sensation Park Ji-sung. Not only that, a new guest comes to play in varietyland, and let’s just say, he’s awesome. And why yes, that is how Kwang-soo smiles in photos. That is, whenever there’s a soccer ball flying at his face.
EPISODE 154. Broadcast on July 14, 2013.
The previews show us that last week’s losing team (Team Koo) was subject to punishment, which explains why they arrive at the airport today decked out in winter gear. You’re going to Shanghai, not Siberia!
At least they’re not afraid to strut around the place in it and Haha runs up to comment on Suk-jin’s furry hat: “G-Dragon! G-Dragon!” Ha, the captions spell it out for us: Ji (or G, alternatively) Dragon.
We start with a mini-punishment mission at the airport: in order to shed their layers, the losing team will act as the winning team’s personal slaves. Their master-slave arrangements have already been predetermined, and Kwang-soo recalls that Jong-kook promised to be Sulli’s slave in a previous episode.
The masters send their servants on their first mission to buy jipo (dried filefish), and all of them gape incredulously, “Here?! At the airport?” It’s just so randomly specific of a task.
The slaves head out anyway and Suk-jin uses his noggin’ to swing by the convenience store. Ha, why am I not surprised that Kwang-soo runs out of there and leaves Jong-kook to foot the bill?
They all get to shed a layer of clothing when they return, and Haha jokes: “Kwang-soo, take off your underwear.” His aghast expression alone is worth it.
Sulli is a relatively undemanding master on her own slave, Jong-kook, which makes sense since he’s her dae sunbae in the Kpop industry. But this is varietyland, so the boys encourage her to make the most out of this rare opportunity to speak to him in banmal. She (awkwardly) does, repeating lines that Jae-suk feeds her. Ha.
Eee, the Monday Couple is paired together today! We see Ji-hyo rruunn back with Gary’s coffee in hand. Aw, he feeds her a bite and even offers to share the drink together.
Don’t think I didn’t notice two straws in that cup! When she hesitates, he shouts, “You’re not going to have any?” (She does. It’s adorable.)
A little later, Ji-hyo signals that she wants to take the earmuffs off, too. So Gary instructs her to chant “I want you, Kang Gary!” five times, then. Do it!
And she does. The crowd eats it up (and so do I), and HA—Kwang-soo totally piggybacks on the romantic moment to yell out his own master’s name. To that, Haha barks back: “You’ve humiliated me!”
That’s the end of the pre-flight mission, and after Jo PD reminds everyone that two spots for the Dream Cup team is on the line, it’s off to Shanghai!
The cast participates in a press conference shortly after they arrive, even sharing a few teasing jabs with the rival team’s coach. They gather together again the next morning, and Jae-suk jokes that Jong-kook has yet to get used to the time difference. Caption: It’s only a one hour difference…
After Jo PD explains the lowdown on today’s format where the teams will face off in two games, he acknowledges that the teams are currently uneven. So it’s time to introduce the other “world star” team captain, and the cast call out greetings from the table.
The door opens to reveal Manchester United soccer player Patrice Evra, who also plays for the French national team. I don’t follow the sport that much but if the clips are any indication, the cast is in good hands with Evra (as we’ll call him, since the show does as well).
Aww, and it looks like he and Ji-sung share a bromance of the cutest kind. And did Ji-sung teach him to say “I’m not a babo [idiot],” in Korean? HA.
After everyone exchanges greetings, Jong-kook walks over to put Evra’s nametag on. Which is when Evra whips out the little Korean he’s learned: “I’m not a babo!”
I already get the sense that Evra is made for Korean variety given how he mixes in with the cast’s dynamics nicely and takes their compliments in stride. He even shoots a “Korea, I love you!” to the viewers. Gah, who wouldn’t love you with those pearly whites of yours?
The cast invites him to venture a guess at Suk-jin’s age, and he thinks it over for a minute before answering, “38?” Suk-jin positively beams. But what’s funnier is that he doesn’t hesitate in the slightest when he’s asked the same of Kwang-soo: “42!” Puhahaha.
Jong-kook praises his new team captain on his sharp wit, and he even dares to say that Evra is better than Ji-sung. To that, Ji-sung retaliates: “There’s a chance you won’t get to play even if you’re picked!”
The cast shoots a few more jokes about what positions they could play on the team. Although Evra is mostly able to keep up, Ji-sung makes sure to translate for his former Man U teammate (for the curious, Park Ji-sung now plays for the Queens Park Rangers) so that he doesn’t get lost in the volley of words and laughter. Aw, you’re a good friend.
But sometimes a visual gag is enough to get your point across, and Evra bursts out laughing when Maknae FD walks in dressed as Chun Li. He actually stops to ask: “He’s a man?”
We move onto the first game, Shanghai Marble, which is basically a mission board game. Each team is given a few thousand yuan to start, and will need to fork over money each time they fail in order to move on.
Team Evra lands on the Ultimate Ddakji space, where at least two members must successfully flip over the (new) Ultimate Ddakji to win. Evra is pretty quick on the uptake and he’s got a fierce competitive spirit to boot.
It makes me giggle that he makes sure no one disturbs his teammates; he even compliments Kwang-soo to give him a little boost of confidence before his turn.
Who knew that Suk-jin had such quick reflexes? He luckily picks up his ddakji when it bounces back up again and again, calling for a redo each time. But alas, he’s unable to flip it over.
Then the former Ddakji King, aka Jong-kook steps up. As expected, he flips it over. Then it’s Evra’s turn. He winds up and slams the ddakji on the ground. It flips up… and over. Whoa.
Team Park rolls ahead and is tasked to kick a ball into a large vase. Only one member needs to succeed in this task and Jae-suk’s kick hits the rim. The others completely miss, and then it’s Gary’s turn. He kicks, and the ball sinks just past the rim… but bounces right back out.
It’s down to Captain Park to win it for his team, but his kick also hits the rim. Then he actually argues that he didn’t say when he’d kick, so the staff grants him another chance.
Is Evra sticking his tongue out at Ji-sung to taunt him? You’re adorable. Unfortunately for Ji-sung, his second attempt fails too.
The cast gives Evra a shot at it, and he totally misses. Hee, I love that humor can transcend language barriers, and Evra’s able to communicate through non-verbal cues to finagle another turn.
This time, he succeeds, and he struts around in celebration like the pro he is.
But it’s his rudimentary Korean one-liners that make me giggle as he tells Maknae FD: “You’re [really] funny!” It slays the room. (The word keop-nah is a slang term that can mean friggin’, really, etc.)
The next game is Captain vs. Captain in a game of plastic straw soccer. At soon as Evra gets wind of this, he busts out his new trademark one-liner that he’s friggin’ tired now, and wants to go home.
They start, and it takes less than a minute for Evra to sink his first goal in. Then when he hears that the game is best out of three, he jokingly holds up his hands, all, I’m tired, even saying goodbye to the camera. Hee.
Ji-sung manages to tie the score in the second round, and the two captains brace themselves for the final round. As soon as the whistle blows, Evra calls his opponent out on a penalty, and he calls for penalty kick.
It cracks me up that they actually set up a penalty kick scenario with Ji-sung’s straw tucked underneath the goal. Evra blows… and the ball barely moves. Hahaha.
They try again, and this time the ball rolls towards the goal, but Ji-sung manages to shoot it back out into the field. Daebak.
How is watching two professional athletes play a game of miniature table soccer this funny? The teams even engage in mock halftime to give their players a short break before they play again.
When they resume, Ji-sung catches off-guard at first, only to have Evra drive the ball back towards him. Then Evra calls his opponent out on another penalty, and he looks like he’s actually going to get upset when Jae-suk lets it pass. Ack, why is this game so intense?
But then Ji-sung revs up another attack, and sinks one last goal in to win it. And even though it was an intense game, at least there are no hard feelings between the soccer sensations.
Team Evra rolls once more and the cast immediately groan in recognition of the next mission. Poor Evra is still perplexed at the cast’s reaction, and he still doesn’t register the situation even after the staff brings out that dreaded spiky floor.
They’re tasked to collectively jump fifty times (barefoot, naturally), and Evra reels in pain when he steps on the floor. The Ace blows Kwang-soo’s record of nine jumps with her own: sixteen.
Suk-jin fails to add any, but it’s Evra who takes everyone by surprise—he jumps on the floor like it’s no big deal over and over and over again. Caption: Do you have a spiky floor in your house?
This man is a BEAST. He passes fifty easily, and then finally staggers back in pain. Hahaha. I don’t usually say this, but can you come back to visit more often, Evra?
Up next is another Captain vs. Captain battle to see which team can complete more headers. Ji-sung teams up with Gary to practice, and the latter looks so peaceful that he even starts dancing while keeping the ball up. Ha.
When it’s the real thing, however, Team Park only manages a mere eight headers. Team Evra surpasses that record with ease, and Evra gives Maknae FD a celebratory kiss. Hee.
The cast moves on to the soccer stadium where the Asian Dream Cup will be held later that night. They try out a few penalty kicks to get warmed up and Ji-sung purposely leaves the goal wide open when Jong-kook kicks… and misses. Ha, figures.
Here, it’s Freekick Photozone where they’ll need to jump to smile for the camera while blocking the opposing team’s kicker. I love how Myuk PD is like, “Just smile! Don’t worry about the ball!” and gets a “Are you kidding me?!” look in return.
Ji-sung takes full advantage of the other team’s anxiety by pretending to kick, to their annoyance. His second kick sends the ball high over their heads.
Once the tables are turned, Evra is more than happy to return the favor. Jae-suk instinctively reels from the oncoming ball, which makes me wonder if he’s still traumatized by last week’s jokgu game.
Anyhow, the reaction photos are simply priceless. They’re most hilarious when you’ve got one black sheep in the group. That’s Kwang-soo for Team Evra, and the camera captures his hilarious, painful toad-like expression. every. time. Puhaha.
At least there’s a black hole on both teams, and Jae-suk’s surprised reactions are just as hilarious. HA—did Evra just leer at Kwang-soo in one of the photos?
Team Park understandably lets their guard down when Jong-kook steps up to kick. Little do they know that it’s a fake-out as one, two players pretend to kick before Ji-hyo revs up… and completely misses. Aw.
It’s Team Evra’s turn again and this time, Kwang-soo successfully smiles wide for the camera. They win the mission and score the final spot on the Dream Team.
Time for the team captains to choose the four members who will join them in the game. The castmates make their own PR pitches to their respective captains, and Jong-kook resorts to show them what he’s made of. They ignore him, ha.
Then Jo PD announces the four castmates who will play that evening: Jae-suk, Haha, Kwang-soo, and last but not least, Jong-kook.
Gary doesn’t seem too sad about the results since he got to play in the game last year. But it’s Jong-kook I’m most worried about. Is it too late to hope that his poor soccer skills were just for the sake of variety? *crosses fingers*
The boys suit up in the locker room, and they sit with these hilariously blank expressions that has me in a fit of giggles. The thought of playing on such a large stage weighs heavily on their minds… and the other castmates have fun taking photos of their anxious state.
Haha musters up the courage to ask about their game strategy to Ji-sung. Then he immediately relays their team formation info to his hyungs like it’s some big secret. Heehee.
Aww, it kind of adorable to see how nervous they are, and they break the ice with the national athletes by taking some couple shots with the celebrity look-alikes. Then they imitate Ji-sung’s every move during warm-up, heh.
It’s game time and it’s always so nice to see so many Running Man placards floating through the stands. Whoa, some of the drawings are super creative. Where can I get those? And hey, there’s Minho (SHINee) and XIUMIN (EXO)!
There’s a lot of pressure on Jong-kook, who’s called first to play in the game, even before the whistle blows. His name shows up on the initial roster, and Myuk PD shares how Jong-kook’s name has already hit real-time headlines back in Korea.
The game starts, and Jong-kook gets his first opportunity to redeem last year’s showing. He runs up to tackle an opponent, but the ball goes out of bounds, to everyone’s dismay. But at least he makes a decent pass to his teammate. Yay!
Jae-suk is at a literal loss of words as he watches the game. Then fifteen minutes into the game, Jong-kook gets his time to shine. He does a little fancy footwork… and loses the ball.
It keeps happening over and over, and on the bench, Haha asks, “He just really likes soccer, right?” As in, those who can’t play, watch? Then Jae-suk’s like, If that happens to Jong-kook, then what about us?
It’s almost as if you can see the color drain from Kwang-soo’s face when he’s told that he’s up next. He tags out with Jong-kook, and in the box, Gary quips, “Everyone, you’re witnessing the moment when soccer turns into variety.” Hahaha.
His tall stature stands out among the players, and he manages to firmly hold his ground against the professional level athletes. It’s seriously impressive to watch how aggressively competitive he is.
Then an oncoming ball gives him an opportunity for a header… but then he accidentally gets hit by the goalkeeper and collapses to the ground. Hahaha, how does he make a beloved sport so in-the-moment hilarious?
Oof, it does look pretty painful from the replay, but never fear—he’s fine. Aw, and then the sportscaster comments that he doesn’t just jump very high for a tall guy.
Kwang-soo continues to bring on the big laughs as the game continues. At one point, the Korean team is given a freekick, and Ji-sung lets Kwang-soo take the stage. Uh, no pressure or anything, right?
He kicks… and the ball rolls right into the goalkeeper’s hands. Then Ji-sung kicks him in the butt in retaliation. Hee.
When Kwang-soo returns to the bench, he tells them that Ji-sung keeps scolding him. Not only that, he admits that he was so nervous that there were times where it seemed like he was chasing after three soccer balls. On the bright side, you were featured in a newspaper!
We skip ahead to the second half where the score is still 0:0. Ji-sung is back on the bench whereas Evra is remarkably still on the field. Ha, I guess this means he was really joking when he said that he was super tired earlier.
Soon, Haha is called into the game. Aww, is that an Iron Man spandex? Just then, Ji-sung scores his team’s first goal, and the crowd roars in celebration. Eee, that’s our Captain Park!
Unfortunately, Haha’s short(er) legs works against him on the field, and he struggles to keep up with the players. Even the sportscasters throw him a bone and start to draw a similarity to another national athlete of a similar height.
But that’s when Haha loses the ball again, and the announcer finishes, “…Nope.”
Things start to look up for Haha later on as Jae-suk prepares to join him on the field. Ack, I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how nervous they must feel right now.
Haha’s given a chance at a penalty kick, and the players literally have to drag him into position. I love how all of the cast members yell out at the same time: “Don’t bully our Haha!”
That’s when Jae-suk enters the field and Haha passes off the opportunity to his hyung. Jae-suk doesn’t even have his glasses on, and to make matters worse, it starts to rain.
But he takes the shot anyway. The ball soars into the air as everyone waits with bated breath… and it hits the goalpost. Ahh, so close!
Haha continues to improve, and gets past one defender before the ball is intercepted. He even makes a solid, clean pass to Jae-suk. But it’s not long before they lose the ball, and the two share a high-five.
The Korean team scores another goal, and they end up winning the match with a score of 2:0. Everyone gathers together in the locker room on a job well done, and Ji-sung gives some closing remarks as the staff rolls highlights from the last few episodes.
Come back soon, Ji-sung! And next time, can you bring Evra back with you?