What starts off as a confusing episode in an icy building where our cast fights over a spot to live the good life takes a much-welcomed upswing later on in the hour. There are still some golden nuggets of hilarity despite seeing some of the same games of old, but I’ll never tire of watching our cast argue over turning on a car air conditioner for fear that their car engine might go kaputz.
EPISODE 160. Broadcast on August 25, 2013.
Welcome to the Snow Building where each of our cast members is taken to a different themed floor upon their arrival. Ha, I do enjoy the stark contrast between first-place (Jae-suk) and its grand, elegant penthouse and the last-place (Kwang-soo) dreary, cobwebbed cellar.
Today’s race is a parody of the recently-released sci-fi action thriller Snowpiercer, and our cast will face off in a series of rounds to work their way to the top. The poor, unfortunate soul who ends up in last-place after each game will be eliminated.
Speaking of, currently last-place Kwang-soo throws himself into character, calling this “his first and last chance” to prove himself. He dramatically vows to fight his way to the top… and then Jo PD tells him through the speakers to get changed already. Hahaha.
In the first round, Kwang-soo meets his first opponent, sixth-place Gary, who wonders if the current order is determined by looks. Kwang-soo balks: “Then I’d be at least fourth [place]!”
Meanwhile, Suk-jin prays that he’s not up against Jong-kook. Then the elevators open… to reveal Jong-kook. HA. I love how Suk-jin immediately throws in the towel, all “Just go on upstairs!”
The first round is a 1:1 nametag rippin’ battle, and surprisingly, Kwang-soo overtakes Gary. Both Jong-kook and Suk-jin can only laugh at the absurdity of the situation even as Jong-kook pins Big Nose Hyung to the wall and eliminates him.
On a different floor, Haha tugs at Ji-hyo’s nametag in a moment of distraction, which effectively sparks her temper at the cheap shot. Haha does feel bad about it immediately afterward, but it’s too late and Ji-hyo lashes out at him in her annoyance.
Jae-suk watches all of this unfold up in his lavish penthouse on his handy monitor which allows him to see where each member is. The winners of the first round head upstairs on the Snow Elevator to meet their next opponent.
Unfortunately for Kwang-soo, he’s still on the brink of elimination even after he wins, which means he’ll have to fight tooth and nail to get to the top.
The second round (a hand-slapping game) requires a high-level of pain tolerance as the first person who screams from the pain is the loser. Jae-suk immediately starts complaining about Jong-kook (“Just look at his arms!”), who invites him to strike first.
So Jae-suk slams down on Spartakooks’s hand… and then winces in pain in his own hand. HA, figures. Then Jong-kook returns the favor, and it just sounds like it hurts like hell from this side of the screen. Oh man, Jae-suk’s hand looks super red. Owwww.
It’s actually pretty entertaining to watch the cast go round and round slap for slap as they all try to brace themselves from the pain. At one point, Kwang-soo hesitates after a particularly painful slap and has to walk away. And then Gary is taking a nap in the basement. Hahaha.
Upstairs, Jong-kook delivers another painful slap, and this time Jae-suk cries out in pain, admitting defeat. It’s kinda funny how Jong-kook doesn’t let him off the hook right away, citing that Jae-suk wasn’t loud enough, only for Jae-suk to then grab for the second-place nametag.
At the same time, Kwang-soo tries to slap his own cheek to distract himself from the pain while Haha and Suk-jin are on their fiftieth consecutive slap. They’re totally red in the face as they keep going until Suk-jin finally gives in and traps Haha in a headlock as punishment for slapping his hyung.
Downstairs, Kwang-soo finally succumbs to the pain and accepts his loss. Then Haha and Ji-hyo travel upstairs for the third round.
Third-place Haha nearly busts a gut when he sees second-place Jae-suk and his still reddened hand. He then snorts in response when Jae-suk tells him the current order is based off of looks.
They begin the third round, Egg Roulette where the one who ends up with the raw egg loses. As much as I hate the nerve-wracking anticipation before the cast smashes the egg to their heads, I also love it.
They taunt each other before every turn as if sending unlucky karmic waves to the other person. Both Haha and Jae-suk are lucky for the first few turns… and then Jae-suk cracks a raw egg on his head. Haha gleefully cries out in celebration: “Who said I was Number 3?!”
Suk-jin wins the roulette after Ji-hyo ends up with egg in her hair, and he greets Jae-suk with a self-satisfied, confident smile on his face.
Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling that the image of Jong-kook sitting in the penthouse suit him? The trash-talking begins upon Haha’s arrival, and Jong-kook acknowledges that Haha has come a long way thus far.
The final four is told to put on ajumma pants without using their hand… on that dreaded prickly mat we’ve all come to know and love. Getting their legs through is painful enough, but then they have to rub their butts on the mats to pull it up to their waists, which owww.
Both Haha and Jong-kook are neck-to-neck, and we get this hilarious shot of them trying to help each other out by pressing their butts up against each other. Meanwhile, Jae-suk takes to push his butt up against Suk-jin’s neck to pull the pants up. HA.
Jae-suk even uses Suk-jin’s foot to pull them up another few inches, and wins the fourth round. Then upstairs, Haha edges ahead of Jong-kook and revels in his first-place win.
So Jong-kook and Jae-suk are left to battle it out for third-place in a ping-pong battle. As Jong-kook contemplates over a frying pan to use as a paddle substitute, Jae-suk remarks: “Your hand felt like a frying pan when you hit [my hand earlier].”
Jae-suk decides on the frying pan while Jong-kook chooses a fan for their match. It turns out the fan is a pretty weak contender, and Jae-suk easily picks up two points. But Jong-kook ties up the score soon enough.
A little later, Jae-suk leads 6:3 but a few strikes and mistakes quickly closes that gap. It’s deuce, and Jong-kook is so excited that he even does a little dance from the ye olden Kpop group Deuce.
They both give up a point which results in another deuce. Jae-suk tries to catch Jong-kook off-guard but it doesn’t work, and Jong-kook pulls ahead for the win.
So Haha greets Jong-kook again as he eats his meatloaf-steak as calm as you please. Everyone gathers again for this final round and are told that they were initially ranked according to their variety debut. For this final game, the one who tosses a ping-pong ball into a glass first wins.
It’s down to either Haha or Jong-kook and they go turn for turn. Haha gets pretty close a few times, but the ball bounces out as it hits the rim. They each get closer and closer, but neither succeeds as time continues to pass.
Thus Jo PD changes the glass out for a larger jar but it doesn’t seem to help much as the ball keeps bouncing off the rim over and over and over again. And then Haha sinks the ball in and keeps his first-place title.
Pfft, Haha even dares to beckon Jae-suk with his index finger in taunting jest (a gesture which would normally be considered rude in other situations), and Jae-suk in turn addresses him in the respectful term: “Teacher.”
Everyone tries to appeal to Haha’s good graces just then since he’s given the authority to switch their current rank once. So Haha switches Jae-suk (third) and Gary (seventh)’s ranks and then cries, “Was that too obvious?”
The cast is given a number of gold coins according to their current order, and just to keep everyone straight: (1) Haha; (2) Jong-kook; (3) Gary; (4) Suk-jin; (5) Ji-hyo; (6) Kwang-soo; (7) Jae-suk.
Haha pulls Kwang-soo aside to remind him that now’s his chance to pay Jae-suk back for all the mistreatment he endured over the years. Either Kwang-soo is too aware of the sunbae-hoobae relationship or can’t bring himself to do it, so he ends up following Jae-suk’s orders anyway.
So Haha makes the decision easy on Kwang-soo and places him in last-place. Aww.
The cast heads over for lunch and first-place Haha gets a huge, lavish spread complete with his own personal server. The other lunch options up to fifth-place are pretty decent too, and then last-place gets one sad triangle kimbap and water.
Oh man, Kwang-soo doesn’t even get his own chair. Now that’s just sad. But Haha looks deep into his heart to share some of his food and hands Kwang-soo one lone piece of lettuce. HA.
Jong-kook graciously gives up an egg to Jae-suk, who gets excited for about two seconds until fourth-place Suk-jin demands that same egg. Then it happens again after Jae-suk is given more food, only for that to be taken away too.
Frustrated, Jae-suk demands water from the only person he can order around: Kwang-soo. He offers seaweed in return, and Kwang-soo holds up his kimbap: “I’ve got plenty of [that] already!” HA.
This power carousel is pretty entertaining to watch. At one point, Gary gives all of his spam banchan to Ji-hyo (eep!), and he comes to her rescue when Suk-jin tries to steal it away from her. Gary (as he takes the food tray away): “Do you not want to eat?!” Hee.
Bellies stuffed, Jo PD introduces the cameras that will film the cast for the remainder of the episode. As expected, Haha has two VJs who handle the top-of-the-line video cameras. They get progressively worse as we go down the line, like how Ji-hyo ends up with a Go Pro camera on a helmet.
To Kwang-soo: “Do you have your cell phone?” I love it how Jo PD’s like Make sure you send us the file or you won’t appear on the broadcast.
Even their rides differ according to their rank. Gary and Jong-kook ooh and ahh over the features of their luxury car (as Haha sits in the back like a boss, natch) whereas Jo PD warns the others: “The engine might turn off if you turn on the AC.”
So it’s hilarious when Jae-suk actually tries to turn on the AC, and the car just sputters back in response. No AC it is then.
Not only that, I’m afraid the old car won’t even make it down the hill, but it seems to drive well-enough. Kwang-soo has been using a staff member’s cell phone to record himself thus far, but then he gets locked out. “How am I supposed to videotape myself now?!”
Even though they complain about the stuffy heat inside the car, they do manage to crack some jokes about their situation, like the loud engine. Jae-suk: “Every time I go over something, it sounds like a tiger’s growl.” HA.
Their next mission takes place in a muddy field by the sea. Here, the the cast will attempt to pick up the ball that Maknae FD kicks and run back to grab the flag. Suffice it to say that it’s utter chaos as soon as the game begins.
Jong-kook grabs the ball and then struggles to run back with it in his arms. He taps into his Spartakooks strength as he fights against the others and pulls out the flag to succeed first.
As the new reigning champ, Jong-kook relaxes on the fancy chaise lounge as the others battle it out for a spot in the luxury car. Kwang-soo manages to pull into third place, but instead of kicking his feet up to relax, he serves Jong-kook to appeal to his good graces.
A little later, it’s down to either Jae-suk or Suk-jin for sixth-place, and Jong-kook cheerily tells them not to worry… because third-place may be an option for them. Servant Kwang-soo gets to work to massage Jong-kook’s shoulders.
So Jong-kook dangles that carrot in front of the mat hyungs’ eyes, and they give him an entertaining show as they roll in the mud, to his amusement. It’s Jae-suk who grabs the flag at the end of it.
Before the cast heads out, Ji-hyo is chosen to exchange places with Kwang-soo.
The four boys try to endure the sweltering heat inside the non-AC car, and Jae-suk remarks: “This is a desert, not a car!”
The cast is taken by helicopter to an island. A few snippets of a preview shows us that there is more to this place that meets the eye, but for now they head to the beach.
They’re instructed to write out their own quiz questions for the trivia quiz, and Haha sighs, “I can’t think of any questions because I don’t know anything.” Aw.
Each of the cast members will pose a question and choose one person’s answer. If that answer is correct, then the questioner will go for a ride on the banana boat; if it’s wrong, then the other person will go for a joyride.
Suk-jin starts off with a question about a cartoon from the ’70s, which is definitely before Kwang-soo’s childhood (he was born in 1985). Ji-hyo seems pretty confident, though the boys are quick to poke a hole in that bubble.
Suk-jin calls out Gary, who gets the answer wrong. Which means the boat zips across the water and Suk-jin settles into second-place.
We skip ahead to Kwang-soo’s question about—what else?—giraffes. He easily gives away telling hints to the cast, which is enough for them to make an educated guess. Heh, he’s going to end up in the water, isn’t he?
He picks Ji-hyo, who gets the answer right. The exclaimed look of “Oh crap, it’s me?!” is priceless.
By the final mission, four cast members possess 14 gold coins each. After they factor in the results of the last game, Ji-hyo is currently in first place. Last-place Kwang-soo balks: “I’m still last even though I stole two coins?!”
Then their attention is turned to the sea where a large ship pulls in from the horizon. Whoa, is that the Black Pearl?
Jo PD explains that they’ll have the opportunity to increase their loot onboard the ship, which also suggests that they can easily lose it all as well. In any case, Ji-hyo ventures first to the mysterious ship.
What awaits her is nothing good as she’s bound upon her arrival, and her gold is taken away from her by the pirates onboard. One by one, each of the cast members is met with the same fate and dragged off to sea.
Morning. The cast is led to the deck to meet their mysterious captors: Shinhwa. Ohhh yeahh, just when I thought this episode was going to end up in the depths of the ocean.
Meet yer pirates Eric, Min-woo, Junjin, Hye-sung, and Andy. (Unfortunately, Dong-wan couldn’t join them. Boo.) Heh, the boys even revamp their team chant to cry: “We’rrreee pirates!”
As for their gold, it’s gone and only a letter remains: the teams will have to acquire hints to recover their treasure.
Some of the cast members worry about the uneven split, but Shinhwa doesn’t seem to worry—they’ve been in the entertainment industry for the past fifteen years. Jae-suk backs up these claims, and adds that these boys are totally fearless.
As they continue to shoot the breeze, I can’t help seem to contain my excitement for what I hope to be a most exciting episode ahead. I’m with Gary when he says, “I can smell blood in the air today.”
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