Running Man: Episode 172
Our baseball star finally comes to play with our cast, giving us a taste of his major league pitching skills. But keeping an eye on the game is no easy task when there’s a pretty and smiley idol around, especially when everyone else is trying to get them together. It’s time for the cast to wrap up the fall with one more trip before winter comes, and a bit of fun before next week’s big game.
EPISODE 172. Broadcast on November 17, 2013.
We pick up with last week’s hide-and-seek game against idol group EXO. With less than 20 seconds left before the switch, Jae-suk corners two idol boys in the elevator… then swiftly eliminates them both, tieing the game to 5:5.
As EXO prepares to hunt down the cast, Kwang-soo… pretends to be a mannequin? Haha. Is this the idea that nobody will notice if you hide in plain sight?
Kai heads back to his former hiding place thinking that no one would be hiding there, right? Wrong. He finds Suk-jin behind some boxes and eliminates him.
Guessing that hiding isn’t a safe tactic anymore, Kwang-soo switches places with his VJ. But his wall height is a dead giveaway, and gets promptly caught by Luhan. Hee, the shot is doubly funny through Kwang-soo’s shaky vantage point.
A few other EXO members join them, and tags Kwang-soo out soon enough, even taking a picture as proof of their achievement. Cute.
I actually like how surprisingly bright and cheery the EXO members are even in the face of elimination, like how Lay pleads with Jae-suk to let him go ’cause he’s a big fan of his (it doesn’t work). Thanks to the cast’s years of experience at this game, they take out four more idols in quick succession until only Kai remains.
Speaking of whom, Kai is busy trying to hide when he’s spotted by Ji-hyo. Despite his best efforts to slip away from Jae-suk’s grip, he’s caught and eliminated, which means the Running Man cast wins.
When the cast gathers together again, both Ji-hyo and Jong-kook are in possession of a baseball (the latter stole it from Haha earlier). They’re given two more as a prize from the hide-and-seek game, and at the end, the Betrayal Trio comes out empty-handed.
The other four (Jae-suk, Ji-hyo, Jong-kook, and Gary) are told to choose between two doors/portals, and only Gary choose Door B.
We’re then transplanted to a different location (and day, judging from Kwang-soo’s new Spock haircut), and the Betrayal Trio complain to the staff about their flimsy platform. They vow to come out as victors today, to which Jo PD placates them, all, Sure, go ahead and try.
They grow jealous of SpartAce and Jae-suk’s pseudo dramatic entrance and jump at the chance to try it out themselves. Pfft, Jae-suk and Jong-kook block the door from the other side, so they come spilling out of Door B, preempting Gary’s own entrance. And yes, I totally laughed when Jo PD told Gary to go back inside and wait.
That effectively demystifies any dramatics, and Jae-suk puts the third tier Betrayal Trio in their place, joking that they’ll only get screentime when the others are off-duty.
Now it’s time to (finally) meet the guest of the hour: Ryu Hyun-jin, whose appearance is met with chaotic greetings. Hyun-jin tries to quietly slip past the madness, but then Suk-jin accidentally hits his face. Whoops.
Needless to say, they’re all excited to see him, including Gary, who’s still “hidden” behind his door. Hyun-jin gives his greetings to the audience, and when Haha asks him to speak in English, Hyun-jin adds: “Very very good!”
There can only be three to a team, which means Hyun-jin can only choose two more to join him. Jae-suk looks mighty confident, but it’s Spartace whom he chooses (don’t think I didn’t notice that backhug you gave Ji-hyo), to Jae-suk’s surprise.
Not that Jae-suk has much to complain about since we’re also introduced to our other guest Suzy. It takes all of two seconds before the members cast a potential loveline between our guests, but wait—weren’t you a Ji-hyo fanboy, Hyun-jin?
Hyun-jin can only guffaw nervously as they exchange greetings with the schoolyard teasing in the background. Then he distributes the official LA Dodgers hats he prepared for everyone, and even autographs them. HA, Jae-suk hilariously autographs Kwang-soo’s hat instead.
For today’s MT race (think of an group outing with games, drinks, food, and fun) the teams will participate in various games to earn as much money as possible for their final mission, which looks like a cook-off.
Jae-suk and Jong-kook really do look like fifth and sixth wheels to the Monday Couple and Hyun-jin and Suzy in the car, don’t they? Suzy admits she’s never been on a MT before, and I love how everyone chimes in with the same answer: “You drink.” Here, here!
The hyungs try to make the car ride entertaining (or awkward, depending on how you look at it), and when Suzy hems and haws at the question of whether she’s seen any Dodgers games, Gary cuts in: “Do you even know who he IS?” Hahaha.
They’re working hard to make this loveline happen as they ask both parties what they like about the other. Suzy tries to stay polite by saying she doesn’t mind big guys (to which Hyun-jin asks, “You mean fat?”), and Hyun-jin is too shy to say anything.
Suzy says that she feels like she’s on a blind date, and both hyungs totally play off the moment, all, “Of course that’s what you’re on! You didn’t know?!” “You knew, didn’t you, Hyun-jin?” Hyun-jin: “Yes.”
She replies that she’ll go along with the situation, an answer that’s doubly hilarious for its other meaning that she’ll get to know Hyun-jin in a possible romantic sense. We’re going to be tugging at this line all day, aren’t we?
The conversation turns to Hyun-jin’s baseball stories, and they ask if he ever gets nervous. He mentions one pitch in the playoffs that clocked a record-hitting speed. Jae-suk adds that it was too bad that the Dodgers didn’t make it to Game 7, but Hyun-jin isn’t too torn up about it: “I might have died if we had!”
We sit through more of Ryu Hyun-jin’s Greatest Hits, as Hyun-jin says that he already proved his batting skills in the superpower baseball game last year. He explains what a shutout (wanbong) game is to Suzy, and Gary chirps in the back: “It’s when you make the other team into a complete [wanjun] fool [bong]!”
When Jong-kook tries to add his two cents, Hyun-jin points out that he doesn’t know much about baseball either, and the others immediately jump to tease Hyun-jin for taking Suzy’s side. And in the other car: “…”
The cast finally arrives at the camping grounds for their first mission, but they’re still set on making magic happen between their guests. So when Hyun-jin gets confused about the rules, they let Suzy explain. He still looks confused afterward, to which Kwang-soo comments: “Suzy’s not that good at explaining things, is she?”
Here they’ll play a noonchi game where they’ll keep their heads submerged underwater, calling out numbers one by one (being last or calling out the same number simultaneously will result in elimination).
It takes a long minute for the game to start as Myuk PD waits for everyone to dunk their heads, to the cast’s agitation. But once they do, both Suk-jin and Haha are eliminated at the same time, and they plead their case to the staff: “We didn’t say a single word to each other in the car!”
They’re given a chance to remain if they win against Hyun-jin in rock-paper-scissors. Haha wins to stay in the game, but when Jae-suk and Gary are penalized later, they point out that the rules were bent.
Myuk PD explains that they used a “Ryu Hyun-jin Chance,” to which Gary tags on: “Then I’ll use a Song Ji-hyo Chance’!” If only! But alas, it doesn’t work.
Despite Suk-jin’s advice to Kwang-soo, the giraffe pops up at the same time as Haha. Jong-kook is eliminated in the next round, no thanks to some outside interference. In the end, it’s Suzy who wins the first round for her team.
This mission also doubles a mind game as the Betrayal Trio strategize their plan of action to call out the first three numbers in turn. Their “1-2-3” strategy surprisingly works… and then they’re told the whistle didn’t blow to officially start the game. D’aww.
This mistake keeps happening among several members, to Hyun-jin’s great annoyance. But when Suzy makes the same mistake, he lets it pass.
Eventually only Kwang-soo and Haha remain against Suzy’s team, and they vow to stick to their “1-2-3” strategy. Only that works against them in practice, and they’re both still submerged long afterwards.
Then they both pop out at the same time, effectively eliminating themselves and handing Suzy’s team the win. HA.
Kwang-ja makes a return for their second game (Protect the Queen Dodgeball) as the token “female” team member, and Suzy asks if wearing the wig is a punishment. Heh.
I love how everyone legitimately freaks out when Hyun-jin gets possession of the ball. Gary: “I forgot he’s a baseball player!” They don’t call him the Korean Monster for nothing!
Hyun-jin goes after the Betrayal Trio, promptly taking Suk-jin and then Kwang-ja out in turn, which eliminates the entire team. Then when Jong-kook misses a throw, Hyun-jin barks back that Spartakooks really lacks in the hand-eye coordination department.
At one point, Kwang-soo has a choice between which team to pass the ball to. So when Suzy tries to coax him, saying she’s a fan of his… he laughs in disbelief, “As if!” Hahaha.
After a few tosses back and forth, Hyun-jin regains possession of the ball and eliminates Suzy with one strong pitch. He does a full victory lap before coming back to check on her, and the others tease him, asking if he’s trying to make or break a romance right now.
The second round goes a lot quicker as Kwang-soo eliminates Jae-suk at the start. But that comes to bite him a minute later when Hyun-jin chucks the ball… and it hits Kwang-soo’s ankle. Whoa, either that’s some incredible aim or sheer dumb luck.
Either way, Hyun-jin is reduced to giggles as the Betrayal Trio decides to attack his team, though the way the cower in fear makes me think otherwise. But leave it to Kwang-soo to take any opportunity to attack Hyun-jin anyway.
A little later, Hyun-jin winds up and delivers a powerful pitch that sends Gary rolling on the ground. Jae-suk: “This isn’t the kind of dodgeball we know!” But then Gary turns the tide and eliminates Ji-hyo to win the round.
We skip ahead to the last minutes of the third and final round as Hyun-jin eliminates the Betrayal Trio with an impressive pitch, giving his team the win.
The staff suggests a couple dodgeball game for the teams to earn some extra cash, but really it’s another excuse to pair Hyun-jin and Suzy together again. At least the pairings come with some funny moments, like how neither Jae-suk nor Kwang-soo are willing to be caught in Hyun-jin’s line of fire.
It leads to a hilariously dramatic tussle as the captions read: “I don’t want to protect you!” “You should get hit by the dodgeball!” When Kwang-soo goes down anyway, Jae-suk defends himself: “I don’t really love him enough to put my life on the line.”
These two make up a completely dysfunctional couple, but their bickering comes to a stop when Jae-suk gets hit smack on his butt with one of Hyun-jin’s throws. Owww. Then it’s as if Jae-suk wants to end things quickly as he drags Kwang-soo in a headlock to be eliminated.
The two lovelines are left to duke it out, and the others are quick to tease the Monday Couple for clinging onto each other. When asked why, Gary defends: “You’re [Ji-hyo] the one who leaned into me!” Hahaha.
The game ends with Kwang-soo’s ho-hum attack on Ji-hyo, and the teams receive their winnings from each game. How much do I love that after all of that, Hyun-jin’s team members earn an extra one thousand won (which is about a buck) for winning the couple dodgeball game?
Each team divides their winnings amongst themselves, and then Myuk PD announces that it’s time for dinner. Which is when the music and captions alert us that something is afoot. Wait a minute, is Hyun-jin a spy today?
Sure enough, we roll the clocks back to earlier this morning when Jo PD woke a still-drowsy Hyun-jin to inform him that it’s his job to eliminate the other members during the dinner mission with—what else?—a water gun.
Now armed with a weapon (hee, it’s a wittle turtle) and blue-tinted water ammo, Hyun-jin braces himself for his one-man mission.
Which means the cooking battle is a cover for Hyun-jin to complete his mission, and it already looks like he’s sweating bullets. He barely listens to the others’ complaints (“We wouldn’t cook at a MT, we’d just eat!”) or Jo PD’s instructions that they’ll be judging each other’s dishes.
Jong-kook figures that they’ll take it easy and cook pre-made dumplings, and when Jo PD says they’ll have to make the dumplings from scratch in that case, Jong-kook spits back: “Don’t make me laugh!”
Hungry and astounded, everyone jumps on that bandwagon: Gary: “Do we have to catch our own cow to use beef?” Ji-hyo: “Do we have to go to India to acquire our own curry?” Gary: “Let’s go together then.” HEE.
The group gets the fire crackling while a few (including Hyun-jin) are off grocery shopping. Buh, their food ideas is making my stomach grumble. They try to make bbopki (a sugar and baking soda concoction), but it doesn’t look all that appetizing.
Meanwhile, Hyun-jin tries to remain focus on his mission in the car though his hungry stomach makes it pretty hard. In fact, they’re all so hungry by this point that they stop for a quick bite, and the hyungs are the ones to remind Hyun-jin to stay on track.
Once inside, it cracks me up how Haha searches for the best ingredients (read: expensive) by the meat counter. It’s a perfect opportunity for Hyun-jin to try to take out Haha, but in his haste, he holds the gun backwards, shooting his own hand instead and leaving Haha clean. HA, his WTF expression is awesome.
But Hyun-jin won’t give up that easily and distracts the hyungs long enough to shoot Haha’s nametag.
Back at basecamp, the group has managed to get bbopki-making down to a science. Everyone digs in, including health nut Jong-kook. When hunger hits, you gotta eat.
…which is exactly what the grocery trio are doing, eating more street food and wondering how they’ll manage to eat later. But that’s the least of Hyun-jin’s concerns and unfortunately he misses his chance to take out Jae-suk.
It’s been over an hour by the time they return, and the others immediately check their breaths out of suspicion. They end up getting caught in their lies and admit to eating everything, even the foods the others didn’t even ask about. Lol.
Hyun-jin takes out the snacks specifically bought for Suzy, and Haha pushes Jae-suk out of the way so the budding lovebirds can have their moment. They go for another take, and Suzy’s over-the-top “Omo!” reaction is downright hilarious.
The cast quickly turns to eating afterward, and Jo PD has to remind them that they have a cooking battle on their hands. To that, Jae-suk argues that a MT is a time of leisure and snacks—nobody actually wants to work while travelling.
They do eventually start food prep, and Hyun-jin follows Jong-kook out to a more secluded location to clean veggies. Jong-kook sighs that this menial task is a large step down for the professional baseball player, but Hyun-jin finds it fun and says he looked forward to doing something like this.
He keeps answering Jong-kook’s questions to avoid suspicion, and then takes out his teeny water gun to spritz Jong-kook’s nametag. Two down, six to go.
Meanwhile, Jae-suk can only laugh at how the Betrayal Trio is hogging all the stoves, to which they tell Jae-suk that he can use the bonfire instead.
When they reel at how much dashima Jae-suk is using in his stock, he gets back at them by plopping the pile in their pan when they’re not looking. He’s practically giddy when they come back in awe of their own dish.
On to Hyun-jin’s next targets, as he accompanies Kwang-soo and Suzy to a nearby field. He sprays Kwang-soo easily enough, but getting close to Suzy is another matter. Hyun-jin has to send Kwang-soo away with the excuse that they’re looking for alone time to do so, and once he does, he’s in a hurry to get back.
Jo PD announces that they can pick up more ingredients in the back. Hyun-jin readily follows after Suk-jin, and it’s cute how he silently counts how many targets he has before heading out.
He figures Suk-jin is an easy target but problem is, his gun doesn’t work right away. It takes a few more tries before a huge dollop drips on Suk-jin’s nametag and back, which will certainly draw attention right away. So he slings an arm around Suk-jin like they’re good buddies in order to wipe off the residue.
Kwang-soo tries to sneak an egg for himself and burns his mouth for the second time today (the first with hot bbopki). The way the steam comes out of his mouth is almost cartoonishly funny.
With everyone’s cooking winding down and three more targets to go, Hyun-jin starts to sweat. Hahaha, I find his panicky expressions far too entertaining. He oh-so-casually walks toward Jae-suk, waiting for the opportune moment… and shoots him a split-second before Gary turns around.
Now only the Monday Couple remains on his hit list. Hyun-jin sneak-attacks Gary, making sure to keep the nametag hidden from view. Then he takes out his gun and shoots Ji-hyo in full view of everyone.
Completely discombobulated, it takes a full minute for the cast to realize what’s going on, and they belatedly see the water droplets on each other’s nametags. And then Jae-suk cries: “The water gun is MY THING!”
They all gang up on him, wondering how and when Hyun-jin took them out in turn. Then Suk-jin sadly notes that he thought that Hyun-jin slinging an arm around him was a friendship gesture, only to learn that that wasn’t the case.
Jae-suk puts his foot in his mouth (“You shot me when we were eating ddukbokki!”), which is when Kwang-soo exclaims, “You ate ddukbokki too?!” Pfft, no use denying it now.
So when Jo PD asks if Haha ate earlier, he barks back that he indeed ate a lot: “And now I’m not the least bit hungry!!” But you better be hungry for sports since it looks like the superpower baseball game will make its return next week.