Running Man: Episode 175
Who knew that two suspects could be so darn adorable and that being charismatic was a crime? Our cast is on a mission to clear in their names in this escape race that brings us more laughs than tears. They’ll need to use their smarts, strength, and their skills (sometimes lack thereof) to fight for their freedom. ‘Cause no one ever said that would be easy.
EPISODE 175. Broadcast on December 8, 2013.
We start off in prison where our cast members are held captive for their hilariously absurd “crimes,” like Jae-suk’s compulsion to dance whenever there’s music playing or Jong-kook’s uncontrollable urge to coach others.
It’s a co-ed cell apparently as Ji-hyo is thrown in with them and informed that her crime… is her beauty. The boys reel in disbelief, but Gary interjects, “It is a crime, because she stole my heart.”
Kwang-soo gets dragged in yelling up a storm in character per usual, only to be told that his theatrical behavior IS the reason he’s in here along with a litany of other crimes, including his betrayal tendencies and using his Asia Prince title to feel the country. Ha.
Our suspects are joined by two more cellmates, co-stars of the upcoming action-thriller movie The Suspect: Park Hee-soon, whose crime is his charisma, and Gong Yoo, who’s guilty of setting women’s hearts ablaze wherever he goes.
It’s adorable how both of our guests cringe in embarrassment at their “crimes,” and when Suk-jin says that he also used to set some fires to women’s hearts aka a stud in his day, Jae-suk agrees, “He really did start some fires… to keep the elderly warm.” Hehe.
Ha, I love how no one believes for a second that Haha could possibly be good friends with such a high-profile star like Gong Yoo. “Just because you’re born in the same year doesn’t make you two friends!”
But Haha counters that he’s seen Jae-suk exchange formal greetings whenever he’s with his “good buddy” Lee Jung-jae. So they ask Gong Yoo if he is friends with Haha, to which he answers: “I don’t really remember…” Hahaha.
It turns out that they really are friends, seeing as Gong Yoo tosses a barb at Haha in banmal moments later. That’s so cute.
I’m always amused at how flustered actors get whenever they come to play on the show, and when the guests are instructed to change, we hear Gong Yoo ask, “Here? And the cameras keep rolling?”
It cracks me up that nobody is really listening to Jo PD introduces today’s mission because they’re all too distracted by Kwang-soo, who is yet again caught up in the theatrics of their mission to clear their names.
Their first task is to escape the jail they’re quarantined in, and they immediately search the cell for clues. Haha suggests that they put their heads together… and then they literally put their heads together. Lol.
The cast finds it strange that their guests were the only ones told to change. So they check their jackets, where they find numbers written inside which unlocks their jail door. Easy peasy.
Jo PD later explains today’s Suspect Target race where they’ll earn ballots in each game to vote for someone they want to eliminate the most. Jong-kook whines: “You guys always write my name down whenever we do something like this!”
Jae-suk scowls in disbelief when Kwang-soo suggests that they don’t write each other names down, saying that the very fact that Kwang-soo brought it up means that he’ll do it himself. Sure enough, the previews shows that he does.
As everyone scrambles to get to get changed, it’s a good a time as any to introduce today’s team breakdown: Blue (Jong-kook, Haha, and Hee-soon); Orange (Jae-suk, Kwang-soo, and Gong Yoo); and Green (Suk-jin and the Monday Couple).
To his team’s dismay, Gong Yoo arrives last at the poolside. He defends that he was trying to hurry, but then realized that there weren’t any cameras in the locker room. HA, did you think the staff were going to film you getting changed? Though I’m sure none of us would complain about that.
Their first game is a 1:1 pull-up bar wrestling match above the pool. The mat-hyungs face off first, and soon Jae-suk easily grabs Suk-jin in a hold with his legs. Suk-jin is told to pull Jae-suk down with him into the water, and so he does…
… and off come Jae-suk’s trunks. HAHAHAHA. Mind you that he’s still wearing leggings, but still. Oh god, I’m dying. Rewind, replay!
Then Kwang-soo tries to help by wrapping his hyung with a towel, but he slips and fall in, too. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. It’s like a one-two punch of comedy and it gets funnier the more they replay it.
Gong Yoo steps up next to face Ji-hyo, and he wonders if it’s really okay if he beats her. He’s told that he doesn’t have to hold back against the Ace just because she’s a girl, and I know the chances are slim, but it’d be hilarious if Ji-hyo overtook him.
He’s feels super sorry anyway and wraps her in a hold until she falls in. But it’s a different story with Gary, and both men speedily try to overtake the other. Oh it’s on, until finally Gong Yoo latches himself onto Gary and they both fall in.
Hee-soon and Jae-suk start off the final round, and to everyone’s surprise, the actor dangles there for a minute after being unable to pull himself up, then falls in. Aw, do you have a heodang quality about you, Hee-soon? That’s adorable.
Haha gets a few kicks in before Jae-suk grabs him in a firm hold until they both drop into the water. So it’s down to Jong-kook, who’s flabbergasted when Hee-soon bends down to give him a boost. But when Haha tries to take his place out of consideration for their guest, Hee-soon finally bursts, “Let me at least do this!”
Kwang-soo gets a boost himself, but his hands slips and he falls into the water. Hahaha. Jae-suk’s astonished Did that just happen? expression is priceless.
Gong Yoo is initially surprised to see Jong-kook already on top of the bar, but when Spartakooks tries to tickle his opponent, he slips and spins around. Whoops.
Now the men face off properly as they try to pry the other off of the bar. Haha screams from the sideline: “You’re our only hope, hyung! It wasn’t Hee-soon!” D’aw. It’s strength vs. strength as Gong Yoo grabs Jong-kook into a hold… but then falls into the water himself, giving Jong-kook the win.
The good news is that the Orange Team still gets one ballot each, and Gong Yoo checks in to make sure that they won’t betray each other. Aw, still so innocent. His teammates assure him that it won’t happen and agree to vote for Jong-kook, which they all do… that is, except for Kwang-soo of course.
Gong Yoo gets caught spying on the Blue Team’s pow-wow session and oh-so-casually turns to exit through the closest door… which is the entrance to the ladies locker room. Ha, why so adorable?
Kwang-soo gets spotted a minute later and he swears to Jong-kook that he wrote Gong Yoo’s name down… and then turns around to see Gong Yoo standing right next to him. LOL.
Haha rallies everyone via group chat to settle on one target, so Kwang-soo starts another chat and deliberately leaves Jong-kook out. Unfortunately for them, they get caught when Hee-soon asks out loud if he got a private message and then shows to it to Jong-kook.
So Jong-kook opens another chat to warn Kwang-soo publicly, and there’s something so amusing about watching them all be on their phones in this whole merry-go-round chat.
It’s off to the beach for their next mission where their escape skills will be put to the test. Here, they’ll need to escape the fastest and guess the right key to unlock a bun steamer. Only one of them needs to succeed for each team, and until then, it’s dance time!
Everyone scrambles when the siren blares, and surprisingly, it’s Hee-soon who runs out first. They ask: “You were holding out on us before, weren’t you?” Answer: Yep.
He picks the wrong key, but gets another shot when he escapes first again. His quick reflexes earns him a nickname “Speedy” (a play on words from his name), but his key doesn’t work again.
Aw, everyone looks like they’re having fun dancing together. When the siren alerts them again, it’s Gong Yoo who escapes first, and to his luck, his key works.
He and his teammates enjoy their buns and taunt the others with them. But Jong-kook escapes soon enough and frees his teammates as well.
The two teams cast their votes, and it looks like Gong Yoo has finally caught the betrayal bug, as he jots down Jae-suk’s name. Both Jae-suk and Kwang-soo whisper to conspire against him, but vote for the other anyway. Ha.
At the end of the round, Jong-kook and Kwang-soo are tied with seven votes each.
Time for another group chat in the car, and Kwang-soo gets caught chatting with Haha in secret. It’s pretty hilarious how Jae-suk spams the room with messages to make fun of Kwang-soo, and therefore interrupting their private conversation.
Gong Yoo asks the group whether they’ll have enough strength to fulfill their schedules tomorrow. Hee-soon then replies that he has no idea what he’s doing on the show right now, “But these guys are doing this tomorrow too, aren’t they?”
Their next game requires a hula hoop and Jong-kook says that he can’t hula hoop very well. When Hee-soon says that he can’t either, Jong-kook asks: “Is there anything you can do?” Hee-soon: “No.” Aww.
The cast tries out their hula hoop skills inside, and it turns out Gong Yoo is a natural. Hee-soon sneaks away to a corner as not to draw attention to himself, but the camera zooms in on him to confirm that yes, he can’t twirl very well.
But that doesn’t matter since they’ll all be twirling the hoop with their arms. Their task here is to eat a snack while an opponent team member spins a hoop on their arm. Eep, and the way Jong-kook is spinning that thing like crazy is freaking me out.
Kwang-soo volunteers to go first, but he keeps getting hit in the face instead of eating the celery until it finally breaks. Then the cast gives Hee-soon a turn in the spotlight, and as expected, he can barely twirl the hoop without hitting himself.
The more he tries, the worse it gets until the hoop flies off his arm. Ack, somebody take that thing away from him before he hurts someone or himself!
But the important thing is that Hee-soon keeps trying, and he eventually gets it spinning long enough to start the timer. Eating the celery is another obstacle in of itself, and Gong Yoo approaches slowly and takes a few accidental hits before finally getting hit in the eye.
The Blue Team chooses a kind of chewy candy, and you can see Hee-soon getting increasingly annoyed (but in silence!) as the snack keeps smacking him. It’s both sad and funny at the same time, but he does get a bite in.
Kwang-soo starts spinning the hoop after when it’s Jong-kook’s turn, and instinctively backs away in fear. Suffice it to say, they both get a turn at each other until time runs out.
The Green Team has yet to win anything today, and the thought gives Gong Yoo an idea. Letting the Green Team win would be the lesser of two evils, so he spins the hoop realllly slowly for them.
But Haha points out that that doesn’t mean the Green Team won’t vote for them, so he spins it a little faster. Heh, wouldn’t the best choice (though not the easiest) be to come out on top yourself?
It’s too late for that, however, and the Green Team comes in first with the Blue Team not far behind. Everyone casts their final votes, and they realize that the odds that any Green team member’s name is slim. So what if they spread out their votes?
In the car, Hee-soon guesses that Ji-hyo won’t have any votes against her, to which Haha assures him that if he’s pretty sure Suk-jin did. Before they head inside, Jong-kook makes sure to address that there are no hard feelings for whatever might happen in the final mission.
It’s a small moment, and I don’t know if the staff meant to keep it in or not, but nevertheless, I’m glad they did since it’s important for both the cast and the viewers to know that at the end of the day, it’s still a game.
The cast members get in position for the final mission, and… is Hee-soon hiding in a refrigerator? Hahahaha.
It’s a nametag ripping race where the order of target elimination is determined by the number of votes from highest to lowest, and only the current target may be eliminated. However, if the current target finds and blows a whistle, the next person in the order will become the target, and they’ll be placed at the end of the line. Phew.
They wait with bated breaths to hear their first target (who had 11 votes total).. Kwang-soo. Ha, the fact that everyone thought that it would be Jong-kook makes the twist that much more hilarious.
Naturally Kwang-soo panics while everyone else busts a gut, and Gong Yoo asks, smiling, “They must all hate Kwang-soo, huh?”
Little does Kwang-soo know that the very whistle he needs to save himself is in the same room, as he remains hidden behind a box. That’s when Ji-hyo walks in and discovers him.
But Kwang-soo holds her hostage as the others come round, and he asks Jae-suk how he could betray him as a montage plays of their earlier promises to stick together. Kwang-soo bellows that he’ll get revenge, but he’s outnumbered, and they easily eliminate him. He swears that he’ll watch the broadcast to find out who voted against him.
When they drop him off in jail (the same one used for the opening), he yells: “The cameras aren’t even set up yet!” Caption: Sorry, we didn’t know you’d be coming so soon.
Jong-kook is the only other person missing, and everyone knows that he’s trying to buy time before his name is officially announced. Sure enough, Jong-kook is the next target with a total of 10 votes.
This is their only chance to eliminate him while they have the advantage, and we see Jong-kook searching the building to find the whistle he needs. And who should comes across the whistle but Jae-suk, who makes sure that it remain well-hidden beneath the floor.
Then he drops by to see Kwang-soo, who’s still in shock at the eleven total votes against him. Kwang-soo: “The cameras aren’t even set up! Nobody is filming me!”
They discover Jong-kook outside as everyone’s ears perk up at the noise. Jong-kook is forced to run, but he finds himself outnumbered at once, and Hee-soon does the honor to eliminate him.
Gary legitimately panics when he hears his name announced as the third target. He’s spotted by Gong Yoo soon enough and tagged out shortly afterward.
Jae-suk is next on the hit list, and he’s discovered mere seconds after his name is announced. At the same time, Gong Yoo takes a moment to deduce that he could be next, but that’s when he hears voices nearby, and takes Jae-suk down.
After he’s eliminated, Jae-suk asks where his whistle is, completely unaware that he’s standing thirty feet away from it. Gong Yoo has a wide smile on his face after getting a taste of nametag ripping, and then admits: “I voted for Jae-suk.”
Jae-suk joins the eliminated in jail, who are just as upset if not more than he is about the number of votes made against them today. Jae-suk: “Why do I have so many votes?” Gary: “People must not like you!”
But Jae-suk does admit that he saw Jong-kook’s whistle earlier, and he swears that he left it alone. “I just closed the lid [of the compartment] and buried it, is all!”
Everyone is all ears to find out who their fifth target is: it’s Gong Yoo… and Haha. Ji-hyo spots Gong Yoo at a distance and calls for backup. She follows him, but then he blows past her, to her shock.
Gong Yoo seeks refuge underneath a stairwell, but Hee-soon is already on his tail. He’s just a few feet away… when suddenly, a whistle blows. Whoa, was that Haha?
Sure enough, we see Haha discover the whistle on the roof. He blows it loud and true, which means that he and Gong Yoo are now the last targets in line. (Though, Haha is placed last for finding the whistle himself.)
There are two targets in the next round, and I admit that I laughed when Hee-soon did a momentary double-take when his name wasn’t announced right away. Both he and Suk-jin must find the whistle or find themselves eliminated.
Ji-hyo’s the one to stumble across the whistle, however, while Gong Yoo sets off in search for Hee-soon, saying that his co-star is a good hider because he’s such a quiet person.
So when he looks into a basement door strangely left open, thinking there’s no way that Hee-soon would be hiding here… we see Hee-soon hiding in that very basement. But Gong Yoo doesn’t see his co-star and talks about how this situation reminds him of a scene from his movie instead, and just walks right out.
Once he’s in the clear, Hee-soon asks if only one of them needs to find the whistle and hopes that Suk-jin is out there looking for it. Elsewhere, we see Suk-jin hoping for that very same thing. Ha.
A little later, Haha asks his buddy when he’s going to treat him to a meal for saving his neck earlier. Gong Yoo says that they’ll see after the episode ends, to which Haha says that his friend can make another guest appearance. Yes, please!
Haha says that they need Ji-hyo’s eagle eye to find their targets, but Ji-hyo is busy looking for her own hiding place. That’s when Hee-soon walks right in front of her, and he bolts.
But Hee-soon gets cornered by Haha and Gong Yoo a minute later, and he asks to be eliminated by Ji-hyo. When that doesn’t work, he offers to tell them where she is. Haha: “We’ll find her ourselves.”
They eliminate Hee-soon, and then we skip ahead to after Ji-hyo’s elimination. Now it’s down to Haha to hunt down his friend Gong Yoo, who sets off in search for his whistle.
Haha keeps watch outside and sneaks back into the building once he spots Gong Yoo inside. He then waits for his opportune moment before going in, and the two wrestle to the ground.
Finally, Haha yells, “I’m sorry! But this won’t affect our friendship!” and rips Gong Yoo’s nametag. Exhausted, Gong Yoo tells his buddy, “I’m supposed to look cool on this show after playing such a cool character in my movie…”
Haha: “This is what variety is like.” Gong Yoo: “This show totally didn’t go the way I expected it to!” Haha: “A UFC champion came on our show and played gong-gi once.”
So Haha throws his buddy in jail and holds up his gold prize high and proud. “I’ll go watch The Suspect now that I’m free!”
The others gather together for the closing, and the cast tells Hee-soon that it isn’t easy for a guest to earn a nickname (Park Hee-speedy, you could say) in variety. They invite Gong Yoo to come back on the show too, to which he answers that he’s already preparing himself for his next visit. Eeee!