Running Man: Episode 238
How easy it is for those of us living in developed countries to forget that clean water is a precious resource. Our cast must run to Daegu, where the upcoming World Water Forum will take place, and conserve the little water in their possessions. Will they be able to preserve enough to work some magic or will their bottles be taken away from them before they get the chance?
EPISODE 238. Broadcast on March 15, 2015.
We open at the SBS building, where we waste no time in meeting today’s guests aka our water fairies: actresses Kim Seo-hyung (A New Leaf, Empress Ki) and Ye Ji-won (Cantabile Tomorrow). Seo-hyung immediately brings on the laughs by striking a hilariously confident pose without saying a word. Ha, just take a look at that expression.
Ji-won also happens to be Jae-suk’s college classmate, though tries to avoid the same-year association by greeting Jae-suk as “oppa.” Then she momentarily forgets herself a second later when saying that “Jae-suk-ie” is the most popular alumnus in their year.
This week’s Water Fairy Race is to promote and create awareness of the upcoming 7th World Water Forum taking place in Daegu in April. The team breakdown is as follows: Gray (Seo-hyung, Jong-kook, Haha), Blue (Ji-won, Jae-suk, Kwang-soo) and Black (Ji-hyo, Suk-jin, Gary).
The goal is simple: our teams will take their “magical” water bottles and use it to clean the dirty water waiting for them at the finish line. Additionally, the teams will take two forms of transportation to get to Daegu.
Although Ji-hyo & Co. have the latest departure time, their express bus and taxi combination appears better than the others. For instance, Seo-hyung’s team has to first take a plane down to Busan and another bus back up to Daegu. Jae-suk: “You might as well have told them to go to Jeju Island instead!
But then Ji-won and her boys don’t have it much better either: they must get off at one of the first two stops on the KTX, then take the bus the rest of the way. Ji-won: “We’ll ride there on bicycles.”
Seo-hyung is in a cheery mood in the van with her younger teammates. Married man Haha takes it upon himself to play matchmaker again, apologizing for sitting in between her and Jong-kook. When he suggests that they hold hands behind him, Seo-hyung says she’ll do it on her own, thank you very much. Hehe.
All Seo-hyung has to do is knock at Jong-kook’s heart, Haha continues. “Just say that you like him three times.” When Jong-kook tries to be polite by saying that Seo-hyung might like a different type of guy, she whips back, “Are you trying to be picky about types at your age?” Touché.
Ji-won serenades her teammates in the van with the French tune “Paroles Paroles.” It’s not long until the guys start singing along, and when she falls back to using banmal with Jae-suk, he reminds her that she called him “oppa” earlier.
They run into the train station and board the train with less than six minutes to spare. Once they find out that they’ve boarded a train headed for Busan, Ji-won is the only one excited about it: “Doesn’t that mean we get to see the ocean?” But thankfully getting off at the second stop Daejeon should put them in a good position.
Over at Gimpo airport, Jong-kook deduces that the team who has the most “magical” water in Daegu will have the advantage. A little while later, Ji-hyo & Co. are satisfied that their bus ride will be a straight shot to Daegu.
On the train, Ji-won says she feels a little embarrassed about being called her given name Yoo-jung. I love how she keeps forgetting to address Jae-suk as “oppa,” even though she’s the one who started the running joke.
She then explains that Jae-suk was already a celebrity during their college days thanks to his appearance in a comedian contest back then. But she keeps tripping up over her words today, like calling the “Gag Contest” as “Gag Concert.”
Over lunch, after Jae-suk identifies that Kwang-soo’s ideal type of girl is cutesy and doll-like, Ji-won whispers that in their university days, Jae-suk used to like stick thin women. Ji-won isn’t at all shy about divulging tidbits about Jae-suk, like how she held onto the misconception for yeeearrrrsss that Jae-suk and singer Ha Soo-bin had dated in the past.
At the time, Ji-won had convinced herself that Jae-suk must’ve been a chaebol if he was dating someone as pretty as Soo-bin. Ji-won even thought that the van taking Soo-bin around was Jae-suk’s car. Then she admits that there weren’t any especially handsome fellows in their year. Jae-suk: “Because I was in the top three.”
After arriving in Busan, Seo-hyung and her boys board a bus, where she asks how Jong-kook’s speaking and singing voices could be so different. She hints that it’d be great if her boyfriend was a great singer (nudge), then asks if he likes it when the lady makes him laugh (nudge nudge).
When Jong-kook says he likes it, she gets half-annoyed that he keeps calling her noona. Hahaha. Meanwhile a traffic accident up ahead forces our express bus crew to take a detour, which might put them behind the other teams.
After Ji-won and her boys are barred from taking a taxi to the Daejeon terminal, they take a bus instead. There’s a mission waiting for them when they arrive: tip 10 soda cans so that they stand on their sides. Kwang-soo resorts to trying to smash a side in, but I have this awful feeling that it’s going to burst…
… and then it does. HA. His next brilliant idea is to try leaning the cans against one another, but that idea is quickly shot down too. Kwang-soo’s third idea is to use chewed gum as a stand, but he’s told that the cans must lean on their own.
A bystander suggests that the team consume some of the drink, then try to find a center of balance. So the trio enlists the bystanders’ help in drinking the soda, and when Kwang-soo tips the can… it stays up. Eureka!
At the Busan bus terminal, our team must transfer five onion ring chips in under a minute in order to get on the bus. The first attempt is a dud thanks to Seo-hyung and Haha trying to hook under the onion chip, but a switcharoo speeds them up enough to succeed.
Ji-hyo and her boys have less than 15 minutes to complete their mission at a rest stop. Trying to make their hard-boiled eggs stand on their own only makes them annoyed until Suk-jin’s does… and then falls over.
Things start to look bleak when the bus gives a five-minute warning, but then one by one, all three eggs are left standing.
Despite that detour, Ji-hyo and her boys are the first to arrive at the park in Daegu. Here they must successfully complete a mission to grab the car keys and drive to the final mission location. Should they fail, they’ll need to dump 100 mL of water.
Ji-hyo and her boys’ faces fall just at listening to the instructions: travel down the mat by swinging Ji-hyo around their waists and “ring” the gong with her head. Oh, all within 30 seconds. This game has failure written all over it.
As expected, Gary and Suk-jin struggle to carry out the mission. Ji-won and her boys must complete a baton relay wearing flippers within 15 seconds, which means each of them need to run around the mat in five seconds or less. And in order to do that, Jae-suk says he needs to take off his pants.
So Jae-suk strips down right then and there, arguing all the while that track and field athletes wear these because they cut down on air resistance. Gary: “Those athletes wear another layer on top of those!”
Next thing we know, Kwang-soo starts stripping too, insisting that he’s wearing super-short shorts. Dude, anyone can tell that those are boxer briefs. Gary chimes in, “Does ‘Calvin Klein’ count as an athletics brand?”
It looks like those leggings really do help as Jae-suk whips around the mat pretty speedily. So do Kwang-soo and Ji-won, but they fail by 1.31 seconds. Ji-won: “What happened? You guys stripped down, too! You may as well have kept your pants on.”
All of these missions sound sort of possible if only there wasn’t such a short time limit. But 10 seconds is all Seo-hyung and her boys have to traverse down to the finish line in a human pyramid format. When Jae-suk says he heard that Seo-hyung’s been flirting with Jong-kook all day, she smiles and says it’s no big deal. Lol.
Pairing Seo-hyung’s forwardness with Jong-kook’s hesitance towards those flirtatious advances, Ji-won starts her serenade on her guitar. As soon as the whistle blows, however, Seo-hyung slips over to Jong-kook’s back, which the group uses as joke fodder for her preference for Jong-kook.
When Seo-hyung’s team chooses the game Ji-hyo and her boys failed earlier, Gary asks if Jong-kook can’t swing Seo-hyung down the mat on his own. Jong-kook and Haha do a better job at this swing-and-pass system, though they stay in place rather than move down the mat.
That is, until the final swing and Seo-hyung yelps as she falls. Frustrated, she goes to kick Haha, and now their team is down 200 mL. Next, Ji-hyo’s team must run around the mat in ten seconds while holding soda cans between their cheeks. When Kwang-soo blocks their way by bending down and pretend to tie his shoe, the trio simply knocks him over.
Everyone is willing to play a little dirty if the staff is willing to give a green light. But that’s a no, and Ji-hyo’s team gets a do-over. And this time, they succeed and head out.
The two remaining teams face off in the 15 second flippers race. Jae-suk loses a flipper right away, which puts a pause button on the race. Seo-hyung is none to happy about the interruption, lost flipper be damned.
But when Seo-hyung slips and falls right before the finish line, her team calls for a time-out. Both teams start arguing about the rules of the game and whether Seo-hyung was actually hurt or not. For some reason, Ji-won asks Jong-kook to show off some taekwondo moves to er, appease her somehow? She’s lost me.
In any case, the teams get ready for a final showdown. And when Taek PD says the production crew will just sit back and watch, the teams cry out that the staff MUST intervene and set appropriate boundaries.
This time, Kwang-soo pulls in first, and then Ji-won rallies her teammates to celebrate with the cancan dance. In the end, our water tally is as follows: Black (800 mL), Blue (700mL), and Gray (600 mL).
Upon arriving at the final mission location, Gary relays the instructions to his teammates: collect at least one liter of “magical” water to clean the dirty water. And to do that, they’ll need to swipe some water from the other teams.
Kwang-soo notices that the Black Team keeps in step with their team, not believing that they’re still looking to find what they need to do here. Ji-won catches on that the others are trying to steal their water and confirms her suspicions when she reads the mission card on the roof.
Kwang-soo and Jae-suk notice that Jong-kook’s gone missing and are thus hesitant about heading downstairs. Kwang-soo takes one for the team and gives chase, only to be led right into the Tiger’s lair.
After insisting that he’s empty-handed, Kwang-soo yells loudly in warning to his teammates. They leave him for Jong-kook and crew to deal with him. Seeing Kwang-soo pinned down to the floor, Seo-hyung asks, “Doesn’t this [position] usually mean that he’s out?”
The Black Team decides to hide Ji-hyo among the staff while the guys head out and check in on her every five minutes. She grows nervous when the Gray Team shows up a minute later, and Jong-kook also parks himself a seat next to the staff.
Downstairs, Ji-won threatens to drop her water bottle if Gary draws any closer. And when he does, she chucks it down and everyone rushes down the stairs. It’s Gary who picks it up first; he calls for Suk-jin… who is still on his way down in the elevator. LOL.
Gary chucks the bottle away, which gets picked up by Kwang-soo, who makes a safe pass to Jae-suk. Up to the roof everyone goes, and Kwang-soo walks into the pool, threatening to pour out his bottle.
He does moments later, much to Jae-suk’s ire. Seo-hyung notices that Ji-hyo’s missing too, then Suk-jin volunteers to confront Kwang-soo in the water.
Kwang-soo runs back inside, taking the group with him. And in the meantime, Ji-hyo feels a pair of eyes on her: Jong-kook. She runs out, and her appearance alerts the others. Jong-kook looks on as the others try wrenching the bottle away from her.
Once Haha steals it, Jong-kook finally makes his move and enters the safe zone with both bottles. The Gray Team pours and mixes the water in, and just like magic, the liquid inside turns clear.
The victors are awarded gold rings for their Water Race win, to which the others joke that Jong-kook and Seo-hyung can use them as couple rings. And because no victory is complete without Seo-hyung giving us one last laugh, she strikes the same confident pose.