Running Man: Episode 253
It’s a water-themed episode this week where our couples will try and cool off from the summer heat. Melting their icy hearts will turn out to be a bigger challenge than any of them could have imagined, but these guys will practically do anything to get to the center and retrieve the key that will ensure them a win. What they get for actually winning on this outing is another discussion altogether.
EPISODE 253. Broadcast on June 28, 2015.
We open on a camping trip-themed opening, where our guys finally get some r&r and joined by actor Do Sang-woo (Ex-Girlfriend Club, It’s Okay, It’s Love). There’s only one other tent in this wide field, and Sang-woo is sent over with the hyungs shouting out words of advice on how to woo their neighbors.
And even before Sang-woo “knocks,” a voice — Ji-hyo’s most likely — says they’ll be right out. Ha. Jae-suk and Gary try to show him how to oh-so-casually enter the other tent, only to be kicked by gatekeeper Ji-hyo several times. One must need an invite to a ladies’ tent dontchaknow.
But it isn’t long before we’re introduced to the other ladies who join us on this outing: BESTie’s Haeryung, CLC’s Jang Ye-eun, actressesPark Ha-na (Empress Ki, Miss Korea), Hwang Seung-eon (Let’s Eat 2, Heart to Heart) and Seo Hyun-jin(Let’s Eat 2), and model Irene Kim.
As Kwang-soo and Hyun-jin were former co-stars on Goddess of Fire, they seem friendly enough for him to tease her and for her to tell him to quiet down. Haha remembers her as being part of the short-lived girl group M.I.L.K., saying she looked so young then. Hyun-jin: “Are you saying I’m an ajumma now?”
While Jae-suk tells all the other guys to stop crowding the ladies with questions, he calls out Gary for shyly stepping away. His silence has Jae-suk wondering if he actually likes one of the girls here. Gary gives in: “There about two!”
After munching on the sandwiches Ha-na has prepared, everyone breaks off into pairs: Haha and Ye-eun, Gary and Seung-eon, Kwang-soo and Hyun-jin, Sang-woo and Ji-hyo, Suk-jin and Haeryung, Jae-suk and Ha-na, and Jong-kook and Irene.
For this summer-themed Love Vacance Race, each couple will carry with them a heart-shaped block of ice which contains a key. The team to melt their block of ice, grab that key, and opens whatever it opens will be our victors. Snagging one of the top three spots in each game will earn them a melting period in the sun (10, 20, or 30 minutes). Jong-kook: “Can’t we just crack it open?”
In the car, Haha asks Ye-eun (who’s a ’98-er—yes, you read that correctly) if he seems like an oppa or an ajusshi. He gets excited when he hears “oppa.” When Suk-jin hears that Haeryung considers Kwang-soo to be the most handsome (which we know would just make his day), he tells her: “He drools!”
Speaking of whom, Kwang-soo tells Hyun-jin that choosing Jong-kook would cost her in the end—sure they’d have a greater chance of winning, but he’d probably talk her ear off. He hints that there has to be a reason why Jong-kook hasn’t gotten married yet… or more like he can’t get married—-meaning, the constant nagging.
Ha-na launches into a bit of self-promotion of her own singer roots, having been a part of an idol group named “Funny.” Jae-suk remains polite as she talks about herself as they head to the water park.
Once there, Haeryung gets called out for bringing a handbag with her on an outdoor game variety show. Suk-jin swoops in to name the top three guys she considers handsome: Kwang-soo, Gary, and Jae-suk. Asked who comes in dead last, her hesitation clues us in that it’s probably Suk-jin.
It turns out that Seung-eon happened to see Kwang-soo on a group blind date while she and her friends were hanging out together. Apparently Kwang-soo only showed off his side profile to the ladies, trying to come off as cool.
Since it’s now secret-sharing time, Kwang-soo says Hyun-jin has a Spanish-language lesson to share. She tries to stop him, but ends up sharing herself how she loved the accent so much that she immediately memorized one line from her Spanish lessons: “I want to be with you tonight.”
Gary says that’s the same thing as saying, “Do you wanna me?” in English. He’s corrected by the actual phrase “Do you want me?” but Jae-suk saves the moment by rolling off of the wordplay.
Starting off their first game entitled “Love Island,” the guys and girls will take different routes to reach a platform they will try to push each other off of. The first guy to successfully princess-carry his teammates for three second will win the round. There’s a dance break to kick things off, and our female guests show off their best moves…
… and when Hyun-jin is reluctantly ushered to the center, Kwang-soo helps her out by showing off his own thrusting dance moves. Everyone gets moving as soon as the whistle blows, and by the time the guys dive into the water, the ladies are already in the middle of their own brawl.
While the guys struggle to get on top of the platform, only one is still struggling to reach it: Suk-jin. Sang-woo, Haha, and Gary all pick up their ladies, but only Gary succeeds in the end.
For this second round, the ladies dance into the water while the guys get a head start around the corner. Suk-jin is still left behind in the second round, and this time Sang-woo swoops up Ji-hyo first. Not that Ha-na will let that happen on her watch as she pulls them down.
Kwang-soo and Jae-suk throw off Sang-woo and Jong-kook, respectively, while Haeryung is still waiting for her teammate. With Kwang-soo and Hyun-jin pushed into the water, Jae-suk and Ha-na snag second place.
Jong-kook gets teased for still being in a game that involves his muscles. Kwang-soo: “Why the viewers might be mistaken into thinking that Irene is too heavy [to lift]!”
Kicking off the third round with another amusing dance break with each couple, Haha makes things interesting by pulling up Jong-kook’s shirt. He does the same with Suk-jin, but the effect isn’t quite the same.
All the guys jump in the water again, save for one: Suk-jin. Although Jong-kook picks up Irene first, they’re both pushed off a second later. In the end, it’s Kwang-soo and Hyun-jin who come in third place.
Three blocks of ice are taken out to spend some time in the sun. Jae-suk gets scolded for placing his hands on the ice to help speed up the process a tad, while Kwang-soo tries sucking the ice with his mouth.
They’ll be playing their second game in the meantime: a charades memory game where each team will strike a pose. Failing to follow the sequence in order results in elimination.
All the couples break to strategize a cheesy pose that wouldn’t be memorable. Kwang-soo says they should strike a pose that makes everyone else uncomfortable. Plus, it wouldn’t mean anything since they’re good friends anyway. Hyun-jin suggests, “Should we hug?”
So they try out a back hug, only for Hyun-jin to curl up her fingers in goosebumps. Kwang-soo swears that he’s only doing this to win this game and not because he wants to be physically close to her and make things weird.
Ha-na places her leg on Jae-suk’s shoulder to show off her flexibility for about two seconds before the pain kicks in. Cut to: Ye-eun, who has no problem whatsoever. She hypothesizes that Jong-kook will probably try to lift his teammate…
… which is exactly what Jong-kook is testing out right now. Everyone else witnesses Suk-jin’s awkward airplane pose, then it’s time to reconvene.
Following a rock-paper-scissors round to determine the order, Haha and Ye-eun starts things off. As expected, Ye-eun sets the difficulty bar pretty high from the start with her flexibility.
Both Hyun-jin and Seung-eon painfully follow suit, then Seung-eon ups the bar with an around the world yoga pose. Ha-na is able to mimic the poses, albeit with some pain, but then can’t maintain her own team’s pose and crashes into the ground again.
Playing off the moment like it was planned, Jae-suk and Ha-na start over to lift her on his back, have her “clap” with her feet five times followed by him bending down five times. Ji-hyo has trouble with the flexibility poses but does them in the end, then she and Sang-woo add the cutest little dance and song.
As expected, Jong-kook and Irene blaze past the previous poses, and then he lifts her up onto his shoulder. Oh no, Suk-jin wouldn’t be able to follow that act, would he? Suk-jin sets himself up for the first push-up… only to stay down. Aw, man.
They try giving him another shot for Haeryung’s sake, but it’s no good. Victory is out the window for these two. Suk-jin: “That’s why you should’ve won at rock-paper-scissors [so that we could’ve gone first]!”
A few of the ladies check in with their teammates’ flexibility before reconvening for the second round. Kwang-soo and Hyun-jin kicks it off with her in a split whereas Kwang-soo can barely wrap his legs around each other before yelping in pain.
Given another shot, Hyun-jin does a split and Kwang-soo, well, he’s kinda just there. Hahaha. Adding the new rule that the poses must be held for at least five seconds, Ha-na is in pain after copying Hyun-jin. I can’t even begin to describe the one that Jae-suk and Ha-na strike, only that it would make Zoolander proud.
AHAHAHA—Haha and Ye-eun mix things up by having her piggyback him and squat five times. Seung-eon has to prepare herself before having to lift Gary, but she can’t, and that robs us of seeing Irene try to lift Spartakooks.
As it turns out, Seong-eon had her own unique ability to show off—her double-jointedness and spinning her arms around nearly 360 degrees. But no one feels as bad as Suk-jin, who wasn’t even able to let his teammate shine today because Haeryung had so much to show off today.
We skip ahead where the four remaining couples must all strike weird and unique poses. Kwang-soo and Hyun-jin start by holding each other by the ankles, but at the last moment she asks if he can really do this. Uh oh, and she’s the one lying on the ground.
This has bad news written all over it, and what should be tumbling across the floor ends up with Kwang-soo hitting his head on the mat. So they do a last-minute change with Hyun-jin doing another split and Kwang-soo twisting any way he can on the mat and going cross-eyed in one eye.
The staff lets out an audible “wow” at Ji-hyo’s half-split, to which Haha yells how that’s nothing to make a big deal over. They let Ji-hyo have it on the grounds that Sang-woo probably can’t go cross-eyed in one eye. He sorta can, but the parts don’t add up to a whole and they fail.
Fired up, Ji-hyo argues that one has to do yoga regularly to be that flexible, ordering the other girls to follow suit. We then move on to the third game: the return of the cream pie face game. There’s a nearby bubble bath looking pool too, with VJ Kwon-ryul filming in the water.
Here, a teammate will jump into the bubble-filled pool to retrieve the correct colored ball. The team who does so first wins whereas the losers will get a taste of cream pie. The top three teams of the last game will have water poured into their coolers (to speed up the melting process) for fifteen minutes.
In the first round, the ladies jump into the water to retrieve a green-colored ball amid the bubbles. Ji-hyo’s first to grab one, but it bounces right out of the tube. Hyun-jin is mobbed when she grabs one, while Seung-eon is still searching in peace and Ji-hyo is lost in a cloud of bubbles.
There are two balls in play now, with the ladies trying to snatch them out of each other’s grasp. It’s Ye-eun who succeeds in the end, and then the teams switch for the second round.
Aw, Haeryung already looks prepared to have her face creamed this round. As the guys search through the pool for a pink ball, Jae-suk emerges with a ball in hand. Too bad it’s red and not pink, though.
So it’s back into the water, from which Jong-kook escapes ten seconds later with a pink ball for second place. Without his glasses, Jae-suk has legit trouble discerning between red and pink, which honestly worries Kwang-soo.
The guys go at it again for the third round where they must retrieve a blue and a yellow ball. Hyun-jin sends a loving cheer to Kwang-soo, who can’t help but blush. Ha, so any words of endearment make you happy, don’t they? The other ladies cheer on their teammates too, and Haeryung earnestly calls out: “I want to see you win one at least!”
Kwang-soo scores a yellow ball, but Jae-suk follows behind with two in hand. He stops Jae-suk, and the other yellow ball bounces out of Jae-suk’s hand and into the water again. Whoops.
And as soon as Jae-suk jumps back in, Sang-woo appears out of the bubbles to grab third place. Nicely done, sir. By the end, there isn’t much left of Kwang-soo and Hyun-jin’s block of ice at all.
The top three teams from the third game earn some time with a heat lamp (five, three, and two minutes, respectively). While Haha and Ye-eun’s block looks rather thin, Ji-hyo and Sang-woo’s block looks just about the same.
Still it’s not as bad as either Suk-jin or Jae-suk’s, but then there’s Kwang-soo and Hyun-jin’s block which looks miniature compared to the others. So it’s not surprising that they’re the ones to get to their key first, then desperately try to find the right box to unlock.
Haha and Ye-eun aren’t far behind, but it’s too late because Kwang-soo has already unlocked the right box. To commemorate their win, Kwang-soo and Hyun-jin are awarded… a fruit basket?
Hyun-jin: “I heard that you’d get gold [for winning]!” Haha: “They say eating apples for breakfast is gold.” Or perhaps she’d like a golden kiwi? Or maybe a bunch of golden bananas for a refreshing (and nutritious) win.