Our 229th Running Man adventure starts with guest Lee Seung Gi getting his very own spy mission. He is to eliminate all the members and guest Moon Chae Won in secret – a classic Running Man spy mission. But he won’t be alone – famed grump Lee Seo Jin will be joining him to complete the mission. True to form, Seo Jin doesn’t seem to be too thrilled about it, and suggests that Seung Gi eliminate him first. They will only be able to eliminate the other members when the two spies are together, but if anyone else catches on, they will fail the mission.
The episode kicks off in earnest when the PDs give the members the mission to find 15 mathematical puzzle pieces within the time limit. Anyone else getting distracted by the Inspector Gadget theme song? Throwback. Seo Jin hangs out in a room above, waiting for Seung Gi to lure the members in. Seung Gi is dismayed to find that the puzzle pieces are quite large and easy to find, and the members are breezing through them. He manages to lure Kwang Soo into the room, acting surprised to see that Seo Jin is there. Before Kwang Soo can even react, Seung Gi successfully grabs his name tag, leaving the newly ousted Kwang Soo to make awkward conversation with Seo Jin. The same thing works with Chae Won soon afterward. Seo Jin and Seung Gi set out on the move.
But wait…the other members are talking about Seung Gi falling for something. What’s going on here? Turns out, it’s spies on spies today, because the members are told about Seung Gi and Seo Jin’s mission ahead of time, and their mission is to fool Seung Gi and Seo Jin into thinking they have no clue. The rest of the members fulfill their mission in quick succession. Seung Gi’s expression is priceless when he realized he’s the one who’s actually be fooled.
The teams are announced for today’s Couple Making Race. Jae Suk and Seo Jin make a classically hilarious duo as most enthusiastic and least enthusiastic of the bunch. Seung Gi and Chae Won, Jong Kook and Kwang Soo, Suk Jin and Haha, and the Monday Couple round out the other teams. The mathematical cards they found at the beginning, along with a set of duplicates, have been divided between the members. They will have to get rid of the cards before the end of the race by creating matching pairs. Winners of each challenge will get the chance to swap their cards with another team to try to find the matching cards.
The Suk Jin/Haha and Jae Suk/Seo Jin cars have me cracking up with their acrostic poems en route to the first challenge. Their first mission is “Piggyback for My Love”, in which each partnership will have to complete a small obstacle course. First, the piggyback ride giver has to crawl under a net, then grab a pouch containing a shoe hanging from a high rack. Then they will give their partner a piggyback ride, and the partner will try to fling the shoe into a basket to finish the race.
Haha manages to throw Jae Suk’s sack off course, but keeps missing his own. Seung Gi and Chae Won are the first to try to fling their shoe into the basket. Seo Jin plays goalie and blocks Ji Hyo’s shoe, which is so close to making it into the basket. After a frenzy, Jong Kook and Kwang Soo are the first to get their shoe into the basket.
In the second round, they all resort to using their shoes to try to knock the pouches off of the high bar. Seung Gi encounters some trouble as he manages to flip the pouch over the bar the wrong way, putting it even higher up. Gary and Ji Hyo eventually win the second round.
The Running Man members call out grumpy cat Seo Jin for not even assuming a ready stance when he switches roles with Jae Suk for the third round. He actually does a decent job, and even cracks a smile when scolding Jae Suk as Seung Gi and Chae Won win the third round.
Kwang Soo and Jong Kook get matching cards in the first card swap, which causes them to be a target when they are too obvious with their celebration. Jae Suk and Seo Jin also get a matching pair, and play it cool.
Seo Jin has a soft spot for his young niece Ellie though. She’s a big Running Man fan and is visiting the set, aka living the dream. Her appearance seems to cheer Seo Jin up, even if just a little bit.
The second mission, the ‘Back Hug Challenge’, has the members transferring items from the floor to a table with a gigantic pair of chopsticks within a one minute limit. Seo Jin and Jae Suk’s item is a shower stool, and he actually looks quite focused! Ultimately they fail the mission though. Suk Jin and Haha have to use the giant chopsticks to pick up lipsticks, much to the amusement of the other members. Even Suk Jin himself is ready to accept another week of bad luck, but I have a sneaky feeling this is the kind of challenge that Big Nose Hyung would be good at. They manage to get several of the lipsticks on the table, eliciting cheers of “Big Nose! Big Nose!” They go over the time limit though. Too bad.
Seung Gi and Chae Won have to pick up yogurts, and just when it looks like they’re doing well, Chae Won falls over behind Seung Gi. When they reset with her in the front, she quickly gets one of the yogurt on the table, but the rest are more elusive. Everyone else fails their first turn too.
Seo Jin and Jae Suk’s next item is metal pots, and lucky for them, the pots have handles and prove easier to transfer to the table. Even with some interference by the mischievous Kwang Soo, Jae Suk and Seo Jin are the first team to succeed. Seo Jin’s niece gets a kick out of it. Then, Kwang Soo and Jong Kook are the next to succeed.
Card swap time again. (Note Jong Kook cuddling with Kwang Soo in the screencap above.) The PDs provide an update of how many matching pairs are out there, and the teams have to strategically guess who has the matching pairs. When they arrive at the final venue, they have to put their matching pairs out on the table, shouting ‘Clear!’. Monday Couple and Haha/Suk Jin don’t have any matching pairs, while Seung Gi/Chae Won and Jong Kook/Kwang Soo have one each, and Jae Suk/Seo Jin have two.
The final mission will be card elimination. They will be doing the equivalent of the card trading, but live action, in a last-ditch effort to obtain the matching pairs. Each member has their remaining numbers and symbols on his/her back underneath the name tag. Therefore, all the other members will know exactly where to get a hold of the desired number or symbol. I love when the producers come up with unique twists on the classic nametag ripping game. This will get tricky though, because the teams with the same numbers will have to face off. The players all clump up right away, and unsurprisingly, Spartakook is the first one to get another matching pair. Haha and Suk Jin double team Jae Suk for their ‘5’ right away, with Haha heroically ripping the needed number off Jae Suk’s back with his mouth.
Jong Kook faces off with Jae Suk while Seo Jin takes on Kwang Soo for the division sign. In the tussle, Chae Won gets her number and Jae Suk nabs the division sign, winning the whole thing for Jae Suk and the reluctant Seo Jin. Kwang Soo and Jong Kook insist Seo Jin must theatrically declare the ‘Clear’ in order to claim their victory. He gets a gold ring for his trouble. He grabs Jae Suk’s for good measure, gifting one ring to Chae Won, and pocketing the other for his Running Man devotee niece.
Thanks for tuning in this week for a late recap. More coming soon, here on Kaedejun and also on my blahg. =)