After an unplanned hiatus, Kaedejun’s Running Man coverage is back for a fresh start in 2015! I won’t call it a resolution, because I have a history of not keeping those, but I am fully planning on forging forward with recaps this year. To bridge the gap a little from my last Running Man recap this past fall, I’ll just say that I think the show has been having a really great past couple of months. 2014 started with a lot of cooking-related shows that were fun for the first time or two, then had me wondering if the show was taking a turn for the more tame concepts. Then around the second half of the year, the show had a marked return to classic Running Man style and it’s been a blast!
We start 2015’s first episode with guests Lee Seung Gi and Moon Chae Won (from the new movie Love Forecast aka Today’s Love) rising out of a giant snow globe. The male cast members immediately start squabbling over who will be on Chae Won’s team, but it’s Gary and Haha that get placed with the actress. Jae Suk and Kwang Soo are teamed with the easy and charismatic Seung Gi, while Jong Kook is teamed with Suk Jin and Ji Hyo. Today’s theme is ‘Weather, Weather’. The members will face a set of bizarre circumstances caused by a strange turn of the weather.
The first challenge brings them to yet another field in the middle of nowhere. The members put on high rubber boots and are told to climb into a large truck bed, without knowing what the actual mission will be. Turns out, the truck bed will slowly tilt downwards, tipping them towards a mud pit. Their mission will be to remain the last man (or woman!) standing in the truck bed. The team with the member who survives the last wins.
In the first round, the members come tumbling out of the truck bed and Chae Won takes Kwang Soo out with a kick. Then it’s just Ji Hyo and Chae Won left. Ji Hyo goes on the offensive, and they tussle before both falling out together. It’s declared a tie. The next round sees the members seem to plan on taking out Suk Jin, leaving an opening for Jong Kook to push them all out in a pile. But hang on…that leaves Suk Jin alone from his team. Poor guy doesn’t stand a chance. After a traitors club standoff in the sixth round, Haha comes out on top for his team. As Haha, Gary, and Chae Won take a look at their hint, Seung Gi peeks over their shoulders.
The Ice Age challenge takes place in a skating rink. The members are presented with covered silver trays, the contents of which they’ll have to eat within 60 seconds. The tray opens to reveal an ice steak complete with “grill marks”, which each team will have to cut in three and try to chew through. Seung Gi’s team is up first, with Kwang Soo bravely shoving his entire piece in his mouth. Seung Gi tries to chew through his chunk, but no dice. The team doesn’t even get close to finishing in time. Gentlemen Haha and Gary give Chae Won the smallest piece when it’s their turn, but they also struggle to chew through the blocks of ice steak. When the last team also fails the ice steak challenge, we move onto the next: an ice Peppero challenge. The members will play the Peppero game, where two members chew from either end of the “Peppero” to see which team can come up with the shortest ice stick. This game never fails to make me cringe when the members get close, no matter how many times I see it! We expect Running Man aces Jong Kook and Ji Hyo to win the challenge, but their ice stick snaps in half almost right away, and team Seung Gi wins this challenge. When the teams get their hints for the final challenge, all the other members go to great lengths to peek at the others’ hints, including going to the camera monitors to try to read the cards. Oh, Running Man.
The members head to their next destination as they try to piece together the clues about their final mission. They reach an empty building and are told to search for the vaccine against the unusual weather. The members set off to look for the vaccine, when all of a sudden, the tell-tale announcement blares over the loudspeaker: “Kim Jong Kook, out. Kim Jong Kook, out.” But wait, are we ripping name tags? It’s revealed that there is a ‘monster’ who’s been infected with the virus that is going around ripping name tags. It’s none other than champion fighter Ki Ji Hoon, a very formidable monster indeed, who ousts the members by stamping the bottom of their feet. Kwang Soo witnesses the next attack on Haha and runs off to tell the others. Word spreads that there’s a mutant monster attacking the members, and their unease and anxiety goes through the roof. Time to quickly find that vaccine.
The monster picks off more members one by one, and pretty soon only Chae Won, Seung Gi, and Jae Suk are left. Seung Gi finally locates the vaccine, which is, hilariously, a yellow slap bracelet. They’ll have to get the bracelet onto the monster’s wrist to cure him. Chae Won seems to be stricken with a disease of her own, characterized by skittishness, when she’s so nervous that she runs even from her fellow Running Men. She then somehow cons the vaccine from Seung Gi, claiming to have bought it from him with a piece of chocolate. After an extensive back and forth, the three remaining members take on the monster as a team. It takes both the guys holding Ji Hoon down, and a quick-eyed Chae Won to spot the split-second opening to snap the bracelet on his wrist.
The members head to their final location with their clues in hand: It’s the place that Running Man loves the most. It emerges twice a day. Where in the world is it? The set reveals several platforms labeled with types of terrains, including mountains, deserts, jungles, and others. Each team is to choose the terrain that they think fits the clues – if they it wrong, they’ll experience torrential rain, aka a deluge of water over their heads. All the team members climb onto the mud flats platform with barely any hesitation. Come to think of it, they have been splashing around in a lot of mud lately!
There’s a second of doubt, but as the PD runs through the terrains and the water splashes over each of the wrong answers, it’s revealed that all of the members ultimately chose the correct answer. Jae Suk joyfully notes that it’s the first time in Running Man history that all the members win. Not a bad way to start 2015. Happy running!