Monday, 12 August 2013

Running Man: Episode 156

The 2NE1 members come to play with our Running Man cast to acquire a precious resource in order to save their planet. Who knew that one could have this much fun on this third rock from the sun? You might just say that this episode is out of this world.

EPISODE 156. Broadcast on July 28, 2013.

Our cast gathers by the Han River brightly dressed to match sci-fi concept. In fact, Mr. PD explains that they're aliens, and I love the collective disbelief about this fictional setup: "There he goes again." "How far are you going to take this?"

Luckily, these extraterrestrials are not alone and are joined by girl group: 2NE1: CL, Park Bom, Sandara Park, and Minzy. Kpop fans will know that seeing YG artists on variety is as common as seeing a rare white elk. Needless to say that Blackjacks are sure to be excited to see their idols on screen.

Immediately, the cast complains about how they can't seem to pull off the same colorful clothes as well as the ladies do. Then Jae-suk hangs a lantern on Dara's iconic hairstyle that dates back to their rookie days. It's appropriate for today's theme, 's all I'm sayin'.

Man, I forgot that Kwang-soo is in fact younger than both Dara and Bom (they're older than him by a year as 1984-ers.) Then Haha dares him to call them Noona. Ha.

Jo PD gives the lowdown: the aliens are here on Earth to collect enough resources to save their native planet. They need—you guessed it—twenty one liters of water in order to return home.

Time to announce teams: Pink (Jae-suk, Kwang-soo, Bom, and Minzy), Orange (Gary, Haha, Dara, and CL), and Green (Jong-kook, Suk-jin, and Ji-hyo). How cute is it that Kwang-soo gives Jae-suk a peck on the cheek?

The MIB agents (headed by Maknae FD) instructs them to select a teammate who will wear bells while the others choose earthly objects. Then it's time to erase their memories with a plastic prop that Jae-suk finds thoroughly embarrassing: "2NE1 is here today!"

The aliens are instantly teleported to a park next to their object of choice. Ha, and Kwang-soo introduces his bald mannequin to the viewers

A text finally explains their mission here: a hide-and-seek game where the hiders will have to find a UFO while carrying their respective objects. Oy, how is Minzy going to remain inconspicuous with that giant teddy bear?

The other hiders' things are just as gaudy, like Suk-jin's bright red patio umbrella. Kwang-soo runs off with his mannequin, wondering, "How am I supposed to run away with this?!" …and then his mannequin's arm pops out. Hahaha. Poor guy, can't catch a break.

The seekers are sent out. Haha situates himself behind a few park visitors by his tent entrance. It's a pretty brilliant plan, and even Suk-jin passes by without notice.

Unfortunately for Dara, her antenna-like hair makes her stick out like a sore thumb. She's quickly spotted by her opponents, who give chase. Then Minzy cheerily yells out from another corner of the park. Ack, don't give your position away!

But she's here to help out the Pink Team, and they eliminate Dara together.

Minzy finds herself being chased by Jong-kook on his bicycle, and he honestly looks like he feels bad about eliminating her so quickly. Thankfully(?) they're joined by Jae-suk, and at the idea that Jong-kook lets Minzy go free, Spartakooks retorts: "But you tagged Dara out right away!"

Eventually Minzy takes off, and the two team leaders end up bickering as usual over how rough the nametags feel.

Elsewhere, Kwang-soo has resorted to sticking his mannequin's arms in his pockets as he roams around with Ji-hyo to figure our what their UFO is. Then he has a eureka moment: "What if it's a car?"

At Ji-hyo's praise on his astute hypothesis, Kwang-soo keeps fishing for compliments. You're just pressing your luck now.

Minzy flies by with a warning just before Gary comes speeding down the path. He sets his eyes on Kwang-soo, who momentarily loses one of his "four arms."

For a moment there, it looks like Jae-suk swings by in order to rescue his other teammate, only to whiz past with a short "Hang in there!" Unfortunately, Kwang-soo is no match for Gary and is tagged out.

Then it's like a barrage of eliminations as Ji-hyo is eliminated, and then Suk-jin. We finally catch up to Bom dragging her heavy cello case around when she's spotted by Jong-kook.

She cries out that she's found her UFO (to a random statue) just before her nametag is ripped off, and she collapses to the ground. Jong-kook: "How could you tell me that you found it?" Bom: "I lied!" Aww.

The game finally ends when Haha and Minzy discovers their team's UFOs, which are basically just decorative cars. As punishment, two liters of water are taken away for every team member who was eliminated. That means a whopping four liters for every team.

HA—Dara's hair sticks up above the sunroof, and Haha jokes: "We get Wi-Fi over here!"

On their way to their second location, Bom remarks that they hope to re-invent their image with their appearance today since they're usually perceived as "the scary unnis." Jae-suk replies that it's because of their heavy eyeliner makeup, and Bom quips, "That's why I wore less today!" Ha.

After they agree that the ladies look more innocent today, Kwang-soo runs with it to compliment Minzy. But Bom won't have any of that, and she puts him in his place: "Don't set your eyes on my dongsaeng!" Not a scary unni, you say?

In the other car, Gary and Haha are busy talking about how CL seems so delicately graceful in person as compared to her strong, charismatic image on stage.

Haha emphatically imitates: "I thought she'd be like, 'Wooww Oppa~!'" It's hard to capture the moment in writing, but it's hilarious.

The teams arrive at a swimming pool where they'll duke it out to be the last team standing to win. At the prospect of facing Jong-kook, Kwang-soo decides to clamp himself to the mat, but to everyone's surprise, Bom walks up to take on Suk-jin.

Oooh, I definitely like her assertiveness, even if it's against a fairly easily obstacle like Suk-jin. With her teammates' help, they send him into the water, and Kwang-soo gets pushed in just seconds later.

It gets the ball rolling, and soon CL has a grasp on Bom. But then Minzy sends them both into the water, fellow teammate be damned. The others can only gape in surprise as Minzy literally rolls her last 2NE1 unni into the water.

Only SpartAce is left, and this idol maknae is none to be trifled with. At one point, she falls into a split, and SpartAce looks momentarily dumbfounded. Ji-hyo slowly leads Minzy to the edge, but in an effort to fall into the water together, Minzy falls back onto the mat instead.

Now we all know of Jong-kook's weakness against the ladies, and he does the chivalrous thing by trying to lift Minzy with a princess carry. He's legitimately surprised when it doesn't work.

Then in a moment of distraction, he scoops Minzy up and gently lets her down into the water. And I'd be lying if I said that the moment didn't make my heart flutter a little.

Everyone likens Minzy's strength to Yoon Eun-hye from the X-man days, which can only mean one thing: "You have to make a loveline with Jong-kook!" Her strength earns her the nickname "Female Warrior."

The teams have a cheer-off before the second round, and it's cute how the Orange Team dance to CL's single "The Baddest Female." It's a slow start since Jong-kook is the only one who steps forward at first, but eventually everyone joins in, albeit with caution.

Suk-jin calls Minzy out, to which she whimpers it's like facing her father. That begs the question of how old her parents are, and she replies, "48." Suk-jin: "We're friends!" aka the same year. Ha.

It's no surprise that Kwang-soo's attempt to charge at Jong-kook only results in his own elimination. Then Suk-jin gets that gleam in his eye and then pushes SpartAce into the water. Whoa.

He takes on CL with that extra boost of confidence, and then engages in a dance-off against Minzy, whose remarkable center of gravity comes into play once more. Then it's as if you can see Suk-jin's fiery greed for victory: "I'm not going to lose!"

Minzy evades another one of his attacks, and then pushes Suk-jin into the water for the win.

Things are just as chaotic in the third round as Suk-jin vows to take his revenge on Minzy…but he ends up falling head-first into the pool. Hahaha.

At one point, Minzy takes the opportunity to send three people in all at once. What makes this moment brilliant is CL's legitimately shocked reaction. HA.

Now only the 2NE1 ladies remain, and Dara hilariously uses her hair to swat Bom away. Then CL pushes the unnis into the water. As CL and Minzy both try to push the other towards the edge, Suk-jin calls out from the sidelines, "You have to win Minzy! It'll be weird if you don't!"

Both ladies are equally strong, but it's Minzy who gains the upper hand, and wins the second mission for her team. Then we get an update on the teams' water count: Pink (17L), Green (15L), and Orange (12L).

Oooh, the cast arrives at the YG building, which is pretty exciting given that it's plain difficult for the general public to gain entry. Here the teams will collect hints and head out to the final mission location.

The Green Team has an obvious disadvantage since they don't know their way around. But never fear—the staff has brought in a special guest: Taeyang. Eee!

The teams start out with a crossword puzzle, and it occurs to me that crosswords in Korean are more difficult to construct than in English. I mean, you're working with combinations of characters versus a letter!

It cracks me up that the other teams are perplexed at the clue "What doesn't Kwang-soo have?" Answer: Loyalty. Ha, figures.

Once the teams solves their crosswords, they get yet another puzzle which links them to a different YG artist. The Green and Pink Teams meet up with Akdong Musician, the duo who won the second season of Kpop Star.

They'll be given a mashup of songs and will need to identify each song along with how many there are. Oy, the blend is virtually indecipherable.

Meanwhile, the Orange Team meets with Lee Hi, a Kpop Star Season 1 contestant, and are told to collect 4 liters of water with a 3L and 5L pitcher. Wait, this involves math? *conks out*

Bom is surprised when maknae Minzy correctly identifies an old classic. Their team is still unable to figure out the last song, so Myuk PD offers to give a hint if they know one of Akdong Musician's songs.

It turns out Kwang-soo is a fan, and he sings a line or two. But his attempt to harmonize doesn't work, and Bom jokingly accuses him of flirting with Soo-hyun. They gain the hint, which is enough for them to correctly guess the last song.

CL figures out the water puzzle, and their next hint takes everyone down to the dance studio.

The teams equip themselves with pedometers, and Jae-suk jokes that it feels like he's in an audition. The Pink Team goes up first, and Minzy shows off her impressive dance skills. Then Kwang-soo follows it up with his classic robotic dance. HA.

Their total count is 705, but it's too high. Ah, so either the teams have to hit a sweet spot with their pedometer count or guess the correct room number.

How is it that Jong-kook's dance skills still look like a workout? Then Taeyang takes the spotlight, and what's hilarious is that Jae-suk imitates his moves in the background.

Ack, then it's just icing on the cake when Jong-kook pulls out the ol' hip-hop dance imitation of Mr. YG, Yang Hyun-seok. Older RM fans might identify it as the "walking through the door" dance."

Aw, it looks like everyone's having so much fun, which makes this game so awesome.

After the Orange Team's turn, the Ace Trainee aka Jae-suk jokes that Haha doesn't cut it for this group, to which Haha cries: "I've been training for a year!" Jae-suk: "I've been training for thirty years!" LOL.

But alas, their total is too high as well. At least the target number is different for each team, and they try to figure out what it may be.

Jae-suk is absolutely hilarious, imitating Taeyang's moves one right after another with great enthusiasm. At one point, he dances right up to the camera, and the ladies have to pull him back. He's surprised to find his own total to be so low… and then the clip reveals his pedometer was on the other arm. Puhahaha.

The Orange Team is the first one to correctly guess their next hint, and they head up to the gym. They try out some of the machines to find any hidden clues, but they're clean. However, they do come across a small safe.

The Green Team is busy trying to find theirs too, and when Jong-kook points out the oddity of the safe, Taeyang's like, I don't know if that's supposed to be there or not. Pfft.

The teams discover a music sheet and a calendar that only contains the month of February. Then CL guesses that the musical notes correspond to the dates on the calendar. It works.

Her teammates are impressed, and Gary trails behind her, saying, "I need an intelligent woman like you!"

Both the Orange and Pink teams race to the roof. It's the Orange Team who gets their first, where their water liters await them. The other teams are drained of yet more water, and then Taeyang asks, "Do we have to drink all of [that water]?"

The aliens are transported to the final mission location where they'll have to search for the hidden water liters. The first team to reach twenty one liters wins. The initial count: Pink (15L), Green (11L), and Orange (10L).

They search the grounds, and Dara discovers a 2L jug. But Suk-jin is eager to steal it away from her… and takes off with it. Aww.

She gets it back and hands it off to Gary, who tosses it back-and-forth with Haha a few times. But then one bad catch leads to the jug to burst onto the ground. Whoops.

Thankfully, Dara is quick on her feet and she squeezes the water from her shirt to collect the remaining liquid. Her teammates follow suit, and Suk-jin can only gape: "That actually works?"

Elsewhere, Minzy finds another container and her teammates help her try to get back without garnering too much attention. By grabbing a few empty bottles, they create a diversion just long enough for Minzy to swoop in and pour the water in.

To Jong-kook's luck, he discovers a water jug and rushes back. Kwang-soo catches up to him and briefly pants him. However, it doesn't deter Jong-kook to pour the rest in.

Suk-jin sticks to his "collect the excess water" method by cleaning the table with a spare towel. It turns out to be a pretty decent strategy, and when Kwang-soo returns to try that same method, he catches the droplets with his own towel. Heh.

He even pours out the remaining water from the jugs, all, You have to conserve water!

I love how this running joke keeps going, and the Easy Brothers go back-and-forth trying to catch the water from each other's towels. They're initially scolded by Jong-kook, but it's not long before Spartakooks also starts wiping the table, too.

Kwang-soo discovers another jug and decides to drink a mouthful. I'm here thinking that the chipmunk cheek tactic is going to work against them, and yet, it creates enough of a distraction for Jae-suk to try and sneak in another liter.

The water spills over the sides, and the Pink Team is still a hair short of the necessary twenty one liters. Time to scoop up the extra water again!

Dara and Jong-kook spot another water bottle at the same time, but it's Jong-kook who grabs it first and races back to the table. Cut to: Kwang-soo doubled over the Green Team's water collector. HA.

Kwang-soo remains in that position as Minzy and Jae-suk try to wrench the jug from Jong-kook's tight grip. The water spills onto the ground, but Bom has caught some on a towel.

She runs to squeeze the water into her team's collector… and hits the twenty one liter mark. As the Pink Team celebrates their victory, a golden UFO rises from the collector. At Jong-kook's suggestion (and Kwang-soo's astonishment) the gold is gifted to the 2NE1 members.


  • Running Man: Episode 155
  • Running Man: Episode 154
  • Running Man: Episode 153
  • Running Man: Episode 152
  • Running Man: Episode 151
  • Running Man: Episode 150
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Tags: featured, Haha, Ji Suk-jin, Kang Gary, Kim Jong-kook, Lee Kwang-soo, Running Man, Song Ji-hyo, Yoo Jae-suk

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