Lee Gwangsoo

Running Man: Episode 165

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It’s a race around Namyangju, which is Gwangsoo’s hometown, to find the young school girl who presented the Running Man staff with a fan gift album.

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The members are given mission cards in various areas in Namyangju and the task given to them: get 30 autograph requests in the Running Man photo vending machine. It’s a twist of the autograph signing mission they used to do and both members and producers had a hard time collecting the numbers. The people don’t even know the members are behind the “machine”.

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There’s this funny sequence where the members just shake their head in frustration because nobody’s approaching their vending machine stand and the waiting seems to be getting everyone tired. They amuse themselves by drawing on the other members’ faces with pen.

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They can’t speak and let others know they’re there but some of the members devised tricks to get around them. Sukjin’s got his electronic-sounding voice going for him. Gary tries the same tactic as well while Gwangsoo goes for the kill and actually talked a woman into voting at the vending machine. His tragedy: amid his attempt at subtlety (asking the aunty to vote for anyone she wanted and not to mind him), aunty still chooses Jihyo much to Gwangsoo’s chagrin. As expected, Yoo Jaesuk and Song Jihyo are the first one to complete the mission, which the PDs have lowered to 5 autographs. They’re given phones with their instructions to go to the next venue.

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Members start arriving at a furniture factory and immediately go into search mode. Namyangju’s boy, Gwangsoo, arrived second to last. And his face goes through several expressions of disbelief. Why? Because he knows the place. Like know it, know it. He even asks the PD if there’s a hidden camera. When Jaesuk and Jihyo question him on his reaction, his answer is: “this is my dad’s factory”. And the surprised looks on their faces were hilarious.

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The rest of the members got in on the information and now it’s a quest to locate Gwangsoo’s dad. They reached his office and all the members greet him and then tell Gwangsoo that he doesn’t look like his dad at all. When it was Jongkook’s turn for the greeting, Gwangsoo goes all ‘that’s him, Dad. That’s the guy who always bullies me’ and Jongkook turning red in embarrassment was just too adorable. When Gwangsoo’s dad receives the mission via telephone call, he relays it to the members and off they go.

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Something’s hidden in the exhibition hall. And who finds it first: the Ace. But even though she did, everybody else catches up on her and has no choice but to share it with the rest of the members. It’s a scrapbook made by a young school girl who’s a big fan of the show. The PDs explain that the pictures in the scrapbook are clues to their ultimate goal of finding the girl and taking a picture with her. And whoever sticks their picture at the back of the scrapbook wins.

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The members get to choose from the first set of photos and were divided into three groups, each going to a different location. Jihyo and Gary head off to the Han riverside where they were tasked to find the kite (among many) that has another photo in it. Gwangsoo, Jongkook, and Haha go to the city hall where they were tasked to defeat the fastest paper stapling employee.

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But the most entertaining of the bunch were Sukjin and Jaesuk who went to the library. Their task, find a book with an R sticker and study the book for a quiz. Jaesuk complains that he has a longer book than Sukjin but the PD’s all ‘you have 6 more minutes to study the book’. He he.

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These two veterans seemed to have forgotten that they were in a variety show because they felt confident about the questions but when they heard they were all about the pictures in the book and not about the story at all, their expressions speak for themselves.

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Nobody got it right so its on to the second book. This time around, did they learn their lesson? Why, yes of course. Because all they did was study the pictures. But then the PD goes in for the kill and asks what the name of the main character’s best friend was. And their facial expressions were answer enough. Soon after, Jaesuk gets it right and their off to their next destination.

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What looked like a monument of some sort turned out to be a wall-climbing structure. Clues divided into low, medium, and high were strategically placed against the wall and members have to climb to get to them. Gary and Sukjin target high while Jaesuk and Jihyo both go for medium. All of them succeed. Except Sukjin. But luck is with him as Jihyo offers him her medium clue since she’ll climb again for the high clue. Bad-ass Jihyo once again shows her fearlessness, as opposed to Haha, who targeted the Low. But not to worry, those without the High hatched an ingenious plan to just follow the taxi of those who got the High clues, aka, the Monday Couple.

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Jongkook and Gwangsoo arrive just as the other members are leaving. Gwangsoo surprisingly gets to the last medium clue but on his way down, he loses his hold on the clue, which dropped straight into Jongkook. The Commander grabs the clue and heads right for the taxi. And Gwangsoo just stands there looking like ‘this can’t be happening to me but it is. Again.’ But karma’s karma, and Jongkook actually went to the opposite direction and had a hard time decoding his clue.

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The rest of the members are led by their clues to an apartment building, where the mystery school girl lives. She isn’t at home when the members come knocking in pairs but they were invited in and shown into the girl’s room.

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The members are surprised and touched that the school girl is such a Running Man fan but none more so than Gwangsoo, who’s the girl’s favourite. Her room was filled with Gwangsoo paraphernalia. It was a touching moment and I also felt goose bumps just like Gwangsoo as he looks around the room. She even received a personal note and signature from Gwangsoo: signed to Hyemi. They even found a picture of her (with a stuffed toy giraffe) hanging on the wall.

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The members are then directed to the school where they have to search for the original scrapbook hidden in the faculty room as well as look for the mystery school girl and take a photo with her for the final mission. Everyone immediately starts the search and latecomer Gary goes into the room and within seconds locates the scrapbook and stealthily gets it out of the room without anybody noticing. Not until later when the rest of the members can’t seem to find them anywhere and Gwangsoo asks if maybe it was already found. Then they zoom in on Gary’s absence and chases after him. The members locate Gary and try to steal the scrapbook but to no avail. Their alternative tactic: find the school girl and get a photo with her first before they worry about the scrapbook.

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The members run around the school building trying to locate the girl. And who finds her first? Gwangsoo!

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They edited the scene like a reunion in a drama. The girl looks adorably flustered that when Gwangsoo tells her to hide from the other members, she tries to go in a mop closet or hide inconspicuously beside a cabinet.

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Unfortunately Yoomes Bond and the Commander arrive and take a look inside the classroom and then decide to leave. Gwangsoo starts to release a sigh of relief when Jaesuk backs up a bit and goes inside the classroom again. Could it be? The girl in the picture looks a lot like one of the school girls. So Gwangsoo stealthily walks back to Hyemi and snaps a picture of the two of them. Chaos ensues as both Jaesuk and Jongkook tries to snap one of their own. But Gwangsoo won’t let them as he stops the guys and shouts at Hyemi to run away. “All of the boys in this world are the same, except for me.” Pfft. And aww… (I am so dying with envy for Hyemi. I mean, Gwangsoo’s right in front of her and she’s participating in Running Man! Daebak!)

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Hyemi runs with all her might, dodging member after member. And there’s this hilarious bit when she turns a corner a almost collides with Spartakooks! How does Jongkook even do this, every. Single. Time? It’s really like a predator lying in silent wait for his prey.

When everybody gets their pictures taken with Hyemi, the hunt returns back to Gary who has the original scrapbook. The poor book gets stolen, made the object of a tug-and-war, dropped from a flight of stairs, and literally ripped into its individual pages, all for the chance to stick their picture on that last page. Gary secures the book and prepares his picture (aka, licks the back of it for adhesion) and sticks it on the wrong page. Several times. This gives Sukjin the opportunity to snatch back the scrapbook or the last pages at least. But that’s what counts as he gets to stick his picture on the designated space. And after 165 episodes, Sukjin finally wins in an individual contest episode.

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The cast gather in the classroom with Hyemi and her friends and they thank her for the scrapbook and for making Running Man enjoyable because of it. When asked why she likes Gwangsoo, she shyly confesses that she saw him in one of his movies and he was walking while petals were falling around him. And she blushes for her life.

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But that’s okay since the attention has Gwangsoo blushing as well and the other members mentally scratching their heads at her adorable reason.

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Some more thoughts:

I love that they went to Gwangsoo’s hometown. In a roundabout way, this episode was Gwangsoo’s episode. I love that the whole gang got to meet Gwangsoo’s dad. And I so appreciate that the production team was able to create an awesome episode based on a fan’s gift. It’s a double-win as they also got to show their appreciation to Hyemi for her efforts.

Again, as it has been mentioned many times before, there’s something really special when it’s just the members. They already have this built-in, long-standing, and hilarious group dynamics that make everything just flow smoothly. Great episode, you guys. This is a tough one to follow but I trust all of you.

Photos grabbed from video with subs by KShowNow.


Running Man Episode 132: Spy vs. Spy

Double Spies! The RM members and our three guests, Hwang Jungmin, Hyun-ah, and Park Sungwoong, are divided into two teams. It’s Actors vs. Singers for this week’s episode.

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The little twist? Both team leaders (Jungmin and Jongkook) plant their respective spies on the other team.

Reason enough to love this episode? Our spies are none other the Monday Couple: Jihyo is the Singers team spy while Gary (yes, you read right) is the Actors team spy.

The mission: to deliver the 7 Running Man cases to Boss Go Dongwan.

First part: Opening sequences

My favorite parts:

When Gary approaches Jungmin and Cho PD on the helipad and he made it seemed like he walked in on the wrong meeting. Hehe. You can even hear the lovely laughter of Cho PD. RM PDs’ and the staff’s laughter hearty and warm. It’s always a nice touch and a wonderful addition to the show, albeit in the background because you can tell that what made them laugh was really spontaneous and unscripted.

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Gary finding out that he was a spy

Gary: “But I can’t last more than 5 minutes.” And we heartily agree, Kang Gary.

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The Commander scolding Spy Song Jihyo even before the mission starts… because she wanted to find out who the guests were first before she does her spy duties… hehe.

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RM members huddling together like penguins under the bridge while waiting for their guests because of the extreme cold weather

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Gary and his fashion-sense or lack thereof?

It was so hilarious when Gary gets back into the huddle with a warmer hat and everyone has a laugh about its effect on him. Cue camera focusing on Jihyo laughing the hardest. The half of the Monday Couple just gives the most extreme reactions to her other half.

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Team-forming bit: or the one where Gwangsoo and Jaesuk(!) gets drafted to the Actors team.

Hilarious bit when Jaesuk questions the PDs when they put Gwangsoo in the Actors team, arguing that Gwangsoo is a gagman. Pfft. Hilarious.

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And his reaction, along with the rest of the members’, was funny. Thanks to a brief cameo in a movie in ages past, Jaesuk earns his spot on the Actors team.

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Second part: Collect your team members

Each team chooses a finder who will look for the members in various locations but they have to do that in number sequence. Actors team chooses Jungmin. Singers team chooses Gary. Hehe. It’s like the Singers team gave the game up already. You would think that but Commander Spartakooks is as tough as they come.

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My favorite parts:

Gwangsoo gets love-struck again. When his teammates come to pick him up, Hyun-ah grabs his arm and asks him to stay for a while. This brings a blush to his cheeks and of course a wide smile on his face. Add to that the fury of Jungmin when he scolds his errant teammate. Hehe. Gwangsoo: “Hyung, but this hasn’t happened to me in a long while now.” Hehe.

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Jaesuk and Haha playing gag while waiting for their respective team members. I always appreciate seeing the give and take relationship that these two have. If one delivers, the other always has a sure comeback. This nice dynamic gives certain fluidity to the fun and the funny.

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Third part: Who has the jjajjangmyun?

This game is like a version of the thief card game where one team has to guess which member of the other team has the jjajjangmyun card.

My favorite parts:

This is like a montage of evidence on how well the RM members know each other so well, they know when one member is lying.

When Gwangsoo stays silent and does not speak at all; when Jaesuk knew that the right way to ask Sukjin was to ask if he doesn’t have the card (because he suspects that he doesn’t); when Gary awkwardly answers again (because he has the card)

There’s this cute Monday couple moment again (yay!) when Jihyo looks at Gary and just bursts out laughing and everyone’s like, “You really enjoy looking at Gary, no?” and then Jihyo’s like, “Did you wash your face?” to Gary and Gary looks fake-mad and resigned at the same time, quipping in return, “Then wash it for me!” Pfft. Classic Monday Couple push and pull.

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Another MC moment was when Jihyo suspects Gary and he’s like pulling this “Yes, I have the card” strategy and trying to get the other team off his trail and failed miserably because his facial expression was so obvious, Jihyo even imitates him.

Jungmin turns tomato-red when lying… Man, Jungmin turns out to be another Gary who can’t lie to save his life. I think his lips tremble and his whole face turns red. Haha. It was so funny when he gave out the cards to his members, maybe initially thinking of having the jjajjangmyun card but then gets burdened by it and he makes this quick (and so obvious) switch at the end that the other team completely calls out. Good thing Jaesuk is quick on his feet and immediately reshuffles the cards.

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Last part: Collect all the missing cases and present them to Boss Go. This is where all the shenanigans really happen. Our spies get to work. There are doubts and suspicions flying around like bats at night. It was frustrating (in a good and entertaining way) to see those few cases get switched around between the two teams. It was harder even to keep track of which team has which and how many of those cases. I’m always Gary-biased so even though it was a showdown of the Monday Couple as the spies, I was gunning for Gary and his Actor teammates to win.

My Favorite parts:

Jaesuk-Gwangsoo tandem or the Dumb and Dumber 2.0 (since Jaesuk and Daesung were the first version in Family Outing)

The two are going about their mission of finding the missing cases while unknown to them, their teammates have branded them as spies. Haha. They looked so lost and completely clueless. These two are developing their signature mark (which we’ve seen for several episodes now)

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This was really Gwangsoo’s episode. Most of my favorite parts in this last segment were because of Gwangsoo.

Gwangsoo: “Why is everyone born weird?”

This was Gwangsoo adding his line to the running gag where Sungmin and Sungwoong were explaining that they’ve been doing what they’re doing since they’ve been born. LoL.

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Gwangsoo taking out Spy Song Jihyo

Up until Sungmin saw the Spy tag behind Jihyo, he really did believe that Gwangsoo was the spy in his team. Poor Gwangsoo. But when Sungmin finally realized he has been misled all along, he throws his arm around Gwangsoo and they become BFFs, that is, until Jongkook eliminates Sungmin leaving Gwangsoo the lone surviving member of his team.

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Gwangsoo’s self-detonating bomb, a.k.a., “I can remove my own nametag and you have to spend five hours looking for the rest of the cases.” Pfft.

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Gwangsoo has a PLAN! I repeat! Gwangsoo has a PLAN!

Gwangsoo using the case as a distraction in order to remove the Commander’s nametag was epic! Jongkook was caught completely unawares and didn’t have time to protect his nametag. Kim Jongkook Out! Yay for Gwangsoo! I wonder if he’ll post it on the web again like Jongkook’s nametag before.

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Feel! Chok! Cross! O, Easy Brothers, you’re time has really come. Being the last two in the game? You’re emerging as competitors in your own right.

I love the laughter from the PDs and crew when Gwangsoo removed Sukjin’s name tag after their signature Cross! Cry. And this look from Sukjin? Aha. You won’t see a more surprised look.

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Even though Gwangsoo was the winner and thus the main character of the show as he claims, there are still lots of traces from his clueless character… like being hit by the closing doors of the elevator because he was looking at all the pretty ladies by the counter…

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or still not understanding that Gary was a part of their team as a spy even until the end of the taping. Bwahaha.

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In any case, this is a happy and well-deserved win for the Giraffe.

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On to the next! Running Man goes to Macau and Vietnam! Aww, wished I was there.

Running Man Episode 131: The King of Ddakji

It’s Fighter vs. Fighter in this episode of Running Man. The members take on two legendary ‘fighters’ in a game of brains and brawn.

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Today’s guests are UFC fighter Choo Sunghoon and amateur boxing champ and 4D actress Lee Shiyoung. The episode theme: King of Ddakji.

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First part: Nametag-ripping at 4 AM

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The members are all in for a shock to find out that they will have to remove each other’s name tags at so ungodly a time. Each member is pegged with an amount, sort of like a cash reward in exchange for his or her nametag. It ranged from the measly 100 won (a.k.a. Sukjin) to the toughest opponent’s 900 won (a.k.a. Sunghoon).

My favorite parts:

When Sunghoon catches Jaesuk for the first time and lets go of him once, Jaesuk then explains to the RM members (with a straight face) that he was let go because of the power that Sunghoon recognized in him. Pfft. As if anybody will believe that, oppa.

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Gwangsoo getting cornered by Sunghoon because he was the weak one who got separated from the herd (per Jaesuk’s explanation to Jihyo)

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Sunghoon and Jongkook showdown. I love that the Commander is able to hold his ground to a world-class fighter even though technically, as the captions in the show would later explain, he is really a singer and not a professional fighter despite the body physique. I also love that they’re serious about besting each other but they both do it adorably, like smiling at each other and joking with one another, even though their arms are straining to take each other nametags off.

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Second part: Quiz game

The members have to answer questions correctly and the first team with all members answering correctly wins. The catch: they have to roll across the floor sitting on a tiny plastic ‘chairs’ towards the table where they have to put their seat pillow on the table to answer.

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My favorite parts:

Short Monday Couple moment, when Jihyo answers correctly against Shiyoung and she and Gary gave each other hive five’s.

And then Shiyoung protests on grounds of spelling and Gary just immediately launches into spelling the answer and Jihyo laughs her head off. Hahaha.

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The incredibly ‘courageous’ or just plain pabo Gwangsoo, who tells Sunghoon the wrong answer. I love that Gwangsoo just commits to his character. He’s so dedicated, I love him.


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How cute is Sunghoon to look so imposing with those big arms and muscled body and also look so clueless about the quiz at the same time. He looks like a young boy suddenly thrown out into the world and he has zero clue what to do or even where to start.

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Jaesuk and Gwangsoo getting battered by Shiyoung, they could not even take off to answer the quiz questions.

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After the Sunghoon-Jongkook showdown, I don’t even believe this as I’m writing but there’s also a Sunghoon-GWANGSOO showdown. Where of course Gwangsoo gets beaten to a pulp. So to speak. ^__^

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There’s this funny bit when Gwangsoo seems to have had enough and when Sunghoon gives the correct answer, it turns out that the question was a multiple choice one and Sunghoon still has to guess which number. Gwangsoo, in an exasperated voice, simply asks the PD to end his suffering already and just declare Sunghoon as the winner. This to the laughter of the cast and crew.

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Sunghoon throwing with so much passion, he didn’t even realize that he also through the plastic chair along with the seat cushion

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Gwangsoo hitting Sunghoon in the leg… the picture says it all, right?

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Sunghoon and Gwangsoo both diving for the table. Gwangsoo seems to be having the upper hand but then when the PD checks the seat cushion that landed first was… Sunghoon’s. Gwangsoo can’t seem to catch a break.

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And then alas, a winner… Gwangsoo?

Gwangsoo answers correctly and the round finishes with Gwangsoo smugly walking around looking like he won one over Sunghoon in a hand-to-hand combat.

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Third part: Wresting game… on a mudflat!

Elimination game where one member can take on all the members of another team if undefeated

My favorite parts:

Jaesuk’s 8 km – 8 kg comparison. When he introduced Shiyoung and Jihyo, he says that Shiyoung runs 8 kilometers while Jihyo eats 8 kg worth of food. Pfft.

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Myuk PD’s quick deduction for Haroro. When Jaesuk asks for a rematch with Shiyoung because his feet got stuck, Myuk PD grants him one. But when Haha tries to ask for one himself, Myuk PD shuts him down saying he lost that game fair and square. Hahaha.

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Last part: Who’s the King of Ddakji?

In this concluding part, each team gets to purchase their individual Ddakjis from a wide variety set using the money they’ve earned through the earlier games. Be the final victor and your team wins.

My favorite parts:

When Gary won that one time. Too bad their team were booted out first.

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The Jaesuk-Jongkook showdown. It was nerve-wracking. My brother and I kept checking the remaining time for the episode, wanting to find out if the last turn would be Jaesuk’s or Jongkook’s. I so wanted Jaesuk to win because he has been de-throned many times from his King of Ddakji status, but alas, it was not meant to be. Jongkook flips Jaesuk’s Ddakji and his team wins the game.

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This was another fun episode but unfortunately not as epic as last week’s. However, it was still a great episode to watch. Maybe it was because I had been looking forward too much to Shiyoung’s guesting stint because I knew she had this 4D personality but she fell a little bit below my expectations. Although, it was still fun to watch her give the RM members a run for their money when she continues to beat them during the games.

Sunghoon was a revelation to me. I didn’t know him before this episode so I didn’t know what to expect of him. But I’m pleasantly surprised and very pleased to know that apart from his fighter side, his goofy side can shine through in variety as well.

Next week: Double Spies!