Running Man: Episode 258
Korean Drama Reactions & Reviews | August 7, 2015 | 320 viewed
Now this feels more like the Running Man style we’ve come to love. It’s Mafia vs. Cops this week as our teams try to decipher clues that can help recover their memories and track down their own identities. There are tough battles up ahead involving narrow courses, a web of police tape, and of course, missing gold. Will the gang be able to deliver their loot or will the cops nab them before they can get the chance?
EPISODE 258. Broadcast on August 2, 2015.
In a run-down building, Haha startles awake, unable to remember anything as to why or how he ended up here. His messy surroundings do little to jog his memory, and then Kwang-soo—taped to the wall—lets out a theatrical yell.
His cries effectively wakes the others, and Gary is just happy to stir awake next to Ji-hyo. And when Suk-jin pushes the dramatic envelope screaming that he doesn’t remember anything, Jae-suk cracks up. Ha, I just love how you can count on him to break character.
But while all this is going on, three others awake nearby: model Jang Yoon-ju, and actors Jung Man-shik and Hwang Jung-min. These three are here to promote their recently-released movie Veteran, and greet the cast (even if they’re still not supposed to remember anything, heh).
Poor Kwang-soo is still stuck on the wall while the others examine their handcuffs and police badges. Today’s race will require them to recollect their identities, either part of the mafia or police. In order to do that, they’ll be gathering various clues and either stop the mafia from smuggling gold or be the gangster to deliver the gold to the mob boss.
After being suspected as an obvious choice to being a mobster, Jung-min asks what happens if the cops deliver the gold to the mafia (a small nod to one of his previous movies The Unjust). At least Yoon-ju is adorably excited about the mission.
When Kwang-soo seems offended to be labeled a mafia member, Jung-min says he’s just the guy stuck on the wall. At the photo of Ji-hyo pulling Gary’s hair, she shares how Man-shik says it looks like a wife who just caught her husband gambling. Ha.
Jung-min listens in the car while Jong-kook mentions how they don’t know if the mafia vs. cops ratio is an even 50:50 split. Ji-hyo wonders if there might be more police out there in the real world, to which Jong-kook says there are a lot of gangsters out there too.
Haha deadpans: “You need to pass an exam to be a cop, but the gangs choose anyone.”
But the important thing is that no one knows exactly who they are, and Jung-min says it’d be easier for his brain if he was part of the mafia. When the other car pulls over, he spits at them. Hehe. And then Man-shik asks the others: “Is he your father?!”
Just like a thrilling police chase, the production staff has gone out to set up a track… with tricycles? How quaint. They’re told that only the top five in this game will acquire hints, but that also means some of them could spend the entire day without knowing who they truly are. Man-shik: “You mean I have to spend the entire day not knowing who I am? In this tight sky blue shirt?”
In the first heat, Yoon-ju utilizes her long legs to push herself ahead of the pack. With some encouragement, Jung-min pushes Jae-suk into the muddy water at the U-turn. And when Jae-suk tries to exact some revenge, he literally slips on a banana peel.
Jung-min moves on to his next targets, Haha and Man-shik, pushing them off, kicking them when they get back up, and tossing the tricycle away. A little later, Man-shik braces himself for the slide, only to veer off course (thanks to Haha) and lands in the muddy water.
Not too far off, Haha and Jae-suk pelt each other with banana peels while Jung-min tries to steal their tricycles. How do they get revenge? By hitting Jung-min with banana peels.
As Man-shik struggles through the last turn, Yoon-ju tells him to hurry up, all while calling him “oppa.” Then Jung-min quips how he’s a much older man. Despite coming in second, Man-shik looks like he’s aged ten years.
After telling us that SpartAce won the second heat, we move on to the third heat, where everyone looks damp and miserable. And as soon as the whistle blows, they all grab a hold of one another. Hahaha, this is going to be one brutal and dirty round.
Jung-min pulls ahead first, bare-footed, but then Haha pulls ahead of the stagnant pack. And because Jung-min knows no bounds, he jumps into the water to chase Haha down himself.
It works, then Haha throws Jae-suk into the water. The latter gets his revenge a minute later. That just starts the domino effect of throwing everyone into the water, and when Jung-min loses his tricycle, he just keeps plugging away with an invisible one. Hahaha.
And leaving everyone else behind, Haha leaps forward to win the heat and move on to the finals. Having had enough, Jung-min runs to grab hold of anyone and everyone he can get his hands on.
While Jung-min and Gary duke it out, Jae-suk slides down past them to snag second place. To think, all that work, only to be bested in the end.
Since only the top five will receive hints, only one will be left out in the finals. As expected, Yoon-ju sprints ahead, but then Ji-hyo comes flying out of nowhere and past the camera. With Jong-kook hot at his heels, Man-shik starts throwing banana peels behind him. But Jong-kook catches up anyway and pushes him aside.
The ladies pull in first with Jong-kook and Jae-suk behind them. Now it’s a desperate battle for fifth place where we see Haha holding on to the back of Man-shik’s shirt. He won’t let Man-shik move on without him, holding firm to the wooden board they need to cross.
Inching forward, Haha asks for his hand, but Man-shik refuses: “I don’t think there’ll ever be a reason for us to join hands.” And in a dramatic final spurt, Haha pulls ahead, leaving Man-shik in a sea of emotional pain on his matching sky blue tricycle.
Ji-hyo recalls three things in her memory for coming in first place: Someone cuffing her, a police hat in a police car, and gloved hands just about to open a cabinet. Yoon-ju recalls being cuffed and holding a jeweled item, whereas Jae-suk recalls holding a phone getting a call from “Boss” and a wanted poster.
Jong-kook recalls a text noting the time and location of a deal, and Haha recalls seeing a secret ledger.
Moving forward, the group must tackle the all-too-familiar yellow police line tape, though it’s strewn to look like a laser beam security system. It’s like Musical Obstacle Course, where one person will be left out following each round. Winning here will allow them a phone call with an informant.
Jong-kook shares how Man-shik has no interest in coming out as the hero today. Man-shik confirms it, as he’s more interested in helping someone else shine. And to that, Jong-kook says Man-shik will have a tough time getting through the narrow space. Man-shik: “You think it’ll be any easier for you?!”
Nearly everyone starts crawling as soon as the round starts. It’s chaotic, but in the end, Yoon-ju is the first to be eliminated because she opted trying to climb through the tape instead of under it.
Jung-min and Suk-jin decide to create an alliance, and all you hear are cries of pain as everyone tries to climb through the tape. Unfortunately for Big Nose Hyung, he comes in last.
Despite creating yet another alliance, Jung-min and Haha find themselves trapped in the web of tape. Only one flag remains as they continue to struggle, with Jung-min holding onto Haha’s ankle. And in an oh-so-dramatic moment, Haha frees himself, albeit without a shoe.
The fight becomes more aggressive with each passing round, with the Monday Couple grabbing the last pair of flags. Man-shik and then later Ji-hyo are eliminated.
Calling the informant, Jae-suk asks if a “boss” gives him his paycheck. No is the answer, which has him believing that he’s a cop. Jong-kook asks if the job issued to him was illegal, and is told yes. To that, he believes himself to be part of the mafia.
Haha is told that he doesn’t work for the government while Gary is told that he is being chased. That suggests they’re both with the mafia. The informant doesn’t quite understand Kwang-soo’s vague question of “Have I done anything wrong,” telling him no, he hasn’t done anything of the sort. With that, he hangs up.
Their third mission takes them to the field to their stakeout point near a convenience store. But it won’t be easy: they must get in and out of said store undetected by the judges patrolling the place with their cameras. All within five minutes.
Here where it gets a little more complicated: each photo taken of them will add five seconds towards their collective time. It’ll be a 1:1 battle and only five of them will be able to get more hints. And then Man-shik admits that he’s a bit tired.
While Kwang-soo realizes the patrolmen have patterns, Yoon-ju run ahead. So he outs her to the patrolman who captures her photo. She waits for the opportune moment to try and sneak inside and hides behind a display.
Kwang-soo sprints for the store, but is nowhere to be found when the patrolman approaches. Then he appears behind a folded table. HA, so smart. He tries taking it inside with him, but gets another pair of photos taken on him in the process.
Not pleased, Yoon-ju takes his shield away before making a run for it… only to trip and fall. Ahahaha, aww. Kwang-soo manages to escape soon afterward, but once the numbers run, Yoon-ju still wins the round.
After observing the clockwork patterns, Jae-suk and Jung-min exit simultaneously. They’re both caught before rushing inside but hurry in gathering their items. Somehow Jae-suk is able to stay out of sight inside the store, but is photographed one more time before climbing inside the car.
Meanwhile, Jung-min freezes up each time he’s photographed, but then just stops caring. Kwang-soo: “So Jung-min sunbae is just terrible at games.” Needless to say, Jae-suk has won this round.
SpartAce gets a running start, and yet they get photographed anyway. The others hope that Jong-kook will be eliminated by default, which he does when he’s still stuck in the store past the time limit.
Puhaha, Haha and Gary are photographed as soon as the patrolman makes a turn. Multiple photos later, Haha wins the round. Last but not least is the two ajusshis: Suk-jin vs. Man-shik.
Both men enter the store, doing their best to remain hidden. But it’s like a photography parade with the constant clicks following them. So the crew aptly compares their flood of photos to when they’re surrounded by cameras at year-end awards. They somehow manage to escape, but Suk-jin wins by a landslide.
The top five are told that there’s an even split between the mafia to cops. Additionally, two gangsters’ names start with J.
Before they move forward to the final mission, everyone must choose a side: will it be the mafia or the police force? Let’s name our initial breakdown: Cops (Ji-hyo, Jae-suk, Kwang-soo, and Jung-min) vs. Mafia (Jong-kook, Haha, Gary, Suk-jin, Yoon-ju, and Man-shik).
It’s nightfall by the time the mafia pull into the warehouse where they’re told to find five bags filled with gold and deliver it to their boss before the cops arrest them. Even with a headstart, trying to hunt down this gold is no easy task.
A little later, the cops arrive and are told to eliminate the mafia members and recover the gold. Succeeding in this mission will win them gold. The sound of incoming bells puts the mafia crew on alert, and Haha discovers two suitcases filled with gold bars.
Man-shik also finds two suitcases, and the crew loads the four suitcases into the car. Now they only need one more, but that’s when Man-shik crosses paths with Kwang-soo. Soon Jung-min joins in on the chase and rips off his nametag.
Yoon-ju finds herself cornered by three cops around the car, and then Ji-hyo peers in. She must suspect it, telling her fellow policemen to examine the vehicle. Yoon-ju: “Suk-jin’s in there!” But it’s no use, and they’re both eliminated.
There are three mafia members left with one suitcase left to find. Jong-kook and Haha freeze when Jung-min decides to examine a stockpile and yells. That draws out Haha, who becomes Target No. 1 and gets taken down.
Gary reminds his VJ to stay out of sight while he continues to search. He discovers the last suitcase and climbs into the car. Only then does he realize that Jong-kook is still out there somewhere.
Speaking of whom, Jong-kook is busy running from his captors—that is until he dares them to come into his narrowed space. Ji-hyo gladly takes the invite. Jong-kook is fighting a 3:1 battle while Gary calls for him outside. Somehow, Ji-hyo manages to eliminate him.
The cops notice that Gary’s on the move, but are unable to follow on foot. Gary pulls up to the location with the suitcases, finally ready to meet the boss: actor Lee Dong-joon.
The boss praises Gary and his fellow mafia members on recovering the gold, and drinks in the praise. The others file in, but something is amiss—there are only supposed to be five mafia members, not six.
And the boss identifies a stranger immediately: “Who’s he?” he says to Suk-jin, who gets taken away, having realized that he is a cop.
In the end, the mafia team are our victors today, which is a bittersweet ending for Jung-min, who’s been running around all day without a single clue. At least now he knows that he can finally fight along the good guys, even if he’s often mistaken for one of the baddies.
Tags Lee Kwang Soo; Kang Gary; Kim Jong Kook; Ha Dong Hoon (Ha Ha); Ji Suk Jin; Song Ji Hyo; So Ji Sub;
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