Episode 323: October 30, 2016: Avatar House
Today’s episode takes place in Paju City of Gyeonggi Province. It’s a smallish city just outside of Seoul with a lot of film sets and warehouses because rent is much cheaper there.
The <Running Man> MCs are waiting in their cars for filming to start when staff members approach each of the MCs with an earpiece and tell them to whatever they are commanded to do through it.
As all the MCs go outside to greet each other. Lee Kwang-soo tries to say hello, but a computerized voice tells him, “Don’t say hello. Walk five steps forward. Get on the floor. Do five push-ups”.
Yoo Jae-suk is told to roll forward once.
Meanwhile, Kim Jong-kook is told to lift his shirt up, which he does without hesitation because he’s wearing a T-shirt underneath. The controller says, “No, no! Do it so your skin shows 20 cm.” We can see his abs.
Inside the warehouse, there are six avatar controllers. They are told their first mission is to get their avatars to find “Chair #1,”place it on a designated mat, and sit on it. The first team to do so will get an advantage in the next mission.
The <Running Man> MCs walk around flipping over various chairs, trying to find the one with “#1” written on it.
Ji Suk-jin finds the chair behind some sound equipment, but as soon as he does, it becomes a free for all to try to sit on it. Kim Jong-kook’s controller tells him to smack Ji Suk-jin. Oof, these controllers aren’t playing around.
While all the guys are grabbing the seat from each other, Haha gets an order to steal the mat, which seems like a pretty good strategy.
However, he’s no match for Kim Jong-kook who grabs the chair and uses his speed to place it on the mat. Kim Jong-kook for the win!
Now we get to meet the avatar controllers as they come out one by one from inside the warehouse.
Actress Seo Ji-hye comes out first as Yoo Jae-suk’s controller. Haha, “I’m your teacher.” Seo Ji-hye, “What? Do you know me?” Haha, “I met you ten or so years ago.” Seo Ji-hye, “Huh?” The MCs yell at Haha for pretending like he knows her.
Haha keeps insisting that he met her 14 years ago on the now defunct dating variety show <War of the Roses>.
We get a treat seeing a clip from that show. Haha sure was tacky in 2002.
The teams are
Seo Ji-hye and Yoo Jae-suk
Comedian Kim Jun-hyun and Haha
Song Ji-hyo and Lee Kwang-soo. (I was wondering why she was absent in the beginning.)
Comedian Jang Do-yeon and Kim Jong-kook.
Comedian Yang Se-chan and Ji Suk-jin.
Minho (Shinee) and Gary.
Today’s race will take place in the Avatar House.
The rules of the game are as follows.
There are 12 briefcases, one containing gold, while two will have bombs. Every time a team wins a game, they’ll have the opportunity to switch briefcases. The team stuck with two bombs at the end will have a gigantic punishment. Each team starts off with two briefcases.
Jang Do-yeon and Kim Jong-kook get a hint for winning the Chair #1 mission. They learn that the bombs are located somewhere within briefcases 7 and 12.
Enter the Avatar House. The controllers get to sit in real chairs, while the avatars have to sit in mini-stools.
There’s a snack bar with fruit, and the controllers are busy bossing their avatars around to get them food.
Controller Song Ji-hyo smacks her avatar Lee Kwang-soo for eating without her permission. She then feeds him, and Lee Kwang-soo protests that he’s being treated like a dog and not an avatar.
Each team gets a chance to look inside their two briefcases. They have to do it so that none of the other teams can see what they have.
Most of them don’t have anything inside, so they have to get their poker faces on.
Yoo Jae-suk and Seo Ji-hye have a bomb. Kim Jong-kook and Jang Do-yeon have the gold. The rest of the briefcases are a mystery, but there’s one more bomb out there somewhere.
Round One: Back Hug Black Bean Noodles
The next mission is back hug black bean noodles. The controllers will stand behind their avatars and feed their avatars black bean noodles while wearing eye masks. The team to finish their noodles first wins.
This is Kim Jong-kook’s first time having black bean noodles in three years. He complains, “Do you know how much oil is in this?!?”
His controller Jang Do-yeon advocates, “Can’t we just have some chicken breasts with some black bean sauce on it?”
It’s actually not as hard as I thought it’d be because the avatars can see and move their mouths around accordingly as long as their controllers hold the food up to the general area. The problem though, is that it’s a very messy experience, but problems make for good TV.
Yoo Jae-suk and Seo Ji-hye finish first and get to exchange one of their briefcases.
Song Ji-hyo, “Why were you so slow?” Lee Kwang-soo, “I had to chew.” Song Ji-hyo, “I told you to eat it, not chew it.” *smack*
Yoo Jae-suk and Seo Ji-hye decide to exchange with Kim Jong-kook and Jang Do-yeon. Jang Do-yeon tries to covertly hide away the briefcase with the gold and hand over the empty one, but Yoo Jae-suk catches on and makes her give the one she tried to hide.
Score for Yoo Jae-suk and Seo Ji-hye! They give each other high-fives.
When they walk back to the group after checking their briefcases, the other MCs tease them for being so excited, “What were you doing in there? Giving each other more back hugs?”
There’s another round of back hug black bean noodles, but this time the avatars and controllers switch positions. Lee Kwang-soo gets his revenge on Song Ji-hyo by shoveling food into her face with his bare hands.
It’s neck and neck between Jang Do-yeon and Kim Jun-hyun, with the latter getting the win by a couple strands of noodles.
Haha decides to switch briefcases with Yoo Jae-suk and Seo Ji-hye. His controller Kim Jun-hyun complains, “Who told you, you could choose? We’ll go with Yoo Jae-suk and Seo Ji-hye.” LOL.
Unfortunately they choose the wrong briefcase. Yoo Jae-suk and Seo Ji-hye still have the gold one.
Round Two: My Avatar Can
In this round, the controllers chose the activity they think their avatars will excel at. Only one avatar can attempt each challenge.
Auctioneer Kim Min-seo walks in to explain the rules. The teams will be betting against each other, with the highest betting team getting the change to attempt a challenge. If they win a challenge, they get a chance to switch briefcases, if they lose, they have to reveal the contents of one of their briefcases.
The first challenge is breaking the most bananas in one minute.
The betting starts at 10 bananas. It goes up 20, 40, 45, 48, 49, 50, 60 , 70, 71, . . . Controller Jang Do-yeon and avatar Kim Jong-kook win the bet with 85 bananas.
At first, it seems like Kim Jong-kook is about to do it, but they fail with just 67 bananas broken.
They reveal one of their briefcases as the bomb.
The second bet is seperating the most wooden chopsticks in one minute. This time the controllers attempt the challenge while the avatars are the ones doing the betting. The bet starts at 10. Lee Kwang-soo suddenly jumps the bet up to 60 and Yoo Jae-suk yells at him to leave if he’s not going to take things seriously. Even maknae Minho yells at him.
The auctioneer Kim Min-seo says they can only bet in intervals of one chopstock at a time. The bet goes up one at a time until it gets to 59, and Lee Kwang-soo screams, “I bet 60!!!!”
Ultimately, Yoo Jae-suk and Seo-Ji-hye win the bet at 66 chopsticks. Yoo Jae-suk hands Seo Ji-hye the chopsticks one at a time, and she yells at him to hand them over properly. Yeah, there’s no way she’s going to get 66, but Yoo Jae-suk chants, “You can do it. You can do it.” and she does better than I thought with 61.
For failing, they have to reveal one of their briefcase. Luckily, the other teams chose the wrong briefcase to reveal, and it comes out to be an empty one.
The last bet is for both controllers and avatars. It’s couple jump rope. The bet starts at 3 jumps.
Yang Se-hyung and Ji Suk-jin win the bet with 50 jumps. They were just trying to raise the bet, and ended up being the highest bidder.
Ji Suk-jin does a practice jump by himself, and the rope gets caught on his glasses. Things aren’t looking promising. They get a whopping 19 jumps. It’s a lot more than anyone expected, but no where near 50.
They reveal one of their briefcases. It’s empty.
Obstacle Card Race
Next the teams have a go at the “Obstacle Card Race.” The controllers need to grab flashcards with the words that the producers yell. The more flashcards they grab, the fewer obstacles their avatars will encounter in a crawling race.
The team that gets first place in the race gets a chance to exchange briefcases.
The words are all obstacles such as “pressure plate, “drain cleaner,” and “waterhole.” It’s extra tricky because there are a few similar looking cards, but with minor spelling mistakes.
Seo Ji-hye gets frustrated after messing up the spelling a few times, and Yoo Jae-suk and Ji Suk-jin make fun of her for her temper. She throws flashcards at the ground.
Lee Kwang-soo tries to convince Song Ji-hyo to try harder. It almost seems like she’s trying to throw the game, so that Lee Kwang-soo has to suffer through obstacles.
Seo Ji-hye finally gets a card in the last round by sticking all the cards to her bodies, which is kind of cheating, but even that’s all part of the game.
The crawling race has four obstacles.
- Spider webs
- Pressure plates
- Drain cleaner
Gary gets the early lead since he has the fewest obstacles. It’s a photo finish between Lee Kwang-soo, Yoo Jae-suk, and Gary, but Gary wins.
Lee Kwang-soo gets a cut, and Song Ji-hyo puts on a bandage for him. Aw. They were bickering all day long, but when it matters Song Ji-hyo really does care for him.
Gary and Minho decide to switch briefcases with Yoo Jae-suk and Seo Ji-hye. They get the gold one while getting rid of their bomb. Seo Ji-hye seems angry, but she smiles and says through her teeth, “No, I’m not angry.”
Minho says he knew they had the gold because of how angry Seo-jihye was acting.
Final Round: Bomb Hide and Seek.
The crew go back to the SBS studio. Only four teams can escape. If a team finds two gold briefcases, they can escape the round, and escape punishment. The team that already has a gold, only needs to find one more.
Teams that have a bomb can pass them onto other teams by pulling off other people’s name tags. However, only the controllers can pull off name tags. Once they get rid of their bombs, they can go for gold briefcases like everyone else.
Song Ji-hyo and Lee Kwang-soo quickly get attacked by Kim Jong-kook and Jang Do-yeon. Kim Jong-kook holds Song Ji-hyo down while Jang Do-yeon takes her name tag off. Now they get a chance to search for gold while Song Ji-hyo and Lee Kwang-soo need to pass over their bomb before they can look for gold.
Yoo Jae-suk and Seo Ji-hye pass their bomb onto Haha and Kim Jun-hyun.
Meanwhile, Ji Suk-jin loses his controller Yang Se-chan. Yang Se-chan is so fast, that even his camera man lost him.
Song Ji-hyo and Lee Kwang-soo pass their bomb to Minho and Gary.
Haha and Kim Jun-hyun pass their bomb to Yang Se-chan and Ji Suk-jin.
Minho and Gary pass their bomb to Haha and Kim Jun-hyun.
Gary finds a briefcase, but he has to wait for his controller Minho to open it. It has a gold inside, and since they already has a gold box from the challenges, they’re done with the game.
Next Kim Jong-kook finds a gold behind a vending machine. Jang Dong-yeon, “Oppa is so cool. I want to marry Oppa.” They’re done.
Song Ji-hyo finds a gold box in a closet and a second one behind a door. They’re done too.
Yoo Jae-suk and Seo Ji-hye have to find one more gold briefcase while the other two teams need to pass on their bombs first.
Yang Se-chan gets Seo Ji-hye, only to get attacked by Haha. It’s a merry-go-round of bombs.
Haha and Kim Jun-hyun get the final gold briefcase.
Final Death Match
The teams that couldn’t escape have a final death match. They both have two briefcases each, one with a bomb and one empty one. They get a chance to switch cases and the one stuck with two bombs gets flour poured on their avatar.
Seo Ji-hye choose carefully and so poor Ji Suk-jin gets covered in flour.