Running Man Episode 43 Part I

What a fun episode of EPIC proportions. Not only was this week’s episode 160 minutes long (2+hours), but the cast travels all around Korea: from Seoul to Yeoju to Daegu. They’re challenged physically, mentally, and emotionally. New bonds are made and other relationships are threatened. It’s team versus team in a race to see who gets to the finish first.

Episode 43. Broadcast May 15, 2011.

This week’s episode begins at the break of dawn and MC Yoo is the first member to arrive at Banpyo Park near the Han River.  He’s less than thrilled to start an Athletic Competiton so early in the day. When Ji Suk Jin arrives, they receive today’s mission.  The card reads, “Go to the SNSD (Girls Generation) Station in Bundang.” Today’s teams are paired off by the order of their arrival. Yoo Jaesuk and Ji Sukjin are aptly named: the Suk Brothers.

Song Jihyo arrives as the first team heads off. Not long afterwards, Haha appears with breakfast in tow. He’s in no rush and his breath reeks of sausages. Heh.  Their lack of enthusiasm of being on the same team suggests that their relationship is an awkward one.  Gary pulls in just before they depart and he steams with jealousy when he finds out he and Ji-hyo are on different teams. Aw, no Monday Couple today. Haha tries to explain nothing will come of it but sneaks in a last remark that there’s nothing he can do if Jihyo’s fidelity wavers. Finally, Gary is teamed with Kim Jong-kook and Gwangsoo rolls in last. Poor guy.

And, they’re off! The 4 teams are as follows: Yoo Jaesuk – Ji Sukjin, Song Jihyo – Haha, Gary – Kim Jongkook, and Lee Gwangsoo flying solo.

Jihyo uses her smartphone to discover the station is called “Seohyun Station” in Bundang. Haha and Jihyo celebrate and the awkwardness quickly settles in again.  Gwangsoo’s only company for the day is his VJ while Gary is berated by Kim Jong Kook in the car. The other teams also figure out the clue fairly quickly.

Haha attempts to break the awkward silence by engaging Jihyo in a “Similarities quiz.” It’s a cute attempt as they both guess common answers such as liking summer and the sea.  They try to talk past the awkwardness about how their relationship was so awkward over the previous 10 months. Haha stammers and Jihyo resolves that they’ll just start getting to know each other now. Aw, new friendship!

As expected, the Suk Brothers are first to arrive at Seohyun Station and a staff member is waiting under a banner that reads, “Running Man Athletic Competition.” Their first mini mission is to complete 60 situps in 1 minute.  The Suk Brothers complain that it’s a mission fit for Kim Jongkook, not for them.  The mat is located in the car, and Ji Sukjin sends MC Yoo back to retrieve it.

Meanwhile, Haha misses the exit twice and continues to get lost with Jihyo growing more impatient by the second and Gwangsoo softly sings, “I’m a firefly~ I have no friends~” in his car.

Ji Sukjin states that they have to succeed in one shot while Yoo Jaesuk says they should do it before Kim Jongkook arrives.  They’re both pretty slow and end up with only 35. Ji Sukjin tries to pick up some speed on their second try but it looks more like he is counting situps by pressing his elbow against his leg instead. Tired and weary, they manage to succeed in four tries. As they rest, the Suk Brothers contemplate how many mini missions they will have to complete. Ji Sukjin wonders if there are 220 rounds.  The mission card reveals their next clue, “Rice, Outlet, [fork & knife]”

Haha –Jihyo run towards the first mission station and the Suk Brothers quickly pick up their things. They try and stall Haha and Jihyo, who easily slip past them.  Not without some childish revenge of course. Haha manages to steal the yoga mat MC Yoo carries back since he’s too lazy to head all the way back to the car.  Haha –Jihyo start their mission and Haha enters “Crazy Mode.” It takes a few tries but they succeed and Gwangsoo arrives to find out he needs to find someone in the vicinity to be his partner.

The Suk Brothers figure out the next location as Yeoju Rest stop as they snack on breakfast and head off. In the car, Haha-Jihyo confirm Yeoju Rest stop. Haha wonders if they’ll be going all the way to Busan. Given the evil laughter in the background, the day is still young.

Gwangsoo is still trying when Jongkook-Gary arrive. They push Gwangsoo aside and steal his mat, forcing him to retrieve the other one. This guy can’t catch a break, can he? To top it off, Jongkook – Gary succeed in one try and head off to the next location leaving Gwangsoo behind. Gwangsoo asks what the young man’s name is (Lee Jae Hyuk), and after a while, finally succeeds.

Jongkook figures out the clue right away but Gwangsoo doesn’t have a clue. He calls Yoo Jaesuk, and Ji Sukjin answers the call and…abruptly hangs up. To pick Kim Jongkook’s call. HAHA.

Ji Sukjin shares a joke he heard from his son (Hyun woo) with Yoo Jaesuk about a lion and a turtle  meeting.  The joke, “A lion and a turtle got into a fight. The turtle said, ‘Hey before we fight, tie up your mane/hair.’ And the lion said to the turtle, ‘Then you take off your bag.’” They’re surprised the level of humor from kids nowadays. Ji Sukjin calls his son (who’s on his way to school) for a similar joke about a panda and a lion. Hyunwoo quips that the lion told the panda, “Take your glasses off!” Adorable. It’s equally as adorable when Hyunwoo names that he likes his dad the best and hates Kim Jongkook.  (In the past, Ji Sukjin is among the first who gets caught first in Hide-and-Seek and often by Kim Jong Kook).

Haha treats Jihyo to some snacks and before long, they’re blasting music from the speakers and Jihyo dons a new pink hat. Their awkwardness sure seems like ages ago.  They’re enjoying themselves until, oops, they realize that they’ve forgotten about the mission. Guess that’s what happens when you have too much fun.

The Suk Brothers pull into the Yeoju rest stop to the 2nd mini mission: Get a drink from the vending machine and bring it back without using your hands. Then shoot the empty can into the garbage. Seems easy. Or so they think. Hilariously, since they can’t use their hands, they decide to hold the can between their cheeks.  They play rock-paper-scissors to decide who drinks the coffee and Ji Sukjin loses both times and downs the drink. They fail to shoot the can into the garbage and told to bring a new can. They gripe about not informing them sooner and run back to get a new can. They try to bring back two cans of soda this time with the same method but they fall to the ground. So they grab the can with their feet and BOUNCE their way across. You know what happens to a can of soda if you shake it, right Yoo Jaesuk?

That’s right. Thankfully, Yoo Jaesuk, shoots and scores. Clear! They’re stamped again and they’re faced with four cards: two of which read Wonju and two reads Choongju. The back of the card reads “Five day Sale” or a farmer’s market of sorts in Wonju. Off to Wonju for the Suk Brothers!

How much do I enjoy the Death Star sequence from Star Wars when Kim Jong Kook pulls into the rest stop? The Suk Brothers are impressed that Kim Jongkook was able to follow them so quickly but comment that the mission at Yeoju will be a toughie for him.  Gary asks how they’ll bring back the cans and Kim Jongkook answers in a matter of fact tone that they’ll put them in their mouths. Which is exactly what they do…as they put it in Gary’s mouth. Hahaha.

Since Kim Jongkook can’t drink coffee, to maintain his physique, Gary opts to drink it instead. Kim Jongkook misses the shot and they run to get another can. This time they get three, a can in each mouth and another can between their heads. Oh the hilarity. I love how the captions read that it’s quiet because Kim Jongkook can’t speak.

A few ahjumma fans gather around them and he reminds me of Dokko Jin from Best Love how he maintains a smile for his fans but growls at Gary to drink faster.  And a rarity…Kim Jongkook starts drinking the coffee can.

Gary’s touched at the gesture and the ahjumma fans cheer him on. He misses the shot again so they have to get another can. Ah, you tried Kim Jongkook.

Haha-Jihyo arrive and Gary grows jealous of Haha and Jihyo, pulling at the new pink hat until he’s dragged away. His expression darkens as Haha asks Jihyo what she’d like to drink. Gary wants in too and asks what she’d like to drink and protests, “How come the same stuff is stuck on both your lips?”

It’s far from the end of his revenge as he karate-chops the cans Haha and Jihyo hold between their foreheads to the sand. Jihyo complains that the can is dirty and Haha says he’ll drink it, alerting Gary’s jealousy once more. Gary and Jihyo share a moment together and Gary asks how “that man” is to her. She says he buys her everything (the food and hat) and Gary sighs that it must be that he’s not capable enough.

Kim Jongkook tries to cheer himself up with, “You can do this!” on his fourth try…and fails. Thanks to his VJ , Gwangsoo deducts that the clue could refer to a rest stop and plans to stop at the next one…which happens to be Yeoju. Yay Gwangsoo! But he’s left waiting outside the bathroom, holding onto his VJ’s camera. Aw, you’re so sweet.  He discovers Kim Jongkook and Gary, dejected and weary from making their fifth trip to the vending machine.

Meanwhile, Haha and Jihyo succeed on their first try and celebrate with a new cheer, complete with upside down “V” signs. They also choose to go to Wonju to the Poongmu Market.

Gwangsoo attempts to steal cans from Gary and Kim Jongkook. But the fates are against him and an angry Kim Jongkook scolds him for trying to take his sodas. Know when to choose your battles next time Gwangsoo.

Kim Jongkook fails again on their fifth try and Gary casually shoots it in on his first try. Gary expresses his sorrow that he should have thrown it in the first place, you know, after drinking 5 coffees and 4 colas. Gwangsoo looks on longingly that he wishes he could have someone to fight with. The walk of a lone ranger. Kim Jongkook and Gary choose to go to a park nearby the Choongju Dam.

Gwangsoo prepares to toss his first can when the staff member says he didn’t see him drink it. Oh man show, you’re just setting this boy up for failure. So Gwangsoo is forced to down the second can and misses. To make matters worse, the judge tells him he can’t use his first can..so back to the vending machine.

In the car, Kim Jongkook tries to make Gary feel better by calling Haha and Jihyo. Gary glumly comments that it’s the happiest he’s seen Jihyo and Kim Jongkook says Haha and Jihyo look good together.  Both teams lie to each other that they’re going to the same place. Kim Jongkook, like the loyal older brother he is, remarks to Haha that though he may have found love, he’s lost a friendship and addresses him as “Haha-shi (Mr. Haha)” versus a more affectionate “Haha-ya.”

Back to Gwangsoo, he’s now surrounded by elementary school aged-fans and continues to miss.  When they cheer him on…he makes it! Gwangsoo heads off to Choongju.

Yoo Jaesuk and Ji Sukjin make it to Wonju Market and browse the local shops and decide to come back after they’ve completed the mission. Mission Station 3: Speed Quiz. Have an elderly man/woman correctly answer 5 clues in 1 minute. They hurry to find someone but she runs away. The Suk Brothers’ quiz involves various sports. The generation gap is pretty apparent, with answers like, “Kim Eun-ah” instead of “Kim Yuna.”

Jihyo swipes the Suk Brothers car keys before they head to the third mission station and confuse the Suk Brothers’ contestants by feeding them incorrect answers.  Haha and Jihyo’s clues involve famous celebrities.  The Suk brothers succeed and start to head off towards Daegu Stadium but are briefly thwarted because Jihyo has their keys. Next stop:  Daegu Stadium.

Team Jongkook – Gary receive the same mission except they’re instructed to find someone in their 40s or older. Kim Jongkook tries to play cute with some ahjummas who claim they’re in their 30s. Cheeky. Their clues involve women and they successfully run through all the answers in one round. They celebrate and before they head off towards Daegu Stadium, Kim Jongkook sings a round of <Lovely> for the gathered fans. Gwangsoo runs some trouble with his clues about champagne, but manage to succeed and heads off to Daegu, with a sleeping VJ in the passenger’s seat.

The first team to arrive at Daegu Stadium is Kim Jongkook – Gary, thanks to their quick completion of Mission 3. They automatically receive a Running Ball since they came in first place. And so, Mission: Find the Guest begins!

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3 thoughts on “Running Man Episode 43 Part I

  1. Poor Gwangsu! Just him and his VJ. Now that Joongki is gone he must be feeling super lonely 😦 You’re right though, even the staff seems to be picking on him! Making him get that second coffee and stuff.

    I love how Haha and Jihyo were together but Gary gets jealous so easily!!

    Great recap 🙂 ❤

  2. Thank you for this recap. 🙂 I love Running man soooooo much but I have to be patient to be able to watch more.. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  3. Thank you thank you! You are an amazing recapper and I hope you won’t stop. Is it terrible to say even though I hope Jihyo and Gary get married…………she looks good with Haha? AH:KLJSDFLKD OH RUNNING MAN. HOW I CHERISH THEE.

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