Running Man ep 178 – Showdown! Year End Settlement
Overview: The cast works as a team to win running balls, with the final draw determining whether the members or the staff goes in the water.
Planning and Direction: 6
The overall concept of RM vs the staff was good on paper, but would have possibly been more fun had the staff actually competed against the members. The games were also much better this week than in recent episodes, with the crossing of the Han river in paper boats standing out in particular. The episode was also well directed and edited, as the games were each given just enough time to be interesting without becoming too tedious. However, the ending was a bit weird and anticlimactic, it would have been better to just have the staff say they planned to take the water all along rather than trying to explain it as some sort of technical error.
The use of music and graphics was generally good, although nothing really stood out.
Yoo Jae Suk: 5
Kind of a low key performance from Jae Suk, he was fine but didn’t really do anything especially noteworthy this week. As there were no guests and very limited group talking, he didn’t need to do much MCing and instead assumed the role of a regular member for most of the episode.
Kim Jong Kook: 6
Jong Kook was pretty fun and this week, with his competitive nagging providing some entertaining moments, including one during the boat making where Jae Suk appeared to become legitimately annoyed. Regardless, Jong Kook was one of the more vocal and energetic members from beginning to end.
Ha Ha : 7
Very good show for Ha Ha, who was pretty good throughout but really stood out during the river crossing segment. He was among the funnier members during the boat building, but also showed really strong leadership skills as his team composed of the physically weakest members completed a very difficult challenge. When they reached the other side of the river, there was a genuinely touching moment as they realized what they had achieved, and it’s doubtful it would have been possible if not for Ha Ha’s encouragement and guidance during the task.
Ji Suk Jin: 6
Actually seemed to do more MCing than Jae Suk at times, frequently commenting on situations as they unfolded and leading many of the car conversations that made air. His heartfelt words following the river crossing were also one of the highlights of the show.
Lee Kwang Soo: 5
Kwang Soo didn’t do a lot to stand out this week. Although he was probably the funniest member during the first game, he somewhat disappeared as the show wore on.
Gary was OK for the most part, he didn’t really have any great moments but he was present and active for most of the episode.
Song Ji Hyo: 5
Was a member of the 3-man river crossing miracle team and worked really hard during that segment, but didn’t do much of anything in the rest of the segments.
Episode MVP: Ha Ha
Final Score: 6
A mostly good episode this week, with one really standout moment in the river crossing segment. If there had been more laughs and the ending was less strange, the score would likely be higher, however.