I get that Running Man members are old.

Let's just get this out of the way. While there are times when we want the members to run like hell, scour a building full of "legendary artifacts", and do cinematic episodes like what they once did, they just can't.

However, there are workarounds.

For example, in Episode 614.

We have seen the members talk their way to an interesting episode. Now they managed to entertain with a somewhat "physical" chess game. In this episode, they are going to hide their name tags within a scope. Once they are able to hide their name tags, they can finally look for the other player's name tags by scouring the metro or winning valuable information. The eliminated person has to join the team that eliminated him or her but their loyalty is still their free will.

First of all, there are holes here.

Kim Jong Kook isn't as enthusiastic. He has this thing of being too righteous - and this is good and all - but sometimes, it's like his head isn't on the game. Song Ji Hyo is at times, shy... and would rather be comfortable than playing these kinds of games.

I bet she spent a lot of the time sleeping.

And Yang Se Chan did his best to be difficult - by actually playing the game. With or without Jeon So Min's help, he would have won the game because the person needs to go to the remote part of their scope, buy a ticket, ride another form of transportation, walk, and wait.

Going down a flight of stairs is a chore for most of the members.

With that said, the exciting parts had Yoo Jae Suk, So Min, and Ji Suk Jin excelling. Jae Suk is the episode's MVP because he played the game right. You can see that he enjoys finding clues, hiding in plain sight, and importantly, using his popularity to interact with people. Jong Kook and Ji Hyo are shy by design while the rest of the members with the exception of Haha and So Min, in some ways, are hesitant to use their star power on others.

Suk Jin entertained as usual as the bumbling know-it-all.


Se Chan won the game because he actually did well but like So Min, he failed to grasp the bigness of the situation.

With that said, So Min pulled a Lee Kwang Soo and backstabbed Jae Suk to give Se Chan an easy victory. Of course, what So Min did was unfair. If Running Man is fair though... then they wouldn't have nerfed Jong Kook during the physical plays.

The entire episode's theme is old Running Man-Esque minus the running. Actually, it feels like it's an Infinite Challenge game... which is why Haha should have known better. I get that Haha got to finish Jong Kook off easy... but it could have gone either way.

I think the entire episode or the entire month of August will have episodes that just have the bigness of old-school Running Man with PD Bo Pil retiring from his duties. In some ways, I am hoping for a name tag elimination that isn't as stressful to their body parts. I also want to believe that Jong Kook will bounce back from his questionable performance (the combo of My Little Old Boy, Problem Child in House, and Dopojarak must be super stressful).

Bo Pil's time gave the members ways to entertain without physical effort. Hopefully, they can have more of these games because it's fun. Bringing a new PD gave 1N2D Season 4 a much-needed boost. Na Young Seok also got this new gold mine in the form of Earth Arcade. The Sixth Sense is already Running Man-Esque and How Do You Play also did things to cut down the things Running Man can do.

Again, I see Running Man soldiering this.

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