Episode 627 of Running Man is centered on the “Seok-jin versus Seok-jin Race,” drawing a competition between Running Man’s oldest member, Jee Seok-jin, and BTS’ oldest member, Kim Seok-jin (stage name Jin). With the theme of a parallel universe that hosted two alternate worlds with a respective Seok-jin, the episode pitted the two captains against each other to see which Seok-jin would rise to the top. But who will be the superior Seok-jin and win the game? Through games that tested his skills and quick thinking, Jin’s entertainment prowess took center stage in three key moments that had “worldwide handsome” become worldwide hilarious. 

Reaching a nationwide viewer rating of 4.8%, episode 627 achieved the highest viewership ratings of Running Man since March 2022. The “BTS Effect” rang true as the episode soared in popularity after its release with ARMYs and longtime viewers alike rushing to witness Jin’s solo K-variety appearance. Since his brief appearance on Running Man in 2016, episode 627 became the first Running Man episode to host a BTS member as the sole guest. 

Global DNA Rule Foot Volleyball

Foot volleyball is a common Korean pastime that merges volleyball gameplay with soccer, using one’s feet to score. For ARMYs who are familiar with the love-hate relationship between BTS and foot volleyball, the sport that frequently features in Run BTS (such as Episode 54 and Episode 100), made a comeback on Running Man. With the concept of “Global DNA,” the fan favorite was played with a twist—no Korean allowed. Every time a Korean word, phrase, or exclamation was uttered, a point went to the other team. The physical battle was tinged with strained communication as each team struggled to not use Korean, causing misunderstandings and frustrations to ensue. In a playful moment where Jin flaunted the power of ARMYs, he countered Yang Se-chan’s light claims about his “dog-foot” play by asking if Yang had Instagram. Jokingly referencing the power of ARMYs behind-the-scenes, Yang quickly backed down as he retracted his statement. 

No, It’s Fire

In this game, the only acceptable answer is “no.” The “no, it’s fire” game is a game of retaliation between two teams that verbally target each other. Every verbal attack must be defended with an answer and action. If the targeted member fails to defend their answer and demonstrate with an action, the targeted team loses a point. The hilarious back-and-forth attacks detailed fake love confessions, visual attacks, and lifestyle patterns that captured each member’s quick thinking. In the attempts to deny whatever attack that is meant to dig into each person, the game forced Jin to ironically state that “no, no he’s ugly” to “no, no I don’t like RM” in his light-hearted defenses. In this fiery game of wits, Jin engaged in a war of words that showcased his sensical tact.

Astronaut on Soap Water

The previous battle of words quickly shifted into a physical brawl in the highlight game of the episode. Team One with Jin and Yoo Jae-suk competed against Team Two with Jee Seok-jin and Kim Jong-kook. Jin and Yoo struggled on the plane of soapy water, which gave Jin the endearing moniker of “paper doll” as he flailed against gym fanatic Kim. As the comedic duo slipped around, they attempted to pop as many balloons as possible. Despite the stark difference in power between the two teams, which had Jeon So-min claim that “they are no match,” Jin and Yoo toughened it out in the conclusive game. Within a game that favored major luck and strength beyond compare, “Astronaut on Soap Water” featured body gags and Jin’s slick moves. 

Watch Running Man “Episode 627″ on Viki. 

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