‘Physical 100’ Season 2 Episodes 5-6-7 Recap & Review: Many Hands Make Light Work 

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The only Korean variety shows I watch on purpose are Run BTS and EN-O’CLOCK, both shows where idols make fools of themselves, trying to take part in games and fun activities that they wouldn’t normally do. Still, there’s one thing in common between BTS, Enhypen, and the Physical 100 participants, and that’s competitiveness. With my decade-long obsession with K-pop, I feel I have the knowledge to say that Korean people love competition and have a penchant for endurance. I mean, it’s almost scary the way they’re capable of pushing through any pain if it means success in any form. So, somehow, despite wanting to absolutely hate this show by the looks of it, I found myself kind of enjoying episodes 5, 6, and 7 of Physical 100 season 2. Or rather, I found myself catching my breath many times because of the performance behind it. What I mean is that there’s a lot of drama that goes into a production like Physical 100, and I think Korea’s knack for variety is the reason this show is so successful.


Who Is The Winner Of The Eliminated Lot? 

There’s so much drama in Physical 100 that sometimes it almost feels like a Hindi-language serial created by Ekta Kapoor. I mean down to showing the same scene three times for dramatic effect while we wait eagerly to figure out who the winner is. There was so much going on in the first 4 episodes and so many people to pay attention to that it was impossible to keep track. However, now I’m starting to remember a few faces and get acquainted with them a little, you know? Anyway, at the end of all the rounds of the sack-weighing challenge, five teams got eliminated. But it doesn’t end there for them just yet. The 25 participants get the chance to fight one more time until one winner emerges and makes a new team of five with those who got left behind. In this round, there are 10 pillars in a circle, and the 25 participants must rush to grab these pillars and hold on for dear life. That’s basically it, like a game of musical pillars. Only 1 person is counted per pillar, and the number of players and pillars reduces from 10 to 5 to 2 to 1 until there’s one winner remaining. 

Though this was quite exciting to watch, I can’t help but think that the women in the competition aren’t getting a fair shake when there are men over four times their size in the competition. Does it really make sense for them to be a part of this at all? Is it simply to say that they’re not gender-biased and anybody can be physically strong? Let’s talk realistically for a second. A Kim Yu-Ri can by no means push out a Kim Min-Su (called Thanos just by the sheer size of him), even if she uses special techniques. It doesn’t really make sense, but I suppose everyone watching is okay with it. Anyway, after three dramatically tough rounds, high school kid Jun-Hyuk and wrestling champ Ji-Hyun remain in the circle to fight for the remaining pillar. Jung Ji-Hyun’s years of practice gave him the upper hand, and ultimately, he’s the winner of the elimination round. 


Who Is The Strongest Team Of Them All? 

Those who were in Ji-Hyun’s team earlier got their hopes up, hoping he might take them back, but ultimately, as the participants themselves like to say, he makes the Avengers with four of the strongest players, all leaders that failed but were individually the strongest of the lot. Ji-Hyun is what you’d call a tiny titan. This man is a real beast; he even defeated Min-Su with his grit. You know, it’s all fun and games until you start seeing scratches on people’s sweaty barebacks and pain relief patches all over their bodies. It had me thinking about why someone would put themselves through so much pain—is it fame? The prize money? I suppose I’m the one that needs to learn to be ambitious. 

In episode 6, there’s another warmup round before the real deal, and this time it’s to do pull-ups. As we can imagine, it’s Ji-Hyun’s team, with him and Amotti in it, that wins this round. It was quite terrifying to see Ji-Hyun push himself after he looked like he was going to pass out. This is some serious endurance. Jae-Yoon gives the one female player in his team this round because he’s certain they’re not going to win, and I suppose we’re supposed to appreciate the team for it. Ji-Hyun chooses Andre Jin and Won-Hee as his competitors, with Won-Hee’s team being considered the weakest of the lot. 

Now, the teams have to compete in four rounds of strength. I’m convinced these people aren’t humans because how is one man pushing 45 bags of 40 kg each through a railway line that looks like it’s in an abandoned mine? I suppose now I know why this season is underground, but these people are beasts! For the most part, the results of this game seemed to be predetermined based on how strong the teams appeared. However, there are many serious surprises in this round. The way the participants proclaimed “Netflix dalla” or “Netflix is different” when they saw the scale of the mine-like location, I was shocked by how far humans can push themselves in order to win a game of strength. Now, three teams compete in these four rounds, and one losing team gets eliminated. There’s a total of six teams, which will ultimately leave 20 participants for next week. In the first set, the weak link is, of course, Won-Hee’s team. Still, the judo champion is a great leader and considers himself responsible for the entire team. In the first round, they lose miserably, and at the end, when Yeong-Chan is unable to push his cart to the other side, all the participants help him, showing the spirit of sportsmanship in Physical 100. There is a sense of togetherness in shows like this, especially when they’re Korean. However, the most shocking player in this round is wrestler Lim Soo-Jin, who shocks everyone with her strength and calm. 

If rounds 1 and 2 required leg strength to push the cart filled with weight, rounds 3 and 4 required the arms to be able to monkey bar your way through. Won-Hee’s team faces trouble this round, and after a two-hour break fixing the faulty equipment, they come in second. However, because Won-Hee goes a second time, he’s lost his strength in round four and ultimately loses. Though he’s gained the respect of everyone on the show, as they call him a “true leader,” we bid farewell to five players before relentless hustling begins yet again. The second set of teams are Team Kim Dong-Hyun, Team Hong Beom-Seok, and Team Lee Jae-Yoon. This is serious, tough competition because these teams are equally strong in every aspect. 

The most shocking part of this episode is the way Gibson is able to push 45 bags by himself in the cart all at once because his teammate Ha-Yun manages only 5. It’s incredible to watch his resilience and the way everyone encourages him. At some point, it almost appears as if he’s going to defeat Dong-Hyun’s team, but alas, he doesn’t (such a shame). On the other hand, Jae-Yoon’s team emerged victorious with ease in the first two rounds, putting them at 6 points, with the other two teams both at 3 each. Dong-Hyun’s mistake was that he strategized in round two and asked his teammate to bring 15 sacks at a time instead of a total of 30 all at once, something the other two teams did with ease. Jae-Yoon’s team comes in last in the third round, but since they’re still number one, it’s alright. However, round 4 is a bit of a shock to everybody. In round 3, Beom-Seok comes in second and is disappointed by his performance. So, he chooses to do round 4 by himself. Despite everybody thinking he won’t have the stamina for this, he shocks everybody by placing first, which ties them with Dong-Hyun’s team if they come in second.

At the end of Physical 100 episode 7, we’re at a high level of blood-pumping thrill as we see a close competition between Dong-Hyun and Jae-Yoon’s team. It appears as if Jae-Yoon’s team has won, but at the last moment, Sung-Bin unfortunately falls from the monkey bar right near the finish line, leaving Dong-Hyun’s team with a chance to win still. Honestly, I’d like Jae-Yoon’s team to win because I don’t see an air of arrogance in them the way Dong-Hyun started off this round. However, anything is possible at this point. Additionally, we have no idea what happens next, and the world loves an underdog story. When Hong Beom-Seok wins by a mile, his team calls him screenwriter Beom-Seok because of how dramatic the turns of events are. I suppose this is the reality of variety shows. Bring the drama to life. 


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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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