Mini-Recap: Netflix’s “Physical: 100” Season 2 – Episodes 2 and 3

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 2 and 3 Recap Review

Last season, one of my hopes for any future season was to shift the team Quests to the beginning of the competition. That way, we would be able to meet more of the contestants and the competition would be a bit more balanced and unpredictable. The one-on-ones for the very first elimination send off half of the contestants. And due to that, we lose some very interesting potential characters.

Starting with the team challenge helps to kind of level the playing field a bit before we get to one-on-ones. The five-person teams could be quite varied in terms of who is teamed up with who. It might not be all alpha men in one team or the leftovers on another. Of course, last season, we saw a “leftover” team ride an underdog wave to victory. But in eliminating a perceived alpha team, it helped to open up possibilities for a more unpredictable competition.

The ball-owning face off is a good Quest and definitely provided some memorable encounters in season one. The face-offs this time around maybe were not as explosive. But somehow, they moved much faster this season than last season. Which, if my memory serves me right, really felt quite slow and drawn out.

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 2 and 3 Recap Review

First off, the three arenas were good. And again, a great example of the grand scale of this series. Having the three arenas encircling a central platform this time was a perfect set design decision. I think what would’ve been an excellent scene would’ve been having two or even three epic matches going on and having that overhead shot showing contestants quickly running over to another arena to watch something exciting happen. Then running back to catch whatever was happening in the other one.

I also think making arena choices random could throw in a good twist too. Have them draw out of a hat or something so matches could be spread evenly and to add more unpredictability to the outcomes. It keeps the advantage to doing well in Quest: 0 by choosing an opponent, but random arenas would make things more exciting.

Anyway, to the match-ups themselves. I mentioned in my episode 1 mini-recap that I was rooting most for Jangjun of Golden Child. He’s one of the few people I already knew before the show. So of course I’ll be rooting for him.

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 2 and 3 Recap Review

But once I saw that it was he that was chosen by Hong Beom Seok, I already knew he was doomed. As much as I want to have faith that Jangjun could pull out a win, it’s quite obvious that the show was not going to let a returnee from season one lose in the same exact Quest. Especially when the show made a big deal focusing on that fact in every confessional Hong Beom Seok had since he walked in.

Sad for Jangjun’s early exit, but he held up well enough in this Quest and had a good showing in the pre-Quest.

Now, we know Physical: 100 does not show these match-ups in the order they were actually fought in real-time. Especially when they stage the face-offs in each of the three arenas at the same time too. And not to mention we see eliminated contestants cheering on matches after the show had already shown them smashing their torsos.

But the show deciding on playing the Jangjun-Beom Seok match-up kind of already made the rest of the match-ups quite predictable. Like, it made it obvious now knowing the show would stick strictly to the featured storylines.

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 2 and 3 Recap Review

The next match was between MMA fighter Sim Yuri and Korean-American FBI diplomat Hunter Lee. This match-up definitely best showed the diversity of backgrounds in this season which is great.

But you already knew Sim Yuri was going to win this match-up. Especially with purposefully showing the other contestants doubt in her as woman of course. But also just in the way the show has done more to flesh out Sim Yuri as a character over Hunter Lee.

After a montage of the match-ups the show didn’t care to feature (most likely for storyline purposes of course), the match between boxer Kim Do Hyeon and pro wrestler Kim Min Ho was the most unpredictable of the featured ones.

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 2 and 3 Recap Review

Because when the next match-up is between Korean MMA legend and variety show vet Kim Dong Hyun and humble bodybuilder Emmanuel, you already know who’s going to come out on top.

Ssireum athlete Hwang Chan Seob versus “Thanos” Kim Min Su? Come on. We know who the show favors here too.

After another montage, we finally get our first all-female match-up. And it’s another one where obvious storyline made it predictable. Of course the perceived underdog, the petite weightlifter Kim Dambi (who got big focus in episode one) would win. Even in double overtime over wushu champion Kim Hye Bin who we only just met here.

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 2 and 3 Recap Review

I will say though, they ruled a stalemate/deadlock between them here when they were in the same exact position as male pairs earlier which were ruled as decisive victories. Makes no sense, tbh.

Afterwards, we got two more predictable outcomes. Especially with the big finale featuring well-known actor Lee Jae Yoon. They even threw in a last minute “He might have broken his ribs” moment to heighten the tension.

But overall, these pairings were quite predictable. Yet, still enjoyable just watching these determined and competitive contestants really go at it in battle. You know none of them held back no matter how predictable the outcome might have been.

Physical 100 Season 2 Episode 2 and 3 Recap Review

It’s very much a good thing to see them give 100%. And just watching these amazing athletes and talents do battle like this is what makes the show so uniquely enjoyable nonetheless.

Perhaps what made this year’s ball-grabbing Quest less tedious was the fact that there was no one week break. Maybe that’s why I remember it feeling drawn out as Netflix decided to spread out the challenge over two weeks.

I originally wondered why they would release four episodes first. But it makes sense now, especially having Quest: 0 and the complete first Quest immediately.

As of this writing, I haven’t watched episode four yet. But with the new Quest, I think they should’ve waited to air it next week. But we’ll see how it goes.

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