Infinite Challenge Recap: Episode 509
Episode 509: Tears of the Polar Bear II: December 3, 2016
Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-soo continue their tour from the previous episode. They are still in the Tundra Buggy looking for more polar bears. This time, they find a polar bear napping with its cub on a snow bank. It’s happily resting while sheltered from the wind by a bunch of bushes. By the end of the day, Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-soo have seen 8 sets of bears. The captain tells them this is a lot, especially given the warm weather.
That’s the end of the day’s tour, and so Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-soo go back to their lodgings as the sun sets.
The next scene takes place a bit later. It’s pitch dark outside, and Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-soo go for a drive to try to see the aurora borealis. Park Myung-soo complains that it’s too cloudy, too dusty, and too dark to see anything. He wants to go back inside where it’s warm.
Park Myung-soo is super angry and cranky, I’m sure it’s very cold, so I can’t really blame him. As much as I would love to see polar bears, I don’t think I could stand being in such a cold place. On the other hand, Jeong Jun-ha takes things in good stride and uses the opportunity to watch the waves breaking on the beach.
The next morning, the temperature has fallen drastically. Captain Keven is even wearing a hat. Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-soo are back for another day on the Tundra Buggy. They’ll be going towards the Hudson Bay to an area called Halfway Point. Since the day is even colder than the previous day, the captain thinks they’ll see even more bears today.
When the Hudson Bay freezes, the polar bears cross it to get to the Arctic Ocean. Yesterday, it was completely liquid. Hopefully, some of it has frozen over today.
Park Myung-soo displays more of his lacking English skills. He wants some coffee but doesn’t know how to ask for it, so he just simply says, “Coffee? Come on! Come on!” LOL. Luckily there’s always a translator on these kinds of trips abroad.
It looks like the tundra has started to freeze. We get a two shot of the tundra yesterday and today comparing how much it has frozen overnight.
Jeong Jun-ha comments on how Park Myung-soo hasn’t thrown a tantrum yet today. That means he’s in a better mood than he was the night before. Park Myung-soo replies that he’s not angry, he’s ashamed. If he had worked harder and become more famous, he would be able to work in a more comfortable and warm atmosphere, and not in these extremities. Aw.
Throughout the ride, Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-soo punch each other in the ears as a passive aggressive way to vent.
They then find their first bear of the day. The bears seem to be in a better mood today because it’s colder. Captain Kevin does his bear calls which sounds like shucking noises. Today, they name the bears they encounter after the <Infinite Crew> cast members.
Once they finally get to the sea, Park Myung-soo wants to ask the captain if that is indeed the sea, so he asks, “See. Look. See sea? Is there sea?” Somehow Captain Kevin manages to understand and tells them that this is the first ice of the year.
The water is starting to thicken with visible chunks of ice floating in the waves, and when the temperature drops that night, the bears will start walking on it. It has to be -25 degrees Celsius for several days in a row for it to freeze. Once the polar bears can walk on the ice, they hunt for seals that come up in between the ice for air.
To thaw themselves, one of the <Infinite Crew> staff members gives Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-soo some cream of corn soup. They share it with Captain Kevin who tells them it’s really good. Park Myung-soo, “We are one.” Captain Kevin, “Yes.” Jeong Jun-ha is once again embarrassed at his coworker’s English skills, but Captain Kevin just seems to happily go along with everything. He seems really kind.
On the way back, Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-soo talk about what they learned while interacting with the polar bears. Jeong Jun-ha says he realized that he needs to use less toilet paper. Cue the poop jokes. Park Myung-soo says he just dirties his underwear instead of using toilet paper. Jeong Jun-ha counters that he’ll waste more water washing his poopy underwear.
They arrive back at the base and say goodbye to Captain Kevin. He’s teary-eyed while saying goodbye. They’ve grown quite fond of each other, even though it was just a short two days together.
Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-soo then go for a late lunch. They laugh when they see that Captain Kevin is back, joining them for the meal. Captain Kevin, “Nice to meet you.”
They joke a bit about not wanting to see each other again, and then Captain Kevin gets a little serious asking about whether many Koreans are interested in polar bears. Park Myung-soo says that he thinks they will be after this episode airs. I wonder if some Korean tourists will go to Churchill and recognize him.
While eating fish and chips, Captain Kevin tells a story of when he was eating a sandwich and didn’t notice a bear until it came up to he bus, grabbed the door handle with its mouth, and opened it. Captain Kevin wanted to teach the bear a lesson not to come up to the bus, so he punched its nose. Is this guy for real? He then got on the radio and warned the other drivers to lock their doors because there’s a bear in the premises that can open doors.
Par Myung-soo also asks what to do when you encounter a bear. Is it true that you should play dead? Captain Kevin says if you’re ever trapped with a bear, drop whatever you have, a glove, backpack, etc so that the bear with be interested in that while you back away until you can get inside a vehicle or building. If the bear is still interested in you, you’ll have to fight it. After lunch, they hug Captain Kevin for a real goodbye.
Polar Bear Shelter
Next, the <Infinite Challenge> duo go to a polar bear shelter. It’s a bear trap set up for the bears that wander into the town. It’s filled with seal meat to lure them it and away from civilians. And what do you know! Captain Kevin is back again to explain whats going on.
Today, a bear will be taken by helicopter back into the wild. It’s been tranquilized and put into a net. The helicopter will fly in 60 km north of Churchill. It’s a rare event, so there is a crowd of reporters on stand by to take pictures of everything going on.
They say goodbye to the bear, and it only takes a few minutes for the helicopter to take the bear out of site.
Concert on Ice
Cut to a clip from a Greenpeace campaign where Italian pianist and composer, Ludovico Einaudi, performed his composition, “Elegy for the Arctic,’ on a floating platform in the Arctic Ocean (in Svalbard, Norway) in an effort to demand protection for the Arctic.
Meanwhile, in Churchill, Canada, Jeong Jun-ha’s alter ego, “Nora of Bangbae District” adds her voice to the protest by reading a poem titled “Aurora.” The gist of it is “How come it’s so hard to see you Aurora? However, Aurora, I don’t resent you. It’s people’s selfish actions that hurt you and the polar bears. I pray for you. Don’t melt. Farewell Aurora.”
Jeong Jun-ha prances around in drag for quite a while. I’m sure the film crew took multiple shots of him dancing with reading the poem. I wonder what locals thought watching him film this. Maybe they think the cold has turned him crazy.
Return to Seoul
For returning safely to Seoul, Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-Soo are greeted by cheerleaders as they enter the MBC building.
Yoo Jae-suk’s Sad Day
The crew all meet up on the set of MBC’s <Good Day> which is a morning talk show. <Infinite Challenge> uses it for a parody talk show called <Sad Day.> Yoo Jae-suk says there aren’t a lot of good days these days, that’s why they want to address these sad days straight on.
Yoo Jae-suk is the host with three panel members Haha, Yang Se-hyung, and Hwang Kwang-hee.
Their first guests have come all the way from Canada. They’re guests that have met a lot of animals including elephants in Africa and polar bears in the Arctic. It’s Jeong Jun-ha and Park Myung-soo who are still dressed in polar bear outfits and wearing leis that they got from the cheerleaders.
Park Myung-soo says it was -25 degrees Celcisu there. Yang Se-hyung asks them to describe what 25 degrees feels like since Korea doesn’t get that cold. Park Myung-soo says they had to speak with their hands covering their mouths as their mouths froze when they talked.
Jeong Jun-ha says Park Myung-soo doesn’t know real cold because he left early for another show’s filming. I guess that was during the Nora of Bangbae District poetry reading segment.
Jeong Jun-ha also talks about the food which was mostly meat. Deer meat, seal meat, etc.
Park Myung-soo says watching him made him realize many things. The MCs ask, “Like what?” Park Myung-soo, “Uh . . . I’m not sure.”
Park Myung-soo talks about how he was so mad about the time they PDs made him go out in the dark to see an aurora. He was furious, but all was well when the next day they made him some ramen.
Yoo Jae-suk reveals a survey done to 10 production staff members asking “If there were an ice avalanche, who would you save out of the three, Jeong Jun-ha, a polar bear, and Park Myung-soo?”
- Polar bear : 5 votes
- Park Myung-soo: 3 votes
- Jeong Jun-ha: 2 votes
The reasons the staff members picked the polar bear include, because it’s almost extinct and because it doesn’t yell at the staff members.
Yoo Jae-suk asks them about their future plans regarding animals. We get to see how much Dota the elephant has grown since Jeong Jun-ha last saw him.
Yoo Jae-suk asks what animals they want to meet next. Park Myung-soo, “none.”
Two <Infinite Crew> staff members bring out a world map with exotic animals including pandas in China, beluga whales in Churchill, snow leopards in the Himalayas, etc.
Park Myung-soo looks at the map, saying each one of the animals is precious, but he wants to visit one close by. He picks Pandas in China. Go figure.
All their ‘Letters of Fortune’ tasks are now complete. Although actually, Park Myung-soo had to face a punishment because he failed to deliver his letter properly to Yoo Jae-suk. His penalty was to go shirtless with the words Jae-suk <3 Kyung-eun on his chest. They did actually go through with the punishment but 10 out of 10 test audience members though it was too pitiful, that they decided not to air it. We see just a few seconds of the penalty segment.
Yoo Jae-suk asks about new year plans for 2017 which include a Citizen Cabinet challenge where viewers can submit laws they would like to enact.
That’s the end of <Sad Day> which means there will only be good days from here on out.
Now it’s time for a third segment. The PDs must have really had trouble squeezing out enough content for today’s episode.
Christmas is coming. Everyone’s dressed in Christmas colors. Park Myung-soo, Jeong Jun-ha, and Haha are all dressed in similar looking red lumberjack shirts. Park Myung-soo, “Us original members decided to coordinate our outfits. ” Yoo Jae-suk, “Uh? I’m the only original member here.”
They take out the past year’s calendar to look back on the main events of the year. There’s Jack Black, Busan Crime, Hip Hop, Webtoon Special, Horror, Dosan Ahn Changho, etc.
Park Myung-soo complains that there isn’t a single image where he was the main character. Looks like he needs to work harder.
The members then get a box of letters. It’s from recipients of the scholarships raised through Infinite Challenge calendar and planner sales. Yoo Jae-suk says that over the past eight years from 2009 to 2016, they have donated 4,757,951,045 won (~4.7 million USD). They read a few of the letters. Some students thank them for giving them money so that they can finally have a computer to watch online lectures, attend private classes for the first time. There’s a mother who was able to pay for chemotherapy and a recipient who went on to win third place at a national rifle competition.
Next, Santa asks them to help deliver some presents because he had too much work to do. However, he only needs one helper, so to choose that best candidate, the MCs go through a quiz for who has the most childlike innocence.
Various kids ask questions like, “What is the thing friends do to express their feelings? ” The answer is “Say I love you.”
Next Week: more Santa Academy