Bros on Foot: Episode 8 (Final)
It’s been a fun whirlwind of a journey, with lots of laughter and a few tears along the way. While I wish we could have a few more weeks with the guys, it’s time to say goodbye. Before sending them back to Korea, Lee PD has one last mission in store: one that will push everyone to their limits.
It’s the penultimate mission for the men today, and while grapes may be abundant on the vineyard, Dream Tickets will be harder to come by. Out among the grapevines, the guys are faced with their first task of the day, a little grapevine trimming and mowing grass. Ji-hoon volunteers for grass duty, which he’ll be doing on a big riding mower, while the others tackle the vines.
One of the winery owners, Sean, explains that they have to clear the vine’s superfluous canes. They can just snip then pull away whatever they trim. Sounds simple, right? Except these vines and canes are a giant tangled mess. While Ji-hoon zooms around on the mower, the other guys look like they’re engaged in battle with a particularly thorny foe.
The dongsaengs attempt to use brute force to clear the vines, pulling at giant bunches of canes and it does work but it’s not particularly efficient. At one point Jin-gu stops and addresses the camera, “I’m not mad, these vines are just hard to pull.”
Jung-woo takes a different approach and he quietly studies his vines and cuts away at the tangles before pulling away the canes one by one. Jung-woo yells out to the dongsaengs that working among the vines is more fun than the livestock farm was. “I must be cut out for farming. This is fun. This work is giving me peace of mind.”
Ji-hoon’s totally immersed in his work too, and he’s total a pro with the mower despite this being his first time using one. He looks like he was born to the farm life. Once the vines and grass are taken care of, Emma and Sean lead everyone into their giant wine cellar.
This is where the magic happens, where all the fermentation and aging takes place, and there are giant oak barrels of wine stacked on top of each other. There’s a little treat for the guys before they start working: a wine tasting! It’s exactly what Jung-woo and Jin-gu had hoped for as they’re the two who are the most into wine. Jin-gu even enjoys wine so much that he’s studied up quite a bit on wines and winemaking. Emma decants a grape variety and asks if anyone’s familiar with it. There’s a long pause but Jin-gu volunteers, “I know the grapes are Spanish.” (Correct!)
She decants a couple more and for their final wine, she gives them something extra special. It’s their homegrown zinfandel, and it’s the southernmost zinfandel in the world. Jung-woo and Jin-gu taste it — from their faces it doesn’t seem great. In Korean, Jung-woo tells the guys, “It’s strange, they all taste the same.” But in English, he’s more diplomatic, “I just feel like it’s fresh.” LOL.
They get onto their real work, scrubbing bungholes (yes, that’s a technical term) and refilling the barrels. The scrubbing keeps mold at bay, while the barrels need to be topped up because wine evaporates during the aging process. Ji-hoon and Min-ho decide to take on scrubbing duties so Jung-woo and Jin-gu go about refilling the barrels.
Jung-woo is really in his element. There’s nothing scary; he doesn’t have to worry about heights or speeds, he can just think and quietly work. He shares that the work was enjoyable and meaningful. As he filled up each barrel, he thought of the vines that he’d trimmed bearing fruit, that fruit being harvested and turned into wine, and then ending up on tables and that made him appreciate the work.
The Bungee Bros are having a harder time with their task, and the scrubbing is more labor intensive than they were expecting, but they’re tenacious and eventually they get all the bungholes scrubbed and mold-free. Before leaving the wine cave, Sean tells them that the people who work on the vineyard also get to name the barrels.
He points out “Lord of the Butts” and says that they like funny names but they’re all free to choose a name of their liking. Jung-woo goes first, no hesitation, and dubs his barrel, “Mamma Mia.” Min-ho goes for a wordy Korean game-inspired name and Ji-hoon goes for philosophical and succinct. Jin-gu opts for humor: “Warning! This is wine-flavored grape juice.”
After the barrels, it’s time for the wine tank. Wine tanks are giant stainless steel tanks used for fermenting white wines and reds that don’t need to be imbued with oak flavors. The tank somehow looks both intimidating and safe, but that’s easy for me to say since I won’t have to climb inside it.
On being told that they’ll need to split into teams of two, with one team scrubbing inside the tank and the other scrubbing the tank’s accessories outside, the guys use rock paper scissors to decide their fates. For once, Jung-woo’s luck fails him and he ends up with the tank cleaning duties with his partner Min-ho.
Part of the task is figuring out how to get inside the tank, and Jung-woo just wriggles through the escape-hatch looking entrance headfirst. It’s like a mission in and of itself. Min-ho also crams himself inside using the same headfirst method and then they’re given a high-pressure hose and scrubber to use. Jin-gu peeks inside the tank just as Jung-woo turns on the hose and after he gets splashed he turns to his work.
He and Ji-hoon sit out in the sun as they clean various tubes and lids but while his hands are busy scrubbing, Jin-gu’s face is turned and full-on staring at the tank and the various noises emanating from it. He can’t stop himself and he laughs that he’s so curious about what Jung-woo and Min-ho are doing. (Side note, I can’t believe how much scrubbing is involved in wine-making.)
The show have dubbed the tank duo, “Shawtank Redemption” and with the right color grading it totally looks like a scene out of a noir film heh. Once the work is done, getting out is another challenge but Jung-woo manages to get out more smoothly than he came in.
Ji-hoon scores Jung-woo’s exit landing a solid 9.8. It’s Min-ho’s turn and, ever the pro, he adjusts the camera to get the best angle and then he swoops himself out — and gets stuck. Min-ho’s legs dangle in the air and since he can’t tell how far off the ground he is, he’s not willing to just let himself down. Ji-hoon grabs his legs and guides him out, but then scores Min-ho a middling 4.5. (I guess since he didn’t stick his landing.)
That’s the last of the work today and the guys get left to their own devices with a fully stocked kitchen and fridge at their disposal. Since it’s their last dinner in New Zealand, Chef Ji-hoon has something special planned: spicy braised chicken. Jin-gu’s been talking about how much he’s been craving it, so Ji-hoon’s decided to cook it tonight especially for Jin-gu.
Jin-gu is equal parts excited and touched, and he puts on his metaphorical sous chef hat to help out. Jung-woo goes about making a salad and cucumber muchim to accompany the main course with Min-ho’s help. While the spicy braised chicken is cooking, Jin-gu hovers in the background and gets this adorable goblin grin as the smell of the chicken wafts out to him. Ji-hoon lets Jin-gu taste the broth and it makes Jin-gu break out into a huge smile. All he can do is say, “Hyung” and he gives Ji-hoon a big hug.
The guys sit for their final dinner and the table is full of tasty looking dishes. And unsurprisingly, having seen Ji-hoon’s cooking skillz, the chicken gets five stars from everyone. Jin-gu says the braised chicken was exceptional, and maybe it’s because it’s their last dinner as a group, but everyone seems to be savoring the food even more than usual.
Before going to bed, they hang out in one of the bedrooms for drinks and conversation. It’s sweet to see how close they’ve become over the course of the trip and it’s such a contrast to the awkwardness of their first meeting in Seoul. There’s so much talking and laughing and but eventually they say goodnight and have a giant group hug.
It’s now officially their last day in New Zealand and ten Dream Tickets hang in the balance in their last mission. To succeed, they have to walk the Tiki Trail and take photos at the trail’s end. The Tiki Trail ends at an observatory that’s about 2500 ft above sea level and they’ll be able to see all of Queenstown. But the fact that there are ten tickets for this hike has everyone’s guard up. Another point of concern is that some of the cameramen have switched to small GoPro cameras instead of their regular gear.
While the trail length is relatively short, it’s incredibly steep in places. The guys are struggling, the staff are struggling, it’s a sweaty mess on the mountains of New Zealand. And they’re only a third of the way through the trail! Jung-woo still manages to film himself hiking and he says, “The mountain is really rough here. No wonder they built a cable car.” Come again? The guys chime in to say that tourists shouldn’t take the trail, no matter what, pinch your pennies and take the gondola.
We rewind to the start of the trail and we can see the gondola ferrying people back and forth and Ji-hoon asks why they have to hike. Lee PD just laughs, “You used up all your allowance money already.” Cruel. But hilarious. And so, the paupers trudge up the mountain. During a break, the guys say the show’s really putting them through the wringer till the very end.
Jin-gu: “Half the clothes I brought with me have been soaked with sweat.” Despite the difficulty level of the hike, they do pass some other hikers on their way down from the top so it definitely means that there are other hardcore people out there. Along the way, they find every excuse possible to take a quick breather — a cool looking throne carved out of a tree, the scenery, and so on.
Ji-hoon worries about Jin-gu and his flat feet, and Jin-gu just replies, “For the last ten tickets… I’ll go slowly.” Ji-hoon sticks with Jin-gu as they take on a slower pace.
Near the summit, Jung-woo tells Min-ho, “I’m going to pretend to enjoy the scenery and take a break.” They’re so high up now that they can look down on some paragliders flitting about in the distance. They get a second wind and even manage to sprint up the last leg of the trail (insanity).
At the observatory they strip off their jackets and they’re just soaked through with sweat. Jung-woo looks exhausted and like he’s just gotten out of the shower. His camerman is even worse off, no thanks to that last minute sprint.
Even Flaming Charisma Min-ho looks wilted and he’s a bit scatterbrained from the climb. He looks around and says to Jung-woo, “Why aren’t Jung-woo hyung and Jin-gu coming?” LOL. Ji-hoon and Jin-gu arrive not too long after, and the four take in the panoramic views of the city and re-hydrate. They take some seriously cute photos and with that, their mission is officially completed.
Lee PD congratulates them on completing their mission, and on earning a total of fifty Dream Tickets. It’s the gift of a lifetime to so many people. There’s no epilogue this week, instead we get to hear each of the guys talk about what this trip meant to them.
Min-ho says since they struggled and suffered together, it feels like he’s gained new brothers-in-arms. Once they’re back in Seoul, they’ll all be busy so it’ll be hard to meet up often, but this trip will be a memory they’ll always be able to share.
For Ji-hoon he feels a tenderness for his castmates, “They’re in my heart now.” When you travel, the people you’re with matter more than good hotels or fancy restaurants. He’ll also never forget all the beauty and natural wonders he saw in New Zealand.
Jung-woo’s trip was full of challenges and he’s certain he’ll revisit this trip often once he’s home. He’ll remember the too-small helmet, and the jet boat ride, and he’ll think of the pain and trauma he experienced. I know I shouldn’t laugh, but he’s really funny even when he’s talking about hard times. Jin-gu saw the trip as being full of different colors and emotions, from joy to pain and at times poignant, at times full of laughter.
We can’t forget the youth, and Min-ho felt like being able to call the winners and speak to them made this trip feel different. Jung-woo says it feels like he met some great people. We get to see several more Dream Ticketers, from a newlywed couple who had to cancel their honeymoney but got a chance to travel thanks to the show, and even one young woman who wanted to take her mother on their first-ever trip abroad together. This winner stuck out to Jin-gu; it made him reflect on his mom’s life and her sacrifices for him. Since she gave birth to him so young, she never got to live for herself, she was always a mom first even when she was in her 20s.
The show leaves us with a piece of advice Jung-woo gave Jin-gu during one of their walks. When he was younger, he traveled to Hawaii and he was dreading the trip’s end. He didn’t want to return to the grind of work in Korea when he had been enjoying his time walking everywhere and eating wherever. So he changed his mindset. He decided to approach his regular life the way he approaches traveling, where every day feels precious. He thought to himself, if he did that in Korea, it would make him appreciate life more. “Then you will be more thankful for each day. You’ll enjoy it more. Your days will be better.”
- News bites: January 4, 2023
- The Fabulous: Episode 1 (First Impressions)
- News bites: December 7, 2022
- News bites: September 10, 2022
- News bites: September 3, 2022
- Narco-Saints: Episodes 1-6 (Series review)
- Link: Eat, Love, Kill: Episodes 1-2 (First Impressions)
- News bites: June 4, 2022
- Searching mountains with Jeon Ji-hyun, Joo Ji-hoon in tvN’s Jirisan
Tags: Bros on Foot, Ha Jung-woo, Joo Ji-hoon, Min-ho, Yeo Jin-gu
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March 7, 2023 at 9:02 PM
This episode was bittersweet. I felt like one of the castmates savoring the remaining time they have together. It was wonderful seeing them grow closer every episode and grateful for the time we get to see it every episode. It would be great if we can see the same cast go on another trip together. I would love to see more of Jung Woo, Ji Hoon, Minho and JinGu interactions.
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March 7, 2023 at 11:51 PM
Thank you, @stroopwafel, for the weecap! What a sweet finale! They've grown much closer that each and every one of them is taking care of the others - all the time. Ji-hoon thinking of Jin-gu's flat feet during the mountain climb is really a hyung caring for his dongsaeng. I love Jung-woo when he advised the 'youngsters' on how to look at the bright side of life so you won't ever feel down. Kudos to the producer for making a fun show and still able to help those who wanted to but have a hard time going to New Zealand. Now they've got their tickets!
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March 8, 2023 at 5:05 AM
I have yet to watch all the episodes, but they have all been very earnest and very human and dedicated. tough to end a trip, always!
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March 8, 2023 at 8:45 AM
I finally watched the last 2 episodes this week and this was just so wholesome all around. I loved how they stayed positive no matter how hard the task and how they were always rooting and cheering for each other. The stories of the youth chosen to travel were also moving and lovely. An all-around great show. Thanks for the recaps @stroopwafel!
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March 8, 2023 at 9:49 AM
I really really liked this show. The casting was perfect and that is a word I don't use hardly. I hope they can reunite for something else in the future.
And I think I have a crush on Jung woo. He is hilarious. 😃
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