EPISODE 9. Broadcast on August 30, 2013.
girlfriday: We pick up at the end of the first day in Taiwan, after the halbaes have navigated their own way to the guesthouse and finally had a chance to walk around and see some sights. They mostly tour the marketplace and then go shopping at the grocery store, where they pick out Korean foods, of course.
javabeans: I really, really enjoy the whole exchange where Geun-hyung halbae is reading the packages perfectly fine because he’s well-versed in hanja, and Na PD is just standing there going, “Um, I don’t know.”
girlfriday: It’s just always fun when someone is schooling Na PD. In anything.
javabeans: Upon returning to the guesthouse, Gu halbae grumbles that Seo-jin had better come quickly. Geun-hyung halbae is playing the imp and asks how it feels to be leader for a day, giggling like your annoying little brother, and Gu halbae sighs that it’s deathly. The song sings “We need youuuuu…” as we cut to Seo-jin, who’s packing his bags. Note how last time he was excited and wide-eyed and packed his best stuff, and this time he’s just tossing things in a bag.
girlfriday: I know. He’s got like one outfit just crumpled in there, and doesn’t look like he’s going to pack much more.
javabeans: It’s his agency head who’s prodding, “Is that it? Don’t you need more? Aren’t you going to pack more than that?”
girlfriday: It’s gonna be hilarious when Sunny shows up and he’s whining that he only packed one outfit. Back in Taiwan, Gu halbae realizes he’s misplaced his guidebook, and that leads to a funny exchange with Geun-hyung halbae about things they do as they get older, like walk into a room and forget why they came. I love that Gu halbae’s all, And the front zipper…forget about it! Of course I walk around with it down!
javabeans: Na PD drops by to settle some accounts, since the production had to pay for the lodging in advance to reserve the rooms. So Na PD wants the balance returned from their allowance after checkout, to which Gu halbae is all, “What’s paid is paid, c’mon.”
girlfriday: Ha, there’s your first mistake right there. He didn’t really expect to be paid back, did he?
javabeans: Geun-hyung halbae is literally cackling “Hee hee!” in the background while Gu halbae points out that Na PD already “took care of it.” Na PD protests ineffectually, but pretty much the battle is lost.
girlfriday: Gu halbae ends the conversation with a “Thank you!” and then the halbaes gather in the yard to eat the food that they had delivered to the house. Again, Na PD comes up with a receipt for the food, and Gu halbae’s like, “Why are you giving me that?” Hahaha.
javabeans: I freaking love how well he plays dumb. “Since the producers so thoughtfully provided the food, I will happily receive it!”
girlfriday: This is hysterical. Na PD knows by the second conversation that he’s not going to get money from Gu halbae, so he changes his tune and says he’ll get it from Seo-jinnie hyung tomorrow. Hee.
javabeans: Gu halbae: “But what crime has Lee Seo-jin committed? He has zero relation to this!” He points out that they didn’t ASK the producers to pay for it, so of course, thank you! Na PD is at a loss for words, and you can hear his staff bursting into laughter in the background.
girlfriday: Na PD is getting nowhere with Gu halbae, so then he sidles up to Il-sub halbae, asking what the “right thing to do” is, yunno, “morally,” and “legally.” And of course Gu halbae argues that “in good conscience,” he shouldn’t ask for money. Ha. I love the passive-aggressive conversation through Il-sub halbae.
javabeans: But then Il-sub halbae stuns him into silence by telling hyung to just pay up, since they did want the food. LOL. Gu halbae: “Are you drunk?” Suddenly there’s tension at the table. And then we get a flashback to every place the halbaes went today, eating, eating, eating. Damn they sure ran up a tab.
girlfriday: Oh no. Seo-jin’s going to come on the second day to find they’ve already spent ten days’ worth of money.
javabeans: Dude! The dinner bill is 100 bucks. (3,000 Taiwanese dollars.) Na PD outlines their budget, which is about 2,000 dollars total, and that’s to cover lodging and food and everything. Then it turns into a “Our leader mismanaged the budget” conversation, edited like a dramatic drama confrontation. Il-sub halbae tells Na PD to take it from his salary, ha.
girlfriday: And finally Geun-hyung halbae calls Seo-jinnie in Seoul, “Hurry up and come! A fight broke out! Hee hee hee!”
javabeans: In the morning, Gu halbae gets up early and drinks coffee in the lobby, which is when the employee shows him newspaper clips—wow, their arrival in Taiwan yesterday is already in the papers, with photos and everything. They really are famous there!
girlfriday: Pwahaha, why is Il-sub halbae in the lobby in nothing but shorts?
javabeans: He looks like a Buddha teddy bear.
girlfriday: I’m cracking up at the montage of beauty tips from Gu halbae, as we watch him slather himself with sunscreen to protect his baby skin.
javabeans: And then they get right on the phone to call Seo-jinnie. We see him the night before, looking like he’s about to face a firing squad. I’m just about to make a quip about his blood pressure, but he beats me to it: “My mother told me to take blood pressure medicine!”
girlfriday: He gets to the airport, still grumpy as ever and complaining about how early the booked the flight. Sooooo different from the way he arrived last time.
javabeans: It’s extra-funny because we get the flashback to his uncontrollable smiles the last time. While he’s sighing heavily and being a crankybutt, a van pulls up outside with Sunny of SNSD, here to make Na PD’s bait-and-switch prank of Season 1 all worth it. We hope.
girlfriday: Seo-jin makes his way past the security line, where it’s the VJ’s job to position him somewhere for the surprise reveal. Except Seo-jinnie is too cranky to listen, so he refuses to sit down for an interview and instead goes shopping and gets coffee, and does everything like it’s opposite day.
javabeans: He is SO IRRITABLE today, it’s cracking me up. Everything is cause for complaint. Grump grump grump. “Why should I? Who says? I don’t trust any of you [VJs].”
girlfriday: VJ: “Can we do [the interview] over there where it looks nicer?” Seo-jin: “Do it here!” Lol.
javabeans: Fiiiiinally they get him to move to a different section to wait, and I totally feel for these VJs, all of whom are young and just trying, god love ‘em. He’s just being difficult, like it’s the one way he can have any control in this situation. You have turned him into a surly teenager. They start by asking how he feels and whether he suspects Sunny or Hyuna might show up today. But by now the girl group thing has become an embarrassing punchline so he barks, “Don’t you even bring them up!”
girlfriday: Haha. Now he’s angry any time someone even mentions their names, and Sunny’s sneaking up row by row, and getting closer…
javabeans: It’s adorable, the long shot you get of Seo-jin in the foreground while she’s like a cartoon figure in the background.
girlfriday: And then she manages to reach the chair right behind him as he’s still interviewing, and the VJ says that the best thing about the last trip was the hidden camera stuff at the beginning. Seo-jinnie: “I told you, it’s because you guys are hooligans!”
javabeans: This couldn’t have been planned better, because Seo-jin is just going off with this resigned-bitter-wry speech about how you’ll never fool him again, you sly underhanded bastards, so don’t even bother talking. All while Sunny is giggling silently behind him, literally inches from his face.
girlfriday: Seo-jin: “Am I an idiot? You think I’d fall for that again?!” Pfft.
javabeans: Finally she lets out a real laugh and he jerks back in surprise, and then there’s that second surprise when he recognizes her. She giggles, “Oppa, we’re going on a trip together!” which is just about as close to a real-life fantasy first encounter as you can get, and he’s all, “WHAT.” He’s still half in denial when she says they have to catch their flight, so she shows him her ticket, and aw, smiley Seo-jinnie is back.
girlfriday: That’s so cute. Also, I love how suspicious Na PD has made him. He seriously cannot contain his happy, even as he keeps asking if it’s real. She swears she’s really going (for a day), and they get ready to board. Back in Taiwan, the halbaes get ready to head out for the day, and Geun-hyung halbae keeps up his constant line of communication with Seo-jin, which is adorable.
javabeans: Then they have a head-scratching moment trying to figure out how to actually get their subway passes to open the turnstiles, and watch the locals do it before figuring out how. It’s so cute, and it reminds me of that drama scene when the fish-out-of-water sees passengers scanning their bus passes through their pants pockets and just ends up waving his butt at the scanner.
girlfriday: Ha, that is totally what they’re doing. They reach their landmark and the two hyungs get busy with the map-reading and tour-planning, while Il-sub halbae parks it in the shade, content to wait here.
javabeans: He’s all, I’ll just look at the trees! Hyungs can go to the memorial! I already know about Chiang Kai-shek anyway.
girlfriday: He actually makes Na PD crack up when he calls cultural artifacts “those antique things,” and says they’re all the same anyway.
javabeans: He does walk after the others to do a little bit of sightseeing, but he’s barely stepped inside the courtyard before he’s all, I’m done. Can I get a drink somewhere? Na PD points out that he has a lot of stuff still to see, and Il-sub halbae replies, “I can see it all from here.”
girlfriday: Gu halbae sees a guard standing so still he’s convinced it’s a mannequin, and then gets really close like a little kid just to make sure. “Oh it’s a live person.”
javabeans: The PD tells him to try it, and he gets about three second into it before cracking a hilarious face. Il-sub halbae just goes from building to buliding looking for either shade or air conditioning, and ends up at vending machines. He really is like the six-year-old of the group.
girlfriday: Oh cool, you can use your bus pass to buy a soda in a vending machine?
javabeans: That seems SO COOL, until I think about it and then I’m like, I guess it’s like a credit card. Or a smartphone app. But still, nifty.
girlfriday: Seo-jin and Sunny board the plane, and when the VJs go to install a mic in the seats, Seo-jin waves them away, refusing to let them shoot. Ha, he’s picked up a few things from the halbaes, hasn’t he?
javabeans: He’s all, “Then we can’t talk at all! There are things to talk about that can’t get broadcast, you know.” Except no we don’t know, since you won’t let them record! Haha. He’s not wrong, though, because they’re just sitting there in silence and the awkwardness just mounts and mounts until finally Seo-jin rips off the mic and fiddles with the battery pack, which Sunny flicks off.
girlfriday: Before the camera goes off, the flight attendant comes by and when he says they’re going for Grandpas Over Flowers, even she’s like, “Oh you got your wish!” Haha. It’s a good thing he insists the cameras stop rolling though, because by the time they land, the stiff awkwardness is gone and they’re at least speaking to each other. I love that he has zero intention of finding the halbaes: “Can’t we meet up for dinner?”
javabeans: I know, he gets the address and doesn’t even look at it, happy to enjoy the time before he has to get back to luggage boy mode. Although he doesn’t mind being luggage boy for Sunny, though I’m pretty sure it’s just to show off. She asks whether he bag is heavy and the caption helpfully points out, “Not in front of you.” He does admit to receiving a text telling him to call the minute he lands, but he hedges, “I don’t know who sent it though. I think it might be a joke.” Anything to ignore the halbaes, haha.
girlfriday: He gets quite the fan greeting at the airport too, complete with gifts. By the time he gets in the car he’s in a great mood and declares that Taiwan is awesome. The PD asks if he wasn’t mad at Na PD before, and Seo-jin just beams, “Who, me?”
javabeans: PD: “What kind of person do you think Na PD is?” Seo-jin: “Smart!”
girlfriday: The PD purposely needles them by pointing out that Sunny’s calling him oppa right away even though they just met, and Sunny laughs, “Well I can’t call him ajusshi!” Seo-jin (as if the question is absurd): “What else would she call me but oppa?”
javabeans: The PD points out that he’s closer to ajusshi age, and he shushes her: “Don’t plant ideas!” He’s content to take the long way around the city and look around, and the caption says: “Uh, we’re not We Got Married…”
girlfriday: It’s pretty cute how excited she is to do normal things like ride the bus or walk around the city and have coffee.
javabeans: Ha, I guess the Roman Holiday comparison isn’t so out of line, since she’s amazed at mundane things, having no cause to use them in her daily life. Wow, I’ll get to see the subway? We’re taking a bus? This is a token? Meanwhile, the halbaes are counting down the hours till Seo-jin arrives. HA and AWW.
girlfriday: Gu halbae is especially eager to hand off all the leader responsibilities, seeing as how ordering lunch seems to give him anxiety. I do love the halbaes’ reactions to boba, like what is this strange new substance?
javabeans: Seo-jin buys some tickets for himself and Sunny, then starts walking faster as he only half-jokes (or maybe not-jokes-at-all) about ditching the camera crew. When asked where they’re going, he retorts, “Do I have to tell you?”
girlfriday: Haha, he totally means it. The crew barely manages to follow them onto the bus, after being left behind.
javabeans: I don’t think he’d actively sabotage the show, but he sure wouldn’t mind facilitating any “accidents,” that’s for certain.
girlfriday: Hee, a text from Na PD: “I fulfilled your wish… Hurry up and don’t play.. ㅜㅜ” Seo-jin’s reply: “Who’s this?”
javabeans: They look up directions on their phones, but the problem is that they don’t know how to enter in Chinese text. Seo-jin starts to scratch his head thinking of workarounds, but Sunny just takes the phone, literally pushes some buttons, swipe, swish, boom, information. He’s doubly giddy to have her take over the navigator role, saying that if he were here with the halbaes he’d be madly digging into his phone trying to figure it out.
girlfriday: The halbaes return to the guesthouse for a break, and it’s really cute how Geun-hyung halbae picks up after Gu hyung, hanging up shirts that he just left lying there. He chides that it’s not nice (to the wife) to be this way at home, which just makes me think he’s probably the best husband ever.
javabeans: Absolutely. It’s not just that he picks up after himself, but that his reasoning is, “Because the wife doesn’t like it.” Seo-jin and Sunny find their lunch place and he steps aside to sing her praises to the staff, saying she’s way better at the navigating than he is. Then a call from Na PD comes in and he’s all, “I don’t wanna take it.” He does, of course, though he uses the crew as an excuse by saying they stopped because THEY were hungry. You know. He was being thoughtful and all.
girlfriday: Na PD whines that there are a million things to do, and Seo-jin starts this hilarious string of vague responses about how Taiwan is really hard to navigate and he’s sure they’ll find their way there eventually, but it’ll probably take a while. So of course, Na PD goes straight to the halbaes to tattle. Hee.
javabeans: So Geun-hyung halbae texts over, “We’re waiting. Let’s eat dinner together.” Not even Seo-jin could ignore a hungry grandpa, could he? But ha, when Seo-jin reads the text, there’s more to it: “Seo-jin-ah, we heard, congratulations. Take your time wandering, you can come as late as you want, have fun~” and then it ends with “We’re waiting, let’s eat dinner together.” That explains why the halbaes were cracking up, because it is one mixed message.
girlfriday: I get the feeling Geun-hyung halbae is more interested in marrying Seo-jin off at any opportunity, which is not the reaction Na PD was looking for.
javabeans: I love that Geun-hyung halbae sends another message telling Seo-jin to come back by morning and ends with “Fighting,” which is hilariously eyebrow-raising, because you’re basically saying, “Good luck bro.” Na PD is like, What exactly are you wishing him luck with? And halbae is all, “You never know!”
girlfriday: Geun-hyung halbae is being way too cool about this, so Na PD tattles to Il-sub halbae that Seo-jin is running around with Sunny and refusing to come, and he busts out with a: “That rude punk!”
javabeans: Then Geun-hyung halbae placates him by asking, “Don’t you remember when we were young? Let’s just leave ‘em alone!” And then Il-sub halbae agrees, “Tell him to spend the night out.”
girlfriday: Seo-jin gapes at the “stay out all night” text message, and even he’s like, “Uh… I can’t actually stay out all night…”
javabeans: Even Seo-jin’s nephew (who hears about the trip in the news) congratulates his uncle, saying, “Dreams come true.”
girlfriday: They spend a really long moment just lingering on Seo-jin’s reaction to a baby on the subway, and I’m convinced Na PD’s trying to marry off his hyung.
javabeans: They get off at the right station, but now Seo-jin faces the same quandary the halbaes did, of which exit to take. For a long while he looks at the directions online and decides (as the halbaes did) on the wrong exit, which as we know took them in circles in the wrong direction. Eek! Thankfully Sunny really does turn out to have better directional skills and corrects him, and yes, it really is just a three-minute walk this way.
girlfriday: They find it in no time and greet the waiting halbaes with bows, and suddenly it’s all awkward and strange, like he’s brought a girl home to meet his family.
javabeans: Seriously, it’s like he’s introducing the fiancée to My Three Dads.
girlfriday: And now that they’re here, it’s all, Why’d you come so early? and A man ought to take a girl places! This is so funny.
javabeans: Geun-hyung halbae is really running with it, saying (in the tone of a father tsk-tsking his son) that Sunny must not like him much if she’s telling him she’s tired on the first day of a trip, and how you would think a guy would realize what it means when a super busy girl still made time in her crazy busy schedule to stop over in Taiwan and see him, but you know, a stupid man might miss the point and never get around to dating.
girlfriday: It’s freaking hysterical.
javabeans: Caption: Founding of the Flower Halbae Dating Agency.
girlfriday: And after all that, you only need one line from Il-sub halbae: “Will you two be sleeping together tonight?”
javabeans: Everyone’s dying at that. Na PD sorta stutters that they’ll all be sleeping, uh, in the same house, and halbae says innocently, “That’s what I meant!” Suuuure it is. Then Na PD asks just the three halbaes, “Now can you see how he got to 40 still being single?” Geun-hyung halbae agrees, after all the work they did to shove those two together.
girlfriday: And they’re just getting started. Flower Halbae Dating Agency hijinks, to be continued…
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 8
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 7
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 6
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 5
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 4
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 3
- Grandpas Over Flowers (and Seo-jinnie) head to Taiwan next
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 2
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 1