EPISODE 12. Broadcast on September 20, 2013.
girlfriday: We pick up in the bus after the halbaes have had some drinks. Well, Gu & Sub have had drinks. Many drinks.
javabeans: Na PD asks what they plan to do for the rest of tonight, since a couple of the halbaes are leaving tomorrow. This turns out to be a more difficult question than it seems, judging from the meandering and confused responses we get out of them.
girlfriday: Gu halbae declares that they must all get together so they can chat… which Na PD points out is exactly what they are doing right now.
javabeans: Is he using the word “chat” to mean “drink”? That might make more sense. I actually think Gu halbae is forgetting his sentences halfway through them, and therefore is only making half-sense.
girlfriday: At one point Soon-jae halbae just interrupts his drunk dongseng and has his own conversation with Na PD (about when his schedule frees up for their next trip), and Gu halbae actually glares.
javabeans: But, I think he’s JUST confused enough to hold back, in case he’s misunderstanding things, so it’s half-paranoia, half-pissiness.
girlfriday: And Seo-jin is just sitting there silently, with this LOOK on his face, like, Yep, he’s drunk.
javabeans: Oh my god, this conversation. It makes no sense. Everyone’s just having their own conversation, but it’s like they’re pretending it all fits together while really just waiting for moments to interject whatever they want to say. Il-sub halbe is on this non sequitur tear, where he just blurts out random things as though it’s relevant to the conversation. “Memories!” “It’s raining tonight!”
girlfriday: But you can actually see him waiting for his moment of silence to get it in there, knowing he can’t talk over Soon-jae hyung, not that he’s listening anyway. I don’t know where his hilarious English phrases are coming from, but they’re awesome.
javabeans: Somehow Gu halbae gets the bee in his bonnet about everybody needing to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning to see off the departing halbaes, so they don’t feel sad leaving early. (The ones staying behind can’t argue, but you can totally see that they just wish they could.)
girlfriday: And Gu halbae declares, as if it’s the most obvious thing in the world, “Well of course Seo-jinnie is getting up!” Pwahaha. Wasn’t he just five seconds ago acknowledging how hard Seo-jin has worked all this time?
javabeans: And then they ask Seo-jin to sing for them, which is a thing all elders make youngsters do, as in, “Entertain me!” Seo-jin tries to decline politely saying that he really can’t sing, but Gu halbae is feeling contentious tonight and starts kicking up a fuss about how really he could stand to sing a song. Oh no! Poor Seo-jin.
girlfriday: Gu halbae is totally calling him out for being a punk who refuses to sing for his elders. Uh-oh. Is this gonna get ugly? They arrive at the hotel and Seo-jin beelines for the room to escape scrutiny, but then he sees the very tiny mat that Il-sub halbae has to sleep on, and gets a worried look on his face. Il-sub halbae grows silent for a long moment after being told the news, and the other halbaes ask what he’s thinking. After a long pause: “I’m trying to remember the lyrics to the song I need to sing!” HA.
javabeans: Il-sub halbae heads to the room and lounges around in silence for more than an hour, and then suddenly bursts into song. HA, he was mulling over those lyrics the whole time.
girlfriday: They head to bed and then a PD raps on their door at 4:30 in the morning to catch their flight. (Geun-hyung halbae has to go straight to the drama set from the airport. Crazy.)
javabeans: Wow, those grandpas wake up in a flash. Who wakes up that quickly? One second they’re sound asleep in a black room, and the next second all lights are on and they’re zooming around collecting their things.
girlfriday: Yeah it’s like the footage is in fast-forward, but they’re just really moving that quickly. At this hour.
javabeans: As they head outside to the car, the show points out to us that the send-off party is conspicuously absent. Remember Gu halbae’s effusive promises about making sure that he’d send them off in the morning?
girlfriday: Cut to: the three of them sound asleep in a pitch-black room. There’s even a chorus of snoring to punctuate it.
javabeans: Then an alarm starts to go off, and Seo-jin rouses from his pallet on the floor. Aww, he really did obey as told!
girlfriday: He’s such a good little boy.
javabeans: He blearily heads out of his room and into the lobby, which is empty, and now I’m all nervous that he will have gone to all that fuss and not even see the halbaes. Oh no! What if he missed them?
girlfriday: Ack, will he make it in time? What if they’re already gone and he didn’t get to say goodbye?! Why does this feel like a drama all of a sudden?
javabeans: I’m sitting here biting my nails yelling at him to run faster, maybe he can catch them. Ah, the burden of the omniscient viewer.
girlfriday: Yay, they haven’t left! He gets to them just as they’re loading up the car, and gets to send them off. He’s still not fully awake, but he did good. Two seconds later he turns to the camera and grins devilishly: “I’m gonna go sleep in their room!” LOL.
javabeans: Seriously, their car hasn’t even made it to the end of the block yet.
girlfriday: In the morning, the remaining threesome heads out to the next destination on their Taiwan tour.
javabeans: When they disembark, Seo-jin looks into taxis while Soon-jae halbae gets into a mental showdown with a dog who refuses to eat the snacks he offers him, and Soon-jae halbae gets miffed and calls it too lazy to eat his treats.
girlfriday: He’s totally offended, like the dog rejected him. Animals don’t reject Soon-jae halbae! He takes it super personally, which is just adorable. They reach their hotel and then take a taxi tour through the mountains, and walk across this looooooong skinny suspension bridge that’s super cool but also really frightening.
javabeans: We get a lot of cool aerial shots from the helicam, and once they’re on the other side they get to view the footage and see how far up they’ve come.
girlfriday: The halbaes and Seo-jin walk across it and back, and Na PD gapes that the halbaes weren’t scared at all to cross it. Seo-jin overhears the conversation with a glint in his eye. He’s plotting something evil, isn’t he?
javabeans: He proposes a game of rock-scissors-paper with Na PD to decide which one crosses the bridge again, running alone, and Na PD seems a little uneasy at the prospect while Seo-jin looks totally cool as a cucumber. Is Na PD afraid of heights, is that it?
girlfriday: Hahahaha. Na PD’s voice is doing that shaky thing.
javabeans: Oh I love it when Na PD is trying to act strong (“Yeah, I’ll do it. I feel good about it”) but totally betrays himself by asking again, “Really? You sure? I mean, I can do it. But are you sure you want to?”
girlfriday: He has this telltale stutter whenever he’s bluffing too. He tries to get out of it when Gu halbae tells Seo-jinnie to run, but when he gets the same command, he decides to play rock-paper-scissors after all.
javabeans: So Na PD loses, and then is all, “…Teacher? Do you want to go with me?” He gets Gu halbae to agree, and since Gu halbae can’t run fast, Na PD offers to go slow, so suddenly we’ve gone from a breakneck race across the suspension bridge to a timid crawl.
girlfriday: He’s literally like, Hold my hand! I’m skeeeeeered!
javabeans: Seo-jin points out that they’re supposed to run, per the agreement, and Na PD totally uses the grandpa as his excuses: “I’m escorting him!” Then we get a shot of the two from behind as they start jogging, and OMG I’m dying because I swear I thought that Na PD was the old man until the camera panned up.
girlfriday: HAHAHAHA. You can’t tell them apart! And then… Soon-jae halbae gets so frustrated at Na PD’s old man shuffle that he shows them how it’s done and runs full speed after them. When he gets there, he starts jumping on the bridge to make it sway, and Na PD actually lets out an “AhhhhAAAaaaaHHHaaa! Stoppit!”
javabeans: Then they start running back, with Soon-jae halbae in the lead. Hilariously, Na PD is the only one who is so scared he has to keep holding the railing, and I think he’s shaking by the time they arrive on land.
girlfriday: He whines that Seo-jinnie hyung didn’t take a turn, and the captions call him a tattletale. Hee.
javabeans: How is it that when Na PD is on the losing end of things, he gets to complain about the rules HE set in the first place? He is such a sore loser, which is why it’s so awesome. Hoisted by his own petard, I think is what they call it.
girlfriday: They reach the Tunnel of Nine Turns, a highway set into mountainside caves, and get out to look at the view on foot.
javabeans: Somehow a conversation between Seo-jin and Soon-jae about whether you can climb the cliffs leads to Seo-jin deciding he wants to climb down all the way to the river below, for some strange reason. In an interview clip taken later, he has returned to sanity and basically wonders what the hell had gotten into himself, but in the moment he’s in this stubborn mode and is fixated on seeing what the water is like.
girlfriday: It just comes out of nowhere, which is the weird thing. And Soon-jae halbae is like, What’s he doing? after being the one to plant the crazy idea in his head in the first place.
javabeans: Then he gets to the water and is all, “Uh… it’s water. Why did I come down.” And then he has to figure out how to get back UP, only now the whole climbing thing seems a lot less fun than it did twenty minutes ago.
girlfriday: Gu halbae suggests that Na PD send the helicam down there to get the money shot, and Na PD retorts that they didn’t bring the helicam to shoot Seo-jin. Heh, still a little pissy about the bridge, are we? Instead he makes a music video in post, called “Are You Crazy.”
javabeans: Afterward, Gu halbae goes in search of ice cream (they’re addicts by now) and a Taiwanese woman comes up to say in English, “I know you. Movie star.” She shows him a clip on her tablet, and it’s Hundred Year Inheritance, which Gu halbae was in. That’s cute.
girlfriday: She’s all, “You’re the noodle shop grandpa!” Meanwhile, Seo-jin climbs into the bus and goes down the mountain for a while with Na PD, only to realize that the halbaes didn’t beat him down, and so he has to walk all the way back up to get them (and pay for their ice cream, naturally).
javabeans: The funnysad thing about this is how the halbaes are oblivious to all the hustling he’s doing, and sit there wondering, “What’s taking him so long? Is he doing something?” So they board the bus all together this time, snacking on the fruit they’ve picked up at a stand along the way, all of which looks delicious. There’s this wordless sequence that starts out sort of randomly, but becomes funnier and funnier as it progresses. The audio PD is offered a piece of mango, takes it happily, then realizes it’s the seed and has to suck on that thing in disappointment. One of the other PDs sees him and offers up a piece of her batch, and then Seo-jin notices that this guy likes to snack and offers him a whole package of mango. I love how perceptive Seo-jin is, stepping in to fill voids and be helpful.
girlfriday: He really is on auto-pilot for that stuff ever since traveling with the halbaes. Na PD tells Soon-jae halbae that the audio PD (the same guy from 1N2D) is only a year older than Seo-jin, just for the lulz. Soon-jae halbae says being a father will do that to you, not at all denying that he looks much older, heh. After hours of travel back to Taipei, Na PD puts them up in the super fancy hotel that he’d pointed out the other day (to which Seo-jin had scoffed that he was showing him stuff he couldn’t have).
javabeans: It’s funny how Na PD will spring for stuff like that, but not until you’ve suffered. I guess the rest of the trip won’t have that certain pressure if you tell them off the bat that you’ve got a luxury stay sending you off. In the morning Soon-jae halbae is the one to leave, and Seo-jin bolts out of bed to see him off. He’s on auto-pilot for this too, still half-asleep while his body carries him downstairs.
girlfriday: Aw, I hate it when the halbaes have to leave one by one. Now it’s just Seo-jin and Gu halbae left on the last day. There’s a really cute moment when Gu halbae randomly calls a friend during morning coffee just to brag about the fancy hotel he’s at.
javabeans: They pack their bags and head off to do a little last touring before heading home too, and in the car ride Gu halbae shares that he was 39 when he got married and starts giving advice about marriage. You can literally see the moment where Seo-jin prepares himself for the familiar old talk, all but clenching his teeth and slapping on a smile. God don’t we know that feeling.
girlfriday: Has Seo-jin literally had this talk four times over with all four halbaes now?
javabeans: He totally has. It’s both funny and sweet.
girlfriday: They stop when they see a place where people are flying those wish-kite-balloons and buy a set to send up.
javabeans: Aw, they start writing wishes for the other halbaes too, like how Soon-jae halbae should mix a little relaxation in with his work, and Geun-hyung halbae can cut down on some of the disgustingly cutesy lovey talk (that’s Seo-jin’s note), and how Il-sub halbae should reduce his smoking (Gu halbae says he would’ve written drinking, but recognizes that it’s a bit of the pot calling kettle black).
girlfriday: They’re so cute. Seo-jin writes for Soon-jae halbae to walk a little slower, and asks Il-sub halbae to walk a little faster.
javabeans: I love Seo-jin’s wishes, because they’re the total opposite of what you’d usually wish for, those general hopes for health and happiness, and instead are very specific and mundane.
girlfriday: His wish for Gu halbae: “One bottle a day!”
javabeans: In response, Gu halbae writes, “Please help our Seo-jinnie get married!”
girlfriday: They light their balloons and send them up with smiles and warm fuzzies, and then as we close out the Taiwan trip, suddenly the music gets ominous. Someone writes on a balloon: “Until Episode 200, I will be your luggage boy. -Lee Seo-jin.” Zoom out to Na PD with paintbrush in hand and evil grin on his face. Muahaha.
javabeans: So we’re done with the Taiwan trip, but the show has two more episodes left in this season, which’ll be made up of previously unbroadcast scenes and B-sides. Normally I’d wonder if we’d really need a “director’s cut” version of a reality show, but it looks like there is plenty of footage from both the Europe trip and this Taiwan one, which should make for fun.
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 11
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 10
- Lee Seung-gi to be Na PD’s next luggage boy
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 9
- 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: Episode 2
- Grandpas Over Flowers: Episode 1