Sitcoms/Variety Shows
Grandpas Over Flowers in Spain: Episode 7
by | April 29, 2014 | 44 Comments

EPISODE 7. Broadcast on April 25, 2014.

javabeans: The group embarks on the final leg of their tour of Spain, heading to Madrid. It’s a crowded ride in the subway with their luggage, but Seo-jin earns his title (well, one of his many titles) by watching out for everyone’s bags and doing some heavy lifting.

girlfriday: Once they get out of the subway station with their luggage in tow, Seo-jin leads the way to their lodgings by following the navigation on his phone. It seemingly only takes him a minute though, and he stops in front of a swanky hotel. That can’t be right.

javabeans: Na PD tells the group that because they’ve suffered so much on this trip, the production is booking them a special gift for their last stay, and when we get to the place, let’s just say it has the words “grand luxe” in it.

girlfriday: Guess it pays to take a sleeper car made for sardines when the reward is this nice.

javabeans: They settle into their swanky rooms, then head down to dinner. Where Na PD (of course!) tells them, “Since we paid for the room, you can buy good food with your allowance.” And then Seo-jin takes that one step further, offering to treat the whole group, including the crew, with his personal funds. Cue: Na PD ordering steaks.

girlfriday: Hahaha.

javabeans: Seo-jin quips that he’s sure going all out, and shameless Na PD says, “If I get to order on someone else’s dime, I’m unstoppable.” He orders paella, steak, and salad, and when someone mentions soup he’s all, “Soup? Okay, that too.”

girlfriday: It’s so cute how eager he is to spend Seo-jin’s money. Though really, I think I would be as happy as Seo-jin is to be allowed to spend my own money instead of being careful about sticking to a production budget.

javabeans: I know, it’s like, “I can spend five bucks of your money and eat peanuts, or I can pay for my own gourmet meal? FEAST PLEASE.”

girlfriday: Right? I’d be doing that every night. But then I guess you can’t do that every night because you derail the show and its rules. Na PD is really going to town — there are multiple courses, and a pitcher of sangria arrives. Seo-jin explains to the halbaes: “It’s like juice.” Listen, that’s going to get you into trouble.

javabeans: Soon-jae halbae isn’t a big drinker, so I find it really cute when he gets a tiny taste first, and then is all, “Ooh.” *Holds out glass for more*

girlfriday: Isn’t it funny how the whole group cheers, like they finally discovered the drink that Soon-jae halbae likes?

javabeans: Na PD tells the group that they’ll each get their individual free time to do whatever they like. They’d had free time before but went off in a group, so I guess they’re encouraging each halbae to do his own thing. Seo-jin probably knows Soon-jae halbae’s tastes by now because he tells him where the Prado museum is, and Soon-jae halbae immediately starts poring over his guidebook once he’s alone, readying to go out. The show cuts in the Barcelona footage where they got hopelessly lost, as though he’s afraid of losing his way again.

girlfriday: But Seo-jin is so on the ball that he wakes up and goes to Soon-jae halbae’s room and offers to walk him to the museum first thing in the morning. It’s impressive that he knows how stressed Soon-jae halbae is about getting lost after Barcelona (when he wasn’t even there) and thinks to preempt all that.

javabeans: As they head out, the show points out their matching footsteps and how carefully Seo-jin looks after him and how he described Soon-jae halbae as a fatherly figure to him (and saying, “If it’s Teacher Soon-jae, I could travel anywhere with him, even all around the world”). They’re both thoughtful and stoic so they don’t speak much, but they seem to get each other.

girlfriday: With them there’s zero awkwardness, like a real father-son pair. It’s cute that when the PDs ask Soon-jae halbae about Seo-jin having a particular attachment to him, he laughs that it’ll hurt the others’ feelings.

javabeans: Seo-jin makes sure to usher him to the Prado and buys his ticket for him, and then the camera has to fade out since it’s not allowed inside. We see the other halbaes heading out on their solo adventures, and Geun-hyung halbae and Il-sub halbae both head for the museum, on their own. I kind of like that this format lets them go separately though, because there’s no stress of waiting for someone or trying to hurry when you really want to linger. Museums are made for solo trips, in my book.

girlfriday: Yeah it’s actually surprising how much they manage to do as a group because by the second day of a trip I’d be running off to do something on my own. I suppose that’s why we always see Seo-jin hiding in the staff room or sneaking solo breakfasts when he can. Geun-hyung halbae spends his day taking lots of pictures as usual, and then gets a little sad when a staffer mentions that it’s his last day (he has to leave a day early). He says this trip in particular really flew by.

javabeans: Seo-jin enjoys wandering the city at his own pace, just walking, walking, walking. Asked later which city was most memorable, he says Madrid because he got to see it on his own. I’m thinking he barely even remembers the other cities when he was mostly seized with panic over what to eat for dinner or how to get to the hotel.

girlfriday: Yeah it’s the first time he seems to be enjoying himself without thinking about what comes next.

javabeans: Ha, then he steps aside to go shopping for a thicker coat, not having brought one, and we get a montage of him pronouncing the clothes either too much or too stuffy or too this-and-that. Asked about his fashion taste, he says he likes things simple, unobtrusive, and well-fit. I bet his taste is also super expensive. Only the best!

girlfriday: Guys like him are the worst when you go shopping, because it literally has to be PERFECT, and they claim to not be picky while turning down every option. I love how he says it like it’s so obvious, I just want it to be perfectly tailored to my body. Is that hard?

javabeans: Don’t you love how he tells his VJ outside the store, “I will be ONE minute” and then leads him around for (seemingly) forever? He finally finds something he likes, and the show does this hilarrrrrrious split-screen with “The old one vs. the new one” which are virtually the same thing.

girlfriday: Pwahaha, and you know he dropped a bunch of money on it too. But he seems mighty pleased with himself.

javabeans: Soon-jae halbae gets on the topic of For Whom the Bell Tolls, which is set during the Spanish Civil War. He has a funny story about that movie, saying that when he was in his third year at university he went on a date with this girl, and she invited him to see this movie. “But the movie’s quite long,” he says, which already makes me laugh. Halfway through it he got a stomachache, so he stuck it out and then had to make up an excuse about having to run to another thing (so that he could rush to a bathroom), and that was the last he ever saw of her.

girlfriday: Aw, that could be a movie in and of itself.

javabeans: It’s so sad! It’s one of those things that you could think of independently of your happy life now, just always feeling that pang for what could have been, even if what ended up to be was great.

girlfriday: I know, all wistful and romantic. The details really add to the story too, like how he says it was snowing really hard that day.

javabeans: I want for that grandma to hear this story and think, “Aw, so he didn’t dislike me! Sigh…”

girlfriday: See, now that’s the kind of first love story I’d like to see dramatized. Gu halbae goes out on the town and enjoys the sights for a bit before finding a music store, where he asks a clerk for the CD section of traditional Spanish music. I don’t know what’s cuter, that he’s spending his day music-shopping, or that he stops to take a selca with his purchase.

javabeans: It’s interesting to see how each person’s approach differs, even when what they’re doing is similar. Like, Geun-hyung halbae is going to remember his Spain trip by looking through all his photographs, and Gu halbae is going to remember it by listening to his new flamenco CDs.

girlfriday: Gu halbae takes a liking to the street performers, and stops to take pictures with them. Meanwhile, Il-sub halbae wanders to the market square and finds an endless array of delicious foods on display.

javabeans: We pick up with Soon-jae halbae as he’s making his way to the Don Quixote statue, and we see in flashbacks that he’s super interested in seeing Don Quixote’s birthplace and taking a picture there.

girlfriday: It’s so heartfelt, the way he genuinely lights up when he gets to the statue. And then he says that he played Don Quixote on the stage for two years, which explains why the character is especially near and dear.

javabeans: Aw, thinking of him as that particular character is sad and poignant, for some reason, all out of touch but idealistic.

girlfriday: It’s perfect for him. He talks a little bit about acting, and he says that anybody can become a star, but a true actor is someone who does that job for a lifetime, whether he’s twenty or seventy. I know Lee Soon-jae has been known to say divisive things about acting before, but you can’t argue with a lifetime devoted to one craft.

javabeans: Gu halbae wanders into a cafe for a cup of coffee, and surprises his guide by bringing him forward to have a seat and chat with him, and asks him about his life here in Madrid and general things about life and learning. Everyone seems to be in a philosophical mood tonight.

girlfriday: Or maybe that’s just the default mode when you’re a halbae, and it’s only being around each other that makes them little kids.

javabeans: Ha, Il-sub halbae takes his crew to a restaurant for snacks, and tells the camera, “Na PD, I’M buying this! …because I’ve run out of money.” Cute. And then Geun-hyung halbae wanders into the official store for Real Madrid (soccer team), and decides to buy two jerseys as gifts. Aw, one is for his own son, and the other is for his drama son Lee Sang-yub (Would You Give Love Away, which wrapped a month ago). That’s so cute.

girlfriday: Best drama dad ever.

javabeans: Isn’t it funny how now I automatically think Lee Sang-yub must be awesome in real life, if Geun-hyung halbae is going to buy him gifts when they’re not even working together anymore? I mean, it’s not like he’s buying his whole drama cast jerseys.

girlfriday: Right? It’s like instant street cred. Meanwhile, Seo-jin goes out for tapas and more sangria (my kind of night), and his crew starts asking him about his ideal woman.

javabeans: Haha, he must be in a good mood if he’s answering honestly. It’s not the sangria since he’s not even into his glass yet, but he says he likes short and chubby women (“with a bit of a belly, I like that”), with bright and funny personalities. Ha, not what I would have guessed. Then the check comes, and apparently his crew feels kinda bad that it was so expensive that they offer to split the cost. Seo-jin says, “If you don’t tell [Na] Young-seok, shall I tell you a secret?” We cut to Na PD’s sneaky airport contract stunt regarding the reduced budget…

girlfriday: It turns into this whole detectivey flashback sequence, where we watch as Geun-hyung halbae calls Seo-jinnie right away to tattle on Na PD scamming them out of money (in itself awesome), but they’re immediately put at ease when Seo-jin replies that they shouldn’t worry about money and just eat and drink delicious things until he joins them. Hm, what secret weapon DO you have?

javabeans: He tells his producer that they always have some sort of blind spot, and this time, he fortified his wallet with his personal cash (a thousand bucks!!) so that he could just use it freely, without worrying about maxing out their small budget.

girlfriday: LOL. It’s brilliant.

javabeans: In fact, it’s so genius-simple that you wonder, why did Na PD NOT see this as a possibility?

girlfriday: Maybe he’s enough of a cheapskate that it wouldn’t occur to him as a desirable option?

javabeans: Oh, but he’s been shrewd about it! He says that if he uses too much money too freely, that would invite suspicion, so he’s been making it a point to complain about being broke all the time.

girlfriday: Omg, he IS a con man! This so makes up for Na PD conning Soon-jae halbae in the first place.

javabeans: Now we revisit the moment that Na PD rifled through his wallet and noticed that he had more cash than he mathematically should, and this time instead of being outraged, Seo-jin was actually nervous about being caught. LOL.

girlfriday: And then we see the smirky laugh that Na PD gave when he got extra money out of Seo-jin at the train station… followed by Seo-jin’s secret smirk behind his back because Na PD didn’t know the REAL-real truth about where that money came from. It cracks me up, the constant gaming, but I love that Seo-jin gets the actual last laugh.

javabeans: Na PD soooo deserved this for trying to make them suffer extra with less money.

girlfriday: There’s a funny little sequence where none of the halbaes can figure out how to turn the lights out in their hotel rooms, and spend the whole night futzing with the switches to no avail. Gu halbae gets a Godfather moment (he’s sitting in the dark in a bathrobe for no apparent reason), and Soon-jae halbae seems a little jealous that he doesn’t have a bathrobe too.

javabeans: Geun-hyung halbae has to leave the next morning to fly back home, and Gu halbae and Soon-jae halbae come down early to eat breakfast with him. They devour lots of bread, and then we see Seo-jinnie emerging from his room, looking like the dead but ready to resume luggage transporting duties. He is so not a morning person.

girlfriday: This is why I like him (among a zillion other reasons) — he’s so pretty, but he’s not so vain that he won’t drag his ass out of bed looking like a zombie.

javabeans: As the other halbaes wait to head out, the head writer says she has lots of autographs to get (from the halbaes), but Gu halbae just looks at her blankly, as though saying, Autographs? Whose autographs? She makes specific requests, such as wishing one student to study hard, or telling a girl with monolids not to get eyelid surgery because she won’t listen when people tell her not to (“But I think if you say something, she might listen”). Cute. Omg, then there’s one where the writer asks Soon-jae halbae to tell a dieting kid to eat less and be really harsh about it, and then he writes, “Eon-joo! Eat whatever you want!” I love him.

girlfriday: He’s so awesome. Today the group gets a comfy guided tour by van, so all they have to do is sit back and listen to the guide tell them about the sights. It’s amusing to watch his face as he realizes that half the group isn’t listening at any given time, which means he basically has to repeat everything.

javabeans: But then Soon-jae halbae starts quizzing him, and I love the gleeful look on his face when he stumps the guide, who wasn’t expecting questions like who was Queen Isabel the daughter to. The halbaes start asking questions, and I swear you can see the guide gulping a little, hoping he can answer them.

girlfriday: They get out of the car to walk around, and before they can get to the heavy hiking, Il-sub halbae parks himself in a cafe. He worries about Soon-jae halbae, who’s been battling a cold this whole time. We see that he’s been quietly taking meds and going to bed early, and maybe just a bit less energetic than usual.

javabeans: You get the feeling he must be hurting because when told about a particular sight, he actually starts to walk away for a second (declining the chance) before changing his mind, and you know he’d never miss out on a sight if he were feeling well.

girlfriday: I know, it actually worries me. But he sticks to his guns and pushes through it, deciding that he’d rather see one more sight and not waste the opportunity. So he joins them for the walk, and I love how Gu halbae and Soon-jae halbae look more and more like twins every day of this trip, especially now as they walk side by side.

javabeans: Oh that’s true! I was thinking just buddies, but they’re similar in height and shape and walk the same way. We get a tease of the soccer game that’ll cap off the night… and then the “unending Na PD vs Seo-jinnie battle.” Over dinner, Seo-jin repeats what he said about there being blind spots in the production, only this time it’s in front of Na PD and the writer. Them’s fighting words.


44 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. xxvxx

    I’m sorry, I was halfway reading and I stumbled unto the part where Seojinnie talks about his ideal woman.

    Oppa (or Ahjussi – really), I’m kinda short and not that fat but I do have some meat on me, I think we’re perfect together- CAN WE GET MARRIED????????

    • 1.1 Rashell

      Now wait a minute. I’m perfect. 5’2″ and after a couple kids I definitely have that belly he’s looking for. Plus at 35, I’m in the right age range too. I’m sure my husband will totally understand when I hop a flight to Korea in search of Seo Jinnie Oppa. So don’t start printing those invitations just yet. 😉

      • 1.1.1 pabo ceo reom

        Haha I totally didn’t expect that answer from him! Judging from his previous girlfriends, I can’t decide if he really means it though 😛

        • Gidget

          Probably not. He seems to have a pretty dry sense of humor.

          Methinks the comment was pure fan service for all the ajummas watching his weekend drama.

          He cracks me up.

        • Gidget

          Buuuuuut, then again…Didn’t Joo Won say something similar?

          What the heck. Let’s just think he was being serious. 🙂

        • Aigoooo

          Smart man.. He knows his fan base well. lol

  2. Gidget

    Just love these guys. Kinda getting sad thinking there’s only one episode left.

    And, Mr. ‘I’ll-spend-my-entire-free-time-in-Madrid-walking-around-looking-stylish-and-shopping-for-a-perfect-fitting-new-coat’ later saying ‘Ideal type? I-don’t-care-what-the-face-looks-like-but-I-do-like-’em-short-n-chubby’. LOL. There’s a riddle for ya’.

  3. Rashell

    I’m totally Seo Jinnie’s ideal woman. I’m sure my husband will understand when I hop a flight to Korea. 😉

    Seriously, I just find him so adorable. Anyone that can pull one over on Na PD get’s extra love from me. Plus those dimples and the ability to stay calm in any situation. LOVE HIM!!

    This show is so sweet. I just want to adopt all the halbaes. So cute.

  4. topper

    They are all so awesome.

  5. mcdoudle

    hahaha sooo great!
    wish seo jin ssi will find his ideal woman as soon as possible

    thanks jb & gf I enjoy reading you recaps

  6. macklemore

    This episode just made me so happy and warm, the way the first season did. Best ep of the season I’d say. I’m sorry to say that I’ve been so disappointed with this season after being SO excited. I think Na PD made a rare creative misstep in choosing what to show vs what not to show, and shifting the concept, and in the end it basically became 70% Seo Jin and only 20% halbaes and though the ratings didn’t suffer, I’m thinking the halbaes will be a bit confused when they watch this season because they basically became background characters like luggage.

    This ep had everything that’s been missing this season that made everyone fall in love with it in the beginning: Great locations, grandpa reactions, grandpa journeys, grandpa interviews and stories, funny moments and genuine bonding. I seriously felt like crying when Geun hyung halbae was sad about leaving or when Gu halbae was talking about how traval makes you experience life through new lens and how happy this trip made him.

    There were so many scenes that were shown in the previews that didn’t make the final cut like Seo Jin talking about the grandpas, eating icecream together, in favour of endless car troubles and cooking. Even in this ep they cut off at them going into the castle, and instead the editing only chooses to show it in flashbacks and it really left me wanting more. It’s really those quiet character moments that make the most impact. The halbaes have so much life and story to show and tell, I think it’s a shame to not use that to the fullest.

    I luff Soon Jae halbae. Honestly, he was a bit more subdued but you really didn’t realise it fully until they showed it this ep because he was still himself; not making a fuss and taking every opportunity to learn and appreciate the trip to the fullest. We can only wish that we will be like him when we’re older: curious and still full of energy and passion to learn and not assume you know everything.

    I was reading the last recaps comments on Il Sub halbae and while I like him, I can see where the criticisms came from. I just shrugged him off as having a bad leg and not really made for travelling, but in Korea, you’re supposed to defer to your elders on how to act. The whole baby routine doesn’t really cut it at his age and so when he was throwing tantrums and telling off Seo Jin about the most basic thing in travel which is walking, when you compare that how Soon Jae halbae was, you can get taken aback. Soon Jae halbae had every right to complain and try to cut down the schedule because it was so vigorous and he was sick but he took the mentality of you’re there already, might as well enjoy it, and Il Sub halbae doesn’t do anything to help out his hyungs and instead he makes it harder on them and drags them down by complaining and nitpicking. People mentioned his indifference to the country and culture and he only goes places to get food and I didn’t notice it but in this ep I could see that was true. He just went…

    • 6.1 macklemore

      He just went to go eat when all the others actually went to go immerse and explore the city. Only time he got excited was when the Korean song played and he mistaken called Spain Italy and I cringed. I agree he isn’t compatible with the concept of the show but I don’t think he’s going anywhere so we just have to accept that he isn’t going to change.

      Gu Halbae was totally the VIP this season! He was just so happy and grateful to be there and so it made me happy to watch him. His blossomed friendship with Soon Jae halbae is the actual cutest.

      Question, is this the last season of GOF? There was an awful lot of finality in this ep and while I had my issues with the footage, I don’t want it to enddd. Please Na PD give my halbaes more trips!!

  7. Juliesean

    Noooo….. Not the last season!!! I need more halbaes and genie. I’m in tears because I can’t find any English subbed episodes, only Chinese subbed ones which are so difficult to read since my knowledge in Chinese is only elementary level. Why isn’t it subbed since it’s so popular?

    • 7.1 Emily J

      I’m watching Grandpas Over Flowers on Hulu with English subs. The Spain trip is Grandpas Over Flowers 2.

  8. divyrus

    This is one of the very few episodes where reading the recaps is not enough !
    I just wanna see it !

  9. enZ

    I have not watched ANY Of this show. why isn’t it subbed?? :(. thanks for he recaps. I love reading them

  10. 10 Robin

    I have to sadly realize that while I meet two of Seo-jinnie’s criteria, there are other obstacles to our love match , so I will be content to offer to adopt him and help him find a good woman and be an adoring grandma to their children!

    This show has gone a long way to reveal some pretty intriguing insights into the characters of each of these men. When Seo-jin was the invited friend of Lee Seung-gi on the friends episode of 1N2D a few seasons ago it seemed surprising because of their age gap – but when you see the bond that Seo-jin has with Soon-jae halbae and Seung-gi gets compared to Soon-jae, there’s a perfect symmetry to that equation.

    I’ll confess to being irritated with Il-sub halbae because he is a burden and makes no sincere apology for it. It’s almost as if they needed to cast a “villain” (though that may seem a harsh term) for the reality mix; some little “fly in the ointment” to complicate the action. Well, they succeeded. I know that if I were Seo-jin I’d have quietly slipped him a massive dose of laxatives whenever he could so Il-sub halbae would be chained to the hotel and the others could freely explore.

    Oh wait! Did Seo-jinnie say anything about his perfect woman having a slightly nasty/”playful” streak? Maybe not, then. But I’d think about it!

    • 10.1 Wanderlusterer

      I wouldn’t go so far as to say he’s the villain but he certainly is the main issue for the cast and crew and the nice thing is that they make no apology for it, the editing plays up his bad points to a tee. They cast 4 halbaes that were friends and I don’t think anyone knew how difficult Il sun halbae was going to be but it makes for Seo Jin suffering so that was good enough for Na PD.

      Villains are outright evil and bad, Il Sub halbae I’d say is worse in that hes the type of person you can find everywhere, from your friends and family to political leaders: narrow minded, pig headed, stubborn, selfish and with a bad attitude to boot. Yes he is cute and cuddly when he’s happy but even then he is still completely uninterested and sometimes outright dismissive of this whole experience. The true test of character is not how you are during good times, it’s how you deal with bad times.

      When they ask him to reflect and comment he gives a superficial meaningless answer that clearly shows that the whole concept of the show and travelling and discovering new things and places and growing as a person was lost on him. They asked him to make a comment about the stone bridge they saw this ep and he said something really rude and offensive.

      He lost me during season 1 and thankfully season 2 was bearable because there was Sunny and he went home early but this season I actually get annoyed when he comes on screen and angry when he makes more ignorant comments and when he complains about the simplest things and make the other halbaes have to placate him and give in to him. His bad attitude to things really brings the feel good factor of the show down when they show him sitting down and uninterested, wanting to go home and demanding soju and Korean food.

      I really don’t want him to come back if there’s another season, it really isn’t a loss to anybody because he doesn’t even like travelling, the halbaes would miss him but they’d be able to go more places and experience more things without having to worry about him and honestly it’s clear that he’s not as popular as the other halbaes who are so amazing and in turn make his actions look even worse. Safe to say this show did him more harm than good.

      • 10.1.1 San

        Reality shows also require dramas to stay afloat. There is always one difficult judge in shows like Dancing with the Stars. Maybe Il Sub halbae was asked to be a difficult person on the show, to add varieties and colours. He’s so teddy bear that I would soon forget his tantrums. I think the mix is very well done. Comparing differences in personalties aide discussions. And viewers tuned in for so many different reasons.

        I have tremendously enjoyed all three seasons and hope for Season 4 would just be round the corner. Totally loving the Grandpas. I hope they all also enjoyed being on the show. And yes agreed with all the fans, Seo Jin is very husband material indeed, must say he is looking very stylish this season.

        Thank you DB and GF for all the fun recaps. You have brought back my interest in reading.

      • 10.1.2 AnotherFan

        So well said about Il Sub halbae. I don’t have much more to add but just one thing – it strikes me that he may just be a pretty shallow person. He might not be just a disinterested party in the whole experience. He could just be disinterested in most life experiences with his top priorities centered around soju/(Korean) food/physical comfort. Anything else is not so relevant and he’s just a casual bystander, well until his physical comfort is challenged and then he could become a bully.

        I am actually sad to see this character of his and even to say this on public forum. I loved him in La Dolce Vita and was marveling at his awesome and sophisticated performance. It’s mind-boggling to me that such a shallow personality can bring such powerful performances on screen.

      • 10.1.3 Gidget

        Since the last episode I’ve asked myself ‘where’s the common ground for appreciating ALL the cast members of this show?’

        *In the last DB podcast there was a weary sounding comment, saying that sometimes the comment sections feel like people ‘arguing in my living room’. I don’t want to take the fun out of recapping this show. Where would we all be without them?*

        I have to remind myself not to lose sight of the fact that even ‘reality’ shows are – to a certain degree – scripted. Watching a bunch of actors on a leisurely trip would be boring. There have to be elements built-in that naturally create dramatic tension. Part of that is created by the scenarios and their rules. Part is created by the cast members the PD chooses.

        Na PD chose to cast each person for a synergistic reason. Each one, based on a calculated guess about the dynamics their personality would create. When I stopped to really think about it, I saw that Il Sub is a goldmine of possibilities.

        Angle #1: He seems to have a bit of mischievous irreverence in his personality. Overall, I think his role is to periodically add uncertainty and ‘stir the pot’.

        Angle #2: We all can relate to the fact that people we know become fixed in their ways as they age. And if their curiosity wanes, they also become disinterested in things that aren’t familiar. He brings this aspect of aging to the show. But rather than seeming like an old curmudgeon, he has the ability to do it in an endearingly patriotic way. Home is a happy place for him.

        Angle #3: There is no morally mandated ‘right’ way to travel. Roughly speaking, there are two categories of travelers: 1) those who want to go to famous places, take a tour and snap a few selfies to show to friends back home; and 2) those who want to exercise a deeper curiosity by exploring the less-beaten paths and absorbing the culture. He is type #1 traveling with (perhaps) one #1.25, one #1.75 and two #2s. These traveling styles are inherently at-odds if the group MUST stay together.

        Angle #4: When people age they develop infirmity-related limitations, which can be burdensome to traveling companions. Check.

        Angle #5: His role is a fun paradox. What do you do with a naughty rebel-maknae who’s also a famous and successful haraboji? Correct him? Take care of him? Expect obedience? Cater to him like a star?

        • Viva

          I don’t think we are arguing as so much discussing a character just like we do with a drama.

          I think it was made clear in the last ep comments that it wasn’t his travelling style it was his attitude. We already established he only sits to not stand, and ofcourse he is gna people watch and make comments, what else does he have to do when he refuses to go anywhere and walk? So technically his travelling style is sitting, and walking to find food, the end. That they happen to be in another country is secondary to that goal or irrelevant. Na pd said first and foremost they needed to be friends and this isn’t an idol or actor cast where they care about their image. How can it be scripted when they go ages without talking and it’s been made clear no one can order around Il Sub halbae so I am 100% doubtful he was told to play a character. The hyungs have made reference to how petulant he is when he doesn’t get his way so obviously this is just his personality. While that is understandable it’s not exactly likable and that’s why viewers have trouble connecting with him and I think that’s founded. It isn’t his leg either, When they go to touristy sites and he parks himself down he just straight up zones out and other times demands to go home or just asks what’s for dinner and soju. though I have always liked him I feel lots of the criticism coming towards him is fair. I get that he is old but the whole point of travel is that you open your mind and understanding of the world and appreciate that there are things bigger than yourself and the beauty of differences. He was not only not not interested 95% of the time, and dismissive 70% of the time, he was outright outspoken that the differences did not come up to par with Korea. They all love Korea, halbaes in general are very patriotic but no one else brings it up as often as he does simply because he has already decided the country isn’t as good as Korea and closed himself off. Travel in theory should really be most beneficial for him so he can get out more and change some of his limited thinking because you can’t change like the sleeper car because lets face it, soon jae halbae will always be perfect in any situation so while he loves these trips, he would continue to be open and curious to learn wherever he goes.

          We can’t change him but that doesn’t mean that some of his behavior doesn’t deserve being called out on. That comment he made when asked about the last location really irked me too and when he called Spain Italy. When I saw he knew that soon Hal bae was sick the whole time I felt even less sympathetic for him. He didnt help out at all and still complained at every turn. His hyungs all take care of him but all he does in turn is take issue or make fun of their desire to see so many things.

          I was hoping the trips would change him in that he’d find something so cool that he’d be excited beyond not having to walk but it’s a shame that he’s unappreciative of this great…

          • Gidget

            You’re right. Nobody is arguing. Apologies if it seemed like I was insinuating that.

            One of the great things about DB is there are a lot of smart people exchanging interesting perspectives. My comment wasn’t meant to suggest we should censor anyone’s opinions if they don’t agree with the recap.

            What I’m really thinking of is when critique, however constructive or valid, keeps covering the same points from week to week. I think it’s that aspect which sometimes makes the comment section feel tonally like a downer, rather than a lively discussion of what happened in that week’s episode. 🙂

          • loveisontheradio

            Sorry to say it is because his actions keep on showing every episode his general disinterest and sometimes outright disregard for the country and culture.

            I haven’t commented even though I too find him hard to watch. The comments I see have specific examples from the episode and if it sounds like the points are being rehashed it means his actions are continuing to alienate some and/or others are catching on that his attitude is just not a good one for travel in general.

            Lots of international viewers watch GOF, and actually I’d say most don’t know the halbaes well at all except for Soon Jae halbae. I’d never heard of the other halbaes or seen their movies or dramas but I tuned in since season 1 because of the recaps and started watching it raw, so my perspective was a fresh noob one and I took to the grandpas based on how they were on the show and fell in love with all three excluding Il Sub halbae because of how he reacts when something doesn’t go his way.

            Solution is that I just skim or skip through his parts because he never says anything of depth, most of his comments are shallow or uninterested and I know that he is going to be either sitting, drinking or eating because nothing much about travelling appeals to him so he doesn’t offer me much in terms of enjoyment when watching.

          • paintthesilence

            I’ve seen the comments on Il Sub halbae and though they seem repetitive, I’m guessing it’s only because so many people are feeling the same way while watching him. It is true that if you think about his words or actions they reveal deeper insights to his character and attitude people are having problems with. Case in point this ep:

            1. Only went to go find food and drink once again when had free time = uninterested in anything that has to do with travelling and the country, doesn’t make an effort to broaden his horizons or find something that might interest him beyond his basic needs.

            2. Called Spain “Italy”. – Echoes earlier mistake with calling Germany France. Shows that he doesn’t care where he is, it’s all the same to him.

            3. Most reaction he showed all season was to the Korean song playing – shows that nothing will ever come before Korea and pales in comparison.

            3. Didn’t wake up to see Geun Hyung off – I think this is a bit petty but it made me think back to all the times he made it hard for his hyungs by making a scene and complaining, dragging them down by being a burden for the simplest things, even though he does nothing to help out. He just sat the whole time for his free time so theoretically he should be the least tired yet he still didn’t manage to get up. He just never caters to them at all when he should as maknae. At least he felt bad about it.

            3. Didn’t try to listen to the guide when he was talking directly to him just made non committed sounds – disinterest in culture and history

            4. Parked himself at the cafe yet again at the last location at the rock bridge- didn’t make any attempt to appreciate or explore – again disinterest in any aspect of travelling

            5. Knew Soon Jae halbae was sick the whole time – but didn’t try to make it easier for him or help him out or take cues from his hyung who was sick but never complained and still tried to enjoy everything. Kind of disrespect and selfish.

            6. Asked to make a comment about the aqueduct- his reply: “What? oh The rock? They went through crap to make this.” – this really rubbed me the wrong way, his tone and the comment. It was really disrespectful to just call it a stone and imply that it was worthless to go through all that hardship to make some “rocks”.

            That’s just in the ep. Look at every other ep and think about his attitude and actions and you’ll see he shouldn’t have accepted the show and kept coming back if he was just going to be like that.

        • sammi

          I find myself appreciating him this season, and I both love and hate on him as a character.

          The thing is, DB and GF made a bold assumption about why people didn’t like Il-Sub grandpa in the previous recap. Well, they best expect that the viewers are going to challenge them on it–respectfully, of course. We are discerning viewers and readers and are capable of forming equally valid opinions of our own. As a side note, there are arguments in their living room because they invited us in to do so. Yes, they bet their bottom dollar that it’s also the comment section that put them on the map in this community. Some of the most insightful observations and funniest commentaries came from the comment sections after all. 🙂

          I happen to agree with you that reality shows are scripted and the cast is carefully selected and crafted by the director and writers. But this is why he’s scrutinize as a character. If this is a documentary about him, we’d be more sympathetic to him as a person because we’re just observing him as he is and what makes him this way.

          Bottom line, though, I think Il-Sub grandpa has broaden his horizons through this experience, even if the change is minuscule. I think he did his job representing the stubborn and wary traveler who still gain something very precious despite all of the trouble of traveling in the first place.

      • 10.1.4 Gidget

        And about what seemed like Il Sub’s mis-steps:
        All the cast members have to go with the flow and follow the show’s creative direction. And when that involves taking risks, they have to trust that Na PD will protect their image through the editing process. For instance, it seems SJ had a scripted conflict that involved being tricksy. But NaPD showed the audience up-front that there are times where he asks SJ to be this way.

        Part of NaPD’s ‘evil-genius’ is the things he’ll do to keep a cast member off-balance, and thus entertaining to watch. IS rebuking SJ for being dishonest seemed too strong (and thus scripted.) My thought was that it was intended to disrupt SJ’s initial calm and collected state of being. The payoff was an endearing segment where SJ spent an evening silently drinking with IS. Seemingly in-part to give him companionship during a difficult time, and in-part to mend the relationship.

        Personally, I think NaPD has done a great job putting the pieces together. It’s been fun watching all the dynamics play-out.

  11. 11 Zill

    I love “re-watching” the episode by your recaps!
    In this episode, when Gu halbae walked around the streets to see the street performers, I thought the editing there with “Mystery!” music & genre was hilarious. It really showed one of Na PD’s editing genius of picking up a small thread of narrative to make it intriguing/refreshing tonally.

    As far as Ilsub halbae, I really do think it’s his health/legs that made the trip more painful for him than any ‘drama-making’ on editing or viewers’ side. He really enjoyed his carriage tour – biggest selling point: not walking. He enjoyed the atmosphere & people watching when they had wine @ cafe at night, and key point: he was sitting down. Some people are just less active =\. It’s not the best or most flattering portrayal; he doesn’t get the “cute” cuts like Soonjae halbae or Gu hyung-halbae, but he is who he is and he as the maknae put up with as much as he could. (in any other situation, he’d be the eldest & wouldn’t forgo ANY of his comforts, you know?).

    • 11.1 Donnerkebab

      I’d say not sitting is his biggest selling point because you know if he had walk a long time to get to those locations he would have been complaining. Even in a car for the horse trip I don’t think he would have been interested, it was really the horse that he was excited about. The problem is that the biggest selling point should not be the walking and it is because he’s not interested at all in the country or culture and people understandably took issue with that because hey, you did agree to a travel show and you’re getting paid for it and accommodated in every way.

      Travel is about compromising and getting out of your comfort zone but in that sense he hasn’t compromised for anyone, everyone just has to give in to him, this isn’t a movie set where he is the big star, part of travel is accepting the discomforts and knowing that they are small and necessary in the scheme of things when you want to see the world. But he doesn’t want to see the world and I really didn’t see an instant where he held back his annoyance, like he got off that train and demanded a room alone. He got pissy at Geun Hyung halbae for stopping to shop for his wife. He told off Seo Jin and was really cussing when he had to walk longer than five minutes. Basically nearly all of his scenes is just him uninterested/complaining or eating and that reflects to how he was on the trip as a whole. He never expressed thanks or appreciation for this opportunity like the others did and when he leaves he just forgets it. He said last time all he remembered from the France and Switzerland trip was the “patterhorn”.

      I just wanted to see him compromise for his hyungs and respect their decisions more and not make an issue out of the most basic thing of travelling which is walking. But since he hates walking then this show was not meant for him in the first place because it’s just bringing out his bad side.

  12. 12 Mia

    My thoughts on this episode:

    – It’s endearing to see the staff and cast become some sort of family after having travelled 3 times together. NaPD you may be evil but you must be doing something right because your staff is so loyal to you, dating from 1n2d and now the halbaes/Seojinnie keep saying yes to these trips with you.

    – How cute was it when Geunhyung halbae called Seojinnie to rat on NaPD’s money tactics? “Help, we’ve been scammed! Please fix it!” – “Worry not, I’ve got you covered!”

    – Gu, Geunhyung and Soonjae halbaes personal interviews during this trip. All the bittersweet reflections that this trip brought out and Soonjae talking about eventually losing his memory and his health was a little sad but a natural fact of life.

    – Seojinnie totally meant for GoF. I might even venture to say he now likes being part of GoF and can’t imagine anybody else taking care of the halbaes the way he does. It’s evident the way the grandpas trust him and Seojinnie’s instinct (in action and words) to not make them go through any hardship than they need to.

    – It bothered me to think that NaPD’s scheme to leave Seojinnie a day behind to make the grandpas suffer a bit more may have caused Lee Soonjae to be under the weather during this trip. He went without sleep during the flight, stressed on arrival in Barcelona and basically assumed Seojin’s responsibilities in his absence. It was a relief to see NaPD book them to a 5 star hotel in Madrid but for future reference, hardship tactics à la 1n2d may work on Seojinnie but not with grandpas in their 70s and 80s.

    – Love that the preview seemed to show Gu halbae take a trip by himself. Could it be Portugal?

    – Echo other commenters sentiments that there seems to be a feeling of finality with this episode. I hope I’m mistaken!

  13. 13 Tiffany

    I love this show.

    I think that Il-Sub halbae character may be abit annoying however this is really common as not all traveller prefer sight seeing. I have family members such as uncle who hates walking and only search for food and beverages wherever they stop. It is also very common among Asian ladies who hate to walk where they will constantly stop for rest or coffee. However, is quite annoying if the concept is about backpacking and he hates to walk. Maybe NaPD can do something on that.

    And it does sound like a finale. I understand the halbaes are quite old and is hard to travel but I will miss them. Owh!!

  14. 14 AnotherFan

    YES! I have been waiting for this so bad!

  15. 15 Abbie

    Such a good episode. Just what I needed today to put a smile on my face. 🙂 Thanks for the recap, Javabeans and Girlfriday!

  16. 16 AnotherFan

    Just finished watching it on Hulu (at work 😉 ). This is indeed a great episode, the show has redeemed itself from the last few lackluster hours. The halbaes are so endearing, especially Soon-jae and Gu halbaes. That unspoken understanding and caring for each other is so heart warming. I love them!

    Like others, I too sense the bit of finality in this episode. I hope it’s not the PD’s way of hinting at the end of the series. I am seriously looking forward to more seasons and I pray that they will travel to the U.S. (and preferably L. A. area) – I will seriously be a fan girl and meet them at the airport 🙂

    • 16.1 strawberrycherry

      I was hoping for a US/Canada trip too! And Australia because I live there but I don’t Na pd is gna let Seo Jin go to English speaking countries, he would just totally own at it and he used to live in the US too. As long as they are up for it I never want GOF to end. I missed seeing them this season when it was all about Seo Jin and the evil car and the cooking responsibility.

      I love my halbaes and I would love to marry someone like soon jae or Geun Hyung. They really seem like that make the best husbands. Not Il sub though we would just get into fights lol

      • 16.1.1 AnotherFan

        Oh I know. I am so on the exact same page about the grandpas and wanting more of them and their stories on the show. This season has a few lackluster episodes with too much focus on SeoJin and the budget problems Na PD put to us from the beginning. I wonder if they are afraid we the viewers get tired of the grandpas’ and want to throw in some nore/differentdynamics? I, for one (and I am sure you too) will never get bored with the grandpas. Like someone mentioned, it is those small character moments and the funny yet strangely endearing demeanors of the halbaes caught in unfamiliar territories and situations that shines and makes the show. Hope the production understands that and never forgo the true gem.

      • 16.1.2 Gidget

        I was thinking the same thing too. I hope this never ends.

        I’d love to see them go on safari in Africa. One of them mentioned it was a dream destination. Treat them to a nice trip with a company that focuses on environmentally conscious/sustainable tourism. Love the &Beyond properties.*

        Just picture our beloved halbaes doing this:

        Staying at a tented camp during the wildebeest migration.
        Something like:


        Visiting the Ngorengoro Crater for close-up game viewing. Staying somewhere like:

        Deep sea fishing, bird watching, kayaking and relaxing/wrapup interviews.
        How great is this place?:

        2-3 days at each. Can you even imagine the footage they’d get? And seeing SJ halbae’s response to all the critters? It’d be priceless.

        *And…pffft… budget smudget

        • Wanderlusterer

          Soon Jae halbae mentioned he’d love to see Africa and oh boy can I imagine him being over the moon at all the animals there.

          I think Africa is a great choice, they’ve done Asia and Europe so it be totally different, though I’m a Europe person at heart so I’d love for them too see more of that like Italy, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria and even Russia!

          There are so many stories left to tell for the halbaes and minus Il Sub, the other three would be up for it as long as Na pd wanted to do it.

          btw, how lucky would you be to be on that production crew?!?! Free travelling (I think) but just getting to go to such beautiful locations outside of Korea. I don’t think they ever expected that when they joined into the production of variety shows!!

        • AnotherFan

          Oh Africa is a great idea, indeed! SJ halbae would have a blast. South Africa has some of the most amazing landscapes and nature in the world and the backpacking makes much more sense for places that are relatively farther away from civilization. We need to email this to Na PD 😉

          • Gidget

            S. Africa is breathtaking. Once I had the chance to drive with some friends from Johannesburg to Cape Town. The diversity and grandeur of both geography and landscape were unforgettable.

  17. 17 AnotherFan

    Typos – “some more/different dynamics”

  18. 18 jemellee

    for the money deceiving thing, isn’t it Seo Jin who’s at loss, because he spent his own money more than the program’s budget.

  19. 19 Thursdaynexxt

    Thanks so recapping, girls!! Can’t get enough of GOF, even though I can’t physically watch it with subs.

    Love Seo-jinnie’s bed hair!!

    Laughing gleefully to myself imagining Na PD’s reaction to the double scam. How does Seo-jin manage to stay one step ahead all the time?!

  20. 20 jayjay

    isn’t lee song yeob doing wonderful days drama? is he still in spain?

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