Modern Farmer: Episode 7
We finally learn more about Min-ki’s past, in regards to his mother and also his history with Yoo-na. Some new feelings surprise Yoon-hee, as she tries to come to terms with the idea that Min-ki isn’t the child she remembers. But she’s not the only one having some confusing feelings, and Hyuk will have to conquer his fear of rejection if he wants to win his lady’s heart.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Yoon-hee re-introduces herself to Min-ki’s mother, who remembers her from their time in Hadurok-ri. Min-ki’s mom invites them in for a drink, to Yoon-hee’s delight and Min-ki’s annoyance. Min-ki is embarrassed and upset at the run-down condition of the home, but Yoon-hee politely ignores it.
Min-ki has a little sister, born after his mother remarried, and when Yoon-hee asks where her father is Min-ki rudely says that he ran off with another woman. He snarls that he told his mother not to marry that man, and Yoon-hee takes him to task for his tone, but Min-ki just walks out. Yoon-hee apologizes to Min-ki’s mother, who admits she made a lot of mistakes with him and that she’s used to it.
Hyuk carries flowers to his “date,” and it turns out that he’s gone to visit his deceased mother on her birthday. He sits and talks to her for a long time, telling her about the village and how much he enjoys living there, and he says that he’s met a woman who reminds him of his mom in looks and personality.
Awww, an album that his mother recorded turns out to be the same one Yoon-hee listened to in the car — the old “girlfriend,” who taught him to play piano, was actually his mom. Sadly, Hyuk says that the woman he met even smells like his mom, and that every time he sees her he thinks of his mother.
Min-ki returns, bringing back a light bulb to replace the flickering light in his mother’s house. He grumbles at his mother to fix things if they’re broken, but the anger has gone out of his voice. Yoon-hee watches Min-ki replace the light bulb, a new awareness of him in her eyes. As Yoon-hee and Min-ki leave, Min-ki finally acknowledges his sister, and he gives her his half of the money they earned that day.
Soo-yeon checks to see if the coast is clear for her midnight digging, but recoils to see that Han-chul is kneeling outside her window. He asks why she doesn’t like him, refusing to leave until she gives a valid reason.
Min-ki and Yoon-hee visit one last bar, where the owner agrees to buy their spinach if Min-ki will sing. He borrows the guy’s outfit and goes onstage looking uncomfortable, but once the music starts, he’s in his element. As Min-ki sings, Yoon-hee is struck by his emotion and talent, and the awareness she felt at his mother’s house turns into something a little deeper.
They walk back to the truck, Yoon-hee happy that they sold all the spinach. Min-ki gripes at her for wearing a money belt, saying she’s asking to be robbed, which is exactly what happens a moment later. A man on a motorcycle grabs the belt right off her, knocking her to the ground.
Yoon-hee wants to run after the thief but she can’t because she’s now hurt her OTHER ankle, and Min-ki is more concerned about her than the money. He carries her, screaming, to the truck, and he yells that getting her to the hospital is more important than the money, stunning her silent.
Han-chul valiantly waits outside Soo-yeon’s window, but he falls asleep and slumps over. He calls for her, and peeks in the window when she doesn’t answer to see that she’s gone. He walks around looking for her, stopping when he sees a suspicious figure digging in a field.
Han-chul creeps close enough to recognize Soo-yeon, and assumes that she’s stealing sweet potatoes when he sees all the ones she’s dug up. HA. She lets him think that’s what she’s doing, claiming to prefer the thrill of stealing them to just asking for them. He agrees to keep her secret as long as she tells him why she doesn’t like him, and she says it’s that she doesn’t know him well, giving him false hope.
Min-ki and Yoon-hee pick up Hyuk after a trip to the doctor, telling him that she’s now injured on both legs and can’t walk. Yoon-hee is depressed about losing her money and confused about her new awareness of Min-ki, and she falls asleep between the guys. Her head rolls around hilariously, so Hyuk takes out a hairpin and pins her hair out of her face. Sweet.
Yoon-hee suddenly startles awake and yells that she needs a bathroom, now. Too much iced coffee at Min-ki’s mom’s gave her a stomachache. They pull over and Min-ki piggybacks Yoon-hee inside a high-rise apartment building, Min-ki hollering to hold it if it kills her, which is how they run face-to-face into Min-ki’s old love Yoo-na. Well, this is awkward.
Yoo-na lives here, and Min-ki is left stammering in embarrassment but Yoon-hee begs to use her bathroom. Luckily Yoo-na seems pretty sweet, and they all wait in her living room while Yoon-hee takes care of business. Yoo-na asks about Min-ki’s clothes and when he balks, Hyuk tells her they farm cabbage in the country, earning money to make a new album. Is it me, or does Hyuk seem a bit cold towards her?
Yoon-hee can’t help but get a little thrill out of using a celebrity’s bathroom. She looks in the mirror and sees the hairpin in her hair, and she takes it out and pockets it. She overhears Hyuk tell Yoo-na that she’s the village head and Min-ki’s first love, and smiles a bit.
Min-ki makes faces at Hyuk to shush him, and in his embarrassment he denies that Yoon-hee is his first love, telling Yoo-na that she’s someone he wants to erase from his memory. This puts Yoon-hee back in a bad mood, and she hobbles into the room to shout that she feels the same way about him.
Min-ki wants to leave but Yoon-hee embarrasses him further by griping that he should stay longer since he missed Yoo-na so much. Yoo-na smiles a bit at that, but Min-ki doesn’t notice as he physically covers Yoon-hee’s mouth and manhandles her towards the door. They bicker in the hallway, both claiming to be the more embarrassed.
Yoo-na and Hyuk make small talk, until he comments pointedly that her place is very nice and the CEO of her company must really like her. Yoo-na denies anything but Hyuk tells her not to worry, he keeps his promises. Aaand… I think I just figured out why he punched the CEO of their company all those years ago.
A happy Han-chul follows Soo-yeon home (looking miserable with an armful of sweet potatoes, ha), and finally introduces himself. He doesn’t notice her unenthused facial expressions and skips home, thinking he’s found his way in.
He runs inside to tell Ki-joon the good news, but Ki-joon is still trapped under the bags of soil and on top of poor Bul-ja. She tells him it’s useless to call for help, as all the villagers go to sleep at sundown. He orders her to yell for help too, and she primly corrects him – her name isn’t Bul-ja, it’s Hwa-ran. She ignores him until he calls her by her real name, and then she lets out an impressive shriek that can probably be heard for miles around.
Cranky, Yoon-hee limps back in to complain that Yoo-na hasn’t even offered anyone a drink. Yoo-na obligingly serves juice, and Min-ki comments that she looks tired. Yoon-hee glares at his concern, downs her juice in one go, and gets up to leave.
Yoo-na gets a call as they’re leaving and Min-ki watches as she speaks to whoever is on the other end, noticing that she’s upset. She walks them to the elevator, but just as the door closes, Min-ki sees her expression change, which worries him.
Before they get to the truck, Min-ki tells Hyuk and Yoon-hee to go on without him and heads back inside, ignoring Yoon-hee’s loud protests. Hyuk tells her to give up — that when it comes to Yoo-na, Min-ki would do anything. He offers to drive, saying she can show him how since he’s never driven before.
HAHA, Hyuk looks terrified as he drives about three miles an hour, and Yoon-hee yells at him. Finally she smacks him and hollers to step on it, which he does, immediately getting into an accident.
Min-ki brings beer and lollipops to Yoo-na, and they talk about how this used to be all they could afford for dates. Relaxed now, she asks if he came back because he was worried about her, and she knows he’s lying when he denies it. She comments that he always shows up when she’s struggling.
She remembers back when they were dating and she was just a trainee, and she was considering quitting. Min-ki had assured her she’d be a star, and urged her to hang in there. His dream was that they’d both hit it big — so if she quit, he’d have no reason to become a star.
Back in the present Min-ki cringes that he was so cocky back then, and he ignores a call from Yoon-hee, who’s calling from the accident site since he’s the only one that can drive the truck. When he doesn’t answer, Hyuk gets the idea to call a driving service, costing them a bundle to drive them all the way home.
The driver assumes Hyuk is Yoon-hee’s husband and she goes along with it, saying that he’s useless. He doesn’t drive, he doesn’t make money — she gets into it, and concocts a story that she’s pregnant, sobbing apologies to the baby for not having money to see a doctor. Hyuk just grins at her performance, and the driver knocks some money off the cost of the drive. HA.
Min-ki goes out for more beer but when he returns, Yoo-na has fallen asleep. He brushes the hair off her face, covers her with a blanket, and watches her sleep. She’s alone when she wakes in the morning, and finds a note from Min-ki saying to stay where she is and he’ll catch up with her. Aww.
Yoon-hee’s aunt is still in bed over her bad cooking, and everyone complains that there’s not even ramyun anymore, just corn to eat. Hyuk wonders where Ki-joon is, and Han-chul says he never came home last night.
Hyuk barely mentions that he’s thirsty before Sang-eun is there with a glass of water and an adoring expression, and yeah, Hong-gu is definitely throwing longing looks her way (and jealous ones at Hyuk). Hyuk tells everyone that Min-ki spent the night at Yoo-na’s place and that Yoon-hee took a dump there, which Hong-gu finds awesome.
Yoon-hee grumbles that Yoo-na isn’t even that pretty, and Han-chul jokes that women always say that about a woman who’s prettier than they are. Yoon-hee asserts that she’s being objective — so Han-chul asks her, what about Honey Lee? Yoon-hee says that she’s funny-looking, agreeing with Sang-eun that Honey Lee looks like a blowfish. HAHAHA.
Min-ki finally arrives home looking for breakfast, and Yoon-hee reminds him that there’s no food if you’re not on time and gripes that he cost her money for the driver service. The guys head to their greenhouse, but Man-gu’s mother intercepts them looking for Bul-ja. They find Ki-joon and Bul-ja, yet again in a compromising position, asleep and still under the bags of soil. Man-gu’s mom runs off to tell the town, and the guys snicker but help free the trapped two.
Ki-joon starts in with the denials, but Bul-ja runs off without helping him explain. The guys tease him about pretending to be trapped, and poor Ki-joon can only whine that it’s true, because he’s not smart enough to make up a story. Hee.
The boys head into the greenhouse, and gasp in shock. The baby cabbages have sprouted! Min-ki just about cries in relief, and Han-chul says this must be how parents feel. Man-gu arrives to burst their bubble and remind them the work’s not over — as time passes and the cabbages grow, the boys actually begin to look like real farmers.
The baby cabbages finally reach a size where they’re ready to be transplanted to the field, and Man-gu directs the boys in how to do it properly. It’s exhausting work so the guys beg for a break, and Man-gu gets a devilish glint in his eye and says he’s got something special for them.
That something special appears to be burnt sticks, and the boys look at Man-gu like he’s insane when he tells them to eat up. But it’s peas, and once the guys try them, they’re good and hooked. Man-gu tells them it’s a country treat they call “pea puffs.”
Mi-young, meanwhile, is trying to get her stubborn daughter to go to school, and yells at her that they’re bankrupt when her daughter cries that she wants to go back to Seoul. She runs into Sang-deuk as she walks home, not noticing that he’s a bit busy peeing off the side of the road. He calls to her not to come closer, but she does anyway, and the poor guy ends up running down the road urinating into the air.
Mi-young finally realizes what’s happening when she sees the trail he’s left in the dirt, but Sang-deuk thankfully gets himself zipped up by then. He’s not receptive to her small talk, but when they pass a familiar taro field, they’re both reminded of a day when they were young and it had rained on them, and they’d taken refuge under the large taro leaves.
Sang-deuk doesn’t feel like reminiscing, angrily declaring that he’s forgotten everything about Mi-young and anything they did together. He tells her to stop acting like nothing bad happened back then, and asks if she even knows how he’s lived for seventeen years.
But suddenly he spots his mother and uncle heading up the road, and grabs Mi-young to hide. They hide in the taro field, but when his uncle stops there to take a leak, they’re forced to grab taro leaves for protection against a different kind of rain this time. Gross.
Yoon-hee shells peas and thinks of how Min-ki took care of her last night, her emotions in turmoil. She wonders how suddenly, Min-ki seems like a real man instead of a kid. She hears his voice and turns with an expectant smile, to see — all four guys behind her with soot around their mouths. HAHA.
They spot the peas in front of her and beg for them, and when she relents, they snatch them up and run off cackling like the junkies they are. Suddenly Min-ki doesn’t seem so mature anymore, and Yoon-hee shakes off her momentary lapse in judgment.
Later that night Yoon-hee feeds the cows, and she puts the hairpin back in her hair when it gets unruly. Hyuk wanders in and notices, asking where she got the pretty pin. She figures out it was from him, guessing he had an extra after giving one to the girlfriend she thinks he saw in town. He drops the grin and solemnly says he bought it just for her.
Off-balance, Yoon-hee asks him why, and he says she’s clueless if she hasn’t figured it out yet. He leans in very close, asking, “You really don’t know why a man would give a gift to a woman?” Confused, she reaches out to push him away and he grabs her hand — and just when I think he’s about to confess, he backs off and jokingly says it’s because he’s her useless husband, of course.
After chores, Yoon-hee decides to update her blog, but when she gets online she sees an article about a successful (and handsome) musician which seems to shake her. She starts and slams her laptop closed when Hong-gu enters the room, but Hong-gu is an observant kid, and he notices something is wrong.
Soo-yeon sneaks out to go digging again, only to find Han-chul waiting for her. He offers to help her steal sweet potatoes, having scouted all the different kinds being grown in the village. She gloomily sits in the dirt while Han-chul digs up mountains of sweet potatoes and ruins her night’s plans, poor girl.
Min-ki sits up late, unable to sleep for thinking of Yoo-na. He gets a text from the loan shark, reminding him that he was supposed to call him once a week and warning Min-ki not to make him angry. He wanders outside to find Yoon-hee on her porch drinking soju, and joins her.
Yoon-hee grumpily asks if he’s drinking because of Yoo-na, and advises him to stop thinking of her. She says sadly that things don’t work out just because you want them to, but Min-ki says it doesn’t matter. Yoo-na may be at a higher place than him, and she may never care for him the same way, but she’s someone he’ll always feel sorry for and want to protect.
Just when Yoon-hee starts to think Min-ki is a mature man again, he screams like a little girl when he sees a grasshopper, and hides behind Yoon-hee. HA. Hyuk wanders by to see Min-ki huddled against Yoon-hee, and jokes that his “wife” is having an affair. She complains that everything is a joke to him, and the three of them sit and share a drink.
They look at the stars, and Hyuk comments how pretty “it” is, as his focus shifts to Yoon-hee’s face. Yoon-hee doesn’t notice because she’s busy looking at Min-ki, who doesn’t notice because he’s busy thinking of Yoo-na.
And so our main love triangle is established. I’m really worried about these three on a number of levels, not least of which is the fact that their still-tenuous and newly rekindled friendship is at stake. All three of them have things between them that could cause permanent damage if not handled carefully, and it makes me worry for when the real feelings and jealousies start to come to a head.
My theory, and I could be wrong, is that back when the boys were an up-and-coming band, Hyuk found out something about the CEO of the company and Yoo-na that was so terrible, he couldn’t let it slide. Whatever it was caused him to punch the CEO and lose the band their contract. Clearly Hyuk believes Yoo-na to be at least partly guilty in whatever he found, because his animosity towards her was only very thinly veiled when they spoke. And she seems innocent and sweet, but Hyuk must have something on her, because he reassured her that he still intends to keep quiet about whatever he knows.
It makes sense, then, why Min-ki seems to be the one of the group who’s held onto his anger at Hyuk the longest, since he lost not only his dream of being a musician but also the girl he loved. Hyuk didn’t do anything wrong (in my theory anyway) other than react to the situation, but it’s a lot easier to blame the messenger — and though it seems like Min-ki and Hyuk have found a way to get along in the present, the tiniest reminder of what happened back then could tip the balance and cause a permanent rift. If they end up fighting over a woman, even if Min-ki is no longer interested in Yoon-hee and even if Yoon-hee’s interest in Min-ki is only fleeting, it could ruin not only the friendship between the boys, but the entire cabbage-growing/comeback album plan.
And I don’t really believe that Yoon-hee is interested in Min-ki — I think she’s just realizing that he’s not a child anymore, and that he’s a talented, (sometimes) mature and attractive man. I think she’s just flustered by that realization, and a little jealous that this attractive man used to like her but now loves another woman, and that’s probably confusing. I think she’ll get over it and past it, but I just hope that she does it in time to avoid lasting damage to Hyuk.
Because guys, I’m seriously starting to worry about Hyuk. I said very early on that I felt that his smile and jokes covered up some deep emotional damage, and it looks like it’s not only true, but a lot worse than I imagined. The more we see behind the dimples and the teasing, the more hurt is revealed, and I think that if Hyuk loses his friends a second time it could be permanently devastating. I know this show is a comedy, but I love the bits of real emotion we see in each of the characters, and I’m very drawn to Hyuk and his past. When he was telling his mother about Yoon-hee and how she reminds him of his mom, I just ached for how much he wants and needs to be loved, and how really, he doesn’t have anyone who loves him. His mother is gone, his father only wants to control him, and his friends still blame him for the fallout of something he did while trying to protect them. I want Hyuk and Yoon-hee to end up together, not even so much because I think they would be good for each other (and I do), but because Hyuk needs and deserves to be loved.
I just hope Yoon-hee starts to see Hyuk for who he really is, because I think who he really is is very sensitive and caring and loyal. But for that to happen, he’s going to have to stop with the joking and let her know how he feels, which is going to be hard for him because so far in his life, every time he cares about someone they leave him. But as much as he’s fun and funny, he’s also capable of being intense and magnetic — the couple of times he’s nearly confessed to Yoon-hee have even had my heart pounding. I doubt Yoon-hee will be able to resist him when he finally shows her his true feelings.