Modern Farmer: Episode 12
Yoo-na’s arrival in Hadurok-ri shakes things up as expected, with some interesting and unexpected results. And she’s not the only newcomer to the village, as it seems everyone has decided to try a little country air. Things are changing in the sleepy little village — some for the better, some for the worse, and some for the downright weird.
EPISODE 12 RECAP
Min-ki and Yoo-na enter the yard, causing reactions from the family ranging from shock that an idol is in their midst, to outright animosity. Min-ki begs Yoon-hee (while Hyuk’s eyes roll right out of his head) to let Yoo-na stay a few days, and Hong-gu excitedly offers to bunk with Min-ho so she can use his room. Min-ki makes her a bed and tells her to sleep now, and they’ll talk later.
Min-ki asks the family to keep Yoo-na’s presence here a secret, for fear of drawing attention. He apologizes to Min-ho for missing his picnic and offers to take him someplace fun, which is all it takes to get back in the kid’s good graces. Yoon-hee watches Min-ki prepare some food for Yoo-na, and does some eyerolling of her own.
The boys go to catch more grasshoppers, and on the road they meet Soo-yeon’s bar owner friend (whose name is Mi-ja), who’s just a tad overdressed for the country. Han-chul takes her to Soo-yeon, though she’s not as welcome a surprise as he thinks.
Sang-deuk’s mom asks him where he slept the other night, hopeful that he’s got a girlfriend, but he deflects and she says she doesn’t care who he’s with as long as it’s not Mi-young. She’s desperate for a daughter-in-law, and tells her son to sleep out as often as possible, hee.
They arrive home to meet Mi-ja, who asks if she can stay a few days. Of course Sang-deuk’s mom only wants to know if she’s married, and on hearing she’s single, happily agrees to let her stay and starts listing Sang-deuk’s good points. Subtle, Mom, real subtle.
The first thing Mi-ja does is follow a weird smell to the closet, where she’s nearly flattened by an avalanche of sweet potatoes. Soo-yeon tells her to cut the crap and asks why she’s here, and Mi-ja tells her that the thugs who are after Soo-yeon had come to her bar to threaten her, and the less-scary one had gotten drunk and said Soo-yeon stole his boss’s money. Mi-ja wants to split the money, but Soo-yeon tells her they have to find it, first.
Back home, Min-ki peppers Yoon-hee with questions about Yoo-na, but she’s not inclined to take care of her unexpected and unwelcome guest and tells Min-ki to take care of her himself. She gripes that Yoo-na hasn’t come out of the room, not even to help make dinner, but Yoo-na comes out then and hears the criticism.
Min-ki brings her some water, and tells her not to mind Yoon-hee. Yoo-na tentatively questions why he hasn’t asked her about what happened, but he says he doesn’t need to know because he trusts her. He offers to take her to eat, but she seems depressed and only wants to sleep.
It’s market day and Yoon-hee is stressed, because Min-ki’s attentiveness to Yoo-na is making them all late. They all help load the truck while Yoon-hee bosses and complains, but when she tries to do too much and lifts a crate of apples, her back goes out with a loud CRUNCH.
The boys carry her inside and she has to admit that she can’t go to the market like this. They don’t want to leave her immobile in bed, but she insists, and the noise draws Yoo-na to see what all the commotion is about.
It’s cute how Man-gu, who’s so proud of being on the cutting edge of technology, has no clue who she is. Everyone keeps telling him, “That’s Yoo-na. You know, Yoo-na!” and Man-gu just keeps repeating, “Okay, and I’m Man-gu!” Yoo-na offers to take care of Yoon-hee, and the guys override Yoon-hee’s insistence that she’s fine, and leave her alone with the last person on Earth she wants to be alone with.
The market is bustling, with the boys’ pea puff and roasted grasshopper booth a runaway hit (hee, Ki-joon thanks their customers with a hearty “Thank you very kamsa!”). Sang-deuk and Mi-young throw each other awkward glances all day, and Man-gu wonders aloud where In-ki and Sang-eun are today.
They’ve gone to the temple to light a candle for Sang-eun’s mother’s memorial, and In-ki talks to his wife and tells her their daughter has come with him. He apologizes that it took him so long to introduce them, and Sang-eun bows to her mother for the first time. She breaks down crying, and she and her father sob their sorrow for their lost mother and wife.
Min-ki and Ki-joon count their considerable earnings for the day, and Min-ki spots Bul-ja at the next booth, looking mighty cozy with a handsome guy. They can’t understand what the two are saying as they’re speaking in Bul-ja’s native language, and the guys tease Ki-joon that his “wife” is having an affair.
Ki-joon loudly claims that he’s glad Bul-ja met a guy, and he hopes they get together, but nobody’s buying it. Min-ki wonders how Yoo-na is doing, and Hyuk snipes that if he’s so worried he should go home, and stalks off.
It’s Awkward City back at the house, as Yoo-na literally just sits next to Yoon-hee and watches her. They sit like that until a mosquito bites Yoon-hee’s foot, and Yoo-na offers to scratch it. She scratches too hard, then too soft making Yoon-hee giggle, until she finally gets it right. It’s hilarious how seriously Yoo-na is taking this, as if scratching a mosquito bite correctly is life or death.
Back at the market Han-chul asks Ki-joon if he’s unattractive, telling him that Soo-yeon told him to give up on her. Ki-joon wonders if Soo-yeon is into women, causing Han-chul to blow up at him.
Ki-joon jealously watches Bul-ja and her new friend talk, not realizing that they’re talking about the fact that Bul-ja likes him. Her coyness looks to Ki-joon like she’s flirting with the other guy, and he tells himself that it doesn’t matter because he only thought she was pretty — it’s not like he’s in love with her.
Bul-ja asks Ki-joon to borrow some ribbon, and he tells her to catch and tosses it… right at her face. He gives a nasty little laugh, then realizes that he only imagined it. Thank goodness, because that’s not at all nice. What’s even worse is that he does throw the ribbon on the ground, and by the look on her face as she picks it up, she knows he meant to insult her.
Man-gu’s mom sees this and sends Ki-joon for drinks as punishment, and when he gets back Bul-ja asks for two drinks for her and her friend. He gets them but shakes them up first, and crows when they get sprayed in the face. But again it’s his imagination, and instead he’s the one who gets sprayed.
Yoo-na is back to silently watching over Yoon-hee, refusing to leave no matter how Yoon-hee insists. Finally Yoon-hee claims to want to sleep and earns a little privacy. In truth, what she needs is the restroom, and she manages to half-drag herself there alone.
But when she tries to hoist herself onto the toilet, she hurts her back further. The noise brings Yoo-na running, and Yoon-hee is forced to ask for help. She’s humiliated, but Yoo-na couldn’t possibly be any sweeter, and even helps Yoon-hee get her pants off.
Yoo-na helps a horrified and dignity-free Yoon-hee back to bed, and bless her heart, she even brings Yoon-hee some food when her stomach growls. But Yoon-hee can’t even feed herself so Yoo-na does that too, and Yoon-hee perks up when she realizes that Yoo-na is actually a pretty good cook.
Yoo-na tells her she’s had to be a good cook, since she’s been on her own since she was fourteen. She’s also good at cleaning, laundry, and fixing appliances. Suddenly Yoon-hee has a newfound respect for the young woman she’d assumed was a spoiled city girl.
Min-ki treats everyone at the market to lunch, and Ki-joon ends up sitting across from Bul-ja and her friend. He seethes at how friendly they are with each other, and imagines himself standing and mashing both their faces into their food. Too late, he realizes that he didn’t imagine it this time — oh no, the look on poor Bul-ja’s sauce-smeared face is awful. Everyone yells at Ki-joon, and he freaks out while Bul-ja only runs away silently.
Everyone arrives back in the village after the market, and agree to have a drink together to celebrate. Sang-deuk and Mi-young both try to bow out but are talked into staying, and all of the boys but Ki-joon find reasons to skip the get-together.
Soo-yeon tries to get Mi-ja to go back to Seoul, but she sold the bar and has nowhere to go. A determined Han-chul brings Soo-yeon some more sweet potatoes and vows to never give up on her, but he stops when he hears Soo-yeon and Mi-ja arguing inside. He overhears Mi-ja asking Soo-yeon why she doesn’t like her after all the things they did together, and after Ki-joon’s comment it does sound like she’s talking about dating.
When they start to worry that the villagers will kick them out if they hear about their “past,” Han-chul gasps with maidenly horror, because now it definitely could sound like they used to date. Seeing their silhouettes intertwine through the window is too much for his delicate sensibilities, and he makes enough noise that they hear him.
Yoon-hee does finally get some sleep, and she wakes up late and hobbles to the living room to check on her son. But he’s already eaten because Yoo-na’s fed him dinner, and she even checked his homework and cleaned the house. Impressed and humbled, Yoon-hee sincerely thanks Yoo-na.
Min-ki arrives home boasting of their booth’s success, and brings some things for Yoo-na since she had to leave Seoul quickly. He notices Yoon-hee’s jealousy and proudly presents her with a gift too — HA, it’s a hot pack for her back. She gripes and he asks impishly if she’s mad, and gives her her real gift, some fancy eye cream for her wrinkles. Yoon-hee chases Min-ki out of the room for that, but she smiles at the thoughtful gift once he’s gone.
The villagers have a drink and Man-gu’s mom asks why Sang-deuk and Mi-young seem so distant, but their loud and wild-eyed denial that anything’s happened makes it obvious that something happened. Man-gu notices that Ki-joon is drinking an awful lot, and he yells at Man-gu’s mom when she accurately determines that he feels bad for how he treated Bul-ja.
Man-gu is still wondering what happened to In-ki today, though his mom says to leave it alone since In-ki is weird, and she doesn’t like him. But Man-gu is so thrilled when his friend shows up that he doesn’t even notice at first that In-ki just spoke to him. I love how In-ki is all innocence, asking, “What’s the matter?” when everyone stares at him.
In-ki is happy to finally have a chance to thank everyone for everything they’ve done for him and his daughter. Man-gu leads a toast to his friend, who refills Man-gu’s mother’s glass and apologizes for causing her frustration. In-ki’s new “honey-voice” is impressive, and she’s suddenly seeing him in a new light — and it looks like her admiration is returned.
Ki-joon wanders around town complaining about Bul-ja when he runs into her and her friend sitting and talking. Again he doesn’t realize that they’re discussing him, and Bul-ja tells her friend that she should stop liking Ki-joon because she’s not good enough, only being an illegal worker. Awww. Her friend puts his arm around her to console her, and something in Ki-joon snaps.
He stalks over and grabs Bul-ja’s wrist to pull her away, but she twists her arm free and demands to know why he’s treating her this way. He tells her that he doesn’t like it when she smiles at other men, and orders her not to look at or smile at anyone else. Coming from Ki-joon that’s as good as a confession, and Bul-ja knows it.
Sang-deuk gets caught peeing in public again by Mi-young, and she brings up the other night, but calls it a mistake which hurts Sang-deuk’s feelings. But he swears he feels the same and says they should pretend it never happened, and they both insist they’re nothing but oppa and dongsaeng to each other.
They go back to the party and drink a lot more, until they’re both red-faced and snarly and nastily repeating at every opportunity that they’re just oppa and dongsaeng. They’re the last ones left after Man-gu leaves for home, insisting that it’s no big deal for an oppa and dongsaeng to drink together alone.
Finally Sang-deuk asks Mi-young if that’s all they really are, and she grouchily says that it is since he said it. Sang-deuk roars that he doesn’t want that, and Mi-young screams that she doesn’t either, and they dramatically attack each other. Saw that coming a mile away. But in the morning when they wake and find themselves naked in bed again, there’s more horrified screaming.
Yoo-na gets up early to help with breakfast, apologizes to Yoon-hee for the inconvenience of having her here, and tells Min-ki that she’s leaving. Yoon-hee asks if she has anywhere to go, and offers to let Yoo-na stay when it’s obvious that she doesn’t. She says it’s because Min-ho would miss his pretty noona, and tells Yoo-na that she’ll have to earn her keep, but Yoon-hee actually looks happy to make the offer.
Ki-joon cringes at the memory of his alcohol-fueled almost-confession the night before, but when Bul-ja approaches with a big smile and a gift like she used to do, he actually smiles back for the first time. She doesn’t even look at Hyuk or Min-ki standing there, having taken his “don’t look at other men” very literally. That’s so cute.
Ki-joon babbles that she took him too seriously and that it doesn’t mean he likes her. I love how she’s not buying one word of it, and just grins like, “Sure, whatever you say.” She leaves him with an adorable smile just for him, and he mutters that he’s crazy but can’t stop his own smile.
Ki-joon is happy that Yoo-na will be staying, but Hyuk isn’t so thrilled and asks how long she’ll be in Hadurok-ri, and how long Min-ki will act like her guardian. He points out that Min-ki isn’t in any position to take care of her, making Min-ki demand to know why Hyuk keeps picking fights with him.
Ki-joon breaks up the bickering before things can get heated, and they all greet In-ki as he passes by with his cart. Ha, they also don’t notice he’s speaking now until he’s already gone.
That night, Soo-yeon and Mi-ja get suited up to go treasure hunting, and they pass close to Han-chul where he’s sitting and wondering what kind of relationship they have. He hides and listens as they talk about Mi-ja’s new mask, but she gets whiny when a loose string keeps getting caught in her mouth and she begs Soo-yeon to fix it. Soo-yeon doesn’t have anything to cut the string so she uses her teeth, and to Han-chul it looks like the two women are kissing right in the street.
Hyuk finds Yoo-na sitting alone and enjoying the starry sky, and he makes a snide comment that she must not be worried about her career since she worked sooo hard to get there. He asks how long she intends to use Min-ki, and tells her to go back to Seoul.
Min-ki overhears and asks Hyuk who he thinks he is to say that to Yoo-na, and Hyuk makes another nasty comment but his eyes look like he’s trying to keep from crying. Min-ki is ready for a fight now, despite Hyuk telling him to stop before he really gets mad. He angrily invites Hyuk to go ahead and get mad, as Yoo-na and Yoon-hee both try to break them apart.
Be careful what you wish for… I asked for something to happen, and that’s exactly what I got. I’m thrilled to see something other than cabbage growing in Hadurok-ri, even if it’s anger and bitterness, because it means that old wounds and misunderstandings can be aired and dealt with. Hyuk and Min-ki have been getting along relatively well so far, but only because they have a mutual unspoken understanding not to mention the past. But it’s still there looming over them, and Yoo-na seems to be at the epicenter of both their band’s breakup and their personal quarrel. Strangely, Min-ki seems better able to move past whatever it is even though he was more resistant to Hyuk’s joining the cabbage-growing venture at the beginning, and despite his cheery demeanor, Hyuk seems to be the one who is the most immediately affected.
Until now I’ve been assuming that Hyuk knew something about Yoo-na and their agency CEO, but given how much anger Hyuk seems to be carrying around (and the fact that not once has Yoo-na tried to deny anything), I wonder if it’s not something far more serious. I notice that Hyuk hasn’t smiled once since Yoo-na came to town, and my gut feeling tells me that it would take a situation much more dire than “I saw my friend’s girlfriend and our CEO together seven years ago” to make a near-total change in his demeanor just because the girl showed up for a few days. I’ve had a niggling worry for Hyuk since early in the series, but now it’s a big worry, and I almost dread finding out what it is that he knows and has been hiding for all these years.
On the other hand, I get no red flags at all from Yoo-na herself — she truly does seem like a sweet girl who means no harm, who wants to be liked and wants to feel useful. Even after all these years, she still fights the CEO every single time he tries to wrangle her into a situation she feels uncomfortable about. Her interactions with Yoon-hee and her taking care of Min-ho seem genuine and heartfelt. I really hope she turns out to be as good a person as she seems, because they both could use a female friend of roughly their age. So I’m doubly intrigued and worried about whatever it is that Hyuk knows about Yoo-na, because while I hope that he hasn’t been in the wrong all this time, for his own sake, I also hope that Yoo-na didn’t do whatever it is that Hyuk believes that she did.
Regardless, this is all speculation, and I truly have no clue what we’ll find out about the past and about the band’s breakup. Back when I thought the show was simpler and easy to predict, I would have said that Yoo-na and the CEO were having an affair and Hyuk found out, and that’s why he punched the CEO and broke up the band. But now, knowing what I know about the writer’s ability to take what seems like simple characters and familiar situations and turn them on their ear, I have no idea what we’ll discover about the band, Yoo-na, and the truth of seven years ago. I just hope that whatever it is, the people of Hadurok-ri will be able to help the boys heal and become stronger in their friendship.