Modern Farmer: Episode 14
The villagers prepare for the national singing contest, with more than one surprise poised to turn the results (and some feelings) on their ear. A visitor to Hadurok-ri creates a stir, but a birthday reconciliation has them leaving town happier than when they came. Some more strides are made in the main lovelines, though another new arrival in town could pose a huge threat to romances and friendships alike.
EPISODE 14 RECAP
Yoon-hee and Hyuk overhear Min-ki telling Yoo-na that he feels nothing for Yoon-hee other than sympathy and pity, but after a moment Yoon-hee shakes off her shock and asks Hyuk to take her for a walk. Yoon-hee is forced to watch Min-ki fussing over Yoo-na over breakfast the next morning, but even Min-ki notices that she seems down.
Ki-joon gets a call from his mother, and he shushes everyone and pretends to be studying. Apparently tomorrow is his birthday, but he just says he’s too busy studying to celebrate, and cuts the call short. He tells the guys that his parents still think he’s taking the civil service exam, and would kill him if they knew he was in the country farming cabbages. Ha, he makes a huge deal out of telling everyone not to make a huge deal out of his birthday.
Yoo-na decides she wants to help with the cabbages, and goes out with the guys when they set out to crush some more snails. They run into Man-gu and Sang-deuk on the road, and it looks like Man-gu takes after his gossipy mother, because the first thing he does is blurt out that it’s Yoo-na. HAHA, Sang-deuk doesn’t know who she is either, thank goodness.
Soo-yeon wakes up feeling a bit peaked, but she shakes Mi-ja awake to go work on their mural anyway. Sang-deuk calls them for breakfast but to their horror, Grandpa has cooked and everything, even the rice, has almonds in it. Later Han-chul finds them on the road to give Soo-yeon some of their cabbage, and she denies feeling ill, but she only makes it a few steps before collapsing.
Yoon-hee and Bul-ja rehearse their audition dance with Yoo-na, and hey, Bul-ja is getting better! Sadly, Yoon-hee is not, and Min-ki loses his temper with her again. Dejected, Yoon-hee says they should give up on this, and that she’ll handle the audition herself. She leaves with Hyuk following right behind, and with his bright smile on, he offers to help Yoon-hee with her work, but she’s in no mood for him today.
Man-gu’s mom hears a strange sound coming from a storage building, and finds her son making some horrible noise that’s supposed to be singing, while In-ki plays guitar. She goes all sparkly again when she sees In-ki, but Man-gu snaps her out of it.
Later she wonders why she goes blank when she sees In-ki, frustrated that she gets all moony-eyed just by thinking of him playing guitar. She tries to storm off and slips, but she’s caught just in time by the object of her daydreams, and the Gone with the Wind theme plays as In-ki literally twinkles at her.
Sang-deuk decides to take a leak right in front of Mi-young’s house and I swear, now he’s just asking to get caught. Of course he does, and nearly gives Mi-young an unwanted shower when she comes up behind him (okay, this bit is getting old now). Mi-young isn’t happy with Sang-deuk for not talking to his mother, and refuses to speak with him.
Yoon-hee goes online that evening and sees another article about the same musician that startled her before, and slams her laptop closed. Min-ki brings Min-ho home on his shoulders, and asks Yoon-hee what she’s planning to do for her audition. She’s short with him, but refuses to talk about whatever is bothering her.
Min-ho tells his mom at bedtime that he’s friends with his former bully now because of Min-ki, and shows her a drawing he did in school. The theme was family, and he drew himself and his mom riding a horse with Min-ki. He tells his mom that he wants a dad like Min-ki and goes off to spend the night in his room, leaving Yoon-hee to worry that he’s getting too attached.
Han-chul nurses Soo-yeon as she rests, even though Mi-ja assures him the doctor said it was just a cold. He stays up with Soo-yeon all night trying to get her fever down, and Mi-ja even seems a little impressed with his commitment.
Yoon-hee’s aunt presents the family with her newest culinary creation for Ki-joon’s birthday — seaweed chocolate fondue. ~CRINGE~ After a brief struggle, Ki-joon is literally forced to taste it, but he’s surprised when it turns out to be good. Min-ki confirms that it tastes pretty delicious, but Yoon-hee is still in a bad mood and leaves.
Han-chul is still watching over Soo-yeon after keeping vigil all night, and he even cleans up while both girls sleep. He finds Soo-yeon’s map, but he assumes it’s just a map of all the sweet potato fields, and Mi-ja doesn’t correct his misunderstanding.
Han-chul also finds Soo-yeon’s sketchbook, and Mi-ja tells him that Soo-yeon’s dream is to be a designer, but with her lack of education it’s not possible. Han-chul looks thoughtful as he processes the first bit of real information he’s gained about the girl he claims to love.
Sang-deuk corners Mi-young in her cafe, and he declares that he doesn’t need to think anything over — he’s ready to step up and be with her. He swears emphatically to never let go of her hand again, and we get another hilariously familiar background song as Sang-deuk swears his undying devotion… only to freak out and hide under the counter when Man-gu’s mom shows up yet again. HAHAHA.
On his way home, Sang-deuk runs into the Worst Blind Date Ever, Bok-nyun. She obliviously assumes he hasn’t called her because he’s playing hard-to-get, but before he can get away, his mother sees them and invites them to lunch.
Min-ki spends the walk to their cabbage field wondering what’s up with Yoon-hee, and Hyuk says he thinks he knows but stubbornly refuses to tell. Frustrated that everyone is ignoring his birthday, Ki-joon finally blows up, but they run into Man-gu who presents Ki-joon with a birthday gift of… a deer antler? Ha, Ki-joon is oblivious to Man-gu’s hints that it’s “good for men.” Bul-ja comes to ask Ki-joon to talk, and the guys give him the day off as his birthday gift, telling him to go on a date with his “wife.”
Yoon-hee helps In-ki prune the apple trees, and he plays exposition fairy as he reminds her that she needs to do well at the singing audition so their apples will be promoted. She thinks back to Min-ho’s claim that he wants a father like Min-ki, and worries again when Min-ki and Yoo-na wander by looking very cozy together.
Bul-ja takes Ki-joon on a long hike to see a small plant, and tells him it’s a 50-year-old wild ginseng. She gently pulls it up and gives it to him for his birthday, but tells him it’s for his parents to thank them for giving birth to him. Aww, Ki-joon’s smile is adorable.
Suddenly Bul-ja shushes him and throws a rock into the distance. Wow, she actually took down a pheasant with a rock, and Ki-joon gets all squeamish when she tries to give it to him for his birthday. But he can’t help but be impressed, and says to himself that he won’t ever go hungry if he marries her.
Yoon-hee watches Min-ki and her son flying a kite, and she pulls Min-ki aside to ask him not to be so nice to Min-ho. She tells him that Min-ho drew him into a family picture, but she worries what will happen when Min-ki leaves town again.
She tells Min-ki that people misunderstand when you’re too nice, and come to depend on you but then you leave, and I don’t think she’s talking about Min-ho any longer. She tells Min-ki not to be nice to her son anymore, and not to be nice to her, either.
A strange woman comes to town looking for Ki-joon, and she asks Man-gu (was he dancing?) for help finding him. They find nearly everyone in the front yard of Yoon-hee’s house, and Hyuk and Min-ki nearly jump out of their skin when they see Ki-joon’s mom.
Ha, she seems perfectly nice, but she clearly terrifies them. Min-ki looks panicked, and Hyuk has on an expression like he wants to either flee or cry. In the face of Ki-joon’s mom’s questions, Hyuk and Min-ki concoct this elaborate story that they’re all out here studying for the national exam together, while the villagers exchange confused glances behind them.
Ki-joon’s mom lays out a spread of jokbal (pork hocks) from the family restaurant, and explains that she wanted her son to take over the family business but he insisted on taking the national exam. Hyuk tells her that Ki-joon isn’t answering his phone because he’s studying so hard, and she heads out to find him.
Of course he’s with Bul-ja when she does, and Hyuk and Min-ki frantically gesture behind her back as Ki-joon freezes up in panic. They tell Mom that Bul-ja is their Chinese tutor, which seems to put her off the scent. When Mom tells her son to study hard and moves off towards the bus stop, the guys collapse in relief that they got away with it.
Mom stops Man-gu’s mother on the way to the bus stop to ask directions, and tells her the fake story about her son who’s studying at the local boarding house. Man-gu’s mom blurts out, “Oh, Bul-ja’s husband!” and true to her loose-tongued nature, spills the true story.
Now we see why everyone is terrified of Ki-joon’s mom, because she storms into the house like a force of nature, cursing a blue streak, and whacks her errant son upside the head with a pork joint. She drags him outside screaming that she’s taking him back to Seoul to work in the family restaurant.
Ki-joon finds his spine and yells that he doesn’t want the restaurant, or to be a government official. He wails that he’s tired of doing things just because it’s what everyone else does, and tells his mother that what he’s doing may look dumb, but he’s really happy. He tearfully begs his mom to let him do what makes him happy, but she yells at him to do whatever he wants and stomps off to the bus stop.
Ki-joon joins his mom and apologizes, and gives her the 50-year-old ginseng. He thanks her for giving birth to him and bows, and he’s so sweet that she can’t stay mad. Just as the bus arrives, Ki-joon promises her he’ll do well, and sends her home smiling.
Sang-deuk is stuck having lunch with his mother and Bok-nyun, who sucks up all the food as fast as she can. His mom invites Bok-nyun to spend the night over Sang-deuk’s protests, even though he’s not even trying to be nice anymore.
Soo-yeon finally wakes up to find that Han-chul has fallen asleep, and Mi-ja tells her how he stayed up all night taking care of her. Soo-yeon seems touched, but when she tries to wake him to thank him, he falls over, having caught her cold.
Later Han-chul coughs and wheezes in the boys’ attic room, while Hyuk and Min-ki make fun of him for catching a cold for a girl who doesn’t like him. Everyone is shocked when Soo-yeon brings him some porridge, which sends Han-chul right over the moon.
After tucking her son into bed, Yoon-hee contemplates the family picture he drew again. She pulls out the jar of eye cream that Min-ki gave her, but slams it back on the shelf with a determined look in her eye.
It’s the day of the singing contest, and the boys wait in the lobby for Yoon-hee to arrive. They’re all impressed with the ginseng that Bul-ja gave to Ki-joon, and Ki-joon promises Man-gu’s mom that he’ll pay her back one day for telling his mother the truth about him and Bul-ja. Min-ki is distracted, groaning that Yoon-hee won’t do well in the audition since she didn’t even practice.
Sang-deuk arrives with Bok-nyun, who was sent with him by his mother. the poor guy looks miserable, and can’t get her to stop hanging off him. The guys all cringe in sympathy to hear her snorting laugh, and Mi-young breezes by them coolly as Bok-nyun clings to Sang-deuk like a leech.
Everything stops when Yoon-hee shows up, looking gorgeous in a white dress and with her hair and makeup perfectly done. They all gape at her, especially Min-ki, and only Hyuk doesn’t seem surprised at how beautiful she looks.
The larger auditions aren’t much better than the local ones, and most of the contestants make embarrassing spectacles of themselves. Everyone’s surprised when Man-gu takes the stage despite not having been chosen to represent the village, and sings the same song he sang at the local audition. I’m pretty sure he’s worse than before, and even his mom laughs at him. That’s just cold.
Next up is Yoon-hee, who sings her audition piece beautifully. During her song, she thinks of all the times that Min-ki was caring towards her, and out in the audience Min-ki looks simultaneously troubled and mesmerized. But he’s not the only one, as Hyuk watches her just as intensely.
I don’t know whether to be extremely sad that Yoon-hee didn’t pass the audition, or extremely amused that Man-gu did. He’s not even gracious about it and rubs it in everyone’s face, but Yoon-hee is actually glad that she won’t have to go on TV. Yoon-hee and Min-ki are left alone, and she notices that he looks very troubled, but he brushes it off as nothing.
Later the village gathers to watch the broadcast of the television phase of the audition, and as Man-gu is bandaged head to toe, I can’t wait to see what happened. He gripes that they don’t need to watch it again since they all saw it in person, and the whole town looks giggly and amused as they insist that they should, um, support him by watching it again. Hee.
When Man-gu’s turn comes, he and Bul-ja (is she wearing a duck costume?) take the stage in the apple hats, and Bul-ja enthusiastically shakes her groove thang as Man-gu sings. Man-gu’s apple hat gets turned around and as he struggles with it, he takes a dive right off the stage. Bul-ja has to be dragged off camera yelling, “Mom! I love you!” as the whole town erupts in gales of laughter.
Yoon-hee can’t get over how funny the whole thing is, but In-ki points out that because of the accident, they weren’t able to promote the apples on the show. But Yoon-hee has already contacted the government and learned how to promote their apples online, and the orders are pouring in.
Later Yoon-hee invites Yoo-na to have a drink with her soon, girls only, and promises to tell her every embarrassing story she knows about Min-ki as a child. She and Hong-gu take off to do their own work, and Min-ki wonders why Yoon-hee suddenly got so weird. Ki-joon says she’s just happy, but Min-ki insists that no, she’s weird.
Yoon-hee’s smile falters only for a moment, but she’s determined and pulls herself together. She and Hong-gu good-naturedly tease each other, not noticing the car that pulls up near them. A man gets out and calls “Yoon-hee-ah,” and Yoon-hee is stopped in her tracks when she comes face-to-face with the musician from the online article.
I can only assume that this man is Min-ho’s father, based on Yoon-hee’s reaction to just seeing his face online. Assuming he’s Min-ho’s father and knowing that Yoon-hee raised her son alone, I wonder if he even knows he has a son. I can see Yoon-hee letting the man she loves go freely to pursue his dreams, and not holding him back with a family in the country, though that’s a whole new set of assumptions on my part. I can’t help but speculate, because I’m dying of curiosity to finally learn Yoon-hee’s whole back story. The man looked pretty happy to see Yoon-hee, as if he’s spent as much time thinking of her as she’s thought of him, which makes me anxious to find out exactly what happened between them, why they haven’t kept in contact all these years, and why he’s chosen now to show up again.
It’s interesting timing, coming right when Yoon-hee has finally developed feelings for someone else, and has at least one man pursuing her and another rediscovering that his first love is still quite the catch. An old flame coming to town is going to throw a wrench into things, and that could create a blowup big enough to do some permanent damage to some already-tenuous friendships. Min-ki and Hyuk are already on the edge of a major meltdown, which I can see building up especially every time Hyuk looks at Yoo-na, and just that could be enough to ruin everything. But with Yoon-hee between them too, and the catalyst of her old love coming back for goodness knows what, I’m anticipating things going dramatically downhill, and fast.
I’m not thrilled that Min-ki is only confused by Yoon-hee now that he’s seen her all prettied up (I have issues with the whole makeover trope in dramas anyway, not to mention that she’s always been beautiful even in ahjumma pants), because if he’s seen her all along as the hardworking, caring, responsible and strong single mother, and all he feels is pity, then he doesn’t really care for her for who she is. I don’t care for the fact that he only notices her because she’s suddenly 10% prettier than she has been all along. But at least she’s on his radar now, which would create enough problems even if we only had the original love tangle to deal with.
But I say, Show, bring it on. This week is the first time I’ve felt like maybe 20 episodes could be too many, since some of the lovelines are starting to feel artificially drawn-out just to fill air time. So I’m actually glad to see Yoon-hee’s old love show up now, if a bit sooner than I expected him to, if only to shake things up and make something happen. I’m getting a bit weary of dramatic cliffhangers that are brushed aside too easily in the first two minutes of the following episode, and I’m ready to get some solid answers and for some stuff to actually happen. I feel that the show is at its strongest when the whole village is involved in something together, so at least if we’re going to spend so much time on the love connections, let’s really get them rolling.
But let’s not forget the village shenanigans, because those are the show’s heart and soul, and I think I’m not alone in feeling that way. I could watch these people enter contests, compete against neighboring villages, or even do nothing but learn how to farm new crops forever. Bring on the love angst, but don’t forget about the reason we’re all here — the wonderful and heartwarming antics of the most adorable Dramaland village ever.
- Modern Farmer: Episode 13
- Modern Farmer: Episode 12
- Modern Farmer: Episode 11
- Modern Farmer: Episode 10
- Modern Farmer: Episode 9
- Modern Farmer: Episode 8
- Modern Farmer: Episode 7
- Modern Farmer: Episode 6
- Modern Farmer: Episode 5
- Modern Farmer: Episode 4
- Modern Farmer: Episode 3
- Modern Farmer: Episode 2
- Modern Farmer: Episode 1