Grandpas Over Flowers in Greece: Episode 4
javabeans: It’s morning in Athens, and one by one everybody starts getting ready. Soon-jae halbae checks that the weather report is on target, while Geun-hyung halbae enjoys a walk outside in the morning air. Ji-woo puts on her makeup while Seojinnie does his hair in the adjoining bathroom, which of course looks just like a married couple.
girlfriday: They’re already like an old couple with a morning routine!
javabeans: I burst out laughing when Seo-jin asks why Ji-woo is putting on makeup, adding, “Did you always wear makeup?” LOL. It’s that thing men do of saying they like women who are bare-faced, not knowing that the “bare face” is layers of artfully applied makeup.
girlfriday: She’s aghast at the idea, and cries that she’s been wearing makeup the whole time. But she doesn’t seem to mind his sideways compliment that she’d look just as good bare-faced (not that he’d ever know the difference, heh).
javabeans: The halbaes make it down to the lobby area with their bags and eat the breakfast Geun-hyung halbae brought back, and OH NO now I’m remembering that their super-early start time is going to wreak havoc on the car rental plan! Sometimes it’s really stressful knowing the future.
girlfriday: Ack, I think he made the reservation for 11am, and it’s barely 9 in the morning and all the halbaes are packed and dressed and just sitting there staring.
javabeans: On the phone with the car company, he just keeps saying the word “earlier,” like, “earlier,” just maybe “earlier?” It’s so ominous sounding!
girlfriday: Seo-jin has the horrible job of telling the halbaes that they have to wait, and I’m sure that that they’re okay with it, but it’s Seo-jin’s frozen face that sends me into a panic.
javabeans: It reminds me Seung-gi, where both sides are trying overly hard to accommodate the other and really, it’ll just be okay. Seo-jin suggests that they take a look at the Dionysus theater, and they go agreeably, saying that they wanted to see more anyway. Then the second they’re off with Ji-woo, he races for the Hertz office to try to ask them to hurry.
girlfriday: Things don’t seem nearly so dire now, since the halbaes are off sightseeing with Ji-woo and Seo-jin has a plan in motion. The halbaes really enjoy touring the theater, which leads to all sorts of history lessons about the origins of Greek theater and drama.
javabeans: It’s also nice to see little snippets of the halbaes in theater performances, which of course we never get a chance to see otherwise. It’s a little disconcerting to see stuff like Sophocles or Shakespeare performed in the Korean language, but I suppose the stories prevail.
girlfriday: Gu halbae calls it the highlight of the trip, and seems especially happy that he got the chance to see it. He’s actually in the middle of rehearsals for a play right now, and we see him stop to buy castmates presents and reading his scripts late at night during the trip.
javabeans: Meanwhile, Na PD and Seo-jin look online at more lodging options and like the ones named after gods and heroes (which are all of them, really). Then they’re all, “There’s an Hermes Hotel!” “But it’s not that expensive!” “…wait, is Hermes a Greek god’s name?” HA. Figures Seojinnie only knows the one.
girlfriday: Did he just ask if Conan is a Greek god?
javabeans: Na PD’s just messing with him now, isn’t he? He names off all the Conans that Seo-jin isn’t talking about, while Seo-jin tries to explain, “You know… the barbarian.”
girlfriday: Okay they totally overplayed the rental car drama, because it shows up and they load it up to go without any new mishaps. There’s this hilarious moment when the halbaes get in the van, and Soon-jae halbae can’t figure out how to get his seatbelt on (he has two buckles and no clip), and just looks around furtively before holding it in place, pretending to have it on.
javabeans: Then Gu halbae tells him to put his belt on, and Soon-jae halbae totally plays it off like he’s not wearing it because he totally chose not to, not because he couldn’t figure out how to put it on. At least that time he finds the clasp, so that he’ll only be embarrassed in retrospect when this episode airs to the country.
girlfriday: He just looks SO guilty. I can’t stop laughing. There’s a new hiccup when Seo-jin can’t find his destination in the GPS, no matter how many different ways he types it in. Everyone in the car keeps peering over his shoulder in comical succession, and I’m thinking they’ll never get on the road at this rate. Thankfully he decides to ask for help.
javabeans: They finally get going, and the halbaes all nod off until Seo-jin suggests playing some music for them, and at one sound of some old standards, they perk right up, bopping along to the music. Why is that so cute? They remind me of four cats.
girlfriday: Soon-jae halbae is especially cute today, I don’t know why.
javabeans: I know, it just keeps getting cuter, like when they break for lunch and he starts feeding all the animals around him. I like that they know him as the animal-lover now, and Geun-hyung halbae is like his pet-friend-lookout. “Sparrows over there! Oh, look, a dog!” The halbaes all start handing him their leftover carbs to hand out to the animals. Then when they load up into the van, we see that Soon-jae halbae always takes the middle seat, even when the others offer him the more comfy seats up front, and he just waves it aside going, “They’re all seats! Doesn’t matter if they’re front or back or small.”
girlfriday: I didn’t really notice, but they show him always getting into the middle or back seats on every single car ride on all the past trips. They get excited when they near their destination, Meteora, and the hotel owner comes outside to greet them super enthusiastically.
javabeans: That place looks super comfy, kind of like a mountain lodge with a ton of rooms all nearby or adjoining. And very importantly, it actually has a real kitchen. I like the look of horror on Geun-hyung halbae’s face, though, when he finds out Seo-jin means to sleep on the sofa-bed. “You’re going to sleep in a CHAIR?” Seo-jin says he’ll be fine, and Geun-hyung halbae sighs that he’s going to die.
girlfriday: Well when he says it like that, I start to worry too.
javabeans: HA. So Seo-jin is either a liar or he’s totally smitten. Because Ji-woo pauses to admire the view, and as Seo-jin walks by, he very uncharacteristically pauses to admire the view as well, and then the show intercuts an interview where he says very unsentimentally how he doesn’t care about that kind of stuff.
girlfriday: And we see why, because as soon as he pauses to look out and enjoy the moment, Il-sub halbae chirps, “Make food!” Back to work! While Seo-jin and Ji-woo make a grocery list, Soon-jae halbae befriends the cat (and names it!).
javabeans: Seo-jin and Ji-woo head out to grocery shop at the supermarket he clocked on the way into town, and he totally talks it up, like he’s boasting of his find. Then Ji-woo lights up to see how huge it is and gives him all the praise he was angling for, and he just grins like a doof.
girlfriday: It’s amusing because you think it’s such a silly thing to be SO proud for, but then Ji-woo really does get super excited about the giant supermarket like it made her whole day.
javabeans: She even calls him Cute-jinnie, and I don’t see him objecting to that. What I find so funny is that clearly Seo-jin knows his way around a market and cooking and housekeeping, but Ji-woo wants to take charge, and he wants to let her, so they just fall into these roles. She tells him she wants to pick out the meat, and all of a sudden he’s all wide-eyed, “I don’t even know how to do that.”
girlfriday: You are on a show ALL ABOUT COOKING.
javabeans: FOUR seasons of it! TWELVE MEALS A DAY. They start bickering, and it’s like the hotel shopping all over again. Him: “Just take whatever.” Her: “How can I just take whatever? I have to be careful!” Him: “They’re all the same.” Her: “Still, you have to pick well!”
girlfriday: He lets her win the lemon war, but then they get into another battle of beef vs. pork, and this one is more crucial because Seo-jin swears that the halbaes prefer beef, while Ji-woo insists that they wanted pork today. They can’t agree so they make a call to Il-sub halbae, and when he says pork, Seo-jin actually frowns because he lost the argument.
javabeans: At least Ji-woo doesn’t gloat in his face (although he would totally gloat in hers). The halbaes get started with drinks and snacks, meanwhile, and the mood is convivial.
girlfriday: Gu halbae succeeds in getting Soon-jae hyung to drink again, and Soon-jae halbae is all, “Do you like this taste?”
javabeans: They’re snacking when Ji-woo and Seo-jin get back, and say a little sheepishly, “We got tired of waiting.” Hee. They’re eating canned salmon with their soju, and then step out to let the couple start cooking dinner. And while the room is empty… that cat ambles inside and discovers the leftover salmon. OM NOM NOM. How adorable!
girlfriday: That’s so cute. Seo-jinnie chases it out, but if it had been Soon-jae halbae, he’d probably have offered the whole can. Ji-woo takes the lead in the kitchen, and it’s funny to watch Seo-jin get ordered around so much and enjoy it. I think he also likes that the stress is on her to put the dish together, and all he has to do is wash or chop or whatever.
javabeans: Ji-woo says that she doesn’t actually know much about cooking, and that anything she might have said otherwise was all lies. She’s relying on the internet to help her through this, and when Seo-jin wonders why she’s putting macaroni in her army soup, she replies, “Doesn’t… it go in here? Oh well.”
girlfriday: She’s pretty frazzled and stops every other minute to go, “What was I doing?” and “What am I supposed to do?” until Geun-hyung halbae finally steps in to help her.
javabeans: But every time she stops to taste, she’s completely pleased, so it’s a different feeling than when Seo-jin is cooking and you just don’t know.
girlfriday: I love it when she’s super excited about the kimchi and makes Seo-jin taste it, even though he keeps trying to tell her that it came from his house.
javabeans: HAHA there’s a hilarious moment when Ji-woo sees the green onion kimchi and notices that it’s cut into bite-size pieces. A flashback reminds us that Seo-jin was grumpy when it was uncut on the last trip, and she says that he must have complained to his mother, which is why she cut it this time. I love that first of all, Ji-woo notices this, which means she totally watched the last show, and also the idea that his mom is going to LOVE her for noticing.
girlfriday: We’re one step closer to wedding bells! Once the table is set and the halbaes start eating, there’s so much food that it doesn’t even fit on one table. Aw, as the halbaes eat, Il-sub halbae seems especially focused on the fact that Seo-jin is standing over the stove grilling the meat, and pours him a glass to bring him over to the table.
javabeans: It’s so sweet, and Seo-jin mentions it later that night to the others. I did notice that Il-sub halbae has frequently mentioned how hard Seo-jin’s been working and has thanked him repeatedly on this trip. It’s such the Korean dad thing to do, to notice quietly and then say one word about it, and for that to bring you to tears.
girlfriday: Later Seo-jin interviews that Il-sub halbae didn’t get mad once on this trip, and then spills the beans that on previous trips that stuff got edited out. Hee.
javabeans: Aw, he’s mellowing. We see that even two years ago on the first trip (has it been two years already?!), he was resistant to the idea of thinking himself a senior, but now he says he feels that changing, that he really is an old man. Then after dinner is over, Ji-woo keeps cooking for the crew, who sit down at the table after the halbaes leave.
girlfriday: She even feeds the cat!
javabeans: Then it’s morning again. You know, I wonder if Na PD really enjoys finding new narratives to attach to all of these morning sequences, because really, it’s boring footage of men waking and washing up for the day. But in Na PD’s hands you get techno dancing in one room, and monk-like meditation in another, and so on.
girlfriday: There’s certainly an art to it. Also, halbaes dancing is always funny.
javabeans: Seo-jin packs up the van, and apparently his dimples are just now a character in this show. They’re like his emotional indicator, broadcasting how he’s feeling at the moment.
girlfriday: They pile into the car to head out for the day, and for some reason, Gu halbae is totally unresponsive when Soon-jae halbae keeps trying to engage him in conversation. Maybe he’s just not a morning person? But Soon-jae halbae just KEEPS trying, which makes it funnier and sadder at the same time.
javabeans: What IS this? It’s so confusing but hilarious. Gu halbae can’t NOT be hearing him, but he’s just… not listening. And Soon-jae halbae is so confused but eager to get some kind of response.
girlfriday: The captions are the best, because it creates Soon-jae halbae’s desperate inner monologue, all, It’s okay… he just didn’t hear me that time.
javabeans: After a loooong car ride up a rocky mountainside, they make it to Meteora, which from afar looks like it was just dropped into place with no way to get there.
girlfriday: Wow this place is crazy. Before stairs were built into the cliffside, they used to haul things and people up with a rope!
javabeans: Don’t you think it should be “stairs first, then inhabit”?
girlfriday: Right?? Il-sub halbae says that he regrets not being able to make the climb to the top, but even Ji-woo is struggling to climb up there and is amazed that the other halbaes are just trucking along.
javabeans: They reach a scenic viewpoint, where Seo-jin notices that Ji-woo won’t near the railing because she’s afraid to look down over the ledge or even get near it. She warns him to be careful, so of course he purposely leans waaaaay over and pretends to start climbing over, and sits on the railing just to get a rise out of her, laughing like a teenage boy.
girlfriday: He’s such a child around her. He might as well pull her pigtails. I love that the halbaes tour the monastery and momentarily wonder where the luggage kiddos went, then decide, “Let ’em play on their own without us!”
javabeans: Go on. Don’t mind us. We’ll look away.
- Grandpas Over Flowers in Greece: Episode 3
- Grandpas Over Flowers in Greece: Episode 2
- Grandpas Over Flowers in Greece: Episode 1
- Grandpas make their comeback as Greek gods
- Choi Ji-woo joins Grandpas Over Flowers as surprise guest
- Grandpas Over Flowers plans next season in Jordan
- Oh Snap! From Seo Genie to Seo Genius
- Three Meals a Day: Episode 1