House on Wheels: Episode 5
The tiny house adventures continue on Jeju before moving back to the mainland. We say goodbye to one lovely guest, but then we meet a new one who’s basically pure energy in human form. And at this point, our cast needs all the extra energy (and help) that they can get!
EPISODE 5 RECAP
We rejoin our tiny house crew right in the middle of their epic dinner, and it’s conch time. Hyo-jin says the conch meat tastes sweet, and she makes it look so good that I wish I could conch-fiscate some of her food (sorry, not sorry).
Dinner finishes after sun sets, and as they sit in the dark Dong-il asks Hyo-jin if she’s ever gone camping and slept in a tent. She has, as a child, and she really enjoyed her time camping with her dad. Hyo-jin recommends softie city boy Hee-won give tents a try. He’s skeptical that he’ll enjoy it, but decides to give tents a chance after hearing Hyo-jin’s recommendation.
There’s a sunbae-hoobae divide, with Dong-il and Hee-won sleeping outside in a tent, and Hyo-jin and Jin-gu sleeping inside the house. Hee-won says sleeping in a tent is at least a change from sleeping on the kitchen floor.
As usual, Dong-il and Hee-won wake first and just relax outdoors as they enjoy the scenery. Dong-il looks at Hee-won with such love in his eyes–then teases him about his morning appearance. Hee-won brags that it’s not easy to wake up looking this good, but he can’t hold back his laughter.
A little while later, everyone is awake and ready to face the day ahead. When talk turns to breakfast, Hyo-jin actually declines to eat (seriously?!). It’s mostly to be polite, since she doesn’t want to make them work on her last day.
Hee-won has the perfect solution — rice cakes they bought a while back from the traditional market. He gives the rice cakes a sniff test and says they haven’t gone bad. Hyo-jin says she’s eaten food that’s a little off before and she’s always been fine. Hee-won: “So expired food is health food for you.”
Hyo-jin is craving some ramyun, but can they pull it off with only a few hours left till Hyo-jin leaves? Hee-won vows they’ll eat within the hour, then they should go for a walk in the forest before parting. Dong-il’s not interested in walking and says Hee-won should just go with Hyo-jin. Hee-won shoots back, “That was the plan all along. How dare you try to tag along?”
Jin-gu takes care of setting up the gas burner and he pulls out their record player and turns on some Queen. Hyo-jin’s enjoying herself so much that she could spend another day like this, listening to the music and eating outdoors. But when Hee-won asks if she can stay another day, she just laughs and walks away lol.
Dong-il studies one of the records and decides they should should play a song that’ll show Hyo-jin their feelings for her. He chooses a track and Hee-won turns the volume up.
The song plays for a few seconds and it sounds eerily familiar. Dong-il panics and tells Hee-won that’s not the right song. Hee-won replies “Hyung, we’re telling Hyo-jin we’re showing her how we feel and we just turned on the song from Memories of Murder.” Hyo-jin confirms that the song is what the murderer played when he killed women. Dong-il meekly explains he meant to turn a different song (it’s the next track) and fully embarrassed, he changes the subject to ramyun.
They have everything set up when it dawns on them that there’s no ramyun left in the house. Hee-won offers to run down to a nearby shop and Hyo-jin urges him to hurry. He says he is hurrying as he carries on at a normal walking pace.
Hee-won does make it back with time to spare, carrying a big pack of ramyun. Then Hyo-jin says there were eggs on Three Meals a Day, does House on Wheels have eggs? Jin-gu heads off to beg eggs from a nearby cafe (lol for a sec, he even wonders if can find a chicken) and he returns victorious, with eggs in hand.
It’s an outdoor ramyun party! Dong-il says Jin-gu is great to travel with and wonders if his mom was worried about her son having to travel with two tough sunbaes. Jin-gu laughs before saying no, his mom wasn’t worried about him traveling–Hyo-jin cuts in to say Jin-gu has gray hair already. Hee-won tells Jin-gu, “It’s all over now.”
Jin-gu didn’t know he was graying, and Hyo-jin plucks out one strand to show him. Dong-il says don’t air this — Jin-gu’s mom might worry and think her baby’s gone gray from sunbae-related stress.
With meal time and cleanup out of the way, the four head into the forest for a few last photos and a group walk. The forest is full of wildflowers and cypress trees and they marvel at how beautiful it all is. Jin-gu tells Hyo-jin and Dong-il to strike a pose, but uses that time to take a selfie of himself with Hee-won hehe. They capture their last outing together with some group photos.
We’re back on the mainland and driving through the countryside once again. The guys are a little worried though, because they’re traveling right in the middle of a heatwave. However, Dong-il thinks they should be fine once they reach their destination and reasons that bamboo forests are cool. They’re heading to Damyang, Jeolla Province. The area is famous for its fermented skate and bamboo forest.
Dong-il asks if Jin-gu finds the trips difficult (Hee-won’s already made his thoughts on the healing vs. killing balance of the trip, and right now healing is fighting a losing battle). Jin-gu says the travel is a little difficult, but they’re fun too. Dong-il’s grateful that Jin-gu is even traveling with them. “Most of our hoobaes don’t want to spend time with us, and especially not with Hee-won.”
They pull up to a clearing in Mansungri Bamboo Forest; it looks like something straight out of a movie. It’s beautiful but there’s not even a hint of a breeze and everyone’s sweating buckets. Oh no — Hee-won wants to set up the tarp (I’m worried for them, their tarp skills aren’t the sharpest), but then he second guesses himself lol.
They use Jin-gu’s compass to try to predict the sun’s direction…except there are differing interpretations of which way is east and which way is north. Final verdict: It’s all the same in the end. They end up just picking a spot to set up their wooden deck and skipping the tarp.
Dong-il directs the other two on how to piece the deck together but something’s off every time, like they’ve been using mismatched puzzle pieces. Jin-gu and Hee-won turn and turn, shifting the deck pieces again and again before the deck is complete.
It’s the most exhausted Jin-gu has looked on the show so far, and Hee-won is sweating so much that he looks like he’s crying. The fact that his sunblock is now dripping into his eyes doesn’t help, and the ever-cool (and less labored) Dong-il cracks up at Hee-won’s pain. Aw, he literally can’t open his eyes.
Neither Jin-gu nor Dong-il can stop laughing, but they put Hee-won out of his misery and hand him a towel to wipe his face. Eyes no longer stinging, Hee-won speaks with renewed vigor and declares he wants watermelon. It’s actually the only thing he can think of, while Dong-il is wondering about what they should cook.
He calls up their guest, Lee Sung-kyung. Dong-il has worked with her before, but neither Jin-gu nor Hee-won have even met her. The phone rings away and Dong-il says she’s going to be pumped from the jump. Hee-won: “More hyper than Hyeri?”
A high-pitched and excited, “Sunbae-nimmmm!” rings out and Dong-il responds in kind with a high pitched, “It’s meeeeee!” Sung-kyung informs them she’s on her way and would like to have meat for dinner, specifically beef.
Our crew arrive at Damyang Market, which is famous for its noodle restaurants and bamboo crafts.
Before any shopping can be done, they need to recharge and have lunch. All three men look like chipmunks as they eat their way through huge bowls of an assortment of noodles. Mid-meal, Hee-won says this moment feels like a time of healing. Whoa. Jin-gu actually holds his hand over his heart as he says he’s touched.
Aw, it’s literally the first time Hee-won’s said the word “healing” in a positive way. We get a little montage of Hee-won moments, and even with really good food the most he’d do was nod his head quietly. Not even beautiful scenery moved him. This is actually the most energized he’s ever been on the show, as Hee-won continues by saying he wants to create a space for their guest to heal.
But Hee-won is back to his normal, grumpy-ish self as soon as they head back into the market lol. (He blames the heat.) They of course get watermelon, and they also buy some craft dwenjang (which is apparently superior to the commercial stuff you can get at supermarkets), bamboo shoots, and pork belly.
It’s home sweet home, but the guys wilt at the site of the sun shining directly on the deck. Only on the deck. Dong-il wonders what they should do about the sun, and where Sung-kyung is.
We hear her before we see her: “Whooo! It’s the countryside! It’s so great, it’s healing!” Sung-kyung is really enjoying her walk in the bamboo forest, lol. She spots the tiny house and the crew and screams “Sunbae-nim!” as she runs over to them. How does she have so much energy? Everything she does makes me laugh.
Now that Sung-kyung’s arrived, we hear the old refrain from Dong-il, “don’t move an inch” and the men go to move the deck chairs out of the sun. Sung-kyung takes one look at Hee-won and Jin-gu and starts laughing, saying they already seem tired.
Sung-kyung has housewarming gifts ready for them: straw hats, a bingsoo maker, and a fancy bluetooth speaker/radio with a big disco light attached. She grabs her camera to take photos and break the ice, and she tries to take a shot of Hee-won, “Sunbae-nim, please smile.” Hee-won: “I am smiling.”
It’s so hot that they decide a snack is in order, and they make a dessert concoction with watermelon, ice, and soda. It seems to help everyone cool down but Sung-kyung giggles that Hee-won still looks tired (“I just have that sort of face”).
Dong-il gathers everyone around the deck to set up a special mosquito net tent. And by set up, I mean he literally drapes it over the deck then orders everyone to get under the fabric.
They don’t give up, though, and the tent’s set up in due course. With that out of the way, the focus switches to dinner.
Being surrounded by bamboo has inspired them to get creative with cooking methods. They’re going to make a container out of bamboo and use it to cook the pork belly.
Dong-il is very handy with a saw, and he cuts down some bamboo to size and hands it off to Sung-kyung to use as a container for the pork belly.
Sung-kyung seasons the meat with Jin-gu and she’s very careful and timid when sprinkling on salt at pepper. She actually gets nervous when Jin-gu seasons meat with abandon lol.
They pack their new bamboo container with garlic cloves and pork, and cover the open end with a lid fashioned out of aluminum foil.
Once the fire is burning, they plop the container right in. Hee-won’s amazed by the fact the bamboo isn’t burning up, it’s just charring.
Jin-gu’s apologetic for making Sung-kyung work as soon as she arrives, but she carries on doing whatever’s needed and tells him not to worry, it’s all part of the fun of being there.
The time comes to rotate the bamboo and things go slightly haywire. The bamboo slips out of Dong-il’s grasp and sparks fly up (as does Sung-kyung who runs for cover). Dong-il keeps saying don’t panic, but the foil lid pops off. Sung-kyung acts fast and grabs more foil and once there’s a new lid on, it’s back on the fire. One casualty of the melee: Dong-il’s metal tongs.
Sung-kyung says the sound of the fire burning and the meat cooking is like music to her ears. Hee-won jokes that listening to music during the day is fine, but not at night since it might attract ghosts. At that exact moment, a masked man in a windbreaker approaches.
He stops by the tiny house to say hello to Jin-gu through the window and Jin-gu exlaims, “Hyung-nim! Hello!” when the man pulls his mask down.
Then it’s over to the mosquito tent. Sung-kyung guesses a name (which we don’t get to hear) and just as the masked visitor pulls down his mask, the camera fades out.