House on Wheels: Episode 7
The baby of our tiny house family invites a special friend to join them on their travels this week, and the entire group embarks on their biggest adventure yet. But don’t worry — they still make time for big meals, lots of laughs, and the usual amount of good-natured teasing.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
The boys are back on the road, en route to their new home. They catch up with each other, and Jin-gu tells his hyungs he took time for himself and even got a haircut. Dong-il says it looks like Jin-gu is trying to use his looks to compete with his hyungs, lol.
Before long, they’ve stopped for lunch at an old-timey Korean restaurant (picture something out of a sageuk) and while they wait for their food, they talk about their guest. It’s none other than Jang Man-wol herself, IU.
Dong-il tells Jin-gu that he should handle everything since he’s the one who’s extended the invite, so Jin-gu calls IU to get the usual info, i.e. what she wants to eat.
IU wants what every guest has wanted to eat so far: meat. Dong-il promises to get plenty for all of them, then Hee-won gets the phone to say hello. He gets so shy and bashful; Dong-il literally falls over laughing at this new side of Hee-won.
Knowing how thoroughly Jin-gu likes to prepare in advance, Hee-won wonders what he has up his sleeve this time. Jin-gu’s decided to go back to basics, and rely on more recipe-based dishes. Dong-il jokes, “Recipes? How’s grinding coffee beans for two hours a recipe?” Jin-gu lets him know that, thankfully, IU doesn’t like coffee, though she does have a sweet tooth. Dong-il brings up shikhye, but the look on Jin-gu’s face as makes me think we won’t ever see shikhye again this season.
Dong-il wonders if they should call her by her stage name IU, or her real name, Ji-eun. He usually calls her IU, whereas Jin-gu calls her Ji-eun noona. Dong-il tells Hee-won to call her noona too, lol. Hee-won decides he’ll pull the ultimate Korean dad move and just address her as “Jin-gu’s friend.”
They reach Mungyeong, their new home, shortly after lunch and the guys are actually familiar with the area because they’ve filmed here before (lots of sageuks film in Mungyeong). Jin-gu says he always wanted to sightsee there, but “I never imagined I’d be here pulling a house along.”
Their new home is a patch of grass surrounded by fields and mountains, with paragliders and tram tracks in view. With IU’s arrival on their minds, they get to work getting everything set up, including the tarp that usually gives them so much trouble. Things go smoothly, and Dong-il is even relaxed enough to throw a joke at Jin-gu: “You’re thinking of my face as you hammer, right?”
While the cast is busy preparing for IU, we see her walking to the house with a ton of stuff in hand. She laughs to herself as she struggles to wheel her luggage and gifts through the grass.
She ends up inadvertently sneaking up on them — they’re as happy as they are sweaty (Hee-won is literally dripping sweat). IU is told to wait while they set up the chairs, but the clumsiness on display doesn’t inspire confidence. She still has a mask on, but her eyes look worried.
Dong-il reassures her it’s fine and that their guests don’t work, so she reluctantly stands down. As she watches, she can’t help but crack up at sweaty Jin-gu and she hands everyone tissues to wipe off their sweat.
Once the chairs are set up, they take a quick break. Since it’s the first time Hee-won and IU are meeting, Dong-il tells her that Hee-won just has that sort of face (i.e. resting villain face) so there’s no need to worry if he’s angry or unhappy. Hee-won nods in confirmation that his resting villain face is his happy face.
With introductions done, IU brings out her housewarming gifts. There’s cold brew coffee (roasted and brewed by IU’s dad), all the veggies and banchan for a Korean BBQ party (courtesy of IU’s mom), and the piece de resistance: a rolling collapsible shopping cart, decorated by IU herself. She explains the cute decals and doodles on it, including one part where she’d drawn a house with roller skates and the words “slow house.” Slow house? IU: “Isn’t that the show’s concept?” Hee-won is surprised. “We must really come off as slow, we’re fast though,” he retorts.
Dong-il is the cast’s coffee aficionado, and just a sip is enough to have him singing IU’s dad’s praises. IU’s happy to hear that and shares that no one in their family likes coffee so her dad never really gets the sort of compliments he deserves when it comes to his brewing skills.
Dong-il tells her he wishes he was part of their family, and after hearing that, Jin-gu quietly says, “I’ll try sunbae-nim.” He obviously means trying at making good coffee, but the timing is hilarious and Hee-won shoots back, “What! You’re going to try to marry her?” Dong-il can’t believe how easily they’re getting into romances. “First Hee-won and Hyo-jin, and now you two?”
Something else grabs Dong-il’s attention, and it makes him bring up something he really wants to do with the cast: paragliding. Dong-il points out the paragliders that are soaring through the sky and IU looks concerned at the prospect of, you know, flying through the sky with just a glider attached.
Dong-il’s been on family trips to Mungyeong a few times and has paraglided with his kids as well. He tells them it’ll be an experience you never forget. Nonetheless, Hee-won doesn’t look thrilled, and doesn’t want to do it. He tries to get back up but all Jin-gu has to say is, “It’s on my bucket list: to go paragliding with my House on Wheels hyung-nims and our guest.”
All Hee-won can do is sigh. But with no one refusing to go, they decide to sign up for a paragliding session. It’s a pretty straightforward process (you just fill out some forms), and after they reserve a slot they go back home to wait for their time to glide.
Dong-il gets a call that lets him know a special delivery is headed their way. The delivery is courtesy of one of Dong-il’s friends and it’s a sampling of some of the most prized mushrooms you can get in Korea, including locally picked pine mushrooms and lion’s mane, daseulgi snails, and apples.
Lion’s mane is called a deer’s butt mushroom in Korean, and it looks how it sounds, hairy and large. Everyone takes turns sniffing each of the different mushrooms (they each have their own distinct scent apparently). They decide to take a mushroom break so Jin-gu heads into the house to make a salt and sesame oil dip. Ha, the show’s captions dub him the “Grinding Master.”
IU gets to be the first to try each mushroom and Dong-il tells her not to share her pine mushroom with anyone. She slowly takes a bite while Jin-gu and Hee-won just stare at her instensely. So intensely that Dong-il tells Hee-won to sit back in his chair to watch lol. She gently asks if Hee-won would like a taste but he lets her enjoy the mushroom by herself, saying that he’s “allergic to pine mushrooms, especially wild ones.”
Having had a taste of what’s ahead for dinner, they’re about to head off to pick up groceries when the paragliding place calls. Because the wind is dying down, the gang have to go now, otherwise they won’t be able to head off today. They’re a little off balance at the sudden change in plans, but buckle up and head off.
In the car, IU spots a grasshopper and shoos it away, but freaks out Jin-gu in the process. IU asks if he’s scared of bugs, but no, he was totally not scared at all. (I believe you Jin-gu).
The road to the launch location is super twisty and woody, and the closer they get to the top, the quieter Jin-gu and IU get. The last stretch of road is super bumpy, and IU wonders if that’s a sign they shouldn’t paraglide.
They’ve reached the summit and the views are incredible with more mountains everywhere you look. Jin-gu declares his heart is racing, but he seems more pumped than scared. Their instructors (who’ll also be gliding with them) suit each person up with safety gear.
IU’s instructors places a helmet on her and tells her she makes it look good. She asks Jin-gu if she looks okay, and he tells her she looks good in everything. Despite the sweet compliment, it looks like her nerves are getting the best of her. She keeps spacing out and staring off into the distance. All Hee-won can do is sigh wordlessly.
Dong-il brags to IU that he has one of her songs ready to listen to when he’s in the air and plays it for her. It plays and he gets into it — but it’s not her song LOL.
One of the instructors say they should launch in twos and that they’re ready, so Dong-il volunteers himself and Hee-won. Hee-won is…not looking great.
IU sits down while she waits for the sunbaes to go and she urges Jin-gu to sit too. He accidentally flops over and looks like a little turtle thanks to all of his gliding equipment.
It’s time to launch and though Hee-won doesn’t look happy he runs as fast as he can and give a shout as he lifts off into the air.
He looks so happy once he’s gliding. He takes in the world below him and starts to get emotional and a little teary.
Hee-won’s had so many firsts on House of Wheels, sleeping in a tent, seeing a sunrise, and now gliding through the sky.
Now it’s Dong-il’s turn and he launches smoothly. As soon as he’s in the sky, he turns on his IU song and rocks out.
IU deadpans, “Now that the sunbaes are off, let’s go back down.” Jin-gu agrees and says they can go get the groceries while their sunbaes glide.
Whoa, they can hear each other in the sky! Dong-il’s voice rings out, “Hee-won! Do you like it?!” But Hee-won is so emotional that he keeps tearing up whenever he tries to talk, so Dong-il’s met with silence.
Dong-il keeps trying to get Hee-won’s attention but Hee-won is too busy crying to reply. Aw, IU and Jin-gu can hear Dong-il’s failed attempts to chat and assume Hee-won’s too nervous to talk.
Jin-gu tells IU she can go first, then says into his camera that he’ll go shopping “while noona’s in the air.” IU runs into the sky, screaming “Mommy!” and she’s up and gliding.
And then it was Jin-gu. He’s off and from the sky he even spots their tiny house. Jin-gu calls out to IU, and his instructor offers to level up with her. Suddenly, they’re doing corkscrews down to where IU is and it looks very daredevil and cool.
Hee-won lands first, right in front of their house. IU’s instructor innocently asks if she’s ever been on a rollercoaster. IU says yes, that she likes rollercoasters, and suddenly they’re doing 90 degree turns with IU yelling, “Sir! Aigoo, aigoo! Aigoo, sir!” and screaming into the wind.
On the ground, they rave about the experience, and Hee-won thinks he’s found a kindred spirit when he hears IU teared up. Until she clarifies that the wind was stinging her eyes and he laughs in embarrassment.
Even though Hee-won really enjoyed himself, he brings it all back down to earth: “I’m fine with doing this once in my life.” But his reasoning is that it was so special, it would dilute the experience to go again. And he admits he’s still embarrassed he couldn’t shout back to Dong-il because he was so choked up, aww.
It’s time to go grocery shopping, and Jin-gu takes the wheel (I swear I can see little hearts in Jin-gu’s eyes as IU takes the passenger seat). They’re off to buy samgyupsal and naengmyun and Jin-gu’s tapped to take charge of all meal prep. But Hee-won assures him they’re all ready to help, “You be the leader and tell us what to do — you can even use banmal with me.” Jin-gu’s response to the banmal suggestion: “That makes me more nervous than paragliding.”
The butcher they head to isn’t just any old shop — they specialize in yakdol pork and beef. Yakdol means medicinal rock, and the animals are given food that has ground up minerals like germanium, which boosts the meat’s flavor. They pick up pork belly, beef, and even all the fixings for the naengmyun.
At home, Jin-gu volunteers to make gochujang samgyupsal and mushroom rice. Dong-il worries about how long that will take him but leaves dinner in Jin-gu’s capable (ish?) hands.
IU is getting antsy about not doing anything, to the point that she starts to plead for work to do. Instead, Jin-gu prepares a little dish of steak tartare.
While his noona and hyungs snack, Jin-gu has a few quick bites and starts getting dinner ready.
Outside, Dong-il tries to get the fire started, but there’s a lot of popping and very little fire. Feeling a little self-conscious in front of IU, Dong-il actually apologizes lol. When Hee-won gets hit with some sparks, it sets Dong-il off with his mantra, “Don’t panic.” In the end, IU gets up and helps clean up the table and all the ash. “All our guests have something in common, they end up working,” quips Hee-won.
IU then takes a peek at Jin-gu cooking inside the house, and she gives him some very sweet, moony looks as she compliments his culinary skills. A smiley Jin-gu tells her to stop watching because it makes him nervous.
How does Jin-gu’s dinner turn out? Our episode ends with Jin-gu still working in the kitchen, so we’ll have to wait till next week to see how well he fared. Hold onto your chopsticks till then, everyone!