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Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha: Episode 5

In a village as small as this one, rumors spread like wildfire – and, apparently, so do romantic feelings. While new flames are being kindled, old ones are on the verge of flaring up again. Throw in a few handfuls of embarrassment, a tablespoon of envy, and a heaping dose of foot-in-mouth, all seasoned with gossip, and we’ve got a recipe for lots and lots of complicated emotions.

 
EPISODE 5 RECAP

Hye-jin wakes up on a mattress on Doo-shik’s floor… right next to a sleeping Doo-shik. She appears to have rolled off the bed during the night, but that doesn’t make her feel any better about it. She quickly jumps up, grabs her purse, and tiptoes out the door, unknowingly leaving her umbrella behind. Nam-sook happens by as Hye-jin leaves the house, and an enormous grin spreads over her face. She whips out her phone and texts everyone in the village. By the time Hye-jin gets back home, the news has spread so much that Mi-sun meets her at the door, asking, “You slept with Doo-shik?” Hye-jin sinks to the floor, mortified.

Doo-shik wakes sometime later and finds Hye-jin’s umbrella. He smiles and starts cooking breakfast, but realizes he’s out of tofu.

As Hye-jin nurses a headache, memories from last night start to come back: namely, calling Doo-shik “oppa” while dancing drunkenly around the village. But she can’t remember how they went from walking around outside after dark to sleeping back at his place. She considers taking the day off, but Mi-sun reminds her of her credit card bill. Then she rushes to the bathroom with a stomachache, leaving Hye-jin to brave the village alone.

Hye-jin tries to ignore the cluster of villagers who have gathered in the street to gossip about her. But Doo-shik appears right then and loudly complains about her shirking dishes duty and drinking his ginseng wine. Hye-jin suggests grabbing breakfast, hoping to get away from the villagers (who are not doing a very good job of pretending they aren’t listening intently). They relocate to a nearby restaurant, where the spectators plaster themselves to a sliding glass door.

Hye-jin has to explain to Doo-shik why they’re being gawked at, making him sigh in frustration. She gulps and asks if anything happened last night, so he recounts her entire cringey drunken spectacle. He also says she was the one who wanted to drink more, which is why they went back to his place and drank the ginseng wine. Spotting a drop of soup on her lips, he holds out a tissue (the onlookers jump excitedly), and Hye-jin quickly grabs it from him, certain he’s just ruined her attempt at dispelling rumors.

But outside, the villagers turn away from the door, suddenly unsure of any chemistry between the couple. They even liken Doo-shik wiping Hye-jin’s lips to a father caring for his daughter. Hwa-jung scolds them for gossiping, and they all disperse, disappointed but not entirely discouraged. Nam-sook creates a new group chat without Hwa-jung (but including Mi-sun) and invites the group over to her store, where they argue over whether Hye-jin is good enough for Doo-shik.

Hye-jin insists on paying for her own meal. Doo-shik suggests they follow up with “hangover coffee,” to which she bluntly asks if he likes her. He calls that delusional, so she lists out all the things he’s done to help her. He debunks them all, adding that she’s always around him, not the other way around. Hye-jin explains that she doesn’t think they’re a good match due to their different social positions. Seeing his face darken, she quickly says she was being realistic, not judgmental, but It’s clear he’s insulted.

At the clinic, Hye-jin asks Mi-sun’s opinion, confessing that she does think herself out of Doo-shik’s league. She scoffs when Mi-sun says the villagers think it’s the other way around, but to her shock, Mi-sun reveals that Doo-shik studied engineering at Seoul National University. Turns out he went off to university as the pride of Gongjin with academic awards, scholarships, and a reputation for beating up bullies.

And Mi-sun’s new knowledge doesn’t stop there: she excitedly shares that there are three great mysteries of Gongjin. The first mystery is why Hwa-jung and Young-chul divorced. The second mystery is where Doo-shik went for five years after graduation. Rumors abound, some heroic, some dark, but no one knows for sure.

Hye-jin, aghast at all this information, prods Mi-sun to say who she thinks is better (her or Doo-shik). Mi-sun says that love should be about what’s in the heart, not who’s “better.” Hye-jin teases her about falling for Eun-chul because of his looks, and says that qualifications like background, job, looks, etc., simply filter out her options. But then Mi-sun takes the teasing too far by saying Hye-jin hasn’t learned from what her ex-boyfriend did to her. Hye-jin’s face falls, and Mi-sun flounders for a new topic, asking if she wants to hear the third great mystery of Gongjin. Hye-jin excuses herself to the restroom instead.

In a flashback, we see what happened: she’d been out at a club with her then-boyfriend, and overheard him trash-talking her looks and style to his friends. She’d left without confronting him, asking Sung-hyun (who’d also heard everything) to let them know she’d left. Speaking of Sung-hyun, he’s currently out exploring Gongjin, taking in the sea breeze with a smile.

As our granny trio go for a walk, Sook-ja asks about Doo-shik’s secret years. Gam-ri knows more than anyone, but refuses to talk about it, saying what matters is he’s here now. They pause to admire the flowers, and Doo-shik snaps photos from across the way, calling them prettier than flowers and making them blush.

Nam-sook asks Hwa-jung what she plans to do about Young-guk’s first love being back in town. Hwa-jung rolls her eyes, asking if she’s the next gossip victim, and Nam-sook irritates her further by saying that Cho-hee is prettier than she is. Meanwhile, Young-guk is trying to figure out how to ask Cho-hee out on a date. He agonizes over what kind of date to suggest and how to word the text, and his colleague Yong-hoon nags him to just send it. He points out that Young-guk has been divorced for three years now, so there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Doo-shik wanders the harbor taking more photos. But he stops when he spots Sung-hyun through his viewfinder. Sung-hyun is also taking photos, and not paying attention to where he steps. He backs up right off a ledge, and Doo-shik lunges to catch him just in time. Sung-hyun thanks Doo-shik for saving his life, though Doo-shik says what he saved was his camera, prompting Sung-hyun to notice Doo-shik’s own (rare) camera. He offers to buy it for double the price, but settles for momentarily trading cameras with Doo-shik just so he can hold it. They inspect each other’s cameras, and in response to Doo-shik’s questions Sung-hyun says his job is similar to a photographer.

Learning that Doo-shik is a local, Sung-hyun asks for directions to a lookout point. But as soon as he heads off, he takes a wrong turn. With a sigh, Doo-shik runs after him and personally shows him the way. They take in the view at the lookout point, where Sung-hyun says he’s actually been to Gongjin three times before, but not on purpose. He gets lost often, even with the help of a GPS, but he says optimistically that life always takes him somewhere interesting anyway. Doo-shik says drily that he hopes self-driving cars will become mainstream soon, since people like Sung-hyun worry him.

On their walk home, Mi-sun notices Hye-jin’s long face and asks if she’s embarrassed about what she said to Doo-shik. Hye-jin says that’s not it, though it’s certainly not helping. She admits she doesn’t remember everything that happened that night at Doo-shik’s – and that what she does remember is mortifying enough – so Mi-sun says it’s best to stop thinking about it. They run into Cho-hee, who introduces herself as their new neighbor and the teacher of a class Hye-jin will be visiting tomorrow.

Doo-shik takes Sung-hyun to Hwa-jung’s restaurant and confuses him by offering to take his order instead of sitting down. Then he further dumbfounds Sung-hyun by saying he’ll just bring his own favorite dish and taking back the menu. Once Sung-hyun tastes the food, however, he’s so impressed that he declares this a great location for his show. Doo-shik assumes he must be a mukbang YouTuber and advises him to work harder at being recognizable, and Sung-hyun gives up trying to explain. It seems that’s an actual sore point for him, but he quickly shrugs it off and goes back to enjoying the food.

While Yi-joon practices calligraphy, Hwa-jung asks about his new teacher, freezing when he says her name is Cho-hee. She stares unhappily down at the characters he’s written, which mean that people who parted will meet again and people who once met will part ways. Meanwhile, Cho-hee looks through her students’ information and sees that Yi-joon is Young-guk’s son. Just then, she gets Young-guk’s text asking if she’s free for dinner this weekend. She sighs heavily.

Doo-shik asks Sung-hyun how the food was, bristling when Sung-hyun says it was “just okay.” They argue over the best way to prepare fish, and Sung-hyun suggests they settle it by calling famous chef Baek Jong-won. He makes the call with a self-satisfied smirk, only to sink back in defeat when the call won’t go through. Doo-shik tsks that he didn’t take Sung-hyun for a liar, and heads back to the kitchen in a huff.

Hye-jin tries to meditate, but can’t stop cringing about what she’d said to Doo-shik about their different social positions. Then, as she prepares for her class at the elementary school, Mi-sun again bails on her, because she’s stuck on the toilet. She did, however, find a replacement to assist with the class. Hye-jin doesn’t even seem surprised when it turns out to be Doo-shik, though she is more than irritated.

Cho-hee and Young-guk meet in the school hallway. She says she didn’t respond to his message because it was late in the evening, so he tells her she can text him at any time of the day. He starts to explain that he has a son, just as Yi-joon arrives and runs to him for a hug. And right behind Yi-joon is Hwa-jung. Young-guk sweats as Yi-joon introduces his parents to his teacher, and Hwa-jung acts as though this is the first time they’ve met.

As Hye-jin and Doo-shik walk to class, he makes a point of putting extra space between them, saying that he doesn’t want to cause any more misunderstandings. Much to her annoyance, he has fun teasing her for thinking that he likes her.

Young-guk sits uncomfortably between Hwa-jung and Cho-hee at the back of the classroom while Hye-jin and Doo-shik start the lesson with an enthusiastic song and dance. When Yi-joon correctly answers a question, his parents share a proud look. But then Young-guk notices a bracelet on Cho-hee’s wrist, and his smile makes Hwa-jung frown again.

As Doo-shik demonstrates tooth-brushing technique, Hye-jin puts her hand on his to correct how he’s holding the brush. She doesn’t seem to think anything of it, but his eyes get big for an instant. Finally, question time comes around, but the kids don’t want to know about teeth – they want to know if Hye-jin and Doo-shik are dating or getting married. Hye-jin and Doo-shik are literally saved by the bell.

Young-guk offers to help Cho-hee put away their chairs, making Hwa-jung scoff that he never helped around the house when they were married. As they start to argue, Hye-jin and Doo-shik whisper about the movie-material love triangle going on. Cho-hee, visibly uncomfortable, cuts into the argument to ask both Hwa-jung and Young-chul to dinner this weekend. Hwa-jung suddenly grabs her jaw in pain, so Hye-jin takes her to the nurse’s office to have a look at her teeth. She figures out that Hwa-jung is having muscle pain from clenching her jaw, not a toothache. As she explains that finding the real cause of pain is the first step to fixing it, Hwa-jung sees Young-guk and Cho-hee talking together outside, and nods sadly.

While Mi-sun is at the pharmacy buying diarrhea medicine, Eun-chul stops by to pick up dental floss. He notices she’s unwell, and she tries to pass it off as a headache… only for the pharmacist to come back asking for more clarification on exactly what kind of diarrhea she’s experiencing. Mi-sun runs out, but Eun-chul follows and offers his own advice. He doesn’t feel awkward about the subject at all. Mi-sun tries to brush off her embarrassment by saying he’s much nicer than any guys she’s dated before and asking about his ideal type. He thinks for a moment, then says he likes women who are well-mannered, gentle but strong on the inside, and look good in a hanbok, because he watches a lot of sageuks. Mi-sun goes home to watch one such sageuk (nooo not The Crowned Clown!) and decides they aren’t going to be compatible.

As Hye-jin and Doo-shik leave the school, he holds out his hand to her. She starts to reach for it, then pulls back and asks shakily what this means. But he wants the payment Mi-sun promised him. Hye-jin doesn’t have cash, so Doo-shik asks her to buy him dinner instead. She drives to a restaurant outside of Gongjin to avoid prying eyes. After he orders for the both of them, she apologizes for being high and mighty about social positions. She asks about his university and tests him with a CSAT math problem, which he solves with a marker right on the tabletop. Amazed, she hands him problem after problem. He aces them all, which just frustrates her more, since in her eyes he’s wasting money-making potential.

He calls that narrow-minded, because there are other things to live for. Things like happiness, world peace, and love (which makes them both freeze for a split second). He says unlike math problems, life doesn’t always have clear right answers: “You’re given a problem, and it’s up to you how to solve it.” He then gives her a math problem to solve, and while she struggles with it, their waitress arrives and scolds them for writing on the table. They laugh together as Hye-jin claims she definitely would have been able to solve the problem given a little more time.

Still in a self-conscious mood, Hwa-jung fusses over a few gray hairs, thinking about Cho-hee’s youthful appearance. She sighs over a concerned text from Cho-hee (and her recent texts with Young-guk about trash bags), and then turns her attention back to Yi-joon. She urges him not to grow up too quickly.

As Hye-jin and Doo-shik finish their meal, she notices sauce on his lip. He can’t seem to find it with the tissue, so she grabs one and reaches across the table herself without thinking. Surprised, he says he’ll do it himself, seemingly more affected by the close contact than she is.

It’s raining when they come out of the restaurant. Hye-jin rummages through her bag for her umbrella, only realizing now that she’s lost it. Doo-shik pulls it out of his own bag, but then takes her hand and runs straight out onto the beach, telling her to enjoy the rain instead of complaining about getting drenched. He splashes her with water until she laughs and joins in, and they frolic in the waves.

Eventually, Hye-jin calls time so they can catch their breath. He prods her to admit she had fun, and not wanting to give him full satisfaction, she says that she could still catch a cold and be miserable tomorrow. So he steps closer and puts his hand on her forehead, triggering a memory of the other night, when he’d put his hands on her face to feel how warm she was. After he’d pulled his hands away, she’d leaned forward and kissed him. Shocked, she slowly asks if it’s true nothing happened that night. His smile fades a bit as he says it’s true, and they stand there staring into each other’s eyes.

 
EPILOGUE

That day in Seoul, Doo-shik’s doctor had asked about his recurring nightmare. In the nightmare, Doo-shik groped around in the darkness until a bloody hand clamped down on his shoulder. He woke in a sweat to find Hye-jin sleeping beside him (we’re back to the night she spent at his house). He moved his arm out from under her head and replaced it with his pillow. The he smiled, turned over, and went back to sleep.

 
COMMENTS

Okay, Mi-sun, I’ll bite – what’s the third great mystery of Gongjin? I have a feeling it’ll either be a punchline or the key to some major plot point down the road, but now I really want to know.

Speaking of keys, I think that conversation between Hye-jin and Hwa-jung about treating a problem at its root (pun intended) helps unlock a lot about this episode, and these characters in general. I’m not sure Hwa-jung and Young-guk necessarily need to get back together, or if that’s the direction the show will end up going, but it’s clear there are some unresolved feelings between them that will need to be addressed before either of them can fully move on.

For another example, Hye-jin likes to think she’s being realistic when she places herself in a class above Doo-shik (well, all of Gongjin), but really she’s still hurt by how inferior her ex and former classmates made her feel and trying not to let herself ever feel that way again. And perhaps Doo-shik has spent so much time learning and achieving and fixing everyone else’s problems to avoid facing his own darkness head-on?

One thing I found interesting was how similar Doo-shik’s “just have fun and enjoy the rain” attitude was to Sung-hyun’s outlook of finding an adventure every time he gets lost. The scenes between those two were probably my favorites of the episode, because they somehow simultaneously connected at a deeper level and were unable to communicate the simplest things. I hope we’ll get more of them becoming friends and less of them competing for Hye-jin’s heart (or, you know, none of the latter at all), but I’ll admit I’m not terribly optimistic on that front.

I’m also enjoying a lot about the relationship between our main couple, especially when they giggle together like conspirators. They make a great team when they’re on the same page – it’s just getting them there that tends to be the problem. And that brings me to the main thing I dislike about their relationship, which is Doo-shik’s habit of making decisions for her. It irks me when people have this idea that a person can only enjoy themselves in one way, or that someone who is more reserved just needs to be forced out of their shell so they can let loose and finally be happy. Because I’ve been that reserved person someone was trying to force out, and it generally only intensifies the urge to retreat further in.

You could argue that Doo-shik is this way with everyone – he kept talking over Sung-hyun, too, for example – and that this is one of his “symptoms” caused by a deeper trauma or insecurity. But you could also argue that it’s not being presented as a flaw, since Hye-jin did enjoy herself playing in the rain. It doesn’t completely ruin his character for me, but I do hope he’ll learn to listen better to what people really want instead of what he decides they do.

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I don't know what it is about male leads lecturing female leads about 'just having fun and getting drenched in the rain every once in a while', but we recently got a similar speech from Myul Mang in DAYS and I was like 🙄🙄🙄 thank you Tony Robbins

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It would be better played as a realisation from her rather than his comment before shoving her out into the rain. (As with a lot of his lecturing)
Either that or balance their learning from each other!!

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I'd be more ok with it if it was more balanced. Or even if he realizes what is right for him may make her feel anxious or insecure.

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Here's hoping Hyejin bravely lecturing Dushik on his flaws will be part of her character development!
It's obvious Dushik is the one who needs more healing from his past traumas rather than Hyejin. Hopefully it's Hyejin's part to heal his wounds so he's able to fully move on

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For me, the worst part was when Hye-Jin told Du-spoke how they are not a good match because of the difference in their social position and their lifestyle and values (which is clearly being successful and rich). I do not know why Du-Shik was not more upset about it later and simply just accepted her apology even though she went on to ask him to solve math problems. That was classist and downright insulting and not childish as was painted.

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I completely agree with you. It was very insulting what Hyejin said. I was also surprised at how quickly Dooshik was able to forgive her.

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I think he was able to forgive her because while it was insulting to have it said to his face, it also was not completely wrong. Not that she is better than him, but that relationships incur extra struggles when the two parties are from different social positions. As she explained they would disagree often. They already do. I also wanted to hear others thoughts about the town group saying the same thing she did. They outright compared them and then concluded that he was too good for her. Would their behavior be considered insulting as well?

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Yup the town folks were equally judgemental. I apprecaite how the leads of this show are not perfect. Though as long as the writer knows they are not considering one superior than the other (which I think they are more inclining towards DS/People of Gongjin > Hye Jin whereas all of them have their negative points).

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What was hilarious was that Doo-shik did the exact same thing to Sung-hyun. He made a bunch of assumptions about who he was, just like Hyeshin did about Doo-shik. Can't wait to see Doo-shik's reaction to finding out Sung-hyun's real job.

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Yes, the idea of the three great mysteries of Gongjin was a good addition to the script - now I'm thoroughly intrigued! Agree with you @mistyisles that it will become important towards the end, and I like the way that a drama uses this ploy to keep you watching until you get resolution. Yes, it's not a new technique, but it's mightily effective!

The divorce: did I see correctly? In the photo, Hwa-jung was wearing the bracelet with the blue stone, but now Cho-hee is wearing one. If so, could the divorce be over something as petty as that? Can't figure out *how* that would actually work (I've tried several times, but in the end, can't make it happen logically) but I get the feeling the reason for the divorce is probably more misunderstandings than anything else. They're destined to get back together by the end of the drama :)

The five year disappearance: I'm in the marriage-and-death-of-wife-and-child group at the moment. I feel it needs to be this scale of trauma to account for the nightmares and the general "closedness".

The third mystery: I wonder if it's going to be connected to Hye-jin and/or her family in some way? I'd rather it weren't - not a fan of everything-being-connected-in-a-giant-loop - but we've already got the childhood meeting trope so it wouldn't surprise me.

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I think the bracelet dates from their Univerisity years or so and might be a friendship bracelet as the 3 of them have it...
I actually hope both go their separate ways and not get back together...
Think the photo in the book might be his parents but indeed something traumatic happened to him in those 5 years he was away and looks curious if Chun-jae knows the story.
I also can say i hope they would tune it down with the connection between them and their so loved theme fate...

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The third mystery has to be why Bo-ra's hair is dyed yellow. When I think about how that poor child had to endure bleach...

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For reals, right? How could anyone subject their child to that?

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Ha! That brings back memories of the neighborhood grannies seeing little blonde me walking with my mother and muttering, "What a terrible mother!" Never dreaming that I could possible have an American father. Not saying that's Bora's situation, of course.

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I wondered if there will be a backstory behind that. The actress must be wearing a wig, right? So it must be written into the character to be the only blond in the drama.

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Dispatch, Gongjin version. I’ve lived in a small town all of my life. People really do gossip like that. They are efficient, and they are scary lol. I had to laugh at how Nam-sook was squatting in front of the diner.

I want to know about the third mystery of Gongjin.

Doo-shik as a North Korean spy made me laugh so hard. Kim Seon-ho peeked through when he blew the moss out of his eyes.

Lol at Eun-chul’s ideal type being straight out of an historical drama.

Yi-joon takes after Hwa-jung, shutting down the gossip.

I get mad at Hye-jin and then in the next scene mad at Doo-shik.

The scene of them playing in the rain was so pretty.

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And they really do have chains of gossip going.

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Maybe Hwa-Jung shuts down the gossip, because she and her divorce has been the talk-of-the-town since ages, so she realizes how it feels to be gossiped about!! TT

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I like this drama because both leads have flaws but we can still see they're good people. They complete each other pretty well.

The 3 Gong-Jin mysteries :
- For the divorce, I wonder the reason too. They still care about each other. Now, after 3 years, I won't mind if Chang Yeong-Guk wants to date the new teacher. He's not perfect but he doesn't seem to be a bad guy and still cares about his ex-wife. Yeo Hwa-Jeong always sees the worst in her ex-husband and makes a comment about it, it's not very healthy, not for their kid.
- Hong Du-Sik : I thought that Choi Geum-Cheol was the closest of the truth, Grandma knows what happened and she reacted pretty strongly. Someone died and it traumatized him. His cold behavior with city people and their materialism must be connected to that.
- The 3rd one : I want to know it too!

Scenes I liked :
-Hye-Jin being drunk was so funny, she kept the code of the door.
-The "walk of shame" with all the neighboord texting.
-The last scene was so beautiful in pink!
-The kiss! So soon, I'm used to the 8th episode rule!

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I somehow don't think Yu Cho-hui is intrested in him the same way he is...Even more seeing she values Hwa-Jeong a lot and might want to get back the friendship she might have lost yet he doesn't seems to get her subtile no.

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I don't know. She's smart and I don't think she want to hurt someone, HJ or their son, but she didn't seem completely opposite...

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Although HJ came off as snobby when she told him she was "above" him, the show doesn't actually disagree with her. They reinforced it by stating he is the same station as her, he just doesn't want to conform.😑😑😑. If they had followed through on the lesson that he isn't "below" her because he doesn't have a fancy degree, the lesson would have stuck, but it didn't land for me Aside from that the episode was lovely. Also this episode reinforced that DS was just rude to HJ when he met her, because he was kind to SH. Also it is okay to get drenched in the rain, but only when you want to and aren't forced into it. Lol.

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Thats very true. She also apologises/feels bad only when she realises that she said this to someone who actually is from a fancy university. This may be why Du-Shik did not feel too bad because he knew his social position was not that different from hers and Hye-jin is just uninformed. So basically if Du-shik was an uneducated handyman, she may have never apologised or even if she apologised she would continue to think herself superior. This is super strange coming from someone who was actually ridiculed for her looks and inexpensive clothing. One would usually expect them not to be so classist in perception but I guess most humans become/emulate the people they despise eventually.

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I think that might be her defense mechanism coming into play along with her valuing brands and looking always out of a cover magazine fashion wise and the same with Du Shik,even if he was indeed without university degree he might not even care because he doesn't put value on it now so it doesn't bother him to get mad...
Still gotta say i would have prefered it they let him be like that,more simple rather than adding the "genius" with the best eductation card...

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I think the writer keeps struggling on landing the messages of this show. I would have appreciated the lesson in class a lot more if they didn't give him a secret degree with dang near genius status. Because while she thought that she was better than him, the town thought he was better than her. It could have been left at that. Then the writer had him say that line about one choosing how to solve "life's problem" and there not being a right answer. Great line, undone by the next scene where he lectures her on how to live life and her way being wrong.

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Do I love this show? Yes, to bits. Do I also recognize the script-writing weaknesses? Ye, absolutely! Glad to see Beanies being objective about the issue! :') I really wish the 'messages' were delivered better (i.e. not contradicted in the very next scene), or their impact diluted b/c of a protagonist-halo. It would have been a 10 for me then! ^^

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This is very well stated and I agree 100%.

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I think the writer focused on another message : Don't judge people by their appearance, place where they live, job, etc.
If you are taking a lot of small jobs, it doesn't mean that you're the "idiot of the village" and it's because it's the only thing you can do, if you are from the city, it doesn't mean you're necessarily cold and selfish.

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I also think they should have left his "status" like more simple and like you said,people from the town already considered him above,many almost seeing him as "God Du Shik" in their eyes so i confess i felt a bit irritated with the need to take out the all trade cards of him being practically a kdrama genius,the standard hero we see too many times and confess i also believed in that moment i watched the reveal thinking that it was a product of coming into play the more shallow side of koreans with status and appeareance that they value way too much.
Like the need of the writer to give him this cards to elevate him even more in the eyes of the viewers rather than be a great leading role yet not good enough because xxxx....
Don't know if what i said sounds so well but maybe you can get the gist of it.

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Nope, this is exactly right. Maybe the message was as @kurama said, but it wasn't done properly, so it was irritating when he also graduated from the top university.

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I personally don't mind Dushik being a genius, I take that the lesson is more on what Dushik literally told her: although he's extremely educated the outcome doesn't have to be money or successes.
Class-wise Dushik is still "below" her though, he went to university through scholarships, he left Gongjin only when he reached adulthood.
It's still a double lesson to take for Hyejin to not be too judgmental

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I agree. And the whole class thing is murky too. Hye-jin may be a dentist, but in Gongjin, Doo-shik has the most social capital.

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I'm having a hard time listing the things I love about this drama because there is nothing unlikeable about it. The entire drama is so wholesome ❤

We have seen many drunkards in Kdrama, but none were as funny as Hye Jin. First time, I enjoyed watching a drunkard in Kdrama😂😂 The recollection of the drunk kiss was also shown in such a poignant way with a beautiful picturisation.

The granma trio looked prettier than the flowers when Du Shik, clicked their pictures. These little scenes that has nothing to do with the plot of the drama are really heartwarming to watch. Shows how we forget to enjoy the little things in life in the our busy schedule.

I'm also noticing Hye Jin slowly turning like the village people. She gossiped about the love triangle between Hwa Jung,Young-guk and Cho-hee post the dental dance.LOL

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Thanks for a great recap @mistyisles. I agree that Doo-shik's character trait/flaw of telling people what they should do is very ingrained. Being such a brainy kid likely caused everyone, from kids to adults, to heed his advice. He even orders meals for everyone he eats with, so it's a bad habit.
Still get sheepish with everyone calling his initial behavior with HJ "rude". Living in a tourist town does require maintaining some distance from demanding visitors and I have been guilty of that myself.

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You can really see this fault of his in the next ep (6) and also ep3, where he thinks HE knows better what the other person needs, and gets ahead of himself in the process, only to have the situation backfire on him royally. He had water splashed on his face by Granny (3) and was chased away from the dental clinic by Hye-Jin (6). I wish he would stop deciding for others. :/

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Yea, he needs to overcome his giant ego.
Everyone in Gongjin worships him with Hyejin being an exception. It would be nice to see more of Dushik doing things wrong with unexpected outcomes that shakes him.

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I’m sceptical about the “dead wife and child” theory. It seems to me that Du-shik is pretty inexperienced when it comes to falling in love. And would they have him showing almost immediate interest in Hye-jin if he’d had a tragic first love? Me thinks not. But that’s only because of classic drama tropes…
He’s clearly smitten with her but is scared to make it serious. Lecturing is his way of pulling her hair in the playground and it’s annoying.
Yes, she’s flawed but so is he and she’s got stuff to teach him. He needs to see her as a reliable adult so she can help him with his trauma later. ^^

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I think it's actually his parents LOL

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Same! Clearly losing a wife and child is way too traumatic for a rom com like Cha 3.

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Or maybe a colleague/friend who was his responsibility or his/their death had sth to do with him for which he is still guilty.

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Yes, this makes sense. Then he feels guilty about the family left behind. Maybe a suicide? In any case, I’m hoping /guessing it’s about letting someone down rather than tragic love. That explains why he’s always helping others - he still feels guilty.

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I thought so too, but then I was confused by why they hid the father. It’s not like they can do a grand reveal when there literally aren’t any older men in the show…

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Why does no one think it's an old love that left him for someone else

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I'd like that, i'm not looking forward to a tragic backstory. But would losing an old love to someone else cause him to disappear for five years? Seems a bit of an over-reaction.

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I wondered if he was arrested and had gone to prison for something. Like he was a smart, engineering major. I can totally see him, without connections, being framed by some bigwig for something. And maybe losing an old love in the process.

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I just think he fell for HJ too quickly for his tragic backstory to be about romance. Otherwise he’d be in total defence mode.
Plus the dream of the person covered in blood points toward some kind of death…

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"And would they have him showing almost immediate interest in Hye-jin if he’d had a tragic first love?"

Falling in love and being interested in someone is out of any person's control, it just happens naturally. His rational mind is most likely what makes him not pursuing her immediately due to probably his tragic past.

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Mi-sun would like fine in a Han-bok- it is just highly unlikely that you would ever find her in one. I think that Eun-chul's comment really was simply meant to show us how inexperienced he is. Meanwhile we have Mi-sun's comment about how very different Eun-chul is from the guys that she previously dated. This too is revealing: She used to go for the bad boys but in part this was because sub-consciously it was safe in a way- it was ultimately a relationship that would end up going nowhere, so she really did not need to think about it that seriously. No future meant no chance of making a mistake that actually effects her future. That is why it only took her two days to get over her cheating ex. So her decision that Eun-chul's description of his ideal type of woman means that there is no chance for the relationship to work is a panic reaction to the fact that she is in fact facing something much more serious and potentially life changing- please note that in fact Mi-sun does in to some extent match the rest of Eunchul's description of 'well-mannered, gentle but strong on the inside" while being much more than that as Eun-chul will likely discover.

The divorced couple and their un-resolved feelings- so true to life.

the three mysteries- yes, what is the third mystery.

Du-shik's trauma and the lost five years: I too am going for the death of wife and child which explains why he is now a live-in-the-moment kind of guy hypothesis.

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I don't want to weigh the good man off our Main leads cuz they are both imperfect. You might not like her or just can't stand his Dictating ways but sincerely people like them do exist. They have flaws and I love that it's clear for us to see. Hye-jin built a cage around her self-esteem that she now weighs properly whoever wants to trespass. The ML, though not much has been said about his backstory, has an umbrella that is colourful outside but pitch black inside draped over him.
DO SYMPATHIZE WITH THEM, MY FELLOW BEANIES. They will learn with time.
Let me just say this, Du-shik better stop dictating for people and let them be adults. Hye-jin is an adult, although does errs, don't need correction in every single turn. I won't stand it if I were her cuz it's annoying.

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Yi-joon stopping Bo-ra from embarrassing them further from the dating rumours further was nice.

Doo-shik gives strong vibes of that extrovert who is doing the introvert a "favour" by forcing them to be more social. He's like a person I would avoid most in my personal life T.T
Otherwise, I find him quite confusing. He goes hot and cold quick/easy. There likely is a reason, I just don't find him consistent.

Sung-hyun is quite an interesting character. I'm looking forward to seeing more of him.

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The talking over Camera Guy and just deciding he was a YouTuber really annoyed me - it made Du-sik into a (exponentially better looking) version of the guy at my old work who would just talk at you about everything and was always right and everything that went well was due to him and not to the FIVE YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT GROUNDWORK that made it achievable in the first place 🤬 ….so not my favourite. I feel like he needs to work on his listening skills.

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Oh man, sorry you had such an experience at the workplace. In all honesty, I believe the 'mukbang youtuber' is part of the running gag, just like how camera-guy is awful with directions. Though, I admit, it doesn't reflect very well on DS's character, who's a keen observer, but a horrible listener, lmao! xD

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It reminds a little of what he and some of the towns people did to HJ on her first day when she was just having bad luck with not being able to use her debit and etc.
Also an echo of what HJ does to Du sik, just assuming she knows his background. It was annoying, but glad to see him mis step too.

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I think it’s deliberate mirroring of what HJ does, which is nice (and as @chibi8535 says, set up as a running gag - probably in a different mood I’d find it funny but it fell on the wrong side of too annoying for me 😆)

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Been there. When you know a type or behavior in real life and know how not funny it really is.

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This episode the town gossips stood out to me more. I'm from a small town, and from experience I know that gossip that is played for laughs here, is actually very painful to experience. Just as they are willing to discuss who slept with whom, they will discuss the merits of a person's child, they will dig up painful experiences and broadcast them for others to be entertained. When HJ confronted Gossip lady I was actually very proud of her. She wasnt rude, she asked them to stop and clarified the relationship. I don't understand DS claiming that she was overreacting. She's right, why does their passing the time have to be at her expense. What is funny to watch here, is painful to experience in real life. Everything from the scrutiny, the whispers, people telling you their opinions on your private life, to people treating you differently because of a rumor is hard to endure. I hope that the writer doesnt continue to use this medium for just comedic relief and levity, but also show its harmful underbelly.

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I think the mystery of the missing 5 years of Doo-shik's life involve the death of someone. He told Hye-jin he wouldn't take in the hedgehog because he doesn't take in living things. I interpret that to mean he did once take in/care of a living thing and lost it i.e. it died. I doubt it would be so traumatic if it were an animal so it must have been a person. His parents died years ago so I'm inclined to agree with some of the commenters that he lost a wife and maybe a child. I like the show but Hye-jin's elitist attitude and Doo-shik deciding for other people does irritate me a little. I don't like how he pushes others to do things his way; I've been on the receiving end of that and I didn't appreciate it at all. But maybe in time they'll help each other to grow.

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I reckon it might be a friend / colleague or son of a friend in Seoul. I wouldn’t really liken getting married to taking someone in…?

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I only meant "taking in" in the sense of living with a living being. And besides, getting married involves taking someone into your household.

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Nice to see Mi sun is getting along well with the villagers n enjoying the new environment. She goes for facial etc n her attraction to eun chul is so cute. Like oh she likes bad boys n eun chul like gentle traditional girl n like no no, we are total opposite. But when she sees eun chul, all that thought thrown out n she acts out how she feels, squeeze to sit next to him, look for him at music fest. I am looking forward to their comedic romance. I still laugh at how mi sun could make out eun chul answers to her questions while eun chul had his mouth wide open in the dental clinic, n the pluzzed eun chul, haha.

I came across a book about personality about the natural way (example if you are a right handed, it is natural to write but will feel unatural to write with left hand) of doing things. There are 5 types - extravert, introvert, feeling, judging, perceiving.

An extravert way is prefer talking to work out ideas, have broad interest, socialable, expressive, learning through doing or discussing, readily take initiative in work n relationship. They direct their energy n attention outward n receive energy from enviroment n interacting with them n taking action. I think dushik personality is an extrovert. Hence other personality will find an extrovert rude loud nosy forcing on people not listening.

An introvert focus on their own inner world of ideas n experiences, direct their energy n attention inward n receive energy from reflecting on their thoughts, memories n feelings, using them to work out ideas n learn by reflection. They are private n contained n take initiative when situation or issue is very important to them. They prefer communication in writing. I think hyejin personality is introvert.

With this understanding, i can see how dushik natural way being talkative trying to find out more about SH, who is more of a feeling personality, try to be humble not disclosing he is a well known pd n hesitating in his decision. It is comical to see their interaction. I laugh when dushik put a bib on SH.

Dushik truama is probably bothering him more lately n having a strain relationship with hyejin is not going to help him either as he himself is not able to make the truama go away. His way of bring hyejin to play, is to get energy from the environment hoping that the tension of their relationship will go away n they be back to normal brickering like friends n not we cannot be friends cos of social class etc.

Hyejin past experience with a jerk ex boyfriend makes her reflected that the guy must not be what she used to be. It's fair but it is also insulting n harsh to say that to a handyman. It's like i have to wear branded stuff n a princess who wants a prince so she will look good. Nothing wrong with that as it is her ideal. But in doing so, it has make their relationship awkward and difficult for her n dushik.

Hope they will eventually understand each other personality n can meet half way.

I was hoping...

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As much as I wanted to shake Hye-Jin by her shoulders when she made the elitist/classist remark, my heart broke for her in the last scene when Du-Shik pretends like the kiss didn't happen, and you see her get teary-eyed even through the rain. Ouch.
In retrospect, I also felt inflamed on Hye-Jin's behalf when Du-Shik pulls her legs with the comment 'are you now going to misinterpret my niceness as me hitting on you?' Gosh, that was so below-the-belt for someone who's later going to think of the kiss as nothing worth mentioning.
As a selfless person who makes everybody's business his own business, I get DS doesn't come from a malicious place. Neither does HJ, with her snooty remark on education as that was likely her way of regaining control of the situation... But they really ought to be more sensitive? Cuz some of their actions and words are REALLY hurtful, even though done and spoken innocently.

Let's just say, HJ and DS both are lucky to be played by lovable actors like SMA and KSH, because without their faces, they aren't exactly swoon-worthy, and I as a person isn't looking forward to dating either of them. Ep 6. is more frustrating to watch. How is it that I LOVE this show so much, but am not really fond of the leads? ^^ I wonder what's wrong with me! xD

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About the three mysteries, why do I feel like the third mystery is something related to Nam Sook? We did see in a previous episode how she was looking over certain baby items.

Also about the elderly love triangle, is it me or does it seem as if the teacher is more caring about Hwa Jeung than Young Guk? I know it's not as conservative but maybe, just maybe, the teacher has feelings for Hwa Jeung?

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this was the first thing that came to my mind too. the teacher likes her unnie and not her oppa lol

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Oh my god I would DIE. I don't expect it from a show like this but it IS the year of the lesbians so maybe. It would make me like the show more not gonna lie LOL.

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my mind already wrote a whole story, hwajeung reluctant about it at first, how the village - and its conservative views - would react and eventually change their opinion. or even better..,. subervert the expectations that the old people at the village would hate them but they actually being their #1 supporters. the possibilities, the flavor... I know I will be disappointed when a boring straigh love triangle eventually happens LOL

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Some of you commented that the male lead might have a wife and kid. I don’t think this is true though. Episode 6, the scene where he opened the umbrella to dry. A couple minute before that, he took out a book to read where he read the sentence of about first kiss. It’s like a hint that his kiss with FL is his first kiss.

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If it was Du-Sik's wife and child in the picture, that would explain why, although he is aware of his feelings for Hye-Jin, he doesn’t seem to know what his own intentions towards her are. When Hye-Jin kisses him (episode 4/5), he lets it happen, but he doesn’t look like someone who was planning for it, or even expected it. A grieving husband and father would not make plans for a new relationship, but I imagine he could be caught by unexpected feelings. In that light, the song Du-Shik sings at the meeting in episode 4 about old love is heart-breaking. I still hope it’s not dead wife and child (but afraid it is!), and Du-Shik somehow feeling responsible, as that would be too tragic.

I was watching happily episodes without an obligatory love triangle (so refreshing). But it seems it is coming… The competition may nudge Du-Shik into clarifying his intentions and deciding that he wants to pursue the relationship.

About Du-Shik ordering in a restaurant for both himself and Hye-Jin without asking her, and Hye-Jin not even noticing, I wonder if these are cultural differences? Maybe that is considered manly in Korea, or showing how he takes care of her, or how they behave like a couple? I think I would fall off my chair in shock if an acquaintance ordered for me without consulting me, but it may be different in Korea?

The friendship between Hye-Jin and Mi-Seon is wonderful. By the way, has anyone else noticed that Mi-Seon often disappears at night. Her relationship with Eun-Cheol is not at the stage where she would disappear with him yet, and she would not hide that from Hye-Jin. What else could it be? Does she really need that many facials? I hope she is not hiding anything major from Hye-Jin, that would ruin it for me.

I love this show. Writing is really good so far, with all the small details and clues, such a rich picture of characters and life in the town, and visually so beautiful and cheerful. Looking forward to the next episode.

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I grew up in Japan and it does not surprise me at all that Du-shik would order for both of them without asking her first. I knew many people like him, pushy and bossy and constantly overriding or ignoring your wishes. Not everyone is like that, but some are. I'd be even less surprised with that behavior from my Korean grandfather. You just kind of accepted it, because as annoying as it was to have them steamroll over your objections, they always meant well and were usually extremely generous, kind-hearted people. In other words, viewed by their cultural lens, Du-shik is being kind and caring to Hye-jin whether she likes it or not, and it's gradually melting her heart and turning her into a puddle of goo. He himself doesn't understand the effect he is having.

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So many gorgeous scenes in this show. One that comes to mind are the pinks, blues and sand colours in the beach scene towards the end, where even the clothing matches the sand, water and sky. Also, in the scene where Du Sik cools his hands on the ice bucket (in the process transferring heat from his hands to the ice) and then puts them on Hye Jin's cheeks, the ice shifts as it's melting, providing a nice visual metaphor.

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