Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha: Episode 7
Village life grows a little more complicated when our foodie PD arrives. He befriends our village chief, wins the collective hearts of the halmonis, and rekindles his old friendship with our favorite dentist. But as everyone starts to spend a lot of time together, for both work and play, will three become a crowd?
EPISODE 7 RECAP
Sung-hyun saves Doo-shik from his “near death” fall off the dock, but while he’s hanging there, Sung-hyun and Hye-jin have a little moment. Sung-hyun says he’s finally found her, and Hye-jin is perplexed, but greets with him a smile.
Doo-shik is finally returned to an upright position, and he realizes it’s Sung-hyun who’s saved him. They call it even since they’ve each saved each other from a fall at this point, and marvel over the coincidence. While they’re going back and forth, it’s Hye-jin’s turn to be surprised that they both know each other, and they go around in a circle surprised that all three know each other.
Someone smacks Sung-hyun and tells him to hurry up; Doo-shik asks who she is, and she pretties herself by taking off her glasses and says that she’s the writer WANG JI-WON (Park Ye-young) that he just spent the last two days with. Hye-jin realizes this is the woman Doo-shik was hanging around with around the village, and seems satisfied with the knowledge. Ji-won proceeds to introduce Doo-shik as Chief Hong who’s shown her around, and Sung-hyun as their network’s troublemaker and star director.
We cut to a meeting where he’s being introduced to our favorite villagers and Young-guk announces they’re eating at the oldest fresh pollack soup restaurant in the country. He pretends to be a show host, carrying on about the ingredients and finally explaining what’s going on: Sung-hyun is planning to shoot a new variety show in Gongjin called The Seashore Grasshopper.
The villagers are all beyond excited, but Doo-shik sits across from Hye-jin and wants to know how she knows Sung-hyun. She explains he’s a college sunbae, and Doo-shik explains that they met on the street and that their relationship is based on lies (i.e., Sung-hyun never told him who he really was). Doo-shik doesn’t look too thrilled.
The party goes on, and Sung-hyun finally escapes the crowd and makes his way over to Hye-jin to catch up. He’s pretty cute and excited to see her again, but Doo-shik calls him out over not explaining who he was the other day. Sung-hyun doesn’t seem to be worried about their misunderstanding, and is anxious to get back to talking to Hye-jin.
They’re like two puppies greeting each other. Sung-hyun says he saw her the other day in the village, and he’s blown over to hear about her clinic. Doo-shik is perfect here, interrupting them that he was the one that restored it. Next it’s Nam-sook’s turn to interfere, teasing Hye-jin and Sung-hyun that there’s something between them. Both insist they’re just friends and she carries on and on until Hwa-jung effectively shuts her up.
Hye-jin tries to extricate herself and go home (I love how she’s always doing that lol), despite Doo-shik teasing her. Sung-hyun, however, pops up and insists on walking her home. Doo-shik doesn’t last two seconds with them gone, and joins the pair on the street. Hye-jin tells him he doesn’t need to, but Doo-shik says that Sung-hyun might get lost, and Hye-jin actually agrees saying that he used to get lost on campus all the time.
Doo-shik suggests that he and Sung-hyun have some drinks after they walk Hye-jin home, but she immediately perks up and asks why they’re leaving her out. She scurries towards Doo-shik’s house, which they’re just passing, and they all head inside. Sung-hyun is impressed with the house, and Doo-shik, says he did the entire interior himself. Then Sung-hyun compliments his liquor collection and Doo-shik confirms he made them all himself.
When Sung-hyun draws attention to an empty spot on the shelf, Doo-shik says he had an unwelcome guest over and that’s why the ginseng liquor is missing. Hye-jin quickly tries to distract Sung-hyun in case Doos-hik is thinking of revealing the identity of said guest, but then she gives herself away by telling Sung-hyun exactly where the bathroom is.
While Sung-hyun is in the bathroom, Hye-jin scurries over to Doo-shik, asking if the two wanted to drink alone to talk about her. But Doo-shik says she’s too self-centered and says not everyone is interested in her. She warns him not to tell Sung-hyun about the night they got drunk together, and while they’re squabbling FLIRTING, Sung-hyun comes out and sees. Whomp whomp.
Meanwhile, Mi-sun runs into Eun-chul and complains that he’s so busy and says she was waiting for him. They both seem confused and flustered and then Mi-sun sees a snack truck and quickly suggests they have some chicken together. Eun-chul, however, doesn’t eat past 6 p.m., but rather than be disappointed she says that’s why he’s so fit. Eun-chul is so clueless and instead gets annoyed when he sees a sticker on a nearby telephone pole (lol) and explains it’s a minor offense.
Mi-sun whips a mist bottle out of her purse and wets the sticker so he can peel it off more easily. He tells her to spray more, and though she hesitates, she complies. When Eun-chul finds out that what she’s spraying is worth about $70, he’s taken aback.
Back at Doo-shik’s house, the three settle down for a snack and some drinks. Doo-shik made a delicious-looking shrimp dish, and also brings soju and beer to the table. Hye-jin asks why they’re not drinking from his special collection, and Doo-shik says that that’s for later when they can all really enjoy it.
Sung-hyun is about to dig in, saying there’s nothing he hasn’t eaten in 34 years and 2 months of life, which makes Doo-shik quickly confirm that they’re the same age. They immediately declare themselves friends and start using banmal.
Doo-shik tries to make them somaek, but they gang up on him and argue that the 6:4 ratio is better than his 7:3 ratio. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t clink glasses with them when they try to do cheers, heh.
As Sung-hyun and Hye-jin reminisce, Sung-hyun is very complimentary towards her. He says it’s just like her to open a clinic where people need it (rather than trying to make the big bucks) and Doo-shik has a nice chuckle, knowing the truth. She smacks him under the table when he asks snarkily, “Are we really talking about the same person?!” and then she changes the topic and they start talking about wine.
Of course she and Sung-hyun have the same exact taste. They gush over it with a little too much excitement… until Doo-shik bursts in explaining how a Bordeaux is far better than a Pinot Noir (I agree, Doo-shik!). Then they switch to raving about spicy tteokbokki… and Doo-shik says he doesn’t understand why people like it so much.
Some time later, and with a little more alcohol in their system, Sung-hyun asks Doo-shik to be his team’s official guide for his new show. Doo-shik doesn’t seem to be that interested, so Sung-hyun says they’ll play a game to decide and if he wins, Doo-shik has to agree. Sung-hyun winds up drinking a huge glass of fish sauce (while Doo-shik has gotten the coffee) and he downs the whole thing which hurts my stomach just to think about.
The games go on and on and grow in ridiculousness, but they keep competing until they can barely stay conscious. When we see them next, Sung-hyun is passed out on the floor with clothes pins all over his face, and Hye-jin stumbles around looking for Doo-shik. She drags him in from outside, and soon they all sleep in a heap on the floor.
The next morning Hye-jin wakes up, freaks out, and runs out of the house. Sounds familiar? Nam-sook is walking by just as she exits, and it’s an instant reply of the same chain of events from a few days ago.
Sung-hyun runs out after Hye-jin and asks for her number. Just as Hye-jin leaves, Doo-shik comes out. He asks where she is, and then asks Sung-hyun: Do you want some ramyun? What a total LOL moment. Nam-sook reads right into the innuendo and loses her mind haha.
When Hye-jin arrives back home she explains to Mi-sun that she wasn’t alone with Doo-shik, but that Sung-hyun is in Gongjin now. When she’s alone, Mi-sun marvels (loudly) over Hye-jin’s newly-forming love triangle.
The boys have their ramyun but argue about whether it should contain egg or not (with shades of Let’s Eat here, ha). Sung-hyun is anxious to confirm that Doo-shik will be the production team’s guide.
Hye-jin goes to get her coffee only to find Chun-jae and his daughter Joo-ri having one of their usual arguments. While waiting for her coffee, she gets a cutesy message from Sung-hyun saying that he’ll see her soon.
The boys are now at the dock having some PPL coffee-infused chocolate to help their hangovers. They are soon joined by Ji-won and head over to introduce Doo-shik to the production team. They seem to like his casual, friendly manner. He takes them around and they explore various Gongjin locations. Sung-hyun says he has a place in mind.
That place turns out to be Gam-ri’s humble abode, and of course she refuses to let them shoot there. They try to reason with her, but she basically tells them off.
The production team brainstorms other locations, but Sung-hyun says he won’t shoot any place else. He then declares he’s hungry and the team drops everything so he can have lunch. Apparently, he’s a bottomless pit, and must eat at all times. They wind up back at Hwa-jung’s place, and she manages to impress them all, and we have some epic mukbang moments.
Just as the crew is done feasting, Hye-jin and Mi-sun walk in. Sung-hyun lights up to see her again, and they exchange cute pleasantries yet again, while Doo-shik complains that she didn’t even greet him. Hye-jin guesses that Doo-shik took the job after all, and clarifies with Sung-hyun about Doo-shik’s fees and all the intricacies of how he works.
When they leave, Doo-shik makes sure to tease Hye-jin about Sung-hyun on the way out. Sung-hyun’s next whim is to go shopping at the market, so Doo-shik continues to show them around. It’s not clear if he’s in monster tourist mode, if he’s a weirdo, or if he’s a PD genius.
It seems that Sung-hyun had a master plan, and he brings all the goodies he brought to Gam-ri and her friends. She treats them like the bribes that they are, but Sung-hyun insists they’re just presents. He helps her with all her chores and she’s grateful. I dislike his manipulative behavior here, even if he is trying to kill her with kindness.
It’s time for the village gossip to spread, and Nam-sook soon tells everyone about Sung-hyun staying over at Doo-shik’s and says there are an awful lot of love triangles in Gongjin all of a sudden. Nam-sook then tells us the story of Gonjin’s original “Bermuda love triangle,” when Young-guk first met Cho-hee and fell in love with her at first sight.
That night, Young-guk is over visiting his son, and tells him he should come over to his house instead. However, Yi-joon tells him that his house smells and scolds him like a mother, telling him to wash his clothes and feet and air out the house regularly. Young-guk hugs his son, who’s about to vom, and rushes to the bathroom.
Young-guk uses this moment to sneak into his ex-wife’s room (!) for a piece of jewelry. Hwa-jung catches him in the act, of course, and tells him to leave. Before he leaves, he tells her he’s planning to have a meal alone with Cho-hee. She slaps him right across the face twice, claiming it was a mosquito. But it was a mosquito after all, and Hwa-jung says the three of them should meet together.
Gam-ri calls her granddaughter in America, hoping that she’ll visit Gongjin when she’s on break. Her granddaughter has plans with her friend though, and once again poor Gam-ri is left alone by her family.
At her clinic, Hye-jin notices that someone dropped a wallet in the exam room.
Mi-sun heads to the grocery store and asks Yoon-kyung if the “third mystery” of Gongjin is really true: that one of the residents there won the lottery of 2.4 billion won about three years ago. Yoon-kyung doesn’t remember to whom she sold the ticket, but it’s put out in the air for us to guess who the winner might be (and I have my theories!).
Outside the store, Mi-sun runs into Eun-chul, and she forces him to take one of the lottery tickets she just bought, even though he resists.
At Gam-ri’s house, Doo-shik is in the yard getting ready to wash blankets when Hye-jin arrives. The wallet was Gam-ri’s and she came to return it. Hye-jin turns to leave, but Doo-shik grabs her by the strap of her purse and announces with a cheeky grin that she wants to help with the laundry. As we know, Doo-shik enjoys trolling Hye-jin to the max, and soon they’re both in ajumma pants and stomping in the giant laundry tub.
As the two stomp away, Hye-jin asks why he doesn’t just use the washing machine. He says blankets are meant to be washed this way – and it’s a good stress-reliever too, and he’s sharing it with her. They start teasing each other, and this leads to Hye-jin tripping into Doo-shik’s lovely self. Her head leans against his chest for a moment and triggers a memory, so she leans on him again to jog the thought (which she’s unable to do). He pretends to hate it.
Young-guk is getting pumped for his dinner with Cho-hee, but slips in the bathroom and it doesn’t look good. At the restaurant, Hwa-jung and Cho-hee wonder why he’s late.
Doo-shik and Hye-jin are still doing the laundry and it’s in full romance mode now. They frolic and giggle and are adorable.
Afterwards, Gam-ri makes them a snack which they enjoy on the porch. Hye-jin enjoys it after all that work, and Doo-shik says that working hard is a good thing. Just then, Sung-hyun walks over, once again happily shocked to see Hye-jin. They giggle over the ajumma pants as she explains why she’s there, and Sung-hyun turns on the charm for Gam-ri. This time he’s brought her a cake… and June from DOS. Hye-jin is chomping on corn on the cob, but that doesn’t stop her from fangirling.
Gam-ri is not impressed and she says June is too thin (“You can’t just live on salad!”) and invites them all to stay for dinner. Sung-hyun all but reveals that his plan all along was to have a meal prepared by Gam-ri.
June gets introduced, and while Doo-shik is pretty low-key about it, Hye-jin is still in fangirl mode and freaks out when he remembers her as the dentist that treated him. Just then, fellow fangirl Joo-ri sends her a message asking if the rumor is true — is June really going to be shooting in Gongjin? We don’t see her reply, but we see Joo-ri’s reaction, and it’s so loud that her dad wrecks the coffee foam art he’s been practicing lol.
Gam-ri’s dinner table spread is impressive, and everyone is blown away by the authentic, home-cooked flavors. Gam-ri takes good care of June and we learn about how hard he’s been working. Just then Joo-ri flies onto the scene and tells June what a huge fan she is. He remembers both her age and name, and poor Joo-ri can barely draw breath. She gets the hiccups and June offers her his water, which only makes the situation
Back to Young-guk, he’s still flat on his back, but managed to get on a pair of boxers and drag himself out of the bathroom. Hwa-jung turns up at his door scolding him, and Cho-hee is right behind him. He explains that he sprained his back and can’t move, and Hwa-jung kindly covers him with a blanket. The women ignore his pleas and carry him to the bed. He can’t be in that much pain, because he only cares about is saving face in front of Cho-hee.
Dinner is over at Gam-ri’s place, and Sung-hyun offers to do the dishes. Hye-jin wants to help, but Sung-hyun says he should rest since she has a bad back and already did all that blanket-washing earlier. Doo-shik’s ears perk up since he didn’t know this about her, and Sung-hyun mentions that she has a herniated disc from a car accident when she was a teen. Hye-jin is amazed by how much Sung-hun remembers about her.
Sung-hyun continues to be sweet towards Gam-ri as he washes the dishes, tells her that spending time with people, eating, laughing, and talking is what life is all about.
The next morning, Doo-shik is out on milk delivery and stops to have a chat with Gam-ri. While they chat, she tells him that he can tell “that PD” that he can use her house for his show after all. Gam-ri reminisces about all the times she spent in that house and says that she liked to see it full of people again.
Hye-jin wakes up to a text message from Sung-hyun to open up her front door, and when she does, she finds a basket full of brunch goodies. They have a sweet phone chat and Sung-hyun admits that he always worried about her over the years, and he’s happy to see that she’s doing well.
Mi-sun runs into Eun-chul yet again, and of course the one time she’s straight from the sauna and makeup-less, he wants to talk. He runs off and then runs back with a delivery of the rotisserie chicken she said she liked the other night. He bought it with his $5 winnings from the lottery ticket she foisted on him lol.
Doo-shik and Sung-hyun go over the specifications for shooting at Gam-ri’s house, and Doo-shik shows concern over how flippantly Sung-hyun agrees to the terms. They chat for a bit, but then the real question is delivered: Sung-hyun asks him if Hye-jin is seeing anyone. And the pause before Doo-shik answers says it all, folks.
Hye-jin unpacks the epic brunch basket at home, complete with the sausages she loves.
Sung-hyun pushes Doo-shik to answer his question, and he says he doesn’t think she’s seeing anyone. “That’s a relief,” Sung-hyun says with a huge smile. Doo-shik looks unsettled.
We then travel back to the night they were all drunk and see what happened when Hye-jin wandered out front to find Doo-shik. He was sitting in the yard in a drunken stupor. Hye-jin walked over and sat next to him. When he opened his eyes, she said that it looked like he was about to cry.
She tries to help Doo-shik up so they can go inside, but he looks at her with tears in his eyes and says, “Don’t leave,” before dropping his head gently on her shoulder. He repeats the same words, and Hye-jin assures him that she’s not going anywhere.
Welp, it’s clear from the get-go that Sung-hyun liked + likes Hye-jin. If the way he lights up around her wasn’t enough of a sign, he remembers everything about her from ten years ago, and in a way that shows how much genuine interest he had in her. His question to Doo-shik at the end of the episode then makes it totally clear, and we are in full love triangle mode now.
I like Sung-hyun, but I don’t really like how he weaseled his way into Gam-ri’s heart — was it just to get what he wanted, or is he just a dude that knows how to play his cards while still being genuine? I think the drama was going for the latter, and maybe I’m just being hard on him.
The Sung-hyun/Doo-shik bromance is soooo much fun! But at the same time I’m enjoying them together, I’m also a bit worried what their relationship will look like when they later realize/admit that they both have feelings for Hye-jin. We might be watching Heartbreak Cha-Cha-Cha before we know it.
How does Hye-jin feel about Sung-hyun? Well, it’s clear she wants to preserve that very high opinion he has of her at all costs. It’s interesting that it’s the exact opposite to the relationship she has with Doo-shik, who has repeatedly seen her at her lowest and/or most vulnerable moments. This, of course, makes their connection that much more meaningful and authentic, and I imagine Hye-jin will realize this eventually. Plus, it’s getting obvious that Doo-shik is much more “cultured” than Hye-jin once thought, and can spout wine knowledge with the best of them.
I liked Doo-shik a lot this episode, mostly because of the teasing and sarcasm, which is just too much fun to watch. Now that he knows that Sung-hyun is into Hye-jin, it will be interesting to see how he reacts. I’m not sure how much he knows about his own feelings for her yet.
Sticking on the Doo-shik topic for a moment, the drama sure is taking its time revealing what’s really up with him. A past trauma for sure, but is it tied to anything in the plot that we haven’t picked up on yet? And what about this mysterious lottery winner?
This drama is about 90% interactions between characters, 4% food, and 1% mystery, according to my current calculations. And the foodie segments were great this week. The show made me hungry for delicious local cuisine and company the same way that everything from Let’s Eat to House on Wheels does.
The little side story with June and Joo-ri is adorable. I don’t see how it fits in much, but I do like it for no other reason than because it’s cute to watch.
But I’m a details person, so hands-down for me, my favorite moment of the entire episode was when Sung-hyun mentions Hye-jin has a bad back, and we see the reaction from Doo-shik. He’s half territorial of her, thinking (rightly) that he knows the “real” her much more than Sung-hyun does — but there was also this pang of jealousy in that moment too. You could see him wanting to know about her and her past, the same way that Sung-hyun professes to, and I liked how telling this moment was.
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