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Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha: Episode 10

A brush with danger brings our leads closer together and try as they might, their mutual attraction is getting harder and harder to deny. But our dentist has another admirer, one who’s been waiting in the wings for years, and it may be too late for him to make his feelings known.

 
EPISODE 10 RECAP

Hye-jin wraps up her call with Sung-hyun, but is distracted by the now-working streetlight near her home. As she smiles at it, Sung-hyun has to recapture her attention. She promises to treat him to a meal when he’s back in Gongjin before hanging up.

She walks into her house but the door doesn’t shut properly–and a man in black sneaks in. Hye-jin gasps as she realizes there’s an intruder, but she does her best to confront him while trying to surreptitiously call for help. The man catches on to what she’s doing, and throws a book at her, hard. When she drops her phone, the man advances on her with a knife in hand. He pauses when he hears the door keypad beeping and goes to investigate. Doo-shik is lying in wait. With a murderous look in his eyes, Doo-shik informs him that “It’s a great night to catch a sick pervert.” He punches and stuns the man (but doesn’t take his knife!) and rushes to check on Hye-jin.

She’s terrified, but not hurt. Seeing that she’s okay, Doo-shik calls the police. But the intruder is back on his feet and charges Hye-jin with the knife. Doo-shik jumps in front of her just in time and stumbles forward as the knife slashes his shoulder. The intruder and Doo-shik struggle with each other and both roll to the floor. Just as it seems like Doo-shik might lose the fight, Hye-jin intervenes with a kick to the intruder’s head. Doo-shik follows with a swift kick of his own and is able to subdue the man entirely. The battle over, Hye-jin starts to hyperventilate and faints.

A crowd watches the police take the intruder away, and Sung-hyun arrives just in time to see the police car pull away. At the hospital, the doctor gives Doo-shik and Hye-jin some good news: the knife didn’t cause any nerve damage. When the doctor gives them some space, Hye-jin asks Doo-shik if his shoulder hurts. Affronted by the question, he replies that even paper cuts hurt, so of course anything caused by a giant knife would hurt all the more.

Hye-jin tells him not to exaggerate, and he smiles faintly. He laughs and says that he expected her to still be in shock, but her doctor’s instincts have clearly kicked in and calmed her down.

Doo-shik then spies a bruise on Hye-jin’s arm and goes into protective mode and asks how bad it hurts and why didn’t she tell the doctor? She insists that his injury was much worse, but suddenly breaks down sobbing. Doo-shik gently asks why she’s crying.

Through tears, Hye-jin tells him that she was so scared when he jumped at the intruder. He responds that he was afraid she would get hurt. Hye-jin is wiping her tears away as Sung-hyun pulls the hospital curtain aside and he clocks their closeness.

Hye-jin is surprised to see him and wonders how he knew where they were. He fibs, saying he doubled back to get something and happened to see the commotion in the neighborhood. As soon as he heard that Hye-jin and Doo-shik were in the hospital, he rushed over. When Sung-hyun asks about Doo-shik’s injury, he brushes it off and says it’s only a graze. Doo-shik comments that Sung-hyun seems more shocked than anyone, and asks if he’s doing okay.

Breathing heavily, Sung-hyun tells them he’s fine but that he was really worried. Sung-hyun looks unsettled, but lets them know he’ll be on his way now that he knows they’re okay. He thanks Doo-shik for saving Hye-jin and she starts to say something, but is interrupted by the doctor informing them that only one guardian is allowed to stay with Doo-shik, so Sung-hyun takes that as his cue to leave.

On their way out of the hospital, Hye-jin abruptly thanks Doo-shik. She wants to officially thank him for what he did. In his usual way, he teases her saying that she’s already thanked him unofficially by the way she’s been looking at him. Her eyes have been “shooting out words of gratitude.” She rolls her eyes at his humor and Doo-shik has something he wants to ask: Where is she going to stay, now that her apartment is a crime scene?

The answer? Doo-shik’s house. They realize it’s already Hye-jin’s third time at his place. Doo-shik casually says that three is a lucky number and gazes at her face as he finishes his musings on lucky threes, but Hye-jin isn’t interested in his banter.

Hye-jin needs some fresh clothes to change into, and Doo-shik offers to go and grab clothes from her apartment. She doesn’t seem to want to be left alone, so he offers his clothes as an alternative. She wonders if Doo-shik’s clothes would fit and he jokes they might be too small. This finally gets a tiny smile out of Hye-jin.

She comes back to the living room, drowning in Doo-shik’s clothes. Hye-jin looks down, bashful, and says that the clothes are too big, but Doo-shik jokes that the clothes fit her perfectly because of her broad shoulders. She crosses her arms protectively and says that the clothes are clearly too big, and it’s Doo-shik who has narrow shoulders.

He serves her chamomile tea to help her relax. As she sits and sips the tea, he covers her shoulders with a blanket. Doo-shik tells her that it’s easy to get aches when your muscles are in shock. Hye-jin complains that she doesn’t need a blanket on such a hot night. She tries to stand and immediately falls over because of a cramp in her foot, proving Doo-shik right.

He starts to massage Hye-jin’s foot and when Hye-jin tries to say it’s unnecessary, Doo-shik misunderstands on purpose. He makes a comment asking if her feet are dirty, but if they’re clean she should just stay still. He tells her that the cramp will get worse if it isn’t treated right away, and that she should meow if she doesn’t have anything better to do (cramp and mouse are homophones in Korean).

Once her cramp is gone, Hye-jin notices special plates and asks if it’s someone’s memorial service. Doo-shik tells her that his grandfather’s memorial service is the following day. Hye-jin asks if Doo-shik remembers a lot about his grandfather. He replies that he doesn’t…it all keeps fading away. His grandfather was a sailor who then ran an oil shop after he left the seafaring life behind, so he had rough hands. Still, they were big and warm and he raised Doo-shik with them.

Hye-jin suspects that he was a troublemaker when he was little, and Doo-shik admits he was. He ran all over town, causing chaos and playing soccer till he was sunburned. Just like Hye-jin, he had a favorite pair of shoes: his blue soccer cleats. His soccer playing and watching days are long over now, though. Hye-jin asks why, and he explains that he’d gone out to watch a World Cup match and while he was gone, his grandfather had a heart attack and wasn’t found in time. If only he hadn’t watched left the house and watched that match…

Hye-jin firmly tells him some things can’t be controlled, and it’s pointless to think him being at home would have changed anything. She continues that it’s not his fault; he blinks away tears. Hye-jin is certain that his grandfather would be angry if he knew that Doo-shik blames himself and she subtly wipes away a tear of her own. Doo-shik cracks a smile, and Hye-jin realizes this is the first time he’s ever talked about himself. He shares that he’s only told these stories to one other person. Hye-jin is clearly curious about who that person is, but her growling stomach prompts Doo-shik to head to the kitchen.

Meanwhile, Sung-hyun is brooding and still in Gongjin. In flashback, college-aged Sung-hyun is on campus and sees a glammed up Hye-jin with her then-boyfriend. The boyfriend tells Hye-jin she looks stunning, and assumes she’s dressed up because it’s his birthday. Hye-jin corrects him, saying that she dressed up for herself, and he’ll look cheap no matter what he wears.

He realizes that Hye-jin overheard him badmouthing her. Hye-jin bitingly tells him that she’s wasted enough time on him and doesn’t care to hear his excuses and walks off. He tries to chase after her but trips — over Sung-hyun’s outstretched leg.

Later, Hye-jin is examining her bleeding feet. Sung-hyun finds her and whips out a band-aid. She says the heels are the first gift she’s ever bought for herself. Sung-hyun muses that it’s good to give yourself gifts sometimes. Sighing, Hye-jin adds that all pretty things have thorns, but she wasn’t expecting blood. Sung-hyun grabs a shoe and tries to soften the heel up. As he’s working on them, he observes that nothing is easy the first time, whether it’s wearing high heels or being in a relationship. When he’s finished, they head off for a bit to eat.

Back in the present, Hye-jin gets a phone call from Mi-sun after a late night snack, courtesy of Chef Doo-shik. Calling from the hospital, she lets Hye-jin know that her mom’s about to head into surgery. Mi-sun also asks if everything is okay in Gongjin and Hye-jin puts on a brave front and says everything is fine. Hye-jin tells her to take as much time as she needs.

Mi-sun is in for a long night, and Eun-chul is still with her at the hospital. She tells him he should head home, but he insists on staying with her so they can drive back together. Eun-chul eventually convinces Mi-sun to let him stay, and he sneaks glances at her when he thinks she’s not looking.

In Gongjin, Doo-shik’s given up his bed so Hye-jin can sleep in peace. She feels bad about kicking an injured man out of his own bed, but he tells her that people in shock take priority. She climbs into bed and wonders nervously if someone might break in again. He’s skeptical that someone would try while he’s present, but she clarifies that she’s worried about her own apartment. He volunteers to install a front gate the next day and assures her she has nothing to worry about.

But every little noise makes Hye-jin nervous and jumpy. He tells her to go to bed, but before he can leave she grabs his shirt to stop him. They wind up back in the living room and Doo-shik brags that he can put her to sleep in five seconds. He figures she’s not much of a reader and that is sure to put her to sleep lol. Hye-jin protests, but then struggles to name a single book that she likes.

Doo-shik sits next to her on the couch and starts reading Gatekeeper aloud. Just as he reaches a stanza about denying love, he stops. He adjusts the blanket around her and realizes she’s clutching the bottom of his shirt. Half-asleep, she asks who else has heard the stories of his grandfather. He tells her it was a very warm-hearted person, and Hye-jin curses. Hye-jin spends the night on the couch with Doo-shik curled up on the floor next to her.

The next morning, all the neighbors are shocked and worked up about the previous night’s attack. Hwa-jung is back from the police station. She’s given a statement to the police and they were able to confirm the intruder was the same man who tried to abduct Cho-hee (and that he had a ton of priors). When the group spots Doo-shik and Hye-jin walking to the clinic, they rush over to see how they’re doing.

The grannies all cluck over Doo-shik’s injury, and he assures them that they are both fine. Hye-jin snaps at him for speaking on her behalf, but then confirms that she’s okay. Hwa-jung feels that she is at fault as a landlord, and offers to immediately install a security system. The neighbors show their affection and concern with food and drinks for Hye-jin, but no one’s thought to prepare anything for Doo-shik (which makes him sulky, heh). Nosy Nam-sook wants to know how Doo-shik happened to rescue Hye-jin — were they together late at night again? She doesn’t get any answers, but the neighbors wonder at what brought them together last night and this morning.

Doo-shik wonders why everyone’s more worried about Hye-jin than him. Instead of answering, Hye-jin asks why he’s following her. He replies that he’s going to the clinic for a free cup of coffee (A.K.A. to make sure Hye-jin’s okay). Mi-sun and Eun-chul run up just then, having made it back in Gongjin so Mi-sun could return to the clinic.

They learned about the intruder, and Mi-sun demands to know why Hye-jin didn’t tell her about the attack sooner. Hye-jin didn’t want to worry her, and the two friends embrace as Mi-sun promises to never leave Hye-jin again.

At the clinic, Hye-jin presses for details on what happened with Eun-chul. Mi-sun says he drove her to the hospital, stayed by her side all night, then drove her back to Gongjin. Hye-jin excitedly suggests that Mi-sun might have escaped the Friend Zone. But Mi-sun looks glum. She was first drawn to Eun-chul because of his looks, but now Mi-sun thinks she’s in love. Hye-jin feels like this should be a good thing, but Mi-sun doesn’t look convinced.

Meanwhile, Young-guk is staring at the old photo he took with Cho-hee and Hwa-jung. He’s zoned out, and something is gnawing at him, but he jumps when he realizes that Hwa-jung is in his office. She’s there on official business: to inform him of the newly formed civilian patrol unit. Hwa-jung instructs him to discuss it with city hall and to get more security measures put in place. He wants to discuss a private matter, but walks out instead.

Young-guk throws a tantrum in his office, screaming that not knowing is driving him crazy. Not far away, Bora is also throwing a tantrum, this time in her dad’s hardware store. She’s demanding that her father fix her game console. Geum-chul ignores her, but Yi-joon scolds Bora for harassing her father. As Geum-chul replies that it’s fine, Doo-shik enters and asks what the commotion is about.

Bora explains about her game console, and Doo-shik wipes away her tears. He explains that Geum-chul doesn’t actually doesn’t know how to fix the console. Doo-shik offers to fix it while Geum-chul tries to keep his cool. He grumbles that Doo-shik seems fine for someone with a knife wound. To Geum-chul’s despair, Doo-shik adds that he has an order to place.

Sung-hyun is at Gam-ri’s house when Ji-won gives him a call. She chews him out for skipping their editing session. She’s surprised to learn that he’s still in Gongjin, but suspects that it has something to do with Hye-jin and the good luck llama. She’s frustrated, but he asks her to cut him some slack just for the day. As she hangs up, Ji-won sighs and wonders how long Sung-hyun will see her only as a co-worker.

Hye-jin is at her clinic, wondering whether to call Doo-shik. Hye-jin knows he doesn’t have any relatives, so she’s worried he’ll hold the memorial service on his own. Mi-sun is heading home and offers to wait for Hye-jin, but Hye-jin sends her on her way.

Mi-sun meets Eun-chul on the way home, and he asks her to get coffee with him. They both have things to say, but Mi-sun goes first and thanks him for his help with her mom. She admits that he was right about her dating too easily, but her feelings have grown stronger. She’s resolved to keep a lid on them and keep her distance from Eun-chul so he’s not uncomfortable. She leaves and Eun-chul is stunned into silence.

Hye-jin stops by the market and purchases some jeon (a staple for memorial service tables). She makes her way over to Doo-shik’s house and he’s surprised to see her. She’s in the middle of presenting her gift to Doo-shik when Hwa-jung arrives with much fancier jeon. Each time Hye-jin tries to share her gift, she gets interrupted by a new visitor and each person comes bearing gifts of food for the memorial service. Hye-jin looks put out by how small her gift is in comparison, but she smiles to see how beloved Doo-shik is by the neighborhood.

Despite Doo-shik saying he didn’t need any help, he looks glad to have Hye-jin pitching in and preparing the table. She finishes plating some jeon, but before she can get far, Doo-shik stops her and adds more jeon. When she asks what he’s doing, he responds, “Didn’t you buy this for my grandpa?” He goes on to explain that his grandfather loved the perilla leaf jeon from the market, so Hye-jin has an eye for good food. Doo-shik invites her to stay for the memorial service, if she wants.

She does stay, and Doo-shik pays his respects to his grandfather. He gives Hye-jin a moment to say hello, which she does in a slightly awkward and very formal way. Later, Doo-shik and Hye-jin eat together, and Hye-jin mentions that she noticed his Gangwon accent come out. He tells her that he was raised in Gongjin and spoke with an accent growing up.

Hye-jin eyes the snow crab that Gam-ri brought, mentioning that she doesn’t see it often at a memorial service. Doo-shik admits it’s a first for him too, but that his grandfather loved it. Hye-jin smiles and comments that they must have had very different tastes, as Doo-shik hates snow crab. Doo-shik explains that he actually likes snow crab, but he never eats it since it’s a hassle to deshell.

Hye-jin, however, digs right in and gives a freshly cracked crab leg to Doo-shik. He’s clearly touched, but she says it’s just because it’d be too hard to manage with an injured arm. Hye-jin makes sure Doo-shik has enough crab to eat, spraying him with bits of crabmeat as she deshells. Then it’s Hye-jin’s turn to complain about how bothersome crab and shrimp are — is the effort really worth the reward? Then, Doo-shik reveals that the only other person who has peeled crab for him was his grandfather.

Hye-jin agrees that it would take a lot of love to deshell crab for someone else, and Doo-shik jerks his head up to look at her. They both stare at each other, frozen. Backpedalling, Hye-jin stammers that she’s only peeling crabs for him because it’s a special occasion and it’s her fault that he’s injured. Doo-shik recovers and adds that it’s going to take four weeks for his injury to heal. Hye-jin tells him to eat, and they both go back to their food.

Hye-jin can’t leave quickly enough, but Doo-shik wants to walk her home. She rejects his offer and hurriedly makes her way home. As she walks, Hye-jin scolds herself for using the word “love.” When she arrives home, Sung-hyun is waiting for her and asks if she has time to grab a meal with him. Hye-jin seems flustered, but agrees to a meal with Sung-hyun. The two sit across from each other at a restaurant and Sung-hyun looks incredibly nervous and he can’t seem to gather his thoughts into a complete sentence. Finally, he asks if she can say “Action!” He has a whole speech prepared, but he’s having trouble with the delivery.

She gives him the cue, and he tells her there’s only one thing he regrets in life. After some hesitation, he’s finally able to tell her what he regrets: not confessing to her 14 years ago. When he saw Hye-jin in Gongjin, he didn’t know if the butterflies indicated his former or current feelings. But he’s realized that he likes her even more than he used to. Sung-hyun quickly reassures her that he doesn’t mean to burden her or expect an immediate answer, he just wanted to tell her before it was too late. He doesn’t want to have any regrets. After another moment, Sung-hyun awkwardly claps his hands together, ending the “scene.” He starts on his food as Hye-jin watches him thoughtfully.

At home, Doo-shik puts away the food away from the memorial service. He’s chatting to his grandfather about Hye-jin, saying she’s loud and distracting. Still, he continues, it feels empty without her.

Mi-sun looks totally out of it by the time Hye-jin returns home. Mi-sun asks what she was doing out so late, and jokingly asks if Sung-hyun was confessing his feelings or something. Hye-jin shoots back that Mi-sun should consider a career in fortune-telling.

Mi-sun is delighted by the news, but wonders why Hye-jin doesn’t seem happy. Hye-jin says that it’s complicated. Mi-sun doesn’t see why, since he has everything that Hye-jin looks for in a man, plus Hye-jin used to have a crush on him. Since fate brought them together and Sung-hyun confessed his feelings, what’s the problem? Mi-sun examines her friend closely and makes another accurate guess — that it has something to do with Doo-shik. Hye-jin denies it and changes the subject to Eun-chul.

Mi-sun explains that she plans to back off because she’s afraid of commitment. It’s Hye-jin’s turn to disapprove, and Mi-sun wonders what’s wrong with both of them. Hye-jin suggests that there’s a reason they are friends. The women are both bummed out, but then Mi-sun comes up with the idea for a trip to Seoul to get their minds off things.

Soon, they’re on their way to the big city. Hye-jin suggests visiting Mi-sun’s mom, but she replies that her mom is now fine and got sick of seeing so much of her lol. They struggle to choose between shopping, going to the hotel pool, or getting a massage, but Hye-jin comes up with the brilliant idea to do all three.

Mi-sun compliments Hye-jin on the curls in her hair, and Hye-jin suddenly realizes she left her curling iron on. Mi-sun calls Doo-shik to ask for help, but Hye-jin desperately tries to get Mi-sun to hang up. Doo-shik is confused by Mi-sun’s request until Mi-sun explains that they’re en route to Seoul for an overnight trip. He agrees to the job and hangs up as Hye-jin tries to give him more precise instructions about not looking at anything in her room.

Doo-shik enters Hye-jin’s room and examines the disaster zone. He tells himself to stay calm as he cautiously navigates around the many piles of clothes. Doo-shik approaches the curling iron, only to find that it was already unplugged. He then takes the opportunity to install new window locks (courtesy of Geum-chul’s store).

Meanwhile, Mi-sun and Hye-jin are having a blast in the big city. Mi-sun frolics through the store trying things on, but Hye-jin finds herself drawn to men’s clothing.

In Gongjin, the grannies are visiting Chun-jae’s cafe for shaved ice. Sook-ja and Mat-yi excuse themselves to go to the restroom, and Gam-ri smacks Doo-shik’s injured arm. Shocked, he flinches and says that it hurts. Gam-ri agrees, saying, “Weren’t you aware of that when you took the knife for her?”

Gam-ri states that Doo-shik has feelings for Hye-jin but Doo-shik denies it, calling her a friend. But then Gam-ri’s rejoinder leaves him speechless: “She’s filled up all the space in your heart, so why on earth are you fighting it?” Gam-ri tells him that life is short and he needs to be honest with himself.

Cho-hee walks by Hwa-jung’s restaurant; Hwa-jung calls after her and invites her in for a meal. Cho-hee thanks Hwa-jung for making a statement. They finally catch up on what Cho-hee’s been up to and Hwa-jung learns that Cho-hee’s mother has now passed away, and her brother immigrated to the States. Hwa-jung guesses that loneliness must have drawn Cho-hee back to Gongjin, and gives her a piece of seokbakji — one of Cho-hee’s favorite dishes. Cho-hee starts to tell her about Young-guk’s confession, but Hwa-jung interrupts. She knows all about it, and tells Cho-hee it isn’t her fault.

Yi-joon and Young-guk then enter the restaurant, and Young-guk is visibly uncomfortable to see the two women together. Hwa-jung asks if Young-guk wants dinner as well, but he excuses himself and makes a very uncool exit by walking into the glass door.

In Seoul, Mi-sun and Hye-jin are having a fancy dinner at a restaurant with a river view. Mi-sun is enthusiastic about everything, but Hye-jin can’t stop talking about Gongjin. To “get the Gongjin vibe out of her” Hye-jin suggests going to the spa next.

It’s pouring rain as the two friends leave. Neither has an umbrella, but Hye-jin wants to make a run for it. Mi-sun is surprised, but Hye-jin is lost in her memories of time spent with Doo-shik in the rain. Other sweet memories of Doo-shik flood in as she walks through the downpour, and Mi-sun has to run after her. Hye-jin snaps out of her daze and says she has to go to Gongjin, right now. Mi-sun calls her crazy but she smiles to herself and cheers Hye-jin on for finally coming to a realization.

Hye-jin drives all the way back to Gongjin and runs to Doo-shik’s empty house. She calls him from the courtyard, but his phone buzzes in an empty room. She suddenly sees him sitting alone across the harbor, and heads his direction.

Hye-jin tells him she has something to say that couldn’t wait: She likes him. Hye-jin continues that she’s a Type A personality and it feels like they’re complete opposites. She doesn’t care about any of that though, because she likes him.

He starts to respond, but she stops him and covers his mouth. She isn’t asking for anything, but her feelings keep inflating her heart and it could burst at any second. She can’t help it anymore. Doo-shik gently removes her hand from his mouth and gives her kiss. He pulls away and confesses that he can’t deny it either. They kiss again, alone, together.

EPILOGUE

In flashback, Doo-shik’s grandpa has gifted him a pair of blue cleats for his birthday. His grandpa smiles and tells him to blow out the candles on his cake. Doo-shik makes a wish that he and his grandpa can live a long and happy life together. His grandpa makes a wish of his own: that the universe send a good person to Doo-shik so he won’t be lonely.

Earlier that day, while in Hye-jin’s room, Doo-shik sees Hye-jin’s family photo on the beach and realizes that Hye-jin is the little girl he met all those years ago.

 
COMMENTS

What an ending! Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha was inching towards these epiphanies and confessions from Hye-jin and Doo-shik, and in this episode I was pretty pleased with how candid they were with each other. I was starting to get a little tired of the wishy washiness and the denial, so it was great to see both of them own their feelings for each other. I was cheering as she strode purposefully through the rain, drove all the way back to Gongjin, and confessed.

We also got more moments of the two of them having genuine connections that weren’t undercut by sarcastic humor or a villain. The scene with the snow crab is just one example; it was a perfect balance of banter and pure emotion. One big signal that Doo-shik was starting to open up was the way he began reading that poem out loud, but couldn’t quite get himself to read out the words about denying love. He’s been guarding his heart for so long out of fear and grief, but I hope his confession means he’s had another epiphany that he doesn’t have to do so any longer.

This wasn’t Hye-jin and Doo-shik’s first run in with the bad guy, but this episode felt like it took the criminal and the crime more seriously. This episode explored the aftermath of a violent attack more fully, starting with Hye-jin’s fainting spell and continuing on to how Cho-hee continues to be affected. I really appreciated that Doo-shik was worried about Hye-jin’s body going into shock, even though I doubt he was doing much better himself. Hye-jin’s fear of another break-in seems like a reasonable response to trauma, as does her struggle to fall asleep. It was so heartwarming to see the ways Hye-jin has been brought into the fold of her Gongjin neighborhood too. (And thank goodness Hye-jin never changed the keycode.) Though the attack provided an excuse for the leads to spend more time together, I’m glad that it wasn’t the ultimate catalyst for them to recognize and admit their feelings. In fact, I wonder if the attack delayed Doo-shik’s confession because he was already on his way to her place for a reason. Sung-hyun was so adorably nervous when he was confessing that I’m a little sad that he was too late in the end after all.

K-dramas often use the death of a loved one as a plot point or character motivation, but I’m impressed with how the drama handled grief in this episode. We know that Doo-shik thinks that his grandfather’s death is his fault, and it was so refreshing to hear Hye-jin address his guilt head-on. Feeling responsibility for a loved one’s passing is fairly common, but Hye-jin’s frank assessment that it was out of Doo-shik’s control was both true and powerful. I don’t think he’s ever opened himself up enough to let a non-medical professional know his feelings, but Hye-jin confirming that the death wasn’t his fault definitely struck a chord with him. While I think Doo-shik has a long way to go to process his grief and guilt, I’m sure Hye-jin is ready to be there for him.

I was also pleasantly surprised during Hwa-jung’s conversation with Cho-hee. Though it was brief, I love that the show touched on the difficulty of both chronic illness and the challenges of caretaking. Speaking of Cho-hee and Hwa-jung, I think @stroopwafel may be onto something. They definitely have a connection. These women are so emotionally mature and caring, which makes Young-guk even more insufferable. Young-guk’s childish ways are really starting to get on my nerves, especially because of how serious and grown-up his son is. I get that Yi-joon is just a very earnest kid, but I’m kind of concerned that he’s compensating for the lack of maturity on his father’s part. I’m glad that Yi-joon is friends with Bora. She may be a little wild, but I think she encourages him to be more playful and have fun. The true Gongjin mystery is how Hwa-jung managed to live with him for so long.

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Yes, that ending was everything! Sorry to poor Mi-seon, but her being abandoned in Seoul was totally worth it. I’m so invested in their relationship. The idea of Hye-jin and Du-shik together just do something to me. It’s probably my bisexual panic spiking.

I’m also pleasantly surprised by how the show handled the aftermath of the violent attack and home-invasion. It’s a common drama plot point to bring the protagonists together, but this is one of the few times I’ve seen where the lingering fear, trauma, and PTSD are actually shown, even if not to a great extent. I definitely appreciate that, especially since the show could’ve easily just reverted back to its light romcom vibes (which is what I prefer it to be btw).

Cho-hui and Hwa-jung are my OTP, nobody can convince me otherwise.

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I have been waiting for a love confession from Cho-hui to Hwa-jung since her character was introduced. It just felt like that's how this story was going.

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I couldn't agree more with you. They feel like they would be good for each other as well, both caring and loving in their own ways.

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I don't think that Hwa-jung thinks of her that way, though. I think she's always been head over heels for her now ex-husband, but I could see it turning into a story of one-sided love by Cho-hui.

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Unfortunately, after the latest episode, I have to agree with you on Hwa-jung’s feelings. Cho-hui, on the other hand, I still think is in love with Hwa-jung. I’m so sad for my ship. :(

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I was wondering if it could be a healing platonic relationship though after watching ep 12. I still believe they would be good to each other in their own ways, whether Eros is involved or not. There's a lot of healing to be done!

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Mi-seon could have jumped in the car with her- I think that she made a conscious decision to stay out of her friend's way. "Leveling up" is the expression she used for the situation.

And she was probably right- on that long drive back from Seoul her friend might well have used her as a sounding board to talk herself out of her decision. It is worth the bus ride back to see her friend happy.

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My favourite part of the episode was the one in which Hye Jin realizes her feelings for Do Shik and walks in a pouring rain with a smile on her face. We are all with Hye Jin at that moment and then Mi Sun comes in and we are reminded that not everyone is on board with that dramatic scene in your head.

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Hye-jin’s confession was lovely. I liked the lighthouse turning on as they kissed. The drama is great with small details like that.

Poor Sung-hyun. I’m glad he confessed even though he knew the answer. Now he won’t have any regrets. Glad we got confirmation that the writer likes him.

The villagers bringing food for the memorial was heartwarming. Small towns have their drawbacks but benefits too.

Mi-sun and Hye-jin are friendship goals.

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I feel very conflicted about the writer character. I've seen some people want PD Ji to end up with her but I'm sorry to say I totally disagree with that. I don't want it to happen for the sake of another romantic relationship or rebound. She seems to be so unhappy with him most of time. It gives me difficult co-worker vibes. Perhaps she might have high expectations about their work or try to protect him from getting hurt but this doesn't justify of being too grumpy .

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What would be this beautiful than a confession that came at the right time? I especially appreciate it that Hye-jin was the one confessing. All this episodes, we've seen her back down from a lot of things, thinking it would make her too nosy or busybody. She spilling those words out first is something I will gladly stamp on. And also, waiting for Du-shik would have taken years, he is clearly afraid of taking any step he thinks he will regret later.

Unlike many, I don't think Hwa-jung and Cho-hee harbor feelings for each other. Cho-hee is clearly lonely and I won't blame her for trying to make her former friends close again. I would do the same, she came back to a place she only remembered with good memories and wanted to continue that way. She just want companionship from the same folks who were her best friends.

Poor Eun-cheol, I think he was ready to confess but could not due to Mi-seon premature rejection. I hope they date, cuz Our police officer is one of the most cutest second lead I've ever seen. His inexperience is so sweet to watch.

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Do not worry too much about Eun-cheol- as we heard from Mi-seon she has in fact fallen hard for him- and in a way that is very different from her previous experiences. Give it a little time- our wonderful young officer is doing far better than he might think at this moment. I love this couple because you can actually see what each one would bring to the life of the other.

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things are really awful in my real world right now and i feel like everyday is in limbo i love homcha so much its the only thing i look forward to.

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Sending virtual hugs to you! Same, things are quite stressful here as well, and this drama is exactly what I need to make me laugh and swoon.

This show surely has flaws and shortcomings. But the story is very light, fluffy, and fun, which I can watch without to much thinking.

I enjoy some trivial things in the drama, like:
- Juri who is always lazy to go to school in the morning, and his dad constantly scolds her
- Nam-sook's slaps on the everyone's arm
- the sunshine, the sea, the sea breeze..
- Du-shik smile :)

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Let me send you a 'hang in there' and my best wishes for you. I hope that things get better soon.

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Tough times never last...wait for it to pass, we are all in the same boat. Stay strong.

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The confession and the kisses were perfect! I was so scared that he denied his feelings and hurt her. But he didn't! Now, he will have to work on his trauma but he won't be alone.

He's already opened up by talking to his grandfather. I really liked the scenes in his home. The crab scene was touching and funny in the same time.

I'm sorry for Sung-hyun because he's a good guy and deserves to be happy too. He's friend with Doo-Shik too, so I hope he won't suffer to much by seeing them together.

I think it's good that Young-guk is childish with Yi-joon. Yi-Joon is too mature for his age, you're a child only once in your life, he must profit now. I don't think he's mature because of his father but because of the divorce and it's his personality. I like Young-Guk, he cares about people, he didn't forget his ex-mother-in-law death's anniversary or Doo-Shik's grandfather, he's good at doing his job.

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Their confessions were everything I wanted, and more. I loved Hye-jin's honest ramblings about polar bears and penguins - it was a nice nod to the night of their first kiss back in ep 4. Du-shik remained, of course, a man of few words when it came to expressing his feelings, but those kisses spoke *volumes* 😍

The rest of the episode hit the mark for me as well. Hye-jin was rightly scared and traumatized, and I liked that Du-shik, who never takes in anything that's alive, took her in and cared for her, at least for one night.

Seeing how everyone was worried about Hye-jin warmed my heart. Her dad has nothing to worry about, because it seems she's already found herself a big family who loves her. At this point I really hope Hye-jin and Mi-sun don't return to Seoul at a later point in the story - everyone would be heartbroken.

As we head into the penultimate week, I'm eager to finally find out Du-shik's story. Fingers crossed he doesn't push Hye-jin away or I'm throwing hands 😤

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The double confession at the end felt pretty sudden, but I’m throwing logic to the wind and just grinning through this.
Loved it. ^^

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One word: Love!

Loved how the whole town were worried about Hye Jin. Isn't this exactly how family works? They are annoying but they care for you at the end.

Loved how the town's people prepared food for the memorial. Family always has your back.

Loved Sung Hyun's confession. It was more of closure for his delayed timings.

Loved how Hye-Jin was the one who initiated the confession.

Love Mi-Sun and Hye-Jin's friendship, but why did she leave her friend back in Seoul🙄
Also how come Du Shik nonchalantly uses his left hand despite the stitches? Shouldn't it pain?

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@stritzfix thank you for linking the poem, it’s lovely!

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After spending a week on the coast near sparkling water and real fishing boats, I must say I missed K-dramas more than home! Managed to sneak in Homecha eps 9 and 10 early in the morning when everyone was asleep. Need to re-watch both to appreciate all the nuance and character development.

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As much as I love KSH and love seeing him acting all lovey dovey, I do feel bad for PD Ji. He's likeable and sincere. I really liked the actor in the 2020 family drama "Once Again" as a dentist. Funny how he's in love with a dentist this time.

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I only see him 'Youth of May'. Unfortunately He was also very sweet second lead there too :)

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I loved his character in ONCE AGAIN.

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Finally, it makes sense that Hye Jin confessed first, their relationship is that way. He pushes and she pulls. I need him to communicate better with my girl though.

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SH confession makes a turning point for hyejin as she is now presented with a choice, who her heart is beating for. SH is a good nice guy but he missed the golden timing to confess that is hyejin broke up with her then jerk boyfriend and the 14 years where both having good career. It is good that he now has closure. When i 1st see yhe writer, i know she is interested in SH. Hope to see their development.
Absent makes the heart grow fonder, the recalling of funny playful moments makes hyejin realise that she should be honest with her feeling n her confession is so honest that helps dushik move forward, like the poem, he is waiting for hyejin (even though he know SH likes hyejin) and deny his love for hyejin. The encouraging words of gamri to throw away unneccesary thoughts and not fight his feeling, hyejin father words that dushik also deserves hyejin and hyejin love for him (although she tries to hide it) n the rationale of things beyond his control is nit hid fault, help to heal the root of his problem "fear he cause death". His confession is so sweet.
The love the villagers shower on hyejin n dushik is so warm. Hyejin also has changed she now eats the pill given by gamri with her fingers n she is also on group chat.
Like the way eun try to help misun n getting to know her n letting her know him. Happy to see this innocent boy progress.
This ep is cute funny n sweet. ep 11 n 12 are awesome n 1 mystery solved. It is getting better n better.

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I appreciate that Song-hyun is a very nice guy, a good guy and has everything that a girl should want in a man: But I actually find him one of the least sympathetic Second Leads I have ever seen. It has taken me some time but I have finally put my finger on it: It is his complaint that he is too late again. He is too late because his crush on Hye-jin was always a very shallow one. More than ten years have passed since he last saw her. If he were truly in love with her he would have kept up with news about her and would have swooped in as soon as she was no longer in a relationship. But he did not- instead he created a fantasy where he was leaving her alone, perhaps telling himself that he was respecting her choices- but by never telling her how he felt he was actually withholding from her the ability to choose. When does he finally decide to confess? When he can see that she has become interested in Du-shik. Subconsciously he was late by intention- because all this time his crush on Hye-jin has really been an excuse for avoiding any serious involvement with someone else.

Song-hyun has commitment issues but our show balances out the man with commitment issues by giving us a woman with commitment issues: Mi-seon. Her flirtation with Eun-chul was just supposed to lead to a continuation of her previous very active but unserious dating life but this time she chose a very nice, good solid guy- and her efforts have been entirely too successful for her comfort. In driving her to Seoul and staying with her through the night Eun-chul has demonstrated that he is genuinely in love with her- and will be there for her. Naturally she has actually fallen in love with him and as she puts it she is in trouble. In a sense she is in trouble because this sending her in a new direction, one that could genuinely change her life and she, like all human beings, is afraid of change. Of course her first reaction will be to try to push him away as she panics at the prospect of change- but this being a rom-com we all know that this will not work and Mi-seon will soon be venturing into very unfamiliar territory.

As for Hwa-jung, she too has been guilty of silence, just as Song-hyun has. Young-guk is certainly childish - (how does someone that immature wind up as the City Manager? This is a mystery we will probably never penetrate)- but maybe his immaturity has continued because no one has ever really given him the opportunity to grow. By refusing to communicate with him Hwa-young took away his ability to choose a different path. When you leave people in the dark they cannot possibly see a way forward. So he may be immature but if we have seen anything it is that the divorce in fact hit him very hard. He is certainly irritating and annoying but maybe if given the right information he could choose to do things differently (or not- change is hard). I hope our story will show him at least getting that chance.

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