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Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha: Episode 11

It’s time to lay all feelings out into the open… or is it? Our dentist is ready to be honest about how she feels, but she’s not quite ready to let everyone in on it just yet. But trying to keep their new relationship a secret may just give our couple more problems than it’s worth…

 
EPISODE 11 RECAP

After Hye-jin confesses her feelings for Doo-shik, and he reciprocates, they share kiss after kiss. But then they seem to come to their senses and pull slightly apart. Hye-jin says she should go, since she said and heard everything she needed to. Doo-shik protests that he didn’t get to say everything, and even though she says bashfully that the kiss was more than enough, he wants to give a proper response. “I like you,” he says. And since they’ve confessed and kissed, it’s obvious what they should do next: hold hands as they walk home.

When they reach Hye-jin’s house, she asks if they’re official now. Doo-shik grins and says she can go ahead and mark it on her calendar if she wants. But then she remembers that she hasn’t given Sung-hyun an answer yet, and asks if they can hold off making it officially official until after she can do so. Doo-shik grumbles about it, but agrees that she needs to give Sung-hyun a clear answer. She asks why he never said anything if he knew all along that Sung-hyun liked her, to which he says, “Back then, I didn’t know I liked you this much.” With a sly grin, she asks exactly how much he likes her, then, and he beats around the bush a bit before saying, “As much as Lake Baikal.” Hye-jin promises to tell Sung-hyun about her feelings tomorrow, and they decide not to call each other until after she does.

Later that night, Hye-jin googles Lake Baikal, and immediately breaks her own vow and calls Doo-shik to share what she discovered: “Lake Baikal is the oldest lake in the world at 25 million years old. With a depth of 1,743 meters, it’s also the deepest lake in the world.” They get all shy together, and he tells her to take a look at her desk. He asks if she remembers who took the family photo (she doesn’t), and reveals that it was his grandfather. Awed by the coincidence, Hye-jin wonders about the boy who helped her pay for snacks the day she ran away from home, and they piece together that meeting, too. Hye-jin calls it fate, while Doo-shik says it’s a natural coincidence, since Gongjin is so small, but either way, they-re both amazed to have found each other again after all these years.

The next day, Hye-jin calls Sung-hyun while he and his team are editing their show. Sung-hyun tells the team to take the afternoon off, promising to be back by the evening, and leaves immediately for Gongjin. The two meet in Chun-jae’s café, and Sung-hyun remarks that he feels like he’s been handed his report card: delaying opening it won’t change the result, but he’s still scared to look. But he takes a deep breath and tells her he’s ready to accept whatever she has to say.

Hye-jin starts by saying that meeting him again brought back old memories she hadn’t visited in a while. She recalls how, at the time, she’s been working herself to exhaustion and living off sausages, and he’d been the first person to really take care of her. He’d invited her to eat together at every opportunity, but he hadn’t always meant it literally – sometimes it was his way of telling her she’d worked hard, or that he wanted her to be happy. Then she confesses that she’d also had feelings for him back then. Even though she’d known he liked her back, she’d been too embarrassed and afraid because he’d seen her at her lowest point. With a few tears in her eyes, she says that she’s always regretted not being honest about her feelings for him, but that she likes someone else now.

Sung-hyun takes it all in without interrupting. When she finishes, he manages a slight smile and says he’s relieved to hear her honest answer. But he also says that he never pitied her: rather, he loved her for working so hard and trying her best not to lose herself in the process. “I’m honored to have someone like you as my first love,” he says. Hye-jin says the same. Across the room, Chun-jae is tearing up (me too, man, me too) and letting the ice melt into their Americanos so he doesn’t have to break up the moment.

As they leave the café, Hye-jin returns the llama doll, and although Sung-hyun would like to tell her to keep it, he says that he’s glad it gave her comfort, even for a short time. Hye-jin thanks him for everything. Doo-shik arrives then, and Sung-hyun asks for a word with him. They walk off together, leaving Hye-jin fretting that they’ll fight it out.

Cut to: Sung-hyun and Doo-shik hammering away at a halfway-constructed table. When Sung-hyun comes out and says Hye-jin turned him down in favor of someone else, Doo-shik accidentally breaks the table leg he’s holding and mutters that it must be defective. Sung-hyun continues: “She didn’t say who it was, but I bet he doesn’t deserve her.”

Doo-shik jumps up defensively, saying he shouldn’t judge people based on hunches. But Sung-hyun knew all along it was him, and asks him to make her laugh a lot and treat her to plenty of good food. He says he doesn’t like things to be complicated and admits, “I like Hye-jin… But I think I’m pretty fond of you, too.” Awwww. He says he’s always hated trigonometry, so love triangles aren’t for him. Doo-shik says he doesn’t mind Sung-hyun either, though he sure does need a lot of care, and Sung-hyun asks for another surfing lesson when they have time. Doo-shik laughs and says to let him know when he’s free – so he can schedule something else that day.

Young-guk agonizes over what he did so wrong. Neglecting the laundry? No, he had his own chores. Snoring? No, Hwa-jung snores even more. Yong-hun interrupts him to ask about trash bags that Hwa-jung asked for, so Young-guk decides to deliver them himself (but acts as though it’s a huge inconvenience, ignoring Yong-hun’s protests that he doesn’t mind taking them).

Hwa-jung, meanwhile, sits down with an old friend, who offers to set up a blind date. Young-guk listens at the doorway as Hwa-jung’s friend says she’s exactly this guy’s type. Just as Hwa-jung seems about to agree, Young-guk makes his presence known. He shouts at her for “making” him deliver the bags on a weekend, when she’s not even busy with official business. He tells her to resign, and she shrugs, since her term is ending soon, anyway. He leaves in a huff, and Hwa-jung tells her friend she was joking. She has no intentions of remarrying.

Doo-shik goes over to Hye-jin’s house, where she peppers him with questions about what went down between him and Sung-hyun. With a grin, he tells her Sung-hyun likes him – and even prefers him to her – and that Sung-hyun is a good friend. With that hurdle crossed, he’s ready to make their relationship public, but Hye-jin isn’t. She doesn’t want the villagers to spread rumors about impending marriage or pregnancy. He agrees to try keeping it a secret, though he’s certain it won’t last long.

Still, they determine that today is their first day as a couple. And since they’re official, she demonstrates what they can do together: hold hands, embrace, and cuddle. He recommends she read Georges Bataille’s book Erotism, and when she asks what it’s about, he grins mischievously, says “Stuff like this!” and grabs her in a nother hug, making her squeal with delight. But they’re startled out of their revelry by Mi-sun, who has just arrived home and flatly tells them to lock the door next time.

When Sung-hyun doesn’t show up to finish editing that night, Ji-won calls him. But he doesn’t answer, because he’s out drinking alone. Not for long, though, as Young-guk happens by and joins him. They commiserate over needing to de-stress, agreeing that relationships are far more difficult than work. Young-guk lights up to have found someone who understands what he’s going through. Several drinks later, Young-guk pours out the whole story about Hwa-jung being offered a blind date, and how she always speaks harshly to him. Sung-hyun, whose head is drooping lower toward the table by the minute, says he thought meeting Hye-jin again was a sign they were meant to be. They seem to be having two conversations at once, until Young-guk laments the horrible timing of losing and meeting Cho-hee again. Sung-hyun agrees that timing is exactly the problem.

In the morning, Hye-jin hurries into the café to see Doo-shik before Chun-jae arrives. She orders a mocha with extra whipped cream, since she’s “overflowing with sweetness.” He happily invites her behind the counter to watch him make it, somehow getting whipped cream all over his own face. She reaches up to wipe it off… and at that moment Chun-jae walks in. Hye-jin slaps Doo-shik across the face and pretends to be angry as she rushes out. Later, she texts him heart emoji-laden apologies and asks what other jobs he has today.

Young-guk sits at his desk nursing a massive hangover. Yong-hun brings him soup, and when Young-guk gets enough wits back to ask where he got it, he says he bought it. Young-guk eyes him suspiciously.

Doo-shik delivers jjajangmyun to the clinic, to Hye-jin’s excitement and Mi-sun’s (mostly feigned) annoyance. Mis-un requests he work at other restaurants, too, so they can have a variety of lunch options. When he leaves, Hye-jin follows him out to apologize for slapping him. She fawns over his face… and kicks him when Nam-sook appears.

His leg is still hurting when she calls later, though he says he’s not angry – his emotions are a lot more complex than just that, and he’d like to know if she wants to date or kill him. But he promises to continue keeping their secret.

Sung-hyun finally arrives back at work, and dramatically apologizes on his knees. Since Ji-won pulled an all-nighter due to his absence, he tells her to name any punishment she wants. She rolls her eyes at the display, and tells him to buy her lunch. As he rummages through his bag for his phone, she sees the llama doll, but doesn’t say anything.

Hye-jin finds Doo-shik working at the supermarket, and he quickly tells her to stay at least two meters away. She cutely inches closer and closer, and asks him out on their first official date this weekend, suggesting that they take a walk, eat, and maybe some “other stuff,” too. She giggles loudly as he ruffles her hair. But of course Yoon-kyung and Geum-chul walk in on them, and she bangs her head against his nose, making it bleed. Doo-shik can only laugh at this point.

Hye-jin texts Doo-shik more apologies, but the rest of the day goes by without him even opening the messages. Hye-jin agonizes over what that might mean, and Mis-un wryly apologizes – now, on the receiving end, she realizes how annoying she must have been when she was in a relationship.

Hye-jin goes looking for Doo-shik at his house. He’s not home, so she decides to go inside and wait. But when Doo-shik arrives, he’s accompanied by the granny trio. Hye-jin runs to the bedroom to hide, and he scrambles to throw her shoes out of sight behind the door. In his panic, he urges them not to look in the bedroom (claiming it’s messy), which of course entices Sook-ja to have a look. She throws the door open before he can stop her, revealing a very tidy room and no Hye-jin. Doo-shik distracts the grannies with homemade candles and ushers them quickly out the door.

Once they’re gone, he finds Hye-jin huddled in the closet. It’s only after she asks about her text messages that he realizes his phone is missing. He helps her stand, but her legs have fallen asleep, so he scoops her up in his arms. At her request, he promises to check his messages even when he’s busy, and asks her to tell him everything she doesn’t want him to do. His face freezes a little as she says she doesn’t want any secrets between them, but he nods in agreement. Then she spots the calendar on his desk, where he’s marked their first day with a red circle and a heart made out of stickers. She laughs while he swears it means something else. He takes a step backward, trips, and falls, and they both fall onto the bed. There’s a supercharged moment, and he leans down to kiss her… and her phone rings. She gets up to see who’s calling (Mi-sun), and he goes to get her a candle to take home.

Then he walks her out, still holding her hand as she asks if he has a candle-making license (he does), and exactly how many licenses he owns (he’s lost count). He names a few notable ones: youth counseling, etiquette teaching, cooking pufferfish, origami teaching, etc. Just then, Hye-jin spots a group of villagers walking toward them, and quickly twists Doo-shik’s arm behind his back. The villagers run over and separate them, and Hwa-jung says it’s best if they keep their distance from each other for a while. Doo-shik argues that the village is too small for that, but the others assure him they’ll help.

Hye-jin shows up at Chun-jae’s café the next morning, smiling to see Doo-shik behind the counter, but Chun-jae cuts in front of her with a mop. He takes her order and relays it to Doo-shik, not letting them speak a word to each other. Doo-shik addresses Chun-jae while making eye contact with Hye-jin to say that he lost his phone and can’t be contacted until he finds it, adding, “So don’t worry if you can’t reach me.” When Ju-ri comes downstairs, the couple take advantage of the distraction to communicate silently through gestures.

At the clinic, Hye-jin complains to Mi-sun about the forced separation. She cheers up as she remembers she can have him deliver jjajangmyun, but Nam-sook delivers it herself instead.

Sung-hyun and his team prepare to board a boat for their next program, and poor Sung-hyun looks seasick already. He grabs his stomach and collapses, and they take him to the hospital for suspected food poisoning. Ji-won refuses to leave his side despite him assuring her he’s fine, because she knows the problem isn’t an upset stomach.

Hye-jin and Doo-shik meet on a street corner, and she runs into his arms like it’s been much longer than half a day since they last saw each other. She urges him to get a new phone so they can talk, but he still has nearly two years left before it’s paid off and asks for one more day to look for it. Their brief moment together comes to an end as Yoon-kyung and Geum-chul spot them and forcibly steer them in opposite directions.

Ji-won takes Sung-hyun to their lodging and makes him lie down, saying it’s for the sake of their show. He thanks her softly for putting up with him, and confesses that he’s suffering because he’s getting over his first love for the second time.

Eun-chul comes to the clinic, hesitating to meet Mi-sun’s eyes. As she starts to work on his teeth, he says (with his mouth still wide open), “It’s not that I don’t like you. I just want to get to know you slowly.” She pretends not to understand, but smiles to herself after he leaves and refuses to tell Hye-jin what he said.

While Hye-jin pouts about missing Doo-shik, she gets a call from an unknown number – and of course it’s him. He’s busy today, but tells her they can meet tomorrow night, when everyone else will be gathered for a village meeting.

The next morning, they both leap excitedly out of bed, and count down the hours all day long. When evening arrives, Hye-jin runs out of the clinic with a joyful squeal. Doo-shik wraps up at Chun-jae’s café, and fakes a cough to get out of the meeting. As soon as he turns the corner outside, his face lights up, and he breaks into a run.

As the villagers gather for their meeting, Cho-hee and Hwa-jung greet Young-guk awkwardly. Once everyone has arrived (including Mi-sun who’s taking Hye-jin’s place), Nam-sook calls them into a huddle to announce the meeting’s agenda.

Hye-jin and Doo-shik meet near the lighthouse and express how much they missed each other. Just as she’s getting all giddy about him calling her by name, the entire village meeting converges on them. Doo-shik jumps to explain that this is all a misunderstanding, but Hye-jin has had enough and announces that they’re dating. The villagers all gasp dramatically as she tells Doo-shik she doesn’t want to hide it anymore, and Hwa-jung finally shouts, “We know!” Everyone laughs at their shocked faces, and reveal that they’d seen everything, even the heart-filled text messages on Doo-shik’s phone (which he’d left at the supermarket). Forcing them apart had been Hwa-jung’s idea, because she knew they’d become even more desperate to see each other. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, and all that.

Everyone congratulates them, and Gam-ri even says she has nothing more to wish for in life. Doo-shik laces their fingers together and shyly thanks everyone for their support, while Hye-jin playfully asks them not to interfere anymore.

 
EPILOGUE

On the night Hye-jin confessed, after learning she’d met Doo-shik as a child (twice), she’d taken out her old sketchbook, which holds a drawing of their first meeting. We see young Hye-jin drawing the picture, calling Doo-shik the “sea prince” who made the “star princess” smile when she was crying, and wishing for the chance to meet him again.

Meanwhile, Doo-shik had indeed circled the date on his calendar, then decided it looked too plain and added the stickers.

 
COMMENTS

I take back every negative thing I said or thought about Sung-hyun. The whole scene where Hye-jin confessed that she’d liked him once upon a time was so beautiful. It’s such a poignant truth that, with the right timing, they could have been very happy together. And it’s devastating to think about how close two people can come to living happily ever after together, only to let the moment pass without truly acting on it. But even though they both found the courage to express their feelings later down the road, Hye-jin especially is no longer the same person she was then, and there’s no going back to that time now.

I’ve seen a lot of second leads say they’ll accept the other person’s decision, only to redouble their efforts to win that person back once they’ve been rejected in favor of the main love interest. But that goodbye scene carried a definite sense of finality, so I really don’t expect Sung-hyun to go that route. (Thank goodness!) And did I shed almost as many tears hearing him say he’s also grown fond of Doo-shik as I did hearing him bid farewell to his first love? Maybe…

But on to the real bulk of this episode: aren’t Hye-jin and Doo-shik just the cutest? Every time they smile at each other, I just melt. And every time she does something cute, he just melts. Like Doo-shik, I never expected the hidden relationship to last in this village, but I didn’t expect the village to turn right around and make their own secret plan, or that they would end up entangled in such hilariously dramatic forbidden-love-type antics.

I do have to say, I’ve never liked the trope (is it a trope?) where characters hurt each other to avoid being found out as dating. I just can’t laugh at a person intentionally inflicting pain on someone they love, even if they don’t technically mean it. But I appreciated that it came back to bite Hye-jin, and it was sweet to see the villagers defending Doo-shik, even if they were just playing along. I also liked the fact that Doo-shik respected Hye-jin’s wishes in not revealing their relationship, instead of blustering on ahead with what he thought was best, as he’s been known to do in the past. (And that look on his face when she announced she was ready to go public with their relationship!)

Is it too much to ask that the rest of the show just be the two of them falling more and more in love and maybe just exploring the side characters and their love lives? I know there’s bound to be more bickering and probably even conflict between the two of them as these honeymoon feelings settle into something more mundane, but I would love to just see them learning to operate as a team instead of the all-too-common last-minute external conflict cropping up out of nowhere. There is still the matter of Doo-shik’s secret years to deal with, but I hope it can happen in such a way that Hye-jin is there to support him through dealing with it, and not such that it drives them apart for an episode or three. (Knocking on all of the wood right now.)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I might just go make myself a mocha with extra whipped cream…

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I thought the aegyo was a bit too much. This was from a dignified dentist from Seoul in episode 1, who wouldn't even make small talk in an elevator and now, we get this clingy mess of a woman?! And she always goes to him! She always texts or calls him! It was kind of scary, tbh. Hahaha!

And fyi. I've been in several relationships and I am in a very loving one, but yes, I am aware this might be the pot calling the kettle black.

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I can see how the childish cuteness overload would be frustrating. My understanding of that specific behaviour is that Hye-jin doesn't have a lot of relationship experience. She is turning all teenager lovey-dovey because I don't think she ever got to experience any of that properly. It was a little too clingy and embarrassing to my liking, but I think I can relate to Hye-jin here. I have not been in a lot of relationships (mostly because I didn't realise what they were for or even that it ever was an option... Unlike Hyejin, I wasn't a hard-working dentistry student, I was just plain stupid with not remotely enough self-esteem to assume I would be an interesting human being) and I can sympathise with the excitement and joy she feels. True, her behaviour feels a little childish for her age and status. But if you put yourself in her shoes, you might want to catch up on the missed experiences of your youth. Admittedly, not everyone would feel that way. But I appreciate that Hye-jin's love life dreams might have been momentarily stuck at a much younger age.

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In hindsight the aegyo was a bit out of character for Hye Jin, but Shin Mina is so freaking adorable and she’s done aegyo for all her romcoms. My favorite is still the one from My GF is a Gumiho.

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Ouch for the beating he got. Now if roles were reversed, it would be a different matter. I was very happy with the villagers in all their collective wisdom. She has undergone a character change, very bossy. He seems unreasonably tolerant. I liked that he wouldn't let her come too close in the shop, but he still got walloped.

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Ugh, did people think the hitting was cute? Shin Min Ah is no small woman! She can actually do some damage to Douche-shik.

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It wasn't cute at all. Remember the high kick.

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I was really happy with Doo-Shik answering to her confession directly and not let her waiting for his answer.

Sung-Hyun is a reallygood guy, so it was sad to see him being rejected. I like the fact he knew that Doo-Shik was the guy she loves, no lies between them.

Doo-Shik knew it will be impossible to hide their relationship and he was so right and he suffered for nothing. But it was so funny to watch!

It was so funny to see Hye-Jin gigling during all the episode. She's so happy, love works well for her!

I know there will be Doo-Shik's fears to overcome, so I'm goint to take every happy and lovely moments they will give to us!

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I cringed in secondhand embarrassment this whole episode. The whole hitting/ hurting was so tasteless it just erased all the cute. I'm officially annoyed with you show! So i'm putting this on hold till its over to watch the remaining eps - i dont trust the writer not to pull another disappearance, a year (or two) of separation or truck of doom. Writernim, how do you take two lovely, mature, self aware individuals and turn them into...that.

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{b}It's a Romantic Sunday indeed/{b}
All writers should learn from HOMETOWN CHA-CHA-CHA writer, this is how you handle and treat a second male lead right. If you know you had bad-mouthed Ji PD, apologize immediately. He is indeed a sweet soul. The fact that his unrequited love move him to love whoever loves his Love is so endearing. He is one of my favorite characters now. I mean it!

This episode made me feel lovesick. See the way adults well in their 30's behave like teenagers who fell in love. Love is the moment, love is in the air.

With all this loving and sweet bickering, I hope they handle their differences and trauma in a mature way. No NOBLE IDIOCY!! I beg of you. I really think there's a storm coming.

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Bold writing gone wrong again. When the hell will I get this thing right?

P.S: I'm patiently waiting for Episode 12 recap, I have a lot to rant about the village Chief and this so-called First Love Syndrome

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Try this
bold

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Thanks 🥺

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Sorry previous post doesn't show the HTML code. Lol

Chevron at the beginning with a b in the middle and close with same , but add a / before the b
Hope that makes sense

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Comment was deleted

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My guess on Village Chief was quite on point after finding out in ep 12 the behind of their fiasco on why things ended that way and must say after so many years i'm totally fed up with koreans obsession with the so-called First Love Syndrome...
Just please show don't get them together again,let her move on and let go

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First Love Syndrome & Adults Falling in Love with High School kids. Like why k-people, why??

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Like seriously, does it has to be first love?

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My 1st love is prolly married with 4 kids now. Am i doomed forever? 😅😆

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I wouldn't call Sung Hyun's love unrequited because Hye Jin did say she knew of his feelings during college, but she feigned ignorance because the timing was bad.

This is a classic example of "missed opportunities" because both parties din't want to harm the other or their existing relationship with feelings.

I agree how the drama din't trivialise his Sung Hyun's confession. The "rejection" felt more like gratitude and appreciation they had for each other during/after college ❤

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That is one of the most repectful rejection I've seen in dramaland. Plus SH telling DS he liked him too and DS telling HJ to not leave SH hanging made the whole thing more mature and handled responsibly by adults.

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Share your view too. it was mature n thoughful of DS, Hj n SH.

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Totally agree. It was a masterclass in how to speak honestly and humbly, and give and receive rejection with dignity. I liked SH before this; now I'm happy for him to receive saint status... :)

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The physical abuse in this episode was too much and it left me wishing that Doo Shik and Sung Hyun would become the OTP.

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Awww.. Doo-Shik and Hye-Jin are simply adorable together! So much cuteness!

That said, the best scene for me was Hye-Jin and Sung-Hyun's conversation. It was so mature and poignant, and though it shuts down the possibility of a romantic relationship, their friendship is still intact, and probably strengthened by this heart-to-heart talk. You can tell that they both have so much admiration and affection for each other, also kudos to the writer and the actors, the dialogue and delivery was one of the best in the show so far.

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I was Mi-sun today. Good God was Hye-jin annoying. I did not feel sorry for her when the villagers split them up. At the supermarket, when Hye-jin inched closer to Doo-shik, I was screaming at him to step back, then when they held hands outside his house, I was screaming at him to let go of her hand. I didn't sympathize with Nam-sook even after her daughter's reveal, but she was so sweet worrying over Doo-shik at the clinic, and I appreciate her not gossiping even while knowing their secret. No flashback to the halmeonis? I thought for sure they knew and had seen Hye-jin in Doo-shik's bathroom or bedroom.

I was also Chun-jae today. I cried at Sung-hyun's heart-to-heart talk especially when he told Hye-jin, "but you still radiated." "Let's eat" has never sounded sweeter. I'm really glad Hye-jin confessed she had feelings for Sung-hyun and admitted she knew he liked her but pretended not to. They would've been great together, but timing is everything.

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I was Mi-sun for much of the episode. Hye-jin and Doo-shik are cute but cringey.

The highlights for me were the Hye-jin/Sung-hyun and Doo-shik/Sung-hyun scenes. How refreshing to have mature conversations between adults in a love triangle. Sung-hyun is such a sweetie.

I also loved the twist with the four villagers knowing about the secret dating and concocting a plan. Good for Nam-sook for knowing and not gossiping.

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I'm wondering if she gossips as a way to feel more alive. So, she wouldn't have needed gossiping this time because she took part into the action. It injected something new into her life and, for a few days, Nam-sook enjoyed the opportunity to feel alive for her own actions rather than living through the tales of others.
Or she had nobody to talk to because everyone already knew. Who knows?

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Ouch ouch ouch the beating was not fun to watch (felt a bit off could have like kicking the lunch box, pushing dushik aside funnily etc), and dushik was right, villagers found out and prank them. That was really funny n warm as well as they give them their blessings (hyejin thinks too much haha). A little less aegyo would be more comfortable while still shows how hyejin being like teenager in love.
I like the talk between SH n hyejin. And she like him back then n knows that SH likes her but pretended cos she felt he saw her at her lowest point. But in that 14 years, hyejin is earning good money n longer at her lowerest. Hyejin has moved on in that 14 years, treasure SH friendship n the like did not move on to love. Whereas SH has been stuck at 14 years ago n leave it to fate hoping to see hyejin in gongjin n this time i am glad he told her his feelings cos that was his regret for not telling her about it 14 years ago. SH deserves to have someone who not only like him but love him as well. I hope he can realise his writer feeling for him for 7 years.
Young n hwa, though divorce, still cares for each other. If they reconcile, their son would be so happy.
I hope nam will drop the habit of hitting people, everytime she did not, i am like pain eh.
Overall, it is a sweet episode, ep 12 is even sweeter. Waiting patiently for ep 13, reveal of what happen to dushik that cause him nightmare.

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The whole town blessing the couple with happiness was so sweet.

I really liked how the drama din't make Sung Hyun a loser or make his confession seem less signifcant, by having Hye Jin's validate his first love. This really helped us as viewers to empathise with the SML and understand how much it meant to him.

The show is still going strong with abundance of love, empathy, sympathy, friendship and what not. Truely a slice of life with so much positiveness❤

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I don't know which I love more, a lovestruck Doo-Shik or a jealous, huffy Doo-Shik

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I cried like Chun-jae during HJ and SH's conversation. I especially appreciated that she admitted she had feelings for him too but the timing wasn't right - kind of reminded me of Reply 1988 where the same conversation never happened. Also liked that DS also wanted her to have this conversation - that it wasn't right to 'dodge' a confession, as evidenced by his own explicit reply.

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I think the show wanted us to see Hye-jin as cute, but the hitting was just not funny and the over-the-top cutesy behavior was not cute either. What happened to the woman who made that lovely confession? How can the same team who gave us the mature rejection conversation with Sung-hyun make the OTP so silly?

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Last week felt so long waiting for this episode hahaha. I'm glad our dimple couple is finally together, and with the village's support! <3

I particularly liked the conversation between Hye-jin and Sung-hyun. That's probably one of the best I've seen between a lead and second lead. It was so sincere, you'd feel for both of them. It's a pity they didn't end up together especially after knowing that their feelings were mutual, but it's understandable and realistic. That conversation was one that had to be made and I think they did it well.

I also liked Sung-hyun and Du-shik's scene. I knew they're both mature and won't destroy each other or something haha, but I also worried about their relationship. And I'm so glad Sung-hyun handled it well! Awww, Sung-hyun~~ You'll get through this!

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HJ's rejection of SH was the sweetest rejection in the universe. She was so kind to him and he was so accepting. Ahhh sweet sweet SH, I only wish good things for his character. The hitting was gross, it is one thing if it was a playful hit, but those were all hard. None of that was cute and kind of soured the episode for me. When they separated them, I said good.

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Am just happy to know I'm not the only one who felt all cringey... 😅

But part of me thinks it might be intentional though... to soften the blow of some harsh realities hitting this couple later on ... 🤔

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Dear writer and director, if the FL is beating the ML for laughs (?), you have lost it.
This story should have been 10 episodes, stretched to 16, it gets weak.

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Knocking on wood right along with you @mistyisles. We all know the angst is looming and can hope that the writer nim who pulled off the BEST adult response to a confession, can pull angst off sans noble idiocy. Also agree with everyone who surmised that our OTP has very little dating experience and will do all sorts of cringey cutesy things in the love struck phase.
Slapstick humor upset me as a kid and I never found it funny. If the gender was reversed with slapping, kicking and head butting, we would all be raging. The final scene with all the village friends confirming their relationship was sweet but Ha-jin pretend barfing was the spice that made it all the funnier.

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Yes, Ha-jin absolutely stole that one! She is such a good character - a real authentic teen - and steals most of the scenes she's in.

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Too much aegyo. Too little plot. I'm losing interest. Can't relate to Hye Jin's behavior at all. I only want to know Dooshik's past and Hwajung/Youngguk's story. And the winner of the lottery.

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Know what you mean, and this impression was strengthened after ep12. Seriously, 2hr40min of pretty much nothing happening...

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This was my least favorite episode. I like cute but this was too much. Instead of awwing, I was trying not to vomit and rolling my eyes. And then the hitting, OUCH. Getting hit by someone smaller than you still hurts. It just felt like the show was torturing Dushik. SHE GAVE HIM A NOSEBLEED!! Even the slap was so hard. I just wanted her to stop. The texts apologizing with hearts just made me think how abusers frequently apologize.

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First thank you to @mistyisles for your wonderful recaps. I really enjoy reading them after I watch the episode--they often observe things I missed and increase my appreciation (or not!) of the episode.

Second, I agree with what I think is the majority opinion here that despite the moving way Hye-Jin gently "let down" Sung-Hyun the writer(s) really dropped the ball in this episode. Besides how beautiful (!) the actors are, I really enjoyed how previous episodes showed their character development as they fell in love--Doo-Shik moving slightly away from the cocky, mansplaining demeanor he had toward Hye-Jin, and Hye-Jin becoming less up-tight and snobby. Her confession in episode 10 was a highpoint and brought tears to my eyes. But then it was if the writer didn't know what to do with the couple. I would have loved it if the show had begun exploring Doo-shik's trauma as part of a growing relationship, and also spent more time with the side-couples, rather than move to slapstick. And then, since this is a comment on episode 11, I'm not even going to get into what I think is the disaster of episode 12! Anyway, I'll still watch the end because I really do like the actors and they are so enjoyable to look at, but I've lost some enthusiasm for the series. (Not for @mistyisles recap and commentary, though--I'll be sure to read that!)

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I actually found that the way Hye-jin handled Sung-hyun was very appropriate. I also found Sung-hyun's response and acceptance both mature, graceful and believable, partly because he was never as invested or interested in having a relationship with her as he claimed. He literally had years to make a move and did not do so- actions (and inactions) speak far more loudly than words.

As for episode 12- no spoilers- I thought it pulled the story together more, including for the side couples. I think that exploring Du-shik's trauma is something more reserved for the last episodes.

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This drama's plot is paper thin and being hard-carried by the leads' chemistry, charisma, dimples, and it's really beginning to show in this episode.

I didn't find the aegyo cute at all. It was so forcefully sweet that I felt like I was choking on sugar and getting cavities. These two are in their mid-30s! Not saying you can't be excited about love when you're an adult, but this level of aegyo is a turn-off, for me at least.

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Like a popular reviewer says... 'manufactured, industrial sugar'..
it's no longer sugar, it's aspartame! xD

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Hope fading fast on this one - more and more of struggle to get through the episodes. Nothing like as amusing as Start Up, which I waited for eagerly each week. Male lead is adorable, female lead less so and I don't feel much in the way of chemistry, either. Story slowing down too. But the scenery is great! Sigh! Struggling with boredom with Lovers of the Red Sky also, and those two DO have chemistry and are adorable, but the story is sort of unconvincing. And I am becoming passionately furious with all the black smoke. Ok, we have one apparition with white smoke so they must have upgraded the App, but even so, with all the brilliance of the Korean IT industry surely repeating the same dreadful black makeup, the same growing claws and .................the black smoke ....................isn't good enough?

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One post to cover two shows? OK.

My wife and I eagerly look forward to the next episodes of both of these shows. The black smoke IN RED SKY seems to be a drama convention that applies to both K-dramas and C-dramas- it can even be found in some of the very best Chinese Costume Fantasy shows like LOVE AND DESTINY. I am guessing that there actually is an app for it but the reason it i used seems to be that there is a genuine consensus that this is how this sort of thing should be shown. That in turn reflects a cultural difference that should simply be accepted.

As for the couple in HOMETOWN CHA CHA CHA and how their story is depicted I think that it reflects that there simply is not as much to this story- originally it was done is a single two hour feature film, so part of what is happening is simply that it is being doled out slowly. Of course, the most logical way to do this is to expand the side stories and to a great extent that is what has happened, and the writer would do well to do more of it.

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I found the whole "It's OK to kick the man I love" thing off-putting. It is the reason I enjoyed this episode less than the others. The whole 'she has less experience so its OK' thing just does not work for me.

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Well, I know that when I said she had less experience, I meant the cringeworthy message checking (for ep 11) and fear about what others might say. There's more of 1st real relationship feel in ep 12 from Hey-Jin's perspective.
I have no sympathy, comprehension, or tolerance for the hitting. I just feel more comfortable ignoring that part altogether. It doesn't seem it was scripted with ill intent. There was no history of violence in the the characters as far as we know. So I'm happy to assume it's slapstick comedy gone wrong. I perceive it as a mistake in the script, an accidental ink blot that somehow hides some the beauty of the story. So, I shall glance over that blot for now. If it comes back in later episodes, it'll be a different story.

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Oh yes i enjoy the funny moment that eun with his mouth open for scaling say "it's not i don't like you, just want to know you slowly" n scratched his head when mi sun pretended not able to decipher. Eun is so sweet n innocent, he actually went to say what he could not at the cafe. Aw...looking forward to their relationship development.

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Curious about the date of their monthsary?

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The article is talking about the other Hometown show though.

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oh oops! my bad

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I really wish whoever decides on drama names would make sure there’s no similar ones airing at the same time. I was trying to find some news on Hometown and they just got buried under tons of articles about HomeCha.

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I have finished this episode just today, a week later, and it was very cute, indeed. Except she beating him every time.
I also hope the last episodes are not terrible and having whatever absurd plot device in other to separate them.

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"I hope it can happen in such a way that Hye-jin is there to support him through dealing with it, and not such that it drives them apart for an episode or three."

Sorry for my prophecy, I am pretty sure it will happen (I'm looking at you as well, Encounter), this show is way too predictable, I guess.

Yes, I did watch this show, but it is so predictable I don't want to write stuff on here. It may be good because it is relaxing, like a variety show more then a K-drama. I like, on the other hand, two side plots. First is Ji-won: I am pretty sure she follows Sung-hyun not only because she respect him, and I guess it is time Sung-hyun to realize this too.

Second is the "trigonometry" between Young-guk, Hwa-jung and Cho-hee. When I am writing this, I have finished Ep.12, and there is more issue than just socks. I do feel her pain when I really see her (let's not say who she is for now) doing that for Young-guk's sake. This is still a very predictable plot, but I feel it.

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