Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha: Episode 4

As her business continues to grow, our dentist discovers that not all of her new patients are kind-hearted. A disturbance at her practice strengthens her relationship with her best friend, while also bringing her closer to the town’s handyman. Meanwhile, another couple has become the focus of the villagers’ gossip.


Our fashionista dentist has made the rural streets of Gongjin her personal runway, as a montage of outfit changes hints at the passage of time. Each morning she catwalks to her dental practice, passing Doo-shik on the street outside the cafe. While she continues to channel her inner Seoulite with each new day, he sports a different “uniform” depending on the odd job he’s working.

Hye-jin’s morning routine is orderly, but Mi-sun sleeps late and is a mess of tangled hair. While Hye-jin waits on her roommate to get ready, she contemplates the hedgehog and recalls what Bora said about forming bonds with hedgehogs so that they will lay down their spines and allow you to pet them. She reaches into the cage and — unsurprisingly — pricks her finger.

Hye-jin calls for Mi-sun, whose three-minute transformation is so drastic that Hye-jin wonders if Mi-sun replaced her entire face. Together they walk to work, and as they pass by the cafe, Hye-jin not-so-subtly wonders why “he” isn’t around today. Mi-sun eyes her curiously, but Hye-jin diverts the topic to lunch, suggesting jjajangmyeon.

With their empty lunch bowls stacked in front of them, Hye-jin looks forlorn, attributing her mood to her dissatisfaction with the food. But as she places their empty trash outside the clinic door, she complains aloud to herself, “He’s always around when you least expect it, so where is he today?” Clearly it wasn’t the food that got her down, but rather the absence of a particular delivery man.

In the clinic, Mi-sun spots an old sunbae and crush of Hye-jin’s in the pages of a magazine, JI SUNG-HYUN (Lee Sang-yi). The magazine feature details his rise as a star variety PD. A new patient arrives, and Hye-jin advises him of his treatment options and warns him that the procedure may be expensive.

He assures her that he trusts her judgement, unfazed by the potential expense. The man speculates about patients who throw a fit when faced with the cost of dental procedures, and he asks Hye-jin if she has installed cameras inside the exam room like other dentists. Woefully oblivious to the creepiness permeating the question, Hye-jin cheerily informs him that she hasn’t gotten around to installing cameras since they require all her patients’ consent.

As Mi-sun hands the patient his credit card and receipt, his hand lingers just a little too long on her fingers. Mi-sun is visibly uncomfortable with the touch, but Hye-jin praises the patient’s politeness and willingness to trust her judgement.

Outside the convenience store, Hwa-jung is examining some apples for her mother’s death anniversary tomorrow. Yoon-kyung joins her and the two women discuss Yoon-kyung’s pregnancy. She’s expecting another girl, and her husband is excited to have another shot at raising a daughter who’s less tomboyish than Bora. The women look on as their children play together across the street, and Yoon-kyung slips another apple into Hwa-jung’s bag as an apology when Bora starts chasing Yi-joon around.

Hye-jin and Mi-sun head home together, but they’re stopped by Nam-sook, who invites them to a Gongjin shopkeepers meeting. Both women initially decline the invitation, but Hye-jin changes her mind when she hears that Doo-shik will be attending. The local shopkeepers meet at the cafe and share a round of beers, but Doo-shik is noticeably absent as Hye-jin sits awkwardly, listening as the others joke about the excessive number of village officials.

Because it’s her first meeting, Hye-jin is asked to share a few words on how to potentially improve the shopkeepers meeting. Put on the spot, Hye-jin hesitantly suggests that the group should have a member directory, but Doo-shik arrives and interrupts her. He gleefully produces a copy of the group’s member directory as he insults her lack of creativity. The two bicker while the others look over the directory and are shocked to realize Hwa-jung still has her ex-husband Young-guk’s number listed as her own.

Meanwhile, Hwa-jung and Young-guk are leisurely walking down the street together as they discuss their work. Young-guk mentions “tomorrow” and pauses just long enough that Hwa-jung stops and looks at him expectantly, as though she’s waiting for him to mention the anniversary, but the rest of his sentence is about the street cleaning being performed tomorrow.

Back inside the cafe, the shopkeepers continue gossiping about Hwa-jung and Young-guk’s divorce, and Hye-jin calls them out on having outdated opinions. Doo-shik agrees with her but Nam-sook tries to clarify that she doesn’t judge them for getting divorced. Instead, she just doesn’t understand why they separated when they seemed to have no problems.

The couple at the center of the conversation enters the cafe, and Nam-sook almost chokes on her food. Chun-jae, speaking softly because he has laryngitis from singing, brings them menus.


Hye-jin sneaks off to use the restroom, where she confronts her reflection in the mirror, asking herself why she came to the meeting and complaining that “they talk too much.” She’s startled when one of the stall doors is kicked open and Joo-ri emerges. Clearly having overheard Hye-jin, the teenager hip-checks Hye-jin out of the way to wash her hands and grab paper towels.

Joo-ri hangs out alone, surrounded by photocards of different boyband members. Having recognized the group, Hye-jin tries to awkwardly bond by telling her that one of the members was once her patient. Joo-ri scoffs at the claim and demands proof. Hye-jin tells her they took a photo together, but since she doesn’t have it on hand Joo-ri remains unconvinced.

Hye-jin rejoins the adults, and immediately notices that Doo-shik is absent from the table. Everyone has branched off into smaller conversation groups, but there’s no sign the party will wrap up soon. Hye-jin decides to resort to her killer move: laying her head down and pretending to be drunk.

Though everyone notices that she’s “drunk” her hopes that someone will encourage her to go home stay unrealized. The missing Doo-shik takes the stage. As he sings and plays Lee Moon-sae’An Old Love, Hye-jin struggles to maintain her drunken facade while sneaking peeks at the crooning dimpled man.

Hye-jin is still pretending to sleep as the others clean up around her. Doo-shik tells them that he’ll take her home, and she remains limp as he loads her onto his back to carry her. As they’re walking, one of her fancy shoes falls off her foot, and she screams internally for him to stop and notice the fallen Cinderella heel. He pauses — and he tells her to stop pretending. Chagrined, she slides down his back and hops on one foot until she reaches her dropped shoe.

Doo-shik complains about having to piggyback Hye-jin before scolding her for having poor social skills. He speculates that she probably doesn’t have any friends and though she denies it, she can only name Mi-sun when he challenges her to list three friends. She walks off in a huff, grumbling about Doo-shik being annoying.

Hwa-jung makes her way home with Young-guk trailing behind her. She asks why he’s following her but he points out that they live close to each other. They bicker over who should be entitled to take the fastest route home but before it gets out of hand, he just tells her to take the bag he’s holding. Inside is a banchan container, and he tells her that he enjoyed the kimchi she gave him. When she gets home and opens the container, she finds a cake inside and she does her best not to smile when she sees it.

Before going to bed, Hye-jin locates the picture she took with Joo-ri’s K-pop idol, June. She unwinds by listening to the Lee Moon-sae song again while Doo-shik hangs out on his hilltop boat into the wee hours of the night.

The next day, Hye-jin arrives at the cafe ready to rub the picture in Joo-ri’s face but she’s disappointed to hear that Joo-ri’s in school lol. She orders coffee from Doo-shik and asks that it be delivered because she’s in a hurry. But as soon as he tells her there’s a delivery fee, she cancels her order. Heh.

Gam-ri is in good spirits despite having some lingering pain as she heals from her procedure. As she makes her exit, the creepy male patient arrives, causing Mi-sun’s smile to drop. After checking the man’s teeth, Hye-jin leaves him in Mi-sun’s care while she goes to the front desk. Doo-shik arrives with the coffee order that Hye-jin canceled; he doesn’t charge a delivery fee, claiming that business was slow so he had time.

Hwa-jung and her son are preparing the food for her mother’s death anniversary. When Hwa-jung places the cake Young-guk gave her on the altar, Yi-joon questions the unconventional addition. Rolled cakes were her mother’s favorite, so Hwa-jung asks if they can make an exception and serve what her mother loved since the memorial is for her. Together, mother and son make a spot on the table for the cake and bow.

After school, Joo-ri begs Doo-shik to make her a cup of coffee, but he refuses, saying she’s had her allotted amount of caffeine for the day. Hye-jin arrives with her picture, and when Joo-ri sees it, her joyful shrieks make Doo-shik wince. Suddenly Joo-ri’s new bestie, Hye-jin is subjected to question after question about June, and Hye-jin seems happy to answer them, so long as they don’t breach doctor-patient confidentiality. Doo-shik tries to join the gush-fest, but he insults June’s looks so the two fangirls shoo him away. Doo-shik shakes his head, marveling at their similarity.

On Doo-shik’s next day off, he ignores his phone and carries his surfboard to the beach. Nam-sook and Geum-chul try to stop him and beg him to pick up odd jobs for them, but he advises them to take care of their own business. Meanwhile, Mi-sun is in a sullen mood, turning down Hye-jin’s offer to have chicken for dinner. The creepy male patient arrives again for another follow-up appointment, and Mi-sun is left alone with him to take a mold of his teeth.


Young-guk and a coworker are headed to lunch when they encounter YOO CHO-HEE (HONG JI-HEE). Young-guk tells his coworker to go ahead without him. It’s been fifteen years since they last saw each other but there’s a frisson of attraction between them. As they catch up, Cho-hee explains that she’s returned to teach at the local elementary school.

From a distance, Nam-sook and Yoon-kyung stop what they’re doing to watch the reunited pair. Nam-sook dashes off to find Hwa-jung, eager to report that Young-guk’s first love is back in town. Instead of working at her restaurant, Hwa-jung’s at home, packing away food into containers. When her son comments on the excessive amounts, she tells him that it’s nice to have a lot of food in the house.

After Mi-sun removes the denture mold from the patient’s mouth, he tells her that he still feels some residue on his teeth and asks that she clean it. She hesitates but moves closer to examine his mouth.


Hye-jin yells from the doorway, horrified to see the male patient with his hands on Mi-sun. Hye-jin drags Perv Patient into the lobby, calling him an assortment of justified bad names all the while.

Gam-ri shows up, overhears enough to know what happened, and makes a discrete exit. Hye-jin threatens to call the police, but Perv Patient preemptively calls them himself, making a report that he’s being falsely accused of sexual harassment. Eun-chul and another officer mobilize in response to the call.

Perv Patient brags about his family’s wealth and connections, warning Hye-jin to drop the complaint. He threatens that he has enough influence to shut her clinic down. After hearing the warning, Mi-sun wants to let him go, but Hye-jin is having none of that!


When the pervert insults Mi-sun, Hye-jin goes into scrappy fighter mode and kicks him upside the head. He goes to hit her, but she’s faster and he gets an open-palm smack to his face. While the pervert’s world is still reeling, Doo-shik runs in still in his wet suit and does a flying knee-kick at the other man’s nose.

The patient falls to the floor, and Doo-shik checks to make sure Hye-jin is okay before collapsing in a heap. The police arrive to find them on the ground and Doo-shik gasping for water.

Perv Patient has been moved to the hospital, where he’s milking his injuries and insisting that he’ll be suing for assault. When Eun-chul reminds him that he’ll still be investigated for sexual harassment, the pervert is unfazed and insists there’s no evidence that he did anything wrong.


At the police station, Hye-jin objects to her arrest while Doo-shik gets comfortable in their shared jail cell, advising her to relax. She’s curious to know why he came to her practice on his day off, but he deflects and asks the nearest officer if he can change out of his wet suit and into something more comfortable. The officer obliges and even offers up his own clothes. Doo-shik returns wearing a loud floral shirt and slacks.

Back from the hospital, Eun-chul reports that the pervert’s CT scan looked fine so both Hye-jin and Doo-shik can go. He attempts to release Hye-jin from the cell, but she refuses to leave until the pervert is arrested.

As Hye-jin is mid-protest, Mi-sun arrives and rushes to her jailbird friend. The two friends have an emotional reunion through the bars of the (now unlocked) jail cell, each of them apologizing repeatedly to the other as they sob. Doo-shik and the police officers watch on, amused, and sip their coffee.


Gam-ri makes a beeline for Doo-shik, saying she found a cell phone at the dental clinic. Doo-shik visits the pervert at the hospital, initially acting chummy. The pervert bristles at Doo-shik’s manner but he panics when Doo-shik reveals he has the pervert’s phone — which is filled with peep shots. Doo-shik pins him to the floor, warning that he’ll make sure the pervert pays.

Perv Patient can’t understand why Doo-shik is going to such lengths over this all, does he have something going on with one of the women? Doo-shik doesn’t hesitate to answer that he has something huge going one with one of them (swoon~). The police load the pervert into a patrol car and Doo-shik smiles as he walks away.

Cho-hee arrives at the town hall to register her move. Young-guk is happy to see her and directs her to the forms she needs to fill out. While peeking over her shoulder, he realizes she’s still single. Meanwhile, Nam-sook finally catches up with Hwa-jung and reveals that Cho-hee is back in town.

The two women arrive at Young-guk’s office just in time to hear him declare that he and Hwa-jung are divorced. Nam-sook takes a front row seat to watch as Young-guk gets dramatically defensive when his co-worker addresses Hwa-jung as Young-guk’s wife in front of Cho-hee. Hwa-jung and Cho-hee exchange pleasantries as Young-guk stands awkwardly between them.

Hwa-jung moves on to conduct business with Young-guk’s coworker, and when she turns around, Young-guk and Cho-hee are gone. She returns home and drops the heavy bag she had been carrying and begins removing the containers of food she’d intended to give to Young-guk. She looks defeated as she places them in the refrigerator.


It’s a new day at the dental clinic, and Mi-sun asks Hye-jin for her lunch order. The two women have a moment, with Hye-jin reminding Mi-sun that friends protect each other. While fetching their lunch, Mi-sun crosses paths with Eun-chul. She tries to hide from him, but he spots her and calls out her name. Awkwardly, he hands her his business card and encourages her to hold onto just in case. He advises her not to try to endure things on her own if something ever happens in the future.

Back at the clinic, Hye-jin receives a text from Doo-shik. The pervert has admitted his crimes and will be investigated. Realizing that she never thanked him properly, Hye-jin arrives at Doo-shik’s house with a basket of fruit and a bottle of wine. She places the items outside his door, but she has trouble parting with the wine, wanting to keep it for herself. Doo-shik abruptly appears, and she falls to the ground, startled and clutching the bottle to her chest.


Inside Doo-shik’s house, Hye-jin soaks in her surroundings, surprised that his place isn’t a stinky bachelor pad. She spots the photo of him and his grandfather and recognizes it from the photography studio. He shares that it’s him with his grandfather who passed when he was in middle school. He doesn’t have any other family as his parents passed when he was six.

Hye-jin fetches wine glasses, and Doo-shik impresses her with his excellent charcuterie board skills. Hye-jin takes a moment to educate Doo-shik in wine decanting, but once again her assumptions that the town handyman is an ignorant hick are proven incorrect when he schools her on the proper way to serve and drink her beloved wine. (There’s a lot of noisy slurping from Hye-jin lol.)

At the cafe, Chun-jae is on the verge of falling asleep at the counter when two men walk in, Sung-hyun and K-pop idol June. He greets them, and they choose a table in the back.

Hye-jin asks if Doo-shik will sing for her if she asks. He tells her to go home, but she reminds him that they haven’t finished drinking the wine. She comments on his familiarity with the local police officers, assuming he was a troublemaker. Instead, Doo-shik has spent his time doing good deeds (and even won the Brave Citizen Award twice). A series of flashbacks reveal his epic take-down of a purse snatcher and his dramatic rescue of a man sleeping on train tracks.

Hye-jin marvels at his bravery, but scolds him for spending the reward money on others when he isn’t financially stable. They run out of wine, and Hye-jin stares meaningfully at the alcohol on the shelf behind him. He offers her some whisky instead.

Chun-jae asks Joo-ri to deliver a tray of food to the two newest customers. She does a double take when she sees June while Sung-hyun laughs at the whole situation. As she walks away, she turns back one last time and says to herself that the man put in a lot of effort to look like her June. The two men have a laugh at that and Sung-hyun tells him to work harder since people don’t recognize him.


Doo-shik comments that Hye-jin’s already drunk, but she denies it as she sways slightly. She’s not drunk, she just feels like she’s floating on clouds. She admits that she avoids getting drunk because she hates being vulnerable and not in control of her actions.

Hye-jin asks if he ever gets lonely living by himself, but Doo-shik says he doesn’t since the people in Gongjin are like his family. She pries more into his past and it’s only when the conversation turns to Doo-shik having been to Seoul that he sidesteps the subject. He points out that for someone who wanted to draw boundaries she asks a lot of questions. She concedes and allows him to ask her one question, so he asks why she came to Gongjin.


She stalls, fanning herself and worrying that she’s drunk. He tells her not to answer if she doesn’t want to, but she admits that the day she first came to Gongjin was her mother’s birthday. It’s sad, she laments, how your birthday gets erased after you die and only the day of your death gets remembered. She mourns the lost years she could have spent with her mother, and reveals that she visited Gongjin with her family shortly before her mother passed away.

Embarrassed, Hye-jin fans her flushed face, attributing it to the alcohol and not her emotions. She asks Doo-shik if her face is red. He takes his hands, which had been clutching the ice bucket, and cups her cheeks. “It’s so hot,” he tells her.


It’s Doo-shik’s day off and he emerges from the ocean, carrying his surfboard. He sits for a breather when his phone rings. He smiles to see it’s Gam-ri but when he hears that there’s a commotion at Hye-jin’s clinic.

Nam-sook, and Geum-chul complain to Hwa-jung as they walk together, thoroughly put out that Doo-shik refused to work for them. Hwa-jung reminds them that Doo-shik has one rule in life: He works when he wants and has fun when he feels like it. Doo-shik sprints past them just then, barefoot and still in his wet suit. They stare in confusion at the sight of Doo-shik breaking his one rule.


Even if she isn’t ready to admit it, Hye-jin has definitely grown attached to our dimpled handyman. I’m not convinced yet that she feels a purely romantic interest in him. Instead, it seemed more to me that she still feels lonely, isolated, and very much aware of her status as an outsider in a close-knit community. Despite their bickering, Doo-jin has become a constant and welcome presence in her new life and someone she can rely on. I can definitely see developing into romance since the spark is there, I’m just not sold yet. On Doo-shik’s part, his attraction and feelings for Hye-jin seem more obvious than ever. He doesn’t bother sugarcoating anything and he may still bicker with her, but his actions speak volumes. There were so many moments throughout this episode where Doo-shik showed he cared, from the small things like waiving his usual delivery fee, to the bigger things like running to help her when a pervert was on the loose.

Doo-shik was right in that Hye-jin is like the hedgehog, and he’s slowly trying to form that bond so she’ll lay down her quills. What Hye-jin lacks in regard to social niceties, though, she more than makes up for in loyalty, and I loved seeing her come to Mi-sun’s defense. While her physical take-down of Perv Patient was epic and satisfying, I was equally impressed with how she immediately inserted herself physically between her friend and the attacker, becoming a literal shield for Mi-sun so she wouldn’t have to face the pervert. And she may be prickly but seeing her excitement when she bonded with Joo-ri was so sweet. It was its own little journey, and it looks like the next time Doo-shik asks her to name three friends, Hye-jin can add Joo-ri’s name alongside Mi-sun’s.

Despite her strong protective instincts and sense of justice, Hye-jin’s still vulnerable, which is something she goes to great lengths to hide. Her comment about how birthdays are replaced by death anniversaries was poignant and mirrored Hwa-jung’s scenes. For the death anniversary of her mother, Hwa-jung chose to bend the rules and add her mother’s favorite dessert to the ceremonial table. It was both a celebration of her mother and a nod to the role Young-guk once had in the family. I really felt for Hwa-jung in this episode. Her divorce is the source of town gossip, and even her so-called friend sits by and watches the encounter between her ex-husband and his first love as though it is a daytime soap opera. I’m not sure how I feel about the inclusion of their love triangle — if you can call it that — especially since the ex-husband is kind of annoying, despite his thoughtfulness with the cake.

The last minutes of the episode leave me wondering what’s in store for Hye-jin and Doo-shik’s relationship as well as the town of Gongjin. I’d been wondering when we’d finally see Lee Sang-yi and now that we know he’s a variety PD, it can’t be a coincidence that he’s in town with a celebrity in tow. He alluded to a broadcast but I hope it doesn’t lead to clashes with the townspeople. We know that Hye-jin once had a crush on Lee Sang-yi’s character Sung-hyun; will his appearance make her want to revisit “the good old days”? Will Doo-shik’s feelings be clarified by the appearance of a possible love rival? At the end of the episode, I was unsure as to whether Hye-jin was truly drunk or using the alcohol as an excuse to be more honest, but she was definitely reaching out to Doo-shik and attempting to form a closer connection. But with Sung-hyun on the scene, how will that change the dynamic and relationship between Hye-jin and Doo-shik?

I hope that the next episode builds off of the ending scene and we see a slight change in their dynamic. I don’t want the bickering to go away completely, but I also don’t want the writer to have her wake up the next day with no recollection of the previous night for the sole purpose of preserving comedic hijinks. This drama has used a lot of classic, old school K-drama tropes so far though, so I’m betting the next episode may leave the lead couple right back to where they were before their night of wine and whiskey.




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Based on a popular webtoon by the same name, a top-ranking student looks weak and meek, but uses his wit, smarts, and psychology to fight back against the violence in his school


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wit, smarts, and psychology


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psychology to fight back against the violence in his school


Required fields are marked *