Episode 10 of Hometown Cha Cha Cha begins with Hye-Jin heading home after an eventful day. Only, an intruder breaks into her house and holds the girl hostage with a knife. Thankfully Du-Sik shows up and manages to knock him out, deflecting most of his knife blows and saving Hye-Jin from a messy fate.
At the hospital, the stress of all this gets to Hye-Jin who begins breaking down into tears. As the two are caught in the middle of a moment, Seong-Hyeon shows up to check on her. He thanks Du-Sik for saving her and stumbles away back home.
With Hye-Jin worried about staying in her house, Du-Sik encourages her to stay at his place instead. There are a number of memorial candles out on the table, given it’s the anniversary of Du-Sik’s grandfather. The old man had a heart attack but he wasn’t found in time to save him, partly because Du-Sik was out watching football.
Du-Sik blames himself for this, but Hye-Jin is quick to reassure him that it’s not his fault.
Mi-Seon checks in with Hye-Jin, letting her know that her Mother is about to go into surgery and she wants to be there for when she wakes up. Hye-Jin is absolutely fine with this, while Eun-Cheol sits with Mi-Seon and supports her through this as well. He encourages her to get some sleep while he stays up, eventually leading to the two at a stalemate and deciding to have a drink together instead.
Back over at Du-Sik’s place, he decides to sleep on the floor while Hye-Jin takes the sofa, determined to make sure she’s okay and safe.
News of the break-in spreads across Gongjin as all the townsfolk discuss the event and what to do about it. Exhibiting concerns, they all fuss over Hye-Jin when she shows up in town.
Mi-Seon is among those, heading back after her Mother’s successful surgery. She gives her friend a big hug and promises to be there for her. This “friend” deal is something she projects across to Eun-Cheol too, pointing out that she’s falling for her and has decided to put a lid on her feelings. Eun-Cheol is stunned and can only sit and watch her walk away.
Elsewhere in town, Yeong-Guk continues to struggle with the stress of everything that’s going on in his life. Specifically, he finds himself puzzling over Hwa-Jeong’s words about the divorce, which causes him to continue stressing.
Speaking of stress, Seong-Hyeon continues to go through the motions too. He’s clearly longing for Hye-Jin, reflecting back on memories of their past, but struggling to continue working, skipping out on Wang and the gang in the editing studio.
That evening, Du-Sik’s memorial goes ahead but Hye-Jin joins him for the dinner. Sitting together, they eat snow crab but cracking the shells ends up being a pretty messy affair. After dinner, Du-Sik suggests walking Hye-Jin home but she decides to be brave and head alone. As she does, she walks into Seong-Hyeon, who happens to be waiting for her.
As they head out for dinner to talk, Seong-Hyeon really struggles to get his words out. Eventually he does though and admits that he really likes her. This only further complicates matters for Hye-Jin, who remains conflicted over what to do given the current Du-Sik situation.
With Mi-Seon feeling equally conflicted, the girls decide to take a trip to Seoul to unwind. With them due back the following day, Mi-Seon convinces Du-Suk to head over and unplug her curling iron. Only… it’s already unplugged. The place is a complete mess though but Du-Sik ignores all this and makes sure everything is locked up.
After, Gam-Ri calls out Du-Sik, understanding that he definitely has feelings for Hye-Jin. She encourages him to be honest with himself and stop fighting it. It’s something that Hye-Jin does too, as she heads out into the rain without an umbrella and embraces her feelings.
This singular act makes up her mind, as she decides to skip out on her big day out with Mi-Seon and head back to Gongjin. Only… that leaves Mi-Seon stranded. And… hang on a second! The next shot shows Hye-Jin with her hair absolutely dry and perfect again. There must be some pretty amazing heating in her car!
Back in Gongjin, Hye-Jin finds Du-Sik down by the shore. She admits that she really likes him and as he holds her hand, leaning forward, the two kiss for real this time. Hooray!
As they kiss under the moonlight, letting the waves lazily lap against the dock, we cut back in time to learn Du-Sik realized Hye-Jin was the girl from the beach all those years ago, courtesy of a photo in her room.
If that wasn’t enough, another flashback with Du-Sik’s grandfather shows that he actually made a wish during Du-Sik’s birthday, hoping that the universe sends him someone to make him happy. And that someone? It’s very clearly Hye-Jin, right?
The Episode Review
Hometown Cha Cha Cha delivers a really strong episode, one that leans hard into the romance between Du-Sik and Hye-Jin. The chemistry between these two – and the characters around Gongjin in particular – are mostly the reason this show works as well as it does.
In terms of the plot and any of the obstacles our couple face, there’s really not very much of it. The whole Seong-Hyeon affair is just window dressing at this point and doesn’t add very much to the plot at all. As far as love triangles go, if this show was trying to build something it’s tepid, to say the least.
However, the preview for next week does seem to hint that we’ll be diving deeper into his ties with Hye-Jin so we’ll have to wait and see on this front.
Either way, the village of Gongjin, the characters, soundtrack and the romance has been absolutely spot on in this show. This is one of those feel-good series that’s always a welcome sight; like a flavoured shot of soju.
This week’s double-bill bows out on a high too, leaving lots of intriguing possibilities for where this one may go next. Can Saturday hurry up please?