Ghosts from Seoul
Episode 14 of Hometown Cha Cha Cha begins with Hye-Jin confronting Du-Sik about his past. Receiving no definitive answer, she walks away. Only, she walks right into Hwa-Jeong who happens to be out walking. When Hye-Jin begins crying, she tries to pass it off as not paying rent but Hwa-Jeong senses there’s more going on here. She doesn’t pry for now, and instead takes her back to the restaurant to feed her seaweed soup.
Hye-Jin does eventually probe about Du-Sik’s past, but Hwa-Jeong too is in the dark and unsure what actually happened. All she knows is that when he returned to Gongjin following this incident, he did so shell-shocked and reserved; a completely different person for a while. However, Hwa-Jeong also comments how happy Chief Hong is now – partly thanks to Hye-Jin. She’s also sure that he’ll open up to her when he’s ready to, pointing out that what’s easy for some people is hard for others.
Off the back of this, Hye-Jin decides they should spend some time apart from one another. Not to break up of course, but simply to allow Du-Sik time to work through his problems.
While this is going on, a woman named Seon-A heads into town to meet Seong-Hyeon. The two get along well but it turns out she’s been meaning to visit for a while, given she heard so much about it from someone else in town. As we find out later in the episode, that someone happens to be Du-Sik.
As all of this is going on, Mi-Seong begins to feel uncomfortable off the back of Eun-Cheol getting her so many gifts. The pair have a few humorous moments together, as Eun-Cheol tells her that every day is special to him. That evening though, Mi-Seon spies on Eun-Cheol and finds him selling toy guns, believing them to be real. As the pair do eventfully head down to the shore and clear the air, Eun-Cheol decides to skip some steps and leans forward, giving her a kiss.
Cho-Hui has gone under the radar a bit over the weeks but she returns to help clean up rubbish with Yeong-Guk. As they stop and talk, Cho-Hui reflects on how special his marriage was with Hwa-Jeong, paying specific attention to the banter they had while out at a restaurant together. This single conversation helps to show just what he’s missing, as he remains determined to try and make good by Hwa-Jeong.
Hwa-Jeong notices them talking and laughing together, suspecting the worst. Eventually she drowns her sorrows in alcohol that night. Nam-Suk stops by and notices her though, prompting the pair to start talking. It turns out Hwa-Jeong’s love for Yeong-Guk started years back when he was looking after her mum while in the hospital. As she passes out from the alcohol, Nam-Suk messages Yeong-Guk and tells him that Hwa-Jeong is out drinking with her blind date. Only, this is completely false of course; an excuse to see Yeong-Guk rush over to take care of his ex.
When Hwa-Jeong awakens, Yeong-Guk happens to be sat opposite her. Eventually though he opens up and tells her not to go on her scheduled blind date. He asks her for forgiveness, pointing out that he didn’t know what he’d lost until they were no longer together. It does the trick too and eventually the pair let down their defences and hug tightly, weeping.
Seong-Hyeon learns about Du-Sik’s issues involving Hye-Jin and heads over to find out what actually happened. Du-Sik mentions how inadequate he is and that they’re going through a rough patch. Seong-Hyeon offers some encouraging words though, pointing out that he knows Hye-Jin really well and he’s confident they’ll get through this together.
As Du-Sik reflects on his past, he remembers a moment in school where his upperclassman Jeong-U joined him as they paid their respects to his grandfather. This friendship extended across to work too, as Jeong-U bought him a suit that’s pretty expensive. It’s all smiles and happiness…until the next scene. Jeong-U has passed away, with Seon-A – his wife – lashing out at Du-Sik. Tears streaming down her face, she claims it should have been him instead. This explains the significance of the picture Du-Sik clutches in the present – the same one he snatched off Hye-Jin last episode.
Impatient, Hye-Jin heads over that night and decides she’s okay to be with Du-Sik if he’ll one day open up and admit the truth about his past. For now, she’s okay with the vagueness but wants Du-Sik to promise this. When he does, their break is lifted and the relationship is back on.
While Gam-Ri gives Du-Sik some words of encouragement later on, telling him not to lose what he has with Hye-Jin, she’s offered a new job back in Seoul. Hye-Jin keeps this a secret for now, as Du-Sik decides he wants to entertain her for an afterparty at his. He warns that there will be a long story to tell, which seems to hint at him opening up and admitting the truth about the past.
When they return to the party all the villagers are gathered at, Kim Do-Ha learns that Chief Hong’s real name is Du-Sik. He immediately approaches Du-Sik when he returns, questioning if he used to work at YK Asset Management. Du-Sik looks like he’s seen a ghost, and as Do-Ha’s father, Gi-Hun, is mentioned, he smacks Du-Sik across the face.
The Episode Review
Well, that certainly took a turn for the worst didn’t it? Out of all the chapters, this is the one that really doubles down on Du-Sik’s past and the ghosts that are currently haunting him. This is still to be revealed in its entirety of course, but it seems like it has something to do with Jeong-U and this Asset Management company. The true nature of what’s actually going on is yet to be deciphered but it’s certainly an intriguing twist to the story. I’d imagine we’ll find out next episode, with Du-Sik opening up to Hye-Jin in secret.
Thankfully we do also get some movement on the Hwa-Jeong and Yeong-Guk subplot, as the two decide to get back together after Yeong-Guk realizes what he’s been missing. As the old quote goes, sometimes the grass isn’t greener on the other side!
With only one more week left of this show, Hometown Cha Cha Cha has been a thoroughly enjoyable series, with lots of drama, laughs and memorable characters. Quite how this one will end though, remains to b seen.