Episode 3 of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha begins back in Gongjin with a lovely little montage of all or characters. Hye-Jin is distracted by Du-Sik though, who shows up with a package just for her. After their incident down on the beach, she intentionally badmouths the guy but it’s clear there’s some hidden feelings there. In fact, when they both put on their best gear, they marvel at how much the other has changed.
However, their trip is not going to be one taken alone. In fact, the trio of old lades in town also need a lift too. Only, on the way it turns out Gam-Ri has really sensitive teeth. Hye-Jin suggests she show for a check-up but as they talk, a mad driver suddenly overtakes and speeds up, forcing Hye-Jin to brake. Only, our hotheaded protagonist races to catch the driver. Believe it or not, it’s Lee Mat-Yi who’s the real surprise here, constantly cursing at the driver after badmouthing women drivers.
When they finally get back on the road again, following a short detour, the old ladies each need to stop constantly at the restrooms, setting up a rather amusing montage of rest-stops. Although Hye-Jin isn’t happy about this, Du-Sik convinces her that she’s done a good deed after dropping the trio off.
Still, Du-Sik heads off on his own, while Hye-Jin appears at the health clinic in Seoul. At the table, things are certainly frosty but she overplays her hand, claiming the clinic is brimming with customers. After, she heads outside and looks longingly at a couple getting married. This, coupled with the invitation inside the car, sees Du-Sik suddenly show up and question what she’s doing. Unbeknownst to them, inside the building Seo-Young snaps pictures of them together.
These pictures show up in the Classmate Chatroom, with Hye-Jin eventually spinning the story to claim Du-Sik is actually chasing her. Zooming into his picture, Hye-Jin wonders just how anyone can find him cute.
Back in town, trouble brews when 24 different cases of littering. It’s completely unacceptable and Du-Sik immediately takes control of the situation upon his return, demanding action be taken. While this occurs, Hye-Jin prepares for a full schedule of clients at the dentist.
Among those is Choi Eun-Cheol, the shy police officer whom Mi-Seon has taken a fancy to. Hye-Jin notices too and flashes a warm, cheeky smile at her colleague. One person who’s not scheduled in though is Gam-Ri who’s being stubborn about her teeth. Well, stubborn until Du-Sik gives her a piggyback all the way to the dental clinic for emergency care.
After some X-rays, Hye-Jin believes that she could benefit from dentures but the price puts Gam-Ri off completely. Hye-Jin continues to press though, questioning her financial situation – much to Du-Sik’s annoyance. In fact, her brash attitude rubs Du-Sik up the wrong way, querying why she couldn’t have said things in a nicer way.
Du-Sik even offers to pay for Gam-Ri’s treatment, but she simply throws water in his face. I think that’s a subtle way of saying no!
Now, Hye-Jin’s stake in all this stems from her Mum. Despite telling Su-Sik she was too young to remember her passing away, the truth is she was there and saw her Mum’s health deteriorate. Seeing Gam-Ri stubbornly refuse treatment seems to bring back memories of this, remaining determined to try and help her.
In fact, Hye-Jin actually thinks differently about the food she’s eating, including the squid which she realizes is probably tough for Gam-Ri to eat.
Hye-Jin decides to give her a discount – partly thanks to Du-Sik’s encouragement – and Gam-Ri is certainly grateful for it. And just like that, our Gam-Ri shows up at the clinic bright and early ready for her implants. She even pays it in one hit. Wow!
Meanwhile, the neighbourhood is made a little safer thanks to Hwa-Jung’s insistence, getting the cameras installed to try and catch the litterer.
During all these heartwarming moments, Du-Sik is called over to Hye-Jin’s place as a blackout plunges the entire place into darkness. The pair eat ice-cream together, as Du-Sik thanks her for helping out Gam-Ri. Just before Du-Sik leaves, he drops off the other shoe that Hye-Jin has been missing. And to top it all off? The power goes back on.
It turns out Du-Sik actually fished the shoe out earlier in the day and worked as best he could to dry it for her. How utterly adorable!
The Episode Review
This show is so good! Hometown Cha Cha Cha manages to balance slice of life, romance and comedy to absolute perfection. The jokes are well-timed, and actually work to flesh out more of the characters, while the romance between Du-Sik and Hye-Jin is helped by some crackling chemistry between the pair.
This week’s episodic issue involving Gam-Ri works well to structure the chapter around a common goal, which helps to give a lot more of the supporting players a key role in this drama.
The whole “big city dweller hangs out in a rural area and falls in love” trope has been played before but this show manages to add an extra spin on that to keep things feeling fresh. This is shaping up to be one of the best k-dramas of the year – roll on the next episode!