Episode 9 of Hometown Cha Cha Cha begins with Hye-Jin and Du-Sik separating after hugging out in the streets. Du-Sik’s heart can’t stop beating, which he convinces himself is just being startled. Hye-Jin meanwhile, is flustered and hot. Neither of them can sleep, clearly too busy thinking of the night’s events.
In the morning, Nam-Suk excitedly walks past Hye-Jin and excitedly tells her the secret from the previous night (her alleged passionate embrace with Du-Sik) is safe with her. Only, Hye-Jin’s parents show up in town to see their daughter. After helping them out with refueling their car earlier on, Hye-Jin’s father is convinced that Du-Sik is trouble and talking down to him.
Anyway, Du-Sik eventually finds himself in the difficult position of claiming he’s Hye-Jin’s boyfriend. The conversation is cagey but Du-Sik has a plan. If they can keep up the charade of being lovers for the day, Hye-jin can then break up with him after.
Hye-Jin agrees and messages everyone around town, asking them to keep up with this lie and as a reward, she’ll grant them a 30% discount at the dentist. When Hye-Jin shows her parents around town, all the residents jump in and overact – or struggle to act – in their presence. Oh Yoon, of course, takes the time to show off his music.
On their walk, Hye-Jin and the gang run into Seong-Hyeon who happens to be filming. He greets Hye-Jin’s father warmly and they get along well.
Meanwhile, Mi-Seon heads out on a ride with Eun-Cheol while he’s on patrol. As she asks him out on a date, Eun-Cheol rejects, claiming they don’t know enough about each other. Upset, Mi-Seon skips out and hurries home.
Nam-Suk struggles in the wake of her gossiping ban, and instead turns her attention to Yeong-Guk and Cho-Hui. As they sit and talk together in the bar, she snaps photos and sends it on to Hwa-Jeong. Of course a picture can only say so much.
In reality, Cho-Hui admits she’s never had romantic feelings for him and actually she’s always seen him as a friend. It completely crushes the guy and eventually he takes off, leaving Yeong-Guk to try and put together the broken pieces of his heart.
Du-Sik continues to get involved in Hye-Jin’s family affairs, playing Go with her father and breaking down his harsh exterior to help him try seafood. Hye-Jin can only smile warmly but the conversation soon takes a turn for the worst when Du-Sik admits that his parents and grandfather passed away.
Given he’s an orphan, Tae-Hwa (Hye-Jin’s father’s name) is completely against Hye-Jin dating him. He wants them to break up, claiming that Du-Sik being an orphan is a “flaw”.
Du-Sik overhears all this and heads out to sit with the man. Tae-Hwa apologizes for his words and opens up to Du-Sik outside, reflecting on how he was a neglectful father and a drunk. He wants Hye-Jin to have better, with a big family and a lavish lifestyle.
Du-Sik admits the truth that they’re actually just friends and not dating after all. He just wants someone who’s good to look after Hye-Jin…which Tae-Hwa suggests could be Du-Sik. When Hye-Jin’s parents eventually do leave, Tae-Hwa whispers something in Du-Sik’s ear but he refuses to spill the beans over what he said to Hye-Jin.
That afternoon, Hye-Jin heads home and finds Mi-Seon waiting for her. Makeup stains her cheeks as Hye-Jin hurries over to comfort the girl. However, she needs emergency dental work. With other appointments at the dentist used up, Mi-Son is taken to Seoul for a check-up She’s driven there by none other than Eun-Cheol.
After an eventful day, Seong-Hyeon rings Hye-Jin to let her know he’s heading back to Seoul. However, he has something he wants to tell her, which he’ll divulge when he gets back to Gongjin. However, Hye-Jin becomes distracted when she notices the streetlight has been fixed – the same broken streetlight that spooked Hye-Jin the previous night.
As we’re left with a tantalizing glimpse of this love triangle to come, Hometown Cha Cha Cha bows out with a quick look at the past, specifically of Du-Sik in therapy following the death of his parents and grandpa.
The Episode Review
Hometown Cha Cha Cha returns this week with a family reunion. Adding Hye-Jin’s parents into the fray is a great idea and it helps to add something a little more unique to the show as Du-Sik remains his ever-loving self.
In doing so, he manages to break down Tae-Hwa’s tough exterior and win him over. Seeing the guy accept him by the end of their trip is a really satisfying moment, leaving no doubt over Du-Sik and Hye-Jin getting together.
Seong-Hyeon’s inclusion here is clearly designed to drum up some drama, instilling a “will she/will she not” angle for Hye-Jin as she deliberates over who to date. Only, I can’t see her dating him at all. I know this is a common trope in k dramas but there’s just not a lot between them, despite their past, and I think a lot of other people will see that too.
Still, the intense focus on this family does help to develop each of the characters well, and it also sees Yeong-Guk’s poor heart shattered as he misinterprets Cho-Hui’s signals. Cho-Hui revealing she doesn’t love him is certainly a tough one to take! It also paves way for him and Hwa-Jeong to patch up their differences, even if it’s just so they’re understanding and on good talking terms.
With another episode to come later on today, thankfully we don’t have long to wait to find out what happens next!