What happens at Gam-Ri’s funeral?
Episode 16 of Hometown Cha Cha Cha begins with Hye-Jin heading in to pay her respects to Gam-Ri. It’s the day of her funeral and Hye-Jin can barely keep it together as she places the white flower down before Gam-Ri’s picture. As Du-Sik explains, the last event Gam-Ri wanted to organize was her funeral and the whole town are gathered together to honour her memory through food and drink. It’s a beautiful ceremony, one that sees day turn to night and everyone start to peel away and head home.
At the ceremony, Du-Sik winds up talking to Gam-Ri’s son. Du-Sik happily reveals that Gam-Ri had a good life and she even had her implants so she could enjoy squid and other food again. Won-Seok is understandably torn up though and contemplates how he’s going to carry on now.
Du-Sik does his best to give him courage, but as the townsfolk head out to say their final goodbyes, a really beautiful and teary moment between Mat-Yi and Sook-Ja ensues as the pair promise one another that they won’t die for many years.
Hye-Jin hands over an envelope for Du-Sik, from our very own Gam-Ri. Within this, she tells him he needs to eat, going on to essentially call him her son. It’s such a beautiful moment and one that paves way to a montage for all our different villagers, who learn to move past Ga-Ri’s death in their own ways, remaining confident in the fact she’s with them now in their hearts forever.
Meanwhile, Ji-Won opens up to Seong-Hyeon and admits that she really likes him. She initially chose not to work with him anymore because she didn’t want her feelings to be compromised – and didn’t want it to get complicated given Seong-Hyeon has been caught up with Hye-Jin for such a long time. As she gets up to leave, Seong-Hyeon reflects on her words.
Does Hye-Jin takes the job in Seoul?
The one part of this show that hasn’t been decided yet falls to Hye-Jin. Will she take the job in Seoul? Well, Hye-Jin makes a big decision and chooses to stay in Gongjin after all. She’s happy to stay around and help the other residents, confident that she’s the one and only dentist here and that the other residents need her too.
It’s a beautiful way to round out her story and one that eventually sees the pair hug, as Hye-Jin admits that she loves Gongjin now.
Who is the lottery winner?
Remember the lottery ticket that we never found out the winner of? Well, Mi-Seon thinks she’s found a winner in Eun-Cheol, as she’s overjoyed when she checks the ticket Eun-Cheol has. Only… it turns out it’s actually last week’s numbers and she quickly comes crashing back to reality.
Only, this happens to be a false alarm. Why? Well, it turns out Eun-Cheol actually won the lottery beforehand and he did it on a whim. By chance, he ended up winning big but chose not to say anything. The only thing he’s been doing is giving donations as he’s always wanted to be a police officer, choosing that over being rich. It’s incredibly noble and something that makes Mi-Seon care for him more when she finds out.
What happens with Seong-Hyeon and Ji-Won?
Meanwhile, I-jun and Bo-Ra prepare for Squid Game Season 2, playing a game of sugar honeycombs. In a really cute move, I-Ran gives Bo-Ra his heart-shaped treat before they skip away hand in hand. I can’t even; these two are so cute!
Back in town, Du-Sik and Seong-Hyeon eat pizza together, doing their duties by plugging Dominoes. Hey, it makes a change from Subway right? After, the pair sit outside as Du-Sik gets to the root cause of his friend actually showing up. It turns out he believes he’s losing his way in life, partly thanks to what’s happened with Ji-Won.
Without her by his side, he’s worried that making a hasty move could result in him losing her forever. Du-Sik gives his friend some advice but this is ultimately Seong-Hyeon’s call.
Later in the episode, he heads back to see Ji-Won and eventually decides to take the plunge and wants to be with her. While Seong-Hyeon heads on to his work meeting, Ji-Won gets back in her car and finds herself struggling not to smile.
As they start working on their next project, Do-Ha shows up with big news. His father has started to walk again now for the first time in ages thanks to a new leg brace. His health is improving and it appears as if he’s on the mend.
Do Hye-Jin and Du-Sik get married?
Meanwhile, Hye-Jin makes a big decision and chooses to propose to Du-Sik the following day. Mi-Seon too has plans to propose to Eun-Cheol but the attention here is squarely on Hye-Jin. She’s determined to make this a moment he’ll never forget.
The next day, Hye-Jin sets everything up and encourages Du-Sik to meet her on the beach. Everything is perfect… until Du-Sik says no to her proposal. Why? Well, it turns out Du-Sik had plans to ask her first and actually, he’s been planning this for ages. It’s absolutely hilarious and Hye-Jin encourages him to look at this like a relay race and have the final say. And he does.
Du-Sik shows her a beautiful necklace which he’s spent 637 hours working for. Eventually it leads to the pair kissing passionately on the beach… but the tide comes in and the pair race in the water to grab the missing shoe. This is a lovely little throwback to the early season moments where Hye-Jin lost her shoe.
As the pair head back home, more romance ensues as Du-Sik cooks breakfast in bed for Hye-Jin. The conversation between the pair turns from marriage to kids, as Hye-Jin decides she’d like to have two. The pair have a great morning before eventually heading out and telling the whole village about their marriage pans. It’s a beautiful sequence and one that eventually sees all of them cheering.
That evening all of the Gongjin residents join to watch Seong-Hyeon’s video. Off the back of this, Chun-Jae receives a call from producers on KJBC’s flagship show – they want him on to star given he’s a former singer. It’s a massive moment and one he’s been waiting for this entire season.
How does Hometown Cha Cha Cha end?
The next day, Hye-Jin and Du-Sik dress up ready for their marriage but all the villagers join in on the celebrations. What begins as a simple and romantic gesture soon turns to everyone organizing their wedding photos – including one with the pair kissing.
Sensing an opportunity to get away, Du-Sik and Hye-Jin run away from the group, up the shore together to the top of the hill. Apparently Hye-Jin ran all the way there in her heels (but did she really?!) just to take photos together, exactly how they want to.
Midway through though, the pair find themselves called away by emergencies in town. Hye-Jin and Du-Sik run together, just as the episode – and the season – comes to a close.
The Episode Review
Hometown Cha Cha Cha bows out with a beautiful ending that rounds out all the big plot points, with a perfect conclusion for Hye-Jin and Du-Sik. The funny way everything concludes, as the pair are called back into town is a nice inclusion and ultimately sums up the season – and what this breezy slice of life series has done so well at capturing.
As far as supporting characters go, Hometown Cha Cha Cha has been up there with one of the best this year and Start-Up fans will be happy at least that Kim Sun-Ho gets the girl and a happy ending. All the subplots are rounded out nicely too, with little snippets of both Hwa-Jeong and Yun-Gyeong’s relationships.
Hometown Cha Cha Cha has been well written and a great addition to the 2021 kdrama line-up, with a wonderful cast and a solid soundtrack to boot too. Season 2 anyone?