Episode 4 of Navillera begins with Deok-Chool sending his group message across to the whole family. Hae-Nam immediately rings though and angrily tells him to head home. An emergency family meeting is called for 8pm that night. When Deok-Chool leaves, he thanks Chae-Rok for believing in him.
The evening rolls round and tensions are inevitably high in the household. The family is split between those who approve and reject the idea. They claim Deok-Chool is too old to do this while Seong-Gwan is the only person who’s actually supportive of this. Ae-Ran is too though, speaking to Deok-Chool outside and telling her grandfather not to give up and go after what he wants.
The next day, Chae-Rok likens this ballet venture to the five stages of grief, heading out shopping for ballet gear with him. After, they return to the studio and continue to grow closer together. Mr Ki sees this and immediately comments on their closeness.
Chae-Rok hands in his notice at the restaurant and prepares for the ballet competition. Mr Ki is preparing too, heading up to see So-Ri and convincing her to team up, especially given Sang-Soo – the kid practicing ballet- happens to be involved in the same dance.
At the studio, Deok-Chool struggles to concentrate, especially in the wake of Hae-Nam ignoring him and the family split over his intentions.
Chae-Rok does eventually help him home, as Deok-Chool sports a strained back. Chae-Rok tells him injuries are a normal part of the process. Outside, he meets Seong-Gwan before encouraging the pair to get the bus together.
On the bus, Seong-Gwan tells Chae-Rok to take care of Deok-Chool. It’s a brief chat but one that shows his respect and acceptance for what Deok-Chool is doing.
Meanwhile, Seong-San – fresh off a disagreement with Ae-Ran – heads to the ballet studio and tries to get Mr Ki to kick Deok-Chool out.
Chae-Rok heads back and “accidentally” tips water down his front. Next up, Seong-San phones home and promises never to return unless Deok-Chool gives this ballet venture up. This causes more problems when Deok-Chool returns to Hae-Nam, struggling to put pain relief patches on alone.
Thankfully, Hae-Nam does have a heart and helps him out. She tells him to quit, especially given what a burden this is to her and the kids. As we cut back and see an emotional flashback, it’s revealed that their family have always struggled with being poor, so much so that Seong-San couldn’t go to school because of the supporting fee.
This story is enough to convince Deok-Chool not to do ballet any more. No ballet means no wake-up call too, as Chae-Rok goes about his morning but feels like something is missing.
Deok-Chool is obviously not happy but succumbs to the hike Hae-Nam is sending him on. While out and about, Deok-Chool phones Chae-Rok and tells him he’s not able to do ballet anymore. On the way back though, Deok-Chool notices Chae-Rok, who watches from afar as he heads inside.
When Chae-Rok turns around, he finds Ho-Beom waiting for him. He takes him into the playground and gives the bully some home truths, including a reflection of his own problems. After all, the football team was disbanded but it also didn’t stop him from pursing his dreams. That was all Ho-Beom’s doing.
Chae-Rok shows up at the ballet school later on and finds Sang-Soo stretching and warming up. Mr Ki and So-Ri are both there and encourage them to team up and compete. While they do, Deok-Chool finds himself caught in a depressive state, struggling to accept that his ballet days are over.
Unfortunately, Seong-San shows up and sees his Father wearing the ballet gear for the last time. He immediately hits out and claims Deok-Chool is selfish and lived comfortably growing up. While he shouts at his Dad, Hae-Nam suddenly appears and hits her son in the back, telling Seong-San that things were never easy for them.
On the back of this, Hae-Nam eventually concedes and allows Deok-Chool to do ballet, especially if it means that much to him. Deok-Chool shows up at the academy and greets the other dancers again. They’re all happy to see him but there’s a favour Deok-Chool asks Chae-Rok for first.
He tasks Chae-Rok with driving Bungbung to the office after Eun-Ho’s interview – he wants to surprise her. It turns out this car is actually a gift for her! Only, Chae-Rok and Eun-Ho obviously already know each other. While they talk. Eun-Ho asks whether Chae-Rok is also a gift. Smooth, girl!
After dropping Deok-Chool back home, Eun-Ho drives with Chae-Rok in the front seat. He admits that Deok-Chool isn’t a bad dancer as she heads in for the evening.
In the morning, Eun-Ho receives some bad news. She gets disqualified from her job role, thanks in part to her interviewer completely stitching her up.
The Episode Review
Navillera is a beautifully written drama and one that really resonates with me on a personal level (making me a little biased when reviewing!)
That whole family dynamic is so telling and true for many households. There are countless examples of people not chasing their dreams and aspiring to greatness just because they’re worried what other people think.
As someone who’s been there, done that, and lived through the adversity, it’s possible! You have to have courage and if your family don’t support you it’s not the end of the world. Sure it’s much harder, but it’s definitely still achievable.
This is such a wonderful drama for showing that and the moment when Hae-Nam accepted Deok-Chool’s ballet, and seeing his face light back up, really made me tear up.
I’m hoping the ending of this drama shows Deok-Chool up on stage, with all his family watching in awe at his grace. Good on him, age is not a deterrent. In fact, just look at marathon runner Fauja Singh. He ran his first marathon when he turned 90 and continued to run them until he reached 100!
The comedy flows that much more effectively when it’s used sparingly too. Eun-Ho’s cheeky comment about Chae-Rok being a present along with Bungbung was such a smooth line and arrived perfectly after the funny car ride.
All in all though, Navillera is a very solid Korean drama, one that’s getting better and better as time goes on. Roll on next week!