Episode 6 of Navillera begins with Ho-Beom grabbing Chae-Rok and throwing him against the wall. He’s not happy that Chae-Rok is successful and takes his own frustrations out on him.
Chae-Rok tells his bully that he can start again but instead Ho-Beom punches Chae-Rok square in the face, knocking him down the stairs. Grabbing his ankle in pain, Ho-Beom looks on in shock.
Deok-Chool suddenly shows though, prompting the boy to rush off. Chae-Rok is unable to move his ankle, prompting Deok-Chool to get a doctor and rush him to hospital. It’s not looking good. In fact, according to the doctor he has a stress fracture and ligament damage too. This means Chae-Rok will need a cast and it could put his performance in jeopardy.
Ki wants to press charges but Chae-Rok is not so sure that’s a good idea. Instead, he sucks it up and is forced into wearing a cast for a week to see how he’s getting on. Deok-Chool blames himself for this, bemoaning the fact he antagonized Ho-Beom. Eventually though Deok-Chool takes the boy home, where Chae-Rok rests up.
Deok-Chool meanwhile, goes off on the hunt for Ho-Beom. He’s not playing billiards but is smoking on the stairs with shaky hands. Deok-Chool doesn’t antagonize him but instead empathizes with the kid. He tells Ho-Beom it’s not his fault. Deok-Chool explains his past and tells Ho-Beom that he too can soar if he wants. With tears running down his face, Ho-Beom ignores Deok-Chool and hurries off.
Back at Chae-Rok’s place, Deok-Chool shows up with Hae-Nam who both fuss over the boy and remain determined to nurse him back to health. Chae-Rok is grateful but tells them both not to bother, eventually leading to the couple heading home.
Elsewhere, Ae-Ran and Seong-San continue to feel strains over their work/life balance. While in the cafeteria together, they bicker over clients and go their separate ways. Hae-Nam phones though and encourages Ae-Ran to head over for some beef bone broth.
Back at the studio, Chae-Rok shows up after Deok-Chool has cleaned the place. He immediately jumps on Mr Ki offering to teach Deok-Chool, deciding to continue mentoring the man himself.
After the lesson, Chae-Rok gives Deok-Chool a gift – the pink shirt Se-Jong got him. Only, Deok-Chool has a gift of his own – Eun-Ho driving Chae-Rok home. When Chae-Rok gets there though, Se-Jong shows up with a mask on. This is, of course, to disguise Ho-Beom beating him up earlier in the episode.
Seong-San eventually heads over and speaks to his Mother. He hands over gym memberships for her and Deok-Chool, but she simply waves him away after handing the beef bone broth. It’s clear there’s still some tensions to be worked out here.
On the way home, he spies Deok-Chool across the road and offers him a lift home. Their chat is strained and awkward, with Deok-Chool eventually deciding to walk instead. When he does, Seong-San watches him and does his best to hold back tears.
The next day, Deok-Chool manages to get Chae-Rok a wheelchair to help bring him to the dance studio. Eun-Ho sees the inside for the first time too, and invites her in to see the inside.
Chae-Rok’s cast is removed and thankfully the stress fracture seems to have healed (normally these take 6-8 weeks to heal so this is inaccurate. However, the show is really heartwarming so we’ll let it slide!)
Chae-Rok nails his landings… but only after taking painkillers. When Ki finds out what he’s done, he immediately tells Chae-Rok to head home. Chae-Rok defies him and instead heads to the dance school to practice his moves.
Deok-Chool finds himself in a lot of trouble. He’s always remembered his wedding anniversary but this time he’s got so engrossed in ballet that he’s forgotten. Hae-Nam is not happy but Deok-Chool does manage to sweet talk her with food and complements – along with a trip to the aquarium.
They have a great time together, eventually snapping photos together and sending them over to the kids.
Deok-Chool waits in the queue for snacks but finds a little girl crying and asking about her missing Mother. Deok-Chool goes looking for her and gets himself lost in the process.
Back at the studio, Ki notices Chae-Rok about to pop more painkillers and stops him. He warns Chae-Rok about the path he’s taking and encourages the boy to give up the competition – for his own sake. Bringing up his past experience, Mr Ki worries that Chae-Rok is going to destroy his career if he continues down his path.
Well, Hae-Nam rings Chae-Rok while he’s lost in thought panicking, desperate to find her husband. Unfortunately he’s nowhere to be found.
The Episode Review
Navillera continues to deliver decent drama, wrapped up with a heartwarming message about following your dreams and never giving up. This episode tackles Chae-Rok’s sprain (it’s definitely not a stress fracture given how quickly he recovered!) and having the patience to see things through to the other side. However, it also highlights the dangerous path of relying on painkillers to press on and that’s never a good sign.
As someone who’s been down this road, I ran a 10k race on painkillers to numb my IT Band syndrome (nasty, sharp pain in the side of the knee) and trust me, coming back after that race sidelined me from running for 8 months – not recommended! Thankfully though, Mr Ki is here to stop Chae-Rok from falling down that same slippery slope.
We’ve had echoes of Deok-Chool’s possible onset of dementia over the weeks too and it seems like we may actually be going down that route now. Seeing Deok-Chool looking confused at the end, coupled with him misplacing his phone in episode 5, both seem to be hinting that this is what’s happening.
Whatever the cause, this will probably be explored in the coming episodes – with potentially tearful results. Either way, the show has a real emotional core that makes this such an enthralling watch. This is definitely one of the best K-dramas this year, hitting the same stride Run On did but matching it with a more condensed, streamlined story about age and following your dreams.