Once Upon A Small Town – K-drama Episode 4 Recap & Review

Episode 4

In Episode 4 of Once Upon A Small Town, Ji-yul is at the animal hospital wondering where the rabid dog is. Nurse Yeong-suk tells him that Ja-young had taken him out for a walk. Ji-yul is worried about Ja-young doing so, but she arrives with the dog safe and sound. She takes Ji-yul out to show that the dog has learned a trick but the dog is immobile embarrassing her.

Ji-yul laughs at Ja-young’s innocent attempts. She asks the vet if she can adopt the dog and after some pestering, he finally agrees. She sets up a dog house for her new pet and calls him Nurungji. She recalls how a young Ji-yul had gifted her a puppy back when he was in town the last time. Ja-young had called the dog Gurumi back then.

Meanwhile, Ji-yul is chatting up with Yeong-suk and he seems to be growing a lot more interested in Ja-young. He leaves for work on his bicycle and is sad when he does not spot Ja-young along with other police officers. Ji-yul is relieved to finally see her and chat with her and her colleagues. She gets two complaint calls and her colleagues split up leaving Ja-young with Ji-yul.

They walk their way to town and chat up about how different their lives are. Ji-yul asks about her bond with Sang-hyeon and Ja-young states she is close to him because they grew up together. She jokes that Ji-yul really does not have any friends and asks if he misses his girlfriend. He tries to dodge the question but Ja-young gets emotional.

Ji-yul tries to cheer her up by asking about Nurungji when they spot Sang-hyeon on their way. Sang-hyeon and Ji-yul have a frustrating banter where the former claims he is good at disrupting moths that mate on peaches, implying that he is trying to disrupt Ji-yul’s romance with Ja-young. Ji-yul is back at the animal hospital when Ja-young comes rushing in. She tells him that Nurungji has gone missing.

After seeing how worried she is, he rushes to help her find the wild dog. They pedal their way through town and end up following him through a forest where the dog is with three small puppies. Alongside Nurungji and his puppies is the mother dog who attacks Ji-yul. Ji-yul ends up losing his contact lenses due to Boksil (the mother dog) attacking him.

She is apologetic and asks him about his scratched hand. Since he is having trouble seeing, she leads him out of the forest with the help of her police stick. On their way, Ja-young tells Ji-yul how Boksil was a stray dog adopted by one of the women from the town. She is shocked about Nurungji and Boksil mating and Ji-yul jokes about how she knows a lot of things.

Ji-yul tries to clarify how he was not calling her nosey and Ja-young claims that she only cares about people in the town so much because she considers them to be her family. Ji-yul is touched and she asks what he plans to do with Boksil and her puppies. She cleans Ji-yul’s messy hair and clothes up and he is a little surprised after she gets too close to him.

Ji-yul gets a call about a medical emergency and needs to rush the help with the delivery of a cow. He goes to the shed first while Ja-young rushes to his house to bring his reading glasses. Ji-yul and Ja-young work together to help with the delivery of the cow and they are both able to successfully pull the calf out of the mother. Se-ryeon (the cow’s owner) asks the two of them to stay back for their celebratory dinner that night.

After she has left, Ja-young praises Ji-yul and he reveals that he was scared considering it was his first time assisting the delivery of a cow. That night, Ji-yul is shocked to see how the villagers celebrate. He sits with Ja-young and the two chat up. Sang-hyeon arrives and joins the two. The event soon turns into a pissing contest between the two men.

Ji-yul states he does not eat meat and the villagers mock him but praise Sang-hyeon for manning up and eating meat. Se-ryeon brings out her special alcohol and Sang-yeon mocks that Ji-yul won’t be able to down it. Ji-yul takes the drink and gulps a few glasses down. The villagers ask Ja-young to sing them a song and the boys, Ji-yul looks at her in awe just like Sang-hyeon. Enamoured by Ja-young, Ji-yul is left speechless.

He grows concerned when the villagers draw their attention to him and start to leave. Ja-young offers to join him as she has to be at work that evening. Sang-hyeon offers to join them but the villagers ask him to stay back. As the duo walk back to their respective destinations, Ja-young states that she will be rescuing the puppies and Boksil the following day.

When she asks him to join her, Ji-yul suggests that she should take Sang-hyeon along with her. She is embarrassed and slips which leads to Ji-yul dropping his bicycle into a ditch. As he manages to take it out, Ja-young apologises for causing him trouble. He tries to cheer her up when Sang-hyeon joins them. Seeing the two together, Sang-hyeon beings to mock Ji-yul. The vet starts to leave and just as Ji-yul leaves, he overhears Sang-hyeon confessing his feelings for Ja-young. 

The Episode Review

This show is finally starting to get interesting and Sang-hyeon has owned up to the threat Ji-yul is posing for his future with Ja-young. I am really enjoying Ja-young and Ji-yul’s chemistry and I hope he is able to be himself and accept his feelings soon. The people in the town are being extremely invasive and Ji-yul is finally learning to accept them for the way they are.

Once Upon A Small Town is not a dramatic show but one that promises to heal over time. I am sure Ji-yul’s inhibitions and reservations will change and by the end of the show, he will definitely want to stay back in the town and start his practice there. Ja-young needs someone in her life that proves to her that she is the most important person in the world to them.

Sang-hyeon is that person but the heart wants what it wants and I think Ji-yul’s childhood friendship with her is something that will be her ultimate deciding factor. The show gives second lead syndrome and we will surely empathise with Sang-hyeon but I hope he finds someone that truly deserves her.

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You can check out our full season review for Once Upon A Small Town here!

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