Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 9 recap – Will Du-Sik face his fear?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 25, 2021
View all
Netflix K-Drama series Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 9


Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha episode 9 starts with a good laugh, a hopeful progression, but ends with pain. Hye-Jin’s father has successfully provoked the love triangle story between our leads. What will happen?

This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 9 contains spoilers.

Another weekend with the people in Gongjin! By the way, I don’t think I already mentioned this beforehand but how many of you are aware that Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha is a remake of the 2004’s Korean romantic-comedy movie, Mr. Handy? It starred the late actor, Kim Ju-Hyeok and Um-Jeong-Hwa. Upon peeking the movie, the drama does consist of  a deeper, richer, and more diverse story. Since the drama storylines are grander while heading in the same direction, watching the movie is not going to be a bad idea.

Without further ado, let’s recap Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 9 by starting with the hugging scene. In the previous episode, Hye-jin anxiously running away from a suspicious person that follows her, until Du-Sik appears at the end of the street, holding a big flashlight, and his never-ending old man nagging. She surprises him with a hug instead. The hug continues until someone suddenly appears and interrupts them. Du-Sik’s first instinct is to hold Hye-Jin close to him and be on his guard, but it turns out to be one of the villagers that deliver Hye-jin’s phone back. The awkwardness sparks between them as the two of them go separate ways which I find adorable. It seems that the hug has cast magic between our leads as they are struggling to find solitude and fall asleep after embracing each other. 

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 9 recap

The next day, Du-Sik casually drives a red truck with one hand. I bet he is driving all the fans crazy. Fate intervenes as he encounters Hye-jin’s father, Tae-Hwa, at the self-service gas station. As you already know, modern technology is the true enemy of baby boomers. Du-Sik casually lends a hand to help him fill the car’s fuel. Without knowing who he is, Du-Sik keeping his free-spirited soul by using banmal (a friendly or informal way to communicate with the older person) with Taehwan resulting in a not-so-good first impression. 

Back in the neighborhood, Hye-jin goes jogging while reminiscing on their hug last night. She passes by Mr. Cho on her way back where she starts to mumbles about what happened between her and Du-Sik last night. It turns out the news about them embracing each other already spread faster than the speed of light. What is even more surprising is, Tae-Hwa and Myung-Shin (her stepmother), appear to be standing at the back and overheard everything about the rumors.

The drama continues as Du-Sik surprisingly comes out from Hye-Jin’s toilet after Mi-Seon hiring him to fix her shower which causes more tension between him and Taehwan. Hye-Jin is even more surprised that Du-Sik and her father already know each other as Du-Sik being all friendly to the extent of giving him a manly fist that cracks the old-men bones. Du-Sik’s uprightness and honesty did not help to break the tension at all. Tae-Hwa starts to blurt out about all the rumors between them which leads Du-Sik to introduces himself as “Hye-Jin’s boyfriend,” which shocks the whole family.

The fake relationship.

Gongjin problems require Gongjin solutions. To save the situation, Du-Sik offers Hye-jin to cooperate with him by putting on a show as a couple. After arguing while slicing fruits, Hye-jin agrees to carry out their fake relationship. Of course, Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha is not complete without our Gongjin squad to add flavors into the chaos. The pledge about their fake relationship has spread over the town where they offer a 30% discount at Yoon Dental’s Clinic to whoever can support their roleplay the best. As expected, everyone hilariously participates in the chaos which embarrasses the two main characters of the show. 

On the contrary part, Sung-Hyun heard about Du-Sik’s job of being Hye-Jin’s fake boyfriend. The family and Sung-Hyun encounter one another and Tae-Hwa is immediately sold by Sung-Hyun’s job and politeness and successfully annoys Du-Sik. Sung-Hyun tries to take the opportunity by offering them to visit his shooting location. As expected, Taehwan is charmed by Sung-Hyun. While on the other hand, Du-Sik keeps getting on Taehwan’s nerves with their different way of life and mannerism. It reflects Hye-jin’s first impression when the two of them meet each other. Everything is full of contradiction but it is entertaining to watch. 

The tension suddenly unfolds when both of them finally find their “clicks” over Orchid conversation and their highly competitive spirit while playing Baduk (Korean traditional chess) together. Tae-Hwa ends up sulking and begging for Du-Sik to redo his move over his loss. Du-Sik sure knows how to please someone and gets him back into the mood. Meanwhile, Hye-Jin and Myung-Shin awkwardly wait for them in the separates room. After she tells Hye-jin about having a burning mouth problem, Hye-jin gives her a candy that takes her by surprise. It’s a relief how the writer does not intend to project their step-mother and daughter relationship as full of angst and bad but in more mature ways possible. 

The confession that turns into sorrow.

Let’s talk about the other love story of Gongjin for a moment. So, Mr. Chang decides to take his chance on confessing his love to Cho-Hui despite Hwa-Jeong’s great disapproval of his decision. But unfortunately, he faces his disappointment as Cho-Hui straightforwardly rejects him. The interesting part is, Cho-Hui confesses that she has never been into him romantically ever since the beginning. Bewildered by the situation, Mr. Chang asking if Hwa-Jeong is the reason she is drawing the lines between them but Cho-Hui refuses. We still vaguely know whether Cho-Hui’s response is driven by Hwa-Jeong’s rejection over rebuilding their friendship in the previous episode or their complicated love triangle story is going in the bolder direction? Again, I’ll refrain from clowning myself and just enjoy the journey ahead.

On the other side, our Mi-Seon is purposely waiting for her cop in the shining police car at the bus stop so they can meet each other. Well, they do encounter each other where he successfully offers her a ride. But it turns out that his car is loaded with food for the local communities so she needs to sit in the back. At least, our Mi-Seon does not like to play it safe like Hye-jin. She gambles her luck and bravely confesses her feeling to Eun-Cheol, but… Yeah, remember that patience is virtue? He rejects her on the spot due to his old-fashioned way of thinking. Although Mi-Seon is bold, her frailty is her biggest aspect. 

Okay. Let’s go back to our main characters of the fake relationship saga. After finishing their competitive Baduk games, Du-Sik keeps on pushing Tae-Hwa’s bubble by asking him to taste the Hwa-Jeong seafood dish since Tae-Hwa does not like seafood because it’s fishy. Hye-jin secretly admiring Du-Sik ways of blending in with whoever he encounters, moreover with his successful attempt on making her father tries something he has never done before. Without noticing, her admiration grows deeper for him. After all the tension is lessen, Tae-Hwa asking about Du-Sik’s family background where he straightforwardly answers that he lives alone due to his parent and grandparent already passes away. Upon hearing it, Tae-Hwa does not find the situation settling for his daughter’s future.

Du-Sik excuses himself to the bathroom. Tae-Hwa takes the chance to blow the whistle by asking her daughter to break up with Du-Sik before anything gets deeper between them. Tae-Hwa describes Du-Sik as a man with flaws due to him being an orphan. Hye-jin defending Du-Sik and keeping her headstrong by stating that she is also at flaw since she lost her mother and even got herself a step-mother as its return. Tae-Hwa goes out to breathe some air and take a smoke where he encounters Du-Sik who secretly overheard the conversation. 

“I like her as a friend”

Du-Sik decides to follow Tae-Hwa outside and dives into the sea of vulnerability with him. Tae-Hwa quickly apologizes for his statement and starts to opens up about his guilt of not being a good father to Hye-jin. “She grows up with loneliness,” He reminisces. Ever since Hye-Jin’s late mother passes away, he begins to rely on alcohol and neglects his daughter at her early stages so he wishes Hye-jin will marry into a big family where she’ll not be lonely and receives so much love. Du-Sik comfort him that he is wrong because Hye-jin is a warm person because she grows up receives so much love around her. 

Meanwhile, like a father-like daughter, Hye-jin apologizes to Myung-Shin over what she says. Myung-Shin calmly offering Hye-Jin an understanding that Tae-Hwa’s action is just another way to express his fondness. Of course, nobody in the room, including myself, agrees over Tae-Hwa’s judgment towards orphanage children by calling them a “flaw”. Because nobody should speak lowly of them like that, it’s not the child’s choice in the first place.

Myung-Shin reveals how Tae-Hwa might not express it in the right way, but his fondness shows towards his action. Tae-Hwa never knows the weather in his city but always keeping updates about the weather in Gongjin. Also, they have to visit many numerous flower shops before he finally choosing the right orchid as a gift for Hye-jin. I love how the dialogue is crafted. “It’s easier to detect the flaws in other children and turn blind when it comes to their child,” Myung-Shin says. Hye-Jin is moved after hearing the vulnerable side of her father.

The scene wraps up meaningfully with Tae-Hwa questioning, “Do you like my daughter?” And, Du-Sik answers with “Yes,” But, keep your feet on the ground everyone. Our Chief Hong is not yet finishing with his words, because the following statement will squeeze SikHye’s supporters, “I like her as a friend.” He continues.

Alright, calm down everyone. Remember, Du-Sik needs a long way to go to overcome his trauma before settling down with his feeling. Finally, Du-Sik confesses their fake relationship which surprises Tae-Hwa. Du-Sik also thinks Hye-jin deserves someone that can make her happy. Our Chief Hong, it’s not too late to realize that the person is you, sweetie.

After all the chaotic day, Tae-Hwa and Myung-Shin finally bid goodbye to their daughter. To close their misunderstanding, Tae-Hwa is asking about the reason behind his informal communication with him from the beginning. Du-Sik sincerely answers that it is his way to approach people so there’s no gap between them. Tae-Hwa whispers, “Not to me, b——!” and laughs it off on his way to Seoul. Our Du-Sik is dumbfounded by Tae-Hwa’s unexpected blows. At least we know that he successfully win Tae-Hwa’s admiration with his sincerity. 

“It’s not too late!”

Later, Hye-jin following Du-Sik to the hill where the boat lies. She is asking about the history of the boat, and later Hye-jin asks him about his whereabouts five years after graduating. That’s where we know Du-Sikmood is shifting. He tries to shrug the question and successfully sends Hye-jin home on her own. After that, Du-Sik is contemplating in solitude over the ship at the valley. So, after all the hustle, Du-Sik once again goes back inside of his hollowness. Hiding behind the walls once again. 

While our Du-Sik is out there contemplating and concealing all of his feelings, Sung-Hyun decides to takes the wheel to confess his love for Hye-jin. He reminiscing back to their college days where Sung-Hyun is nervously waiting for Hye-jin to return from the toilet at the cafe and ready to confess his love. Until reality strikes as he misses his chance after Hye-jin introduces him to her past love that ends up breaking her heart. “It’s not too late.” He says. 

The ending of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 9 – It’s time to face yourself

Mr. Cho and Hwa-Jeong are taking a night walk nearby the shore where they encounter Mr. Chang that taking a sip of alcohol after his first love turns him down. Hwa-Jeong immediately approaches him and asks him to go home since she knows he is not good with alcohol. Mr. Chang later takes his pain out and blames Hwa-Jeong for all that happens. He also confronts her about their divorce that happens so suddenly due to his mistakes in putting shocks. He even begs for forgiveness that time but he never gets a proper explanation about the real reason behind their divorce from her although he learns to accept it.

Hwa-Jeong holding her pain and choose to run away from it. “I guess you’ll never know the real reason behind it. Let’s keep it that way.” She says. Gosh, why is everybody in Gongjin loves to run away from the pain? But that is what makes it healing to watch because.. aren’t we all like that, too, in real life? 

And of course, their story is not the only love triangle in town. Sung-Hyun calls Hye-jin on his way back to Seoul. “There’s something I want to say to you,” He says. “Let’s meet up again if I go back to Gongjin,” On the other side of the phone, Hye-jin is not fully listening to Sung-Hyun because she is busy smiling brightly at the dead street lamp that finally fixes. Thanks to Du-Sik’s persistence in pushing Mr. Chang to fix it.

Sung-Hyun, afraid of losing his chance, decides to take the wheel and turns his car back to Gongjin. Meanwhile, Du-Sik is taking a night walk where he crosses the bench that he sits with Tae-Hwa during their heartfelt conversation. He reminiscing his own words that he wants Hye-jin to deserves someone better because she’s a warmhearted person. But haven’t I tell you Tae-Hwa’s response to his statement? “..And that could be you.” And just like that, Du-Sik and Sung-Hyun head off to somewhere warm beneath the night sky of Gongjin with their own pace. 

The epilogue

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha epilogue are everything. For the remaining episode, we might unravel deeper into Du-Sik’s wounds. The scene starts with Du-Sik visiting his therapist. It starts with a piece of good news. The therapist offers to reduce the dosage of his medication since he is starting to sleep better. Du-Sik agrees. He later tempts to go deeper into the roots of his pain with a question., “Do you still feel that those around you, everyone you loved has left you?” Asks the Therapist. The scene shift to a funeral ceremony. There’s the younger version of Du-Sik who silently griefing while looking at his grandfather photos as the person whispers about his bad luck after losing his parent. Later, we see the older Du-Sik (I assume it is the years before he heads back to Gongjin) attending another funeral ceremony of someone who remains a mystery. Later, Du-Sik, being all vulnerable, anxiously tightening his hands, “Yes, it’s all because of me.”

So, who’s going to confess and face their fear first? We’ll see.

What did you think of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 9? Comment below.

Netflix, Weekly TV
View all