Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 15 recap – Du-Sik’s past comes to light

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: October 17, 2021
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Netflix K-Drama series Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 15


Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha episode 15 is the peak of devastation. It’s solid and emotionally intense, like the burning sun beneath Gongjin, but ends beautifully like the sunset near the beach. Kim Seon-Ho delivers a splendid performance!

This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 15 contains spoilers.

Before you watch this episode, please be mindful that it contains some sensitive context that might be triggers if you’re dealing with the issues. Episode 15 is all about pain, tears, and closure. It’s one of the best and most meaningful episodes of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, or should I say… Hometown Cry-Cry-Cry.

After knowing Du-Sik’s real name, Do-Ha starts to vent his anger towards him. He blames Du-Sik for his father’s condition and starts to mumble how he is a murderer. Everyone is in shock over what they hear and witness. Du-Sik sees their faces and his world is starting to shift and crumble down. He picks himself up and blankly leaves the party. Do-Ha shouts, “Running away again?” as he keeps on walking heavily. Hye-Jin runs after him and tries to reach out to him. But Du-Sik shrugs her off. His gaze has turned cold and he claims that everything Do-Ha says is true and he killed the man in the photo that she saw in his book. Upon hearing that, Hye-Jin becomes hesitant. Du-Sik notices it and leaves her be. 

At her house, Hye-Jin cries in complete loss about what’s happening to Mi-Seon. While Du-Sik is seen showing symptoms of extreme anxiety and panic disorder. He breathes heavily, sweating, while starting to lose grip over himself. Du-Sik walks himself to grab his medicine and consumes it to ease his pain. Oh my Gongjin, it’s suffocating. The healing process is tormenting and uncomfortable. It requires great courage to accept and face yourself. 

Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 15 recap

Gongjin becomes haggard after Du-Sik’s absences. From Geom-Cheol’s hardware shop, Bora’s supermarket, Ms. Cho’s restaurant, to Chun-Jae’s coffee shop. Nobody comes to help everything running like usual. Du-Sik has become a nail that holds the whole town together. Meanwhile, Hwa-Jeong and Yeong-Guk decide to rebuild their married life. While being all lovey-dovey towards each other, Yi-Joon appears. Both of them awkwardly try to explain their decision of remarrying. Yi-Joon does not show any expression nor shocking reply. All he says is asking permission to play at Bo-Ra’s house when in fact, he is not.

One of the most heartbreaking scenes happens. Yi-Joon appears to be missing and the whole family is searching for him, including Bo-Ra. She finally finds him at the park crying all alone. Bo-Ra tries to persuade him to come home but Yi-Joon is hesitant. Suddenly, Hwa-Jeong and Yeong-Guk find both of them. They immediately hug Yi-Joon and show concern towards him. That is when our genius kid in town breaks down in tears and conveys his feeling that he is so happy over their plans on remarrying. He chooses to cry alone because he doesn’t want to be a burden to them. He always hid everything behind his obedient and outstanding performance at school. It is heartwarming when he finally lets everything out from his little chest. Yi-Joon confesses that he wants to eat and lives under the same rooftop. Hwa-Jeong and Yeong-Guk hug him tightly. Dear parents, please never abandon your children’s feelings.

After all the fuss, Gam-Ri is seen patiently bringing a delicious meal for Du-Sik every day but he leaves it untouched. Meanwhile, Sung-Hyun finally knows Du-Sik’s boss who died in the accident is Jeong-Woo, his brother in-law. His memories travel back to the day where he rushed to the hospital and found Seon-Ah starring at Jeong-Woo’s dead body. Seon-Ah cries in pain while Sung-Hyun’s tears start to fall over the realization of the loss of family. It’s saddening how one stroke of bad luck can cause lots of heartache. Ironically, the people that affected is seen regaining peace within their past except for Du-Sik. 

“Fund manager gives ordinary people hope to become rich”

After dwelling with neverending assumption and confusion, Hye-Jin finally musters her courage to visit Du-Sik and brings the corn that Gam-Ri prepared for him inside. Du-Sik is sitting alone, staring blankly into the space. He is surprised at Hye-Jin’s presence. She holds her tears and reassures herself that she’ll wait for him. She promises that she only came to cook for him and leave afterward. But Du-Sik asks her to stay to hear his story. Du-Sik finally opens his wounded soul to Hye-Jin. He begins to reminisce about his brotherhood with Jeong-Woo and how he successfully convinced Du-Sik to work as a fund manager. Du-Sik is known as a talented fund manager where he successfully manages the company’s fund. His career path leads him to meet new people and one of them is Do-Ha’s father, Kim Gi-Hoon.

As a man that comes from the countryside, Du-Sik takes care of Do-Ha’s father like the people of Gongjin like him. The two bond over a simple act of kindness: sharing buy one get one drink. After Du-Sik successfully manages a fund with high returns, Kim Go-Hoon is adamant about trying to subscribe to his fund. At first, Du-Sik dissuaded his request due to its high risk. Gi-Hoon is so adamant about it so Du-Sik finally gives in and fulfills his request. He warns him to not be reckless about the investment. Keep in mind that Do-Ha’s father is naive and only a high school graduate. 

Things got out of control during the fallout of Benjamin Collins that affected Korea’s stock markets and soars the exchange rates. At the same time, Gi-Hoon is naive and doesn’t have much knowledge about funding. He confesses to Du-Sik that he subscribes to another fund after an employee persuades him. The critical part is Gi-Hoon uses his house as a security deposit and takes out a loan. His family doesn’t know anything about it. It’s heartbreaking how all Gu-Hoo’s father wants is to buy Do-Ha a nice suit for a job interview and his wife a warm house. Du-Sik reassures him to trust him and wait for his call. 

“What a stroke of bad luck for everyone”

We’re diving deeper into Du-Sik’s wounds as the dissonance strings fill the air. Gi-Hoon tries to reach out to Du-Sik but because of his intense workload due to the crisis, Du-Sik ignores his call. After pulling an all-nighter, Jeong-Woo offers Du-Sik a cup of coffee. One of the company staff suddenly comes with a piece of bad news: Gi-Hoon tried to attempt suicide which hit Du-Sik like a thunderstorm. He rushes himself to the car. His whole body is trembling. Jeong-Woo stops him from driving and offers to drive him to Gi-Hoon’s place instead. That’s when the fatal accident happens.

Jeong-Woo reassures Du-Sik that keeps on blaming himself over what happened. He holds Du-Sik’s hand while driving the car. A car comes from the front but they manage to avoid it and pull the car to the other side of the road. The two are still in shock over what happens. But no matter how we try to avoid it, we can never run from our destiny, right? A truck driver races towards their car and hits it roughly. Jeong-Woo instantly dies in his seat, covered in blood and badly injured while Du-Sik, regaining his consciousness while still being in a state of shock, desperately calls his name and reaches to his dead body. Imagine witnessing the last moment of everything on the verge of breaking down. Du-Sik cries and shouts in vain but his voice is weak and trembling while the ambulance sirens start coming over their wrecked car. The story pauses there. Hye-Jin is seen bawling her eyes out and hugs Du-Sik. “It’s okay, you can cry to me. You can show me your pain,” says Hye-Jin. Du-Sik immediately cries in her embrace.

It’s one of the most heartbreaking scenes in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha. Du-Sik is a victim and also a survivor. All this time people always put words in his mouth and blame him without hearing his side of the story. Sadly, that is what happens to most of the victims. They’re being silenced and neglected. You just need the heart to listen. Kim Seon-Ho gives a splendid performance and pulls you into the pain with him. I am so immersed in the traumatic story that he experiences and feel the suffocating sensation too.

“I just need someone to blame”

Cho-Hoi comes to visit Hwa-Jeong’s restaurant asking for her porridge after getting her wisdom tooth pulled out. Later, Cho-Hui gathers her courage to finally bring closure to her feelings towards Hwa-Jeong. She slowly confesses that Yeong-Guk is not the person that she has been feeling for all this time. It turns out, Hwa-Jeong already knew all along. Cho-Hui is bewildered. Hwa-Jeong explains that she can feel her feelings and understand how hard it is to hide one’s feelings towards someone.

“I liked you back then and I still like you even now,” says Hwa-Jeong. Cho-Hui bursts into tears. It’s admirable how Hwa-Jeong respects her feelings and chooses to accept her for who she is. Cho-Hui reassures that she already let go of her feelings a long time ago and all she wants is Hwa-Jeong and Yeong-Guk to be happy. The two smile at each other. Meanwhile, there are still some nails to pull out.

The first one is Do-Ha. Sung-Hyun notices Do-Ha still persuades Do-Ha to pulls the nail and confront Du-Sik before it’ll hurt him more in the future and he did. Du-Sik finally brings himself out from his nest. He is surprised to see Do-Ha is sitting in his yard staring blankly into the view. Do-Ha starts to reminisce about the aftermath of his father’s cases. Du-Sik comes to visit Gi-Hoon at the hospital and meets with Do-Ha’s mother instead. He gives up everything to pay for his guilt. Do-Ha’s mother resents Du-Sik but takes after his money because he adamantly asks her to accept it. That’s the only thing he can do for him.

Do-Ha asks him the reason why he gives Do-Ha’s mother a large amount of money, “Do you think money solves everything?” He asks. Du-Sik recalls how the last conversation that he had with Gi-Hoon is that he wishes to buy Do-Ha a nice suit for a job interview. Do-Ha breaks down in tears and starts to loathe himself. Du-Sik reassures him that his father is always proud and boosts him wherever he can. “It’s not your fault. I know it’s not. I just need someone to blame,” Do-Ha cries in vain, blaming himself for everything that happened to his father. Du-Sik reassures him that it’s not his fault. 

“You must forgive yourself, too”

Hye-Jin and Du-Sik plan to visit Jeong-Woo’s grave. He finally finds the courage to wear the suit that Jeong-Woo buys for him on his first day of being an intern. On their way to the car, they encounter Seon-Ah and her son, Ha-Rang. Du-Sik is bewildered. Seon-Ah gently tells Ha-Rang about Du-Sik and refers to him as an uncle. Ha-Rang runs toward Du-Sik and greets him. Du-Sik approaches him in the most fragile and longing eyes. His tears start to fall after listening to Ha-Rang smartly name his favorite dinosaur species. 

Later, the two wounded souls sit by the beach while Hye-Jin accompanies Ha-Rang to play the sand. They both fondly talk about how Ha-Rang resembles Jeong-Woo a lot and how small the world is after knowing that Sung-Hyun is her brother. Seon-Ah opens up about how she won’t apologize for all the things she said back then. I know some of you might find her words harsh but it’s humane. The woman lost the love of her life, his husband, the father of her son forever. She explains how she loses the will to live after Jeong-Woo’s death but slowly regained her life once again because that’s how life goes for the remaining soul on earth, right? Time does not stop and we must continue to live. “I do not resent you anymore. So you must find it within your heart to forgive yourself,” she says.

Du-Sik can’t stop tears from falling and that’s when Jeong-Woo’s spirit comes to his side and reassures Du-Sik one last time that everything is not his fault. He reminds him that he needs to keep on living for the sake of himself and not for him. He’ll be waiting till the day they’ll encounter each other once again and go fishing together. 

One simple message that saves Du-Sik

Hye-Jin and Du-Sik sit by the shore. There’s still one last story left to tell: The day when Du-Sik tried to kill himself after finding out that his beloved Hyung passed away. He ran away from the hospital and wandered around without realizing he is walking at the bridge of Han River. His step feels heavy and his soul is weary. His phone keeps on ringing but he ignores everything. He is on the verge, ready to jump until he slips his step and his phone knocks to the ground. Du-Sik picks up his phone and a message that contains a lot of typos filled with warmth appears. It’s from Gam-Ri. She misses him and wants to meet him to bring lots of delicious sidedish from Gongjin. After all the harsh realities and blame, that one simple message that contains genuine love is enough to save the wounded soul from falling. 

We finally understand why Du-Sik decided to give up on being entitled to something especially jobs and only ask to be paid minimum wage. The way he keeps on getting himself busy to avoid his depression and the reason why he is so attached to Gongjin is because Gongjin saved him. Du-Sik says that his story ends there, marking the beginning of his inner peace. Hye-Jin later tells him that she’s been getting offers for a promotion job in Seoul.

The ending of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 15

Gam-Ri finally comes back to her house after the shooting ends. Everything feels so quiet and empty. Gam-Ri puts her bags down. The grandma squad comes to break the ice. The three haelmonis are happily singing and even plan to have a sleepover after. Thanks to their spirit, the house becomes lovely once again. During the night, the grandma squad is reminiscing about their younger days and how they wish to stay young forever. Meanwhile, Gam-Ri with her sleepy tones tells how she feels grateful for being an elder. She starts to reminisce about all the precious things and memories that bring her happiness, including how the evening sunset glow is utterly beautiful today. She wishes to go on a picnic the next day which excites the grandmas. “Look closely to the things around you, there are so many precious things in life…” says Gam-Ri before falling asleep smilingly. 

The next morning, the two other grandmas are already nagging to one another due to their sleep position. One of them tries to wake Gam-Ri but it turns out, our lovely Gam-Ri is on her way to go on a picnic somewhere. Gam-Ri rests peacefully in her sleep. It’s heartwarming that during her last moment, Gam-Ri is not alone. She feels content and has someone beside her to keep her company. She also fulfills all the things she yearns for. From finally being able to eat squids again after receiving the implant at Hye-Jin’s clinic, having lots of people eating a meal at her house, and seeing Du-Sik finally find someone by his side.

It’s the ending for a new beginning in Gongjin to close out Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 15.

The epilogue

On the day Du-Sik attempted suicide at the Han River bridge, Hye-Jin surprisingly happened to pass by him on the road. She stops her car and calls an ambulance for him. She even stays until the ambulance comes to pick him up. After everything is safely taken care of, Hye-Jin continues her drive. 

What did you think of Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha season 1, episode 15? Comment below.

Netflix, Weekly TV
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