A fun, light-hearted chapter that shows off the happy couple in a smile-raising fashion.
This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Once Upon a Small Town season 1, episode 11 contains spoilers.
Focusing entirely on the currently secretive relationship between Ja-young (played by Park Soo-young) and Ji-yul (played by Choo Young-woo), Once Upon a Small Town episode 11 offers plenty of light-hearted comfort. Breezy from beginning to end, the lack of conflict was a welcome change of pace, especially as the show heads towards tomorrow’s finale. This may not have been a series with the highest ceiling, but it’s certainly known how to make the most out of the hand it was dealt throughout.
Once Upon a Small Town season 1, episode 11 recap
After an emotional kiss, Ji-yul hastily hides Ja-young when Yeong-suk enters the hospital, making sure that the pairing are not caught in the act. Eventually, the police officer is able to exit the building freely, and the new couple decide when alone outside to keep their dating a secret to avoid any unnecessary fuss from the village residents. Subsequent scenes show off Ja-young’s newfound joy, emphasised by her energetic playing with Nurungji the dog.
When Yeong-suk points out that it’s strange Ji-yul requested new clothes, as well as historical medical records given he’s leaving so soon, the vet looks quietly content, silently seeming to admit that Huidong has grown on him. Elsewhere, Ja-young pampers herself, energised by this new relationship which sees her going out with her partner late into the night. Giddy at the unfamiliarity of it all, the two casually flirt over their romantic feelings, before surprisingly heading to Seoul.
There, the pair take a tour of Ji-yul’s usual workplace, with Ja-young clearly happy to take it all in. Fortunately, it’s also clarified here that the lengthy travelling between the two areas won’t be a problem for this relationship either, easing the potential worries of both parties. “I’ll do better so that eight-hour round trips feel like nothing,” Ji-yul adds, noticeably pleasing the police officer. Later on, the two grab something to eat in the early hours, then head back to Huidong on a high demonstrated through their humorous conversations centred around affection, and how Ja-young should now address her boyfriend.
Noticing Ja-young’s suspicious behaviour in wanting to put off helping someone to get off work, and seeming flustered around Ji-yul when he arrives to use a dog food delivery as an excuse to see her, Man-sung lets his subordinate leave to “help” the vet. As it unsurprisingly turns out, this whole situation was created so that the police officer could get some rest alongside her boyfriend, though she is slightly flustered by how naturally these acts come to Ji-yul when she is consistently awkward. Nevertheless, the vet does reveal that he too is failing to be relaxed. Embarrassingly, Seon-dong soon interrupts the pair’s intimate moment, causing the couple to scramble for excuses on why they are sharing a vehicle together.
After Seon-dong scurries off alongside his girlfriend, Ji-yul tries to assure Ja-young that the youngsters won’t have thought anything of what they saw. Following that, the two return to their respective jobs, where the Women’s Association curiously take note of the police officer’s glow on this sunny day, in addition to her joyful expression in checking her phone. At that point, Mal-geum arrives, wanting a favour from Ja-young despite her request for the Huidong residents to stop working the popular woman so hard, which ultimately kickstarts another argument between village representatives.
However, this time things are different. When it’s suggested by Mal-geum that Ja-young likes being asked for help because she gets a lack of affection, the police officer admits that she must have changed, stating that she is unhappy to have been approached by the Majeong resident. Secure in herself, and no longer caring what would happen if people dislike her, Ja-young says she will still carry out the favour, just out of respect for her elders this time. Shocked by this sudden change, the village representatives watch on as the popular helper leaves.
Buoyed by the confidence she gets from being in a relationship, Ja-young tells Ji-yul that she feels like a “really good person” around him, someone who wants to be even better. This pleases the vet, who happily treats his girlfriend to a meal that evening (though they do have to discreetly enter the restaurant at different times to avoid revealing their relationship). Following this date, the two decide to create pet names for each other so they can keep their affection under wraps.
Privately, Ja-young thanks Sang-hyeon for helping her, knowing that his words were a catalyst for the relationship she is now in. “I’m in this for the long haul,” the peach farmer replies, but he is unable to properly express his joy in the new couple’s future. Still, the long-time friends manage to say that they are both happy now, prior to Sang-hyeon slipping in a verbal note that Ji-yul will be stressed from now, “because I’ll be giving him a very hard time.”
While walking back with Ji-yul, Ja-young expresses her gratitude and relief now that she has told Sang-hyeon the big news. Then, the conversation shifts onto the thrill of dating, with the vet happy that he has the arm of a Huidong celebrity who is loved. “If you’re happy, I’m happy too,” he adds, before the episode ends with the two potentially being caught in the street kissing.
What did you think of Once Upon a Small Town season 1, episode 11? Comment below.