Harvest Villa: 3-4
Don’t they look so happy together? But folks, this ain’t that type of drama. The real beauty/genius/inspiration of Harvest Villa is that nothing is as it seems – not the story nor the characters. Everyone’s got some sort of secret and it’s exciting to see things unfold.
With that said, I can totally understand why Bok Gyu is head over heels in love with Seo Rin. If not for the continual reminder of her sinister character, I would forget that she’s planned every coincidental meeting with Bok Gyu. She really does a great “I’m happy to be here with you” face and boy oh boy is she puuuurty.
After beating up the schoolgirls and charming the upstairs neighbor, Seo Rin makes her move on Bok Gyu. He walks her home after the night out and she tells him that she has his mail in the apartment. There we meet Seo Rin’s sister (Jo Mi Ryung of Chuno) who looks over the new man in Seo Rin’s life.
Sister: You seem very friendly.
Bok Gyu: Thank you. I’ve heard good things about you also.
Seo Rin: I talked about my sister?
Bok Gyu: I…I’m sorry.
Bok Gyu is surely a cutie as he tries so hard to earn some brownie points and the “sisters”, along with Bok Gyu have a nice chuckle over his silliness.
Back home, Bok Gyu is hard at work, writing up an apology note to Tae Chon. His letter sounds like a grade school’s letter: asking for the kind-hearted vehicle owner to forgive him out of the goodness of his heart. On top of that, he has a totally choding (grade school level) handwriting. And it’s funny that he’s holding onto the side view mirror. It’s like he can’t let go of the guilt.
Bok Gyu must be tired from all the excitement of the evening, as he falls asleep and dreams about his father’s possible murder. He remembers the suspicious faces of his neighbors and is woken up by the blood smeared face of Tae Chon. [And the nightmare ensues.]
Unsurprisingly, the two women are not real sisters and it looks like the elder is in cahoots with the younger to get close with Bok Gyu. She’s worried that Seo Rin actually has interest in Bok Gyu and warns her about getting close or revealing their true nature. But she reassures her that there’s no inappropriate feelings.
Meanwhile, Bok Gyu’s heartfelt letter seems to have produced the opposite effect and just fanned Tae Chon’s anger. He’s now intent on finding the culprit and tells Bok Gyu about his plans to scour the local car centers to find out who had their car fixed on the night of the accident.
They also have a fun little interlude as Bok Gyu hides the mirror in the fridge just as Tae Chon made his way into the apartment. Bok Gyu ends up sweating bullets as his neighbor opens the fridge for some cold water. Thankfully, a well positioned phone call and water bottle averts any trouble for the moment.
Mae Ja is visited by the eye glass shop owner, who seems to be an ex-boyfriend. She has more stomach pains while he’s still at the restaurant and he rushes her to the hospital. The two of them share a tear-filled kdrama moment. (The one you have when you find out that someone you don’t know very well but think you’re in love with, is dying.) When the doctor comes back with the x-ray, we finally get a diagnosis. It’s POOP!! She has poop stuck in her intestines, causing the high levels of pain. (That’s what you get when you don’t poop for 2 weeks!) She has a simple colonic to remove the waste and voila – she’s cured. So hilarious.
Realizing that Tae Chon will soon find out about the side view mirror, Bok Gyu heads to the repair shop with a box of drinks in tow to presumably get the records of his car repair. But he’s interrupted by the meathead brothers as they speak to the shop owner about working on a car. Bok Gyu looks on but is sidetracked by a different sight all together. The garage has caught on fire from the burner that the owner was using to cook up some ramen.
Bok Gyu tries to put out the flame (using his shirt) and when that doesn’t work, he picks up a nearby pail and throws it into the fire. Unfortunately, he’s just thrown in kerosene and it not only fans the flame but blows up the nearby car. After creating the huge mess, he runs away from the scene of the crime.
In the morning, the neighborhood is gathered around the scene of the fire, including the residents of the Villa. Bok Gyu finds out that even more than the owner (who had insurance), the Yuk brothers are the ones who suffered the greatest loss as they had 2 used cars destroyed in the fire. Tae Chon sees the look of guilt on Bok Gyu’s face and wonders out loud why he’s having such a visceral response to the news. Bok Gyu gets flustered at the accusation and his face goes from nervous to calm – to show that he had nothing to do with the fire. (Shin Ha Kyun‘s facial expressions are priceless.)
Nevertheless, Bok Gyu feels quite guilty over the incident, and decides to give $5000 to the brothers with a note of apology. It looks like Bok Gyu is writing quite a lot of these after moving into the Villa. The web of lies he’s created due to a simple door bang on the side view mirror is getting to be quite unruly.
On her way home from school, Song Yi comes across the cutest pink scooter in the world. She looks at it longingly but walks away, knowing that she can’t afford it. At the villa, she steps on the ‘I’m sorry’ envelope left by Bok Gyu and finds the $5000 inside. She tries to walk away but can’t shake the image of riding the scooter down the street and siphons the money.
The brothers find the apology letter when they get back home. But instead of finding money, they find a chicken advertisement in its place. (Thanks to Song Yi’s wacky sense of humor.) They basically foam at the mouth in anger and turn to Tae Chon for help. A little detective work by the 3 men reveal that their 2 apology letters have been written by the same person.
They decide that fingerprint analysis would be the best way to identify the culprit but Song Yi walks over and manhandles the ad, trying to get rid of the evidence. (Why couldn’t they look at the fingerprints on the letter itself?) Tae Chon’s ears perk at his daughter’s interest and realizes that she must be involved somehow. He tells the brothers that he’ll take care of the situation and turns his attention to his daughter.
When he calls out for her to come out of her room, she freaks out, trying to figure out where to hide the money. She eventually tosses the money (in a book) out the window which lands on Bok Gyu’s head. Tae Chon gets a hold of Song Yi and dictates the letter to her in order to do a penmanship match. But no match is made.
Boy Gyu brings the book upstairs but is stopped by Song Yi. She chases him into his apartment where she tries to hide from her father and where he finds his money inside her book. He’s baffled at the situation and tries to figure out why she’s taken the money. At that moment, she notices a shiny black object in the fridge, a very familiar object – one side view mirror broken off her father’s car.
Song Yi takes full advantage of the scared Bok Gyu and blackmails him into “borrowing” half of the money. (I think we can bet where she plans on spending that money.) Bok Gyu is completely dazed and looks like a man who’s been taken for a ride as he hands over the cash and comments, “You scare me” to Song Yi.
Song Yi beelines to purchase the pretty pink scooter but she’s not alone in her quest. Even though she passed the handwriting test, her father has his eyes set on her sheisty behavior and watches on as she giddily buying the scooter.
Back in the land of the love triangle, the tennis playing dentist sees Bok Gyu playing an extra on a TV drama and immediately decides to put his moves on Seo Rin with this new information. He invites her to the office for a teeth cleaning (so romantic!) and starts to talk about how disappointed he is at a person’s lies about their profession. Seo Rin is on edge as she thinks he’s talking about her own job (which has not been revealed but it’s probably something shady.)
When Seo Rin finds out that he’s actually talking about Bok Gyu, she gives him the cold shoulder, making sure he knows that she has no interest in him or his free teeth cleaning.
Not knowing that his lies are out of the bag, Bok Gyu is busy playing a corpse on the set of a drama. The day ends up being a special one as he is given the chance of a lifetime and earn a speaking role in the scene. His acting impresses the director and the crowd, including a familiar face in the always beautiful Seo Rin.
Bok Gyu finishes the scene with extra gusto as he seems Seo Rin watching from the sidelines. He receives applause from the crowd but is still apprehensive to face Seo Rin.
- Seo Rin: Looks like directors act also.
Bok Gyu: My outfit is a bit funny, isn’t it? Why would a director wear this? Some.. sometimes I lie amongst the corpses to help their acting. And… this… this is hard to understand, right?
Seo Rin: Why did you lie? Should we… get a drink?
[After moving for a drink]
Seo Rin: Have you lied about anything else?
Bok Gyu: What?
Seo Rin: Is there anything else besides the drama director bit? I thought about it really carefully and realized that I don’t know anything about you. It must be the same for you. Is there anything you know about me? Besides what you can see on the outside. About the real Yoon Seo Rin.
Seo Rin continues to earn her keep, doing a good job of getting Bok Gyu to fall in love with her. They start talking about their previous beaus and she slyly mentions that she’s only had 2 past boyfriends, which surprises Bok Gyu. (She’s so pretty, how could she have such few BFs? He totally should have seen right through her.)
Over at the Parks, Tae Chon finds Song Yi with her new scooter and glittery shirt. He takes away the keys and decides he needs to get to the bottom of the situation.
- Tae Chon: I’m going to ask just three questions. Do you know who did this?
Song Yi: Nope.
Tae Chon: Have you touched this envelope in the past?
Song Yi: Nope.
Tae Chon: Lastly, hope you won’t lie about this one. Is Oh Bok Gyu the one who used you?
Tae Chon asks the questions but he’s pretty sure of the answers even before he asks them.
Seo Rin ends up having a bit too much to drink and finds herself hurling at the bathroom. The kindhearted Bok Gyu can only watch as she vomits away in the bathroom and by the sea. He runs off to buy her some medicine but finds her missing when he returns. When he sees her sneaker out in the water, he imagines the worst and jumps in without any hesitation to rescue his love.
Of course Seo Rin had been in the bathroom, probably to pretty herself up before Bok Gyu’s return. She hears about a man who jumped into the sea (from the couple with the most outlandish couple VEST ever) and runs to find out that it’s Bok Gyu who went into the water, apparently to rescue her. She’s visibly surprised and touched by his bravado.
He spends the night at the hospital, with Seo Rin by his side. And the next day, the two of them spend quite a romantic day together. Seeing that Seo Rin is wearing men’s slippers (after losing one of her shoes in the water), he runs off to buy some matching rubber shoes. They walk on the beach and truly seem to be enjoying each other’s company. (Of course, it’s difficult to tell what Seo Rin’s thinking or feeling.)
The two brothers can’t get their minds off of the chicken apology and Ha Geun wonders whether they should take things into their own hands.
- Sang Geun: Tae Chon ahjusshi must be looking for him also. Let’s just wait a little bit longer.
Ha Geun: Don’t you think you’re putting too much faith in Tae Chon ahjusshi? Honestly, we’re smarter than him.
These two are hilarious. I love how they laugh at each other after commenting that they’re the brains of the operation. But their laughter is suspended when they see a flashlight inside Sung Shik ahjusshi’s apartment. When they come upstairs to check out the scene, it’s not surprising that they find Kathy Bates upstairs, illuminating her face with a flashlight.
Mae Ja somehow ends up in a motel room with the glass shop owner, aka her ex-lover. He starts talking about his unhappy marriage and all of a sudden announces that he’ll shower first, while singing Love Me Tender. Mae Ja decides that she can’t go through with tryst and leaves the room, as her long lost love chases after her yelling, “Mae Ja! Mae Ja! But I took a shower!!” (Because taking a shower means having sex.)
While his wife is off with another man, Tae Chon is busy taking care of his neighbor, Bok Gyu. He takes him out into the woods and forces him to dig a grave. (It looks like Tae Chon has a favorite spot where he likes to force people to dig their own graves.) But once Bok Gyu is done digging, he tells him to bury the sideview mirror, telling him that this is the last time they’ll speak of this again. As he leaves, Tae Chon utters, “I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing this for my daughter.” It’s a funny and a sweet moment rolled together.
A woman with a bun in her hair (aka Seo Rin) visits Choi Sung Shik at the rehab center and shoots in a medicine into his IV, killing him. Just as she starts to needle in the medicine, he groans, “I don’t know where the gold is…” It’s probably not the wisest move as she might have let him live if he did know the whereabouts.
When the villa residents find out about his death, they decide to pull together for his funeral. They kind of look like the Addams Family standing around the coffin, don’t they?
Tae Chon welcomes in a new client at his office, an overtly sexy woman (in a tight red dress in case you didn’t know she was supposed to be sexy), who asks him to get evidence about her husband’s new mistress. How sexy is she? Tae Chon imagines that she crawls over to him to wipe his jja-jang-myun stained mouth. (In case you missed it, she’s hot.)
When he asks her for a picture of her husband, she shows him a photo of the eyeglass shop owner who’s been running around Mae Ja. Tae Chon thinks that he looks familiar but isn’t able to recognize where he’s seen him before.
Bok Gyu is also hard at work, now an actor employed by the station and actually has a role in the drama. And not only is his work life great but his love life is moving along as well. When Seo Rin comes for a visit (all the way to Incheon), he’s touched by her gesture. And when he sees that she’s also brought some porridge, he’s downright moved to tears.
He’s so stirred by her kindness that he decides to forgo drinks with his coworkers to reciprocate her generosity. He buys up the grocery store and packs a midnight snack for Seo Rin, who is scheduled to work overnight. And as he’s cutting away, she’s busy prettying herself up for her overnight work.
We are finally privy to Seo Rin’s occupation: the ace hostess at a high end room salon (bar). It’s not much of a surprise because it was either this or female assassin (which would have been cool.) We see that fashion design is just a front for her evening operation and that her “sister” also works at the bar.
She expects another quiet night (of thwarting company CEOs) when Bok Gyu throws her into a frenzy by announcing that he’s about to enter her office building with a midnight snack. She runs off while removing her hair extensions and wiping the make up off her face.
The drama does such a great job of peeling off a little corner of the blanket to satisfy our curiosity but hinting at other mysteries to keep us guessing. It’s nice to have some of the mystery/misunderstanding to be revealed (Seo Rin’s job, Bok Gyu’s lies) fairly quickly but have new ones added in (Tae Chon’s new client). And of course, there’s the real mystery of the hidden gold which continues to build.
Along with the story, the characters are intriguing. At first glance, each person embodies a stereotype (femme fatale, lonely housewife, meathead, brazen high schooler, etc.) but you know there is something more underneath the facade. I would totally watch a spin-off of any of these characters.
Another great thing about the drama is the editing. The scenes flow together seamlessly and cleverly, adding a depth to the drama. (Honestly speaking, this is pretty rare in kdramas as they are generally busy trying to rehash a trite story.) One great example of this is the montage of Mae Ja, Tae Chon, and Seo Rin with the pastor’s sermon in the background.
- Mae Ja: Those who betray the family of God and think about committing adultery with their flesh.
Tae Chon: Those who disobey the will of God and commit violence against his people.
Seo Rin: Those wolves in sheep’s clothing trying to deceive their family and neighbors.
Whoever has ears, let him hear. If you do, you will live. But if you don’t, you will suffer for eternity in the depths of hell.
Not only is the scene interesting and enjoyable to watch, but it makes you think about the complexities of life. Mae Ja decides to leave the hotel room, but how about dealing with her loneliness? Tae Chon covers up Bok Gyu for his daughter, but how about the Yuk brothers? And Seo Rin seems to be succeeding in winning over Bok Gyu, but will she gain what she’s really looking for?