This recap of the Netflix K-Drama series Once Upon a Small Town season 1, episode 2 contains spoilers.
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Once upon a small town summary of season 1, episode 2
We start with the village chief waking up the people of Huidong, watching a disappointed Ja-young, who was awkwardly ignored last night by the river, doesn’t seem to mind the warm welcome he’s being asked to receive. Ji-yul. Here we see that the two knew each other some time ago as “secret friends”, although now it is only the policeman who remembers those days. Meanwhile, the Seoul-based vet is starting his life in the remote village properly, trying to get used to the unfamiliar surroundings, as well as the extremely friendly locals.
During a jog, Ji-yul stumbles upon the Women’s Association, in a scene that sets up a little rivalry between Huidong’s Jang Se-ryeon and Majeong’s Park Mal-geum. Following this, the vet watches a young boy, Seon-dong, enter his home by sneakily unlocking the door, but is unable to properly confront the child due to Ja-young’s emergence. Instead, Ji-yul appears negatively, upsetting the miner, who misinterprets the situation as a reprimand, asking him to strike in the future. “I have committed a grave sin,” says Seon-dong, who solemnly walks off to the side of the police officer claiming that the temporary resident has the ability to make the good thing look bad and that he is not as beautiful as others have said.
After it is established that vaccinations for Mr. Yang’s pigs will be held during the day, Ja-young unsubtly tries to hide her desire to join him, before leaving the police station to help a Ji-yul nervous in the admittedly important task. Predictably, the job proves difficult, with the two assistants always irritated with each other and the animals almost impossible to collect. Eventually, however, the beatings are over, thanks in part to a remarkably effective level of unexpected teamwork. Nonetheless, the police officer awkwardly knocks Ji-yul into feces at one point, proving that things aren’t quite rosy between the two at the moment.
After work is done, Ji-yul follows Ja-yang to a secluded cafe in search of some good coffee. There, the vet meets Sang-hyeon, the man in charge of the Huidong Young Men’s Association in addition to his own peach farm which ends up advertised on the side of the cups. “This face will be the one you see most often while you’re here,” the multi-faceted employee told Ji-yul at the culmination of their introductions, assuring he’s aware Ja-yang will always be there. . There’s also a subtle nugget here, as Sang-hyeon is visibly energized upon learning that there’s a chance the policeman won’t be interested in townsman Huidong in the short term.
Unfortunately for Sang-hyeon, he has to worry that someone stole a small amount of money from him. It’s the same kind of offense that Ji-yul was accused of when he arrived in the village, a fact that comes up with humor in the conversation. Following this, the vet leaves the cafe, somewhat taken aback by the act of “neutering” he ended up witnessing between Ja-yang and the peach farmer. When he’s gone, the other two talk about Ji-yul’s jerky behavior, but the policeman seems somewhat deflated that his former “secret friend” will only be staying temporarily.
At the hospital, Ji-yul tries to find out more about Ja-yang from Yeong-seok, and is told that she’s “pretty much a human civil complaint window.” The Seoul-based doctor puts a different spin on the definition, believing his nemesis is curious, although that’s a debated sentiment. Suddenly, the veterinarian resumes work anyway, taking care of a kid frustrated by colic. Elsewhere, Ja-young is on hand to comfort an old woman who saw the silhouette of the red-hatted thief running away after a robbery.
In due time, Seon-dong relays the potential location of the culprit, kicking off Ja-young’s attempts to catch them. However, all she does is incur the ire of Ji-yul, who thinks her house is starting to become a hot spot for the locals. That being said, the frustrated vet is quickly made aware of what’s really going on, allowing the thief to be caught at the end of a clumsy escape at an exit. Called Jun-ho’s friend, the pocket money thief is taken away by the police.
To end the episode, Ji-yul refuses to accept Ja-yang’s offer of a helping hand, claiming he has learned his lesson. Yet he soon has no choice but to cling to her grip, which pleases the police officer as she smiles at the vet.
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