Episode 2 of Like Flowers in Sand is just an extension of the first episode. It doesn’t add a lot to the story, though it strengthens the narrative that has been touched upon so far. The following is a recap of it.
What is Seok Hui suspicious about?
There is something very charming about the character. We have been his fans since his ‘Kim Jiri’ joke in the first episode. In episode 2, Seok Hui is still hung up on the case of the accident. He keeps questioning why the man would come to a town where he knew no one and then have an accident near a pond that nobody in the town knew about. It is all too random. Additionally, Seok Hui is surprised that not a single article has been printed about the accident. Even mundane pieces of news are picked up by the publications, but something so significant was completely overlooked, which convinces Seok Hui that this is a conspiracy in the making. On the other hand, the cafe owner knows a lot more than she is letting on. She saw Baek Du be hit by the car since that is when he was calling out Du Sik’s name, and she heard that. Maybe she was the one to take him home that night. The cafe owner probably doesn’t know about Baek Du’s blackouts, so she doesn’t realize that he has no memory of her. She must have felt odd when he did not return her wave.
Why does Baek Du believe that Yu Gyeong is Oh Du Sik?
Baek Du has been convinced ever since he saw Yu Gyeong that she is Du Sik. She continues to deny it, but Baek Du has witnessed the way she flipped him on his back, which has convinced him who he is dealing with. Baek Du even brings Seok Hui to check whether he thinks the same, but nobody else thinks that Yu Gyeong is Du Sik. According to the people, Du Sik was ‘uglier’ in sunlight, and the woman in front of them was very pretty. As a child, Du Sik was one of the boys. She was a master at Ssireum, and she had beat up every boy in the area on some occasion or another. That is why she was so famous, and it is also why people refused to believe that this gentle and cold woman from the city was Du Sik.
Baek Du is further convinced that Yu Gyeong is Du Sik when he sees her in the training area. She is the new manager, and a wrestler questions her credentials for the job, which is when she flips him the same way she had flipped Baek Du. He is watching it all, and things are going exactly as he predicted. He says that Du Sik could tie a satba better than she could tie her hair, and her temper would mean that she would not take any comments easily, which is exactly how Yu Gyeong is behaving. Also, when Baek Du tells her that he quit ssireum, she yells at him the way Du Sik would have. She says how he must continue by thinking about Du Sik, who is rooting for him from far away. Regardless of whether she is Du Sik or not, a total stranger would not talk this way. Baek Du calls Du Sik his soulmate, so there doesn’t seem to be a likelihood of him not recognizing her simply because she looks different.
Does Baek Du’s father convince him to rejoin Ssireum?
People seem to have a tough time believing that Baek Du has actually quit playing ssireum. But there is a bigger problem to worry about. The SIREUM team is on the verge of closing down. Ever since Dong Seok joined another team, they don’t have a star player, which means that the team isn’t performing well. Man Sik says that, though shutting down the team is inevitable, he is not going to do it immediately. Yu Gyeong has been hired by him, and everyone finds that odd. But as Baek Du’s mother points out, the governor likely has some ulterior motive behind his actions.
Meanwhile, Tae Baek cannot digest that his son has quit ssireum for real. To encourage him, he takes him back to the training area and tries to tell him to keep at the game and prove others wrong. But that is when Baek Du replies, What if he is just indulging in an exercise of futility? After all, when he said that he was quitting, no one tried to ask him to stay back. In fact, the few people who asked him to continue were saying so because they thought he couldn’t do anything else. There was no real reassurance for him. When Baek Du made a joke about not being a champion, even his mother did not deny it, protest, or tell him not to think so little of himself. Baek Du was never once told that his experience was valuable or that he amounted to something, even if he did not win a championship. That meant that people thought he was just occupying space and used that as an excuse to taunt him. Baek Du felt very done with it. There is only so much you can fight against when the world is against you. When his father understands the reason for Baek Du’s dejection, he doesn’t have anything left to say.
As Baek Du is lying in the sand at the end of Like Flowers in Sand episode 2, Yu Gyeong comes to meet him. She has heard everything that Baek Du was saying, and she wants to comfort him. She points out that if she was denying that she was Du Sik, there must be a reason for it. Maybe she would have confessed to her identity, but just then, a man comes into the area and calls her ‘honey’, indicating that they are married.
In the next episode, the entire town seems to know that the woman is Du Sik, though she will continue to deny it. Also, the fact that she is married is raising some eyebrows, particularly those of Baek Du. He must still be in love with her, seeing how invested he is in her life.