Like Flowers in Sand gives us the feeling that this will be one of those abrupt love stories. It has started out as a slow burn and will hold that pace for a lot more episodes, only for the couple to abruptly start dating. The rest of the episode was strictly okay, and the following is the summary of it.
What happens in the match between Jin Su and Baek Du?
The entire town is divided over the choice between Jin Su and Baek Du for the position of coach of the soccer team. The idea is that Baek Du may not have won any championships, but being a coach does not depend on that. It is about one’s ability to communicate with the juniors. Some people, including Baek Du’s family, want him to take the job. They cite their father as the example of a champion who simply does not have any patience with his juniors, making him a terrible coach. On the contrary, Baek Du is well-liked by his team members, so he might be ideal for the job. As for Baek Du, he is still not interested, though Du Sik’s words are ringing in his ears. She admitted to him that she was Du Sik, and she wanted him to join the team because she needed him there. However, Du Sik doesn’t give him any context as to why, which is what leads Baek Du to misunderstand her. He thinks she needs him there for moral support or emotional help, which is a strange question if you are a married woman. When Baek Du points that out, Du Sik is angry and tells him to forget the whole thing.
Meanwhile, Baek Du and Jin Su’s mothers, Hyun Ja and Jin Suk, are also not speaking with each other because of the competition between their sons. The town is unable to pick a side since there are different benefits to supporting either candidate, and for a town based on Ssireum, this is a make-or-break decision. They consider that Baek Du was a prodigy in his time, and he has the experience that accounts for something. Meanwhile, Jin Su is generally thought to have a bad personality, so nobody is sure whether he would be any success as a coach.
When Jin Su goes to the center to speak with the current coach, he comes to know that the manager, Yu Gyeong, is responsible for recommending Baek Du, and they have to consider her opinion since she has been employed on the recommendation of the governor. In Jin Su’s mind, this further removes any credibility for his opponent. Finally, Jin Su challenges Baek Du to a match and says that the result will decide the next coach. Baek Du wants to refuse, but he sees Du Sik’s face and decides to fight for her sake. Either way, Baek Du is told that no one in the town is expecting him to win, and once again, we are sure that Baek Du should leave behind this place where people get a rise out of undermining him.
During the competition, it didn’t seem to be an even match since Jin Su was much heavier than Baek Du. He wins the first round, but Baek Du comes through with his technique and experience in the second round and wins that. Before they can play the deciding round, the police come to the arena, and they want to take Baek Du with them for some questioning. It isn’t easy to say who would have won if the police hadn’t intervened, but we must ask that, though Baek Du agreed to fight for Du Sik’s sake, could he have brought himself to win for her as well?
Does Baek Du Know Du Sik’s Truth?
On the night that Baek Du got drunk (episode 1), he accidentally ran into Chil Seong, and that interaction was recorded on CCTV. Baek Du had no memory of it, but he still had to give some explanation. At the police station, he explained that he got drunk and woke up at home with a scar on his stomach. The police tell him that a scuffle was recorded between him and Chil Seong. Thankfully, Mi Ran came to the police station, and she helped clarify a few things. She knows that the scar on Baek Du’s waist was probably from the time the car ran into his side. She also heard their scuffle, and it was about Baek Du trying to give Chil Seong some money that he was refusing to take.
Chil Seong was a match-fixer who was dealing in billions, which is why this interaction is of such interest to the police. Thankfully, Baek Du remembers why he must have been trying to give the man that money. Baek Du had run into that man when he came to the shop that day, and he had not taken back the change after the payment. Baek Du had simply pocketed the money, and that is what he was trying to return that night. The man is embarrassed and feels guilty that he hasn’t even returned the money to the shopkeeper, who is Ms. Lim, but more than him, the inspector in charge, Chu Mi Suk, is embarrassed. She was expecting a lot more from this investigation, but this was the most insignificant turn it could have taken. However, this is also how Ms. Lim and Jin Suk make up. Hyun Ja admits that since Baek Du had always been better than Jin Su at Ssireum, she had been extra defensive about this competition. But it was impossible to hold a grudge against Baek Du when he was so innocent.
At the end of Like Flowers in Sand episode 4, Baek Du sees Mi Suk in the police station and understands that she is an officer. He had earlier seen her with Du Sik and assumed that she was her mother-in-law, looking at the bossy way that she was talking. Something clicked in Baek Du’s mind, and he dug out an old tape that he used to watch with Du Sik when they were kids. It is a video of Mi Suk, who has always been Du Sik’s role model. Baek Du immediately connects the dots, and he asks Du Sik whether she is a police officer. He also figures out that she is not really married, and all of this must be a cover story of some kind. As Du Sik’s colleague was saying, people like Baek Du may look simple, but they are extremely intuitive and cannot be fooled easily. Therefore, he may have gotten to the entire truth already.
The preview tells us that Baek Du is rejoining the ssireum team and that Jin Su is going to be the coach. Maybe the man actually has no luck, but this should be the start of how things change for him after the arrival of Du Sik. Additionally, he will also be helping in the investigation, so maybe that could be his second calling.