Like Flowers in Sand has finally gotten to the part about the flowers. So far, it was a lot about the culture of ssireum, albeit the sand, in the town. Finally, the love story has started, and maybe now we will see the tables turning for Baek Du like they should have a long time ago. The following is a recap of the fifth episode.
Why does Baek Du rejoin the SSR team?
When Baek Du confronts Du Sik about Mi Suk not being her mother-in-law, she is at a total loss for words. There is no denying Baek Du’s logic that when they were kids, Mi Suk must have been 27 years old, which means that she could not have a son in the present day who was 32 years old. Du Sik gives up on lying and admits that she is working undercover on an investigation. While she doesn’t tell Baek Du what the investigation is, he guesses that it has something to do with their team. Baek Du also deduces that this is what Du Sik meant when she said that she needed him on the team. He storms off while complaining about how she always uses him for her own benefit. Regardless, he shows up at the center the next day, ready to rejoin the team. But the welcome is far from warm. First of all, his coach pulls his ears, demanding to know why Baek Du keeps changing his mind at the drop of a hat. So far, Baek Du has quit Ssireum, expressed an interest in being the coach of the team, and is now wanting to return as a player. Baek Du assures him that he is back for real and won’t change his mind again. On the other hand, Jin Su is a little mean to Baek Du and insults him in front of everyone. Back at home, Baek Du’s father is happy, and perhaps his mother is too, though the sound of her rolling her eyes is stronger.
Due to Jin Su’s unwarranted insults, Baek Du is hesitant to go to Ms. Lim’s restaurant with his team, but she misreads it as him being embarrassed by the money he took from her. While comforting him, she asks that he be friends with Jin Su. Baek Du gets awkward, but he replies that he was always friends with him. The real story is that Baek Du and Jin Su always used to fight, and Du Sik would mediate by taking a strong stand. Ever since she disappeared, things have gone south for the trio.
Was the match between Baek Du and Dong Seok fixed?
Du Sik brings up the ex-coach while they are at the restaurant, and people start admitting that they all lent him money one by one, and it was a significant amount. However, it was Baek Du who gave him the most money, and that has left him pretty much bankrupt now. When the team learns that the coach has committed suicide, they all start wondering whether it was because of the final match between Dong Seok and Baek Du. Since the match, everyone has always felt that Baek Du should have won, but he lost because of a bad call. But the question now is: if the referee hadn’t made such a terrible judgment, would Baek Du have won, and would that have been because of match-fixing or his own talent? Some of them wonder whether Baek Du was aware of the whole match-fixing thing, whereas others are sure that he is innocent. However, none of them think he is talented enough, and Baek Du hears the entire conversation.
Du Sik is reviewing the tapes from the day of the match, and she sees that the coach was whispering something to Dong Seok. Therefore, she decides to meet him to see what she can find. Baek Du joins her, and when they meet Dong Seok, he is crestfallen because everyone is looking at him as if he is a fraud. But he admits to Baek Du and Du Sik that, though the coach had asked him to lose, Dong Seok had refused to do it. He had played honestly, and that is why Dong Seok was feeling guilty; he believed that he had been unempathetic, and that had cost the coach his life. Later, Dong Seok admits to Baek Du that he should have won that day, but Baek Du has already moved on past that and is taking it in stride.
Does Baek Du confess his love for Du Sik?
On the island, the others are doing a bit of their own investigation. Seok Hui cannot let go of his suspicions that something is going on on the island. When he hears that Snowball was barking at the reservoir, he believes that it could be a clue of some sort. As for the man pretending to be Du Sik’s husband, he is very intrigued by the person named Du Sik (he doesn’t know it is Yu Gyeong) and is trying to find out about her. That is when the cafe owner tells him that Du Sik is a woman, and she was Baek Du’s first love.
Back to Du Sik and Baek Du, when these two were just kids, they had a scandal involving Du Sik’s father, Oh Jin. He was accused of match-fixing, and that led to Du Sik being ostracized by everyone in the school. That is when Baek Du came up with a plan to help her. While playing sports, he pretended to accidentally hit her in the face with the ball. Because of the injury, the entire class started taking care of her, and people scolded Baek Du, ultimately re-inviting Du Sik back into their group. That day, Baek Du followed Du Sik home and started crying loudly. Upon seeing him like that, Du Sik also started crying, finally letting out all the frustration of the past few days.
At the end of Like Flowers in Sand episode 5, Du Sik says that Baek Du hasn’t really changed since he was a child. He still tends to find his happiness in others, and she also adds that she knew he would get back to Sirium since he loved that more than anything. But Baek Du admits that the reason for his return to Ssireum was Du Sik. She had said that she needed him, and he couldn’t refuse because he liked her, and he had never stopped, no matter how many years passed between then and now.
The next episode will finally show some progression in the love story. It has always been clear that Baek Du is in love. It is now time to see how deep Du Sik’s feelings are.