Once Upon a Small Town (K-drama), Season 1, Episode 4 Recap & Ending Explained: Huidong is blossoming with spring flowers indicating new life and a fresh start. Picking right up from the love triangle in the previous episode, the show suggests the beginning of new friendships while adding flavors of youthful energies between Ji-yul and officer Ahn as they get comfortable. At the same time, the show keeps unfolding new drama as Sang Hye-on gets a hint of the vet doctor’s feelings and intentions towards his best friend.

Here is a thorough breakdown of the fourth episode of Once Upon A Small Town. Spoiler Alert, please read at your discretion.


It is a new day for Ji-yul in Huidong. After starting the day at the vet hospital, he notices that the dog he has been treating is not in his cage. When he interrogates assistant Lee, she mentions that Ahn has taken the dog for a walk since she took a day off from work. He gets concerned about whether she can manage the half-wild dog by herself.

We then see that Ahn brings the dog to him and points out that since the pup is healing and doing much better, she would like to adopt him. Seeing him a little apprehensive of the idea, she tries to convince him. She has a regular job and no liability, which should reassure him that the dog is in safe hands. Even though it has been a while since she has had a dog, she knows how to raise one. He realizes that the dog will have a great future with her, so he agrees to the adoption.

Later, while setting up the dog house, Ahn recalls her memories with Ji-yul as a child when he gave her a dog for adoption. Fondly smiling because of the sweet memories, it is ironic for her to see how the times have changed the person she once knew.

On the other hand, Ji-yul learns that Ahn is an animal lover, which means they have a similar likeness to things in life. While he stood by the counter thinking about Ahn, assistant Lee shares little details about the young police officer. We learn that Ahn is the kind of person who would quickly make friends with people or animals before one knows it. She adds that it takes a skill to be someone who believes in unconditional love without expecting anything.

On his way home, Ji-yul notices some police officers by the roadside. The female officer in the group reminds him of Ahn and how she wears her hair bun. It seems Ji-yul is slowly getting comfortable with the presence of Ahn around him.

Soon Ahn joins him with her vibrant energy, asking if he had lunch. While she suggested the place she regularly eats, the other two officers also joined their conversation. One officer mentions that Ji-yul should eat with them sometime to break the ice.

In the next moment, we see Ahn and Ji-yul walking by the paddy field after she gets a call about drunken juveniles making a scene at a restaurant nearby. Ji-yul notices that Ahn is always busy because of her demanding role as the town’s protector. Ahn shares that she likes to be busy and helping people in the town makes her feel useful. She also adds that Sang Hye-on feels she is doing it for the attention, even though he is the one who is needy.

Once Upon a Small Town (K-drama), (Season 1) Episode 4 Recap

Ji-yul points out that it is nice that Lee Sang Hye-on cares a lot about her. Ahn explains that they grew up together since birth, so it is natural for them to be together all the time. Seeing she is the only one sharing her life details, Ahn asks Ji-yul if he has any close friends.

She considers that he must not have friends when he doesn’t respond. She continues chatting and mentions that it must be dull for him in the countryside without a single friend. However, when he sees she is persistent and assumptive, he stops and mentions he indeed has friends but his life here is too busy.

When Ahn notices Ji-yul is gradually opening up to her, she asks him if he misses his girlfriend. However, he quickly diverts the subject by suggesting that one can’t be together whenever one misses someone. To which she adds that it’s true what he said, but being able to see someone whenever you miss them is a tremendous blessing on its own.

Soon their heartfelt conversation is cut short when Sang Hye-on passes by in his van. When he sees Ahn having a good time chatting with Ji-yul, he stops and starts threatening him by using strong peach farming pheromones as a way to back off. Seeing both of them unyielding and assertive to one another, Ahn tries to ease up the situation.

Shortly after he leaves, Ahn mentions that Sang Hye-on has been in stress due to overworking, but Ji-yul thinks otherwise. On the other hand, while driving on his way, Sang Hye-on feels uncomfortable about the growing closeness between his friend and the new guy in the town.

Back in the hospital, assistant Lee senses that Ji-yul is in love. However, he cleverly diverts her attention to important things at work. Soon, a distressed Ahn barges into the clinic, thinking the dog might have come there. When the dog goes missing, Ahn starts fidgeting if he goes back to hurting pet animals. We then see Ji-yul suggesting Ahn to search houses and nearby places to find Nirungji.

After searching for the dog in different places, Ji-yul finally gets hold of the pup, running away on the road. He tracks the dog into the deep forest; however, he soon finds out that he is a father to four small pups.

When Ji-yul attempts to pet the little ones, he sees an angry dog standing above him on the rock, staring at him.

Soon Ahn joins and finds the doctor in a somewhat tense situation. She tries to distract the dog, knowing she is a friendly one. However, while doing so, the dog quickly jumps on Ji-yul, and he loses his contact lens at this time.

She notices that he got hurt while handling the dogs; hence she suggests they go back to town. While walking out of the forest, Ji-yul tells her that he finds it fascinating how she knows everything about everyone. She replies that this village is her family. They have always given so much love to her, and she owes this much to them.


Meanwhile, Ji-yul receives an urgent phone call from the women’s association president demanding his immediate presence. President’s cow is going through labor, and it is Ji-yul’s first attempt at the delivery. While dealing with the situation, Ahn runs to the Director’s house to collect his book on the procedure that may be useful in this case.

After successfully delivering the newborn, president Se-ryeon invites the young doctor for dinner along with officer Ahn, who was also present, to help him with the process. While sitting with him, Ahn compliments Ji-yul about his change of clothes from formal to casual attire. Later, at the dinner, everyone celebrates the young calve’s birth.

Subsequently, Sang Hye-on joins them at the dinner table and asks Ahn to sit closely with him after noticing the two sitting together. It seems Hye-on is growing jealous of Ji-yul’s presence. We then see Ahn’s aunt serving them a hot meal with freshly cooked meat. However, Ji-yul is a vegetarian, and everyone seems to notice it.

In the meantime, Se-ryeon brings out her best liquor to celebrate the birth of her cow’s first calf. Ahn shares her aunts’ great qualities including making the village’s best wines and rare delicacies. When Se-ryeon offers wine to the three of them, Ahn and Ji-yul politely decline. At the same time, Hye-on keeps taunting Ji-yul that only strong men can drink the wine.

The episode at this point offers hearty laughs when Ji-yul gets drunk after being pushed by Sang rye-on’s remark. Seeing both the boys getting drunk, Se-Ryeon requests Ahn (Huidong’s pride singer) to sing a song in the name of celebration. While listening to Ahn singing, Ji-yul gets intrigued by her melodious voice, making the aunts stand up and notice. Shortly after, everyone cheers Ahn and Ji-yul, but he gets up and excuses himself from the dinner. Ahn accompanies him to make sure he is alright.

While walking back to his house through the paddy field, Ahn asks him if he has too much to drink as he doesn’t look happy. She proposes he accompany her to the forest to bring the puppies to the hospital. Taking a hint of wanting to spend more time, Ji-yul is entirely in his senses at this point. He suggested that she should go with Lee Sang Hye-on instead.

At this point, we can see that Ahn tries to make advances on Ji-yul but fails as Ji-yul is shying to make any moves. While both share a close connection, Sang Hye-on soon breaks the tension when he notices both in the middle of the field. Ji-yul doesn’t like that Hye-on always follows up with them everywhere, asking odd questions. Hye-on provokes him by calling him drunk, just like all men trying to gain an advantage over an innocent girl. However, Ji-yul senses Hye-on is clearly not in a clear head space, so he excuses Ahn. Just as he was about to leave, he stops and listens to Hye-on talking to Ahn.

At the same time, Hye-on shares his true feelings with Ahn. He tells her that he is no different than the other men. Whenever he sees her, he wants to hold her hand or hug her because he likes her. So he requests her not to get too comfortable with him, indicating his love towards her. The show’s episode ends on an awkward note with Hyeon’s declaration of one-sided love to the town’s most beautiful girl and Ji-yul witnessing this uncomfortable sentiment.


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