Once Upon a Small Town episode 9 recap & review

Once Upon a Small Town episode 9 sees Ja-young and Ji-yul drift further apart while the arrival of Min continues to complicates things even more.


Episode 9 picks up after the awkwardness of the last episode, Ji-yul has made it clear that Min is not his girlfriend. Ja-young asks if he’s come to her only to tell this, making it dawn upon Ji-yul just how awkward his eagerness to clear things up has resulted.

Before leaving, Sang-hyun drops another pointed query at Ji-yul, asking what Min is to him if not a girlfriend. Ji-yul says she’s an ex-girlfriend and the two soon start exchanging their usual passive-aggressive comments, leading to Ja-young fleeing the situation.

At home, Min asks Ja-young to lend her an ear and talk with her since they’re both the same age. Although Ja-young is visible uneasy and conflicted, she also notices that Min is very much a great human by the looks of it.

Min tells her that she’s an ex-girlfriend of Ji-yul’s, here to get him back. She then asks Ja-young to help her rekindle her relationship with Ji-yul, to which Ja-young replies with an awkward smile.

Meanwhile, Ji-yul can’t sleep due to Yun-hyeong’s loud snoring and the fact that he ran off Ja-young to clear up a possible misunderstanding. The next morning, Min arrives at the hospital and is greeted by Seon-dong, who asks if she’s Ji-yul’s girlfriend or not, and that he thinks she’s not since Ji-yul always looks at Ja-young with her affection.

Later, Min accompanies Ji-yul to a work call and works quite effectively in tandem with him, given her same academic and professional background and prior experience of working with him. Ja-young looks on with a heavy heart.

Later on, Ji-yul offers to accompany Ja-young to a work call and Min has already started catching on to their prying eyes and looks of longing. While Min is away busy with the village aunties, Ji-yul confronts Ja-young in the store room, getting close and asking if she has romantic feelings for Sang-hyun or not.

Before she can say anything, the aunties call Ja-young and a proper resolution again eludes the two and the viewers. Later on, Min goes to talk to Ji-yul, trying to reconcile and expressing her hope that they’ll get back together once again.

Ji-yul, however, doesn’t share the sentiments and before he can deliver her another stern dismissal, she imposes intimacy and kisses him.

Ja-young, who had arrived there to give Ji-yul his share of Mal-geum’s gift, drops her crate full of corns in shock (following that kiss that Min implanted on Ji-yul without his consent, something that Ja-young doesn’t know right now).


  • The equation of love at the centre of Once Upon a Small Town continues to get more and more mathematically verbose and the main characters have to trudge through waters made murky by Min’s arrival.
  • Ji-yul has been on a total gear shift after remembering Ja-young and beginning to see her in a different light. Ever-so-eager to confess his love to Ja-young, his efforts to make some progress have been made increasingly difficult by Sang-hyun and now his ex Min.
  • The addition of Min to the fray and the central conflict is an unsurprising move but the way all the things are leading to a predictable cliché of a resolution can be done with a bit more of a creative flair.
  • There are no creative or risky decisions being made in terms of the editing or how the story unfolds its several predictable twists and turns. An argument can be made that a show like Once Upon a Small Town doesn’t warrant a more creative treatment but it certainly deserves one.
  • The giddiness and the dread of the trite tropes that come with such a romantic comedy affair are to be expected but the dry and unremarkable manner in which the show executes them makes it a slightly harder watch at times.
  • Nonetheless, the two of the main characters are always fun to watch and root for. Ji-yul and Ja-young, as well as the plot, can benefit a lot from more scenes involving them and their banter.
  • Now that Ji-yul would need to dispel yet another misunderstanding, the viewers can expect the two to share more on-screen time.
Once Upon a Small Town episode 9
Once Upon a Small Town episode 9 recap & review 1

Director: Kwon Seok-jang

Date Created: 2022-09-21 17:30

Editor's Rating:

Also Read: Once Upon a Small Town episode 8 recap & review

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