Like Flowers in Sand is turning out to be the new healing drama that we didn’t know we were looking for. Reminding us of the hit show When The Camellia Blooms, Like Flowers in Sand follows Ssireum player Baek-Du, who abruptly decides to give up on his passion. This show is the perfect motivation you need for the new year, as it reminds you that even though the people around you may not be encouraging, there’s always someone on your side, and you must keep doing what you love. Yes, I gathered that in four episodes. At the end of episode 2, a new guest arrives in town, calling Oh Yu-Gyeong “honey” and leaving Baek-Du confused.
What Happens In Episode 3?
Hyeon-Uk who just arrived to the town in the day claims to be Yu-Gyeong’s husband. They lock hands as they walk out of the “ssireum” gym, leaving Baek-Du totally spellbound. It turns out that Yu-Gyeong and Hyeon-Uk are actually detectives here to investigate the Choi murder case. There’s something strange about the case because evidence is missing, and Hyeon-Uk seems to have a 6th sense about the town making him want to leave soon. On the other hand, Yu-Gyeong, who is actually Du-Sik, wants to investigate in her hometown, but needs to keep her identity hidden. They believe Choi Chil-Sung was strangled before his car was drowned in the reservoir. A love triangle may be in the making, as Mi-Ran isn’t very subtle about her feelings towards Baek-Du and jealousy towards Du-Sik. Baek-Du’s new career path includes trying to give the police examination. Yu-Gyeong, a detective herself, obviously finds this idea laughable and downright disrespectful. In the meantime, Hyeon-Uk goes to Mi-Ran’s cafe to learn more about the case from the locals.
The coach committed suicide after quitting his job abruptly. The team doesn’t seem to know about the suicide because they’re all simply worried about how they’ll compete. The head coach tells Yu-Gyeong that there’s a new coach he has in mind for the team. It turns out it’s Jin-Su, Baek-Du’s rival. Jin-Su became the town’s pride as an adult, winning all the championships, something that was expected of Baek-Du. Now it’s clear to us that Yu-Gyeong doesn’t want Baek-Du to quit the game, so she decides to peg him against Jin-Su for the position of coach. It turns out coach Yeon used to gamble a lot and cause a lot of problems for the team.
Yu-Gyeong tries to extort information from the youngest of the team, but at the last moment, the team shows up, taking him away and making sure he doesn’t say anything. She puts Baek-Du to the task, and he decides to roll in the sand a bit with the youngling, showing him how to improve his skills. After getting beaten to a pulp, Baek-Du gets some information out of him. It seems Baek-Du saw the coach arguing with someone before his match but had forgotten about it. He’s reminded of that from the conversation, but he doesn’t know who the argument was with. At this point, Jin-Su has planned to settle in Goseon after quitting coaching a massive team for them. At the same time, Yu-Gyeong’s boss also arrives in the town, getting lost after a long day of looking around and not revealing that she’s with the police either. Finally, at the end of episode 3, Yu-Gyeong admits to Baek-Du that she’s in fact Du-Sik.
The captain is apparently Du-Sik’s childhood role model because Baek-Du and she used to watch her on a TV program as children. In the present day, it is revealed that there’s CCTV footage of someone fighting with Choi before his imminent death, which is why she’s here. Baek-Du’s family believes that the coaching idea is actually quite feasible for him and would do him good, but he’s adamant about not doing it. He’s, of course, lost all his confidence since he announced his retirement. Baek-Du sees the captain come out of Yu-Gyeong’s house with the “married couple” and mistakes her for Yu-Gyeong’s mother-in-law (a funny guy).
Baek-Du has a lot on his plate, so he uses Du-Sik’s situation as a distraction, telling her not to get treated badly by her mother-in-law and husband. He then admits that he’ll think about the coaching position. The whole town is at odds thanks to the question, “Who should coach the “ssireum” team?” Ultimately, Jin-Su challenges Baek-Du to a fight, with the winner to become the coach. Baek-Du does not have the confidence to defeat the champion, Jin-Su, but looking at Du-Sik’s simultaneously encouraging and disappointed expression, he chooses to accept his challenge and taunt him further. People take sides, and the game begins with the whole town’s eyes on the two players.
The first round goes to Jin-Su, but the second is won by Baek-Du, who uses an impressive technique to defeat Jin-Su. Just as the third round is about to start, a couple of detectives arrive at the scene to interrogate Baek-Du. They stop the match and take him away, despite everyone’s protests.
Why Is Baek-Du Taken To The Station?
Baek-Du is interrogated because the CCTV footage shows him arguing with Choi before his death. The poor guy was too drunk to remember anything from the night, so he’s of no use when it comes to the detective’s questions. In the meantime, a new victim reveals themselves to the investigators. Mi-Ran witnessed the whole thing that night, so she tells the detectives that she’s willing to talk about it. They ask her why she didn’t mention anything earlier, and she says she didn’t know who Baek-Du was arguing with. After listening to the townspeople talk, she realized he was the guy they were talking about. Mi-Ran reveals that drunk Baek-Du was screaming at the top of his lungs for Du-Sik. He then almost got hit by Choi’s car in the middle of the street. This is when Choi got out and asked him if he was okay. Baek-Du then tried to give him money, again screaming about it, before Choi threw it back at his face and left.
When the detective asks Baek-Du about the money, he says he stole the change and felt guilty about it, so he wanted to return it to its rightful owner. Fortunately, Baek-Du is set free, and Mi-Ran tells him that he owes her (hmm, someone might just ask for a date). In his nervousness, he wants to use the restroom and notices the captain in the station. This is when it strikes him where he’s seen her before. He goes back home and finds a videotape from his childhood. The captain’s face shows up on the screen, and he rushes to find Du-Sik. Back in her house, Hyeon-Uk suspects that Yu-Gyeong and Baek-Du know each other and might compromise the mission. At the end of episode 4 of Like Flowers in Sand, Baek-Do asks Du-Sik if she’s a police officer, essentially ruining her cover. How will Du-Sik make sure the investigation goes smoothly? We’ll find out next week in Like Flowers in Sand.