Drama recap of Good Doctor - Drama beans

266 August 6, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 1

by girlfriday

KBS’s new medical drama Good Doctor got off to a strong start, and led the Monday-Tuesday ratings game out of the gate with a fast-moving intro that covers our premise and backstory in one episode flat.

With an autistic hero at the center of the story, it’s definitely a show with a message to tell, but thankfully it’s one of hope and tolerance, and the overall tone isn’t patronizing. It certainly doesn’t leave anything to chance though, and makes damn sure you’re on the hero’s side. As if we needed prodding to root for a guy who saves children’s lives.

Episode 1 led with 10.9%, but Tuesday’s episode jumped up to 14.0%, taking the decidedly puny Monday-Tuesday numbers into a new range. Hopefully a sign of good things to come.


Lee Young-hyun – “Miracle” for the OST [ Download ]

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We open at the crack of dawn as our hero PARK SHI-ON (Joo-won) wordlessly begins his day by washing up and getting dressed in a suit. He wheels a suitcase out of a tiny house in a sleepy village, and makes his way to the train.

As he walks along the tracks, a passing train brings him into a flashback. He watches as if the scene is playing out in front of him, as Little Shi-on gets beat up and called a dummy by the other boys.

Hyung comes running to the rescue and chases off the bullies, nagging his little brother not to wander away from his side. Shi-on just seems to fixate on his pet rabbit without crying or complaining.

We see that home life isn’t much better either, as the boys’ father gets into a violent drunken rage while arguing with Mom over whether or not to send Shi-on to a special institute. (Mom wants what’s best for Shi-on, while Dad doesn’t care to spend another dime on him.) Mom ends up huddled with Shi-on in the street while Hyung takes a broom to Dad to get him to stop.

Dad fumes and throws Shi-on’s rabbit cage to the ground in a rage. Dude. You’re the world’s shittiest father AND you kill bunnies? What the hell.

The next day Shi-on takes his bunny to the doctor, who tells him the bad news. He asks haltingly if that means Rabbit went to heaven, and if doctors can fix things so that they don’t have to die. The nice doctor nods. Little Shi-on decides he’d like to be a doctor someday.

He buries Rabbit on the hillside next to some flowers, and draws pictures of his dear departed friend. Hyung nags him for still carrying around the empty cage wherever he goes, and takes Little Shi-on to meet the other boys.

The other boys dare Hyung to go inside the abandoned mine, and Hyung makes sure the deal is still on: they fulfill the dare and the other boys stop harassing Shi-on. They agree to be nice to him, and so the brothers walk in, hand-in-hand.

They barely get past the rickety entrance when the mine caves in around them. It’s nightfall by the time rescue workers get down there, and it’s the country doctor again who finds them first. They get trapped in, and he puts his oxygen mask on Shi-on while trying to resuscitate his hyung. It doesn’t look like he’s going to make it.

And then sometime later, Shi-on stands on the same hillside, a plastic green scalpel in his hand.

A close-up of the scalpel puts it in grown-up Shi-on’s hand now, as he waits for the train.

He can’t help but gaze at a mother and young son eating eggs across the aisle, and the little boy comes up and hands him an egg. He demonstrates cracking it on his head, and Shi-on follows suit, only to clutch his forehead from the pain as the boy erupts in a fit of laughter.

At the same time, our heroine, doctor CHA YOON-SEO (Moon Chae-won) is in the middle of telling a scary story to a rapt audience of kids in the children’s ward at a hospital.

She gets animated as she acts out the story of a ghost creeping up behind a kid in a hospital… and the nurse gets the jump on them with a “Raaaaar!” from behind. She ends the story with: “And that ghost will get you if you don’t take your medicine!” Ha.

We cut away to a man who plops a bouquet of flowers down at a memorial—this is KIM DO-HAN (Joo Sang-wook), and so far all we know about him is that he’s angry and either there are two pictures of the brother whose ashes he’s visiting, or they were twins. (That’s just me guessing—I have no idea who died.)

Either way, he’s not happy to be there, and he leaves just as quickly as he came.

Apparently we’re just going to barrel through all our main characters in one go, because then we cut to YOO CHAE-KYUNG (Kim Min-seo), who’s on the hospital administrative staff.

The board president tells her that the university hospital isn’t a factory and the patients’ lives come first, while Chae-kyung counters that the hospital’s well-being comes first. Well aren’t you a gem.

Shi-on arrives at his stop and as he makes his way through the crowd on the platform, he begins to rattle off the route he’s supposed to take, down to the bus lines, the distance in kilometers, and the cost of each ticket.

Something makes him stop in his tracks, and suddenly he’s standing in front of a display for a 3-D TV, jaw hanging open at the cartoon bird.

In an office, a doctor looks out his window. It’s Doctor Choi, our country doctor who saved Shi-on, and he isn’t a country doctor anymore. As he waits, he flashes back to his days in that small town.

Shi-on would spend his days sitting in his office watching him work, and one day he found the little boy reading one of his medical texts. And that stack of books just kept growing and multiplying.

Back at the train station, while Shi-on is still absorbed in the 3-D cartoon, the little boy who shared an egg with him on the train wanders away from his mother and happens to stand right under a giant billboard that breaks and falls, along with the sheet of glass in front of it. Aaaaah.

It shatters and the little boy gets knocked unconscious, with glass shards in his throat and chest. Mom screams for help, and a doctor comes running up to apply pressure to the neck wound. The man checks and says the boy will be fine.

But Shi-on breaks through the crowd and says he can’t apply pressure that way to a small child. He kneels down and checks for signs that the boy is breathing, and then runs to the train station pharmacy to get supplies. He asks for a tube, which they don’t have, so he grabs the nearest ballpoint pen. Ack, not the pen-tracheotomy! I hate that TV doctor move. *covers eyes*

After sterilizing the knife, he cuts into the child’s lung and sticks the pen there so he can breathe. Oh phew. The medics arrive with equipment, and Shi-on continues to take charge of the situation very methodically, checking everything as he goes as if reciting verbatim out of a medical text.

He intubates and then has to make another incision for the IV tube, why I don’t know, other than to make sure we know it’s Very Impressive Doctoring. He saves the boy, who clearly would not have survived had the other doctor treated him as he would an adult patient.

Shi-on even calls the boy by name and says he’ll be okay now, and the crowd cheers. He goes on his way, but the mother rushes to thank him and begs him to come along in the ambulance because she doesn’t feel safe without him there.

So Shi-on rides in the ambulance, preoccupied with the fact that he’s supposed to be somewhere else right now. He asks to be taken to the university hospital, and the medic tells him that’s where they’re going. “Are you a doctor there?”

Shi-on answers hesitantly, “Yes.” That sounds like a pretty iffy yes.

It turns out that Doctor Choi is presenting Shi-on to the staff as a resident candidate, and he’s met with skeptical looks from the room. He explains that Shi-on has savant syndrome, a form of autism that’s accompanied by astounding genius.

As he explains Shi-on’s extraordinary gift for spatial memory, we watch as Little Shi-on reads his medical text and then goes outside to draw a mind-bogglingly exact replica of the human body and internal organs.

Inside the ambulance, something starts to go wrong with the child as they reach the hospital, and Shi-on presses his ear to the heart cavity. He listens for a second, and says they have to hurry.

He runs with the hospital trauma staff as they wheel the boy into surgery, and Shi-on says they have to check his heart. The other doctor dismisses him, and Shi-on is left waiting outside, unable to tell them what to look for.

Meanwhile, Yoon-seo checks on a little girl who’s afraid of her upcoming surgery, and she promises that her visit with the child psychiatrist tomorrow will help make all her fears go away.

The nurse assures the little girl she can trust the pretty doctor, and her resident sidekick HAN JIN-WOOK (Kim Young-kwang) jokes, “Who’s pretty?” He gets a punch to the gut for that remark.

But then Mom runs in to say that the appointment with the shrink got canceled and the surgery got moved up to tomorrow, on Doctor Kim Do-han’s orders. Yoon-seo marches over to Do-han in a huff, and judging by Jin-wook’s reaction, this is a pretty regular occurrence.

She picks a fight with him but he doesn’t budge, and tells her that they’re surgeons here, and if she cares that badly she should’ve been a kindergarten teacher. Yeesh. Jin-wook does his best to smooth things out, to no avail. (Note: He calls Do-han “professor” because he’s actually their teacher and bossypants boss, while he calls Yoon-seo “teacher” in the “doctor” sense of the word.)

Do-han gets called to the trauma ward, and Jin-wook is among the residents shadowing him. They scrub up to begin surgery on the little boy that Shi-on saved, and suddenly there’s a disturbance outside.

Shi-on charges in to try and tell them what to look for, but Do-han orders the guards to escort him out. As they cover Shi-on’s mouth and drag him away, his muffled cries of “echocardiogram” get drowned out, and Do-han begins surgery without taking a look at the boy’s heart.

As all this is going on, upstairs Doctor Choi is still presenting Shi-on’s case to the board. He explains that Shi-on passed med school with flying colors and should’ve been on his way to a resident position, but the school discovered his past and took back his credentials.

What he’s proposing is that they take him on as a resident for a year on a trial basis, to undo that action. The room is full of skeptics, ranging from simply disbelieving to downright bigoted, and Doctor Choi’s insistence that Shi-on has been diagnosed as fully functioning falls on deaf ears.

Shi-on is nowhere to be found (his bag and phone are still sitting in the train station where he left them), and the decision is put to a vote. He’s denied, and Doctor Choi’s face falls. Notably, the president of the board is the only one who doesn’t vote against Shi-on.

What he doesn’t know is that Shi-on is just downstairs, unable to walk away from the surgical ward. Inside Do-han gets started, and notes that whoever treated this boy knew what they were doing. All of a sudden the boy’s heart starts to fail, and it dawns on him that Shi-on was screaming “echocardiogram” at him as he was being dragged away.

As Do-han switches gears to work on the boy’s failing heart, outside Shi-on paces with worry, and then finally calms down by imagining himself performing the surgery. We watch side-by-side renditions of Do-han and Shi-on working on the boy, and Shi-on even prepares for an eventuality that Do-han misses.

But Do-han gets through the surgery and saves the boy, earning another round of awe from his residents and tear-filled thanks from the mother. He asks about the person who saved her son, and she says he’s a doctor here at this hospital.

Shi-on sticks around just long enough to hear that the boy made it, and walks off before Do-han has a chance to catch up to him.

He finally shows up to the board meeting, where Doctor Choi is sitting alone. He snaps at Shi-on for being so late, but as soon as he sees Shi-on’s scared reaction, he softens. Shi-on says he ran late because he had to help a boy who got hurt, and just says that he’s okay now. Doctor Choi takes his hand as he prepares to give him the bad news.

The residents hear that they’ve got a new rookie on the way today, and eagerly anticipate shunting their duties off on the new guy so they can get some sleep. Meanwhile Do-han can’t stop thinking about Shi-on’s outburst before surgery.

Doctor Choi holds Shi-on’s hand as they sit outside, and asks if he isn’t hungry. He says no just as his stomach starts to growl, and Doctor Choi teases that he was going to go eat delicious galbi stew, but if he isn’t hungry…

Shi-on shoots up and asks if he means grade-A beef with caramelized chestnuts, like he’s reading ad copy off a restaurant menu, and Doctor Choi points out that he said he wasn’t hungry. Shi-on says he’s fine, but his intestines seem to have expanded. Ha, I rather like his technical medico-speak in place of everyday feelings like hunger.

The board walks out to the lobby for lunch, and they come across a group of reporters at the front desk, wanting an interview with the doctor who performed the emergency surgery at the train station today.

As Shi-on and Doctor Choi eat lunch, the news story hits, and there’s Shi-on’s face on someone’s cell phone camera, performing the emergency surgery. Doctor Choi’s face freezes and he gapes looking back and forth from the TV to Shi-on, stuffing his face full of galbi.

So then the board meets all over again, and the naysayers complain that they’ve never in the history of this hospital had a revote like this. The president points out that that video has gone viral, but it’s not just the fact that Shi-on is known as a doctor here, but his astounding skills that they need to reconsider.

It’s still tough going to get an approval, so this time Doctor Choi speaks up to ask for just a six-month probation residency, during which time he’ll take full responsibility for anything that happens because of Shi-on, and quit as chief of staff if things go wrong.

He says that Shi-on’s disability is fully treatable, but this appointment isn’t about one man’s growth, but about giving hope to all people in this country with a disability. He asks them to have an open mind.

Shi-on enters the room and takes the floor, and the board’s president asks why he wants to be a doctor. Shi-on: “The day the tree smelled of ice cream, Rabbit went up to heaven. The day the mine smelled of rusty metal, Hyung went up to heaven. Neither of them able to become adults. I wanted to let them become adults, to have children of their own and love them.”

He adds that he’d also like to make a lot of money and buy the children at the clinic a 3-D TV, because they’ve never seen anything like it before. Aw. The board’s president welcomes Doctor Park Shi-on as a resident on staff as of today, and they clap. The room is definitely divided, and Chae-kyung is among the people scoffing.

Doctor Choi beams with pride. After the board meeting, president Lee worries that Doctor Choi is being reckless, when he knows full well those sharks voted in favor only to find a reason to oust him as chief.

He doesn’t much care for power plays though, and says either way he’ll still be a doctor, so it won’t make a difference to him. She sighs that it’s like talking to a wall. Well at least we know she’s on his side.

Shi-on goes down for an interview with the TV crew, and the evil board members immediately begin to plot Doctor Choi’s demise. The frowny-faced assistant chief leads the charge, and his minion with slicked back hair does his evil bidding.

Do-han works away at his twelve-sided Rubik’s cube, sighing that he thought he’d do it in no time (show-off) but he’s been at it for a week. Doctor Pomade interrupts to introduce the new resident to Do-han’s team, and he whispers that his condition is a little… “Well you’ll see.”

Shi-on and Doctor Choi arrive, and the residents all gape—they recognize him right away as the guy who burst into the surgical ward a few hours ago. Doctor Choi prods him for an introduction, so he rattles off a life story in about thirty seconds.

The residents are a little taken aback but they engage him in friendly conversation, when Doctor Pomade cuts in, shouting in Shi-on’s ear to act properly because this is a world-class hospital. Shi-on suddenly turns to him: “Coffee. If you collect the energy from a person shouting for eight years, you can brew one cup of coffee.” LOL.

He peers down at Doctor Pomade’s nametag before finishing: “But judging by Doctor Go’s decibel levels, that time can be shortened I think.” Hahaha. The residents tamp down their laughter.

Do-han goes straight to Doctor Choi to complain that it isn’t Shi-on’s savant syndrome that’s the issue, but his childlike social skills that’ll keep him from interacting with patients and guardians properly. Do-han can’t trust his judgment, and therefore refuses to take him on.

Doctor Choi appeals to him as his teacher, and says that every single one of them is like a child to him. Do-han shows that he isn’t all ice, and asks if he’s one of Doctor Choi’s children then shouldn’t he have a say too? Doctor Choi asks him to help Shi-on for his sake, and despite all logic telling him not to, Do-han relents out of respect for his teacher.

He interrogates Shi-on on what it means to be a surgeon, and says that Shi-on’s goal for the next six months will be to figure out the answer to the question: why he can’t be a surgeon.

Shi-on isn’t even listening because he happens to see the unsolved Rubik’s puzzle on Do-han’s desk. Do-han barks at him to pay attention, and says that there are two things he won’t ever stand for: mistakes and excuses.

Jin-wook pulls him away from this desk to look at an x-ray, and when he comes back Shi-on is still standing there at his desk. I’ll die laughing if he solved that puzzle in those forty seconds.

Do-han sends him out and then he sees it—his puzzle, will all sides matched. Ha. He looks back and forth from the puzzle to Shi-on with a sigh. It’s going to drive him crazy that Shi-on’s smarter than him, isn’t it?

Doctor Pomade gets called in to look at one of his patients, who’s in pain after surgery. But he doesn’t so much as stop to feel a pulse before just declaring that it’s a common side effect of surgery and he’ll be fine. We geddit. He’s evil.

Yoon-seo gets drunk, and either she’s preempting her hangover by hooking herself up to an IV as she drinks, or this is a hospital-themed bar with IV cocktails. Yunno, literally.

I’m thinking it’s the latter, since the other thing can’t be legal (even though it’s kind of brilliant), and she calls the bartender “uncle” while he listens to her complain about Do-han like it’s nothing new. Do-han calls to ask where she is, and she says library but he immediately knows she’s drinking at a bar.

She asks if he’s calling to make her feel better, but no, he’s calling to tell her to think about what she did wrong, even while she’s drunk. Pfft.

He tells her to stop before she gets too wasted because she has a surgery in the morning, and then hangs up, leaving her more flabbergasted than ever. She tells the bartender to mix ALL the liquor in this place for her next drink.

Shi-on arrives in his new dorm room and takes a look around.

Do-han comes home to find someone’s there, and Chae-kyung comes out of the shower. She tells him about the board meeting and says she tried to stop the Shi-on thing, but Doctor Choi put his chief of staff position on the line. Do-han sighs at that, not having realized that his teacher put his job on the line too.

Yoon-seo staggers down the street, drunk and ornery. Ha, I like her.

In his room, Shi-on lights a candle on a stack of chocopies. Is it your birthday too? It sends us into a flashback, where Hyung sings happy birthday to Little Shi-on and tells him to blow out the candle on a stack of chocopies.

He gives him a kid’s play-doctor set as a present, and says that Shi-on will become a doctor someday, “Because you’re my little brother.” Awwwww. Shi-on nods and holds up the little green scalpel, “Yup, because I’m hyung-ah’s little brother.”

Hyung tells him not to believe anyone who calls him a dummy, and says that Shi-on is much, much smarter than he is. Hyung tells him to become a great doctor someday, and feeds him a chocopie.

Back in the present, Shi-on blows out his candle and munches on a chocopie, when suddenly Yoon-seo opens the lock code and walks right in. Wait, they can’t be roommates, can they? I mean, lord knows I certainly hope so, but I’m guessing it’s a mistake.

She just goes straight for the bed and starts stripping down, and Shi-on stands there, mouth hanging open as the layers come off. This is pretty hysterical.

She climbs into bed and he tries to wake her up to say that there’s been some kind of mistake, but she just bolts up and tells him to shut it, thinking that she’s still talking to imaginary Do-han in her drunken state.

She falls asleep, and he paces back and forth, not knowing what to do. He gazes at her as she sleeps, and then we cut to morning.

A scream. Yoon-seo bolts up in bed, gaping at Shi-on who’s standing in front of her in nothing but boxers, brushing his teeth like nothing’s the matter.



I didn’t expect a rom-com ending to the episode, but hey, I’ll take it. That was a pretty zippy first episode, that is if your tolerance for a hero’s sob story is rather high. They did lay it on thick with the bullies and the dad and the bunny AND hyung’s death on top of it all, and the only thing that didn’t tip the scales for me was the fact that it went by really quickly, and it wasn’t told in that melodramatic way that’s trying to wring tears out of you. I don’t think Shi-on’s situation needed to be that dire for us to root for him, since all we really needed was Hyung’s warmth. I’m just grateful that Doctor Choi is a surrogate father and a good person, because I don’t think I could watch an entire drama of Shi-on getting bullied at the hospital without warm-hearted people by his side.

That’s pretty much the thing that makes this show work—it’s going for heartwarming more than high drama, and Shi-on feels like a fully capable young man who doesn’t need to be coddled. I was wondering how the childlike personality would fit with the job (I certainly don’t disagree with Do-han’s worries even if he is kind of an ass about how he expresses things.) but they seem to be going for a frank, childlike honesty, not a man who functions as a child. And the attendant humor that comes from him saying what he’s thinking even if that breaks the social rules, well that’s just gravy. He and Yoon-seo already seem alike in that respect, so I can imagine they’ll bond over their mutual lack of filters when it comes to dogging their superiors.

Joo-won strikes a fairly good balance with his performance, much of which is silent. But he never pulled me out of the moment, and the way I read his character made me think that Shi-on could feel every emotion but lacked the ability to express them. I have no idea if that’s accurate as far as the disability goes, but it worked for me on a basic character level. And Moon Chae-won is just likable from the start, so I don’t imagine that’ll change much. I always enjoy when she’s playing a spitfire.

The show looks gorgeous and feels slick, though a lot of the fancy medical moves are wasted on a viewer like me, who’s like, blood, blood, artery, technobabble, yeah, yeah, no matter what medical show I’m watching. The important thing is the character beat, and for the premiere all we really need to know is that pediatric surgery is TOTALLY DIFFERENT, ya hear, and that Shi-on is as good in action as he is with the books. The train station incident was way too convenient a device when it was the thing that caused his residency revote, but it was necessary to show us from the get-go that he’s not just book-smart, but fully capable of making quick decisions in a trauma situation. I just hope the show doesn’t throw a flying billboard at every child in his path from here to the end of the series.

So far the performances and the directing feel solid, while the writing feels standard. There’s a lot of falling back on convenient tropes to set up a sympathetic hero, his cold new boss, a political hospital dynamic—all boilerplate workplace drama stuff. But of course what keeps it all fresh is the hero, and for once there’s a genius in dramaland who’s actually a genius and not just a jerk who’s good at stuff. I know.

We’ll be weighing in on other shows before deciding what to stick with, so no promises on recaps until the dust settles from premiere week.


119 August 12, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 2

by gummimochi

It’s easy to get caught up in the bustle of a hospital when one decision can mean the difference between saving or losing a life. So it’s a good thing that there’s a team of doctors ready to respond at a moment’s notice and keep the emotional heart beating at a steady rate throughout the episode. But let’s not forget that it’s equally important to take the time to appreciate the simpler things in life, like a butterfly.


Yoon-seo lets out a piercing shriek at the sight of Shi-on in his boxers. She automatically thinks the worst and raises a remote in defense. She presses random buttons in her haste, and the news reports the arrest of a local rapist. Well, that doesn’t make it any better.

Shi-on says that this is his place, but she still thinks that she’s in her own bedroom. She falls off the bed trying to scramble for her things… which is when she finally gets a good look at her surroundings and realizes her mistake.

Embarrassed, she tells him to turn his head so that she can wear her clothes. He literally rolls his head at first (ha), and then turns around, still brushing his teeth.

She catches up with Shi-on on his way to work, and apologizes for her drunken mistake. It turns out she lived in that apartment until just last week and now lives in the place above his. She explains the passcode still worked—surely he could understand how it could happen to anyone. Shi-on: “Nope.”

She asks what department he’s in, and when she hears that Shi-on is the new pediatric resident, she introduces herself in banmal as a second-year pediatric fellow. That makes her the sunbae, so she can speak to him casually, right?

But Shi-on rattles off directions on how to get to work, and she hilariously misinterprets this response as a brush-off. She wonders if he’s stubborn or a wacko.

Once Yoon-seo is filled in at the hospital, Do-han arrives to gather his team for rounds. He sighs at Shi-on, and then tosses Yoon-seo some aftershave, saying she still reeks of alcohol.

When she answers that she can spray on perfume instead, he replies, “You don’t have any.” The residents snigger as she wonders how he knew. Then Shi-on remarks it’s the same one that makes you smell like an old ajusshi. Ha.

Shi-on is introduced to the pediatric nurses when they head out for rounds. He’s told to pipe down when he loudly introduces himself, and the male nurse, Nurse Jo, gives him a warm welcome in an equally loud voice. D’aww.

Do-han orders that they prepare for the little girl’s surgery today, and Head Nurse Nam suggests the psych consult again. That gets easily dismissed, and she shakes her head at Yoon-seo, who sighs in defeat.

During rounds, Jin-wook wonders why Shi-on isn’t taking any notes. Shi-on replies that he is and points to his head. So they test his recall ability, and Shi-on accurately names all the patients they’ve seen today along with their medical conditions and treatment plans.

Yoon-seo starts to scold him, saying that patients aren’t study materials. But Do-han cuts her off, telling her to drop it. He cracks a tiny, impressed smile before he steps out.

The residents leave, but Shi-on stops to look at the butterfly drawings hanging above another patient’s bed. He smiles, saying he likes butterflies too, and then the boy suddenly vomits up bile.

Shi-on asks for the boy’s chart, and then rushes back in to assess his symptoms which include abdominal pain and vomiting. The boy’s mother grows more frantic by the second as Shi-on presses on the boy’s stomach and envisions the source of the problem in his head.

Her shrill cry calls the team back inside, and Shi-on says the patient needs surgery as soon as possible. When Do-han learns this is the same patient under Doctor Pomade’s care, he instructs Shi-on and his team to follow him, leaving the mother hysterically crying in their wake.

Once they’re outside, Shi-on says that the patient is in danger over and over again. Do-han tells him that it could just be an intestinal obstruction, but Shi-on thinks there’s more than that—these symptoms aren’t normal in post-surgery.

In fact, the boy would have more energy if the surgery went well. “Children are strong. If the doctor does a good job, then they get up right away.”

That silences everyone for a moment, and then Do-han instructs the nurse to get ahold of Doctor Pomade. As for Shi-on, he tells him to keep quiet and do nothing.

Do-han has to remind his residents to focus as they scrub in for the little girl’s surgery. He then points out on a CT scan to prove his point that delaying the procedure could have proven disastrous for the patient.

It’s at that moment they realize that Shi-on is missing. The residents start to fret, wondering if Shi-on has gone back to the bile patient. Sure enough, we see Shi-on march out of the surgical ward.

Elsewhere, the board president confides in our chief of staff Doctor Choi about not getting along with her stepdaughter Chae-kyung. He assures her that Chae-kyung will come around, and suggests that she give her daughter some time. Then he takes a call from a frantic Shi-on.

Nurse Jo finally gets through to Doctor Pomade, whose “seminar” takes place on a golf course. In an annoyed voice, he says that he’ll be at the hospital in two hours, and orders that no one else operates on his patient.

At the same time, Shi-on paces with worry in the bile patient’s room. He knows it’ll be too late by the time Doctor Pomade returns, and the boy’s mother urges them to do something.

So Shi-on thinks and then grabs the patient’s bed in order to wheel him into surgery. Nurse Nam protests and orders the male nurse to stop him, but he helps Shi-on move the patient instead. The hospital assistant chief catches the tail-end of this at the elevator, and asks what’s going on.

Do-han is informed that the bile patient has been transferred without permission to the adjacent operating room. He furrows his eyebrows, and then proceeds with the surgery.

Things aren’t looking good for the little boy in the other room. Shi-on says they have to hurry and then declares that he’ll operate on the boy instead. He scrambles around the operating room in his haste, causing the surgical supplies to clatter to the floor.

Then the door slides open to reveal Do-han, who asks, “Do you know what you just did?” He announces that he’ll perform both surgeries, and assigns his team to various tasks. Shi-on says that he’ll participate too, but Do-han barks at him to get out.

So Shi-on watches from above at the observation deck. Along with the assistant chief and Doctor Choi, they keep a close eye on both surgeries. Do-han switches over to the bile patient, and when Shi-on tries to give his input, Do-han yells at him to keep quiet.

They get to work to recover the constricted intestines, which soon return to a healthier color. Jin-wook breathes a sigh of relief that they performed the surgery sooner than later. Do-han doesn’t answer, but it makes me wonder if it bothers him that Shi-on was right about this patient too.

Just when Do-han steps away to switch over, Shi-on looks up at the monitor and cries, “Blood! Blood!” Do-han turns back to respond to the bleeding, but can’t seem to identify the cause. Then Shi-on yells, “Order! Order!”

Do-han realizes that he means the medication order, and his eyes grow wide in shock when he hears what it is. Shi-on explains the medicine in question has shown to exhibit negative side effects in children, including severe hemorrhaging. Though it’s been banned in the United States, it’s still been issued in Korea.

Thankfully the bleeding isn’t that severe and both surgeries are successful. Doctor Pomade arrives just as the higher-ups are leaving, and Doctor Choi shoots him an angry look.

Now Do-han finally takes his anger out on Shi-on and punches him in the face, giving him a nosebleed. Shi-on smiles in return, which irritates Do-han even further, and Yoon-seo sits beside Shi-on to protect him. She tells Shi-on to apologize, but Do-han doesn’t see the point when Shi-on doesn’t even comprehend what he did wrong.

They were lucky to save both children today, but they also could have easily lost them both, all thanks to Shi-on’s rash behavior. An incompetent doctor is worse than an indifferent one, and such recklessness can lead to a patient or a doctor’s end.

Doctor Pomade starts on his tirade after Shi-on is led away, but then a golf ball falls out of his pocket. I love that Nurse Jo gets the last say and wonders if it was a golf seminar. Hee.

After Shi-on is cleaned up, Yoon-seo asks if he understands what he did wrong yet. Shi-on answers, “Butterflies.” She explains plainly how dangerous it is when another surgeon operates on someone else’s patient and that his actions today threw off the team’s focus.

She sighs when Shi-on doesn’t readily give her a verbal response. Then she gets called away, and instructs him to wait for her here.

A moment later, Nurse Jo appears by the doorway. He puts out a fist and in turn, Shi-on puts out his hand because he thinks they’re playing rock-paper-scissors. Nurse Jo corrects him, and they share a fist-bump to celebrate today’s success. A-dorable.

Do-han apologizes for his angry outburst against Shi-on when he meets with Doctor Choi. The chief of staff understands Do-han’s frustration, and tells him that there’s something he should know about his new resident…

As Do-han reflects on his teacher’s words, we learn that Shi-on still has some autistic tendencies where his internal fears are outwardly expressed in the opposite way. Shi-on would suffer through more beatings from the other kids because he’d smile in the same way he did today.

Meanwhile, Shi-on sits by the little boy’s bedside and thanks him. Then Shi-on sits outside on a bench and watches a butterfly float in the air, his jaw agape.

This is where Yoon-seo finds him. She comes bearing snacks and hands him one, guessing that he hasn’t had lunch yet. She urges him to eat, but Shi-on answers that he doesn’t want to.

She won’t take no for an answer, so she unwraps one for him and tells him to open his mouth. But he purses his lips, refusing to eat.

Do-han spots the two at a distance when he’s approached by a senior doctor who also happens to be his old boss. The man clucks over how difficult it must be for Do-han in pediatrics with their newest addition. He hints there are a lot of troublemakers on Do-han’s team, especially Yoon-seo.

Elsewhere, Nurse Nam rips a new one into Nurse Jo for abandoning his nursing duties to be in the operating room today. She issues a paycut as part of his punishment. Nurse Jo protests, and asks her to consider the high rent prices and his food expense. Ha.

The assistant chief sits with Chae-kyung, who wonders why a prestigious man such as himself would take the job to save a hospital. He considers this work more noble than the large corporations he used to work with.

He calls himself a humble observer whereas the future of the hospital rests in Chae-kyung’s hands.

Yoon-seo returns to the staff room with a hesitant Shi-on trailing behind her. At the reminder that Do-han said he never wanted to see Shi-on again, she snaps back that she’ll take responsibility for it.

Do-han isn’t happy when he returns, but he calls Yoon-seo to his office to scold her for picking a fight with his old boss. She can barely explain herself before he shouts that he doesn’t want to hear it and that she better not mess with the senior doctor again. Jeez.

The pediatric nurses sigh when they greet a cheery patient whom they previously thought was doing well. The girl is remarkably resilient as she laments on how it’s such a pain to be back in the hospital again. She goes moony-eyed when she sees Shi-on.

Do-han returns to inform Shi-on that he can leave work at a designated time. The other residents are taken aback by this since there’s no such thing as quittin’ time in a doctor’s work schedule. Shi-on says he wants to stay and work, only to be told to do as he’s told. He pouts.

Yoon-seo takes note of Shi-on’s reaction and immediately confronts Do-han about it outside. She understands why Do-han lectured him this morning, but Shi-on is capable of handling the work.

That’s the very problem, Do-han answers. Although Shi-on has vast medical knowledge that far exceeds his teammates, he’s only focused on healing the patient.

She argues that the idea isn’t inherently wrong, but Do-han disagrees. From what he’s observed from the past few days, Shi-on works like a robot whose mechanical judgment works only within the confines of simply fixing the patient.

Yoon-seo says that Shi-on could find it difficult to express his feelings, but Do-han retorts that Shi-on doesn’t have the mindset to be a doctor. He points out that Shi-on exhibited signs of autism under pressure; should that continue, it’s only a matter of time before there’s an accident.

She tries to argue to wait until he gets better, but he snaps back at her to focus on her patients rather than Shi-on, or she’s out too.

Later that night, Yoon-seo flags the bus down in order to ride back with Shi-on. She jokes that she’s out of breath (the idiom is “to throw up blood”) trying to catch up to him. Shi-on answers: “I suspect damage to the esophagus or the gastric barrier.” Lol.

She suggests that he keep to the schedule for a few days, and asks if he’s upset about it. He shakes his head and says he isn’t… and then his stomach growls loudly. Ha.

Yoon-seo asks if he eats, and Shi-on rattles off the convenience store food he has for dinner every night. He says he never tires of it, and Yoon-seo instructs him to get off the bus. Aw, are you going to cook for him?

They head to the market to shop for groceries, and she invites him to name what he wants to eat. It cracks me up that she shoots down all of his ideas because they’re either too hard, too sweet, or too much work.

He finally says that he’ll eat his kimbap instead, and she teases that he’s ignoring her kindness. She decides on a simple meal with egg banchan and kimchi instead, and Shi-on complies. Ha, you’re a terrible cook, aren’t you?

The evil board members convene to talk about how they lost a prime opportunity to oust Doctor Choi on account of the patient’s medication order (which was Doctor Pomade’s fault). The assistant chief says that he’ll find another way.

Yoon-seo teases Shi-on as they walk up the hill. She points out that a person would normally kick a strange person out of their bed, and notes that Shi-on didn’t. He says it’s because she was sleeping so soundly, but she uses that to tease that he just wanted to see her half-naked.

She points a finger at him when he doesn’t answer right away as if it proves her point. But she acknowledges that he at least has good taste because her nickname in med school was “God-given body.”

Shi-on gives her a once-over and wonders aloud: “What kind of god…” Hahaha. She snaps at him in response, calling him a pervert.

Shi-on admits that he wasn’t looking at her body, but her face last night. That answer surprises her, and she asks why. Shi-on answers honestly: “Because it’s pretty. Your moonlit face was so pretty.” Aww.

That catches her off-guard, but she collects herself a moment later and tells him that his social skills are just fine. She walks ahead of him, beaming.

Yoon-seo realizes that they’re missing something when they return to Shi-on’s place, so she sends Shi-on out on an errand. She starts to clean up after he leaves, and mistakenly scoops the green scalpel with the trash. Oh no, not the scalpel!

Do-han and Chae-kyung head out to the hospital-themed bar, which turns out to be called Library. She remarks that it’s still the same, and wonders if this is the table where she asked him out when she was drunk.

She notices that Do-han is preoccupied in his own thoughts and isn’t surprised to hear that it’s about work. So she half-jokes that Do-han should get some fresh air and have an affair because it looks like he’s in an emotional coma. Oh honey, I hope you don’t end up eating your words later.

He calls it nonsense, and tells her that every doctor goes through a burnout phase. He’s certain there will come a time when he enjoys his line of work again.

Back at the apartment, Yoon-seo actually is a terrible cook, and she asks why Shi-on isn’t setting the table. But something else is weighing on his mind, and he asks if she came across a green scalpel. She answers that she isn’t sure because she threw everything out.

Shi-on frantically runs out and tears through the trash until he finds it, and then sits on the ground. Yoon-seo asks if it’s something important, and he glares at her.

She immediately apologizes for throwing it out without a thought, but Shi-on tells her not to come over anymore and cook for him because he’ll eat kimbap from the convenience store from now on. Aww.

As Do-han walks alone, he thinks back to his harsh words to Yoon-seo and sighs.

He calls Yoon-seo, and he’s initially surprised when Shi-on picks up instead. That’s because Yoon-seo’s things are still at his place, and Shi-on runs out to return them to her just as she comes downstairs.

She takes the call, and Do-han asks if she’s still acting like Shi-on’s guardian at this hour. She asks why he’s calling and frowns when it’s a reminder to check on a patient tomorrow. He hangs up and smiles.

Shi-on sleeps next to the recovered green scalpel that night. It sends us into a flashback when little Shi-on played doctor with Hyung, which ended up in a tickle war. Cute.

An imaginary hand appears to gently stroke Shi-on’s head in the present. The camera pans to reveal that it’s Hyung, and Shi-on recounts his day to him in a murmured voice before he falls asleep.

At the hospital the next day, Yoon-seo asks if Shi-on is still mad at her. He buries his head closer to his desk. She asks if the toy scalpel was a gift from his first love. His nose touches his desk. Ha.

She guesses that must be what it is, and then Shi-on is called away.

The assistant chief meets with Doctor Choi about the ethics committee in regards to Doctor Pomade’s case. To Doctor Choi’s surprise, the assistant chief suggests that they brush the matter under the rug since it would taint the image of the pediatrics department.

Furthermore, the board may think the action is in retaliation to their opposition to Shi-on’s appointment on staff. He advises the chief to think of Shi-on and the pediatrics department and reconsider.

While Shi-on accompanies Jin-wook at the neonatal intensive care unit, he overhears Doctor Kim, aka Do-han’s former boss, deliver grave news to the parents of a preemie that surgery isn’t a viable option.

The mother tears up at the thought of losing her unnamed child, and Doctor Kim tells them to prepare themselves for the inevitable.

Do-han heads straight for Doctor Choi after he learns the ethics committee meeting is cancelled. Doctor Choi lies that taking action against their own may negatively affect them, which is why the physician has been given a warning instead.

Do-han contends that it isn’t enough since a patient’s life was on the line. He all but rolls his eyes at the reference that they’re one big, happy family and asks, “Is it because of Shi-on?”

Do-han correctly deduces the conditions to the blackmail that put Doctor Choi in a tight spot. He won’t stand to see his teacher be ruined for Shi-on’s sake, and says that he’ll handle it.

Thus Do-han marches back to the staff room where Shi-on is. But then he recalls Doctor Choi’s request for him help Shi-on, and he turns away in silence.

At that moment, Doctor Kim charges into the staff room. He angrily grabs Do-han by the coat, and accuses him of transferring his patient without his permission.

Yoon-seo pipes up to say that she’s kept her word, and Doctor Kim growls at her to keep quiet. Do-han hasn’t the faintest idea of what’s going on as they stand there in the staff room.


It’s not the most exciting of cliffhangers, but I’ll take what I can get from what could have been your standard medical drama. You still have a team of doctors tackling the case-of-the-week, but where this show shines is in the way that the characters tug at the heartstrings that makes you care about the physicians who face life and death matters every day.

There’s something great about a hero you can root for, and Shi-on is no different. I found that I didn’t need the extensive childhood trauma in order to sympathize with his character since a hero who saves kids’ lives triggers that automatic sympathy response in me. In that vein, I do like how the show has handled Shi-on’s character thus far to portray a man with a childlike, honest personality that brings in a different perspective than his colleagues. I appreciate that we can see that he possesses the brains and the heart of a fully capable doctor despite those who perceive that his autistic tendencies inhibit him.

Although my knowledge on the autism spectrum is limited, I find it intriguing on a character level that the show seeks to explore how the signs of the condition serve as both a strength and weakness when it comes to Shi-on. We’ve seen his outstanding recall ability on a number of occasions, but now we’ve seen how there can be times when it could be dangerous in the workplace. It was particularly striking to see Shi-on’s autistic tendencies surface in the operating room; thus I understand Do-han’s concerns about the high-pressure environment. However, I do disagree with his notion that he’s working with a Shi-on robot. If anything, Shi-on’s character points towards the idea that he feels the full range of emotions but is limited in terms of his expression.

This is the reason why I enjoy Shi-on’s interactions with Yoon-seo so much. I love that his behavior doesn’t strike at all odd to her when they first meet, and then she doesn’t treat him any differently after she learns. She still holds him to the same professional standard as everyone else (and so does the rest of the hospital, come to think of it), but I like that she already acts as semi-guardian towards him. It’s sweet and endearing rather than patronizing, and I mostly enjoy watching how Shi-on reacts to the nice sunbae who’s telling him what to do. So he may not need to be protected, but when the rest of the hospital seems to be against you, it’s nice to know that someone is on your side.


Good Doctor: Episode 3

by gummimochi

Just in case we forgot that we have a medical drama on our hands, another case throws our team of pediatrics for another loop as the stakes are raised higher, and more than one person puts their jobs on the line for our hero. Working in medicine may require the brains to react on a moment’s notice, but it also calls for the heart to accept the responsibility of those decisions, sometimes at a cost.

Good Doctor continues to lead the ratings pack with a 15.3% this episode while its contenders Empire of Gold and Goddess of Fire came in at 10.0% and 9.1%, respectively.


Do-han is faced with the accusation that he dared to steal a patient from his old boss. Doctor Kim is here to find out who it was because the family said it was a male resident in pediatrics. And then Shi-on pipes up to say it was him.

A flashback reveals Shi-on had told the parents his department could save the baby and that Do-han would perform the surgery.

He claims responsibility for the order and says Do-han isn’t at fault at all, but that just adds more fuel to Doctor Kim’s fire to mock the pediatrics department’s disregard of hospital hierarchy. He tells Do-han to keep his team members in line.

Now that they’re alone, Yoon-seo demands an explanation from Shi-on as to why he acted of his own accord again. She doesn’t accept his honest answer that he did so because the other department wouldn’t do the surgery.

Shi-on flinches when she starts to yell, but they’re interrupted by the arrival of the preemie’s parents, who grow upset to hear that the surgery won’t happen after all. Yoon-seo explains their newest resident has a soft heart, and Do-han apologizes on behalf of his team as the mother breaks down in sobs.

The residents nag Shi-on about it outside, telling him how he’s dragged their boss into this mess. The family is led out and Yoon-seo lets out a sigh.

Shi-on follows the family back to the NICU where they contemplate whether to change hospitals for their baby’s sake. He listens as the mother wishes for the chance to do those things every mother does like to feed, hold, and change her baby’s diaper. Shi-on walks away with a heavy heart.

Do-han relays the news that the preemie patient has been transferred back, and assures his old boss that it won’t happen again. Doctor Kim wonders if part of the reason why Do-han chooses to stay in pediatrics is because of their chief of staff. He offers Do-han a promotion should he decide to return to their department.

As Yoon-seo walks by the NICU, she sees Shi-on standing by the preemie’s incubator, watching its tiny fingers curl and open. She thinks back to Do-han’s words about how Shi-on works like a mechanical robot, and it weighs on her mind.

Just then, Shi-on is led away by Doctor Kim’s minions, who bully him in the bathroom. Yoon-seo speaks up when one of them raises a hand to hit him, and it’s funny how they immediately cower in her presence.

She calls them out on their schoolyard antics and asks if it’s such a crime to see a patient in a different department. She scolds them for trying to lay a hand on one of her hoobaes and threatens, “Do you wanna die?” Heh, who’s the bully now?

They sit outside (and Shi-on eats ice cream, aw) and Yoon-seo asks him what he thinks it means to be a doctor. Shi-on recites the Hippocratic Oath in response, ha. She asks about a patient then, and he gives the textbook definition that patients are those who need a doctor’s help.

That prompts her to ask if he’s ever had an independent thought about his job apart from what he’s learned in his studies. Shi-on thinks for a moment and starts to rattle off the definition again before she cuts him off.

She tells him that she looked favorably upon Shi-on these past few days because he reminds her so much of herself back when she was a rookie, and she felt that a worthy candidate finally joined their team.

But now she realizes that Shi-on doesn’t act out of his own volition, and a doctor who works like that is no different than a robot in surgery. She urges him to develop his own conviction and thoughts before he goes to treat and save his patients.

Doctor Pomade lectures Do-han for disregarding his superiors’ authority by failing to report the preemie incident. Do-han doesn’t hesitate to knock him off his high horse, asking if it’s okay to ignore basic protocol then.

He means the medication order on the bile patient, and that shuts Doctor Pomade up. Ha. Then Doctor Pomade rises from his seat—he knows that Do-han doesn’t respect him, but can’t he at least pretend to when they’re at the hospital?

Do-han turns back towards him and bows at the waist. “Like this?” Doctor Pomade fumes, and he has one of the residents spy on Do-han and Shi-on for him.

Chae-kyung arrives at a fancy restaurant and smiles to see Do-han. But that smile quickly disappears when she sees her stepmother, president Lee, there as well.

She wastes no time to say that she doesn’t want to talk about the wedding. But that isn’t what president Lee is here to talk about, and she suggests that the two work overseas for a while.

It’s worth noting that Chae-kyung addresses her stepmother by her job title. Chae-kyung sees right through those words and explains that the reason why she’s angry with her stepmother is because she keeps interfering with her life. With a smile, she politely tells her stepmother to back off.

She rises to leave and Do-han catches up with her in the hallway. He understands that she may not regard the board president as a mother figure, but she should at least treat her like an adult. Chae-kyung says she’s doing what she can.

So Do-han asks if they should get married, and Chae-kyung laughs at the gruff proposal and tells him that as long as she has his heart, they don’t have to get married. And you want to marry this woman, why?

Nurse Jo scolds a pair of nurses gossiping about how it’s never a quiet day since Shi-on came on staff. He puts them in their place, saying every day is a hectic one.

The residents show up at the desk with Shi-on in tow, giving him stern instructions to stay here. They grumble over how they thought they would have less work with the rookie on board, only to end up with more.

A patient’s mother approaches them about her son who stubbornly refuses to eat. The residents readily shunt the task off to the new guy, and Shi-on gets hit with a pillow as soon as he walks in.

The little boy complains that he wants to eat pizza, and their attempts to calm him down fall on deaf ears. Then Shi-on’s eyes fall upon the toy robots on the shelf.

He eagerly asks the boy questions about them, which effectively gets him to stop crying. The little boy marvels at how Shi-on is the first doctor to have such an interest, but then Shi-on asks if he can borrow one for a day, and the little boy starts to cry again.

In an effort to stop the tears, Shi-on warns him that he’ll break it… and then it actually breaks in his hand. Twice. More tears. Hahaha.

The evil trio convenes again and they sigh over how the opportunity to oust the good guys keeps slipping through their fingers.

Doctor Pomade confirms that the preemie’s chance of survival with surgery is thin, so the assistant chief says the best way is to get the doctors to turn on themselves. Using a baseball analogy, he says they need one crucial error. He asks if there’s anyone whom they can trust.

We cut away to a group of mothers, who gripe about how someone with Shi-on’s condition could ever become a doctor at this hospital. When the bile patient’s mother talks about how Shi-on saved her son’s life, they remind her that it was Do-han who performed that surgery.

So they all head to the nursing desk to complain and request a different doctor. The nurses try to dissuade them just as Shi-on rounds the corner. And then one mother adds: “I heard he’s not all that right in the head.” Oof.

Shi-on scuttles away, having overheard that remark, and Doctor Choi finds him sitting outside a little later. He sits down beside Shi-on and listens as Shi-on says that he thinks that everyone hates him, but it doesn’t make him sad since it’s always been like this. Aw.

He starts to ask Doctor Choi about “robots who perform surgery,” but he decides against it and runs back inside.

At least Jin-wook is around to cheer him up, and he tells Shi-on to keep his head up. Suddenly the little boy with the toy robots runs up to them and tells them to hurry.

They run into a room where the teenage girl from the previous episode (her name is In-hye) covers her eyes and cries that she’s in pain. Jin-wook is tipped off that it’s a prank, but he instructs Shi-on to examine their patient as usual.

Shi-on leans in… and In-hye moves her hands to reveal a pair of goofy glasses. The children erupt in a fit of laughter, but Shi-on doesn’t laugh with them.

He says that he didn’t find it funny in the least, and doesn’t like how they’re making fun of him. The children fall silent since they didn’t intend to hurt his feelings, and Shi-on shuffles away.

Jin-wook follows after him, but he runs into a pretty girl at the doorway. He breaks into a smile and sheepishly says that it’s been a while. This is In-hye’s older sister, and it’s apparent that Jin-wook harbors a crush for her. And In-hye knows it. Cute.

Do-han shares a drink with Doctor Choi, who apologizes and thanks him for keeping Shi-on on. Do-han sighs at this, as he finds those words of apology and gratitude infuriating and burdensome from his once stern teacher who used to yell at him at every misstep.

They’re about two bottles in, which means they both start slurring their words. Do-han asks why Doctor Choi continues to defend Shi-on when he does everything he hates the most.

Doctor Choi answers that Shi-on is a particularly special child who could have become an exceptional surgeon like Do-han is. Thus he wants to be able to make Shi-on’s life a little better. “It’s my last wish as a doctor to heal one person’s life.”

As Shi-on walks along the street on his way home, he stops at a store to watch an animal documentary on a 3-D TV. It sends him to another flashback with Hyung, who crafts a homemade kaleidoscope for his little brother.

Hyung asks Little Shi-on what he sees, and Shi-on names a whole slew of things. Hyung beams and ruffles his hair, calling his brother a genius.

And in the present, Shi-on wells up with tears at the happy memory, and puts the glasses back on.

Both Do-han and Doctor Choi are pretty tipsy as they stagger down the street. Do-han is clearly the drunker one between them, and in his drunken stupor, he tells his teacher to stand his ground.

It’s actually kind of funny to watch Do-han be an angry drunk, and he shouts that he’ll take the fall instead. Well, he starts to say it, but then he doubles over. Pfft.

Yoon-seo spots them on her way out of the hospital, and she offers to take Do-han home. As Doctor Choi watches them leave, he lets out a deep sigh.

She manages to get him back home, and she smiles at the collection of photos of the medical team in his room. We travel to one of these photographic memories which was taken at the Library.

It’s a departmental dinner and Yoon-seo sneaks glances towards Do-han at the table. She ends up pretty drunk afterwards and Do-han has to piggyback her home.

Yoon-seo tries her best to make coherent sentences in her inebriated state. She bucks up the courage to start to confess her feelings to her sunbae: “F-for the longest time, I..I..”

He prods her to say it, but she chickens out at the last second, and blurts out if he likes jorim (a kind of marinade) instead. Ha, it has the same starting syllable as the word “to like” or joah.

The memory brings a smile to her face, and she returns home with a hand to her shoulder where Do-han leaned on her.

Shi-on sleeps fitfully that night as he dreams about the time he and Hyung were stuck in the mine. But this memory is slightly different because we see Hyung’s fingers twitch with movement. Gasp, was he alive? Oh god, what happened down there?

Shi-on jolts awake, calling out for his hyung. He sits up on his bed.

The next day, Do-han thanks her for taking him home, and she teases that he was pretty heavy. He says the extra weight is from all the stress they’ve caused him. Ha. Then he oh-so-casually hands her a gift. It’s perfume, isn’t it?

It is, and he explains (without making eye contact, mind you) that he bought it out of respect for her patients who have to put up with her. Mmhm, o-kay.

When she steps out of the office, she notices Shi-on nervously fidget at his desk before leaving it soon afterwards. That strikes her as odd, so she follows him and catches him on his way back from the NICU.

She tears into Shi-on for doing as he pleases without consideration of the patient or his team. She told him to have his own set of thoughts, remember? Shi-on answers: “I’m not a robot.”

Yoon-seo argues that he’s only focused on saving his client and doesn’t feel for his clients. Shi-on disagrees with her—he can sense how the baby feels: “The baby… wants to live.”

Shi-on says the way the baby moves its hand is a way for it to show that it really, really wants to live. She counters that it’s just a reflex, but Shi-on shakes his head as he recalls how Hyung’s hand moved in a similar fashion.

He tells her: “Even though a baby can’t talk yet because they’re too young, too scared, or in too much pain… they want to live. They want to see their mother.”

Doctor Pomade’s spy flags Do-han down to chat, and bumbles through how he overheard Doctor Kim’s minions talk about Do-han behind his back about not doing the preemie’s surgery because he lacked the confidence.

Do-han beelines for the NICU to review the preemie’s charts. The evil little minions pop in to say this may complicate things, so Do-han makes things clear for them: he’ll do the preemie’s surgery. What would we ever do without you, Super Doc?

Do-han briefs his team on the preemie’s case, and says they’ll perform the surgery within 24 hours. He adds the caveat that the surgery’s rate of success is less than 20 percent.

Shi-on rises from his seat to point out a spot on the sonogram. Yoon-seo dismisses it as an error on the scan, but Shi-on is certain there’s something there. His observation gets glossed over.

Doctor Kim marches in in a huff, and is told that his “treatment” is no better than neglect. Do-han is prepared to take responsibility for performing the surgery.

Then Shi-on pipes up: “I take responsibility too! But… what am I taking responsibility for?” It’s not meant to be funny given the tense moment, but it’s still kinda funny. Unfortunately, it only solidifies the idea that Shi-on lacks in his comprehension of the situation to his fellow colleagues.

This course of events feeds into the evil trio’s plan, and the assistant chief wonders if they have to call for an ethics committee meeting. Since Shi-on’s name is still involved with the case, Doctor Choi is prepared to take responsibility for him. But the assistant chief says that won’t be necessary… yet. Eep.

Meanwhile, the residents start to fret—the preemie’s surgery hinges upon the ethics committee’s decision. Yoon-seo tells them that they’ll follow Do-han’s orders.

Shi-on seeks Do-han out to thank him for going ahead with the baby’s surgery. Do-han tells him that he’s not doing it for Shi-on’s sake, but he does tell Shi-on what he did wrong: “A doctor is not a religious man. You should never give people false hope or possibility.”

It doesn’t change the fact that he thinks Shi-on is the worst doctor he’s come across. He challenges Shi-on to finish his residency training, and practice on his own—then he’ll see the full impact of his mistakes on his patients. And should he realize it at that time: “Quit immediately.”

The evil trio converse over drinks as they heartily laugh over how it was so easy to ruffle Doctor Kim’s feathers. Now all they have to do is bring Shi-on down with the chief of staff…

The assistant chief excuses himself, and heads to the batting cage. But he’s not just here to get a few swings in as a messenger drops off an envelope. It’s a file on Do-han and he notices that a name—Soo-han—has been stricken from the family record, as if he never existed.

At home, Do-han pulls out a children’s anatomy book. A picture of Do-han and another young man falls out of its pages. Do-han tears in half and crumples it in his hand. Might this be Do-han’s younger brother?

Do-han and Shi-on stand for their hearing in front of the ethics committee the next day. When they ask who made the order to transfer the patient, Shi-on starts to say that he did it, but then Do-han steps in to take responsibility.

Shi-on tries to correct him, but Do-han barrels through with the explanation that first-year residents don’t have the authority to make such a call. So they ask about the reason behind the decision, and Do-han answers that it was neglect within Doctor Kim’s department.

Doctor Kim rises to defend himself in his reasoning that he didn’t choose surgery out of consideration for the patient and family. But Do-han counters that Doctor Kim believed that option would mean certain death. Doctor Choi intervenes to defuse the situation.

Little do they know that things are looking bad for the preemie as they proceed. Doctor Choi summarizes the case and presents two options: either return the patient with a light punishment; or go ahead with the surgery with greater consequences.

He leaves the decision up to Do-han, who answers that he’ll proceed with surgery. Just then, Yoon-seo charges in to report that the baby’s vitals are failing.

Do-han rushes back to the NICU and orders his team to prepare for surgery here since sudden movement can endanger the preemie. Problem is, they’re without an anesthesiologist, surgical tools, or nurses due to the high risk of surgery outside the operating room.

The residents press that the patient’s life depends on it, but the nurse asks who will take the fall should things go wrong. That’s when Doctor Choi appears behind them and says he’ll take responsibility.

Do-han begins as the committee members stand outside. He makes an incision in the preemie’s abdomen and keeps his cool when the damage is worse than they initially expected.

Some time later, Do-han announces the end to the first part of the surgery, and the assistant chief asks if it’s going well. Doctor Choi answers that it’s exceptional and believes its success will be recorded in future medical journals.

Do-han calls for the next step in the procedure, but Shi-on says that he saw something under the baby’s liver. Yoon-seo says they have to wrap up surgery, but Do-han takes a look.

And sure enough, there’s a perforation in the bile tract. Oh it’s on now.

There’s a high risk of infection should they remove and reconnect the bile tract. Shi-on says they can’t do that. Yoon-seo says that’s their only option, but then Do-han admits that Shi-on is right.

The dramatic music swells as she asks if Do-han can think of any other way. Do-han admits: “No.”


Now that’s what you call a medical drama. The suspense of lives hanging on the balance of one man’s hands, facing the impossible task, and asking yourself the question: “Will they make it?!” all make up the signature parts of this genre. But what I like about Good Doctor is that beyond the dramatics of surgery there’s a character conflict of what’s at stake behind the medical decision. Do you defy authority to make the riskier call or cower in fear and choose the safer route? Because then we’re dealing with matters of morality, values, and ethics that goes beyond the medical lingo.

While we’re on the subject, I’ve noticed that this show calls the viewer to suspend belief when we’re tackling the medical emergency of the week. There are times when the medical terminology flies over my head as well (bile tracts? enteritis?), but the point the show wants to drive home is that this one surgery is Important, Impossible, and Unpredictable; and goddamnit, Do-han is the best (or only) pediatric surgeon out there to handle the job. Who needs other residents or surgeons, who seem to merely shadow their sunbae, when you’ve got Super Doc, who can perform two surgeries simultaneously? I say all of this with a smile on my face because I find these procedures to be a much more enjoyable watch when I remind myself that these are dramatic, made-for-TV takes on surgery rather than focusing on how much of it is realistic or not.

That being said, it’s a different story when we look at the dynamics between Shi-on and his medical colleagues. The hospital politics and power play between the higher-ups are nothing new, but I liked the central conflict about whether Shi-on can feel the same emotions as his cohorts and how that dictates his medical judgment and actions. It’s in the quiet moments when he watches the preemie in the incubator or thinks of his hyung or when the little kids play a prank on him when we see that the answer is: Yes, he does.

I mentioned earlier that I appreciated that Shi-on is still held to the same professional standard as everyone else, and there’s been some talk in the comment thread about how the hospital staff should be aware of autism as medical professionals. I can’t speak to how much knowledge they would or should have about the condition, but I can talk about the cultural stigma that surrounds anything that deviates from seemingly normal behavior and development, should that be in regards to mental, emotional, or physical health. Sadly what often happens is that these issues are either dismissed or ignored because the society isn’t prepared to or doesn’t know how to tackle them. So although I do know that autism is fairly prevalent in Korea, I honestly have no idea if there are psychoeducative programs or other support networks in place. That isn’t to say that it justifies the struggles Shi-on faces at the workplace, but it’s another instance when I reflect on the idea that I want to keep rooting for our hero to overcome those societal obstacles in his path.


Good Doctor: Episode 4

by gummimochi

Communication is key when it comes to establishing any kind of relationship, be it professional, casual, or intimate. Because how else will you be able to convey how you feel to the other person? But often times, communication can be the biggest hurdle when you’ve got so many other things to worry about. ‘Cause that life isn’t going to save itself.

Good Doctor is still going strong with an upward tick to 15.8%.


투빅(2BiC) – “I Am In Love” (사랑하고 있습니다) [ Download ]

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We dive back in as the surgical team is faced with an impossible dilemma with no other alternative in sight. They’re running out of time, and to make matters worse, the preemie is crashing.

Shi-on hones in on the bile tract, and says they need to drain the infected area. Although Yoon-seo argues that it’s a risky move, Do-han backs up the idea and makes the call.

As they wait, Do-han pointedly affirms in front of everyone that Shi-on’s clinical judgment was sound. He resumes the operation when the drainage tube arrives, and everyone waits with bated breath.

They save the baby, which earns Do-han another round of praise for successfully completing the risky operation. He takes note of how Shi-on keeps watch over the preemie’s incubator.

The baby’s parents tearfully thank Do-han for not giving up on their child, to which they’re told it’s all thanks to the baby’s strong will to live. Unfortunately, Do-han and Shi-on aren’t out of the woods just yet, and they’re called back to resume their hearing.

Shi-on trails behind his boss, but interestingly, Do-han orders him to turn back to the staff room.

Meanwhile, the ethics committee members argue over the details of Do-han’s punishment. The assistant chief suggests they take recent events into account, adding that Do-han’s absence would look bad for the hospital. He also rallies that they look over Shi-on’s involvement as well, since he was merely following his attending supervisor’s orders.

These ideas are met with outcry from the opposition, and Doctor Choi notably remains silent during this exchange. That’s when Do-han enters the room alone, here to face the committee on his own.

Then Doctor Choi lays out the conditions of Do-han’s punishment: a week’s suspension and a month’s paycut. Do-han accepts the decision without argument.

The residents are in disbelief at the committee’s decision, and that Do-han bore the full brunt of the consequences. They don’t hesitate to take out their anger on Shi-on when he enters the room, and point the finger of blame on him.

Their spiteful words cut deep as the resident spy Il-kyu scoffs that Shi-on lacks the mental capacity to feel sorry about the situation. Jin-wook raises his voice, but it’s Yoon-seo who puts her foot down.

She reminds them through gritted teeth to act as normal around their boss, and then leads Shi-on away outside.

Yoon-seo tells him gently that every resident makes mistakes, but what’s more important is their professional demeanor—does he feel guilty at all?

Shi-on just says the baby can survive now, an answer that irritates her. She yells back that she’s talking about their team; she won’t be able to cover for him anymore if he keeps this up. “I can’t feel a need to protect [someone] who doesn’t understand what teamwork means.”

His silence frustrates her, and she stalks off.

Yoon-seo heads for Do-han’s office, and acknowledges that her boss was right when he said Shi-on’s medical knowledge far exceeded her own, because it enabled him to make the right calls whereas her conclusions fell short.

She honestly admits that she’s confused because Shi-on’s clinical skills alone are enough reason to keep him on the team, but she can’t draw judgment on anything else beyond that.

To that, Do-han presents her with a hypothetical: a gifted doctor who doesn’t have common sense or an average doctor who does. Which would she rather pick?

His point is that he needs a colleague with whom he can communicate with because that’s what’s best for the patient. That prompts her to ask if he allows Shi-on to remain with them for the chief of staff’s sake. He sends her out without an answer.

Chae-kyung comes right out with it when she meets with the assistant chief, and asks if bringing Shi-on down wasn’t enough. She won’t stand for it if Do-han becomes a casualty in this power battle. The assistant chief assures her that as long as he remains at this position, no one will become a victim.

During one of In-hye’s check-ups, she can’t help but notice Jin-wook’s ear-splitting grin towards her sister. So she pulls Nurse Jo away in order to give the two some alone time. Aw, you’re a cute sister.

The air suddenly turns awkward-cute as Jin-wook shows concern for her health and adds that she can consult him anytime. She politely declines the offer. His face falls.

Outside, In-hye playfully scolds Nurse Jo for being so clueless. Nurse Jo insists that he was quite the ladies’ man back in the day. When he’s asked if he likes someone in the hospital then, he looks directly at Nurse Nam. D’aww.

Yoon-seo is called away to handle a situation where a cake lay smashed on the floor. It’s Rocket Boy and his mother screams Shi-on’s ear off at his insensitivity for bringing her son a cake when he clearly can’t have any foods containing flour.

Shi-on says that it’s okay for him to eat it since the ingredients are safe enough for him to metabolize, but she won’t hear a word of it. Yoon-seo sends him out and apologizes to the mother on his behalf.

She sighs at Shi-on’s medical lingo-filled explanation which boils down to how the brain will undergo stress and anxiety without enough sustenance, and she draws the conclusion that Shi-on was worried about the little boy. She understands his good intention, so she lets him off with a warning this time.

I’ll be quick with this next sequence: Evil Board Administrator yells at Doctor Pomade for screwing up again and tells him to use his noggin’. Doctor Pomade balks, and is told to think of something without the assistant chief knowing.

Il-kyu taunts Shi-on in the library, saying that it must be nice for him to be able to retain so much knowledge. Shi-on just blinks at his snide comments that he’s better off working in variety than in medicine, and has to be pulled away by another resident.

Chae-kyung remains optimistic about Do-han’s suspension during dinner. She encourages him to see it as a vacation, even thinking of date ideas. But when she asks if he can’t quit working at pediatrics, citing that he’d have a much easier job at a different department, he freezes.

Her real reason for saying it is because she doesn’t want Do-han’s name to be involved in the hospital politics with the chief of staff. Do-han says he doesn’t care for politics since he’s a surgeon, but it matters to her as his fiancée.

Do-han tells her not to broach the topic of pediatrics anymore, to which she wonders if it’s because of the chief of staff. He suggests that they drop the subject, but Chae-kyung points out that he’s never told her the reason why.

Shi-on eats his usual kimbap for dinner and watches TV before he heads off to bed. Ha, I love how his fridge is actually full of kimbap—that’s smart product placement. He finds himself unable to sleep at first, murmuring indiscernible words until he falls asleep.

Do-han speaks with his mother over the phone, who wonders if he went to see his brother Soo-han recently because she noticed fresh flowers at his memorial. Ah, so it was his brother’s resting place in the first episode. He lies that he didn’t.

As Shi-on and Yoon-seo ride the same bus to work the next day, she notices Shi-on drawing on his sketchbook. He shifts around in his seat when she looks in his direction. I would find it hilariously adorable if it’s a sketch of her.

Yoon-seo points out to Do-han that he looks tired today, teasing that there isn’t anyone else to perform the children’s surgeries if he faints on them. I’ll say. She grows excited at the chance to perform surgery herself in the near future.

Robot Boy smiles at the idea that he’ll be discharged from the hospital soon, only to frown when it won’t be for a few more days. She says he must be happy that he’ll get to see the pretty doctor (meaning, herself) until then, and he pouts: “You always call yourself pretty.” Keh.

Shi-on notices a string of children smuggle something out of a room under their clothes. He follows them into the storage room as they celebrate their loot. Ha, it’s snacks.

He promises not to tell their parents, and asks if he can play with them. One of the children says that he can “but on one condition.” Uh oh, those are the same words his childhood bullies told him.

That triggers the painful memory of when he was stuck in the mine with Hyung. Shi-on grows dizzy and his vision starts to blur. He holds onto one of the stacks, but it ends up falling on the children, glass and all. Eeeek!

A pair of concerned mothers approach Yoon-seo about Shi-on’s clinical judgment. She assures them that their children are in capable hands, but then the sound of several cries interrupts them.

They run in to find the children crying and bleeding from the broken glass. They point to Shi-on as the culprit. Eek, this definitely doesn’t look good.

It only confirms their doubts about Shi-on, who can only stutter in response. The children are transported immediately, and Yoon-seo glares at him, fuming.

She screams that being book-smart is utterly pointless if no one wants to have Shi-on as their doctor. Shi-on says that he has to be a doctor.

Frustrated, Yoon-seo shouts at him, saying she’s tired of being disappointed in him every day. She knows she shouldn’t be angry with him, but she can’t help that she is.

She storms out and fights with the broken vending machine, taking out her frustration on the inanimate object. Then a little girl holds up her drink, and Yoon-seo’s anger melts away.

Doctor Pomade is left flabbergasted when the assistant chief says he believes the latest incident was just an accident. Offended by the brush-off, Doctor Pomade uses his power card to say that he won’t let it go.

So Doctor Pomade speaks to the mothers, who all cry for Shi-on’s termination. He simply tells them that it’s out of his hands, but if they took the matter to the higher rungs of the hospital administration… Look who’s crackin’ out of their evil cocoon.

At the same time, the assistant chief is informed of the plan from a mysterious informant.

Elsewhere, In-hye talks to the injured kids, who admit that Shi-on didn’t hurt them on purpose, saying they shunted the blame off to him because they were scared. They cry that he’s a really strange doctor, but In-hye concludes that it wasn’t Shi-on’s fault.

Doctor Pomade orders that Shi-on’s cases be reassigned to the other residents, which would only strain the others’ caseloads even further. Doctor Pomade mutters an off-handed remark under his breath that that’s better than Shi-on killing a patient by accident.

Yoon-seo calls her sunbae out on those harsh words, saying it wasn’t Shi-on’s fault. Do-han tells her to do as she’s told.

One of the little girls complains about stomach pain, and In-hye leads Shi-on in to see her. But the mother lets out a shrill cry, and tells him not to come near her daughter. Shi-on shuffles away. Aw.

Do-han gives his team final instructions before he leaves for his week-long suspension. He leaves Yoon-seo in charge. He runs into Shi-on on his way out, and tells him to do nothing except eat, sleep, and breathe.

He asks if it bothers Shi-on to see patients in pain, and Shi-on says it does. So Do-han tells him to reflect how much it pains his colleagues whenever Shi-on acts of his own accord.

Shi-on sits outside observing a group of doctors play basketball. One of them invites him to play with them, and Shi-on mostly stands around the court, watching them play. Then one doctor passes the ball to Shi-on. He catches it.

Shi-on jumps to shoot the ball. It soars up into the air… and falls straight down. Hee.

Yoon-seo visits the preemie’s parents, and she notices a drawing of the mother and child hanging over the bed. She asks who drew it, and is surprised to hear that it was Shi-on.

Then we hear Shi-on’s voice narrate that he hopes the boy grows to love sports like his Hyung. He even has a name for the child: Dong-soo (comprised of the hanja dong “to move” and soo “hand”).

Yoon-seo smiles as they tell her how honored they are that their baby’s savior gave him his name. She checks on the preemie, and as she holds its hand, it gently grasps hers.

Moved, tears well up in her eyes as she tells it not to hold her hand too hard. So this time, when Shi-on volunteers to meet with the stubborn Robot Boy, she allows it.

Shi-on finds the little boy trying to fall asleep by counting sheep. He grumbles at the sight of Shi-on, who says the method only works in English because the two words “sleep” and “sheep” are similar.

The boy racks his brains trying to think of something similar in Korean, and Shi-on suggests “dragonflies” or jamjari. Robot Boy immediately tries it, and it works. And Yoon-seo smiles from the other side of the door.

In-hye and her sister have such an adorably close relationship. Gah, and then she plays matchmaker and texts Jin-wook so that he can oh-so-casually run into her sister. Best Sister Ever.

He asks her out, only to get shut down. Aw, poor guy. I think the best part of this scene is what follows as In-hye clucks with disappointment that boy gotz no game.

The assistant chief meets with a man whose face we don’t get to see at a baseball stadium. Okay, now I’m convinced the man loves baseball. He addresses his guest as “chairman,” and says he needs more time.

He asks why Creepy Chairman returned to Korea. Now we finally get to see his face (Kim Chang-wan) and he cryptically says that even a goose who lays golden eggs won’t lay any if it doesn’t feed. Creepy Chairman gives him three months.

And then he starts whistling. *shivers*

Chae-kyung sits down for dinner with president Lee and Doctor Choi. She’s pleasant enough with Doctor Choi and keeps to her cold demeanor with her stepmother.

She doesn’t hide her currently disgruntled feelings about the power struggle within the hospital. President Lee tells her not to worry about it, but Chae-kyung counters that she has to… because this hospital is a product of her father’s blood, sweat, and tears.

As Shi-on clips his nails at home, he recalls how Hyung once told him that Shi-on’s nail clippings reminds him of a crescent moon. So Shi-on holds up his thumb into the night sky, squinting his eyes to see it.

Then we move on to Yoon-seo, who smiles at her corkboard adorned with thank you notes and pictures from the hospital. She takes a teddy bear and records “We have to operate immediately!” in an imitation of Shi-on’s voice. She wonders to herself: “What kind of person are you, Park Shi-on?”

She finds herself unable to sleep that night and counts dragonflies until she falls asleep.

Our next medical emergency is with a little girl, who gets turned away from every hospital because a pediatric attending surgeon isn’t on call. Guess where they’re going next.

Meanwhile, Chae-kyung and Do-han are on vacation, and she has to pry his phone away, telling him to enjoy his time off. She turns it off.

At the same time, Yoon-seo and the team (including Shi-on) rush over to the ER when they receive the call about the little girl. She’s dehydrated, has abdominal pain, and her breathing is unstable. Shi-on suspects it may be a form of pneumonia. So basically, not good.

Yoon-seo reviews the x-ray and confirms Shi-on’s diagnosis. And you guessed it—they have to operate immediately.

Suddenly, the little girl goes into cardiac arrest, and they immediately start CPR. Doctor Pomade is informed of the case, but his eyes grow wide when he hears about the surgery.

He rips into Yoon-seo, saying the patient will go into cardiac arrest as soon as they begin surgery. But Yoon-seo counters that they can’t turn the family away again, and refuses to buy that they should do so because of the fear of a malpractice suit on their hands.

Yoon-seo declares that she’ll perform the surgery. Doctor Pomade demands to know why she refuses to listen to him, and she levels, “Because those are not the words of a doctor.” Ooh, burn.

She grows anxious at the thought of actually performing surgery, and Shi-on yells, “We can save her! We must save her!” That gives her a boost of confidence, and she barks out orders to her team.

Elsewhere, Do-han checks his phone when Chae-kyung isn’t looking, and sees a list of missed calls from Yoon-seo.

He calls her back and tells her to send a live video feed to his phone so that he can operate remotely until he gets to the hospital. What can I tell ya—he’s Super Doc.

Yoon-seo says that she’ll do it herself. He yells at her to listen and says that he’ll be the one who determines when she’ll perform her first surgery. He tells her to hang in there until he arrives.

He promises Chae-kyung that he’ll be right back after he finishes surgery. But we know that never happens.

Do-han’s phone dies while he drives back, so his team is unable to get ahold of him. Everything is set up to begin, and Doctor Pomade issues a final warning from the observation deck.

Yoon-seo looks up directly at her superior and announces that she will begin. Damn, I love her nerve. She mutes him. HA.

Then Yoon-seo prepares to make her first incision as Do-han speeds down the road.

The team discovers the problem in the intestinal area. They need to reposition the small intestine manually, and as Yoon-seo gently handles it in her hands, Shi-on repeatedly says, “Careful, careful, careful…”

She does it and moves on to the next step just as Do-han arrives at the hospital.

Jin-wook notices Shi-on jerk uncomfortably, and Shi-on says the child isn’t moving. He’s told that she’s under anesthesia, and he tries to get through to them, but Yoon-seo instructs the team to focus. And then the patient goes into cardiac arrest.

They hurry to remove the surgical tools and start CPR. But it isn’t enough, and the nurses bring in a defibrillator. Yoon-seo delivers the first set of shocks. Nothing. She increases the charge. Nothing.

Desperate, Yoon-seo begins CPR again… which is when Do-han finally arrives.

And then the dreaded flatline sound envelops the operating room.


We’ve been getting some great cliffhangers this week, and I. Love. It. Never mind that I’m biting my nails right now, because we all knew this day would come the moment Super Doc stepped out that door and left Yoon-seo in charge. And it wouldn’t be a medical drama unless something went terribly, terribly wrong during her first-ever surgery on her own.

I have a fond admiration of Do-han and his leadership in this episode. Despite being a hardass boss (which we now know he learned from our loveable Doctor Choi), he’s a calm and collected team leader who knows when to give credit when it’s due, admits his mistakes, and cares about his team of residents enough to bear the brunt of the consequences of his residents’ actions. It would be pretty easy to zero in on how he criticizes Shi-on and doesn’t fully acknowledge him as a team member, but I love that when push comes to shove, he’ll protect his own. At this point, we can argue that it’s for Doctor Choi’s sake, but given how he skirts the question whenever it’s brought up, we can assume that there’s another underlying reason behind it. I admit that I have some suspicion that his brother Soo-han has something to do with it, but I’ll take it as it comes as we move forward with the series.

I love that we spent some time on Yoon-seo who has some impressive balls of steel. Her frankness and kind heart are qualities I really appreciate in her. Not only that, she’s incredibly self-aware when it comes to her strengths and weaknesses, and where she stands in comparison to her fellow colleagues. She knows how rough it is to be a resident and can empathize with Shi-on’s actions and behavior to a certain degree. We see the first growing pains with her relationship with Shi-on this week, because it would have been all too easy and too perfect of her to fully accept Shi-on the way he is from Day 1. I admit that there were times I was annoyed with her when she first doubted her initial judgment, but then I realized her internal emotional strife is essential for her to wrestle with her feelings about him (I mean this on a professional level; it seems too early for the romance part) and his savant syndrome and how that clashes within the hospital.

I could sympathize with her frustrations because she wants to be able to understand him, and yet she’s still responsible to those around her. For what it’s worth, I like that she was still able to identify Shi-on’s intentions in the cake incident and draw the conclusion that he really does care about his patients. Then I was super happy that we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Angryland, and she came back around with Robot Boy and counting dragonflies.

Furthermore, I love how the show continues to explore Shi-on’s unique (to this dramaverse) way of communication. Take for instance the cake incident when Shi-on brought the cake to cheer the boy up, and that good intention was misinterpreted. I really enjoy his medico-speak because it shows that Shi-on verbally communicates in a way that he knows how: through medical terminology. And for someone to be able to recognize that as a strength and utilize it; I consider that incredibly insightful and self-aware. Then at that point, it really makes me wonder if we’re the ones who’s got it wrong the entire time because society has ingrained within us a certain set of etiquette rules; to be wary of a social faux-pas in the times when we should be calling the thing for what it is, pure and simple.


Good Doctor: Episode 5

by gummimochi

How this show manages to be funny, dramatic, heart-warming, and sometimes even wacky in one episode simply amazes me. Usually tossing all of those elements at once leaves you with a melting pot that doesn’t look too appetizing, but for some strange reason, Good Doctor leaves me wanting more after that hour is up.

And apparently so did the viewers as Episode 5 hit another series high of 18.0%.


Despite Yoon-seo’s efforts to resuscitate the child, they all fail and the patient flatlines. Shi-on slumps to the ground in defeat.

Everyone is in shock, but Yoon-seo is the only one who refuses to accept this outcome. Gah, it kills me to watch her keep trying anyway, shaking off Jin-wook’s attempts to tell her that it’s over.

Do-han orders the rest of the team to leave and pronounce the patient’s death. He lingers for another minute as Yoon-seo relentlessly performs CPR until she finally gives up. As tears fall from her eyes, Yoon-seo instructs Shi-on to finish up and move the corpse from the operating room.

Yoon-seo delivers the tragic news to the family, who breaks down in tears and blames the doctors for not saving their child. She stands there at a loss, taking in their hysterical cries until Do-han steps in to pacify the family, saying they did the best they could.

She completes the paperwork in a daze while Shi-on’s hands tremble to suture the body.

Doctor Pomade lashes out at Do-han with an I told you so! rant, and gripes that they’ll be sued for malpractice for sure. I love how Do-han challenges his superior with the same words Yoon-seo against him in the previous episode, and shouts back in defiance how any doctor could pick and choose one’s patients.

Do-han finds Shi-on in the locker room suturing the little girl’s clothes so that she doesn’t feel embarrassed in her torn clothes when she goes up to heaven. Grabbing the shirt, Do-han answers: “Death doesn’t mean someone is going somewhere, but that one has lost one’s life.”

Shi-on shakes his head, saying his bunny and hyung are in heaven too, but Do-han coldly lays out the truth—they lost a life today. What he’s doing is a selfish attempt to comfort himself.

Do-han: “To lose a family [member]… someone who didn’t have to die, but did, that… is a scar that forever remains with those left behind. What’s more is that no level of comfort or words can get rid of that scar. Ever.” Is this statement hitting a little too close to home for you, Do-han?

He tells Shi-on to believe what he wants, but reminds him that there are those who will laugh at him for it. Once he leaves, Shi-on thinks to himself: “People have always ridiculed me, so it’s okay.”

Shi-on waits outside the morgue, and sees the child’s parents being led away after they grieve over their daughter’s body.

Do-han appeals to Doctor Choi to lift his suspension for the time being, given the circumstances. The chief of staff grants it, but he shows concern for Yoon-seo’s well-being—she’s bound to be scarred by the loss of her first surgery patient.

Chae-kyung isn’t happy to hear that Do-han has returned to work. She rolls her eyes when explains his reasons to stay at the hospital, and tells him that Yoon-seo isn’t a child who needs to be coddled. She does have a point there.

Elsewhere, Jin-wook tries to gently persuade Shi-on away from the morgue. I do like how warm Jin-wook acts towards Shi-on, and that he shoots resident spy Il-kyu a look when he makes an underhanded remark.

Yoon-seo has been doing a pretty good job about hiding her emotions post-surgery thus far, and goes about the rest of her day as usual. When the chatty nurses wonder how she can act so unaffected, it’s Nurse Nam who sternly puts them in their place.

Do-han takes his team for rounds, but he notices that Yoon-seo hasn’t joined them. He isn’t happy to hear that Jin-wook didn’t inform her about it in order to give her some space.

Speaking of whom, Yoon-seo discovers Shi-on still sitting outside the morgue. Shi-on: “I was always by their side.” He was there when his bunny and hyung passed away, and although it scares him, he hates the thought of leaving someone alone in the morgue even more.

Shi-on asks if she doesn’t believe in a heaven either. She bitterly remarks that she doesn’t, and Shi-on notes that that’s the same thing Do-han said.

Heaven is just an ideal notion the living holds fast to, Yoon-seo tells him. “For children, to live is like to experience heaven; being loved by their parents, and playing with their friends. We robbed [that child] of heaven.”

Shi-on disagrees, saying the patient would thank Yoon-seo instead. In his experience, he came across multiple cases when the doctor chose not to pursue surgery, but Yoon-seo was the first one who did. He recites Doctor Choi’s words: “Although it’s important to treat a patient, it’s also important to give them a chance to live.”

“A chance?” Yoon-seo bites out. It’s only now that Yoon-seo finally gives into her tears as she reflects upon her guilty conscience. They could have saved the little girl if only she came in just a little earlier, and the helplessness she felt then now haunts her in the present.

Crying, Yoon-seo wonders what she’ll do now since she won’t be able to forget the patient’s face every time she holds a scalpel.

Then Shi-on silently raises his hand and ever so slowly extends it towards her shoulder inch by inch. But Yoon-seo’s phone rings before he gets the chance to comfort her, and he recoils. Darn that phone!

Yoon-seo is called into the operating room where Do-han tells her to scrub in to perform surgery. She asks if he has to go this far; she still considers this as harsh despite his strict teaching methods. At that, Do-han tells her that it’s a fact that she’s weak. Damn.

He still leaves the choice up to her, but plays upon her hesitance and says he’ll have Doctor Pomade do it instead. Which is when Yoon-seo declares that she’ll perform the surgery.

The team is surprised to see her back so soon, and Do-han keeps watch from the observation deck. With a deep breath, Yoon-seo makes her first incision.

Doctor Pomade is as pleased as punch to hand over the petition for Shi-on’s termination to the assistant chief. Let’s give him a name now—Assistant Chief Kang—who asks if Doctor Pomade thinks this will be enough to oust both the chief of staff and Shi-on.

Doctor Pomade lets out a hearty laugh in agreement, and Assistant Chief Kang breaks into an unknown smile.

President Lee relays the news about the petition to Doctor Choi. She finds it odd that the patient’s guardians took it up to the board themselves, and believes that someone else is pushing for the decision.

Back in the operating room, Do-han lectures Yoon-seo for taking too long to complete the procedure. She tunes him out just long enough to successfully wrap up a minute later, and shoots him a glare when she steps away.

Yoon-seo is still shaking afterwards, and Jin-wook advises that she refrain from performing any surgeries while she’s on call tonight. Ack, the foreshadowing! Something horrible is going to happen, isn’t it?

She asks if Shi-on is still sitting outside the morgue, and then asks the cafeteria ajumma for a favor. Ahh, it’s Mom!

So when Mom comes by with a tray of food, she stops in her tracks at the sight of Shi-on, and turns away before he sees her. She returns wearing a mask a little later, only to find him gone, having left after returning the little girl’s clothes to the parents.

Do-han scolds Yoon-seo yet again when he catches her prepare an envelope to help cover the little girl’s funeral expenses. He knows that she’s acting out of her own guilt, and orders her not to attend the funeral, even threatening to keep her out of the operating room for a month.

Their conversation is cut short when Chae-kyung arrives. She and Do-han talk outside, and she notes how pretty Yoon-seo has gotten lately.

She points out that Do-han never seems to yell at her like he does with Yoon-seo, even when she makes him angry. She jokes: “It’s not because you don’t take an interest in me?” Eep, at this rate you could become your own fortune-teller.

She suggests that Do-han act indifferent towards Yoon-seo if he wants her to become a better doctor, because depending on someone else can easily become a habit.

In-hye recounts how her near-death experience felt like a taste of heaven. Shi-on’s eyes grow wide with excitement as he listens to her descriptions of being pain-free and seeing the soft outlines of angels.

She finishes, “But it was just the medicine. They must’ve given me a lot of painkillers.” HA. Shi-on pouts.

There’s no doubt that In-hye holds a pragmatic perspective—she doesn’t believe in those silly things like Santa Claus or heaven. And then a little girl cries from behind them that of course it exists.

Later that night, Yoon-seo braces herself before heading inside to the little girl’s funeral, only to find Do-han already there to pay his respects to the family on behalf of the pediatrics department.

She listens at a distance as the mother confesses that she resented Yoon-seo for taking her daughter away from her. But she now knows that Yoon-seo did everything she could, and that her daughter’s death pains Yoon-seo just as much.

The father asks Do-han to also extend their gratitude to Shi-on for staying by their daughter’s side even after she passed away. Yoon-seo sheds a tear and leaves.

Yoon-seo spots Mom waiting outside the staff room with food in hand. Yoon-seo points out that she never mentioned that she worked at pediatrics. Aw Mom, did you look that up? Mom skirts the issue, but before she leaves, she comments that Yoon-seo seems like a warm-hearted person.

Shi-on gapes at the food in surprise, and notes that it wasn’t part of the dining hall menu. He says that it reminds him of a dish from his hometown and even tastes the same. If only we could tell you who made it for you…

Yoon-seo relays the parent’s gratitude to Shi-on, and asks if he’ll do the same thing of sitting by the morgue in the future. Shi-on nods. Yoon-seo: “Even if Do-han and I scold you?” Shi-on nods.

Shi-on says his brother once told him: “No matter how scared you are, you have to do what you want to do. The one who endures and does those things is the coolest person in the world.” He says that he’s afraid of the world and of people, but he finds strength whenever he thinks of Hyung.

It’s hard to tell at this point whether Creepy Chairman is actually creepy, since he wonders if he should take care of the petition against Shi-on. He smiles to hear that the rookie resident does have potential, and hints that something good will happen at the hospital soon. Hmm.

I really enjoy the nuggets we get of Nurse Jo, who says that he hopes Shi-on stays on as a resident in the hospital. Shi-on cracks a small smile.

Just then, the same little girl who overheard that heaven doesn’t exist trudges past them, disheartened. They sit with her as she cries about how it saddens her to think that her father didn’t go to heaven, convinced that what In-hye said is true.

Shi-on bends down to ask if she remembers her father’s face and the memories they shared together. She does, and he answers: “Then that’s enough. Because there’s a gateway to heaven within you.”

Shi-on knocks on his chest: “If you’re always crying and are upset, then that gate disappears. But if you constantly think of the happy times and smile, then a large gate appears.” Sometimes her father comes to visit her through this gate, just like how his bunny and hyung often come to visit him.

“Those who don’t believe in heaven don’t have this gate in their hearts.” Shi-on tells her. That makes her smile, and they all knock on their chests to invite their loved ones to come visit them. Awww.

Shi-on drops by the little girl’s funeral later and thinks to himself: “I’ll ask Hyung and bunny to play with you. They’ll make sure you don’t feel lonely.”

Yoon-seo thinks back to Shi-on’s words about giving children another chance at life when she gets a call from Do-han. They talk outside, and he asks if she still holds a grudge against him.

She admits that she’s more angry at herself because she’s realized that she’s the one who has approached medicine with a mechanical mindset. She believes that her job as a pediatric surgeon is to give children a future.

Do-han tells her that he’s seen plenty of doctors who hold that same idealistic view fall by the wayside. Yoon-seo retorts that it was fear, not idealism, that led to those physicians’ ruin; they were at a loss of what they would do if they lost that idealistic perspective. “That fear is what made a surgeon weak. And I won’t be like that.”

Do-han says that she sounds a lot like Shi-on, and he warns her that a reckless sense of duty and emotion will cloud a doctor’s clinical judgment and lead to a serious mistake.

As we see Shi-on sketch a picture of the little girl, his bunny, and Hyung just outside the gates of heaven on his wall, we hear Yoon-seo admit that she was wrong about Shi-on being a robot, and asks for Do-han’s help to keep him on the team.

She doesn’t buy that the decision is outside of Do-han’s authority, saying that his neglect towards Shi-on is a form of aggression. But Do-han turns it back on her and tells her not to cover for Shi-on anymore because nothing will change because of it.

Yoon-seo sees Shi-on sitting outside on his porch because his counting dragonflies method didn’t work. She asks if she can come inside for a bit. Awed at the mural on the wall, she asks if it’s a picture of heaven, but Shi-on shakes his head and puts a fist to his chest instead. “This is.”

She doesn’t understand, so he starts to sing “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” When she says she gets it now, he shoots her a thumbs up for being so smart.

Then Yoon-seo hugs him and thanks him. “Thanks to you, you saved this noona from being nothing but a technician.” He hiccups in response. Hee.

As they sit outside (eating kimbap, natch), Yoon-seo asks Shi-on how his brother passed away. Shi-on shares about the mine incident, and how it was his fault Hyung died because he was too scared to go into the mines alone.

Shi-on takes out the little green scalpel and says that he made a promise to Hyung to become a doctor. “I have to keep my promise. I have to become a doctor.”

Yoon-seo places a comforting hand on his shoulder and tells Shi-on to keep his promise to his brother.

HA—Yoon-seo totally acts like a noona the next morning. She waltzes into his place and smacks him on the bum to wake him up. Shi-on covers himself in his blankets, and she teases, “I already saw everything last time.” Pfft.

Shi-on looks at the time and says they have to hurry to get to work. But Yoon-seo tells him it’s Sunday, and he plops on the bed again, all, Oh.

She’s here to take him out today and asks what he wants to do. When he doesn’t make a decision right away, she starts counting down from five, which effectively gets him to jump nervously. Then he calls out that he knows where he wants to go.

So it’s off to the zoo and Shi-on looks at the animals with wide-eyed wonder. It cracks me up that Yoon-seo is like a mother chasing after her excited child around the zoo, and she asks if he likes the animals that much. He nods.

She asks why, and he answers: “Because animals are like children and children are like animals. They’re all kind and cute and play well with each other.”

Yoon-seo tells him that he’s right and points out an animal that looks particularly lethargic. Then Shi-on grows nervous and runs off. It turns out the animal was sick after all, and the veterinarian thanks them for catching on to the animal’s illness.

They sit outside afterwards, and Yoon-seo wonders how Shi-on was able to identify the problem. He tells her that he spent his weekends at an animal hospital during his intern year because he didn’t get the chance to witness surgeries very often.

So she asks if he ever thought about being a veterinarian instead of a doctor. Shi-on honestly admits that he’d like to but he can’t “because we’re both stupid.” He clarifies that he at least needs to be smart, but that’s not always the case.

Back at the hospital, Assistant Chief Kang acknowledges the board president’s affinity for the pediatrics department, but tells her that further funding is impossible. Chae-kyung suggests they build a separate hospital then, an idea that doesn’t go over too well.

But then president Lee receives a file that leaves her speechless, which reminds Assistant Kang of the “good news” that would reach the hospital. His expression goes back and forth between a smile and a frown.

Then we see Doctor Choi in his office with a copy of a file that states a certain Woomyung Group will cease its financial contributions to the hospital. Does that make Creepy Chairman head of this corporation?

Yoon-seo and Jin-wook rush over to respond to a call about an unruly 10-year-old female patient. Are those… bite marks on the resident’s arm? Good Lord.

All we can hear are the sounds of barking and snarling with the occasional broken glass when Shi-on joins his fellow residents. And I mean this in the nicest way, but the patient looks like she took a page from A Werewolf Boy.

Shi-on approaches with caution and slowly bends down so he’s at eye level with Wolf Girl. He extends his hand towards her as she growls at him in aggression… and then she grabs his arm and bites down.

The residents jump to save Shi-on from the feral child, who snarls at them menacingly.


It honestly took me a good, long minute wondering why we were introduced to a Wolf Girl for our case-of-the-week until I realized the connection to the zoo and Shi-on’s experience with animals. I’d be lying if I told you that the quizzical look on my face disappeared upon this realization, but to be honest, I’m still scratching my head. I almost should have seen it coming when Shi-on mentioned how he once spent his weekends at the animal hospital and recognized the zoo animal’s ailment, but I thought he was trying to gain any medical experience he could. I’m wary to say anything past how Shi-on will use that experience in his present work, but if anything, I’m inclined to disagree that children = animals, and that they’re all kind and cute. Well, in this case anyway. I have no doubt that the writer will incorporate Shi-on’s interpersonal skills with this patient as well to achieve a heart-warming result, homage to A Werewolf Boy notwithstanding.

Moving on, some of our evil guys are painted as pretty evil as they come, but I like that we can’t get a full read on Assistant Chief Kang. At any given moment, it looks like he hangs on the edge of harboring either malicious or noble intentions. If we look past his metaphorical love of baseball, we’re left to wonder who he’s truly rooting for and give us more question to ponder: Why does he take such an interest in Shi-on anyway? And what is his deal with the Creepy Chairman who may or may not be creepy? Also: Mom where were you all this time? Her sudden appearance makes me wonder what happened during the gap years, and I’m excited to watch how her presence comes into play.

Yoon-seo still continues to tug at my heartstrings this episode as she faces the aftermath of her first surgery. It certainly couldn’t be the first time she’s lost a patient as a second-year fellow, but I could only imagine the amount of stress she was under to operate on a child for the first time without a supervisor present. And then to subsequently lose that life in your hands, it pained me to watch her keep trying to revive the child, unable and unwilling to accept the truth. I like how we got to explore how she copes with her grief, and how this particular loss makes her doubt her own clinical skills. With a hard-headed boss at the helm, I could understand her dilemma to balance how to provide care to her patients while being an effective surgeon. I did find it a bit convenient that it took Shi-on’s idealistic view to bring her back to the notion that their work is more about the patients and that she isn’t just a technician at work in the operating room and hospital. But then I suppose the idea the show wants us to draw is that Yoon-seo and Shi-on learns from each other as they treat the patients that comes through those doors.

But more than anything, I love that we keep seeing progress in Shi-on’s interactions with those around him. The way he speaks to the children in a way they can understand gets me every time, and I really enjoy the metaphors and analogies he uses with each child. And not only that, we’re starting to see Shi-on act as the initiator in these interactions, to be the one to extend the helping hand to those in need.


202 August 21, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 6

by gummimochi

When it comes to the matters of the heart, we don’t always need words to voice our needs and desires. Other times, there are words that we still aren’t able to understand. That’s the thing when you’re working with such complex and abstract concepts like emotions: They’re both universal and personal. In order to understand them, you have to take your nose out of that book and express them.

Good Doctor is approaching that rare 20% milestone faster than we thought as Episode 6 ticked upward once more with a solid 19.0%


The residents are at a loss as to what to do with the feral child, who barks at anyone who draws near. Do-han arrives just then, and he barely blinks an eye before he instructs them to restrain the child.

It’s easier said than done since Wolf Girl hurls objects at the team with a defensive growl. Shi-on offers to reach out to their patient once more, an idea that gets easily dismissed.

But to everyone’s surprise, Shi-on gets on all fours and mimics dog-like behaviors like rolling around and shaking his imaginary tail. It’s enough to give Wolf Girl pause as she looks at Shi-on with intrigued curiosity.

Then Shi-on offers his hand, palm-side up, to the girl whose hand hovers over his for a moment…

…and then the residents jump to restrain Wolf Girl on the gurney so that Do-han can administer the sedative. The effect is immediate, and the team assesses the injuries and overall medical condition.

After Yoon-seo treats Shi-on’s wound, she asks about Shi-on’s strange behavior earlier. She listens as Shi-on explains in his usual medico-techno speak about the importance of being at eye level in animal communication.

She cuts him off mid-explanation to tell him that although she understands where he’s coming from, their bosses may not be so understanding.

Taking his arm, she nags him as a noona to work out more. Her touch induces another wave of hiccups. Ha.

The loss of a major corporate hospital patron puts the administration on edge. Assistant Chief Kang says they need to take appropriate measures to resolve any issues within the hospital so they don’t lose any more financial contributors.

It’s the same issue the medical department heads discuss at present, as the pediatrics department is targeted as the hospital’s weakest link. That leads Doctor Pomade to allude to the petition against Shi-on. Doctor Choi firmly puts his foot down at that, since that issue doesn’t pertain to the financial problem at hand.

Then they receive news that another corporate group has also chosen to cease their patronage to the hospital.

Do-han and Yoon-seo report that Wolf Girl has an inflamed belly button (due to a deformed urachus). They ask the nice ajusshi about her backstory, which is horrific to say the least: The little girl was raised by her aunt, who owns a dog farm, and he believes she was raised in one of the dog cages since that’s where he found her. Lordy.

Meanwhile, Shi-on sits by the little girl’s bedside. Thinking of his bunny, Shi-on gently strokes Wolf Girl’s ragged hair.

The psych evaluation reveals Wolf Girl exhibits behavior that is no different than the dogs she grew up with. Yeah, I think we all figured that part out, thanks. Before Do-han and Yoon-seo decide their course of action, Shi-on enters and asks to take over Wolf Girl’s case.

Keeping the patient under sedation will only increase her anxiety, Shi-on tells him. What the patient needs is someone she can communicate with, and Shi-on believes he can do that because he used to talk to his bunny when he was young. Ooh, that last part doesn’t really help your cause.

But Do-han doesn’t want to hear a word of it, and after he assigns the case to another resident, he barks at Shi-on to get out. Yoon-seo tries to back the idea that Shi-on fits the bill, only to be dismissed as well.

Once outside, Yoon-seo gives Shi-on a smart kick to the bum, since talking about their patient like an animal doesn’t help them. She starts to explain Wolf Girl’s psychological impairment, but Shi-on proves that he already knows them and rattles off the diagnoses.

Yoon-seo tells him to treat the patient by the book like he usually does, but Shi-on counters: “A mental illness cannot be treated by the book. Mine also didn’t get treated by the book.”

She tells him that Wolf Girl isn’t able to communicate with them to voice her needs, but Shi-on disagrees—he can tell what the patient wants.

They’re called away to examine another patient (the same little girl whom Shi-on taught to knock on her heart), but Yoon-seo doesn’t understand her pain descriptors and can’t pinpoint a cause since her tests and symptoms don’t reveal anything out of the ordinary.

Then Shi-on speaks up and asks the little girl about her symptoms using her own words (think “owie” or “boo-boo”). The little girl lights up and nods in agreement that that’s what she means.

Yoon-seo looks puzzledly at both of them as if they’re conversing in some sort of foreign language, but then breaks into a smile as Shi-on accurately translates the patient’s symptoms in medical terminology.

The little girl follows him to thank him in person for understanding her words (aw) and hands over a couple sausage snacks for him to share with his girlfriend (double aw).

And in a corner, Mom witnesses this exchange and thinks to herself, “Thank you… thank you for growing up so well.”

Doctor Pomade is knocked off his pedestal when he hears that the petition against Shi-on has been dismissed on the grounds of doing away with anything that will hurt the hospital’s image.

Assistant Chief Kang adds that if Doctor Pomade planned to pull something without his knowledge, then he should have done a better job at it. Doctor Pomade cries that the patients’ guardians will just rally again, only to be told that that’s already been taken care of.

Chae-kyung sits Do-han to update him on how the pediatrics department as a whole is a prime target of elimination. Do-han doesn’t seem too troubled about it and answers that he’ll keep doing his job regardless.

It doesn’t matter if he’s upset by her words because she’ll see that Do-han becomes the best. But Do-han isn’t interested to build his success through someone else’s nurturing; he’ll do it on his own.

She tells him not to be stubborn, but he interrupts her, “Just once, can’t you be proud of what I do? That’s what I live by. Not ego, but pride.”

Chae-kyung meets with Doctor Choi, who tells her that her stepmother is having a rough time. That doesn’t faze her and she asks, “Do you know who I hate more than [my stepmother]? You.”

She thought that out of everyone she knew, Doctor Choi would be the one to oppose her father’s remarriage. She lets out a soft laugh when he tells her that he was thinking of her parents’ happiness: “So then the hurt I felt was ignored for their sakes?”

Tears well up in her eyes as she says how she used to regard president Lee and Doctor Choi as family because they were her greatest support. He tells her that nothing has changed, but she disagrees because president Lee is now the board president. She vows to take back what’s rightfully hers.

The nurses are reluctant to bathe Wolf Girl themselves, so Nurse Nam takes it upon herself to do the task. Cut to: Wolf Girl barking in the bathroom as Nurse Nam holds the door outside and screams for help. Ha.

They do manage to get Wolf Girl cleaned up, and their soft encouragements for her to sit on the bed is met with no reponse. So Shi-on crawls on all fours again and places a hand on the bed to communicate through non-verbal gestures. Heh, I love that Yoon-seo shushes the nurses so that Shi-on can interact with their patient.

But just as Shi-on seems to be getting somewhere, Do-han walks in with the order to tie down the patient until her surgery for her own safety as well as the safety of those around her. When Shi-on starts to protest, Do-han barks at him to get out.

But then Do-han receives a call to put Shi-on on the case instead with the reason that Shi-on has relatable experience. Do-han sees past his superior’s so-called noble intentions, and asks if he hopes to see Shi-on cause trouble for them again.

Doctor Pomade pulls his power card and says the pediatrics department is in enough danger of termination as it is. Then he points to Do-han and tells him that his defiance won’t help Doctor Choi at all.

Shi-on paces about the room with excitement, and Yoon-seo sits him down to remind him that he can’t afford to make any mistakes with this case because it could be his last. He nods.

Taking his face in her hands, she tells him to stay focused. She adds: “I believe in you. I believe in you a lot.” Shi-on hiccups.

Yoon-seo finds it odd that he hiccups whenever he looks at her, and wonders if it’s because she smells funny. He says that’s not it, and then takes the sausage snacks from his pocket and hands her one. Aww.

Nurse Jo tries to feed Wolf Girl while she’s cuffed to the bed, to no avail. Shi-on says the hospital food isn’t in line with her normal diet, but she can’t go without food any longer. So he zooms to the cafeteria and returns with food scraps (which is also called gaebap or “dog food” in Korean, heh).

Wolf Girl’s eyes grow wide at the bowl and barks excitedly. Shi-on instructs that they untie her hands, and as soon as she’s free, the girl happily digs in.

Yoon-seo passes by the room just then, but before she can storm inside, she’s pulled back by Doctor Choi, who tells her to leave them be.

They relocate to Doctor Choi’s office, and he tells her that the inspiration for one of his well-known lectures came from Shi-on and his bunny when he was young.

Although they differed as animal and human, they communicated in the same language: “The rhythm of their hearts, their warmth, and even small movements, that was the language they shared between the two of them.”

It was then he realized that he needed to speak to children in that same manner because children often use jargon adults are unable to understand. In those times, one must listen to the heart, just like Shi-on and his bunny did.

Yoon-seo asks for a copy of that lecture, and smiles at a picture of young Shi-on on Doctor Choi’s desk.

Do-han has been in a pissy mood (more than usual, anyway) ever since Shi-on took over Wolf Girl’s case. Yoon-seo confronts her boss about it after surgery, to which he says that she must already know that Shi-on was hired as the hospital board’s pawn to oust Doctor Choi.

Hospital politics don’t interest her, but Doh-an tells her that if something happens to Shi-on, then everything Doctor Choi worked so hard to build will come tumbling down. To that, Yoon-seo asks if the chief of staff is the only one who matters.

“Have you ever held a humane conversation with Shi-on before?” She fires back. She says that Shi-on even communicates with animals, but Do-han doesn’t even care to communicate with people.

Do-han coldly says he doesn’t feel the need to communicate like that, an answer that saddens her. Yoon-seo: “When I watch you interact with Shi-on, you really seem like a different person.”

As Do-han reflects on the roof, we see a brief flashback to his brother’s funeral where Do-han sits in a corner alone as a lone tear falls from his eye.

Later that night, Shi-on sits by Wolf Girl aka Eun-ok’s bedside. Though they hold a silent conversation with their eyes, we hear their voices narrate:

Shi-on: You’re really sad, right? Because you’re lonely and sick.
Eun-ok: Yes.
Shi-on: Just wait a little longer. I’ll make sure it doesn’t hurt anymore.
Eun-ok: Thank you.
Shi-on: Who do you miss the most right now?
Eun-ok: Mom… my mom.

Shi-on silently encourages her to go sleep now, and she closes her eyes. He whispers: “You’re pretty. I love you.”

Chae-kyung is at home busy preparing her I’m-sorry-for-being-so-harsh-on-you dinner, only to receive a message from Do-han saying he won’t be back home tonight. We see that he’s actually at a local pojangmacha, pouring himself shot after shot of soju.

Yoon-seo is eating the sausage snack Shi-on gave her earlier that day when she’s called out by Do-han. He asks if he seems like the cold-hearted and callous type, but Yoon-seo counters that she knows he’s warm and sympathetic, just not when it comes to Shi-on.

Do-han: “I had a younger brother once. Soo-hanie.” His brother was the reason why he went into medicine because Soo-han had a moderate intellectual disability.

(I had to do some digging since Do-han refers to the severity of the condition as “Level 3.” In Korea, the level of severity is classified through numbers [1-5]. The term “intellectual disability” replaces the previous use of “mental retardation” as of 2010 in the States; a change that’s reflected in the latest version of the psych diagnostic manual DSM-V.)

Because his brother grew up in a loving, supportive environment, Soo-han was able to lead a somewhat normal life. Do-han: “I thought he got a lot better. To the point where he could live on his own.”

We flashback a few years when Do-han had celebrated his birthday with his family and Soo-han had gifted him with a children’s anatomy textbook. Do-han in turn, had promised to work to make his brother better when he becomes a doctor.

Just from their interaction, there’s no doubt that Do-han had truly loved his brother. So Do-han had asked their parents to let Soo-han travel to school by himself to help his brother instill a sense of independence.

They’d been understandably nervous about the idea, so Do-han assured them: “It’s possible to overcome one’s fear of the world and of people. So trust me, and do this for [him].”

But the first day Soo-han had gone off on his own, the overwhelming anxiety left him paralyzed in fear. Then he had run off into the street after the light turned and a truck of doom hit him.

“It was my fault.” Do-han confesses, and he blames himself for his brother’s death. Yoon-seo tells him that it isn’t his fault because she would have done the same in his place.

But Do-han believes that it was his own foolish thoughts that led to his brother’s end when the best thing for Soo-han was to restrict him from doing anything. Shi-on had reminded him so much of his brother, and that was the reason why he didn’t allow Shi-on to do anything.

Yoon-seo places a hand over his and tells him that although he may have lost his brother, he’s also saved countless of other children’s lives. She knows that thought doesn’t comfort him, but he’s been a comfort for so many others. “And that’s also the reason why I respect you so much.”

Then we see Do-han drunkenly stumble back into the hospital and steal Jin-wook’s bed for the night.

Yoon-seo smiles to find Shi-on dozing off beside the patient’s bed the next morning. Aw, it’s kinda cute how Eun-ok barks to wake him up. Yoon-seo interprets this as a sign for food, but Shi-on says the patient isn’t hungry… and then his stomach growls. HA.

What’s better is that he forms his rice into the same triangular shape like his kimbap, to her amusement. Mom smiles as she watches the two in a corner, and then she doubles over in pain and collapses. Oh noes, don’t say she has a terminal illness, Show!

Thankfully Shi-on and Yoon-seo haven’t gone too far off and they rush to her side. Surprisingly, Shi-on doesn’t recognize his mother even though he looks directly at her, and says they have to hurry.

Chae-kyung drops by the staff room. She shows concern for the team’s tired state with an all-night surgery, only to hear that it was a quiet night. Uh oh. She doesn’t let on that she know to Do-han, however, but tells him not to try so hard to make it up to her.

Mom smiles as she looks at Shi-on, and she’s told that it’s nothing serious. Phew. Yoon-seo introduces Mom as the one who prepared him dinner the other night. Mom smiles as he thanks her, saying it tastes just like the dish he ate in his hometown.

That prompts her to ask who made it for him back then, and he answers that he doesn’t know. Ah, so perhaps he doesn’t remember Mom after all. Just when he’s about to leave, Mom takes him by the hand to say a heartfelt: “Thank you.”

Shi-on invites the other children into Eun-ok’s room when he catches them peek in curiously outside. I love that the kids acknowledge that they’re scared, but they want to get to know their new potential friend anyway.

They approach slowly so as not to frighten her, and Eun-ok draws back defensively. Then the little girl extends a hand to gently stroke Eun-ok’s hair and face as Shi-on explains Eun-ok responds better to other kids.

Then the other kids follow suit and pet Eun-ok. Aww. But then we see resident spy Il-kyu witness this scene from just outside the door. Auugggh.

Yoon-seo heads to the locker room to retrieve Mom’s identification card when a picture falls out of the wallet. It’s a picture of Mom with her sons… and now the pieces fall together in her head as she recognizes young Shi-on in the photo.

Assistant Chief Kang speaks with Creepy Chairman, who’s heading out overseas again. He tells Assistant Chief Kang that although the pediatrics will have it rough for the time being, it will be the hospital board that will crumble in the long run.

So it seems that Creepy Chairman only helped to pull those strings to get the corporations to stop their patronage. When he wraps up the call, he sits in for another meeting… with Chae-kyung, here to complain about Assistant Chief Kang. What the?

It turns out that it was Chae-kyung who had both companies cease their financial contributions. She makes it perfectly that she has no qualms about going up against her stepmother.

Shi-on is called away to the emergency room, making sure Eun-ok’s door is locked before he leaves. Then we see resident spy Il-kyu leaves the door open.

So Nurse Nam is spooked when Eun-ok bursts out of her room and tears through the hospital, wreaking havoc upon patients and visitors alike.

Do-han’s team is busy preparing for Eun-ok’s surgery when they’re informed of the incident. They find Eun-ok huddled in a corner and told to keep back by the security guards. Oh man, this has bad news written all over it.

Which is when Shi-on finally arrives after having made a brief pit-stop for snacks. He watches as the guards apprehend Eun-ok by force.

Shi-on breaks through the crowd to free their hold on Eun-ok, but he accidentally elbows a security guard in the chaos. And that’s the part everyone sees. Ohhh, this is bad.


Augh, this is bad. Now it’s going to turn into a his word against theirs battle when it looks like Shi-on was the one who made the careless mistake. And who will believe him or vouch for him this time? This show hasn’t been exactly subtle about what will happen to Shi-on if such a crucial error that threatens the safety of the hospital occurred, and yet it still makes me nervous because there is a limitation to Doctor Choi’s safety net, especially when the hospital is falling upon hard times.

After Monday’s Wolf Girl cliffhanger that left us chomping on the bit, I was intrigued to watch how this case would be integrated into the storyline. I do like how we saw Shi-on do more than tap into his vast knowledge bank about animal behaviors and reflect upon the way he communicated with his bunny. So although Wolf Girl isn’t exactly docile as a bunny, the analogy makes it his experience personal and goes beyond what’s written in a textbook. Because now we’re dealing with matters of the heart that cannot always be easily explained or needs explanation. I found it pretty far-fetched that the patient who has been starved of human contact for years could be so tame one moment and wild the next, but given the show’s general format to introduce new characters every few episodes, I could understand the intent of such a drastic change. To an extent.

I didn’t expect that we’d spend so much time on Do-han in this episode. It’s safe to say that Do-han has generally shown two modes in this series thus far (angry and bitter) and how he’s expressed those strong emotions for better and for worse. So it’s nice to be able to see that he wasn’t all ice, and once had a loving relationship with his younger brother Soo-han. The reveal into Do-han’s past came earlier than I thought, but important to us as viewers to understand a little bit of why he treats Shi-on so harshly and coldly. To have been the enabler of his brother’s independence, only for that to end up in his untimely death, it’s no wonder that he would repress the guilt and mask it with his current unsympathetic and cold behavior. Does it absolve Do-han of how he’s treated Shi-on with such aggression? No, but if we didn’t get a peek into the past at this point, then I dare say it’d be hard to try to redeem his character later on in the series in my eyes.

There is, of course, more to unpack with Do-han’s past because if Soo-han did grow up in such a loving and caring environment, then why would he be stricken from the family register as if he never existed? There could be a plethora of reasons, one of which that the shame culture looks down upon anyone with any type of disability. What’s more is that Assistant Kang knows of this fact, which makes me wonder why he’s keeping tabs on someone like Do-han. We know that he hails from a wealthy family, but what more is there to dig up (or to protect, ’cause yunno, we still don’t know where his intentions lie)?

As cheesy as it may be, I like that we have a number of characters who are in need of healing in this series. So many of them carry such emotional scars that like Wolf Girl, they snarl and bite defensively when anyone draws near. We still have our stock characters who are painted with broad strokes, but our core team of residents have still so much to learn from each other. And goodness knows, we could all use a bit of healing.


54 September 2, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 7

by gummimochi

Even with medical emergencies flying in left in right, Good Doctor also dedicates the time to focus on the people who occupy the hospital. And though some of our characters are pretty cookie-cutter, I enjoy how there are a select few we really don’t have any idea about.

Note: A crazy, hectic real-life week kept me away from dramaland after KCON. But I’m back for lots more Good Doctor. I appreciate your patience everyone! Thanks!


Baek Ji-young – “I’m Crying” (울고만있어) [ Download ]

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All eyes are on Shi-on after he accidentally elbows a security guard in his effort to help Eun-ok. Eek, thisisbadthisisbad. And then Eun-ok collapses onto the floor crying in pain.

The doctors examine her inflamed abdomen, and Shi-on’s cries that they have to operate immediately get promptly dismissed.

Once the patient is wheeled away, Do-han tears into Shi-on, telling him that nobody will believe his side of the story, thus it’s pointless to try to convince them otherwise. In his eyes, it proves once again how Shi-on didn’t think of how his behavior would affect those around him, including Doctor Choi.

Those words seem to affect Shi-on, and he returns to his desk with a heavy heart.

Having overheard the lecture, Yoon-seo hangs her head in apology to her boss on Shi-on’s behalf as well as her own, but Do-han refuses to hear a word of it. They get to work on the inflamed abscess in the little girl’s abdomen.

After Doctor Choi is informed of the situation, he sits down with Shi-on in the staff room. He nods understandingly as Shi-on explains himself in a scared and anxious voice, and places a hand over Shi-on’s in comfort.

In a gentle voice, Doctor Choi says that up to this point, Shi-on has learned how to treat his patients, but now it’s time for him to learn how to assume responsibility. Shi-on has trouble with the idea that things aren’t always black-and-white, and asks why he should take responsibility for something he didn’t do.

At the disciplinary committee meeting, Doctor Choi makes the announcement that Shi-on will be fired from staff. That decision also begs the question of the chief of staff position, a promise that Doctor Choi plans to uphold.

President Lee calls up Doctor Choi once she hears the news, upset that he’s made this decision without consulting her. She assures him that she’ll buy him some time so she can think of another solution. He says there’s no need, but she tells him that she’ll feel powerless at this hospital without him.

In the operating room, Do-han successfully completes surgery but warns his team to keep a close eye in case of a relapse. He then gets a call from Chae-kyung about the committee’s decision.

From the worried look on Yoon-seo’s face, it seems that the incident with Eun-ok continues to weigh heavily on her mind. Shi-on drops by to ask after the surgery, and he’s relieved to hear it was successful.

He then launches to his explanation that he can’t lie—he locked the patient’s door, but neither of their bosses believe him, and he doesn’t understand why people keep telling him that he’s the one who made the mistake.

He asks if Yoon-seo thinks he’s lying, too. Didn’t she once tell him that she believes in him? Yoon-seo swallows hard before telling him to return to his desk, unable to deliver the bad news.

Do-han tries to persuade Doctor Choi from stepping down as chief of staff, adding that there’s no need to put himself on the line for Shi-on’s sake. But Doctor Choi sticks by his principles and says that he’s a man of his word.

We can see on their faces how this decision pains them both, and Doctor Choi thanks Do-han for helping him with Shi-on.

Doctor Kim is sharp enough to pinpoint Doctor Pomade’s evil motives behind ousting the current board president and chief of staff. He warns Doctor Pomade to do his part properly or they’ll both be in trouble.

Just then, Do-han barges into the room and asks if they’re satisfied now. He finds this power struggle immature and ridiculous, and makes it clear that this isn’t the end—this decision will boomerang back to them.

Unfortunately there is no CCTV that records the specific area near Eun-ok’s room, and that security door lock doesn’t report to the main server, which seems like a huge oversight. However, they can obtain a list of the last ten people who came and went in that area. Assistant Chief Kang instructs security to get him that list without anyone knowing.

As Chae-kyung listens to Do-han’s rant about his superiors, she points out how Do-han is powerless to do anything in his current position. She reminds him that he’ll never run into another situation like this one if he accepts her offer.

Doctor Choi drops by the staff room to deliver the bad news to Shi-on, who says that no one believes him. Shi-on runs into Do-han on his way out, and his request to say goodbye to Yoon-seo and the rest of the team is shut down.

Do-han advises that Shi-on lives a life that suits his condition where he doesn’t trouble those around him. He adds, “Don’t ever think you’re capable of doing things on your own.”

At the same time, Doctor Choi spends a quiet moment in his office, and he tears up at the photos of him and Shi-on.

Yoon-seo belatedly hears of Shi-on’s dismissal, and she rushes into the staff room only to find him already gone. Her phone calls go unanswered, and we see Shi-on peer in to check on Eun-ok before he turns to leave.

Yoon-seo catches a glimpse of him in the lobby and she chases him outside, calling his name. But Shi-on doesn’t so much as turn his head as he walks away.

It’s only when Shi-on is a far distance from the hospital that he looks back at the building. He apologizes to Hyung in his head: “I’ll do better next time. I’ll make sure to become a doctor.”

He trudges along the street, but he instinctively turns his head at a passing ambulance on its way to the hospital.

As tears stream down her face, Yoon-seo tries to convince herself that this could be better for Shi-on. Meanwhile Do-han speaks to his solved 12-sided rubik’s cube as if it was Shi-on: “Don’t take on the world. If you can avoid it, avoid it. If you can hide, then hide.”

Yoon-seo sits vigil by Eun-ok’s bedside and tries to touch her head when she wakes, but Eun-ok turns away.

Recalling Shi-on’s words about animal communication to align with the heart, Yoon-seo slowly places a hand over the little girl’s heart. In turn, Eun-ok brushes her fingers over Yoon-seo’s hand.

This precious moment is cut short by Eun-ok’s aunt’s arrival, and the woman’s shrill voice alone triggers a fear response in the little girl. Bitch Aunt is a piece of work to say the least, and she demands that her niece be discharged. The way she boasts about how she doesn’t see anything wrong with how she raised Eun-ok makes me want to slap her.

Yoon-seo blames Eun-ok’s currently deteriorated mental and physical health on the aunt’s negligence. She refuses to release her patient, and tells auntie to go the legal route if she wants to see her niece. Damn, I love it when Yoon-seo stands her ground.

But what’s even better is that good-natured Nurse Jo turns on a dime after he leads Bitch Aunt away. Making a gesture across his throat, he issues the warning that she better not come to cause another ruckus here again. HA.

Back in the patient’s room, Yoon-seo and the nurses worry about Eun-ok, whose aunt was let off with a warning due to lack of evidence. Noting Eun-ok’s anxious state, Nurse Jo comments that it would be nice if Shi-on was here at a time like this.

In-hye scoffs over how absurd it is that the hospital fired Shi-on without giving him so much as a warning. She sends him an SOS text that she’s in a lot of pain. It works, and Shi-on calls her back to ask about her symptoms. She says it’s her heart (as in emotional heart or feelings), and he pouts and asks if she lied to him.

Meanwhile, the other kids talk about Shi-on, and the little girl rises to Shi-on’s defense when one of the boys says he was told that Shi-on is a little strange. She tells them that they’re wrong, and they catch a glimpse of In-hye sneaking outside in street clothes.

Do-han finds Yoon-seo standing by Shi-on’s empty desk. She admits that she hoped to say something, but let him go instead. She knows she would have told him to beg for forgiveness and try to stick it out, but then she realized that Shi-on might be better off this way. Do-han tells her that she made the right decision and walks out.

Yoon-seo check on Mom and carefully broaches the topic about her family. Mom confesses that she has a husband and a son, but they both live far away. When Mom asks about Shi-on, Yoon-seo lies that he’s still working at the hospital.

That answer brings a smile to Mom’s face, and she says that his parents would be very proud of him.

As Shi-on sits in a toy museum, he thinks to himself: “I don’t lie, but why don’t people believe me?” This is where In-hye finds him, and she assures him that she’ll only stay for a short while.

She tells him that he can’t break the toy robots like he did at the hospital, and Shi-on points to a sign that says as much. She asks Shi-on why he likes robots, and he answers: “Because they listen to me. They believe me.”

“Robots stay still,” he continues, “No matter how much I talk, they listen to everything I say.”

At the same time, Yoon-seo says that Shi-on seemed upset that no one believed what he said. Doctor Choi agrees, and adds that there are times when treating those with autism when they are taught to lie in order to help them survive in society. He wasn’t able to achieve that with Shi-on.

That prompts Yoon-seo to ask how Shi-on managed to lead a life of independence thus far then. Thanks to Shi-on’s remarkable memorization skills, he studied everything he needed to know about the world through books, including abstract concepts and principles. The problem, however, is that Shi-on hits a roadblock whenever he comes across an irrational or illogical situation.

She asks after Shi-on’s parentage and learns that both of his parents abandoned him after his brother died, so Doctor Choi took it upon himself to raise the boy.

When she asks if he’d be able to recognize his parents now, Doctor Choi shakes his head, saying that Shi-on has blocked out all of his childhood memories and his family apart from his brother.

Doctor Choi believes the reason behind Shi-on’s childlike state isn’t just due to his autism, but that he’s holding onto his childhood, much like Peter Pan.

Elsewhere, In-hye and Shi-on go out to eat. She tells him that he can always work at another hospital and instructs him to let her know when he does so she can transfer there. Aw, that’s sweet.

Shi-on says there are a lot of doctors where she is now, but In-hye tells him that she likes him the best. Double aw. Shi-on smiles. Triple aw.

In-hye tells him to keep his chin up despite the fact that he’s been fired. He nods and stuffs his face with food.

Back at the hospital, Assistant Chief Kang looks over the list of entrants and notes that resident spy Il-kyu was the last one entered the ward.

Speaking of whom, the residents chat about their mixed reactions about Shi-on’s now empty seat. Jin-wook seems to be the only one more visibly upset, but he says he isn’t because they all didn’t do enough for Shi-on to be upset about it.

Jin-wook scolds In-hye when he catches her sneaking back to her room, saying that she should think of her sister. While they’re on the subject, In-hye asks if Jin-wook is going to do anything about her sister, adding that she hates guys who give up easily.

To that, Jin-wook calls out in a slightly deflated voice to wash up properly. Heh.

Later that evening, Yoon-seo notices that the lights are out in Shi-on’s apartment. She lets herself in and finds Shi-on sitting in his apartment in the dark. She instructs him to follow her, and when he asks where they’re going, she answers: “The Library.”

Shi-on says he doesn’t want to go study, but she means the medical themed bar the Library, and he notes that there aren’t any books. She introduces him to the bartender, whom she identifies as Uncle.

I’m amused at the way Yoon-seo handles that soju bottle with ease, and she asks if he knows how to drink. Shi-on shakes his head and says he didn’t drink (even when he went with his college sunbaes) because he didn’t like the smell of alcohol.

With a smile she asks if he’ll drink if she pours him some, and he nods that he will. They both have a shot and Shi-on’s face reels like he just drank poison. Heh. Granted, soju does have a harsh, bitter taste, so I totally get that.

He doesn’t answer when she invites him out to dinner that weekend, so Yoon-seo asks if he’s still upset with her because he thinks that she doesn’t believe him. Shi-on says that he can take it if people don’t like him, but he doesn’t like being known as a liar.

Yoon-seo assures him that she trusts him, but it’s hard to gain that same trust from everyone. Shi-on has trouble with that, so she tries a different angle and asks if he’s ever thought about pursuing something else in medicine besides being a surgeon.

She adds that he can still save lives even if he isn’t a surgeon, but Shi-on says he still wants to be one and treat children by his own hands.

She sighs, and then tells him to drink allll the liquor in the bar to celebrate their first drink together. I love the wide-eyed shock on his face as he takes her words at face value, and he’s told that he should learn how to drown his problems in drink.

Ha, you’re going to try and teach him how to drink. Why do I get the feeling that it’s going to backfire on you?

Cut to: Shi-on carrying a plastered Yoon-seo on his back. Hahaha. She slurs her words as she asks why Shi-on is still sober, and he matter-of-factly replies that at one point it started to tasted like water.

She asks if Shi-on ever wanted to curse anyone out, and he says that he doesn’t like to curse nor does he care to hear it. Then Yoon-seo starts cursing at the top of her lungs, and when the neighbors threaten to report them, she whispers to Shi-on: “Run.” HA.

Shi-on gently tucks Yoon-seo into bed, and she murmurs that it’s okay if he causes trouble every day. “So don’t go.”

Then Shi-on extends his hand towards Yoon-seo and gently strokes her hair.

The next morning Assistant Chief Kang calls resident spy Il-kyu into his office. He laughs in amusement over the resident’s transcript, noting how his poor grades in med school dramatically improved while he was under Doctor Pomade’s advisement.

He asks point-blank why Il-kyu left Eun-ok’s door open that day, and the resident’s attempts to play dumb work against him as Assistant Chief Kang says with a smile that that wouldn’t be a smart move.

Shi-on packs up his things to head back to his hometown. He spends a long minute looking up at Yoon-seo’s apartment before heading out.

Shi-on does, however, call Yoon-seo to let her know that he’s leaving to see the children at the orphanage. She asks why he didn’t leave when she was there earlier that morning. He answers that he was about to, but didn’t, and doesn’t know why.

He says it’s unlikely that he’ll come back to Seoul, and she promises to visit him when she goes on vacation. He says goodbye.

Do-han and his team check on Eun-ok, and on their way out, she grabs onto Il-kyu’s coat and snarls at him. He has to wrestle her hand away to get her to let go.

Assistant Chief Kang presents the list to Doctor Choi, saying that it’s right that they should catch the culprit right away. Now he plays his card, and offers to keep both Shi-on and the chief of staff in the hospital in exchange for Doctor Choi’s support.

Mom comes by to see Shi-on, only to hear that he’s been laid off. She speaks with Yoon-seo outside and apologizes for crying over someone she doesn’t even know. Which is when Yoon-seo addresses her as Shi-on’s mother and says it’s okay.

After Mom is filled in, she cries that she’s followed her son around town ever since he attended med school. Yoon-seo suggests that they meet since a lot of time has passed since then. But Mom says she’ll wait until Shi-on remembers who she is and asks Yoon-seo to keep it a secret from him. Aw Mom, don’t do the noble idiocy thing!

At the train station, Shi-on apologizes to Eun-ok over the phone (thanks to Nurse Jo) about not being able to stay by her side. Eun-ok tears up as Shi-on promises to take her to his hometown once she get out of the hospital.

She raises a hand to touch the image of Shi-on and he does so in kind.

Do-han heads up to see Chae-kyung to ask why the department hasn’t been given the robotic surgery equipment they’ve requested. She says it’s because of a lack of funds, but I suspect there’s more to it.

He argues that patient lives depend on that technology, and she counters that only the assistant chief can make that decision. Oho, might that be the administrative position you’re grooming him for?

So Do-han beelines for Assistant Chief Kang’s office, and he’s told that there needs to be a successful return for an investment to be made. Just like how Do-han treats patients as a doctor, the assistant chief treats the various departments in the hospital with corporate investments.

Do-han retorts that dealing with patients isn’t like handling companies, a statement the assistant chief merely smiles at. Gah, I can’t figure out what that smile means.

The assistant chief gives one last word that we hear only when Do-han returns to his office. His goal is to someday see the words that this hospital houses the best pediatric surgeons in the nation. Do-han puts in a call to the assistant chief.

Bitch Aunt returns to the hospital with police detail in tow. Yoon-seo still refuses to discharge her patient and holds the aunt at bay when another voice interjects to say they cannot move the patient.

It’s Shi-on and he says in a determined voice that Eun-ok cannot be transferred. Yoon-seo looks at him in shock, surprised that Shi-on has returned.


He’s back! I admit that I didn’t find Shi-on’s dismissal all that surprising since that threat has been on the line ever since Shi-on stepped foot into that hospital. So I knew that he would have to return to the hospital sooner or later, and though I was more than relieved to see that it was sooner, the plot point didn’t pack that emotional punch or costly tension that I hoped for. This isn’t the end to Shi-on’s opposition for sure, and I’m certain that our evildoers won’t let up. But what I am interested in is about how Shi-on (and Doctor Choi, presumably) were able to stay at their positions. What were the specifics to Assistant Chief Kang’s deal, and how will utilizing the chief of staff’s help going to benefit him? Then there’s Do-han and we have yet to know what he was offered.

Apart from the hospital politics, I especially enjoy watching the interaction between Shi-on and In-hye in this series. Their budding friendship is a gem to watch, and I love how he’s the bright-eyed, naive doctor whereas she’s the jaded patient who’s been in an out of the hospital time and time again. Their differing perspectives is what makes this relationship work and I like that In-hye believes in him that he’s a great doctor. In that vein, I can’t wait for the romance between Jin-wook and In-hye’s sister to get going since their awkward-cute moments help balance some of the Dramatic Trauma in the storyline.

Now that we have an explanation for Shi-on’s gap years (his parents left him after Hyung died), it now makes more sense why Shi-on doesn’t recognize his mother. Doctor Choi’s insight into how Shi-on’s tragic past could partly explain Shi-on’s childlike innocence is an interesting on. If we buy that statement, then we’re also dealing with other psychological issues like repressed memories due to trauma. It then provides further depth in our hero as it gives us an avenue to explore about a possible interaction with autism and past trauma. And yet, I’m hesitant to push that idea since it would mean the show intends to juggle several mental health issues simultaneously in one character.

In truth, that’s one of the things that I hope the show aims to do since mental health and its societal effects in Korea is still very hush-hush as far as I know. At the same time, I can see that the show is going for the heart-warming angle between our characters and tries to sprinkle in some psychoeducation in each episode. As we move forward, I can only hope that Shi-on will continue to progress as a doctor as he deals with a cynical environment and not merely just a tool for change.


56 September 3, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 8

by gummimochi

Never fear—the pediatric team is ready to assemble to handle any case thrown at them. Even as the hospital politics continue to threaten the future of the department, the doctors on this team won’t give up on their patients, unless the child’s caretakers don’t give their consent. But in this place of healing, these doctors not only treat rare illnesses, they also treat the matters of the heart.

The ratings for Good Doctor saw a slight dip after our last feral medical case and held steady at 17.4% and 18.4% for Episodes 7 and 8.


Shi-on says that Eun-ok cannot and doesn’t want to go home. He shouts, “She hates you!” Yoon-seo sidles up to him to ask what happened, and brightens to hear that his name has been cleared, which means he can return to work.

They take on Bitch Aunt together, and Shi-on says they can ask Eun-ok herself whether she wants to stay and leave. Bitch Aunt points out that Eun-ok is unable to speak, but Shi-on retorts that she can still communicate her likes and dislikes.

Eun-ok instinctively stiffens at the sight of her aunt, but breaks into a small smile when she sees Shi-on. Taking his hand, she nuzzles into it affectionately.

They put Eun-ok to the test, and she shakes her head when she’s asked if she wants to go home. Then they ask if she wants to stay with Shi-on instead, and she lets out a soft but audible: “Yes.”

Her answer puts the matter to rest, and as Shi-on strokes her hair, he tells her: “You’re so pretty. I love you.”

The disciplinary committee reviews the security records, which supports Shi-on’s story. They decide to rehire him.

Afterward Do-han identifies this as a missed opportunity to be rid of Shi-on so that he can protect Doctor Choi better. Unwilling to watch his teacher put his neck out for Shi-on any longer, he vows to find the wisest way to keep Doctor Choi at the hospital.

The bulging vein in Doctor Pomade’s forehead nearly bursts at this turn of events. He takes it up with Il-kyu, who cowers at the mention of his error.

Yoon-seo can barely contain her excitement that Shi-on can go back to work, saying it feels like she’s gotten back a long-lost dongsaeng who’s returned home. Do-han notices her ear-splitting grin and notes how this is the happiest he’s ever seen her in the ten years they’ve known each other.

Like a good noona, Yoon-seo wraps Shi-on in a hug when she sees him. She tells him not to be upset anymore because everyone believes him now. He hiccups. HEE.

The residents worry that bringing Shi-on back on the team opens the door for another potential accident. When Shi-on arrives, Jin-wook welcomes him back with open arms, and Il-kyu is immediately called out on his clipped words.

Do-han reminds Shi-on that nothing has changed, but he agrees to hold a welcoming party for Shi-on since they didn’t have one when he first arrived. Yoon-seo excitedly asks Shi-on what he wants, and he answers: “Liquor!” HA.

Shi-on explains: “At first it tastes bitter but it eventually becomes sweet.” Yoon-seo tsks at him that they’re in trouble now. But you were the one who introduced him to the land of soju and beer!

As Doctor Choi sits wide-eyed in his office, we learn a bit more of Assistant Chief Kang’s untitled proposal. All we’re told is that it’s a plan that would benefit the hospital and the pediatric department. Furthermore, it would also guarantee Shi-on’s future.

Do-han confides in Chae-kyung about how powerless he feels to handle the situation himself. Chae-kyung agrees, and then makes a suggestion—what if she becomes the board president? Then they can handle everything together as a married couple.

He asks what would happen to president Lee then, and Chae-kyung cryptically replies that her stepmother will simply resign from her position. I really do wonder why Chae-kyung insists that her fiancé stay out of the hospital politics power play.

As Eun-ok sleeps, Yoon-seo asks how Shi-on was able to get her to speak. He rattles off a bunch of short, mundane yes-or-no questions like “Did you eat?” or “Want to play?” They were questions Eun-ok’s mother once asked her as a young child.

But Eun-ok lost her parents when she was three, Yoon-seo points out, an age which would be difficult to remember anything. Shi-on says it’s not true—the little girl may not be able to recall her mother, but she does know that she had one because that’s who she misses the most.

He adds that the two always told each other “You’re pretty. I love you.” Ah, so Shi-on was able to connect with the girl by following the same words and actions as Eun-ok’s mother.

Shi-on says that he’s envious of Eun-ok because he can’t remember anything besides his hyung—not his parents’ faces or their voices or any memories they shared together. He’s sure his own mother would have told him the same things.

Mom cries tears of happiness at Shi-on’s reinstatement, and Yoon-seo vows to set a time and place for them to meet sometime in the future.

In-hye literally jumps Shi-on as he walks down the hallway. Once she’s on the ground again, she confirms that they are indeed friends and that he can ask her anything.

He surveys the hallway before ushering her away in secret (so cute) to ask about his hiccuping problem. He tells her that it happens whenever “she” touches him, but not when In-hye hugged him.

In-hye asks him how he feels whenever “she” touches him, and Shi-on contemplates for a moment before answering that it’s like watching a soccer player shoot a penalty kick or how it smells of perfume even though he’s eating ice cream.

In-hye: “What bitch is she?” HA. Aw, are your feelings hurt? Shi-on: “Did… you just curse?”

She repeats her question and grows frustrated when Shi-on purses his lips, unwilling to say who. In-hye tells him that he likes this mysterious person and sees her as a woman. Shi-on just blinks silently in response.

He thinks over In-hye’s words about how he’s exhibiting the initial symptoms of first love, but then stops in his tracks when he hears a young boy’s voice singing opera.

It turns out that it’s a video clip, and Shi-on shares it with Eun-ok. He says, “Doesn’t it feel like you’re in heaven?” Their eyes closed, he tells her to imagine her mother while he imagines his.

Handing over his credit card, Do-han tells Yoon-seo to enjoy the festivities without him. She bucks up the courage to suggest that Shi-on be given the same responsibilities as the other residents, but Do-han shuts that idea down.

Do-han already has dinner plans with Assistant Chief Kang and laughs at the assistant chief’s proposal to make the pediatric surgery department into the best, finding it far too ideal.

But Assistant Chief Kang replies that he’s a businessman—he would never pursue something he didn’t already feel was possible. He doesn’t believe in sides in this battle; to him, this is just a process to separate gems from stones.

Now that they’re a team, the assistant chief shares that they have a powerful investor who is backing them. Er, d’you mean Creepy Chairman? ‘Cause I wouldn’t hold my breath for him. He tells Do-han to think about how his plan would benefit everyone.

The pediatrics team (including the nurses, cute) heads to the Library for drinks. When they ask Shi-on to say a word, his eyes find the food plate and he calls out: “It’s whelk!” Heh.

The bartender remarks how the numbers have shrunk in their team dinners as of late, and Yoon-seo sighs that it’s because only idiots apply to pediatrics now. Jin-wook pouts that he’s not an idiot; there were plenty of other places asking for him. Aw.

They continue their festivities at the noraebang as Yoon-seo sings from the top of her lungs. Shi-on volunteers to go next and… is that a DJ DOC song? It’s freakin’ adorable how the whole team sings and dances along with him in their sparkly jackets.

And from just around the corner, Do-han watches the team enjoy themselves, having followed them here from the bar.

Yoon-seo spots him on his way out and they sit outside to chat. Do-han turns to her and asks if she thinks he’s a wise man. She answers that he’s a wee bit irritating. Heh.

She asks why he’s asking her, and he tells her that he wants to hear the answer from the one who’s closest to him. Hm, interesting how that’s not your fiancée. He encourages her to be truthful, but the question makes her uncomfortable, so he quickly changes the subject.

Soon, he picks a fight with her and teases her for speaking like a soldier, saying he doesn’t want his “old hoobae” to talk like that. She takes issue with the term “old” and counters that he’s older. They both break into a smile.

We cut to an auditorium where the same opera boy from the video clip practices while his mother keeps watch. From the beaded sweat on his face, it looks like he’s been at it for some time, and grows visibly nervous when he slips up.

His stern mother doesn’t let up, even when his voice starts breaking. Jeez Mom, could we give the kid a five-minute break? But then Opera Boy starts coughing incessantly.

Yoon-seo sends Shi-on out to buy more drinks, and he finds her fast asleep when he returns. Sitting beside her, he hiccups and recalls the tender moments he shared with Yoon-seo. He thinks to Hyung that he’s begun to realize that feeling Hyung felt when he once liked a girl.

At the hospital, Do-han reviews a list of pediatric surgeons to recruit to their department per Assistant Chief Kang’s instructions. Hm.

Yoon-seo tells Shi-on not to go drinking anymore when he doesn’t even get drunk. She sprays some perfume (the one Do-han gave you, is it?) to mask the smell. Shi-on says she smells like lemon soju and wants to go drinking again. Haha.

But they have a bigger matter on their hands because Bitch Aunt can’t afford to pay for her niece’s treatment. They guess that the aunt likely spent the government benefit money entitled to Eun-ok on her own expenses.

Jin-wook is still awkwardly nervous around In-hye’s sister, afraid that he’ll make things more uncomfortable. In-hye clucks that he can’t just not do anything. Nurse Jo agrees, and tosses out a corny joke to help break the ice.

But In-hye contends that women like it when you get them a gift of what they precisely need. Next thing we know, Nurse Jo places a jar of facial cream on Nurse Nam’s desk. Ohhh no, you’re not trying to unintentionally suggest that she needs something to look younger, right?

And that’s what Nurse Nam thinks and she balks at the gift, leaving Nurse Jo near tears.

Do-han examines the boy, and his mother confirms that her son has previously suffered from throat sores and has colds often. Do-han orders a round of tests and instructs that Shi-on join the team later on.

The team is unable to draw a conclusion when they review the boy’s CT scan. Do-han has Shi-on venture a guess on a diagnosis, and Shi-on identifies it as a rare illness that could lead to thyroiditis if not properly treated.

It’s worth noting that Do-han is slightly impressed as Shi-on explains the necessary procedures and precautions to the team. They need to be wary not to hit a nerve that could potentially endanger the child’s ability to sing since he’s a well-known opera singer.

Do-han notes that Shi-on is the only one who knows this diagnosis the best, a remark that brings a small smile to Shi-on’s face.

Opera Boy’s mother doesn’t want to pursue surgery since her son is scheduled to sing overseas. Do-han informs her that his condition will only worsen if they keep pushing his vocal chords, but also mentions the possibility that the boy may not be able to sing post-surgery.

It’ll be too late if they don’t operate soon, but the mother refuses to comply with the doctors and storms out.

The boy’s father is the more reasonable one, concerned for their son’s health, but it’s Mom who says that they’ve worked so hard for this moment. You’re the parent trying to fulfill your own dreams through your kids, aren’t you? She looks over at her son, sitting nearby with earbuds in his ears.

Yoon-seo thanks her boss for giving Shi-on the spotlight earlier. But Do-han says it was to test Shi-on’s skills for the last time in order to confirm that he’d manage at a diagnostic center where he wouldn’t have to be a surgeon.

He says that it’s lucky that there’s an available alternative for Shi-on at all, and has Yoon-seo try to persuade Shi-on about the idea.

So Yoon-seo broaches the topic at lunch, but Shi-on catches on right away and drops his sandwich. He says that having a dream and being good at something are two different things—he’s good at drawing, but he wants to be a surgeon.

He shouts: “A dream is something you want to achieve, even if you’re not good at it. A dream is what you think of when you eat and sleep. My dream is what makes me feel good!” He angrily stalks off.

Yoon-seo is surprised at the sudden outburst, and racks her brains to think of something. She then tells him that he can oversee the Opera Boy’s case.

Shi-on tries to break the ice with Opera Boy, who still has earbuds in his ears. The boy’s mother comes in to tell Shi-on to stick to treating her son. Given the boy’s silence, Shi-on asks if the boy doesn’t know how to speak apart from singing. Nurse Jo suppresses his laughter.

Afterward Nurse Jo notices a spot on Nurse Nam’s cheek. She tries to play it off, but he puffs up with pride that she used his gift after all and does a little happy dance. Hee.

In his office, Doctor Choi makes it clear to the assistant chief that he wants no part of the mysterious proposal. He advises that the man resign from his position or he’ll bring it up with the board.

Doctor Pomade nearly slips on the gel in his hair trying to figure what side the assistant chief is on. The evil board administrator (who’s also his brother-in-law) suggests that he take one for the team this round.

The children pour into Opera Boy’s room and excitedly pelt him with questions and praise. It’s adorable how they’re all fans, but the boy’s mother quickly sends them away.

After they leave, Shi-on says that having friends around will help her son, basically telling her that laughter is the best medicine. Shi-on continues to say that he used to be sick every day because he couldn’t speak or laugh with the other kids. Curiously, Opera Boy seems to take note of his words.

It turns out that Shi-on has paid for Eun-ok’s medical expenses. Yoon-seo warns him of the danger of crossing that boundary, concerned that Shi-on won’t be able to have enough to take care of himself.

But he says the money is from the governmental benefits he received as a child with disabilities, and that he has a lot of money. All he needs is a paltry amount to pay for his bus fare and kimbap, and he has to help those who are needier than he is.

Yoon-seo smiles at his maturity, saying he really does act like an adult. (She means this as a compliment since his childlike behavior has been misinterpreted as childish so many times before.)

Shi-on finds Opera Boy fast asleep outside of his room and gently removes the earbuds from his ears. But there’s no music playing and the mp3 player doesn’t hold any songs.

Shi-on runs into Doctor Choi on his way to deliver the pot back to the cafeteria, rattling off all the ingredients that were in the stew. Doctor Choi spots him talking with Mom at a distance, but he’s called away before he can recognize her.

It seems that the evil plan is to have Doctor Pomade take the fall for issuing the medication order back in Episode 2, and the entire department is under investigation. But the more pressing matter is Opera Boy as he clutches his throat in pain.

Shi-on starts to panic, saying they have to operate immediately over and over again. He grabs onto the boy’s bed. Do-han and Yoon-seo burst in a moment later, and Shi-on lets go of the bed, to Yoon-seo’s relief.

Shi-on relays the boy’s symptoms which include his swollen throat and high fever. They don’t have any time to lose, but the boy’s mother chooses now to speak to the doctors alone.

She doesn’t want to risk the possibility that her son won’t be able to sing if he undergoes surgery, and Do-han assures her that they aren’t able to perform surgery without the parent’s consent.

The boy’s mother wants them to treat the pain instead, and Do-han complies. But Shi-on speaks up to say that he thought all mothers loved their children, but Opera Mom doesn’t love her son.

Outside, the residents laugh over the idea about slipping away from the hospital for a few hours when a pair of earbuds fall on their heads. And up above, Opera Boy stands on the rooftop ledge. Ohh nooo.


Acckkk talk that boy off of that ledge! This kind of ending always leaves my heart racing and makes my hands sweat with anxiety—it’s great on a drama level since it cranks up the anticipation for the following week’s episode, but plain horrible for my nerves. Although the overprotective parents to a talented son storyline to the newest case-of-the-week is nothing new to dramaland, I didn’t expect that young Opera Boy would attempt to take the Jump. Someone tell me it’s going to be all right.

If we pull back, I do like how these medical cases tie in with Shi-on’s explanations and his own medical journey. For instance, Opera Boy’s case tackles the distinction between talent versus a dream. From what we can tell so far, the young boy’s singing ability is a great talent that’s been honed for his mother’s dream and not his own. I love that Shi-on pinpoints at the fact that being good at something doesn’t make it an ultimate thing, and that achieving one’s dream is a process. I can’t wait to see how Shi-on interacts with this patient as well, whose dream has been forced upon a mother’s great ambition.

Not only that, I love how we’re seeing more of Shi-on’s empathy with each passing episode. He doesn’t hesitate on the things that others would normally worry or mull over in their heads a thousand times over. Though he’s taught himself through books all that there is to know about the world, to him it’s a given to help those in need, even if it means to pay for a patient’s medical expense. To that, a part of me wants to say that it breaches some ethical physician-patient boundary in medicine somewhere, and at the same time, I see the same good-hearted intention behind the action that Yoon-seo sees in him. I just hope it doesn’t come back to bite him, given the show’s track record of how it deals with the paper trail a few episodes later.

So far, I like how the show handles Shi-on’s developing feelings towards Yoon-seo. Aside from the hiccuping (which is just plain adorable), I like how he’s using his own knowledge to try to demystify what it means to have a first love, and relies on In-hye as his consult to analyze his “symptoms.” At this point, Yoon-seo cares for Shi-on in the way a noona takes care of her dongsaeng, a kind of relationship I really adore between them. It makes it all the more enjoyable to watch Shi-on try to understand something as illogical and irrational as liking someone, especially in his usual medico-speak. Then it’s going to be even more fun to watch him try to mask those feelings as they continue to grow when he cannot lie to anyone or himself.


56 September 5, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 9

by gummimochi

As our favorite doc does his best to keep his developing feelings under wraps, he’s got his hands full saving lives and trying to fight for a spot on the surgical team. Keeping your dream alive is no easy work and when there are so many people telling you that you can’t make it, it’s nice to know that there’s one person on your side telling you that you can. Especially when those words come from someone whom you never expected.


Up on the roof, the doctors try to talk Opera Boy down from the ledge. But the boy isn’t convinced—he’s overheard the adults talking about how he could lose his singing voice.

The boy declares he’s not afraid of dying, though I’d say the way he teeters to keep his balance says otherwise. Shi-on steps forward warily and says that he’s afraid: “Because I’ll be alone if you die.”

Shi-on says he hates being alone, and thinks he won’t be able to join his hyung and bunny up in heaven because he’s hurt so many people here. He wants to continue living in this world despite there being so many people who hate him and think him stupid. “At least that way, I can still be with people.”

The boy is lucky to be adored by so many who would miss him if he died. Plus, he still has his parents whereas Shi-on lost his a long time ago. With that, Shi-on ushers the boy to come down from the ledge and extends a hand… and Opera Boy takes it.

Now safe from imminent danger, the boy’s mother runs over to tearfully embrace her son.

We cut away to Doctor Pomade, who’s currently being questioned on the unethical medication order. He denies making the call, much to Doctor Choi and Do-han’s surprise. ‘Cause who needs a medical license when you can become a board member, right? Ugh.

The question is then turned over to Doctor Choi, but before he can answer, Assistant Chief Kang comes to crash the party, ordering the investigators to bring evidence first or the hospital will take action.

Afterward, Doctor Choi trudges out of the meeting room, filled with a guilty conscience about what it took to keep Shi-on on staff. He leaves Do-han with the advice to not betray his conscience like he did.

While the boy receives treatment, Shi-on speaks with the mother outside. He informs her that Opera Boy wasn’t listening to anything through his earbuds—they were merely a way for him to block out the constant noise around him, including music.

The mother finds that hard to believe, but Shi-on says he used to plug his fingers in his ears to block out the other kids’ teasing. He grows anxious when the mother tells him she’s still against the surgery.

The nurses are upset about that as well, and Nurse Jo remarks that it’s not as bad as the father who offered up his child for 300 sacks of rice (a reference to the Korean folktale The Blind Man’s Daughter). Shi-on begs to differ, and he rattles off a series of calculations about the current market price of rice… only to be told that it’s about half that amount. Heh.

(Basically, what I think we can gather here is that Shi-on took the words at face value again, and Nurse Jo humored him. Which is still pretty adorable.)

Yoon-seo asks her boss to reconsider Shi-on’s transfer, citing that Shi-on is becoming more aware of his actions. But Do-han isn’t willing to give credence to a solitary incident when Shi-on will likely face countless high-stress situations in the future.

He asks how long he should wait for Shi-on’s clinical judgment to develop. Yoon-seo argues that there’s still hope, but Do-han isn’t going to wait around for that.

Wouldn’t you know, Doctor Pomade actually looks… troubled after his questioning. It’s pretty funny how his moody background music when Shi-on plops down next to him with ice cream (the kind you can break in half).

Doctor Pomade raises a hand, which is when Shi-on notes the callouses on his superior’s hand. Shi-on talks about them in admiration like they’re battle scars; he hopes to become a surgeon soon so that he can have the same.

When Doctor Pomade raises another hand, Shi-on scuttles away, leaving half of the ice cream. And Doctor Pomade eats it.

Assistant Chief Kang gives his latest report to Creepy Chairman, and then goes to see Doctor Choi not to resign as chief of staff. But Doctor Choi isn’t easily dissuaded—he’ll step down after the assistant chief takes his leave.

Do-han follows through with his intention to send Shi-on to the clinical pathology department. He grows increasingly frustrated at Shi-on’s stubborn refusal until he finally yells at Shi-on to listen when what he’s saying is for his benefit.

Yoon-seo pulls a frightened Shi-on away to help him understand Do-han’s intentions, but Shi-on fixates on the idea that he’s being sent away because Do-han hates him.

Shi-on stops in the middle of the hospital when classical music starts to play over the speakers. He sees a few patients with their families, but then sees a young pregnant woman crying by herself.

Doctor Choi sits down with Shi-on and asks if he’ll be able to manage at the hospital on his own. He phrases it as a hypothetical, but Shi-on seems to catch on that something is off.

Shi-on says that he’d be sad if Doctor Choi left and shakes his head at the idea that he can take care of himself now (“No, I’m still young”). But Doctor Choi answers that that’s not true—Shi-on has a heart for his patients.

Shi-on picks at his fingernail nervously. Doctor Choi swallows hard before he gives Shi-on the heartfelt reminder to be there for his patients like a good friend in the same way Doctor Choi was to him. Shi-on promises to do so.

Shi-on finally gets through to Opera Boy, who tearfully confesses that he still wants to die. He explains how he’s been singing even before he could talk and how it restricted him from doing anything an ordinary kid does like attend school or make friends. He won’t have anything left if he can’t sing anymore.

Shi-on says he thinks he understands because people keep telling him not to become a doctor. The boy asks why, and Shi-on says it’s because he’s different—he doesn’t understand other people and frequently cause trouble.

The boy says there’s still hope for Shi-on because he can still keep trying to become a doctor despite what other people say. But for him, he won’t get that chance if he has the surgery.

It doesn’t help that Opera Mom is resolutely stubborn, ignoring Do-han and Yoon-seo’s warning that her son’s condition is worse than it appears. Given his recent suicide attempt, the boy needs stability right now, but the mother declares that she’ll be the one to see to that. Riiight, ’cause we know how well that worked out the first time.

Yoon-seo tails down Opera Mom to challenge her on the grounds that she’s not placing her son’s health as a priority. The mother figures that Yoon-seo is unmarried, and basically tells her that mothers love their children differently. She doesn’t blink an eye at the statement that the doctors won’t allow her son to be discharged since she knows her word can override them.

Just then, Yoon-seo is called into an emergency surgery. The little boy is in hypovolemic shock, and the team works quickly to stop the bleeding.

But then Yoon-seo’s vision blurs and the traumatic memories of the little girl who died on the operating table come flooding back to her. Her hands start to shake as a result, something Do-han doesn’t miss.

Shi-on finds Opera Boy sitting outside of the playroom watching the other children. The boy confides in Shi-on, saying his mother doesn’t know what his true dream is. Just like how Shi-on treats sick people, he wants to use his singing to treat people’s hearts. “I want to sing for those who truly need it.”

So Shi-on takes him to see Eun-ok, who brightens to see the face of the young singer. Gently placing Eun-ok’s hand in the boy’s, Shi-on encourages her to call the boy an affectionate “Oppa.” She utters a few sounds that come pretty close.

But it’s bad news bears for Eun-ok, whose aunt has renounced her legal guardianship. That makes Eun-ok an orphan now, news which leaves Shi-on troubled.

Yoon-seo insists that she’s fine after surgery, but Do-han knows better and confronts her about it outside, saying there are three things he hates most: mistakes, excuses, and lies.

Aggravated, Yoon-seo asks that he overlooks her almost slip-up just this once, but he asks what she plans to do if the other residents catch on next time. He has her guess how he felt when he first lost a patient, and she answers that he was probably his cold and rational self.

Do-han humors her, but then corrects her—he couldn’t eat anything for an entire week afterwards. It’s the first time he’s told her this, and then says she’s better off than he was since she’s still eating well nowadays, which gets her to laugh.

Do-han tells her that he’s not asking her to conquer her fear, but to deal with those emotions and come back to work prepared for the next surgery.

He then puts her in charge of her first official surgery next week. When she gripes about how he was being nice up to now, Do-han walks away, saying, “Then you become a professor if you don’t like it.” Heh.

Yoon-seo catches up to Shi-on standing outside of Eun-ok’s room. He worries that the other kids will ridicule Eun-ok if she ends up in the orphanage and will eventually come to hate her, like how the people hate him here.

That prompts Yoon-seo to ask if Shi-on truly thinks that people here hate him. He does, and though it angers him, he can’t bring himself to become angry like a dummy. Yoon-seo takes issue with that and adds, “People don’t hate you because you’re dumb, but you become dumb for thinking that people will hate you.” Shi-on nods in understanding.

As they eat, Yoon-seo promises to do her best to keep Shi-on from being transferred. Shi-on sweetly suggests that she eats the beef kimbap while he eats the veggie ones, and she asks if he doesn’t get sick of eating the same thing every day. He admits that he does, but he’s made a game out of it, and Yoon-seo teases him for it.

That night, Do-han meets with Assistant Chief Kang again, who brings up the topic of keeping Shi-on on staff. Interestingly, the assistant chief supports Do-han’s recommendation to transfer Shi-on to a different department where he could tap into his exceptional diagnostic skills.

Assistant Chief Kang comes off a bit too keen on the idea, which makes me think this is a reverse psychology tactic. Why, the press would have a field day covering an exceptional doctor with savant syndrome!

Perhaps Do-han seems to suspect as much and asks if that means the assistant chief intends to promote Shi-on as a media ploy. Assistant Chief Kang comes in at a different angle: shining a spotlight on a doctor doesn’t detract from the fact that they heal patients.

Do-han later broods by the Han River, recalling how Shi-on made the right diagnostic call time and time again.

Yoon-seo confides in Shi-on about her fears about her first official surgery (the other two were test-runs), and Shi-on thinks in his head that she’ll do just fine because he believes in her.

She thanks him out loud, and he blusters that he didn’t actually say anything. But she smiles and tells him that she can read his thoughts. His mouth drops, amazed.

Yoon-seo then rests her head on his shoulder and says that she hopes it goes well. She tells him that he has to be in the operating room with her and does her best Shi-on voice to imitate his catchphrases. He hiccups in response.

Yoon-seo calls him out on it again, saying he should really get that checked out. Then she playfully offers to examine him, trying to lift up his shirt while he shrinks away until she ends up tickling him instead. Cute.

Some time later, Yoon-seo sits down with Opera Boy after she finds him singing by Eun-ok’s bedside. The boy admits that Eun-ok is cute, but he also finds her pitiful because she can’t talk and is all by herself.

But he’s strangely happy whenever he sees her because she’s always smiling at the sight of him. It’s different with his mother, the boy tells her, because she only smiles when he wins something—he doesn’t remember the last time she smiled at him.

Yoon-seo looks into his eyes and says that she wants to hear his beautiful singing voice, but more than that, she wants to hear him laugh. Aw. She isn’t sure what would make him happy, but she’s certain that one needs to be healthy in order to laugh.

A tear streams down the boy’s face as Yoon-seo tells him that his mother would be so happy to hear him laugh one day. “Perhaps even more than hearing you sing.” She draws him close to her as he cries.

After a call from Creepy Chairman, Chae-kyung accuses the evil board administrator for reporting his brother-in-law Doctor Pomade about the medication order scandal. She has solid evidence to her claim, and adds that he should have used a different fallout guy.

The evil board administrator defensive, but Chae-kyung slices through his excuses easily enough. He agrees to step down and delivers the classic dramaland warning that they’ll come to regret this one day.

He gives Doctor Pomade an earful over the phone, and all I’m thinking is, Couldn’t you have at least waited until you got outside the hospital? There be eyes and ears everywhere.

Opera Mom is aghast at her son’s decision to stay at the hospital and go ahead with the surgery. He says he wants to enjoy his life, but she refuses to hear a word of it, telling Shi-on to stay out of it.

Shi-on grows increasingly anxious, saying over and over that she should listen to her son until he finally declares, “We’ll make sure he’ll be able to sing even if he has the surgery!” Ack, that’s something you can’t promise!

Realizing his mistake, Shi-on runs outside and recalls Do-han’s words that a doctor cannot provide false hope. He lectures himself, gasping: “No, no, no. You can’t say that.”

He does, however, approach the mother, who’s plenty annoyed by now. She barely listens to Shi-on’s story about a puppy he once had that loved playing in the snow. At one point, he had realized the puppy wasn’t jumping around because it was playing but because its paws were cold.

Her son is like that puppy, Shi-on tells her, and he sings because he’s cold, not because he enjoys it. “Children are kind, so no matter what is asked of them, they force themselves to do it. But they hate doing things forced upon them. I hate it, too.”

But for Shi-on, he wishes that his mother was next to him, no matter what she would force him to do.

That compels Opera Mom to talk with her son, who says he wants to be able to laugh like he once did when they went to the amusement park together. He doesn’t hate her; he was only upset that she didn’t understand how he felt. He says sorry, and the mother embraces him.

Shi-on and Yoon-seo observe this heartfelt exchange from the door. After they leave, Shi-on asks if Yoon-seo can perform Opera Boy’s surgery. He knows Do-han is the more experienced surgeon, but he’d feel better knowing that Yoon-seo was holding the scalpel.

To that, Yoon-seo literally crosses her arms and asks what would be better. Ha, she’s clearly enjoying this. He answers that he feels she’s the best person to maintain the boy’s dream, but he adds one more thing to his request: he wants to help her with the surgery.

Thus Yoon-seo nominates herself to perform the surgery. She’s unfazed at the fact that no one else has ever performed the procedure since it means it’ll be a first for anyone. She stakes her claim on the grounds to try and preserve the boy’s dream.

At Do-han’s hesitation, she says that she knows that he believes in her as much as he worries for her. He grants it, but he opposes the idea to have Shi-on as her assistant in surgery.

Shi-on seeks Do-han out in his office, and declares that this surgery is his last chance at his own dream. He doesn’t just want to be present in the operating room, but actively participate in the procedure.

He offers to immediately drop out of surgery if something goes wrong, but Do-han counters that Shi-on might as well not even go in then. Shi-on asks why Do-han doesn’t trust him. “You don’t hate me because I make mistakes, but you hate me because you’re afraid I’ll make a mistake.”

Shi-on promises not to make a mistake, to which Do-han tells him to keep his word or he’s out. Outside, Yoon-seo pumps her fists in victory.

As Shi-on sits on his bench, he thinks to his hyung, admitting that he’s really nervous and asks for Hyung to help him.

As they prepare for surgery, Yoon-seo asks if Shi-on will be able to think of a way to preserve the boy’s vocal chords. Shi-on says yes at first, but then says he’s not sure because it’s not guaranteed.

She notes that he used to be so certain about these things, but Shi-on repeats Do-han’s words about not instilling false hope within the patient. She smiles, saying she’s enjoying watching him grow up these days.

Surgery Day. Shi-on brings Eun-ok in to visit Opera Boy, and encourages her to say what she learned. She utters: “S-stay…strong… O-oppa.” Aww. She makes another sound, presumably asking him to sing, but Shi-on says he can’t right now.

Then Opera Boy whispers something in Shi-on’s ear and we cut to the hospital’s radio program. The boy sings into the mic, filling the halls with his beautiful voice possibly for the last time. I’m not crying; I’ve just been cutting onions.

As he sings, we hear in voiceover that he asks his mother to grant him a wish if his surgery is successful. Then we see Shi-on and Yoon-seo walk towards the operating room and fist-bump each other. Yep, that just happened. Daebak.

Showtime. Do-han joins the team, here to merely observe. They nearly encounter a hiccup as soon as they begin when Shi-on’s hand starts to shake, but Yoon-seo silently steadies it in reassurance.

As they operate, Shi-on makes a silent vow to preserve the boy’s dream. Shi-on envisions the problem area in his head just as Yoon-seo completes the first part of the procedure.

She readies herself for the more difficult portion, and then Shi-on says the boy will be able to sing. “We can make his dream come true.”


What a moving episode. This is the kind of feel-good drama that warms my heart with an uplifting ending, where the doctors are joined together as one team to do their best to preserve one child’s dream. I can still hear the young boy’s beautiful voice ring in my imagination, and just thinking about it still sends chills down my spine in the heartfelt way.

One of the things I appreciated about this episode was how it didn’t skirt the boy’s suicide attempt that opened this episode. Instead, it was something our little patient struggled with throughout the episode, and our doctors stressed the importance of providing a safe space for the patient. It saddens me to think that I’ve seen other dramas which often brushes the matter under the rug, but as a viewer, I was able to connect with the pain and loneliness to understand what drove him to that point. Moreover, even in his darkest hour, he was still able to provide insight and hope to Shi-on’s future. I love that both Shi-on and Yoon-seo were able to get through to the boy and even his stubborn mother. I’m not fully onboard with how her character’s redemption was so easily dealt with, but it’s the mother-son reconciliation that we long for at the end of the day.

The more I watch Shi-on and Yoon-seo’s interactions in this series, the more I’m leaning to root for a sunbae-hoobae/noona-dongsaeng relationship between them. I rather like Yoon-seo acting as his pseudo-guardian, how she looks after him both in and out of the workplace. Their supportive teamwork is something I can watch all day long, and I find it rewarding to see them continue to grow in their own ways with each episode. Drama laws dictate towards a relationship that may develop into a romance, but for now, I simply enjoy watching them learn from one another.

At this point, I see more of a shadowy outline of romance between Do-han and Yoon-seo. They’ve got that classic bickering-teasing dynamics down to a pat, we’ve seen on more than one occasion that they care for one another more than they dare let on. It’s fair to say that things aren’t peachy in Do-han’s engagement to Chae-kyung (I still wonder why they’re betrothed; I mean, I don’t see any chaebol parents pushing for their marriage), and Do-han has yet to realize that maybe he perhaps has feelings towards his hoobae. What I wouldn’t give for a nervous tic in our Super Doc to give us a hint. Maybe a hiccup or two. Or a smile. I’ll take what I can get.


54 September 6, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 10

by gummimochi

Who has the time to worry about crushes or hospital politics when it’s hard enough trying to catch a few winks when you’re an on-call resident? This episode delivers all the goods, stirring our hearts one moment and leaving us in a fit of giggles the next. We all know that it’s a hard knock life being a doctor, but just don’t let your sunbae catch you snoozin’ because she might give you a noogie for it.

As for our ratings report, Good Doctor still continues to command the lead, and the numbers remain steady at 17.4% and 18.4%, respectively.


Ha Dong-gyun (하동균) – “Looks Good” (좋아보여) [ Download ]

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Shi-on declares to the surgical team that they can preserve the boy’s singing voice with the explanation on how to avoid a critical nerve. Both Do-ha and Yoon-seo echo his line of logic, and they roll up their sleeves to proceed.

The surgery is a success, and Yoon-seo delivers the good news to the parents. Shi-on is left to close in the operating room where Jin-wook and another resident shoot him a thumbs-up. Aw.

Yoon-seo seeks Do-han out in his office, fully expecting another round of criticism as per usual. But he has nothing bad to say this time, and Yoon-seo says the successful surgery is all thanks to Shi-on.

She understands Do-han’s reasons behind Shi-on’s transfer, but she asks him to keep one thing in mind: “Just see [Shi-on] for who he is. Just as he is.”

Shi-on sits outside after feeling dizzy post-surgery when a young man (nice to see you, Ryu Deok-hwan) sits beside him. There’s a hazy, dreamy glow that surrounds them as Shi-on shares his fear and anxiety back in the operating room with the stranger. Shi-on says he feels like a coward, much like the bunny he once raised.

The stranger tells him how bunnies are often thought as small and fearful creatures, but they’re actually quite fast, thanks to their long hind legs. They’re also smart, which makes them hard to catch. Shi-on points out that they’re dumb animals because they eat their own poop.

The man laughs at that, and then advises Shi-on that he not crouch in fear but run with strength like bunnies do. He compliments Shi-on on his fingernails: “They look just like crescent moons.” Gasp, is that you, Hyung?

Shi-on looks back at the stranger in recognition, his eyes welling up with tears. With a final word of encouragement, Hyung takes his leave.

Shi-on heads back inside in higher spirits when he sees the same young pregnant woman from the other day. He silently hands her a handkerchief.

When Opera Boy comes to, Yoon-seo tells him the good news and that he can enjoy his life now. Shi-on joins them, and the boy extends his hand, and they shake.

Yoon-seo is still amazed at Shi-on’s ability to envision the body. She likens it to seeing a 3D movie, but Shi-on corrects her that it’s far more complicated that that. He uses a soda can to demonstrate how he can visualize an object from multiple angles, twisting it this way and that.

Yoon-seo asks if it doesn’t make him dizzy all the time, to which she’s told it only happens in times of focused concentration. Intrigued, she asks if his ability works like an x-ray—as in, see parts that are hidden. And then she totally stands in front of him while he gives her the once-over. Hahaha, I can’t even.

A moment later, Shi-on bursts laughing. Yoon-seo gathers her coat to herself, embarrassed, and demands to know what he saw. Well duh, he is still a man after all. He answers matter-of-factly: “Who in the world would have that kind of ability?” HA.

Do-han mulls over the documents for Shi-on’s transfer in his office… and then rips them up. Yay!

Yoon-seo buys lunch for the team (à la Subway), but they’re one short, and one of the residents offers up his portion to Shi-on. Aw, I like how they’re warming up to Shi-on after they heard he thought that they hated him.

To put icing on the cake, Do-han tells Shi-on that his clock-in/clock-out days are over: starting tomorrow, he’s a regular first-year resident. Aww, yay! The other residents give him a good ol’ enthusiastic welcome.

Back in his office, Assistant Chief Kang wonders if it was his proposal that had Do-han change his mind, to which Do-han answers that it was Shi-on’s strong will. Furthermore, he’ll have to postpone the plan to recruit outside pediatric surgeons so that he can first build his team to become the best.

Assistant Chief Kang doesn’t appear too happy to hear this. He issues the thinly veiled warning that he hopes it doesn’t take too long because people tend to count the flaws of those who keep them waiting.

Shi-on sees Do-han shooting hoops outside. He thanks his boss and promises to work hard from now on. Do-han chucks the ball at him and tells him to shoot.

So Shi-on jumps, the ball soars up into the air in slow-motion… and it lands a few feet in front of them. HA, it gets me every time.

But it doesn’t end there, and Do-han instructs him to shoot again. And again and again. It’s just funny since you can almost see the cogs working out the calculations in his head but his body just doesn’t follow.

Thankfully the tenth (?) time is the charm. Do-han knows about Shi-on’s game with the other docs (the neurosurgeons who invited him to play last time) and warns him not humiliate their department again. Heh.

The nurses are overjoyed at the news, and Nurse Jo even plants a kiss on Shi-on’s cheek. Hee. Then we cut away to see Opera Boy’s parents standing outside of Eun-ok’s room. Omo, are you thinking of adopting her?

As Do-han and Yoon-seo wash up after another surgery, they’re greeted by another senior doctor, Doctor Min. She’s here to consult them about one of her cases: a 32 week fetus with congenital lymphangioma (usually rare, benign tumors) which could potentially threaten the baby’s respiratory tract.

The problem is that the mother-in-law (the baby’s future grandmother) plans to give the child up for adoption after the baby is born. She explains this often happens when the family discovers an abnormality in the unborn child, though in most cases, they choose abortion instead.

Yoon-seo finds that ridiculous since the condition is treatable, but the in-laws have fixated on the idea that they might end up with a less-than-perfect grandchild on their hands.

The good news, however, is that the baby’s mother sought their hospital out for surgery anyway, but she’s still very much hesitant. The person who convinced her to seek care: Shi-on.

So Shi-on is brought in to tell them what he told the mother. They initially stiffen when Shi-on says that Do-han would do the surgery, but then breathe a sigh of relief when Shi-on finishes that he suggested a obstetrician/gynecologist consult.

Then we flashback to Shi-on’s earlier conversation with the baby’s mother. He shares his life story with her, and then says her baby’s condition is treatable. “That’s all I said.” Shi-on finishes. Yoon-seo smiles, impressed.

Once they’re outside, Yoon-seo says they should celebrate his last day before becoming an official resident. Shi-on hesitantly asks if that means she’ll cook for him again. Heh. She says she won’t, and he heaves a relieved sigh. Ha.

She suggests a traditional Korean meal instead, and Shi-on pipes up that he’d like to eat the course with seven kinds of banchan. When she says that requires him to be hit seven times, he revises his answer: “Then, five dishes.”

(They’re talking about a traditional meal where the number of side dishes is in accordance with social rank. Thus a meal fit for a king might have say, twelve dishes whereas a commoner might have five. Historical dramas and films are a good example of this.)

Yoon-seo mentions that they’ll be joined by one more guest, and then we see Mom waiting at the restaurant. Ah, so this is a plan for mother and son to meet.

Yoon-seo sings Shi-on’s praises to Mom, who says that his parents would be so happy to hear that he’s doing well. She even does the motherly thing of placing a banchan on his spoonful of rice, a gesture that gives Shi-on pause.

Near tears, Mom tells him that she hopes that Shi-on will become a good doctor. Shi-on says that he will because he made a promise with his hyung. At that, Mom quickly excuses herself and sobs silently outside. Ack Mom, you’re breakin’ my heart.

Chae-kyung is already waiting at home when Do-han arrives, and she’s not happy about Shi-on’s reinstatement. He tells her to drop it, but she’s thoroughly annoyed by now, and asks him: “Do you even know what I’m doing for your sake?”

That grabs his attention, and she admits that she was the one pulling the strings behind the corporate funding. She comes right out with her intention to overthrow her stepmother to become president of the board herself and to place Do-han as chief of staff.

He asks how she could think of going up against her parent figures, and tells her to stop. But like a petulant child, she refuses to back down. Do-han says fine, but if she plans to continue, then she can count on never seeing him again.

As they walk back home, Yoon-seo asks why Shi-on hesitated when Mom placed the banchan on his spoon. Shi-on replies that he felt like something he’d dreamt before, but he doesn’t know how to explain it.

Yoon-seo has a few final questions to ask before Shi-on starts his resident duties tomorrow: “What does being a doctor mean to you?” It’s the same set of questions she once asked him, and now Shi-on’s answers are different:

Shi-on: “One’s last hope. It’s a doctor’s job to take care of the patient until the end when everyone else has given up on them.”
Yoon-seo: “What about a patient?”
Shi-on: “A friend you will have to part with. A patient is somebody you need to treat as a friend. Somebody you need to treat so that they are healthy even after they leave, so that they never have to seek me out again.”

She smiles, and then slaps him on the back (ow). Then she takes his hands in hers and tells him that it was his own volition that triggered this change in him. “So trust yourself more.”

She notices that he isn’t hiccuping today, and then ruffles his hair.

So Shi-on begins his medical duties with the rest of the team, even taking notes during rounds. He runs into Chae-kyung in the halls, and she tells him not to cause trouble in the future, for Do-han’s sake.

At Shi-on’s silence, Chae-kyung wonders if she hurt his feelings, but Shi-on says it’s that he has yet to understand what the phrase “for someone else’s sake” means. He takes his leave, and Chae-kyung cracks a teeny smile.

Yoon-seo picks up on Do-han’s disheartened mood, and he asks her what she thinks it means to do something for someone else’s sake. She asks him to be specific in the romantic or co-worker relationship sense, and then narrows her eyes, asking if he’s worried about Chae-kyung.

She takes a stab at it anyway, answering wistfully: “To look after them? Not ignorance or neglect, but just looking after them.” But doing so may be the hardest thing to do, which might be why relationships tend to last so long.

Do-han: “Are you looking after me?” That throws her off for a second, and he says he means as colleagues. Yoon-seo answers that he always pesters her, but always makes wise choices in the end, which is why she always loses to him.

That gets him to laugh, and he thanks her for at least letting him win in the end, an answer that confuses her.

The female resident Seon-joo consults Il-kyu about a diagnosis. He hedges, telling her that she has plenty of time to learn that stuff later in her career. Looks like those C’s in med school are catching up to you.

She reluctantly asks Shi-on instead, who eagerly launches into an explanation as if he’d been bursting at the seams to tell her. Seon-joo points out that he speaks jondaemal with her when he’s her sunbae, and with a smile, invites him to use banmal instead. Cute.

Jin-wook notes Shi-on’s marked change, and Yoon-seo wonders if he’s reverted back to when he first started at the hospital. He was plenty competent, but was then restricted from doing anything once he arrived. Moreover, he was looked down upon, ignored, and his skills were questioned, so it made sense that he climbed back into his shell.

But Opera Boy’s surgery gave Shi-on a newfound confidence, and now he’s finally being acknowledged by his colleagues.

Doctor Pomade is in a pissy mood, lashing out at any hoobae he sees. But Shi-on isn’t perturbed by his annoyance, telling his department head that he’s decided to respect him from now on.

The mother-in-law isn’t sold on the idea on surgery, hanging on the possible “what if” situation. Yoon-seo raises her voice, saying that the unborn child doesn’t have a disability. And even if it was, she has no place to decide what to do with that life.

The mother-in-law takes it as well as you might expect, and rises to leave with her meek daughter-in-law. They run into Shi-on on their way out, and he tells them that they have to get the surgery soon. The mother-in-law clucks at him in disapproval.

Shi-on follows them out to their car, and he tells the mother not to cry because her tears saddens others whereas the cry of a baby brings joy to many.

Ha, it’s cute how Shi-on is so excited about his first night on-call. In-hye drops by to visit him, and she asks if he still hiccups whenever he’s around “that woman.” He says he doesn’t but confirms that his heart races instead.

He listens intently as In-hye confirms that he has Stage 2 Love Sickness. His symptoms will only get progressively worse (heh) and asks if he wants to confess his feelings yet.

Shi-on shakes his head, saying he doesn’t know anything about what it means to like or love someone.But she says that he’s already in knee-deep, and if he’s not ready yet, then he can compliment her instead, like saying she’s pretty or something.

Shi-on says those are the same things he tells Eun-ok, but In-hye says that it’s totally different when it’s someone you like and stresses the importance of expressing how you feel.

In-hye plops down beside him and admits that she’s envious of this girl, whoever she is. She relays a saying: “The most amazing miracle is to make your loved one’s heart race.”

Shi-on spots Yoon-seo standing beside the preemie’s incubator. He notes that the baby has gotten much healthier, but Yoon-seo’s thoughts are filled with the young mother.

It’s not like they can persuade her to come back, and reminds Shi-on that there are clear boundaries in that matter. Whether she likes it or not, she has to respect the patient’s decision.

Shi-on: “You have a good heart.” He tells her how he once heard that a good heart is like pollen from a flower and how it flies far away to make other flowers bloom. After she leaves, Shi-on says aloud: “You will fly. Far away.”

The young mother returns to the hospital on her own. When the doctors tell her that her mother-in-law won’t be happy about it, she bravely replies that her decision remains the same, all thanks to Shi-on.

Yoon-seo finds Shi-on nodding off at his desk, having stayed up all night. He’s barely awake enough to listen as she tells him that he was right about the pollen metaphor.

Doctor Min and Do-han walks their respective departments through the procedure. They have a narrow window of 30 minutes to operate on the fetus; or else the mother could die from hypovolemic shock. Furthermore, they’ll need to intubate the fetus quickly or perform a tracheotomy. Gahhh.

Shi-on has been dozing off during the presentation, but wakes at the mention of potential death. He interrupts to ask about what they would do in every possible worse case scenario every few seconds, to Do-han’s frustration.

But then Shi-on poses a bioethical question: In the case they need to save either the baby or the mother, who should they save? Doctor Min answers that they’ve never run into that situation in their hospital, but if they did, they would save the mother.

Afterwards, Do-han apologizes on behalf of Shi-on, but Doctor Min laughs good-heartedly that Shi-on might follow in Do-han’s footsteps. Back in the staff room, Yoon-seo poses that same question of who he would save in that scenario. He dozes off mid-answer. Heh.

Assistant Chief Kang speaks with Creepy Chairman on the phone and tells him that now is the time for him to come in.

As Shi-on catches a few winks, he dreams of Doctor Choi desperately trying to save Hyung. He wakes and repeats the words Doctor Choi said to his brother: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” At the same time, Doctor Choi leaves the cafeteria and recognizes Mom.

Shi-on is called away to the observation desk where Do-han tells him what Shi-on needs to do in order to be acknowledged by his colleagues: “Surpass me.”

Do-han knows full well that a resident cannot take the lead on a surgery, so Shi-on must find another way to become better than him. “To the point where others won’t notice your handicap.”

But they have a more pressing matter on their hands as the mother-in-law comes to collect the young mother from the hospital. Yoon-seo and Do-han rush over to stop them, and Shi-on says that she must stay at the hospital.

The mother-in-law threatens to get them all fired, and Yoon-seo welcomes her to try. Her breathing labored, the young mother says that she’s staying and agrees to a divorce if that’s what it takes. And then she collapses in Yoon-seo’s arms.


Allow me to sit here a moment while I drink in the pure delight of this week’s episodes. Ahhhh. I love that this episode hit all the right spots with a blend of funny, drama, and suspense that carried throughout the hour. It’s a great improvement from last week where I mostly felt we were circling around some topics. That’s not to say that the show didn’t have its life lessons to teach, but rather these pair of episode felt far more wholesome and carried much more depth.

It’s nice when you have a string of episodes that build upon each other rather a revolving door of patients who come in and out of the hospital. Now that we’ve hit the halfway mark, it’s fair to say that Good Doctor does a good job of intertwining these stories together that feels much more than your classic case-of-the-week. It makes this world feel rounded-out (apart from the fact that this is the One University Hospital in Seoul) as we see one patient affected by another. For instance, I thought that we had seen the last of Eun-ok a few episodes ago, but then she was brought back in with Opera Boy’s storyline, giving him a chance to use his talent so that she can hear him sing.

Furthermore, there are minor plot points picked back up to showcase consequences for evil actions. I know—who knew? Doctor Pomade’s medication order scandal is one such case and it kicked the evil board administrator out for the time being (and to be honest, I’m glad to be rid of him for now). Not only that, it propels our evil characters to actually think about their unethical choices, leaving the door open for them to change for the better. I like that Shi-on is the one to reach out to Doctor Pomade first, and little does he know that that half of an ice cream is an actually an agent of change.

Shi-on’s re-induction back into the pediatrics team was most welcome since it was not-so-fun watching Shi-on cower and shrink away every time he did any little thing at the hospital. But what’s different about this time is that he has a newfound confidence in him, thanks to the tidbits from his patients thus far along with his colleagues who challenge him to push the boundaries that limit him.

It’s the little changes that we’ve seen: when he lets go of the bed, or stops himself from giving false hope to his patient, or seeing what it means to be a doctor and a patient in a new light. They’re still baby steps compared to the mountain of obstacles he faces, but what I’m hoping for is that they start to rub off the hard-ass Do-han. Up to this point, it’s Do-han who’s been doing most of the yelling, his inner fear that something terrible may happen if he allows Shi-on some independence. But we see that something is already changing within him, and now he challenges Shi-on to become the best so that no one can look down on him. A little stubbornness never hurts if it drives you to achieve your dream.


77 September 10, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 11

by gummimochi

With so many lives to save each day, it’s also important to take out the time for self-care—to examine the risk factors of traumatic history, the symptoms of the emotional present, and the treatment guidelines to a happier future. These underlying issues can lie dormant for years, even decades, but the incredible thing about the body is that once the warning light comes on that something is wrong, it’s going to do its damned best to get your attention to make sure you do something about it.

As the show continues to pump more heart through its narrative veins, ratings also saw an increase as this episode hit 18.3%.


After fainting in Yoon-seo’s arms, the young mother is wheeled into the emergency room. Doctor Min asks what happened, and one look towards the austere mother-in-law is enough of an answer.

Doctor Choi is understandably frustrated when Mom doesn’t give him a straight answer about her whereabouts for the past twenty years. He frowns to hear that Shi-on doesn’t recognize his mother, who considers this as karmic punishment.

The patient now stabilized, the doctors discuss their next course of action. They agree to wait a few days before pursuing surgery again, but the newfound health risks now limits their window to operate on the fetus to a mere fifteen minutes. Eek.

Shi-on stands vigil beside the young mother’s bedside as she wakes. He assures her that the baby is fine, and that she’s safe from her mother-in-law’s “Joker-like” men thanks to the “Batman-like” security guards outside. Hehe, I rather like his comic book references.

He thanks her for choosing to have the baby, and when she notes that’s something a husband should say, he immediately apologizes for overstepping his boundaries. But she’s thankful all the same, and he gives her a soft “Fighting!” encouraging cheer.

Shi-on keeps up the storybook references afterward, referring to the mother-in-law as the evil witch in Snow White. He says he thinks he finally knows why people curse now.

Ha, that glint in Yoon-seo’s eye cracks me up as she whispers at him to give it a go. So Shi-on takes a deep breath and spews a list of PG-rated schoolyard insults, much to Yoon-seo’s disappointment. I’ll laugh if your next endeavor is to teach him how to curse.

They’re interrupted by Opera Mom, who bears good news—their family has decided to adopt little Eun-ok. Yay! She worries if she’s ready for the task, and Shi-on says that she is and shoots her a thumbs up.

Do-han apologizes to Chae-kyung for his harsh words earlier, but still expresses his concerns about her plan to take over the hospital. She tells him that she’ll reconsider, but it’s apparent that she has no intention to do so anytime soon.

So when Do-han suggests that they take a break, Chae-kyung coolly accepts the idea without argument, even wishing him a happy birthday before he leaves.

His team, however, surprises Do-han with a cake and present when he returns to the staff room. Aww. They just laugh good-heartedly at Do-han’s gruff reminder to hit the books and not to do something this superficial again. D’aww, they luff you.

Shi-on pulls Yoon-seo aside to express his guilt for not chipping in for the birthday present. She tells him that he doesn’t have to, but Shi-on just shuffles away.

Shi-on drops by Do-han’s office later with his own present. He thanks his boss for not hating him, and now he finds Do-han a little less scary than when they met. Inside is a toy stethoscope, and Do-han breaks into a smile, reminded of his brother’s gift of a children’s anatomy textbook. Cute.

In-hye’s sister meets with Doctor Kim, who appears reluctant when she says she’ll soon have enough to pay for In-hye’s surgery.

He reminds her (for perhaps the umpteenth time) that she could end up like her sister if something should go wrong, but she’ll do anything it takes to save her sister. She asks that he keep these risks secret from the pediatric department and her sister.

Over at the nurses station, In-hye names Shi-on as the most handsome. Nurse Jo grows upset at this, and makes the offhand remark if that means beautiful people earn more. To that, Shi-on spouts information from various research studies that support that theory, which only fuels his already sour mood.

In-hye’s sister joins them and the air quickly turns awkward when she notices Jin-wook. Shi-on points out her bandaid, saying it looks like she took a blood test. Both Jin-wook and In-hye look up at that, but she dismisses it as exhaustion before ushering In-hye away.

Jin-wook catches up with In-hye’s sister (her name is In-young), concerned for her health. He apologizes for asking her out so suddenly last time, but he insists that he wasn’t just kidding around. In-young answers that she knows that, but apologizes that she’s not in a position to accept him right now.

Shi-on finds In-hye crying in a stairwell by herself. Through her tears, she confesses how guilty she feels over how hard her sister has to work to pay for her hospital bills. If they’d only caught the people behind her hit-and-run accident, they could have collected compensation money instead.

Now it’s Shi-on’s turn to comfort her as he apologizes that he didn’t know. He says that his hyung would have done the same thing for him if he was in In-hye’s situation, but In-hye cries over how hard her sister has it. Shi-on softly pats her on the shoulder comfortingly.

President Lee doesn’t seem too worried about the takeover rumors, saying a children’s hospital doesn’t generate enough profit. But Doctor Choi tells her that that’s exactly what the rumor mill has been churning out—to turn the place into a for-profit hospital.

He figures the one behind the move is biding one’s time waiting for change in the healthcare system to make a for-profit hospital legal. Obtaining everything from medical equipment to medicine suitable to children would be very costly, but parents would pay any price for their children.

Furthermore, this would mean big bucks for private insurance companies, who would see children as profit targets. So although this would mean exceptional healthcare for children, it would be the patients and their families who would suffer.

That evening, Yoon-seo understandably thinks that Do-han is off to celebrating his birthday with Chae-kyung, but she’s surprised when he asks her out to dinner instead.

In the car, she wonders if they got into an argument. Do-han denies it, and he turns it into a jab about her lack of dating experience instead. She grumbles at that, and says that she’ll find a great catch. Do-han answers: “What’s the use? They’ll all run away once you start drinking.” Ha.

Yoon-seo insists that she’s never an obnoxious drunk when it comes to a guy she likes. Do-han points out that she was with him the night he piggybacked her home and nearly confessed her feelings for him.

He smiles as he recalls it now, and she practically dies of embarrassment, wondering how he still remembers. But hey, doesn’t this also mean that you’re acknowledging to him that you remember it, too? She rolls down the window to vent her mortification.

Elsewhere, Shi-on notices Chae-kyung sitting by herself at the cafe. He takes the table next to her, and she greets him with a smile. She asks if he’s given more thought to their earlier discussion about the phrase “for Do-han’s sake.”

She sits up a little straighter to listen when Shi-on says that he has. He tells her that it means not to disobey Do-han’s orders, but also: “To hang out with him when he’s alone.”

Those words give Chae-kyung pause, and she listens as Shi-on says that Do-han always eats alone and shoot hoops by himself. He adds that Do-han barely smiles, that the required muscles to smile doesn’t ever seem to be in use.

Then he digs into his chocolate muffin, and Chae-kyung smiles at the sight. So maybe there are some emotions beneath that cool exterior.

Yoon-seo basically creams Do-han at the bowling alley, and she isn’t hesitant to rub it in to him. He gets all peevy about it (hee), and she reminds Do-han that he was the one who first brought her here.

He recalls it now, saying it was shortly after she confessed her feelings for him. Yoon-seo pouts again. He asks why she never told him how she felt after that, and Yoon-seo answers that he soon started dating Chae-kyung, so she gave up on him.

She argues that Chae-kyung is much more impressive than she is, calling herself a grubby doc always in her white coat. Do-han tells her that she’s plenty impressive, and then gives her a noogie before the compliment sinks in.

As Doctor Choi sits in his office, he thinks back to when he was trying to teach young Shi-on how to speak in the country clinic. Although Mom was also present for these lessons, she would be staring out the window instead.

Shi-on knocks on his door, having woken up after another dream in the mines. He tells Doctor Choi that he keeps having this dream, and how he used to only recall pieces of it. But now he remembers everything, and asks: “Why did you save me?”

He says that Hyung was smarter and stronger than he is, and that people would have been happier if Doctor Choi saved Hyung instead. Oh no, it’s survivor’s guilt. Doctor Choi says that it’s not true, but Shi-on pinpoints the reason why Doctor Choi chose to save him: He saw potential in Shi-on’s abilities to make him into a doctor.

Doctor Choi stutters nervously in response, but Shi-on barrels on: “I should have gone to heaven back then. Hyung was supposed to live.” Oh gosh, those words are heartbreaking.

Doctor Choi swallows hard and asks if Shi-on wants to know the real reason why he was saved. It was because Shi-on’s chances of survival was higher than Hyung’s, he explains. If it was the other way around, he would have chosen Hyung instead: “Because… I’m a doctor.” Uh, your answer sounds pretty hesitant there.

Shi-on drowns his sorrow in soju while Doctor Choi buries his face in his hands in his office.

When Do-han drops Yoon-seo off at home, he thanks her for always being by his side. That leaves her smiling, but she goes into noona mode when she sees Shi-on sitting on the doorstep, wondering if he’s been drinking again.

Once she’s filled in, she tells him that Doctor Choi made the right choice. Shi-on knows it too, but he still feels sorry towards Hyung because they went into the mines because of him. Yoon-seo says that as doctors, they’ll come across countless cases they can’t do anything about, just like the little girl she couldn’t save.

All Shi-on needs to do is to give back to the world and treat the children who need him. But that doesn’t change how sorry Shi-on feels: “It might have been better if I wasn’t born. Then [Doctor Choi] wouldn’t have had to go through such hardship, and Hyung might have not have had gone to heaven. It’s all my fault.”

Yoon-seo takes Shi-on’s face in her hands. Gently wiping his tears away, she wonders how anybody could think him a child when the guilt he feels is something most children and adults can’t do.

She rests his head on her shoulder in comfort, and then sits by his bedside as he sleeps.

Doctor Choi shares with Do-han his suspicions about the assistant chief’s involvement in the potential takeover. Now we learn that Doctor Choi was offered to resume his chief-of-staff duties if the hospital turns for profit, and Do-han in turn shares what the assistant chief asked of him.

Do-han informs Doctor Choi that he changed his mind once he learned of the man’s intentions to use Shi-on’s condition as a publicity move. They have no choice but to wait at present, and Doctor Choi mentions that Chae-kyung should know about this too. Do-han doesn’t answer.

Doctor Choi thanks Do-han again for taking Shi-on back in, and tells him that Shi-on is his student now.

Shi-on and Eun-ok share a tearful goodbye when it’s time for her to be discharged. She places a hand on his cheek, and says, “Doc…tor. I… love… you.” Shi-on: “I love you, too.” I’m not crying; there’s just a little bit of dust in my eye.

Yoon-seo grabs Shi-on into a playful headlock once they leave, which makes his heart race again. He quickly excuses himself, leaving Yoon-seo confused.

Shi-on tries to catch his breath in his usual corner. That’s where In-hye finds him, and she tells him to confess his feelings towards his mystery girl, complete with roses and dressed in a nice suit. Shi-on says he’s too afraid of being rejected, but she tells him to do it anyway, since he’ll feel better about it regardless.

In-hye claims that he could die from lovesickness, and he argues that lovesickness isn’t a real diagnosis. Keh. So In-hye tells him to give her the name or she won’t counsel him in love advice ever again.

Shi-on agrees to write it down. He turns his back to jot it down, and then hands it to her before running off. In-hye opens the note which reads: “I’m not telling you!” HEE.

Do-han confronts Assistant Chief Kang about his intentions, to which the latter notes that Do-han makes it sound like he committed a grave sin. The assistant chief finds it a pity that both Doctor Choi and Do-han would refuse an offer that would ultimately benefit their careers.

Do-han says that they don’t need it, but he does ask Assistant Chief Kang one last thing: Is Chae-kyung involved in this plan? The assistant chief raises an eyebrow at that, which is enough for Do-han to gather that the two aren’t working together.

Do-han calls Shi-on into his office, laying out a stack of all the pediatric research studies in the past three decades for him to know by heart. He adds that Shi-on will be tested on the material via applied questions, and there’s a penalty if he fails—denied entry to the operating room.

Shi-on says that he’s confident about the memorization portion, but not about Do-han’s quizzes. Do-han figures that he’s not up for it, but Shi-on takes them with him, saying he’ll do it.

The residents gasp and offer sympathy when they hear about the immeasurable task. That is, everyone except for grumpy Il-kyu. Shi-on says that he has that awful feeling when you run right after you eat, and Jin-wook tells him that he’ll do great.

As they exit the operating room, even Do-han acknowledges that it’s an impossible assignment for any doctor, including himself. Yoon-seo asks if that means he assigned it to Shi-on because he believes in him. Do-han just smiles.

Yoon-seo is called away just then, and damn, that mother-in-law wasn’t kidding when she threatened divorce. She arrives just before the young mother stamps the divorce papers. Her attempts to persuade the mother to reconsider fall flat, and the young mother seals the deal.

Thankfully, the patient’s heart condition has improved (for now), and Do-han suggests that they perform surgery as soon as possible since they can’t afford to wait when her heart is so unstable. Doctor Min agrees with that decision, and they schedule the surgery for the next day.

As Shi-on stays up studying by himself, he thinks of the tender moments he shared with Yoon-seo. Which is when Yoon-seo appears just over his shoulder, her face mere inches to his.

I kinda love how uncomfortable Shi-on gets at the close proximity, and Yoon-seo doesn’t help by putting an arm around his neck. She tells him to read up for tomorrow’s surgery too before she heads out.

Shi-on sits outside a little later, and pulls out a stethoscope to listen to his own heartbeat. He thinks back to In-hye’s words urging him to confess his feelings and lets out another little sigh.

He adorably practices the words at home as he irons his clothes, saying, “Doctor… I… I…” before giving up. Looking at his wall mural, he asks Hyung for help.

Next thing we know, Shi-on shows up at Yoon-seo’s door dressed in a suit. Yoon-seo wonders what he’s all dressed up for and invites him inside. She turns away just before Shi-on can pull out the rose from behind his back.. and then he stuffs it behind him again before she sees.. HA, you totally followed In-hye’s suggestions to a tee.

Shi-on hands it to her a moment later, but she hilariously misinterprets this gesture as a way to butter her up for a favor. Which is when Shi-on finally works up the nerve to say something, and starts, “D..doctor…”

Yoon-seo tells him to come out with it, and he finishes, “… have you had dinner yet!” She says she has and he pouts.

So he changes the subject, asking about her apartment decor, but Yoon-seo tells him to hurry up and say whatever it is he came here to say. Shi-on shrinks away, saying it’s nothing, but Yoon-seo isn’t about to let him off that easy.

He insists he just came back to visit, adding that she knows he can’t lie. But she asks about his wardrobe, and Shi-on says that it’s his Monday night tradition. Ha, so much for not being able to lie.

Then Shi-on quickly excuses himself, and he buries his head in his pillow. At the same time, Yoon-seo looks at the rose now sitting on her desk and smiles.

She stops Shi-on in the hall the next day and asks if he did something wrong (therefore giving her the rose in apology). Shi-on denies it, so she tries the scare tactic to pry his secret out of him, but he still doesn’t admit anything.

She rallies that they have a successful surgery and they fist-bump each other. So cute. I hope this becomes a new Thing for them.

The doctors assure the mother that everything will be okay, but she begins to cry and says if they encounter a situation where they have to choose her or the baby, she asks that they save her baby. Doctor Min slaps on a smile on her face, but I don’t know—I’m already biting my nails.

Doctor Min and Do-han brief their teams to stay alert during this especially risky surgery—they’ve only got fifteen minutes to operate on the fetus. Then they head to the operating room for the surgery.

Doctor Min makes her first incision and “delivers the baby.” They start the countdown, but the surgeon has trouble intubating the baby, whose neck is swollen. Shi-on pipes up to say that it’s due to internal bleeding and has a restricted respiratory tract as a result.

So Do-han steps in to intubate instead, but with less than seven minutes on the clock now, he chooses to go the tracheotomy route. But Shi-on says that that’s not an option anymore, and by now, the mother has started to bleed profusely. And then she starts to crash.

Panic washes over everyone’s faces and Yoon-seo asks if they can’t perform the tracheotomy from a different direction. Shi-on says they can’t and Do-han echoes that thought—the baby could die because of the excessive bleeding.

Four minutes. Everyone looks at Do-han as he holds the baby his hands, racking his brains for a solution.


C’mon Super Doc, think! Even though this worst-case scenario was a long time coming, I couldn’t help but to hold my breath at the suspense of the time-crunch in surgery. It’s a classic sign of countdown syndrome as the stakes get raised higher with each passing second. I admit that I laughed at the hilarious shot of what might be the largest group of surgeons take that dramatic walk to the operating room, but now our surgical team is at another crossroads, and soon they’ll have to choose which life to save (unless by some miracle, they’re able to save both lives): the mother who is profusely bleeding or the baby as she requested?

It comes down to whoever has the better chance of survival, the same dilemma that Doctor Choi faced down in the mines with the brothers. He was forced to make a decision, and I can see why the choice continues to haunt him. I can understand Doctor Choi’s alarm when Shi-on questioned his reasoning behind his choice; perhaps it taps into an inner fear of which choice to make. At this point, I don’t know for sure if there’s more behind that story or not.

What is apparent at present is Shi-on’s survivor’s guilt as the age-old “What if?” question that plagues his conscience. I actually appreciate this internal emotional conflict of living while his brother didn’t make it, since it seems Shi-on spent most of his years with the simple explanation that Hyung went up to heaven. It was heartbreaking to watch him to wrestle with himself over how he got a second chance to live whereas his brother didn’t, and thereby blaming himself. Then I love that Yoon-seo is right there to listen, to affirm that there are some things that are out of his control and all he can do is to keep on living and make the most of it.

On a lighter note, I do enjoy how Do-han is slowly but surely warming up to Shi-on. Do-han still has that gruff, cold exterior that virtually no one can penetrate, but I love that he found himself smiling over that toy stethoscope—that it triggered a happy memory of his own brother. I can’t wait to watch how their relationship evolves from a feared sunbae-hoobae relationship to hopefully something that they can both find healing from. It makes me wonder if Shi-on has yet to realize how much joy he brings to people in this hospital, be it a popsicle, a toy stethoscope, or a fist-pump.


100 September 11, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 12

by gummimochi

There can be no room for error when it comes to surgery, and one second of hesitation can mean the difference between life or death for the patient. The hospital politics and the medical cases take a backseat as we drive the romance (or sometimes lack thereof) to the forefront as feelings collide from every angle. But just like a car accident, it takes a bit of time for the whiplash to kick in.

On the plus side, the latest episode of Good Doctor hit a new series high of 19.4%. Here’s hoping things keep looking up instead of crashing down. Fingers crossed.


Four minutes. With two lives hanging on the balance, Do-han must make a decision: either save the mother or the baby. Doctor Min says they must forsake the baby.

Two minutes. Shi-on thinks back to Hyung in the mines and declares that they must save both persons. They each have a fifty-fifty chance of survival, so they must save them both or else the one who survives will be sad.

Do-han collects himself and announces they’ll go ahead with the tracheotomy. The doctors argue that it’s too risky, but they have no time to lose. They’re forced to go by touch and Do-han assigns Shi-on to the task.

One minute. Shi-on closes his eyes to envision the target area in his head, and then points to where the incision should be made. Do-han successfully completes the procedure, to everyone’s relief. We didn’t forget about the excessive bleeding, right? I hope that blood transfusion order worked out.

Do-han completes the rest of the surgery. He calls Shi-on to see him afterward about Shi-on’s statement of the patients’ chances of survival. He turns it into a teaching point, telling him it’s a surgeon’s job to reduce the patient’s chance of death in the operating room.

He advises Shi-on that he doesn’t use his own guesswork to make a claim in front of a life again. Do-han says all of this without yelling this time, and before Shi-on shuffles away, Do-han tells him that he did well today. Aw.

Yoon-seo apologizes for saying that Shi-on asked too many questions at their briefing, since all of his worst-case scenarios came up in surgery. Shi-on plays it off like it’s no big deal. She doesn’t miss his attitude change, and teases him for getting a big head these days.

They end up awkwardly walking in the same direction later, so she points him in the direction he needs to go, but he sticks around. With a smile, she asks if he’s trying to walk her out.

Nervous, Shi-on searches for an excuse, saying he needs to run out to pick up a few things, but Yoon-seo replies that everything he needs can be found in her desk. So he blurts that he’s off to buy a hammer (at a convenience store?), and that’s good enough of a reason for her.

But when they exit the hospital, Do-han is already waiting for her to drive her home. Shi-on pouts. Aww.

When they reach her place, Yoon-seo asks if things are still tense with his fiancée. At his silence, she warns him to be careful or he may soon find himself dumped. Do-han: “Then I guess I’ll be dumped.”

Do-han says that he and Chae-kyung did love each other once, and Yoon-seo still gets goosebumps just thinking about how much of a lovey-dovey couple they were. Do-han tells her that he doesn’t know why he keeps forgetting things these days, sometimes even days at a time.

She figures it’s because he’s overworked and apologizes that she can’t alleviate his burdens. But Do-han just smiles and ruffles her hair the same way she usually ruffles Shi-on’s.

HA, Shi-on turns up the next day with a hammer. Yoon-seo lifts it up and asks, “Is there a convenience store named ‘Taeyang’s Hardware’?” Hahaha, you so enjoy pulling his tail and I so enjoy watching it.

When Chae-kyung and Do-han run into each other, she notes that he looks worse for wear. He says that he’s been busy, and she tells him to take care of himself because she can’t anymore. He asks if her plans have changed, and takes her silence as his answer.

Chae-kyung calls out to him before he walks away, wondering how they ended up like this. She points out that taking some time should be painful for both parties, but it’s not like that for either of them.

A man drops by the NICU asking to see the baby of the young mother. Ah, so this must be the husband who was previously in the States. Yoon-seo asks if he’s visited the baby’s mother yet, since she’s the one who’s having the hardest time.

She tells the husband that the baby’s mother is an amazing woman because she doesn’t resent anyone. “It’s not because she’s dumb or too kind, but because that’s the way she can love her family.”

That’s why Yoon-seo believes that she’ll become a great mother. The husband walks away without a word.

In-hye scoffs in disbelief when she hears of Shi-on’s not-a-confession. She tsks at him, saying that she’s starting to realize why her teachers gave up on her in her studies. Heh, this girl.

In-hye asks if his mysterious girl sees him as a kid, which could explain why it’s so hard for him to get the words out. She asks for a name and birthdate to read their fortunes. Ha, is this another tactic to get him to spill the beans?

Shi-on is eager to find out if they’re a match, and he answers: “Snow… White.” Hehe. Jealous and bitter, In-hye tells him to forget it.

It turns out the husband didn’t visit his (recently-divorced) wife, but the baby mother doesn’t blame him at all—it’s just that his mother is too controlling. She’s sad that she hasn’t gotten a chance to see her baby yet, which is when Yoon-seo shows her a picture on her phone. Aw, that’s sweet.

And then the husband shows up after all. He apologizes for not being there for her when she needed him most and thanks her for protecting their baby. He pulls his wife into a tearful embrace.

Shi-on hurries to make it to his first test with Do-han and takes a deep breath before they begin. Do-han starts drilling him with questions and Shi-on doesn’t hesitate to recite the answers back to him. You can see that Do-han is a bit impressed by the end, and he tells Shi-on that he passed for today. Oh phew.

There’s a literal skip in his step as Shi-on celebrates on his way out. Cute. Yoon-seo is relieved to hear that Shi-on correctly answered all the questioned posed to him, even one outside of pediatrics.

Assistant Chief hangs up on a concerned call (his family perhaps?) when Doctor Choi comes up the stairs. He takes the reminder of his resignation with a smile and leaves Doctor Choi with a final cryptic word: “You were supposed to hold onto me.”

Mom is pleased to hear that Shi-on is a great doctor, amazed by how far he’s come since he was a little boy. She admits that things were so hard for them back then that there were times she even thought of dying together. She blames herself for Shi-on’s bad fortune of having met such a horrible mother.

She doesn’t know of her abusive husband’s whereabouts, and Yoon-seo thinks over Mom’s words of how she hopes that Shi-on never runs into his father ever again.

A film crew visits to shoot a documentary on the pediatrics department. Everyone is abuzz with excitement, apart from Do-han, who is reluctant to let the film crew in.

Yoon-seo whispers towards Shi-on, who is in the middle of re-arranging his hair to look good for TV. She signals at him to cut it out, and he tussles his hair back to its usual disheveled state. Hee.

Everyone in the department is extremely aware of the cameras, trying to look good for their possible five minutes of fame. Yoon-seo notices that Shi-on is especially distracted and wonders if he’s looking to become famous. But Shi-on answers no—rather, he’s hoping that his parents might recognize his face onscreen.

The other residents tell Shi-on that Do-han and Yoon-seo left work together today too. They wonder if things aren’t too peachy with his engagement with Chae-kyung, although they aren’t quite smart enough to put two and two together.

Shi-on gapes at this fact, having heard of the engagement for the first time. I know; I was pretty surprised when I first heard about it, too.

In the car, Yoon-seo wonders where Do-han is taking her. He doesn’t say where, and just says that he wants to do something nice for once as her sunbae. Or her new potential boyfriend. Yunno, tomayto-tomahto.

He takes her shopping, and he oh-so-casually tells her to pick something out, citing that she complained about only wearing her doc uniform all the time. Sure, blame it on the white coat.

Yoon-seo whispers that she has plenty of clothes and that this place is too expensive. But that grates Do-han’s nerves and he flatly tells her to choose something and steps out, leaving Yoon-seo utterly confused.

Shi-on waits for Chae-kyung outside her office, and over dinner, Shi-on confesses that he hasn’t bucked up the courage to confess his feelings towards his crush yet. So he’s here to ask how Do-han confessed his feelings for Chae-kyung. Ooh, if only you knew.

He figures that it was probably impressive, just like Do-han is, and Chae-kyung instructs him to ask Do-han himself. But Shi-on says that wouldn’t work, and does his best Do-han impersonation, to Chae-kyung’s amusement.

Chae-kyung tells him that she probably won’t be much of help since she was the one who confessed first. She does admit Do-han’s confession came much later, but then can’t think of a time when he did. Shi-on deflates.

It clearly troubles her, but Shi-on says it’s okay if she doesn’t remember since he can’t recall his own mother. “But when I think about it, I think it’s because I don’t want to remember.”

He says that he had such a tough time growing up that he must have erased all of his childhood memories from his brain, including his own parents. So while he tried to block out the bad, he also blocked out the good.

The residents gripe at Jin-wook for ordering one measly bottle of soju among the four of them. But Jin-wook, ever the responsible one, says they can’t drink too much in case there’s an emergency.

He suddenly rises from his seat mid-pour when he catches a glimpse of In-young sending off a pair of drunken gentlemen across the street. Ruh-oh, does unni work as a bargirl to make ends meet?

So Jin-wook heads to the bar, and comes face-to-face with In-young. Oh boy, this is awkward. In-young tries to hide her shame by acknowledging that this is the world she lives in, and that a lofty doctor like him must find it fascinating. Aw, can we give the guy a chance to speak first?

Jin-wook speaks to his own defense—that’s not what he was about to say. Truthfully, he thought that she must be exhausted from working late into the night and concerned about how it would take a toll on her health. Aww.

Shi-on is standing outside when Yoon-seo finally returns home. His eyes find the shopping bag in her hand, and she awkwardly laughs that she bought some new clothes. Yoon-seo notices him shift uncomfortably and asks if he has something to say. But Shi-on denies it and heads back for the hospital.

Then we see a montage of our developing love triangle as Shi-on finds himself unable to sleep that night; Yoon-seo thinks back to Do-han’s tender moment in the car; and finally, Do-han smiles at the thought of Yoon-seo’s smile.

President Lee informs her daughter Chae-kyung about how she believes the assistant chief is connected to the rumors to turn the hospital into a for-profit organization. Chae-kyung is surprised to hear the assistant chief sought out Do-han, but they’re interrupted with even more bad financial news.

Shi-on greets Yoon-seo in a small voice at work, and he says that nothing’s wrong when she asks about his dejected mood. A moment later, Do-han calls Shi-on away.

They relocate to the operating room where Do-han reminds Shi-on that he’s still uneasy during surgery. It’s imperative that Shi-on learn how to maintain full control in order to overcome any situation he may encounter in the high-pressure environment, Do-han adds.

He’s well aware of Shi-on’s ability to envision the body in his head, so Do-han will paint the imaginary scenario for him, and Shi-on will perform the surgery as if it’s taking place right in front of them.

Do-han describes an emergency surgery with a newborn baby on the operating table. They have no time to lose or else lose the life. Shi-on starts to grow anxious, but Do-han orders him to begin.

We see the imaginary surgery come alive before our eyes, and at Shi-on’s shaking hand, Do-han reminds him that he must hurry. Shi-on only grows more nervous as Do-han calls out the pretend baby’s continuously deteriorating state, which triggers a panic attack.

Do-han keeps a close eye on Shi-on, and declares that their patient is dead. He barks at Shi-on that he can’t even handle an imaginary surgery without panicking—how does he expect to survive in a real situation?

Being book-smart means nothing if Shi-on doesn’t have the applied skills to perform surgery successfully. Do-han warns Shi-on not to think that he’s improved lately because in his eyes, nothing has changed.

Shi-on sits by himself even more dejected than before. Yoon-seo sits beside him, and though she didn’t watch his pseudo-surgery, she gives him a few encouraging words that he’ll get better in time.

Yoon-seo brings it up with Do-han afterwards, and she notes that Shi-on may be more susceptible to psychological triggers due to his childhood trauma.

Do-han is shocked to hear it, but he says it won’t change the rigorous training he’s putting Shi-on through. He argues that Shi-on is likely used to sympathy and compassion, but he feels it’s necessary that they break him out of that, no matter how painful it could be.

Shi-on confides in In-hye about how he feels embarrassed these days and has a tough time hiding it. Using Do-han’s words, he calls himself a “shell” of a surgeon, and In-hye tells him to stop calling himself that.

In-hye asks if it’s because Shi-on doesn’t want to reveal his embarrassment to his crush. Shi-on runs off without giving her an answer.

The pediatric team gathers to watch the finished documentary together. At a clip of Shi-on, Il-kyu complains the viewers will think that they’re “just like him.” Do-han warns him to watch his mouth, something Shi-on and Yoon-seo doesn’t miss.

But Dad sees the same documentary, and his eyes grow wide with shock to see his son on TV. OH NO.

Do-han brings Shi-on back in for another round of imaginary surgery. This time, Yoon-seo is standing outside and Do-han lays out another emergency situation with a stern reminder they cannot lose this patient like last time.

But Shi-on panics in this round too, and Do-han barks they’ve lost another child. Breathing hard, Shi-on asks to take a break but Do-han says they’ll continue, adding that it won’t make a difference if Shi-on practices on his own.

He points out that Shi-on isn’t the type to give up easily, to which Shi-on asks, “How can I keep doing something that won’t work out?”

Do-han: “Then quit. If you keep this up, you won’t be a surgeon with a scalpel and no different than a murderer holding a knife.” Damn, that’s harsh, but true.

Yoon-seo comes inside to console him, but Shi-on refuses her offers to go out to blow off some steam. Shi-on: “I’m not a child who only likes to eat!” He storms out.

Yoon-seo trails behind him, calling out that she knows he’s upset. She eventually catches up to him to explain Do-han’s tough teaching ways, but Shi-on says he knows all of that already.

She asks why he’s upset then, and Shi-on admits that he feels embarrassed around her these days. She doesn’t understand why on earth he’d feel ashamed around her of all people, so Shi-on blurts out: “Because… I like you!”

Holding back tears, Shi-on hollers: “Because I hiccup and my heart races whenever I see you! I don’t want to look dumb in front of someone I like!”

Shi-on shuffles away but soon runs into trouble when he encounters a pair of drunken young’uns. They wonder if he’s not right in the head, and then proceed to beat him.

Do-han pulls up in his car along the street just then, and jumps out to deal with the punks. As Do-han fists fly at their jaws (and mine punches the air), Shi-on is reminded of how Hyung once came to his rescue as a boy.

The punks insist to the police that Do-han came at them first, and claim that Shi-on just hurt himself because he already looks like a half-wit. Do-han rises in anger at the insult.

When Yoon-seo comes to collect them later, Do-han marches up to Shi-on to ask why he didn’t fight back. Shi-on says he doesn’t hit other people. Do-han asks how long he plans to let others beat him and hurl insults at him, to which Shi-on says that he isn’t what they say.

So Do-han tells him to prove it or Shi-on will be stuck in that same cycle for the rest of his life.

As they walk back home, Yoo-seo broaches the topic about his confession, but Shi-on cuts her off to say sorry. He says there seems to be so many things that require the right credentials in this world: to become a student; to become a doctor; to become a man; or to like and love someone.

Shi-on says that there are a lot of things he must learn to acquire those various certificates, and he can’t do anything without them. He asks to walk by himself today.

A mysterious person arrives at the hospital the next day, but his profile looks rather familiar…

Yoon-seo mentions to Do-han that she thinks Shi-on’s pride was hurt last night, which Do-han considers as the first step. Then Shi-on joins them to announce that he’s ready to face the imaginary surgery again.

They’re interrupted by an arrival of a guest—it’s Dad. Accckkk. He yells at Shi-on for not recognizing his own father.

Which is when the memories of being beaten by Dad come flooding back to him, and Shi-on collapses onto the floor.


Ohnonono. I knew Mom’s mention about Dad would be bad news. I was content knowing that Dad was somewhere out there and that he wouldn’t come knocking at Shi-on’s door. It makes sense that the source of the trauma, the abuser, would trigger that response. So I do appreciate how his character is a narrative catalyst for Shi-on’s memory to return, though we have yet to learn how much has returned just yet.

Grah, it bugs me that Dad is going for the my-son-is-a-doctor-therefore-he’s rich approach. This is where I’m glad that both Yoon-seo and Do-han are aware of Shi-on’s abusive past. On one hand, this allows them to step in to prevent Dad from overstepping his boundaries, and on the other hand… this is dramaverse, which means characters will let conflict play out and wrestle with them for a few episodes until they are resolved, if ever.

At first, I thought that we had made some headway for Do-han as he dialed down the yelling and assumed a more caring (well, more caring for him anyway) type of teacher towards Shi-on. But at the end of the day, he’s still a surgeon who is responsible of who will handle a life in the operating room. Looking through the lens of a medical professional perspective, I agree with where Do-han is coming from—a surgeon must be knowledgeable about his work, anticipate the worst-case scenario, and act accordingly within the operating room. Performing a surgery is more than just going in to fix something and stitching them back up; you’re fighting against the clock, trying to cheat death from taking another life.

In that respect, his stern teaching style lacks that sympathetic, compassionate quality that Yoon-seo has, which is turning out to be failing her at present. We can see that there is merit in the little changes of his changed behavior towards Shi-on, and that Do-han will still swoop in to Shi-on’s aid. He brings up a fair point that Shi-on must go beyond merely acknowleding his limitations and seek out a way to overcome them if he hopes to make it in this field, where others will be far more unforgiving than he is. But at least we know that there’s a soft underbelly lying beneath that strict sunbae exterior, even if you have to dig deep, deep down in order to get there.


55 September 17, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 13

by gummimochi

Our hero is hit with the past head-on and the resulting whiplash comes with some pretty significant drawbacks. In a hospital that never sleeps, there just isn’t enough time to deal with the matters of the heart, mind, and the soul. Not when you have a boss constantly reminding you to overcome your struggles to be the best, even when you’re not at your best.


When Dad suddenly turns up at the hospital, Shi-on is overwhelmed by the memories of his abusive childhood. Just the sound of his voice triggers Shi-on’s underlying fears, and he collapses, unconscious.

Shi-on comes to some time later and insists that he’s fine, though, the way that he nervously picks at his fingernails suggests otherwise. Thus Do-han denies Dad permission to see his son, which stirs his temper.

That’s when Mom shrills at him to do as he’s told, but her appearance launches Dad into another fit, and he has to be forcibly dragged away. His rage-filled screams can be heard from where Shi-on sits inside, and Shi-on slips away, unnoticed.

Both Do-han and Yoon-seo acknowledge that Shi-on’s emotional trauma must be more severe than they thought. Although Do-han is upset over how he’s been kept in the dark about Shi-on’s mother, he notes that they cannot keep that secret from Shi-on forever.

Meanwhile, Dad tears into Mom outside, calling her a liar and spewing threats at her as she pleads in a shaky voice to leave them alone. Enraged, he raises a hand to strike her when he suddenly doubles over in a coughing fit and hacks up blood. Is cancer on the horizon?

The assistant chief agrees to leave when he’s confronted by Doctor Choi about the for-profit hospital scheme. However, he gives the warning that he’ll soon return more powerful than before, and asks Doctor Choi to reconsider one last time.

Yoon-seo finds Shi-on sitting alone, his knee shaking anxiously. She assures him that they can temporarily keep Dad away, but Shi-on says he wasn’t afraid to see Dad earlier.

He says it felt like he traveled back in time to his younger self, which prompts Yoon-seo to ask if that means Shi-on remembers his mother’s face now. Shi-on shakes his head—he only saw a glimpse of her and she too was getting beaten. He hopes he doesn’t remember what Mom looks like because that piece of information will only upset him.

Then Yoon-seo softly pats him on the shoulder, and his knee stops shaking. Shi-on slides away at her touch and asks for some time alone. She looks back at him with a worried expression.

Yoon-seo informs the other residents to act normal around Shi-on to help him establish a sense of routine. But it seems the recent fainting spell also carries some side effects as Shi-on draws a blank at a question and is unable to envision the case in his head during their team meeting.

Both Yoon-seo and Do-han worry about the implications of the loss of Shi-on’s exceptional abilities on his clinical skills, wondering if the effect is temporary. Do-han says there’s nothing they can do to help him retrieve those skills.

Doctor Pomade suggests that they have a departmental dinner that night, only to hear that they’re all swamped with work. He turns to them individually, and he turns away from Shi-on without asking him. Aw.

Chae-kyung runs into Assistant Chief Kang on his way out of the hospital. She doesn’t hesitate to rub in his failed attempt to lure Doctor Choi and Do-han over to his side. He in turn points out her involvement behind the evil board administrator’s dismissal.

She coolly asks if he heard that fact from Creepy Chairman, and the assistant chief replies that he never mentioned that name to her before. Whoops, way to reveal your hand there.

President Lee is a ball of nerves about the hospital’s mounting financial issues. Chae-kyung basically tells her stepmother I told you so, which does little to calm her already stressed state.

Do-han consults a fellow doctor (a psychiatrist, presumably) about Shi-on’s present condition. He’s told that repressed memories are usually a consequence of severe trauma. There isn’t a quick-fix to bring Shi-on’s exceptional abilities back, but providing a safe and caring environment could help it along.

At the same time, Yoon-seo relays to Doctor Choi all that she knows and asks for his help with Shi-on’s parents.

Do-han calls Shi-on up to the roof and asks him if his father is whom he fears most in this world. Shi-on says no: “A patient’s death.” Do-han agrees with this and asks what they need to do to prevent that. Shi-on: “To correctly diagnose and treat the patient.”

To that, Do-han points out that Shi-on’s fear of his father currently inhibits him from tapping into his abilities. He admits that he thought Shi-on’s skills were just a side effect when Shi-on first arrived, but he then realized they could prove useful for their patients.

Plus, Shi-on still has to keep his promise to surpass him, Do-han notes. He tells Shi-on to overcome his struggles quickly and not to dwell on the issue for too long. “The more you think about that, the less patients you can save.”

During one of In-hye’s checkups, Yoon-seo shows her some updated photos of Opera Boy and Eun-ok on her phone. Adorbs. Then In-hye asks about the rose photo and breaks into a knowing smile when she hears it’s from Shi-on.

The senior nurses are adorably awkward around Shi-on after they hear the news from Jin-wook. It’s sweet how they shower him with endless compliments, even giving him a thumbs-up. Then Do-han orders him to take the night off, telling Yoon-seo to drag him out when he refuses.

In his office, Doctor Choi recalls a time when he dropped Shi-on at home and heard someone crying—Mom. She had closed the door on him, but the sight had troubled him as it still does at present.

At home, Dad continues to yell at Mom, goading her to run away like last time. She says she won’t and instead, tries to persuade him to stay away from their son. He won’t hear a word of it of course, convinced that his doctor son will bring him a steady flow of income.

He gets riled up again when he’s told that he’s done nothing as a father. But Doctor Choi drops by just then, and suffice it to say, Dad isn’t happy to see him.

He grabs Doctor Choi by the lapels and accuses him of stealing his wife from him. But then Dad crumples to the ground, coughing up blood again. Doctor Choi reads his pulse, and his wide-eyed expression tells us that It Is Serious.

On their way out, Yoon-seo brings up the topic of Shi-on’s confession, to which he asks that she pretend she never heard it. He tells her that it was a mistake, and says he felt the same way towards a childhood teacher who was pretty and kind to him.

Yoon-seo isn’t convinced on that explanation and asks him if he’s lying. Shi-on reminds her that he’s unable to lie, but she points out all of his excuses, like when he brought her a rose or bought a hammer which says otherwise.

In a gentle voice, she tells him not to feel sorry about what he said because she felt the sincerity behind his words. If she didn’t, then she would have laughed at him.

They relocate to a café, and Yoon-seo is the first to speak, asking if she’s his first love. She takes his silence to mean yes, and tells him about her own first love story with a church oppa. Thinking about him made her heart race and she couldn’t sleep at night, but it was one-sided, and she feels that she learned from that painful experience.

“I love you, too,” Yoon-seo tells him. “As a hoobae and as a cherished dongsaeng. This is love, too.” Oof. She tells him that he may be upset that she doesn’t see him as a man, but as time passes, she’s certain that they’ll be as close as real siblings.

Now Shi-on finally breaks his silence, and he asks what he should do if that doesn’t happen in the future. “If it’s still the same [then], what should I do?”

Shi-on says he feels even more frustrated now than when he was stuck in the mines. Although he’s disappointed, he feels at ease now that he’s confessed his feelings. He apologizes for putting Yoon-seo through the trouble and rises to leave.

Shi-on walks down the street, disheartened. He greets Doctor Pomade, who’s having a one-man pity party at a pojangmacha, and the department head invites Shi-on for a drink.

Six bottles of soju later, Shi-on yawns after Doctor Pomade regales him with the same tale about how he’s constantly ignored by his hoobaes for the umpteenth time. Doctor Pomade accidentally spits food at Shi-on’s face when he cries that he’s a surgeon too but nobody respects him.

Shi-on says that he respects his sunbae, and although Doctor Pomade waves off those words, the compliment still surprises him. Shi-on ends up with an utterly plastered Doctor Pomade on his hands, whose drunken muttering basically equates to nonsense.

HA, Doctor Pomade wakes up discombobulated in Shi-on’s bed the next morning. Shi-on already has breakfast ready (triangular kimbap and banana milk, natch) and though Doctor Pomade sniffs at the menu at first, he digs in anyway. D’aww, I sorta like the building bromance between them.

Do-han’s quizzes continue at the hospital, and this time, Shi-on trips up on the answers. It keeps happening over and over again, a bit of his confidence ebbing away every time.

It frustrates them both, and Do-han lets him off the hook. He thinks to how Shi-on’s current performance vastly differs from when he used to rattle off the answers without hesitation.

Shi-on slumps in his usual corner, his head hanging. That’s where In-hye finds him, and he says he’s worried that his crush will hate him because he’s been getting more annoyed lately and lying more often.

In-hye answers that Yoon-seo is too nice for that. It takes a few seconds before Shi-on realizes that she knows, and he suddenly rises in a panic. Hee. In-hye takes back her spiteful comment from last time, admitting defeat to the nice unni with a sigh. Lol.

In-hye admits that Yoon-seo is a tough case, since she already regards Shi-on as a dongsaeng. So In-hye advises that he press on with his sincerity, since it’s the only pull he’s got.

Doctor Choi collects Shi-on just then to take him towards another patient’s room. It’s Dad and the sight causes Shi-on to cower and triggers his motor tics.

Turns out Dad has a late stage of laryngeal cancer (bah, terminal illnesses), and all Doctor Choi asks is that Shi-on start to see him as he would any other patient, and not as the cause of so much pain. Shi-on runs off to catch his breath.

Then Shi-on treats a young girl who sustained some cuts in an effort to prevent her blind father from getting hurt. Shi-on notes the fatherly concern for his daughter, who takes it like a champ.

Shi-on runs into the girl afterward, and he learns that she takes care of her father after school. She regards it as another part of her daughterly duties to her parents, driven by the thought of how sad life would be without him. She cheerily thanks Shi-on for fixing her up and collects her father.

Jin-wook waits outside the bar for In-young, who isn’t happy to see him. He advises that In-young find a different line of work for her sister’s sake and her own health. But she answers that she has to do whatever it takes to pay for her sister’s surgery.

So Jin-wook offers to loan her the money instead. Ooh, not what you wanted to say right then. In-young misconstrues his good intentions for flaunting his money, and before he can explain himself, she tells him to find another girl who’s better suited for him. Aww.

Both Jin-wook and Shi-on are unable to sleep that night, their minds filled with countless thoughts. Jin-wook asks if Shi-on has ever liked anyone, and then figures he must have. “You are a man, after all.” He admits that he does like someone, and laughs to hear that is not-so-secret crush is known to everyone.

Shi-on says that Jin-wook possesses the qualifications to love someone: he’s cool, confident, and lacks nothing. And above all: “You’re mature.”

But there are no such things as qualifications when it comes to love, Jin-wook tells him. “But if you love that person unconditionally, then you come to possess the right to love them. The right that I only have.”

He admits to Shi-on that he hasn’t worked up the courage to confess his feelings yet, calling it the hardest thing in the world to do. He’s impressed to hear that Shi-on has already done so.

President Lee and Doctor Choi plan to meet the assistant chief that evening. They’re both surprised to be greeted by Creepy Chairman, and from their greetings, their relationship seems to go way back.

Shi-on works up the courage to walk by Dad’s hospital room, but he crouches down before his rowdy father can spot him.

We’re introduced to our latest medical case when a school bus accident floods the hospital with injured children. With about twenty children in the emergency room, the pediatric team gets to work to assess the children’s injuries.

Thankfully, the team is able to procure enough operating room, but the problem is that there aren’t enough surgeons to go around, even with the help of another department. They’re one surgeon short, and unwilling to transfer the patient to a different hospital.

Do-han thinks fast and puts Jin-wook on the job, but they soon run into another issue when another student comes through the trauma room. Shi-on rushes over to assess their newest patient… and gapes to see the blind man’s daughter.

The patient is suffering from internal bleeding, which means they must operate immediately. When asked about who will perform the surgery, Shi-on says that Do-han can do it—he’s done simultaneous surgeries before. Eek, I don’t get a good feeling about this…

Our various surgical teams get to work on their patients. Do-han orders Shi-on to prepare the adjacent operating room. Once everything’s set up, Shi-on runs back, which is when the patient starts to crash.

Shi-on grows increasingly nervous as the seconds pass and Do-han says he cannot leave this surgery. Then, the girl in the other room starts to crash.

So Do-han looks up at Shi-on and tells him to perform the girl’s surgery. WHAT.


Again, WHAT. I had a feeling that we would eventually encounter a situation where Shi-on would have to take the reins on surgery (which is yes, unlikely as a first-year surgical resident, but it’s always a possibility in dramaland), but I didn’t anticipate that today would be the day. At present, Shi-on can barely tap into his extensive medical knowledge bank, let alone hold a scalpel in his hand. This isn’t to say that Shi-on isn’t capable—because we know that he is—but ack, there’s so much at stake!

At first, I thought to myself that Do-han should have chosen another senior resident to do the procedure (although I wouldn’t trust Il-kyu to cut me open) when it occurred to me that Do-han could be referring to his challenge for Shi-on to surpass him, literally placing the scalpel in his hand. It’s a risky, dramatic move, and the current situation calls for desperate measures that I’m still trying to wrap my head around. Stripped of his ability to envision the surgical area and unable to retain large amounts of information like he usually can, Shi-on is left with the nerve-wracking anxiety with a life in his hands, relying on his own skills and abilities to avoid what he fears most: the patient’s death. I admit that I can’t help but wonder what would happen if that did occur, but the show seems to point towards another developing relationship with another life lesson with our latest medical case, so I can hope for the best… until the next episode airs.

Before we move on, I’m going to say: Dad sucks. There, I feel a little better now. It’s no surprise that Dad hasn’t changed and he’s still the same deadbeat dad (we’ve yet to see if his bunny-killing days are behind him) as before. If anything, I am proud of Mom to stand her ground against him, refusing to run away from him and trying to protect her son. And then, Dad has a terminal illness. Many of us have seen the trope before, but more than the cancer cliché itself, I’m more annoyed by how the show seems to hint at sympathy points for Dad by introducing to us a filial daughter and Doctor Choi’s suggestion to look past the abuser who is the main source of Shi-on’s childhood trauma. Have we forgotten about the bunny, Show?!

To the show’s credit, I do appreciate the pediatric team’s effort to keep the aggressor away from the victim, and acknowledge the horrors of abuse. But the show seems to nudge towards a possible father-son reconciliation—something that I’m totally for in principle—if only Dad didn’t return as the same awful person that he is. If that’s where the show intends to go, I don’t know if I’m prepared for it or will ever be.

With Shi-on’s confession of his feelings towards Yoon-seo out in the open, I appreciate that Yoon-seo explains her platonic feelings towards him, and how that still is a form of love. Though I still find it hard to imagine a romantic relationship between the two since their noona-dongsaeng relationship amuses me to no end, I like how Shi-on is the one to say his feelings towards her may remain steadfast in the future. Yoon-seo is starting to search her own heart as to how she feels towards him, romantic or not. On a slightly different note, I do like how our bromances continue to progress in this episode as Doctor Pomade is slowly coming around to Shi-on. If Shi-on can manage to reach out to a once-evil man like him, then maybe there’s hope for Dad yet.


80 September 18, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 14

by gummimochi

Love can take so many forms in any given relationship, but what’s important to keep in mind is that love is more than just a feeling—it’s an action. And action takes courage when words can only take you so far. Our characters continue to wrestle with what that love looks like when it’s far easier to clam up those emotions due to fear.

This week’s ratings saw a slight dip in numbers with 17.9% and 18.6% but still keeps the top slot in the Monday-Tuesday pack.


Kim Jong-kook – “Don’t You Know?” (모르나요)

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Faced with two patients crashing simultaneously, Do-han assigns Shi-on to operate on the other patient. Shi-on says that he can’t—he’s a first-year resident—but desperate times call for desperate measures; they have no time to lose and it’s their job to save their patients. Shi-on decides to do it.

Things aren’t looking good—there’s severe internal bleeding and the patient’s vital signs are unstable. Wracked with anxiety, Shi-on is unable to picture the target area in his head.

At that moment, Shi-on recalls the words to believe in himself and overcome his struggles. It spurs new confidence within him, and Shi-on proceeds with the rest of the surgery in an assertive, focused manner as Do-han and Yoon-seo look on, impressed.

Through the glass, Yoon-seo thinks in her head: “I’m extremely proud of you, Shi-on. It looks like you don’t need me anymore.”

After Shi-on delivers the good news to the parents, he heads back to see Do-han, who gives his usual slice of criticism on the surgical procedure. It’s unlikely that they’ll run into another emergency like this one for a few years, so he’ll say the words now: “Congratulations on your first surgery.” Aww.

Shi-on smiles at the praise, and then the other residents gather around in celebration except for Yoon-seo, who gives a small smile and walks out. Then Do-han calls for a celebratory team dinner, to the residents’ delight.

Back to the hospital politics as Creepy Chairman insists that he’s an investor trying to save the hospital. His conditions are rather favorable, including building the pediatric surgery department, apart from one thing: that president Lee must step down from her position.

He laughs over how easily he could sell the hospital to less capable hands, saying he’ll make sure to instate a young, capable person in her place. Neither president Lee nor Doctor Choi are convinced, but the board president is particularly distressed and she names him as the person responsible for her husband’s death fifteen years ago.

That hardly fazes Creepy Chairman, who hints that the hospital will have to pay their outstanding loan if they don’t accept his “investment” to buy out the hospital. Eek.

Do-han finds Yoon-seo deep in thought on the roof. He asks what she’s worrying about this time, and she honestly answers that it’s about Shi-on. She believes she made the mistake of continuously treating Shi-on like a child because of his disability rather than an adult.

Do-han asks if Shi-on has said anything on the subject, and Yoon-seo vaguely answers that she must have upset him somehow. Do-han understands why she could feel that way, but he disagrees with the idea that her behavior was a detriment to Shi-on.

In fact, he thinks that it was her nurturing attitude towards Shi-on that induced the marked change in him. All she needs to do is to change with him in the future, Do-han tells her. He’s surprised when she opts out of the team outing.

When Chae-kyung meets with the assistant chief, she call him out for using Do-han and Shi-on as pawns in this power battle. But Assistant Chief Kang retorts that Chae-kyung is doing the same by using Creepy Chairman for her own personal gain. Damn, you do know everything.

Then we learn a bit more about Assistant Chief Kang’s personal intentions as he speaks to his wife on the phone about their sick child. He tells his family to stay in the States for the time being.

The pediatrics team clinks glasses on a job well done, and the residents pout over Yoon-seo’s absence since she’s usually the life of the party. At the mention of her alleged nickname as “God-given body,” Do-han says that it’s a self-proclaimed name. Heh.

At home, Yoon-seo looks at the roses hanging on her corkboard for a long minute before placing it in the trash.

Outside, Do-han asks if Shi-on has gone to visit his father yet. He guesses that Shi-on hasn’t in order to avoid feeling ashamed or getting his pride hurt. To that, Do-han asks if Shi-on knows what it is that truly hurts one’s pride: “To fear something once and be afraid of it forever.”

This truth is applicable in both the workplace and in life, Do-han tells him. He adds that many people mistake fear for courage, but they aren’t the same thing. “Courage doesn’t mean that you get afraid, but it means you don’t let fear stop you.”

Yoon-seo runs into Shi-on when they scrub in for surgery the next day. She tries to strike up small talk with him, but it’s apparent that things are still awkward between them.

Doctor Choi is surprised to learn that Do-han is already familiar with Creepy Chairman’s name. But what’s more important, Doctor Choi tells him, is the mysterious chairman’s connection to the late board president aka Chae-kyung’s father.

He explains how Creepy Chairman had tried to buy out the hospital some fifteen years before. Chae-kyung’s father had managed to successfully prevent the acquisition then, though, to great cost to himself. Unfortunately, Chae-kyung’s father was diagnosed with liver cancer shortly thereafter and passed away.

Doctor Choi points out that it seems their enemy already has someone in mind to take president Lee’s place. He hasn’t told Chae-kyung about any of this in case the news would worry her. Oh, if you only knew how much she already knows.

Do-han puts the pieces together in his head right away and beelines for Chae-kyung. He asks point-blank if she knows what she’s getting into by dealing with the devil himself, and he advises that she cut ties with the chairman immediately.

Chae-kyung counters that the chairman was the only person who sympathized with her emotional struggles whereas everyone else told her to get over it. She admits she’s not as strong as she appears to be, and it would have been nice if Do-han made some time to spend with her.

She masks her vulnerability in a flash, and Do-han urges her to listen to what he has to say. It’s only after Do-han leaves do we learn that he told her the upsetting truth about how Creepy Chairman had a hand in her father’s passing.

Jin-wook remarks on how off Yoon-seo’s been acting these past few days, adding that she doesn’t seem to be taking extra care of Shi-on either. She lets out a forced laugh, and then says that Shi-on seems to be doing just fine.

But Jin-wook isn’t so sure since Shi-on is having a hard enough time as it is with his father and hints that he could easily be hurt by other things. Heh, do you know about Shi-on’s crush, too? She playfully tells him to mind his own business, but the words seems to affect her.

Shi-on sits besides the young girl’s bedside, and she thanks him for saving her so that she can continue to take care of her father. When she hears that Shi-on’s father is sick, she says, “The sicker [your father] he is, the more you have to love him.”

Shi-on asks what that looks like, and she answers to do what she did today: to keep in mind that Shi-on wouldn’t be able to see his father if he died.

So Shi-on seeks out the oncologist about his father’s case. Just looking at Dad’s x-rays triggers his anxiety as Shi-on picks at his fingernails nervously. The prognosis isn’t good, and all they can do now is give him medicine to minimize the pain.

Thinking of Do-han’s words about courage, Shi-on takes a brave step to visit Dad’s room. As expected, Dad barks as soon as he sees Shi-on, who involuntarily jerks at the noise.

Shi-on does approach his father, though warily, and his motor tics go into overdrive when Dad grabs him by the coatfront. Dad grumbles when he learns his son won’t be able to treat him, muttering how Shi-on could ever be a doctor.

Then he raises an eyebrow—surely doctors get paid a handsome salary. Oh no, don’t you go playing the manipulative guilt card on him! But Dad does, saying that Shi-on should pay for his poor father’s hospital bills because he worked so hard on raising him and all. Ugh, I feel thoroughly disgusted.

It’s frightening to watch how scared and anxious Shi-on gets as he stammers that he will. Which is when Mom sees the tail-end of this conversation from just outside the door.

Doctor Pomade is in a losing battle against the vending machine when a little girl tugs on his coat and holds out a drink. Aw, it’s the same little girl who did the same for Yoon-seo last time.

The sight brings a smile to Doctor Pomade’s face as he takes it, opens it… and then the little girl tugs on his coat again. HA, did you only want him to open it for you? That’s hilarious. It also makes me wonder if the same thing happened to Yoon-seo back then, too.

Doctor Pomade takes a seat beside Shi-on outside, and he’s slightly taken aback at the question whether he had a good father. Shi-on explains that he wishes his own father would be proud of him, even if everyone else disregarded him, and vice-versa.

Doctor Pomade picks up on a possible father-son relationship on the rocks, so he gruffly takes out a few bills for Shi-on to use as allowance money. D’aww, the gesture alone is sweet.

One of the kids is getting better, and Yoon-seo informs the mother that her son can soon be discharged. At this exciting news, the children talk about what he’ll do once he’s back home. But all is not what it seems because the little boy ends up vomiting again, and he gasps at what he sees.

Shi-on knocks on the bathroom stall door just then. Having heard a retching sound, he asks if the boy threw up, but the kid lies that nothing’s wrong. Then Shi-on spots a bile-stained tissue in the trash and stuffs it in his pocket.

He runs into Mom in the hallway and the two step outside to chat. Her voice breaking, Mom confesses, “Shi-on-ah… I’m your mom.”

Tears fall from her eyes as she apologizes for not telling him sooner. Then she steps forward to gently cup his face in her hands as she calls him her son.

Shi-on stands there, frozen in place. He thinks back to when he had cried reading a farewell note from Mom as a young boy. He takes Mom’s hand and moves it away before saying: “I… don’t like Mom! Mom abandoned me and left me!” Oof.

Mom cries that she was in the wrong, but Shi-on says that Mom is bad, just like Dad. “I… don’t need Mom.” He walks away, leaving Mom sobbing on the sidewalk.

Yoon-seo searches for Shi-on and finds him sitting in his usual corner. She quickly checks their surroundings before she asks how it went with his mother. She’s surprised to hear that he’s doing fine and that he doesn’t want to see Mom.

Shi-on says that he realized that his mother didn’t love him. The first thing that came to his head when he saw his mother was how she abandoned him as a boy and how he hated her for it then. Yoon-seo urges that he hear Mom out, but Shi-on shakes his head. He tells her not to worry about it and shuffles away to a dark corner and cries silently.

Yoon-seo bumps into Shi-on again at the end of the workday, and she encourages him to seek her out if anything troubles him. He says that he can confide in Do-han instead. She deflates.

In-hye sneaks out of the hospital to follow a hunch when she sees the bar’s business card tucked in her sister’s wallet. She steps inside (security is really lax ’round here, innit?) and catches a glimpse of her sister chatting with some male clients.

She’s shocked to say the least, and her raised voice when another employee tries to usher her out grabs unni’s attention. Once outside, In-young asks if Jin-wook was the one who told her, and In-hye is hurt to learn that he knew about it before she did. She runs away, crying.

Her eyes are puffy and red by the time she returns to the hospital, and Jin-wook asks where she’d run off to this time. Angry and hurt, she stalks off.

Another medical emergency occurs when the little boy (who vomited bile earlier) collapses to the ground, unconscious. His mother is fraught with worry, wondering what it could be. And then Shi-on recalls the bile-stained tissue.

The CT scan reveals an intestinal obstruction, namely a pancreatic cyst. Do-han notes that it’s strange how the patient didn’t complain of abdominal pain, a fact which troubles Yoon-seo.

As they prepare for surgery, Do-han assures her that these sorts of cases happen often and it’s still treatable. Yoon-seo blames herself for not catching it sooner, calling herself a burden to the team. Before she ends up too deep in her self-criticism, Do-han tells her to stop talking nonsense and head inside.

Shi-on keeps his eyes on Yoon-seo during surgery, and then he talks to the boy afterward to ask if he really wasn’t in pain beforehand.

That’s when the boy confesses that he was in pain, but he lied because he wanted to go home and spend time with his family. He asks that Shi-on keep the fact that he lied a secret from his mother.

Shi-on steps outside and overhears the mother lecture Yoon-seo for potentially putting her son at risk by almost discharging him when he’s still sick. She threatens to take action, and Yoon-seo can only hang her head apologetically. Then Shi-on takes out the tissue from his pocket.

Do-han assures her that it was a minor incident and that he’ll take responsibility for any further action taken against them. He finds it hard to believe that Yoon-seo would attribute her error to a lack of concentration, but he takes note of her still-gloomy mood.

The nurses worry if Yoon-seo will be all right when they spot Shi-on bow repeatedly in apology to the boy’s mother. Next thing we know, the mother marches into the staff room with the explanation that Shi-on has admitted fault. Oh no.

Shi-on says that he saw the boy vomit yesterday but failed to report it right away, taking out the bile-stained tissue as evidence. Both Yoon-seo and Do-han can tell what he’s trying to do, and when Yoon-seo tries to interject, Shi-on assumes full responsibility.

Thankfully, the mother ends up dropping the matter, but Yoon-seo fumes.

She rips into Shi-on once they’re outside, saying that this was her own mistake. She knows that he did it because he was thinking of her, but instead of putting her at ease, it just makes her more upset.

Yoon-seo asks why on earth Shi-on would sacrifice himself to put his own neck on the line when he’s having a harder time than she is. Shi-on says that he isn’t and doesn’t understand what sacrifice is.

She tells him that she can afford to make a mistake, but Shi-on can’t—what he did today was for nobody’s sake.

When Shi-on is called into Do-han’s office later, he explains that Doctor Choi once told him that taking responsibility for something they didn’t do is how the world works. Realizing Shi-on took those words at face value, Do-han asks why he did it then.

“I think it would be a comfort.” Shi-on answers. He says that he’s lived a life of receiving comfort from others up to now, so he wanted to try and repay that gratitude unto others.

Slightly amused, Do-han points out that Yoon-seo didn’t seem too happy about it, so he advises Shi-on to provide Yoon-seo with real comfort—not in a big, grand gesture, but in the small, heartwarming ways he’s received it from others.

After a few drinks at the Library, Yoon-seo heads home and notices Shi-on standing outside in the courtyard. She asks why he’s just standing around, and Shi-on replies that he was worried she might be upset.

“I was wrong,” Shi-on says. “I’m sorry for making you mad. But… that was the only thing I could do [for you]. I don’t want for you to be hurt. I hate it more than me being hurt.”

Yoon-seo says that she knows he stepped in for her because he likes her, but Shi-on says that what he did has nothing to do with how he feels about her. “I just… wanted to comfort you. Sincerely.”

Shi-on says he kept his distance from her in case she might feel uncomfortable around him, but he couldn’t do that today. He tells her that what happened to the little boy wasn’t her fault.

Tears well up in Yoon-seo’s eyes as she says that she’s already having a hard enough time as it is… and then Shi-on steps forward to hug her.


Let’s start off with the hug, which is a sweet gesture that is so fitting for Yoon-seo and Shi-on’s relationship in this series. I’m less inclined to call it a romantic overture since Shi-on’s intention is to simply comfort Yoon-seo at present, and I love how it mirrors the way Yoon-seo used to comfort him in his times of need. It’s the one thing that he can do for her and a huge step for him in terms of affectionate expression as the one to initiate the hug. I think it’s fair to say that we’re seeing such drastic development in Shi-on’s affective behavior in a relatively short time period due to the narrative timeline (with six episodes left, that is) than what we might expect to see in the real world. So I often find myself wrestling with how to take in these changes when they occur in what feels like a pretty small window of time of six months.

It makes me wonder if it’s the writing (which we know to be less than subtle) to drive his character development quicker in order to develop the relationships with those around him. And yet, what I like about Shi-on’s character is that we get a relatively short turnaround of the nuggets of wisdom and advice from others. Instead of ruminating on those words for several episodes, Shi-on puts them into action, like how he visits his father after hearing he should love him or how he goes to comfort Yoon-seo according to Do-han’s advice. It makes a for a meaty, satisfying watch in those moments, knowing that our hero is actively working towards a change.

It’s an entirely different story when it comes to dear ol’ Dad, who earns no sympathy points in this episode. There was a little part of me that hoped that Dad couldn’t get any worse, only to get the reminder that he really is a downright terrible person. He digs that grave (no pun intended. Well okay, maybe a little) so much deeper this hour that it makes his possible redemption that much harder to attain. Though honestly, I don’t think many of us are expecting to see any change in Dad anytime soon, if ever.

On the other hand, it was utterly heartbreaking to watch Mom’s confession come right after Shi-on was pulled into doing the filial son thing. Even though I knew that Shi-on wouldn’t accept Mom right away due to the hurt of being abandoned—which is also horrible—I do root for a reconciliation between them, if only for the reason that Shi-on deserves a loving family connection. What I hope for Shi-on overall is that he eventually reaches a point where he can reconcile himself to his traumatic past and harness it into a courage that doesn’t let fear stop him.


72 September 24, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 15

by gummimochi

Fear can be a frightening thing that can either slowly creep up on you or take you by surprise. In those cases, it’s nice to have someone by your side to help you overcome that paralyzing reaction, but often times being the stronger one means facing the fear head-on on your own, to protect the ones you care for the most.

It’s almost here (again) everyone: Good Doctor dances at the border of 20% with a 19.6% this episode. So close, Show. Just a couple more blips.


Shi-on wraps his arms around Yoon-seo in a hug, a gesture which takes her by surprise. She pushes him away moments later, puzzled, and Shi-on explains how he merely wanted to return the favor to comfort her for all the times she did the same for him.

Still discombobulated, she asks if that’s really all it is, and Shi-on nods. She lets out a relieved sigh.

Then to our next pediatric case: a young girl sits alone on a bench; her mother having gone to buy drinks. Nearby, a woman rides her bike, signaling her presence to passersby with her bell. A stranger on the path whips around to throw her off the bike and stab her.

The young girl screams at the sight, and Stabby approaches her, knife in hand. WTF—you stab innocent women out of the blue? Totally messed up.

Yoon-seo and Shi-on look up at the cloudy full moon, making small talk to fill the awkward silence. Yoon-seo apologizes for getting angry earlier and tells him not to claim responsibility for her actions in the future.

She suggests that they keep to their platonic noona-dongsaeng relationship, surprised when Shi-on readily agrees. People have always felt uncomfortable around him, Shi-on explains, to the point where he can pick up on that sense pretty well now. He knows it’s the same with Yoon-seo, and he doesn’t like the idea of her feeling uncomfortable because of him.

Yoon-seo says it isn’t true, but her defense doesn’t sound all that convincing. She tells him they don’t have to go back to the way things once were between them if it makes him uncomfortable.

But Shi-on says that it won’t. He figures it’ll take some time for his heart to mature, but he’d rather continue hanging out with her than not. Moments later, they receive a call about the stabbing victims.

They rush back to the emergency room where the little girl a stab wound in the abdomen. The doctors hurry to transport the patient to the operating room and treat the hemorrhaging and damage to her internal organs.

They save the girl, but the crying mother is still racked with guilt for nearly losing the only family she has left after losing her husband a year ago. Unfortunately, Stabby is still on the loose, and Do-han silently stands vigil by the little girl’s bedside, troubled.

He returns to the staff room just as the residents exclaim their horrified reactions to how anyone would have the audacity to stab a little girl, let alone six other victims. Eek.

When Shi-on walks Yoon-seo out, she notes how he admits to doing so this time, and laughs when he says that going to the hardware store is too much of a hassle. It’s his job to protect her from the scary world out there, Shi-on says, since he’s stronger than she is.

She wonders if he’s actually that strong, and Shi-on nods, saying how he can open a can of tuna with one hand. Heh. He says he wants to go eat tomorrow night, and even offers to pay for dinner. She agrees, beaming.

As Yoon-seo walks away, Shi-on thinks to himself: “This is enough for me. Seeing you smile; staying by your side. These past few days, it feels like my heart grew [several] centimeters.”

At home, Yoon-seo takes out the rose from the trash and pins it back to her corkboard.

Jin-wook finds In-hye sitting alone, her head hanging. He apologizes for not telling her that he knew about her sister, but that isn’t what In-hye is upset and angry about. Now that Jin-wook knows unni’s line of work, there’s no way her sister and Jin-wook can ever be an item.

Jin-wook admits he was surprised at first, but he could sense that In-young loved her little sister so much that she would willingly work as a bargirl. That kind of sacrifice is difficult even among family members, he adds.

For him, he tends to believe the things that can’t be seen: “There are more things that can’t be seen that are most precious in this world.”

Dad throws a fit over his porridge diet, grumbling that he wants rice instead. He orders Shi-on to buy him some food, but Shi-on refuses. Good for you.

Dad mutters something about his good-for-nothing son, and Shi-on loudly says that he knows what he’s talking about because he’s a doctor. Dad’s eyes nearly bulge out of their sockets at this act of defiance, and then Shi-on shuffles outside trying to catch his breath.

Elsewhere, Chae-kyung confronts her stepmother about Creepy Chairman’s involvement in her father’s death. President Lee apologizes, saying she didn’t want to upset Chae-kyung with the truth, but that only angers her further.

Do-han is consulted about a pediatric surgery case in Boston of a little boy who has a buildup of fluid in the brain after sustaining a head injury. The child has already undergone numerous surgical procedures and the doctors are asking if there are other treatment possibilities.

Shi-on walks in and overhears the tail-end of the case. In particular, the child was treated in Korea and then transferred overseas. Hm, is this Assistant Chief Kang’s child perhaps?

Do-han asks for Shi-on’s opinion on the matter, and Shi-on agrees with the idea that there are no other possible methods other than to drain the fluid. Yoon-seo tries to press Shi-on for more information, but he tells her that’s it.

Speaking of whom, Assistant Chief Kang merely chuckles at Chae-kyung’s threat that she’ll see that Creepy Chairman pay for deceiving her. “Payback isn’t something the weak does to the powerful.”

He points out that Chae-kyung will soon get what she wants when she sits as the new hospital board president, as a way to atone for her father’s unfortunate passing. But she tells him that her plans have changed, and she neither needs their apology nor sympathy.

The nurses are warned to be wary around the little girl, since she could still be paralyzed in traumatic shock. Sure enough, that’s exactly how the little girl is when she’s wheeled in, her eyes unblinking and shaking.

To make matters worse, the police drops by in hopes to get a description of her attacker. Although they’re all apprehensive about the little girl’s fragile psychological state, Do-han appeals to the mother, who reluctantly steps away.

The officer asks if she recalls Stabby’s face, and we see in flashback that she had seen a glimpse when he revealed himself (?) for a split second before masking his face with his bandana again. The little girl starts to shake anxiously at the memory.

After Do-han and Shi-on leave the room, Shi-on says that people don’t realize how much childhood trauma can impact someone’s life like a big bruise in their head that doesn’t easily go away.

Do-han point out that Shi-on must know how to handle the case then, and Shi-on answers: “We just need to get her to believe that there is someone strong by her side. Someone who is warm and stronger than the attacker who scared her.” That was Hyung for him, and there was also someone like that for Do-han, too.

To that, Do-han sighs and walks away as Shi-on trails behind him. And then we see Stabby sitting in the waiting room. Creepy.

Shi-on sees the children punching a balloon bop bag as practice to take on the kids who bully them at school. He scolds them not to resort to violence, but the kids counter that they can’t stand around to be punching bags, and invite Shi-on to join them. He gets a few light punches in, to the children’s delight.

In-hye gives her sister the silent treatment when she comes to visit until In-young says that she’s sorry. But In-hye says that she’s upset because she doesn’t want to be a burden to her sister for the rest of their lives.

She tells unni that she doesn’t want to stay at the hospital anymore, to which In-young says that she already quit working at the bar, and now they have enough for In-hye’s surgery.

Things are still strained between Shi-on and Mom when they briefly lock eyes at the cafeteria. For now, we move on to Doctor Pomade, who has noticeably softened since the beginning of this series.

He jumps when Shi-on sits beside him for lunch, but even more alarmed at Shi-on’s offer to come visit his place again. HA, the shock on Doctor Pomade’s face (and Il-kyu’s amused expression) is priceless.

Yoon-seo sympathizes with Mom’s disheartened mood, telling her that Shi-on will come around soon enough, adding that Shi-on is working to become more mature than he already is.

Mom wipes her tears and says that Yoon-seo is doing all of the things she should have done for Shi-on as his mother, and thanks her for being such a warm and caring person towards her son.

Later that evening, Shi-on says that he isn’t on-call tonight, and Yoon-seo immediately brightens to ask if it’s because he wanted to buy her a meal. Hee, I like that her playful banter is back, though I’m still wary because Shi-on still likes her.

She asks where he’s taking her, and Shi-on just smiles, telling her that it’s a secret. Cute. She keeps throwing out guesses as they walk outside, completely oblivious to traffic.

Then Shi-on whips her around to prevent her from walking into an oncoming car, bringing them to close proximity. They break apart a moment later, and Yoon-seo quickly plays it off like it was nothing, though her voice breaks slightly as she asks where he’s taking her again.

Cut to: Shi-on slaving away cooking at the stove while Yoon-seo pouts in the background, complaining about what’s taking so long. HEE.

She gapes at their menu—spaghetti made with somen noodles—and figures it doesn’t matter as long as it tastes good. Then she takes a bite… and coughs. Aww, and here I was hoping that Shi-on might be a good cook.

He looks up at her expectantly, and she just tells him to try it himself. So he takes a big bit and grimaces at the hot ketchup-minced-onion-rice concoction in his mouth. Yoon-seo suggests they strike a deal: never to cook for each other ever again. Yeah, that might be best. Then she tells him to bring out his usual triangular kimbap.

Do-han is relieved to hear that Chae-kyung has cut ties with Creepy Chairman. But Chae-kyung doesn’t seem all that reassured, since she’s already handed over the hospital’s information into enemy hands.

On the verge of tears, she says that she doesn’t know why she tried to take over the hospital board. Do-han answers that he did it for his sake. But Chae-kyung shakes her head and honestly replies that she masked her true selfish intentions by saying it was for Do-han’s sake.

Chae-kyung confesses that she wants to find purpose in her life again, admitting that she lost the good memories while erasing the bad ones: “The times we were truly in love, our happy memories. I feel like my mind has become empty. Like a house without any occupants.”

Yoon-seo is on the phone with her mother, trying to wave off her mother’s attempts to set her up on a seon (a blind date with the intention of marriage). Ha, she even pulls the ol’ I-can’t-hear-you-there’s-too-much-static trick. Now I’m getting high school flashbacks.

After she hangs up, Shi-on encourages her to go anyway, saying how he’d like to go on a blind date someday. Yoon-seo suggests that she’ll find someone for him, and he nods in agreement.

Then when Yoon-seo holds up a picture of the aforementioned date, Shi-on involuntarily snorts in laughter. “He looks like Voldemort in Harry Potter.” Ha. Yoon-seo wonders if that makes her aka the “God-given body” Hermione then, to which Shi-on immediately calls her out for giving herself that nickname nobody else knows.

Yoon-seo gets annoyed at that, telling him that he should have stuck up for her. Shi-on replies that he was distracted by the beef. Hee. He adds that he couldn’t have said it was true since he only saw her face, not her body. Touché.

At the hospital, the little girls waves off Shi-on’s attempts to check her heartbeat. Shi-on says that she seems afraid of the stethoscope, but I’d venture that she’s also generalizing her fear of her male attacker to any male who draws near.

Our ever-so-helpful psychiatrist echoes those thoughts, adding that she should be treated for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) soon, but her physical wounds needs to heal first.

Shi-on spots the children sneak out with their shirts full of snacks. He’s about to give them a talking to when the kids invite him into their group, this time with no strings attached. Aw, it’s cute how they’ve accepted him, and you can see Shi-on contemplate this for a moment.

The next thing we know, the children are back in their beds as Shi-on tattles on them in front of their mothers. He lectures them that they have to keep to their diets in order to get well soon and confiscates the snacks as the mothers look on, impressed and amused.

On another note, Nurse Jo gasps when he sees the facial cream he presented to Nurse Nam in the trash, only to brighten again to see that it’s empty. So he’s all smiles when he gifts her with a spa gift certificate, which piques her curiosity. But then she barks at his suggestion that they go together and rejects it.

Do-han thinks back to Shi-on’s words of how he also must have someone who is by his side. He then notices Yoon-seo still working on the Boston hydrocephalus case.

Shi-on hardly makes any progress with the little girl when Do-han arrives. To his surprise, Do-han takes out the toy stethoscope and smiles at the girl. He tells her that there’s nothing to be afraid of because he’s a good fighter. Shi-on jumps on that bandwagon: “He’s like Won Bin in Ajusshi.” If only.

Afterward, Do-han calls Shi-on out for laughing at him earlier. But Shi-on points to the toy stethoscope instead, and thanks him for using it to alleviate their patient’s fears. Do-han gruffly responds that it’s not like he’d keep the toy stuffed in his pocket, but breaks into a smile after Shi-on leaves.

Then we see Stabby creeping in the hallway.

Back in Dad’s hospital room, he sneers at Mom that she must be so happy that he’s terminal, but he’ll make sure she suffers while he’s still alive. Geez, thanks for that wonderful overdue present.

But Mom tells him not to talk nonsense, and tells him to take this chance to be a good father to their son. He throws her words back at her and nearly pops a vein in his neck when he hears that she’ll continue to beg forgiveness from Shi-on for as long as she lives.

Shi-on’s voice pops in from the door before Dad launches at Mom, shouting: “Don’t hit her! I don’t like hitting!” Dad turns to strike him instead, but Shi-on grabs his wrist before he gets the chance. “Now… I’m stronger than you,” Shi-on says.”So… so… don’t do that. Don’t hit Mom either.”

Shi-on speaks with Mom outside, and she thanks him for protecting her earlier. He asks how long she intends to be a victim to his abuse, saying how nothing has changed from when he was a child to the present.

Mom says that she’s sorry, but Shi-on tells her not to say that anymore and asks why she’s always sorry towards him. Shi-on walks away as tears well up in his eyes.

Doctor Choi is astounded to run into Assistant Chief Kang at the hospital since the man was already dismissed. But the former assistant chief says he’s here to show around the group of investors behind him and gives the backhanded compliment that the hospital is in tip-top shape thanks to the chief of staff.

Yoon-seo has a eureka moment on the Boston case, and she excitedly pulls Shi-on over to share her alternative treatment idea. Shi-on ahhs in understanding, and then pictures the case in his head to confirm the idea that draining the cerebral fluid towards the gallbladder will work. She pumps her fist in victory.

She beams when Do-han agrees with her as well, acknowledging that it’s worth a try. She says she used Shi-on’s strategy to envision a mock surgery in her “God-given brain,” which earns her a playful retort to report her recommendation.

Doctor Pomade channels the Thinking Man on the roof as he recalls the conversations he’s had with Shi-on. He orders Il-kyu to dig up the surgery files for the past two years, and then drinks in the fresh air… which is when a bird poops on him. LOL.

It seems that the Boston case in question is in regards to Assistant Chief Kang’s son, and he fumes to hear that the new treatment plan was proposed by the university hospital’s pediatric department.

Down at the cafe, Chae-kyung invites Shi-on to sit with her since it’ll be awhile before the others come out of surgery. I actually kinda like that Chae-kyung enjoys his company and is genuinely interested in how his confession went. She figures that his non-answer means it’s not a full no yet.

With a smile, she thanks him for everything, and then relays her wishes that he and his crush end up together. She says he can seek her for advice anytime. Aw okay, that’s sweet. Then Yoon-seo spots the two with a curious eye from just around the corner.

She probes Shi-on with questions about his friendly rapport with Chae-kyung shortly afterwards, wondering why he’s never mentioned it before. He says that he simply forgot and Chae-kyung is nice enough to listen to his troubles, which prompts Yoon-seo to ask what he confides Chae-kyung in.

She scoffs when he answers it’s the everyday sort of troubles. Ooh, is noona getting jealous? He says that they’re not that close, but Yoon-seo tells him to keep being friends with the other pretty noona, leaving him confused.

Yoon-seo walks back inside to see Do-han check up on the little girl after his work hours. They relocate to chat, and Yoon-seo notes how Do-han seems to be following in Doctor Choi’s footsteps by checking in on his patients even after his shift ended.

Do-han has been asking himself a lot of questions lately like whether he’s a good doctor. He laughs to think he reflects on such textbook-like questions thanks to one resident who often gets in trouble.

But then they’re called back into the little girl’s room where the patient stutters fearfully: “Mus.. tache. A scar… on his eyebrow.”

The pediatric team worries that their patient may be in danger if they know what the perpetrator looks like, but the officer tells them that the attacker usually flees for fear of recognition. Uh, this guy’s stabbed at least six women; I think showing his face is the least of his worries.

But the cop says that there’s nothing to worry about (bleh) and that they’re the experts on this (ugh). Worst Cop Ever. The hospital security guards can only patrol the halls, and Do-han sends Yoon-seo home while he stays behind.

Do-han stands outside the little girl’s room before he walks down the hallway, unknowingly crossing paths with Stabby, who walks right past the dozing nursing station. Shi-on spots Stabby too, but doesn’t think anything of it.

Do-han is at the elevator when it occurs to him that something was off about the stranger in the hallway. He doubles back just as we see Stabby sneak into the room and slowly approach the mother-daughter pair.

That’s when the door opens to reveal Shi-on, who asks if Stabby was the one who hurt the little girl. He stands at the door, shaking, while Stabby draws closer to him…

… and then Do-han kicks Stabby back into a gurney. The two men engage in a tussle while Shi-on takes the women outside.

We cut back to the fight as the men kick and punch each other. Do-han grabs Stabby’s neck, but then Stabby reaches for his trusty knife and stabs him. ACK!


I’m going to need a minute here before we move on *deep breath* Okay I’m back. This episode was much better as a whole than last week. It’s hard to name one possible factor that attributes to this improvement; perhaps it was that we spent more time on building long overdue relationships or just the lack of hospital politics, an instant episode pick-me-up. Whatever it is, it’s a welcome change as we breathe life into our leads, giving them a chance to brush through the marked development in their characters.

We continue to see change in Do-han’s character in particular as he inadvertently allows Shi-on to slowly become a larger presence in his life. We see that shift in the way Do-han treats the little girl with more empathy and concern for her psychological and physical health.I love that he uses the toy stethoscope Shi-on to diminish the fear in his patient, and also for the obvious reason that he carries it around in his white coat.

Speaking of Do-han, I do wonder if or when we’ll ever return to the younger brother Soo-han storyline since as far as we’ve been told, (former) Assistant Chief Kang is in possession of that information and hasn’t made his play with it yet. But even if it’s not used in the hospital takeover plotpoint (which I could frankly do without, but alas), I do wait out for the possibility of that family connection being a cornerstone to Shi-on and Do-han’s building bromance.

Chae-kyung’s character was never one that I particularly invested in, since she seemed to run more in the political circles than get involved in the pediatric team’s dynamics. To her credit, I do enjoy the rapport she has with Shi-on and that she genuinely enjoys spending time with him and getting to know him. I don’t think their budding relationship will develop into any romantic feelings this late in the game, but I do find it a little satisfying that Yoon-seo is jealous that Shi-on has another noona to turn to. Chae-kyung’s vulnerable monologue didn’t strike me on an emotional level that I’d hoped, since she too has a sad familial background. She dabbled a bit in evil-making before pulling back, and it would take something big to bring her back to the Dark Side. For the most part, I find her character harmless, adding nothing more or less to the screen.

Building upon last week’s lesson of courage, this episode delves into the idea of a protector who’s strong enough and greater than the fear of the perpetrator. We saw that strength take different forms from being physically stronger to emotionally stronger, especially in Shi-on. I love that Shi-on takes that step to establish his identity apart from his abusive father and stand up to protect others from being physically hurt and to say no. It’s the first step of a long journey for Shi-on, but at least it’s in the right direction.


65 September 25, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 16

by gummimochi

Life is full of uncertainty where no one can predict the outcome. It requires a leap of faith and to take a risk even at the possibility that someone can end up hurt. Those cases are the toughest to treat, but thankfully there does exist a remedy for those types of emotional consequences, where hearts can be treated with love.

The show finally breaks past the yo-yo ratings in the teens with a new series high of 21.5%.

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Do-han takes on Stabby in the hospital. He gains the upper hand by grabbing the intruder by the throat… until Stabby jabs him in the side with the knife. Gahh, it’s hard enough watching this scene once, let alone twice!

Do-han slumps to the ground, and Shi-on clocks Stabby with a right hook. Yay, but he’s still got a weapon! Stabby shoves him aside and runs out… to see Nurse Jo block his path with a clenched fist. And Scary Nurse Jo is epic.

Thankfully Do-han’s wound isn’t fatal, but that doesn’t save him from Yoon-seo biting his head off for his recklessness. She asks about the attacker, and we see Stabby lying bloody and unconscious in another bed.

I love how upset Nurse Nam gets at the news that Nurse Jo will be taken to the police station for assault. She insists on accompanying him.

In his usual corner, Shi-on tells Yoon-seo this was the first time he’s ever hit anyone, and it was nothing like it is in the movies when the hero punches the villain. He’s told that there are times like today when fighting is necessary, but he should never resort to violence without good reason.

Then Yoon-seo suddenly springs him with a fictional scenario: She’s about to be assaulted by a bunch of gangsters—what would Shi-on do? He narrows his eyes and answers, “I’d tell them: ‘How many cavities do you have? I only accept gold crowns.'”

She recognizes those as lines from the movie Ajusshi, and tells him to stop watching movies as reference, adding that protecting her is one such case where he should fight.

Chae-kyung sighs over Do-han’s bed, disappointed that she’s always the last to know. Do-han tells her that it’s not a big deal, but she disagrees. I’m with her on that one; usually stabbing = big deal.

She asks if he’s ever wondered how difficult it would be on her if something dreadful were to happen to him. Her longtime prayer is to share a long life with her partner since her parents were taken from her so young.

Taking his hand in hers, she asks that he keep in mind how seeing him injured or hurt would affect her too. Stroking her hair, he promises to do so as Yoon-seo witnesses their reconciliation from just outside the window.

Shi-on assures the little girl that they’ve taken care of the baddie, so she doesn’t have to be afraid. There’s no need to be worried either because she has plenty of good people by her side. The little girl says that Do-han’s bravery reminded her of her deceased father, and smiles at the thought of gaining a pair of new protectors.

As they leave the police station, Nurse Nam loudly voices her complaints about the charge against Nurse Jo, who’s back to his usual jolly teddy-bear like self. He doesn’t seem upset about the situation, but he does mention that those hours of questioning leaves him hankering for some food.

She’s more than willing to oblige since he’s been subject to such injustice. That takes them to go out for beef, and Nurse Nam asks how he became such a good fighter. He merely chuckles that he threw a few punches when he was a kid.

Curious, she asks about the origin of his name (Jung-mi) since the hanja characters are the same ones used in “rice mill.” To her surprise, he confirms it, saying how his parents gave him the name after he was born in a rice mill. She can’t help but snort, clearly amused. Cute.

At the nursing station, Shi-on beckons Nurse Jo towards him, and then suddenly swoops in to kiss him on the cheek, to everyone’s surprise. Shi-on explains that he merely wanted to show his gratitude towards him in the same way Nurse Jo congratulated him back when he officially became a resident. Heh.

But their smiles soon fade when they spot Assistant Chief Kang giving a tour of the hospital to another group of investors.

The news about the impending hospital takeover seems to trouble Doctor Pomade whereas Doctor Kim wonders what’s gotten into his once-evil friend lately.

The residents talk about it as well, split over what the changes will mean for their department in the future. Shi-on grows anxious about the idea of turning the hospital into a for-profit institution since it will put their patients and families in further financial stress to pay for healthcare.

Just then, Do-han shows up for work, and even though he winces from the pain, he ignores his team’s recommendations to rest. Yoon-seo follows him to his office to ask what will happen if the takeover goes as planned. Do-han says he’ll likely leave with Doctor Choi. Yoon-seo says she’ll do the same, but he has her make sure the others aren’t too shaken up by the situation.

Assistant Chief Kang receives news from the American pediatric team, who have chosen not to perform a risky procedure on his son. They advise that he seek Yoon-seo for other alternatives.

At the same time, Shi-on and Yoon-seo mull over her proposed treatment method. Yoon-seo decides that they’ll need the help of the doctor who worked on the case in Korea, and sends Shi-on out to obtain the files.

Shi-on runs into Chae-kyung as soon as he steps outside. She notes the brisk weather, and when Shi-on says he forgot to bring something warm, she asks for a bit of his time.

So Chae-kyung takes him shopping for a new sweater. She pouts when he anxiously tells her that he was told not to be a burden to others. But she insists, telling him to just think of it as a gift from a noona for saving Do-han earlier.

Yoon-seo is called in to see Assistant Chief Kang, who reveals himself as the father to the hydrocephalus patient in question. He informs her of the bad news that the Boston hospital has cited her proposal carries too many risks.

She argues that it doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but he counters that their pediatric surgery team won’t succeed if the idea has already been rejected by an American hospital. Offended, Yoon-seo walks out.

When she discusses the case with Do-han, he tells her that the other hospital must have good reason not to pursue the surgical procedure, entertaining the possibility that they caught on to something they didn’t.

It still weighs heavily on her mind when she runs into Shi-on in the hall. She immediately notices the new sweater as Shi-on searches for an answer. She grabs the still-attached tag and gasps at the price. When Shi-on gapes with her, she raises a suspicious eyebrow.

Once they’re alone, Shi-on insists that he didn’t know how expensive it was, but Yoon-seo scolds him for accepting such a gift and wearing it anyway. Then she yells that he should have asked her to buy him clothes if he needed them, not Chae-kyung.

Shi-on interrupts her to say that he understands his mistake, but he doesn’t understand why Yoon-seo is so angry with him. She retorts that Chae-kyung is just a stranger, and when he says that she isn’t, she hands the tag back to him and walks away, peeved.

News of Stabby’s capture hits the TV waves, and Dad nearly drops his spoon in surprise when he sees and hears Shi-on’s name in the report. His eyes gleam when the news report paints his son as a hero. Bah, you’re going to try and milk this, aren’t you?

When Il-kyu drops off the surgical files to Doctor Pomade, he asks why the department head about his sudden interest towards Shi-on. Doctor Pomade stutters in response, and makes a quick excuse that he should care for the team maknae. Then Il-kyu starts to ask his superior another question, but decides against it.

We’re briefly introduced to our next medical case of a father-son pair who has traveled a far distance to receive surgery. But what’s interesting is that the father recognizes Shi-on at a distance and slips away before he’s seen. Hmm.

Meanwhile, Dad goes looking for Shi-on and wears a smug smile about Stabby’s capture with a remark that he at least passed on his fighting genes to his son. Shi-on says that his use of violence then was different that his own childhood abuse: “I only hit a bad person! But you hit Mom and me!”

That stirs Dad’s temper, but they’re interrupted by Doctor Pomade, who sends Shi-on elsewhere to deal with Dad himself. And though Dad’s a piece of work, Doctor Pomade takes his grumpiness without complaint. Aw, that was nice of you.

When Yoon-seo finds Do-han doubled over after surgery, she basically gives him the ol’ I told you so, to his amusement. But he tells her that he should accept the pain as punishment for all the times he’s been insensitive towards other people’s feelings.

She figures this means that he’s made amends with Yoon-seo, and he nods. Then when he thanks Yoon-seo for always being there when he needed him, she puts on a brave face.

Chae-kyung comes clean about her actions against her stepmother and Doctor Choi. They’re shocked to say the least, and president Lee tells her stepdaughter that she never wants to see her again. I think it’s safe to say Chae-kyung considers that as happy news.

Doctor Choi steps outside to speak with Chae-kyung in the hall. She sincerely apologizes and promises to set things right again. But Doctor Choi apologizes to her for driving her to this point.

Losing the hospital is trivial in their eyes in comparison to the possibility of losing Chae-kyung, an idea that Doctor Choi is sure her father thought as well. He places a comforting hand on her shoulder before he walks away.

Shi-on tiptoes around Yoon-seo in the staff room, worried that she’s still mad at him. He does, however, trail behind her at a distance on their way home, even diving into some bushes when she abruptly turns around. Ha.

She laughs at his poor attempts to hide and calls him out. He points out that she’s still angry with him, citing her high decibel voice. She asks how he intends to make her smile then, and the next thing we know, Shi-on is wiggling in front of her in a playground next to a pair of springy bouncer toys. LOL. How random, but adorable.

It gets her to laugh, and she asks if Shi-on even knows what she’s angry about. He says he looked it up on the internet, which says that very question has forever boggled the minds of men everywhere. Ha, so true.

Yoon-seo admits she doesn’t know what she’s upset about, to which Shi-on asks puzzlingly, “If you don’t know, then who does?” Hahaha, also true. In any case, he says it’s his fault and apologizes for making her angry. Aw.

He runs off to head back to the hospital, but not without one last wiggle. Puhaha.

Do-han catches Chae-kyung outside the hospital, having heard about her confession. Taking her by the wrist (augh, I know. We’ll just move on), they head off to the Library to drink their worries away.

Tipsy, Chae-kyung confesses that she thought she was smart, only to be played like a fool. She wonders if Do-han thinks her loud and pathetic too, but he tells her that she may be loud, but she tends to do things properly.

She wonders why he’s suddenly acting like a boyfriend, adding that the change scares her. She’s afraid he’ll just turn cold again and close himself off from people like she does. She hopes those warm and fuzzy memories will come back soon, and Do-han pulls her close so her head rests on his shoulder.

Assistant Chief Kang seeks Do-han and Yoon-seo for their help, asking that one of them go to Boston to appeal for his son’s case. Do-han says that won’t change the other hospital’s mind, so he suggests for the boy be brought into their hospital.

Assistant Chief Kang contests that it’s not that he doesn’t trust their skills, since he’s seen them firsthand, but rather it’s too early for him to trust them. That was why he wanted to turn this hospital upside-down and transform it into a place where he could guarantee the pediatric team’s surgical skills.

It’s a noble intention albeit a skewed one, and Do-han asks if a patient’s trust can be gained through monetary means. Furthermore, Yoon-seo asks what might happen to the patients who need exceptional care but can’t afford the treatment.

Shi-on silently helps his mother with a few fallen cups in the cafeteria before he heads to see Dad, who’s fast asleep. He covers his father’s legs with the blanket before he scurries off to avoid notice. Aw, you’re a good son.

He greets Assistant Chief Kang in the hall, who’s already deep in thought over Do-han’s words about how they won’t pursue surgery without his trust. Shi-only bluntly tells the assistant chief that he’s a bad person for trying to turn the hospital for-profit when it would only hurt the patients and their families.

Assistant Chief Kang walks up to say that there are two sides to everything, but Shi-on counters that hi-tech medical equipment is pointless if the patients don’t have access to it. “It gets sadder if they die because they can’t come. It gets even sadder when the chance to live gets taken away from them.”

In-hye is in shock at the news that her organ transplant donor is in fact, her sister. She cries that she’d rather end up dead than be a bigger burden than she already is, and runs out.

When Shi-on finds her in their usual corner, she tells him to leave her alone, tears streaming down her face. Back in the hospital room, Jin-wook is surprised at this turn of events, and suggests that In-young reconsider since the surgery isn’t urgent, but she turns him down.

The news of In-hye’s surgery reaches Do-han’s ears, and he beelines for Doctor Kim’s office. He says that In-hye is his patient which means he must participate in the surgery as well. Doctor Kim points out that Do-han doesn’t have much expertise in this area, but Do-han counters that he’s never failed at it, either.

But Doctor Kim says he’ll do it without his help, and when Do-han protests once more, Doctor Kim puts his foot down.

It turns out Assistant Chief Kang’s family turns up at the hospital anyway. His sick son looks up at him, saying he heard that the doctors will make him better here. Assistant Chief Kang promises to make that happen.

He and his wife speak with Do-han outside. Do-han mentions that the assistant chief has been witness to his team’s skills on countless occasions, even telling them that he trusts them, so he doesn’t understand why he’s unable to trust them with his son.

But that’s the very reason why, Assistant Chief Kang responds: “Because… I’m his father. There’s no father in the world who would put his own child at the risk of uncertainty.”

Yoon-seo, meanwhile, speaks with the son, who recognizes her name as the doctor who proposed a way to treat him. He asks that Yoon-seo promise him that she’ll be the one to perform his surgery.

Shi-on and Yoon-seo relocate to their usual corner after he overhears Do-han’s frustrations about the case. He thinks that people tend to hurt others more than they’re hurt by their illnesses.

That’s something a doctor can’t treat, since there’s no vaccine or prescription that can prevent others from being hurt.

Yoon-seo agrees with that idea, but adds that the hurt can only be treated by another person. That’s what Shi-on has been doing for his patients, and they all got better because he healed their hearts with love. That’s why Shi-on is a good doctor, she adds, and gives him a thumbs up.

Shi-on says he still doesn’t know what it means to be a good doctor, so she answers for him: “A good person.” He says that must be why Yoon-seo’s a good doctor, too.

She asks if he’s the president of her fan club to be singing her such praises, and Shi-on calls himself her “-ppa” (a sort of adoring fan). She tells him to stop talking nonsense, but can’t hide the smile on her face.

In-hye sneaks out of the hospital again, but thankfully she hasn’t gone too far off, and Yoon-seo finds her sitting just outside the hospital. In-hye refuses to return to the hospital tonight, so Yoon-seo takes her home where she notices the rose hanging on the corkboard.

As for unni, Shi-on approaches her to tell her that In-hye is in good hands. He says that In-hye will come around because she has a generous heart, and is often acts like a noona towards him.

Then he says that Jin-wook likes her very much, loudly tossing and turning at night so that Shi-on can’t sleep either. Lol. “I thought that I was the biggest idiot in this hospital. But it turns out that Jin-wook is. He’s a real dummy.” Hee, I’ll say.

He repeats Jin-wook’s words that there isn’t a set of credentials to love someone, but that one develops the necessary qualifications to love that particular person. So he hopes that In-young will return Jin-wook’s feelings in kind.

At the same time, Yoon-seo reassures In-hye that this surgery won’t inhibit her sister from dating or getting married in the future. Then In-hye asks about the rose, saying that Yoon-seo would have thrown it out if she rejected Shi-on.

In-hye shares how Shi-on consulted her for love advice, and how she saw a picture of that rose in Shi-on’s phone. Yoon-seo shifts uncomfortably, embarrassed, but replies that she couldn’t dismiss Shi-on’s feelings because his confession was so earnest.

In other words, she’s acknowledging him as an adult. But In-hye isn’t easily fooled and says that Shi-on is a good man: “I’d like if all the good men in this world wouldn’t be

After In-hye falls asleep, Yoon-seo stays up, smiling at the thought of Shi-on, whose voice we hear narrate: “I didn’t know what the phrase ‘Love is something that eases people’s suffering,’ meant earlier today. But after I thought about it, there doesn’t seem to be another painkiller as perfect as that one.”

We enter Shi-on’s dreamscape where In-hye stands looking healthy in amidst lush, green fauna. And then Shi-on wakes up with a start the following morning.

Back at Yoon-seo’s place, she tells a drowsy In-hye to wake up already. Shi-on bursts inside to collect In-hye, to which Yoon-seo tells him she has everything under control.

But that’s when In-hye weakly calls out to the both of them, blood dripping from her mouth. Then she collapses onto the bed. OH NO.


Acccckkkk. TWO near-death cliffhangers in one week, Show?! I’m pretty sure my doctor told me that this kind of shock isn’t good to my overall health. I sincerely hope that In-hye pulls through this scare, because I enjoy watching her interactions with Shi-on and what her character means to Shi-on. I’ll be honest and say that I thought she had died in her sleep when Yoon-seo was telling her to wake up in the morning, given Shi-on’s dream and that she didn’t stir right away. So I breathed a relieved sigh when she did, only to become another ball of nerves when she collapsed anyway (yes, even with those almost-comical freeze frame reaction shots).

She’s remarkably astute, though, jaded from all the years of being in and out of a hospital, and just cracks me up whenever she plays matchmaker. She’s one of the few minor characters I actually look forward to in each episode, so don’t you dare take her away Show!

Our supposed Axis of Evil characters show some hope that they’re not exactly evil after all. For instance, I was surprised at Chae-kyung for coming clean about her hospital takeover plans to both president Lee and Doctor Choi. Then we have Assistant Chief Kang, whose admission that he’s just another concerned father, and then finally Doctor Pomade, who’s turned from stock evil to stock comic relief. In this way, these actions and revelations are starting to mess with my moral barometer when we’re dealing with not-so-evil characters who can turn back on the road to redemption. It’s great character stuff to reveal their honest intentions for their actions no matter how simple they can be, but at the same time, it is frustrating when you see that honesty is the name of the game among these characters when your good and noble ones still dance around their words. At least there’s solace (?) in the fact that Creepy Chairman is still… well, creepy.

For what it’s worth, I do like how we’ve reached a point where most of the hospital staff has come to embrace Shi-on whether they realize it or not. I love that he has the support of the nurses as well as most of the residents, and even the staff. It’s a minor point in the grand scheme of things, but I loved how Doctor Pomade stepped in before Shi-on was subject to another round of abuse from his father, and telling the man calmly and rationally that this is unacceptable behavior at Shi-on’s workplace. There’s something about this change that the staff will protect their own using their positions of power that’s especially heartwarming. That and the satisfaction of seeing Dad’s aghast expression, but that’s just a plus.


75 October 1, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 17

by gummimochi

At its core, what makes Good Doctor shine isn’t the fancy doctoring or that all of its characters are necessarily good in a moral sense, but it’s in the relationships built between flawed characters who have nuggets of wisdom to teach each other. They say that laughter is the best medicine, and this episode is no exception, bringing in the laughs along with the tears to a series that continues to stir the heart and soothe the soul.

Good Doctor continues to be strong in the ratings pack as this episode hit 20.3%. Keep it up, Show.


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In the morning, Shi-on swings by to pick In-hye up before work, just moments before In-hye collapse, unconscious. Thank goodness the hospital is just a stone’s throw away, and the doctors immediately get to work while unni cries silently.

Meanwhile, Chae-kyung seeks out president Lee, who is understandably angry about the betrayal. All she asks for is a chance to rectify her mistakes; not for the sake of the hospital, but for the people in it—her stepmother, above all.

Yoon-seo beats herself up over having In-hye sleep over at her place, given her current critical state. She’s told that In-hye’s intestinal shock was inevitable, but the words do little to alleviate her worries.

That’s when Do-han arrives to rip a new one into his team, blaming each of them in turn for putting their patient in danger. Then Doctor Kim drops in to yell at Do-han—what will they do if In-hye doesn’t recover in time for her surgery? He warns Do-han to keep his patient alive.

The team gathers around In-hye’s bedside to apologize to In-young, who only blames herself for driving her sister to this point.

Do-han checks in on Assistant Chief Kang’s little boy (with his handy toy stethoscope, heh), and smiles warmly at the boy’s dream to become a pro baseball player when he grows up.

The boy offers up his most valued baseball as a present to thank Do-han in advance for his surgery. Do-han accepts it, though, reluctantly, and then takes the boy’s hand in his, squeezing it tight. Just outside, Assistant Chief Kang witnesses the entire heartwarming exchange.

Afterward, he speaks with Do-han outside to relay his plans to have his son see a renowned pediatrician in Japan. Do-han accepts his decision without argument, adding that he’s glad to be left to remember the assistant chief as a caring father.

Chae-kyung is surprised when Shi-on returns the sweater she bought him the other day. At his insistence that he can’t accept such an expensive gift, she wonders if there’s another reason. Is there someone who’s jealous that she got him a present, perhaps?

Shi-on’s mouth drops, all, How did you know?! Hehehe.

Amused, Chae-kyung says his crush must have feelings for him after all. Why else would she be upset about it? Shi-on asks if that’s true, and Chae-kyung laughs, saying she was just pulling his leg.

Shi-on pouts in response, telling her that he’s about to dislike her a teensy bit, and then runs off. D’aww, their budding friendship really is just downright adorable.

Next stop on the cutesy train, Nurse Nam finds herself daydreaming about Nurse Jo, only to snap herself out of it a minute later. Nurse Jo pops in just then to teasingly ask if she’s thinking of him, to which she says no in her usual half-snippy half-denial tone.

Nurse Jo brings up the topic about the hospital’s annual play, and takes it upon himself to arrange the staff play to put on for the kids. Cute.

As Do-han self-treats his stab wound, I’m really starting to worry about how it will affect his work. Doctor Choi feels the same, reminding him that self-care is necessary in order to provide adequate care to their patients.

Do-han worries about the hospital takeover plans, but moreso than that, Doctor Choi is more concerned about whether the hospital will fall into the wrong hands. That’s why principles are so important, Doctor Choi stresses: “Principle is like a sheath. Although it can’t cut anything on its own, it can cover [the knife’s] sharpness, so it doesn’t hurt anyone.”

Shi-on sits beside In-hye’s beside. As he thinks of his dream of seeing her happy and healthy, he lets out a troubled sigh.

Do-han tells Yoon-seo to focus her efforts elsewhere when he finds her still analyzing the assistant chief’s son’s case. Then he winces from the pain in his side, something that Yoon-seo doesn’t miss. She worries about a possible infection, but he brushes it off as nothing.

Shi-on is approached by the mysterious father in the previous episode who now reveals himself as one of Shi-on’s old childhood bullies. (Great job on your keen deduction, everyone!) The name brings up bitter memories of Hyung as the anger wells up within him.

Once they’re alone, the bully comes clean about how he couldn’t work up the courage to talk to Shi-on when he saw him the other day. He feels terribly sorry about what happened in the mines so many years ago, and he knows this apology comes far too late.

Because of that, he feels that his moral punishment has manifested itself in his son’s illness. But Shi-on angrily tells him not to say that; the boy’s sickness has nothing to do with his wrongdoings.

Filled with remorse, the childhood bully pleads with Shi-on to forgive him. Shi-on walks away without another word. Kudos to the bully for owning up to his wrongs, but you can’t blame Shi-on for being unable to accept his apology right away.

Do-han sees Shi-on sitting by himself, deep in thought, and tells him to get back to work. But before he does, Shi-on asks whether he should forgive someone if they admit their wrongs.

It depends on the person, Do-han tells him—if they’re looking to clear their own guilty conscience, then no, but it’s okay if it’s sincere. Shi-on says he isn’t sure, so Do-han tells him that it’s simple: just take a look at how they’ve lived their lives afterward.

Shi-on walks back to the staff room in a daze when Yoon-seo literally snaps him out of it. She asks if he’s free tonight so she can buy him dinner, using the excuse that she won a free meal. Mmhm o-kay.

Cut to: cheers and streamers as Yoon-seo and Shi-on sit at their table while the employees goad them to kiss already. Ha. After she shoos them away, she mentions that she totally didn’t know her prize was intended for couples. Snerk, I’m sure you didn’t.

None the wiser, Shi-on says it’s all right; he’s just happy with his steak dinner. So Yoon-seo oh-so-casually remarks that the waiters want them to kiss after the meal, looking up at him with innocent doe-like eyes, all, “What are you going to do about it?” HAHAHA, I love how the music cuts out at that exact moment.

Then she sours when Shi-on says that he won’t do it because he was taught that only marrieds kiss each other, a notion that she finds completely old-fashioned.

He asks when and where people should kiss then. Dropping her utensils, she answers: “Anywhere and anytime; whenever you feel like it!” Oh, she is so enjoying this, and let’s be honest, so am I.

Do-han brings Chae-kyung to the surgical observation desk in an effort to help her recover some happy memories. Aw, that’s sweet. This was where he confessed his feelings towards her, he reminds her, and Chae-kyung ahhs in recollection.

He seems a bit hurt that she doesn’t remember his exact words, but he repeats them anyway about how he’s sick of being alone. After a few seconds of awkward silence, she asks: “That’s it?” Do-han: “Yeah.” Ha, maybe it was better off forgotten.

They laugh about it, and Chae-kyung wonders why she previously thought his confession was impressive. Do-han answers that she probably found him more impressive than his words.

She agrees to that, adding that perhaps good memories can’t be expressed with words. Do-han jokes that he thinks that’s true too, and describes his memory of her with anatomy descriptors.

Back at the restaurant, Yoon-seo asks if Shi-on talks to Jin-wook about each other’s love lives. Shi-on says that they do, but he hasn’t mentioned his own confession to Yoon-seo. She asks why not—didn’t he want to talk to someone about it?

Shi-on admits that he wanted to but didn’t, out of respect for the person he likes. “Because I’m different than other people. That person will be made fun of by other people. My friends were teased, too. So it was better to be alone. It was easier to be teased by myself.”

Jin-wook finds In-young in the hallway to update her on her sister’s condition. She stops him before he leaves to sleep well, and the hint of concern catches him off-guard.

She tells him that she’ll become a burden to others after this surgery, and thus it will be difficult to date people. So she asks that he ends his feelings for her here.

Jin-wook swallows hard before he asks if In-young feels like her sister is a burden. He knows that she doesn’t, and he feels the same way about her.

Next thing we know, Jin-wook is tickle-wrestling Shi-on on the sofa for his big mouth. Keke. He thanks Shi-on anyway for helping him get out his feelings in the open, since a painful love is still considered love.

In-hye finally wakes, and the first words that come out of her mouth are that she felt like she had died. She apologizes to both Shi-on and Yoon-seo, and he gently tells her that she needs to be more careful from now on.

Near tears, In-hye says that she doesn’t want to die, and he wipes the tears from her eyes. Then Shi-on sees his childhood bully lovingly sit beside his son’s bedside.

So when he and Do-han check in to confirm the boy’s surgery, Shi-on also adds his well-wishes, referring to his bully as a hometown friend. Aww.

The former bully thanks Shi-on afterward, referring to his child as his only hope. Shi-on asks if they’re really friends, and the bully says of course—he was an awful friend to Shi-on when they were young, but now he’s indebted to him

“Then I’ll forgive you,” Shi-on answers. Now it’s his turn to give a condition: that he raise his son to be strong and healthy. Overwhelmed with gratitude, the bully hugs Shi-on tightly.

Another child is wheeled into the emergency room; this time a little boy who collapsed in gym class with a complaint of stomach pain. Shi-on is excused to respond to the case, and calls for backup. Hahaha, it’s Doctor Pomade to the rescue!

The CT scans show the intestines are pressing up against the lungs, which means they must operate immediately. But Doctor Pomade says it’s too late—the patient will go into cardiac arrest if they open him up.

When the pediatric team gets wind of the case, Yoon-seo offers to do the exploratory surgery herself, to everyone’s surprise. It’s basically a repeat of her very first surgery, but this time Doctor Pomade racks his brains for an alternative.

But then he looks down at his hands, and it triggers him to order Shi-on to get the operating room ready, stat. So you can imagine Yoon-seo’s surprise when she hears Doctor Pomade has decided to go ahead with the surgery himself.

They don’t know that Yoon-seo has already left, so Doctor Pomade assign Shi-on to assist him as the only two pediatric surgeons available. It’s actually pretty frightening to see the fear wash over on the department head’s face as the patient goes into cardiac arrest as soon as they open him up.

So Doctor Pomade hurries to move the intestines manually as critical seconds tick by. He eventually gets them loose with Shi-on’s help, but now they’ve lost a heartbeat.

They get out the defibrillator just as Yoon-seo and Do-han peer in outside. They induce the first charge. Nothing. Second charge. Nothing.

Doctor Pomade starts to panic, and then he performs manual CPR. And to their great relief, the boy’s heart starts beating again. Now in the clear, they perform the rest of the surgery without a hitch, earning Doctor Pomade a round of praise from both Do-han and Shi-on.

When Shi-on checks up on the assistant chief’s son, the little boy asks if he knows anything about baseball. Shi-on doesn’t but wants to learn, and the boy beams at the idea that there are things he can teach a clever doctor like him.

The residents go out for some grub, and they all remark on Doctor Pomade’s marked change in behavior. Then they laugh about their department head’s budding friendship with the maknae resident.

Doctor Pomade now sees his patients with a warm smile. After the patient leaves, Il-kyu starts to ask the senior doc a question, but we don’t get to hear what it is.

Yoon-seo sighs when she sees In-hye’s fever still hasn’t gone down at her next checkup. In-hye tells her that it isn’t her fault, and then she asks if she knows how much she’s loved by Shi-on.

The thing about love, In-hye says, is that it’s easier to spot when it’s small. “The bigger it is, the harder it is to see.” Maybe that’s why she wasn’t see her sister’s love for her before, and that might be why it’s hard for Yoon-seo to see, too.

Then we catch up to Il-kyu and Doctor Pomade, who are out at a pojangmacha over drinks. Il-kyu musters up the courage to ask why Doctor Pomade gave him high marks when he was in danger of failing med school.

He wonders if his mother bribed Doctor Pomade, but is then told the truth: “Because you reminded me of myself.”

Doctor Pomade confesses that he once was in Il-kyu’s shoes: he was surrounded by geniuses, but still wanted to become a surgeon. He knows his method was unethical, but he saw too much of himself in Il-kyu and he saw the potential in him to become a good doctor.

There wasn’t anyone to do that for him at that time, Doctor Pomade adds, and they drink.

Shi-on yawns on his way out of the hospital after getting the night off. He then sees Il-kyu and Doctor Pomade passed out drunk across the street. Cut to: both men sleeping in Shi-on’s bed, possibly nekkid.

They bolt up, startled, and immediately think the worst. Then their host Shi-on says their clothes are in the wash and breakfast is ready.

Assistant Chief Kang finds his son’s hospital room empty that morning. That’s because he’s busy playing with the other kids, a sight that brings a warm smile to his parents’ faces.

Yoon-seo whines at her mother over the phone, refusing to go the seon arranged for that evening. She runs into Shi-on on her way out, saying she’s meeting some schoolmates instead.

She bears through the date just enough to be pleasant, and then runs out of there, stumbling in her high heels and dress. Then I love how she returns to the hospital and stands there for a long minute, waiting for Shi-on to notice her.

She finally calls out to him, and Shi-on gapes in surprise, saying how she looks like a pretty news anchorwoman. She drops telling hints that she met up with her Voldemort seon, waiting for a flash of jealousy from Shi-on.

But Shi-on doesn’t seem the least bit upset, and she points out that she lied about where she was going earlier. But Shi-on says that that’s okay too, and she pouts. Yeah, I think you’re going to have to work harder than that.

He does, however, point out that it’s the first time she’s dressed up at the hospital, and she asks if he’s really not upset. He says he isn’t, but pouts a little after Yoon-seo leaves.

Assistant Chief Kang’s son tells him that he really likes this hospital, and that he feels almost as happy as he was before he got hurt. He asks if his father remembers when they changed schools because of a famous baseball coach, but ended up transferring back because the lesser-known coach made him feel more at ease.

It’s the same thing now, because he felt sicker when he was in Boston. Assistant Chief Kang’s eyes well up with tears at those words and steps outside with a heavy heart.

So then he requests for Do-han to perform the surgery on his son. Do-han asks after the reason behind the man’s change of heart.

It’s partly because his son wants it, he answers, “I wanted someone to fulfill my hope. But it turns out, I had to choose my hope. No one could choose it for me. My anxiety as a father caused my son to give up on his choice to hope. That realization is the reason why I’ve changed my mind.”

He dearly hopes that this surgery will be a success, but he does ask for one thing: that his little boy’s case and the hospital politics are two different things. Do-han echoes that sentiment.

Dad wheezes in his hospital bed, wondering why Shi-on hasn’t come to see him lately. Uh, maybe ’cause you’re a terrible father? But Mom says their son is a busy doctor with other patients to care for.

Dad is somehow even more unpleasantly annoying as ever, even as he asks his wife to help him up… and then collapses back onto the bed.

The pediatric team assess the risks to the assistant chief’s son’s surgery, where the inserted catheter could fall in and cause the spinal fluid to leak. Eek. However, the neurosurgeon seems confident about the procedure… which can only mean that something dreadful is going to happen.

The catheter insertion portion is a success, but Yoon-seo notices Do-han wince in pain. But Do-han grits through it and picks up the scalpel. Accccck, I can’t watch!

But thankfully before he makes the first cut, Do-han doubles over in pain.


Gah, I knew that damn stab wound was going to come back to bite him sooner or later! In retrospect, with no pressing medical emergencies around, Do-han could have taken a day off to rest, but then I suppose there’d be no drama. Maybe he needs a suspension to keep the workaholic away from the hospital, but we all know how that worked out last time.

Nevertheless, I still found this episode to be engaging, entertaining, and even funny at times when I literally laughed out loud. So it’s nice to know that the show can balance its Super Important medical cases—which swing in and out like a revolving door, mostly—with heartwarming relationships between the majority of our characters, even giving us unlikely pairings.

Though brief, I like that we spent some time with one of Shi-on’s childhood bullies, who has thankfully done away with his bullying ways. Even though he feels such remorse towards Shi-on for what happened to Hyung (and sincere apologies in of itself are so rare in dramaland), I can’t blame Shi-on for simply walking away at first when he’s carried over a decade’s worth of grief, bitterness, and anger. But I’m still glad that their reconciliation came pretty swiftly, and that Shi-on was able to reach a point to move on from his painful past.

I also like how we’re seeing Doctor Pomade and Il-kyu step up to take the spotlight. For a few moments, I did wonder why Doctor Pomade seemed so frantic in the operating room when Shi-on mentioned his well-worn surgical hands. But adding a few more pieces into the puzzle including his history of being able to barely survive in his career, his anxiety and his colleagues’ dismissal of his authority began to make sense. The decision to go ahead with the surgery anyway despite his fears of malpractice is a turning point of his character, and thus he really did earn the respect and praise from his cohorts.

His story helped to shed more light upon Il-kyu’s situation, and I’m glad to see that the extra oomph towards his residency candidacy troubles him. Although I understand Doctor Pomade’s reasons for seeing potential in Il-kyu, I don’t agree with the ethics behind the decision since you still have to think of the risk to patient care if you have an incompetent doctor with a scalpel. The same could be said with Shi-on’s beginnings at the hospital, so what I can take away in this explanation is that Doctor Pomade is aware of his unethical decision, and that this is an optimistic, idealistic medical world where virtually everyone gets a second chance.

So while I appreciate these minor plotpoints that tie up our past, I do wish we spent a bit more time on In-hye, especially after her medical scare. There’s still time to address her relationship with her sister, but I admit that I was greedy to dig more into her brush with death, and how Shi-on’s dream played a part in that. Therefore, it felt pretty anti-climactic to come into an episode thinking, “Is she gonna make it?!” only to learn minutes later that she is, and then refocus more screentime to other budding relationships which are still heartwarming, but less satisfying in the moment.

Speaking of more satisfying relationships, I love how Yoon-seo has begun to question whether her feelings for Shi-on is more than just a lovable dongsaeng. To be honest, I would have been just as happy if this relationship never ventured into romantic territory, but I also enjoy her attempts to fish for some jealous reactions out of Shi-on. Plus, it looks like with Do-han and Chae-kyung’s relationship back on track, the possibility of Do-han and Yoon-seo looks like a boat slowly disappearing into the horizon. I know; it breaks my heart, too.

But moreso than who gets together with whom, I do enjoy that we explore love in a way that’s so much more than between lovers. We see that love among colleagues, among family members, among friends, and among broken hearts where they’re all looking for a way on how to love, and it always starts by opening up your heart to love.


88 October 2, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 18

by gummimochi

A dream can be a wonderful thing that drives your motivation, fulfill your greatest desires, and let you imagine your greatest fantasies. But sometimes it can also make you yearn for the unattainable, warn you for the future, and remind you of something already lost. That’s the incredible thing about dreams, though: even if you don’t get the outcome you expected, you can always dream up a new one.

If you can believe it, this show gets even funnier, which is something I didn’t expect this late in the game. In terms of numbers, Good Doctor holds the top spot with a 20.6%, setting us up for (hopefully) a good position in finale week.


Joo-won – “내가 만일 (If I)” for the OST [ Download ]

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Thanks to the untreated stab wound, Do-han reels in pain in the operating room. He stubbornly insists that he’s fine, but the pain becomes too much to bear. At least he has enough sense to hand off the surgery to Yoon-seo and oversee the procedure from the sidelines.

So the team proceeds, tapping into Shi-on’s visual ability and knowledge at each step. The surgery is a success, and in a strained voice, Do-han praises his team on a job well done.

Do-han finally rests afterwards, and given Do-han’s dangerous episode at the start, Assistant Chief Kang isn’t happy with him. But Do-han takes out the baseball in his pocket, saying this was the reason why he couldn’t leave the operating room.

“The reason I step into that operating room is for my team’s and that child’s future, ten, twenty years from now. If I don’t give up on that child’s future, then there’s no reason for me to give up on the surgery.” Do-han explains.

Do-han finally gets his wound treated, and Yoon-seo scowls at him when he yelps in pain. She clucks disapprovingly at his workaholic nature: “Do you think you’re Iron Man?! He gets wounded, too!”

She nags at him to go and rest, jabbing her tweezers at his wound when he doesn’t listen. Heh.

Having heard of Dad’s fainting spell, Shi-on rushes over to his hospital room in a panic. Doctor Choi tells him that Dad doesn’t have much time left.

Mom confides in Shi-on outside, telling him her intention to move with Dad back to their hometown in the countryside to spend his final days. But Shi-on shakes his head and says they can’t leave, afraid that Mom will be subject to more abuse. Mom says it’s unlikely, but Shi-on doesn’t like the idea at all.

Yoon-seo sides with Shi-on on his decision to keep Dad at the hospital, calling his behavior thoughtful and mature. Shi-on says he pities both of his parents and that feeling makes him angry.

She gently asks why, and Shi-on answers that if they both abandoned him for twenty years, they should have at least lived a comfortable life without him. But Yoon-seo is proud that Shi-on has finally acknowledged and embraced his anger because it finally gives him the confidence to be strong for his parents.

President Lee appeals to one of the hospital’s financial investors for more time, but gets promptly shut down. Chae-kyung gets upset on her stepmother’s behalf once they’re alone, and president Lee thanks her for staying by her side.

Yoon-seo speaks with Doctor Pomade in his office, and the sudden shower of praise and concern takes her by surprise. At one point he asks, “Since when have you been so pretty? Since you were three? Ten? Or since you were born?”

She suppresses a laugh before answering, “Since I was born,” and then walks away with this hilarious WTF expression on her face. HA.

It’s good news for In-hye, who has finally recovered from her intestinal shock episode. She wonders if she’ll be able to grow up to be a pretty adult like her sister, and Shi-on tells her that she’s pretty now, too.

She immediately asks who’s prettier—her or Yoon-seo? Without hesitation, he answers: “Yoon-seo.” Heh. It’s nice to see In-hye back to her usual cheery and playful self, but she does momentarily wonder why Shi-on keeps staring at her.

Shi-on paces back and forth in the staff room with worry, to which Yoon-seo asks what’s on his mind. He describes it as the uneasy feeling when you think you’ve left the stove on or forgotten to log out of a computer. Basically he means that he feels they need to run more tests on both participants before surgery.

Their most recent test results came up clean, but Yoon-seo admits that she too feels uneasy. Shi-on says that he has a favor to ask, and Yoon-seo really really has to grant it.

That takes them to Doctor Kim’s office, and they launch into an explanation of the risks in surgery. Doctor Kim cuts them off and curtly puts Yoon-seo in her place for her arrogance. Shi-on pipes up in her defense, and demands the senior doctor to apologize.

That goes over as well as you might expect, and Yoon-seo leads Shi-on out before the tense situation escalates any further. Although she’s amused and pleased by Shi-on’s furious reaction, she literally has to pull him back from storming back into the office.

It looks like we’re not completely rid of the Evil Board Administrator, who is enlisted to take over the hospital board presidency on Creepy Chairman’s recommendation. Assistant Chief Kang isn’t happy to hear it, but he’s told that it’s only temporary and to continue to keep an eye out.

Nurse Jo is in the middle of another lecture from Nurse Nam about his duties when a group of gangster thugs approach them, holding up a news article and calling him “hyungnim.” Ha, was Nurse Jo part of the mob? That’s hilarious and also explains things.

Nurse Nam eavesdrops from the corner as Nurse Jo tells the thugs that he’s put his fighting days past him and warns them never to come looking for him again. Then I love how all the nurses are skittish around him when he returns, frightened that their jolly nurse could still be a mobster.

Yoon-seo informs the assistant chief’s son that the surgery was a success. But there’s a caveat: he won’t be able to play baseball again. She’s surprised to hear he already knows.

Then we see in flashback that Do-han had prepared him for the outcome: “But you know what’s great about dreams? That you can always have a different dream. So you’re not throwing your dream away, but you dream again.”

Placing the baseball back in his hands, Do-han tells him he can make another “first,” and though he doesn’t know what it is yet, he has the boy promise him to tell him when it does happen.

His new dream is to study hard and grow up to become a baseball reporter, the boy says. He turns to his father and apologizes for not telling him sooner for fear he might worry, but Assistant Chief Kang just squeezes his son’s hand.

The introduction to our next medical case is so brief that it’s almost fleeting, but the mother picks up on Shi-on’s unique mannerisms, finding them slightly odd.

Meanwhile, Yoon-seo comes up with a list of excuses to get out of another date with her Voldemort seon. She jumps when she sees Shi-on standing behind her, and he asks if she’s going to see him again.

When Yoon-seo says no, he asks why she didn’t tell the guy directly then, saying that she should have cut ties right away if she’s not interested. Pfft, I love that she’s the one being lectured at this time.

She in turn asks why he was eavesdropping then, to which he says he could hear her voice from out in the hallway. Yoon-seo: “You should have plugged your ears then!” Hahaha, their childish bickering also cracks me up. Then she asks if Shi-on heard Do-han’s lesson for the little boy about dreams.

At home, Do-han finally solves that 12-sided Rubik’s cube with a smile. The doorbell rings just then—it’s Shi-on with food in hand. He says that he knows it’s hard to take care of yourself when you’re living alone, and reassures his boss that he’s heading back to work soon.

Then he starts to praise Do-han for getting through to the assistant chief’s son, and just when he’s about to throw up his trademark thumbs-up, Do-han points back at him warningly: “Don’t do it!” Cue awkward silence. Ha.

Shi-on admits that Do-han feels like a hyung to him ever since he saved him from those street thugs. He’s eternally grateful for Do-han, and then runs out.

Jin-wook informs In-hye that her transplant surgery will proceed as scheduled. He notes her downcast expression, and she confesses that she’s grown afraid at the idea of death lately.

Her near-death experience drove that fear into her heart, and Jin-wook tells her not to worry. He keeps a smile on his face, but I don’t know—the serious tone in her voice worries me.

Jin-wook makes sure to put In-young at ease as well, saying that it’s common for children to grow anxious prior to surgery. He remains professional per her request, but she does ask him once more if he’s getting enough sleep.

In-hye finds Shi-on with his head hanging in their usual corner. It looks like he’s been having a tough time dealing with his one-sided crush, and she assures him that’s all part of being in love.

Il-kyu lets out a deep sigh as he recalls Doctor Pomade’s explanation as to why he was chosen for this hospital. Shi-on comes in yawning, and makes up an excuse to leave, but Il-kyu doesn’t kick him out and tells him to get some rest.

The residents aren’t all that excited about this year’s staff production of Peter Pan (only Shi-on claps, heh) since it means they’ll have to wear costumes. Then they’re reminded of how Yoon-seo twisted her ankle playing Cinderella last year, much to the group’s amusement.

They wonder if they’ll manage to wrangle Do-han into participating this year, which is when Do-han calls out: “I won’t do it!” Challenge Accepted.

Then we see Shi-on rush over to the assistant chief son’s room to ask him for a favor.

The ethics committee meets in regards to privatize the hospital for-profit. Do-han argues that they cannot pick and choose their patients based upon their income level, and Doctor Kim counters that it’s inevitable.

Doctor Choi steps to suggest they appeal to the board as a collective voice as doctors, but Doctor Kim believes it will hardly make a scratch, and they’re unable to reach an agreement as a result.

Doctor Pomade offers his help to Do-han after the meeting, in hopes to put his seniority to use. He then points towards Assistant Chief Kang and Doctor Kim, who are deep in conversation.

Assistant Chief Kang runs into Shi-on in the hall, and asks if he still thinks him a bad person. Shi-on says that the assistant chief is half-bad and half-good. He figures the bad part is the takeover and asks about the good. Shi-on: “That you believed in Do-han and our team.”

“I’m always grateful to those people who believes in others,” Shi-on explains. “If you believe in him, they become stronger and feel ‘full’ inside. Trust is like a bike’s air pump, and if the tires are full of air, they end up running like the wind.”

Yoon-seo asks Do-han if he can appeal to Doctor Kim about In-hye’s surgery, only to be told that he’s waiting for a reason to justify going up against the senior doctor.

Last time, the rumor that he wouldn’t take responsibility for his patient drove him to accept the surgery last time. But he needs clear evidence before taking action, so he’s waiting for the same in In-hye’s case.

Yoon-seo gives him a thumbs up, and Do-han tells her to stop that, too. Ha, but he laughs anyway.

Doctor Pomade talks to his brother-in-law evil board administrator outside, who tells him this is his last chance to stay focused because he can soon become this hospital’s chief-of-staff. Doctor Pomade is alarmed to hear it. Don’t be tempted! You’ve just gone good!

Shi-on visits Dad while he’s asleep, and thinks to himself: “I don’t wish for anything else. You don’t have to tell me you’re sorry. Just… don’t hit Mom. Then I’ll be thankful to you, Dad.”

Then Shi-on invites Mom out to eat lunch at a beef restaurant. He says today’s his payday (aw), and then places bulgogi over Mom’s spoon just like she did for him last time (double aw). Mom is touched by the gesture, and he tells her they can go out to eat whenever she likes (triple aw).

He does, however, have one question: “Why didn’t you come looking for me after you ran away [from Dad]?”

We hear Mom’s answer in voiceover as Shi-on sits alone in the dark locker room. She’d wanted to come find him, but she soon found out Dad was doggedly chasing after her, and she didn’t want to endanger her son or Doctor Choi. All she could do was trust the notion that he’d be well taken care of by the good doctor.

The little boy’s mother takes up her irritation with Yoon-seo, saying she can’t have someone with a disability take care of her son. To which, really? Are we back to this again? The other mothers say that Shi-on is a fine doctor, but she won’t hear a word of it.

But Shi-on interrupts to say that they will grant her request, and Yoon-seo pulls him aside to ask if he’s really okay with it. Shi-on says that he is because he knows that he’s different from other people, and that it’s understandable that not everyone will accept him.

He rests assured in the fact that there are still people who will choose him based on his skills, but there is one thing that still upsets him: the fact that he is different from everyone else. Shi-on then shrugs it off like it’s no big deal and shuffles away.

Yoon-seo worries that Shi-on may be more upset about the brush-off than he appears, but Do-han disagrees. Shi-on has gained more self-confidence, and his extraordinary abilities doesn’t necessarily set him apart from the pack anymore.

Now Shi-on has gained an essential skillset that complements his genius; to the point that even without his savant condition, he’d still be a good doctor. She notes that Shi-on now falls into the second option: an average doctor who has common sense.

Shi-on runs into Il-kyu in the on-call room again, and this time Il-kyu asks if he can bring some more of that yookgyejang (spicy beef soup) Shi-on made for them for breakfast. D’aww, ya big softie.

As Shi-on swings by the house, his eyes fall upon his bed, and he recalls how pretty Yoon-seo looked as she slept, her face bathed in the moonlight. At the same time, Yoon-seo steps out on to her balcony when she suddenly hears Shi-on’s voice from his own porch.

Shi-on speaks to the moon as if it were Yoon-seo herself, saying that he didn’t say why the fact that he’s different upsets him. “It’s because of you,” he answers, “I’m really okay with being different… but whenever I think of you, I get sad.”

He’d be able to make her happy if he was much more impressive and sing to her often. He says he’s no good (lies, hiss), but it’s a song he’s always wanted to sing to her.

If I were the sky
I would want to color your face

A red-colored evening like the sunset
I would want to color your cheeks

In the world, no matter what it is
I want to become everything for you
Like today
Because we are together
You don’t know how happy that makes me
Do you know, the one I love
My heart

As he sings, we see an imaginary idyllic date where they spend a sunny afternoon in the park playing basketball, and end with a sweet kiss over ice cream. The thought brings tears to Yoon-seo’s eyes.

The pediatric ward is abuzz about the Peter Pan production, and it turns out that Shi-on is casted in the lead role. They note that Captain Hook hasn’t been cast yet, and are told that it’s to be determined.

Then we see the assistant chief’s son plead with Do-han that it’s his wish to see Do-han participate the play. Puhahaha. And he totally pulls the “I think I’ll get better if you do it” guilt card.

Next thing we know, Do-han rehearses with the others, riding on his office chair ship and using a hanger as a hook. HAHAHAHAHA. Oh, this is brilliant, and his stone-faced expression sells the moment.

The fact that Do-han is a terrible actor is just icing on the cake. I’m so amused right now, I don’t know how to handle myself. The residents pin him as the black hole, to which Do-han snaps back defensively, “Then were you guys great from Day 1?”

They go for another take, and this time, Shi-on takes Yoon-seo’s hand, interlocking fingers. It clearly affects her, and she struggles to make sure not to let it show. She puts a hand to her racing heart afterward, wondering, “What’s wrong with me?”

Yoon-seo finds In-hye sitting in the hall, and In-hye invites her to take a seat. She then tells Yoon-seo that Shi-on is really sick, and he’s worse off than the kids in the ward.

We backtrack to In-hye and Shi-on’s earlier conversation where he confessed that although his emotional expression has gotten better lately, he’s still relatively bad at it. To a certain extent he’s relieved since that means he won’t have to worry about Yoon-seo noticing it.

There are times he wants to show her how he feels, but he’s unable to work up the nerve in the moment. It’d be nice if there was a display over his heart so it would be easier to show his feelings.

Yoon-seo finds Shi-on in the staff room, and she asks that he escort her home tonight. He agrees.

As they walk, he asks if something’s the matter, and she answers that there’s an idiot who causing her a great deal of frustration. He asks who it is, saying that it’s unacceptable because Yoon-seo should always feel at ease.

“But I’m not.” Yoon-seo replies. “Shi-on ah, why do you always pretend that everything’s okay and suffer on your own?”

He asks if he’s the one who’s made her frustrated. She nods. “Then who else would it be?”

Shi-on reminds her that he’d promised to make her feel comfortable. Pointing to his heart, she encourages to tell him to come right out with it and say what’s in his heart. Shi-on: “Then you and I would…” Yoon-seo: “We’d what? We wouldn’t be able to see each other again?”

She says they can because: “I… miss you as much as you do.”

Yoon-seo: “I bet you don’t know who makes me laugh and cry these days, right? You don’t know who makes my heart ache, do you?” Shi-on says it’s probably him, because he lacked in so many ways ever since he arrived, and she worried over him like a dongsaeng.

But that’s not it, Yoon-seo tells him. She says she’s been feeling strange lately and something has changed. Taking his arm, she says, “I don’t like the idea of you getting close to other women or when you ask me to set you up on blind dates. I don’t like… you depending on me anymore.”

“Now I… I…” Yoon-seo starts, and then steps forward to hug him.


Now I… I… what?! WHAT?! You’re the one who just told Shi-on to be all truthy to his feelings! I suppose this is a good sign if I’m chomping at the bit for just a little more with one week left to go. I’m almost certain her next words are “I want to depend on you,” and yet, I’m just as satisfied with Yoon-seo’s hug. Just as long as we get an actual confession of some sort next week, just sayin’.

Even though Yoon-seo has seen the changes in Shi-on’s affect, behavior, and words both in and out of the hospital, and has told him how proud she is of said changes, the truth of how far Shi-on has come has finally hit her. Like Do-han told her, Shi-on has reached a point where even with his unique abilities, he’s complemented them with other skills that make him an equally competent doctor as anyone else in his field. He can stand on his own two feet without her help, as evidenced with the patient’s mother. He’s well-aware of the discrimination he faces every day, and has come to terms with it because he has rooted himself in his medical skills.

That brings us to the “Then what?” question that Yoon-seo currently wrestles with, along with the realization of her romantic feelings towards Shi-on. To that, Shi-on already knows the societal burden the other person will endure for being involved with a social outcast. Those worries are realistic and practical, which makes that dream sequence as sad as it is wonderful and sweet. But what I love about Shi-on’s perspective on love is how simple it is, where happiness stems from the thought of having someone by your side every day.

On the topic of dreams, I’m so relieved that we got to touch upon In-hye in this episode as well, since I found Monday’s drive-by to be lacking. I’ll admit that Shi-on’s dream still haunts me every time she talks about death because there’s a note of fear and dreaded anticipation that this One Surgery is going to go terribly wrong. I can’t shake off the feeling that we’re going to lose someone before the end of this show. Somebody tell me I’m crazy or something; I still have a week to prepare for the worst, don’t I?

I do want to stay optimistic while we still have the cute and endearing moments to carry us through each episode. Because this is one dream that I don’t want to forsake for a different one. Some dreams come true, right?


57 October 8, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 19

by gummimochi

When all the world is made of faith, trust, and pixie dust, it’s easy to forget that this medical dramaverse has something to do with cases, patients, and emergencies. Getting lost in your own Neverland is a dangerous endeavor when you’re hooked in by an innocent wish to see all children, except one, grow up. But with one week remaining, you wonder how the story will pan out when you’re busy chasing the second star to the right straight on ’til morning.


After Yoon-seo confesses that she doesn’t want Shi-on to depend on her anymore, she leans in to hug him. Shi-on returns the hug and says in his usual medico-speak that it feels like his blood is boiling and someone is playing drums on his heart. Yoon-seo echoes those sentiments. Aww.

Flustered, Shi-on says he doesn’t know what to do now, and she tells him he doesn’t have to do anything.

As they walk, Yoon-seo drops some hints to hold hands, and then extends hers when Shi-on doesn’t catch on right away. Noting their intertwined fingers, she teasingly wonders if he’s a player and held other girls’ hands this way.

His answer is far more innocent as he explains that caretakers held hands with autistic children this way in order to keep them close. Yoon-seo tells him that he’s the one holding her hand—as in, he’s her guardian now.

Then Shi-on asks if she won’t regret her decision to be with him in the morning. She assures him that she won’t, but Shi-on isn’t so sure. He asks that she come to work tomorrow wearing a ponytail if she does.

Shi-on is an adorable ball of nerves at his desk the following morning when Yoon-seo arrives to work. Then he slowly lifts his head as the camera pans up to see… a ponytail. Oh noes.

Yoon-seo clocks his disappointment for a moment before she explains that it was too windy outside to keep her hair down. Shi-on immediately brightens at that, and heads out with a literal jump in his step. Cute.

Assistant Chief Kang speaks with Do-han outside, armed with the argument that every doctor seeks to secure happiness and a future for every patient. Though that may be true, Do-han counters that his way doesn’t involve taking in patients through selection.

Dad is as pleasant as ever in his bed of thorns, asking his family if they look forward to be rid of him soon. He doesn’t believe Shi-on when he answers no, and wishes that his older son was still alive. Do-han overhears these words from just outside the door.

Meanwhile Doctor Pomade contemplates whether to comply with his evil brother-in-law’s evil plans. Don’t do it! Don’t go back to the Dark Side!

Doctor Choi praises Chae-kyung for supporting her stepmother in these turbulent times. He won’t push her to make amends, but all he asks is that Chae-kyung doesn’t avoid her stepmother.

Jin-wook checks in on In-hye, who’s busy jotting down all of her happy memories in her journal. Her reason for doing so is rather bleak: she wants to leave something memorable behind for unni should something go wrong in surgery. Eek, this girl is seriously scaring me with all the death talk.

It scares In-young as well, realizing that the near-death experience has taken a grave toll on her sister. She admits her own anxiety towards the upcoming surgery, saying that she thinks the doctors hands will be cold.

Taking her hands in his, Jin-wook tells her, “Our hands are warmer than you think. Please believe that.”

Assistant Chief Kang appeals to Creepy Chairman to keep the current pediatric team as is, arguing that they will be difficult to replace. He then urges the chairman to become a public investor for the hospital again, so that they can turn it into a better hospital in the public sector.

Suffice it to say, Creepy Chairman isn’t on board with that plan.

Later that evening, Yoon-seo shows off a nifty couple app that records how long they’ve been dating (a day, ha), admitting bashfully that she always wanted to try it. She encourages Shi-on to download it onto his phone too, but Shi-on points to his own head, saying he doesn’t need it. Heh.

She asks where he wants to go on their first official date, excluding the zoo. LOL. Next thing we know, they’re reading tarot cards with a fortune teller who tells them good things about each of them: Shi-on is always guarded by animal spirits while Yoon-seo has a fiery personality that warms others.

They also have a favorable fortune as a couple apart from one thing: whereas other couples have many bridges that connect them, they only have one. That means if they ever break up, they’ll never be able to get back together. They pout.

After they leave, Yoon-seo gripes that the fortuneteller is a crackpot, and Shi-on says that this was her idea. Ha.

A moment later, their attention is drawn to a street vendor where one can win a prize if they solve a 4×4 Rubik’s cube in two minutes. Shi-on immediately ups the ante, claiming he can solve in ten seconds AND with his eyes closed.

Yoon-seo whispers that it’s impossible, but Shi-on is confident that he can. And sure enough, he solves it, to Yoon-seo’s delight.

They celebrate their winnings at Yoon-seo’s place where she jokes that his skills turned out to be a neat party trick. Shi-on plays it off like it was nothing, and tells her to let him know if she ever needs anything.

Then Yoon-seo asks how he feels about going public with their relationship. Shi-on falls silent at the question, and she tells him not to worry because there isn’t anyone in her vicinity who can possibly ridicule her.

But Shi-on is hesitant about the idea despite her insistence that it’s okay, and says he prefers that they reveal their relationship later on down the road. Yoon-seo pouts, “When?” Aww, at least it’s nice to know she’s ready to take on the world together.

The next day, Do-han takes on Doctor Kim in a debate to involve the pediatric team to perform In-hye’s transplant procedure. Even Doctor Pomade pulls his weight in Do-han’s defense.

The residents looks nervous when Do-han returns with a grim expression on his face. Do-han pauses for dramatic effect before he discloses in that same serious tone that they’ll be performing In-hye’s surgery. Yay!

Yoon-seo hits him for scaring them half to death, and Do-han warns them never to criticize his “foot-acting” again lest they wish to meet a terrible fate. Then they’re joined by Doctor Pomade who asks if they’re free for a team dinner tonight, and this time everyone agrees.

Neither president Lee nor Chae-kyung are happy to see the former assistant chief again, who blames them for allowing the hospital to be taken away from them. He has a plan for them to keep the hospital, but we don’t get to hear what it is.

Do-han pays a visit to Dad, and asks that Dad treat his son like the adult he is, not the little boy he used to be. He reminds Dad that Shi-on is a doctor now, and Dad must respect him as one if he hopes for Shi-on to do the same.

In a raspy voice, Dad asks why Do-han dares to meddle in other people’s relationships, and Do-han tells him, “Because your older son would have said the same thing if he was alive.”

The pediatric team goes out for dinner where Doctor Pomade apologizes for being a terrible departmental head. His sombre mood really makes me worry that he’s either succumbed to temptation or he might resign from his position soon.

Shi-on lifts his spirits with a compliment that Doctor Pomade sorta looks like Lee Byung-heon. The team cracks up in good-hearted laughter.

Then Yoon-seo grabs everyone’s attention and declares that she’s seeing someone. The residents cheer and immediately ask who it is. She pauses before admitting, “Shi-on.”

Naturally no one believes her at first, and it takes a few more rounds of confirmation and one from Shi-on himself for the reality to sink in. Yoon-seo looks over at Shi-on, who sits silently.

Afterward Yoon-seo asks if Shi-on’s mad that she announced their relationship without telling him beforehand. Shi-on shakes his head. Going public is something they were bound to face anyway, Yoon-seo tells him, and then asks if he’s glad they don’t have to hide their couple status. With a smile, Shi-on says that he is.

They both linger in the street, neither wishing to say goodnight to the other. Then Shi-on surveys his surroundings before he takes Yoon-seo’s hands and presses them to his chest and warms them with his breath. Aww, how sweet. Then he scurries off to the hospital as Yoon-seo breaks into a smile.

Though Jin-wook marvels at how Shi-on captured Yoon-seo’s heart, Shi-on lies in bed in a sullen mood. He does, however, tell Jin-wook that he won’t ever let Yoon-seo go.

Chae-kyung is happy to hear about the new couple, but notes Do-han’s concern. He admits that he’s worried for the both of them, and she encourages him to give them his blessing since he’s their greatest support. Then she brings up the assistant chief, but we still don’t get to hear what it is.

News of Yoon-seo and Shi-on’s relationship travels fast, and the residents worry about how the hospital will react, figuring that it won’t be easy. Il-kyu pipes up to the couple’s defense, to everyone’s surprise.

Shi-on overhears another pair of doctors gossip how Yoon-seo could have done better. He deflates. Do-han finds him trudging through the hospital and immediately orders him to buck up—how will he love and care for someone else if he’s so defeated?

A little later, Yoon-seo asks for Do-han’s opinion on her new relationship. She beams when he tells her that he’s sure that she’s thought it through.

Then it’s time for their Peter Pan performance, and it is by far the most ridiculously hilarious thing I’ve seen today. Shi-on and Wendy look adorable as Peter Pan and Wendy while Do-han is as great a Captain Hook as he was in rehearsal. As in he’s terrible, but endearing.

And then, we’re introduced to Tinkerbell Nurse Jo, who claims that s/he can’t fly because s/he ate too much last night. Ha. So Captain Hook Do-han issues a new nickname: “Fatty-bell.”

It get so much better from there as Doctor Pomade slides in as the mermaid, much to the audience’s amusement. Unfortunately(?) the mermaid is told that s/he’s in the wrong storybook, and Little Mermaid Pomade slides away.

Then we skip ahead to the last scene where Peter Pan and Wendy must say their goodbyes. The kids cry out for Peter Pan to take her with him, but he tells Wendy that she must stay behind and grow up.

Wendy takes Peter Pan’s hand and says she wants to remain a child forever, but he says she has to remain here. He leaves, and Wendy falls to the floor. The end.

The cast receives their applause, but then they’re informed of a medical emergency. The team immediately spring into action, costumes and all. Doctor Choi looks on with pride, impressed that the pediatric team cares for their patients.

Nurse Nam sits with Nurse Jo, who assures her that his gangster days are past him. She asks how he settled the matter since she knows it isn’t easy getting out of the underground.

Then Nurse Jo shares about how he took in his brother’s child after his death. He loved that child like his own, but couldn’t take care of the sickly child properly because of his involvement with the mob.

But one day that child ran away and left a letter that stated: “Thank you for being with me. I love you.” Tears stream down his face as he admits that he didn’t deserve such a heartfelt letter. But that prompted him to leave his fighting days behind him and become a nurse, so that he can take care of these children, and perhaps even forgive himself one day.

Yoon-seo collapses on to her bed that evening, completely exhausted. Shi-on encourages her to rest, telling her that she always looks pretty. She side-eyes him, “Let’s see if you say that in the morning.”

Shi-on tucks her in and is about to leave when Yoon-seo takes his hand, telling him to leave after she falls asleep. He sits by her bed, gently stroking her hair.

A fellow doctor (and Yoon-seo’s family friend, presumably) pulls Yoon-seo aside to chat before work. She’s heard about Yoon-seo’s relationship with the maknae pediatric resident, and asks what she plans to do if this news reaches her mother’s ears.

Her friend (whom we’ve seen for the first time in this episode) notes that someone will end up hurt and advises that Yoon-seo either end the relationship now or stop at dating. She hopes that Yoon-seo will take her words to heart.

And then as if to drive the point home, Yoon-seo gets a papercut. Shi-on patches her up in a jiffy while she look at him adoringly. He asks if something’s the matter, but she says everything’s fine.

Shi-on says that Yoon-seo should mention it if things ever become hard for her, but she tells him that as long as they’re okay, everything will be.

Do-han reviews the final details and risks to In-hye’s surgery tomorrow, reminding them to prepare themselves in a worst-case scenario. And we all know by now that there will be a worst-case scenario.

Meanwhile, In-hye and unni spend a precious few moments together holding back tears. In-young assures her little sister that everything will be fine. “We’re dividing our happiness into two halves. You know that if it’s divided into two, it gets bigger, right?”

With a smile, the sisters share a tearful hug and exchange what seems like a final “I love you my only sister.” Wahh, I love these two.

In-young is transferred to a different room, and as Jin-wook sits by her bedside, he tells her he wants to be the dummy and give into his feelings. He knows that it still makes her a little uncomfortable, but he’ll work hard to make up for it, and takes her hand. Aw.

In the other room, Shi-on and Yoon-seo assure In-hye that she’ll get to eat lots of delicious foods soon. Shi-on promises to make her spaghetti (HA). In-hye smiles at the both of them and has them promise to be happy together.

D-Day. The sisters are wheeled to surgery holding hands until they’re taken to different operating rooms. Jin-wook assures unni that everything will be okay, and In-young offers her hand. He takes it, and she says it’s warm, calling him Jin-wook-sshi. Aww.

In the operating room, In-hye has Shi-on promise to stay by her side before she goes under. At the same time, Dr. Kim successfully removes unni’s small intestine to be transferred to In-hye.

As Do-han works carefully to insert the transplant, Shi-on thinks to In-hye to hold on for just a little longer. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a nervous wreck right now. But thankfully, the surgery is a success and the team waits for In-hye to wake.

In-young opens her eyes first, to Jin-wook’s relief, and closes them again when he nods to signal that the surgery was successful.

Shi-on paces about the room with worry, wondering why In-hye hasn’t woken up yet. Yoon-seo says they should wait a little longer, which is when they get the call that something has gone terribly wrong.

They rush over to discover that In-hye isn’t breathing and suffers from severe internal bleeding. And if her blood isn’t able to clot normally, “…then she may never wake up.”


Ohgodohgodohgod. I wish I could say that I was better prepared for this moment, but I can’t. A part of me realizes that we were given ample time in these past few episodes to address In-hye’s storyline properly, even a round of goodbyes before her transplant surgery, but it’s still hard to imagine letting go of a character who breathed life into this series. So while I can hope that she better not die, I am satisfied with how the show handled her post near-death experience and resolution to her relationships, especially with her sister. The way they cherish each other in their interactions rings true, and I love how In-hye wrote down their happiest memories for unni to remember her by. We’ll find out the answer to the question “Will she make it?” for (hopefully) the last time in the first few minutes of the finale, true to the show’s format, I’m sure.

On the subject of side characters, I love that we got to learn more about Nurse Jo’s backstory and how he became our jolly nurse. His mysterious niece/nephew gives us another tidbit just before the end, and in this case, it’s minor enough to either leave open or resolve in the last episode. But either way, I’m rooting for a happy ending ’cause the man deserves a little happiness.

There are other late reveals, however, I’m not so happy about. For instance, I can’t buy the random “family friend” (at least that’s what I think she is) who suddenly showed up in this episode to give Yoon-seo advice. Her introduction comes so late that her words don’t hold weight in my ears and serves as a precursor to that all-too-familiar trope of Parental Veto. We’ve heard about Yoon-seo’s mother every now and then, but I feel that if we do get to meet her onscreen, any type of verbal attack will lack that dramatic oomph apart from the final angsty conflict that keeps our couple apart. It’s something I’m not looking forward to introduce and resolve in one hour when there are a plethora of other issues that seem far more pressing.

If there is one conflict that I’d hoped we would devote more screentime to, it would be in Shi-on’s response to when Yoon-seo openly announced their relationship at the team dinner. I found the going public portion to be quite brave, if risky (and sorta odd that it was on Day 2 of their dating timeline), but I was more bothered with how Yoon-seo announced the news after Shi-on requested that they keep their couple status under wraps for the time being. Then I found myself growing upset in Shi-on’s defense that he wasn’t more upset about it. And here I wonder if it’s more to do with a narrative choice to move ahead with one episode to go. The same goes for the eerie lack of exploration in Shi-on’s nonverbal reaction in that scene which could have served for great character fodder.

At this point, I hope that we don’t get a rushed finale, but with so many questions still unanswered (and a hospital takeover that might take another millenium to set into motion), that possibility is becoming more likely by the minute. Don’t get me wrong—I loved the Peter Pan performance and Tinkerbell Nurse Jo, but I would have loved to see more of the conflict of childlike innocence and responsibility of adulthood in our actual characters without feeling like the lost Little Mermaid Pomade searching for the right storybook.


184 October 9, 2013January 24, 2016

Good Doctor: Episode 20 (Final)

by gummimochi

And so we must bid farewell to our pediatrics team with whom we’ve come to know and love through their dedication and devotion to the lives they save each day. Any good surgeon knows that one must close up cleanly to speed up the recovery process. But there are always unforeseen factors that serve to complicate the situation, and then one can only hope that time will heal all wounds.

Good Doctor finished its run with a 19.0% and 19.2% for its penultimate episode and series finale, respectively.


Good Doctor OST – “Dacapo” [ Download ]

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Do-han gathers his team together to confirm the worst when In-hye doesn’t wake from her surgery as planned. All they can do at present is to replenish her blood with constant transfusions until the bleeding stops while Jin-wook lies to unni that all is well.

In this crucial time period, Doctor Choi tells them there is one last treatment they must do as doctors: to cling onto the hope that their patient will recover.

Yoon-seo considers these turn of events as another cruel twist of fate, but Shi-on remains optimistic. He thinks of all their happy memories together as he stands by In-hye’s bedside.

When Shi-on goes to see his father next, Dad gives him another I Have No Son speech for not visiting him often enough. Jeez Dad, you should be happy that he comes to see you while you’re still alive.

This time Shi-on calls the old man out, admitting that he still hates Dad, but he’d be sadder if he died because of his hate. “Please let me like you just a little, Father, so that I can be less sad later.”

Dad’s stone-cold heart is moved at this as his eyes actually well up with tears.

Now we learn about the former assistant chief’s plan to save the hospital when he instructs Chae-kyung to continue to apply for loans from foreign banks. He assures her that she won’t run into any difficulty since they know he’s working against Creepy Chairman.

Chae-kyung wonders why he’s helping them now, and the assistant chief honestly answers that he doesn’t know.

Shi-on confides in Nurse Jo, still bothered by the gossip about his relationship. He doesn’t want the hurtful remarks to reach Yoon-seo’s ears, and the nurse offers up his fists to beat those knuckleheads down. Aww.

Elsewhere, Yoon-seo’s friend mentions an upcoming get-together, adding that their mutual friends are dying to meet Yoon-seo’s new boyfriend even though they have no idea “what kind of person he is.” Yoon-seo takes issue with that phrase, and confirms that they’ll both be there.

Shi-on isn’t keen on the idea, however, and when Yoon-seo asks for a reason why, Shi-on isn’t able to give on. She misinterprets this as a lack of confidence in their relationship, which is when Shi-on asks why she doesn’t consider his feelings on the matter. I’m with Shi-on on this one, sister. She relents and drops the subject.

Recalling Doctor Choi’s words to earnestly wish for In-hye to wake, Do-han takes Chae-kyung to a church where he sits awkwardly until she instructs him on how to pray.

At the hospital, Shi-on thinks about the Peter Pan tale and ignores a call from Yoon-seo (saved under the nickname “God-given body,” ha) as Yoon-seo sits up in her bed, troubled by the fortuneteller’s words that there’s only one bridge supporting their relationship.

Doctor Pomade presents his evil brother-in-law with the list of doctors to terminate from the hospital, but the man immediately finds it strange. Then a flashback teaches us that Doctor Pomade previously showed the list to Doctor Choi, identifying the listed doctors, including himself, as those who enjoyed pharmaceutical cutbacks over the years.

He tells his brother-in-law that he’s a doctor first and foremost, and advises him to get his act together as a better husband before marching out. Dayum.

In more surprising and daring news, Assistant Chief outs himself as a traitor to Creepy Chairman. Throwing the chairman’s words that children are the future back at him, he levels that one cannot gambles with children’s lives. With a final bow, he calmly walks out.

Yoon-seo asks why Shi-on is ignoring her calls, and she grows frustrated at the answer that he had a lot on his mind, wondering what could occupy his thoughts so much.

Shi-on likens their relationship to Peter Pan and Wendy, saying that they’re from different words. Yoon-seo asks if that means he plans to take her home and never see her again. But her angry response scares him, and he says she wasn’t like this before.

Things are different now, she says; they’re not in a noona-dongsaeng relationship any longer. Shi-on sadly notes that perhaps it was better for them then. Bah.

Shi-on says it’s hard for him to endure all the gossip Yoon-seo faces because of him, but Yoon-seo couldn’t care less about what other people think of them. Near tears, Shi-on says it affects him and it feels like someone is scratching at his heart to see her as the target of such undeserved abuse.

It’s more bad news bears for In-hye, who is now in danger of becoming brain dead in the coming days. Jin-wook reads In-hye’s journal of happy memories with a sigh while Yoon-seo sits by her bed, holding her hand.

As Shi-on lies in bed, he thinks out loud: “In-hye, I still have a lot of things to say to you. Who will I confide in if you go?” He then dreams the same dream of In-hye, but this time she’s joined by the little girl who died in Yoon-seo’s hands. Oh noes, does this mean she’s dead?

The girls play in the meadow together, until the little girl bids goodbye to In-hye, who walks away as Shi-on wakes the next morning.

…and then In-hye’s finger shows the slightest movement of life. Yoon-seo wakes up in a start as In-hye’s eyes open a crack. In a tired voice, In-hye ekes out, “Doc.” Ohthankgod.

Everyone is astounded by her miraculous return, and Shi-on tells her, “I missed you, In-hye.”

President Lee breathes a relieved sigh at the news that the hospital is out of imminent danger, all thanks to the assistant chief. And this time, Chae-kyung is the one to suggest that they go out for a meal together.

As Assistant Chief Kang sits with Doctor Choi, we finally learn the reason behind the man’s change of heart:

Assistant Chief Kang: “The pediatrics department possessed the most outstanding treatment method, something no pharmaceutical company can create. But this treatment disappears if you try to buy it with money, because you cannot exchange its worth by monetary means.”

Do-han catches the assistant chief on his way out, and asks the man what he plans to do now. Assistant Chief Kang answers that he’d like to remain as a father. He leaves Do-han with a final word of respect and a smile, his head held high.

Shi-on rushes over to see Dad, who has chosen to return home to spend his final days there. He tells Shi-on that he doesn’t have the strength to hit his mother anymore, let alone stand on his own two feet. He asks that Shi-on prepare his memorial in exchange.

Doctor Choi appears a moment later, and Dad gruffly thanks the good doctor for raising his son. Then Shi-on spends a quiet moment alone, hoping to be left with at least one good memory of his father before he passes.

Nurse Jo has another go at asking Nurse Nam out, who gets all flustered. She involuntarily slaps him and feels immediately bad about it afterwards, but Nurse Jo takes her hand, saying she’s the first woman to ever hit him. Another smack.

Yoon-seo pulls aside the gossiping docs (Dr. Kim’s minions, to be exact) when she catches them chatting away by the stairwell. She puts them in their place—how dare they ridicule Shi-on when they’ve never held a scalpel before?

She heads downstairs to find Shi-on standing there, having overheard the entire lecture. Frustrated, she asks why Shi-on didn’t confront them himself before dropping the matter again.

Back at the staff room, Shi-on broaches the topic of heartache with Jin-wook, saying that he’s beginning to understand what it means now: “I thought that love was a perfect painkiller, but it hurts too.”

Jin-wook clarifies that in his experience, there exists a difference between the two kinds of love. While love may be a painkiller, painful love is like a disinfectant: “It hurts at first, but the wound heals cleanly later.”

“In the end, painful love heals you too.” Jin-wook concludes. So he advises that Shi-on bear the pain and wait for it to heal.

While Yoon-seo is out on a hike, she stops to help an injured hiker. Yoon-seo recognizes her as the fortuneteller from the previous episode, who confesses that everything she said at their visit was due to her incredible powers of observation and that she feeds the “one bridge” metaphor to every couple to keep them on their toes.

Yoon-seo beats herself up over her own gullibility, but the fortuneteller thinks that Shi-on is a good man, words that bring a smile to Yoon-seo’s face.

Chae-kyung wonders why Do-han is so anxious at home, asking if there’s something he wants to say. He corrects her by saying that there’s something he must do, and then presents her with a ring. D’aww, you could do better than that Super Doc!

Chae-kyung remains silent for a long minute, and then notes how entirely unromantic his proposal is. You and me both, hon. So Do-han adds a few more phrases, and asks what more he needs to do. Would it be too much to ask for at least an “I love you” right now?

But Chae-kyung smiles, saying that’s enough for her and hugs him.

Yoon-seo arrives at a restaurant with Shi-on in tow that evening, much to her friends’ delight. Her doctor friend asks for a moment alone (and Yoon-seo tells the others to “be nice,” heh) and advises her to keep their appearance short for their own benefit. Yes, yes, words of concern I would find meddlesome if only you didn’t show up at the eleventh hour, supposed dearest friend. But alas!

But then their attention is drawn back inside where Shi-on is busy regaling the group with the story of how they first met. Looks like he’s doing just fine on his own.

At the question of what Shi-on likes most about Yoon-seo, he answers: “She’s like a Christmas present. I miss her when I don’t see her, and I’m so happy when I do. She makes me sooo happy whether she’s here or not.” Awww.

One friends ask about their first kiss, to which Yoon-seo realizes they haven’t shared one yet. I love how Shi-on just pouts back at her.

And at that moment, Shi-on swoops in to kiss her. Eee! Well, I guess you can mark that day as today then!

Yoon-seo pretends to be upset about the surprise kiss afterward, joking that he should have at least given her a sign. He promises to wink next time, and she laughs, saying that it’s too weird.

She then pegs him with questions about how he felt during the kiss. Shi-on describes it as a short, dizzying experience. He places a hand on his lips… then giggles and shuffles away as Yoon-seo chases after him. Cute.

As Do-han sits in his office, he thinks back to his memories with Shi-on from his first day to how far he’s come now. Holding the solved 12-sided Rubik’s cube in his hand, he smiles.

The pediatric team sits Doctor Choi down to talk about Shi-on’s future at the hospital. They note that it’s been three months since Shi-on joined them and they’ve arrived at a decision. Doctor Choi braces himself for the worst, only to hear a chorus of praise from everyone, including Il-kyu, who hopes to be a better sunbae.

Filled with joy, Doctor Choi tearfully reads the board’s decision to overturn Shi-on’s medical probation and induct him as an official resident.

When the day of induction ceremony arrives, Shi-on fumbles with his tie. Do-han steps in to help and asks if Shi-on remembers the challenge to surpass him. Shi-on nods, and Do-han says, “You’ve already surpassed me… because you overcame everything.”

Then Shi-on is called to accept his certification in the presence of the hospital board and pediatric team. The entire room applauds this momentous occasion and Shi-on gives a word of thanks:

Shi-on: “I’m still… a little different than other people. My mannerisms are also a bit different, which is why I worked hard to overcome them. However, it did not work out well; it only hurt the harder I worked. That’s why I thought I would be different until the day I die. But a lot of good people covered for me, which is why I’m able to stand up here today.

“Thank you for covering for me; thank you for not avoiding me,” And then smiling at Yoon-seo, he finishes, “And also thank you very much for loving me.”

Afterward, Yoon-seo praises him on a job well done, and they take turns thanking the other before sharing a tender embrace.

A little later, Shi-on stands in the observation deck, twirling his toy green scalpel in his hand. This is where Do-han finds him, and he smiles at Shi-on’s explanation that this precious toy was what made him become a doctor.

Shi-on asks about Do-han’s “green scalpel,” and when Do-han answers that it was his younger brother, Shi-on blurts out that he heard the story from Yoon-seo. He apologizes for his mistake, but Do-han says it’s okay because his brother was as precious to him as this scalpel.

Shi-on shoots Do-han his trademark thumbs-up, to which Do-han asks, “Do you do this with Yoon-seo too?” Heh.

Then Do-han calls him, “Shi-on ah” for the first time and asks if they should have a hyung-dongsaeng relationship. Omo, it’s a bromance invitation! Eee, take it!

It catches Shi-on off-guard, but calls Do-han “hyung” a moment later. Why am I most excited about this pairing in this show? Then Do-han warns him not to call him “hyung” in public. Hee.

But their blissful moment tumbles down to Earth just then as Shi-on receives a call from Mom informing him that Dad has passed away. He returns home and silently comforts his mother.

One Year Later. We see a group of children gather around a 3-D TV, courtesy of—who else?—Shi-on. Aww, so he did fulfill his wish for the kiddos.

As for Shi-on, he gives Mom a quick hug before he heads off to work where he scolds the newbie resident as the others sit nearby. Why helllooo there Park Ki-woong!

Shi-on is a no-nonsense sunbae, and Yoon-seo tells him to go easy on the rookie, thoroughly entertained. As Shi-on continues the lecture, I love how Yoon-seo points to herself, all, He learned that from me. Hehehe.

Doctor Pomade finds Ki-woong sitting alone outside and… takes out an ice cream? Ha. He fails to break it evenly however, and then Ki-woong asks for the bigger half. Muhahaha.

The team sees In-hye off when she’s finally discharged for hopefully the last time. They invite her to come back to visit and Shi-on reminds her to be careful. She in turn tells Shi-on to handle his relationship issues on his own now.

After another surgery, Shi-on shares Yoon-seo’s words that a good person becomes a good doctor. He asks Do-han what he thinks on the subject, and Do-han answers, “Every doctor who reflects on what kind of doctor is a good one.”

In the show’s final moments, we see Do-han lay flowers at his brother’s ashes and a glimpse of Shi-on and Yoon-seo sitting in the surgical observation desk.

Shi-on: “Now that I think about it, I think that’s right. Every doctor who wonders what kind of doctor is a good one is a good doctor, and also also good people. But to become a good person, I realized that one must have a lot of scars. If one is to heal another person’s wounds, one must first understand what being hurt is. So I’ll be hurt everyday but even so, I think I’ll be okay. Because I’ll be among people and I’ll be loved by someone.”


A sweet yet grounded open-ended ending for a contemplative show that had us wondering about issues of life, love, and happiness. It’s this humanistic quality in the show that makes me appreciate the philosophical lessons in each episode often described in poetic metaphors. Indeed, you could say that these same idealistic principles are what kept this show rooted in an virtually picturesque dramaverse that paints a world where nearly all of our characters can find a happy ending. And if the goal is to portray the journey of reconciliation, forgiveness, and acceptance in our characters, then the show certainly achieved that end.

We see how the highlight of the series remains with our ever-changing character relationships on numerous occasions throughout the series, be it within the romantic, familial, or professional relationships. I love that our hero is the agent of that change of heart whether he is aware of it or not with that innocent and childlike perspective on life. Furthermore, I appreciate that we explored all levels of acceptance to Shi-on and his autistic condition with the rest of our cast from his grumpy father to the fellow medical residents and with Yoon-seo and Do-han. There were times that I felt that some of his habitual expressions fluctuated depending on whatever case-of-the-week we were currently dealing with or to drive the narrative forward, leaving me confused about the boundary of an accurate portrayal of the condition versus creative license. But through it all, it was still Joo-won‘s commitment to the role that brought Shi-on to life as a hero you want to root for.

Conversely, the main conflicts and evil in this drama can only be described as laughable, issuing empty threats that never ventured further or resolved with little to no consequences. For instance, Assistant Chief Kang is the one man who both sets the hospital takeover into motion and stops it singlehandedly with his change of heart. But even though the swift and simplistic move should upset me more, the hospital politics was never a pressing matter that grabbed my attention at any given moment. Then of course, Yoon-seo’s friend is practically forgettable, though the conflict of facing societal scrutiny because of the couple’s relationship as a whole still holds true.

As for the main romance itself, I was prepared for our leads to swing in either direction, though I enjoyed their platonic relationship more than their romance, which was still wonderfully sweet. On one hand, you want to see a hero fall in love with the girl of his dreams. And yet it came so late in the game, that the transition also seemed rather abrupt and rushed to face the societal obstacles the couple would meet each day. Though of course, I was more inclined to believe Shi-on and Yoon-seo’s relationship more than our actual romantic pairing between Do-han and Chae-kyung… and to this day I can’t explain why or how they got together in the first place.

But where the romance fell short, the bromance rose to the occasion. I love that Shi-on gains a set of surrogate hyungs through Do-han and Doctor Pomade by the end of this series. Shi-on’s quiet conversations with Hyung are still some of my favorite moments by far along with Doctor Pomade’s hilarious comic relief scene-stealers. His character is among one of the most surprising and his turnaround most rewarding in what seems like a long time in dramaland. And then you can’t forget the long list of cameos that give a nod to the writer’s connections (Ryu Deok-hwan from God’s Quiz) and the Gaksital reunion. Even Park Ki-woong‘s character is named Woong-ki! Hee.

In retrospect, I still loved how our medical cases intertwined with our narrative that often mirrored our current character conflict, no matter how dramatic (or not) the medical aspect the show got at every turn. Despite the broad strokes writing style, I can see how some of those early cases earned the show a recent screenwriter award (though it makes me wonder how one can win such an award before the ending), and how that transitioned towards one patient’s case we did care about. But if Good Doctor has taught us anything, it’s that life is but a great adventure.