Open Thread: Dr. Romantic Episodes 17 & 18

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Wouldja just look at these contented faces? Ah, I love it when Dong Joo and In Beom work well together, seriously. 🤩

I hope you guys are ready to chat about Dr. Romantic episodes 17 & 18! A little bit of logistics, and our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. Because this show is listed as 20 episodes with 1 special episode, I will give my final verdict and final grade after next week’s pair of episodes, on 5 May 2021. We will still take an extra week, to discuss the special episode (listed as episode 21 on some sites), on 12 May 2021.

2. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. I repeat: no spoilers for future episodes please! We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

3. Discussions on this thread don’t have to close when newer threads open, just so you know! But as we progress through our group watch, please keep the discussions clear of spoilers from future episodes, so that future readers coming to this thread won’t be accidentally spoiled. Does that make sense?

Without further ado, here are my reactions to this pair of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 17

After the cliffhanger of our previous episode, we finally get to see how Chairman Shin’s surgery goes, along with President Do and his fleet of cardiothoracic surgeons.

I was so anxious, while watching Dong Joo and In Beom step away from their standby positions to perform the surgery on the patient with the ulcer perforation. In such a tight situation, it felt like anything could go wrong, and derail Chairman Shin’s surgery. I’m just so grateful to Show, for not allowing that to happen. Phew. 😅

Instead, we get to see Dong Joo and In Beom working really well together, and it’s such a cathartic experience, really, because my gut’s been convinced for a while, that these two would make a great team. It’s also gratifying to see In Beom’s impressed looks, when he realizes that Dong Joo’s suturing skills are next level, in the tradition of Master Kim.

I was SO relieved to see Dong Joo and In Beom make it back to the other operating theater in time, and scrub in together, like the pair of reluctant buddies that they’re meant to be.

What a treat, to see Dong Joo and In Beom work in seamless tandem together, not once, but twice in a row. 🤩 Can they be surgical buddies for good now, pretty please?

It’s hugely gratifying to see the entire audience of cardiothoracic surgeons slack-jawed and in awe of the Doldam team’s prowess on their screen; I felt like a proud mother hen, even though I have absolutely no credit to claim for the team’s success, heh.

Equally gratifying, is the perplexed look on President Do’s face, as he realizes that there’s really nothing to nitpick, because, in the words of his chief cardiothoracic surgeon, everything’s done perfectly, by the book. YASS.

It’s fantastic, that the Doldam team is able to complete the surgery within 6 hours and 2 minutes, even though their best forecast had been 6 hours and 20 minutes. This, despite the fact that they’d lost 10-12 minutes from the rupturing of the aorta. Woah. That’s impressive. How surreal it must be, for the doctors from Geodae Hospital, to realize that such excellence, which they can only aspire to, exists in this dinky little hospital in the middle of nowhere.

How thoughtful of Master Kim, to pause to let Seo Jung touch the artificial heart, at the end of the surgery, because this is a significant milestone in her career as a cardiothoracic surgeon. Seo Jung’s moved, tearful expression, as she drinks in the moment, is just everything. So lovely. ❤️

The only thing that makes this moment even better, is the fist bump that In Beom reluctantly shares with Dong Joo. YES. Make peace; be friends. You guys are SO good together!

Of course, just because the surgery went well doesn’t mean that President Do won’t make every effort to make things difficult for Master Kim. That scene where he makes a fuss about Chairman Shin taking longer than expected to wake up from the anesthesia, while pretending that he’s oh-so-concerned about the Chairman, is aggravating to watch. Can he actually make Master Kim responsible for going ahead with the surgery, when it had been the patient who’d insisted on having the surgery?

I’m glad that Master Kim doesn’t take it lying down, and calls out President Do on whether or not he even wants the Chairman to wake up – which gives Director Shin some pause for thought, it seems. And, to counter President Do’s subsequent interference later in the episode, where he even orders Master Kim off Chairman Shin’s case, Master Kim produces a notarized handwritten note from Chairman Shin, authorizing him to make any and all decisions for his recovery, post-surgery. Ha. Take that, President Do. 😏

I hate that President Do calls on Seo Jung, and talks to her like he wasn’t the one who’d unceremoniously cut off their relationship. Ugh. The shamelessness of this man. 🙄 And, he even tries to set Seo Jung up with a young surgeon, saying that they should have lunch together sometime, and that Seo Jung should talk about the surgery with the younger doctor.

Of course, with Seo Jung’s longstanding desire to earn President Do’s approval, she seems stuck in a very awkward position. I think she knows that he’s trying to use her, but at the same time, I feel like she can’t bring herself to reject him, because that desire for his approval is almost programmed into her, by now.

It’s a good thing that Dong Joo’s outside keeping watch, and swoops in to whisk Seo Jung away on the pretext of her needing to see Master Kim immediately.

..Which gives our couple a bit of alone time in the staff room, where Dong Joo blusters a bit, about how Seo Jung should just get up and leave, rather than listen to this kind of nonsense, and then he gets all riled up about how he should put a sign on Seo Jung’s back, announcing that she has a boyfriend.

It seems that Dong Joo’s big show of concern melts Seo Jung into a puddle of marshmallow sweetness, coz she leans her head on his shoulder and snuggles up to him, holding his arm. It’s cute that this discombobulates Dong Joo somewhat, so much so that he feels unable to order pizza like he was going to. Heh. Cute. These two deserve a bit of couple time, where they actually learn how to be a couple, I think.

I’m rather disappointed that In Beom continues to be harsh on Yeon Hwa, but I suppose it’s realistic. Change takes time, and we’ve already seen In Beom (very reluctantly) soften towards Dong Joo. It’s too soon, I guess, to expect that he’d soften towards Yeon Hwa too.

I appreciate Eun Tak’s point-of-view, that teaching someone and belittling them are two different things, and that just because Yeon Hwa’s made mistakes, doesn’t make it ok for In Beom to scold her in a way that robs her of her dignity. At the same time, I take Head Nurse Oh’s point, that this isn’t Eun Tak’s battle to fight. I understand that he can’t help it though; boy’s definitely got heart-eyes for Yeon Hwa, after all.

On another note, I’m really happy for Dong Joo, that Master Kim praises him for a job well done, on the surgery for the patient with the ulcer perforation. It’s clear that Dong Joo feels he was in the wrong, for not seeking Master Kim’s approval before going ahead, so it’s extra surprising to him, that Master Kim would praise him instead of berate him. Aw! I’m so happy for Dong Joo. He’s been working really hard and earnestly trying to be the best doctor that each patient needs in the moment; it’s great that he’s getting some hard-earned acknowledgment from Master Kim. This dazed look of happy wonder on Dong Joo’s face is so great. 🤩

I hated watching that reporter snoop around Master Kim’s office while he was in surgery; that is so unscrupulous, seriously. I don’t blame Master Kim at all, for not wanting to speak to him as a matter of principle.

It does seem like Reporter Oh is familiar with the supposed facts related to death of Master Kim’s student Jang Hyun Joo, though. I wonder how dirty Reporter Oh is.. Like, has he actually been bribed by President Do, or does he have a personal reason for snooping around Master Kim like this?

Although it’s drama coincidence that Reporter Oh would be taking a break at Dr. Nam’s restaurant while Dr. Nam and Head Nurse Oh talk about some actual facts around Master Kim’s case, I rationalize that it’s plausible because neither Dr. Nam nor Head Nurse Oh know what Reporter Oh looks like, AND, there aren’t a lot of choices, really, if we’re talking about eating places near Doldam Hospital.

Now that Reporter Oh’s overheard that President Do was involved in putting all the blame on Master Kim, not only in Jang Hyun Joo’s case, but in the cases of other patients as well, it seems that he’s wavering, and might even want to bring the truth to light. Interestinggg. Will Reporter Oh’s desire for the truth be enough, though?

Also, what’s this nugget of information shared by Dr. Nam in relation to Jang Hyun Joo’s case, that Master Kim had made the decision to save a child’s life? And, what is up with President Yeo making that trip to Sokcho? Would that also have something to do with the child whom Master Kim saved?

Episode 18

Together, Master Kim’s past and Doldam Hospital’s future are the focal points of this episode, and it’s all pretty tense and dramatic stuff.

Judging from Master Kim’s refusal to comment on the truth that Reporter Oh wants to unveil, I feel like Master Kim’s choosing to punish himself for the past. Even though he’s the one who’d been framed by President Do, it appears that he still considers himself at fault for things that he could have said or done, but hadn’t. There is a lot of guilt baked into the only comment that he gives Reporter Oh, “14 years ago, Boo Yong Joo.. was a coward. He stayed silent.. and ran away. That’s all.”

Usually Master Kim appears so wise and in control, so it strikes me as sad and quite plaintive, that underneath his sage appearance, there’s so much guilt eating away at him. I really hope that by the time we finish our story, Master Kim will be set free from the weight of his conscience.

At the same time, I do like Master Kim’s voiceover, about seemingly insignificant moments in life, that eventually come together to make a path. It is true, that oftentimes, things that we don’t pay much attention to in life, are the milestones that connect to one another, to show a throughline when we look at how everything fits into the bigger picture.

The rumor that Reporter Oh starts, which then evolves into an actual threat that Doldam Hospital will be closed down, hits everyone really hard. I mean, if a cool, tough cookie like Head Nurse Oh would actually break down in tears, that means that it’s serious. 😬 I’m glad that Dr. Nam manages to be there for her, to at least pat her shoulder and let her know that she isn’t alone.

I’m intrigued by Head Nurse Oh’s conclusion, that Manager Jang had been the one to leak Master Kim’s plans for a trauma center, to President Do. The circumstantial evidence certainly fits, but Manager Jang swears on his honor that he didn’t do it. If he didn’t do it, then could it have been Reporter Oh? He’s the only other person that we’ve seen snooping around Master Kim’s office. Unless it’s someone else who’s sneaked in without our being privy to it. 🤔

Every time we get evidence of Dong Joo’s growth and maturity, I perk up with satisfaction; there’s just something about a more grounded, wiser Dong Joo that really appeals to me. And this episode, I’m glad that he’s the one who gives voice to everyone’s worries, when he asks Master Kim to comment on the rumor that Doldam Hospital is about to be forcibly closed.

Importantly, Dong Joo only focuses on what this means for the people involved; he doesn’t talk about politics or policies, only about the staff and how distracted and distressed they are. And then when Master Kim states that he has no intention of allowing Doldam Hospital to close, it’s Dong Joo who takes the lead, in resuming emergency care, when the next patient is brought in.

It makes me happy to realize that in the past, Dong Joo would have been the last in line to respond in a situation like this, and now, he’s the one out in front, setting an example for others to follow. Our Dong Joo’s come such a long way. 🤩

Chairman Shin regains consciousness in the nick of time; literally, as the team from Geodae Hospital is trying to gain entry to Doldam Hospital through the human barricade of Doldam staff, which results in a ridiculously epic slo-mo brawl in the hospital lobby. 😂

Seo Jung’s and Master Kim’s joyful expressions and warm interactions with Chairman Shin are great, but it’s Master Kim pulling that merong (메롱) expression at President Do, that steals the show. Ha. That feels out of character, but yet, weirdly in character, at the same time. 😆

I love that Dong Joo notices In Beom’s discomfort, and goes to seek him out, and invites In Beom to join him on the case where the patient’s abdomen’s been penetrated by glass shards, even though the two of them are mostly on gruff terms.

It makes me so proud of Dong Joo, to see that he doesn’t allow the low-grade tension between him and In Beom, to get in the way of him reaching out and finding a way to make In Beom feel included. That’s so important, given that in this moment, In Beom feels like an outsider at Doldam Hospital, because of what his dad is trying to do. I am so impressed that Dong Joo is able to see the root of In Beom’s uneasiness, and offer something that addresses that root in such a neat way.

More than that, I freaking love that Dong Joo maintains his good humor, even when In Beom reacts in a prickly manner. He’s so grounded now, and empathy is coming so much more naturally to him as well. I love it.

With all these steps forward, though, I suppose I should have anticipated that Show would throw some kind of spanner in the works, for Dong Joo. And this episode, we get that in the form of President Do anonymously sending a medical report to Dong Joo, which states that Master Kim had been the doctor in charge of his father’s case, once upon a time. Ack. I wonder if this is true, or if it’s something that President Do’s had fabricated.

Whichever it is, it completely messes with Dong Joo, and I feel bad for him, because it drags him back into the thick of his most painful memories. 🙁

Speaking of painful memories, we get more insight into Master Kim’s student Jang Hyun Joo, and see how she, as a patient at Geodae Hospital, had basically badgered him so brightly, and so persistently, that he’d relented and given her material to study. We also see that she’d been the one to christen him Master Kim, and that before she’d gone into surgery, she’d written him a letter and made him a present consisting of a mix tape and her student ID, which Master Kim had only received after her death, at her funeral wake.

Guh. The sight of Master Kim sobbing in the car, grieving over her death, is so heartbreaking. He’s always so calm and collected, that it’s quite startling to see him actually weeping. Which, really, just goes to show how deeply Jang Hyun Joo’s death affects him. 💔

And so it is, that Dong Joo’s most painful memories collide with Master Kim’s, as our episode’s final arc kicks into gear.

With three surgeries that need to happen urgently, and a small team of doctors that’s not quite sufficient to tackle all three at the same time, some important prioritization needs to take place. And, as fate would have it, one of the patients has an aortic dissection, which is the exact condition for which Dong Joo’s father had been hospitalized, when he’d been passed over for that VIP patient.

Dang. With the memories of the past so recently stirred up, and fresh doubt cast on Master Kim, I can see why this would hit too close to home, for Dong Joo, and I can understand why he’d be so emotionally invested in terms of whether this particular patient with aortic dissection gets prioritized or not. I can also see why Dong Joo might blurt out what he says, asking if Master Kim had passed over his dad in a similar fashion, 14 years ago.

While this is all very bad timing, and it’s hard to see our key characters in emotional turmoil, I do think that this truth needs to come to light, so that both Master Kim and Dong Joo can be set free from the shackles of guilt and the specters of “what if’s.” For both their sakes, I hope that we’ll sort through the truth soon.

I’m not sure what to make of Reporter Oh snooping around and asking questions of Dong Joo’s mom. His slimey reputation makes me nervous, but his recent expressed desire to bring the truth to light gives me a bit of hope. Is he going to help the situation, or make things worse? 😬

25 thoughts on “Open Thread: Dr. Romantic Episodes 17 & 18

  1. Jiyuu

    Started the series a few days ago and have caught up with everyone at last. Yay.

    Re: this pair of episodes, I’m pretty sure it was President Do who prioritized and operated on the VIP (over Dong Joo’s dad). There was a brief scene of him on episode 1 removing his surgical gloves while young Dong Joo was going ballistic.

    Some general thoughts:
    – The thumbnails on Netflix show actors from season 2 and I was pleasantly surprised that the charming Seo Hyun-jin is in the cast for season 1.
    – I don’t mind Manager Jang’s laugh, and the scheming, and OTT medical scenarios (it is the ER after all) but I hated the shouting. Maybe one character shouting throughout the series is fine but more than four of them was too much for me.
    – I’ve seen Han Suk-kyu before in Tree With Deep Roots and have enjoyed him a lot (probably more) here. He has this way of grouchily half-mumbling his thoughts before walking out in anger which fits his character so well.
    – I’ve watched a bunch of medical-themed Korean dramas and Dr. Romantic is probably closest in terms of tone and (colorful) characters to medical-themed Japanese dramas and manga.

    Oh. And I’m glad there will be notes for episode 21 🙂

  2. BE

    Small show details–Manager Jang, Nurse Oh:
    When Nurse Oh goes after Manager Jang vis a vis the Trauma Center plan, good to note she calls up some perpetual gripe with him from their marriage days as fuel for her argument. The pair have history, and as show has shown, Manager Jang has not let go of his desire, whereas Nurse Oh has not let go of her discontents, as happens with ex married couples, particularly this pair for which at this point in their lives seems like it must have been a marriage from hell for her, while he, living as he does in perpetual land of distraction, often distraction from abject and perhaps overblown admiration, often from a simple dyslexic reading of the world, has never lost its romance. He is hurt by more than the injustice of it; he is hurt because she is the one accusing him unjustly.
    Then there is the bit of Manager Jang appearing unmanned by seeing Dr. Nam comfort Nurse Oh (while jealousy can lead one to horrible mistakes, by the same token aren’t the spurned often uncannily accurate when the level wherein a looseness in the intestines makes a show of itself in the face?), and what about those tete a tetes between Dr. Nam and Nurse Oh at his cafe with her always dressed in her ultrahip Nurse Oh style, anyway?

  3. BE

    What everyone has said so far. I especially appreciate how much time KFG is putting into Dong Joo’s character arc, because during my initial watch I was not all that impressed by him or Yoo Yeon Seok’s very subtle and nuanced portrayal. One thought from a character perspective: on his confidence: Seo Jung is his first love, and she has confessed her feelings for him. I do not know about women, but I can remember the sensation of feeling magical, meaning confident that I could do anything, under such a spell, and Yoo Yeon Seok without even speaking about it does a very good job of enacting that kind of confidence, so flexible while so capable.
    Insofar as Kim Sabu’s merong expression goes. This was not the first time Dr. Kim has used such. I believe it was the scene in which Dong Joo did not recognize that the fellow in the casino had swallowed food down the wrong pipe and was rescued by Dr. Kim doing the Heimlich maneuver, but also another scene, maybe one with Dr. Song. It is so much Dr. Kim pointing out to folks that they are boys dealing with a man, and of course after audience has been treated to whole show, but especially in these episodes of Director !Doh!’s childish consternation, along with our sympathies as well as admiration having grown to such a great extent, Han Seok Kyu’s reprisal of this face, like his reprisal of his ironic laughter, is a wonderful punctuation mark for how by dragging out Chairman Shin’s recovery full melodrama style audience feels the show.
    And of course Seo Jung would be the one to physically feel it (gosh, these show runners–the parlay of her touching the artificial heart at Dr. Kim’s urging to her feeling movement in his hand, which she relays to Dr. Kim, and gets to witness his first hand, pun intended, discovery of Chairman Shin coming to consciousness–whether planned or just arising out of their careful construction throughout, but sooooo good; I will say it again: there are reasons why show has been so widely popular).
    This leads me to go back to the initial episodes of Dr. Romantic. I was struck by how many folks were so alarmed by the pace of the early episodes, something I did not feel in my first watch, as I was simply struck by what a bad, bad hombre Han Seok Kyu’s Doctor Kim appeared to me, but felt even less so in a second viewing, probably because even with my old man’s memory, I had some idea how things were going to go.

    Looking back, I want to comment again on how well played those early episodes strike me now. This show is a very complex composition, done about as simply and elegantly as I can imagine in the melodrama genre. All that information in episodes one and two were back story to where we are now, but instead of using exposition to fill us in, that is in starting medias res, it presented that back story as medias res initiating a rhythm that was both intense and highly structured–melodrama rock and roll. And now, starting with the cliff hanger at the end of episode 16, that we are here where it has thrown some of its many conventions into a closing guitar and percussion breaks free from the constraints while reprising some techniques, voice over for example, but using them in different ways, and highlighting its vividly enacted characterizations representing show’s fundamental good and evil conflict, and theme of integrity and passion v. greed and corruption, especially that of Han Seok Kyu, and give him credit for amazingly consistent and perfect villainy throughout, Choi Jin Ho (we want to have a grating noise maker to sound every moment he is on screen) I find those initial episodes just wonderful.
    When I used to teach Hamlet (not that Dr. Romantic is anywhere near in the same category), students would always complain about the language, which to their way of thinking was so highbrowed as to be unintelligible. And yet Hamlet of all Shakespeare’s plays has the greatest penchant for street slang, slang that because of Hamlet has had a shelf life of half a millennium, and even more to the point, play as one goes on is a tour de force of language usage, scene after scene after scene, but how to convey that at the beginning remains a question for every contemporary teacher of Hamlet. The problem of show’s initial pace and introduction to character is also, for me anyway, the why of show’s deliciousness throughout. I still think about the first time we meet Head Nurse Oh. She is perusing a book of Rembrandt’s self portraits, ah so much more there than, come and gone in an instant, met the eye.

    1. BE

      Manager Jang v. Doctor Song, the wonderful comedic foils, which more subtly reinforce the conflicts and themes of our show!

  4. Elaine Phua

    Also, I was just musing to myself that instead of the makjang lens, perhaps the superhero comic book lens might be more appropriate for this show. It was blatantly alluded to with the comic book artist depicting how cool these doctors and nurses were. I think lens to me helps explain oddities like the unlikely mythical level talent found in this hole in the wall hospital, the moustache twirling unredeemably ad and corrupt villain, the OTT shouting and corny humor. Watching this show (and hearing from commenter that the medical and surgical details are accurate) really made me better appreciate our health care heroes, and the challenges my brother must be going through as a trainee doctor (houseman).

    1. BE

      There is also a kind of sageuk lens: these surgery scenes are not unlike the action scenes in sageuks, in terms of rhythm in larger drama and mechanisms to ratchet up the intensity and reveal something about our main characters in doing so, and Kim Sabu’s status not unlike that of who is the greatest swordsman in Joseon.

    2. Trent

      I like that insight–I think the superhero lens is a good one, particularly given the show’s tendency toward melodrama in its presentation. And you’re right, they did make it explicit with the artist patient (who was able to get his groove back–recover his artistic inspiration–just by observing the ER staff at work. (He’s now laid up in the ICU in the bed next to the Chairman…will the superheroes be able to save him?!)).

  5. Elaine Phua

    Nothing much to say except I agree with everyone KFG said! Love the intricate dance in surgery – whoddathunkit that I’m Beom and Dong Joo would work so well together? And both of them being so hawt? Whew! Love the moment where they used two staple guns at the same time to suture the patient closed so they could rush back to the Heart surgery. Insane!

    1. Leslie

      I think it was @Trent who wrote/coined “competence porn” last week, and it really resonated with me (though anything with porn in the title makes me feel a little guilty. 😆) I thrill when a group works together as a well-oiled machine; the surgery dance is a great example. I rewatched it a couple of times, and thought how fun it would have been for the cast to practice and execute it. Total projection? Maybe. 😂 I hope/think there’s enough runway left in the show to thrill some more in the competence area. Bring it, please.

      1. Trent

        Yeah, that’s a phrase I picked up elsewhere on the internet a few years back, and have always found it useful in describing this sort of subgenre or trope–doctors, builders, engineers, etc. just exercising their skill and effort to reverse entropy and make new things, or fix old things, or make them work better.

        (I get the residual guilt at “porn”; I think that’s part of the point of the original co-option of the term in other contexts–using it to describe something that titillates, excites, or stimulates us in a similar but non-sexual manner. For example, I’ve often seen the phrase “disaster porn” in recent years to describe newscasts or cable news reports that overload us with images of terrible things happening when a natural or man-made disaster strikes; we (or at least many of us, on the evidence) are drawn to watching it on an almost sub-rational level, and consume (at some point) amounts of coverage that may end up being counter-productive…)

  6. manukajoe

    Thanks again for the insight KFG!

    I was struck how they turned the surgery in Ep 17 into a race between the Perforated Ulcer and the Heart Replacement. Racing surgeons!

    They really ratcheted up the suspense in these two eps, it’s becoming exciting.

    Is anyone else reminded of the main theme of the movie The Piano? One of the pieces in the show is very similar.

    1. j3ffc

      They are certainly of a similar type. I also have to say that I greatly appreciate the change of her ending song to “Walking, Walking” by Jean In Kwan from “The Stranger”; no disrespect to Billy Joel but for some reason I found that a jarring way to end the show.

  7. Shyama

    Things got ugly in these last two episodes. Lots of negativity and pure nastiness. I so wanted to punch some of the people, so badly!
    I’m really disappointed in Dong Joo too. Doesn’t he know better by now? Doesn’t he know what Kim sabu would and wouldn’t do?
    Hopefully the morale picks up soon.

    1. BE

      Ah Director Do endlessly jabbing us in the face; we want to just quick, right on the nose so it bleeds, punch him back, right?

  8. Trent

    Ah, that surgical dance at the beginning of episode 17 was just right up my alley, seriously. I mean, I wouldn’t know how to operate on someone to save my life (much less the patient’s!), but I love to see the smooth interaction of the highly skilled all coming together to produce something akin to magic. Which, when you pause to think about it, cracking open a septuagenarian’s chest to replace one artificial heart with a newer artificial heart…that’s pretty amazing.

    Those scenes with Master Kim’s student just kill me. We’ve seen brief snippets of them together in flashbacks before, but I think this is the most extended interaction we get, and there’s just something so fresh and eager and winning about her, really how could Master Kim not have been won over and wanted to mentor someone who wanted to learn from the best? And then we learn, along with Master Kim, about her sensitivity in not pushing him when he wouldn’t admit to being Boo Yong-joo; even though she knew from the first who he was, she played along with his “Kim So-and-so” locution, until finally awarding him the “Master Kim” tag that he’s used ever since.

    It seems very obvious to me that there are echoes of that first ill-fated teacher-student relationship in his sometimes reluctant mentorship of Seo-jung especially, even though Seo-jung is older and farther along in her professional development, obviously. I keep remembering that line spoken by Master Kim to Seo-jung earlier, in a middle episode somewhere, where he tells her “stop, if you’re not careful, you’ll make me fond of you.” It’s said lightly, half-jokingly, but I can so sense that past connection with the student that died looming somewhere off-stage.

  9. j3ffc

    I’m in a hurry – gotta watch the next episode! – but a couple of quick thoughts come to mind, beginning with this paraphrase of Van Morrison: time to get down to what’s really wrong, really wrong! I’ve found this a breezy watch all along and certainly am interested to see how it comes together in the next three hours. The way that Kim-sabu coached Seo Jung was masterful, and I am very interested to see where her and Dong Joo’s stories go (b/c the existence of the second series gives away some spoilers about Dr. Kim and Doldam’s immediate future…).

    Also, in contrast to a conversation going on in the “slice of life” thread, I like the way that the love theme has appeared only intermittently. It has more impact when it does appear and I, at least, do not want to strangle the composer or recording artist.

    And, yes! The first bump!

    1. BE

      Show has an interesting play on OTP; it is secondary to show, occupies second leads, not main lead, and it is somewhat realistic from the get go. Dong Ju does not want a brother sister relationship; he wants a relationship in which to use the parlance of K Drama he sees her as a woman, and wants her to see him as a man, and as he points out in one episode, he is never anything other than blunt spoken about this or any other thing in show. Seo Jung is confused by her limb loosening stirrings arising from an almost forbidden, passionate and tender kiss that go beyond a teasing if affectionate banter between a female on the job with a male pal , and which are subversive to an already ongoing relationship (in her case with an elder/work supervisor, with all those innuendos about her need for approval from older men that have little to do with real romantic connection) then complicated by the ensuing tragedy of the accident. She wants so much to be someone who does good for others, the ultimate why of her choosing Kim Sabu as her teacher, among other things, and her feeling for Dong Ju goes against what she thinks of as being a good person–she has no right to be stirred thus, but there it is. And requited by Dong Ju’s desire for Seo Jung, the desire for her whole, every part of her, Seo Jung ultimately realizing the solidity in that, the rightness about it.
      And yet all the while their relationship is central to show’s entire plot and central themes, not to mention each character’s growth throughout.

      1. beez

        I was so hoping the “like” button would be here just so I could acknowledge her “limb loosening stirrings”. 😂👍

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