Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Group fist-bump, that we’ve made it to the end, together! ❤️😉
I hope you guys are ready to chat about Dr. Romantic episodes 19 & 20! A little bit of logistics, and our usual ground rules, before we begin:
1. We will be discussing the special episode (listed as episode 21 on some sites) next week, on 12 May 2021. No spoilers for the special episode, please!
2. I will be putting up a brainstorming post shortly (edit: it’s here!), where we can discuss what shows we’d like to consider for our next group watch – if you guys still want to keep the group watch going, that is. Please take some time to pop on over, to share your thoughts! 😃
Without further ado, here are my reactions to this pair of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️
It’s a very confronting hour for our Dong Joo; there are so many different thoughts and feelings warring against each other, within him. It’s a difficult time for him, and it’s hard to watch him struggle, but like I said before, I do feel that this specific struggle is needful, for him.
It’s a hard thing for Dong Joo to hear, that Master Kim had made the decision to operate on the other patient first, even though, as a doctor, he fully understands what Master Kim is saying, about weighing the urgency of each case.
I’m proud of Dong Joo, though, for essentially sucking it up, and putting his emotions aside, in order to perform the surgeries as needed. He could have made a different choice; he could have chosen to give in to his emotions and kick up an even bigger fuss; he could have accepted Master Kim’s offer for In Beom to take over the surgery, if he didn’t feel up to it. But instead, Dong Joo chooses to do the surgery. He put the patients’ needs, and the needs of the situation, above his own emotional needs. And I think anyone who makes that kind of choice, deserves respect.
Yes, Dong Joo’s still not in a good place. Of course he isn’t; he still hasn’t had the time or space to work through how he feels about it all. Therefore, I can understand that he’s not at his emotional best, even as he deals with the patients’ guardians. I just think he deserves some credit and acknowledgment, because putting aside such a huge emotional wound, which is freshly open, thanks to President Do’s meddling, takes a lot of inner strength. And he does do a good job, with both surgeries.
I’m glad that Dr. Nam thinks to give Dong Joo a word of friendly praise, as he says with a smile, “You failed to disappoint me yet again, Dr. Kang.” Aw. I like Dr. Nam. He’s a good egg.
On a tangent, I can’t help noticing how unflappable Master Kim is, even though his small team is under pressure to operate on 3 urgent cases. His groundedness surely is evidence of his years of experience and maturity. He doesn’t give in to the pressure that the staff from outside try to apply, with earnest enquiries about how much longer the surgery will take. In fact, he even has the presence of mind to coach Seo Jung, through the tying up of the proximal.
It’s clear that this doesn’t actually extend the length of the surgery, since the procedure has to be done while waiting for the patient’s temperature to rise, so there’s enough time for him to talk Seo Jung through it. I just think that in a situation where things are tense, and everyone’s antsy over how much longer the surgery would take, most head surgeons would, I imagine, opt not to coach someone else through a procedure, in case anything goes wrong. It just seems more straightforward, to do it themselves. Which is why I can’t help feeling a healthy sense of respect for Master Kim, that he’s so unmoved and unaffected by the flurry of stress around him.
He even remembers to praise Seo Jung for a job well done. I mean, it’s one thing to coach well, but it’s a whole other thing to coach well, while in the middle of what is technically an emergency.
It’s such a good thing, that Seo Jung picks up Dong Joo’s phone, when Mom calls. Mom is clearly worried about Dong Joo, and if anyone can calm someone else down, just by being herself, it’s Seo Jung. I love the way she talks so warmly and so easily with Mom, which effectively lifts Mom’s spirits, even though she doesn’t get to check in with Dong Joo.
In the meantime, I really do feel for Dong Joo, as he wrestles between his head and his heart. What he says to Master Kim, in response to Master Kim’s explanation of the situation, sums it up perfectly, “I understand what you are saying with my head. But why do I feel like I’ve been fooled? As a doctor, I know what the situation is like. But as a son, why do I keep getting upset?”
Aw. Dong Joo looks so torn up and broken, that I just want to reach into my screen and rub his back and tell him that it’s not his fault. I appreciate that Master Kim chooses to speak to him gently, even as he reminds Dong Joo that he’s the only one who can answer that question; that he’s no longer a helpless kid, but a doctor. It’s a gentle form of tough love, and it does feel like the right choice for right now.
As it turns out, though, on that fateful day, Master Kim hadn’t known about the dissection patient coming in before the VIP patient. I do respect Master Kim’s explanation to Dr. Nam though, that even if he’d known, he would have made the same decision, and that telling Dong Joo he hadn’t known, wouldn’t bring any comfort to Dong Joo at all. Such a wise and well-considered position, truly.
Dang. President Do really keeps up his reputation for being the biggest slimeball in South Korea. I can hardly believe that he’d actually get articles published, that blatantly claim the changing of the artificial heart is a success achieved by Geodae Hospital. Wow. That’s low. 🤯
It might be argued that it’s technically an achievement from within the Geodae Hospital family, since Doldam Hospital is affiliated with Geodae Hospital. However, President Do’s intentions are clearly not aboveboard, given that the articles don’t even mention Master Kim, even though Master Kim was the lead surgeon on the case.
I have to confess that I felt very gratified to see every member of the Doldam team politely turn down the invitation proffered by Director Song, to attend the celebration organized by Geodae Hospital. I love that for all of them, except for In Beom, the reason is simply they will not attend, since Master Kim is not attending. Heh. I love how they are clear about that.
I feel bad for Dong Joo, that not only are the patients’ guardians acting out in ways that appear unreasonable and ungrateful, he even loses the patient, when the man goes into cardiac arrest. From his point-of-view, this really is the last thing that he needs; his nerves are already frayed, and he’s operating under a great deal of stress. It’s understandable – though not right – that he would lose his patience and speak unprofessionally.
However, I think Show does a good job of demonstrating that neither guardian is truly nasty or evil. Both women are just extremely stressed and worried about their husbands, and it’s human nature to look for someone or something to blame, when things aren’t going well. I feel that both women were pretty realistically portrayed; I could believe that people in their situations, would behave the way they did.
Keeping in mind that Dong Joo still hasn’t had time to process his multitude of thoughts and feelings, the outburst that Dong Joo has in front of Master Kim, in his office, feels organic to my eyes.
The sense of being maligned and misjudged by the guardians, even after he’d done his best, and the desire to blame Master Kim for what had happened to his dad, even though he knows, as a fellow doctor now, that Master Kim had done what he felt was best, just like Dong Joo had done today, all comes to a boil, and overflows in a rush of angry words.
I like that even though Master Kim doesn’t say much, he manages to show a sense of empathy, by pointing out that even though, as doctors, they work to save lives, they inevitably have to take criticism and blame, because of the work that they do. I think just presenting that as part and parcel of being a doctor, is a helpful (and neutral!) perspective, that will help Dong Joo process everything.
Dong Joo also finds out from Dr. Nam, that it was Master Kim’s decision to step down from his position, that had shielded him and his mother from the cost of damages, from when he’d stormed the ER after his father’s death. So.. Dong Joo had been the kid that Master Kim had saved? Wow. I do think it’s good that Dong Joo knows this, even though it occurs to me that Dr. Nam has just broken that promise, to take that truth to the grave. 😅
I’m glad that Dong Joo eventually finds himself in a clear-headed enough space, to apologize for being out of line, and I’m glad that when he does, Seo Jung is there to give him affirmation, with an assuring smile. That sure is a sight for sore eyes. ❤️
Guh. I know President Do is an awful excuse for a human being, but that flashback, where we see that he’d used Master Kim’s compassion for others, to force him to take the blame and leave, just makes me so angry. 😡 President Do had clearly planned this, knowing that the future of the seven employees would be his ammunition in forcing Master Kim to accept all the false accusations. UGH.
I’m glad that, upon learning this truth, Reporter Oh does a bunch of investigating and leaves the evidence on Master Kim’s desk, so that Master Kim now has some ammunition of his own.
I love that Master Kim wastes no time in creating an opportunity to use that ammunition, by getting Director Song to invite him to the celebration hosted by President Do – and then taking his entire team with him. Also, I do love that little beat, where Master Kim casually asks Dong Joo, “You’re coming too, aren’t you?” and Dong Joo answers, “If you go, I will go, too.”
Ahhh!! That shared look of warmth, tinged with some amusement and mischief is so fantastic. I’m so happy that they’ve overcome this, and are on good terms again. 🥰
I love the slo-mo group hero walk we get to witness, as our team, all dressed up and snazzy, makes their grand entrance at the party, and I love how Master Kim answers President Do’s question of why he’s there: “I thought this was a party for the artificial heart implant. I should be here. We are the protagonists of this surgery.”
YES. Say that proudly, Master Kim, in front of all the reporters and supposedly important people, and put the Weasel in his place. 😈
In case any of you are wondering, this is Show’s actual final episode. Episode 21 is officially listed as a special episode, and some sites (like Viu) don’t even have episode 21 available. Which is why I’m treating this as the final episode, even though we will have another Open Thread for episode 21 next week. (If you’ve been following along on Viu, you can watch episode 21 on iQIYI here instead.)
For a final episode, I’m reasonably happy with how everything shakes out, although I do feel like Show leans a bit indulgent, overall. However, I will qualify that by saying that because I’ve grown so fond of our characters, I didn’t even mind the indulgence, so much.
I feel like the showdown at the celebration dinner, which turns into an actual brawl between President Do and Master Kim, was.. a little lowbrow? What I mean is, I have a hard time believing that Master Kim had marched all the way there, just to throw those papers at President Do (and apparently without making a copy of the evidence either?), and I also have a hard time believing that President Do would lose his cool to the extent that he’d attack Master Kim right in front of everyone, especially while there were reporters present. President Do seems to care too much about his image to do that, even in the heat of the moment.
That all felt quite convenient, like it was a quick way to take down President Do and put him in an unfavorable position, so that he’d no longer be a major focus for the rest of the episode. I have to admit that after so many episodes of having President Do as our Big Bad, this felt rather under underwhelming, to me. I mean, make no mistake, I’m glad to see him go down; I just wish it had felt more satisfying to watch, y’know?
President Do’s downfall is more implied than anything, since all we see is him kneeling before Chairman Shin and accidentally outing himself of his misdeeds, while asking for help. Thereafter, we do hear Chairman Shin start to berate him, but we don’t actually see what happens next. And the conversation he subsequently has with Master Kim, where he asks why Master Kim lives the way he does, is more to reinforce the meaning behind Show’s title, than anything specifically to do with these characters or their relationship. All of that wasn’t terribly satisfying, for me personally.
I also feel like Master Kim’s wrist injury was teased as a potentially serious matter, what with him being secretive about it, and Dong Joo, Seo Jung and the rest of the team getting all worried for him, only to have that maybe-semi-wrapped up, with Master Kim telling Seo Jung with a smile, that he’ll be fine. That felt like quite an anticlimax too, if I’m being honest. It’s all rather vague and inconclusive.
On the upside, it is a nice touch, that the nurse who’d been secretly dating Dr. Moon in episode 1, actually reaches out to Seo Jung, when she sees Seo Jung at Geodae Hospital. Even though she doesn’t actually reveal that she’d been Dr. Moon’s girlfriend on the side, I do appreciate that she sincerely wishes Seo Jung well. At the same time, I feel that Seo Jung wishing her well in return, didn’t carry the same weight, since Seo Jung isn’t aware of the full extent of their connection. Anyway. I rationalize that it doesn’t matter whether Seo Jung knows or not, since this is all in the past.
I also like the way In Beom carries himself, in the scene where he dresses his father’s wounds.
He focuses only on making a stand for himself, in the most calm and dignified way possible, given his father’s unstable emotional state. I like that he doesn’t allow himself to be intimidated by his father’s shouting, and even manages to tend to his father’s wounds in a gentle, professional manner, despite his father’s grumpy state. That takes patience and self-control.
I also like that when President Do asks him menacingly if In Beom’s daring to disobey him, In Beom simply states that he wants to make the decisions in his own life. He’s holding his ground, without being combative, and that feels so much more grounded and mature than what we’re seeing from President Do.
On a lighter note, we finally get confessions from In Beom and Yeon Hwa, about who they have crushes on. We already knew that Yeon Hwa likes Dong Joo, but this is the first time we have confirmation from In Beom that he sees Seo Jung as his ideal type. Sigh. I guess there goes my hope for a sibling-esque relationship between In Beom and Seo Jung. 😅
We don’t get to see the implications that this new information has on the way our characters interrelate, though I’m sure this would make things more interesting. We do see that Seo Jung and Dong Joo feel the need for a hurried exchange in person, if only to ensure that this new information won’t affect their relationship – which of course they agree it doesn’t.
The way Dong Joo calls after Seo Jung, “I love you,” and the way this brings a pleased, tamped-down-but-definitely-delighted expression to her face, is cute, and Dong Joo’s contented smile makes me smile too. I like that these two are happy together in such a steady, down-to-earth sort of manner.
Other that this, we also get a nice little epilogue where we see that Chairman Shin decides to save Cartoonist Dude by paying for his expensive surgery in exchange for his artwork, and we see that eventually, Cartoonist Dude even draws a story for Master Kim, detailing Chairman Shin’s life, and how he’d been saved by a mysterious stranger when he’d collapsed due to heart failure. Heh. Of course that had to be Master Kim, yes? 😆
And, we also get a final scene that teases at Master Kim’s reunion with a mysterious lady (Kim Hye Soo), whose arrival at Doldam Hospital brings tears to his eyes. That sets us up nicely for episode 21, which the title cards tell us is a prequel titled “Master Kim’s First Love.” Hee. It’ll be interesting to see what Master Kim is like, when he’s in love.
Because of the nature of our story, things aren’t wrapped up neatly like they often are, in other dramas. Instead, we are given the sense that these characters will continue to earnestly work to save lives, working as a team, long after the credits stop rolling. And I do like that.
My favorite little beat in this finale’s last stretch, is how the entire team immediately abandons their celebration dinner at Dr. Nam’s restaurant, once they hear that there’s been an accident and a high number of casualties are being brought in to the ER. I love that focus and dedication, where it’s not even a question, whether they would drop the team dinner. That unspoken sameness of heart and mind, is wonderful. And I do love that slo-mo group superhero walk down Doldam’s hallway, as they each suit up, ready to do battle. So much casual, matter-of-fact swag. 🤩
THE FINAL VERDICT:
Slurpable, earnest and heartwarming, in its melodramatic sort of way.
FINAL GRADE: B++