Open Thread: Kill Me, Heal Me Episodes 3 & 4

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! Isn’t this a great shot of Do Hyun and Shin Se Gi? We get two Ji Sungs, for the price of one. Ha. 😜

Here are our usual ground rules, before we begin:

1. Please don’t post spoilers in the Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point. If you really need to talk about a spoiler, it is possible to use the new spoiler tags, but please know that spoilers are still visible (ie, not hidden) in the email notification that you receive, of the comment in question.

We have quite a few first-time viewers among us, and we don’t want to spoil anything for anyone.

2. 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 set of episodes; have fun in the Open Thread, everyone! ❤️

My thoughts

Episode 3

Y’know, rewatching this show 6 years later, with a comparatively more discerning radar for how inaccurate portrayals can hurt minority groups who are already misunderstood, I can see how Show’s portrayal of DID is problematic, as Paulina pointed out in her comment on last week’s Open Thread post.

However, kinda like Ele, I also can’t deny just how entertaining I find this show.

I mean, I watched this episode while feeling really tired (and therefore I was afraid that I might zone out), but I was very much glued to my screen, from start to finish. I was entertained enough to ignore – almost forget, even –  the niggling headache that I’m still feeling now, as I type this. That’s quite an accomplishment on Show’s part, isn’t it?

As a quick aside, in case you’re wondering why I’m feeling so tired, it’s not from the blogging per se; I have been (and am still) trying to work through some technical issues on the site, and that’s what wiped me out.

At the end of the day, I think, if this show’s portrayal of psychiatric issues bothers you, it might be best for you not to force yourself to continue; it would probably end up being a frustrating watch for you, and nobody wants that, right?

But, if you’re able to roll with Show being a piece of entertainment that is really very much removed from reality, I feel like we’re in a for a pretty good time. 😜

This episode, I felt very entertained by Perry Park and his blithe personality. I don’t recall having felt this fond of him, in 2015. But y’know, I think I was just too.. distracted by Shin Se Gi back then, heh. Now, with more control of my fangirl senses (or so I’d like to think), I find myself liking Perry Park very much.

He’s so cheerful, with such a can’t-get-me-down sort of quality about him. And, he’s got a good heart too. He has no clue who Ri Jin is, but he puts everything aside in order to face a dangerous situation head-on, all because he comes to know that she’s in danger.

Plus, he’s so cheeky and fearless when facing off with the mean thug guys, too. How could you not like this guy, right?

Also, I found it extremely cute, that he’s built those bombs using timers that he’d repurposed from the kind of rice cookers that talk.

I giggled out loud when that first bomb didn’t go off, and the pleasant announcement came forth instead, informing everyone present, that the rice is ready. Tee hee hee.

The other thing that I found amusing, is how Ri Jin’s actually got quite a few important things to say, and flails about so desperately, in an attempt to say those things, while her mouth’s all taped up.

I mean, I don’t care for Ri Jin’s screamy tendencies myself, but this running gag, of her flailing about in her limited capacity, while we get the translations of her muffled cries, was really quite amusing to me. 😆

And, while, like I’ve mentioned already, it seems like neither Ri Jin nor her mentor Dr. Seok is that great a psychiatrist, I do appreciate that Ri Jin is starting to see Do Hyun with distinct empathy.

I think this one thing makes up for a lot of things, in my books. Because of her big heart and her compassion for Do Hyun, I find myself starting to warm to her, even though she’s definitely not a very good doctor, and she has a tendency to be too yelpy for my taste.

I do think that Ri Jin hits the nail on the head, when she muses that Do Hyun must be so lonely, trying to manage his condition on his own.

That understanding of his loneliness, and that compassion that she has for him, is going to go far, I think, in endearing her to me, as a character.

I like that Ri Jin gets to see for herself what a decent sort of guy Do Hyun is, with the way he rescues her and takes care of her.

There’s decency, badassery and even lashings of pathos coming through Do Hyun’s interactions with her, and I do like the combined effect of all that.

I find it quite cute that Ri Jin’s starting to give the various personalities that she’s met nicknames – Wolf, Gentleman, and Seafarer – and I am duly amused that there are hints that Ri Jin is drawn to Gentleman (Do Hyun himself), even though she’s already quite captivated by Wolf (Shin Se Gi).

Are we going to have a love triangle involving Ri Jin being torn between Do Hyun and Shin Se Gi? The thought of that tickles me.

I love that we see some twin synergy at work between Ri Jin and Ri On; he totally understood her coded message after all!

I got so much delight from the scene where the thugs swagger into Ri On’s gathering demanding the jacket (along with its hidden drugs), only to be promptly overcome and arrested by everyone else present at the gathering – because Ri On’s gathering is with a bunch of police officers.

The drug thugs basically walked right in to get arrested. Muahaha. I loved this little twist a whole lot. 😂

Given all that Do Hyun’s been through, I’m impressed that he still manages to show up for that board meeting, apologize, and introduce himself in a manner that inspires confidence in the members of the board.

Well, that is, except for Scheming Uncle and Ki Joon, who only want to see Do Hyun fail, and Chairman Gran, who appears to hold a grudge against Do Hyun, for what had happened to his father. I’m curious to know more about that.

I hadn’t really taken notice of this back in 2015, but Show’s already giving us hints of childhood trauma in both Do Hyun’s and Ri Jin’s pasts. Ri Jin’s semi-conscious mumbled apologies, and Do Hyun’s dream, appear to be fragments of their respective childhood traumas, and I suspect that, in typical kdrama fashion, their childhood traumas are connected.

At the very least, I think it’s a reasonable assumption that Do Hyun’s childhood trauma had something to do with his father’s current condition.

That really is sad, that even though Do Hyun pushed himself so hard to attend the meeting, despite still bleeding from his arm, he gets slapped by Chairman Gran the first chance they have at speaking privately.

This is why I prize Ri Jin’s sense of compassion towards Do Hyun.

In our closing scene, where they finally meet properly at the entrance of the hospital (such a great appearance by Kim Seul Gi, again! I luff her! 🤩), the kindness and understanding that Ri Jin shows Do Hyun, must feel like a balm to his soul.

He legit tears up at her gentle, accepting manner, and I’m beginning to feel like it may not be such a bad thing to have Ri Jin in his life, after all.

Episode 4

To be honest, I enjoyed this episode less than the previous one; I’m getting the idea that this watch experience might be more uneven than I’d remembered.

For one thing, even though I get the idea, that Do Hyun deserves our sympathy for having to clean up after Shin Se Gi, and that Ri Jin sees this as well, I thought Show went a little too ham with how Do Hyun puts on an exaggerated act with Ri Jin, and butters up all her colleagues as if he’s her new boyfriend.

I found it kinda cringey to watch, to be honest.

And, for another, I know that we’re supposed to take this hospital anything but seriously, but it really was kinda out there, how all the doctors and nurses came running to gawk at the sight of Do Hyun talking to Ri Jin.

That group walk-around the revolving doors was so OTT, seriously. I do get that we’re supposed to take this as part of Show’s screwball-farcical DNA; I just.. don’t find it that funny, even with my Broad Humor lens on. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I do find it an interesting turn of events, that Shin Se Gi can now make his presence known to Do Hyun, even while Do Hyun is fully conscious. I think Show’s visual representation of this is very compelling as well too, though, as we’ve concluded, suspension of disbelief is a must.

I mean, this screenshot is a pretty cool way of setting up the scene, so that we can see what Do Hyun’s dealing with, isn’t it? I feel this opens up a lot of narrative possibilities, and it would be interesting to see how Show plays with this.

Plus, there’s a new alter that’s apparently joined the existing crew as well. A child, by the name of Nana? That’ll give us even more possibilities, I imagine.

It makes sense that Do Hyun feels his situation is more dangerous than ever – to the people around him, but also, to himself – now that he is aware of Shin Se Gi’s presence even while conscious.

It’s a logical next thought, that Shin Se Gi could be on the brink of taking over Do Hyun’s consciousness at any moment, so it makes sense to me, that Do Hyun goes into hiding right away.

It wouldn’t do for Ri Jin to meet Shin Se Gi, any more than it would do, for any of the company people to encounter Do Hyun’s Wolf alter-ego.

This does give Frenemy-Cousin Ki Joon something of an angle to investigate, however, since Do Hyun’s not the type to suddenly take off without notice. This, combined with Ki Joon learning about Secretary Ahn’s visit to Dr. Seok, is not helpful at all.

Meanwhile, what is this suggestion that we’re getting from Show, that Ri Jin might not be her parents’ biological daughter?

I mean, Mom’s certainly oversensitive about those questions that that vegetable supplier asks, to the point of wanting to change suppliers immediately.

And, there’s also that thing where Sook Hee (yay for another glimpse of Kim Seul Gi! 🤩) remarks that she’d seen Ri On looking fondly upon Ri Jin while she’d slept, in a totally non-brotherly fashion.

Oooh. Well, that would change a lot of things, wouldn’t it? But.. if they aren’t real siblings, why would Ri On remember it, when Ri Jin clearly doesn’t? Is Ri Jin missing a year’s worth of memories too, just like Do Hyun?

She does seem to depend on Ri On to remember any trampoline from their childhood – even though she was supposedly there too.

Ri On musing to himself as he drives away, that it hurts him to watch over Ri Jin, is also an indication that there’s probably a lot more to Ri Jin’s backstory than we know.

..Speaking of hidden backstories, there’s certainly a lot going on in the Seung Jin household. Right now, the argument involving Ki Joon’s mom, Chairman Gran and Do Hyun’s mom doesn’t give us the full story, but clearly, there is more going on than they’d like to admit.

From the fragments of information revealed in the conversation, it seems that Do Hyun was born out of wedlock, but then put on the family register as the son of Dad’s official wife, Min Seo Yeon (I’m assuming she was the official wife, based on the direction of the conversation).

And apparently, Dad’s now in a coma – and has been in one, for years – because of (trying to save?) Do Hyun. That’s double the reason for Chairman Gran to be so disdainful of Do Hyun.

Also, it seems that Do Hyun’s missing some very critical memories, that, when recovered, would be very detrimental to the Seung Jin family. Hrmm. I wonder what those memories are?

I mean, Chairman Gran looks extremely nervous at the mention of those memories, and with Show having such crazy limits, I have no idea what to expect.

Just as Do Hyun had anticipated, Shin Se Gi does come out to play, and soon. What I hadn’t anticipated, is how, after their confrontation-by-mirror, it’s Do Hyun who’s left trapped in the mirror, while Shin Se Gi takes off to seek out Ri Jin.

Again, this is quite abstract; I think what Show is trying to bring across, is that this time, Do Hyun is conscious, while Shin Se Gi takes over, where previously he’d been unconscious. That must be pretty scary and stressful for Do Hyun, to have to wait it out, while completely conscious, yet unable to do anything.

How interesting, that Ri Jin legit looks disappointed to see that it’s Shin Se Gi waiting for her, instead of Do Hyun. That must be pretty offensive to Shin Se Gi, I imagine. 😅

I do wonder where he’s blazing off to, in that fancy sports car, while wearing that amazing red coat, with Ri Jin firmly by his side. With Shin Se Gi, it really could be anything and anywhere, couldn’t it?

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2 years ago

@BE – OffTopic – ever since you mentioned Screechy’s resemblance to Ha Ji min, and now that we’re watching show, I see it. A lot. It’s certain facial expressions that she makes where it shows. I just always thought Screechy was so much more beautiful than Han Ji min, but now I see the resemblance.

9 months ago
Reply to  beez

@beez – You’ll probably never see this reply, but I made that comparison and you thought it was ridiculous! It’s only certain angles, but…

2 years ago

_ I couldn’t *like* your comment but 😆 at us being “trolled”

2 years ago

@BE – I was so bored throughout Vincenzio. I remember KMHM as being hilarious – as you’ll see if you hang in there. That’s hoping that it holds up well. What a difference a few years can make in how we view things. Already I hate New Century (that’s the translation Kocowa gives of the BadBoy personality’s name) but I can’t say why yet (because I couldn’t resist watching a couple more episodes). Bit I didn’t feel this way when I watched it previously.

2 years ago
Reply to  beez

@beez: The reason I raised Vincenzo is that it combined farcical elements with drama. I got it, and the surreal absurdity was so eccentric, not to mention so clearly spoofing, but at the same time when they tried to drop that imaginitive absurdity it did not work for me. The problem with this show for me is that while some of the humor is great, some of it falls flat, but I know that from what I hear I am going to be asked to take it seriously as show goes on. And right now I don’t really see how the show will pull it off.

2 years ago

That part when Ri Jin is yelling at Se Ji in the last part of ep 4 “Can’t you hear me?!!” I think she was trolling y’all.

2 years ago

A couple of observations. First that slap (that was 30+ years of slap experience from Kim Young Ae – may she rest in peace ) from Grandmom was really something else. Then the conversation in front of the hospital was really moving.

I remember that when this came out there was a lot of talk about it being a comedy. I always found this confusing. While there are some really funny scenes in this drama (the cringe hospital introduction scenes not being amongst those), I always felt very sorry for Do Hyun and I felt for him trying to navigate life with all those unknowns. So debilitating.

I am with BE – Park Seo Joon’s Omega character is so very interesting.

2 years ago
Reply to  phl1rxd

: I think the biggest reason out of the gate I have a hard time taking show or Do Hyun as seriously as I might is that his various personalities, quite apart from the hokey cueing them up, like most of the characters in the show seem like such hyperbolic caricatures of kdrama trope characters. I do not know whether I will stick with this or not, and can imagine the same show done a lot more close to the vest being quite compelling. While it does show off the range of ML, it would be so much more interesting if he were directed to play these characters with a bit more realism. I am fine with Se Gi being a homme fatale bad boy, but I would like to see that done with greater subtlety, and the fight scene in ep one, for example, choreographed with a bit more flair. Think of, as I noted last time, Jang Hyuk in the opening scenes in Chuno. And the whole kidnap in the industrial warehouse scene with the rice cooker timer, Perry Park could have been delivered with a bit more attention to pathos as opposed to pathetic and goofy. I know show has to change: FL has to be more toned down and sympathetic, we get to have more feels for ML, but as FL points out in ep one, at the beginning it is as if show writers do not have a handle on what exactly they want the audience to take in. Now in a show like Vincenzo that worked out well at least for show’s first eighty percent. My feeling is that I wish the comical element in this was simply done better and more balanced out by the dramatic elements, including the cheobol ladies just being a tad less shrill, and lead lady a tad less exaggerated in her facial expressions, thus giving her a bit more dangerous and sophisticated menace.

2 years ago
Reply to  BE

Fair assessment BE. I wonder if the decision makers were afraid of the story becoming ‘too real’ and therefore turning off viewers.

Ele Nash
2 years ago

Well, thank goodness for your thoughts, kfangurl. It’s saying something, as @Natalia says, that the melodramatic family secrets are more confusing than Mei Changsu’s plots and schemes but I totally agree! I’m like Commander Meng’s idiot second cousin with all my who is related to who and how and why and what’s a family register and they’re not actually siblings but actually might be related but no the mother is her not her…?! 😕🤣
I don’t mind. I’m rolling with it because, well, as kfangurl says, all the personalities of “Do Hyun” are just so compelling and I’m very, very curious to unravel what it’s all about.
I just hope, please, Oh Ri On does not have uncomfortably weird feelings that go beyond brotherly because that would be 🤮 And I’m also hoping, given Shin Se Gi seems to ‘know’ Oh Ri Jin, that they’re not related in any way either…
I got to episode seven – naughty, I know – before my own headache inducing technical issues scuppered my binge. Hoping I can find a way to watch more even though, yes, I keep feeling offended by all of the lazily written MH misrepresentations, and, yes, I’m afraid that show may never right those wrongs, and, yes, maybe crushing on Shin Se Gi and his super eyeliner and red coat is misguided at best, but, oh, is it OK to still be enjoying the ride? I can’t decide. But it’s true I am enjoying it, especially Ji Sung’s performance and can see why he was nominated for a Baeksang. And, darn, but that rap song is really catchy and really helps drive the narrative. And, you know, I care about them ♥ Maybe show’s heart will win out, despite the many glaring, galling flaws.

2 years ago

@Natalia – I think Kdramaland is obsessed with the childhood trope because so much emphasis and value is placed on “first love”. It can’t get more first than 5 years old. 😆

2 years ago

What a ride!
The tonal shifts of this show is the reason why I had dropped this show on my first watch. It is quiet disorienting. One thing that I had retained from that time is to never use earphones to watch this show.

But while watching it this time, I realized why I had liked the show in the first place.
Despite the ott’ness of the show, I think there is a very solid mystery at the center of it. And the creative team is as selective about revealing information to the audience as the NIF team (controversial, I know!). It has definitely kept me hooked so far. I am very intrigued by the going ons of this family and the consequences that it has had on the members. I am also very curious to see what the cousin has been up to. He is one of the more grounded characters so far, and I hope he is not reduced to a one- note antagonist.

Also, I find myself unable to be invested in the main OTP. They have some great moments, like the final scene in ep3 where they speak outside the hospital, and you get the sense that these two are very decent and kind people, stuck in unfortunate circumstances. I want to root for them, and then in the next episode, that goes straight to the bin. Why not bring out that innate chemistry between the two rather than relying on hare-brained schemes to make them interact?

I really like what Fangurl pointed out about the FL, where her sincere empathy makes up for her lack in experience. It would have been very interesting to see the contrast between her and her mentor, had he been more ‘rule-of-the-book’ type.
Seeing two free-wheeling psychiatrists who throw around jargon to seem qualified is not very enjoyable, and as has been pointed out, really does not do justice to the entire process of psychotherapy.
I think there is a lot of dark comedy in that profession, and research into the same would have brought out humor which is both realistic and not harmful in its depictions.

2 years ago

Hello K, I hope you are feeling better!

About representation of DID in this show, yes, it is nonsense, as you, and Paulina, mentioned, and yes, we are much more sensitive about this stuff than we were only 6 years ago.
I had my own objections about it last week, and I think we will feel even worse if the show goes stronger in exploiting Do Hyun’s condition for laughs, but compared to other shows/films on DID, at least in this one the patient is the ML, he’s obviously a wonderful person and even his badass personality seems to be just that, badass (and with a horrible taste when it comes to fashion) but no murderous sadistic personalities seem to be lurking around, so that’s a good thing, right?

Anyway, back to the episodes. O Ri Jin was quieter, which is good, and I was intrigued by the hints that she might not be the family’s child. I’m sure there will be an incredible KDrama explanation and I bet she will be linked to DoHuyn’s past. I really can’t see why KDramaland is obsessed with this trope, it’s so often that OTPs have met sometime, somewhere, somehow as kids.
I didn’t appreciate the hint that O Ri On might be interested in Ri Jin in ways other than fraternal, I hope the show will not go there. Strangely enough, watching these episodes made me think that Park Seo Joon (BTW, what an ugly haircut) would be great playing a Villain. But I’m pretty confident show’s not going there.

Seriously, I find this show’s chaebol family drama more confusing than all of Mei ChangSu’s strategies. Thanks for explaining some of it, K! Also, I find the acting of all in that family pretty sub-par. Especially the slimy uncle.

The doctors and nurses in Ri Jin’s hospital are really highscoolers in disguise.

I think I will go on watching, but I must admit I am having a hard time finding the time to watch the weekly episodes, while still following NIF’s group watch and having a million things to do. It doesn’t help that so far I have not been “seduced” by the show. But I will hang in there for now.

2 years ago
Reply to  Natalia

I don’t like that KDramaland has so many instances of the childhood first love trope either! Whenever I come across a show where this trope comes up, I think back to what I was doing at that age, and I was either learning alphabets or eating sand. Who had the time or the brains to fall in love?

2 years ago

I continue to be of a mixed opinion of all this. How, given so farcical some elements are–I mean almost all of ep 3 broached all my possible sense of taking show seriously in the least little bit, giving me a kind of jaded lens toward everything, and the cheobol makjang ladies at the table, wherein the serious story is somewhat folded, so much like fingernails on a chalkboard I can barely pay attention to what they are saying, and given how broadly played wishing the hospital staff were funnier–I wonder how I will possibly become more sympathetic to the inevitable pathos of what is likely to come. The gauntlet show is putting before us I suppose.

I do think in these two episodes, the brother with his hidden bulletin board holds the key, his under the breath to himself commentary driving out of the garage pitying his sister seeming to portend her drama in show. Omega Man definitely my favorite character so far in this.

I like the idea of Park Pe-Ri Bo’, can’t help but think of a miniature toy speed boat that. And while I cannot take it seriously, I do get a kick out of toy horror flashback, the creepy stuffed animals, the even creepier space robot with flashing chest light leadfooting it ominously toward the little boy.

Who is Nana? What is Do Hyun’s shoulder tattoo? Did he get it on a night out with the football team in America? Does it migrate to his neck and transmogrify when he segues to SE Gi? Now watching it change shape and on four feet like a newt, menacing K hip hop in slow tempo, climbing up there would be a really effective bit of CGI, but 2015 is like a century ago in KDrama production values it seems.

And forgive me, in the complete history of spectacular K Drama male overcoats, that red get up of Se Gi has to go down as the flat out ugliest overcoat on record. Just horrible. Gawdawful. I have to put on my sunglasses when he is on screen wearing it.
It would look lots better on his mother grandly striding down the fairway and into the country club cocktail bar, or on gran when she wants to make a serious entrance sending the cheobol toadie bandstand a msg about who’s boss, the show pathetic fallacy music in perfect rhythm and overblown theme as she does so.

Maybe Prez Step Bro, Cocktail Dress, and Uncle Oily (“this business is Mine, MINE, MINE“) playing a chamber music trio in the boardroom, Do Hyun singing “Be cause your mine, I walk the line,” stumbling in, harried Manager-nim, glasses falling down his nose, hair falling out and turning grey in tow.