Open Thread: Kill Me, Heal Me Episodes 5 & 6

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I chose this screenshot to headline our post, because doesn’t Do Hyun look absolutely beautiful in this shot? 🤩

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 5

I have to admit that Show’s bizarre sense of comedy throws me a bit; I don’t remember being this thrown by it, back when I first watched it in 2015. I’m gonna hafta plead the Ji Sung Effect. I’m sure I was so entranced by his fantastic management of all the different personalities in this story, that I was more forgiving of some of Show’s weirder ticks. Also, not gonna lie; I was quite mesmerized by Shin Se Gi’s intent smolder, guyliner or no.

This episode, as we open with Shin Se Gi trying to determine who / what Ri Jin likes, it all feels pretty baffling, because everything that he serves up to Ri Jin, in an effort to win her heart, is weird AND childish, which is nothing like the badassery that I instinctively associate with Shin Se Gi.

I get the idea, that Shin Se Gi had connected with Ri Jin when they’d been children, but right now, 1, his choice of toys and their significance doesn’t makes sense, both to Ri Jin and to us as an audience, so it’s hard to appreciate, and 2, I suddenly find the idea of Shin Se Gi as a child quite hard to reconcile. What would Shin Se Gi have been like, as a kid? It’s a slightly bizarre thought, no? Especially since Shin Se Gi is all glower and guyliner right now? 😆

Also, for the record, while I get that Ri Jin’s playing along with Shin Se Gi because that’s the best way not to make him angry, her choices to dance and clap along with that monkey, and suck that ring lollipop that he serves her on a platter, strike me as really weird. I mean, he’d never asked her to dance or clap, and she could’ve just taken that ring lollipop and admired it or something? I suppose this is all for the sense of Bizarre Comedy that Show appears to be gunning for, so I guess it’s best to just shrug and roll with it. 🤷🏻‍♀️

However, I do get that this is all very confusing for Ri Jin. Honestly, I can’t blame her for feeling attracted to Do Hyun and to Shin Se Gi, because they each have their own appeal. Do Hyun’s kind and sweet, while Shin Se Gi’s intent and smoldery. Given that we’ve already seen the Ri Jin had even dressed up once, to go on a date with Shin Se Gi, I’m not actually that surprised that she’s now confused about who she really likes. Narratively speaking, it’s a fun conundrum to play with, since that takes the love triangle idea, and places it such that Do Hyun’s in a love triangle with his alter.

Do Hyun getting confused about who the racing heart really belongs to, is a fun little touch to our story as well.

I gotta say, though, I found myself perking up at Perry Park’s appearance, even more than I did, at Shin Se Gi’s appearance. I find him so affable and endearing. It’s hilarious to me that Perry Park had made friends with Ri On on the plane, and how goes to Ssangri to look for Ri On, the first chance he gets, all because he wants to drink the amazing beer that Ri On’s told him about. I honestly now want Perry Park to be the protagonist of his own story; he’s too cute – and too dapper! – to just be an alter! 😆

Show is definitely pointing towards some kind of shared childhood experience between Do Hyun and Ri Jin, with them both having the same phobias, or fire and basements. Had they both been in some kind of fire in a basement, then? And that’s when Shin Se Gi had been in charge, since Do Hyun remembers nothing?

Ri On might be all smiles and silly drinking stories when it comes to Perry Park, but that entire relationship chart that he’s got on the Seung Jin Group, with a big focus on Do Hyun, says otherwise. From his phone call with his editor, it does seem like Ri On’s researching Do Hyun and the Seung Jin Group, for his next novel. I really wonder how much he knows, right now.

And to top it all off, there’s an indication that Do Hyun might have a sibling, since it was rumored that his mother had come back to Korea with a child. Who was that child? Was it Ri Jin, because we’ve had hints that she’s adopted? Or could that child be Ri On, since the camera cut to a shot of him, right when Scheming Uncle talked about the alleged existence of this child?

Wouldn’t it be pretty ironic, if Ri On turns out to be researching his own family..? 🙊

Episode 6

I hafta admit, I smirk-chuckled at this scene, where Ri Jin basically jumps Do Hyun and demands he finish what he’d started, because he pulls away from the almost-kiss. Pwahaha. How mortifying on hindsight! I suppose at least she can blame it on the alcohol?

I also found it quite amusing, when she blurts out that even though she’s the only one using her heart, she’s still confused. That’s quite perfect, honestly. And like I said before, I do understand her confusion, and her impulse to take the opportunity to test what’s really going on with her heart, when it presents itself.

It occurs to me that there’s a fair bit of death talk in our story, what with Shin Se Gi threatening to kill Do Hyun, and Do Hyun sometimes using the exact same threat on Shin Se Gi, when he feels desperate enough, and on top of that, there’s Yo Seob, whose entire personality is rooted in desiring to commit suicide. What’s different about Shin Se Gi’s scrawled message, is that he says, “Kill you,” whereas when it comes to Yo Seob, his message is “Kill me.”

With Shin Se Gi making such threatening remarks, including a warning about Chae Yeon’s safety, it’s no wonder that it galvanizes Do Hyun into a higher mode of action.

I can’t say I’m surprised by the confirmation that Chae Yeon and Ki Joon are sleeping together, since we’d already seen in an earlier episode that Ki Joon is cozy enough with Chae Yeon, to hang out in her living room in nothing but a bathrobe. However, this is still a little shocking by kdrama standards, and I have to admit that my jaw dropped slightly, at Show being this bold, especially for its 2015 vintage.

Beyond that, though, I think I’m more shocked by the reveal, because Chae Yeon’s always given off this vibe that she is quite interested in Do Hyun indeed, and just reluctant to confirm it. Because of this quality about her, I’d assumed that she wasn’t seeing anyone else, and was just waiting for Do Hyun to make his move – if he ever made his move.

I’m quite put off, to be honest, by the way Chae Yeon carries herself in response to seeing Ri Jin exit Do Hyun’s house. Not only does she seem to go almost blind with jealousy, she even confronts Do Hyun about his feelings for her, at that cafe.

The gall that she has, to look so devastated that Do Hyun might not like her anymore, when she’s actively seeing Ki Joon, and about to be engaged to him, by her own admission.

It feels like she’d always assumed Do Hyun would remain devoted to her, even if she married someone else, and that’s just all kinds of selfish and wrong. UGH. This incident has made me develop a distinct aversion to Chae Yeon.

I get that Do Hyun’s reaction in this scene is actually his way of being cold and detached, but honestly, I really like what he says. When Chae Yeon goes on about how he’s always liked her, I like the way he challenges her to leave Ki Joon for him, essentially calling her out on her rubbishy double standards. He is spot on, when he says, “You don’t want to have me, but you don’t want others to have me, either.”

I think Do Hyun does feel bad for being this “cruel” to his first love, but I’m here in my corner, cheering him on, and hoping that he learns that what he said wasn’t cruel at all. He was being firm and honest, and looking out for his own wellbeing in a manner that was fair.

As for Do Hyun’s offer to Ri Jin, where he asks her to be his secret private doctor, and goes so far as to process a leave of absence for her at work, without her consent, I can understand why Ri Jin is this mad.

I mean, I can also understand Do Hyun feeling that he has to play hardball, if he is to have a chance at beating Shin Se Gi, who seems particularly aggravated and therefore dangerous right now, but this last bit really is crossing the line.

I do feel mollified, though, when we hear Do Hyun tell Secretary Ahn that this is all his plan to protect Ri Jin, because he feels that with Shin Se Gi out to have his own way, the safest option is to keep Ri Jin close by. Also, it helps to know that Do Hyun crossing that boundary was his way of “acting evil” so that Ri Jin won’t get too close to him. Pfft.

When he puts it that way, his attempt at acting evil doesn’t come off as evil, really; he just comes off as rather high-handed and rude, which feels tame in comparison. Do Hyun really is such a decent guy, that his efforts to be cold (with Chae Yeon) and evil (with Ri Jin) end up landing in a super mild sort of way. I’m slightly amused by this.

I am chalking up the fact that the story Ri On’s writing is eerily similar to what Ri Jin is going through with Do Hyun, as mere plot coincidence, angled that way for dramatic effect, rather than, say, the idea that Ri On is stalking Ri Jin and knows exactly what’s happening to her, and thus writes her experiences into his novel.

I hope that I’m right, and Ri On isn’t actually stalking Ri Jin, because as much as it’s not great that he’s snooping around to find out stuff about Do Hyun, it somehow becomes so much worse when I imagine him stalking his own sister, to make her life creative fodder.

On the upside, I do rather like Ri On’s point about Ri Jin’s dilemma, that the rich chaebol who’s asking her to be his secret doctor, is probably more in need of a friend than a doctor. Actually, that’s helpful to us as an audience too, because it helps take the emphasis off the fact that Ri Jin’s not a good doctor at all.

With the pressure mounting on Do Hyun – Ki Joon’s out to make life difficult for him, and Chairman Gran is pushing him towards marriage – it’s understandable that Do Hyun’s condition becomes even less stable than before. It feels particularly fitting, that it’s suicidal Yo Seob, who comes to the fore.

I think that if not for Yo Seob, Do Hyun might never have been able to articulate this part of how he feels. “There’s no point in living anymore. Being treated like a monster… Being the oddball left out… I’m sick of everything. It’d be better to bring everyone along with me, and just die.” Oof. It’s hard to hear that said out loud, even though we know how much Do Hyun has suffered all these years.

I’m actually glad that Ri Jin hears this from Yo Seob, because I have a feeling that these are the words that will unlock the compassion that Ri Jin needs, in order to agree to stay by Do Hyun’s side.

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beez
1 month ago

@Trent – I feel ya cause while I did like the latter half of this show – a lot – I didn’t vote for this one.

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[…] | E3&4 | E5&6 | E7&8 | E9&10 | E11&12 | E13&14 | E15&16 | E17&18 | […]

jaco_4950
jaco_4950
1 month ago

I am really enjoying this show. The screechiness is still annoying, but the way Ji Sung is depicting DID is a way I have not seen it done before and is really interesting. I am well ahead now of the blog, up to Ep 11 as want to keep going with it. The OST and main song is in my head all the time right now which rarely happens.

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 month ago

Great review of these two episodes Fangurl!

For me the scene with the toys made Shin Se Gi less scary. It might seem a little nutty to first time viewers because they have yet to see the tie in which comes later.

Chae Yeon is really something else. She has a dirty nerve. Whew! Ri On/Omega is still my favorite.

I am having trouble holding back a binge watch of this.

beez
1 month ago

Perry Park with his coordinating clothes makes me think of this character from Boomerang https://youtu.be/4Zrgc2aocnM 😆

phl1rxd
phl1rxd
1 month ago
Reply to  beez

@Beez – I could not concentrate on Pop’s polyester suit because David Alan Grier just stole the show. That man is insanely funny.

Trent
1 month ago

Okay, so there is one kinda substantive observation that I remembered I had while watching these episodes.

Show seems to want to have this whole big subplot of all these corporate politics, secret chaebol history and skulduggery and so forth, but the overriding tone is so farcical that it’s hard to take at all seriously.

Especially since we (some of us, at least) just came off the Money Flower group watch, which was secret chaebol history and skulduggery done in dead earnest and a high degree of dramatic skill. There’s just no comparison, and so this subplot inserted into this show suffers even more…

Trent
1 month ago
Reply to  Trent

Like, I keep comparing scheming evil uncle in this show, who’s like a cartoon villain (granted, he doesn’t get much air time), with President uncle in Money Flower, who, while admittedly no Kang Pil-joo, was smart and ruthless, and it’s like tiger and kitten (the same comparison we were drawing between Pil-joo and his rivals, actually…)

BE
BE
1 month ago
Reply to  Trent

One of the most cogent takes I have seen on the cheobol theme occurs in Secret Love Affair, wherein we see the machinations of much more humanly portrayed but equally horrible people through the eyes of Yoo Ah In’s character as a lower class, self taught, unworldly, naive, passionate nineteen year old piano genius, ass over teakettle in love with an older woman whose whole life is in their thrall.

Ele Nash
1 month ago

Oh, kfangurl, I completely get what drew you to Kill Me, Heal Me – I agree that Ji Sung makes a masterful job of a complex act and manages to look (not just clothes but his whole carriage and speech) entirely different in each persona. It’s fascinating in that sense to watch, and I’m kind of intrigued by my own swooning (or, as you might say, flail 😄) whenever Shin Se Gi is on screen, and then my – how should I say – more platonic feelings toward all the other personas. It’s weird! Is it just the guy-lined smoulder? Jeesh. I am so shallow! But, gah, I keep watching because I am that shallow!

I have to say, I really don’t mind the female lead as much as everyone else seems to. She’s OK, and Do Hyun is bringing out the best in her character at least.

Otherwise, it is very a difficult show to watch for all the reasons you and others commenting say, most especially for me the cavalier disregard for any sense of real MH discussion / reality. I don’t like that they keep referring to Do Hyun having DID and that, and other medical terminology, is then flashed on screen as though providing a serious backdrop for the show’s “serious” representation of those conditions. It makes me want to weep 😭 I wish they said: “It’s not like any DID I’ve ever come across before” or something, so we as an audience know this is entirely fantasy.

But, hey, I feel like this is both a cultural difference as well as time – progression in our understanding of MH is (I’m very thankful to say) improving, and so much in recent years that even something only six, seven years old is dated / heavy-handed.

So, I shall keep biting my tongue and enjoy the parts I like.

Natalia
Natalia
1 month ago

I’m afraid that the weird monkey business staff was the last straw for me! I’ll stick to NIF and Bossam for now and, who knows, maybe I’ll find the courage to watch that last episode of Youth of May.

GuruGulabKhatri
GuruGulabKhatri
1 month ago

The only reason i am watching the show anymore is for Ji Sung. He is such a stellar actor!
Besides this, my heart has practically died due to second- hand embarrassment.
So now I spend my watching time analyzing what I am really seeing.
Where did this style or school of acting come from? What are the origins of OTT comedy in Korea? By addressing mental health in a relatively lighter context, are they making it easier to talk about your issues, or trivializing it? Since I watch this on Viki, I see the comments of a lot of the other viewers, many of whom find the FL annoying. But shouldn’t the ire be directed towards the creative team, whose instructions she is following?
All of this till Ji sung appears and then my attention snaps back at him!

BE
BE
1 month ago

I am going to be honest here and say after this post I will be hanging back a while. I am having a very hard time caring about the characters in this, especially male and female leads, the latter of which despite a lot of promises from folks who have seen this show before still seems overly prone to screetchy hyperbole. I have no idea except for their physical attractiveness why anyone would find either of them intriguing insofar as love might be concerned. I know folks say that MGIAG was dated, but except for the production values, I did not have a problem with it at all on that account, but this show really feels dated to me, and cringey in places. So because I do not want to bring the party down, other than the following wrap up, my druthers is to watch another couple of eps to see if my attitude adjusts, and if not, have fun everyone, especially you K.

The heart of the matter Eps 5 & 6, shoulda been part of the OST imo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYUdldNzLNA

Trent
1 month ago
Reply to  BE

Not gonna lie, we’re kinda sympatico here… I hate raining on people’s parades, though, so I think I will follow the eternal wisdom of Thumper’s mother at this point.

(what, no Bambi fans here? I’m dating myself, aren’t I?)

BE
BE
1 month ago
Reply to  Trent

Booking yourself.

BYW shows how old I must be because other than the spots on the fawn, realizing I musta been about 6 when I saw it, thinking it was a bit downbeat for me, Bambi barely registers in my memories. Sounds like a punchline to a joke…what did Bambi’s mother say to Thumper vis a vis “Kill me, Heal Me”?

Oh ho, lie on your back and flop around like a toy monkey banging away on the cymbals. Thump, thump, thump.

Trent
1 month ago
Reply to  BE

Hahaha, yes that would be a good joke…

Honestly, I don’t remember a lot about the actual movie myself. The two things I do remember are 1) Bambi’s father’s cameo at the end, as the noble stag appears (in glorious classical animation style to

spoiler for 79 year old movie…
essentially tell the grieving young Bambi, whose mother has just been shot by a hunter, that he must keep his chin up and learn to be a man (well, adult male, you know what I mean). Such wonderful moral precepts to teach the young!,
and 2) when Thumper (young rabbit) observes that new-born Bambi is kinda wobbly, can’t walk real well, his mother tells him “remember what we learned? If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” (which, honestly, is kind of suspect advice in a number of contexts, too).

beez
1 month ago
Reply to  BE

@BE – Yeah, as that toy monkey scene was playing, I was thinking “this might be kind of funny if the FL had been a bit more staid and serious and then was doing this bit of ridiculousness for fear of, and trying to appease, the Segi personality. But as it is, it reeks of bad direction.”

beez
1 month ago
Reply to  Trent

@BE @Trent – I did say that the first half of show was neck and neck with the other multiple personality show that aired at the same time but the second half of KMHM became something so much more. The combination of hilarity but then deep and meaningful pathos… I can only sigh and marvel at where this show goes after it’s weak start. (I can only hope it holds up to my memory of it.)

BE
BE
1 month ago
Reply to  beez

I will keep watching but if my opinion does not change, I do not want to comment on future posts. Having made my case above, I have no desire to say more. I know there have been shows I have seen in which I was patient for no real reason and then my patience was more than justified. But my take on show so far is such that I feel like I would only make jaded, snarky comments. What I would like to see is more of those many, many who wanted this to be on group watch to chime in here. KFG is working with verve on this.