Open Thread: Healer Episodes 5 & 6

Welcome to the Open Thread, everyone! I decided to have this shot of Jung Hoo headline our post today, because I just can’t resist Healer in badass mode, y’know? 🤩

SOME IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS, before we begin:

1. We will be adopting a ZERO SPOILER POLICY for this Open Thread, except for events that have happened in the show, up to this point.

We don’t want to spoil anyone’s watch experience with spoilers. The spoiler tags don’t work in email notifications, therefore, please take note that WE WILL NOT BE USING SPOILER TAGS FOR THIS OPEN THREAD. ANY AND ALL SPOILERS WILL BE REDACTED to protect first-time viewers in our midst (although, I’d appreciate it if you would save me the trouble of having to redact spoilers, heh 😅).

This includes, but is not limited to, how characters &/or relationships develop, later in the show.

We need to protect the innocent! 😉

2. HOWEVER!! If you’d like to discuss spoilers from a rewatcher’s point of view, I’ve created a SPOILER ZONE for you, where you can discuss all the spoilers you’d like, without the need for spoiler warnings. You can find it here!

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

My thoughts

Episode 5

This episode is ALLL about the stealth badassery, and I am so here for it!! 🤩🤩

I feel it’s quite necessary for me to mention upfront, that I do think a comic book lens is necessary, in order to really enjoy this show. Otherwise, there are just too many details that you’d be able to pick apart, in our story.

For example, where does Jung Hoo keep his spare Healer outfit, so that he’s able to switch from Bong Soo mode to Healer mode so quickly, like he does here?

With an analytical lens on, it’s too easy to pick apart little details like this one. However, with a comic book lens on, it all comes with the territory, and then it becomes fun to just roll with it. Kinda like how we roll with how Clark Kent and Superman are so quickly interchangeable.

On that note, how fun, that Ahjumma herself makes reference to Superman this episode, AND draws a parallel with Jung Hoo going undercover as a reporter. 😁

Back to our opening scene, I giggled a bit at the level of campy-flair that has Healer practically doing a gymnastics routine on the scaffolding, in between dealing with all the Double S dudes, but like I said, this is the sort of thing you shouldn’t question, if you want to have a good time.

Also, I can’t help but spazz a little, at how protective Healer appears to be with Young Shin, even though I know it’s early days yet. I dig the fact that he knows that he shouldn’t get involved, but throws himself in there to protect Young Shin anyway.

I dig how he goes to Young Shin’s assistance, and helps her with her pills. And I dig how he instinctively pulls Young Shin to himself, when she turns around to face him.

I know it’s technically to prevent her from seeing his face, but at the same time, my brain’s squeeing at how the posture, with his hand cupping the back of her head, vibes very much in the vein of a romantic embrace. 🤩

With Healer swooping in to save Young Shin like this, and with these protective details thrown into the mix, I can’t blame Young Shin at all, for becoming more and more intrigued by him.

Also, how absolutely endearing is it, that the moment Young Shin comes to herself – even at 50% or thereabouts – her first instinct is to search for Bong Soo, because she’s worried about him, and feels responsible for his wellbeing. Gosh. I love her. 😍

How perfect, that Healer watches Young Shin search for Bong Soo in such an earnest manner, from a distance. I’d be intrigued by this caring, brave girl, too, in his shoes.

I have to say, I’m having to work a little extra, to rationalize why Moon Ho can’t just come out and tell Myung Hee that he’s found her daughter.

I mean, yes, it’s true that Myung Hee tends to experience seizures when talking about her daughter, and she does say, in response to Moon Ho’s hypothetical question, that it would be too much to bear, to know that she had lived comfortably, while her daughter had grown up all alone, but.. isn’t it more important that Myung Hee knows the truth?

I also rationalize that Moon Ho’s probably also calculating how complicated the whole thing becomes, once Moon Sik’s factored into the equation. Honestly, though, I’m not sure I buy my own rationalizations. I think, at the heart of it, Show just needs this reveal to happen later in our story, and that’s why we have Moon Ho hedging so much, about telling Myung Hee the truth.

Great performance by Do Ji Won, around Myung Hee’s seizure, I must say, even though I did roll my eyes a bit, at how Moon Sik has the time to grab Moon Ho by the collar, when Myung Hee’s in the middle of a seizure and needs immediate intervention, to protect her from herself.

Show gives us an interesting tidbit of information, that Moon Ho had received a call about moving Ji An’s grave, and that the coffin had been found to be empty. I suppose this must have been the thing to have first triggered Moon Ho’s quest to find Ji An, then.

Originally, I’d assumed that Moon Ho had known for years, that Ji An hadn’t died, but it looks like he’s only known for a couple of months. That’s rather interesting – albeit not super critical – context.

Also, it’s starting to sound like Moon Sik had very possibly had a hand in Gil Han’s death as well. I.. wouldn’t put it past him, considering how dark and oily he is, and how desperately he’d loved Myung Hee from afar, for so long.

That’s a pretty provocative statement by Moon Sik, that Moon Ho’s essentially on his side, if he’s known all about Moon Sik’s dark deeds, and yet, hasn’t ever done anything about it, like report him to the police. It definitely makes me think of that bit of wisdom, that if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

And yet, Moon Ho does have that fiery quality about him, where he seems to reallyreally want to set things right. He’s such a conflicted, interesting, roguish character, and Yoo Ji Tae manages to bring out all of Moon Ho’s various opposing facets really well.

On another note, I have to love the fact that it doesn’t take Jung Hoo very long to realize that he can’t stay away from Young Shin, even though Ahjumma makes a lot of sense, when she tells him that he needs to stay out of Young Shin’s life, in order to protect himself.

His concern for her wellbeing – will the Double S dudes kidnap or torture her, he asks 😁 – is so out of character for him, that it gives Ahjumma pause, even as it makes me squee, a little bit.

And I love-love-LOVE his analogy, of Young Shin being like that wounded leopard that he’d seen in that documentary.

She really is the kind of person who won’t allow herself to back down, even when she’s afraid, and even when she knows that her chances of victory are actually really slim. I love that that’s the thing that draws Jung Hoo to her.

With the way that Jung Hoo lives in a cave by himself and subsists on nature documentaries, I kinda have it in my head that Jung Hoo himself is a bit animalistic in his nature and in the way he understands the world. It makes perfect sense, that this is the thing that would Jung Hoo draw him to Young Shin.

How cute, that Healer then becomes Bong Soo, so that he can be found outside Dad’s cafe, all disheveled and anxious about having left Young Shin on her own. Ahhh! The irony. He’s the one who’d saved her, and now he’s apologizing for having left her? I kinda love it.

I also notice for the first time, in this is the scene, Young Shin actually addresses him as “Bong Sook.” My subs don’t reflect that, but it’s there in the original dialogue, and that’s so cute, because she’s just changed his name to a female version (“Sook” is used for female names, not male names), and she blithely ignores his protest, that that’s not his name. Tee hee. So cute!

Also so cute, is how proud Young Shin is, of Bong Soo, for having called the police, even though he was so scared and getting beaten up. I love how she hugs him like a proud mother hen, then fusses so carefully, over the wound on the back of his hand. Ahaha. I love how she’s literally treating him like he’s her child. 😁

Guh. It’s a small beat, but I find it so poignant, that Jung Hoo is so taken aback at sitting down to the breakfast that Dad puts out. It’s so clear, that Jung Hoo hasn’t had a home-cooked meal in forever, and neither has he actually sat down to eat in a family setting, in forever.

And how extra poignant, that the dish that Young Shin’s contributed to the meal, is the same potato dish that Mom had used to make for Jung Hoo, when he was little. It’s heartachey, but in the best way.

On another note, how intriguing, that when Jung Hoo asks Ahjumma to find out about the people in the group photo, she calls the person whom Jung Hoo refers to as master (“Sabu” in the Korean dialogue), and asks him what to do, now that Jung Hoo’s showing an interest in Sabu’s friends. And, she also asks if Sabu has any other successors, in case she needs to replace Healer.

So.. basically, Sabu had been succeeded by Jung Hoo? And so Jung Hoo is possibly a second-generation Healer..? How very intriguing!

Last but not least, I love our final scene, where Young Shin and Bong Soo go to seek out President Hwang, in a bid to add legitimacy to her story – and we get more stealth badassery from Healer. 🤩

I love that Young Shin refuses to be cowed, even when Hwang turns violent in front of her, and basically threatens her, and she’s in a sweaty, stuttering, barely-in-control-of-herself state.

And I love that Jung Hoo uses his amazing Healer abilities, to calculate the most efficient way of creating a big distraction, so that he and Young Shin can get away. (Also, shout-out to the whole runaway haunted car stunt that Hoobae pulls, with Ahjumma’s help; these ladies have Jung Hoo’s back, that’s for sure!)

I love even more, that Jung Hoo then turns the whole thing around, and asks Young Shin to save him, because he’s so scared. And, how fun, that in the midst of all the coughing and disorientation, Young Shin addresses him as Bong Soo – then follows it up by addressing him as Bong Sook. Tee hee hee!

The way Young Shin bravely takes his hand and guides him outta there, all while Jung Hoo lets slip that sly, gratified little grin, is so, SO great. 🤩🤩

Honestly, if I weren’t already sucked in to Show earlier, THIS would be THE moment that Show can be sure that it’s got my heart, hook, line and sinker. Oh my love.. I’m all yours.. 😁

Episode 6

Tee hee. I can’t help myself; I just love when we get the duality of Bong Soo’s awkward nervousness, juxtaposed with Healer’s effortless badassery.

I was so used to Jung Hoo in Bong Soo mode, that when Young Shin runs ahead to the car, and Jung Hoo straightens up from Bong Soo’s scaredy cat posture, to take on Healer’s casual swag for a bit, I was legit startled – and then duly had stars in my eyes, heh. 🤩

Also, it occurs to me, that the way Jung Hoo stops the car right in front of Detective Yoon, and then begs him to take them to the police because they’re being chased by thugs, means that he’d noticed them on the way in, and already placed them.

I like this detail, that Healer’s so observant and quick-witted.

Of course, the whole sequence, of Healer racing on foot – and leaping off buildings! 🤩 – to meet with Hoobae and confront Bae Sang Soo, is completely campy and comic-booky, but I am duly tickled by the lashings of comedy, of Jung Hoo handcuffing Sang Soo to the car, and basically getting all the information he needs, by threatening to upload embarrassing photos of Sang Soo being “arrested” by Healer. Hur.

The whole thing, where Yun Hee’s story gets twisted, and the entire narrative gets turned around against her, sucks, but that’s just how Moon Sik operates. Also, this is the thing that forces Young Shin to turn to Moon Ho for help, so I’m willing to look at it as a necessary catalyst, in our story.

I get the idea that Moon Ho wishes to train Young Shin to become the great reporter that she wants to be, but I have to say, I don’t instinctively “get” the way he goes about it.

Like, when she calls him and asks for help – which is something that he’d specifically invited her to do – he uses that sardonic tone on her, and condescendingly teaches her about how people are more interested in trash stories than the truth. That’s.. bemusing, to me. As in, I don’t even really get what his purpose is, in talking to Young Shin that way.

Maybe it’s meant to be a test, but.. it seems like a cruel choice, to test her when she’s in such an urgent sort of situation? Particularly since he knows that she’s in danger, thanks to his brother?

Still on the topic of Moon Ho, we finally get some backstory on his history with Min Jae, and man, I feel sorry for Min Jae, that she got herself emotionally entangled with Moon Ho. I mean, she liked him enough to propose when he didn’t, and his answer is that the first woman he’s ever loved is in still in his heart?

And after all that, he still continues to have this emotional connection with Min Jae, where they’re in each other’s lives, but not really? It sucks for Min Jae, and I honestly think she should cut him off, if only for her own sanity.

This does hint to us very heavily, though, that Moon Ho’s first love is Myung Hee, which definitely adds to the complicated feelings he has towards Moon Sik.

We finally meet Sabu properly (sort of), and the plot definitely thickens, around Jung Hoo’s father’s death. “Murders his own friend for money and commits suicide from guilt while being investigated by the police”? That definitely smells like some sort of set-up to me.

Also, what an interesting tidbit, that Ahjumma had been a detective, before she’d started this whole Healer hacker business. Innnteresting. Makes me wonder if she’d had a connection with Detective Yoon. Show has hinted in that direction a little bit, when Ahjumma had mentioned a detective that she knows.

On a different note, I love that Young Shin’s gotten a hold of Bong Soo’s phone number, and starts texting him. I can’t help but notice how Jung Hoo looks a little irked at first, at having his alone time be interrupted, but is soon looking at Young Shin’s messages with what I’d call an involuntary smile on his face.

Ahhh. I lap up any and all the signs of Jung Hoo being drawn to Young Shin, in spite of himself. 😍

Plus, he actually leaves his man-cave, specifically because he’s concerned about Young Shin saying that she wishes she could die. I love that.

I also love – so much! – the idea of Jung Hoo talking to Young Shin, while casually leaping off buildings, without even so much as changing his breathing pattern, from the effort.

I know, I know. This whole sequence requires suspension of disbelief; like, is it even humanly possible, not to exhale hard, when leaping off a building, and is it plausible, that Young Shin wouldn’t pick up that Bong Soo’s surroundings have the same sounds as hers. BUT. I dig the idea of this conversation so much, that I’m happy to just roll with it.

It gives me the warm fuzzies, to hear Young Shin tell Jung Hoo so many of her thoughts, not only about Moon Ho and the crush she’s had on him since forever, but also, about her new crush – Healer himself. Muahaha. I love it.

I love Jung Hoo’s ever-changing expressions during this scene. From a mix of surprise and wonder, at the idea that Young Shin’s got a crush on him, to distinct chagrin, when she tells him that she feels like they’re sisters.

On this point, I just wanted to say that my subs say brother and sister, but the original dialogue uses the phrase 자매 (jamae) which translates as sisters. Which means that Young Shin isn’t just saying that she feels like she is Bong Soo’s sister; she’s saying that Bong Soo himself, feels like a sister to her.

Pwahaha! No wonder Jung Hoo’s expression is so full of chagrin – and just when he’d been on a high from learning that she’s got a crush on Healer too! 😂😂 Talk about a big and sudden letdown! I love it.

We get an interesting nugget of information, that Moon Sik isn’t actually at the top of his food chain; there’s someone else whom he reports to.

All we know is that he’s referred to as Elder, and he likes to cosplay as a bartender, but he does appear to be very powerful and influential, if Kim Eui Chan falls to his knees so readily, in front of Bartender Elder.

I’m.. intrigued by Moon Sik’s words to Myung Hee, where he says that he’s simply trying to stand against what he knows to be wrong. Um. Really..? All his actions seem to indicate otherwise..? My guess is he’s lying to her, but what a mindbender it would be, if Moon Sik turns out to be telling the truth, eh?

The whole thing about Moon Ho buying over Some Day is played a little campy, but I’ll roll with it, for the promise of hijinks, now that Moon Ho, Jung Hoo and Young Shin are in the same orbit. Plus, now he’s their boss, too.

I’m admittedly a little ambivalent about Moon Ho’s plans to train Young Shin (mostly because I think he’s being a little too smug about that), but my instincts are tingling at the thought of Jung Hoo being protective of Young Shin, around Moon Ho. I’d definitely be down for some of that! 😁

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J3ffc
J3ffc
2 months ago

Still hanging in with the show, enjoying the performances. Along those lines, anyone else notice how often Young Shin expresses playfulness by acting by biting her tongue? I think I’ve got about half of the folks in the photo figured out at this point (matching present characters with their younger selves in not my K-drama superpower). The funniest comment so far from the Viki viewer comments: “I think everyone in Korea must have that photo.” The phone call at the end was great, and may be the moment that I fell full in on the show.

the_sweetroad
2 months ago
Reply to  J3ffc

I think I’ve got about half of the folks in the photo figured out at this point (matching present characters with their younger selves in not my K-drama superpower).

Good job! It took me forever to figure out who was who (and their relationships) the first time I watched the show. For that reason I had to go back and watch it again after I’d finished it.

The funniest comment so far from the Viki viewer comments: “I think everyone in Korea must have that photo.”

LOL. That’s really funny. It’s such a trope in kdramas to have childhood connections and childhood trauma, but in Healer it actually is a big part of the story and it helps make sense of why the characters are so isolated and messed up in the present day, adults and young people.

Are you enjoying the dual personas Ji Chang Wook gets to play?

j3ffc
j3ffc
2 months ago
Reply to  the_sweetroad

@the_sweetroad! Yes, I am enjoying the roleplaying of Healer and his various personas! I choose to interpret it as purposefully ambiguous between him role-playing as part of his mission vs. parts of his inner personality coming out. Fun and delicious either way.

I feel a little better if you had to work to suss out all of the relationships; I figured it was just me….

the_sweetroad
2 months ago
Reply to  j3ffc

That’s a good point, to think about how much of his real personality is coming through when he’s role-playing. I hadn’t thought about it that much previously…but he is kind of an enigma since he holds things so close to his chest and doesn’t really want to be with people.

beez
2 months ago

This was in my feed today. For anyone interested.

Screenshots_2022-03-03-09-36-31.png
beez
2 months ago

– It’s Yo-Yo! In keeping with the Superman theme – what would a super hero be without a super villain?

I love the comic-bookness (word allowed 😉) of Healer having a villain that’s not so outlandish he couldn’t be walking the streets of Seoul but Yo-Yo’s yo-yo puts me in mind of 007’s enemies, the villain’s henchman whom 007 had to defeat to get to the head villain; like Jaws with his shark-like teeth; OddJob (who is Korean, btw) with his metal bolero, Pussy Galore with her… *ahem* You get the idea. Well, Yo-Yo is that comic book henchman for me. 😁

the_sweetroad
2 months ago

These two episodes are so great as they develop more of Bong Soo, Healer, Young Shin, and Moon Ho’s characters and stories. And I love the scenes with Moon Ho, Bong Soo, and Young Shin together at the office. Moon Ho is trying to be the boss, Young Shin is her (outwardly-) happy self, and Bong Soo is just….watchful. There’s a nicely-played tension there.

Anyone else crack up at how messy Healer’s cave is? He’s a slob.

j3ffc
j3ffc
2 months ago

I have to admit that it made me very happy when the Distraction Squad attacked Doube S’s men with colorful squirt guns.