The picture above isn’t really a spoiler right? I mean, come on – they already kissed. I think it’s safe to say that I’m going to be sad about this drama ending. I truly enjoyed recapping this drama; I think “underdog” dramas are my thing…
Once again, thanks very much to javabeans and girlfriday for letting me recap on this site. And a HUGE thanks to my writing chingu aberdeen_angus. We march on!
SONG OF THE DAY
Dr. Champ OST – “La Ya Huts Hey” by Janinto [download]
Yeon Woo calls out Ji Heon’s name for the third time, and he freezes. His eyes say it all: “OH MY GAWD SHE DOESN’T WANT TO BE MY FRIEND! She wants to be MORE!” She can’t explain why she thought of him when she was going through this tough time. I can – you luuuurve him.
He extends a hand and helps her get up – only to bring her into a tight hug. She breaks down in tears, and he comforts her, saying that he’ll punish whoever did this to her.
Cut to Do Wook – Yeah! It’s his fault! – who’s drinking as he remembers Yeon Woo telling him he made the wrong decision about Yoo Ri. A bit too late to be thinking about how Yeon Woo’s words are affecting you, because it seems like you’re holding her in a higher regard than you should or did.
Ji Heon walks her home, and thanks her for calling him. It’s cute that he walks away backwards, keeping her in sight for just a little longer.
The next day Bom-Jang holds a meeting in regards to Yoo Ri’s case. If Yeon Woo can’t give a clean bill of health to Yoo Ri, she will be expelled and Hee Young fired. Do Wook isn’t too pleased with this “solution” and “compliments” Yeon Woo for using such an extreme action to get what she wants. However, she replies that Do Wook had taught her to act according to her conscience. Hee Young interrupts their spat; they need to get Yoo Ri to a hospital now.
Yoo Ri is really hating Yeon Woo for making her go through the tests. But Yeon Woo takes it all in stride; it’s better if Yoo Ri knows that it’s a benign tumor now than later. Of course, the possibility of it being cancer is there, but that would just cause further chaos for this drama as it reaches its eleventh hour.
It takes a couple of days to get the results, so Yeon Woo goes home unable to sleep that night. She’s not the only one, as Ji Heon is tossing and turning as well because he can’t stop thinking about his kiss with Yeon Woo.
He calls her, and when he hears she couldn’t sleep, he says, “Did you think about me a lot?” His hope is deflated when she replies that she was thinking about Yoo Ri…without saying Yoo Ri’s name of course. They hang up, but Ji Heon sends her a text message; instead of counting sheep, he sent her rows of hearts for her to count and fall asleep to.
At first, Yeon Woo is all “whatever,” but then she smiles broadly. Thank goodness, or else I was going to smack her.
She texts back, “Goodnight!” and that is enough for Ji Heon to know that she’s accepted his heart(s).
The results come back, and the doctors can’t tell if the tumor is malignant or benign. They will have to undergo surgery and find out. If it is malignant, they will have to remove the entire area, which is dangerous since the tumor is so deep and close to a blood vessel. If malignant, she may still be able to swim, but not compete.
They get chewed out by Yoo Ri’s mother for having Yoo Ri undergo the testing, but Do Wook now knows that Yeon Woo is ready to be left alone at the medical center. She was right about making Yoo Ri undergo the testing, thus indicating that she is starting to know what it means to be an athletic doctor.
However, Yeon Woo isn’t too happy and she meets Ji Heon outside the village. He holds out his finger and tells her to meet it with hers. Yes – it’s the hoi-hoi thing. But Ji Heon says that since he’s overflowing with happiness, he’ll share it with her through this miniscule form of skinship.
Unfortunately, their bond is broken when Ji Heon’s phone rings. It’s Yoo Ri, but he quickly hangs up on her, saying he’s busy. Yeon Woo knows exactly why she called though, and encourages him to call her back; she won’t misunderstand their relationship.
He calls back, and Yoo Ri sniffles as she wishes him luck. She starts out wanting to tell him, but thinks better of it and doesn’t say anything. Then, it’s time for her surgery.
The biopsy results come back: it’s benign. (Duh.) She’ll be ready to go back to training in two weeks. Hee Young is so relieved she sits down at the waiting area, exhausted from worry. Yeon Woo sits by her, comforting her. Do Wook comes upon this bonding scene and smiles just a tiny bit. Yep – your two ladies are getting along just fine.
Coach Oh informs Go Bum and Ji Heon that the third qualifying round will take place in two weeks. Taek Woo, Dong Ho, and Dae Sub are all shoo-ins for the Asia Games since they’ve already won for their weight classes. As for the two of them, if Ji Heon wins their match, he’ll automatically get in. If Go Bum wins, they’ll be tied. Therefore, the league decided that they’ll take the overall winner and send him to Asia Games.
Do Wook is pleased with Yeon Woo as they take their walk around the village, noting how she has started to think of the athletes’ and coaches’ perspectives, albeit in a different way from him. But he spots Ji Heon in the distance (trying to hide behind some shrubs as he eyes them) and makes up the excuse that he has to go see Bom-Jang. “I feel like that little kid might try to punch me. I feel like it’s a waste to hand you over to that kid,” and with that he limps away.
Yeon Woo heads on over to where Ji Heon is, but can’t find him. He appears behind her, pushes her against the wall, and leans in. Mmm…wishing I were Yeon Woo right now… Ji Heon is not jealous at all! when he asks what she was doing laughing with Do Wook. Yeon Woo smiles at his pettiness, but he sternly says, “Don’t smile! You’re too pretty.”
Yeon Woo: *gasp* I just got goosebumps…because that was so corny.
Ji Heon: *sheepishly* I feel like that too…
Yeon Woo: What are you dong over the weekend?
Ji Heon: …Date!?
But first, Yeon Woo has lunch with her mother, who asks what happened to her “friend” who had two guys beside her. Yeon Woo says that “she’s” sorta dating the guy she kissed. Mother is all “I knew it!” and Yeon Woo starts rushing her out the door.
She gets ready for the date and is about to put her hair up when she thinks better of it. That’s right – she’s way prettier with her hair down.
Ji Heon is waiting outside her home because he figures that if he picks her up, he’ll have an extra half-hour to spend with her. He notices her hair, and she makes up the excuse that it’s cold. He offers his arm – if she’s cold she can hold on to him. Girl shyly rejects it, saying that she’s not cold anymore since her hair is down.
Date commences! First stop, a winter clothing store, where Yeon Woo asks Ji Heon to pick out a nice jacket. She then pays for it and gifts it to him; since she can’t pay back for the guitar, she’ll pay it back with the jacket instead.
Second stop, they climb up a large hill to go up to Namsan Seoul Tower. Of course, Ji Heon walks up effortlessly, but Yeon Woo is lagging behind, panting and tired. She would have preferred riding the cable car, but Ji Heon offers to carry her piggy back. Girl doesn’t seem to want any skinship whatsoever, and rejects him, walking ahead.
It’s evening, and the two of them look over the lights of Seoul amidst all the locks of looooove. Ji Heon notes that she’s calling out his name more often now, especially the night when she called out to him the third time.
Yeon Woo: Were you going to leave if I didn’t call your name?
Ji Heon: Yes. I was going to do everything you told me to do – except to stop liking you.
Yeon Woo: Why…do you like me?
Ji Heon: I don’t know. If I had to list all the reasons, there would probably be bout 3,500 of them. Should I tell you? One reason a day?
Yeon Woo: Ever since you met me, nothing good has happened to you. Because you went to retrieve my bag for me, your leg became like that. Because of that, you couldn’t even win the competitions. And because of me, you got kicked out of Taereung Village. Everything went wrong.
Ji Heon: That’s right. In every tough situation, you were there. But that’s why I was able to make it this far. Because you were with me during my troubled times.
To break the tension, Ji Heon asks if she’s cold. Why, yes she is! Ji Heon takes out his new jacket, and Yeon Woo turns around, fully expecting him to put it on her…when he dons it on himself! It’s his gift, and he likes it. Yeon Woo pretends she’s not angry, but suggests they go down now. Ji Heon takes it off and wraps it around Yeon Woo’s tiny body, and he hugs her warm.
He walks her back home, and tells her that from this moment on he won’t be thinking of her. He needs to focus on training for the next competition. Yeon Woo understands, knowing the drill now. He sends her off, but as she goes up the steps to her home, he stops her – does she happen to have his cellphone?
Yeon Woo checks her bag, and Ji Heon runs up the stairs and kisses her on the cheek (!!). That was a childishly sneaky move wasn’t it? Ok. Ji Heon goes in for the DEEP KISS.
AHHHH! I’m so sorry aberdeen, though we’re TOTALLY even now. I. Just died.
(Do Wook comes rushing in with good ole’ fashioned mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to bring me back to life. I wish.)
OK – moving on. Ji Heon spars with Go Bum during training, and when he doesn’t manage to get a good grip on Ji Heon, Go Bum punches him in the face. It was an accident! I swear! – so he claims.
Ha – both coaches notice Go Bum’s scrappy fighting style, and while Coach Oh acknowledges that Ji Heon’s style is better, Go Bum is tougher – and more likely to win.
Yeon Woo reports to Do Wook’s office and is told that she won’t be attending the judo competition. He’ll go instead, and let her attend the Asia Games. She’s a mite sad that she won’t get to see Ji Heon compete, but also disappointed at being reminded that Do Wook’s days are numbered.
In a cute interlude, Yoo Ri bumps into Go Bum leaving the judo center and tells him that she’s been praying every night for him to lose. “Oh – so does that mean you’ve been thinking about me every night?” That smart ass.
Sang Bong is working hard to build up his arm strength, wheeling himself around the hospital. Ji Heon visits him, and though Sang Bong wants him to leave, Ji Heon doesn’t. He tells him that he needs to win the third round of competition, but even if he wins, he won’t be happy knowing at what price it came. However, he won’t lose because he promised his older brother, so all he can hope for is that Sang Bong come and see his match. Sang Bong wheels himself away, but this entire encounter is witnessed by Do Wook.
The matchmaking doctor visits Sang Bong in his room to inform him that he recently went back to the ice rink. It’s a not too subtle way of saying, “You ought to go see the third round competitions and get near a judo mat.” He also mentions that he’ll be cheering for Ji Heon…unless Sang Bong doesn’t want him too.
Meanwhile, Ji Heon puts his bank account savings in his sister-in-law’s name. She doesn’t want it, saying he could buy a house with that money (and thus move out). Besides, she makes a lot of money too. Ji Heon wants her to keep it – for Yi Reum’s education – but it stings to know that she doesn’t want him around.
Sick of her cold attitude towards him, Ji Heon reminds her that his brother’s death doesn’t just affect her – he’s suffering too. In fact, he’s had to ask forgiveness from so many people, but no one would grant him any. It’s enough to move the sister-in-law, but she doesn’t respond.
Yeon Woo is wondering why Ji Heon won’t even call her, while Ji Heon is contemplating calling her. They so miss each other. Yeon Woo beats him to it though, and phones in despite it being against the rules. She won’t be at the match tomorrow, but she doesn’t want to say “Do well!” since Sang Bong’s accident happened. Ji Heon wants her to sing that song on the guitar – it will make him feel better.
He wakes up early and packs his things for the match. His sister-in-law waits for him in the kitchen – she packed him some tuna soup to eat after the match. She can’t attend, but this is the least she could do. Finally – it may be the end, but at least sis-in-law is coming around.
Sang Bong can’t help but wonder whether Ji Heon will do well in the match or not. Similarly, sister-in-law is wondering about the results of the game and looks it up online. Yeon Woo is having a nice chat with Hee Young and Yoo Ri (who is improving in swimming) when they realize it’s about time for Ji Heon’s final. And Ji Heon is doing just fine.
Taek Woo has his final to go through, and it’s supposed to be an easy one since he’s a shoo-in for the Asia Games. However, no one expected that his opponent would be so difficult to beat; Taek Woo gets slammed down on his arm. Immediately, Do Wook can tell something is wrong.
He tests Taek Woo’s arm, and it appears that he broke his humerus (the bone in the upper arm) and it’s pinning a nerve. He’s immediately sent to the hospital for surgery – but it also means he will not be able to compete in the Asia Games.
Ji Heon is worried about his teammate, but he has no reason to feel so horrible; this time, the injury isn’t his fault. Do Wook delivers a message, “He says he hates you to death. But he said that he’ll let it slide for today. He also said that though your girl isn’t here, don’t lose because it will be embarrassing.”
Right before the match, Ji Heon and Go Bum get dressed. As a gentle reminder to play fair, Ji Heon says, “You heard about Taek Woo’s condition? Let no one get injured today.”
They get on the mat and wait for the signal.
A small figure wheels into the arena, attracting Ji Heon’s attention. Do Wook and the coaches notice this figure’s presence as well.
Ji Heon stares. Sang Bong, wrapped in a big coat and a blanket across his legs, stares right back, a half-smile on his face.
The return of Sang Bong! Kinda miffed that I don’t even get to see the match happen, but it’s OK – Sang Bong’s here! Now that’s a true friendship, a true bromance, right there. It was more touching than the kiss, and I usually like it when my leads kiss. *Giggles* Thank goodness Yeon Woo knows just how much she is treasured by Ji Heon. That girl is SO. LUCKY.
This episode was fast and slow at the same time: fast because it had a lot of developments on the romantic front, but slow because it is still building up to the big events of these characters’ lives (the Asia Games, the third round competition, Do Wook’s impending departure). This episode certainly felt like it was laying the ground for the final episode, where I hope to see a lot of threads tied up. I’m afraid there will be a lot of time jumps, which I usually don’t like. I also don’t like that at the last five minutes of this episode, another character had to get an injury. I mean really – is it the goal of this drama to have one injury per episode? Because that’s not necessary. Really. I want my athletes to just be healthy for ONE HOUR!
I also have to say that Do Wook has gotten better and better with each episode after he announced his impending departure. Why? Because he’s like Santa Claus and Cupid in one. He’s bringing everyone together, be it Ji Heon and Yeon Woo, or Ji Heon and Sang Bong, and his matchmaking skills (and sarcasm) are like Christmas gifts for me.
And speaking of Christmas, has anyone else noticed that Ji Heon’s ears are kinda pointy? Like an elf!?
So here goes to the last episode! Cheers!
- Dr. Champ: Episode 14
- Dr. Champ: Episode 13
- Dr. Champ: Episode 12
- Dr. Champ: Episode 11
- Dr. Champ: Episode 10
- Dr. Champ: Episode 9
- Dr. Champ: Episode 8
- Dr. Champ: Episode 7
- Dr. Champ: Episode 6
- Dr. Champ: Episode 5
- Dr. Champ: Episode 4
- Dr. Champ: Episode 3
- Dr. Champ: Episode 2
- Dr. Champ: Episode 1