Drama Recaps
Dr. Jin: Episode 5
by | June 14, 2012 | 65 Comments

What happens when the only competent doctor in Joseon is down for the count, and the only other doctor is a psychopath? Epidemics, fires, victims and villains all come to the fore as Hyuk struggles to do right by his principles, even when fate seems to be working against him.

This episode showed some improvement, and I liked that it dreamed high, even if it couldn’t quite achieve everything it was going for. It’s honestly part of the draw this series has, and the reason I’m sticking with it – that underneath this clunky directing, a story waits. Then again, I might be the one dreaming high on that front.


Finger Smasher finally arrives with some IV prototypes, which include glass bottles for fluids and large (really, really large) needles. Hyuk demonstrates how to insert an IV to Young-rae as he performs the procedure on Myeong-bok, and after one go he’s all, You’ve got it now, right? Sure. How hard can it be?

Now we’re back to the end of the last episode, with Kyung-tak threatening Hyuk, “Did you bring her here?” Young-rae jumps in to defend him, claiming that it was her idea to come, but Hyuk one-ups her by saying he did bring her here. Hyuk: “The people who live here believe her and rely on her. That’s why I brought her here to help me.”

Kyung-tak: “Do you know who this woman is to me?” Hyuk: “I know. Your fiancée. This is not a job that anyone can do. You have an incredible person as your fiancée.”

Hyuk’s acknowledgment of their bond seems to calm Kyung-tak down, since he’s not willing to engage in a pissing match.

Okay, I officially love any exchange between Ha-eung and Kyung-tak, strictly because Ha-eung never wastes an opportunity to call Kyung-tak out for being a concubine’s son. He also firmly puts Kyung-tak in his place by saying that if he planned on killing Dr. Jin, he’d be killing all the patients inside the hospital too.

They’re interrupted by Heo Gwang, who’s taken up helping Hyuk now that he’s well. Myeong-bok’s health is declining, and Ha-eung is restrained outside while Hyuk tends to the boy who can barely breathe. The only (small) hope they have is to administer a shot in his thigh, where the artery is largest.

Myeong-bok is wise beyond his years, and asks without hesitation, “Am I dying?” Since Hyuk knows his history, he tells Myeong-bok, “You are not going to die. I know. Myeong-bok, later on, you will rise to the noblest position.” Hey Hyuk, how about not telling the future king he’s going to be king, just to be safe?

He eventually passes out, and Hyuk administers the emergency thigh-IV. Outside, Ha-eung earnestly pleads with the heavens to save his son.

The next morning, Young-rae finds Hyuk still glued to Myeong-bok’s bedside. She urges him to rest, though he’s insistent to stay, explaining: “Before, I’ve never… I’ve never been this desperate to save someone. Just because I was a doctor, I was saving people. That’s all I thought about. I… I really want to save this child.” She pats his shoulder for support, which is like third base in Joseon.

And just like that, Myeong-bok opens his eyes. Everyone crowds around him outside, cheering him on like they’re at a sports rally when really they just want him to urinate (a sign that he’s over the disease). The orchestra swells and everyone smiles when he does – he’s cured!

Ha-eung has only Hyuk to thank: “Ever since the first time I saw you, I knew you were someone special!” Hyuk quips back, “So is that why you tried to sell me to someone else?” HA. Please just keep these two together.

He gives Hyuk all the money he “borrowed” from Joo Pal for the hospital’s use, before they’re interrupted by an anonymous delivery of corn syrup and salt to make Joseon Gatorade.

Everyone is in high spirits, and Young-rae claims excitedly: “I guess there’s someone who understands what you’re trying to do, Doctor Jin.” Who could it be?

Ha! Anonymous gave an anonymous donation.

The day is brighter, and everyone’s feeling better. Even Finger Smasher’s wife is able to walk again. Heo Gwang comments that the number of patients is getting lower, which means the cholera epidemic will end soon… and as if on cue, Hyuk doubles over and vomits. Oh no! Someone call a doc-… oh wait.

We hear Hyuk ask himself disbelievingly in voiceover, even when he’s passed out, “I have… Cholera?” In case we weren’t sure. Young-rae gets him into the hospital where he continues to vomit, and doesn’t budge when he tries to shoo her away. Young-rae: “Now you aren’t a doctor, you’re a patient. Since you’ve saved everyone until now, it’s time for us to save you. Do you understand?”

Meanwhile, Minister Kim feasts with his son, Doctor Yoo, and Chun-hong. Under Kyung-tak’s orders an officer comes with news from Hwalinseo, and declares that Hyuk has come down with a severe case of cholera. This comes as a shock to everyone in the room, as they wonder if anyone is there to treat him.

The officer tells them that Heo Gwang is on the case, and hesitates before naming Young-rae as well. Now this doesn’t sit well with Minister Kim, and Kyung-tak covers for his fiancée by telling his father that he told her to help those in need.

“Do you have a big heart, or do you not have one at all?” Minister Kim demands to know. There aren’t enough excuses for Kyung-tak to come up with to appease his father, and Doctor Yoo shows his poor sense of comic timing as he teases Kyung tak: “It seems you do not know women very well yet.”

Back with Hyuk, Young-rae puts his teaching to good use by successfully inserting the IV needle into his arm. Only she can’t understand his instructions – she doesn’t know what a liter or ’30 minutes’ is – and even in his weakened state, he breaks it down for her. (Thirty minutes equals two gak, an archaic way of measuring fifteen-minute spans.)

Outside, Myeong-bok worries over Hyuk’s fate. Ha-eung: “He will definitely be alright. Do you know why? Your father won’t let him down like that. Like he saved you, Myeong-bok, I will definitely save Doctor Jin as well.” And so he shoulders a barrel of feces, presumably to dispose of it outside the village.

Lying on a hospital bed, Hyuk realizes just how terrible cholera is now that he has it. (Although it seemed like he was plenty sympathetic to the people’s plight without, but alright.) He watches Young-rae concocting gatorade nearby and thinks to himself: “I’m scared. I’m scared out of my mind. I don’t want to die like this.”

Chun-hong finds a frustrated Kyung-tak drinking his Young-rae related sorrows away. She mentions that Young-rae’s feelings for Hyuk must be sincere for her to have gone to Hwalinseo, which is about the last thing Kyung-tak needs to hear. But it seems she’s here to warn him of something she’s seen in his future: “Soon… you will be in danger.” Way to be vague.

“What a bewitching talent you have,” Kyung-tak quips back as he readies to leave. “Look for another patron if you want to tell fortunes.”

Ha-eung returns to the hospital to ask about Hyuk’s health, and Heo Gwang isn’t optimistic since they’ve got more patients than supplies. At least Ha-eung has his wits about him: “I don’t think this problem will be solved just by standing around.” He resolves to get support from the higher-ups, most notably Minister Kim, since he owes Hyuk his life.

Heo Gwang finds the idea that noblemen would care for the plight of the poor and cholera-stricken laughable. Ha-eung is much more optimistic that royal officials will be willing to lend a hand once they find out Hyuk’s methods are working and goes off to try, leaving Heo Gwang to laugh at the antics of a king’s relative, which has Myeong-bok fuming. Heo Gwang: “When you scold me like that, you look like a king.” If only you knew, buddy.

Later that night, a nervous Young-hwi bumps into Kyung-tak on a deserted road. Kyung-tak is oddly suspicious of his old friend, who’s suspicious right back, until he realizes something: “Are you drunk?” (Wait, is Kyung-tak drunk? That’s an impressive level of functionality.)

They end up sitting near a pond they used to play at while Kyung-tak takes a somber trip down memory lane. He remembers Young-hwi fondly because only he and his sister were willing to play with him as a child while everyone else treated him with disdain (because of his illegitimate birth). He even says that he was relieved that Young-hwi’s family lost their money, because otherwise he could have never dreamed of marrying Young-rae, the woman he’s loved ever since he was young.

Kyung-tak: “Because the woman I love is a nobleman’s daughter, my heart was torn just looking at her. How sad it is to call my father, ‘Your Excellency,’ who can cast me away at any time… Do you know what it feels like to dread such things? No, you can’t know.”

Young-hwi does sympathize, claiming that Kyung-tak isn’t the only one to suffer because of his class, and it’s clear that this is the idealistic, Anonymous leader talking. He’s a ‘fight the system’ sort of person, one who thinks that those in power are to blame for neglecting the people. But he quickly catches himself from such dangerous talk, and turns the subject back to Kyung-tak – everything’s gravy because he has his father’s acknowledgment and his fiancée, right?

Wrong. Kyung-tak reminds him that he hasn’t received his father’s acknowledgment, nor has he won Young-rae’s heart. On that note, Young-hwi claims that she went to the hospital because of her kind heart and nothing more. Kyung-tak isn’t so sure.

Hyuk isn’t faring well, and while I’m simultaneously happy(?) that the show is staying true to the effects of cholera by covering his bottom half with a sheet, it’s also an unpleasant reminder that Hyuk is probably having the runs through this entire scene. (I know, Everyone Poops.)

He’s delirious, and though it’s Young-rae wiping the sweat from his brow, all he sees is Mina. A romantic ballad plays as he grabs Young-rae’s hand while begging Mina not to leave, and she has to forcibly pull her hand away before getting some fresh air. She thinks to when he first asked her if she’d seen him before, and wonders, “Mina. Did he say ‘Mina’?”

There’s a big to-do when Chun-hong and her fellow gisaeng arrive at the hospital dressed in all their finery. There’s an immediate bit of animosity as she brings up Minister Kim’s party (and thus the CPR incident), with Young-rae claiming she doesn’t remember, which rings false. She’s quick to try and politely dismiss Chun-hong even when she’s brought rice as a gift.

Not to be deterred, Chun-hong comes right out with it: “Could I take Doctor Jin with me?” This takes Young-rae by surprise, and they very politely argue back and forth about who could take better care of him, with Chun-hong insistent because she owes him her life. Not to mention, the fact that he’s on the very brink of death is well-known, so she wants to be with him if he breathes his last.

Chun-hong seems to win the debate on the grounds that her place is heated and less bug-infested (a winning argument, in my book) and readies to go in and fetch Hyuk, but Young-rae stops her with the same “You shall not pass!” talk she gave Kyung-tak. I like that Chun-hong instantly calls her out on whether she speaks for Hyuk or herself, and adds, “If you truly care for him, figure out what is really the best for him. Also, you staying close to Doctor Jin is not medicine, but poison.”

Like most oracle talk it’s vague, and Young-rae doesn’t have time to catch its meaning when Heo Gwang comes rushing out to tell her that there’s trouble with Hyuk. She rushes inside while Finger Smasher keeps Chun-hong outside.

She finds Hyuk seizing/convulsing shortly before he just goes limp. Heo Gwang frets that he can’t find a pulse and that they need to administer more of the IV fluids, but there’s no way to do so. That’s when Young-rae remembers the femoral artery, though they’ve got a bit of a decency problem since Hyuk is naked under the sheet, and she needs to stick the needle in his upper thigh.

Heo Gwang can’t perform the procedure because he’s never seen it done, and after Young-rae gets an accidental glimpse under the sheet she steels herself and goes for it while Heo Gwang holds the sheet over Hyuk’s crotch for modesty’s sake. (He clucks in dismay the whole time though, since it’s unseemly for a noblewoman to be so touchy with an unrelated man’s thigh.)

Chun-hong can see Young-rae from outside, and turns to leave. When asked why, she admits that she underestimated Young-rae because of her noble birth. She leaves now knowing that Young-rae is capable of caring for Hyuk.

Meanwhile, Ha-eung has camped outside of Doctor Yoo’s home, and jumps at the chance to talk to him. He extols the virtues of Hyuk’s treatment and appeals to Yoo as a doctor to share Hyuk’s method with the people. Doctor Yoo seems to agree – he’s a doctor too, after all – and claims that he’ll take this issue to Minister Kim so that the royal court can be involved.

Young-rae keeps vigil at Hyuk’s bedside, urging him to come back.

Hyuk enters a delirious dream where he’s back on the hospital roof in the future, and wonders to himself whether this is a dream or reality as he steps onto the ledge. And somehow he thinks falling off the ledge will land him back in his own world, which would make some sense, only that the ledge he’s standing on is already back in his own world (even if it’s the dreamworld) so why wouldn’t he just, you know, stay put?

But it’s off the roof he goes, and only as he falls does he think that he shouldn’t leave Young-rae this way. And then her voice calls through the void: “Don’t go. Please come back, I beg you.”

And in the real world, Hyuk stirs back awake. Heo Gwang runs outside to tell the masses while Hyuk focuses on Mina. “You told me not to go. You asked me to come back.” Tears slip from his eyes, and hers. He continues, “Thank you, for calling me.”

The whole village cheers to hear Hyuk has regained consciousness, and so the whole village tramples into the hospital to see him (because an operating room is just a clown car that hasn’t happened yet).

Everyone’s happy, Ha-eung makes jokes, and even tells Hyuk that his treatment has been approved by the royal doctor and that the royal court will lend their support. Hip hip hooray!

So it’s (un)intentionally comical, then, that we immediately cut to Minister Kim repeating Doctor Yoo’s words all, What? Set the village on fire?

Yes, it’s just as the good Doctor Yoo has ordered – that the village of the sick and poor be burned, with all its occupants inside, to prevent cholera from spreading. So I guess he’s just a villain through and through because he wants to massacre an entire village for no reason other than that they’re poor, because he’s heard firsthand that the cholera outbreak is under control. Even then, what is wrong with you?

Kyung-tak has been the only voice of reason so far, though in the end he’s overruled by his father. He refuses a direct order, claiming, “I cannot commit such an evil act.” Which doesn’t matter to Daddy, since he orders the man outside to send word to the police bureau to burn the Sick Village.

So he gets sent outside so that Dae-gyun can talk about him inside, claiming that Kyung-tak is only incensed because his fiancée is in the village they’re about to burn. Minister Kim steps in on Kyung-tak’s behalf to defend him, “Even though he’s a concubine’s son, my blood flows through his veins. Do not say things so lightly.” Good sir, are you schizophrenic or just simple? If you like your illegitimate son so much, maybe it’s in your best interests not to make a kebab out of his fiancée.

Only, Kyung-tak storms back in the room and kneels before his father, asking to carry out the village-burning order after all. I hope this is a plan and not a turn toward evil…

…And it looks like the latter, because only Young-rae gets chloroformed by police and taken straight to Kyung-tak, who then orders that the whole village be burned to the ground.

Meanwhile, Ha-eung and the villagers go to meet the arriving officers, thinking that their medical supplies have arrived. Their smiles fade as we cut to Hyuk, who’s more or less back to normal, until he hears the villagers screaming outside: “FIRE!”

It’s pandemonium outside as officers set fire to every building. Ha-eung runs inside the hospital to tell Hyuk, and together (with Heo Gwang) they rush the patients out before they’re burned alive.

Finger Smasher notices his son is missing, and his wife goes searching for him. She finds him hiding inside a burning house, but just as they’re about to escape the doorway explodes in flames, trapping them inside.

A soot-covered Hyuk has helped his patients to safety, and only then does he notice that Finger Smasher is being held back from running into the burning building to save his wife and child. Hyuk attempts to go to the rescue but is held back by Ha-eung, who claims that it’s too late.

Hyuk sinks to his knees and cries, while Young-rae is forcibly carried away by Kyung-tak on horseback.

Cut to: The villagers putting out the last of the fire with buckets of water. Well, that was fast. Inside they find the boy and his mother, her back charred and black. She’s gone, but her son is still alive.

On a hill overlooking the burning village, Young-rae shakes in rage as she tells Kyung-tak: “Even if you work for the government, there are orders you should follow, and there are orders you must not follow.”

Kyung-tak claims that the order was going to be carried out with or without his consent, so, “I felt I needed to do it myself. That was the only way I could save you.” Young-rae isn’t moved, and wonders if he doesn’t fear heaven’s wrath for what he’s done.

Kyung-tak: “Since long ago, the heavens have never been on my side.”

With that declaration of future villainy he rides off, leaving Young-rae alone on the hill.

The entire village is in mourning as they bury the mother who died. Hyuk holds back his tears as he comforts her son. But in voiceover we hear him wonder:

“Maybe this woman should’ve died after she saved her son from the horse. No matter how hard I try, I cannot change what has already been decided here. But, to these people, words such as ‘history’ or ‘destiny’ mean nothing. They only want to survive. I cannot feign ignorance. I cannot make excuses. I must cure their pain. That is my destiny.”

On their exodus, Hyuk and Ha-eung spot Young-rae still on the hill. Hyuk seems to surmise everything that’s happened just by looking at her. Ha-eung looks over Hanyang and notes how peaceful it is when houses outside of it are burning and people are dying, “But it seems the people living there cannot see or hear anything.”


And… cut to credits? This show has got to clear up its cliffhanger issues.

There were some interesting things going on this episode, but the execution sure knows how to muck things up. I can’t blame it all on the directing since there are some serious writer fallacies going on, which leave more head-scratching moments than presumably intended. For instance, Hyuk’s dream. What was supposed to be happening there? If we just look at the scene symbolically, absent of setting, then it’s Hyuk returning to life because he heard Young-rae’s voice. Fine. But why throw in the roof/time travel symbolism? Keep one symbol to one purpose, guys. Unless they’re trying to tell us that falling off the roof = time travel = life, which is still too convoluted, and where on earth is that time-traveling jar fetus anyway?

I get that Minister Kim, Doctor Yoo, and Dae-gyun are going to make up some sort of axis of evil, but darn if it’s not the usual suspects. Minister Kim has a really confusing tendency of saying sympathetic things in a scene only to be moved to complete unsympathetic acts in the next, I can only assume Doctor Yoo is just inexplicably evil to turn on his word and burn a village for no real purpose (other than mustache-twirling rights), and Dae-gyun is just there to be awful, as usual. This means that Kyung-tak, by virtue of now shunning his better self to please Daddy and save (and thus alienate) his girl, will probably be joining their pack, because he has no one else. What terrible company for a promising character to keep.

Hyuk’s inner monologue about whether saving the woman just dragged out her fate is an interesting conflict to explore, but also opens up a whole new can of very complicated worms. I like that he’s wondering how much his actions impact what’s already fated, but I’m not liking the vibe we’re getting so far that his actions can, at most, only delay the inevitable and that history will compensate for his meddling. But then by his logic, the woman he saved died as fate intended, so what about the son she saved while she was on borrowed time? Shouldn’t he be shuffling the mortal coil pretty soon?

I like Hyuk and his heart of gold, and I’m all for him saving lives, but it’d be nice to know that he’s not in some weird vacuum where nothing he does matters. Because otherwise, what’s the point?


65 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. HK


  2. Roro


  3. isaak84

    please can anyone who watched it tell me about jaejoong acting id it any good?

    • 3.1 nozomi05

      i have the same question.

      can someone tell us how is jaejoong’s acting because with the way i see it, the drama is not that great but i might just watch to see if jaejoong’s is any good at his role but if he sucks, much as i like him as a singer i wouldn’t be watching.

      • 3.1.1 For1287

        I can’t say much about saeguk speech since I am not a native Korean speaker, but his acting is definitely pretty good. In this chapter I recommend the scene where he talks to Young Rae’s brother. The emotions he displays there are heart touching.

        I hope the writers don’t transform him into an “evil” character, because so far he is the most interesting character for me.

      • 3.1.2 Bebe Jam

        Jaejoong’s acting is quite gooood. 🙂 His co-workers (the actors and directors) are complimenting him for his dedication to work and acting. Truth is, I’m only watching certain parts of the drama (scenes which include Dr. Jin and Jaejoong) mainly because the drama is not properly directed. It’s kind of a bore… but Jaejoong’s acting improved. When he shows of his loving face, it’s so fricken’ cute! When he shows his anger, it also shows irrationality. This is a new role for him, and in my perspective, he worked hard in this drama. I’m going to support him till the last episode. 🙂
        If I were to compare it to JIN, the Japanese version, Time Slip Dr. Jin cannot compared. Omg, if you guys do have time, watch season 1 and season 2 of JIN. Both seasons have 11 episodes and it’s totally worth it. I watched both seasons in 2 days!! The ending made me cry a bucket of tears!!!

    • 3.2 Prada

      His acting is surprising because it’s very different compared to his Muwon roles in PTB…I think he is doing good. What I like the most is that this character have so much to offer. More and more he seems to be pushed to the dark side.
      By the way, my korean friends are telling me he is receiving alot praises in korea.

    • 3.3 sayu44

      To be honest, he is doing pretty well 🙂
      Although I´m his fan I´m so critical when it comes to him… For example, I didn´t like him in PTB. His character wasn´t a very challenging one and he was a little stiff in some episodes. He was “ok” for me, only because it was his first drama, but I didn´t understand why everyone, specially in korea, was so impressed with him.
      But in this drama, he is doing so good, i´m really impressed… his character, for me, is the most interesting and difficult in the drama… I really love his character and the way he is portraying. His acting is very good in emotional scenes, you can feel his pain.
      I´m his fan and finally I can say that he is a good actor now :)… and I can tell you that he is receiving A LOT of praises in korea 🙂

    • 3.4 javabeans

      Jaejoong is doing okay. He’s a little stiff, but his character’s a little (okay, A LOT) stiff so part of that is written in. I think he’s one of the more interesting characters, but he’s not being explored to best effect — though that’s true of everyone in this drama. The director should be fired and blackballed from dramaland, I SWEAR.

      I don’t think Jaejoong seems totally comfortable in his role yet, but his accent is getting better. He still needs to SLOW DOWN because his delivery is so rushed that it ruins the nice sageuk effect. If he could relax a bit and settle into the character more, it would go a long way.

      I do wish, oh do I wish, that fans could chill out a little about oppa’s acting though. When the fanbase rears its head using offense as defense, it reflects poorly on the actor and I have to remind myself that Jaejoong =/= his fans.

      • 3.4.1 laura

        They seem pretty chill to me…

      • 3.4.2 anastassia

        Oh, JB i heart you. You just split out what I want to hear. I once a hardcore fan of DBSK and still respect them as a singer. A singer yes. An actor in saeguk just noooooo. Oh my. The delivery, the stiff emotion. When he has to act and speak and move he just so stiff and the emotions is just the same. But when he has to talk and just sitting down whereas didn’t need to move around he is doing ok. Just like when doing a MV.

        I blame it to the DIRECTOR and PRODUCER!

      • 3.4.3 gala

        Hmm…out of curiosity, was there an incident where Jaejoong fans caused havoc to defend him here?

        I actually think Jaejoong’s most critical critics are his own fans. He’s the king of NG so they (we…) know he struggles quite a bit. Perhaps those you’ve encountered were the ‘newer’ younger fans. But Jaejoong’s fans are actually his best and worst critics. (I guess I’m living proof, cause I can’t for the life of me be impressed as I should be. Watching him film Heaven’s Postman was painful but endearing because he’s working so hard despite his struggles.)

        • Mich

          I would have to agree with this statement. As a fan, I would have to say I am extremely critical when it comes to him or the other jyj/tvxq members when it comes to acting. ( I am forever scarred by those banjun dramas from the past). Therefore, I’m kinda scared to watch any of them act. (It’s a miracle that I gave protect the boss a try and now i’m sitting through this….”interesting” piece of work).

          And thank you everyone for your imput on his acting skills. I can’t tell if he improved or not since everything else is such a mess in the drama.

        • striker

          hmmm…if I’m not mistaken…the fans in Korea are pretty hardcore. There were incidents where some people (in media) talked badly about some dbsk members in the past and received blacklash from fans….(about 5 years ago).

          • gala

            I meant the defend-oppa-no-matter-what that javabeans referred to. Cause it made it seem as if JJ fans here (in this blog) did so etching that made javabeans a little miffed at the said fans.

        • lizzzieQ

          Yea for all his popularity, I think Jaejoong’s (and JYJ’s) fanbase is one of the older more mature ones out there.. definitely older than your average fandom anyway since he’s been around so long. And they seem pretty chill… In fact I don’t see any bashing happening that caused offensive oppa-defense? Or is it just me?

          Anyway some shouty line delivery aside, I like jaejoong’s expressing through his eyes

      • 3.4.4 bd


        Jaejoong’s acting is decent/passable b/c his character is pretty wooden so he hasn’t exactly had to emote much.

        There’s a big diff. btwn his acting and say, that of Lee Beom-soo.

    • 3.5 fluff

      I think JJ’s doing pretty well, especially given that he’s trying a lot of things for the first time (saeguk-speak, fighting, riding horses), and also filming a movie at the same time.

      At least he seems to be more subtle that SSH, who just goes back and forth from dead serious to angsty.

      • 3.5.1 fluff


    • 3.6 anastassia

      not at all. I really want to like his acting but no. His speech and emotion is disturbingly bad but i can really see he trying very hard.

  4. kaigou

    —Since Hyuk knows his history, he tells Myeong-bok, “You are not going to die. I know. Myeong-bok, later on, you will rise to the noblest position.”—

    One of the big issues in the first season of Jin (the Jdrama version) was whether or not the doctor had a moral/ethical right to intervene, given that his medical/technical knowledge might inevitably alter events in the future. (And given the change in the photograph he has with him, this fear seems reasonable.) Has this version grappled with that, at all? I’m not seeing anything mentioned in the recaps, and the notion of a sideways hint of “you won’t die, you’ll rise”, etc, seems to imply the doctor is assuming that his actions will be successful, because in history, this guy became king, ergo, the doctor’s actions are right. BUT that leaves open the huge question of: why do anything at all, then? Clearly the kid survived, historically, whatever hit him as a kid, in which case, what difference does the doctor make, advanced knowledge or not?

    Jin grappled with these questions for a good 4-5 episodes before the doctor made his own decision… and while it made for sometimes slow-going (because an indecisive character who doesn’t act is, well, a character not doing anything, and that makes for uninteresting episodes), it ended up a crucial part of Jin’s identity & integrity.

    Has this remake addressed any conflict like that? To the point of the question of “why do anything”, even? I’d be curious to watch if the screenplay can take that substance between the teeth, but if not, I’ll just keep on reading these delightful recaps and spend my free time with re-watching Big.

    • 4.1 HeadsNo2

      This was the first episode to barely scratch at that kind of conflict, but it’s not quite the same as what you’re describing. The conflict Hyuk seems to have faced and overcome this episode is whether his actions are capable of altering history, and his conclusion is that he’ll try, no matter what.

      The idea of whether or not he believes he has the moral/ethical right to do so hasn’t been addressed, and my guess is that it’s not an issue for this version of the drama since he’s been intervening since day one. Historical ramifications are an afterthought, at best. There’s still plenty room to explore that kind of conflict but it does seem like Hyuk reached the same conclusion as his jdorama counterpart without going through the same crisis, so the likelihood that it will rear its head later in the game remains to be seen.

      • 4.1.1 fluff

        “…my guess is that it’s not an issue for this version of the drama since he’s been intervening since day one.”

        See ep 6. Even though he has been intervening, without qualms, from the beginning, all of a sudden he decides he can’t do it any more. Does this make any sense? Is there really a difference in the circumstances in ep 6 v. the first 5 episodes? Unfortunately, no and no.

        I’m watching for the pretty and the unintentional humor, but it’s hard sometimes…..

    • 4.2 toritorisan

      Thanks for your recap. I have to agree that the Kdrama version has not focused so much on Jin’s internal conflict with changing history. In the jdrama version, the idea of “corrective power,” where things that he wasn’t supposed to change would re-do themselves in another way was a big part of the storyline. In the Kdrama version, this reoccuring motif hasn’t really been a theme in the story (or at least not yet). In addition, in the Jdrama version, a photograph of Jin and Miki (Mina in Kdrama version) that changed every time he did something in the past that would affect Jin’s present life. However, in the Kdrama version, the only photograph he has is on his cel phone – which I don’t think changed at all yet.

      Potential Spoilers…
      On another note, I think YR will end up with JJ’s character. If Kdrama sends Dr. Jin back to the present (in the end), I think YR will end up marrying JJ because her offspring may affect Mina’s ancestory. In order for Jin to be happy with Mina, I think that’s what route the drama might take. Plus there are a lot of JJ fans that want him to end up with the girl! 🙂

    • 4.3 Maya

      IMHO, I think one of the major issues from this drama is how the storyline seems to be confused on choosing which parts it should keep from the jdorama version and which part it should alter in order to be consistent with the history and also with its loveline. I think this is why the scene of him in the rooftop of the hospital while he was delirious seems to be pointless. In the jdorama version Jin actually see Miki (or Mina) at the rooftop in a wheelchair (instead of her vegetative state) and it bears more meaning as it becomes one of the reasons which propels Jin to “move the needle on medical treatment”, to create a better future for Miki. 
      I think the same case also applies to to the storyline involving the future king. It wants to add that extra layer of anxiety by having an important figure in history (future king) at the brink of death and thus making Jin a bigger hero when he saves him, but then it creates confusion since in the same episode he also faces that question of “why do anything if history/fate will redo it for you”.
      However, although the story only scratch the surface of this conflict, if we follow the storyline’s  logic about history redoing itself, could it be that him intervening from the beginning and becoming involved with the future king’s dad makes fate rewrite the whole thing and causes the future king to contract the cholera only to be saved by Jin’s treatment in the end?

      • 4.3.1 javabeans

        I actually wondered if we’re going to have a Harry Potter moment (“Expecto Patronum!”) — as in, Dr. Jin was supposed to save the boy, because Dr. Jin is now stuck in a time-loop of no return and therefore part of history, not just a drop-in from the future. Suppose that history as he knows it depends on him, and him refraining from stepping in would have killed Future King.

        It’s sort of mind-bendy, and sort of complicated, and I’m not sure Song Seung-heon’s stable of facial expressions is up to the task of conveying the concept. But it could be interesting.

        • Maya

          Hmmm… Interesting point, JB. I think that could actually work with this version because he doesn’t have any evidence of him altering the future like the photograph in the jdorama version. Unless… the writer suddenly decides to use the screensaver on his phone as a device to help him keeping track with how he’s altering the future by intervening with the past (assuming that cellphone battery last WAY longer in dramaland). Because that’ll be more like creating parallel universes of possible future? But LOL! I agree that it’d be hard on SSH…

        • Kim

          I think you may be right. I think I commented before that the Gummi Bear patient from the beginning could very well be Dr. Jin since we never saw his face. And it fit with another commenter’s prediction that Dr. Jin would have to eventually do surgery on himself.

          • WM

            Yep, I’m convinced he’s going to do surgery on himself. I think what we’re talking about here is a causality loop, or the predestination paradox. Basically, he’s gone back in time before, which is why things ended up as they did, and therefore he must go back (during his “life time”, even though it’s already happened) in order to keep history the way it’s supposed to be. So, once he jumps off the roof he’s actually returning to his own time because he’s standing on the roof watching himself jump. Sort of bakes my noodle to think about it. lol

  5. Prada

    My favorite characters are played by Lee Bum Soo, Lee So Yeon and Kim Jaejoong

    I wonder why so much discrimination to the illegitimate son Kyung Tak (Jaejoong), even Lee Ha Eung (Lee Bum Soo) looks down to him T.T

    This drama is getting better^^

  6. For1287

    This show becomes weird when they come back to the present, like I lost myself when they come back…
    I like Hyuk’s good heart too, but I need a ‘pull off’ for this character…He is good and saves people, everyone happy and what else? …
    I find Kyung Tak’s character interesting and promising, but I am not sure what direction this character will take yet. I hope the writers don’t make him the typical evil character because so far I like him

  7. Alys

    The political story is more interesting then the medical one, KT and his father also YR brother and Ha-eung story my favorit.

  8. anduril

    I don’t think Head Doctor Yoo had any intention of keeping his word, it was just a delay tactic until he could get to the council of evil. His face turned super anxious as Hyuk’s medical skills with the disease was praised. I think he burnt the village to coverup the success.

    Also, I really like Kyung-tak and hope he changes and gets the girl in the end. Hyuk can have her future reincarnation in the future. No need to get greedy.

  9. beggar1015

    because an operating room is just a clown car that hasn’t happened yet

    Ha! Words to live by.

    And how much stamina does Kim Eung Soo have to be working in two simultaneously airing dramas?

  10. 10 starfield

    Thank you Heads for the recap ^^!!!
    I have been waiting to see your take on the village burning scheme, which I interpreted somewhat differently (assuming the subtitle that I watched was correct).

    I thought that Minister Kim’s order was to burn down the houses in the village, and not the people who live there. Because Kyung-tak had protested, that those shabby huts were all that those poor villagers had as shelters, that if you burn down their homes people’s sentiment toward the rulers will turn sour. And Minister Kim had countered that with, “What have I always taught you? Rulers should control their people like a stern father, not caring for them like a tender mother.” I don’t think they would have been debating over public sentiment if they are burning the people themselves.
    I suspect that Dr. Yoo’s motive was to destroy proof of Jin’s success in containing the disease, in order to preserve his own status as the most prestigious palace doctor of their time. As evidenced by his extremely jealous reaction when he found out that Jin had survived and number of patients had steadily declined thanks to Jin. After all it was him who suggested Minister Kim to send Jin to the village, likely hoping he would fail or catch cholera and die?

    I suspect Minister Kim simply believed Dr. Yoo’s words (pandemic was out of control) over Kyung-tak’s (he heard that no. of patients has declined, and in any case they should wait and see how the situation develop before deciding to burn people’s houses), and did what an uncaring nobleman like himself would think fitting.
    At the very least, Kyung-tak’s instruction was specifically to “burn down every house”, and his subordinates certainly didn’t try to keep the villagers from running away. The death of Finger Smasher’s wife was more of a tragic accident, because his son was playing hide and seek at the time and didn’t hear the commotion outside.

    I also felt Kyung-tak isn’t really on his way to bigger evil, but that he sees his effort to stand by his own principles as futile, when his principles contradict with dad’s will. The village burning would happen with or without him, so he might as well do it while making sure of Young rae’s safety. What I am interested to find out is if this is the end of him trying to be a virtuous person, is he simply resigned to be dad’s puppet from now on?

    Sorry for the long post, since I have always been fascinated by a character that is the only decent person (but at the same time not simply a hero by birth) in a bad household. I like it when I am never sure how such characters will turn out in the end.

  11. 11 nana

    “She pats his shoulder for support, which is like third base in Joseon.”

    DEAD. Had to take a break from reading just to stop snickering. Thanks, HeadsNo2.

    • 11.1 Yui

      are you sure?

  12. 12 ilovebinderclips

    “She pats his shoulder for support, which is like third base in Joseon.”

    hahahaha…. love this! i’m not watching this drama, but love reading the recaps, if for no other reason than lines like this one that reflect your attitude (seems like a combination of wry amusement and resigned frustration). keep it up!

  13. 13 Lise

    I’ll forever have issues with idols whose acting skills are mediocre at best. Why? Cuz the part could have easily gone to one whos actually studied the craft, school and all and has invested their all into being an actor. These free passes courtesy of their popularity and viewer pulling power r just an insult to the true actors out there. Ok fine give them minor roles atleast cuz their fans will still flock to watch the production even if oppa only appears for like 5 mins each episode! And if they must be leads or 2nd leads then they better deliver and not expect us to go ‘oh oppa has really improved, its his first drama go easy on him!’ And the way idols normally say their sunbaes really look after them on set i wonder if thats really true, esp for established actresses when they have to play supporting roles and see inexperienced young ‘uns taking the lead, meow!!! ; )

    • 13.1 For1287

      Wowow! Chill out girl, I believe you should give an opportunity to the boy, I know who he is but I am not even his fan and I can see he is actually doing quite good, I admit I was very touched by the scene where he talks to Young Rae’s brother… The boy knows how to convey emotions through the expressions on his face, he can act. Let’s see how his develops in later episodes.

      • 13.1.1 Lise

        u dont really know who am talking about cuz i was actually generalizing and since here’s one idol in this drama thats why i brought the subject up in the first place. plus when i say oppa its just cuz its mostly female fans that go crazy over male idols acting but my comment applies to female idols as well. i mean like G.O in Ghost, u wouldnt believe the number of MBLAQ fans flocking to watch it even tho his appearances are minimal at best but atleast hes starting from the bottom and improving and who knows 3-4 dramas down the line he might just earn himself 2nd lead/lead status-i for one will not say a word unless his acting never made any improvements in all that time!

        • For1287

          Who is Go? Sorry, I am a bit lost when it’s about kpop idols. However, It’s good he is reaching your expectations, As for me I believe Jaejoong is doing good. I won’t change my mind about this. I was touched by his acting and that’s hard to achieve for me. it’s hard to find an actor who can convey so much emotions with the expressions on their face(there are a lot of poker- faced actors even among experimented ones) I think the boy is doing good good and that has a lot of potential. Yes, the boy has future I’llkeep an eye on him.

    • 13.2 anastassia

      I agree. I respect JJ as a true singer and I can really see he trying very hard, but he just can’t act. Yes, he can express emotion but his acting is all over the place i just wanna laugh whenever he appeared on screen. I have read several blogs that is objective that say the same. If Kim Hyun Joong can’t act, and Yonhwa is weak actors and JJ definably is not made for acting or maybe saeguk is not made for him. It just like that. The way he deliver speech and emotes emotions, oh my.

      • 13.2.1 sally_b

        @anastassia – re: “or maybe saeguk is not made for him.”


        The following is only my opinion, and no battles are intended. JaeJoong is not actually a bad actor – but his current scope/ability does not extend to Sageuks.

        Anyone, who struggled through Nicole Kidman’s civil-war southern accent in Cold Mountain…or Kevin Costner…in ANY historical drama, can attest…that star power/hard effort does not override a poorly fitted role.

        For me, a well done Sageuk has many of the qualities of Shakespearean stage play. It’s over the top, but the actors have gravitas…weight, SERIOUS believability.

        Unfortunately for JaeJoong (and the rest of the cast) this drama is all-over-the-place in what it intends to be. Comical Manhwa? Saguek Fusion Medical?

        It’s not that I think JJ ‘couldn’t do’ historical – I just think this is NOT the best learning ground for someone who wants to establish *viability* as multi-genre actor.

        side note: Just like Ji Hyun Woo spent (what?!) almost 10 years whatev’s-roles…then along came Queen InHyun’s Man. A single perfectly cast role can change an actor…or an idol’s life….hrrmmm-cough-YooChun-cough… 😉

        • Dux

          It is so true about Ji Hyun Woo in QIHM. I came back to watch some of his earlier movies and they were so-so. But if you watch some of his interviews HE IS KIM BOONG DO! I have to say kudos to the casting director of QIHM

  14. 14 Kiara

    It got better but the bar is still low. Thanks for the recap Heads <3.

  15. 15 Cynthia

    Awww, thanks so much for this fabulously snarky recap, HeadsNo2! Tell me honestly – you getting hammered just trying to get through this recap, right? I, for one, wouldn’t blame you for imbibing.

    DJ is just one incredulous scene after the next. It’s like the writer and director really want to give DJ some gravitas, but the only thing that happens (for me) is that it comes off like a Monty Python or Mel Brooks movie (think History of the World, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, High Anxiety, etc), complete with all the craziness involved. There is nothing funnier than a supposedly serious scene written to be (un)intentionally hilarious. This is why I LOVED this recap – you caught all the insanity and poked big holes in it, to boot.

    I’m anticipating lots of erudite conversation after the next ep – ethics shall come to the fore and arguments will ensue.
    I intend to just keep laughing and happily looking forward to much more insanity – this drama practically guarantees it.
    I’m already formulating my comment for ep 6 **skips off to sharpen scalpel** – I’ve watched it and it’s a LULU!

    • 15.1 sally_b

      @Cynthia – re: “….comes off like a Monty Python or Mel Brooks movie”

      SPOT ON.

      At *just the moment* you’re being lead to a deeply-convicted emotional response~
      …death is standing at the gate and vomit-buckets are heavily-laden…..

      you get —-►
      Roger the Shrubber:
      “Are you saying Ni to that old woman? ”

      King Arthur:”Um, yes.”

      Roger: “Oh, what sad times are these when passing ruffians can say Ni at will to old ladies. There is a pestilence upon this land, nothing is sacred. Even those who arrange and design shrubberies are under considerable economic stress in this period in history.”

      …..you & I may be the only 2 people who get that. heehee.

      I truth…I wish Sir HandTowel would go on and grasp FULL FRONTAL Comedy…his stable of expressions (™javabeans) are completely suited for it.

  16. 16 fluff

    Anybody else surprised that the Doc never *really wanted* to save someone before? And he’s been a doctor for how long? I understand that he probably meant he was never that *desperate* to save someone, but geez, do you have to be a future king with cholera to really get his attention?

    I was super bummed that Kyung-tak just went along with the orders, even though he clearly knew it was wrong. Why, exactly, did he have to burn the village himself in order to save Young-rae? Couldn’t he have ridden over there, picked her up, and warned everybody? Sigh….

    I’m hoping he’ll redeem himself somehow (instead of turning evil), but it’s hard to recover from village-burning.

    • 16.1 Mystisith

      “the Doc never *really wanted* to save someone before? And he’s been a doctor for how long?”
      At least the comments are worth reading. Seriously, how can a writer lay such a stupid line. I’m speechless.

    • 16.2 Bananamania

      I’ve seen the jdrama and I’m watching this drama because I’m curious how the writers will mesh the story with Korea’s history. So far, the episodes have been disappointing.

      I was also turned off by Hyuk’s line, ““Before, I’ve never… I’ve never been this desperate to save someone…” I somehow wish they’d stick a bit more closer to the jdrama. In the jdrama, Jin’s line was “How long has it been that there was someone…. anyone…. that I wanted to save from the bottom of my heart?”

  17. 17 tia

    the IV drip is just screaming embolism to me. hahaha

    • 17.1 sally_b

      @tia – I shouldn’t have laughed, but I did.


      I’m still stunned that neither of the guys who had their skulls opened with Farm Tools and Soju developed even a minor infection.

      Dr. MacGyver-Jin has MAJOR skills. 😉

      • 17.1.1 Cynthia

        True, that.
        I have a new-found respect for the lowly crab mallet…..

  18. 18 anastassia

    dr jin for me is donno how to say. I didn’t blame it to the acting or actors since i know they are trying very hard but i blame it to the producers and directors who made a sloppy choices of casting and messy directing. I never watched JIN japanese drama before it aired but to buy the copyright and made a drama like this is insulting to the original one. I never hope it can surpass or do something memorable but at least don’t insulting by do something sloppy and all over the places.

  19. 19 DEE

    thank you… for recaping. I found it quite interesting…

  20. 20 omodomo

    LOL this drama is more funnier than anything XD

  21. 21 ilikemangos

    Although i was grossed out with the constant vomiting and diarrhea, I held in.
    And then when dr. jin HIMSELF caught cholera i was just SMH.
    why show, why?!
    I mean i understand how you’re trying to go for the whole people-protect-hero reversal sorta thing but i wished it wouldn’t have just been cholera.
    I mean seriously. And I’ve been overlooking the choppy ending in the past few episodes but it’s getting a bit of a pet peeve.. i’m always left scratching my head once a scene cuts from one to the next.
    There is a conflict here that’s keeping me interested, but this show is just too funny to take seriously.

  22. 22 houstontwin

    “She pats his shoulder for support, which is like third base in Joseon.” Great writing – that is so witty!

  23. 23 whybother

    Jaejoong’s fans will be always lenient with his acting. It’s normal. I’m like that too when it comes an actor I love.

    Mind you, in their eyes, JJ is not the same person as we see.

    • 23.1 gala

      It’s actually the opposite! At least among the fans I know. Again, we’re harsher and more blunt in pointing out his errors. I guess the newer fans, perhaps, are the more accepting. But his fans since the early days of DBSK aren’t afraid to gloss over his inexperience in acting. He’s no prodigy, and perhaps not so blessed with his soulmate’s -yoochun- quick improvement. But JJ has improved, and very hardworking, and I think that should earn him praise.

      • 23.1.1 whybother

        What’s wrong when you are partial to one actor you love? Nothing wrong – that’s what fans are for. I myself can not help but feel defensive when I hear people say something to offend my beloved actor. It’s only ‘human nature’ to try to be protective toward someone you love .

        I can’t seem to see JJ’s improvement in acting, sorry for that. Yet I am really okay when I heard his fans feel that way. And I won’t say anything harsh to him. He’s an endearing and hard-working singer/actor. And he’s cast in the drama for a reason – a lot of people love him – good enough a reason. Whether I’ll watch the drama or not, I can decide for myself.

  24. 24 noi

    i’m curious about the story development but i. can’t. stand. the. directing. arrggggghhhh!!!!!! drop this. i’m gonna stick with your recaps, HeadsNo2!

  25. 25 Lilian

    At first, I was quite surprised that Jaejoong would take on a second lead again. But watching this makes sense, because it allows him to take on a different type of role, a villain, who doesn’t really want to be one! And so far, he’s doing well. But seriously, what’s with the cliffhanger!!!???

  26. 26 Lilik

    Jin Hyuk….. caiyoooo…. ^_^

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.