It’s easy to get caught up in the bustle of a hospital when one decision can mean the difference between saving or losing a life. So it’s a good thing that there’s a team of doctors ready to respond at a moment’s notice and keep the emotional heart beating at a steady rate throughout the episode. But let’s not forget that it’s equally important to take the time to appreciate the simpler things in life, like a butterfly.
EPISODE 2 RECAP
Yoon-seo lets out a piercing shriek at the sight of Shi-on in his boxers. She automatically thinks the worst and raises a remote in defense. She presses random buttons in her haste, and the news reports the arrest of a local rapist. Well, that doesn’t make it any better.
Shi-on says that this is his place, but she still thinks that she’s in her own bedroom. She falls off the bed trying to scramble for her things… which is when she finally gets a good look at her surroundings and realizes her mistake.
Embarrassed, she tells him to turn his head so that she can wear her clothes. He literally rolls his head at first (ha), and then turns around, still brushing his teeth.
She catches up with Shi-on on his way to work, and apologizes for her drunken mistake. It turns out she lived in that apartment until just last week and now lives in the place above his. She explains the passcode still worked—surely he could understand how it could happen to anyone. Shi-on: “Nope.”
She asks what department he’s in, and when she hears that Shi-on is the new pediatric resident, she introduces herself in banmal as a second-year pediatric fellow. That makes her the sunbae, so she can speak to him casually, right?
But Shi-on rattles off directions on how to get to work, and she hilariously misinterprets this response as a brush-off. She wonders if he’s stubborn or a wacko.
Once Yoon-seo is filled in at the hospital, Do-han arrives to gather his team for rounds. He sighs at Shi-on, and then tosses Yoon-seo some aftershave, saying she still reeks of alcohol.
When she answers that she can spray on perfume instead, he replies, “You don’t have any.” The residents snigger as she wonders how he knew. Then Shi-on remarks it’s the same one that makes you smell like an old ajusshi. Ha.
Shi-on is introduced to the pediatric nurses when they head out for rounds. He’s told to pipe down when he loudly introduces himself, and the male nurse, Nurse Jo, gives him a warm welcome in an equally loud voice. D’aww.
Do-han orders that they prepare for the little girl’s surgery today, and Head Nurse Nam suggests the psych consult again. That gets easily dismissed, and she shakes her head at Yoon-seo, who sighs in defeat.
During rounds, Jin-wook wonders why Shi-on isn’t taking any notes. Shi-on replies that he is and points to his head. So they test his recall ability, and Shi-on accurately names all the patients they’ve seen today along with their medical conditions and treatment plans.
Yoon-seo starts to scold him, saying that patients aren’t study materials. But Do-han cuts her off, telling her to drop it. He cracks a tiny, impressed smile before he steps out.
The residents leave, but Shi-on stops to look at the butterfly drawings hanging above another patient’s bed. He smiles, saying he likes butterflies too, and then the boy suddenly vomits up bile.
Shi-on asks for the boy’s chart, and then rushes back in to assess his symptoms which include abdominal pain and vomiting. The boy’s mother grows more frantic by the second as Shi-on presses on the boy’s stomach and envisions the source of the problem in his head.
Her shrill cry calls the team back inside, and Shi-on says the patient needs surgery as soon as possible. When Do-han learns this is the same patient under Doctor Pomade’s care, he instructs Shi-on and his team to follow him, leaving the mother hysterically crying in their wake.
Once they’re outside, Shi-on says that the patient is in danger over and over again. Do-han tells him that it could just be an intestinal obstruction, but Shi-on thinks there’s more than that—these symptoms aren’t normal in post-surgery.
In fact, the boy would have more energy if the surgery went well. “Children are strong. If the doctor does a good job, then they get up right away.”
That silences everyone for a moment, and then Do-han instructs the nurse to get ahold of Doctor Pomade. As for Shi-on, he tells him to keep quiet and do nothing.
Do-han has to remind his residents to focus as they scrub in for the little girl’s surgery. He then points out on a CT scan to prove his point that delaying the procedure could have proven disastrous for the patient.
It’s at that moment they realize that Shi-on is missing. The residents start to fret, wondering if Shi-on has gone back to the bile patient. Sure enough, we see Shi-on march out of the surgical ward.
Elsewhere, the board president confides in our chief of staff Doctor Choi about not getting along with her stepdaughter Chae-kyung. He assures her that Chae-kyung will come around, and suggests that she give her daughter some time. Then he takes a call from a frantic Shi-on.
Nurse Jo finally gets through to Doctor Pomade, whose “seminar” takes place on a golf course. In an annoyed voice, he says that he’ll be at the hospital in two hours, and orders that no one else operates on his patient.
At the same time, Shi-on paces with worry in the bile patient’s room. He knows it’ll be too late by the time Doctor Pomade returns, and the boy’s mother urges them to do something.
So Shi-on thinks and then grabs the patient’s bed in order to wheel him into surgery. Nurse Nam protests and orders the male nurse to stop him, but he helps Shi-on move the patient instead. The hospital assistant chief catches the tail-end of this at the elevator, and asks what’s going on.
Do-han is informed that the bile patient has been transferred without permission to the adjacent operating room. He furrows his eyebrows, and then proceeds with the surgery.
Things aren’t looking good for the little boy in the other room. Shi-on says they have to hurry and then declares that he’ll operate on the boy instead. He scrambles around the operating room in his haste, causing the surgical supplies to clatter to the floor.
Then the door slides open to reveal Do-han, who asks, “Do you know what you just did?” He announces that he’ll perform both surgeries, and assigns his team to various tasks. Shi-on says that he’ll participate too, but Do-han barks at him to get out.
So Shi-on watches from above at the observation deck. Along with the assistant chief and Doctor Choi, they keep a close eye on both surgeries. Do-han switches over to the bile patient, and when Shi-on tries to give his input, Do-han yells at him to keep quiet.
They get to work to recover the constricted intestines, which soon return to a healthier color. Jin-wook breathes a sigh of relief that they performed the surgery sooner than later. Do-han doesn’t answer, but it makes me wonder if it bothers him that Shi-on was right about this patient too.
Just when Do-han steps away to switch over, Shi-on looks up at the monitor and cries, “Blood! Blood!” Do-han turns back to respond to the bleeding, but can’t seem to identify the cause. Then Shi-on yells, “Order! Order!”
Do-han realizes that he means the medication order, and his eyes grow wide in shock when he hears what it is. Shi-on explains the medicine in question has shown to exhibit negative side effects in children, including severe hemorrhaging. Though it’s been banned in the United States, it’s still been issued in Korea.
Thankfully the bleeding isn’t that severe and both surgeries are successful. Doctor Pomade arrives just as the higher-ups are leaving, and Doctor Choi shoots him an angry look.
Now Do-han finally takes his anger out on Shi-on and punches him in the face, giving him a nosebleed. Shi-on smiles in return, which irritates Do-han even further, and Yoon-seo sits beside Shi-on to protect him. She tells Shi-on to apologize, but Do-han doesn’t see the point when Shi-on doesn’t even comprehend what he did wrong.
They were lucky to save both children today, but they also could have easily lost them both, all thanks to Shi-on’s rash behavior. An incompetent doctor is worse than an indifferent one, and such recklessness can lead to a patient or a doctor’s end.
Doctor Pomade starts on his tirade after Shi-on is led away, but then a golf ball falls out of his pocket. I love that Nurse Jo gets the last say and wonders if it was a golf seminar. Hee.
After Shi-on is cleaned up, Yoon-seo asks if he understands what he did wrong yet. Shi-on answers, “Butterflies.” She explains plainly how dangerous it is when another surgeon operates on someone else’s patient and that his actions today threw off the team’s focus.
She sighs when Shi-on doesn’t readily give her a verbal response. Then she gets called away, and instructs him to wait for her here.
A moment later, Nurse Jo appears by the doorway. He puts out a fist and in turn, Shi-on puts out his hand because he thinks they’re playing rock-paper-scissors. Nurse Jo corrects him, and they share a fist-bump to celebrate today’s success. A-dorable.
Do-han apologizes for his angry outburst against Shi-on when he meets with Doctor Choi. The chief of staff understands Do-han’s frustration, and tells him that there’s something he should know about his new resident…
As Do-han reflects on his teacher’s words, we learn that Shi-on still has some autistic tendencies where his internal fears are outwardly expressed in the opposite way. Shi-on would suffer through more beatings from the other kids because he’d smile in the same way he did today.
Meanwhile, Shi-on sits by the little boy’s bedside and thanks him. Then Shi-on sits outside on a bench and watches a butterfly float in the air, his jaw agape.
This is where Yoon-seo finds him. She comes bearing snacks and hands him one, guessing that he hasn’t had lunch yet. She urges him to eat, but Shi-on answers that he doesn’t want to.
She won’t take no for an answer, so she unwraps one for him and tells him to open his mouth. But he purses his lips, refusing to eat.
Do-han spots the two at a distance when he’s approached by a senior doctor who also happens to be his old boss. The man clucks over how difficult it must be for Do-han in pediatrics with their newest addition. He hints there are a lot of troublemakers on Do-han’s team, especially Yoon-seo.
Elsewhere, Nurse Nam rips a new one into Nurse Jo for abandoning his nursing duties to be in the operating room today. She issues a paycut as part of his punishment. Nurse Jo protests, and asks her to consider the high rent prices and his food expense. Ha.
The assistant chief sits with Chae-kyung, who wonders why a prestigious man such as himself would take the job to save a hospital. He considers this work more noble than the large corporations he used to work with.
He calls himself a humble observer whereas the future of the hospital rests in Chae-kyung’s hands.
Yoon-seo returns to the staff room with a hesitant Shi-on trailing behind her. At the reminder that Do-han said he never wanted to see Shi-on again, she snaps back that she’ll take responsibility for it.
Do-han isn’t happy when he returns, but he calls Yoon-seo to his office to scold her for picking a fight with his old boss. She can barely explain herself before he shouts that he doesn’t want to hear it and that she better not mess with the senior doctor again. Jeez.
The pediatric nurses sigh when they greet a cheery patient whom they previously thought was doing well. The girl is remarkably resilient as she laments on how it’s such a pain to be back in the hospital again. She goes moony-eyed when she sees Shi-on.
Do-han returns to inform Shi-on that he can leave work at a designated time. The other residents are taken aback by this since there’s no such thing as quittin’ time in a doctor’s work schedule. Shi-on says he wants to stay and work, only to be told to do as he’s told. He pouts.
Yoon-seo takes note of Shi-on’s reaction and immediately confronts Do-han about it outside. She understands why Do-han lectured him this morning, but Shi-on is capable of handling the work.
That’s the very problem, Do-han answers. Although Shi-on has vast medical knowledge that far exceeds his teammates, he’s only focused on healing the patient.
She argues that the idea isn’t inherently wrong, but Do-han disagrees. From what he’s observed from the past few days, Shi-on works like a robot whose mechanical judgment works only within the confines of simply fixing the patient.
Yoon-seo says that Shi-on could find it difficult to express his feelings, but Do-han retorts that Shi-on doesn’t have the mindset to be a doctor. He points out that Shi-on exhibited signs of autism under pressure; should that continue, it’s only a matter of time before there’s an accident.
She tries to argue to wait until he gets better, but he snaps back at her to focus on her patients rather than Shi-on, or she’s out too.
Later that night, Yoon-seo flags the bus down in order to ride back with Shi-on. She jokes that she’s out of breath (the idiom is “to throw up blood”) trying to catch up to him. Shi-on answers: “I suspect damage to the esophagus or the gastric barrier.” Lol.
She suggests that he keep to the schedule for a few days, and asks if he’s upset about it. He shakes his head and says he isn’t… and then his stomach growls loudly. Ha.
Yoon-seo asks if he eats, and Shi-on rattles off the convenience store food he has for dinner every night. He says he never tires of it, and Yoon-seo instructs him to get off the bus. Aw, are you going to cook for him?
They head to the market to shop for groceries, and she invites him to name what he wants to eat. It cracks me up that she shoots down all of his ideas because they’re either too hard, too sweet, or too much work.
He finally says that he’ll eat his kimbap instead, and she teases that he’s ignoring her kindness. She decides on a simple meal with egg banchan and kimchi instead, and Shi-on complies. Ha, you’re a terrible cook, aren’t you?
The evil board members convene to talk about how they lost a prime opportunity to oust Doctor Choi on account of the patient’s medication order (which was Doctor Pomade’s fault). The assistant chief says that he’ll find another way.
Yoon-seo teases Shi-on as they walk up the hill. She points out that a person would normally kick a strange person out of their bed, and notes that Shi-on didn’t. He says it’s because she was sleeping so soundly, but she uses that to tease that he just wanted to see her half-naked.
She points a finger at him when he doesn’t answer right away as if it proves her point. But she acknowledges that he at least has good taste because her nickname in med school was “God-given body.”
Shi-on gives her a once-over and wonders aloud: “What kind of god…” Hahaha. She snaps at him in response, calling him a pervert.
Shi-on admits that he wasn’t looking at her body, but her face last night. That answer surprises her, and she asks why. Shi-on answers honestly: “Because it’s pretty. Your moonlit face was so pretty.” Aww.
That catches her off-guard, but she collects herself a moment later and tells him that his social skills are just fine. She walks ahead of him, beaming.
Yoon-seo realizes that they’re missing something when they return to Shi-on’s place, so she sends Shi-on out on an errand. She starts to clean up after he leaves, and mistakenly scoops the green scalpel with the trash. Oh no, not the scalpel!
Do-han and Chae-kyung head out to the hospital-themed bar, which turns out to be called Library. She remarks that it’s still the same, and wonders if this is the table where she asked him out when she was drunk.
She notices that Do-han is preoccupied in his own thoughts and isn’t surprised to hear that it’s about work. So she half-jokes that Do-han should get some fresh air and have an affair because it looks like he’s in an emotional coma. Oh honey, I hope you don’t end up eating your words later.
He calls it nonsense, and tells her that every doctor goes through a burnout phase. He’s certain there will come a time when he enjoys his line of work again.
Back at the apartment, Yoon-seo actually is a terrible cook, and she asks why Shi-on isn’t setting the table. But something else is weighing on his mind, and he asks if she came across a green scalpel. She answers that she isn’t sure because she threw everything out.
Shi-on frantically runs out and tears through the trash until he finds it, and then sits on the ground. Yoon-seo asks if it’s something important, and he glares at her.
She immediately apologizes for throwing it out without a thought, but Shi-on tells her not to come over anymore and cook for him because he’ll eat kimbap from the convenience store from now on. Aww.
As Do-han walks alone, he thinks back to his harsh words to Yoon-seo and sighs.
He calls Yoon-seo, and he’s initially surprised when Shi-on picks up instead. That’s because Yoon-seo’s things are still at his place, and Shi-on runs out to return them to her just as she comes downstairs.
She takes the call, and Do-han asks if she’s still acting like Shi-on’s guardian at this hour. She asks why he’s calling and frowns when it’s a reminder to check on a patient tomorrow. He hangs up and smiles.
Shi-on sleeps next to the recovered green scalpel that night. It sends us into a flashback when little Shi-on played doctor with Hyung, which ended up in a tickle war. Cute.
An imaginary hand appears to gently stroke Shi-on’s head in the present. The camera pans to reveal that it’s Hyung, and Shi-on recounts his day to him in a murmured voice before he falls asleep.
At the hospital the next day, Yoon-seo asks if Shi-on is still mad at her. He buries his head closer to his desk. She asks if the toy scalpel was a gift from his first love. His nose touches his desk. Ha.
She guesses that must be what it is, and then Shi-on is called away.
The assistant chief meets with Doctor Choi about the ethics committee in regards to Doctor Pomade’s case. To Doctor Choi’s surprise, the assistant chief suggests that they brush the matter under the rug since it would taint the image of the pediatrics department.
Furthermore, the board may think the action is in retaliation to their opposition to Shi-on’s appointment on staff. He advises the chief to think of Shi-on and the pediatrics department and reconsider.
While Shi-on accompanies Jin-wook at the neonatal intensive care unit, he overhears Doctor Kim, aka Do-han’s former boss, deliver grave news to the parents of a preemie that surgery isn’t a viable option.
The mother tears up at the thought of losing her unnamed child, and Doctor Kim tells them to prepare themselves for the inevitable.
Do-han heads straight for Doctor Choi after he learns the ethics committee meeting is cancelled. Doctor Choi lies that taking action against their own may negatively affect them, which is why the physician has been given a warning instead.
Do-han contends that it isn’t enough since a patient’s life was on the line. He all but rolls his eyes at the reference that they’re one big, happy family and asks, “Is it because of Shi-on?”
Do-han correctly deduces the conditions to the blackmail that put Doctor Choi in a tight spot. He won’t stand to see his teacher be ruined for Shi-on’s sake, and says that he’ll handle it.
Thus Do-han marches back to the staff room where Shi-on is. But then he recalls Doctor Choi’s request for him help Shi-on, and he turns away in silence.
At that moment, Doctor Kim charges into the staff room. He angrily grabs Do-han by the coat, and accuses him of transferring his patient without his permission.
Yoon-seo pipes up to say that she’s kept her word, and Doctor Kim growls at her to keep quiet. Do-han hasn’t the faintest idea of what’s going on as they stand there in the staff room.
It’s not the most exciting of cliffhangers, but I’ll take what I can get from what could have been your standard medical drama. You still have a team of doctors tackling the case-of-the-week, but where this show shines is in the way that the characters tug at the heartstrings that makes you care about the physicians who face life and death matters every day.
There’s something great about a hero you can root for, and Shi-on is no different. I found that I didn’t need the extensive childhood trauma in order to sympathize with his character since a hero who saves kids’ lives triggers that automatic sympathy response in me. In that vein, I do like how the show has handled Shi-on’s character thus far to portray a man with a childlike, honest personality that brings in a different perspective than his colleagues. I appreciate that we can see that he possesses the brains and the heart of a fully capable doctor despite those who perceive that his autistic tendencies inhibit him.
Although my knowledge on the autism spectrum is limited, I find it intriguing on a character level that the show seeks to explore how the signs of the condition serve as both a strength and weakness when it comes to Shi-on. We’ve seen his outstanding recall ability on a number of occasions, but now we’ve seen how there can be times when it could be dangerous in the workplace. It was particularly striking to see Shi-on’s autistic tendencies surface in the operating room; thus I understand Do-han’s concerns about the high-pressure environment. However, I do disagree with his notion that he’s working with a Shi-on robot. If anything, Shi-on’s character points towards the idea that he feels the full range of emotions but is limited in terms of his expression.
This is the reason why I enjoy Shi-on’s interactions with Yoon-seo so much. I love that his behavior doesn’t strike at all odd to her when they first meet, and then she doesn’t treat him any differently after she learns. She still holds him to the same professional standard as everyone else (and so does the rest of the hospital, come to think of it), but I like that she already acts as semi-guardian towards him. It’s sweet and endearing rather than patronizing, and I mostly enjoy watching how Shi-on reacts to the nice sunbae who’s telling him what to do. So he may not need to be protected, but when the rest of the hospital seems to be against you, it’s nice to know that someone is on your side.
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