How this show manages to be funny, dramatic, heart-warming, and sometimes even wacky in one episode simply amazes me. Usually tossing all of those elements at once leaves you with a melting pot that doesn’t look too appetizing, but for some strange reason, Good Doctor leaves me wanting more after that hour is up.
And apparently so did the viewers as Episode 5 hit another series high of 18.0%.
EPISODE 5 RECAP
Despite Yoon-seo’s efforts to resuscitate the child, they all fail and the patient flatlines. Shi-on slumps to the ground in defeat.
Everyone is in shock, but Yoon-seo is the only one who refuses to accept this outcome. Gah, it kills me to watch her keep trying anyway, shaking off Jin-wook’s attempts to tell her that it’s over.
Do-han orders the rest of the team to leave and pronounce the patient’s death. He lingers for another minute as Yoon-seo relentlessly performs CPR until she finally gives up. As tears fall from her eyes, Yoon-seo instructs Shi-on to finish up and move the corpse from the operating room.
Yoon-seo delivers the tragic news to the family, who breaks down in tears and blames the doctors for not saving their child. She stands there at a loss, taking in their hysterical cries until Do-han steps in to pacify the family, saying they did the best they could.
She completes the paperwork in a daze while Shi-on’s hands tremble to suture the body.
Doctor Pomade lashes out at Do-han with an I told you so! rant, and gripes that they’ll be sued for malpractice for sure. I love how Do-han challenges his superior with the same words Yoon-seo against him in the previous episode, and shouts back in defiance how any doctor could pick and choose one’s patients.
Do-han finds Shi-on in the locker room suturing the little girl’s clothes so that she doesn’t feel embarrassed in her torn clothes when she goes up to heaven. Grabbing the shirt, Do-han answers: “Death doesn’t mean someone is going somewhere, but that one has lost one’s life.”
Shi-on shakes his head, saying his bunny and hyung are in heaven too, but Do-han coldly lays out the truth—they lost a life today. What he’s doing is a selfish attempt to comfort himself.
Do-han: “To lose a family [member]… someone who didn’t have to die, but did, that… is a scar that forever remains with those left behind. What’s more is that no level of comfort or words can get rid of that scar. Ever.” Is this statement hitting a little too close to home for you, Do-han?
He tells Shi-on to believe what he wants, but reminds him that there are those who will laugh at him for it. Once he leaves, Shi-on thinks to himself: “People have always ridiculed me, so it’s okay.”
Shi-on waits outside the morgue, and sees the child’s parents being led away after they grieve over their daughter’s body.
Do-han appeals to Doctor Choi to lift his suspension for the time being, given the circumstances. The chief of staff grants it, but he shows concern for Yoon-seo’s well-being—she’s bound to be scarred by the loss of her first surgery patient.
Chae-kyung isn’t happy to hear that Do-han has returned to work. She rolls her eyes when explains his reasons to stay at the hospital, and tells him that Yoon-seo isn’t a child who needs to be coddled. She does have a point there.
Elsewhere, Jin-wook tries to gently persuade Shi-on away from the morgue. I do like how warm Jin-wook acts towards Shi-on, and that he shoots resident spy Il-kyu a look when he makes an underhanded remark.
Yoon-seo has been doing a pretty good job about hiding her emotions post-surgery thus far, and goes about the rest of her day as usual. When the chatty nurses wonder how she can act so unaffected, it’s Nurse Nam who sternly puts them in their place.
Do-han takes his team for rounds, but he notices that Yoon-seo hasn’t joined them. He isn’t happy to hear that Jin-wook didn’t inform her about it in order to give her some space.
Speaking of whom, Yoon-seo discovers Shi-on still sitting outside the morgue. Shi-on: “I was always by their side.” He was there when his bunny and hyung passed away, and although it scares him, he hates the thought of leaving someone alone in the morgue even more.
Shi-on asks if she doesn’t believe in a heaven either. She bitterly remarks that she doesn’t, and Shi-on notes that that’s the same thing Do-han said.
Heaven is just an ideal notion the living holds fast to, Yoon-seo tells him. “For children, to live is like to experience heaven; being loved by their parents, and playing with their friends. We robbed [that child] of heaven.”
Shi-on disagrees, saying the patient would thank Yoon-seo instead. In his experience, he came across multiple cases when the doctor chose not to pursue surgery, but Yoon-seo was the first one who did. He recites Doctor Choi’s words: “Although it’s important to treat a patient, it’s also important to give them a chance to live.”
“A chance?” Yoon-seo bites out. It’s only now that Yoon-seo finally gives into her tears as she reflects upon her guilty conscience. They could have saved the little girl if only she came in just a little earlier, and the helplessness she felt then now haunts her in the present.
Crying, Yoon-seo wonders what she’ll do now since she won’t be able to forget the patient’s face every time she holds a scalpel.
Then Shi-on silently raises his hand and ever so slowly extends it towards her shoulder inch by inch. But Yoon-seo’s phone rings before he gets the chance to comfort her, and he recoils. Darn that phone!
Yoon-seo is called into the operating room where Do-han tells her to scrub in to perform surgery. She asks if he has to go this far; she still considers this as harsh despite his strict teaching methods. At that, Do-han tells her that it’s a fact that she’s weak. Damn.
He still leaves the choice up to her, but plays upon her hesitance and says he’ll have Doctor Pomade do it instead. Which is when Yoon-seo declares that she’ll perform the surgery.
The team is surprised to see her back so soon, and Do-han keeps watch from the observation deck. With a deep breath, Yoon-seo makes her first incision.
Doctor Pomade is as pleased as punch to hand over the petition for Shi-on’s termination to the assistant chief. Let’s give him a name now—Assistant Chief Kang—who asks if Doctor Pomade thinks this will be enough to oust both the chief of staff and Shi-on.
Doctor Pomade lets out a hearty laugh in agreement, and Assistant Chief Kang breaks into an unknown smile.
President Lee relays the news about the petition to Doctor Choi. She finds it odd that the patient’s guardians took it up to the board themselves, and believes that someone else is pushing for the decision.
Back in the operating room, Do-han lectures Yoon-seo for taking too long to complete the procedure. She tunes him out just long enough to successfully wrap up a minute later, and shoots him a glare when she steps away.
Yoon-seo is still shaking afterwards, and Jin-wook advises that she refrain from performing any surgeries while she’s on call tonight. Ack, the foreshadowing! Something horrible is going to happen, isn’t it?
She asks if Shi-on is still sitting outside the morgue, and then asks the cafeteria ajumma for a favor. Ahh, it’s Mom!
So when Mom comes by with a tray of food, she stops in her tracks at the sight of Shi-on, and turns away before he sees her. She returns wearing a mask a little later, only to find him gone, having left after returning the little girl’s clothes to the parents.
Do-han scolds Yoon-seo yet again when he catches her prepare an envelope to help cover the little girl’s funeral expenses. He knows that she’s acting out of her own guilt, and orders her not to attend the funeral, even threatening to keep her out of the operating room for a month.
Their conversation is cut short when Chae-kyung arrives. She and Do-han talk outside, and she notes how pretty Yoon-seo has gotten lately.
She points out that Do-han never seems to yell at her like he does with Yoon-seo, even when she makes him angry. She jokes: “It’s not because you don’t take an interest in me?” Eep, at this rate you could become your own fortune-teller.
She suggests that Do-han act indifferent towards Yoon-seo if he wants her to become a better doctor, because depending on someone else can easily become a habit.
In-hye recounts how her near-death experience felt like a taste of heaven. Shi-on’s eyes grow wide with excitement as he listens to her descriptions of being pain-free and seeing the soft outlines of angels.
She finishes, “But it was just the medicine. They must’ve given me a lot of painkillers.” HA. Shi-on pouts.
There’s no doubt that In-hye holds a pragmatic perspective—she doesn’t believe in those silly things like Santa Claus or heaven. And then a little girl cries from behind them that of course it exists.
Later that night, Yoon-seo braces herself before heading inside to the little girl’s funeral, only to find Do-han already there to pay his respects to the family on behalf of the pediatrics department.
She listens at a distance as the mother confesses that she resented Yoon-seo for taking her daughter away from her. But she now knows that Yoon-seo did everything she could, and that her daughter’s death pains Yoon-seo just as much.
The father asks Do-han to also extend their gratitude to Shi-on for staying by their daughter’s side even after she passed away. Yoon-seo sheds a tear and leaves.
Yoon-seo spots Mom waiting outside the staff room with food in hand. Yoon-seo points out that she never mentioned that she worked at pediatrics. Aw Mom, did you look that up? Mom skirts the issue, but before she leaves, she comments that Yoon-seo seems like a warm-hearted person.
Shi-on gapes at the food in surprise, and notes that it wasn’t part of the dining hall menu. He says that it reminds him of a dish from his hometown and even tastes the same. If only we could tell you who made it for you…
Yoon-seo relays the parent’s gratitude to Shi-on, and asks if he’ll do the same thing of sitting by the morgue in the future. Shi-on nods. Yoon-seo: “Even if Do-han and I scold you?” Shi-on nods.
Shi-on says his brother once told him: “No matter how scared you are, you have to do what you want to do. The one who endures and does those things is the coolest person in the world.” He says that he’s afraid of the world and of people, but he finds strength whenever he thinks of Hyung.
It’s hard to tell at this point whether Creepy Chairman is actually creepy, since he wonders if he should take care of the petition against Shi-on. He smiles to hear that the rookie resident does have potential, and hints that something good will happen at the hospital soon. Hmm.
I really enjoy the nuggets we get of Nurse Jo, who says that he hopes Shi-on stays on as a resident in the hospital. Shi-on cracks a small smile.
Just then, the same little girl who overheard that heaven doesn’t exist trudges past them, disheartened. They sit with her as she cries about how it saddens her to think that her father didn’t go to heaven, convinced that what In-hye said is true.
Shi-on bends down to ask if she remembers her father’s face and the memories they shared together. She does, and he answers: “Then that’s enough. Because there’s a gateway to heaven within you.”
Shi-on knocks on his chest: “If you’re always crying and are upset, then that gate disappears. But if you constantly think of the happy times and smile, then a large gate appears.” Sometimes her father comes to visit her through this gate, just like how his bunny and hyung often come to visit him.
“Those who don’t believe in heaven don’t have this gate in their hearts.” Shi-on tells her. That makes her smile, and they all knock on their chests to invite their loved ones to come visit them. Awww.
Shi-on drops by the little girl’s funeral later and thinks to himself: “I’ll ask Hyung and bunny to play with you. They’ll make sure you don’t feel lonely.”
Yoon-seo thinks back to Shi-on’s words about giving children another chance at life when she gets a call from Do-han. They talk outside, and he asks if she still holds a grudge against him.
She admits that she’s more angry at herself because she’s realized that she’s the one who has approached medicine with a mechanical mindset. She believes that her job as a pediatric surgeon is to give children a future.
Do-han tells her that he’s seen plenty of doctors who hold that same idealistic view fall by the wayside. Yoon-seo retorts that it was fear, not idealism, that led to those physicians’ ruin; they were at a loss of what they would do if they lost that idealistic perspective. “That fear is what made a surgeon weak. And I won’t be like that.”
Do-han says that she sounds a lot like Shi-on, and he warns her that a reckless sense of duty and emotion will cloud a doctor’s clinical judgment and lead to a serious mistake.
As we see Shi-on sketch a picture of the little girl, his bunny, and Hyung just outside the gates of heaven on his wall, we hear Yoon-seo admit that she was wrong about Shi-on being a robot, and asks for Do-han’s help to keep him on the team.
She doesn’t buy that the decision is outside of Do-han’s authority, saying that his neglect towards Shi-on is a form of aggression. But Do-han turns it back on her and tells her not to cover for Shi-on anymore because nothing will change because of it.
Yoon-seo sees Shi-on sitting outside on his porch because his counting dragonflies method didn’t work. She asks if she can come inside for a bit. Awed at the mural on the wall, she asks if it’s a picture of heaven, but Shi-on shakes his head and puts a fist to his chest instead. “This is.”
She doesn’t understand, so he starts to sing “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.” When she says she gets it now, he shoots her a thumbs up for being so smart.
Then Yoon-seo hugs him and thanks him. “Thanks to you, you saved this noona from being nothing but a technician.” He hiccups in response. Hee.
As they sit outside (eating kimbap, natch), Yoon-seo asks Shi-on how his brother passed away. Shi-on shares about the mine incident, and how it was his fault Hyung died because he was too scared to go into the mines alone.
Shi-on takes out the little green scalpel and says that he made a promise to Hyung to become a doctor. “I have to keep my promise. I have to become a doctor.”
Yoon-seo places a comforting hand on his shoulder and tells Shi-on to keep his promise to his brother.
HA—Yoon-seo totally acts like a noona the next morning. She waltzes into his place and smacks him on the bum to wake him up. Shi-on covers himself in his blankets, and she teases, “I already saw everything last time.” Pfft.
Shi-on looks at the time and says they have to hurry to get to work. But Yoon-seo tells him it’s Sunday, and he plops on the bed again, all, Oh.
She’s here to take him out today and asks what he wants to do. When he doesn’t make a decision right away, she starts counting down from five, which effectively gets him to jump nervously. Then he calls out that he knows where he wants to go.
So it’s off to the zoo and Shi-on looks at the animals with wide-eyed wonder. It cracks me up that Yoon-seo is like a mother chasing after her excited child around the zoo, and she asks if he likes the animals that much. He nods.
She asks why, and he answers: “Because animals are like children and children are like animals. They’re all kind and cute and play well with each other.”
Yoon-seo tells him that he’s right and points out an animal that looks particularly lethargic. Then Shi-on grows nervous and runs off. It turns out the animal was sick after all, and the veterinarian thanks them for catching on to the animal’s illness.
They sit outside afterwards, and Yoon-seo wonders how Shi-on was able to identify the problem. He tells her that he spent his weekends at an animal hospital during his intern year because he didn’t get the chance to witness surgeries very often.
So she asks if he ever thought about being a veterinarian instead of a doctor. Shi-on honestly admits that he’d like to but he can’t “because we’re both stupid.” He clarifies that he at least needs to be smart, but that’s not always the case.
Back at the hospital, Assistant Chief Kang acknowledges the board president’s affinity for the pediatrics department, but tells her that further funding is impossible. Chae-kyung suggests they build a separate hospital then, an idea that doesn’t go over too well.
But then president Lee receives a file that leaves her speechless, which reminds Assistant Kang of the “good news” that would reach the hospital. His expression goes back and forth between a smile and a frown.
Then we see Doctor Choi in his office with a copy of a file that states a certain Woomyung Group will cease its financial contributions to the hospital. Does that make Creepy Chairman head of this corporation?
Yoon-seo and Jin-wook rush over to respond to a call about an unruly 10-year-old female patient. Are those… bite marks on the resident’s arm? Good Lord.
All we can hear are the sounds of barking and snarling with the occasional broken glass when Shi-on joins his fellow residents. And I mean this in the nicest way, but the patient looks like she took a page from A Werewolf Boy.
Shi-on approaches with caution and slowly bends down so he’s at eye level with Wolf Girl. He extends his hand towards her as she growls at him in aggression… and then she grabs his arm and bites down.
The residents jump to save Shi-on from the feral child, who snarls at them menacingly.
It honestly took me a good, long minute wondering why we were introduced to a Wolf Girl for our case-of-the-week until I realized the connection to the zoo and Shi-on’s experience with animals. I’d be lying if I told you that the quizzical look on my face disappeared upon this realization, but to be honest, I’m still scratching my head. I almost should have seen it coming when Shi-on mentioned how he once spent his weekends at the animal hospital and recognized the zoo animal’s ailment, but I thought he was trying to gain any medical experience he could. I’m wary to say anything past how Shi-on will use that experience in his present work, but if anything, I’m inclined to disagree that children = animals, and that they’re all kind and cute. Well, in this case anyway. I have no doubt that the writer will incorporate Shi-on’s interpersonal skills with this patient as well to achieve a heart-warming result, homage to A Werewolf Boy notwithstanding.
Moving on, some of our evil guys are painted as pretty evil as they come, but I like that we can’t get a full read on Assistant Chief Kang. At any given moment, it looks like he hangs on the edge of harboring either malicious or noble intentions. If we look past his metaphorical love of baseball, we’re left to wonder who he’s truly rooting for and give us more question to ponder: Why does he take such an interest in Shi-on anyway? And what is his deal with the Creepy Chairman who may or may not be creepy? Also: Mom where were you all this time? Her sudden appearance makes me wonder what happened during the gap years, and I’m excited to watch how her presence comes into play.
Yoon-seo still continues to tug at my heartstrings this episode as she faces the aftermath of her first surgery. It certainly couldn’t be the first time she’s lost a patient as a second-year fellow, but I could only imagine the amount of stress she was under to operate on a child for the first time without a supervisor present. And then to subsequently lose that life in your hands, it pained me to watch her keep trying to revive the child, unable and unwilling to accept the truth. I like how we got to explore how she copes with her grief, and how this particular loss makes her doubt her own clinical skills. With a hard-headed boss at the helm, I could understand her dilemma to balance how to provide care to her patients while being an effective surgeon. I did find it a bit convenient that it took Shi-on’s idealistic view to bring her back to the notion that their work is more about the patients and that she isn’t just a technician at work in the operating room and hospital. But then I suppose the idea the show wants us to draw is that Yoon-seo and Shi-on learns from each other as they treat the patients that comes through those doors.
But more than anything, I love that we keep seeing progress in Shi-on’s interactions with those around him. The way he speaks to the children in a way they can understand gets me every time, and I really enjoy the metaphors and analogies he uses with each child. And not only that, we’re starting to see Shi-on act as the initiator in these interactions, to be the one to extend the helping hand to those in need.