Good Doctor: Episode 10
Who has the time to worry about crushes or hospital politics when it’s hard enough trying to catch a few winks when you’re an on-call resident? This episode delivers all the goods, stirring our hearts one moment and leaving us in a fit of giggles the next. We all know that it’s a hard knock life being a doctor, but just don’t let your sunbae catch you snoozin’ because she might give you a noogie for it.
As for our ratings report, Good Doctor still continues to command the lead, and the numbers remain steady at 17.4% and 18.4%, respectively.
SONG OF THE DAY
Ha Dong-gyun (하동균) – “Looks Good” (좋아보여) [ Download ]
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Shi-on declares to the surgical team that they can preserve the boy’s singing voice with the explanation on how to avoid a critical nerve. Both Do-ha and Yoon-seo echo his line of logic, and they roll up their sleeves to proceed.
The surgery is a success, and Yoon-seo delivers the good news to the parents. Shi-on is left to close in the operating room where Jin-wook and another resident shoot him a thumbs-up. Aw.
Yoon-seo seeks Do-han out in his office, fully expecting another round of criticism as per usual. But he has nothing bad to say this time, and Yoon-seo says the successful surgery is all thanks to Shi-on.
She understands Do-han’s reasons behind Shi-on’s transfer, but she asks him to keep one thing in mind: “Just see [Shi-on] for who he is. Just as he is.”
Shi-on sits outside after feeling dizzy post-surgery when a young man (nice to see you, Ryu Deok-hwan) sits beside him. There’s a hazy, dreamy glow that surrounds them as Shi-on shares his fear and anxiety back in the operating room with the stranger. Shi-on says he feels like a coward, much like the bunny he once raised.
The stranger tells him how bunnies are often thought as small and fearful creatures, but they’re actually quite fast, thanks to their long hind legs. They’re also smart, which makes them hard to catch. Shi-on points out that they’re dumb animals because they eat their own poop.
The man laughs at that, and then advises Shi-on that he not crouch in fear but run with strength like bunnies do. He compliments Shi-on on his fingernails: “They look just like crescent moons.” Gasp, is that you, Hyung?
Shi-on looks back at the stranger in recognition, his eyes welling up with tears. With a final word of encouragement, Hyung takes his leave.
Shi-on heads back inside in higher spirits when he sees the same young pregnant woman from the other day. He silently hands her a handkerchief.
When Opera Boy comes to, Yoon-seo tells him the good news and that he can enjoy his life now. Shi-on joins them, and the boy extends his hand, and they shake.
Yoon-seo is still amazed at Shi-on’s ability to envision the body. She likens it to seeing a 3D movie, but Shi-on corrects her that it’s far more complicated that that. He uses a soda can to demonstrate how he can visualize an object from multiple angles, twisting it this way and that.
Yoon-seo asks if it doesn’t make him dizzy all the time, to which she’s told it only happens in times of focused concentration. Intrigued, she asks if his ability works like an x-ray—as in, see parts that are hidden. And then she totally stands in front of him while he gives her the once-over. Hahaha, I can’t even.
A moment later, Shi-on bursts laughing. Yoon-seo gathers her coat to herself, embarrassed, and demands to know what he saw. Well duh, he is still a man after all. He answers matter-of-factly: “Who in the world would have that kind of ability?” HA.
Do-han mulls over the documents for Shi-on’s transfer in his office… and then rips them up. Yay!
Yoon-seo buys lunch for the team (à la Subway), but they’re one short, and one of the residents offers up his portion to Shi-on. Aw, I like how they’re warming up to Shi-on after they heard he thought that they hated him.
To put icing on the cake, Do-han tells Shi-on that his clock-in/clock-out days are over: starting tomorrow, he’s a regular first-year resident. Aww, yay! The other residents give him a good ol’ enthusiastic welcome.
Back in his office, Assistant Chief Kang wonders if it was his proposal that had Do-han change his mind, to which Do-han answers that it was Shi-on’s strong will. Furthermore, he’ll have to postpone the plan to recruit outside pediatric surgeons so that he can first build his team to become the best.
Assistant Chief Kang doesn’t appear too happy to hear this. He issues the thinly veiled warning that he hopes it doesn’t take too long because people tend to count the flaws of those who keep them waiting.
Shi-on sees Do-han shooting hoops outside. He thanks his boss and promises to work hard from now on. Do-han chucks the ball at him and tells him to shoot.
So Shi-on jumps, the ball soars up into the air in slow-motion… and it lands a few feet in front of them. HA, it gets me every time.
But it doesn’t end there, and Do-han instructs him to shoot again. And again and again. It’s just funny since you can almost see the cogs working out the calculations in his head but his body just doesn’t follow.
Thankfully the tenth (?) time is the charm. Do-han knows about Shi-on’s game with the other docs (the neurosurgeons who invited him to play last time) and warns him not humiliate their department again. Heh.
The nurses are overjoyed at the news, and Nurse Jo even plants a kiss on Shi-on’s cheek. Hee. Then we cut away to see Opera Boy’s parents standing outside of Eun-ok’s room. Omo, are you thinking of adopting her?
As Do-han and Yoon-seo wash up after another surgery, they’re greeted by another senior doctor, Doctor Min. She’s here to consult them about one of her cases: a 32 week fetus with congenital lymphangioma (usually rare, benign tumors) which could potentially threaten the baby’s respiratory tract.
The problem is that the mother-in-law (the baby’s future grandmother) plans to give the child up for adoption after the baby is born. She explains this often happens when the family discovers an abnormality in the unborn child, though in most cases, they choose abortion instead.
Yoon-seo finds that ridiculous since the condition is treatable, but the in-laws have fixated on the idea that they might end up with a less-than-perfect grandchild on their hands.
The good news, however, is that the baby’s mother sought their hospital out for surgery anyway, but she’s still very much hesitant. The person who convinced her to seek care: Shi-on.
So Shi-on is brought in to tell them what he told the mother. They initially stiffen when Shi-on says that Do-han would do the surgery, but then breathe a sigh of relief when Shi-on finishes that he suggested a obstetrician/gynecologist consult.
Then we flashback to Shi-on’s earlier conversation with the baby’s mother. He shares his life story with her, and then says her baby’s condition is treatable. “That’s all I said.” Shi-on finishes. Yoon-seo smiles, impressed.
Once they’re outside, Yoon-seo says they should celebrate his last day before becoming an official resident. Shi-on hesitantly asks if that means she’ll cook for him again. Heh. She says she won’t, and he heaves a relieved sigh. Ha.
She suggests a traditional Korean meal instead, and Shi-on pipes up that he’d like to eat the course with seven kinds of banchan. When she says that requires him to be hit seven times, he revises his answer: “Then, five dishes.”
(They’re talking about a traditional meal where the number of side dishes is in accordance with social rank. Thus a meal fit for a king might have say, twelve dishes whereas a commoner might have five. Historical dramas and films are a good example of this.)
Yoon-seo mentions that they’ll be joined by one more guest, and then we see Mom waiting at the restaurant. Ah, so this is a plan for mother and son to meet.
Yoon-seo sings Shi-on’s praises to Mom, who says that his parents would be so happy to hear that he’s doing well. She even does the motherly thing of placing a banchan on his spoonful of rice, a gesture that gives Shi-on pause.
Near tears, Mom tells him that she hopes that Shi-on will become a good doctor. Shi-on says that he will because he made a promise with his hyung. At that, Mom quickly excuses herself and sobs silently outside. Ack Mom, you’re breakin’ my heart.
Chae-kyung is already waiting at home when Do-han arrives, and she’s not happy about Shi-on’s reinstatement. He tells her to drop it, but she’s thoroughly annoyed by now, and asks him: “Do you even know what I’m doing for your sake?”
That grabs his attention, and she admits that she was the one pulling the strings behind the corporate funding. She comes right out with her intention to overthrow her stepmother to become president of the board herself and to place Do-han as chief of staff.
He asks how she could think of going up against her parent figures, and tells her to stop. But like a petulant child, she refuses to back down. Do-han says fine, but if she plans to continue, then she can count on never seeing him again.
As they walk back home, Yoon-seo asks why Shi-on hesitated when Mom placed the banchan on his spoon. Shi-on replies that he felt like something he’d dreamt before, but he doesn’t know how to explain it.
Yoon-seo has a few final questions to ask before Shi-on starts his resident duties tomorrow: “What does being a doctor mean to you?” It’s the same set of questions she once asked him, and now Shi-on’s answers are different:
Shi-on: “One’s last hope. It’s a doctor’s job to take care of the patient until the end when everyone else has given up on them.”
Yoon-seo: “What about a patient?”
Shi-on: “A friend you will have to part with. A patient is somebody you need to treat as a friend. Somebody you need to treat so that they are healthy even after they leave, so that they never have to seek me out again.”
She smiles, and then slaps him on the back (ow). Then she takes his hands in hers and tells him that it was his own volition that triggered this change in him. “So trust yourself more.”
She notices that he isn’t hiccuping today, and then ruffles his hair.
So Shi-on begins his medical duties with the rest of the team, even taking notes during rounds. He runs into Chae-kyung in the halls, and she tells him not to cause trouble in the future, for Do-han’s sake.
At Shi-on’s silence, Chae-kyung wonders if she hurt his feelings, but Shi-on says it’s that he has yet to understand what the phrase “for someone else’s sake” means. He takes his leave, and Chae-kyung cracks a teeny smile.
Yoon-seo picks up on Do-han’s disheartened mood, and he asks her what she thinks it means to do something for someone else’s sake. She asks him to be specific in the romantic or co-worker relationship sense, and then narrows her eyes, asking if he’s worried about Chae-kyung.
She takes a stab at it anyway, answering wistfully: “To look after them? Not ignorance or neglect, but just looking after them.” But doing so may be the hardest thing to do, which might be why relationships tend to last so long.
Do-han: “Are you looking after me?” That throws her off for a second, and he says he means as colleagues. Yoon-seo answers that he always pesters her, but always makes wise choices in the end, which is why she always loses to him.
That gets him to laugh, and he thanks her for at least letting him win in the end, an answer that confuses her.
The female resident Seon-joo consults Il-kyu about a diagnosis. He hedges, telling her that she has plenty of time to learn that stuff later in her career. Looks like those C’s in med school are catching up to you.
She reluctantly asks Shi-on instead, who eagerly launches into an explanation as if he’d been bursting at the seams to tell her. Seon-joo points out that he speaks jondaemal with her when he’s her sunbae, and with a smile, invites him to use banmal instead. Cute.
Jin-wook notes Shi-on’s marked change, and Yoon-seo wonders if he’s reverted back to when he first started at the hospital. He was plenty competent, but was then restricted from doing anything once he arrived. Moreover, he was looked down upon, ignored, and his skills were questioned, so it made sense that he climbed back into his shell.
But Opera Boy’s surgery gave Shi-on a newfound confidence, and now he’s finally being acknowledged by his colleagues.
Doctor Pomade is in a pissy mood, lashing out at any hoobae he sees. But Shi-on isn’t perturbed by his annoyance, telling his department head that he’s decided to respect him from now on.
The mother-in-law isn’t sold on the idea on surgery, hanging on the possible “what if” situation. Yoon-seo raises her voice, saying that the unborn child doesn’t have a disability. And even if it was, she has no place to decide what to do with that life.
The mother-in-law takes it as well as you might expect, and rises to leave with her meek daughter-in-law. They run into Shi-on on their way out, and he tells them that they have to get the surgery soon. The mother-in-law clucks at him in disapproval.
Shi-on follows them out to their car, and he tells the mother not to cry because her tears saddens others whereas the cry of a baby brings joy to many.
Ha, it’s cute how Shi-on is so excited about his first night on-call. In-hye drops by to visit him, and she asks if he still hiccups whenever he’s around “that woman.” He says he doesn’t but confirms that his heart races instead.
He listens intently as In-hye confirms that he has Stage 2 Love Sickness. His symptoms will only get progressively worse (heh) and asks if he wants to confess his feelings yet.
Shi-on shakes his head, saying he doesn’t know anything about what it means to like or love someone.But she says that he’s already in knee-deep, and if he’s not ready yet, then he can compliment her instead, like saying she’s pretty or something.
Shi-on says those are the same things he tells Eun-ok, but In-hye says that it’s totally different when it’s someone you like and stresses the importance of expressing how you feel.
In-hye plops down beside him and admits that she’s envious of this girl, whoever she is. She relays a saying: “The most amazing miracle is to make your loved one’s heart race.”
Shi-on spots Yoon-seo standing beside the preemie’s incubator. He notes that the baby has gotten much healthier, but Yoon-seo’s thoughts are filled with the young mother.
It’s not like they can persuade her to come back, and reminds Shi-on that there are clear boundaries in that matter. Whether she likes it or not, she has to respect the patient’s decision.
Shi-on: “You have a good heart.” He tells her how he once heard that a good heart is like pollen from a flower and how it flies far away to make other flowers bloom. After she leaves, Shi-on says aloud: “You will fly. Far away.”
The young mother returns to the hospital on her own. When the doctors tell her that her mother-in-law won’t be happy about it, she bravely replies that her decision remains the same, all thanks to Shi-on.
Yoon-seo finds Shi-on nodding off at his desk, having stayed up all night. He’s barely awake enough to listen as she tells him that he was right about the pollen metaphor.
Doctor Min and Do-han walks their respective departments through the procedure. They have a narrow window of 30 minutes to operate on the fetus; or else the mother could die from hypovolemic shock. Furthermore, they’ll need to intubate the fetus quickly or perform a tracheotomy. Gahhh.
Shi-on has been dozing off during the presentation, but wakes at the mention of potential death. He interrupts to ask about what they would do in every possible worse case scenario every few seconds, to Do-han’s frustration.
But then Shi-on poses a bioethical question: In the case they need to save either the baby or the mother, who should they save? Doctor Min answers that they’ve never run into that situation in their hospital, but if they did, they would save the mother.
Afterwards, Do-han apologizes on behalf of Shi-on, but Doctor Min laughs good-heartedly that Shi-on might follow in Do-han’s footsteps. Back in the staff room, Yoon-seo poses that same question of who he would save in that scenario. He dozes off mid-answer. Heh.
Assistant Chief Kang speaks with Creepy Chairman on the phone and tells him that now is the time for him to come in.
As Shi-on catches a few winks, he dreams of Doctor Choi desperately trying to save Hyung. He wakes and repeats the words Doctor Choi said to his brother: “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” At the same time, Doctor Choi leaves the cafeteria and recognizes Mom.
Shi-on is called away to the observation desk where Do-han tells him what Shi-on needs to do in order to be acknowledged by his colleagues: “Surpass me.”
Do-han knows full well that a resident cannot take the lead on a surgery, so Shi-on must find another way to become better than him. “To the point where others won’t notice your handicap.”
But they have a more pressing matter on their hands as the mother-in-law comes to collect the young mother from the hospital. Yoon-seo and Do-han rush over to stop them, and Shi-on says that she must stay at the hospital.
The mother-in-law threatens to get them all fired, and Yoon-seo welcomes her to try. Her breathing labored, the young mother says that she’s staying and agrees to a divorce if that’s what it takes. And then she collapses in Yoon-seo’s arms.
Allow me to sit here a moment while I drink in the pure delight of this week’s episodes. Ahhhh. I love that this episode hit all the right spots with a blend of funny, drama, and suspense that carried throughout the hour. It’s a great improvement from last week where I mostly felt we were circling around some topics. That’s not to say that the show didn’t have its life lessons to teach, but rather these pair of episode felt far more wholesome and carried much more depth.
It’s nice when you have a string of episodes that build upon each other rather a revolving door of patients who come in and out of the hospital. Now that we’ve hit the halfway mark, it’s fair to say that Good Doctor does a good job of intertwining these stories together that feels much more than your classic case-of-the-week. It makes this world feel rounded-out (apart from the fact that this is the One University Hospital in Seoul) as we see one patient affected by another. For instance, I thought that we had seen the last of Eun-ok a few episodes ago, but then she was brought back in with Opera Boy’s storyline, giving him a chance to use his talent so that she can hear him sing.
Furthermore, there are minor plot points picked back up to showcase consequences for evil actions. I know—who knew? Doctor Pomade’s medication order scandal is one such case and it kicked the evil board administrator out for the time being (and to be honest, I’m glad to be rid of him for now). Not only that, it propels our evil characters to actually think about their unethical choices, leaving the door open for them to change for the better. I like that Shi-on is the one to reach out to Doctor Pomade first, and little does he know that that half of an ice cream is an actually an agent of change.
Shi-on’s re-induction back into the pediatrics team was most welcome since it was not-so-fun watching Shi-on cower and shrink away every time he did any little thing at the hospital. But what’s different about this time is that he has a newfound confidence in him, thanks to the tidbits from his patients thus far along with his colleagues who challenge him to push the boundaries that limit him.
It’s the little changes that we’ve seen: when he lets go of the bed, or stops himself from giving false hope to his patient, or seeing what it means to be a doctor and a patient in a new light. They’re still baby steps compared to the mountain of obstacles he faces, but what I’m hoping for is that they start to rub off the hard-ass Do-han. Up to this point, it’s Do-han who’s been doing most of the yelling, his inner fear that something terrible may happen if he allows Shi-on some independence. But we see that something is already changing within him, and now he challenges Shi-on to become the best so that no one can look down on him. A little stubbornness never hurts if it drives you to achieve your dream.