Love can take so many forms in any given relationship, but what’s important to keep in mind is that love is more than just a feeling—it’s an action. And action takes courage when words can only take you so far. Our characters continue to wrestle with what that love looks like when it’s far easier to clam up those emotions due to fear.

This week’s ratings saw a slight dip in numbers with 17.9% and 18.6% but still keeps the top slot in the Monday-Tuesday pack.

SONG OF THE DAY

Kim Jong-kook – “Don’t You Know?” (모르나요)

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EPISODE 14 RECAP

Faced with two patients crashing simultaneously, Do-han assigns Shi-on to operate on the other patient. Shi-on says that he can’t—he’s a first-year resident—but desperate times call for desperate measures; they have no time to lose and it’s their job to save their patients. Shi-on decides to do it.

Things aren’t looking good—there’s severe internal bleeding and the patient’s vital signs are unstable. Wracked with anxiety, Shi-on is unable to picture the target area in his head.

At that moment, Shi-on recalls the words to believe in himself and overcome his struggles. It spurs new confidence within him, and Shi-on proceeds with the rest of the surgery in an assertive, focused manner as Do-han and Yoon-seo look on, impressed.

Through the glass, Yoon-seo thinks in her head: “I’m extremely proud of you, Shi-on. It looks like you don’t need me anymore.”

After Shi-on delivers the good news to the parents, he heads back to see Do-han, who gives his usual slice of criticism on the surgical procedure. It’s unlikely that they’ll run into another emergency like this one for a few years, so he’ll say the words now: “Congratulations on your first surgery.” Aww.

Shi-on smiles at the praise, and then the other residents gather around in celebration except for Yoon-seo, who gives a small smile and walks out. Then Do-han calls for a celebratory team dinner, to the residents’ delight.

Back to the hospital politics as Creepy Chairman insists that he’s an investor trying to save the hospital. His conditions are rather favorable, including building the pediatric surgery department, apart from one thing: that president Lee must step down from her position.

He laughs over how easily he could sell the hospital to less capable hands, saying he’ll make sure to instate a young, capable person in her place. Neither president Lee nor Doctor Choi are convinced, but the board president is particularly distressed and she names him as the person responsible for her husband’s death fifteen years ago.

That hardly fazes Creepy Chairman, who hints that the hospital will have to pay their outstanding loan if they don’t accept his “investment” to buy out the hospital. Eek.

Do-han finds Yoon-seo deep in thought on the roof. He asks what she’s worrying about this time, and she honestly answers that it’s about Shi-on. She believes she made the mistake of continuously treating Shi-on like a child because of his disability rather than an adult.

Do-han asks if Shi-on has said anything on the subject, and Yoon-seo vaguely answers that she must have upset him somehow. Do-han understands why she could feel that way, but he disagrees with the idea that her behavior was a detriment to Shi-on.

In fact, he thinks that it was her nurturing attitude towards Shi-on that induced the marked change in him. All she needs to do is to change with him in the future, Do-han tells her. He’s surprised when she opts out of the team outing.

When Chae-kyung meets with the assistant chief, she call him out for using Do-han and Shi-on as pawns in this power battle. But Assistant Chief Kang retorts that Chae-kyung is doing the same by using Creepy Chairman for her own personal gain. Damn, you do know everything.

Then we learn a bit more about Assistant Chief Kang’s personal intentions as he speaks to his wife on the phone about their sick child. He tells his family to stay in the States for the time being.

The pediatrics team clinks glasses on a job well done, and the residents pout over Yoon-seo’s absence since she’s usually the life of the party. At the mention of her alleged nickname as “God-given body,” Do-han says that it’s a self-proclaimed name. Heh.

At home, Yoon-seo looks at the roses hanging on her corkboard for a long minute before placing it in the trash.

Outside, Do-han asks if Shi-on has gone to visit his father yet. He guesses that Shi-on hasn’t in order to avoid feeling ashamed or getting his pride hurt. To that, Do-han asks if Shi-on knows what it is that truly hurts one’s pride: “To fear something once and be afraid of it forever.”

This truth is applicable in both the workplace and in life, Do-han tells him. He adds that many people mistake fear for courage, but they aren’t the same thing. “Courage doesn’t mean that you get afraid, but it means you don’t let fear stop you.”

Yoon-seo runs into Shi-on when they scrub in for surgery the next day. She tries to strike up small talk with him, but it’s apparent that things are still awkward between them.

Doctor Choi is surprised to learn that Do-han is already familiar with Creepy Chairman’s name. But what’s more important, Doctor Choi tells him, is the mysterious chairman’s connection to the late board president aka Chae-kyung’s father.

He explains how Creepy Chairman had tried to buy out the hospital some fifteen years before. Chae-kyung’s father had managed to successfully prevent the acquisition then, though, to great cost to himself. Unfortunately, Chae-kyung’s father was diagnosed with liver cancer shortly thereafter and passed away.

Doctor Choi points out that it seems their enemy already has someone in mind to take president Lee’s place. He hasn’t told Chae-kyung about any of this in case the news would worry her. Oh, if you only knew how much she already knows.

Do-han puts the pieces together in his head right away and beelines for Chae-kyung. He asks point-blank if she knows what she’s getting into by dealing with the devil himself, and he advises that she cut ties with the chairman immediately.

Chae-kyung counters that the chairman was the only person who sympathized with her emotional struggles whereas everyone else told her to get over it. She admits she’s not as strong as she appears to be, and it would have been nice if Do-han made some time to spend with her.

She masks her vulnerability in a flash, and Do-han urges her to listen to what he has to say. It’s only after Do-han leaves do we learn that he told her the upsetting truth about how Creepy Chairman had a hand in her father’s passing.

Jin-wook remarks on how off Yoon-seo’s been acting these past few days, adding that she doesn’t seem to be taking extra care of Shi-on either. She lets out a forced laugh, and then says that Shi-on seems to be doing just fine.

But Jin-wook isn’t so sure since Shi-on is having a hard enough time as it is with his father and hints that he could easily be hurt by other things. Heh, do you know about Shi-on’s crush, too? She playfully tells him to mind his own business, but the words seems to affect her.

Shi-on sits besides the young girl’s bedside, and she thanks him for saving her so that she can continue to take care of her father. When she hears that Shi-on’s father is sick, she says, “The sicker [your father] he is, the more you have to love him.”

Shi-on asks what that looks like, and she answers to do what she did today: to keep in mind that Shi-on wouldn’t be able to see his father if he died.

So Shi-on seeks out the oncologist about his father’s case. Just looking at Dad’s x-rays triggers his anxiety as Shi-on picks at his fingernails nervously. The prognosis isn’t good, and all they can do now is give him medicine to minimize the pain.

Thinking of Do-han’s words about courage, Shi-on takes a brave step to visit Dad’s room. As expected, Dad barks as soon as he sees Shi-on, who involuntarily jerks at the noise.

Shi-on does approach his father, though warily, and his motor tics go into overdrive when Dad grabs him by the coatfront. Dad grumbles when he learns his son won’t be able to treat him, muttering how Shi-on could ever be a doctor.

Then he raises an eyebrow—surely doctors get paid a handsome salary. Oh no, don’t you go playing the manipulative guilt card on him! But Dad does, saying that Shi-on should pay for his poor father’s hospital bills because he worked so hard on raising him and all. Ugh, I feel thoroughly disgusted.

It’s frightening to watch how scared and anxious Shi-on gets as he stammers that he will. Which is when Mom sees the tail-end of this conversation from just outside the door.

Doctor Pomade is in a losing battle against the vending machine when a little girl tugs on his coat and holds out a drink. Aw, it’s the same little girl who did the same for Yoon-seo last time.

The sight brings a smile to Doctor Pomade’s face as he takes it, opens it… and then the little girl tugs on his coat again. HA, did you only want him to open it for you? That’s hilarious. It also makes me wonder if the same thing happened to Yoon-seo back then, too.

Doctor Pomade takes a seat beside Shi-on outside, and he’s slightly taken aback at the question whether he had a good father. Shi-on explains that he wishes his own father would be proud of him, even if everyone else disregarded him, and vice-versa.

Doctor Pomade picks up on a possible father-son relationship on the rocks, so he gruffly takes out a few bills for Shi-on to use as allowance money. D’aww, the gesture alone is sweet.

One of the kids is getting better, and Yoon-seo informs the mother that her son can soon be discharged. At this exciting news, the children talk about what he’ll do once he’s back home. But all is not what it seems because the little boy ends up vomiting again, and he gasps at what he sees.

Shi-on knocks on the bathroom stall door just then. Having heard a retching sound, he asks if the boy threw up, but the kid lies that nothing’s wrong. Then Shi-on spots a bile-stained tissue in the trash and stuffs it in his pocket.

He runs into Mom in the hallway and the two step outside to chat. Her voice breaking, Mom confesses, “Shi-on-ah… I’m your mom.”

Tears fall from her eyes as she apologizes for not telling him sooner. Then she steps forward to gently cup his face in her hands as she calls him her son.

Shi-on stands there, frozen in place. He thinks back to when he had cried reading a farewell note from Mom as a young boy. He takes Mom’s hand and moves it away before saying: “I… don’t like Mom! Mom abandoned me and left me!” Oof.

Mom cries that she was in the wrong, but Shi-on says that Mom is bad, just like Dad. “I… don’t need Mom.” He walks away, leaving Mom sobbing on the sidewalk.

Yoon-seo searches for Shi-on and finds him sitting in his usual corner. She quickly checks their surroundings before she asks how it went with his mother. She’s surprised to hear that he’s doing fine and that he doesn’t want to see Mom.

Shi-on says that he realized that his mother didn’t love him. The first thing that came to his head when he saw his mother was how she abandoned him as a boy and how he hated her for it then. Yoon-seo urges that he hear Mom out, but Shi-on shakes his head. He tells her not to worry about it and shuffles away to a dark corner and cries silently.

Yoon-seo bumps into Shi-on again at the end of the workday, and she encourages him to seek her out if anything troubles him. He says that he can confide in Do-han instead. She deflates.

In-hye sneaks out of the hospital to follow a hunch when she sees the bar’s business card tucked in her sister’s wallet. She steps inside (security is really lax ’round here, innit?) and catches a glimpse of her sister chatting with some male clients.

She’s shocked to say the least, and her raised voice when another employee tries to usher her out grabs unni’s attention. Once outside, In-young asks if Jin-wook was the one who told her, and In-hye is hurt to learn that he knew about it before she did. She runs away, crying.

Her eyes are puffy and red by the time she returns to the hospital, and Jin-wook asks where she’d run off to this time. Angry and hurt, she stalks off.

Another medical emergency occurs when the little boy (who vomited bile earlier) collapses to the ground, unconscious. His mother is fraught with worry, wondering what it could be. And then Shi-on recalls the bile-stained tissue.

The CT scan reveals an intestinal obstruction, namely a pancreatic cyst. Do-han notes that it’s strange how the patient didn’t complain of abdominal pain, a fact which troubles Yoon-seo.

As they prepare for surgery, Do-han assures her that these sorts of cases happen often and it’s still treatable. Yoon-seo blames herself for not catching it sooner, calling herself a burden to the team. Before she ends up too deep in her self-criticism, Do-han tells her to stop talking nonsense and head inside.

Shi-on keeps his eyes on Yoon-seo during surgery, and then he talks to the boy afterward to ask if he really wasn’t in pain beforehand.

That’s when the boy confesses that he was in pain, but he lied because he wanted to go home and spend time with his family. He asks that Shi-on keep the fact that he lied a secret from his mother.

Shi-on steps outside and overhears the mother lecture Yoon-seo for potentially putting her son at risk by almost discharging him when he’s still sick. She threatens to take action, and Yoon-seo can only hang her head apologetically. Then Shi-on takes out the tissue from his pocket.

Do-han assures her that it was a minor incident and that he’ll take responsibility for any further action taken against them. He finds it hard to believe that Yoon-seo would attribute her error to a lack of concentration, but he takes note of her still-gloomy mood.

The nurses worry if Yoon-seo will be all right when they spot Shi-on bow repeatedly in apology to the boy’s mother. Next thing we know, the mother marches into the staff room with the explanation that Shi-on has admitted fault. Oh no.

Shi-on says that he saw the boy vomit yesterday but failed to report it right away, taking out the bile-stained tissue as evidence. Both Yoon-seo and Do-han can tell what he’s trying to do, and when Yoon-seo tries to interject, Shi-on assumes full responsibility.

Thankfully, the mother ends up dropping the matter, but Yoon-seo fumes.

She rips into Shi-on once they’re outside, saying that this was her own mistake. She knows that he did it because he was thinking of her, but instead of putting her at ease, it just makes her more upset.

Yoon-seo asks why on earth Shi-on would sacrifice himself to put his own neck on the line when he’s having a harder time than she is. Shi-on says that he isn’t and doesn’t understand what sacrifice is.

She tells him that she can afford to make a mistake, but Shi-on can’t—what he did today was for nobody’s sake.

When Shi-on is called into Do-han’s office later, he explains that Doctor Choi once told him that taking responsibility for something they didn’t do is how the world works. Realizing Shi-on took those words at face value, Do-han asks why he did it then.

“I think it would be a comfort.” Shi-on answers. He says that he’s lived a life of receiving comfort from others up to now, so he wanted to try and repay that gratitude unto others.

Slightly amused, Do-han points out that Yoon-seo didn’t seem too happy about it, so he advises Shi-on to provide Yoon-seo with real comfort—not in a big, grand gesture, but in the small, heartwarming ways he’s received it from others.

After a few drinks at the Library, Yoon-seo heads home and notices Shi-on standing outside in the courtyard. She asks why he’s just standing around, and Shi-on replies that he was worried she might be upset.

“I was wrong,” Shi-on says. “I’m sorry for making you mad. But… that was the only thing I could do [for you]. I don’t want for you to be hurt. I hate it more than me being hurt.”

Yoon-seo says that she knows he stepped in for her because he likes her, but Shi-on says that what he did has nothing to do with how he feels about her. “I just… wanted to comfort you. Sincerely.”

Shi-on says he kept his distance from her in case she might feel uncomfortable around him, but he couldn’t do that today. He tells her that what happened to the little boy wasn’t her fault.

Tears well up in Yoon-seo’s eyes as she says that she’s already having a hard enough time as it is… and then Shi-on steps forward to hug her.

COMMENTS

Let’s start off with the hug, which is a sweet gesture that is so fitting for Yoon-seo and Shi-on’s relationship in this series. I’m less inclined to call it a romantic overture since Shi-on’s intention is to simply comfort Yoon-seo at present, and I love how it mirrors the way Yoon-seo used to comfort him in his times of need. It’s the one thing that he can do for her and a huge step for him in terms of affectionate expression as the one to initiate the hug. I think it’s fair to say that we’re seeing such drastic development in Shi-on’s affective behavior in a relatively short time period due to the narrative timeline (with six episodes left, that is) than what we might expect to see in the real world. So I often find myself wrestling with how to take in these changes when they occur in what feels like a pretty small window of time of six months.

It makes me wonder if it’s the writing (which we know to be less than subtle) to drive his character development quicker in order to develop the relationships with those around him. And yet, what I like about Shi-on’s character is that we get a relatively short turnaround of the nuggets of wisdom and advice from others. Instead of ruminating on those words for several episodes, Shi-on puts them into action, like how he visits his father after hearing he should love him or how he goes to comfort Yoon-seo according to Do-han’s advice. It makes a for a meaty, satisfying watch in those moments, knowing that our hero is actively working towards a change.

It’s an entirely different story when it comes to dear ol’ Dad, who earns no sympathy points in this episode. There was a little part of me that hoped that Dad couldn’t get any worse, only to get the reminder that he really is a downright terrible person. He digs that grave (no pun intended. Well okay, maybe a little) so much deeper this hour that it makes his possible redemption that much harder to attain. Though honestly, I don’t think many of us are expecting to see any change in Dad anytime soon, if ever.

On the other hand, it was utterly heartbreaking to watch Mom’s confession come right after Shi-on was pulled into doing the filial son thing. Even though I knew that Shi-on wouldn’t accept Mom right away due to the hurt of being abandoned—which is also horrible—I do root for a reconciliation between them, if only for the reason that Shi-on deserves a loving family connection. What I hope for Shi-on overall is that he eventually reaches a point where he can reconcile himself to his traumatic past and harness it into a courage that doesn’t let fear stop him.

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