Even with medical emergencies flying in left in right, Good Doctor also dedicates the time to focus on the people who occupy the hospital. And though some of our characters are pretty cookie-cutter, I enjoy how there are a select few we really don’t have any idea about.
Note: A crazy, hectic real-life week kept me away from dramaland after KCON. But I’m back for lots more Good Doctor. I appreciate your patience everyone! Thanks!
SONG OF THE DAY
Baek Ji-young – “I’m Crying” (울고만있어) [ Download ]
EPISODE 7 RECAP
All eyes are on Shi-on after he accidentally elbows a security guard in his effort to help Eun-ok. Eek, thisisbadthisisbad. And then Eun-ok collapses onto the floor crying in pain.
The doctors examine her inflamed abdomen, and Shi-on’s cries that they have to operate immediately get promptly dismissed.
Once the patient is wheeled away, Do-han tears into Shi-on, telling him that nobody will believe his side of the story, thus it’s pointless to try to convince them otherwise. In his eyes, it proves once again how Shi-on didn’t think of how his behavior would affect those around him, including Doctor Choi.
Those words seem to affect Shi-on, and he returns to his desk with a heavy heart.
Having overheard the lecture, Yoon-seo hangs her head in apology to her boss on Shi-on’s behalf as well as her own, but Do-han refuses to hear a word of it. They get to work on the inflamed abscess in the little girl’s abdomen.
After Doctor Choi is informed of the situation, he sits down with Shi-on in the staff room. He nods understandingly as Shi-on explains himself in a scared and anxious voice, and places a hand over Shi-on’s in comfort.
In a gentle voice, Doctor Choi says that up to this point, Shi-on has learned how to treat his patients, but now it’s time for him to learn how to assume responsibility. Shi-on has trouble with the idea that things aren’t always black-and-white, and asks why he should take responsibility for something he didn’t do.
At the disciplinary committee meeting, Doctor Choi makes the announcement that Shi-on will be fired from staff. That decision also begs the question of the chief of staff position, a promise that Doctor Choi plans to uphold.
President Lee calls up Doctor Choi once she hears the news, upset that he’s made this decision without consulting her. She assures him that she’ll buy him some time so she can think of another solution. He says there’s no need, but she tells him that she’ll feel powerless at this hospital without him.
In the operating room, Do-han successfully completes surgery but warns his team to keep a close eye in case of a relapse. He then gets a call from Chae-kyung about the committee’s decision.
From the worried look on Yoon-seo’s face, it seems that the incident with Eun-ok continues to weigh heavily on her mind. Shi-on drops by to ask after the surgery, and he’s relieved to hear it was successful.
He then launches to his explanation that he can’t lie—he locked the patient’s door, but neither of their bosses believe him, and he doesn’t understand why people keep telling him that he’s the one who made the mistake.
He asks if Yoon-seo thinks he’s lying, too. Didn’t she once tell him that she believes in him? Yoon-seo swallows hard before telling him to return to his desk, unable to deliver the bad news.
Do-han tries to persuade Doctor Choi from stepping down as chief of staff, adding that there’s no need to put himself on the line for Shi-on’s sake. But Doctor Choi sticks by his principles and says that he’s a man of his word.
We can see on their faces how this decision pains them both, and Doctor Choi thanks Do-han for helping him with Shi-on.
Doctor Kim is sharp enough to pinpoint Doctor Pomade’s evil motives behind ousting the current board president and chief of staff. He warns Doctor Pomade to do his part properly or they’ll both be in trouble.
Just then, Do-han barges into the room and asks if they’re satisfied now. He finds this power struggle immature and ridiculous, and makes it clear that this isn’t the end—this decision will boomerang back to them.
Unfortunately there is no CCTV that records the specific area near Eun-ok’s room, and that security door lock doesn’t report to the main server, which seems like a huge oversight. However, they can obtain a list of the last ten people who came and went in that area. Assistant Chief Kang instructs security to get him that list without anyone knowing.
As Chae-kyung listens to Do-han’s rant about his superiors, she points out how Do-han is powerless to do anything in his current position. She reminds him that he’ll never run into another situation like this one if he accepts her offer.
Doctor Choi drops by the staff room to deliver the bad news to Shi-on, who says that no one believes him. Shi-on runs into Do-han on his way out, and his request to say goodbye to Yoon-seo and the rest of the team is shut down.
Do-han advises that Shi-on lives a life that suits his condition where he doesn’t trouble those around him. He adds, “Don’t ever think you’re capable of doing things on your own.”
At the same time, Doctor Choi spends a quiet moment in his office, and he tears up at the photos of him and Shi-on.
Yoon-seo belatedly hears of Shi-on’s dismissal, and she rushes into the staff room only to find him already gone. Her phone calls go unanswered, and we see Shi-on peer in to check on Eun-ok before he turns to leave.
Yoon-seo catches a glimpse of him in the lobby and she chases him outside, calling his name. But Shi-on doesn’t so much as turn his head as he walks away.
It’s only when Shi-on is a far distance from the hospital that he looks back at the building. He apologizes to Hyung in his head: “I’ll do better next time. I’ll make sure to become a doctor.”
He trudges along the street, but he instinctively turns his head at a passing ambulance on its way to the hospital.
As tears stream down her face, Yoon-seo tries to convince herself that this could be better for Shi-on. Meanwhile Do-han speaks to his solved 12-sided rubik’s cube as if it was Shi-on: “Don’t take on the world. If you can avoid it, avoid it. If you can hide, then hide.”
Yoon-seo sits vigil by Eun-ok’s bedside and tries to touch her head when she wakes, but Eun-ok turns away.
Recalling Shi-on’s words about animal communication to align with the heart, Yoon-seo slowly places a hand over the little girl’s heart. In turn, Eun-ok brushes her fingers over Yoon-seo’s hand.
This precious moment is cut short by Eun-ok’s aunt’s arrival, and the woman’s shrill voice alone triggers a fear response in the little girl. Bitch Aunt is a piece of work to say the least, and she demands that her niece be discharged. The way she boasts about how she doesn’t see anything wrong with how she raised Eun-ok makes me want to slap her.
Yoon-seo blames Eun-ok’s currently deteriorated mental and physical health on the aunt’s negligence. She refuses to release her patient, and tells auntie to go the legal route if she wants to see her niece. Damn, I love it when Yoon-seo stands her ground.
But what’s even better is that good-natured Nurse Jo turns on a dime after he leads Bitch Aunt away. Making a gesture across his throat, he issues the warning that she better not come to cause another ruckus here again. HA.
Back in the patient’s room, Yoon-seo and the nurses worry about Eun-ok, whose aunt was let off with a warning due to lack of evidence. Noting Eun-ok’s anxious state, Nurse Jo comments that it would be nice if Shi-on was here at a time like this.
In-hye scoffs over how absurd it is that the hospital fired Shi-on without giving him so much as a warning. She sends him an SOS text that she’s in a lot of pain. It works, and Shi-on calls her back to ask about her symptoms. She says it’s her heart (as in emotional heart or feelings), and he pouts and asks if she lied to him.
Meanwhile, the other kids talk about Shi-on, and the little girl rises to Shi-on’s defense when one of the boys says he was told that Shi-on is a little strange. She tells them that they’re wrong, and they catch a glimpse of In-hye sneaking outside in street clothes.
Do-han finds Yoon-seo standing by Shi-on’s empty desk. She admits that she hoped to say something, but let him go instead. She knows she would have told him to beg for forgiveness and try to stick it out, but then she realized that Shi-on might be better off this way. Do-han tells her that she made the right decision and walks out.
Yoon-seo check on Mom and carefully broaches the topic about her family. Mom confesses that she has a husband and a son, but they both live far away. When Mom asks about Shi-on, Yoon-seo lies that he’s still working at the hospital.
That answer brings a smile to Mom’s face, and she says that his parents would be very proud of him.
As Shi-on sits in a toy museum, he thinks to himself: “I don’t lie, but why don’t people believe me?” This is where In-hye finds him, and she assures him that she’ll only stay for a short while.
She tells him that he can’t break the toy robots like he did at the hospital, and Shi-on points to a sign that says as much. She asks Shi-on why he likes robots, and he answers: “Because they listen to me. They believe me.”
“Robots stay still,” he continues, “No matter how much I talk, they listen to everything I say.”
At the same time, Yoon-seo says that Shi-on seemed upset that no one believed what he said. Doctor Choi agrees, and adds that there are times when treating those with autism when they are taught to lie in order to help them survive in society. He wasn’t able to achieve that with Shi-on.
That prompts Yoon-seo to ask how Shi-on managed to lead a life of independence thus far then. Thanks to Shi-on’s remarkable memorization skills, he studied everything he needed to know about the world through books, including abstract concepts and principles. The problem, however, is that Shi-on hits a roadblock whenever he comes across an irrational or illogical situation.
She asks after Shi-on’s parentage and learns that both of his parents abandoned him after his brother died, so Doctor Choi took it upon himself to raise the boy.
When she asks if he’d be able to recognize his parents now, Doctor Choi shakes his head, saying that Shi-on has blocked out all of his childhood memories and his family apart from his brother.
Doctor Choi believes the reason behind Shi-on’s childlike state isn’t just due to his autism, but that he’s holding onto his childhood, much like Peter Pan.
Elsewhere, In-hye and Shi-on go out to eat. She tells him that he can always work at another hospital and instructs him to let her know when he does so she can transfer there. Aw, that’s sweet.
Shi-on says there are a lot of doctors where she is now, but In-hye tells him that she likes him the best. Double aw. Shi-on smiles. Triple aw.
In-hye tells him to keep his chin up despite the fact that he’s been fired. He nods and stuffs his face with food.
Back at the hospital, Assistant Chief Kang looks over the list of entrants and notes that resident spy Il-kyu was the last one entered the ward.
Speaking of whom, the residents chat about their mixed reactions about Shi-on’s now empty seat. Jin-wook seems to be the only one more visibly upset, but he says he isn’t because they all didn’t do enough for Shi-on to be upset about it.
Jin-wook scolds In-hye when he catches her sneaking back to her room, saying that she should think of her sister. While they’re on the subject, In-hye asks if Jin-wook is going to do anything about her sister, adding that she hates guys who give up easily.
To that, Jin-wook calls out in a slightly deflated voice to wash up properly. Heh.
Later that evening, Yoon-seo notices that the lights are out in Shi-on’s apartment. She lets herself in and finds Shi-on sitting in his apartment in the dark. She instructs him to follow her, and when he asks where they’re going, she answers: “The Library.”
Shi-on says he doesn’t want to go study, but she means the medical themed bar the Library, and he notes that there aren’t any books. She introduces him to the bartender, whom she identifies as Uncle.
I’m amused at the way Yoon-seo handles that soju bottle with ease, and she asks if he knows how to drink. Shi-on shakes his head and says he didn’t drink (even when he went with his college sunbaes) because he didn’t like the smell of alcohol.
With a smile she asks if he’ll drink if she pours him some, and he nods that he will. They both have a shot and Shi-on’s face reels like he just drank poison. Heh. Granted, soju does have a harsh, bitter taste, so I totally get that.
He doesn’t answer when she invites him out to dinner that weekend, so Yoon-seo asks if he’s still upset with her because he thinks that she doesn’t believe him. Shi-on says that he can take it if people don’t like him, but he doesn’t like being known as a liar.
Yoon-seo assures him that she trusts him, but it’s hard to gain that same trust from everyone. Shi-on has trouble with that, so she tries a different angle and asks if he’s ever thought about pursuing something else in medicine besides being a surgeon.
She adds that he can still save lives even if he isn’t a surgeon, but Shi-on says he still wants to be one and treat children by his own hands.
She sighs, and then tells him to drink allll the liquor in the bar to celebrate their first drink together. I love the wide-eyed shock on his face as he takes her words at face value, and he’s told that he should learn how to drown his problems in drink.
Ha, you’re going to try and teach him how to drink. Why do I get the feeling that it’s going to backfire on you?
Cut to: Shi-on carrying a plastered Yoon-seo on his back. Hahaha. She slurs her words as she asks why Shi-on is still sober, and he matter-of-factly replies that at one point it started to tasted like water.
She asks if Shi-on ever wanted to curse anyone out, and he says that he doesn’t like to curse nor does he care to hear it. Then Yoon-seo starts cursing at the top of her lungs, and when the neighbors threaten to report them, she whispers to Shi-on: “Run.” HA.
Shi-on gently tucks Yoon-seo into bed, and she murmurs that it’s okay if he causes trouble every day. “So don’t go.”
Then Shi-on extends his hand towards Yoon-seo and gently strokes her hair.
The next morning Assistant Chief Kang calls resident spy Il-kyu into his office. He laughs in amusement over the resident’s transcript, noting how his poor grades in med school dramatically improved while he was under Doctor Pomade’s advisement.
He asks point-blank why Il-kyu left Eun-ok’s door open that day, and the resident’s attempts to play dumb work against him as Assistant Chief Kang says with a smile that that wouldn’t be a smart move.
Shi-on packs up his things to head back to his hometown. He spends a long minute looking up at Yoon-seo’s apartment before heading out.
Shi-on does, however, call Yoon-seo to let her know that he’s leaving to see the children at the orphanage. She asks why he didn’t leave when she was there earlier that morning. He answers that he was about to, but didn’t, and doesn’t know why.
He says it’s unlikely that he’ll come back to Seoul, and she promises to visit him when she goes on vacation. He says goodbye.
Do-han and his team check on Eun-ok, and on their way out, she grabs onto Il-kyu’s coat and snarls at him. He has to wrestle her hand away to get her to let go.
Assistant Chief Kang presents the list to Doctor Choi, saying that it’s right that they should catch the culprit right away. Now he plays his card, and offers to keep both Shi-on and the chief of staff in the hospital in exchange for Doctor Choi’s support.
Mom comes by to see Shi-on, only to hear that he’s been laid off. She speaks with Yoon-seo outside and apologizes for crying over someone she doesn’t even know. Which is when Yoon-seo addresses her as Shi-on’s mother and says it’s okay.
After Mom is filled in, she cries that she’s followed her son around town ever since he attended med school. Yoon-seo suggests that they meet since a lot of time has passed since then. But Mom says she’ll wait until Shi-on remembers who she is and asks Yoon-seo to keep it a secret from him. Aw Mom, don’t do the noble idiocy thing!
At the train station, Shi-on apologizes to Eun-ok over the phone (thanks to Nurse Jo) about not being able to stay by her side. Eun-ok tears up as Shi-on promises to take her to his hometown once she get out of the hospital.
She raises a hand to touch the image of Shi-on and he does so in kind.
Do-han heads up to see Chae-kyung to ask why the department hasn’t been given the robotic surgery equipment they’ve requested. She says it’s because of a lack of funds, but I suspect there’s more to it.
He argues that patient lives depend on that technology, and she counters that only the assistant chief can make that decision. Oho, might that be the administrative position you’re grooming him for?
So Do-han beelines for Assistant Chief Kang’s office, and he’s told that there needs to be a successful return for an investment to be made. Just like how Do-han treats patients as a doctor, the assistant chief treats the various departments in the hospital with corporate investments.
Do-han retorts that dealing with patients isn’t like handling companies, a statement the assistant chief merely smiles at. Gah, I can’t figure out what that smile means.
The assistant chief gives one last word that we hear only when Do-han returns to his office. His goal is to someday see the words that this hospital houses the best pediatric surgeons in the nation. Do-han puts in a call to the assistant chief.
Bitch Aunt returns to the hospital with police detail in tow. Yoon-seo still refuses to discharge her patient and holds the aunt at bay when another voice interjects to say they cannot move the patient.
It’s Shi-on and he says in a determined voice that Eun-ok cannot be transferred. Yoon-seo looks at him in shock, surprised that Shi-on has returned.
He’s back! I admit that I didn’t find Shi-on’s dismissal all that surprising since that threat has been on the line ever since Shi-on stepped foot into that hospital. So I knew that he would have to return to the hospital sooner or later, and though I was more than relieved to see that it was sooner, the plot point didn’t pack that emotional punch or costly tension that I hoped for. This isn’t the end to Shi-on’s opposition for sure, and I’m certain that our evildoers won’t let up. But what I am interested in is about how Shi-on (and Doctor Choi, presumably) were able to stay at their positions. What were the specifics to Assistant Chief Kang’s deal, and how will utilizing the chief of staff’s help going to benefit him? Then there’s Do-han and we have yet to know what he was offered.
Apart from the hospital politics, I especially enjoy watching the interaction between Shi-on and In-hye in this series. Their budding friendship is a gem to watch, and I love how he’s the bright-eyed, naive doctor whereas she’s the jaded patient who’s been in an out of the hospital time and time again. Their differing perspectives is what makes this relationship work and I like that In-hye believes in him that he’s a great doctor. In that vein, I can’t wait for the romance between Jin-wook and In-hye’s sister to get going since their awkward-cute moments help balance some of the Dramatic Trauma in the storyline.
Now that we have an explanation for Shi-on’s gap years (his parents left him after Hyung died), it now makes more sense why Shi-on doesn’t recognize his mother. Doctor Choi’s insight into how Shi-on’s tragic past could partly explain Shi-on’s childlike innocence is an interesting on. If we buy that statement, then we’re also dealing with other psychological issues like repressed memories due to trauma. It then provides further depth in our hero as it gives us an avenue to explore about a possible interaction with autism and past trauma. And yet, I’m hesitant to push that idea since it would mean the show intends to juggle several mental health issues simultaneously in one character.
In truth, that’s one of the things that I hope the show aims to do since mental health and its societal effects in Korea is still very hush-hush as far as I know. At the same time, I can see that the show is going for the heart-warming angle between our characters and tries to sprinkle in some psychoeducation in each episode. As we move forward, I can only hope that Shi-on will continue to progress as a doctor as he deals with a cynical environment and not merely just a tool for change.