Good Doctor: Episode 8
Never fear—the pediatric team is ready to assemble to handle any case thrown at them. Even as the hospital politics continue to threaten the future of the department, the doctors on this team won’t give up on their patients, unless the child’s caretakers don’t give their consent. But in this place of healing, these doctors not only treat rare illnesses, they also treat the matters of the heart.
The ratings for Good Doctor saw a slight dip after our last feral medical case and held steady at 17.4% and 18.4% for Episodes 7 and 8.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
Shi-on says that Eun-ok cannot and doesn’t want to go home. He shouts, “She hates you!” Yoon-seo sidles up to him to ask what happened, and brightens to hear that his name has been cleared, which means he can return to work.
They take on Bitch Aunt together, and Shi-on says they can ask Eun-ok herself whether she wants to stay and leave. Bitch Aunt points out that Eun-ok is unable to speak, but Shi-on retorts that she can still communicate her likes and dislikes.
Eun-ok instinctively stiffens at the sight of her aunt, but breaks into a small smile when she sees Shi-on. Taking his hand, she nuzzles into it affectionately.
They put Eun-ok to the test, and she shakes her head when she’s asked if she wants to go home. Then they ask if she wants to stay with Shi-on instead, and she lets out a soft but audible: “Yes.”
Her answer puts the matter to rest, and as Shi-on strokes her hair, he tells her: “You’re so pretty. I love you.”
The disciplinary committee reviews the security records, which supports Shi-on’s story. They decide to rehire him.
Afterward Do-han identifies this as a missed opportunity to be rid of Shi-on so that he can protect Doctor Choi better. Unwilling to watch his teacher put his neck out for Shi-on any longer, he vows to find the wisest way to keep Doctor Choi at the hospital.
The bulging vein in Doctor Pomade’s forehead nearly bursts at this turn of events. He takes it up with Il-kyu, who cowers at the mention of his error.
Yoon-seo can barely contain her excitement that Shi-on can go back to work, saying it feels like she’s gotten back a long-lost dongsaeng who’s returned home. Do-han notices her ear-splitting grin and notes how this is the happiest he’s ever seen her in the ten years they’ve known each other.
Like a good noona, Yoon-seo wraps Shi-on in a hug when she sees him. She tells him not to be upset anymore because everyone believes him now. He hiccups. HEE.
The residents worry that bringing Shi-on back on the team opens the door for another potential accident. When Shi-on arrives, Jin-wook welcomes him back with open arms, and Il-kyu is immediately called out on his clipped words.
Do-han reminds Shi-on that nothing has changed, but he agrees to hold a welcoming party for Shi-on since they didn’t have one when he first arrived. Yoon-seo excitedly asks Shi-on what he wants, and he answers: “Liquor!” HA.
Shi-on explains: “At first it tastes bitter but it eventually becomes sweet.” Yoon-seo tsks at him that they’re in trouble now. But you were the one who introduced him to the land of soju and beer!
As Doctor Choi sits wide-eyed in his office, we learn a bit more of Assistant Chief Kang’s untitled proposal. All we’re told is that it’s a plan that would benefit the hospital and the pediatric department. Furthermore, it would also guarantee Shi-on’s future.
Do-han confides in Chae-kyung about how powerless he feels to handle the situation himself. Chae-kyung agrees, and then makes a suggestion—what if she becomes the board president? Then they can handle everything together as a married couple.
He asks what would happen to president Lee then, and Chae-kyung cryptically replies that her stepmother will simply resign from her position. I really do wonder why Chae-kyung insists that her fiancé stay out of the hospital politics power play.
As Eun-ok sleeps, Yoon-seo asks how Shi-on was able to get her to speak. He rattles off a bunch of short, mundane yes-or-no questions like “Did you eat?” or “Want to play?” They were questions Eun-ok’s mother once asked her as a young child.
But Eun-ok lost her parents when she was three, Yoon-seo points out, an age which would be difficult to remember anything. Shi-on says it’s not true—the little girl may not be able to recall her mother, but she does know that she had one because that’s who she misses the most.
He adds that the two always told each other “You’re pretty. I love you.” Ah, so Shi-on was able to connect with the girl by following the same words and actions as Eun-ok’s mother.
Shi-on says that he’s envious of Eun-ok because he can’t remember anything besides his hyung—not his parents’ faces or their voices or any memories they shared together. He’s sure his own mother would have told him the same things.
Mom cries tears of happiness at Shi-on’s reinstatement, and Yoon-seo vows to set a time and place for them to meet sometime in the future.
In-hye literally jumps Shi-on as he walks down the hallway. Once she’s on the ground again, she confirms that they are indeed friends and that he can ask her anything.
He surveys the hallway before ushering her away in secret (so cute) to ask about his hiccuping problem. He tells her that it happens whenever “she” touches him, but not when In-hye hugged him.
In-hye asks him how he feels whenever “she” touches him, and Shi-on contemplates for a moment before answering that it’s like watching a soccer player shoot a penalty kick or how it smells of perfume even though he’s eating ice cream.
In-hye: “What bitch is she?” HA. Aw, are your feelings hurt? Shi-on: “Did… you just curse?”
She repeats her question and grows frustrated when Shi-on purses his lips, unwilling to say who. In-hye tells him that he likes this mysterious person and sees her as a woman. Shi-on just blinks silently in response.
He thinks over In-hye’s words about how he’s exhibiting the initial symptoms of first love, but then stops in his tracks when he hears a young boy’s voice singing opera.
It turns out that it’s a video clip, and Shi-on shares it with Eun-ok. He says, “Doesn’t it feel like you’re in heaven?” Their eyes closed, he tells her to imagine her mother while he imagines his.
Handing over his credit card, Do-han tells Yoon-seo to enjoy the festivities without him. She bucks up the courage to suggest that Shi-on be given the same responsibilities as the other residents, but Do-han shuts that idea down.
Do-han already has dinner plans with Assistant Chief Kang and laughs at the assistant chief’s proposal to make the pediatric surgery department into the best, finding it far too ideal.
But Assistant Chief Kang replies that he’s a businessman—he would never pursue something he didn’t already feel was possible. He doesn’t believe in sides in this battle; to him, this is just a process to separate gems from stones.
Now that they’re a team, the assistant chief shares that they have a powerful investor who is backing them. Er, d’you mean Creepy Chairman? ‘Cause I wouldn’t hold my breath for him. He tells Do-han to think about how his plan would benefit everyone.
The pediatrics team (including the nurses, cute) heads to the Library for drinks. When they ask Shi-on to say a word, his eyes find the food plate and he calls out: “It’s whelk!” Heh.
The bartender remarks how the numbers have shrunk in their team dinners as of late, and Yoon-seo sighs that it’s because only idiots apply to pediatrics now. Jin-wook pouts that he’s not an idiot; there were plenty of other places asking for him. Aw.
They continue their festivities at the noraebang as Yoon-seo sings from the top of her lungs. Shi-on volunteers to go next and… is that a DJ DOC song? It’s freakin’ adorable how the whole team sings and dances along with him in their sparkly jackets.
And from just around the corner, Do-han watches the team enjoy themselves, having followed them here from the bar.
Yoon-seo spots him on his way out and they sit outside to chat. Do-han turns to her and asks if she thinks he’s a wise man. She answers that he’s a wee bit irritating. Heh.
She asks why he’s asking her, and he tells her that he wants to hear the answer from the one who’s closest to him. Hm, interesting how that’s not your fiancée. He encourages her to be truthful, but the question makes her uncomfortable, so he quickly changes the subject.
Soon, he picks a fight with her and teases her for speaking like a soldier, saying he doesn’t want his “old hoobae” to talk like that. She takes issue with the term “old” and counters that he’s older. They both break into a smile.
We cut to an auditorium where the same opera boy from the video clip practices while his mother keeps watch. From the beaded sweat on his face, it looks like he’s been at it for some time, and grows visibly nervous when he slips up.
His stern mother doesn’t let up, even when his voice starts breaking. Jeez Mom, could we give the kid a five-minute break? But then Opera Boy starts coughing incessantly.
Yoon-seo sends Shi-on out to buy more drinks, and he finds her fast asleep when he returns. Sitting beside her, he hiccups and recalls the tender moments he shared with Yoon-seo. He thinks to Hyung that he’s begun to realize that feeling Hyung felt when he once liked a girl.
At the hospital, Do-han reviews a list of pediatric surgeons to recruit to their department per Assistant Chief Kang’s instructions. Hm.
Yoon-seo tells Shi-on not to go drinking anymore when he doesn’t even get drunk. She sprays some perfume (the one Do-han gave you, is it?) to mask the smell. Shi-on says she smells like lemon soju and wants to go drinking again. Haha.
But they have a bigger matter on their hands because Bitch Aunt can’t afford to pay for her niece’s treatment. They guess that the aunt likely spent the government benefit money entitled to Eun-ok on her own expenses.
Jin-wook is still awkwardly nervous around In-hye’s sister, afraid that he’ll make things more uncomfortable. In-hye clucks that he can’t just not do anything. Nurse Jo agrees, and tosses out a corny joke to help break the ice.
But In-hye contends that women like it when you get them a gift of what they precisely need. Next thing we know, Nurse Jo places a jar of facial cream on Nurse Nam’s desk. Ohhh no, you’re not trying to unintentionally suggest that she needs something to look younger, right?
And that’s what Nurse Nam thinks and she balks at the gift, leaving Nurse Jo near tears.
Do-han examines the boy, and his mother confirms that her son has previously suffered from throat sores and has colds often. Do-han orders a round of tests and instructs that Shi-on join the team later on.
The team is unable to draw a conclusion when they review the boy’s CT scan. Do-han has Shi-on venture a guess on a diagnosis, and Shi-on identifies it as a rare illness that could lead to thyroiditis if not properly treated.
It’s worth noting that Do-han is slightly impressed as Shi-on explains the necessary procedures and precautions to the team. They need to be wary not to hit a nerve that could potentially endanger the child’s ability to sing since he’s a well-known opera singer.
Do-han notes that Shi-on is the only one who knows this diagnosis the best, a remark that brings a small smile to Shi-on’s face.
Opera Boy’s mother doesn’t want to pursue surgery since her son is scheduled to sing overseas. Do-han informs her that his condition will only worsen if they keep pushing his vocal chords, but also mentions the possibility that the boy may not be able to sing post-surgery.
It’ll be too late if they don’t operate soon, but the mother refuses to comply with the doctors and storms out.
The boy’s father is the more reasonable one, concerned for their son’s health, but it’s Mom who says that they’ve worked so hard for this moment. You’re the parent trying to fulfill your own dreams through your kids, aren’t you? She looks over at her son, sitting nearby with earbuds in his ears.
Yoon-seo thanks her boss for giving Shi-on the spotlight earlier. But Do-han says it was to test Shi-on’s skills for the last time in order to confirm that he’d manage at a diagnostic center where he wouldn’t have to be a surgeon.
He says that it’s lucky that there’s an available alternative for Shi-on at all, and has Yoon-seo try to persuade Shi-on about the idea.
So Yoon-seo broaches the topic at lunch, but Shi-on catches on right away and drops his sandwich. He says that having a dream and being good at something are two different things—he’s good at drawing, but he wants to be a surgeon.
He shouts: “A dream is something you want to achieve, even if you’re not good at it. A dream is what you think of when you eat and sleep. My dream is what makes me feel good!” He angrily stalks off.
Yoon-seo is surprised at the sudden outburst, and racks her brains to think of something. She then tells him that he can oversee the Opera Boy’s case.
Shi-on tries to break the ice with Opera Boy, who still has earbuds in his ears. The boy’s mother comes in to tell Shi-on to stick to treating her son. Given the boy’s silence, Shi-on asks if the boy doesn’t know how to speak apart from singing. Nurse Jo suppresses his laughter.
Afterward Nurse Jo notices a spot on Nurse Nam’s cheek. She tries to play it off, but he puffs up with pride that she used his gift after all and does a little happy dance. Hee.
In his office, Doctor Choi makes it clear to the assistant chief that he wants no part of the mysterious proposal. He advises that the man resign from his position or he’ll bring it up with the board.
Doctor Pomade nearly slips on the gel in his hair trying to figure what side the assistant chief is on. The evil board administrator (who’s also his brother-in-law) suggests that he take one for the team this round.
The children pour into Opera Boy’s room and excitedly pelt him with questions and praise. It’s adorable how they’re all fans, but the boy’s mother quickly sends them away.
After they leave, Shi-on says that having friends around will help her son, basically telling her that laughter is the best medicine. Shi-on continues to say that he used to be sick every day because he couldn’t speak or laugh with the other kids. Curiously, Opera Boy seems to take note of his words.
It turns out that Shi-on has paid for Eun-ok’s medical expenses. Yoon-seo warns him of the danger of crossing that boundary, concerned that Shi-on won’t be able to have enough to take care of himself.
But he says the money is from the governmental benefits he received as a child with disabilities, and that he has a lot of money. All he needs is a paltry amount to pay for his bus fare and kimbap, and he has to help those who are needier than he is.
Yoon-seo smiles at his maturity, saying he really does act like an adult. (She means this as a compliment since his childlike behavior has been misinterpreted as childish so many times before.)
Shi-on finds Opera Boy fast asleep outside of his room and gently removes the earbuds from his ears. But there’s no music playing and the mp3 player doesn’t hold any songs.
Shi-on runs into Doctor Choi on his way to deliver the pot back to the cafeteria, rattling off all the ingredients that were in the stew. Doctor Choi spots him talking with Mom at a distance, but he’s called away before he can recognize her.
It seems that the evil plan is to have Doctor Pomade take the fall for issuing the medication order back in Episode 2, and the entire department is under investigation. But the more pressing matter is Opera Boy as he clutches his throat in pain.
Shi-on starts to panic, saying they have to operate immediately over and over again. He grabs onto the boy’s bed. Do-han and Yoon-seo burst in a moment later, and Shi-on lets go of the bed, to Yoon-seo’s relief.
Shi-on relays the boy’s symptoms which include his swollen throat and high fever. They don’t have any time to lose, but the boy’s mother chooses now to speak to the doctors alone.
She doesn’t want to risk the possibility that her son won’t be able to sing if he undergoes surgery, and Do-han assures her that they aren’t able to perform surgery without the parent’s consent.
The boy’s mother wants them to treat the pain instead, and Do-han complies. But Shi-on speaks up to say that he thought all mothers loved their children, but Opera Mom doesn’t love her son.
Outside, the residents laugh over the idea about slipping away from the hospital for a few hours when a pair of earbuds fall on their heads. And up above, Opera Boy stands on the rooftop ledge. Ohh nooo.
Acckkk talk that boy off of that ledge! This kind of ending always leaves my heart racing and makes my hands sweat with anxiety—it’s great on a drama level since it cranks up the anticipation for the following week’s episode, but plain horrible for my nerves. Although the overprotective parents to a talented son storyline to the newest case-of-the-week is nothing new to dramaland, I didn’t expect that young Opera Boy would attempt to take the Jump. Someone tell me it’s going to be all right.
If we pull back, I do like how these medical cases tie in with Shi-on’s explanations and his own medical journey. For instance, Opera Boy’s case tackles the distinction between talent versus a dream. From what we can tell so far, the young boy’s singing ability is a great talent that’s been honed for his mother’s dream and not his own. I love that Shi-on pinpoints at the fact that being good at something doesn’t make it an ultimate thing, and that achieving one’s dream is a process. I can’t wait to see how Shi-on interacts with this patient as well, whose dream has been forced upon a mother’s great ambition.
Not only that, I love how we’re seeing more of Shi-on’s empathy with each passing episode. He doesn’t hesitate on the things that others would normally worry or mull over in their heads a thousand times over. Though he’s taught himself through books all that there is to know about the world, to him it’s a given to help those in need, even if it means to pay for a patient’s medical expense. To that, a part of me wants to say that it breaches some ethical physician-patient boundary in medicine somewhere, and at the same time, I see the same good-hearted intention behind the action that Yoon-seo sees in him. I just hope it doesn’t come back to bite him, given the show’s track record of how it deals with the paper trail a few episodes later.
So far, I like how the show handles Shi-on’s developing feelings towards Yoon-seo. Aside from the hiccuping (which is just plain adorable), I like how he’s using his own knowledge to try to demystify what it means to have a first love, and relies on In-hye as his consult to analyze his “symptoms.” At this point, Yoon-seo cares for Shi-on in the way a noona takes care of her dongsaeng, a kind of relationship I really adore between them. It makes it all the more enjoyable to watch Shi-on try to understand something as illogical and irrational as liking someone, especially in his usual medico-speak. Then it’s going to be even more fun to watch him try to mask those feelings as they continue to grow when he cannot lie to anyone or himself.