Drama Recaps
Doctor Stranger: Episode 20 (Final)
by | July 10, 2014 | 205 Comments

What a strange finale indeed. We get one half filled to the brim with sheer ridiculousness, while the other serves as an epilogue chronicling the bitter pill that is Doctor Stranger as it circles the drain of eternity. Looking back now, I’m becoming more and more convinced that Myungwoo was never a hospital at all—it was clearly an asylum for crazy people.

Stranger finished its run in first place at 12.7%, leaving Triangle with 9.5% while Trot Lovers brought up the rear with 7.2%.


NU’EST – “굿 바이 바이 (Good Bye Bye)” [ Download ]

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Unsurprisingly, Prime Minister Jang isn’t keen on giving up just because his entire plan has been found out. Now faced with a wide awake president, his men, along with Hoon and Jae-hee, Jang arrogantly claims that he’ll still get his chance to be president if the president dies…

…Which I guess is what he’s planning, since he orders his men to drag Hoon and Jae-hee out. When none of his men move, Nightshade tells Prime Minister Jang that it’s time to stop now. Just stop.

The president interjects to offer Prime Minister Jang an unbelievable deal: If he stops all this lunacy now, he’ll be forgiven and allowed to keep his position. No one besides them will ever have to know any of this happened. All Prime Minister Jang has to do is follow his orders and be his yes-man. Which, what?

Luckily, Hoon echoes the same sentiment as he reminds the president that Prime Minister Jang is the person who tried to, y’know, kill him. Jae-hee also tries to remind him that if he lets Prime Minister Jang go now, he could attempt to do the same thing in the future.

But this talk is too rational for the president to hear, and he shushes the two doctors for getting involved in state affairs. “Being rewarded for doing wrong and being penalized for doing right… that’s politics, don’t you think?” the president asks. IS IT THOUGH? Isn’t it kind of your job to try and affect change? What is wrong with you people?!

Even though he’s being given a grand opportunity that would never exist among sane people, Prime Minister Jang still acts haughty about it even as he agrees. He just has one condition, because he actually gets to make one: He wants Hoon and Jae-hee handed over to him.

The best part? The president agrees. Even when Hoon and Jae-hee protest, the president is all, What could possibly go wrong? Yes, what COULD possibly go wrong in handing these two people over to a murderous psychopath?

“You promised to save us!” Hoon screams to the president as he’s dragged away. Wow. WOW. I’ve handled a lot of crazy finales in my life, but this? This is a ride to Crazytown on the shortest bus imaginable.

After the president is driven away in an ambulance, Prime Minister Jang tells Nightshade that they’ve got some stuff to hash out. What neither of them notice is that Agent Cha is lurking near the hospital entrance disguised as a bodyguard, because you are what you wear in this world.

We find Hoon and Jae-hee being held hostage in their own hospital, guarded by Secret Service agents who aren’t allowing any of the other doctors near. Hoon tries to make sense of the nonsensical, completely stunned by the president going back on his word after he promised to save them.

He flashes back to when he told the president about Prime Minister Jang’s plans, and how sane the president had seemed then. Jae-hee again blames herself for choosing to go along with Agent Cha’s plan.

“If I could go back… if I could just go back… then it wouldn’t have come to this,” Jae-hee insists. Hoon: “It’s not over yet.” Don’t remind me.

Prime Minister Jang slow claps his way into the room, and warns Jae-hee not to pull out any of her spy maneuvers lest Hoon get a bullet to the head in the middle of a functioning hospital.

He goes into this diatribe about how all these coincidences must add up to Fate, since he had meant for Hoon and his father to die long ago and for Jae-hee to die too, since he was the one who had the embassy doors closed to them back in Budapest.

But now that they’re still alive, he asks them if they really had so much faith in humanity as to trust the president to keep his word. They should have begged him for mercy instead.

“You still wouldn’t have spared us,” Hoon notes wryly, to which Prime Minister Jang just nods as being true. Before he has his men escort them out, he reminds them to act accordingly since they’re in a hospital that saves human lives. (Again proving that no one can resist the compulsion to negate their own threats.)

Prime Minister Jang leaves them at the hospital entrance as he’s driven away—only to have his car suddenly stop. The driver reveals himself to be a laughing Agent Cha as he aims a gun at the prime minister…

Pop! Pop! Pop! Hoon and Co. watch as the car lights up from the three gunshots, and by the time the prime minister’s security detail makes it to the car, Agent Cha has magically vanished.

But since bullets in Stranger are made of life-saving unicorn’s tears, Prime Minister Jang is of course Not Dead, prompting Hoon to get him prepped for surgery.

While Nightshade receives some shady orders from the president, Chang-yi goes to the hospital looking for Hoon. A sympathetic Chi-gyu agrees to help her.

With no other doctors or secret service agents around, Jae-hee and Hoon are left to take Prime Minister Jang to the operating theatre alone. She tries to stop him outside by making an impassioned argument as to why they shouldn’t save the man who caused them so much misery, who killed Hoon’s father, and who’ll try to kill them if he lives.

All Hoon has to do, she says, is let go of the artificial breathing device and let the prime minister die naturally. When Hoon says no, she brings up how he killed her father to save her—why can’t he do this to save her, himself, and his mother now?

But Hoon is adamant in his refusal, because it would be a slap in his father’s face if he were to do as she says. His father died so that he could pick up a scalpel only to save lives, and now Prime Minister Jang is nothing more than a sick patient he has to cure.

Jae-hee tries removing the pressure from Prime Minister Jang’s gunshot wounds, only for Hoon to place her hand back over them. “Feel it,” he urges her. “It’s still beating.”

She finally and reluctantly caves when Hoon forces her to recognize that they can’t ignore a heart that’s still beating, at least until their surgery prep is interrupted by the (very late) arrival of Nightshade and the rest of the security detail. I guess no one’s concerned about sanitary conditions in the operating theatre.

Since the president is a lunatic anyway and okayed the prime minister’s death, Nightshade passes on the message to Hoon that no one will hold him responsible if Prime Minister Jang were to suffer a “table death,” wink wink nudge nudge.

He gives Hoon the same choice Jae-hee did: sunshine and rainbows if Prime Minister Jang dies, and the ninth circle of hell if he lives. Hoon still doesn’t waiver because he’s a doctor, damn it.

“You’ve done a lot of terrible things,” he says to the unconscious prime minister, in his classic devil may care way. “How can there be no one telling me to save you?” Regardless, he’s going to try, even if he and Jae-hee will be working solo.

Even though the president gets to watch the live feed from the operating theatre as the complicated surgery begins, the rest of the hospital remains unaware that any surgery is even taking place. Of course.

While Hoon easily fishes bullets from the blood pool that is Prime Minister Jang’s chest cavity, Secretary #2 worries that this could mean that Jang might, gulp, live. But Nightshade points out that Secretary #2 is relieved when the surgery is successful as proof that he’s on Hoon’s side. Or something.

After Prime Minister Jang is wheeled away, Nightshade gives Hoon and Jae-hee keys to a car he’s had prepared so they can run away from the coming backlash. He’ll make preparations for them to leave the country while they find a place to hide, and promises that he’ll send Mom somewhere safe.

Soo-hyun joins the search for Hoon when Chang-yi goes to her for help, finding out the (irrelevant?) tidbit that Jae-hee didn’t come from Japan and that Hoon’s mom has gone missing. (Aside: All the doctors have been conveniently moved to a “new building” no one’s ever heard or talked about until this point.)

She finds out from Chi-gyu that Hoon was last spotted heading away from the hospital. We find him and Jae-hee in new digs as they run toward the car…

…At least until Hoon is suddenly struck by a bullet. Seriously.

He tries to pass it off as nothing while urging Jae-hee to go on without him, but she’s kind of distracted by that new blood spot he wasn’t sporting before. Plus, Agent Cha reveals himself as the shooter as he stalks toward them with his gun drawn.

Hoon stands in front of Jae-hee protectively as Agent Cha’s finger tightens on the trigger. But Jae-hee, always faster than a bullet, manages to fling herself in front of Hoon before the gun goes off.

Soo-hyun and Chang-yi watch the events unfold from a distance and call the police, which gives Jae-hee juuuust enough time to climb over the railing in a reenactment of the Budapest sequence. Again, no one’s kidding you. This is real.

Now I get why we had the sudden wardrobe change, since Hoon finds himself holding Jae-hee by the hand as she dangles precariously over the requisite body of water.

She tries to get Hoon to release her (again), since she’s been shot somewhere near the heart (again), and since Agent Cha is approaching him with a gun (again). Hoon tells her not to let go (again), but this time Agent Cha sidles up next to them on the balcony all, Isn’t this a familiar scene? Please, please, for the love of god don’t treat us like we need to be reminded.

Agent Cha draws up the similarities to the Budapest scene before noting the one key difference: No one’s there to help them this time. He gives Hoon a chance to live if he only lets go of Jae-hee’s hand, since it’ll be vengeance enough if Hoon lives with the memory of killing her.

Hoon would rather Agent Cha kill him instead, but Agent Cha claims that’s not a possibility even as he levels the gun at Hoon’s head anyway and gives them until the count of three.

Jae-hee begs him to let go to save himself, but Hoon refuses—his biggest regret was letting go of her back then. “I said I would go wherever you went. Do you see the river? No matter where it takes you, don’t worry. Because I’ll be with you.”

He smiles just as Agent Cha counts to three. Though the gun seems to have been leveled at his head, Agent Cha shoots, vaulting Hoon over the railing so that he and Jae-hee fall into the water below.

While Soo-hyun and Chang-yi watch on helplessly, Agent Cha turns the gun on himself. “Long live the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea,” he says with one last shaky breath, and dies.

Since it would make too much sense for Soo-hyun and Chang-yi to search the river bank for their friends, they instead go to the bridge they fell off of in an attempt to look for them.

Of course, they don’t even see so much as a bubble from the water, even though an extremely strong ocean current running underneath has undoubtedly grabbed our two lovers to whisk them away to safety.

One year later.

Prime Minister Jang is just now being arrested for crimes wholly unrelated to the ones he should be jailed for, a televised event the president watches with interest.

He’s apparently changed because of what Hoon said about people doing their actual jobs, and now believes that a politician should practice clean politics. Gee golly mister, that sure is swell for you to say now.

After checking in on Chang-yi and Chi-gyu as a couple, we find Soo-hyun running a tight ship in the operating theatre. Later, she remembers Hoon because she performed the same operation as he once did.

Anesthesiologist Min-se and Doctor Geum are expecting their first child, Chi-gyu has graduated from being a playboy to being a real doctor, and Doctor Moon (now chief the cardiothoracic surgery department) has grown a not-just-comic-relief-anymore goatee. He’s on his way to the ceremony celebrating his appointment as Myungwoo Hospital’s newest director.

Min-se notes that their team doesn’t quite feel complete as they ride the elevator there together, but any hope at being serious dissipates when Doctor Moon lets out a loud fart. And then another.

Soo-hyun finds Doctor Moon crying from happiness after the ceremony, even though his thoughts turn to whether Hoon is watching over him from the afterlife.

He leaves some of Hoon’s favorite snacks in the locker that still bears his name, and promises that he’ll live up to his own father’s will and make Myungwoo a hospital people might actually want to go to.

Chang-yi joins Soo-hyun on the bridge where they lost Hoon and Jae-hee, both believing them to be dead. “Hyung’s at peace, right?” Chang-yi asks. Soo-hyun gives a slight nod, and affirms that Hoon went with the woman he loved.

When asked why Chang-yi still calls Hoon “hyung,” a term used by boys amongst other boys, she admits that it was the distance she put between them so that she wouldn’t end up liking Hoon.

Then she drops a memorial flower into the water with a heavy sigh.

As Nurse Min says her final goodbyes (she’s leaving the hospital to work where her husband does), Jae-joon pays an unexpected visit. Chairman Oh is now a permanent patient at his own hospital, and Jae-joon has come to apologize to him, not to get one.

Jae-joon explains to the chairman that he’s been helping a friend’s law firm in the States since he no longer has any right to be a doctor. But he happened upon a file about Korean hospitals and their malpractice suits, finding that Myungwoo’s level is only 1/10th compared to everyone else.

He’s trying to give Chairman Oh a pat on the back for doing a good job regarding these cases, but Chairman Oh doesn’t seem keen on hearing what he has to say. However, he asks to hear the apology Jae-joon came to give.

Jae-joon: “I wanted to apologize to Soo-hyun’s father. Because I was foolish, I hurt Soo-hyun deeply. I don’t know if I’ll have the chance, but someday, I would like to be forgiven for what I did.” He walks out to find Soo-hyun standing outside the room. Did she hear him?

However, it’s Chairman Oh who rises from his bed to tell Jae-joon that he forgives him only as his daughter’s Han Jae-joon. Considering all those pesky dual identities running around, it’s probably good for him to be specific.

Soo-hyun and Jae-joon finally get a moment, and she switches to calling him by his birth name, Lee Seung-hoon. (Since there’s only this recap left, let’s stick with Jae-joon though.)

She admits that she only ever thought about how he lied to her without considering how much pain he was going through, and says that she’s the one who needs his forgiveness. But Jae-joon claims that there’s another person they need to ask forgiveness from: Hoon.

The next day, Jae-joon takes Soo-hyun on a scenic drive as he tells her he heard something unbelievable about Hoon and Jae-hee. Is he the only one who knows they’re alive?

Soo-hyun seems reluctant to follow him and regretful that she ever pushed her feelings onto Hoon. Likewise, Jae-joon claims that he never really thought much about who Hoon was deep down inside. They both had misconceptions about Hoon, hooray, let’s move on.

But Jae-joon urges her to follow him, because there’s someone he wants her to meet. As if knowing her question before she even asks it, Jae-joon assures her that yes, it’s “that person.”

At a rural health care center, Jae-joon leads Soo-hyun to find Hoon perfectly alive, well, and practicing medicine. Hoon sees her and greets her like nothing happened, calling her “Quack” as usual.

She storms up to him with a pained expression as she tells him how she thought he was dead this whole time—couldn’t he have just told her he was fine? Hoon just laughs off her impotent anger as she hits him a few times with her purse.

After some last minute product placement, Jae-joon asks Hoon what happened after he fell into the water. “I had some help,” Hoon explains without explaining, since we cut to his mother doing well in a hospital.

Nightshade gives Mom a stethoscope Hoon gave her as a gift. She smiles before turning to look longingly at a picture of her and Hoon together.

As if expecting Jae-joon’s visit, Hoon hands him a present too, and it’s… another stethoscope? Man, I wouldn’t want Hoon as my secret santa.

Anyway, the gift is his way of telling Jae-joon that doctoring suits him much better than lawyering. Soo-hyun ignores it as she asks about Jae-hee, only to be told by Jae-joon (who magically knows all things) that Jae-hee applied for asylum in China.

“She’s in China right now then?” Soo-hyun asks, only to be met with silence as Hoon’s face falls.

Soo-hyun and Jae-joon walk to a hilltop where they see Hoon waiting on a dirt road far below. Hoon stares down the road expectantly, as Jae-joon explains to Soo-hyun that he used his connections to help Jae-hee gain status as a political refugee in China and that it all went through only months ago.

However, with her refugee status, Jae-hee was able to then seek political asylum back in Korea. (Don’t try to make sense out of this, trust me.) Then Jae-joon explains that the reason he returned to Korea was because today is the day Jae-hee is supposed to return as well.

As a black car drives toward Hoon, Soo-hyun asks Jae-joon, “You said you didn’t believe in fate, right? Do you still not?”

“No,” Jae-joon replies. “I believe in fate now too.”

Jae-hee gets out of the car and runs toward Hoon with a smile. She grabs him in a hug as Soo-hyun lets out a sigh and slips her hand into Jae-joon’s.

They share a moment while looking on as Jae-hee and Hoon hold each other close. Hoon finally allows himself to take it all in as he nestles his face into Jae-hee’s hair and smiles.


It sure felt like the show had just enough story—a term I use very, very loosely—to make it through the first half of this finale only. The second half, while tying the side characters’ stories into neat little bows, mostly felt like we’d run out of gas and were just coasting to the unearned and wholly unexplainable happy ending.

If we put those last three minutes aside, this finale was a perfect encapsulation of everything that made the experience of watching Doctor Stranger such a frustrating and thankless job. We have an easier time forgiving shows with severe logic fails when they manage to give us something we want in return—a tiny little thing that seems so simple in theory but not in practice, something that can be forged at will but never truly given unless it’s earned. And that something is payoff.

Yes, payoff, that most elusive of concepts which usually mandates that a writer follow through with their setups. Easy, right? Yet this show failed so astronomically at delivering payoffs that it’s honestly bewildering, not only because it’s lazy writing in its truest form, but because it couldn’t even attempt to fool us otherwise when every conflict was introduced in a self-negating vacuum.

I can’t really even wrap my head around all the conflict the show would take pains to introduce only for whatever happened next to make whatever just happened totally meaningless, because I can’t imagine any storyteller who would willingly and knowingly do that to themselves. Or us. Oh, the president just found out his second-in-command cooked up an elaborate(-ly ridiculous) plan to kill him? Why, he should just forgive him! Better yet, he should make sure that man stays in power. Better yet, he should give that lunatic the two people he’s made no secret about wanting to murder. What’s the worst that could happen?

The rest of this finale, as it turned out. What’s more mystifying about that beginning scene is how there was no attempt to peek into the president’s rationale for his actions, which were so beyond the realm of human understanding as to be unintentionally hilarious. By now we’ve come to expect that anyone in a position of power and responsibility must also be insane in this universe, but that? That was just special. Clearly the presidential election was decided by whoever displayed the best macaroni noodle art, and Prime Minister Jang was just the idiot who forgot to use glue.

We’ll never know why the show chose to move the focus of its story away from Hoon’s emotional journey, only that it was one of its greater missteps and a crying shame. He had so much promise as a North Korean refugee with a supernatural ability to diagnose chest-related illnesses, but was wasted as a puppy dog pining away for his old flame. As said flame, Jae-hee was a huge problem the show never quite solved, especially since her potential to be compelling was erased when she spent X amount of episodes disguising her identity because… she… felt like it?

Right. Well, the same could be said of Jae-joon’s reasoning for waiting as long as he did to plan and execute his Coke Zero of revenge plots, and for all those extra final bonus rounds of the competition. See also: the president’s decision, North Korea’s involvement, Soo-hyun’s meager existence, Doctor Moon’s flatulence, Prime Minister Jang’s idiocy, Nightshade’s normalcy, Agent Cha’s resilience, and Hoon’s wasted potential.

It doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to think that this was just someone’s passing fancy assembled with all the forethought of a finger painting, but sometimes dramaland’s truths cut deep. Coming from someone who’s been here too many times to count and who’s as qualified to be a doctor as the characters in this show (read: not), here’s a prescription for Fated To Love You. Take two and leave a comment in the morning.


(1) New Voicemail for: Doctor Stranger

Doctor Stranger, these past two months with you have been unforgettable—I don’t think there are enough words to describe all the things you’ve taught me, but here goes: Know that I’m doing this for myself and everyone else who made it to the other side when I say that I’ll be better off without you. The reason I want to be alone from now on is for my own sanity, and because you lost yours ages ago. Since you decided to tell me (lots of) things that happened off-screen, I decided to return the favor in kind by leaving you with this message.

You made any questionable medical and ethical judgment in other shows of your genre like Good Doctor and Medical Top Team look like child’s play (save for Dr. Jin, but I get it—it’s hard to aim to be that brand of crazy), and your baddie was nothing more than a petulant man-child. You taught us that personal revenge that spans decades could be illustrated through a Metaphor Castle that took weeks to build, but would only take hours, or sometimes even minutes for it to be cast aside, all but forgotten. You gave us glimpses of the living dead in the form of Zombie Cha and Inferius Jae-hee, and taught us that death by water is only the beginning. Or just that death is cheap. And every repeated coincidence hammers in the idea that it’s fate, you once said over and over again.

For the innumerable number of hours you made me stand vigil by your dramatic bedside, I say: Dishonor! Dishonor on your whole hospital! Dishonor on you! Dishonor on your scalpel!

Ahem, I think it’s better that we part ways here, and that I let go of your outstretched hand for both our sakes. And no, I won’t come find you again after I finish this message. Take care—I hear the branch hospital has an opening.


205 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. James94131

    I lost 20 hours of my life for this?

    • 1.1 windsun33

      The best thing about this show is that it is now over.

      • 1.1.1 alua

        There’s still the movie.


        • Airyn

          It’s only gonna be out in China, though. And if you go to China intending to watch that movie, then…dude, I know the name of a good psychiatrist. XD

      • 1.1.2 Lin_K

        I stopped watching around episode 4 because I didn’t have time; and I’m so glad I did!! Really disappointed that a LJS drama turned out this way. I loved him and Lee Bo Young in I Hear Your Voice. I was expecting something similar here. Major disappointment!!

    • 1.2 Curioser and Curiosor

      “Plaudite, amici, comedia finita est!”

      PS. Uri Lee Jong Suk surely deserves special recognition for utmost professionalism to the very end of this travesty. Although I kept holding out in good humor for 18 and a half episodes – come narrative hell or high water, episode 19 finally alienated me 20 minutes in. I can assure you that it takes a special kind of narrative and dramatic negligence to squander all that audience goodwill.

      But Lee Jong Suk’s impassioned defense of his father’s tragic legacy that he be “a doctor, damn it” at the beginning of episode 20 really moved me. Seriously.

      And I thought, “Wow, despite everything this drama has done to him, despite the potential havoc it has wreaked on his CV, this guy is still pulling it out of the fire…”

      Chapeau, uri Lee Jong Suk, chapeau!

    • 1.3 Minny

      I feel worse for the cast and crew, they lost a few months of their time for a project that did them no favours and likely tarnished their credibility is some people’s eyes. I hope to see them again in better dramas.

      P.S.: Writer, plz retire.

      P.P.S.: Does someone if they are still gong through with the movie version of this?

      • 1.3.1 nomad

        I didn’t watch any episode of doctor stranger, but just wanna say…Gummi and Heads, you both wrote the funniest piece of yours yet! This is actually why I checked out the final recap–for your thoughts…and thank you for the laugh!

        • jusash

          Yupz GREAT job …. hilarious reads!

    • 1.4 mit123

      I agree that it wasn’t the best show but no one forced you to waste your time on this. People invest time and then see it was time badly spent and complain but there is actually a very simple formula, watch the 1st and 2nd episodes. If that isn’t going to convince you then it isn’t worth your time to continue.

      Also a decent story builds from the foundation up which obviously is established in the 1st few episodes. Don’t fall into the trap of “Oh….maybe this will pick up” cause that is b.s., a good story starts with a good foundation just like a house. If there is no heavy interference from outside influences then the writer does a great job of staying on top of things until the end. Not always but most of the time. In other words a drama that had great storytelling in the beginning can derail towards the end but a drama that starts badly NEVER gets better.

      People delude themselves into thinking that all of a sudden what didn’t make sense in the beginning now does because the story has “found” itself and that is a complete lie.

      I think some viewers fall into this because once they are committed to see a show they think they have to stick to it until the end so they begin to develop a tolerance for crappy writing and crappy actors. They begin to see plots and justifications were there aren’t any. They try to add depth to a story that is just one dimensional at best….sorry for this long-ass post…no one needs to read this lol

      • 1.4.1 Aigoooo

        I read your post and I totally agree but there are some people (like my sister) who feels compelled to watch a drama to the end no matter how bad it gets and it’s not that she’s deluded herself that it’s still good, it’s more like a compulsion than anything else.

        For me, casting makes a big difference in my tolerance for a drama.

        1. If the show has a cast I do not care for/know, it has to hook me in within 2 or 3 episodes or I walk. (Ex. Witch’s Romance – it was good from the start so I stayed or Doctor Stranger – I walked away after episode 2)

        2. If it has someone I like, I’d give it about 5 episodes. (Ex. Trot Lovers – I like Eun Ji so I stuck it out coz it’s getting better or Mirae’s Choice – I like Yoon Eun Hye but had to walk coz it got worse)

        3. If it has Gong Hyo Jin or Ha Ji Won in it, I’m in for the long haul.

        • jusash

          If I had to judge my viewing on Witch’s Romance from ep 1, I would have dropped it.

          Enjoyed the drama, loved the couple … but the first episode was just OTT (for me anyways).

          Just saying. 🙂

      • 1.4.2 Bluesky

        That is a good comment. I think I should try this. I also usually have that compulsion to finish a bad drama or movie just because once I started, I just have to. But you’re right, its a delusion to think that a drama that starts bad will end up good.

        Recently this few years, I have control my compulsion in watching bad drama or movie. Because I have many experiences of doing this and it really frustrates me and making me depress for the time, energy and emotion I invested. Sometimes it can last for a few days. LOL.

        This drama, I only stopped at episode 10, luckily not more than that! I watched Yong Pal until episode 5 because I felt its so ridiculous!

        After this, if theres a drama that starts with weird first two or three episodes, I’m just going to stop!

        Thank you.

    • 1.5 Kim

      I bailed out in episode 18. Completely lost all interest. Thanks to the recaps I was able to have a hearty laugh and saved 3 hours of my life….

    • 1.6 Yoori

      I’m sorry for your loss. I was smart and only lost 5-6 hours.

      In compared to Dr.Jin, at least I had a few good laughs, i.e. gummy-bear premmie.

    • 1.7 KDaddict

      I thank Jin SY for being in this. That casting saved me hours n frustration.

    • 1.8 NS

      Why doesn’t anyone like this drama? most of the negative comments i find are only from drama beans users.

      It wasn’t the worst drama I’ve seen and I didn’t mind the jae hee and hoon ship. It is a DRAMA. AND anything can happen. SO I don’t believe this drama is as disappointing as people make to believe it as. It just wasn’t good but wasn’t horrible!

      • 1.8.1 Chups

        because everyone had high expectations.

        the higher your expectations, the more dissatisfied you get.

        especially with good casting like lee jong suk.

      • 1.8.2 Char Hunter

        YES! Saw this on my Canadian Netflix last year…my second Korean Drama. Liked it a lot and continued on to other dramas. Only later when I discovered there were english reviews about Korean Dramas did I read Dramabeans Dastardly review of it.
        Since then six other friends have watched it. No negatives. So does that mean Canadians have no taste? Maybe. But Lee Jong Suk was ‘delicious’ in it.

      • 1.8.3 AIU

        I agree with you.. Only drama beans users who gave the most negative comments, while all people from another website giving positive comments about doctor stranger or jin se yun.. people here who gave negative comments are like people from HELL!

        • wheresmysenpai

          It’s honestly because the recapper at dramabeans states her opinion and this influences on everyone else that reads her recaps. If one person says a certain teacher is really good, everyone believes that person, and starts seeing how “good” that teacher is.

          Doctor Stranger in China was flooded with positive reviews on Youku (chinese youtube). Negative reviews came from dramabeans because the recapper spilled her negative beans onto everyone else and influenced them. Yes, people probably didn’t like the drama a little, but knowing that other people *also had the same feelings* would’ve definitely amplified their dislike for Doctor Stranger.

          Kind of like jumping on a bandwagon, but a “lets all hate on doctor stranger because everyone at dramabeans does” bandwagon.

          sorry for long post

    • 1.9 Lisa-Loo-Loo

      I have to say that I am a little happy I never invested in this drama. I wanted to, but never had the time. I kept up with the recaps though, which made me happy I never had time. @James94131 sorry you lost 20 hours, but I am sure there is a great drama out there waiting to make it up to you.

      • 1.9.1 James94131

        And that drama is definitely not Hotel King which I am now watching just for the Lee Da Hae scenes to try and answer why the heck she felt the need to do plastic surgery on her already pretty face? Don’t worry. I loved A New Leaf and am really enjoying Wonderful Days and Glorious Day.

        • Char Hunter

          Me again. Sorry but I don’t seem to be ‘inline’ with Dramabean fans. Hotel King was highly recommended by two friends and even though it was longer than I prefer to watch, I liked it. Before I started Hotel King I read other blogs that seemed happy with it.
          No malice intended…Just my view

    • 1.10 palipali

      You’re not alone T.T

  2. mystisith

    Lol. I hear you ladies. Never saw such illogical, stupid, slow, boring Frankenstein writing in a long time. I can safely say they won’t work with SBS again (why they were hired still puzzles me though: Their resume is anemic and certainly not impressive). The cast did what they could but then again, when your character hasn’t any coherence, what are you supposed to do? I could hear them thinking: “1 scene at a time… Don’t think about the past”.
    Glad this show is over. I hope that LJS will announce his next project soon. Even Doctors need some healing sometimes…

  3. Katasu1996

    This is why I stopped watching after episode 6. The second worst Korean drama I’ve ever seen, Dr Jin being the first worst one obviously. I’m sorry you were forced to re cap for so long. Why is this even #1 in ratings for this time slot? It’s so bad…. Oh Kdramaland. I wish to understand you….

    • 3.1 mystisith

      It was first cause the rivals were weak and because of its cast. Then viewers stayed for the train wreck quality and to know the outcome (suspense level? Subzero). The channel got VERY lucky here: I hope they’ll compensate everyone with good dramas & good parts.

    • 3.2 B

      I never watched Korean Dr. Jin, but saw the japanese one which is quite good. Why they always screw up the japanese remake. But they still trying to remake Nodame. LOL

      Btw i heard the news that dr. stranger is strangely very popular in china so they currently shooting for the movie version. –“

      • 3.2.1 james94131

        No wonder this abomination is popular in China. Have you seen how bad their dramas are? Check out “I’m Pregnant with Your Baby” which can be viewed on Viki.

        • leantome

          OMG, slightly ot, but boy did I despise that ‘I’m Pregnant with Your Baby’ movie. It actually sounded like it would be an interesting drama, but it was horrible. I really, really, really despised the female character. Nonsensical, no sense rubbish. Overly long for no reason. Just terrible. Only female character I have despised even more, is the one of the new Pearl Princess, from the remake of HZGG.

          This is not to say all Chinese Dramas are bad. I actually watch a lot of them, especially the Palace Dramas, which is what I think they do a better job on. They have been doing more and more “upscale” modern dramas. But, they just need to improve on the story/plot a bit more and not let them get too draggy.

          • James94131

            LOL! The male lead was even worse. Half of his airtime was watching him chain smoke cigarettes while he emoted. And blow second hand smoke at his pregnant wife.

      • 3.2.2 Liza

        It’s popular in China? well not so strange I guess, because Heirs was also popular there LOL

    • 3.3 Minny

      Its finale garnered only 12% despite a young, popular starcast and weak competition; this is below expectations. This drama was a critical failure and had sub-par commercial success. (Although, it was very popular with the Chinese streaming audience.)

  4. Bb

    I want to applaud both of you for not giving up while recapping this show. You finally manage to to finished it. Great job guys. I was waiting for the final recap to decide whether i should continue to watch the show after gave up on early eps. But I guess i get my answer thanks to you guys. Thank you for the sacrifices and save me and maybe others from the pain. You’re both an Angel. BTW just curius how will you rate the show from 1-10?

    Let’s now heading up to a cute show “Fated to love you”. I have faith in this show, at least for the sake of both of you. I had a feeling this gonna be my fav show of 2014. they’re just too adorable.

    • 4.1 Jack

      I rated it 4/10. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. I might even be too generous with the rating. Characters are inconsistent and the only consistent character was prolly so hyun. Overall. Might be the second worst drama I’ve seen. They only come first because there was no competition otherwise it would’ve been last.

      • 4.1.1 Bb

        Me too, I only loved interaction between hoon – soo hyun and hoon-dr. moon on the early eps but that’s not enough to keep me going.

        But now, I’m curious now on the worst drama you’ve ever seen. LOL

        • Mrs. Jang guem suk

          Hands down has got to be nail shop Paris …… I can’t even explain I… I … I couldn’t even get passed episode 3 ….. I was done absolutely done ….. Dumbest show alive …. Dumbest show wasn’t even funny dumb just stupid stupid stupid stupidddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

      • 4.1.2 windsun33

        I am not sure if this is the worst or 2nd worst I have ever seen. The reason I am not sure is because I stopped watching this around ep9 (6 episodes too late to save my brain).

        Previously my most hated show ever was Feast of the Gods – and that was mostly because even after at least 3 “almost” attempted murders, the evil girl still sort of won. But that was it’s major fail to me – it was that single stupid plot device. However, this show had multiple plot fails, some of them were almost like Groundhog Day where they just kept repeating.

      • 4.1.3 pogo

        I had some very harsh words about Heirs when it was on…..and even Heirs is 10x better than this.

        • Heirs

          please don’t compare this DISASTER with Heirs!!

          It is TRUE that Heirs has a simple plot.However,I liked it and WHAT I enjoyed about it was some funny & witty lines,sweet love scenes & some bickering & cuteness nearly the end of the drama!I also like the episode in which Tan revealed the truth & I saw a very strong & charismatic seriousness in his acting! Some crying scenes of Tan are also specifically the one in front of Eunsang!
          The scene in which Tan gently & camly takes off EunSang’s apron as if undressing her is my favorite!
          I SAID THIS ALL to say that as for Heirs,you could look on the bright side.WHEREAS Dr stranger is a TOTAL CATASTROPHE which doesn’t have any bright side to look at!
          PS:If Heirs was a bad drama,it wouldn’t have become THIS MUCH unbelievably popular!!

          • Mrs. Jang giem suk

            So explain why this is big in China just like Heirs ?????? Sooo much so they are considering movie rights ??????

          • Liza

            Err I think you should be flattered. After all pogo said Heirs is 10x better than DS, and both Heirs and DS are unbelievably popular in China only. Wonder why??

          • jusash

            China’s taste is questionable.

            They also tend to rave over dramas IF they like the actors.

            Such as:
            (1) Lee Da Hae (I don’t see why the excitment over Hotel King, sorry. Lee Dong Wook is as intense as ever, but one hand cannot make a clap

            (2) Fated To Love You was going to fly anyway because of Jang Na Ra. Again, big in China.

            (3) Heirs … do we hear a collective squeal from China whenever Lee Min Ho made his appearances. I even had a Taiwanese friend jump into Hairs right after You Who Came From a Star, because she just wanted to see how the KSH/LMH weighed against each other. This is from someone who doesn’t watch much Kdramas, but had heard so much about Lee Min Ho from her friends in Taiwan.

            (4) Lee Jong Suk ranks among the 4 young princes of Kdrama – Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho … (I forget the last one Jang Geun Suk or Kim Woo Bin?)
            The China audience would squee over anything from Lee Jong Suk anyway, regardless. Same for anything from Hyun Bin.

            My 0.02.

        • GlaSS

          I can’t tell which one is the worst, I had to drop both, mmm maybe this one is the worst after all I gave11 opportunities to Heirs, with Dr Stranger stopped at 6

    • 4.2 anon

      Unfortunately, a rating of 1 out of 10. The consolation 1 is for LJS. Would’ve been a 2 if not for his screaming when angry … “WHERE IS JAE HEE?”
      He still needs to improve on how to act angry without screaming his bulging veins out.

  5. Ace

    Seriously! What a waste of good actors (except for JSY) and director. I skipped the past month’s episodes and just skimmed the recap to see if Jae-hee died (why, why, why is she still alive? God.) and laughed incredulously at the bits I read.

    Kudos to those who stuck through the show especially the recappers. I still might watch this all one day when there’s a slump in good dramas or when I’m depressed and want to be distracted by crazies (or maybe the show will make me more depressed then?)

    • 5.1 windsun33

      Don’t bother. It will just make you even more depressed and drive you into total despair.

  6. odango

    I haven’t watched this but on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being Dr Jin levels of bad, how bad is this show?

    • 6.1 Marina

      It’s 20. Double Dr. Jin

    • 6.2 Dafuqwhat


      Dr. Jin is so bad it’s funny and laughable. This one is sooo bad, it’s not even funny, it’s downright frustating. I recommend to not watch this show, unless you are a masochist. Don’t do this to yourself dear.

      • 6.2.1 Deb

        I did not watch a single minute of Dr. Jin but read all the recaps and comments because they were SO funny. At least Dr. Jin inspired that. All I saw was frustration and anger in the comments for this show.

    • 6.3 windsun33

      This is the Michelle Bachmann of dramas

      • 6.3.1 odango

        If this is Michelle Bachmann I wonder who would be Dr Jin.

  7. owl

    “I’m becoming more and more convinced that Myungwoo was never a hospital at all—it was clearly an asylum for crazy people.”

    an asylum of evil political opportunistic crazies whose promises were all made to be broken.

    The grasping-wrists-over-the-bridge scene – one of the worst deja vus ever.


  8. Jack

    To sum it all up, this drama is just terrible. Nothing make sense and I agreed if they were to cut the last 3 minutes, it would’ve been a better ending. This final episode is so lame and what a waste of time watching this drama. The worst thing was that JSY has no chemistry with LJS at all, look at the bridge her facial expression was so bad. Basically, she was so terrible in the finale. Plain and bad acting for someone who always been getting all the leads roles. Just to be clear this has nothing to do with the shipping stuff. I’m just stating the truth.

    • 8.1 Pearl~ai88

      Give JSY a break! We already knew she is not a brilliant actress and even the best actors can be sunk if they have to deal with this level of character inconsistency and self-destructive writing. It’s already hard to portray a character with actual motivations and development, let alone the zombie (in many senses) that was Jae-hee.

      • 8.1.1 jillifish

        I agree. While I did always wonder how Jin Se-yeon got so many lead roles when there are other young actresses who are much more capable, honestly this time the writing ruined her character (and the entire drama) more than the actress did herself.

    • 8.2 Luna

      I don’t see how you’re saying they have no chemistry because I see it and watching the bts JSY and LJS are adorable together. They are even good friends in real life and use to be in the same company. JSY may not be the best actress around, but any actor who was given a role with such an underdeveloped character would have a tough time. Look at KS almost everyone applauds her for her acting, but she was criticized for Dream High 2. JSY did very well in her first lead role in My Daughter the Flower. I think her company just pushes roles one after the other which doesn’t allow her time to hone her craft. She even spoke about it in an interview about how she wished she has more time to get into character and not take one role after the other. So giver her a break.

      • 8.2.1 Joukis

        she is the one who should give us a break and quit acting for a while, we Jude on what we see and what we saw is badddd her acting sucks, the writer messed up everybody’s character not just hers, Park hoon char. was the biggest mess in DS but Jong suk was able to pull it off to save it and make it somehow appealing , you know why? cause he is a damn good actor…that’s what good actors do, even if their characters suck they make them good, as for the Bts jong suk is adorable with everybody, he has chemistry with almost everyone but with JSY the chemistry was missing, he tried hard i know but it takes two to make it work and JSY was no more than piece of wood moving.

        • luna

          I disagree all the characters were inconstant but none of them were worst than Jae Hee and Seung Hee we never really got to know her character. Park Hoon we know why he was sent to North Korea and why he became a doctor and that his mission is to find his first love. Soo hyun is the daughter of the Chairman, has family troubles with her brother and step mom while also trying to prive she is more than just the Chairman’s daughter, and she is in a relationship with Jae Joon. Jae Joon became a doctor to take revenge on the people who killed his parents, was adopted and brought to the US, in a relationship with Soo Hyun who he may or may not love. JAe Hee don’t know much about her except her dad did something against the government causing her to be a political prisoner and is in love with Hoon. Seung Hee is a spy who for more than half the episodes we are left guessing is she or isn’t she, We have no back story on her other than she is probably Hoon’s first love. The writer didn’t give us anything that would have us relate to her he jsut said oh she is quiet and mysterious. I mean no wonder people were shipping Quak and Hoon. It was like in Inspiration Generation people were shipping the second lead with the hero because of how the first lead was so stoic and the second lead wall bubbly. I mean even Agent Cha was a better character because we know he is all for supporting his country and he wants revenge for what Hoon did to him.

          • Radhika

            OH please

            LSH was just bad acting!
            It doesnt have to do just with the script

            Yeah definitely agree the script was messed up

            But the chemistry was missing.
            The chemistry the sadness the longing you can get with just acting. You dont need script for that.
            Quak and Hoon wud have made perfect couple.
            With jae Hee she just lacked it all.

      • 8.2.2 seremela

        Can she not say no herself?

    • 8.3 anon

      “Plain and bad acting for someone who always been getting all the leads roles.”

      – someone mentioned that she gets the leading roles coz her papa is super rich and we know what rich Korean people are capable of, right?

    • 8.4 Radhika

      definitely after this drama
      I doubt LJS is ever getting a lead role again!

      Btw is it just me or LJS looks so different?
      In Gaksital she looked different. Now, her whole jaw looks so different.

      And man the chemistry btw LJS and Hoon was just horrible. I was shipping for Hoon and SooHyun!

  9. Ananta

    I stopped watching it at ep 7 or 8. Good think I did, the ending seems so bad, and I liked the second female lead more.

  10. 10 crazedlu

    Lol. Wow, Show. Smh, man.

    Sadly, I think Lee Jong-seok took a hit with this one for me. I love the dude, but this… man, it managed to bring him down on my list of awesome. Hope he fends better on a different, better, not-Doctor-Stranger-crazy project.

    Onwards, Lee Jong-seok! And Dramaland, STOP pairing Jin Se-yeon with my favorite actors! GAH! I think she’s finally, FINALLY demonstrated her lack of range. Just stop it. Lee Jong-seok!

    • 10.1 Radhika

      Nah LJS actually after this project won it for me.
      He did awesome acting!

      With such poor script and crapness
      he still managed to do awesome acting and shine.

      Great actor!
      Not missing any of his dramas from now on.

      Btw I have seen all his dramas!
      and currently watching Pinocchio which is still airing! — and i love it!

  11. 11 Garrdan75

    Headsno2 and Gummimochi:

    Thank you both so very much for your wonderful and patient efforts with the recaps. You both were over-the-top gracious to continue the recaps to the end….really wouldn’t have blamed either of you if you’d dropped from recapping…

    I wanted to drop the drama waaaay back, but curiosity and enjoyment with reading your recaps and comments kept me on board.

    I laughed so hard reading this final recap…at your absolutely SPOT ON comments of the absurdity and insanity with the plot and machinations that is the final episode…along with the others…

    I usually enjoy re-visiting dramas after they are done, but this one will most certainly be an exception…not worth a second view!!

    Again, Thank you both very much for all your efforts and hard work. Catch you on the next drama!

    A loyal fan 🙂

  12. 12 Isabel

    “Clearly the presidential election was decided by whoever displayed the best macaroni noodle art, and Prime Minister Jang was just the idiot who forgot to use glue.”

    I really had a good laugh at this. Nice one, HeadsNo2.

    I stopped watching this drama long ago (let’s face it, Lee Jong Suk’s charisma can only do so much) and came back to read the recaps just to see if it manages to salvage itself. But I guess, the show just refuses to do that.

    So much wasted potential, because I absolutely loved the first two episodes.

    • 12.1 Dorothy

      I laughed out loud at the macaroni art comment too, which made my coworkers wonder what the heck I’m doing!

  13. 13 zakin89

    I bow to Heads and gummi for sticking with this mess to the bitter end!

    It was already frustrating to watch so I can’t even imagine how frustrating it must be when you’re recapping it. But can I just say THANK YOU for your awesome, often very snarky recaps! They made the experience of Doctor Stranger much more special 😉

  14. 14 Faza

    I think some congratulations are in order for Jin Se-Yeon, who managed to avoid dying this time. Maybe she can only avoid dying in the end by being in a show that makes no sense at all. XD

    • 14.1 crazedlu

      Lol yup.

  15. 15 Giegie

    I don’t even know what to say, except that the president is the craziest among the people in this drama.
    Thanks gummimochi and HeadsNo2, you guys are awesome. 🙂

  16. 16 Dorotka

    Oh Heads, you are so funny! :–)
    I had to stop drinking my tea in front of my computer… ;–)

    Thanks for this witty recap and I keep my fingers crossed that FTLY stays a good show (so far I love it)!

    • 16.1 risa

      Yep, another gem of a recap, like a lotus arising out of the muck. SO glad I bailed on the muck a month ago. I think we all can agree that Heads should avoid recapping Jin Se Yeon dramas, as well as dramas with the word “doctor” in the title~ and that she and Gummi deserve a medal for sticking with such a stinker. I’m delighted that they’re being rewarded with FTLY, a daebak drama.

  17. 17 Dorothy

    First of all, thank you, dear recappers, for having the strength and kindness to recap this entire show. I’m still not sure why I looked forward to this show every week, but I would never have made it through to the end without your guidance to understand the little that could be understood about this plot.

    I did, however, finally figure out how this show was created. Apparently, a small number of scenes were written down on pieces of paper (hangs by fingertips over river, performs surgery in competition, changes name, gets revenge, threatens someone, etc…). Then, the slips of paper were placed in a bowl. Each week, the writers would draw slips of paper out of the bowl and assign the actions to character names which were drawn out of a different bowl. Then a Magic 8 ball was used to determine the order of scenes. All of this was done while consuming copious amounts of soju amidst giggling fits. At least that’s what I think happened, based on the final product! And that is why I never killed any of my brain cells trying to make sense of any of it – I just went along for the ride, and laughed myself sick at the show, and most of all at the recaps!

    Thanks again, and better luck next time!

    • 17.1 windsun33

      I don’t think the writing was done as logically as you describe. It would have made more sense then… 😛

    • 17.2 james94131

      Actually, I think that writer Park Jin-Woo persuaded his kid’s grade school teacher to have the class collectively write the final episode. That explains why everything is so childish and mashed together with no rhyme or reason whatsoever.

  18. 18 August

    Writer Park Jin-Woo’s final message to Korean & International viewers was SO LONG SUCKERS!!!!

    Casting & Writing Matters!

    Lee Jong-Suk, Park Hae-Jin, and Kang So-Ra proved that they have acting talent and the ability to convey the motivations and quintessence of their characters even with lackluster writing.

    Doctor Stranger was pretentious, condescending, and patronizing to viewers and fans of kdramas. Park Jin-Woo’s writing, plot development, and actions/motivations for characters was nonsensical and bewildering. When it comes a never ending cycle of repetitive plot devices and behavior for 19+ episodes – Doctor Stranger takes the cake.

    Logic was thrown out the window (or door) of Doctor Stranger with the first 2 Episodes and pretty much never returned.

    A Few Wild Facts About North Korea


    20 Crazy Facts About North Korea


    Park Hoon morphed into the epitome of a fool in love. His love for Song Jae-Hee/Han Seung-Hee was reminiscent of Kim Soo-Hyun’s mindset of act first and think about the consequences later conduct if at all in God’s Gift 14 Days.

    “Don’t be fooled by love’s sweetness…Sweet talk doesn’t always mean sweet heart. Don’t be fooled.”—James Filbird

    “Never let a fool kiss you, or a kiss fool you.”—Joey Adams

    “I have loved to the point of madness / That which is called madness / That which to me / Is the only sensible way to love.”—Francoise Sagan

    “A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.”—Bruce Lee

    “A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”—William Blake

    And yes, I am repeating myself by posting the same comments from previous DS recaps – just taking a page out of writer Park Jin-Woo’s playbook.

    Lee Jong-Suk, Park Hae-Jin, Kang So-Ra, and Choi Jung-Woo…

    Did you select Doctor Stranger as your next drama because you listened to advice from your agent(s)/agency? If this was the case, they really should pay you EXTRA $$$$$$$.

    Or did you make personally choose Doctor Stranger as your next drama? If so, you did a BADDDDDDD BADDDDDDDD THING!

    If you want to see 20 Episodes of a truly worthwhile and memorable drama about a Doctor [The Doctor’s Son] embedded in the midst of undercover agents while forging his way through life, its hardships, and constant battles, then I suggest you watch The Doctor’s Son/Baksa Adeul/Jung Shi-hyun in Heartless City aka Cruel City.


    Indeed, I’m Gonna Erase (Block) This Drama Right Out of My Mind by signing off with:

    “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child

    Now that you’re out of my life
    I’m so much better
    You thought that I’d be weak without you
    But I’m stronger…

    • 18.1 August

      “Survivor” by Destiny’s Child

      You thought that I’d be sad without you
      I laugh harder…
      Now I’m wiser…
      But I’m smarter…
      You thought that I’d be stressed without you
      But I’m chillin’

    • 18.2 anon

      It’s SOOOOO bad that I’m praying a better drama comes along to erase all our memories of DS so that it doesn’t win ANY awards at the year-end SBS Drama Awards.

      It will just kill me if JSY wins the Top 10 young actor, best excellence or best couple (with LJS) awards. Aaaaahhhhh ….

    • 18.3 DebDami

      I can’t BREATHE
      on my god, your comments are so funny

  19. 19 Rossi

    Heads and Gummy- what are you guys’ secret to get through such a fantastically crappy show like this one? How do you not just rage keyboard smash when you write the recaps because NOTHING ever made sense? Are you both just the Zen-est ppl ever?!

    Like there’s so many nonsensical thing in this finale that to keep coherency my mind is only fixated on Jae Hee’s tendency to climb over the railing after getting shot. Like WHY?!

  20. 20 Kdramajjang

    I heard they are going to make a movie from this! Well the chinese productions better Re-write this damn thing, from SCRATCH!!

    Holy moly!! I rolled my eyes so much, for a moment I think they actually did turned back for a second.

    NOTHING made sense even from what might seem or look like it made any sense ages ago!!
    They have lost all contexts, honest.

    • 20.1 Anduril

      I think it would actually make a good move. There was a plot, about a movies length worth. You could get rid of most of the hospital insanity. Jae He would only be a mystery for the middle third at most. If they use the same actors, I will for sure watch it.

  21. 21 corny

    wat wat wat wat wat

  22. 22 dah gee

    At first it was finding jae hee. Next is jae hee: true or false. Then he longest running medical competition of all time. And the Unplanned Plan. Then, the end. No definite description for the END.

    and what’s with the redemption? Agent Cha committing suicide? The Prime Minister’s “absentee” arrest. It’s sad because the heart I found in the first few episodes has been gone since Finding Jae Hee.

    On the bright side… at least Gapdong became good here. Haha

  23. 23 bmore

    Nail on the head…hit twice and buried, along with this waste of time show. What a betrayal of the early promise. So frustrating that yet ANOTHER 20 hours of my life has been squandered in vain hope.

  24. 24 mary

    OMG you survived it, Heads and gummi! *hugs*

    And everyone who’s still watching out there. *beams hugs to the survivors*

    I think this is your bestest, snarkiest recap yet. Had to stop reading a couple of times just to laugh. ^____^

    Thanks, ladies!

    • 24.1 Flin99

      Greetings to all,
      I came her for LJS after watching his brilliant act in Pinocchio. Back tracked to IHYV – which was another brilliant act and finally here.

      I suppose I am lucky for not wasting 20so hrs over DS, but instead relying on HeadsNo2 and Gummi for their insightful recap. (^_-)
      Yep ep 1-20,solely on your recaps. Hands down for you two for hanging on through the cr*p moments and episodes.

      I truly respect your professionalism as recappers! Job well done. Thank you.

      I love dramabeans recaps and the hilarious comments, and for bridging the culture gaps for us. Looking forward to your other recaps and posting.

      Aza aza fighting, dramabeans !!!

      Wishing everyone here Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


  25. 25 Mystique


    • 25.1 Doctor Stranger Deserves TOMATO shooting party

      I am dying of laughter coz of your comment!!

    • 25.2 pogo

      Yes, and good riddance too!

  26. 26 Raesh

    Lollll at gummimochi’s Mulan reference.

    And lol at myself for wasting hours on this drama.

  27. 27 city hunter 2

    City Hunter is my ALL time favorite K-drama which actually didn’t make FEEL it was a typical Korean drama.
    One of my MAIN reasons for watching this drama was because of the director which was also the director of mega hit drama “City Hunter”! I thought this drama would satisfy me but I ended up being BETRAYED!!
    I LOVED CH like crazyyy so I couldn’t prevent myself from watching DS. NOW I have come to conclusion that SCRIPT & SCREENWRITERS matter most!!

    Since 2011,I have been waiting for City Hunter 2.But I think I should abandon my hope & I think it is only ME left with the come back of it. like a LOVESICK person hopeful for return of love

    • 27.1 August

      In terms of action and suspense have you seen the following Kdramas?

      Two Weeks
      The King 2 Hearts
      Heartless City (aka Cruel City)
      Arang & The Magistrate
      Chuno (aka The Slave Hunters)
      Time Between Dog & Wolf
      Killer Girl K
      Vampire Prosecutor

      • 27.1.1 city hunter 2

        Dear August! ^ ^
        I have watched “Arang & The Magistrate” among your list & I liked it! :))
        I will give a try to “Heartless city”.I had read good things about it! 🙂

        I suggest that you watch “Secret Garden”. If you haven’t watched!

        • August

          @ city hunter 2

          I watched Secret Garden for the first time last year. I can’t look at track suits or stomach crunches the same way again. 🙂

          Big fan of Secret Garden’s “That Man” OST song by Hyun-Bin and “That Woman” OST song by Baek Ji Young.

      • 27.1.2 Radhika

        Didnt like: King2 Hearts, Arang&Magistrate

        Saw Half: Chuno
        Saw 1/4: Vampire Prosecutor

        LOVED: Time btw wolf and dog

        On my watch list: 2Weeks.

        Haven’t seen the rest. and dont plan to either.

  28. 28 WTF

    If I could,I would torture the writers & dirctor of the drama(I hate to mention the name if it,puke) by FORCING THEM TO watch their all time MASTER PIECE.

  29. 29 pogo

    Heads and Gummi: I salute you for making it all the way through this, and enduring it for our sakes.

    Now I’m going to try my best to forget it exists. As far as I’m concerned, Lee Jong-seok and Park Hae-jin’s last dramas were I Hear Your Voice and YFAS. And PD Jin Hyuk hasn’t yet directed anything after Master’s Sun.

    • 29.1 pogo

      And here, have Pogo’s List of Kdrama Recs That Do Stuff Dr Stranger Attempts, But Better:

      1. Love story – literally any other kdrama ever. Including the lead actor and PD’s last dramas – I Hear Your Voice and Master’s Sun (sorry noona romance haters, 10 year age gap with a young hero >>>>>> cardboard heroine and OTP whose status is supported by nothing more than some vague nonsense about heartbeats)

      2. North Korean Thriller With Hospital Politics – Cain and Abel. Yes, even Cain and Abel is better than this.

      3. Spy Stuff – City Hunter, Iris, etc.

      4. Revenge Story – Nice Guy

      5. Lee Jong-seok – literally any of Lee Jong-seok’s previous dramas.

  30. 30 Judith

    Possibly the most disappointing drama I have ever watched. The first episodes had all the makings of great directions the plot could have gone, and in the end it went – either nowhere or everywhere, who can tell? What a mess. Lee Jong Suk is wonderful but you can’t make this show palatable no matter who you season it with. You’ll have more fun getting a root canal done.

    • 30.1 Tammy

      I really liked this drama. Each episode had me griping the edge of my chair. Also, every actor was enjoyable to watch and because they were so believable, I could easily fall into the storyline, no matter how many times my jaw dropped. I adore kdramas simply because they are so imagnitive and the actors act from their hearts. Therefore, I kindly wish to disagree with all and any negative comments on this website and those that wish to dismember this unique drama. As a writer I give a deep bow to the screenwriters, whose wonderful imagination gave breath to this program.

      • 30.1.1 Char Hunter

        YAY! I completely agree. So nice to find your voice among the “anti-fans”.

  31. 31 Judith

    BTW, great recap and comments – you gave this the respect it deserved.

  32. 32 divyrus

    Kudos you girls for sticking it throughout !

    And definitely this is THE most crappiest show I have ever watched !
    I only fee years in, and following such a crappy drama live is so exhausting !

    How do all of you keep doing this for years ! 😮

    • 32.1 divyrus

      *I am only few years old in watching kdramas

  33. 33 star

    some day in past,I read in Dramabeans that actress Park Bo Young has been offered a horror-suspense movie!
    some made comment that it would be good to see her in TV shows & dramas!!
    I get it now that why some actors don’t star in dramas and steer clear of them. Recently,I am so dissatisfied with the drama I have watched! Dr stranger is not the only drama I have wasted my time for.
    I myself like my favorite actors & actresses(Park Bo Young,Song Hye Kyo,Lee Min Ho & Lee Jong Sok) to star in anticipated K-movies & Chinese movie.Exactly what is Song Hye Kyo doing by her movies “I am the queen”,”The Crossing”,”My palpitating life”,…. And also LMH whose action-noir movie directing by “Yuha” will be finished on 30 August!
    I hope EJS oppa will do better in future!

  34. 34 chocolstenoons

    Worst drama ever. Those hours are gone forever. This can’t have been planned at all. To think 20 hours of my life are gone forever.

  35. 35 Nicolette

    Boy am I glad that I saw how crappy this show was after the first episode and decided to forego continuing with the series. I’m sorry for those of you who weren’t as fortunate.

  36. 36 ktiep2003

    Thanks for the entertaining recap. I’m sitting in a cafe laughing out loud at your comments. So much so that complete strangers are asking me to share. Ah, but how to share Dr.Stranger? You have to be there to get the joke.

    As for the finale, I howled with laughter from the bridge scene on. Quite the endorphin rush, I couldn’t sleep for hours afterwards.

    For those wondering whether to watch, yeah, just don’t.

  37. 37 coffeenlucia

    feelin proud of dropping this drama after ep 1 ^-^

  38. 38 blo

    Good thing I never went past the first episode. So much went on in that one alone that I just couldn’t take it seriously.

    I feel bad for the recappers.

  39. 39 kanz

    “Hoon stares down the road expectantly, as Jae-joon explains to Soo-hyun that he used his connections to help Jae-hee gain status as a political refugee in China and that it all went through only months ago. However, with her refugee status, Jae-hee was able to then seek political asylum back in Korea. (Don’t try to make sense out of this, trust me.) Then Jae-joon explains that the reason he returned to Korea was because today is the day Jae-hee is supposed to return as well.”

    When I watch this scene I was laughing so hard, I couldn’t stop laughing. So Jae Hee went to China for asylum then seek for asylum to back to Korea? Where’s the logic of that??

    I watched this show with half of my eyes because I can feel the ridiculousness from ep 5, but i picked from ep 18 just to get good laugh. No medical dramas ever done that to me… It’s just soo bad and doesn’t make sense in anything. I wish I could just erase DS existence and how on earth Jin Se Yeon still get lead roles is beyond me… I swear there’s more than enough good actress better than JSY.

  40. 40 sanni

    The episode sucked. But I love this pissed off recap! XD

  41. 41 Quiet Thought

    Over, at long last, and Jin Se-Yeon and I can float off down the Han River on our Seaplane Barge of idoitically obsessive love, perforated but unkillable.

    • 41.1 Mira

      Do you really want to be stuck with Jin Se-Yeon?

      • 41.1.1 Quiet Thought

        I’ve got nothing personally against Jin Se-Yeon, it’s not her fault she’s out of her acting league in a role like this and stuck with a script so screwed up Meryl Streep couldn’t have avoided humiliation.

      • 41.1.2 luna

        Why what’s wrong with JSY? She seems like a cool girl. All her costars and KBS and SBS love her. She also seems really sweet in all the bts and interviews.

        • pogo

          No actress would be stupid enough to seem anything but sweet and nice while being filmed for her job, let’s be real.

          There’s nothing wrong with her personally, just that she totally lacks the skill required to play lead roles and has an odd habit of signing dramas and needing time off for them while she is already working on other dramas.

          • luna

            Correct, but I feel like KBS and SBS see a lot of potential in her that’s why they keep hiring her. When she filmed for Doctor Stranger while doing Inspiring Generation SBS asked permission from KBS to borrow her and they agreed, so not really her fault. Everything else just got blown out of proportion by the media Kim Hyun Joong even said after the drama ended that he felt bad for her after the misunderstanding. She has even said that she wished she could take time off and prepare upcoming roles instead of jumping from to the net, so I think it’s her company taking on all these roles.

        • anon

          She can’t act to save her life!

          DS’s SOOOOO bad that I’m praying a better drama comes along to erase all our memories of DS so that it doesn’t win ANY awards at the year-end SBS Drama Awards.

          It will just kill me if JSY wins the Top 10 young actor, best excellence or best couple (with LJS) awards. Aaaaahhhhh ….

          • anon

            Not that KBS or SBS sees real talent in her … $$$ talks! I hear her papa’s RICH and we all know what rich people are like from kdramaland. We live, we watch and we learn …

  42. 42 AJ

    I stopped watching after ep 12…since the drama was going nowhere and things were not making any sense.

    I still like LJS and would love to see another drama with him and KSR! They got amazing chemistry. It was my second time watching KSR. First, was in Dream High 2 but I did not like her acting then. She has improves alot.

    As for JSY, she’s still young…but I do agree with some of you. She shouldn’t be leading just yet until she can acts naturally.

    I am glad DS is finally over…too bad, I did really liked the first few epsiodes until Seung Hee’s character came out.

  43. 43 Aigoooo

    To Heads and Gummi:

    As they say in kdramas “You’ve worked hard!” and also Congratulation on recapping Fated to Love You. This one looks to be a winner!

  44. 44 mary

    Shame on the writer for not continuing the drama tradition where Jin Se Yeon dies in the end, that’s why this drama ultimately fail. Shame on the people blaming the shipping war for causing the train wrecked plot too. If Jin Se Yeon has done convincing job on the love line, people wouldn’t even bothered to give Kang So Ra a glance. Also the ‘is she isn’t she’ plot exhausted everyone who wanted to root for Jin Se Yeon in the beginning, that’s why people started to cling on the hope of quack couple forming. Honestly, since all the characters and the plotline went wacky after episode 2, I just wanted them to end the drama already. The romance was the only thing I wanted to focus and they even killed that for me. This drama is officially the worst of all time I’ve ever encountered. Thank you Park Jin-woo and Kim Joo for bringing this kind of drama to life.

    • 44.1 mary

      I forgot to add, do we really need another ‘falling off the bridge’ scene to remind us their love was epic? No! That was completely forced and contrived just to make us believe it was meant to be. Their love for me died when Jae Hee fell off the bridge in budapest. Sorry Hoon.

      • 44.1.1 Radhika

        Seriously this drama ruined the epic City Hunter “falling off the bridge” scene for me! (ep 8 i think — when LMH grabs her hand to save her from falling and the blood gushes out OMG i was just so impressed back then! I was in love flying in the clouds)

        Anyways, in DS last ep — I think the writers had given up at that point. I mean if you include the same scene twice –it just means you are making more shit and dont care anymore. And both times this scene was executed so poorly. Especially the last ep scene just ruined it for everyone I believe.

        And seriously whats up with kdrama — making people believe that even if you are shot/strangled/tied/etc but you fall in the river means you are alive? like wtf. I was just like DIE DIE DIE by the time it was the end.

    • 44.2 Unholy

      I completely (okay, an exaggeration, partly– largely) blame the shipping war for it. The writer flaked like the little panko that he is and basically padded the story with needless fan-service. Seriously, who would have been rooting for Soohyun and Hoon to end up all up until episode 18? Then all of a sudden everybody got butthurt when apparently they weren’t endgame?

      Face it shippers, the show got your numbers and you all fell for it, subsequently inflating this drama’s ratings in the process while purposely hurting yourselves. Wicked move by the production. Actually I kinda liked it, if only because shippers irritated me more than the story itself. 😀

      • 44.2.1 p

        well, there wouldn’t have been a shipping war in the first place if the lead actress was even slightly more convincing in her role/had better chemistry with Lee Jong-seok.

        But keep whining that shippers are what drove the story off course and not its questionable female lead casting decisions which led to the love story seeming like nonsense and like Hoon should move on, if that makes you feel better.

      • 44.2.2 pogo

        and yes, keep boasting about ‘inflated’ ratings that are barely in the double digits, too.

        • J

          I came for Lee Jong Suk and Lee Jong Suk only, so when it came to the shipping, I was open to him being with anyone.

          But I couldn’t even focus on that love story part because of everything else in this drama. Everything was just so poorly written and directed that in the end who cares who ends up with whom? I didn’t feel anything for any character at the end, and that’s sad.

          Overall this drama left a “meh” sort of feeling. This drama and its characters were lukewarm at best. If it got the medical aspect right and somehow balance that with the spy/North Korean stuff, then this would have been slightly better.

          Lee Jong Suk, s’okay you worked hard. Let’s hope your next project’s better?

  45. 45 domo


    There are no words.

  46. 46 mem916

    Loved your comments they are spot on thank you for enduring the pay with us and doing the recaps

  47. 47 starstyle

    I stopped watching at ep 2…………
    good thing i didn’t waste 18 hours of watching this.

    what a fail >_<;;

    however, thank you for recapping and showing us the world of Doctor Stranger~~~

  48. 48 damo

    It’s disappointing how Jae Hee didn’t die. It must have been a great happy ending =_=

    • 48.1 Radhika

      hahahahaha i completely agree!!!!!

  49. 49 Sajen

    “Being rewarded for doing wrong and being penalized for doing right… that’s politics, don’t you think?”

    In the real world, yes, but can’t our entertainment be different.

    • 49.1 Radhika

      Honestly, That president made no sense at all~

      I was just like its the last ep — I’m done with making sense — lets just watch just to complete this drama~

      Whatever that president said from start to finish — made absolutely no sense what so ever!

  50. 50 earthna

    A friend of mine recommended this to me after watching the first 2 episodes. She said it was thrilling and a really good drama. Good thing I didn’t believe her.

    I came to read tge recap for the last episode just to know how bad it really was. When I asked my friend how the ending was, she was like “It was shocking. Jin Se Yeon didn’t die.”

    Well, good job, you two. If it were me, I wouldn’t be able to do it. That’s dedication right there. FTLY seems fun for now and I hope it continues to deliver. Gummimochi and HeadsNo2, fighting!♡♡♡

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