Rating:
Average user rating 3.1
124

Yong-pal: Episode 1

Meet Yong-pal, just your average doc who treats the wealthy by day and the dregs of life by night. He’s the guy everyone in and out of the hospital turns to in their most desperate time of need, and you can rest assured that he’s got everyone else’s surgical record beat. If you should ever find yourself in need of medical attention, your best chance of survival is with the guy who charges per stitch and every pint of blood.

An action-packed medical drama is what we were told and an action-packed medical drama is what we got in this first hour. Whether or not Yong-pal will surpass other doctoring shows remains to be seen (though I must say, the bar isn’t really that high on that front), but I sure wouldn’t mind watching fifteen more hours of this doctor.

Ratings-wise, Yong-pal dug into its Wednesday/Thursday competitors with an impressive 11.6%. Scholar Who Walks The Night followed with 8.6%, and Assembly rounded things out with 5.3%.

SONG OF THE DAY

Lee Michelle – “Escape” [Download ]

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EPISODE 1 RECAP

A woman lies comatose in a state-of-the-art hospital room, hooked up to a myriad of health monitors. She appears to be at ease, but her raging subconscious tells us otherwise: One night, a romantic evening drive is interrupted when a group of black cars pulls up to surround them.

Rather than being troubled, her lover winks at her before he guns it, sparking a wild car chase down the road. He swerves to avoid the cars throttling toward him from the opposite direction, but then a side collision sends the car into an uncontrollable spiral.

The hit is followed by another, then another, until one last crash spins the car into a pile of construction beams, impaling the man. “One must wake up to escape a bad dream,” she narrates in voiceover. At the sight of her severely injured beau, she screams.

As both patients are wheeled into the ER, she continues,”But if one cannot wake up, the nightmare continues.” Unfortunately, the next time the woman sees her sweetheart is at his funeral.

A flower vase crashes to the floor as she looks up at her father with tear-filled eyes. When he turns to leave, she runs out the window, to his shock. He calls out her name as her body falls to the depths below, which I presume has led to her presently comatose state.

“Therefore that nightmare becomes yet another reality, and that reality will never cease to end… until he calls my name.” And with that, her eyes fly open.

Having been woken up in the middle of the night, a young man complains about trudging through muddy water. His friend assures him that he’s struck a good deal for dealing with the “big battle” that just took place.

Above ground, the police round up what’s left of the remaining gangsters. Problem is, they’ve caught the guys who instigated the fight, not the ones responsible for running an illegal gambling ring.

One detective steps inside the bloodied crime scene to imagine the fight in his head: numerous thugs burst in through the windows with bats, causing commotion and chaos. The rival gangs take each other head-on as bills fly through the air, and one mobster expertly beats down a line of thugs, leaving one with a broken neck.

None of the particular gangsters the cops are looking for have been admitted to any of the local hospitals. That boggles them—surely those guys would also be suffering from serious injuries—until both detectives reach the same conclusion simultaneously: “Yong-pal-ie?”

Cut to: YONG-PAL (Joo-won), climbing out of the vent to see a dozen thugs moaning in pain from their wounds. Well, time to get to work.

He patches up the injured mobsters one at a time, putting them in splints, treating their open wounds, and marking the ones who’ll live. Up above, the gangster boss smiles at seeing Yong-pal at work.

There’s one guy that causes Yong-pal to do a double-take, however, and for good reason: the thug shows signs of internal bleeding from a ruptured spleen. He needs to be taken to a hospital for immediate treatment, and Yong-pal hollers that he’ll lose consciousness soon. No one, including the gangster, believes him until he collapses to the ground moments later.

Time is of the essence, so Yong-pal and his buddy hurry to turn the place into a makeshift operating room. He readies his portable surgical supplies, then takes a deep breath before making the first incision.

Over at the police station, Detective Lee suspects that Yong-pal definitely had a hand in this case, seeing as they haven’t heard anything for hours. Short for “skilled quack” (yong-han dol-pal-ie), he’s the doc covertly treating gangsters for money. It’s said his patients have a better shot at life than being treated at a hospital.

Before Yong-pal heads out to treat the final few “patients,” he warns his buddy Man-shik, to calculate the numbers properly ’cause he counted up all the stitches made. Ah, so it turns out Man-shik is a loan shark, which explains why he’s hanging with Yong-pal, who wonders if he’s paid off at least half of his debt by now.

Man-shik tells him that he can worry about numbers later—what’s important is that he’s paid off a good chunk of the interest (which is often an exorbitant percentage). Man-shik has never seen someone work so hard to pay off their loan like Yong-pal does, but that’s enough chit-chat—time to finish up the job before daybreak.

One last gangster grows anxious when he’s told that they’re out of anesthesia, and Yong-pal figures they’ll just have to press on or whatever. Hahaha. Man-shik offers to knock the guy out with a bat as an alternative, and in the end Yong-pal tells him to bear through it.

At Hanshin Medical Center, Chief Surgeon PARK TAE-YONG (Jo Bok-rae) greets the newest crop of surgical interns on their first day. He isn’t the last to arrive since the group is still waiting for another doc—it’s Yong-pal, who’s known by a different name here: KIM TAE-HYUN.

Plopping into a chair, Tae-hyun crushes the plastic bottle with his hands in the same way he did a few hours ago. When called out for being MIA all night, Tae-hyun swears he was at the hospital. He knows that moonlighting would be considered grounds for disciplinary action, and that’s why he’s still working here.

Unable to stand the classic scare tactics his fellow resident puts on year after year, Yong-pal cuts in to say that he’ll be conducting a survey: who among them has a relative who works at this hospital?

When the group hesitates, Tae-hyun coaxes them until one girl finally raises her hand. At hearing that her uncle is the chief of plastic surgery, Tae-hyun gasps and immediately gives her the royal treatment, much to the other interns’ annoyance .

One other speaks up about the discrimination, but it turns out his father is a political official, and Tae-hyun warms up to him too. Tae-yong puts a stop to the interrogation, sitting the group down to explain Tae-hyun’s methods.

What Tae-hyun was looking for was anyone whose family prestige could later influence their performance evaluations at the end of the year. Tae-hyun cuts in just then to tell the group not to worry because the ones with influence end up getting to choose whichever specialty they want in the end anyway. And I’m sure it’s no coincidence that Tae-hyun speaks those last words while looking directly at Tae-yong.

Even if Tae-yong has seniority, it’s Tae-hyun who gets called to step in for an ongoing surgery. Things are looking bad in there, with the patient losing blood with each passing second, but the surgeon hands off the operation to Tae-hyun so that he can make his important lunch appointment.

It isn’t so much a lunch, but more that the first surgeon, CHIEF LEE (Jung Woong-in) being incapable of handling a crisis, as we see him nervously biting his lip up in the observation desk. As the situation worsens, Tae-hyun learns that Chief Lee switched sides to his non-dominant hand midway through the surgery, so Tae-hyun hops over to the other side…

…and then Chief Lee hears the patient’s vitals begin to stabilize and breathes a sigh of relief. Inside the operating theatre, Tae-hyun orders more blood and his skills leaves the anaesthesiologist impressed.

Hospital Director BYUNG catches on right away when he finds Chief Lee up on the deck. He isn’t surprised to see Tae-hyun operating in his stead, but simply glad to hear that the patient is fine. Chief Lee is told that there’s nothing to be embarrassed about—every attending surgeon in this hospital has received help from Tae-hyun at least once.

But the fact that a third-year resident like Tae-hyun has to save a senior doctor’s ass does nag at Chief Lee’s pride. Director Byung says it doesn’t matter who steps in because the attendings are the ones who ultimately get the credit anyway.

Saving the day is exactly what Tae-hyun does, as he wraps up and stays by the patient’s side in the VIP suite. He milks his achievement for all that it’s worth too, informing the family that it was lucky he wasn’t scheduled for another surgery.

All he asks for return is their prayers for those hard-working surgeons like himself who save lives every day. But he does encourage the family to give an offering and quotes Scripture to back up his statement.

Next thing we know, Tae-hyun’s counting the bills from the family’s “offering.” He gets caught by Chief Lee, who tears into him in his office. He asks if Tae-hyun commonly extorts the patients’ families out of their money, to which Tae-hyun says that it’s true that he saved the patient-at-risk and the family paid him out of gratitude.

But he doesn’t see anything wrong with it, not when his superiors like Chief Lee, are given a much larger amount once those VIP patients are discharged. Chief Lee is offended by the insinuation, but he’s interrupted and puts this conversation on hold to attend to a different matter.

Still, Tae-hyun asks for that money anyway, and Chief Lee gives it to him.

Chief Lee steps out to meet Hanshin Group Chairman HAN DO-JOON (Jo Hyun-jae) who is here to check on his sister. The stockholders he’s with are offended when Chief Lee is reluctant to allow visitors, but he remains firm that this is also what’s best for the patient. Do-joon seems pleased with his response, though outwardly placates the gentlemen about this unfortunate turn of events.

Chief Lee offers to check in with the patient, and with Do-joon’s silent encouragement, accepts the documents to deliver to the patient. Do-joon makes a show of asking after his sister’s condition, asking if the most recent incident involved self-harm. Just around the corner, Tae-hyun curiously takes note of all this information.

One stockholder questions how Do-joon’s sister would reject visitors but agree to pore over legal documents. Do-joon smoothly handles that sticky situation too, and Tae-hyun takes the same elevator has the stockholders. They wonder if they should seek a court-ordered hospital visit, and idea that the other two men shut down.

Do-joon and Chief Lee enter the patient’s ward, guarded by bodyguards and high security. There we see the woman from the top of the hour: this is Do-joon’s sister, HAN YEO-JIN (Kim Tae-hee), and evidently it’s to Chief Lee’s best interests to keep a close eye on her.

He smirks, then bends down and apologizes for not visiting more often. He laughs, and then says it’s remarkable how there are people who still want to see her. Even in her unconscious state, Yeo-jin thinks to herself, “Devil.”

Following a lighter moment of a nurse feeling butthurt that Tae-hyun rejected her and maybe indirectly called her crazy, the head nurse instructs him to check on his sister in the dialysis room.

Seeing his sister takes him back to the day when he first became an intern. He’d promised his sickly sister that he’d make sure she’ll receive treatment and get better one day. They had an adorable bickering relationship, and sat down with their mother for a meal.

Later that night, Tae-hyun had promised her that her days of being poor are over now that he’s a doctor. Taking her hand, he said that he’ll be able to work part-time and make sure his sister is cured. They had both teared up at the sentiment alone, and just thinking about it brings tears to his eyes now.

Little sis So-hyun wakes just then, looking much paler than she did a few years ago. It’s the side-effects from the dialysis, though the treatments haven’t affected So-hyun’s ever-cheerful personality. She apologizes for being a burden, and Tae-hyun falls back to his trademark “at least you know” statement.

But she doesn’t come as often as she should because she knows how expensive receiving medical care is—how could she let that burden solely fall upon oppa’s shoulders? Tae-hyun tells her to follow her doctor’s orders—plus, paying for her dialysis procedures hardly make a dent in his doctor’s salary.

When So-hyun points out he still hasn’t paid of his student loans yet (methinks those aren’t student loans), Tae-hyun replies that med school is usually expensive. He agrees that his sister is still like a little girl in his eyes, and hearing her being completely satisfied with how life has blessed her with such a wonderful brother makes his eyes well up with fresh tears.

Tae-hyun picks up Man-shik’s call that night, and ha, I just realized that the ringtone is Man-shik’s voice. Now he’s Yong-pal, as he’s dragged inside a room to attend to the gangster boss bleeding from the abdomen.

After deducing that it’s a gunshot wound, Yong-pal is unable to staunch the bleeding. He offers the gangsters a choice: take the boss to the hospital and live, or let him die here. But that decision is turned back on him—Yong-pal either treat him now or die in his failed attempt.

The gangster boss struggles to speak and tells his lackeys to make sure that he doesn’t get sent to a hospital. If he dies here, then his boys can bury Yong-pal with him. But Yong-pal has heard enough and moves the boss onto the table.

Checking the boss’s neck, he instructs the lackey to find all the gangsters who are blood type A. When asked how he knows that, Yong-pal answers that he indicated each of the thugs’ blood types on their necks when he treated them. Smart.

Remember that mobster who had to take his stitches without anesthesia? Turns out he’s a match, and he’s hooked up for transfusion. As Yong-pal cuts into the boss’s abdomen to retrieve the bullet, the detectives get excited that they’ve picked up a signal on Yong-pal. Could that bullet wound have been a Yong-pal tracker?

The police come charging downstairs just as Yong-pal makes the first stitch. He stops, telling the lackeys that the opening isn’t fatal—it’s more important to transport the boss to a safe location.

When the gangsters run into the cops on the main floor, the gangster boss’s top lackey dispatches his boys as a distraction. They take to the roof, but that’s where Detective Lee is waiting for them.

Turning around, the lackey instructs Yong-pal to take care of his boss. He approaches Detective Lee with his hands in the air, then surrenders his weapon at his feet. Detective Lee isn’t inclined to let the infamous Yong-pal slip through his fingers, not when he’s this close, but he can’t risk to shoot his gun so carelessly either.

But the detective has no choice when he finds himself surrounded by other gangsters, giving Yong-pal and Man-shik enough time to slip out. When Man-shik is hesitant about transporting a mob boss, Yong-pal decides to drive off himself.

Thankfully for Detective Lee, he’s still got eyes and ears on Yong-pal, and climbs into the surveillance van to pursue him. He orders roadblocks up ahead, which Yong-pal swiftly avoids. He soon finds himself blocked by yet another roadblock and a passing train, though, and drives parallel to the train so that he can take a U-turn.

The cops are still hot on his tail, however, and he finds himself stuck at a red light. With the police quickly closing in on him in all directions, Yong-pal crashes into both cars to make enough room for him to speed away.

He doesn’t get far until oncoming traffic collides with the car, but Yong-pal manages to speed down the other way. He makes a wide turn, swerves to avoid cars, and pummels through a crate. The cops smash through cars to keep up with him as he enters a bridge construction zone.

Yong-pal races down the narrow road… and then hits the brakes because there’s another group of police cars waiting on the other end. Stepping on the reverse is a no-go either, and even though he’s trapped, he refuses to give up. “I won’t. Or else my sister will die.”

The cops are in no hurry to catch him, but maybe they should be because Yong-pal grabs his supplies and the gangster boss, fully ready to jump. Detective Lee tells him to just give it up, but Yong-pal’s got another card to play: he readies an EpiPen for the mobster.

The boss looks afraid at the injection, and Yong-pal calculates that it’s a 50-50 shot at survival, even with the extra adrenaline. But he refuses to let the mobster die, and so the man looks over to the dark depths below.

Yong-pal tells the gangster boss to hurry up and make up his mind—if they wait any longer, the boats will come for them. As soon as the gangster boss agrees, Yong-pal shoots him with the epinephrine, and then one for himself.

The effect is almost immediate, and Yong-pal pulls the boss along with him as they jump into the river together.

 
COMMENTS

Even with the hype that surrounded Yong-pal prior to its premiere, all I knew about it was: compelling-medical-action-money-Joo-won. So I held onto the hope that this drama would deliver an intriguing story and characters I could follow. Call them low expectations if you will, but let me tell you, I’ve seen the dark depths of the medical drama in my past.

And yet, I was intrigued by the notion of a hero whose day job is to treat the wealthy and then moonlight as an on-call doc to treat the underground at night. If I think about it, I’m pretty sure Yong-pal would provide medical treatment to anyone as long as there was a hefty payout. It’s Tae-hyun/Yong-pal’s blurred ethical boundaries that has me most interested, because we’ve seen just how shameless he is when it comes to money on more than one occasion. Sure I don’t know how he could possibly afford all the medical supplies used on the gangster patients, but maybe those expenses are taken out of his cut of the money. Or the hospital hasn’t noticed the truckful of missing equipment yet.

Aside from the bit o’ Doctor Stranger-esque X-ray vision to spot internal injuries, I do like that most of his work takes place outside of a fancy operating theatre. Rather than setting up shop to any place look like a pseudo operating room, but I’m impressed at how he makes keen, quick, and sometimes, humorous decisions in his doctoring. How he stitched a guy up without first numbing the area still cracks me up. I mean, it must suck for that guy, but Yong-pal is all, *shrug* Guess we’ll just have to do without. In a more dramatic sense, he has to think on his feet, deciding that it’s better to run and treat elsewhere than risk getting caught.

His illegal side job wouldn’t absolve him in a moral sense, and still there exists his modus operandi that follows the Hippocratic Oath of do no harm. Furthermore, we’re given a clear motivation for Tae-hyun’s underground activities from the start: to keep his sister alive. And if the desperation is great enough—as it is for Tae-hyun—then he won’t stop at anything if it means ensuring his sister’s recovery.

I imagine it could be a bit confusing between our hero Tae-hyun and his codename Yong-pal, but it’ll be easiest to use his given name at his dayjob and Yong-pal during his nighttime activities. So it’s no surprise that treating the plethora of injuries with limited equipment provides Tae-hyun with a ton of experience in the actual operating theatre. How interesting that all the attending surgeons at Hanshin have relied on a resident for their surgeries, but that fact doesn’t quite irk them as much as it does for Chief Lee. I raised an eyebrow when he left his own surgery in the worst moment imaginable, but then you see the anxiety written all over his face because he just couldn’t handle the pressure.

Which begs the question of what Chief Lee has been doing if not operating on patients. That’s easy: keeping an eye on Yeo-jin on her brother’s orders. I liked how we got snippets of her past to establish just how she ended up in her comatose state, because ain’t nothing interesting about a woman lying in bed for no known reason. But she clearly must be a threat if Oppa is keeping her locked away from the world. I can only hope that she’ll wake up soon and join the fun, because goodness knows, replaying the worst night of your life over and over again in your head sounds like a god-awful nightmare. Rise and shine, Sleeping Beauty.

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Thanks so much for recapping this – love Joo won in this kind of drama. Am off to read.

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YES! I've been waiting for this, thank you for recapping Yong-pal! Enjoying it a lot so far, though I may be slightly biased because Joo Won <3

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i'm reading this just to convince myself whether or not i'll join the crowd to watch Yong-Pal. I guess, I need to read one more episode' recap.

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Joo-Won is back the screen again!

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And Joo Won delivers once again!

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Of course, his name isn't Joo-Won for nothing hehe

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The premise reminds me of Black Jack manga by Osamu Tezuka --- he'll treat everyone with exorbitant fees but with blurred code of ethics... I suppose all that medical appliances comes from his (which explains why he always sniff for money, besides the sister reason)

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Is it good?

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It ain't a medical drama if blood doesn't squirt out on the first episode!

Spotted a small spelling mistake I think " and sad down with their mother" - is it "sat" down? Thanks for the quick recap, I'm also still holding on whether to watch this or not, especially since the melodrama in Mask has weaned me off chaebols a bit. Hopefully there will be more Kim Tae Hee in the next episode.

I was wondering, is it always sisters that are sick in these medical dramas if they have a male lead? I don't think I've encountered many dramas where its the little brother that's sick, because in the end they always become bargaining chips for the hero.

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It is always a sister or mother, but usually sister. Apparently in k-dramas, other family members don't matter much or never get sick.

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Brother, in... where was it...

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It's a sad trope found all the time in the media. Since men are almost always the protagonist, especially in Western media, they use women as plot devices to give a reason for the way the male protagonist acts. Usually the woman getting killed, beaten, kidnapped, being sick and so on. It's lazy writing is what it is.

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Haven't watched yet, but I saw the ratings jump from 11.6% to episode 2's 14.1%. That jump is pretty impressive for kdramas these days. Congrats to the cast and crew.

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And it's peak rating has reached 19,7% in the last minutes of 2nd episode.

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Whoa, so much for dispelling the lingering disappointment of Tomorrow's Underperforming Cantabile!

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Yay!! I really did enjoy the first ep and can't wait how things would change when he becomes the Yongpal of the elite rather than the gangsters.

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I watched it and i liked it. Joowon is looking sharp and masculine.
Thank you for the recap.

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I don't understand fans ?

This drama is like the most medical dramas are.

Rich going against rich and wating power;

Genius Guy that corrupt doctors are jealous off
(also poor or wanting revenge)

-Action

How is this new from everything else?

Might watch just because of the actors, aside this, nothing new.

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Technically there's nothing new under the sun. It's all about execution.

Tons of romance dramas. Tons of revenge dramas. Tons of thrillers. Whether in the Western or Eastern Hemisphere. But we haven't stopped watching shows, have we?

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I agree with this, "Tons of romance dramas. Tons of revenge dramas. Tons of thrillers. Whether in the Western or Eastern Hemisphere. But we haven’t stopped watching shows, have we?"
And no, (you are right), we have not stopped watching shows and dramas...

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Technically there are a LOT of new things under the sun.

Metaphorically, however, it's all the same.

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What stands out to me is the directing. It doesn't feel too choppy and confusing to me unlike other action/epic dramas.

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Despite the ratings and raves, I have the same feelings.
(1) Corrupt chief - check.
(2) Genius junior doctor - check
(3) Sister or mother that needs meds - check
(4) Numerous improbable makjang scenes - check
(5) Jumping off of bridge - check
(6) Various nefarious chaeols actually running hospital - check.

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It's not perfect, but I'm enjoying this for Joo Won.
Funnily enough, I just watch my first Kang Dong Won movie, My Brilliant Life, and he looks so much like Joo Won. Now I know what the hype is about. They can play brothers and it will be convincing.
Anyway, starting with 11.6% is ain't easy, let alone jumping further to 14.% just in an episode. Joo Won's magic is back apparently.

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I am the only who didn't like it? This is like the melo-korean version of Royal Pains

Or at least a mix of Healer+Good doctor and something more but I can't put my finger on it yet.

A disappointment to be honest.

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the show sucks! a mish-mash of ideas that only fans of the actors would desperately love.

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In the number of plot holes and makjang, this is approaching Doctor Stranger proportions already. I will keep watching for a while, but seriously - k-drama land needs to get some new and original writers instead of just recycling the same old tropes.

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@Cafe
I didn't think this was a bad drama and definitely better than currently airing dramas expect for Oh My Ghostess, just watched episodes 1 and 2..and I am not a fan of Joo Won, I like his role in here. Although I agree with the mix of Healer+Good Doctor part..there was good moments and definitely I am on for this drama..
I don't wanna jinx it..Definitely hope that the writers would maintain the standard of the story...

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Oh my ghost and I remember you are the only worthwhile dramas airing right now. I gave yongpal a try and quite liked it so far.

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No, you're not the only one. Joo Won is great, but out of the mere minutes KTH acts, she clearly just "acts". From the reaching hands, to the deadened eyes...I don't know, bores me. I also don't seem to have any character to root for. Yes, I've watched the 2nd episode too and understand where YP is coming from, but I can't root for him. The only person that draws me in is the head nurse (hello there, awesome ahjumma!), and she's not even one of the main characters.

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She is my favorite head nurse. I think she has played the same part in at least one, maybe two other dramas.

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As soon as it started I felt like I was watching Healer/Blood/Dr. Stranger all rolled into one. I really like Joo Won, but I can't jump on board for this drama. I will just finish IRY and OMG and wait for the next round of shows

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But the only thing I see is Park Shi On without the savant syndrome. Its good to see Joowon back on screen

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Whoah! I didn't know who Joo-won was before ep 1 - shame on me! - but I'm on board!

Ep 1 was fast-paced and its dramatic ending made sure I returned for ep 2.

Thank you for the recap.

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So you haven't watched any other dramas of Joo Won? You should check him out, to me, he's like one of the nest actors among the younger gen.
I'm loving Yong-pal too and i'm crossing my fingers that it keeps going strong (sadly, so many haters wants to see it fail!)
Joo Won and Yong Pal fighting!

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Finally! Yay! Thanks for the recap gummimochi! I find the episode exciting, fast-paced, humorous at times and actually even felt more like a movie! Hooray for the cast and crew for an awesome pilot ep and an even more awesome double digit ratings! ^^

Girlfriday, if Dr. Kim Tae Hyun will administer you an epinephrine shot, will you be able to recap with gummimochi? I always loved reading your recaps for Joo Won's dramas as they echo the fangirl in me sometimes. hihi! oh well, guess we'll be having Joo Won to ourselves!

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Am I the only one thats is bothered by the editing? Its seems too choppy and low qualitt. Im also getting some pretty strong Dr. JIN vibes with the very fake surgical dummy scenes. I really really hope it gets better. I hate to think Joo Won made a bad call in picking this drama.

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You are not alone..I thought the same thing about the editing and choppiness. Hope ep. 2 is better.

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Lol we're the exact opposite.. I think this drama's editing is much better than one such as Scholar. That drama is truly awkward editing at times.

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Love the first episode, but am not so excited by the second. Prefer to see more action rather than the rich girl in coma story. Let's see how it goes :)

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I think they will continue like that, after seeing ep 3 preview. He starts making house calls for the rich, not for the gangster anymore.

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Aah that's a pity, coz i dont think u get to jump off bridges when treating the rich. But I am not giving up yet, for Joo won's sake.. lets see if treating the rich can be exciting as well.

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Treating the rich could be more dangerous and secretive, because there's more at stake (reputation, company stocks and so on).

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My problem with this is just the opposite - too much action just for the sake of action. Action over actual plot will only get you so far.

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Agreed

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I'd rather see the rich girl in a coma story. After a while the meaningless action is boring.

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Thanks Gummimochi - thrilled Yong-pal (aka Yongpali) is being recapped here. Episodes 1 & 2 certainly started out of the gate as thoroughly entertaining and compelling.

My first ever kdrama was IRIS with Kim Tae-hee...so I'm excited to see her in another drama.

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Watch the drama on my cable last night and now its recapped in DB, thanks gummi.
Watch this drama solely because Joo-won lol. My initial respon were positive one. I do like his moonlighting side-job, it makes this medical drama less boring. Lets see how next episode comes. I agree with you gummi, the heroine better wake up quickly otherwise she'll misses the fun. Maybe she's wait for Joo-won kiss to wake her up?

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so far this is really interesting drama, the rating also really good, i like it

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Can we call Joo won as a Rating King? He did solid performance in his first SBS drama.

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Wow! What an action packed episode! Joo Won never fails to impress me. Yet another stellar performance from him! The set up for the episode was fast paced and thrilling. I hope this drama keeps it up because if it does, I have no doubt it will be a total hit! I just finished episode 2 and although it's not as action packed as episode 1, it's still very engaging and I was at the edge of my seat! It's nice to see some background on some of the characters. Can't wait until next week!

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Am I the only one who thinks joo won looks thinner than ever?

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SBS is going to win again with this one while KBS has Low-ratings flops these days. And MBC is staying in the second.

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I just have a feeling that everyone hates KBS, Outside of their untouchable weekend dramas (consistently in first place)..... the problem is these days koreans tend to like the safe bet re-hash stories instead of stepping outside of the box, at least on the big 3... take I Remember You, excellent from start to end so far, but sub par and rehashed shows like high society won in ratings.

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@gummimochi

Thanks for your recap!

While I cannot say that the first episode wowed me or got me on board for the whole ride, I will definitely stay on to see how the story unfolds. Somehow I was expecting to be more interested in the characters and more engaged in the story. Perhaps the editing, the many bloody, open wound scenes and surgeries, took time away from more character interactions and conversations that could have fleshed out the characters more.

I feel they have made their point about how good Yong Pal is in a medical emergency and I hope that we do not have to witness any more horrific (but dummy) open wounds and stitching thereof. LOL!

It's good to see that Yeo Jin is shown to be not just a walkover but that when she was up and about, she had determination. I'm not sure if it can be called courage to try to get herself killed, but maybe yes if her reasons were more compelling than just feeling sorry for herself. She was willing to put her life literally on the line to protest against something, is my guess. So yes I agree with @gummimochi that we need her awake and hopefully confounding everyone, especially Yong Pal. :)

I look forward to reading more of you @gummimochi!

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Hello again GB Unni,
I just asked you on OMG ep.10 recap's comments' section if you would comment on this drama, and here you are. Good to "read" you here :-)

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Hi Ivoire! I'd like to find the time to watch and comment on this show.

I found that I liked Episode 2 a lot more than Episode 1. (No Spoiler)
Definitely moving along well into the scenario that leads Tae Hyun to meet Seo Jin.

As expected, Joo Won is great! I enjoyed watching the expressions flitting by as he thought quickly what to do, how to react, how best to be to get out of the situation.

I'm sure we're going to have fun dissecting everything he does for the heroine! :) I'd like to see her doing stuff for herself and for him too, actually. I hope her character is written not to be a self-centered chaebol type of daughter but more other-centered.

Looking forward to reading you!

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Oh my gosh GB unni,

You just posted your comment, how funny! I came here to see if you had responded to me. I emailed you back, btw... I watched this ep., but not fully subbed (like 85% subbed), so I missed some stuff, which I really don't like. I also noticed that on viki.com, even when the shows are 98, 99 or 100% subbed, you can still have whole sentences that are not translated, and that is so irritating and frustrating, but what can one do?

I still have to go read the recap (this one). I was busy writing some email responses, and commenting on the group page. So now, I am back here. I also watched ep.2, but (again), not fully subbed. I am so behind on drama watching, and I find it hard to find the time to comment here (on DB). There are a lot of good comments (to read) though...

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GB unni,

I actually liked ep.1 more than ep.2 (my personal preference). And yes, I too liked watching JW's face reflect what he was thinking or feeling. I really like JW in his emotional scenes, and I almost cried when he was with his sister at the hospital, and their scenes with their mom, and then just JW with his mom, later on. He really loves his sister (can I adopt him, I will be a good noona), and his mom. I also like JW in his action scenes (he was quite good in Gaksital).

About this, "I’m sure we’re going to have fun dissecting everything he does for the heroine! :-) " You know your dongsaeng wayyyyyy too well :-)

And I agree with this, "I’d like to see her doing stuff for herself and for him too, actually. I hope her character is written not to be a self-centered chaebol type of daughter but more other-centered."

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@Ivoire
I read you on the group and in email! :D

You were saying something about not being as free now to comment as you did on Liar Game. Yes, those were really great days with time to pursue our kdrama hobby :)

Yes, we met on Liar Game and had a ball of a time. I understand why you concentrate on just one show at a time. It does take a lot of time to do a proper think through, re-watch and to analyse. I'm not certain how much I can put into each show but I'll definitely try.

Now that we have Yong Pal to keep us busy, I'm looking forward to lots of character and relationship development. I'd like to see a gradual change of Tae Hyun from being known as a money-bug to being known as an altruistic doctor. I'd like to see if his relationship with Chief Lee who does not like him can change for the better. There's also his relationship with his sister and Chief Nurse and of course with Seo Jin. It is great to anticipate this much so early on. ?

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@GB

Hello! Glad to see you here! :)

I had to look away from my screen during those wounds stiching scenes, but I liked the pilot episode and I'm happy to see Joo-won back on my screen. ^^

Thanks gummimochi for the fast recap. ❤️

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Hi @Giegie!

I think it gets better from Ep 2 onwards... at least there should be very few open wounds to turn our eyes from. :D

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I wasn't super invested in episode one--- but the tension REALLY starts cranking in episode two-- not from crazy action sequences but manipulation/head games! I'm in.

And Joo Won can play doctor with me any day of the week. :)

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No you're not alone and yes... he looks thin in this drama, same like when he played as cha yoo jin at nodame.

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Just find it amusing that in the last drama the main female lead was from Athena: Goddess Of War and in this the main lead is from Iris. They should get the main female lead from Iris 2 in the next show and then they would have a hatrick of female leads from the IRIS franchise. :)

On a whole an interesting episode. Looking forward to seeing more.

Am actually wondering how he is going to encounter Sleeping Beauty and how will he end up rescuing her.
Will he be recruited by the Evil Brother to monitor her or will he discover her through spying and then be forced to take care of her or else disappear for good.
Perhaps he will be told to be offed by the gang leader he just saved in this episode but he doesn't because he saved his life like the Slave and the Lion story?

Will he try to use her first to save his sister but end up falling in love with her?

SO many ways this story can go on and I am looking forward to watching it and see all the characters grow as well.

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Joo Won was never in IRIS

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I was talking about the actress only

Kim Tae Hee was the female Lead in IRIS
Sua *The lead in Mask) was the lead in Athena (a spin off IRIS)
so if we could have Lee Da-Hae (Female Lead in IRIS 2)in SBS next drama then they could have managed to get all three of the female leads in a row.

Doubt that would happen though :(

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i'm happy to see Joo Won again.
it's been a long time since i cried watching a drama, and Joo Won did it in the first episode.
i loved his relationship with his sister...great casting so far.
bad side: episode looked a lit bit on the low visual quality...at least on viki.

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Since a previous DB article on Yong Pal somehow brought in comparisons with Healer... I could not resist doing an early comparison... perhaps in the end there will be little that is truly similar, but on the surface, this is what I thought. Feel free to add on! :) I posted this also in the Healer thread.

1)Yong Pal began with electronic symbols and sounds with a machine monitoring the physical state of Yeo Jin who is shown in a coma ... Healer began with computer graphics/sounds and music and the camera flying through the building to Healer’s lair. Personally I found the Healer intro more compelling.

2) Here, we are introduced to the girl first than to the guy. From the little we see of her I feel vaguely sympathetic for Yeo Jin but not yet too invested in Yong Pal. Maybe there is less pathos associated with him at the moment (which may change) and he is not such a tortured soul (yet). With Healer we got quite a good intro to the guy, then to the girl and to Moon Ho and all their backstories were immediately mysterious and interesting.

3) I expected more physicality from Yong Pal, but far from any parkour, Yong Pal had quite a time climbing up a secret ladder to get to his patients. Healer was shown active from the getgo and very fluid in his actions. I'll have to watch more Yong Pal to see where the action is.

4) Both Healer and Yong Pal do not let what is morally right/wrong keep them from their work and both are out to earn as much as possible. Yong Pal at least is working to support a sick sister and to pay back the debt and he is a good son. Healer did care for his mum, but he earned only for himself to begin with. So Yong Pal appears more selfless and desperate.

5) They are both competent in their jobs, and recognised for their skill but Healer’s job is more fun (for us!) whereas attending to bloody wounds and surgery is not everyone’s cup of tea. LOL! With Yeo Jin in the picture, however, I'm hoping that his side job is keeping an eye on her, or better, they take care of each other!

6) Both have to hide their identities and stay clear of the police who know about them and want to catch them. The police in Yong Pal seem more determined and ruthless however. No chance of a bromance with disapproving cop.

7) Yong Pal is a 3rd year Resident in a hospital by day, Healer is a reporter, but Yong Pal makes a better doctor than Healer does a reporter LOL!

8) Both Yong Pal and Healer have their ‘partners. Unfortunately Young Pal has a loan shark without the hi-tech gadgets as his partner ... but at least they meet up and can have a bromance, whereas Healer had kickass hacker ahjumma (Kim Mi Kyun) and lots of fun gadgets. Healer did not meet her until near the end but they had a great remote relationship too. It's great to see Kim Mi Kyung in Yong Pal as well, and I'm hoping that she gets to play more than just a behind the counter nurse-admin person. At least her dry humor and cynicism still seems to be in play! :)

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Dear GB,
Same here about Healer's Ahjumma. So happy to see her in this drama dan hopefully SBS will not waste her talent for some insignificant role.

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My feelings exactly @QueenBi. How great it would be if she ends up helping Yong Pal surreptitiously so that he gets to do more without getting caught. :)

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That's the thought, GB unni :-)

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Well done GB!
About #7. although not official, Healer's main job is an Errand Guy, what he did at the internet tabloid was part of the job. Yongpal and Healer are both excellent at what they do.

Ahjumma in this show makes it more worthwhile, definitely watching this for her too. I hope it stays consistent like Healer did. I like where the story takes our hero in the second episode.

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Thank you for recapping this drama! I was waiting all day yesterday and today. I really like this drama, there is so much energy and the doctor scenes don't bore me because they usually do. I love how quick Yongpal is when it comes to doing his job. He's smart and witty. And I'm super excited to see KTH when she wakes up. I can't wait to see how she and Yongpal will start their relationship.

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um, excuse me, pastic bottles should be recycled, please.

I think I´ll stick to recaps with this one, all the medical gore is too much for me.

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*plastic

ah, but then, I really really like jung Woong-In, and it seems he is being brilliant here again. ah, I dunno. all that blood....vs JWI... hard decision...

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I always find it totally funny that they blur out a 6-inch knife, but show blood and guts flying all over in medical scenes.

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then again, knowing it isn´t real (unlike in one estonian film, the director used real cow blood or something). Curse of the wearwolf... and they used real guts and insides of animals and stuff

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To be veeeery honest, I don't really like the style of directing. The way the scene moves from one another, the way it cuts into another.. somehow it feels so rough, and not in a good way. Sometimes it feels so rushed, and so far that kinda irritates me.

But surprisingly though, the script is great! I love the characterization so far, and Taehyun/Yongpal has got to be one of the hottest (looks-wise, skills-wise, traits-wise) heroes ever. I like the fact that he's not exactly on the right track, it sucks to see "good" heroes all the time.

The little humors got me cracking up too. I hope the writer will keep this good work up (and improve more, if possible) especially if the directing won't.

Despite its flaws, I love the overall pace of the story, and JOOWON IS SO AMAZING AS USUAL

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Had similar thoughts. The style irks me, but the story is engaging enough and I like the hero already (don´t know about the Sleeping Beauty yet, haven´t seen ep 2). Really liked the scene where Chief Lee confronts Tae-hyun about the "offering". I was kind of surprised that he still asked Chief Lee to give his money back. Half expected him to take it just like that and walk out of the room with a simple head nod.

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"A flower vase crashes to the floor as she looks up at her father with tear-filled eyes. When he turns to leave, she runs out the window, to his shock. He calls out her name as her body falls to the depths below, which I presume has led to her presently comatose state."

I'm pretty sure she couldn't actually jump out that window since as hospitals places of business homes whatever that was use reinforced glass so people can't just trip and fall out the window. Even at a run someone as tiny as Kim Tae-hee would have just bounced off. But whatever it's a drama.

"How interesting that all the attending surgeons at Hanshin have relied on a resident for their surgeries, but that fact doesn’t quite irk them as much as it does for Chief Lee."

The word your looking for there is horrifying not interesting.

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I have seen that same kind of stupid "crashing through window" scene several times, including in US movies/shows. Seems to be one of those nearly universal tropes, no matter how improbable or impossible.

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maybe it was one of those tipping windows that can spin round vertically around an axe :) jumps, splat, spin, squeeesh ...hehe mental picture :) am i a bad person for actually finding this funny? I blame my happy childhood..too many looney tunes and roadrunner.

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How is it that Joo won's shirt got all raked up when he jumped into the river, exposing his torso, but the gangster's did not? Hehe...

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Because the gangster is not the male lead, and so we don't need a shirtless scene from him? However, that is expected from JW's TP's? (as a character)...

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because JW's pec and abs thought it was gonna be a brooding shower scene and automatically disgarded and rejected the t-shirt in anticipation? what?? it's a common thing in leading man material....(i wish).

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The gang leader had a tight fitting shirt and the buttons stayed.

If you jumped from a height in a tee, I am sure it will ride up.

You aren't looking for a logical answer I suppose?

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I made a similar comment to my husband. "So, he had time to take his shirt off between giving himself a shot & jumping into the water?"

Oh, and I liked episodes 1 and 2. Unless this show goes nuts I'm in for the long haul. (I'm hoping for your sake, Gummi, that it's a super show & I look forward to your recaps.)

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Thanks for the recap! I really enjoyed the first episode. I like how they introduce the characters. I enjoyed watching Yong Pal!

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the power of joo won, plus err maybe their competitive dramas are not that solid. i watched assembly as well, but it may not be a favourite genre for some audiences.

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this premise actually reminds me loosely of mob doctor..an american tv show. lol. im on the fence, i think im just going to read recaps and wait for more eps to air before deciding to watch this.

btw, lee michelle has a song? lol nice to see her put out some music after kpop star.

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Having Kim Tae Hee as lead actress worries me the most. I didn't like her flat expression in Jang Ok Jung. I hope she's getting better with different role.

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-1

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+1

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Just watched the 1st 2 episodes and I'm hooked so far. I need a new drama to watch since I Remember You will end next week.

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Love the first episode!! Joowon is so bada$$

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THIS IS GOOD! Thumbs up.

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Just watched only half of this episode and read the rest here because exams are coming soon...*sad face* Anyway, so far it's interesting and I'm hoping to see more of Kim Taehee in the next episode. Joo won is awesome as always!

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kim tae kee acting is very bad, she cant even act comatose well

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To me, Kim Tae Hee acts well and suitable to the role. You just have a bias or fan of her competitors.
This drama sounds very interesting & worth watching.

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There's no "acting" really when you're just laying there. What did you expect? For her to show extreme emotions in her comatose state? Lol. I would love to see someone else emotionally invested in portraying someone who's in a coma. What a difference it would be! -_- Give the girl a break. She isn't the best, but definitely not the worst either. :)

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Yeah, really. Someone's "coma face" cannot be used to judge acting skills, lol.

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"For her to show extreme emotions in her comatose state?"

LOL that was funny

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This was in reply to zhao yijie.

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The writing is pretty good so far. I really like the humor although I didn't expect to see any in this action/melo.

Kim Tae Hyun is darn street smart. I love how quick his mind works. That speech about church and giving was so despicable but funny. He has some value system of its own. Instead of upholding integrity and honor, he works the corrupt system, fleeces the rich and uses his wits to survive.

Kudos to Joo Won for making another character come alive. This character is closest to Lee Kang To in motivations, both are willing to sell their souls for their families. But the similarity ends there. Lee Kang To is very angsty, Kim Tae Hyun for all his problems and sad circumstances is a rather upbeat character.

Joo Won has always has this knack of making you feel for his character no matter how badly he behaved. Ep 2 is another helluva ride, not so much in action but emotions and more.

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Thanks for the recap! I'm not much of a Joowon fan but this sounds intriguing! I really hope it wouldn't go all Doctor Stranger on us though.

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"..follows the Hippocratic Oath of do no harm.."

Really? Is that why he had no qualms about crashing into a few cars, presumably with real people in them?

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Think you can blame the cops for that one.

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