D-Day: Episode 19
In the aftermath of loss, Hye-sung proves his resilience as he faces more of Director Park’s ridiculous antics. It comes as no surprise that our persistent villain tries to get rid of Hye-sung yet again, but his efforts are curtailed this time. The return of electricity marks the return of sanity and honesty, which serves well for the future of our tortured doctor, who I would diagnose as “overworked giant desperately in need of a break and a big hug.” The end is near, my friend. Hang in there.
EPISODE 19 RECAP
With restored electricity, Mirae Hospital begins to return to its normal functions. Sister and the Mirae staff call their loved ones with delayed relief, but Chief Kang watches the hospital come back to life with muted happiness, aware of its implications.
Director Park begins to reset his priorities and orders his assistant to start filtering out patients who don’t match their specialty services. He spots two disappeared chiefs return, probably after seeing the news of the restored power. He’s considering someone to send to a lower branch of Mirae, and he uses that leverage to threaten an accompanying chief to vote for Hye-sung’s license suspension.
Hye-sung grieves silently at Woo-sung’s funeral, with his support team and Captain Choi’s firefighter team behind him. Ja-hyuk pays his respects by urging everyone to never forget Woo-sung’s sacrifice. Everyone indebted to his service must work to create a world much greater than Woo-sung’s last memory of it.
Chief Kang tells Ja-hyuk about Hye-sung’s devastation and asks if he really couldn’t have done anything. Ja-hyuk admits that he didn’t know Woo-sung went down there and that he couldn’t have stopped him anyway. Chief Kang asks for his help in saving Hye-sung from Director Lee’s wrath, and he considers it.
Hye-sung thanks Nurse Yeon Eun-sol for bringing flowers, and she responds that she felt obligated to reciprocate after receiving a letter from Woo-sung. He had asked her to go to Kim Jong-seo’s concert once everything returned to normal, and she plans on going with Woo-sung’s spirit in a picture form. Aww.
Their conversation is interrupted by Chief Kang, who pulls Hye-sung aside to speak with Ja-hyuk and Captain Choi. Both men insist that Woo-sung’s death was their fault, but Hye-sung stops them. He asks if his brother died in vain, and Ja-hyuk responds that his brother saved a dying country. Hye-sung knows that his brother made the right choice and concludes that no one is to blame.
Hye-sung finds Ddol-mi sitting alone, waiting for him. He thanks her for coming to the funeral, despite her grievances about her father’s surgery. She doesn’t seem too angry at him anymore and says that he was right in following his gut — he made the right call, even though it didn’t seem like it at the moment. But their apologies and grief are cut short by Ji-na, who rushes them to get back to the hospital. Duty calls.
Woo-jin and his mother catch some fresh seafood on the shore using solely their sense of touch. When his mother sets up a meal, Woo-jin’s vision can’t focus to pick up the food. His mother tries to feed him, but he doesn’t eat it because of his blurring vision. Though he claims that he’s not hungry, his mother quickly picks up on his vision loss. She begins to cry apologetically, recalling all the struggles she went through for his stable future, only to have Woo-jin inherit her crippling disease.
While Woo-jin is out for some fresh air, Ji-na visits his home and asks his mother for his whereabouts. She finds him overlooking the ocean by the lighthouse, and she stands by him, interlacing her fingers with his. He’s afraid of everyone knowing about his disease, but he also knows he has nothing else to lose. Ji-na reminds him that despite all of his losses, he’s still gained her. She promises to she’ll stand by him and that they’ll face the struggles together.
Back at the hospital break room, Hye-sung takes one last moment for himself before grabbing his gown. Chief Kang walks in and worries about Hye-sung’s rushed return. Hye-sung knows that Woo-sung would have wanted him to return to his job, but he’s in no rush to forget his brother. “I won’t forget him easily. I won’t try to forget either. I’ll keep him in my heart. I think about him when I remember, and I’ll cry when I’m sad. Everyone lives like that.”
Chief Kang checks on Ddol-mi’s father, and it seems like he’s recovering well. She asks Ddol-mi about her plans to return to Busan, but their conversation is interrupted by Ji-na with news of another threat to Hye-sung’s license.
The Mirae staff crowd around the post about Hye-sung’s license suspension, and Myung-hyun smiles smugly at the turn of events. Hye-sung doesn’t seem shaken about this second attempt, knowing Director Park’s vendetta against him. When Director Park arrives at this gathering, Chief Kang demands that he revoke this trial. But obviously, Director Park has no intention of doing so.
Hye-sung knows that he has no way of getting around this and tells Director Park to proceed with this trial. He’s curious if he’s at fault for saving lives, for if he is guilty for doing his job, all the doctors in the world will have to take off their gowns with him.
Our women gather to strategize against the all-powerful Director Park. Ddol-mi offers to testify for Hye-sung’s case, but they know she won’t have enough legitimacy, being on Hye-sung’s side.
At the trial, Sister testifies, speaking very carefully about the progression of Hye-sung’s PTSD. She states that Hye-sung’s initial symptoms were ameliorated by medication, and he performed emergency procedures with complete control thereafter. But Director Park uses So-yul’s official diagnosis to steamroll anything Sister said. He continues by expressing his disapproval of Hye-sung’s neurosurgery on DMAT, and Chief Kang argues that the patient would have died without Hye-sung’s quick treatment. When Hye-sung tries to speak, he shuts him down.
Outside, Hye-sung’s mother peacefully rests on her bed. Then suddenly, we see her fingers twitch.
Then Woo-jin enters the room, asking why Hye-sung’s license must be revoked. He brings evidence of an Australian doctor who performed the exact emergency procedure — drilling into the skull — and transported the patient to a hospital that could do surgery. This doctor became highly-acclaimed for his miracle treatment, but why must Hye-sung be punished for doing the same?
Woo-jin claims that Hye-sung executed the treatment perfectly, but Director Park begs to differ. He uses Woo-jin’s vision loss to delegitimize his claim and tries to persuade the department heads that Woo-jin has no evidence of his clear vision that day.
But Woo-jin has another witness to bring in. Ji-na brings in her uncle, the president of Mirae, to testify. He yells at the crowd to leave Hye-sung alone, as he’s the doctor who saved his life. But Director Park twists his statement by claiming that his brother-in-law lost some of his neurological functions in the previous accident. Any support for Hye-sung seems to be another opportunity for Director Park to twist the truth.
Director Park orders his people to escort the ill president out, despite his protests, and he hastily begins the vote for Hye-sung’s license suspension.
Sister runs down to the ER with updates on the trial. When Myung-hyun tries to speak in this conversation, Dae-gil covers his mouth to shut him up. Good boy.
The hasty vote results in a majority support 11-7 of Hye-sung’s license suspension. It seems completely unfair, but the substantial opposing vote count reflects suspicion in Director Park’s logic. Outside, Hye-sung’s mother slowly begins to regain motor control and opens her eyes.
After the trial, Director Park yells at Woo-jin for conspiring against him. He assumes that Woo-jin is trying to repay Hye-sung after his mother’s malpractice issue. But Woo-jin doesn’t falter and makes it clear that Director Park is equally if not more to blame. Director Park had covered up the malpractice suit for the sake of his reputation, and then he tried to convince Woo-jin to cause the president’s table death.
Director Park has had enough, and he fires Woo-jin on the spot. He storms out of the room, and it appears that Hye-sung and President Yoo, accompanied by Ddol-mi and Ji-na, have overheard the whole conversation.
Ji-na follows her father back into his office, where he indignantly yells at her for trying to denounce his claims. He calls her insolent in her attempts to eliminate his authority, but Ji-na knows that his power is already eroding. Even with 11 chiefs in support, 7 in opposition shows that there is serious doubt. She’s trying to bring him back to the doctor’s path that he left a while ago, but he doesn’t seem willing to return.
Hye-sung thanks the president for his support, and Ji-na reminds him that he is wise, as ever. Woo-jin promises to stick out the fight by his side, and Ddol-mi expresses her support of the emergency treatments in this disaster. Ji-na accompanies her uncle back to his treatment facility, and Woo-jin pulls Hye-sung aside once they leave.
Woo-jin addresses his mother’s treatment issue, and Hye-sung tries to avoid talking about it. But Woo-jin insists that he has to come clean. At the time, he had not realized that his mother was undergoing cardiac arrest and insisted on surgery. Hye-sung stops him again and admits that he always suspected some medical malpractice as the cause of his mother’s vegetative state. But he trusted Woo-jin.
Without Woo-jin’s insistence to treat his mother, she may have died in the ambulance, looking for a hospital that would provide treatment. Hye-sung and Woo-jin both felt guilty towards each other, and over the years they grew apart. He asks that they overcome this now. Woo-jin apologizes for not coming clean earlier, and Hye-sung echoes the sentiment. “I regret the past time. If it weren’t for this, we could have spent the time understanding each other.” I feel this on a meta level.
Hye-sung finds Ddol-mi wrapping scarf around his mother’s neck, but she’s not awake as she was before. Captain Choi approaches Hye-sung to ask about his mother’s transfer to a new hospital. He decides that it’s time to leave, and he goes inside to pack his things.
Ddol-mi joins him as he packs his bag and asks if he’s really leaving. Hye-sung responds that he has no reason to remain at Mirae Hospital any longer and asks Ddol-mi when she plans on returning to Busan. She’ll be leaving soon as well, and she seems sad to announce the end of DMAT. Hye-sung holds out his hand as a farewell gesture, but Ddol-mi just bows and walks out.
Before boarding the ambulance, Hye-sung embraces his forever Sister and thanks her for all the support thus far. He thanks his friend So-yul for following his demands even as a psychiatrist, and he tells an upset Ddol-mi to never come back to Seoul. Ha, she’s never listened to that advice.
Hye-sung asks them to send his best wishes to the rest of his team and boards the ambulance with his mother. Ddol-mi lingers a while to watch the ambulance leave and notes that he didn’t even ask for her number. Does he really plan on never seeing her again?
Just as Director Park is about to file Hye-sung’s license suspension, Chief Kang walks in with Ja-hyuk and a recovered Minister Suk. He sits down and commends the DMAT work Mirae Hospital has done. He offers 50 billion Won (around 5 million dollars) to the expansion of the emergency department and wishes to award the DMAT leaders, Woo-jin and Hye-sung.
The two names catch Director Park off guard, and before he can put together a response, Chief Kang reveals that the two doctors are no longer available. Woo-jin was just fired and Hye-sung’s medical license was just revoked because of supposed complications with DMAT.
Woo-jin and Hye-sung are summoned to meet with Minister Suk right away. Woo-jin reveals the complete truth to Minister Suk about his relocation to Han River Mirae Hospital upon Woo-jin’s orders. Hye-sung had performed the surgery that saved Minister Suk’s life and wheeled him all the way here when Han River Mirae Hospital collapsed.
Director Park seems a little antsy with Minister Suk’s sudden request to meet with the doctors directly and asks Ja-hyuk why he didn’t get an advance notice. Ja-hyuk (almost sarcastically) asks why Director Park had to get rid of the two doctors that mattered. It makes both of them look bad.
Chief Kang admits to Minister Suk that the false story for the media was her idea. She had discovered his affair and made up the story in hopes of receiving funding for their department in the future. Minister Suk doesn’t seem too pleased with these reversals, but at least he’s got the truth now.
Minister Park then sits with Director Park and asserts that he nor President Yoo would have survived if Hye-sung were a doctor who hesitated from fear of the treatment aftereffects. He gives Director Park a deal: the 50 billion Won and awards for the two doctors if he cancels Hye-sung’s license suspension and Woo-jin’s dismissal.
Director Park refuses to make the deal, so Minister Suk stands up to leave. He regrets that he recommended Director Park as the new Minister of Health to the President. That’s enough bait for Director Park to agree to his terms — the doctors will be reinstated. Minister Suk asks for Hye-sung’s license suspension documents, and he rips them up to gift them to Chief Kang.
As he prepares to leave, Minister Suk hands over the voided document to Chief Kang and pulls her aside to remind her that she’ll receive the money, under the condition that she keep his affair a secret to the grave. She agrees, and he leaves with his only regret being that he didn’t get a chance to meet Hye-sung.
Chief Kang and Woo-jin celebrate their successes — not only the reinstatement of the two but also funding for their ER department. They wonder why Director Park would act so irrationally, and Woo-jin presumes that it had to do with his pride.
Sure enough, Director Park stares at the toy ship in his office. He picks it up, naming Chief Kang, Woo-jin, and Hye-sung. Then he drops it and kicks it across the floor.
Doctor Do share the news of their ER funding with Myung-hyun, but Myung-hyun seems more worried about the reinstatement of the two doctors. Hye-sung holds some deep grudges against him, and Myung-hyun believes that he would have replaced Woo-jin as their new robot surgeon. Oh dear, help this delusional man.
Ja-hyuk surprises Chief Kang with a candlelight champagne celebration, and they enjoy the drink for the first time in a while. Ja-hyuk admits that he had no idea what Chief Kang meant when she criticized the emergency medical system, but now he understands more. The earthquake illuminated all the flaws in the disaster response system, and Chief Kang looks impressed as he lists them.
Chief Kang expresses her immense gratitude again, and Ja-hyuk suggests that she show him through more physical means. He hints that they’re getting married anyway, but Chief Kang points out that she hasn’t received a proposal just yet. Then Ja-hyuk brings out the little box with the ring.
Amidst the disaster, he’d missed the right time to propose to her, but now’s the time. He awaits her response with puckered lips, and just as she gets close for an embrace, her door flies open. It’s Myung-hyun calling her to a meeting for the ceremony. He never fails to ruin everything.
The next day, the hospital prepares for the ceremony. Hye-sung and Woo-jin run into Director Park, who justifies their reinstatements with the sole reason that the hospital wouldn’t look good if the two awarded doctors were no longer part of the hospital. He warns Woo-jin not to engage in any surgeries, and Woo-jin agrees to commit to research going forth. Director Park then turns to Hye-sung to express an overall disapproval of his being, even his height.
The ceremony begins with Ja-hyuk honoring the members of Mirae Hospital who devoted their efforts to saving patients in the midst of a disaster. Director Park is the first to be recognized, but his award process is interrupted by a phone call. Everyone looks around and check their phone, but it ends up being Director Park’s phone. He picks up quietly, only to erupt in anger when he’s told that he’s been dismissed from the director position. He rushes out, with his nervous assistant at his tail.
The ceremony seems to have continued, and Minister Suk thanks Hye-sung personally for saving his life. Though the media may portray the situation differently, he’s aware that Hye-sung was the doctor who performed his life-saving surgery. Then it all comes together to Hye-sung — why he was treated as a VIP in the ICU and why Woo-jin refused to share the remaining blood supply.
Ja-hyuk finishes up an interview outside and takes a break with his reporter friend. The reporter asks about the lack of fire suppression from the fire department, and Ja-hyuk asks for everything he says to be off record. Once the reporter agrees, Ja-hyuk begins to explain his restoration plan while recording the conversation on his phone.
Minister Suk overlooks Chief Kang’s proposal for the emergency system reform and compliments her comprehensive plan. He tells Ja-hyuk that he should be proud of his fiancé, but he seems a bitter. He hasn’t received a response to his proposal just yet, and she continues to get on his nerves by delaying her answer.
Director Park races through winding roads while on his phone, en route to stop his dismissal. He receives a text invitation as a candidate for the Minster of Health position. He celebrates and throws his phone on the car floor, energized by this opportunity to surmount Mirae Hospital.
Then the phone rings, and Director Park reaches down to grab it, unaware of the truck headed towards him. He swerves just in time to avoid the truck, but the car spins uncontrollably and crashes down the hill. The car sits at the edge of the water, with Director Park unconscious at the steering wheel.
Oh, what a juicy conflict we have here. My immediate response was one of delayed gratification that karma does exist, but I quickly realized this wouldn’t be the end of Director Park. He’s going to be rescued and brought to Mirae Hospital where, of course, it has to be Hye-sung — he’s going to be one person to treat Director Park. I don’t doubt Hye-sung’s ability to treat the man, but after all the shit Director Park has made him go through, he’s no longer the naïve doctor. I mean, 19 episodes of pure hell is a lot to consider. I wouldn’t blame Hye-sung for choosing to defer surgery, but also, I wonder if Director Park will have any say in rejecting Hye-sung. Will he ask for Hye-sung’s help, or does his pride (or fear of Hye-sung’s retaliation) become the cause of his death?
I found the heart-wrenching grief quite powerful in the previous episode, but I was heavily disappointed with the quick turnaround in this episode. I understand that life moves on, and everyone deals with death, but the brevity of the funeral and loss just proved that Woo-sung’s death wasn’t completely necessary. There was a quick mention of how important electricity is to combat disaster in this age, but that was the extent of our kudos to Woo-sung’s sacrifice. He practically saved Seoul from economic collapse and secured its future, for crying out loud. There had to be better ways to enhance this crucial sacrifice. The drama was already in too deep with the hospital politics, and if this death was an attempt to bring it out of that quicksand, it failed miserably.
I am so thankful for this final plot twist that seems to put us out of our hospital politics misery. The greater the climb, the greater the fall. The longer the wait, the greater the satisfaction. I am beyond relieved to see the power being hacked away from Director Lee, though it seems like a last minute attempt to salvage the drama from complete despair. I’m sure the revenge and karma was planned to arrive eventually, but it came too late to mean anything at this point. It seems like we’re trying to resuscitate a dead horse after beating it to death.
A lot of what happened in this episode came about 5 episodes later than we needed it. If we had taken out a large portion of the politics and surgeries, we could have invested more time on our characters, who were the real gems of the drama. I don’t want to disregard some better moments of this drama — the Han River Hospital exodus, the acceptable CG disaster effects, Ddol-mi and Hye-sung’s bickering growth — but the constant cycle of surgeries and Director Lee’s psychotic moments made me question what this drama was trying to accomplish. A case study on disaster and DMAT, or a case study on a delusional power-hungry mongrel?
It’s unfortunate that a drama that started out so hopeful ended up quite disappointing. Again, there were some commendable moments, but I’d have to credit most of my enjoyment of this drama to the cast. I don’t think I would have been able to deal with nearly half of all the poor writing without our cast anchoring this show. I loved the interactions between the characters, which we only got to enjoy for the first half of the drama. Mirae Hospital seemed to be a black hole for friendship, sanity, and DMAT — it just consumed all of it along with this drama as a whole.
I get the impression that the writer simply ran out of ideas and as a result, created the same cycle of conflicts with slightly different medical diagnoses. Some of the writing was great and tolerable, but I’m not sure this drama was completely thought-out before it was produced. As a pre-produced drama, I wish it were a more complete thought so that it had more direction. It was a confusing journey, and while I’m glad to be put out of my misery, I’m left longing for more. Not more misery — more like Ddol-mi longing for Hye-sung’s phone number. I feel you, girl.
- D-Day: Episode 18
- D-Day: Episode 17
- D-Day: Episode 16
- D-Day: Episode 15
- D-Day: Episode 14
- D-Day: Episode 13
- D-Day: Episode 12
- D-Day: Episode 11
- D-Day: Episode 10
- D-Day: Episode 9
- D-Day: Episode 8
- D-Day: Episode 7
- D-Day: Episode 6
- D-Day: Episode 5
- D-Day: Episode 4
- D-Day: Episode 3
- D-Day: Episode 2
- D-Day: Episode 1