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Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 18

With just three episodes left, Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim begins to explore some of the show’s biggest mysteries in earnest. We focus mainly on our beloved Teacher Kim, but this episode is really all about Doldam itself and the relationships between its people, the ones who have made us laugh, cry, swoon, and hope for a brighter and better future.

 

 
Chapter 18: “Whether You Want It or Not”

We pick up with Reporter Oh asking Teacher Kim to tell him what exactly happened fourteen years ago. Teacher Kim sighs heavily, his mind whirling with thoughts and memories. In voiceover, he says: “Sometimes in life, there are things you can only see after time has passed. Such as the reasons why those things happened to me. Why I’d met someone like that. Why I’d taken a detour like that.”

As he speaks, the memories of his old student’s fatal surgery, his first encounter with a young Dong-joo, and finally, the night he found Seo-jung on the side of the mountain, all cross through his mind.

We flash back to the fateful moment Teacher Kim first met his now deceased student JANG HYUN-JOO. Teacher Kim looks confident and smartly dressed as he enters an elevator in Geodae, where Hyun-joo—dressed in a patient’s gown with an arm attached to an IV pole—eyes him curiously from behind. After a beat or two, she asks Teacher Kim what department he works in, and if he knows a doctor named Bu Yong-joo.

Teacher Kim continues to narrate over the scene and says: “The countless moments that I’d deemed insignificant all start to become significant, one by one. And they started to pave a path, at one point.”

He then begins to see the parallel moments between his past and present students. Comparing the memory of the day Dong-joo confronted him for being Bu Yong-joo with another in the past, where Teacher Kim had asked Hyun-joo why she was so keen on meeting Bu Yong-joo (since she was seemingly unaware that she was talking to that very man).

She had replied cheerily that he is someone she respects, and that her dream is to become a doctor just like him.

Seo-jung uses a similar reason in another memory, and tells Teacher Kim that she respects him and dreams of doing a joint surgery together. The scenes go back and forth, creating a beautiful parallel between eras and students. He can’t help seeing the similarities, and the idea appears to trouble him deeply.

We return to the present moment, as Reporter Oh repeats his question, and this time he adds a few more, asking to know why Hyun-joo died, and subsequently why Teacher Kim left Geodae.

Cryptically, Teacher Kim replies, “There is no ‘truth.’ Fourteen years ago, Bu Yong-joo was a coward and fell silent. And he ran away. That’s all there is to it.” With that, he forlornly hangs up the phone.

Nurse Oh accuses Ki-tae of leaking Teacher Kim’s plans for a Doldam trauma center to Dr. Do. She asks if he was promoted in exchange for becoming their little spy. When he denies it, she demands to know why he was rifling through Teacher Kim’s trash that one day. She doesn’t believe him when he offers his defense (he says he was cleaning), but he continues to maintain his innocence in the face of her intimidation.

Back at the udon shop, the woman declares firmly that she doesn’t know or remember anything, and Director Yeo—in his usual calm and measured way—says he just wants to eat udon.

Meanwhile, Reporter Oh erases the words he’s written and writes a new, albeit very brief, post stating that CEO Shin is at Doldam and is currently comatose after a procedure. Then he submits it to a securities and investment forum.

In CEO Shin’s office, Dr. Do discusses next steps with Hyun-jung, since it has now been a full twenty-four hours since the operation, and he predicts that CEO Shin has developed some brain damage. He proposes that they shut down Doldam entirely and move CEO Shin for further treatment. Hyun-jung expresses surprise at his swift and drastic judgement, so Dr. Do informs her of the rumors circling online about CEO Shin’s condition. He urges her to make a decision, since time is of the essence.

At Doldam—as if on cue—the phones begin ringing off the hook from reporters calling to get more information on CEO Shin. The phone calls grow out of control, and word eventually reaches Teacher Kim. However, before he has time to let the media leak sink in, Dr. Do walks into Doldam in search of Director Yeo.

Since Director Yeo is still out at the udon shop, Dr. Do informs him via phone that Doldam will be no more by tomorrow, and in consideration of their friendship, he advises Director Yeo to do as he says or else he’ll find himself without a new job, too.

Dr. Do meets individually with Seo-jung to give her a heads up, and also to encourage her to come back to Geodae. She asks why he must go to such lengths. He hides behind excuses of the hospital’s age and small size to avoid answering her directly, then he even offers to let her continue to watch over CEO Shin at Geodae.

Teacher Kim seeks out Hyun-jung to confront her about her decision, and she defends herself by explaining that Teacher Kim left her no choice, since he threatened her with that paper her father signed. He shoots back with statistics on how many people need Doldam, and the amount of patients that rely on their care in an attempt to change her mind.

He asks if she is just going to abandon those people. So she presents her own statistic—apparently Doldam operates on a one million won deficit each year.

He growls at her to wait until the forty-eight-hour mark, and the statement causes Hyun-jung to snap. She roars that the longer they wait, the greater her father’s chances are of becoming brain-dead.

Teacher Kim erupts at what he views as a baseless claim and demands to know who uttered such nonsense, since it certainly wasn’t him. This leads him to wonder aloud if Hyun-jung and Dr. Do actually want CEO Shin to die so that they can control his fortune and influence.

Hyun-jung is flabbergasted by his view of the situation, and can’t seem to process what he is accusing her of. So he makes it clearer for her, and barks at her to wait to decide what to do about Doldam until after he saves CEO Shin.

Meanwhile, the employees of Doldam stress over the news of their impending closure, but there isn’t much time to fret over the fact that they may all soon be jobless, because patients still need help. In the ER, Yeon-hwa tries to reason with a drunken patient who refuses treatment for his stomach pain.

He throws them off when the staff tries to restrain him, then with a scowl, he stumbles out of the ER. When Yeon-hwa asks Nurse Oh if it’s all right to let him go, the senior nurse replies that it happens often with drunken patients.

Dong-joo wanders by the ICU in search of Seo-jung and finds her resting just outside on a bench. Tiredly, Seo-jung expresses her dismay over the news of the closure, so Dong-joo hands her Teacher Kim’s plans for a Doldam trauma center after having picked it up from the floor in the last episode. He asks if she had any idea about it, and she says she didn’t. Then, silently, they try to process the possibility of their lives without Doldam.

At the udon shop, Director Yeo continues to sit alone at the bar. When the woman comes to check on him, he says vaguely that he’ll probably be fine because he is a powerless person that stepped to the side. He then adds, “But still, I wanted to become an adult who sided with justice and who gave that justice some strength to act.”

Then he reveals that Doldam will be shut down by Dr. Do. The news surprises the woman, but she says nothing as Director Yeo continues to ruminate to himself about how strange it is that Dr. Do is still the one that holds the power, even though everyone knows the way he does things is wrong. Director Yeo leaves her with that final thought before setting down his payment and thanking her for his meal.

After Teacher Kim returns from his meeting with Hyun-jung, Dr. Song waits in the lobby to brag about the fact that CEO Shin will soon be transferred to Geodae. He suggests that Teacher Kim give up his fight, then rhetorically asks if he actually believes that CEO Shin will wake up, only to laugh at the notion.

In response, Teacher Kim instructs Ki-tae to “take out the trash,” and to prohibit any of the Geodae transfer team from entering the ICU. Dr. Song grumbles after being deemed trash, so Teacher Kim explains that only the most despicable doctor would wish for a patient not to wake up.

Dr. Song argues that he was merely trying to stop Teacher Kim from wasting his time hoping, since, according to him, it’s not going to happen at this point. Teacher Kim doesn’t care what Dr. Song thinks and grabs the man by the collar before threatening to sue. Hilariously, Dr. Song just goes limp and falls silent as Teacher Kim shakes him, like a sad little puppy. Ha, this is so weird.

The moment Teacher Kim is gone, Dr. Song sings a different tune, and throws his weight around while demanding Ki-tae pick a side to be loyal to before stomping off like the man-child he is.

In the ER, nobody can hide their anxiety over the uncertainty of their fates, and they nearly neglect to answer the phone about a patient coming in with glass shards in his abdomen.

When Teacher Kim comes in to take the call, instead of springing into action like the team normally does, everyone just kind of stands around staring at him, looking lost or worried (or both). Dong-joo takes on the responsibility of voicing all of their fears and asks Teacher Kim to confirm the rumors himself.

Teacher Kim flips the question back to them and asks, “Have you all decided to shut Doldam Hospital down already?” And if not, he asks why they are acting as if Doldam is already gone. Because to him, he explains, he has no intention of closing their hospital doors. He tenderly tells Dong-joo that they should focus on caring for their patients and continue doing what they always have.

At that moment, the patient with the glass in his stomach enters the ER. For a long beat everyone remains frozen in place, until Dong-joo decides to follow Teacher Kim’s advice and goes to check on the patient. Little by little, the staff gets back to work, and soon the entire ER resumes again.

Teacher Kim and a nervous-looking Nurse Oh exchange hopeful glances while Dong-joo and Yeon-hwa attend to the patient. When Yeon-hwa begins cutting into the patient’s jacket, suddenly a flurry of feathers explode into the air and drift slowly down like snow. Teacher Kim looks up at the sight and smiles.

As the scene plays, Dong-joo says in voiceover, “Teacher Kim said that the scariest thing to do is to act as you normally do instead of backing down in the face of uncertainty and fear. Teacher Kim may have already known that our worries and fears could become even lighter than feathers.”

Over in the ICU, Seo-jung sits at CEO Shin’s bedside and lights up when his fingers begin to move. Outside the hospital, Dr. Shim arrives with his Geodae transfer team, but is swiftly blocked by a human barricade of Doldam staff, with Ki-tae at the front. Ki-tae repeats Teacher Kim’s edict of barring anyone from entering the ICU.

Sweetly, Ki-tae looks over to glance at Nurse Oh in the ER before he confronts Dr. Song and firmly picks his allegiance. The two rival groups then hilariously shuffle back and forth a few times, but remain in their deadlock.

Teacher Kim rushes to the ICU after receiving word of CEO Shin’s condition. He leans over the elderly man and calls out to him, but gets no response. Teacher Kim then asks CEO Shin to move his hand if he is able to hear his voice. After a long moment, CEO Shin’s fingers wiggle a little, until finally, he wraps his entire hand around Teacher Kim’s in confirmation.

The movement brings tears to Teacher Kim’s eyes, and slowly, CEO Shin opens his eyes slightly. Elated, Seo-jung, Teacher Kim, and Dr. Nam laugh in relief and pure joy.

Meanwhile, Dr. Song complains to Dr. Do about being stopped, which prompts Dr. Do to order him get to CEO Shin using whatever means necessary, even if it means forcing their way through. What follows is an all-out tussle between the two teams as they fight to get up the staircase.

Ki-tae puts up a valiant, though comical effort, but eventually Dr. Song sneaks pass him, only for Teacher Kim to appear at the top of the staircase to ask what on earth is going on. Dr. Song explains his mission again, but Teacher Kim cuts him off to let him know that CEO Shin is awake now, so he can get lost.

Hyun-jung receives a call from Doldam informing her of the wonderful news. Dr. Do (who is there with her) repeats the sentence in disbelief, fully aware that he underestimated Teacher Kim yet again.

In the ICU, now conscious, CEO Shin asks how the surgery went. Teacher Kim tells him that it went well, and so CEO Shin replies, “Well done.” Hyun-jung arrives moments later, and with worried eyes she carefully asks her father how he is doing. Once he confirms he is fine, she breaks down and cries into his arms, overcome with relief.

Teacher Kim watches the scene with a complicated look on his face. He then turns to look through the glass doors and sees Dr. Do standing there. They stare each other down as usual, until Teacher Kim cutely sticks his tongue out at Dr. Do.

Dr. Do leads his entourage out immediately, unable to stand the sight of Teacher Kim’s victory, or perhaps he’s going to plot his next move. In the lobby, he comes across Dong-joo, who bows his head briefly before continuing on. Sparked with an idea, Dr. Do watches the young surgeon go, and nearly smiles.

Dr. Song uses the opportunity to try and transfer back to Geodae, but Dr. Do tells him that the game is still on, and then warns that Dr. Song’s career will be over if Doldam fails to be shut down.

In the shared office, the younger doctors celebrate over some pizza. In-bum morosely excuses himself and stays out of the merriment. Dong-joo follows after him, and adorably asks In-bum to look at the CT scans for the new patient together. D’aww.

In-bum asks what he’s doing before proceeding to address the elephant in the room, pointing out that his dad is terrorizing Doldam at the moment, so In-bum supposes no one really wants to see his face. Dong-joo admits that he really doesn’t like Dr. Do, but adds that nothing is In-bum’s fault—even though, if he were In-bum, he’d be totally embarrassed. Dong-joo then glosses over his concerns and tells him to hurry and help him. In the usual In-bum fashion, he hesitates for a beat, but then grumbles after agreeing to help.

When they walk out together, Dong-joo is handed an envelope containing surgery records with Teacher Kim’s name on them. The date of the surgery is: April 29, 2002. When Dong-joo inquires after the identity of the sender, the messenger replies that he isn’t sure, only that it’s from Geodae. Dong-joo reads over the file, and in his mind, he flashes back to the day his father died.

We don’t have to wonder who the sender is for long, because Dr. Do asks his secretary if she sent the file to Dong-joo. In voiceover, Dr. Do says ominously, “The scariest thing in the world is a seed of doubt. If you just scatter it, it grows well without any effort on your part.”

Teacher Kim exits the ICU with Hyun-jung, who promises that the plans to shut down Doldam will be put on hold, though she warns him that their peace will only last as long as CEO Shin remains a patient. She adds that although she can’t acknowledge Teacher Kim, she is still very grateful for his help. She takes the opportunity to correct a misconception Teacher Kim has about her, and explains that just because she’s rich, that doesn’t mean she only cares about money. In truth, she admits, she would like to live under her father’s shadow for a long time.

Hyun-jung then announces that she is going back to Florida to be with her children for a while, but will return to check on her father. She asks that he takes care of him in her stead. Then, before she leaves, she asks how he picked the name “Teacher Kim.”

We flash back to Teacher Kim’s younger days, to the time he spent with Hyun-joo. And in order to hide his identity, he lied and said he had a really boring name, “Kim-Something.” From then on, Hyun-joo called him “Dr. Kim Something.” In a montage, we see her chasing Teacher Kim down in the hospital to ask very specific surgical questions. Eventually, he handed her a video to see all the answers for herself. Thankful, she changed his nickname to Teacher Kim once and for all.

Later, at Hyun-joo’s funeral, her mother gave Teacher Kim a gift from Hyun-joo. It was her student ID card, a letter, and the mixtape that Teacher Kim always plays in his office. Alone in his car, he read her last letter.

She revealed that she knew his real identity all along, but bungled her wording when they first met, so she simply continued with the lie. She thanked him for his help and for leading her surgery, and promised to visit while revealing her dream of operating alongside him.

The words had a powerful effect on an already beaten Teacher Kim. When he finished reading, he could only sob uncontrollably to himself.

In the present, Dong-joo and In-bum review the CT scan, and the patient’s fretful guardian asks Dong-joo to confirm that the patient’s injuries aren’t life-threatening. A strange look crosses Dong-joo’s face, before he gingerly explains that it’s impossible to say until after they’ve taken a closer look in the OR.

Another patient comes into the ER and complains of excruciating pain in his chest. At the same time, Seo-jung and Dong-joo guess his condition to be an aortic dissection. Yet another patient comes in, this time it’s the drunken patient from earlier who had refused treatment. He’s now experiencing severe stomach pains and is defecating blood.

Teacher Kim is called down to the ER, where Dong-joo and Seo-jung explain the situation to him. In short, there are three patients that require emergency surgery. Teacher Kim is briefed on each of the situations, and even he is confused on what to do, since there isn’t enough time to transfer any of the patients to another facility.

Soon, Dong-joo and Seo-jung are arguing over which patient takes precedence. Dong-joo suddenly starts advocating for the patient with the aortic dissection very passionately, until even Seo-jung asks why he’s getting so worked up. We pan over to the patient, and we see his wife and young son standing beside the bed.

Elsewhere, Reporter Oh goes to visit Dong-joo’s mother at her mandoo shop in order to ask her about the day Dong-joo destroyed the ER fourteen years earlier. She becomes defensive at the question, so Reporter Oh confesses that he is looking into something, but the pieces aren’t fitting together—therefore, he is trying to find the truth on his own. He continues with his line of questioning and begins to ask about her deceased husband, who he tries to confirm died from problems related to his aorta. (Oh!) He also asks who helped her pay back the cost for the damages incurred during Dong-joo’s destructive rampage.

Back at Doldam, Teacher Kim sides with Seo-jung and orders preparation for her patient before telling Dong-joo to chill. Bitterly, Dong-joo shoots out a cryptic retort, asking Teacher Kim if this is how he lost the last one. The statement stops Teacher Kim in his tracks, and Dong-joo goes on to explain that he now knows that Teacher Kim was the surgeon that prioritized the VIP the day his father died. He asks why Teacher Kim pushed back his father’s surgery.

 
COMMENTS

I’m glad we’re finally circling back to the questions about Hyun-joo, and how Teacher Kim and Dong-joo are connected. It’s a nice setup, so I was worried we wouldn’t get enough time to properly see it play out, but I suppose I was worried for nothing.

Regarding Dong-joo’s outburst at the end of the episode, I always wondered if the show might choose something a little more nuanced, since it is somewhat hypocritical of Dong-joo, given that he did the exact same thing to another family and patient. True, Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim is hardly subtle in its execution of dramatic moments, but often the show’s handling of certain topics surprises me with their depth and compassion. So I’m hoping this happens here. It’s hardly unbelievable for someone to still feel anger over the wrongful death of their loved one, even if they did the same thing, but I hope this incident compels Teacher Kim to come clean with everyone (and the world) once and for all about Dr. Do’s evil deeds.

It pleases me to see Dong-joo display so much patience and goodwill toward In-bum. They’re a great pair—as they proved last week—so it’s nice to see them together and getting along. Their growing camaraderie is a perfect vehicle to illustrate Dong-joo’s character development—he’s certainly come a long way.

Speaking of Dr. Do, it was kind of sad and super manipulative of him to try and win back Seo-jung again. Their relationship is a mess, and I’m sure that Seo-jung was glad Dr. Do had previously severed it, because she seems very used to his antics and also seems rather emotionally detached at this point. I really want to see specifically what happened in their past, so I hope they give us at a least scene or some more breadcrumbs to fully understand what happened there.

After spending most of the show painting rich people with power as selfish, ruthless people, it’s nice that Hyun-jung was given some layers. I like that Teacher Kim was so wrong about her, because ever since CEO Shin became his patient, it almost seems like Teacher Kim forgot that he thought about CEO Shin in the same way. Obviously, Teacher Kim’s sense of duty toward his patients is extremely high, but his prejudice toward the rich and powerful often clouds him from seeing clearly or judging people fairly. Not everyone is a Dr. Do—though, hopefully no one is.

I love the theme of identity that continues to be an essential part of the show, with Teacher Kim struggling to understand who Bu Yong-joo really is, and vice versa. Even Dong-joo, who is finding the doctor in himself, and in doing so, he’s learning not to be so jaded about the world. And Seo-jung, who fought to not let the scars of her past take away her future, and who worries about letting her relationship with a man define her, even if it means pushing away Dong-joo. As we approach the end of the series, I am happy to have an episode for the characters to take a second to think about what Doldam truly means to them. Because ultimately, the greatest gift of Doldam for these characters has been the ability to find out who they are in their own way, and at their own pace. Outside Doldam, they are constantly fighting with their various identities, trying to be more or less than they are, and yet never enough somehow. But at Doldam, they don’t have to know who they are or who they were, they can just be.

 

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The greatness of this drama just doesn't let up!!!!

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Im nearing the end of my drama watchlist soon, (no more additionals for now, Lessa. FOCUS) but Im going to be very sad once this series ends. Im reserving some observations for the next episode, but for this one, best scene is Teacher Kim sticking out his tongue to President Do. LOL.

I should put that on a T-shirt. >_<

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Haha yes! That was a cute, unexpected moment that definitely made me laugh out loud.

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Haha. Same! Literally LOL-ed.

Love it when Teacher Kim gives his crinkly eyed smiles. 😆

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Kim Sa-bu stickting out his tongue to President Do is the highlight of this episode. That was so unexpected. I laughed out loud and replayed that scene about 4 times because I didn't believe what I just saw. LOL.

Love how laid back he was while President Do was going all out to bring him down.

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And the merong was the ONLY choice he could have made at that moment in time.

He couldn't give him the finger, and he has already insulted that man in every possible way. (It reminds me of the Jane Austen line from Elizabeth to Lady C).

Seriously, that is my fave part of the script. Kim Sabo NEVER holds back with Dick Do. It is sooo satisfying.

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That has to be highlight of this episode, from gazing seriously to that cheeking tongue sticking! Lol ! I'm happy he's not above being playful.

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*cheeky

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I cried alongside Teacher Kim when he was reading Hyun Joo's letter. It was so sweet but so bitter. I like how SoJung & Dong Joo is parallel to Hyun Joo. It's like giving Teacher Kim another chance to save his students, teach them, conduct surgery with them. Everything he couldn't do for Hyun joo.

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The part when Kim Sabu saw the letter at the first time, his miniscule heartbreak expression is just so good, what an awesome actor!

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Teacher Kim sticking out his tongue was so great lol. I love how all of Dr. Do's staffies were all like "D-d-d-did he just...just...STICK HIS TONGUE OUT....AT US"

Not that they really said that, but their faces did XD

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Hahaha that was unexpected. Han Suk-kyu is truly unpredictable, just like what his co-stars says about him as an actor.

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Hahaha. that was so unexpected and cute at the same time!

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I know right! It never ceases to amaze me how Han Seok Kyu makes Kim Sabu so grumpy, so sexy and yet so adorable.

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murasakimi ....I could kiss you for that first caption of Doctor Kim! That's how I feel about this show.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful recaps. I honestly don't want this show to end but I know that this Amazing cast are tired and needs their rest.

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I watch this show with that face. True story lol.

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Truly a great drama. Everyone has flaws and everyone grow as a person. I hope to see Kang Dong Joo become a better doctor and hope he realize that he also made the same mistakes to another family by choosing a VIP patient. His anger is understandable since he's still human but he needs to let go. I also love that Dong Joo is trying to be friends with In Bum. Master Kim is just too awesome!! I cannot believe he stuck out his tongue hahaha!

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I also love that Dong Joo is trying to be friends with In Bum.

Slowly, and in spite of himself, In-bum is coming out of his shell, and seems to be more relaxed about work. He's even calmed down around Dr. Woo, so maybe Nurse Park's reading him the riot act actually got through to him. Dong-joo just keeps on inviting In-bum to come play with the other kids, and extending professional olive branches to entice him with off-beat opportunities to gain real experience in the OR. Already I can see that a friendly rivalry is taking root. I have a feeling that they'll end up challenging each other to improve their skills and draw out the best in each other when collaborating in the OR.

The thing that intrigues me about In-bum is that he can be a very astute and even supportive colleag [Read more]

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Oops!

I took a closer look at the preview scene showing the Magnificent Seven as they stride through the Geodae lobby, and noted some interesting symmetry. Juniors Kim Sa Bu is in the lead in the middle with the trio of Juniors (In-bum, Seo-jung, and Dong-joo) behind him on his right. Seniors (Dr. Nam, Nurse Oh, and Manager Jang) are behind him to his left.

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The truest subtle in this ep is the fact we lack doctors or even if we doesn't, we lack the actual competent one.

And in another note, why I always saw nurse oh's eyes glittering whenever she look at kim sabu, even when she talking about kim sabu..my shipper radar seem been hinting potential romance between the two.

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They're perfect for each other!

Both are no nonsense type and passionate for what they do. Though I doubt we get a proper romance, a hint that they will be together even if it's at the last fifteen minutes of the finale is enough for me. :)

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I'm really hoping so as well! I really like Kim Hyesoo but I hope her cameo is going to be as a patient and not Kim Sabu's wife or last-minute love interest. It just doesn't fit with what we know of the man, whereas Nurse Oh and him have such great synergy <3
Still can't forget the look on his face when he called her in the ER as it was in shutdown mode. That sure was something.

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I like Hyesoo but My loyalty is with nurse Oh. I honestly don't care, they don't need cameo appearances imo.

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In the scene when Nurse Oh goes into the OR where Chairman Shin's surgery was held and begins to weep tears of anger and frustration over Doldam's closing, it is Dr. Nam who comes in and silently comforts her -- while her ex-husband looks on from the hallway. He gently rests his hands on her shoulders. She is normally so primly professional that it really caught my attention.

I also noticed the admiring look on Dr. Nam's face the first time she blew her stack, and he said something the lines of "She's awesome." It was so cute.

I can't help but wonder if Seo-jung is trying to emulate her all-business public persona at work -- and failing. LOL.

As for Dr. Nam, I suspect he's either divorced (because of the litigation?), or his wife and daughter might have run afoul of a Vehicle of D [Read more]

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Typing while tired...

I also noticed the admiring look on Dr. Nam’s face the first time she blew her stack, and he said something along the lines of “She’s awesome.” It was so cute.

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I’m really hoping so as well! I really like Kim Hyesoo but I hope her cameo is going to be as a patient and not Kim Sabu’s wife or last-minute love interest.

Maybe she'll play Boo Yong-joo's mom, and we'll get a glimpse of his formative years. ;-)

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I didn't get it immediately but now I am totally in agreement with why this show is a favorite and hit in ratings.

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Sincerely, i just cant wait for epi 19 recap. More bombs! I havent watch both epi 18 and 19 for fearing the ending is sooo near.... So will just patiently wait for the recap here T_T

Thanks murasakimi I love youu

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Hope this drama reaches 30% threshold, at least I understand why when it does.

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Thank you murasakimi for the recap, if I never read yours, I probably never discover this gem.

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I was wondering if this drama would be able to maintain its steady pace and still be captivating. Well, this episode did not disappoint.

It was cool that the show brought up the use of triage in the emergency room.

Show had me emotional so many times. CEO Shin's hand gripping Teacher Kim's hand. Tears of relief!

Dong Joo's outburst at the scene made me feel terrible for him too. Really anxious to see the whole truth come out.

Thank you for the recap, murasakimi! I'm glad you mentioned the theme of identity too.

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i love this drama, but i kept trying to watch this episode and kept falling asleep in the first 5 minutes idky lol

some gripes:
1. by this point i still don't really understand Dr. Do's driving motive, why he hates Kim sabu so much or why he's so insistent in shutting down Doldam
2. what happens to Seo jung's trauma, somehow it feels like it got swept under the rug considering we spent so much time on it in earlier eps

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I feel like Dr. Do's motivation in trying to destroy Kim Sabu might stem from a simple case of jealousy. The thing with jealousy is that as it grows and snowballs, it becomes quite the destructive force. Clearly, their past definitely has to do something with it and I'm sure the specifics will be revealed, but we already know that Kim Sabu was always brilliant (to the point of arrogance) and I have a feeling Dr. Do did not like being in his shadow.

And I know what you mean about Seo Jung's trauma. Though I'm relieved she's healing (or even healed?), that was fast!

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I think seo jung condition had be better since Dr do ask someone to check her about her trauma. Then she confess truthly to doo jung before they kiss....seo jung trauma cause not because she feel the senior blame her, but the pain because she relief to be alive. And she like doo jung from the start but it will only remind her about the accident which not fair to him...when doo jung said he just like to hear that seo jung like him, that all. And the factor might realase the burden from seo jung and she started to accept she just him so much...and slowly the trauma get less need to be treat which i might gues she slow down or stoped taking any medicine in ep 1.

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#accept she just love him so much

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@murasakimi,

Thanks for your recap and comments, which cleared up some confusion stemming from murky/misleading subtitles. This episode was one heck of a ride, and you captured a bunch of the images and scenes that made it epic. It's been a long time coming, but we finally started getting to the nitty gritty of Kim Sa Bu's mysterious career.

At long last we finally meet the tragic Jang Hyun-joo, and learn how she played along with Dr. Boo Yong-joo's apparent desire for anonymity by calling him by his moniker Dr. Kim Something before eventually adopting him as her teacher. Beneath his gruff exterior, he really was a cream puff who encouraged and assisted the highly-motivated medical student who insisted on studying during her own hospitalization. Her sincere appreciation for sharing h [Read more]

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IMO Jang Hyun-hoo actually expected to recover (especially as she'd thought that the great Dr Boo was going to be responsible for her op) and continue with her medical studies. I don't think she was even seriously ill - in a previous flashback, when Teacher Kim burst into the OR and found her dead, he was yelling at Dr Song that she could have got better without surgery.

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Yes, you're right. She wrote in her note that she would call on him after she regained her health, so she did expect to survive Kim Sa Bu's surgery. It's just that that opening track on the tape turned out to be so darned prescient.

We might find out that the song was of special significance to either or both of them. I half expect that KSB lost someone near and dear to him, perhaps as a child, and the song was special to the deceased. I'm even feeling an OH HAE-YOUNG AGAIN moment coming on, a la the flashbacks of Do-kyung's parents when he was small. Maybe KSB's mom loved "Time in a Bottle." ;-)

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There were some wonderful scenes in this episode that will stick with me for a long time.

Kim Sa Bu sticking his tongue out while cocking an eyebrow at Dr. D'oh has got to be one of my all-time favorite Kdrama scenes. In your face, turkey! I loved the high-and-mighty D'oh's imperious outrage at KSB's cheekiness. The fact that his minions all witnessed it, too, was the icing on the cake.

I've been enjoying Jang Hyuk-jin's performance as the thoroughly mercenary Dr. Song, who has elevated toadying to a contact sport. He himself is a first-string Olympic-level sycophant. In the scene where he browbeats Manager Jang about siding with Geodae when their henchmen are en route to fetch Chairman Shin, he wrinkles his nose and bares his teeth in a snarl that is kind of cute, in a warped way.
[Read more]

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This comment is gold.

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I really like Jang Hyuk-jin too, and I think he has a lot of comic chemistry with Han Suk-kyu. It's be nice to see the two of them in a production of The Odd Couple. They can even swop the Oscar and Felix roles now and then (like Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch swopped Dr Frankenstein and the Monster in London), cos I can so see each of them playing slobbish as well as uptight.

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What a concept! LMAO at the thought of the pair of them as the Odd Couple.

Hmmm... Makes me wonder what might happen if Choi Dae-Chul were added to the mix. I loved his performance as Director Tak in FATED TO LOVE YOU. His bromance with Lee Gun had me in stitches. Then again, his turn as eunuch Ma Jong-ja in MOONLIGHT DRAWN BY CLOUDS was quite touching.

I recently watched TRAIN TO BUSAN, and appreciated seeing Jang Hyuk-jin play a good guy KTX crewman, just to balance out this turn as a toadie. ;-)

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Ah, Train to Busan! I thought I'd recently seen him somewhere before!

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I really enjoyed the comment about how Kim Sabu despite all his awesomeness did get the Chairman's daughter wrong. It was heartwarming to see that even rich people can put their loved ones above money or selfish professional needs. I also applauded this layering of a "bad guy." Not sure it necessarily discounts her misdeeds, but it definitely made me pause and I appreciated that.

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It was an unexpected side to her character that really surprised me, especially when she was blubbering like a little kid. I kind of get the feeling that she might not have said what she did to Kim Sa Bu at all had he not given her a piece of his mind first.

After what her own father had said about the risks to his life because of money, and KSB's own run-ins with her and Dr. D'oh in the past, I can't blame him for prejudging her. He was certainly put off when she first came to his office and didn't ask about her father's condition. It really bothered him, and I don't think it was simply because he's so devoted to his patients. He and Chairman Shin got off on the wrong foot -- the old boy had his muscle beat him up, for Pete's sake. It wasn't until he ran into the burning kitchen to res [Read more]

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EVERY Episode was PURE PURE JOY!

Love every second of the drama... one of my favourite for 2016...

Stellar Cast and Crew and the story however simplistic in some ways just got me hooked.... awwwwwww

And Master Kim woohooo is simply AMAZING!

Thanks for the recap! Happy New Year All !

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+1000

After each episode, I have so much to say, but no words could really express how much I love this drama!

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I was ready to holler at Chairman Shin's daughter when she leans all over her father's chest in the ICU. He's just had open-heart surgery, and she's supposed to have trained as a doctor -- shouldn't she know better?! At the very least, I would have expected it to hurt, not to mention impeding his breathing. I know it's supposed to be a heartwarming scene of filial love, but I got the impression that maybe she envies her father's reaching out to KSB, and the affection they express towards each other.

As for reporter Oh Seong-jae, he is a cipher to me. I can't tell whether he's President D'oh's attack spin doctor who's riding the Geodae gravy train, or whether he might actually still possess a shred of journalistic integrity. After seeing him launch that rumor, I'm pretty convinced that h [Read more]

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Has anyone else noticed that Kim Sa Bu is now occasionally calling his junior doctors by their first names only instead of their full names? I think it's only since Chairman Shin's surgery that he's addressed Dong-joo-ya in the ER or OR, IIRC. He said Seo-jung when he arrived in the ICU after she reported that the Chairman exhibited pain response.

I don't recall his addressing In-bum by first name only, but I could have missed it.

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Yes!! I haven't noticed an Inbum-ah yet (though I'd love to see the look on Do Inbum's face when that happens) but im Sabu's definitely allowed himself to get closer to his proteges. It's so crazy heartwarming to see how much they idolize him, and how much he cares about them.

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@Shalini,

Yay! Thank you! I really was hearing that after all. This is why I prefer subtitles to dubbing. I want to hear what the actors are saying, even if I don't speak Korean. I'm gradually training my ear, and this tickles me pink.

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1) I'm itching to find out the identities of the other two fatalities ascribed to Boo Yon-joo, and of the ghost surgeon(s) who operated on them.

2) I was confused by the annual budget shortfalls at Doldam, which were denominated in the subtitles I read as US$. For an institution its size, RKW1 million = roughly US$100,000 @ ballpark RKW1,000 to U$1 -- which would be pocket change to an outfit like Geodae Foundation. That would be equivalent to the salaries of a couple of doctors or X number of those ritzy soirees Dr. D'oh likes to throw in Seoul, I imagine. I could believe their raising a stink over losing RKW1 billion (US$1 million) per annum. -- Now on to my gripe.

One thing that galls me to no end as a pretext for closing the hospital is Dr. D'oh's claim that Doldam runs a defi [Read more]

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@murasakimi, @tineybeanie, and any bilingual/trilingual Beanies who can read hanja,

I don't know why it's taken me so long to ask this question. Better late than never. -- This was prompted by interesting and fruitful discussion of Wang Yeo's name in GOBLIN.

Do the names of any of the characters have special significance, double meanings, etc.? (For example, like protagonist Nan-gil = "hard road" in MAN LIVING IN OUR HOUSE).

Many thanks for helping leave no stone unturned. ;-)

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I just googled to check the Chinese translations (hanja) of the characters' and hospitals' names. I don't find anything significant regarding their names but the hospitals' names maybe worth analysing.

Geosan University Hospital (aka Geodae) means "large mountain" (巨山). A large mountain that is impossible to conquer? Can it be referring to the difficulty for someone to break the hospital down, hence representing the difficulty for Teacher Kim to take down President Do?

Doldam Hospital means "stone wall" (石垣). Can it possibly be referring to Doldam Hospital being able to shield itself from outside attacks and is able to retain its inner goodness? Can it also refer to Doldam being a safe haven for the 'damaged' doctors and nurses?

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@starswillshine,

Many thanks for looking into the hanja for the names of people and hospitals!

Geosan University Hospital (aka Geodae) means “large mountain” (巨山). A large mountain that is impossible to conquer? Can it be referring to the difficulty for someone to break the hospital down, hence representing the difficulty for Teacher Kim to take down President Do?

Those are all plausible. ;-)

Although mountains appear to be unyielding, such is not the case. I live near the eastern edge of the Appalachians. They're old and worn down now -- but at one time they were much, much higher. One of the most stunning geologic features of the Endless Mountain (Kittatinny in the native Lenape language) is the Delaware Water Gap -- the place where flowing water cut clean thro [Read more]

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OHHH THE CORNERSTONES EPISODE. Doldam and its link to cornerstones. Thank you for the very detailed analysis!!!

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@starswillshine,

You're most welcome. ;-)

Themes keep reappearing. The plot spirals around and readdresses character development from different angles. Parallels emerge between events and people. All of them have me in nearly-perpetual deja vu. On the (chiseled?!) face of it, it might look like a case of "one more time, with feeling," but it's really not.

IMO, the elements above combine to form a very realistic depiction of the process of changing one's mind and heart. I wrote "spirals around" for a reason. It might look and feel like a character is going around in circles, but they're not. They're returning to reexamine something, but as they evolve, their understanding changes over time, and they truly cannot un-know what they've learned, so their point of view changes, too. The [Read more]

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"We all know Do Yun-wan is wrong. Everyone knows he's not doing the right thing. But how is he still up there with that much power?"

Dr. Yeo's comment to the udon-serving former Geodae employee got me really thinking. Just how is it that Dr. D'oh acts as if he has the mandate of heaven -- and gets away with it for so long?

I get the distinct impression that the moral of this drama can be summed up thusly:

"It has been said that for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing."
-- clergyman Dr. Charles F. Aked in a 1916 temperance speech

NB: Similar sentiments have been apocryphally attributed to Edmund Burke, among others. See the Quote Investigator website for full details and citations by J. L. Bell in the Boston 17 [Read more]

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Thanks again for another good recap, I am thankful.

How can I say, I think this episode is good in a very specific way. My first impression is that it's a bit boring.. but in fact many things happen and many nice sayings have been uttered. Personally, I like the way Kim Sabu realized that he was a coward 14 years ago.. and the mentioning of the reporter that the hardest thing for a person is to overcome his oneself. Kim Sabu has finally figured out what he should do. Now he can do it 'cause he has a great team.

I am a bit disappointed that the story of the PTSD of Seu-Jung ended very soon during the first eps. I guess most people already noticed its unnaturalness why someone with the history of PTSD could be cured heavenly fast especially when provided that the person still thought t [Read more]

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I too not keen on Kim Hye Soo being a love interest of Teacher Kim. Maybe she can be either a patient or relative of patient who was operated on by proxy and received a bribe for keeping quiet. This would help Teacher Kim in his case over Director Do. That's all we need for the finale.
Also hope the finale can reach 30%. Come on everyone, go tell everyone to break to that stone wall.

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The moment when CEO Shin opened his eye, can't lie, I shed a tear or two. It's maddening that Geodam manipulated his condition to their purpose URGH. And of course, it's the kind CEO Shin, I'm just glad he survived that surgery :')

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LOL omg the feathers scene & the fighting scene by the stairs made me ROFL so much haha

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