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Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 20 (Final)

D-Day has arrived, and our underdog Doldam heroes deliver a well-deserved knockdown to the other side. I love how this drama never failed to surpass my expectations since the first episode, since we’re given beautiful conclusions to all the interwoven storylines that we’ve grown attached to. Despite there being three separate endings, each captures a different poignant sentiment and complements each other to create the feeling of a well-finished drama.

Note: Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim aired a Bonus Episode after the finale, and because it’s actually an episode containing more story with our main characters, we’ll be recapping it. So it’s not really over…

 

 
Chapter 20: “Guide to Preserving Romantic Ideals”

The Doldam team charge into Geodae Hospital with purpose in their stridea, and when they enter the banquet hall, Teacher Kim is greeted by Dr. Do’s shocked face. With reporters capturing everything on camera, the two archenemies have their final standoff. The Doldam peanut gallery watches from the sidelines, cheering on their beloved mentor from afar.

Dr. Ahn (the Geodae cardiovascular surgeon introduced by Dr. Do in Episode 17) lights up and waves a small hello when he sees Seo-jung, and she acknowledges him with a small bow of her head. Once again the green monster of jealousy rises in Dong-joo, and he steps in front of her to shield her from the other doctor’s view. He then turns around to grumble at her for flirting with her eyes.

Surprisingly, Dr. Do takes Teacher Kim’s entrance in stride; he accepts Teacher Kim’s presence with aplomb, and even welcomes him back into the fold. Saying that he wants to work with the best and that Teacher Kim proved himself once again through CEO Shin’s surgery, Dr. Do extends him an offer for a future paved in gold.

He suggests a mutually beneficial relationship, calling it a “win-win” situation, but Teacher Kim rejects Dr. Do without hesitation, calling him a son of a gun. Saying that he was also a fool for all the years that he spent pretending that Dr. Do and his kind didn’t exist, Teacher Kim declares that he won’t take it anymore.

Even though he knew about the wrongdoings, Teacher Kim tells Dr. Do that he was silent and shut his eyes to them all this time because he just wanted to live his own life and didn’t want to be bothered. But now, his conscience won’t let him continue to live this way. He pushes the manila folder from Reporter Oh at Dr. Do, who glances at the documents inside.

Noticing that the legal statute of limitation is well over its expiration, Dr. Do scoffs at Teacher Kim, saying that it will never hold up in court. But that was never Teacher Kim’s motive, as he says that even if those documents don’t have legal power, it would still make it hard for Dr. Do to maintain his position at Geodae Hospital. All the cameras around them flash and capture their tense conversation.

In a last-ditch attempt to appeal to Teacher Kim’s greed, Dr. Do promises him the trauma center that he wanted. When he refuses, Dr. Do finally raises his voice and demands to know what Teacher Kim’s conditions are. He yells right back that all he wants is for Dr. Do to step down from power and clean up the mess that he’s made with other people’s lives. (The direct translation was: “Clean up your own shit,” and the coarse language made everyone laugh.) At that mic-dropping comment, Nurse Oh, Ki-tae, and Dr. Nam do a group fist bump.

Teacher Kim turns to walk away, but he’s bombarded by his juniors who are in awe of him and reporters that can’t wait to learn more about his story. Watching Teacher Kim lauded thus and seething with fury, Dr. Do walks up to him and plants a solid hook, which leads to an all-out brawl between the two physicians. Neither gets the upper hand, but their tussling causes an ice sculpture to topple over them, leading to injuries for both.

In-bum rushes to his father, who rises slowly in confusion, while Dong-joo and Seo-jung go to their mentor’s side. Teacher Kim has lost consciousness after being hit by the ice, and we see that he has lacerations on both his head and his wrist. They hurry to the Geodae ER to get him treated, and when the staff see Seo-jung again, everyone is delighted, while Dong-joo receives a decidedly cooler reception.

In-bum picks up the manila folder detailing his father’s corrupt and dishonest hospital business practices. Dr. Do’s regular retinue follows him to his office where they try to treat him, but he’s still irate from his confrontation with Teacher Kim. In-bum walks in like a prince coming into his father’s throne room, and the others clear a path for him.

He orders that they leave, and starts treating his father’s wound himself. Although Dr. Do wouldn’t let anyone else touch him, he doesn’t protest his son’s gentle administration of the antiseptic.

Seo-jung and Dong-joo are right beside the bed when Teacher Kim wakes up in the ER, confused and in pain. When a Geodae ER doc comes in to discuss the X-ray results, the concerned pair want to stay to make sure he’s all right, but he ushers them to leave. Knowing his iron will, Seo-jung and Dong-joo file out reluctantly, and they go back to the waiting room where Nurse Oh, Ki-tae, and Dr. Nam are pacing back and forth while waiting to hear about Teacher Kim’s condition.

Watching the grave expression on the ER doctor and Teacher Kim’s faces through the glass doors, Seo-jung worries that the injury might be worse than expected. But before she can investigate further, she’s interrupted by Nurse Ji, the Geodae nurse who was seen arguing with Dr. Moon in Episode 1. When Dong-joo returns with coffee for the both of them, Seo-jung is nowhere to be seen, because she’s having tea with her old colleague.

They talk about their lives now and about Seo-jung’s disappearance six years ago. Seo-jung surreptitiously touches her sleeve at that, but says she’s doing well working at a good hospital full of great people. Nurse Ji tells her that all the nurses at Geodae knew that Dong-joo was in love with her and that she’s happy that they found each other.

When a text lights up Nurse Ji’s phone, Seo-jung sees that the background wallpaper is a little boy. Nurse Ji says that it’s her five-year-old son who resembles his father so much, and she carefully looks to see Seo-jung’s reaction, but since she never found out about Nurse Ji and Dr. Moon’s relationship, she doesn’t react. With a face that reveals relief mixed with leftover guilt, Nurse Ji sincerely wishes Seo-jung happiness in her future.

Dr. Do commands In-bum to return to Geodae Hospital now that CEO Shin’s surgery is over. In-bum starts telling his father a story – growing up, he was always more proud to be called his father’s son than by his own name. When he began working at Doldam Hospital, he was mildly disconcerted because it was the first time people were calling him more by his given name rather than “Dr. Do’s son.”

At Doldam Hospital, his father’s influence and power didn’t matter, and it was then that In-bum realized his own worth. After patching up his father’s wound lovingly, In-bum opposes his father for the first time in his life. He states his wishes to live as himself and to be recognized for his own worth as Do In-bum.

Disbelievingly, Dr. Do asks if that means he wants to stay at Doldam Hospital, and In-bum says yes. Brave tears roll down his face as he disobeys his godlike father, but In-bum stays resolute in his determination. Dr. Do pitifully calls him back, but In-bum doesn’t look back as he leaves the room.

Nurse Oh, Ki-tae, and Dr. Nam worry over Teacher Kim’s wrist while they eat a pizza dinner. Ki-tae tries to get Nurse Oh to eat something while gobbling up much of the pie himself.

Dong-joo and Seo-jung spy into Teacher Kim’s room, where doctors discuss his condition. When they see neurologists and orthopedic surgeons gathered, they naturally suspect the worst. They try to ask about Teacher Kim, but citing doctor-patient confidentiality, no one tells them anything.

The next day at Doldam, a patient refuses to see anyone but Teacher Kim for his treatment. His rotund manager stands outside the curtain, guarding his singer from public view. Dr. Song demands to know what the hullabaloo is about, and is delighted when Yeon-hwa says the name of the singer is Nam Jin. He recognizes it as the famous trot star from the 70’s, and is excited to meet the celebrity, but the patient demands to see Teacher Kim only.

Dr. Song brings him Teacher Kim, but when the curtains are pulled back, Nam Jin is not the Nam Jin that he expected. It’s a lookalike club singer/Nam Jin copycat who goes by the name Num Jin. He explains that he has a bad case of hemorrhoids, and Nurse Oh and Ki-tae hide their smirks.

But Teacher Kim turns his attention to Num Jin’s manager, who looks to be severely jaundiced. After asking a couple more questions, he orders Dr. Song to take care of Num Jin’s recovery while the manager is more carefully examined.

In the ICU, CEO Shin watches his neighbor patient, the manhwa artist, scribbling away desperately. When he asks what he’s doing, the manhwa artist tells him that he wants to draw while he still has energy left in him, because he doesn’t know which will be his last masterpiece before he dies.

He continues drawing when Seo-jung comes in to check up on the CEO. She tells him that he can be discharged to a non-ICU ward, and he’s pleased by the good news. When he quietly asks her what’s wrong with the manhwa artist fellow, she explains that the man needs heart surgery, but unlike CEO Shin, he doesn’t have the money for it. This gets the CEO to ponder about his blessed situation.

In the ER, a patient goes into anaphylactic shock, but is quickly stabilized due to the quick efforts of In-bum and In-soo. Looking over the patient chart, In-bum realizes that Yeon-hwa was supposed to document the patient’s allergies, but nothing was recorded. When he calls her over, he berates her harshly (for the umpteenth time) for making careless mistakes. Nurse Assistant Park defends her vigorously, and they have to take their argument outside.

Dong-joo and Teacher Kim discuss a CT scan of a pancreatic cancer patient in his room. Determining that Dong-joo is ready for the responsibility of this surgery, Teacher Kim gives him the opportunity to lead the operation, because he’s out of commission anyway for a couple weeks while his wrist heals.

Dong-joo initially hesitates, but when In-bum’s name is thrown in, he grabs the chance straight away. As he leaves the office, Dong-joo sees Teacher Kim rubbing his wrist, and wonders whether it’s a more serious injury than they were told. He shares his uncertain thoughts with Seo-jung, and they worry together.

Later, when Seo-jung sees Teacher Kim struggling with a computer mouse, her fear for his recovery increases. Although she answers all his questions about patients dutifully, she gives him apprehensive glances between her reports, and ends up asking him for details about his injury. He tells her not to worry, because if he says it’s all right, then it will be all right.

She’s reminded of all the times he told her those exact words: from her first wrist injury in the mountains, to her bumbling during CEO Shin’s surgery, to her PTSD-induced self-inflicted wrist cut. She realizes that she just has to continue to believe in Teacher Kim like she has all along, and everything will be all right. So she walks away from their encounter with her mood much buoyed.

He also reminisces about their past together, from her first days at Doldam Hospital as a patient to her trailing after him like his former student Jang Hyun-joo. He remembers how she proudly marched into his office with her first board certification in hand to ask him for a job, and how she tentatively asked him about earning a second specialty, obviously trying to emulate him. He smiles, recalling how far she’s come since then.

In-bum and Nurse Assistant Park have a shouting match outside the ER over Yeon-hwa. Seo-jung and Nurse Oh try to stop them, but nothing calms their irate tempers.

In-bum asks what right Nurse Assistant Park has to lecture him about his behavior toward Yeon-hwa, wondering if Nurse Assistant Park thinks he’s Yeon-hwa’s brother or boyfriend. The hospital staff (who were gathered to watch the fight) all turn their attention to the lady in question, who just bashfully shakes her head.

Dong-joo (who’s definitely on his way to becoming In-bum’s bestie) shoves In-bum into the break room and demands to know why he’s picking on their maknae rookie. He asks whether In-bum has a crush on her.

In another room, Seo-jung and Nurse Oh grill Yeon-hwa on her relationship to In-bum and/or Nurse Assistant Park. Seo-jung is deliciously scandalized at the first potential Doldam Hospital love triangle. Yeon-hwa denies it, and In-bum also says he doesn’t like Yeon-hwa that way.

In parallel conversations, In-bum and Yeon-hwa point at different people as their ideal partners: Seo-jung and Dong-joo, respectively. Both are stunned by the news, and the first thing they do is find each other to talk about the new revelations.

They each tell each other what they’ve discovered, and Dong-joo leads with the question: “Will this be a problem between us?” Seo-jung says no, still a bit dazed, and Dong-joo also affirms the same position. Having settled a potential romantic problem, she turns to leave, and he says “I love you” again, in that casual but sincere way of his. This time, she doesn’t push him away or tell him to stop saying embarrassing things, but accepts his love with a yes and grins on her way back to work.

As she heads to the ER, she sees and bows to Dr. Do when he arrives at Doldam Hospital, but he ignores her and passes by without returning her greeting. He heads to CEO Shin’s room, where the CEO and Teacher Kim are discussing his wrist injury. When CEO Shin asks about the tussle between Teacher Kim and Dr. Do, Teacher Kim replies that it’s not simply a personal matter or a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of one’s duty as a doctor.

But then Manager Joo announces Dr. Do’s entrance, and Teacher Kim takes his leave.

As soon as the door shuts behind him, Dr. Do gets on his knees to beg CEO Shin to forgive him for the false identity surgeries that Teacher Kim accused him of, but Teacher Kim never went into any specifics about Dr. Do’s wrongdoings, so this is the first time CEO Shin is hearing about them. Realizing that he has dug his own grave, Dr. Do winces and clenches his fist. Teacher Kim, who was eavesdropping outside, leaves after he hears Dr. Do admit to his own corrupt misconduct.

Ki-tae gives a rousing speech to the Doldam staff who are gathered at Dr. Nam’s batcave restaurant for a year-end celebration. Everyone gets into the mood with drinks and food, but Dr. Song notices that Teacher Kim isn’t there. He is at the ER, still attending to late-night patients. When he walks outside, he sees Dr. Do still sitting numbly in the Doldam Hospital lobby.

Still puzzled by this man whose morals can’t be moved by ambition or money, Dr. Do asks Teacher Kim what his motivations are, and asks what he means to accomplish at this tiny Doldam Hospital. Teacher Kim responds that he is a romantic at heart, and wants to be a doctor who saves lives.

He wants to believe that there are others like him out there that also want to become caring doctors instead of profit-driven ones. And he tells Dr. Do that he believes In-bum might be one of them, to which Dr. Do lets out a soft chuckle. They part on much more amicable terms than before, having more of a grasp on each other’s views.

Seo-jung dances and sings with a soju-spoon mic while Dong-joo films every moment (you can almost see the hearts shooting out of his eyes). Just as Nurse Oh remarks that it’s unusually quiet at the hospital, her phone rings, and she’s notified of a multi-vehicle accident.

Despite their cheery festivities a moment before, all the doctors and nurses, except for Dr. Song and Ki-tae, grab their coats to immediately go back to Doldam and perform their respective duties.

Teacher Kim divides tasks, assigns them different patients, and looks at his team proudly.

Dong-joo’s final voiceover in the background says:

“The principles that most people know exist but ignore while wishing that someone else would uphold them. To live is to walk a new road every day and deal with reality, whether it is wanted or unwanted. Even though there is no right answer to life’s every moment, Teacher Kim once said, ‘Never give up searching for why we live. If you forget your reason for living, your romantic ideals will end.'”

Sometime afterward, Manager Joo approaches the manhwa artist in the ICU to tell him about a benefactor who wants to buy his drawing in exchange for the cost of his surgery. He’s overcome by emotion as he realizes that now he’ll be able to live.

Later, Teacher Kim receives an illustrated storybook about a greedy moneylender (CEO Shin) who was disliked by everyone. One day, when he collapsed from a heart attack, no one came to help him. However, one moral doctor came along and saved him. The last question in the book is directed at Teacher Kim: “Do you remember who that was?” And Teacher Kim laughs, indicating that he does remember.

Epilogue. A woman (Kim Hye-soo) in a blue coat stops outside Doldam Hospital and enters while romantic music plays in the background. Teacher Kim sees her figure from down the hall, and his expression shows surprise and unresolved deep feelings. She turns around and greets him with, “Hello, it’s been a while.”

Her face lights up with a warm smile. A subtitle at the bottom says that Teacher Kim’s first love story will continue in the special prequel episode.

 
COMMENTS

I know I’m going to spend my Tuesday night watching Teacher Kim and Officer Soo-hyun (Kim Hye-soo, Signal) make googly eyes at each other. But Han Seok-kyu didn’t even need a love interest to made his romantic doctor such a compelling and wonderful character. I came to respect him so much as an actor after seeing his micro expressions change from one moment to the next, reacting to even the smallest pieces of dialogue/plot shift. But it was his character, Teacher Kim, who really stole my heart. I loved how his relationships as a mentor to Seo-jung, Dong-joo, and In-bum were all different and developed so that he could help them become the best versions of themselves.

I enjoyed this drama because it didn’t just capture his “teaching,” but it also told the story of Teacher Kim’s own growth through his tragic downfall and eventual redemption. I loved how it showed all the characters having different complex sides to them, so that in the end, no one was two-dimensional, but rather fully fleshed individuals with different motivations and dreams. I especially liked how we got a better look at how Dr. Do became the immoral person he was throughout the drama. In his last conversation with Teacher Kim, he spoke about how Teacher Kim can’t change the world by staying at a tiny hospital like Doldam. If you read a little deeper into his comments, I think that Dr. Do had idealistic dreams of changing the world into a better place, but somewhere along the way, he lost sight of his reason for living, and the world changed him instead.

The way he smiled when Teacher Kim said In-bum might be an idealistic doctor as well let me know that maybe there is goodness in even the worst scum in the world, and it left me with hope that maybe In-bum might gain a better father after this ordeal. Speaking of my big puppy, I wanted to give him a huge hug after his confrontation with his father. It must not have been easy to refuse the one man who has ruled your life from birth, but In-bum’s courage to branch out onto his own path moved me to tears. I knew he could do it!

But of course, there was that scuffle with Nurse Assistant Park, which has me slightly suspecting that perhaps there could be a love triangle in the fictional future, but I’m fine with things ending as they did. When In-bum admitted his crush on Seo-jung and Yeon-hwa (finally) admitted hers on Dong-joo, I had an “Aha!” moment, because I had been wondering whether those arcs would ever be resolved. There weren’t many Seo-jung/Dong-joo scenes this episode either, but I think the low -keyness of their romance sprinkled with moments of unexpected heart-pounding gestures was part of their draw, and I thought the show finished their love story well.

The writers and production team even managed to give the talented manhwa artist and the curmudgeonly old CEO wonderful resolutions to their storylines, which I enjoyed. They definitely deserve major props for creating such an amazing drama that taught us to always remember our reasons for living good, upright lives. I’ll miss ending my Monday-Tuesday nights with Teacher Kim’s bright smiles lighting up my screen, but farewell, Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim, I have loved thee well!

 
MANHWA STORYBOOK



 

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Best drama of 2016. It was not even a contest. koreans are moving forward in story telling and I hopes see more of this type of story. Acting directing cinematography music everything was just top notch. Excellent drama. Will be missed.

Second favorite weightligting story for its ability to tell a love story with out a love triangle and make the love seem genuine. Fighting korean dramas of 2016. Hope 2017 is more of this.

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I found it interesting that the writer did not give Dongjoo a chance to confront the Geodae nurse or at least let Seojung know about it, although it could all be about moving on and not having to revisit the unnecessary.

Also, what was the secret that CEO Shin was supposed to tell Dr Kim after the surgery was over? I feel like I never got that part straightened out.

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It was the webtoon artist's story on Dr Kim's desk that was ordered by CEO Shin. He was helped by Dr. Kim way before they met at his casino.

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Oh... I thought it would have been something a lot more significant or pertinent to his health that Dr Kim had no idea about

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I get the impression that it was the secret, but from reading other comments I guess it wasn't as clear and people were expecting a bigger mystery. Or I could be off the mark and they reveal it on the prequel episode?

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Actually, I think that backstory secret was highly significant: it had everything to do with why CEO Shin trusted Dr Kim and wanted only him to do his heart surgery ... which drove the core plot with all its ramifications for the whole latter part of the show.

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That's it? I thought that part was just to show that the manhwa artist died or something because he was not able to finish the drawing. Haha!

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oh! I needed dramabeans to figure that out. it actually makes so much more sense now.

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For me, it's not so much Dong Joo confronting the Nurse, but I wanted Seo Joon to know that Dr Moon was 2 timing her. It's not fair for her to feel such emotional anguish over his death when he does not deserve it and that she was in no way responsible.

But I too would like to know the Chairman's secret too. Hopefully, it'll be explained in the special.

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For me, by not making the nurse and Seu-Jung confronting one another and made that two-timing cheating part clear to Seu-Jung, the writer might intend to show us a part of reality:
That in reality, someone might be hurt by some other people. That person might never know the truth and that false-understanding might severely hurt him/her.

It is such a sad truth but nobody can deny its existence. The wrongdoer(s) might be left with guilt, the victim might be fatally painful.. but he/she has to continue living -living beautifully. Grasp the opportunity of self-development instead of self-destruction. By drawing such conclusion, I come to terms with how this episode was doing as what it did, why Seu-Jung wasn't disclosed with the truth, and why Dong Joo might never (be interested in) tell (ing) her his suspicion.

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Oooh I like your take on this.

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Yeah I like this reasoning, but I guess I'm just kinda angry/upset/displeased that Seojung suffered quite a bit due to the accident (PTSD, depression, etc) when Dr Moon was not faithful to begin with.

Sometimes, those who survive have it harder, don't they?

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I'd say it was A LOT (not just quite a bit).

But I understand your feeling very well. ^ ^

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I think the writer was making that point that sometimes it's best to leave the past in the past. It felt like nurse Jin considered telling Seo-Jung the truth but saw how well Seo-jung was doing and let it go. Seo-Jung's PTSD stemmed from the fact that she distracted Dr. Moon while driving by telling him about Dong Joo which partly lead to the car crash. Knowing that Dr. Moon was two-timing her might have helped a little but it stil might not completely remove the guilt she felt about the fact that she was attracted to Dong Joo even though she was dating Dr. Moon. Especially for some one idealistic as Seo-Jung. The PTSD was about her guilt and I think she found "her" way to overcome it herself. So maybe there was no need any more for nurse Jin to inform her about Dr. Moon being her son's father.

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@ Kasumi

Agreed and I like how realistic some of the situations these human doctors are facing.

Some secrets are better off left in the past. I think it was intentional because it's not about tying loose ends for the drama.
Everyone has moved on. There was just no need to bring up the past. What good would it do?

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I really enjoyed this about the show as well. Subtle and nuanced storytelling about characters being real and human! Not everything is said out loud and sometimes information is withheld and secrets die with people. It was a grace for the woman who had the affair with her fiancé to not let Seo Jung know. In my opinion it would have been such a betrayal and additional pain. She saw that seo Jung was happy - and allowed her to continue and be happy.

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Do you think Seo Jung may realise Dr. Moon is two-timing her after she spoke with Nurse Jin? Nurse Jin said that her son looks like his dad, whom I supposed is referring to Dr. Moon, and Seo Jung recognised the similarity. I guessed she had finally put Dr. Moon down.

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I don't think Seo Jung knew, my interpretation of this scene is more like a closure to Nurse Jin's guilt. Although she didn't specifically said sorry to SJ, she seems glad to see that SJ is happy and genuinely wishes her to be happy.

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I don't think she knows that Dr Moon was two-timing her....I really wish that she would know, so that she knows that she shouldn't feel too guilty over his death etc as he was also been unfaithful to her....

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i agree. i felt like a lot was missing in this latest episode. I really wish she knew. because i felt like she hasnt found her closure and somehow her happiness will not be complete without it

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idk. is it really necessary? this way she gets to keep a good memory of their relationship. The accident was never her fault too. it's the truck of doom's fault. although i think dr. moon might just be a boyfriend provided by dr. do just as he tried to offer that cardiothoracic surgeon. he seems to like relinquishing control like that. besides, that wasn't even a decent proposa

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At the end of epi 20,I was like "what happened to the secret of Chairman and also the two-timing secret??!"

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I also feel like CEO Shin's secret is a bit too simple - is it really the full story? or is the writer running out of time and decided to cut it off?

The final episodes don't tell the whole story (not just about CEO Shin but regarding other characters too) and I am quite disappointed, but hey, maybe it leaves a room for Season 2?

*adding wishlist to prayer circle*

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I wouldn't be surprised if SBS is going for a season 2 since the show is so well received. It's rare but possible.
Problem would be, getting the original cast for it. Han Suk-kyu especially.

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I guess as avid drama watchers we are already accustomed when with secrets to be some big ones,shocking stuff along with drama that comes along yet they kept it more simple and less drama...His secret changed his life and the way he was so it was quite meaningful to him and why he wanted Doctor Kim to help him...

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Definitely agree!!! :)

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Great analysis and I fully agree with you.

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Two ahjussis doctors hitting each other and then rolling around on the ground is very sexy. Unfortunately the ending was disappointing. Didn't Dr. Do get off too easily? Didn't the chairman have something to tell Master Kim after his surgery? How can a resident be that incompetent? Why didn't Heo Joon Jae bring the ahjusshi to Doldam Hospital?

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Yes, an intern can be this incompetent. This is why I'm not a surgeon or ER doctor. I got too flustered in high stakes, high adrenaline, high intensity settings. She reminds me of me when I was on surgery rotations. However, I was yelling "give her Epi!" for the diclofenac allergy. That's the extent of my Advanced life support knowledge.

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What the chairman wanted to tell Teacher Kim is probably what was drawn in the manhwa at the end.

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Doldam was a small hospital secluded somewhere in the countryside. The distance and the need to get him treated right away wouldn't allow Heo to drive the unconscious Kim Sabu all the way to Dolham.

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All these questions were actually answered in a dissatisfying way. All are like implied. Scenes like the chairman reading the Trauma Center plan of Dr. Kim implies that he will support the construction of the center.

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i most definitely think that dr. do got off too easily, though i admit Do In Beom's words were so satisfying. it's just that senior do never showed enough affection to in bum so i figured it probably hurts less . and where's dr. song's retribution in all this?

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Thank you for the recap!

As much as I like KHS...I don't need new love interest for Dr Kim when there is Nurse Oh around.

They are perfect for each other!! *flips table*

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Just riding on your comment to ask everyone to watch the special episode! I know it's been called a prequel but the entire cast is present and it's more of an extended epilogue where everything's tied up.
And trust me Nurse Oh-Kim Sabu shippers, we get what we've been waiting for ;) It's subtle, because that's how this show does romance but believe me, Kim Sabu's first love is just that, his FIRST love.
(I've screencaps on my blog if anyone wants spoilers!)

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Yes, the special episode still like the normal episode for me. They can just extend it as epi 21 instead of call it as special episode. But maybe because it was Kim Hye Soo as the cameo and with a little bit flashbacks, so they rather call it as 'special episode. '

I wished I can share the picture of last scene. Damn Han Suk Kyu is so fine and hot though. Gotta save it.

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THANK YOU SO MUCH! I visited your blog for the screencap and *fans self* Kim Sabu is sooooooooo hot in leather (this isn't a spoiler, is it?). I love the prequel ending too.

I kinda feel the ending reminded me of western series with their seasonal finale though I doubt we will get second season of TK.

I'd love to see TK and Nurse Oh to finally be together. How weird it is that I'm so invested in their romance rather then the youngsters after watching the last episode.

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Shalini,

Thanks so much -- a lovely write up and screen caps in your blog. ;-)

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Same, I didn't see the need for a cameo that has to do with his love life. We have our nurse Oh.

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Docs, did you notice the clubbing of master Kim's fingers on this and the next episode? I kept thinking, does he have COPD or chronic poorly controlled asthma, heart failure, pulm hypertension? Is the actor ok? And what's with surgeons fighting? It's your livelihood you're risking. Your hands are precious! Lol!

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Korean actors all smoke. A lot. Forget about Dr Kim the character. Look at his teeth colour and then notice his fingertips. And make a logical observation. You have your medical conditions all jumbled up. Always go for the logical common reason before jumping everywhere. Sorry it sounds mean coming from a total stranger. This is how you do assessments.

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COPD was my first thought too. Most logical, I agree--just trying to i just some drama and fun. ?

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been wondering the same thing! any koreans who would know? so curious about this

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now that this is over, i can finally start watching it! i've been worried about what to do once LotBS and Goblin finished, but I guess I can marathon this show to fill that void in my heart.

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Hands down one of the best kdramas I've ever watched. Sad that its over but so glad to be a part of this thrilling journey.. You can probably tell from my username that I love Captain America so seeing how the webtoon artist drew Kim Sabu as Captain America was a great delight. I can really see the main similarity between these two beloved fictional characters: individuals who stand up for what they believe in.

I'm just gonna leave my favourite quote by Captain America here:
"...When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree besides the river of truth, and tell the whole world - 'No, you move.'"

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So glad we had "special" episode because episode 20th left me a little dissapointed as I have been really enjoying this drama, the characters and their stories. One thing I really like on this episode was when In Beom in a calm voice spoke with his dad director Do and told him he will stay with everyone at the hospital and he want to live his life as In Beom not as his father son and he stand up open the door and walk away. That is when finally I say In Beom has grown up.

I will miss my cute couple and everyone, kudos to all actors, actress and staff for delivering a great drama.

This drama will be added to my list of drama that I would not mind to rewatch.

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true. that scene was a very powerful highlight for this episode. it made me decide to keep track of Do In Beom's actor works from now on.

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I will definitely be watching that prequel but I just wanted to say that I loved this drama. I started watching this for Yoo Yeon Seok but I was hooked the moment Teacher Kim's character showed up. This is my first time ever seeing Han Suk Kyu in a drama but he is excellent, I totally love him. He's got me search for his movies and dramas, he's in Tree with Deep Roots?! Why haven't I watched that yet?!

I'm just very happy that this drama did very well with ratings because everyone did a great job, they deserve this success and YAY for the trip!

I'm going to miss this little Doldam family.

Thank you for the recap.

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You MUST watch Tree With Deep Roots about Great King Sejong!!!! You will fall in love with Han Suk Kyu and the entire story. After more than 200 dramas, TWDR remains in my top five favorites...and when I went to Seoul two years ago, I went right to the statue of the Great King Sejong and burst into tears of gratitude and admiration.

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This drama executes its story well with its simple premise, and I totally see why it's such a ratings hit. I really connected with their journey as characters and fully invested in the success of the little hospital that could, they did well in empowering that message with humor and candor, while still being a step in reality most of the times which we don't see in dramaland often. I have to admit I was initially invested in watching because of Yoo Yeon seok and Seo Hyun Jin pairing, and while they definitely had great chemistry, their romance did not take front and center to the story which is rare in kdramas, and one that I appreciate especially on this drama. This is also the first time I'm watching Han Suk-kyu so I will be watching Tree with Deep Roots next.

I will miss this rag tag band of doctors, but I can't wait to watch Kim Hye soo on the next episode!

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I also like that this drama incorporates nuggets of comedic moments in an otherwise serious drama. For instance, the hullabaloo over In Beom treatment over Yeon hwa. It's so cute that the girls query her over whom she likes while Dong joo queries In Beom. I particularly found it amusing how Nurse Oh placed her hands on Seo-jung shoulders when YH admits that it was DJ she likes - particularly so after she delightfully thought that it was a love triangle between YH, Nurse Park and IB! Hahaha! then to find out that it's a quadrangle love!

And I love how DJ and SJ come out from their investigation with their respective information to trade. So cute!

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This was my favorite scene(s) in this episode as well. They were just adorable. However, did we establish the fact that SJ and DIB aren't half siblings? Oh well, otherwise an amazing drama with quite realistic medsurg scenes. It was DIB's laporoscopic cholecystectomy in ep 6? that made me stay around and glad he's still the laporacopic king in ep 21!

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However, did we establish the fact that SJ and DIB aren’t half siblings?

I still wonder about that, given that Dr. D'oh is such an inveterate liar, especially when it involves that kind of scandal. We never did hear if In-bum went ahead with the blood test. But that would have turned the show into PEYTON PLACE, so I'm kind of glad they skipped it. ;-)

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I particularly found it amusing how Nurse Oh placed her hands on Seo-jung shoulders when YH admits that it was DJ she likes – particularly so after she delightfully thought that it was a love triangle between YH, Nurse Park and IB!

It cracks me up every time I see Nurse Oh anticipate trouble. This time, she's not quite saying "Down, girl" to Seo-jung. It parallels her putting her hand over Nurse Park's fist the first time he was getting tempted to belt In-bum in the kisser.

When Dong-joo grills In-bum as to whether he's pestering Yeon-hwa because he likes her, and he says she's not his type, Dong-joo can't believe he even has a type. He presses on, and gets told, "You don't want to know" before he finally extracts the answer. Who would have guessed?!

Seo-jung's insistence on being so secretive has hilariously exploded in her face. HAR!

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I refuse to believe this drama already ended :(

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Same :( I can't even begin the prequel because I know I'm going to be a mess when it's over. I've been so emotionally invested in this and it's honestly a show that came along at a time when I really needed it. I don't know about anyone else here, but it felt like Kim Sabu became my teacher for a bit too.

It reminds me of what Han Seok Kyu said in his speech at the start of this year when he read out the scriptwriter's goals in creating this drama. The most important of these goals to Han Seok Kyu (and the reason he chose the show) was: “Why do people love for? What am I living for? For those who have lost their road, I hope for a warm-hearted warmly-acted drama”

I feel like those sentences perfectly encapsulate this show and why it resonated with so many viewers. I even wrote an ode to it on my blog (with a dozen screencaps of Kim Sabu because he's damn fine).

I really hope the prequel gets recapped as well! It wouldn't do to miss Kim Sabu in loooove! I feel like he's going to get even hotter and make post-drama withdrawal even harder than it already is <3

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Yes, it will be recapped here too.

Hey I love your blog and what you wrote about RTDK.

Han Suk Kyu is love <3

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That's it? But there are so many loose ends... For example, are In Soo and Dr Song staying on in Doldam?

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And what happened to the nurse team from Seoul? They seemed to just disappear.

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I recognized the blonde leader in a recent episode. I think two of them were holding the fort outside the ICU, also. But not all of them are shown.

For In-soo's conjugal bliss, I hope he's allowed to return to Seoul. Poor guy has paid his dues. Otherwise his wife will dump him. He really deserves better than that. But he secretly would prefer to remain at Doldam.

Maybe Dr. Song will be paying for his sins in the purgatory of the boondocks. Kim Sa Bu will make an honest man of him yet. But for heaven's sake, bust him back down to buck private. I don't know who should be chief of general surgery, but it surely isn't him. Hmmm. KSB is the de facto chief surgeon.

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That's how I feel about this show ending too. Too many loose ends.

This show brought up a lot of potential conflicts, but some of them fell short, and some of them was left hanging... makes me wonder why do they even brought them up in the first place.

Nevertheless, this show is still one of my favorites and I'm gonna miss it so much T_T

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This is the first eps that I was a little disappointed with...did we need all of those flashback???? How are you brining in a new character at this point of the junction? She is one of my fav and I would have loved for more character development. I know it is not a virtue, but I wanted Dr. Do to be fired or something more intense. So we damage Dr. Master Kim's hand...REALLY???? Can you not tell us the result of his injuries???Loved Do In-bum story!!! But, why is he always snapping at the newest doctor, when half of his credentials regarding surgeries performed were made up...and that is with the power of his Father???

This is still a GREAT Drama! I am not sure how I thought it would end...and I don't mind open ending, but this just felt a little undone.

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Hm about the flashbacks, they were new to me though. We got to see a bit of Seo Jung's early relationship with Teacher Kim.

I'm not sure how serious is Teacher Kim's injury. I wonder a bit if he really meant it when he said it was okay.

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We need a season 2 for this! It would be nice for them to expand on the love stories as well as all the doldam misfits' trouble past - I'm sure all of them have their own stories. Why Nurse Oh divorced? Dr Nam's malpractice? Why did Dr Woo come from China and then drop out of school? Nurse Park and Mr Goo are all darn interesting characters. Maybe we can call season 2 Romantic Doctor Mr Kang or Ms Yoon, since it's rather hard to get HSK back.

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Yes, I'm also puzzled about Yeon Hwa's existence in the show. Her screen time is so little and serves no purpose.

There has to be season 2 right? So many questions unanswered.

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Yeon-hwa's story arc actually is important in that her experiences at Doldam inspire her to resume her medical career after she dropped out. And her bilingual capability turns out to be a nice plot point as well.

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@tineybeanie thanks for the recap. I like the way you called "Once again the green monster of jealousy rises in Dong-joo"...haha it'so hillarious, i have repeated that scene so many times. Jealousy Dong Joo is JJANGG...!!!

Agree about TK's romance, i'm not too interest about it (Although i haven't watch special episode). I just don't want my "feeling" toward TK be change. Because, i like his mysterious, wise, and his romantic charms toward his patient, students and his friends. I want they keep that mysterious charm with a little review about his past about his student or his career.

I bit confused to watch special episode, because i don't want to end this show. I'll miss jealiusy Kang Dong Joo so much.... -_-

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Ahhhh I was almost not ready for this recap! ;-;

I just finished this episode. So here are my fresh comments on it.

The Doldam staff bond is crazy strong and inspiring. Dream team.

We got to learn Dr. Moon's secret with Nurse Ji in the end. I'm not sure how I feel about it. As a viewer, I gained more knowledge. But for Seo Jung, I don't know if she has closure yet. I guess she is finally moving on from the past. She has a lot of good people supporting her and counting on her.

FINALLY. Do In Bum faced his father and was firm in his own beliefs. His emotional speech was well done!!! Almost made me tear up here. I thought his father would waver or break down after his son's talk, but he is still the same.

Seo Jung and Dong Joo were like Teacher Kim's kids when they were nervously waiting on his wrist/treatment results. They were adorable. Their concern for him felt so real and natural.

I'm glad that the show didn't go too dramatic or introduce a new, crazy problem in the finale. The doctors still had patients to see and medical cases to evaluate. I totally missed the man who had jaundice! (I thought I would be able to spot that.) It was cool seeing the staff in regular clothes and enjoying the dinner at the restaurant. It was even cooler to see them get straight back to work when they received the emergency call.

The girls and guys grill session was funny and cute. Seo Jung's "love triangle" finger move cracked me up.
Too bad there weren't many romantic scenes between Dong Joo and Seo Jung. I just adore these two. But the show did not even need to inject tons of romance into it to make it great.

I started crying near the end as I was looking at Han Suk Kyu's smiling face because I was sad to see him and the others go. T____T

I love this show. It is definitely one of the best dramas I have ever watched.

I was a bit confused and thought this episode was the prequel so I kept wondering where was Kim Hye Soo. Well I look forward to seeing it later.

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I guess I should go watch this, seeing as how many of you love this drama and how high the rating is.

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I totally understand why koreans fell in love with this drama. It has that special kdrama factor 'heart'. I'm disappointed that the show didn't get more love on DB.

On SJ and nurse Jin, the closure was excellent. Sometimes its about moving on without reopening old wounds. They were both betrayed by Moon and probably both felt guilty for different reasons.

Sometimes shows want to tie everything up in bows but in real life some truths just never get told.

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This show and Weightlifting Fairy got the 'heart' part right.

Because it wants to deliver a message instead trying so hard to be a trend. I'm glad RDTK is a rating juggernaut, hopefully others will follow suit how to deliver a proper storytelling.

Sometimes I wonder if drama's sincerity and gimmick is a trade off.

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At the party I saw at least 7 soju bottles plus several mugs of beer-color liquid, and people were acting a bit blitzed.

So how drunk were they when they went to treat the bus victims?? Be a shame if they undid 20 episodes of good work by operating drunk and making a bunch of fatal mistakes.

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ikr, i was shouting "but you just drank!" when they rushed back to the hospital to treat patients. i'm sure there's something illegal there lol..at least none of them looked outright drunk

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Me too! They were all drinking!

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My excuse for them is that males can drink 2 std drinks an hour.

But sigh.... there is only one branch of medicine that they require random drug and alcohol tests. The retrieval services- so guess everyone else is safe.

Still. If that is the only quibble about the drama it's a minor one. A little alcohol is better than a narcotic and sedated doctor I say operating on someone.

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Im really very tired from studying but I wanted to give this drama the courtesy of a Thank You Very Much and I LOVE YOU. Hahaha. Thoughts are a bit of a mess and although I am sad to see this drama end, (Well, sort of. Though I did enjoy 20.5 more than 20. Will look forward to that recap still!) I really really really need to cut down now. All that's left for me is to finish Hwarang and Goblin.

Who knows I may sneak in Strong Woman just for the love of Ji Soo when I get too sad while studying.

Aja! :D

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Really tired studying all the time too so I wanted to say: Hang in there, fighting! I would send energy to you if I could(my next final is three days later and I'm guessing yours is sooner).
Ha! I needed cheering up too while studying. So I rewatched Coffee prince ( the responsible way*) in between studying.
The responsible way: Finish one chapter, watch two episodes. And my five min break is over, :(

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Thank you tineybeanie for your wonderful recaps for the past 11 weeks!!! :)

I'm not ready to let go of this drama. The ending of the drama (even after watching the prequel which isn't a prequel!) reminds me of the ending of a season of an American drama. Maybe it's just the fangirl in me wishing for a Season 2...

At the very start of the drama, I was thinking of all sorts of makjang plotlines that typical K-dramas love to use and how these could be incorporated in the drama. I thought of how Seo Jung might be Teacher Kim's daughter, how Teacher Kim and President Do might be best friends in the past, that Teacher Kim might be even be Chairman Shin's secret son or a love triangle between Seo Jung, In Bum and Dong Joo. NONE OF THESE CAME TRUE AT ALL which was absolutely surprising.

The drama simply stays true to its roots till the end, which is about Teacher Kim and his romantic ideals. It's a simple drama, without having to use dramatic plotlines for people to continue watching the drama. If RDTK has all the dramatic plotlines, the messages and lessons it tried to convey would be overlooked.

To be honest, I was very disappointed with the ending at first. I was hoping for President Do to be duly punished for his evil deeds. However, nothing seemed to happen to President Do, even after the physical brawl. It was until I read this recap which I realised, yes, perhaps the ending of President Do's arc is not about him being punished, but to show how he might have romantic ideals about changing the world like Teacher Kim, but losing himself over the years by making himself fits into the real world. I think the key message RDTK is trying to convey is in the cornerstone speech which Teacher Kim gave to Do In Bum, that being a cornerstone is better than a round stone. Hence, President Do is how a round stone will look like or will become. And that's sad. I pitied President Do and I guessed my pity is his punishment. He lost himself, his son, Seo Jung, everyone. Yes, he might still have power and wealth, but he did not even have anything other than these two, even his own soul. Do we really need power and wealth if we aren't even ourselves anymore?

I loved the flashback in this episode as it showed how Seo Jung remembered Teacher Kim as the one who always comforted her, while Teacher Kim remembered how hard she worked to get to where she was right now. We don't see the goodness in ourselves but others saw them in us. Be good, as there are people who will appreciate.

One thing I adored the most in this drama is how it shows doctors and nurses working together, without focusing on just one of them. Nurses are always depicted as insignificant roles in medical dramas while dramas about nurses will not pay attention to doctors at all. I like the fact that this drama treat doctors and nurses the same and equally important, and also showing how some doctors may look down on nurses (Do In Bum to Eun Tak).

Okay, shall leave some to...

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*Sad .. what I have written has all gone because a problem when posting sigh..

As this series is one of the series I dearly like, I'd sum up part of what I have initially written.

Yes.. this episode has left some kind of ambigous feeling for me. Is it the best episode so far.. Nahh.. Does it conclude every issue satisfactorily .. Perhaps not. However, I must say that I see some kind of hard working on the part of the script writer (s) to make this episode a good one.

I love it when the script-writer made this episode the episode of reality. Many times wrongdoers are not punished for the crimes they've committed (e.g. Dr. Do, Dr. Song, those Goedeo seven staff participating in that operation, etc), and many times good, or well-intended people do not get so much good things they deserve (e.g. Dr. Kim, Seu-Jung.) However, these good people make use believe in goodness in the world. Without Dr. Kim, many would have been already dead, this also includes Pres. Shin who has been called the greedy monster. It is this kind of reality which is portrayed in this episode which makes me like it more and more. So with regards to these points, I love you the script-writer(s.)

Not all the points made in the episode is satisfying. At least there are some parts which I still don't understand why they were put in this ep. (e.g. the revealation of love crushes? Nam Jin or Num Jin coming to the hospital?) I am still not sure about the story about the first love of Master Kim.. for me it's not really necessary 'cause I like him the way he is. And for me, perhaps for me only, I'm not very interested or think I'll be invested much in his love life.

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Haven't watched ep 20.5 yet, but... can't help wondering if Kim Hye-soo / Cha Soo-Hyun went to Doldam to see if it would make a good new hiding place for detective Lee Jae-Han since his old hiding place at the other hospital was exposed. If it looks good, how will she "signal" him that it's ok to come over.

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Touché! ;-)

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The song" It hurts to say Goodbye" sums up how I feel for the ending of this drama. My Monday's and Tuesday's will be empty till I find another drama to watch that can replace my love for this drama!

Congrats to the entire casts, writers, director and the entire production staff for a job well done ! I love that the drama created an awareness about doctors and hospital staff life is all about, so we can appreciate more the people whose job is to save human lives despite all the odds!

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i wonder if they're hankering for a season 2 because some of the stories felt a little unfinished to me. seo jung's PTSD? they showed a woman's suicide (her mom?) in the earlier episodes but none of her backstory came out. dr. nam's malpractice? what about the Doldam trauma center? won't Pres. Do get any punishment for his crimes? what about the woman that was interviewed by the reporter and Director Yeo?

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Great ending to an awesome show. I didn't realize how much I loved it until about the 4th or 5th episode and I was basically stalking Viki to see if it was subbed. I am going to miss the Doldam Family!

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I've watched so many k-medical dramas and this one is definitely the best.
I'm so gonna miss all the characters and gosh Han Seok-kyu really deserves the Daesang. He made Teacher Kim so real and memorable, don't think I can imagine anyone else taking this role.

I won't mind a second season or even third. I can watch RDTK forever if the writing remains this good.

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Sometimes I wonder what if somebody else portray Teacher Kim, will we still love this show as much as we do ??

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He is the reason why I'm watching this show even though I dislike medical dramas. He is as charismatic and brilliant here as he is on the big screen.
I love his character, he is a mentor to these doctors just like in real life to many actors.

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Omo, eonniiiiiii... It's been a while...

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Actually she's looking for a new hospital to hide Detective Lee Jae Hae and to continue Season 2 of both Signal and Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim !! lol :P

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One of the more medically accurate medical Kdramas I've watched. Kudos to the casts and the team. They deserved the rating.

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Thank you for recapping this series. Otherwise I would have skipped watched yet another medical drama.

This one actually left me with a smile at the end. The emotional growth for everyone was shown. And hospital politics kept to a minumum.

I would actually say that the mass vehicle accident scene was actually done quite well. So says someone who has been to quite a few simulated ones. Less chaotic than the ones I've attended anyway.

The SJ and DJ storyline was amusing and touching. They are such good actors that even tiny baby steps in their romance was so worth watching and waiting for.

The mutual confession from In Bum and YH was hilarious to watch. Such spot on timing in their acting.

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To be honest I did not like episode 20 and 21. I feel like they still left more to the story line. It just seem like the writer didn't know how else to cut it off. I feel thatplot holes where left all over the place. But for a medical drama I did love it and it will be one I'm willing to watch over and over again.

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yes, many loose plot not showing, I hope that they are considering season 2 of it maybe....

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Okay so dong ju still doesnt know abt seo jung's r/s w president do..

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A really satisfying conclusion, and a gripping drama altogether. RTDK is laden with meanings, and sometimes those meanings are interwoven throughout the drama in a pretty subtle manner. Just look a little deeper, and you'll appreciate the deft storytelling that makes RTDK such a gem to watch.

I wasn't ready to bid my farewell to RTDK, so it wasn't a surprise that my eyes were (slightly) brimming with tears as the final episode inched towards its end. But every beginning has its end, and I've to return to reality... to look for my own Kim Sabu.

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I agree with you. Meaningful messages are all over the place. RDTK taught us many invaluable experiences. One of them is that live must goes on no matter what happens, hence fulfill your duty as you're supposed to.

The story seems to open many loopholes for everyone of us to interpret the lessons in our own ways. As much as I want Pres. Do to suffer a great loss or that KSB, SJ and many good people to get so many good things they deserve, I love the ending. For me, it already completes the series.

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Wouldn't it be interesting if In Beom, Yeon Hwa and Nurse Park will truly have a love triangle?

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I love you so.much Barley Tea Couple.
With less romance scene, they give a precious impression whenever scene of these two.
Can they make another drama with this two characters?

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I adore these two, their chemistry is just off the chart!

Did you see the BTS? *insert sound of new ship sailing*

I thought Seo Hyun Jin was a bit too close to Eric on OHY's BTS but I reckon she's even more comfortable with Yoo Yeon Seok (maybe because YYS feels and acts the same way, more so than Eric who seemed to be putting a distance once the drama ends).

And maybe because I just finished Reply 1994 last week, I was surprised to hear SHJ calling Chillbong / YYS oppa. It's so cute!

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Aigoo ya...why still can't people left Eric in peace?! He even doing nothing wrong.

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Eric-Seo Hyun Jin never been closed from the beginning. Eric was closer to Jeon Hye Bin and Young Ji while Seo Hyun Jin with Kim Ji Seuk and Lee Jae Yeon. It just drama fans keep shipping them. TVN drama award said it all. Well at least it proved how professional actor they are.

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Yes i agree if SHJ looks very comfortable with YYS. I followed this two, they have similar personality. Moreover they just different 1 years, that's why they can get so closer easily.

I watched all bts RDTK, drama, and their vatiety show. That's why i want they get in one project again.

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I really want Dong Joo and Seo Jung loveline. I can't get enough from RDTK, they too adorable...

Even without too much skinship, they give a sweet romance scene, that's the charm of this couple.

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Yay! Now that we are at what seems to be the last episode of this hugely enjoyable drama, we are finally getting all these rdtk appreciation comments. It has often been rather quiet in the comments thread around here for this show. I must say I've been one of those who have been silently lurking but enjoying every recap. If you are worried about the loose ends, you have to check out episode 21. It seems to me to be the real final episode of this entire show. It goes a little further to close some open ends left hanging from episode 20. Kim Hye Soo definitely made a much bigger cameo than those meagre minutes we saw at the end of this episode. To all those who have participated in the comments thread in all the earlier episodes, thank you! Your input really helped me appreciate the the finer details of the show so much better. Loved every cast member of the show, the chemistry of Seo Hyun Jin and Yoo Yeon Seok, the charisma of Han Suk Kyu as Master Kim, the directorial style and the consistent, well paced and realistic writing. This is a drama well done and it definitely deserves all the love that it got from the Korean audience! Waiting for the recaps almost always kills me each week but I'm really just grateful that this show was picked up by tinybeanie and murasakimi. Thanks y'all!

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I loved LOVED this drama from first second to the last. But am I being greedy when i say I wanted more closure for Seo Jung? There was so much back story to her. Not just her two timing boyfriend but also her need to be acknowledged by Dr Do that was left unaddessed. Maybe one less pissing contest between In beom and Dong Joo would have given the show some time to spare? I wish they had addressed her trauma and given her a proper closure. And i dont mean by having her confront the nurse. I mean her personal closure so she can really truly in her heart of hearts let that cheater go. Her guilt caused her to SELF HARM. Are we to believe that she overcame that immediately after meeting Kang Dong Joo again? Yes, he did bring some healing to her heart by showing her love and that she can move on but I cant stop imagining her character sitting down and having a quiet moment of happiness that keeps being interrupted by her guilt that her bf DIED BECAUSE OF HER (obviously he didnt but that is her guilt). Other than that I am going to miss this show so much! Unless, of couse...plot for SEASON 2!!! Please? Prettt please? Okay, now i am being greedy.

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The only medical drama I've watched and finished and I loved it! Got my family pumped too, it was really an experience. And tbh it was mostly due to Kim Sabu himself, what a badass. Unshakable. Amazing. I would love to be a (wo)man of his values one day!

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@tineybeanie (and you, too, murasakimi!),

Thanks, tineybeanie, for the penultimate recap and your lovely summation. I've quietly but impatiently awaited every recap since murasakimi's first post way back on November 9 (which seems like a lifetime ago). You guys are the best! I would have missed so many nuances were it not for your interpretations. I would have missed a lot in translation, too, were it not for your attention to detail.

Thanks also to our friendly and knowledgeable medical Beanies who shared so much of their professional insight -- and precious personal time -- so the rest of us could appreciate the efforts of Writer-nim, the production team, and the actors themselves, to realistically portray life in the Doldam-verse. It made a huge difference to me to know that they went all-out to make it authentic.

In episode 20, Dr. D'oh's carefully cultivated public image hits the skids in a satisfying way. I was ready to throttle him for acting as if Kim Sa Bu and the heart transplant team were appearing at Geodam at his imperial summons. Then he appeared to dangle the prospect of a royal pardon. He practically expected KSB to respond, "Your grace is immeasurable."

Watching Dr. D'oh trying to buy off KSB with promises of fame, fortune, and the trauma center of his dreams -- and failing at every turn -- had me cackling. KSB's plainly telling him to quietly resign and clean up his s--- in front of all those witnesses and reporters with cameras rolling made my day. As did D'oh's throwing the first punch. Way to give your own image a black eye, bucko.

I'd been wondering how KSB was going to approach the showdown, and loved what he said [per OnDemandKorea subtitles]: "But then again, you're not the only bastard here. I closed my eyes, shut my ears, and shut my mouth so that someone like you can live in the lap of luxury. I'm also a bastard."

D'oh tries to shush him as incredulous whispering breaks out. "Watch what you say, Boo Yong-joo. We're in public right now." Ah, the light of public opinion, which is studiously avoided by cockroaches everywhere.

KSB retorts, "Until now, I thought it was best to avoid people like you. I thought you'd eventually get a taste of your own medicine, so I decided not to bother myself. Instead of being nosy, I thought I should focus on my own life. I didn't want to trouble myself. I was too busy with my own life. That's why I turned a blind eye to all the wrongs you have done. I lived staying silent and ignoring you. But I realized I shouldn't do that any longer. That's why I won't live like that any longer."

I love how KSB admits his own complicity in the matter. He doesn't bitch about how D'oh used him and set him up. He takes the high road. Which makes everyone wonder what is in that envelope.

I'm glad tineybeanie pointed out D'oh's initial desire to make the world a better place. It slipped past me at first. He sold himself out for a mess of pottage.

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- continued -

I've noticed all along how Dr. D'oh has consistently accused Kim Sa Bu of the very same actions and motives he has done and harbored himself. He projects so much, he must have worked in a movie theater in a past life. He truly cannot grasp how his opponent could possibly think so differently from himself. Talk about polar opposites.

It's ironic that D'oh ends up confessing his sins to Chairman Shin because he thinks KSB has tattled on him -- which is what he would have done. He starts to beg forgiveness -- except that KSB never went into details, and now Chairman Shin learns some of the truth straight from the horse's mouth. Heol!

It's pathetic, too, because at the end of the day, literally, Dr. D'oh is left alone, while Kim Sa Bu is surrounded by his Doldam family in the Geosan ER. I relished the scene of Dong-joo piggybacking Sabu-nim with the rest of Team Doldam as wingmen. He and Seo-jung are like a pair of firehorses springing into action out of deep concern and sheer force of habit in the hybrid room.

I loved In-bum's first aid scene after he picks up the envelope of damning evidence and reads it. Dr. D'oh rushes into his office with his usual entourage in tow. He kicks the coffee table and dismisses them after one of them tries to roll up his sleeve, just as In-bum arrives and orders them out. He gently attends to his father's injured right arm while breaking the news that he's staying at Doldam. Cue up "I've Got a Name" by Jim Croce. I was so thrilled to witness him make his stand with tears in his eyes. He isn't a robot after all. His father calls him by his full name as he leaves without turning back. The clincher comes later, when Kim Sa Bu tells Dr. D'oh that he thinks In-bumi is one of those doctors who aren't in it for fame and fortune.

Now we finally know what Nurse Ji was speaking about with Dr. Moon. She'd just found out she was pregnant. The day of the reception, she is now a single mom with a five-year-old son who is a dead ringer for his dad. I wonder if he's named Tae-hwa? Like other Beanies, I kind of wish Seo-jung could have learned what a bounder her fiance was, as it might have spared her many a painful flashback. But I do think it was wise of Dong-joo to keep his peace. He was too far away to hear their conversation.

I enjoyed the send-up of hospital melodrama with the final In-bum vs. Nurse Park showdown, and the revelations of crushes. Tellingly, Nurse Park and Dr. Woo are seated together during the party. I got a kick out of his boogying with the other nurses as Dr. Yoon crooned. Shades of Park Bo Gum's "Bombastic" dance. Dong-joo is going to have to make Seo-jung a flashing LED sign stat -- and one for himself, too. The Sphinx-like Nurse Oh is hanging out with Dr. Nam. By the end of the episode, we get a hint as to why.

The cartoonist's touching story arc was well done. Good show, Chairman Shin, for your charity and self-deprecating humor.

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aw man i felt a little disappointed with the ending becuz i felt like not a lot of things were wrapped up nicely or made clear but i read this comment on kissasian and i guess the drama does wrap up everything but doesnt do so obviously:

"Did you watch the same series as I did? cause Everything seems to be resolved except for Kim sabu first love. Im Beom decided to defy his father and live his own life. The chairman was saved by Kim sabu 14 years ago when he collapsed on the street. The chairman found out about the director and the illegal things he did and won't allow him to promote. Seo Jung and the nurse both forgot about the cheater and are living their life's happily. The chairman will most probably support the trauma center. Dig a little deeper and you will find all the answers."

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i just wanted our OTP to admit they were dating each other!!! lol

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lol i was kinda dissatisfied with the ending becuz i thought there were so many things left hanging but then i read this comment on kissasian:

"Did you watch the same series as I did? cause Everything seems to be resolved except for Kim sabu first love. Im Beom decided to defy his father and live his own life. The chairman was saved by Kim sabu 14 years ago when he collapsed on the street. The chairman found out about the director and the illegal things he did and won't allow him to promote. Seo Jung and the nurse both forgot about the cheater and are living their life's happily. The chairman will most probably support the trauma center. Dig a little deeper and you will find all the answers."

i guess everything was wrapped up but it wasn't that satisfying becuz i wanted blatant nicely tied wrap ups when it seemed like things were kinda "hintingly" wrapped up if that makes sense lol

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I agree 100% with the kissasian commenter.

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liked:
- in bum's confrontation with his dad
- dong joo saying "i love you"
- dong joo and seo jung acting like little puppies and following master kim and worried for master kim aka their dad when he was in the emergency room haha
- in bum's confession hahaha

wanted more:
- more dramatic punishment for in bum's dad
- more OTP scenes
- seo jung finding out about her ex fiance cheating like REALLY finding out not just a hint

clarification:
- was the chairman's "secret" that master kim saved him all those years ago..? really? THATS THE SECRET? THAT THEY WOULDNT TELL UNTIL AFTER THE SURGERY...?

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Now I hope korean drama will stop doing special, start doing prequel. We dont need the SPECIAL episode when 59 minutes are recap and 1 minute of behind the scene. Show us something we never seen before.

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I agree !! One good recent example is the so-called special episode of Goblin !! It's actually 98% of recap of all previous scenes that we have already seen earlier !

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I think most of the "specials" are when they fall behind on the live-shoot and don't have anything else to show us. Showing a prequel wouldn't help with that problem.

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I felt a bit let down and tired after episode 20, but it's not because I'm dissatisfied with the finale -- which ain't over yet. It's more that this has been an intense drama to follow It has had me mesmerized for nearly three months, along with the other shows I've been live-watching. This current live-watching binge started with MOON LOVERS in late August, and at times I was watching four shows -- a record for me. No wonder I'm mentally kind of frayed. But it's been worth it.

Just as I will miss Doldam and its inhabitants, I'll miss the camaraderie of the Beanie habitues of these recap threads. It's been an honor and a blessing to converse with so many thoughtful and humorous folks.

See you all at the Special recap. It ain't over 'til it's over.

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There's so many unanswered questions left. It feels like it needs atleast 1or2 more episode to close it properly. However it does not lessen my admiration to this kdrama.

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i dont get how all the previous episodes of this drama left with such a **punch** and strong kick of emotions. like honestly even scene was so nerve wrecking and endorphin pumping and had such a knack and oomph to it...

but for some reason i feel like this last episode didnt have any of these?? what happened??? to all the emotions? where did they go??

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IKR, all the cliffhangers are over and the last episode is a like a calm piece of the sea with little waves....hahaha :)

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absolutely loved this drama. I rewatch this like crazy, I dream about it.

For the first time, I wish this show would go on for a few more hours. I want to know more, know the background, what had happened. Ahhhhhhhhh if only.

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Can someone please explain to me what tineybeanie means about three separate endings in the introduction of this recap? My brain cells may not be working due to all the case readings I've been doing.

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Hehe~ sorry, there weren't clear delineations, but I thought the three endings were:

1) When the Doldam Team were assembled after their celebration for the TA emergency, and Dong-joo did his final voiceover.

2) The manhwa artist sending Teacher Kim the storybook, and finishing CEO Shin's arc.

3) The epilogue scene.

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Thank you tineybeanie. I appreciate it. ?

After a few hours of sleep, a cup of coffee, and a shower, that actually came to mind. Law school is killing me, and I love it. Hahaha. ?☕???

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i think.. do in beom deserves the rookie award during sbs award 2016.. he deserves it better than nurse assistant park eun taek... i love all the characters.. i just judge them from their performance... i mean do in bum character much more strong than nurse assistant park... but u know.. since this is his debut drama.. hopefully he will get a better chance to show his acting in other drama..~ park sejung or Kim sejung his name.. can't remember! hihi.. I'm rooting for u do in beom!

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Oh yeah, I like Nurse Assistant Park, but Do In Beom deserves recognition too! The actor nailed it as the fragile tsundere with daddy issues. My heart went out to him in the confrontation scene with his dad - it's so obvious to me how much he loves his dad! Poor puppy.

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