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Live Up to Your Name: Episode 9

After his latest ordeal in Joseon, Im has gone to a place where Yeon-kyung has a hard time reaching him. Now that she knows about his past and the reasons he lived his life the way he did, can she convince him that opening his heart again is worth the risk, or will the repeated trauma Im has been forced to endure permanently set them on separate paths from each other?

 
EPISODE 9 RECAP

In Joseon, Yeon-kyung watches in tears as Im is dragged away by the minister of war’s men while Doo-chil wails over Ddak-sae’s lifeless body. She meets Im’s eyes, and they share an anguished look.

The men lock Im and Doo-chil in the storage shed as promised, and Doo-chil sobs that he’d wanted to die with his brother as he asks why Im stopped him. He shakes Im for an answer, but he’s in too much of a stupor to respond.

As the night wears on, Mak-gae approaches a guard outside the minister of war’s house and smacks his head with a bat, but the blow is too light, and he grabs her. Luckily, Yeon-kyung comes up behind him and downs him with a kick between the legs and a hard whack to the head with her purse. They procure the guard’s keys and unlock the shed.

Now free, Doo-chil piles rocks on Ddak-sae’s body as the others look on. Doo-chil tells his brother not to let people treat him like a fool in the afterlife, and to take care of their mother, promising that he’ll join them soon. He sobs that he’s sorry he couldn’t keep his promise to protect Ddak-sae. (*sniff*)

Im watches this scene with a broken look on his face, reminded of Mak-kae crying at her mother’s grave two years ago. Mak-gae cries silently, as does Yeon-kyung, although her gaze is on Im.

Im remembers Heo Jun telling him that his twisted conception of the world is leading him down the wrong path as a doctor, but Im wonders if his twisted heart is really the problem, or if the twisted world is at fault.

When the time comes to part ways with Doo-chil, he warns Im that Japanese soldiers are coming and they’d better head north. He promises to pay back his remaining debt to Im if they live to meet again, but Im just asks him to take Mak-gae with him.

Mak-gae protests, but Im says that his path lies elsewhere. He thanks Mag-kae for her hard work until now, and tells her to keep studying medicine. Then, Im takes Yeon-kyung’s hand and asks Doo-chil to repay that debt now—by killing him.

Moonlight changes to city lights, and we’re back in Seoul. Im and Yeon-kyung find themselves on a bridge, and even with the blood from the wound Doo-chil inflicted on his chest, he just evenly tells her to take care. She asks him to wait a moment, but he only says, “You won’t have to experience strange things because of me again.” She watches him sadly as he walks away.

Jae-ha waits outside Yeon-kyung’s home, and learns from police that the phone and apartment used by “Bong-tak” are registered under his grandfather’s (Director Ma’s) name. The man says that they’ve detected Yeon-kyung’s cell signal again, which is when Jae-ha spots her approaching. He asks her worriedly what happened, but she collapses into his arms.

Inside Grandpa’s clinic, Jae-sook is chewing out the police over the phone for failing to find Yeon-kyung (with Byung-ki trying and failing to calm her down, haha). Jae-ha arrives supporting Yeon-kyung, and Grandpa remarks worriedly on how frail Yeon-kyung looks.

Yeon-kyung says she just needs to rest, and when Jae-sook presses for answers about where she’s been, Grandpa forestalls her and sends Yeon-kyung off to lie down. Once she’s gone, Grandpa’s legs give out in relief.

Jae-ha tucks Yeon-kyung in, asking her again what happened, but she just says she’s tired, and he lets it go. When he’s back in his car, Jae-ha remembers the detective who’d arrested Im showing him the CCTV footage of Im and Yeon-kyung disappearing during their fight with the gangsters. The detective also told him about Im’s other oddities: the wooden identity tag, his cluelessness about modern technology, his lack of fingerprints… as well as the fact that he’d shared all this information with Yeon-kyung when she’d bailed Im out.

Yeon-kyung sits up in bed, unable to escape her memories of Im debasing himself before the minister of war as he begged the man to spare his and Doo-chil’s lives. She remembers Heo Jun telling her that Im has been hurt deeply in the past, and how he’d asked her to become Im’s friend.

Meanwhile, Im staggers dazedly along the bridge where he parted with Yeon-kyung. He runs into a group of homeless people, among whom is the curly-haired man that he met at Seoul Station. The man greets Im with happy relief and asks him to treat his sick friend—they can’t afford the hospital, and they’d be looked down if they were to go anyway.

As the man goes on about how lucky they are that Im showed up, Im flashes back to treating Mak-gae’s mother and Ddak-sae, and how that led to both patients’ deaths. He shakes his head and backs away from the homeless man, and then flees.

Im runs until he’s out of breath and collapses in the middle of a street, where he pulls off his outer robes and kicks them away in disgust. He eventually ends up on a bridge over the Han River and stares out over the edge, remembering again how he slaved for a year to earn a cow bezoar to save his mother, only to be beaten for stealing and have it snatched away.

Im thinks of Jin-oh telling him disdainfully that he should have known his place instead of trying to enter the palace, and of the minister of war calling him a dog wagging his tail for scraps. He recalls Heo Jun asking him if the world without class was any better than Joseon, and if he was able to gain what he wanted there.

Im gazes at the magical needle case and clenches his hand around it, silently answering Heo Jun: “I will show you just what I can have in this new world. I will never be insulted or humiliated like that again.” He extends his arm over the side of the bridge and drops the needle case into the dark water, where it sinks to the bottom.

Im returns to his apartment, where Director Ma berates him for being unreachable all day when they had an important patient to see. Im asks what he will gain by treating that patient, and Ma, pleased to hear Im finally speaking his language, tells Im that he will gain that person’s money and power.

Im asks if that’s how things work in this world, and Director Ma points out that it’s the same in Im’s world—doctors change status based on who they treat. He describes medicine as skills sold for a profit, and asks Im if he wants to do business together.

The next morning, Im orders a latte at a coffee shop. Yeon-kyung follows him in and orders cake, telling Im that it’s the best when you’re feeling down, but he just grabs his coffee and excuses himself.

Yeon-kyung runs after him, catching up to him on the street. She asks him how he is, about his morning, whether he wants to have lunch together, but he ignores all her questions. She says sweetly that she wants to eat together, but he replies flatly that he has an appointment. She even offers him the cake to eat with his colleagues, but he coldly refuses it and walks away.

A subdued Yeon-kyung returns to work to the relief of her coworkers, who ask where on earth she’s been. She says she’s fine and that she’ll explain later, when Man-soo shows up looking like hell, saying that he’s been run into the ground looking after her patients on top of his own. But his emergency rations of cup ramyun and tuna give Yeon-kyung an idea.

She takes ramyun and tuna to Im’s office, lifting the soup packet and shaking it like they both did during their late-night snack session. Im rebuffs her, and her smile falls. “Can’t you see what I’m doing?” asks Yeon-kyung. “I have lots of people to take care of me, but you have no one except me. That’s why I’m going to take care of you.” Im looks moved, but he says brusquely that he’s not hungry and leaves the office. Yeon-kyung remarks to herself that this tactic isn’t working.

Im pauses outside the closed door, and Jae-ha, who was eavesdropping on Im and Yeon-kyung, pulls him aside to talk. Jae-ha censures Im for disappearing and asks where Im and Yeon-kyung went yesterday, but Im just tells him to mind his own business. Jae-ha tells Im that what happens to Yeon-kyung is his business, and he won’t forgive anyone who hurts her. Im replies that he won’t be getting involved with Yeon-kyung anymore.

As he leaves the building, Im sees Yeon-kyung on her way back to her own hospital and says to himself, “Anyway, we’re taking separate paths now.”

Jae-ha brings Yeon-kyung some porridge, and she teases that he’s a real Eastern doctor now. He grows serious and confesses that he became one because of her—orphaned when he was young, he was timid and afraid of his grandfather, but meeting Yeon-kyung inspired a true interest in traditional Korean medicine. She should let him pay her back now, he says, by leaning on him when she needs support.

Meanwhile, Director Ma takes Im to a chaebol’s mansion, where they meet the man who collapsed in the Eastern medicine hospital (we’ve been calling him Chairman Jo, but Director Ma explains that he’s the chief secretary at the Blue House).

Chief Secretary Jo introduces Im to the homeowner, Chairman Park, who expresses doubts about the efficacy of acupuncture. Im is ready to leave, but at Director Ma’s prodding, he coolly diagnoses the chairman’s headaches without even touching him.

Impressed, Chairman Park asks him to fix his son before next month’s company anniversary. They move to a guarded bedroom—Im and Director Ma have to give up their phones before entering—to meet the young man, who is shivering and sweating. Im takes his pulse and observes his symptoms, deducing that he’s addicted to opium (heroin).

The chairman says angrily that his son started doing drugs when he went abroad to study; they’ve tried rehab, but he goes back on the drugs as soon as he gets out. Im says that the young man’s heart is empty, which causes Park to sputter that his son has everything he could want. Im applies a few needles, and the young man relaxes and seems to come back to reality somewhat.

Chairman Park is pleased and privately compliments Director Ma on finding Im. He says that he’s heard from Chief Secretary Jo that Ma needs money for a large project, and Ma nods.

Once the patient is alone with Im, he begs Im to help him escape, saying that he must meet someone (a loved one, judging from the silver ring he’s been fidgeting with). Im says that his job is treating illnesses. Desperate, the young man offers money, but Im just laughs.

At lunch with Nurse Jung in the hospital cafeteria, Yeon-kyung can’t help looking around for Im. She asks Nurse Jung what she does when a friend is having a hard time, and Nurse Jung replies that she stays beside them, waits for them, and trusts them. Yeon-kyung sighs that those things are easier said than done.

On their way back to their wing, they see Im arriving with Director Ma, and Nurse Jung tactfully makes herself scarce. Yeon-kyung asks Im where he went, and is surprised to learn that he was treating a patient outside the hospital. Before he can explain further, Director Shin and Professor Hwang approach them, both of them giving Im backhanded compliments on his new position.

Yeon-kyung politely interjects that they’re being a bit rude to to Im when he doesn’t even work at their hospital, and they stalk off, offended. Im frowns at her and walks away, but she follows, telling him to stop.

Im asks if she pities him, now that she knows all about him. “Do I look like a child to you, ecstatic at the gift of a few candies? Please, stop playing the noblewoman already,” he tells her.

She says that he’s right, she does know all about him—his status in Joseon, and how he had to debase himself in front that damned minister of war. “I saw it all,” she says. “Are you ashamed of it? Does my finding out about it hurt your pride so much?” She tells him that none of that matters to her, because she finally understands him now.

He looks down, and she continues, “I know what a great doctor you are. I know why you suffered so much. And I know why you had to live that way.” He sighs and says that it would have been better if she hadn’t found out anything about him. “Then I—…” he breaks off. “No. I don’t care anymore what you think of me. So don’t interfere or concern yourself about my affairs.”

Yeon-kyung says that she can’t do that—whether it was coincidence or fate, they met, and she’s already a part of his strange destiny. She takes Im’s hand and tells him not to avoid or run from her, no matter what he’s doing. He pulls his hand out of hers and strides away, leaving her looking after him sadly.

When he’s alone, Im presses his hands against a wall to stop them from shaking. He stares at his hand and caresses where she touched him.

Yeon-kyung returns to her rounds in a mood as she crossly re-dresses the stab wound of the gangster whose underlings attacked her, then goes for a walk outside, joining Man-soo, who is watching the victim of the gangster boss practice walking on crutches.

Man-soo says that the man is recovering well from surgery, but he’s been a bear to his wife since he found out that he won’t be able to use his leg. True to Man-soo’s words, the man lashes out at his wife when she tries to help him. Yeon-kyung bursts out that she can’t understand why men are so stupidly prideful, and why they can’t understand how women feel.

The man’s daughter drops her doll, and she calls for her dad’s help. Yeon-kyung has a sudden flashback of dropping her own stuffed bunny, and of her dad retrieving it on his motorcycle. In the present, the man tries to grab the doll, but he loses his balance and crashes to the ground.

Yeon-kyung’s vision goes blurry and she clutches her chest, a memory of being on the back of her dad’s bike surfacing. A high-pitched ringing starts in her ears, and she gags.

She turns away from the scene to see Im watching her. She runs inside the hospital, and Im takes a step as though to follow, but stops himself, looking worried.

That night, Yeon-kyung returns home to find Jae-sook and Byung-ki placating Kkot-boon (Bong-tak’s mother), who wants her son to treat her aching back and knees. Byung-ki says that Grandpa will treat her, but she only wants Bong-tak, refusing to believe that he isn’t here anymore. Jae-sook notes sadly that Kkot-boon has been showing up every day looking for Im.

Inside, Yeon-kyung finds Grandpa waiting for her with dinner. She asks him if she was there when her dad had his accident, but Grandpa turns away from her and blusters that she was sleeping at home, with her mom. Yeon-kyung scoffs at the obvious lie and says that if he won’t tell her, she’ll find out the truth herself. She goes to her room, and Grandpa wonders in dismay if her memories are coming back.

On their way to treat a rich patient, Im asks Director Ma why, in this modern world with its advanced treatments, he’s taking Im on personal visits. Ma replies that people with money and power want to hide their secrets from the outside world, and Im mutters to himself that nothing has changed.

In the next few days, Im treats various rich people for their embarrassing and inconvenient health problems, silent in the face of their hypocrisy and politely receiving their promises to repay him in the future (and collecting a stack of business cards). Chairman Park even provides him with a new car. Im takes it for a spin, giddy with glee at the smooth way it drives, until he meets his own eyes in the rearview mirror and instantly sobers.

Jae-sook brings Kkot-boon to Shinhye hospital, where Yeon-kyung meets them, promising Kkot-boon that Bong-tak will treat her at his new workplace. Oh no, I have a bad feeling about this.

They take Kkot-boon to Im’s floor, and she excitedly rushes over to him, reaching to caress his face. Im shrinks away and glances around nervously. Kkot-boon asks why he hasn’t been to see her—she waited every day, and she even says that little Bong-shik has missed him so much.

Im looks at his colleagues, who are watching intently. He looks embarrassed at Kkot-boon’s touch, and when she gives him another wad of coupons to buy a treat, he pulls his hand away, scattering the coupons to the floor. Jae-sook rushes over to help gather them up, and Yeon-kyung stares at Im in shock. He stammers that they shouldn’t show up without notice like this.

Yeon-kyung explains why she brought Kkot-boon here, saying that she thought he’d be glad to see her. Breathing hard, Im tells Kkot-boon to get treated by one of the other doctors and leaves. Jae-sook stares after him, wondering if he’s the same person as before; Yeon-kyung apologizes to Kkot-boon, but the old lady only worries that Bong-tak looks worn out.

As he departs, Im sees the three women on the sidewalk from his car window and looks at them with longing. But then he turns away from them, and his face hardens.

Im pays a house call to the heroin addict, but the young man stabs Im in the arm with a fountain pen and runs away, making it to the street before he collapses, unable to breathe. He ends up being taken to the ER in an ambulance.

At the hospital, Yeon-kyung checks him over, noticing the needle marks on his arms. Meanwhile, Im rushes to the ER, Chairman Park having threatened him with dire consequences if word of his son’s drug use were to get out. Im asks Yeon-kyung about the patient’s condition, but refuses to answer her questions about how Im knows him, or if he’s on drugs.

She tells him that the young man has an infection in his heart tissues, a condition often caused by illegal drug use, and might need surgery. She asks who the patient is, and why Im is injured, but Im ducks out to answer a call from Director Ma.

Im meets Director Ma in front of the hospital, the older man warning him that Chairman Park is a dangerous enemy—Im had better bring the young man back if he wants to save both their necks.

On his way back inside, Im sees Yeon-kyung hiding behind a pillar. She’s heard everything and asks if he’s looking after the rich and powerful these days. Im tells her again to mind her own business, but she refuses. She says she understands that he’s struggling after what happened in Joseon, and that’s why he’s pushing her away, but she can’t watch him cross the line as a doctor.

Im scoffs at this, and points out that she saw in Joseon what can result from the duty and good will of a doctor. “You said that it’s not the doctor’s place to decide whether saving someone will be beneficial or harmful. But I will determine what is beneficial or harmful to me. If that’s what I need to do to not live like a dog again, I will cross that line as a doctor.”

Yeon-kyung counters that this isn’t Joseon, but he says that it isn’t much different.

A car full of Chairman Park’s security guards arrives, and as they run into the ER, Im tells Yeon-kyung that he’s taking the patient. Yeon-kyung protests that he can’t—the young man’s condition is dangerous, and if he’s moved and treated elsewhere, he might die.

She goes inside and blocks the security guards from rolling the young man’s gurney away. They claim that the patient wants to be discharged, but he tells Yeon-kyung that’s not true, and begs not to be sent away. Yeon-kyung tells the guards they can’t take her patient anywhere without her permission.

Min-jae, Nurse Jung, and Man-soo arrive with another of their colleagues, and all four join Yeon-kyung, physically resisting the guards. Im arrives and tells Yeon-kyung to move, but she refuses.

Im says that Yeon-kyung needs to be treated first: “How can you treat anyone when you’re always trembling in front of patients? Do you have any right to call yourself a doctor?” OH NO YOU DIDN’T, HEO IM.

Yeon-kyung stares at him, tears in her eyes, and he orders the men to take the patient outside. Stunned, she lets go of the gurney.

Im walks past her, his eyes cold.

 
COMMENTS

Come back to the light, Heo Im! This episode was heartbreaking for different reasons than the previous one—if seeing Ddak-sae die and Im grovel for his life made me rage against the injustice of Joseon’s class system, watching Im sell his soul made me despair for him. It was clear that Yeon-kyung felt the same way watching Im repeatedly turn his back on her. Now that she knows why he’s behaving this way she can no longer be angry at him, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t worry about him, and she’s certainly not going to give up on him. I saw a new kind of steel in Yeon-kyung this hour, one rooted not just in stubborn pride, but in the desire to truly be there for Im in a way that no one else in the modern world can.

In fact, in recognizing that Im’s pride is useless and even dangerous, she gives up her own, although I don’t know if she’s realized it. She was so stiff and unbending in her demeanor when we met her, and yet she faces Im’s repeated rejections with a smile. Instead of getting upset when he rebuffs her, she simply tries to think of another way to reach him. Now that she knows that his actions come from trauma, she’s thinking like a doctor and trying to figure out the optimal way of treating his illness—and as always, saving the patient is her number one priority.

Of course, judging by that final scene, Im may be beyond even Yeon-kyung’s help at this point, and I wouldn’t blame her if this latest betrayal pushed her beyond forgiveness. For Im to expose her deepest insecurity that way—and thus risk her career as a doctor, which he knows is the most important thing in her life—is a repudiation of everything they’ve been to each other since they met. (I do think that she needs to seek psychiatric help, but she definitely doesn’t deserve to have it publicly exposed in such a cruel way!)

Im has never before treated Yeon-kyung with anything less than respect and affection, even when he would have been justified in being angry at her. For him to do this now is an extreme measure that shows just how desperate he is to sever his ties to her. What breaks my heart is that his very desperation indicates how much her mere presence affects him, how tempted he is to listen to her, and how afraid he is of returning to who he was before. He was also clearly miserable and ashamed when Kkot-boon came to visit him at work, so his heart and conscience still exist—but the more often he pushes them down and buries them, the easier it will get, until he fully becomes the cold mercenary Dr. Heo Bong-tak.

Interestingly, although I haven’t liked Jae-ha much so far, he seems to be less of an outright villain than his ancestor, Jin-oh. He has a puppy-like devotion for Yeon-kyung, and although he takes care of her like a typical second lead, I like that he respects her requests for space. He also seems to disapprove of his grandfather’s power plays with chaebols—I got the sense that Jae-ha’s dismay at these excursions is not solely due to his jealousy of Im.

If that’s true, then I’m excited for him to continue to dig into Im’s background and find out who he really is, because that might change the two men’s dynamic from simple adversaries to something far more compelling. If Jae-ha were to find out that Im is the legendary figure he so idolizes, how might his perception of the man change, especially if he also comes to know the brutal degradations Im was forced to endure? Would Jae-ha become Im’s ally, or give in to his already evident insecurities and turn to the dark side? The quality of this show’s writing so far gives me confidence that it will explore these themes in a satisfactory way, and I’m looking forward to it.

As for Im, he’s made it clear to Yeon-kyung that he can’t follow her rules about a doctor’s duty to treat every patient regardless of the consequences it might bring. We know, although Yeon-kyung doesn’t, that he tried to be like her, and the attempt broke him so terribly that he’s decided to leave his conscience behind entirely. I hope for both their sakes that something stops his descent into darkness, although I’m starting to wonder who or what can move him, if both Kkot-boon and Yeon-kyung failed. (Bong-shik, you up?) Im has withdrawn into himself completely, like a hedgehog curling into a prickly ball when faced with a threat. Perhaps the only thing that can bring back the Im we love is discovering something that he wants to protect more than himself. I only hope that doesn’t mean putting someone he loves in danger, because the poor man has had quite enough of that.

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Thanks for the recap, Laica! This show is so hard to watch---I mean hard to find a site that's showing it---so I'm more dependent on the recaps, I feel like! Thankfully I'm all caught up now with eps and recaps---and I have to say, part of me loves this show, and part of me is frustrated that it's not moving more quickly---or maybe I just can't tell where it's going. There's DEFINITELY not enough cute couple moments, but somehow I still find myself really invested. I love the growth and development that the characters are going through (esp in regards to setting down pride, as said in the recap)---but I'm worried how it will wrap things up with only 6 eps to go. SO many unanswered questions, and again, I really need more cute moments between the two leads.

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watch in VIU.com

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No matter how bad, harsh, or bitter it's just KNG that could bring me to feel such pain and hurt with him. Lol he's only using his eyes but already explain so much.
And I'm such a weak listening HyoLyn voice. I'm glad she's singing for the ost, just like in Master Sun days.

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Thanks for the recap @laica :) This episode was hard to watch but a much needed one as we can see how far can Heo Im go to the dark side. I also agree with your take on Yeon Kyung, she does have the heart of steel by being steadfastly loyal in her quest to show Heo Im that she is on his side. Loving both Kim Nam Gil and Kim Ah Joong in this drama. Hoping to see some happy couple moments but not sure if it will be enough as there are only 6 eps left. Besides, really looking forward to know if they will end up with each other as unfortunately, they are 400 years apart...

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I quite regret watching this midway through its run. I've been hearing such fantastic things about it from a Korean friend aside from the ever increasing ratings so I decided to give it a shot. I regret it so bad. It's so amazing that it actually tortures me to wait weekly when I could've started it a few weeks into the future and not have to go through this paiiiin lol.

The writer is quite talented and the direction is so assured, there isn't a moment I'm in doubt of where we are headed. But more than that I'm basically in luuuuurve with KNG. I've always and forever loved him obviously - who in this world doesn't if they've seen QSD??? But it's like I'm discovering him all over again with this drama. I don't know where he pulls all these crazy expressions from. I've never seen an actor be more expressive. His moments of being hurt, dark and dead is gutwrenching. But when he's being hilarious, he's absolute gold. The maniac acting literally never comes across as OTT unlike it usually does with someone like Jang Hyuk for example. It's so on point and he knows how to flip the switch in less than a second. He did that so well in Pirates too actually!

KNG for Baeksangs!!! I didn't quite realize how much I've missed him in dramas until now. Shark didn't have him do much tbh and while I love his movies and the fact that he thrives in Chungmuro, I still hope he can do dramas like this once in a while. I think dramaland would be a better place with better actors like him JIS and GY coming back once in a while!

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Even his dark side looks gorgeous lol

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Hahah true. I hated his hair at first when he had his transformation. But boy does he look good with those chic shirts and that hair actually suits him now?? So weird. Its like KNG magic! :P

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He does look good in anything (basically fangirling for years)

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I have alot to say concerning this episode which was great too. But I will just say this, Kim Nam Gil sshi nice to see your straight face again, kinda missed your melo expression❤❤❤ . Only pain was the mustache missing, but he still did his job well. Choi Yun Kyung don't give up on him, he is almost cracking. Hwaiting!!

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Thank you for the recap, Laica. And like you, my reaction at the final minute was also, a huge OH NO YOU DIDN'T, HEO IM! Arghhhhhh. So painful. Sooooo painful.

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Honestly I was pissed watching him tell her that she didn't have the right to be a doctor when she worked really hard to try to cheer him up. But then I realized that maybe he did it so that she wouldn't be harmed by Chairman Park if his son was stuck at the hospital

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Dokkebi. Must be a Goblin's fan, right?

I always feel Heo Im has Yeon Kyung's best interest at heart. From episode 1, he has been very protective of her, no matter what situation is. Even in the face of danger, he will prioritize her. So, no matter how he tried to portray himself as a jerk in front of her, I just have a feeling that he does not want anyone or anything to harm her.

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Ahhh! That's what I thought so too. The harsh remark he threw towards Yeon-kyung at the end was his way of not letting her get involved with the Chairman and whatever is wrong with his son because I had a feeling the bodyguards would've used force if need be.

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This time around coming back from Joseon, we did not know what kind of death Im was facing but there was a blood mark on his hanbok, so I am wondering of its significance?

It's heart-wrenching definitely though initially I kinda like that Im rebuffed Yeon Kyung as a form of repairment for all that bad treatments she imposed on him in those earlier episodes but came the scene with the granny, it was just too painful to watch. Im was obviously conflicted, trying to suppress his inner feelings of genuine affection towards both granny and Yeon Kyung but at the same time his struggling with his fear of being treated less human due to his status. Kim Nam Gil as always, excelled in conveying all those emotions. What a terrific actor he is. And let's not forget to applaud Kim Ah Joong because her great acting compliments his and these two just have natural organic chemistry.

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oh my god episode 9 as a whole is HEART BREAKING, HEART WRENCHING, AND ALL THINGS THAT COULD BREAK A HEART.

but i do hope when i saw episode 10 preview he will lighten up a bit then GO BACK TO BEING THIS CUTEY GOOFY Heo Im we all know the first time.

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Oof, I am missing goofy the Heo-im in this episode. What the heck is he doing anyway? Why is he being his despicable joseon self instead of restarting his life as the caring doctor Heo Bong-tak? Isn't that's why he drowned the magic needles? While I was shocked he made such an irrevocable decision (unless he knows Hae-baek), I can help admiring his elegant long fingers...
This conflict between the OTP feels somewhat forced imo.

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He probably DOES know Hae-baek :) I'm sure we haven't seen the last of those needles.

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God did i feel for both Heo Im and Yeon-kyung . What hurts is this perception that humanity really has not progressed one tiny bit. We went from blunt and crude speech and actions of 400 years ago to civilized words that cut like a knife ..the daughter in law’s loss of hearing , the young man’s escape and at the end Heo Im hurting Yeon-kyung so much that she almost looked like part of her soul got slashed. When she got slapped she did not flinch in her duties and yet Heo Im’s words cut right through her . So we just moved from physical to psychological warfare of humanity and it ain’t pretty or comfortable to watch and not feel this heavy sadness and pity for all . Thank you @Laica for your recap and great comments.

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Oh man, Heo Im is too broken now. It made depressed to see depressed Heo Im. ?

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So good! I love this show and it tears my heart apart to see Im like this. Thanks for the recap!

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Last week people were wondering how Yeon-Kyung could fit all her medical supplies in that bag -- if she keeps this up she's gonna need room for wrong-era clothes, a wig, and some good spray to use on Japanese soldiers. And don't forget a really sharp scalpel to kill Im with if there isn't a huge rock around.

You just know they aren't going to leave Mak-gae wondering WTF happened, and there has to be some payload for the info the Japanese officer gave about when their troops would arrive in the capitol.

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LOL! That is one magic bag! It can contain so many things, yeah even the clothes, and yet be so flat. Where can I buy one? ;)

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I have a feeling the japanese guy will make another appearance and save them somehow as a payback...

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Is it just me or is Kim Nam-gil a man-god? He's perfect from head to toe! Apart from his fantastic acting skills and natural screen presence, I find myself marvelling at his face (and teeth) most of the time...

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He's not that perfect but he's indeed seem like such a perfect man how to say this.

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I second the teeth. It's his grin that melts my heart each time. And his voice amped up the swoony effect.

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I felt bad for Heo Im this episode and understood his reasons more clearly. I learned to cheer Yeon Kyung on as she relentlessly reach out to Heo Im. And hope that she would be able to reach him. Because I think she can.
I'm crushing on KNG so bad. Really loving him in suits and clean face. I didnt think I would but I do now. His expressions are so animated when he is being silly and absolutely gorgeous when he is all broody. I like him whichever way but for story sake I hope he will come out of this darkness soon. But knowing what happens next episode it may take take him awhile.

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This episode is sooooo heartbreaking???, I can't stand watching the usual cheerful Heo Im turned into someone harsh and cold. I'm glad that Yeon Kyung is trying her best to get Heo Im to open up to her again. The scene where he is embarassed that his 'mom' came to see him is so heartbreaking. What he said to Yeon Kyung about her doesn't deserve to be called doctor was so uncalled for??. I want my Heo Im back!!

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I guess I'm late to the ?party?. ?

?❤️?❤️ your analysis and analogies. Here hoping the writing will stay good. ?

Thanks for the recap Laica. ??

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Hahaha Laica, 'Bong Shik You Up?'

Wow, I can't believe it's already episode 9! Every episode has been so tightly written, it's hard to believe we've already passed the half-mark.

What's even more unbelievable is that the romance hasn't even started. How much I wished for Dr Choi to just give the poor Heo Im a loooong hug. He needs it so badly.

That aside, Kim Nam Gil always looks like he's in a fashion shoot during the modern scenes, and Kim Ah Joong from some l'oreal shampoo shoot. Hahaha

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