You Who Forgot Poetry: Episodes 13-14
With so few episodes remaining, I don’t think I want the wind to change. But I do want our characters to go away with some real growth for their pains these last weeks.
As our time runs ever shorter, I wonder if one Shin Min-ho will decide what kind of person he wants to be for keeps. He’s certainly not the only one with growing to do, but when you have the emotional maturity of a peanut, at least the only way is up… right?
EPISODES 13-14 WEECAP
Bo-young gets complimented and encouraged by her hero, CHIEF SURGEON KIM (Kim Won-hae). He’s shown to be someone who always has time for others, sacrificing his own wellbeing. he suffers from a sudden stroke, which particularly saddens Bo-young and Jae-wook, who also has a warm relationship with him.
Seeing how sad Bo-young is, Min-ho delays his confession again. He ends up taking Nam-woo to the confession buffet instead, practising his lines on him. (Min-ho: “I really like you, will you accept my feelings?” Nam-woo: “But I don’t want to!”)
After some weeks, Chief Kim improves enough to go down to the physio department for treatment, but the notice of the other patients—who know him well as a doctor—sends him straight back to his bed. Once he’s alone, he crumbles into heartbroken sobs. Overhearing, Bo-young grows even sadder.
Bo-young and Jae-wook have still been meeting quietly. They’re meant to have their first real date that night, but Jae-wook postpones. Not in the mood to see a musical on her own, she gives the tickets to Min-ho.
Nam-woo ends up being his date again. Still down after his bad news, Nam-woo tells Min-ho that he ought to prepare for the worst, because life’s a jerk like that. And if you thought things just couldn’t get any worse… Joo-yong calls up to say that his alligator shirt has disappeared. Say it isn’t sooo!
Bo-young returns to the hospital to see Chief Kim again, but to her surprise, Jae-wook is already in his room, treating him privately. Staying out of sight, she leaves quietly.
He meets Bo-young afterwards and takes her home. They share a parting embrace, and it’s none other than Min-ho who happens to spy them.
After Jae-wook leaves, he asks if she’s dating him, which she happily admits once she realizes he saw them together. Furious and upset, he yells at her. Hey man, your feelings aren’t her fault.
His bad temper continues as the team goes on a weekend MT, and he keeps inserting himself between the couple.
They go quad-biking, and Min-ho forces Bo-young to ride with him. He storms down the trail with Jae-wook close behind, ignoring Bo-young’s pleas to slow down. He’s equally aggressive in a game of dodgeball later, pounding the ball at Jae-wook, who pounds it back.
Meanwhile, Nam-woo’s spirits are still rock-bottom. When the others try to cheer him up, his only response is a listless, “What meaning does it have?”
When Shi-won gets the unexpected bad news that his rent has shot up, it’s such a blow that he goes as numb as Nam-woo. The two of them lurch through the day, questioning the meaning of it all. Aw. They are so pathetic and lovable.
In the radiology department, a patient Dae-bang was close to dies and Joo-yong has to break the news to him. Dae-bang insists that he’s fine and carries on with his day, telling Joo-yong that they see countless patients and they can’t cry over each one.
But when he goes home that night, he thinks back to his first patient death. He had made a mistake and truthfully admitted it to her. She was a former radiologist herself and appreciated his honesty so much that she wrote him a compliment card, which he cherished.
When he went to visit her again, she passed away right in front of him, and he was so shaken that he couldn’t treat his next patient properly. His senior took him to task for it, pointing out that his feelings has interfered with the care of his other patients.
Back on the MT, Bo-young confronts Min-ho about his behavior, and he tells her that he’s mad at her for wasting his time on comforting her, when she went to Jae-wook anyway.
But then he whacks her with the car door and knocks her down. Wow, okay Min-ho. Don’t be an asshole because your feelings got hurt, she doesn’t owe you anything. Far from being sorry, he tells her it’s her own fault.
Jae-wook catches the tail-end of the encounter and privately tells Min-ho to show some respect to Bo-young as his senior, but Min-ho reveals that he likes her and has no intention of seeing her with Jae-wook.
That evening, Nam-woo gets a supportive message from his mother, while Shi-won’s mom sends him a video of his twins, reminding them both what exactly is the meaning of it all. They’re suddenly galvanized and hug each other hopefully.
But soon after, Shi-won’s wife calls and tells him she’s been fired. Oh no.
Meanwhile, Bo-young and Jae-wook snatch a few private moments. She’s thrilled when he gifts her with a bracelet he’d seen her admire, but after they part, it slips from her hand and rolls down… to Min-ho’s feet.
When he hears it was from Jae-wook, he hurls it into the lake. Angered, she asks why it’s such a sin for her to date Jae-wook. She berates herself for thinking they were friends and turns heel, away from him.
He trudges alone into the night, reliving his happier memories of her. Finally, he sinks down and cries his heart out.
Min-ho sure does sink his own ship, huh? Though I can’t decide if he’s been character-assassinated by the writer, or if this is the “real” Min-ho. It’s hard to tell at this point what they intend with his character, but I hope his development doesn’t get shortchanged for the couple’s sake.
I’ve changed my mind about Jae-wook, by the way. Min-ho swayed me last week but here’s a fact: Jae-wook has been consistently good to Bo-young from day one, and has always quietly supported her.
He’s as flawed a human as any, but his introversion gives him depth and constancy, creating a quieter, more understated kind of hero. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but if I had to choose between constant goodness and fiery passion, I’d probably choose the former. (I think! I haven’t been offered the option in real life yet!)
Like Bo-young, I feel surprised and gratified that Jae-wook consistently turns out to be a better person than we think—the rare case of someone whose private actions are better than his public. Even better, it doesn’t feel contrived, but instead rings very true to his nature. But perhaps the thing that is most compelling is how Bo-young’s relationship and interactions with Jae-wook bring her to her most womanly, with the maturity gap that I felt before contracting to a point.
I admit that I still feel there’s something of a visual incongruity for me between tiny chibi-like Lee Yubi and rugged Lee Joon-hyuk of the chiseled jaw, which leads to something of a chemical mismatch that my brain hasn’t fully reconciled, but I maintain that a good guy is better than an exciting one, and that’s a large part of the reason I love them together so much.
Not only does their connection begin from mutual respect and admiration, but as it deepens, their attachment to each other increases based on the worthy qualities they continue to find in each other. That’s a very lovely thing to watch unfold, and I find it difficult to conceive that their bond can be shaken in the remaining two episodes.
I guess we can say Min-ho’s been pretty consistent as well, when it comes to how he treats Bo-young: either very well, or very poorly. His growth is like a pendulum more than anything else, swinging for a while to mature, before regressing back to childishness.
What worries me about his immaturity is that oft-present streak of real cruelty, where he doesn’t really seem to have boundaries when it comes to the object of his anger. When he struck Bo-young down, he wasn’t assailed by a drop of contrition. That’s scary, and a dangerous road for him as a human being.
We see the same instinct in the quad-biking and bracelet incidents. When he’s hurt, he wants to hurt in return, and instantly actualizes those wishes. He both blames and punishes her for his own pain, and that is as problematic as the way he physically lashes out. (If that isn’t where rape culture begins…)
He brought up the fact that Jae-wook had also rejected Bo-young the first time, but there’s a crucial difference in the two’s rejections. Min-ho rejected her because he didn’t like her, and he went on to continue hurting her, their misunderstandings notwithstanding.
On the other hand, Jae-wook rejected her because he was scared of starting a relationship, not because he didn’t like her. For Jae-wook, his actual feelings for Bo-young overcame his fears and he was able to make a save of that, and didn’t let the timing get away from him. I do want Min-ho to redeem himself, but he sure as hell ain’t ready to be in a relationship with anyone right now but a therapist.
In other relationship dramatics, I just loved this week’s pairing of poor hapless Nam-woo with equally hapless Shi-won. Shi-won’s probably the character it took me the longest to like (and stop resenting) but he’s kind of like a spaniel, always yapping and nipping at your ankles—annoying, pitiful and somehow lovable. I feel like his character represents the “everyhuman” in the broadest possible way, with so much to dislike about him at first, but then when you come to understand him, somehow those things don’t seem as bad and you end up rooting for him, too.
While got a lot of relationship development, most of this week’s poignancy came from our patients. Though our friends aren’t constantly on the razor-edge of life and death, they still come face to face with mortality on a regular basis. People die, they grieve, and then they have to find a way to carry on.
Our radiologists in particular showed us how in their care of the living, they honor the people they’ve lost, in scenes that are as painful as they are touching. With the physios and Chief Surgeon Kim, we feel how thin the line is between caregiver and patient, and how hard it is to become the latter.
The tenderness with which our team cares for them sends a message of love and hope, despite the suffering that illness brings. It’s this show at its best, transcending the screen as warmth seeps out of every pore.