Hospital Playlist: Episode 10
Romance is in the air as unspoken feelings bubble up to the surface and shake some people’s worlds. While some gather the courage to take the first step forward, others stand in place, still conflicted over what to do. Placed at a crossroads, our protagonists must choose their future course, whether that means continuing down the path they’ve always walked or taking an unexpected turn into uncharted territories.
EPISODE 10 RECAP
Ik-soon tells Joon-wan over the phone about Ik-joon’s visit, and both of them are surprised by his sudden show of emotions. Meanwhile, Chi-hong sits in a restaurant and waves at Song-hwa who joins his table. He’s attentive as always—pulling off a strand of hair from her jacket—and they talk about his chronic pain and residency. However, it turns out that this isn’t a date since Seok-min and Seon-bin join them as well.
Seok-min tells the group that he’s moving into a study room and wonders what “our” Seon-bin will do without him. Song-hwa and Chi-hong tease the two for their use of “our,” so Seok-min admits that they are dating. Song-hwa and Chi-hong laugh at the sudden declaration since they were only joking about the two and know that it could never happen.
Ik-soon invites Joon-wan to her club “I am a Gosu” (gosu means master), and Joon-wan worries about how he’ll fit with her group of martial arts experts when he’s at the same taekwondo level as Woo-joo. However, Joon-wan realizes that “gosu” was referring to cilantro when he arrives at the club and notices everything covered in the green herb.
She introduces him to the one who texted her while they were on their date, and Captain Hong apologizes to Joon-wan for his behavior. He learned his lesson after Ik-soon gave him a warning (aka, getting kicked in the shin), and she barks at him for revealing too much. As a token of his apology, Captain Hong hands Joon-wan some potted cilantro.
Ik-joon hangs out with Woo-joo over the weekend and buys him a sandwich. Woo-joo explains that he’s a regular at the restaurant—coming here with his girlfriend and mother-in-law—and his vocabulary astounds Ik-joon. While his dad praises him, Woo-joo uses this chance to ask for another sandwich. In return, Ik-joon asks him to act cute, so Woo-joo winks at his dad. He’s so adorable!
At the hospital, Ik-joon swings by Song-hwa’s office, letting her choose both their menus for lunch, but instead of two, she lists four items. He drops by Joon-wan’s office next, and his friend freaks out since he was on the phone with Ik-soon. After getting information about the Daddy-Long-Legs program, Ik-joon talks with the social service worker and wonders if the supporter is a doctor since he wants such detailed accounts of the patient’s condition.
Speaking of Daddy-Long-Legs, Jung-won sits at his desk and sighs while flipping through his calendar. December 29th is circled and the note “departure” is written on the date. Rosa calls to ask what he’s doing, and Jung-won tells her that he’s eating lunch with Song-hwa. She perks up at the news, fully in support of the pairing, but Jung-won tells her that she has it all wrong.
His word choice makes it sound like there’s someone else, but Jung-won tells her that it was merely a mistake on his part. He asks if he can visit her this weekend, but Rosa has plans with Jong-soo. She tells him to come the following week but rescinds her invitation if he’s going to talk about “that” with her.
Ik-joon returns to Song-hwa’s office and explains that only Jung-won is coming in a minute because the others are busy. As he stabs the food containers to open them, Song-hwa smacks him on the shoulders for being chaotic. She wonders who he takes after, and Ik-joon tells her that he gets it from Woo-joo.
Just as Song-hwa is about to eat, Ik-joon stops her and counts down from three. As promised, Jung-won comes in right after a minute, and Ik-joon acts shocked by his friend’s immaculate timekeeping.
Seok-hyung meets with his patient (the one who experienced miscarriages) and shares some concerning news. Her cervix is slightly open which can lead to a premature birth, so she should get surgery immediately. As she cries, he comforts her, telling her that this happens to others as well and promises to do his best to protect the child.
While the three friends each lunch, Jung-won tells them that Dr. Chun’s girlfriend broke off their engagement because her daughter was against the marriage. As for Dr. Chun, he doesn’t seem to have learned his lesson from this experience. During a meeting with a patient who refuses to take lasix, Dr. Chun simply tells him to do what he wants and leaves the room.
Song-hwa wonders why Dr. Chun doesn’t get more complaints when she only hears negative things about him, and Ik-joon tells her that he’s in charge of customer service. Cue Dr. Chun scanning the hospital forum and deleting any complaints lodged at him. Well, that explains a lot.
As they finish eating, Song-hwa receives a message about her package, and Ik-joon asks her what she bought. She tells him that she got a wood stove, and he immediately expresses his misgivings about her purchase. Jung-won intervenes, showing his support for her decision, and Song-hwa leans her head on his shoulders as he escorts her out. Heh.
While Rosa drives, she tells Jong-soo to speak his mind, so he does by telling her to keep her eyes on the road since he doesn’t want to die at the same time as her. As she laughs at his quip, Jong-soo asks if Jung-won is really quitting his job to become a priest. He tells a frustrated Rosa that she at least raised her kids well, but she calls them selfish for leaving behind their mother.
Jong-soo declines making further comments on her children, but does share that it’s a shame to have Jung-won leave since he’s a wonderful doctor. Rosa agrees that Jung-won’s disposition makes him a great fit with pediatrics, but even that couldn’t stop him from pursing his dream of priesthood.
If she’s so against him becoming a priest, Jong-soo advises her to avoid Jung-won until a new course of action presents itself. He believes that time is key, but his advice only makes Rosa question his management abilities.
While Jung-won carries Song-hwa’s package, he stops to meet with one of his patients, and on their way to her office, he can’t stop talking about them. Song-hwa turns to him and tells him to get married. He pauses at her comment since it sounds like she’s asking to marry him, but Song-hwa just wants her friend to marry someone and have kids. He tells her to get married since she likes kids, too, but Song-hwa says that she only likes her nieces and nephews, like Woo-joo.
In her office, Jung-won tells Song-hwa to sit since he has something important to say, and tells her that he’s Daddy-Long-Legs. She can’t believe he’s “Grandpa-Long-Legs” (pfft) and is impressed by her friend. He asks if she can take over the program, having secured funding through the VIP ward, and explains that he’s only staying at the hospital until the end of the year. Song-hwa is taken aback by this news even more, but Jung-won promises to answer her questions when everyone is together.
Though she clearly wants to talk about, she agrees to wait and asks about the program instead. She wonders if she should look for other sources of funding, but Jung-won tells her not to worry. Thanks to Ik-joon, a lot of patients have starting using their VIP ward.
Apparently Ik-joon’s friendliness has no bounds as even the prince of Dubai thanks him specifically for helping his mother. As the nurse explains the payment plans, the prince offers to pay the entire bill in cash. Guess Daddy-Long-Legs won’t have to worry about funds for a while.
In the general surgery department, Gyu-wool enters the office with a bouquet of roses, and the professors are more excited about the flowers than the actual recipient. While they celebrate the living proof that residents in their department can have a healthy work-life balance, Jung-won enters the room but doesn’t join in their cheers. When asked whose operation she’ll assist, Gyu-wool chooses Jung-won, and Ik-joon looks betrayed, mumbling that he hates her before leaving. Pfft.
While Joon-wan drives, Jung-won tells him that he sold his car, and Joon-wan is aghast at the news. Jung-won assumes that he’s mad about him selling his car, but it’s the opposite: Joon-wan calls his friend shameless for accepting money for that piece of junk. Hahaha!
They wonder what song they are playing tonight, and though Seok-hyung doesn’t answer their calls, he texts them back immediately. Joon-wan complains about Seok-hyung’s behavior, saying that he doesn’t fit with him while Jung-won says that he doesn’t understand Ik-joon. Joon-wan tells him not to overthink their friend: “He’s just crazy.”
Ik-joon drops by Seok-hyung’s office to ask about the song they’re playing, and wonders what he’s listening to on his phone. Seok-hyung says that it’s a famous song, and Ik-joon suddenly recognizes it… and imitates the voice from the subway. Though he’s kicked out, Ik-joon comes back in to repeat the English instructions, and Seok-hyung has no choice but to block the door—muttering under his breath about his crazy friend.
Dr. Chun meets with his noncompliant patient again, but despite the patient’s high level of potassium, he refuses to get an enema. Dr. Chun finally explodes, yelling at the patient that he warned him, and storms out of the room.
On his rounds, Jung-won checks up on a little girl and asks the mom if it’s time to change that. The mom doesn’t catch on to his trick, and tells him that her daughter is getting a shot which immediately makes the little girl cry.
Joon-wan eats with Song-hwa and announces that he has ten minutes left. She says that’s plenty of time to eat, drink coffee, and brush his teeth, and Joon-wan agrees that he has a lot of time left. These two crack me up.
Jae-hak interrupts their meal to ask about the patient who refuses an enema. He wonders if he should give up since Dr. Chun doesn’t care, but Joon-wan orders him to convince the patient using all his skills. He tells the chief resident that a doctor who gives up on their patients is no longer a doctor.
Later that day, Seok-min and Chi-hong find Jae-hak sitting alone in the office and ask about the patient. He tells them that he did it but by getting on his knees and begging. He assumes the others will think that he was pathetic, but Chi-hong calls him hyung and tells him that he did great. Hearing Chi-hong’s praise, Jae-hak finally smiles.
As Ik-joon checks on a patient, he learns that Gyu-wool has been on duty for three days and wonders why she chose such a hard department. He suggests calling Jung-won to have drinks, but she turns down the invitation. However, when Ik-joon asks about Jung-won’s whereabouts, Gyu-wool tells him that he’s in the pediatric ward, even knowing the exact patient’s room number.
As Gyu-wool predicted, Jung-won is in the room of the little girl who cried about her shot. Unlike before, she proudly presents her arm to Jung-won, and he praises her for getting her shot. She opens up her arms, asking for a hug, and Jung-won scoops her up without hesitation. From the doorway, Ik-joon watches his friend and smiles.
The two of them step out for a smoke, and they talk about how kids don’t lie unlike adults. Ik-joon asks if Jung-won lies and gets straight to the point: does he like Gyu-wool? Jung-won pauses before denying it and wonders why Ik-joon is always supporting her. He tells her that she does all the resident work by herself but never complains or runs away. Though she has trouble sympathizing, she’s working on that shortcoming, and he praises her mindset. He wants her to be happy… with his friend Jung-won.
As Ik-joon leaves, he tells Jung-won that God will understand if he doesn’t become a priest, and tapping his friend’s chest, he says that he should follow his heart when it doesn’t match with his brain. Unless Jung-won wants to end up like him (aw, Ik-joon… you’re killing me, here), he advises his friend to not assume everything will be fine because that’s just waiting for luck. Once his friend leaves, Jung-won crushes his cigarette and stares up at the sky as the camera zooms out from above.
Band practice that evening is Lee Seung-hwan’s “Confession is not Flashy” with Ik-joon as their lead singer. Once the first verse ends, the scene flashes back to the evening when Ik-joon asked Gyu-wool about her boyfriend. She told him that he got half of his deduction correct, and Ik-joon realized that the man who drove her wasn’t her boyfriend but her younger brother.
He asked if she still liked Jung-won, and if she did, he suggested that they keep up this misunderstanding. As it turned out, the roses were from Ik-joon to trick the others, which also explains why he felt so betrayed when she didn’t choose his surgery. Returning back the band, Jung-won takes over the vocals for the second verse, and Ik-joon looks over his shoulder at his friend.
As usual, Ik-joon stops by Song-hwa’s office for lunch, but she already ate without him. He deflates, but Song-hwa says that she can eat again and asks if Chi-hong can join them. Down in the cafeteria, Ik-joon makes Song-hwa repeat the spell before eating, and she tells herself that all the food is hers, no one will steal it, and she’s an intellectual. Pfft.
When lunch is almost over, Joon-wan joins them late and hands Chi-hong a clementine since he didn’t grab one. Song-hwa tells the resident to be nice to the intern (the one who shaved the patient’s head by mistake), but she’s clearly telling this to the wrong person. In the residents’ office, Seok-min tells the intern that Song-hwa was scolded by the other professors, and the intern hangs his head. To make matters worse, Dr. Min calls the intern out as well.
Back in the cafeteria, Joon-wan asks Ik-joon if they can talk today and even offers to go to his house if he doesn’t have time. Ik-joon wonders what the fuss is about, and Joon-wan says that it’s about life. Ik-joon deems it unimportant and tells his friend to text him instead. Heh.
He turns to Chi-hong to ask about his sister, and Chi-hong tells him that they talked last night around midnight. Joon-wan fails to hide his irritation, asking if that isn’t too late, but his comment backfires as Ik-joon calls him an old-timer. For his petty revenge, Joon-wan takes back the clementine he gave Chi-hong. Hehehe.
Chi-hong mentions Ik-soon’s acceptance into the doctorate program, which is news to Ik-joon who didn’t even know she was applying. As for Joon-wan, the acceptance must have been news to him as well as he sits alone at the table with his shoulders hunched.
Seok-hyung’s mom and Lawyer Pyun meet in Seok-hyung’s office—both are horrified by the dirty room—but Seok-hyung is used to the mess as he chucks a pair of pants across the room. The divorce is tomorrow, and Lawyer Pyun tells them that he’ll follow procedure and stop by her house in the morning to make sure she’s still okay with the decision. Seok-hyung is against the idea, but his mom tells him not to worry since she won’t change her mind.
Changing the topic, she asks about his marriage prospects, and Seok-hyung wonders why she keeps pressing people to get married when marriage isn’t even that great. Mom agrees that marriage stinks, but through it, she got a handsome and cool son. Lawyer Pyun admits that he does have a girlfriend, and tells them that she’s a prison guard (in the background, the music from Prison Playbook plays).
Jong-soo tells the hospital director that the Minister of Education asked specifically for Ik-joon for his wife’s liver transplant, but since it’s a difficult surgery, they consult Jung-won on the matter first. Jung-won reassures them that these things don’t pressure Ik-joon and offers to ask his friend about it.
While Dr. Kwon operates on the donor, he asks how the other operating room is doing, and the nurse tells him that Ik-joon is almost done. After the surgery, Gyu-wool finds Ik-joon, and both of them wait around to check on their patients. Right then, Jung-won drops by looking for Ik-joon, and when he sees Gyu-wool, he says, “Hi.”
Ik-joon notices his sudden drop of honorifics, but when he mentions it to his friend, Jung-won vehemently denies it. Getting back on topic, Jung-won informs him about the minister’s wife, and unlike the higher-up’s worries, Ik-joon goes straight to his calendar to see when he can operate.
Since the minister is wealthy, Ik-joon supposes the minister will donate a lot which would help Jung-won’s Daddy-Long-Legs program. Jung-won says that it will until he realizes his mistake and stares at his friend in bewilderment. Before he leaves, Ik-joon asks Jung-won if the minister could donate some expensive machines for his department as well.
Back when Jung-won left with Song-hwa to retrieve her package, Ik-joon stayed behind to clean and heard Jung-won’s phone ringing. He went to pick it up and noticed a text message from the social service worker and put the clues together.
As Song-hwa ends her meeting with her residents, they wonder if she ever swears or badmouths people since she even defends Dr. Min. She tells them that she can swear, and at their insistence, she demonstrates. However, even her swearing sounds adorable, and the others tease her for blessing them.
Seok-min comments on the intern having a date even though he was scolded, but Song-hwa tells him that she’s the one meeting him. The depths of her kindness amaze the residents, and they ask if they can join them. She agrees, and as they head out together, the group runs into Ik-joon who rushes off to a lecture. Seok-min comments on how many surgeries Ik-joon’s performs a month, and Song-hwa tells him that he’s always been busy.
Noticing the full moon, Song-hwa tells the others to make a wish, but the others sigh when she wishes for the intern to become a good surgeon. Seok-min asks if she doesn’t have more materialistic wants, and even these are adorable as Song-hwa admits to wanting a good deck when she goes camping.
Joon-wan sits alone in his office and stares at his phone, unable to make the call. Meanwhile, Jae-hak checks on his patient who refused to get an enema at first, and the patient’s guardian stops him in the hall to hand him something.
In the OB/GYN department, Min-ha hides behind a column and stares at Seok-hyung until he finally gets up to leave. She jumps out of her hiding place to cross paths with him, and asks for a ride to the subway station. Before Seok-hyung can say no, she thanks him for the ride and walks ahead.
Putting on a smile, Joon-wan finally makes the call to Ik-soon, and in a cheerful tone, he tells her that he heard the news from Chi-hong. He says that they can figure something out in person, but after he hangs up, he sits at his desk looking contemplative.
In his office, Jae-hak stares at a box of strawberries from the patient’s farm and finds a note inside. The patient wrote how thankful he was for Jae-hak not giving up on him and promised to remember his kindness forever. Jae-hak cries as he reads the short but thoughtful note, but the moment is ruined when Joon-wan barges in, inviting him out for drinks. Concealing his tears, Jae-hak hides his face in his arms. Heh.
During the car ride, Min-ha marvels at Seok-hyung’s clean and empty car, commenting on how he’s full of surprises. She answers a call from a guy friend, but tells him that she’s busy and hangs up. Seok-hyung tells her to take the call, but Min-ha brushes it aside since her friend calls her ten times a day. When Seok-hyung comments on the large number, Min-ha interprets his words differently and asks if he’s jealous.
In her matter-of-fact way, she asks if he likes her, and Seok-hyung laughs, saying that he doesn’t. To his surprise, she confesses her feelings instead, which leaves Seok-hyung at a loss for words. As Min-ha gets off at her stop, she turns to Seok-hyung and asks him to not pretend her confession didn’t happen. She doesn’t expect an answer and won’t make her crush obvious at work, but in exchange, all she wants is for him to acknowledge her feelings.
At home, Ik-joon takes care of sick Woo-joo by himself since their nanny is off, but an emergency at the hospital calls him away. In a pinch, he calls for backup, and after handling everything at work, he returns home and finds Song-hwa sleeping next to the Woo-joo. He watches them fondly before closing the door.
As Ik-joon makes breakfast, Song-hwa wakes up and joins him. While they eat, she tells him about Woo-joo and how she called her mom for help when his fever wouldn’t go down. She tells Ik-joon to sleep, and he finally agrees to take a nap if she wakes him up later.
Worried about her busy friend, Song-hwa asks what Ik-joon has done recently to treat himself, and he asks what she does. She tells him that she bought a rack for logs for her wood stove, and though Ik-joon doesn’t understand why she would need that, she tells him that she buys it because it brings her happiness. She asks again what he does for himself, and Ik-joon answers, “Eating with you and drinking coffee together. That’s how I treat myself.”
Song-hwa doesn’t know how to reply, so Ik-joon directs her attention to the rain outside. She perks up at that and opens the window to watch the rain. As Song-hwa makes coffee, Ik-joon cleans up, and the raindrops continue falling as if washing away the line that existed between them.
Nurse Song brings her daughter to visit Song-hwa since her daughter has lost her peripheral vision recently. Song-hwa asks if she has not experienced her first menstrual cycle yet, and Nurse Song wonders if the two are connected.
In the garden, Ik-joon, Seok-hyung, and Jung-won eat ice cream and talk about the divorce proceedings happening today. Seok-hyung tells the others that Lawyer Pyun is going to the courthouse this afternoon, but a dark cloud passes over his face as he looks down at his phone: Chairman Yang’s secretary is calling him.
Joon-wan rushes to the hospital for an emergency surgery, and Seok-hyung’s mom waits outside with Lawyer Pyun. Joon-wan comes out with Seok-hyung and tells Mom that the chairman’s aorta ruptured. They’ll have to wait a couple of days to see if the patient will wake up, but the chances are slim. In Seok-hyung’s office, his mom tells Lawyer Pyun that she won’t get the divorce, and Seok-hyung looks up in shock. However, what comes next seems to surprise him more: Mom admits that she still loves her husband.
Camera angles and framing are also used to tell a story, and a great example of Director Shin’s meticulousness is the scene between Song-hwa and Ik-joon at his apartment. A reoccurring motif of their relationship is the line that separates them, signifying their friendship and how they do not cross this line that they established. However, the entire apartment scene is a buildup of Ik-joon’s “confession” as the camera shows him closing the gap between them. When Song-hwa comes to the kitchen to see Ik-joon, the glass wall acts as the divider, but once the camera switches angles, Ik-joon moves closer to Song-hwa and the line no longer exists. Then after breakfast and Ik-joon’s confession about treating himself, the audience sees them through the window as it rains, and the line between them seems to the wash away with the raindrops that Song-hwa loves.
While I adore Chi-hong and his earnest yet gentle approach, this episode convinced me that an Ik-joon and Song-hwa pairing is not only possible but may be the most desirable outcome for these characters. Though it is cute how they had crushes on each other back in college, that history was not enough to make me think that they should end up together in the present. In fact, it actually deterred me from jumping on their ship because I was worried about the implications their relationship would have on their decades-long friendship. Was the show going to take back what they said about friendships by making these two friends come together because they always harbored feelings? However, seeing them in this episode washed away these worries because the central concept portrayed was not about first loves or relationships that could-have-been. Thus, it was not about past Ik-joon finally having the courage to confess, but present Ik-joon following his heart and not wait for luck to make things right. It is because of their decades-long friendship and everything that happened in-between that leads their relationship to this moment.
If they do end up together, I get the impression that the focus is not on missed opportunities, but rather, how friendships can turn into family (sort of like the relationship between Taek and Sun-woo from Reply 1988 and their parents who cameoed in this show). While Song-hwa would brighten Ik-joon’s life, I would love to see her as part of their family for Woo-joo even more. Both son and father love each other immensely, but a part of me still feels bad for Woo-joo because of the way he internalized his mother’s absence as dislike for him. Even though he already has female figures in his life, seeing Song-hwa care for him that night made me wish that Woo-joo could have that sense of stability and love from her every day. To Ik-joon, his son is the most important person in his life, and adding Song-hwa to the picture does not take away from this love but multiples it. While his previous marriage caused Ik-joon a lot of heartache, I think he would agree with Seok-hyung’s mom that he was still blessed because his son was born through that relationship. As a result, any future romances Ik-joon may have is not just about him but his family as well, and in that regard, Song-hwa fits in perfectly.
Alongside Ik-joon’s confession (that wasn’t really a confession but totally was a confession) was Min-ha’s straightforward declaration that left no room for misinterpretation. Our blunt resident knows what she wants, and true to her character, she does not mince her words when telling Seok-hyung how she feels. Because the show took the time to develop her character, I found her confession endearing and bold rather than brash. Instead of another surprise birthday party moment all over again (where Seok-hyung’s feelings aren’t fully considered), Min-ha gives Seok-hyung room to process her confession and does not force him to act. She just wants him to know how she feels, making herself vulnerable without forcing him to do the same. For a bear like Seok-hyung, Min-ha’s direct approach is probably the best method to get him to notice her feelings, and unlike his response in the birthday party scene, Seok-hyung simply looks surprised. Unfortunately for Min-ha, I doubt their relationship will move forward at the moment because Seok-hyung really isn’t ready for a new relationship, and he does not seem like the type to jump into something without overthinking things.
I find it funny that the “opposite” guy friends are even different in their dating-styles. Joon-wan confesses his feelings right away, and is known to easily enter and leave a relationship. On the other hand, Seok-hyung has supposedly only been in a relationship with his ex-wife and still feels bad about their broken marriage. However, they also share similarities with Seok-hyung confessing his feelings to Song-hwa first and Joon-wan acting cautiously in his relationship with Ik-soon. As for Jung-won and Ik-joon, they both end up in situations where Ik-joon’s advice about following your heart applies to both of their lives, but they make different choices. Ik-joon decides to follow his heart while Jung-won remains conflicted and leans towards his brain. Though Ik-joon’s guess about Jung-won’s feelings for Gyu-wool seems accurate, the problem for this couple is that Jung-won still has to decide what he wants for himself. Though Ik-joon framed it as a choice between priesthood and Gyu-wool, it’s much more than that. Priesthood represents Jung-won’s childhood dream, and maybe a part of him thinks that becoming a priest would solve all his problems. On the other hand, not choosing priesthood would mean that he could realize his feelings for Gyu-wool, but more importantly, it would mean that he could stay in the hospital and still be a pediatrician. Jung-won may feel a lot of stress and heartache from his job, but he clearly loves what he does. He chooses to get close to his patients, and from the way he pours his heart out to every child under his care, it seems that Jung-won receives a lot of joy from his job even if he is not always aware of it. I don’t doubt that Jung-won would make a great priest, but it would be a shame to lose such an excellent doctor.