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157

Doctor Stranger: Episode 8

The competition for best surgeon ever rages on as everyone plays a game of musical priorities, relationships, and teammates all while the stakes climb higher and higher. Despite having the darkest past of them all, Hoon’s heart is in the right place when it comes to saving lives, which is more than can be said of his metaphor-happy rival. At least our hero’s got a fellow bleeding heart in Soo-hyun, but you’d be surprised at how much heartlessness there is among the doctors at Myungwoo Hospital—though I guess that’s no surprise in dramaland, where caring is usually the last thing on any doctor’s mind.

Ratings are still proving competitive and unpredictable, since this episode saw a drop from 13.1% to 12.5%, while Big Man’s numbers hit 11.2% on their steady climb upward. Doctor Stranger better watch out.

SONG OF THE DAY

Jeon Hye-won – “이렇게 좋은 날 (So Good Day)” from the OST. [ Download ]

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EPISODE 8 RECAP

After Seung-hee agrees to help Hoon perform surgery on the twins, he agrees to rejoin the utterly ridiculous surgery competition. When Prime Minister Jang says he looks forward to working with him, Hoon answers only with silence and a tense smile.

He remembers what Prime Minister Jang did to him, and Jang’s dropped smile as soon as Hoon leaves tells us that he remembers too.

Prime Minister Jang is surprised that Hoon didn’t say anything upon seeing him, and comments that Hoon must’ve gone soft when he goes to the bathroom. Hoon’s there and ends up overhearing, causing an unrepentant Jang to note that Hoon looks a lot like his father.

Hoon loses his temper and grabs the prime minister by his expensive lapels. Jang doesn’t seem sorry when he gives his condolences for Hoon’s father, to which Hoon yells, “Why did you do it?!” while remembering holding his father as he breathed his last. Prime Minister Jang: “Why do you think I did it?”

Since that’s pretty much an admission of guilt, Hoon clocks the old man before snarling that he’s going to win that competition to see what Prime Minister Jang’s twisted black heart really looks like.

While Nightshade and fellow security personnel try to break into the locked bathroom (Hoon’s doing?), Prime Minister Jang says he can’t wait to see how Hoon fixes his heart. “Just pray that it won’t be me,” Hoon says menacingly. Because if he’s the one who performs the surgery, he promises to put a hole in Jang’s heart.

That’s when Prime Minister Jang drops the bomb: “If you want to see my heart, you’ll have to try your best. If you don’t, you might never get to meet your girlfriend up in the North.” Ohh snap.

Hoon stays out of trouble thanks (or no thanks) to Prime Minister Jang blaming the commotion on his own dizziness. But unbeknownst to them, since Chi-gyu and whatever girl he’s using this week were hiding out in the bathroom, they overhear the prime minister telling Chairman Oh something he didn’t know before: that Hoon is the son of Park Chul.

Before he leaves, Prime Minister Jang takes a tour of the hospital and asks Jae-joon why he wants to operate on him. Jae-joon replies honestly that it’s because he wants to become Myungwoo Hospital’s new chairman by proving he’s the best to Chairman Oh… right in front of Chairman Oh.

His future father-in-law apologizes for Jae-joon’s audacity, but Prime Minister Jang is unfazed—he even finds Jae-joon’s honesty refreshing. So when Chairman Oh asks what this means for Hoon, Prime Minister Jang all but shrugs as he says that Hoon has an uphill battle when it comes to Jae-joon.

Chairman Oh takes Director Choi to task for not telling him about Hoon’s parentage, and threatens to throw Hoon out on the spot. But Director Choi forces him to reconsider with the subtle threat that he knows “too much” about the hospital, so Chairman Oh takes the middle road by offering to let Hoon stay in the competition—only now he’s shortening the competition to one surgery. May the best doctor win.

Director Choi gets a call in English from the Mac Robot Voice to tell him that the orphaned boy he’s been looking for, Lee Seung-hoon, recently returned to Korea. Robot Voice claims he’s got a lead on who Lee Seung-hoon is, and that he’ll call Director Choi when he knows for sure.

What Director Choi doesn’t know is that the call is coming from inside the hospital, as Robot Voice goes to Jae-joon’s office and asks, “Lee Seung-hoon?” Jae-joon turns around. Welp, we got our answer as to whether Jae-joon is the maligned orphan.

While the two seem to know each other, Robot Voice seems a bit surprised that Jae-joon is the Lee Seung-hoon he’s been looking for, making it hard to tell whether he’s in cahoots with Jae-joon or not.

The two converse in Chinese, with Jae-joon asking whether Robot Voice has met with Director Choi, while Robot Voice replies that it all depends on Jae-joon. Curiouser and curiouser.

But he owes Jae-joon a debt, since Jae-joon performed heart surgery on his father, and Jae-joon buys him a ticket to China to get him out of Korea ASAP. Before he goes, Robot Voice comments on how Jae-joon’s lego castle is all but complete before asking what Jae-joon will do when it is.

“I’ll tear it down,” Jae-joon replies. “I built that castle just so I can tear it down.” Our episodic dose of metaphoric foreshadowing has arrived early this hour.

Hoon pulls Seung-hee aside just to smile at her for a moment, but she quickly catches herself from smiling back when she sees Agent Cha’s reflection nearby. Hoon seems to notice something off, but says nothing. (This hospital’s lack of security is really turning into an issue.)

Seung-hee tells Hoon that the twins are only getting worse and will need surgery soon, though he’s suspicious as to why she volunteered to help. He also thinks back to Prime Minister Jang’s warning that if he doesn’t do well in the competition, he won’t get to operate on him and will therefore never see Jae-hee again.

However, Seung-hee claims she’s just in it to save the children. They’re interrupted when Soo-hyun jokingly asks how much Hoon is going to get paid for the surgery, and finish the discussion at Chang-yi’s coffee shop, where Hoon has to explain that he took a whole 500 won for the surgery.

Of course, when Seung-hee asks if that’s all he took, he thinks back to charging the gangsters per stitch and shrugs his shoulders in defeat. Soo-hyun keeps the tone of the conversation light as she tells Seung-hee that Hoon’s been saving up to sneak his girlfriend out of the North.

“What do you think your girlfriend would say when she finds out?” Seung-hee asks disapprovingly, and with both girls teaming up on him, Hoon resigns himself to one or two-word answers. He grudgingly tells Soo-hyun the bare minimum to all the questions she asks about Jae-hee, like how they met, whether it was love at first sight, etc.

But each time he answers, he sneaks a look to Seung-hee. Even though he complains about Jae-hee’s behavior toward him, he still answers Soo-hyun’s question about why he still likes her with: “Because she’s Jae-hee.”

Soo-hyun admits she’s envious as she wonders if Jae-hee knows how he feels about her. Hoon’s reply is more cavalier, even though he looks at Seung-hee when he says that Jae-hee wouldn’t know anyway since she’s not here. Soo-hyun: “When you meet her later, what are you going to say to her? ‘I missed you?’”

Surprisingly, Hoon responds by slamming his hand down on the table as he looks Seung-hee straight in the eye: “I’ll save the babies, so don’t worry. But what’s your real reason? The real reason why you want to do this surgery?” Then he turns back to Soo-hyun with a disarming smile as he says that that’s what he wants to tell Jae-hee. Hmm. I wonder if this means he knows that Seung-hee=Jae-hee?

Seung-hee gets called away by Agent Cha, who’s just received word from Prime Minister Jang that he wants Hoon to stay away from him. Wait… what? Okay, let me break this down: Prime Minister Jang moved heaven and earth to get Hoon on the surgery team, which was already risky considering their past together. But now that Hoon is aware of their past, Jang wants out and NOW wants Jae-joon to do the surgery? How does ANY of this make sense?!

Anyway, the plan is for Seung-hee to move over to Jae-joon’s team, since he’s the front runner to perform the surgery now. Or something.

Hoon uses his Genius to pick the twin he’s going to operate on. It looks like Jae-joon will operate on the other one at the same time, and whoever doesn’t end up with a dead baby wins.

They retire to adjacent see-through rooms to discuss the surgery procedure with their teams, even though Hoon’s is pretty sparse compared to Jae-joon’s. To make the stakes higher, they’ve only got a forty-five minute time frame to work under, due to the complications if they take any longer.

And hah, it’s cute how Hoon waves to Jae-joon and his team in the other room like a dork—because while he’s taking the surgery seriously, he’s not as stone-faced as Jae-joon is about the competition.

In the other room, Jae-joon ignores objections from his team about making Soo-hyun his first mate and chooses her anyway. He reassures Soo-hyun in private that he has faith in her.

Now that Hoon has Doctor Yang as his first mate and Seung-hee as his anesthesiologist, he’s got to find a scrub/OR nurse. But the nurse Hoon wants isn’t in the hospital.

Meanwhile, Seung-hee thinks back to Agent Cha’s orders for her to switch to Jae-joon’s team, even though that means giving up on Hoon. “I don’t know what they’re thinking either,” Cha admits, which seems like an apt representation of the writer’s knowledge at this point.

But even though Seung-hee’s being moved, Agent Cha wants, needs, Hoon to win. “He’s just worthless garbage if he loses. You, me, and that bastard will all die.” I feel like this is a redundant question at this point, but, why?

To find their nurse, Hoon visits MIN SOO-JI (Uhm Soo-jung), whom we know as the woman pregnant with Doctor Yang’s baby.

…Or the woman who was pregnant, because Nurse Min won’t answer the door in order to care for her infant. So Hoon sneaks through the window and plays the sympathy card in order to convince her over to his team, even though she gave up being an OR nurse a while ago.

He leaves without knowing what her answer is, though she’s at least considering it. Doctor Yang later holds their baby as he tells her she made the right choice to do it, even though it’s useless: “Doctor Park will never beat Doctor Han.” Coupled with the shady phone call from last ep, Doctor Yang seems to be yet another ajusshi over forty in a conspiracy against Hoon.

Seung-hee breaks it to Hoon that she’s backing out of the surgery, using the lame excuse that she wants time off. I love that he throws what she said earlier back at her (about wanting to save the babies), and that her reaction is pretty much, I did, but today just doesn’t work.

After a conversation with Seung-hee where she was convinced to switch sides, the anesthesiologist who’d objected to Soo-hyun’s addition to Jae-joon’s surgery team, EUN MIN-SE (Han Eun-sun), volunteers to be Hoon’s anesthesiologist in Seung-hee’s place.

This means that Jae-joon now has no anesthesiologist (since they literally all go home early and can’t be convinced otherwise, or something), which causes him to seek out Seung-hee.

Just like she told Hoon, she claims she’s unavailable, until Hoon shows up to try convincing her to join Jae-joon’s team. She’s confused that he’s helping Jae-joon when they’re supposed to be competing, and Hoon replies that it’s because he wants the competition to be fair.

Still, Seung-hee’s a no-go because she’s got to go home to watch Dance Moms. Jae-joon is suspicious of Hoon’s motives to help, and claims that he’s so good he doesn’t even need an anesthesiologist to win. Hoon just smiles and wishes him the best.

Chairman Oh knows that Jae-joon’s wooden castle is a metaphor for Myungwoo Hospital, but attempts to change the way Jae-joon looks at it. He (Chairman Oh) isn’t the castle’s owner—he’s only the caretaker.

The castle owns itself, he claims, so in a The Shining-esque way, it chooses its caretakers. And in order for Jae-joon to prove himself as a possible caretaker to the living entity that is Myungwoo Hospital, he’s got to get rid of Hoon. They say this all in castle metaphors, of course, but that’s the gist of it.

In order to prepare for the surgery, Hoon enters the virtual reality chamber of his mind to imagine how it would go… only to get interrupted by Soo-hyun. Ha, I love that you can hear the simulator power down, and that Soo-hyun’s genuinely confused by Hoon’s behavior.

However, she’s here because she’s insecure about what to do as the first member of Jae-joon’s surgery team—which is exactly why Min-se said she wasn’t fit for the job. Hoon’s not above helping someone on his rival team, because doing so helps ensure the survival of both babies.

She gets uncomfortable when Hoon gets touchy, and after jokingly assuring her that he’s not trying to be inappropriate, he pulls her into a back hug so he can Inception himself into their shared simulation in order to show her how it’s done. (It’s a simulation within a simulation!)

Seung-hee doesn’t look happy to see the two of them so close, but then again, that could just be her normal expression. After Jae-joon angrily pulls Soo-hyun away for a talk, Seung-hee tries reminding Hoon that he’s in a competition—and that by helping Soo-hyun, he just helped the enemy.

“Do you think this competition is a joke?” she asks. Hoon calmly answers that she’s the one who backed out on her promise to be on his team, and then refused to join Jae-joon’s. She stops him with some advice: There’s a lot more at stake in this competition than he thinks.

Hoon asks her what’s at stake. “If I lose, am I going to die?” I thought for a moment that you might be Jae-hee… but you’re not.” When she asks why, he replies, “If you were Jae-hee, you would say that it doesn’t matter if I win or lose.”

She tries to say that it’s because the competition is important, and Hoon gets angry when he fires back that nothing’s more important than those babies right now. He drills it in that those two miniature humans are going to have surgery tonight, a surgery they might not even survive.

“Why is the competition so important when we don’t know if they’ll live or die after the surgery? What’s so important about winning or losing?” When she tries to argue, he cuts her off and tells her to go. She walks away with tears brimming in her eyes.

Soo-hyun is devastated when Jae-joon tells her he’s switching her out for the bespectacled Doctor GEUM BONG-HYUN, since it means that Min-se will return to his team.

But with the way Jae-joon talks, Soo-hyun soon becomes aware that he’s reacting out of jealousy from seeing her and Hoon so close. She claims she went to Hoon for help despite her embarrassment, and Jae-joon fires back, “Was that your embarrassed face? To me, it looked like you couldn’t contain your happiness.” Ouch.

To make matters worse, he pulls rank on her and orders her out of the surgery team. She pleads for him to reconsider, since every doctor wants to try a difficult procedure like the one they’ll be performing on the infants—to which Jae-joon coldly replies, “I need someone who can do it, not someone who wants to do it.”

He further drills in her incapability by adding that someone like Bong-hyun wouldn’t need to ask Hoon for help. Wow. So this is all about his jealousy.

Soo-hyun is given no choice but to accept, and fights as hard as ever to control her tears after. It doesn’t work, poor thing.

Jae-joon sends Doctor Yang a cryptic text asking for his help as a knight, cashing in on the bargain he made to help Yang advance if he helped Jae-joon. Doctor Yang wastes no time in slamming a door on his hand repeatedly… Jesus, Seung-hee can get out of surgery by just saying so, but this guy has to break his hand?

Doctor Yang explains his reasons to Nurse Min, and that he did it in order to get a full-time position from Jae-joon. She’s disappointed in him, even when he claims he did it to become a better father. “Then what about being a good doctor?” she asks, but receives no answer.

This leaves Hoon without a first mate, and since Soo-hyun just recently became available, he asks her. She’s reluctant at first (because Jae-joon made her doubt her skills), but Hoon says all the right things to convince her to take his hand.

However, that’s when Hoon finds out that Min-se left his team to join Jae-joon’s. She doesn’t leave him totally bereft though, since she calls up Seung-hee to order her, as her superior, to come in for surgery. Huh. This was all part of the initial plan Seung-hee with her to get Jae-joon to change his mind.

Now that Seung-hee’s back on Hoon’s team, it seems like that’s what she made all these roundabout plans for all along—that way, she could be ordered to be on Hoon’s team and avoid suspicion from Prime Minister Jang for not being on Jae-joon’s.

Like Agent Cha did earlier in the hour, she admits that she doesn’t know what “they” are thinking, but that the two of them have to continue with their mission regardless. Unbeknownst to Seung-hee and Agent Cha, Chang-yi is following them on Hoon’s orders.

After Nightshade buys off the president’s spy, we (and Chang-yi) see Agent Cha and Seung-hee approaching a darkened art center, guns at the ready. She follows them into the building while the babies are prepped for surgery at the hospital.

Jae-joon is angry when he finds out that Soo-hyun joined Hoon’s team as the doctors start scrubbing up, and accuses Hoon of playing dirty in an attempt to win.

Hoon’s tone stays jokey as he lets Jae-joon think whatever he wants, but he becomes dead serious as he tells his rival: “You must save the baby at all costs. Understand?”

Chang-yi calls Hoon as he’s scrubbing, and he’s able to answer even after dropping his phone in the sink. (Ha, now I kind of want one of those waterproof phones. Damn you, PPL!) She’s well hidden away even though the art center is swarming with bodyguards as Seung-hee and Agent Cha meet with a dramatically-lit Nightshade, and are stripped of their weapons in the process.

Hoon becomes worried for Seung-hee once Chang-yi tells him something shady is going down, and flashes back to the moment where Jae-hee got shot and the moment when he first saw Seung-hee.

Meanwhile, Nightshade tells the two spies that there’s been a change in plans: Jae-joon has been chosen to operate on Prime Minister Jang. As he says that, he pulls a gun out on Seung-hee.

Chang-yi’s eyes grow wide as Nightshade’s finger tightens on the trigger. “I think he’s going to kill her!”

 
COMMENTS

In an effort to try and understand this show better, a task at which I’m currently having a very difficult time doing, I’m going to attempt to list all the myriad conspiracies going on so that we can (ideally) start breaking them down from there. Or at least try to, anyway.

1) Prime Minister Jang’s conspiracy to prevent war in order to become president, 2) Director Choi’s malpractice conspiracy concerning Jae-joon’s parents, 3) Chairman Oh’s conspiracy to cover up that malpractice conspiracy, 4) Prime Minister Jang’s conspiracy to kill Hoon’s dad, 5) Prime Minister Jang’s conspiracy to get Hoon to work at Myungwoo Hospital, 6) Chairman Oh’s conspiracy to get Hoon to stop working at Myungwoo Hospital, 7) Jae-joon’s conspiracy to take over Myungwoo Hospital, 8) The Jae-hee/Seung-hee conspiracy, 9) Agent Cha and Seung-hee’s mysterious mission conspiracy, and finally 10) The “Who ISN’T a spy?” conspiracy.

Phew. Did I get at least half of them? The thing is, it’s not even the bajillion plates this show is spinning at any given time that makes things difficult as a viewer, because when it decides to focus on any plate not related to political conspiracies it doesn’t feel like explaining ever, it generally does a good job. I never thought I’d be the one to say that I enjoy the hospital scenes more than the spy scenes, but then again, I never expected to be weighing in on hospitals and spies in relation to one drama. I guess there’s a first time for everything.

So out of all the listed conspiracies, Hoon’s involvement (or not) in Prime Minister Jang’s surgery is what’s most perplexing as of late, if only because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If Jang knew that his past with Hoon could become an issue, why did he insist so strongly that Hoon perform the surgery in the first place? It’s not like he even chose Jae-joon because of the competition, which now seems arbitrary when it was designed for Jang to choose his team—even though originally the competition was arbitrary, because he’d already chosen Hoon.

If it just comes down to a change of heart for Prime Minister Jang, that makes all of the effort expended to put Hoon in the hospital completely and utterly moot. Even when Hoon threatened him, Jang seemed to be challenging him to win just so he could perform the surgery. And for what? Why did he want Hoon in the first place if Jae-joon was a suitable substitute?

And then we come to the Seung-hee question, and why her existence is a black hole where plausible explanations go to die. I can’t seem to wrap my head around Seung-hee’s importance when she’s been made to look exactly like Jae-hee, works around the only person in South Korea who knew her as Jae-hee, yet constructs her whole persona around not being Jae-hee—regardless of whether she really is or isn’t. While we know she and Agent Cha are working with Prime Minister Jang on some level, this episode also made it clear that he’s not the only one they’re taking orders from. When Jang rejected Hoon for the surgery, Agent Cha and Seung-hee had to put their heads together to figure out a way to make sure Hoon would still win because their lives (somehow) depended on it.

So that means someone is scarier to them than the prime minister, and it’s someone who really cares about Hoon’s fate. But since we’re talking conspiracy theories anyway, I have an equally ridiculous one to throw into the mix: What if Hoon’s dad is still alive? I mean, they never retrieved his body, and we usually know what that means… Orrrrrr do we?

 
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Same idea that Dad's alive! Thanks for the recap and the list of conspiracies in pculiar.

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OMG while I was reading Heads' comment, I certainly thought of the same thing! What if Hoon's dad is alive?

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This drama keeps on getting weirder and weirder.

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This is by far the weirdest plot I have ever seen.

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weird but still.. can't take my eyes off this drama ~~
let's called it 'weird charm' haha

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Omg totally loved this episode. The cafe scene was my favourite - the playful, teasing interaction between JH and PH (my feels) and Soohyun asking those personal questions while JH is there :D. Judging from next week's preview, we'll finally get to see JH's spy skills in action. Hope the ratings pick up - fighting!

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Something's bugging me. How, if she was shot, and was in a concentration camp, and was sick, and had to get an extra kidney, yada yada yada, did she manage to get super-spy skills?

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Its a miracle how shes still alive...

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Maybe Song Jae-Hee has always been a spy. Even as far back as when they were children and she introduced herself to Park Hoon.

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I totally agree there, and have thought about that for many recaps, but haven't actually watched the show (no medical gore for me, thanks.) It makes sense for North Korea to try to forge some ties to keep Hoon and his dad there since they're fairly valuable to them. Maybe she actually fell for the target, and has some reluctance, or whatever, but I can buy her being a spy from day 1.

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Thought about that, but it makes no sense to me. If she was already a spy (in training?), then why would they have gone through all of that "either you or daddy has to die" thing? Or shot her later in Budapest?

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North Koreans are taught to be loyal to their country before family. So I can see how they went through that.

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.....which is actually not that far out a theory, when you consider that the kids are basically indoctrinated since birth.

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Assuming that they actually believe it once they actually see the outside world, and very few do. One of the major problems that North Korea has had over the years with spies is that so many of them defect, even with families left behind.

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It would also explain why her red bracelet was left to her when she was supposed to be in a concentration camp, and why it always stayed so fresh.

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But she still got shot and operated on. That kind of thing is hard to recover from, even in a few years. A body just isn't the same, especially somewhere backwards like North Korea.

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ThanX
It became more complicated ;)

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Argh, why do kdramas make me always root for the secondary lead? I really like the dynamic between Soo Hyun & Park Hoon and despite them probably not ending up together...I'm still rooting for them :P I also really enjoyed the minute sweet scene of the simulation scene. But no...JJ had to go and ruin it all...sigh.

I'm already over the whole spy conspiracies and what they're up to! It's so complicated to keep track because I'm just thinking "...wait, so you hate him but you don't mind him doing your surgery and now you don't want him to and you caused his dad to 'die' and now your right hand man is trying to kill your spies and just what?" Blah. Everyone's a spy out to get each other I say!

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Agreed! The plot is now way too confusing, with too many loopholes that I at the point of "just throw anything at me". Don't even care anymore if I fully understand or not.

Soo Hyun & Park Hoon's moments are adorable to watch. Its really gives a break to all that serious and complicated conspiracies.

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True. Now I'm just laughing at all of these plot conspiracies - here in the States we have à magazine called "MAD" and one of the segments in it was "Spy VS Spy", a totally off the wall take on good spy versus bad spy. This show is getting uncomfortably close to that premise.

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Am I the only one who ships Jae-joon (or actually, Lee- Sung-hoon) and Soo-hyun harder than Hoon and Jae-hee (or Hoon and Soo-hyun for that matter)? They're quite cliche, but I'm really starting to love them now! Though I hope JJ soon rethinks his course to vengeance because putting Soo-hyun in this mess is almost inexcusable.

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They're a gorgeous couple! Love watching their scenes together. But Soo Hyun is kind of infatuated with another man and JJ could be just using her to get his revenge so it's a little difficult to ship them hard. I like them though.

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"Seung-hee doesn’t look happy to see the two of them so close, but then again, that could just be her normal expression"

LOL LOL LOL that sentence is a treasure,Hahaha , you are awsesome @HeadsNo2 thank you so much for the recap. :D

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Many complained her acting skill then as I was watching the scene, it was only her eyes played her role but at the same time next to her, JJ actor used his whole face, changed his angle very slightly etc to express his emotion. To me this scene makes me realized what she is lacking.Maybe because her eyes are big and pretty so that she might like to focus on her eyes when she acts but a good acting must use ones' whole body. Still, JJ and Seung-hee actually look good together.

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Exactly, JJ or PHJ expressed his emotions very well, just by looking at his eyes and face expression I understand that he is jealous he made me feel his jealousy, as for SH i got confused; is she jealous? is she upset cause Soo hyun may ruin her plan? or is this her normal expression?

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She's suppose to be a "mysterious" spy and it keep us confused.

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her confusing acting keeps us confused...
this drama totally confuses me... even after reading the conspiracies list am still confused.. brain cannot compute

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she is exactly like one of netizens said :

5. [+95, -12] Isn't the spectrum of Jin Se Yeon's acting amazing? She's like a tree that never moves, always in the same place with amazing vocal abilities. She's like a 2nd grade elementary school student reading aloud a page out of a book in class. Kya~ definitely has what it takes to be the future lead.

http://netizenbuzz.blogspot.com/2014/05/female-k-drama-characters-criticized.html?m=1

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she is confusing till the extend that I am skipping all her scenes :D

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Ah.. I love JSY the actress and I admit her weakness.

Girl keep getting complicated role, but again she can't deliver.

This Unnie seriously suggest you to take more candy cliché role after this. NO DEATH please.

Ah, hanging there Si Yeonie

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"that could just be her normal expression"

I think it is. Exactly the same delivery as Mok Dan of Gaksital. Her acting, I believe, is one of the reasons more viewers are shipping Soo-hyun and Hoon.

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What's straightforward: Hoon, Jae-Joon and Chairman (Oh? Han?)'s missions/behaviour.

What's confusing, but foreseeably explainable: Seung-Hee (she's Jae-Hee, made to adopt a different persona by the bad guys Jang and N.Korea to work in Myungwoo to draw & keep Hoon there, but actually working on her own agenda of keeping Hoon safe from within enemy lines), Agent Cha (really reports to N.Korea, but working with Jang is part of the job), Director Choi (he genuinely thinks Jang did his best to get Hoon home, believes Jang knows Hoon's prowess and Jang's surgery will keep Hoon working as a great doctor to fulfill his father's wishes).

What's convoluted for now: Jang (wanted Hoon to do his surgery & figured he could control him by using Jae Hee, now realising he could sidestep everything by getting Jae-Joon..?), Nightshade (clearly likes Hoon but follows Jang... also working undercover to protect Hoon?), N.Korea (they're playing nice with Jang, but they really want Jang dead through Hoon..?).

...We'll get there!

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That's how I see it right now too. Thanks for putting it into words; my brain has short circuited since HeadsNo2 compiled the conspiracy list.

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I fail to see what possible hold North Korea would have on Seung-Hee (or whoever she is) to force her to do all this.

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Not killing off other members of her family?

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She HAS no other family.

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Maybe just to reunite with Hoon and protect him.

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North Korea has a deal with the Prime Minister to somehow get the President to the hospital and then have Seung-Hee put him in and out of a coma which would give power to the Prime Minister. Two groups scheming for mutual power.

Hoon is part of this plan because the thought they could control him with his feelings for Jae-Hee. And somehow Seung-Hee was part of that convolution....

The Prime Minister's heart surgery is somehow part of this plan. Like... the best hospital for the Prime Minister's heart surgery will also be the best hospital the the Presidents ___ injury?

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Thinking about it some more. PM's surgery team must be the team planned to end up with the president.

Thus PM switching doctors means SH has to switch as well. If SH doesn't end up on the right team, the she and her handler are useless loose ends. Which is why all three of them could end up dead.

Where it falls apart. If Jae-Joon's team becomes the heart surgeon team without Seung-Hee, then who would be the secret evil players in the team. Perhaps this is where the NK agents' confusion comes in? What is PM thinking?

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IMO, I think even the writer is lost and don't know where the story is headed...
Script clearly needs a good surgeon to perform lobotomy on it.
If not for LJS & KSR, most people would have dropped from watching this drama altogether.

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I couldn't agree with you more....

The writer's mind games with the viewers are hurting the show badly...almost a 1% drop...that's a lot!

He/She keep giving OTP moments between Hoon/SooHyun and Hoon/Seung Hee/Jae Hee.

Yes, we know that Hoon knows that Seung Hee is Jae Hee, so what's with the backhug between him and Soohyun...

These stupid games put me off.

And don't even get me started on the conspiracies....ughrrrrrrr *me frustrated*

On the other hand..on Big Man, I cannot stand the OTP because I just don't think much of Lee Da Hee's acting, which I find super boring...

I've had the second lead syndrome since episode one!

But what I like is that the writer never played mind games with the viewers, even though a lot of people like the second lead.

She made it clear from the get go who the OTP was.

I wish DS's writer would stop her/his wishy washy games and not ruined what is turning out to be one of Lee Jong Suk best performance to date!

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Every time I think this show can't get any more insane, the writer takes another crazy pill. I am convinced by now that when it's all done, that this show will get the "Most WTF Ending Ever" award.

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What they need to so, see, is bring in a spy dog who dies.

And in that way, we get trolled.

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But how would we know if the dog is REALLY dead?

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No one dies in this drama coz they're all mutants with super powers! LOL

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It'll probably come back as the Bionic North Korean Spy Dog.

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The pieces of information are slowly falling together and I’m glad that we didn’t have to endure yet another episode of the befuddling “is she, she is not, or maybe she is Jaehee?” charade; at long last, it’s all but confirmed save from saying it explicitly, that the two are one and the same. I was getting worried that this particular plot point might drag on longer and ultimately just cause unnecessary distraction for Park Hoon when he could be doing something else more worthwhile. Furthermore, what is better with this “non-reveal” is that Park Hoon knows she is Jaehee yet the gesture itself is deferred. I thought that the show will be saving the reveal for a grander spectacle, but cutting to the chase is actually better for Hoon as it gives him more agency and be proactive to saving Jaehee yet not getting derailed to his medical responsibilities. It also saves us from further angst in favor of both character and plot development, as it should be, and actually makes the prospect of blending the Jaehee mystery with the medical action more seamless and acceptable.

Speaking of character development, I’m glad that in conjunction with the reveal, the show is finally developing the Seunghee chapter of Jaehee’s evolution as a character. Although I admit that I actually preferred the idea of Seunghee being a separate entity from Jaehee, in hindsight, having them as separate entities does deter to either one’s development, especially Seunghee, as we start off with a zilch of information about her and we’re (expected) simply to accept everything she does as pertinent to Hoon, much more to expect for the viewers to care for her. Having her be one and the same does set up precedence to her actions and allows the viewers to root for whatever the hell she’s doing. More importantly, Hoon knowing who she is and her probably being aware of him knowing about it, does set up many moments of prodding and testing which ultimately allows us to peek a view at the deeper well of emotions that Jaehee/Seunghee have besides being cold and conniving. This makes me one happy camper, as she is given the proper character development and dimension that she so deserves and needed, which was further derailed in favor of the mystery schtick.

(1/2)

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On the other hand, although more information is being dangled for us to the “Big Mission” end, it’s still frustrating though how the show is still milking the mystery out of it. Yes, we’re aware of who are the players of this mission already is, and yes, we know that everyone not named Park Hoon is probably participating in it, but we still have nary a clue of what it’s all about. Just as the Jaehee/Seunghee mystery, the show can only obfuscate this plot point for so long until people just starts losing interest in it. What’s so special about PM Jang’s heart surgery that Comrade Cha and Jaehee have to be involved in it, or Hoon or even Jaejoon for that matter? Why do they have to have a rather unethical surgical competition when PM Jang could just (and probably already have) easily choose whoever the hell he wants to do his heart surgery? Why does he even want to be involved in anything which relates to being under the mercy of Hoon and a scalpel in close proximity? Why does Nightshade no longer wear his sunglasses at day (or night), if at all? It’s all one big heap of contrived garble if you ask me.

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"Why does Nightshade no longer wear his sunglasses at day (or night), if at all?"

Omg I'm dying. Lol.

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Does there need to be a significance for the reason why Nightshade stopped using his shades? How about something as simple as a change in style or just personal preference?

Just curious why this should be an issue.

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That is the most important issue.

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Why? I ask because I don't understand.

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If you genuinely don't understand I will try to explain it.

Long Answer: It is important because it is the sunglasses were something that we the viewers noticed, talked about, joked about, and made an issue of. Because it is something that could be considered a non-issue, it is even more important the we make it an issue. And because it belongs to us few, it is more rare and special. It is fun to care about such things. Not to mention easier than other convoluted elements of the show.

Short Answer: it may not be important to the plot, but because we decided to care, it is important us.

Shorter Answer: Just Because!

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Can I also point out that so far, the most romantic scenes have been Hoon-SooHyun's?

Never thought I'd want to say, "pish-posh, 1st love/growing up together/suffering together." That's supposed to be the stuff of True Love, and I do think LJS and JSY look great together... but why don't I feel this more?

Shipping Hoon-SooHyun. Sorreh, evrehbodehhh.

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Me too! Any other time in a kdrama, I'd be shipping the first love couple, but in this instance, I love Hoon and Soo-hyun together. I was fine with Jae-hee, but JSY's portrayal of Seung-hee plus the writing oh that character doesn't appeal to me at all. I get that Hoon is still hung up on her, but all I can say is that he should let that love go already. I feel doom surrounding that pairing (and yes, I'm still hoping for JSY's character to die).

I find myself confused with the conspiracy (it's the writer's fault), though the directing is superb and the acting (except for one) is also great. I'm rooting for Hoon and Soohyun AND for Jae-joon to succeed in his revenge. I thought at first he would be a boring second lead, but that twist of him wanting revenge made him a very interesting character.

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though people speculate whom Hoon would be with in the end, I cannot help wondering JH/SH might die in the end. She has to die like a true heroine to protect Hoon. Wait, it is the exact story line in Age of Feeling!!

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The actress has to die in every show she's in, right? This might be a first for her to have two death scenes! She's becoming the Kenny of KDrama-land.

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ROFL at the Kenny of Dramaland.

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Others have said that that actress has died in every previous show she was in, and I see no reason to break the chain at this point.

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Same is true with Kim Sung Joon who played Hoon's dad. All the drama I watched and he was in, he died! If the drama feature Kin Nan Gil, then we would have a perfect death triquetra!!

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"..triquetra..."

I actually had to look that word up. :D

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@atz I'm watching Kim Sung Joon in Eight Days, and since he plays King Jeongjo, who lives through that particular assassination attempt, he lives.

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I honestly don't know why people are so hung up on the Hoon/So-hyun pairing. So they shared a back hug? So what? Was there any indication that Hoon was affected by it at all? All the interactions between Hoon and So Hyun is characterized by Hoon being flirty and playful and So Hyun being really affected by his closeness.

Hoon reserves the intensity of his emotions for Jae Hee/Seung Hee and that to me is a dead give away of who the main OTP are. And it is obvious that even as Seung Hee; she shares his feelings but is just more subtle about conveying it (because she is acting as a spy). Case in point, the jealousy she exhibited watching Hoon and So Hyun doing a "mock" surgery and when Hoon drunkenly hugged So Hyun thinking she was Jae Hee.

What's going on between Hoon and So-Hyun is classic Kdrama second lead stuff and it amazes me that so many are carried away by that distraction. In most of the Kdramas, the second leads tend to be the one more supportive, with more skinship, playful interactions, easy to talk to, less conflict and so on. Good examples of that are Goong, BOF, Pretty Man and so on.

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I am not shipping anyone with anyone, so not really paying much attention to it all. I can't really see even the presumed OTP ending up together at this point, so I think nobody will end up with anybody, they will all just die or go their separate ways.

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Very possible. But my, that is a depressing thought.

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You're so funny. I'm giggling at my work because of "they will all just die or go their separate ways."

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Ships are serious business.

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Soo Hyun seems like the lead actress to me.. she has multiple story lines going on like her mother dying, sibling rivalry, her quest to become a better doctor, being accepted into the family, her mixed feelings with Hoon, her relationship with JJ, being JJ's pawn to acquire the castle. Major players are either connected to her or through Hoon. So to me, I think as lead actress she'll end up with the lead actor.

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That's a curious outlook, but to reiterate what's been observed--Soo Hyun could have easily been written off the story at this point and the plot would still move forward. Not very 'lead-worthy' in my opinion.

1>Her mother is already dead, that plot line is already resolved.

2>Sibling rivalry; as much as her brother is useless to the story, I would probably give it to her being marginally more relevant than him though.

3> I think there has been no question to how 'accepted' SH is to her family. She is the heir to Myeungwoo hospital and her father obviously prefers her over her useless brother. It also ties up to the entire death of her mother, as her father admitted that she was the love of his life, and coincidentally she just so happens to be the daughter of that woman. SH have a solidly secure place to that family, to a point, that her marriage to Jaejoon solidifies that notion, especially considering how much her father seems to like Jaejoon--his protege and is being groomed as the future owner of the hospital. So no, this is pretty much an inconsequential point.

4>Her feelings to Hoon is an issue confined and pertinent to only herself. Changyi too, could have feelings for Hoon, but it doesn't make her any more 'lead-worthy' than another character. This is especially true when Hoon doesn't have the same feelings for her either. She's not even the competition, much more, the 'lead love line' for that matter.

5>Her only real connection to the plot currently is through Jaejoon. Her relationship with him is a fraud, and so the only sliver of attachment left for her hinges upon the fact that Jaejoon wants to use her. It's one thing if Jaejoon is the main protagonist, but he's not. Nor would it even make a difference even if she did end up being a pawn for Jaejoon because it doesn't affect Hoon (the protagonist) and his own set of plotline that mostly revolves around NK, his father's death, and Jaehee.

To go on further, the only reason why she remains under the radar of Hoon is simply because they work at the same hospital. She is on a completely different planet as to Hoon's own orbit.

My conclusion: she's not the lead at all. Alternatively, for a briefer reasoning, SBS pegs her character as the second lead.

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I didn't want to jump onto the shipping game so early but... this episode clinched it for me in terms of Hoon and Soo Hyun.

It's not just about the intimate setup of that pseudo-surgery scene. These are two people who are actually honest to each other (no pretensions, since they started off bickering) and can look beyond the whole conspiracy/competition shit to help each other do the right thing.

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I'm on board the Hoon-Soohyun ship. Never liked Jaehee for Hoon for some reason. Soo hyun has more substance to me, prettier and more human.

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Yes, I agree! I love parkhoon and soohyun together..just because jae hee was his first love, it might not be his TRUE love(which i think is soohyun)..And i also think that when he hugged soohyun to feel her heartbeat, i honestly think that it was the same as parkhoon's!

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I actually found that 'same heartbeat' scene cruel to Soo Hyun, as Hoon has just confirmed that Jaehee is Seunghee, so him doing the same 'test' immediately after to Soohyun only serves as a tease, or as a spur of happiness from his confirmation, just as when you start hugging someone when you feel very happy or excited. In general, I find Hoon's continuous skinship with her just plain cruel. He is unwittingly stirring her up and had I not known better maybe purposely leading her on. Whatta flirt!

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Right! We should root more for true love. Why don't we feel it? Because the actress fails to do so, in my humble opinion. Where JSY falls short in connecting and expressing her character and making it more relatable, KSR succeeds. And the chemistry between LJS and KSR is more light and bubbly.

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"and whoever doesn’t end up with a dead baby wins."

this made me laugh and cry at the same time.
who on earth decided a medical competition was the way to go.

i feel like seung hee's facade is cracking, and im totally digging those puppy eyes / lets-look-deep-and-meaninfully-(and lovingly)-into-each-others-eyes .

monday's a looong way away :(
thanks for the recap! xx

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Thanks for the recap HeadsNo2. Oh and I think you singlehandedly resurrected the dad. Lol. I was sure Hoon's mom will be alive but now maybe dad is alive too. Who knows!

I thought agent Cha and doppleganger are North Korean spies on a mission to get Hoon to do the surgery on PM Jang (to kill him? Install rigged pacemaker?) PM Jang wanted Hoon before because he was the best surgeon but since he recognized him, he's choosing dr mcbroody (JaeJoon).

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I was semi wondering why JH/SH's anaesthesia skills are so important. Are they trying to do a fake heart-stopped death, and blame it on Hoon?

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I am wondering how she ever had time to get all those super anesthesia skills. If you add up all the times she spent in prisons, being a medical experiment, having 3 or 4 near-death experiences, and at least two operations that time comes out to around 48 years (or so..) :P

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if anyone read manga team medical dragon, you would understand why.

heart surgery needs more than just the thoracic surgeon. it will need first assistant to assist with the general surgeon. it will need experienced OR nurse to ensure speedy surgical instruments passing. and the anesthesiology doctor to keep the patient steady during the operation.

during the pregnant mother operation hoon yelled at sung ye because she couldn't administered the proper dosage to keep the patient steady. anesthesiology cover not just keeping the patient sedated, it also controls the patient condition during operation. as the patient condition changes during an operation, proper dosage need to be adjusted too.

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Jae Hee would have to be a genius doctor to be Seung-Hee-the-anesthesiologist. But like you pointed out, Hoon yelled at Seung Hee so maybe she's not as competent after all. Agent Cha created the situation with the friend's mom so Seung Hee could appear as a skilled doctor and get in the surgery teams. At the very minimum, she only needs to convince Hoon that she is Jae Hee and she'll be able influence how PM Jang's surgery would go.

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The drama seems to thrive on spinning twists here and there. I hope the writer doesn't get confused at the convoluted turn of the events she/he created. It will be interesting to find out how the characters will get out of the mess.

I like how Hoon and Soo-hyun is getting the opportunity to work together. Hoon's backhug to teach her how to make her imagination work reminds me of Feast of the God scene between the master chef incognito(Lee Sang Wook) and the momentary incapacitated leading lady cook (Sung Yuri).

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This is the second time Kang Sora make me cry.

The first time is when her mom passed away. I CRY!!! don't know how but watching that scene where she tried to continue the surgery when her mom was already gone.... hurt me like HELL!

The second time is in this episode where she cry after that A** Joon tell her she will not be the FIRST, I cry with her. The way she try to hold her tears.... Gah!!!

Kang Sora should do a melodrama for her next project. It will be the best melodrama for 2014!

And ohmaigad! That back hug is the sweetest scene I ever see!!!

But unfortunately, Jin SeYeon performance in this episode is getting worse. I mean, how can she have one expression for each scene she had!!!

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Welcome to the world of watching Jin Se-Yeon act. Where her performance and expressions for current and past characters are all the same.

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JSY may not be the best actress, but she does give more than one expression. You have to give her that much credit. People are over reacting.

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Speaking of ASS-Joon, why did he force the team to have her as first, and then just a few hours later tell her that she was NOT going to be first?

Maybe if we are lucky, North Korea will test it's 4th nuke on this Hospital of Doom.

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Seriously, I could root for him to take his head out of you-know-where and allow himself to have feelings for her for real and not just treat the engagement like a political alliance, but his petty back-and-forth on a professional matter makes him a lot less sympathetic.

I want to see what'll happen if Hoon hugs him next. lol.

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Should doctors here behave like irresponsible kid? “Soo hyunnie will be our First, oh sorry, you don’t have the ability, give up your position”, “I will be the anesthesiologist, oh sorry, I’m tired, I can’t help you”, “I will be in your team, oh sorry, I go back to my original team”.
Kang Sora crying scene, awesomeeeee, we can see her lips trembling, especially when Hoon asked for her help. We can see Soo Hyun tried so hard not to burst into tears. And I think this is the first time i saw second female lead get more screen time than the first lead, am I right?
Park hae jinn, I don’t know chinese, but I think he speaks it fluently, not remembering and reciting kind. Maybe because of his Chinese dramas? Anyway I’m waiting for his bromance with Hoon (if there will be any)
Lee jong suk sure is a charmer, his body gag, his facial expression, his gesture, his interaction with doctor Moon, aaaaa so cute. And how come I don't ship Soo Hyun–Hoon when image training could be that beautiful? T.T

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sorry what i mean is that I do ship Soo-Hyun-Hoon (hard), just realize the last sentence is a bit ambiguous.

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Holy Swiss cheese, Batman, this script is full of holes!

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TOTALLY STAYING FOR LEE JONG SUK BECAUSE OF HIS ACTING!!!!

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JaeJoon's Chinese buddy looked a lot like the model daddy on the Chinese Papa Where Are You Going? I can't remember his name, though.

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Thanks for the recap! I loved this episode and, weirdly, unlike most of you guys, felt absolutely fine and even fascinated by all this vague conspiracies. Watching 4 dramas at the same time (hurray for summer vacation), I'm thankful that DS is not one of those typical and uncreative motips. Now Seung hee is undoubtedly (or not - it is so complicated - and I love it!) Jae hee, I was melted when they were together, thus seeing no chance for miss Oh.

And JJ's motivation to kick Huyn out of his team is mostly because of what Chairman Oh said, not solely because of jealousy as you wrote.

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These conspiracies definitely have more substance to it than the "who's going to be the husband" game. Though those can be entertaining, Doctor Stranger is on another level. Seung Hee really has the most potential in the show because if she is Jae Hee.. then that opens up the question of who Jae Hee really is.. why was her family sent to camp, has she always been a spy.. etc.

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I just want Hoon to end up with Soo-hyun, I'm totally on board their ship! :) I just wish it wouldn't sink like that of Reply 1994's chilbong :(

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i got dizzy following the story. Can't they just make it simple? I mean the saving of the babies are enough suspense for the episode (who is in and who is out of the team, etc), why bring in the north and south spies in it.

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Seung-hee doesn’t look happy to see the two of them so close, but then again, that could just be her normal expression...

Bwahaha! She is so not acting, otherwise how do we explain her one facial emotion for all. It is a similar kind of frustration when we watch idol trying to act.

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So true. I believe she have the same expression at the camp video shot.

I am just so glad they stopped showing that video labor camp footage. Make up dept need to put some serious work effort in. How can a girl, already sick for days, need kidneys transplant, shot, fell to the river, taken to labor camp, not getting any medical treatment, but the footage showed her dirty like hell, messy hair, yet with such healty cheeks. Come onnnn. Those cheeks looks even healtier than sung hee's current cheeks who probably loose some weights after her screen time increases.

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"I have an equally ridiculous one to throw into the mix: What if Hoon’s dad is still alive?"

what if its his mom, who must be alive and is suddenly all interested in him? stranger things are happening in this drama anyway.

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What if Hoon’s dad is still alive? I mean, they never retrieved his body, and we usually know what that means…---HeadsNo2

Last episode, I thought about the possibility that Park Cheol (Park Hoon's father) might still be alive and come back into play.

Immediately after Park Cheol was shot, I distinctly remember Park Hoon picking up his father's eyeglasses. Additionally, we have witnessed Park Hoon wearing eyeglasses just like the style his father often wore. Therefore when the camera focused on the pair of silver framed eyeglasses among Park Cheol's belongings that Director Choi Byeong-Cheol returned to Park Hoon...it stood out and seemed odd.

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But his dad is currently a CEO at a top law firm with an amnesiac lawyer called Kim Myung-min. I think Kim Sang-joong (Hoon's dad) just played a cameo here.

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Funny:)
Yeah it was just a cameo for Kim Sang-Joong.

What's one more conspiracy for Park Hoon to battle and quest to be reeled into because of love:

* Doppelgängers Song Jae-Hee and Han Seung-Hee

* Park Hoon's father Park Cheol

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thanx for the recap :)

all conspiracy theory aside for the time being, waiting for more clues and revelations. PM jang need new bodyguards. where in da world body guards allow their VIP enter a room without clearing the room first from potential danger. heck, these bodyguards not only missed hoon, they missed two doctors making out in one of the toilet. if hoon or those doctors are actual bad guys, PM jang would already be dead several times before they can enter.

North korea need to train their spies better. they missed being followed by a chang yi, a commoner with no training to avoid being detected.

two group of seriously bad agents, pick one of the worst meeting point where a girl like chang yi could walk in and witness what's happening.

seriously writers need to put in extra effort on the spy angle. we are talking about supposedly top notch agents with access to PM of a country.

but, loving soo hyun and hoon cute moments. need more :)

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I will not lie, I love that those two doctors get it on literally anywhere in the hospital they can.

Chang-yi is kind of superfluous though, half her scenes just feel like they're in there so the actress has something to do.

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Those two doctors are the only ones I am shipping right now. :D

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in under dictatorships or in old communist countries, everyone was a spy in a way, neighbours checked their neighbours all the time and reported any suspicious movements by their neighbours to their authorities. I have read a book about Eastern Germany which tells the awful yet true story where people kept disappearing ( because the government took them away )and it turned out almost everyone did it even among their siblings/relatives. While living in NK, chang yi could hone her spy skill...

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True. Chang yi maybe allert enough to spy on the neighbours. Or even get away with it following other people.

But we are talking about trained spies on a mission, in a country in conflict with north korea. Agent cha was no rookie spy. Sung hee may missed someone tailing her, i expect more from cha. Yet they missed chang yi completely, to lead her to ther rendezvous point with nightshade.

Pm bodyguards are at the level to secure a leader of a country. Yrt after noticing a truck park, they just look from a distance then walkaway. What about securing the perimeter to ensure no intruders to caught the meeting with foreign agents? What if chang yi was president spy? Drama would end at ep 9, with pm arrested for treason. No operation necessary.

A country with conflicts, always have top notch spies and officers.

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I understand now how NJ-chilbong shippers felt in Answer 1994. I ship Hoon and SH SO much it hurts.

But since I watched Answer 1994, I know it doesn't matter who has more chemistry or which couple I like the best, all you need to remember is the main lead feelings.

So, who Hoon always loved and shared childhood love? Who he would give his life for? Who Hoon has been searching for? Jae Hee. There is no answer and he doesn't seem to wave or feel anything more than friendship with Soo Hyun. Just like answer 1994, where NJ always liked Trash, lived with him, liked him since young and only had eyes for him and never felt anything more than friendship for Chilbong, so I'll hold myself and not ship SH-Hoon couple so much because it is all one sided by SH character......

Then again, maybe this drama pulls a dream high, where second guy turns into lead guy and gets the girl even though she had her first kiss and shared first love with second guy lolol or like feast of gods, where the girl also had first love and kiss with supposed main guy, but ends with second (but real main) guy. Hahaha!

Answer 1994 always made clear who was the leads.

Now doctor stranger doesn't. Second female lead has more scenes with Main guy than main girl, second female lead has more skinship and even deep than main girl (the writer is killing her character with her writing and JSY acting doesn't help either, tbh)

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That's true, Answer Me 1994 was very clear about who was the one for Na-jung once the show started, but they also had an initially misleading publicity campaign. Remember, we didn't find out Oppa wasn't actually her brother until episode 2! And all the press stuff had Yoo Yoon-seok as the male lead.

But that was cable, and the Answer Me franchise at that. They thrive on the who's-the-OTP thing. Here, not so much. LJS/KSR have fantastic chemistry, but his character is one-track fixated on the NoKo gf/doppelganger even if he's initiating a little too much skinship with Soo-hyun. Same with her, she's physically affected by him but her head space is all about Jae-joon for now (pity she doesn't know she's just getting used)

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Thanks for the recap and recap of all the conspiracy theories it helped.

Loving the drama even with the holes in the plot.

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I totally ship dr. Quak & dr. Park!

I think jae hee/seung hee will die in the end. Leaving hoon devastated. Then of course he needs time to heal/to move on. When he returns to myung woo hospital and see soo hyun after long time...

Cue their official background song "going to meet you now"
Some lyrics from the song:

Now I can’t think of anything
I’ve held in all the days without you
A difficult goodbye
I couldn’t tell you I loved you back then

I’m going to meet you now
Let’s meet again now
If we meet again, I’ll be really happy
If you’re not here, I can’t do anything
I’m going to meet you again now

Do you remember the times we were always together?
I am longing for our times together
I want to be with you now
I won’t ever lose you again

(And then i woke up from my dream. Hehe)

-But im wondering what will hoon reaction when he found out jae joon is only using soo hyun for his revenge.

-I do feel sorry for jae hee/seung hee when is on the verge of tears.

-did anyone notice rhe small pout on hoon lips when soo hyun went to speak to jaejoon? Or did i just imagine it?

(Sorry i just keep saying things. Please don't get mad. Hehe)

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You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something
that I think I would never understand. It seems too complicated and extremely broad for
me. I am looking forward for your next post, I'll try to get the hang of it!

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Hoon really is a little crazy. What a coconut shuffle to make up the two teams.

I am convinced Kim Tae Sool (Nightshade) is working hard to get Jae Hee and Hoon together without NK or the PM knowing. Presumably, Kim wants it to appear that Jae Hee is dead and if Hoon loses he can “dispose” of him, too. Other than the PM, he is the only one who knows the past of both of them. Really, he is shipping them and is working behind the scenes to get them together.

Lee Jong-suk is killin’ this – sizzlin’ in the long green plaid jacket and all that. His hair ~

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Puppy's hair is something else. It's very hateable but reminds me of Sung Joon in Shut Up Flower Boy Band, so for that alone I love it.

His general styling, though......if I was a patient I'd probably demand that he go disinfect himself stat, a doctor walking around in those rags doesn't exactly give off the greatest impression of sterility lol. Though yes, I get that Hoon is a maverick and all, and no one cares about his torn jeans when he's performing baby CPR.

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Baby CPR was something else. ::FansSelf::

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This week: Doctor Stranger, Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love The North Korean

1. This plot has more holes than an entire dairy full of Swiss cheese. Case in point:
(a) the competition, which could have made sense if Bad Guy Jang wasn't involved in actively choosing the guy who has the most reason to want him dead
(b) The Seung-hee/Jae-hee thing. So now the script claims she's Original Jae-hee, not brainwashed but just pretending......which makes no sense in context of her finding that cringeworthy video of her in the NoKo prison and behaving, in private, like she's never seen it before and is imitating it/Jaehee.
(c) so Seung-hee gets a file on Soo-hyun and is deliberately assigned to caring for her dying mother.....to what end? Why's Soo-hyun even involved in this, anyway? Everyone in her life is an ass.
(d) So NoKo bad guys and SoKo bad guys are collaborating....for what?
(e) not a plot hole, but....Chang-yi suddenly has ninja following abilities? what even? I've given up on ever getting an explanation on how Hoon got from Budapest to Seoul, anyway.

They'd have kept it so much simpler by sticking with Hoon doing the Doctor Stranger version of Inigo Montoya 'My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, now prepare to die!'. Not all this business about doppelganger girlfriends and hospital politics. We already got the North Korea thriller medical drama five years ago with Cain and Abel, and at least that one had So Ji-sub getting scruffy. Plot, what plot?

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Also, I know that the law of Designated First Leads applies here, but the PD seems to be repeating quite a few OTP setups/scenarios from his previous dramas with Hoon and Soo-hyun. And I don't mean generic stuff like backhugs either.

Example 1: The adjacent jail cells post-Soohyun's helping Hoon break into the CCTV room. Also seen in Master's Sun. LJS/KSR are even in the exact same positions as So Ji-sub and Gong Hyo-jin there.

Example 2: The faux-backhug/standing way too close-while-doing-something-else scenario. See: the getting-a-cup scene from City Hunter, the telescope scene from Master's Sun, and now our surgery visualising inception.

Soo-hyun's definitely very physically affected by Hoon, but part of me thinks that's because she's just so starved of love and affection from anyone else. I mean, her dad and fiance are not exactly Mr. Cuddly, swoony car kisses from Jae-joon notwithstanding. (and also, Hoon seems to be a pretty grabby person in general but he really goes the extra mile when it comes to skinship with Soo-hyun, weirdly).

(bonus points for Soo-hyun turning out not to be a geeeenius doctor! I was getting tired of those. And thankfully, she is not to Doctor Stranger what the bumbling cops are to Gap-dong. I can't look at Bodyguard Lollipop the same way anymore after last week there)

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But, is Jin Ye Seon really first lead, or is she actually second? Often dramas show a male first lead all into his first love who turns out to be second lead when another woman, female first lead, shows up and wins male first lead's heart.

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Thanks for the scene comparisons. I'm more convinced that Soo Hyun is the lead actress now.

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Seung Hee did seem like she was imitating Jae Hee in the video. It seemed like she was studying the footage to copy her. But from all the criticism here about her acting, who knows what she was actually trying to portray. Since her acting is unreliable, I'm looking at Hoon to tell me who she is. He seems convinced it's her so I think Seung Hee and Jae Hee are the same person (still possible she had amnesia).

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I get now the stonedface JSY thing. :)
I was going to not talk about Dr. Quack-Hoon couple because those conspiracies listed above are more than enough to keep me busy, but the show is making it hard for me not to. You go team Hoon-Soo hyun! Both for the competition and romance. ^^
Thanks for the recap HeadsNo2.

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This whole surgery competition makes zero sense. And why do it on BABIES?!

This show !!!!

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As totally freaking crazy as it is, it actually makes as much sense as just about everything else in this show.

I mean, after all, we have a major hospital that is filled with spies, traitors, people out for revenge at the expense of patients (patients in this hospital are such a nuisance anyway..). Add to that doctors smooshing their hands so they don't have to be doctors, musical chairs at the team selection, and know-nothing director that wants to put babies out on the street.

It all makes sense, right? ... right....

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The idea is for who to do it faster, not who will kill a baby.

Ideally, both babies survive, and the surgeon who did it faster and better overall will win.

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Thanks for clarifying this in your post. When I read Heads' review, I felt she was just being sarcastic when she wrote that.

It is ridiculous to use the babies for the competition - but that's Kdrama for you.

Thankfully, at least one person, Park Hoon, cares if the babies survive. For all the others, it appears to be just a career move/status symbol.

Can't help feeling that the reason they are using the babies for their stupid competition is because the hospital is paying 100% for the surgery. But doesn't this violate the patient's rights? Is there an ethics committee this can be reported to?

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This show is so nutty. I'm watching it because I'm pretty sure it will end up as a Great Train Wreck that we all talk about for a long time.

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The twin babies have heart defects that needs surgery. In a competition stand point, it's a good choice because they are twins so there would be less factors to consider when comparing the two surgeries. Success would depend on the surgery team.

The babies were going to be sent away because the mother could not afford surgery. Hoon is only willing to compete because this will give his patients the medical attention they need.

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This show has a good display of non-makjang absurdity. I laugh at some parts not because they are comedic but because they are ludicrous. All the conspiracies are presented without any good details to any of them, so what we get is a huge mess. Yet, every week I find myself anticipating the next episodes haha. I think Soo-Hyun is a fascinating female character, the kind I wish were made for female leads. She's kind, smart, pretty and tough. Much of that strong persona is accredited to Kang Sora. I love that instead of being one dimensional by pining away for a boy until the end, she has her own set of struggles that she battles. I want to root for her to succeed...but not in the romance department with Hoon. That's because Hoon loves Jae Hee way too much. She is basically his world apart from the crazy one he has been living in. For crying out loud the boy whole-heartedly thinks she is his soulmate and they share the same heartbeat. I need Park Hoon to get his happiness in the end or else it will be another Lee Kang To and Mok Dan. Jae Hee is a much flatter character but she does't irk me so I'll be happy if she can make Hoon feel complete.

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Highlight of the day: when Hoon goes "Omona!.....tell me tell me". Hah!

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I don't know how PM's surgery is so important like the media and the doctors act like world cup for them. I'm also shipping Hoon/Soo Hyun because Hoon'll encourage her even though dopari. And Soo Hyun didn't care about the inheritor battle when it's concerned with Hoon.

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They literally act like it is the World Cup, Hoon actually says they have 'less than the first half of a soccer match' to pull off the surgery!

(can they stop clapping every time someone does a successful surgery though)

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I found SooHyun's incompetence unamusingly reminiscent of Dream High 2...

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@HeadsNo2 At least this show is funny, unlike Sword & Flower.

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It *IS* funny, but much of it is not intentional I am sure.

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Plotholes aside, what worries me most about this show is that Soo Hyun is regressing towards the pit of second lead obscurity slowly and steadily ever since her arc wrapped up. She is an easily rootable character and a great part of that is owed to the fact that her character arc was introduced early in the show, however, it got wrapped up expeditiously just as well. The obvious benefit is that we get to see a lot of Soo Hyun and understand her psyche which made us love her, the drawback though is that once her arc has summed up she stopped being relevant to the entire overarching plot. Had she actually have stronger and genuine feelings for Jaejoon or had she been more prominent and proactive to her role as Myeungwoo's heir, then we could entertain her presence some more as accessory to Jaejoon's arc. But both plotpoints have seemingly been a bust. Now, most of her screentime is devoted to fan(shipper)-service--a little back hug here, a little exposition there, pining and acting all dithered around Hoon and so on and so forth. Had I not known better, I could have mistakenly placed her on the same side character category as Changyi, who at this juncture, might even have more relevance to the plot. It's going to be really unfortunate if she's going to end up just being another side to the love triangle. Maybe it's tolerable in a romance-centric story, but in here she's not even competition to Hoon's affection, much more, her background and story seems to be the odd one out of the rest of the leads.

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This episode actually got me very slightly more invested in JH/SH's character. At least we're getting something from her now. I'm actually ok with both the spy and hospital parts, but I'd gladly do away with the love. The spy is confusing yes, but I decided to just stop thinking and taking everything the show throws at you and yeah, it makes it easier to watch that way.

BTW, about the ratings, I'm not too sure but I think because DS started the broadcast 5 mins early and people didn't know so the first 5 minutes kinda brought down the average ratings. And it ended 5 minutes earlier so BM's ratings rocketed in the last 5 minutes, bringing up the ratings? I've seen the live ratings chart and I was actually expecting an increase....

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OMO! Is that "Tell Me" that Park Hoon is singing about 5 minutes in? The same song that he danced to when he was selling boot-legged copies in the first episode?

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yes! who doesn't love his personality? <3

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couldn't agree more on your point of the prime minister insisting Park Hoon to do the surgery, but then suddenly just change his mind like that not making any sense at all.

on another point, ugh, KSR, why do you have to be so good at acting. tears brimming in my eyes. JSY needs to step up her game because KSR is stealing her spotlight. but then again, i'm more understanding of her character because we're now in episode 8 and she has the rest of the episodes for more screen time to be emotive. and i did see HINTS of her true character at times.

so far, i'm loving Doctor Stranger. not as much as i did from episode 1~4 but still, LJS is so pretty and good. thanks for the recaps :)

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everything confuses me but i am just going to keep shipping Soohyun and Hoon because they are adorbs<3 if there was no spy shit in this drama, it would such a perf romcom/medical with them as the otp :/
i love jae joon too but he was an ass here, i cant wait til he totally falls for soohyun.
i could care less about jae hee/ seung hee im sorry.

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Heads, why does this recap series sounds like a Dr. Jin in Modern Time with Dr Hoon with Special Guest: Better Acting.

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Another drama with a crazy plot that is full of WTF-worthy elements and going nowhere. Another Heads' recap. Poor Heads cannot catch a break.

And the way these "doctors" turn medical practices into a fricking competition is utterly disgraceful.

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at least this one is kind of fun though. Kind of.

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I love that Park Hoon knows she is Jaehee, but he also knows she wouldn't be pretending to be somebody else without a very, very good reason- they did both grow up in the hell that is N. Korea, after all- so he keeps her secret (and he was careful to protect the possibility of her having a secret from the start- with the medical record switcheroo).

I prefer SH with JJ- mainly because he has admitted that he wanted to take the castle, but the princess makes his heart flutter. He did start things with her for revengey motives, but he really, really cares about her.

I also want SH with JJ because the only way for her to get together with Park Hoon is for JH to die and then we would have a massive time jump (because PH couldn't get over her death in a few months)- and I very much fear that for SH to be with PH the writer is going to do the same thing to JH that happened to this actress in her last drama (Greatest Generation, or something like that?)- milk out this love story forever and then kill her off dramatically, definitely, and stupidly. SH/JJ shipping would complete block that nonsense.

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Finally, I saw more of Seung Hee's inner emotions and I really felt PH and JH/Seung Hee's love for each other in that one intense stare. It wasn't skinship like Soo Hyun and I can actually see them communicating with only their eyes. ♡

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Dad being alive did not even occur to me considering the said dad is currently head of a legal firm in another drama. Getting him back could be challenging...

But hey! They might have shot the ending scenes already and will edit stuff in when needed.

This drama admittedly is confusing and I do think they could have done better with revealing the mysteries a little sooner or not making it so convoluted.

But I am so engaged because I am really entertained despite all the confusion.

Lee Jong Suk is sooooooooooo goooooood so I am kind of all set. I am just having super fun watching him be Park Hoon.

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