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Yong-pal: Episode 2

Even if we knew that our hero wouldn’t be able to keep his nighttime activities a secret forever, I bet no one would have guessed that his alias would be under threat so soon in this series. Knowledge is power, especially when it’s given to someone who knows what a dangerous card it is and will seek to use their newfound authority however they wish.

If only that same person would pay more attention to the one slipping in and out of consciousness and getting one step closer to becoming a more immediate threat. But it seems that in this hospital, as long as you don’t go into cardiac arrest, you won’t have any chance of dying anytime soon.

SONG OF THE DAY

Park Jung-min (Romeo) – “Heart Attack” [ Download ]

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EPISODE 2 RECAP

After injecting himself and the gangster boss with an adrenaline shot, both men jump into the water. Yong-pal comes up for air, then dives down to retrieve the gangster hyungnim who nearly drowns them both.

Whereas his partner believes that no one could have survived such a fall, Detective Lee is convinced that Yong-pal did because he definitely shot himself up with something. Not only did he survive, he’s made it to shore with the mobster and made contact with Man-shik about his location (and ha, you can still see the police boats in the river).

Once there, the gangsters rush over to attend to their hyungnim, who’s left impressed by Yong-pal’s balls of steel. Recalling how Yong-pal had told him it didn’t feel right to leave the old man behind, he orders his lackey to look into the mysterious doc.

In the Hanshin VIP suite, Yeo-jin starts showing sign of life. Entering her mindspace shows her reliving the same nightmare we’ve seen before—those horrific minutes of the car chase that led up to her lover’s death.

Her heartbeat quickens with every swerve and her body convulses as the dream becomes increasingly more terrifying. Her health monitors go haywire, and just as Yeo-jin lets out a piercing scream in her dream, her eyes open.

Alerted of the sudden activity, the nurse in charge gasps to see Yeo-jin not-so-comatose anymore.

Yong-pal grows upset when his scalpel has gone missing, since the police could look into the serial number to find him. Man-shik laughs in return—the cops have way too much on their plate already to be dealing with small-time underground docs like him. He’s not that notorious, you know.

That puts him at ease, so he asks if the gangsters have paid for tonight’s job, because it’s no use if those guy end up behind bars. His fixation on money even in a time like this has Man-shik wonder if he dreams of eventually entering the loan shark business. And getting caught now isn’t an option for Yong-pal, as that would spell the end for him.

He has good reason to worry though, because Detective Lee retraces his steps back to the room salon where he discovers the bloody scalpel half-tucked beneath the table. Well, crap. He lets out a triumphant yell: “Yong-pal-ah!”

Chief Lee happens to catch Tae-hyun getting dropped off when he arrives at the hospital. Although it pings his suspicion radar, he presently has more urgent matters to take care of, like keeping Yeo-jin in her drug-induced coma because this is the second incident that nearly brought her back to consciousness.

It’s apparent that Tae-hyun is the favored resident of the bunch, getting hand-picked to assist in surgery and visiting wealthy patients on the VIP floor. None of CHIEF SHIN’s praises (who is actually the head of the surgery department, and I mistook him for the hospital director, yikes!) escapes Tae-yong’s notice, as he tells the others that this is all just temporary—no resident from another school has gotten a fellowship at their hospital before. In other words, Tae-hyun’s golden era will soon come to an end.

The overseer of the VIP floor is none other than Chief Lee, who explains away his noticeable fatigue to an early morning house call. He’s none too pleased to see Tae-hyun here since he won’t tolerate him squeezing money out his patients again.

Tae-hyun bows his head in apology, and Chief Shin encourages his colleague to let it go since they’re bound to cross paths in the operating room in the future. That statement bothers Chief Lee, who simply glares at Tae-hyun before entering Yeo-jin’s room.

Seeing him enter that restricted area on the 12th floor has Tae-hyun wondering about the mysterious patient in the VIP suite. He’d heard Chief Lee refer to the patient as “Young-ae,” but Tae-yong doesn’t know of any patient by that name and thinks of the actress Lee Young-ae (of Dae Jang Geum) instead.

The head nurse sets the doctors straight: “Young-ae,” is a formal address for daughters of prominent families. Tae-hyun scowls when Tae-yong nods in belated realization—he didn’t know what the term meant either.

That instigates a petty argument between who’s more ignorant between them, and Tae-hyun tells him to go ahead and say what one would address a son of an influential family then. “Don’t tell him,” he tells the head nurse. LOL.

Instead of answering outright, Tae-yong assigns him a case in the ICU by the name of “Young-shik” aka “Your Lordship.” It isn’t until Tae-yong’s gone does the head nurse giggles and tells Tae-hyun that he’s just been schooled. Still, Tae-hyun is curious about the VVIP patient whom the Hanshin Group CEO paid a visit to. But the head nurse avoids answering and Tae-hyun isn’t interested enough to take the junior nurse up on her offer.

He heads straight to the ICU to examine Patient Young-shik, who recently underwent surgery and has no known family. Nurse Oh isn’t afraid to give her two cents on how it took an entire day before a physician finally showed up to check in on a patient who was only partially operated on because he had no family.

She doesn’t buy the counterargument that the surgeon probably had his reasons, because now the patient is more at risk of other complications. Moreover, they both know that a guardian’s consent is required to operate in the first place, and they’d need further consent for a second operation.

What’s more is that no one, including his workplace, will take responsibility for him, because they suspect he might be from China. Now what will Tae-hyun make of this?

To that, Tae-hyun smirks—he neither caused the patient’s injuries nor cut him open. Why get pissed at him for it? At his suggestion that the patient be transferred to a care facility, Nurse Oh can hardly believe her ears.

Meanwhile, the detectives find out that there’s only One Hospital in Korea which bought this particular brand of scalpel: Hanshin. So when the cops show up to the hospital administrator’s office to inquire about the scalpel in question, Tae-hyun tenses immediately.

At that moment, the administrator calls Tae-hyun out by name: “Doctor Kim… isn’t this your scalpel?” Detective Lee’s eyes widen and Tae-hyun stares back, slack-jawed…

… and then the administrator breaks into laughter at his own joke, much to Tae-hyun’s relief. Whoa, that was close. With that, the man turns back to the detectives to explain how it’s virtually impossible to pinpoint a culprit given the dozens of hospital employees who handle the hundreds of similar-looking scalpels every day.

But Detective Lee is nothing if not persistent, and he won’t back down—either he can return with a search and seizure warrant or they can peacefully cooperate now. Tae-hyun gets called away just then because Patient Young-shik has gone into cardiac arrest, but he’s stabilized by the time Tae-hyun gets there.

We can presume it’s thanks to Tae-yong, who responds to Tae-yong’s explanation that he was busy arranging a patient transfer with a hard slap across his cheek. “And you call yourself a doctor?!” he asks incredulously.

Tae-hyun owns up to his actions, but Tae-yong won’t stand to hear another peep and hands over the case to someone else.

After seeing the detectives being handed off to Chief Lee, Tae-hyun follows up with the administrator. Evidently Chief Lee was the head of the surgical department around when the hospital discontinued using that particular brand of scalpel, so he just shunted off the responsibility to him.

While Tae-hyun finds any excuse to linger outside Chief Lee’s office, the nurse in charge of “Patient Young-ae” aka Yeo-jin, is alerted of another episode. He offers his help, which she immediately declines.

At the same time, the detectives inform Chief Lee that this conversation is less about the hospital’s current supply distributor than to ask what happens to discarded scalpels like this one. To that, Chief Lee replies that disposed tools are sanitized and given to medicals schools or sold for scrap metal. Basically, they can’t account for how these supplies are used once they’re consigned away.

But he does look up the serial number in the equipment log… which reports that this scalpel went missing in the general surgery department. Uh oh. Interestingly, Chief Lee lies that it was sent to the scrap yard.

Still, the fact that said scapel somehow fell into Yong-pal’s hands niggles at Detective Lee’s mind. He ignores his partner’s mutterings that investigating the scalpel was a far-fetched hunch in the first place, but then a thought occurs to him—what if Yong-pal is a real doctor? He says in an elevator full of doctors and nurses.

That’s one very keen guess to make, since Yong-pal could lose his medical license if he were to be found out. Why else would he risk his life by jumping that bridge if getting arrested would mean a six-month jail sentence for anyone else?

Little do they know that Tae-hyun happens to be riding in that same elevator, and he sighs knowing that Detective Lee won’t let this go. He honestly doesn’t understand why the head nurse is suddenly giving him the cold shoulder either, so they sit outside on a bench to chat.

Even if everyone else in this hospital ridicules Tae-hyun for his money-grubbing ways, she always came to his defense, because she knows about Tae-hyun’s poor upbringings and how he lost his mother. Tae-hyun recalls that fateful night all too well, when his mother was taken to Hanshin Medical Center.

The ER doctor had pronounced her dead on arrival, but then quickly changed his mind and admitted her upon hearing that her son works at this hospital. That was when Tae-hyun was still an intern and ran to the ER as soon as he heard the news.

He’d arrived to see an empty bed, but thankfully that was because his mother was still clinging onto life. He’d caught her in time to see her being wheeled into emergency surgery, and pleaded with the surgeon to save his mother’s life.

But that very surgeon had been pulled away to operate on another ER patient — who happened to be a VVIP — leaving no one to perform surgery on Tae-hyun’s mother. The head nurse had been in the operating room that night, and the assisting resident was reluctant to perform an operation on his own.

And in the end, because of all this waffling and waiting, Tae-hyun’s mother had flatlined. Oh god, so Tae-hyun lost his mother because the hospital had ranked social privilege higher than whoever came through those doors first when it came to saving a life.

“So?” Tae-hyun asks flatly. That reply puzzles her, since she thought that Tae-hyun of all people would never turn away a needy person like Patient Young-shik because of what he’s been through. But Tae-hyun disagrees—he’d still be hanging onto the illusion of humanism doctors spout off if he hadn’t lost his mother.

He’s learned that money is what get people treated quicker in this hospital. He lacked the financial resources to save his mother in time, and the same goes for this patient. All Patient Young-shik needs is an incredibly wealthy guardian to be treated, Tae-hyun argues. “What? Am I wrong?” he asks.

“No,” she replies. “The doctor is who ultimately saves the patient. Talking about money or guardians are simply cowardly excuses. As long as you have the will to save [this patient], there will surely be a way to do so.” Preach it, Ahjumma… er, I mean Head Nurse.

Tae-hyun knocks down those ideal notions with his practical reasoning for requesting transferring Patient Young-shik to a public healthcare facility in the first place: a diagnostic test he’d performed in secret revealed that the patient is suffering from an infection. Because of his socioeconomic status, transferring him to the National Health Center (a government-owned, non-profit care facility) as soon as possible would be his only chance to receive the antibiotics the patients needs to live.

Tae-hyun is called into Chief Lee’s office, where the latter invites him in and asks, “Would you like some tea, Yong-pal-ie?” When Tae-hyun stiffens at the question, Chief Lee asks again: “Something the matter, Yong. Pal-ie?”

Instead of denying it, Tae-hyun immediately gets down on his knees and pleads for mercy. Chief Lee knows he has Tae-hyun right under his thumb and relishes in this dominion over the once-arrogant resident.

When asked if he needs to explain how he arrived at his deduction or hand him over to the police, Tae-hyun replies that there’s no need: “Please just tell me what you want, sir.” Chief Lee wonders why Tae-hyun would even think he’d be interested in striking a deal, but Tae-hyun knows the chief would’ve already handed him over if he didn’t.

Grabbing his jaw, Chief Lee tells him that he’ll call the shots from now on, which Tae-hyun agrees to. Chief Lee cackles in triumphant glee. Once Tae-hyun leaves, Chief Lee calls up the hospital director that he’s found just the person to do their bidding.

Up in the VIP suite, Nurse Hwang, the one in charge of our sleeping beauty, treats Yeo-jin like her own personal doll, literally dolling her up with makeup for her own pleasure. So. Creepy.

Chief Lee introduces Tae-hyun to the actual hospital director Byung, citing that he’s smart, greedy, and therefore, trustworthy enough to work for them. Tae-hyun’s reputation of fixing up gangsters precedes him, and he honestly replies that he did it because he needed the money.

Visibly afraid for his own fate, Tae-hyun drops down to his knees to ask for mercy. Director Byung seems pleased with his subservient attitude, and Tae-hyun says he’s willing to do anything.

Tae-hyun is so desperate that he even uses the words, “I render what little humble service I can offer you,” and speaks of his willingness once more. He’s told that he won’t be able to treat gangsters from here on out—which he readily agrees to stop—but then hesitates at the idea that he won’t be able to perform surgery anymore either.

“Yes, it doesn’t matter as long as you save me,” Tae-hyun concedes, trying hard so that his sadness doesn’t betray his words. Chief Lee tells the hospital director that it’s no problem since Tae-hyun has no self-respect or pride as a surgeon. The men share a drink to seal the deal.

In the car, Chief Lee remarks that Tae-hyun got off easy tonight. What were his post-residency plans anyway? He chuckles at Tae-hyun’s modest answer of being employed as a salaried doctor—why Tae-hyun would probably still go running around making house calls for the mafia.

No, Tae-hyun will start working on the VIP floor starting tomorrow. From there he’ll obtain a fellowship here, join the permanent staff, and eventually become a chief surgeon: “Like me,” Chief Lee finishes with a smirk.

Dropped off at the hospital entrance, Tae-hyun sighs at how he won’t be able to pick up a scalpel anymore. He calls up his sister to tell her about his “promotion” to the VIP floor, where the patients are referred to as “guests” or “patrons.” He admits that he had a few drinks tonight, and says this promotion is a big deal.

He walks in just in time to overhear that Patient Young-shik has gone into arrest. The resident is able to bring him back, but doesn’t think he’ll make it through the night. They both know how another cardiac arrest could kill him, so Tae-hyun resolves that this will be his final surgery. Whoa there buddy, you’re not sober.

The other resident can pick up on that too, but he’s so happy that Tae-hyun will take over his shift that he just skips off. To think—someone gave that kid a medical license.

In any case, Tae-hyun starts detaching the patient from his monitors under the pretense that he needs an x-ray. Nurse Oh isn’t inclined to let this patient go anywhere, to which Tae-hyun stresses that they need to get him an x-ray if they want to save him.

Patient Young-shik is suffering from internal bleeding, and the increased pressure in his abdomen is pressing upon his heart. So what does he need right now? Nurse Oh: “He needs surger–” Tae-hyun: “No, he needs an x-ray.”

He starts over again and repeats the patient’s current state and the question. Every time Nurse Oh starts saying “surgery,” he cuts her off. As per hospital policy, they cannot operate on a patient without a guardian’s consent and who does not have the means to pay for the procedure. So what can they do for free?

It takes Nurse Oh another full minute to catch on to his meaning, and once she does, they wheel Patient Young-shik into the elevator. Tae-hyun gives her an out, but she refuses to leave now, and so they hurry to move the patient into the operating room.

Upstairs in the VIP floor, the health monitors start to go haywire again in Yeo-jin’s suite. And then her eyes fly open.

Nurse Hwang enters the room to check in, but gasps when she discovers the empty bed and a broken vase on the floor. Just then, a bloody hand appears followed by a very much alive Yeo-jin with a broken shard in her hand.

And when Nurse Hwang approaches warily, Yeo-jin raises the shard to her throat. “Don’t come near me,” she warns threateningly.

 
COMMENTS

I had no idea that the Yong-pal alias would come to light so early in the game, least of all by Chief Lee. Since the series has decided to introduce this revelation now, it establishes an intriguing power dynamic between Chief Lee and Tae-hyun because now that once tense working relationship between sunbae and hoobae has transitioned into a frightening master-slave contract. The once insecure senior doctor now has the resident eating out of the palm of his hand.

For a second there, I thought that Tae-hyun would at least try to avoid the direct accusation, but he turns to subservient damage control instead since even if Chief Lee can’t directly pin the scalpel on him, it would be the chief’s words against his. Even if we haven’t been strictly told what sort of nefarious deeds the corrupt hospital director and Chief Lee have for him, I’m inclined to think that it does involve Yeo-jin to some degree, whom they’ve been having increasingly more trouble keeping under in a medically-induced coma (that’s seriously messed up, Do-joon. What the hell, oppa.) At least having Tae-hyun start work on the VIP floor gives him the opportunity to cross paths with the mysterious patient he knows nothing about. And Tae-hyun can’t afford to get caught when he’s the sole provider for his ailing sister.

Speaking of money, Tae-hyun’s love for treating the wealthy patients—er, patrons always felt rather forced, and now we know why. His mother was left without anyone to operate on her because of someone richer despite being wheeled in first. Losing a loved one that way would certainly explain Tae-hyun’s deep resentment for the private, for-profit hospital system, and to a fixation that oodles of money is the only way anyone can receive necessary treatment as soon as possible. Everyone in the hospital knows him as someone who only thinks of money, so I’m glad that there’s at least one head nurse who knows where that bitterness stems from and still tries to get through to him, bless her heart.

And now he’s about to wheel a guy into surgery because the clock has yet to strike twelve and he’s technically still a surgical resident. Have we forgotten about the fact that you’ve been drinking and that both another resident and the ICU nurse just let it go? I know that starting tomorrow, you probably won’t have to pick up a scalpel ever again (and we know what a long absence from the OR can do to people. See: Chief Lee) and you really do want to save this patient by breaking a million hospital rules, but never has anyone been okay with a slightly tipsy person being responsible for saving a life, let alone cutting them open again. I’m sorry, let’s use your words: Pull yourself together before you get them an x-ray.

Stepping back though, if Tae-hyun does get to continue doctoring (which at this point, I presume he will, lest we have a completely different medical drama on our hands about a former doctor performing without a license), I hope we still get to see more of him as Yong-pal. I assume that while he’s stuck under Chief Lee’s thumb, Yong-pal will be more of an errand boy making house calls for the wealthy, but I liked the angle of Yong-pal performing surgeries on the sly and saving people’s lives outside of the traditional operating theatre setting.

On a production front, I do like this second episode more than the first, which I watched with a more cautious attitude. I liked what I saw and heard, and yet found myself finding it difficult following the editing in-between the action scenes and a boatload of super close-up screencaps. The writing on the other hand, has proven itself to be more intriguing, with its tiny moments of humor and the characters written to be more cunning (for the most part) than you’d usually find in dramaland. Even with its early shortcomings, the show continues to pull me in, leaving me with a desire to try and unpack the mystery of this dramaverse filled with a detective who just didn’t take a look at the equipment log himself, and a heroine who’s just inches to death mere minutes after waking up to a hellish reality.

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Surprisingly, I found myslef waiting for this drama to start when Mask went a little bit downhill from episode 16 onward so I watched it with a really high expectations. Luckily, despite its flaws I wasn't let down, moreover I got even more than I asked. I always liked the mixture of genres be it in books or movies so seeing this as an action show about revenge, epic love between two people from different worlds, fighting for your family, life-changing dilemmas and medical philosphy just clicks with me so much.
It's as addicitive as Mask at its earliest, but I hope it doesn't become sloppy mid-run. Waiting for some real acting from Kim Tae Hee, which I'm a fan and Joo Won's and her scenes together, which I assume happens next week. There's something compelling about their romance(which is about to happen anyway) with this fairytale-esque setup. With Yeojin being Rapunzel and Taehyun her Prince Charming.
Hope it keeps going as well as it started, Yong Pal hwaiting!

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I hope it's only 16 episodes. The trauma with Mask is still apparent. I agree with your opinion on the fairy-tale-esque romance. In the preview it's said Yongpal will bring the outside world to her. I like it already so I hope they won't mess up in the middle and the end.

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Exactly, I read somewhere that initally she will bribe him into helping her, but then he'll start coming to her every night and talk about himself (talk about each other I suppose, but it read like this) and despite her intentions, she'll fall in love with him.
But I agree, the fairytale premise is what mostly lured me, I really hope it doesn't drag into 20-episodes, because approx 1 out of 100 dramas REALLY have material to air for so long, most of them just slow down and stagnate, just to finish with disappointing ending.
I believe in you, dear writers!

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I like this episode more than the first. It's more cohesive though I miss the gangsters and action. I like the scene where he debates with ICU nurse.
On the other hand, Han Yeo Jin is sure the VVIP who was admitted when Yongpal's mom died. It will be an interesting revelation later on. There's still mamy mysteries surrounding her. Why her bf was chased? Why wasn't he scared? How much she knows about her brother's evil intention? What made her jump in the first place? I think we'll know them through the conversation between her and Yongpal.

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I don't really think Chief Lee said the words of him rising through the hospital ranks with a smirk though. He looked sad, slightly wistful. Like he too made a deal with the devil and now regrets it because he can't go back. I find it sadder because he probably hasn't thought deeply about why exactly the persona Yong-Pal had to be created. He probably thinks that Tae-hyun is doing it because he's money grabby and figures he might not regret the choice as much since that was what he wanted any way.

I'm holding on to the hope that Tae-hyun will turn out differently from Chief Lee and show that they're cut from different cloth. Also wondering how the news of his promotion will go down with Tae-yong who is convinced that Tae-hyun won't get a fellowship at the hospital. I'm practically cackling with glee. Serves the egoist right. Although considering that that would mean Tae-hyun won't do surgery again, I'm definitely feeling sad.

But on a brighter note, Yeo-jin is awake *dancing. Yong-Pal, you have my full attention for the next two months. Make it count.

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You are right, it wasn't a smirk, he looked wistful and kind of sad. There's bound to be a back story and perhaps we might see a change of heart later. But I want him evil now, LOL. Talk about the villain Chief Lee, I am glad we get to see his insecurities, lack of self esteem and how gleeful he is when he finally has a chance to get an upper hand on Kim Tae Hyun. It's to Jun Woong In's credit that he avoids making his character a caricature.

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Lol. I don't know if I see him as evil though. Do-joon? Most certainly. It takes a level of villainy to keep your sister in a medically induced coma. But Chief Lee? Till now I still see him as petty and like you said insecure. But then again, maybe it's because when I think of evil and Jun Woong In, I think of of Min Joon-gook in 'I can hear your voice'.

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I agree. For me JWI will forever be that bad guy from I Can Hear Your Voice. When I look on him I just see Evil villain. He does that look so well. And its such a shame bc I was hoping he'd be a good guy in this. I would really love to c him play a good guy in a dramafor once.

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He played a good guy, as the eldest of the Ojakgyo Brothers. And Joo Won played one of his younger brothers.

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I agree to your comment about Chief Lee giving rather sad smile than a smirk. I really hope that we get to see a positive dynamic between Tae-hyun and Chief Lee in future!

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Me too. Because honestly, I think those two were roped into the situation and if Tae-hyun wants a shot of remaining a doctor at the end of the series, all the players that know him to be Yong-pal have to be willing to keep silent and or help him out. Plus, I can just imagine the mentor-mentee relationship that the two of them can have. But idealist, who realized that being materialistic has a certain power in the world and can balance both sides of the coin. It would be an interesting dynamic.

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I'm definitely all here for Chief Lee's actor playing something beyond flat out evil and vile. Lord knows he's good at evil, but I find him way more compelling when he gets some sympathetic traits to play around with as an actor. Whenever he pops up in a drama, I know it's 90% likely he's gonna be a villain but I always hope for a nuanced character at the very least.

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@ Itenoria, @ss, @wonpal

I was thinking the same thing and hoping that although they begin as antagonists, they might somewhere along the line end up helping each other. Perhaps Chief Lee will see enough of himself in Yong Pal to get him out of the system. Even better if a reluctant bromance may be had!!! :)

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Yes! You can never have enough bromance. All hail the power of the bromance. Lol. Chief Lee, Tae-hyun, we've got our eyes on you. Please bring us the bromance.

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Did you see the press con pictures? Joo Won and Jung Woong In holding hands going up to the stage :D

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No I did not see it :(. Do you have a link?

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For @Itenoria, since I can't reply to you, I'll just have to reply to myself.

It's somewhere in the 12th post on this page http://forums.soompi.com/en/topic/348090-current-drama-2015-yong-pal-용팔이-wed-thurs-10pm-kst-ep-3-on-aug-12/?do=findComment&comment=19162465

You need to click "Reveal hidden contents" soompi hides pictures under this once you exceed 2 or 3 pics in a post.

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@SS. Had to reply this post since the post with the link doesn't have a reply icon (I wonder why). Oh my goodness! *Squee! The hand clenching and both of them laughing. I smell bromance and it is looking good! *doublesquee. You just made my day :D. Awesome!

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They were co-stars before in Ojakgyo Brothers and I think were/are both theater actors. I, too, am hoping for a bromance between the two in the near future! ^^

On a side note, I am so excited for the next episodes! I think we'll be having the makeover episode or something to that effect? This time, reversed. kekeke! I wonder if it's because Yongpal's VVIP 'client' asked for it, like a fetish or something? hahahaha! Can't Wednesday come any sooner??

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I enjoyed the show until that scene where Tae Hyun readily confessed being Yong Pal when Chief Lee confronted him. That development really felt like a forced and convenient plot point so the hero can finally work on the 12th flr and meet the heroine. Tae Hyun's character really felt smarter than that wherein he can wiggle his way out of that mess, which were only suspicions at that point.
But overall the show still feels fun, and Joo Won masterfully transformed himself yet again.

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I don't know if it's a plot point and if it is, I hope it means the writer has lots of material to work on so things are moving fast. That's a question I asks every time a drama surprises me by being ahead. Of course, it doesn't work out all the time as many meander in the middle and peter out in the end. But sometimes, we do get dramas who keep the viewers on the edge and thrill all the way. Hopefully, Yong Pal is one of them.

I agree with gummimochi about how Tae Hyun saw that the odds were against him. Chief Lee was definitely in power to put the blame on him even if he has no real proof. And being handed to the police, even being held up for a while is not a choice for him. Time is running out for his sister.

Tae Hyun is one of the smartest character I have seen in kdramas. That said, he can still make mistakes. As long as it is not of the noble idiocy type or totally incomprehensible ones, I am fine.

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I didn't really find it forced. Tae-hyun has proved time and time again, as himself and as Yong-Pal that he's a man that thinks fast on his feet and uses whatever situation he's in to serve himself. He knew that the detective had spoken with Chief Lee, knew that the record of the scapel would have probably been checked and there's a possibility that he checked it out himself or that he was the last person it was with before it was declared missing.

Plus, Chief Lee didn't ask him if he was Yong-Pal, he called him Yong-pal meaning that he believed it. Even if Tae-hyun could deny it, like gummimochi said, it would be the word of a third year resident over the word of the Chief of Surgery (if you watch Grey's Anatomy, think Alex Karev in his third year over Richard. Who would the people at the hospital and even the police believe?)

So I think he worked with what he had. Figured he could immediately own up and plead, take his chances with the chief as opposed to taking it with the police. He probably figured that he could get bonus points for not attempting to deny it and unnecessarily stretch things out. Hell hath no fury like a boss who thinks you're playing him for a fool.

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He's not infallible. Note his concern over the left scalpel, but no worry about the fingerprints he left all over the getaway vehicle or saliva from uncapping those epi pens. Though luckily for him, the cops apparently don't care about that when they have shiny evidence. ;)

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but the evidence only proves valuable if you have a record....they could collect as many finger prints as they'd like but it does't mean a thing if you haven't been arrested before....

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He did say he wasn't worried about fingerprints and more on the scalpel

so far, the writer has been quite careful with details. I am sure there are lapses but overall it's good.

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Am so happy.Was waiting for the recap since ep1 was posted.Thank you soo much and keep up the good work.Am a fan of Kim tae hee can't wait to see her in action.Once again thank you

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I am not her fan but I like her beauty & acting too

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+1

Hopefully she will not be a sleeping beauty very long.

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Thank you gummimochi for recapping yong pal.

The situation with Kim Young-Shik - the unfortunate guy in intensive care with no money and no guardian and therefore no treatment - can this actually happen in South Korea? Or is this just a drama trope?

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Sadly, I think it happened, maybe not in South Korea, but surely somewhere. When hospital became a commercial facilitation, those things can happen. Maybe not as extreme as portrayed in drama, but still....

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It is not a drama trope.

Read that this happens in Korea.

Kim Tae Hyun is right, the man's best chance is to get treated in the govt hospital.

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I really liked this episode. Tae hyun was so pathetic asking to be saved while on his knees. Even though he had made some wrong choices, I felt bad for him.

Looks like the hero would be employed against the heroine. This will bring some interesting dynamics.

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the scene where Tae-Hyun's mom died really twisted something in me, like a knife. Indeed, he was right - the least you can learn from such catastrophe is humanity.

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Ah I was so ready to dig in the story but the fact that the fiery guywe met in episode 1 is now the puppet of the evil dr. Lee does not interest me at all.
I'll read the recaps though, maybe I'll pick it up later on

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Thank you for the recap. I love first episodes and can't wait for the next one. Our doctor got in a such difficult situation, I'm worrying for him and his little sister. Also I can't wait to see the meeting of our heroes :-)

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I read from somewhere that said Yeo Jin went into a coma for three years.
Tae Hyun is a third-year resident.
And when his mom died while the VVIP was being treated, Tae Hyun was just a first-year.
So, is the VVIP Yeojin? If so, that's going to be some interesting dynamic there.

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Holy shit! Damn! I never even thought of that. If that's the case, that's even more drama for our OTP. Imagine after scaling the hurdles (of her siblings, the hospital, her wealth because we all know that that will come into play in some way or another) and finally being together to get dropped a bomb that Yeojin was the patient responsible for Tae-hyun's mother being left on the table to die in the theatre. Now that would be great writing. Imagine the angst. She's responsible and not responsible for his mother's death. And it still boils down to the money that he's always blamed for the lack of empathy in the medical field.

Another thing to look forward to in the course of this drama. Thank you Hyemin.

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And what really sucks is that she seems pretty suicidal. So that the life that was traded for his mother's, she is currently trying to throw it away.

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Yup, that VVIP was probably her. Expecting the usual... "I love you, but I shouldn't be with you out of loyalty to my mum" trope ... hopefully it does not lead to the noble idiocy of disappearing without a word for years or something. *fingers crossed*

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Thank you @gummimochi for the good recap!

I definitely prefer this episode to the 1st one. I'm glad to see that we are already getting a wakeful and rebellious Yeo Jin, rather than a sleepy and depressed damsel. I'm surprised, but not too unpleasantly that Tae Hyun took the subservient role so instantly. I thought he'd have to be a little brow-beaten first, but he knew he couldn't risk the police and losing his chance to keep his sister treated. It is sad that he has to swallow so much pride in order to keep his cover, but at the same time, I'm looking forward to the shock in all the other doctors when they hear that he will become a Fellow overnight.

I like that he's not afraid to break the rules even if he is not going to get paid for it. I believe that if not for his sister, he would have been a doctor through and through, putting his patients first and not the money.

So I'm looking forward to seeing him do some real doctoring besides baby-sitting Yeo Jin and of course to watch the couple dynamics unfold between 2 rebellious people. :)

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(...)a detective who just didn't take a look at the equipment log himself(...)
blame that on the warrant the detective didn't have. That minor detail made me hopeful that it would give Tae-hyun pace to figure out a way out before they were allowed to do a thorough search in the hospital.(that hellish place that calls itself a hospital, that operates on the profit from the rich, would have a lot more to hide).
But then he had to go on his knees. Ouch. It's a good plot device, allows for the perfect transition from treating gangsters and risk not only an encounter with the law but also his life, to more money and less danger. He may never set foot in the OR again, but we better still see blood gushing in the homes of Chaebols.

Sleeping Beauty's story is so far very generic. Were they inspired by Sly & Single Again? I do agree with @Matt on the fairytale-esque setting, it is indeed compelling amidst the action and betrayal.

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Joo Won is, as usual, wonderful. However, the plot seems like a mashup between Angry Mom and Blood, which worries me.

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I didn't watch Blood but Angry Mom? How so?

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Rooting out white collar and political corruption with the help of underworld figures.

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Hmmm...then most dramas are mash up of some other dramas. I saw Angry Mom as a story of a mother's love for her daughter and how she was willing to take on the world to protect her. Evil guys are usually the rich and powerful or the underworld. So, it's common enough to be found anywhere. Perhaps only thing that would strike me as more uncommon is the help of the underworld figures, which we haven't seen in Yong Pal yet. Even if it happens, it's just one aspect. Anyway, it's too early to tell. I just hope the show will continue to be good.

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Most dramas aren't mashups of other dramas. It's true that stories have people and places and romances and conflicts and action - but I wouldn't place all these into a category of mashups of other things. Each drama has a pretty unique signature.

I think my biggest concern is that Angry Mom and Blood had very weak plotting. I'm hoping for better here.

The set-up is quite clear at this point.

YP has been caught by white collar criminals who both want his talents and believe he can be effectively blackmailed long term. YP will want to protect his sister and eventually Sleeping Beauty. A conflict will arise that jeopardizes these. He will need help to solve a mystery and vanquish the white collar baddies. He'll get that help from the bald-headed mobster.

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Seems more like a mash up of Healer and Dr. Stranger to me, especially with some of the 'genius' surgeon moves I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of.

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Such a pity we won't be seeing Yong pal holding a scalpel again. I hope this is not going to come true.

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I'm sure that won't be the case. Situations here and there will arise for him to perform surgery with and without the permission of his superiors. This is what we know so far.....there's a mob boss who is so impressed with his skills and his personality so much that he is having his background thoroughly checked, his superior is pulling his strings like he is a puppet and the cops are hot in his tail and the potential romance angle with sleeping beauty has many hurdles involving her chaebol family and creepy brother so its safe to assume one or more life-threatening situations involving others around him will arise. But our sleeping beauty, she can't forever be trapped inside the hospital so she has to at certain point get out. How that remains to be seen??
And I may be a minority and I did not like the lets go perform a surgery on John Doe as he'll die since I am not so bad although I value money more than everything. Firstly, he has tissue necrosis, possible infection. He needs to open him up, cut the bad tissues, suture him up and as he has infection needs to flush his system with antibiotics while he is at that. Last I checked getting an OR ready for such a serious patient isn't possible all on his own. He needs blood, medicine and most importantly an anesthesiologist. I hope they don't just show us the super-doctor opening him up in the OR without the anesthesiologist because that would be totally absurd. Pain is really powerful to cause enough shock for people to gain consciousness. But since episode 3 has not aired, lets wait and see.

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The plot moving to the twelfth floor means more screen time for -hopefully- a great villainous turn for JO HYUN-JAE! <3
Keeping your baby sister in an induced coma is such a modern take on the involuntary mental hospital admissions and the mask in The Man in the Iron Mask. Hehe.

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When I was already halfway through the episode, I found myself asking, "who is Joo Won's love interest here?" I totally forgot that Kim Tae Hee was the one since she was only asleep during most of her appearances in the 2 episodes.

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Yeah, this may be the first kdrama I've seen where the two leads have no interaction at all by the end of the first two episodes. One has no idea the other exists, and YongPal is not much more informed.

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I wasn't planning on watching this since the premise is not something that I'd normally watch but thanks to the high ratings I decided to check it out. Surprisingly I like it. It was action-packed alright & I immensely enjoyed both episodes. The hour flew by quickly. So different from watching Scholar where just 30mins in & I was already dozing off.

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Thanks for recapping the second episode. I've been waiting for it. I'm liking Yongpal more and more each day. I've been watching the last 2 episodes on repeat until Wednesday.
I do wish Tae Hyun is able to continue being Yongpal. If not with gangsters and mobsters then with the rich. I like him doing the underground work. And also now that Yeo Jin is awake I am so excited!!!!

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i think he will still continue his underground works coz it is an attraction to this drama actually..

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I'm going to be sad if he doesn't get to treat a gangster every now and again. After being introduced to Yong pal, I'm not ready for him to just go up to the 12th floor and I worry that the plot might become boring.

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me too :(

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Drama is interesting more and more

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I too think that Yong Pal thinks quick on his feet. As Tae Hyun - he knows that Chief Lee suspects him, by addressing him as Yong Pal-ie.
He also has been angling for a way to access the VVIP area and he has seen Chief Lee go into Young-Ae's room. I'm sure that he thinks that by being subservient ( I hope it's an act) to Chief Lee, he will get a foot in to whatever is happening in the VVIP wing. His motivation now is money - but going forward - when he meets Yeo-jin - it will probably change.

I do hope he still treats the underground clientele - especially since gangster Boss has his minions looking into who Yong Pal is..

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i liked this tv series

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I am glad to see joo won again in tv screen :) I like that in this show the protagonist is smart yet very humane character..not those noble type...hope the writernim can shed more light on the "gang" given the title of drama is the gang doctor..I am very much intrigued by how he cross paths with the underworld. ..make me think of my beautiful bride...

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Hmm...I really liked the idea of this drama, but I was hoping for something like a mash up between Royal Pains and Playing God. I wanted a bit more ingenuity in the doctoring/surgery scenes. I wanted a bit more style/flair from our hero. I find the characters and setup interesting, but yet it has failed to grab me. I feel like I SHOULD be rooting for our hero, but I find I just don't quite care. I will give it another episode or two to see if it improves, but I'm not sure this is the show for me.

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honestly so excited for the OTP and the storyline too! OMG is finishing in two weeks so i needed to start a new drama, and this is proving to be a right decision!

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Yong Pal is my favourite drama now.

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I can not wait for ep 3. It is so dramatic.

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JW is an excellent actor. I think he will win Top Excellent Actor Awards

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JW is so cute and handsome and KTH look like goddess.

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I just hope this wont be another Dr Stranger.

I'm liking this so far especially when Tae Hyun pull the subservient act, that was unexpected.

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I too think that Yong Pal thinks quick on his feet. He knows that Chief Lee does not like him too so the subservient act was probably his way of “appeasing him” / appealing to him.

I’m liking how the story is developing so far. I’m always amazed at how good Joo won is in crying scenes (remember, Ojakkyo Brothers and Gaksital).

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Firstly, Anneyoung all my chingus! Now that Mask and I Remember You r over, im looking forward to something else to take my post-drama blues away. I was looking forward to this drama bc of one person and one person only, JOO WON!

Now that I got that out of my system....Idk wat to really make of Yong Pal yet. Its different that's for sure. And it has this high-efficient type tone to it. The director does things interestingly so the pace is nvr slow. But im nt sure I like it yet. Im going to keep watching to c where it leads (already saw ep 3). Since I binged 3 eps, I guess im somewhat hooked for nw :)

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Camping out here while waiting for recaps of episodes 3 and 4! Anybody got a heart attack yet from the turn of events? I know I do! Paging Dr. KIM Tae Hyun! ♥

P.S. That Nurse Hwang sure is creepy! But at least that explains the dolled up look of Young Jae/Yeo Jin! Nice touch there writer-nim!

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I hope Young-pal would still treat the gangsters, though. I find it more thrilling that way.

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Normally I don't start TV Dramas unless they are going to finish soon as I'm not the type who could wait and watch only two episodes a week. But I made an exception for this drama and wow it's really good.

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5 stars for this episode

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