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Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim: Episode 19

Finally, everything is out in the open, even if the truth may painful to confront. Even though it hurts to know the truth right now, our Doldam team needs this in order to build up their core belief in each other and come back stronger than before. The enemy keeps lobbing unexpected volleys at our heroes, but thankfully, Teacher Kim isn’t going to take it sitting down this time. As we get ready for the final fight, our team of underdogs become more united than ever, making for a delightful watch.

 

 
Chapter 19: “A Righteous Person and A Doctor”

Dong-joo demands to know why Teacher Kim pushed back his father’s surgery, and whether it was him and not Dr. Do who made the decision. He (mistakenly) realizes that all those times Teacher Kim showed a soft spot for him, it was because he felt guilty for pushing back his father’s surgery for a VIP patient.

Teacher Kim does nothing to counter Dong-joo’s accusations, and tells him that both patients came within five minutes of each other. He says he made the decision that the other patient was more urgent due to his condition, not because he was a VIP. He gives a medically sound explanation for his decision, and Dong-joo can’t say a word in disagreement.

Despite his emotionally charged state, Dong-joo claims that he’s stable enough to perform surgery on the drunk colitis patient, and that Teacher Kim should worry about his own aortic dissection surgery. They go on their separate ways to prepare, but before he leaves the ER, Teacher Kim asks Nurse Oh to keep an eye on Dong-joo, because he’s worried about him.

Seo-jung watches Dong-joo as he scrubs up and asks whether he’s okay, but he’s caught up in his own world of painful memories. He says that he doesn’t know yet, but he’s not ready to think about it until after the surgery.

At Dong-joo’s mother’s mandoo restaurant, Reporter Oh questions her regarding the incident where Dong-joo caused destruction in the Geodae Hospital ER fourteen years ago. Despite the damage of more than $200,000, she didn’t end up having to pay for the cost, although there was a police investigation. The lawsuit was stopped midway, and she always thought it was because her husband had died at Geodae, or maybe because her son was so young at the time.

The conversation between Dr. Do and Reporter Oh, which we saw glimpses of in the last episode, is revealed. Dr. Do had told Reporter Oh that destroying relationships is the easiest thing to do in the world, because it takes neither power nor money, but just a single word to spread a seed of doubt.

A patient guardian (who we’ll just call Guardian #1) confronts In-soo regarding the state of her husband, whose stomach has been punctured with glass. Her husband had arrived at the ER first, so she says she doesn’t understand what is taking so long; she asks for him to be transferred so that he can get surgery as soon as possible, but the next hospital is too far.

Because of her continuous complaints, In-soo calls Dong-joo to tell him to hurry his operation so that Guardian #1’s husband can be treated soon. The caretaker for the drunk colitis patient currently in surgery (who will now be referred to as Guardian #2) overhears In-soo’s phone call.

In-soo also gives Teacher Kim a phone call to ask when he’ll be finished with his aortic dissection surgery, but Teacher Kim just ignores him in order concentrate fully on his patient. Teacher Kim continues to work at his steady pace, and finishes the main part of his operation in twenty-eight minutes. For the wrap-up, he asks Seo-jung to perform the last stitches. With grateful disbelief, she agrees; it’s a momentous occasion, because it’s the first time she’s taking the lead with Teacher Kim assisting her.

Despite Nurse Oh’s warnings not to rush through the colitis surgery, Dong-joo quickens his pace, and suddenly blood spurts everywhere. He struggles to find the origin of the arterial bleeding, but perseveres through and clamps it down to stop the bleeding.

The surgery ends successfully, and Dr. Nam compliments Dong-joo for his skill again. As he leaves the OR, he stops to check the progression of Teacher Kim’s operation in the room next door. They see each other through the window slit, but Dong-joo turns away first.

As he explains that the operation was successful to Guardian #2, she cautiously asks if it actually went well. She had read on the patient-surgery agreement that it was supposed to take two hours, but Dong-joo finished within an hour and a half. He tells her that he did his best, and that the operation time isn’t a huge factor in its success.

And over the ICU, CEO Shin lies in a bed next to the manhwa artist, who strikes up conversation about the good-hearted people at Doldam Hospital.

Dong-joo is still in surgery with Guardian #1’s husband when his phone rings; it’s a call from his mother, who is concerned after Reporter Oh’s visit. Seo-jung picks up and answers the call since he’s in surgery. His mother asks Seo-jung if anything has happened to him, but Seo-jung doesn’t want to worry her, so she says nothing has happened. They talk warmly about the food that Dong-joo’s mom brought up for them the last time she came to Doldam Hospital.

In a slip of the tongue, Seo-jung refers to Dong-joo’s mom as “Mother” (implying a mother-in-law/daughter-in-law relationship), and apologizes immediately. She asks if she would prefer to be addressed as “ajumma” instead, but Dong-joo’s mom chuckles and tells her it’s all right to keep calling her “Mother.”

Clearly feeling less burdened and more lighthearted than before, Dong-joo’s mom offers to bring them more food, and asks Seo-jung what her favorite dishes are. After rattling off all her favorites, Seo-jung says she’ll send over Gangwon Province’s famous sweet corn.

When Dong-joo comes out of surgery, he encounters Teacher Kim and confronts him again about his father. He asks whether Teacher Kim ever regretted his decision, but doesn’t receive the answer he wants; Teacher Kim replies that he made an unavoidable choice. With tears rolling down his face and with his voice shaking, Dong-joo says he understands Teacher Kim’s decision as a doctor, but as a son, he can’t help but feel rage. Teacher Kim tells him to deal with his feelings because he’s not a helpless teenager anymore, but a doctor now.

Dr. Nam, who witnessed the entire conversation between them, goes up to Teacher Kim afterward to ask why he didn’t tell the truth that he didn’t know Dong-joo’s father had come into the ER until it was too late. Teacher Kim says that even if he had known, his decision wouldn’t have changed, adding that Dong-joo didn’t need his excuses anyway—he needed a target for his anger.

From Geodae hospital, another one of Dr. Do’s schemes unfolds. He announces to the press the news of CEO Shin’s surgery, which is the first successful artificial heart-to-artificial heart transplant in Korea. However, he takes all the credit, and omits Teacher Kim’s name in all the reports.

Reporter Oh comes by the udon house to ask the hostess, who was a Geodae nurse, about Bu Yong-joo’s downfall all those years ago. Although the former nurse refuses initially, the persistent reporter gets her to talk after assuring her that she won’t be recorded.

When Director Yeo calls Dr. Do to ask about all the news reports, the Geodae Hospital head just says that he made the announcement to prevent all the rumors circulating about CEO Shin’s health. Additionally, Dr. Do says that he’s thinking of taking all the doctors (except Teacher Kim) who participated in the artificial heart transplant surgery back to Geodae Hospital permanently.

Ki-tae, who was right beside Director Yeo when he made his phone call, goes to rant to Nurse Oh about this new frustrating development. Nurse Oh, who already confronted Teacher Kim about the reports, says that it’s no use talking to him, because during their conversation, Teacher Kim told Nurse Oh to just let it be. He didn’t want any more hullabaloo, and had pointed out that Doldam Hospital was already full of patients, and more press would just mean overcrowding.

Teacher Kim continued by saying the best thing he ever did was to give up his name, Bu Yong-joo. He said that after he gave up his name and reputation, he felt so free, and now he wants to continue living this quiet life at Doldam Hospital.

Dr. Song gathers the artificial heart transplant team (except Teacher Kim) in the break room, and invites them to the big Geodae Hospital party that’s being held in their honor. When they learn that Teacher Kim is not coming, one by one, they all refuse the invitation, including In-bum. Only In-soo still wants to attend so that he can go back to Seoul and see his family, but Dr. Song disregards his pleas. (Poor In-soo, always being ignored.)

Seo-jung asks Dong-joo whether he resolved things with Teacher Kim, but he stays silent. She starts telling him about her conversation with his mother, when the abdomen patient starts having a seizure due to alcohol withdrawal. Although they try everything they can to stabilize his vitals, his condition doesn’t improve.

Guardian #2, who was waiting outside the ICU, breaks into tears as Dong-joo tells her to prepare for the worst. She asks if her husband is dying because something went wrong in the surgery yesterday, but Dong-joo explains that it’s alcohol withdrawal that’s causing his symptoms.

Just then, Guardian #1 storms up to Dong-joo to demand that her husband be moved into the ICU. Dong-joo tells her that it’s not possible with the current situation, and that her husband is not in a critical state that warrants entry into the ICU. But she doesn’t care and raises her voice, demanding that he be moved immediately.

Hearing the other woman’s complaints, Guardian #2 can’t take it anymore and starts an argument with her. She still thinks that her husband’s surgery was rushed and done neglectfully because of Guardian #1’s loud complaints to In-soo. But, Guardian #1 accuses Guardian #2 of being the one who started it by taking their spot in line for surgery.

Dong-joo is taken aback when he hears Guardian #2’s certainty that her husband’s surgery was hurried. He tells her again that he did his best, and then tells Guardian #1 that the urgency of a patient and necessity of the ICU is determined by the doctor, not the caretaker. Neither of them listen to him, and the alcoholic patient goes into cardiac arrest. Despite performing CPR for an hour, his heart rhythm stays flat. CEO Shin and the manhwa artist, who were lying in the ICU beds nearby, look over at the dead patient and his doctors with ominous expressions.

When Dong-joo informs Guardian #2 of her husband’s death, she asks why he would even operate on her husband if he didn’t have the ability to save him. She demands that Dong-joo bring her husband back to life, and blames him for not doing the surgery properly.

Dong-joo snaps at this and yells that it was alcohol that killed her husband, not the surgery. She can’t believe that a man who was fine until yesterday just died this morning, after having surgery last night. That’s when Seo-jung enters to usher away the mourning caretaker. When Dong-joo sees Guardian #1, he remarks that now her husband can be moved into the ICU (because the other patient is dead).

Teacher Kim follows Dong-joo into his office and reprimands him for his attitude with the patient caretakers. In an angry roar, Dong-joo retorts that he did his best in both surgeries. He asks why he’s being blamed for the scarcity of ICU beds and the patient’s alcohol addiction, when neither were his fault. Then he acknowledges his hypocrisy regarding his current situation and Teacher Kim’s past situation with his father’s surgery. He’s burning up with fury inside and wants to blame Teacher Kim, but he can’t anymore, because he is a doctor.

Teacher Kim, seeing Dong-joo’s ferocious flood of emotions, gives him a lesson on a surgeon’s life. He says that the two things he hears the most are: “Why did you perform surgery if you couldn’t save him?” and “He was fine before, so something must have gone wrong during the surgery.”

Although it is their duty to heal, Teacher Kim says, they often get blamed because the nature of their work (in taking knives to people’s bodies) makes them suspicious. Teacher Kim gently urges Dong-joo to go apologize to the patient guardians, and tells him that the healing process will only be complete when he, as the doctor, gives them closure. Dong-joo bows his head and says that in his current state of mind, he can’t accept Teacher Kim’s lecture.

Back at the Japanese diner, the udon hostess tells Reporter Oh that Teacher Kim was not at fault, but he took responsibility anyway because other people’s lives were on the line. A flashback takes us back to an old confrontation between Teacher Kim and Dr. Do: The Geodae Hospital head threatened Teacher Kim with the firing of seven of his coworkers who had performed the false-name surgery if he did not comply.

Taking advantage of Teacher Kim’s compassionate nature, Dr. Do further reminded Teacher Kim that three of the seven people were the breadwinners of their households who would never be employed again if news of their deeds was revealed. The former nurse reveals to Reporter Oh that she and the others were cowardly then, and had felt only relief that Bu Yong-joo had left. Reporter Oh asks who the principal surgeon for Jang Hyun-joo’s surgery was, and she points to the picture of Dr. Do in the newspaper. But that’s only half the story.

In the hallway, Dr. Nam takes Dong-joo aside for a talk about Teacher Kim. Dr. Nam explains that Teacher Kim wasn’t just covering for the seven hospital staff members — there was one other person who he wanted to protect, a middle school boy who had destroyed half the Geodae Hospital ER. Although the hospital had wanted to sue the young boy’s mother and put him behind bars, Teacher Kim’s resignation stopped that from happening.

Teacher Kim receives an envelope with documents containing information on all the patients that were falsely operated on under his name. He calls Reporter Oh, who tells him that several patients had found out later about their false operation, but that Geodae Hospital had bribed them to keep their mouths shut.

Although the multiple statute of limitations have passed, Reporter Oh says that it should be a good weapon against Dr. Do. After he hangs up, Teacher Kim looks at the sticky note the reporter had written: “Although I couldn’t reveal the truth to the world, I wanted at least give the truth to the person who needed to know it most.”

After his talk with Dr. Nam, Dong-joo cries by himself on the hallway bench, but goes back up to the ICU to apologize to Guardian #1. However, he adds that all patients that come to Doldam are treated equally, and are given every sincere effort. Seo-jung, who watches the encounter, gives him her nod of approval.

Dr. Song catches Seo-jung on her way downstairs and tries to convince her to come to the Geodae Hospital party. She refuses him again, saying that it would be weird to go without Teacher Kim. Just as they are speaking of him, Teacher Kim hears his name and asks what they are discussing. Seo-jung tells him about the party, and Teacher Kim asks why he wasn’t invited.

Dr. Song reluctantly invites him, thinking that he wouldn’t come anyway. But he readily accepts, and gets Seo-jung to come along as well. In the ER, Teacher Kim tells Nurse Oh, Ki-tae, and Dr. Nam to come with him to the Geodae party, and he makes arrangement to leave Dr. Song, In-soo, and Yeon-hwa at Doldam Hospital to attend to the patients.

He then carefully asks Dong-joo if he would also come with them. And he replies, “Teacher, if you go, I will go.” Everyone smiles as they realize that the animosity between Dong-joo and Teacher Kim is at an end.

Spineless weasel Dr. Song is left with a dilemma as to whether he should inform Dr. Do that Teacher Kim is going to the party, but it seems like a no-win situation for him. If he tells Dr. Do, he’ll only be blamed for not preventing Teacher Kim, and he knows that he won’t be able to convince Teacher Kim not to go.

In his office, Nurse Oh asks what Teacher Kim plans to do when he goes to Geodae Hospital, and Teacher Kim says that he’s going to do what he wasn’t able to do fourteen years ago.

Like a badass team of superheroes, the Doldam Hospital staff strides into Geodae Hospital with Teacher Kim leading the charge. (Oh my god, my girl-crush on Nurse Oh just grew 1000x times because of her awesome black leather trench coat.)

In the banquet hall, Dr. Do greets reporters with a benevolent smile as he takes credit for Teacher Kim’s work. He receives a call from Dr. Song, who informs him of the Doldam team’s imminent arrival without mentioning Teacher Kim, and adds that he’s sorry, but he won’t be able to come because of a stomachache.

Everyone in the banquet hall eagerly awaits the Doldam people. When they arrive, Dr. Do is shocked to see Teacher Kim on his home turf. He asks his nemesis what he’s doing here, and Teacher Kim replies that obviously, he’s here because he’s the one who led the artificial heart-to-artificial heart surgery.

Dr. Do recalls his bar conversation with Reporter Oh, who had said that the hardest thing in the world is to break out of your comfort zone. At the time, Reporter Oh was thinking of his phone call with Teacher Kim, who had revealed that he had been a coward as Bu Yong-joo, who feared that would lose the battle and wanted to run away. To Dr. Do, Reporter Oh had only mysteriously said that next time, he probably wouldn’t get his way.

Realizing that this is what the reporter had meant, Dr. Do asks Teacher Kim if he really wants to duke it out. Breaking out into a smile, Teacher Kim asks in reply, “Are you afraid?”

 
COMMENTS

Goodness, that was intense. Dong-joo’s story arc has come full circle, starting with his initial impetus to become a doctor (his father’s death) to his acknowledgement that as a doctor, he’s grown to understand what he hadn’t as a grieving adolescent. I don’t know if he would have reached the same conclusions even a couple months ago. Being at Doldam Hospital has given him a maturity that he didn’t have before, and it shows through his actions and attitude. This time, he didn’t use violence to solve his problems and vent his frustrations, like he did as a child or even in his first few weeks at Doldam Hospital.

Dong-joo knew that his immediate priority was saving the patient, not his own emotional dilemma, so he calmly decided to operate on the patient before delving any further into his new revelation about Teacher Kim. It’s also a testament to his growth that he understood he was being hypocritical when he blamed Teacher Kim for his father’s death. Back at Geodae Hospital, when he decided to take on the VIP patient instead of his scheduled patient, he must have known his actions were hypocritical, but he didn’t acknowledge it until the daughter of the dead patient showed up at his doorstep.

But this time, he was the first one to admit that he was being hypocritical. His anger and hurt were understandable, given that he felt betrayed by a mentor who had become his role model. But I’m glad that when Dr. Nam told him the truth, he was quick to make amends. His remarks to Guardian #1 about Doldam being a place of equality where everyone tried their best to treat their patients really showed that he had accepted that Teacher Kim tried (or would have tried) to do his best for his father under the circumstances.

On a different note, I know there weren’t many Seo-jung and Dong-joo moments this episode, but that last scene where the Doldam team stomped into Geodae Hospital like they owned the place almost made up for it. How badass was that entrance? I loved that they were fashionably late to the party, glammed up like supermodels, and completely rocking it in the confidence department. I can’t wait to see the Geodae Hospital shakedown happen!

 

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You took the words right out of my mouth tineybeanie- thanks for the recap! So many thoughts for this penultimate episode!

I really like that despite the politics taking up a big part via Dr Do's larger than life Evil Presence, they managed to make Real Life Medical Issues an integral part of the plot- they managed to interweave the story of Dong Joo's dad from the start and bring us one Full Circle!

And Teacher Kim really walks the talk- he was swoony in his gruff way- how he took on all the responsibility for those 7 in the past, as well as Dong Joo's dad's case. No excuses, no blaming others.

It was also brilliant how the Writer changed the way we looked at that first case just by giving us a different perspective-

Previously it was young Dong Joo who was hollering that his dad Arrived First- why was he shunted off in favour of the VIP?

And now it is adult Dong Joo, with his knowledge and experience as a doctor, who had his old childhood wound torn open, but it able to look at it with fresh eyes and see both sides of the coin.

The heart wound may still be there (the loss still hurts), but I'd like to think that he finally got some closure and did that final bit of growing up- where he now can empathize being both Doctor and Patient's family.

And it feels so much better (and emotionally resonating) with Teacher Kim at the center than just having Dr Do as the bad guy pulling all the strings- this was real to life, and Dong Joo's grief- denial, anger, bargaining and finally acceptance felt really attained too.

Well done Writer Nim! Hats off to you.

I seem to have new thoughts every time I think about this episode so if you havent heard me ramble enough please check out my blog- I talked about the Real to Life struggle of doctors when faced with limited resources but too many sick patients, and why it sucks but it is the way it is. As well as my thoughts on how Dong Joo reacted to the patients who were accusing him- not perfect but so human, so real.

And finally and most importantly, how this drama has been a great boon to the healthcare sector by allowing others to stand in the shoes of real doctors and nurses, as well as patients, as they experience real issues that they are faced with everyday. We all may become patients at some point and I think with a bit of mutual empathy, understanding and tolerance, from both the Doctor and the Patient, the world would be a better place. And maybe just maybe, this show has in some small way, helped to do that.

https://mydramalesslife.wordpress.com/2017/01/13/romantic-doctor-teacher-kim-episode-18-19-thought-of-the-day-resources-are-limited-problems-are-infinite-stay-thankful-always/

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And now it is adult Dong Joo, with his knowledge and experience as a doctor, who had his old childhood wound torn open, but it able to look at it with fresh eyes and see both sides of the coin.

The heart wound may still be there (the loss still hurts), but I’d like to think that he finally got some closure and did that final bit of growing up- where he now can empathize being both Doctor and Patient’s family.

This this this! ♡

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I just have one question, is the Udon restaurant ajjuma-former nurse part of those 7 people?

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Yes she was part of the 7 staffs. She was in every flashback of Jang Hyun Joo's surgery and in the flashback of Kim Sa Bu's disciplinary proceeding(?) in ep. 19, she was the one shown last iirc.

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I can see how Doldam would have limited resources, but Geodae...? Quite shocked that poor Teacher Kim had to make that kind of choice even at a top university hospital. I guess it's impossible even for the best places to avoid an occasional shortage of doctors, but one would have thought that a well-funded hospital that is as commercial and image-conscious as Geodae would be more careful than most about things like that.

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Sadly it really doesnt matter what type of hospital you are in, it happens because no one can predict what kind of patient comes through the doors, and so sometimes, demand just exceeds the available supply.

I have had colleague who had 5 Priority 1 (highest level of urgency- need to be done ASAP) surgeries all needing to come into the operating theatre at night all around the same time. There isn't manpower to have 5 surgeries at the same time in most hospitals at night because it's so uncommon you would never expect it. But sometimes it happens, and you just have to do your best to manage it to your best ability.

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Very true, and all the more reason for (i) Teacher Kim to upgrade Doldam into a proper trauma centre, and (ii) President Do to not be so damned complacent about Geodae...

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Truth to tell, I was really glad that Dong-joo stated point-blank that it was alcohol that ultimately killed the colitis patient. Denial is an integral part of alcoholism, and an adaptation commonly adopted by the loved ones of those suffering from it. I didn't see Dong-joo's statement as an excuse, but rather, a statement of fact that the wife was going to have to hear sooner or later. (In that regard, it was another of the stealth public service announcements the drama has so skillfully incorporated.)

To me the scene paralleled Kim Sa Bu's pretending that he was aware that he'd pushed back Dong-joo's father's surgery that fateful day.

At first I thought that Kim Sa Bu was engaging in Noble Idiocy. During KSB's conversation with Dr. Nam, he said that even though it was true that he was unaware that he'd pushed back the father's surgery, it would only look like a pathetic excuse -- and it wouldn't help Dong-joo, who needed a target for his anger. KSB volunteered to be the lightning rod that grounded Dong-joo's fury and allowed him to resolve his emotions once and for all as a mature adult. I was practically jumping up and down when DJ stated that he couldn't blame KSB -- because he is a doctor himself.

Having experienced a couple of similar epiphanies in my own life, I can attest to the veracity of that turning point. It really can happen that way. Sometimes all it takes is one fact, one tiny insight, to tip the balance so the truth can set you free. Writer-nim, PD-nim, and the actors did a phenomenal job in portraying Dong-joo's cathartic process.

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Ah, yes to the subtle public service announcement- the writer has a bone to pick with alcohol it seems!

I disagree with Dong Joo stating it bluntly to her though.

It is perfectly correct to explain to her that the patient died because of alcohol related complications, but he did not have to yell it at her, or blurt it out bluntly like that, just immediately after she lost her husband and is in shock and disbelief. While she was in the wrong to accuse Dong Joo, it is also perfectly understandable why she reacted that way, and Dong Joo should have been the empathetic one, since she did just lose her husband.

And i realise that most people don't hear what you are saying (or misunderstand) when they are angry or grieving, and sometimes they don't even know what they themselves are saying, they just need to lash out at someone because it hurts too much.

So Dong Joo's reaction to me was very human and understandable, but at the same time also not timed correctly- it does no one any good at that point to try and have her understand that her husband brought about his own demise via the bottle, just potentially adds unnecessary guilt (why didn't I do something to stop him!) or anger (how dare you say that my husband brought it upon himself!). In this case, timing does matter and to me, later is better than sooner.

But just my 2 cents as always! :)

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You're right. His timing and bedside manner were the pits. As a doctor, he's held to a higher standard of conduct than civilians. But honestly, if I'd had those two ladies jumping all over me, I'd have reacted the same way.

On the other hand, blowing his cool in that manner gave the opening for KSB to have The Talk with him, and upped the ante on Dong-joo's sense of hypocrisy, which helped him make the breakthrough that's been such a long time coming.

We don't get to see him apologizing to the widow, so I'm imagining him doing so. ;-)

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Even with the huge ratings, I still think this drama is underrated, especially on this site. This show (and this episode!) is the definition of intense.

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So very true - drama at its very best! Wish more international viewers could appreciate it.

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This drama isn't romance heavy or built on shipping wars, hence the lack of comment.

But I do wish there is more comments on this site for this show. It's always interesting to see what others thought about a show.

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I am guilty of loving this show but not commenting.

Mostly because my comments each episode just amount to:

I LOVE YOU ROMANTIC DOCTOR KIM SA BU!!!!!!!! *crazy eyes and stupid nutjob dance*

and yeah, I just don't see the need for that... *cough*

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Hahaha me, the same. My comments would usually end up being like that at every episode plus what wanted to say mostly said by the other commenters already so I'd just nod my head in agreement instead of typing comments :P

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Same like you, i can't express how much i love this drama. You maybe bored if i always comment "RDTK I LOVE YOU..."

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Lol, same with you guys!!! This (and Weightlifting Fairy) are my current faves this season. I just sit back and enjoy the ride ..and the comments here. Know that this drama is much appreciated! :)

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Haha! I'm with you Peeps. I freaking love this show and I don't have much to comment on, so I would just be here to squee most of the time.

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The drama pretty much covered most of Dong Joo's and Dr Kim's backstory but has yet to touch on Seo Jung's. I always thought that there's a deeper story to her PTSD; perhaps due to her mother's suicide? and who is her father? How about the affair between her previous boyfriend and the nurse, which was witnessed by Dong Joo? There's only one episode left and I'm so worried that we might never get to find out these answers.

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My thoughts exactly!!! @MyWay
Perhaps they already considered Seo Jung's arc finished after she almost quit Doldam?

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Yea I would really love an episode or two to explore Seo Hyun Jin's character, AND more episodes for the other character's background, like the main nurse or the anesthetic doctor (his malpractice issue would come up next week I am assuming?)

Can't believe there's only 1 episode (technically) left! All good things come to an end I suppose :(

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@Suki that's what I feared too. Seo Jung's character growth stopped after that episode. Even as a love interest, she did little on aiding Dong Joo's struggle in the most recently episode. @Boomboompow ikr! Nurse Park, Dr Woo and perhaps the rest of the dolman staffs are all such intriguing characters. Even Mr Goo should have his own backstory. They really could have easily made this a 30-episode-drama series.

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Same, love this show and it's not going to change. I'm just going to sit back and enjoy it.

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same goes with me. and i'm really speechless because they already what i want to say. also, i admit my lack of knowledge about medical is really one of the mere reasons why i do not comment in these site but would love to read comments to understood some of the patients they are operating.

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I'm with you. I love this show!!!

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Best episode ever!

Dong Joo coming full circle from a grieving young son to the one at the other side is really poignantly conveyed. Hats down to the writer, director and YYS and HSK. That scene between the two is so intense (and has totally redeemed YYS in my book from the mess that is Warm and Fuzzy)!

Sad that this great drama is coming to the end but glad that I've been travelling with the Dolan team on their journey.

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I am in love with Dr. Master Kim.

I am torn between their bad entrance and Reaper and Goblin buying-veggie-model entrance. My love, Dr. Master Kim, Shin, and Reaper can rock a black turtleneck - day and night.

I do love the show and I promise and I am not watching ONLY because of fleshy desires....

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SAME HERE. I don't even care that Han Seok Kyu is over three decades older than me, he's crazy fine. Every time he suits up, I swoon ever further. The man's the complete package, grumpiness, heart, brains, wisdom, and a hunk to boot.

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+1000000
On both entrances. Can't compare apples to oranges--both are DAEBEK!!!

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I love this episode and this series more and more and I totally looooooved that ending liek AW YEAH THIS WILL BE GOOOD.

and from now on, Nurse Oh will be by standard in medical fashion, because that black coat is SLAYYYYY.

--

Also, I don't know if Im just being so weird about the subspecialties but what is President Do? I really thought he was a surgeon in the first few episodes then after Chairman Shin's surgery,it was said he was Internal Medicine, then now I find out he's a surgeon? I mean owkay, Teacher Kim has THREE fellowship specialties but he's the title character so thats ok.... but SJ has two.... but President Do also has two residencies?? Im not even sure how I finished one residency and one fellowship. How many residencies did these people take?? Where did they take their residency? Hogwarts? LOL

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Dr. Kim called him an internist in the ICU after the chairman's surgery. I must have missed when he was called a surgeon. Was it in the newspaper article? I assumed that since he was the medical director, he got credit there. I know how you feel. I also did fellowship and am so glad never to go through training again!

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"Reporter Oh asks who the principal surgeon for Jang Hyun-joo’s surgery was, and she points to the picture of Dr. Do in the newspaper"

I thought maybe the reporter meant principal doctor, and not surgeon, since its possible Dr Do took charge of the case (I dont know how), but if it's really surgeon.... O_O

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@Lessa

As @Kles (see down thread) points out, Dr Do did not perform surgery on Jang Hyun-joo. This was the conversation between Reporter Oh and Udon Ahjumma:

Reporter Oh: If Bong Joo wasn’t the person who made you operate under his name, then who was it?
Udon Ahjumma: The person who was vice president at that time. This man (pointing to Dr Do’s picture in the newspaper).

It was actually Dr. Song who performed the operation. In the confrontation episode after Jang Hyun-joo's death, Dr Boo Yong Joo even physically attacked Dr. Song for operating on Hyun-joo.

In the hearing of the charges against M Kim, the charge was not because he performed surgery on patients who have died, but that he "authorized" other medical personnel to operate for him (need to check, though, if my impression is correct). I think Dr Do has been doing this on many occasions (as shown in the records that Reporter Oh gave to M Kim in this episode), for two reasons: 1) Using BYJ's fame and reputation and putting him on record as the surgeon in charge to draw patients in, and 2) to build a case against BYJ.

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Just dropping by to support this comment. ^

oh and master kim may have gotten his third fellowship while he was hiding away at doldam? lol so it's not just surgeries that he does fast, huh? funny because han soo kyu himself explicitly pointed out that there could be no such individual with a triple board specialty. hahaha

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Also, I don’t know if Im just being so weird about the subspecialties but what is President Do? I really thought he was a surgeon in the first few episodes then after Chairman Shin’s surgery,it was said he was Internal Medicine, then now I find out he’s a surgeon?

If you're confused, imagine how we civilians feel. ;-)

I went back and rewatched episode 1 while awaiting this dandy recap. In the first minute and a half, when Dong-joo was running around the ER right after his father died, I was stunned to recognize doctors Do and Song speaking with the VIP's entourage. An internist and a general surgeon? I was totally confused.

Then I realized that they were just currying favor with the bigwig's crew while Dr. Boo Yong-joo was doing the actual work, as usual. Their modus operandi never changes.

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The subs that I watched translated it as asking the udon lady "Who as the one who ordered you to do the surgery under Dr Boo Yong Joo's name"? followed by explaining that Dr Do was the vice-president at the time. So I think he is an internal med, who was vice-president, not the surgeon. The surgeon who actually performed Jang Hyun Joo's surgery is the current snivelling chief or surgery (who can barely perform an appendectomy)

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Ah there you go! Thanks for that other translation! @kies & @dramabliss

I was super shure that it was indeed Dr Song who was the lead on that surgery. Haha. So for a while I thought it meant Dr Do started the surgery then left it to Dr Song.

So now that it's really clear he's an internist.. GAD, He's my field! UGH. EW. I hope we're not the same subspecialty. LOL.

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@Leesa--Hopefully, not mine either. But I can distance myself since I was a pediatrician before crossing over to see adults in my subspecialty! Lol!!! On a side note, I've enjoyed your anecdotes in these comments!

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@Lessa, @Ally (and Michykdrama, too),

Oh, you guys! You can't get cooties from Dr. D'oh. They can't cross the interwebs. ;-)

Seriously, thanks for sharing your medical insights.

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That Doldam staff walk into Geodae Hospital was one of the highlights of this ep. Love this amazing team!!

It was good seeing Dong Joo's story come full circle and seeing his personal growth after being at Doldam. He improved a lot. /proud/

There were barely any Seo Jung+Dong Joo moments so I hope we get some more romance from these lovebirds in the finale.

Gonna be sad when this show ends. It's been so wonderful. ♥♥♥

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OMG!! This show is LOVE!!!

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This little beanie community has been amazing! I. Just. Could. Not. Stop. Crying. Every time YYS cried I did to. Best medical drama, hands down! I'm going to miss this drama and the recaps and the comments. What are you all watching next? @ Michykdrama, just massively impressed with you. You must never sleep. Were you one of those people in med school and residency that did everything and still managed to kill the boards? Just wondering. ?

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What does kill the boards mean?

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"to kill the boards" = to pass the board certification tests with flying colors.

Disclaimer: I'm a civilian, not a doctor, Jim. (Tip of the hat to Dr. McCoy.)

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@ally

haha, definitely not, I've failed before in my specialist exam, while my husband the Internist however has not, and he certainly is the brain between us two. I don't have the brain power to do what he does, and super respect all you Internists!

And I definitely need sleep, which is why I haven't had time to come here much because the kiddo has been sick and yesterday puked in his sleep from too much coughing, and tonight refused to lie down because his nose was less blocked while standing up, despite me explaining that he couldn't not sleep while fully erect. Ah... the joys of a sick 3 year old XD

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@michykdrama,

Sorry to hear the little fella is feeling poorly. LOL that he wants to sleep standing up like a horse.

Hmm. Would one of those large wedge-shaped pillows help with his congestion?

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Hope your son is feeling better! All i can say is you've outdone yourself in the medical recaps. I'm glad I had no clue about these dramas when I was in college, med school, residency, fellowship, etc. or I would have failed everything! lol!

Just saw ep 20 and I really want a 2nd season!!! Does anyone think that they are in contract negotiations with the actors for a continuation of the series? How could they not be?!??!! I would think that the high ratings would be getting sponsors left and right. More Papa Johns ppl. I would be ok with that!

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Iam here for the love of the doldam crews. About the lack of love this drama receive? Trust me, indonesians love this one.

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Yoo Yeon Seok's performance in this episode blew me away. His cries were raw and heartbreaking. Poor him, to know the reason behind a choice, but having the heart feeling otherwise and betraying you, that needs guts to lower your ego and accept it all. Bravo Dong Joo, you've come a long long way since.

And that entrance *clapclap* such charisma.

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What got me at the very beginning of the episode was the fleeting quiver of YYS's right eyebrow as he struggled to comprehend.

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I loved how Nurse Oh's calm response to Manager Jang / Ki-tae's rant is immediately followed by the flashback where she herself is yelling at Teacher Kim. Well actually I just love Nurse Oh yelling at Teacher Kim.

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Master Kim ♥ Nurse Oh ♥ Will this ship sailing?

Honestly i want to see more of Seo Jung's individual story, and with one more episode i am afraid it wont happen. I am curious about the relationship with Director Do, and still unsatisfied how she managed to get pass of her trauma. It will be more awesome if this drama actually tell us a little bit more the basis /back story of Seo Jung's trust and confidence in Master Kim especially what happened those five years. It will be great if in earlier episodes, they showed us a bit of her struggles etc. Anyway, the rest of the story is still great just I feel like the writer developed Dong Joo's character way more than others, I feel we have spent so many episodes mostly on him from the days he came to Doldam and at few times i got easily annoyed with him and end up i was unable to connect with him.

Han Suk Kyu and Seo Hyun Jin were the main reason i started to watch this, but glad this drama turn out to be great and rating winner too. Sad it will come to an end soon. I 'll miss Doldam a lot.

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Here's to hoping we'd get more of her back story on the epilogue. or would it be a prologue? i missed seo joong in this episode too. she deserves a more rock star moment.

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@tineybeanie,

Thanks so much for your recap and comments. I've been watching several different subtitles all along, and even so, was still a bit confused until I read your recap.

Where the heck is Nurse Park?! He should be swaggering into Geosan, too! But then it would be the Magnificent Eight. Maybe he was off-duty by the time KSB found out about the party. And maybe he'd really rather help Dr. Woo hold the fort.

In retrospect, the drama's focus on Dong-joo's journey (with far less attention paid to Seo-jung's, for instance) makes sense. The fateful crossing of his path with Kim Sa Bu's in the Geosan ER 14 years earlier finally culminates in a moment of cathartic enlightenment. But it couldn't have happened without Nam Do-il breaking his vow of silence. (I love you, Dr. Nam!!)

Teacher Kim gently urges Dong-joo to go apologize to the patient guardians, and tells him that the healing process will only be complete when he, as the doctor, gives them closure.

In giving closure to the patient guardians, Dong-joo will also be giving closure to himself.

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I think Nurse Park is moonlighting as a king by travelling back 900 years ago. He probably needs some time to return to modern day HAHA.

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*high-fives starswillshine*

*sneaks off to watch the subtitles for Nurse Park at his other job*

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Damn! I don't know how I missed that!!!

Thanks for pointing it out! I feel so blur now for not connecting the dots. Lol.

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When I saw goblin, I noticed him, but had to look through the cast to figure out who he was. He's going to be big one day!!!

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I loved it when Seo-jung slipped and addressed Dong-joo's Mom as Mother. And I loved it even more when she straightforwardly asked how Mom wanted to be addressed.

If he had been there to witness it, Dong-joo would have been on cloud nine.

It cracked me up when he asked SJ what she and his Mom could possibly have to talk about. Aw, you big doofus. Girl talk! Indirectly about their favorite guy. You have a fan club, kiddo.

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Those were my favorite little moments too :) ?

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I agree, I think Jin Kyung looked the most badass in the power walk scene at the end. Brings back memories of her as the super reporter in Pinocchio. She's quite a scene stealer as a supporting actress!

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I was really surprised when Reporter Oh decided to shelve the article on the basis that the statutes of limitations had expired. That may be true in the case of criminal or civil lawsuits. But even cases involving manslaughter in which the true perpetrators got off scot-free???

What kind of muckraker is he? The court of public opinion is always in session. Doesn't the public have a right to protect itself from the systemic malfeasance at Geosan Hospital?

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That little heart-to-heart in the ICU between Chairman Shin and the cartoonist was lovely. The Big Cheese finally sees for himself just how busy Doldam is. He also hears from the "frequent flyer" (who's not just a suicidally high-strung artiste, but a fellow heart patient) that the hospital is revered in this neck of the woods for its skilled staff. And Doldam also provides financial assistance. I could see Chairman Shin's wheels start turning.

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Teacher Kim said before that even if you know the truth, you may not have the courage to say it. I think this is the case for the reporter. He might not dare to report the truth because President Do might be so powerful that he might lose his job/family etc. Hence, he was doing whatever he could and let Teacher Kim take his revenge.

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Ah. It's ironic, isn't it? But it makes perfect sense. Reporter Oh has been swimming with the sharks long enough to know that his goose would be cooked. I bet that Dr. D'oh was only too happy to supply him with all manner of falsified "evidence" of KSB's purported malfeasance. And it's about to return to him, with interest, like the Boomerang of Doom.

I especially liked the intercut dialogue at the end of the episode that serves as the reporter's reframing of Kim Sa Bu's earlier statement to him that there is no truth [transcribed from OnDemandKorea subtitles]:

Reporter Oh: "Do you know what the hardest thing is in this world? It's breaking down your own self."

KSB: "Back 14 years ago, Bu Yong-joo was a coward,"

Reporter Oh: "Actually, he just didn't know how to win."

KSB: "kept silent,"

Reporter Oh: "He didn't want to make excuses."

KSB: "and ran away."

Reporter Oh: "He thought it was his responsibility."

D'oh: "What are you trying to say, Mr. Oh?"

Reporter Oh: "I think this time, it'll be a little difficult for you, Dr. Do."

I can't even begin to imagine the form KSB's retribution will take. All I know is that he's learned how to play dirty from the master himself, and it's going to be good.

It might involve ridicule, as tyrants of D'oh's ilk cannot abide being laughed at. That's why KSB's sticking his tongue out infuriated D'oh so much.

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Thanks again for a wonderful recap. Have been waiting the recap of this episode for days :).

The reason that Nurse Park is not one of the Fantastic-7 might be because he wants to help that new female doctor at Doldam. I think he likes that doctor and their relationship has potential to develop.

I am a bit.. a tiny tiny bit disappointed as there were not many moments of SJ and DJ together. However, it's true that the series keeps the plot safe, by not focusing mainly on the OTP, but the development of KSB and KDJ characters.

Sometimes, I didn't really feel the hurt KDJ got. It's difficult to explain it but to me, KDJ's emotions seem to change in a very fast manner. One moment one could see him being furious at KSB, the next moment after a person told him good things or revealed some KSB's (good) secrets to him he was once again a KSB's worshiper. However, I must say that YYS's acting, at this point, is impressive especially during the crying scenes. His eyes were always red, and somebody told me before that red eyes indicate real crying.

Such a pity for SHJ that her role during the last episodes almost looks as if she was a wallflower. With respect to her fantastic acting skills, I would want to see much more of hers in the future.

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Agree with you, i want they reveal and resolve Seo Jung's case. Her growth not enough for me, why they not mention about Seo Jung's past, her mother death, her fiance, and her wish to do a combine with KSB.

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I mean yeah..right. Seo-Jung's past has been put an end to since the first episodes. Sadly, that did not reasonably explain why she could easily and miraculously cope with her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, especially without knowing the truth that her fiance might be seeing someone else.

Well, I guess the writer had to choose between paying attention to this substory or the main story of the character development of DJ and KSB. The writer chose the latter, apparently, and I think that was a wise decision.

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Unfortunately, i dont actually think that is a wise decision from the writer. As I know, the main story of this drama should be about the main leads including Seo Jung.

Regardless of my complaints, this drama is still the only drama that I love at the moment. Something about Doldam team that I love and also my love for Han Suk Kyu.

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My thoughts exactly. They could have easily extended one episode to clear up these questions. I thought Seo Jung has all along suffered minor PTSD as shown on episode one where she was triggered by blood. I'd the feeling that it has to do with her mother's death but after her fiance's death she simply lost it. I really hope the writer had a plan, but then again, he/she wouldn't have left it to the last episode.. I feel so sad for Seo Hyun Jin. Seo Jung is such an interesting and lovable character and it's a shame that the writer stopped developing her.

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Ah, do you renember in ep.2 Mr. Jang said "Dr. Yoon doesn't have many days left here"
What's the mean???

We need season 2 to resolve all that stuff...

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Guess that's going to be one issue unresolved ;)

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That my only complaints too.. As we know Seo Hyun Jin's skills is great. I never really impress witH YYS but he is great too. It is just something about himself that i cannot connect hence made me not a fan of his acting.

I will give this drama 100% if the writer chose to develop story between KSB-SJ and later KSB-DJ. The thing is the story has been so much about DJ and his inner struggles that i feel annoyed because i dont think he is actually suffered that a lot.

I like SHJ enough, and I can even watch this drama if the main story is between her and KSB, i dont mean there is need a loveline but as a mentor -mentee.

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After watching Reply 1994 as well, I feel like YYS is good in acting but somehow he doesn't blend into his character, he's just acting as the character (and he nailed what is given to him and what emotions the writer wants to convey) but I don't feel like he IS the living character, if that make sense.

In saying that though, I wouldn't trade him in this drama with any other actors, he is a good supporting actor and his chemistry with Seo Hyun Jin is sizzling! Did you guys check out the BTS? I was surprised when she called him Oppa, didn't know he is older than SHJ!

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@Boomboompow

"somehow he doesn’t blend into his character, he’s just acting as the character (and he nailed what is given to him and what emotions the writer wants to convey) but I don’t feel like he IS the living character, if that make sense."

This makes perfect sense to me, and is, I think, a consequence of the writer's, not the actors', shortcomings. RDTK's cast is, on average, one of the best I've ever seen in any K-drama. However, since none of the characters is particularly convincing as a real person, there's not much that even gifted actors like Han Suk-kyu and Seo Hyun-jin can do other than "just acting as the character" as you put it.

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RDTK can be able to make season 2 with the same cast, please? Like Signal will make the season 2.
I can't say goodbye to this beautiful drama... -_-

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Yes, this!!!!! I don't think I'll find anything to watch in the future which will even be in the same galaxy as this show.

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I was really happy when dong joo and teacher kim made amends

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The thing I noticed about the Magnificent Seven's entrance was the color scheme. Everyone is wearing black or gray -- except for Seo-jung (white), and Dong-joo, who is wearing Superman Blue! LOL.

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aw i love how in bum is like totally on the other side now :D

and i loved the convo SHJ and the mom! that makes up for the lack of scenes of our OTP haha

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A kdrama blogger who's not watching RDTK asked for specifics why this show is doing so well (she's not watching it at the moment) and not looking for the usual comment that its great, has good actors etc. I couldn't find the right words to explain why I find this show amazing. I cant put my fingers into what that is coz I've seen other medical kdramas but this one jusy stands out. I honestly think that the great acting roots from the good script and directing.

This episode once again made me realize so many things in life. I wish I have someone like Teacher Kim in my life who knows how to guide his people well by letting them know that its ok to be negative and emotional about our issues in life but also knows what to say to shake/wake us up from our negativity so we can move on and be better.

I like how slowly they revealed the back story of each member in the hospital. I noticed how the hospital scenes and patients they treat are actually connected to their stories. The situation in the ER reminds them of the past, makes them better doctor and friends. Its just so nice to watch.

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At first i was against the extension of the drama, but now i reversed that opinion completely. There are many elements left unresolved, not the fault of the write though since the pace was just nice ; but this is inevitably one drama i would consider having at least a 1 episode extension. I'm not sure if the ep 21 will resolve any of the untouched issues since it is a special prequel, however i hope it does. That being said, i'm gonna miss these guys when the drama is over. ?

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Season 2 please.. There's a lot of issues to be resolve and the Loveline of our OTPs.. SJ and DJ, KSB and Nurse Oh and Nurse Park and Dr. Woo..

I hope episode 21 will be a prologue of the sequel but well, they said its a prequel..

I will miss this drama.. The best drama of 2016. sad its not that popular overseas despite high ratings..

Kudos to the writer, director and cast.. Han Suk Kyu, Seo Hyun Jin and Yoo Yeon Suk.. Fighting!!!!!

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This show is always on point! And things on this show really do happen in the medical world! I was reminded of this today when I had a flashback moment to when Master Kim was talking to the Chairman about whether to do the artificial heart surgery when he has stage IV cancer. Truthfully, when I first saw this, I thought it would be very unbelievable if it were to happen in real life. I was biased that I would never do a procedure when a patient would die of some terminal illness in the long run. I thought it was just too dramatic...until today.

Today, I am the consulting physician for an elderly patient in the hospital for an immune deficiency, which is known, who also has lymphoma, and now is battling pneumonia in the ICU. She has lots of end of life issues, any one of them could lead to her passing. My job is to determine whether a treatment that she has reacted poorly to (almost died from) in the past will save her life today, but then may prolong it to ultimately die of the lymphoma in the future. Her oncologists want the treatment, her daughter doesn't. I have to be unbiased. Agh! I'm channeling Teacher Kim now, and it will ultimately be the patient's and her family's decision, I know. It just hit me like a piano dropped from a ten story building.

This is why this show is so good and why I will be sad when it ends. I'm rooting for a second season as well.

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..just hit (you) like a piano dropped from a ten-story building..

just love the phrase.. the picture is so vivid in my head lol.

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Thank you for sharing!

This drama has really made me reflect more about the real life situations that happen to patients and doctors. The dilemmas they have to go through.

Medical dramas used to be such a turn-off for me, but RDTK is incredible and eye-opening. I'm glad I gave it a chance.

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Does anyone know the background music that plays in Episode 19 when reporter oh visited the previous nurse at her restaurant. Music plays at 45:40. This background music is not in the CD OST list.

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i love how teacher kim encourages SJ during their surgery...
kudos to all the actors...

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When they entered the hospital in the ending there was a theme song. What is the name of that song.

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