Live Up to Your Name: Episode 7
I’m thrilled to see that, as nice as Im looks in a suit, he’s still a Joseon man through and through. It’s somehow even more adorable to see him fumbling his way through modern life in a fancy suit and haircut, though with his same old insecure bravado. But he may be about to bite off more than he can chew with his new job, and even in such a short amount of time, he’s managed to get the attention of a few people who would love to see him taken down a peg or three.
EPISODE 7 RECAP
We rewind a bit and see that when Director Ma offered Im the fancy apartment and job, he’d said that he already knew Im was from Joseon. He’d said it wasn’t important how he knew, only that Im was in a fix, and so he’d offered to provide Im with everything he would need as a doctor in the present day. He’d added that he knew an opportunity when he saw it, and Im had accepted his offer.
That night, Im had gone back to Hyeminseo after everyone was asleep. Outside, he’d offered a deep bow as thanks to Grandpa for taking him in, silently vowing to walk the path he couldn’t walk in Joseon: “I will become a doctor who becomes happy when he saves people, and glad when he heals people.”
At Director Ma’s expense, Im is treated to new clothes, a modern haircut, and even an expensive watch. He’s introduced at Shinhye Eastern Medicine Hospital’s VIP ward ceremony as Dr. Heo Bong-tak while Yeon-kyung looks on in disbelief and Jae-ha stares at him incredulously.
After the ceremony, Im is personally presented to Chairman Jo, the man who he helped when he collapsed in the hospital hallway. Im finally dares a look at Yeon-kyung, only to find her glaring at him angrily. They talk outside, where Yeon-kyung tells Im to drop the modern doctor act, and Im is relieved to be able to act and speak naturally.
Yeon-kyung grows annoyed when Im answers her questions vaguely, reluctant to reveal that Director Ma knows that he’s from Joseon. She asks why he wants to work at her hospital, but he just proudly shows her his ID naming him as a licensed doctor.
He doesn’t understand why the fake, illegal ID makes Yeon-kyung angry, because he thought it was a legitimate acknowledgement of his skill. Im wilts, asking if Yeon-kyung thinks he’s incompetent and wants him to go back to Joseon. Her ensuing silence is all the answer he needs.
He gathers his dignity and says that he’s decided to stay here and be a doctor, and that this is the only way he can do that. Reluctantly, he tells Yeon-kyung that he’ll do his best to stay out of her way. As Yeon-kyung walks away in disgust, Im sighs and wonders if she still suffers from her spells.
Meanwhile, Jae-ha confronts his grandfather about recruiting Im, but Director Ma just says that Im is a competent doctor who will be an asset to their VIP ward. Looking crushed, Jae-ha asks if he’s not enough, and Director Ma says flippantly that they can always get rid of Im if it doesn’t work out.
That doesn’t reassure Jae-ha one bit — as he leaves his grandfather’s office, he mutters that his grandfather could also kick him out at any time, just like he kicked his father out. He makes a call and orders the person on the other end to find out everything they can on Heo Bong-tak.
Meanwhile, Im heads to a coffee shop and finds Jae-ha right on his heels. He orders a fancy coffee like he’s done it a million times, but from the startled look on his face when he takes a sip, he’s never tasted anything like it. Ha.
Jae-ha addresses him by his real name, Heo Im, but Im smoothly says that the name isn’t important — he’s a doctor here to treat patients, and who he is will be revealed during the process. (I’m dying at the way he coolly delivers these slick lines, then slurps his yummy coffee like a toddler.)
Im heads to his fancy new office, which is chock-full of the latest medical equipment. A quick flashback shows us that Director Ma taught Im how it all works, in addition to things like sterilization practices. Back in the present, Im calls his receptionist and asks for his first patient to be sent in, then indulges in a little squee of excitement.
Over in the main hospital, Yeon-kyung’s rival Man-soo asks intern Min-jae why Yeon-kyung acted strange when she saw the motorcycle accident victim. Min-jae carelessly wonders if that’s why she went to the psych department, but luckily, Nurse Jung interrupts and says that she went there on behalf of a friend.
Man-soo is curious as to what friend that is, but Yeon-kyung bounces up and snarkily offers to introduce him, since he recently went through a breakup. (LOL, burn.) Min-jae laughs, but when Yeon-kyung turns her sharp gaze on him, he suddenly finds a reason to be elsewhere.
Yeon-kyung quietly thanks Nurse Jung for her intervention. When asked why she seems upset, she admits that there was someone she thought she was getting to know, but then he showed a very different side of himself.
Nurse Jung muses that it’s been a long time since Yeon-kyung was an intern with more curiosity about illnesses than people, making Yeon-kyung smile shyly. She remembers Yeon-kyung asking a lot of questions back then, and suggests that she ask questions like that to “that person.”
Yeon-kyung is called to the ER, where two patients are brought in simultaneously. One is bleeding from a stab wound to the abdomen, and the other is screaming in agony from a stab to the leg. Yeon-kyung briefly hesitates, hand to her chest, but when Man-soo arrives, she gets ahold of herself and goes to the man who’s bleeding from his torso.
Man-soo is informed that his patient’s wife was a nurse, and that she got the bleeding in his leg under control. Both patients are taken directly to the operating room, and as she heads to scrub up, Yeon-kyung freezes for a moment when a woman comes in, covered in blood and followed by a young girl crying for her daddy.
At his hospital, Im sees a patient complaining of bad headaches and stuffy sinuses. He diagnoses the patient with sinusitis, describing the head as a cool cave with a fiery spirit living inside. Each needle he inserts into the patient is accompanied by hilarious animations of cold winds, lightning, flowers, and stars, as the patient buys into Im’s creative explanations of his treatment.
Lastly, Im inserts two needles directly into the patient’s sinuses through his nose, and suddenly, the patient gets a violent nosebleed. Alarmed, Im tries to stop the bleeding with no luck. Jae-ha hears the patient’s cries and comes in to find blood everywhere, and he shoves Im aside. He checks the patient’s chart and finds that he takes aspirin, and he tells Im irritably that he should know that aspirin is a blood thinner.
In the OR, Yeon-kyung operates on the man stabbed in the abdomen, and luckily, his injuries aren’t serious. As they work, Min-jae tells Yeon-kyung that according to the police, their patient was attacked by the other man, and that their patient stabbed the other guy in the leg in self-defense.
Yeon-kyung heads over to Man-soo’s ER to ask his opinion on the wound in his patient’s leg. Man-soo believes that it was done by someone who knew what he was doing, because he accurately targeted the femoral artery and did enough damage that the man may never use the leg again.
In the waiting room, Yeon-kyung finds a detective waiting along with a gang of tough-looking men, along with the wife and child of the man who was stabbed in the leg. The thugs claim that the man whose leg was stabbed attacked their boss first, but his wife argues that her husband was knifed in the leg first.
Yeon-kyung tells the detective that the boss will recover fully before turning to leave. The thugs take this as backup for their version of events, but the other man’s wife insists that her husband wasn’t the aggressor. When her daughter begins to wail, Yeon-kyung stops and goes back.
She demonstrates the angle of the knife wound in the boss’s abdomen to the detective, saying that it was all wrong for someone who was trying to kill him. The detective infers that the other man must have been the one defending himself, and Yeon-kyung tells him that he’s in critical condition because of the severity of his wound. His wife sinks to the floor, devastated at the news that her husband may die or lose the use of his leg.
Min-jae leads Yeon-kyung away as the detective holds the thugs back from following her. Yeon-kyung smiles when Min-jae asks why she got involved like that, agreeing that she’s acting strange lately.
Feeling badly about his patient, Im apologizes to Director Ma, who just says that nobody’s perfect. He mentions that the patient wasn’t a VIP anyway, which has Im giving him the side-eye before quickly making his exit.
Director Shin and Professor Hwang discuss Director Ma, unsettled over the strange way he keeps inviting people from the Blue House to his VIP ward. Professor Hwang agrees to dig around and see what he can learn.
That night, Im surprises heart patient Ha-ra with a visit, and she lights up happily to see him again. When Yeon-kyung arrives a bit later to check on Ha-ra, she finds the two chatting away like old friends. She hovers outside the door, listening as Im tells Ha-ra that Yeon-kyung doesn’t like him much, which reminds her of his promise to stay out of her way.
Im asks Ha-ra if she trusts Yeon-kyung, and Ha-ra admits that she waited for her to arrive to perform her surgery. Im tells her that Yeon-kyung would love to know that, then sighs that patients can’t trust a doctor who doesn’t trust themselves, thinking of how he accidentally harmed a patient today.
A little while later, Im peeks around the ward looking for a glimpse of Yeon-kyung, only for her to pop up behind him and scare him silly. He stammers that he wasn’t trying to see her, he just didn’t know the way out (sure), so she leads him all the way to the front doors of the hospital.
Outside, they stand awkwardly for a moment, then Yeon-kyung asks about Im’s first day. He fibs that it went great, making her grumble under her breath that he’d better do well. He asks what she said, and when she denies saying anything, they bicker back and forth until a car horn snaps them out of it.
It’s Jae-ha, who says that he and Yeon-kyung are having dinner tonight, which is news to her. Jae-ha tells Im that he should be studying after what happened today, and though Yeon-kyung notes Im’s hangdog expression, she agrees to go with Jae-ha.
Jae-ha settles her into his car then goes back to tell Im that he thought his confidence meant he had great skill, but clearly that was all a front, and he won’t last long at the clinic. He turns to go, thinking he’s had the last word, but Im softly asks Jae-ha what he’s so worried about.
Im says that if it’s the patients Jae-ha’s worried about, then he promises it won’t happen again, because he’s not someone who can forgive himself for hurting someone. But he adds that if Jae-ha is worried about his position, “…You should keep doing that. I am looking forward to what I can show you from now on.”
At dinner, Jae-ha reminisces about their younger days together, but Yeon-kyung just wants to know what happened at the hospital. She tells Jae-ha that Im isn’t a bad person, so he tells her that Im doesn’t know that patients on aspirin can experience heavy bleeding, or even what aspirin is.
He says that he wants to find out who Im truly is, and why he’s here. Reluctantly, he asks Yeon-kyung what her relationship is with Im, and why she’s so interested in him when she used to only be interested in medicine. She says that she also wants to find out who Im is and why he wanted to get into the hospital.
At Hyeminseo, clinic assistants Byung-ki and Jae-sook wonder how Im tricked the hospital into thinking that he’s skilled. Upstairs, Grandpa thinks back to a recent visit by Director Ma, when he’d tried to deny any knowledge of Heo Im being in the present day. But Director Ma had gloated that this time, he was the one with the important visitor, and Grandpa had snapped that Director Ma had benefited enough from Heo Jun’s help and was being greedy. (Ah ha.)
Director Ma had said that they’d see what Im chooses, and later that night, Grandpa had seen Im bowing his goodbye on the lawn. He thinks to himself that maybe it was for the best, because Im will learn more in a big hospital than he would at their tiny clinic.
When Yeon-kyung comes upstairs, she asks Grandpa why he let Im stay here and perform acupuncture while knowing that he wasn’t licensed. Grandpa vaguely says that he saw that Im knew some things and just figured that he’d make a good assistant.
In her room, Yeon-kyung puts together what she knows about Im: he’s a doctor from Joseon who did something to anger the king, he ignored servant Doo-chil’s mother, and she started remembering strange things after she met him.
Im goes to work the next day with a new attitude, studying and practicing his little heart out. Later he eyeballs the crowd of patients waiting to see Jae-ha, who has forbidden him to treat anyone. He gets the idea to chat up the patients, handing out his business cards to all of them, and sneaks back to his own office when Jae-ha catches him at it.
At lunch, Im loudly beckons Yeon-kyung over when he spots her, and she sits at his table (mostly to stop his bellowing at her). Im takes out a list of questions about aspirin, causing Yeon-kyung to smile to herself when he’s not looking.
She answers his questions, explaining why aspirin made his patient bleed, and only belatedly realizing that she just gave away her interest. But Im just keeps studying, and as he focuses on his notes, Yeon-kyung smiles again at his eagerness to learn.
Im develops a habit of pouncing on Yeon-kyung to pepper her with medical questions, and though she acts annoyed, the way she coyly tucks her hair behind her ear gives away her pleasure at his seeking her out. Nurse Jung notices, and she grins to herself knowingly.
Soon enough, it’s time for Ha-ra to go home, and Yeon-kyung quips that she hopes they never see each other again. Ha-ra jokes back that she’ll be glad to be rid of Yeon-kyung’s nagging, then she flies at Yeon-kyung and gives her a tight hug.
She asks if Yeon-kyung can feel the beating of the heart that she fixed, and says that Yeon-kyung’s heart feels warm. Awww. Before she goes, Ha-ra tells Yeon-kyung that Im is a good man, advising her to stop playing games and get serious.
Yeon-kyung goes inside to find the stabbing victim’s wife and daughter waiting for her. The wife says that her husband was given a suspended sentence due to extenuating circumstances, and thanks Yeon-kyung for helping them.
Director Ma brings a VIP patient into the hospital, a man named Councillor Jung, who’s experiencing facial paralysis that prevents him from speaking. Jae-ha examines him and performs acupuncture, while Im rolls his eyes at every needle inserted.
While he works, Director Shin and Professor Hwang giggle over the irony of a politician like Councillor Jung being unable to open his mouth. Professor Hwang notes that Director Ma has been traveling to Councillor Jung’s area of constituency quite often, making them wonder if Director Ma is scheming to buy a certain plot of land (this seems to be very scandalous, although I’m just very confused).
Councillor Jung roars at Jae-ha wordlessly when his treatment does no good. His wife screeches that he has an important meeting in a few hours, demanding that Director Ma do something. Im pipes up, saying that he can treat the man, and he’s so confident that he vows to leave the hospital if he fails.
He peers closely at Councillor Jung, sniffing at him before checking his pulse. He diagnoses a stress-related issue based on the man’s elevated heart rate and strong body odor. He takes out his special case of acupuncture needles and gets to work.
By the time he’s finished, Councillor Jung’s muscles have relaxed until he can speak again. Everyone celebrates except for Jae-ha, who stares at Im in disbelief.
As he walks away, Jae-ha gets a call from his informant, who tells him that Heo Bong-tak is on the list of licensed medical professionals, with a photo of Im proving that it’s the right person. But Jae-ha scoffs, unconvinced.
Yeon-kyung lurks outside the hospital, wondering why Im never showed up to pester her today. She sees him shaking hands with Councillor Jung some distance away, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d call that grin on her face downright lovestruck.
She’s startled out of her mooning by Professor Hwang, who tells her that Director Ma is up to something, and to warn Im not to let himself be dragged down in the process.
Im goes back to his office and does a happy dance at his success. Meanwhile, Yeon-kyung is worried by Professor Hwang’s warning, so she calls Im, whose phone number she got from Ha-ra.
When the line is busy, she grows even more concerned and goes looking for him. At the same time, Im’s trying to call her (Ha-ra must have been handing out phone numbers like candy), and they run into each other in front of the hospital.
Im is thrilled to see Yeon-kyung, but she just tells him curtly to quit. Im misunderstands and asks if she hates him that much, wondering sadly why she only says things to him like “quit,” “leave,” and “don’t.”
Growing emotional, Im says that he wanted to show her that he can do a good job, because he knows how she feels about him. He asks if she can’t just trust him once, and oof, he’s breaking my heart.
The vulnerable moment is shattered when the thugs whose boss Yeon-kyung operated on show up, angry that he’s about to go to jail. Im tries to hustle Yeon-kyung away but the thugs surround them, so he blusters at them (and adorably scares himself in the process).
He asks Yeon-kyung who these guys are, and she says they’re gangsters. Im nods sagely, then asks, “What are gangsters?” PFFT. Yeon-kyung makes a big show of stretching and yawning, throwing random arms and legs at the gangsters to make a little room. Then she grabs Im by the wrist and runs.
They don’t get very far as even more thugs show up and corner them. Im asks Yeon-kyung if she has a weapon or if she can fight, and she looks at him like he’s crazy. He simply replies that he never knows what to expect from her before he steps in front of her and starts waving his needle case around, which makes the thugs laugh.
They stop laughing when Im starts hitting their pressure points with the needle case, knocking them out cold one by one. One of the thugs manages to slam a fire extinguisher into Im’s head, and Yeon-kyung catches him as he falls unconscious. When the gangsters look up, both Im and Yeon-kyung are gone.
Im wakes with the sun on his face, but he’s horrified when he realizes that he’s sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking Hanyang — he’s back in Joseon. Beside him, Yeon-kyung wakes, but her first thought is to check Im’s head. He whines that he’s fine, pointing despondently towards the town, and Yeon-kyung screams in horror as the situation hits her.
Things couldn’t possibly be any worse, except that they totally get worse when Japanese soldiers find them. The soldiers advance on Im and Yeon-kyung, making them back away nervously, only to find themselves perched precariously on the edge of the cliff.
Oh no, this is not good! Im no longer looks like a Joseon man, with his spiffy clothes and modern haircut, and navigating his way through his own time is already going to be that much harder now that everyone knows he’s still around. I’m simultaneously cringing at how awful this is going to be for Im and Yeon-kyung, while also gleefully looking forward to more Joseon shenanigans.
I’m concerned about Im working in the Eastern medicine hospital, because I felt as though Yeon-kyung and Grandpa were having a positive effect on him in terms of helping him see his skills as a gift meant for helping people, and not just a way to amass wealth. But he’s suddenly been dropped into some pretty intense luxury without doing much to earn it, and I can see the comforts and pleasures of modern life already beginning to taint him. There were a few times when I saw the same gleam in Im’s eyes in the present times as he used to get while cackling over his treasure in Joseon, and it worries me very much.
The thing is, it’s obvious that Im does care about his patients, almost to his own detriment. I sometimes get the feeling that his focus on monetary gain is his way of distracting himself, of keeping himself from caring too much. Doctors have the unenviable task of needing to distance themselves from the very people they treat, at risk of getting too emotionally involved and losing their objectivity.
Im is a very sensitive soul, and he went into medicine because of a deeply personal loss at a very young age, when he was helpless to save his own mother. He seems to struggle to keep that emotional distance, so I think that telling himself that he was doing it for the money and fame was his way of creating a space between himself and his patients, as well as bettering his personal lot in life. I do believe that he took Director Ma’s offer with the best of intentions, but it’s so easy to backslide into what’s comfortable and familiar.
But Yeon-kyung is much worse, the way she works herself to the bone to advance in the hospital to the point that she can barely connect with anyone at all on an emotional level anymore. I do think that Im is the trigger for her spells, when she sees visions of an accident that she doesn’t remember witnessing, but I think she’s wrong to see Im as the cause of them. I think that Yeon-kyung suffered a terrible tragedy as a child, and that she bottled it up so tight that she supressed the memory, and something about Im has brought it all back to the surface (most likely, as has been theorized, that Heo Jun is her father and that he’s the one who “died” — though in reality, he was transported back to his own time). But I think that the core of Yeon-kyung’s problem is her tendency to shove any emotions so deep down inside that now they’re bubbling to the surface, unable to stay hidden any longer. Im has a way of getting to that place inside her and stirring things up, and I suspect that before long, she’s going to have a very serious breakdown.
As for Jae-ha, I want to like him, but something about him really unsettles me. He’s handsome, intelligent, and a skilled doctor who genuinely seems to care about his patients, but he’s got an inferiority complex a mile wide, and that makes him dangerously unpredictable. Despite his talents and his privilege, he can’t seem to handle any sort of competition, and he sees Im coming between his dreams of both professional success, and his personal goal of winning Yeon-kyung.
And his concerns about Im aren’t unfounded — it’s dangerous for someone who doesn’t even have the most rudimentary knowledge of modern medicine to be practicing as a doctor, which gives Jae-ha a lot of leverage to get Im into very big trouble. But the worst part is that in his area of specialty and even without that knowledge, Im is still a much, much better doctor than Jae-ha. While Jae-ha may have all the education, what Im has can’t be taught: a doctor’s instinct.
- Live Up to Your Name: Episode 1
- Premiere Watch: Manhole, Live Up to Your Name
- Acupuncturist versus surgeon for Live Up to Your Name
- Jaw-dropping, club-hopping Kim Ah-joong in Live Up to Your Name
- Kim Nam-gil flaps his wings to travel back to the past in Live Up to Your Name
- The needle vs. the knife for Live Up to Your Name
- Time-slip drama Live Up to Your Name gets a time slot on tvN
- Kim Nam-gil, Kim Ah-joong offered new tvN time-slip drama