Hospital Playlist: Episode 9
Doctors are humans, too, and like every other profession, failures are inevitable when people are starting out. Even the experienced and the seemingly perfect make mistakes at times, but rather than let these blunders hold them back, the characters learn from their mistakes and strive to improve themselves. Though our main characters have been working and studying for years, it’s a constant battle to do better for the sake of their patients.
EPISODE 9 RECAP
A father yells at the nurses for not letting him donate his liver, so Ik-joon jumps in to defuse the situation. Sitting the father down, Ik-joon explains that the father is too old to donate and has a fatty liver, as well. He suggests waiting for a brain-dead donor, and the father seems to accept Ik-joon’s recommendation.
After dealing with the irate father, Ik-joon and Nurse Song talk about their kids, and Nurse Song worries about her daughter’s health. As they get on the elevator, she invites Ik-joon to lunch with the others, but he has the next “shift” (aka, keeping Seok-hyung’s mom company). He relieves Song-hwa of her duties—thankfully, just in time since she almost had to marry Seok-hyung—and Ik-joon tells Seok-hyung’s mom that her son is adopting him. Hahaha!
Seok-hyung visits his mom after work, entering the room with a spin and a dazzle, and Jung-won greets him back in kind. As soon as Seok-hyung notices the nurse in the room, he reverts back to his calm demeanor, acting as if he didn’t just make a grand entrance.
All of his friends have been checking up on his mom with Joon-wan even bringing her a humidifier, so she tells her son to buy his friends dinner. Seok-hyung refuses to leave her side, but Rosa comes in, both hands filled with food, and ushers the sons to leave. Seok-hyung wonders if their friends would be available on such short notice, but Jung-won already texted the group.
At the restaurant, the friends order more food since Ik-joon’s “dad” is paying for the meal, and Seok-hyung silently judges his friends but doesn’t stop them. Once the meat arrives, all eyes are glued to the grills, and food fighter Song-hwa reaches for a raw piece of meat. All four friends whip their heads around and take turns scolding her. With a pout, Song-hwa returns the piece of meat to the grill. Heh.
During the meal, the friends ask about Seok-hyung’s mom, and he tells them that she finally agreed to a divorce after he cried on his knees. He feels good about her divorce unlike his own, which caused him some heartbreak, and the others tease him for still having feelings for his ex-wife. Seok-hyung explains that it’s not love but a sense of guilt and affection, and calls the others immature children.
Joon-wan admits that it’s still a shame that Seok-hyung won’t inherit his father’s company, but Seok-hyung refuses to accept it anyways. Ik-joon tells him to take the money and give it to them instead, and Seok-hyung chuckles, agreeing to the plan.
Seok-hyung asks the others if they heard about Jong-soo and his early symptoms of depression. At the hospital, Rosa and Seok-hyung’s mom discuss the same thing, and Seok-hyung’s mom empathizes with the chairman since she wrote a suicide note, too. Rosa asks if she cursed her husband in it, and she says that he’s not worth the paper. Ha!
Seok-hyung’s mom asks if Jong-soo will seek therapy, but much to Rosa’s annoyance, he refused. Even now, in his stubbornness, Jong-soo sits in the parking lot, waiting for a call from his second son after their canceled dinner date.
With no word from his son, Jong-soo calls first and learns that his grandson is feeling well now. The conversation is short but friendly, and once he hangs up, Jong-soo smiles. However, his face falls in a flash, and in the end, he looks lonely in his car. Luckily for the chairman, he still has Rosa who calls and orders him to come upstairs to eat.
Early in the morning, Gyu-wool leads the intern to an operating room and describes Ik-joon as chaotic but skilled. To her surprise, he is already in the room studying and overhears her comments. Proving Gyu-wool correct, though, Ik-joon predicts the exact time of arrival for their biopsy results. The rest of his friends are in surgeries as well, and the scene changes to the various operating rooms from the chilly temperatures required for cardiothoracic surgeries to the faint-inducing heats of pediatric rooms.
After his operation, Ik-joon runs into the nurses who are leaving for the day and asks about the father from the beginning of the episode. One of the nurses tells him that the father has stopped visiting a week ago, but Ik-joon already foresaw this outcome. After working for over a decade in this field, Ik-joon can tell that the father won’t come back.
Nurse Song tells Ik-joon that it’s raining, and he smiles before running off. In her office, Song-hwa watches the rain when Ik-joon stops by and invites her out to eat. At the restaurant, they talk about their families, but an emergency calls sends Song-hwa back to the hospital. Ik-joon drives her, and in her hurry, she leaves without closing the door. Ik-joon jumps out of his car and runs around to close it, heh.
The emergency patient is a thirteen-year-old girl, and Song-hwa orders Chi-hong to get an operating room ready. Meanwhile, Jung-won withdraws some money from the atm, and Ik-joon appears behind him to ask for 10,000 won (roughly $8). He also asks for some cigarettes and a lighter, and Jung-won hands him all the items, though he’s set on getting them all back.
Ik-joon plays a little prank, calling out Gyu-wool’s name, and when Jung-won looks up, he gives his friend a look. Before Jung-won leaves, he repeats all the things Ik-joon borrowed, and Ik-joon parodies the “Jessica jingle” from Parasite and scurries away.
Jung-won steps out of the hospital just as Gyu-wool returns, and the man in the car tells Gyu-wool that he’ll see her at home. From inside, Ik-joon and Dr. Bong watch everything and wonder who Gyu-wool’s new boyfriend is. Thus, when Gyu-wool walks passed them, Ik-joon offers to buy her coffee. He meets her outside the PICU and hands her not one but two BTS edition coffee drinks. He asks if her boyfriend is a car dealer, and she tells him that he’s right about one thing but wrong about the other.
Joon-wan calls Ik-soon to tell her goodnight, and goes into the office room for a quick dinner. He finds Yoon-bok still there and offers his credit card so she can take a taxi. Yoon-bok declines, explaining that her boyfriend is here to pick her up, and Joon-wan sheepishly takes back his card.
Song-hwa finishes her emergency surgery and tells the parents that they’ll have to wait and see how the patient recovers. After changing out of her scrubs, she receives a text from Chi-hong, telling her that he left an umbrella at her door. As she leaves her office with the umbrella in hand, Ik-joon calls her and tells her to come down since he’s been waiting this entire time. Awww, they’re both so sweet!
While Ik-joon waits for Song-hwa, he notices Yoon-bok in a nearby car. She’s fighting with her boyfriend over a text message from a guy, and her boyfriend insists on looking at her phone. Yoon-bok feels uncomfortable with his request and refuses to show him her phone.
Later that weekend, Joon-wan meets with Ik-soon and a similar situation befalls them. Ik-soon quickly explains her nonromantic relationship with the text sender, offering to show him her messages as proof, but Joon-wan says that there’s no need since he trusts her.
Instead, they talk about her doctorate plans which would take her abroad for three to five years. Joon-wan wonders if this means that they’ll have to break up since Ik-soon has no plans on getting married. She stares back at him, unable to answer.
While Ik-joon grabs Song-hwa to go eat at the cafeteria, Gyu-wool explains the upcoming procedure to a guardian. However, her use of technical jargon leaves the guardian confused, so Jung-won comes in and uses easier terms. As she watches him speak, she realizes her mistake.
The friends meet in the garden, and Jung-won asks if they know Dr. Chun. Ik-joon remembers him as the guy Joon-wan reported, and right then, Joon-wan appears. Ik-joon waves, and Joon-wan waves back until he realizes that his friend was saying hi to Jae-hak. Hahahaha!
Joon-wan asks if he’s friends with his chief resident, and Ik-joon explains that he’s friends with a lot of the residents from all the departments. He says, “Everyone loves me.” Pfft.
Jung-won tells the others that Dr. Chun is dating a female CEO who’s also their foundation’s board member and a close friend of Jong-soo. The chairman is currently debating on whether or not he should intervene, and Ik-joon asks Joon-wan if Dr. Chun is really as bad as they say he is. Joon-wan calls him a “villain” (using the English word), and Song-hwa asks what that means. Ik-joon lies to her, saying that it’s a hard worker.
Song-hwa leaves the group to make her rounds, and the last patient she meets is the thirteen-year-old and her parents. The patient is now able to speak, and the parents are thankful for Song-hwa’s help. The mom is opening a yoga center, and they invite Song-hwa to visit anytime since she’s like their family’s lucky charm.
Down in the ER, Song-hwa checks a patient’s scans and orders Seok-min to shave the patient for the operation. Since Seok-min and Chi-hong are busy, they toss the task to the intern. In the hall, Ik-joon runs up to Song-hwa and asks if she’ll be late to practice. She tells him that she’ll make it despite her surgery, and unlike busy Song-hwa, Ik-joon is off to chat with Nurse Seonwoo since he’s free this week.
A line of patients waits outside Joon-wan’s office while Dr. Chun has only one. During Dr. Chun’s consultation, the guardian asks him some questions based on what she learned online, but Dr. Chun derides her, suggesting that they go elsewhere and not share internet facts with him. Wow…he really has no redeeming qualities.
Unlike Dr. Chun, Joon-wan is thorough with his patients during their meetings and gives a guardian detailed advice. With five more patients left, Jae-hak mentions how Dr. Chun is already finished, and Joon-wan balks at the news.
In the ER, the neurosurgeons check on the patient, and Seok-min yelps—the intern is shaving the patient’s head. They report the mistake to Song-hwa, and though Seok-min tries to come up with a plausible excuse, Song-hwa tells him to be quiet.
The patient from the beginning is worsening, so with no other option, Ik-joon asks the nurses for the father’s address. Nurse Song suddenly gasps, and when Ik-joon turns around, his mouth falls open as well.
In the OB/GYN department, a patient is wheeled in, and a nursing student worries about the mother’s condition. Nurse Han assures her that the patient will live as Seok-hyung marches into the room.
The father from the beginning is back and looking much slimmer. He begs Ik-joon to let him donate his liver because he doesn’t care if he dies as long as his daughter can live. Ik-joon tells him that the regulations don’t allow the father to donate, and in all honesty, Ik-joon didn’t have much hope, either. However, seeing the father today has given him courage, and Ik-joon agrees to operate. The father thanks him, and Ik-joon’s voice cracks as he thanks the father for coming back.
Song-hwa explains that they needed to shave the groin area instead of the head, and takes responsibility for the mistake. However, both the guardians and the patient don’t make it into a big deal, and the patient even asks Song-hwa not to scold the intern too much.
Joon-wan pops into Ik-joon’s office to ask about the song they’re playing tonight, but notices his friend’s low spirit. Ik-joon tells him that he’s repenting since he hastily judged the world and thought that he knew everything. Though Joon-wan is confused about his confession, Ik-joon kicks him out since Chi-hong is here to talk. Joon-wan obeys though he glares at them as he closes the door.
In the PICU, Gyu-wool notices the guardian from before peeking through the door and invites her in. The guardian explains that she already saw her child but asks Gyu-wool if the surgery went well since she was too frazzled to comprehend the doctor.
This time, Gyu-wool explains the operation in simple terms and even uses drawings. Hearing the good news, the guardian hugs Gyu-wool in thanks, and Jung-won watches from across the room with a smile on his face.
Back in Ik-joon’s office, Chi-hong tells him that his sister dated a guy for five years, and though she didn’t want to get married, her boyfriend did so she eventually changed her mind for him. However, one day they went to a fortune teller for fun, but the fortune teller called Ik-soon a roadblock for her boyfriend.
Though she didn’t believe it, the boyfriend claimed that his mother didn’t like the news and wanted them to break up. While she was dazed, her boyfriend’s mother called to make plans with Ik-soon. In the end, the boyfriend was lying about his mother and just wanted to end things with Ik-soon. Dang, these siblings had the worst luck with significant others.
Because of this breakup, Ik-soon had insomnia for six months and lost a lot of weight. However, she seems recovered, so Ik-joon decides to keep this a secret. At the end, Chi-hong reiterates that he and Ik-soon are just friends and asks if he can see Ik-joon’s band someday.
Ik-joon asks if he likes Song-hwa—though he meant to say admire—but Chi-hong admits his feelings for Song-hwa without hesitation. Ik-joon tries to maintain his composure, though his jokes don’t carry their usual jovial air.
Once Seok-hyung finishes his surgery, the nursing student nervously asks if the patient survived. He tells her that she did, and she beams at him. As the friends get dressed and leave their offices, Seok-hyung bumps into the nursing student on his way out. However, without his scrubs or gown, she doesn’t recognize him at all. Heh.
Nurse Han tells the student not to be embarrassed since all of them are just regular people without their gowns, which is why they should try to be understanding of their patients. Meanwhile, the friends slowly converge in the lobby, and just as Nurse Han said, once they intermingle with the crowd, they’re indistinguishable from everybody else.
As they eat ramyun in Seok-hyung’s basement, Song-hwa tells them that she invited some guests: Jong-soo and Rosa. The two friends arrive, adorably dressed up for the private concert, and Jong-soo acts grumpy while Rosa is excited. The song for the day is “Chance Encounter” by Song Gol Mae.
While they play, the guardian from before finds Gyu-wool and hands her a coffee (another BTS edition) with a knowing wink. We also see Ik-joon’s patient, and the father dotes on his daughter before her surgery. As for Dr. Chun, he smiles at his girlfriend walking towards him, but his face falls when he recognizes the woman behind her as the guardian he was rude to earlier. Oh sweet, sweet karma.
Maybe due to their audience, the friends add a few more flourishes than usual, and Rosa claps along to the beat. Though Jong-soo acts like he’s bored, he taps along in secret, and Ik-joon catches on to his shy enthusiasm.
Woo-joo comes out in his pajamas, asking Ik-joon if he can tag along, but Ik-joon tells his son that they’ll hang out in the evening. They do their good-bye dance (so adorable), and Ik-joon moonwalks out of the apartment.
Chi-hong waits in a restaurant while Song-hwa also leaves her apartment, but she ends up at the yoga center run by her patient’s guardians. She congratulates them on their new business but only has time to greet them since she has plans today. At the restaurant, Chi-hong waves at someone, and the camera cuts to Song-hwa who waves, too—though they might not be waving at each other. (Darn you, show!)
At the news of a handsome, male visitor, Ik-soon skips to the gate, but her excitement turns to disappointment when she notices her brother instead of her boyfriend. Ik-joon hands her some food, but his sudden visit makes Ik-soon wonder if he’s getting remarried or if a family member is sick.
Ik-joon explains that he stopped by because it was “on the way” and apologizes for not visiting her sooner. He hands her some money to use as allowance, and Ik-soon bursts into tears. Like any good brother, Ik-joon mocks his little sister for crying, but tells her to call him anytime if she needs him because he isn’t busy. As he drives away, Ik-soon holds back her tears and watches him leave.
This episode was on the lighter side with most of the patients’ stories getting happy endings. One theme that popped up in multiple patient encounters was the idea of making mistakes and fixing it. For Gyu-wool, it was her use of technical jargon while explaining an upcoming surgery to a guardian, but unlike the case in the ER back in episode two, Gyu-wool’s lack of experience rather than lack of sympathy was the main cause of her mistake. It wasn’t until Jung-won came and explained the same ideas in a simpler manner that Gyu-wool realized what she did wrong and learned where she could improve. Since she’s only a second year, it makes sense for her to still be unaware of how she should act, but we see how much Gyu-wool has grown by how quickly she puts these new skills into practice. Then there was the intern who shaved the patient’s head, and though the patient could have been angry, he was understanding of the young doctor because people make mistakes, especially when they’re new.
On the other hand, Ik-joon’s mistake came from his experience. After years of working as a doctor, Ik-joon had fallen into a rhythm around the hospital—knowing exactly when results come in and how guardians will react—but this time around, he was wrong. The father did come back, and even changed himself so he could donate his liver. The father’s actions seemed to really shake Ik-joon, and it forced him to reevaluate his beliefs and recognize his own prejudice. While Gyu-wool and the intern’s mistakes were a result of their lack of knowledge, the show reveals how experience can act as a double-edged sword if you’re not careful. Everyone makes mistakes, even those who seem perfect like Ik-joon, but one’s character is determined by how you respond to these failures. While Ik-joon repents after this incident (and probably becomes an even better doctor than the one he is already), we see another character repeat the same mistakes without any signs of remorse or willingness to change. On multiple occasions, Dr. Chun belittles his patients and their guardians, showing contempt towards others. However, his mistakes and lack of change eventually bite him in the butt when his behavior is revealed to his CEO girlfriend. It probably wasn’t a coincidence that one of his patients was related to his girlfriend (it wouldn’t have been weird for her to tell her friends and family to see her boyfriend who’s a doctor for treatment), and I’m glad he was the cause of his own downfall. Contrasting with the others, Dr. Chun had no desire to fix his mistakes, and in the end, the show reveals what happens to those who don’t acknowledge their shortcomings.
So far, the only romance that has blossomed in this show is the one between Joon-wan and Ik-soon. I love the portrayal of two adults in love—no need to be shy about physical intimacy with these two— which really contrasted well with Yoon-bok and her boyfriend this episode. Similar scenarios occurred to both couples (a male texted the girlfriend), but the responses were totally different. Part of it is due to their personalities, but I think experience also influenced how they reacted. While Yoon-bok’s boyfriend immediately got mad and tried to pry into her phone, Joon-wan acts like it doesn’t bother him to show that he trusts his girlfriend. As for Yoon-bok, she gets defensive when her boyfriend acts possessive and keeps her words vague, while Ik-soon prattles off details about the colleague to Joon-wan to avoid any misunderstandings. In the older couple’s case, they communicate with each other and try to nip any issues that can lead to a fight right away while for the younger couple, they let their emotions control them in that moment and instead of defusing the situation, they escalate the fight. Since Joon-wan and Ik-soon are more mature, the obstacles in their relationship reflect that as well. Rather than late-night texts from opposite-sex friends, they talk about their career goals and thoughts on marriage. Ik-soon possibly moving abroad for years does put a wrench into their relationship, and it’s refreshing to see two adults talk about these issues in a calm manner because sometimes couples break up even though they’re still in love. Just like how Seok-hyung holds some affection for his ex-wife, a relationship between two people isn’t necessarily cut and dried.
Besides a few successful couples, the romance department is currently filled with one-sided crushes (mainly by our residents). Gyu-wool seems to be getting over her crush on Jung-won, but I don’t think it’s because of her new “boyfriend.” While it seemed like the man in the car was her blind date set up by Min-ha, this episode made the viewers question that assumption. When Ik-joon asks about the boyfriend, Gyu-wool tells him that he’s right about one thing but wrong about another, which makes it seem that he is a car dealer but not her boyfriend. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was actually her brother since he talked to her very comfortably and said that he would see her at home. For the most part, the show has been very clear about Gyu-wool’s feelings, but opaque about Jung-won’s. I get the impression that Jung-won is somewhat aware of her feelings and Ik-joon’s actions, but he seems to be fond of her as his junior rather than a love interest. When he saw her draw pictures for the guardian, he looked proud instead of lovestruck, and as some viewers have pointed out, Gyu-wool seems to idolize Jung-won to a degree and loves him like a fan loves their idol. As the two characters are right now, I like them more as a mentor and mentee, but since there are many more episodes left, there’s still a chance for something to happen down the road.
Another major crush in this show is by Chi-hong, and in this situation, Ik-joon is thrown into the mix. Everyone loves Song-hwa (for good reason), and in this case, I wouldn’t mind her ending up with either of these two men or by herself (being single is great, too). Both Chi-hong and Ik-joon are charming and considerate, and I feel like both of them could make Song-hwa happy in their own way. Chi-hong is steady and soft—showing his love in small ways that doesn’t overbear on Song-hwa and force itself on her. He gives her space but lets his presence be known. As for Ik-joon, he’s known Song-hwa for so long which is both his advantage and disadvantage. He can act comfortably around her and be there for her when she needs him, but so many years have passed since their initial crushes and their relationship has morphed into a strong friendship that might hinder them from moving beyond that point. If either of them still has feelings, then I can see a romantic relationship occurring, but as of right now, they still feel like old friends, even when they’re alone together. However, I love that the show emphasizes friendship and portrays it as a worthy relationship equal to (if not better than) a romantic one. Thus, if Ik-joon isn’t the end game, it doesn’t make their relationship pointless because their friendship is already beautiful.
The thing I love most about this show is how it delves into different types of relationships. Not being romantically involved doesn’t make a relationship less strong or amazing, and I’m so happy to see the show hammer this point again and again each episode with the five friends. The way they still act like kids around each other will never get old. Besides friendship, this episode also dealt with family through Ik-joon and Ik-soon. Though their relationship isn’t perfect, there’s a lot of love between them, and while they might not express their emotions outright, it was obvious from Ik-soon’s tears that she understood what Ik-joon was trying to say without having to hear it. The different stages of Ik-soon at the end was hilarious because it so perfectly captured the sibling relationship. It’s a mix of disappointment to see them and skepticism when they act nice, but in the end, they’re also the ones who have your back when you need them, which can feel overwhelming. Ik-joon’s response was also great—mocking her for crying but showing that he was her older brother who would take care of her if she needed him. Overall, their relationship really captures what the creators do best: balancing humor with the heartfelt.