Doctor Lawyer: Episodes 15-16 (Final)
The truth finally comes to light, and our protagonists put up their final fight to bring evil to justice. Between predictable reveals and neat conclusions, there’s one last secret to shake things up — can our hero hold steadfast through it all while balancing his dual identities?
EPISODES 15-16 WEECAP
Yi-han corners Jayden, accusing him of being the VIP patient he unknowingly transplanted Seok-joo’s heart into. Jayden isn’t intimidated one bit, and he challenges Yi-han to prove his assertions.
As such, Yi-han and Seok-young meet with Michael, who tells them that Jayden and Chairman Gu often held private meetings — in other words, they may have worked out a deal under the table.
Jayden pays Chairman Gu a visit in prison, where the old man is as smug as ever. He offers to keep mum about Jayden’s heart originally belonging to Seok-joo — well, I guess there’s our confirmation — but only if Jayden gives up on acquiring Banseok Hospital.
Jayden isn’t satisfied with only the Banseok R&D Center, but Chairman Gu threatens that he’ll expose the truth and have Banseok go up in flames. He’d rather destroy it all than let Jayden steal Banseok from under his nose.
Contrary to expectations, though, Jayden laughs in his face — he knows Chairman Gu values his family. If Chairman Gu’s dirty crimes are revealed, won’t his dear Hyun-sung be oh-so-disappointed in the father he looks up to?
Of course, a flashback reveals that there’s more to the night of the surgery than we were initially privy to. The day of his surgery, Jayden suddenly requests to postpone it to the following day, since there’s someone he needs to meet urgently.
Crafty as always, Chairman Gu allows for the delay, prescribing Jayden a counter-agent to mitigate the effects of the pre-surgery medicine he’d taken. However, the medicine had induced a heart attack instead, causing Jayden’s accident and leading to the illicit surgery at Banseokwon.
Yi-han and Seok-young plan a meeting with Jung-hyun, but she doesn’t show up. Worried, they visit her house to find her son collapsed on the floor — Chairman Gu had ordered his aide CHUN HYUN-GU (Lee Gyu-bok) to kidnap Jung-hyun.
He’s about to escape overseas, but a phone call from Eun-shil stops him short. She instructs him to take care of Jung-hyun and turn himself in, since Chairman Gu has admitted to his charges in order to save Banseok. She reassures Hyun-gu that his sentence will be light. (Yeah, I can smell the manipulation from a mile away.)
Of course, Chairman Gu switches tack and denies all the charges, claiming to have been put under unfair duress previously. He pins the blame for all his crimes on Hyun-gu, feigning total ignorance.
Right then, a phone rings — it’s Eun-shil’s. Or more specifically, it’s the burner phone that Chairman Gu gave her to contact Hyun-gu with. Realizing the phone is crucial evidence, Seok-young snatches it out of her hands and answers the call for the whole courtroom to hear.
It’s Hyun-gu on the other end of the line, but he’s a lot closer than we think — turns out he’s sitting in that very courtroom, to everyone’s shock. But how did he get there?
To answer that question, we rewind back. Jung-hyun’s disappearance may have posed a setback to the team, but Yi-han doesn’t let that faze him. He confronts a guilt-ridden Yoon-jung about the autopsy report she fabricated for Seok-joo’s death, which is exactly the push she needed to do the right thing.
Together with Seok-young, they reveal the full extent of Chairman Gu’s crimes to his wife. Urging her to protect Banseok, Yi-han entreats her (and Hyun-sung) to track down Hyun-gu’s whereabouts before Chairman Gu can get to him.
Thankfully, Hyun-sung comes through for them; he’s found out that Hyun-gu will be meeting the Banseok security team to hand over the burner phone. Of course, Hyun-gu finds himself surrounded by them instead, and he makes a desperate run for it — right as Yi-han pulls up in front of him to save him.
That’s how both Hyun-gu and Jung-hyun safely make it to court, to the dismay of Chairman Gu. Hyun-gu testifies that the phone contains recordings of Chairman Gu ordering him to instigate or commit murder, and then Jung-hyun takes the stand to reveal the truth of Seok-joo’s surgery. Using her son as leverage, Chairman Gu had coerced Jung-hyun into assisting him.
Chairman Gu finally confesses to removing Seok-joo’s heart with his own two hands, and destroying Seok-joo’s ECMO the next morning so that he’d lose his life. Grief twists its claws into Seok-young — and then she’s clutching at her heart, gasping in pain as her heart condition acts up.
Seok-young is rushed to the hospital, and her untimely collapse causes the trial to be suspended until the next hearing.
Justice is beginning to deal her hand, and Eun-shil’s about to get disbarred for her part in Chairman Gu’s crimes. Left without a lawyer, Chairman Gu has no choice but to accept Yi-han’s visitation request.
He apologizes for what he did to Yi-han, admitting that he hoped to kill two birds with one stone — save his VIP client, and get rid of Yi-han so Hyun-sung could finally step out of his shadow.
Chairman Gu reveals his true motive soon enough, though. Claiming to have hidden a video that proves Jayden was the recipient of Seok-joo’s heart, he entreats Yi-han to find it and protect Banseok.
Post-visitation, Chairman Gu visits the prison doctor, who’s supposed to give him a non-lethal injection to simulate dizziness and get him transferred to (the much more comfortable) Banseokwon.
Instead, the shot makes Chairman Gu pass out entirely, and when he wakes up he’s chained to a medical cot — just as Yi-han once was. How the tables have turned.
It’s the work of Jayden, who wields a syringe containing several times the dosage of the heart-attack-inducing drug Chairman Gu gave him that night. He’s here for revenge.
Meanwhile, Yi-han discovers the video that Chairman Gu hid, which contains the conversation about delaying Jayden’s surgery. Pairing that with Jayden’s accident report, Yi-han realizes that there had been someone in the passenger seat — KIM JUNG-HYE (Lee Kyung-jin), a 63-year-old woman.
Through a flashback, we see her conversation with Jayden. Claiming to be a friend of her son Jae-hyuk, Jayden asks why she didn’t look for her son if she missed him so much. Jung-hye replies tearfully that she hadn’t had the courage to, not after sending him away when it became difficult to make ends meet.
She confesses that she misses her son, even though she doesn’t think she deserves to see him again. Tears welling up in his eyes, Jayden admits that he resented her for abandoning him — but despite it all, he missed her, too.
After so many years of separation, Jayden finally gets to call her “mom,” but Chairman Gu’s drug kicks in at that exact moment. Clutching his chest in agony, Jayden barely manages to swerve away from traffic and pull over.
It’s no use, though, because Hyun-gu shows up to ram his car straight into Jayden’s. Jung-hye instinctively throws herself over her son to protect him, and when Jayden regains consciousness post-accident, he’s informed by Chairman Gu that his surgery was successful — but that the passenger died.
Back in the present, Yi-han realizes that Chairman Gu deceived Jayden into receiving the illegal heart transplant surgery, so that Honours Hand would have to invest in Banseok. That’s why Jayden has been hell-bent on revenge all these years, since Chairman Gu killed the only family he had left. In the prison, Jayden injects Chairman Gu with the drug, wishing him a slow and painful death.
The next morning, Chairman Gu is rushed to the hospital. He requests for a meeting with Yi-han, but he barely gets to say a few words to him before he flatlines.
Elsewhere, Jayden clears out his penthouse and heads to the airport with Yoo-na. Both Hyun-sung and Yi-han simultaneously realize that Jayden’s planning to flee the country, and they rush to catch him at the airport.
Hyun-sung makes it to him first, and he grabs his lapels in anguish, accusing him of killing his father. Jayden merely smirks, challenging Hyun-sung to prove his crime and chase after him to take revenge.
Except that’s not what Hyun-sung has in mind. Emotional and impulsive as ever, Hyun-sung stabs a scalpel right into Jayden’s heart.
Yi-han arrives at that very moment (convenient timing, as always), and he rushes to staunch the flow of blood. Pushing past the pain, Jayden ekes out that he hadn’t known how Chairman Gu would obtain the heart, and he asks Yi-han to convey his apology to Seok-young.
Jayden is rushed to Yi-han’s clinic, where the team prepares for surgery. Seok-young urges Yi-han to save Jayden’s life, so that he can stand trial and receive his due punishment.
One year later. At Yi-han’s clinic, So-yeon undergoes a successful throat surgery, regaining her voice thanks to Yo-seob. Yi-han gets exonerated at his retrial for the malpractice allegations, and the team celebrates with Seok-young in her hospital ward.
Before Yi-han joins them, he visits someone in prison — it’s Jayden. Yi-han asks why Jayden didn’t tell him about his past sooner, and why he isn’t filing an appeal; he can potentially receive a lighter sentence due to extenuating circumstances.
Yi-han offers to defend him in court, but Jayden turns him down. Since he’s taken revenge in his own way, he now has to pay the price, and he’s resolved to carry out his sentence without running away.
Extending a hand for a final goodbye, Jayden thanks Yi-han for everything he’s done. With something like regret and respect in his gaze, Yi-han shakes Jayden’s hand.
Before they part ways, Jayden asks why Yi-han chose to save him a second time. Simply, Yi-han replies that he’s a doctor.
All’s well that ends well; a heart donor has finally been found for Seok-young, and Yi-han proposes marriage once she’s healthy again.
Back in his clinic, Yi-han surveys the medical supplies that Jayden bought for him, then picks up a scalpel. He gazes at it for a long moment, no doubt contemplating how it can either save lives or kill people depending on whose hand it’s in.
Just then, he gets a call, and he answers as Lawyer Han Yi-han, scalpel in hand. Our Doctor Lawyer is back to work.
Well, that’s certainly a neat ending. I can’t say this drama’s finale surprised me, and I do wish it took a different direction rather than such a predictable route. The uneven pacing didn’t do the show any favors, and I’m left wanting more emotional payoff.
The drama had lots of potential at first — so many possible antagonists, each with their own vested interests! A precarious (but electrifying) partnership between two capable men, one of whom is an absolute wild card! A premise that could have explored how medicine and law save people in different ways!
Instead, what we got was a half-baked and well-worn tale, in which the plot tended to drag its characters along and shove them into pigeonholes of cliches. So many choices were made purely for theatrics, rather than having them be believable and character-driven.
The key cast isn’t even that sprawling when compared to certain other dramas (Insider, I’m looking at you), but the script didn’t know how to properly utilize them all. Characters were spotlighted and then suddenly sidelined — for example, I thought Michael was going to play a bigger role in Jayden’s downfall, but he was essentially relegated to being an information messenger pigeon.
I wish the characters were written as fully-developed individuals in their own right, rather than being reduced to one-dimensional archetypes. I did try to lower my standards and just enjoy the ride, but when you manage to make even So Ji-sub seem bland, that’s when you know something’s seriously lacking in your show.
I don’t want to be too much of a downer, though — the show did have its good moments, and I genuinely enjoyed the uplifting messages of hope it conveyed through the principled doctors that never hesitated to save a life.
Still, it’s precisely because I liked some parts that I wish the drama did better. It set up such interesting foils — for example, the steadfast Yi-han, praised by all, versus the insecure Hyun-sung, shamed for his lacking skills by his very own father.
There’s also so much to explore between Yi-han and Jayden. Yi-han is staunchly principled, but that limits his ability to pursue revenge without compromising his morals, often putting his allies in danger due to how slow their plans move. Contrast that to Jayden, who is decidedly more amoral, allowing him the freedom to beat his enemies at their own game and swiftly resolve situations before they can escalate.
Whose approach ought to be taken? Is it ever justified to manipulate people like pawns if all turns out well in the end? Or should one strive to uphold ethics even in the face of unscrupulous evil? How far can one possibly go while staying within the bounds of the law, when the system itself is flawed, corrupt, and easily manipulated by the rich?
I wish more time was devoted to fleshing out the conflict in their methods, as well as developing a deeper relationship between the two. The revelation of Jayden’s involvement in the surgery, and the subsequent dissolution of their partnership, would have landed a lot harder.
Ultimately, the drama sacrificed depth in favor of pulling off dramatic reversals (which really weren’t that surprising) and manufacturing conflict (which didn’t feel all that organic). It’s a shame, because I do think the drama touched upon some very pertinent questions, yet it didn’t manage to answer them with sufficient complexity.
At the end of this long, winding ride, I’m not quite satisfied with how the drama turned out, but I don’t entirely lament the time I spent on it, either. I’ll definitely miss seeing Shin Sung-rok as the captivating Jayden, that’s for sure!