Often in life, it is necessary to face our nightmares and innermost fears in order to take that quantum leap forward. It is no different for our hero Si On as the monster from his past appears before him and knocks him down with a devastating blow. Will Si On overcome this crisis or succumb to the destructive force which had scarred him in the past and possibly destroy his future?
Episode 13 Recap
SO collapses in front of DH and YS who rushed to his aid. Flashbacks come back searing through SO’s mind as he convulses on the floor. He remembers his dad locking him up in a dark room because he didn’t want SO running around, bringing humiliation to the family. Little SO is trembling with hear, his little hand shaking against his chest. He hears his father threatening to break his legs so that he would not be able to go out anymore. Just then the door opens and little SO’s face turned in horror at his dad coming to get him.
SO regains consciousness on the hospital bed with YS and DH looking at him with concern. YS asked if he is all right and he answers that he is. However, on learning that his dad is just outside the ward, he immediately cowers in fear and starts fidgeting with his fingers nervously. DH looks at SO intently, observing how terribly frightened he is at the mention of his dad. I think for the first time, DH realizes that SO has suffered a worse trauma that he had imagined.
DH walks out to find dad sleeping on the bench, he obviously cannot stand the sight of him. Dad insists on seeing DH but DH stops him saying that SO is still in an unstable condition. Dad starts to get mad and tells DH not to interfere between parent and child. Just then, Mom appears. Dad turns livid at the sight of Mom, it’s probably the first time in years that he has seen her. He becomes mad with rage and it takes 2 security personnel to haul him away with his cussing ringing down the hospital corridor. The commotion does not go unheard by SO inside the ward. He gets off the bed and scurries away in terror.
DH and YS talks about SO’s parents. YS is shocked that SO’s trauma is worse than she had thought. DH says SO cannot keep avoiding his dad and neither can they keep him away from his mother.
SO is sitting along in a quiet corridor, a place where he probably thinks his dad will never be able to find him. He is still shaking and keeps looking around as if expecting his dad to appear from some corner. Unknown to him, Dad and Mom are having a big fight outside. Dad accuses Mom of living in luxury with her doctor son but Mom cries that SO does not even recognize her. Dad refuses to believe as SO did recognize him. Mom pleads for Dad to let SO be and disappear, if he needs money, she can give him. This insults Dad further and he flies into more rage. He claims he is not here for the money but to catch her and kill her. Mom agrees that it’s a good idea that they should both die for SO’s sake. Dad explodes and raises his hand to strike Mom, only that he gets choked in a coughing fit.
At the rate and decibel he shouts all the time, I am surprised his larynx hasn’t died on him earlier. He sits down, grasping his throat all the time and coughs into his hand with the most horrible sound. Then he checks his hand and blobs of blood are evident. If this drama was decades ago, it’s probably tuberculosis but in present times, it’s all likely to be cancer. Whatever it is, Dad has little time but I have no doubt he will be significant in the next leg of SO’s journey to become a surgeon.
Director is mad with KHT and demands to know who is the person driving the hospital to the brink? KHT says that his plan was to have Director and DH as his anchormen. But Director says he has no desire to work with people like him, who sees the hospital as a money making organization. He tells him to leave immediately. KHT complies but does not leave before telling Director that he will return shortly and this time, he will be the one running the hospital. He tells Director to reconsider his decision; the Director can only look at him speechless.
YS goes to comfort SO who is still sitting on the bench. SO asks nervously if Dad was still around, poor boy is still trembling. SO tells YS that he is not frightened at the moment but at that point when Dad appeared, it seems as if he went back to his 7 year old self in a time machine. YS asks if SO remembers his mom’s face since that he can now recognized his Dad and his memory came back. SO says that he cannot and would rather not because he is afraid that he will remember her covered in cuts and bruises. It would then be too painful for him. YS’s eyes welled up in tears and she reaches out her hand to comfort SO. Still shaking, SO is oblivious when YS pats his shoulder. When he calmed down somewhat, he becomes conscious of her touch and slowly moves away. Awww…I really missed their skinship. SO tells YS that he will like to be alone for a while.
Back in the office, YS tells the rest to treat SO as comfortably as they can without being too obvious or asking him about the incident. SO comes back and everyone tries to be act natural and cheery. DH comes in for a meeting with the team and they are discussing a patient’s pending surgery. DH tells SO to brief the team on the surgical procedure but SO cannot. He does not know how nor can he imagine the internal anatomy of the organs like he used to.
DH and YS discusses the seriousness of SO’s condition. DH remarks that SO will have no future as a doctor if the condition persists since the diagnostic skill was the only one he possess. YS gets more worried when she sees SO pouring over the medical books but scratching his head as if he is having difficulty absorbing the information. At this moment, Dr Lizard springs a surprise visit to the office. He announces that he is starting a team building exercise for the Pediatric Surgery Dept by going out for a meal together. Hah. We never thought we would see this day, did we? One by one, the doctors decline his offer, including Spy Doc. Finally, Dr Lizard’s eyes rest on SO but stops short of inviting him. Dr Lizard slithers away in disappointment.
KHT bumps into CK and CK compliments him with sarcasm. However KHT catches CK by surprise when he reveals that he knows she is the one who instigated the removal of support from corporate sponsors. CK asks if it was Chairman Jeong who told him. KHT trumps her by saying that he has never mentioned a Chairman Jeong to her. CK barely contains her shock at being exposed.
DH is worried enough about SO to talk to a colleague who specializes in the department. He asks if SO will be able to recover his abilities. The doctor says it’s possible but rare. However, one thing might help, if SO is being shown love and care, it might heal his trauma and help him to recover his abilities. Are we going to see DH showering love and care for SO? Well, if Dr Lizard can offer to treat his department for the first time, miracles do happen, you know.
DH has a prep talk with SO at the rooftop. He asks SO if what he fears the most in this world is his dad. SO refutes it, saying instead: “It is the death of a patient.” DH confirms it’s the right answer but tells him that his fear of his dad will cause his patient to do because that fear has caused him to lose his abilities. DH admits that he used to think SO’s ability as an adverse or side effect but come to think of it now, it’s something good for the patient. DH goes further and reminds SO of his promise to do better than him. Hence, SO should recover quickly so that he can save more patients.
YS is checking on In Hae and they chat about relationships. In Hae asks if YS never had a boyfriend and YS jokes about her introducing her to a guy. In Hae wonders if Eun Ok is living well and YS shows a picture that Gyu Hyun sent to her mobile phone. As In Hae goes through the pictures, she sees a picture of the rose that SO gave. She asks YS who gave her the rose and YS says it’s SO. In hae immediately launches a string of questions and smiles knowingly.
Earlier Dr Han had briefed Nurse Jo and Nurse Nam on SO’s current condition and the lovely pair wastes no time in praising SO sky high and even has their thumbs up in unison. Meanwhile Director sits in his room, troubled by SO’s condition and the sudden reappearance of his parents. He recollects a scene from the past when he cycled SO back home one day to find SO’s mom closing the door on him. He is probably wondering whether SO’s parents will do more damage to him than good as nothing seems to have changed from before.
DH finds SO still working in the office when it’s a holiday and orders him to go him and rest. He tells YS to haul SO home and take away his card if he refuses to listen.
Dad is drinking in Mom’s place when he suddenly throws the table as his fury gets the better of him. Again. Dad is still the same horrid person he was. He sneers at Mom but Mom besieges him to leave Seoul together with her, no doubt to get him away from SO. He refuses and says that he has the right to enjoy a good life in his old age since SO is a doctor. Mom tells him rightfully that he does not deserve it as he has done nothing for SO as a father. Dad gets really mad and grabs an object to throw at Mom. I am shocked that Mom just sits there, waiting for the blow to land on her. If it was me, I might have clobbered this man to death a long time ago. Just then, Director pays a visit and Dad is of course, jumps into conclusion that his wife and Director are lovers. He grabs the Director by his lapels and starts yelling at him. Not a minute too soon, he gets into a coughing fit. I don’t understand how this man continues to shout when his throat is killing him, literally. Director feels his pulse and his eyes widened with shock. Yes, I know I know. Such a devil has a pulse too, right?
YS walks SO home and she brings up the topic of his confession. SO tells her to pretend that she never heard it. He says he must be mistaken because it’s the same feeling he had when he fell for a pretty teacher who was kind to him. YS doesn’t believe him and asks if he is lying. SO says she knows he can’t lie to which she counters with all those incidents like giving her a rose and buying the hammer as an excuse. She tells him not to feel bad because she felt his sincerity in his confession.
They moved to a coffee place and continue talking. YS asks SO if she is his first love and though he doesn’t answer, she takes it as a yes and shares her own first love experience with SO. She tells SO that though it was unrequited and very painful, she grew more mature, learning from it. Bah, she is still talking to SO like he is a child. YS tries to encourage SO, telling him that first love makes his heart grow and SO is just starting to grow. When she says “I love you very much too…” SO looks up at her expectedly but she continues “As a junior and a younger brother I cherish.” No, YS please don’t tell that to a man who just confessed his heart to you. It’s the last thing he wants to hear. Never mind that SO is child-like but he is a man, like any other. YS tells SO “This is also love.”
SO sighs inaudibly but YS doesn’t notice or reads him wrongly and continues in her spiel “… and we will become as close as real siblings.” Awww… SO finally speaks up and asks YS what if over time, he still feels the same way for her? What should he do then? YS doesn’t know how to react but before she can find her voice, SO gives his analogy, as always relating to his childhood experience. He likens his level of frustration at that point to that when he felt as he was trapped in the mines. Woah, that speaks volume of the depth of feeling he is having. But he adds that although he feels disappointed, he is more at ease after confessing his feelings. He is also sorry to make YS feel burdened. Then he gives her a bow, gets up and leaves, leaving YS speechless.
SO walks home dejected and sees Dr Lizard who is having a team building exercise all by himself, ha. He is drinking at a street stall and gets SO to join him. After several bottles, SO is yawning as Dr Lizard goes on and on about how no one respects him. SO says he does but Dr Lizard says it doesn’t count because it is coming from him. He expects SO to be upset and when SO isn’t, Dr Lizard scolds him for being timid. Finally, when he is done, SO hauls a cab for Dr Lizard but he is too drunk to say where he lives.
The following morning, we see Dr Lizard stirring from his sleep in SO’s bed. This scene reminds me of how YS woke up screaming in SO’s bed because Dr Lizard is almost as shocked. He is greeted by the sight of SO who has prepared breakfast. And what could it possibly be but SO’s staple –kimbap, ha. He even tells Dr Lizard the type of kimbap he is eating, so cute. SO thanks him for drinking with him the night before and tells Dr Lizard that he was really cool. He imitates Dr Lizard and it’s so funny.
DH gives SO another round of test but this time uncharacteristically SO gets his answers wrong and DH decides to stop the session. It leaves SO more exasperated with himself and DH frustrated, thinking back on how SO was spewing out answers which were astoundingly accurate.
SO sits at his usual place disheartened with himself. In Hae comes along and complains about him not doing his duty as her physician. SO apologizes and In hae guesses that he has been rejected after he confessed. SO says he has not been himself. He gets frustrated easily and even started telling lies. He worries that at this rate, his crush will dislike him more and more. In Hae consoles him that YS is not like that and SO nods. Then he realizes that In Hae know and he stands up immediately and panicked. In Hae sighs that if it’s Dr Cha she is up against, she acknowledges defeat, ha. SO begs her to keep it a secret, so cute. In Hae calms him down and guesses everything that went on between SO and YS. She tells him to persevere and touch YS with his sincerity, it’s the only weapon he has.
Director comes in and interrupts their session. He tells SO to follow him and brings him to see his dad who is thankfully sleeping in a ward. SO starts to twitch uncontrollably and turns to walk away. Director stops him and tells him that his dad is dying of terminal cancer of the larynx. He doesn’t expect SO to accept him but he thought SO should know his dad’s condition and see him as he would any other patient. SO runs to the stairwell and tries to calm himself down.
SO treats a girl who has cut her hand badly when she tried to protect her blind father. SO is impressed at the father and daughter’s relationship. Later he learns that the daughter has been taking care of her father when her mother is at work. SO comments on her kindness but she dismisses it saying that she is just doing what a daughter would. She confesses that she uses to be embarrassed about her dad’s condition but not anymore. She gets sad whenever she thinks of how life would be without him.
Dr Han waits for In Young outside her work place. She doesn’t look pleased to see him and gets more pissed off when he tells her to quit her job although he has good reasons being that it’s for the sake of her sister and her own health. In Young says she has no choice because the surgery will cost a lot. Dr Han offers to lend her his money and says it doesn’t matter how long she takes to repay the loan. Of course, this comes out all wrong and In Hae thinks that he is showing off his wealth. She tells him to find another girl befitting his status, who will look good with him and storms off.
Back at the hospital, Dr Han and SO are unable to sleep. Dr Han asks SO if there is someone he likes and deduces that SO must have because he is a man after all. SO asks if Dr Han likes In Hae’s sister and Dr Han takes it good-naturedly, laughing that the whole world knows about his crush. SO tells Dr Han that he has hope because he has the qualifications to love. He is cool, not lacking in anything, being confident and not having anything to be embarrassed about. He paused for a while before ending that Dr Han has all these and more because he is mature. Awww…indirectly, we can see that SO thinks he lacks all these things and he is particularly sad that YS does not see him as mature individual. Dr Han tells SO that there is no such thing as qualifications to love. To him, “If you love that person unconditionally, then you come to possess the right to love her.” He says that once he can do that, then he has the right to love her. SO listens to his words intently. He asks if Dr Han has confessed to his love but Dr Han says he hasn’t. He finds out that SO did and comments that SO is lot better than him and a cool dude at that, ha.
Chairman and Director go to meet the person whom KHT says will negotiate a settlement offer. They are shocked when they see Jeong and it’s obvious the three went back a long time together. SO walks past his dad’s ward and sees him verbally abusing the nurse. He immediately crouches down out of his dad’s sight and trembles all over.
Just as news breaks out about an accident involving a school bus and twenty injured children, the ambulances carrying the injured children streams in one by one. There are injured children everywhere and Dr Lizard asks if there are other hospitals who can share the load. A doctor explains why this is not possible. For the first time, Dr Lizard in also in the thick of action instead of watching by the sidelines.
DH sizes up the situation and orders the team to get down working. Its pandemonium as all the children needs immediate attention and surgery. One boy starts to bleed profusely from his abdomen and DH attempts a surgery right there and then. The blood is literally spewing like a fountain from the boy. Children are crying, every child needs immediate attention and the doctors are stretched. They quickly sort out the operating rooms and surgeons for each case. Dr Lizard, DH, YS and Dr Han all take a case as the leading surgeon. Just as we thought things are going to be fine, a doctor comes running in with a patient who has been sent from another hospital. She is none other than In Jeong, the kind-hearted girl who SO had met earlier. So she was also one of the casualties on board the bus. Her rib had fractured and pierced her spleen, requiring immediate surgery. SO knows that sending her away will mean certain death for the young girl so he suggest moving her to the operating room next to DH since DH has done simultaneous surgeries before.
DH is shocked at SO’s arrangement but there is no choice so he agrees to take care of the surgery. However, the patient he is operating crashes and as luck would have it, the same thing is happening to SO’s patient in the other room. At the brink of a potential disaster, DH looks at SO in the eyes and tells him to be the operating surgeon.
Never did I expect that SO’s first surgery would be under such circumstances. And did we forget that this is the same guy who just lost his special skill? Without it and with only failures during those mock surgeries that DH put him through, are we to expect a good outcome from this? Since this is a drama, I am willing to bet my piggybank that he will come out of it triumphant and Yoon Heong will live to be a filial daughter.
In my previous recap, I had hoped that SO’s dad will come back as a better person. Not that I expected him to be a saint but at least show signs of guilt and his purpose of seeking his son was to express his remorse or hope for reconciliation. To my utter disgust and disappointment, this man remains a drunkard and a brute, spewing hate and expletives on everyone around him. Karma deals with him and serves him with terminal cancer so that his days are numbered. Not a day too soon for us but I guess long enough for SO to face his fears and overcome one of the biggest stumbling block in his life. I know that some critics will pan the show if SO forgives his dad and treats him more than just a patient. However, I am a true believer of “forgive your enemies” for SO’s sake and not anyone else. I would rather SO forgives his dad for his transgressions than feel hatred and bitter even after the old man is long gone. As long as it is handled well, I am ready for this to happen.
Everyone is shocked by the appearance of SO’s dad and the revelation of his traumatic past. I hope that DH understands SO better now. While he keeps to his objective of training SO to be a good surgeon, I hope he realizes that he should not shout at SO if he wants him to perform. Yes, I agree that surgeons should be able to work under very stressful conditions but I do not think a supervisor who keeps shouting at you every 30 seconds is part of the necessary training. This is the operating theater and not a military combat training ground. I am sure if DH shouts less, he will be able to see more clearly how SO reacts to unexpected variables that popped up during surgery.
YS is probably having a mixed bag of feelings. More than love, pity and concern are the overriding feelings she has towards SO at the moment. I appreciate that she talks to SO about his confession because she realized that if she doesn’t, things will become more awkward between them. The fact that SO slides away from her comforting hand is apparent to her. Just like how DH misses the old SO who could regurgitate all his knowledge and diagnostic insights, YS probably misses the closeness she had enjoyed with SO previously. However, the talk at the café shows how YS thinks of SO. She sees him as a child and talks to him as one. I find it interesting that it is SO who is more mature in his thoughts about relationship than YS is. I know YS means well but her lack of understanding men shows. No man who has been recently rejected would want to hear from the woman that though they cannot be lovers. It is no comfort at this point to hear that they can still be good friends and horror of horrors, “as close as real life siblings”. It is sufficient to be open about each other’s feelings and express hope for friendship. It is best not to give advice or talk too much at this juncture. To SO’s credit, he keeps silent and only asked the poignant question “If it is still the same, what should I do?”
I have long past the stage of analyzing whether SO’s character is written and portrayed as true to autism. I can only say that SO’s world is very complex yet very simple. I know it sounds like an oxymoron but I cannot think of a better way to describe it. He takes things at face value and says what he thinks. Unlike “normal” people like DH and CK or DH and YS or Dr Han and In Young, SO’s take on romance and love is refreshingly simple yet beautiful. We shall see how SO expresses his love for YS in the coming episodes. It may not be romantic but I am quite certain SO will show what it means to love a person.
screencap credit Good Doctor Baidu