As the drama moves to a close, our characters change and grow, and so do their thinking. In the beginning, YS ask SO what it means to be a good doctor and SO gave her a textbook answer. Midway through, YS gets a different answer from SO and this time, it reflects a better understanding on his part and it pleased YS then. In this episode, YS pronounces SO as a good doctor. A good doctor is one who not only treats the disease but also treats his patients with love and heal their hearts.
Episode 16 recap
SO rushes back but it’s too late, DH has been knifed in the abdomen by the stabber. A large patch of red smudges his white coat and he collapses to the floor. There is fear on SO’s face but also something else -anger. He lunges at the stabber and throws a powerful punch, knocking the guy off his feet. The stabber quickly recovers, pushes SO back and runs out, only to meet Nurse Jo in the hallway. Nurse Jo dons a convincing gangster look and the 2 men adversaries charged towards each other, I know DH has just been hurt but I couldn’t help laughing at how comical Nurse Jo and the stabber looked.
Thankfully, DH is not seriously hurt. All the residents and YS are gathered by his bedside. YS chides DH for being reckless in the face of danger but DH says “Si On was more reckless than I was. You were great, Si On.” My heart just melted into goo. YS asks about the culprit and we see him knocked out cold in the nearby bed, ha. Obviously Nurse Jo’s tough act weren’t for show only.
Nurse Jo has to follow the police to the station for a possible charge of hurting the stabber, Nurse Nam goes along despite him telling her that it isn’t necessary.
SO gets his share of attention too from YS. He tells her that it’s the first time he hit someone. Although he had imagined that he would feel good like how he felt when the hero in a movie hits a bad guy, he is surprised he doesn’t get the same feeling. YS assures him that there is such a thing called unavoidable violence; the stabber’s case is a good example. She gives him a hypothetical case about herself being attacked by gangsters, she wants to know how SO will react. Will he do something or will he stand still? SO looks lost and YS tries to reenact the scene with hilarious effect, hoping to stir SO’s imagination. SO suddenly pipes up “This is what I will do.” YS looks at him in anticipation. SO has the most serious look on his face as he deadpans “How many cavities do you have? I accept gold crowns.” Ha, YS looks confused but as he continues, she realizes that he is spouting lines from the movie, “Ahjussi”
It is DH’s turn to be fussed upon. CK visits him in the ward and it turns out it was Dr Han who informed her because DH didn’t want CK to worry. He tells her that it was no big deal but she says it is to her. Since her parents left her early, she has always prayed that her loved ones will remain longer. She tells him to think more for her and not put himself in danger for her sake. YS comes by and looks at them through the window. When she sees how affectionate they are to each other again, she smiles.
Nurse Jo finally leaves the station with a charge of using excessive defense, ha. Nurse Nam is livid that such a ridiculous thing can happen. Nurse Jo seizes the opportunity for a dinner date and they chat over food, he even asks her to drop the sexual harassment charges that she filed against him. She did? She really did?
The next day, SO comes running in a hurry towards the nurse station. He beckons Nurse Jo to come nearer to him, Nurse Jo thinks SO has something to tell him. Suddenly, SO leans his body far over the counter and plants a kiss on Nurse Jo’s cheek. Everyone is shocked. SO explains that he is thankful to Nurse Jo for fighting the stabber and congratulate him for leaving the police station. Since Nurse Jo kissed him when SO got his residency, SO figured that Nurse Jo must like kissing! All the nurses can’t stop giggling. Dr Han tells SO that he doesn’t like being kissed, just in case, you know. Nurse Nam rubs it in Nurse Jo’s face when she commented that Nurse Jo has given his first kiss to a guy. Nurse Jo is too flustered denying it that I suspect it is probably true. Just then, Nurse Nam brings everyone attention to KHT who is with a group of visitors touring the hospital. She calls him a troublemaker. From the surprised looks on the doctors’ face, they have no idea what she is talking about.
Dr Lizard is talking to Dr Kim JJ, they are discussing the impending takeover. Dr Kim JJ is amused that Dr Lizard is singing a different tune, he tells him to stay out of it. He asks if Dr Lizard is still sore on being passed over as the branch director. Dr Kim warns Dr Lizard to toe the line because the new management can axe him if he does not. Dr Lizard gets annoyed and says a surgeon should just be good at performing surgeries. Woah, coming from a man who used to play all kinds of politics, hearing this is more than a pleasant surprise.
The pediatric surgery team talks about the takeover. There are differing views but SO does not like it because he thinks that the for-profit setup will cause fees to increase and make it difficult for the parents of the patient. YS tells the residents not to pre-judge but afterwards in DH’s office, she shares her concern with him over the matter. DH says that if Chief leaves, so will he and YS say she will follow him too. DH tells her not to let the residents get affected by this development.
KHT receives an email from the Boston Children’s Hospital that they decline to operate on his son because of the risks involved, however they inform him that they have been consulting with a pediatric surgeon in Korea by the name of Cha Yoon Seo who has found the best possible solution. KHT is shocked.
SO and YS are discussing the case, YS wonders if she should have researched it more thoroughly before sending her proposal. SO says he is not getting the “feel” of it either. YS replies with another play on the same word but it takes SO a while to get it. I just love that some things about SO never changes. YS says they need to get help from a professor from another university hospital who examined the boy. She sends SO to get the information.
On his way out, SO bumps into CK. CK expresses her concern that SO is not dressed appropriately for the sudden change in weather, SO tells her that he has not brought along a single jacket. CK asks for 30 mins of his time. 30 mins to shop for a jacket, including travelling time or do they have a boutique near the hospital? I can totally see how compatible DH and CK are in this aspect. When they reach the boutique, SO takes one look at the swanky interior and almost bolts immediately. CK tells him not to feel burdened and think of her as a noona buying clothes for her dongsaeng, ha. SO adorably lets CK try out various sweaters on him as she goes through the racks. SO goes to the fitting room to put on a piece that CK has picked out, CK is pleased when he comes out looking great in the sweater. SO thanks her but CK says she is thankful to him for saving DH and tells him to hurry along.
YS gets called into a meeting with KHT, he talks about the hydrocephalus patient and YS wonders how did he get to know since he is no longer the assistant director. KHT reveals that the patient is his son and Boston Children’s Hospital has rejected YS’s proposal because the risk was too high. YS agrees that the risks are high but it is not impossible. KHT rebuts that even the American counterpart refuses to carry out the procedure, how does Seongwon hospital think they can succeed? YS tells him off for thinking lowly of their hospital and leaves the discussion. She goes to see DH who lays out the possible reasons why her proposal was rejected. Since it’s an American University dealing with a foreign patient, they might be afraid of the complications if a mishap happens. Another could be that they saw something which YS and the team did not catch on.
YS walks out from the discussion and sees SO who has just returned from his errand. She notices his new sweater and asks if he went shopping while on errand, ha. She reaches out for the collar and sure enough the tag is still there. She pulls it out and chides him for not taking them off before putting on the sweater. Her eyes widens as she sees the price on the tag. “$875!” SO is just as shocked and she confirms that he did not buy it himself. She eyes him suspiciously and later we see that they have moved to a quiet corridor where SO hangs his head while YS berates him for accepting such an expensive gift.
SO protests that he didn’t know it cost an equivalent of 972 triangle kimbaps. This is hilarious! SO says he kept declining the offer then YS points out that he did wear the sweater in the end, didn’t he? SO has nothing more to say and YS can’t help herself but shouts that if he needs clothing, he should have told her! So, that’s the thing that really bugs her, right? SO stops her and says that it was indeed wrong for him to accept such an expensive gift but he doesn’t understand why she is so angry. Taken off guard, YS defends herself and says that she is worried what strangers might say of him. SO rebuts that CK is not a stranger. YS gets madder but pretends to be cool. She slaps the tags back into his hand and says she is sorry. She doesn’t mean it of course. Welcome, Si On, to the brotherhood of men who just don’t get it. Well, at least he knows she is angry but he does not know the reason.
Dad watches the news on TV where the stabber’s case made headlines. The program shows SO as the heroic doctor who was among the staff who subdued the attacker, Dad looks up in surprise. Meanwhile, Dr Woo brings Dr Lizard the files he asks for and Dr Lizard is upset to find out from Dr Woo the kind of man Dad is. Dr Lizard gets all worked up over horrid Dad and Dr Woo wonders why he is interested in SO all of a sudden. Dr Lizard defends his concern as merely that of watching out for the maknae of their team, ha. He grabs the files from Dr Woo and dismisses him, Dr Woo has a question for Dr Lizard but thinks better of it.
Back in the hospital, Yoon Jeong’s parents have brought SO a present to thank him for saving their daughter. A man who has travelled from Gwangdo with his child to seek treatment at the SeongWon hospital spots SO. He recognizes SO immediately and slips away. I wonder who this man is. Nearby, Dad is stirring trouble at the nurse station. He demands to know where is SO and sneers when Nurse Jo refers to SO as doctor. When Nurse Nam questions him, he shouts that he is SO’s dad and they all gasp in horror. After SO politely declines the present from Yoon Jeong’s parents and walks away, Dad sees him and calls out. Dad is not happy that SO did not show up after their last confrontation, and then he asks if SO was the one who hit and captured the stabber. Turns out that Dad is actually proud that SO has inherited his fighting genes, at least that’s what he thinks. SO unhappily denies the similarity, he says that this is different from Dad hitting Mom and him. Dad gets furious and shouts at him.
Suddenly a voice comes from behind “Pardon me.” It’s Dr Lizard. He has this hilariously low and grave tone that splits my sides. Dr Lizard greets Dad and waste no time in telling SO to hurry to the NICU to take care of the patients there. He gives SO a wink but as usual, SO totally misses the cue. This is cracking me up. Dr Lizard repeats his order and this time, SO scuffles off quickly. Dad shouts at SO but is stopped again by Dr Lizard who coolly tells him not to come to this part of the hospital even though he is SO’s Dad. Fist pumps to Dr Lizard, you are the man!
YS finds DH doubled up on the sofa after doing a surgery. YS chides him for not listening to his hoobae. DH smiles and says he needs to feel hurt like this because of he has hurt people without knowing. YS guesses that DH must have reconciled with YS. DH smiles again and thank YS for always being there for him. She has taught him what it really means to comfort people.
President Lee reels in shock when CK confesses to her and Director that she was the one who stopped the funds. She tells her she does not want to see her again and CK walks out. CK apologizes to Director who stepped out of the room and she vows to set things right. Director, in turn apologizes to her He tells her that she is more precious to them than the foundation.
SO sneaks glances at YS every now and then when they are in the office. He knows she is mad with him. She says goodbye to him curtly and goes home, SO sighs dejectedly. However, he decides to follow her home but does a really poor job in stalking. YS can’t help but laughs as he dives into the bushes and fails big time in hiding himself. She motions for him to come out and asks why he is stalking her in such a creepy manner.
SO says he knows she is still upset with him, even now he can tell it from her raised voice. So he just wants to relieve her anger. She tells him to show how he is going to make her laugh, SO hee and haws and YS gets impatient. Before we know it, he is doing really weird wriggling and body shakes in tandem to the spring bouncers in the playground. YS smiles and then guffaws at the ridiculous sight. She asks if he even knows what she is angry about. SO has already checked that out on the internet that the most common phrase women throw is “Do you know what I am angry about?” Be glad Si On that you aren’t the only one and is our boy trawling on the net for advice on understanding women? Good luck, dude! SO begs YS to tell him what’s she angry about and looks at her expectantly only to have her ponder for a long time before answering “I don’t know either.” To which SO says “If you don’t know, who does?” Valid point he got there. However he still apologizes to her because he was the cause for her anger. Before he rushes back to the hospital, he turns around and does another wriggle for her, so adorable.
DH brings CK to the Library as he has heard about her confession to President Lee and the Director. CK gets drunk and laughs at herself for wanting to be smart but ended up looking like a fool. DH reassures her that he doesn’t think badly of her. She says he is acting like her lover again and is worried because he might turn cold again. She wants the happy memories to return. DH pulls her to his chest and she rests her head on his shoulder.
KHT meets up with DH and YS, he wants one of them to go to Boston and help out with his son’s surgery. DH differs as he does not think it will change Boston’s stance. Moreover, even if they agree, they can’t be participants, they can only be advisers. DH tells KHT to bring his son to the hospital. KHT says he does know what the Pediatric team is capable of but it’s too early for him to trust them enough for this surgery. He explains that this is the reason why he plans to turn the hospital into a top-notch facility. YS and DH rebuts him on this, telling him that investment and reforms are useless when people cannot afford to be treated when they fall sick.
SO sees mom who is stacking cups in the cafeteria. When a few drops to the floor, he goes over and helps her pick them up. He scurries away without a word but Mom is touched. Later, he sees Dad sleeping and notices that the blanket has come off, he pulls it over Dad’s legs. When Dad turns and coughs, SO runs out of the ward before Dad wakes. Although unimaginable especially with Dad, the drama is obviously setting us up for reconciliation in the horizon.
KHT ponders over DH’s words as he walks out of the Pediatric office. He runs into SO who tells him outright that he is bad. SO has heard about KHT’s intention and knows that it will make the children and their parents’ lives more difficult. KHT brushes him off, saying that there is always two sides to a coin. However, SO replies that it is useless to have state of the art equipment and top facility if no patient can afford them. If all these means less lives are saved, it will be even sadder. KHT looks a bit shaken by SO’s words.
In Hae finds out that her donor is none other than her sister In Young. She gets really upset at the fact and says that she would rather be dead than a burden. Dr Han and SO sees her running off and splits to talk to the respective sisters. In Hae tells SO to leave her alone while In Young refuses Dr Han’s advice that the surgery is not urgent. She is adamant to proceed, Dr Han can only look at her hopelessly.
DH storms into Dr Kim JJ’s room and asks why In Hae’s surgery has been scheduled without his knowledge. Dr Kim says he is merely following In Young’s order. DH says that In Hae is his patient and they will have to participate in the surgery but Dr Kim will have none of it, citing many reasons. DH gets exasperated and tells Dr Kim the surgery is not as straightforward as the latter thinks. Dr Kim gets angry and puts an end to the discussion.
We see KHT running down the corridors of the hospital. He meets his wife who already arrived earlier and gotten their son admitted. He chokes up seeing his son lying on the hospital bed, probably a shadow of a once active boy. His son tells him that he has heard that the doctors at this hospital has a cure for him, KHT bites his lips and can only promise his son that he will get better.
Outside, KHT tells DH that he is only letting his son stay while searching for an alternative. DH asks why KHT does not trust them when he knows what the Pediatric Surgery team is capable of. KHT answers simply that it is because no father will put his child to risk.
Meanwhile, YS stays by the son’s side and he sees her nametag. He recognizes YS as the doctor who wrote the email and offered the solution. He tells YS that she is pretty and he wants her to be the one who operates on him. After all he bugged his mom to come back to Korea after reading YS’s letter.
DH expresses his frustration to YS about KHT being stubborn in his thinking. Later, in their usual corner, YS and SO discuss about the case. SO tells YS that a person can hurt another more than a disease can. There is no vaccine or cure for this kind of ailment. YS says there is, it must take a person to undo that kind of damage. SO sighs and wishes that doctors can cure both diseases and people, YS tells him that he is doing just that. All the children whom SO treated, they were discharged because their hearts were healed. More than the treatments, it was SO’s love that reduced their pain. YS gives him the thumbs up and pronounces him as a good doctor. SO says he doesn’t know what a good doctor is, YS tells him a good doctor is a good person. Then YS must be a good doctor too, SO exclaims. YS brushes it off, embarrassed but SO says if he says so, it shall be. YS asks him when he became a president of her fanclub, ha. Surprisingly, SO replies that he is her ‘ppa’ i.e. fan and YS tells him not to spend too much time on the internet. I can just imagine the kind of things SO is learning, LOL.
In Young and Dr Han discover that In Hae has ran out of the hospital. They search frantically for her. On her way home, YS chances upon In Hae sitting outside. She refuses to return to the hospital and YS will bring her home for the night and return to hospital the following day. Back in YS’s place, In Hae notices that SO’s rose is pinned on YS’s board.
SO goes to comfort In Young, he tells her that YS will take care of In Hae. He also tells her that In Hae will come to understand In Young’s heart because she is mature and has a big heart. He has been calling her Respected Elder Sister, LOL and In Young tells him to just call her by name. In Young gets shocked when she finds out that SO knows about Dr Han liking her. Dr Han has been tossing in his sleep and wakes SO up every time. SO says he thought he was the biggest idiot in the hospital but Dr Han beat him to it. He goes further and shares with In Young what Dr Han told him “There are no qualifications necessary to love someone and if you love someone sincerely without qualification, you develop qualifications necessary for that person.” He tells her to give Dr Han that qualification certificate so that he can carry it in his heart and not wallet. Aww…
Back in YS’s place, both girls are sitting up in bed chatting. YS tells In Hae that her sister would be happier if In Hae gets her surgery, she also assures In Hae that her sister’s quality of life will not be compromised that much.In Hae was worried whether her sister can still marry and have kids after the surgery. Somehow placated, In Hae turns the conversation to the rose that YS hung up. She tells YS how she found out about SO’s crush on her and that she was the one who counseled SO, ha. In Hae infers that by hanging up the rose or not throwing it away, YS must have accepted SO. Embarrassed, YS denies accepting SO’s love and says that because SO was so sincere, she decided to accept him as an adult In Hae tells YS that SO is a really good man and hints at what YS should do when she says that she doesn’t want to see him hurt.
Later when In Hae falls asleep first, YS sits at her desk and smiles, thinking of SO. At the same time, SO is at the hospital bunk, thinking of what YS had said earlier. He says to YS in his head “Doctor, Love is something that eases one’s suffering, I didn’t know before. But after I thought about it deeply, there doesn’t seem to be a painkiller as effective as this.” He wishes her sweet dreams and goes to sleep.
Si On is dreaming but he is not dreaming of YS as I had thought. It’s In Hae wearing a white dress and looking strangely peaceful, standing in a garden full of butterflies. Somehow this creeps me out. SO wakes up abruptly from his dream.
At YS’s apartment, YS is having difficulty getting In Hae to wake up, In Hae asks to stay longer in bed. Just as YS is about to walk over to get In Hae up, it’s SO at the door. He has rushed over from the hospital to pick In Hae up. YS smiles at how anxious he is. Then they see In Hae sitting on the bed, calling out weakly to them. She has blood in her mouth, then she flops back like a ragdoll onto the bed, unconscious.
This is most nerve wrecking cliffhanger I have seen, not just in Good Doctor but among other dramas as well. It is not so much the suspense alone but the awful dread that comes with it. I watched the ending starting from SO’s dream a few times and it still gives me that shiver down the spine. What can it mean? I half expected In Hae to be dead after watching SO’s dream and when I saw that she was lying motionless in bed in the morning. However, when YS called her and she responded, I breathe a sigh of relief. Then when the spot of blood appeared on her foot, I almost screamed. Awesome, show!
The omnipotent sense of dread and SO’s reaction to his dream makes me think that In Hae is a goner. However, in the dream there were butterflies in the garden, weren’t there? I wonder what significance the butterfly holds in this drama. We see it as a creature of beauty in SO’s eyes, he was always enthralled with it. The butterfly also appears to follow SO at crucial times, like his guardian angel. The last time we saw it was when it followed SO’s hyung after he walked away, in the conversation on the bench. So, is it a symbol of hope or afterlife? It is quite unimaginable that In Hae dies at this point. Her passing will be most acutely felt. It would mean that her sister’s sacrifice was for nothing and given such calamity, it is hardly the right time for any romance for Dr Han and In Young. It will also be devastating to YS and SO because the former treats her like a sister and SO has an incredible bond with In Hae from the start. With 4 episodes left, I wonder if the show has the time to dwell on the death of In Hae and the effects on those around here. We still have the cases of KHT’s son, the mysterious guy from SO’s past and SO’s parents, not to mention the budding romance between SO and YS. Above all, I love In Hae, she has been such an interesting and lovable character. She is past the age of cute like the rest of the children in the pediatric ward but an incredibly sweet and mature young lady. She has a full life ahead of her so I really hope she survives.
Before the drama ends, I hesitate to pronounce on the quality of writing. But I will say that to date, I am very satisfied overall with the story and most importantly the development of the characters all round. There are no drastic changes or huge suspensions of belief as far as the growth arc of the leads go. I was concerned that SO will turn into someone completely different from the SO we had at the start of the show.
In this week’s episodes, I am relieved that despite some significant growth in SO, he remains the same SO we have had since the beginning with all his cute and funny take on things minus the lack of confidence and cowering. He still takes things at face value, he still misses cue and he still speaks his mind. His conversations with YS are to die for, these two make really good comedy. SO is like a sponge when it comes to absorbing information and now he is learning about women, romance and all from the internet. I think we are setup for more comedic stuff. I will not be surprised if he springs a kiss on YS, probably after watching thousands of videos on the web. I cackled like mad when he did the impersonation of Won Bin in the movie “Ahjussi”. So I can totally imagine him planting a Kdrama or Hollywood kiss on YS’s lips. Mechanical as it may sound, I am sure the real feeling will take over once the act is initiated, then the rest is up to the chemistry of the actors to wow us. In this aspect, I must say Moon Chae Won has really good chemistry with Joo Won. Not the “blow me away” romantic type yet but the comedic timing of this pair is really the tops.
Joo Won continues to impress with his performance. As SO his character grows, Joo Won manages to pull that convincingly and yet retains the original characteristics of the character. I always had faith that Joo Won will do comedy well but he was let down by good script in 7th Level Civil Servant. Although Park Jae Beom is not known for writing comedy, I am pleasantly surprised at how funny Good Doctor can be especially SO. However, funny lines or scenes still has to delivered by good actors. In this aspect, Joo Won has done a marvelous job. Si On is officially the funniest and most adorable character I have met. In this episode, I guffawed at SO’s reaction to Dr Lizard’s wink. Just take a look at his face when he responded to Dr Lizard’s order to go to the NICU with “Yes, what?”
For a good part of this series, viewers were hating the villains of the show like Dr Woo a.k.a Spy Doctor and Dr Go a.k.a Dr Lizard especially when they made despicable use of SO to achieve their own purposes. Thankfully unlike many dramas where villains continue to be one shade of black, the ‘evil’ characters here show more depth. For example, we see that KHT is not so much a mercenary like his boss, Chairman Jeong but rather he is guided by a set of beliefs on what is the best healthcare system. And as we learned now, his thinking is undoubtedly influenced by his son’s condition and how they got rejected by hospital after hospital. He brings his boy to the USA for treatment because he is convinced he cannot find a cure in Korea. He thinks that Korean hospitals are bugged by lack of resources and capabilities due to funding issues. By bring in an investor like Chairman Jeong, he could build the finest hospital and healthcare system for children. This is the reason why he disdains the current management and inept doctors like Dr Lizard and Dr Woo. His plan was to rid of all these incompetence and cronyisms which ails the hospital. If he could retain talented men like Director Choi and Dr Kim Do Han, there is nothing he could not achieve now that he has the backing of a powerful investor. Clearly, KHT has no problem to paying for the best treatment for his son. He is oblivious or chooses to ignore the effect his new setup will on those families who cannot afford treatment for their children. Under such a system, someone like his son might be saved but many more children will die.
As the show winds down to a close, we witness the impact that SO has on people around him. As I said at the beginning of the series, it is not just SO will be “cured” but the people around him. Like SO said, people are more difficult to treat than sickness and I love that YS replies that “…the only remedy is another person.” SO realizes that love reduces suffering and is the most effective painkiller. Yes, when life gives you a lemon, love can make it sweeter and less sour.