Good Doctor Episode 18 recap


by mrdimples

I know I will sound like a broken recorder on how this drama surpasses itself each week but I kid you not. Episode 17 was so awesome and when I started on episode 18, I was thinking for once the Tuesday  episode will take a backseat to Monday’s in terms of pace and things happening. But I was totally blindsided in the last quarter of the show where we got a glimpse of heaven showing us what if.

*screencaps will be updated later

Episode 18 Recap

The most unimaginable happens when an experienced surgeon neglects his own health and indirectly puts an important surgery in danger. DH’s silly bravado catches up with him finally when he doubles up in pain just as he was about to commence Joon Yeong’s (KHT’s son)surgery. He tries his best to continue but after soon gives in to the fact that he is in no condition to operate. Instead, he asks YS to lead the surgery and Dr Han to assist, he will stay behind to supervise the operation. I love how YS raise up to the condition, took the lead and maintain her cool despite the unexpected turn of events and the tremendous pressure of this case. The surgery turned out well and everyone is relieved.

Afterwards, KHT goes to find DH resting in the couch, he voiced his displeasure at DH and says that the surgery was not perfect. DH however thinks it will be successful despite how KHT sees it. He shows KHT the baseball Joon Yeong gave him and tells him that he went into the operating theatre with the ball in his pocket. Just as in Joon Yeong’s surgery, DH and his team will never give up on any child because they hold the key to the child’s future. I think DH always has right values when it comes to his work but over time, he became jaded by the system and the necessary evils. The DH in earlier episodes would have never told KHT the way he did now, not because those values never existed but rather because DH now knows how to be a person besides being a doctor.

DH’s wound finally gets treated by YS who scolds him and nags at him. I was cheering her when she jabbed at the wound making DH shout in pain. Heroes don’t cry out, do they DH?

SO gets called to Dad’s bedside because he is breathing his last. Or so I wish. In any case, Director tells SO that Dad does not have much time left and tells him to visit him often. Did Director suffer amnesia or I did? Mom tells SO that she is bringing Dad back to their hometown. I honestly don’t care and could we move on? SO has issues with Mom’s decision and confides in YS.

Does it surprise me that SO’s has a magnanimous heart bigger than the Pacific Ocean? He tells YS that he finds Mom and Dad pitiful; Dad for living alone after Mom ran away and Mom for putting up with Dad’s abuse. However, SO is also angry that they did not lead a happy life after abandoning him 20 years ago. SO figures that since he was the cause of their unhappiness, they should at least be happy after he was no longer a part in their lives. SO, will you stop breaking my heart? YS is just happy that SO is now able to express and feel emotions like anger.

President Lee and CK goes and beg for loans but end up empty-handed and disappointed. President Lee thanks CK for staying by her side, making CK feel even guiltier.

Meanwhile, YS brings a file requested by Dr Lizard who hilariously piles compliments on her work. He even shows concern and advises her on life as a fellow. Finally he puts a cherry on top of the icing when he compliments YS for being a beauty to which YS never lets up a chance to agree, ha. They fist pumps and YS walks away, further convinced that he has indeed switch souls.

SO checks on In Hae who looks better already. In Hae asks SO if she will grow up to be a beauty like her unni and SO says she is already beautiful as she is. Then In Hae ask if she is prettier or Dr Cha and SO answers that it’s YS before In Hae hardly finish her sentence, ha.

Back in the office, SO paces up and down, he shares with YS that there is something not right with In Hae but he just cannot pinpoint it. When asked to elaborate, SO gives his terrific analogies which are always bizarre but make absolute sense to him. SO says that they should not operate on In Hae as she is now. YS tells him that unless he can give something concrete, vague guesses won’t do. SO thinks they should examine In Hae further. However, it proves to be tricky as the Hepatobiliary-Pancreatic department is involved. SO suggests they handle In Hae’s case while In Young’s taken care by HPD but YS is not very hopeful. SO begs YS for a favor.

It turns out that SO asks YS to bring him to talk to Dr Kim JJ. They raise their concerns concerning In Hae’s current state and the impending surgery. However Dr Kim tells them off and makes a snide remark at YS. SO gets angry and scolds Dr Kim for insulting YS, YS stares at him in shock. SO doesn’t stop at there, he tells Dr Kim to apologize to YS. Oh, I love your guts SO! Stand up for your woman! YS hurries SO out of the room before he gets into more trouble. YS grumbles about Dr Kim once they are out of earshot. I laughed at how SO turns around to go and blast Dr Kim some more. YS stops him and shakes her head at how SO has become an “icon of anger”. SO says he can take insults but he will not tolerate it if it is YS who is being insulted, awww… YS cups his face in her hands and gives him eye massage to relieve the tension, so cute.

Chairman Jeong wants to put the ousted ex-Managing Director to be the new Chairman. KHT does not like the idea as the man is incompetent, he asks Jeong about his promised on employment succession but obviously Jeong cares less about such matters or the promises he made. KHT looks troubled as he looks at his son who is asleep. I think he is worried how this development will impact his son’s treatment.

Thank goodness, we get comic relief soon when a group of surly looking men, dressed in black and gold chains, approaches the nurse station and bows in respect to Nurse Jo. So, we weren’t wrong when we guessed that Nurse Jo was a gangster. The gang has seen Nurse Jo’s photo in the papers as one of the 3 heroes who caught the stabber. The leader takes offence at Nurse Nam when he mistakes her calling Nurse Jo a maid. Nurse Jo brings them away before things get worse.

Nurse Jo declines the offer to return to the gang saying that he gave up that lifestyle a long time ago and he besieges them to do the same and start to live like a human. Nurse Nam witnesses all these and goes fleeing back to the station in terror. After he dismissed the men, Nurse Jo reverts to his jolly bear self and returns to the nurse station except that the 3 women are now cowering in fear. Nurse Nam excuses herself and runs away as do the rest when Nurse Jo approaches them.

YS breaks sad news to Joon Yeong, she tells him that although the surgery was a success, he can never be a baseball player again. Surprisingly, Joon Yeong already knows. DH has told him about it and went on to encourage him to dream a different dream. Now, Joon Yeong wants to be a baseball reporter instead. YS and KHT are moved to tears by the little boy’s courage and YS is heartened that DH is now a doctor who heals his patients’ hearts and not just treat their medical condition.

SO gets a new case, it’s a little boy called Seung Hyeon. As SO talks, the boy’s mother finds that SO talks funny. She even points it out, she does not look pleased.

YS is on the phone fending off Voldemort. She hangs up, turns around and is shocked to see SO standing right behind her. He asks YS if it was Prosecutor Voldemort on the line and she affirms it. SO asks if she is going to meet him again and when YS says no, SO is perplexed. He cannot understand why she doesn’t reject him outright when she clearly does not like him. Ha, are you getting jealous already, SO? YS calls him out for eavesdropping and SO says he cannot help it when he can hear her from 3 meters away. YS tells SO about DH’s ‘dream story’ to Joon Yeong.

DH is finally resting at home. He sits on his bed and finally solves his Megaminx when the doorbell rings. It’s SO who has brought abalone porridge for DH, how sweet. DH gruffly asks why SO is not at the hospital when he is supposed to be on shift duty. SO says he will hurry back but can’t stop himself from telling DH that he really loves DH’s dream story. The dramatic background music plays as SO is about flash thumbs up at DH when it cuts abruptly by DH who tells SO not to stretch it out. This is just hilarious. SO still shows no sign of getting his butt off the sofa. He looks around for a while before mustering the courage to tell DH that he is like an older hyung to SO. DH looks at him wordless but he smiles to himself after SO leaves.

Dr Han has a prep talk with In Hae who is feeling jittery about her upcoming surgery. Frankly, I feel that this is somehow going to end badly. Afterwards, he tells In Young that it is normal for children to be anxious as the date of surgery looms. In Young expresses her concern about Dr Han sleeping well. I guess she remembered what SO told her and I detect a trace of concern in her eyes. Hope for Dr Han?

At home, YS ponders over SO telling her to be upfront about her feelings towards Prosecutor Voldemort. I am sure it’s not the prosecutor that she is concerned about. YS must be wondering if she should face up to her feelings towards SO. At the same time, SO is also thinking of what YS had asked him earlier about him not being bothered. Just then, In Hae comes in. She says she can tell SO is upset because it’s clearly written on his forehead. SO immediately tries to cover his forehead with his fringe to hide his feelings from In Hae, ha.  In Hae tells him that one-side love is hard to bear and SO agrees readily.

The Pediatric department is preparing to put up a show for the party. Intern gets the job of the play director and she chooses Peter Pan to be this year’s theme. Dr Woo protest that they will have to dress up weird but Nurse Jo thinks it’s better than the Cinderella theme they had in the previous year. He teases YS for spraining her ankle on heels. So, YS’s allergy to heels is legendary. SO is also excited and offers himself as Peter Pan because he has always played the role of a protagonist, ha. The group decides that DH should be Captain Hook. DH comes out and flatly refuses to take part but YS is confident that he will in the end while SO looks like he has some tricks up his sleeve.

It’s back to politics as Director tries to organize a group protest by the doctors to petition against the hospital being turned into a private organization. Of course, there is no consensus as the group is being split into 2 camps headed by the two Kims. Later, Dr Lizard apologizes to DH that he wasn’t able to speak up but assures him that he will help DH in this action. DH thanks him and tells him that adding to the numbers on his side is good enough.

SO bumps into KHT along the walkway. KHT asks SO if he still thinks of him as a bad person. SO thinks for a second and says KHT is half seasoned and half fried! I wish I could into the world inside SO’s mind and see how he views things. KHT looks taken aback but guesses that SO didn’t like the work he does. SO tells him he liked KHT when he placed his trust in DH and the pediatric team. “Faith is like a pump that fills bicycle tires with air.” “If you fill them full of air, they will end up running well like wind.”

YS goes and tells DH to be more forceful over In Hae’s case, she says he was determined to operate on Dong Soo the last time despite Kim JJ’s disapproval. DH assures YS that he is just waiting for the right time to come in and YS cheers him on. When she starts to put her thumb up, DH stops her and tells her “Don’t put it up too!” YS does it anyway, ha. DH chides her for behaving like a child but he smiles anyway.

Dr Lizard’s brother-in-law, the ex-Managing Director, tells him to spy and report who is on whose side. He promises him the post of Director if he succeeds. Dr Lizard looks shocked. I think he has come too far to betray his conscience and return to the evil side. Perhaps he will play a significant role in turning the tables on the bad guys.

SO goes to Dad who is thankfully asleep. He looks at him as he says in his head that he doesn’t need anything from Dad. Even if Dad doesn’t apologize to him, it’s all right. SO just wants Dad not to hit Mom, “Then I will be thankful”, SO looks as if he is about to touch his father. Afterwards, SO finds Mom and brings her out for a lunch. At the restaurant, Mom asks SO what’s the occasion and SO says it’s his payday. As Mom scoops a spoonful of rice, SO places beef on it. He tells Mom not to cook potato stew anymore because if she wants to eat delicious food, just look for him, awww… SO has a question for Mom, he wants to know the real reason why she never came back for him. In a voiceover, we see SO sitting in his quiet spot, thinking of Mom’s words. Mom did want to get him back straight away but she heard that Dad was hot on her heels. If she goes to find SO, she will lead Dad to the Director and SO, something which she did not want to happen. She believed that SO will be better under the care of Director. She apologizes to SO and calls herself underserving.

As suspected, the new boy’s mother requests YS to change her son’s doctor. She is uncomfortable with SO treating her son because of his disability. It was great to see the other mothers standing up for SO and vouching for him, however the mother refuses to budge. Just then SO comes and says she has a right as a guardian to choose doctor and he asks YS to comply with the mother’s wish. YS looks at him in surprise. This scene is déjà vu of one in an earlier episode where SO overheard the mothers talking badly about him. At that time, he had turn and walked off hurt and aggrieved. However this time, he takes it very well. Later, YS talks to SO in private, she is worried that SO might be upset. SO says he is really okay. He understands that only people who are close to him will trust him but those who meets him for the first time will not.  He goes further to explain that now it doesn’t hurt him so much that he is different from others, with the exception of one thing. SO looks really sad when he said it but he quickly covers it and assures YS that it is nothing.

YS conveys her concern about SO to DH. DH thinks she doesn’t need to worry so much because SO is doing well and is sufficiently confident. DH says SO used to be a doctor who only has genius ability and nothing else. Now, he has gone beyond it so much that even without his savant ability, he will still make a good doctor.

SO goes to the bunk and sees Dr Woo there again. Dr Woo tells SO to go back and bring him some spicy beef soup, SO gladly agrees to do the errand. Back home, SO packs the soup. On his way out, he catches sight of the moonlight shining onto his bed. He remembers how on that very first night, YS laid there with the moonlight shining on her face. He smiled at the memory of it. Meanwhile YS returns home with SO’s words playing in her mind. She ponders over what SO meant when he said “…but just one thing hurts me, that I am different from others”

YS decides to go out to her balcony for fresh air and hears SO talking to himself on his balcony too, just a floor below. SO is facing the full moon in the sky and talking to it as if he is talking to YS. He reveals that she is the reason why it hurts him that he is different from others. When he sees her, he feels bad. If only he was a suave and charming guy, he would be able to make her happier and do more for her. He could also sing her a lot of romantic songs. Now that he has mentioned singing, there is a song he would like to sing to her although he is shy and his voice isn’t good.

As SO sings, we get a glimpse into his imaginary world where he is a normal chap, spending an idyllic date with his love, YS. They spend a beautiful day outdoors in a lovely park, playing a game of basketball, laughing and holding each other. SO lies on YS’s lap under the shade of a tree and afterwards they share an ice cream and a sweet kiss. Back to reality, SO looks happier having poured out his thoughts and sang a song to YS although he has no idea she is just right up there listening. Upstairs, listening to SO’s thoughts and song,  YS cries.

The following day, the Pediatric ward is abuzz with the announcement of their inauguration party. The casting is out and Dr Hong is not happy to play a bad guy. Alas, it’s the intern turned director who makes the decision this time so everyone has to go along. SO gets the lead protagonist role. But the role of Captain Hook is still not cast, the director is secretive about it and SO is in the loop. The next thing we know, Joon Yeong is blackmailing DH to participate in the play. DH hee and haw, asking if there is something else he can do. But Joon Yeong is a pro in this, he tells DH that it’s all right, he will not watch the play then. He will just take his medicine and sleep, bwaahhh.

So DH joins the team in their rehearsal and he is hilariously bad at it. Just looking at him riding on the office chair ship with Dr Hong as his evil underling and holding a hanger as the hook makes me laugh till I cry. DH trips over the simplest line and the residents get mad at him. Dr Woo calls him a “hole” meaning a weak link, to which SO had to add that this hole is one with a 2 meters radius. Gawd, this is a total hoot! For once, the great DH suck in something and his team takes the opportunity to jab at him, it is so awesome. DH blames it on the lousy script and they start from the beginning again. This time as they rehearse their parts, SO grabs YS’ hand in an interlock. YS gets clearly flustered by it but tries not to let it show. It’s cute to watch her react to SO’s touch. When SO grips her hand more tightly and looks her into the eyes, she has a hard time keeping it in. It’s too much for YS and she steps out to take a breather. She puts her hand over her thumping heart, wondering what came over her. Then she looks into her hand, the one that SO held and smile. You know, girl, you do.

YS sees In Hae out of her bed sitting outside and tells her not to sit up for too long. In Hae has something to say, she tells YS that SO is hurting a lot, he is faring worse than any of the kids in the ward. Flashback to an earlier conversation SO had with In Hae. SO tells In Hae that although he has improved, he is still unable to express his feelings well. However, these days he thinks it might work out for the better since it means he won’t be able to show YS his true feelings. Still, it hurts so much as he would really like to show her his heart once in a long while. He tries but he is unable to do it well “You know, I wish there was an electronic display on my heart.” And In Hae tells YS that “So that it can show bright red.” YS is shaken by the extent of SO’s feelings and the heartache he must be withstanding all this while.

YS walks back to office thinking of SO, calling him “Foolish one” in her head. She sees him eating supper at his table, pouring over his work. SO is surprised that YS is still around and tells her to go back quickly as it is very late. YS tells him to walk her back home, SO is surprised but agrees readily.

On their way back, SO sensed that YS is troubled. He asks her if something bad happen and if she can tell him. YS says “A foolish punk frustrated me.” SO gets all ready to pounce on the chap, whoever it may be. YS shrugs and says that the guy continues to frustrate her and SO will not accept that, so cute. He says YS must always feel at rest and not annoyed, ha. YS tells SO that it is not that type of feeling, then she asks him why does he always pretend that he is not in pain and suffers alone. SO catches on and asks if he is the person who makes her feel frustrated, to which YS nods. SO tells her that he is trying not to make her feel uncomfortable, it was his promise to her. YS points to his heart and tells him to not to think of wearing an electronic display over her heart. He should just tell her what’s on his mind.

SO: : “Then, I won’t be able to…with you…again” and he stops.

YS continues for him “Again with me, what? Won’t be able to see me again?” SO looks at her sheepishly.

YS tells him that it isn’t true because they can, “You can see me. Because I want to see you….as much as you want to.” Awww….my heart! SO looks up at her in surprise.

YS: “I bet you don’t know who is making me cry and laugh these days, do you? You don’t know who makes my heart aches, do you? Of course you don’t know.” SO tells her that he must be the cause. He has so many shortcomings and she was always there, taking care of him like her dongsaeng. He thinks he makes YS worries too much for him.

“It’s not because you are my brother.” YS says but SO still doesn’t get it. YS tells him that she has been feeling weird lately, she takes his hand and says:

“I don’t like it when you are close to other women or when you ask me to set you up on dates. It bothers me. It does. Now, I don’t like you depending on me, I don’t like it.”

“Now, I…I…”she doesn’t complete her sentence but steps forward and hugs him.



I am so in awe of the dream scene for many reasons and I will end up writing pages analyzing it and the love story between YS and SO. So, I decided that I will first discuss the other parts of the show which are no less significant to the drama and should not be passed.

I think DH’s silly bravado with his infected wound has revealed a significant change in the pediatric team dynamics. Previously, the team and others in the hospital relied on DH as the undisputable leader and genius surgeon in the department. This surgery involving KHT’s son is a very important one with high stakes involved. Yet, the twist is that DH sits out this surgery with YS and Dr Han taking the limelight. Although DH supervised the surgery, I am heartened that YS and Dr Han are much better surgeons now than at the beginning of the show. More than skills, it’s their degree of confidence that is different. I also note that SO plays a vital part in every surgery despite not performing them himself and DH really values SO’s opinions. This surgery demonstrates how far the pediatric team has come. SO’s joining the team, his growth and DH’s change clearly affected everyone in more ways than one.

I am touched by SO telling off Dr Kim in his face when the later insulted YS. That’s what I call true courage. True courage is not just about being able to defend yourself but also protecting the people you love. Often, it is construed as protecting your love ones from physical attacks. However, in reality that is much less likely than standing up and defending your loved ones from personal attacks. Not many people, even more senior doctors would have dared stand up to Dr Kim like how SO did.

DH has grown so much from being the dour, sourpuss professor in the early episodes. Although we never really got to know if DH has gotten over blaming himself for his brother’s death, we can see it in his demeanor towards everyone around him. There is a remarkable difference in the way he treats his young patients and now, I can truly say that he cares for SO. He has become a true leader who inspires and leads by example.

I still have that ominous feeling about In Hae. For certain, there is something wrong with her. SO is seldom wrong and I just cannot get that dream of her in the garden out of my mind. These days whenever In Hae appears and talks, I feel as if she is speaking her last words. Please, show don’t kill this precious young one. If In Hae dies, the entire mood will be gloom and doom. For a show that’s been getting more and more upbeat, this is not one spanner that I will like to see thrown in the works.

Okay, now for the long rave.

I am so impressed with what the writer has done with the romance between SO and YS. That said, I still need to add a caveat that this is provided he doesn’t end it stupidly like YS and SO deciding to be friends instead in the last episode.

Before the show started, I was piqued at how the romance between an autistic person and a neuro-typical will pan out. I do not think it has been dwelled before in kdramas. I did not put too much hope in it because the genre of this show is medical and of course a human drama. Romance does not seem to be a big part of it. True, romance was not at the forefront for most part of the drama but it became something that I was rooting for. There is that much you can savor from interesting medical cases and surgeries, right? No matter how exciting and nail-biting they may be. Thankfully, the writer gave us as realistic a romance as I can hope for.

When SO was stuck in his child-like frame of mind, it was only believable that YS treated him like a child. Over time, as SO gains confidence and stands on his own feet, it became apparent that he may have the innocent, child-like perspective on things but his mind is as mature, or better still, more mature than any man his age. Frankly, there is nothing that SO cannot do except for things like expressing his feelings well and reading cues. These should not have dire effects on his love life as long as his partner understands and accepts him for who he is. Thus, I find it totally believable that YS changes her mind and how she sees SO as he grows and demonstrates that he is not a child but a man. Love can develop slowly and Love can also strike one in an instance. There is no explaining why the colleague or friend whom you have been with all this time suddenly sparks a reaction from you. It could start from a shared experience, an interesting conversation or an accidental brush of hands.

The biggest obstacle is not SO’s disability but how he perceives himself in the area of romance. At this point in SO’s life, he has seemingly conquered all his fears and challenges except in love. In his words, he has achieved the qualifications of being everything except for the right to love, how sad is that? Last episode, I cried for SO when he said he didn’t want others to know that YS is the woman he confessed to because that will make her a target for teasing. As shown, SO does not mind being teased and insulted even but it hurts him more when his loved ones suffer the same thing on his account. How terrible he must have felt for being different?

When SO poured out his heart to YS in the balcony scene, it was so romantic and yet awfully sad. My heart goes out to him for wishing he is ‘normal’ and having the right to love. The truth is we cannot fault SO for having this thinking because society is still steeped in its prejudices on what people with disability can do or not do. Just read all the comments on SO and YS’s romance and you will know. Some are creeped out from the word go simply because SO has a disability. Some questioned his maturity and wonder how can a man stuck in a mental age of a 10 year old know what is love. Some debated valid issues like challenges in communication and daily life the partner will have to accept. And some comments are downright insulting, they tantamount to saying that SO has no right to love simply because he is disabled.

I only agree that the partner in question must be able to accept a person like SO with all his quirks and deficits. No matter how much he improved, there are some things which SO will continue to find a challenge or never conquer. Other than these, I do not see why a romance or even marriage to a person like SO, not work? He has a stable and good income. He is gentle, kind and loving. Although he may not express them in words, they are written all over in his actions. He is very good and patient with children and will make an excellent father. He most possibly can and will father children. What else can a woman look for in a man? To borrow what In Hae said about love – the bigger love is, the harder it is to see. We fail to see the enormity of a good man that is in SO and see only his disability.

The idyllic dream where SO and YS were together in a perfect date totally caught me by surprised. I think the writer was clever in painting this picture in our minds. How many of us have wondered what if SO is ‘normal’ because as I wrote earlier, there is really nothing that should stop this two from loving except for his disability, right? The writer also achieved giving the viewers the kind of romantic scene they clamor for without sacrificing any logic. Nearing the end of the drama and with YS just realizing her feelings for SO, we can’t have them suddenly going out on dates like this, can we? Still I hope the show will give us a real date for SO and YS because as perfect the dream scene was, it is still not real. I must give credit to the director and our two leads for giving us such a beautiful scene, from the way the sunlight shines so prettily on everything to the awesome chemistry that the actors brought onto reel. It was surreal and breathtaking to say the least.

My question to the writer – Is this date dreamed by Si On or Yoon Seo?

Some viewers think it is Yoon Seo because as Si On sang the song, she imagined how perfect their love will be if he is ‘normal’. Dramabeans writer gummimochi writes that the thought of this brought tears to Yoon Seo’s eyes. Some may also think it is Yoon Seo because Si On is unable to imagine or dream of such a scenario.

My first thought and still remains is that it is Si On who imagined that dreamscape. It is congruent to his song “If I Were” where the lyrics speak of how Si On wants to be everything for Yoon Seo. So I guess this imagined scene was from him because it was exactly what he was dreaming and hoping for – an alternate world where he is normal and qualifies to love Yoon Seo and be loved by her.

Share your view with us on this on the front page of the blog.


screencaps credit as tagged


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