Watching this drama is seriously bad for the faint hearted. I never thought that a medical drama will be as heart-stopping as a thriller and I am not just talking about the surgeries.
With one more episode to go, the show’s roller coaster ride never lets up. It lifts us up, feeling like on cloud nine, laughter and all, only to stare down the from the edge by the time the hour ends. With most issues resolved or put on the backburner, the show focuses on two main stories which we the viewers are most vested in.
Episode 19 Recap
YS confesses to SO her feelings and swoops in for a hug. We can see the anticipation on her face for SO’s reaction because for the first couple of seconds, he stood there with his arms by his side. I love how YS smiled and nestled her face into his shoulder when SO finally raised his hands and hug her back. The Joo Won fangirl in me squealed just at the sight of his huge, ruddy and masculine hands. Now where were we?
In SO’s typical speak, he started “My, My veins have gotten as hot as pipes on boilers.”
“Inside my heart feels as if someone’s beating a drum.”
SO was so shy and flustered that he couldn’t look at YS all this time. Thankfully, YS reaches out and puts a hand to his face, assuring him that he has the same effect on her “How about me? How do you suppose I feel? I feel the same as you.”
SO is still unsure, he feels that he cannot do anything for YS but she tells him that he doesn’t need to do anything for her. I think SO still lacks the confidence of being able to give the love and care for YS because he is different. In the next scene, YS shows him that it’s little things matter. She tells SO her hands are cold but SO doesn’t get the hint; he says he will buy gloves for her, ha. Only when YS puts out her hand, did SO realize what she wanted him to do. He holds her hand and interlaced his fingers with hers. YS likes it and asks SO if he does it often with women. She teases him about being a player. SO shakes his head and explains that the Director used to hold his hand like this when he was young. Guardians hold hands of autistic children in this manner because they can suddenly move. It was touching that YS tells SO that it’s not her who is holding on to him now but SO is. Sigh, I really hope that SO will hold on to YS as tightly as he is doing now when they face the obstacles and challenges coming at them.
When they reach their apartment, SO can’t help but ask YS if she might regret her actions the next morning. He tells her that he often thinks about what he said at night and regret it the next morning at exactly 6:30am. Awww…it’s just so Si On and so cute. YS says to him that it is not as if she is drunk, why should she regret it? Nonetheless, Si On tells her to come to work with her hair tied up if she regrets. This will be a sign to him because he would not be able to take it hearing from her. This is cute but sad. SO has to go back to the hospital. When they let go their hands, you can see how reluctant they were especially SO. He literally ran back which is what I would do if I were in his shoes; he must be feeling all the heady rush now. Back in the hospital, he sits in front of his work but is unable to concentrate. He rubs his chest to calm his still rapid heartbeat and smiles, thinking of what had happened. It was so adorable when he facepalms, still giddy over the sweetness of being in love and being loved.
Before turning in for the night, YS thinks about what SO says about regret and wonders to herself. She sets her alarm at 6:30am. The next morning, she wakes up and remembers what SO said. Meanwhile, SO is shaking his legs in nervousness, waiting for YS to show up for work. YS steps in and greets him cheerfully but SO dare not raise his eyes to see her. Finally, he looks up and to his huge disappointment, YS sports a ponytail. YS sees his crestfallen face and tells him to step outside. SO asks why. YS tells him he should see how windy it is and everyone was staring at her because she looked like a mad woman with her hair flying all over the place. SO finally gets what YS is saying and is so delighted that he jumps out of his chair and runs off to work. YS laughs.
KHT meets DH and ask if he is still sticking to his decision to go against the new management. DH tells KHT that their thinking differs. Doctors elsewhere may have the same vision of offering hope for children and giving them a future but the difference lies in that they can only do that for a selected group of children whereas for DH and the SeongWon hospital, the word select does not exist.
YS runs into a friend, Eun Jeong who is also a doctor in the hospital. The latter asks YS why she did not pick up her calls and deduce that YS must be busy with the prosecutor whom her mom set her up with. YS comes to a realization that she might have to deal with Mom concerning SO and her relationship.
Dad is still a jerk even in his last days. As Mom and SO stands by his bedside, he sneers at SO and asks if SO is looking forward to his death. He wishes that Si Deok was alive because he might look at to Dad. This dude is totally deluded. He probably considers only Si Deok as his son and not Si On because the latter is different. I feel so sad for SO who looks away hearing Dad’s words. I know he should be hardened towards Dad’s hurtfulness by now but still, who wants to hear these things over and over again. DH looks on from the doorway.
Back to politics, Dr Lizzie looks at the name list of doctors as he mulls over his brother-in-law’s instruction. It looks as if he might go back to the evil side. Director thanks CK for helping and tells her not to avoid her stepmother.
DH tells his team that he has requested for a meeting to be convened to discuss In Hae’s team. He will put up a rationale and proposal for the Pediatric team to participate in the surgery.
In Hae writes a letter, putting down all her happy memories. She thinks In Young will be comforted reading them if something should happen to her. Dr Han tries to assure her but In Hae tells him she knows the dangers of the procedure and wish the pediatric surgery team was the one operating on her. She feels safer in their hands. Dr Han shares with In Young about In Hae’s feelings. In Young tells Dr Han that more than being hurt, she feels cold. At that, Dr Han takes her hands into his and tells her that a doctor’s hands are always warmer than what she thinks and to have faith in them. I must say he has improved; In Young looks a lot more receptive now.
KHT meets Jeong and tries to persuade him to pull back his acquisition plan to take over SeongWon hospital. KHT finally turns around and sees things in a different perspective. However, Jeong will have none of it; he tells KHT off and ends by saying “Children are our hope. A different kind of hope” thus making clear his intentions.
SO and YS go on their first date. YS excited shows SO a phone app which marks dates and anniversaries, she says today is the officially the first day of their relationship and she wants to mark all these down. She asks why isn’t SO downloading the app but SO says he doesn’t need to. He is about to rattle off the days from the first time he met her when YS stops him, ha. YS asks where he would like to go but before SO can speak, YS tells him it cannot be the zoo or PC room, these two are adorable. SO has an idea.
They end up at a tarot card reading place which seems to be in vogue with Korean youths. It starts off being real cute and accurate even. Tarot card lady says that SO is surrounded by animal spirits that protect him whenever he is sullied. This strikes a chord with SO and he identifies with it. Next, YS gets a reading of 2 spirits. The first one is literal; she has an affinity with spirits as in alcohol. This is hilarious. Next is the spirit of fire which YS immediately assumes must be due to her fiery personality only to be told by the lady that’s it’s associated with warmth which is good. Then YS sheepishly asks her to read the fortune of SO and her as a couple. The tarot card lady tells them that there is no hardship in their romance (liar!) but there is only one bridge of souls card that they have. This means that if they break up, they will never get back together again. YS frowns and SO pouts. Afterwards when they leave the place, YS tells SO not to believe in such things but SO says she is the one who booked the lady, saying that she is a good clairvoyant, ha.
YS and SO passes by a store where a salesman is giving away appliances to anyone who can solve the Rubik cube in less than 2 minutes. YS sees an egg boiler and points to it excitedly, SO does the gallant thing any worthy boyfriend would do and steps up to the challenge. Except that he will do it under 10 seconds with his eyes closed YS whispers to him that he should give himself more time but SO says it’s no fun to him if he does it with his eyes open. SO picks up a 4 by 4 cube and gives it one look over and asks the man to countdown. He finishes it in a jiffy and YS jumps up and down with pride and joy; it’s just so lovely to watch them.
Back in YS’s place, they immediately put the egg boiler to use. SO cracks a hardboiled egg and passes it to YS, he tells her to let him know if she needs anything, awww. YS says they have put their skills in saving children to use. SO boasts that he uses his skills in other things too, like how he won a maze contest. He is so adorably cocky. But when YS asks him if he would like to make their relationship known and date openly, SO’s face falls. YS assures him that she won’t get teased but SO is doubtful. He wants to wait and do it later but YS asks when that will be.
The pediatric team wishes DH all the best as he goes to meet Dr Kim JJ for the face-off. DH presents a well-researched and thought through plan for In Hae’s surgery and Dr Lizzie offers his opinion to support DH’s case. Dr Kim JJ snarls while DH looks at Dr Lizzie with appreciation. Director is pleased with the outcome.
KHT meets President Lee and CK, he chides the former for not trying hard enough to keep the hospital from being taken over. CK tells him to get out but he has a proposal.
DH returns to the pediatric team who are nervously waiting for the outcome of the meeting. DH looks despondent and they immediately assumed he failed. But he has the last laugh when he told them that he succeeded. He couldn’t resist but add that he can act better when he is not donning Captain Hook’s suit, ha. SO declares him no longer a weak link but filled with acting spirits. SO’s speech is just so over the top sometimes.
Dr Lizzie comes in and asks if they are all right with their schedules because he thought of dining out. Before they could answer, Dr Lizzie awkwardly paves a way for them to reject as that was pretty much what happened the previous time. DH is the first to accept the invitation and everyone follows suit. SO pipes in and says he will like to have marbled beef, only to have Dr Lizzie tell him to go buy and eat it himself, so cute.
DH goes to see Dad and besieges him to treat SO as an adult and not an eight year old son. Dad gets mad and tells DH not to poke his nose in their father-son affairs. DH tells Dad that even if SO’s hyung is alive today, he would have told Dad the same thing. This one strikes an inner chord in Dad.
YS thinks about her conversation with SO about dating openly. Though she smiles bashfully thinking of it, she claps her hand decisively. Later at the dinner, everyone is in high spirits. Dr Lizzie apologies to the team for not doing his part well and in return, DH apologizes for not taking care of him, awww. Dr Lizzie tells them to order anything they like except for SO. SO seemingly returns with a dig at Dr Lizzie. Everyone at the table laughs. YS looks around nervously, mustering the courage to make the announcement. Taking a big gulp at her drink, she finally stands up and tells them that she is dating a guy. Everyone looks surprised but start to clap and cheer. It’s YS first relationship and the intern asks what kind of guy he is? YS doesn’t beat around the bush and says it’s Park Si On. They all think it’s a joke and begs YS to tell them the truth. YS repeats SO’s name and you can see the shock on everyone’s face. SO looks straight ahead. Dr Woo tells YS not to joke and when YS confirms it the third time, they all look at SO. SO nods his head, embarrassed. The looks on everyone’s faces are so telling and the silence deafening. The kind hearted Dr Han is the first to congratulate the couple and claps his hands. A couple of awkward and hesitant applause follow. The damage is done, SO downs a cup of soju. This is so heartbreaking yet so realistic.
As they walk home, YS asks if SO is mad that she didn’t tell him before announcing, SO shakes his head. YS then asks if he is worried, SO remains silent. YS stops walking and looks at SO. She tells him that they shouldn’t hide and it’s better to come out with it. SO agrees with her. There is an awkward silence as YS tells SO to go back to the hospital since they have already reached her apartment. After some hesitation, SO finally takes YS’s hands and place them on his chest. He holds them there for a while and then warms her fingers with his breath, awww….so sweet.
Back at the hospital bunk, SO lies on the lower bunk with Dr Han in the upper. Dr Han asks why does SO look so glum. SO denies it. Dr Han teases SO about capturing YS’s heart. He tells him that he should lose his qualification and SO vouches that he will never let it go.
CK and DH meets during a break, CK notes that DH is worried about SO and YS and asks who he is worried about. DH says he is worried for both. CK says he should encourage them instead. Then she starts to tell him about KHT.
The doctors are talking about SO and YS. Intern starts and say it’s something they should be congratulated on yet there is something not quite it. Dr Hong says the problem does not lie within their department but others in the hospital. Dr Han disagrees saying it’s pointless to worry as long as they like each other. The intern is worried for the couple but Dr Woo speaks up for them. The rest look at him in surprise. The nurses are also talking about SO and YS. One of them says SO is cute but can he love? Nurse Nam catches them and tells them to stop gossiping. Elsewhere, SO overhears 2 doctors from another department are talking about him and YS. One wonders how YS who had seemed so unattainable can fall for such a guy like SO. Another speculates that she goes for the unique type to which both snigger. SO listens to all these with a pained look on his face.
DH runs into a SO who looks all dejected and shoulders hunched over. DH tells him to brace himself and be strong in order to love and care for the person. Afterwards, YS and DH cleans up after a surgery. YS asks DH why he has not ask her about her relationship with SO. DH says that YS is the most sensible person he knows and he trusts that she considered it carefully. YS thanks him.
The much awaited Peter Pan performance begins. This show is sure sneaky, I thought they shot this scene even before the drama aired as we got to see the cast in their respective costumes. So many of us were anticipating seeing Joo Won as Peter Pan, Joo Sang Wook as Captain Hook and Moon Chae Won as Tinkerbell. In the end, YS plays Wendy and not Tinkerbell but there is worse to come or save the best for last, depending on how you see it. SO is simply adorbs in Peter Pan suit and DH really cannot act, ha. Then who should appear as Tinkerbell but Nurse Jo with stubbly beard and all. He gets the most hilarious lines and I think the actor, Cheon Ho Jin who acts as Director Choi is laughing for real. But even Nurse Jo gets upstaged by Dr Lizzie who appears as a Little Mermaid with 2 measly yellow bra cups! Did someone say this show is a medical or human drama? It’s pure comedy now. Or so I thought.
The final scene of the act has Peter Pan parting with Wendy. Wendy begs to go back to Neverland with Peter Pan but he tells her to grow up well. The children in the audience cry and tell them not to break up but Peter Pan leaves Wendy behind crying. Really, show, how many ominous signs do you want to give us? Just as the curtain closes on the play, a call comes from ER that there is a child badly hurt. The team rushes over immediately and Director looks on proudly at how they work. He tells President Lee that he is blessed with good students. She in turn attributes it to his efforts but he says they have surpassed him in becoming doctors who know how to care for their patient besides treating them.
Nurse Jo and Nurse Nam finally sit down and talk about the elephant in the room. Nurse Jo assures Nurse Nam that the days of being a gangster is well behind him. He shares with her his story. He took care of his nephew after his sibling died and the child meant a world to him. The child became sick and he left him in the care of the hospital while he was engaged in the gangster activities. The child eventually died but not before leaving him a note to thank him. He felt guilty towards his nephew and decided to make take a totally different path in life. That was how he ended up working in the hospital where he treats each child under his care with as much love as the nephew he lost. Nurse Jo breaks down in tears and Nurse Nam tries hard not to cry.
SO sends YS back and she is so dead tired that she flops onto her bed once she steps in. YS tells SO she needs to remove her makeup otherwise she will look a complete mess the next day. SO says YS is always pretty no matter what. YS smiles, SO pulls up the blanket to cover her but she catches his hand. She tells him to leave after she sleeps. He looks at her and gently strokes her hair.
The next day, YS’s friend Eun Jeong catches up with her on the way to the hospital. She asks YS if the rumors of SO and her are true. YS tells her to stop and that she is sincere about SO, after thorough consideration. Eun Jeong brings up the issue of YS’s mother and tells YS that either SO or her will get hurt in the process. So, she advises YS to stop now. Clearly disturbed by what her friend said, YS gets distracted and cuts her finger with a penknife.
SO puts ointment on YS’s finger and wraps a plaster carefully round it. SO says she must not scar her beautiful hands. YS laughs and ask SO if she is wholly beautiful in his eyes, to which SO replies yes. YS says love has made him blind. SO then playfully turns up his eyelid to show YS than he isn’t. But he gets serious and asks YS if everything is fine with her. YS knows he is worried about her and assures him she is more than okay, she is happy. She goes further to tell him even if she is hurt on his account, she will be fine as long as they are together.
The pediatric surgery team led by DH does a final briefing before In Hae’s surgery. Meanwhile, In Hae and In Young speak of their sisterly love and cries into each other’s arms. That night, Dr Han sits by In Young’s bed and tells her that he is going to be a fool for love. He reaches out and holds her hand and she does not pull back. Over at In Hae’s side, YS and SO are talking to In Hae. They try to lift her spirits and YS tells In Hae she can eat all kinds of delicious food after her surgery. In Hae tells them that they look wonderful together and that they must be happy going forward. SO thanks In Hae for bringing YS and him together.
Morning comes and it’s time for the two sisters to enter the operating rooms. They hold hands together when they get wheeled side by side, then tears flow as they part into separate theaters. In Hae goes in first and later Dr Han comes out to assure In Young that everything will be all right. In Young gives her hand to be held by Dr Han and tells him that it is warm, not as a doctor’s hand but as Jin Wook’s. I feel so happy for Dr Han that she has accepted him finally. He has been such a great person.
In Hae holds SO’s hand and tells him to stay by her side before she goes under the anesthesia. The two teams headed by Dr Kim JJ and DH respectively start the surgeries. The surgery scene is one of the longest in the series and I was kind of expecting something unexpected to come up anything but things go smoothly. I think I can never look at an offal dish the same way again.
In Young wakes up first to a smiling Dr Han who gives her a reassuring nod that all went well. Over at the pediatric side, SO paces up and down, worried that In Hae is still not out of her anesthesia. YS tells him to wait a little more when a call comes. Oh no, it’s bad and DH, YS and SO all run towards the ICU. In Hae is in a bad condition, there may be internal bleeding. If they don’t stop it, she will never wake up.
As we feared, In Hae surgery did not go well. But I do not think she will die. It is possible that the writer chooses to be realistic and not have all patients recover and be well. So far, only one patient has died during the entire span of the drama, hasn’t it? However, I do not think In Hae will make the body count. If her surgery was touched on earlier in the drama, I will think it’s possible but we are already down to the final episode and there is not enough time in one hour to deal with the aftermath of In Hae’s death considering that she plays an important character. It will also be a damper on the message of the drama which is one of hope, of children receiving the right care and love and growing well. Thus In Hae cannot die even if it is cliché or having to ignore statistics. What the writer has cleverly done is to build up the suspense with all the ominous signs like SO’s dream and In Hae’s letter. Many viewers fear for In Hae and has been praying that her character does not get killed off. So I think the writer has achieved his objective and hopefully, if I am right, tonight we will only heave a sigh of relief when the pediatric surgery team performs a miracle and In Hae wakes up from her surgery.
What I did not expect is YS and SO’s romance to hit a rough patch so soon. After all the heady romance, hugs and kiss, never mind that the kiss wasn’t real, I was fooled into thinking all will be plain sailing from now on. I was so ready to lap up all the sweet and cute moments of our new couple; little did I prepare myself for the heartache in store. Retrospectively, I give kudos to the writer for taking a very realistic approach to SO and YS’s romance. It was I who was too caught up with the couple falling in love and YS acknowledging and confessing her feelings that I forgot the nasty thing called reality. Along the same line, YS also realizes soon after her confession that loving SO is not as easy as a walk in the park. Not because it is hard to love the man but rather, there are a whole lot of issues like societal and parental disapproval.
I give two thumbs up to the scene where YS announces at the dinner table that she is dating SO. At first, everyone round the table were clapping and cheering when she declared her loss of singlehood. But when YS said the man was SO, the reactions were so telling. They range from shock to disbelief and worry. I cried when SO down his cup of soju. His heart must have been crushed. Years of endearing insults, bullying and humiliation could not shelter him this time from such hurt. Later on in one scene where he overhead two doctors gossiping about their romance, the pain was so evident in his face. This time it hurt him more because it was not just him who got insulted, it was YS. This was something he could not bear. Usually, I will scream at noble idiocy but this time, I cannot fault SO. The issues they have to deal with are very real indeed.
YS is not unaffected either. Although she has been nothing short of awesome so far, she also has her doubts and fears. She has forgotten to take into account her mother’s opinion but I suspect that is not the only issue. I think she is afraid that she is not that perfect a person as SO thinks. Perhaps, she thinks that SO is incapable of seeing her flaws or in any other way than perfect. Or she might be thinking that being with her will subject SO to more ridicule. This time, I will say hell with that noble idiocy.
I think some of the issues that SO and YS face will not go away with time. Even if YS’s mother accepts SO and the people at the hospital get round to the fact that they are a couple, SO and YS will still get stares and looks of disapproval wherever they go. Bigots are everywhere. It will not be easy and I can understand why instead of feeling the hurt themselves, SO and YS are more worried for each other’s feelings. In order for their relationship to work, they must be honest about themselves to each other and stand together in face of all these challenges.
This show effectively exposes the prejudices the society hold against people like Si On. They judge him by his appearance, manner of speech and outward behavior. They do not see him as a human being with feelings and emotions just like any other. Although when Si On demonstrates that he can do anything that a normal man can, viewers still want to dictate what he can do and not do. He can excel in all areas except romance. In days of old, people like Si On might be institutionalized or to put it bluntly placed in a home for the mentally ill and incapacitated. Thankfully, in our today’s world, we are more humane. We “allow” people like him to live amongst us. Places in school and jobs are becoming more open to people like Si On. But when it comes to romantic love, it is like the last frontier. At least, this thinking is prevalent in Asia. A highly intelligent man like Si On knows it well. He was more confident of overcoming his obstacles to be a surgeon than to be in love. To love was the qualification he stopped short at giving himself. Can we blame him when our views point that he is right?
As much as we criticize the characters in the drama who looked at Si On differently and decided what he can do or not do, viewers too fall pretty much into the same mold. The pediatric surgery team including seniors like DH and Dr Lizzie has come to accept SO as one of their own. As much as they respect his abilities in the professional skills, they are still doubtful about him when it comes to matters of the heart. Like the nurse said “Can he love?” and DH may be worried that SO cannot take care of YS. A question was raised in this drama forums, if YS was your friend, sister or daughter, will you still advise her to stay in the relationship with SO? What this question infers is that while we might be outwardly more receptive to people with disability, we stop short when it presents itself nearer to home.
I will imagine if Yoon Seo is my friend, sister or daughter, I will sit down and have a good chat with her. Let’s draw a list shall we? On the positives and negatives about Si On:
Negatives(depending on how you see it)
1. Childlike demeanor – voice tone and scamper like a child. If you can put up with people’s stares, it’s fine.
2. Simplistic way of looking at things – he sees and experience things differently like that of a child who is not colored by partiality or pressure to conform to a certain view. Not cynical.
3. Inability to read cues – you have to speak to him up straight. Can be frustrating or cute at times. However, it does not mean he cannot empathize with you or comfort you. You just have to tell him how you feel.
4. Takes things at face value – again it’s the way he reads and interprets things presented to him. Rather than see it as a weakness, society could do more with less beating round the bush and saying things we don’t mean.
5. Strange quirks, habits and interest – not too bothersome unless you find it terribly annoying. Leave him in the Gundam store while you go shopping. Best if you can’t cook, just feed him kimbap.
6. Child-like – there is a vast difference between childish and childlike. Si On’s childlike thinking makes his perspectives and insights refreshing and innocent as opposed to ignorant and gullible. In terms of taking care of himself, caring for others and thinking for others and self-awareness, Si On is more mature than many men out there.
Maturity does not always go with age and looks. Take for example 2 characters who might possibly face their last days – In Hae and Si On’s Dad. Who is more mature? To me, it’s In Hae hands down. She has the ability to think not just for herself but for others. Look at Si On’s Dad who has been an immature, selfish clout his entire life and remains the same even when he knows he is dying.
1. He is a good person
2. He is kind, gentle and caring.
3. He can make you laugh.
4. He has a respectable job with good stable income. He can definitely provide for his family.
5. He wants to do his job well and has ambitions.
6. He is independent and takes care of himself well.
7. He is someone you can respect and respects you.
8. He loves children
9. He is attractive to you and he finds you physically attractive.
10. He loves you.
At the end, I will let YS decide for herself. If she is willing to accept SO for all that he is, just as SO sees her as perfect even though she is not, then why should anything stop them? Autism notwithstanding.
It is not Peter Pan or Wendy who has to grow up, it is we who have to do so.