Doctor Stranger Week 2 – Injecting Humanity in Medicine

After vanishing into the depths of deep waters, Jae Hee’s face makes a reappearance this week. There is an air of mystery around who this woman is, and it is something Hoon desperately wishes to find out. In the mean time the back story of Soo Hyun begins to emerge, and of course a medical case that punctures the heart.

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There is something special about her…..maybe its the way she greets people.

Picking up from where we left off, Hoon haggles with dealer Im about how much money it would take to free her. He tells her she is worth 500, 000 dollars (this is not the price of a human being, this is the price of a house). Her price is so high because she is in a special concentration camp, but dealer Im reminds him since he is a doctor he should be able to make the money (by doing what? Harvesting organs lol, 500,000 is a yearly salary, not a paycheck.)

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pfff…organs? Imma need to sell souls.

The scene cuts to Prime Minister Jang, where he is handed a list for possible hospital candidates to do his surgery, he picks out Myeongwoo University Hospital. In the next scene Director Oh Joon Gyu, director of Myeongwoo University Hospital meets with reporters, they talk about seeing Jae Joon and it is revealed that he was the youngest adjunct professor at Harvard Medical school, and he did 1000 surgeries without failure. Jae Joon appears and is introduced as the new head of the Cardiothoracic surgery department. Mean while Dr. Moon is having a slap fest on some fellows, Dr, Yang, face, blaming him for Moon’s loss of position and kicks him out the hospital. The scene moves to Jae Joon seeing the director off after the dinner with reporters. A shiny red car pulls up and Oh Soo Hyun is the driver. She drops him off at the hospital, but tells him he should rest since it’s his day off. He says he will do so next time, and she says she has something to say, he shuts her up with a kiss. I am sure she enjoyed it as much as the camera man who kept giving us Aerial views. Jae Joon goes to the call room and speaks too his half-dressed resident, Kim Chi Gyu, in the call room, after Jae Joon leaves we see that this resident was being frisky with one of the interns and they deemed it suitable to continue.

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Jae Joon then meets the fellow that was being slap boxed by Dr. Moon a while ago. The fellow informs him that he messed with Moon’s surgery like Jae Joon asked. Then he mention whether he will get his reward of becoming assistant professor next year. Jae Joon confirms he will keep his promise, but as soon as the fellow leaves , he calls the fellow a trash-like bastard, this is the pot calling the kettle black. Next scene, Hoon is looking at the video clip of Jae Hee. He begins to imagine he is having dinner with her. Then her whisper of his name makes him breakdown in tears.

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Soo Hyun arrives home, where she meets her brother, Sang jin. Although he doesn’t want her to call him oppa, because she is the child of a mistress, he asks for the keys to her car. She hands it over and walks away. As he enters, she puts a rock through the windshield and tells him to keep it. He chases her into the mansion and walks into a room where we see dir. Oh and his wife are seated for the family meeting. There is only one empty seat and it is reserved for Sang Jin, to dir. Oh’s displeasure. Sang Jin takes the seat but after some quick questioning about what work he is doing and his reasons for doing so, he is promptly dismissed. His mother tries to protest, but he tells her, whether he is his son or not, he has no use for useless people. Well said sir, lol. Soo Hyun then takes the seat. The meeting proceeds.

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Back at the clinic, Chang Yi pesters Hoon to carry out her water deliveries to Myeong Woo hospital, because she wants to go sightseeing with her mom. After some resistance Hoon pulls up to the hospital. As he walks he sees the picture of past hospital directors, and stops at a picture of Choi Byeong Cheol, he is someone Hoon knows,he flashes back to when he was younger and met with him. In the flashback he told Hoon he would take him to his dad. Afterwards Hoon meets the little girl who stole his 500 won. She is there for her finger to get checked. He also meets her father there and he seems to be having trouble breathing, but says nothing. They need to get to the x-ray department and are instructed to follow the blue line. There are three lines, that are different shades of blue (because blue is obviously the only color in the color spectrum lol) and consequently they get lost. After asking different unhelpful staff. Hoon stops Oh Soo Hyun. He argues with her a bit when she gives the same instruction, then she points at the radiology department sign. After the trio find the radiology room there is an impromptu celebration.

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Just at that moment victims from a bus and truck collision are headed toward the hospital, but they are short-staffed since the general surgeons are all off on a conference, seriously all of them! The emergency room is chaotic, but then 500 won girl’s dad condition is getting worse and everyone is too busy to do anything. eventually she lets out a piercing scream to get everyone’s attention and it worked but when she said nothing they went about their business. When she screamed again everyone ignored her. However Soo Hyun did go over to her. She thought she was screaming over not knowing the x-ray result and Soo Hyun told her. She asks for her to help her dad. She tells Soo Hyun his symptoms. Unfortunately she is being called away by another doctor and she has no choice but to help. She tries to quickly figure out the problem to no avail, Hoon, watching all this in the background finally steps in and tells her its the heart. Being called away again she has another doctor, Chi Gyu, order a Cardiothoracic x-ray. Hoon suggest the doctor escort the man personally. In the elevator Hoon begins to examine him, Chi Gyu asks what he is doing, and in the midst of their conversation, the man faints. They drag him out, he stops breathing, and set him on the floor. Chi Gyu Suggests intubation and CPR, but Hoon says it’s his heart. After some arguing he got the doctor to follow his order and they got the man’s heart started again. Hoon says he needs surgery, but the doctor doesn’t know who is free to do it and calls Jae Joon. He indicates he will do the surgery after he finishes the other one lined up. Unfortunately Jae Joon is taking to long and the man might go into arrest again and die, so the doctor tries calling doctor Moon, but he is disgustingly drunk, and he is banned from medical treatment anyway, so it makes no difference. He claims since it is Jae Joon who is on duty, it will be Jae Joon who will take he blame if the patient expires. Again Hoon is watching all that is unfolding. Seeing that no one will help she asks Hoon to do it and gives him the 500 won. In tears she tells him she wants to be with her dad, and Hoon smiles.

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Hoon enters into the operating room and recalls his father’s last words as he washes up. He goes to perform the surgery but the doctors belatedly realize it is not Jae Joon. On the other end Jae Joon successfully completes he surgery and is met with a round of applause uuuhhh but crisis is yet averted children.  He tells Soo Hyun about the man and she goes into the surgery room. Seeing the unidentified doctor, she objects to the surgery, but dr. Eun, one of the anesthesiologist, states he is trustworthy and more capable at the  procedure then her. Soo Hyun decides to call security but holds them off when she sees the little girl. The procedure quickly ends but Hoon disappears, he is eventually found by security, but runs away. He loses them, and dressed in his pedestrian clothes he makes for the exit, staring at his 500 won. He loses it though, when someone bumps into him, and he chases after it while it rolls right in to Soo Hyun and the security team. On the other end father and daughter are reunited.

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Soo Hyun: Are you using aegyo on me? Hoon: Only if it’s working.

Soo Hyun confronts Hoon, slapping him not only once but twice lol and he calls her a quack. The man’s went back under critical conditions and she sees it as proof Hoon did wrong. Jae Joon comes over and tells the other doctors to give him magnesium. Hoon on the other end guessed what was wrong and suggested the same. The scene then cuts back to the man whose condition stabilized. Hoon tries to leave, but Soo Hyun won’t let her go. Jae Joon comes in, telling him Hoon could have lost his license because he operated in someone else’s hospital without permission. However Jae Joon lets him off the hook and tells him to never comeback. He turns back for his surgery fee, the 500 won, but Soo Hyun has no clue what he is talking about. He considers it stolen and walks away, she belatedly realizes, it was the 500 won.

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I don’t know if I can handle it rough…..be gentle instead.

Hoon bumps into Chang Yi at the hospital, he is mad at her but before he can release his frustration Dr. Moon shows up with his own set of security. Hoon, of course, runs away.Dr. Moon follows him back to his clinic, where Hoon rejects him, shutting the door in his face subjecting him multiple nose bleeds from the door with each rejection. Chang Yi shows up and reveals she saw a person that looks like Jae Hee. Hoon immediately goes back to the hospital with Hoon. The scene cuts to Dir. Oh, Soo Hyun and Jae Joon, they are discussing the shortage in doctors. Dir. Oh suggests they recruit more doctors since Soo Hyun will be going to the management department, a surprise to Jae Joon. then the scene moves to Sang Jin, talking to a patient that turns out to be, Soo Hyun’s mother. After he leaves the Jae Hee look-alike enters.

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We then see Jae Joon getting mad over Soo Hyun moving to the management department. He leaves and she goes after him, but her brother comes in and stops her. He says he has a present for her, but she refuses to go with him, and mentions that if he wants to keep his director position, he better not bother her. He doesn’t get the ultimatum, but he suggests he think on why exactly she is moving to the management department aka she can boot him out lol.

Jae Hee’s look-alike gives a red thread bracelet that looks exactly the same as Jae Hee’s own bracelet to Soo Hyun’s mom, and tells her not to lose it. In the meanwhile, Hoon is looking all over the hospital for a Song Jae Hee. He finds her making out with the one doctor that appears to be sleeping with all the doctors in the hospital, but she is not the real Jae Hee. Upset, he doesn’t even want to speak to Moon, or Chang Yi, but as he turns back he sees Jae Hee’s face, and goes after her. Jae Hee’s doppelgänger enters an ambulance and Hoon completely misses her. As the ambulance pulls away, Jae Hee looks at Hoon’s reflection in the auto visor.

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Hoon goes to confront Im but he says that the girl must be a different person and Jae Hee is in a special detention camp. After he leaves, a man dressed in black drops off a stack of dollars telling him he did good. Im want to know if Jae Hee is up north, but the man says he can tell him if he doesn’t mind dying. Next scene, Hoon is trying to get his hands on some money, as he walks through the halls of the clinic, where he meets Dr. Moon. Moon offers 50,000 dollars in exchange for joining his surgical team. Hoon agrees and Moon is ecstatic. He goes to Jae Joon’s office and interrupts his conversation with Soo Hyun over switching departments. Soo Hyun leaves, Moon asks to recommend a doctor at the meeting.    He recommends Hoon, but after it was revealed that Hoon learned medicine in north Korea, Moon dropped him and took his money back. The irony is, not a second ago, he was telling the entire room not to discriminate against Hoon because of his educational background and stated skill is important. However people, especially the prime minister wouldn’t want a north Korean defector operating on his heart so Hoon is a no. Moon completely disrespects him and throws petty cash at his feet. Sora watches the seen as Hoon collects the money. Soo Hyun confronts him about whether he has no pride as a doctor. He tells her that the white lab coat is not a doctors’ sole source of pride.

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We then find Hoon sitting outside in the area where he previously saw Jae Hee’s doppelgänger, it is in this scene we are treated to a shameless product placement scenario. Yes Lee Jong Suk is a spokesperson for asics, and yes they are sponsoring the show lol. Back at the hospital a very angry  Dr. Moon, who is about to hit the bottle, mind you, gets a call from the Director. He wants to recruit Hoon. Dir. Oh places Hoon on Moon’s team even though Moon too rejects having Hoon. Then Dir. Oh suggests a competition but Moon wants out. The scoring system is a plus for successful procedures, and a minus for failures. Winning team gets a prize and loser gets punished.

As they leave the office Moon is greeted by the former director. Meanwhile Hoon visits Chang Yi’s mother, he bumps into a giddy Moon, who apparently wants him back, and waves the checks in front of him. Hoon wants to know his motive, but he says he has a big heart. Truth is the former director was PM Jang’s doctor and knows, Jang owes Hoon. Upon Hoon agreement to join Moon’s team, he immediately tells him about the competition.

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No, you may not have a piece of me.

Hoon goes to dealer Im waves the 50,000 in his face, then tears the checks. Hoon tells him if he wants the other half, he needs to show proof that he has Jae Hee. Im throws a fit. Back at the hospital, Dir. OH finds out about Soo Hyuns mom. She has a Malignant tumor in her stomach that has spread throughout her chest cavity and organs, because of that there will be severe bleeding if the surgery is done. The chances of a successful surgery is low.

Soo Hyun is trying to convince her father to recruit another doctor, but Dir. OH won’t agree. Her brother comes in and drags her off to see he mother. She is shocked but plays it off. Sang Jin tries to emphasize that its her biological mother, who is in the last stages of lung cancer, with only 1 week to live (douchebag alert). Soo Hyun acts like the woman is not her mother, and flusters him by saying her mom is probably finishing a round of golf, right about now ( a reference to his mom). She is in truth concerned, and she goes to find out info about her. Hoon has her chart and reveals she is DNR (do not resuscitate) there for no measures should be taken to bring her back to life if her heart stops. she stands at her mom’s bedside and asks for her to be awoken. Soo Hyun has something to say to her but she can’t be awoken. Soo Hyun reminisces about the time she found her mom and told her she got her medical license and can make enough money so they can live together because living with her dad is hard. Her mom rebuffs her and basically tells her to endure it.

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The scene moves to Jae Joon’s team having dinner at a nice restaurant. Soo Hyun is deep in thought, and Jae Joon notices. She receives a text, and the scene moves to Hoon running to a room with a code blue, it’s Soo Hyun’s mom. The nurses stand and stare since she is dnr so nothing could be done. Hoon wasn’t having it, he jumped in to revive her, and was successful Soo Hyun wasn’t too pleased.

Hoon checks on Kim Eun Hee, Soo Hyun’s mom, vitals and sees the red bracelet. He calls the hospital the doppelgänger, Han Sung Hee ,works at, to find out info on Kim Eun Hee. Sung Hee goes out to meet the man in black that paid off dealer Im. The man looks like Cha Jin Soo the North Korean officer, she bows her head in greeting. We cut to PM Jang who is having a meeting with the press as they interrogate him on various issues such as the money being used for the elections, yes I hope you get caught, you dirty little man ha *sneers*.    The prosecutor leaves a document wanting to know the source of his election fund, and Jang tears up the paper. Sec. Kim goes to the prosecutor office and claims Jang has no involvement in the issue, as sure as the grass is purple there is no lie in his statement *snort*.

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Back at te hospital Dr. Casanova aka Chi Gyu is making out with some other random girl (if there is an STD out break he will be the cause of the spread) and is interrupted by another resident. Moon comes in looking for Hoon and advises him not to operate on Soo Hyun’s mom because she is guaranteed to die, but Hoon wants to try anyways. At the moment Soo Hyun is with said patient and Jae Joon asks if this is the patient she left the restaurant for. She tells him its her biological mom, which prompts him to want to do the surgery.

Hoon begins running mental simulations on how he would accomplish the surgery, but they all indicate failure. Meanwhile Soo Hyun wants to know why her mom was brought to their hospital when nothing could be done for her. Dir. Oh says he wants to protect her to the end. Soo Hyun acts to ease her pain, and stop the life prolonging care, and that she will accomplish the task.  Standing before her mom she recalls her mother sending her to her father stating that she in no longer Soo Hyun’s mother. She tells her to do what she can to gain her mother’s acknowledgement. Her mother tries to act coldly but she grips her skirt as she walks away. Back in the present Soo Hyun closes the machines and pulls off the oxygen mask. She turns to leave, but hesitates, she moves again and feels her mom touching her hand. Her mom opens her eyes and faintly smiles as Soo Hyun whispers mom. She then calls Jae Joon twice, but he won’t answer her call. She then pulls out the 500 won and goes to Hoon. She begs him to do the surgery, but he tells her it won’t work even if he wants to. She hands him the 500 won and tells him if he does the surgery she will give him as much money as he wants. She then reveals that Kim Eun Hee is her mother and she still needs to say something to her. Hoon accepts the surgery but Dir. Oh tries to stop him, by threatening to never let him do another surgery. Hoon continues anyways. The surgery seems to go well until things go array and they begin to try to defibrillate the heart. All their efforts amount to nothing as her mom flat lines. Soo Hyun cant except that she died and says the surgery hasn’t ended. She tries to resuscitate her, but she can’t. She begins to question her mother actions as she cries out. After Hoon announces her death, she moves to revive her, but Hoon stops her. He then pulls her into a hug, and comforts her. Jae Joon walks in on this scene and the scene ends there.

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Thoughts

Does Jae Joon really love Soo Hyun or is he using her?

In this episode we saw that Jae Joon can actually be quite an unscrupulous guy. For his ambition he had a fellow, Dr.Yang do something to Dr. Moon’s patient so that he can make Moon look incompetent, and take over his position. So when I see this same guy is dating the director of the hospital, it sets some alarms off. I am curious if he is with her out of love for her or love for power. We did however see that he does care for her, when he volunteered to operate on her mother. Yet when reminded that he was in a competition with Hoon he backed out. This may indicate that he does care for her but his ambition is also important. He doesn’t want to risk losing the reputation of doing 1,000 surgeries with no failures. He is prioritizing something tangible, his career, as oppose to something as intangible as love. I wonder how they began dating because for all we know it was her father who set it up.

Social commentary: money, skill, and power

A reoccurring theme in this drama has been money and prestige. The constant use of the 500 won seems to mock a very money oriented system. By using a 500 won coin, which has basically no real monetary value, for a procedure that can cost 10,000 times more shines a back light on how materialistic the system can be. Realistically one of the reasons the procedures cost so much is because you must pay for the use of the facility, pay the doctor, so on and so forth, but one aspect of the 500 won analogy is that there is a tendency for these doctors to lose sight of the patient and their family. The little girl changed the value of the 500 won because it became the embodiment of her earnest desire for her dad to live, and her love for him. The 500 won was all she had, but the sentimental value is worth its weight in gold. I also like the touch the writers used when Soo Hyun used the same 500 won and attached the “I’ll give you as much as you need” there again you can see the desperation of a child wanting to save their parent. It brings forth the question what would you give up to save the one you love? Can you put a price on a life?

Another interesting bit the writers pick at is this obsession that the doctors’ have with where the doctor received their education. As if the place you got your education dictates your skill or whether you are a good doctor. It is all just an issue of status, I found it to be complete nonsense that they needed to know where he went to school in order to be able to work with him, it should be enough that he has a license and is very skilled. However I do understand their aversion to adding on a North Korean defector as a doctor, especially since operating on the prime minister is a potential political/ national security issue, but in general most often than not people who really need a doctor is not even in the state to ask where the doctor is from, it is basically “can you save me?”

Hoon sees the patient as a person not a case

The hospital environment in this drama breeds the thinking that patients are just cases. This is seen in this whole competition scheme and Jae Joon sabotage of Dr. Moon (although I am sure he knew he could save the patient, a person’s life shouldn’t be used in such a manner). There again is more of a focus on appearance as oppose to just caring for the person. Hoon however has not been overly concerned with such issues. We can see the contrast in thinking that was promoted in his life, primarily by his father, which was “think of your patients” vs the thinking Hoon had in South Korea, “think of your license.” Although Hoon did a good job with the patient, he can still lose his license for what he did. There is a good reason rules like this are set up though, and it has something to do with the legal and insurance system, and therefore this more complex system contrasts greatly from when he was simply treating people in the village and maybe even his clinic, but it shows that the complications that go into the hospital system has created distance between the doctor and patient. Hoon however seems to overcome that thinking.

“I want to be with you”

These words have been spoken by Hoon, 500 won girl, and Soo Hyun. There is an intersecting sentiment here. These three faced separation from their parent who provided a sense of security and love. Although we don’t know about the little girl’s situation, we know that for both Hoon and Soo Hyun the other parent could not or lacked the desire (especially in Hoon’s case) to provide the love and security that would enable them to be happy. Hoon got lucky and his father decided to not stay stubborn about leaving Hoon, but Soo Hyun was separated from her mom, and she was never able to say what she wanted to say to her and get answers. These parents gave their kids a sense of belonging and happiness. These parents were basically all these kids had.

Is Jae Hee, Sung Hee?

Obviously it is too early to tell, because at this moment a million twists can be utilized. All we know now is that she knows Cha Jin Soo. Her purpose is currently unclear, and if she was meant to target Hoon, we don’t know why exactly. For all we know she may transfer to Myeongwoo just to kill the prime minister for the sake of gaining her freedom. Or she could even be placed there by the prime minister. Nothing is clear yet. However the red bracelet is such a tease, this is like shouting “Jae Hee was here.” It was an item she never stopped wearing and was symbolic to their relationship. Therefore if it was Jae Hee does this mean she has broken it off with Hoon, or is this look-alike just a troll being used to ensnare Hoon. I wonder if we will be treated to the noble love idea where the girl turns her back on her lover so he can be safe.  I guess we will have to tune in next week to find out.

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6 Comments

  • ratgirlina says:

    I am somehow drawn more to lee jong suk and kang so ra pairing than with jin se yeon. Kinda difficult to like her character better so far with her being so misterious and all.

    Liking the story, some similarity with team medical dragon the manga. Genius doctor with attitude, competing surgical team, totaly different story line and background of course. Thanx for the recaps 🙂

    • rinchan76 says:

      You are welcome. I see what you mean, Lee Jong Suk and Kang So Ra have have some nice chemistry but it is too early to say anything about Jin Se Yeon’s chemistry with him as Sung Hee, since they haven’t interacted yet.

      I like the story line so far as well, it is nice. I also like that even though he is a genius doctor he is not exactly a miracle worker, his success lies in the fact that he goes back to the basics of medicine and he doesn’t rely solely on the equipment. I like the strength of LJS character.

  • ratgirlina says:

    I am chucking all other plot holes and medical “say whattt”… and accept it behind one simple reason, it’s a kdrama not an episode of “house” live with it :).

    But i do have a huge nagging question. How did jae joon find out about hoon’s license? Hoon didnt exactly sign in his name before operating, all the other hospital staff only knows him as water bottles delivery guy. Yet jae joon miraculously shows up with printed documents about him being a doctor and all. I was chucking it as “kdrama god whisper the fact to jae joon, stop time for a bit, allowing him to print and place the fact in the clear folder, resume time so jae joon can pull the magic act in front of hoon, seconds after saving the patient without even looking at his chart”.

    I was ready to accept that reason, but i might’ve missed something, did i?

    • rinchan76 says:

      Lol, that scene made me raise an eyebrow. I guess this is something international fans know and we don’t. Maybe he had to sign in to make deliveries, but I doubt that. It is likely that we are to assume they asked his name off screen and Soo Hyun told JaeJoon, who has access to a database of people with medical licenses and he just ran his name through.
      It is either that or that hospital has CSI/FBI level security equipment that can run face scans lol. I really don’t think the writers thought that through. Let’s just call it kdrama magic haha.

  • ratgirlina says:

    Aha. So kdrama god did sprinkle his kdrama magic there. “Focus on the good stuff” magic spell.

    I do love hoon’s expression when he was caught by dr. oh and that protecting his cheek from being slapped, i laughed everytime i rewatched it.

    • rinchan76 says:

      I loved that scene too, it was hilarious. I liked how he held his cheeks every time he saw her, but I wonder how he will approach her now after being kicked in the privates. He doesn’t exactly have three arms lol, or will they become friends after he did her moms surgery. I wonder if it is too early for them to stop fighting.

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