DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 15-16 (1/2)
Doctor Stranger ramped up the action and heartache in episodes 15 and 16. Emotions ran high in Drama Club as we watched Jae Hee execute her plan against the Prime Minister, Hoon hurt then hug Soo Hyun, and Jae Joon demonstrate real love in the face of abject rejection.
Janice: Doctor Stranger picked up speed this week and hurtled full steam ahead. It was a series of confessions and reveals that made my heart ache as I watched Soo Hyun, Jae Joon, and Jae Hee deal with a complicated love-mess.
Episode 15 continued where we left off in the surgery room, with Hoon deciding on the SAVER method when he finds out his patient has a blood disorder. Tensions rise as Nurse Min watches Dr. Yang and tries to prevent him from foiling Hoon's surgery. Pretty soon, we see that Dr. Yang fiddled with the blade of the bone saw during prep, and it pops out in the middle of surgery to cut Hoon's hand. However, this doesn't stop Wunderkind Hoon as he switches to his left hand and finishes the surgery successfully. Ambidexterity has never looked so sexy.
We're also allowed a moment of satisfaction when Nurse Min yells at Dr. Yang to get out of the operation room, because she can't trust him. When the surgery's over, Hoon goes around congratulating his team with a hug, and Jae Hee witnesses Hoon's embrace with Soo Hyun. The expression on her face is indiscernible; it could be jealousy, but I speculate that it's more of a sad acknowledgement on Jae Hee's part. I think she knows Hoon better than he does, and recognizes his affection for Soo Hyun as more than platonic despite Hoon's obliviousness to it, though sometimes I wonder if it isn't really denial or avoidance.
In any case, I feel sorry for Jae Hee because she's sacrificing so much for Hoon, and I'm not 100% sure they're going to make it in the end.
Jae Joon's love life is equally in shambles when Soo Hyun repeatedly chooses Hoon over him at every opportunity. She eventually tells Jae Joon to please forget her, because Hoon isn't a passing fascination for her. Later on, when Soo Hyun confesses to Hoon that she likes him, and Hoon discourages her by revealing that Chairman Oh was responsible for sending his father to North Korea, Jae Joon is the one who goes to Soo Hyun to comfort her in her devastation. It's hard to watch Jae Joon comfort the woman he loves while she's crying her heart out over another man. As cold and calculating as Jae Joon is, the small slice of warmth and humanity that we saw a couple of episodes ago shows that Jae Joon could be a kind, caring person if the circumstances were different. Jae Joon deserves to have love in his life after all that he's been through, and it's hard to watch him get rejected by Soo Hyun all the time.
Soo Hyun visits Hoon's office to apologize for what her father did to his father, but instead, in Hoon's absence, she finds incriminating evidence that Dr. Han Seung Hee is really Jae Hee. Hoon and Jae Hee walk in hand-in-hand, further confirming Soo Hyun's discovery, and Soo Hyun finally realizes what a fool she's been. Hoon tries to talk to Soo Hyun, but only ends up hurting her even more, and Soo Hyun avoids both Hoon and Jae Hee like the plague. Hoon shows up at the hospital when he finds out Soo Hyun is working there, and he comforts her when she starts crying. Jae Hee catches Hoon in a lie of omission when she calls him asking about Soo Hyun, and he fails to say that he's with her at the hospital. Jae Hee witnesses it all from the stairs that overlook the office they are in, and the look on her face is, again, one of sad acknowledgement.
Jae Hee meets with Prime Minister Jang and negotiates with him to have her replace Hoon in the mission. She proposes that Jae Joon be selected as the surgeon to operate on the President's heart, and she will join his team to carry out the Prime Minister's plan. She reminds him that he needs the North Koreans to cooperate in a successful summit meeting in order to be elected in the near future, and he needs Jae Hee to put the President into a coma so that he can assume temporary power. Either way, it's the leverage Jae Hee uses to get Jang to agree to her plan. In return, she asks that Hoon and his mom be kept safe. Prime Minister Jang starts putting her plan into motion, though it seems he doesn't intend to keep his end of the bargain.
Jae Joon receives a call from the Prime Minister, and is forced to meet him when he discovers the Prime Minister knows his real name. Prime Minister Jang tells Jae Joon that he wants him to be the winning surgeon, and he'd like Han Seung Hee to be on his team. Jang then dangles a carrot in front of Jae Joon to get him to agree: information that will make Chairman Oh crumble as quickly as Jae Il Hospital did.
In the meantime, Comrade Cha attempts to kill Hoon, but is saved by Jang's bodyguard. The bodyguard tells Hoon that Jae Hee had requested the changes in the mission, and when Hoon questions his trustworthiness, the bodyguard reveals that he was the one who saved Hoon in Budapest all those years ago, and that he has been taking care of Hoon's mom for the past 20 years.
Back at the hospital, Jae Joon tells Soo Hyun to please forgive him for everything he is about to do. And, to remember that he loved her with all his heart. This short scene made me love Jae Joon so much. Dr. Han, my heart already aches for what you will have to go through!
Another medical competition is set up by Chairman Oh and Jae Joon with assurances from the Prime Minister that Hoon won't make an appearance at Myung Woo. Dr. Moon and Soo Hyun go crazy looking for Hoon, but he is nowhere to be found. Dr. Moon decides to step in for the surgery, but isn't sure of himself when the operation starts. While Jae Joon successfully operates on his patient, Dr. Moon's surgery encounters crisis after crisis. Chairman Oh orders Jae Joon to take over the operation just as Dr. Moon comes to the same conclusion. However, the doctor that enters the surgery isn't Jae Joon, but Hoon. And with that, we're left hanging as we wait for next week's episodes!
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: Episode 15 may well be the worst episode of “Doctor Stranger”, because it was so easy to hate practically every character.
As always, there is the all-consuming competition to operate on the Prime Minister. Double crossing surgeon, Jung Han sabotages a bone saw being used by Hoon, and puts the patient’s life at risk. Regardless, Hoon succeeds in executing a difficult surgical technique, then has to contend with the patient’s hostile wife who was sicced on Hoon by the Chairman’s son. The patient’s wife accuses Hoon of murder and demands that her husband be woken from a medically induced coma for proof of life.
Soo Hyun continues to be in the grip of her crush on Hoon. She makes poor decisions, confessing her feelings for Hoon to boyfriend, Jae Joon, and waking Hoon’s patient to satisfy the wife’s ill-advised whims in order to save Hoon’s job. This results in cardiac arrest, and less than charitable feelings towards her from the object of her affections.
Jealous Jae Joon brings Hoon before a sham tribunal to answer stupid questions like whether any of his patients have ever died, and where he practiced surgery. Hoon must argue with Jae Joon to keep the patient in the medically induced coma for two more days. Unfortunately, the competition and preventing a malpractice lawsuit take precedence over what is best for the patient. After all the fuss, Hoon’s patient pulls through, and this latest round of competition ends in another tie.
The only bright spot in Episode 15 is how measured and reasonable Jae Hee and Hoon are. Jae Hee is patient with Soo Hyun stalking her boyfriend, and reprimands a nurse for unnecessarily alarming the patient’s family. Hoon becomes the voice of reason calling Jae Joon out on his bipolar behaviour, and his boss an evil bastard. Best of all, Hoon makes amends with Jae Hee, and decides to trust her plan regarding his mother.
Episode 16 is an improvement starting with Soo Hyun. She gains a sense of shame after learning Jae Hee’s true identity as the love of Hoon’s life, and stops crying to stand up for herself. In one fantastic scene, Soo Hyun protects a male colleague then returns the slap she receives from a belligerent thug in the emergency room. As the situation escalates, Hoon steps in, swinging a punch and being obnoxious. He and Soo Hyun are saved by the hilarious recurring mob boss character.
Jae Joon redeemed himself somewhat near the end of Episode 15 when he comforted Soo Hyun as she cried over another man. He continues to show real love for Soo Hyun in Episode 16 when he asks that she remember his feelings for her, and begs for forgiveness in advance of whatever he may do.
Jae Hee puts her strategy into action, convincing the Prime Minister to spare Hoon and his mother in favour of having her and Jae Joon execute his nefarious plan. She also arranges for the disposal of the trigger happy North Korean agent, securing Hoon’s safety. Too bad for Jae Hee that Hoon is always ready to swoop in to save a patient, thus rendering her carefully laid plans obsolete. However, thanks to Hoon’s trouble making, I am looking forward to Episode 17!
June: Well, weren’t this week’s episodes just filled with the emotional feelings of some of the characters? I’m honestly surprised I wasn’t annoyed by these episodes. I will say I was kind of torn between feeling sorry for some, and then feeling like they should just get over things.
Let’s just start with the part where I felt sorry for them. Haha. Well, the cat is out of the bag; Soo Hyun finally told Hoon the truth and got rejected. (Well, surprise there!) But, that’s not all, she also finally found out about Jae Hee’s real identity. I mean, I guess I can understand and see why she’s so hurt. Getting rejected isn’t fun at all, and working with said person everyday would definitely not help the situation. On top of that, finding out your roommate’s not who you thought she was, and she’s with said guy you like must really suck.
But, on the other hand, come on, Soo Hyun! Just get up, and get a move on. There’s more to life than pining after this guy who already has someone in his heart. Plus, there is someone else who loves you. I’m really rooting for her and Jae Joon to work things out, but I feel like the writers are going to end up making Hoon and Soo Hyun the couple. Also, I feel like Hoon isn’t even the main character anymore. There are just so many side characters and storylines that he kind of gets blurred in between. It’s like the writers just totally forgot what the whole premise of the show was even about. *end mini rant*
Anyways, we aren’t very far from the end of “Doctor Stranger” and I seriously hope we at least get a solid ending. I think we deserve that much!
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