DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 17-18 (1/2)
It's another week of the Doctor Stranger Drama Club! With only two more episodes left to go until the end of the series, did Doctor Stranger live up to last week's expectations? Join in on our discussions!
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: It was quite the slog getting through much of episodes 17 and 18 of “Doctor Stranger”. Once again, the all-consuming competition to operate on the Prime Minister almost claims another victim.
This time, the patient is the sister of slutty surgeon, Chi Gyu. Chi Gyu’s boss, Jae Joon believes that the sister’s surgery should proceed, which runs contrary to the assessment of North Korean surgeon, Hoon. Chi Gyu is too much of a coward to defy his boss. Instead of risking his job, he places the onus on Hoon to forfeit the competition in order to stop his sister’s surgery.
Meanwhile, Hoon’s girlfriend, Jae Hee is also giving Hoon grief by using the tough love method to save him and his mother. Jae Hee suddenly brings up all the resentment she has held back about Hoon saving her life at the cost of her father’s. She also voices her fear that Hoon is committed to her out of guilt and duty rather than love. Jae Hee uses these reasons to push Hoon away, preferably towards the Chairman’s daughter, Soo Hyun.
On the plus side, Soo Hyun is no longer devolving into a 12-year-old girl with a crush whenever Hoon appears. She is trying to get over her feelings for Hoon, and she manages to figure out that Jae Joon is the malpractice victim of 20 years earlier. Though Jae Joon used her to get to her father, Soo Hyun does not get hung up on this betrayal. She chooses, instead, to take the measured approach of trying to convince her father to apologize to Jae Joon, both for Jae Joon’s sake and her father’s.
The most interesting part of this week’s episodes was Jae Joon executing his plan of revenge against the Chairman. His regret at hurting Soo Hyun, and having to abandon her in favour of vengeance is palpable. His first move is to get the Chairman’s son arrested, but this is foiled by the Prime Minister. Jae Joon then decides to go and give the Chairman a heart attack by revealing his true identity. It is tragic when Jae Joon admits that he had feared facing a remorseful Chairman, because the whole impetus of his life would have been for nothing. The scene then turns chilling as Jae Joon thanks the Chairman for being an unrepentant psychopath, because his life has not gone to waste.
Hoon, the title character of this series, has paled in comparison. He fails to keep his promise to Jae Hee’s father to protect his daughter. Instead, Hoon gives in to his guilt, and abandons Jae Hee at this crucial time. He is almost killed by the Prime Minister’s henchman, then his mother is kidnapped and used to blackmail him. Hoon is just on a losing streak.
With two episodes of “Doctor Stranger” left, let’s hope that Hoon can be more than a pawn in an evil game, or the nice guy who needs the protection of others. Then, maybe, he will have earned a happy ending, preferably with Jae Hee.
June: Once again it’s another week of disappointment from “Doctor Stranger”. I can’t help but think how did a show that had so much potential just totally go down the drain. Oh wait, it might have something to do with the writers totally dismissing its main character for other characters.
First thing’s first, wow I am once again annoyed by Jae Hee this week. A big factor is that I absolutely cannot believe that after 18 episodes, she literally has two facial expressions and I just can’t connect with her conveying any emotions, or shall I say lack of emotions. I think it’s pretty set that in the last episodes Jae Hee will ultimately sacrifice herself for Hoon and I will say I can’t help but feel a little bad for her. Things have definitely changed between them and I don’t think they can ever get back to the way they were. Hoon and Jae Hee have definitely lost their chemistry and I think that it where it all ended for me rooting for them.
Now onto other things, how is it that a drama that was supposed to be about Hoon just completely got shifted away from him? Was it when it was all focused on Jae Hee, Jae Hoon’s revenge or the Prime Minister’s plans? Like seriously, I feel like Hoon was just there whenever the competitions were happening. In the first half of this drama, the writers seriously dragged out the whole Jae Hee identity thing, and then they dragged out the Prime Minister’s plot thing and now these competitions. I just wish we could go back to the beginning and start this drama all over.
As for next week, I am going in with absolutely no expectations because I know if I do, I’ll be seriously disappointed.
Janice: Hoon shows up and takes over Dr. Moon's surgery, saving the day with his magical doctoring skills again. However, this means Jae Joon and Hoon are tied, and another dreaded competition must be set up. This time, determined that Jae Joon should win, Chairman Oh stacks the odds in Jae Joon's favor, assigning Chi Gyu's 20-something-year-old sister to Jae Joon, while Hoon's patient is a 40-year-old man. Speed is this competition's deciding factor, bringing us full circle to the beginning of the series with the timed surgeries of the twins.
Confident of Jae Joon's win, Chairman Oh tells Jae Joon he will be taking over some of his responsibilities when he is selected as the Prime Minister's surgeon.
Hoon attempts to get Jae Joon to forfeit the competition for the sake of his career, but Jae Joon is having none of it. It's touching to see that though Jae Joon may treat him coldly, Hoon still cares enough about him to protect the good doctor, and he tells Jae Hee as much when they discuss why he came back to Myung Woo.
In the same discussion between Hoon and Jae Joon, Hoon's father, Park Cheol, is brought up again and Hoon tries to convince Jae Joon that his father did not go to North Korea to seek fame. Jae Hoon calls him a liar and refuses to believe what Hoon is telling him. Jae Joon's stubbornness about this frustrated me to no end. I was still holding out hope that he and Hoon would finally resolve their misunderstandings and band together to be the superheroes against Prime Minister Jang and Chairman Oh, but it seems my hopes are to forever be dashed.
I wonder if Jae Joon is, in small part, holding onto his grudge against Hoon, because he is constantly catching Soo Hyun staring at Hoon. It must stir some sort of jealousy in Jae Joon to continually be witnessing Soo Hyun's love for another man.
Meanwhile, Jae Hee puts her plan to leave Hoon into action by telling Soo Hyun that Hoon genuinely likes her. Jae Hee continues to tell Soo Hyun to wait a little longer, that she will soon be able to be with Hoon because she, Jae Hee, will be leaving for Japan.
Episode 17 wraps up with Kim Ah Young, Chi Gyu's sister, spilling her dreams of marriage and kids to Hoon, asking if there's any way she could avoid the surgery because it will be hard to have children if she undergoes the operation. Hoon looks at her films and realizes she has Marfan's Syndrome and that Ah Young can, indeed, delay her surgery.
Trying to convince Jae Joon of that, however, is difficult. This is understandable, given how close Jae Joon is to getting his revenge. In the end, Jae Joon dares Hoon to trade patients with him, leaving Hoon with a dilemma. If he agrees, Hoon automatically loses the competition, if he doesn't, will he be able to live with his conscience?
Episode 18 continues with Hoon being indecisive all the way to the eleventh hour. With Chi Gyu pleading with Hoon to protect his sister's chance at a normal life, Hoon finally takes action and stops Jae Joon from cutting open Ah Young at the last possible minute, effectively losing the competition.
Jae Hee takes this moment to complete her plan to push Hoon away. She accuses Hoon of being a hypocrite, promising her to win the competition at all costs but always taking action that results in the opposite. She puts the nail in the coffin by revealing that she knows he killed her father in order to save her life. She questions Hoon's ethics as a doctor and tells him to never see her again. Devastated, Hoon takes comfort with his mother and talks through his guilt and love for Jae Hee. If only Hoon had had this conversation with Jae Hee!
As promised, Jae Joon becomes the youngest acting chairman of Myung Woo, after winning the competition, and is embraced with open arms by Chairman Oh. In a candid conversation with the Chairman, Jae Joon questions the former's hatred for Hoon, to which the Chairman admits sending Hoon's father away to remove him from the malpractice suit that would've destroyed Myung Woo's reputation. Jae Joon finally realizes that Hoon was telling the truth and he seeks Hoon out later to apologize.
In an act of stupidity, Sang Jin entrusts crucial financial statements to Jae Joon to deliver to the Chairman, thereby giving Jae Joon the materials to have Sang Jin arrested for embezzlement, and initiating his plans for revenge. By this point, Hoon and Soo Hyun have both correctly guessed that Lee Seong Hoon is Jae Joon's real identity and try to dissuade him from pursuing his revenge. Jae Joon tells Soo Hyun that all he wants is a sincere apology from Chairman Oh in order for him to stop.
Soo Hyun tries to convince her father to apologize but the Chairman refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing.
In a confirmation of last week's conjectures, Hoon is sent away with his mom, presumably for his safety like the Prime Minister promised Jae Hee, but of course, Jang reneges and orders Hoon and his mom to be killed. When did the other bodyguard, not Tae Sool, become Jang's crony? I thought he was the President's implanted spy? Did I miss something?
In another predictable twist, the President is swayed by Hoon's hippocratic actions and ultimately decides to pick him as his surgeon, saving Hoon from an untimely death. However, while his back is turned, Hoon's mom is kidnapped by the bodyguard, exactly what Jae Hee was trying to prevent in the first place. My question is: why did Jae Hee not get mad at the Prime Minister for going back on his word? Where is the confrontation? I know it wouldn't do any good, but the absence of that scene is a little confounding.
At the end of episode 18, we see Jae Joon confronting the Chairman and revealing his true identity. Chairman Oh goes into cardiac arrest as Jae Joon/Lee Seong Hoon lists every single action he has taken to destroy Myung Woo. Chairman Oh collapses to the floor with Jae Joon watching him and we are left to wonder: Will Jae Joon/Lee Seong Hoon save the Chairman? Or, will he leave him to die? I predict that Jae Joon will save the Chairman but we'll have to wait one more week to find out!
What does everyone think? Will Jae Joon save the Chairman? What are your thoughts on this week's episodes? Tell us your theories and predictions in the comments below!
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Episode 17 & 18: [PART 1]