DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 17-18 (2/2)
In this week's chat, the Doctor Stranger Drama Club is delighted with Soo Hyun's new maturity, expresses our thoughts on Jae Joon's revenge, and discusses Jae Hee's tactic for pushing Hoon away from her. Join us as we also take on the task of predicting what's going to happen in the last two episodes of the show!
Janice: Whew, episodes 17 + 18 were a doozy.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: If by doozy, you mean snoozy, then, yes. I agree. It was very hard to concentrate on what was happening, because it was so boring, and I no longer cared.
June: Yeah I was totally not happy with this week’s episodes. It was pretty boring.
Janice: This week felt a lot like filler, didn’t it?
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: Yes, I can’t believe the competition was still going. And in the end, the President just made the decision, which was contrary to the results of the competition. What was the point?!
June: I am seriously not surprised that they are continuing this dumb competition. I feel like it got dragged along too much.
Janice: As soon as Hoon lost the competition, I knew the President was going to step in and pick him to do the surgery. The President has been contrary to Prime Minister Jang every step of the way, there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t be in this instance too. From a writer’s perspective, Hoon is our main protagonist, it’s inconceivable that he wouldn’t be the one to do the surgery. Otherwise, why would we be watching “Doctor Stranger?” At the same time, it’s precisely this predictability that has me so impatient with “Doctor Stranger” this week. Being able to guess that Jae Hee would throw her father’s death in Hoon’s face, to the President contrarily selecting Hoon, to Chairman Oh suffering a heart attack when Jae Joon confronts him, means that nothing has happened this week to surprise or entertain me.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: Did you see Jae Hee bringing up her father and questioning Hoon’s love coming? I didn’t, just because Jae Hee has been keeping a lid on her fears and feelings thus far. I did not foresee her suddenly spilling everything out like that.
Janice: Last week, we conjectured that Jae Hee would be stepping aside for Hoon and Soo Hyun. The only way for Jae Hee to separate Hoon from her would be to use her father’s death against him. As soon as Jae Hee told Soo Hyun the story about her kidney, I was like, “Ah, that’s how Jae Hee is going to remove herself from the love equation. She’s going to pretend that she can’t accept Hoon for choosing to kill her father to save her.” And that’s exactly what happened. To me, the whole Soo Hyun and Jae Hee scene felt like a setup for the scene between Jae Hee and Hoon.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: I believe that Jae Hee’s anger about her father’s death, and her fears about losing Hoon’s love are real. In which case, I wish Jae Hee had been allowed to express this fear and resentment sooner. Instead, we got Jae Hee making constipated faces and suffering in dignified silence.
June: That was one thing that I was super annoyed with throughout this whole drama. I feel like the actress herself had like 2 emotions that she could convey. I also had a feeling that she would bring up her father’s death some time or another.
Janice: Thinking about it, I think filler might be the wrong word, this week felt really mechanical. It seemed that the writers needed to wrap things up with the end of the show so near, so to compensate, they laid events out like a checklist for us. Boom boom boom, this is happening and this is why.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: Well, if the writers are feeling any sense of urgency, they aren’t showing it with Hoon. He is supposed to be the main character, and the writers have let him fade into the background. With two episodes left, I hope Hoon steps up and acts like the hero he is supposed to be. Thus far, he has failed Jae Hee, fooled around with Soo Hyun, and bickered with Jae Joon. He hasn’t achieved much else. His advocacy for patients does not count for much since he still actively participates in the stupid competitions that are putting them in danger.
Janice: I agree with you, Hoon was a passive character this week with the story moving a lot on Jae Joon’s revenge.
Janice: Revenge pretty much took over “Doctor Stranger” this week. What I’m glad about though is that Jae Joon finally finds out how wrong he’s been about Hoon, even though Hoon tried to correct him on his misunderstanding before. Maybe next week, they’ll finally work together like we’ve been wanting them to for the last couple of weeks.
June: I totally agree with you guys and I think this is the very reason I have become so disappointed in this drama. We have Hoon, who is supposed to be the main character but yet it’s like he has yet to have an impact in this whole drama. I feel like they’ve focused on everyone else but they’ve forgotten about him.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: Actually, I was just thinking that it may be too late for Jae Joon and Hoon to team up, because that would have required subtlety. Since Jae Joon has let the cat out of the bag regarding his true identity, and he is standing over the ailing Chairman without lifting a finger to help, I doubt he will be allowed to enact any more of his plans for vengeance.
Janice: I’m hoping that Jae Joon and Hoon will be able to go after the Prime Minister together. I do agree though, that there’s not enough time to really get satisfaction on this one partnership. I’m also hoping that next week, Jae Joon gives in to his conscience and saves Chairman Oh by operating on him.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: As an aside, I am glad that Soo Hyun has regained her dignity. She is trying not to crush on Hoon any more, even when he is turning on the charm. And, when she realized that Jae Joon had used her to get to her father, she did not descend into hysterics. I appreciated that.
Janice: Me too, but Soo Hyun’s hysterics have seemed to morph into Chairman Oh’s denseness. Chairman Oh, who is supposed to be clever, didn’t catch on that Jae Joon is Lee Seong Hoon sooner? Even when very privileged information just happened to leak at the same time that Jae Joon was handed sensitive financial information?
June: I am so glad they didn’t make Soo Hyun be super dramatic about this whole ordeal either. I think it would have completely, like completely made me dislike her. It’s like she was a tiny bit redeemed. But just a tiny bit.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: I guess I am trying to find something positive about episodes 17 and 18 of “Doctor Stranger”. I can’t even muster annoyance. I am just so tired of the terrible choices of the writers.
Janice: What do we think about Jae Hee? Her decision to completely extricate herself after the surgery, does it still make sense? Jae Hee admits to Soo Hyun that sometimes she thinks Hoon is only choosing her out of duty and guilt, but after she tells Hoon that she’s leaving because of what he did to her father, Hoon still wants to be with her, so guilt and duty doesn’t seem so plausible anymore...
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: I think Jae Hee has reason to be concerned. She is no longer the girl that Hoon fell in love with; she has been changed by her imprisonment in North Korea, and whatever training turned her into an agent. Hoon has also admitted that he wished Jae Hee could be more like Soo Hyun, who he is able to kid around with. The problem is that the writers have not made the most of this rift between Jae Hee and Hoon. They have chosen to focus on her intention to sacrifice herself for Hoon, instead.
Janice: I feel bad for Jae Hee because she started separating herself from Hoon in order to save him and his mom, but events negated her sacrifice: Hoon’s mom got kidnapped by Prime Minister Jang anyway and Hoon is being forced to do the surgery. It seems like the happy life that Jae Hee had wanted Hoon to have isn’t going to happen, so why not drop the pretense of being angry at him, and go back and beat Prime Minister Jang together, like they had originally planned?
June: To be competely honest, I am very annoyed with Jae Hee, and as I’ve said before it’s probably due to the acting of the character itself. I can’t get past the lack of emotions she puts into it, but I do feel bad for her. In the end, it seems like she will be the one sacrificing everything for the man who she might not be able to end up with when it’s all over.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: Cooperation requires communication, and there is very little of that between Hoon and Jae Hee. He took on a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” stance regarding what brought her to South Korea, and she is convinced that she knows what is best for him. Then, Hoon gets an inkling of what Jae Hee has planned and sabotages it. Now that I think about it, I don’t think Hoon and Jae Hee should end up together. They lost whatever chemistry they had after Hoon left North Korea.
June: I agree and that makes me pretty sad. I loved their chemistry that they had right in the beginning and I couldn’t help and hope to see that once again.
Janice: They’ve lost me rooting for them at the moment too.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: How about we propose a scenario that will save the series next week?
Janice: Moved by his conscience and his love for Soo Hyun, Jae Joon operates on Chairman Oh, saving his life. However, the Chairman gets his comeuppance and is arrested for his shady dealings. Consequently, all the dirty laundry of Myung Woo Hospital gets aired out, leaving the hospital in a PR nightmare. The board decides to permanently make Jae Joon the chairman in a desperate attempt at damage control.
Tae Sool comes to the rescue and wrests Hoon’s mother away from the other bodyguard. This enables Hoon to operate on the President in an ethical manner and Jae Hee is there with him. After the successful surgery, Hoon and Jae Hee reveal to the President what a conniving bastard Prime Minister Jang is, who then gets punished and is sent to North Korea. Jae Hee realizes how much Hoon really loves her and they have a heart-to-heart to work things out.
With revenge behind him, Jae Joon works on his relationship with Soo Hyun and they find the love and partnership they once had.
Jae Joon’s first order of business as Chairman is to make Hoon the Head of Cardiology, much to Dr. Moon’s chagrin. Jae Joon and Hoon become besties and drink happily ever after.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: After grabbing Jae Hee and kissing her like he actually loves her, Hoon and Jae Hee speak honestly to each other. Hoon is like, “I am afraid that you are no longer the happy girl I fell in love with.” And Jae Hee is like, “I was locked up in a North Korean labour camp, and then, they trained me to become their agent. There is no way I could remain the same, and I resent the fact that you did not even bother to learn why I have changed.” They kiss and makeup, then Hoon gets good and angry at the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Jae Joon manages to escape fault for causing the Chairman to collapse, because the Chairman is in a coma, and Soo Hyun covers for him. Soo Hyun’s feelings for Jae Joon are revived when they speak honestly to each other. Jae Joon is like, “I regret using you then pushing you aside for my dreams of vengeance.” And, Soo Hyun is like, “I just need you to be funnier, and less of an A type psychopath.” They kiss and makeup, and escape to the United States.
Finally, Hoon and Jae Hee manipulate the surgery schedule, and manage to get the Prime Minister on a surgical table. That is when they find out that he has no heart. They leave him as is, and escape to Canada where Hoon and Jae Hee are relieved to find out that universal health care means they need never worry about the likes of the Chairman nor turning away patients without health insurance nor money.
June: We can all hope one of those scenarios happens next week.
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Read More on Doctor Stranger!
Episode 17 & 18: [PART 1] [PART 2]