Sometimes the banal things in someone’s life can be luxuries to others. A happy family, a carefree attitude, or even the ability to forgive others can be privileges some people can’t experience. Despite Ji-hong losing his family and Hye-jung losing hers, this commonality doesn’t seem to be able to bridge the gap on their differing outlooks on life. However, maybe Hye-jung can learn to love again with Ji-hong’s help, and Ji-hong can learn to share some of her pain.
Ji-hong runs down a busy street and narrates, “The value of precious things can only be appraised after they’re lost.”
In flashback, little Ji-hong came home and happily ate food his mother left out for him. Adult Ji-hong narrates, “I didn’t know back then that the mundane things in life were the most valuable things people could enjoy.”
The flashback changes, to little Ji-hong watching as the doctors tried to save his parents. Adult Ji-hong continues his narration: “I lost [them] before my eyes, unable to do anything. I hate everything that destroys my everyday life.”
Ji-hong dashes into the boss’s room and sees Hye-jung sprawled on the ground wincing as a pool of blood forms underneath her. Yoon-do gets up and helps Hye-jung push the attacker off of her, and it turns out that the attacker is the one bleeding.
Returning to his senses, Ji-hong yells at Yoon-do for allowing this situation to occur on his watch, and Yoon-do yells back at Ji-hong that he tried. The two engage in a shouting match, and Hye-jung has to remind them that there are two patients needing their attention right now.
Uncle Pa-ran comes down to meet Ji-hong and Hye-jung since he’s been called to perform the operation on the attacker. He tells Hye-jung that it’s already their third encounter today, so on their fourth, they’ll be dating. He winks at her, and Ji-hong shoos him away.
Hye-jung thinks he’s fun, and Ji-hong says that his pick-up repertoire hasn’t changed at all. Hye-jung turns to Ji-hong and lets him know that Yoon-do tripped the attacker, which saved her. She says that she’s never seen Ji-hong that angry, and Ji-hong admits that he’s surprised over his own behavior, too.
Before she leaves, Ji-hong stops Hye-jung and says that this is an act from one human to another. He pulls her into a hug, and Hye-jung momentarily freezes. Ji-hong says thank you, and when Hye-jung asks what for, he calls her dumb. He lets her go, and Hye-jung walks away flustered, her arms stiffly dangling by her side.
Hye-jung goes to check on the boss’s condition, and checks the CT scans. There isn’t a need to do another surgery, so Hye-jung orders Kyung-joon to return the patient to his room and monitor him. Kyung-joon asks if it’s true that Yoon-do saved her, and Hye-jung asks Kyung-joon about the progress of his thesis. She scolds him for wasting his time on useless things when he could be doing more research.
Yoon-do walks absentmindedly in the hallway, and Hye-jung calls after him. He tries to hide his face and run away, but Hye-jung persists and catches up to him. She thanks him, but he thinks she’s mocking him because he was useless during the attack, and he runs away again.
She follows him and executes some fighting techniques, which make him flinch. She explains that she’s a professional mixed martial artist, so he shouldn’t feel ashamed about earlier. She tries to thank him again, but Yoon-do stops her because he’s too embarrassed to hear it. He watches her leave, and puts a hand over his pounding heart.
Hye-jung enters her office and lies down on the couch before getting up and opening a handbook. She takes out a card inside with a file number written on it.
Myung-hoon and his father Director Jin practice golf and discuss their plans for taking over the hospital. Director Jin says that he might not be alive to see the hospital become privatized, but at least Seo-woo will reap the benefits.
Seo-woo’s mother greets Myung-hoon at home, but he ignores her, much to her ire. She pesters Seo-woo to get married, so she can divorce her father. This seems to be a common occurrence, because Seo-woo casually tells her mother to get a divorce right now.
The topic changes to Yoon-do, and Myung-hoon joins the conversation, telling Seo-woo to decide on a date for the wedding. Seo-woo is against forcing Yoon-do to marry her, but Myung-hoon tells her that love is temporary. He reminds her that she has loftier goals than a happy marriage.
Yoon-do leaves his apartment for work in the morning, and next door, Ji-hong and Uncle Pa-ran exit together. Pa-ran greets Yoon-do, and though Yoon-do tries to avoid Ji-hong, Pa-ran ignores his nephew’s attempt to escape.
Pa-ran suggests carpooling to the hospital, and Yoon-do whispers to his uncle that he doesn’t like Ji-hong. Of course, Pa-ran tattles on Yoon-do, and Ji-hong says in banmal that they should carpool. Yoon-do is taken aback by the sudden informality, but Ji-hong reasons that a nephew of his friend is his nephew, too. Ji-hong and Pa-ran jump into the backseat of Yoon-do’s car with huge, goofy grins plastered on their faces.
Yoon-do drives grumpily as Pa-ran is passed out and leaning on Ji-hong, and he tells Ji-hong that they should return to their former formal relationship. Ji-hong just says he’s going to sleep for a bit, and then apologizes to Yoon-do for yelling at him last night.
Tae-ho is making his rounds and notices that a patient’s guardian is absent, and he tells Kyung-joon to explain the patient’s condition to the guardian later.
Hye-jung waits outside Ji-hong’s office holding a potted plant, and Yoon-do notices her since his office is right across the hallway. He stops to tell her that Ji-hong will come after making his rounds, and asks her random questions like where she bought the plant. He wonders if she isn’t curious about him, and says that it’s common courtesy to ask at least one question back in these situations.
Hye-jung asks why, and her blunt response flusters Yoon-do. He tries to escape by entering his office but gets his password wrong on the first try. Hye-jung watches Yoon-do and seems genuinely puzzled by his actions.
Kyung-joon explains his patient’s condition to a family member, but all his technical jargon confuses her. Tae-ho happens to walk by and witnesses the exchange. His expression darkens, and he tells Joong-dae to gather all the doctors in their department to the conference room.
Young-kook and Kang-soo hurry to the sudden meeting, and they wonder if it’s about Hye-jung. Once everyone arrives, Tae-ho orders Kyung-joon to repeat what he told the guardian, and everyone understands the problem after hearing Kyung-joon’s recitation. Tae-ho asks Young-kook to explain the mistake, but Young-kook refuses to point out a sunbae’s mistake, despite knowing the answer.
Tae-ho is mad at Kyung-joon’s use of medical terminology and wants everyone to talk to patients in a way that they can understand. He doesn’t want them to feel superior and act haughty by using complex medical terms. He tells them to not only learn skills but also the mentality of being a doctor.
Ji-hong is surprised to see Hye-jung waiting for him, and lets her into his office. She hands him the plant as a welcoming gift but also as a bribe. She hands him the note with the case number on it and asks him to look up Grandma’s surgery file, and he asks if this was the reason she took the job at this hospital. He rips up the note and tells her to forget it. Ji-hong thinks that as a surgeon, she should know that accidents happen, but to Hye-jung, she can’t understand the director’s behavior even more after becoming a doctor herself.
Ji-hong apologizes for ripping up the note, but he says he did it because he felt pity for her. He asks if she can’t live an ordinary life now, but Hye-jung retorts that an ordinary life was never a privilege given to her. Thus, if Ji-hong won’t help her, then she’ll find another way to retrieve that file.
Hye-jung sits outside, lost in thought, until Yoon-do interrupts. He wonders if she’s crying, and Hye-jung can’t believe he’s even more tactless than her. He informs her that the police are here to receive a report from both of them about the knife attack, so they should go together.
Ji-hong looks up Grandma’s file on the computer—the ripped note taped back together—but is also denied access.
Seo-woo walks up to Young-kook and comments about Hye-jung causing problems again. Young-kook corrects her and explains that the boss might have died if it weren’t for Hye-jung. She spots Hye-jung walking with Yoon-do, and when Yoon-do walks over to them, Seo-woo asks why they were together.
He tells her that they had to give a police report, and Seo-woo sighs about Hye-jung always causing trouble. She mentions Yoon-do’s previous wish to kick Hye-jung out, but he tells her that he’s changed his mind. Vexed, Seo-woo tells him that Hye-jung was the school gangster who bullied her, and also reveals that Hye-jung was kicked out of school. But Yoon-do says he already heard this from Hye-jung, and bets his car that Seo-woo wasn’t the only one hurt back then.
Seo-woo follows Yoon-do while he’s checking on the restaurant owner, and says that he owes her a car. She asks for an apology, and with the restaurant owner on her side, Seo-woo finally gets Yoon-do to reluctantly apologize. He tries to hide his face as he leaves, but Seo-woo shouts that he isn’t the one in power just because she likes him. The restaurant owner likes Seo-woo’s spunk, and asks her to bring that wretched girl to her.
Director Hong is surprised that Ji-hong is at work already, and Ji-hong jokingly points an accusatory finger at Tae-ho. Tae-ho denies the accusation and insists that Ji-hong is still on vacation, and Director Hong happily says that it’s okay, then, for Ji-hong to go fishing with him. Ji-hong complains that fishing is boring, and the atmosphere is jovial.
Soon-hee hands out flyers in the hospital lobby and runs into a woman—it’s Hye-jung’s stepmother. Half her face seems to be paralyzed, and her daughter, YOO YOO-NA, is with her. Yoo-na tries to help Soon-hee pick up her fallen flyers, but Stepmother stops her. She boasts loudly about how Yoo-na almost became a doctor, and Soon-hee rolls her eyes.
Once Hye-jung appears, Soon-hee loudly calls after her doctor friend, but they’re already gone, much to her disappointment. Soon-hee hands Hye-jung a bag of clothes, and the two high-five before separating.
Soon-hee pays a visit to the residents’ offices and offers Kyung-joon a flyer for her cafe. He refuses, and complains about security letting solicitors inside. Soon-hee yells that she has a doctor friend, and Young-kook intervenes, managing to stop their bickering.
Young-kook asks her age and comments that he doesn’t see anyone over thirty as a woman. So Soon-hee lies that she’s twenty-six, but when Young-kook asks if her friend is a resident, she can’t answer truthfully and decides to leave. She calls Kyung-joon’s face a mess as she exits, and he yells ineffectually at Young-kook to go bring her back.
As fate would have it, one of Hye-jung’s new patients turns out to be her stepmother. Hye-jung instantly recognizes her, but remains calm and tells the nurse to set up MRI scans. Stepmother barges back into the office, and she sneers at Hye-jung’s aloof attitude towards her own mother. Hye-jung sees through her stepmother’s petty tactics, attacking her while there are onlookers, but Hye-jung says she doesn’t care about what others think and that Stepmother will never be her mother.
The restaurant owner finally gets to meet with the woman she kept asking for, and spits in the woman’s face. Seo-woo enters, and restaurant owner tells her that she divorced her husband without a fight when she found out about his affair with this other woman. She regrets her docile past, and urges Seo-woo to fight for her man because there’s no point in living kindly.
Hye-jung stares at a couple of scans of her stepmother’s brain, and decides to call Ji-hong. He’s fishing with his father at the moment, and Hye-jung just tells him to have a good time before hanging up. Director Hong says that Hye-jung must be pretty because Ji-hong sounds different when he’s talking to her. Ji-hong says that’s nonsense, and then asks his father to look up Grandma’s file for him.
Hye-jung shows the MRI scans to Yoon-do and asks him to take this case. However, Yoon-do won’t switch because it’s against hospital policy. Seo-woo walks into the room she shares with Hye-jung, and wonders why Yoon-do is here. He doesn’t give much of an explanation, and wonders if Seo-woo has an inferiority complex towards Hye-jung. He comments about seeing a different side to Seo-woo lately.
Soon-hee is excited about the cafeteria food at the hospital, but Hye-jung doesn’t share her enthusiasm which makes Soon-hee wonder if Hye-jung is ashamed of her. Hye-jung explains that she saw her stepmother today, but she can’t hand over the case to another doctor.
Seo-woo and Young-kook enter the cafeteria, but Seo-woo sees Soon-hee and leaves. Young-kook follows her, and Seo-woo tells him that Hye-jung stole her old friend. He says that she’s suffering from a lack of affection, which is causing her to get emotionally attached to the restaurant owner. Seo-woo denies it and complains about Yoon-do being in the fellow room with Hye-jung earlier. Young-kook says that it probably had something to do with Hye-jung’s stepmother making a scene at the hospital today.
Kang-soo intrudes on Hye-jung’s lunchtime to talk about plans for her welcome party, and Soon-hee offers to host it at her café for free. Hye-jung tells her that she’s his superior, so Soon-hee suggests a fifty-percent discount instead.
Seo-woo walks in on Hye-jung changing in their room, and Hye-jung tells her to just come in. Seo-woo strikes up a conversation and mentions Hye-jung’s stepmother. She then asks about Yoon-do, and Hye-jung tells her that she only asked him to take her stepmother’s case for her, and doesn’t want Seo-woo to misunderstand. Seo-woo says she’s trying to have a civil conversation, but it keeps devolving into an argument and the air remains strained between them.
Kyung-joon is gossiping with Kang-soo and a nurse about Hye-jung, and they all agree that she seems to have a complicated family. Yoon-do interrupts their gossiping and asks for the stepmother’s charts. The nurse is ecstatic that Yoon-do is taking the case for Hye-jung, and he finally learns that the patient is Hye-jung’s stepmother.
Hye-jung tells her stepmother that she needs surgery but suggests that she go elsewhere. Stepmother brazenly calls Hye-jung her daughter and says that she’ll stay, since Hye-jung works here. Hye-jung says that Stepmother hasn’t changed, and her stepmother says that Hye-jung is still the same on the inside, too.
Half-sister Yoo-na catches up to Hye-jung and hands her a business card of their family’s restaurant. Though they aren’t rich, she says they make enough money to live and won’t burden Hye-jung.
Yoon-do leaves a voicemail for Hye-jung telling her that he’ll perform the surgery, and Seo-woo overhears him. She doesn’t like his change of heart, but Yoon-do thinks it’s normal for the heart to change.
Seo-woo visits the restaurant owner, who comments that Seo-woo’s the only one who visits her after her recent spat with the other woman. She tries to get up, but Seo-woo advises her to lie down so she doesn’t overexert herself. The restaurant owner claims that she’s fine, but suddenly, she starts to convulse.
Seo-woo tries to save the restaurant owner, but nothing she does revives her. Seo-woo refuses to give up trying, and Yoon-do has to step in. Kyung-joon declares the time of death, and Yoon-do has to come and physically hold back Seo-woo as she cries.
Hye-jung visits her family’s restaurant, but stays across the street and watches her father from afar. She has a flashback to when Grandma bought her the necklace she’s always wearing, when the two adorably bickered about which one to buy. Back in the present, Ji-hong calls Hye-jung, but she hangs up on him, promising to call back.
She watches her father talk with a customer, and Hye-jung has another memory of Grandma. Hye-jung asked if she should get rid of her mole, but Grandma said it meant she’d receive a lot of love from adults. Hye-jung dejectedly said that her father hated her, but Grandma said he didn’t. However, Grandma said she wouldn’t force her to understand him, because parents should love their children first.
Hye-jung meets with Ji-hong, who hands her an envelope containing Grandma’s file. He tells her that he had to ask a favor from someone to get it, and if finding out the truth will make her happy, then he’ll do his best to help her. He asks when he’ll get to see her “ten won” cheapness, which finally makes her smile.
It suddenly rains, and Ji-hong offers his jacket as an umbrella. They run side by side under his jacket, and end up in a telephone booth. The sudden rain reminds them of a similar moment from their past. Staring out into the rain, Ji-hong repeats a quote by Vivian Greene: “Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass. It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.”
He plays The La’s “There She Goes” (another bit of nostalgia from their shared past) and walks out into the rain. He starts dancing and twirling, and then pulls Hye-jung outside with him. They dance and laugh together.
They pause for a moment, and Ji-hong tells Hye-jung that this is an act from a man to a woman. He marches up to her, and kisses her.
I feel like Ji-hong has a tendency to think he knows what’s right for Hye-jung, and sometimes his advice comes across as overbearing. For example, I didn’t like how he ripped up the note, and thought he mishandled the situation with Hye-jung. He didn’t consider her perspective, and failed to realize that Hye-jung needed closure with her past to move on to her future. However, to his credit, he did rectify his mistake and told her point-blank that he would help her find the truth if it would make her happy. Though I sometimes find him a bit pushy and idealistic, I don’t mind his direct tactic in pursuing Hye-jung because I don’t think she would have known about his feelings otherwise. For the past thirteen years, it appears that Hye-jung hasn’t formed new, meaningful relationships and can’t pick up on social cues hinting at friendship or love. Even Yoon-do’s attempts to grow closer seem to have flown over Hye-jung’s head. As for Ji-hong, I think their thirteen-year separation made him realize that his floundering made him lose the girl, so this time, he’s determined to get his feelings across. Thus, he’s persistent, and Hye-jung is confused by this new emotional terrain he’s introduced in her life.
I’m disappointed with how the show is developing Seo-woo. I feel like they’re depicting her as a one-note character, and though all the other characters keep saying that they’ve seen a new side to her, to the viewers, it’s still the same jealous and insecure Seo-woo. I wish Seo-woo had more gravitas and displayed more professionalism as a surgeon, especially since she’s the only other female doctor we’ve seen so far (not including In-joo). It seems to me that the show does a bad job portraying her character as a doctor, and though others keep saying she’s superior to Hye-jung and has no reason to feel insecure, nothing has happened to support that claim. The only patient we’ve seen her interact with is the restaurant owner, but even then, she is Yoon-do’s patient, not Seo-woo’s. I also thought the death of the restaurant owner could have been better executed because everything happened so abruptly and the slow-motion took me out of the moment. It’s a common occurrence in dramas for second-lead females to be less developed than their second-lead male counterparts, and I think Doctors has that same tendency.
Up until this episode, I was still on the fence with Yoon-do because I thought his tactic last episode to get rid of Hye-jung was pigheaded. However, I completely adored him this episode. It was adorable trying to see him run away and hide from people because his height makes him easily noticeable, and I loved all his animated expressions this episode. Some of my favorites were his aghast looks as he tried to run away from Hye-jung, his frightened expressions when she showed him some fighting techniques, his look of horror when Uncle Pa-ran tattled on him, and his bespectacled thinking face. I’m really enjoying the different layers of Yoon-do we’re seeing, and it’s clear why Seo-woo is smitten with him.
On the whole, I’m ambivalent so far towards Doctors because I’m not sure what kind of drama it wants to be. For the most part, I enjoy the relationships and characters, and think the show is okay as a romance drama focusing on the growth of its female protagonist. Unfortunately, I’m a bit bored with the medical aspects of the show, and don’t really care about the hospital politics. Sometimes, I’m left wondering if being a doctor has any importance at all, and seriously think the show would still be essentially the same even if the characters changed jobs. It could be called Bakers or even Teachers, and the basic construct could stay the same. That’s not to say a drama about doctors has to solely be about surgeries and hospital politics (a la White Tower, which is in a class of its own), but I do wish I cared more about them as doctors because, besides Tae-ho, I wouldn’t want any of them as my doctor—they’d be too busy fighting with each other to even realize I’m bleeding with a knife wound in my stomach or making bets with each other while my life hangs on the line.
Another thing about the show is that it has a penchant for cheesiness. The ending scene, while cute, was really over the top. From the recreation of the iconic scene from the movie The Classic, to the multiple angle shots of their kiss, I found the delivery to be a bit heavy-handed. Also, both actors looked awkward during that kiss (or should I call it pressing their lips together?), and I’m assuming the director told them to do it that way. I guess the director was trying to represent innocence and purity, but he’s forty and she’s thirty-one. Am I supposed to believe that’s the best they can do?