Healer Episode 17: Taking down Elder


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While this was an action-packed episode with lots of good stuff happening plot-wise, there were also moments where the plot slowed down and lingered on beautiful moments of interactions between our characters.

The first was the meeting between Young Shin and Myung Hee. As she moves in to see Myung Hee, the camera follows Young Shin’s point of view, peering slowly over the corner as she sees the table full of sweet goodies – exactly as Moon Ho had told her. Young Shin takes in a breath and steels herself, because she knows this is not going to be easy. Gradually, her eyes move across the table and eventually sees Myung Hee wheeling herself towards the table to bring more cookies. As she sees Myung Hee face to face for the first time, Young Shin chokes up, holding back her tears, unable to say a word – the joy on her face is so evident, yet she has to restrain it. After Myung Hee takes her flowers, Young Shin tells Myung Hee how pretty she is – a line that’s delivered as a formal compliment from a journalist, but tinged with tenderness from a long-lost daughter. Myung Hee tells Young Shin she’s a big fan of hers. Young Shin smiles and can no longer hold back her tears and they start streaming down; it’s the proud affirmation and praise from a biological parent that she’s never had. The bittersweet irony of Myung Hee telling Young Shin that she finds her familiar, and that she also cries easily is a quiet moment of resonance between mother and daughter.  It’s a really moving scene, performed so beautifully by the two actresses.

The next scene I really enjoyed was Jung Hoo and Young Shin’s exchange after she leaves Myung Hee’s house, particularly the moment when she asks him if she has killed someone before. She confesses to him that she has not asked about his past, because she’s afraid if she asks too much, he will no longer want to be with her. Jung Hoo looks at her assuringly and tells her, “I won’t”, still standing at a distance from her, respecting that she might still be afraid of him after what she last saw. She then looks at him and says what she’s always been wanting to ask – whether he has killed someone. There’s a brief pause after she asks, and the fear in her eyes is evident; even though she knows deep down he’s not a killer, there’s a fear in her that he might give an answer that will once again cause her to become distant. He shakes his head subtly and said “no”, and Young Shin’s demeanour becomes completely at ease and relaxed, saying to both him and herself, “I thought so”. It’s a moment played with such restraint, respect and regard for one another and it’s perfectly executed. It’s perfect also because Jung Hoo is dressed in his most commonly seen “Healer” disguise, yet laying bare his feelings and intentions to her, without any more pretense.

While the actors and actresses did give excellent performances in the above scenes, props must also be given to the production and directing team for constructing those sequences. There was such precision in selecting whether to focus on their faces or their hands, in framing their faces, and in choosing the right camera angles by pulling back further when there was a need to show the energy between the characters. The production team often doesn’t get praised for all the behind the scene work in editing and putting together these episodes, but certainly there was very thoughtful crafting being done here.

Besides the two powerful scenes above, we certainly got a lot of satisfactory backstory and plot progression in this episode. We finally learn from Myung Hee what happened back in 1992, that Moon Shik had called her to warn her that a group of men called “The Farmers” led by Elder were coming to get them and that she had to take Ji Ahn and run away. In running away from the men, she decided it was safest to hide her next to a rubbish cart, while she ran away and subsequently got into an accident. This is all told from Myung Hee’s perspective, but what continues to intrigue us as viewers is Moon Shik’s perspective, because we know that he certainly had a bigger role to play in what happened and he has not told her the full story. Nonetheless, this is sufficient because the focus of this episode is really on what exactly happened to Ji Ahn/Young Shin.

In the meantime, we see the gang of ‘good guys’ band together to declare war on Elder and this swings into high gear in the final half of the episode. It’s an incredibly fun, intelligent and humorous sequence as we start off with Minja, Jung Hoo, Young Shin and Moon-ho having a four way conversation through their head-sets. It was really cute to see that ‘girl power’ moment with Minja choosing to let Young Shin go on the mission, in spite of Moon-ho’s objections. Another cute moment was when Young Shin notices that cars are tailing them and says “very suspicious” with such seriousness. Jung-ho looks at her, with such pride in his eyes, and laughs to himself. I laughed out loud when Young Shin moved back into the video camera at the mortuary  to wave to Minja. There are so many of these funny moments, throughout the entire sequence of the gang executing their plan to defeat Elder.

What’s even more impressive is that we even get some tender, heartwarming sequences in the midst of this plan. One of which is Moon-ho’s conversation with Min-jae in his office, where he shares with her that he has renewed meaning in his life, as he wakes up everyday and asks himself what he will do today and what ‘these kids’ will be doing. His tender, big-brotherly affection for Jung Hoo and Young Shin/Ji Ahn is very touching. (On a side-note, I somehow get a sense that Moon-ho and Min-jae will end up together in the end as the show is still not dropping her character and we keep getting these deep conversations between the two of them.) Another moment is Jung Hoo reminiscing about how Teacher used to bring him to the vault and also introducing Young Shin to his dad. It begins with Jung Hoo hilariously mimicking what Teacher used to say to him and then both of them bowing respectfully before his dad.

At the end of the episode, we see the sheer brilliance of the plan put together, which played on the strengths of every single character. They manage to secure the tape, which gets to Moon-ho just in time for his broadcast, which is also perfectly timed with Jung-hoo’s entry into Elder’s home that allows Minja to activate the camera in his glasses to send a live-feed from Elder’s residence through to the broadcast. The “good guys” certainly secured a big victory in this episode.

The big question remains of what will happen to Jung Hoo and Moon-Ho, now that they have trespassed on Elder’s territory and declared war in such a huge way. If what we know of Elder is true, he certainly must have had anticipated something and wouldn’t have consented to bringing Jung Hoo into his own residence so easily. The stakes have been raised as we move towards our grand finale and I’m certainly excited to see what unfolds next!

7 thoughts on “Healer Episode 17: Taking down Elder

  1. young@heart November 14, 2016 / 7:03 pm

    Thanks for this wonderful analysis, again, great one. This episode is actually my best one. Your analysis took me back to the first time I watched it. The scene where Young shin met her mom was excellently done by the two actors and I cried the first I watched the scene when Young Shin had to ask Healer if he killed someone before, it just broke my heart to see how being abandoned as a child had really affected her. My most fascinating scene was the one at the Chanel house/ mortuary, I just loved the way he introduced her to his dad. I am looking forward to your next analysis. Kudos!!

  2. poetryandnook
    poetryandnook November 15, 2016 / 3:01 pm

    Thank you once again for sharing your wonderful thoughts on ep17! The scene of YS and JH on the park while walking was one of my personal fave! Theirs is a love full of trust and respect! There are only a handful of kdrama couple who has the same level of love and affection like them.

    Thank you and until your next review!

    • heroonthebeach
      heroonthebeach November 15, 2016 / 11:10 pm

      No problem poetryandnook! Just wondering… which other kdrama couples have u seen display similar levels of love and affection? Am thinking about which drama to watch next after finishing healer..

      • poetryandnook
        poetryandnook November 16, 2016 / 12:58 pm

        I am currently watching % of Something, the couple is closed to YS and JH level of affection and intimacy!

        A few I remember from 2015
        She Was Pretty
        Oh My Ghost
        It’s Ok it’s Love (2014)
        Marriage Not Dating (2014)

      • heroonthebeach
        heroonthebeach November 16, 2016 / 10:31 pm

        Thanks poetryandnook for the recommendations!

      • Mary Bethany November 16, 2016 / 3:04 pm

        regarding your question: which other kdrama couples have u seen display similar levels of love and affection? Am thinking about which drama to watch next after finishing healer..

        my Answer has never been diff since Feb 2015, Junghoo and Youngshin’s similar levels of affection and understanding and sacrifices for each other is in a league of their own, they are simply, Second to None.

        if i can only put one behind them… apart from them… in a distance. should be in my biased opinion, W 2 world’s KangChul and Yeonjoo.

        but, if i can only chose One Pair for All time : (without a blink) H E A L E R.

  3. Mary Bethany November 16, 2016 / 3:40 pm

    I mentioned somewhere before, or did i mentioned to you (?), that a great drama script writer not only write cheesy steamy roles of 2 leads, but also chisel well the ‘flower or grass at the pathway’, she will write the supporting casts very natural and sincerely, so each has unique characteristics and stand out until you almost see.. ‘oh, that’s my aunt ahjummah… huh, how i hope my dad is like that,.. i am so gonna kill Moon-sik that girly secretary ahjussi… ” yes, good writer don’t just make me gaga over “oh,,, last night we have a blanket kiss…” and demanding i ONLY want more skinship and nothing else…….” savy?

    likewise, a good female lead do NOT just shine only when spar with the male lead.
    i loved how you acknowledge that, the scene of “The bittersweet irony of Myung Hee telling Young Shin that she finds her familiar, and that she also cries easily is a quiet moment of resonance between mother and daughter. It’s a really moving scene, performed so beautifully by the two actresses.”
    a mature fan sees beauty in the scene of a mother and her daughter first reunion. and will mentioned it first in a passage, not that leads’ relationship not important, but that chapter what become a pivotal change to female lead was that ‘receiving Mom” scene… and Park Minyoung ‘N-a-I-L-E-D I-T.” like i said, she proven she indeed has becometh Chae Youngshin and allowed you to forget for a good 10 weeks she is Park Minyoung by adsorbing all the emotional stresses, weighs of keeping silence, the challenge of trusting even a murderer as innocence, and forgiveness to the mom who so called ‘forsaken’ her… she shine even when NOT acting with JCW, she make every little scenes with dad, with coffeebay ahjussi, with mom here, so real that you forget you are looking at Minyoung Park. and you wiped that tear at corner of your eyes for Chae Youngshin, not because you are a fan of Minyoung park (which in truth, before Healer you wasnt)… you felt happy for youngshin-ah… what i find in this female lead character different from other female character of late in recent dramas is, this girl has fear, but she will fight on. this girl has tears, but she smile thru her tears, this girl need help from Hero, but she make sure she will fight her way thru first,and even telling him not to worry about her.. this girl is that rib that every Adam’s lost, the very help met for a Adam.
    and one last thing i mentioned before ending…
    when Jung hoo was so doubtful of what she was thinking about his freshly framed murder case… she made no pretense and straight forward ask him, did he commit, she want to tell him, she will face him as she is, not beating round the bush.. which led him to a straight answer.
    what did she replied? “i Knew it”. (my Eng sub have it translated as “i Knew It.) she beamed into the most sunny smile at him. BAM! case closed! that was how easy, know why?
    she has already trusted him inside her heart somewhere… she just need that One percentage cleared by his own confession, while she has her 99% trust in him already.
    i knew it.
    which of the recent written female character of these few years can hold a candle to this outstanding ‘human being”? she is not an angel, a princess, a virgin bride, she is just his youngshin, the one in a zillion Youngshin, his fearless leopard.

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