The series delivers an action-packed episode with our doctors having to handle the fall out of an accident involving six vehicles on the highway on a wintry night. While there’s something admirable about how the episode moves seamlessly between the different cases and keeps the energy level high, involving such a huge number of patients inevitably meant simplistic exploration of some cases.
One of the key threads in this episode is the predicament of the inspector, whose daughter coincidentally happens to be one of the accident victims. I did feel the show was being unfair to the inspector by casting his actions in such a simplistically negative light. To view the issue from a more neutral perspective, there’s technically nothing wrong with an inspector preventing a surgeon who has been suspended from engaging in surgery. In some situations, such a decision is in place to protect patients. As expected the surgery goes well and the inspector gets a lesson from Master Kim about not living bad lives in attempt to live productive lives. There was some potential here to explore how the medical profession grapples with the rules put in place to protect patients and the integrity of its profession; unfortunately it just became another opportunity to glamorise Master Kim and his defiance against rules. On a similar note, the drunk drivers who caused the whole accident to happen also conveniently disappear for most part from the episode and there’s no opportunity to explore their remorse or the emotional impact arising from their moment of folly.
What I did appreciate was the show’s continued exploration of the roles played by doctors and the limitations of that. The elderly couple who had taken a “Do Not Resuscitate” order for each other juxtaposed against the recovery of the patient with gall bladder. showed Seo Jung that doctors should not take matters of life and death into their own hands, but focus on doing their best and applying what they had learnt. I have to say though that it would have been more powerful for Seo Jung to come to this realisation on her own, rather than have Master Kim “preach” it to her. We know from earlier episodes that she’s been growing in confidence and the ability to make the right call, even without the affirmation of others. As such, this could have been a more powerful moment of growth for her. I actually prefer if we had more moments of Seo Jung standing up to Master Kim, rather than those of him telling her how she’s growing on him, because the real growth for her is really about learning to stand on her own feet, without needing the approval of others.
On the grander scheme of things, we learn that Master Kim has bigger plans and is quietly assembling his team for possibly a new hospital. I was glad to see such significant development for Master Kim’s character, because till this point, it seems like he has largely been reacting to the blows thrown at him from President Do. While he has stood up strong and been undefeated, it is a breath of fresh air to actually see that Master Kim had large plans of his own and is quietly preparing for his own comeback into the medical scene. It’s been quite a while since we’ve looked at Master Kim’s backstory, so I’m glad there are hints that we’ll gain deeper insights into the medical student whose death was pivotal to his withdrawal.
I was largely unconvinced by President Do’s plans to recruit Dong Joo into his scheme to take down Master Kim and didn’t see it as a significant threat. Given Dong Joo’s trajectory thus far, I’m not sure I can see why Dong Joo would even consider President Do’s suggestion, especially given that Seo Jung is also involved. While Dr. Song has continually emphasised to Dong Joo that Master Kim is a psychopath, there’s been nothing shown to us, or to Dong Joo, that proves that this is true. Perhaps what President Do is trying to take advantage of is Dong Joo’s gullibility, especially of the way the world works. It remains to be seen how this storyline will unfold but if anything, I foresee we’re in for more disappointing actions and painful growth for Dong Joo.
On a more fun note, I loved that comic sketch of the happenings of Doldam Hospital, which really captures everyone’s expressions and reactions so well. I especially loved the ones of Nurse Oh and Seo Jung!
This episode, along with the previous episode, establishes how the core team at Doldam cares for each other and fights for each other. It’s a touching portrayal, but it also hints that this beautiful family may soon be broken apart. While it’d be painful to watch, I believe it’s also timely for the series to start to shake things up significantly, so as to put the relationships that it has developed to the test.