Romantic Teacher Doctor Kim Episode 15: The Cornered Stone Syndrome

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What a surprisingly fun episode this was! Unlike most episodes of RDTK where there’s always a barrage of cases to handle, this episode had only one case other than Chairman Shin’s case. The result of that was that we got treated to a lot of fun bickering between Dong Joo and Seo Jung and Yeo Yeon Seok shows himself to be a rather decent comic actor as well. It’s a pity he didn’t get to show this side earlier in this series, because I always felt Dong Joo was such a serious character with no lighter side to him.

The fun begins right from the start of the episode as the both of them enter Doldam in such a chirpy mood while remembering their intense kiss. Manager Jang watches on in bemusement as their acting as if there’s nothing between them is completely and hilariously unconvincing. The next scene that really made me laugh was Dong Joo calling himself “Poker Face Kang” – it’s so funny because I could really imagine people calling him that! He subsequently teases Seo Jung by saying “I love you” in so many languages while she tries to shut him up. You can tell Seo Hyun-Jin and Yeo Yeon Seok really had fun filming those sequences. They later tease each other about not having much friends while Dong Joo tries to get some sympathy from her after fighting with Im Bum. When they realise they might be too obvious, they stage a fight right in the Emergency Room and it’s Manager Jang and Dr. Nam who provide the laughs here as they make bets over whether they are a couple. Seo Jung and Dong Joo do deserve to have some fun and smiles as they have really been through a rather rough time for most of the series. Nonetheless, I do hope that what Seo Jung mentioned about the accident coming to mind whenever she thinks of Dong Joo gets addressed at a later stage.

The focus of this week’s character development is In Beom as he fakes it once again in the operating room by pretending that he has done a distal pancreatectomy before. While he gets rescued in the operating room by Dong Joo, he subsequently responds by getting into a fist fight with Dong Joo. When Master Kim calls him into the room, Master Kim tells him he prefers a cornered stone, as opposed to a round one, because a round stone is “lukewarm” and rubs the corners off him. At least a cornered stone has his own style and thoughts. Master Kim reminds In Beom of how he stepped up when both him and Dong Joo were not around in order to save a patient. Even though his dad was angry at that act, it was that act that made Master Kim believe that In Beom could be nurtured. In Beom is almost in tears after Master Kim speaks to him, and subsequently asks his dad when he can go back to Geodae.

Unlike Dr Song or President Do who do not have their priorities right, In Beom does genuinely want to be a better doctor and works hard at it; however, like Dong Joo earlier, he’s too keen to prove himself as the best doctor and puts his own performance ahead of the needs of the patients. He still hasn’t learnt his lesson from Master Kim’s previous scolding and hopefully this time, he will change. Although Seo Jung jokes about how In Beom and Dong Joo should be good friends since they are the same age, there is much truth in what she says because they can certainly relate as they are facing the same struggles. Dong Joo has much to share with In Beom to help him to grow, if only In Beom can have the humility to learn from him.

The other big development in this episode is the revelation we get into what happened to Master Kim and we learn that President Do was actually using Master Kim’s name to attract more clients and subsequently getting other surgeons to operate on them while pretending it was Master Kim who operated on them. Now, this seems so unrealistic to me on so many levels and I can’t believe a hospital doesn’t have its own system of checks and balances. I did wish that we could see more of President Do’s motivations and some of the pressures he was facing that led him to do that. Nonetheless, if there’s one thing I have to say, his character has been written as consistently evil and corrupt, so I’ll let this go.

As for Chairman Shin’s surgery, there wasn’t really any doubt from the start that he’ll decide to go ahead with it, not just because the show requires it, but because he’s already stated in the previous episode that he’s a fighter and will fight for his life against all odds. It did take some tension out of the storyline and made it less engaging. I did not feel that the presence of Chairman Shin’s daughter added much to already existing tension between Geodae and Master Kim, except that we know she had a critical role to play in his removal.

This episode was indeed a good breather from all the intensity so far and I believe things will start to ramp up big time next week as Doldam prepares for Chairman Shin’s surgery.

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