Hospital Playlist continues to whiz from character to character and from storyline to storyline in its fifth episode. The issues dealt with get more weighty and heavy like abuse, divorce and possible cancer for one of the main characters, but there are also many light-hearted and cheerful moments throughout that make this show such an enjoyable watch.
Let’s talk about that mafia game scene between Jung-Won, his mum, Jong-Soo (the president of the Yulje Foundation), his cousin (the director of the hospital) and Seok Hyung’s mum. It was such an entertaining scene!
First of all, you had Jung-won trying to explain the rules to them and then his mum (Rosa) immediately spoiling their trial round by announcing she’s the mafia after he taps her. Following that, they play another round where Jong-Soo is the mafia but he manages to pin the suspicion on Rosa. What is funny is Rosa takes the game so seriously and makes jibes at Jong-Soo on how he is able to run a hospital if he’s so untrustworthy. When Jong-Soo finally wins the game, because the other players wrongly identify the mafia, Rosa gets so angry that she pushes Jong-Soo’s cup, making him spill water over himself. Seok Hyung’s mum even tells him later that she enjoyed herself a lot. It’s really nice to see the older generation having so much fun interacting and keeping each other company.
In that same mafia game, Jung-Won gets questioned about whether he likes anyone and he claims he is in love with the Lord, earning him a smack from his mum. On that note, I thought it was rather mean of him to completely ignore Gyu-Wool’s attempts to chase the abusive father; even if he does not like her, some form of acknowledgement would have been nice. Besides Gyu-Wool, we also have Chi-hong who’s not doing too well in the romance department as Song Hwa asks him point blank whether he likes her and asks him to stop liking her. He tells her honestly that this is not something he can just stop.
On a more positive note, we have some funny yet sweet moments between Joon Wan and Ik-Sun as she mistakes him as a thief and delivers the most vicious kick ever. However, the next morning, she forgets his phone and he delivers it to her and also asks her out at the same time. She seems surprised and we don’t get an answer in this episode, but let’s hope things move forward in the next because it wouldn’t harm to have more positive energy in the romance aspect of the show.
However, even without romance, this is definitely a show with a lot of heart as these are brought out through the medical cases. This week’s hospital cases, though brief, have certainly touched the hearts of the medical staff and also us viewers. The husband serenading upon the healthy birth of his child was certainly sweet and so was the scene of the daughter, her mother and father crumbling into tears after the successful liver transplant. Ik-Joon pulling his mask over his face to cover his tears just made it even more heartfelt and funny at the same time.
Moving from sweetness to sorrow, Seok Hyung’s problems certainly got even messier this week as his father’s mistress approaches him to persuade his mum to divorce, putting him in a difficult position. At a dinner early in the episode, he also speaks more of his divorce and how difficult it must have been for his ex-wife because of him and his family. Song Hwa is more detached from the group this week as she learns that she may have breast cancer. Thus far, we have seen the more confident and strong Song Hwa, able to handle matters and her emotions well on her own. With this news now looming, let’s hope she opens up so that her friends can journey together with her in finding out what is wrong.
Hospital Playlist does a really good job juggling and moving so many different plotlines. While each plotline is not particularly new, what is refreshing is how these storylines are intertwined such that we get a sense of our five friends journeying through the ups and downs of life together – whether as a group of five, or in smaller pairs or groups. I also enjoy seeing how supporting one another need not always be about big gestures, but can be done through small actions like offering sweets, collectively putting down someone your friend hates and simply providing a comfortable space to discuss heavy topics with ease.