Hospital Playlist‘s sixth episode deliver more laughs and heartwarming moments as relationships deepen and the characters journey through difficult times together. While many things happened in Episode 6, the key event was Song-Hwa finding out the results of her core biopsy.
Even before the dinner, Jung-won already can tell something is off even though she acts as if everything is fine. It is particularly telling of how close they are that Song-hwa chooses to tell them about her biopsy the day before the results are out, rather than after the event. She shares her fears with them in her typical Song-hwa manner – calm, collected yet also vulnerable and real. When she talks about how the shape scared her a bit and gives a laugh, Joon-wan asks her how she can joke about it.
As doctors and professionals in the field, her friends all offer to help her – Jung-won tells her that him or Ik-jun could have settled it for her, Seok-hyung offers to call his cousin who works at Jae-an Medical centre, Joon-wan offers to be there and berates her for not rescheduling her appointments. However, she does not need all of that – just being able to share it with them is sufficient. And unlike other scenes of them eating together while they talk while eating, they offer her that listening ear and do not touch the food, until Seok-hyung tells them to start eating.
Ik-Joon, who is the quietest when she breaks the news, turns out to be the one who takes the most action as he rushes down the next day to Jae-an Medical Centre even after a night of surgery. This is after he says during the dinner that he could never wake up that early. I liked how Ik-Joon’s words of comfort had such a calming and reassuring effect on Song-hwa, but also made her reflect on how doctors should avoid promising anything as it would be devastating if anything went wrong. Ik-Joon and Song-hwa then reminisce on the Seok-hyung’s past crush on her after Seok-hyung gives her a call, which surprises both of them. Even though Ik-Joon and Song-hwa are seated one seat apart, their closeness is certainly evident.
We learn in this episode too that Ik-Joon himself had a crush on Song-hwa and may still love her more than a friend. Such a development is definitely welcome, but for now, the genuine friendship shared amongst the five friends provides sufficient cheer. We do not see the results being told to Song-hwa, but we immediately switch to her happily tidying up her desk and it is clear things are fine. We then get the four friends opening her door one after the other to check in on her. It’s sweet, funny and heartwarming.
On the heartwarming front, we also the budding romance between Joon-Wan and Ik-Soon. I appreciate how the show finds the right balance of what happens onscreen versus what happens offscreen and what we need to see for ourselves versus what we can be told. We do not see her at all in this episode and a lot about Ik-Soon through the conversations between Joon-Wan, Ik-Joon and Chi-hong. While she is popular, she was also very hurt by her previous relationship and seems unlikely to want to embark on a relationship again. However, this makes all her responses to Joon-Wan even sweeter. All that we “see” of her are her text message replies to him and that simple “Yes” from her is so much more meaningful, especially coming after Chi-hong tells Ik-Joon of how she would take some time to trust again. Joon-Wan’s dance of joy and silly smile says it all.
While I’m largely enjoying the format of Hospital Playlist, I felt that today’s episode would have done better if it ended on a sweet note with either the Song-hwa storyline or the Joon-Wan storyline. The emotional impact was dampened when it ended with Jung-Won being told that the liver was too big for the baby patient. Of course, it brought home Song Hwa’s point about how doctors should not over-promise, but it seemed like an easy way to deliver a so-called cliffhanger. However, for me, it did not work because we hadn’t seen enough of that to connect emotionally to the case.
There were many big events happening for our five friends, but I also enjoyed the interactions between the minor characters. One pairing that’s really working so well for me is that of Rosa and Jong-Soo. The energy when these two characters are together is just overwhelmingly positive and joyful. They laugh unabashedly, tease each other mercilessly and just enjoy each other’s company so much. I’ve really grown to enjoy their scenes together.
And of course, as the title of the drama suggests, this show is very much about the music that our friends make together. This episode’s song was very apt – Zoo’s “At the Subway in Front of City Hall” – conveying a sense of nostalgic and aptly sung by Ik-Joon. This show certainly continues to win me over and I’m looking forward to spending more time with its vast yet all wonderful characters.