These two episodes were a little bit incredulous because we discover the really complicated relationship between Dong Joo and Jae Bum, and Jae Bum and Soo Wan. It’s a little difficult to believe that characters didn’t know how the other was related to another, but it does keep the story moving along. What’s more heartbreaking is how good of a guy Ji Woon is, because it just made things a lot harder.
We jump to the present, and this time Dong Joo is back in Korea as an accomplished doctor and Soo Wan is an EMT. And yes, Soo Wan can see! Even though it’s been twelve years, it remains a wonder to Soo Wan that she can see, and she truly relishes and appreciates having her sight back.
Immediately she is sent off on an emergency, and poor firefighters and EMTs try to do their jobs but Korean traffic won’t allow them to get to a gas station on fire on time. However once they arrive they realize that it’s been a hoax an entire time. A bunch of good-for-nothings decided to call 911 and a pizza delivery service at the same time to see who’d arrive first. The firefighters arrive barely a minute before the delivery man, although they make their presence known later, which earns them a scolding from those good-for-nothings.
Wow, it takes all of their energies to not punch the living daylights out of one of them (fittingly played by Joo Ho from God’s Gift 14 Days; The crossover of stars is sometimes shocking when watching the dramas at the same time and the actors are playing totally different roles). Finally the firefighters and EMTs all leave, but not Soo Wan. She takes a seat with the boys and they suddenly get excited over a “woman in uniform.” She shamelessly takes a slice of their freshly delivered pizza and then takes an open can of beer… and then pours that beer over one of the boys! Does he dare mess with a woman in uniform? Well in that case, a flip over the shoulder for you!
Dong Joo arrives at a hospital’s emergency ward, excited for what’s to come. An ambulance races by and a little boy cries out as his mother is wheeled into the emergency room. In awkward, clearly-fake saturi, Dong Joo comforts the boy and promises to help his mom. The doctors on staff try to figure out what’s wrong with the patient, who’s in pain and short of breath. Dong Joo gives suggestions, but when dressed in plainclothes the other doctors pay him no mind. He suggests they get a CT scan for aortic dissection, but they ignore him. Suddenly Vice Director Dr. Sung (Lee Seung Hyung) greets Dong Joo warmly and introduces him to the other doctors, Moon Je Ha (Kim Min Chan) and Kim Ho Jin (Seo Dong Won), as the new department chair. HAH. Guess they have to get the CT scan now. And whaddya know – it’s aortic dissection.
Dong Joo volunteers to do the operation, even though the specialist is gone for a conference. It’s a difficult procedure as he will have to stop the patient’s heart from bleeding but her condition would only allow for her to be at a standstill in thirty minutes. That means he has to work fast. Many of the doctors watch the operation from another conference room, curious at whether the new genius doctor from America could do it or not. One of those doctors is Kang Ji Woon (Kim Ji Suk).
The patient’s oxygen levels drop and the assisting doctors want to insert a catheter to stabilize her condition. He rejects the idea, which also means he has less than ten minutes to sew up the aorta. And he does it. It’s remarkable how fast he can do his surgeries and instantly puts him in legendary status among all the doctors.
Meanwhile, Soo Wan is dragged to the police station for her antics. Min Soo (now Jyuni) is exasperated with how many times she has to write up Soo Wan and find a way to reprimand her. Haha. Even the other officers on staff greet Soo Wan like an old friend. It’s clear that no matter what “punishment” Min Soo gives her, nothing will work. And so Soo Wan opts to take a nap in the holding cell.
Later that day Soo Wan returns to the station to find that her boss, Captain Joo, has hired a new EMT to help out. His name is Teddy Seo (Seungri), and he’s from Texas! Heeyaw! He’s a rookie firefighter who’s weird enough to get along with Soo Wan’s own weirdness (one of the main reasons for hiring him). It’s funny because he mixes his Korean with English phrases, and Seungri isn’t the most fluent of English out of Big Bang. But he certainly is the bravest one when it comes to speaking, even if it is difficult to understand. (Source? First hand account from a Big Bang concert.)
After the surgery, Dong Joo introduces himself to the rest of the heads of the hospital: Director Dr. Yoon Jae Bum, Board Chair Oh Young Ji (Jung Ae Ri), Head of Neurosurgery Dr. Kang Ji Woon, and Vice Director Dr. Sung Hyun Ho. He calls himself ‘Dylan Park’, which allows him to surprise Jae Bum of his arrival. Jae Bum is not pleased to see him in his hospital and has difficulty masking it. He wants Dong Joo to go back and succeed in America, knowing that he can do greater things there. But Dong Joo asks to let him stay for one year, and interestingly enough he calls Jae Bum ‘Father.’
Flash back to twelve years ago and we find out that Jae Bum intentionally did stop performing CPR so that Dong Joo’s mother would die. It did riddle him with guilt afterwards, and he did go visit Dong Joo in the States. He found that Dong Joo got accepted to the best medical school but didn’t have the money to attend. One can only guess who became Dong Joo’s benefactor now.
Jae Bum returns home, where we can see that he’s no longer estranged from his daughter. She still cooks with the help of Jung Hwa’s recordings and still tears up in memory of it. Jae Bum tries to convince his daughter to stop going to his hospital’s ER, even though work can’t always dictate where she’ll end up. He’s afraid she’ll bump into Dong Joo, but then again she’s never seen him so how would she know?
Then my favorite scene of all! One day at the fire station Captain Joo presents some pumpkin rice cakes. As a way of pranking the newbie, Soo Wan feigns choking and collapses. The others urge Teddy to help her and he starts performing CPR quite badly. Unable to take it anymore, she slaps Teddy in the middle of it. Why is he performing CPR when her airway is supposedly “obstructed” and why isn’t he putting more strength into it? She makes him practice on a dummy when they get an emergency call. Teddy thinks he has to finish his 100 CPR’s on the dummy before going with the rest to the emergency site. Silly boy.
Dong Joo heads to the police station to see if he can contact Detective Kim, not realizing that Kim is no longer a detective. He then passes by the scene of an accident and spots Soo Wan as an EMT. Someone calling out her name confirms her identity to him, and he ends up heading to the station she’s based at. He watches from afar as she cleans the ambulance, and then spots a little kid running to her and grabbing her like he’s her kid. It’s actually her boss, Ki Woon Chan (Gong Hyung Jin)’s kid, and little Jin Mo is just anxious that his father might remarry Soo Wan. (So. Not Happening.) From afar, Dong Joo’s heart sinks as he thinks that his first love has married and had a child with someone else. Thankfully Leader Ki and his son pass by him talking about how Mrs. Ki is better than Soo Wan. Dong Joo breathes a sigh of relief. So Soo Wan isn’t taken.
He gets the courage to go over and ask where the observatory is. She describes a shortcut to him and he is amazed that she doesn’t recognize his voice at all. Nevertheless he’s really happy to see her strong and healthy.
That happiness carries over when he makes his hospital rounds with the rest of the senior staff. Everyone’s amused by his goofy smile and he admits that he recently found someone he’d been looking for. Ji Woon is eager to know who it is, wanting to become best friends with Dong Joo.
Later that evening the EMTs get a call for a crazy person who tried to commit suicide. Soo Wan tries to calm the patient down while Teddy drives, but it gets worse when the patient breaks free and holds Soo Wan by knife point.
They arrive at the hospital with Soo Wan as his hostage. He threatens to kill her if they try to lock him up in the hospital or call the police. Dong Joo quickly takes charge and orders Je Ha to wait for his signal. In the emergency room, Dong Joo sends out a cart to the patient as a form of a peaceful gesture. As he wheels it near Soo Wan, he whispers to her to escape the moment the lights go out. Soo Wan closes her eyes and she’s back to when she was blind. She envisions the layout of the emergency room as Dong Joo gives Je Ha the signal.
Je Ha breaks the circuit and causes a mini blackout. In the ensuing chaos just moments before the backup generators come to life, Soo Wan breaks free and runs. Dong Joo catches her and pulls her away to safety. She falls on his chest. Ji Woon runs into the patient and gets slashed. He’s helped by police officers who jump and restrain the attacker.
Soo Wan finds herself on Dong Joo’s chest, but before she can really connect that he’s her Dong Joo she gets distracted at the sight of Ji Woon injured. The two embrace, relieved. Oh crap – Ji Woon is her fiance! And it’s worse when Dong Joo overhears that of all people, Jae Bum is her father. How he didn’t know all these years is beyond me, but somehow he’s only finding all this out now.
Soo Wan does end up looking for her rescuer, who’s currently brooding in an outdoor seating area. He sees his father’s whistle necklace around her neck and is momentarily distracted by it. This is definitely his Soo Wan.
Dong Joo suddenly grabs her wrist and drags her off to an exam room to treat the nick on her neck. The crazy person had carelessly cut her neck while making his threats. Soo Wan recognizes him as the guy who asked her about the observatory and is somewhat surprised to find that he’s the new doctor. Dong Joo isn’t interested in talking to her though, and to distance himself from her he scolds her for putting other lives in danger by not properly restraining the crazy person in the ambulance. It doesn’t stop her from being reminded of Dong Joo in the old days.
The other doctors and nurses are all impressed with Dong Joo’s heroics and are amazed by his quick thinking about the mini blackout. One of his biggest fans is Nurse Kim Yoon Jung (Park Jin Joo). Too bad Dong Joo himself doesn’t feel like a hero. He remembers a visit from Jae Bum in America where he was told that his daughter has someone next to her (it’s implied the man is Ji Woon). It’s quite clear to us that Jae Bum wants Dong Joo to stay as far away from Soo Wan romantically, and even suggests that Dong Joo adopt his last name to becomes his “son.” Amazingly, Dong Joo doesn’t figure out that it’s Soo Wan Jae Bum is talking about.
Back to Detective Kim’s story. Seems like the poor, former detective is so down on his luck that he relies on Min Soo’s generosity for his next meals. She takes pity on him because she seems to believe that he’s a good cop still, even though he was fired for taking money from a gambling room (and reported to Internal Affairs via another cop who has retired with full honors). From the early sounds of it, it seems like Detective Kim could also have been framed by the Powers That Be that made sure Dong Joo’s mother died. Later on, Min Soo receives the message that a ‘Dylan Park’ is looking for Detective Kim in regards to Jung Hwa’s accident.
It’s back to work for Soo Wan, who’s next emergency is saving a jumper who’s already tried to jump two other times in the same month. Everyone’s already sick of this poor jumper, and know the drill. Captain Joo bribes Soo Wan to go up in the lift to get the jumper with some pumpkin rice cakes, and she grudgingly heads on up.
Soo Wan is totally blasé about the jumper’s situation and tries to get him down. He shoos her away but in the process slips on his footing. “Help me! I almost died!” he cries out while clinging on to the ledge for dear life. HAHAHHAAHHAHA. Oh this fool. Soo Wan tells him that death isn’t guaranteed to be any better than life, so he’s got one more chance to come down with her. The jumper refuses, and she decides to move away in the lift.
That’s when the jumper decides that he wants her to come back. I shake my head. But it’s too late – another victim has caught Soo Wan’s attention. She spotted through the window of another apartment an old woman collapsed on the floor. They rush the old woman to the hospital and she realizes that the woman has a cerebral hemorrhage. Though the emergency room is Dong Joo’s jurisdiction, she orders him around and demands that Ji Woon be notified. She clearly holds a lot of power in the hospital, but Dong Joo puts her in her place. Though Ji Woon accepts the patient, Dong Joo won’t sign off on the forms. It’s his job and his responsibility to contact the specialists in the hospital, not hers. And if she won’t respect the rules in the emergency room then he will not accept any patients from her ambulance.
Bold and harsh words for the daughter of the head of the hospital, and even the other doctors are surprised at Dong Joo’s severe words. Dong Joo walks off, and he bumps into the kid of his first patient. He cheerily greets the kid with his accent creeping back in, and Soo Wan is surprised to witness his softer side. She ends up following him all the way to the hospital courtyard and, clearly abashed, apologizes for her rashness in not following protocol. Dong Joo accepts her apology, as he doesn’t let work affect his own personal feelings too much. She then asks if they’ve met before, as he seems a bit familiar. This is his chance to say it! But Dong Joo says they haven’t, other than the time he asked for directions. Aww man.
Later that day, Ji Woon asks Dong Joo in front of the other department heads how it’s going with the girl he found. Dong Joo quickly says that it wasn’t the same girl, and Jae Bum understands that Dong Joo is starting to distance himself from Soo Wan. He flashes back to when Dong Joo graduated from college at the top of his class, and remembers how proud he was to have him as his son.
Flash forward to the present, and Dong Joo and Jae Bum go on a fishing trip together. Once again Jae Bum expresses disappointment in seeing Dong Joo be a doctor in a small countryside hospital when he could do so much more, but at least Dong Joo is only staying temporarily.
They head back home and part ways outside of Jae Bum’s house. Hidden by the walls around the front yard, Dong Joo hears Soo Wan come out greeting her father. Both Jae Bum and Dong Joo freeze, afraid that Soo Wan will see Dong Joo, but she suspects nothing. She only teases her father for keeping a hidden son away from her. Hah, if only she knew the story of this ‘hidden son’…
One evening, Ji Woon challenges Dong Joo to a one-on-one basketball game for some beer. Ji Woon really likes Dong Joo, and it’s not just because the doctor saved his fiancee. He genuinely wants to be friends, and it kills me that Ji Woon unwittingly likes his rival so much! He invites Dong Joo over to his place and drops him off at the apartment so that he can do a beer run.
Except… there’s already someone at the apartment.
Soo Wan is over at Ji Woon’s place making soup. She hears the door open and immediately starts chit-chatting about her father, assuming that it’s Ji Woon. Dong Joo freezes, unable to move past the foyer. When Soo Wan looks over to see why Ji Woon hasn’t responded to her, there’s no one there. It’s so awkward for Dong Joo now, and he drinks away his sorrows at the park where he and Soo Wan shared their first kiss.
The following morning, Dong Joo wakes up in his hospital room with Ji Woon standing over him. They have a conference to attend to together. Ji Woon gives him some soup that Soo Wan made last night and explains that she is not just a “random guest”, but rather his future wife. And Ji Woon really wants Dong Joo and Soo Wan to be friends. Awkwaaaaaardd… What’s even sadder is that the soup tastes exactly like how his mother used to make it.
The two doctors encounter a huge car accident in the middle of the road involving a truck carrying steel rods and petroleum gas. Soo Wan’s emergency team is on the scene and they’ve managed to evacuate most of the survivors. However leaking gas is preventing them from saving one more mother who’s pinned down in her car by some steel rods pierced through her body. Soo Wan wants to save the mother, reliving the horrors of her own mother’s death, but everyone is trying to get her to move away from the leaking gas, which could cause an explosion at any moment.
There is no hope for the mother, and Ji Woon tries to drag Soo Wan away from the car. But Dong Joo checks the mother for himself and realizes that there’s someone else – a baby. The mother shielded her baby from all injuries. Dong Joo quickly pulls the baby out and hands it off to Teddy to get to the ambulance.
An explosion breaks out but the fire doesn’t spread too much as the firefighters struggle to control it. Soo Wan still doesn’t want to leave the mother even though time is running out. Dong Joo manages to convince her to get away to safety, and he and Ji Woon will work to get the mother out of the car. After all, he knows what it means to lose a parent in an accident like this.
We don’t see how this feat is done exactly, but next thing we know Dong Joo and Soo Wan are in the ambulance performing CPR and using the defibrillator to keep the mother alive. The mother manages to whisper something into Soo Wan’s ear before crashing. No matter what the two of them do, the mother fails to make it, and is dead-on-arrival at the hospital.
Soo Wan is a complete zombie when she emerges from the ambulance. Dong Joo doesn’t know how to comfort her, but it doesn’t matter because she seeks it in someone else – Ji Woon. Twelve years has been a long time; It’s only natural that she found someone else.
All of Soo Wan’s coworkers give her some space to grieve, as she was the one who fought hardest to save the mother and yet couldn’t. We discover that the mother whispered, “Please save my baby,” which pretty much tore Soo Wan to pieces and also allowed her to give up on trying to save the mother’s life at the end. She heads to the observatory and notices the Wish Tree, not realizing the Dong Joo just visited the observatory as well. She puts her wish on a branch, “Grow up healthy,” and then notices another wish signed by “Dong Joo.” Could it be her Dong Joo? She runs around the observatory looking for him, though I don’t think seeing the note there necessarily means he was just there. (And, he really did put that note several days ago.) She finds someone at the lecture room she once presented at, only to have her hopes come crashing down when she realizes it’s just “Dylan Park.” AKA DONG JOO. Wow, she doesn’t even entertain the possibility that he is Dong Joo.
Dong Joo just wants some peace and quiet, a place to rest without a pesky EMT around. She realizes that he could be mourning the loss of a patient too and suggests they drink a bit. She does have some soju bottles.
After a few drinks, the two connect over their familiarity with the stars. She dubs the Sirius star ‘Mom Star No.2’ to commemorate the people she loves. ‘Mom Star No. 1’ is for the mother who gave birth to her, while ‘Mom Star No. 2’ is for the mother who taught her about the world, a.k.a. Jung Hwa. She begins to mourn for the little baby who will never know his mother now. It hits her deeply since she’s had to live most of her life now without her mother. And then she begins drinking in frustration because she also misses her first love, the one man she misses the most and yet doesn’t know if he really exists now because she’s never seen him.
Ouch. Oh poor Dong Joo, who must pretend that he is not the man of her dreams. Soo Wan passes out and he blankets her with his jacket. The one girl he wants to touch, to hold, to be with is the one girl he cannot ever call his own.
It’s very predictable where the obstacles for Soo Wan and Dong Joo’s love will come from. I hate it even more that Kim Ji Suk is playing such a likable character because I want a villain! And yet, there is no real villain! Everything is shades of gray, and that makes this melodrama even more painful to watch. Dramas like these are ones that I avoid like a plague because I am not interested in having my heart tugged down a path I know too well. They’re also very addicting, and sadly I could not get away from this drama fast enough. Seung Ri! It’s all your fault!
I have to say I am more impressed by Gu Hye Sun because I really don’t find her acting irritating here. It could change. I know that I didn’t find her super irritating in The Musical but then that drama just got worse. I hope the same does not happen to Angel Eyes.
Also – THIS DRAMA IS SO PRETTY! Soft focus, warm color palette… everything is just so brightly lit it makes me feel happy and wistful. And think of young spring love – if our leads ever get that chance.
I’ve purposely not watched episodes 5-8 just yet, as I wanted to get the recaps for the first 4 out of the way before I continued. So, no spoilers!