The pursuit to get their hands on Han Yeo Jin is on. Leaving her be and in the possession of the other side is not an option. Han Yeo Jin is right in the middle of their power struggle, but so is Kim Tae Hyun as all sides approach him to makes deals with him, promising to help save his sister provided they help achieve their respective wants.

Recap and Thoughts

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Han Yeo Jin is out to make such deal with Kim Tae Hyun as well, only her motives isn’t over power, but to escape from her imprisonment and take revenge on all those who held her in the room she calls a glass bottle. In exchange she will help Kim Tae Hyun save his sister.

Last week, the threat to destroy the hospital, which prompted an evacuation of the 12th floor, provided Han Yeo Jin the exact opportunity to approach Kim Tae Hyun about it. A blockage in the IV tubes during the evacuation provided her a moment long enough for her to wake up. With no one else in the room but her and Kim Tae Hyun, Han Yeo Jin—having heard all about his sick sister and the money troubles he’s been having as she lay in her induced coma—uses the chance to appeal to his strong need for money to entice him into working for her. From behind, she asks him whether she should give him the money he needs. Kim Tae Hyun, surprised by her sudden waking, moves to report her to Chief Surgeon Lee without hesitation; but upon her rephrasing to whether she should help save his sister, he stops. The reaction is exactly what she is after. She returns to her sleeping state hopeful as she anticipates the time for her release from her imprisonment to be very near.

She was right. After leaving Han Yeo Jin‘s room, Kim Tae Hyun‘s sister arrives in hospital, having again fallen ill from her liver disease. He is told that even if she bears through dialysis she is expected to last at most one to two months. The news is followed by hope as he receives news from Han Shin Medical Center‘s liaison for the VIP clients, Cynthia Park, that not only is there treatment available for his sister in the US, but they also have a liver that matches his sister’s DNA. The only thing in his way is money: the treatment costs US$1.5 million, which he doesn’t have.

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Recalling Han Yeo Jin‘s offer, Kim Tae Hyun sets off to wake her. In doing so, he sets off motion sensors as Han Yeo Jin starts convulsing. Fortunately, by the time Nurse Hwang arrives onto the scene, Han Yeo Jin has calmed down. He successfully blackmails Nurse Hwang into not reporting him to the hospital director or the Chairman, using her recent mistake of allowing Han Yeo Jin to wake up and slit her wrist as a deterrent. Nurse Hwang out of the way, he is free to discuss and accept the Certificate of Deposit of US$2,000,000 from Han Yeo Jin, which will become actual money in his account when he successfully gets her out of the hospital, at which time she will provide him the password to cash it.

But until that time, he is to help improve her state by reducing the medication to half and allow her to wake up more often. The increased consciousness is used to first relieve Nurse Hwang from her night-shifts and have Kim Tae Hyun replace her. (This occurs when Nurse Hwang breaks down from repeatedly tending to Han Yeo Jin‘s room, only to find nothing causing the warnings as Han Yeo Jin lays there as she should, resulting in her being relieved by Chief Surgeon Lee.) With Kim Tae Hyun taking over watch of Han Yeo Jin at nights, she is able to wake up and receive reports on the on-goings between her half-brother, Han Do Joon, and the Board of Directors. She is also able to work on rehabilitating her body—which Kim Tae Hyun helps her with—and prepare her for the day when she will need strength to leave the hospital and take back her rightful position at the top.

(The interaction between the two during these brief scenes are quite nice! Despite only having meet and talked, they come off as being already quite comfortable with each other, like they’re friends and there isn’t this social class difference between them.)

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Meanwhile, against what Chairman Han Do Joon had expected, the Board of Directors have moved to submit a petition for injunctive relief of visitation restriction, under the suggestion of President Go (a construction company president, Director of the Board and previously a retainer to Han Yeo Jin‘s mother’s side). The move is to provoke Han Do Joon in making his move.

This move from the Board of Directors, apart from the explanation that it’s to provoke Han Do Joon to make his move, we’re not entirely clear what kind of move the Board of Directors had expected from the chairman.

From what we gather, what the Board of Directors want is access to Han Yeo Jin. Upon being granted this access to Han Yeo Jin from the courts, they would then try and convince her to agree to transferring authority to make decisions to the Board of Directors on the basis that she’s mentally incompetent (as mentioned in Episode 3). They place their faith on the belief that Han Do Joon would not harm Han Yeo Jin as it would waste most of Han Yeo Jin‘s stocks in taxes (not only that, but all Han Do Joon‘s work for the last three years would be wasted, too).

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The information they are missing, though, is that Han Yeo Jin is being held captive in the hospital and fed anaethetics to keep her in an induced coma. Losing Han Yeo Jin‘s stocks in taxes and the years of hard work is less of a concern to Han Do Joon than the world finding out about his part in the imprisonment of Han Yeo Jin. So, Han Do Joon orders his secretary to pass down the message to kill Han Yeo Jin if the Board of Directors don’t withdraw their petition within 48 hours.

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Whilst the method to kill Han Yeo Jin is contemplated by the hospital director and Chief Surgeon Lee, President Go makes his next move in approaching Kim Tae Hyun about joining his campaign to get rid of Han Do Joon. He does so during a ‘house call’ to Han Shin Electric where Kim Tae Hyun and Cynthia Park are called to operate on a woman who jumped from a tower. President Go comes down personally to speak to Kim Tae Hyun. He explains his motivation as wanting to reform the company because of such accidents. (The reason behind the woman’s action seems to be because of unfair termination of employment. Signage mentioning “termination is murder” hanging on the tower suggests that employees are being fired without regard to their livelihoods). He suggests that under the Han Shin Group where Han Do Joon is its chairman, accidents like this will continue to happen, implying he wants to stop that.

When Kim Tae Hyun questions him about what he wants—what he really wants—he attempts to explain away the idea of it being about power, telling Kim Tae Hyun that he’s old: he’s had as much as he could want and enjoyed as much as he could want as well. Now, his dream is to help the salaried employees achieve their dreams and create a better world. To achieve this dream, he needs Kim Tae Hyun to help him with bringing Han Yeo Jin to his side. In exchange, he will help save his sister.

Very little in Episode 5 or Episode 6 suggest that President Go is not trying to achieve this, but if we were to go back to Episode 3 and base it on a response he gave Representative Lee (who’s a Representative Director of the Board), it could be the clue that it is about power. In a meeting between the Directors (which both he and Representative Lee are on the Board), one of the Directors had made a comment about needing to visit Han Yeo Jin before the next board meeting and having her sign a Power of Attorney to give authority for (presumably) the Board to act on her behalf. Representative Lee, keen on holding it out, suggests the Directors give more time for his daughter, Lee Chae Young, to look into things. (Lee Chae Young is the chairman’s wife. Though that may be, she’s not a supporter of her husband—in fact, she’s looking to challenge him—and have been collecting information on his plans for the Board.) Representative Lee‘s suggestion causes President Go to point out that giving more time to his daughter would provide Representative Lee the largest share. So, from that, President Go‘s true motive looks very much to be about power. President Go‘s sudden move with submitting the petition for injunctive relief of visitation restriction may be because he is concerned that waiting around and allowing Lee Chae Young time would provide Representative Lee the majority share.

Lee Chae Young versus President Go

Within the power struggle between the Board of Directors and Chairman Han Do Joon, there is seemingly a power struggle of sorts within the Board of Directors, between Lee Chae Young (with her father, Representative Lee) and President Go. Apart from the clue in Episode 3 which suggest it might have something to do with gaining majority share, it’s hard to tell if Lee Chae Young‘s actions is to have her father gain majority share to prevent President Go from obtaining it, because allowing President Go to do so is against the wishes of the previous chairman and a bad thing (which was also mentioned in Episode 3). It would seem, the current situation, is something the previous chairman foresaw and have left to Representative Lee to take care of. What’s also interesting is that it was revealed in this week’s episodes by Han Yeo Jin that President Go was a retainer of Han Yeo Jin‘s mother’s side as well as a bitter enemy of Han Do Joon, making him a person who’s historically on Han Yeo Jin‘s side. While Lee Chae Young, with her being married to Han Do Joon, and her father originally serving Han Do Joon‘s father, it makes Lee Chae Young and her father a side that leans more towards Han Do Joon‘s side.

What these sides are trying to do, what they might be trying to preserve has yet to be revealed, but it could be that President Go is trying to preserve Han Yeo Jin‘s position as the rightful chairperson of Han Shin Group, despite it appearing otherwise. Lee Chae Young may look like she’s on the side of Han Yeo Jin by being unimpressed with President Go‘s willingness to use Han Yeo Jin‘s life to provoke Han Do Joon as well as claiming she is the only one who truly wants to save Han Yeo Jin (which she expresses to Kim Tae Hyun in order to have him side with her); but she might turn out to be only doing so for either herself or her father to be in a more powerful position. But then, Han Yeo Jin doesn’t seem too concerned about Lee Chae Young when Kim Tae Hyun tells about Lee Chae Young wanting to see her. President Go, though, Han Yeo Jin seems to have doubts over. There are a lot of little details used deliberately to confuse in Yong Pal!

After hearing President Go‘s saintly dream, Kim Tae Hyun reports it all to Han Yeo Jin. He doesn’t believe President Go‘s desire to remove Han Do Joon to be because of such a dream, but runs it by Han Yeo Jin nonetheless to see if she wishes to go along with President Go‘s plans—whatever they may be. Han Yeo Jin instructs Kim Tae Hyun to follow along. Her decision to do so isn’t because she believes President Go‘s words either, saying that people in power are only busy with their profits; but President Go is her best option considering the situation. (We’re guessing she’s probably thinking that anything is better than being stuck in an induced coma her whole life.) She also seems to believe that however it all turns out, harm won’t come to her as she is their best profit and her decision on which side to choose to take is central to them achieving it. They wouldn’t endanger their best profit by bringing harm to her.

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When Han Yeo Jin overhears a conversation between the hospital director and Chief Surgeon Lee that harm is coming her way, that her brother has ordered her disposal and it will be by way of death on the operating table (as decided by the hospital director and Chief Surgeon Lee), tomorrow, at noon, she fears that it’s all over. The plan is to stage a suicide attempt, after which Han Yeo Jin will then be taken to the Operating Room where she will die. As Chief Surgeon Lee has been administering anaesthetics, her cause of death can be passed off as due to anaethesia and no responsibility will need to be taken by him. (The director and Chief Surgeon Lee have thought about the possibility of an autopsy being requested, but as long as Han Do Joon does not consent to it, they would be free of culpability.)

Kim Tae Hyun also hears this news from the chairman’s wife, Lee Chae Young, during a physical therapy session which she specifically asked Kim Tae Hyun to be her doctor. After checking in on Han Yeo Jin‘s state and assuring that he will not let her die, he calls Cynthia Park to the roof to have her contact President Go to immediately withdraw the petition. (It turns out Cynthia Park works for President Go and is a person brought in to lure Kim Tae Hyun into obtaining access to the restricted area! She’s not just a liaison for Han Shin Medical Center‘s VIP clients.) Cynthia Park confirms that it’s not President Go‘s intention to have Han Yeo Jin die, but President Go does not back down with the petition despite being advised Han Yeo Jin is to die the next day.

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President Go doesn’t plan to let Han Yeo Jin die, though. He plans to get her out of the hospital before Chief Surgeon Lee stages the suicide attempt and kill Han Yeo Jin. The plan is to take place at 2am (8 hours before the scheduled surgery) where a helicopter will land on the roof under the pretense of requiring it to transport a patient to the hospital, but inside are actually President Go‘s people. His people will then secure the 12th floor, cutting electricity to CCTV cameras at the emergency exit and allow them to make their way out of the hospital towards the roof. Although the exit to the roof will be the only area unsecured by them, by the time hospital guards arrive, they will have left the hospital with Han Yeo Jin.

This plan is divulged to Kim Tae Hyun after Cynthia Park receives confirmation that Kim Tae Hyun is aligning with them. He is still distrusting of President Go‘s motives, though. After agreeing to join their side, he appears to be in the process of planning his own operation. He first informs Han Yeo Jin of President Go‘s plan of attack to get her out of the hospital before he asks her the question he asked earlier: is she certain she can trust President Go? Han Yeo Jin‘s answer is not reassuring, replying with, “I trust his strategy”. When Kim Tae Hyun asks whether she was afraid of going along with someone who risked her life by submitting the petition for an injunction, her response came back as unconvincing: her hands shaking, she denies being afraid as what she really fears is the prospect of being in an induced coma forever.

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Hearing her responses, Kim Tae Hyun seeks out Head Nurse in the department he previously worked to discuss the situation regarding Han Yeo Jin. It looks like a friendly catch-up, coming down to shout the nurses beverages and soufflé, and heading out for a chat with Head Nurse. Far from it. He’s come for help. The whole talk between him and Head Nurse is cut short at first, but later in a flashback, it reveals Kim Tae Hyun requesting Head Nurse to stage a man-made cardiac arrest and to obtain as much blood as she can. The plan is to stage a man-made cardiac arrest to trick Chief Surgeon Lee into believing she’s died as planned, at which point Kim Tae Hyun would then take over (presumably after Chief Surgeon Lee announces her time of death before leaving the Operating Room) and bring Han Yeo Jin back to life.

Before President Go‘s plans is to happen, before Kim Tae Hyun‘s is supposed to somehow happen as well, we are brought to Han Do Joon‘s office where his secretary urgently requires him to take a phone call. The content of the phone conversation is not revealed, but it’s safe to assume he’s been tipped off by someone about President Go‘s operation, because the next scene we see is Chief Surgeon Lee receiving a call to execute the plan to dispose of Han Yeo Jin.

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The staged suicide attempt takes place with a slicing across Han Yeo Jin‘s throat before she is wheeled towards the Operating Room. As this is happening, Han Do Joon‘s people/hospital guards have entered 12th floor and secured the restricted area for Han Yeo Jin (who’s on a gurney covered by a white sheet) to be wheeled past reception, towards the Operating Room.

Surprised by the sudden events, Cynthia Park quickly orders the execution of President Go‘s plans. The lights are turned off and President Go‘s people (which appear to consist of mobsters she recruited prior to act as a VIP client’s customers) to take their position to block Chief Surgeon Lee from continuing in his way. The emergency lights kick in and a fight for Han Yeo Jin ensue. Amidst the chaos, one of Han Do Joon‘s people decide on trying his hand on taking Han Yeo Jin‘s life with a shot to the head. Kim Tae Hyun spots the attempt and moves to wrestle the gun from him, but end up getting shot in the side and falls to the floor. He hasn’t lost consciousness, just in quite a bit of pain.

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With Kim Tae Hyun wounded with no side making any headway, Cynthia Park decides to take control of the situation, grabbing the gun to fire a shot into the air before taking Han Yeo Jin to her side. They retreat towards the restricted area (as ordered by Kim Tae Hyun) instead of the rooftop as planned to take the elevator in Han Yeo Jin‘s room. Thinking their mission is almost complete, they prepare to take Han Yeo Jin into the back of the vehicle that’s waiting for them, only to be stopped by Han Do Joon, who’s arrived with his people. As if playing with President Go‘s side, Han Do Joon claims he’s there to take back what is his, when he’s probably there to hold out and douse them with the information that the real Han Yeo Jin is not in their hands, but up in Han Yeo Jin‘s room. She’s been hidden in Han Yeo Jin‘s supply room by Chief Surgeon Lee and is on her way to the Operating Room for Han Do Joon‘s plan to be carried out.

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Chief Surgeon Lee is met by a team of—what looks like Kim Tae Hyun‘s people—consisting of Head Nurse and a couple of Kim Tae Hyun‘s former colleagues. The team seem surprised to see Chief Surgeon Lee appear before them and look worried as Chief Surgeon Lee is in no hurry to operate and save Han Yeo Jin. They clearly expected Kim Tae Hyun to be in the Operating Room, but instead, he’s held up down in the basement with President Go and Han Do Joon.

As if Kim Tae Hyun is in no mood to continue the standoff and stop Han Do Joon from getting what he arrived to get, he moves to push and hand over—who President Go‘s side thinks is—Han Yeo Jin to the chairman. Cynthia Park holds a gun to Kim Tae Hyun‘s head to stop him.

This is an interesting move from Kim Tae Hyun because of how willing he was to give up Han Yeo Jin after being so concerned about her being handed over and killed earlier. It’s almost as if he knows that the person lying on the gurney isn’t Han Yeo Jin and she’s actually in the Operating Room. (It makes us think that this foiling of President Go‘s plans might actually be Kim Tae Hyun‘s doing.)

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As he and the two sides standoff against each other in the basement, up in the Operating Room, the plans which Kim Tae Hyun discussed with Head Nurse is being executed: an injection of the potassium is administered and a man-made cardiac arrest is created. Han Yeo Jin is dead. Chief Surgeon Lee does not attempt to resuscitate her as one of Han Do Joon‘s men watching from the observation deck urges him to announce her time of death. The announcement is made and a message is passed down to Han Do Joon. He lets President Go‘s side in on the information, surprising them with the fact that a dummy lay underneath the sheets when Kim Tae Hyun moves to uncover the gurney. Their plan to escape with Han Yeo Jin had failed.

Final Thoughts

Six episodes watched and we’re still loving every single episode and watching every single scene. Yong Pal really isn’t that much different from other dramas based around corporations/conglomerates: there are people wanting power, people wanting to retain their seat, people scheming and doing bad things to get what they’re after. Somehow though, Yong Pal manages to make this very common plot really interesting.

We’re not quite sure what it is exactly about it we love and find interesting. Maybe it’s to do with the way Yong Pal manages to give out just enough, hide just enough about what’s going on that makes us watch the series wondering how exactly it’ll play out. The situation at the end of Episode 6 where President Go‘s plans fails for instance, it really does look suspiciously like as if Kim Tae Hyun had planned it to happen. No where in President Go‘s plan was Han Yeo Jin supposed to end up in the Operating Room. So, for Kim Tae Hyun‘s plan to work, he had to make sure she ended up in the Operating Room. This would then mean that he had to make sure Chief Surgeon Lee goes through with the staged suicide attempt and take her to the Operating Room. Han Do Joon also had to be tipped off about President Go‘s plans to ensure the chairman’s plans happen earlier and allow Kim Tae Hyun‘s staged death of Han Yeo Jin to happen before he can go and save her.

The only thing that confuses us is the surprised look Kim Tae Hyun had when he lifted the white sheet and saw a dummy lying on the gurney instead of Han Yeo Jin.

Then there’s the short phone call Kim Tae Hyun made to Lee Chae Young just after meeting Head Nurse about his plan. How does she fit into what’s taken place already?

Every character is a puzzle, too. We don’t quite know what they’re all about, what their deal is. They all come off as a certain type of character and we think they’re on this side or that side, but then as we watch more, they look more and more like they’re the opposite. Nurse Hwang for instance, we were pretty sure she was working for Han Do Joon and for sure she’d report back to him that she saw Han Yeo Jin awake and talking to Kim Tae Hyun, but nothing happened.

Thinking about it, the situation with the foiling of President Go‘s plans and maybe even Kim Tae Hyun‘s plans, another possibility Kim Tae Hyun was so surprised to see a dummy in front of him might be because he really expected Han Yeo Jin to be underneath. Nurse Hwang had install a camera in Han Yeo Jin‘s room after she was relieved of her night duties. She could have heard Kim Tae Hyun‘s plans which the episodes didn’t screen! The camera, the tip-off, Nurse Hwang, it makes sense how President Go‘s side was caught off guard and it would explain Kim Tae Hyun‘s surprise, too! Hmm…

Yong Pal seems to really like lifting bits of the story out of the scenes and then inserting them back at a later time to deliberately keep the mystery up in the series. The series also seems to like to use very short conversations between characters consisting of a few lines of dialogue and subtly implanting things and people here and there to make it hard to guess what exactly will happen or has happened. The techniques seems to work very well as we find ourselves constantly wondering what’s happening and second-guessing ourselves when we think we know what is happening.

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We’re really liking the development between Han Yeo Jin and Kim Tae Hyun. Kim Tae Hyun and Han Yeo Jin‘s relationship seemed to have developed a little these couple of episodes. We’re really interested in how the Yong Pal‘s romance arc will turn out and whether it will feature very much. So far, it’s all been focused on the main story. The way it’s going, there isn’t a lot of room for a romance arc; but we’re thinking maybe it’ll start featuring a little more soon. These two episodes, Kim Tae Hyun and Han Yeo Jin seemed to have become friends. Kim Tae Hyun had requested it as his second wish he wants granted (the first being helping him save his sister in exchange for helping her with getting out of the hospital). She doesn’t say she’d grant it or not; she simply responds with a joke that being able to make friends with a rich person, he’s hit the jackpot. Sounds like she’s accepted to us! Formal speech between them have dropped, too. Han Yeo Jin drops it first. Then in Episode 5, the first mini moment between Kim Tae Hyun and Han Yeo Jin: Han Yeo Jin was quite taken a back, maybe a little flustered even, when he invaded her personal space to confirm a photo of President Go as being the person trying to see her. Han Yeo Jin seems to be affect by Kim Tae Hyun. It was very brief, but she was affected.

It’ll be interesting to see how a romance arc will change the series. Hopefully it can continue being the great watch it has been and keep the action and intrigue in the series when/if the romance arc starts developing.

Looking forward to the next episodes of Yong Pal and hoping the awesomeness continues!




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