Han Yeo Jin survives (as if there was ever any doubt!) and Kim Tae Hyun‘s plans to stage her death eventually goes according to plan. Han Yeo Jin is able to see the outside world for the first time in three years, but she must now live in hiding. A restructure of the Han Shin Group will happen means that even if she returns to claim her position, she comes back as a person without power. This was not how Han Yeo Jin wanted it.
Recap and Thoughts
The switch to a fake Han Yeo Jin and the announcement of her death gives President Go a bit of a shock, but only briefly. The discovery that a dummy lay underneath the sheets instead of the real Han Yeo Jin has President Go applaud Han Do Joon for going through with her death and a job well done. With the death of Han Yeo Jin, President Go notes that negotiations can finally begin, wiping the smile off of Han Do Joon as confusion over President Go‘s meaning takes over.
Meanwhile, Kim Tae Hyun, who’s been losing lots of blood from the gunshot wound during the whole exchange, finally collapses. Han Do Joon has his men go to him to be taken away for treatment, to which Kim Tae Hyun declines, preferring to go alone. Han Do Joon allows it, giving him the opportunity to head to the Operating Room to revive Han Yeo Jin.
The looks exchanged between Kim Tae Hyun and Han Do Joon are a little suspicious. Maybe it’s because Kim Tae Hyun is cautious about getting out of there without making it too obvious that he’s going to Han Yeo Jin with the intent of bringing her back to life, but it’s almost as if Kim Tae Hyun was working with Han Do Joon. In a later scene, there’s suggestion that it might be the case as Ha Do Joon reveals being indebted to Kim Tae Hyun. More hidden, vague details!
After a quick, painful treatment of solution to his wound and a couple of shots to the arm and leg, Kim Tae Hyun enters the Operating Room appearing almost normal, only his complexion giving away that he’s not well. He begins the surgery. Head Nurse notices and so does the junior doctor when blood from his side starts seeping through his gown. He ignores their concern and continues repairing the damage to Han Yeo Jin‘s neck. Everything stitched together, vascular transplant performed, Han Yeo Jin is still not revived. Desperate for her to stay alive, Kim Tae Hyun gets up to perform chest compressions to try get blood flowing and jump-start her heart.
As he is doing the compressions, he flashes back to all the words from his sister, his father, Head Nurse, Director, Chief Lee, Cynthia Park and all his colleagues: all of them speaking his internal thoughts, his will and his fight to continue on until he see her come back to life. They tell a story of Kim Tae Hyun‘s reason for wanting to save Han Yeo Jin. It’s not because she is his sister’s only hope of survival. It’s not about the money. He had promised her she would not die in his surgery—no one does. So this is not the end. His father says life and death is providential. He can’t believe it; because as the Head Nurse had once said, it’s decided by the will of the doctor; and he is a real doctor who saves lives not some doctor only after money like most think he is. Most importantly, he can’t give up because Han Yeo Jin is not just anyone, she’s his friend. (These flashbacks were used very well.)
After a long bout of chest compressions which sees him collapse and lose consciousness, his efforts finally pay off, Han Yeo Jin‘s vitals returning. But Kim Tae Hyun doesn’t see the the results of his efforts as he collapses and loses consciousness before then. The plan to stage her death a success, Head Nurse makes the decision to switch identities with the patient across in the other Operating Room: whilst Han Yeo Jin revives, the Han Shin Electric patient who Kim Tae Hyun kept alive after her fall from the Han Shin Electric tower, goes into cardiac arrest. Han Yeo Jin will now be Kim Yeong Mi.
With Han Yeo Jin thought to be dead, Han Do Joon is forced to discuss the idea of maintaining Han Yeo Jin as being still alive and suggest the splitting her shares. Han Do Joon is not one bit interested, but when President Go informs that while Han Do Joon was busy focusing his efforts on dropping the price of Han Yeo Jin‘s stocks to reduce inheritance taxes after her death, Han Do Joon‘s missed his counterattack of publishing Han Do Joon‘s performance and company debt ratio. He explains that publishing these performance reports and the company debt ration will cause rapid decline in stock prices and subsequently a mandatory halt in the trading of stock. Not a good thing for Han Do Joon. Recognising the oversight, Han Do Joon reluctantly agrees to hold off announcing Han Yeo Jin‘s death and go along with President Go‘s wishes. Han Do Joon is given the suggestion to use the time to get rid the subsidiary companies thats been giving him headaches, and then when the atmosphere is looking good, hold a grand funeral service for Han Yeo Jin.
So, it seems Lee Chae Young‘s words last episode were true: President Go didn’t care whether Han Yeo Jin lived or died, since either way he was prepared for whichever outcome. In fact, during the conversation between Han Do Joon and President Go, he implied that had he gotten his hands on Han Yeo Jin, he may have had to dispose of her in the end. But since Han Do Joon‘s already done it, it makes sure that President Go doesn’t have to dirty his hands later with blood. It turns out that of the people who wanted Han Yeo Jin brought to their side, Lee Chae Young really was looking out for Han Yeo Jin. She looks to be on the good side. In fact, when she found out from her physical therapist/nurse that Kim Tae Hyun saved her life by warning her to stay away from the hospital—because, as it turns out, an assailant was after her (the assailant was sent by President Go; we totally forgot she was his target!)—and that after the fight for Han Yeo Jin, he was doing badly (the words the physical therapist/nurse used were "he was almost dead"), she heads straight to Kim Tae Hyun‘s ward and orders a conference of all the doctors—internal medicine doctors, family doctors, all the department chiefs—to be held to find a way to save him. When the surgery is performed using the knowledge of a couple dozen of the hospital’s doctors and department chiefs, Lee Chae Young has half a dozen doctors and nurses tend to Kim Tae Hyun post-operation. Watching through the window of his room, she lets it be known through her thoughts that what she can do for him begins from this point on.
(We really like this Kim Tae Hyun and Lee Chae Young relationship. They’re quite entertaining at times. It’s also interesting how flirtatious Lee Chae Young is with Kim Tae Hyun. She made a couple of passes on him over these two episodes. We think she’s just playing around, teasing him. We don’t think she’s actually seriously propositioning him. :o) :o). Kim Tae Hyun seems to treat it as such, too, brushing it off, thinking little of it and carries on. She looks to be on the good side and if she does remain on the good side, they would make great friends later on we think!
Because of Lee Chae Young, he’s up and about in just several days of round-the-clock care. Han Yeo Jin is the first person he visits. He enters her room across from his and places a pot of lavender on her bedside table.He is pleased to see her laying there, alive. It’s a happy reunion for Han Yeo Jin, too, as she smiles upon hearing his voice after initially not knowing who was sitting beside her. (To keep her identity a secret, she’s had her face wrapped in bandage like how the deceased Kim Yeong Mi had been.) Han Yeo Jin even sheds a tear when they sit silently listening to a song which he played on his phone.
The next scene, Kim Tae Hyun is sneaking Han Yeo Jin out of her room and out to see the stars (well, the nightscape since no stars are visible under the city lights). Three years it’s been since she’s felt the cool breeze against her face. She’s happy and grateful to him. That is, until Cynthia Park interrupts their ‘date’ outside and gets her to realise the reality of the situation.
Cynthia Park having sent Kim Tae Hyun away to get coffee, she approaches Han Yeo Jin who is sitting on the bench to take a seat next to her. As she’s decided to go back to the US after completing her job for President Go, Cynthia Park decides to offer a few parting bits of advice. She tells Han Yeo Jin that Kim Tae Hyun gave up a huge sum of money which he could have used to treat his sister because of some woman. (Cynthia Park knows exactly who’s talking to, but chooses to hold onto that fact for the meantime.) She tells her that men can calculate wrong when they’re into a woman; they can be a bit naive which is both a flaw and a charm; and she should try to keep a hold of him (this is where Cynthia Park finally reveals she knows who she is, referring to her directly as Han Yeo Jin), because if she is to live in hiding, a man like Kim Tae Hyun was best suited to her.
Living in hiding, hearing this, Han Yeo Jin is hit with realisation: although Kim Tae Hyun saved her life and have freed her from her room on the 12th floor, she now is someone without any power. Kim Tae Hyun‘s plan of staging her death instead of going along with what she originally wanted—and that was to be handed over to President Go—has effectively rendered her powerless. With her dead, restructuring will no doubt take place, so even if she were to return from the dead, she will never get her position back. She says that as long as Han Do Joon and President Go work together, she will not be able to intervene either as now she’s their common enemy. She’ll most likely return to the way it was before: returned to Han Do Joon and locked up or be killed. They’ll probably make an example of a few of the hospital employees by punishing them, too, and Kim Tae Hyun will most likely get hurt the most amongst those they punish. She says that although she is thankful to Kim Tae Hyun for risking his own life to get her out of the 12th floor, she now can’t help disliking him for it.The realisation causes her to lay in her bed refusing to eat.
As Han Yeo Jin stews over the situation, Detective Lee is back looking for gangster Doo Chul and Yong Pal after Man Sik‘s phone records leads the detective back to Han Shin Medical Center. He doesn’t get far with his questioning as Head Nurse denies knowing anything.
Park Tae Yong, who happened to come up to the Nurses station at the time of Detective Lee‘s visit is also questioned. When Park Tae Yong is invited to the cafeteria to discuss the matter, initially Park Tae Yong has no idea about the people the detective are after, but after hearing some key bits of information describing Kim Tae Hyun: Yong Pal meaning great quack, house calls for criminals and the the job being a good moneymaker, he realises who they were after. Park Tae Yong seemed like a person who wouldn’t help Kim Tae Hyun (seeming as how revealing what he knows would get Kim Tae Hyun into a lot of trouble and bring him down in the eyes of management and all the colleagues who have all started to praise, respect and admire), but he too denies knowing anything or anyone. It’ll be interesting to see what part he plays in this part of the story later.
Detective Lee is forced to stop his questioning when the chairman’s people has him speak to his team leader. The team leader tells him to withdraw and even scolds him for trying to drag them into such matters. (It seems like the hospital’s got some kind of control over them, too. The team leader did not want to have anything to do with them.) Detective Lee withdraws, but he’s not giving up, intent on catching Doo Chul and Yong Pal.
In a small dinner gathering hosted by Han Do Joon, more danger lay waiting for Kim Tae Hyun. He invites both Kim Tae Hyun as well as Chief Surgeon Lee to join him and his wife, Lee Chae Young, for a dinner. It’s no friendly dinner, though, as Lee Chae Young explains that there are only two reasons anyone is ever invited to her husband’s residence: the first is to buy them out, the second is to threaten, if not both. Sure enough, as the evening progresses, in his drunkenness, Han Do Joon does exactly that. Before he does so, he calls out everyone’s hidden motives and duplicity.
He points out Kim Tae Hyun‘s association with the gangsters, his double dealings with him and President Go, and how scary he can be when it comes to anything to do with his sister, which leads Han Do Joon to giving Kim Tae Hyun the means to send his sister to the US for treatment. (This is Han Do Joon buying Kim Tae Hyun out.) He moves onto his wife, knowing how she knows more than she lets out (and probably how she’s not the idiot she likes people to think), getting her to agree with his assessment of President Go as a two-faced individual. Next is Chief Surgeon Lee: Han Do Joon points out his desire to take over the Director’s position. Chief Surgeon Lee doesn’t deny it, but suggests that he will look into taking the position later on, but not now as the Director is still quite competent.
He goes on to talk about himself, how he first met Lee Chae Young at the barbeque held where they’re having dinner presently. He talks about how he is destined to live as someone second to Han Yeo Jin, despite being his father’s first-born son. He wasn’t sent abroad to study even though it doesn’t cost all that much to do so. He figures the reason for that is he shouldn’t try thinking about mixing with the rich kids. Because of who he is, he was invisible to Lee Chae Young.
(Lee Chae Young seems to be his focus of his rant. Maybe the reason he does the things he does is so that he can be recognised as someone powerful so that Lee Chae Young would love him, since apparently, he loves her, but she doesn’t love him, which was sort of hinted in Episode 7 when he visited her after visiting Kim Tae Hyun at the hospital.)
He finishes off his drunken ramble with an admission that both Han Yeo Jin and her boyfriend (possibly fiance since they were going to wed) died by his hands. He reveals that had her boyfriend, Choi Sung Hoon, kept his promise to him, he wouldn’t have died the way he did; and since Han Yeo Jin wanted to die and go to him so much, the fact that she’s there now is a good thing. Then finally, the threat is made: Han Do Joon orders his people to kill everyone at the table if anyone steps out of line just before announcing that a funeral service for Han Yeo Jin will be held soon where she will be cremated to clean everything up for Chief Lee.
Just before the evening ends, Lee Chae Young holds Kim Tae Hyun back to chat. The conversation which starts off about Lee Chae Young‘s lack of affection for Han Do Joon moves onto Han Yeo Jin‘s love, Choi Sung Hoon. Kim Tae Hyun is curious about him and wants to know who he was and the kind of guy he was. She tells him that he was tall, handsome and smart. He was guy who even she, someone popular amongst students who studied abroad, couldn’t dream of approaching. But, as an heir to Daejeon Group, they couldn’t be. She blamed her father for taking him away and wanted to die every time she saw him. Her attempt to take her life lead was the beginning of her imprisonment.
Keeping her asleep started off as a dying wish from her father. It was to last 6 months as this was the time her father had before he would pass away from pancreatic cancer, which was at its final stage. Her father wanted to be able to continue to see his pretty daughter. Keeping her asleep would stop her from trying to kill herself whenever she saw him. She was also desperate to see Choi Sung Hoon. He loved him so much she’d die just to be with him.
Hearing about Choi Sung Hoon and the depth of love she had for him as well as the dangers which exists at the hospital, not only for him, but also Han Yeo Jin, Kim Tae Hyun decides to take Han Yeo Jin away from the hospital during the night. A sedative is injected into her drip during the night before he drives her towards the cathedral she and Choi Sung Hoon were meant to wed.
(Kim Tae Hyun is setting her free and leaving her. After hearing Lee Chae Young‘s story about Han Yeo Jin and Choi Sung Hoon, he’s realised or rather remembered the differences between them. They are people from different worlds. He also (we’re guessing) realising that Choi Sung Hoon is someone he can’t replace.)
Arriving inside the cathedral, he tells her that this place is the right place to take her since this is where her memories have stopped. She can gain her strength in this place and go back to that world of alligators she was talking about as belonging before. He tells her that Han Do Joon‘s offered the money to treat his sister so she won’t need to. She calls him a bastard (it’s said quietly like she’s disappointed rather than angry) and accuses him of unloading her off, now that he’s got the money for his sister’s treatment. Kim Tae Hyun denies none of it. Just to make him look worse in front of her, he adds that keeping her around the hospital might put his safety in danger. He gives her a phone to call whoever she wishes, whether it be President Go or the Swiss Bank, but advises to think carefully as once she makes the call, the race to track her location will be on. He then takes his leave.
Han Yeo Jin stops him briefly, asking why he’s doing this. He reveals the real answer, telling her that he’s forgotten that she lives in a different world. Just before he leaves for good, he tells her his feelings: he doesn’t want to be jealous of someone who’s already dead.
My goodness! Kim Tae Hyun likes her! As we were watching this play out, we have to say it was quite unexpected. It’s not that we didn’t know that he might have feelings for her. The dream sequences which he had while he was on the operating table getting his gunshot wound operated on was a very small hint. Episode 6, during the scene when he vowed to not let her die on the operating table when she found out Han Do Joon was going to kill her, hinted at it, too. But these scenes were not clear enough. There really haven’t been a lot of scenes developing the feelings really; and so the jealousy felt a little superficial. But then, we can’t fault Yong Pal for the lack of development with the Han Yeo Jin and Kim Tae Hyun relationship. Yong Pal is firstly a medical/action series with romance and drama as sub-genres. With so much going on in the main story and so much that needs to be told, it’s hard to fit in the romance parts of the series. As we said in the last post on Episode 5 and Episode 6, there really isn’t room to include it. But since they have started putting in the romance arc, we had hoped that it would filter through the story in a slower, more natural way.
Kim Tae Hyun gone, Han Yeo Jin sit outside looking out at Choi Sung Hoon‘s gravestone, crying a few tears as she does so. She looks at her phone, thinking about the one person she would call. The first time Kim Tae Hyun shows her how to use the phone flashes through her mind. She hesitates to make any kind of decision. Perhaps the hesitation is because she thinks Kim Tae Hyun‘s left far away, so when she hears the Reverend and a Sister talk about some car being parked by the entrance for a whole day and there seems to be a driver inside, she realises Kim Tae Hyun hasn’t left. He’s been waiting. She keys in "1": one chance, one call. It’s him, Kim Tae Hyun. (Aww!)
Kim Tae Hyun picks up, not saying a word, just waiting for her to speak. She tells him off for it before giving him 30 seconds to run to her. She warns that if he doesn’t, she will never see him again. So he quickly runs to her, calling by her first name without honorifics attached as he does so and finds her.
The final scene (after a scene where Nurse Hwang is killed for threatening to divulge all that’s been going on) has Kim Tae Hyun and Han Yeo Jin back inside the cathedral again after they are given permission by the church to set up refuge at a couple of rooms on its grounds. Here, Han Yeo Jin tells Kim Tae Hyun (who she seems to also have dropped his last name and honorifics) to not hate a dead person. She tells him that he died because of her and that the incident is still very clear to her. She wants him to give her time to heal her scars (which he’s happy to do, nodding). Kim Tae Hyun then tells her the other reason for getting her out of the hospital. He tells her about the police being after him and that Han Do Joon was going to hold her funeral soon; she couldn’t hide the fact that she’s still alive for much longer. The conversation then switches to Han Yeo Jin asking what Kim Tae Hyun was going to do—which he answers he’s a doctor with gangster customers waiting for him—and whether he was really going to leave if she didn’t call him. He doesn’t answer the question, instead he asks her about why she decided to call him. She doesn’t tell him either; instead she makes up the excuse that she pressed the wrong number. The final shot ends with a kiss between the two.
This kiss at the end, this part is the most unnatural development between Kim Tae Hyun and Han Yeo Jin. It felt awkward and out of place, like it came in too early. We’ve noticed that with Korean dramas, there seems be this standard where most first kisses must happen around Episode 8 (for shorter dramas, around Episode 6). For Yong Pal, as much as we enjoy seeing Kim Tae Hyun and Han Yeo Jin‘s relationship progress, we would have much preferred it come in a bit later. We probably would be okay if there wasn’t one kiss the entire series, if the romance arc didn’t quite make it that far. Yong Pal‘s main story and Kim Tae Hyun‘s interesting enough to carry it through without too much focus on the romance arc. We were actually really loving the friendship with a hint of it being possibly more. It would have been nice to see that carried on for a little longer.
Still, despite the awkward insert of the kiss, we enjoyed this week’s episodes. The first quarter of Episode 7 was super! We loved it. We love Joo Won’s performance when he was so desperate in bringing Han Yeo Jin back to life. We love the development between Lee Chae Young and Kim Tae Hyun. Episode 8 was less action-packed as it focused on backstories and developing a foundation for the Yong Pal arc, and less on the medical/action side; but it was still interesting enough to keep things moving. Finally, although we did say the romance arc came in rather unexpectedly and a bit unnaturally, we did like seeing Kim Tae Hyun and Han Yeo Jin together, away from the confines of the cold, white room on the 12th floor. It was nice to see Han Yeo Jin free, happy and not forced to sleep.
Looking forward to seeing what Yong Pal has next!