...when the screen takes over...

Beautiful Mind, Fourth Week

Family. They can make or break you.

So we learn more about families, and father figures, that have shaped these characters. Surprise, surprise! Most apples don’t fall far from the tree.

Of happy family…

The teenage Lee Young-Oh observes a couple adoring their baby and another family adoring another newborn at maternity ward. Happily. His father explained that’s how a family is. A man and a woman meets and they have a baby. They become parents and raise the child.

His father encouraged him to have a life like them someday. “So the world see you as normal.”

But his attention was on something else he observed. He asked instead whether he would someday be able to really feel, not just pretend to, if he tries harder. Unable to answer, his father ushered them to go.

Will I ever be happy?

Will I ever be happy?

Lee Young-Oh turned around. He gave another wistful look at the happiness that radiated from those families.

The pressure of the regenerative medicine research weighs on those concerned for different reasons. Chairman Kang is stressed out by the news that his father will soon step down within a month to make way for his successor. Wanting to impress — so he’ll be the one appointed — he will need to get the regenerative research seal of approval from the authority. He demands the politician Kim Myeong-Soo to help him skirting formalities to speed up the process before his father steps down. Kim promises it will take a week.

As doubts increase, Dr Hyeon tries to find out whether the side effect of stem cell treatment, such as lesion and tumours, has been documented in their regenerative medicine research. His colleague doctor-researcher Song Ki-ho dismisses it as impossible. Their research has been going smoothly on each phase. He presses further as Dr Song is behaving suspiciously, hiding a suspicious looking envelope. He snatches the envelope and reads the papers inside, which are divorce papers. Dr Song opens up about his marital problem. And seeing how their research has taken its toll on his personal life, Dr Song defends it that they haven’t done anything wrong.

a certified villain pose

a certified villain pose

Dr Chae comes and reinforces the idea that their research has been perfect on each phase, including the third phase. The world will be amazed by their accomplishment. “Of course. They’d be amazed aplenty at what you have done so far,” Dr Hyeon bites. Addressing his snide remark, Dr Chae challenges him whether he will be able to prove his suspicion and doubts. He lacks witness and evidence.

To everyone else, the question of the day is Dr Lee Young-Oh’s whereabouts and moves. Dr Hyeon tries to find Dr Lee Young-Oh’s contact information from the nurses. Yet no one knows. Dr Kim Min-Jae tells him not to waste his time since Lee Young-Oh will no longer be able to function as a doctor anyway. His self-confidence and perception that he’s perfect has been shattered.

“But you know him. You do know where he will be, right?” Dr Hyeon asks Dr Kim. She couldn’t help. “For what I know, this hospital is his perfect place to hide.”

* * *

Lee Young-Oh wakes up to find himself taken to a town by the sea, Gye Jin-Seong’s hometown. Her mother and brother wonder why the daughter brings home a man to this far away town. They jump to conclusions about Gye Jin-Seong and the man’s relationship. Mom doesn’t mind and little Brother congratulates her on the conquest while Gye Jin-Seong tries to dispel whatever ideas they have.

an ordinary family

an ordinary family

Later, Gye Jin-Seong’s brother comes to him with a neighbour’s daughter-in-law, Gye-Sook, who’s been sick and in wheelchair for a year. He asks Lee Young-Oh to see to her and help. However, in light of recent events in which he had misjudged the patient’s situation, he backs off from the request and walks away.

Gye-Sook’s mother-in-law comes making a fuss and gives her piece of mind to the family. No one should take her daughter-in-law. Brother voices his contempt and argues that her treatment of the daughter-in-law has caused the daughter-in-law’s condition. Mom tries to calm everyone and chastises Brother. “It’s not easy to take care of a daughter in law you’re not related.”

Gye Jin-Seong follows Lee Young-Oh to the seashore. She apologizes for her brother that he was just trying to help Gye-Sook. She explains that it’s the way of the people here: whether you’re a stranger or family, they will try to help. “Is that why you brought me here? To heal my rotten heart?” Lee Young-Oh asks.

She brought him to rest where no one would look at him strangely. She was just trying to help. But Lee Young-Oh accuses her of looking down at him. She comforts herself that she is hurting less and happier than him. She thinks she has the power to help him and thus is superior than him. People take comfort from other’s suffering because they feel they are better off than those who suffer.

She is one of The Normal People who take pride in feeling emotions. Love, friendship, and pity are nothing more than cheap signals to which they refer when needed, calling them by different names.

“You are just angry at yourself,” Gye Jin-Seong says, “for being afraid, for failing, for running away from a patient. And that you’ll keep running.”

To that, Lee Young-Oh laughs cynically. That’s why people cannot help each other. Other’s weakness becomes another’s advantage, a spot to attack. He ‘s looking at grandma and her daughter in law, “or a burden you want to get rid of once no one is looking.”

  • before and after:

    before splash…

  • the splash...

    the splash…

  • after splash...

    after splash: did grandma do that…?

Then they hear a splash. They see that the daughter-in-law is under water with Grandma near the edge of the water. “Looks like she’s made her choice regardless whether anyone sees,” Lee Young-Oh says.

Gye Jin-Seong runs towards the water. “Let’s make a bet!” she shouts and quickly jumps into the water. She pulls Gye-Sook out of water.


Afterwards, handing her a towel, he asks, “why did you go that far? What are you trying to show me?”

She just wants to show him there is another world that is different than the one he has been confronting. A world in which grandma is not a bad person that she would kill her sick daughter-in-law.

“Treat her if you aren’t scared of treating a patient. At least make her talk to tell the truth, whether you are right or I am.”

* * *

At Hyeon Seong, a patient is having a birthday party and the hospital personnels are celebrating it as well. She will get a heart transplant. All looks good and goes as planned. Everyone feels optimistic as they are waiting for the extraction team to arrive.

The extraction team, Dr Kim and Dr Yang, is stuck in a traffic jam. The doctors get into little rows over their responsibilities. When Dr Lee Shi-Hyeon, the cardiothoracic surgeon, calls to inquire, Dr Yang takes initiative and runs to get to the hospital.

“The stitches won’t be a pretty sight. But I’ll make sure that the new heart will attach so firmly, it won’t shake even if you go through the roller coaster a hundred times.”

Lee Shi-Hyeon

The team prepares for a surgery. The patient, a girl, asks about the heart donor whether the donor is male and whether one day her heart will beat faster when she sees a certain woman. “That you’ve got her dead lover’s heart?” Dr Lee laughs, as I did, and comments that she watches too much soap operas. “If your heart races when you see a pretty girl, go see me. It’s not normal. You’ll need medicine.”

Asked about her plan after the surgery, the girl lists a thing or three. She then reveals that she actually hasn’t plan anything. All her life, she ‘s been wishing for just one thing: a heart transplant. For four years she’s been waiting for her turn, from number 173 on the list to today. Her words puts a visible burden on everyone’s shoulder, especially Dr Lee.

'aren't I cool, milady?'

‘aren’t I cool, milady?

Dr Yang manages to get the heart on time for transplantation. He stops by the operating ward and recounts his heroic effort, how he pushes his physical limit to bring the heart, hoping for a chance for a drink or meal with Dr Lee. Instead he gets lectured. “Do you want to take credit? Shame on you!”

And, she asks for Dr Hyeon who had promised to assist her. “I don’t know!” Dr Yang barks, in jealousy.

Dr Hyeon pays a visit to Dr Lee Geon-Myeong. He asks if Dr Lee has a way to contact Lee Young-Oh. Dr Lee asks if it concerns the hospital. Dr Hyeon thinks Dr Lee must have known it more than him.

Dr Lee says that he’s also looking for Lee Young-Oh. “Are you going to blame me for being a bad parent?” He’ll make sure to tell Dr Hyeon if he manages to contact Lee Young-Oh. He wants to know why Dr Hyeon is looking for Lee Young-Oh

“Do you regret it? That you throw out your family for your principles?” Dr Hyeon asks.

“You must have been very concerned,” Dr Lee just says.

After Dr Hyeon leaves his office, Dr Lee makes a phone call, asking if the call recipient has located Lee Young-Oh.

* * *

Lee Young-Oh decides to go to the town’s hospital to see Gye-Sook. They’ll run some tests on her and transfer her t bigger hospital in the city. Lee Young-Oh checks on her ignoring the attending physician. The young doctor asks who he is.

People talks about the incident, including an ajusshi talking about it to Gye Jin-Seong’s mother and brother. Mom doesn’t that grandma can do such horrible thing, pushing her daughter in law into the water. Though brother thinks she did that. She is horrible to her daughter in law. Grandma in question is now allegedly running away since she’s not home.

Gye Jin-Seong looks into Grandma’s home. She found a stash of money and a catalogue of wheelchairs.

At the town’s medical centre, Lee Young-Oh examines Gye-Sook’s physical cues. After she gains consciousness he whispers to her that he knows what happens. Grandma has pushed her into the sea. She cannot speak. When he tries to read Gye-Sook’s body signal, Dr Kim Min-Jae’s words haunt him, that he has read her body signals wrong. Lee Young-Oh steps back and finds Gye Jin-Seong watching them.

She receives a call from Mom. Mom informs her that Grandma’s turned herself in at the police station. “That means I won our bet! I was right!” Lee Young-Oh says.

He tells the young doctor that thepatient isn’t suffering from stroke but Hashimoto’s disease and advises the doctor to give her hormone treatment. The patient will recover slowly so it’s going to be hard for them to live together as family.

He criticises the young doctor. “If I were you, I wouldn’t tell the guardian what I hoped for the patient. I wouldn’t say that her lung is fine when she had a fever.” Suddenly Gye-Sook convulses. That shakes Lee Young-Oh as he thinks he has wrongly diagnosed the patient.

* * *

Let's have it

Let’s have a transplant…

At Hyeon Seong, in the middle of heart transplant surgery, Dr Hyeon observes defect on the donor heart. It has developed infection that would endanger the recipient. Considering the patient’s long wait for the transplant Dr Lee Shi Hyeon wants to go as planned and treat the infection after the transplantation. But Dr Hyeon advises against it. Treating infection while the patient is in immunosupressant for adapting to new heart will invite problems. Dr Lee knows he is right. She aborts the heart transplantation surgery with a heavy heart.[1]

The patient gains consciousness not knowing that the heart transplantation has been aborted. Unable to tell her the truth, Dr Lee runs away to vent her frustration and grief. She feels like she is fighting a losing battle no matter how hard she tries. Dr Hyeon tells her that he will still choose to fight to the end anyway. He leaves to give her time alone to grieve.

Dr Lee cries her heart out. Dr Yang sees her crying and wants to comfort her. But watching her so sad, he lets her be.

Another doctor affected by the aborted transplantation is Dr Hong, a anaesthetist who takes over late Dr Kim Yoon-Gyeong’s position. Dr Hyeon sees him waiting at Ji-An’s room. They talk about how he cannot let out his anger and how he misses Dr Kim.

Dr Chae comes and compounds the grief by selling the virtues of regenerative medicine. He’d heard that they gave up on transplant during surgery. Regenerative medicine will spare doctors from grief as the medicine pushes failing organs to self-recover. He brings up the Creator’s meanness. “He gives less crucial parts self-renewal ability while He denies the brains and the heart, the more vital parts, the capacity to regenerate.”

Dr Hyeon doesn’t want to hear his stories. Dr Chae inquires about him looking for Lee Young-Oh. He advises him to let it go since they will be getting approval from the authority soon. The regenerative medicine will spare them heartaches like Dr Lee Shi Hyun’s suffering. But that angers Dr Hyeon further. “Tell the Creator that you are corrupted.”

* * *

Outside, Gye Jin-Seong finds him by the sea, looking grieved. “I lost this bet. I can no longer treat a patient. Happy now?”

“If grandma didn’t do it, what would that mean?” She shows him the brochure. She tells him that grandma has been working hard so she can afford a better wheelchair for her daughter-in-law. “She is not a burden to be rid of but a future to hold on to…”

With that information, Lee Young-Oh returns to the hospital to examine Gye-Sook once more. If grandma didn’t push her into the water, then that means Gye-Sook jumped into it. He tells the attending physician that instead of surgery, she needs immunosuppressant. That gets him into argument as the doctor insists that Gye-Sook has got stroke and may have developed brain haemorrhage.

For the first time, Lee Young-Oh reads the patient as human being, with a mind and motive, not just a set of symptoms and body signals. Lee Young-Oh explains that Gye-Sook pushed herself into the water because she had been hallucinating. She felt hot so she got into the water to cool herself. Along with Hashimoto’s disease, Gye-Sook has developed autoimmune encephalitis.

His diagnosis means the doctor has misdiagnosed. The doctor takes offence and shouts at the younger doctor to proceed with the transfer to bigger hospital for surgery. Lee Young-Oh asks the younger doctor for immunosuppressant. Gye Jin-Seong helps by showing her badge and declaring an emergency situation. The law states that in emergency situation, no one shall obstruct emergency measures taken to preserve a person’s life.

Lee Young-Oh manages to administer immunosuppressant to Gye-Sook. Minutes later, her convulsion stops and she calms down. She manages to speak and asks for her mother-in-law.

* * *

Mom tends to Grandma at the police precinct. She has been let go. Mom scolds her gently that she causes trouble by turning herself in when she didn’t do anything. Grandma remarks that then her daughter-in-law would be taken care of by the government and have better life.

Grandma finally meets Gye-Sook. They hold hands and console each other without words.

* * *

a lighthouse...

a lighthouse…

“See. I won,” Gye Jin-Seong reminds him of their bet. “You too believed Grandma’s sincerity. That’s why you accurately diagnosed her.” But Lee Young-Oh rejects her conclusion. In the logical field of medicine, human body never lies, tainted by neither emotion nor sincerity. “That’s why I love medicine.” It’s just that he understands the desperation for someone even though the person may not be of help. He’s been there before.

The young doctor comes and asks for him. Clearly admiring him, the doctor asks if Lee Young-Oh is a doctor and, if so, in which hospital he works. This time, Lee Young-Oh answers with confidence, “I am Lee Young-Oh. I am a doctor.”

… and not so happy family but a family nonetheless

A not so distant past highlighting Hyeon’s personal battle. Coming from a privilege background and trying to break away from his father’s influence and view of the big bad cruel world.

Seok-Joo and a Cha-Soo hyung was playing basketball. The hyung was going to be a father. But suddenly hyung fell unconscious.

Seok-Joo barged into his family dinner in anger. Due to exposure to methanol, Cha-Soo hyung was losing his sight. To save money, Hyeon’s family’s factory used methanol instead of ethanol. This was an industrial negliegence. He demanded father to cover the medication expenses and give hyung compensation for damages. “You said, he is family!”

But father would not do that and instead threaten to sue Chang-Soo hyung for the loss inflicted by his injury if he told the world. Mother, whose concerned was harmony on dinner table, asked Seok-Joo to change their conversation topic and had dinner with them.

Hyeon Seok-Joo rejected and swore that he would never sit at the family’s dinner table again. “I’m afraid I will go blind if I stay here.” He turned to leave.

a family dinner conversation

a family dinner conversation

His father stopped him. The world is a battlefield, and those with warm hearts die first. Hyeon Seok-Joo had always got what he wanted and been used to winning. Once he took up the gun and went to battlefield, He would want to fire that gun, just like his father.

To his father, Hyeon Seok-Jo promised, “I’ll do everything I can to be different than you.”

New day at the A&E sees the Chairman of Hyeon Seong Group, Kang Sr., brought in unconsciously. Chairman Kang gets panic and demands answers.

* * *

A woman, who’s been next to Lee Young-Oh and eyeing at him during his workout session at the gym, drops a towel on his treadmill. She tries to strike up a conversation. Lee Young-Oh brushes off the flirting attempt. “I’m not interested enough in you to burn more calories.”

Gye Jin-Seong is back on traffic duty, telling off a repeat offender that he might get his licence revoked if he continued getting ticketed. Then a car passes by, breaking the rule by going the opposite direction on a one way lane, and then stops as she gives chase. She knocks on the window and is surprised that it’s the Dr Lee Young-Oh, at this time of day, at this part of the world. “Why are you here?” Besides, it is not like him to get caught easily.

'funny seeing you here, doc!'

‘funny seeing you here, doc!’

He goes on a monologue, while circling her, that she cannot be seriously thinking that he (1) deliberately comes to her assigned zone (2) during lunch time, of all times, (3) and intentionally gets caught by her.

“No,” she says, “I just thought you would work your way back into Hyeon Seong Medical Centre.”

He asks why he’d do such things like working his way back to Hyeon Seong. He chastises her ways of thinking and haphazardly jumping to conclusions. “If you want to know what I am thinking, call and ask me directly,” he orders. He gets into his car, leaving Gye Jin-Seong smiling at his antics.

She takes out her phone and call him right there and then. “You did say to call and ask, didn’t you? I am curious so I’m calling now…”

He asks her whether she’s had lunch.

* * *

Dr Chae pushes a group of doctos to figure out what is wrong with Kang Sr. The Tumour Centre found nothing suspicious, so did the Neurology/Neurosurgery department. When Dr Kim Min-Jae tries to speak up, she is cut short by Dr Yoo Jang-Bae. He suggests it has been a temporary paralysis due to high blood pressure and diabetes. He ensures that Kang Sr will be fine with proper medication.

Chairman Kang seeks reassurance that his father will wake up — and will scream at him like Kang Sr’s usual self — just by giving medication. Dr Chae assures him and jokes that even though medication can treat Kang Sr, it cannot control how Kang Sr will treat this particular son.

Chairman Kang dismisses Dr Chae’s attempt on humour, saying that he is about to go crazy worrying about his father. He worries that his father will not wake up and thus deny him the post of Hyeon Seong’s chairmanship. He claims that he also worries that Dr Chae will be exposed as a murderer and end up in prison and thus never get Hyeon Seong Medical Centre’s directorship.

Dr Chae confidently tells him that none of his worries will come true. Chairman Kang’s father will wake up and the regenerative medicine research will be approved by the authority.

* * *

At lunch, Gye Jin-Seong inquires about the investigation into the Hyeon Seong murders, whether Kang Cheol-Min’s doctor, Dr Chae, is indeed a murderer or the one calling the shots. Lee Young-Oh questions her persistence on pursuing the case. He tells her that the case been closed since everyone wants to bury it. She, a nobody traffic cop, will not win going against the great Hyeon Seong. Anyone sane will not even try.

Gye Jin-Seong brings a bottle of soju and says that she just wants to have a drink. It’s a promise made by Director Shin that they would have a drink together once they uncovered the truth. She is determined to tell the world the truth so she can enjoy drinking again. She will start again from scratch to build the case. Lee Young-Oh warns her that the world doesn’t care about the truth. To that Gye Jin-Seong challenges that she will give the world the chance (to care about the truth).

She opens the soju bottle and places the cap on the table. The sight of the bottle cap reminds Lee Young-Oh of her asking for similar cap that was left on his car. He had denied ever seeing such item when in fact he had kept the ring in his office’s table drawer.

  • Let's make a bet!

    Let’s make a bet!

  • ... I'll give the world another chance.

    … I’ll give the world another chance.

“Shall we make a bet then?” Lee Young-Oh suggests. He takes a USB flash drive from his bag. “It contains all clues you need,” he tells her. It holds Hyeon Seong’s secret that Director Shin had wanted to know. It’s the result of Dr Shim Eun-Ha’s study on the rare lesion that he had wanted to bring forth at the mortality conference. Whether the world does care about the truth, “will you win, or I will?” He puts the USB flash drive on the table.

Gye Jin-Seong is about to take the USB when he snatches it. He advises her to get someone with vast and extensive medical knowledge since she will not be able to read it on her own. She will need to call or meet that someone every day. “Do you understand?” After a roundabout way, he gives Gye Jin-Seong the flash drive.

“I am surprised though that you won’t return to Hyeon Seong,” Gye Jin-Seong remarks. Lee Young-Oh corrects her. He just said he didn’t need to work at going back to Hyeon Seong. Hyeon Seong will call him back. They need him.

* * *

The treatment on Kang Il-Do doesn’t work as expected. Dr Kim Min-Jae suggests rerunning tests but Dr Yoon looks down on her and her ideas. They have run every conceivable tests Hyeon Seong can afford but found nothing wrong. A “paper-writing lab rat” without experience like Dr Kim knows nothing of real world. From high level of ACTH, she suspects there may be tumour. She will tell the higher ups herself if Dr Yoon won’t try to confirm it.

Dr Yoon takes it personal and asks if now she wants to step on him by ignoring procedures to become Kang Sr’s attending physician. He ignores the nurses’ warning that Kang Sr’s vital signs spike and continues ranting. The nurses call the others. Kang Sr gets insulin shock, which means Dr Yoo has misdiagnosed.

Hyeon Seong's Boy Band's QotD: 'What will happen to misdiagnosing doctors?'

Hyeon Seong’s Boy Band’s QotD: ‘What will happen to misdiagnosing doctors?’

* * *

Chairman Kang deals with his brother’s calls, reassuring him that Hyeon Seong Hospital is the top in the country and has the best doctors attending to their father. Soon their talk descends to arguments. Chairman Kang accuses his brother for wishing for their father’s death so his brother can take over Hyeon Seong Group and no longer sucks up to their father. Kang states that he wants to save their father so Hyeon Seong can be his. “So stop pretending to be worried!”

Chairman Kang orders his secretary to pray so that thunderstorm would delay his brother’s flight. On second thought he revises his order so that his brother’s plane explodes in the Pacific ocean.

* * *

Dr Kim Min-Jae asks Dr Hyeon to support her diagnosis. She takes his hesitation as a jab at her supposed image of a doctor who would do anything, by using others, to go ahead of other doctors. Dr Hyeon tries to deflect her comments. Even though he always seems nice to eveyone, she thinks he is always fighting, like her. Before she goes analysing him further, Dr Hyeon brings the topic back to Kang Sr’s health problems. Once again, she asks him to help her treat Kang Il-Do, giving him scan results and her assessment.

* * *

At the conference room, Dr Yoon gets reprimanded in front of everyone by Dr Chae. He also extends his scolding to everyone present. He demands anyone to come up with a treatment solution. His temper raises even higher when Dr Hwang brings up the high risk of diagnosis and prescription based on Kang Sr’s test results. Dr Chae accuses him of dodging responsibility in such statements. He kicks Dr Hwang on the shin.

Dr Kim Min-Jae speaks up and throws the possibility of a lung cancer, based on her findings. She argues that the tumour doesn’t show up on scan results but other indicators arise during Kang Il-Do’s treatment. Dr Chae asks the success probability of opening up a chest of an octogenarian. Dr Hyeon shows up and backs her diagnosis. He proposes other procedure, thoracoscopic surgery, to remove the tumor without opening the chest.

Almost everyone gets to watch the procedure.

“I’ve always been consistent. It’s the patient’s life.”

Dr Kim Min-Jae’s diagnosis proves to be right. However, Dr Hyeon doesn’t think that Kang Sr’s treatment is working even though they’ve managed to remove a tumor from Kang Il-Do’s lung.

* * *

a genuinely concerned son...

a genuinely concerned son…

Kang Il-Do wakes up and throws tantrum and insults at Chairman Kang, demanding that he is to be discharged. Chairman Kang asks his father to tell him if anything has been uncomfortable and he’ll see to it immediately. His father tells him that he is the one who makes father uncomfortable by saving his life.

“Don’t tell me that you used this as opportunity to be my successor!” Kang Il-Do tells his opinion on why Chairman Kang is not cut out for the job. He has been playing all his life. He doesn’t want to have children because he doesn’t want to be bothered. “You are useless!”

Father Kang gets up from the bed to leave but he falls as he loses consciousness. Everyone is in panic.

* * *

Once more, no one knows why Kang Il-Do loses consciousness. The surgery has been a success and there is no side effect from his current medication. Dr Hyeon brings up their last option: bring in Dr Lee Young-Oh.

Dr Lee Geon-Myeong and Dr Chae immediately voices their disapproval. Dr Chae questions about what Lee Young-Oh can do that Hyeon Seong’s doctors cannot do — they have the best doctors and state-of-the-art technology in the country. Dr Lee reminds everyone that Lee Young-Oh has dismissed by the ethics committee. Chairman Kang also mentions his antisocial disorder. “A psychopath treating Hyeon Seong Group Chairman Kang Il-Do?”

Then Kang Il-Do’s monitor beeps to indicate rising blood sugar to a dangerous level. They don’t have much time. Dr Hyeon gives his reason for bringing in Lee Young-Oh. Dr Lee Young-Oh can give different point of view and approach to the problem.

“Dr Lee Young-Oh is too dangerous,” Dr Lee Geon-Myeong says. Dr Hyeon agrees, “but he’ll do everything to save the patient, to keep him alive.”

Moments later, Chairman Kang’s secretary informs them that his brother has arrived at the airport and is coming straight to the hospital. Pushed to a corner, Chairman Kang decides to call in Lee Young-Oh. “Right now! Bring him to me, right now!”

Next thing we see is the mighty Lee Young-Oh walking down one of the corridors of Hyeon Seong Hospital while Dr Lee Geon-Myeng is quietly recalling his latest encounter with his son. Lee Young-Oh has informed him that he planned to return to Hyeon Seong even though father disapproves. This time, his father wouldn’t be able to stop him since Hyeon Seong needs him.

* * *

Lee Young-Oh arranges to see Chairman Kang and his brother. He informs them that Kang Il-Do suffers from a hereditary disease that the two Kangs may also have. He gives them chance to tell him about any physical changes they may have experienced. Since they had hidden that fact, the doctors at Hyeon Seong hadn’t been able to correctly diagnosis.

The Kang brothers digest the information and ask each other whether that is true. Chairman Kang vouches for himself that he’s never been better and has always been into sport and healthy lifestyle. The older Kang stays silent. Lee Young-Oh keeps on the pressure by chastising them that they’re wasting precious time. “Imagine! The powerful head of Hyeon Seong Group is dying in his own hospital because his two sons are too proud to tell the truth about their disease.”

The older Kang gets up and tells Lee Young-Oh to just give up rather than play them up if he couldn’t treat their father. He warns them that any rumour regarding hereditary diseases will affect Hyeon Seong’s stock value. He will get father to US where better doctors await. The older Kang leaves.

Using the siblings rivalry, Lee Young-Oh presses Chairman Kang to tell him. His brother has just made the choice to let the father die. “He’s content with his share of inheritance. But you are not. You desperately want to save your father because your inheritance depends on it.”

Lee Young-Oh tells Chairman Kang his diagnosis. “You are turning into a woman.” Chairman Kang denies that statement, “turning into a woman? Is that making any sense?”

Lee Young-Oh pushes further. “If it’s your choice, then I should respect it.” The monitor beeps and Chairman Kang relents, “please save him. I’ll give you whatever you want. Just save him.”

Lee Young-Oh wants to be reinstated to his original post in Hyeon Seong. Chairman Kang stalls that they shall have such talks after his father is saved. Lee Young-Oh reminds him that to have him attending to his father means his father will live.

Thus returns the mighty Lee Young-Oh to Hyeon Seong.

* * *

Showing the result of Chairman Kang’s tests, Lee Young-Oh explains that he and his father have developed Heterogenous FIPA (Familial isolated pituitary adenoma). Lee Young-Oh comes to that conclusion after investigating Chairman Kang’s private life. For someone who loves working out, Chairman Kang no longer took shower at the gym and then avoided going to gym. From the tailor who makes Chairman Kang’s suits, Lee Young-Oh learns that his chest measurement has increased — confirmed by an increase level of prolactin. A trick he had pulled previously confirms that Chairman Kang has lost peripheral vision. The changes into womanly figures have made Kang anxious that he has started to question his identity as is told by his choice of recent reading materials. Lee Young-Oh will arrange surgery to remove the pituitary adenoma from Chairman Kang and his father.

“What about my brother?” Chairman Kang asks. Lee Young-Oh mentions that fortunately his brother doesn’t develop the disease. Then what the scenes including his brother was about! Kang is suspicious. “So it’s easier for you to confide in me, of course!” Lee Young-Oh non-chalantly answers, which incites Kang’s anger. “How dare you!”

Lee Young-Oh simply reminds him that he is a psychopath who gets what he wants by any means necessary. He cares not about others’ feeling since he lacks empathy. He takes out his phone and sets the camera. “Aren’t we similar? Like brothers? Let’s take a picture then! Smile!”

* * *

Lee Young-Oh asks his father to operate on Kang Il-Do while he operates on Chairman Kang. His father cites his dismissal by the ethics committee so he will not allow Lee Young-Oh to do any surgery. “That’s why I propose that you do it.” Young-Oh also gives him a reason: his father will approve his reinstatement not because of the order of Chairman Kang but for the patient who needs surgery that relies on his skill and expertise.

So the father and son pair perform surgery on another father and son, Kang Il-Do and Kang Hyeon-Joon. Both surgeries are successful.

“You were right,” Dr Lee says after the surgery. He approved the surgeries for reasons Lee Young-Oh had brought up. “Never again use a patient to get what you want. I won’t allow it next time.” Lee Young-Oh takes his words with a resigned look.

* * *

Chairman Kang wakes up after surgery and finds his father looking at him from the next bed. “I’ve heard that you’ve developed the disease that I’ve got,” father Kang says. “Thanks to you, it’s properly diagnosed and dealt with.” Father Kang waves his hand to call Chairman Kang. Chairman Kang gets up and goes to his father. He takes his father’s hand and pulls his father’s blanket.

a careless whisper...

a careless whisper…

His father waves his hand again to get him closer. Chairman Kang lowers his head. His father then speaks, “this is why I never approved of you. If it had been me, I would’ve realised sooner that this disease would bring in money.” His father tells him to tell brother to start a bioinformatics division. Chairman Kang is stunned by his words.

Some hospital staffs come and take father Kang away. Dr Chae tells Chairman Kang not to worry about his father since the surgery went well. Chairman Kang inquires about the approval of their regenerative medicine. He orders to announce its commercialization, as soon as it’s approved by the authority. “Before that old man dies, I will prove myself to him.”

* * *

Gye Jin-Seong brings the content of the USB flash drive to Dr Hyeon Seok-Joo and asks for his opinion. She tells him that she wants to reopen Hyeon Seong murder cases. “Can this be the lead?”

“This only proves that they were victims of clinical trials in research conducted at Hyeon Seong.” But he advises to tell the world know so that Hyeon Seong would have to answer to the public pressure. Then they will know what had happened and the police will be able to reopen the case. Gye Jin-Seong hands him the flash drive.

Dr Hyeon goes to the research installation. He is greeted enthusiastically by his colleague Dr Song Ki-Ho who informs him of a progress. It may not yet replace organ transplant but it definitely shows evidence of cell regeneration. “So stop worrying,” his colleague says. Once, they’ve got approval, the medicine can be used in treatments. “Our dream will finally come true!”

While mulling about the flash drive, a call from Dr Lee Shi Hyeon informs Dr Hyeon of an emergency. He immediately runs for Ji-An. In her room, the doctors have been applying emergency measures. Suddenly Ji-An’s heart monitor turns to flatline.

Dr Hyeon pumps Ji-An’s chest, trying to get her heart to beat again.

* * *

Lee Young-Oh crosses Dr Kim Min-Jae’s path. She tells him that she thought he would not be able to treat patient again, yet he has proved her wrong. “Did something happen?” He keeps his silence and simply offers Kim Min-Jae a handshake.

Then comes Gye Jin-Seong’s call. Lee Young-Oh walks away. “It took you so long to call, Officer Gye!” Lee Young-Oh scolds her. Gye Jin-Seong thanks him for the clue he has provided. It will enable the police to reopen Hyeon Seong cases. She also tells him that she wants to show him of a world that still cares about the truth.

While listening to Gye Jin-Seong, Lee Young-Oh stops at Ji-An’s room. As he watches Dr Hyeon trying to resuscitate Ji-An, he says, “this time, I really hope you will win our bet.”

Dr Hyeon’s attempt fails. He reaches for a knife to open Ji-An’s chest. The other doctors and nurses try to stop him but he insists. “I’ll give her cardiac massage. It’s not too late yet.”

“It is too late, Doctor. You know that all too well.” Dr Hong tries to talk some sense to him. “She has suffered long enough. Let’s send her to her mother.” He drops the knife. He takes in his surrounding, breaks down, and cries.

Hyeon Seok-Joo returns to his room where a collection of photos of patients fills a wall. He pulls them off one by one. One of them is a photo of Ji-An and Dr Kim, reminding him of Dr Kim wishing him to succeed in his ventures. Another is a picture of Gye Jin-Seong and Director Shin, reminding him of Director Shin’s hope for the regenerative medicine they’ve been working on — “There will come a day that lives can be saved without surgery. ” — and Gye Jin-Seong’s gratitude for him. Her words — that she will always consider him a good person — had put a smile on his face. Now, he is torn and wasted.

* * *

It’s press conference day and Dr Hyeon Seok-Joo stands on the podium to announce the achievement of Hyeon Seong Medical Centre’s regenerative research to a room full of journalists and reporters. They have managed to regenerate myocardial cells for the first in human history. A reporter asks about their clinical trials. Dr Hyeon explains they have passed all stages and met the FDA’s criteria to move forwards without problems.

Gye Jin-Seong, who learns about the press conference while doing traffic duty, races to Hyeon Seong. She finds Dr Hyeon at the conference room that is now empty. She tells him of a man who would help her reinvestigate Hyeon Seong case because she doesn’t want Director Shin died in vain. Dr Hyeon looks up and find Lee Young-Oh watching them from the top floor.

Dr Hyeon tells Gye Jin-Seong that Director Shin’s death was an accident, incited by Dr Kim, a drug addict, and that addiction has been the root cause of those cases. Disappointed and sad, Gye Jin-Seong fights back her tears.

Lee Young-Oh walks down the step, clapping. Gye Jin-Seong puts on a smile. “This is not the result I wanted to show you. You’ve won the bet this time.” She turns away to leave but Lee Young-Oh takes her hand and stops her. “You do know that I’ve got no interest in what you’re thinking or feeling. I lack empathy. So just think that I don’t exist. You can cry as much as you want in front of me.”

Lee Young-Oh and Gye Jin-Seong sit side by side. Then she cries while Lee Young-Oh sits there silently.

...and the world lets you down...

…and the world lets you down…


Is this possible? A surgery is aborted? Due to defect found after extraction?

I like this middling episodes. Among the things I like, I found myself sympathising with Chairman Kang in the episode 8. Just as Lee Young-Oh, he’s seeking his father’s approval. He may not be the nicest person in the room and probably the more corrupt of the bunch — some of the drives and motivations are not altruistic — but he has got genuine concern and affection for his father. Sadly, it makes him be considered the lesser son.

The week’s instalments also give relatively solid context in exploring the paradox of human limitation and unlimited potential. It is nice to see Lee Young-Oh being put down a notch. And it’s satisfying to see him embracing his limitation, learning from it, and moving on.


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