DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger Episodes 3-4 (1/2)
Though memories of North Korea continue to haunt our hero, Episodes 3 and 4 are firmly set in South Korea. Serendipity brings Park Hoon to Myungwoo University Hospital in search of quick money to rescue his love, Jae Hee, and to find a doctor who bears a striking resemblance to her.
Janice: “Doctor Stranger” sure didn’t disappoint with this week’s two new episodes. Nor did it shy away from showing us gory medical scenes, I’ve got to say, “Doctor Stranger” isn’t for the squeamish!
We finally meet our second leads, and boy, was it an introduction.
One half of this kissy couple is Dr. Han Jae Joon, a seemingly cold and calculating character who isn’t above bribery to get what he wants, namely Chief of the Cardiology department. Dr. Oh Soo Hyun, the second female lead, is the illegitimate daughter of Chairman Oh and grossly mistreated by her stepmother and half-brother. However, she knows how to hold her own. Cue: Badassery.
In episode 4, we warm up to Dr. Oh as we learn about her past through flashbacks and as she navigates the situation of her mother’s terminal illness. This sets us up for a potential love triangle, or square, rather, between her, Park Hoon, Jae Hee, and Jae Joon, though if this happens, I will bang my head against the wall. Love triangles are the easiest way to create angst in dramas and I hope the writers come up with something more creative than that. I have faith though, as it doesn’t seem likely that Hoon will be swayed from his love for Jae Hee, whose doppelganger has suddenly appeared as a doctor in another hospital. The mystery is: how did she get to South Korea and why is she talking to Comrade Cha Jin Su from North Korea? And, is she really Jae Hee?
One character who I want to know more about is Chang Yi. How did she and Hoon become friends, presumably in North Korea, and why does she call him ‘hyung’? Please tell us more, “Doctor Stranger”! Chang Yi’s mother may play a role in unraveling a mystery; she comments that Park Hoon’s name sounds familiar, but Chang Yi brushes it off. We shall see what future episodes bring us!
June: “Doctor Stranger” just keeps getting better as the episodes go by. Episode 3 and 4 were definitely up to par with the first two episodes.
Park Hoon is an amazing character and very charming. With these episodes, we were able to see Hoon actually interact with the second leads, and see him do his thing at the hospital.
My favorite part of these past two episodes would have to be Hoon helping out the 500 Won little girl. It broke my heart seeing how no one would really listen to the little girl when she was trying to get help for her dad. It did show how the hospital is in need of more doctors.
Aside from that, we finally get to see this Song Jae Hee doppelganger! I wonder how this will play out in the drama because last time we saw Jae Hee was in a video, and she was in a camp in North Korea. That old man who is helping people find their family members in the North definitely knows something, and I can’t wait to find out what it is. Same with the prime minister, I wonder if he did something with Jae Hee. I certainly can’t wait to see what happens next week! Hopefully we actually get to see more of this Song Jae Hee doppelgänger.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I approached “Doctor Stranger” with trepidation, because I feared that it would be the grim tale of a North Korean doctor selling his soul in South Korea in order to reunite with the woman left behind. Instead, we get Lee Jong Suk winking like a fiend while clicking his teeth. His North Korean doctor, Park Hoon is hilariously obnoxious, but still on the charm offensive, breaking rules to help out damsels in distress while claiming to do it for the money – all ₩500 worth (that’s 50 cents).
I am also loving Oh Soo Hyun (Kang So Ra), the doctor daughter of the Hospital chairman. She does not play the victim, choosing to destroy the windshield of her car rather than let her vile half-brother enjoy it after seizing it from her. Oh Soo Hyun then takes her half-brother’s place at the family discussion in spite of being the reviled daughter of her father’s mistress, because of her competence. Her conflicted relationship with the mother who gave her up was surprisingly unsentimental.
In comparison, Oh Soo Hyun’s fiancé, Han Jae Joon (Park Hae Jin) and Park Hoon’s lost love, Song Jae Hee (Jin Se Yeon) have been at a disadvantage. In the case of Song Jae Hee, she has either been confined to a monitor or a fleeting mystery, unreachable by Park Hoon, and hard for the viewer to identify with.
Han Jae Joon has also been losing in spite of winning professionally as the Hospital’s new head of cardiology. His cold demeanor, and ruthless use of a member of the competing medical team to sabotage his rival, have made him an unappealing character. And, his relationship with Oh Soo Hyun already appears to be on the fritz; she hesitates to identify her biological mother, and he fails to answer her call when she needs him most. In the face of the straight talking Park Hoon, wielding medical skills like a clairvoyant at bargain prices, poor Han Jae Joon doesn’t stand a chance.
DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger Episodes 3-4 (2/2)
The Doctor Stranger Drama Club is loving cheeky North Korean surgeon, Hoon! The appearance of Jae Hee’s doppleganger is a bit perplexing, but Park Hoon has more than enough to contend with in the conflicted Chairman’s daughter, Soo Hyun, and cold and calculating rival, Jae Joon.
Junggugeo Kaenada: How did everyone enjoy episodes 3 and 4?
June: They were great! I literally want to cry in every episode! lol
Janice: There’s so much going on all the time with the different back stories and connecting plot lines that I SHOULD feel overwhelmed, but somehow I’m not. I just keep sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting to see what else “Doctor Stranger” is going to throw at me. I love it!
Junggugeo Kaenada: I am very relieved that “Doctor Stranger” is not the grim drama that I feared it would be. It alternated between action, drama and comedy in the first two episodes, but I think it has more firmly entrenched the comedy aspect in episodes 3 and 4.
Janice: Yes! And a lot of the comedy is centered around Hoon’s character.
June: I absolutely love Hoon’s character. I just hope they don’t ruin his character later on in the drama. It seems in every drama I’ve watched so far, they manage to screw up one of my favorite characters. lol But, I have faith in this drama that they won’t!
Janice: I know exactly what you mean. I am thinking of the scene in episode 4 where Dr. Moon throws the money at Hoon. Hoon picks it up and says “Yes, I’m willing to sell my soul for money. I need it. I can give my entire body and soul for this. Why? No? What’s wrong with that?” I loved that Hoon stayed true to who he is and what he wants, even though it may seem undesirable to outsiders, and I thought, “I hope the writers keep Hoon this strong of a character, and continue surprising us with his actions and morals.”
Junggugeo Kaenada: Yes, I was impressed that Hoon picked up the money and took the insults from Dr. Moon. There was no tension nor visible swallowing of pride. I like this breezy aspect of the character, and I did not expect it given how intense they made Park Hoon look in the trailers.
Janice: Exactly, I think that’s why Hoon is such a lovable character. We don’t get fed up with a heavy one-note character; Park Hoon is complicated and intricately woven.
June: I totally agree! I think my favorite part from episodes 3 and 4 has to be when he helped out that ₩500 little girl. That poor little girl!
Junggugeo Kaenada: He also charged ₩500 to Oh Soo Hyun, the Chairman’s daughter. For a guy in desperate need of money, he gives his services cheap given the right situation. This is unfortunate for the second male lead, Han Jae Joon, who just comes across as a cold and calculating robot.
Janice: Haha. Speaking of Han Jae Joon, what do you guys think of the second leads so far?
Junggugeo Kaenada: I hope they make the second male lead more attractive. It’s not much of a love triangle if one point is obviously at such a disadvantage.
June: It’s very different seeing Park Hae Jin in this kind of role. I first saw him in “My Love From Another Star” and I fell in love with that character. Now, watching him play Han Jae Joon, it is interesting to see how cold he is. I also agree that I don’t really want to see a love triangle situation. Those story lines get boring fast. lol
Janice: I totally agree with you, I absolutely don’t want to see a triangle going on, though it seems like it might be headed that way. When the second leads were first introduced, they were both so cold. And, I was like, “Wow, Hoon is surrounded by unlikable characters except for Chang Yi.” I was glad to see in episode 4 that Soo Hyun’s story got fleshed out more, and we learn about her family situation and understand why she may be such a cold character.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I thought Soo Hyun was actually made quite admirable. She has been consistently treated with disdain growing up as the product of an extramarital affair, and yet, she seems relatively normal. I approved of her use of a rock to destroy her half-brother’s enjoyment of her car.
June: Her brother seems so insufferable. I would have done the same thing, as well. It seems like he is capable of causing some trouble later on.
Janice: Again, a little humor sprinkled in with the serious! Yup, I can see the foreshadowing with the brother, I just know he’s going to cook something up to hurt Soo Hyun with now that he sees that his plot to hurt her with her mother didn’t work.
Junggugeo Kaenada: The entire storyline with Soo Hyun’s mother was impressive to me: her conflicted relationship did not necessarily inspire sympathy for either Soo Hyun or her mother. And, the fact that the amazing Park Hoon failed to save the mother, and could not give Soo Hyun that final conversation that she initially rejected, then desperately begged Park Hoon for.
June: Maybe it was the naive part of me and granted I’ve seen so many dramas, but I was seriously hoping that he was going to be able to save Soo Hyun’s mother. So when it failed, I was so shocked and sad. I guess I just wanted Soo Hyun to have that last conversation with her mother.
Junggugeo Kaenada: The only plot development that I don’t think worked in these past two episodes was Song Jae Hee’s doppleganger. Or, maybe, it really is her. I don’t see how this story line can go anywhere plausible. She has amnesia? That’s her twin? What is the reasonable explanation?
June: That’s what I was wondering. I am not going to lie; if this turns out to be some amnesia thing, I will be so peeved. Also, this doppelganger was seen meeting that mean guy from the North.
Janice: I had similar thoughts, but after that scene between Jae Hee and the comrade from the North, I think it is Jae Hee, and not a twin nor amnesia. I don’t have any theories to explain Jae Hee’s presence in South Korea, but like you both said, I would be SORELY disappointed with the writers if it was something as trope-like as amnesia.
Junggugeo Kaenada: What do we hope for the future of “Doctor Stranger”?
June: So far, I have really high hopes for “Doctor Stranger”. Each episode I’ve seen, as of yet, has had me entranced and keeps me wanting more. I am interested in how they are going to play out this Song Jae Hee doppelganger storyline. Also, I want to see more of Hoon’s interactions with the second leads.
Janice: What I did miss in these two episodes is Jae Hee. I want to be reminded of why we should be rooting for Hoon and Jae Hee. I hope that impetus doesn’t get lost in the medical setting, especially with this competition that Chairman Oh has set up between Dr. Han’s team and Dr. Moon’s team; I fear “Doctor Stranger” settling into a plain medical drama though I have faith that it won’t. I hope the story lines keep surprising us. Also, give us more backstory for Chang Yi, and why she calls Park Hoon, ‘hyung’!
Junggugeo Kaenada: I just hope that Park Hoon continues to exercise his obnoxious charm. And, more dancing!
June: Yes! We want more dancing!
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