“Doctor Stranger” Episodes 7-8 recap

Player Hoon gets slapped.

DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 7-8 (1/2)

itsjunemarie on Thu, May 29, 2014

It’s a new week and that means new episodes and new recaps from the Doctor Stranger Drama Club. Episodes 7 and 8 definitely amped up the melodrama and conspiracies. This week we discuss the upcoming surgery for the twin babies, the interactions between Soo Hyun and Hoon, and also look more into the mysterious Jae Joon.

Janice: Dear “Doctor Stranger,” I know you’re trying to trick me into believing that Seung Hee isn’t Jae Hee but I’m not falling for it. You almost had me there, in episode 7, with the inconclusive ending to that whole let-me-listen-to-your-heart-’cause-only-soulmates-have-the-same-heartbeat scene, but I know you only did it because we still have more than half the show to go and you can’t give away anything yet. That’s okay, I still love you.

Now that I got that off my chest, let’s talk about how “Doctor Stranger” really ramped up the mystery in this week’s episodes.

Choi Byung Cheol shows up at Park Hoon’s medical office and explains that his father ended up in North Korea because of a malpractice suit that he was lobbying against Myung Woo Hospital. Chairman Oh needed the suit to disappear and Prime Minister Jang needed a cardiologist to operate on Kim Il Sung to diffuse the threat of impending war. Hoon’s father’s appointment to North Korea solved both their problems. Dr. Choi then hands Hoon his father’s possessions.

This entire scene, from beginning to end, was so heart-wrenching because we see Hoon breakdown for the first time ever in his life in South Korea, and we know just how much he’s still tortured by the things he had to do as a doctor in North Korea. We understand that Hoon’s laissez-faire attitude is, perhaps, a coping mechanism for his past deeds and also for the guilt that still weighs heavily on his mind over his father’s death.

Dr. Choi answers Hoon’s question about the family involved in the lawsuit and says the couple died, leaving behind a son who got adopted by an American family. Dr. Choi states his intentions to find the boy and later on, we find out that this boy is, in fact, Han Jae Joon.

Ah, finally! Things are getting interesting. It seems Jae Joon has a little revenge up his sleeve and I’m wondering if this means he and Hoon will team up together, farther down the line, to get what they want. Probably.

This revelation explains why Jae Joon seems to be at odds with himself at times: revenge and love for his enemy’s daughter would produce conflicting emotions. Last week, I wasn’t sure if Jae Joon’s feelings towards Soo Hyun were real, but this week’s episodes have changed my mind. Jae Joon is too jealous of Soo Hyun’s interactions with Hoon, to not be in love with her. And boy, were there swoony moments between Hoon and Soo Hyun!

Who wouldn’t want Hoon backhugging you as he teaches you how to be a magical doctor?

Prime Minister Jang figures prominently in this week’s episodes as he and Hoon finally meet. It’s as satisfying as can be when Hoon punches Jang and warns him that if he is selected to be the surgeon who operates on his heart, he’ll make sure to put a hole in there. But still, we are left wondering what exactly it is that the Prime Minister is up to. It’s obvious that he wants Hoon to be on his surgical team, but why? What does Jang hope to gain with Hoon as his doctor?

However, the twist comes in episode 8, when Prime Minister Jang changes his mind and decides that Han Jae Joon will be good enough to lead his surgery. Jang’s bodyguard relays this information to Seung Hee and Comrade Cha and then pulls a gun on Seung Hee. I guess the North Koreans were only allowed to live if Hoon was the surgeon for Jang. But, again, why? Give us more clues to this conspiracy!

Junggugeo Kaenada: The melodrama and intrigue ramp up in episodes 7 and 8 of “Doctor Stranger”, and the results are downright convoluted and perplexing.

At the center of it all is a schizophrenic Hoon (Lee Jong Suk). One moment, our hero is flirting with the Chairman’s daughter, Soo Hyun (Kang So Ra), and comfortably joking with sidekick, Chang Yi (Yoon Bo Ra). In the next scene, Hoon is screaming and crying about being more of a butcher than a doctor, and becoming hysterical upon discovering that he and his father were sent to North Korea as part of an elaborate lawsuit avoidance scheme. Admittedly, if such a feeble reason sent me to North Korea, I would lose it, too, but the emotional change from scene to scene was jarring.

Soo Hyun is no better than Hoon, slapping him for being overly familiar then regarding him with undisguised admiration in front of her fiancé, Jae Joon (Park Hae Jin). I suppose Hoon is partially to blame for Soo Hyun’s rollercoaster of emotions after he practically back hugs her while her fiancé and his suspected lover, Seung Hee aka Jae Hee (Jin Se Yeon) watch on in dismay.

Meanwhile, there is the bewildering bid by Hoon’s boss, Hyung Wook (Choi Jung Woo) for Jae Hee to join his team. If you wish to recruit an amazing anesthesiologist, the last thing you should do is run roughshod over medical ethics by stealing her medical file then freely admitting to it. Not surprisingly, Jae Hee will have nothing to do with Hyung Wook.

The latest patients to be sucked into the political vortex at Myungwoo Hospital are an impoverished mother and her conveniently weak-hearted twins. The newborns are fodder for a competition between Jae Joon and Hoon, which becomes more of an elaborate game of teammate swapping than cardiac surgery skills. I won’t even attempt to recap the rapid switching of allegiances, except to highlight Jae Joon practically shoving Soo Hyun into Hoon’s arms then acting outraged at the opposing team he helped build.

Hoon initially forfeits the competition, but returns supposedly for the benefit of the infant twins, though his attention appears to be fixed on the Prime Minister and Jae Hee. Just as Hoon realizes that he could exact revenge on the Prime Minister during his heart surgery, the possibility of being reunited with Jae Hee is dangled before him. It is hard to know to what degree Hoon believes that the Prime Minister is able to bring Jae Hee back to him.

Finally, the most obvious question is why would the Prime Minister would want Hoon to be his heart surgeon, knowing the grudge that Hoon holds against him. Even the Chairman is mortified to discover Hoon’s identity, yet the Prime Minister appears comfortable with the scenario. I suppose the Prime Minister’s plans will be revealed in the coming weeks.

So many questions, so few answers, and not much of the Hoon charm offensive I was looking forward to. And, no, I did not find Hoon’s ludicrous mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of a baby at all appealing.

June: The conspiracies just keep coming and coming. There is so much shadiness going on with so many different characters, it’s kind of difficult to just keep up. Once again we have ourselves questioning, ” Is she really Jae Hee or is she not?” but I think as the episodes go on, it really is going to be her. I just think the writers just want to make us think that it’s not her. It’s pretty obvious with some of her actions that she is obviously Jae Hee, which only brings me to ask what is her exact motive and why would she agree to do a mission like this? I guess only time will tell.

One thing I simply cannot understand is why the Prime Minister wanted Hoon to do the surgery, given the things he’s done to Hoon and his father. I mean, he really shouldn’t have been surprised at the actions Hoon did when they met in the bathroom. Heck, I think I would have done the same thing. The Prime Minister is basically the whole reason Hoon and his father were left in North Korea in the first place. Which brings me to the scene where Hoon receives his father’s things. I swear every time they mention his father, I can help but try not to cry. I feel like it’s a constant reminder that his father died so that he could escape. But I do admire the fact that Hoon took the words his father said to his about being a doctor to heart. It really shows that whenever he is helping patients at the hospital.

Hoon’s determination to help save the babies was so admirable. You can tell he really just wants to help his patients and I guess that this competition just adds to it. Granted I hope both teams know that this should be more than just a competition, they have two babies’ lives at stake and only have one chance to do it. Which brings me to Jae Joon. We finally get to see more into his character and see he has some revenge on his mind. I really wonder how things between him and Soo Hyun will be in the future. I can’t wait to see her reaction when she really finds out what Jae Joon has in mind.

It seems like next week will continue to bring the conspiracies and dramatics just by the ending of episode 8. Hopefully we’ll get to see more of what the Prime Minister is planning and also what the North Korean spies plan to do now that plans have been changed. Well until next week!

What did you all think of this week’s episodes? Were you surprised about Jae Joon’s identity? Also, what do you guys think of Soo Hyun and Hoon? Comment below and tell us your opinions!

DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 7-8 (2/2)

itsjunemarie on Fri, May 30, 2014

June: So what did you all think of this week’s episodes?

Junggugeo Kaenada: I was never bored, but I was frequently confused. I also shouted at the screen a lot when things just became too ludicrous.

Janice: I wasn’t as on the edge of my seat with these two episodes. The plots were a little bogged down for me. I was frustrated at the beginning of episode 7 when we had to go through the whole is-she-or-isn’t-she-Jae-Hee thing with the kidneys. But, I also recognize that we had to go through that and the heartbeat scene in order for Hoon to discover that Seung Hee really is Jae Hee and he’s keeping quiet for now to see why Seung Hee/Jae Hee is insisting that she’s not Jae Hee.

June: Yeah, I know we are only about little less than half way through the drama but I feel like it’s getting a little dragged out with the whole Jae Hee identity situation. But overall, I did enjoy watching these episodes. I swear this whole drama is one big conspiracy.

Junggugeo Kaenada: I completely agree about the Jae Hee storyline becoming a bit of a pain, so I just ignored that part of the show. Instead, I was horrified by Hoon’s mood swings from playful and charming, to screaming and crying. I understand that Hoon has been through a lot while working as a doctor in North Korea, but the writers just haven’t created a consistency in Hoon’s character to make these two extremes understandable.

Janice: I feel the same way. I appreciated the scene between Hoon and Dr. Choi for what it revealed to us about Hoon’s emotional life, but Hoon’s outburst rang a little false to me–I just attributed it to bad acting (Sorry, Lee Jong Suk! You’re still blowing me away in this series with all your other scenes!). I am glad to see that Hoon is breaking out of his laid-back shell though, just so that his character can build towards being more dangerous later on when events ramp up. I think it’d be harder to believe that Hoon can take revenge if he remains too cheery.

June: I agree as well. One second he was happy go lucky and then screaming and what not. I wish they would give a more clear bridge between the two.

Junggugeo Kaenada: The only scene that beat Hoon’s hysterics with Dr. Choi was the baby resuscitation scene. I could not believe what I was watching! I guess the intention was to show that Hoon can be gentle and amazing with babies, but it just looked crazy.

June: I do admire his determination to save the baby but I agree. I couldn’t help think that I don’t think this would have worked in real life at all.

Janice: I think the writers wanted to show us Hoon’s human side, that Hoon cares more about being a doctor – what it truly means to be a doctor, despite the fact that Hoon claims to be a “mad dog,” – than money or title or prestige. I think the writers are trying to contrast Hoon with Chairman Oh and Jae Joon. But, I was pretty disappointed at the contrived circumstance in which the two teams now have to compete to be Prime Minister Jang’s surgeon.

Junggugeo Kaenada: The teammate swapping became laughable. Are these people actually professionals?

June: Seriously! I couldn’t believe it at all. I just keep thinking how can they even be acting this way when they have babies they have to save.

Janice: Yeah, I didn’t believe this scenario at all. This would never happen in a real hospital so I just suspended my disbelief for the sake of the story.

Junggugeo Kaenada: Could you suspend your disbelief at how the Chairman’s daughter has devolved into a teenager with a crush? The way Soo Hyun gets so flustered around Hoon, and then shows clear signs of infatuation in front of her fiancé are disappointing.

Janice: EXACTLY what I was thinking, JK! I was sad to see Soo Hyun’s badass character go downhill. Also, the way the other doctors were claiming that she isn’t even that good of a doctor, that she’s just riding on the coattails of her father, was unbelievable to me, it doesn’t jive with my initial impression of her character at all.

June: This is exactly what I was fearing and I seriously wanted them to just be friends. I really do like her character but I feel like this is basically what her character will be all about from here on out.

Junggugeo Kaenada: Do we even know who Hoon loves anymore? It seems that he pines for a memory more than any real person. I do not sense any depth to his flirtations with Soo Hyun, and he does not have the same connection with Seung Hee as he did with Jae Hee, in spite of the fact that they are the same person.

Janice: I think Hoon is still as single-mindedly focused on Seung Hee/Jae Hee but is respecting her wish to stay concealed. In that scene in the café, with Soo Hyun, Chang Yi, and Seung Hee, it’s so obvious that Hoon knows Seung Hee is Jae Hee and is purposely goading her by answering Soo Hyun’s questions about Jae Hee, while facing Seung Hee directly. I think he’s changing his tactics, knowing that Jae Hee is choosing this assumed identity for a specific reason and is trying to figure out why. Look at how he had Chang Yi tail Seung Hee.

June: Wouldn’t it be crazy if at the end of this drama he ended up with neither Seung Hee/Jae Hee or Soo Hyun. I highly doubt that outcome though.

Junggugeo Kaenada: How about Hoon ending up with Jae Joon? Because, if Hoon climbs to the top of the hospital hierarchy, Jae Joon will need to cozy up to him to achieve his goal of taking over the hospital.

Janice: HAHAHA. I am all for the bromance. Bring it!

June: OMG! I’m all for that! It would be hilarious to watch considering Jae Joon’s obvious dislike towards Hoon.

Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: June, it’s just the typical hate turns to love storyline.

Janice: What do you guys think about Jae Joon’s back story?

June: I had a feeling there was more to him that we were led to believe. He seems very determined to get his revenge.

Junggugeo Kaenada: I feel that it fails to make Jae Joon a more sympathetic character given that his insidious plan to destroy the hospital involves misleading Soo Hyun about his feelings and intentions. His cold and calculating ways over the previous six episodes are not easily forgotten just because we find out that he was orphaned by the hospital’s negligence.

Janice: I don’t think it makes Jae Joon a more sympathetic character, either, but I think it does serve to make his motivations stronger, that he’s more than just someone who’s out to be the next chairman of the hospital. I knew that lawsuit was going to come back into the story somehow, and as soon as Dr. Choi mentioned an orphan, I was like: Ah, that is where they are taking Jae Joon’s character. But at the same time, this is a very common trope in dramaland and I hope the show takes on a more creative arc with Jae Joon and that it’ll add to the storyline instead of bogging it down.

Junggugeo Kaenada: It will be hard to predict given the plot twists that have happened thus far, but what are your hopes and predictions for next week’s episodes?

Janice: The parts that I really enjoyed this week were the scenes having to do with the North Korean-Prime Minister Jang conspiracy. I’m just dying to find out what it is that the prime minister has planned. I can’t wrap my head around a reason that the North Koreans would work with a South Korean official unless it is to destabilize the South Korean government. But, how does Hoon fit into that? I had said before that Prime Minister Jang must be working on a scheme to be the next president but I am not sure how wanting Hoon to be his cardiac surgeon makes that possible.

June: I hope for next week they flush out more about this Seung Hee/Jae Hee situtation. As I said before, it’s starting to drag out a bit and I think it’s time to explain more about her. I’m also interested to see what the Prime Minister has planned and how Hoon and the North Koreans are involved.

Junggugeo Kaenada: You two both have the right idea, so how about I hope for something so wrong that it might be right: Hoon and Jae Joon shipping. If Hoon fails to have any heat with either of the two female leads, we can at least count on the laser hot stares between him and Jae Joon.

Janice: Let’s see some backhugging between Hoon and Jae Joon!

June: Haha! The writers need to do pick up on this love line!

What do you all think will happen in next week’s episodes? Do you all also feel like the Seung Hee/Jae Hee situation is being dragged out?

Like reading our thoughts? Check out our individual blogs and Twitter!

Junggugeo Kaenada: Noonas Over Forks | @NoonasOverForks

June: Fun. Futuristic. Fashionista. | @itsjunemarie

Janice: YangJanice.com | @yangjanice

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