“Emergency Couple” episode 8 recap

A touching moment even with the wad of gum.

Side dish: If the nauseating married interns had served heartier food at their housewarming party, then maybe the festivities would not have ended with people passing out while those left standing bickered. Everyone appeared to be drinking red wine, so maybe some hearty Italian food would have both complemented and absorbed the alcohol. Gio Rana’s Really Really Nice Restaurant is no lie in spite of the large schnoz out front; they produce reliably good food.

Episode Recap

Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) is on a bus with her ER supervisor, Kook Cheon Soo (Lee Pil Mo) sleeping on her shoulder. Meanwhile, her ex-husband and fellow intern, Oh Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) is driving while trying to reach Jin Hee by phone without success. Inevitably, both vehicles pull up at the same red light, and we wait for eyes to meet and sparks to fly.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen. When the bus starts moving, Cheon Soo is jolted awake, and Jin Hee pretends to be asleep to avoid the awkwardness of being caught staring at her boss. Cheon Soo leads Jin Hee off the bus and into a restaurant near the hospital.

After sitting down at a table, Cheon Soo gives Jin Hee a disapproving look and tells her to volunteer her medical services on an island. Jin Hee doesn’t disagree, but she is determined to complete her internship first. Hence, her worry about her immediate future.

The waitress interrupts them with food, and marvels at the fact that Cheon Soo has always smelled like an old bachelor (what does that smell like?) and yet, he is dining with a pretty lady. This awkward moment snowballs when both Jin Hee and Cheon Soo reach for utensils at the same time and touch hands.

Chang Min is back on duty at the hospital doing a fellow intern’s night shift, because of the favour he got for his mom. The nurse that Chang Min is speaking with remembers that Chang Min’s mother was a VIP patient at the hospital, and instantly gets flirty as she realizes that Chang Min must come from a family of means. Chang Min cuts her line of inquiry short to check on the patients. Nonetheless, the nurse is claiming him as her own, and cackles as she skips through the the ER.

Back at the restaurant, Cheon Soo donates his rice to Jin Hee, because she eats like a starving orphan. As she slurps up the rest of her bowl, Cheon Soo gives a cute smile with a twinkle in his eye, which he shuts down just as Jin Hee removes the bowl from her face.

Chang Min tries reaching Jin Hee again during his break, and still finds her phone turned off. He is worrying about Jin Hee binge drinking over the expected dismissal when he spots his ex walking and talking with Cheon Soo. The look of outrage on Chang Min’s face is hilarious, especially when juxtaposed with the animated and friendly conversation between Jin Hee and Cheon Soo. Jin Hee takes off after a pat on the back from Cheon Soo for a job well done. Chang Min runs up to Cheon Soo and casually asks if he just came from somewhere in particular, to which Cheon Soo absentmindedly denies before dismissing Chang Min with “Work hard”.

Undeterred, Chang Min rushes after Cheon Soo, and asks him point blank where he went with Jin Hee earlier, then stubbornly keeps asking questions. Cheon Soo switches from dismissive to hostile then marches away. Chang Min looks like he might finally let things lie, then starts forward again.

Jin Hee comes home to a dark house, and only remembers her sister, Jin Ae’s baby when she accidentally kicks a toy. Her mother is missing, but she finds her sister’s baby daddy and the infant asleep on her bedroom floor. The Baby Daddy awakes and just as when they first met, he is overly familiar and comfortable. Jin Hee forces him out into the living room to talk, but he has no idea where her mother or sister are. Jin Hee is about to have a noisy fit when Baby Daddy shushes her lest she wake his son. And, by the way, he will be living with them indefinitely.

Jin Hee finds her mom sleeping at her spa, because she didn’t trust Jin Ae’s baby daddy. Baby Daddy plans to get a marriage certificate first thing in the morning. This scandalous news prompts Mom to wish she had never given birth to Jin Ae. Jin Hee and Mom screech at each other without any productive result.

It turns out that Baby Daddy and Jin Ae have phone contact, and Baby Daddy reassures her that he and baby are safely ensconced at her family home. Jin Ae has decided to be the breadwinner, and continue touring with her band. To her credit, she doesn’t look thrilled.

Jin Hee comes home to find her mother, Jin Ae’s baby and Baby Daddy occupying all of the bedrooms, leaving Jin Hee with the couch. As she falls asleep, Jin Hee marvels at the new challenges that every day brings her.

Chang Min wakes up in the hospital to the loving attention of the flirty nurse who covers him with a blanket, gives him breakfast and has medical reports ready for him to review. Yet, Chang Min is sleepily oblivious to her favour, and asks if Jin Hee has shown up at the hospital, but she has not. The nurse sulkily asks herself why Chang Min would be looking for someone about to be fired.

Cheon Soo returns to his office to find specialist, and wannabe girlfriend, Shim Ji Hye (Choi Yeo Jin) where he left her. He is worried that her presence might cause a misunderstanding among colleagues. She’s put off that his main concern is not for her discomfort at having slept in his office, and that he might have spent the night with Jin Hee. Cheon Soo defensively informs her that he slept in the staff room, then questions the need for him to explain himself to her. Ji Hye softens her stance after learning who Cheon Soo helped save the night before, then acts like a girlfriend by giving him fresh socks and trying to rebutton his shirt. The moment is too hot for Cheon Soo, who withdraws. Ji Hye complains again about being forgotten then goes back to work.

In the intern office, Han Ah Reum (Clara) finally notices the bouquet of flowers Im Yong Kyu (Yoon Jong Hoon) left on her desk. No one can tell her why it’s on her desk, but she is sniffing them appreciatively when Yong Kyu walks in. Yong Kyu is under the delusion that Ah Reum is aware of and accepts his affections. He tries taking a selfie with Ah Reum bouncing happily with the flowers behind him, but is foiled by a clueless fellow intern.

Chang Min’s Evil Mom (Park Joon Geum) arrives at her estranged husband’s home/research facility with divorce papers. As he stares at the document, Evil Mom takes her anger out on the piles of paper on his desk, raging over his failure to care when she was in the hospital, especially since he’s a doctor. Estranged husband calmly prescribes less anti-depressants and more exercise. Evil Mom reiterates her request for a divorce in between sobs.

Chang Min finally runs into Jin Hee at the hospital, and begins interrogating her about her activities the night before. He asks why she didn’t answer his numerous calls. Based on previous experience, Jin Hee had assumed that he was drunk dialling again, and since he wouldn’t remember anything he said, she didn’t feel the need to listen to him. When asked why he was calling so frantically, Chang Min can only gruffly tell Jin Hee not to worry about the dismissal any more.

Jin Hee is suddenly called away by Cheon Soo to account for a earlier medical decision. Even though the talk is all medical mumbo jumbo, the tension is clearly emanating in a triangle consisting of Jin Hee, Cheon Soo and Ji Hye. Afterwards, the interns note the unusual animosity between Cheon Soo and Ji Hye, then ask Jin Hee why she had to butt in and make the situation worse.

Up on the roof of the hospital, Ji Hye is taking issue with Cheon Soo’s disrespect towards her in front of the interns, and his support for a green intern like Jin Hee. She is voicing her concern that something happened between him and Jin Hee last night, when Cheon Soo stops her to make reference to a similar emergency in the past…flashback!

In hazy memory vision, Cheon Soo wants to operate on a patient while Ji Hye tries to stop him, fearing that something might go wrong. Cheon Soo attempts to have the specialist provide guidance over the phone, but loses the call. With the prospect of the specialist arriving too late for the patient, Cheon Soo pushes aside Ji Hye’s hands and proceeds to cut. Present day Cheon Soo apologizes, but Ji Hye acknowledges that his current career stagnation is due to that long ago incident.

Baby Daddy presents Jin Hee’s mom with a marriage certificate, which officially makes him her son-in-law. Son-in-Law has even thoughtfully bought her favourite calming herb pills, because he knew the document would stress her out. Mom distastefully asks for her grandson’s name again. It’s Kim Gook. She takes Gook on her lap for the first time. The baby poops, Son-in-Law runs for the diapers, and Mom is finally interacting with her grandson.

Night duty is being doled out among the interns. Ah Reum cheerfully suggests to Chang Min that they take up night duty together on the weekends so that they are exposed to more cases, and they can exercise together on the weekdays. Both Jin Hee and Yong Kyu look worried, and Chang Min looks reflexively at Jin Hee.

Yong Kyu realizes that if Jin Hee quits, the rest of the interns would have to take on more night shifts. Suddenly, the interns aren’t so eager about Jin Hee’s departure. Yong Kyu relays gossip he’s heard that Cheon Soo met with the hospital director to stop Jin Hee’s dismissal. This is news to Jin Hee. Chang Min looks with concern at Jin Hee.

Cheon Soo leads CPR practice and asks Jin Hee to go first. Jin Hee is not pressing down on the chest of the dummy hard enough for Cheon Soo’s satisfaction, so he places his hands over hers, and they pump together. Jin Hee becomes conscious of Cheon Soo’s close proximity, the pumping goes into slow motion, and a sexy soundtrack starts playing. I can’t tell if this scene is just playing in Chang Min’s head, because he becomes outraged enough to pin Cheon Soo down.

No wait, it is just Chang Min’s fantasy. Chang Min returns to reality in time to see Cheon Soo step back to allow Jin Hee to continue pumping the dummy’s chest on her own as he lectures the rest of the interns. He is interrupted by the ER Director who announces that Jin Hee will not be dismissed. Everyone seems relieved. Jin Hee is overwhelmed with gratitude and embraces Cheon Soo while thanking him profusely. Poor Chang Min is left speechless.

Chang Min returns to his locker in a huff, then calls his Evil Uncle to confirm that it was his intervention that saved Jin Hee. Evil Uncle confirms this, while acknowledging that Cheon Soo had tried to help her, too. Evil Uncle reminds Chang Min that he owes him a favour that he will call in some day.

Chang Min’s evil mom reveals to her sisters that she has asked for a divorce, and looks forward to dating hot, young stars like Lee Min Ho and Kim Woo Bin (her co-stars in “The Heirs”). To her irritation, her evil sisters wonder if Evil Mom will be dogged by her ex-husband for life the way Chang Min is with Jin Hee. One of her sisters then reveals that she thought she overheard their brother talking on the phone with Chang Min. Evil Mom is instantly interested in whatever secret her son might be harbouring.

An exhausted Chang Min is resting at the hospital and running through the upsetting sight of Jin Hee pumping a dummy with Cheon Soo then gratefully grabbing Cheon Soo’s torso. He is resentful that Jin Hee went running into the arms of the wrong hero. He is interrupted from his grumbling by Yong Kyu who tells him that the married interns were holding a housewarming party that night and would also celebrate Jin Hee’s return. Chang Min plainly states that he is not going, then turns over to sleep.

The interns arrive at the housewarming party, and Chang Min sheepishly enters. The host ambles into the living room with his wedding portrait, asking where he should hang it. Chang Min dismisses the idea since it’ll just be smashed during a fight after a few months. Jin Hee chokes on her drink, as Chang Min continues to bitterly say that the couple will be lucky if the portrait is the only thing destroyed. Ah Reum teases him saying it sounds like he speaks from personal experience, which Chang Min is quick to deny. Jin Hee and Chang Min proceed to have a thinly veiled argument about their failed marriage. It ends with them throwing back wine angrily while their colleagues look perplexed.

Chang Min drags Jin Hee into the bedroom to accuse her of putting their relationship at risk of exposure. She is combative thanks to the wine, and thinks that Chang Min is just worried that he will lose his chance with Ah Reum. She contemplates revealing to Ah Reum that Chang Min is divorced.

This is quite the party, with half the attendees passed out. The only ones still awake are Chang Min, Jin Hee and Ah Reum who continue to drink. Drunk Jin Hee almost reveals to Ah Reum her relationship with Chang Min, but stumbles out shortly thereafter, to be followed by Chang Min who must return to the hospital for his night shift.

After reading his email, an excited Cheon Soo goes looking for Ji Hye who he finds doing some fancy footwork with a dance partner in a dance studio. Cheon Soo smiles appreciatively then starts imagining himself as Ji Hye’s partner. His applause prompts Ji Hye to stop, and Cheon Soo reports that he has received a response to his request for financial support of the ER. They are both giddy from the good news, though Cheon Soo is not giddy enough to accept Ji Hye’s invitation to dance.

Chang Min and Jin Hee end up in the same taxi together, then bicker to the amusement of the taxi driver. In preparation for his night shift, Chang Min pours a handful of gum into his mouth to hide the smell of alcohol. When the taxi arrives at the hospital, Chang Min exits the cab, but Jin Hee has passed out and cannot tell them where she lives. Chang Min takes the gum out of his mouth to shout at Jin Hee while cradling her head, and ends up sticking his palm sized wad of gum in her hair. The taxi departs leaving Jin Hee collapsed against Chang Min who is at a loss on how to proceed. Sure enough, the solution is drunken skinship as Chang Min piggybacks Jin Hee into the hospital.

Meanwhile, Son-in-Law discovers that Baby Gook is burning up with a fever and runs out of the house in a panic. In the taxi, Son-in-Law calls Jin Ae to report the emergency, but ends up leaving a voice message. Son-in-Law shouts at the taxi driver to go faster, presumably to Jin Hee’s hospital for maximum drama.

At the hospital, Chang Min is doing his best to dodge acquaintances with Jin Hee on his back, and a wad of gum in her hair. She starts making vomiting sounds, and Chang Min decides to take the stairs to avoid drawing attention. Maybe the cat painting in the stairwell will make him feel better.

After dropping an unconscious and moaning Jin Hee in a bed, Chang Min finds himself pausing to look over his ex. His gaze is much more affectionate than anything we’ve seen thus far. So sweet. The episode ends with Chang Min bent over Jin Hee.


One of the things I enjoy the most about this series are the well established relationships between the main characters. Jin Hee and Cheon Soo have a growing affection for each other, but it really comes across as a student whose hero worship of a mentor verges on a crush. Cheon Soo and Ji Hye have an easy relationship that is based on a shared history and adorably uncomfortable, because her relaxed flirting is met with the outrage of an old curmudgeon. Finally, the bickering between Jin Hee and Chang Min so obviously comes from the fact that they both still care that it’s hard not to enjoy her determination to remain angry, while Chang Min is increasingly looking worried and acting jealous.

Secondary characters like Yong Kyu and Ah Reum pale in comparison, though the scene in which Ah Reum wiggles around while regarding Yong Kyu’s flowers with adoration was ridiculous enough to make me laugh out loud.

The series has kept a great balance of comedy with emotionally believable scenes. The writers must be reading our blog, because they’ve followed our request for less medical drama. 감사합니다!

Junggugeo Kaenada 중국어 캐나다

Emergency Couple (응급남녀)

 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 || series review

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