Side dish: I heart “Emergency Couple” right now, and what is a fitting snack in the honeymoon phase of the relationship? How about Unicorn Poop? Recipe can be found here.
Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) is still unconscious in a hospital bed after sustaining a fractured collarbone thanks to her ex-husband and fellow intern, Oh Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk). Fortunately, there is clearly brain activity, because Jin Hee is smiling.
She is dreaming about a pillow fight with Chang Min when he was still her husband. The fight ends with laughter then sexy eyes and, finally, Jin Hee falling back on the bed kissing Chang Min. The image transitions into a mirror image of Chang Min kissing his unconscious ex-wife in the present.
Jin Hee is woken up in the morning when her ER supervisor, Kook Cheon Soo (Lee Pil Mo) comes to check in on her. She tries to get up to get back to work, but Cheon Soo grabs her wrist then points out that she would not be able to properly serve patients in her state. Jin Hee apologizes and meekly lies back down.
Chang Min splashes water on his face while thinking back to the night before when Jin Hee answered a call from Cheon Soo then shouted at Chang Min to return her to the hospital. He is less pensive as he recounts the accident to fellow intern, Im Yong Kyu (Yoon Jong Hoon). Yong Kyu wonders what Jin Hee was doing in Chang Min’s car in the first place. Chang Min struggles for an answer, but Yong Kyu correctly guesses that he likes the ahjumma. Yong Kyu even noticed that Chang Min has improved his hair in order to impress. This is the first time I notice that Chang Min’s hair is no longer looks frizzy. Am I less observant than Yong Kyu?!
Yong Kyu casually pulls Cheon Soo’s jacket from his bag, asking Chang Min who it belongs to. Chang Min quickly stuffs the stolen jacket back in the bag, telling Yong Kyu to keep it, exasperated with his own crazy actions.
Meanwhile, Cheon Soo is holding Jin Hee’s shoulder and assessing her level of pain. She denies that it hurts much, and Cheon Soo reveals that Chang Min worked on her throughout the night. Cheon Soo sits down beside Jin Hee on the bed to show her the x-ray of her collarbone on a tablet. Chang Min walks in on this cozy scene, but, surprisingly, doesn’t freak out.
After Cheon Soo leaves, Jin Hee spots a bag containing the note and bottle of meningitis pills that Chang Min had secretly prepared for her. Jin Hee attempts to reach for the bag, but falls short thanks to the pain of her injury. Chang Min rushes in to help and quickly recognizes the note and pills. He pockets the bag, but Jin Hee sees the theft and asks for the items back since they belong to her. Chang Min wonders how she found what he had thrown in the garbage, but Jin Hee asks why he threw out what he had prepared for her. Chang Min reluctantly returns the note and pills to her, and gruffly tells her to take the medication after she thanks him.
Jin Hee’s wayward sister, Oh Jin Ae (Jeon Soo Jin) reveals to her incredulous husband, Kim Kwang Soo (Park Doo Shik) that the handsome doctor who tended to their baby, Gook was Jin Hee’s ex-husband. Jin Hee’s mom is still ignorant of this situation, so Jin Ae hushes Kwang Soo as Mom enters with Gook, cheerfully proposing that she buy her grandson a spacesuit (best grandma ever!). Jin Ae scoffs at the idea, saying that Mom should give her the money for a baby spacesuit instead. Mom smacks her for having the nerve to ask for money after hawking Jin Hee’s wedding ring.
Kwang Soo steps up to insist that he will be the family breadwinner from now on as a young and energetic son-in-law to Mom. Mom hates anything that reminds her of Chang Min, though Jin Ae points out that she was initially thrilled to have a handsome, wealthy medical student for a son-in-law. Kwang Soo touts his winning personality over ‘brother’s’ physical charms, and Mom takes issue with his familiarity with a man he has never met. Kwang Soo coughs uncomfortably then returns to furiously eating under the pointed gaze of Jin Ae.
In the hospital cafeteria, Chang Min feeds a mutinous Jin Hee like an invalid. He lovingly tells her to eat slowly to prevent indigestion, as Jin Hee looks put off. She takes a pair of chopsticks in her left hand since her injury is on the right side of her body, but Chang Min takes them away from her, insisting that it’s all connected. Chang Min then fusses over the quality of the food, and is about to get a replacement when Jin Hee stops him and insists that they should just finish eating quickly.
Chang Min continues feeding Jin Hee, and is clearly enjoying himself. Jin Hee peevishly asks if he is happy that he injured her, and Chang Min admits that he is. He recalls when she injured her hand during one of their pillow fights; he had to feed her and assist when nature called. Jin Hee cuts him off to remind him that he was the cause of that injury, too. Chang Min then cuts her off by spooning more food into her mouth.
Jin Hee notes that Chang Min is not eating, and he speculates that it is probably because he didn’t sleep much last night. Jin Hee asks if it was because of her, and Chang Min denies this then prevents further questioning by going to get some water.
Chang Min continues to fret over Jin Hee as they walk down the hallway when they run into fellow intern, Han Ah Reum (Clara). Ah Reum has her eye on Chang Min as husband material and the support of Chang Min’s mother in this endeavour, so she smiles winningly at Chang Min while barely acknowledging Jin Hee.
After Ah Reum flounces away, Jin Hee asks Chang Min how she should explain their relationship, because Ah Reum frequently asks about it. Jin Hee says that she’ll look the other way if they date, then becomes outraged at the prospect that they are already dating. Chang Min denies that he is dating Ah Reum, then asks what Jin Hee’s relationship with Cheon Soo is. He then echoes her offer to look the other way before demanding to know if they are already dating.
Yong Kyu and a nurse run past wheeling a dialysis machine. It’s for the fall-down patient who needs an immediate kidney transplant, but the only donor readily available is his ex-wife. Jin Hee worries what will happen to the patient if his ex-wife fails to show up. She wonders why they broke up since their organ compatibility means they’re a match made in heaven; it’s romance over science. Jin Hee decides to help out by calling the patient’s ex-wife.
Cheon Soo goes to specialist and wannabe girlfriend, Shim Ji Hye (Choi Yeo Jin) having discovered the blood test that she secretly sent to the States. He demands an explanation, and she reluctantly reveals the shocking fact that she had a child out of wedlock; a four year old girl.
Meanwhile, Chang Min receives an unexpected visit from Baby Gook and Kwang Soo who greets him as ‘Brother’. Kwang Soo has come to apologize for attacking Chang Min earlier, not knowing he was family. Kwang Soo insists that they have drinks together, which Chang Min hesitantly agrees to, while wincing in discomfort.
After making a quick check that she is alone, Ji Hye makes a call to her daughter, Ji Min. It becomes clear that Ji Min is being taken care of by someone else and Ji Hye does not see her much. Ji Hye hangs up the phone and discovers Jin Hee hiding her head in a cabinet. Jin Hee obviously overheard everything and assumes the Ji Hye was married. Ji Hye freely admits that she was never married, and is a single mom.
Ji Hye offers to help Jin Hee with her bandages, which Jin Hee reluctantly accepts. Cheon Soo had told Ji Hye that Jin Hee sustained her injury while in a car with Chang Min, and asked her not to overwork Jin Hee. Jin Hee is surprised by Cheon Soo’s intervention. Ji Hye is comforted by his worry about Jin Hee, because he used to only care about his patients.
Cheon Soo is staring at a polaroid of him and Ji Hye while thinking about her confession of unwed motherhood, when Chang Min enters his office. Chang Min wants to have Jin Hee rest for a few more days. Cheon Soo drily asks if Chang Min intends to get Jin Hee into his car for a real accident this time. Chang Min offers to double his workload to make up for Jin Hee’s absence from the ER. Cheon Soo actually agrees with Chang Min that Jin Hee needs rest, and agrees to give her time off.
Chang Min then asks Cheon Soo what will happen to the fall-down patient if his ex-wife fails to show up. Cheon Soo says that the ailing man will have to rely on social services and volunteers to get by. Chang Min is worried, but admits that Jin Hee is even more so. Cheon Soo asks how long Chang Min and Jin Hee have known each other, then the two men have a stare down.
Yong Kyu brings ice cream for himself and Ah Reum in the interns’ office. He then broaches the subject of Ah Reum’s blind date with Chang Min, which Ah Reum brushes off. Yong Kyu then brings up his texted apology, which Ah Reum never responded to. Again, she brushes it off as a simple mistake. But, Yong Kyu does not consider his feelings a mistake. Ah Reum speaks plainly that she is interested in Chang Min, then cheerfully offers her hand in friendship to Yong Kyu. The dreaded ‘friend’ label echoes in Yong Kyu’s ears. He is on the verge of tears as he find comfort in his ice cream.
Chang Min’s Absent Dad gives him a call, which surprises Chang Min. Absent Dad is aware that he works in the same hospital as Jin Hee, and is about to give Chang Min a pep talk on the awkwardness, but Chang Min reassures him that there is none. Absent Dad seems caught off guard by this claim, but says he’s relieved while looking discomforted.
Chang Min takes this opportunity to tell his father not to get a divorce. Absent Dad wonders why Chang Min has changed his tune from encouraging a divorce between his parents, but Chang Min can’t explain it. Absent Dad then suggests they go fishing together, which again, surprises Chang Min, because the offer is unprecedented.
Jin Hee calls the fall-down patient’s ex-wife on her cell phone, which strikes me as unprofessional. The woman hangs up on her when it becomes clear that Jin Hee is calling about her ex. Jin Hee is bewildered that the woman would not want to help out her ex-husband.
Cheon Soo runs by and Jin Hee follows him to find the fall-down patient in critical condition. They end up resorting to the defibrillator, which brings him back from the brink, but brain failure is imminent. Jin Hee reports that the ex-wife likely will not come. Chang Min pumps frantically on the patient’s chest while telling Jin Hee not to reveal bad news within earshot of the patient. He speculates that the man gave up hope and his condition deteriorated due to his ex-wife’s absence.
Chang Min continues telling the unconscious patient not to give up, that his ex-wife will come. Jin Hee looks worriedly at Chang Min, but Cheon Soo and the other resident are too distracted to notice Chang Min’s emotional breakdown. It becomes impossible to ignore Chang Min when he starts shouting at the patient about living for his ex-wife. However, Chang Min’s overly enthusiastic chest pumping is what brings the patient back to consciousness, because everyone else had stopped working to stare at Chang Min.
Meanwhile, in Cheon Soo’s office, Ji Hye and another doctor are looking for a document. They proceed to rifle through his papers, and Ji Hye finds the polaroid of her and Cheon Soo that he had been gazing at earlier. The other doctor finds the document they need, and Ji Hye directs him to go and deliver it so that she can contemplate the polaroids in private.
Chang Min is sitting by himself and thinking back to all his failures as a doctor. Jin Hee brings him a drink and asks if he is okay. Chang Min admits that this is the first time that he wanted to save a patient no matter what. He worries that the fall-down patient’s ex-wife will not show up. Jin Hee agrees that having the support of someone at your side can be more effective than a doctor. Chang Min reflects that a health crisis can reveal one’s true friends.
Chang Min and Cheon Soo assess the status of Jin Hee’s collarbone, and Cheon Soo orders Jin Hee not to come to work tomorrow. Jin Hee seems more in pain over the prospect of not working than from her injury.
Jin Hee is in the parking garage about to get into her car, when Chang Min suddenly jumps out of his car and shuffles a protesting Jin Hee into his passenger seat. It could be perceived as a kidnapping if it wasn’t so gentle.
In the car, Jin Hee hesitates to tell Chang Min where she lives, then reasons that they are fellow interns, so having him drive her home should not be uncomfortable. Chang Min laments that Jin Hee abandoned their apartment to live with her mother. Jin Hee questions what was left for her in that apartment, but Chang Min points out that they had good times there, which he still remembers. He asks if she only remembers the terrible ending of their marriage, and they make silent eye contact.
Upon arrival at her house, Chang Min jumps out to help Jin Hee out of the car, just as Jin Ae and Kwang Soo walk up. They delightedly call Chang Min ‘brother-in-law’ and invite him in for some soju. Jin Hee’s mom is at work in her spa with Baby Gook. Chang Min is then dragged backwards into the house, while Jin Hee is left spluttering on the street.
Chang Min sits straight backed on the couch as Kwang Soo cooks and Jin Ae brings out the soju. Jin Hee tells Chang Min to eat quickly lest her mother find out about his visit and end up in the ER, foaming at the mouth. Chang Min compliments the house, and confirms that they all live under one roof.
As Jin Ae and Kwang Soo bring the food and drinks, they continue to act familiar with Chang Min, calling him ‘brother-in-law’. Jin Hee finally voices her objection to this inaccurate label, and they settle on calling Chang Min ‘brother’ instead.
Disaster threatens to strike when Jin Hee’s mom is about to run out of the spa to fetch more diapers for Gook from home. She is stopped by her business partner who asks her to wait until she is finished with client, because Mom should not leave Gook alone. Mom agrees.
Back at the house, Kwang Soo is recounting and reenacting his proposal to Jin Ae. Kwang Soo then asks how Chang Min proposed to Jin Hee. Both Jin Ae and Jin Hee react with exasperation, but Chang Min laughs and asks Jin Hee if she remembers. Jin Hee is initially shy about it, but as Chang Min begins to recount the story, she starts to laugh. Everyone is clearly relaxed and enjoying the story when they are interrupted by the doorbell.
Initially, everyone panics thinking it is mom, but it turns out to be the moving company bringing all of Kwang Soo and Jin Ae’s belongings. As the boxes pile up, Jin Hee looks distressed by the implied permanence of her sister’s stay.
Meanwhile, Cheon Soo finds Ji Hye drinking at her favourite bar. Ji Hye knows that Cheon Soo is worried about her single mother status, which is why she kept it a secret. He asks after her daughter, and she shows him a picture. Cheon Soo finds Ji Min as pretty as her mother. Ji Hye mentions that Ji Min showed delayed development, but it might just be the stress of being separated from her mother.
Ji Hye reveals that she found the polaroids at his desk, and asks why he had not disposed of them. Cheon Soo has no intention of throwing out good memories just because he and Ji Hye broke up. Ji Hye smiles at this and marvels that someone so sentimental could have broken up with her. Ji Hye then asks if he still considers marriage burdensome. Cheon Soo scoffs at the idea of marriage since he does not even date; there has been no one else other than Ji Hye.
Jin Hee has been tolerating her sister’s incursion into her home life, but she is now ready to blow her stack over the influx of all of Jin Ae’s belongings. Jin Hee complains that she can’t even be comfortable in her own home thanks to Kwang Soo; she has to walk around fully clothed all the time. Jin Ae retorts that she is welcome to walk around naked. Chang Min steps in to calm Jin Hee down, saying what’s done is done. This prompts Jin Ae to remember why she liked Chang Min and how well they got along.
Jin Hee’s mom is heard exclaiming in dismay about the boxes that have appeared at her house, causing everyone to panic. Jin Ae and Kwang Soo meet mom at the door, acting as a wall while Jin Hee and Chang Min run into her bedroom where moving men are still stacking boxes. Jin Hee frantically directs Chang Min to hide, and it turns into a physical comedy as he bangs into furniture while remaining clearly visible.
Mom tells Jin Ae and Kwang Soo that she needs diapers for Gook back at the spa. Kwang Soo goes running for the diapers to keep Mom from exploring the house any further. Mom finds out that Jin Hee is at home, and goes looking for her, pushing Jin Ae and Kwang Soo aside.
Mom enters Jin Hee’s bedroom, and it appears that Chang Min has borrowed the hat and jacket of one of the moving men in order to hide in plain sight. Mom directs him to move a piece of furniture, which proves to be an awkward task for Chang Min to do while hiding his face. Chang Min makes it out under the nose of Mom, while Jin Ae and Jin Hee attempt to distract Mom with a discussion about Jin Ae’s belongings.
Chang Min is sitting in his car outside when Jin Hee steps outside to join him. Jin Hee appears apologetic about the commotion of having to avoid her mother, which Chang Min appears resigned to. He then reaches over to put Jin Hee’s seatbelt on and starts driving as Jin Hee frantically asks where they are going.
Cheon Soo and Ji Hye walk together down the street. Ji Hye asks if it shocked Cheon Soo to have her reappear after a six year absence unmarried and with a child. Cheon Soo is exasperated that she got involved with such a man. Ji Hye admits that she was on the rebound from her breakup with Cheon Soo when she met her baby daddy. Cheon Soo admits to feeling responsible for her current predicament, but Ji Hye denies that there is anything wrong with her current life. In fact, she is happy to see Cheon Soo everyday even as he keeps her at arm’s length. This leave Cheon Soo a little misty eyed.
Chang Min has taken a protesting Jin Hee to his apartment so that she can rest in peace. She admires his swanky bachelor pad, and he tells her to make herself comfortable; he will take her home when she feels better. He reasons that she doesn’t even have a designated place at home to sleep anymore, then appeals to her professional responsibility to be healthy for her patients.
They start to bicker about who was responsible for the accident, and Jin Hee points out that they will just fight if she stays. She gets up to leave, admitting that she let herself be brought to his apartment out of curiosity. Chang Min grabs Jin Hee’s arm and repeats what she told him about how having someone by one’s side can do more good than a doctor, but Jin Hee insists that she is fine, and that her injury does not hurt. Chang Min encloses Jin Hee in a back hug while admitting that her injury hurts him, and pleads for her to stay by his side. Jin Hee is speechless as Chang Min’s affection probably does more damage to her collarbone.
I love that the focus of this episode has been on the two main couples, and there has been no effort to further any love triangle story line. I also enjoy that both men have been the sentimental ones holding onto the good memories from their past relationship, whereas the women appear more grounded in the present reality.
Chang Min and Jin Hee are softening towards each other as he can’t stop thinking fondly about their past, and Jin Hee is disarmed by his apparent care for her. Their awkwardness towards each other due to this changing dynamic is as adorable as any new relationship, but with the knowledge of their history of hostility, this second chance at love is all the more endearing.
Cheon Soo and Ji Hye’s past relationship was revealed more fully in this episode, and their situation has a more sorrowful cast to it than Chang Min and Jin Hee’s in spite of their flirting. Cheon Soo regrets his past decision to break up with Ji Hye, while Ji Hye’s expectations of him are so modest, because of her single parent status, and her acceptance of his aversion to long-term commitment. There is no petty bickering to overcome. Instead, one hopes that Cheon Soo and Ji Hye will want more out of their relationship with each other so that they are willing to push each other’s boundaries.
My significant other can tell when I’m watching “Emergency Couple”, because I make exclamations of delight when I watch this series. This is in contrast the other other show I’m recapping, which prompts screams of frustration and horror. I am definitely in love with this series right now.
Emergency Couple (응급남녀)