“Emergency Couple” episode 13 recap

Emergency Couple Ep 13
Chang Min and Cheon Soo Tumblr begins now.

Side dish: No particular dish comes to mind in the aftermath of this episode. So, I’ll just suggest that everyone have pho, vermicelli or BBQ meats at Xe Lua. I have yet to find its equal in taste and value when it comes to Vietnamese food. Recently, we made a mistake and ordered the wrong dish. When we informed the server, he simply took it away, and brought us what we really wanted. No questions asked, and no extra item on our bill! Definitely one of my favourite places to eat.

Episode Recap

Oh Jin Hee (Song Ji Hyo) is on her way out of the apartment of her ex-husband and fellow intern, Oh Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) when he grabs her by the wrist, and says he can’t let her go. He then emphasizes his point by forcefully kissing her. Jin Hee is wide eyed and trying to resist.

Intervention is on its way as Chang Min’s Evil Mom (Park Joon Geum) is marching towards her son’s apartment at that very moment. She is furious at the way Chang Min snubbed both her and his fellow intern and wife material, Han Ah Reum (Clara) earlier in the evening.

Jin Hee finally manages to break away from Chang Min. She breathlessly asks him not to do this, because she can’t handle him. Chang Min insists that he can handle it, so Jin Hee beats a hasty retreat to the door just as Evil Mom steps through.

Evil Mom is rendered speechless by Jin Hee’s presence in her son’s apartment. Chang Min and Jin Hee stand in silent dread as Evil Mom stutters out questions. Anger quickly overcomes shock, and Evil Mom demands more forcefully to know why Jin Hee is here. She is back to stuttering again when Chang Min states that he brought Jin Hee to his apartment then orders Evil Mom to leave.

Evil Mom asks if Chang Min is out of his mind, but Chang Min claims that he is clear and right of mind. As evidence of this claim, Chang Min tells Evil Mom not to show up without calling first. The shock has clearly rooted Evil Mom to the spot, so Chang Min drags a protesting Jin Hee around his mom to drive her home.

In Chang Min’s car, Jin Hee is concerned about how Chang Min treated his mother. Chang Min has a good idea of the reason Evil Mom dropped by so he dismisses Jin Hee’s worry. He then reaches for Jin Hee’s hand and tells her that he will never let Evil Mom abuse her again. He promises to pay Jin Hee back for the hardship she suffered in the past.

Jin Hee insists that the past is forgotten so Chang Min owes her nothing. Chang Min is adamant that he was not as supportive as he should have been when they were married. While Jin Hee continues to insist that it is all in the past, Chang Min surrenders a little, deciding that he will not rush Jin Hee back into a relationship with him. Jin Hee looks pensive.

They arrive back at Jin Hee’s house, and Jin refuses Chang Min’s help. She warns him not to try to start over, because she has finally got her life back together. Chang Min acknowledges that it must have been hard for Jin Hee after the divorce, and can only imagine how far she had to go to get to where she is today.

Jin Hee wonders if the change in her is what piqued Chang Min’s interest. Chang Min insists that she is the same, and he just did not understand her before. Jin Hee tiredly says she is not so great, and Chang Min just shoos her home.

Jin Hee enters a dark and quiet home, before she and her mother startle each other. Mom asks where Jin Hee slept last night, but instead of being upset, she is hopeful that Jin Hee is dating someone. Jin Hee warns her that marriage is not in the immediate future. Mom just wants Jin Hee to start anew and find happiness.

Chang Min takes a can of beer from his fridge and sits down in his living room. It soon becomes clear that he is not drinking for relaxation, but to prepare himself for his mother who did not leave his apartment as instructed.

Evil Mom asks why Chang Min is backtracking when he has come so far, and there are plenty of women other than his ex-wife. Evil Mom spits out questions about his status with Jin Hee in rapid succession. Chang Min bluntly states that he likes Jin Hee and he’s going to try again with her. Not even a minister’s daughter like Ah Reum can compare to Jin Hee.

Evil Mom recognizes the headstrong attitude that Chang Min exhibited when she first rejected his marriage. He had gone against her wishes, and suffered the consequences. However, Chang Min remembers differently now, and blames Evil Mom for causing stress-related heart problems in Jin Hee.

Evil Mom takes Chang Min’s attention and turns it into a self-pity party. She suffered, because Chang Min got his way, so she should not be the one to blame. Chang Min tells her to stop meddling in his life, then gets up to call her a cab.

Sitting in her living room, Jin Hee thinks back to her conversation earlier with Chang Min, then further back to the day Chang Min left their marital home. As he packs his belongings into his car, Chang Min condescendingly advises her to do more than eat and sleep, and then drives away. Shortly thereafter, Jin Hee runs into Evil Mom who blames her for destroying her son’s life. Chang Min runs over to try and get his mother away from Jin Hee. This being the past, Chang Min is completely ineffectual, and Evil Mom continues to vent and curse Jin Hee. Chang Min finally manages to drag his mom away, whining his disapproval the entire way. After picking herself up off the ground and returning to the marital apartment, Jin Hee listlessly attempts to eat and drink. She turns the mug in her hand and realizes that it is a souvenir from her wedding day. Jin Hee breaks down in tears in the past as well as in the present.

Meanwhile, Chang Min takes his deep thoughts to a public park where he thinks about the last 24 hours he spent taking care of Jin Hee. Unlike Jin Hee, his mind does not go back to their divorce period.

Next morning, Jin Hee’s sister, Jin Ae (Jeon Soo Jin) and Mom see Jin Hee off. Jin Hee obviously did not sleep well, but insists on going back to work. Jin Ae sighs at her mom always worrying about Jin Hee and gets smacked.

Jin Ae’s husband, Kim Kwang Soo (Park Doo Shik) drives up in a friend’s car, which he will be using for his new job transporting musical instruments. He offers to let Jin Hee use his friend’s car occasionally since her car has problems. In the meantime, everyone agrees that Kwang Soo should drive Jin Hee to work at the hospital.

In the car, Jin Hee thanks Kwang Soo for financially supporting her sister thus allowing her to pursue her music career. She reminds him not to give up on his own dreams, and Kwang Soo denies that he is; Kwang Soo plans on getting back into music when Baby Gook turns one.

Kwang Soo hesitantly asks Jin Hee why she and Chang Min got divorced since they seemed to get along so well. Jin Hee thinks they married too young, but she does wonder nowadays if immaturity can account for all of their marital problems. Regardless, Jin Hee feels like she failed. Kwang Soo challenges the idea that divorce is failure, and considers it more like a mistake since no one gets to practice marriage before getting married.

Jin Hee is back in the thick of things at the hospital when a patient from a private clinic is transferred over. Upon arrival, the interns discover that the patient has Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (aka human mad cow disease). The discovery causes one doctor to unload the patient onto another department, sight unseen, and interns Im Yong Kyu (Yoon Jong Hoon) and the married guy running to warn Jin Hee who is working on the patient.

Jin Hee calls for assistance from Yong Kyu and married intern, but they refuse to enter the treatment room. Chang Min comes by, and after being informed of the patient’s CJD status, breaks away from his fellow interns to help Jin Hee.

In the process of working on the patient’s head injury, blood squirts out and hits Jin Hee in the face. Chang Min quickly drenches her face in alcohol and rubs it in a way that is both loving and frantic. He shouts at her to get out of the treatment room, revealing to her that the patient has CJD. Jin Hee refuses to abandon a patient.

ER supervisor, Kook Cheon Soo (Lee Pil Mo) comes across Yong Kyu and married intern peering into the treatment room, and is disgusted by their cowardice. He enters the treatment room and tells Jin Hee and Chang Min to leave, but everyone refuses. Cheon Soo orders Chang Min to, at least, wear a mask, while failing to do the same himself.

More blood squirts out onto Chang Min’s face. Once the patient has stabilized, we’re treated to the sight of Cheon Soo carefully wiping the face of a flustered Chang Min with alcohol. I predict Tumblr sites dedicated to this moment.

Cheon Soo compliments Chang Min and Jin Hee and tells them that they are different from the interns standing outside. Another doctor rushes into the treatment room with a report, which reveals that the patient was only suspected of having CJD, but the test came back negative. Everyone lets out a sigh of relief, before Cheon Soo barks at the shamefaced interns outside to come into the treatment room. Jin Hee and Chang Min smile at each other.

Medical specialist, Shim Ji Hye (Choi Yeo Jin) arrives with a drink at Cheon Soo’s office, and brings up her worry that Cheon Soo took too much of a risk in treating a patient who possibly had CJD. Cheon Soo writes it off as a hazard of the job. As usual, Ji Hye laughs in response, and makes the situation a little sexier.

Cheon Soo tells Ji Hye that he was surprised at Chang Min’s dedication, which he had only expected from Jin Hee. Ji Hye attributes it to Cheon Soo’s guidance, but Cheon Soo knows better. Ji Hye looks puzzled.

Jin Hee sits down wearily in the hallway of the hospital, and thinks back to Chang Min rushing into the treatment room, then washing her face with alcohol while shouting at her to get out. Her thoughts are interrupted by Chang Min nagging her about washing up, just to be safe. Jin Hee agrees and reminds him to do the same. They both head for the showers.

Shower scene! While vigorously cleaning his hair, Chang Min thinks back to Cheon Soo wiping his face down with alcohol and admits to feeling weird. Male showering and homoerotic undertones at the same time? This is the best scene of the show!

Post-shower, Chang Min enters the interns’ office and sees Ah Reum at her desk flipping through a paper and with ear buds on. He does not bother to interrupt her, and sits down with his back to her. She spots him and pulls off ear buds, but continues thumbing through her reading as she casually asks how dinner with Evil Mom went after she left.

Chang Min just gives a rote answer, but Ah Reum reports that Evil Mom did not eat. Fortunately, Chang Min decides to cut through this passive aggressive BS by revealing that he is divorced. Yet, Ah Reum is not put off, because it is just another aspect of Chang Min that she is learning about, and not the stain on his marriageability that Chang Min and Evil Mom think it is. Chang Min clearly did not expect that answer.

As she enters the ER, Jin Hee overhears two resident doctors discuss someone’s burned hand. When Jin Hee asks the nurse who they are referring to, she says it is the Chef who can’t use his hand. Jin Hee hears ‘Chief’, thinks that Cheon Soo is injured, and goes running after the nurse. She is plaintively calling for the Chief when she pushes aside one of the two residents, only to come face-to-face with a stranger in cooking whites. The residents, the nurse, and Chang Min are all present and stare at her. 

Poor dense Jin Hee doesn’t catch on, and continues asking after ‘Chief’, until the nurse corrects her. Everyone is amused except for Chang Min. The patient asks who ‘Chief” is when Cheon Soo identifies himself as he walks on the scene. Cheon Soo asks what this is about, and everyone just looks awkward and says nothing.

Chang Min is grumbling about Jin Hee’s obvious concern for Cheon Soo when Ji Hye sits down beside him, and correctly guesses who he is upset about. In fact, she knows that Jin Hee is attracted to Cheon Soo, and that Cheon Soo feels something, too, since he rarely opens up the way he has. Ji Hye asks if Chang Min is willing to step aside, but he refuses to.

As astute as Ji Hye is, she could not have imagined that Chang Min and Jin Hee used to be married. She is flabbergasted when Chang Min reveals just that. Ji Hye advises Chang Min not to reveal this information to Cheon Soo, because it would make Jin Hee uncomfortable. Clearly speaking from personal experience, Ji Hye says that one must wait for the other person to be ready before making a relationship public. So, Chang Min should behave himself if he really wants the object of his affections. Chang Min agrees, thanking her for preventing him from making that mistake.

Chang Min receives a call and meets Jin Ae outside the hospital. She is all charm, but Chang Min knows she wants something. Of course, Jin Ae needs money to pay off her credit card bill, and she dare not ask Jin Hee after she pawned her wedding ring. Chang Min is surprised to hear that Jin Hee still had her wedding band, and goes immediately to the pawn shop to retrieve it. He never knew she had this sentimental side to her.

Chang Min agrees to lend Jin Ae money under the conditions that Jin Hee must not know, Jin Ae must pay him back, and he will not lend her any more money. It appears that Jin Ae has borrowed money from Chang Min in the past, but had a good history of returning the cash eventually. Chang Min affectionately pats Jin Ae on the head.

Back in the ER, Cheon Soo asks how Jin Hee is doing, to which she insists she’s all better. Cheon Soo is looking for Chang Min to have the fall-down patient transferred to another hospital; the patient must get the kidney transplant. However, Chang Min has already gone home, so Jin Hee volunteers to finish the job. Jin Hee catches Cheon Soo just as he’s leaving to thank him for his text. Both react awkwardly and Jin Hee scurries away.

Jin Hee walks behind the fall-down patient as he is wheeled to an ambulance, when she meets the patient’s estranged wife. Jin Hee introduces herself as the person who had called the wife originally, and thanks her for agreeing to the kidney transplant.

Jin Hee receives a call from Chang Min, and tells him where she and the fall-down patient are headed. Chang Min decides to meet them at the hospital and arrives ahead of them. As he is looking over the patient’s documents, he spots his father’s name on the ICU patient list. Chang Min reveals to Jin Hee that his dad received surgery for high blood pressure and diabetes. Neither Chang Min nor his mother knew about this. However, Chang Min won’t bother to visit his father, because his father will just downplay the issue.

Chang Min offers to give Jin Hee a ride, but Jin Hee insists that she will take the bus or cab instead. Clearly, Chang Min learned something from Ji Hye, because he accepts Jin Hee’s answer with minimal fuss, and leaves.

As Chang Min walks away from Jin Hee, he overhears her calling Cheon Soo to report on the safe arrival of the fall-down patient. She then offers to return to the hospital, but Cheon Soo directs her to go home, which Jin Hee girlishly agrees to. Chang Min is upset by this exchange, but chooses to walk on.

Chang Min’s Absent Dad is writing a list and notices that his son’s birthday is coming up. That is all I know, because the subtitles translated the calendar entry, but not the words on the list. Evil Mom enters his office, and Absent Dad is surprised that she is visiting so late. However, Evil Mom just woke up after spending the day in bed. She has come to report the disaster of Chang Min seeing Jin Hee again.

Absent Dad tells Evil Mom to stop living for her son, but it’s a self-pity party again as she has nothing else to live for and she selflessly gave in to Chang Min’s every wish, as well as her husband’s wish to separate. Now, Evil Mom demands a solution for the Chang Min and Jin Hee problem, and since Absent Dad is so book smart, he can provide it. Absent Dad sighs resignedly.

Ji Hye’s advice to be patient echoes in Chang Min’s ears. He goes to look at the love lock that still bears his and Jin Hee’s name. Now, he’s hallucinating, interacting with a Jin Hee from the past who is miffed that Chang Min is late, and that he’s forgotten a milestone in their dating history. However, a magician, clearly hired by Chang Min, suddenly appears, and turns a tiny ugly wedding dress into a large ugly wedding dress. Jin Hee is speechless as she looks over the dress then hugs and kisses Chang Min tearfully, while he looks ecstatic. Chang Min stares lovingly at Jin Hee until the happy scene fades away and he is left alone in the present. I just have something in my eye so don’t mind me as I dab it with a handful of tissues.

Cheon Soo and Ji Hye walk out of the hospital together, and it reminds Ji Hye of their residency days. As difficult as those days were, Ji Hye remembers them fondly as a time of less worry and responsibility. It starts to rain, and Ji Hye suggests they have a drink.

Of course, Ji Hye and Cheon Soo go to the usual bar, and find Jin Hee sitting alone. Ji Hye invites Jin Hee to join them, which Cheon Soo seems adverse to. He reluctantly accepts Jin Hee’s company, but protests when Ji Hye asks Jin Hee what kind of man she is attracted to: someone familiar or someone exciting. Ji Hye asks Cheon Soo what they should chat about instead. The impact of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease on doctors? Cheon Soo readily agrees this it is preferable chit chat fodder.

Jin Hee hesitantly asks for clarification on the relationship between Ji Hye and Cheon Soo. Cheon Soo looks uncomfortable while Ji Hye reassures Jin Hee by saying that they are just work colleagues.

It is still raining when they leave the bar, so Ji Hye offers to catch a cab, so Cheon Soo can give Jin Hee a drive home. Cheon Soo and Jin Hee stammer and act like 12 year olds at the school dance, so the only adult in the situation runs for a cab, and leaves the two of them alone. Cheon Soo and Jin Hee are left with no option other than to make a run for his car.

In the cab, Ji Hye looks at a photo of her daughter on her phone. She asks aloud if she is a fool for throwing Cheon Soo and Jin Hee together, but feels like she did not have a choice. She smiles sadly and kisses the screen.

Cheon Soo and Jin Hee drive in awkward silence until he turns on the radio, and she notices a book he likes reading. Cheon Soo offers to lend it to her, and Jin Hee accepts. (The book is Eight Words by Park Woonghyun, and Amazon sells it, but does not provide a synopsis so I don’t understand the significance. I think we can safely assume that it is nothing embarrassing like hentai manga.)

Jin Hee brings up Ji Hye’s question back at the bar, and asks Cheon Soo whether he is attracted to the familiar or the new. Cheon Soo brushes off the question, so Jin Hee resorts to talking about Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease as is his stated preference.

Cheon Soo awkwardly returns to Jin Hee’s original question, and answers that he is attracted to someone new who makes his heart flutter. They are both silent before Cheon Soo suddenly brings up the topic of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease again, but clearly has nothing to say. Jin Hee is thrilled with this clumsy exchange.

Chang Min sits in his car outside of Jin Hee’s house, looking at her wedding band, and thinks back to their wedding day. Of course, he witnesses Jin Hee return in Cheon Soo’s car, and the two of them huddle under his jacket as they make a run for the front door. You can actually hear the sound of Chang Min’s heart breaking.


The kiss that Chang Min forced on Jin Hee at the beginning of this episode was pretty much the low point for Chang Min. Otherwise, he reached dreamboat status for me during this episode. Chang Min has realized that he should not be forcing himself on Jin Hee, is no longer freaking out every time Cheon Soo appears, and is consistently standing up to Evil Mom. I fear that he is remembering the past with rose coloured glasses, but at least, he knows that he underestimated the difficulties that Jin Hee experienced during and after their divorce. 

Cheon Soo, on the other hand, slid a little on the attractiveness scale, because he has been so incompetent when it comes to understanding and acknowledging his feelings for Jin Hee and Ji Hye. I’m not convinced that his attraction to Jin Hee is real, though. I mean, how can you resist the attentions of Ji Hye? She’s attractive, intelligent, flirty, and not ruled by her feelings nor prone to fits of jealousy. I suppose there are few lead female characters like her, because writers don’t think she is relatable, and there would be no drama.

Speaking of both Chang Min and Cheon Soo, I fear that my dirty mind got a little excited when Cheon Soo removed the surgical mask from Chang Min’s face to wipe it clean. Of course, this being a K-drama, it goes no further, but it would be redundant anyways when a site like Tumblr exists for that very purpose.

Finally, what to say about Jin Hee? There is no change. She is still prone to embarrassing herself, but also still level headed about her relationship with Chang Min. However, Jin Hee should feel free to grow along with Chang Min. Anytime now.

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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