“Emergency Couple” episode 19 recap

Now I understand why Chang Min fell in love.

Side dish: This episode was such a ray of sunshine that one of my favourite brunch places instantly comes to mind: Lady Marmalade. The line up outside the Toronto establishment on the weekend is ridiculously long after 10am. There is also one outpost in Victoria, BC.

Episode Recap

Oh Chang Min (Choi Jin Hyuk) listens to his ex-wife, Oh Jin Hee’s (Song Ji Hyo) heart beat through a stethoscope in the hospital stairwell. Jin Hee stares at Chang Min expectantly, hoping that Chang Min will understand that her heartbeat quickens for him.

It appears that Chang Min is getting the message as he stares intently into Jin Hee’s eyes. Then, Chang Min asks blankly what she is doing. Jin Hee explains that her heart has been beating for him for a while, but she didn’t want to admit it.

The tension is broken when Chang Min claims not to hear anything. Jin Hee quickly tests the stethoscope on Chang Min, and is puzzled, because it works fine. Chang Min takes the stethoscope back and works it all over Jin Hee’s chest. Jin Hee initially looks perplexed then catches on that Chang Min is just copping a feel, and crosses her arms protectively over her chest as Chang Min laughs. This is as fantastic as Chang Min’s post-elevator erection.

In the interns’ office, fellow intern, Im Yong Kyu (Yoon Jong Hoon) is stuffing one of the fortune cookies that Jin Hee made for Chang Min into his mouth just as Chang Min walks in. Yong Kyu has no respect for personal property, so Chang Min invades Yong Kyu’s personal space by fishing the fortune out of his mouth. Chang Min reads the fortune, which states “A husband should know that a wife is his work of art.” He looks thoughtful about this questionable piece of wisdom as Yong Kyu tries to find out what the message says.

Back in the ER, Jin Hee is explaining to the son of the granny patient that her tumour was successfully removed and she is on the mend from pneumonia. The son is calmer than he was when he first arrived at the hospital, but he continues to blame Jin Hee for telling his mother that she had cancer. Jin Hee apologizes again, but Chang Min points out to the son that the whole debacle could have been avoided if he had been honest with his mother, and present to take care of her. Chang Min advises him to spend more time with his mother, and it is clear that he is expressing regret at not spending more time with his late father.

Jin Hee walks up beside Chang Min in front of a supply shelf, and casually asks if he saw her latest fortune cookie message. Chang Min initially plays dumb, then laughs at Jin Hee’s gullibility. Jin Hee reinstates the cookie’s message that she became who she is, because of him, even if it stemmed from feeling inferior to him. Chang Min denies her claim, saying she became a doctor on her own, and probably would have become a doctor even without his influence. She continues to insist that, even now, she always needs his help, but Chang Min reassures her that she is doing well.

They both reach for the same container, and inadvertently touch hands. Jin Hee retracts her hand first, and Chang Min smiles while placing the container in front of Jin Hee before walking away. Jin Hee brings the hand that made contact up to her face and looks hopeful.

Fellow intern, Han Ah Reum (Clara) is treating a patient’s wound while the man leers at her body. Ah Reum finishes up and is about to leave when the patient insists on a new pain, and talks her into running her hands up his thigh. A few beds down, Chang Min watches the scene unfold. The patient takes a good whiff of Ah Reum’s perfume before asking her about it. Ah Reum instantly draws back from the patient, crossing her arms in exasperation.

Chang Min strides over and announces that he will examine the patient. The patient aggressively beckons Ah Reum to continue the examination like a drunken patron at a strip joint. When the patient refuses to leave, Chang Min is about to lose his temper, but chooses to identify himself as Ah Reum’s husband instead. Chang Min’s lie sends the lecherous patient hobbling away as quickly as possible.

Ah Reum thanks Chang Min who tells her to switch with a male doctor in the future if the situation becomes uncomfortable. Jin Hee, who has been watching unseen nearby, shoots lasers from her eyes. She catches Chang Min as he is walking down the hall, and casually asks him if he saved Ah Reum from being hit on by a patient. Chang Min figures that, because Ah Reum is attractive, she tends to get hit on. Jin Hee admits that Ah Reum has a sexy body. Chang Min says he is glad that Jin Hee doesn’t have that problem. He smiles as he walks away, leaving Jin Hee spluttering about her unsexy scrubs.

Jin Hee is still grumbling as she enters the locker room, then attempts to prove to herself in the mirror how sexy she can be. Ah Reum walks in at that moment, and Jin Hee plays it off, while privately wincing in embarrassment.

Alone in the locker room together, Jin Hee takes the opportunity to bring up her previous advice to Ah Reum to be patient with Chang Min, and awkwardly attempts to rescind it. Fortunately, Ah Reum is already aware of Jin Hee’s feelings for Chang Min, and concedes to them. Jin Hee gratefully suggests that they have a drink together sometime.

Chang Min enters his mother’s (Park Joon Geum) ostentatious home, and goes straight into the bedroom where she is being tended to by her doctor sister. Chang Min thanks his aunt, before she leaves to prepare dinner. Evil Mom asks how both Chang Min and Jin Hee are doing, then requests that Jin Hee come see her when she has the time, because she has something to say to her. It would appear that Evil Mom has greatly diminished in evil so, perhaps we should start referring to her by her name, Yoon Sung Sook.

Sung Sook admits to feeling guilty for her husband’s decline and death. She regrets not holding his hand more and nagging him less since she was resigned to not getting what she wanted, anyway. Chang Min takes his mother’s hand in his as she continues to confess that throughout her marriage, she only thought about how her husband disappointed her. Sung Sook wonders if he died because he could not stand her and her disdain. Chang Min attempts to comfort his mother with a hug as she sobs her wish for her son to be happy.

Jin Hee’s mother (Lee Mi Young) and sister, Jin Ae (Jeon Soo Jin) enter her room to find Jin Hee’s entire wardrobe scattered throughout. With rollers in her hair, Jin Hee laments that she has nothing pretty to wear, then complains that Jin Ae’s taste in clothing is too different from hers for her to borrow anything. Mom and Jin Ae trade perplexed looks as Jin Hee sits down heavily on her bed in frustration.

Back in the ER, Chang Min arrives to examine a young, female patient in a form fitting dress. The patient is is coughing and has a fever, but she misinterprets Chang Min’s offer to examine her chest and back, and insists on only having her ears examined. Chang Min complies, but ends up pressing against her thigh in the process. The outraged patient shoves Chang Min into a neighbouring bed just as the husband intern and a nurse run up. Chang Min offers to fetch a female doctor with barely contained frustration, shoving poor husband intern on to the bed as he goes to fetch Jin Hee.

It turns out to be the perfect moment to swap patients, because Jin Hee is having trouble examining a male patient who is in a great deal of pain while gingerly holding out the crotch of his pants. Jin Hee leaves the patient to Chang Min, but continues peeking in through the privacy curtains. Hence, she gets to see what a penis with second degree burns looks like.

The married interns are arguing over whether pouring boiling water on a husband’s penis is an acceptable response to cheating, when Jin Hee and Chang Min enter the interns’ office. They are both exhausted from treating the patient with the burned penis and the patient who accused Chang Min of sexual harassment. It turns out they are husband and wife. The wife intern marvels that former spouses Chang Min and Jin Hee were treating a married couple, then warns her husband to be careful so as not to be sued for sexual harassment.

Jin Hee spots ER supervisor, Kook Cheon Soo (Lee Pil Mo), and stops to welcome him back to work. Cheon Soo awkwardly acknowledges her then goes to his office without another word. Jin Hee is amused and follows to ask Cheon Soo about further treatment for the granny whose tumour Cheon Soo had removed. Cheon Soo says the treatment will be costly. Fortunately, the granny’s son had told Jin Hee that money was no object. Cheon Soo is relieved since, in his experience, people choose to spend more money to treat their children than to treat their parents.

They fall into awkward silence, before Jin Hee attempts to reach out through small talk again, but Cheon Soo only gives single word answers. Cheon Soo then brings up what has been on his mind; he asks Jin Hee if she would be a doctor if it meant only living for a year, or quit medicine and live a long life. Jin Hee reasons that she worked hard to become a doctor, which will make it hard to quit, but living comes first. For Cheon Soo, the two weeks he spent away from the hospital was more than he could bear.

Jin Hee suggests that Cheon Soo date when he feels that way, because a wife or girlfriend makes time outside of work precious, and he will be re-energized for work. She points out that normal people look forward to days off. Jin Hee and Cheon Soo look at each other with tears welling up in their eyes. Cheon Soo thanks her for sharing her thoughts, and keeps his eyes down at his desk as Jin Hee leaves the office. Jin Hee pauses to contain herself just outside his office, while Cheon Soo stares out at nothing from his desk..

Cheon Soo and specialist Shim Ji Hye (Choi Yeo Jin) enter a treatment room where a patient is suffering from acute laryngitis. They prepare for intubation with only minutes until brain damage, and possible death. Cheon Soo is successful, but belatedly finds out that the patient is a singer. Ji Hye echoes Cheon Soo’s thoughts as she comments on how difficult it is to save a life while destroying what is important to that patient.

Chang Min is driving out of the parking garage when he is forced to brake suddenly. A woman wearing high heels and sunglasses, with a rose clenched between her teeth steps out in front of his car. Chang Min stares in apprehension as Jin Hee saunters slowly towards his car, takes the rose from her mouth, and throws it onto the windshield.

Jin Hee climbs into Chang Min’s car, as he asks what’s wrong. Jin Hee huskily asks how she looks today. Chang Min chooses instead to call her strange, and ask again if something is wrong. Jin Hee reveals that she has taken tomorrow off to coincide with his day off. Chang Min is still dumbfounded, as Jin Hee directs him to drive so she can eat. The look on his face is priceless. 

Chang Min is troubled and perplexed by Jin Hee’s unusual behaviour. Jin Hee explains that she is just trying to make him feel better, but he insists that he’s okay. When she asks where they are going, Chang Min says he’s going home. Jin Hee breaks from sexy mode to exclaim angrily, and Chang Min smiles at a more recognizable Jin Hee. Chang Min relents to going to dinner with her, and Jin Hee happily looks over her prepared list of restaurants. Chang Min enjoys her enthusiasm.

Jin Hee is drinking beer with great relish while Chang Min is in awe of her drinking ability. She blames him for her increased tolerance; she only started drinking when they started dating. Jin Hee then tries to feed Chang Min, who initially turns her down, then reluctantly agrees. He was right to be cautious, because Jin Hee mischievously misses his open mouth, then playfully runs her thumb over his lips to wipe it clean.

Walking together after dinner, Jin Hee reveals that she was scared that Chang Min would quit the hospital, disappear, and they would never have another opportunity to meet again. In contrast, Chang Min has come to fear that if they take any reconciliation lightly, they may hurt each other again, and never recover. However, he encourages her not to give up. At that moment, Jin Hee rolls her ankle and falls against Chang Min. He tells her that she should have worn sneakers, then gives her his coat to wear. They smile cutely to themselves.

Cheon Soo is drinking soju by himself at a BBQ joint. He thinks back to Jin Hee’s advice to date so that his life does not hinge on his work, and remembers various low points in Jin Hee’s dignity during their acquaintance, as well as some of their special moments together.

Ji Hye’s door bell chimes, and she answers the door in her pyjamas only to have Cheon Soo collapse in her arms, reeking of soju. Cheon Soo ends up on her couch, having rejected her bed. He clasps Ji Hye’s forearm as she covers him with a blanket, and she goes to fetch him some water. Cheon Soo pushes the blanket off and sits up to drink.

Ji Hye asks why he drank to excess, and Cheon Soo can only say he felt weird. Ji Hye tells him that he should have called her to drink with him, then. Cheon Soo wonders what Ji Hye is to him; she drinks with him, packs him food, gives him socks, and gives him rides, too. Ji Hye also adds sleepovers to the list; she is there for him in all conditions. Cheon Soo asks if it doesn’t hurt. Ji Hye becomes serious, but manages to remark that he must have had a few to drink, and places a pillow against her lap, encouraging him to lie down. Cheon Soo pushes the pillow aside and places his head in Ji Hye’s lap. Ji Hye laughs, as Cheon Soo asks if he can stay like this for a while.

With his head in her lap, Ji Hye slowly comes to the realization that Cheon Soo is drunk, because he has given up on pursuing Jin Hee. This becomes too much for Ji Hye who suddenly stands up and throws the remaining bottle of water in his face. Ji Hye shouts at Cheon Soo for forcing her to witness his breakdown over another woman, and running away from Jin Hee the same way he ran away from her. Ji Hye’s standard easygoing cool crumbles as she wails at Cheon Soo, asking how long she must watch and wait for him.

In reality, Ji Hye’s cool remains intact, as she stares down at Cheon Soo sleeping in her lap, oblivious to the hurt and anger she keeps hidden. She lovingly cradles his head.

The next day, Cheon Soo is back on his feet and walking through the hospital while Ji Hye asks him how he feels. Jin Hee runs up from behind and is about to happily greet them when she overhears Cheon Soo commenting on how little sleep Ji Hye got last night, because of him. Ji Hye wonders how long it has been since they last slept together. Jin Hee drops her phone in shock, alerting Cheon Soo and Ji Hye to her presence. She awkwardly says hello, and Cheon Soo walks away without a word. Ji Hye flashes Jin Hee an sympathetic smile before following him.

In front of the elevators, Ji Hye voices Cheon Soo’s thoughts when she worries that Jin Hee might think they slept together. As they enter the elevator, Jin Hee catches up, but she stops and tells them to go on ahead. Cheon Soo sighs as the doors close.

Jin Hee has followed Cheon Soo to his office, and enters without a word. Cheon Soo remembers that today is her day off, which she confirms. She has come in to work to see the results of the test on the granny patient, which she presents to Cheon Soo. Jin Hee is ready to recommend the best treatment to her family, when Cheon Soo reveals that it will cost $10,000 a month. Jin Hee is shocked, and asks if there is another option. Cheon Soo recommends participation in clinical trials as a more practical option.

Just as she turns to leave, Cheon Soo tells Jin Hee to go on a date on her day off. Once again, Jin Hee pauses just outside Cheon Soo’s office to catch her breath, while Cheon Soo stares blankly in his office.

Chang Min opens his door on his day off to find Jin Ae with baby Gook strapped to her. She has come to beg for him to babysit, because she has auditions, her mother has gone on a picnic, and her husband is working to literally feed his child. Jin Ae reassures Chang Min that Gook is easy, and she will be back soon. Chang Min finds it impossible to refuse as he stares at Gook and his adorable square head.

Jin Hee finds out about Chang Min’s babysitting duties when she receives a call from him. It sounds like he is speaking quickly, and a baby can be heard crying in the background. Jin Hee rushes over to Chang Min’s apartment in alarm, and finds Gook crying non-stop.

When Jin Hee has a moment to think after calming the baby down, her thoughts turn to cursing out her sister. Chang Min tells her to let it go as her sister had a legitimate reason. Jin Hee is distressed that the baby has commandeered Chang Min’s day off, but Chang Min seems perfectly content to care for Gook. Hijinks involving spilled formula and dirty diapers follow. They play with the baby and bathe him in the living room of all places, then put him to bed, before collapsing on the couch.

The door bell rings, and it’s Yong Kyu with some chicken to share. He spots Jin Hee wearing Chang Min’s shirt, and steps back, exclaiming in shock. Jin Hee’s brother-in-law, Kim Kwang Soo (Park Doo Shik) shows up at that moment, and also assuming that something sexy has happened, claps his hand over his mouth.

All four end up drinking beer at Chang Min’s dining table. Kwang Soo apologizes for leaving Gook with him. Yong Kyu also apologizes for stopping by without notice; he was hoping to discuss quitting medicine with Chang Min. Chang Min asks what he wants to do, and Yong Kyu admits that he wants to do music. Chang Min is quick to pair Yong Kyu up with Kwang Soo; it turns out they both love indie music.

Yong Kyu is still scared to pursue something new, but Jin Hee and Chang Min encourage him; they both know that it is never too late for a new start.

As both Kwang Soo and Yong Kyu take their leave, Jin Hee asks them to wait so that she can join them. Kwang Soo and Yong Kyu encourage her to stay then run out the door as Jin Hee and Chang Min protest.

Jin Hee not only stays, but continues to chug beer with an equally inebriated Chang Min. Jin Hee asks Chang Min why they never had a baby. Chang Min wanted one, but they always managed to have a fight when she was ovulating. They reveal to each other the health problems they each suffered as a result of stress during their marriage.

Jin Hee exclaims about how great new starts are, before passing out at the table. Chang Min carries her into the bedroom. Just as he places her on the bed, Jin Hee grabs Chang Min and, slurring her words, announces her intention to start over with him, but this time will be different than their marriage. She passes out and Chang Min tucks her in, then watches her before getting up.

The next morning, Jin Hee wakes up to find someone’s arm under her head. She turns sleepily and finds Chang Min in bed with her. Jin Hee does a double take then starts screaming. Chang Min wakes up, and also starts screaming. They both have bare shoulders so there may be something to get excited about.


I realize that this episode is pretty much filler to make up for the extension, but it was good filler. After a couple of episodes of weeping, it was nice to watch an episode with lots of comedy, accompanied by weird sound effects.

I am liking this new, proactive Jin Hee. Her persistent pursuit of Chang Min is super cute, and she is so attractive when she is laughing with Chang Min that you finally understand what drew him to her in the first place.

Chang Min is still mournful in the aftermath of his father’s death and with his mother still struggling health wise. However, this is also the best I’ve ever seen him. He is subdued and cautious, but not immune to Jin Hee’s charms nor ready to give her up completely. When he does give in to the temptation to tease her, it is hilarious and sweet. The chemistry between Chang Min and Jin Hee is the strongest it has been thus far.

The situation is more gloomy for Ji Hye and Cheon Soo. I do feel there was much needed progress when Ji Hye angrily asks Cheon Soo how much longer she must wait for him, even if it was all in her head. I was beginning to wonder if she was just going to stand by and suffer nobly until the end like so many second leads. Her emotional breakdown gives me hope.

The only discordant part of the episode for me is Cheon Soo’s seeming devastation over losing his chance with Jin Hee. Considering that it never felt like Cheon Soo was fully committed to pursuing Jin Hee, his reaction seems overly angsty. Plus, forcing Ji Hye to pick him up after drinking over another woman was insensitive.

Best of all, the show gave us more loving shots of Baby Gook, awake and asleep. As far as this episode is concerned, it’s like the cherry on top of the chocolate bacon sprinkled on ice cream.

Emergency Couple Ep 19 - Baby Gook

Emergency Couple Ep 19 - 13

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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