DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 5-6 (1/2)
This week’s newest episodes of Doctor Stranger were a roller coaster ride of intensity and suspense. Our magical doctor, Park Hoon, finally gets to meet Jae Hee’s doppelganger, Dr. Han Seung Hee, and we’re thrown into a guessing game of “Is she or isn’t she Song Jae Hee?” Meanwhile, the plot thickens as we see Prime Minister Jang working with Chairman Oh and Comrade Cha to ensure that Park Hoon stays at Myung Woo University Hospital. What do they have up their sleeves? Come join us as the Doctor Stranger Drama Club recaps episodes 5 and 6!
Junggugeo Kaenada: Everyone has a good cry before the intrigue ramps up as a North Korean plot is revealed in episodes 5 and 6 of “Doctor Stranger.”
After learning that her late mother truly did love her, Soo Hyun (Kang So Ra) is slowly breaking free of her father and his evil family. It was so satisfying to watch Soo Hyun walk away just as her father was about to stage another nasty family intervention. Then, Soo Hyun decides to stay overnight at her mother’s house instead of returning to her father’s home; sure, it was the practical thing to do, but it was significant given that she has never disobeyed her father before, as he has noted.
The only disappointing thing about Soo Hyun is how dense she is. She is bewildered that her mother could have hidden her love to benefit Soo Hyun, and it does not occur to Soo Hyun that her fiancé, Jae Joon could be jealous of her burgeoning relationship with Hoon.
Jae Joon (Park Hae Jin) gets points for being honest to Soo Hyun about his feelings of jealousy. Unfortunately, he still loses for continuing to direct his anger at Hoon, because of his failings as a fiancé, and for generally acting cold and officious.
Meanwhile, Soo Hyun and Hoon (Lee Jong Suk) are developing a rapport while in search of his lost love. It is understandable given their outsider status: he is from North Korea, and she is the result of an extramarital affair. At this point, the romantic potential is lopsided. Soo Hyun appears to be developing a crush on Hoon after he put his career on the line for her. Sadly, Hoon is still obsessed with Jae Hee.
Episode 5 ended with quite the cliffhanger as Jae Hee (Jin Se Yun) made her appearance before a shocked Hoon. I was impressed at how early in the story the reveal came, because I feared further implausible coincidences and near misses. Unfortunately, it is just as frustrating to watch Hoon flounder after coming face-to-face with Jae Hee. He is running into road block after road block in his singled-minded pursuit of the truth about her identity.
I hope Hoon returns to the charm offensive in the next episode. His smile at Jae Joon after waking up in the middle of a meeting to speak with the police was priceless.
June: I swear every time I watch new episodes of “Doctor Stranger,” I manage to go through so many different emotions. First off, I’m glad they gave Soo Hyun some closure with the situation with her. I couldn’t hold my tears in whenever we saw that illusion of Soo Hyun talking to her mom! It was just so sad to me.
Now one thing I just can’t figure out is this Han Seung Hee. I seriously hope she isn’t Jae Hee and just has some amnesia or something. I will seriously be peeved if that is the case. Right now, I just can’t help but dislike her and the North Korean guy. Whatever they are planning is going to be up to no good whatsoever! Especially with that stunt they pulled with Chang Yi’s mom. That also goes with the Prime Minister. There is just so much going on, I can’t even tell who’s a good guy and who’s a bad guy.
I am digging this Soo Hyun and Hoon friendship thing going on. My favorite part was them bonding while drinking. I hope that their friendship will grow but also I hope it doesn’t turn into a romantic one. That will only complicate things and that is certainly not needed. I also hope Jae Joon doesn’t hurt Soo Hyun in the end! I have seriously grown to love her character and I hope she gets treated right as the drama goes on.
I can’t wait to see how this Seung Hee thing plays out. Like who is she really? Also how are all these characters all connected? It seems like a web of people and we just have to see how it all goes down.
Janice: We start to gain more insight into Han Jae Joon’s character, in episode 5, as he drinks at a bar with his colleague. Jae Joon spins a metaphor about a knight who wants the castle but needs to show the lord he is a good fighter, and win the heart of the princess, in order to do so. The conflicted knight is then warned by his fellow doctor not to fall in love with the princess if he wants to win the castle.
Afterwards, Jae Joon seeks out Soo Hyun to apologize for scolding Park Hoon, explaining that it all came from his jealousy. He then pulls Soo Hyun into a seemingly desperate hug. This would have been a touching scene worthy of some tender-hearted smiles if Jae Joon hadn’t ruined it by looking up at his hospital-castle.
And, I can’t help but wonder: is it cold calculation in Jae Joon’s eyes or conflicted emotions? For Soo Hyun’s sake, I hope it’s not all pretense!
However, Soo Hyun might not care in the end, as she and Park Hoon head towards a close friendship. Dr. Oh has finally reconciled her mother’s love for her through sketches and birthday presents she finds at her mother’s house, and this new revelation changes Soo Hyun, bringing out a warmer and more sympathetic side to her. Soo Hyun attempts to help Park Hoon in his search for Jae Hee, as a way to thank him for operating on her mother, and starts to develop feelings for him. The dreaded love triangle is here but I’m in denial. I’m still holding out hope that Hoon and Soo Hyun’s relationship will remain that of very close friends.
In episode 6, Hoon finally meets Han Seung Hee, the Jae Hee look-alike, but we, as an audience, are left with questionable clues as to her real identity. Through Seung Hee, we’re introduced to a mysterious mission that she and Comrade Cha are working on and it somehow involves Prime Minister Jang and Chairman Oh. What sort of strange intrigue is afoot?
The suspense builds as Dr. Choi Byung Cheol comes back into the picture and Park Hoon is convinced that he’s untrustworthy. We see in flashback that Dr. Choi is the one who brought Park Hoon to North Korea in the first place. However, when Chang Yi’s mother recognizes Dr. Choi as the person who got her out of the labor camps in North Korea, Hoon changes his mind and trusts the doctor to help him find Jae Hee in North Korea.
“Doctor Stranger” keeps playing tug-of-war with our heads, trying to persuade us that Seung Hee is not Jae Hee. But, I am convinced that they are one and the same, and Seung Hee is using the mission to protect Hoon. I would be pretty surprised if it turns out in the end that Seung Hee and Jae Hee are two different people; this better not be a case of “Face/Off” style plastic surgery!
We close episode 6 with Park Hoon listening to Seung Hee’s heart. We’re reminded of Hoon saying in the beginning that no two heartbeats are alike.
We’ll have to wait until next week to find out the outsome but I bet it’s Jae Hee’s heartbeat that Hoon hears.
What do you think? Is it Jae Hee’s heartbeat? Is Seung Hee really Jae Hee? Share your thoughts on “Doctor Stranger” with us in the comments below!
DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger Episodes 5-6 (2/2)
Janice on Fri, May 23, 2014
The Doctor Stranger Drama Club is back for round two this week as we talk more in depth on episodes 5 and 6! We hash out theories on the North Korean conspiracy, we chat about the menagerie of women falling at Hoon’s feet, and we discuss the developing love triangle between Hoon, Soo Hyun, and Jae Joon. Join us for our round table and share with us what your theories are!
Junggugeo Kaenada: I really enjoyed episode 5. It featured drama and comedy in equal measure. Unfortunately, I am less enthusiastic about episode 6. I felt that it got dragged down by a storyline that forced Hoon to chase Seung Hee (aka Jae Hee) around. Then, Chang Yi’s poor mother gets dragged into the intrigue at the risk to her health. That’s not entertaining.
June: I enjoyed both episodes but I agree. I was not pleased with Chang Yi’s mother getting involved with this whole situation. Also, Seung Hee just rubs me the wrong way.
Janice: I can see what you’re both saying. Hoon chasing Seung Hee around did get annoying to me too but I enjoyed episode 6 more for the plot-building than anything else. With Comrade Cha conspiring with Seung Hee and Prime Minister Jang, I know we’re setting up for something big, plot-wise, and I’m excited to see how the coming episodes build on that.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Yes, I am interested to see exactly what the North Korean plot is. Initially, I thought they were trying to sabotage the Prime Minister’s impending heart surgery, but he seems to be involved in the plotting. So now, I’m confused.
June: Same. I just can’t believe how shady everyone is. I feel like you can’t trust anyone in this drama. lol
Janice: I had the same thoughts, JK, I thought they were going to sabotage the heart surgery too, but now I think maybe Prime Minister Jang is working with the North Koreans to somehow get rid of the President so that he can ascend to the position. Even as I type this, I’m wondering if I’m bonkers because I don’t know how that would work. But, the whole scenario with Seung Hee being able to prove that the serum she injected into Chang Yi’s mother can control consciousness at will, makes me think that.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I think we can safely assume that Seung Hee is Jae Hee undercover? I appreciate the complexity of her situation, though I question why the North Koreans would trust such an important mission to a person who has every reason to betray them.
June: For me, I’m still confused whether Seung Hee is Jae Hee. I just can’t understand why she would do this mission in the first place but would I be surprised that this is really Jae Hee? Probably not. lol Dramas always pull these stunts all the time.
Janice: I’m assuming that Jae Hee is undercover too and being forced in some way to do this mission in order to protect Hoon (because without the mission, Comrade Cha would just take revenge on Hoon). There are moments in episode 6, where Seung Hee seems to be Jae Hee: she freezes when she sees Soo Hyun being tender with Hoon; the hand fist when Hoon insists on listening to her heartbeat.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Yes, the drunk scene. The fact that Seung Hee seemed affected by the intimacy between Soo Hyun and Hoon tells me that she is indeed Jae Hee. Plus, she has too many of Jae Hee’s memories. I’m pretty sure it’s her.
Speaking of Soo Hyun, I’m enjoying the sidekick role that she has taken on with Hoon. She was the voice of reason during episode 6 while Hoon was going crazy.
June: I am loving Soo Hyun’s character and the friendship she has with Hoon. I hope the writers keep it as a friendship and don’t force a love line/love triangle. That’s such unnecessary drama and will create more of a mess.
Janice: Exactly, June! I love the shades of warmth to Soo Hyun’s character now, too, but I can see that a love triangle is definitely going to happen. Remember when she crouches down by Hoon, while he’s passed out, and she strokes his cheek? ACK! I was shouting NO so hard in my head.
June: Ah yes, that scene! Sighs. I wish that in dramas it can be possible for a male character and female character to just be friends. lol But that’s too much to ask for.
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: I’m okay with Soo Hyun and Hoon developing something beyond friendship. It is understandable when Hoon is putting his career on the line and hiding the reason to protect Soo Hyun. That’s dreamy. What I am cringing at is the show hinting at Chang Yi having feelings for Soo Hyun, too. She calls him “hyung” for goodness sake! That relationship should stay platonic.
Janice: YES, I was just going to say that. Hoon has too many ladies falling for him at the moment.
June: Omg that scene. I was like just great! We might have someone else falling for Hoon too. lol Dang, Hoon just making all these girls fall for him.
Junggugeo Kaenada: You know, Jae Joon makes it too easy for Hoon. Yes, he is honest about his feelings with Soo Hyun, which is not always the case in K-dramas. Otherwise, Jae Joon is more focused on getting angry at Hoon than helping Soo Hyun. Meanwhile, there’s Hoon smiling, doing surgery for practically free, and possessing amazing doctor skills. What mere hospital department head could compete with that?
Janice: Haha, you hit the nail right on the head. I’ve been dying to talk about Jae Joon. That whole bar scene between him and his co-worker has added another layer to Jae Joon’s cold personality. We knew that he was capable of machinations but I didn’t think he was calculating enough to pretend affections for Soo Hyun in order to become the next chairman of the hospital. But, that metaphor in the bar made me think twice! What do you guys think?
June: Ah Jae Joon. That bar scene just basically confirmed my suspicions about him. Especially that scene when he hugs her and the music changes to a more dark tone and he looks up at the hospital. It’s pretty clear that he still wants the “castle” but I think he also has some real feelings for Soo Hyun. I still think in the end he’d pick being the chairman instead of Soo Hyun.
Janice: I think this is why I’m still so engaged with “Doctor Stranger.” The characters are all multi-layered and there’s an ambiguity to each that keeps us guessing and on our toes. For example, Hoon decides to trust Dr. Choi but can we say that Dr. Choi will turn out to be a good guy? I’m not sure and I love that uncertainty. I’m also glad that, six episodes in, there still aren’t any superfluous characters in “Doctor Stranger” (cross my fingers it stays that way), everyone pretty much advances the plot in some way.
I can’t wait to see what the North Koreans and the Prime Minister have planned for Hoon because he’s most entertaining and endearing when faced with difficult situations.
Junggugeo Kaenada: The show has been good regarding pacing, so I hope “Doctor Stranger” doesn’t dwell on the Jae Hee / Seung Hee mystery for too long. Let’s ramp up the heat between Soo Hyun and Hoon, because the resulting conflict inside Hoon between his love for Jae Hee and his growing attraction to Soo Hyun would be so entertaining.
June: Between some potential new love lines and shady characters, “Doctor Stanger” has been bringing the drama and I can’t help but wait until we get more episodes. I can’t wait to see how all the characters are connected and to also find out more about Seung Hee / Jae Hee. Also, I can’t wait to see more of Soo Hyun and Hoon’s friendship, and more of Jae Joon and Hoon’s rivalry.
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