This was pretty much the high point of the week for “Doctor Stranger”.
DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 9-10 (1/2)
This week’s episodes of Doctor Stranger were chock full of suspense with everyone hunting for Hoon, while Hoon just wants to run away with Jae Hee. Drama Club opinions are divided on episodes 9 and 10 between feelings of satisfaction and cries of exasperation. Read on, and pick a side!
Janice: This week’s episodes were so very satisfying. Not only did we get some answers, but our OTPs finally got reunited!
We started episode 9 off with the two medical teams at Myungwoo Hospital operating on the twin babies for their competition against each other. Predictably, Park Hoon’s team lost, because of Soo Hyun, which made me really mad. I wasn’t mad because Hoon’s team lost. I was mad, because I’m still not liking the direction that Soo Hyun’s character is going in. Where’s that spitfire? We see a glimpse of it when Soo Hyun knees her half-brother in the groin, but otherwise, Soo Hyun’s story revolves around Hoon. Sigh.
After learning that Hoon lost the race, Comrade Cha immediately sets about trying to kill Hoon. I spent most of episode 9 on tenterhooks wondering, “Is this the scene where Hoon gets shot? Where’s Comrade Cha? He’s going to sneak up behind Hoon, isn’t he? Run, Hoon, RUN!” Needless to say, the tension and suspense made me bounce in my chair, especially since Seung Hee spent the entire time trying to protect Hoon, finally revealing herself as Jae Hee.
Episode 10 continues with the pair of them reuniting at Hoon’s medical office, and it’s a sweet circle back to the beginning: Hoon finally fulfills his dream of eating microwave-rice and instant curry with Jae Hee. They sure make curry and seaweed look good!
While Hoon and Jae Hee spend time reconnecting and dating, we finally find out what Prime Minister Jang and the North Koreans are up to. A little bit of it, at least, anyway. North Korea announces that they are going to commence nuclear testing, and Prime Minister Jang doesn’t seem surprised. I wonder if this is his bid to create another crisis that he can come out smelling like a hero from, again. However, the bigger plot still remains shrouded in mystery. We don’t know why Jang would want Hoon as his surgeon, and we don’t know what North Korea gains by colluding with the Prime Minister. I’m sure we’ll find out more juicy details next week.
Meanwhile, the plot thickens as Prime Minister Jang finds out that Han Jae Joon is really Lee Seong Hoon, the son of the couple whose malpractice suit sent Park Chul to North Korea.
After the twin that Jae Joon operated on goes into cardiac arrest, Park Hoon’s team is declared the winner, and Jae Joon is in danger of being sent to the branch hospital. Jae Joon asks the Prime Minister to give him a second chance, and when that fails, he begs Chairman Oh for the same consideration while kneeling in front of his house. Episode 10 ends with Prime Minister Jang telling Chairman Oh to pave the way for Jae Joon, which means we’re being set up for more challenges and competitions between Hoon’s and Jae Joon’s medical teams. I can’t wait to see what next week brings!
Junggugeo Kaenada: Episodes 9 and 10 of “Doctor Stranger” have convinced me that Myungwoo Hospital has no chance of becoming the best hospital in South Korea. In fact, it is quite possibly the worst hospital in South Korea.
The most obvious reason for Myungwoo’s mediocrity is that the patient is never the focus, no matter what super surgeon, Park Hoon says. During the twin infants surgery that Hoon helped bring about, he almost bails just as the procedure is about to start, and has to be noisily dragged back. He then refuses to find an anesthesiologist to replace his missing girlfriend, Song Jae Hee, because he has faith that she will appear, and lets quack surgeon, Oh Soo Hyun waste precious seconds on performance anxiety, because he has faith in her, too.
The rest of the Myungwoo medical staff are no better. Hoon’s boss, Chief Moon literally dances with joy as the condition of one of the infants deteriorates, because it means that he beat his rival, Han Jae Joon. Meanwhile, Jae Joon has the ulterior motive of destroying the hospital, because his father died under their care during a routine procedure 20 years earlier, and instead of an apology, he received disdain from the hospital chairman. The Chairman, whose supposed ambition is to make his hospital the best, would rather be punitive than keep good surgeons in an understaffed hospital. The rest of the surgical staff appear to suffer from a sexual addiction that carries over into the workplace.
Even the architecture of the hospital works against patient care. It has already been established in an earlier episode that patients find it impossible to navigate through the building. In the two most recent episodes, Hoon runs around looking for Jae Hee who is frantically trying to find Hoon before a trigger happy North Korean agent finds him. Add Soo Hyun and Hoon’s sidekick, Lee Chang Yi to the list of people desperately seeking Hoon within the confines of Myungwoo Hospital, and when it is suggested to Chief Moon that he go search for Hoon, I feared that “Doctor Stranger” had crossed over into farce.
Myungwoo Hospital may well have the top surgeons in South Korea, but between loose cannon Hoon’s repeat disappearing act, and scheming Jae Joon’s desperate bid for revenge, it is a wonder that any doctoring gets done.
June: I will be completely honest about this week’s episodes of “Doctor Stranger”. While last week I was fully enjoying this series, it seems like this week was sort of a disappointment for me. I am seriously wondering what the writers are doing! I was pretty confused and I feel like there is too much going on right now.
My first disappointment would have to be again the Jae Hee/Seung Hee situation. As I’ve said many times before, can they just please wrap up this story line? I feel like it’s tiresome, and the back and forth pulling of “is she really Jae Hee, is she not?” is already getting old. If it really does end up being Jae Hee, I feel like I’m going to be really confused on why she even took up this mission.
To be honest, my patience is wearing thin with Jae Hee. I can’t help but think she’s shady, which is sad, because I really liked her in the beginning, and was rooting for her and Hoon. I think a part of it has to do with Jin Se Yun’s acting. She literally has just two facial expressions the whole time. I hope they can really just flesh out her character ASAP.
Now, the second thing I had an issue with was Hoon’s behavior right before the baby’s surgery. What in the world was he thinking! I know that he really loves Jae Hee, but a life is on the line right now. But, not only Hoon’s behavior irked me, everyone in that damn hospital acts so unprofessional. I know it’s just a drama, but come on. Some of these doctors are so petty, and I think it’s sad that they treated this surgery as a competition. What’s important is saving the babies lives, not some competition. But, anyways, Hoon’s behavior is always so over the top and crazy when it comes to Jae Hee.
Finally, I wish we could get a clearer view of what the Prime Minister really has planned. At least, with Jae Joon, we know why he wants revenge on Myungwoo Hospital. Everything about the Prime Minister just screams shady to me. I can’t wait for his plans to be revealed (because you know, we’ll finally understand something about him.)
I seriously hope that next week’s episodes make up for this week’s episodes. I don’t want to lose faith in this drama! One thing’s for sure, I did enjoy Hoon and Soo Hyun’s duet of “Tell Me” by the Wonder Girls.
Were you out of your seat with excitement or smacking your keyboard in frustration? Please share your thoughts in the Comments below!
DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 9-10 (2/2)
Will Doctor Stranger Drama Club dissolve into a war of words given our opposing reactions to episodes 9 and 10? We discuss the lengths of Hoon’s love for Jae Hee, cringe at Jae Joon’s desperation, and lament at the recent disappearance of comedy. Come join the discussion!
Junggugeo Kaenada: I am sorry to report that, having read both of your recaps of “Doctor Stranger”, opinions are divided on episodes 9 and 10.
Janice: Ohhh, really? I enjoyed this week’s episodes, because we finally resolved a few things: Seung Hee admits to being Jae Hee, Jae Joon’s secret identity is revealed, and there’s forward movement with the North Korean plot, though I still can’t see what the overreaching goal is.
June: I’m the opposite. I did not enjoy these episodes this week. I thought the plot was becoming a hot mess with lots of confusion, and I still do not like Seung Hee’s storyline. Also, I feel like they need to reveal more of what the Prime Minister is planning ASAP.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Can we all agree that the kiss between Hoon and Jae Hee when they reunited in his clinic was super dreamy? It is rare to see such passion between two young characters in my experience of K-dramas.
June: I was surprised that she wasn’t just standing there! It was like a legit kiss. lol
Janice: I was so glad our two protagonists finally got what they wanted.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I, too, enjoyed seeing Hoon and Jae Hee so happy. However, my good will towards them is running on fumes. I am losing respect for Hoon what with his shouting at Soo Hyun and Chang Yi. Plus, Soo Hyun is becoming a wet napkin, the kick to her half-brother’s package, notwithstanding.
Janice: I so agree with you! Soo Hyun only exists in the storyline to pine after Hoon, and that is so different from where I thought her character was going. Though I did enjoy her throwing words in Jae Joon’s face about why he lost the competition, telling him that perhaps he’s the one pretending to be a doctor for caring more about the competition than the babies.
June: I agree with the losing respect for Hoon. I was especially not happy when he was about to drop everything before the baby’s surgery.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I guess we’re supposed to understand that Hoon’s love for Jae Hee will compel him to act against his moral code. Afterall, he was the mastermind behind the twin infants’ surgery, and he claimed to compete for their benefit.
Janice: That scene was disappointing to me, too. I think JK is right on the money: the writers spent so much time showing us Hoon’s ethics, we’re supposed to understand how great Hoon’s love is for Jae Hee when he breaks them just for her. He’s willing to do anything for her. Look at episode 10, when Hoon agrees to stop running, even though he really, really wants to escape from the North Koreans, just because Jae Hee asked him to.
June: Honestly, I just think I’m peeved, because I don’t think I trust Jae Hee anymore. I still don’t understand why Hoon isn’t questioning her about anything. Like, I know you have this great love for her, but, hello? Don’t you have like a million questions to ask her! Like for one, how did she escape from the North??
Junggugeo Kaenada: Ha! I was shouting at the screen, “Aren’t you curious, Hoon?”, just as Jae Hee brought up the same question. I guess everyone thinks that Hoon’s lack of interest in her past and what brings her to South Korea is weird. Meanwhile, Jae Joon is no longer merely a weak love interest. He has transformed into a pathetic character who is so consumed by revenge that he is willing to debase himself, and be cruel to Soo Hyun who he honestly has feelings for.
June: I think, at least, in this whole mess of a plot, we finally know his reason for his revenge. But, yeah, that scene with him outside the Chairman’s house was definitely not my favorite.
Janice: It was so cringe-worthy. I think we’re supposed to see that Jae Joon will do anything to get his revenge, but I don’t know how I would be able to respect anyone who begs that far and that desperately.
Junggugeo Kaenada: The problem is that the writers have made the characters go against the very persona that made them appealing, all in service of melodrama.
June: Basically, and this was exactly what I was dreading. This drama started off really well, and I had high hopes for it. I really didn’t want to be disappointed, but I was. I couldn’t help it.
Janice: I wanted Jae Joon to be smarter, to out-maneuver the Chairman in order to get his position back, so it was really, really disappointing when the writers just made him beg, and before two different people, since he went to the Prime Minister, too. That was going too far.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Yet, I can’t place all the blame on the writers. I do not think the acting has been nuanced and multi-layered enough to make the characters’ motivations believable. Lee Jong Suk goes from happy-go-lucky to desperate with very little in between.
June: Same. Hoon is so over the top most of the time, and Jae Hee literally has about two facial expressions.
Junggugeo Kaenada: It says a lot that I dislike the despicable Chairman and Prime Minister only slightly more than everyone else at this point. Do we have any final thoughts, and what are your hopes for next week?
Janice: We’re finally getting more movement on the conspiracies so I’m really hoping that the North Korean / Prime Minister plot gets a huge push in the coming episodes. With 10 more episodes to go, I think it’s inevitable that Hoon and Jae Hee will be separated again.
June: I hope that we can finally move along with this Jae Hee business. I’m tired of them dragging it along. At this point, I’m starting to not even care for her anymore, to be honest. Which is sad, because I was rooting for her and Hoon in the beginning. I’m also going to need Hoon to stop being so over the top every five minutes. Finally, can they please reveal some of the Prime Minister’s plans or something? They keep dragging it along, and I feel like people will start losing interest. I was disappointed this week, but I really hope next week makes it up for me.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I know my affection for Hoon is dying, because not even the sight of him singing and dancing to karaoke at the end of episode 10 perked me up. I hope that with 10 episodes left to “Doctor Stranger”, the writers consider easing back on the melodrama, and bring back some of the comedy that I enjoyed the most. If I have to slough my way through 10 episodes of Hoon screaming, Jae Joon crying, and Soo Hyun and Chang Yi waiting on Hoon, I’m going to smack myself with my laptop. I just noticed that I left Jae Hee off my list of frustration, so if I can’t get charming Hoon back, let’s hope we get Jae Hee kicking ass as we got an inkling of in episode 9.
Janice: Yes, bring the comedy back! That is one thing I missed in this week’s episodes, too. And, I think Jae Hee is going to become the smarter counterbalance to Hoon’s impulsiveness. Her plan to stop running is smarter than Hoon’s instinct to escape and hide. Hopefully, in the coming episodes, we see Jae Hee’s evolution into more than the object of Hoon’s affection.
Like reading our thoughts? Check out our individual blogs and Twitter!
Jung-gug-eo Kaenada: Noonas Over Forks | @NoonasOverForks
June: Fun. Futuristic. Fashionista. | @itsjunemarie
Janice: YangJanice.com | @yangjanice