Jae Hee breaks her ties with Hoon for his own good. No, really!
DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 17-18 (1/2)
It’s another week of the Doctor Stranger Drama Club! With only two more episodes left to go until the end of the series, did Doctor Stranger live up to last week’s expectations? Join in on our discussions!
Junggugeo Kaenada: It was quite the slog getting through much of episodes 17 and 18 of “Doctor Stranger”. Once again, the all-consuming competition to operate on the Prime Minister almost claims another victim.
This time, the patient is the sister of slutty surgeon, Chi Gyu. Chi Gyu’s boss, Jae Joon believes that the sister’s surgery should proceed, which runs contrary to the assessment of North Korean surgeon, Hoon. Chi Gyu is too much of a coward to defy his boss. Instead of risking his job, he places the onus on Hoon to forfeit the competition in order to stop his sister’s surgery.
Meanwhile, Hoon’s girlfriend, Jae Hee is also giving Hoon grief by using the tough love method to save him and his mother. Jae Hee suddenly brings up all the resentment she has held back about Hoon saving her life at the cost of her father’s. She also voices her fear that Hoon is committed to her out of guilt and duty rather than love. Jae Hee uses these reasons to push Hoon away, preferably towards the Chairman’s daughter, Soo Hyun.
On the plus side, Soo Hyun is no longer devolving into a 12-year-old girl with a crush whenever Hoon appears. She is trying to get over her feelings for Hoon, and she manages to figure out that Jae Joon is the malpractice victim of 20 years earlier. Though Jae Joon used her to get to her father, Soo Hyun does not get hung up on this betrayal. She chooses, instead, to take the measured approach of trying to convince her father to apologize to Jae Joon, both for Jae Joon’s sake and her father’s.
The most interesting part of this week’s episodes was Jae Joon executing his plan of revenge against the Chairman. His regret at hurting Soo Hyun, and having to abandon her in favour of vengeance is palpable. His first move is to get the Chairman’s son arrested, but this is foiled by the Prime Minister. Jae Joon then decides to go and give the Chairman a heart attack by revealing his true identity. It is tragic when Jae Joon admits that he had feared facing a remorseful Chairman, because the whole impetus of his life would have been for nothing. The scene then turns chilling as Jae Joon thanks the Chairman for being an unrepentant psychopath, because his life has not gone to waste.
Hoon, the title character of this series, has paled in comparison. He fails to keep his promise to Jae Hee’s father to protect his daughter. Instead, Hoon gives in to his guilt, and abandons Jae Hee at this crucial time. He is almost killed by the Prime Minister’s henchman, then his mother is kidnapped and used to blackmail him. Hoon is just on a losing streak.
With two episodes of “Doctor Stranger” left, let’s hope that Hoon can be more than a pawn in an evil game, or the nice guy who needs the protection of others. Then, maybe, he will have earned a happy ending, preferably with Jae Hee.
June: Once again it’s another week of disappointment from “Doctor Stranger”. I can’t help but think how did a show that had so much potential just totally go down the drain. Oh wait, it might have something to do with the writers totally dismissing its main character for other characters.
First thing’s first, wow I am once again annoyed by Jae Hee this week. A big factor is that I absolutely cannot believe that after 18 episodes, she literally has two facial expressions and I just can’t connect with her conveying any emotions, or shall I say lack of emotions. I think it’s pretty set that in the last episodes Jae Hee will ultimately sacrifice herself for Hoon and I will say I can’t help but feel a little bad for her. Things have definitely changed between them and I don’t think they can ever get back to the way they were. Hoon and Jae Hee have definitely lost their chemistry and I think that it where it all ended for me rooting for them.
Now onto other things, how is it that a drama that was supposed to be about Hoon just completely got shifted away from him? Was it when it was all focused on Jae Hee, Jae Hoon’s revenge or the Prime Minister’s plans? Like seriously, I feel like Hoon was just there whenever the competitions were happening. In the first half of this drama, the writers seriously dragged out the whole Jae Hee identity thing, and then they dragged out the Prime Minister’s plot thing and now these competitions. I just wish we could go back to the beginning and start this drama all over.
As for next week, I am going in with absolutely no expectations because I know if I do, I’ll be seriously disappointed.
Janice: Hoon shows up and takes over Dr. Moon’s surgery, saving the day with his magical doctoring skills again. However, this means Jae Joon and Hoon are tied, and another dreaded competition must be set up. This time, determined that Jae Joon should win, Chairman Oh stacks the odds in Jae Joon’s favor, assigning Chi Gyu’s 20-something-year-old sister to Jae Joon, while Hoon’s patient is a 40-year-old man. Speed is this competition’s deciding factor, bringing us full circle to the beginning of the series with the timed surgeries of the twins.
Confident of Jae Joon’s win, Chairman Oh tells Jae Joon he will be taking over some of his responsibilities when he is selected as the Prime Minister’s surgeon.
Hoon attempts to get Jae Joon to forfeit the competition for the sake of his career, but Jae Joon is having none of it. It’s touching to see that though Jae Joon may treat him coldly, Hoon still cares enough about him to protect the good doctor, and he tells Jae Hee as much when they discuss why he came back to Myung Woo.
In the same discussion between Hoon and Jae Joon, Hoon’s father, Park Cheol, is brought up again and Hoon tries to convince Jae Joon that his father did not go to North Korea to seek fame. Jae Hoon calls him a liar and refuses to believe what Hoon is telling him. Jae Joon’s stubbornness about this frustrated me to no end. I was still holding out hope that he and Hoon would finally resolve their misunderstandings and band together to be the superheroes against Prime Minister Jang and Chairman Oh, but it seems my hopes are to forever be dashed.
I wonder if Jae Joon is, in small part, holding onto his grudge against Hoon, because he is constantly catching Soo Hyun staring at Hoon. It must stir some sort of jealousy in Jae Joon to continually be witnessing Soo Hyun’s love for another man.
Meanwhile, Jae Hee puts her plan to leave Hoon into action by telling Soo Hyun that Hoon genuinely likes her. Jae Hee continues to tell Soo Hyun to wait a little longer, that she will soon be able to be with Hoon because she, Jae Hee, will be leaving for Japan.
Episode 17 wraps up with Kim Ah Young, Chi Gyu’s sister, spilling her dreams of marriage and kids to Hoon, asking if there’s any way she could avoid the surgery because it will be hard to have children if she undergoes the operation. Hoon looks at her films and realizes she has Marfan’s Syndrome and that Ah Young can, indeed, delay her surgery.
Trying to convince Jae Joon of that, however, is difficult. This is understandable, given how close Jae Joon is to getting his revenge. In the end, Jae Joon dares Hoon to trade patients with him, leaving Hoon with a dilemma. If he agrees, Hoon automatically loses the competition, if he doesn’t, will he be able to live with his conscience?
Episode 18 continues with Hoon being indecisive all the way to the eleventh hour. With Chi Gyu pleading with Hoon to protect his sister’s chance at a normal life, Hoon finally takes action and stops Jae Joon from cutting open Ah Young at the last possible minute, effectively losing the competition.
Jae Hee takes this moment to complete her plan to push Hoon away. She accuses Hoon of being a hypocrite, promising her to win the competition at all costs but always taking action that results in the opposite. She puts the nail in the coffin by revealing that she knows he killed her father in order to save her life. She questions Hoon’s ethics as a doctor and tells him to never see her again. Devastated, Hoon takes comfort with his mother and talks through his guilt and love for Jae Hee. If only Hoon had had this conversation with Jae Hee!
As promised, Jae Joon becomes the youngest acting chairman of Myung Woo, after winning the competition, and is embraced with open arms by Chairman Oh. In a candid conversation with the Chairman, Jae Joon questions the former’s hatred for Hoon, to which the Chairman admits sending Hoon’s father away to remove him from the malpractice suit that would’ve destroyed Myung Woo’s reputation. Jae Joon finally realizes that Hoon was telling the truth and he seeks Hoon out later to apologize.
In an act of stupidity, Sang Jin entrusts crucial financial statements to Jae Joon to deliver to the Chairman, thereby giving Jae Joon the materials to have Sang Jin arrested for embezzlement, and initiating his plans for revenge. By this point, Hoon and Soo Hyun have both correctly guessed that Lee Seong Hoon is Jae Joon’s real identity and try to dissuade him from pursuing his revenge. Jae Joon tells Soo Hyun that all he wants is a sincere apology from Chairman Oh in order for him to stop.
Soo Hyun tries to convince her father to apologize but the Chairman refuses to acknowledge any wrongdoing.
In a confirmation of last week’s conjectures, Hoon is sent away with his mom, presumably for his safety like the Prime Minister promised Jae Hee, but of course, Jang reneges and orders Hoon and his mom to be killed. When did the other bodyguard, not Tae Sool, become Jang’s crony? I thought he was the President’s implanted spy? Did I miss something?
In another predictable twist, the President is swayed by Hoon’s hippocratic actions and ultimately decides to pick him as his surgeon, saving Hoon from an untimely death. However, while his back is turned, Hoon’s mom is kidnapped by the bodyguard, exactly what Jae Hee was trying to prevent in the first place. My question is: why did Jae Hee not get mad at the Prime Minister for going back on his word? Where is the confrontation? I know it wouldn’t do any good, but the absence of that scene is a little confounding.
At the end of episode 18, we see Jae Joon confronting the Chairman and revealing his true identity. Chairman Oh goes into cardiac arrest as Jae Joon/Lee Seong Hoon lists every single action he has taken to destroy Myung Woo. Chairman Oh collapses to the floor with Jae Joon watching him and we are left to wonder: Will Jae Joon/Lee Seong Hoon save the Chairman? Or, will he leave him to die? I predict that Jae Joon will save the Chairman but we’ll have to wait one more week to find out!
What does everyone think? Will Jae Joon save the Chairman? What are your thoughts on this week’s episodes? Tell us your theories and predictions in the comments below!
DRAMA CLUB: Doctor Stranger 17-18 (2/2)
In this week’s chat, the Doctor Stranger Drama Club is delighted with Soo Hyun’s new maturity, expresses our thoughts on Jae Joon’s revenge, and discusses Jae Hee’s tactic for pushing Hoon away from her. Join us as we also take on the task of predicting what’s going to happen in the last two episodes of the show!
Janice: Whew, episodes 17 + 18 were a doozy.
Junggugeo Kaenada: If by doozy, you mean snoozy, then, yes. I agree. It was very hard to concentrate on what was happening, because it was so boring, and I no longer cared.
June: Yeah I was totally not happy with this week’s episodes. It was pretty boring.
Janice: This week felt a lot like filler, didn’t it?
Junggugeo Kaenada: Yes, I can’t believe the competition was still going. And in the end, the President just made the decision, which was contrary to the results of the competition. What was the point?!
June: I am seriously not surprised that they are continuing this dumb competition. I feel like it got dragged along too much.
Janice: As soon as Hoon lost the competition, I knew the President was going to step in and pick him to do the surgery. The President has been contrary to Prime Minister Jang every step of the way, there’s no reason to believe he wouldn’t be in this instance too. From a writer’s perspective, Hoon is our main protagonist, it’s inconceivable that he wouldn’t be the one to do the surgery. Otherwise, why would we be watching “Doctor Stranger?” At the same time, it’s precisely this predictability that has me so impatient with “Doctor Stranger” this week. Being able to guess that Jae Hee would throw her father’s death in Hoon’s face, to the President contrarily selecting Hoon, to Chairman Oh suffering a heart attack when Jae Joon confronts him, means that nothing has happened this week to surprise or entertain me.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Did you see Jae Hee bringing up her father and questioning Hoon’s love coming? I didn’t, just because Jae Hee has been keeping a lid on her fears and feelings thus far. I did not foresee her suddenly spilling everything out like that.
Janice: Last week, we conjectured that Jae Hee would be stepping aside for Hoon and Soo Hyun. The only way for Jae Hee to separate Hoon from her would be to use her father’s death against him. As soon as Jae Hee told Soo Hyun the story about her kidney, I was like, “Ah, that’s how Jae Hee is going to remove herself from the love equation. She’s going to pretend that she can’t accept Hoon for choosing to kill her father to save her.” And that’s exactly what happened. To me, the whole Soo Hyun and Jae Hee scene felt like a setup for the scene between Jae Hee and Hoon.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I believe that Jae Hee’s anger about her father’s death, and her fears about losing Hoon’s love are real. In which case, I wish Jae Hee had been allowed to express this fear and resentment sooner. Instead, we got Jae Hee making constipated faces and suffering in dignified silence.
June: That was one thing that I was super annoyed with throughout this whole drama. I feel like the actress herself had like 2 emotions that she could convey. I also had a feeling that she would bring up her father’s death some time or another.
Janice: Thinking about it, I think filler might be the wrong word, this week felt really mechanical. It seemed that the writers needed to wrap things up with the end of the show so near, so to compensate, they laid events out like a checklist for us. Boom boom boom, this is happening and this is why.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Well, if the writers are feeling any sense of urgency, they aren’t showing it with Hoon. He is supposed to be the main character, and the writers have let him fade into the background. With two episodes left, I hope Hoon steps up and acts like the hero he is supposed to be. Thus far, he has failed Jae Hee, fooled around with Soo Hyun, and bickered with Jae Joon. He hasn’t achieved much else. His advocacy for patients does not count for much since he still actively participates in the stupid competitions that are putting them in danger.
Janice: I agree with you, Hoon was a passive character this week with the story moving a lot on Jae Joon’s revenge.
Janice: Revenge pretty much took over “Doctor Stranger” this week. What I’m glad about though is that Jae Joon finally finds out how wrong he’s been about Hoon, even though Hoon tried to correct him on his misunderstanding before. Maybe next week, they’ll finally work together like we’ve been wanting them to for the last couple of weeks.
June: I totally agree with you guys and I think this is the very reason I have become so disappointed in this drama. We have Hoon, who is supposed to be the main character but yet it’s like he has yet to have an impact in this whole drama. I feel like they’ve focused on everyone else but they’ve forgotten about him.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Actually, I was just thinking that it may be too late for Jae Joon and Hoon to team up, because that would have required subtlety. Since Jae Joon has let the cat out of the bag regarding his true identity, and he is standing over the ailing Chairman without lifting a finger to help, I doubt he will be allowed to enact any more of his plans for vengeance.
Janice: I’m hoping that Jae Joon and Hoon will be able to go after the Prime Minister together. I do agree though, that there’s not enough time to really get satisfaction on this one partnership. I’m also hoping that next week, Jae Joon gives in to his conscience and saves Chairman Oh by operating on him.
Junggugeo Kaenada: As an aside, I am glad that Soo Hyun has regained her dignity. She is trying not to crush on Hoon any more, even when he is turning on the charm. And, when she realized that Jae Joon had used her to get to her father, she did not descend into hysterics. I appreciated that.
Janice: Me too, but Soo Hyun’s hysterics have seemed to morph into Chairman Oh’s denseness. Chairman Oh, who is supposed to be clever, didn’t catch on that Jae Joon is Lee Seong Hoon sooner? Even when very privileged information just happened to leak at the same time that Jae Joon was handed sensitive financial information?
June: I am so glad they didn’t make Soo Hyun be super dramatic about this whole ordeal either. I think it would have completely, like completely made me dislike her. It’s like she was a tiny bit redeemed. But just a tiny bit.
Junggugeo Kaenada: I guess I am trying to find something positive about episodes 17 and 18 of “Doctor Stranger”. I can’t even muster annoyance. I am just so tired of the terrible choices of the writers.
Janice: What do we think about Jae Hee? Her decision to completely extricate herself after the surgery, does it still make sense? Jae Hee admits to Soo Hyun that sometimes she thinks Hoon is only choosing her out of duty and guilt, but after she tells Hoon that she’s leaving because of what he did to her father, Hoon still wants to be with her, so guilt and duty doesn’t seem so plausible anymore…
Junggugeo Kaenada: I think Jae Hee has reason to be concerned. She is no longer the girl that Hoon fell in love with; she has been changed by her imprisonment in North Korea, and whatever training turned her into an agent. Hoon has also admitted that he wished Jae Hee could be more like Soo Hyun, who he is able to kid around with. The problem is that the writers have not made the most of this rift between Jae Hee and Hoon. They have chosen to focus on her intention to sacrifice herself for Hoon, instead.
Janice: I feel bad for Jae Hee because she started separating herself from Hoon in order to save him and his mom, but events negated her sacrifice: Hoon’s mom got kidnapped by Prime Minister Jang anyway and Hoon is being forced to do the surgery. It seems like the happy life that Jae Hee had wanted Hoon to have isn’t going to happen, so why not drop the pretense of being angry at him, and go back and beat Prime Minister Jang together, like they had originally planned?
June: To be competely honest, I am very annoyed with Jae Hee, and as I’ve said before it’s probably due to the acting of the character itself. I can’t get past the lack of emotions she puts into it, but I do feel bad for her. In the end, it seems like she will be the one sacrificing everything for the man who she might not be able to end up with when it’s all over.
Junggugeo Kaenada: Cooperation requires communication, and there is very little of that between Hoon and Jae Hee. He took on a “Don’t ask, don’t tell” stance regarding what brought her to South Korea, and she is convinced that she knows what is best for him. Then, Hoon gets an inkling of what Jae Hee has planned and sabotages it. Now that I think about it, I don’t think Hoon and Jae Hee should end up together. They lost whatever chemistry they had after Hoon left North Korea.
June: I agree and that makes me pretty sad. I loved their chemistry that they had right in the beginning and I couldn’t help and hope to see that once again.
Janice: They’ve lost me rooting for them at the moment too.
Junggugeo Kaenada: How about we propose a scenario that will save the series next week?
Janice: Moved by his conscience and his love for Soo Hyun, Jae Joon operates on Chairman Oh, saving his life. However, the Chairman gets his comeuppance and is arrested for his shady dealings. Consequently, all the dirty laundry of Myung Woo Hospital gets aired out, leaving the hospital in a PR nightmare. The board decides to permanently make Jae Joon the chairman in a desperate attempt at damage control.
Tae Sool comes to the rescue and wrests Hoon’s mother away from the other bodyguard. This enables Hoon to operate on the President in an ethical manner and Jae Hee is there with him. After the successful surgery, Hoon and Jae Hee reveal to the President what a conniving bastard Prime Minister Jang is, who then gets punished and is sent to North Korea. Jae Hee realizes how much Hoon really loves her and they have a heart-to-heart to work things out.
With revenge behind him, Jae Joon works on his relationship with Soo Hyun and they find the love and partnership they once had.
Jae Joon’s first order of business as Chairman is to make Hoon the Head of Cardiology, much to Dr. Moon’s chagrin. Jae Joon and Hoon become besties and drink happily ever after.
Junggugeo Kaenada: After grabbing Jae Hee and kissing her like he actually loves her, Hoon and Jae Hee speak honestly to each other. Hoon is like, “I am afraid that you are no longer the happy girl I fell in love with.” And Jae Hee is like, “I was locked up in a North Korean labour camp, and then, they trained me to become their agent. There is no way I could remain the same, and I resent the fact that you did not even bother to learn why I have changed.” They kiss and makeup, then Hoon gets good and angry at the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Jae Joon manages to escape fault for causing the Chairman to collapse, because the Chairman is in a coma, and Soo Hyun covers for him. Soo Hyun’s feelings for Jae Joon are revived when they speak honestly to each other. Jae Joon is like, “I regret using you then pushing you aside for my dreams of vengeance.” And, Soo Hyun is like, “I just need you to be funnier, and less of an A type psychopath.” They kiss and makeup, and escape to the United States.
Finally, Hoon and Jae Hee manipulate the surgery schedule, and manage to get the Prime Minister on a surgical table. That is when they find out that he has no heart. They leave him as is, and escape to Canada where Hoon and Jae Hee are relieved to find out that universal health care means they need never worry about the likes of the Chairman nor turning away patients without health insurance nor money.
June: We can all hope one of those scenarios happens next week.
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