Hospital Playlist 2: Episode 10

 

As our characters deal with secrets from their past, unforeseen tragedies, and sudden reunions, it feels like life can be relentlessly brutal at times. However, just as there are dark periods in one’s life, there is also hope in the form of second chances, unwavering trust, and unlikely friendships. Besides that, a little rock and roll from time to time helps let off some steam, and a good pair of leather pants and chains might just be what the doctor ordered.

 

EPISODE 10 RECAP

 

Receiving a call from Jae-hak, Joon-wan puts his talk with Ik-soon on hold and heads to the ICU. After he finishes, he returns to the ER, but her bed is empty. He checks his phone and finds a text from Ik-soon, promising to contact him once she has some free time. Noticing the late hour, Joon-wan decides against calling her back and walks away.

In the hospital garden, the fellows enjoy a nice break and comment on how much leisure time they have now compared to before. Dr. Bong corrects them since their schedules will only get busier from here, and it makes him appreciate the five friends even more for balancing work with their band practice.

According to Jae-hak, the group is meeting today as well, and Seon-bin chimes in with even more details. Despite knowing a great deal, neither of them has figured out the history behind their name, “Gongnyong Ridge” (aka, Dinosaur Ridge), so Dr. Bong fills in the gaps. He tells them that the group was originally a hiking club, but in reality, they never go hiking and only eat food. Heh.

 

Outside the ER, Jung-won begs his friends to join him on the trail, but they adamantly refuse to participate because mountains were meant for viewing not conquering (ha!). He claims that the course is for beginners and yells at them to search it up on the internet.

Without missing a beat, Ik-joon warns him to watch his tongue because Joon-wan does not know how to use the internet. Jung-won gasps at his blunder, and Joon-wan turns in head as if offended by the heinous comment. Pfft.

Their argument ends when Song-hwa pulls up in her car and shouts at them to get in. Ik-joon naturally opens the passenger side door, but Jung-won takes his place, leaving him with the dreaded middle seat.

 

On their way to grab fast food, everyone talks over each other to give Song-hwa their order until she finally bursts and makes them take turns. Once they reach the drive-thru, she lists off everything in one smooth delivery, and the others stare at her in awe.

The back passengers are also shocked by Jung-won who has been holding onto his credit card for five minutes which is a drastic improvement from before. However, their commentary irks Song-hwa who growls at them to be quiet, and they immediately obey.

 

While they eat their burgers, Ik-joon mentions his upcoming birthday and tells them that he chose a song: “It’s My Life.” Only Jung-won approves of the choice, and the others yell at him for giving in so easily.

After their meal, Ik-joon looks up lodging for their vacation and teases Joon-wan about the marvels of technology. Joon-wan says that it sounds very similar to buying bus tickets, and Ik-joon makes a silly face, pretending not to hear him.

They eventually find a place to sleep, but while the others were busy searching, Song-hwa and Seok-hyung were occupied with a different task. Joon-wan peeks over their shoulders to check and rolls his eyes at them for buying leather pants. Pfft.

 

Jung-won’s siblings bother him over the phone to ask about their mom, and he jokingly complains about them to Gyu-wool. He asks how her mom is doing, and she tells him that she is recovering well. He mentions her brother’s upcoming wedding since he wants to buy the couple a gift, and she promises to ask her brother. Jung-won leaves first because of a surgery, and once he is gone, Gyu-wool looks down with a troubled expression.

Ik-joon’s patient brings his best friend as a donor, and while this is a fortunate situation, Ik-joon informs him that the screening process will be strict for non-family members. He explains how the government oversees it in order to prevent illegal transactions, and the two men wonder what all this will entail.

Seok-min bumps into Song-hwa who is on her way to the rehabilitation room to see the TA patient Hwang Doo-na. They run across her mom in the hallway, and she tells Song-hwa that her daughter is improving. While Doo-na is making progress, her speech skills are not improving, and Doo-na sighs in frustration during her therapy session.

Looking haggard, Min-ha grabs Gyu-wool for some impromptu counseling outside in the garden. Despite Gyu-wool’s assurance that her confession will work this time, Min-ha wants to use her final chance outside the hospital and appear presentable at the very least.

Gyu-wool asks why she looks like this today, and Min-ha tells her that she ran out of shampoo. Luckily, her schedule does not coincide with Seok-hyung’s, but as fate would have it, he comes out this very moment with Ik-joon.

 

Ever the social butterfly, Ik-joon bounces over and asks if they ate lunch. Hiding her hair, Min-ha says that she grabbed food with some colleagues, and Ik-joon scolds Seok-hyung for not eating with her. In an exasperated tone, Seok-hyung reminds him that it was his fault he could not. (Huh, interesting word choice there Mr. Bear.)

After they say goodbye, the fellows sneak out to buy Min-ha some shampoo, and the two friends sit down to chat. Ik-joon tells Seok-hyung about his patient’s donor situation, and though he thinks they might actually be friends, he is a bit worried about the screening process.

During the first interview, the coordinator goes over all the risks with the patient and friend. Though it sounds terrifying, the friend sticks with his decision since he is the patient’s last hope.

 

Gyu-wool’s younger brother Ga-eul drops by the hospital to tell her that his fiancé called off the wedding. He predicted this outcome, though, because her behavior changed after he told her about their abusive dad who is in jail right now for beating their mom.

He pretends to be fine about the breakup and explains how she started to look at him as if he was the same as his dad. He wonders if he should have kept it a secret, and Gyu-wool tells him that he cannot hide it forever. She apologizes for not being able to do anything for him, but he assures her that he is fine.

Ga-eul proposes lying to their mom about the real reason, and Gyu-wool apologizes again. Though she recognizes his suffering, right now she can only think of their mom. She tells her brother that she knew about their mom’s situation, but she convinced herself that everything was fine. She feels guilty for leaving her behind, which is why she cannot forgive herself.

 

Jong-soo shows off his cooking skills and waits expectantly for his friends’ reactions. After taking a bite, Rosa slams her chopsticks on the table and gushes about the noodles. Seok-hyung’s mom agrees and accidentally addresses him as brother-in-law before correcting herself.

He laughs giddily after hearing their praises and says that his foul mood has momentarily lifted. He tells them about the fight he had with his eldest about the inheritance issue, and this time, Rosa takes his side in the argument.

Jong-soo wishes his son would stay in the US, but Seok-hyung’s mom disagrees. She says that being with your kid is always the best option and sighs since her son might go to the US for work. She asks Rosa for advice on how to keep him in Korea since seeing him occasionally is her only joy in life.

 

Jae-hak asks Joon-wan about his lunch plans, and Joon-wan tells him that he is eating with his friends. He invites Jae-hak to join them, but Jae-hak already has plans with his wife—he was simply worried about his professor being lonely.

He brings up the fact that only Joon-wan has never asked them why they do not have kids, and Joon-wan says that it is none of his business. Despite what Joon-wan just said, Jae-hak shares his story, unprompted, and explains how they tried to conceive but failed.

Though he always imagined life with kids, Jae-hak tells his uninterested professor that he likes spending time with his best friend above all else. To Jae-hak’s surprise, Joon-wan becomes invested and admits to feeling envious of his relationship.

 

The coordinator tells the patient and friend that they are a match, but this is only the beginning. She asks for their understanding going forward since she will have to suspect their relationship every step of the way. She hands them a list of documents they need to procure as proof of their friendship which includes photos from their school days as well as weddings and birthdays.

Ik-joon finds Jung-won withdrawing cash and asks what he is doing. Jung-won tells him that they have a department dinner today, so he got money to give the residences afterwards to use for cab fare. Genuinely touched, Ik-joon decides to not tease his friend, and Jung-won scoffs, thanking him for the pass.

 

To disprove any monetary incentives, the coordinator asks for their earnings, and the friend hesitates to answer. The patient wonders if he is embarrassed about making less than him, but it turns out to be the opposite: the friend paid ten million won in property taxes alone and makes 200 million won a year (roughly $173,000). Hearing the numbers, the patient tells him to buy food from now on, and the friend scowls.

Jae-hak’s date with his wife is cut short when she experiences stomach pain, and he takes her to the ER. While she rests, Dr. Bong drops by and tells them that she is pregnant. Registering their shocked expressions, he realizes that they did not know and offers to call Seok-hyung for an appointment.

 

While Joon-wan and Ik-joon discuss their upcoming trip, Song-hwa laughs at their pointless questions because their vacation is already planned out. She presents Jung-won’s itinerary sheet to them, which even includes mandatory bathroom breaks. Ik-joon wonders if they should warn Gyu-wool, and Joon-wan nods his head. Heh.

As soon as they meet Seok-hyung, Jae-hak’s wife tells him that they did not plan on having a child and need to discuss whether or not they will keep it. Before they get ahead of themselves, Seok-hyung confirms that she is, indeed, pregnant, and shows them a clip of the ultrasound.

Jae-hak says that they will talk things over, but his wife has already made her decision and asks when the baby will be born. After answering all her questions, Seok-hyung asks if she has any other concerns, and she tells him that she felt something in her breast which comes as another surprise to Jae-hak. Unsure of the cause, Seok-hyung suggests an appointment with a specialist.

 

Debating over whether or not he should call Ik-soon, Joon-wan decides to wait for her reply, and his patience pays off when she texts him back. She says that she can meet him this coming Monday evening, and he agrees to see her at the restaurant in front of the hospital after his afternoon surgery.

Resident Geon runs into Gyu-wool in the hall and offers to wait for her so they can go to the department dinner together. She tells him to leave first and sits in the stairwell to call her mom. She asks how she is doing, and her mom tells her that she ate with her brother.

 

To Gyu-wool’s dismay, her mom wants to move back home and calls herself a burden on her daughter. Gyu-wool says that it is unnecessary, but her mom refuses to budge. Gyu-wool agrees to let her leave then, but in exchange, she will quit her job and follow her. Her mom cries over the phone, and Gyu-wool tells her that she cannot be happy if her mom is not.

She trudges back to the office, but stops in her tracks when she finds Jung-won waiting for her inside. Seeing his smile, she breaks down and runs into his arms. Caught off-guard by her tears, Jung-won silently hugs her, and Gyu-wool cries into his shoulders.

 

The friends take two cars to the pension with Song-hwa and Joon-wan riding with Ik-joon and Jung-won coming with Seok-hyung. In Ik-joon’s car, the others ask about Woo-joo, and he tells them that his son went camping with his girlfriend’s dad (cameo by PD Na Young-seok). During their first meeting, Ik-joon commented on his resemblance to the famous PD, and Mo-ne’s dad huffed at the insult. Heh.

Ik-joon wonders what the probability is that none of them get an emergency call, and on cue, Song-hwa’s phone rings. In the other car, Jung-won gets a call and needs to return to the hospital, too. One by one, the friends head back to work, leaving Joon-wan and Seok-hyung driving alone in their respective cars. Bwahahaha, of all the combinations!

 

The two friends clash as soon as they arrive, and Seok-hyung greets the pension owners while Joon-wan stands off to the side, staring at the family photo on the wall. While they argue about what to eat, Joon-wan says that girl looks familiar, and Seok-hyung gasps since he instantly recognizes her as Min-ha.

Joon-wan calls Jung-won to tell him about the coincidence—as well as complain about Seok-hyung—and eventually, this fact reaches Min-ha’s ears. She calls her mom immediately and tells her that her adviser is staying at their place right now. She describes him as a bear and says that it is very obvious.

 

Joon-wan and Seok-hyung fight over the tv and tussle on the ground for the remote. They break apart when Min-ha’s parents knock on the door and hand them a platter of sashimi on the house. Seok-hyung invites them inside, but Min-ha’s mom stops her husband from accepting since she has indigestion.

Looking at the two doctors, she grabs Joon-wan’s hand, mistaking him for the bear, and asks him to take care of their daughter. After they leave, Joon-wan and Seok-hyung manage to eat one bite before arguing again. Refusing to be in the same room as him, Joon-wan goes to bed first and turns off the lights. So petty, heh.

 

Because of a delay by the previous team, Joon-wan’s surgery is moved back, so he asks Ik-soon if they could meet an hour later. She tells him that it is fine, so they reschedule to 7:30 PM.

Ik-joon finds the coordinator sighing in the garden and asks if she found something suspicious in the relationship. She tells him that everything is going smoothly, but one little detail is bothering her: in the friend’s wedding video, the patient only appears at the very end for pictures.

She wonders why a supposed best friend would not have a more important role during the ceremony, and Ik-joon agrees that it seems odd. Thinking it over, he mentions the possibility of the patient collecting cash gifts on behalf of the couple, and the coordinator runs off to verify this hunch.

 

While Jung-won operates on a patient, Hong-do accidently bumps into him. Living up to his nickname, Jung-won calmly tells him to be careful and explains how even the slightest motion is amplified for him. Resuming the operation, Jung-won goes over every little detail of the surgery to his assistants, and Hong-do looks at him in awe.

In his own operating room, Joon-wan stares at his young patient, and after much deliberation, he decides to use a homograft. Meanwhile, Ik-joon plays in Song-hwa’s room and notices the rain. He makes two cups of coffee and turns her attention to the window so they can watch it together.

 

As they admire the weather, Song-hwa asks Ik-joon what he wants for his birthday, and he mentions needing a new dryer and refrigerator. She gives him another chance to choose a proper gift, and he says that anything she gets him is fine.

A silence falls between them, so Ik-joon comments on how night duties are not so bad if they are quiet like tonight. Unfortunately, he spoke too soon since Song-hwa gets a call right then and needs to leave. Moments later, the coordinator texts Ik-joon, thanking him for the tip because he was right about her wedding conundrum.

 

While getting ready to leave, Jung-won hears the door open behind him and assumes it is Joon-wan. He turns around, and a grin spreads across his face as he sees Gyu-wool standing there. He asks why she did not go home, and she tells him that she wants dinner with him today.

It is nearly 9:30 PM by the time Joon-wan finishes the operation and informs the guardians about the good news. Clearly tired after the long surgery, he takes the elevators to his office, but as soon as the doors open, he flies down the halls since he is two hours late to his meeting with Ik-soon.

 

After dinner, Gyu-wool asks Jung-won why he never asked about her family, and he tells her that he was waiting for her to share when she was ready. That time is now, and Gyu-wool opens up to him about her family. She tells him about her abusive dad and describes her childhood as hell. Once she moved to Seoul, she finally found respite, but in order to enjoy her freedom, she ignored the signs she picked up from her mom.

Gyu-wool says that she chose to believe the lies her mom told her, but then one day, the hospital called to notify her about her mom’s serious injuries. While her mom recovered, the experience traumatized her, and she appeared to give up on life.

 

Gyu-wool admits that she would like to spend her days with Jung-won, but right now, her mom needs her more. She apologizes to him for her decision, but Jung-won tells her that he is fine. He understands her priorities, but more importantly, he wants her to know that none of this is her fault.

Jung-won says that he would have done the same if he was in her position and hopes she will not berate herself for what happened. All he asks is to be able to have a meal with her at least once a week, and she nods in agreement. She smiles back at him, and he reaches over to caress her face.

 

Joon-wan runs to the restaurant in a hurry, and relief washes over him when he finds Ik-soon sitting at a table. After taking a seat, he says that she should have called, but she figured that he must have been in the operating room.

With a sigh, she tells him that this is late and possibly pointless, but she wants to apologize for lying to him about their breakup. She thought she was burdening him, but in reality, she chose to run away in order to avoid being hurt. She caused him pain, instead, and recognizes her selfishness now.

She tells him that she still likes him which was why she had his photo, but she assures him that she will not bother him with her feelings. Joon-wan asks if she can really act as if nothing happened whenever they come across each other, and tells her that he cannot. Omo!

 

Jung-won asks Joon-wan if he prepared black and chain clothes for tomorrow’s practice, and Joon-wan laughs since he does not have chains. He says that he is jealous of Ik-soon’s easygoing attitude and wonders how the appointments went with Jae-hak and his wife.

The breast specialist tells the couple that she has stage two cancer and recommends chemotherapy before surgery. However, her pregnancy complicates matters, which means they have two options: terminate the pregnancy and start chemotherapy or wait until the fetus is fourteen weeks and start chemotherapy then. Jae-hak immediately choose the first option, but his wife asks for some time to discuss.

 

After talking things over in the garden, Jae-hak decides to follow his wife’s decision, but her adamant refusal to chemotherapy worries him. Answering a call from Joon-wan, Jae-hak seeks his counsel, and Joon-wan tells him to trust Seok-hyung.

During their second meeting with Seok-hyung, Jae-hak’s wife refuses to undergo chemotherapy and says that she does not care if she dies. Putting down his pen, Seok-hyung says that both the mother and child need to be healthy and calls her decision selfish. He explains how chemotherapy is possible during pregnancy, and reminds her that they only gave her two options.

 

When presenting his patients with difficult choices, Seok-hyung also mulls over the dilemma and often wonders what he would do if it were his sister. In this case, he would have told his sister to wait three weeks, and during that period, he would have secretly prayed for her.

He tells the couple that he will forget what she said earlier and sets up future appointments with him as well as with the other doctor to treat her cancer. In tears, the couple thanks him.

Still crying, Jae-hak calls Joon-wan and tells him that Seok-hyung convinced his wife to get treatment. He promises to pay back this debt, but Joon-wan tells him not to worry about Seok-hyung since he will take care of it. Though he pretends to be annoyed, the small smile on his face gives him away.

 

Ik-joon meets with the patient and friend who are waiting for the final review of their application. He tells them not to worry because the coordinator would have never submitted it in the first place if she thought it would be rejected.

He asks how they became friends despite their different personalities, and they tell him that they were seat buddies because they were sixty-fourth and sixty-third in class. They hung out all the time, and before they knew it, thirty years passed by. The friend says that life would be boring without him, and Ik-joon calls it a good reason to donate.

The patient asks for a request concerning the surgery, and Ik-joon already knows the drill, promising to make his friend’s operation painless. To Ik-joon’s amusement, the patient asks for the exact opposite, and the three of them chuckle.

 

Min-ha and Nurse Han invite Seok-hyung out to a club to celebrate the fellow’s birthday, but he declines since it would make the others uncomfortable. Before he leaves, he calls Min-ha’s name, giving her a sliver of hope, but he just wanted to tell her to submit her thesis again.

Song-hwa grabs some socks before going on her rounds, and Seon-bin reminds her to take off her scrub cap. Elsewhere, Gyu-wool asks Ik-joon what she and the other residences should wear for the dinner with the director, and he tells her to dress comfortably. She mentions his upcoming rock and roll themed practice and tells him that Jung-won bragged about his leather pants. Pfft.

 

Staying true to their black and chain dress code, the five friends rock out to “It’s My Life” by Bon Jovi. They pour their heart and soul into the music, and as soon as they finish, they let out a sigh, completely drained.

At the hospital, Min-ha scolds her mom for taking a picture with her professor and asks her to send it. Her mom brags about putting extra food in her professor’s trunk, but Min-ha tells her that she got them mixed up. Her mom mistook Joon-wan as a polar bear, and she tells her dad that the person who bought her indigestion medicine was the bear.

 

In the GS office, a professor asks Jung-won about the Daddy-Long-Legs program while another one asks Gyu-wool if she broke up with her boyfriend. As the conversation turns to her love life, the professors offer to set her up with someone if she does become single, and then proceed to divulge Geon’s secret: he called Gyu-wool his ideal type.

Geon apologizes for his comment, and the professors have some fun at his expense. Interrupting their conversation, Jung-won calls one of the professors and tells him to contact the Daddy-Long-Legs program right now. After successfully diverting their attention, Jung-won leaves the office to see a patient, and Gyu-wool follows after him.

 

On her way out, Song-hwa calls Ik-joon and wonders if she should leave his present at his desk or give it to him in person tomorrow. He says that presents should be given on the day and promises to pick it up after his department dinner. Meanwhile, Joon-wan heads out as well and tells Jae-hak that he is partying with his cousin tonight.

Min-ha works in the office, but gets distracted by her phone. She debates on whether to call Seok-hyung or not, but before she comes to a conclusion, he walks into the room. He asks if she is free next weekend and invites her out to dinner.

In the ER, Nurse Seonwoo answers a call from the paramedics about a patient who was hit on the back of the head by a stranger on the street. They identified him as a doctor at Yulje Medical Center, and Dr. Bong takes over the phone, asking for his name.

As implied, Gyu-wool’s dad is abusive, and the effects of his actions have made a deep and lasting impression on his children. Through the siblings, the show highlights the negative biases society places on the victims of domestic abuse, and the myriad of consequences they face as a result. While Ga-eul is a victim, the people around him do not see him as such. His ex-fiancé and her family assume he will become violent just like his dad, perpetuating the idea that children who are abused become abusers themselves. Without even given a chance to dismantle their worries, Ga-eul is labeled as a potential abuser, and in turn, he starts to believe that everyone around him will see him that way as well once they learn about his family. Even if he tries to reject this unwanted family “legacy,” society refuses to let him forget, which causes him to be stuck with this toxic label. An unfortunate part of all this is that Ga-eul knows how others view him, and consequentially, he becomes the very thing he despises in their eyes. It creates internal turmoil as he tries to reconcile these warring aspects of his identity, and in the end, he chooses to hate himself for something he had no control over because he thinks he deserves no better.

Though the two siblings have left their abusive dad years ago, the effects of their traumatic childhood persist throughout their adult lives. While Ga-eul struggles to shed the prejudices associated with his upbringing, Gyu-wool deals more with a sense of shame and guilt about her experience that leaves her feeling isolated. Domestic violence is often considered a hidden problem because people are discouraged from sharing, and on a whole, society shuns it. The topic makes people uncomfortable, and thus, victims are silenced. In Gyu-wool’s case, she seems to have internalized the message that domestic violence is a private, family matter, which is why she refuses to open up to others about it. Sharing this secret would make her vulnerable, and as seen in her brother’s situation, some people are not understanding nor caring. She has learned over the years to fight for herself, and as such, she feels more comfortable keeping others at a distance. While I don’t doubt her love for Jung-won, Gyu-wool probably saw him as a respite from her harsh reality. He was the polar opposite of what she knew about relationships, so it makes sense why she fell in love with him. Jung-won represented all that was good in the world, and offered her a brief chance to separate herself from her past. This would also explain why she never opened up to him about her family because Gyu-wool wanted these two worlds to stay separate. It was less about her not trusting Jung-won and more about her feeling shameful about her past.

However, Gyu-wool was no longer able to ignore her family when her mom became seriously injured, and it was a cruel reminder that her past was still very much her mom’s present. It’s disheartening to see her feel so guilty towards her mom because she is not responsible for what happened. She is a victim, too, and I’m glad Jung-won told her that none of this was her fault. He always seems to know the perfect thing to say when it comes to Gyu-wool, and his thoughtfulness is exactly what she needs right now. I particularly loved the shot of them at the restaurant where Gyu-wool is framed inside the window as if she is still trapped by her past and guilt, but once she opens up to Jung-won, he reaches over and passes the line that divided them. Though the box is still there, Jung-won is slowly crossing over, and his touch shows Gyu-wool that she no longer has to endure all of this by herself because he is willing to stay by her side through it all.

While Gyu-wool’s story was one major plotline in this episode, the other main focus was on Joon-wan and the different relationships he has in the hospital. One of those was with Seok-hyung, and I loved the twist of having the two least close friends ending up at the vacation home by themselves in all their awkward glory. The show had them clash from the very beginning over the most trivial things, and while it was fun to see them act like stubborn toddlers, it also emphasized how close they were to each other because both of them felt comfortable enough to act like normal without any of the pretenses or niceties. I cannot imagine Joon-wan or Seok-hyung rolling on the floor for the remote with just anyone, and it goes to show that despite their differences, they still see each other as real friends. While Joon-wan might complain about Seok-hyung, he completely trusts him when it matters, and the contrast between these two reactions is what makes their relationship so endearing. It was also funny to see Seok-hyung being the socially adept one in the group, and Min-ha’s parents confusing the two of them makes sense because Joon-wan is also a bit bear-like in terms of behavior.

As for his relationship with Ik-soon, I’m happy as long as Joon-wan is happy, and since he clearly still has feelings for her, my guess is that the creators are going for a reconciliation between the former lovers which isn’t a huge surprise. It appears that Ik-soon has learned from her mistake and is repenting for her actions this time. She gave him a proper apology, recognized her selfish behavior, and was clear about her feelings towards him rather than cover it up with more lies. However, she also makes it known that she does not expect him to return her feelings after what she did, and it was this act of vulnerability that made me think Ik-soon might actually be ready to change unlike before when she was always afraid of being hurt in the relationship. If the show does make them reunite, I hope they do not brush over what happened between them because their breakup deeply affected Joon-wan. Hopefully the creators will delve deeper into their relationship now that the misunderstanding is out of the way, but with only a few more episodes left, I wonder if they will be enough time for a conclusion in this season.

 

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