Mido and Falasol reclaims Thursdays as season 2 starts to settle in the usual storytelling pace of its show-runners. They showed ordinary days inside and outside the hospital but they were told in a very special way that warms every viewer’s heart.
Episode 2 Recap
The second episode started with Jang Gyeo-ul and Choi Sung-young falling in line in the second-floor café inside the Yulje Hospital. Intern Sung-young wondered out loud why is the café crowded at dawn, in which Gyeo-ul answered that this is what she calls “morning.”
At the mention of the way we perceive time, the next scene was Kim Jun-wan talking to Lee Ik-sun, who had fallen into the habit of video calling each other at dawn or midnight because of the time difference that separates them. Their conversation went from that time when Jun-wan confused Ik-sun for Micky to Jun-wan “ranting” to why Jun-wan needed to buy Father Andrea coffee just because he went to work earlier for emergency surgery.
We then discovered the answer to that in the next scene, as a tired Jeong-won joined Jun-wan at the café counter just as Gyeo-ul ordered her and Sung-young’s coffee at the cashier. Jun-wan overheard Gyeo-ul promoting to Sung-young that professors’ in GS let her use their company cards to buy food. A detail that shocked Jun-wan (and Jeong-won too, if you see the way he stared at Gyeo-ul after Jun-wan mentioned the card). Jun-wan immediately asked the GS professor beside him and Jeong-won quickly denied it was his. Gyeo-ul butted in and explained it was Lee Ik-jun’s card. Jun-wan commented, “Love’s in the air in GS” (lol, if you only knew). Jun-wan “volunteered” to return the card to Ik-jun but once he got a hold of Ik-jun’s card, he and Jeong-won immediately planned their petty revenge on Ik-jun. They ordered a lot – drinks for all the nurses in PICU (Jeong-won’s order). Of course, Ik-jun was shocked to receive a text receipt of a transaction amounting to 182,000 won. The only thing he could do was complain that nothing is going his way (aww, Ik-jun!!!).
In the OB/GYN department, Yang Seok-hyeong and Chu Min-ha conversed about their patient on the way to her ward. They updated Kim Su-jeong, last week’s patient who’s currently at week 23 of her pregnancy. Her condition seems to worsen but Seok-hyeong was still hopeful they could safely deliver the baby. With a tap on her shoulder, Seok-hyeong told Min-ha he was counting on her.
While Jun-wan was working on some paper, Jeong-won disturbed him and asked if he was free on the weekends because he has something to say to them. Jun-wan dismissed him, asking if the thing he would tell them is that he was taking a private loan (lol, Jeong-won’s a chaebol but his friends think he’s dirt-poor). It turned out Jeong-won wasn’t announcing a loan or whatnot. As they gathered at Seok-hyeong house on the weekend, Jeong-won revealed that he is dating Jang Gyeo-ul. This was easier to write than the actual revelation itself. The rest of the Lacking Five kept on interrupting his announcement (haha). I was really curious about their reaction that I had to re-watch this scene and the following is how each of them reacted:
Jun-wan – went straight into detail, asking if Gyeo-ul was the reason he stayed. Jeong-won answered, “That she is one of the biggest reasons” (kyaaaa~)
Song-hwa – was supportive as ever, commenting that she always thought Gyeo-ul and Jeong-won would make a good couple (same, unnie, same)
Seok-hyeong – revealed that his mom told him about it. (the Yangpyeong squad knew it first lol)
Ik-jun – sneakered at the side, before saying that no one can be happier than he is at the moment; probably implying that he’s Gyeo-ul’s “agent/manager” after all.
Chae Song-hwa assured Jeong-won they’d keep mum about his relationship with Gyeo-ul. Ik-jun seconded, saying even if he wanted to tell everyone about it, he won’t for the sake of “uri Jang Gyeo-ul.” With the use of endearment, Jeong-won’s ear perked up, warning Ik-jun that he should be careful with his words (lol, this is slightly jealous Jeong-won becoming canon). Ik-jun rebutted that it is Jeong-won that needs to be careful (in all fairness, between these two, Jeong-won has more tendency to reveal things he shouldn’t than Ik-jun).
Come Wednesday, inside the Neurosurgery Medical Office 3, Song-hwa and Heo Sun-bin were talking about the case of violinist Yoo Gyeong-jin, who would undergo an olfactory groove meningioma surgery. Just as they were about to leave, Sun-bin received a call from the ER and before she left, Sun-bin warned her professor that the patient’s mother is “intense.”
Meanwhile, Jun-wan came across Do Jae-hak at the hospital’s bank, immediately criticizing him for not spending his time in the study hall. Jae-hak, since he’s used to the way Jun-wan cares for his people, just explained to him that he had to take a loan so that he and his wife can rent an apartment. There was a split-second moment when Jun-wan looked worried but then they went talking about Jun-wan’s current patient, Min-chan. He kept giving updates to Jae-hak only to wonder at the end of the hallway why he had to update Jae-hak about it (haha, these two).
At the PICU, Jang Hong-do watched outside as Jun-wan explained to Min-chan’s mother that they had to implant a VAD in the child. Hong-do recited what VAD means as he waited for Jun-wan to finish. Hong-do was so ready to answer Jun-wan’s question last week only to get dismissed and surprised by another question from Jun-wan. Hong-do was left outside the PICU looking disheartened by the lack of reaction from Jun-wan.
On the other hand, Eun-jin’s mother comforted Min-chan’s mother with encouraging words. It was a great moment between the mothers who – just like her analogy – were currently running their life’s marathon. Eun-jin’s mother said it could be tiring but since they are a mother, they shouldn’t give up easily. They still have a long way to go. And because Eun-jin’s mother overheard Jun-wan’s no-nonsense explanation, she also assured her that Jun-wan is a wonderful person despite his bluntness.
Even with Sun-bin’s warning, Song-hwa still went in the VIP ward, just in her scrubs and without any prejudice. But Yoo Gyeong-jin’s mother isn’t just intense. She’s a total snob and entitled samonim. After Song-hwa left, it turned out that they failed to recognize her as the impressive professor they were recommended to (but still! It wasn’t an excuse to treat her that way).
Later, Jeong-won visited Song-hwa in her office. Song-hwa was still thinking about Gyeong-jin’s condition even after she was treated that way. Jeong-won noted that Song-hwa seemed too focused on this and commented that she shouldn’t be put in charge of anything. Too late because Song-hwa was already too invested in the Daddy Long Legs program, saying she should work harder if she wants to turn Jeong-won’s plans into reality. At the mention of Ik-jun, the nutjob, I mean great HPB surgeon, showed up by the door, acting as if he’s trying to listen in to their conversation. While conversing, the familiar ambulance tone of the DLL phone rang. And Song-hwa answered instead of Jeong-won, which confused Ik-jun for a bit. He had to remind Jeong-won he knew all about it so Jeong-won informed him that Song-hwa is in charge of the program now. Ik-jun’s first reaction? Tease Song-hwa that she’s too short to be Daddy Long Legs. Jeong-won hated his lame joke but Song-hwa, as usual, loves it (Ik-jun and Song-hwa conversed as if they didn’t break each other’s heart last episode).
In the next scene, while on their way to the VIP ward, Sun-bin informed Song-hwa that Seok-min would be scrubbing in their surgery instead of a fellow. Song-hwa worried why Seok-min volunteered to come back when he had a lot to study. In the VIP room, Yoo Gyeong-jin’s mother reprimanded Song-hwa why they had to deal with mere “residents” instead of the professor herself. Song-hwa, very calmly, corrects her, introducing herself as Chae Song-hwa (if I were her, I would have added aka the tenth female Professor of Neurosurgery in South Korea). The madam felt embarrassed and couldn’t look at Song-hwa while she explained the details of her daughter’s surgery. After that, Song-hwa (still very calmly) explained that “residents are neurosurgeons” too.
The next day, Min-ha arrived at the MFICU with Kim Su-jeong reporting to her that she “feels heavy down there” and Min-ha immediately concluded that her baby was already in the external os. Seok-hyeong and Min-ha scrubbed in for an emergency delivery. At the same time, Jun-wan and Song-hwa went to their respective operating rooms after wishing each other good luck.
At the outpatient clinics, Ik-jun was reading his patient’s charts, when the nurse commented that Kim Jang-ho might have started drinking again. Ik-jun stayed quiet as the nurse explained to Sung-yong that Mr. Kim had undergone a liver transplant from his younger daughter a year ago and from his eldest daughter three years ago.
In the other room, Jeong-won had to deal with a crying kid as he tries to remove the stitches from his surgical wounds. Since Park Seung-won kept on crying loudly, Jeong-won suggested they should step our first to calm him down.
Back in Ik-jun’s clinic, he didn’t look pleased as he talked with Mr. Kim and his wife. Ik-jun confronts Mr. Kim about his drinking habit but the latter keeps on refuting his claims. Mr. Kim’s wife stepped in and admitted her husband had been drinking heavily which angered Mr. Kim. Ik-jun, meanwhile, seemed bothered and upset.
On the other side of the hospital, Kim U-jae from pediatrics delivered the bad news to Kim Su-jeong’s husband that they weren’t able to send the baby to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) (in simple terms, the baby didn’t make it and probably died upon birth). Kim Su-jeong, meanwhile, was still in the OR table with Seok-hyeong and Min-ha in charge.
For the second time, meanwhile, Jeong-won attempted to remove Seung-won’s stitches. His father and Jeong-won tried to negotiate with him. But when it didn’t work, her mother scolded him harshly, which only sent Seung-won into another bout of tears. Jeong-won assured her it’s okay and that they could come back after his last appointment.
Up in the OB/GYN department’s room 5107, Seok-hyeong with Min-ha on his side explained to Kim Su-jeong and her husband what happened in the delivery room. His voice was trembling when he told the couple, “we did our best but we’re sorry this happened.” Seok-hyeong looked distraught himself as the couple cried in front of them.
In the outpatient clinic, Ik-jun looked distraught too but because of a very different reason. Mr. Kim was aware Ik-jun saved his life three years ago but he seemed to take it for granted because he kept on drinking again. Ik-jun pointed out that he was fortunate enough that her daughters willingly give a part of them to him, risking their lives in the process. He angrily added that countless people died while waiting for a donor. In the end, Ik-jun decided to refer the patient to another doctor. He’s unyielding with his decision despite Mr. Kim’s apologies.
Back in the OR, Jun-wan had just finished his surgery but Song-hwa seemed frustrated with hers. Blood kept on streaming on the tumor area but good thing, Seok-min was assisting her and knew instantly what he needed to do with just Song-hwa’s one sigh. On the 5th hour of their operation, Song-hwa finally declared that they remove the tumor, letting Sun-bin and Seok-min close up the dura (membrane covering the brain and spinal cord). Song-hwa delivered the good news to her patient’s parents, with Yoo Gyeong-jin’s mother thanking her profusely. Song-hwa then subtly emphasized that a resident doctor was with her in the OR and is wrapping up the surgery.
Later, Ik-jun joined Seok-hyeong in the central garden. He was blankly staring at the sunset with a cup of steaming coffee in his hand. Ik-jun asked him what he was doing out and alone on a cold day and Seok-hyeong asked him the same. Ik-jun took a sip from Seok-hyeong’s cup before vaguely answering that a lot of things were on his mind lately. When Seok-hyeong stayed silent, Ik-jun guessed just by looking at him that he couldn’t save his current patient’s baby. Seok-hyeong finally opened up, saying a baby dying as soon as it’s out in the OR is a rare thing. He added that he couldn’t find the right words to comfort his patient. Ik-jun stayed by his side as they watch the sunset together.
Having a different kind of mood, Jun-wan cheerfully waited for Ik-sun to pick up her phone to tell her that his surgery went well. When Ik-sun didn’t reciprocate his energy, Jun-wan instinctively asked if she’s okay. Ik-sun informed him that she encountered a racist at a café earlier.
Meanwhile, at the ICU, Song-hwa talked to Yoo Gyeong-jin’s parents to update them with their daughter’s post-surgery progress. She mentioned that their residents would monitor their children. On her way out, she came across Sun-bin, revealing she’d drive to Sokcho after an hour.
In the next scene, we saw the Lacking 5 in their own “end of the day/sunset” state. Song-hwa sat down exhausted inside her office; Seok-hyeong deliberated awhile outside room 5107 before checking up on Kim Su-jeong; Jun-wan staring at her phone, bothered by Ik-sun’s story; and Jeong-won sat down beside Seung-won’s mother. The woman admitted to Jeong-won she got upset with how their check-up went. Jeong-won had to remind her that Seung-won endured his cancer surgery, saying “He had to endure a lot of pain so he must know more about it than we do.” He assured her one more time that it’s fine with him even if they had to try it again for another week. Seung-won’s mother was touched by his words and asked him if the rumor about him quitting was true. When Jeong-won denied the rumor, Seung-won’s mother breathed a sigh of relief and genuinely thank Jeong-won; leaving him with a satisfied smile on his face.
On a different day, the OB/GYN group – Min-ha, resident Myung Eun-won, and nurse Han Seung-joo run into Seok-hyeong and Yoon Shin-hye inside the elevator. Min-ha was obviously startled and the newly arrived Ik-jun was oblivious of it, even teasing Min-ha as tteokbeoki lover. An awkward moment ensued as Ik-jun finally noticed Shin-hye and Seok-hyeong were inside the elevator too. A curious look played on Ik-jun’s face as he closed the elevator door.
Meanwhile, Song-hwa was back in Yulje. While reading a chart, Director Ju called her about an interview, she agreed to it but she needed to check one thing first. Just as she was about to call Sun-bin, the latter arrived with a slice of cake for Song-hwa. Song-hwa immediately asked if Sun-bin was available on Saturday but Sun-bin said she’s on duty that day while Seok-min would take his second exam. When Sun-bin asked why she’s asking, Song-hwa just dismissed it as nothing.
In Seok-hyeong’s office, Ik-jun noticed an old Obstetrics book on his friend’s table but Seok-hyeong was not a fan of his discursive intros and asked him to just get to the point. Ik-jun pointed out that he’s busy but he came to see him because he needed answers when he’s curious. He asked whether Seok-hyeong and Shin-hye were back together or whether they were trying to make things work for them again. Seok-hyeong answered with a firm no, further explaining they just met by chance earlier. When Ik-jun asked whether there’s a possibility of them getting back together, Seok-hyeong answered with a resounding “zero, there’s a zero chance that will happen.” As Ik-jun left with his satisfying answers, Seok-hyeong remembered his last conversation with Shin-hye. We finally saw Seok-hyeong’s answer from the last episode.
Seok-hyeong: “To be honest, seeing you like this makes me uncomfortable. When I see you, I still feel bad. And I feel guilty for not being there for you when you were having a hard time. But you know, I think we should put our relationship behind us and move on.”
Back in Song-hwa’s office, Director Ju called her again and this time Song-hwa politely turned his offer down. Director Ju then felt thankful for asking her to do the surgery. When Director Ju said he wouldn’t repeat it again, Song-hwa said she’s fine doing VIP patients (haha). Song-hwa took a bite with her cake and laughed satisfyingly.
A basket of flowers was atop the OB/GYN reception desk when Seok-hyeong got out of his surgery. Kim Su-jeong left it for him because of Seok-hyeong’s text the night before she was discharged.
In Yulje Hallway, Jun-wan, Song-hwa, and Ik-jun ran into Sun-bin, who according to Ik-jun was suspected to be dating Yong “dragon” Seok-min (hahaha). Sun-bin excitedly told Song-hwa a German TV station wanted to interview Song-hwa as the “best neurosurgeon in Korea who saved the world-renowned violinist.” Song-hwa revealed then that she declined because Sun-bin and Seok-min were both busy on the day of the interview, adding she couldn’t do it alone because her team worked hard for the surgery too. It touched Sun-bin’s heart while her two friends teased her for it, with Ik-jun making a paper statue of Song-hwa (a joke she loves once again). Sun-bin watched her professor walk away with a new level of admiration.
In Seok-hyeong’s office, he opened the card from Kim Su-jeong. She thanked him for letting them hear their baby’s heartbeat even for a month. She added that they framed the quote he sent to them. Seok-hyeong then opened his Obstetrics book where the note he gave to the couple was posted: “There’s a quote on the first page of my textbook that says: bad things at times do happen to good people”
In the VIP ward, Yoo Gyeong-jin’s mother offered to set Song-hwa on a date with her son, who owns a pharmacy in Gangnam (Han-yang, is this you???). Song-hwa was speechless with the offer but didn’t exactly decline. In the next scene, Song-hwa woke up with a start at her Yulje office and immediately got dressed up. She went to the second-floor café, probably wanting a cup of coffee before her long drive but the café had closed for the day. Still feeling lethargic, she walked to her car in the parking lot only to get surprised by two cups of coffee atop her car’s hood. She smiled widely to herself as she read the note in the cups: (1) this has an extra shot of espresso and (2) “if you’re not sleepy, drink this decaf coffee.
Unlike the pilot episode, this one feels more like “wise doctor life” as we see our five main leads deal with challenges in their profession. They’re still awesome as ever but we discovered new things – such as their patients’ opinion about them or how they handle different difficult situations.
This week, we saw the continuation of the story of Kim Su-jeong. When Seok-hyeong told her last week that he would try his best to deliver her baby safely, I felt assured and hopeful. That’s why I, too, was as distraught as Seok-hyeong when things didn’t go as planned. It was always heartbreaking to see Seok-hyeong like that because he isn’t one to show his emotions. And when he shows his feelings, it always hit me to the core. I guess the quote from his Obstetrics book is not just for Patient Kim but for Seok-hyeong as well. It’s a reminder that there are things he can’t control. I like the symbolism of the book where Seok-hyeong found the quote. The book was Introduction to Obstetrics, a textbook which I assumed he got on his early days in med school. It feels that every time he reread the quote, he is reminded of the basics of his profession – of what he can and can’t do. As for his personal life, I cheered loudly when he said no to Shin-hye. It felt like a closure Seok-hyeong never know he needed. He had done his part and it’s time for him to move on without the baggage of the past.
One of the most misunderstood characters in Hospital Playlist is Jun-wan. Some might even say Jun-wan isn’t as discerning as his friends but I beg to disagree. During his phone call with Ik-sun, it only took him a few seconds of silence to know something is wrong. He listened to her. It was also seen that he felt frustrated that he couldn’t do anything about it either. Oh, how I wish I could send him to London right now and confront that café staff for Ik-sun. Because even the toughest of people can feel upset with such unfair treatment. Another misconception about Jun-wan is his harshness with his patients. This week we finally see that his patients actually know how caring he is as a person and as a doctor. I agree wholeheartedly with how Eun-jin’s mother describes him. He isn’t as warm as Jeong-won nor as funny as Ik-jun but he does care deeply with his patients. Can I also just comment that Jun-wan’s patient’s stories are some of the most heartbreaking stories in HosPlay universe. That is why I would love to see him with another emotional resident like Hong-do. The poor kid was clearly upset he wasn’t able to impress Jun-wan but I really think Jun-wan could toughen him up. Hong-do needs a mentor like that if he wants to survive in the medical field. I somehow wish Jae-hak was there when it happened to remind Jun-wan to tone down the harshness. But I’m also guessing Hong-do will get used to this and eventually learn, that it is Jun-wan’s love language.
Speaking of love language, our couple in love – Jeong-won and Gyeo-ul – went back to saying a curt ‘annyeonghaseyo’ when they were with other people. After all that cuteness in the last episode, how dare they! Haha but kidding aside, I think they’re more ‘discreet’ than secretive. There’s no need to shout it out or broadcast it to the whole Yulje Hospital that they are indeed a couple. Anyway, what I love about the most in this episode when it comes to Jeong-won’s character arc is the way they showed the reason why Jeong-won stayed. In the earlier scene, we saw Jeong-won saying Gyeo-ul was one of the biggest reasons why he stayed, and at the end of the episode, it was confirmed that the other big reason for his decision is his profession itself. That’s why I really love Jeong-won and Gyeo-ul’s mentor-mentee dynamic in season 1 – even without the romantic notion of it – because it was effective enough to make him realize his purpose is outside the church; that he is blessed enough to witness how his God’s miracles happen every day in his chosen profession. Gyeo-ul contributed to his decision to stay by bursting the little bubble in his mind that there is only one way to look at the world. Remember the maggot scene in season 1? As much as it is a meet-cute, it was also a smack in Jeong-won’s face that he got it all wrong; that he sometimes need to look at things from a different angle to see a new color he missed before. I think there’s a slight change in him after he worked closely with someone different from him in terms of ways as a doctor. The subtle change in perspective was apparent in how he answered Chae-eun’s question last episode. The usual Jeong-won would have happily answered that she’ll live very long. But his chosen words, for me, showed that his ideals are now grounded by reality. I’m not saying he did a 180-degree change but I really believe Gyeo-ul has influenced him when it comes to dealing with the tough realities of their job and at the same time, Gyeo-ul is learning to show how she should empathize with her patients. I would gladly give all of my K-drama wishes just to see more of this kind of dynamic with these two. But right now, I’m just glad that Jeong-won now thinks winter isn’t as harsh as it may seem.
Now with Song-hwa. How can she be so perfect? I and grumpyahjumma hate those who treat people depending on their status. And Song-hwa perfectly (and calmly, if I may add) teach the entitled samonim a lesson on respect. On top of that, she even said she didn’t hate the woman! She’s one K-drama character I really want to embody someday. But right now, I’d be the one to get mad in her stead when she’s being disrespected. I’m also kind of worried about how she’s taking DLL too seriously. She’s working hard as ever and I’m not saying it’s a bad thing but after her cancer scare in season 1, she deserves to get a break. That’s even her reason is for going to Sokcho but she’s not resting at all. I’m worried that it’d take a toll on her. That is why seeing her happy at the end of episode 2 comforted my “for Song-hwa only” heart. Whoever it is that brought Song-hwa coffee, thank you so much.
Let’s talk about Coffee-giver Candidate Number 1 – Lee Ik-jun. Something’s off with him this week. He kept on sighing and saying, nothing’s going on his way. I’m thinking it is a lingering disappoinment after Song-hwa’s ‘gobaek hajima’ answer. When he got divorced, we didn’t also see him cry or got depressed. He was just his usual self only to find out later that it was his attempt to move on. So I’m interpreting that the split-second sad look in his eyes is partly because of Song-hwa’s rejection. Anyway, he was as perceptive as ever this week. He knows everything about his friends. I love his conversations with Seok-hyeong. Especially because Seok-hyeong isn’t one to open up unless probed. Ik-jun could easily penetrate his friend’s innermost thoughts. And a good listener is what Seok-hyeong needed at that time. Ik-jun knows what the other person needs or thinks. And that’s why, I think, he was probably frustrated at how he read the signs wrong with Song-hwa.
Episode 2 as I’ve said focused on the Lacking Five’s life as a doctor. I think the next episode’s focus would be back to their personal life but let’s see what kind of storytelling approach they’d do for this season. I’m so ready for more.
-I’m so excited for the interns to choose their departments, my guess is Yun-bok will go to GS just because I want Gyeo-ul to have a “little sister” in the department and because of their moment in the trailer; Hong-do in CS because Hong-do seems to admire Jun-wan; Sung-yong in NS because of how Song-hwa handled his shaving mishap last season. With Chang-min, I badly wanted him to choose GS because (1) Ik-jun impressed him with how he handled the complaining professor during one of their lunch meetings last season; and (2) for the very shallow reason that Chang-min sincerely greeted Gyeo-ul during the red roses prank in episode 10. But anyway, I think he’d go either GS or CS.
-Re: DLL Program. I have been thinking about this for a while now. Since Jeong-won stayed, I’m guessing that he will expand the program into a full-blown charity/foundation. And Ik-jun and Song-hwa would probably help him figure out how to make it sustainable.
-This is the first time I saw Kim U-jae from pediatrics or I just didn’t notice him before? I believe he’s probably a fellow since there are no other professors (at any level) in the pediatrics arm of GS.
-Finally a Kim Dae-myeung solo! Listening on repeat: Autumn Outside the Post Office
-I know that Hospital Playlist previews for the next episode are always misleading but there’s this part when Sun-bin advises (probably) Song-hwa to pick one of his best friends as a cover-up boyfriend so that Yoo Gyeong-jin’s mom would stop her plans to make Song-hwa her daughter-in-law haha. If they do go down to that route, I doubt Song-hwa would pick Jun-wan or Jeong-won because both are in a relationship while Seok-hyeong could never ever lie, he’s too honest for his own sake. The only option left is Ik-jun. Are we gonna see a fake dating trope next week? Haha I doubt it but let’s see.
-What to do with the information that Jeong-won makes the best ramyeon? Will there be a ‘would you like to have some ramyeon’ scene this season? Oh and by the way, I added four new lockscreen/phone wallpaper edits for WG in the link below.