This episode is for everyone who keeps on doing their best even when no one is watching.
Episode 9 Recap
The ninth episode of Hospital Playlist starts by showing Lee Ik-jun buying Jun-wan a bus ticket with the same schedule as his sister’s – Lee Ik-sun. With Mido and Falasol featuring Jeong Ro-sa’s version of “Is It Still Beautiful,” we saw how realistically awkward a bus ride with your ex is. As they arrive in Seoul, Jun-wan approached Ik-sun and asked her how she has been (*cries in JunSun tears*). He eventually asked her to meet him over the weekend and talk. Because clearly, they needed one.
With Edward Elgar’s Salt d’Amour playing in the background, an ordinary day starts in Yulje Medical Center. Chae Song-hwa is in the middle of surgery with Choi Seong-yeong and Heo Seon-bin assisting her; Kim Jun-wan operating on a patient’s heart and reprimanding Do Jae-hak as usual; Ik-jun is also in the middle of an operation with fellow Jang Gyeo-ul and resident Kim Geon assisting him; Ahn Jeong-won is teaching resident Hwang Ji-woo during a procedure with intern Jang Hong-do sleeping on one side; Yang Seok-hyeong is almost done in his operation with Chu Min-ha by his side.
Outside, the OB/GYN nurses are prepping their representative for the table tennis tournament when Seok-hyeong approaches them to give instructions. When they thought they wouldn’t get any reaction from Seok-hyeong, the usually no-reaction professor went back and wishes them to do well. His ‘hwaiting’ surprises the OB/GYN members, even telling the new fellow it took them half a year to be able to eat a meal with Seok-hyeong at the cafeteria.
An intense atmosphere filled up the entire hospital as players get called for their respective matches. It is quiet, however, at the central garden when Jeong-won joins Seok-hyeong during his coffee break (These two chaebols’ differences are noticeable with their coffee choices. One is drinking café-bought iced coffee while the other is drinking a venti-bought coffee haha). When probed what seems to be bothering Seok-hyeong, he answered that he is just gathering his thoughts. Their conversation then veered towards the ongoing table tennis tournament; mentioning Ik-jun is the only one making a big deal out of it.
It is really a big deal for Ik-jun and his doubles teammate Professor Lee Ji-hoon. The HPB team enters the quarterfinals against the Radiology team composed of Professor Shin Hui-seong (Yoo Jae-myung) and a fellow. The truth about this match is that both made it in the quarterfinals through default wins. Flashback to previous matches of the HPB team: round 32 against Emergency Medicine department led by Ik-jun’s close friend Doctor Bong Gwang-hyeon, who was called for an ER case before the game even started; round 16 was against the Cardiothoracic Surgery department with Jun-wan x Jae-hak duo but like the ER team, a cold blue was announced before they even started playing. And so the quarterfinals with HPB vs Radiology. The bored tennis table umpire (Kim Ki-nam from Prison Playbook!!!) starts the game but called it a win for HPB after Professor Shin inadvertently causes his team to be disqualified by taking every shot (he said before the match started that he plays badminton so yep, he probably got that habit from that game haha). The semi-finals started and it is between HPB and Orthopedics. Seok-hyeong and Jeong-won are there as the audience. Pre-game, Ik-jun received a warning from the umpire for spreading fake news (hahaha Ik-jun and his mouth). Song-hwa arrives in a critical moment where their opponent has a chance for a win and Ik-jun notices her arrival. He told Ji-hoon to step it up so that they can do a “deuce” – a state where both teams reaches 10 points. When they finally tied the game, the two Lees did their victory thing – a dance, of course, in the tune of a Deux song “A Look at Myself”. It was an intense match but in the end, HPB won – again by default – because the Ortho doctor’s wife went into labor.
Here comes the much-awaited finals against the Nuclear Medicine doctors. Before the game start, there was a “dramatic” scene between Ik-jun and Song-hwa with Ik-jun promising to get back victorious before the tea offered by Song-hwa gets cold (lol. This is a reference to a line from the historical book, Three Kingdoms). It was a futile promise of course as they face the fellow and the professor from the Nuclear Medicine, who according to Jeong-won didn’t even let their opponents score a point. Turns out they are Hyun Jung-hwa and Joo Sae-hyuk – South Korea’s legendary tennis players and are both Olympic medalists (fun fact: Ha Ji-won portrayed Hyun Jung-hwa in the movie As One, which is based on the 1991 World Table Tennis Championships where Hyun Jung-hwa played as part of the Unified Korean Team).
As the day ends, Jeong-won leaves a tired Jun-wan at their office. Just outside, he immediately called Gyeo-ul and asked her for dinner but the latter rejected the offer. At the GS Medical Office, Min-ha also asked Gyeo-ul to have a meal with her because she needs advice on something. But Gyeo-ul explained that she needs to cook dinner for her mother. When Min-ha probed about her mom, Gyeo-ul promised to tell her everything later because at the moment her mind is still all over the place. Min-ha understands the situation and tells Gyeo-ul, “Cheer up! You’re doing so well. I’m not sure what’s going on but everything will be okay. I’m sure this is the last hurdle you have to overcome. If you need anything or need someone to talk to just let me know. Just call me and I’ll be there.”
At JeongJun’s office, Ik-jun prepares the meal for him and Jun-wan because the rest of their friends are either out or busy with their tasks. Jun-wan pointed out that Ik-jun should tell Song-hwa to slow down a bit because she listens well to him. Instead of answering, Ik-jun burst out in annoyance because Jun-wan keeps on eating when he’s busy setting up their food. The Changwon Boys started their water/exorcism fight again, even bringing up Jeong-won and Gyeo-ul in their petty bickering.
At the ER, Song-hwa gives a cup of coffee to her long-time friend Gwang-hyeon, who is on a night shift. He tells her to leave before Song-hwa jinx their “peaceful” shift. Nurse Sunwoo Hui-su then receives a call regarding a TA patient. Dr. Bong immediately instructed resident Yeon Jae-min to call both CS and GS doctors.
Hiding at the Emergency staircase, meanwhile, are Seon-bin and Yong Seok-min. The latter didn’t want to leave but Seon-bin is busy with her night shift. Just as he was about to lean in for a kiss, Hong-do arrives and disturbs their moment. The flustered intern leave and went to his twin.
At the NS Medical Office, Yun-bok is also stressed out with her homework and declined to help Hong-do. Later, Seong-yeong arrives and sees Yun-bok in such a stressed state. A sleep-deprived Seong-yeong gives a cup of coffee to Yun-bok and offers some nice words. Seon-bin arrives and notices Yun-bok smiling because of Seong-yeong’s gesture. A very rational and wise Seon-bin tells Yun-bok to snap out of it saying, “When you’re an intern, you fall for any senior who does anything remotely nice. It’s because you’re exhausted now. You’re not in your right mind right now.”
On the other side of the hospital, both Ik-jun and Jun-wan were called to ER for the TA patient. The two proceeded with the double surgery with Im Chang-min and Kim Geon assisting their respective professors. In the end, the CS team take him as a patient with GS monitoring him on the side.
The next day, Hong-do starts his first day at the Pediatrics Department. Resident Hwang Ji-woo reminds Hong-do that Professor Ahn would probably ask him about their patient Lee Si-on. Hong-do looks prepared but at the NICU, when Jeong-won asks him about what she should pay attention to neonatal cases, Hong-do couldn’t offer an answer. Same with Hwang-ssaem. In the end, Jeong-won explained it to them without getting mad.
When the Ped team left, patient Min-sol’s mother came in and noticed that her baby is crying but the nurse isn’t “paying attention”. She asked to do that but the nurse – with an ache pain patch on her neck – calmly explained she couldn’t tend to both babies at the same time.
Meanwhile, at the central garden, Jeong-won, Ik-jun, and Seok-hyeong talk about Song-hwa’s choice of song for her biennial event; somehow regretting they allowed her to sing. Seok-hyeong then receives a call from Chu Min-ha. Cupid Ik-jun reprimands Seok-hyeong telling him he is the biggest idiot ever if he loses Chuchu. As if on cue, lovely Chuchu arrives with two soft-serve ice cream in her hand. The three proceeded to play rock-paper-scissors with Ik-jun winning and Seok-hyeong losing. In the end, the ice cream still went to its intended owner – Seok-hyeong. Before Min-ha leaves, Ik-jun throws heart signs to his fellow Tteokbokki Club member and Min-ha reciprocated with one as well – making Seok-hyeong laugh.
At the smoking area, Ik-jun and Jeong-won notice the unusual way Seok-hyeong reacts toward Min-ha. Ik-jun voices out his worry about their friend, wondering if Seok-hyeong is aware of his feelings for Min-ha. He noted that at least his previous clients – Jeong-won and Gyeo-ul – are aware of their own respective feelings. The said ex-client then confidently said, “I’m sure he knows exactly how he feels about her. He’s probably racking his brain now, trying to figure out what to do…It may take a while but I’m sure he’s even thinking about the consequences and will want to get it sorted out first. And they’ll have to overcome several hurdles. You saw that look on his face. It’s already game over.” The next scene shows Seok-hyeong deep in his thoughts alone in the central garden.
At the ICU, Jun-wan gives instructions for the TA patient to Chang-min. On his way out, Jae-hak sees him and asks to join him hiking on Saturday. Jun-wan declines, saying he has an important meeting, 6pm at Garosu-gil. Jae-hak insists that he joins him in the morning but Jun-wan tells him that he is at the age that he can’t do two different things on the same day (this line is very relatable for this ahjumma hahaha).
It’s dinner time at the Lee household. Ik-jun invited Ik-sun to join him and U-ju in their biking time. But Ik-sun declined to say she has plans, 6pm at Garosu-gil. Ik-jun then reminds her sister what to do in case she fell ill. The sibling bickers that turns into a rap/singing battle with Aunt Wang and U-ju watching on the sideline.
Come Saturday and Jun-wan reminds Ik-sun about their meeting via text. Ik-jun, meanwhile, comes home with a worried Aunt Wang informing him that his sister is not feeling well. Ik-jun drives her to the hospital and Ik-sun texted Jun-wan that she can’t make it. While at the ER, Ik-jun sees Jae-hak, who informed him that Jun-wan is meeting someone at Garosu-gil. Putting the puzzle pieces together, he realized that Jun-wan and Ik-sun were supposed to meet that night. With the knowledge that both still care for each other, Ik-jun calls his friend and tells him that he’s at the hospital because he brought his sister to the ER.
Jun-wan then arrives at the ER, surprising Ik-sun. She tried to lie about the reason she was brought to the ER but Jun-wan already knows the truth. He has already uncovered everything including the reason why Ik-sun broke up with him. When Ik-sun receives a text message, Jun-wan sees what was on her phone. The same thing Ik-jun saw in the other episode. Ik-sun’s wallpaper was Jun-wan’s photo. Before Ik-sun can explain things, Jun-wan was called for a patient. He settled down the phone and tells Ik-sun they would talk about it another time.
The next day, on the sixth floor, Gyeo-ul arrives at the nurse’s station with her hair down. She sits down beside Kim Geon, who keeps on staring at her while she ties her hair up. The senior doctor then quizzes Kim Geon about their patient Kim Pil-seong. The question Gyeo-ul asked was the same question Ik-jun asked him later. After the check-up, Gyeo-ul also informs Ik-jun that Professor Shin wouldn’t be able to do the intraoperative ultrasound for their patient because of a conference in Busan.
At the other side of the sixth floor, Chang-min sees his high school buddy Jae-min, who is also on his way to check the TA patient Ko Ju-hyeong they both attended to. At the ward, Ko Ju-hyeong and his wife profusely thank Chang-min and Jun-wan for their work. Chang-min mentions that another professor operated on him and when he was about to introduce Jae-min, the resident already left.
Ik-jun, meanwhile, personally calls Prof. Shin about their patient Kim Pil-seong’s condition. Unfortunately, Prof. Shin is already on his way to Busan. Meanwhile, at the NICU, Jeong-won was informed that baby Si-on can already drink a good amount of milk. He then informs Si-on’s mother that they can soon bring their baby home. The mother expresses her gratitude to Jeong-won but he reminded the mother that it was the NICU nurses who did the bulk of the work in taking care of Si-on.
At the second-floor café, the TA patient Ko Ju-hyeong turns out to be a friend of Jae-hak’s wife. When asked what was the most critical moment the patient had to go through, Jun-wan answered that it was the ER who did a great job saving the patient. He explains that if not for the proper emergency treatment he received, the patient wouldn’t be able to make it to the OR.
A flashback then to the “most critical moment” in saving patient Ko Ju-hyeong. The sequence showed how Dr. Bong and Jae-min did everything to stabilize the patient’s condition. It was enough to prolong his life before the CS and GS team got informed about the needed surgery for the patient.
At the OR, Ik-jun operates on Kim Pil-seong. When it was time for the intraoperative ultrasound. Prof. Shin arrives and Ik-jun delightfully welcomes him. After the surgery, Ik-jun drinks coffee with his colleague. Prof. Shn says he went back for the patient, who they have been treating for two years now. Ik-jun gives him a much-deserved massage but turns out, Prof. Shin is still hang-up about their defeat in the table tennis match.
Outside at the smoking area, Dr. Bong comforts his sulking resident. Jae-min says he feels like he is Little Mermaid, who has been overlooked. Dr. Bong says, “I’m happy when we get good results. It doesn’t matter who gets the credit. We don’t help patients expecting something in return. We just need to do our best and if the patients recover well because of that, we’ve done our job.” He adds that even though the patient didn’t know about what he did, he knows and acknowledges it along with their other ER team members.
Back in the NICU, the nurses share a home-cooked meal together. In between the lunch boxes is a hand-written letter from Si-on’s mom, “To all the hardworking nurses at the NICU, thank you very much for looking after Si-on like your own child. Thanks to you Si-on can now eat and swallow food, gain weight, and we can now take him home. Thank you for your warm love and care. We will remember you forever.”
One afternoon in Yangpyeong, Chairman Ju Jong-su and Jeong Ro-sa is taking their afternoon walk. Ro-sa brought up that when she was sick she refused to listen to what others were saying and only thinks that life is futile. Jong-su reminds Ro-sa to stop nagging other people and live her life to the fullest. She agrees but then proceeded to nag Jong-su about his way of running the hospital; he always takes a day off or goes home early.
Similarly, Ik-jun and Song-hwa are taking an afternoon walk outside Yulje. Song-hwa informs Ik-jun that her mother is accepting her health condition well; her brothers are even calling her mother quite often these days. Their walk was cut short when the rain started falling. While trying to avoid rain puddles, Song-hwa takes Ik-jun’s hand and jumps over what Ik-jun called “hurdles” in their path.
It was finally Song-hwa’s birthday! Her song choice is No Brain’s hit song “You Have a Crush on Me.” In the middle of their band session, a flashback to 1999 was seen. The 20-year-old Song-hwa excitedly reads a text message from Ik-jun about them meeting up later so that he can give her something. She tried to sound nonchalant with her reply but she prepared nonetheless. She put on nice clothes and waited for Ik-jun’s reply. She excitedly waited and waited for a long time, only to get a “sorry, something came up I couldn’t meet you” in the end. Disappointed, Song-hwa cried alone in her room on the night of her birthday.
Usually, there’s always one dominant theme in the narrative of a Hospital Playlist episode. No matter how many stories they tell and no matter how different they may seem, all of them are usually tied together by one key message. But I got two takeaways in this episode – (1) on things we take for granted; and (2) on consequences of our decisions/actions.
Let’s talk about how they put on a spotlight on things we often overlook. We always see the Emergency Department in every episode. Doctor Bong Gwang-hyeon has always been an important character when it comes to knowing about the SNU days of the Lacking Five. He gave us an ‘outsider’s perspective’ of their friendship. He’s also always there when an emergency patient comes in. What we don’t see often is how he and his team handle those patients until they can be brought to the OR. In other episodes we just saw the ambulance arriving then there would be a skip until the attending surgeon would check on the patient. But in episode 9, we finally see their actual work. They are frontline heroes that aren’t appreciated enough just because they are not there in the main battle. Yoon Jae-min, Kang So-ye, Nurse Sunwoo Hui-su, and Doctor Bong Gwang-hyeon are names that should also be remembered by the patient they treated. But as Dr. Bong said, they aren’t doing their jobs just to get praised. They do their best even if there’s no one looking at them. Also, can I just add how I appreciate seeing Dr. Bong as a mentor? Because we only see him most of the time as the Lacking Five colleague or the Bong Salon leader but not as a mentor. This time, he proved to us why he is close to our favorite doctors – because he is very similar to them; non-judgmental, generous, and nurturing.
Speaking of very nurturing people, the nurses in the NICU were also given a touching scene in this episode. We’ve seen moms appreciating the PICU nurses but we haven’t seen what their NICU counterparts had to go through. They take care of a stranger’s newborn as if it is their own. They monitor these infants 24/7, feed them, and carry them in their arms when they cry. But these NICU nurses don’t often get a simple thanks for their hard work. One patient’s guardian doesn’t even notice the ache patch the nurses wore on her neck before she scoffed at her for “ignoring” her baby. Another NICU nurse is even wearing a wrist brace, which is probably a result of holding a bottle in one hand and a baby in another. These subtle details should have been a giveaway to see they’ve been doing their best. Good thing, Jeong-won knows all of it and aptly informed the guardian that if she needs to thank someone, it’s the nurses in the NICU that she should be thankful for.
The most thankful person in this episode, meanwhile, is Lee Ik-jun. I’m half-kidding because he really looks so thankful when Professor Shin from radiology showed up just right in time for the final stretch of their patient’s surgery. We often see fellows and even other professors heaving a sigh of relief whenever Ik-jun shows up at their OR door. The same expression of relief was seen in Ik-jun’s face when Prof. Shin enters his OR. He knew that Prof. Shin also cares for the patient as much as him because they treated the patient together. That whole sequence showed that every person in that team – no matter how big or how small their contribution is – puts in the same amount of effort and care to ensure the patient’s recovery. It’s a good and consistent follow-up with how Ik-jun thanked the anesthesiologist in the other episode and pointed out how he also stayed up for hours to monitor the patient. Going back to Prof. Shin though, I really thought they were just being so extra for getting Yoo Jae-myung to cameo in the series just for the table tennis scene. Little did I know he has one impactful appearance to make.
Now with the personal stories of our Lacking Five. It seems like the overarching theme for them this week is about decisions and consequences.
Seok-hyeong has still yet to decide his course of action about his feelings for our lovely Chuchu, Min-ha. But as Jeong-won said, it’s already game over. He was so on point when he said that Seok-hyeong is probably aware of his feelings. Jeong-won’s lines speak a lot of his own arc in season 1 and I couldn’t agree more. Seok-hyeong knows how he feels and is probably considering everything before taking action. They are no teenagers who do things impulsively. When you’re an adult, you consider every action you take and everything that might happen after that.
But in extraordinary circumstances – like a health scare as Ro-sa pointed out – your mind would be cloudy and you might do things that go against logic. Like lying to one’s partner about your real situation. A lot of people have pointed out the similarity with Jeong-won and Jun-wan’s story arc and I kind of see that now. They both fell in love with women who don’t believe that a burden shared is a burden halved. For Jeong-won’s case, we are still in the grey as to what is causing Gyeo-ul to her people at arm’s length. There are already telltale hints but I’m waiting for the actual reveal.
For Jun-wan, though, he finally knew what really happened with Ik-sun. They both suffered for a year and it’s now time to resolve things with them. There’s no secret anymore with their arc. We now know what Ik-jun saw on Ik-sun’s phone. We also witnessed how Jun-wan tried his best to move on from their relationship but failed every time he got reminded of Ik-sun’s existence. Just like in season 1, I guess Jun-wan’s story will be the first one to have a resolution (unless of course, they would stretch it up to episode 12). I actually appreciate their reunion scene at the ER. Jun-wan rushed to the hospital but when they were facing each other, there were no dramatic confrontations. Just a calm Jun-wan, asking what really happened. I’m betting they would also take things slow if ever they decide to get back together.
And someone is also taking her sweet time in making her decision about her feelings. I’m talking about Chae Song-hwa, who seemed to have an epiphanous moment when she and Ik-jun held each other’s hand under the rain. At that moment, I think, she realized the magnitude of how she felt for her best friend. Now let’s talk about that flashback to 1999!!! We finally saw Song-hwa’s POV that day in April. And I hate Ik-jun for it. Nah, I don’t really hate him. But my heart goes to Song-hwa in that scene. She had to feel the pain because the person she liked “hesitated”. If anyone out there doesn’t get it – YES, SONG-HWA’S FIRST LOVE IS IK-JUN. Should I shout it out for you? No? Okay.
Let’s break down why that piece of flashback scene is so vital with Ik-jun and Song-hwa’s narrative. There was never a confirmation that Ik-jun and her meeting on her birthday was a big deal for Song-hwa. There were, of course, hints in ShinLee’s style that showed Song-hwa looking at Ik-jun with admiration and longing. But with just that one short flashback, we finally get the full picture of how much she likes Ik-jun in the past. Enough to cry like that on a special day. She probably took Ik-jun’s first text message as a solid indication that he also likes her or at least sees her as a woman. But then after waiting for hours, she received a text message taking back what he said earlier. So easy it seems that Song-hwa probably thought she read the signs wrong. She just assumed things. And it’s all her fault – which wasn’t the case really. Because we already know in season 1 that Ik-jun hesitated because he chose friendship over love (urgh, this is the root of my frustration). I believe Seok-hyeong would have survived that heartache of knowing his friends love each other. But I can’t fully blame them since they were in their 20s at that time. And we make foolish decisions in our 20s. And they now “suffer” the consequences of those decisions 20 years after. Nonetheless, I love that we finally got this puzzle piece because no one can argue anymore that Song-hwa is hesitating because she really doesn’t love Ik-jun. She is hesitating because she is truly in love with Ik-jun and one misstep could make her slip into a puddle of misery again.
This episode has proved that we are really at the third and final arc of season 2. The stakes are higher. The tension is palpable. The fun – still there and thriving.
– I would just like to add as well that nurses – in general – are the people that make our stay at the hospital more comfortable. They are the ones who spend more time looking after the patient’s welfare. So, salute to all nurses out there who show up despite the grueling reality we face.
-If one likes emergency cases in K-dramas, there’s a lot in Romantic Doctor Teacher Kim. There’s Yoo Yeon-seok there too, so there’s that. But it’s not a slice of life drama so it’d probably be a big shift of emotions if you go there after watching HosPlay.
-Kim Geon is crushing on Gyeo-ul. I see. But I also think he knew about Gyeo-ul and Jeong-won dating because he looks so observant whether he’s with Jeong-won or Gyeo-ul. So, Kim Geon-ssaem, himnaeseyong~
-Just Im Chang-min being a cutie…
-Promoting this No Brain x Lovelyz collab because I badly needed a comeback from my precious Lovelyz.
-Also promoting is my IkSong FMV for feels~
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 1
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 2
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 3
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 4
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 5
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 6
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 7
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 8
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 9
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 10
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 11
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist 2 | Episode 12
K-Drama Reaction: Hospital Playlist | Season 1
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