I debated all weekend whether or not I had the energy to recap two dramas for the next two months and my immediate answer was “heck no.” Then I had to remind myself this is Joowon we are talking about. He is on a drama that could easily surpass how amazing he was on Gaksital. I’m sure he was great on Level 7 as well, but I don’t want to compare serious roles with light hearted ones. If I had to pinpoint one main deterrent - to put it bluntly, there are just too many names to memorize on this show and I hate subjecting readers to my abbreviated ones. Problem is, some of these characters are so despicable, I just don’t want to bother memorizing their names. I don’t blame the show at all. In fact, this drama is very well received here in Seoul. Friends who rarely watch dramas are tuning in to catch it cuz they really love the acting and story. There are no action scenes and nothing scary jumps out on the screen, but this show has something else going for it aside from Joowon – a story with possibility to go beyond what’s just on paper. This is the big question for me though – how much corporate back stabbings must we wallow through to see the good come out victorious in the end. After watching E3 just now, I have my answer.
This drama is sort of like S’s heart – sincere and genuine, but not appreciated. There are some really great character building scenes and I can already see a few episodes ahead – the cracks that are forming in shattering some of the mistrust and misunderstanding regarding S. If any of these awful doctors have any soul left in them, they will let S set an example and lead the way in patient care. D called his behavior robotic and accused him of only caring about saving lives, but being methodical has its advantage sometimes. You can have a cooler head and carry out your duty more efficiently. More importantly, D would never have said that if he hears S quietly thanking each kid for surviving. Sometimes it’s not enough to just perform the surgery, you have to care from the start to be sincere about saving lives. In real life, kids do this all the time. Their honesty makes the grownups stop and realize their faults and mistakes. That’s what S is doing at this hospital one case at a time. He might be burning bridges left and right accidentally now, but give him some time and I bet when he leaves this hospital, he won’t be going out as quietly as he came in. He will have a crowd of patients and staff gathered around him in tears.
Forgive me for saying this, but I wanted more from this finale. Donam singing off key was not my idea of a good lasting image I wanted to keep in my head. I have the type of personality where I don’t like to see loose ends – I like everything tied up nice and proper leaving no room for questions. This last episode just opened up a whole new can of worms and left us hanging. In a way they left it up to our imaginations to fill in the gaps, but what can I say – I’m lazy – I need them to do that for me. How these relationships worked out plays way better on the screen than in my imagination. Of course there were hints along the way which direction these couples were headed, but I guess this director is a fan of saying less even though he could ‘ve said a lot more. That petty little complaint aside, E12 will only remind you again what we are going to miss out on now that this show has ended. They filled this episode to the brim with information and I feel like I am still trying to contain all the overflow. We got to see more of what we loved about this show – that despite whatever struggles they each go through, they put that aside to come together and be there for a friend. This drama really is going to go out as quietly as it came in – with no fanfare and no over the top last minute craziness. If you look at the silver lining, in the zany world of kdrama, getting this kind of ending is a blessing. Problem is trying to muster up the enthusiasm to believe that takes some time, but I am getting there.
He does that look of love more convincingly than anyone else. Just the effect of his smile reaches out beyond fiction and touches a little bit of our reality for just a second. This is an odd thing to say, but his contagious smile is what attracted me to this drama in the first place. Watching someone like him fall in love – thinking the whole time he didn’t have a prayer of a chance of getting the girl was half the fun. The other one was watching how circumstances in life dictated how these people lived their lives and who they became. That whole scene where H and S took turns telling us insights about each other made my eyes well up. I really thought I was the only one who kept choking up each time I saw a scene where Su ha would prepare her meals so well all by himself. My overall enjoyment of this show might have started with Su ha, but all the characters kept me rooted each week. I could lie and say the side benefits were learning lessons about not taking revenge or having faith in humanity, but who am I kidding. The main focus for me was their growing love story. Daring to hope is a lost art and Su ha managed single handedly to prove that sometimes in life – being patient has lasting rewards you can’t even imagine.
Imagine your worst fears coming true and you are helpless to do anything about it. If he had it his way, he would always be by her side to put a comforting arm around her shoulder to let her know she is not alone in this world. So imagine how empty his arms must feel now and how much her heart is calling out for him. At this point in their relationship, I’m not sure if either one of them could go on without the other. That fear she had that she might grow accustomed to him has already taken place. Except that it’s not that she has grown used to him – it’s that she can’t imagine her life without him anymore and vice versa. These two need each other for the sole reason that each one thrives with the other around. When they are apart, he can’t even sleep properly and she can’t go a day without thinking about him. That is not becoming inured to someone – that’s just what you call being in love.
If these two ever learn the art of communication, we won’t have a show to watch. Ask me how much I enjoy watching their inner turmoil – the looks on their faces say it all. This is what I will miss the most about this show. It took a typical scene and turned it into a gem just by their mutual reactions. With every episode, they insert their unique twist on the original that make us relive the moments of wonder that come at that age. I realize Seol Chan was never meant to graduate with this class, but during the short time he has been there, he already earned that right. The friends he made, the lasting impression he had on their lives, those were not one sided and every moment was reciprocated. When it comes time for him to leave, I hope he sees that he is leaving with a few more fans than he started with and the only difference will be that he remains their friend.
The elation that Su ha didn’t get to express last night on the bus, he got to make up for it times quadruple. I love how he quietly stayed up all night outside her door giving her space to let the truth sink in. He knew there would be repercussions for hiding the fact that he got his memory and ability back so he braced himself and took it like a man. He didn’t complain or whine when she didn’t speak to him all night. That is why I appreciated that she didn’t let him suffer too long. If you are going to forgive someone, it’s best to do it quickly so the other person doesn’t suffer in silence waiting. It’s even better when you own up to your feelings and share them with the one you like. I know her confession didn’t come as a shock to Su ha since he already had an inkling, but I bet she didn’t know how happy it would make him. It’s like the thought that he wouldn’t get to see her anymore broke him, but her confession was the glue that made him whole again. I’ve never seen a face transition that fast from concern to total bliss. Her words didn’t just relieve him of all his worries, they also gave him back something he was missing in his life for the past 11 years. Right now it might seem like he is the one who has been protecting her from JG, but all along it was her devotion to him that kept Su ha feeling safe. No matter how short lived this might turn out to be, for the time being, Su ha gets back a little of the security of family and love that he was deprived of for so long. Judging from the wide grin that he can’t seem to wipe off, he is going to savor every moment he has with her.