Friday, June 8, 2012

Dramatic Friday Review: Dr Jin episode 4

There's a Gwejil outbreak starting.  Everyone is concerned.  They've been down this road before.  Four (or five depending on who you ask) years ago, 10,000 people lost their lives to this disease.  There's no known cure and so a quarantine is set in effect.  No one can enter the city and those that are sick or dead must leave immediately so as to not spread the disease.

The Royal Doctor and Byung Hee are talking of how to handle the epidemic.  Byung Hee wonders aloud if Dr Jin might know of some cure.  This gets the jealous doctor's wheels a'turnin' and he suggests a perfect job for our Dr Jin - caring for those with cholera.  Think he did this because he believes the doctor might actually be able to help the sick people?  Ha!  Think again.  He's just threatened and sees this as a way to get rid of his little problem.

Back at home, Young Rae and Dr Jin arrive and we see Young Rae start washing furiously.  Yup, she's definitely terrified of this disease.  I bet I know why....  Hiding in the dark though won't save you sweetie, sorry.

Good thing Dr Jin does know the cure.  We get a little medical lesson from him.  Cholera is spread by contaminated food and water.  The sick person will vomit and have diarrhea, followed by muscle spasms until they are severely dehydrated and die.  In modern day the disease has all but been wiped out.  The cure is actually pretty simple.  No fancy meds needed, just rehydration.  All the people of the Joseon era have though are their superstitions and talismans.  Cow blood or cat decals for example.

Young Hwi then tells Jin the story and explains just why Young Rae is so beside herself with panic.  5 years ago, their father died of Gwejil.  They tried everything to save him.  All the medicines and exorcisms, but in the end, he succumbed to the disease.  She had been the only one to not give up hope and stayed by his side through the illness until the bitter end.  Poor Young Rae.

Dr Jin shows up at the hospital he has been assigned to.  It is like walking into a horror film.  People lying everywhere, moaning, crying out and vomiting everywhere.

And where are the doctors?  Packing up and leaving.  Leaving!  They've given up.  They think that there's nothing to be done, so they are high-tailing it out of there.  {wusses!}  There is one doctor left, however, a Dr Huh.  Fitting name if you ask me.  Dr Huh?  He's making cat amulets and slapping them on chests to ward off the 20-year old ghost causing the epidemic.  Huh?

When Dr Jin tells him that Gwejil is not caused by demons or spirits but instead a bacteria called Cholera that kills through vomiting/diarrhea and dehydration and that the cure is clean water to drink, the doctor laughs in his face and calls him a quack.

Dr Huh proves that his "cure" works because 5 years ago when everyone else died of Gwejil, he alone was spared.  Why?  He flashes his chest to reveal not one, but three cat amulets plastered to himself.

He's laughing and gloating, until, yup, you guessed it...
Ew!  So much vomit in this episode!

Back in town, Prince Ha Eung and gisaeng Choon Hong are discussing Dr Jin.  Choon Hong has asked to meet with Dr Jin, but is told that he is off doctoring those with Gwejil.  Ha Eung has already passed him off as dead, calling it a great waste.  Choon Hong believes that he just might be able to save the people.  She realizes that he knows things that other doctors don't seem to know and has skills that could very well make him the top doctor of the time.  PigDog McNasty Dae Gyun emerges from a secret meeting in the gisaeng house.  Ha Eung starts schmoozing, playing the fool as he usually does.  His son, Myeong Bok, shows up.  He's carrying his school book.  It's college level material.  Ha Eung panics and tears up the book, exclaiming, "You are a relative of the Royal Family, who can't be in public office.  What's the use of studying?" and tells him that if he goes back to school, he will break his legs.  Poor Myung Bok doesn't understand that his father is trying to hide and protect him from these men, for, as Dae Gyun says, "the smarter a relative of the Royal Family is, the shorter his lifespan will be due to the possibility of being framed for treason".  You know, major political stuff going on here in other words.

Meanwhile, back at Camp Gwejil, things aren't looking too great.  Dr Huh is sick and all of the other doctors flee when Drs Jin and Huh ask for their help to save their fallen comrade.  Then Shik's dad reappears, Shik's mom now has gwejil.  People are just puking left and right around here.  Don't watch this episode if you're squeamish or eating, geez louise.  Dr Jin asks for clean water and salt/sugar/corn syrup/honey.  He asks that holes be put in to beds for the diarrhea to flow through.  Ew.  He quarters off a makeshift hospital and gets to work.

Prince Ha Eung is staggering home drunk when he is met by a lady of his household who tells him that his son, Myeong Bok, is vomiting.

He rushes home, grabs his son and runs to the Royal Doctor looking for help.  When they realize that it's gwejil, he is immediately turned away, despite his pleadings and begging and groveling.  Not only are they turned away, but father and son are both beaten as they are forced out.  It's at this point that he thinks of Choon Hong's statement that Dr Jin just may be able to cure this disease.  Guess where he's headed next.

There's trouble at the city gate.  Those trapped outside the city are desperate to get in and away from the disease.  They eventually overpower the guards and a mass of humanity comes spilling in.

There is utter and total chaos as the guards start beating people.  Young Rae and her maid are caught in the fray.  They are separated and a group of men corner Young Rae demanding food or money from her, a noblewoman.  Just as things start to look really scary for her, in swoops my Hero, I mean her hero, errr... I mean Kyung Tak.  He kicks some major bad guy booty.
They finally scamper off and he is left alone to comfort his shaken lady friend.
She is trembling from fear and he draws her in and gives her an awkward hug.
Oh me oh my!  The smile that appears on his face - tummy tickler and butterflies a-fluttering!

I know she's supposed to end up with Dr Jin, but why?  Why can't she be with hot cop Jaejoong?  Why does he always play second fiddle that can't win the girl?  He's Jae-freaking-Joong after all!  He can get any girl he wants.  He plays second fiddle to no man!  I feel sad for him in dramas where he doesn't get the girl - he's always the nice, sad guy that comes in second. Every.Single.Time.  Well, you know, in this drama and the one other he did.  ;)  Poor Joongie.  I'd take you if I could.  But I can't.  Sorry.  I already have a guy.  Hmm.  Guess you come in second place with me too.  I'm sorry sweetie.  Better luck next time.  Maybe one of these go arounds you'll get the girl, huh?  Keep the faith my friend, you'll get there.  I mean, look at you!  You're perfection personified in one perfect package of manhood.

Back at the hospital, Dr Jin is having a rough go of it.  He's trying to force Dr Huh to drink the rehydration solution he has brewed up, but the doctor is fighting him, convinced that it's quackery and won't save him.
He just won't give up on his cat amulet.  Meow!
Drink it you fool!  Drink it!

Thankfully his other patients are being less combative, yet there is still the problem of them vomiting up the drink as soon as they get it.  He needs to be able to give them fluids by IV, but obviously this is a problem in Joseon.  As he is discussing this need with Shik's dad, the man offers to try to help make the needles needed.  He is an expert blacksmith after all, and as Shik proudly claims, there is nothing that his dad can't make.

They just need supplies.  And money for supplies.  The rubber tubing he needs is back in the city, behind the sealed gate.  The money shows up unexpectedly in the form of Ha Eung with a sick Myeong Bok on his back.  He promises to get Dr Jin anything that he needs in exchange for him helping his son.  Dr Jin holds the child, realizing that in just three years, this boy will be king.  It's up to him to save the future king of Korea.  No pressure or anything though.

Ha Eung uses his "skills" to get the cash and in the process uncovers a scheme where PigDog McNasty Dae Gyun and his cronies are the thieves taking advantage of the current crisis and cornering and hoarding supplies.  He along with Choon Hong are able to trick these guys into giving up the cash needed for the making of the syringes.  He also goes to the Hong residence to get the rubber.  Upon hearing of the need, Young Rae casts aside her desperate fear and races off to help.  She finds a discouraged Dr Jin who has lost a patient and is ready to give up.  She gives him a pep talk on how you can't run away from your fears or win without fighting.

Dr Huh then comes running out, ecstatic and crying because he just peed.  Never has a man been so excited about taking a whiz!

Yay!  This means he will live.  Dr Jin was able to cure him of the incurable!  This helps bolster his spirits and he recommits to the job with Young Rae's help.

Our final parting scene of the episode is Kyung Tak riding up to get Young Rae and return her home.  She says that there is still work for her to do and she won't leave.

He pulls a sword, cuts the line separating them and threatens Dr Jin.  Oooh!  Looks like the competition for the lady's heart has officially begun.

I made the mistake of watching part of the teaser for episode 5.  *Spoiler Alert!* Wouldn't you know it, but looks like Jin comes down with a bad case of the Gwejil himself.  Boy, didn't see that one coming.  *sarcastic snort*

My take on the show at the end of these first four episodes?  Hmm....  Cheesy?  Yes.  Predictable?  Definitely.  Corny?  At times.  Will I keep watching?  Looks like it.  I'm curious enough about enough to keep coming back for more.  I gotta find out the mystery about Brain Baby after all, don't I?  You know you're curious too.  Plus, it's fun to laugh.  Even if they don't really mean for me to laugh.  I can laugh off the ridiculous and enjoy the good points of the drama.  At least for now.  We'll see how I feel after 5 & 6.  It's worth sticking with a little longer.  Oh, the power of Jae.  Never, ever underestimate the power of Jae.

And that should about do it for today's round of reviews.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I look forward to joining you again on Monday for Monday Morning Therapy with me, Dongsaeng.



  1. I am so glad I didn't have to watch the diarrhea/throw up episode!!! Holy crap, pardon the pun, But just the screen shots were enough to turn my stomach. Blech!!! You are a strong woman!! Or maybe you just have a strong stomach! ;)

  2. It helped that it didn't look like any diarrhea or vomit I've ever seen. Kind of watery and milky. Now, if there had been chunks or funky colors, it would have been a different story. ;)

  3. Oh, I bet I've seen diarrhea, vomit and urine that you've never seen. LOL!

  4. Yeah "he's Jae-Freaking-Joong" huh?!. LOL. And "You're perfection personified in one perfect package of manhood." huh?! why couldn't he got a woman's heart?!? (he got mine actually :D )

    Actually, this episode is quite boring for me. And in my opinion, for awkward-hug scene, the emotion between them not really well-established, especially Yong Rae's emotion.

  5. Malie - yes. Yes I bet you have seen it all. Lucky you! :D LOL

    I agree with you Uzli - I think that the emotion between them is still developing. What I get from it is that it was an arranged marriage, but as he sees her more and gets to know her better, he is starting to develop real affection and concern for her, if not love. I really think the poor guy is so devoid of affection in his life that he is looking to her to fill that void. His whole family treats him like garbage and is always taking every opportunity to remind him that he is a low-life. :( I think that Yong Rae's feelings are developing more for Dr Jin and were never there for Kyung Tak even before Jin showed up because it was an arranged marriage, not a love match.


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