Friday, June 15, 2012

Dramatic Friday Review: Dr Jin ep 6

til Jae.

It took 39 minutes for the entire reason I am even watching this show to show up on screen.  While I'm happy he had a little break (have you seen pictures of him while he's been filming - the poor boy is exhausted), I sure hope this doesn't become a habit for him.  He needs to be on screen a lot.  Like ALL the time.  One hour, five minutes and 32 seconds of Kim Jaejoong twice a week for 8-12 weeks.  That's not too much to ask, is it?  I didn't think so.

So, BJSU (Before Jae Showed Up), this is what went down on Dr Jin....

It's been a month since the cholera outbreak and the burning of To Mak village.

Dr Jin has started a medical school where all of the doctors in the area are getting reeducated with more modern knowledge.  Learning basic things like, oh, where the heart is located and the difference between veins and arteries.

Young Rae, the curious little minx that she is stands in the background, taking it all in.  The medical knowledge or sight of Dr Jin, who knows?  If it were me, I know which I would be doing.  Both of course.  Duh.  ;)

Once class has disbanded for the day, the two of them sit down for a meal and a chat.  Young Rae finally brings up the subject of Mi Na, asking flat out if she had been Jin's fiance.  He responds by simply telling her that she is a person no longer in the world.  Aww, poor Jin.  Hey, it could be worse.  A magical brain baby could have transported you back in time 150 years where you've had people trying to die all around you and you've been having to treat them with primitive devices and methods.  You could have also caught some awful disease responsible for killing millions during that time period.  And you could run into someone who looks exactly like your dead girlfriend but she happens to be engaged to the local lawman who like totally has it in for you.  
                        Oh...wait....  o_O

We then join another "couple" sitting down for a little drinky drink and some bizness.  Ha Eung goes to see the crime lord guy who's name I finally found!  Yay!  Only took me 6 episodes!  Shin Joo Pal is his name, dirty dealings is his game.  Ha Eung has approached him with a money making scheme but is unable to convince Joo Pal to go for it.
At which point, Joo Pal suddenly takes off with all his cronies.  Intrigued and still reeling from the rejection of what he thinks is a brilliant plan, Ha Eung follows the men.

He sees a trunk being brought into a house and rightfully assumes that it is payment.  But payment for what?

The mystery location is none other than a hideout for the Mu Myeong Gae/Gang - Young Hwi's band of bandits.  They have just sold Joo Pal a crate full of treasure.
Ha Eung is caught by the bandits.
He looks to the leader of the gang and is shocked to see a familiar face - that of Young Hwi.  Young Hwi, uncharacteristic of the character we've gotten to know up to this point, but understandably given his position, threatens Ha Eung, telling him that at the end of his tongue is a sword (or something like that).  It was a cool quote.  I really should've written it down.  But basically he was just saying, "keep your mouth shut or else."
Is it just me or is Young Hwi a bit of a hottie boombalattie himself?  Of course he doesn't hold a candle to my Hero (or even Song Seung Hun if he wasn't such a wooden/overacting actor).  What is it with me when I found his thinly veiled threats as downright tantalizing?  I guess I like my men with a bit of a dangerous side to them.  He wasn't very cute as the nice scholarly boy, but as the leader of a gang of Robin Hood-esque bandits, he suddenly rises in appeal.  {Don't get too jealous there Jae, you're still my guy.}

After all their doctoring is done for the day, the physicians all go out to the gisaeng house for a nightcap.
Dr Jin and Ha Eung get a private room with Choon Hong.  Her special attention is two-fold.  Obviously the first is that she still wants to show Dr Jin her gratitude for him saving her life, but there's more.  Seems as if Jin's doctoring isn't done for the day after all.  There is a sick gisaeng that needs some assistance.
They are led back to a room where a woman, obviously covered in ugly, red, mean-looking blisters is trying her best to hide her face.  My first thought?  Smallpox.  You know, we just lived through a cholera outbreak, what's another epidemic, right?  Good thing I'm not a doctor. I'll leave that to the professional, because it turns out to be syphilis, not smallpox.  Ooh yeah, they went there again.  First we had a couple of rustic brain surgeries with giant spikes being hammered and drilled into skulls.  Then we had a profuse display of diarrhea and vomit.  Now we have a good ol' STD on our hands.  It's almost like they're trying to shock us all with their daringness.  Oooh, you're so daring Time Slip Dr Jin writers!  No basic colds and/or flus for our good doctor to heal.  We're bringing out the big guns.  I bet most doctors would be jealous at this point.  I'm sure the tedium of colds, earaches, and the like that take up most of their doctoring time pale in comparison to all the fun Dr Jin is having.  Speaking of, did you know that there is at least one real Dr Jin in the world?  She's an OB/GYN in New York.  I wonder if she's watching the show?  I wonder if any patients will seek her out because of the show?  I bet the fictional Dr Jin would have appreciated having the real Dr Jin around in this particular episode, seeing as how gynecology is her specialty and all.

Anyway, enough of that tangent - back to the story.  When Ha Eung finds out that it is the gisaeng Gae Yang that is sick, he is beside himself with worry.  Obviously there's some connection there.  This woman is not a stranger to him.  But what could it be?

We get a nice, handy dandy flashback to help us figure that mystery out.  Hooray for flashbacks.

It starts with a scene where PigDog McNasty, Kim Dae Gyun, is being, well, a pig dog and pretty nasty.  He's groping and manhandling this gisaeng until Ha Eung steps in and does his weird drunken goofy dance that apparently he pulls out for uncomfortable situations and/or to break tensions, or, like in this case, to get nasty slimey pig dogs off of poor young women who are being mistreated.
In the process, he is hurt and Gae Yang tends to his wounds.  She also, not so subtlety, admits to caring for him and requests to be added as a concubine to his household.  Life as a gisaeng must be really tough if the life of a concubine is preferred.  We see how the son of a concubine is treated, I can't imagine that the concubine herself would be treated much better.  Ha Eung apparently misses the actual meaning of her words and promises her that he'll spread the word around that she is looking to be somebody's concubine before abruptly leaving.
Now would have been a great time for the real Dr Jin to show up.  It's decided that all of the gisaeng's should be examined for syphilis to prevent any further spreading of the disease.  This causes a little awkwardness.  It's the 1860s in Joseon.  Girls don't routinely go around flashing their hoohas, doctor or no doctor.  Women's health then certainly wasn't what it is now.  Nowadays, there are times when a whole team of medical professionals can be looking a your hooha and you don't even bat an eye.  Little different back then.  Understandably, the gisaengs weren't too keen to this idea.  They all outright refused.  Thankfully Young Rae had come along and fought her way in (the gisaengs didn't want to let her in, not to mention how scandalous it was for any woman, let alone a noblewoman to enter such a place) and she was able, with Dr Jin's coaching, to do the exam, starting with Choon Hong who wanted to set an example to all of her girls.  Good news!  She was clean and clear.  No syphilis for her.
When they return to the room of the sick Gae Yong, they are surprised to find the royal doctor, Yoo Yong Pil, there.  Why would a high official such as himself bother with a lowly gisaeng?  Something fishy is going on.  His "cure" however?  Mercury!  "A poison to kill the poison".  I knew that it had been used as a medicine for this kind of thing, but still, the shock at seeing it being poured out....  I've seen entire buildings evacuated for tiny mercury spills.  Seriously, like one drop will clear a building faster than anything I've ever seen.  A whole cup of it that she's supposed to drink?!  Yikes!
He warns her of the dangers of this "medicine".  He tells her it will kill her painfully.  She goes to drink it anyway.  She wants to die.  Well, it's not like Dr Jin is going to just sit there and let her do it - he slaps it out of her hand as she goes to drink.  Again, um, is anyone else concerned about the mercury he just spread all over the room?  If a broken thermometer requires a hazmat crew, what would a whole cupful require?  Yet they all sit there as if it's no big deal.  And I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure they may have used real mercury to film this scene.  It sure looked real when it was being poured.  Who knows, maybe there's some other substance that is similar.  I am just a stay-at-home-mom blogging about Korean entertainment after all, what do I know?
So it would appear that PigDog McNasty has something to do with Gae Yang's illness.  He is obviously trying to cover something up with the help of the royal doctor.  The doctor assures him that she will be dead within a month and that he has nothing to worry about.  This to him is very good news, very good news indeed.  The trio of evil all smile and congratulate themselves on escaping discovery for whatever evil deeds they did.

And now, the moment we have all been waiting 39 minutes for - Jaejoong, I mean Kyung Tak appears at the clinic.  He's there to have a little man-to-man, mano y mano chat with Dr Jin about who else but Young Rae.  Seems as if KT is less-than-happy with the idea of his fiance working there and even more upset that she was taken to the gisaeng house, though he understands that she did it because she has a warm heart.
There's a little threatening.  He forbids him from allowing her to enter the clinic any longer and reminds him that she is his fiance.  Dr Jin tells him that he knows they are engaged but that he can't stop her from coming to work.  She is talented in the art of medicine and cares greatly for her patients and he shouldn't stand in the way of what she wants.  KT asks if he plans on seducing her with his petty medical art, to which Jin replies,  "If you are her fiance, maybe you should think about what it is that she wants."  Being a Joseon man from the 1860s, KT's response to that is, "whatever I want is what my fiance would want" and then threatens Jin with his life if he doesn't listen to him before stalking off.  
Wait!  No! Don't goooooo!  It took 39 minutes for you to get here and you only stayed for 2 minutes.  Come back!  Bring back the pretty!  *weeps softly through the rest of the scene*

The rest of the scene which contained moldy fruit.  Oranges to be exact.  Or tangerines.  Citrus of some orange colored variety.  Oh the cheesiness!!!!!  At this point, and not having Jaejoong around to distract and calm me, I was so over this episode.  Really?  The guy just happens by with a tray full of moldy oranges, commenting nonetheless on the mold.  It's like they've just given up those writers.  In case you missed that lesson in elementary biology, penicillin (the drug that Dr Jin just so happens to need in order to treat the case of the syph) was originally derived from mold found on food.  Mold like on, say oranges like this.  Okay, I know, I should go easier on them.  All television shows rely on perfectly timed, seemingly "accidental" moments such as this.  But come on!  I could not be the only one who is tired of all the "coincidentals" in this show alone.  I'll be quiet now.  I'll play along like they want me to.  Sorry for my outburst.  

Now where was I?  Ah yes, moldy fruit walks by.  This sparks a flashback for Dr Jin.  He and Mi Na are attending a medical conference of sorts where the presenter is talking about how you can make penicillin at home.  {!}.  Of course Dr Jin was not paying attention, despite Mi Na's apparent excitement and attempts to get him in to it as well.  

"Isn't is amazing that you can make medicine from mold?"  This continues on to a later scene where they are in a library and he walks over to see that she is researching just how to make penicillin.  "With no 21st century science, and without any chemistry, you can produce penicillin!"  {GAAAKRKAK! - can't hold on much longer!}.  There's a nice diagram with directions up on the computer screen too.  Well, that's convenient, isn't it?  

He gets busy.  It's straight to the drawing calligraphy board for him.  He's wracking his brain trying to remember bits and pieces from all that he heard and saw during that time.  Attempt after attempt, crumpled paper after crumpled paper... (Hey, buddy, go easy on the paper there will ya?  I'm sure in the 1860s paper was kind of hard to come by.  You can't just run down to your local Costco and buy a giant box for a few dollars even if you are some hotshot doc).

Let's let him work for a bit and see what's going on elsewhere, shall we?  Ha Eung goes to visit Gae Yang.  He admits to her that he feigned ignorance back when she asked to be his concubine.  Turns out he did see through her subtlety and knew her feelings, but couldn't reciprocate or provide for her like she wanted/needed.  He tells her that he has always regretted letting her walk out.  He's heartbroken at what she is going through.  He is overcome with emotion and concern for her - he obviously cares a great deal for this woman.  She tells him the story of the Westerner who gave her the syphilis.  He had given her an eerily familiar promise - to make her his concubine and give her riches and power in his household if she would *ahem* attend to his urgent "needs".  Obviously those promises were not kept and she was left in the horrible condition she now finds herself.  She begs him to end her life, telling him that if it was by his hand then she would die happy.  So sad.

Dr Jin does it - he figures out how to manufacture the medicine.  Ta-dah.  Word starts to spread - everyone is ecstatic about what this new medicine will mean for the curing of diseases.  It's when he's being lauded for creating history that the magnitude of what he's about to do, introducing penicillin some 60-70 years earlier than it should be, hits him.  He realizes that indeed, this could change the whole course of history.  The discovery of penicillin after all is often considered one of the greatest forces that has shaped our modern world as we know it.  With it brought cures for diseases previously incurable.  Imagine life without antibiotics.  A lot of us could be dead.  When this dawns on him he stops.  Stops trying to make the medicine.  He knows it will mean the loss of this patient, and most likely others that could have otherwise been saved, but he is concerned with the impact on the course of human history that this would have.  I'm probably supposed to be all upset and disappointed in him, but honestly, I agree with him.  From an ethical standpoint, I think he's making the right decision.  Unless he can find a way to do it and keep it quiet, save the people he comes in contact with but let it spread no further.  It's a tough decision that he is faced with and he is trying to do the responsible thing.  It doesn't necessarily go over well though with Young Rae or any one else, all who are thrilled at the possibility of a new miracle medicine.

Ha Eung meanwhile has discovered PigDog McNasty's involvement in Gae Yang's sad story.  I'm a little foggy on the exact details, but it sounds like he "sold" her to the Westerner.  I'm sure we'll find out more in the next episode.  Once he knows of PigDog's crimes though, Ha Eung is concerned for her safety and gets her out and hides her just in time.  Sure enough, PigDog shows up at the gisaeng house to kill her.  He's caught wind of the penicillin and the possibility that she'll end up living, something that he can't allow to happen if he wants his crimes to stay hidden.

And that's where we end it for today.  An ethical conflict, a gisaeng in distress, and some dirty deeds being covered up and in danger of being revealed.  And not enough Jaejoong.  Two minutes!  Two minutes out of 65.  WAHHH!  I hope that he rested well and enjoyed his time off, but seriously, he better return in the next episode or this ahjumma will hop on a plane to Korea and go find him to bring him back.  Okay, not really, I'm not one of those crazy stalker fans that plague you guys, Jae.  I promise.  No need to fear this noona.  I just hope that you are well and that you return to gracing my humble screen soon because this drama just isn't the same without you. Know that you were missed, that's all.  Jaejoong hwaiting!  ^_^

1 comment:

  1. Dangerous boys are hott!! No Doubt about it babe!! I'm so with you on Young Hwi!! As for the contrived coincidences I too was so over the episode once the oranges appeared! Seriously?!?! Whatever!! So glad you get this show instead of me. I really & truly could not handle it. Especially w/ no Jae around to distract my brain so it doesn't notice the contrivances! Two thumbs way way up dongsaeng!


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