Thursday, October 10, 2013

Good Doctor THE FINALE (ep 20) Recap

It never ceases to impress upon me the almost somber moment as I begin the final review of a drama.  "Sheesh, Dongsaeng, dramatic much?"  Well, yeah, kind of I guess.  But yeah, Good Doctor has ended its run, and, as I mentioned in episode 19 review, I liked it.  Not my absolute most favorite drama ever, but I enjoyed it and certainly don't regret the time I spent on it.  It was a feel good drama with uplifting messages littered throughout.  I was very pleased with how it all came together and ended.  I was really, really relieved that it indeed did not end with Shi On being miraculously "cured" of his autism.  I think perhaps that that was something maybe lost in translation early on.  Cured he was not, true, yet he did learn to overcome it.  And by that obviously I mean that he was able to function as an adult would function in the world despite his various challenges and his more unique way of doing so.  And, not only did he overcome so much personally, but he also was a catalyst for change in others.  Look at how many lives he touched for the better.  He indirectly saved the hospital with the help of his colleagues and friends.  Prejudices and fears were conquered.  Best yet, all of these changes were totally believable.  There was never a moment where I was like, "oh come on - there is no way So-and-So would say/do/act that way".  For example, it didn't end in a big gushy love-filled goodbye between a dying father and his son.  Dad stayed the same dirty rotten guy with one minor acknowledgement to the achievements of his son.  It was a drama not about medicine and hospitals, but one about people and the change and the growth that is possible in humankind.  I could go on and on here, but I'll cut my blathering short and just say that it was a drama that ended up being more than it first appeared.  Hmm, sort of like its main character, ay?  {{See what I did there?  That was pretty cool, right?  Right?  Guys?}}

And now, if you will remember allllll the way back to my very first review of this drama, I had used a slightly different format honoring the main reason why I endeavored to take this particular show on in the first place.  As a final tribute to the amazing talent of this man who really truly did do a fabulous job portraying what I can only imagine was a difficult character to portray, I will revive said format for this last and final review.  Joo Won, this one is for you.  Thank you for your efforts and your dedication.  Thank you for sharing your talents with us and telling us all a story that we could all use to hear to uplift us and give us hope for the good in people and in the world.  Thank you also of course to the rest of the cast and staff as well - obviously it wasn't a one man show and they all did a great job. 

Dongsaeng's Drama Doctoring of episode 20 - the FINALE

J.  Just Going to Come Out and Admit I was Wrong - and so happy to be so!

In Hae doesn't die!  Shi On and Yoon Seo don't break up!  My concerns and worries were blissfully and completely for naught.  Hallelujah!  I LOVE to be wrong in situations such as this.  Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong.  Phew.  In Hae is sick and there's not much they can do for her and things are sad and tense for a while there, but eventually she pulls through and returns.  I just knew they couldn't kill someone like her off on us like that.  That would have been....  Well, you know.  I'd say more but I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen shows like City Hunter or King 2 Hearts.

O.  Ornery to the Bitter End

Shi On's crap dad.  What a giant {insert favorite insult for him here}.  Granted, he does soften just a wee tiny bit after Hot Doc's little chat with him in the last episode, but too little too late buddy.  You can tell he has a moment where he reflects a bit on his current situation and realizes that through his awfulness, he has left himself with no one to depend on to leave him his ancestral rites and offerings.  He has driven away his family.  Yet, this family that he drove away is still there by his side as he faces his final days.  Their courageous show of loyalty to someone utterly and completely unworthy of such devotion is awe inspiring.  You may think that Shi On and his mother were just being stupid or whatever, but I see it as them making the very best choice for themselves under the circumstance.  Shi On cannot and should not live the rest of his life afraid of this man that terrorized him.  It's good for him to see his father for what he is - a insanely flawed man who failed in his duty as husband and father.  His life is a tragic one as well, only tragic by his own hand.  Look at what he had become.  Look at all that he had to show for himself as his life came to an end.  No friends.  No one who loved him.  Nothing besides a poisoned, dark, horrible heart and only words of spite and vitrol to spew at the two people by his side.  Two people he didn't deserve to have there, yet were there anyway.  I can only hope that at some point in this process he had a vision of what could have been had he been more the man that he should have been.  How different would his last days have looked if he had a wife and son there by his side loving him and grieving his loss?  It's just all around tragic.  And yes, he doesn't do much to redeem himself even in the end.  He does sort of acknowledge all that Shi On has done in his life, sort of.  He sort of thanks the Director for helping his son.  Sort of.  And then he slinks off to die, assuring that he will no longer beat his wife as he does not possess the strength to do so anymore.  No, "I realize now the error of my ways" or anything of the sort.  No, instead it's "I'm so close to death that I don't have the strength to beat this woman who is caring for me".  What a peach, huh?  In the end, Shi On gets that phone call from his mother letting him know that Dad has passed away.  We get a bit of a funeral scene with Shi On and Mom holding each other and crying.  Most likely they're not crying at the loss of the man, but at the loss of what could have been.  Grieving the sad life that this man represented for both of them.  Just so very sad the whole thing.  I don't want to talk about it anymore.  *sniff sniff*

O.  Officially Yours

There's a bit of trouble brewing between our love birds throughout a lot of this episode.  Yoon Seo is being open about their relationship and has thus opened herself up to ridicule.  Shi On hears this and is both angry at those who are mocking as well as feeling it would be best for her if he was not in her life.  Insults are overheard in the stairwell by both of them, though Yoon Seo made sure to scold those two particular naysayers quite effectively.  I had to laugh as she told those two bozos off.  That whole Korean hierarchy thing works perfectly in situations such as this I must say.  Then there is the high school get together.  Yoon Seo has been advised by her one friend to not bring Shi On and Shi On initially refuses to go.  He doesn't want to open her up to more ridicule by her friends.  He talks to Dr Cutie Pie though who explains to him how real love sometimes requires you to grit your teeth and bear it, to endure through the trials and stumbling blocks that appear.  At the same time, Yoon Seo is worried about what is to become of them. Remember the ominous warning from the so-called psychic?  How they only have one chance at this relationship?  It's been stressing her out.  I mean, talk about pressure, right?  Especially when your boyfriend is about to bail in order to protect you from the opinions of others.  Well, it would appear as if she was stressed for no reason.  Yoon Seo's out hiking and contemplating all this when she comes across an injured hiker who just so happens to be this psychic lady.  They're sitting there talking as Yoon Seo attends to her injury and it comes out that the "psychic" just made that part up - she says it to all of the couples that come to see her.  They share a good laugh and suddenly the pressure is off.  Oh good.  It is at this moment that Yoon Seo receives a text from Shi On telling her how he's going to grit his teeth and endure the pain.  This means that they are on for going to the reunion together and thus truly become public in their relationship.  They come in and the friend who had advised her against dating him/bringing him takes her outside to reiterate what a bad idea it was for Yoon Seo to bring her sub-par man, Shi On shows that he can manage the crowd just fine.  He's in there animatedly telling the story of how they met (Yoon Seo drunkenly mistaking his apartment for hers) and all of the ladies are enraptured and in complete stitches laughing so hard.  They love him.  How can they not?  Shi On is awesome.  I mean, duh.  And how can I forget the best part of that whole scene?  One of the friends boldly asks when they had their first kiss.  Yoon Seo turns to Shi On questioning like "yeah, so when was that?"  {{hey lady, we can all tell you that it hasn't happened yet.  how can you be so uninvested in your relationship as to not know that?}} Shi On responds by planting one on her right then and there and saying, "now" (or something like that).  It was cute.  And yes, it ends up being our only real kiss in the whole show.  There was the fantasy one, but one little peck is all we really get.  Boo.  It was a very cute one and I loved it, I just wouldn't have complained if more had come later, that's all.  None of these writers ever listen to me though.

Speaking of being official, Hot Doc and his girl officially get engaged with a ring and all.  And a totally lame proposal which is apparently completely appropriate considering his initial confession to her when they started dating.  Aww, he's keeping with tradition!  By being totally lame....  o.O?  Whatever.  How ever they got there, they got there.  Wedding bells are in their future.  Happy happy.

W.  War Won

The Vice Director guy ends up choosing the right team to go to bat for in the end.  He helps save the hospital.  Everything returns to its rightful place.  I thought I would say more, but eh.  He ends up being a good guy in the end.  As does Skele.  He exposes an entire list of doctors that took money from pharmaceutical companies in exchange for dispensing dangerous drugs.  He defies his brother-in-law in doing so and I rather enjoyed watching that yucky guy storm off in a huff.  I love all these reformed guys standing up and choosing the right side to fight for.

O.  Operation Complete

Maybe you like me forgot that Shi On's placement at the hospital in the beginning was a sort of probation.  He had passed the exam to become a doctor, but when the board learned of his disability, they revoked his license.  The Director then used his position to get Shi On in the door of the hospital anyway to allow him to prove himself, that he could perform the job satisfactorily despite his challenges.  He was given a mere 6 months to prove himself worthy and capable of being entrusted to hold the title of "Doctor".  Well, wouldn't you know it, but our boy did just that in half the time.  All of the Pediatric Surgical department sits down to meet with the Director regarding Shi On's track record over the past three months and to discuss his position there in the hospital.  The Director is concerned.  He's afraid they're going to be fighting to kick Shi On out like they had wanted to in the beginning, but of course the Director's concerns are all for naught when they all vouch for him and his superb abilities as a doctor.  They site specifics and all give him a thumbs up.  Even the one who was the slowest to jump on the Shi On train.  His only regret he says is that he took too long to join Team Shi On.  Yes, yes you did, but at least you're there now, so that's good.  This meeting ends with the President of the overseeing entity personally presenting Shi On with his official doctor certificate or whatever and promising that from now on, the board will reevaluate how they evaluate potential doctors that have different disabilities.  Yay Shi On!  Way to be a pioneer for others like yourself!  And no, I totally didn't get emotional in this part.  Ohh, okay fine... maybe a little.  It was really sweet.

N.  Neat and Tidy and Happily Ever After

Fast forward one year later.  Everyone is happily and gainfully employeed and living their doctorly dreams.  In Hae is finally leaving the hospital and has a little farewell party.  And look who is there with big sis?  Uh huh.  Dr Cutie Pie.  Love!  Shi On and Yeon Seo are together still.  Shi On and his mother live together.  We have orphans with 3D TV.  We even have a special cameo from Park Ki Woong (Bridal Mask, Full House 2, etc.) We see him as the newest addition to the surgical team.  And Shi On is reprimanding him for some mistake that he has made.  When we finally see this poor maknae's face, I cheered out loud as soon as I recognized who it was.  His part was one of my favorite parts of this entire episode.  It was funny to see Shi On acting in a position to yell at rather than be yelled at.  And I loved when, after his scolding, Park Ki Woong goes outside to sit on the bench and mope.  Soon Dr Skele walks over, and in a scene very reminiscent of Shi On's first days on the job, sits down and offers the young doctor half of his ice cream.  The young doc must have some brave streak in him because he asks for the bigger of the two pieces, something that amuses Skele very much.  It really is such a cute scene.  So yes, a year later and everyone is happy.  Everyone is doing well.  The hospital is a good place to be.  And we owe it all to our biggest catalyst, Dr Park Shi On who fought the good fight and not only won over hearts, but helped in changing them as well. 

And there we have it.  Another drama has come to a close.  To the cast and crew of Good Doctor I would say thank you for the ride.  And to you all for sticking around and reading my words, thank you as well.  Anyone curious as to what is next?  As if you even need to wonder.  Of course I'm taking on Heirs next.  It better be as good as we all hope.  Talk about no rest though.  Good Doctor aired on Tuesday and Heirs started Wednesday.  And thanks to some real life stuff, I got a day two days behind already and haven't yet seen Heirs.  But I'm excited to talk about it.  And not just because it means lots of Lee Min Ho.  Hey, I said 'not just".  There's more eye candy to the story, even I know and recognize that.  So, if you liked what you saw here I will not only be surprised, but I will also be so bold as to ask you to stick around and see what I have to say about Heirs.  Sound good?  Sounds good to me!  Hope to see many of you over there when I return with that one!

One last thanks before I say goodbye...

Good Doctor is now retired.

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