Friday, August 7, 2015

Yong Pal Episode 2 - The Story of A Morally Ambiguous Genius Doctor Khottie.

It is amazing how morally ambiguous hospitals are in kdramas.  And we get a HUGE dose of this version of reality as Tae Hyun is forced to swim the political murky depths, attempting to stay afloat in a hospital that only acknowledges money. Luckily his own moral compass is pretty loose as he continues to focus on earning money any way he can.

It is no surprise that Tae Hyun and the crime boss survive the jump from the bridge (did I mention I love this director, thwarted sci-fi geek and all?).  The shocked police quickly call for boats to search the river, but the fugitives have disappeared.
Cracks me up that they are laying at the base of the bridge not 50 feet from where the police boats are searching.  Did no one think to look along the river bank for the escaped fugitives?  You have done it again kdramas.... taken hard working policeman and turned them into buffoons.  It is a argument I have been having (at least in my mind) with the kdrama writers for years.

I am pretty sure crime boss's toes are sticking out far enough for the police to see them on the riverbank.  Just saying.....
Due to the fact that Yong Pal did not desert the crime boss he is suddenly bestie material (or at least a person of interest) for the injured man.  He orders thug #2 to hunt down the information and real identity of the mysterious doctor.
I had originally suspected that Yeo Jin had been faking her coma when her brother had visited her.  I guess that was not the case as we witness our sleeping beauty violently begin to awake.
I swear Yeo Jin is having seizures in this photo, not just looking the same as every other scene I have screencapped.  So that means you naysayers can't scream bad actress..... at least not yet.

And we know that scary things are happening (or at least that she is waking up) because the computer wall is telling us English. Hahaha.
Tae Hyun is thankful not only to be alive, but free from the police.  At least until he realizes that his scalpel is missing.  A scalpel that has a serial number that can be traced back to him.  His lender friend tells him to not worry, that the police have more important things to do (like arresting gangsters) than following the serial number of medical equipment.
Tae Hyun's friend (they are kind of friends right?) is totally wrong.  In fact, at that very moment, the head detective is holding a bloody scalpel in his hands and screaming "YONG PAL!!!"  I seriously have to laugh that in almost every Joo Won drama, his name gets screamed.......a lot.....and not by the ladies.
So, sad news for my readers.  Yeo Jin did not wake up from her coma.  She just had an "episode" from building up a tolerance to the drugs Chief Lee and her brother are pumping into her system to continue her coma status.  Yes, you heard right.  They are keeping her in a coma on purpose so Do Joon can run the company under her name.  WOW, that is a pretty high level of scuzzy right there.
I warned you in my Ep 1 post that I do not go step by step in my recaps.  And since I also mentioned that I don't especially like the medical mystery of the week you can imagine that a lot of that aspect of the drama is not going to be covered.  With that said, I will do just a small rant about today's medical emergency so be prepared.
BEGIN RANT*****What kind of monsters don't actually treat the patients they are given? The fact that they would only do a partial surgery on someone because they are not rich is ridiculous.  It makes me question their basic morals as human beings.  The lack of human warmth on medical kdramas drives me nuts and I want to smack every smug, puffed up doctor who assumes that the quality of medical care should depend on how well off you are.  Yes, I know that this is a drama and that it is done for dramatic effect, but the fact that it is a genre trope that is used so often really frustrates me.*****END RANT

So let's jump away from the angst of kdrama doctoring and focus on the important stuff, such as whether Tae Hyun is going to be arrested for his illegal dealings.  The police have arrived at the hospital and are searching for the owner of the bloody scalpel (anyone else getting a twisted image of Joo Won as Cinderella but instead of a slipper it is a scalpel?  I guess with the whole Sleeping Beauty aspect, my mind automatically goes to fairytales for this drama).
Tae Hyun continues his illustrious hobby of eavesdropping to try and find out what the cops have discovered.  I officially declare that we should make our own game of "Where's Yong Pal", instead of "Where's Waldo"
The cops get handed over to Chief Surgeon Lee who puts two and two together and reaches the answer of Tae Hyun is Yong Pal.  He covers the mystery of the scalpel by telling the cops it was donated as scrap metal when their new equipment came in.
Realizing that he had been caught, Tae Hyun immediately drops to his knees and begs Chief Lee to forgive him for his illegal actions.  Chief Lee smirks and says--"That is why I like you, it didn't even take a second from you to go from cocky to begging on your knees".  I guess this is one case where having an unethical doctoring staff is a positive thing.  At least in our hero's case.
Chief Lee calls someone and states that he has found the perfect person for the job.  Later we see Tae Hyun at dinner with Chief Lee and an obviously well off Director of some sort.  He tells Tae Hyun that he will spare him, but he will have to give up his part time job with the gangsters as well as stop doing surgeries.  Although Tae Hyun is upset, and pauses over the order to stop his surgeon activities, he agrees.
Looks like having the reputation for being an immoral, money grubbing, butt kisser has worked in Tae Hyun's favor.  Chief Lee orders Tae Hyun to begin working on the 12th floor and he will be given a fellowship and probably a fast track up the hospitals hierarchy. 
Tae Hyun is dropped off at the hospital and breaths a sigh of relief now that he has not been fired.  As he enters he sees that his poor patient (the one i was ranting about before) had a 2nd cardiac arrest.  Tae Hyun realizes that the man is going to die and decides that he is going to do one last surgery.  He kidnaps the patient, with the help of a sympathetic nurse, and they take the dying man to get x-rays via the surgery room.
At the same time that Tae Hyun is playing drunken altruistic surgeon, the warning signs begin to flash again in Yeo Jin's room.  The nurse runs in only to find that Yeo Jin is no longer doing her sleeping beauty act, but is instead standing in the room with a broken piece of glass pressed up against her throat.
I wonder what it says about her story, that I am actually more interested in Tae Hyun's surgery than about Yeo Jin finally waking up?  So far the drama has been the "Joo Won gets to amaze us with his acting skills" show.  So it is understandable why I am nervous about adding the leading actress into the equation.  At this point I am just hoping that the writers give our leading lady more to do then go around being a damsel in distress and acting angsty.

My Thoughts:
I was a bit sad to realize that Tae Hyun's late night illegal doctoring might be at an end.  There is something so much more exciting watching Tae Hyun do surgery on a hostess bar table than in the O.R.  However I was impressed when the writers upped the action at the end of episode 2 with Tae Hyun impulsive surgery hijinks.  Is it wrong that I kind of wish Tae Hyun was not tethered by his sister's situation and could go totally rogue whenever the urge strikes (kind of like Doctor Stranger if they hadn't screwed it all up)?  It will be interesting to see how long his moral ambiguity can continue.
As I mentioned earlier, so far it has pretty much been Tae Hyun's party with only a few glimpses of the other half of our OTP (one true pairing).  It says something, that with so little character growth, I have still been enthralled with the story.  I would say that the rest of the viewers agree since "Yong Pal" has started with the highest ratings of any drama in 2015 with a huge jump in numbers on day two.  Obviously everyone loves Joo Won doing his genius actor schtick.  
I would lastly like to make a quick comment about how much I am enjoying the directing style of "Yong Pal".  The director is using everything possible to make this drama visually interesting rather than do the usual back and forth camera angles for every scene.  He often pans out and uses the background to create interest whether it is at a restaurant or around the hospital.  It is a refreshing change from seeing only actor closeups.  I hope that this style continues even when we hit that wall of live shooting.  Consider my fingers crossed.
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  1. OK, any thoughts on that creepy scene where the nurse does sleeping chaebol princess' makeup & hair? Just, ~shudder~

    1. It was so creepy. makes me think of the MV for "Last Dance with mary Jane" by Tom Petty

    2. OH, yes!!! so right about that! creepy creepy :o

  2. Oh the creepy nurse…I immediately thought of the story and movie Rebecca, with the creepy maid who sort of…worshipped Rebecca.

    Great re-cap. I really liked Tae Hyun's blunt conversation about the state of South Korea's medical field with the head nurse. It may have real officials cringing to watch it.

    I also have a feeling Tae Hyun won't be doing late night doctoring anymore. He's moved up in the world. (Heh.) But if you consider that he did the most important thing he could in the crime world…he saved the Hyungnim's life. So it's a fitting end to that job.


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