답답해. 답답해. 답답해. 답답해. 답답해! That’s really all I can say about these next 4 episodes of Hospital Ship. As much as I hate to admit it, I can’t seem to find any other word or phrase to describe how these last 4 episodes made me feel. It seemed like every second of every minute of every episode made me more and more frustrated; so much so that by the end of episode 20, I was ready to throw things!
Of course I didn’t really throw anything but I did walk away from these last 4 episodes feeling very grumpy. I hate it when dramas make me upset! At the same time, the fact that I’m into them enough to be upset is probably a testament to how good the drama is but still! I don’t like being left feeling this frustrated! I guess I should have known this was coming. After last week’s cutesy episodes, we were due for some frustration. I just wasn’t expecting that frustration to make me so upset. Then again, how could I? We left off last week with Jae Gul announcing to Hyun his intentions to win over Dr. Song. With the way things were left, I was expecting all of Jae Gul’s attempts to woo and win over Eun Jae to be immediately shut down. I figured that, at the very worst, we’d get a couple of episodes of cute banter between the two before Hyun swooped into solidify all of Eun Jae’s uncertain feelings with either some moment of grand heroism or at the very least, a good kiss. Instead, we get 4 episodes of Eun Jae giving way too much attention to Jae Gul while she gives Hyun nothing more than a few frigid stares and a very cold shoulder.
Try as hard as I might, I can’t really see where this sudden bout of coldness, on Eun Jae’s part, is stemming. Did I miss something last week? Did something happen that I just can’t remember? Because as far as I know, Eun Jae was fighting really hard to make sense of her feelings for Hyun and it seemed only a matter of time before she allowed herself to love and be loved in return. What on earth happened between episodes 16 and 17 that made Eun Jae have such a drastic change of heart?
I know that Artist Choi was able to drag a true confessions of Eun Jae’s feelings out of her but the only thing that confession did was make me more frustrated! If Eun Jae really does like Hyun, why in the world is she acting like he’s the worst scum in the world? And who the heck gave Artist Choi the right to tell Hyun that his inability to save Eun Jae’s mom is the reason these two can’t be together? That whole scene didn’t make any sense to me because, first of all, Eun Jae would never confide something like that to Artist Choi, ever, and second of all, as someone wholly unconnected to Dr. Song, Artist Choi has absolutely no business butting into Eun Jae’s affairs. I get that Young Eun is trying to drive a wedge between Hyun and Eun Jae, so she can reclaim Hyun as her own but Hyun has made it clear, time and time again, that he wants nothing to do with Young Eun. At least on a romantic level… And therein lies the problem.
The fact that Hyun is allowing Young Eun to stick around, even if it is as nothing more than an annoying acquaintance, is really what’s causing this whole frustrating situation to build in intensity. If Hyun could have kicked Young Eun to the curb, or at least been a little more obvious in his rejection, Eun Jae would have never felt any sort of jealousy. While that jealousy did provide us with some pretty amusing moments, it served a much more diabolical purpose, in that it made Eun Jae recognize and admit her feelings a lot earlier than she probably would have, had she been left alone with her feelings. By being forced to admit her feelings, Eun Jae found that she wasn’t quite ready for this crazy little thing called love, and as such, she’s chosen to do what she does best: put on a mask of indifference and dive into her work with reckless abandon.
The problem with Eun Jae stepping back behind this mask of cold indifference and selfish ambition is that in doing so, she’s allowing herself to fall back into her isolated bubble of pain and lies. Have you noticed that anytime Eun Jae suffers any sort of emotional blow, she retreats deeper into herself? When she was kicked out of the hospital in Seoul and was labeled as a troublemaker/incident causer, she refused to let anyone step in and help her. She didn’t speak up for herself, she didn’t turn to anyone for consolation or help, she made no cry of injustice. Instead she just stepped back, out of the spotlight, and began to plan her vengeful return of glory. When her mother died, instead of turning to her brother or aunt for consolation, she just threw herself into her work, without allowing herself any time to grieve or start the process of healing. How many months did she go before she finally allowed herself to cry over her mother’s death? And look at how Eun Jae reacted when she wanted to operate on Hyun’s teacher; she was willing to throw all of her plans for justice aside and step back in under the likes of that slimy Dr. Kim, if it meant she had a chance to perform an unprecedented surgery. As intelligent as Dr. Song may be, when she keeps herself trapped in this bubble of hers for too long, she loses a whole lot of sanity and perspective. I mean look at the way she’s behaving now! Not only is she forcing herself to work ridiculously long hours, but she’s also forcing herself to operate on a father she can’t stand and she’s allowing herself to be wooed by Jae Gul and his family, all in a desperate attempt to ignore the fact that she’s fallen for a really good guy. It’s like she doesn’t believe she deserves a chance to be happy so she never allows herself to move beyond the confines of this little bubble.
While I can’t say that I’m all for Eun Jae’s drastic change in behavior, I can admit that I understand it… At least in part. Growing up the way she did, with a dead-beat father and a mother who was left to raise 2 kids on her own, I can understand that stepping into a romantic relationship would be hard. Seeing what she did as a child and being forced to care for her brother and pay off the debts accumulated by her father, it makes sense for Eun Jae to be hesitant to jump into a relationship. I can even understand why Eun Jae has kept herself from any sort of relationship in the past. Not only has to had to bear this familial burden on her own, which would totally put her off relationships, but as a doctor in a prestigious hospital in Seoul, how would she ever have time for a significant other? I’m sure that seeing her family fall apart in her early years gave her the motivation to avoid relationships and the workload she took on, to reach her position as a well-respected surgeon now, gave her a tangible reason to excuse herself from any possible suitors who might have tried to approach her. Having no motivation or time to give to anyone else, it makes sense for Eun Jae to feel she can get on just fine without someone by her side. In all honesty, she could spend the rest of her life single and be perfectly fine. But you and I both know that doing so would turn her into the most cold, selfish, uncaring human being on the face of the planet. This is why she needs someone like Hyun in her life. It’s not so much for the romance, but for his ability to draw Eun Jae out of that awful bubble she’s built around herself. With Hyun, Eun Jae can learn how to see past her own hurt and extend a hand of kindness to others. Without him, Eun Jae will likely remain a top surgeon but she’ll become an awful human being and that would be too sad.
I suppose there’s always the off-chance that receiving the tender affection of her new surrogate mother might be enough to keep Eun Jae from losing too much of her humanity but I don’t see how that could possibly work out well. At least not while Eun Jae harbors any sort of affection for Hyun. Now if Hyun decides to pay too much attention to the ailing Artist Choi and Eun Jae decides that being with Jae Gul and his family is better than being alone… Well then, that’s another story. Though if I think about it, Eun Jae wouldn’t decide to accept Jae Gul’s offer of marriage just to avoid being alone. She’d use that connection to get out from under her father’s debts and rebuild her reputation as a doctor but in doing so, she’d be forcing herself to live a life without love. At this point, I don’t think Eun Jae would see that as a bad thing but I have a feeling that will change, as the story moves on. Something tells me that Eun Jae is going to see Hyun paying more attention to his sick ex than he really should that’s going to bother her enough that eventually she’ll lash out and in doing so, expose all her feelings Hyun. Until then, things are going to be incredibly frustrating between then, and this whole thing with Eun Jae’s father is going to make things worse.
Ugh! This darn drama! It would have to leave us hanging again, wouldn’t it!?! Just when you think things can’t get any more frustrating, Eun Jae’s father swoops in out of nowhere and causes all sorts of problems! Of course Eun Jae would have to overhear her father begging Hyun to alter his medical records, just so he can pull off an insurance scam… The poor guy! Being found in such an awkward position isn’t going to help Hyun with any points with Eun Jae but I have a feeling he’ll find a way to resolve this without causing too much damage to their quasi relationship. The fact that Eun Jae’s brother has already adopted Hyun as his brother-in-law is probably going to win Hyun some points sometime in the future but I don’t think that will happen until after Song Senior’s mess is cleaned up. Or at least until Eun Jae’s temper has calmed a bit. How long will that take? I’m not really sure but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to happen any time soon. Eun Jae going to have to deal with the fact she was able to save the father she hates, instead of the mother she loved, first. We all know that’s not going to be easy for Eun Jae so I guess for now, we’re going to have to learn to deal with all the frustration this drama is causing. Well, that’s what I’m going to have to do anyway… *sigh*
As frustrated as I was with these next 4 episodes, I can at least admit that I was entertained by them. We had an exciting introduction to Eun Jae’s little brother. We learned just how much of a dead beat her father is. We discovered that Jae Gul’s pursuit of Eun Jae was more fulfilling a debt of gratitude than an actual act of affection. At the same time, we learned that Jae Gul was willing to pay that debt, which went a long way to healing the breach between him and his parents. We also learned that Eun Jae actually has feelings for Hyun but she’s refusing to acknowledge those feelings because she’s afraid of turning out like her parents. (Which is ridiculous because Hyun isn’t a loser.) Dr. Cha had a chance to prove his worth when he saved that patient from choking to death. Two characters were diagnosed with cancer. (Don’t even get me started on that one.) And Hyun was put into more than one uncomfortable situation in which his heart struggled against his brain. (The poor guy is just too soft-hearted for his own good!) Where will all of this lead? It’s hard to say but one thing’s for sure… I’m definitely going to be sticking around to find out!
But what about you? What did you think of this week’s extraordinarily frustrating episodes? Were you as upset as I was, by the way things are developing, or are you not worried because you know things will work out alright in the end? You know I’d love to hear from you so be sure to let me know what you’re thinking in the comments below!
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