Every time I sit down to watch a new episodes of this drama, I can’t help but wonder if I’ll walk away as frustrated as I was when I walked away from the last one. It’s not that I’m expecting to be upset by each new episode, it’s just there’s so much going on (read: so much coming between my precious OTP) that I keep finding myself annoyed at their painful lack of progress. Lucky for me, frustration wasn’t the prevailing feeling as I watched these next few episodes. Instead, I felt that things are starting to progress in a much more positive direction… And then it all got turned upside down by a bunch of gun-toting drug dealers! Seriously!?! I suppose on the bright side, I can honestly say I didn’t see that one coming!
But before we dive into the wonderful world of unexpected plot twists and murderous drug lords, let’s talk about all the good stuff that led up to this bizarre turn of events. Things started off this week on a really unexpected, but not at all unwelcome note. Never, in a million years, would I have imaged that Boatswain Yang and a couple of his crewmen would attempt to take on Dr. Song’s father’s loan shark and his gang. At this point in the story, I really thought any other issues surrounding Eun Jae’s father’s debt would be thrown in as a happy “oh it’s been taken care of” side note at the end, so to have it thrown back into the spotlight so suddenly was pretty surprising. Having all of that nervous worry coming from the ship’s medical crew only served to hype up the danger of this new development, which made for some rather tense moments but those moments didn’t last long. Who knew Boatswain Yang and his buddies were such tough guys? I mean we knew they had to be made of some pretty strong stuff, doing the type of work that they do and all. Heck, one of them even managed to have his arm cut off and reattached while on duty, but I had no idea they had the ability to take down an entire gang of thugs! Or maybe I should say I never imagined they’d be the ones stepping in to deal with Eun Jae’s loan shark problems. I always thought that was something Hyun or Jae Gul would take care of someday. Obviously I was wrong!
I’m actually really happy it was the hospital ship’s crewmen who decided to take care of these loan sharks for Eun Jae. Not only did this scene provide some much-needed comic relief but it also showed Eun Jae just how much she’s come to mean to the hospital ship and its crew. No longer is Eun Jae an outsider looking in. For the first time in a very long time, Eun Jae is part of a family. A real family. A family that is willing to come alongside her, even in her darkest hours, and do whatever it takes to help her get through. I don’t know how long it’s been since Eun Jae felt that she actually belonged somewhere but you know it’s something she still isn’t used to. However, I think that’s changing, especially now that she’s seen first-hand, just how much she means to the people around her. For the first time in a long time, she’s beginning to realize just how great it can feel, being a part of a family that actually cares about you and that makes me happy. At the same time, it makes me wonder if these newfound feelings aren’t going to eventually scare her off. After all, she doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to owning up to and accepting new feelings. Just look at the way she’s been treating Hyun! She’s been running from her feelings for him for quite sometime now, so what’s to keep her from doing the same now that she’s starting to feel the joy that comes from being a part of this new family? Will these feelings of belonging eventually drive her off or has she matured enough to accept that it’s okay to be a part of something greater than herself? Going a step further, has Eun Jae finally accepted the fact that it’s okay to be happy?
I’m not sure I’m completely convinced Eun Jae is willing to settle herself comfortably in this new family but she did tell Dr. Kim that she was happy being on the hospital ship so maybe there’s hope for her after all. I’m sure that having Jae Gul’s mother close by is certainly influencing her decision to stay where she is. After all, she told Jae Gul right to his face, she’d be happy to claim his mother as her own, so long as she didn’t have to take him in the process. Ouch! Poor guy! Having to sit there and listen to the woman you want, tell you flat-out, that she’d be happy taking everything you offered, so long as she didn’t have to have you, couldn’t have been easy. I suppose knowing Jae Gul is only offering all of this out of a sense of duty, rather than love, makes it all a bit easier to handle but still! Being told just how little you mean to a person can’t be a pleasant experience. At the same time, we all know Jae Gul does hold some small place in Eun Jae’s heart, even if it is only as a member of her newfound family. The problem is, that feeling of friendly respect isn’t enough to build a relationship on and both Eun Jae and Jae Gul know it. I think that’s why Jae Gul went to the trouble of forcing Eun Jae to own up to her feelings for Hyun.
I really like the way Jae Gul always manages to pull the truth from Eun Jae. Even when she refuses to acknowledge the truth herself, Jae Gul forces her to admit everything she’s trying to deny, without being mean or nasty; which is pretty darn awesome. Even more awesome is Jae Gul’s ability to talk rationally with both Eun Jae and Hyun without ever once losing his cool. He really is the most perceptive of the three and the way he’s handling this whole love triangle things is really making me admire him. Which isn’t something I ever thought I’d hear myself saying… What in the world is going on here??? The guy I thought would, for sure, be the one to mess things up for everyone, is turning out to be the one driving our OTP together. Sure, he’s trying to set himself as a love rival but the further he gets into this mess, the more he begins to realize that he’s not the one who’s going to end up getting the girl. Instead of taking the road of the mean, petty, vindictive and nasty, Jae Gul is breaking the Drama Land norm by choosing to take the higher road. Instead of using knowledge and situations to his advantage, he’s doing everything he can to level the playing field, as he puts it. He’s intentionally set Artist Choi on the path of self-destruction, he’s forcing Eun Jae to acknowledge her feelings for Hyun and he’s asking Hyun for advice on women, as if he knows he’s already lost this fight for Eun Jae. Somehow Jae Gul has gone from the most sleazy of players to the most magnanimous and admirable guy on the ship. I can’t complain about this at all, because it’s an awesome thing, but it’s really messing with my head! I just don’t know how to deal with a guy who’s breaking so many of the drama second lead stereotypes! It’s great but it’s baffling, all at the same time.
Another great thing about this story and the way it and its characters are progressing is when we take a look at the progress made within the Kwak family. From the very beginning, we’ve seen just how broken Hyun’s family is and how this burden is affecting Hyun as a person. It makes my heart happy, seeing so much progress being made in this week’s episodes. For the first time, Hyun is able to share the burden of his ailing father with his mother and sister and in doing so, he inadvertently sets his entire family on the path towards healing. Sure, it was a medical emergency that kept Hyun from running to his father’s rescue after he wandered off, but because of it the burden of dealing with his father was forced upon his mother and sister. After spending so many years running from the senior Dr. Kwak, resenting him for his life choices; being forced to face his illness and deal with him as he is (rather than the man he used to be) was really the only way to make mother and daughter understand and accept the fact that the man before them is really only a ghost of the man he once was. Whatever pain they’re harboring, whatever resentment they may still have, has to fade when they see him in such a pathetic light. Maybe that’s why they never wanted to deal with Dr. Kwak in the first place. Maybe they each understood that if they saw this once great man, now broken and pitiful, any anger and resentment they had would inevitably fade. Maybe they preferred to hold onto those feelings? Maybe it made life easier for them if they did so? It’s hard to say but it’s obvious that being forced to step in, when Hyun couldn’t, did the whole family a lot of good. Does this mean things in the Kwak household will suddenly be all sunshine and rainbow ponies? Probably not, but at least they’re finally taking steps in the right direction.
In all actuality, healing, forgiveness and moving on seemed to be the overall theme of this week’s episodes. Unfortunately we still have a very selfish and stubborn artist who refuses to follow the trend. Ugh! I am so very, very tired of Artist Choi and all of her shenanigans. I’d be really happy if she was thrown overboard or left marooned on some remote island but I know that’s never going to happen. I suppose I’ll just have to content myself with the knowledge that her lies can’t last long. Especially not now that Hyun’s mother knows the truth. Oh, I can’t wait for the day when Hyun realizes that Artist Choi has been lying to him all this time. I really hope it’s his mother that drops that little bomb. Not only would that keep Eun Jae and Jae Gul from looking pathetic and jealous (though it wouldn’t hurt things any if Hyun knew just how jealous Eun Jae really was) but it would be infinitely satisfying to watch Hyun’s mother destroy all of Artist Choi’s dreams of starting over with Hyun. Oh! The very idea makes me giddy! I really, really hope this whole ordeal with Artist Choi is resolved soon! She needs to get out of the way so Eun Jae and Hyun can get back to pretending like they don’t care about each other when everything they do screams otherwise. Case in point: Hyun volunteering himself to go with Eun Jae as she’s dragged off by a bunch of gun-toting psychos. Hmm… If that doesn’t say “I love you,” I don’t know what does!
It’s pretty obvious this whole drug lord fiasco was thrown into the story to stir things up and create a bit of excitement. I mean you can’t really have 18,000 medical emergencies and expect each and every one of them to end with some successful miracle surgery. That’s just not the way the world works, even in medical dramas. Hence, the need for drug lords to conduct acts of piracy after shooting their own boss in the stomach during a gang fight. Oh the joys of living in Drama Land! I know I should be worried about Eun Jae and Hyun right now. After all, they were just carried off to some remote warehouse where they’re now surrounded by dead men and drug lords but really, the whole thing is just so far-fetched, I’m to busy rolling my eyes to be worried. We all know our OTP is going to come out of this unscathed and even if one of them is injured in the process, that injury will only serve to force Eun Jae to admit her feelings for Hyun. I’m actually expecting Hyun to get hurt while he and Eun Jae are working to save this soon-to-be-dead gang leader. (C’mon, there’s no way he’s going to last long, not with that gaping gunshot wound in his chest! He’s probably dead already! At least, he should be…) Walking into such a dangerous environment, one of the two is bound to get hurt and since Eun Jae is the surgeon, it can’t be her. That means Hyun is the one who’s going to become the target and having him seriously injured is a sure way to force Eun Jae to admit everything she’s been trying so hard to deny. It’s not an ideal scenario by any means but it seems like a very likely one. Of course if I’m wrong, I’ll be more than happy to rejoice over my misguided speculation. After all, I’d much prefer it if no one got hurt while dealing with these drug lords. It just doesn’t seem very likely, given the circumstances.
But whether I’m right or wrong doesn’t really matter. New episodes are out tomorrow which means we’ll find out soon enough what happens next. In the meantime, why don’t you tell me what you thought of these next 4 episodes. Did you enjoy them as much as I did? Oooh! I almost forgot to ask! What do you think of the developing relationship between Boatswain Yang and the nurse? I think they’re adorable together but that’s just me. What about everything else that happened this week? Where do you see things going from here? You know I always love hearing from you so be sure to let me know in the comments below!
You can catch up on all my Hospital Ship reviews here: