Episode 8 was yet another wildly entertaining episode of Dr. Stranger and might be the first episode without a surgery performed. Instead the entire episode was about the back-and-forth planning for the twin surgeries led by Team Park Hoon and Team Jae Joon and it’s clearly a no-brainer that the earnest non-scheming doctor who will come out on top. There was so much team switching it was akin to watching a particularly exhausting tennis rally. I was ready to scream “just do the damn surgery already!” but for the fact that there were lots of great character interactions and conversations to fill up the time. The episode started with Hoon in the same room with the men who betrayed his dad and send them to certain death in North Korea. Funnily enough Jae Joon was also there and being the son of the medical malpractice suit victim makes him equally as involved in bringing these men down. I always wanted a bromance in this drama and now the two men are tied with a lot of the same anger and vengeance towards the same powers that be.
It’s now 100% confirmed that Seung Hee is Jae Hee and also clear that Hoon knows and is quietly keeping her cover. He is letting her do her thing without asking questions, because having her safe and by his side was always his number one goal and that can happen as long as he doesn’t force her hand. He’s confused as to her reasons but because she is his Jae Hee then he has the patience and understanding to play along for the time being. Knowing Hoon knows the truth imbues all his conversations with Seung Hee with a second layer of meaning. There is a super cute cafe scene with Soo Hyun asking Hoon about his history with Jae Hee all while Seung Hee is sitting there. Hoon acts all grumbly because he’s annoyed but at the same time he is comforted with the certainty that at least his Jae Hee is right before him even if he can’t acknowledge her yet. I honestly don’t see a love triangle yet since triangle requires the one in the middle to have stirrings and conflicted feelings for the other two sides. Right now it’s still the OTP of Hoon working to extricate Jae Hee from her Seung Hee mission, and on the side he’s got Soo Hyun as a chill buddy at the hospital.
Episode 8 recap:
PM Jang arrives at Myung Woo Hospital to meet the surgical teams vying for the chance to do his heart surgery. He sits down in Chairman Oh’s office and is introduced to Dr. Han Jae Joon. PM Jang looks around and wonders where the other surgeon is since he heard two teams were competing. Jae Joon places Park Hoon’s white coat on the table and reveals Hoon has withdrawn from this surgical opportunity. PM Jang’s face falls and even Secretary Kim looks taken aback.
Hoon is with Seung Hee in the hospital room of the mother with the sick twins. Seung Hee smiles and points out that Hoon is finally acting like a doctor. She extends her hand to greet him properly as if to start anew and erase all their previous run-ins with each other. Hoon stares at her hand and doesn’t take it so Seung Hee pulls it back and says the person Hoon has been looking for will also be happy to see him finally acting like a doctor. Hoon smiles and says “don’t make me laugh” and Seung Hee wonders what he means by that. Hoon brushes it aside and confirms that Seung Hee will be the anesthesiologist for the twins heart surgery. Seung Hee says of course.
Hoon arrives at the meeting with PM Jang and takes back his white coat. He’s willing to compete for the surgical opportunity with one caveat which is that the hospital has to bear the costs for the surgery. That gets the twins surgical costs covered easily. He’s about to leave when PM Jang asks him to wait a minute. Hoon turns back and takes another long hard look at PM Jang and now remembers him as the guy at their house that morning asking to speak with his dad Park Chul. Hoon smirks as he stares at the present PM Jang before leaving.
PM Jang leaves the meeting and stands in the hallway looking rather serious. Chairman Oh wonders if he needs anything but PM Jang asks to use the bathroom and walks off. PM Jang asks Secretary Kim if that guy was Park Hoon and hears that he is. PM Jang can’t believe Park Hoon dismissively stared at him back there and rudely walked away. What? You can’t have been expecting a hug.
PM Jang washes his hands in the bathroom and mutters about Hoon being less than the dirt smeared on the wall. Hoon walks into the bathroom and locks the doors and glares at the man responsible for what happened to him and his dad. PM Jang thinks Hoon resembles Park Chul which gets Hoon’s temper to flare and he immediately grabs PM Jang by the collar and asks why he did it? PM Jang smirks and asks what Hoon thinks? Hoon flashes back to his dad getting shot and dying in his arms and he punches PM Jang in the face.
Hoon now wants to operate on PM Jang to see what his pathetic heart looks like. PM Jang also wants to see how Hoon can repair his heart. Hoon thinks PM Jang ought to pray that Hoon is not his heart surgeon for the operation, if Hoon operates on him then he’ll immediately pull his heart out and dice it up. Hoon pushes PM Jang aside to leave but PM Jang tells Hoon to work hard for the chance to see his heart otherwise he’ll never see his girlfriend in the North ever again.
Secretary Kim and the rest of the guards manage to break down the door and enter the bathroom to find Hoon and PM Jang staring at each other. PM Jang claims nothing happened other than he was momentarily dizzy. Hoon leaves and Chairman Oh and Dr. Choi runs after him to ask what just happened back there but Hoon starts humming a K-pop ditty while ignoring them as he strides away.
Chairman Oh runs back inside the bathroom and asks again what happened? PM Jang insists nothing happened but then reveals to Chairman Oh that Park Hoon is the son of that person. He’s the son of Park Chul. Chairman Oh’s eyes flare open in shock. After they leave the bathroom, Dr. Kim and the hottie he’s making out with pop out of the bathroom stall and mutter that it was so deadly in there just now.
Jae Joon leads PM Jang on a tour of the hospital while Chairman Oh side-eyes Dr. Choi. As Jae Joon is sending PM Jang off, he’s asked what his reason is for competing for the surgical opportunity. Jae Joon declares he’s doing it to run Myung Woo Hospital one day after he does the surgery and proves to Chairman Oh that he’s the best of the best. He wants to sit on the top position of this hospital one day. Chairman Oh chides Jae Joon for speaking so directly but PM Jang smiles and pats Jae Joon’s hand while liking his forthright attitude.
As Chairman Oh puts PM Jang in the car, the PM wonders why Jae Joon appears to have spoken so boldly back there since he heard that Jae Joon was a very careful restrained doctor. He likes Jae Joon being candid now and feels assured to hand his surgery to him. Chairman Oh asks about Park Hoon and PM Jang thinks it might be harder with Park Hoon while giving Dr. Choi as pointed look. After the call pulls away, Chairman Oh glares at Dr. Choi before storming inside.
Chairman Oh slams his hand down hard and demands to know why Park Chul’s son is at his hospital. Dr. Choi explains Hoon is a very good surgeon and will become even better after competing with Jae Joon. Chairman Oh demands to know why he should let Hoon stay and Dr. Choi retorts that Chairman Oh needs to because Dr. Choi knows too much about this hospital. Chairman Oh asks if Dr. Choi is betraying him for the worthless guilt he feels? Dr. Choi doesn’t care what Chairman Oh thinks, he just wants a fair competition. Chairman Oh will allow this one competition but he will not let Hoon stay after that. He wants the competition scheduled as soon as possible!
Dr. Choi gets a call from someone claiming to be from the Children’s Services inquiring if Dr. Choi has been looking for an orphaned boy Lee Sang Hoon who was adopted to the US. The caller says Lee Sang Hoon has returned to Korea recently. He claims to have found that person but will confirm and then contact Dr. Choi.
The caller (cameo by C-model actor Zhang Liang and Park Hae Jin’s good friend) walks into Han Jae Joon’s office and asks “Lee Sung Hoon”? Jae Joon turns around and the caller is clearly surprised to see him. The two shake hands and the caller laughs that his task was like riding a donkey to seek a donkey. Jae Joon asks if the caller saw Dr. Choi yet and the caller says he’ll see Dr. Choi depending on what Jae Joon wants him to do? Jae Joon schedules a flight for the caller to go back to Beijing for his dad’s upcoming wedding and the caller teases that Jae Joon healed his dad’s heart so well he’s on his third marriage.
The caller knows Jae Joon wants him to leave immediately without revealing his real identity. He looks at the castle model on the table and asks if Jae Joon is almost done with it? He then asks what Jae Joon will do after he’s done building it? Jae Joon says he’ll destroy it, the only reason to build it is to destroy it, right?
The mom of the twins is looking at her babies in the ICU. Hoon stands outside and watches her when Seung Hee walks up to him and asks what he wants?
Hoon wants to talk to her about something and they step aside to talk. He looks around first and makes sure there is no one there and then just stares at Seung Hee with a content smile on his face. Seung Hee smiles back as well and they stand there in silence. GUH. Too bad omnipresent Comrade Cha walks past Seung Hee’s line of sight and reminds her of her mission so her smile fades.
Seung Hee sticks with discussing work and how the battery of tests on the twins are almost done and they need surgery right away. Hoon’s smile fades to hear her talk about surgery and remembers PM Jang warning that if Hoon doesn’t work hard to operate on him then he will never see his girlfriend in the North again. Hoon asks why she’s mentioning the twins surgery? Seung Hee claims she cares about the twins getting better and Hoon asks if that’s all? Soo Hyun runs up after hearing that Hoon has agreed to do the surgery. She wants to know how much he’s going to ask in payment this time? Hoon mutters “what payment” and Seung Hee is curious as well.
Hoon is sandwiched between Soo Hyun and Seung Hee at the coffee shop as Soo Hyun explains to Seung Hee how she met Hoon after he accepted 500 won to the surgery for the little girl’s sick dad. Hoon thinks it’s no big deal since it’s just 500 won. Soo Hyun points out it’s taking money from a kid but Hoon claims it was his money to begin with and the kid swindled it from him. Seung Hee asks in a disappointed voice whether that’s true and Hoon says totally true but then remembers how he extorted money from the gangsters to sew up their boss after the appendectomy.
Soo Hyun explains that Hoon needs lots of money to bring his girlfriend from the North to him which is why he’s so money grubbing. Soo Hyun wonders how much he needs while Seung Hee asks what his girlfriend will think if she found out what he’s doing. Hoon turns to ask asks Seung Hee what she thinks and she wonders why he’s asking her. Soo Hyun cluelessly asks if Hoon still thinks Seung Hee is Jae Hee otherwise why ask her?
Hoon is about to leave when Chang Yi slams a plate of doughnuts down and glares at him to eat it before leaving. She grumbles about what Jae Hee unni will think to see him hanging out with two pretty doctors behind her back. Hoon sits down and starts shoving doughnuts in his mouth while Soo Hyun pries him with curious questions about his past with Jae Hee such as how they met. Hoon says they just met and thinks back to their first childhood meeting. Soo Hyun doesn’t think it’s so casual since their love is so intense, it must have been love at first sight.
Hoon says nothing and grabs another doughnut as Seung Hee grabs it as well and their hands touch briefly. They give each other a look and Seung Hee turns away with a scowl. Soo Hyun remembers he said Jae Hee likes to smile a lot and Hoon grumbles “what smile” as he looks at the scowling Seung Hee. LOL. Soo Hyun remains clueless about the subtle exchange before her and wants to know what Jae Hee’s personality is like? Hoon remembers Jae Hee pulling him by the ear and then taking his engagement ring and promising to marry him in 100 years. He mutters “she’s got a temper on her and sometimes her personality isn’t all that.” Double LOLOLOL. I love how he’s so pissy right in front of her.
Soo Hyun asks why he likes her so much then? Hoon’s eyes focus in that moment and he says matter-of-factly “because she’s Jae Hee.” That’s it. Soo Hyun is envious and wonders what Jae Hee would think if she heard him say this. Hoon glances at Seung Hee and says Jae Hee can’t even hear it so who cares. He dusts off the powdered sugar from his hands and gets up to leave. Soo Hyun asks what Hoon will say to Jae Hee when he sees her finally? Will he say “I miss you”?
Hoon says no and then turns to look at Seung Hee before slamming his hand down on the table. He leans towards her and says “I will save the twins life so don’t worry. But the real reason you want to do this surgery, what that reason is.” Seung Hee stares back and Hoon then smiles before looking back at Soo Hyun and saying this is what he will say to Jae Hee.
Seung Hee sees Comrade Cha walk into the cafe and she quickly excuses herself from Soo Hyun. They go up to the roof and Comrade Cha is frustrated at what the heck Hoon did to PM Jang? He was contacted to leave Park Hoon alone from now on. Seung Hee wants to know what she’s supposed to do now? Comrade Cha sighs and tells Seung Hee that she now needs to be the anesthesiologist for Han Jae Joon’s team.
Secretary Kim tells PM Jang that if he sends Han Seung Hee into Han Jae Joon’s team then Park Hoon’s chances of winning will decrease. PM Jang doesn’t care if he tosses away the Park Hoon card since he thinks the Han Jae Joon card works just fine.
Hoon is checking on the twins when Jae Joon walks by and asks if Hoon is ready for the surgery. Hoon is ready anytime and Jae Joon wonders if that’s true even if the surgery is tonight? There is only one chance and Hoon smiles because one chance is enough. Jae Joon smiles back and claims he’s looking forward to it. Hoon goes back to look at the baby while Jae Joon’s smile disappears as he stares at Hoon.
Hoon and Jae Joon each hold a team meeting with their respective surgical teams. Dr. Moon asks if Hoon is confident and Hoon isn’t so he wonders if he should surrender now? Dr. Moon tells him to be serious and Hoon points out this surgery has to be done within 45 minutes. Jae Joon also tells his team the same time about the need for speed otherwise the twins will die. Hoon says the tight time constraints requires the entire team to work in harmony, the rest of the team are like the hands and feet of the head surgeon. He then turns and waves his hands around while smiling at Jae Joon’s team in the meeting across the hall. The main surgical assistant is the most important and Dr. Yang claims he’s ready for it. Dr. Moon takes out wads of cash to wave around as their bonus if they win.
Jae Joon’s team is discussing who will be number 2 on their team and Jae Joon wants Dr. Oh. Dr. Eun pipes up that she doesn’t think Dr. Oh is ready and suggests Dr. Keom instead. Dr. Eun says Dr. Oh is an average surgeon at best other than her identity as the Chairman’s daughter. Jae Joon ends the discussion and decides Dr. Oh will be his number 2.
Jae Joon asks Soo Hyun to stay behind and wants her not to feel bad about what Dr. Eun said. Soo Hyun doesn’t want their team to lose because of her and he assures her that he thinks she’s ready for it.
Dr. Moon is happy to hear that Dr. Han Seung Hee has agreed to join their team as the anesthesiologist. Hoon also wants the best head nurse to get him all his surgical equipment fast. They head out to go find their head nurse and we see Seung Hee watching them leave. Seung Hee flashes back to the rest of her conversation with Comrade Cha and asks if Park Hoon is being discarded now? Comrade Cha doesn’t know what the plan is, he’s only doing as he’s told. The competition is on and Park Hoon has to win no matter what. If he can’t win then they are all dead: him, Seung Hee, and Park Hoon.
Seung Hee runs into an angry Dr. Eun in the changing room and hears that Jae Joon selected Soo Hyun as his number 2 for his surgery. Seung Hee suggests Dr. Eun go and change Jae Joon’s mind.
Dr. Moon and Hoon arrived at Nurse Min’s apartment because Hoon heard her speak very knowledgeably about the OR. They ring her doorbell and she opens to look at them before refusing to let them in. Hoon climbs in through the bathroom window and lands in the bathtub. Nurse Min tries to get him to leave but he warns her not to wake up the baby.
Nurse Min asks if Hoon wants to win over Dr. Han that badly and if so there are other nurses with OR experience because she hasn’t been in the OR in a long time. Hoon goes to check on the baby and hears his name. He reveals the twins don’t have a name yet but if they survive they could be friends and classmates of her son. He asks for help and she smiles that he’s very persuasive and she was almost moved.
Hoon leaves and tells Dr. Moon that it was worth the effort but it’s unclear if she agreed to do it. After they leave is when Dr. Yang walks into the apartment. Dr. Yang tells Nurse Min that she made the right decision because she hasn’t been in the OR in a long time. Nurse Min knows Dr. Yang is going to be Dr. Park’s number 2 in the surgery but Dr. Yang isn’t so sure that will happen. He’s certain that Dr. Park will never win over Dr. Han.
Hoon and Dr. Moon hear that Seung Hee won’t be their anesthesiologist because she’s off tonight and has things to do. Hoon asks her what will happen to the twins and she counters that she’s not the only anesthesiologist at the hospital. Hoon grabs her hand and says “you’re the only one that matters to me, the twins need you.” She shakes him off and gets in the elevator.
Dr. Moon calls the head of the anesthesiology department to bitch about Seung Hee leaving them high and dry just like that. Hoon thinks back to Seung Hee wanting to do the surgery earlier and the abrupt change of mine today. Dr. Eun walks into the office and offers to be their team’s anesthesiologist.
Jae Joon hears about Dr. Eun’s defection and tells Dr. Keom that Dr. Eun is doing this to express her disagreement with Jae Joon choosing Soo Hyun as his number 2 over Dr. Keom. He doesn’t mind and runs off to ask Seung Hee to be his anesthesiologist. Seung Hee remembers Comrade Cha telling her to go join Jae Joon’s team.
Seung Hee turns Jae Joon down with the same excuse that she’s off tonight and has an important engagement to attend. Hoon walks up and tells her to cancel it because the twins surgery has to be as soon as possible. Seung Hee thinks Hoon already has an anesthesiologist and Hoon is here to push her to join Jae Joon’s team. Seung Hee knows they are competing and asks why Hoon is sending her to his opponent’s team.
Hoon wants to win over Jae Joon fairly so wants him to have the best anesthesiologist as well. Seung Hee still says no and walks off. Hoon is about to run after her when Jae Joon stops him and asks what game he’s playing? Does he think Jae Joon is that weak he’ll lose without a top anesthesiologist? Hoon says it’s a difficult surgery without a talented anesthesiologist. Jae Joon doesn’t think so, win or lose depends on the head surgeon.
Jae Joon returns to his office to find Chairman Oh staring at his castle model. He asks if this is Myung Woo Hospital and Jae Joon claims to have made it for fun as a way to relieve stress. Chairman Oh asks who the castle owner is right now? Is it him? He shakes his head and says the castle itself is the owner, he’s merely been selected as a warden. If he had no ability to hold onto the position then the castle would get rid of him. If Jae Joon wants to be the warden then he needs to show the hospital that he has the ability. He orders Jae Joon to enter the castle and get rid of the stranger (foreigner). Chairman Oh is not the one watching, Myung Woo is watching Jae Joon to see if he can get ride of the stranger.
Jae Joon stares at the castle model and remembers Dr. Eun suggesting Soo Hyun isn’t ready to be his number 2 and he needs to use Dr. Keom instead.
Hoon stares at the CT scan of the twins heart and does his surgical stimulation to practice. He’s interrupted by Soo Hyun asking what he’s doing? She wants to know what is on the table and he tries to shoo her away so he can do simulation training. She asks what a number 2 needs to do during his surgery and he asks if she wants him to train her?
Hoon pulls her over and takes her hand and asks her to close her eyes. He tells her to see the twin’s heart in her eyes and the lights dim as Hoon holds Soo Hyun’s hand in his hand to simulate her part of the surgery as the number 2.
Seung Hee walks up and watches this scene with a very pained look in her eyes. Who else but Jae Joon also shows up and he looks decidedly not happy to see Soo Hyun in Hoon’s arms. Soo Hyun is clearly very affected to be so close to Hoon but allows him to direct her in the surgery.
Jae Joon breaks up the cuddly moment and Soo Hyun immediately squirms out of Hoon’s arms. Jae Joon asks to talk and Soo Hyun thanks Hoon before running after Jae Joon.
Seung Hee walks over and Hoon gives her a look but isn’t interested in talking with her. She wants to know why he’s helping to train his competition’s number 2? Hoon gives her a pointed look and walks off. Seung Hee follows and asks if he thinks this competition is a joke? Hoon says he arranged for her to participate and she blew it off like a joke. Seung Hee warns him that this surgery involves a lot of other matters.
Hoon asks what else? If he loses then he’ll die? He once thought she could be Jae Hee but now it doesn’t seem like it? Jae Hee would have told him that winning or losing doesn’t matter. She would have said the lives of the twins are what matters. Seung Hee has nothing to say to that. Hoon points to the twins in the ICU and screams that newborns can barely breath and are about to have their little chests cut open. That might not even save them! So who cares about a dog shit competition! What’s so important about winning or losing?
Seung Hee wants to say more but Hoon tells her to leave since she claims to be tired and wants tonight off. He will handle this surgery without any need for her around. Seung Hee tells him to not worry about the anesthesiologist at least and Hoon just tells her again to leave. Seung Hee walks away tearing up while Hoon looks equally sad after she leaves.
Jae Joon informs Soo Hyun that he’s switching out Soo Hyun for Dr. Keom because that is the only way Dr. Eun will agree to come back as his team’s anesthesiologist. Soo Hyun refuses, to be his number 2 she even went to ask Dr. Park for help even though it was so embarrassing. Jae Joon didn’t think Soo Hyun looked embarrassed back there, she appeared quite enjoying his help. Ooooh, jealous. Soo Hyun asks if Jae Joon is jealous but he pulls the department head card and says his decision is final.
Soo Hyun tries to argue her case but Jae Joon says she’s not good enough yet to merit it. At least Dr. Keom didn’t go ask Park Hoon for help. Soo Hyun accepts this decision and leaves Jae Joon to stew in his own jealousy and ambition. Hoon walks past Dr. Keom and hears from a nurse that Jae Joon has switched out his number 2 from Dr. Oh to Dr. Keom.
Soo Hyun barges into the resident’s room and finds Dr. Kim making out with the same doctor from earlier in the bathroom stall. She asks them to go elsewhere and after they leave she sits down and opens her medical school textbook. She tries to read it but can’t concentrate as she keeps sobbing.
Dr. Yang stands in the hallway and reads a text from Jae Joon saying “I need the knight’s help”. Dr. Yang takes a deep breath and then slams the door repeatedly on his own left hand. OUCH. That takes him out of commission as Hoon’s number 2.
Nurse Min finds him getting bandaged up in the ER and then confronts him in the stairwell about what he did on purpose. Dr. Moon can’t be a poor researcher anymore, if he helps Dr. Han then he promised to make Dr. Yang an assistant professor next year. Nurse Min is upset because this surgery is about saving the twins life. She reminds Dr. Yang that he’s a parent, he’s a dad now but he counters that he’s trying to be a good dad. Nurse Min reminds him that he’s also a doctor! She walks away disappointed in him.
Dr. Moon is throwing things at Dr. Yang after hearing that he’s unable to do the surgery. Hoon says Dr. Moon needs to be his number 2 now but Dr. Moon is still under a no-surgery prohibition. Hoon runs off to find his number 2 while Dr. Moon sobs in his office about how he has the worst luck ever!
Hoon finds Soo Hyun curled up in the resident’s room and knows she got switched out as number 2. Soo Hyun screams for him to leave since she’s in no mood to joke around with him. Hoon extends his hand and asks her to be his number 2 because he needs her. Soo Hyun reminds him that she’s on Jae Joon’s team but Hoon says that doesn’t matter, what matters is saving the twins life. Soo Hyun doesn’t think she has the ability but Hoon says he sees potential in her. He tells her to hurry up and decide because there is no time. Soo Hyun reaches out and takes his hand and he jokes that her hand sure looks like that of a surgeon. Soo Hyun tells Hoon there is something else he needs to know.
Hoon storms to confront Dr. Eun about her switching teams (again). Dr. Eun assures him that shes’s got it covered and calls Dr. Han to have her come back and be Hoon’s anesthesiologist. Seung Hee claims she’s out looking at homes but promises to be back in time for the surgery. Dr. Eun hands the phone to Hoon and he thanks Seung Hee for coming back.
Seung Hee ends the call and we see her in the car with Comrade Cha. He asks if she’s going to defy PM Jang’s order but she has no choice as she’s being ordered by the sunbae in the department to do this surgery. We see Chang Yi secretly following Comrade Cha, and the fact that she drives a giant honking truck and can follow them without detection is totally laughable. Hoon calls Chang Yi and confirms she’s following Seung Hee.
PM Jang’s guard (the one spying on him for the President) calls to report that PM Jang is headed back to his residence. He ends the call and Secretary Cha hands him a bag full of cash to buy his switched loyalties now.
Seung Hee and Comrade Cha pull up to their rendezvous point and Comrade Cha takes a gun out. They head inside and Chang Yi keeps surveillance on them from her truck. She wonders if Comrade Cha is Seung Hee’s boyfriend?
Hoon and Soo Hyun are watching the twins wheeled out to the OR. Soo Hyun thinks having Seung Hee on their team is what Hoon wanted in the first place and hears that he’s gotten a head nurse who we see is Nurse Min. Soo Hyun wonders if Seung Hee will get back in time. Hoon thinks back to Jae Hee asking what he’ll do if she’s suddenly gone and him claiming he will search the ends of the world for her.
Chang Yi sneaks into the building (when did she learn to be a spy?) and manages to track Comrade Cha and Seung Hee. Ahahaha, I just can’t.
Jae Joon does the slo-mo walk to scrub in and sees Soo Hyun already prepping and asks if she has to do this? Soo Hyun says not to worry and Hoon slo-mo walks in and says he asked Soo Hyun and he’ll give her back. Jae Joon calls Hoon sleazy for doing this to win over him. Hoon doesn’t care as long as Jae Joon does everything in his ability to save his twin. Dr. Moon, Chairman Oh, and Dr. Choi all arrive to watch the surgery from the viewing room above. Hoon finishes scrubbing in and looks at the baby being prepped for him.
A call comes in from Chang Yi and he drops his phone in the wash basin first but then manages to answer the call. Chang Yi watches at Comrade Cha and Seung Hee walk in to meet with Secretary Kim. Chang Yi gasps and Hoon asks what happened? Is Dr. Han okay? Hoon remembers Jae Hee getting shot in Budapest and then his first meeting with Seung Hee.
Comrade Cha wants to know why Secretary Kim asked to meet them? Secretary Kim wants to switch up the plan, PM Jang’s surgery will now be handled by Han Jae Joon. He then grabs a gun and points it at Seung Hee. Chang Yi says “that doctor who looks like unni, it looks like they are going to kill her.” We see Hoon’s face freeze.
Thoughts of Mine:
Dr. Stranger is like an out-of-control crazy kid that I love because it’s mine so the affection comes with acknowledging all the glaring problems with it. If I’m asked to recommend it, I don’t think I could say anything because “just watch it and see if it works for you.” It’s so oddball that it falls into the love or loathe category, but luckily I love it because it makes me so excited for more of its messy booyah type plotting. Episode 8 shows us how volatile Park Hoon is and what a grounding presence Jae Hee means to him. Without her he really could have snapped a long time ago, and may still snap now. The way Hoon confronted PM Jang in the bathroom, how he exploded with rage and coiled anger, it was similar to his lashing out at Dr. Choi in the last episode. Hoon is a battered soul pushing trauma down to survive with bottled up anger that can explode on a trigger. Most of the time he’s just happy-go-lucky Park Hoon but inside him resides a really broken man. The dichotomy is similar to how this drama transitions abruptly from comedic moments to tense dangerous spy tension, it’s that precarious juxtaposition that mirrors the split in the leading man’s psyche and the presentation of the drama’s story line. It’s jarring and intriguing at the same time.
My favorite scene in this entire episode was the moment Hoon pulled Seung Hee aside to “talk” with her but really it was a stolen moment for the two of them. The way he just watched her with all this love and tenderness in his eyes without saying a word. And if he doesn’t say anything, she doesn’t need to pretend to be Seung Hee. She can just look back at him because she can get away with it in that moment, get away from her mission and just let herself stand in silence with her Hoon-ah. Of course dirtbag Comrade Cha just had to slither across her line of sight to remind her that she is pretending to be Seung Hee, but those brief heartbeat seconds of unspoken staring is all those two need to soldier on. This isn’t a couple that needs grand gestures or open reconciliation, for the other to live and breath is all each cares about. Seung Hee clearly hasn’t lost her memory, she is Jae Hee and remembers everything. My bet is the North has told her that Park Hoon is dead unless she does this, and if she succeeds then Hoon will be allowed to live.
The relationship between Soo Hyun and Jae Joon is going South so fast I’m not sure how the drama aims to show they can be their own set of OTP down the line. Soo Hyun got affected by Hoon so quickly it was never shown her interactions and reasons for falling for Jae Joon in the first place. He seems to treat her the same way which begs the question that she fell for him without getting a lot of affection in return. She hasn’t gotten it from anyone ever since she was sent away by her mom so she’s craving validation and love like a dry rag ready to soak up water. While Hoon and Jae Hee lived a hard life and suffered at the hands of North Korea, at least they had each other. Having someone who loves you back is like an invisible thread which keeps each sane and stoic, but Soo Hyun doesn’t have that. It makes sense for her heart to be moved by someone like Hoon, moved to want a love like he has for Jae Hee. He also supports her as a doctor without promising anything, unlike Jae Joon promising she’s important to his team and then switching her out at the last minute. That was such a douche thing to do. Jae Joon is fast getting on my bad side unless he starts showing a personality other than calculating and jealous.
Jae Joon’s back story unfortunately doesn’t make him suddenly more interesting or sympathetic. He still comes off like an arrogant prick and with Soo Hyun already attracted to Hoon it doesn’t help that Jae Joon undermines her confidence as a doctor at this critical juncture while allowing Hoon to reach out to her and validate her ability. If the drama wants to send Soo Hyun into arms Hoon for good then it’s definitely doing a bang up job at setting that stage. Too bad for her Hoon still sees her just as a buddy, but if she’s patient then maybe poor Jae Hee really is doomed to die for real at the end of the drama and with her real real death Hoon has a comforting set of arms to fall back into. I’m still mulling over PM Jang’s all-over-the-place plot to get Park Hoon to operate on him? Or is it? I don’t know but I can’t wait to wipe his smirk off his face. I wish Secretary Kim wasn’t his lap dog since he seemed decent enough, but perhaps he’s going to be a key guy down the road to switch sides at the dramatic last minute. All the doctors have finally gotten enough cumulative air time through 8-episodes for me to remember each and have a sense of their personalities and roles in this story. Dr. Moon remains a welcome comedy fodder especially when much of the time was spent with all the doctors switching teams and picking sides. It got a little exhausting in this episode, not to mention wildly unethical in light of the drama saying surgery can be used as competition. At least the entire narrative continues to hum along on a fast train bound for”what insanity is going to happen next” promised land.
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