Today’s episode rocked. The scenes were moving, and the call of patriotism was spread out across all corners. Doctors, soldiers, volunteers, local barmen all pitching in and helping each other in the aftermath of the quake. The scenes were busy and chaotic yet each story unfolded slowly for us to catch a lesson or two, to know what patriotism meant for each person. To Myung Joo who didn’t have the luxury of an operating room, it meant standing her ground, operating on the wounded before her even as she hears in the intercom that her loved one has fallen into an accident. To Lt. Ki Bum, it meant giving blood, if that was the only form of help he could give at that time. To Dr. Kang Mo Yeon, it was the ultimate test of mental strength and wisdom as a doctor. Who to save between two dying patients who both equally deserve another chance at life. To Yoo Si Jin, it was (among others), saving the jerky plant manager and put up with his pesky attitude.
Everyone in this episode had their story and struggle to tell. It was beautiful watching this episode today. Every person’s concern was real and not one person was more important than the other. The only business for the day was the business of saving lives in whatever capacity.
As the chaos, at least for the day, came to a close, we see four lovers reunite. The reality of death and separation hung in the air, which might have given all four of them the sense of urgency, desperation and a level of certainty in regard to their feelings. Sargeant Dae Yong and Myung Joo finally come together in a well-acted scene. I liked how she confronted him like only a lover could. “How can you still stand there, then?” when she asked him how he would feel if she was hurt. Without a second’s hesitation, he goes in for the hug.
And then we see our main couple, busy leading the pack, one leading a whole army, another, a set of doctors. Both thrust in very important roles and both making major decisions to save lives. As Kang Mo Yeon looks at the headcount of the deceased and the injured, she lights up candles to honor the dead, walks away, scans the scene all around her, and lets out a heavy cry. She had to make a tough decision earlier on, prioritizing one life over the other. This was her only channel, her only breathing space amidst the chaos. Yoo Si Jin watches her from afar, only to be told by a soldier that he himself was injured. He realizes he has a bad shoulder wound that needs stitching, and before he makes his way to the medical team, she shows up and tells him to come over.
The second time she stitches him, I begin to see a pattern that I think would continue to play out in their relationship. Both will save and protect each other in their own capacity. His risky, dangerous ways of saving her contrasting her quiet, gentle ways of stitching him up.
She asks him how he got this wound. He was rescuing people without caution, he says. He doesn’t go into details but she smiles. “I am fine”, she says. He asks how she heard it when he only asked in his head. “I heard it loud and clear.” He tells her how thankful he is that she is there to fight battles with them. He thanks her with a sincere heart. He didn’t mean to be cold and lacking in comfort when he asked her to make the call this morning regarding the two people they were to save. She knows and understands. She has seen more dead people than soldiers, given her profession as a doctor. He asks that he disregard his coldness and wishes her to be fine. “Do something you’re good at then to comfort me” she says. “What am I good at?” “Making jokes.” She notes that what she needs the most right now is a joke. He says she’s beautiful. “You can’t see me,” she chides him. “I saw you a while ago. You’re the type to continue staying beautiful.” She notes that this is a fact. He replies, “It’s a joke.” They smile.
“But I really missed you.” She freezes at this admission. He tells her that he did everything to forget about her. He tired his body out, he drank alcohol. Whatever he did, he couldn’t stop thinking about her. He says it again. “I still missed you a lot.” He asks whether she is surprised at this confession, and challenges her to think about it again. This time, he isn’t joking.
Smooth and heart warming. Oh, Si Jin. The whole episode focused on showing us what a rescue operation looks like, in a general sense and zeroing in on a personal one. I thought the cinematography and direction was great. It really showed us the chaos of an earthquake aftermath and nothing felt forced. I liked the leadership that both Si Jin and Mo Yeon exemplified in this episode. Without clear leadership, the rescue operation wouldn’t go smoothly so each had to perform their roles excellently. It really is in times like these that you appreciate leaders who are able to set aside emotions and feelings and decide head on what must be done for the day. It also shows you the tough decisions that leaders make when there are no rules or protocols, as Mo Yeon pointed out. Stripped off proper medical and rescue equipment, the most basic foundation they operate on is the intrinsic value of a human life. They have to make do with their current lot in order to save a life.
And on a personal level, this sense of rescue seemed greater to our four main characters. All were subtle and cautious in showing this, but the conversations between them reveal just how restrained they were as far as wanting to “rescue” or protect the other was concerned. The thing that really got me in this episode was this honest confession of feelings. Among the four of them, Yoo Si Jin and Myung Joo have been the most consistent. They wear their heart on their sleeves and they don’t think twice about letting their feelings known. Si Jin was just great in this episode. As I mentioned in the previous post, he is direct but not aggressive. There is still that vulnerability to him that adds to his overall charm. His calm demeanor and honesty when he talks about his feelings is refreshing and I only expect Mo Yeon to put her guard down and let her defenses crumble. Yes, their relationship will always present a unique danger, but wouldn’t both also do their very best to save and protect each other amidst this danger?
Can’t wait for episode 8. Signing out!