Drama Bites: Good Doctor Episodes 3-4

Good Doctor is dominating the Monday-Tuesday timeslot with it’s rating rising to an average of 15. 5% for the week. 

Summary: The department chief Kim got angry that his patient’s baby got transferred from the HPB to pediatric department because of Shi On. Do Han had to break the parents hope and follow protocol. Later, Chief Go gets insulted by Do Han’s disrepectfulness and sends in a mole, Il Gyu in their group to report the latest disaster Do Han and Shi On would make. Do Han and Chae Kyung meet up with Chairman Lee on a possible wedding proposal. But Chae Kyung doesn’t want to be pushed around by her stepmother. Back in the hospital, the mothers gossip and find out Shi On is autistic. They all want their attending doctor to be changed. Yeon Seo catches Shi On researching on ways to save the baby. Do Han decides later to operate on the baby. He also challenges Shi On to become a real doctor and decide whether he’ll quit or not. In the ethics committee, Do Han was being questioned for his action.  He chose to do the operation regardless of the possible repercussions. Yeon Soo barges the room and says that the baby’s vital signs are dropping. Cue the operation.

During the operation the surgeons find out that the baby has CBD perforation. It complicates the situation greatly. They come up with a solution and the baby survives but has to be monitored. Back in the committee room, the Assistant Director decides to lower the suspension period because of the profitability this kind operation will bring. The other residents are all angry at Shi On for making Do Han shoulder all the punishment. Yeon Seo tells Shi On off alone for not doing teamwork. Then a breather in the side characters’ possible love line happens.  But it is interrupted with a commotion in Seo Joon’s diet. Do Han’s past where his brother, Soo Han is slowly being revealed. Shi On gets into trouble when he accidently knocks over a shelf on the kids who triggered a memory of his terrible past. Yeon Seo gets really angry but is later moved by the reaction of the premature baby. She allows Shi On to talk to Seo Joon when the mother was out for work. Do Han goes off on a vacation with Chae Young for his suspension. During that time a patient that goes on heart arrest arrives and an emergency surgery is needed. Do Han rushes back but arrives when the heart rhythm flatlines.

Thoughts: I don’t have as much free time to give out commentaries as I thought. I’ll see how long I’ll last but definitely no more summary post. Anyway as I mentioned before, this is a good medical drama. I found myself pretty excited after episode 4’s intense cliffhanger. Good Doctor has the usual dramatic surgeries but it doesn’t overplay the patient’s plight. Rather, the sole focus is medical ethics which deals with conflicted issues where making a stand on either side could mean life or death. In connection to ethics, there are 2 other recurring conflicts, namely reputation and trust being explored.

Reputation is something that you gain. But a small mistake can easily make you lose the respect you’ve built. In Good Doctor, a senior reputation plays a big role. Seniority plays a big role in the hospital dynamics. We see unruly behavior from all the department chiefs we’ve met so far. They are very greedy, possessive and complacent. They take the safe and easy road but saying that there’s nothing to be done. Should a doctor give up immediately after an initial diagnosis? Is it considered treatment or neglect? The department chiefs also think they own their patients and get angry at the other doctors when the other doctor gives the patient the proper care. They feel like the credit was stolen from them. The only reason why they even want the credit is to fuel their ambition to reach a higher position. It goes to show how human nature changes once they are in a position of power.

But reputation is not limited to status but also the image the hospital projects. We see how all the health staff follow protocol. These protocols were made to safeguard the people. But when is it alright to break these? The staff are very grounded by these protocols. It’s good that they follow them but aren’t they themselves becoming the robots that they claim Shi On to be?

Trust depends on your reputation. Because of the stigma of being disabled, parents have difficulty trusting Shi On. It’s sad how his actions no matter how hard he tries, people can’t see his effort. It’s a painful truth in life that you can’t please everyone. What’s good will you be as a doctor if the patients can’t trust you?

Aside from the obvious issues I have discussed, the other interesting aspect would be the characters. I like how nuanced and layered Do Han is. It’s not surprising to say he’s my favorite character so far. He tries to appear strong even though he isn’t. He clearly is affected by whatever happened to his brother Soo Han. It seems like this tidbit is the reason why he decided to join the pediatric surgery department. Because there is something grounding him, he knows that he has to be firm with his team. He doesn’t even hesitate to reprimand them because he thinks that much about his patient’s health. In spite of harsh comments, he still cares about his team. It was pretty noble that he took the punishment instead of Shi On.

Do Han also has a distant relationship with Chae Kyung. Even though they are engaged, they don’t talk about the stuff that truly matter. Whenever they meet it’s always about work. I don’t know Do Han’s reason for dating Chae Kyung but Chae Young obviously likes Do Han’s skill and reputation. She’s sort of using him to move up in the hospital so she will have more power than her stepmother. She hates how he’s involved in complicated medical politics. It makes things messy for her.

There are no clear signs of Do Han falling for Yeon Seo just yet but Yeon Seo’s crush for him has been revealed. It’s understandable why she respect Do Han so much. He has the talent but is also very principled. Yeon Seo has been playing mediator and guide for Shi On for the past 4 episodes. But we see her first admission of an failure as a doctor. She recognizes that she’s inferior to Shi On’s medical ability. Although Do Han comforts her by saying she’s an ordinary doctor with common sense. This common sense is her edge. Even if there’s much to learn in the technical aspect, her experience has allowed her to gain this common sense. 

Well before I end, I speculate that the Assistant Director is the actual villain. The department chiefs are all shaded but their ugly side is known.  On the other hand, he’s much more cunning. It seems like an international hospital wants to take over the hospital. He’s carefully orchestrating situations where the rest are merely his pawns. He takes a back seat and allows the two factions to destroy each other. Once the gap caused by those argument become bigger, I think that’s when he’ll set his plan in motion. Hahaha of course this speculation might be a figment of my crazy imagination.

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