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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 13

2013/09/16 | 1701 views | Permalink

The drama dips back into emotional territory again. This time, however, it actually makes sense that Shi-on is the only character who's engaging with it, what with the problem being his family. And it might be more appropriate to write that he's not engaging with it- there's hints this episode that Shi-on's amnesia, rather than just being typical Korean drama trauma, is actually a deliberate act of will on the part of his autistic personality to protect himself from pain.

It's easy to see why he would want to do that, even outside of the justification he gives to Yoon-seo. Shi-on's work this episode is substandard, and Do-han notices it. There's more use of flashback this episode, back to the good parts of this drama, that realy does a great job focusing on the immediate conflict between the way Shi-on normally acts and the way he's clearly been rattled. And Do-han isn't about to just let a man of Shi-on's tremendous potential medical ability languish.

The episode also dips into dullness with the corporate management plot. I haven't discussed this much so far, since "Good Doctor" has been focusing on so many other (often more terrible) storylines, but now that the drama's pacing is giving us more room to breathe, I have to admit, I don't really know or care about what the administrators are doing or why. Shi-on's family problems tend to be a lot more interesting.

Take Shi-on's father, for example. He is literally killing himself with angry hateful overreactions. This is simultaneously comical, sad and appropriate. It's an open question whether Shi-on should reconcile with the man- not just because he's an awful enough person to not deserve it, but because it's hard to imagine that such a reconciliation would do anybody any good. Shi-on's mother, of course, is a different case entirely- though not one that I imagine has as much interesting story potential.

There is, fortunately enough, plenty of work to do around the hospital to distract from these matters. And this is exactly the kind of work I've been wanting to see this entire time- reactions with normal patients in normal situations, and sometimes crisis patients in crisis situations. "Good Doctor" gets much more mileage out of its narrative synergy when it just does subtle stuff about human relationships, little tidbits that are easy to relate to ourselves and easy to contrast with Shi-on. It makes it easier to appreciate who Shi-on is as a person, and provides an obvious impetus for his character to develop further.

Review by William Schwartz

"Good Doctor" is directed by Ki Min-soo, written by Park Jae-beom-I and features Joo Won, Moon Chae-won, Joo Sang-wook and Kim Min-seo.

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