A lot happens in this episode, and everything changes as Shi-jin and Mo-yeon find themselves facing unfamiliar challenges. Any location can be a war zone given the right circumstances, and emotional war zones can be dangerous in unexpected ways. When disaster threatens and everyone is called on to help, they’ll be forced to adapt quickly, and learn things about themselves they never expected.
EPISODE 6 RECAP
The night before he’s scheduled to leave Uruk, Shi-jin finds Mo-yeon to ask her the question he’s been asking himself since they kissed… should he apologize, or should he confess? Mo-yeon says that he’s charming, but he’s also dangerous, and she doesn’t like that about him.
She admits that she’s drawn to him, and that she wishes they had more time so that she could figure out whether she could handle being the girlfriend of such a charming and dangerous man. But he always leaves so soon after they meet, and she can’t get angry or ask him to stay. So right now, all she knows is that she doesn’t like him, and she asks him to apologize.
Shi-jin listens and takes this all in, then apologizes sincerely. He wishes Mo-yeon well, salutes her, and leaves.
Mo-yeon wakes the next morning, but her usual serving of bare-torso’d men fails to cheer her like it usually does. Private Ki-bum tells her that Shi-jin left last night, and that his flight’s probably already departed. She doesn’t seem as certain of her decision today, as she mutters to herself that he didn’t even give it a second chance.
Back home, Shi-jin helps his father ready for his discharge ceremony, and the two seem quite close. His father grouses that Shi-jin’s refusal to follow orders caused him to lose his chance to be a general. But Shi-jin says that he raised him that way, and Dad admits that some things are more important than being promoted. They pose for a portrait with a picture of Shi-jin’s mother, who’s deceased.
Dae-young puts his newest crop of trainees through hell, where Shi-jin joins them by riding the zipline. He then rappels headfirst down to where Dae-young is literally sitting on the shoulders of one trainee. Best entrance ever.
They go out for drinks that night, and Dae-young cringes when a group of soldiers enter the bar — he was their “evil” instructor, and of course they recognize him right away. Apparently Dae-young talks big and offers to fight any of his trainees once they’re strong enough, and these three are ready now.
Dae-young plasters on his indignant face and says that that only counts outside, and right now they’re inside. Shi-jin tries to charm them out of their anger, but apparently that doesn’t work as well on men as it does on women. He murmurs to Dae-young to run on three, and starts to count… and Dae-young flees on one. HAHA.
Shi-jin follows him, but they only find themselves in hotter water when they realize that the whole place is filled with soldiers. They’re rushed, and it’s the best scene ever, because nobody is really being hurt — it’s just a lot of shoving and jumping around in slow motion. They finally break free and escape down the street, with an entire platoon of soldiers after them.
As soon as they shake their pursuers, Shi-jin starts to complain that Dae-young really sucks at math (“Does three come after one??”). Shi-jin says that Dae-young was hard on him as a cadet too, and Dae-young asks if he wants to fight… and Shi-jin backs down, saying that he only has happy memories. Hee.
As they catch their breath, Dae-young asks if Shi-jin drank that bottle of wine he left him back in Uruk. Shi-jin grumbles that he only got to taste it, and admits that he drank it with Mo-yeon but it didn’t go well. He says that he still misses her, but he’ll probably feel better soon.
Shi-jin pokes at Dae-young, saying that at least he tried with his girl, but Dae-young admits that he sabotaged himself. The friends agree that they’re both stupid.
Dae-young heads off home, and this time when Myung-joo calls, he answers. Myung-joo is thrilled even though he doesn’t speak — it’s enough that he picked up. She tells him that she’s doing well and that she misses him, and he remembers again when they were dating and happy. Poor guy looks like he’s barely hanging in there.
Mo-yeon texts with a friend, and when she asks about Shi-jin, she replies that he was wonderful, and that she regrets asking for an apology. She should have held onto him, and confessed her feelings. She missed her chance, and wonders how he could have liked her in the first place.
At the same time Shi-jin rides the bus home, and we see that he’s sitting just above a huge billboard of Mo-yeon’s face. Mo-yeon erases the text of her admission, not sending it after all.
Shi-jin and Dae-young meet to play pool, and OMG, they’re wearing the same shirt. Shi-jin immediately whips out his phone for a picture, and I’m dying here. Dae-young looks adorably embarrassed, so of course Shi-jin sends the pics right to Myung-joo.
Mo-yeon is busy taking care of the local children, and her little friend brings her a picture he drew of her and Shi-jin holding hands. We see that she’d addressed all the kids on the day they went to the village, and had Shi-jin translate while she told them that licking things they find laying around could make them very sick.
Shi-jin had translated that to “If you lick things like this, I’ll shoot you,” making the kids giggle. “Wash your hands before you eat,” becomes, “Wash your hands before you eat or I’ll shoot you,” and so on, but he’d played innocent when Mo-yeon got suspicious.
Shi-jin goes fishing and pretty much gets bored right away, so he calls Dae-young to join him. Heh, Dae-young just hangs up on him, and Shi-jin is left alone with his thoughts. He’s still carrying around that stone from the beach, and remembers how Mo-yeon told him that she’d be too busy rebuilding her career to come back there. But she’d said that he probably could come back, so left the stone with him.
And as it turns out, it’s Mo-yeon who makes it back to the beach first. She stand on the cliff overlooking the beautiful cove, remembering Shi-jin as longingly as he remembers her.
Daniel finds her there and she smiles to see his car almost as good as new. She’s leaving today, and she wants to pay him back for the cost of the repairs, but instead he asks her to donate monthly to a children’s charity.
Myung-joo complains when Mo-yeon takes her time finishing up inventory, not that it bothers Mo-yeon. But it gets her attention when Myung-joo asks if she likes Shi-jin, and though she doesn’t answer, Myung-joo can tell just by her face.
Shi-jin just so happens to call Myung-joo at that moment, and she needles Mo-yeon some more by asking Shi-jin if Mo-yeon likes him. Shi-jin plays spy as well, reporting that he’s having coffee with Dae-young right now, and it’s cute how Dae-young tries (and fails) to pretend he’s not interested.
Shi-jin also tries to act like he doesn’t care what Mo-yeon is doing, but that lasts about two seconds before he caves and asks anyway. He smiles to hear that Mo-yeon is angry, and hangs up.
Mo-yeon is called away for a photo of the medical team, since they’re heading home today. Mo-yeon is the only one not celebrating, but the rest of the team are thrilled to hear that they’re getting a helicopter ride to the airport. They have to go in two groups, and Mo-yeon’s group leaves first.
Young-soo greedily counts his next payment of diamonds for Argus, and soon after, the same worker who noticed the blood on Young-soo’s ankle reports for work. He’s read the riot act by the site manager for not wearing a safety helmet, and the manager slaps his own helmet on the kid’s head. And just in time, as everything starts to shake, and they realize that an earthquake has hit.
It’s a bad one – Private Ki-bum is knocked to the floor in the base kitchen, and the refrigerator falls on top of him. Everyone tries to run to safer areas outside, as the earthquake just goes on and on. The power plant location seems to be hit the hardest, and many people are injured, some even falling into huge cracks in the ground as the earth seems to open up to swallow them.
Mo-yeon, her half of the team, and the soldiers watch the disaster from above in disbelief, and back home, Shi-jin sees a news report stating that the earthquake was of 6.7 magnitude. He calls in for more information, while at the same time, the medical team’s colleagues (including Chi-hoon’s very pregnant fiancee) can only watch the news helplessly.
At the news, Lieutenant General Yoon reads a report of the plans to send men to Uruk to help with disaster relief. He tells his assistant to make sure Dae-young is included on that list.
Mo-yeon refuses to board the plane back home, insisting on going back with her team to the base to help with what must be a huge number of injured people. They’re needed back there… not to mention, she won’t leave half of her team to deal with this alone.
A meeting between the Special Forces and the Haesung bigwigs grows emotional, as they try to decide if sending the relief team would be a smart move. Director Han is nearly frantic, having heard nothing from his medical team since the earthquake. Lieutenant General Yoon promises him that they’ll send their best men to recover his people, and in return, Haesung Group offers to provide whatever funds are needed.
And so, Dae-young and Shi-jin find themselves on a plane, headed back to Uruk.
Mo-yeon wins and her half of the team are sent back to the base, where they find things in a shambles and everyone shaken up, but thankfully nobody’s been seriously injured. Even Private Ki-bum is okay, having suffered only a dislocated shoulder.
But things are much worse at the power plant, where the tower and main building have collapsed, and the medical team rushes to help. It’s bad… very bad. The place is pretty much leveled, and workers are still being pulled from the rubble by their coworkers.
Mo-yeon takes charge, and reminds everyone of protocol — they’re to triage everyone, and tag them with colors noting the urgency of their condition. Green for non-emergency, yellow for slight injuries, red for critical patients, and black for those who can’t be treated on-site. The patients marked black should be ignored, and their efforts focused on saving those who can be saved.
The soldiers help set up a tent and cots for the injured, and stop anyone going into the building while it’s still unstable. They can’t find the manager for a head count, and Young-soo is useless, but he figures that Manager Go must still be inside. He tries to talk a soldier into letting him in, saying that he left something “very important” in his office.
Manager Go is indeed still inside the destroyed building — he’s the man who gave his hard hat to the kid. He’s injured but still alive, though his lower body is trapped under a massive slab of concrete. He calls for help weakly, and hears another voice.
It’s another worker nearby, who’s been impaled through his ribcage by a piece of broken metal. Manager Go bangs a rock and yells as best he can, trying to make enough noise for someone to hear them.
Chi-hoon tries to revive a patient that’s gone into cardiac arrest, and Mo-yeon checks the man and changes his marker to black. She tells Chi-hoon to stop, but he’s determined to save the man’s life and refuses to give up. He grows emotional and tries to stop her from declaring time of death, saying that the man was fine — he gave him a yellow marker so he must be fine.
Sang-hyun has to slap Chi-hoon to snap him out of it, and tells him to start acting like a doctor. Chi-hoon wails that he’s no doctor if he can’t even triage a person correctly, and Sang-hyun tells him that he is a doctor, and he’s needed here, so pronounce this man dead and go help those he can save. Chi-hoon collapses, sobbing, but he gets himself together and does what he needs to do.
The doctors and soldiers work late into the night, cutting people out of the collapsed building and treating them as well as they can in the field. At one point, a worker gratefully gives Mo-yeon his boots — she’s been working all day in sandals with the heels knocked off of them, and her feet are filthy and bloody. Superimposed over it all is Mo-yeon’s voice as she gives her doctor’s oath, promising to devote her life to helping others.
Many are saved, and many are not. As the death count rises it takes an emotional and physical toll, so everyone is relieved to see a helicopter arrive with reinforcements. Mo-yeon is surprised to see Shi-jin again, and they lock eyes for a moment before she’s called away.
Shi-jin takes charge of the soldiers and the rescue efforts in the collapsed plant, and though they’ve been working nonstop and are filthy, exhausted, and injured themselves, not one soldier asks to be excused. Shi-jin tells them that their number one responsibility is not to get hurt, because they can’t help anyone if they’re taken out of commission themselves.
Myung-joo hears that Dae-young is here and comes running, and he tells her that he was worried about her, and he’s glad to see her safe. He’s still very formal and stiff, but it’s more than he’s admitted in a long time. She tells him as well, “Don’t get hurt. This is an order.” He salutes silently, and she returns his salute.
Mo-yeon stops to tie her loose boot laces, and another pair of hands take over — it’s Shi-jin. He doesn’t look at her or say a word as he kneels in front of her, but Mo-yeon can’t stop staring at his face. Finally Shi-jin says that he’s glad that she’s not hurt, and that he regrets leaving that day without saying goodbye.
Since he can’t be with her, he asks her to be careful, and Mo-yeon asks him to do the same. He walks away, and Mo-yeon walks on in the opposite direction.
I was very impressed with Mo-yeon in this episode, because it felt like, for the first time, she really thought about her reactions to Shi-jin and made her feelings known clearly. Telling him that she finds him attractive, but that he’s also dangerous, was the most open she’s been with him since they met. And she’s absolutely right — the fact that he’s always leaving never gives her a chance to really like him, and I’m glad that she actually told him that. It was probably very hard for Shi-jin to hear, but she needed to say it. Attraction isn’t enough for a relationship, and it was impressively mature of Mo-yeon to recognize that and let him go, despite her feelings for him.
Usually in dramas that revolve around a central romance, I find forced separation to be a frustrating trope, even when necessary to the story. But in this case I actually appreciated seeing Shi-jin and Mo-yeon separated for a while, because it highlighted something that I really like about their budding relationship: Unlike many stories where it’s hammered home over and over that the main couple are Meant To Be, these two do not need each other. They are each a whole and strong person by themselves, with friends and lives and things to focus on besides love. Even Shi-jin said that yes, he misses Mo-yeon, but he’ll be okay given some time.
What that means is that instead of some force of fate or longtime childhood connection bringing these two people together, their attraction just comes down to one simple thing — they like each other. It sounds silly to even point that out, but in Dramaland where we’re taught that a couple only falls in love because it’s Fated, just simply liking someone and wanting to be together is very simple and freeing. Shi-jin and Mo-yeon are free to be together or go their own way, whichever they decide, without any outside forces manipulating their relationship. Even being thrown together in dangerous situations doesn’t really affect their feelings, because it’s in the calm moments that their growing romance really shines. I love the simplicity of that, that their future is really up to nothing more than their choice.
I have to mention the incredible scene in which Chi-hoon found himself facing death in a disaster — it was such a touching moment, to see a young man realize that just because he’s a doctor, it doesn’t mean he’s infallible or will always make the right decision. His incorrect triage may have cost the patient his life, but he did the best he could under terrible circumstances, and that’s all we can do. I’m actually a huge fan of Onew when it comes to music, but I haven’t had the chance to see him act in anything. I’ve been trying to be honest about his acting ability, and so far his character hasn’t had that much to do, getting by on charm and that megawatt smile. But that scene, particularly the moment when Chi-hoon let himself grieve for just a few seconds then pulled himself up and got himself together — that was good. Very good. I really felt the keen reality of a doctor losing his very first patient, yet not having the luxury of time to really come to grips with what that means, and having to just get one with it. Well done.
Now that all of our players are back in the same place, it feels like the story setup is done and we’ll finally get into the meat of the plot soon. One slight criticism of the show is that we really don’t know what the plot is beyond Shi-jin and Mo-yeon’s relationship, but a lot of pieces have been set up and backstory filled in, so I’m hoping that the main story is about to kick in. I’m sure that there’s a lot of ground to be covered, especially with Shi-jin’s past with Argus, and how that can create problems in the present. I do enjoy the love stories and find no fault there, but this is a war zone after all — I’m ready to see some real conflict.