The soldiers and medical team are still hard at work, trying to save the last of the workers missing in the aftermath of the earthquake. Tensions run high and it becomes increasingly clear just how dangerous Shi-jin’s job can be. Mo-yeon can’t ignore it anymore, and she’ll have to decide if her feelings for him are worth the risk of losing him.
EPISODE 8 RECAP
As Mo-yeon stitches up the gash on Shi-jin’s shoulder, he tells her that he tried everything he knew how to do, but he couldn’t stop thinking about her and missing her. He asks her to think about what he said, because this time, he’s serious about his feelings.
He doesn’t pressure her for any answer, but just wishes her a good night. He can’t give her a ride back to base because he’s going to Corps Command to make a report, but Mo-yeon asks to go with him so that she can use the phone.
At Corps Command, Mo-yeon overhears that there are now twenty confirmed dead, and still over one hundred workers missing. She’s given a phone to make her call but she hesitates, which Shi-jin notices. When she finally calls, it’s Manager Go’s family that she speaks with, and she tells them of his death and that he asked her to pass them a message.
We see Manager Go, surrounded by rescue workers, and he smiles that at least he can see a bit of the sky. He chokes up when he mentions his wife, but manages to find his smile again. Mo-yeon tells his wife about his pension, that Manager Go said that he didn’t want to live alone for too long.
Ja-ae finds Sang-hyun and brings him a drink, and he shows her a ring. It belongs to a patient who just had surgery, but Sang-hyun sighs that he can’t give it back, and we see that the man lost one arm and the other is in a cast. Ja-ae takes a suture kit and fashions a necklace, so that the man can wear his wedding ring around his neck.
Ye-hwa was forced to promise the American reporter an interview in return for donating blood, but Daniel flat refuses to do it. She prods him, saying that he should use his good looks for something at least, and he teases that he’ll just use them to marry her.
The medical team are curious about Daniel, since they know he used one of their operating rooms, and Chi-hoon suddenly realizes that he’s heard of him before. He’s apparently the son of a wealthy Canadian businessman, and he chooses to travel and do good works in secret.
Mo-yeon is weepy again when she finishes her call, and asks Shi-jin if there’s a quiet place she can go. He jokes that that’s something a man would say, but turns serious and tells her that she did well today. That makes Mo-yeon cry even more, so Shi-jin points her gaze up to the stars, which are bright and beautiful.
Mo-yeon is dazzled, but pouts that the stars are really rude to shine so brazenly, as if they don’t know what’s happening down here. Shi-jin says that he thought they would be comforting, but Mo-yeon says that she’s already been comforted. “By you.”
Shi-jin looks a little stunned at her admission, and she goes on: “Thank you for coming back to me.” She says that if not for him, she might have run away today, and Shi-jin quips that if she wants to run away, to just take him with her. They can run away together.
When Argus hears that his diamonds are going to be late, he’s not inclined to accept any excuses. He literally steps on Young-soo’s neck and gives him one day to produce the diamonds.
It’s not going to be easy to retrieve them, as underneath Young-soo’s office is one still-trapped survivor. It’s the kid that Manager Go gave his hard hat to, and he whines weakly that he wore his hat, so can someone come save him now?
The search does finally move to the office area, and Young-soo actually has the nerve to complain when they go in to look for survivors and not his “papers.” He has to be removed from the area again, and Dae-young leads the search to find the final three missing workers, with Chi-hoon there for medical support.
Chi-hoon is actually the first to find a survivor, the boy we saw earlier, who’s a level below where they’re searching. An aftershock hits, and actually opens up a space allowing Chi-hoon to begin to pull the boy up, but a chunk of rubble falls directly onto Chi-hoon’s hand, injuring him and making him drop the boy.
As the aftershock continues, Chi-hoon realizes that he has to get out, and cries an apology before escaping out of the building. But as soon as he’s outside, though he’s practically in shock himself, he tells a soldier that he found someone and that he’s still inside. The boy is still alive when the aftershock calms down, and Dae-young is able to locate him.
Shi-jin and Mo-yeon both arrive on the scene to help with the rescue, but this time Shi-jin doesn’t let Mo-yeon inside the building, as it’s too unstable. He prepares to take a first aid kit down to Dae-young’s location, and gets a little testy when Mo-yeon labels the medicine vials in Hangul. He went to freaking West Point, he argues, he can read English!
A concrete slab fell during the aftershock and trapped the boy’s leg, and Dae-young deadpans that he must be fine, since he’s whining so much about being hungry. Mo-yeon tells Shi-jin through the walkie-talkie to give the kid an IV, asking if he knows how to do it, and Shi-jin gets indignant when the kid now questions his abilities. He’s so cute when he’s offended.
While Dae-young goes up to the surface to get another hydraulic pump, the boy asks Shi-jin how long he’s been down here and how many have died. Shi-jin tells him that many died, but many were saved — like him.
The kid starts to itch and have trouble breathing, and it turns out that he’s allergic to the pain medicine in his IV. Shi-jin doesn’t have the correct medication to counteract the effects, so Dae-young gets what they need while he’s on the surface.
Something starts to shake the building, but it’s not another aftershock. It’s Young-soo, who’s decided to take matters into his own hands and is using the heavy equipment to try to drill into the building. While there are people inside. It causes a cave-in at Shi-jin’s location, and he uses his body to shield the boy from the falling debris.
Dae-young sends a soldier to stop Young-soo, and it takes physical force to get him off of the equipment. This time Dae-young orders him held, so that he can’t cause any more trouble.
Myung-joo stops Dae-young to tell him that there’s danger of a secondary collapse, but she stops when she realizes that he’s going in anyway. He just snaps her a salute, and heads back underground.
The boy is okay, but Shi-jin’s been knocked unconscious by the falling rubble. He finally wakes, taking offense to the kid calling him “ajusshi,” heh. The good news is that the shake-up freed the boy’s trapped leg — the bad news is that it blocked the access to the surface.
They’ve also lost radio contact, and seeing that the kid is giving up, Shi-jin tries to talk to him. He asks if the kid has a girlfriend, and gets asked the same question in return. He tells the kid that the lady doctor who’s voice he heard on the radio is someone he likes a lot, but he’s been rejected three times.
That lady doctor is currently worried sick, and she ties her shoelaces tight, ready to run when she needs to. She remembers Shi-jin tying her shoes for her, and underground, Shi-jin instinctively knows that she’s thinking about him. He jokes with the kid that she’s probably regretting turning him down, now.
We finally learn the kid’s name, Min-jae, when Shi-jin writes it on his arm along with some first aid instructions. Oh no you don’t, Shi-jin, you’re getting out of there too! Min-jae’s throat starts to swell from his allergic reaction to the meds, and he tells Shi-jin that he’s going to die anyway.
But Dae-young breaks through the blocked entrance just in time, and Min-jae and Shi-jin are rescued. Chi-hoon is on the surface when Min-jae is brought up, and he turns away, ashamed that he ran and left the kid during the aftershock.
Shi-jin takes a long look at Mo-yeon before calling for a stretcher for himself, and he whines to Mo-yeon that his injured arm reeeally hurts. Awww, poor guy, she doesn’t respond like he wants, and he sighs that she’s too calm.
Young-soo breaks away from his captors and starts yelling, asking what’s the big deal, when the survivors got out after all. Dae-young is totally over his bullshit, and runs over to punch him hard in the face. The other soldiers break them up (ha, Dae-young fights to get another swing at Young-soo), and Shi-jin gives his buddy the thumbs-up.
Mo-yeon takes Shi-jin back to the Medicube to fix him up, but she’s stone-faced and refuses to speak to him. She finally asks Shi-jin how he can joke when he nearly died today, admitting that she was terrified, and he says that he went in the building because he believed in her. She wouldn’t let him die. He says that anyway, it’s in his job description not to die.
Shi-jin tries to jump up when Lieutenant Park arrives, but Mo-yeon forbids him to move until his IV is finished. Ha, his face is priceless, especially when she tells Ki-bum to have the commander come here. Shi-jin is aghast, but he obeys Mo-yeon.
Lieutenant Park informs them that Haesung Hospital is sending a flight of the doctor volunteers home in two days. Young-soo interrupts to complain about Dae-young attacking him, and they all but roll their eyes when he threatens to have them all fired. Lieutenant Park has heard all about Young-soo’s behavior at the disaster site, and is fully prepared to find out what the court thinks of his dangerous behavior.
He does yell at his men for letting Young-soo run amok and put lives in danger, and orders them to run one hundred laps. Except for Shi-jin, who’s injured — he can run two hundred laps when his IV is finished. At that Shi-jin jumps up from his wheelchair and says that he’ll run a hundred now, sir.
Ha, he makes the third soldier run with his gear, and complains the whole time that he’s being punished when it was them who didn’t control Young-soo. Dae-young is still fuming and growls that if he’d been in better condition he’d have finished that jerk, and Myung-joo calls out as they pass her that he should have beat the guy to death.
Dae-young asks how many laps they’ve run and the soldier tells him seven, and Shi-jin’s allOh great, twenty-seven laps already! The soldier corrects him, but Dae-young says that if Big Boss says it’s twenty-seven, it’s twenty-seven. HAHA.
Shi-jin bails when they run past Mo-yeon (“I have to see my doctor, I might die if I keep running!” ~pfft~). She what he did to be punished for and he says nothing, but defends the Army’s methods anyway. She hands over some medicine, and he gets serious long enough to thank her sincerely for saving his life.
He stops her when she starts to go, asking if her name is on that list of people who are leaving in two days. She just says that this is her chance to abandon him, and his face goes blank again, like it does whenever she rejects him.
The medical team meet to decide who wants to return home, and Mo-yeon makes it clear that whether they go or stay is their decision. But if they stay, they don’t know when another flight will be available. She asks those who want to stay to raise their hands.
Nobody moves. After a long pause, nurse Ja-ae says that a certain patient needs an MRI, so she tells Mo-yeon to give her seat to that patient. Min-ji next offers her seat to a patient, and one by one, but the rest of the team hesitate. Mo-yeon says again that nobody will think badly of them if they want to go home, and all but Sang-hyun raise their hands.
Mo-yeon only now realizes that Chi-hoon isn’t here — he’s in the Medicube, guiltily watching Min-jae from a distance. He tries to escape when Min-jae sees him, but the kid recognizes him and stops him. He confronts Chi-hoon, saying that he’s no doctor, because he abandoned a patient.
It plays right into Chi-hoon’s worst fear, and he’s frozen until Mo-yeon finds him to ask why he wasn’t at the meeting. She tells him that she put his name on the return flight home, since his fiancee is about to give birth, and finally sees his injured hand.
Min-jae asks another coworker where Manager Go is, and he’s pointed to the list of the deceased. He breaks down when he realizes that Go is dead, asking why he didn’t have a hard hat on when he made Min-jae wear one. He breaks down sobbing, while Chi-hoon watches from the next room, and cries his own guilty tears.
We learn that Min-jae was the last survivor to be found alive — the final two missing workers were found dead. All of the workers have now been accounted for, and the rescue effort is over. Young-soo interrupts the little ceremony to announce that he’s now in charge of the site again, and that he doesn’t want to see any more doctors or soldiers here.
They hear a siren, and Shi-jin tells everyone that this is about the time four days ago when the earthquake happened. From now on, there will be a siren every day at this time. When they hear it, they’re to stop and send up a prayer for the dead. The soldiers salute the memorial for the lost, and everyone else bows their heads.
At dinner, the doctors talk about how different this situation is from working in a hospital. Sung-hyun decides that he’s going to live better, and buy a car when he gets home. When he asks Ja-ae what kind of car he should get, everyone whooooos at them, teasing them to just date, already.
Ki-bum comes running in to tell everyone that the phone netweork is up again, only to get ignored because they’re already checking their messages. Aww, sweet disappointed puppy.
Mo-yeon takes a call from her friend Dr. Jang, and tells her that they’ll be sending a few patients home instead of doctors. Dr. Jang obviously misses her, and tells her to stop saving the world and come home on the next plane. She also tells Mo-yeon that Chi-hoon isn’t picking up his phone, and we see him crying alone as he ignores his ringtone over and over.
The nurses swoon when they run across Daniel, fixing a piece of equipment. Sang-hyun sees Ja-ae fawning over Daniel and runs over to break up the fun. Ha, he doesn’t even pretend he has a real reason to interrupt.
Shi-jin teases Dae-young for saving money on his phone bill — the person he’d want to call is already here. Dae-young jokes that it took an earthquake to get him and Myung-joo working on the same site again, and Myung-joo walks in right on cue.
She’s got her father on the phone, and he wants to talk to Shi-jin. Only she says “his son-in-law,” which is their private joke, and Shi-jin gives her his most disgusted look while Dae-young tries to become invisible.
She quickly hangs up (Shi-jin: “did you just hang up on the commander?!” Myung-joo: “No, I hung up on my dad.”), and Dae-young complains that he can’t trust anyone anymore. Myung-joo grins at his jealousy, and Shi-jin pretends to be seriously hurt before he escapes the room.
Once he’s gone, Myung-joo teases Dae-young for being jealous, and he asks what she’d do if he was. “Reward you with all my heart.”
It turns out that Daniel was fixing a sound board, and Mo-yeon gives him her phone so that he can play the music on it for the soldiers and patients. The slow song creates a romantic mood, and the patients smile and relax. Sang-hyun brings Ja-ae a drink, and she shakes when he places it in her hand, gazing into her eyes.
Myung-joo and Dae-young are still alone, and Myung-joo points out that there’s romantic music playing. She asks Dae-young how he can just stand there… doesn’t the think he should do something? He said that he does, so Myung-joo steps close and dares him to do it.
Dae-young takes a step back, salutes, and goes to do evening role call. Damn.
Shi-jin finds Daniel and asks what the next song is, but Daniel tells him that it’s Mo-yeon’s phone so he doesn’t know. They’re both surprised to hear Mo-yeon’s frantic voice next, and OH NO, it’s the recording she made for her mother when she was hanging off the cliff in Daniel’s car. This time we hear the entire recording, after she begged Shi-jin to come save her.
The entire base listens as Mo-yeon cries that if she’d knows she would die like this, she would have honestly confessed her feelings to Shi-jin. Shi-jin starts to grin at, “I was kissed by an awesome man — my heart was fluttering the whole time!”
From across the base, Mo-yeon hears her voice blaring through the speakers, and comes running.
I LOVE IT. That’s the most hilarious, wonderful, fantastic cliffhanger ever. Now everyone knows how Mo-yeon feels about Shi-jin, including Shi-jin himself, which has got to feel amazing for him after being rejected four times now. It’s no secret how he feels about her — I mean, he tells anyone who’ll listen — so it makes me happy for Shi-jin that now he knows that Mo-yeon does care for him.
Because at this point, it’s obvious that Mo-yeon is just trying very hard to hide what she’s feeling for Shi-jin, and failing miserably. She spent most of this episode attempting to be emotionless and distant, which is understandable, because never has it been so blatantly obvious that he literally could die at any moment. It’s one thing to hear him say that his job is dangerous, but quite another to see him working right in front of her eyes, and face losing him while she watches. I don’t blame her one bit for wanting to avoid the heartbreak she could face if she lets herself love him. The problem is, it appears to be too late, and she’s already falling in love with Shi-jin. Denying it is only delaying the time they could be together. So I loved the ending of this episode simply because she can’t deny it anymore — her feelings for Shi-jin were just broadcast to the entire base, and she’s going to have to address them now, one way or the other.
I really love how all the secondary characters are getting their own stories, and even their own love lines. Sang-hyun’s crush on Ja-ae has been obvious from early-on, but it seems as though he’s also seeing how short and tenuous life is and deciding to do something about it. It’s cute how rattled she was at the end of the episode when he turned on the charm. I’ve even noticed some appreciative glances between Private Ki-bum and nurse Min-ji, who would make an absolutely adorable couple.
I’m especially enjoying watching Chi-hoon’s emotional arc play out. He started out as a happy-go-lucky kid from a rich family, who probably thought that becoming a doctor would be glamorous and allow him to continue the life he was used to. He’s a good kid, but he seemed to treat things lightly before. Now he’s realizing that the world isn’t as sterile as a hospital operating room, and that he can make mistakes that literally cost lives. He already misdiagnosed one patient, leading to his death, and he probably feels as though he abandoned Min-jae to die. That’s one way to look at it, but another way is to remember what Shi-jin said to Mo-yeon when he forbid her to enter the building — there’s no sense creating more victims. By saving his own life when he could, Chi-hoon will live to save others. Yes that choice might have cost a life, but stacked up next to the possibility of saving hundreds of lives during his future career, it really was the best choice Chi-hoon could have made if he’d had time to think about it. He’s broken now, but if he can find a way to rebuild himself and his confidence, this experisence will make him a truly excellent doctor. (And by the way, Onew is absolutely thriving in this role, in my opinion. I just had to mention that again.)
I’m also happy that Myung-joo and Dae-young are communicating again, even if he’s still going frustratingly stony whenever she talks about personal matters. That hug was an admission that he still cares for her, though he’s still trying so hard to stay away from her. But he’s losing that battle, little by little, and you can see it in his face whenever he looks at her. He’s so stoic, but that stoicism gives him away too, because the tiniest little eye movement or twitch of the mouth says so much. Myung-joo knows that he still loves her, and it seems foolhardy to go up against her stubbornness when she’s got her heart set on Dae-young — he may as well just admit defeat.