Emergency Couple Episode 4

With a man’s life hanging in balance, Chang Min lowers the scalpel to the patient’s neck…and pulls away before making a cut. Jin Hee offers to do it, only for him to say she can’t. She’s never seen a tracheotomy being performed before. She asks for his help. I don’t know what annoys me more – the fact that he’s being wishy washy about doing it or him undermining her ability and guts to attempt it herself.

He finally hands her the scalpel. He guides her through the procedure, though if he can think so clearly I don’t know why he’s not doing it himself. She keeps her head and successfully completes the procedure.

When the lift doors finally open, Chun Soo and Ji Hye rush in to inspect the patient. Ji Hye actually praises them for a job well done. Chang Min and Jin Hee are thrilled, and even smile happily at each other for a brief moment before realising it.

Chun Soo though, slaps Chang Min on the face. What? Did we just go makjang here? Chang Min is blamed for cutting off the line, and it’s unusually harsh even for Chun Soo’s standards.

Jin Hee tries to tell the truth, but Chang Min grabs her wrist to stop her. Gah, that one action probably summed up everything that went wrong with their marriage – he’s always shouldering all the responsibility and shielding her. It’s romantic, if it’s in a sageuk and he’s taking a knife for her, but in a modern drama it’s not.

So now everyone in the hospital thinks Chang Min is the star intern who did the tracheotomy in the lift. He actually looks ashamed at all the attention, and Jin Hee grabs his arm to prevent him from outing himself. I don’t know why she insists on giving him the credit, but she just silently basks in the glow of having god-like hands. By sniffing at it, no less. Lol.

He asks her in private why she didn’t take credit for the procedure, but she is overly humble about it, saying that he helped her when she didn’t have a clue what to do. He admires her courage for stepping up to finish the job, while she was glad to have him help her out. It’s a really nice moment with the two actually having a civil conversation with each other.

Chun Soo sees Jin Hee on her way out, and she asks for a quick update on the patient. He knows that Jin Hee was the one who did the tracheotomy, because the nurse with them in the lift told him (duh). He tells her she’s done well, but not to do it again, because she’s not competent enough yet. He’s noticeably a lot softer on Jin Hee than he was on Chang Min, perhaps because he’s had time to calm down, or he just likes Jin Hee more. Whichever it is, he’s made Jin Hee’s day.

On his way up to his apartment, Chang Min runs into Ah Reum, who’s all dressed up and almost unrecognisable. Turns out she lives on the floor above him, and she’s invited into his apartment. She’s trying hard to make conversation with him, but it’s a bit awkward.

At Jin Hee’s, she’s digging into some jokpal with Mummy, and we get a mention of her younger sister Jin Ae, who left home 2 years ago. Dad’s photo is a separate one, so I take that could mean that he’s passed on. Jin Hee consoles Mummy by telling her she got commended at work, thanks to her god-like hands. Haha, so cute.

Ah Reum asks about Chang Min’s blind date (her), but he tells her he got played. Ah Reum might be changing her stance on the blind date now that Ju Ri’s given him good reviews. Chang Min all but calls the girl a snob. His ideal type is a girl who has common interests as him, and the type of girls he hates most are the dumb and clumsy ones. Well, I think we know who he means.

Chang Min’s Mum decides to drop in, and at his door she sees lots of flyers for call girls. When she goes in, she’s shocked to see Ah Reum, whom she’s automatically assumed to be like the girls on the flyers. She ignores Chang Min’s protests that Ah Reum is a colleague, and chases her out. Oh, she’s so going to slap herself for this.

And she regrets it almost straight away once Chang Min tells her Ah Reum’s name. She checks her phone and confirms that it’s the same girl Chang Min was supposed to go on a blind date with. Both mother and son are shocked, which is hilarious.

Meanwhile, Ji Hye finds Chun Soo drowning his sorrows at a bar. She sensed that he had something on his mind, so if he weren’t at the hospital he’d be at the bar. She wonders if he’s still feeling guilty, and if that’s the reason why he’s still a resident at the hospital after 8 years. Chun Soo just says that it’s his responsibility, and excuses himself. Ooh, some baggage there. That explains why he was unnecessarily harsh on the interns for going solo, especially if something similar had gone wrong in the past. And why is there more tension in the little pat on the shoulder he gives Ji Hye than all we’ve seen between our OTP so far?

It is Chang Min’s parents’ anniversary, but it seems that Mum and Dad are separated. There seems to be little love left between them, as Mum won’t divorce Dad simply because she doesn’t want him to get half her money. I assume that means Dad is poor, then. He’s a professor (honorary), and Mum happily announces that once Chang Min inherits the hospital from his uncle, she and his Dad will divorce.

Her tune changes when Chang Min’s uncle asks after his Dad, because the deputy chief spot is open, and he plans to offer it to him. It’s beneficial to the family (and Chang Min’s prospects of inheriting the hospital) if Dad takes the job. Mum acts like Christmas has come early.

Jin Hee has the morning off, so she’s going to pay a visit to the person who’s helped her through med school. Jin Hee brings him a thank-you gift, and based on his knowledge of her divorce and her mum’s awkwardness surrounding this guy, it is possibly Chang Min’s Dad. Jin Hee tells him respectfully that it might be the last time she visits, and he also asks her not to come again.

I guess Chang Min really doesn’t like to be played by a girl, because he’s even colder to Ah Reum now despite her throwing herself at him. Mum calls Chang Min to announce her plans to make his Dad deputy chief. Chang Min thinks it’s not possible, but Mum is confident that Dad is play his part to help in Chang Min’s career. He insists that he’ll make it on his own despite being set back a few years by a woman. Jin Hee overhears this part of the conversation, sadly.

Mum arrives at Dad’s place, which is in a rural area, and comes to the same study where that Jin Hee was earlier. So it is Chang Min’s Dad then. She’s told that Dad is stressed because he lost a sponsor for his project, so he’s gone fishing. Looks like Dad is a man of nature, while Mum is a city girl. She storms over to his fishing spot, slipping on the rocks while he pretends to be oblivious to her presence. That was hilarious.

He’s completely indifferent to her, and it drives her crazy. She tries to throw his bait away, which finally evokes some response from Dad. He yells at her for disturbing the natural balance of the ecosystem. All I can say from this is that, I know where Chang Min gets the crazy from now, for sure.

Mum begs Dad to take up the deputy chief job, but Dad refuses to go back to work in a hospital. It’s clear that they also disagree on Chang Min and Jin Hee’s marriage, among many other things. Dad agrees to do it if she’ll use her connections to raise some funds for his project, and she takes offense that he cares more about his projects than Chang Min. I so want Dad to be at the hospital to play matchmaker for Chang Min and Jin Hee!

Chang Min and Jin Hee run into a pharmaceutical salesman on their way to the ER. The guy wouldn’t believe that they are interns because of their age. Chang Min refuses to listen to him at first, but it strikes a chord with him when Jin Hee looks at him in a new light, finally realising how hard it was for him 6 years ago. Chang Min takes all the leaflets from the guy and gives him a pat on the back.

The interns are assigned into pairs again to practice inserting an L-tube into each other’s nasal passages, eww. Chang Min is paired with Ah Reum, but being the bro that he is, he swaps with Young Kyu and is paired with Jin Hee instead. Their familiarity with each other and cute bickering doesn’t escape Ah Reum.

Ah Reum tells Chang Min she has her own reasons for not going on blind dates, but apologises to him as his colleague Ah Reum, not some official’s daughter. She gives him a CD of her favourite band as a peace offering.

Chun Soo lectures Chang Min for lying about the tracheotomy, but Chang Min thinks that Jin Hee told on him, so he confronts her in the stairwell again. (Seriously, what is with all the artwork in the stairwell?) He’s mad at her, and accuses her of being too chummy with Chun Soo to get ahead. She’s annoyed at him for thinking he’s always better than her, and asks if he’s ever thought of the real reason why they got divorced. It’s not just because of the affair (oh?!) or his mother.

He refuses to delve into the topic, and just wishes that she’d go away, because he’s fine just as he is now. She tells him to go ahead and live like that, then it’s only a matter of time before he fails again.

Jin Hee overhears Chun Soo fighting with the attending who has taken over the tracheotomy patient, and turns out that the patient has died. Chun Soo and the ER department might be held responsible for the delay in getting him to surgery due to the tracheotomy in the lift. Jin Hee’s world suddenly slows down as the reality sinks in that she might have caused the death of the patient.

Chang Min learns about that too, and for a moment he seems to have put aside his anger and is concerned about her. She’s in the stairwell again (the one with the cat picture), crying. He begrudgingly comforts her by saying that she’s done nothing wrong, patients just die. He even offers to take responsibility for the tracheotomy.

He tells her the reason why they got divorced is because once she gets emotional, she gets carried away and nothing else matters. She tries to hit him but he grabs her arm and tells her to pull herself together – this is her job. And he’ll be responsible for cutting the man’s throat. End of.

***

First, the good bits. We’re finally starting to see more of why their relationship failed the first time around – it’s become increasingly clear to me, and it’s interesting to see them figure it out themselves. It seems like Chang Min has always been the type to step up and shoulder the burden himself to protect Jin Hee, while Jin Hee kind of cowers in the corner and weeps. We’ve seen a newer Jin Hee who can speak up for herself unlike 6 years ago, hopefully she can see past the emotions of the moment too. They both grew resentful of each other, because one was too swept up in emotions, the other was too ridden with all the practical life problems.

The not-so-good was really the yo-yoing from Chang Min getting mad at Jin Hee for outing the truth about who did the tracheotomy, then when he found out something bad happened, decided to take responsibility for it anyway. It’s too much of a 180-degree, (plus both times the confrontation happened in the ruddy stairwell) even if it might be plausible. The editing could have helped a bit, but well.

Chang Min is a bit hard to swallow sometimes, no matter how bad I like Choi Jin Hyuk. He’s too much of a man-child, even if he does have some sense in him, there’s also an equal amount of arrogance and sense entitlement in there. His angst rubs me the wrong way, while Chun Soo’s angst I can totally buy. Sometimes I feel like I want to watch a drama about Chun Soo, because he’s got something going on there, and Ji Hye has sass and is interesting too.

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