Hospital Playlist Season 2 (2021) Episode 3: First Look

It’s become abundantly clear that Jun-wan is a character that’s shown to be completely out of the loop with regards to just about everything except his job. He’s a great cardiac-thoracic surgeon and his bedside manners are improving all the time but on the personal front… he is, to put it bluntly, clueless. He was the only one who didn’t cotton on to the fact that Jeong-won might have women issues yet they share an apartment and an office. In the previous episode while he was queueing up for coffee, he made a cryptic comment when he heard that Ik-jun had loaned his ID card to Gyeo-ul. “Love is in the air in GS”. It’s a statement of dramatic irony because on some level he is right but it also showed how out-of-touch he was with the people around him. More recently he finds out that the person Ik-sun has relied a lot while in London is in fact, a guy. Most apparently including Jun-wan immediately assumes that her relationship with this flatmate is a looming threat to their long-distance romance. We don’t actually know that even if the situation and music feels ominous. With all that she’s been through with former boyfriend, I would imagine that if Ik-sun had fallen for someone else, she would have said so. Moreover Ko Se-gyeong sounds very thoughtful and seemingly upfront about everything. He might even be in a relationship himself. Whatever it is that’s going on, we don’t have all the facts and I’m not ready to jump the gun and accuse anybody of two-timing.

Furthermore when the ring came back to SK, there was a perfectly legitimate explanation behind it. But yes, long-distance relationships are rough and I don’t blame Jun-wan entirely for feeling insecure.

Jun-wan isn’t a people person by inclination but he has his moments. However, he is also seen to be an unreliable source of information. He doesn’t necessarily read interpersonal situations accurately. When Jeong-won said to him last week that he wanted to talk to everyone, he assumed that Jeong-won was going to announce that he was taking out a personal loan. When my friend tells me that they have something to tell me, that wouldn’t be the first thing that comes to mind. It’s firstly none of my business and I could hardly care less about a person’s finances. Maybe he thinks that Jeong-won will finally have some money to pay for things he’s had to in the past. But that’s a statement about Jun-wan rather than Jeong-won. As the husband said the other day, he’s “self-absorbed”. Unlike Ik-jun, he’s really not that interested in anything beyond his little circle.

It makes little sense too that he’s keeping his relationship with Ik-sun a big secret. Everybody already knows he’s dating someone. In all probability Ik-jun already knows. Jeong-won as well. It’s quite possible that Ik-sun has already told her brother about it as she said in the previous episode they talk about everything that amuses them.

Whenever I see Su-bin and/or Seok-min these days, my mind goes to Ahn Chi-hong. I feel his absence acutely and the franchise feels the poorer for not having him around. I even miss his dynamic with Song-hwa. A lot of credit goes to Kim Jun-han and what he brought to the role. Chi-hong was a down-to-earth guy whose military career had been brought to a screeching halt. But he re-invented himself and found a place in medicine from where he can do a lot of good. I think a lot about him and wonder how he’s getting on these days. It’s as if there’s an empty seat in the room waiting to be and can only be filled by him.

Although I had my kids the natural way, I thought the husband and mother-in-law at the start of the episode were absurd. It seems like the pendulum swings from one extreme to another depending on the latest so-called research. When I was having mine, the big trend apparently was to opt for a cesarean birth because it was more convenient for everyone and it was supposedly “safer” for the mother. To put someone else’s life in jeopardy in the present just for some unknown future benefit, is unbelievably selfish. I certainly wouldn’t be wasting my breath (like what Min-ha did) trying to “cast pearls before swines”.

I don’t know about anyone else but I thought that our WinterGarden babies were downright adorable. And I’m not embarrassed to say that I don’t mind one whit the aegyo from Jeong-won. To me that is so much a part of who he is that I like. I’ve said this in the past (ages ago on Soompi long before this ship sailed) that Jeong-won is a teenage boy in love. He has always behaved like one with regards to Gyeo-ul. And now that they’re dating he’s bound to do the same. Besides he’s playing catch-up as far as that’s concerned so it’s more than forgivable. This is also seen in that scene with Rosa and Jong-su where he proves how unworldly and child-like he is at heart. Jong-su is right… “Jeong-won is one of a kind”. But it’s how he was raised too. To live simply and eschew the chaebol lifestyle. He lives his life unburdened by thoughts of wealth accumulation. Furthermore he’s sitting on the floor peeling garlic for his mother and eating her homemade cooking with so much heartwarming enthusiasm. He’s a man child. Always was and always will be probably.

The perilla leaves at Rosa’s place look so yum. I’ve had them in one of the local K eateries where they serve them as wraps for bossam. What a fantastic combination of flavours.

Rather than cringey (that’s the comment I saw on another platform), I think it’s refreshing that a male lead is so animated and delighted to be dating that he can be his immature self with the woman he loves. The downside of that is that Jeong-won is functioning like an emotional sieve… It’s unlikely that they will keep this under wraps for long although it is hilarious watching everyone looking on reinterpreting their romance as Jeong-won being a “gentleman” — an all-round thoughtful Mr Nice Guy. Which he is. Anyway it’s a great cover story for now.

The two mothers who hang around the PICU has been a bittersweet arc. I loved how the more experienced Eun-ji’s mother took Min-chan’s mum under her wing and “mentored” her through the process of being a long-term hospitalization parent. The set-up was brilliant — two strangers brought together by a common cause supporting one another — the execution better still with a sting in its tail when Min-chan the more recent addition was chosen for the next available heart while Eun-ji is still waiting for hers. For Min-chan, it’s not a marathon but the sprint. Once again it speaks to the theme of the unpredictability of life that was so poignantly and frequently considered in the last season. There’s an unfairness inherent in unpredictability. There’s no such thing as “first come first served” in that scenario and the waiting game is bound to be much harder for some than for others.

I enjoyed Lee Kyu-hyung’s presence at the hospital as the violinist’s brother. I always look forward to these Prison Playbook cameos. Every single one of them has been a treat. That said, I did feel that his conversation with Song-hwa was very obviously calculated (there was no pretence to subtlety there) to push her in a particular direction with regards to Ik-jun. More than ever it does feel as if the show is trying to nudge Song-hwa to change her mind and think in a certain way about her present dynamic with Ik-jun. It’s interesting though how uncomfortable she looked when Sun-bin suggested that she use him as a pretend boyfriend in a way she’s not when Jeong-won was mooted for the part.

Ik-jun was obviously the man of the hour in this episode — the busy bee that he is problem solving left, right and centre. But the scene that I enjoyed most is the one he shared with Jeong-won and Gyeo-ul in the GS staff room. That was ridiculously fun. They both looked like they could have killed him on the spot for joking that they could be mistaken as a dating couple. What a mischievous so and so. It feels like he took advantage of the occasion to tell everyone that they were dating without actually giving the game away. Sly fellow. As an aside it struck me again that Gyeo-ul still seems to be the only female GS surgeon in a roomful of guys.

Seok-hyeong’s mum is on his case again. Personally I think she’s right. And I suspect though that if he’s ever going to find some lifelong companionship it will be from the hospital.