Doctor Cha – K-drama Episode 5 Recap & Review

Contrasting Fate

Episode 5 of Doctor Cha begins with Jeong-suk passed out following the defibrillator incident. In-ho is the one who races in first, scooping her up in his arms and taking off to the ICU. Jung-Min and Dr Jeon are there too when Jeong-suk regains consciousness. Jeon bemoans her stupidity and tells her this is a momentous incident that’s going to go down in University Hospital history.

Jeong-suk though is shocked that In-ho is genuinely concerned for her wellbeing. Seung-hi though is not happy, and stares at her bracelet. In fact, she takes it off and dumps it in her desk drawer. As for Dr Jeon, she confronts Jung-min about his weird relationship with Jeong-suk, trying to figure out what it may be. For now though, she’ll “allow” it but will keep her eyes peeled.

As for Jeong-suk, she tries to find the bracelet again next time she sees Seung-hi but of course she’s removed it. Jeong-suk wonders whether she just hallucinated the whole thing. As for Roy Park, he learns about Jeong-suk’s incident and while everyone in the ward laughs about it, he shows genuine care and wonders how she is. He paces in the breakroom and contemplates messaging her but decides not to in the end.

Meanwhile, Chairman Oh speaks to Jeong-suk and points out that he apparently saw her trying to resuscitate him. He became a ghost and saw the true nature of his family, including his obnoxious kids who can’t wait for him to die. He chalks all of this up to an “out of death experience” but it’s enough to change his mind as he decides he will take the surgery after all.

Roy eventually shows up to see Jeong-suk, who seems to be doing much better now. That is, until she heads home and is summoned upstairs by I-rang. She’s been looking into art schools and believes she has what it takes to gain entry. Jeong-suk nods off while I-rang is talking and the latter obviously takes offence to this, believing Jeong-suk is disinterested in her daughter. In fact, there was a consultation with her homeroom teacher earlier in the day which she failed to attend, which doesn’t help matters. “Let’s just live our lives separately” I-rang says, as Jeong-suk tries in vain to get through to her daughter.

In-ho happens to be eavesdropping from the other side of the door. He shows up to see Jeong-suk and hands over the bracelet he bought for her last episode. This is actually the first ever present he’s got for her their entire marriage so it’s that much more meaningful to Jeong-suk. In the middle of talking, Jeong-suk brings up that Seung-hi has a daughter, and In-ho struggles to keep it together.

In the morning, Jeong-suk gets her money through and she ends up splashing the cash, buying a whole variety of different things for the family. Afterward, In-ho does surgery on the chairman and manages to save his anus too so the damage isn’t quite so bad. After handing over the underwear she’s bought for the chairman, Jeong-suk heads back to her department… but ends up in the same elevator as Seung-hi. It’s very awkward and on her way out, Jeong-suk brushes her hair with her hand. The same hand that happens to sport her sparkly new bracelet.

Seung-hi doesn’t say anything though and picks up her daughter from school. Rumours have spread all the way there that In-ho and Jeong-suk are having an affair. It turns out Seung-hi hasn’t bothered to actually tell her daughter the truth, while In-ho is forced to explain what’s going on with the bracelet to Seung-hi when they meet secretly. He offers to buy her another gift and points out all of this occurred because of the pesky receipt.

After their meeting, Seung-hi picks up Eun-seo again who’s out walking with her friend. Eun-seo is in no mood to talk to her mum, even though we learn, for certain, that Eun-seo is actually In-ho’s daughter. Oh no! Eun-seo doesn’t want to be a mistress’ daughter and tells her mum to stop being so naïve.

At work the next day, Seung-hi lets her frustrations out on Jeong-suk, forcing her to do masses of research, typing up her thesis and even collecting up books from the library. It’s crazy hard work, and it doesn’t pose well for Jeong-suk’s check-up meeting with Roy. He sighs and tells her that her LFT has elevated slightly, which is to be expected given all the hard work she’s been doing.

Roy’s very human and caring touch is a complete contrast to how In-ho does his job and the pair end up clashing in the same department about surgeries. Speaking of clashing, Dr Jeon speaks to Jeong-suk and asks what’s going on with her and Professor Seo. Her wide-eyed, shocked look and tentative reply is enough to convince Jeon that something is definitely happening with In-ho.

Meanwhile, Seung-hi confronts Jeong-suk while she’s helping a patient – the prisoner no less – and demands she go to the other University Hospital to pick up her stuff right this second. When Jeong-suk refuses and confronts Seung-hi about it, asking her to delay this, Jeong-suk takes her eyes off the patient and the prisoner, Jang Hae-nam, goes walk-about outside. She ends up at the bus stop and gets fare for a cab.

As for Jeong-suk, she takes the blame for all of this and is forced to stay at the medical office while the police handle this. Jeong-suk is reprimanded by the Chief (Lim Jong-kwon), who calls out her incompetence and believes she should resign. Jeong-suk stands up for herself though, claiming age isn’t an issue and in fact, it’s actually more to do with the fact that she’s a first year intern and has a lot to learn.

As she leaves, Roy catches up with her and the pair walk together. Roy encourages Jeong-suk to be confident and really believe in herself. If she doesn’t, then she might as well quit because that’s not going to do her any favours in this industry. Thankfully, she’s also helped out by Chairman Oh, who offers her some encouraging words while simultaneously scolding her, telling Jeong-suk to make the most of her situation.

Well, Jeong-suk decides she should probably quit the hospital. In-ho is delighted, as is Seung-hi, while Jeong-suk’s mum accepts whatever her daughter chooses to do. Jeong-suk has also sorted out a check-up for her too before they leave the place. However, there’s a further twist in the tale here.

Jeong-suk arrives to see the Chief, but he has big news for her. The hospital director wants to see her immediately. Jeong-suk is nervous but the Chief is all smiles. Anyway, Chairman Oh is giving a big conference to the medical personnel and he decides to donate a whole bunch of money (10 billion won) to the hospital. He also calls out Jeong-suk and tells her to take to the stage given she helped him.

Chairman Oh points out her unconditional compassion has been the deciding factor for his recovery and in fact, if Jeong-suk quits and the hospital lets her go, he’s going to personally withdraw his whole 10 billion won donation. The entire hospital is all smiles and joy… except for In-ho and Seung-hi. Jung-min has a big ol’ grin and he smiles and claps ecstatically… until Jeon looks over and shoots a suspicious glance his way. As for Jeong-sik, she decides not to quit after all. Hooray!

The Episode Review

What a lovely way to end this episode. Jeong-suk was just having one of those days and the daily stresses of hospital life, especially when the fate of your patients is hanging in the balance, proves too much for our lovable protagonist. She took her eye off the ball once and unfortunately, it turns out to be a huge mistake.

Seung-hi is, of course, to blame for all this and she and In-ho are both desperate to get Jeong-suk out the hospital that they’re happy to use a patient as a weapon. Thankfully, Jeong-suk now has more than enough reason to stay and she’s become integral to the hospital’s sustainability going forward. That whole speech by Chairman Oh at the end was beautifully written and a definite stand-out moment from this show so far.

Now that we get confirmation Eun-seo is actually In-ho’s daughter, it raises all sorts of questions over exactly how all of this is going to come out in the open and how Jeong-suk will eventually react to her husband’s cheating ways. The rivalry In-ho has with Roy is a lovely way of sparking the flames, and the preview for tomorrow seems to indicate that he finds out about the affair too.

Ultimately though, Doctor Cha has been a great K-drama and the heady blend of drama and comedy has made this a must-watch weekend addition to the roster. Roll on tomorrow’s follow-up!

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You can read our full season review for Doctor Cha here!

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