Ghost Doctor – K-Drama Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Man, The Myth, The Legend

Episode 1 of Ghost Doctor begins with a man rushed to hospital, fighting for his life. the hospital doesn’t have any surgeons on-call right now though and are left in a precarious situation. If this man leaves in this state then he could die. So it falls to an intern to try and help. But this isn’t just any intern. As his eyes flash yellow, he’s seemingly possessed by a ghost and helps out.

All of this is a story concocted by an old lady called Ms. Kim in the hospital. The kids listen and eventually reject her story. Only, all of this appears to be true.

We’re at Eunsang Medical Center and our intern is now known as Professor Cha Young-Min, and he’s in the Thoracic Surgery Department. He’s confident, intelligent…and incredibly cold.

Anyway, intern Su-Jeong races off to try and encourage the Professor to join her; their patient is in critical condition. Young-Min slips several times on the escalator while talking to her, eventually composing himself and admitting he only uses his hands for the privileged few. Young-Min nonchalantly tells Su-Jeong to declare the time of death and walks away.

Young-Min’s reputation at the hospital stems from that story we heard early on, and specifically how Young-Min saves everyone he touches. The man brought in back in the past story was saved by Young Min.

Young-Min is pretty uncaring, despite his extensive knowledge of medical procedures, and he’s quick to point out Dr Tae-Hyun Ahn is upset about the death earlier in the day as if it’s a bad thing.

As they head outside, Young-Min meets his match in a brash, confident new intern called Go Seung-Tak. He marvels at Young-Min’s work (despite pointing out that he has more brains than personality) and reveals that they’re going to be working together soon.

He’s infamously known as the man who bucks the trend of the norm, but with his mother as the Director of the hospital, there’s not much choice but to add Seung-Tak to the roster. When Young-Min airs his concerns to the Director and Vice President, they basically tell him to train the kid well.

Young-Min does his best to try and call out Seung-Tak’s knowledge, testing him with various patients and asking to explain theories. Seung-Tak does this with ease though, and has been infamously known to even send professors during his teaching days into a tailspin.

Young-Min has certainly met his match. While everyone else just rolls over to his arrogance and cold, callous attitude toward the hospital being a business, Seung-Tak refuses. Hearing Young-Min talk about comatose patients, wanting to move them to pave way for more patients, he calls out Young-Min’s arrogance in front of the whole team.

Young-Min doesn’t take that lying down and later on in surgery, he calls Seung-Tak out in front of everyone. He wants Seung-Tak to do a crucial bit of surgery – the same part that he missed during his lessons. Freezing, Young-Min eventually shoves him out the way and takes over. This is, of course, a lesson for the other interns to show that there’s more to medicine than book skills.

Although Young-Min believes he’s won the first round, Seung-Tak is determined to win the war. He shows up at around the same time as Young- Min the next day, greeting him warmly and walking with his supervisor through the hospital. That is, until they reach the escalator where he freezes.

He leaves Seung-Tak, who watches as Young-Min heads off to get a coffee and arrive at an isolated spot to think things through. There, Seung-Tak notices a woman waiting for him. She seems to know who he is and something clearly happened between them. However, he coldly answers his phone and walks away, mentioning an unwanted guest in the building.

That guest happens to be Jang Se-Jin. She works in Seattle and the man Young-Min is contemplating doing surgery on happens to be her father.

The thing is, both Se-Jin and Young-Min have history and they’re both doing well in their respective careers. For Se-Jin, she’s actually there to ask Young-Min not to do the surgery. Instead, she wants her dad to live out his remaining years in peace rather than go through a reckless surgery.

This drama stems from the moments after Young-Min’s miraculous surgery all those years ago. He was supposed to meet Se-Jin but she’d already gone by the time he arrived at their meeting spot.

This bitter regret seems to have carried over through these years, but we’ll have to wait and see if there’s more to this story than that. Either way, Young-Min decides off the back of everything he’s seen to do the surgery after all.

During rounds, Young-Min immediately banishes Seung-Tak and forces him to go and work in the emergency center. The thing is, Seung-Tak has absolutely no people skills and worse, his experience of hands-on medical procedures is…lacking, to say the least.

That night, following the surgery, Young-Min heads out and ends up in a car crash. Although it appears he’s survived, the reality is he’s become a ghost.

Young-Min races in in ghost form, overseeing what’s going on as his body is brought in for surgery. Seung-Tak is the one on-call and he manages to accurately assess Young-Min’s injuries, rushing him into surgery with suspected Tamponade. With no other surgeons available, it all comes down to Seung-Tak to try and save the Professor’s life.

As Young-Min’s monitor starts flatlining, Seung Take grabs a scalpel just as the Professor touches Seung-Tak’s hand, transmitting his ghost form inside the young intern. Surgery gets underway, and Young Min’s life is left hanging in the balance.

The Episode Review

What a brilliant first episode. Ghost Doctor starts things off with a brilliant opening chapter, one that introduces all of our characters, perfectly captures the essence of this hospital and the hierarchical feel that’s been gripped here since Young-Min became a hot shot. Seeing Seung-Tak change that, before eventually being possessed by Young Min, is a lovely touch and I’d imagine we’ll see a lot more drama between these two across the season.

There’s a lot of tension in here too and seeing how Young-Min’s tragic past ties into all of this is a nice way of adding more depth to the series beyond its initial comedy/drama set-up.

Either way though, the ending hints that this one’s about to get just as dramatic in the chapters to come, and with decent acting, a few well-placed laughs and a whole lot of excitement, Ghost Doctor starts things off with a very good episode.

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