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Yeo-jin’s security guards and her attendant (who I’ve now realized is named Nurse Hwang (Bae Hae-sun)) rush her to the O.R. for emergency surgery to fix her slit wrist. Nurse Soo and Tae-hyun are in the middle of their clandestine surgery on the indigent ICU patient. When they hear the noise from Yeo-jin’s team entering the O.R. right next to theirs, they cut the lights and duck down to avoid being seen.

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Still crouched down, Tae-hyun slightly pushes the door between the rooms open so he can sneak a peek at who’s interrupted his surgery. He sees Yeo-jin and notices that she’s concealed a shard of glass in her hand. Tae-hyun watches as she slowly raises it to her neck while the others aren’t looking. She’s about to slit her throat too, but Tae-hyun reaches out his hand to stop her. He pries the shard of glass from her as her eyes plead with him to let her be, then he silently slides the door closed. Whoa—what a scene.

Chief Lee arrives ready to operate, and the next thing we know Tae-hyun is back in the residents’ on-call room to get some much needed sleep. Yeo-jin’s surgery must have gone well and Tae-hyun must have finished up on the ICU patient without being caught. All Tae-hyun can think about is Yeo-jin though. He flashes back to the moment he stopped her from killing herself and seems spooked by the memory.

The next morning, Chief Shin is livid to find that Tae-hyun has defected to the VIP ward. However, he’s powerless to change things once Director Byung (who I’ve just realized is the director of the hospital) shows up and says he ordered Tae-hyun’s transfer.

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Cynthia Park (Stephanie Lee) manages the VIP ward, and she shows Tae-hyun to his new swanky office. Tae-hyun uses his time with Cynthia to get more information on Yeo-jin. She congratulates him for being able to sniff out money so well. It’d be a coup if he could make it into Yeo-jin’s room and Yeo-jin likes him. But so far only Director Byung, Chief Lee and Nurse Hwang are allowed, she says.

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Speaking of the inside circle, Director Byung visits Yeo-jin after her latest health scare. He threatens Nurse Hwang and berates Chief Lee for not being able to keep Yeo-jin sedated because she keeps building up a tolerance to the medications. He reminds Chief Lee that if Hanshin Group Chairman Han Do-joon finds out about this, they’re all in danger.

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Indeed. It may be a particularly bad time for news of Yeo-jin’s lucidity to reach Do-joon. He’s in a bad mood because of the shareholders’ recent attempt to visit Yeo-jin. He thinks they’re up to something, but his secretary thinks he shouldn’t be too concerned and assures him they’ll take care of the situation soon.

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Do-joon angrily asks how long will he have to go to Yeo-jin’s room to get her approval for things. His wife, Lee Chae-young (Chae Jung-ahn), makes her entrance just then—playfully asking if she should have a talk with Yeo-jin about it and tell her to stop bothering him?

It’s clear the spouses don’t have a good relationship. Do-joon asks what she’s doing there instead of speaking to her, and she flippantly tells him she was just stopping by to greet him before she went to the hospital. She doesn’t stay long, and when she’s gone, Do-joon reminds his secretary to keep an eye on her too.

With Do-joon, Chae-young acted a little dim, and remained playful and upbeat despite his sour attitude. At the hospital, she acts like a pampered and rude samonim, kicking a parking attendant who dares to direct her to park in the parking garage instead of leaving her car at the front entrance and berating the staff because her private room is not ready (even though she didn’t give them any notice that she was coming).


Do-joon’s secretary has had Chae-young tailed. The guy calls him and assures him that Chae-young is as flighty as ever, and the secretary laughs in relief that they don’t have to worry about her. However, when she gets behind closed doors, we see that her imperious airhead persona is all an act. She’s suddenly serious as she makes a phone call, reporting the conversation she overheard between Do-joon and his secretary.

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It turns out she’s talking to her father, President Lee (Nam Myung-ryul). He’s in a room with the three shareholders who attempted to visit Yeo-jin at the hospital in Episode 1. Chae-young asks President Go (Jang Kwang) to be sure to protect her father before she hangs up, and the four men discuss the new information they’ve received and try to figure out what Do-joon is plotting.

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Back in the VIP ward, we see that Yeo-jin is in fact conscious of what is going on around her despite Chief Lee keeping her in a comatose state. In her subconscious, she pictures herself imprisoned in a glass room. This is her 1165th day inside, she thinks to herself. For the first year, she thought she’d reward whoever helped her wake up with whatever that person wanted. In the second year she just wanted to end her suffering and would’ve given the person who helped her die whatever they asked for. Now, after three years, she’s vowed to kill everyone who has imprisoned her, including the people who are on their side. She wonders about Tae-hyun—he’s the first new person she’s seen in three years. Who could he be?

Then we cut to Tae-hyun. His sudden promotion leaves him ostracized by the staff, many of whom won’t even speak to him anymore. The only friend he has left appears to be Nurse Soo, who’s pleased that she was able to safely transfer the ICU patient to a long-term care facility. He also learns he’s been banned from the O.R.

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He gets his things from the residents’ on call room to move them to his new office upstairs, and he arrives on the 12th floor as Cynthia and Chief Lee are in the middle of taking an emergency call from one of their VIP clients. Cynthia thinks they’ll have to call the police, but when Chief Lee sees Tae-hyun, he gets an idea. He grabs Tae-hyun’s backpack and loads it down with supplies and bags of extra blood and sends him to make a “wang-jin,” or house call.

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Cynthia drives him to the house call, which ends up being a high-end hotel. Allegedly, he’s there to treat the girlfriend of top Hallyhu star, Cha Se-hoon, who was injured in an accident. However, when he arrives, Tae-hyun quickly realizes that her injuries were not accidental. Se-hoon attacked her, and she has a stab wound to the abdomen that appears to be from a broken wine bottle.

Tae-hyun wants nothing to do with what should be a criminal investigation for battery and sexual assault, but Cynthia reminds him of the hospital’s policy not to pry into the personal lives of their clients. His job is to treat the patient.

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Tae-hyun decides he’ll have to perform surgery to fix the wound on her abdomen. Cynthia doesn’t want to go that far, because if the girlfriend dies, she’s sure Se-hoon’s team of lawyers will shift the blame to him. However, if he doesn’t operate, she’ll die so he starts the procedure anyway.

The next thing we know, there’s a news report that top star Se-hoon rescued a woman being attacked in the hotel room next to his room. The report claims he got injured in the process, and he’s deemed a hero as we see the woman he attacked and him being loaded into ambulances and rushed to the hospital.

Cynthia is so impressed with his moxy that on the way back to the hospital she tells him to use his good deed to ask Director Byung to be assigned to care for Yeo-jin.

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He gets his chance to ask right away. Director Byung meets with him as well as Chief Lee and Cynthia to praise them for successfully handling Se-hoon’s case. He slides an envelope full of money to Tae-hyun and Cynthia, and Tae-hyun thanks him and musters up the courage to ask for admittance to Yeo-jin’s room to assist Chief Lee. Chief Lee is against the idea, but Director Byung immediately approves.

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He tells Cynthia to take Tae-hyun shopping to buy the proper clothes. Cynthia happily obliges and we see Tae-hyun getting a new look from head to toe. I must say, I like the hair. The glasses are okay too. But I’d pass on the clothes. However, Cynthia declares the outfits très chic, so I guess I’ll keep my opinion to myself.

On the way back to the hospital, in Tae-hyun’s new car no less, Cynthia gives Tae-hyun the run-down on Yeo-jin. She fell in love with the son of Hanshin Group’s rival—Daejung Group. They were going to secretly marry, but they ended up getting into a car accident as Do-joon’s men tried to stop them from running off. In the end, Daejung Group lost their prince and Hanshin Group’s princess survived but has been hospitalized ever since.

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With his new look and more information on Yeo-jin, he makes it back to the hospital ready to meet her. Chief Lee takes him inside Yeo-jin’s private wing and tells him to greet her. He bows and introduces himself, but he’s in for a shock when he tries to make eye contact with her and realizes she’s not conscious. He stares in disbelief as we see that inside her subconscious, she lifts her head at the sound of his voice. She’s heard his name. “Kim Tae-hyun?” she thinks to herself.

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I know I said I liked the first two episodes, but during this week as I waited for week two’s shows, I’ve found myself wondering if I really like the series or if I’m a little caught up in the hype that is Joo-won and Kim Tae-hee. I have been known to fall under a drama’s spell during its run only to find that it wasn’t actually that great after my drama fever subsided. However, those fears slipped away as soon as I watched that first scene where Tae-hyun quietly stopped Yeo-jin’s suicide attempt. It was a really small moment in terms of timing, but it was fraught with tension and it left me still trying to figure out Tae-hyun.

I mean, here is someone who is supposed to be all about the money. But he’s also clearly really vested in saving lives. He had no idea who Yeo-jin was or why she wanted to kill herself, but he intervened anyway. Perhaps he didn’t want her death to lead to his being discovered in the O.R. performing an unauthorized surgery on a penniless patient. But it certainly didn’t feel like his only concern was to save himself.

We got to see the inner-workings of this for-profit hospital a little more in this episode, and things are as unpleasant as we initially thought. In the first two episodes, it felt like this was a run-of-the-mill medical facility that catered to the wealthy. It didn’t seem all that nice, but it’s hard to really disdain a place merely because most of us can’t afford to patronize it. But more and more we’re getting to the heart of the matter, where we see the same set of people who condemned Tae-hyun for his money grubbing ways doing the same thing, albeit with a superficial level of refinery.

It was a pleasant surprise to find out more about Yeo-jin and to know she’s fully aware of what’s going on around her despite being kept in induced unconsciousness. I can’t wonder at her suicide attempts in light of her being locked away for three years. That’s a really REALLY long time to just sit and wait and sit some more. It’s good to know that she plans to fight back though—at least if she gets the chance.

Yong Pal: Episode 2 Recap
Yong Pal: Episode 1 Recap

2 thoughts on “Yong Pal: Episode 3 Recap

  1. Good recap! You made some very interesting points.

    The scene where Tae Hyun and Yeo Jin meet for the first time, it was daebak and probably one of the most unique way an OTP can meet. It was an intense moment but did you see the BTS? That’s why I marvel at how these actors do it. Joo Won has this amazing switch between screen character and real self.

    • Thx mrdimples! I agree. The scene was GREAT. The production team and the writer(s) are doing an awesome job so far. But no, I didn’t catch the BTS. Where are you watching it? I’ll definitely check it out! And you’re right about Joo Won. Even though I haven’t seen the outtakes or BTS, I know that when he takes on a role, he really just delves into it. And it’s amazing to watch–especially for an actor his age.

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