“Hospital Ship” 3rd and 4th episode rated way lower than its 1st and 2nd episode, and even lost its double digit status according to Nielsen Korea, and understandably so.
So lets do a quick recap of the3rd and 4th episode before we talk about the possible logical reason behind the lower ratings for its 3rd and 4th episode.
Episode 3 Recap
Doctor Eun Jae has made her grand entrance to the ship, she suggests she opens the kid up and operates on him in order to save his life; she barges into the ship’s operational room like she owns the place
Doctor Kwak Hyun does the logical thing and calls the coast guards to come pick up the kid, unfortunately ‘duh!’ they can’t arrive shortly, it’ll take time.
Doctor Eun Jae is shocked by the mess of the operational room, she decides to operate in the dentistry room, Doctor Kwak Hyun confronts her and argues with her regarding the dangerous situation.
He agrees to the surgery despite the terrible operational and hygiene conditions because she needs to save the child. Nurse Ah Rim drops the anaesthesia (because of course she would), with one last dose of anaesthesia they must finish the surgery in less than 30 minutes or the patient shall die.
With the help of Doctor Eun Jae they operate on the child and save him in 30 minutes. Like a gentleman he apologizes for doubting her (and rightfully so) she agrees that it was a dangerous and she would never operate on such conditions again.
She goes back to the ship when the sun went down, she sees the mess that is the ship, she decides to leave because of the poor conditions, her pride is too big for a such a wreck.
She gets into a mini argument with one of the ship captains, Choo Won Gong, who confronts her that she has no place else to go to because she was kicked out (that is shocking!), she is left with not much option but to stay in the ship because her reputation was tarnished when she was kicked out of her previous hospital.
She goes back to the ship and reads the existing medical records and stumbles upon her mother’s, she cries while remembering what had took place and how she could’ve prevented it.
The next morning, Doctor Kwak Hyun asks her if she knows him from somewhere, she denies she ever met him, when he goes back to his room; he sees her photo and remembers her mother. He goes there confidently and shows her the photo, he asks about her mother, he doesn’t know that she had passed away; he gets dragged away while asking her questions by the co-captain Choo Won Gong.
The whole ship soon finds out that it was because of her dead mother she decided to go back here and help with the ship; little did they know she was kicked out of her previous hospital.
The other co-captain Bang Sung Woo wants to kick her out because she’s ordering equipment they can’t afford, the other co-captain Choo Won Gong convinces him to allow her to stay because they were gonna get fund using her skills, a cameracrew arrives on the ship to film the staff.
Later, Doctor Kwak Hyun tries to apologize again, he is told off coldly, while nurse Ah Rim tries to get close to Doctor Eun Jae’s and is confronted by her cold judgmental tone, she tells her that she sucks at her job.
They go to an island to seek out patients and treat them, the moment they set foot on the island they hear an elderly woman screaming, and miraculously run to the correct place to treat the patient.
They notice that something is very wrong with the elderly man, Doctor Kwak Hyun is asked to insert a tube into the patient’s mouth, he hesitates as he remembers something bad that happened in the past.
In the flashback we see him running towards what appears to be a hospital room, a patient was taking his last breath, he is taken over by fear, he gets kicked by the doctor who was trying to save the patient, he is told that all those patients died because of him.
Doctor Eun Jae pushes him aside and puts the tube in, she sees that he fails to get a grip of himself, she asks him to do something more simple, he then notices that the patient might be suffering from something else that’s even more serious.
She decides she has to cut him open and operate on him (again!) to save his life.
Episode 4 Recap
They take the patient to the nearest hospital; Doctor Eun Jae offers to operate on the patient because all the surgeons at the nearest hospital were busy.
While everyone else leaves work, Doctor Eun Jae is still at that hospital saving the patient life; Doctor Kwak Hyun goes for a walk by the beach because he’s feeling bad after failing to do a simple task.
Doctor Eun Jae has saved the patient and at a record speed, the director of the hospital scolds the doctor who allowed her to perform but is happy with her performance. He offers her a position at his hospital; she agrees to do as much surgeries as possible while maintaining her job at the ship, the director accepts her offer because she’s skilled.
Luckily for her, Doctor Kwak Hyun brings her some clothes to change to, he apologizes for not inserting the tube correctly, he lies to her by telling her it was his first time doing so.
The next morning, the director who offered her the job speaks with his colleague (who happens to be her ex-chief) and he tells him she caused trouble (malpractice) which is why she was kicked out. The director asks for her again, after he found out about her past he doesn’t want her anywhere in his hospital.
She asks the director for the reason he’s also firing her, he says she was kicked out of her previous hospital, why would he want to hire her!
As she’s leaving, Korean medicine doctor Jae Gul enters the room, turns out the director was his father. The director isn’t too thrilled to see his son, he wants to kick him out, his mother interferes saying they should pay their respect to their late son.
The director blames Jae Gul for what had happened, and they get into an argument, Jae Gul decides to leave despite his mother’s attempts to stop him from doing so.
Eun Jae walks out with her head down, she goes to drinks by herself, miserably, she remembers the past and the time her chief told her to get back to work, she remembered how a patient died because of her, and how she was slapped and kicked out by her chief.
The next morning comes, she had ordered medical equipment and was in the process of setting them up like she owns the place, and somehow Ah Rim found out that she was kicked out of her previous hospital because of malpractice.
The rumors travel around the ship so fast, it was only a matter of minutes before everyone knew what happened. Once the co-captain Sung Woo finds out she was kicked out and finds out about the equipment she purchased, he tries to kick her out of the ship.
She refuses to leave or to answer his questions. With her head up high, full with confidence, she tells him “No! I won’t leave.”
Doctor Kwak Hyun then tries to talk to her and understand her side of the story, she refuses to give in and asks him questions he doesn’t want to answer as well.
Later that day we’re taken back to the initial scene the drama started with in episode 1, the poor young man’s hand is severely damaged; they ask for the surgeon help, she goes to see the patient.
She can’t find pulse in his hands, upon impulse she pours in antiseptic alcohol and brings an axe and tries to cut his hand. The young man screams in agony, while his friend grabs her by the collar and threatens to kill her.
I like how bad Doctor Eun Jae’s character is, unlike all other female leads that are bad but are also kinda nice, her character comes off as a cold-hearted prideful arrogant surgeon who cannot admit defeat.
She works on impulse and even when her mother died, she impulsively announced her time of death like it was a habit. She seems like she’s genuinely confident and okay with being rude and hated by everyone around her.
She is an outcast with no friends (shocking for a female lead in a kdrama), she is alone and simply has no spark left in her, even when she’s operating, she feels like a robot, her goal is to always save the patient but if it didn’t work out, she wasn’t going to regret it because she tried her best.
She doesn’t waste time and manages to become hated by everyone working with her by simply judging them harshly according to her Seoul standards, the poor Doctor Kwak Hyun is gonna have trouble getting through her.
I like how the writer introduces the characters and add details to their backstory, its cleanly done and not overly dramatic at the same time. Jae Gul also has a sad heart-breaking story that follows him.
I suspect that he was a doctor but gave up his degree to another one, he probably was accidentally blamed for his brother’s death or had something to do with it, which explains his father’s resentment.
The same is also suspected with Doctor Eun Jae, I think that she wasn’t responsible for the death of that patient but the chief put the blame on her when she refused to take it in voluntarily, I don’t think the flashbacks we got was all there was.
But again, she is a very cold character who impulsively behaves based on the knowledge in her head, I’d be shocked if she was actually the one behind the death of that patient. But overall I liked how it wasn’t just because her mother died that she decided to take that hospital ship challenge on.
It seems like she held on to Seoul’s hospital because she worked so hard, she didn’t let go of everything to treat those in remote places, I like that. This is different, and in fact this is closer to reality than the first scenario I had suspected, that one we initially thought of.
So far, I am impressed by how slightly unexpected the script is, watching kdramas for such a long time helped me figure out a lot of what was about to happen from seeing snippets of episodes and it kinda annoyed me, I wanted to be challenged.
I am slightly challenged by this drama, and I like it, I hope the writer continues to surprise us. That way we won’t be easily bored, we have 18 more (1 hr long) episodes to go, but if she keeps writing like this the drama might become one of the best this 2017.
Doctor Kwak Hyun’s character also has a similar past filled with death, he is also responsible for the death of a couple of patients, more or less the entire main cast has the same past, they all ‘accidently’ killed patients/close family members, I wished it wasn’t the same for all 3 of them, lets hope that the 4th main character won’t have the same past fate.
There are places where you can clearly tell the writer went out of her way trying to create something different while in other parts of the script she’s lazy, I wished that she had given the same attention to all parts of the script, past and present events.
I don’t see any chemistry between the leads so far, Min Hyuk does appear more mature but Ha Ji Won appears too young, she looks way younger than a 39 year old, I was shocked when I found out she was born back in 1978.
The two don’t look awkward around each other and for now, that’s great. I don’t know if they’re deliberately not going all out with the chemistry thing because they’re supposed to be neutral around each other or because they literally have no chemistry.
I wish that the writer won’t try to make the second lead also fight for the female lead love, the 3rd male lead already likes her, it’d be too cliché and stupid if she decided to make all 3 of them fight for her.
But I like how the writer didn’t feel obligated to start a romance in the first 2 episodes and focused on the past of each character.
The script is promising and can become something magnificent if written correctly from this point on, the drama has a lot of potential, the ship factor, and the characters past can be used to create a beautiful meaningful entertaining story.
The 3rd and 4th episode might be a bit slower and calmer to some people, which might explain why the ratings went down for it, but the cliff-hanger of episode 4 is enough to force audience to tune in next week to see what will happen.