Korean Dramas

[Recap] Doctor Stranger – Final Episode

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It’s over! Doctor Stranger finished it’s 20 episode run with a slightly better than normal finale (at least when compared to the previous episodes). Hoon upholds his dedication to saving lives and the loose ends are for the most part tied up in a nice bow. Be warned, the writer has a great time brining the plot full circle, resulting is quite a few eye roll inducing deja vu moments. Overall, it was an ending that I didn’t hate and that’s rather high praise considering how ridiculous Doctor Stranger became. Needless to say, I’m more than ready to move on to a different show.

The President Betrays Hoon and Protects the Prime Minister

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Just when Hoon and Jae Hee think they had out smarted the Prime Minister, the President offers the Prime Minister amnesty in exchange for obeying the his orders. The Prime Minister agrees and Hoon and Jae Hee now are even worse of than before.

The Prime Minster Spells Out His Plan

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The Prime Minister is just about ready to kill Hoon and Jae Hee, but first he needs to express his regret in not killing them sooner. He reveals that he was the one to close the embassy doors in Hungry and  now it’s finally time to end their lives.

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 Hoon and Jae Hee are powerless to stop him.

Agent Cha Reappears and Shoots the Prime Minister

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Agent Cha is seen lurking in the shadows early in the episode and makes his grand reappearance when the Prime Minister gets into his car. Cha turns out to be the driver and he quickly fires shots directly into the Prime Minister’s heart. He then escapes before anyone can capture him.

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Prime Minister Jang now has a gaping and deadly wound. Hoon and Jae Hee rush him to the operating room.

Jae Hee Begs Hoon To Give Up

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Jae Hee sees the opportunity in the situation. Now’s their chance to kill the Prime Minister. With him gone, they will be safe and she tells Hoon to stop his life saving efforts. If the Prime Minster dies, everyone will assume that he died during surgery.

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Hoon explodes are her suggestion. He yells that his whole purpose as a doctor is to save lives and he is not about to betray his morals or the expectations from his father. It doesn’t matter that the Prime Minister wants to kill Hoon, at this moment he is a patient. If Hoon lets him die, he’ll be killing the dream that his father had for him.

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When Secretary Kim also suggests a table death, Hoon gives the same response.

Nothing is going to stop him from being a doctor.

The Surgery Is Successful

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Because it’s Hoon, there wasn’t much guessing about the outcome of the operation. Hoon removes the bullets and the Prime Minister is moved to the recovery room.

Secretary Kim Prepares An Escape Route

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Now that the Prime Minister remains alive, Hoon and Jae Hee need to get away before the Prime Minister tries to kill them again. Secretary Kim gives them keys to a car out back and tells them to hide themselves.

History Repeats Itself

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Just as Hoon and Jae Hee are close to safety, a gunshot rings out and Hoon stops running in the middle of a bridge.

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Agent Cha is there with gun. He shot Hoon and now wants to finally finish off our heroes. He pulls the trigger again, but this time Jae Hee jumps in front of Hoon to take the bullet.

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Suddenly we see an exact replica of the scene from Hungry. Jae Hee is hanging off the side of the bridge and only has Hoon’s hand for support. She begs him to let go and Agent Cha even promises to let Hoon live if he lets go. He he’d love to see Hoon suffer for the rest of his life.

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Hoon refuses, claiming that letting go of Jae Hee in Hungry was the biggest mistake of his life. He’s going to go everywhere with Jae Hee, even if that means dying together.

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And with that, Agent Cha fires another shot that sends both Hoon and Jae Hee into the river below.

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But wait, another shot comes soon after, this time finishing off Agent Cha once and for all.

One Year Later

Many things have changed in the past year since the dramatic bride scene. Here are the highlights.

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1. The Prime Minister is arrested for bribery

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2. The President has made it his priority to clean up politics in Korea

Apparently Hoon’s advice had a lasting impression on him.

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3. Soo Hyun is a stronger doctor

She’s now able to perform a surgery that was far beyond her skill level a year ago.

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4. Chi Gyu and Chang Yi are still together

Chi Gyu has even become more studious and knowledge as a doctor. I guess there is hope for him!

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5. Doctor Moon is now the hospital’s Director

Everyone Misses Hoon

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Hoon’s old team wish that Hoon was still with them. They know he’d be so proud of Doctor Moon.

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Soo Hyun in particularly is still hit hard by Hoon’s death.

Jae Joon Returns to the Hospital

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Jae Joon seeks out Chairman Oh and makes a point to apologize for his past plan of revenge. He explains that he has already accepted Chairman Oh’s unique apology. It turns out that while Jae Joon’s been gone, he’s been working at a law firm in America. He found out that Myung Woo hospital now has fewer lawsuits because the staff is so great at apologizing for its mistakes.

Lesson learned? Apologizes should always trump elaborate blackmail plots that send people to North Korea.

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Jae Joon says he is ready to apologize because of Soo Hyun. He should have never done anything that would hurt her.

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Chairman Oh surprises everyone by accepting the apology.

Jae Hoon and Soo Hyun Meet Again

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Soo Hyun is the one to apologize this time, saying that she didn’t understand the pain that Jae Joon was experiencing. Jae Joon points out that it’s Hoon that deserves their apologies the most. He asks her if she has time to meet the next day. There is a lot that Soo Hyun doesn’t know about Hoon and Jae Hee.

Reunion Time

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Soo Hyun feels horribly about confessing her feelings to Hoon. She had no idea what Jae Hee and Hoon were going through and what they had fought against to be together. Jae Joon urges her to get out of the car so they can go meet someone.

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Of course, Hoon is standing outside a clinic in the countryside.

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He greets Soo Hyun with his usual “Hello Quack” and playfully cowers against her attempts to whack him with her purse.

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Hoon, Soo Hyun, and Jae Joon sit down for a meal and Hoon presents Jae Joon with a gift of a stethoscope. He says that it suits Jae Joon much better than being a legal assistant.

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So how did Hoon survive? The details are fuzzy, but it looks like Secretary Kim once again stepped up and shot Agent Cha and saved the day. I’m not sure how Soo Hyun and Chang Yi completely missed trying to find Hoon and Jae Hee once they fell into the river. Running up to the bridge to stare into the water certainly didn’t do them any good…

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When Soo Hyun asks about Jae Hee, Jae Joon says that she feld to China as a refugee. Hoon and Jae Joon exchange a meaningful glance.

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Jae Joon takes Soo Hyun up on a nearby hill and explains that Jae Hee had immigration issues because of her dual identity. Today is finally the day that she can come back to South Korea. Jae Joon also hints he helped her attain asylum while working as a legal assistant.

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A car pulls up and Jae Hee gets out. She runs to Hoon and they embrace while the cameras spin around to capture their happiness.

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When Soo Hyun asks if Jae Joon believes in fate, he replies with a yes. She gives him a reassuring look and grabs his hand.

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The show ends with Hoon and Jae Hee holding each other close.

They are finally happy, safe, and, most importantly, together.

In Conclusion

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I’m not going to lie, I’m really glad Doctor stranger has reached its end. This show began with such great potential, but there’s no denying that the plot was a complete mess. The writers kept us wandering in circles without concrete direction for the majority of the show.

Perhaps the biggest flaw was the never ending surgery competition. I know that dramas aren’t realistic but this repetitive plot device was ridiculous. Really? There was nothing else that could have filled in the middle 15 episodes? Are you telling me that an entire hospital can operate completely devoid of morals? If that’s the case then Myung Woo doesn’t deserve to be a hospital.

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This is a drama that I think would have benefited from fewer episodes. 16 would have been more than plenty, especially since the writers didn’t seem to have much up their selves. Instead, we had to suffer through drawn out nonsense to finally come to the fixed conclusion. I read in an interview that the main writer had never written a drama before and the mess that Doctor Stranger became makes this fact all too clear.  It’s almost as if she wrote the first and last 2 episodes and then realized that she now needed to fill in 16 hours with useless crap.

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Let’s talk about this ending. I’m glad to say it wasn’t horrible. It may have been trying much to hard to tie up loose ends, but in a way I’m thankful that we didn’t get left hanging with more questions. At least it delivered answers. However, I didn’t appreciate the repetition of the bridge scene. I understand why the writer would like the symmetry, but all I could do was roll my eyes when Jae Hee was once again wounded and hanging over the river. Hoon sure has some fantastic upper arm strength. Maybe it comes with his super diagnostic powers?

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I think the part I liked most was the understanding that developed between Jae Joon and Soo Hyun. I felt that they had some decent closure and they were left in a place where they could restart their relationship without dwelling on their shaky past. I was also glad to see Jae Joon take an active role in helping Jae Hee and Hoon be reunited.

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Where did this show go wrong? What was this show missing (besides a sensical plot)? The way I see it, Hoon was too focused on pining after Jae Hee that he lost his backbone. Jae Joon’s revenge plot was way too drawn out and filled with obvious metaphors. Jae Hee’s identity was hidden for far too long and the the Prime Minister didn’t have any other motive other than being power crazy. The writer also completely failed in taking advantage of the potential Jae Joon and Hoon bromance where they united against the greater evil at Myung Woo Hospital. Sigh.

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Goodbye Doctor Stranger. I can’t say you’ll be missed. Seeing Lee Jong Suk for 2 hours every week was really what kept me going towards the end. And sadly, even his cute face couldn’t distract from the pitiful plot and nonsensical character motives. If I wasn’t recapping the show I can’t promise I would have finished it.

What did you think of Doctor Stranger? Were you satisfied with the ending?

Please comment below! I’d love to hear what you thought of this crazy show.

Thanks for reading! This has been a long journey of recapping and I am so glad it’s over. Recapping is tough work and it becomes much, much harder if you don’t actually enjoy the show. Thanks for sticking with me. I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on Doctor Stranger!

Rachel

In case you missed them, check out all of my Doctor Stranger recaps here!

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4 replies »

  1. i totally agree with every single word you said!! the first 2 episode was great and i realy wanted to see where its going to take us next but then this stupid writer muss up all the episode ( he should never write a drama again ) i was going to drop it because its realy a mess but just like u said if it wasnt for Lee Jong Suk and the other carcaters i would just pass it !!! however i did like that both of them had a happy ending after all the suffering and all the drama they had ! at least he ( the writer ) did bring all the caracter together and give them happy ending . it was good drama after all

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  2. I really wished he ended up with the”quack” and I also agree with every single thing you said. .. they just kept turning in circles. .. I had a lot of expectations for this movie… I’m so disappointed”

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  3. i totally agree,the plot really was indeed bad, park hoon was so focused on saving jae hee that there were a lot of times he compromised his values and he even refused to open up his mind and heart for others who were (shall i say) “more” deserving…he even caused his father’s death just for that one girl… i think park hoon’s infatuation stemed from the fact that he did not receive a motherly affection from his mom and that infatuation grew into what i called a “misunderstood love”….. i expected a lot from this series, e.g., more serious political issues (both in the government and private institution where in this case the hospital) which would have been i think more meaningful rather than going after someone which has made the plot a total havoc…

    i appreciate the writer and those that worked really hard in this drama, however, let the comments be a sort of reminder on the little mistakes that happened here…

    thank you…

    Like

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