Horse Doctor Episode 18

This episode focuses on the student doctors as they nervously try to diagnose their royal patients. Kwanghyun and Taeju have both been assigned to the king and Myunghwan is sure that this will finally be Kwanghyun’s (and also Dr Ko’s) downfall. The princess is excited believing that she will be diagnosed by you know who. But when two other doctors turn up, her disappointment is very clear and very funny! :) 

The queen mother meets her student doctors

The student doctors are all assigned members of the royal family for the practical stage of their medical exam. The king, the queen mother, the queen, and the princess are all to take part. The princess waits excitedly for Doctor Baek and checks her face in the mirror. But when Daebang and the bully Taesop arrive, she does not hide her disappointment. Daebang finds the princess adorable and cute, but the princess herself is not so happy and calls him a pig!

The princess complains to her long suffering lady-in-waiting, Lady Kwak

The king meets his doctors and he is pleased to have ace student and son of the previous hospital head, Taeju. But he is also pleased to meet Kwanghyun and admits that he has heard all about him – that he was a horse doctor, is excellent at acupuncture, and even brought a corpse back from the dead. And for the first time we see Taeju looking a little bit nervous. So he is human after all.

The royal doctors have already done a diagnosis of each royal patient and written down their recommendations. Myunghwan is in charge of the king (and for the first time in ages, we actually see him doing some real work – instead of simply scheming behind Kwanghyun’s back!) So now the students will follow with their own diagnosis. Then they will see which of the two students is closest to the professional opinion.

Myunghwan assesses the king’s health

Meanwhile the students are stressing out over the exam. Kwanghyun gets support from his three friends, but they warn him not to take any risks – just do enough to get through the exam safely. (Wise words, but he doesn’t listen) Jinyung tries to cheer him up by teasing him and reminding him how he shouldn’t be nervous since he has already met the king. But now he has to admit that he just told her he had met the king  to impress her. (He also seems to have forgotten that he was supposed to be trying to stay away from her.)

The student doctors are taken for the first time to the 내의원 (nae ui won) Royal pharmacy where they find all kinds of medicinal herbs. The student doctors stare around in amazement, but Taeju already seems totally at home and chats with familiar faces there.

The student doctors arrive at the Royal pharmacy

Jinyung notices that Inju seems distracted at the clinic. Inju reveals that she thinks she has found the boy she has been searching for and thought was dead. But Jinyung has no idea that she is talking about Kwanghyun!

The night before he meets the king again, Kwangyun studies late into the night while Daebang sleeps dreaming of the princess!

Taeju and Kwanghyun go to diagnose the king. Taeju goes first and starts by carefully taking the king’s pulse. The king admits that he has stomach ache and a tightness in his chest. Then it’s Kwanghyun’s turn. He seems more nervous and takes the king’s pulse with a VERY shaky hand. But the king notes that Kwanghyun asked the same question as Taeju – that must be good news! as well as noting down the king’s symptoms, the doctors must also find out everything about his daily life. And we get a glimpse into what he eats, how he cleans his teeth (with salt and a leaf – see here for an interesting article on Korean toothpastes), and what time he goes to bed.

Taeju and Myunghwan bow deeply when they meet the king

Meanwhile Daebang is struggling with the princess. She does not want to cooperate until he happens to mention that he knows Kwanghyun. The princess changes completely when she realises that he is close friends with Kwanghyun and suddenly wants to help him. What about the other student doctor waiting for his turn to diagnose her – is he Kwanghyun’s friend too, she asks? Daebang explains that no, the other doctor is not his friend and in fact, he was the one that locked Kwanghyun in the morgue! ha ha. The princess’ face falls. (Something tells me Daebang just passed this test with flying colours!)

Then it’s Taesop’s turn to diagnose the princess. (This should be good! 😉 ) But before he is allowed in, the princess tries to sabotage his diagnosis by heating her hands and face with some sort of hot cushions. And then when Taesop comes in she lies about her medical history and is VERY uncooperative and grumpy scaring Taesop half to death!  ( I love how she is so childish and open with her feelings)

Taesop and Daebang are shocked to see that their patient is the princess

Kwanghyun works late into the night going over the king’s symptoms. He has even looked at the king’s stools 😕  He notes that the colour is similar to animal samples he diagnosed… Meanwhile his teacher meets with Myunghwan and, concerned that Kwanghyun might actually do well on this test, he offers his own cunning plan on how to get rid of him. So while the students are out, the teacher sneaks into their room and goes through Kwanghyun’s things.

Sungha and Jinyung are still awkward around each other after that whole marriage business. She wants to clear the air and begins to tell him how she feels. But he stops her. He knows she sees him only as a brother but he wants to know if this has anything to do with Kwanghyun. She seems shocked. But he tells her the same as he told Kwanghyun – she can never be with Kwanghyun. (But surely if Kwanghyun becomes a doctor it’s not so impossible? As the princess pointed out?)

Kwanghyun works late into the night

As part of their task to understand the king’s daily life, Kwanghyun and Taeju stand and watch as the king prepares to mount his horse to go out. As the king goes up the steps (!) to mount the horse, the horse becomes uneasy. (But why would the king’s horse do that? There was no strange noise or anything and surely the horse is used to the king riding him.  It’s just an opportunity for Kwanghyun to rush forward and calm the horse down.) The king notes that it’s useful to have a horse doctor around and Taeju looks on helplessly again. As the king mounts the horse he clutches his side, but he shrugs the pain off as unimportant. But Kwanghyun seems to think this is significant and goes to see Kibae at the stables to check something.

Eunso returns to the home of her father-in-law, Lord Jung. But she only has time to greet him before Myunghwan arrives and she is invited to leave so that the men can discuss Dr Ko’s downfall…

Myunghwan assures Lord Jung that the plan to get rid of Dr Ko will work

Kwanghyun is struggling to work out the king’s sickness when Dr Ko pops in to see how he’s getting on. Kwanghyun is having some confidence issues – he’s worried that he keeps trying to compare people with animals. But Dr Ko tells him never to be ashamed that he was a horse doctor because his experience treating animals can help him and give him an advantage. (I think he is going to regret those words later. But Kwanghyun seems to feel better.)

So finally the day has arrived for the student doctors to present their findings. Taeju is invited to go first. He opens his paper and reads out his answer which (surprise surprise) is the same as Myunghwan’s professional opinion – liver problems and heartburn.

Taeju and Kwanghyun present their results to the king

But while this is happening a copy of Myunghwan’s diagnosis ‘has been found’ in Kwanghyun’s room. He’s accused of cheating and must hand over his answer paper to the teacher. But everyone is shocked to discover that it’s BLANK. OK so he didn’t copy the answer. He explains that he couldn’t write anything because the king’s sickness is not in the textbooks. Kwanghyun believes that the king is suffering from gallstones – a sickness they haven’t seen in humans before, but he has seen cases in cattle and pigs. (Oh gulp! This is going to be BAD 😮 )

His diagnosis causes OUTRAGE. He is comparing THE KING to an ANIMAL! Myunghwan can’t believe his ARROGANCE. But Kwanghyun continues passionately insisting that the king must get treated ASAP before the real pain starts. But the king is not looking happy either. Even Dr Ko is disturbed. Kwanghyun is phyiscally thrown out of the King’s chamber and Dr Ko is forced to apologise much to Myunghwan’s delight.

Myunghwan is ‘outraged’ at Kwanghyun’s diagnosis

But many of the other student doctors are pleased when they hear what happened and bully Kwanghyun again and one of them nearly gets in a fight with him. But Sungha walks in and intervenes. Kwanghyun looks humiliated – he must feel so powerless. But Kwanghyun’s supporters are mad with him – why didn’t he just say the king had heartburn or something? But Kwanghyun could never do that – he had to say what he really thought.

The council of the three medical departments 삼의사 (sam-ui-sa) meet to discuss Kwanghyun’s future. And of course his enemies want him removed from the clinic ….

Oh Kwanghyun, you are SO INNOCENT! Why did you have to go and compare THE KING to PIGS and COW?? We could see this coming though – it’s what Kwanghyun always does since animals are what he knows. So nobody should really have been shocked by what he said! Myunghwan is SUCH a HYPOCRITE and  WEAKLING though. How can he complain about Kwanghyun’s background so intensely when HE comes from the same peasant class? I think Dr Ko could easily shut him up by mentioning this fact at the medical council meeting. But perhaps that would be beneath him. 

I laughed a lot in this episode and I’m glad that there is so much humour continuing through this drama. It gives it a totally different vibe to the far more serious medical sageuk Heojun.  The princess and her treatment of the unsuspecting young doctors was classic. And what about everyone’s faces when Kwanghyun recited his diagnosis of the king? I cringed. But still it was amusing. OK so he got kicked out of the clinic. But they’ll be begging him to come back when his diagnosis turns out to be correct, won’t they? 


2 thoughts on “Horse Doctor Episode 18

  • December 23, 2012 at 10:20 pm

    I am curious about Taeju. If he is Dr Ko’s son, then why is his surname Yun instead of Ko? Not to mention that the two behave more like strangers instead of father and son…

  • December 26, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Yes I must admit I was confused about this too – especially since their surname is different. But your question made me go and check this again. And oops yes, Taeju is not Dr Ko’s son – he is the son of the FORMER head of the hospital. When Taeju is introduced to the king at the beginning of episode 18 the teacher introduces him as – 전 수의의 자제 chon su ui ui cha chae. The ‘chon’ at the beginning means ‘former’. So I have changed this in the summary. Thanks for pointing this out! Let me know if you spot anything else. :)

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