Horse Doctor Episode 29

So once again Kwangyun is facing death at the hands of one of Myunghwan’s assassins. The last episode ended with him in a boat unarmed and helpless against a raised sword. He manages to escape somehow and we see history repeating itself as he is helped again by someone from his childhood. 

As Kwanghun faces the sword of the dodgy boatman, who has already killed the guard, Sungha is trying to persuade his father that there is still time to find and save Kwanghyun! But Myunghwan admits that he NEVER intended to save Kwanghyun and that he will already be dead. Sungha can’t believe it. He cries in frustration. (And he must be feeling guilty as he promised Jinyung that he would help Kwanghyun no matter what. He was so naive to think Myunghwan would really help Kwanghyun and he totally underestimated his father’s cruel character.) Myunghwan merely instructs him to tell Jinyung that it was an accident that Kwanghyun died. (Maybe now at last he understands what kind of person Myunghwan really is.)

Guards arrive at the boat where Kibae and Jabong are waiting

Kibae and Jabong wait at the boat but guards arrive. (looking for Kwanghyun?) Just like in the last episode Jinyung is wandering around alone searching for Kwanghyun. But then she stops as though she senses something is wrong. :(  She drops to her knees and heavy rain starts to fall. Meanwhile Kwanghyun’s boat is floating away eerily empty of passengers. At dawn Eunso stands at the river looking out thinking about Kwanghyun.

Jinyung cries in despair when Kwanghyun doesn’t meet them at the boat

Four months later…

Life at the royal court continues and Myunghwan is now in charge at the hospital and he’s got his own people in other top positions too. He is already making changes including getting rid of Dr Ko’s clinic for the poor. He informs the king how things are going but the king seems disappointed that Dr Ko’s ideas for alternative treatments that don’t need expensive herbs – such as surgery and acupuncture – won’t be realised now. Myunghwan tries to persuade him that this way is the best because the new hospital will bring in MONEY.

Then he goes to celebrate at the restaurant. Daebang’s wannabe mother fusses over him as usual making sure that his dishes are served fresh and the alcohol is good quality. But she turns her nose up at Kibae when he arrives to see Chef. (She is such a snob. I look forward to the moment she realises who Kwanghyun is. She will behave totally differently towards him and his friends then!)

Myunghwan persuades the king that the new clinic is for the best

Jinyung is back at the palace and on her way to see the king when she bumps into the princess at the royal stables. The princess has come to find a vet to look at her sick cat again, but of course there is no one there who can help her now that Kwanghyun has gone. Jinyung and the princess both seem lonely without him. And because of him they are not as close friends as they used to be either. But they sit and chat and Jinyung mentions that she has heard that the princess is going to be married. Again the princess is not keen on marriage and has a plan to get out of it – by acting crazy or something! :)

At the hospital, although Myunghwan has put his own people in charge, the nurses still address Inju as ‘Head Nurse’ (수의녀님 su-ui-nyo-nim) much to the current head nurse’s annoyance. Jinyung arrives to inform Inju about her plans. They are both unhappy about Myunghwan’s changes at the hospital and they have their own plans to make sure that Dr Ko’s vision is not forgotten. In the middle of their conversation Jinyung is called away because Sungha is making a scene at the gisaeng house.

The gisaengs run away from Sunga who is drunk and disorderly. (he’s not a very convincing drunk though in my opinion) Jinyung’s arrival only makes things worse, and he pushes over the table with all the food and drink on it. He blames himself for Kwanghyun’s death and can hardly face Jinyung now. But Jinyung assures him that she ‘knows’ that Kwanghyun isn’t dead. Sungha looks at her with sorrow in his eyes probably thinking she has false hope.

Kwanghyun survives and finds a job

Meanwhile we find Kwanghyun somewhere away from the palace where he seems to be working at a port as an unloader. He is scolded for not working hard and gets paid a meagre salary because he’s weak and not in good health. The other men that he shares accommodation with gamble noisily to unwind at the end of the day. And they discuss how they can make more money with the opening of the royal hospital. (as the hospital will need expensive herbs) Kwanghyun looks troubled to hear this news.

Kwanghyun is in pain and goes off to a storeroom to find herbal medicine to treat his sword wound and he gives himself acupuncture for the pain. We see a flashback of him being washed up onto the river bank where he was found by locals. He still has the letter from Dr Ko ( it looks in good condition considering he must have had it on him when he was in the river!) and in it he is told to find a famous surgeon.

Could this quack be the surgeon Kwanghyun is looking for?

As instructed by Dr Ko, Kwanghyun goes off in search of the doctor. He asks in all the local pharmacies but no one has heard of the name. Meanwhile an old man is losing all his money gambling. He seems to be a complete loser and his life is a mess. His assistant drags him away from the other gamblers and they go to the market because they need to make some money. The doctor attracts a crowd of onlookers as he begins to heal patients with acupuncture. Could this be the man that Kwanghyun is looking for?

Kwanghyun happens to be passing through the market at the time and he notices the crowd around the ‘doctor’. But as he watches him treat patients, Kwanghyun thinks this man is a fake because he is not using the correct pressure points to treat the patients’ symptoms. And he is shocked to see that the quack is about to perform a very dangerous acupuncture treatment on a patient that if done incorrectly could end in the patient’s death! So Kwanghyun leaps in to stop him and tells him that he can’t allow him to be so irresponsible. (Although he is doing his duty as a doctor, I feel that Kwanghun is being quite arrogant and judgmental here. Yes, he’s a good doctor but he doesn’t know EVERYTHING about medicine yet. But the ‘quack’ does not seem offended.)

But then before he can finish the treatment, guards are heard in the distance so they have to pack up their illegal ‘clinic’ and make a run for it. Kwanghyun runs too – he doesn’t want to be noticed by the guards either – but he collapses from his injury and is taken to the doctor’s home.

The doctor sets up an illegal clinic in the market

While Kwanghyun is unconscious the doctor treats his wound. And now we find there are several coincidences – the sword wound is in EXACTLY the same place as the arrow wound that Kwanghyun got from Guard Kang’s arrow when he was a child. And it is the SAME doctor who is treating him again. (Surely this is TOO MUCH of a coincidence?) The doctor recognises Kwanghyun from his wound. But Kwanghyun still doesn’t recognise the doctor and simply thinks he is a fake. He is angry that the doctor treated him and he leaves as soon as he can.

Myunghwan’s hospital is finished. And he happily receives a bribe from a ginseng merchant. So everything has gone back to how it was before Dr Ko took over – and this is exactly what the king didn’t want. inju is not impressed with what is happening at the hospital as now only the rich will be able to afford to go there.

Inju and Jinyung have a vision to start a pharmacy for the poor. Jinyung sets off for Qing.

Meanwhile Kwanghyun feels better after his treatment and sees that other patients treated by the dodgy doctor are better too! He realises that he is legit after all and hurries back to the house where he was treated. But the doctor and his assistant have already left. But as he looks around the unusual room, Kwanghyun remembers the den of the doctor who dissected animals and treated him when he was a child. Kwanghyun realises two things – 1. this is the doctor who treated him when he was a child! 2. This is the surgeon that Dr Ko told him to find! Luckily there is a message on the wall from the doctor’s assistant telling him where they have gone – to catch a boat to Qing China. Kwanghyun hurries after them.

When Kwanghyun gets to the port, a boat has already sailed and he thinks he has missed them. But the doctor and assistant missed the boat too and so they all have to stay overnight to wait for another boat. Kwanghyun is allowed to join them and they go to leave for Qing China together. But who should be at the port waiting for a boat too – Jinyung!


classic master and disciple scene

The end of this episode sees Kwanghyun change from quite an arrogant know-it-all to the humble student who realises he doesn’t know everything after all. But he can’t simply be accepted as a student straight away. There has to be the classic passage of rites scene where the student must endure some hardship to show that he really wants to be the master’s disciple. This usually involves standing / kneeling outside the master’s house for days / weeks or however long it takes until the master accepts that the student really is serious and worthy enough to be accepted.

So at first the doctor refuses to accept Kwanghyun as his student. But I think Kwanghyun has it pretty easy here. He only has to spend one night sitting outside an inn (and the only reason he stays outside is probably because he doesn’t have money for a room!) In the morning the doctor still refuses to accept him. But as they wait for the next boat the doctor finally asks Kwanghyun why he wants to study under him. Kwanghyun explains what happened with Dr Ko and that he wants to prove that Dr Ko was right about using surgery and acupuncture to help the sick. The doctor accepts this and they all leave for Qing China together. So the baton of mentor has been passed from Dr Ko to Dr Saam.  



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