Horse Doctor Episode 31

There’s more build up for the final showdown between Kwanghyun and Myunghwan. Myunghwan arrives with his entourage in the capital of Qing to treat the royal patient. But it’s announced that any doctor in the country who knows how to cure the disease is encouraged to come forward. Dr Saam persuades Kwanghun to go the the capital, because if he can cure the Empress, he will not only be honoured in Qing but this could also be his ticket back to Joseon. 

Kwanghyun is in shock after hearing that Myunghwan is on his way to the capital to treat the royal patient. It really is a small world. Hearing his name brings back lots of unpleasant memories as well as his guilty feelings over the death of Dr Ko. An announcement is put up around town asking for any doctor with the skills and knowledge to cure the royal patient to come forward.

Kwanghyun thinks back to his life in Joseon and his guilt over Dr Ko’s death

Back in the palace in Joseon, the princess is now back in her fine clothes and greeting the king. She seems to have got a lot better at pretending to go along with whatever she is told to do! She looks appropriately demure during the conversation until the king mentions that she should move back to the palace. Her guard drops and she almost shouts out in protest. She clearly didn’t see that one coming and has been enjoying her freedom.

Eunso gets a letter from her brother who has now arrived in Qing but hasn’t seen Kwanghyun yet. But while she is reading the letter, the princess bursts in to see her (she probably wants a shoulder to cry on after the horrible news! So it looks like Eunso has now taken Jinyung’s place as her BFF.) Eunso quickly hides the letter but the princess sees this and is suspicious. She wonders if this is a letter from a lover!

Eunso’s brother Dusik searches for Kwanghyun with an artist’s impression. 

Over at the restaurant, Kibae notices that Daebang’s mother is looking worried (about her son who has gone with the medical party to Qing). He tries to comfort her and she softens towards him (she’s usually rude and off-hand) and she mentions that he must be sad about Kwanghyun too as Kwanghyun was like a son to him. But Kibae admits that he doesn’t believe Kwanghyun is dead. As they sit and talk the chef comes in with a tray of food and drink. But Jabong offers to carry the tray and as they argue over this, the tray falls and the dishes spill all over the floor. Daebang’s mum gets a nasty burn on her hand and Kibae hurries to treat the burn. He splashes some cold water on her hand. (But he’s holding her hand for quite a long time. This is a bit odd. Are we going to see some romance here all of a sudden? What’s going on here?? Never mind holding her hand, put her whole hand in the pot of water!)

Dr Saam shows Kwanghyun the notice about the offer in the capital for a doctor to cure the Empress. If Kwanghyun can successfully cure the disease then this could be his ticket back to Joseon. So they head for the capital. (Beijing)

Dr Saam tells Kwanghyun there is a way he could return to Joseon

Meanwhile in the capital, Myunghwan and his entourage arrive at the palace and meet the head of medicine. Again the doctor speaks the Joseon language and he greets Jinyung (she studied with him when she came here years ago and taught him to speak the Joseon language). Myunghwan is taken to meet the patient. She lies quietly in bed as they reveal the (gross) sore on her back. Myunghwan steps back in shock. She has infected bone marrow disease – the same illness that Dr Ko died of. The disease is spreading through her body and they believe there is no cure…

Myunghwan is shocked to see the seriousness of the patient’s illness

Of course Myunghwan doesn’t know how to treat this illness. Jinyung decides to go to the market and look for medical books that may help as well as herbs. Sungha goes with her. But who should be in the market at the same time? Yes, Kwanghyun. Jinyung leaves Sungha in the bookshop while she goes off to look for herbs. While she’s gone Kayong arrives at the same bookshop and bumps into Sungha (who is looking very fine). She swoons over him and seems to have fallen in love. (Another weird romance scene!) Sungha doesn’t look at her twice though. Jinyung is walking around the market and suddenly sees Kwanghyun in the distance. She hurries after him, but there are too many people in the market and she loses him. Sungha finds her upset and he begs her to forget about Kwanghyun because he’s DEAD. She refuses to believe it.

While Myunghwan gets special treatment at the palace and can directly meet the patient, Kwanghyun is in the ordinary world lining up with other hopeful doctors who came with good recommendations and all ready to compete to find the cure. (Dr Saam got a recommendation from the governor) They are told that they will practise on other patients (guinea pigs!) first. So  patients with the same symptoms as the Empress have been gathered together. The doctors are each given a patient to treat. Whoever can cure the patient will be able to examine the Empress! But when Kwanghyun sees his patient, he realises that the disease is the same one that Dr Ko had. He demands to know if Dr Saam knew this already. Of course he did and that’s why he persuaded him to come here. The disease beat him before and was his downfall. But if he can now show that a successful operation is possible, it could mean his triumphant return to Joseon.

Myunghwan considers how to treat the Empress

Back in Joseon, the princess’ stuff is being packed to send back to the palace. The princess is miserable and goes to visit Eunso. But she’s out at the market so the princess decides to wait in her room. (Oh no!) As she sits in the room alone she can’t resist looking through Eunso’s things. (Who didn’t see this coming?) Of course she finds the letter but at first  stops herself from reading it. But she can’t resist. She reads the letter and so discovers that Kwanghyun may still be alive. Just then Eunso returns and the princess rushes out with the letter in her hand demanding to know what’s going on!  (Princess, YOU are in the wrong for reading other people’s private letters! Duh!)

Things heat up at the hospital and the race is on. Myunghwan is also trying different treatment on other patients first. He decides to try new prescriptions of herbs and acupuncture. (He doesn’t have much choice really since he can’t do operations!) Meanwhile Kwanghun is still stalling. His patient believes this is because his illness is too serious and he can’t be helped. Kwanghyun explains that he has seen his disease before and operated on the patient but the patient died of tetanus! But he assures the patient that he can treat the tetanus this time. So the patient agrees to have the operation.

Kwanghyun’s patient agrees to the operation

Myunghwan’s treatment does nothing. He gets worried that he’s running out of time and someone else might find a cure first. So he sends Guard Kang to have a look around. Meanwhile, Kwanghyun’s operation is successful and he carefully bandages the wound up. Things seem to be going well, but later while getting medicine for his patient he sees Guard Kang snooping around. Guard Kang doesn’t see him though. Kwanghyun is shaken but he has more to worry about when Kayong rushes to find him because his patient has got worse. Kwanghyun hurries to examine him and realises that he has got tetanus after all. :(

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So Kwanghyun has to face his demons again in the operating room. I’m not a doctor but I don’t understand why during the operation after sterilising the tools with heat he then wipes the tools on a cloth. Surely this is just undoing all the good work? I find this irritating every time he does it! 

The most irritating scene though for me in this episode was with the princess and Eunso. Poor Eunso is always so restrained. She is the opposite of the princess. She is quietly waiting to find out if Kwanghun really is alive but the princess is sticking her nose in demanding to know what’s going on. The princess is completely in the wrong here. She should be embarrassed that she has gone through Eunso’s things and read her private letters but instead she marches out and shouts at Eunso. As though Eunso is the one in the wrong! The princess shows that she is still childish and impulsive. I was annoyed with her here. Eunso doesn’t have to tell her anything.

And what was with the suggestions of romance in this episode? For the first time we see Kayong show interest in a man – Sungha. She always treats Kwanghyun like her little brother, and she behaves like a man herself. But suddenly she is swooning over Sungha. Although in fairness, he did look magnificent in that hanbok. (Everyone seems to look better out of Joseon!) His fashion is getting better and better! And then there was that ‘hand holding’ scene between Daebang’s mum and Kibae. Now they really would be the odd couple. 

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