Heo Jun episode 10 The Grave Digger

heojun1004We’re getting into a bit more technical medical stuff now as Heo Jun starts to study with his new teacher. Heo Jun is becoming more and more focused on his work to the point that even his mum and friends are worried about him! It seems he will do ANYTHING to please his teacher even if it means digging up dead bodies. But I LOVE your intensity, Heo Jun :) 

It’s 1569 the second year of King Sejo’s reign. Heo Jun is still working at the clinic in Sanum, Kyungsang Province (current Kyungnam province San Chung district)

But Heo Jun is acting strange and his mum confides in Yang Tae and Koo Ilsu that he disappears every night and she wants them to find out where he goes. (he goes to study with the doctor in the mountain) His wife struggles to live with him too as he won’t speak to her about what he’s doing. He’s being very secretive and when he realises that Yang Tae and Koo Ilsu are following him he angrily sends them home.



Heo Jun is not impressed to find Yang Tae and Koo Ilsu tailing him! 

So now we can pick up a few bits and bobs about the philosophy of traditional medicine: The doctor teaches him that the body resembles the world. (for example the head is round because it resembles the world,  there are 4 seasons in the world and the body has 4 arms and legs. There are 12 hours in the day and there are 12 arteries in the body etc.)

In his day job at the clinic Heo Jun is always trying to pick up any tips and he looks on impressed as Ye Jin applies acupuncture to a patient. Later Dr Yoo watches him approvingly as Heo Jun helps the patients. Even when they throw up all over him he doesn’t flinch. 😕 Then Dr Yoo watches in dismay as his son coldly turns away a patient because he is just a lowly butcher. Dr Yoo agrees to go and see the patient and takes Heo Jun with him! The stench in the room is unbearable but Dr Yoo doesn’t flinch even when he sucks the pus out of the poor man’s back. (WARNING: DO NOT watch this scene while eating) Heo Jun is moved. (I feel a little sick. :( )


Dr Yoo is impressed watching Heo Jun help the patients and takes him to see a patient

Do Ji’s mum is still gung ho about hurrying up the wedding plans and tells him she’s arranged his wedding. He refuses as he still wants to marry Ye Jin. His mother pretends that she’s worried about Ye Jin’s welfare and wants to find her a good husband, but when all the matchmaker can find is an old man with a pockmarked face, Mum says he’ll do. :(

The monk comes to visit Dr Yoo and we learn that the doctor in the mountain is called Ahn gwang-ik and is a former royal doctor who was kicked out for trying to dissect a dead body but now spends his time dissecting animals in the mountain!

Ye Jin decides it’s time to leave the hospital and goes with the monk to help the patients with leprosy. Do Ji tries to stop her (but the timing suggests she’s leaving BECAUSE of him). She leaves. Do Ji drinks.


Do Ji’s mum announces she’s found him an appropriate wife; Da Hee leaves. 

One day Heo Jun is studying with the doctor in the mountain when the doctor falls and hurts himself. Heo Jun has to apply acupuncture which he does nervously remembering that a needle in the WRONG place can KILL! But his treatment is successful. Soon after this the doctor tells Heo Jun that he has taught him all the basics so their study time must come to an end. Heo Jun wants to repay him with a gift – but all the doctor wants is to cut open a human body! 😮

A yangban arrives at the hospital critically ill. Do Ji orders medicine but Heo Jun suggests quietly to Oh Gun that acupuncture would be better at this late stage of the illness. Of course Oh Gun ignores him and the patient dies. Later Dr Yoo says the same thing and Oh Gun is shocked that Heo Jun knew this. There’s a funeral for the dead man and Heo Jun watches the funeral thinking about the corpse – he could give it to the doctor. (this is getting very dark now!) But it’s illegal to dig up (and then chop up) dead bodies and so Koo Ilsu and Yang Tae try to make him change his mind – he’ll be killed if he’s caught. But Heo Jun is so determined that in the end they even agree to help him. But just as Heo Jun digs down and reach for the coffin, mourners hear them and run over to see what’s going on. So Heo Jun has to run away.


Heo Jun’s training comes to an end with his teacher. He wants to repay him and dig up a corpse! 

The next time Heo Jun goes to the mountain to see his teacher all he finds is a will left for him on the table. The doctor has left Heo Jun all the medical books he has written. We don’t know what happened to him though … But least Heo Jun won’t be tempted to dig up graves for a while.

Now for a montage sequence of time passing as Heo Jun studies and carries water buckets through the seasons. By the end he has a beard and his wife is pregnant. And his reputation is starting to spread: two desperate parents bring their lifeless daughter to him begging him to save her. ‘But I’m not qualified’, he argues. But they can’t get to Dr Yoo’s hospital in time and she could DIE ….


This drama is really starting to hot up now. Now I remember why this drama is my all time favourite. I LOVE Heo Jun’s intensity. I mean he’s even prepared to dig up corpses for his teacher! At least he prays before he starts digging though realising that he may get punished in the afterlife for this crime but also promising to cure a lot of people in this life to make up for it…


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