Do Ji’s goal is to pass the state medical exam and join the royal hospital – he wants the prestigious status and will do whatever it takes to get it. So when he passes the exam he finally feels that this proves he is a better doctor that his rival, Heo Jun. And he is happy to rub Heo Jun’s nose in it. He then returns home triumphant while Heo Jun is still missing.
Heo has stayed behind to look after a sick patient. But now it’s too late for him to make it on time to take the state medical exam in Hanyang. Or is it? The grateful son promises to get Heo Jun a horse to ride to the capital. Heo Jun is thrilled. Maybe he CAN make it in time after all.
In the middle of the night, the son disappears to get the horse. Heo Jun DOES wonder where a poor man can get a horse from, but he doesn’t dwell on it. He just wants to get going! But after sunrise Heo Jun is still waiting for the man to turn up with the horse. Eventually he turns up but not with a horse – with guards who have come to arrest Heo Jun, the horse thief! Heo Jun protests his innocence but both men get thrown in a prison cell.
Heo Jun is locked up for horse stealing
After all the good work he has done in the village, Heo Jun must be so frustrated. His cellmate is distraught at the situation – he only wanted to help Heo Jun to thank him for saving his mother. Suddenly, Heo Jun is called outside to see the magistrate. Oh oh. All the villagers have gathered outside and beg the magistrate to let Heo Jun go.
Finally there is some hope for Heo Jun. The magistrate is impressed with him and not only does he let him go, he gets him fresh clothes and a horse to ride to Hanyang as a thank you for helping the poor people in his village. Heo Jun excitedly and gratefully rides off at top speed, but it’s a long way and the horse gets grumpy and tired and starts to rebel costing Heo Jun valuable time.
The magistrate helps Heo Jun by lending him a horse
He makes it to the capital and races to the exam. But the exam is nearly over and no matter how hard he bangs on the door and begs to be let in, he is refused and the guards push him away. He stands in shock as snow begins to fall ( sympathetic background 😉 ) unable to believe his bad luck. He travelled 300 KM to get there but it’s too late.
Do Ji has spent his time much more ‘productively’. He arrived in the capital early and made a point of meeting a couple of the doctors who would be interviewing him in the exam. Over dinner he offered them gold to ‘encourage’ them to help him pass the exam since last time he failed because of ‘who his father is – not his medical skills’.
Do Ji bribes the doctors to help him pass the exam
Now in the interview section of the exam Do Ji gets on his knees and begs Dr Yang, the head doctor, to forgive his father for what he did all those years ago and to not hold it against him. But Dr Yang doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Later we discover that it wasn’t Dr Yang who failed Do Ji, it was his subordinates! (the ones who accepted the bribe from Do JI!) THEY were the ones who didn’t want to work with Do Ji after hearing about his father. But Dr Yang is fuming as this makes him look pathetic. He tells his subordinates to mark Do Ji’s exam properly this time.
Do Ji begs Dr Yang to accept him – but it wasn’t Dr Yang who failed him last time!
Do Ji passes the exam and invites Heo Jun to his celebratory dinner – to rub his nose in it? Heo Jun seems genuinely glad for Do Ji and goes to the party to congratulate him. (It would NEVER be the same the other way around. Do Ji blanked Heo Jun the last time he saw him but now that he has passed and Heo Jun has not, he wants to be all matey again. What a baby) He reminds Heo Jun about the last time they were there when Do Ji failed the exam and cried. And was comforted by Heo Jun. Now he wants to console Heo Jun (he says). He tells him that he shouldn’t have stayed behind to look after the patients in the village, because he believes that if you only look at the small things you miss the big picture. Heo Jun looks annoyed at Do Ji’s attitude and excuses himself asap – he only came to say congratulations. (I wouldn’t want to hang around either)
Do Ji invites Heo Jun to his party to celebrate passing the exam!
Back in Sanum, Koo Ilsu and Yang Tae are accepting bets on who has passed the exam – Do Ji or Heo Jun. (Oh no!) Of course their money is on Heo Jun. Do Ji arrives on horse back to a fanfare. He is the first local doctor to be accepted at the royal hospital. His father finally looks proud of him and praises him. (Do Ji and his mum both look surprised as this is something he rarely does.) Dr Yoo also reminds him that he is a doctor and so a poor patient should be just as important to him as looking after the king. Do Ji gives a surreptitious eye roll as his father speaks as if to say, ‘Yeah, Dad. Whatever‘.
Do Ji returns triumphant while Heo Jun is missing
While Do Ji basks in his glory, Heo Jun has gone AWOL. A month has passed since the exam and his family are worried. But have no fear, he’s fine – he’s gone back to the village to help the patients there again.
Poor Heo Jun. Even when he feels so disappointed and exhausted he can still feel some happiness for Do Ji and sincerely congratulate him. Do Ji seems only able to speak to Heo Jun in a decent way when he believes he himself is on top. It’s very immature. He’s such a selfish, superficial man. But I’m sure his delight will not last long – what’s his father going to say when he hears that he didn’t stop to help the poor patients?