Healer: Baby Bear Feels Episodes 13-14

You see this picture up top? This is exactly how we feel after these episodes. So do not expect squees and such from Team Feels this week okay? Y’all been warned.

And most importantly, we’ve expanded Team Feels! Everyone, please welcome the fabulous Vanessa into the fold. You might have read her comments on our previous check-ins so she did this to herself, really. How could we not recruit her after epic commentary like that?

Usual disclaimers apply: We spoil to glory, there is profanity, and we get real serious.

If you missed last week’s commentary on Episodes 11 – 12, visit Sarah’s blog.

TALKING IN CODE

Healer ep 13 Myung Hee talks to Moon Shik

Vanessa: First off, can I say how much I’m loving the abundance of veiled conversations/code talk in these two episodes (13 in particular)? You have Teacher yammering on at Moon-shik about the family of bears, and then Myung-hee asking Moon-shik why he’s always trying to “keep her asleep”. Obviously this harks back to Moon-ho’s early conversation with her about the dilemma of “waking” a room full of sleeping people versus allowing them to remain blissfully ignorant of harsh, dangerous truths. But there’s also a sort of chilling implication that Moon-shik has been deliberately drugging her to keep her cut off from the world and from information she deserves to know. Her being unaware of Moon-ho’s job change was sort of an “oh shit you’re really out of the loop aren’t you” moment.

Sarah: I really didn’t understand earlier on how sinister that whole situation is.  I mean, here you’ve got Moon Shik. He’s supposed to love her and want to be with her, but he keeps her unconscious most of the time.  I can’t help but wonder if for him it was always more about possessing her than being with her. Just another one of those instances where I wish this drama had a little bit more backstory. We are left to assume so much for ourselves. But yeah, Moon Shik is a psychopath.

Vanessa: And then we have Young-shin and Jung-hoo playing this adorable, heartbreaking game of I-Know-You-Know-That-I-Know-That-We-Both-Know. Somehow speaking of the Healer in the third person allows them to be more honest with each other, I think, rather than if they had spilled everything out in the open and tried to untangle the mess, when there are still so many emotions to process (for Young-shin especially).

Healer ep 13 Young Shin at the hospital talking to Bong Sook

DDee: That scene in the hospital when he wakes up destroyed me. It’s like the air got sucked out of the room and filled up with FEELINGS. The way they stood there in the long pregnant silence just looking at each other with tears in their eyes. And this is probably the moment when I truly, deeply fell in love with Young Shin because instead of giving in to her confusion or hurt, she says the thing that allows them both to make it out of that room in one piece. After everything, she just wants to see him again and he’s so grateful to her for saying that. Park Min Young knocked this scene out of the park.   

Vanessa: But my favourite code-speak scene has got to be Mom and Jung-hoo at the restaurant. They both know this is playacting, Mom knows Jung-hoo is doing this for her own safety; sitting there saying cold, cutting things that he doesn’t mean. But it’s too much for Mom, because how afraid would she have been, all these years, that this is what Jung-hoo really feels and thinks about her? It’s her own guilt speaking to her face at this point, and when she says “I’m sorry, Jung-hoo”, she means it. It’s real. And when he shakes his head back at her, and mouths “Don’t cry”, he means it just as much. He’s so kind, so earnest and determined to let her know she has nothing to apologize for, it wasn’t her fault that she couldn’t love him hard enough or fiercely enough to save them both from the world, from people and circumstances far more powerful than their little family.

Healer ep 13 Healer's mum crying
Just a couple of days ago we were wondering how Mom and Jung-hoo’s reconciliation would have gone down, and I was surprised to see Jung-hoo so young when it happened. But I was even more (pleasantly) surprised to see that it was mom’s New Husband who desperately tried to bridge that gap and kickstart some form of healing for mother and son. And then we have poor baby angel Jung-hoo who couldn’t stay bitter and resentful in the face of his mother’s tears. It’s all so much sadder now, knowing that New Husband would likely be open to having Jung-hoo become an extension of his family, but the nature of Jung-hoo’s life and work is such that he has been the one setting all these boundaries with his mother (don’t keep my phone number, no personal questions about what I do with my life, no calls or lunches unless I contact you first). And mom is too guilty and too grateful for whatever scraps of time she gets to spend with her son that she doesn’t dare ask for more. But they still love each other so much, and oh god.

Healer ep 13 Jung Hoo tells his mum not to cry

DDee: Oh god that restaurant convo. Just the way she was crying her heart out, and when he mouths “Don’t cry” because he can’t stand to see her in tears, like I just can’t.  And just to twist the knife in deeper they put him on a swing all by himself. I didn’t feel the need for bringing out New Husband though. That felt like the show trying to make her more sympathetic, when it matters enough that Jung Hoo loves her and doesn’t blame her for what she did, and that she never stopped loving him.

FOUND FAMILIES

Healer ep 14 Ahjumma toasts teacher

Sarah:  Ok, I think I can do this now.  I think.  Because all I can think right now is, “Oh God, my poor baby bears.”  I don’t think people are going to like me much this week, because I’m finding my usual flippant style has gone.  I don’t know what happened between the ninth episode and this last one, but I find myself legitimately grieving.  In the whole first half of the drama I wanted the story of the first generation to be as strong as that of Jung Hoo and Young Shin.  And now that Teacher is gone, all I keep thinking is how much I wish I had gotten to know him better, you know?  I’m grieving for him like he was a real person, but the kind of person you meet in the last stages of their life, when it’s too late to hear all of their all their stories.  I didn’t know I loved him until, like you said, he started talking about the mommy bears, daddy bears and baby bears.  Because all of the sudden it hit me how fiercely he loved Jung Hoo, Ji Ahn and Moon Ho, and how much he loved his friends that Moon Shik destroyed.

I wish so much that he had been more a part of the story from the beginning.  But if for nothing else than his dying wish, his video love letter to Jung Hoo, he will forever be one of my favorite characters.  This is also my favorite “code speak” moment so far, just for the fact that with his last breaths, Teacher sent a message of hope and happiness to the only two people in the world who would ever understand.  The only family he had left.

Healer ep 14 Teacher and Jung Hoo eating

DDee: I got spoiled with Teacher’s death so I sorta watched everything unfold almost as if like, I was disbelieving. Because up until this point, the most I knew about him was that he abandoned JH too, and I didn’t know how much they meant to each other. And I’m usually really sceptical about drama deaths and watching the show pile on pain after pain, it was starting to feel too much you know, and I really wondered if killing him was just a way to send Jung Hoo into a tailspin just so he could become a raging mass of manpain. But the cynical side of me shut up the moment I saw Ahjumma’s face. And just, I was stunned by the weight of that silence which told me everything he meant to her and his last words to Jung Hoo told me everything Jung Hoo meant to him.

I mean there are just so MANY QUESTIONS I have about him, and since he is so crucial to Jung Hoo’s story as the man who raised him, I too really wish the show had told us more about him earlier and I think the show would’ve been better for it. And it’s through his death that the show has taken on another depth of meaning that I really hope the show follows through on.

Healer ep 14 Ahjumma flashback to death of son

Sarah: Which brings me to Ahjumma.  For so long I wanted to know how she knew the Cyber Detective and how Jo Min Ja became Healer’s Ahjumma.  But I didn’t know it was gonna hurt me like this.  Because they couldn’t just be like, “Oh, she’s just some spinster that likes to hack stuff.” No.  They had to make her a grieving mother who abandoned the Law and hid herself away from the world because she couldn’t handle the guilt of not being with her little boy in his dying moments.  Never having been a mother, I have no idea what that grief must be like.  But there is something brilliant about Kim Mi Kyung.  I’m telling you this woman is made of magic.  She doesn’t have to say anything.  She knows exactly how to make every thought and feeling her character has run across her face, so she can sit in absolute stillness and you know everything you need to know.  She is the kind of actor Ji Chang Wook will be in 20 years.

Healer ep 14 Ahjumma says she is not a mother

All of this to say that I loved Ahjumma, but I didn’t truly understand her relationship with Jung Hoo until I saw her lose her son.  Everything she has is invested in protecting Healer, because she couldn’t protect her son.  She became his adoptive mother when Teacher handed him over into her care, and what perhaps started as transferring onto him her protective instinct for her own son has turned into a real parent/child relationship that neither one would or could admit to themselves, much less put into words.  It’s the reason why she showed Jung Hoo Teacher’s last wish but so gently refused to let Jung Hoo watch him die.  It’s the reason she offered him a new life.  It’s the reason she had to be sure that Young Shin was worthy of her second son.  And it’s the reason Jung Hoo needed to say her name before he cut off completely from life.  It’s like Teacher said.  She was Jung Hoo’s life line.  And I think in a way Jung Hoo was hers.

DDee: I can’t. I just can’t…

crying gif

Ahjumma made her adoptive son her life’s work, so she could always be there for him, so she would never again have to choose between the things that she loves most.

Sarah: And yet, Teacher and Ahjumma are not the only adoptive parents in this story.  We also got an incredibly heart-rending scene between Young Shin and her dad.  I keep going back to that thing with the bears. And it seems so apt here, because when her dad found her, she was very much like a frightened, abused baby animal.  And like a frightened, abused baby animal, he had to be gentle with her, patient with her, and wait for her to reach for him.  I was so struck by the depth of love that he has for her, that he showed her simply by waiting.  Not gonna lie here, I shed a tear or two.  And then she went and laid her head on his shoulder and I was gone.

Healer ep 13 Young Shin and appa

DDee: I loved this scene too, and it was what I was needing from the show because he is such a central presence in Young Shin’s life and is responsible for how far she’s come, but we’ve only seen hints of that. He tells her about patience, and it’s exactly what she decides to do with Jung Hoo, so instead of her usual upfront manner she tells Jung Hoo she will wait and will do for him what her father did for her. And I’m also reminded about what Jung Hoo did for her in the lift when he offered her his hand and let her grab hold. Love is always there you just have to trust, reach out and grab it. TEARS.

Healer ep 14 Jung Hoo calls ahjumma

Vanessa: I’d just like to add how much I love that there’s been more emphasis on the found families trope again this week. This entire show could have coasted by on some snazzy action scenes and pretty leads, but they’ve gone far and beyond that, because the families, you guys. The families. Jung-hoo finding his mother. Young-shin finding Jung-hoo. Dad waiting for Young-shin, no matter how long it might take him. Jung-hoo just wanting to call out to “Ahjumma” right before he disconnects from the world. The idea that family isn’t limited to birth and blood, but also includes the people who will step up and do right by you when nobody else will even give you a chance, the people who will never leave, the people who are your anchors, your islands, your sanctuaries.

MATCHING SWEATERS A.K.A SARAH’S FAVOURITE FETISH  

Healer ep 13 Jung Hoo and Young Shin in matching sweaters

Sarah: Let’s just bite the bullet here and talk about what happens when these two wear matching sweaters.  Back to Coordi-Noona and her magic skills.  After spending a whole day pointedly NOT TALKING ABOUT IT and Young Shin torturing Jung Hoo in the cutest, most passive way possible, these two somehow end up alone in a dark room, wearing matching sweaters.  Strikingly similar get-ups, I might add, to those they were wearing the first time they kissed. This scene was so intense, so charged with romantic tension, it very well might rival the hand-holding scene.  Because in this one, Young Shin is confident that he wants her.  She has no problem letting him know that she wants him just as much.  And they are so close, it would be easy to give in to that tension. The air is twice as charged because they can look at each other. They can speak to each other, but until the very last moments, they aren’t touching.  Because Young Shin is still hurting, she holds onto her pride and holds out for better.

And this scene brings to mind one thing about this show that is so lacking in other dramas. Kisses are great and everything, but in this show it is the little intimacies that mean everything.  The touch of hands and brushing of bodies means everything, because Jung Hoo has gone so long without a loving touch.

Healer ep 13 Jung Hoo holds Young Shin's arm

Why is there a coffee cup blocking the damn view?? WHY?

DDee: OMG your words are making me swoon! And did you notice when she was about to walk away he grabs her hand and then HE walks around to face her instead of turning her around like a typical male lead would do? And then he very carefully and slowly releases her arm back down her side. Just another example of how he always accommodates her.

Also, I know we say this each week that everything Ji Chang Wook’s feeling is written on his face, but I think this week he’s taken it to another level with his body. The way he buries his head into her shoulder is pure surrender, the way he curls into her when they were in bed like a lost child, and just the way his body seems always to orientate towards her. A lot of actors, for good reason, hold back on the skinship, but with him, in this role, he is so in the moment, body, mind and soul, that it makes me think that this boy has definitely been in love before. Or it might just be he’s just really good actor. It’s also his vulnerability, fragility, and the way he brings a gentle energy to his physicality that really refreshing to see in K-drama.

Healer 14 Young Shin and Jung Hoo cuddle

Vanessa: Hear hear re: Ji Chang-wook’s physicality! His body language has been one of my favourite things about the show since the birth of Park Bong-soo (I’m going to miss the hell out of him). Just the way all three versions of him sort of bend and curl to fit her? I love it. The way he stands and moves around her is so deliberately done to be accommodating to Young-shin, and it’s very much un-hyper-masculine body language. I also want to throw in some appreciation for JCW’s voice at this point, because vocal delivery can really make or break both comedic and dramatic scenes. The way his voice cracks and chokes with anger or grief or desperation? Oof. And a very special shout-out to that flat, bitter, humourless fake laugh of his while watching Moon-ho and Young-shin joking around at Moon-ho’s apartment (“Ha. Ha ha. Ha”).

BABY BEARS 

Healer ep 13 baby bears on the ground

Sarah: And I’m just going to go ahead and say this here, because I don’t know a more appropriate place to put it.  It just occurred to me why the matching sweaters are so important, and why they are always winter white.  Our baby bears are polar bears.  Alone they are cold and desperate in a barren landscape.  They have to cling to each other to stay warm, just as they did when Young Shin held Jung Hoo in his room.  He wasn’t just cold because he doesn’t have central heating.  The coldness of his body is symptomatic of the fact that he has gone so long without being held, without having anyone to hold onto.  Like the white teddy bears that fell from his mother’s basket, the baby bears were thrown out into a world they were too young to understand.

Vanessa: I’m so glad you brought up the teddy bears because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what they were supposed to mean (and they were falling in slow motion and everything, so it had to be super meaningful, am I right?) and I didn’t make the connection between them and Teacher’s bear family analogy. Great point on the matching sweaters (baby polar bears!), and of course by the end of episode 14 we’ve progressed from matching sweaters to Young-shin literally raiding Jung-hoo’s closet and wearing his clothes (matching grey, this time).

THE FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

Healer ep 14 Jung Hoo depressed

DDee:  I can’t talk about this whole sequence easily because the emotions are so raw. I’m so invested in these characters because their stories resonate with me so deeply, and these actors have brought them so vividly to life that everything they feel I feel too.

I’ve done everything that Jung Hoo did here, and watching him unravel takes me right back to that place where there was nothing left to say and do, nothing more to feel, and the only way to cope with the crushing emptiness was to shut down and hide. I too closed off the world, didn’t leave my house and slept for days because I was just done. DONE. I didn’t have the strength. And if it wasn’t for the Young Shins of my life to lend me their strength, I would still be in that place.

Healer ep 14 Jung Hoo angry

And I know why he treated her the way he did when she showed up, because the last thing you want to see when you are riddled with guilt and self-loathing is someone who is everything you are not–strong and whole and filled with love you feel unworthy to receive.

And so when he challenges her, Young Shin, the bright shining guardian angel, the one who always knows the right thing to say to him, just cuts right to heart of it and drops the TRUTH: “If you make me leave, you will cry for the rest of your life.” And because she knows about loss, she tells him he would never hurt her enough to make her leave. And because that’s what he is most afraid of in this world, all it takes now is for her to reach out and hold him to let him believe, and he just completely falls apart. It was just…. I just have no words.

Healer ep 14 Young Shin confronts Jung Hoo

Healer 14 Jung Hoo cries into Young Shin's shoulder

And then the kiss. I’ll just come out and say it, I thought it wasn’t the right time for it. I wish she let him cry it out and just held on to him as he sobbed his pain away because that’s what he really needed to do. Though the kiss itself was swoonworthy, the circumstances that led up to it were so painful that I couldn’t get my squee on.

Cos I had hopes for their first real kiss, see. I really wanted their first real kiss to be after Jung Hoo had copped to the truth about who he is and who she is. She knows parts of the truth but I mean, she doesn’t even know his real name! I want him to push through his fear just like Young Shin would do, and take the risk and be vulnerable enough to tell her straight up. I wanted him to be shaking so bad that he can hardly say the words. And I wanted Young Shin to be there next to him just listening deeply, openly, and radiating love and support. And then after taking it all in, she’d hold his hand tightly and say thank you for telling me, and then kiss him tenderly.

In any case, I can’t complain about this kiss itself, only that it cut off right when it was getting good (PD-nim, you need to have a talk with your editor).

Healer ep 14 Young Shin hugs Jung Hoo

I think Young Shin deserves the truth and it would also be the best way for Jung Hoo to honour teacher’s last words to him. And I think they’re both ready. So I really really hope that Jung Hoo does this in the next episode because it’s about time he came clean and I want him to be the man Moon Ho isn’t.

Vanessa: We’re definitely an emotionally compromised bunch here,  after these two episodes. And Ddee, thank you so much for sharing such a painfully personal time in your life – I can see how that would make watching and processing this show so difficult, yet hopefully all the more meaningful and rewarding in the end.

I too, couldn’t get into that last kiss as much as I would have liked to. I think a good cry and cuddle is what that boy needed at the time. There’s still so much left to reveal! There’s so much that Young-shin needs to know, so many conversations and confrontations to be had. Although I do appreciate that the kiss was set against the backdrop of Jung-hoo’s pacific dream island – Young-shin is sort of his island, after all. She will break into his fortress with a goddamn hairpin, she will go to him, she will wake him up, she will anchor him, and she will not leave.

Healer ep 14 Jung Hoo grabs Young Shin's wrist

And I think the poignancy of what Young-shin does is highlighted by how many times we see Jung-hoo alone or isolated throughout the episode – on the swings by himself after meeting his mother, crumbling to the ground by himself in the morgue. Seo Jung-hoo is used to being left behind, the Healer is used to living and working by himself. That abandoned, old-as-balls factory he lives in – which is in no way fit to be lived in, btw – is like a huge, hulking physical embodiment of how cut off he is from the world (both by circumstance and by choice). But it’s also arguably the one place where he is always entirely himself. So to have Young-shin physically break and pick her way to the heart of that building, to unlock symbolic doors and find metaphorical entrances? Beautiful. That she goes right in and digs her heels and announces that she has no intention of leaving? Even better.

Sarah: You two have already some such a beautiful job of writing about the end scene of Episode 14 that I don’t feel like there is very much I need to add.  One thing I did want to say is that I agree with DDee in her very poignant and personal description of grief.  Which I so much appreciate by the way.  Make a girl want to hug you.  Sheesh.  When you are hurting and weak and despairing, sometimes you don’t want someone to step in and tell you it will all be ok. When you feel like everything is falling apart, you don’t want to see someone who seems to have it all together.

Healer ep 14 Jung Hoo mad

But I also think there was something else going on in this scene that really didn’t have anything to do with Young Shin.  It didn’t hit me until I watched the scene again, and I saw what made Jung Hoo finally try and shove her out the door.  She was on the phone with her Dad trying to figure out how to cook the dried pollack.  I think he was reminded of when Teacher made him the seaweed soup for his birthday.  All the time he’s been alone, he’s been hiding from his grief, afraid to face it.  And now, completely unknowingly, Young Shin brought all that pain right back to him.  She reminded him of what he lost.  And on top of that, she has all of the normalcy he has always wanted and never had.

Healer ep 14 Young Shin tries to cook in fortress of soltitude

DDee: Yeah, absolutely! Family and shit. Here’s what he’s thinking when he sees her doing that: “I can’t be around you right now cos you’re everything I don’t have, can’t have, in my life, you’re everything I just lost, and you’re going to leave too so just get the hell out.” He’s angry, not at her but at what she represents.

KIM MOON HO A.K.A DILL WEED

DDee: Which brings me to Moon Ho. I have two words for him: FUCK YOU. My precious baby bears are hurting and I blame him. Like, if he had just tried harder, done something, anything, then maybe Teacher wouldn’t have been killed. I wouldn’t care if his silence and his denial and his waffling just hurt himself because then I’d just pity him. But his inaction harms others and shit is getting real and I’m incredulous that it’s taken this long and another dead body for him to finally wake up about Evil Moon Shik.

And yet he still won’t tell Young Shin the truth! But he acts like he’s doing her a favour by giving her Myung Hee’s phone number, like he deserves a fucking medal. He thinks himself powerless but those are just excuses he tells himself in order to keep spinning in circles since he lacks the courage to do what needs to be done. Does he really think leaving Myung Hee in that gilded cage is better for her? Seriously?? So another Evil will take Evil’s place he says? Newsflash, asshole: the world is never short of Evils, but that doesn’t mean you stop chipping away at the block.

As hard as it was to watch Jung Ho spiral out of control I did appreciate that he wanted to bash Moon Ho’s face in. Because who the hell is he to tell Jung Hoo to cry? No, Mr-Complicit does not get to tell him what to do or what to feel.

Healer ep 14 Min Jae

Min Jae ‘s I’m-so-done-with-your-shit face

God I loved it when Min Jae called him out to his face. Just the way he dares show up hankering after some sympathy and she’s like talk to the hand, motherfucker. His falsity is so galling and I’m so done with his mind games. And MIN JAE IS A QUEEN and she deserves better than him, and I wish she was Young Shin’s mentor instead of him.

Vanessa: Kim Moon-ho. God it’s like I get increasingly frustrated with him and conflicted about him every week. I’m okay with him being not-so-easy-to-like and flawed beyond belief; the endless waffling and indecision is certainly something I can relate to, but he doesn’t get a pass when he’s arguably the one person in this whole inter-generational web of lies and tragedy who has the most knowledge – and therefore the most power – to change things. For somebody who tells us he is trying to atone for the sin of silence, he sure isn’t doing a whole lot of talking when it comes to the people and the things that really matter.

Healer ep 14 Moon Ho shit eating grin

You gutless dick

Min-jae calling him out and generally telling him to please knock it off already with that shit-eating grin, that glibness, the evasiveness, the almost smug righteousness he seems to hide behind, was immensely satisfying. And I believed him in that scene more than I have ever believed anything he’s said or done during the course of the show – that admittance of his fear and how pitifully lonely he is. I initially thought a tragic arc might be overdoing it for Moon-ho, and I figure the writers might not go for another major character death after Teacher (rest in peace). But at the rate Moon-ho is going, The Ultimate Sacrifice may just be what it takes to redeem him in my eyes at least. (Note that at this stage, I don’t think Moon-ho is a poorly-written character – I’m just immensely frustrated with him and the decisions he has made so far).

Sarah: Does anyone else get the feeling that this guy has no respect for women whatsoever?  It doesn’t even matter which one.  Not only is he completely patronizing to Min Jae (let’s face it, the way he talks to her borders on sexual harassment.)  He is complicit in keeping Myung Hee drugged up and completely in the dark until literally five minutes ago.  He has devoted his whole life to stalking Young Shin and keeping her in his sight without telling her ANYTHING about her past or what he knows about her mother.  Like, oh I don’t know.  Who her mother IS.  Not to mention the fact that he has weaseled his way into every cranny of her life and convinced himself he is her protector.  It wouldn’t occur to him for one minute that Young Shin can take care of herself.  He has made no effort to get to know her.  He has turned her into a possession to be kept locked away, the same way Moon Shik has stripped everything away from Myung Hee.  Thank God for Min Jae ripping him a new one.  Where was this strong woman the whole rest of the show?

DDee: Come ‘ere Moon HoJoan Cusack with gun gif

Vanessa:  You’re absolutely right, I was not a fan of the way he interacted with Min-jae in the early episodes; I mean, this lady is your boss and you being her ex-boyfriend does not give you a pass to speak to her the way that you do, or flirt your way into doing things that would get her in trouble. “He has made no effort to get to know her”. This. This, if even possible, infuriates me more than his saviour complex. In his eyes Young-shin isn’t a person in her own right. At best, she is an idealized version of Ji-ahn powered by Moon-ho’s guilt and nostalgia, at worst she is a pawn or a prize in the mind war against his brother. I thought he had a moment of self-awareness last week when Jung-hoo called him out and he came to realize how similar he truly is to Moon-shik, even if he has spent the better part of his life under the assumption that he was more righteous, more noble than his brother.

We were debating a little bit about whether or not we’re being too harsh on Moon-ho. I can see where young Moon-ho is coming from; a lot of the shit that went down must have happened when he was still a kid, and he may have chosen to keep his mouth shut out of fear of losing Moon-shik (his only family and primary parental figure at that point). And the longer you keep a secret, the harder it becomes to find the right reason or the right time to reveal it. But I feel like this doesn’t excuse adult Moon-ho and the decisions he has made (or not made) at this stage. He needs to step it up next week, big time.

MINION HURTS 

Vanessa: And on a side note: when will people start being nice to Minion/Dae Young?? I know Jung-hoo was in a very sensitive emotional state this week, but he got pretty rough with Minion there a couple of times. And even before that he’s been incredibly dismissive of her. She’s a tough kid and all, but she admires her hyung so much and goes through all this thankless shit for him, y’know? I just want Jung-hoo to show her some love before all this wraps up. I’m still holding out for a Minion origin story as well, even just a sliver of one.

Sarah: One of the things I have loved so much about Jung Hoo is his essential kindness and gentleness.  The only times he becomes violent or hostile are when he is faced with danger or with someone who has done harm to someone else.  All except for Minion.  Their relationship has never been a warm one, and it doesn’t have to be.  I can sort of understand how annoying it might be to have a little subordinate buzzing around you wanting attention when you’re trying to get things DONE.  But no matter how much he may dislike her, how much pain he was in both physically and emotionally after he left the hospital, there was absolutely no excuse for almost breaking her arm and repeatedly shoving her face into the steering wheel of that car.

Healer ep 13 Healer roughs up minion

It’s always painful to find out that your hero has feet of clay.  But this scene was so completely at variance with the Jung Hoo that we have come to know that I didn’t really know what to do.  Well, to be honest I did.  When I saw him rough up Minion I was ready to jump in that screen and mess him up good.  I was out for blood.  And what made it all the more confusing was that there was a scene earlier in the show when he beat the crap out of the film producer for hitting women.  He had a whole monologue about it for Heaven’s sake.  Who was this man? I think that whoever decided to add this scene in was trying to make the point that something in Jung Hoo had broken.  But I think that this method left Jung Hoo behind completely.  And even for just a few minutes it made me hate him.

DDee: RIGHT??! It was the manpain. UGH. But he manhandled Young Shin too in the very first episode and scared her shitless so I’d say we’ve seen him be rough towards women.

Vanessa: See, I was trying to be generous about the initial violence towards Young-shin there, because a lot of the characterization in the pilot especially is somewhat inconsistent with what we see later on. But after you see a gentle, respectful Jung-hoo who is enraged and disgusted by violence against women go ahead and treat his subordinate the way that he does? It was very, very disturbing and uncomfortable to watch.

DDee: I didn’t like seeing Jung Hoo like this too, and at first I thought it at odds with everything we know about him, but then, I thought about the way he grabs Young Shin’s arm in the Fortress of Solitude when he first wakes up. It’s the first time we’ve seen him treat her that way, and she feels it too, cos she asks “It that the real you?” and says he scares her. And the thing is, he can’t deny that it is him, only it’s a side she’s never seen before, a side he’s never shown her but that we the audience already know because we’ve seen him be violent. My point is, it’s ALL him, and it’s great that I’m forced to grapple with the fact that the hero I love has the capacity to be a total shit in away I find abhorrent.

ROUND UP

Healer ep 14 Young Shin talks to Myung Hee

Sarah: With all of our many rage moments and heartbreaks this week, I know that all of us feel that these two episodes were incredibly strong.  Throughout the whole series, I know that this is the most emotional I have ever been.  And I think it’s because finally the bits and pieces are coming together, and the drama is transcending the action and romance and becoming something deeper.  I find myself squealing and getting weepy over the growing family relationships even more than I did over Jung Hoo and Young Shin’s romance. And I hope that in the remaining few episodes (!!!) the drama stays on track and gives us a fulfilling ending. And hey, if Young Shin kicks Moon Ho squarely in the balls and Minion gets to knock Jung Hoo around a little bit along the way, so much the better.

DDee: Remember the days when the show was all just about the OTP? Kinda miss ’em cos I can’t with the sad feels. We didn’t even make one sleazy joke about Ji Chang Wook’s body and I gave you guys the best opening for it! What is wrong with us?

Vanessa: I miss OTP shenanigans too! But like Sarah, I must say I’m far more invested in the family dynamics of the show at this stage.  I love that the older generation are actually part of the main plot and/or huge influences in the lives and upbringing of our leads. And as much as I may enjoy talking shit about Moon-ho, I appreciate that he isn’t restricted to the parameters of traditional second male lead – he has a role to play, his own arc to complete, is flawed almost to a fault, and doesn’t exist purely as a foil to the first male lead or as romantic rival. You do you, Moon-ho (but I’m WATCHING you, bro).  All in all, fourteen strong episodes in a row is no mean feat, especially for a show that I assumed was never going to be anything more then a cheesy, superficial time-waster.

 

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68 thoughts on “Healer: Baby Bear Feels Episodes 13-14

  1. I loved reading this Team Feels! Especially since I generally am at a loss for words where intense emotions are concerned – thank you for sharing. This is a wonderful way to revisit and sort through the intensifying experience of the story so far while we jones for next week’s episodes.

    Of the many beautiful moments in this post, this was my favorite:

    there is something brilliant about Kim Mi Kyung. I’m telling you this woman is made of magic. She doesn’t have to say anything. She knows exactly how to make every thought and feeling her character has run across her face, so she can sit in absolute stillness and you know everything you need to know.

    This is so true about her here in “Healer”, and as I was reading it, I realized that it is true about her in every character I’ve seen her play. I have to say that both she and Song Ok-Suk (Kim Mi Yeong’s Omma in FTLY) have this grounding effect on me whenever I see them on screen. And when you combine the number of great stories they have each been in… seriously, thwy could fill up a library wing…

    Thank you for the feels, team…

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    • Thanks for stopping by! Kim Mi Kyung is my hero, seriously. Especially after this. She is one of those actors like Dame Maggie Smith who are just IN EVERYTHING and everything they are in is brilliant. I love watching her. And even though Ahjumma is an amazingly written character, without Kim Mi Kyung who knows if I would have felt as passionately about her story? As a reward for your excellent comment, have this video:

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    • Song Ok Suk was one of my favourite things bout FTLY! It’s so so true, she and KMK have that touch, a presence that feels like they walked right out of someone’s home and family and onto the screen, at least whenever I’ve seen them play mothers. Glad you enjoyed the read Curio!

      Liked by 1 person

    • That’s amazing okay because I’ve actually been so strongly reminded of Omma from FTLY as well – that “grounding” that you speak of is also there with Kim Mi Kyung. There’s just SUCH a presence that surrounds this lady, even when 95% of the time she’s limited by the fact that she never leaves her habitat of semi-darkness and rarely interacts with her co-stars in the same space (my kingdom for a scene in which Jung-hoo and Ahjumma meet face to face!).

      Liked by 1 person

      • That may just be the most important thing I want to see in this show. If nothing I want pans out, if I have this scene, I would be happy. They don’t even need to hug it out or anything, just meet, and then maybe she could give him one of the sweaters she knitted for him 🙂

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  2. OMG! I didn’t know you all hate Moon-ho so much! Yes, he has remained timid till now…but I don’t hate him. His intentions were never bad.
    By the way, I loved everything about these 2 eps….

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    • Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED these episodes. I think they were very well-written and acted, and just about everything I wanted despite so much sadness. Sadness can be really cathartic, you know? And I really don’t like hating on characters who aren’t really supposed to be villians. I can totally see both sides of the Moon Ho issue, I just think he has yet to stand up and do the right thing. But who knows? Next week he could turn that all around. Have this as a peace offering:

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    • Is hate too strong a word for how I feel about Moon Ho? He’s an easy target, I admit. But I have no sympathy for him, and my frustration with him that had been festering for while bubbled over this week. I loved these eps too, it took the story places I never thought it would go 🙂

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      • I think the show will redeem him in spectacular fashion, which may or may not include a tortured monologue of him saying something self-righteous and self-hating at the same time in typical MH fashion :p

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  3. First, let me just say I now see why DDee reacted so similarly to the ending of the show as me!! We’ve been there, and I’ll explain later, but nice to meet you sister 🙂

    I’ve got to break my comment into parts because there’s just too much, much like your review.

    Teacher – You’re all right, we really got so short a time with him to be so hooked into him that his death physically hurt us. That speaks to the talent of the actor and the writers, without a doubt. I think in the next few episodes, as JH tells and shows his world to YS, we’ll find out much more about what his past with everyone truly was and how close he was to JH. Their relationship was so different, but no less loving than any normal father and son. You can see and feel that in how JH reacts to his death. He’s totally lost. Teacher may have disappeared and left him, but he could reach out to him and he knew that. The guilt he feels for calling him into this situation because JH needed to know the truth of his father… just, wow. It’s a heavy burden, crushing even.

    Ahjumma – This actress has been one of my favorites for years because every role, she nails. Evil, good, cold, sympathetic, doesn’t matter… she nails them all. And, yes, I really think she is what Chang Wook will be in 20 years. He’s got the talent of saying everything without saying a word, his eyes, face, posture, it all says it for him. She’s brilliant at that, and watching her toast her dead friend… *sigh* Her back story, and I knew there had to be a good one, was beautifully tragic, if that makes sense. In one episode we completely and utterly understand why and who she is. I’m a mom, I cried like a baby watching her deal with her own guilt and pain the best way she could. And though she adamantly states she is NOT a mother to YS, she’s more of a mom than most are today to that boy. Her scene (and she looked amazing) at the cafe, talking to YS, sizing her up, said how much she loved JH more than any words could have.

    Youngshin – I think this may be one of my favorite female characters EVER. Ha Ji Won in Secret Garden, Gong Hyo Jin in Master’s Sun, tough girls that had hard knocks but didn’t let it turn them totally sour. I think Youngshin is even better in some ways, she doesn’t seem to carry any bitterness at all, not at life, not at parents she believe dumped her, not at JH for lying to her. Once she’s sorted out her feelings and gotten past her “mad”, all she wants to do is be JH’s healer. She took the exact approach she needed to for JH to finally break down and lean on her. Maybe it’s because she went through it, her father reinforcing her memories with the chat. She did what he said, she waited, and let him know that no matter what, he couldn’t push her away. The method may have been different from her father, but the basics were the same… wait it out with unconditional support and love.

    Junghoo – These episodes kept stomping on my heart, and it almost all centered around JH. Realizing his teacher had been killed, admitting there was nothing he could do, having a fake “blow off” conversation with mom, calling out to ahjumma one last time, hiding in his own little world, and finally cracking the shell and leaning on YS. I can’t even go into all the extraordinary scenes, so I’ll just go with a roundup of it all. I mentioned earlier that I now know why I understood DDee’s reaction, it comes from having been in that same space. If you’ve been there, you know the cracks in the wall and the smell of the air. His actions, so perfectly acted, take you back there and throws a few bolts of pain at you where you least expect it. I’m a widow, I watched my husband die at 30 from cancer. He refused to go to a doctor for 2 months, and I didn’t bully him into going until it was too late. This is not my fault, and I get that now, but I suffered guilt the likes of which I didn’t know existed. I thought I’d killed him, taken away the father of my 5yr old and 7yr old children. After his death, I hid in my house for nearly two years only leaving to go to and from work and take the kids to school. I lived online, watching the world go by through the window, and barely existed. Like DDee, it was my version of YS that pulled me out of that. The last 10 minutes of episode 14 absolutely crushed me. I joke and say how this show ripped out my heart, stomped on it, then revived me to cheer at the end, but there was so much more to my reaction 🙂

    As for the kiss at the end of the show… I understand why all three of you felt it wasn’t the right time, but let me give you a slightly different perspective. It would have been beautiful how DDee described it, and there are other ways it could have been just as heartfelt, but I liked how it was written and acted just as much. Yes… he did need to cry it out, but holding him and letting him cry, patting his back, letting him talk could all be done by a mom or friend. She wanted to let him know she was there for him and loved him, truly loved him, knowing what she does of who he is, and willing to accept all of his past and hidden secrets. Not as a mom, or a friend, but as his lover, his wife, his partner. I think that’s likely one of the reasons the kiss was done, rather than letting him cry. And his face, the chin trembling from tears as she leans up to kiss him… holy shit, just stab me in the heart with a spoon next time!!!

    Other Characters – I won’t go much into Moon Shik, his wife, Moon Ho… this comment would be way too long if I did, I will say, however, that I don’t hate Moon Ho 🙂 His personal guilt and conflict are huge. It’s understandable to question why he hasn’t come clean, done this, done that. But keep in mind, he didn’t know the full extent of everything until very very recently. His own world is falling apart because this is his brother, he raised him, he loves him even as he hates him. He’s pulling away and pushing him aside to do what he can to uncover the truth, but it’s a hard road to walk with lots of rocks in his way. I honestly think he’s trying to do what he thinks is best for everyone, he loves and cares for JH, YS, and his sister-in-law, even his ex. He might not always choose the “right” way for us, but for him it might be the only way he knows how. He’s learning as he goes.

    As a side not, will someone please shoot the frackin guilt fairy that was tossing guilt cookies to every damn character this week?!?!

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    • Heidi, I can’t right now. I just can’t. I think there’s a part of me that will always be in that place no matter how much time has passed. HUGS. And thank you!

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    • *hugs* and thank you so much for sharing your story too ❤

      I like your take on the kiss as well, actually. And thanks for your perspective on Moon-ho as well. Mind you, I still feel like poking him with a stick until he DOES something, but I can also understand the weight on his shoulders right now.
      And yess gosh I wish we had more of Teacher too! But I think it goes a long way to show him being one of the very few adults in Jung-hoo's life who bothered to step up and do right by him, even if it was never a normal childhood or an ordinary upbringing. You will be missed, teacher. The actor was also easily one of my favourite things about High School King of Savvy (in which he also played an adoptive father figure, albeit a more nurturing and domestic one).

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    • 100% agree. I don’t hate MoonHo too. He has a lot of flaws and fears and he sees no light in his tunnel. Actually I pity him. His non-actions are worse than doing the wrong things. And his guilt is practically eating him alive. I find him to be the most pitiful person in the entire cast.

      Teacher: His screen time isn’t much but when he dies, we all grief. Just shows how invested we are in all the characters in this drama, how well written each of them are. To me, there is really no secondary cast in this drama. Everyone is top notch.

      YoungShin: How refreshing to see a heroine written this way. No candy, no weakling, not someone who has no control over her destiny, just waiting for her knight in shining army to bring her out of her misery. I just so love this character.

      SJH/PBS/Healer: I think enough said why JCW rocks in this role. Every time his voice shakes, chokes back tears, my heart is twisted like laundry in a dryer. Plain *ouch*. Seeing him cuddle into YS really breaks my heart. He so needs that comfort he is so deprived of. I’m glad he has CYS. I too wanted to see him give out a good cry, he so needed it. But I agree the kiss is appropriate because that’s the comfort only a lover can give.

      Ahjumma: Just perfect. Best ahjumma ever! I love her!

      2 more hours to live stream! Can’t wait!

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      • Sigh, I wish I had your compassion because I’m still not able to feel as kindly towards MH! But I agree that Young Shin is a refreshing heroine, and you’re absolutely right that she’s no weakling and she has control over her destiny. Except that withholding the truth frm her is in effect, taking away her ability to exercise control over her life to the level that JH can because he has full knowledge and she doesn’t. Which is why JH/MH’s unwillingness to spit it out already is really sticking in my craw right now! And LOL, this might be the best description yet about JCW’s ability to cause chest pains: “my heart is twisted like laundry in a dryer”! I feel you. I think we all do 🙂

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  4. Pingback: Healer: Baby Bear Feels Episodes 13-14 | Heidi's Kdramaland
  5. You gals did it againnnnnnn!!! This is so much better than reading the commentaries in DB for me, personally haha. I love how you guys peeled the layers of the show, scene by scene, and also dissected each character’s insights in key scenes. You already (or DDee does) I’m a fan of Moon-ho (or maybe it’s YJT, those goddamn expressive eyes) so I did feel like you guys were ouch, a little hard on him BUT as I kept reading through your commentaries – his indecisiveness really cost him, isn’t it? I’m hoping for a redemption arc from ep 15 onward. STEP IT UP, MOON HO.

    About the other two and ahjumma and Teacher, you guys said pretty much everything and so brilliantly! I didn’t even catch on the bears metaphor but ack, great one Sarah! Vanessa, I’m glad you’re part of the team now cos I loved what you said about found families and how this show really went above and beyond in execution about it. And DDee, for sharing that story *hugs*

    I’ve been so-so with Healer (my feelings tend to dwindle halfway through…) but reading your weekly commentaries always make me feel like I need to try again with this show at some later point. For now though, see you guys next week, can’t wait for more of the show and your wonderful insights!!

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    • I know you’ve moved on to Heart to Heart, right?? Glad you’re still reading this even though you’re not feeling the show any more, that’s no small thing for me. I did lash out at MH, though intellectually I can see why he’s doing everything he’s doing and not doing, he’s beyond sympathy for me at this point. As a character with a function in the story, flat out fantastic, because you never know whether he’s part of the problem or the solution. It’s brilliant. But I still makes me want to punch him in the face :).

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    • Aww thanks you guys! I was really nervous about doing this because I haven’t blogged in almost 2 years and I’m fairly new to kdramas as well, but Ddee and Sarah have been amazing and supportive and so much fun. I’m glad to see through the last 3 weeks (only??) of the show with them.

      And jandoe I must agree that Yoo Ji Tae is doing an amazing job in this role. In my usual drama-watching experience I tend to get annoyed with bad acting and poor writing, so it’s sort of a testament to the strength of his performance that most of my conflict with Kim Moon-ho stems from the character himself. And Yoo Ji Tae actually has, like, a really lovely smile? After we’re done with Healer I’m sort of tempted to go look up his other projects where I can bask in that smile without the shadow of Kim Moon-ho lurking behind it.

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  6. Pingback: We’re Back! With Battle Scars: Team Feels Survived “Healer” Eps. 13-14 | DramAdrenaline!
  7. Thanks! We worked really hard on this, so I’m glad people are enjoying it. I wasn’t sure if I was overdoing it with the bears, but it had to be intentional. I mean, right? Also DDee definitely went above and beyond the call this week. Cheers to her! And Vanessa knocked her debut gig out of the park, as we knew she would. Why this girl doesn’t have a WP is beyond me. I hope you’ll try Healer again, but not every drama is for every person. I know I’ve dropped the hot drama of the season a few times. But just to motivate you, have this gift:

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  8. oh, you ladies made me cry… AGAIN!!

    OTP: Perfect OTP is </perrrrfectt. There is not a single thing I didn’t love about their interactions. When CYS started backtracking for SJH (after it dawned on her that if she questioned him incessantly he would probably just disappear) – Seeing YS control her emotions and the LOOK on JCW’s face just had my heart hurting for them. I’ve watched these two episodes a bunch of times and I just caught this in my recent re-watch. The sequence at Moon-ho’s place where after chatting w/ ahjumma SJH returns to the living room only to be tossed an envelope by KMH. There’s a brief eye contact b/w our OTP where they look at e/o and then quickly look away – it just made me go D’aww!! oh and the cafe scene – NO words!! It was remarkably done! The angst there was oh so delicious.

    Sabo: yep, SO hard. Those flashbacks interspersed w/ SJH struggling to get a hold of himself just made me teary-eyed. I believe after losing Sabo I realized that despite not knowing him for a long period of time we would’ve loved him since he was a huge part of what adult SJH is. And, adult SJH is a remarkable individual. T_T

    Ahjumma: GAHHHH!! When she tells CYS at the cafe that she wanted to see the look in her eyes was the moment my feels just spilled all over. Ahjumma-SJH: where do I even start?! ❤❤❤

    Minion: Those two altercations b/w SJH & minion made me very uncomfortable. I deliberated about it for quite a bit and I this thought came to me – she’s trained in martial arts(?!) like SJH so when he drags her out of the SUV he doesn’t see her first as a female who happens to be a good fighter. He sees her as a good fighter who also happens to be female. That said, he should definitely treat her better in future. His first interaction w/ her was sweet w/ him fixing her helmet so I have hopes of him making up to her… she’s awesome, Jung-hoo ya!!

    And, finally I HAVE to talk about Ji Chang-wook: I totally have heart eyes for this guy. He’s just SO remarkable… he makes it look so effortless that it just is breathtaking. The depth in his acting is just magnificent. My favourite scenes in E14 had JCW in them – at the morgue, his altercation with MH, when he says “wae” twice in a small voice (w/ his chin trembling) after watching sabo’s interrogation video, calling out “Ahjumma!” before he disconnects from the world, and his breakdown!! His body language towards CYS is just LOVE. He just gravitates to wards her – when CYS cuddled him and he jussssssst nestled deeper into the embrace. AHHHHH!! He cannot get a bigger compliment than to be following in KMK’s footsteps as an actor. Somebody at DB compared him w/ CSW in regards to him acting with his eyes. Being compared with actors who are 15-20 years his senior is just wonderful! And, am done gushing about him.

    Ladies, thank you again for sharing your wonderful analyses with us!!

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    • I think Ji Chang Wook will remain the most pleasant kdrama-related surprise I’ve experienced in a long time. I actually AVOIDED Healer for as long as I did because I thought he looked too pretty for his own good. Like, too pretty to emote properly (yes I am a terrible prejudiced hag lady). But everything from his expressions to his voice, to his physicality and body language? The boy is knocking it out of the park, seriously. It’s a performance that is above and beyond anything that I had been expecting from him.

      And you’re welcome and thank YOU for dropping by and sharing your thoughts!

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      • LOL. I wasn’t quite in the ‘too pretty for his own good’ category, but I wasn’t impressed with his previous work either. But now, after Healer, I am taking a peek at Empress Ki and wishing for a couple-moments show reel, if you know what I mean. Have you guys seen kfangurl’s Pure Pretty post on Ji Chang Wook? Please go see it, but remember to bring along a long cool drink. You’ll need it.

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    • Thanks for the lovely compliment, and it’s so nice to see folks like you coming back each week! About minion, Vanessa tells me the actress is a taekwondo exponent so girlfriend can fight, but the show hasn’t given her an opportunity to show off her skills. As it is appa’s ex-con help gets more screentime than her, which makes no sense to me since she’s infinitely more interesting and useful (though ex-con is very cute and he and ahjumma should date already!) Yeah, he definitely thinks she can handle herself, but still she’s on his side though! No reason for that at all. I agree that he needs to make it up to her! Stat!

      That part when JCW goes “wae”, plaintive and hollow, it was rhetorical wasn’t it? He wasn’t talking to ahjumma he was asking the universe. That was so so well played I just, no words. And like Vanessa mentioned, discovering what JCW can do is going to be one the drama’s highlights for me, for sure.

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  9. Dear Dee, and Sarah and now Vanessa

    Thank you for the thoughtful and insightful posts. What I like best about these posts is the way you guys dig out the themes. Knowing what the themes are helps me appreciate this drama at a different level.

    You guys already know how I feel about Ahjumma and the rest, but I wanted to post this thought I’ve been having about Seo Jung Hoo and his origins, that may influence how you see his episodic violence.

    The short version is:
    Seo Jung Hoo is a feral animal. He isn’t so easily tamed.

    The long version:
    Seo Jung Hoo’s backstory is very close to Mowgli’s from The Jungle Book. He was abandoned as a child to the urban wilderness. Thankfully, Baloo the bear (yes, bears again) picked him up. Isn’t Teacher’s joyful ineffability exactly the same as Baloo? Then there’s Bagheera the panther, the smart one who moderates the crazies from Baloo, and also helped bring Mowgli up. That’s Ahjumma – sleek and dangerous in the urban jungle, but looking like your crazy, endlessly knitting aunt.
    Wonder-FULL characterizations. Seriously beautiful.
    When we first met Jung Hoo, we were presented with the animal in his element. Climbing, stalking, prowling were his modes of movement. Thieving and cheating were his main methods of foraging, and nothing was unethical, because in the jungle there are no ethics. In his free time he watches nature videos for references to human behaviour. When I first realized that SJH was a feral child, I laughed so hard at that touch.
    Then SJH/Mowgli meets the girl. The one who coaxes him out of hiding, then tames him and makes him eventually leave the jungle. No prizes for guessing who the girl is. I smile when I watch this. Can’t you see Sabo and Ahjumma having that conversation?

    If anyone has watched The Jungle Book, you’ll also find the corresponding characters for the monkey troupe. 😛

    That was Disney and a child’s book. In true accounts of feral children, they usually return to civilization mentally damaged and socially handicapped. Look at Seo Jung Hoo: His inability to cook, his lack of social relations, his often times impulsive and wildly angry nature. These are some of more subtle symptoms that I believe Song Ji Na built into his character as a result of his unfettered upbringing.
    Which brings me to the point I am trying to make about Jung Hoo and his occasional episodes of violence. IF these scenes were purposely built in as is, and not just some misjudged action scenes, then I applaud PD, writer and anybody responsible for making them hit that nerve. IMO, they were purposive. In one of the early episodes, we watched the Healer pull back (only just) from killing someone. So, I feel they serve to remind us that SJH is NOT tame, and that part of his return from the wild will include some friction between his wild side and civilization. Hence we have scenes where he hurts Minion, beats up people on the way to see Teacher’s body, and ploughs into KMH in anger.
    So I don’t think that you need to forgive or ignore those scenes. I feel it’s a case of needing to process it and see it as SJH being truly dangerous. I think that one possible development (of many) in the remaining 6 episodes is SJN exploring the wild side of SJH, and perhaps he will have to live out some of the consequences of his feral nature.

    Phew, I needed to get that off my chest. Thank you for giving me the opportunity.

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    • That was a beautiful analysis of SJH’s character. From the first episode he was always portrayed as a wild person to me. Cat like in his phyicaliality and more so in his attitude towards people. CYS was the exception to the rule. His rule is not to kill, and that was about it, but because she is some how different from everyone else, he actually cares if he hurts her, or if she is hurt by others.

      I think the only other person who came close to being the exception was his mother.

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      • I don’t know that anyone is an exception. I had it pointed out to me in the forum, when I shared this, that animals don’t hate. They are loyal (puppies), but react with violence when threatened. I think the only difference that CYS made was that she was trustworthy, and unlikely to abandon him (sniff!) and has gained the puppy’s loyalty.

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    • Thanks webby, oh mistress of fanfic, for reading and enjoying these posts! Sarah and V totally class up the joint, right? Love your insights here, and I’m totally with you here that these were purposeful as I indicated in that bit about his wristgrab in the Fortress. I think one of the worse things I see in the fandom is when folks excuse, ignore or forgive violence (and particularly against women) like this because it’s oppa, and I dare speak for all 3 of us here, that that is something we would never want to do. And writing about it here is part of that process of unpacking such things and I’m so glad that I found peeps who can do that for and with me (Sarah, V, I LOVE YOU!).

      For me, it’s the struggle of seeing a gentle hero who can also turn on a dime and be brutal and lethal. It’s unsettling. What’s important for me, I think, is that he be open about this to Young Shin if they are ever going to have a meaningful relationship because it IS a part of him. It’s who he needs to be (and who he has become) in order to live that life. So yay for problematic heroes who unsettle us all!

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    • Thanks webfoot, lots to think about here. I think you’ve hit on a great point re: the almost feral upbringing Jung-hoo has had. I had picked up on his general social ineptitude (especially when it comes to typically domestic settings) but I had never linked it to his need to be “tamed” first before being able or ready to rejoin society. Baby bears ARE wild animals, after all, cute as they may be. Because there IS a difference in the way his usual fancy action scene are shot and the way his violent episode with Minion was played out – it wasn’t done to show how cool or badass or he is. If I remember correctly there was no background music and very minimal camera work. And as Ddee says in the main post, it makes Jung Hoo that much more complex and interesting when he has flaws, especially one that triggers such an unpleasant reaction from us.

      Because despite the show’s Lois/Clark dynamic and Superman references, I think we tend to kind of forget that Healer really isn’t a “hero” in the traditional sense. Like @April says, he doesn’t save people or serve the greater good. He is entirely self-serving, operates on a system of grey morality and a very personal standard of ethics (the only concrete rule boils down to “no killing”). The bulk of his job consists of completing seedy tasks for all sorts of shady characters. Perhaps there lies the irony of calling him “Healer” when there’s very little of his actual job that involves something as positive and nurturing as the act of healing. It seems to me like a corruption of the original purpose and intention of the first Healers in 1980. He has a long way to go, is what I’m saying.

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      • Dude, the name “Healer” was one of the many questions I was wondering about and for the longest time, I honestly thought Teacher was grooming him for a purpose in alignment with his and friend’s earlier ideals, which would’ve made sense. But naw, and the show never addressed that turn, and we are left to assume that Teacher grew bitter in jail–one of the many questions I wrote about having with Teacher’s untimely demise–and picked the name Healer to honour the memory or his friend’s lives but not their beliefs, and raised Jung Hoo to do the same. Now, I wonder if part of JH’s arc is to eventually become a Healer in service to those ideals of the older generation instead of running off to his secret island with Young Shin.

        And then we can have a spin off show with him, ahjumma and minion working cases together XD.

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      • RIGHT?? Like the only explanation we get is that Healer “sounds cool”. But how did it start? What was Teacher’s first job? How did he and Ahjumma get together and decide that this was a Thing they were going to do? This calls for a prequel series, I’m telling you (or fic at least, please fic writers). And I very much hope that at least part of Jung-hoo’s arc involves him coming to earn that name of “Healer” and doing justice to the legacy of his parents and what they believed in. And then he can start training Minion to become a true Healer as well. Mentor/sidekick hijinks!

        Oh and I love you too Ddee! You’re quite right in speaking for me, because my ultimate No-No in a male lead (even an oppa I love) is one who is violent, aggressive, entitled, manipulative, disrespectful, etc in any way to a woman. And I love that this show is giving us an opportunity to be faced with the angry, brutal, “untamed” side of our hero, and I’m even more glad that we have this space to discuss our male lead’s flaws and things about him that make us uncomfortable or disturbed or angry, without making excuses for him but still being able to appreciate how well-written and developed he is.

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      • @youholdthewater said:
        “He has a long way to go, is what I’m saying.” Agree. I think that this IS an origin tale we are watching. For much of the show SJH was a passive part of the action. Now that he has been ‘woken up’, he’s much more active and starting to piece his past together. We also see Team Healer 2.0 forming, so I am hopeful that we will get a slow walk Team Healer scene somewhere. 🙂
        And yes, oh my, can we have at least one Team Healer Saves the Day episode? That would be fun to watch. 🙂

        Like

      • OMG!!! Team Healer 2.0 slow walk … can we use the A-Team music and slow mo effects?! LOL, that would be AWESOME! And I think we’re gonna get a Team healer saves the day episode, I really feel that way, it would be the best gift the writer could give us 🙂 And yes, please go watch EK! I fell in love with JCW on that show, he’s definitely more than just a pretty face!

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      • We can add Minion for clown, SJH has got the looks and brawn for sure… but if Ahjumma dresses in her wild sock, sweatsuit, and hair in 2 up ponytails, we’ve got the clown/brain too 🙂 We need a building, maybe Moon Shik’s house, blowing up in the background though!

        Like

  10. Pingback: Timeout: Slew of Thoughts on Current Cracks & The Talk of Town. | you do know my dramas!
  11. Gah!! You guys always have the most eloquent, in-depth analysis and commentary on the episodes balanced with a wonderful sense of humor and love about the drama! I can tell that all of you are really invested in the drama and as a fellow viewer who is equally invested, I appreciate it!
    Guh, there are so many things that I want to say about these episodes and about your comments, so I’m gonna try and run through it really quick.
    You guys hit the nail on the head about how I felt about Mom and Jung-hoo’s scene in the restaurant. When Jung-hoo was saying all of those cold things for the sake of her protection, it was everything she had feared. She knows Jung-hoo loves her and has forgiven her for abandoning him, but deep down, those cutting words speak to her fear and guilt. In a way, the fact that he has forgiven her and loves her anyway makes it worse. If he hated her and shunned her, it would be her punishment for leaving him and not being able to raise him and love him like she should have. She feels unworthy of his love, his generosity, and his affection. The way Jung-hoo mouthed to her “Don’t cry” and shook his head, two tiny gestures, but they said the world. He doesn’t see why she should blame herself for circumstances beyond her control, he knows she never stopped loving and caring for him, and he wants her to know that she deserves happiness and his love in return. Guh, it broke my heart the way she broke down after he left.
    I LOVED that scene when Young-jae visits Moon-shik in the hospital. So many emotions, so much tension, such good ACTING. The younger counterparts of both really were amazing. The pain and fierceness in Young-jae’s eyes as he sang the baby bear song, Moon-shik’s desperation to reach out to his friend, to make himself and Young-jae believe that what he is doing is worth it, is for the right reason. He’s not a monster, he was trying to do the right thing. And there is Young-jae, having spent 11 years in prison for the magazine, for a cause they all fought for, for the four friends he loved so dearly and wanted to protect. Two of them are dead and one is hospitalized.
    The way he reached out to Jung-hoo broke my heart. They’re both a little wayward. Young-jae doesn’t have a direction. His world as he knows it is shaken down around him, both in terms of his found family of friends and having to acclimate to society after 11 years. In a way, caring for and taking Jung-hoo under his wing gave him a purpose. He was going to take care of his friend’s baby bear. That just kills me.
    Speaking of other things that kill me, Ajumma’s reaction to Teacher’s death was so heartbreaking. Any words I have for that scene will not do it justice, so I’m going to leave it alone by saying that Kim Mi-Kyung is magical.
    I loved your point about Jung-hoo being a surrogate son for her. It’s so true and I love Ajumma so much for it.
    THERE IS SO MUCH ELSE I WANT TO SAY. I’ll be doing a part 2.

    Like

    • Oooooh your words about Teacher, I’m eating them up! And just when I thought I was over it… 😦
      And you are so so right about that resto convo, it WOULD be easier if he hated her, because she feels she deserves nothing less. His compassion guts her because it’s a reminder of, I think, not just her guilt but her own weakness she deeply regrets, because he is strong where she wasn’t able to be all those years ago. *tears*

      Thanks so much for the lovely compliment! We work hard on them and have a lot of fun doing it, and it makes it all the more rewarding when others take the time to read these really long posts and further more, comment back. So thanks! And looking forward to part 2 🙂

      Like

  12. hello, i’m new here, and i love reading your thought, girls. really echoing what i had in mind. I’d also like to highlight the kiss, when i saw the scene, there’s a part of me that also being a little disappointed. No, not because i want to hit the editor to cut it right when it was getting deeper, lol. but, aaah, that’s not enough tears. He should be like wailing and howling the whole damn feeling out, just a little moment, until he felt relieve and his chest feel much lighter.

    Like

    • Hi redsun! Welcome and thanks for commenting! Yeah, I agree he should’ve gotten more time to cry it out and I think the moment wouldn’t have been any less meaningful without a kiss.

      Like

  13. Loved this post, ladies. 🙂 I’m loving that Healer is turning out to be such a meaty show, that has so many layers to peel back and puzzle over, and I’m loving how it hits us not only in the heart, but challenges our minds, and adds a punch in the gut for good measure. Loved the insights you ladies share in this post. I think my favorite has to be the one about Young Shin picking her way into Healer’s fortress, taken to a metaphorical level. Wonderful. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  15. Pingback: Healer: Where is Bong Sookie When You Need Him?: Episodes 15-16 | obsessive compulsive (k)drama-watching disorder
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