Episodes 5-6 » Dramabeans Korean drama recaps

Episodes 5-6 » Dramabeans Korean drama recaps

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

Episodes 5-6 » Dramabeans Korean drama recaps

From enemies to neighbors, these ex-rivals may have dreaded this reunion at the start, but now, as they’ve gotten to know each other better, they find themselves becoming friends and possibly more. During the worst period of their lives, our protagonists find hope in the most unexpected places, and though everything might feel terrible at the moment, their good days aren’t over yet.


Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

The first words that come to mind when I think of the leads are cute and silly, which is definitely a universal feeling they exude… except to high school Ha-neul and Jung-woo. During their rival era, our heroes never understood why their peers fawned over the other, but life has a funny way of flipping expectations. Now, as Ha-neul and Jung-woo stand on a train platform far away from home, their hearts flutter at the sight of the other person, and they wonder why they feel so happy around them.

Though Ha-neul is grateful to see Jung-woo after her canceled interview, she asks why a “friend” would come all this way just to console her. Jung-woo scans the room for an excuse, and his eyes land on a tourism pamphlet. It’s an obvious lie, but Ha-neul grabs his arm and takes him sightseeing. They ride bikes, pose for pictures, and spend the whole day together — clearly falling deeper in love yet too stubborn (and dense) to acknowledge it.

While our leads run to catch the last train, an elderly man faints in front of them, and their medical training kicks in. As Jung-woo performs CPR, the motion triggers his unprocessed trauma, and he freezes. Noticing his behavior, Ha-neul takes over, and their quick intervention saves the man’s life. Alas, they missed their ride in the process, but Ha-neul has no problem staying the night unlike an aghast Jung-woo.

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Of course, they grab two rooms, but for the first hour, they are stuck together since the staff are cleaning. Despite all their talk of being platonic friends, they both jump up when Jung-woo accidentally sits on her hand, and they threaten to end their relationship if anything develops between them. After a couple of beers, the other room becomes available, but Jung-woo is afraid to be alone because of his recurring nightmare. At his request, Ha-neul stays to play cards, and though she has a list of questions she wants to ask, she lets them slide for tonight.

In the morning, Jung-woo sends Ha-neul home first since coming in together might give off the wrong impression, but when she arrives, she overhears her mom and brother talking about her interview. Rather than face reality, she hides in an arcade, and Jung-woo soon finds out about her detour and comes to keep her company. Even after the sun sets, Ha-neul cannot muster up the courage to go home, so Jung-woo suggests visiting their old school.

Seeing their high school classroom reminds them of the past, and they each share what they would do if they could go back. For Ha-neul, she wants to retake the college entrance exam since she was sick that day, and though she already knew she would not get into her dream school, seeing the rejection was still devastating. Hearing her answer, Jung-woo wishes he could give past Ha-neul a hug, but since he cannot, he tells present Ha-neul to stop caring about what others might think and start taking care of herself.

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

With Jung-woo’s encouragement, Ha-neul goes home where her family waits for her, and she tells them that the interview went poorly. To her surprise, they take the news well since they were against her moving in the first place, and Ha-neul realizes that failing is not so scary after all.

These warm fuzzies come to a halt, unfortunately, once Kyung-min enters the scene. Suspicious hyung keeps the allegations going strong when he informs Jung-woo that he found a secret pen-camera in his office and conveniently forgot to tell him about it until today. Jung-woo finds a couple more littered throughout his clinic and hands them over to the police with Kyung-min in tow.

Despite his misgivings, Jung-woo assumes the best about his hyung, and instead, tells him to apologize to Ha-neul since his actions, no matter how unintentional, ruined her chances to get a job. In response to his request, Kyung-min asks if he likes Ha-neul, and then tells him that he is disappointed in Jung-woo because he does not deserve to be happy right now. The audacity of this man!

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

Jung-woo returns home with Kyung-min’s words still weighing heavily on his mind, but his face brightens when Ha-neul pops up behind him. Finally broaching the elephant in the room, she asks why he treats her so nicely, and for a moment, Jung-woo nearly confesses. However, he hears Kyung-min’s accusation in his head, so he claims to only see her as a friend. Ha-neul hides her face in mortification, and the embarrassment increases tenfold when they find her entire family grilling meat on the rooftop.

Just when it feels like our leads might backtrack on the progress they made, Jung-woo confronts Ha-neul and clears the air: he is the one who is unworthy, so she should not feel embarrassed. As she processes his words, Ha-neul puts the clues together after her therapy session where her doctor mentions PTSD, and she immediately rushes to Jung-woo and hugs him. Despite the guilt he carries, seeing her makes him happy, and he admits to missing her.

Similar to her ambivalent state, Ha-neul does not understand what her heart wants, but one thing she knows for certain is that she does not regret the hug. Accepting her emotions, Ha-neul confesses to Jung-woo, and in return, he matches her honesty. Though they like each other as more than friends, they are uncertain about their degree of interest, so they decide to put their feelings on hold while Jung-woo deals with his situation.

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

Now that Ha-neul is aware of his condition, she suggests therapy to him, but Jung-woo bristles at the comment, saying that he is not weak. She apologizes for overstepping, but he realizes his mistake and how he sounded. Later that night, he tells her that he will go to the hospital if she comes with him for support, and they turn it into a date.

While getting help is the first step towards healing, Jung-woo still feels crestfallen as he takes his new medicine in the park with his old rival. He mentions how they used to be on top of the world, but Ha-neul assures him that their good days will return soon. Proving her point, she stumbles across a coin in the street and dances to celebrate this fortuitous luck. She treats him to a round of Tetris, but they end up hogging the game and getting chased away by grade-schoolers.

Jung-woo takes Ha-neul to karaoke instead, but while he sings, she mishears the lyrics and assumes he is saying her name. On their walk back, she sheepishly asks why he confessed when they promised to put their relationship on hold, and Jung-woo bursts her bubble. He teases her for misunderstanding, and Ha-neul tells him that she takes back her interest. As they bicker playfully, an old classmate (cameo by Lee Sung-kyung) recognizes Jung-woo and invites both of them out for coffee.

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

The old classmate remembers her relationship with Jung-woo a little differently from him and talks about how nice he was to her. He even gave her extra sausages at lunch and an entire eraser during study hall. None of these events ring a bell for Jung-woo, and for good reason. As it turns out, his attention was solely on Ha-neul back then, and what the classmate thought was flirting was actually Jung-woo acting petty towards Ha-neul and coincidentally treating her well in comparison. Pfft.

Once the classmate leaves, Ha-neul reminds Jung-woo of how he acted in high school — he gave her peppers instead of sausages — and shoulder checks him on her way out. Though she recognizes her own jealousy, it takes a couple of analogous circumstances with her family for Ha-neul to see things clearly, and she brings Jung-woo a peace offering along with an apology.

He jokes about their encounter with the classmate, and to his shock, Ha-neul admits that she felt jealous. She calls it an ugly emotion, but even so, it did not diminish her feelings towards him. She questions if these emotions are appropriate, though, and Jung-woo reveals that he feels the same way. He has so many things to tell her and casually drops “I like you.” He promises to confess properly after getting his stuff in order, and Ha-neul pretends to be uninterested while failing to hide the smile plastered on her face.

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Meanwhile, things start developing with our other couple as Hong-ran and Dae-young finally meet each other in the elevators. She takes interest in him when he plucks a lady bug off her shoulder, and he perks up when he sees her name. As the elevator fills up, he asks her out to coffee by writing on his hand, and she accepts.

Their initial meet-cute sours, though, when Dae-young brings up his YouTube channel and asks why she subscribed. She tells him that she must have accidentally done it and then unsubscribes right in front of him. As their short-lived date ends, Dae-young mentions Jung-woo for the nth time, and Hong-ran asks why he keeps bringing him up (a.k.a. the jerk who strung her friend along).

Dae-young jumps to Jung-woo’s defense, completely unprompted, and fights to clear his tarnished name. Hong-ran is taken aback by his fervor, especially since he told her that they aren’t close, and they huff at each other in indignation. As they turn to leave, she notices a dragonfly on his head and plops her cup over it. Hong-ran explains how her son loves insects and begs Dae-young to shuffle with her to a craft store to buy a cage.

Doctor Slump: Episodes 5-6

I guess this week won’t end on a happy note since Kyung-min returns to the screen, causing our cute leads to separate early for the night. Unlike me, Jung-woo forgives Kyung-min for his comment since he agrees with the sentiment, but after this meeting, he looks more dejected than usual. On his way home, Jung-woo notices someone tailing him, so he turns the tables and chases after them. He manages to tackle his stalker, but before he can see their face, they smash an empty bottle against his head.

While Jung-woo bleeds in the middle of the road, Ha-neul waits for him on the rooftop and hears his door swing open. She sees that his window is open, too, so she steps inside to close it and tidy up some of the papers that flew to the floor. As she picks up the items, she spots another camera-pen, and in the midst of her distraction, the camera zooms menacingly towards her head.

Like many others, I’m not a huge fan of Jung-woo’s surgery mystery and think the story has enough character-driven and interpersonal conflicts to move the plot without it. However, since the mystery element is here to stay, I don’t think it deters my enjoyment either, and at least for now, I see it more akin to set dressing — important for the tone and overall production, but not necessarily the center stage of the drama. The mystery definitely feels more forced in terms of storytelling, and unlike Ha-neul’s situation which has been depicted as the accumulation of decades of pressure and overwork, Jung-woo’s story is more dramatic.

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However, the mystery is less of a complaint and more of an observation at this point because the true star of this show is Ha-neul and Jung-woo’s enemies to friends to lovers trajectory. The growth between them is slow in the best way possible, and their relationship does not feel frustrating because both leads are refreshingly honest with each other as well as to themselves. As soon as they recognized their feelings, they addressed them — albeit not always in the most articulate manner — and they never let misunderstandings fester for too long. The characters talk to each other, not simply at each other, which means they listen and learn. As a result, Ha-neul and Jung-woo have changed from the start of their relationship and continue to be better than they were before.

While Ha-neul and Jung-woo found comfort in each other from their shared experience and lack of judgment, their relationship has deepened since then, and with that, so has their ability to comfort. At first, the mere presence of the other brought them an odd sense of peace, almost like an instinctual bond forged between kindred spirits, but now, they are actively trying to understand the other person and offer them the help they need. For Ha-neul, this means understanding her tendencies to avoid conflict stemming from her need to meet others’ expectations, and for Jung-woo, it means realizing that he masks his pain with a smile and believes self-sacrifice is the only way to feel worthy of love. As they spend more time together, Ha-neul and Jung-woo feel safe around each other, and maybe for the first time in their lives, they found a friend and potential love interest who cares for them as a person even at their lowest.

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