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Doctor John – Episode 11-12 Recap

Doctor John – Episode 11-12 Recap

Cha Yo Han tells Son to step away from his trainee.

Son takes a step back. He steps further away and asks if Yo Han is happy now. Son takes his leave from Si Young and walks away. Si Young is concerned as she watches Yo Han walk away swiftly.

Yo Han meets Son outside the hospital. Son says he succeeded in getting Yo Han a prison sentence but failed because he couldn’t get a 10-year sentence. Yo Han says he has already served his sentence. Son says time doesn’t erase a criminal record, only society’s forgiveness can. Yo han says he never asked for forgiveness but wanted only society’s agreement. Son says Yo Han failed to get it.

Yo Han asks if Son wants his disqualification or dismissal. Son says he doesn’t have the right to get it done. Yo han asks if Son is waiting for him to perform another euthanasia to catch him again. Son says no. He says there is only one thing he wants and that is for Yo han to not do anything.

The scene shifts into an empty court room with just the two of them.


Son says he is scared of Yo Han. Yo han asks how can a prosecutor be afraid of a doctor who is an ex-convict. Son explains that the murder was based on firm belief and not a sudden impulse. He says Yo Han bases his belief above the law.

Son adds that such a person will contaminate the young doctors in training who haven’t formed an opinion by themselves. He says they may see him as a martyr. He requests Yo Han to not do anything. He then takes his leave.

As he walks away, Yo han says he doesn’t care about Son’s opinion or judgement about him. He says he only cares about what his patients think about him.

As Son drives away, Yo Han’s words echo in his ears. Yo Han said that his patients will judge whether he kills patients or saves them. Son tells Yo Han that a doctor can never be a deity but can only be the grim reaper.

As Yo Han walks down the hall, he receives a call from Lawyer Han asking if Son wants to fight them again. Yo Han says they will talk tomorrow. Lawyer Han says that he knows a producer who had interviewed Joo. He asks if Yo Han will do an interview for the producer and appear on a TV show.

Meanwhile, Son is deep in thought as he crosses the traffic line before stopping for the traffic light. He remembers Yo Han saying he won’t believe that Son was doing this just as a prosecutor. Son pulls back behind the traffic line.

Chae Eung Jeung calls him and asks if Yo Han is still the same. Says she has information for him.


Later on, Son meets her. She tells him that Lawyer Han who volunteered to defend Yo Han is a part of Hanse Medical Centre’s legal team. She shows Chief Min’s photo and says she was bent upon hiring Yo Han but isn’t related to Yo Han. She then tells him that Kang Yi-Soo, the Chairman, had gone into a coma after an accident. She says he is receiving life-prolonging treatment on a ventilator.

Joo Kyung and Chief Min are in Kang Yi Soo’s room when Mi Rae walks in. She asks if they are also thinking on the same lines as Si Young. She says she will never accept it, as she doesn’t like it. Min says that a doctor’s decision has nothing to do with likes or dislikes. She says Si Young is at least trying to understand that.


Meanwhile, Yo Han walks up to his car when he receives a call from Si Young. He asks her where she is.

Si Young waits by the sidewalk as he drives up to her and lowers the window.

Son learns from Eung Jung that Si Young is Min and Yi Soo’s daughter and is training under Yo Han. He says it’s like the Postma case where a Dutch doctor euthanized his mother. He says it’ll be the Korean version of Postma case if Si Young decides to turn off the ventilator. She asks if someone makes it seem that way using the media. They wonder if it is a coincidence or if there is an underlying connection between Yo Han and the Hanse Medical centre.

Meanwhile, Minister Lee Won Gil is at his home.

Si Young sits beside Yo Han as he drives. She asks why Son wanted to see him. Yo Han says Son wanted to scare him so that he won’t do the same thing again. Si Young says she hopes it doesn’t happen again but she asks him what will happen if he comes across a similar patient.


Yo Han says after the incident everyone asked him if he had done it for the patient’s best interest or if he had wanted to free himself from the patient and feel at ease.

Si Young remembers that they were the same words Mi Rae had said to her.

Yo Han says there were many reasons for letting him go but he could definitely tell people that he did it for the patient. He adds that if he makes a different choice if put in the same situation again, it would not be a belief but an impulsive murder. Si Young apologises for asking a silly question.

Yo han asks if he can make a stupid hypothesis. He says if she decides to end her father’s life-prolonging treatment, she will also hear the same thing that she did it to feel at ease. He says they will also criticize her for giving up on her own father. He says she will have to find answers to the questions on her own so that no one ever criticises her again.


He drops her at her home and she promises that she will find her own answer. She says this may sound out of line but goes on to say that he should show people who he really is. She says she wants more people to find what kind of a doctor he is. He smiles and asks her to go on. She walks away asking him to drive safe. She then watches as he drives down the street.

The next day, the crew is there to interview Yo Han. Someone clicks Si Young’s photographs. As they film the interview, Yo han starts speaking about the reason people come to the pain management centre. Yo Han quotes, “The history of man is history of pain”. He says people are born in pain and die in pain. He says they fight pain throughout their lives. Yoo Won notes down everything. Yo Han is asked his definition of pain. He says he thinks pain is how our body tries to communicate with us. He says they will meet a CIPA patient today whose body does not feel pain.

Yo Han shows Gi Seok taking the ANI test. He says that the graph curve goes down if the patient feels a change in temperature and the graph is straight if the patient doesn’t feel the change in temperature.


Heo Joon and the reporter notice that there is a change in Gi Seok’s graph. Yoo Joon explains that they have been giving Gi Seok Cognitive Therapy and it is due to that, but the brain doesn’t send signals.

Gi Seok removes his hand from the ice bath and says that his hand feels weird. He says his hands feel numb and stiff. Yo Han immediately takes a needle and pricks GI Seok’s leg. Gi Seok whimpers in pain.

Yo Han is shocked when Gi Seok says he spilled hot water on himself earlier and it felt weird. He goes to Gi Seok’s mother and asks if he had complained of any pain after his recent injury. She gets worried and he tells her that something impossible just happened.

(Episode 6- World Without Pain)

Yo Han looks at Gi Seok and walks away abruptly. Si Young is grim as she sees him walk away. Yoo Joon calms the mother and makes her sit. He tells her that GI Seok can feel and his CIPA is getting better but it is incurable.

Yo han clenches his fists as he comes out for fresh air. Si Young follows him out and asks if they should do another test. He asks her to do an MRI of Spine and brain too he doesn’t explain when she asks why. She says she has to explain to the guardian. He says it might be a nerve block caused due to an injury. She agrees to do a test and he looks away. She walks a few steps and looks again at him before going away.


Back in his room, Gi Seok winces in pain as Heo Joon cleans the wound. He laughs saying he can feel pain and Heo Joon comments that pain is making him happy. Sung Won is in the next bed asking if he is happy. Gi Seok says he feels alive.

Yo han checks the MRI in his office and Yoo Joon says that Gi Seok can feel temperatures now. Nurse Hong rushes in saying there is an issue with Gi Seok and they rush to him.


Gi Seok clutches his ankle and writhes in pain. Yoo Joon asks him where it hurts and he says it hurts like he is being sawed. Si Young looks up at Yo Han who seems to be rooted to the spot. He then shakes himself back to his senses but he doesn’t say anything.


Later, at the meeting, Yoo Joon says that the bones and nerves are fine but the pain is spreading throughout his body. Yo han taps his finger on his legs. Yoo Joon says that NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) and morphine have no effect on him. Heo Joon wonders if he is possessed. Si Young asks if it is ghost pain. She says it is phantom pain and Yo Han stops tapping his finger. Mi Rae says that occurs while imagining the pain that doesn’t exist, but this is different.

Yo Han says this could be an illusion. He says it could be a hallucination. He asks to narrow down hallucination causes for CIPA patient. He says the problem could be in the brain and Si Young says the problem could be infection or poisoning. Yo Han orders to start the tests.

On the way out, Si Young asks Sung Won how he feels and he says he feel s better and must have switched bodies with the boy. He says he feels weak in the shoulders and hands. Si Young touches his shoulder and he yells in pain.


Sung Won is taken for a CT scan. Both Gi Seuk and he take a brain wave test too.

It is found that there is a herniated disk on the vertebrae 5 and 6. Sung Won asks if he will be fine after surgery. Mi Rae says that is the only problem they found in the tests. She says he can have the surgery today and he agrees.

At the meeting room, Si-young sketches Sung Won’s body with his complaints in the pain diary. Yo han walks in and looks over her shoulder. She tells him Seung Won is getting surgery today. He asks to see the work. She shows him the pain diary. She says a herniated disk can’t explain these symptoms.


She says Sung Won is a 47-year-old carpenter with 20 years of experience. She says he must be used to all kinds of pain and yet he says he hasn’t experienced a pain like this.

Yo Han suddenly points at the diary saying Seung Won has a daughter who was sick a year back. It reads that the daughter was sick that she missed school. Yo Han asks her to find out as it may be something contagious. He says he likes her drawing and walks away. Si Young smiles to herself.

Si Young finds out that the daughter had chickenpox. Something hits home and she runs into Yo Han’s office. She says Seong Wun complained about feeling his skin being cut, burned and pierced. She asks if chickenpox virus could have been reactivated in the nerves. He asks if its shingles and she says his daughter had chickenpox a year ago.

He says shingles isn’t contagious but the daughter could have got it from her father. She says he hasn’t got skin rash but he has all other symptoms. Yo Han says zoster sine herpete (Zoster sine herpete (ZSH) refers to a condition in which dermatomal distribution pain occurs in the absence of a rash.)

He says it is difficult to diagnose early. He checks the patient record and he finds that Seung Won is in surgery. Si Young runs into the operating room and stops the surgery just in time.

Meanwhile, Yoo Joon comes with Gi Seok’s results that are normal. Yo Han asks about spinal tap and urine test results. Yo Han walks out upon learning that results will come out soon. Yoo Joon notes that Yo Han is behaving weird since the CIPA patient came in.

Si Young is outside the pathology lab and Yo Han joins her. Sung Won’s test comes back positive for chickenpox. Yo han says she is right and sends her to start treatment. Yo han checks Gi Seok’s test results but they have come back with nothing. He is frustrated as he walks out. Si Young repeats that there is nothing.

She catches up with him as the elevator door is about to close. She says Gi Seok showed symptoms when tests showed nothing and Sung Won showed symptoms without rashes. She says that not having a cause is the cause of the pain. He asks her to go on.


She says she read about a blind person who could see and a deaf person who could hear music. He says Charles Bonnet Syndrome (auditory hallucination). She says that it’s not because a blind person could see and a deaf person could hear. He adds that the patient could see because they couldn’t see and hear because he couldn’t hear.

Si Young says the brain craves sensory stimulus and it creates its own if that is cut off.  Yo Han says those were cases of visual cortex and auditory hallucination where brain created its own visions and sounds because they weren’t stimulated for a long time.

She tells him to apply the same thing in Gi Seuk’s case. Yo Han explains that Gi Seuk’s insular lobe that monitors senses waited for signals, then one day they started to create its own stimuli. He says the neurons go in hypersensitive overdrive. They both name it together, “Central Sensitization” (amplification by the central nervous system).

Episode 12

They both smile at the discovery. Yo Han ruffles her head applauding her. He goes out of the elevator saying they have to tell others. Si Young stands rooted to the spot as his gesture comes as a surprise to her. She is happy as she follows him.


Gi Seok refuses treatment saying he wants to feel the pain and live like a normal person feeling temperature and pain. He says he is a ticking time bomb. Yo han tells him that the feeling is fake. He explains that Gi Seok will feel hot when it is cold and cold when it is hot because of false signals.

Gi Seok says it is easy for Yo Han to say, as he has no idea how it feels to live without pain feeling nothing. Yo Han wheels Gi Seok’s wheelchair into his office. He switches on his computer and opens the folder “NO NAME”. As the slideshow runs, he says these are the X-rays of a ticking time bomb.


Yo Han says this person has been making sure every day that the time bomb inside him hasn’t gone off. Gi Seok looks at the images and asks if the person has the same condition as him.

Si Young and Gi Seok’s mother watch the two from outside. Si Young explains that Yo Han is probably showing a patient record with the same condition. Yo Han brings Gi Seok out and Gi Seong agrees to have the surgery but he says he has a condition.

Yo Han and Si Young sit on the stairs watching Gi Seok have ice cream with his mother. Gi Seok says the ice cream is cold and refreshing. He says his teeth and head both ache. He says it is tasty.


Si Young wonders how ice cream had tasted to Gi Seok until now. Yo han says it would’ve tasted neither cold nor hot. He says that the whole life would be that way. Yo Han says that he doesn’t have to freeze but he won’t feel the warmth either. He says that’s what living without senses feel like.

Si Young asks him how he convinced Si Geok for surgery and he says that is a trade secret. She says she was always told to focus on the patient’s symptoms but not their stories or emotions. She says she was always confused with it. She thanks Yo Han for helping her find the answer through the patient’s story.

Yo Han says that patient’s story doesn’t always give the answer but opens up a path leading to the answer. He thanks her for giving the hint. Before leaving, he tells her to scrub in for Lee Gi Seok’s surgery. Si Young watches in awe as Yo han speaks to GI Seok before walking away.

Later, Yo Han is in his office, going through the X-rays with a pensive look.

Si Young is in her room with Sung Won’s pain diary. She highlights the part about the daughter in the diary. She says the key is always there.

Earlier, Sung Won had thanked her by saying no one had bothered to read the diary. He asks her to keep the diary as a reference for another patient and gives it to her.

Back in her room, she writes on top of the page with an orange pen, “The patient’s story opens up a path to the answer.”

She remembers Yo Han ruffling her hair and saying that she did a good job. She touches her head where he had placed his hand. She smiles as Yo Han asking her to scrub in for GI Seok’s surgery echoes in her head.

The next day, Yo Han is at his office in his scrubs.

At the operating room’s gallery, the doctors discuss that Yo han will be personally anaesthetising the patient and it is going to be an awake surgery. Si Young is prepping the patient. Mi Rae is frowning as they ask her about Si Young barging into the OR the previous day. They comment about her finding out about shingles and comment that she is becoming more like Yo Han.


Yo Han walks into the OR and asks Gi Seok how he is doing. Gi Seok seems nervous. They watch as Yo Han gives him the anaesthetic. They watch as the neurosurgeon starts the procedure.

Yo han explains to Gi Seok that they are approaching the part that sends the wrong signals. He asks Gi Seok to say how he feels. Si Young lightly pricks Gi Seok’s feet with the pin and he says he feels it. The surgeon orders to proceed but Gi Seok asks them to wait.

Gi Seok says that this feels like it’s going to be like the last time. Yo han agrees and asks him to let him know when he is ready. Gi Seok closes his eyes and after some time, he says he is ready.

Si-young again pricks his feet. This time Gi Seok opens his eyes and says he doesn’t feel anything. Yo Han says the fake pain won’t bother him any more. Gi Seok asks Yo Han to promise that he will heal his illness someday. Yo Han is teary-eyed as he says that he will try.

(Episode 12- Yo Han’s Secret)

As the professors head out of the OR, they say that Yo Han will get a great paper out of this. They say he is going to be more famous. Yi Moon and Chief Min don’t make any comments as they walk silently. Yo Moon asks Min to have tea with him.


In his office, Yi Moon says that the minister recommended Yo han because the hospital benefits from such cases. He says Yo han won’t be of much help regarding her husband’s condition. He says if she decides to take her husband off the ventilator and with Yo han around, people will think the hospital accepts euthanasia.

Chief Min says the public opinion about euthanasia or mercy killing is slowly changing. She says if Yo han keeps doing what he is doing, he may be of help when they need him. When asked, she says she isn’t sure how he will be of help yet.


Meanwhile, Yo Han and his team have gathered for dinner at Yoo Joon’s mother’s restaurant. She tells them that their dinner is on Yoo Joon and everyone cheer. Yo han refuses the drinks saying he doesn’t drink. He says he doesn’t go to church when asked if his name is the baptised name. They ask him what his name means and he says it means to cure and enjoy. He says his father gave him that name. Nurse Hong says that his father must have wanted him to become a doctor as he gave him the name.

Heo Joon offers Yo Han a drink but he politely refuses. Si-young becomes his black rose and she drinks the drink. Everyone cheers as she drinks and Yo Han is amused.

Mi Rae frowns outside as she sees them. She walks in and sits beside Heo Joon with a pouted face. She pours herself drinks and starts drinking at a fast pace. Yoo Joon interrupts her and becomes her black knight. Yo Han seems amused at this.

Yoo Joon asks why Yo han had chosen pain management when he could’ve shined wherever he went. Yo Han says a patient has pain due to an unknown cause. He says the patient learns about a famous doctor but he will keep putting off the appointment. Yoo Joon suggests that it could be due to fear. Yo han says he is right. Si Young says the patient might think that the doctor can’t find out the illness. Yo han says the patient doesn’t see the doctor so that he can keep his hope alive. Yo han says the reason he chose pain management is so that the patient can be sure that a doctor out there can cure him.

Yoo Joon asks if Yo Han’s goal is to write a patient’s last prescription. Yo Han says it is more of his dream. They all toast to the dream as Mi Rae gives a sarcastic smile.


Mi Rae asks if euthanasia is a final prescription too and the entire table falls silent. Yo Han is calm as she continues. She asks Yo Han how he was so sure that Seong Kyu wanted to die when he was in an unconscious state. She asks how he was sure that the patient had no regrets during his death. Yo han remembers that day.

In a flashback, Yo Han walks into Seong Kyu’s room to see a woman (Seung Kyu’s mother) moving away from the IV after seeing him.


Yo Han is shocked to see the monitor flat-lining. He looks at the lady and rushes to Seung Kyu and checks his pulse. Yo Han notices that the IV (painkillers) is running at a high speed. He immediately reduces the speed of the IV and gives Seung Kyu chest compressions, bringing back the vitals.

Yo han pants as he moves away and looks at Seung Kyu’s mother who is crying hard. She says Seung Kyu should hang in there only if he can get better. Yo Han looks at his hands as she continues to cry.

At present, Yo han asks Mi Rae why she became a doctor. She says that she wanted to save lives. She looks at Si Young as she says she will become a doctor who doesn’t give up on people. Yo Han says that he failed to save Seung Kyu, but that doesn’t mean his job is done. He says when a patient is unconscious and the machine fails to tell how much pain the patient is in, he believes that is when a doctor must do his job.


Mi Rae says that one of those things is turning off the ventilator. She asks if it is right. Yo Han says that he doesn’t think that euthanasia is always the right option. He says he thinks there are times when it is needed. She says doctors as good as he would be able to tell when that time is. She tells him not to brainwash young doctors as they won’t know when the time is right. She looks at Si Young and says they make serious mistakes due to a lapse of judgement. She says once was more than enough and leaves.

Si Young is teary-eyed as she apologises to others and runs after her. Outside, Mi Rae tells her that she is afraid of her as Si Young acts unpredictably. Si Young asks if this is about their father. Mi Rae says she can’t stand that someone like Cha Yo Han is around Si Young. She hails a cab and goes away.


Yoo Joon and Heo Joon come out of the restaurant and ask if she is okay. Yoo Joon says that Yo Han said he had some work and left. Si Young thanks him for the meal and leaves.

Si Young spots Yo Han sitting by himself at a bench. He then starts walking and she follows him. She follows him keeping a distance between them. She follows his footsteps exactly all the way to the hospital. Yo Han walks on the white lines on the zebra crossing and Si Young also does the same. She stops as he walks into the hospital.


Yo Han walks into his office and writes a note. He gets into the elevator as Si Young walks to his room. He then goes to Si Geok’s room and places the note by his bedside. Si Geok is awake and calls out his name.

Si Young knocks Yo Han’s office door and peeks in. She is about to go away when she finds that he isn’t there. She remembers Yo Han showing case files to Gi Seok. She walks in. She moves the mouse and the screens come alive with the X-rays.


Gi Seok reads the note, “As soon as you find this patient call an ambulance. Doctor in charge- Cha Yo Han.” It also has his phone number. Yo Han tells Gi Seok to carry the note with his student ID card. Gi Seok thanks him and says he will keep the promise he made to Yo Han the previous day.

Si Young sees the X-rays closely and notes that the patient’s name is “Cha Yo Han” on the X-rays.


Gi Seok says he will study and understand his body just like Cha Yo Han. Yo Han takes some disinfectant and passes it to Gi Seok. They both disinfect their hand as he smiles in acknowledgement.


Si Young is shocked as all the X-rays have Yo Han’s name on it. She remembers Yo Han’s words, “He can break his bones or rupture his organs but he still won’t feel any pain. It is Congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis. He is a CIPA patient.” She remembers Si Geok saying he is a ticking time bomb and patients like him rarely live beyond 20 years. He had said Yo Han won’t know how it’s like to live without feeling nothing.

We see a montage of a butterfly being pierced, being injected, being stuck, Gi Seok and Yo Han at the Pain Centre.

Yo Han had said, “He doesn’t have to freeze but he won’t face warmth either. That is what living without senses feel like- neither cold nor hot. Not only ice cream but his whole life would be that way.”

Si Young is startled when she sees that Yo Han is at the door watching her. She is speechless as she looks at him while the x-rays run in the slideshow.


Image Courtesy- SBS


The scene with Yo Han saying how it exactly feels to live a life as a CIPA patient and him giving the reason for choosing pain management were a great watch. Scenes like these are what separate this drama from the other medical dramas.

It is intriguing how Yo han has been in similar situations as other characters in the drama. So, he can comment confidently about these situations when he is conversing with them (Si Young, Gi Seok and even Mi Rae when he had saved Seung Kyu who wouldn’t have gotten better despite the treatment) due to this.

Mi Rae is a selfish, closed-minded and judgemental woman, who only goes around keeping a frowning face while blaming others. She expects everyone to function according to her principles doesn’t respect other’s feelings. I wonder if she would have been concerned about the topic of euthanasia if her father wasn’t on the ventilator, as she doesn’t show any signs of empathy. I won’t be surprised if she teams up with Prosecutor Son in the future as she seems equally unreasonable as him.

Si Young is always passive towards Mi Rae and their scenes are getting monotonous.

It was confirmed in this episode that Cha Yo Han is a CIPA patient. From the looks of it, he seems to have come this far all by himself and devised his methods to keep himself alive. His character comes across as even stronger, as he has maintained an optimistic approach towards handling the disease. It was good to see that Gi Seok has another person who understands him, to guide him now.

Chief Min’s character is turning shady and it seems like she has an ulterior motive behind hiring Yo Han. It would be interesting to see the minister’s role in all of this.

It is nice how the lead pair give each other space whenever needed and do not intrude when one of them is in their personal mind space. I am curious to see Yo Han’s reaction after finding out that Si Young now knows his secret.

It is intruiging how a butterfly is always shown in the significant scenes. Butterflies do not feel pain. Though they possess the sense of touch, their nervous system does not have pain receptors that register pain. This relates to the same condition as that of a CIPA patient (Yo Han).

The next episode looks very interesting (Nipah virus) and I am eager to watch it.

-By Soul Sword-

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