I really like the music in this drama. It primes the viewer well to anticipate certain emotions, and this time around that emotion was vague melancholy. What at first seems to be a problem that will necessitate a serious climactic surgery just ends up giving way to more discussion of feelings, as characters state out their various emotional positions for the last time.
The continuation and sort of resolution to the relationship between Shi-on and Yoon-seo is sweet and endearing. The conflict they face is a bit of a last minute one, but then that's the point and central irony. Shi-on never thought about any of these problems when he was first trying to confess to her, and there's a reason for that. None of these superficial issues of appearance should matter when it comes to a person you really like. It's not like any substantive obstacle exists beyond just maybe people will gossip.
And it's appropriate that their relationship is only ever discussed in the immediate professional or personal environment. Some mileage probably could have been gotten over having Shi-on meet Yoo-seo's parents, but such a development would have been counterintuitive to the main themes. Whether a person is being a good boyfriend or (as specifically described this episode) a "Good Doctor", it's a personal aspect that has to be discussed between relative equals. There's not really anyone in this drama with clear intrinsic superiority over Shi-on, and the struggle the narrative has been describing has been his difficulties in getting acceptance as an equal.
The other subplots...still don't really touch on that, unfortunately. I'm not complaining, really- none of these plots have been relevant to Shi-on's journey for most of the drama's run so it's unreasonable to expect a clear parallel now. They do all wrap up pretty clearly, though, and there aren't any real loose ends. While some parts (the corporate handwringing particularly) drag on for a bit, it's at least fairly clear what happened.
The best way to sum up "Good Doctor" is to take a look at the epilogue- which from a literal perspective is almost completely pointless. After a year, nobody's really changed that much. A great deal of the epilogue's runtime is dedicated to a random cameo appearance and another iteration of this drama's best running gag. It's not really much of a catharsis- but then Shi-on's story has never really been about sudden waves of emotion. Rather, it is a tale of gaining acceptance and finding a place when the whole universe is clearly saying that you don't belong. For that kind of storytelling, it's the perfect conclusion.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via email@example.com.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Good Doctor" Episode 20 (Final)"
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