This episode had more heart than the entire series put together thus far. Yes, dramatics were involved, but the stiffest of characters came alive under duress and I'm wondering why these dramatics hadn't happened earlier.
Seung-jae's mother is very ill and that affects the entire cast of characters no matter their relations with one another. It draws the "Medical Top Team" back together, breaks Seung-jae's hard exterior and makes a human being out of the assistant director. The politics that are performed are done under extreme emotional circumstances that make the show a lot more interesting. This should've shown up much earlier like Tae-shin's family issues. It is much easier to invest in the politics when I am invested in the people behind them. This episode was too little, too late.
This episode also showed that Ju Ji-hoon is a powerhouse actor who has been poorly used. The emotional gamut that his character, Han Seung-jae, has to run is not easy to portray, but Ju Ji-hoon does it amazingly well. I've been most invested in his character's development out of the main cast and I'm glad that he at least gets this episode to really shine.
His romantic pairing with Jung Ryeo-won is lackluster in the chemistry between them, but his emotions are spot on. I mentally understand that this pair has been written to be together as Tae-shin and Ah-jin are, but I don't feel it. The romance is all in the writing and there is nothing actually romantic about it.
One casting decision that really makes me sad is Minho. He finally has a strong cast about him and has finally found his stride as an actor, but the "Medical Top Team" vehicle is doing nothing for him. His character has been relegated to moping and appearing on screen to read medical statistics back to doctors. had Ah-jin and Tae-shin gotten together sooner, it would've given Minho's character, Sung-woo, a lot more time to explore the situation and that could have been interesting.
I suppose that's the rub with this show: there are too many missed opportunities. Romantic tensions drew out for so long that they turned flat. Politics became redundant without characters that were worth rooting for. Hopefully the last few episodes will be as impactful as this one and salvage a little of the good casting, wonderful music and beautiful camera work.
Written by Raine from Raine's Dichotomy
Journalist, drama lover, and foodie, Lisa enjoys exploring Korea, speaking the language, and soaking in all that dramaland has to offer. Her Korean husband laughs that she knows more than he ever will about dramas and K-pop. Lisa Espinosa can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Medical Top Team" Episode 17"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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