Beautiful Mind Episode 1 Recap

And so it begins…another series where I delight in watching Jang Hyuk. Thank goodness he is a workaholic.

Beautiful Mind Episode 1 Recap

A passenger on a flight gets ill. The crew uses the intercom to request a doctor. A flight attendant approaches Lee Young O (Jang Hyuk) asking him to confirm that he is a doctor. Without feeling, Young O tells the attendant this isn’t his work place. She leaves.

Two police officer chase a motorcycle rider who ducks into the hospital. Gye Jin Sung, police officer, gives chase.

In the hospital, Kim Myung Soo, politician, gives an impassioned speech at the opening of the Cardio Center. Mr. Kim is introduced to Shin Dong Jae (the hospital’s director) and Dr. Lee Gun Myung (Head of the Cardio Center). Mr. Kim offers his hand and asks Dr. Lee to work with the Government to advance medicine and research. Dr. Lee coldly says “the only thing I’m good at is patient care.” Mr. Kim withdraws his rejected hand and laughs. Dr. Lee and his team leave. Dong Jae stops Dr. Lee and tells him to play nice. Dr. Lee rejects becoming a puppet to men dangling money.

The motorcycle rider runs past Dr. Lee and Dong Jae with a pole in his hand. He runs into the room, points to the dignitaries (Mr. Kim is one of them), and declares he will expose the truth. He runs to them and is pushed to the ground. Jin Sung runs into the room. The dignitaries exit the room quickly. The motorcycle rider has a rash (or something) on his arm. Security removes the motorcycle rider.

Officer Gye rejoins her partner, staring at the abandoned motorcycle, and writes a ticket.

The upset motorcycle rider is thrust into a car and driven away.

Mr. Kim tells the doctors that he’s no longer an unwanted politician but a victim of an acting protester. Dong Jae tells Dr. Lee to escort Myung Soo to the press conference. Young O arrives and calmly states the press conference must be canceled. Mr. Kim and the other doctors sweep past Young O ignoring him. Young O taunts Mr. Kim that there is a time bomb in his head. Mr. Kim demands to know who Young O is. The other doctors buzz amongst theirselves. With supreme confidence, I’m digging his swagger and hair, Young O declares before the elevators open, everyone will know he is right. When the elevator doors open and nothing has happened, Mr. Kim gets on the elevator and scoffs at Young O’s prediction. The elevator doors close. A moment later they reopen and a distressed Mr. Kim clutches the door. He falls to the ground. The gaggle of doctors rush to Mr. Kim. Young O watches cool as a cucumber. Young O states there will have to be another grand opening for the Cardio Center. First impressions of Young O? Cocky, god-like confidence. Yep, he’s a surgeon.

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Young O tells Mr. Kim he has a brain aneurysm that could erupt during surgery. Mr. Kim can’t believe the Young O diagnosed his condition with only a brief interaction. Young O lists the tell tale signs. He tells Mr. Kim that he may die during surgery. In fact, Young O thinks “live surgery” would be interesting. Are they going to televise the surgery?

Young O’s coworkers are amazed how Young O treated Mr. Kim. Young O was a sought after doctor in America. His coworkers wonder why he is practicing here.

In the operating room the medical team can’t believe Young O’s moxy.

Dr. Lee (is he Young O’s father?) rejects the live surgery idea. They don’t need to bring unnecessary attention to a difficult surgery. Dong Jae asks Dr. Lee if he’s rejecting the idea because it came from Young O.

Mr. Kim asks Young O what he would choose. Young O states it’s better to be the politician that overcame a medical issue than the politician that tested positive for illegal drugs. Young O shows Mr. Kim that he tested positive for cocaine. Young O declares he’s willing to hide Mr. Kim’s transgression. He offers Mr. Kim 2 choices – drug offender or live surgery patient. He offers Mr. Kim the live surgery consent form.

There’s a big banner with Young O’s face proclaiming the upcoming live surgery by Dr. Lee Young O, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery. Dr. Lee tells Young O that he should have discussed the live surgery option with him before suggesting it. Young O says this is his gift to his father. Yep, Dr. Lee is Young O’s father. I’m thinking their relationship is not sugary sweet. Dr. Lee tells Young O he knows what happened in the United States. Young O tells his father the weekly reports keeping tabs on him were not necessary. Young O tells his father to watch and see what kind of doctor he becomes.

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Jin Sung nervously primps. Her partner, Sargent Park, teases her about being nervous about her first date.

Jin Sung enters the eatery to wait for her date. She fiddles with her hair. She waits and waits but her date does not show up. She goes ahead and orders food. Her date does not show. She hesitates calling but when customer jostles her the number for “Bottle Top Opener” is dialed. When the man answers, she quickly tells him she was only calling to say hi. Was it a date or not? In the car, Jin Sung puts a bottle top opener ring on and dejectedly starts the car.

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A car drives by dumping a man from the back seat. It is motorcycle rider! OMG! The car backs up and smashes into motorcycle rider who flies high in the air! Motorcycle rider’s body smashes into Jin Sung’s windshield. The car speeds away and Jin Sing notes the make and model and license plate number. Atta Girl! She calls her partner and asks him to run the plates. She frets there were not CCTV cameras in the area. She sees the scars (or something) on his arm. Now she recognizes the man from earlier. The man asks her not to kill him. He promises not to tell. She tells her partner this wasn’t a hit and run. This was murder.

In the ER, Jin Sung is surprised when Dr. Hyun Suk Joo attends to the man. Is he bottle top opener? He directs her to find the man’s guardian. She walks away to do so. He goes after her, gives her money for a drink, and tells her to let him do his job. What is their relationship? He turns and apologizes for not eating with her today. He’s been crazy busy and it slipped out of his head. He says after surgery they should get together. Yep, he’s bottle top opener! Jin Sung smiles.

And who do you think the neurosurgeon is? Yep, it is Young O who looks impassively at the film of the man’s head. Wait a minute, Young O declares he will not operate. Dr. Hyun is stunned. Young O states there is a 90% chance the man will die. It’s not worth the time or resources. Dr. Hyun tells Young O he can stop the bleeding. Young O doesn’t change his mind and walks away. An outraged nurse yells at his back.

Young O sees the eyes of a boy walking past him. Is he motorcycle man’s son? Jin Sung must have contacted him as the next of kin. Dr. Hyun asks Young O to reconsider surgery. Young O declares the man will not live a full life again. It is game over. He walks away. Jin Sung stops him. She shows her police badge. She says under law he must treat an emergency patient. She puts him under arrest and handcuffs him! Go Girl! Make that lasting first impression! Dr. Hyun suggests that he and Young O operate simultaneously. That surprises everyone. Young O declares the patient will die during the operation. Dr. Hyun says they must try. Hey, I’m liking the moxy shown by Dr. Hyun! Young O holds up his wrists for Jin Sang to uncuff him, so he can perform the surgery.

I hope there isn’t much blood and gore.

Dr. Hyun and Young O enter the operating room. The game plan is discussed. I close my eyes. Jin Sang hangs with the patient’s son. Things go well, but then the patient takes a turn for the worse. His heart fails. Dr. Hyun works to save the patient but to no avail. Young O calls the time of death. Dr. Hyun is stunned it all fell apart.

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Jin Sang asks Young O how the surgery went but he strides past her without answering. Dr. Hyun comes out and it is obvious what happened. He tells them the patient died. Dr. Hyung apologizes to the patient’s son. The boy starts screaming and point at his ears. OMG! He is deaf! He signs “bring my dad back”. Tears spring in my eyes at the raw pain and abject faces of the patient’s son, Jin Sang, and surgical team.

On the rooftop, Dr. Hung thanks Young O for his efforts, they did the best they could. Young O tells him that he only operated because he wanted to know which would come true – his predicted failure or Dr. Hung’s passionate hope for success. This was a game, who would win? Dr. Hang is surprised at this rationale to operate. He watches Young O walk away.

Young O’s father learns that the surgery ended in death.

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Young O finds Dr. Kim Min Jae sorting items in his office. He says she knows he doesn’t like other people touching his stuff. Min Jae counters that she’s more than “other people”. Yes, she confessed first that she liked him. Then Young O put her on hold for 5 years when he studied abroad. She suggests they end things. As she walks past him, he grabs her arm and stops her. He whips out a jeweler’s box and asks Min Jae to marry him! He thinks they’ll be “great partners”. He promises that he’ll never look at another woman. They smile at each other. I like that he’s got enough interpersonal skills to have a love interest from the get go.

Jin Sang is upset when Sargent Park tells her that as the only witness to the hit and run of motorcycle man, the police cannot investigate the case as murder. Plus the man is dead because he died on the operating table. She sees motorcycle man’s son down the hall. Sargent Park tells her that the boy has no living relatives and will go to a shelter. Upset, Jin Sang walks away. When Sargent Park finds her, she’s upset that she had nothing positive to say to the boy. She feels that she let him and his father down today. Jin Sang wants to investigate the car and request an autopsy. The declares she’ll find out what really happened to motor cycle man.

Dr. Hyung relives key moments of the surgery over in his mind and Young O’s rooftop conversation. He and Doctor Nam Ho Young agree it was odd when Young O predicted what would happen at a key point in the surgery. He finds Young O and asks how he knew what would happen. Young O wonders why he asks. He notes any mistakes Dr. Hyung made should be kept to himself. Once again, Dr. Hang is surprised at Young O’s line of thinking. He tries to get details from pathology, but the doctor is not forthcoming. Next he asks Dr. Nam if he can watch the surgery video. Wait a minute, the surgery video has been deleted. The doctor in charge of videos is unconcerned. He tells Dr. Hyung that the police autopsy should be interesting.

After the autopsy, the corner tells Jin Sang that the cause of death is excessive bleeding for multiple injuries. Jin Sang can’t believe the corner’s words that nothing unusual happened.

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Young O’s father is waiting outside his office. He tells his son that the live surgery and simultaneous surgery have Young O in the spotlight. Young O moves out of view of the CCTV and tells his father “I wasn’t caught”. What does that mean? Young O smiles and walks away.

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Sargent York says the car revealed nothing of interest in the investigation. Jin Sang remembers the rash (or burns) on motorcycle man. She recalls she did not see the rash in the autopsy room. She rushes to the coroner who tells her per the surviving son’s phone call, the body has been cremated. She thinks the body was switched at the hospital with a quick cremation to hide the fact. Did Young O switch the body? Jin Sang reviews the morgue CCTV footage. She sees Young O look at the body and then looks directly at the CCTV.

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Dr. Hyung can’t get Young O’s words out of his head. Jin Sang goes to Young O’s office. She looks at his computer. She recalls that surgery video was deleted. Bingo, she finds the surgery video on Young O’s computer. Young O enters the room and asks what Jin Sang is doing there. She accuses Young O of deleting the surgery video and switching the corpse. She accuses Young O of killing the patient during surgery. He grabs her throat! Jin Sang repeats her accusation that he deleted the surgery video. Young O pulls out a scalpel! Young O raises the scalpel and appears to plunge it into Jin Sang!

My Thoughts

* Not everything was perfect, but this was a solid first episode (and I’m not saying that because I’m a Jang Hyuk fan). First episodes have the difficult task of setting the story stage and introducing the characters.
The pluses:
a. Jang Hyuk made Young O intriguing
b. Story drew me in and surprised me in several spots. I want to know why motor cycle man was killed, I want to know what happened during the surgery that guaranteed death, etc. The first half of the story focuses on the politician Mr. Kim and the second half focused on motorcycle man.
c. The after surgery scene was emotionally on point.
The minuses:
a. Lots of characters and it was difficult to know who was who.

* Jang Hyuk portrayed Lee Young O as a confident, calm, with a cocky edge. Young O and his father have a different vibe between them. Color me surprised that Young O proposed to Min Jae and smiled! I was thinking Young O would be emotionally regressed and the female lead would teach him to get in touch with his feelings. But no, Young O has emotion but he’s guarded and tactical in his interactions. It’s like he’s observing the action from a distance and his reactions are measured. I liked Young O.

* Park So Dam was fine as Jin Sang. My favorite moment was her cold schooling of Young O in the emergency treatment law and putting the handcuffs to make her point with Young O.

* Yoon Hyun Min gave Doctor Hyun Suk Joo an earnest vibe. He cares about his patients. He was willing to take on a difficult surgery with low odds. He stood up Jin Sang on their date, but he was so scattered with work, Jin Sang understood and forgave.

* Heo Jun Ho’s portrayal of Young O’s father, Lee Gun Myung, made me curious. What is his backstory with Young O? Why was he rude to politician Dr. Kim?

Recaps/Reviews:
Episode 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | Series | A.D.DO! Review | Prettysup Review | Jane Tilly Review | Beez Review

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Posted in Beautiful Mind, Recaps
28 comments on “Beautiful Mind Episode 1 Recap
  1. prettysup says:

    Have been waiting for your recap.. The first 2 episodes were blasting! JH nailed LYO’s character perfectly!

  2. A.D.DO! says:

    Wonderful recap, thanks….needed help with this one! But really loving it..JH’s characterization is paralizing, as always…a cold s.o.b., yes…yet so many layers right under the surface. Fascinating to watch. The man can act!

  3. Beez says:

    Glad you’re recapping this. I got a different vibe from Young O’s “romance”. I thought it was cold and calculating. He thought they’d make good “partners”. He’s probably calculated the convenience to himself of her working at the same hospital, what both their salaries combined can accomplish, etc.

    Also, I am one of the few weirdos who doesn’t mind the possessiveness of “the Kdrama wrist grab” (when it’s the right actor doing it), but Young O’s elbow wrench, each time more violent, had me going – how can I root for this character? (Well, it’s Hyukie do you know I will, even if he turns out to be a serial killer. lol)

    Still, as far as our getting to see JH using his acting chops,this is a zillion times better than “Merchant”. It also tells me that the problems with that series was more on the director’s and production end.

    • kjtamuser says:

      I agree that Young O sees her as a logical addition to his life but does not romantically care for her. My comment stems from my initial thought that this character would be 100% emotionally stunted. This first episode showed that not to be true, which makes Young O even more interesting. Calculating, smart, cocky…Young O is not boring.

      Young O’s elbow wrench was to stop her from leaving and blowing his proposal moment. It was a nice ring.

      “Still, as far as our getting to see JH using his acting chops,this is a zillion times better than “Merchant”. It also tells me that the problems with that series was more on the director’s and production end.”

      At the end of the first episode I thought to myself, why would multiple lead actors reject this part? But their choices provided us an opportunity to see JH with only a tiny break after Merchant.

  4. Drama Fan says:

    Guys! Im sooooo happy to see you again! Gosh! I don’t have anything too smart to say just that IM LOVING this one!

  5. gracie0423 says:

    Hi,

    Looking forward to your episode 2 recap. Hope to see it soon

  6. Nao says:

    Yay, you’re recapping this! I was hoping you would 🙂 Just finished the first episode and will move onto the next. JH’s acting is awesome! I love seeing both his intensity and charm and mystery. I like that he’s doing a darker role.

  7. Jane Tilly says:

    I’m a week behind the rest of you…I had to finish up Another Oh Hae Young before I could start another drama. I can hardly believe our Hyukie has another drama so soon after Merchant—I like that he is a hard worker.

    Motorcyclist’s scar on his arm is a burn scar. When the motorcyclist hit Jin Sung’s windshield, I thought I would jump out of my skin! I have empathy for his deaf son, who is now left along in the world. Looks like one of the first story lines is to figure out what the motorcyclist was going to expose—it must have been serious for him to be killed. Looks like our trusty police officer Gye Jin Sung is already on the case.

    Not only is this the episode that introduces us to the characters, but this show several of the main characters exhibiting their moxy: Dr. LYO blackmailing the politician into live surgery, Officer JS citing the law and arresting LYO; Dr. Hyun Suk Joo with his dual surgery proposal to LYO.

    LIVE SURGERY is when the patient is sedated, but awake—that way they can test brain reactions during surgery, such as reflexes, comprehension and speech. From what I understand it is riskier as the patient may potentially feel pain (or possibly to freak out?), but is very helpful for the surgeon to be able to pinpoint or avoid particular areas of the brain.

    How could Young O be boring—he is being portrayed by Jung Hyuk! I like LYO’s confidence and swagger, I don’t like the underlying sinister vibe of his character. This is supposed to loosely based on Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. I believe JH is our Dr. Frankenstein. The most antagonistic character I have seen JH play was in Chuno. I’m not sure I’m ready to see him as a villain, although I have NOT DOUBT he will do a great job of it. I got the same vibe as Beez when it came to LYO’s “romance”… seems to me he was more interested in good connections (M & A) than romance.

    Is Young O really that good of a doctor that he can predict medical outcomes or is he manipulating situations? Young O is looking mighty suspicious:
    • his “I wasn’t caught” confession to his dad
    • him being in the morgue with the patient that had his body switched for the autopsy
    • him being in possession of the “deleted” surgery video
    • oh yeah, let’s not forget him catching Jin Sung in his office and appearing to stab her with a scalpel! What a way to start out—maybe it is someone’s imagination.

    This was a solid first episode that has me intrigued. I looking forward to catching up with the rest of you.

    • Beez says:

      Hey, Jane Tilly *waves*

      What’s (M & A)?

      Did you ever get my email? I sent one to you that was like a book about how I became a kdrama junkie and answered a lot of your questions but my Kindle Fire blew a gasket and ate the email. So I wrote another short one explaining that and giving you my other (main) email address.

      (I think rogue kdrama streaming sites infected my Kindle Fire so it’s out, along with the email address that I used only on the Kindle Fire.)

      • Jane Tilly says:

        *waves* back at ya! Missed you girl–Another Oh Hae Young was even better than expected–I recommend you find time to watch it!

        M & A = Mergers and Acquisitions AKA a marriage for financial gain or financial maintenance

        I had not been on that account in AGES! I just sent you an email.

        • Beez says:

          ROTFL because I imagined something similar to how most guys think “T&A” but M&A is what titilates Young Oh.

    • kjtamuser says:

      I know I should be open to LYO being a villain, but I want to reject that line of thinking. Time will tell…

      • Beez says:

        Me too! I think already they’ve shown us that each time we think he’s up to no good, there’s been a rational reason for his actions (although cold) so I’m hoping…

        In fact, I’m not adverse to romance stirring something in him. I know a lot of people have commented elsewhere that the show should forego the romance. I’m fine either way as long as the writing & directing stays good but I’m always down for love conquering all.

        • kjtamuser says:

          I concur that so far, LYO actions have had reasons behind them. If he turns out to be a villain, then I’ll accept it.

          I agree about the romance. So far I don’t see Jin Sang an obvious love match for LYO. Again I agree about the writing. I’ve seen Jang Hyuk do wonders with subpar material but I’d love this show to continue to give him solid material.

  8. Jane Tilly says:

    It is so early to tell what will happen, but LYO so far has been cold. I can’t wait to see how this plays out and all of the characters develop. I wish they wouldn’t bother telling us when dramas are based on books, movies etc. Goodbye Mr. Black was supposed to be based on The Count of Monte Cristo–there was very little resemblance. They should have said SOME of the characters were inspired by The Count of Monte Cristo.

    • Beez says:

      Ha! Kdrama doesn’t even stick to their own synopses or teaser-trailers. I refuse to watch the trailers because they give false expectations. Even the posters lie (I’m still mad at Merchant for the poster of Jang Hyuk decked out in that beautiful hanbok (are men’s ckothes called hanbok too?) that we never got to see him in. And that was based on a Korean novel. I assume the novel had him become a top merchant which is why the posters dressed him so eloquently. That also makes me think we never saw the way the novel actually ended nor the story the show originally set out to tell. Wasn’t it called “The Great Merchant” at one point?

      Anyway, I agree with you. A lot of times titles are identical to classic English stories but have nothing to do with that tale. Which I’d be okay with if anything even metaphorically had to do with the title. I’ve finally learned not to expect anything from the titles. Remember Couple Trouble (aka Fantasy Couple)? I wondered how the Hong Sisters didn’t get sued because the first half of the story was almost identical to Overboard.(Which they admitted.) But then it ran off the rails at the end even when they could’ve just followed the U.S. movie to the ending at that point. But I suppose a good ending goes against kdrama tradition: 15 amazing episodes and pffffft 16!

      • kjtamuser says:

        The 15 good episodes and 1 bad happens with more regularity than I find believable. I’m still surprised when it happens.

        • Beez says:

          I enjoy the majority of the story so much that I’ve decided to just live with it. The humor (I watch mostly rom-coms) and the innocence and the innuendo ate all worth it. Sometimes I decide episode 14 or 15 is my ending. lol (Unless it’s episode 18 or 19 out of 20,etc.)

  9. Jane Tilly says:

    Enjoying the majority of the story and living with the rest is how I finally came to terms with “Please Come Back Mister”. Another outstanding drama that was trashed with the last episode.

    Despite the writer-nims using soju as their writing inspiration, I still prefer most of the Korean dramas I have seen to the majority of American TV shows.

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