What makes someone a monster and what makes someone a “normal” person? Is a psychopath who can’t empathize a monster or is a greedy chairman who values money above all else a monster? Is a kind doctor who does his best for his patients but treats his son as if he were a monster a monster or is a mother who would do anything for her daughter but disregards the lives of her patients a monster? What about power-hungry or fame-hungry doctors who don’t seem to care that much about their patients? After watching six episodes of Beautiful Mind, I can now say that I am hooked and am counting down the days until the next episode. The drama is extremely complex and gives you a lot to chew on. It’s a humanizing medical thriller with a lot of great actors who make you invested in their characters. It’s disappointing that this drama isn’t getting the attention or the ratings it deserves; it is a definitely a drama that is worth watching!
Here are some thoughts along with my favorite scenes/parts of each episode:
Why couldn’t you save him?
Kang Cheol Min’s surgery was a surgery that Lee Young Oh didn’t want to perform because he knew that it would end with a table death and that going through the surgery wouldn’t be worth it. However, because it was a dual surgery, he became intrigued and went with it. As he predicted, the surgery ended with a table death. He quickly walks out of the operating room, right past Kang Cheol Min’s deaf son, Kang Yong Joon. As the other doctors and nurses come out of the operating room, they look defeated and apologetic. They had almost succeeded, but had failed in the end. After they apologize to Kang Yong Joon, he walks past them and screams as pounds on the operating room door. Their apologetic looks turn into looks of horror and devastation as they realize that Kang Yong Joon was deaf.
This was a great part that highlights the differences between Lee Young Oh and his colleagues. First, Young Oh was able to accurately predict the outcome of the surgery. He had no false hope that a miracle could happen. He was very logical in his deduction and was proud that he was right. He simply went into the surgery because it was an interesting dual surgery and he wanted to prove that he was right and to see the defeated look of his confident colleagues as their hopes are crushed. Second, Young Oh is very observant and knew the moment he first saw Kang Yong Joon that he was deaf. Instead of finding his behavior strange or questioning him, Young Oh simply observed and came to the right conclusion. The other doctors questioned where his mother was, telling him that surgery papers needed to be signed. They found it strange that he didn’t seem to care. As a doctor, Young Oh doesn’t ask his patients questions. He observes first, comes to a conclusion, and simply gets confirmation. Third, we see how he doesn’t empathize with his patients’ family. After the surgery, he feels nothing, walks past the family, and doesn’t stop to say anything, as if it’s not worth his time. The other doctors all came out looking down and after realizing that Yong Joon was deaf, they struggled to cope with the fact that they failed to save his father. These doctors could feel the family’s pain.
I figured it out. That my talent as a doctor is here, in my completely empty heart.
Young Oh and his father have one of the most interesting relationships in this drama. It seems Young Oh wants the approval of his father, but at the same time, he believes that he is a better doctor. After all, he was able to save a patient that his father couldn’t save. Because of his father, he wants to appear normal and not get caught for having anti-social personality disorder; however, he seems to know that his illness is not simply a hindrance. Young Oh essentially tells his father here “My weakness is my strength. It makes me a superior doctor.” Young Oh has been told time and time again to act like a normal person, that he’s not normal because he can’t feel what others feel. But this is a glimpse of how he might not feel like it’s a bad thing that he’s not normal.
You think you’re a good doctor, right?
What makes a good doctor? Is a good doctor just someone who makes the correct diagnosis? Who is a better doctor – a doctor who understands how you feel and does his best to reassure you but misdiagnoses or a doctor who causes your family to fall apart to confirm his correct diagnosis? Dr. Hwang questions Dr. Lee’s actions. Can he still be considered a good doctor for doing that to his patient’s family?
Again, we see that Young Oh believes that he is a superior doctor because he is able to make the correct diagnosis and perform a difficult surgery. It doesn’t matter that he can’t feel his patients’ and her family’s pain because he was right and he saved her life, which not a lot of surgeons would’ve been able to do.
In this world, there are only two kinds of people: those who have exposed their true selves and those whose trues selves haven’t been exposed yet.
You… you’ve never expressed your feelings to anyone, right? You’ve never accepted anyone’s feelings either, right?
It’s interesting that Young Oh sees everyone as one of two kinds: those who have exposed themselves and those who haven’t. He’s always trying so hard to hide his true self and at the same time, he’s really good at reading others and exposing them. But here, Jin Seong hits the bullseye without even realizing it. Although he hasn’t been officially exposed, Jin Seong can already see what he’s truly like. It’s just that she doesn’t realize that it is an illness and not a choice.
Lee Young Oh, the 205th baby abandoned at the Grace Center… I was the one who made you human.
This was enlightening. The whole time, I thought Center Chief Lee just had a terrible way of showing his son that he loved him. After watching this, we learn that Young Oh is not his biological son, so Chief Lee doesn’t love him at all. Not only that but Chief Lee didn’t even give Young Oh a proper name. Lee Young Oh is 205th baby abandoned at the Grace Center. Lee Young Oh and 205 sound similar. I’m really curious to know why Chief Lee adopted Young Oh and if he chose Young Oh specifically.
Episode 6 is by far my favorite episode so far, and I can’t pick between my two favorite scenes:
Because you’re not a monster like me, are you capable of feeling the depth of someone else’s pain?
Jang Hyuk really showcases his acting here. After being subjected to a polygraph test, he gives conflicting statements and makes the test unreliable. After Officer No yells at him to stop and throws a glass cup in frustration, Young Oh asks if it’s possible that he could feel another person’s pain because he’s not a “monster.” We can see how lost Lee Young Oh is, how he’s struggling to understand, and how he sees himself as a monster. He’s in pain, both physically and mentally, and he just needs someone to lovingly show him the way, to help him understand what he can’t understand. For the first time in his life, someone reaches out to him to try to help him. Gye Jin Seong does her best to answer his question so that he’ll understand. She tells him that while she may not be able to feel the pain exactly as he does, she can guess how it feels and she is compelled to do something for him even if it may not help him and even if he may not want the help.
Help me. Please, please…
Lyrics: Please accept my feelings. Please acknowledge my feelings.
What an ending! Lee Young Oh prides himself in being a superior doctor who can save patients that others may not be able to. After being removed from his position for saving a patient who claimed he didn’t want to receive treatment but whose body language said he was scared of dying, Young Oh can’t understand what he did wrong. Isn’t it his job to save people? Why would a woman kill her husband, who could have lived because he saved him?
He is completely lost and wanders outside. When a man tries to stop him from crossing the street as the cars are driving by, he turns around and beats him up, not knowing that the man was doing him a favor. As all the onlookers stare with horrified expressions, he asks what he’s done wrong as a doctor.
Again, Gye Jin Seong appears to help him. She asks him if he is okay and tells him not to worry. Probably, no one has ever done this for him before. In his vulnerable state, he asks for her help.
This marks the beginning of something beautiful. I cannot wait to see how this relationship blossoms and how she helps him to grow so that he can understand the world better and stop seeing himself as a monster.
And the song!! The lyrics fit the scene so well. I loved them so much that I just had to translate them.
This is definitely a drama worth checking out! Marathon the first six episodes before the next one comes out on Monday!
Watch it on: Viki