Beautiful Mind Episode 12 Kwoncap [TriAngle]
“But now misery has come home, and men appear to me as monsters thirsting for each other’s blood.” (Frankenstein – Mary Shelley)
“Doctors don’t save people’s lives, they only extend them.
Arguing, laughing, talking and eating with loved ones;
Those daily, meaningless things.
People on average tend to find happiness in those things.
Happiness that I haven’t felt yet.
Those are feeling I’ve never learned or experienced.”
∇ Wandering still; crossroads. ∇
There was an empty sense of disappointment overtaking Young Oh’s world after finding out that nothing had changed and he was pretending to be content with his stagnant waters that were remaining untouched by emotion. He was always preaching that one’s lips may lie, but his/her body couldn’t. He was so distracted trying to utter words he couldn’t trust he didn’t notice his tea was overflowing and his body wasn’t lying. The next patient was suffering from chronic facial pain even though the nerves on her face had been removed. Her brain was making her feel neuropathic pain that wasn’t real; a vicious compensation for the loss of her nerves. It was something that made Min Jae state that life without suffering wasn’t real and she had a point. Life isn’t an amusement park where everyone feels everlasting bliss. Human suffering is also an emotional indication that someone is alive in the real world despite his/her hardships and the obstacles he/she has to overcome in order to feel better. Setting aside her betrayal, Min Jae’s world collapsed the moment she found out that the only person who treated her well was actually pretending to be a caring figure. Everything she had lived by Young Oh’s side was unreal, just like the patient’s pain, but with the difference that Min Jae’s pain that followed the truth she had uncovered was real.
“Nothing is as painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.” (Frankenstein – Mary Shelley). Young Oh would feel the deafening dissonance of that line by the end of the episode. Starting over would never be an option for Young Oh. If he had to make a decision then it would be to resume with Jin Sung from where their mutual development paused on Young Oh’s behalf. It was something pure that had barely began and it never really ended even though he was trying to lean towards that direction. “There is something at work in my soul, which I do not understand.” (Frankenstein – Mary Shelley). She was the only person to ever attract him in ways he would neither expect nor understand. Even so, he kept walking upon their mutual pathway as they were getting closer; Young Oh instinctively and Jin Sung consciously. “I felt emotions of gentleness and pleasure, that had long appeared dead, revive within me. Half surprised by the novelty of these sensations, I allowed myself to be borne away by them, and forgetting my solitude and deformity, dared to be happy.” (Frankenstein – Mary Shelley). Although we can’t talk about concrete emotions in full bloom, I think this line paces perfectly well with Young Oh’s silent awakening when it comes to feelings that had forcefully fallen in deep slumber since his childhood years.
Everything was developing well with Jin Sung deciding to give it a shot while Young Oh was making an effort, but everything started falling apart the moment Young Oh needed palpable proof that would justify the wind of change that was caressing his face. I am referring to Young Oh’s belief that medicine holds the absolute truth to everything happening in life while neglecting the fact that feelings were more than chemical reactions that were making people find themselves in specific states of mind and heart eventually. The way people externalize their feelings may be somewhat specific and like-minded in a wide variety of occasions, but it can’t substitute the individuality of one’s innermost feelings. Due to his condition and with medicine being his unerring companion Young Oh was excelling at profiling others’ feelings in most of the occasions, but he was lacking in embracing each and every feeling’s very soul and essence and nobody can blame him for that. Even though there wasn’t medical proof, something was really changing underneath the surface through the emotional stimuli he was receiving from Jin Sung and Young Oh was silently processing them, but he chose medicine over his very own truth and halted his ongoing development by Jin Sung’s side.
He wouldn’t answer her phone calls, he would avoid staring at her inside the elevator and he wouldn’t even reply to everything she had to say. However, Jin Sung’s words wouldn’t leave him unaffected and would be of major importance in the way he’d approach his next patient. Young Oh was like a shadow of himself inside the elevator and he was reminding the “good old” Young Oh we had met during the beginning of the drama. Jin Sung wasn’t there to argue or try to convince him to be with her, she was well aware that something like that would never work with someone like Young Oh. She was laconic and meaningful to the fullest by stating that all she wanted was to spend time with him. Soon enough he’d realize the real meaning behind such simple yet deep words.
After her meeting with Young Oh, Jin Sung would visit Suk Joo for one more checkup now that a dream had come true and she was a member of the violent crimes division. Even though it was a short one it was a scene which was declaring how typical Jin Sung and Suk Joo’s relationship had become after her growing feelings for Young Oh emerged along with Suk Joo’s decision to support the regenerative medicine all along the way. Jin Sung’s heart was in pain and the more she was thinking of Young Oh the more her heart was aching. Her “even though you think with your brain, why does your heart and not your head ache when you think about someone?” question was a rhetorical one and it was revealing the weight of her longing and pain in equal amounts.
Young Oh’s next patient was suffering from Ewing’s Sarcoma and he wasn’t his attending doctor in the first place, but the patient’s wife’s approach while being fully aware of her husband’s condition stroke a Jin Sung oriented chord. All she needed was some time, not only to be with him, but also for her husband to see their baby. It wouldn’t be an easy operation and almost all hope was lost, but Young Oh decided to take the risk. Dr. Leenkenstein had noticed that something was different this time, but it was neither the patient’s despair nor Young Oh’s urge to prove his grandeur as a surgeon that made him take that risk. Even Young Oh himself wasn’t certain about the reason why he took that decision. Soon enough, the answers would start approaching him one after the other in meaningful yet often devastating ways.
∇ A war against time; happiness is in the small things. ∇
Young Oh witnessed many aspects of the couple. He could see the patient’s bright smile and the sense of hope it was evoking even at the thought of Young Oh operating on him despite the fact that the possibilities were against them. He was almost blinded by the tremendous amounts of love they were sharing and he could easily tell that the woman standing in front of him was meaning every single word she said while stating that she needed more time with her husband. Hearing his patient talk with so much love about his wife and openly adoring that side of hers that could appear a bit nerve-shaking to others must had been quite something for someone like Young Oh. In addition, Young Oh’s reactions to her full of love explosions were quite hilarious and I overly enjoyed the moment she called him a surgery machine which was resembling my “savior machine” characterization! A consent form was essential and they’d also have to follow Young Oh’s decisions and treatment method no matter what, but this time it was Young Oh the one who was walking upon a different pathway.
In one hand, medical science prevented him from interacting with Jin Sung to a wider extent because he put his trust in medical facts instead of listening to his inner voice telling him that something had actually started changing even though it was still far from his sight. On the other hand, medical science was there for him in the next uncertain yet fierce battle against death and the inevitable. It was neither for longevity nor treatment, but for life itself even if it wouldn’t last because it would mean the world to the patient and his wife. Even though Young Oh was in charge of everything going on he was indirectly letting the patient and his wife make their own decisions and he was pacing with their flow in his own distinctive way. The more he was observing them the more he could understand that they were an inseparable part of one another despite being aware that the end wasn’t far away and Jin Sung’s words about spending time together were making even more sense. It was that couple’s time and Young Oh couldn’t change the clock’s direction, but he would try to slower its pace. Young Oh chose something deeper over his usual clinical approach, but without neglecting his responsibilities. He was pretty much aware that operating on that patient could put his career in danger, but he proceeded and his operation was a success. He was more lenient and it was more than apparent the moment he discharged the patient from the hospital in order for him to spend precious time with his wife and without revealing his post-operation condition (the tumor had spread to the spinal nerves and Young Oh could possibly sense the end approaching).
Young Oh’s observations would change his way of thinking and he would be relentless in front of his father. It was an approach that would reach completion by the end of the episode, but the first seeds had already bloomed the moment he said that doctors were only extending people’s lives instead of saving them. Love and happiness are essential parts of one’s life and life itself can be found in small things like laughing, arguing, eating and talking with your loved ones. All the happiness people were treasuring in their daily lives was something that Young Oh hadn’t felt up to that point even though he was in the process of eventually finding out through his interactions with Jin Sung. Once again, we could witness Young Oh’s empty equivalent of longing to be normal and feel everything he had neither learned nor experienced before. The operating room may be his safe haven and his office may be a place where he can hide, but his Jin Sung oriented collection is what brings him peace of mind when his longing doesn’t pace with reality.
The patient eventually collapsed and was rushed back to the hospital. Young Oh had already promised to keep him alive until he’d hold his baby in his loving hands, it was the patient’s turn to fulfill his own promise by hanging in there no matter what. The edema due to the radiation treatment was deteriorating his condition and Young Oh kept reminding him of his promise. One of the most important lines throughout the episode was when the patient told Young Oh that he was saying nice things in such a mean way and it was true. Young Oh’s more humane approach was radiant, but without neglecting his rational way of thinking. It was the first time Young Oh would stay by a patient’s side and Dr. Leenkenstein could tell that something was different this time. Young Oh needed one of the ECMOs inside the hospital, but Suk Joo wouldn’t give it in case a clinical trial patient’s condition would deteriorate. The regenerative medicine’s reputation was more important to him than a patient with low chances of survival and it would be the first and last time Young Oh would bow his head. Young Oh’s neck-grabbing approach resurfaced and Sung Eun ran away with the ECMO, but Young Oh’s words left an even greater impact than the first time he uttered them. Suk Joo had already sacrificed the “good person” etiquette, but Young Oh wondering if he was a good doctor was like breaking through his last defensive line. Before passing away, the patient urged Young Oh to stop trying to keep him alive even though Young Oh kept reminding him of his promise. It was also the first time Young Oh would subside his amok-like attempts to save a patient’s life no matter what and he paid attention to a dying patient’s last words. However, it didn’t mean that Young Oh wouldn’t break apart to eventually find himself at the threshold of a truth he would never imagine.
∇ A truthful torrent; gateways of despair. ∇
Doctor Oh Young Bae was the leading figure of Green Pharmacy, a pharmaceutical organization eager to raise its profit without caring about the patient’s lives. It was pacing perfectly well with Hyun Joon and Soon Ho’s ambitions and he was the one behind the sudden massive funding of the regenerative medicine. Dr. Leenkenstein noticed him only after he had bowed in front of Hyun Joon in a last attempt to prevent the inevitable flow of events and hell was about to break loose. Young Oh’s condition became a pawn on Young Bae’s chessboard and he kept blackmailing Dr. Leenkenstein in order to gain his cooperation to the fullest. Dr. Leenkenstein tried to remain intact when it comes to the research’s humanitarian characteristics and stated that there will come an era when patients will be dying because they will be unable to pay for treatment since Young Bae and the likes of him were only caring about their own well-being. Of course, Young Bae’s permanent counter attack would be to either reveal the secret to Young Oh or Dr. Leenkenstein becoming his lifetime partner and “friend” working for Green Pharmacy and paving the way to even more profit. His only ally was Suk Joo who was in charge of the clinical trial patients who should be treated in order to promote the effectiveness of the stem cell treatment method. Dr. Leenkenstein had put his trust in Suk Joo hoping he’d succeed in making the regenerative medicine a safe treatment method and the patients’ safety would decide the research’s success over the potential money-making factor and the patent.
Things were becoming more complicated inside the hospital due to Young Oh’s decision to perform a risky surgery and do everything he could to save the patient’s life; Young Bae’s pressure intensified. “Listen to me, Frankenstein. You accuse me of murder; and yet you would, with a satisfied conscience, destroy your own creature. Oh, praise the eternal justice of man!” (Frankenstein – Mary Shelley). Dr. Leenkenstein may had decided to accept Young Bae’s proposal in order for the secret to remain hidden forever, but it wasn’t like Young Bae’s silence wouldn’t have a price. Dr. Leenkenstein may had appeared as if he was choosing to protect his son from the burden such a revelation would bestow on Young Oh’s shoulders and Dr. Leenkenstein kept praising himself and his efforts since Young Oh was leaning more and more towards normality. However, his “treatment” method was neither successful nor he had chosen his own son. Once again, he had chosen his very own reputation and accepting Young Bae’s proposal was the easy way out, but it was also the vicious way into hell. Back in the days, the surgery was successful and Dr. Leenkenstein transformed a perfectly normal human being into an empty entity pretending to be the one he would had been had he grown up normally with love and paternal affection. Dr. Leenkenstein rushed to meet Min Jae who had seen Young Oh’s scans and he desperately wanted her to tell him whether Young Oh was normal or not after the surgery.
At this point, it would be way too easy on my behalf to say “oh, it wasn’t Dr. Leenkenstein’s medical malpractice, it was Young Bae’s fault and Young Oh was healthy, but eventually Dr. Leenkenstein’s approach was responsible for his current condition” and leave everything floating around as if it would make perfect sense, but I wouldn’t have a clear conscience. I really hope there will be a very good explanation concerning the MRI scans because things don’t seem to be making much sense at this point. What exactly was Young Bae’s fault? Did he misread the scans? Did he read someone else’s scans and mistook them for Young Oh’s? Or did he make an intentional change in order to have Dr. Leenkenstein in the palm of his hand in the future and/or ruin his career? Because the human condition that was filled with ambition and selfishness leans towards that direction when it comes to Young Bae and everything was flowing according to plan at the present. Okay, we get it, Dr. Leenkenstein’s surgery was a success, but how can one of the finest neurosurgeons not check the scans himself or take new ones in the process to witness Young Oh’s progress? How can he not know at the present whether Young Oh’s post-operational condition was normal or not back then? Was he trusting Young Bae that much or his despair due to his supposed malpractice made him believe that Young Bae’s diagnosis was the one and only truth and focused blindly on making Young Oh look normal? The human condition applies to Dr. Leenkenstein too, but the scans Min Jae had seen back in the days were indicating damage in the frontal lobe, she can’t have just misread them too since she was specializing in neurons and behavioral characteristics. And what about the new scans? They couldn’t be wrong and Min Jae couldn’t be wrong either, unless she wanted to hide something, but I doubt that’s the case here. Due to Dr. Leenkenstein’s “treatment” Young Oh’s frontal lobe must had been shrinking throughout the years because Young Oh wasn’t receiving and transmitting emotions, he was learning how to profile them on others in order to reply accordingly and pass for normal.
Young Oh’s solitude at the staircase was being tormented by his father’s horrifying words while still recalling his patient’s last moments, but it was nothing compared to what would follow after Min Jae visited him. Young Oh was still trying to figure out who he was, not only as an individual, but as a member of society as well. Even though he had really tried to change he kept wondering if he was a monster and you have to love how Jang Hyuk’s voice was breaking at times. The different tone of his voice during crucial questions was evoking something fragile and corrosive; Young Oh desperately needed an answer. He wasn’t a monster, he was a victim that had go through excessive psychological abuse, but he was also his father’s failure that had to go into hiding in order for Dr. Leenkenstein’s reputation to remain intact. The episode opened up its curtains and closed them inside the same room that psychological abuse began and Young Oh’s emotional world collapsed.
At the very beginning of the episode, while the wall was almost empty with just a few sketches indicating the emotional crime in motion, Young Oh was happy and he was quite enthusiastic that Dr. Leenkenstein had taken him under his wings after treating him. There was longing for paternal love inside a healthy environment, but it was a sense of happiness that was bound to eclipse, along with Young Oh’s childhood purity. Young Oh didn’t have antisocial personality disorder after the operation, but he eventually developed it due to his father’s approach which was a form of psychological abuse. We’re talking about an emotionally fertile ground that didn’t get watered and eventually withered, but we’re not talking about barren soil; everything that was lost might be found. “I shall commit my thoughts to paper, it is true; but that is a poor medium for the communication of feeling. I desire the company of a man who could sympathize with me, whose eyes would reply to mine.” (Frankenstein – Mary Shelley). Jin Sung was the only one who dared to plant seeds of potentially growing emotions and she was that person who empathized with Young Oh, embraced him for who he was and wanted to be with him. Jin Sung helped Young Oh redefine himself in his surrounding environment up to an extent and there were shards of feelings he couldn’t put together yet he was hoping to be there. Except for the wall inside his room which was Young Oh’s very own paper equivalent of a “poor medium for communication or feeling” there was another wall, the one of medical science which was his a compass preventing him from seeing his current truth which was under development.
However, he had to face another form of truth there where everything began. “But now misery has come home, and men appear to me as monsters thirsting for each other’s blood.” Even though Dr. Leenkenstein was also a victim of the circumstances it doesn’t change the fact that he abused his own son through a “treatment” method that alienated him from the world. A monster had raised a monster, it was an abhorrent like father like son transformation for which Young Oh had to pay the utmost price; becoming a stranger to life and its innermost gifts. Dr. Leenkenstein was devastated while drinking inside the crime scene while Young Oh was desperately trying to figure out which facial expression would suit him the most in a moment like this when everything he knew had collapsed and everything he should had known was out of reach for decades. The one who was his only family, the man who had saved his life had also ruined his life and Young Oh could easily tell that the real monster was the man who had raised him in a like-minded way. The wall would no longer be his benchmark but a vicious remembrance of all these empty years. Tearing down his study on human emotions one paper right after the other was a grand declaration of a new chapter in his life; “I no longer want to live as your failure.” I will say it once again, the way Jang Hyuk’s voice was breaking was bringing forth all the desolate emotions Young Oh would portray had he been able to feel while his whole life was dissolving before his very eyes.
P.S. or Anatomy of a Heart: Doctors’ ratings dropped a bit but they still remain powerful (18.7%), Monster achieved its best ratings to date (11.3%) and Beautiful Mind rated 3.9%, but I hope it will surpass the 5% barrier at least once in its remaining two episodes. I have already said almost everything I wanted to, but I will point out once again that there has to be a really good explanation about the MRI scans in the forthcoming episodes, a drama like Beautiful Mind deserves its consistency to the fullest despite the episode reduction. As for the preview (I watched it without subtitles so my assumptions will be based on what I saw), it smells like another mortality conference will take because of Young Oh’s decision to operate on a patient with low survival possibilities. Young Oh will find himself in the outside world in an attempt (probably) to meet himself far away from his father’s veil. Jin Sung’s condition will deteriorate and she will have to take the regenerative medicine? I can be certain about only one thing, the green t-shirt owns and the smiley on it even more! Young Oh is quite a troll once again and he was like “my t-shirt feels more than I do!” I can’t wait for the drama’s last episodes, but it’s also sad that it already reaches the end for reasons we all know. Let’s hope it will maintain its grandeur up to the very end because the whole Beautiful Mind team has worked really hard!
“I thought about it a lot.
Yet, I couldn’t come up with an answer.
Father, in this situation, what kind of facial expression am I supposed to make?
You saved my life, you are my only family.
You taught me everything about life.
When I found out that you are actually the monster who raised me to be a monster
What expression was I supposed to make?
You never taught me how to deal with this kind of tough emotion.
I, no longer, want to live as your failure.”
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