Beautiful Mind Episode 14 Kwoncap [TriAngle] ~ END
“I feel my heart glow with an enthusiasm which elevates me to heaven, for nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.” (Frankenstein – Mary Shelley)
“Please, don’t forget.
Every breath you take,
Please remember how I feel about you
And what you mean to me.”
∇ Securing the operation; segments of truth. ∇
Young Oh would never proceed without a plan, especially now that his Wi-Fi darling’s life was in danger. As I wrote in the previous article, in death, organ donation is a last act of kindness. In life, offering one of your most essential organs to save someone else’s life is an expression of unconditional love and utmost caring. We’re talking about a unique and rare medal getting to grace a first male lead’s jacket almost once in a lifetime. Young Oh earned it with his beautiful mind and an even more beautiful heart, the one that still has to figure out how to dance to the tempo of love, but what is an increased pulse in front of something so pure? He would never let anyone put Jin Sung’s life in danger and ruin an operation of major importance, one of those Young Oh dearly treasured, but this time he wouldn’t hold a scalpel as he was bound to “see” things from the other side of the fence. He was well aware that Soon Ho wouldn’t step back from his first official project with Green Pharmacy and he was pretty certain that the ethics committee wouldn’t stand still, but he had orchestrated pretty much everything and everyone would dance accordingly; whether they wanted it or not.
The 14th episode’s first phase began and ended with Young Oh and Dr. Leenkenstein’s insightful conversations which were revealing their dynamics through Young Oh’s lines and hand gestures; before and after the surgery. Dr. Leenkenstein, as a father and a doctor, would never let Young Oh move on with his overall plan, but there was nothing he could do to prevent him from proceeding. Literally speaking, he could put an end to Young Oh’s life-saving quest by informing the ethics committee and the higher ups right away, but Young Oh’s words were more powerful, especially now that the truth about the past had come to the surface. It was a déjà vu Dr. Leenkenstein would never expect and Young Oh’s point of view was crystal clear. Everything going on had made him realize how his father must had felt when everyone was against him operating on Young Oh back in the days, but he had proceeded anyway. There was nothing in the world that could blow out Young Oh’s utmost determination and the powerless rangers along with Sung Eun and nurse Jang would take care of the Soon Ho/Ki Ho oriented details. Most of them would buy Young Oh and Suk Joo time in an attempt to misguide the research lab rats until the operation would begin and some of them would be a part of the operating table teams; one for Young Oh and another one for Jin Sung. Of course, both operations were successful.
In one hand, Suk Joo not bowing in front of Soon Ho was a grand declaration of straying from his very own delusional world which had become an extension of Soon Ho’s ambitions and stated that he did his best to be a good doctor. On the other hand, Soon Ho’s empire was crumbling and his words that becoming the one he was at the present was all because those above him needed him and those below him feared him was one last roar before the flow of events would crush him down like the insect he was. Soon Ho and Hyun Joon had put their trust in the forthcoming ethics committee that would terminate Young Oh and Suk Joo in an attempt to kill two birds with one stone. Suk Joo’s post-operational conversation with Young Oh was depicting that Young Oh already had a plan in mind, but he was also aware of the fact that Suk Joo had sacrificed way too much for the regenerative medicine’s effectiveness. Giving it up would never be an option and Young Oh would take that factor into consideration in front of the ethics committee. But let’s move to a more important aspect of the episode’s first phase.
Jin Sung being the first person Young Oh would see after regaining consciousness was of major importance. After all, she was the one who was making his world pound with meaning amid traces of emotion and figuring out that she was fine, even though she was still unconscious, was something relieving despite the fact that he couldn’t stand by her side at that point. However, which man would gather all the strength he could after undergoing surgery to be close to his Wi-Fi darling? That man! And which man would become captain obvious (for one more time) when it comes to excuses while pretending that exercising in that condition was essential when all he wanted was to reach Jin Sung? Again, that man, the man, Young Oh! The same man would make phone calls to find out if the moment for Jin Sung to start having visitors had arrived for reasons we already know! Young Oh, you can’t hide from anyone, not even yourself, and it’s hilarious! Young Oh may had made some serious progress when it comes to interacting with others, but what was also important was the fact that people who feared/admired him, were somewhat jealous of his medical skills or simply couldn’t understand him had finally started acclimating themselves inside an environment that was including Young Oh and they were showing it in their own way (the powerless rangers, Sung Eun, nurse Jang – Jin Sung’s brother was a quirky and eruptive surprise).
The rooftop monologue wasn’t an act of forgiveness even though it was possessing such indirect dynamics. It was Young Oh’s reconciliation with himself through a deeper sense of understanding, but it was also a revelation of truth, the one Dr. Leenkenstein was struggling to avoid all these years; the black spot that was staining his reflection in the mirror and was more than alive every time Young Oh was veiling him with his shadow. Young Oh had realized that doctors weren’t gods holding the key of life whenever death would knock on someone else’s door and it was one of the reasons that broke the barriers holding back his tears for decades, but that realization reached insuperable heights when Jin Sung’s life was hanging by a thread. During the previous episode Young Oh was trying to find a way to save her, but there was nothing he could do and that sense of incompetence was devouring him even at the thought of the unimaginable; a life without Jin Sung. Something like that would forge an even deeper emptiness inside Young Oh’s already existent void and it would be unbearable. Losing the first person that accepted and loved him for who he was and made him emotionally aware up to an extent would form a trauma within a trauma he would had been unable to overcome. Offering her one of his lungs and choosing Jin Sung’s life (but also their mutual pathway that was deriving from it) over everything else was the epitome of unconditional love. Accepting his forthcoming termination was feeling so easy and effortless at that point whereas episodes ago he’d lose himself in his impulses had something like that was about to happen. Young Oh wasn’t feeling lost for the first time in his life, he was more concrete than ever before and he was fully aware that he was a human being; not a monster. He neither had to prove anything nor be accepted by anyone, especially his father; not anymore.
It was that sense of defeat and ongoing agony Young Oh’s face was reflecting every time Dr. Leenkenstein would stare at him as Young Oh was reminding him of the surgery that was supposed to be successful, but it wasn’t (yet it was). He was simply an ongoing reminder of his failure that was filling him with the fear of incompetence that was making him lead an incomplete life that was slowly devouring him. Young Oh may had grown up in fear of his father for having to follow his “teachings” and orders at all costs by restraining himself even though he would often retaliate, but the one who was wallowing in fear itself was none other than Dr. Leenkenstein who was also a victim of the circumstances, “the biggest one” in their relationship. Eventually, Young Oh couldn’t feel and he was content as a masterful doctor inside his operating room. All the suffering had befriended Dr. Leenkenstein, but it doesn’t make up for everything Young Oh went through. In case the operation hadn’t been successful Dr. Leenkenstein would have acted the same way in an attempt to make Young Oh invisible, just like he tried while thinking that he had failed in the first place. It was constant and conscious psychological abuse until his frontal lobe gradually shrank since it was neither receiving nor transmitting all the necessary emotional signals while growing up. Young Oh had learned how to detect feelings through facial/bodily expressions in order to reply accordingly, not because he could feel, but because he had to pass for normal and be a part of society. That’s how he was trained and antisocial personality disorder eventually became a part of himself since what was supposed to be a treatment method was nothing more than poison. Young Oh was free and holding and letting go of his father’s hand was a powerful symbolism following his words that Dr. Leenkenstein should also escape his own chains and finally be free. It was probably the first time he felt his son’s hand’s caress and, after such a truthful torrent, the horrifying sincerity of the moment could only bring forth his tears, the one’s he’d been keeping on the inside for decades; just like Young Oh. They lived intertwined lives with many common characteristics inside an ill-natured relationship and the thought that things could had been so much better and brighter from the start really hurts. At that point, they could only embrace a fully conscious (Young Oh) or in the making (Dr. Leenkenstein) sense of liberation from the chains of the past and move forward.
∇ Responsibility; deliverance. ∇
Not many people really tried to understand Min Jae and kept hating her all along the way for reasons I will never understand. I guess things would had been very different if Jang Hyuk was behind Min Jae’s role, if you know what I mean. The way she was treated by a (big?) part of the audience can only be compared to (up to an extent) Beautiful Mind’s ratings that never lived up to its radiance. I am not saying that she was a faultless character, but she didn’t sound the 4th trumpet of the Apocalypse either. Back in the days Young Oh used her sincere feelings while trying to pass for normal, but I guess it’s easily forgiven for Jang Hyuk oriented reasons even though her world collapsed in a blink of an eye when she figured out what was going on. Min Jae was more than just another one-dimensional character and ended up being misunderstood. At the end of the day, even the powerless rangers received more love just because they befriended Young Oh after joining forces and using their brains for once in their lives in order to help him save Jin Sung. Double standards? Most likely. Min Jae wasn’t your typical second female lead, she never tried to perplex things by making Jin Sung a part of her sincere attempts to get back together with Young Oh. In the previous episodes, one could witness her omnipresent feelings for him even though she knew that he would never want to be with her again, but still, she’d keep asking him to start over together without plotting behind his back (the way second female leads usually do). Did she use Young Oh during the drama’s first half? Certainly.
When her betrayal took place I had written that Min Jae was a hardworking young lady eager to become a professor at the hospital, but her efforts wouldn’t blossom due to her lack of connections and because of her background which was the first parameter’s more sickening extension just because she didn’t possess the titles a high class family’s offspring would; for apparent economic reasons. Although it doesn’t justify her betrayal, it pretty much explains why she reacted that way and it’s not like she only harmed Young Oh’s reputation and career back then, she hurt her very own pride and (one-sided) feelings that never ceased existing even though she kept a close (scientific) eye on him that earned her the position she deserved anyway but managed to acquire, while in despair, by hitting him below the belt. Her eagerness to help him after she noticed that Young Oh was slowly changing was sincere and she was the one who brought Young Oh in front of the mirror of truth for him to find out what had happened in the past and how he had been victimized. The moment for her to meet Jin Sung had arrived, not as someone who was willing to ruin everything precious Jin Sung treasured with Young Oh, but as someone willing to see the woman who was the reason behind Young Oh’s steady change. It was something Min Jae was unable to achieve throughout the years and the answer to Jin Sung’s “success” was that she was simply by his side; in any way she could with the magnetic field between them growing stronger with the passing of time. It was also the moment Jin Sung found out about Young Oh’s multifaceted sacrifice that saved her life and she had started feeling uneasy at the thought of Young Oh losing his job because of her, but also because he had put his life in danger in order to treat her. However, Min Jae laid emphasis on the fact that, while in despair, Young Oh would do just anything for someone as precious as Jin Sung. It was an interaction that was paving the way for Jin Sung and Young Oh’s first post-operational meeting after the ethics committee’s omnipresent threat would fade away.
Young Oh was intending to take full responsibility from the start, after all he was the one who wanted to save Jin Sung’s life at all costs and everyone else paced with his flow. In addition, he wanted Suk Joo to focus on the regenerative medicine properly and work on its effectiveness in order to save as many patients as possible. He had orchestrated pretty much everything, although I still think that his punches were sincere even though he used the video footage along with antisocial personality disorder to support his point of view and take all the blame. However, Young Oh taking full responsibility didn’t mean that he’d accept that he had done something wrong. The fact that a lung transplant from a living donor wasn’t legal in Korea wouldn’t prevent Young Oh from saving a patient’s life that was fading away in front of his very eyes. It was his duty as a doctor and it was also an irreversible decision to save Jin Sung for everything she meant to him. Accepting the ethics committee’s decision and being proud of what he had done were two different things that were deriving from the same core, but it was also depicting that Young Oh was leaving behind his intransigence that was walking hand in hand with the low impulse control parameter. The more Young Oh was fitting in a world so foreign and hostile the more he was able to control himself and he was embracing a sense of stability he’d never expect, but it was the outcome of his ongoing interactions with Jin Sung and the events that became a part of his life ever since he started embracing the vibes she was transmitting.
Of course, the next person he would meet would his Wi-Fi sweetheart who was eagerly waiting to see him while being concerned of everything going on and it ended up in a deeply heartfelt, but also realistic (given the circumstances and Young Oh’s condition), confession. It’s remarkable how everyone thinks that Young Oh has started changing except for Young Oh himself. And it’s true, drastic changes don’t happen in that condition overnight and Young Oh still trusts results based on medical science way too much, but the foundations have been set on his pathway leading towards emotional awareness. However, he was overly sincere towards her after the laconic yet so meaningful “I had what you needed” which was literal, but it was also Young Oh’s unconditional truth. He didn’t promise her the moon, he laid emphasis on the possibility that his condition may not change in the future; something that could dishearten and/or confuse her at times. However, in exchange for the possibility of being unable to comfort her in the future he urged her to remember that every breath she’d take should remind her of what she means to him and how he feels about her. Once again, it was literal on Young Oh’s behalf, but such a great line’s poetic dynamics were depicting his longing to feel and empathize (just for her) and were strengthening even more the meaning behind everything he did for her in order for both of them to keep walking down their mutual path. Given his condition, Young Oh was giving a different glow to “being unconditional” and you have to love (once again) his ridiculous medical excuses that would lead to yet another kiss right after the first one which was the reply to what Jin Sung meant to him by the end of his monologue!
In the meantime, Young Oh’s termination was being withdrawn since Dr. Leenkenstein made the right decision for the first time in decades. He acknowledged his mistakes and took full responsibility for Young Oh’s decisions since he was the one behind Young Oh developing antisocial personality disorder, but he also acknowledged the fact that Young Oh had become the doctor Dr. Leenkenstein was trying to become and he couldn’t let such a savior machine go to waste, especially now that he had started valuing a patient’s life over his own skills while taking into consideration all the parameters he had been neglecting. Soon Ho would progress things concerning the regenerative medicine and the Hyunsung Medical Center/Green Pharmacy collaboration’s success would make him the hospital’s next director, but Suk Joo’s determination to support the regenerative medicine’s effectiveness over its commercialization was stronger. Suk Joo would never turn a blind eye again on Soon Ho’s overall approach from Chul Min and Dong Jae’s murders to Soon Ho hiding the fact that the patients had developed side effects after they received the regenerative medicine and not because of the heart valve operations. He couldn’t accept the fact that Soon Ho had turned the research team’s mistake into a crime that could halt anytime the regenerative medicine’s life-saving pathway that was in the making.
This didn’t mean that Ki Ho would do the same since he couldn’t afford to burst the bubble of a falsified success story that would never be able to make up for his marriage’s demise and he tried to kill Suk Joo, but Young Oh was one step ahead since he was well aware that someone would attempt to murder Suk Joo after he’d start moving towards the right direction. Of course, Hyun Joon would never want to find himself right in the eye of the storm, especially if he wanted to become the heir to his father’s throne. He left Soon Ho at the prosecutor’s office to admit to his crimes and Hyun Joon’s family’s attorney would help him as much as he could while at the same time Hyun Joon would remain protected since Soon Ho couldn’t afford to lose his last ally. The empire of a madman and the research lab rats’ ravenous ambitions had reached the end under the sleepless stare of the flow of events. Dr. Leenkenstein resigned after Young Oh’s termination’s withdrawal. It wasn’t an apologetic act since it would never be able to make up for decades of psychological abuse that turned Young Oh into an empty shell. It was more like taking responsibility up to the extent he could by giving up something precious to him, medical science, in an attempt to embrace something even more precious, life itself. Peace of mind and that sense of freedom Young Oh was talking about were out there waiting for him.
∇ Aftermath; progress, life, happiness. ∇
Eventually, Min Jae became the Hyunsung medical center’s public figure through the Doctor Show and she had learned her lesson well. She would never work with/under a “professor” who wouldn’t do anything else except for seeing his name being listed on her research. After his resignation, Dr. Leenkenstein was embracing the simple joys of life and he had finally found some time for himself along with some peace of mind. His conversation with Suk Joo was proving that his health wasn’t at its finest, but he didn’t want to receive treatment that would play its own part in ruining the peaceful state of mind he had found himself in. I am glad the drama didn’t include a meeting with Young Oh, Dr. Leenkenstein’s ever-expanding smile the moment he said that his son had visited him was a thousand times more powerful than seeing them together. Sometimes, a picture is worth a thousand words and that smile was encapsulating pretty much everything one could ever imagine when it comes to the fact that their father-son relationship had started moving towards a healthy and more humane direction. Suk Joo visited Dong Jae’s grave, but what I desperately needed was a scene in which Jin Sung would visit Dong’s Jae’s memorial to drinking “with” him in order to keep her promise. I guess I will have to blame the episode reduction! As expected, Suk Joo kept working on the regenerative medicine and even though he was under pressure to cover the research funds he was actually happy because he had poured heart and soul in his noble cause far away from Soon Ho’s claws.
After Dr. Leenkenstein resigned and took full responsibility Young Oh remained at the hospital and his next patient would be a cellist who was bound to lose his hearing after undergoing surgery, but he’d live. The patient didn’t like Young Oh’s tranquility when he was announcing that everything he treasured, music, would no longer be a precious part of his world, but this time Young Oh would be overly sincere with a patient for the first time when it comes to antisocial personality disorder; the reason why he could neither feel his pain nor empathize with him. However, he would be there for him no matter what until the day he’d leave the hospital. Young Oh doesn’t have to hide his condition, not anymore. He doesn’t have to pretend to be normal, but he has accepted the fact that antisocial personality disorder is a part of his life as a human being and an active member of society. In a manner of speaking, being sincere towards others about his condition and being there in their hour of need is his own way of empathizing with them. Young Oh had been swimming in turbulent waters since childhood, but Jin Sung, his very own lighthouse, helped him reach the shore and stand proudly on his own feet. His progress was also visualized through his current clothes which weren’t overly black. Festivals end as festivals should and there would never be a more appropriate way for Beautiful Mind to close its curtains than Young Oh meeting Jin Sung. You have to love how they were teasing one another while on their way to meet there where they should. They started paving their mutual course in the middle of a road (when Young Oh was lost and desperate) and it was in the middle of a road where our main couple’s smiles and the drama bade us farewell, but under more hopeful, yet realistic still, circumstances.
“I cannot feel your heart.
I cannot even empathize with you.
The only choice I can make
Is to love you.”
P.S. or Anatomy of a Heart: Just for the history, Beautiful Mind’s 14th and last episode rated 3.2% whereas Doctors and Monster rated 19.6% and 11.9% respectively. Beautiful Mind’s average ratings per episode were 3.31% and the drama was unable to pass the 5% barrier; sadly. It’s something that, automatically, makes Beautiful Mind a hidden gem in Korea (!) and a sparkling diamond worldwide since it was embraced with all the love it deserved by the global audience for maintaining its radiance up to the very end. Albeit wounded, it kept shining all along the way without letting us down and it’s one of those rare examples when episode reduction didn’t affect the drama’s vibrating core and consistency. It was as rare as masterfully evading the noble idiocy syndrome most dramas suffer from and Beautiful Mind (given Young Oh’s condition) showed how it’s done! One way or another, Beautiful Mind unlocked all of its doors and it didn’t leave things unanswered even though its reduction took place while it was at the last corner before the finish line. Of course, some of its aspects didn’t develop as much as they normally would and one could witness that things were progressing faster at times, but Beautiful Mind and its whole team aren’t the ones to blame. Instead of giving up, they safeguarded everything the drama was standing for and all the necessary sacrifices were, eventually, somewhat rewarding because Beautiful Mind reached its meaningful destination without personality issues. When it comes to secondary or tertiary roles, all actresses and actors presented their figures remarkably well, but the ones who really shone were Park So Dam and Jang Hyuk, especially the second one.
Instead of being thankful about the fact that a movie actress entered the world of dramas to grace us with her acting skills some people were more eager to state that Park So Dam wasn’t pretty. Being a flower pot (a.k.a. flower girl/boy) isn’t an acting criterion and it will never become one, just so you know, even though many flower pots appear in dramas and receive praise for things they aren’t just because of their looks. Park So Dam didn’t only live up to her role’s expectations, she simply owned throughout her character’s development, but also as Young Oh’s lighthouse, and nobody can deny the immense chemistry Park So Dam and Jang Hyuk shared all along the way. However, I won’t say anything about Jang Hyuk’s interpretation. Mary Shelley wrote about Young Oh and Jang Hyuk’s unique character-actor relationship about two centuries ago: “Sometimes I have endeavored to discover what quality it is which he possesses that elevates him so immeasurably above any other person I ever knew. I believe it to be an intuitive discernment, a quick but never-failing power of judgment, a penetration into the causes of things, unequalled for clearness and precision; add to this a facility of expression and a voice whose varied intonations are soul-subduing music.”
We are the road network of ourselves, but the crossroads are the ones that define us through our interactions with others. Heraclitus said that there is nothing permanent except change. Even if the reflection in the mirror resembles the one you witnessed yesterday, you’re not the same person you were because there’s always a part of you that has been left behind and another one that has moved on. The details remain our very own salt and pepper, but the core always keeps expanding itself. At the end of the day, all we need is love and Beautiful Mind was a gem of a drama weaving the art of – through the necessity for and the importance of – emotional intelligence; stitch by stitch. Concluding, a heartfelt thanks goes to everyone who worked hard behind and in front of the cameras of Beautiful Mind! 감사합니다!
P.S. or Anatomy of a Nighttime: Imagine Young Oh pretending in bed.
P.S. or Anatomy of Kwon: I kept my promise. The night Beautiful Mind ended I went out [although not like a psychopat(->s)h] for (many) beers wearing my green and Young Oh oriented t-shirt.
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