Beautiful Mind Episode 6 Kwoncap [TriAngle]
“When I looked around I saw and heard of none like me. Was I, then, a monster, a blot upon the earth, from which all men fled and whom all men disowned?” (Frankenstein – Mary Shelley)
“Love; what kind of gestures people use to express love?
Happiness, sadness, fear, anger; which one is similar to love?
It’s all of them and none at the same time, that’s what love is like.
You wouldn’t be able to read that signal because you didn’t learn it; you probably never will.”
∇ Scent of a Woman. ∇
Min Jae was a character we barely knew and almost everything we had witnessed was mainly through her interactions with Young Oh and his attempts to understand her, but also through his ongoing struggle to maintain a sense of normality in other people’s eyes. The 6th episode set sail on a journey underneath the surface in order for us to read through the lines and put a few more pieces on Min Jae’s still incomplete puzzle which is quite intriguing and not only nerve-wracking as some would assume. Before throwing rocks at her, just because Jang Hyuk is behind Young Oh’s chaotic world, one should try walking a mile in her shoes in an attempt to understand her up to an extent.
Who was Min Jae back in the days? We’re talking about a hardworking young lady aspiring to become a doctor who fell in love with Young Oh whose emotional profiling skills were tricking pretty much everyone around him. One could easily understand how blissful she was the moment Young Oh told her that he was intending to visit her every weekend during her 2-year training at a countryside hospital. Her sincere feelings were there for everyone to witness, except for Young Oh who had to take her pulse in order to respond accordingly to her silent “I love you.” What was feeling like heaven in Min Jae’s eyes was nothing more than a one-sided utopia surrounded by Young Oh’s veil of artificial normality.
It was during her training that she found out the whole truth about Young Oh’s condition through an old article. Becoming aware of the fact that Young Oh couldn’t love, feel and empathize with other people’s feelings burst the bubble she was living in and found herself in free fall. The more she was falling the more she was understanding that everything was a lie and that Young Oh’s feelings weren’t genuine, but a masterful interpretation of an emotional map he had crafted on his wall. Young Oh was (and still is) as empty as his bedroom wall, but even though he kept filling it with “emotions,” one piece at a time, the void within remained intact.
Who is Min Jae at the present? 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 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. There’s one thing we don’t know the answer to, why did she choose to remain by Young Oh’s side all these years after finding out that he would never be able to love her back? Were her feelings too strong to step back from that one-sided relationship? Was she believing that she would be able to infuse a sense of emotion in Young Oh’s hollow world with the passing of time? Maybe she wanted to see if/when he would tell her the truth about himself? Was she intending to use him as an ace up her sleeve for career-oriented reasons at some point?
We have yet to find out, but her latest betrayal, even though it was leaning towards the last direction, left its own impact on her. She may had become a professor for helping Hyun Joon and she was deeply aware of the current circumstances inside the hospital, but she didn’t fall for his moralistic chants. The hospital needed a scapegoat and Young Oh was the best sacrificial offering in exchange for a position. What she couldn’t acquire with her worth Min Jae acquired it by stepping on others just like she had been stepped on and pushed around many times in the past. She did something she despised, but in the worst possible way since she betrayed someone who had been there for her regardless of the fact that he couldn’t love her back for reasons we already know. However, just because Young Oh suffers from antisocial personality disorder it doesn’t automatically make him a psychopath. There’s a vast ocean between someone trying to embrace normality (with his own outbursts) even though he can’t feel anything and someone who commits murders to feed the emptiness within with a sickening and chaotic sense of completion.
While he was being taken away by the police officers Young Oh couldn’t take his eyes off her. It was the first one in a row of events that would keep shattering Young Oh’s mirror, the one that was making the world he was staring at somewhat stable. Everything that happened didn’t leave Min Jae unaffected, she could barely hold back her tears when Young Oh was arrested and it was apparent that she was lying when she said to his father that she did everything for the patients’ safety without giving an answer the moment he asked her if she was considering Young Oh capable of committing murders. She kept lying to herself as a means that would justify her unforgivable act of betrayal and it was also there when Young Oh went to see her after finding out that Min Jae was the one who visited Hyun Joon of her own free will. I will unveil my thoughts on that aspect in Young Oh’s very own section.
∇ Shady alliances, chess players, pawns and the indirect birth of resistance. ∇
The shady alliance consists of Hyun Joon and Soon Ho (for the time being) which are two of the main chess players on everything going on. Another chess player has to be Young Oh’s father and Yoon Kyung’s certainly one of the many expendable pawns. As for the indirect resistance that steadily comes to the surface, you can count on Suk Joo and Jin Sung standing by Young Oh’s side in the future for a wide variety of reasons. Soon Ho orchestrated Chul Min and Dong Jae’s murders and Yoon Kyung finalized the overall plan inside the operating room. Soon Ho has connections and possesses enough power to toy around with other people’s weaknesses in any way he wants to. Yoon Kyung’s utmost truth was that she lived as Ji Ahn’s mother all along the way and no matter how atrocious her acts may had been she tried to save her daughter’s life by any means necessary. Suk Joo’s idealism couldn’t save Ji Ahn, but Soon Ho promising to put her daughter on top of the transplant list was giving Yoon Kyung hope. It was enough hope to put an end to someone else’s life, but her guilty conscience wouldn’t leave her alone and only the drugs would soothe the tension within. Eventually, her confession would help Young Oh leave the police station behind and he would enter another sub-level of hell. Just like with Min Jae’s betrayal, in Beautiful Min’s world despair seems to be the leading factor that makes people succumb to a dark side they never imagined they’d greet at some point in their lives.
One way or another, Soon ho intends to silence Suk Joo not only because the money the hospital has invested in the regenerative medicine are too many, but also because of the tremendous amounts of money he will bathe himself in after the medicine hits the market. Suk Joo knows too many secrets he shouldn’t have and except from the fact that he honors his oath as a doctor and places a patient’s life above everything else he’s also eager to reveal the truth about Dong Jae’s death. It was a like father like son relationship and Suk Joo treasured a lot the professor who took him under his wings and taught him the values doctors should preserve. There are two options according to Soon Ho, Suk Joo will either keep his mouth shut in order to stay alive or he will take the secret with him in the afterlife.
Suk Joo’s current silence is a fragile one and being responsible for Ji Ahn’s life means only one thing: if he wants to play his own part in order for the truth to shine he will have to move in the shadows if he doesn’t want to get caught even deeper in a maelstrom he cannot face on his own. In addition, he’s got an ally who treasured Dong Jae as much as Suk Joo did; Jin Sung. She owes her life to Dong Jae and Suk Joo’s efforts back in the days and she won’t give it a rest until she reveals the whole truth about his murder. At the same time, Jin Sung keeps maturing as episodes pass by and she has already started seeing things differently. Her further steps will be more cautious and even more insightful. On a side note, Suk Joo lived up to our One More Bottle expectations by taking care of her soju!
The regenerative medicine is at the center of everyone’s attention. Soon Ho, the presidential candidate, Hyun Joon and his father are eager to bask in its commercial success without giving a rat’s ass about the patients’ lives whereas Young Oh’s father wants the research to maintain its lifesaving nature which was Dong Jae’s dream in the first place. In an attempt to keep his friend’s legacy alive he intends to become the hospital director as opposed to Hyun Joon and Soon Ho’s tactics. Never cut what you can untie, that’s how things flow in Hyun Joon and Soon Ho’s universe. The annoying reporter will become the hospital’s official voice that will be reassuring the public that everything’s flowing well and the annoying doctor, Young Oh, will be taken care of by his own father if Lee Gun Myung wants to become the hospital director.
∇ Last exist for the lost; chords of chaos. ∇
Jang Hyuk is magnanimous with acting, he just unleashes it to the world and lets it flow; naturally, meaningfully, effortlessly. The 6th episode was an ode to his multifaceted talent as Young Oh’s harmony kept breaking apart throughout the whole episode, one piece at a time, until the full-scale breakdown would devour him. Each and every step possessed its own ominous aura and was gradually composing Young Oh’s ever-expanding chaos as the very specific world he knew was collapsing before his very eyes.
Since the squad leader had already condemned Young Oh as a monster and was intending to believe the lie detector’s results instead of Young Oh’s very own truth then Young Oh had to teach him a few lessons after disabling the lie detector’s “judgement.” Young Oh could be everything and he could be nothing, he could be a man, a woman, a doctor valuing life, a psychotic butcher, a lovemaking machine, a dinosaur, a five-eyed giraffe, a dancing coffin and the lie detector wouldn’t point out his lies. His soothing and nearly-whispering voice while admitting to the crimes he hadn’t committed was making everything sound like an eerie fairy tale he was reciting late at night in front of the fireplace!
Everyone was so eager to point out that they could feel another human being’s suffering as if they had a master’s degree on empathy and, ipso facto, they were declaring that Young Oh was a senseless monster! It is true, he can’t feel, but that doesn’t automatically turn him into a monster. As I said above, just because Young Oh suffers from antisocial personality disorder it doesn’t make him a psychopath overnight. There’s a vast ocean between someone trying to embrace normality even though he can’t feel anything and someone who commits murders to feed the emptiness within with a sickening and chaotic sense of completion.
Cutting his own flesh with a piece of glass was a groundbreaking aspect of the scene that was serving its purpose well as a grand declaration of Young Oh’s innocence while messing around with the squad leader’s moralistic assumptions. His only ally at that point would be Jin Sung who tried to make him understand how empathy was like. She may not had been able to fully understand how he was “feeling,” but she could somewhat relate to it. The first internal earthquake was when Min Jae betrayed him and the interrogation process was the second one. Young Oh had already started feeling lost and alone inside the emptiness of a solitude nobody could actually relate to because they had never been so empty inside.
The next earthquake would take place when Young Oh visited Hyun Joon to make a few simple things quite clear if they weren’t already. All Young Oh wanted was to return to his quiet operating room. He presented his one and only world’s absolute meaning with surgical accuracy to receive Hyun Joon’s moralistic nonsense. Even the secrets Hyun Joon and Soon Ho were hiding didn’t work as an ace up Young Oh’s sleeve because Hyun Joon was pretty much aware that nobody would ever trust a “psychopath’s” point of view. The moment Young Oh found out that Min Jae visited Hyun Joon of her own free will it was a shot through the “heart” that kept traumatizing the ideal world he had constructed.
There was a mutual sense of “why didn’t you tell me?” with Young Oh being unable to conceive why Min Jae hadn’t told him that she was aware of his condition and Min Jae being unable to understand why Young Oh hadn’t told her anything all this time. There was a sense of mutual insincerity between them, but Young Oh was following his father’s orders to never reveal anything. As for Min Jae keeping it a secret we have yet to find out the reasons why she stayed by his side even though she was well aware of everything going on. Young Oh certainly used Min Jae for the sake of normality’s utmost benchmark and we can’t talk about genuine feelings on his behalf.
However, his attempts to be as normal as he could just for her were genuine and he really tried to be and was there for her every time she needed a loving hand to chase away her concerns even if that hand wasn’t a loving one because it couldn’t (but it was trying to) be. Min Jae’s words, after having fully observed Young Oh throughout the years, were highly representative of Young Oh’s inability to feel and empathize with others’ feelings. Love isn’t something you imitate or understand, it’s something you feel. Her feelings were certainly pure before finding out that he was suffering from antisocial personality disorder and let’s assume that she kept loving him no matter what along the way (without taking into consideration her recent betrayal). Young Oh mimicking emotions must had felt like an ongoing emotional betrayal and she must had felt like he was really using her just to look normal in other people’s eyes. Her words may had been harsh, but they were offering brave portions of truth and I still can’t believe that she kept pretending to love him; her eyes were revealing the opposite.
Every time Young Oh’s fragile harmony breaks apart his brain gets stuck on the factor that violated his peace of mind (his surgery being perfect, Min Jae never lying to him, etc) and he usually succumbs to violence since internal tension and low impulse control take charge of the situation. Face to face confrontations always end up in a neck-grab and approaching him from behind leads to ongoing punches. Young Oh is like an artificial intelligence figure analyzing the environment stimuli, deciphering others’ emotions and replying accordingly to the signals he receives by imitating all the possible emotional replies but without really understanding them. I have used this comparison for another figure in another currently airing drama that suited that character pretty well due to his nature and work, but he could eventually receive feelings and was able to reply; emotionally. Young Oh (through Jang Hyuk’s unerring and highly expressive interpretation in Young Oh’s desert) takes that comparison to a brand new and more literal level due to his condition.
The patient who arrived at the hospital was bound to become Young Oh’s Achilles’ heel. It may had appeared as an ambiguous medical case with many ethical dilemmas in between, but it felt like a direct reference to “death with dignity.” We may never find out the truth behind what the patient really wanted, but judging from his wife’s final decision after having explained everything yet not having been taken into consideration and Young Oh’s belief after deciphering their body language allow me to lean towards the patient and his wife’s direction this time. Young Oh’s profiling skills may be almost unerring, but it doesn’t mean that he can’t make any mistakes, especially when his insatiable determination to save a patient’s life commands him. Young Oh being unable to empathize with the fragile nature of that very specific medical case and probably misinterpreting the signs he was receiving (he couldn’t possibly decipher how that couple was really feeling moments before such a critical decision) was the chance his father was searching for after Young Oh turned a woman into a murderer.
Young Oh had already become a daunting spectacle inside the hospital after the truth came to the surface, but his father’s words were the coup de grâce after having already found himself straight in the eye of a never-ceasing storm. Young Oh didn’t even make it to the ethics committee, his father fired him right away in front of everyone and Young Oh’s very own microcosm shattered to pieces in a blink of an eye. Dr. Leenkenstein had already wondered what he had done wrong since he thought that he had done the best he could throughout the years. The absence of paternal love maybe? Hiding his son’s condition? Trying to isolate him? The last time we saw Dr. Leenkenstein smile sincerely(?) and not in a menacing way was during Young Oh’s childhood when he was helping him explore the superficial land of emotions.
The more Young Oh was growing up the more uncontrollable he was becoming as he was paving his own pathway against his father’s will and everything started becoming an indirect contest with Young Oh trying to prove that his father was wrong by opposing his decision to become a doctor and his father trying to prove the opposite. This ill-natured interdependence and sense of fake freedom through his father’s approach caused more harm on Young Oh whom his father wasn’t even considering human even though he tried to make him one, according to his own words. How can one purely care about his own son if he doesn’t even consider him a human being in the first place? In addition, everything had changed at that point, his own father was considering Young Oh a monster unable to understand his mistakes after putting his absolute judgement above the circumstances he couldn’t decipher and the human factor he couldn’t empathize with. If Young Oh is a monster, as you say, then who created that monster, Dr. Leenkenstein?
The ending of the episode was a masterpiece in motion. Once the only world Young Oh knew collapsed before his very eyes the echo of the impact was more than he could bear. The ongoing flashbacks were giving you the impression that his whole life was passing before his very eyes. Just like he had found himself in a foreign environment at school and was quite lost back in the days, Young Oh was once again in uncharted waters and when he tried to cross the street the man who tried to stop him sensed Young Oh’s fists. Once again, Young Oh was lost in front of a crowd and the low impulse control was taking charge of the situation; the void within had reached a brand new climax as everything he knew had vanished through a chain reaction process. The song was pacing perfectly well with the emotionally charged ambiance and was intensifying Young Oh’s emptiness with its fragile melodies. It was the first time Young Oh would plea so desperately for help as he was passing out in Jin Sung’s embrace.
P.S. or Anatomy of a heart: Just for the history, Beautiful Mind found itself in the 3rd place once again (4%) while Doctors reached higher peaks with 19.7% and Monster maintained its position with 11%. I highly enjoy the instru-mentals that make their appearance every time Young Oh’s safe haven gets distorted, they add an even more clinical ambiance to the chaos within. Setting aside the preview for a while, I am highly looking forward to the way Jin Sung’s interactions with Young Oh will progress. She’s the only person he can turn to at this very moment, but she’s also given him signs he couldn’t decipher like when she asked him if she was allowed to scream just because she was happy seeing him, etc. There’s a fertile ground beneath the surface we have yet to find out how it will progress since Jin Sung’s going to be the first person to approach him in a selfless and pure way, unlike everyone who’s been around him so far. It’s not going to be a tamer and the beast humanization process far away from a father-son relationship and it’s not going to be a mutually ill-natured relationship just like the one he shared with Min Jae. Jin Sung has all the potential to treat Young Oh as an individual with his own unique characteristics; a human being. Young Oh has a lot to learn from her without their interactions being a forced learning process, just humane interactions between a fully conscious human being (Jin Sung) and a human being whose emotional map never awakened (Young Oh). As for the preview, it indicates that Suk Joo won’t stand still and will attempt to prove the regenerative medicine’s problems whereas Soon Ho will wonder if he’ll be able to do so. At the same time, the presidential candidate will pressure everyone involved to progress things accordingly since he will request an earlier approval of the regenerative medicine. Suk Joo will also be eager to meet Young Oh anew, but Min Jae will point out that it won’t be easy, especially now that Young Oh’s perfection had been ruined in front of a patient. Young Oh will inform Dr. Leenkenstein that he intends to return to the hospital because his father is going to need him and nobody can deny it; not only when it comes to saving a patient’s life, but also concerning the shady and murderous offshoot inside the hospital.
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Beautiful Mind ~ Episode 1 Kwoncap [TriAngle]
Beautiful Mind ~ Episode 2 Kwoncap [TriAngle]
Beautiful Mind ~ Episode 3 Kwoncap [TriAngle]
Beautiful Mind ~ Episode 4 Kwoncap [TriAngle]
Beautiful Mind ~ Episode 5 Kwoncap [TriAngle]