This episode is not bad too, and 2 seemingly unrelated events are linked together. Ok, the average viewer would have been able to guess it after like 15 mins into the show, since we are clued in to the 2 components, unlike the characters. Nevertheless, the storyline for this ep is good and our characters are warming up to each other.
We open to see a well-heeled young lady on a shopping spree, and not juz ANY shopping spree, but a spree of the BRANDED kind. Her card is continously swiped at upscale departmental stores and boutiques and she sashays home with bags and bags of branded goods. From her dressing, you’d assume she is the young heiress of a big company or at least someone very rich. Plus, she stays in a pretty decent looking condo.
We are in for a surprise though when she opens the door to her apartment. It is BARE. Well, not exactly shabby, but you won’t call that luxurious in any day. It is juz a one-room (very tiny room) affair with a makeshift cupboard, an electric fan and a chair. While entering the room, the young lady hits her right arm against the door frame (and the lock on the frame). She winces in pain, and we hear her wheezing breaths, followed by a series of hacking coughs. The young lady, still coughing, settles in the for the night, and leaves the fan on in her muggy room.
She jolts awake in the night, clutching her chest in pain and fighting for breath. After a brief struggle, she collapses (and dies).
Cut to: the ME Office. The MEs are discussing about the death of the above young lady, and Dr Kim points out that he, for one, would have listened to his mama’s words and not sleep with a fan on in the room. According to Kim mama, you can DIE if you leave the fan on in an unventilated room while you sleep. (hmm. really? kim mama prob hasn’t been to Singapore). He insists that this is exactly what happened to the young lady. Dr Han poohpoohs the idea and admonishes Dr Kim for believing a nonsensical urban legend when he is a medical professional. To prove the fan’s innocence, Dr Han persuades Dr Jo to speak with the police and coroner office to release the young lady’s body for autopsy.
During the autopsy, the MEs note that the deceased’s lungs and intestines are bloated with water. They conclude she died of ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome). In layman’s terms, it means inflammation of the lungs leading to multiple organ failures and later, death. However, the MEs are puzzled as to what caused the lungs’ inflammation, since the deceased appear to be in pretty good health prior to her death. She only had a slight bruise on her upper right forearm, but the MEs know a person needs to suffer excessive trauma before s/he can contract ARDS. In addition, the ovaries of the deceased are bloated and distended. Again, cause(s) unknown. A chat with the deceased’s mother reveals that the young lady used to be from an upper class family. She was unable to accept the decline of her family’s business (and status) after her father’s death and continued to spend lavishly on items she cannot afford. Thus, she had racked up a huge amount of credit card debts and constantly pestered her mum to for money.
Cut to Kyung-hee’s office in the police station. Her colleagues show her pictures of an organ trafficker whom they have been trying to capture since years back, but he had always managed to go scot free due to lack of concrete evidence. Since the police is having some free time, they decide to look into the trafficker’s case again (wow, and they choose to not enjoy their lull times?!) Kyung-hee and her subordinates pay a visit to the trafficker’s shoddy office. He claims he is now into moneylending, the legal kind, and offers to let them cart his books and himself to the police station for further investigation.
Dr Han (without Kyung-hee) gets assigned by Dr Jo to follow up on the fan “murder” — since he is so eager to clear the accused. (lol) At the deceased’s home, he accidentally knocks into the lock (like the young lady did) and winces in pain. Dr Han approaches the fan the instant he enters the house and reassures it that he will clear its (and its fellow fans’) name. (omg, bonkers…) He picks up a calendar marked with dots regularly every month (ahem, at one glance, i understood what the dots meant…), and a batch of gastric pills. He clearly sees no link between them, but takes them back to his office-dorm anyway. He pays a second visit to the deceased’s workplace (a restaurant) and chats with her colleague (also the one who found the body). The colleague (a waitress) says the deceased was quite a handful. Despite being on the same service team, her work attitude was poor and she was extremely snobbish. Dr Han asks whether anyone noticed the deceased as being in pain before her death. The colleague affirms that she once witnessed the deceased throwing up and looking very pale (and sick) in the toilet — about a week or so before her death.
On the way back, he drops by Dr Jang’s office and meets with a lady patient whom he had treated for infertility before. She happily tells him that Dr jang has found a possible solution to her infertility — ovary donation. Dr Jang however, explains in private to Dr Han that although the treatment is easy, the possibility of a woman coming forward to donate her ovaries is rare. Since the donor has to undergo lengthy hormone therapy (which can be upsetting on the body) and the extraction can be painful.
At the police station, Kyung-hee has to release the suspected organ trafficker cum moneylender, due to lack of evidence. However, her colleague points out that the recent money lending activity seems to be targetting women. The ledger which has been taken from the suspect’s office lists down only women’s names in the recent months. Kyung-hee follows up on her hunch and calls up one of the “customers” for questioning. However, the lady insists that she only borrowed a little from the suspect. During the questioning, she looks a little pale and wheezes quite badly. Kyung-hee decides to confirm if her health condition has to do with a recent operation and requests that the lady remove her blouse to check for post-op scarring. Unfortunately, Kyung-hee doesn’t discover anything.
Kyung-hee and Dr Han meet to destress — both are puzzling over their cases and unable to arrive at any conclusion or deduction. (hey, you can ask me…i can guess the link! lol) They gripe a bit…and during their conversation, they unknowingly exchange 2 pieces of critical information. Kyung-hee tells Dr Han about the suspected organs trafficker, and how his recent customers are all women. And Dr Han shares the case of the fan “murder” with Kyung-hee; how the deceased should have difficulties breathing before her death, but they can’t find any evidence of trauma which led to the ARDS.
The next day, Dr Han visits Dr Jang for lunch and bumps (again) into the lady patient who is waiting for an ovary donor. She happily tells Dr Han that she has managed to find a donor. It is during this moment that Dr Han pieces the puzzle together. (yeah, finally…) He runs back to his dorm and notes the regular monthly dots on the calendar. It is to mark out the ovulation cycle. He revisits the dead body in the morgue and goes over the forearms with a magnifying glass. Beneath the bruise on the right forearm is a injection puncture. He calls the team and Kyung-hee in for a briefing.
Turns out, the deceased had been taking hormone shots illegally…in order to sell her ovaries. Being poor, but desiring to maintain her lavish front, her waitressing salary is definitely not enough. She borrowed money from the money lender (cum organ trafficker)…and agreed to the condition of using her ovaries as debt repayment. And she took an overdose of the hormone shot, which would explain why her ovaries were swollen. She was ovulating excessively and this eventually stressed her body out. She began to show signs of nauseous, stomach upset (hence the gastric pills), and her respiratory system eventually gave up…leading to ARDS and death. The MEs missed the injection wound initially because it was hidden beneath the slight bruise caused by the lock on the door frame.
Since a professional and ethical doctor will never agree to give a donor excessive hormone shots, the deceased likely had her jabs done with black market “doctors”. It is up to Kyung-hee now to track the quack doctor down. She re-approaches the lady called in previously for questioning, and warns her that she may die if she doesn’t seek treatment to reverse the side effects of her hormone jabs. The lady crumbles in fear for her life and reveals how the organ trafficker-money lender had co-erced her to using her ovaries as debt repayments. She also reveals the name of the doctor who performs the procedure. Kyung-hee manages to apprehend the creepy doctor before he performs treatment on another unwilling patient.
During the interrogation, the doctor claims he did nothing wrong in giving the deceased extra hormone shots, since she had ASKED for them. He explains that she had pleaded with him to double the hormones content, so that she can lay more eggs, sorry..I mean produce more ovaries, for sales. She explained she needed that extra income to spend on her luxury goods. The doctor insists he is just following the wishes of the donor, and argues that he is helping millions of infertile mother-wannabes realise their dreams — an argument shot down by Dr Han. Dr Han retorts that an ovary has the potential for life…and by selling it in exchange for money, it is no difference from human (or children) trafficking. That shuts the quack doctor up.
Of course, the moneylender-organ trafficker plus the creepy doctor are both guilty as charged and apprehended. (another disgusting pair thrown into jail)
On a side note, Dr Han’s colleague (the one who spotted him bent over in pain in the prev ep) has picked up a tablet which Dr Han dropped on the floor. She sent it to the lab for diagnostics..and the results shocked her. It is a pharmaceutical painkiller akin to morphine, which cannot be bought over the counter. That kinda cemented her suspicions that Dr Han is suffering from….something. (WHAT?) She hasn’t confronted him though…
This ep really creeped me out. The idea of selling ovaries to repay a debt…eww. I dunno if it does happen for real in the deep dark underworld, but given how sick humans are, I guess it can.
By splitting the narratives in this ep also highlights how weird Dr Han is without Kyung-hee and vice versa. There is this incidence during the autopsy when Dr Han did a hair flick, mimicking Kyung-hee and asking a really basic (aka layman) question about ARDS. Similarly, he “talks” to the absent Kyung-hee and imagines himself in her shoes when looking for evidence in the deceased’s room. Goes to show how much she has grown on him, despite his jokey and in-your-face annoying behaviours around her. Kyung-hee too, appears more lost, without the Dr Han. Thus, it is no surprise when she seeks him out in his dorm to unwind. Well…the series is almost done here, so it is about time to introduce the romantic possibility between the two. Though if you ask me, they do LOOK pretty incompatible.
And one wonders when is the show finally going to reveal Dr Han’s ailment? In the last scene, Kyung-hee teases him about wrong diagnoses, and brings up You-rang (the split personality shaman) to prove her point. And talking about the devil really brings the devil…cos the next day, Dr Han receives a drawing of Thanatos (aka the Greek God of Death) from You-rang. And juz an early spoiler…the last 2 ep of God’s Quiz 1 is entitled THANATOS.