Disregarding the bad rep Blood has been getting (cut some slack for Ahn Jae-hyeon pls, people…), it has been fairly consistent in its ironic presentation of humans vs. monsters (vampires). Eps3/4 continue expanding on the idea from Blood‘s debut episodes that the vampires are far more (ethically) superior than their human counterparts.

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Doctors as doctors should

We’ve already seen in ep2 that Drs. Jae-wook and Ji-sang disregard their colleagues’ territorial squabbles to actually save lives. Ep4 repeats the motif — when a First Year Resident, Min Ga-yeon, alerts Director Jae-wook to an emergency (cos the other doctors were occupied), her peers chided her for “not using her brains” and “daring to call the Big Boss for a teeny tiny emergency”. Jae-wook not only heeded her call, but encourages her peers to follow her exemplary behaviour — to inform the nearest doctor on hand if there are future emergencies, never mind if that “doctor” is your Big Boss.

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And that “teeny tiny” emergency happens to be a patient who is in urgent need of a liver transplant within 24h, if not, she will die. (“tiny” emergency, indeed) Later on, when Jae-wook assigns the op (same patient) to Ji-sang, the other doctors immediately start gossiping behind Ji-sang/ Jae-wook’s backs, out of sheer spite and jealousy. Ironically, those who gave the snarkiest comments are those who know they are not able to carry out the op successfully. However, they are still unhappy that a “young upstart” gets to perform two major (and dangerous) ops within less than a week of reporting to work. (hello guys, if you are incompetent, juz shaddup)

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Frankly, I won’t mind if the hospital is ran by vampires instead of humans, if the human doctors continue to be so immature and arrogant — when they lack the abilities.

Persecution

We get an inkling of Jae-wook’s interest in Ji-sang in eps3/4. Seems like Jae-wook is creating vampires artifically, using the same virus strain that converted him and Ji-sang’s parents. We are also introduced to his partner-in-crime, Dr. Seo Hye-ri, whose team is transferred to Taemin Hospital to continue their clandestine research in broad daylight. Ji-sang is a “natural” vampire born between two vampires, and for this reason, his genes are different from his parents or even Jae-wook. He is stronger, and resistant even to the poison that killed his parents. (Jae-wook tested that by getting his (created?) vampire minions to attack Ji-sang). Thus, I suspect that Jae-wook may want to use Ji-sang’s DNA strain to better increase the success rate of his experiments.

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While the experiment is horrendous, Jae-wook keeps a tight rein on the behaviours of his minions. For one, they are not allowed to murder humans (unless on his orders), and even so, on no account can they drink fresh blood from their victims. Interestingly, the reason Jae-wook imposes such an iron clad rule is because he understands that in order for vampires to mingle unnoticed (and survive) among humans, they must not terrify humans to the point that our puny species retaliate. It reminds me of X-men, and Professor X’s mandate — a mutant should not use his abilities to harm another human being.

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It puts the vampires in Blood in a rather sympathetic light — they are humans too (especially in Blood‘s case, cos the vampirism stems from a viral infection), but when their mutations become known, they are no longer regarded as humans. They become monsters in our eyes, even if they have previously never done anything to harm us.

The downside of being coolly logical and analytical

…and that will be a lack of empathy. Jae-wook and Ji-sang appear to be more impartial than their peers, because they disregard (or don’t possess) those human emotions that can cloud judgement. Jae-wook assigns a complicated op to Ji-sang, who accepts, because they know no one else can perform it. And the vampires are not even being arrogant about it, it simply is. Similarly, while the human doctors know they are incompetent (compared to the vampires), they cannot help but feel sore and upset for being “looked over”.

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However, being a doctor isn’t juz about medical competency. There’s something called “bedside manners” as well. And this is where the human doctors excel. While they can be jealous, petty and obnoxious, they are also sympathetic to their patients. Ji-sang will emotion-lessly announce a patient’s impending death sentence, disregarding how the patient/ his family may feel. In contrast, Ri-ta uses a softer approach.

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On the same terminally ill patient, Ri-ta will patiently wait out the family members’ grief and even though there is little hope, she continues to comfort them and encourages them to remain positive. Ji-sang gets called out for being a rude prick, cos he takes a look at the patient’s file, and immediately scolds the patient for “wasting resources and taking up bed space” in hospital. And not only in front of the patient, but also in front of the patient’s young daughter, who is trying her best to hold back her fear and her tears. (ouch)

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So while the vampires may be superior beings in terms of their skills and impartiality in making decisions, they are still lacking somewhat. Same goes for the humans.

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