I can totally understand why it’s a winner in the rating games, because 1) Joo Won(!) 2) the story is fast paced with alot of action and intrigue. We see more of the background story of Kim Tae Hyun (Joo Won) and him in action as Yong-pal, although we also get a glimpse of why Kim Tae Hee‘s Han Yeo-jin in a coma, in the first two episodes.
Tae Hyun is a third year resident at Han Min Hospital, and he’s under the police’s radar for being the legendary doctor Yong-pal, who treats injured gangsters, thus the gangsters can avoid going to hospitals and evade capture. I think it’s refreshing to have a protagonist who’s not crazily smart (as with many other male lead characters out there these days), but because Tae Hyun has so much more experience in general surgery by treating the gangsters (he’s actually flouting the rules by moonlighting), he’s often asked to stand in for his professors who either 1) can’t operate on patients as well as they should, or 2) too busy entertaining the VIP patients.
Jung Woo-in plays one of such professors (he’s actually point 1 in the previous paragraph), Prof Lee, yet he seems to be rather unsettled by Tae Hyun’s ability, and also Tae Hyun’s reputation of pocketing money from families of patients whom he operated on behalf of his professors. Prof Lee ends up being first person to know about Tae Hyun’s double life, and uses it as a leverage for Tae Hyun to work for him (I assume it has something to do with keeping Yeo-jin in coma).
We do not know much about Yeo-jin, only that she met with a horrible accident which killed her boyfriend on the spot, and she became suicidal after his funeral. She ends up in a coma because of an unsuccessful attempt at suicide. We’re told in the promo materials that her half-brother, Han Do Joon (Jo Hyun Jae) covets her inheritance, and he was the one who’s adamant in keeping her in a coma. We only see Do Joon for a short while, although I think it is safe to say Prof Lee is in cahoots with Do Joon.
I do like what I’ve watched so far, and I find it realistic for Tae Hyun’s motivation (to pay off the debts he incurred for paying for his sister’s dialysis) to take the risk as a mercenary doctor. He probably also harbors resentment against the professors, who only gives VIP patients priority, causing his mother’s death subsequently. It also shapes him into a doctor who truly cares for his patients, being sharper and more observant than his peers, although he may appear crude and money-minded. I think Show intends to also serve as a social commentary about how hospitals are turning into a business instead of curing people, so I’ll be tuning in to see if it continues as a commentary.