Hey everyone! Welcome back to K Dramas In Pjamas! So I’ve been watching Healer and WOW. Just wow. I knew this show was powerful before, but now that I’m reviewing it, I am absolutely floored. You know, until you start an in depth analysis of something, it’s not necessarily that easy to appreciate the complexity and congruency of the thing you’re analysing. If I have to be honest with you, it’s a show that I definitely don’t want to stop watching. Gosh, the feels you get from this drama! Whoo–wee! But, before we dig in, I just want to apologize for the late review, so apologies and here it is at last: Healer Part 2!
Young Shin and Bong Soo go undercover to gain entry to a press conference.
HEALER REVIEW – PART 2
• I like the character Chae Chi Soo, Young Shin’s father. Even though his daughter was surrounded by ex-convicts, she learned many good things from them, like how to know if someone’s following you or how to unpick a lock. I know that that is not necessarily some good parenting, but perhaps because Young Shin had a difficult past of her own, (as an adopted child) she maybe found it easier to be around people as “flawed” as she is.
• I enjoyed the fact that the show had a super upbeat vibe which continued all the way up until the middle episode. Some of the emotions within the show were super intense for the characters to deal with, so displaying those emotions respectfully without making the show seem too dark or depressing was very well executed in this drama.
• Min Ja (the hacking Ahjumma) really loves Healer. Despite never having met each other and even though she teases him a lot, I get the feeling that she really cares about him. I guess this is because she keep warning him about what he’s getting into despite the fact that she knows he will still do it, and still offering her own help thereafter. She is kind of like a mom to him when his own mother abandoned him.
Healer tells Min Ja he has hired himself to stay next to Young Shin.
• Although Healer shows himself as extremely skilful, knowledgeable of various martial arts and a parkour pro, he still doesn’t know how to tail Young Shin believably for like half of the show so far.
• Healer’s fight scene choreography is really great! I especially loved the flashback in episode 10 where we see Healer, both young and old, being nurtured into the night courier he is by his teacher, Young Jae.
• I had a serious problem with Young Shin chasing after the person who took her bag in episode 2. I mean, that person could have killed her! She’s lucky it was Healer because if it had been someone else, I’m sure this show would have started with a murder case… hers.
Young Shin finally lives her dream of being a real reporter like her idol, Kim Moon Ho.
• Moon Ho is blatantly affectionate with Myung Hee. I think she misinterprets him professing his feelings for her because she is much older than him and doesn’t necessarily want to think about him in a romantic way. Also, she is married to his brother.
• Moon Ho & Moon Shik. Seriously, the ultimate battle of sibling rivalry… and it all comes down to the affections of one woman. How far are those two willing to go? This is a well thought out, extremely complex relationship that I’m enjoying watching fall apart. Does that make me a bad person? Maybe, but I’m still going to enjoy the writing, because holy hot damn.
• Moon Ho and Min Jae’s (the news station manageress) relationship is really complicated. Apparently, she proposed to him, and he rejected her because he still loved someone else and now they have to work together… Yeah, I think we’ve all been there. And Moon Ho doesn’t help her situation at all by defying the orders of the upper-ups at the news station. In the end, I think both Min Jae and Moon Ho thought it was better for him to leave, even if she wanted him to stay.
Moon Shik meets with the Elder, who is impressed at how good of an opponent Moon Ho is.
• Min Jae wonders if Moon Ho hunts for the truth because he is addicted to the fame of being a celebrity news reporter. This is an excellent point as Moon Ho does seem to love the attention he gets from rubbing people the wrong way.
• The girl who is Healer’s lackey is kind of awesome. She fights well, rides bikes and helps out as the person who couriers what Healer retrieves to his clients. I just wish she could have played a bigger role in the show entirely.
• You know how they say that it’s the little things that make you fall in love? Well, I’ve fallen for this drama because with how much attention to detail they put into this drama. It’s hard not to love everything about it. It was very well written and plotted. The dialogue, especially instances of voice-overs, will blow you away. I also loved how the little things that we knew about the characters make you really love and connect with the characters when those quirks are explained later on. Not to mention the acting by the two leads especially in episode 10… Daaaang! When Healer talks to his teacher and asks him about his father’s death, I was blown away! I also loved when Young Shin had the makeover and she had to pretend to be an heiress. She slipped into that role too easily.
Moon Ho and his Some Day News fellows complete their first broadcast to huge success.
• Because the acting in the drama is so great, it’s easy to believe the characters are real. In fact, I’m super tempted to see what happens if I send an email to email@example.com 😉
• The photo of the 5 friends plays and extremely prominent role towards the end of the middlemost episode. See what I said about the little things becoming crucial to plot development later on? Genius!
• I enjoyed that the drama maintained a relatively fast pace from the start of the show. I haven’t picked up any lags so far, but sometimes the show digresses from the main points a bit, although not in a way that’s easy to notice. It was by accident that I noticed that Healer’s murder case hadn’t been solved at episode 9 yet. This drama pulls you in that much.
• Jung Hoo/ Healer/ Bong Soo is excellent at disguises. He also has great acting ability so that he can slip between any one of those characters in an instant. I especially like when he uses the feeble, afraid and weak ‘Bong Soo’ character to do ‘Healer’ type stuff, like pretend he ran away so he can fight the bad guys as Healer, or plant a listening device in Moon Ho’s office.
Young Shin and Jong Soo are stunned at the success of their station’s first broadcast.
• Young Shin, even though she seems like a manic pixie dream girl type character, is incredibly well thought out. Every aspect of her personality is able to be explained by something really deep, even though she seems silly. For example, Young Shin likes to sing and dance all the time, which is most likely because this is the method her father used to get her to like him when he was trying to adopt her. She keeps a very old flip phone on her –which Healer makes fun of, inwardly- which was her adoptive mother’s from before she died. I think that it is this, along with how Healer admits that Young Shin is someone who will be brave even when she should be afraid, that leads Jung Hoo to falling in love with her.
• Young Shin has also been through some really deep issues. She admits while trying to save someone from committing suicide, that when she was a child, she contemplated suicide because she had been beaten in one of her adoptive homes. She ensures this person that time will heal the wounds.
• Young Shin is a terrible reporter, but luckily, she has an awesome story to pursue, and the guidance of reporter Kim Moon Ho to help her become a proper reporter.
Moon Shik remembers his first time meeting the Elder.
• I enjoyed that dreams played a huge role in this drama. Literal dreams, like Moon Ho’s nightmares of losing the child, Ji Ahn, Young Shin’s aspirations to become a reporter like Kim Moon Ho, and Jung Hoo’s dreams of buying an island where he can be happily isolated.
• It was so easy to see Jung Hoo falling in love with Young Shin that I loved it. Many times, in dramas, it seems as if the characters suddenly come together, but this time, it was many little things that you notice while watching the drama that help you see exactly when he becomes powerless to resist the feeling of wanting to be around Young Shin. You see the cute excuses he makes to Min Ja too… and then we get to a point where he can’t make excuses anymore so he hires himself to protect Young Shin. ❤
• Jung Hoo might also be attracted to Young Shin because he is curious about what it is like to have a family. Really, she represents everything he didn’t know that he had been missing.
Healer (as Bong Soo), unable to deny his feelings, leans forward to kiss Young Shin.
• The show really displays how victims of crimes against rich and powerful people are treated even in countries all over the world. Yun Hee (the girl Young Shin saved) tried to go to the police for help, and they wouldn’t even investigate her claims! In fact, when she comes forward with the truth, the people involved in the scandal sue her for defamation of character! I remember in my own country, there was a rape case opened against a man who one day became our president… It makes me sad to see that money is more important than honesty in politics, and that corruption runs rampant, even off the TV screen.
• A good example of money is power can be seen when Moon Shik offers Sang Soo (of SS Guard) copious amounts of money to ‘own’ Sang Soo, not Sang Soo’s company. I mean, how do you buy a person?!
• The comedic timing in this show is excellent. I love it when Min Ja waits until Healer is eating before she calls. Her character is very funny. She loves to tease him.
Healer (as Bong Soo) confesses his feelings for Young Shin to her.
• Did anyone else see what looked like a love bite in Ji Chang Wook’s neck in Episode 4? It was there for a couple seconds when he was talking to Young Shin, then suddenly disappeared… Just sayin’. 🤔🤷♀️
• Jung Hoo has had an incredibly difficult life. All the people he loved abandoned him, it’s no wonder he is so sarcastic and just wants to be alone! I felt so sorry for his character because no amount of physical strength or smarts can make someone want to love you or stay with you, even if they are a parent.
• I loved that Young Shin was comfortable enough to sleep with him in the room, even if she couldn’t sleep next to anyone else. Her dad’s reaction to seeing them sleep next to each other is priceless! –even if she’s on the couch and he is on the floor, she still held his arm.
Detective Dong Won discovers a key suspect of his is dead.
• Sang Soo is still a hot mess, but even more so, his head goon likes to play with a Yo-Yo and is also nicknamed ‘Yo-Yo”… 😓
• People have complained that the music for the fight scene in episode 4 did not fit the fight scene very well, and I have to agree, but I just don’t see any other songs that are going to fit the scene any better.
• When Healer gives Young Shin the pills and hugged her to hide his identity in episode 4, I wasn’t so convinced he hugged her to hide his identity… 😉❤
• Myung Hee said something that kind of stopped my heart a little bit. When Moon Ho challenged her that Ji Ahn could be alive, she responded by saying that what kind of mother would abandon her daughter and live comfortably all that time? This was really beautiful of her to say.
Detective Yoon remarks to another detective how strange and convenient the death of his suspect is.
• Themes so far are: espionage, corruption, abandonment, family, secrets and lies.
• If you really think about it, while Healer falling for Young Shin makes sense, since he’s got all this extra info on her and was uncovering certain things he liked about her as part of his job, Young Shin falling for Healer doesn’t really make sense. She only met him like three times and the first time she met him, he basically attacked her. She has no idea who he is, whether or not he is old enough to be her father –since she wears a blindfold every time she encounters him- or whether or not he is a criminal in terms of murder, rape, torture or any number of other things. She seems to have that ‘I-understand-him-like-no-one-else-in-the-entire-population-does’ kind of syndrome that all women who fall in love with superheroes seem to have. Never mind if he’s a cat person, or was born in the year of the Goat.
• I liked that Min Ja compared Healer to Superman, a hero who lived a double life as a reporter. If this line was so important that it was included in the dialogue, is it possible Healer was, perhaps in part, based on Superman?
Young Jae tricks a young Jung Hoo into training to become Healer.
• Healer also spends a copious amount of time watching the same documentary on leopards over and over again… there’s really nothing else to watch? I’m sure National Geographic has a wider selection than just that one documentary.
• I must say that I really admire the acting chops on the guy who played Hwang Jae Guk, the construction company president. He is really good at playing a really bad guy.
• WARNING: This show contains physical violence against women in episode 5. If you can’t handle this, skip ahead to the next episode. It also contains scenes of implied violence against a little girl. You don’t see anything happening, but as the child is crying and you see an adult with a bat or stick moving towards the child, you kinda get the gist.
• The part where Healer escapes with Young Shin, pretending to be afraid, but running out and smiling at her behind her back is really cute.
Jung Hoo asks his Teacher about his father’s death.
• Something cool and unique about Healer’s character is that he has to hide his face while facing an opponent directly. This makes fighting in enclosed spaces or close combat really complicated for him.
• Speaking of, fight scenes and stunts were incredibly choreographed. I also enjoyed it when they fight in small spaces, like inside of convertibles (cars). Turns out, Ji Chang Wook does actually do some of his own stunts, but he does have a stunt double. That’s really awesome! Ten points to this guy!
• I’m really happy that this drama was so well written. Nothing seems coincidental. Every action and display so far was intentional, in terms of writing. Even if a character does something which may seem coincidental, it is not something that drives the plot, it happens naturally.
• The character of the Elder is irritating and not just because he’s a bad guy, but because he rationalizes his actions with seemingly Confucian quotes and the like. I found this very cliché.
Jung Hoo further investigates his father’s death.
• In one instance, I think Myung Hee was trying to love Moon Shik, but he (sort of) failed her test. In reference to him amassing power, she says he is like Merlin, the powerful wizard behind King Arthur. She then asks if he wouldn’t rather be Arthur, in other words, wouldn’t he rather just have enough of power and be a hero, or do the right thing? But, his response is that power is needed to do the right thing. I have a feeling that if he’d answered that differently, we’d have seen a very different relationship unfold between the two.
• I found when Jung Hoo was jealous of Moon Ho being around Young Shin to be very cute. He didn’t have anything to worry about because Young Shin fell for Healer in the end, spurred on by her disappointment in Moon Ho, but it was cute that he got irritated when Moon Ho wanted to work closely with her.
• In terms of character development, we can see boat loads of this in every character from the beginning of the show to the midway point for most of the characters. Moon Ho stops being complacent and starts taking action against his brother, Moon Shik’s descent into madness and more power, Young Shin becoming a better reporter and stronger, smarter person, and Jung Hoo coming out of his shell and learning to love. This was executed really beautifully.
• Healer goes back to Hwang Jae Guk’s house in the same car he went there in his ‘Bong Soo’ disguise and none of Sang Soo’s thugs notice? Wow… you guys are something else.
Young Shin decides to meet with Healer so emails him as a client.
• Jung Hoo’s character although proud and snarky, hides a really soft heart. He wants to be alone. Because he has been abandoned for most of his life by everyone he loved, he has kind of lost faith in humanity. Could it be that when he first encounters Young Shin, he is a little bit desperate for love and human affection, despite what he says?
• Young Shin and Healer’s first kiss in episode 8 and the events leading up to that kiss damn-near broke my heart. It was so beautiful. Also, for some time, Young Shin believes Healer is only meeting with her and protecting her because Moon Ho has paid him to do so. I hope she realizes that Moon Ho didn’t pay for that kiss.💋
• The music for the show is still awesome, but there are a few instances where the sound bites (of music) were not very well edited or put together. The song Hold Me Tight by Yael Meyer loops very weirdly in one of the episodes, and in another instance, some of the background theme also wasn’t mixed or edited well, but there are only two widely spaced instances of this in the first 10 episodes, so all in all, not bad.
• I liked the makeover part in episode 9. It was both very funny and very sweet. Although not much changes by way of their appearances, they still look really good. Also, Healer’s face when he sees Young Shin is priceless… But, the nutter doesn’t compliment her. 😑
Moon Ho stumbles upon evidence which reveals the identity of Healer to him.
• All throughout his time with her Jung Hoo tries to show Young Shin that he is Healer, but she just doesn’t pick it up. She very easily believes the excuses for his actions, and his mediocre explanations. Perhaps she just doesn’t want to see what’s right in front of her.
• The elevator scene in episode 10 where Jung Hoo takes Young Shin’s hand because she is afraid, and subsequently tries to kiss her is beautiful. But it ends in a not-so-epic fail.
• I find that Young Shin, not even giving Bong Soo, someone who has affection for her, right in front of her, a tiny chance to be with her very weird. I know she has ‘I-love-a-superhero’ syndrome, but a part of me feels like she doesn’t want Healer to become too real to her so that she can keep up the fantasy. Healer tries to hint to her (as Bong Soo) that if she wants, he can live a ‘normal’ life with her. He basically says that he will give up everything to have a regular life with her and she’s like ‘nah, I love my superhero’. She didn’t once question what the nuts Bong Soo was talking about, living a normal life? Strange… Especially since Bong Soo is kind of a regular guy she works with.
• I have to say that episodes 8 and 10 were my favourite episodes so far.
Jung Hoo discovers something about his father’s death from an unexpected source.
Wow, this post was really a doozy to get through! I guess that there was a lot to analyse because the story was so complex and multi-layered, but I’m seriously enjoying it so far. It’s not only the acting and the storyline, but that the actors can really become their characters, which makes the show far more realistic than fantastic editing or great graphics. I mean, Ji Chang Wook handles the duality of the role with such ease that it makes me hungry to see him perform in the next drama. He’s like the Korean equivalent of Eddie Redmayne or Benedict Cumberbatch; he is a chameleon actor –he can basically take any role and make it phenomenal…I mean, this guy, seriously…
I guess I’m speechless. I can’t wait to digest the next few episodes!
Also, aside from the major characters, the minor ones do their roles a lot justice. Chae Chi Soo, for example, (Young Shin’s dad) is also an incredibly well thought-out role. He’s like the dad we all hope to have. I liked that the actor is comfortable enough to be laughing and singing around the rest of the cast. This was such a great cast that the drama was able to flow naturally, even though there were some plot holes. It’s almost like the cast made us believe in the show because they did too.
Before I sign off for the week, I must once again apologize for the late review. I’ll be posting the 3rd and final Healer Review on Monday, along with the next review I’m focusing on, but good news: we’ll be tackling a sageuk about zombies soon… see if you can guess what it is. 😉
Have a great weekend!
Nikki B ❤