Korean Drama Squee: Healer

On WTF is a Healer anyway

Angela: I always thought healer was a weird and even confusing choice of codeword for the job.

It's because I heal others with my pretty.

It’s because I heal others with my pretty.

Tatiana: True, why was that his codename? What was he healing? It made sense from a meta perspective because the story is about healing the breach with the past and moving towards the future.

Angela: It worked as the title for the underground newspaper/radio show the parents did, but then the actual night errand work doesn’t really honor the spirit of that.

Tatiana: I guess it’s just a (probably accidental) nod to how sentimental jung hoo is. He acts all tough and protects his identity, but his codename gives away his identity and connection to his parents kind of.

Angela: It’s all due to Jung hoo’s teacher, probably. He thought of himself as “the healer,” because that was his title in the glory days, and Jung hoo inherited it, even if the work isn’t very healing. So you’re probably right: it’s also just Jung hoo being a squishy nougat inside.

And that time he calls moon ho “uncle” *cries*

Tatiana: YES. Both Jung hoo and Young shin’s relationships to Moon Ho made me feel ALL THE THINGS.

In Which We Focus The Gushing On the Best Part, the Characters

Tatiana: Moon ho especially gives me feels, aww. I love that it really was a family story as much as a romance.

I am handsome and inscrutable, but really I just want a hug.

I am handsome and inscrutable, but really I just need a hug.

Angela: Yesss it totally was. so many moon ho feelings. I actually really love his character in all the ways. A lot of kdramas like to contrast the current generation with their parents’ generation. So we have Moon ho: with a foot in both generations, who ends up representing the best of both while getting the worst of both, the poor thing.

He blames himself for not forcing the issue and allowing the past events to inform the current status quo. So he also hasn’t moved on because all the drama has kind of defined his life; he’s both a victim and an enabler.

Tatiana: The mixture of guilt and innocence in Moon ho KILLS ME. To right the wrongs of the past, he has to both take on some of the blame and forgive himself for it.

Angela: We’ve actually not talked specifics about our lead character, Jung Hoo, so we should do that! Batman on the outside, “just want you to cuddle me” on the inside.

At the beginning of the show Jung Hoo in voiceover is all “there are only three numbers on my phone: my boss, my minion, and my favorite fried chicken delivery place, and that is the way i like it.”

ALL the Superman/Clark Kent/Lois Lane parallels.

ALL the Superman/Clark Kent/Lois Lane parallels.

But IMMEDIATELY with young shin/at the first real opportunity he’s like “I want to live like a normal person!” So it never was the way he liked it.

Tatiana: So true! And when he’s Park Bong-soo? I can’t deal with how adorable he is. Totally one upped the Clark Kent/Superman dichotomy there.

Angela: Yesss I loved that Bong-soo wasn’t just a bumbling cover to divert suspicion. Jung Hoo unconsciously channeled his own insecurities into Bong-soo. Because the second Young Shin gets through his guard to the real him, the cuddlemonster emerges. Seriously one of my top fave cute “they finally got together” montages in kdrama.

Poor affection and touch starved marshmallow. And of course when you consider it it’s depressing, because he has NEVER GOTTEN TO BE THAT CLOSE TO ANYONE SINCE HE WAS A LITTLE KID. 

Tatiana: *choked sobbing*

Angela: I also appreciate how it turns on its head the whole “experienced man, virgin woman” trope. Because while we don’t know young shin’s romantic history at least she’s had opportunity. It’s never explored but the possibility is there.

Whereas I am convinced jung hoo has never been with anyone, not even one night stands. Because he was trained to be alone and hide, to never even let anyone see his face.

Tatiana: Agreed. I feel like he could easily get invested with just a little affection and he obviously only reached out (begrudgingly lol) to the people he worked with before then.

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