An 8-week-long journey of watching a simple housewife, Cha Jung-Sook (Uhm Jung-Hwa) step out of her home and establish her own identity. An 8-week-long journey of watching Jung-Sook deal with grief, loss, betrayals and agonies. Now, it has come to an end with Jung-Sook achieving everything she ever wanted from her medical degree to a sense of belonging. The anticlimactic episode, Doctor Cha Episode 16, is an aggregation of every emotion you can possibly pin down from agony to ecstasy. It is a perfect blend sprinkled with a few cherries of happiness, a happy ending for all the characters of Netflix’s Doctor Cha finally earning the ecstasy they have been yearning for.
In the previous episode, Jung-Sook was diagnosed with acute live hepatitis. She needed a liver transplant with both her husband of 20 years, In-Ho (Kim Byung-Chul) and her friend cum surgeon Doctor Roy Kim (Min Woo-Hyuk) offering to be her donors. She had a huge choice to make this episode. So, here’s a rundown of everything Doctor Cha Episode 16 has in store for us!
Doctor Cha Episode 16 Recap
It is the series finale, the makers Kim Dae-Jin and Kim Jung-Woo and the writer Jung Yeo-Rang have made sure to stuff everything they could in this 1-hour-long episode. Starting with Jung-Sook’s choice of a donor. She chooses no one in particular, not the husband who cheated on her, nor the person who offered her everything. Jung-Sook just chooses to wait for a dead donor instead of letting either of them step in because she doesn’t want anyone to go through this agony. However, her prognosis leaves no choice for her but to accept a living donor.
In-Ho signs away the divorce papers ahead of her surgery so that Jung-Sook doesn’t have to worry about him clinging to her and tying her back to himself. Yes, Jung-Sook lets In-Ho be her donor. It is the most important surgery in Gusan University Hospital since two precious professors are involved along with all the residents who decide to assist Kim in the surgery. And yes, Jung-Sook wins the fight once again!
Eun-Seo Ties Her Parents Together
A couple of months after the grand surgery, Jung-Sook is back to normal. She is ready for the next phase of her life and for her to commence a new journey, she needs to get rid of the baggage she’s been carrying with her. Jung-Sook and In-Ho agree on a mutual divorce with equal property and asset distribution. Later on, both decide to have lunch together and move on with their lives.
It isn’t just Jung-Sook who’s moving on, Seung-Hee (Myung Se-Bin) has decided to finally let go as well. She resigns from Gusan University Hospital and takes over the hospital her deceased father left for her. Both Jung-Sook and Seung-Hee demonstrate peculiar strength as they walk out of In-Ho’s life. In-Ho and Jung-Sook’s daughter, I-Rang (Lee Seo-Yeon), comes across Seung-Hee and In-Ho’s daughter, Eun-Seo (So A-Rin), apologizes to her and tells her about her parent’s divorce.
In-Ho has now become a director at the hospital but has no one to celebrate his position with, no one to cheer for him and certainly no child to look up to him. It hits him like a ton of bricks as he occupies his new cabin, feeling the emptiness of it dawn on him. However, Eun-Seo has different plans. She asks In-Ho for a quick meeting and suggests that he should, for once in his life, hold onto Seung-Hee just like she’s been holding onto her. Of course, Seung-Hee doesn’t make it easy for In-Ho.
Doctor Cha Episode 16 Ending Explained
Jung-Sook doesn’t stay behind either, she gives Kim a hard time, too. As he expresses his feelings towards her, she blatantly refuses to let him have a chance using the good old I-am-not-good-for-you excuse.
Here, Doctor Cha Episode 16 takes a time leap and takes us 3 years later than Kim’s proposal and Jung-Sook’s surgery.
Now, she has settled into her life and the building her mother-in-law–okay, ex-mother-in-law–once brought under her name to avoid taxes. Jung-Sook has a specialization degree in family Medicines and is running her own clinic cum cafe cum organic farming hub. Kim is seeing someone after donating his bone marrow to his biological dad. Jung-Sook is now volunteering again and is on great terms with In-Ho who’s managing his position at Gusan University Hospital and Seung-Hee’s Hospital simultaneously.
Meanwhile, Jung-Min (Song Ji-Ho) is back again from serving his time in the army as a volunteer doctor. His girlfriend and senior, Jeon So-Ra (Jo Ah-Ram) has a pregnancy scare but as it turns out the commitment-phobic So-Ra wants a marriage and a future with Jung-Min.
As the series climaxes, Jung-Sook, goes on a cruise kind-of trip, embracing the second chance she has got.
Doctor Cha Episode 16 Review: It Is An Emotional Paragliding Ride In The Sky Of Wrong Choices
Honestly, bidding goodbye to Jung-Sook after watching her rise from the ashes is a bit emotional moment. At the same time, I am glad Jung-Sook has got what she yearned for. It started with a wrong choice–In-Ho–and it seems like her journey ended with another wrong choice–refusing Kim. Right from the start, Kim has been her anchor and has never overstepped his boundaries or even remotely hurt her.
Jung-Sook’s blatant refusal comes off as a shock, I kept watching the entire episode–or more like the series–to witness Jung-Sook find the love she never got. So, yes, it is a bit of a disappointment. On the brighter side, she is now an independent woman, has her medical degree and is staying with her mother.
Doctor Cha is your cliche dose of K-drama, standing at 7 on 10 for me.