In the midst of tragedy, duty and sacrifice go hand in hand.
Warning: Potential spoilers ahead.
Episode seven opens with the soldiers and medical team working feverishly to rescue those trapped in the collapsed Haesung solar plant. Shi-jin and Dae-young head the rescue operations. Manager Go is trapped with a large piece of debris crushing his lower body. Another construction worker has been impaled through the chest. The soldiers must use caution while they search for survivors. One false move or an aftershock could make the damaged structures cave in completely.
Chief Manager Jin Young-soo approaches the rescue team to try and convince them to begin searching in another area. He has his own motives for getting into the damaged building. The deadline for the deal he made with Agus, promising diamonds in exchange for cash, quickly approaches, and the goods are trapped in the safe in his buried office. Dae-young firmly explains to the slimy manager that while a building may look fine on the outside, it could still fall part in an aftershock. Their conversation is interrupted when a soldier announces that the faint sounds of survivors have been detected in the rubble.
Down below, Manager Go and the impaled worker try to make noise to alert the rescue team. While Manager Go tries to keep their spirits high, they are able to hear the voices of other workers trapped above them.
The rescue team locates the other group of survivors first, but getting to Manager Go and the impaled man is no easy task. Using heavy equipment to dig into the unstable structure is too dangerous. With limited options, they are forced to get creative and devise a risky plan — using air and water bags to lift the heavy concrete and create an opening.
Meanwhile, Mo-yeon and the medical team are running on fumes. They are low on supplies, vehicles and helping hands. Luckily, Daniel steps in at the base to perform surgeries. He sends Ye-hwa to help the doctors at the disaster site. Meanwhile, Shi-jin and Dae-young’s plan is a success, and they are able to enter the rubble. The first of the trapped workers are freed. However, rescuing the remaining two presents a more complicated challenge.
Myung-joo attempts to treat a patient in need of surgery. With nowhere to take him, she and Mo-yeon will have to perform the task in the open. The nurses scramble to gather supplies for the surgery. Ki-bum wants to lend a hand. However, thanks to an injury he sustained in episode six (he was nearly squashed beneath a toppling refrigerator during the earthquake), he has one arm in a sling. He is doing his best to help but only becomes a hindrance, accidentally knocking over supplies.
Meanwhile, Chi-hoon struggles to communicate with a woman refusing an anesthetic. She has a broken leg, and he must numb the pain before setting her bone. The woman continues to refuse, appearing frightened, and knocks the syringe out his hand. Chi-hoon grows frustrated until the woman takes out an ultrasound picture. She is pregnant and the drugs could hurt her baby. Chi-hoon and his fiancée, Dr. Jang, are expecting a child of their own. He understands the woman’s fear and does what he can to reassure her. Then he sets her broken bone without pain medication.
Foreign journalists arrive at the power plant with cameras and questions. One man approaches Ki-bum for information. Earlier in the series, we learned that Ki-bum is studying English. Unfortunately, he hasn’t quite learned enough to answer the journalist’s questions. None of the doctors have time to talk. However, Dr. Song comes to the rescue and promises the journalists an interview if they will take him back to lend a hand at the camp hospital. As they drive away, a call comes over the radio asking for anyone with blood type AB. Ki-bum answers the call (AB is his blood type) and goes to help Mo-yeon and Myung-joo with the surgery they are performing.
Ye-hwa matches Ki-bums blood type to the patient and sets him up for a direct transfusion. Shi-jin approaches and tells them that they need a doctor inside the collapse building.
Mo-yeon returns to the building with him and is startled to see Manager Go, who is still trapped underground. Manager Go was kind to Mo-yeon and the other doctors when they were first introduced to the power plant workers. He laughs and says that he is glad to see her pretty face. Mo-yeon can already see that he is in grave condition, and Shi-jin must deliver darker news. He takes her to the other side of the rubble to assess the impaled worker. Then Shi-jin pulls her aside and explains that the concrete trapping Manager Go and the steel cutting through the other worker are connected. The rescue team can’t free one man without killing the other. Mo-yeon must make a choice.
In the midst of the tension, Chief Manager Jin Young-soo still insists on getting into the office where he left “important papers.” By this time, he has firmly situated himself among the lowest of lowlifes. He suggests they “quickly wrap things up” as one of the trapped men will die anyway. His paperwork is simply more important. He claims the documents are treaties for peaceful reconstruction with the Urk government. Young-soo even has the nerve to say that he is doing all of this out of patriotism as a Korean citizen.
Shi-jin finally runs out of patience when Young-soo says that who lives and who dies is not what really matters. He is lucky that looks can’t actually kill. Shi-jin stares him down and gets in his face. He flatly tells Young-soo that the lives and safety of its citizens is the top priority of a nation. He has never been given an order that is more important than a citizen’s life. Shi-jin picks up a shovel and shoves it at Young-soo, telling him to dig the papers up himself if they are truly so important.
Young-soo scoffs and refuses. Shi-jin leans in and tells him to get lost. Before Young-soo can take his suggestion, chunks of debris suddenly break loose above them. Shi-jin grabs Young-soo and shields him from the falling rocks and pipes. He jumps up as soon as the dust settles and checks on the other rescuers with Manager Go. In the chaos, a live electrical wire was knocked loose. Thinking quickly, Shi-jin uses his gun to shoot down another chunk of concrete. It falls on top of the sparking wire, effectively shielding Manager Go and the rescuers from it. He does all of this without once pausing to address the blood we see dripping from his shoulder. However, he has more important matters to address and leaves to find Mo-yeon.
Her assessment of Manager Go and the impaled worker revealed that Manager Go will likely die of crush syndrome if they remove the heavy debris on top of him. The piece of metal in the other worker’s chest has stopped him from bleeding out. She believes that he will survive if they can cut him free, get him to an operating room and remove the rest of the metal there. The question of which man to save has a clear medical answer. However, Mo-yeon struggles to make the choice and tearfully asks Shi-jin what he would do, hoping that someone with more experience can make the best choice. He calmly tells her that “there is no such thing as best.” They can only solve the problem in front of them, and he needs her answer as a doctor.
She chooses to save the impaled worker.
In the next scene we see the medical team rushing the worker into the chaotic ER back at the camp. The hunk of metal still protrudes from his chest. Mo-yeon insists on performing the surgery herself and states the patient will not die. While she and the team begin surgery in the operating room, Shi-jin pays his respects to Manager Go.
Myung-joo and Dae-young finally have a moment alone and reward viewers with a heart-melting embrace. The mood lightens further when we learn the impaled worker survived surgery and Chi-hoon’s pregnant patient is doing well.
After it’s all said and done, the disaster resulted in eighteen confirmed fatalities and forty-one injuries. After returning the boots to the man who gave them to her, Mo-yeon stops to pay her respects. Heavy-hearted, she breaks down in tears as Shi-jin looks on.
A soldier sees that Shi-jin is bleeding from the shoulder wound he sustained protecting Young-soo earlier in the episode. He kept the injury hidden during the entire ordeal. The soldier recommends stitches and Mo-yeon steps in. She tends to his shoulder in a scene reminiscent of the first time she stitched him up back in episode one. He quietly confesses that he missed her and could not stop thinking about her no matter what he tried. Drinking, exhausting himself — nothing worked. He still missed her, and he is done pretending.
Did Mo-yeon miss Shi-jin as much as he missed her? Find out in the next episode on DramaFever.