This special episode of Code Blue was shown early this year after the drama ended sometime in November last year. As much as I wanted to enjoy the drama in itself, I couldn’t help but find parallelisms to Grey’s Anatomy, which I used to really dig. However, I stuck to the drama because a) I missed Yamapi and b) I wanted to see a different genre of Jdorama. I read somewhere that K-dramas are also moving into these types of career-oriented dramas.

Back to Code Blue, the SP’s storyline starts a week after finale left off. We hear Aizawa’s (Yamashita Tomohisa) voice over, which again reminds me of Meredith Grey’s narratives. While showing flashes of an emergency situation, Aizawa’s voice over talks about separation and death, how it is inevitable and sometimes sudden.

Seven hours earlier, Dr. Morimoto Tadashi of Shoyo University Hokubo Hospital, and one of the Doctor Heli (^__^) is giving a lecture about cardiac arrest, how a patient should be given treatment within an hour, and how the brain is damaged if the flow of oxygen into the brain is suspended.

We then learn that the four flight doctors—Aizawa, Shiraishi, Hiyama and Fujikawa have all been suspended after they defied orders and refused to leave the emergency scene during the finale. But they’re all back at the hospital after some rest. Even the tough Hiyama spent some time off with her family. Dr. Mitsui, who was also with the four interns during the emergency, received a pay cut as a punishment for their actions. The nurse Saejima is also reinstated.

Dr. Mitsui brings an emergency case to their base and all four doctors tend to the patient. They are successful enough to get the heart rate and blood pressure back.

Meanwhile, Dr. Kuroda, the chief Doctor Heli packs his things. What was he to do if he could not use his arm to save lives? And so he has decided to quit and give rehabilitation a go. He has also decided to leave without saying goodbye to interns. Before he goes, the hospital chief asks him whether he has grown to like his students. Dr. Kuroda does not answer, merely bows and leaves.

Hiyama and Fujikawa are disappointed to learn later on that Dr. Kuroda has left without so much as a sayonara.
Meanwhile, Aizawa receives news that his grandma has been doing well and has regained consciousness despite her dementia. Aizawa visits her and she does recognize her grandson. She wonders whether it’s okay for him to visit her since he’s busy with work, which makes Aizawa teary eyed.

Fujikawa and Seiyama talk about Aizawa’s grandma and how she’s supposed to leave the hospital soon. They wonder whether she’s going to an institution or if Aizawa would ask her to live with him. Fujikawa then invites Saejima to lunch, which she quickly turns down. She agrees to go when Fujikawa clarifies that he plans to invite the others just to celebrate being back at the hospital.

Shiraishi notices some unusual lesions on their patient’s body. Hiyama thinks it may be endocarditis and goes to ask the cardiac department intern to do a cardiac echo and blood culture. The intern gets annoyed at Hiyama for butting in her diagnosis and the two get into a heated discussion.

The hospital chief reprimands Hiyama for browbeating a fellow intern, reminding her of the hospital hierarchy, that she was supposed to inform a senior doctor about her doubts in the diagnosis. Again, this reminds me of one episode of Grey’s Anatomy where Meredith got into a fight with a fellow intern when she interfered with the case of a new born baby.

Hiyama finds out from Shiraishi that the emergency patient indeed had endocarditis so she gets all puffed up. She gets exasperated when Shiraishi tells her that she understood how the cardio intern must have felt. Fujikawa invites them to lunch but gets rejected again.

Aizawa goes to see his grandma again who has been talking to the manager of a home she’s applying to. She has planned to live there after she’s discharged from the hospital. Grandma feigns excitement at the possibility of living near the ocean. Aizawa is bothered to hear this (but really, what did he expect?) and tells Shiraishi (in a rare show of vulnerability) that he had planned to ask his grandma to live with him.

Next, the hospital receives a call about a train that has been derailed. Aizawa and Shiraishi are told to go to the site immediately with Mitsui sensei. Meanwhile, Aizawa’s grandma seems to be having second thoughts about going into a home.

The doctors arrive at the location and the sight is indeed horrible. Shiraishi is tasked to man the first-aid station and transport triages. Injured passengers are all over the place and there are more inside the carriages, waiting to be rescued. Dr. Mitsui and Aizawa find more victims inside a carriage while Hiyama and Fujikawa arrive at the scene.

Dr. Kuroda, who’s headed to the airport to send off his family, hears about the news while inside a taxi.

Fujikawa tends to a man trapped inside and bleeding profusely. Phones ring simultaneously as news reports about the accident are all over the media. Fujikawa answers the phone and gets to speak with his patient’s mom.

Shiraishi, meanwhile, has been having trouble manning the first-aid station alone. Luckily for her, Dr. Kuroda arrives to take control.

Aizawa finds a woman and her child trapped in the wreckage. Hiyama meanwhile fails to diagnose a woman who just had a heart attack and makes a mistake in the triage system.

Fujikawa’s patient is still losing a lot of blood so he asks his assistant from the rescue team to call for help. Hiyama answers the call but a sudden tremor causes her to fall from the train. No one sees her hurt and unconscious.

Back to Aizawa, the rescue team is still having a hard time getting the mother and child off the wreck. The child loses consciousness and Aizawa thinks there may be epidural hematoma (Note: There’s a lot of technical stuff over here but basically I think it just means that there’s a lot of blood inside the patient’s head). Aizawa calls a senior doctor for advise and decides to drill into the boy’s head to get the blood out. The thing is they don’t have a medical drill with them so he’s going to use one of the rescuer’s (Whoah! They really had to make Yamapi kick-ass here huh.). This news makes the boy’s mother anxious. She breaks down but eventually agrees when she’s told that it’s the only way to save her son. The procedure goes well and the boy regains consciousness.

Fujikawa is left to tend to his patient alone with the rescuers as they are trapped inside the train carriage after the tremor. Dr. Kuroda sees his dilemma and tells him to clamp the artery to stop the bleeding (Note: This was like the procedure done by Aizawa in a previous episode.). Despite the lack in experience and his assistant’s nerves, Fujikawa successfully stops the bleeding through Dr. Kuroda’s instructions.

Shiraishi gets another patient in the first aid station. The patient is seriously hurt but conscious. She puts a tag on him, which means he will be transported to a hospital as soon as the helicopter arrives. Shiraishi leaves him to tend to other patients but his condition worsens. As the one in charge of transportation, Shiraishi makes the difficult decision of sending other patients to the helicopter instead of this patient whose chance of survival is slim. The patient’s wife and daughter berate her for doing so. Dr. Kuroda and Dr. Mitsui look on approvingly.

The emergency site has almost been cleared and Dr. Mitsui wonders where Hiyama has gone.

Dr. Kuroda finds Hiyama and calls Aizawa to come over the back of the train. Aizawa is shocked to see Hiyama being revived by Dr. Kuroda. They are able to revive her blood pressure and heart rate and transport her to the hospital. However, they aren’t sure whether she’ll survive since they don’t know how long it has been since her cardiac arrest.

At the hospital, the doctors operate on Hiyama’s heart that was damaged by her fall. The cardio intern whom Hiyama had an argument earlier is shocked to see her in the operating room. They repair the heart successfully but Hiyama remains in a coma.

Meanwhile, Shiraishi is haunted by her conscience after the decision she made about her patient earlier. Dr. Kuroda senses this and tells her that she made the right judgment. Dr. Mitsui tells her that their job isn’t easy and that they need to make grown up decisions from now on. At hearing this, Shiraishi finally breaks down.

Hiyama’s father arrives at the hospital to see her.

Still tending to the patient he rescued, Fujikawa tells him to call his mother who was worried for him. His patient tells his mom that a good doctor rescued him. Unfortunately, Fujikawa doesn’t hear this.

Aizawa finds Hiyama’s father cleaning up her belongings. Hiyama’s father tells him how they ended up arguing the last time she was at home. He regrets fighting with her and not telling her how much he loves her. Aizawa seems to be touched by this so he visits his grandmother in the middle of the night and tucks her to bed.

The next day, Hiyama finally regains consciousness. She tells the hospital chief about the mistake she made in the triage system. He tells her it’s okay to make mistakes but the dilemma is that doctors are not allowed to make them so he tells her to learn from the experience and not to rush things. Meanwhile, the cardio intern visits Hiyama and the two have an awkward talk. Hiyama asks whether she stitched her heart properly and the two have their bonding moment.

Dr. Kuroda makes amends with his estranged wife and leaves the hospital. But before he leaves, Fujikawa, Aizawa, Shiraishi and Saejima run after him to say thank you. They ask him to stay but he jokingly mocks them that they’re the worst group of fellows he has ever encountered in the fellowship.

Aizawa goes to see his grandmother in her room only to find it empty. He runs after her and asks her to live with him. She is touched by the thought but declines the offer. She tells him how happy she is just to see how independent Aizawa has become. Fighting back tears, she tells him how happy she is to have seen where he works. Shiraishi sees their tearful goodbye and tells Aizawa later to visit his grandma when he has time.

At the cafeteria, the five of them—Aizawa, Shiraishi, Fujikawa, Hiyama and Saejima—finally get to eat lunch together just as Fujikawa planned. Fujikawa asks them to celebrate in a bar after work but all of them decline. They then receive another emergency call leaving Fujikawa alone at the table.

And then we hear Aizawa’s voice over again:
“Parting will surely come at any time. But surely we know, just as there are sad farewells, there are farewells for departures, and farewells for facing the future…And we know that the only certainty is that separation makes people strong.”

THE END.

Overall, I think the drama wasn’t as engaging as other Jdoramas I’ve seen although I have to applaud the writer for some of the well written dialogues. I think the strength of Jdoramas against K-dramas is that Jdoramas usually have these almost poetic dialogues and scenes. Maybe it’s due to the fact that the Japanese aren’t as open to showing their emotions, whereas Koreans I think are more melodramatic. The Korean entertainment might learn something from the Japanese to improve their scripts.

Myla Torres-Eder

Myla writes news stories for a living and watches K-dramas for leisure. She enjoys doing both for Hallyudorama.

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