Episode 4 Review: Pinocchio (2014)
Everyone’s on a Pinocchio’s fifth episode fever, but i’m on actual fever, so my review/recap was a bit belated! Pinocchio during its second airing week started its counter attack towards its strong opponent, Mr. Back, that began airing one week before Pinocchio’s appearance, so it had an advantage. Pinocchio’s first week was pretty strong, but the drama started showing its real teeth by almost balancing with Mr. Back’s ratings while at the same time King’s Face made its promising entrance in the world of dramas and ratings. The Wednesday-Thursday drama world feels like a battlefield and the shape of things to come will be more apparent during November’s last week. I already feel like a masochist by reviewing/recapping two of the most fierce current battalions of drama land that air at the same days, at the same time, so i won’t invest on King’s Face, not even as a humble part of the audience, it’s always a matter of time. Although, as a citizen of drama land referring to other fellow citizens of the same place, i wouldn’t consider it masochism, but something like the most pleasant face of volunteering! Anyway, the real world doesn’t apply when dramas take over! It’s a brand new world and a brand new state of mind takes over! So, let’s proceed with the 4th episode of Pinocchio!
The 4th episode divides itself in two major parts with the first one leading naturally to the second one. During the first half the drama presents the process of Dal Po’s recent decision to become a reporter alongside In Ha and how he interacts with his close people when it comes to the next step he’s about to take. Of course it’s not only about a reporter’s career the various characters’ interactions i’m referring to, there are side-stories that seem to walk parallel pathways, but they relate to each other. We also become witnesses of Dal Po’s transformation and how this change relates to his surrounding environment who is no other than the family he’s been living with all these years, his “brother” Dal Peng, his “niece” In Ha and his “father” Gong Pil.
The second half consists of the reporter interviews and the tests they have to go through in order to get hired by YGN. It’s about the enthusiasm of trying to achieve something, the struggle you have to go through, the sudden changes and the unexpected events or behaviors. The way you interact with the rest of the participants, especially the ones close to you and those looking forward to get to know you. And which face of the media will you choose as a prism to see through, the one reflecting the truth or the other one based on assumptions and speculations, even lies? Do the ratings really matter? And if they do, would you sacrifice the truth in order to increase them even at the cost of spitting lies? And what impact will it have upon you, specific people and society? If the heartrending past breathes once again at the present, will you be able to handle it? Will you be able to protect from hurt your loved ones and yourself? Trust? Sincerity? Secrets? What about them? These are some of the questions our figures are bound to go through in order to find the answer, promptly or indirectly, in this one or in future episodes.
The scenery opens up from the moment the third episode ended, but this time we watch the scene through the eyes of Dal Peng who managed to reach the rooftop as well. Even though Dal Po tried to convince him that there’s nothing going on between them, he didn’t really achieve it, but at least he did give it a shot. The more Dal Peng watches Dal Po close to In Ha the more he thinks that something’s going on, at least on Dal Po’s behalf, and he can’t get it out of his mind. Everything’s depicted in the way Dal Po stares at her, that sharp affection and penetrating geniality cannot be hidden, after all Dal Peng has plenty of such scenes carved on the retina of his eye that lurk on the back of his mind. You can read his thoughts through his facial expressions, there are times he feels pissed off like the moment Dal Po wrist grabbed In Ha, there are times he tries to read between the lines and you can also sense his relief and positivity when Dal Po motivates her to try harder in order to realize their mutual dream together. There’s definitely something about this family!
Dal Po and In Ha, after gathering the books that escaped the funeral pyre, returned back home. You can sense something bright resonating from their faces even though the chances for both of them becoming reporters lie somewhere in the middle since Dal Po has to work at the same time while studying and In Ha is a Pinocchio which isn’t the best characteristic of a reporter. Aware of the grandpa’s situation and Dal Po’s possible reporter position, they will do their best not to affect his health.
At the apartment, the books are being placed once again upon the shelves and In Ha tries to find a way to tell her father that she’s willing to continue to turn to life her dream by becoming a reporter. Grandpa Gong Pil shares part of his wisdom with her in order to encourage In Ha, if that’s what she’s willing to do then no one will be able to stand in her way, proceeding at all costs is a one-way road for her.
Dal Peng’s back home and even though In Ha lets him know of her interview failure and that she’s also not willing to stop trying, the only thought that passes through his mind is that he needs to talk with Dal Po. A crystalline dialogue takes place and both sides unveil their sincere thoughts, Dal Peng’s aware of Dal Po’s feelings towards In Ha and he unfolds his fatherly love and concerns for his daughter in an affectionate way, pointing out that she’ll always be his little girl. Dal Po confesses his feelings, but reassures Dal Peng that it’s always been one-sided and that he intends to keep it this way until his feelings turn to ash. Even though he presents himself a bit inferior given the circumstances that he’s an orphan and that his cab salary is not that great, he dearly cherishes this family and he wouldn’t do anything rash that would alter the special bonds all of them together forged throughout the years.
No wonder they’re father and daughter, both of them are neurotic in their own kind of way when the occasion asks for it, especially when they’re together a chain reaction of family explosions begins! At first they quarrel, then Dal Peng’s daydreaming of his lovely daughter, anything In Ha says enters from his left ear and gets out right away from the other one! Then they quarrel again and again and again! Grandpa’s the most sane in there! But i definitely love their quarrels, utterly humorous and even when it should get serious there’s always something funny coming your way! Dal Peng after Dal Po signed his emotional paper of withdrawal wants to make sure that everything’s fine with In Ha as well. He wants to clear the horizon from any possible forthcoming cloud of romance, even a tiny one. Shin Hye’s expressions are strong enough to form a new religion. I can’t believe i’m floating on a river of Shin Hye faces. Whether she’s whiny or delightful, gloomy or cheerful, elegant or rascal she really shines all over the place. Jung Geun is exceptional as well in Dal Peng’s role, whenever he’s not melting at the presence of his daughter a volcano of humorous faces explodes to deliver bursts of laughter!
Jae Myung’s friend is not willing to let the truck incident get away that easy, he’s always trying to convince Dal Po’s brother to get the money in order to replace the bumper even if it’s neither Dal Po’s blame nor the grandpa’s whose belongings actually hit it. But that’s a good coincidence in order for those two to meet once again after all these years of silence. The date for the burnt down factory’s demolition has been set and even though they say the place is haunted ever since Jae Myung still wants to work on the site, maybe this way he can chase away his own ghosts, the ghosts from the past. The fact that he wants to see his father once again, even if he were to see a ghost is more than representative of his longing.
Our heroes are more than happy with YGN, especially In Ha! The overall process consists of a written test, a camera test and the in-person interview, no education background is necessary and she won’t refer to her Pinocchio syndrome unless she’s asked to, so the chances of both of them becoming reporters are rising! Dal Po doesn’t require lots of time to read all these books, after all he managed to read an entire library back on the island! A few books won’t bother him that much. And he gives a simple example to In Ha, he tells her all of the ingredients consisting of the shampoo, something that memorized while brushing his teeth, simply because he was just bored!
By the moment In Ha leaves the room, words and memories echo all over the place, but soon enough he starts studying in order to keep his mind occupied. You can tell from the way he was staring at her right before leaving, she’s always an immense and beautiful part of his eyesight. At the same time he’s trying to hide from grandpa, who’s got eyes even on his back! You can’t escape that easily from Choi Gong Pil’s spicy character! He’s a sneak attack commando who infiltrates pretty much anything!
The greatest studying essence takes place at a library and the delivering the news practice on a rooftop, it’s funny and warm how In Ha and Pal Po relate to each other while she’s trying to help him become more screen-friendly. Failure is not an option for them and they’re trying their best. Later on that night, grandpa catches Dal Po off guard, sleeping among his books and this is just the beginning of a grandiose plan!
The master plan starts activating its peripheral units for all together to meet at the center, Dal Po! An utterly hilarious flow of scenes with Gong Pil searching for youth fashion magazines and taking by force Dal Po at the hairdresser’s and to a clothing store! Everybody’s following the elegant grandpa’s taste who acts like a major stylist who recently retired and lives his life as a charity freelancer who changes the lives of young people! Of course Dal Po’s afraid of what’s going on, not only because he can’t imagine himself looking otherwise, but also due to grandpa’s health because he will no longer look like the real Dal Po. The outcome is more than a masterpiece to grandpa’s eyes and he can’t believe it!
It’s about time for one of the most beautiful scenes of the series so far, a talk between men whose feelings are mutual and caring towards each other. Gong Pil knew for years now that Dal Po is not the real Dal Po, but remained silence and kept on pretending because he was afraid Dal Peng would send him away. He wanted to keep Dal Po safe with a place to stay and grow up. In the beginning Dal Po was essential for Gong Pil’s health as well and kept him going on, even living in a delusional world in which Dal Po was his other son that had passed away years go. Both of them took good care of each other throughout the years, Dal Po sacrificed himself for grandpa’s health and kept pretending to be dumb with mop-like hair to keep the resemblance alive. Gong Pil about a year after Dal Po was already in his life he realized the truth and kept on pretending for Dal Po’s sake, a mutual pretending of love and caring. It was about time Gong Pil turned the tables and revealed the truth, a releasing moment for both of them, a highly emotional flow of scenes of sincere and heartfelt moments. And to tell the truth, it would have been more than beautiful for a grandpa like Gong Pil raising another grandchild like a son alongside In Ha! The fact that Gong Pil was both grateful and sorry to Dal Po is more than representative. The mutual respect of both characters passed on to another level, Dal Po can spread his wings now and Gong Pil can feel relieved and they can still have fun together by pretending to Dal Peng and In Ha!
Back at home a big surprise awaits father and daughter! Dal Peng finds it hard to recognize Dal Po and In Ha can’t believe the overall change! It feels like Dal Po went missing and a new person came to fill in the void! Of course grandpa and Dal Po have to keep up with their acting for Dal Po to remain safe both in the family but also be able to chase after his dreams!
Another casual quarrel between father and daughter begins. The excuse are her clothes, but the main cause behind it is the fact that Dal Peng is afraid of Dal Po’s new look and he wants to make sure with In Ha that nothing will happen between them. By mistake, Dal Po becomes aware of the conversation, after all the house is not that big and the walls are not that soundproof.
He’s closing his door, but another monologue of In Ha takes place doing justice to Dal Po as a person by unveiling her personal thoughts on him, she’s always caring towards him, not the same way as he is due to his stronger feelings, but she recognizes what a wonderful person he is and she never fails to express it.
By that moment, we get to realize another odd habit when it comes to In Ha except for her hiccuping when she’s lying, the feeling as if temperature’s rising around her and as we’ll witness later on it has something to do with Pal Po’s presence either physically or in her thoughts.
The big day of the tests and the interview arrives and two reporters start the presentation of this grandiose effort of YGN to the public! Min Sung Wook as Jang Hyun Gyu and Choo Soo Hyun as Im Jae Hwan. Their scenes have a fun of their own and his carefree and relaxing personality sets fire pretty well on her neurotic self that can’t stand his behavior!
The participants start arriving in big groups, everybody’s craving a reporter’s position and since this is the last chance for them this year pretty much everyone appears. Yoo Rae and Bum Jo couldn’t be missing! As for Bum Jo he doesn’t really need a job to make a living, he’s already more than rich, so i consider his participation as an effort to get closer to In Ha.
In the meantime at MSC Station, reporters and high-positioned members of the channel are watching the YGN evolution and they try to find a way to counter them. As Cha Ok’s staring at her daughter on the screen some ideas seem to pass by her mind, something tells me that she won’t be afraid to user her daughter’s Pinocchio syndrome to hit the ratings.
The urge for In Ha to work at MSC Station where her mother’s working as a reporter must have been immense. Even when she’s practicing right before the camera test she uses MSC instead of YGN, another big factor has to be the stress that’s overwhelming her! But she’s more than glad she’s wearing Dal Po’s button around her neck, she still considers it lucky even if Dal Po kind of thinks differently. The names of the next participants are being announced, four out of five are our main figures, Dal Po, In Ha, Yoo Rae and Bum Jo alongside one more participant.
As all of them are waiting at the camera test room and the final practices are taking places the overall scenery becomes quite funny! Yoo Rae’s admiration towards In Ha keeps glowing and Dal Po witnesses that Bum Jo keeps staring at In Ha! Then a really funny scene comes to his mind while they were on the bus on their way to the station! I’m referring to the moment Bum Jo found In Ha on the outside world and realized how to approach her!
But it’s about time for the test to begin! The first participant is Dal Po, but he realizes that one of the examiners is reporter Gyo Dong whom he had encountered at the student knowledge show a few years ago and he didn’t speak to him in the kindest way. They have to describe a scene in which a bird keeps on attacking a cat to finally end in her mouth. Hyun Gyu and Jae Hwan’s small talks in between are quite funny, but the situation is a bit tough for Dal Po since he’s the first one to interpret and present the scene, the others have time to prepare the subject after they’ve witnessed it for the first time and they can get hints from the first interviewee.
Dal Po thinks it didn’t go that well, but Yoo Rae who follows leaves quite an impression with the way she presents the scene. The third participant belongs in the same sect of reporters as Cha Ok. He says that the bird is trying to protect its nest with its newborn birdies inside but there’s no evidence and everyone starts staring at him. Everything seems positive for In Ha who’s next in line and if she keeps up from where the third participant stopped everything can flow well. The thing is, she cannot lie and Bum Jo and Dal Po jump into the discussion to protect her since both of them are aware of her Pinocchio syndrome. A presentation of how a reporter should be and which ideals he should cherish are being presented, except for the third participant of course who seems to not believe in such and all he cares about is the ratings factor. He’d be just fine by Cha Ok’s side.
The three main figures of YGN are trying to choose the participants that will partake in the final interview stage by the grades they’ve already given to them blindly. I’m referring to anchor Lee Young Tak (Kang Shin Il), reporter Lee Il Joo (Kim Young Hoon) and Gyo Dong. We get a few hints of his passionate past when Yoo Rae tries to see behind the glass or even listen to their discussion! Some of the blind test participants are a taxi driver (Dal Po), a sasaeng (Yoo Rae) and an heir to a big fortune (Bum Jo).
In Ha thinks that she must have failed, but Dal Po tells her that it’s either both or none of them that will make it as reporters and even if he passes and she fails he will quit. And there’s nowhere to escape because Dal Po secures her perimeter! Suddenly, after Dal Po’s penetrating stare the temperature starts rising once again around In Ha! Bum Jo can’t stand there watching them close and he uses the fact that the results are out to stop the moment they shared!
Dal Po calls grandpa to tell him the good news that both of them made it to the final phase! He’s more than happy and he’s as energetic as a teenager through the bliss flowing from within! Dal Peng’s happy as well, until he starts imagining Dal Po and In Ha working together. An utterly hilarious scene with Dal Peng’s weird stares and a beautiful and innovative toast kiss takes place. They have to face the consequences and Dal Peng’s wrath, well grandpa faced them and Dal Peng got what he deserved from the general Gong Pil!
The final act of the interview is about to take place and all of our main figures are among the chosen ones. It’s going to be a fierce reporter battle in order to survive in this vicious world. There’s going to be a discussion about an event from the past that is already covered by the world of media and they’ll have to express their opinions on the matter. All kinds of stares are parading in front of our very eyes the one right after the other and the fight begins with Dal Po and In Ha supporting each other!
In the meantime, Hyun Gyu and Jae Hwan have one of their normal quarrels and she throws at him a biscuit he manages to grab with his teeth and on top of that, he’s thanking her for the biscuit that will be assisting his coffee!
Back at the final interview phase, nothing’s going to flow as expected. The main theme of discussion is the fire at the factory that caused the death of many firemen and ruined the family of Dal Po since his father was declared missing and accused of murder for the deaths of the firemen. Dal Po’s boiling inside and the effects start appearing on his eyes, his face, his hands. Anger and injustice overwhelm him along with the pain of the remembrance. His wounds were not healed, they were waiting in silence and the fact that he finds out that his father’s body was found a few days ago will inevitably lead to an eruption.
The camera leads us at the demolition spot where Dal Po’s brother is working, Jae Myung. The excavator reveals his father’s body and memories flow through his veins. He can’t hold back his tears and he weeps on his knees, a heartrending moments of grief and the saddening fact of realization that he’s never going to see his loving father again this time is official.
Yoo Rae, Bum Jo, In Ha and others start expressing their opinions on the matter, each one to his opinion. Dal Po stands in the middle of information overload from all of them talking whereas at the same time visions from the past with the relentless reporters demanding answers from a little child and his brother are all over the place. By the time In Ha takes the speech she brings to the surface the Pinocchio’s statement who claimed to had seen Dal Po’s father and that even if he was mistaken, being himself a person who can’t lie the police and the reporters couldn’t do otherwise but believe him. Concluding, she believes that no-one’s to take the blame for the overall situation and that it was an unlucky accident with the most unfortunate of all being Dal Po’s father that even after his death he couldn’t find peace, until recently. The moment he loosens his tie is the thunder before the storm.
Dal Po remained silent for too long, it’s about time to revive in front of Gyo Dong memories from the past at the elevator. His words are harsh and they point towards all directions with In Ha on the center. And we all know that when Dal Po erupts he leaves a crater of kilometers around him. Steadily and with powerful pace his arrows point towards In Ha and her Pinocchio syndrome connecting the fact that a Pinocchio can’t lie and that it would never work out if a Pinocchio was to become a reporter. Eventually her secret gets revealed. There could be many reasons why he acted this way. One could be the fact that you have to eliminate the others during discussion in order to survive and get hired, but that would never be the occasion when it comes to Dal Po towards In Ha. Another one could be his emotional charge based on In Ha’s words that no-one’s to be take the blame for this turn of events and/or the fact that the most passionate and atrocious reporter at the time of the accident was her mother, Cha Ok. Another thought that was passing by my mind was that this would be a way to make In Ha detach herself from him in order to force his feelings to get buried so as to be able to keep his promise to Dal Peng. Maybe some of those reasons together, maybe just the injustice of the past and the fuel that In Ha’s words unleashed that needed a single spark to turn into flames. In Ha since her secret is revealed finds no reason to stay, even though they try to prevent her from leaving. Bum Jo won’t let such an opportunity pass by. After all he doesn’t need money. He acts like a gentleman and leaves alongside In Ha. Gyo Dong feels the same way like the first time they met due to Dal Po’s explosive temperament and truthful words. During Dal Po’s monologue In Ha’s facial expressions were utterly representative of Dal Po’s words’ impact on her since her face depicts her emotions in the most appropriate way. You can sense her unpleasant surprise, her disappointment of the moment and her current inability to respond anything properly, it’s a reaction she would never expect. With the hand on the place of the heart, it’s the most intense scene of Pinocchio so far and does justice to everything he’s been keeping inside for all these years.
In Ha waits for the elevator and what a bizarre coincidence, she’s feeling the heat rising once again! It’s always Dal Po related through his presence and his absence. Bum Jo accompanies her. Inside the elevator through an out of nowhere discussion with Bum Jo she realizes her feelings for Dal Po, she doesn’t want to believe it, but her hiccuping thinks differently. I deeply loved how she says that she wanted Dal Po to be by her side, simply because he’s Dal Po. I don’t think she said that because she’s taken him for granted, it’s probably because she adores having Dal Po by her side due to his unconditional caring. Yet, it was Dal Po’s explosion that awakened her real feelings for him, the sudden turn of events that triggered the spark deep inside.
Dal Po’s devastation in the end is representative of the fortified atmosphere he was going through in the previous scenes and he can finally weep for his beloved father after such a long time.
At this point, a big matter occurs, it’s a matter of trust and sincerity and how politically correct is it to keep crucial secrets from people you long for their presence in your life. In Ha is precious to Dal Po, yet he keeps inside his personal experiences with her mother during the aftermath of fire at the factory. Bum Jo is the mother behind the phone In Ha thought for so many years, he tries to get closer to her and he hasn’t revealed his secret yet. Taking into consideration both our main leads’ position, it would difficult for them to reflect with words their past that connects them to In Ha. But we’ll have to take into consideration In Ha as well who is the real victim in this love triangle, OK, it’s her mother that caused so much pain to Dal Po’s family, but still, In Ha is In Ha and Cha Ok is Cha Ok, how will she feel when she finds out the truth behind Dal Po’s past? What will she think? That she was part of his revenge towards her mother? That she was deceived by Dal Po? Probably, but time shall tell. And how will she feel once Bum Jo gets closer to her, even as a friend on an attempt to be together? How will she feel when she finds out that he was the one receiving, or stealing, the texts that were addressed to her mother? She’ll feel betrayed. Once again, only time shall tell, we’re still at the beginning of this beautiful and highly promising drama. One last thing, it would be fun to turn into a love square given Yoo Rae’s almost-worshiping and kind of enamoring attitude towards In Ha’s face and character! But enough with my thoughts, let’s cherish the forthcoming episodes!