Episode 5 Review: Pinocchio (2014)
As episodes pass by i get overwhelmed more and more by Pinocchio’s aesthetic, it devours you gently in such an unerring way that you proceed willingly at your own risk at the cost of getting addicted; and that’s always something good in my drama books. It’s always about intensity, humor, emotion and depth and if all that coexist in a perfect harmony like a guest lives through the host while leaving him unaffected by any negative effect then it’s celestial. Wednesday’s 5th episode nearly embraced Mr. Back’s ratings, but once Thursday came Pinocchio took by force the first place with the 6th one. A fight’s been won, but not the war. But let’s proceed without fear, but with passion, into Pinocchio’s 5th episode.
The episode opens up at the police station in which Dal Po asks for information concerning the remains of his father that were found nearby the burnt down factory sight. He is informed that the investigation has finished and the case was closed by a family member, Jae Myung probably, his brother. He’s trying desperately to receive any contact information to reach his brother but the police won’t give it to him since he doesn’t have any official proof that he’s his brother. Personal information are personal information! At the same time, Jae Myung is at the memorial and cries his heart out, he places his father’s award of honor at its rightful place in fond remembrance and deepest longing.
We get to witness the difference between the two brothers throughout the years after their family was so brutally dismembered by words of ignorance and violence; and that hurts the most. Fate was more generous towards Dal Po, whereas it turned its face away from Jae Myung. It must have been traumatic for Jae Myung growing up alone trying to hide his real identity in order to avoid ravenous people’s misjudging words. Solitude might had been an option, but once befriending it there’s no easy way out. Dal Po was lucky enough to be found by grandpa Gong Pil in the midst of the sea. He might had been alone throughout the years due to the absence of his real family, but at the same time, he was never alone, with beautiful people like Gong Pil and In Ha in his life, even the reluctant at that time Dal Peng, he managed to grow up and become a decent young man full of dreams despite of his turbulent past.
Dal Po dives deeper into his thoughts and he can see clearly behind his true intentions and most desirous thoughts when it comes to his reporter career. The incident with In Ha at the YGN interview was pretty much awakening in combination with the past, his father’s remains and his brother’s existence. The message he receives from YGN that makes him aware that he was hired is only the beginning towards his real goal, revealing to the world the whole truth around his father’s unjust death and false accusation. To achieve that there’s only one person that can help him out, his brother, Jae Myung, but it’s not the only reason he wants to meet him, the first and most important reason is because he’s his brother he was dearly missing all these years. He starts reconsidering the priorities through which he was led to become a reporter. At first he though he was doing it for In Ha to prove to Cha Ok that she can actually become a reporter. I personally thought he was doing it to get revenge steadily and slowly from Cha Ok. Not it feels more specific and coordinated inside his mind, it feels indeed as if his father’s misjudged soul was leading him towards this decision to grant him his resting peace.
The next morning is awkward in many ways. Dal Peng’s words are quite harsh and they would never work as “good morning” under these circumstances. Calling Dal Po a respectful reporter in front of In Ha and then referring to In Ha as a part-timer at a convenience store like a directionless college student was quite tough. He’s going a bit too far when he thinks that Dal Po was turned into a reporter thanks to In Ha. I mean, of course she helped him, a lot, but it was him who achieved his position, it wasn’t In Ha that made the final judgement for him to get hired. Grandpa Gong Pil tries to save the situation and places Dal Peng back to where he belongs! Both In Ha and Dal Po are not in the mood for anything, too much awkwardness, too much inconvenience between them, it’s the first time such a distance grows between them and it doesn’t feel right. Then they start talking and he tells her that he meant every single word that was pointed towards her at the interview and that he also thinks that she shouldn’t become a reporter. The truth is, he doesn’t want her to become a reporter because in that case she will be reminding him of her mother, Cha Ok, it would be too much to handle and too much of a burden to bear. Even staring at her face that felt divine up to this moment, it would feel like punishment if she were to become a reporter. Dal Po’s breaking down even at the thought of it, In Ha’s breaking down as well since Dal Po’s words hold a different sense of gravity on her and they’re not the most positive ones this time. Both of them walk through their own pathways in the kingdom of martyrdom. We’ve seen that before, but the first time it was Dal Po standing still and watching In Ha walk away, now it’s In Ha’s turn to watch Dal Po walk away.
In Ha has transformed into a sweet tormentor and a permanent desolate act to all of her customers at the convenience store! She’s bursting into tears once every customer approaches the register and everyone has to listen to her sad story! Customers come and go until a special customer appears, Bum Jo! And he’s the only one truly willing to listen to everything she has to say at that point in her time of need.
Dal Po arrives at YGN, it’s his first day at work. His newly hired colleagues with Yoo Rae in charge have done an investigation on the reporters of the station to find out which ones they should avoid! Yoo Rae is so adorable! Lovable, cute and bizarre, Lee Yoo Bi’s so into this role! I sense a bright future ahead in the world of dramas for her and Pinocchio’s only the beginning! They’ve pointed out the most ferocious ones and and the discussion goes on with hints & tips to take into consideration. Everything’s flowing well until Hyun Gyu appears and roars like a lion! Yoo Rae feels so startled! Startled and scared, but she tries to hang in there! Hyun Gyu’s the holy inquisition. He’s not willing to put the newly hired employees at ease and he punishes them the one right after the other while Gyo Dong and the others are almost betting on which will be the next one to feel his wrath! It’s about time they get to know the departments of YGN to learn the art of the reporter and after the week’s over they will get into action to forge the reporter within!
In one hand, grandpa Gong Pil is more than excited by simply staring at Dal Po’s work card! On the other hand, In Ha’s in her own world of discontent and she doesn’t seem to be in the mood for talking. By the time she recalls Dal Po’s words that she shouldn’t become a reporter a fierce battle begins, with her teeth of course! Once again, her facial expressions are from another planet! Revenge feels near as she’s… brushing the toilet with Dal Po’s toothbrush! The change in her mood is hilarious once she completes the toothbrush mission! It’s Dal Po’s teeth time, but she can’t stand it and by the moment he’s about to brush his teeth she disarms him from his weapon of self-destruction and throws the toothbrush away!
The manager who is at fault and the two workers that set the fire at the factory are drinking and one them refers to the father of Dal Po and Jae Myung and he feels happy that his remains had been found. At first i thought he was happy that the false charges of him running away would be dismissed, but he was happy because Ki Ho Sang’s mouth has been shut forever and the truth about them will never be revealed. Subhumans. The hourglass of life seems to be running out of sand for them and there’s no-one to turn it upwards to start anew. A man dressed in black falls on their table and manages to steal one of their wallets. He’s Jae Myung and this is only the beginning of things to come.
Back at YGN, Hyun Gyu takes the newly hired employees at the control room to show them the place around and tell them all the details on news making. Yoo Rae’s enthusiastic character won’t let her remain silent and jumps in to complete Hyun Gyu’s instructions. Whether her answer was correct or not, this we’ll never find out, the truth is, one more punishment lies ahead! It could be because she interrupted him, you can never know with Hyun Gyu in charge since almost every time he tends to disagree!
YGN owns in credibility matters whereas MSC as time passes by is marching downwards, no wonder with reporters like Cha Ok! At MSC they are aware of the situation and since their news will soon be airing at the same time as YGN’s news program the forthcoming defeat is omnipresent on the horizon. They must do something radical and Cha Ok’s mind seems to be overworking on a specific plan.
Bum Jo feels more like a part-timer’s part-timer assistant by helping In Ha at her work rather than a pleasant customer in the role of confessor. The way he replies to In Ha’s thoughts is hilarious, he agrees to whatever she says in quite a funny way as if he was trying to calm down a stubborn baby! She’s so pissed off at her hiccuping, but when Bum Jo tells that it’s always better that she hiccups instead of farting when she’s lying she finally laughed! It was about time, In Ha! Bum Jo served his purpose well in making her feel better. Sometimes you just need a person to listen to you and agree with whatever you have to say in order to feel better. There are times someone’s sincere opinion, no matter how hard it may be, isn’t always helpful and In Ha’s had enough of tough opinions these days.
Her cheerful smile wasn’t meant to last for too long, Cha Ok appeared at the convenience store and her tongue doesn’t drop honey for sure, she’s got a way with words, don’t you think? Cha Ok’s got her reasons and only personal profit matters to her, it’s not like her maternal instinct just woke up from its everlasting slumber. She wants to use In Ha to raise the station’s credibility. It’s not going to be that easy though, even if she’s using In Ha, she’s still as cold as ice towards her. She intends to hire her as an intern and then as a full-time reporter only in case everything flows well. As time passes by her words become harsher, sometimes i wonder if she’s got a snake tongue lying in the cave of her mouth. She admits she abandoned In Ha in order to purchase her dream as a reporter. And she demands from her to get rid of her hiccuping, is she serious? If she could then she would have already done that, she’s got Pinocchio syndrome, hello? Anyone listening? She leaves her card on the table and leaves, but when she enters her car she’s waiting to see In Ha’s reaction. By the moment she picks up the card her smile is so disgusting, she’s literally playing with her daughter’s life. In Ha for a while thought that she passed by because it’s her birthday, it must have been a part of Cha Ok’s play to appear that day in front of In Ha. Bum Jo’s aware of In Ha’s birthday, after all he was receiving her texts all these years, he was supposed to know. He’s got a present with him, but there’s no way he could offer it to her since he would have to reveal his real identity afterwards. Ah, seriously people, stop tormenting In Ha, she’s not a battleground for military exercise in times of peace!
Bum Jo at times feels like such a mama’s boy! Questions, questions! His brain feels so full of questions, probably for the first time in his life, it must be that mama was worrying about everything in the past, he even surprised her with so many questions in such a few seconds! Why is In Ha willing to endure all that to become a reporter? Why does her mother treat her this way? Ya, Bum Jo, i want to find out myself too! He’s jumping from one question to another, give me a break, mama’s boy! Now, drink the juice mom prepared for you, good boy!
It’s time for another of In Ha’s yoga headstands! As soon as the other employee appears to change the shift with In Ha she gets scared! For some weird reason In Ha’s headstands remind me of Takei Emi on Zero no Shinjitsu and they’re doing it for the same reasons, when they have to think more in order to lean towards the right decision.
Dal Po’s on his way home and he passes by a bakery, no matter how much he resists he can’t hold back from buying a cake for In Ha’s birthday. He gets on the bus, but right before getting off he offers the cake to a grandma and her grandchild! Crazy bastard indeed, such self-awareness! As soon as he leaves the bus behind he finds In Ha and she leads him to the rooftop to talk with him.
That rooftop has a history of its own, many important dialogues take place there, it feels like a safe heaven where everything can be said! And the view is magnificent with the ever-expanding city lights under the night sky. Everything she tells him is sincere and heartfelt, the reason for her hiccups lately is for not expressing her feelings to him from the moment she realized them. Such a heartfelt moment, yet, apart from the sincerity of the moment there’s another reason as well, she had to do that in order to get rid of her hiccups before going to MSC Station. I like how she’s holding the previous button around her neck before she starts talking. Dal Po doesn’t believe her arch thoughts because she’s hiccuping, but she’s got a more powerful explanation that he’d ever imagine. Her confession flows straight from the heart. Dal Po’s already in a difficult situation since he already treasures In Ha in his heart and he doesn’t want to believe it, he even tells her that she’s lying, but the hiccups have stopped. There’s no way she would lie without the hiccups betraying her. She can’t even hide her feelings, she can’t even even play hard to get to someone due to being a Pinocchio, all the small things that consist of the salt and pepper of a pre-relationship era, so there’s no way her feelings could ever be a lie. She’s walking in Dal Po’s shoes now without knowing his feelings, just because they’re family she asks him to forger everything she confessed and that she’ll try to forget and bury her own feelings. As heartrending it is for In Ha, Dal Po shares the same amount of heartache deep inside, even greater since his feelings count years buried underneath his chest. It’s omnipresent during his last line, if she can bury her feelings fast enough since they aren’t that deep yet, it would be nice for her if she can achieve this, because for Dal Po it doesn’t seem to work. In Ha’s nearly tear eyes in combination with her either bittersweet or heartwarming smile consist of a beauteous condemned confession portrait whereas at the same time Dal Po tries to forge a hideout for his feelings carved on his face. It’s the first time Dal Po’s face is not full of affection towards In Ha, a face that was transferred upon In Ha’s facial territory, such an affectionate stare. Dal Po’s protective attitude for both of them might seem strong on the outside, on the inside it lies already broken and it holds upon a single thread, for both of them.
The grey calm after the emotional storm comes. In Ha enters the house and right after her, Dal Po as well. In the world of drama coincidences the cake Dal Po had bought in the first place appears on the family table. Of course, Dal Po wonders deep inside how did it make it there. The thing is, Dal Peng had helped the grandma in the past and… what goes around comes around, Dal Po! Father-daughter quarrels are a daily but interesting routine of the family table and one of them couldn’t be missing, even if it’s a small one! In Ha’s enjoying her unofficial birthday cake since no-one remembered it and even if some people did remember it, they never expressed it for various reasons. Later on, while inside Dal Po’s mind In Ha’s words still echo and takes down the family picture, In Ha finally decides to work for MSC Station.
At MSC Station, reporters Il Joo and Gong Joo are having a discussion concerning some secret newcomers. Gong Joo points out that he won’t accept the two reporters with connections, but when the elevator gates open and they see Cha Ok and the two newcomers appear from the elevator as well, both reporters act in a friendly manner. Il Joo makes fun of Gong Joo’s “mutiny” and Gong Joo tries to stand for his words when his actions don’t resemble his arch opinion at all! Well, truth be told, he’s not the leader of the revolution.
In Ha’s getting prepared for her first PR shooting and what a rare thing to happen, Cha Ok’s not satisfied with something, this time it’s about In Ha’s shoes, but since she’s such a generous Samaritan she offers her heels as an action of self-sacrifice. Dal Peng’s still unaware of In Ha working at MSC Station under her mother’s relentless stare. Confident and pleasing to the eye, In Ha’s shooting goes well. In front of the cameras she lets the world know of her inability to lie due to her Pinocchio syndrome in order to raise the channel’s credibility. This is only the beginning!
Dal Po, Yoo Rae and the rest of the newly hired employees visit the national forensics laboratory as investigative reporters. After Hyun Gyu gives his first instructions they are about to attend an autopsy and through the evidence given they will write their news using science to decipher the truth. Yoo Rae’s experience is humorous and traumatic at the same time! After some priceless facial expressions she passes out, yet, Dal Po seems the only one working hard and not caring about the surrounding environment, something Hyun Gyu acknowledges.
Cha Ok sends a message to In Ha asking her if she told Dal Peng about her job, it would be better if she told him before he got aware of her shooting through the news! She tries to tell her grandpa and her father, but Dal Po enters the house and she misses her chance. The tripe and intestines soup must be a hard sight to Dal Po after the autopsy experience, eventually he throws up! Dal Peng wonders if men get morning sickness too, hilarious! One after the other, In Ha, Gong Pil and Dal Peng bring him medicine, such a caring family. Warm moments indeed. Grandpa Gong Pil is such a wise old man, when the situation asks for it he’s always there to deliver thoughtful words, they might not seem to some like 20th century’s philosophy, but they come straight from the heart and that’s all that matters. And for one more time he’s spot on, like always, he can sense Dal Po’s keeping things inside, one of them being his past, another one being his feelings for In Ha and the promise he gave to Dal Peng. He must be suffocating inside, just like Gong Pil said, it’s not good bottling all these things deep inside and when you need help, just ask for it. Dal Po feels so overwhelmed by this beautiful family, his family. Who wouldn’t? The picture takes back its place right where it belongs, in his heart and on his desk. It never left his heart, just his desk for a while, until the recent remembrance of what a family feels like.
The next morning, In Ha and Dal Po are waiting for Dal Peng to get out of the bathroom and they’re fighting which one will enter first once he comes out. By the moment Dal Peng appears after a soulful testimony, the fragrance of wild roses follows him and nobody wants to enter the garden of Eden! Dal Po forces In Ha to enter first, the homo erectus way!
At YGN, Hyun Gyu has a brilliant idea, he brought shredded paper and Dal Po, Yoo Rae and the rest of the team have to put together the shredded parts in order to find something newsworthy. Hyun Gyu’s happiness is immense for the great task he put them through. In the meantime, Jae Myung’s friend convinces him to get compensation money. Back at work, while they’re at it, Dal Po receives a phone call from the owner of the truck and agrees to meet him right away even if it’s against Hyun Gyu’s orders!
I know, you got trolled like me fellow audience. Well done, scriptwriter and director, both of you fixed the flow of the scenes pretty well! Everyone was expecting this meeting between Jae Myung and Dal Po, instead of that a plot twist took place. Jae Myung’s friend was the one to call Dal Po because Jae Myung would never call him and ask for compensation money. At the same time a dark veil flies over Jae Myung’s thoughts and actions. He meets the ex manager of the burnt down factory in order to… give him back his wallet. The trap has already been set, the ex manager falls into a manhole.
By the time Dal Po’s back at work Hyun Gyu’s waiting for him and his intentions are not the most pleasant for Dal Po. Hyun Gyu sends the rest of the team back home, instead, Dal Po has to stay at the office until he finishes matching the shredded paper. Everyone’s waiting for the elevator and they recognize that Dal Po is their savior, at the same time they feel bad for him. Yoo Rae’s facial expression while referring to Dal Po or thinking of him are… i don’t know how to say it, but i loved them, every single inch of her face was so cute! Lee Yoo Bi, thank you! Could it be the birth of her feelings for Dal Po? Or she’s reacting this way because she might be thinking that Nosy Jang, Hyun Gyu, might pick Dal Po instead of her?! Anyway, she was ultra cute and nearly divine!
In Ha and Bum Jo are slowly leaving MSC and they discuss about his connections and his name which is pretty famous, until… In Ha notices her shooting being broadcasted! She feels elusive, reality can’t reach her as she’s losing herself into the huge screen, a dream has come true and she’s definitely screen-friendly, as reporter In Ha i mean because Shin Hye definitely is!
Too many coincidences indeed, not only between In Ha and Bum Jo, in general through the series, but that’s just a scheme to keep the character’s side-stories and interaction going on. Back at YGN, Gyo Dong pays a visit to Dal Po who’s still working. Gyo Dong’s not dumb, there must be a reason for Dal Po chasing a reporter’s career. Taking into consideration his thoughts on the world of media, one would think that working as a reporter would never suit Dal Po. Well, Gyo Dong can’t just sit down and watch and he wants to find out the face behind the mask, off the record, a secret between him and Dal Po. Gyo Dong was expecting a motive behind Dal Po’s reporter position, but what he’s about to find out was way beyond any expectation. Nothing has changed when it comes to Dal Po’s point of view concerning the world of reporters and the puzzle starts shaping before Gyo Dong’s eyes once Dal Po reveals that he’s not… Dal Po.
Jae Myung has been devoured by his dark instincts. It’s a shame that he had to succumb to the darkest corner of his mind when it comes to revenge. Revenge is a dish best served cold and he serves it colder than death. He’s gone through a lot and he’s the most tragic figure in Pinocchio, he lost everyone and he’s been wandering all these years like Odysseus, but in his case there was no Ithaca to be found. I don’t blame him, but nothing justifies taking away someone’s life no matter what he’s done, but it’s still debatable. If they were low profile people with a guilty conscience he wouldn’t have found the truth in the first place, but even if he did, he would have spared their lives and would have driven them to justice. It was their arrogance and misbehavior towards his innocent dead father who fell at the call of duty to save human lives alongside his men that fueled his anger and made his blood boiling for revenge after all these years. He turns into a villain with a reason, the right reason through wrong actions. I like how the scenes blend between Jae and Ha Myung the moment they confess their identity to the person in front of them, well, or below them. It delivers a sense of timing for the two brothers acting together yet alone, Jae Myung under the blind stare of justice and Ha Myung under the dim lights that soon will brighten along with his identity and everything will flow the way they should. I’m really looking forward for the two brothers’ meeting and the whole thing will get really complicated once Jae Myung’s actions will be revealed to Dal Po. And let’s not forget Cha Ok, there’s no way she couldn’t be a target in front of Jae Myung’s eyes, this is just the beginning. The scenario brings back memories of I Hear Your Voice, more like a floating vibe rather than in terms of scriptwriting and aesthetic.
Gyo Dong would never expect such a turn of events, but the truth keeps surrounding him in a suffocating way. Everything becomes clearer before his eyes and he can understand every single word Dal Po utters at the present, but also his past words make perfect sense now. He can’t utter a single word, the only thing he can do is just listen Dal Po’s fiery confession.
At the same time, Jae Myung’s words become sharper than knives and he’s letting his victim know his true intentions. The bodies Dal Po and the rest of the trainee reporters witnessed at the national forensic lab were the two workers that set the fire at the factory. Jae Myung managed to send them to the afterlife and worked this way so that the ex manager would look like their murderer and a fugitive for his crimes at the same time. He wanted to make sure that his family would suffer just like his did in the past, he wanted to make sure that he would be remembered as a runaway murderer and no-one would care about him even if his body gets found by chance in the future. He wanted to make him go through the same situation everyone in his family went through to the utmost level, death. Even if he’s breaking deep inside, there’s no turning back for Jae Myung, since he proceeded with the first steps of his plan the only way to find release deep inside is to keep going on until justice is served neither by justice nor God, but by himself, alone.
Dal Po delivers his last thoughts to Gyo Dong with the conclusion that he wants to become a reporter, after he gave his reasons for it. Gyo Dong wanted an explanation for Dal Po’s attitude towards reporters and media, but he received something deeper, something only he had the honor to know until now. Gyo Dong’s more than speechless and Dal Po’s sharper than a razor, but respectful still.
The scenario steadily turns into a minefield and our figures, main or supporting, start stepping on them with steady yet slow pace. The side-stories the more the episodes flow the more coherent they become through the deeper interaction of the characters partaking in Pinocchio. Episode 5 despite its intense humorous moments it felt like a violent dance between emotions and actions, expressed words and silenced thoughts, secrets and confessions. Director Jo Soo Won performs an incredible work, his close-ups are always affected by the emotion of the moment the scriptwriter Park Hye Ryun asks for that is being presented in the most captivating way by the actresses and the actors. So far it seems that nothing can break this sacred bond that steps on tight foundations, the sacred bond between everyone partaking in Pinocchio, behind and in front of the cameras, because it’s not only what you see, but what’s working on the background so that you’ll be able to see and cherish these precious drama moments. Episode 6 review/recap coming hopefully soon to a dramajjang near you.
Allow me to conclude with a song that kept me immense company as i was battling with my thoughts to put them into words: