Episode 7 Review: Pinocchio (2014)
Battle for the news ratings in Pinocchio between MSC and YGN, battle for the ratings in the Wednesday-Thursday drama zone between MBS, SBS and KBS as well. The previous Thursday Pinocchio ranked first with Mr. Back following closely. After its 7th episode finished airing it fell back in the second place, balancing in the middle between Mr. Back who got the throne back and King’s Face who raised its ratings. The overall process is going to be pretty interesting! However, ratings aside, what really matters is how much you enjoy the drama you’re watching. The time you entrust in dramas is precious and as such it should be treasured!
The first mission of our new reporters is nearly over and all them are on their way back to their headquarters to be prepared for the news broadcast. Yoo Rae’s overwhelmed by the exclusive news and her bright face shines all over the place. Dal Po’s more thoughtful about it, nevertheless it’s their first time for many things in a single night. Their first story is being aired, on top of that they got an exclusive with the CCTV footage and at the same time the battle between YGN and MSC begins. Once they meet In Ha Dal Po tells her that they managed to get the exclusive coverage of the CCTV footage, her reaction wasn’t the one Dal Po would expect and right before she starts talking Bum Jo takes her away on his shoulder! He tries to call her, but Bum Jo prevents any communication with his rival, Dal Po. They’ve got an ace up their sleeve and they intend to keep it that way until the right moment, the news broadcast.
Only two hours are left before the news broadcast and everyone’s on a fever on YGN in order to prepare the news in the most appropriate way. On the consultation of approval Hyun Gyu and Gyo Dong give their credentials on the story and Won Goo lets the process begin. At the same the whole MSC team has gathered and they discuss their opinions on how to fight back YGN when it comes to the gym story and the woman’s death. Cha Ok listens to all the opinions and remains silent for a while. Her plan is more vicious, she wants YGN to take the lead by presenting the news first, shortly after MSC will present their own version of the story. She wants to ridicule YGN’s credibility and make a forceful start on this race of ratings that is about to begin. Her plan is approved by Doo Young. As the team’s leaving the board meeting Doo Young congratulates In Ha and Bum Jo and the rest concur, except for Cha Ok who remains silent, don’t tell me you’d expect her to say something positive, right? Although you can sense that In Ha was hoping deep inside she’d say something. Gong Joo gloats about the new reporters’ skills whereas a while ago in front of Il Joo he wasn’t quite sure since it’s too early to talk about something like that. Gong Joo’s definitely a man of his word and his opinions are always stable, not!
The rest of the newly hired reporters return at YGN and they congratulate Yoo Rae and Dal Po! Everyone’s pretty certain of their grandiose achievement! Yoo Rae’s depicting vividly step by step and full of enthusiasm the strategic spots of their upcoming victory. About how she eavesdropped the news like a boss and how her sad puppy expressions managed to help them get a glimpse of the CCTV footage with Dal Po taping the video with his cellphone camera. Everyone’s happy, but Yoo Rae’s happier! Everyone except for Dal Po, he can’t get out of his mind In Ha’s reaction, something just doesn’t feel right. And by knowing that she can’t lie, MSC must be keeping secretly a strong card against YGN. The bigger the silence, the greatest the echo of the forthcoming explosion. Dal Po can’t help it but rush to the hospital once again in search of answers to ease the uncertainty within.
Thirty minutes remains until the YGN and MSC broadcasts will be on air and everyone’s on a standby, the positions have been occupied, all that remains is the final signal to commence the media battle. An unpleasant surprise awaits Dal Po at the hospital. He finally gets to meet the daughter of the woman who left her final breath at the gym. Her story, the real story, is completely different from the one Dal Po and Yoo Rae covered. The daughter is in the final stages of liver failure and she needed immediately a liver transplant in order to keep on living, although her mother’s liver was too fatty and time wasn’t at their side. It was a matter of life and death and a war against time, the only thing the mother could do was overexercise at the gym to lose weight as soon as possible. Pushing herself way too much at work and at the gym in order to make a living and save her daughter respectively led to that unwelcome outcome. The daughter’s devastated and she blames herself for her mother’s death whereas at the same time Dal Po keeps losing the ground under his feet in front of the exposure of truth.
The YGN news of the woman’s death start airing and the television at the hospital is on, Dal Po tries to prevent the daughter from hearing all these lies and he asks the employees to shut down the television. He can’t bear her listening to all these inaccuracies in her time of grief and it’s partially his mistake. But it’s too late, the daughter witnesses the moment of her mother’s death through the CCTV footage even if it’s blurred and she breaks down. Full of tears she confesses to Dal Po the truth behind her mother’s death once again, the only thing he can do is apologize to her from the heart, but it’s too late for him to change the harm he had caused. Shortly after MSC broadcasts their own coverage of the story and the world starts shaking underneath YGN’s foundations. Gradually everyone is placing the blame on his inferiors with the first victim being Yoo Rae who’s under Gyun Hyu’s supervision who’s under Gyo Dong’s supervision who has to take responsibility in front of Won Goo. The inconvenience inside the room reigns supreme and the phones start ringing all over the place since YGN has to give explanations to its viewers for the inaccurate news they broadcasted. We have to focus on three people by the closing of MSC’s broadcast, Dal Po, In Ha and Jae Myung. Dal Po’s shattered, he can’t believe he became one of these inaccurate reporters that would proceed with the news in the first place even though they haven’t uncovered the real face of truth. In Ha’s more than glad that the news she delivered were successful and watching her mother on the screen was delightful to her. Jae Myung found his next target, revenge keeps boiling within his veins. The onion comparison when it comes to the layers of truth had a different impact on the three figures, devastation, fulfillment, disgust respectively.
Dal Po visits the YGN interview room once again. A powerful flashback distorts itself and its fragments come to visit Dal Po at the present and the cost is more than he can bear. This time he sits at the same chair In Ha was sitting when the interview was taking place. He voluntarily accepts the seat of the accused in front of his self. His words have a different meaning, yet the same. But this time they are targeted towards him. The light factor is essential on this scene and the director reflected the contrasting emotions in a representative way. Dal Po’s past self stands in the light in an outburst of truth whereas Dal Po at the present stands in the shadow of shame, he’s being accused and he gladly receives the accusations, word by word, stare by stare, phrase by phrase, gesture by gesture. He’s nowhere to be found.
YGN still remains in the lead of the ratings, but still, they fell from 20% to 14%, it’s more of a loss rather than a victory. Director Young Tak is quite an honorable person on the news community and he realized the major mistake YGN did, they focused more on the ratings battle with MSC rather than on the news themselves, they sacrificed the truth at the altar of ratings which felt like becoming something like MSC and losing their personal identity when it comes to credibility in search for truth.
Gong Joo’s gloating in front of Gyo Bong and he’s being quite ironic towards him. He feels the need to congratulate YGN for winning the bet on the ratings. A new bet is being placed on the news table, whether MSC news will take over the ratings in two weeks’ time or not and everyone starts betting on MSC’s side. Gong Joo keeps irritating Gyo Dong to receive a silent yet powerful answer, Gyo Dong takes part on the bet for the first time by supporting his own channel. Dal Po’s still nowhere to be found.
The phone keeps ringing and ringing and ringing, but where is Dal Po? Did he vanish from the surface of the earth? Hell no! He’s cherishing his bromance with grandpa Gong Pil in the bathtub! Gong Pil notices that the water has gotten quite dirty and he wonders if it’s his mistake, but Dal Po reassures him that it’s because of him and he explains the cleanliness disadvantages of being a reporter! Gong Pil doesn’t feel like being in the same bathtub anymore, but Dal Po doesn’t have a problem sharing the bathtub, but Gong Pil does have, he suddenly feels as if he fell into the sewer!
Back at the Han River district police station the rest of the reporters keep waiting for newsworthy incidents to report back to their channels. Suddenly, Robin Hood breaks in! Oh, Bum Jo’s mother i mean, Park Ro Sa, who’s wearing an odd hat with a feather. Yoo Rae’s aware of who she is because her brother models for one of her stores. As soon as she finds out that she’s Bum Jo’s mother she can’t believe what she just heard! Bum Jo’s suffering from the new reporter’s syndrome, which means dirt, dirt and dirt. Did i mention dirt already? If i didn’t, just imagine that it’s the first time Bum Jo’s mother won’t let him hug her, how could she traumatize his fragile soul this way?! He’s changing clothes in her car and he’s overwhelmed by their first victory as a team with In Ha, but what makes him happier is the fact that after the news broadcast ended a liver donor was found for the deceased mother’s daughter, but also the money for the surgery are being gathered by people willing to help. Well, that’s the good part of the media, once one’s tragedy is being depicted there are people who will try to help as much as they can. The reason for So Ra’s visit is a higher plan though, In Ha’s ill and Bum Jo wants to make her feel more comfortable since she’s not willing to leave her position to get some treatment. All of a sudden some people dressed in black break into the press room. They are Robin Hood’s acquaintances who brought a heated blanket, a heater, rice snacks and chocolate! Her reactions are priceless, she feels as if she discovered a brand new planet! And Robin Hood thought In Ha didn’t enjoy such conveniences. But the chocolate and the rice snacks were spot on, of course she knows In Ha pretty well, Bum Jo’s been receiving her messages for years now! Oops, that’s a secret so far. Dal Po’s still nowhere to be found.
At home, the bromance keeps going on and Dal Po talks about the inconveniences and the cost of being a reporter. Then he uses an idiom, “you shy away from poop because it’s filthy, not because it’s scary” and grandpa Gong Pil tells him that it works in reverse, “you shy away from poop because it’s scary, not because it’s filthy” and he explains himself. Once poop is dirty, you clean it, you don’t avoid it. Gong Pil is pretty sure Dal Po’s afraid of getting into a hole full of dirt after his first attempt that stigmatized him deep inside as a reporter. Now he realizes that being a reporter is scarier than he’d ever imagine, sometimes you need someone to help you realize your fears and face them. Gong Pil is a wise person as i’ve stated already and he’s always there to enlighten the horizon once things go dark. If you don’t know the fears lurking in a challenge, once you take it you’ll face problems you were unaware of in the future. Unprepared for the worst won’t help reach out for the best, yet knowing beforehand the fears and difficulties that may lie ahead, it will be easier for you to get through these obstacles and the burden will be more lighthearted. And Dal Po passed through the eye of the storm and survived, it was harmful, but he survived, it’s about time he heals his wounds since he faced the utmost judge, himself. Bromance’s continuation and Gong Pil offers another eel tail to Dal Po, Dal Peng though is jealous since Gong Pil cares more about his firstborn son’s mouth! But there are no more tails left, poor Dal Peng, being the second child has its disadvantages as well!
Dal Po’s promise to In Ha to become reporters together echoes in his room, Go Bong has been found! Gyun Hyu informs director Young Tak that Dal Po will be there soon and some stories from the dreary past start popping up involving Won Goo who was threatening his colleagues to jump off the roof and Gyun Hyu who told his father Gyo Dong was tormenting him and he came to the channel to thrown snakes at him! Dal Po appears and there’s an awkward gentleness in the air!
Dal Po meets Gyo Dong. He apologizes and he’s told to return back to his position even though he was expecting to face some consequences. It’s not a matter of discipline, it’s matter of personal morals and ethics since Gyo Dong had made a similar mistake in the past. He’s sincere and he refers to the burnt down factory incident and the false accusations towards Dal Po’s father and the ruin of his family. For a person like Gyo Dong, from some things you never truly recover, you can only be sincere to yourself just like he did by quitting being a reporter and became a producer in an attempt to find some peace of mind. Giving up his dream as a reporter was an act of redemption towards the harm he had caused to an innocent family. After he met Dal Po for the first time at the student quiz show he decided to become a reporter once again. Back then Dal Po’s words opened up his scars anew, but it was also a soul-awakening moment, it was about time he faced himself and stop hiding in shame. A frog in the well, the name of the episode isn’t as random as it may seem, it holds a deeper meaning. It’s about one’s safe heaven, refusing to see the truth to protect himself from harm by remaining sheltered inside his glass tower, unaffected by the vast ocean’s dangers while finding refuge in a limited place. Choosing to stay in such a narrow environment feels like trying to hide a corner of your mind that was tormenting you whereas in fact this doesn’t solve anything, you might feel secure, but the problem keeps rising and rising until one day it erupts unexpectedly with unknown consequences. Gyo Dong and Dal Po are so much alike and their interaction is one way or another like a spiritual healing for both of them.
In the meantime, In Ha’s health worsens as time passes by, but still, she’s not willing to lower her weapons. Even though it’s hard for her she keeps on working trying to unearth the next big thing for the news program. Bum Jo’s always by her side and he’s trying so hard to reveal himself whereas at the same time he’s trying not too, he’s a bit naive, probably because he was a frog in the well for many years and by that i mean he was living inside his mother’s belly until recently and In Ha cut off the placenta all of a sudden. Knowing that this is her first flu since high school was dangerous enough because even though he covered it up by saying that In Ha mentioned it before if In Ha was replying positively to it she’d hiccup, because she hadn’t. You have to be more careful around a Pinocchio, Bum Jo. The moment In Ha threatens Chan Soo that if he doesn’t reveal anything newsworthy to her he’ll get him sick is hilarious! Well, to get rid of her he refers to the container fire incident and the putative culprit’s phone log. Bum Jo takes photos of it and at that moment Dal Po makes his grandiose appearance and he memorizes the phone numbers. Dal Po wants to talk to In Ha, but she’s avoiding him.
Bum Jo and In ha keep working and they try to find some answers concerning a car accident, but the case is still under investigation. In Ha’s exhausted and she feels dizzy, Dal Po and Bum Jo hold her immediately at the same time and prevent her from falling. In Ha keeps on ignoring Dal Po. It’s difficult for her to keep going on in this condition and Bum Jo recruits Robin Hood and her car. Before entering the car, Bum Jo smiles at Dal Po as if he was victorious over him. Dal Po seems to ignore Yoo Rae who is next to him and she’s disappointed by his overall behavior because she had to work on her own during his absence. He apologizes though and it’s about time they get back to work and the container fire incident intrigues Dal Po’s mind because it’s connected to the burnt down factory and his father.
OK, Robin Hood is totally nuts, she’s bribing the police officers with coffees and snacks and shouts at the drank driver that was involved in the accident in order to get some answers! The way she’s shouting at the sleepy drunkard’s ears with that leopard coat she’s like an interrogation fashion Nazi or something! Someone have mercy upon everyone that crosses her way! In the end, she collects all the required information and In Ha reports back at the MSC headquarters, when she can’t remember some details, Robin Hood manages to remind her in time in a silent way! Although her situation worsens and they take her back at the Han River district police station to rest and mother and son will continue their investigation in search for news.
In Ha’s at the verge of fainting, but the press room is full. She finds shelter at the WC. Seriously? What’s that spaceship toilet? It has warmth evoking sensors? Does it massage the buttocks as it takes you to the moon and back? In the meantime Dal Po wakes up, what a cute scene! Yoo Rae’s really like a puppy as she’s sleeping with her arm and her leg on Dal Po’s body! But also the way he disarms this puppy bomb and manages to escape is quite funny as well! And like sleepy puppies do, she finds another victim! Dal Po finds In Ha and she confesses to him that she’s been avoiding him in order not to get him sick! He holds her in his arms and takes her to the hospital for treatment. Even then she still worries if shingles is contagious, but the doctor calms her down.
Every now and then she utters in an almost fainting way that she’s got so many things to say to Dal Po but she can’t help but fall asleep. As he tries to move she’s holding him from his coat and he stays by her side holding her hand full of affection. The dream button is always around her neck. Dal Po’s stare is always different when he’s looking at In Ha, it’s always warm due to his feelings but also nearly wet because he’s trying to suppress them. It’s so sweet that she feels reassured every time he replies to her when she tells him that she has to many things to tell him! Once she wakes up while Dal Po’s fallen asleep it’s funny when she tries to release her hand from his own. But her stare and smile are also beautiful and affectionate as she’s staring at him while sleeping. And the kiss she tries to deliver through her fingers as well, but Dal Po opens his eyes and… she falls off her bed and runs away like a fugitive without even wearing her shoes!
She follows her out of the hospital and she unveils all the things she wanted to tell him. She points out how unjust it was to tell her that she couldn’t become a reporter by being a Pinocchio. He accepts all the wrong things he said and he’s apologetic, In Ha hasn’t finished yet though. After facing himself he has to face In Ha and he shouldn’t have used as a measure the weight of words, he accepts his failure and his incapability to understand the real weight words possess and the harm he caused both to the deceased woman’s daughter and to In ha as well, he can see clearly now the burden the weight of his words had caused and how irresponsible he was as a reporter in his first attempt. But once her words become harsher we all know that she would never mean that and she hiccups. She reacts this way because she cares about him and she was worried, but at the same time she has to hide her feelings, hence the personal attack towards him. But she can’t hide the fact that her harsh words are nothing but lies. Putting on her shoes after cleaning up her shocks was such a humble and caring move! She still can’t get over he feelings and when Dal Po tries to reach her but doesn’t proceed is quite a powerful moment. Once again she asks him to pretend she never heard that, Dal Po can’t resist and a beautiful and affectionate back hug takes place.
Il Joo and some colleagues are ready to leave, Jae Myung was passing by and asks them who’s the girl next to Cha Ok on the poster. Not good, that’s not good! Things start becoming more dangerous now that he knows that In Ha is Cha Ok’s daughter. Another target has been added in his list, probably In Ha will be the innocent target in order to hurt Cha Ok even more, just like his innocent little brother was brutally violated by her words back in the days.
On the next morning In Ha returns back at the Han River district police station, she’s refreshed and feels way better. Yoo Rae when she smells the shampoo floating all over the place from In Ha’s hair is so funny! By the time Dal Po appears, In Ha hides and leaves in a way as if she was a kangaroo with lumbago! Bum Jo’s having a short discussion with Dal Po, he’s trying his luck and he receives the answer he deserves. Bum Jo, it’s a long way to the top if you want to reach Dal Po to paraphrase some of AC/DC’s renowned lyrics. Shortly after he visits Chan Soo to get some information on the container fire incident. One of the phone numbers reminds him of something. It’s the number of the truck owner! He arranges a meeting with him and informs Gyun Hyu on his intentions to investigate the case while he’s already at it. Gyun Hyu’s boiling and he explodes! Gyo Dong who becomes aware of the situation approves! At the same time Chan Soo tracks down the cell phone of the ex manager and moves towards his position which is the meeting point of Jae Myung and Dal Po.
One of the moments we’ve all been waiting for is the meeting of the two brothers after all these years, there’s a warm familiarity at the way they wave and stare at each other seconds before they greet each other. For a second the image of his brother passes by Dal Po’s mind, it’s not a coincidence, when they present themselves the name that comes out of the truck driver’s lips is Ki Jae Myung. Dal Po can’t believe it and he tells me to repeat it, in the end, Dal Po presents himself as Choi Dal Po. Things are going to get complicated! Gyo Dong’s words in the background as Jae Myung and Dal Po meet each other are quite representative of future situations and events Dal Po will have to face in the future, especially now that he met his brother under these suspicious circumstances.
The seventh episode was pretty intense, it was like the moment Dal Po faced himself, but it was balanced, for each shady tone unveiling its curtains a ray of light was passing through the clouds as atonement. I loved this duality and all of our main figures went through it for their own reasons, for some the burden was heavier, for others it was more user-friendly. Dal Po had to face himself in order to repent for his words in front of In Ha. In Ha had to achieve success in her first assignment in order to prove Dal Po wrong, but both of them cherished every second of the impact and became stronger. Bum Jo was really caring and helpful towards In Ha, but Dal Po’s answer that he likes her as a woman was a knife in the heart. Yoo Rae had to go through the tough situation of the news failure all alone and then work alone as well, but Dal Po’s return was truly helpful and eased her burden. A pretty strong episode and the meeting of Jae Myung and Dal Po alongside Jae Myung finding out that In Ha is Cha Ok’s daughter are crucial moments. Highly looking forward to the 8th episode! Concluding, a piece of gold from the past: