Recap: Pinocchio Episode 6
When what we find is not the truth, truth sends a small signal- doubt. Listen to that signal.
Episode 6- “The Adventures of 15 Boys” (aka “Two Years’ Vacation”)
Cub reporters of every news station are sent out on mawaris. On a mawari, they make the rounds of the police stations, fire stations, hospitals, and courts in their line to find a good story to report. It basically requires that you live out of a suitcase for days on end, never getting enough sleep or food as you beg, plead, hide, eavesdrop, and do all that you can to get that good story before another news station. Newbies arrive at the police station all energetic, clean, and healthy, but it doesn’t take long until all you see are greasy heads, unshaven faces, and dark, sunken eyes.You’re basically a zombie.
That is what our four leads are about to become. But six hours before, none of them could have know what they were getting themselves into.
Neither could In Ha’s dad. He’s totally surprised to see the ad for MSC news that features In Ha. While this new development is sinking in, that his daughter is working at the same place as his ex-wife, in comes said ex-wife. Song Cha Ok shows up to Dal Pyung’s real estate office. His employee is surprised to learn that these two used to be married. Cha Ok asks to talk to Dal Pyung alone.
In another place, Jae Myung’s ears perk up to hear a news report on channel YGN of a container fire. While it was initially thought to be a simple fire accident, autopsy of the bodies found poisonous substance in the bodies. The police are currently investigating whether Mr. Moon, who had debts with the deceased and has not been seen since the day of the fire, had anything to do with the suspicious deaths. Jae Myung’s hands shakes when he hears this news.
Jae Myung’s friend gives him the money that he got from Dal Po for the truck bumper. He tells Jae Myung that the guy was really nice about it and that he looked like Jae Myung, especially the long, good-natured eyes they both have. His friend describes Jae Myung as too gentle, not even caring to get compensated for his dented bumper. Jae Myung replies meaningfully, “I am not that gentle.”
The YGN newbies or cub reporters are finding out today what line they have been assigned to. They all worry for Dal Po since he will most likely be assigned to the Han River line, which means working under Calf (Jang Hyun Gyu). They give him their supplies, like hot packs and extra cellphone batteries, out of pity. Yoo Rae feels especially sorry for Dal Po and gives him a lot of things. But it turns out she needs them all back from him because she has also been assigned to the Han River line (hereafter these two in the Han River line will be called Yoo-Po by me).
Darth Vadar’s theme song announces Calf’s presence in the room. It is his cellphone ring tone. Since there is no other ranking reporter in the Han River line besides Calf, he has to personally be in charge of these two. Yoo Rae cries again- “No, I just yawned,” Yoon Rae explains to Gyo Dong.
Apparently, working under Calf means you never get to walk; you have to run everywhere. It’s the same for In Ha and Beom Jo (hereafter the pair will be called In-Jo by me) who have also been assigned to the Han River line and will be working under Lee Il Joo. He seems gentle and calm at first to In-Jo, talking to them in a low voice and in a formal tone. But he is just as bootcamp as Calf, sending In-Jo running and panicking in the first few minutes of their line assignment. In-Jo and Yoo-Po get their first instructions while on the run- you report back every two hours all day long, one person at the even number times, the other at the odd number times. You must report back immediately if breaking news happens. You also don’t share information with other reporters from different networks- they are your competition, not colleagues. In-Jo and Yoo-Po have one hour to go home, pack, and start their mawari. There are only 48 hours left till the day and time MSC and YGN go head to head for the 10 o’clock news time-slot’s top ratings.
While on his way home, Dal Po runs into In-Jo since the two tv stations are close to each other. This is how he learns In Ha is a reporter for MSC. Beom Jo tries to introduce himself but Dal Po completely ignores him and focuses only on In Ha- he wants to know why. In Ha tells him the truth about her being used for marketing and this annoys Dal Po. He is about to walk away when Beom Jo grabs his arm to stop him but Dal Po twists his arm off, hurting Beom Jo. Dal Po walks away and In Ha chases after him. Beom Jo curses at Dal Po and this act surprises him- it is the first time he has cursed in his whole entire life.
Dal Po and In Ha are near their house now and In Ha finally grabs Dal Po to stop and talk to him. He starts yelling at her, angry she is becoming a reporter to be with her mom- a mom who abandoned her and steps on her pride. In Ha yells back- it’s not because of mom, it’s because of him. She explains that eight years ago, when she saw him on the quiz show, showing the world he didn’t cheat and wasn’t an idiot, she never felt more proud, more satisfied, and more impressed. That day left a deep impression on her and she can’t forget a minute of that day, ever. This revelations softens Dal Po a bit.
In Ha tells him to continue being mean to her so she can get over her feelings for him more quickly. She reminds him of her personality- she is like that green frog in the story that always wants to do the opposite of what it is told. If people tell her to stop, she wants to do it more.
In Ha’s dad overhears this. It is as his ex-wife said to him earlier in the day. In Ha is like her and will want to do something more if people tell her to stop, and go further if people tell her to don’t go. So Cha Ok advised him to let In Ha be, so that he can keep In Ha by his side and not have her drift away and start clinging more to her.
Dal Po asks In Ha how she is going to get her father’s approval and at that moment, Dal Pyung makes his presence known. Dal Po hides In Ha behind him as Dal Pyung comes closer. Dal Pyung announces that he has no intention to stop In Ha from becoming a reporter. In fact, he hands In Ha a new pair of shoes he bought for her. In Ha is ecstatic and clings to her dad in happiness.
At Beom Jo’s house while he is packing, he is reassuring his mom that he will be okay during his mawari; he’s sure the room where reporters can sleep in the police station won’t be like a jail cell. His mother tells him to call her if things get to hard- she will help him. I don’t know if these two are supposed be funny because I still find their interactions somewhat creepy. It could be sweet but the mom treats him so much like a baby.
At the Choi house, In Ha is packing while wearing the shoes her dad bought around her neck. She won’t be able to wear it much often since she won’t be appearing on tv. So she has to wear it now when she can. She hugs and kisses her dad, so happy he gave his approval and bought her these shoes.
Grandpa is helping Dal Po pack and he hands him a pair of new gloves he bought. Dal Po worries that grandpa is spending too much money on him when he doesn’t have that much money, but he catches grandpa’s suspicious gaze toward his piggy banks lined up on top of his drawer. Dal Po checks his piggies, having a bad feeling about this and his suspicions are confirmed. Grandpa used Dal Po’s money to buy Dal Po his gloves. LOLOLOLOL. Dal Po is devastated that his third and fourth babies have been gutted. Grandpa reminds Dal Po that money is earned to be spent.
On their way out in the elevator, Dal Po and In Ha learn that they are both in the Han River line. In Ha warns himthat she won’t go easy on him so he shouldn’t go easy on her. Decidedly and determinedly, In Ha hands Dal Po back his gold button saying she is over him now…except as soon as she says this, she hiccups. She takes the button back with short and quick “Sorry, I was too rash.” But she assures him that she will soon be able to get over him. Out of the elevator and away from Dal Po, she kicks herself and the wall for embarrassing herself. Ha!
This embarrassment does stop her from snatching Dal Po’s taxi from him, however, and she sets off for the Han River police station. Unfortunately, Dal Po quickly finds another taxi and takes the route with less traffic. Poor In Ha!
In Ha ends up arriving at the police station later than Dal Po, who has already met Ahn Chan Soo here. He was the boy Dal Po competed against in the quiz competition. He is now a detective at the Han River police station.
Chan Soo shows Dal Po and In Ha around the station, leading them to the dorm room for the all the cub reporters on the Han River line running their mawari, which is a total of 15 people (thus the title of this episode). He brags this room is the pride of the police station so In Ha’s and Dal Po’s expectations are high.
Those expectations are quickly dashed when they see the room. It’s small, dark, smelly, dirty, and infested with bugs. The other reporters in there look like they are dead or are dying.
Beom Jo, who is experiencing a huge culture shock, writes a letter to his mom in his head. He describes this strange and torturous world of cub reporters on their mawari. Detectives are uncooperative even when they beg for a the tiniest story. If they don’t have any story, they hear from their seniors the numerous types of curses in the world. They learn that whatever they do- eat, not eat, sleep- they will get yelled at by their seniors. Beom Jo asks, “Mom, why did I come to this strange world?”
His answer sits next to him. In Ha has brought them some food to eat. In Ha starts to believe that Beom Jo is really a chaebol but she notes that he doesn’t really act like one- a chaebol who show off his wealth more but Beom Jo is not like that.
Beom Jo offers In Ha the white part of the boiled egg, saying he can’t eat it, and they exchange the yolk and white, just like In Ha and Dal Po did in an earlier episode. I can’t tell if Beom Jo really can’t eat the white part or he is just pretending because he learned through all the texts that In Ha doesn’t like the yellow.
Beom Jo and In Ha stop mid-chew of their eggs when they see Dal Po. He is the only person who is adjusting well and getting results while on his mawari, like a Tarzan swinging easily through his jungle. Beom Jo chews hard while giving Dal Po the death glare- the Tarzan has really started to get on his nerves.
Ahn Chan Soo asks Dal Po why a chaebol like Beom Jo would be doing this- he wonders if Beom Jo likes In Ha. Dal Po replies no, it’s not like that.
Chan Soo asks how Dal Po is getting along so well, turning so many detectives into his straws for information. Dal Po explains it was just luck- the strips of paper he had to put together for punishment had information about the Han River police station and its people. (We also see that Dal Po put together a piece of paper with Moon Deok Soo’s name and finger stamp on it- Moon Deok Soo is the foreman that Jae Myung buried.)
When Dal Po points out that Chan Soo is acting more friendly to him than they used to be in high school, Chan Soo pouts and threatens to stop being a straw to Dal Po. Dal Po puts back Chan Soo’s arm around his shoulder and bends lower for Chan Soo. Chan Soo tells him about the case he is investigating- it’s the container fire case. Dal Po thought it was just a open and shut case- that murder was covered about with a fire and the suspect Moon Deok Soo is on the run. Chan Soo tells him that his instincts tell him otherwise- there is something strange about this case, not everything fits together.
Gyo Dong is working on his own thing when he remembers his conversation with Dal Po about his real name and family. He learned that Dal Po couldn’t find out more informaiton about his brother from the police because he couldn’t prove hevis family. Dal Po also gives him the specific police station. Now, Gyo Dong calls the police station.
We have 20 hours left until the all important 10 o’clock news competition between YGN and MSC. In Ha heads into the reporter dorm room at the police station to get some sleep. People come in and out of the room, getting up to do their own work or taking a nap. Dal Po also comes in to take a nap and with all the people shifting around, Dal Po and In Ha end up sleeping next to each other. Actually, another reporter accidentally rolls In Ha over onto Dal Po’s arm.
Like that, In Ha is sleeping with Dal Po’s arm as her pillow. There is but centimeters between their faces when Dal Po wakes up. Initially he tries to pull out his arm but finding it impossible, he settles in and takes the opportunity to look at In Ha all he wants. He smiles, thinking about In Ha’s confession- that she wanted to become a reporter because of him.
No one looking, Dal Po is free to smile, not as her uncle, but as someone who loves her. It’s such a bittersweet moment as she lies so close, yet so far from him. He traces the outline of her face, stopping himself before he actually touches her face. He just gently lays a hand on her shoulder and later covers her with his blanket before he leaves the room. This secret act is caught by Beom Jo, however, and Dal Po sees that Beom Jo saw.
Beom Jo chases after Dal Po and declares that he saw what Dal Po did- is that something an uncle should be doing to his niece? Dal Po tells Beom Jo that this is none of his concern, to which Beom Jo agrees. But he declares it will soon be his concern. Dal Po replies, “Let’s talk then.” As he walks away, he whispers underneath his breath, “You haven’t even known her that long.” Beom Jo hears this and answers that he has known her for a long time! Longer than Dal Po knows. Ooh, Beom Jo delivers his first secondary male lead jab to primary male lead!
There’s only twelve hours left now till that fateful time. The reporters at the police department headquarters are betting on which station will have the better ratings- YGN or MSC? Everyone is betting on YGN, even Gong Joo who is a MSC reporter. Gyo Dong doesn’t bet.
Now there is only ten hours and and In Ha needs a story to report back to Il Joo at 12 o’clock. She begs and begs and Chan Soo finally relents, giving her a tip about a death that happened just an hour ago. An overweight woman died at health center while working out due to a heart attack. He has no more information since his team is not covering it. (Oh, we also find out that Chan Soo is married.)
Unfortunately for In Ha, Yoo Rae is listening through the door with a stethoscope. Both of them report to their superiors and both get an earful for not finding out more information. Now it’s a competition between the In-Jo team and Yoo-Po team to find out more information within the hour.
From lying to buttering up and even physical confrontations, Yoo Rae and In Ha, Dal Po and Beom Jo try to get more information about the dead woman and the cause of her death. Both teams manage to find out enough information to report back to their station but now they need the CCTV recording from the fitness center so that the station can run the news story as an exclusive.
Yoo Rae uses her aegyo to try to get the fitness center owner to give them the CCTV footage. In Ha can’t do this because she will hiccup. The owner looks like he is about to be convinced when Dal Po suddenly asks to just see the footage, not take it with them. This isn’t good for YGN or theMSC team since it means neither will get the footage, but Dal Po gestures to Yoo Rae for her not to worry.
The owner shows them the footage of the woman getting on the weight scale and collapsing. In Ha looks at the footage with a slighlty confused expression on her face. Something about this case is weird to her.
Outside and alone with In Ha, Beom Jo calls Dal Po a bastard for ruining their chance to obtain the footage. In Ha agrees that he is a bastard but she hiccups. The truth is that without Dal Po, they wouldn’t have even been able to see the footage. Beom Jo asks if In Ha is having a hard time getting rid of her feelings for Dal Po and In Ha replies yes.
Separately, Dal Po informs Yoo Rae that he secretly recorded the footage on his cellphone while they were watching.
At the police station, Chan Soo explains to his captain why he can’t write a report on the Moon Deok Soo case yet. A few things remain suspicious to him. Moon Deok Soo supposedly ran away without any cash, yet his credit card his never been used. How is he traveling around the country so much then, without money? His phone also keeps turning on and off briefly in different places around the country, as if notifying the police that he is on the run. (We see it’s Jae Myung traveling the country with Moon’s phone, turning it on and off to leave a GPS trial.)
Dal Po narrates, “We can’t see the complete truth because it is scattered like pieces all over.”
Beom Jo and In Ha go over what they have collected to report back. The woman who died was a strong and large woman who worked loading briquettes onto trucks. She found one day that her ex-husband was getting remarried and his new bride was a skinny woman. Angry, she started working out and dieting, losing 20 kgs in two months. This woman, who suffered from symptoms of a fatty liver, had a heart attack due to dehydration while working out. By the time the ambulance arrived, she was dead.
It sounds good but In Ha can’t report this back to Il Joo. It’s her turn but she is going to hiccup saying this since she still finds something suspicious about the story.
Dal Po narrates, “When what we find is not the truth, truth sends a small signal- doubt.”
In Ha explains to Beom Jo that she doesn’t understand why a woman who is determined to become prettier would work out in such tacky and old clothes. Also, she would have looked for a different job if she wanted to become prettier since briquettes dirty her so much and is difficult to wash off.
Beom Jo agrees it is a little strange but not enough to change their report.
Dal Po narrates, “A small piece that does not fit in with what looks like the complete truth- doubt.”
In Ha still wants to check one more time.
Dal Po reviews the video he took. He is also feeling a sense of doubt but he sends the video to Gyo Dong. He narrates, “When you ignore the doubt, the real truth hides.”
Gyo Dong reviews the video and decides it is enough for an exclusive. He is happy and he tells Il Joo, who is sitting next to him and is on the phone, that YGN has an exclusive. He leaves. Il Joo ends his phone call with a smile on his face too. MSC has an exclusive too. He changes his bet to MSC.
End of Episode 6
What will happen next? Will it be a win for MSC and In ha? Will In Ha’s ability to say or do something she doesn’t believe in really work to her advantage and give her credibility as a reporter? What kind of consequence will there be for Dal Po for ignoring that gnawing doubt?
Not only is credibility an important component part of news, but so is speed. The news media has to decide when something is credible enough to publish or broadcast and they have to decide fast. They have to find a balance on reporting on something before anyone else and reporting something as fully investigated as you can. A reporter’s job is to quickly gather those pieces of truth scattered all over so the complete picture can go out on their station first. At this point, it is not just about being a good reporter, but a good reporter for your network. Here comes the politics.
Out of the six episodes aired so far, I found this episode the weakest because of all the job explanation it had to do. The cubs were learning the ropes and instead of plunging in, it felt like we were given a nice slow swim to tour the mawari, despite all the running around In-Jo and Yoo-Po had to do. To make it entertaining, the drama was trying to be more humorous than necessary and I felt the comedy was bit overdone in the beginning.
Beom Jo is a refreshing chaebol character because when I first read his character description, I groaned- another perfect but cold chaebol! But Beom Jo wears his chaebol background comfortably, using it when he needs to but never shoving it in other people’s faces. Also, we get to see Beom Jo be transformed by his experience as a a reporter and interacting with In Ha & Co. He cursed for the first time in his life today- feeling a kind of anger he probably never felt before because no one would have dared to act like that to him before.
While I wouldn’t call it a friendship between In-Jo and Yoo- Po, I am enjoying the rivalry and camaraderie of a group of young men and women working toward a common goal with equal passion. It’s what makes them colleagues and every time I see the four together in one room, I just want to pat them on the head and say “Good job!” There is sense of sincerity in almost all of the characters in this drama, making them engaging and likable despite any unlikable things they do.
My favorite moment of this episode was that little stolen moment when Dal Po was able to lie there with the person he loves and smile for the first time, knowing she loves him too. But it was so bittersweet, because no matter how close she is, there is the gulf of their family situation and her mother that is between them and he doesn’t dare caress her.
The title of this episode’s drama is “The Adventures of 15 Boys,” which is the Korean version title of Jules Vernes’ “Two Years’ Vacation.” It’s a novel about a group of 15 boys who get stranded on a island and struggle to survive. The title perfectly describes the 15 cub reporters in the Han River line struggling to stay alive in the harsh and cut-throat world of news media. Spoiler alert for “Two Years’ Vacation”- they do manage to stay alive.