Recap: Pinocchio Episode 8
Be careful what you wish for because one man’s lucky day can be another man’s last.
Episode 8 “Lucky Day”
Dal Po is staring at his brother, the person he has longed to see for all those years. Jae Myung is here in front of him, but Dal Po is frozen, not sure what he should do. He thought he would cry all the tears he held inside for over ten years as he hugged his brother tight after finally finding him, but he can’t do anything. Fear has spread over his body as a bad feeling seeps its way inside him- did his brother do something he shouldn’t have? His brother, who he knows hates Moon Deok Soo, was on Moon Deok Soo’s phone call record. Why would he have spoken to Moon Deok Soo?
Dal Po’s instincts tell him to lie and so he introduces himself as Choi Dal Po to his brother instead of revealing he is Ki Ha Myung. His instincts also tell him to run away with his brother when he sees Chan Soo and the other detectives at the plaza looking like they are searching for someone. Dal Po grabs Jae Myung and starts walking away rapidly. Unfortunately, Chan Soo spots Dal Po.
Chan Soo calls Dal Po and asks where he is. Dal Po lies that he is at YGN. Chan Soo seems to readily accept this answer.
Dal Po and Jae Myung sit and talk at a cafe. Jae Myung was surprised that Dal Po called him suddenly but he is glad Dal Po called because he had wanted to give Dal Po’s money back to him. He takes out the money that his friend Han received from Dal Po. In response, Dal Po takes out his own envelope of money; he didn’t think he gave enough the first time. At a draw, Jae Myung decides that neither will give each other any money today.
Dal Po worries that Jae Myung will hear it from his company if he doesn’t get the truck fixed. Jae Myung assures Dal Po that the truck is his- he has been delivering water for ten years so he can at least afford to have his own truck.
Dal Po tells Jae Myung that he was a taxi driver until recently and Jae Myung feels a sense of ccamaraderie since they were both in the transportation business. When asked what he does now, Dal Po lies the he is unemployed since he can’t tell Jae Myung he is a reporter. Jae Myung feels sorry for Dal Po so he buys him a drink, saying that since he is older than Dal Po- a hyung- he will buy the drink. At the word “hyung,” you can see Dal Po visibly brighten. Yes, Jae Myung is his hyung. His real hyung.
* To those uninitiated to common Korean words, “hyung” is what the younger brother calls his older brother. It can also be used by two males who are not related.
Dal Po and Jae Myung walk out to the latter’s truck after finishing the drinks. Suddenly, Jae Myung puts his hands around Dal Po’s shoulders and brings him closer. He looks at their reflection in the car window and asks, “Do we look alike? Mr. Han said we do, but I’m not sure.” Dal Po is flustered at first but he answers, his voice lined with longing, “We do look alike. A lot alike.”
Jae Myung smiles and starts to say his goodbye to Dal Po. He calls Dal Po a good person to have left his number for the dented bumper when he could have just run away. He shakes Dal Po’s hand and assures him that he will find a good job soon. Dal Po holds onto Jae Myung’s hand, not wanting to let go yet, and asks cautiously if he can call Jae Myung “hyung” from now on. Jae Myung replies that Dal Po can, but he is not sure if they will ever see each other again. Dal Po replies, “We might see each other by chance again.” Jae Myung leaves, giving Dal Po a pat on his arm like what a hyung would give his little brother.
This isn’t the end for Dal Po, though, as he tails Jae Myung to his house in a taxi. We hear Dal Po’s thoughts as he follows Jae Myung: he had so many questions to ask Jae Myung when they finally found each other again- like was he married, was he healthy, and how did he live all these years? But now, Dal Po only has questions that scares him to ask- why is the man who slandered their father’s name missing and why is Jae Myung’s number on that man’s phone record? “Is it just coincidence and if… if it isn’t, am I able to handle the truth?” It’s that”if” that scares him. It’s that “if” that prevents Dal Po from ringing his brother’s door and revealing he is Ha Myung.
Hyun Gyu is pissed off that Dal Po left his mawari without permission to go investigating on his own. Jo Won Goo thinks Dal Po is acting like this because Hyun Gyu has been too easy on him. He goads Hyun Gyu into blowing his top off at Dal Po, and Hyun Gyu does, except Dal Po interrupts him. “What happens if I find the suspect before the police?” Dal Po asks. At this, Hyun Gyu’s anger is abated- did Dal Po really find the suspect? If he did, they can get an exclusive story as they investigate with the police. Hyun Gyu changes his tone, now complimenting Dal Po for following his instinct rather than following orders. Sometimes that is what a reporter has to do! So who is it, Hyun Gyu asks, that Dal Po found- the suspect? The accomplice?
Dal Po quickly dashes all of Hyun Gyu and Won Goo’s hopes- nope, the person he found was neither. While he followed the wrong lead, like Hyun Gyu said, he followed his suspicions. So just like Hyun Goo just instructed, he will follow his instincts rather than follow orders from now on.
Dal Po 1: Hyun Gyu 0. He’s left defeated and speechless.
The next scene is a case of everyone overhearing everything. Bathroom walls are too thin and creates too much echo for any secrets to be kept inside. In the boys bathroom, Il Joo, Beom Jo, and Gong Joo talk about the necessity of pairing up Beom Jo and In Ha together on their line. Il Joo wants to separate them, Beom Jo opposes this, and Gong Joo doesn’t think In Ha can handle the job by herself since she is a Pinocchio. That diet death story she got? It might have been that she got help from her mom, Song Cha Ok, secretly. In Ha didn’t get this job on her own; she got it through nepotism and she is just a marketing ploy.
In Ha listens to this angrily in the girls bathroom while Cha Ok remains cool as a cucumber as she fixes her makeup. Without a word to In Ha she leaves the bathroom and In Ha chases after her and asks that she explains to Gong Joo that In Ha did not get any help from her mom on the story.
And who overhears this? Our three men of very different heights. Cha Ok doesn’t think she needs to say this to Gong Joo and when In Ha tries to protest while calling her “mom,” Cha Ok immediately corrects her- In Ha will only address her by her title at the office.
In Ha tells her mom that all she wants to hear is a compliment if she deserves a compliment and criticism if she deserves criticism. She doesn’t even want or expect help from her. She just wants to be treated the same as the others.
Cha Ok points out that In Ha can’t be treated the same as others- she’s a Pinocchio and and she was given this job even with that fault. Cha Ok still believes that In Ha doesn’t have what it takes to be a reporter. From behind the wall, Beom Jo, Gong Joo, Il Joo look at In Ha sadly, filled with pity.
Meanwhile at YGN, Gyo Dong nervously plays with a note in his hand- it’s the number for Ki Jae Myung. He calls Dal Po over and pretends to be all cool while giving Dal Po the information he so desired. Dal Po crushes Gyo Dong with his hug of gratefulness, embarassing Gyo Dong and suffocating him with his tight hug. It looks like Gyo Dong might pass out soon when snap! He’s out of the daydream. Gyo Dong was only imagining what might happen when he gave Dal Po the number for his brother. Not wanting to die, Gyo Dong gives the note to Yoo Rae to give to Dal Po. Dal Po receives it and only gives Gyo Dong a short nod of acknowledgement. This is the complete opposite of what Gyo Dong expected. In fact, Dal Po just leaves this room after the small nod of thanks.
Gyo Dong chases after Dal Po and tries to pretend it was nothing while still emphasizing again and again he had to use all his network connections to get that number. He advises Dal Po to call Jae Myung as soon as possible. Dal Po says he will call later, though. He explains to Gyo Dong that he is scared- what if his hyung is not the hyung that he used to know? Gyo Dong asks why Dal Po came to have that thought. Dal Po replies, “Thirteen years is a long time.”
It’s snowing and In Ha is walking home. She’s thinking about what her mom said, and to add to that frustration, her stomach grows. “I’m hungry!”screams In Ha and who is watching all this time? Dal Po, who is inside the restaurant, eating and staring at her. In Ha starts to run away but Dal Po messages her to come back and eat since she is hungry. He won’t say anything to her.
In Ha enters the restaurant and finds that Dal Po has already ordered her favorite for her. As they switch the yellow and white parts of the boiled eggs inside each of their respective udons, In Ha asks why he is eating alone- why not call his girlfriend out, the one who has a nice voice, and is smart and kind? Dal Po reveals that his “girlfriend” was the car navigations system. Ha!
Walking in the snow, In Ha tells Dal Po about what happened with her mom earlier and Dal Po completely understands how In Ha feels- like how she wants to go back to the time before she actually met her mom, when her imagination of her was only good and her expectations were so high. After finally meeting her mom and seeing the person she is, disappointment is more acute because of all those years of building up the expectation. Dal Po is describing how he feels after he met his brother, but In Ha has no idea. She only points out that it seems like Dal Po got a good look inside her heart.
In Ha is happy to be talking so comfortably like this with Dal Po again and she wonders out loud if they can go back to the way they were before- comfortable as family.
Dal Po replies bluntly, “I can’t do that anymore.” This stops In Ha in her tracks. Dal Po continues, “I’m sorry, but I can’t. Can you?”
In Ha replies that she can but immediately hiccups. Of course she is lying and just like always, she starts to run away, her truth once again revealed to Dal Po.
Dal Po chases after In Ha and turns her around to face him. Holding onto her, he leans closer, and In Ha, surprised, covers her mouth with her hand. This doesn’t stop Dal Po, though, and he kisses her hand which are on her lips.
Now In Ha knows how Dal Po feels- that he likes her too. Her hand falls from her lips as the realization sinks.
They stare into each other’s eyes, reading each other’s feelings. Dal Po smiles and leans in again, and this time, In Ha doesn’t stop him. They kiss, as a boy and a girl in love, not uncle and niece, as the white snow swirls around them.
It’s a new day and what was romantic yesterday is now the bane of all Seoulites’ existence. The snow has frozenovernight, making the ground dangerously slippery.
This is going to be a major story for all news shows. It’s a seasonal staple to film people slipping on ice as they report on the weather, the effects of the snow on the city, and what they can expect for the rest of winter. It’s the newbies’s job to gather the material for the story. They go out with a cameraman, find the slipperiest places in the city, and film people tripping on the ice.
It’s a simple, basic story and Gong Joo thinks it is a good opportunity for In Ha to be given a chance to actually report the story on TV. It can help to prove to Cha Ok that a Pinocchio can also be a reporter. He orders Il Joo to tell In Ha to report on this story tonight.
In Ha gets this call from Il Joo while she is at the police station. She’s estatic and her colleagues are both happy and envious of her. In Ha looks like a mess now, however, so she has to wash her hair and ask her father to bring her her clothes and shoes.
Elsewhere in the station, Dal Po runs into Chan Soo and the latter asks again if Dal Po wasn’t at the plaza a couple of days ago. Dal Po again says he wasn’t there, that Chan Soo must have seen someone that looked like Dal Po. Dal Po asks why Chan Soo was at the plaza. Chan Soo tells Dal Po that he was at the plaza because Moon Deok Soo’s GPS signal was turned on again. This fact doesn’t slip past Dal Po, but he pretends its nothing and walks away to film the icy road story. Alone, Chan Soo wonders why Dal Po is lying to him. He definitely saw Dal Po at the plaza and also walking up the stairs to a cafe with another man.
Dal Po has to stop and lean on the wall at a stairwell, trying to convince himself that his brother isn’t the one with Moon Deok Soo’s cellphone. At that moment, In Ha comes running up the stairs to tell him the good news. His first congratulations lacks the enthusiasm that In Ha expected so he hugs her to congratulate her. In Ha is worried someone might see them but Dal Po only hugs her tighter, wanting her comfort too. He congratulates her and asks for her reassurance that everything will be okay. He won’t tell her what’s wrong but she can sense he really needs it so she pats his back and reassures him that everything will be okay. “Don’t worry.”
In Ha asks again what is wrong so this time Dal Po tell her his stomach hurts…from envy! He teases her about the way she looks.
In Ha starts shampooing her hair in the police station bathroom when the water is suddenly turned off. Her hair still full of shampoo, In Ha eyes the only other water source in the bathroom right now- the toilet bowl. EWWWWWWWWW.
But the through the magic of k-drama, In Ha is able to clean herself nicely and come out looking ready to go on TV.
Dal Pyung and grandpa are bringing In Ha’s clothes over to the station together. The whole time, In Ha’s dad complains about In Ha making them bring this over, but in reality, he is like the proudest daddy around, making sure to describe to everyone he meets that In Ha is first in her cohort to report on TV.
Grandpa and Dal Pyung find their way to the reporters’ room at the police station. Dal Pyung notes that males and females are all sleeping in the same room together and Seo Kang (I think that is his name) reassures him that there is nothing to worry about since everyone is so tired. Dal Pyung then asks about Dal Po, and Seo Kang starts to say that they should be worried about Dal Po since he has someone he likes these days. Beom Jo thinks Seo Kang is going to say something about Dal Po and In Ha so he quickly screams that Dal Po likes Yoo Rae. Yoo Rae is surprised to hear this, but Beom Jo lies that Dal Po asked him for advice about Yoo Rae some time ago. Grandpa looks at Yoo Rae and he is pleased with what he sees. He asks for her to take good care of Dal Po.
In the hallway, Yoo Rae thinks over Dal Po’s actions and now she is fully convinced that Dal Po likes her. Right then, Dal Po appears and Yoo Rae lets him know that she has no interest in him; her heart is filled with one person and we see on her phone wallpaper the object of Yoo Rae’s sasaeng obsession- it’s Super Junior’s Heechul. Dal Po, of course, is totally confused.
Thankfully, Beom Jo explains to him later that he is the one who told everyone that Dal Po likes Yoo Rae. He had to do this before Seo Kang said something about them to In Ha’s dad.
Inside the reporters’ room, Dal Pyung makes fun of In Ha but in truth he is busy taking a picture of her and making it his cellphone wallpaper. Aw, sweet! He starts asking about Dal Po but before In Ha can start to hiccup about something, Beom Jo comes to her rescue. They have to hurry out!
Beom Jo and In Ha run into his mom before they can leave. She has brought over some stuff for them, including ear muffs. Dad and Grandpa see this and find out that Beom Jo is a chaebol. Dal Pyung is especially pleased to hear his.
Dal Po, Yoo Rae, and camerawoman Im Jae Hwan leave the police station first to film the icy road story. Dal Po can suggest a few good locations where there is a hill or lots of steps since he was taxi driver for years.
The MSC team- In Ha, Beom Jo, and cameraman Lee Joo Ho- leave the station after the YGN team and they arrive at the same place later. It’s too crowded so they leave to check out the places In Ha’s father suggested they look. He’s a realtor around this neighborhood so he knows where there are hills and steps very well.
Dal Po scouts the neighborhood that there are in, asking the residents to find out what the other slippery places are. After running around for some time, Dal Po coincidently finds himself back at his brother’s house.
Dal Po starts to peer into his brother’s truck and tries to open the door to see if he can find any evidence of his brother’s involvement in the Moon Deok Soo case. Unfortunately for Dal Po, Jae Myung catches him doing this and hears the neighborhood grandma calling him a reporter. Jae Myung now suspects that Dal Po is a reporter that purposefully sought him out so he starts tailing Dal Po.
The MSC team has arrived at the long flight of stairs in the neighborhood that In Ha recommended. It’s perfect and Lee Joo Ho is happy. A man is coming down the stairs and he slips and Beom Jo rushes to help him. In Ha watches in and it starts to dawn on her that she should be helping these people, not just watching them slip. She starts to hiccup as she is instructed to tell Beom Jo not to help these people falling.
Back at the MSC TV station, Il Joo is telling Cha Ok about In Ha reporting. Il Joo thinks it will be a easy thing for In Ha to cover since they just have to stand by and film people falling and report the story as is. Cha Ok disagrees with Il Joo, however, because it is standing by and doing nothing that the Pinocchio will find hard to do.
And she’s right. In Ha is helping people not to fall down the stairs and this is making Lee Joo Ho angry. He yells at her to stop. Right then a group of kids start coming down the stairs and In Ha starts to hiccup as she tries to remain still. Beom Jo sees this so he tries to help these kids for her sake, breaking briquettes on the stairs to dust over the ice. In Ha helps and the kids are able to come down the stairs without falling.
The higher-ups at MSC have gotten wind of In Ha’s actions. Thankfully (?), Cha Ok had asked other newbies to prepare this segment too. Yeon Doo Young is not happy with In Ha and Cha Ok tells him she will be getting rid of In Ha soon.
Outside the meeting room, Il Joo and Gong Joo watch these group of people. They can tell that In Ha is in trouble. Gong Joo is visibly distressed about this.
As soon as In Ha and Beom Jo walk into the room, he starts yelling at them, loud enough so those higher-ups in the other room can hear. Beom Jo and In Ha apologize but In Ha hiccups so Gong Joo asks her if she is lying about being sorry. In Ha replies that she is. Why should she feel sorry? She had to help those people before they fell; she couldn’t just do nothing and watch them fall. Is that what a reporter does?
“Yes!” Gong Joo yells. Otherwise, go volunteer or be Spiderman or something like that. Beom Jo protests- a reporter needs to help people too, not just watch. It’s for the common good. Gong Joo continues to yell- “Watching is for the common good!” A reporter watches and reports a news story that will be watched by city workers, the president, and the world. This is the journalist’s job. While Beom Joo and In Ha were helping a few people by breaking briquettes, they could have saved hundreds and thousands by motivating the city and its people to clean the snow, set up a safety rail, etc.
In Ha and Beom Jo now understand and In Ha can apologize without hiccuping. Il Joo has a newfound respect for and fear of Gong Joo. In Ha also volunteers to go back out to the streets- it’s not because she was to report it on TV. It’s just that she wants to do her job right this time. She is confident she will able to stand back and just watch and not hiccup. Gong Joo gives her permission and she leaves.
Cha Ok, however, tells Gong Joo that if In Ha fails again this time, he has to fire her.
The YGN team has returned to the station and we see that Jae Myung followed Dal Po all the way here.
Gong Joo waits anxiously for an update on In Ha to find out if she is doing her job properly this time and he is rewarded with an affirmative. Even though he is no longer on the phone, he talks loudly as he makes his way over to Cha Ok to tell her that In Ha is doing okay so she doesn’t need to be fired.
Cha Ok is not convinced, however, and points out that Gong Joo might have to work hard to convince In Ha like this every single time. Still, Gong Joo points out that he learned a lot from In Ha today- that a reporter needs to ask him or herself he same questions In Ha had asked herself- is it okay to just watch? What can she do to help? “Otherwise,” Gong Joo points out, “what we report is not news but tabloid.”
Cha Ok asks coldly if Gong Joo is trying to lecture her. Gong Joo smiles and says he is only asking for Cha Ok to compliment In Ha. “You need to compliment when someone does something good.”
Yoo Rae and Dal Po are heading back to the police station but Yoo Rae wants to go there alone- she feels uncomfortable since she knows how much Dal Po likes her. Dal Po can do nothing but agree. What else can he do? Ge can’t believe how seriously Yoo Rae is taking this.
While Dal Po waits for his taxi, Jae Myung shows up in front of him, asking if he is a reporter. Shaken, Dal Po replies yes. Jae Myung starts asking nicely, but grows more menacing as he approaches Dal Po- “Why did you hide that you were a reporter? Why did you come to my house? Why did you look in to my car?!”
Dal Po replies that he saw Jae Myung hyung’s truck by chance while he was investigating around his neighborhood and was just happy to see the it. Jae Myung is incensed by the fact that a reporter is calling him hyung so he grabs and pushes Dal Po against the tree and yells, “Don’t you ever call me hyung again. Don’t you ever come near me again! All reporters are sickening.” It’s the same word Dal Po used with Gyo Dong on the day of the quiz show.
Jae Myung drives off in his truck angrily, leaving Dal Po completely shaken.
Elsewhere in the city at a DUI checkpoint, another truck driver has just been told that his license will be canceled due to his high blood alcohol level. The truckdriver protests and drives off, trying to run away from the police. A car chase ensues.
Not too far away, the MSC team sets up the camera at an intersection. It’s snowing a lot now and it’s starting to stick to the ground.
In Ha asks cameraman Lee Joo Ho if he ever questioned the same things she and Beom Jo questioned today while filming all those stories. Joo Ho replies of course, but getting that perfect picture and story is so hard, he started to desire something awful- if something bad is going to happen, he want the good fortune of that happening in front of him. In Ha asks if he has ever been that lucky and he replies no. Oh no, it’s going to be his lucky day today.
THE MSC team notice a young boy in crutches starting to cross the street. His walk is slow due to his injury and at the other side of the light on the opposite lane, Jae Myung drives up in his truck.
Everyone at the intersection begins to hear sirens and it’s getting closer and closer. The cameraman thinks it could be story so he detaches his camera from the tripod and prepares to get closer to the sirens.
The boy also hears the sirens and he starts to walk faster. He’s going as fast as he can but the runaway truck and police cars are coming at him too fast. In his haste, he trips, and Beom Jo screams, “Watch out!”
Jae Myun also sees the boy struggle to walk and trip from his truck. In his eyes, the boy looks like young Ha Myung.
It looks like the car chase will end without the boy getting hurt when the truck slips and flips to its side. Unfortunately, the road is a decline and the snow has made it slippery. So the truck starts to slide down on its side toward the boy. The camera crews runs closer to catch the footage. In Ha and Beom Jo finally start to run toward the boy too.
Crash! Jae Myung drives his truck into the other one to stop it from moving any further. The boy is saved!
Jae Myung, holding his left arm and blood dripping from his head, gets out of his truck and limps over to the boy. MSC’s camera is still rolling He asks the boy if he is alright and he is. Jae Myung then says, “I’m glad, Ha Myung, that you’re safe” Oh my goodness, stab me in the heart. Relieved but hurt, Jae Myung faints.
End of episode 8
You never know what to expect with this drama, and I love it. “Pinocchio” is a thrill ride. Not the kind where a skittish horse carries you on its back, your arms flailing widely, at full-speed through a dark, unknown forest, but truly a roller coaster ride- controlled and designed to thrill you. There are moments when you just ride the level length of rail, moving at a high speed but still able to smile and take in the scenery. Thee are also moments, when you riding through one loop after another, a rapid up and down of feels. And then there are those moments when you are going up the slope, clutching the safety handle for dear life. It feels like you’ve been climbing forever yet you fear reaching the top because you can’t see the rails down. And that’s where Pinocchio episode 8 leaves you- right at the top right before the scary fall, right where all the tension has reached its peak.
I didn’t expect Dal Po to meet his brother so quickly yesterday and I didn’t expect Jae Myung to find out Dal Po is a reporter today. I also didn’t expect In Ha and Dal Po to kiss so soon. I was ready for the love story to be dragged out forever, but here we are, Dal Po and In Ha both knowing each other’s feelings and no more closer to getting rid of them than they were yesterday.
It was a little strange the way the consequence of the kiss was not addressed in this episode. In Ha and Dal Po seemed too normal after sealing a kiss that makes them unable to be family- something both worked so hard to keep together. But over these past seven episodes, I’ve developed a trust in the writer to explain what is going on these kid’s heads and I’m crossing my fingers that it will be addressed in the next episode.
But I also like how the episode wasn’t just about this kiss, because this drama isn’t really a romance drama. It portrays love, sure, but it isn’t solely about In Ha and Dal Po’s relationship. It more about their individual growth, failures, and triumphs, and what they learn about the complexities of truth and journalism.
Each episode of the drama manages to teach us something new about the world of journalism and the quest for truth without feeling episodic. Today we learned more about the power of journalism and what kind of ethical questions and decisions are made. For Gong Joo, journalism is about great societal good, not about the immediate benefits to a small group of people. You dig and you watch and you peel back what doesn’t want to be peeled back in the hopes that the truth revealed is for the greater good of society. Yet, In Ha reminds him, journalists have to continue to ask each time if what they are doing is actually helping so that their greater goals doesn’t become lost in the frenzy of media politics and competition- the politics and competition that make them wish for terrible things to happen in front of them. It’s those questions and nagging doubts that keep journalists connected to the people they are trying to help.