Recap: Pinocchio Episode 14
History begins to repeat itself…
Episode 14 “Hansel and Gretel”
Beom Jo’s mother, Park Ro Sa, is notified of her son’s presence at the mall and she goes to see him. She finds the YGN and MSC news teams, as well as her apologetic son, at the luxury brand Le Co Song bag store.
In her office, Ro Sa expresses her sympathy for the Santa and his son when In Ha tells her what happened to them. She asks her son seemingly distraught if she has to apologize to the country for causing this kind of trouble. Beom Jo insists that this is not something she has to apologize for.
In Ha and Yoo Rae ask for the mall to cooperate with the investigation and report and Ro Sa obliges, ordering her assistant to help the news teams in any way. This is not what In Ha and Yoo Rae expected and they are moved by Ro Sa’s sweet and generous nature. Beom Jo worries that the news might bring some backlash to the mall to which his mom replies that if it is the will of the customers, then it shall be.
In Ha is the last one out of Ro Sa’s office when she notices an earring on the floor. She recognizes it as belonging to her mother and her suspicions start to grow. What is the connection between her mom and Beom Jo’s mom?
Yoo Rae spots Ha Myung lurking around at the end of hallway on the office floor of the mall. She asks him why he didn’t pick up the phone on Christmas Eve and he tells her he was a little sick. Yoo Rae is satisfied that he wasn’t ignoring her calls.
Ha Myung notices a trash bag filled with shredded paper and he starts packing it to take it with him. Yoo Rae wonders why Ha Myung is still suspicious about Beom Jo’s mom; to her, Beom Jo’s mom seemed totally cool.
The YGN and MSC cameras start filling the news story with the employees explaining the Le Con Song bags. Ro Sa is there with Beom Jo, assuring her son that she is okay, and also providing instructions to her employees on how to display the bag for the TV.
In Ha watches from a distance, still wondering about Ro Sa’s relationship with her mom. Yoo Rae comes over to her and describes Beom Jo’s mom as a greatly generously person to allow the news teams to report on this story. In Ha agrees at first but she hiccups. Yoo Rae asks if In Ha is like Ha Myung, thinking Beom Jo’s mom is suspicious. In Ha replies yes without hiccuping.
The news story about the bags and the mall go out and Beom Jo watches in concern. He texts his mom, apologizing, but we see that Ro Sa doesn’t look worried about the news story at all. Still, she texts her son that she is watching the news and regretting what she did.
In Ha is worried about Beom Jo and he lets her know he is upset. He knows that she feels sorry but that is what he wants.
In Ha runs into Cha Ok in the bathroom, again. She shows Cha Ok the earring she picked up at Ro Sa’s office and asks if it is hers. Cha Ok takes it, saying she looked for it for a long time. Now definitely knowing her mom is meeting Beom Jo’s mom, In Ha asks again what Cha Ok’s relationship is with Ro Sa. Cha Ok repeats that she is only slightly acquainted with Ro Sa after visiting the Federation of Korean Industries building a few times. In Ha asks if Cha Ok is still in contact with Ro Sa now? Cha Ok counters with her own question- why is she continuing that ask that question. In response, In Ha tells her where she found the earring. If Cha Ok met Ro Sa 13 years ago and even in the present, then isn’t it more than just an acquaintance? Cha Ok reminds In Ha that they too met each other after 13 years; she and Ro Sa’s relationship is just like her and In Ha’s. Ouch, really, Cha Ok? Is your daughter no better to you than Ro Sa?
At the reporters’ room at the police station, Ha Myung is piecing together the shredded documents he found at Beom Jo mall. Yoo Rae asks him what he thought of her reporting today and he compliments her. Yoo Rae accepts his answer readily, not expecting anything less from him since he is in love with her. Pfft!
Ha Myung goes out to get some coffee, leaving the pieces under Yoo Rae’s watch. She tries to help, but falls asleep so when In Ha comes into the room and places her bag on top of the paper puzzle, she can’t top her from ruining Ha Myung’s work. So In Ha ends up messing up the papers that Ha Myung was working on and when the NTS rookie, also in the room, tells her it’s what Ha Myung has been working on for hours, she panics. She grabs the stack of shredded paper and dashes out the room to Chan Soo to ask for help piecing the papers together. Unfortunately, this is Chan Soo’s last day at the Han River police station as he is being sent to the local patrol division, so he is in no mood to help her.
Ha Myung returns to find his papers gone. He finds out from the NTS guy that In Ha took the papers. Outside in the hallway, Ha Myung finds pieces of shredded paper on the floor, like Hansel and Gretel’s pebbles, leading him to where In Ha is. He finds her desperately trying to piece together the papers on the floor.
They sit together in the police station lobby where the sofa is and Ha Myung pieces his papers together. In Ha explains that she wasn’t trying to steal the papers and she apologizes for what she said to him before at the Beom Jo mall; she’s sorry she was harsh to him when she didn’t even hear him out. He responds by giving her the extra coffee that Yoo Rae had asked him to buy while he was buying his own.
In Ha asks why Ha Myung is suspicious about Beom Jo’s mom. Ha Myung tells her that Ro Sa was the one who insisted on having the Santa arrested. In Ha describes how Ro Sa acted like she heard the story of him being arrested for the first time before when she was talking to them in her office.
Ha Myung also describes how the manager of the Le Con Song shop didn’t really seem like she was trying hard to block the filming. In Ha also remembers the way Beom Jo’s mom was instructing the shop’s employees on how to display the bags for the news reports.
In Ha also tells Ha Myung about Beom Jo finding her mom’s cellphone at his house 13 years ago and about finding her mom’s earring earlier in Ro Sa’s office.
In Ha asks where Ha Myung found the shredded papers and he tells her in a trash bag near the president’s office. In Ha says, “I don’t think Beom Jo’s mother is the person we know.”
Beom Jo has driven to his mom’s mall and he spots Ha Myung coming out of it. He angrily approaches him, demanding to know what Ha Myung is doing here- did he come to check if the Le Con Song store was going out of business? Ha Myung did indeed come to check, except the store is doing really well, with customers spilling out of the store. “I think your mom used the news as marketing.”
Beom Jo grabs Ha Myung, calling him crazy. He has crossed the line. Didn’t he see his mother yesterday- does she look that manipulative?
Ha Myung holds up the paper he pieced together yesterday- it’s a purchase sheet for additional orders of that bag. It was sent out right after the request for interviews. “Your mother knew that more people would actually come to buy the bag, not boycott, after the news went out.” Beom Jo doesn’t understand why people would actually come more to buy so Ha Myung tells him to go look for himself while handing him the purchase order.
Beom Jo enters the mall and he can’t believe his eyes. The Le Con Song is teeming with customers- parents with their children- desperately trying to buy the bag after seeing it on the news.
Beom Jo goes to see his mom at the office about this situation, doubt beginning to form. Ro Sa claims that she was surprised to see the crowd at the store, saying she expected the opposite to happen. But when Beom Jo shows her the purchase order form Ha Myung gave him, demanding to know if she used the news as marketing, Ro Sa changes her tune. She asks her son what she did wrong- she had a man charged with a crime he committed, knowing this would be a story that reporters would want to pick up. The news media has something to report, she was able to sell something, and customers were able to buy what they want- what wrong did she commit? People want to buy expensive things that will draw the envy of other people, not cheap products. All she did was use this knowledge she had of people’s desires. She asks Beom Jo, “Did I do something wrong? Do you think so, son?”
Beom Jo stares at his mother in shock and disappointment. This isn’t the mother he knows. He leaves without answering her question and Ro Sa laments letting him become a reporter.
Ha Myung has been waiting for Beom Jo outside and when he sees his face, he knows that Beom Jo is in no condition to drive so he offers to do it.
In the car, Beom Jo admits that Ha Myung was right about his mom and that if it wasn’t for him, he would have never known that about his mom. Ha Myung gently replies, “I’m sorry.”
Beom Jo asks if Ha Myung felt like this too when he found out his brother was not the type of person he expected. Ha Myung replies yes. Beom Jo quietly remarks, “That must have been hard.” Ha Myung: “Yes.”
Back at the police station, Beom Jo thanks Ha Myung for today but reminds him that this is separate from their fight overIn Ha. He offers to buy Ha Myung dinner instead but eating dinner alone with another guy is the last thing Ha Myung wants.
Ha Myung asks Beom Jo if he remembers what day it was when Cha Ok visited his mom’s house 13 years. Beom Jo remembers because it was the first day he read a text from In Ha. It was October 23, 200o. Ha Myung finds this too coincidental- his mother died one day before on October 22, 2000.
In a flashback we see Cha Ok and Yeon Doo Young visiting Ro Sa’s home. Yeon Doo Young thanks Ro Sa but Ro Sa says she is the one that is grateful, especially with this case. Ro Sa says to Cha Ok, “You know that I never abandon my people, right?” She also says she sympathsizes with Cha Ok and her divorce situation. She hopes that this new appointment will be some comfort to Cha Ok.
Chan Soo, now at the patrol division office, calls Ha Myung, asking him to come often since the patrol office gets a lot of interesting cases too.
Ha Myung goes to Chan Soo, wanting to support his friend, with Yoo Rae graciously consenting to join Ha Myung. They find In Ha already there.
Chan Soo starts telling them about the cases at the patrol office. One is a small assault incident an another is a gas explosion at factory. Except the gas explosion was only of a small butane gas container used to power small mobile burners for cooking. The workers in the factory were cooking ramyun on the burner when the container exploded. None of these stories are really news worthy.
When In Ha, Ha Myung, and Yoo Rae are complaining about this, in comes Ji Hee, In Ha’s high school friend. She’s actually Chan Soo’s wife now and the mother of his three children.
Everyone goes to a cafe to talk and In Ha and Ha Myung find out that Chan Soo and Ji Hee got married not long after graduating high school in a shot-gun wedding. That’s how they have such a grown kid now as well as two other children.
Ji Hee wants to talk about In Ha and Dal Po- they look like they are dating now. She can see it in their gazes that something is up. When Ji Hee asks, “You guys like each other, right?”, Dal Po replies that he and In Ha dated for a bit but broke up.
Yoo Rae and Chan Soo are shocked to hear this, especially Yoo Rae. She wants to know more but Dal Po and In Ha change the subject.
Yoo Rae watches In Ha and Ha Myung carefully as she walks a little behind them. She sees how comfortable they are with each other, but she convinces herself that since they only dated a bit, it’s not a problem. She squeezes between them and pointedly asks In Ha about Beom Jo. In Ha tells them that Beom Jo is taking the day off today to move; he has moved out of his mom’s house and will be living alone. Yoo Rae teases that Beom Jo must be going through puberty now, but Ha Myung remarks that Beom Jo must be affected hard by the recent revelation about his mom. In Ha agrees, which leaves Yoo Rae feeling left out.
Beom Jo is watching his mom and her assistant inspect his new house, figuring out what extra furnishings he needs. Beom Jo remembers what Ha Myung said about his mother dying the day before the day Song Cha Ok visited his house. Beom Jo speaks to his mom for the first time since that incident at the mall- he wants to confirm with his mom that she met Song Cha Ok on October 23, 2000, as Ki Ha Myung told him. Ro Sa exclaims that it is too long ago to remember so Beom Jo coldly replies, “Fine, if you don’t want to tell me, I will find out myself.” Ro Sa tries to caress her son, saying, “Don’t be a reporter to your mom, be a son,” but Beom Jo refuses the contact. He also refuses his mother’s help with furnishing the apartment.
Later in her car, Ro Sa’s assistant asks if she is okay. Ro Sa replies, “No, I am not. Ki Ha Myung is starting to become more of an annoyance.”
Grandpa sits at home, fiddling with the nuts that Dal Po gave him that night when he came home drunk with Chan Soo. He reflects on what Chan Soo said Dal Po feeling sorry about everything because of his brother.
Grandpa goes to visit Jae Myung in prison. When he fills out the form to register for the visit, he writes “family” in the box for relationship. Okay, I’m tearing up here.
Jae Myung thanks Grandpa for saving his brother and raising him for all those years. He had always wanted to do so. Grandpa offers to tell Jae Myung about how Dal Po grew up during those 13 years- he asks if it is okay if he visits often. Of course, Jae Myung replies. Grandpa shows Jae Myung pictures of him and Dal Po six months after he was found. Jae Myung is shocked by Dal Po’s hair and asks how that came to be. Ha!
Ha Myung has come to see his brother but he can’t because there is only one visit allowed per day and someone had already come and gone, the person working there tells him. Ha Myung guesses it was Chan Soo and goes to visit him. Chan Soo tells him he didn’t go visit Jae Myung so Ha Myung continues to wonder who it was.
While sitting at the patrol office with Chan Soo, the news starts and there is a report of a fire at a waste factory in the Han River district. There was about 70 people in the factory- 40 were able to get out but 30 have still not be rescued. Chan Soo tells Ha Myung in surprise that the factory on fire now is the factory he went to yesterday after the report of the gas explosion.
All the news networks are busy: finding out more information, sending cameras to different locations, and reporting from the scene. Ha Myung is there at the factory watching the hectic scene and remembering what happened to his family 13 years ago in the same way.
At YGN, Gyo Dong designates news items to his team- Hyun Gyu will find out more about the cause of the fire and why there were so many victims (16 deaths). Yoo Rae will find more footage (e.g. CCTV and blackbox recordings) and witnesses to the factory explosion. Ha Myung is to find out what was being worked on in the factory when the explosion happened and if there were other factory fires similar to this one in the past. Yoo Rae shows a little jealousy that Ha Myung receives the more interesting assignment.
They are doing the same thing at MSC, except Cha Ok is in the room, telling Gong Joo to pretend she is not there. Gong Joo sighs and orders Il Joo find out more about the cause and help create a computer generated rendition of the explosion. Beom Jo will follow the updates from the fire department and police, and In Ha will look in to similar past incidents.
Cha Ok interrupts. Isn’t it more important to interview the families of the dead to see if there is a sad story among them or interview the injured to see what they say happened at the site? Gong Joo disagrees with this but she tells Gong Joo to think about what viewers are curious about when drawing up news stories. With that said, Cha Ok once again asks that she be considered “not here” but Gong Joo mutters, “But the person ‘not here’ keeps talking…”
Suddenly Cha Oks gets a text. It’s from Ro Sa, asking for lunch together that day.
After the news item meeting, Gyo Dong calls Ha Myung over to his desk to give him three thick envelopes. Yoo Rae once again looks on jealously.
At the police station’s reporters’ room, she asks Ha Myung why Gyo Dong only gives him that kind of stuff. “What did you do that Cap. only favors you?” Ha Myung tells her it’s not like that. In Ha sees the documents and asks, “Those must be about the factory fire 13 years ago.” Ha Myung confirms and Yoo Rae looks sorry. It’s the information that Gyo Dong gathered 13 years ago about the case and thinking that this new case is similar, he gave it to Ha Myung thinking it will be meaningful to him. In Ha also agrees that yesterday’s fire is similar to the one 13 years ago.
Yoo Rae looks at In Ha and Ha Myung looking over the documents together. She convinces herself that she has nothing to worry about; it’s expected that the two are able to connect so well since they’ve known each other ten years. But things are over between the two now so there is nothing to worry about.
Ro Sa and Cha Ok meet for lunch. Ro Sa has asked Cha Ok for lunch to ask for a favor regarding this new fire incident.
Ha Myung has found many similarities between the fire 13 years ago and yesterday’s- both were regular waste factories that shouldn’t have had explosion but did and a lot of people died due to the fire. Yoo Rae asks what was the cause of the fire, and Beom Jo replies, “It seems there was a explosive material about the waste- explosive, illegal waste.”
Everyone is surprised to see Beom Jo, especially because he knows information about the fire 13 years ago. He explains that he became curious about the fire 13 years ago due to a certain someone and so he investigated a bit.
Ro Sa tells Cha Ok that she is worried that this new incident will be linked to the one 13 years ago. She doesn’t want that incident 13 years ago to keep causing trouble. Even her son is now asking about it.
Ro Sa hands Cha Ok a USB, telling her to look it over. She wants Cha Ok to change the focus of the story. She wants to make sure the incident 13 years ago doesn’t cause more trouble. She tells Cha Ok that the congressman who gave the permit for factory is close to her and he is worried there will be backlash against him from yesterday’s fire. So she told him about the trick she used 13 years ago. Pointing to the USB, she says, “That will also help you, like how it was 13 years ago.”
The Han River Four discuss the case from 13 years ago. Looking over the news reports from then, there is very little news to be found about the factory owner and the people who sold the illegal waste. Information is in one-liners that say they were given probation and community service after settlement with all the victims’ family. Most of the news is about Ki Ho Sang and looking at them collectively now, they are awkward and overstated, as if they are purposely trying to steer focus to Ki Ho Sang. Instead of focusing on the cause of the fire and the people who caused it, the news focused on Ki Ho Sang- someone who had nothing to do with the cause of the fire.
Ha Myung abruptly gets up and leaves the room. Yoo Rae wonders where he is going, but In Ha can guess what is bothering Ha Myung. She knows that Ha Myung is starting to suspect that is father was a victim of media manipulation. And he wants to know why his father became a victim.
Ha Myung rushes back to YGN. He find Gyo Dong and urgently asks him why, 13 years ago, the focus went towards his father who had nothing to do with the cause of the fire, when this time, with an incident so similar, the focus is on the cause of the fire and the people responsible. Gyo Dong informs him that 13 years ago, the focus was initially on the cause, but suddenly, it turned toward his father. Ha Myung asks, “Are you saying someone purposely did that?” Gyo Dong replies that he doesn’t know; it’s only a guess.
Right at that moment, Hyun Gyu yells out that MSC is reporting an exclusive about the fire. It’s Song Cha Ok reporting, saying there is CCTV footage that suggests that the explosion could have been prevented. MSC shows a CCTV recording of a police officer coming to the factory the night before the fire after receiving a report about an explosion. After talking to the factory people for less than five minutes, and without even going into the factory, the police officer leaves. The MSC report quotes the police officer’s interview with it, saying he didn’t think the explosion was a big deal and left after being there about 5-10 minutes. Cha Ok also reports that the factory personnel found the police officer’s investigation lacking- all he did was ask a couple of questions and then leave.
Chan Soo is watching this report in shock and when he get a call from his former team leader, yelling at him about answering those questions from MSC, Chan Soo can only ask, “Did I really do something that horrible?”
Beom Jo and In Ha are also watching this news, knowing that the police officer in the report is Chan Soo. In Ha fumes in anger.
Gyo Dong fumes too, angry that MSC is reporting nonsense. Ha Myung is the same, angry that the report is suggesting that the fire was Chan Soo’s fault. All Chan Soo did that day was confirm that the explosion reported was a small butane container explosion. That couldn’t have been the cause of the huge explosion the next day!
Gyo Dong quietly says, “It is really similar to the incident 13 years ago.” People were looking for the cause of the fire when suddenly news about Ha Myung’s father came out. Ha Myung demands to know if people back then fell for that nonsense, did Cap. also fall for that? Gyo Dong apologizes- yes, back then, he thought that was the right thing.
Gyo Dong: “When a dog starts barking, the neighborhood dogs follow suit without even knowing the reason. Now I see that I was just a neighborhood dog.”
Ha Myung angrily makes his way over to MSC as Cha Ok arrives back from reporting and as In Ha and Beom Jo approaches Cha Ok to argue.
In Ha demands to know from Cha Ok how this incident is Chan Soo’s fault. Cha Ok refuses to respond, arguing that In Ha is being irrational and emotional since Chan Soo is her old school friend. She doesn’t respond to irrational people. Beom Jo steps up then to say he isn’t irrational since Chan Soo is not an old school friend. He tells her that Chan Soo is not responsible for this incident and what he went to check out the day before was a simple, small explosion of a everyday use butane container. Cha Ok counters that of course Chan Soo would say he is not responsible.
Beom Jo asks if Cha Ok met with the person who reported the factory fire and Cha Ok informs him that that person is still unconscious. So Beom Jo demands to know on what grounds she can say Chan Soo is responsible when she hasn’t even met that person. Cha Ok demands to know then on what grounds they can say Chan Soo is not responsible. At least she has CCTV footage as evidence. What do they have?!
Cha Ok also points out that all she did was make a suggestion, not conclude. Is that a problem? In Ha retorts that it is since people accept the suggestion as truth. “Just like 13 years ago.”
Cha Ok asks why that incident is being brought up now. In Ha yells, “Because you destroyed one family with a suggestion based on superficial evidence just like this time!”
Cha Ok yells back, “So at least bring me that superficial evidence to prove that your friend is not responsible! Be a reporter and properly present doubt with evidence.”
Ha Myung who has been watching all this from a distance finally steps up to say he will be back with evidence to prove Chan Soo is not responsible. “I will not lose someone helplessly again.”
Ha Myung: “I will turn back the focus, which you are trying to change, to its proper place.”
End of episode 14
Argh, the audacity of that woman! How can she, of all people, tell In Ha to be a proper reporter and present evidence to prove Chan Soo’s innocence?! The audacity and the utter lack of conscience and any sort of integrity in that woman makes me want to puke. If at one point I thought Cha Ok can be redeemed and that while she was in the wrong about good reporting, she herself believed that what she was doing was reporting, I can no longer hold to any of that. I don’t care if she is a mere puppet of Ro Sa. Cha Ok has shown that she knows that what she is doing is not real journalism. She knows she is being used to cover up something and she willingly does it. Cha Ok is not interested in becoming a good reporter; she is just interested in fame and prestige. I thought that even though Cha Ok thought journalism was fact + impact, at least Cha Ok believed that what she was doing was journalism. If that was the case, all that she needed to do was learn that she was wrong. It would be a matter of correcting knowledge, not the humanity of a person. But now I know that Cha Ok is not interested in real journalism and that there is no hope for her in the field anymore. Cha Ok just needs to leave and go into a another field in which her selfish ambitions can cause less harm.
Once again we have someone guilty until proven, not the other way around. Cha Ok keeps asking for evidence to prove Chan Soo is not responsible but the fact that she even gets to use the CCTV footage as evidence of his guilt annoys me to no end. I’m annoyed that In Ha is stumped when her mom demands evidence from her and I’m annoyed that Ha Myung agrees to bring the evidence. It annoys me to no end that In Ha and Ha Myung have to even respond to this nonsense.
I’m so annoyed that I’m annoyed by the growing lack of subtlety in this drama in pushing its point. The plot moves faster than other dramas and there are lots of twists and turns and revelations to keep the story interesting, and there is always a heart-warming moment in ech episode to keep the drama more relatable, but overall, there is a mechanical feel in this drama- like I am watching the levers, pulleys, wedges, and wheels moving in machine to churn out a story. But the parts are too big and their movements too large to allow for any quiet subtlety in the drama anymore. You can see in the some on the editing and changes in lighting that the drama is started to do live shoot filming and the episodes are being produced in a rush. I hate this system that takes away so much from a drama- careful thought, planning, interesting camera work, room to let a story build or contract, and good mise-en-scene.
I was particularly struck by the way Ro Sa asked Beom Jo what she was doing wrong. She couldn’t see that any of her actions were wrong and her question was so much like Cha Ok’s when she asks if what she did was wrong. Neither woman can see or believe that what they did was wrong and this is the similarity in the two antagonists of this drama. What the protagonists in this drama share is their ability to emphasize- not only sympathize with others but to truly experience another’s pain so that they are motivated to change the situation that is causing the pain. Ro Sa and Cha Ok can’t see or experience from the view of those who are suffering, but people like In Ha, Dal Po, and Grandpa can, which leaves them raw and vulnerable to the troubles of the world. But I say it’s better than being thick-skinned like Cha Ok.