Whatever far flung hope that hyung Jae Myung didn’t go all vengeance killer on us went out the window with episode 6 of Pinocchio and the latest reveals. It hurts so much because he was completely a victim until he became a perpetrator. The pain is magnified even more because Dal Po is such a beloved character already and whatever happiness remains in his life is something precious that we want for him. Becoming a reporter was In Ha’s dream that has morphed into Dal Po’s means to an end. But even then it doesn’t feel like Dal Po understands the job aside from having the intelligence to work the system. There is still so much left to learn for these two.
I’m feeling nicely in the dark about how this drama will unfold. The macro might seem predictable but this story is about the little details and those are the elements that always appear surprising. I don’t know how In Ha and Dal Po will go forward when they are stuck in this rut as long as In Ha remains a reporter. It feels like Dal Po has to come around but that’s rather unfair when In Ha doesn’t know how much turmoil he’s enduring because he loves her. At least the drama is now dishing out the angst equally with In Ha weathering her own fair share of what she believes to be a one-sided crush. She’s so clueless to think that her feelings are light enough to get over, the best remains yet to come once she understands the depth and breadth of what Dal Po means to her.
Episode 6 recap:
An eager and bright-eyed rookie reporter arrives at the local police station to swap shifts with previous reporter on duty from his network. His eyes widen in shock to see a gaggle of unkempt reporters huddled in the corner morosely doing their jobs. His predecessor can tell it’s this rookie’s first time here what with his energetic attitude.
Three days later Dal Po arrives at the same police station to swap shifts with the earlier rookie reporter. Dal Po isn’t nearly as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed but the rookie reporter is now the wizened grizzly version of his earlier self. Rookie is about to show Dal Po the ropes as Dal Po notices that everyone looks like 24 hour zombies and soon he’ll become like that as well.
Six hours earlier, Dad is at work in his rental agency when MSC broadcasts the promotional commercial introducing new reporter Choi In Ha who suffers from Pinocchio syndrome. Dad is naturally stunned and Cha Ok arrives right on cue to discuss In Ha’s current employment situation. Dad’s employee is totally wowed by the arrival of famous news anchor Song Cha Ok and even more impressed that she’s Dad’s ex-wife.
YBS reports on two burned dead bodies found in a container and believed to have been poisoned rather than the initial assumption that they died in the fire. Jae Myung looks alarmed as he watches the news report and flashes back to when he lured the factory team leader into the ditch and left him there to die and take the fall for killing his colleagues. Jae Myung’s coworker listens to the report and naturally believes that the team leader killed those two men for money, just like Jae Myung planned. He hands over the repair fee from Dal Po and describes Dal Po as resembling Jae Myung, tall and good looking. Jae Myung laughs off the resemblance without thinking anymore about it.
Dal Po has worked through the night gluing the shredded papers back together. The other rookies feel bad that Dal Po is being singled out and worked extra hard. Yoo Rae thinks Dal Po will be called out to go to the police station assignment tonight and gives him some helpful items to endure more Reporter Jang torture like an extra battery and medicinal patches. Another rookie also shares his nutritional bar with Dal Po.
PD Hwang informs the rookies that today they are going to the fire station and then the police station for overnight shifts so they need to go home and pack. He then announces the assignments and as expected Dal Po is assigned to the Han River line led by Reporter Jang. Yoo Rae is about to let out a sigh of relief when she’s also assigned to the Han River line with Dal Po.
Reporter Jang arrives to hear PD Hwang asking if Yoo Rae doesn’t want to join the Han River line? He purposely answers his cell phone loudly to get all the rookies attention while telling the other person on the phone that he’s got two new rookies joining him and he’ll be teaching them very very well (while making “I see you” gestures following by a “you’re dead” motion).
Yoo Rae is morosely absorbing the shock of being assigned to torture master Reporter Jang and asks for all the useful items back from Dal Po. He gets a call from a screaming Reporter Jang to get their asses on assignment NOW.
Reporter Lee over at MSC is directing intern rookies In Ha and Bum Jo and assigns them to go home and pack for their police station reporting. Reporter Lee is very polite to them but warns subtly that they will need to deliver soon otherwise he’ll lose his patience with them. In Ha understands Reporter Lee’s hint and drags Bum Jo off to start sprinting. Reporter Lee calls In Ha to add that they have to be one step ahead of YGN network and also be reachable at any moment.
Dal Po is likely getting the same call from Reporter Jang about how to snatch a scoop and not lose out to the other network rookies. Reporter Lee reminds In Ha not to be buddy buddy with anyone from the other networks. Dal Po runs into In Ha and Bum Jo outside and is surprised she’s here and wearing a suit. In Ha can’t bring herself to tell Dal Po that she’s a reporter so Bum Jo introduces himself and explains that he and In Ha have been hired under special circumstances at MSC.
In Ha finishes up and explains that her mom called to offer her the job which will be good publicity for MSC. Dal Po looks up and sees the giant building banner hanging on the MSC building with In Ha posed next to her mom. He looks dismayed and turns to leave when Bum Jo grabs his arm for him to finish hearing what In Ha has to say.
Dal Po is so upset he just wrestles Bum Jo’s arm around and walks away leaving him howling in pain. Bum Jo looks up and finds himself alone as In Ha has run after Dal Po.
In Ha follows behind Dal Po trying to get an explanation in but he continues to ignore her. She finally grabs both his arms to make him stand still as he barks at her to let go. Does she want to be a reporter that badly to be close to her mom? The mom who abandoned her and is now using her? In Ha yells that she wanted to become a reporter because of Dal Po!
Dal Po finally calms down and hears In Ha explain that 8 years ago when he went on the quiz show and proved his innocence, she was so moved by it that she decided to become a reporter. Dal Po asks again if she wanted to become a reporter because of him? In Ha confirms it was all because of him that she walked such a long road to get here today. The feeling she got that day remains in her heart.
In Ha would rather Dal Po oppose her dreams now so that she can harden her heart and end her feelings for him. Dad arrives to see Dal Po and In Ha arguing with In Ha declaring that the more Dal Po tries to stop her the more she’s going to do this.
Dad thinks back to his conversation with In Ha’s mom when she came to see him about In Ha. Mom is certain that In Ha’s personality is just like her, the more he stops her the more she’ll do something. So if Dad wants to keep In Ha by her side then he’s going to have to agree to let her do this.
Dal Po worries that In Ha can’t pass her Dad’s gate to begin with. Her dad will be very hurt if she works with her mom. Dad walks out and asks the kids not to talk about him behind his back. He hands In Ha a new pair of shoes for being on television and tacitly confirms that he’s agreed to let her do this. In Ha thanks her dad while Dal Po looks on sadly.
Bum Jo is packing up for his police station shift and assures worried Mom that he’ll be fine. She pats her son’s cheek and tells him to use her as a trump card when the need arises.
In Ha packs up and continues to wheedle and thank her dad for the shoes and for agreeing to let her be a reporter. Over in Dal Po’s room, Grandpa is helping him pack and hears that reporters need to do shifts at police stations and hospitals and fire stations for scoops. Grandpa hands Dal Po a new pair of gloves and claims he got it for him using his own money. He then runs out leaving Dal Po to sob over his fat pigs who have been cut open to buy gloves LOL.
Dal Po runs into In Ha in the elevator and hears that both are going to the Han River line. She thinks it’s good they are working the same territory since the competition will make her better. She takes the opportunity to get the upper hand for once and hands him back his button claiming she’s fixed her feelings for him. A quick hiccup proves she hasn’t so she tries to act nonchalant and takes the button back.
After Dal Po walks out of the building In Ha’s cool façade crumbles and she freaks out about how this is driving her crazy. She then runs to cut Dal Po off and steal his taxi to the Han River police station. Too bad former taxi driver Dal Po knows the short cuts and directs his driver on a quicker route.
Dal Po arrives at the police station and runs into former high school classmate Ahn Chan Soo. The boys haven’t seen each other since graduating and Chan Soo is especially impressed with how nicely Dal Po has cleaned up. Dal Po hears that Chan Soo is now a cop and Chan Soo ushers Dal Po to the side away from the gnat like reporters always buzzing around for a story.
Dal Po lets Chan Soo complain about reporters for a bit before revealing that he’s now a reporter. In Ha walks in the door and looks happy to see Chan Soo while giving Dal Po the stink eye.
Chan Soo walks Dal Po and In Ha to the reporter rest room and hears that there are fifteen rookies from the various networks and competition is tough for a new story.
Chan Soo opens the door to the pig sty that is the reporter’s rest room to the dismay of In Ha and Dal Po. Yoo Rae arrives followed by Bum Jo and all four rookies take in the hell hole they have to live in for the next few days. Inside is a disheveled rookie who kills a cockroach with her bare hand before using it to grab a bite of dry ramyun from a bag. Bum Jo thinks to his mom that his is a very strange world and to survive here is a true test.
All the rookies go begging all the police officers for scoops and repeatedly get the cold brush off. Eventually Bum Jo and In Ha are locked outside the office to stop harassing the officers. Bum Jo wonders how come there is so much news on TV but they can’t get a scoop. Yet none of them can give up because if they don’t get a story their bosses would make their lives a living hell. After working here he’s finally learned there are so many ways of yelling at and insulting a person.
All the rookies are constantly on the run and even sneaking a bite to eat or sitting down gets yelled at. Bum Jo wonders how he ended up in this strange world. In Ha sits down next to him and offers him a rice ball and hard boiled eggs. Bum Jo trades his egg white for In Ha’s yolk, just like her and Dal Po. In Ha wonders if he’s really a chaebol and doesn’t think that’s a bad thing since he’s not like what chaebols are supposed to be like.
Both of them look up to see Dal Po conversing in a casual and friendly manner with a police officer. Bum Jo is annoyed to see someone who seems quite at ease in this strange world. Dal Po wants to go on a mission with the officer and offers to be of help since he used to drive a taxi. The officer agrees and tells Dal Po he can tag along the next case that comes up. In Ha and Bum Jo interject and wonder why the officer didn’t have any intel for them when they asked earlier about small news scoops. The officer points out that he’s the felony crimes unit, of course he doesn’t have news scoops about petty crimes. Bum Jo glares at Dal Po one last time before rejoining In Ha on the steps.
Chan Soo walks over to ask if Dal Po knows Bum Jo is a chaebol. He wonders why a chaebol would be here suffering and perhaps something is going on with Bum Jo and In Ha? Dal Po pulls Chan Soo out to chat and Chan Soo is most impressed with how many tips Dal Po has gotten. Dal Po knows more than even the police captain and Chan Soo wants Dal Po’s
Dal Po reveals the shredded papers that Reporter Jang had him glue back together actually contained tons of documents with information about the police station. He memorized it all which is why he knows so much and can interact comfortably with the officers. Dal Po points out Chan Soo’s arm around his shoulder that they weren’t this close back in high school. Chan Soo sighs that he won’t be able to tip Dal Po off then since they aren’t so close.
Dal Po squats low to get under Chan Soo’s arm like buddy-buddy to hear the tip. Chan Soo reveals he’s been assigned the container fire case and something feels off. Dal Po points out there are eyewitnesses to the accidental fire sop the case should be cut and dry. Chan Soo doesn’t think so and wants to go with his gut to keep on digging. He wants Dal Po to put his name in the headline if he cracks the case.
PD Hwang remembers the rest of his conversation with Dal Po in the conference room and hears that he found his out his hyung is alive after he went to pick up their dad’s ashes. But the police won’t give him the contact information with proof of identity and Dal Po doesn’t have proof he’s Ki Ha Myung. PD Hwang hears which police station is it and now places a call to that station.
Dad calls In Ha to check in and hears she’s sleepless and exhausted. When Dad asks about Dal Po, In Ha barks that they are enemies at work now. She goes into the reporter quarters and finds a spot on the pallet to lay down. Eventually with the reporters coming and going, only In Ha and Dal Po remain on the pallet sleeping.
Dal Po wakes up with In Ha turned towards him and nestled in his arms. He uses the darkness and alone time to just watch her sleeping and thinking back to how she wanted to become a reporter because of him. He reaches out to stroke her head but pauses to hold himself back before he touches her. Bum Jo wakes up on the top bunk in time to take in the scene on the pallet with Dal Po taking care of a sleeping In Ha. Dal Po tucks the blanket snugly around In Ha and stares at her for a few long minutes before heading out.
Bum Jo runs after Dal Po to ask what was going on back there? He saw everything, the way Dal Po almost stroked In Ha’s face. That’s not what an uncle should do to his niece! Dal Po points out Bum Jo has no right or reason to ask so he’s not going to bother to explain. Bum Jo thinks soon he’ll have a reason and Dal Po welcomes him to ask when that time comes. Dal Po mutters about Bum Jo not knowing In Ha for very long and Bum Jo retorts that he’s known In Ha for a long time, much longer than Dal Po can imagine.
The veteran reporters are gathered together and everyone is placing bets on YGN v. MSC. Reporter Kim takes down the bets and PD Hwang is the only one who doesn’t place a bet. All the bets so far are on YGN and there isn’t a single bet placed on MSC.
In Ha goes to wheedle Chan Soo for a scoop since she’s dead if she doesn’t submit a story soon. Chan Soo suggests she ask Dal Po since he has all the leads but she refuses to ask Dal Po for anything. In Ha uses the high school crush card which only gets Chan Soo to sigh and wonder why he liked her back then. He shows off his wedding ring to reveal that he’s married now but agrees to give In Ha a small scoop.
An overweight ahjumma is working out on the treadmill and a gym trainer begs her to stop since she’s been at it for three hours. Chan Soo tells In Ha that the ahjumma ended up collapsing at the gym and dying of heart failure. It’s another team’s case so he doesn’t have the details but In Ha is pleased with this tip already.
Yoo Rae eavesdrops on this conversation and gets the jump on In Ha to probe into this case. Yoo Rae calls Reporter Jang with the tip and he’s annoyed and tells In Ha to check the CCTV footage first before bringing the story to him. Reporter Lee overhears and snarks that YGN reporters are sure clueless in scooping cases. He then gets the exact same call from In Ha and now it’s his turn to yell at his rookie while Reporter Jang smirks.
Bum Jo and In Ha rush out to gather more information within the hour, she sends Bum Jo to the gym while she heads to the hospital. Dal Po and Yoo Rae also split up to investigate. Bum Jo sees Dal Po running into the gym and purposely closes the elevator door on him. Yoo Rae and In Ha are at the hospital trying to beg the nurse for details. Bum Jo tries to bribe the gym trainer for information.
Yoo Rae calls Reporter Jang with the details she got from the nurse – the deceased is 51 years old and died of heart failure after working out desperately trying to lose weight. He hears from Dal Po that she’s divorced and has a daughter. Reporter Lee gets updates from In Ha and Bum Jo and orders them to get a hold of the CCTV footage as the first person to get it wins the scoop.
Yoo Rae rendezvous with Dal Po and reveals she searched through the trash of the deceased and didn’t find anything. She wonders why this is even a possible scoop and Dal Po believes it’s the same sensationalized story like when a college student died after riding a bike for 6 hours.
In Ha and Bum Jo also meet up and he finds her face covered in coal dirt since she went to the workplace of the deceased who sells coal. Everyone goes back to the gym to ask for the CCTV and the owner refuses to hand it over as he doesn’t want news spread of someone dying at his gym. Yoo Rae promises not to reveal the name of the gym. The owner explains that the deceased came to work out after her husband remarried someone pretty, vowing she would lose weight.
The owner still refuses to hand over the CCTV footage so Dal Po asks to just watch it. All the reporters gather in the office to watch the footage. Bum Jo thinks they are all in trouble going back without the CCTV footage. In Ha points out that without Dal Po none of them would have been able to watch the video at all. Bum Jo can tell In Ha still likes Dal Po. In Ha sighs that she’s trying her best but she still can’t organize her feelings.
Dal Po tells Yoo Rae that he secretly recorded the CCTV footage from his cell phone as they were watching it and she’s impressed with his derring do.
Chan Soo’s boss asks for his report on the warehouse fire but Chan Soo isn’t ready to submit the report yet. The cell phone registered to the factory team leader is a big question mark for him. He called the cell and got signals from Busan and Seoul. We see Jae Myung still has that cell and doesn’t answer any incoming calls. The manhole where he buried the man is covered in bricks. Chan Soo thinks all these signals appear to indicate to the cops that he’s on the run to places where there are a lot of people.
Bum Jo and In Ha are going through their notes and based on the information they have Bum Jo thinks the overweight ahjumma was spurred to lose weight when her ex-husband married a pretty young thing. She died from a combination of heart problem and over exertion. In Ha hiccups indicating she doesn’t believe this story so she can’t report it that way. In Ha thinks the ahjumma can’t be losing weight to look pretty as she is always wearing weird pants while working out and she can’t be working at the same job which is very dirty. In Ha went one to the place and she still has dirt under her fingernails she can’t scrub off.
Dal Po watches the CCTV footage before pressing send. PD Hwang watches the video and heads back to the network. He passes Reporter Kim and crows about their network getting an exclusive. Reporter Kim then gets a call and his face lights up. He goes to move his bet from YSN to MSC and believes that their team has won this round as what is seen isn’t the whole story.
Thoughts of Mine:
Episode 6 was a thoroughly enjoyable albeit slower episode of Pinocchio. It remains confidently in charge of the narrative without losing sight of the bigger picture. For now the rookies are knee deep in reporter training and watching them get thrown in the deep end was entertaining. I like how everyone remains professional on the job, especially with In Ha and Dal Po never really letting their familial relationship or current spat erupt on the scene. That’s important because both claim to take being a reporter seriously, that means actually doing their jobs now that they have gotten in the door. I don’t think either are particularly suited to be reporters but the job seems more about determination and grit than natural aptitude. It worries me that In Ha’s mom described her as having the same personality, even if she can be a good reporter I don’t want her to make the same decisions as her mom to achieve success.
Dal Po’s emotional issues took a back seat for now and that’s probably what he needs to do to get by. The rookie training process is too all-consuming there is no way he should deal with whatever emotional problems exist between him and In Ha. It’s not something that can be resolved by confessing or having a make out session, however much I want to see them act on their repressed feelings for each other. The electric chemistry remains even when they are ignoring each other or secretly cuddling in the night. I think Dad will come around as quickly as he accepted In Ha working with her mother as a reporter. Ultimately the Choi family unit in this drama is one that functions on understanding and communication, and even Dal Po and In Ha’s currently conflict remains openly discussed. He just can’t tell her the ultimate reason for his aversion to her becoming a reporter but what he has said to her is understandable.
The drama did a nice job of bringing back Ahn Chan Soo as the police officer investigating the factory worker deaths, using an interesting earlier character for a greater purpose and making Dal Po more involved down the road with the crime that his hyung has committed in the name of avenging their dad. I now worry that Jae Myung might not be done with his revenge spree and has in mind both In Ha’s mom and the Pinocchio eyewitness as additional targets of his punishment. I’m so not ready for that day to come when Dal Po reunites with hyung because there is only going to be more pain for both of them. Dal Po still has his adoptive family behind him but that’s not going to be much help when he’s facing the prospect of losing his hyung to the dark side forever. Hopefully he won’t be hit with an additional bout of noble idiocy and leave the family once he learns that his hyung turned into a ragey killer.
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