There was so much intense narrative development going on in episode 8 of Pinocchio I’m not sure where to start discussing it. Normally the major escalation of romance between the OTP dominates an episode such as this one, but this drama has built up all the other important threads with such care that I’m equally as invested in the growing worry Dal Po feels towards Jae Myung as well as whether In Ha really cuts it as a reporter in the long run. A reporter is a job like any other where one assignment done only means moving on to the next one rather than resting on laurels.
Each assignment comes with its own set of challenges and In Ha needs to develop her own wisdom to overcome whatever hurdles come her way rather than hoping a wise sunbae explains it for her. Dal Po’s big setback in the last episode might be his last for now because going forward he’s got bigger fish to fry around whatever Jae Myung is involved with in terms of the strange case of the container fire. Perhaps for this reason the drama wisely lets Dal Po and In Ha come clean with their feelings and give in now, because when the shit hits the fan Dal Po will need so much backup to deal with the scary truth.
Episode 8 recap:
Dal Po unexpectedly reunites with hyung Jae Myung while following the call log lead for the missing suspect factory team leader. Dal Po thinks to himself that he thought he would break into tears and a round of hugs when he finally saw his hyung after so long since he missed him so much. But the truth now staring at him is his hyung’s possible involvement in the container fire since the missing factory team leader just happens to be the man who gave false testimony against their dad. Dal Po ends up not telling hyung his real name because he has this ill feeling that his hyung may have decided to cross the line.
Chan Soo and the rest of the cops arrive at shopping mall following the lead of the cell phone GPS signal pinging there. Dal Po spots Chan Soo and quickly pulls Jae Myung off with the excuse of finding somewhere warm and quiet to talk. Chan Soo isn’t all that useless and notices Dal Po’s figure quickly walking through the shopping mall.
Dal Po gets a call from Chan Soo as he walks into the café and excuses himself to take the call. Chan Soo asks where Dal Po is and he lies that he’s at the network right now. Oh dude no.
Dal Po sits down across from Jae Myung who hands back the repair fee. Jae Myung never intended to accept the money so he wants Dal Po to take it. Dal Po pushes the money across the table and insists Jae Myung take it and wants to give him more. Jae Myung decides to call it even and accepts the original money. Dal Po worries Jae Myung will get in trouble for damaging the truck and hears that hyung owns the truck as he’s been delivering water for ten plus years using it.
Jae Myung notices Dal Po is dressed casually and hears that he used to drive a taxi. Dal Po lies that he’s currently resting after quitting his taxi job so hyung offers to buy him a snack since Dal Po is an unemployed youth. Dal Po tries to pay but Jae Myung can tell that he’s older so pulls the hyung card, which Dal Po accepts while calling Jae Myung softly “hyung”. Awwwwww, my heart hurts. Dal Po can only stare wistfully at hyung as he orders their drinks.
Dal Po walks Jae Myung to his truck and hyung pauses to put his arm around Dal Po while staring at their reflection in the truck mirror. Hyung wonders if they look alike because the ahjusshi said they look alike. Jae Myung can’t tell but Dal Po sadly confirms that they look alike. Jae Myung shakes Dal Po’s hand one last time and compliments him on being a good young man for leaving a contact number after the accident.
Dal Po refuses to let Jae Myung’s hand go and asks if he can call him “hyung”? Jae Myung is fine with that except they have no reason to meet again. Dal Po thinks they can run into each other in the future, who knows? Jae Myung smiles and pats Dal Po one last time on the arm before getting into his truck and driving off.
Dal Po gets into a taxi to follow Jae Myung and thinks about all the questions he wanted to ask hyung when he saw him again, like how he lived and whether he was doing well now and if he was married. But now that he’s met hyung the questions he wants to ask all scare him, like why the man who falsely accused their dad is missing and why hyung’s number showed up on the call log.
Dal Po watches outside as Jae Myung goes into his apartment. Dal Po wonders if it could just be a coincidence, and how he can endure it if it’s not a coincidence and the truth is even scarier. Dal Po wants to ring Jae Myung’s doorbell but can’t bring himself to.
Reporter Jang is furious that Dal Po isn’t listening to him and doesn’t abide by his orders. Dal Po walks in right then and respectfully greets Reporter Jang and apologizes for being late. Reporter Jang is about to chew out Dal Po for acting like a cop instead of a reporter and Dal Po asks what he should do as a reporter if he finds a suspect before the cops? Reporter Jang changes his tune and thinks it’ll yield an exclusive story and starts to compliment Dal Po until Dal Po says he made a mistake on this attempt. Anchor Lee notices how Dal Po got out of this one and gives him an approving glance.
Bum Jo hears that Reporter Lee wants to split him up with In Ha going forward to do police station sweeps and follows him into the bathroom to try and change his mind. Reporter Lee believes both have proven their ability so can work separately. Reporter Kim is taking a dump and overhears this conversation and chimes in that the rookies can keep working together. He doesn’t think In Ha can cut it since she’s a Pinocchio and probably got help with the gym death story.
In Ha hears this conversation from the ladies room next door and runs into her mom by the sink. Reporter Kim yells that Cha Ok is clearly helping out In Ha who is good for nothing more than network publicity. In Ha follows her mom out of the bathroom and demanda that Cha Ok make it clear she’s not helping In Ha behind the scenes and the gym death story was all In Ha’s work.
Cha Ok doesn’t feel the need to do so and orders In Ha not to call her mom but call her Chief while at work. In Ha asks Chief to compliment her for doing well and chastise her for failing just like she would any other rookie. Cha Ok points out In Ha is a special hire so why should she shamelessly ask to be treated the same as the other rookies who got in through the interview process. She think thinks In Ha as a reporter is still something that is burdensome.
Bum Jo overhears this with the other two reporters and is upset enough to want to step in but is pulled back from interrupting. Reporter Lee marvels at how cold Cha Ok is to her own daughter.
PD Hwang calls Dal Po over to hand him the contact information for his hyung Ki Jae Myung. Dal Po is so shocked and touched he pulls PD Hwang in for a tight thank you hug in the middle of the newsroom while all the rookies stare on. Turns out this is just PD Hwang’s imagination running wild and he hasn’t given the information to Dal Po yet. He calls Yoo Rae over and asks her to pass it on to Dal Po.
Dal Po receives the note and merely gives PD Hwang a perfunctory head nod thanks before walking away. PD Hwang can’t believe that was it and follows Dal Po out to the elevator to make sure he understands the enormity of the information he was given. Dal Po understands and gives PD Hwang another nod of thanks. PD Hwang explains he pulled a lot of strings to get the number because he figures Dal Po really wants to find his hyung. Dal Po wants to wait before calling because he’s afraid hyung is not what he’s expecting because 13 years is a long time to be apart.
In Ha is still smarting over yet another motherly smack down as she walks down the street while it has started to snow. She happens to lock eyes with Dal Po sitting inside an udon restaurant and tries to run away. She gets a text from Dal Po to come inside and eat since she must be hungry.
In Ha sits beside Dal Po with her favorite bowl of udon placed before her. In Ha asks if he knew she was coming and he says yes. They exchange egg white with egg yolk as usual before In Ha wonders why he called her to eat when he can dine with his girlfriend. Dal Po reveals his “girlfriend” was actually his taxi GPS all along and In Ha silently takes in that info.
In Ha complains about what her mom said earlier to Dal Po as they are walking down the street together. In Ha admits Dal Po was right, she had too many expectations and hopes about her mom but seeing her is totally a letdown. Dal Po feels the same way, the expectation of reunion is so much better than the actual reunion because the reality is always a letdown from the dream. In Ha agrees and thinks Dal Po just read her mind.
In Ha wonders if they can go back to being just uncle-niece and talking about anything with each other. Dal Po stops and declares that he can’t do that anymore. He apologizes to In Ha for not being able to do that and asks if she can do it? In Ha lies that she can but her hiccups give her away. She runs off and Dal Po stops her and turns her around.
Dal Po stares and leans in to kiss In Ha which freaks her out so she covers her mouth with her hand. Dal Po merely kisses the palm of her hand tenderly before pulling back and staring at In Ha. She drops her hand and stares back at him and when he leans in again for a real kiss and she kisses him right back.
After the first kiss both of them break away for a moment before diving back in for more kissing as the camera pulls back.
The two rival news networks are each holding meetings to discuss the first snowfall in Seoul and the ensuing news reports about the dangerous road conditions. The team reporter leads are frantically directing their rookies to prepare to head out on the streets to capture live icy road conditions and accident footage. Reporter Kim wants In Ha assigned on the field team and claims that he’s doing it to oppose Cha Ok rather than kissing up to her. Reporter Lee smirks before telling him that today is Cha Ok’s birthday.
In Ha gets the call that she’s going out on a field reporting assignment which makes her the envy of all the reporters gathered in the reporter lounge. In Ha then worries she looks like a mess and goes to the bathroom to wash up while calling her dad to bring items to her. Bum Jo offers her a high five and gets a massive stinging hand slap in return as an overly excited In Ha runs off.
Dal Po runs into Chan Soo in the hallway and Chan Soo asks if Dal Po was at the shopping center yesterday? He thought he saw Dal Po there but was clearly mistaken since Dal Po claims to not have been there. Dal Po hears that Chan Soo was there because the missing factory team leader’s cell phone location tracker pinged there. Dal Po takes his leave and Chan Soo stares before flashing back to his call to Dal Po last night confirming where he was. Turns out he saw Dal Po going into the café and answering his call with the lie that he was at the network. Chan Soo thinks to himself now about why Dal Po is lying about this? Ruh oh!
Dal Po is clearly not fine after hearing from Chan Soo that the suspect’s cell phone signal was at the shopping mall last night, where he went to meet hyung Jae Myung. He shakes his head and tries to convince himself that it can’t be true. In Ha finds Dal Po to share her happiness about being sent on field assignment and Dal Po’s congratulations seems a bit muted to her.
Dal Po hugs In Ha tightly to congratulate her and asks that she in turn tell him that everything will be alright. In Ha pats Dal Po on the pat and tells him that everything will be fine. Dal Po thanks In Ha for the assurance but she can tell something is wrong. He lies about his stomach hurting and teases that it’s because she’s going to be on camera soon. She’s about to complain but he silences her lips and points out that she looks like a mess right now.
In Ha goes to the bathroom to wash her hair in the sink but the faucets are not working so she ends up rinsing her hair in the toilet. Holy shit I can’t even. In Ha cleans up and runs into Yoo Rae outside who marvels that she washed her hair even when the water has been turned off. In Ha claims nothing will stop her from her field reporter next step.
Grandpa and Dad grumble all the way to the police station about being called there to deliver items to In Ha. But once inside the station they are all adorably asking for their In Ha, the best reporter among all the rookies. Grandpa and Dad are shown to the reporter lounge and see for themselves the hovel that the rookies live in. Dad notes that everyone squeezes together to sleep and is assured that the reporters are always so exhausted nothing untoward ever crosses their minds.
Dad specifically asks if Dal Po also sleeps here and another reporter mentions that Dal Po appears to like another reporter. Bum Jo blurts out that Dal Po likes Yoon Yoo Rae and points to a flabbergasted Yoo Rae standing right there. Grandpa takes in Yoo Rae and whispers to Dad that she’s really pretty before asking Yoo Rae to take care of his Dal Po.
Yoo Rae flashes back to her innocuous interactions with Dal Po and totally believes he has a crush on her and feels bad because she doesn’t feel the same way and he’ll be heartbroken. Dal Po finds Yoo Rae to drag her out but Yoo Rae apologizes for not seeing any male attraction in Dal Po. She shows Dal Po the picture of Heechul on her cell as the guy she likes. Dal Po tries to explain but Yoo Rae cuts him off and says they should handle their own emotions and respect each other and not to have this discussion again.
Bum Jo walks up and accepts responsibility for spreading the news that Dal Po likes Yoo Rae. Before Dal Po can get mad, Bum Jo explains that In Ha’s dad and grandpa are here and were about to find out that Dal Po likes In Ha so Bum Jo bailed him out. Dal Po swallows his anger and has nothing to say.
Dad and Grandpa watch In Ha all dressed up for her field assignment and snap a few pictures before wondering where Dal Po is? Bum Jo runs in to grab In Ha to head out and doesn’t forget to respectfully greet In Ha’s dad and grandpa.
Bum Jo and In Ha run into Bum Jo’s doting mom in the lobby and accepts all the cold weather accessories she brought them to keep warm on assignment. Dad and Grandpa are heading out and take in this scene and finds out from another rookie that Bum Jo is the son of a mall chaebol mom. Dad lights up thinking a chaebol heir likes his In Ha.
Dal Po and Yoo Rae run out and get into the van with the YGN field team followed by Bum Jo and In Ha joining their MSC field team. In Ha marvels at getting a MSC logo coat and fingers the MSC logo plastered all over the field team equipment. She can’t control her excitement so Bum Jo claps a hand over her mouth to calm her down.
In Ha brings out a map she got from her dad showing all the problem areas in town where accidents can happen. Dal Po equally has the information about problem slope areas since he drove a taxi for five years. Both rookie teams are given the key to filming snowy accident footage – find the most slippery problem area and put up the camera to just roll and hope for the money shot. The MSC arrive to find the YGN team has already staked out the same place so move on.
Dal Po heads off alone to look around and Yoo Rae thinks that he’s crushed that she doesn’t like him back so doesn’t want to be around here. Heh. Dal Po runs around the entire neighborhood to ask where the slippery areas around here are? He walks by hyung Jae Myung’s apartment and peer inside the truck before trying to open the door.
Jae Myung happens to be walking home sees Dal Po and finds him acting weird so hides to observe him. An ahjumma calls Dal Po “reporter” before pulling him off to find another slippery area. Jae Myung wonders why Dal Po lied that he was unemployed and if he approached Jae Myung on purpose.
In Ha’s MSC team sets up cameras on a very step set of steps covered in ice. A man immediately slips and Bum Jo goes up to help. The team leader tells him not to help otherwise they can’t get good footage. In Ha tells Bum Jo not to help but she starts hiccupping. Cameras starts to roll and the team leader hopes that more people slip so he can get all the footage he needs and stop being out here in the freezing cold. In Ha looks on with worry and hiccups as one after another slips on the steps.
Cha Ok hears that In Ha was sent on the icy road assignment and tells Reporter Lee that someone with Pinocchio can’t stand there and just watch people slip. In Ha proves her right as she goes to help students safely make it down the steps. Her team leader yells at her for ruining all his money shots while she explains that she can’t report while hiccupping and letting people fall. Another group of students head down the steps and Bum Jo steps in to shatter some bricks on the steps to make it not slippery anymore.
Cha Ok reports to the MSC bosses that In Ha can’t do the slippery road report because she can’t stop herself from helping people when she knows about the danger. Cha Ok assures the bosses that there are other reports ready to run. The boss wonders what to do with In Ha if she can’t deliver a simple icy road report? Cha Ok assures him that she will handle it.
In Ha and Bum Jo return to the newsroom and Reporter Kim loudly berates them so the bigwigs in the conference can overhear. Reporter Kim yells at why In Ha had to help and ruin the report? They are reporters not superheroes and if they wanted to help the world they should dress like superman and spiderman. A reporter’s job is to provide news which is a greater public good and that is how a reporter betters the world. If In Ha and Bum produced the icy road news then the public works would have sent workers to clean up that area and help many more people traversing that road. In Ha and Bum Jo silently accept the criticism while Reporter Lee is totally wowed by Reporter Kim’s show of wisdom.
In Ha runs back asking for another field assignment, she’ll go back out now to do the report properly and won’t get involved and just watch. Cha Ok tells Reporter Kim that In Ha will be fired if she can’t do this report properly. In Ha and Bum Jo run out to rejoin their field team reporter to head back out on assignment and promises In Ha won’t ruin the report this time.
Dal Po and Yoo Rae return to YGN network and Yoo Rae promptly takes a tumble the moment she gets out of the news van. Dal Po tries to help but Yoo Rae orders him to “don’t touch” before getting up. Team leader observes and wonders if Dal Po and Yoo Rae has a bad break up? They walk inside and we see hyung Jae Myung taking this in.
Reporter Kim is actually worried about In Ha failing yet again and is happy to get an update call from the team leader that the rookies are doing well. After hanging up, he purposely puts the phone to his ear and loudly repeats the same conversation for the benefit of Cha Ok sitting there. He goes up to Cha Ok to confirm hat In Ha doesn’t need to be fired.
Cha Ok points out that there will be a lot of problems for In Ha going forward and it’s a hassle to have to educate her each and every time. Reporter Kim counters that he’s learned a lot from In Ha, for example a reporter should have a conflict about whether or not to help. Reporter Kim suggests Cha Ok consider complimenting In Ha, she might not be a slow learner but she has the chops to become a good reporter one day.
Dal Po walks out with Yoo Rae to head back to the police station but she wants them to go separately for now because it’s stressful to do everything with him. Dal Po sends Yoo Rae off in the first taxi before calling himself another cab. He turns around to see hyung Jae Myung standing right there.
Jae Myung asks why Dal Po lied and didn’t reveal that he was a reporter? Why did Dal Po go to Jae Myung’s apartment and look inside his truck? Dal Po claims he was reporting and happened to recognize Jae Myung’s truck. Jae Myung furiously slams Dal Po against the tree and orders him never to call him “hyung” because all reporters are trash and disgusting. Jae Myung storms off while Dal Po stares in anguish and can’t do anything.
The police have set up a road block in the snowy weather to stop cars. One guy gets pulled over and fails the breathalyzer. He is about to be taken into custody when he makes the excuse of needing his cell phone and runs back to his truck before driving off. The cops get into their cars and give chase. The MSC team set up their camera at a busy highway waiting for a possible accident money shot. They notice a school boy on crutches making his way across the street and the team leaders starts to film.
The police keep chasing the drunken truck driver who drives erratically trying to evade them and refuses to pull over. The chase ends up right at the intersection where the boy on crutches is crossing the street. Jae Myung and his truck also happen to drive up to that intersection and he stops at the red light.
The MSC team hear the approaching sirens along with the truck chase. Team leader picks up the camera on his shoulder to film while everyone notices the boy on crutches in the middle of the street right in the way of the oncoming chase. Jae Myung stares and sees little Dal Po instead of the boy.
The boy trips and the drunken truck flips over and slides on the snow towards the boy who can only close his eyes to the impact. The reporters all scream no when suddenly Jae Myung’s truck slams into the other truck and stops its sliding impact onto the little boy.
Jae Myung climbs out of his truck all bloodied and immediately goes to check that the boy is fine. He calls him Ha Myung before collapsing on the boy. The MSC team has recorded this entire scene and stares on in shock.
Thoughts of Mine:
Oh man, how many wrongs and rights has Jae Myung done so far to complicate his life further and make nothing clear cut anymore. If he killed three men to avenge his family, it’s not like the law will overlook that because he just risked his life to save an innocent child. All it does it make Jae Myung a loose cannon in Dal Po’s life, a hyung he needs to protect but can’t predict what he’ll do next. Clearly Jae Myung’s heroics, however motivated by guilt over losing his own little brother, will play a big part of how the media starts to rehabilitate the remaining Ki family member. I’m pretty annoyed that the none of the media or the witnesses who contributed to falsely accusing their dad were called to task once his remains were discovered, which goes to show that yesterday’s news is forever forgotten in the dustbin of time. Hopefully Jae Myung can get some vindication and closure from the media that he so blames going forward regardless of what he’s already done to get his revenge.
I can’t say poor Dal Po enough at this point. He really can’t catch a single break, but the upside is that all these challenges continue to shape him into growing in both worldview and emotional strength. For a kid who survive his mom’s attempted suicide, Dal Po always did have a resilience and backbone to face problems head on when the time comes. He can act nonchalant most of the time but now he’s more and more active after becoming a reporter and that will come in handy in dealing with hyung. His decision not to reunite with hyung makes sense because all his warning bells went off even as he so desperately wants to just be a little brother who gets a hug from hyung.
If Jae Myung is involved then Dal Po will find himself in the biggest moral quandary of his life, even more ethical landmines than the misreporting tragedy that destroyed his family. I’m glad Chan Soo is clued in to Dal Po lying to him because that increases the anxiety and maybe things will come to a head sooner. I was worried Jae Myung might target In Ha and/or her mom next in his misguided revenge plan but with Jae Myung being taken out by the accident and needing to recover it’ll put him out of commission. Now Dal Po needs to step up and figure out the truth so that he can devise a plan on how to minimize the impact on hyung.
Dal Po and In Ha’s big romantic breakthrough felt a bit underwhelming even if it was stirring and romantic what with the snow falling and the beautiful backdrop. It just the abruptness of the lead up that weirded me out, as if suddenly Dal Po was ready to confess his love for In Ha back but nothing had changed. He’s still the unsuitable suitor that Dad disapproves of, and In Ha is still Cha Ok’s daughter and a reporter to boot. I like to think the drama skipped Dal Po’s internal monologue reaching decision to heck with it and love In Ha back, or else the reunion with hyung spurred him to jump start all the things he’s been ducking to keep his adoptive family intact. Who knows but I never thought their romance was all that star-crossed to begin with so I’m happy with the kissing and open love at this stage in the drama, merely a bit perplexed on how it arrived just like that. Oh what a filling bowl of udon and some pretty snowfall can bring about, right?
Click here to watch Pinocchio.