Pinocchio: Episode 15
So SBS changed their minds this week and there’s no double-header for Pinocchio, which I suppose might only be good news for a recapper, but don’t worry—the episode makes up for it with some juicy tidbits in the investigation and the relationships. Of course that leaves us just hungry enough to clamor for next week’s episodes now, but what fun would drama-watching be without the torturous wait and the dark circles?
SONG OF THE DAY
Zion.T – “Kiss Me” for the Pinocchio OST [ Download ]
EPISODE 15: “Don Quixote”
Now that Mom has implicated their cop friend Chan-soo as the scapegoat in the chemical plant fire, both In-ha and Dal-po vow to clear his name. Chan-soo stops by his old precinct just to visit the pressroom, and hands out tangerines to everyone with a request to tell his story the right way.
He tells them all that the CCTV footage is of him responding to a small butane can explosion the night before the fire, and he didn’t go inside the building because the men who called said it was just a small kitchen fire while cooking ramyun on a portable stove, and that they would’ve canceled the call if he hadn’t responded so quickly.
They ask about him looking so cavalier in the footage, since apparently people have been taking issue with the way he’s leaning instead of standing straight up while on duty. Chan-soo points out the pounds of equipment strapped to his waist at all times, and says that it’s just what happens when you wear your gear all day.
The reporters wonder why they’re each getting envelopes along with their tangerines, and give him the side-eye assuming it’s a little cash to grease their palms. But they turn out to be invitations to his baby’s first birthday party this weekend. Dal-po and In-ha’s eyes widen and Dal-po throws Chan-soo over his shoulder to carry him out of the room, while In-ha clamps his mouth shut.
They try to explain that this is no time for him to be throwing parties—the public is prepared to crucify him, and throwing a birthday party is just going to make him look worse. Dal-po says that he’s been through this before, and it’s only going to get worse. In-ha looks over at them both feeling enormously guilty, and apologizes for her mother. Chan-soo tells her sweetly that her mother is not something she needs to apologize for.
Chan-soo seems either like he’s putting on a brave front or that it hasn’t really sunk in yet how bad it could be, but just tells them both that it’ll all work out. Dal-po tells him that he’s going to do everything in his power to clear his name and In-ha chimes in as well, making Chan-soo grateful that his old classmates have his back.
He hugs Dal-po and then heads over to In-ha to hug her too, and HA—Dal-po steps in between them to play interference and hugs Chan-soo again. It’s a Dal-po sandwich!
Dal-po goes to visit Hyung in jail and tells him about Chan-soo and the fire, and Hyung thinks he must be putting on a brave face and tamping down the burning anger inside, because that’s how he was thirteen years ago. Dal-po realizes that he assumed Hyung was holding up okay back then too.
He says this time it’ll be different because there’s a good reporter out there, and points a finger at himself with a cheeky smile. Heh, I like that Hyung gives him a hard time about the bragging.
At MSC, Princess tries to lead his staff meeting and agrees with In-ha and Beom-jo that they should be looking into the cause of the fire. But Mom keeps interrupting despite telling them to think of her as invisible, and keeps pushing for more stories about Chan-soo, including the Santa incident where he let a suspect escape under his watch.
At YGN, they sigh over the fire investigation taking so long, and a staffer pitches the same story about Chan-soo and the Santa. But Gyo-dong shuts him down and tells them not to be swayed by other reports.
He reminds them of the fire thirteen years ago and why it was a lesson during their interview—they’re sticking to the facts on this, otherwise they’re fueling the anger to come out in some other way. Director Lee listens in and smiles proudly to hear his own words from thirteen years ago coming out of Gyo-dong.
MSC reports the Santa story, though Princess seems ashamed of it. Beom-jo finds In-ha watching Chan-soo’s CCTV footage over and over to look for clues, and joins her. She complains about needing a bandaid for her heel after wearing new shoes, and Beom-jo’s already flying out of the room before she finishes her sentence.
Yoo-rae investigates the wreckage at the plant and nearly falls trying to make her way through the yard, when Dal-po shows up just in time to catch her. He says he came because he was curious about something, which she naturally takes as a renewed sign of his crush.
They ask the inspectors how to get to the CCTV footage, and they say it’s impossible—the security room was destroyed in the fire. That just makes it even more suspicious that Mom somehow miraculously managed to get that tape of Chan-soo, but the inspector does add that backups would be kept by the outside security firm that they use.
As In-ha sleeps with her head on Beom-jo’s shoulder, he finally discovers something weird about the footage (that it took them all night to see this is crazy, but whatever). He shows In-ha that there’s a split-second gap where a man suddenly goes from one side of the group to the other, meaning that two segments were edited together.
She runs down to ask Mom about it, and Dal-po shows up to add that the security room at the plant was completely destroyed—so how is it that she got her footage directly from the source, as she claims?
Mom starts to get flustered, and Dal-po says that the outside security firm told him that it’s against the law for them to give their backups to anyone but the original company who hired them. Mom just blusters at them to come with facts, not suspicions, but doesn’t have much else to say in her defense.
In-ha puts two and two together, and realizes that this means someone at the plant edited the footage to cover up the real cause of the fire, and Mom is helping the cover-up by pointing all eyes in Chan-soo’s direction. Despite having suspected it, it still floors her that Mom is actually this evil.
Dal-po heads back out to try and track down neighboring factory security cameras, and In-ha worries that it’ll take him forever. She runs up to grab her coat and tells Beom-jo she’s headed out to do the same, and even though he points out her bloody nose, she says she’s fine and runs out.
Beom-jo is surprised when he finds a strange phone ringing in his bag—it’s Yoo-rae on the other end, wondering who stole her phone. He goes back to the precinct to give it back, and asks why Dal-po’s picture is her wallpaper. She says it’s to throw him a bone because she feels bad that he likes her, and Beom-jo gapes: “You don’t actually think he likes you for real?”
He realizes that she believed his lie in front of Dad and Grandpa, and explains that it was a lie… but then she’s so far gone that she tells him it doesn’t matter because that lie has turned into truth. He looks at her like she’s crazy and says there’s no way that Dal-po likes her, but she doesn’t even let him finish.
Dal-po calls just then to tell her that he’s searching nearby security cameras and can’t go to the baby birthday party, which she takes as some kind of proof that he likes her. But all Beom-jo hears is that he’s doing the very thing In-ha ran off to do. They head to the party, but Beom-jo suddenly tells Yoo-rae to take a cab and leaves her standing in the street.
Meanwhile, In-ha finds Dal-po and offers to split up the search with him, and he steals a little glance at her while she’s chattering away about CCTV cameras and maps.
Chaebol Mommy calls the MSC director and Song Cha-ok to her office to thank them for their report, and says that she won some points with the assemblyman they’re helping. Ah, so all this is so that she can have an assemblyman in her pocket. She asks them to continue putting the focus on the police officer until it blows over.
She notices Cha-ok looking nervous, and thinks it cute that she’s all jittery about Dal-po discovering that the footage was edited and searching for other cameras in the area. Mommy’s already taken care of that, and tells her not to worry her pretty little head about such things.
Sure enough, In-ha and Dal-po hit dead end after dead end, but they press on. In-ha insists on helping even while limping and bleeding from her new shoes, which she keeps hidden from Dal-po. But Beom-jo watches from a distance and sighs.
After coming up empty, Dal-po heads to MSC where Mom asks confidently why he isn’t here with evidence like he said he’d be. He tells her he was naïve—he only thought of clearing Chan-soo’s name, but it wasn’t until he discovered that someone with immense power and resources must’ve erased the entire neighborhood’s security cameras that it occurred to him this was much, much bigger. He tells her to thank whoever is behind all this for the hint, and once again leaves her shaking in worry.
Yoo-rae arrives at the banquet hall to find it swarming with reporters. The party was over long ago, when Chan-soo had to clear his family out away from reporters who chased them with accusations of throwing parties while victims’ families mourn. Every station except YGN reports the incident that night, and as Chan-soo watches it on TV, it finally starts to sink in how bad this is.
Dal-po calls to check on him, and is alarmed when Chan-soo says he’s on his way to MSC to have it out with Song Cha-ok. Eep. Dal-po calls In-ha and runs over to stop him, and they thankfully get to him before someone at MSC busts out a camera.
Chan-soo breaks down right then and there, screaming for them to tell the world the truth—that he didn’t do anything wrong, and to stop attacking his family. He grabs Dal-po’s collar and pleads, “You guys are reporters! You believe me! So tell them it wasn’t me! Please… say something.”
In-ha is especially shaken when Chan-soo begs her to do something, to get her mother to listen. And when he buries his head into Dal-po’s chest to cry, In-ha backs away, beside herself with guilt.
She runs upstairs to grab her stuff so she can go back out and look for more CCTV cameras, and Beom-jo yells at her to slow down. He reminds her that this is the second night in a row that she hasn’t slept, and she’s bleeding from both feet now. But she swears that she’s fine and she can’t just sit here when she feels so bad.
Mom happens to round the corner and overhear them, as In-ha shouts that Chan-soo and Dal-po are her friends, but because of her mother, now Chan-soo’s become just like Dal-po thirteen years ago. She asks how she’s supposed to rest when she feels so bad it’s making her crazy. Beom-jo asks why she’s the one who’s sorry, and she answers through gritted teeth, “Because my mother won’t ever apologize or fix it.”
Beom-jo goes with her and says he’ll at least drive so she can sleep on the way, and Mom watches them go with a curious expression. Is she… growing a conscience? She opens her drawer of old cell phones, but notices that one of them is missing, much to her horror.
MSC’s Il-joo seems to have a crush on YGN’s camerawoman Jae-hwan, and he teases that she finally looks like a girl with her hair down. She counters that with his face caked over with foundation, he finally looks like a girl too, pfft. Hyun-kyu takes him to task for all of his reports on Chan-soo lately, earning a high-five from Jae-hwan and a jealous look from Il-joo. Why wasn’t this love triangle introduced earlier?
Dal-po trudges back to the precinct wearily, where Yoo-rae is watching the CCTV file that In-ha sent over. Dal-po takes a look and notices a blinking light from the car parked outside, and they realize that it’s the light from a blackbox camera. Finally, a break!
Yoo-rae puts on her best puppy pout to get Chan-soo’s ex-team leader to look up the car’s license plate, and they adorably put on a show about how he’s a stickler for the rules and won’t break the law, all while he looks up the information and passes it to her quietly.
Dal-po beams and thanks Yoo-rae for coming through, and finds the car and the camera in question. He takes the footage to Gyo-dong, and they see that in the time that’s been edited out of the first CCTV clip, trucks carrying waste material arrived at the plant.
Gyo-dong tells him to prepare for broadcast, and Dal-po smiles when Gyo-dong assures him that they won’t just stop at clearing Chan-soo’s name—they’re going to keep digging until they find out who’s behind all of this. Gah, I wish this man would get more screen time!
Dal-po comes by to tell Chan-soo the good news and gets another bear hug. Chan-soo says sincerely that Dal-po saved him, and gets very serious before confessing that he was behind those rumors about him in high school. Ha, it’s so cute how grave he is about it. Dal-po hides a smile and pretends to be mad, and demands his baby birthday gift back.
Mom is still digging around frantically for her missing phone, and at the same time, Dad happens to discover it sitting on In-ha’s desk. He wonders what she’s doing with her mother’s old phone, and Mom tells herself that it’s okay—she erased everything that needed to be erased, so it’s fine. She doesn’t look convinced, so hopefully that means there’s a way to un-erase whatever she erased.
Dal-po returns to the precinct but only seems to care about where In-ha is, and Yoo-rae finally starts to take notice of that fact. She watches as he stops to ask everyone, and then calls Beom-jo and runs off to meet them. She follows, and listens in as Dal-po and Beom-jo face off.
Beom-jo asks if Dal-po’s finally thought of In-ha now, and tells him about the days she’s spent not sleeping and ignoring bloody noses and bloody feet, just trying to chase down leads and do something because she feels so guilty. He says that In-ha thinks what happened to Chan-soo and what happened to Dal-po thirteen years ago is her fault, and asks why she’s the one walking around feeling like a sinner.
He tears into Dal-po for not even breaking things off properly, leaving her to suffer alone with one foot in and one foot out. Seriously, I’m with Beom-jo on this one. Beom-jo screams, “But do you know what really makes me angry? I want to stop her stupid stubborn behavior, but my words have no effect! No matter how many times I mouth off about it not being her fault, she doesn’t hear it! Why? Because… those words have to come from you to count.”
Aw, it clearly hurts his pride to admit the truth, but he’s being a good friend. And Dal-po needed to hear it. He asks where In-ha is and runs off, and doesn’t even see Yoo-rae standing right there. She comes up to Beom-jo and asks quietly if it’s true that Dal-po likes In-ha, and looks crushed to finally have her bubble burst.
Dal-po sighs when he finds In-ha hobbling around with bloodied feet, and she runs up excitedly to share the idea she had about searching for the car and the blackbox camera to clear Chan-soo’s name. She’s super proud of herself for coming up with the idea, but Dal-po is just mad at her for running herself into the ground, and barks at her to turn her phone on.
He tells her that he’s already found the blackbox camera so she can head home now, and she’s so relieved that her legs finally give out. He barks again when she can’t remember the last time she ate, and tells her to get on his back so he can piggyback her home.
But she insists that she’s fine and hobbles away, leaving him to walk behind her the whole way. He reaches out but can’t bring himself to touch her, and just walks a few feet behind her in silence.
Yoo-rae drowns her heartbreak in soju, and quotes the lyrics to Seo Taiji’s “Victory” with a plastic bag strapped to her chin, lol. She stabs the egg that she and In-ha once used to talk about the boys—er, boy—they liked, and tells it to die.
Cut to: the city news desk, where she is once again drunk and asleep on the couch, much to Gyo-dong’s horror. He refuses to get rid of her or make it his problem, though he does throw his jacket over her to serve as a blanket. Aw.
In-ha eats her way through four bowls of udon and keeps apologizing for things, and Dal-po finally erupts, asking what she’s so sorry for. She asks why he’s been yelling at her all night, and he just says she makes him angry. She counters that he’s the one who told her not to do anything—not to worry, not to comfort him, not to do anything.
She argues that being sorry is the only thing she CAN do, but he just says that bothers him too. Uh, dude, not her fault.
She scoffs bitterly that she really won’t do anything then, and storms out. She gets to the street and then remembers that she didn’t pay and turns back around reluctantly, and inside Dal-po sighs at himself for the fight and heads out.
They meet on either side of the door and stand there staring at each other, both itching to say things but neither ready to say them, when Dal-po finally notices the button that In-ha is wearing around her neck. He slides the door open, and In-ha holds money out and admits that she couldn’t in good conscience leave without paying when she ate four bowls.
But he just steps right out and grabs her in a kiss. Eeeeeeee! She’s shocked but she closes her eyes as he kisses her softly, and when he pulls away, he tells her, “Don’t be sorry. You’re not Song Cha-ok’s daughter to me, and you’re not my niece. To me you’re just you.”
She starts to call him Dal-po and corrects herself to say Ha-myung, but he tells her it’s okay to call him Dal-po. He says he tried everything but nothing’s changed—when he thinks about her mother and his brother, he knows he’s not supposed to: “But I can’t give you up.”
She doesn’t even let him finish and kisses him right back.
Yaaaaay. Now that’s a way to start the new year off right. No more denial that’s not even all that denying, and no more breakups that aren’t even broken up. Let’s cut through the crap and get in all the happy kisses that we can, I say! Honestly I’m less moved by the reunion as a story point only because I found the breakup pointless to begin with (they didn’t even stay away from each other, come on). But we got some nice development for Beom-jo in the process, and I loved the roundabout way that the button made its way back in, after being seemingly forgotten.
That moment when he sees the button hanging around her neck just made the conflict land for me, because it reminded me how heartbroken he had been when he realized (mistakenly) that his Christmas fantasy was just a dream. You’d think it’d be enough that he sees her suffering and loving him anyway, but the button effectively nudges him off the ledge when he’s hesitating—if she’s wearing it, he didn’t imagine things, and he’s already confessed how he feels. And she’s already answered that she wouldn’t go to someone else, like he asked.
Up until Beom-jo’s outburst, I was pretty frustrated with the way things were going in this episode, because Dal-po was so unaware of In-ha’s efforts to work off her guilt, as if she could make up for her mother’s wrongs with blood, sweat, and tears. I thought that Chan-soo’s conflict was harder on In-ha than Dal-po, and I was annoyed at him for ignoring that. But Beom-jo said all the things I wanted to say, and yelled at Dal-po for breaking up in a way that didn’t let either of them move on, and I felt a wave of relief that someone said it. It’s also a nice moment of growth for Beom-jo, who’s finally discovered the hard way that he can try and be there for In-ha as much as he wants, but he can’t save her from herself. It breaks his heart that she’s punishing herself, but Dal-po is the only one who can get through to her, and I liked that he was big enough to admit it.
I never really took Yoo-rae’s crush seriously (or her character for that matter), but I suddenly find myself hoping that Gyo-dong likes her. It could happen, right? There’s gotta be a reason she always ends up there when she’s drunk. The big case against Team Mom is starting to dull a bit, so I hope we raise the stakes next week. Though now that the romance is back on track, everything else feels secondary. The best part is that Dal-po finally has his head on right and says the thing we’ve all been waiting to hear—that it doesn’t matter who their family is or what their names are—Dal-po is Dal-po, In-ha is In-ha, and love is love.