Pinocchio: Episode 19
Okay, all caught up and one to go! We get a strong lead-in episode to the finale, with a surprising twist and a good dose of emotional development and character growth. Now that they’re close to getting justice for all mom-related crimes and misdemeanors, Dal-po, In-ha, and Beom-jo have to face the consequences of their choices, and what they might lose as a result. Man, growing up is hard enough when your mom isn’t an evil mastermind, you know?
SONG OF THE DAY
The Essence – “사랑이 널 구원할지도” (Love Might Save You) [ Download ]
EPISODE 19: “The North Wind and the Sun”
Following Song Cha-ok’s police interrogation, YGN breaks the story about her involvement in fourteen years of media cover-ups, implicating her MSC director and Chaebol Mommy as the puppetmaster behind every move.
Dal-po gives the field report detailing the long relationship backed up by the text messages, and finally gets to tell the right version of Firefighter Dad’s story on the air. Gyo-dong silently puts a hand on his shoulder for a job well done.
MSC is in an uproar, though a few people like Princess and their lead cameraman are rather proud of Song Cha-ok’s confession, noting that she seems like a real reporter again.
The reception is coldest where it hurts the most: Beom-jo, who waits on pins and needles to know what happens to his mother, and Chaebol Mommy, who watches the report and lets out a little, “Damn it.”
In-ha and Mom watch the report from MSC, and In-ha asks carefully if she’s okay. Mom replies calmly that she is not okay, and then launches into a list of things that Dal-po did wrong, making his report lacking for impact. In-ha looks at Mom like she’s nuts, and then breaks into a laugh to realize that she’s perfectly fine. Princess joins them, and they both coach In-ha on what to do next.
As expected, Chaebol Mommy simply calls her team of lawyers to fix the problem, and they request an extension for her police interview with the lie that she’s out of the country on a business trip. They arrange for her to rest quietly in a villa until this blows over.
But that’s exactly what Song Cha-ok guesses she’ll do, down to which house she’ll stay at. In-ha conveys this to Dal-po (writing notes for him because he’s still got a bum arm), and Gyo-dong is shocked to hear that he’s getting information sourced from Song Cha-ok herself. Obviously she means business.
In no time, YGN puts up footage of Chaebol Mommy casually walking her dog on the nightly news, which is pretty awesomely embarrassing for her. Another subpoena for questioning gets issued immediately, and more calls from worried politicians arrive. She fumes that one minute on the news can derail the time and money she’s spent putting cops and prosecutors in her pocket, and looks ready to take someone’s head off.
Song Cha-ok knows that Chaebol Mommy will arrange to go to the police station at the crack of dawn on a quiet weekend to avoid reporters, and so everyone camps out underground in the parking garage, per Song Cha-ok’s orders.
And like clockwork, Chaebol Mommy arrives. They flood her with questions, which she manages to ignore, but then Dal-po gets the better of her by saying that all the politicians she backs will be watching this report anxiously, so does she have anything to say to them? Ha. She snaps at that, and whirls around to scream, “SHUT UP!”
She says nothing else, but it’s a pretty great moment, and Dal-po purposely holds the elevator door open so that everyone can keep filming.
In-ha tells Dal-po that at this point, Chaebol Mommy will find another story to bury hers—some celebrity scandal to turn heads while her case blows over. It’s sad how easily and how often this happens in real life. And again on cue, Chaebol Mommy’s team tells her that they can play up a story about an idol abusing Propofol.
She likes that idea, so immediately MSC reports the big scandal of an idol-actor being investigated for Propofol abuse, and LOL—it’s Lee Joon (doing a special cameo for the PD, who directed Gap-dong).
Yoo-rae’s jaw drops and she yells back at the screen that it’s a blatant lie, and she’s among the crowd of reporters waiting to get a statement from the idol the next morning. Everyone throws out questions, except for Yoo-rae who listens to his defense with tears in her eyes and replies on camera, “I believe you, oppa! I’ll protect you, oppa!” Pffft.
This time her faith in oppa pays off, and she happily reports that he’s been declared innocent, complete with an interview from his doctor. Chaebol Mommy finally blows a gasket and fumes at every move being thwarted by Song Cha-ok and YGN.
Her staff suggests trying to bribe Chan-soo, since the whole case would disappear if he dropped the charges, and Mom anticipates this move as well and asks In-ha if Chan-soo is susceptible to bribery. In-ha says he isn’t, but hiccups. She admits sheepishly that she isn’t sure since he has three kids.
She and Dal-po have lunch with Chan-soo, and he swears on his conscience that he would never accept a bribe. He says that he’s doing this for Dal-po because he feels bad about starting those rumors back in high school; besides, he knows what this case means to Dal-po on a personal level.
In-ha looks relieved and says that she knew he wouldn’t be so easily bought, and promptly hiccups. I love the sideways glance from Dal-po. He totally hangs her out to dry and says that he trusted Chan-soo completely, heh.
Conscience aside, Chan-soo isn’t above shamelessness, and invites them over for a housewarming party this weekend, gifts mandatory. They remind him that he’s been living in that place for three years, but he counters that they haven’t been over.
Dal-po and In-ha head home, and Grandpa tells Dal-po that he brought over some more of his clothes from his apartment. In-ha runs in to help Dal-po get set up to brush his teeth, but then the second she leaves the bathroom, he switches to his right hand. Omo, lying liar!
In-ha steps back in to say something and catches him red-handed, looking totally guilty with his toothbrush hanging out of his mouth and his arm barely in the sling.
She asks him why he lied—was he afraid that they’d ask him to leave if he got all better? Please don’t say that’s the reason! That would make me cry. In-ha asks knowingly if it isn’t better here, with Dad and Grandpa and her.
She wonders if he still feels guilty towards Hyung, but he says that isn’t the reason… though he doesn’t tell her why he’s hesitating either. In-ha throws his sling in the trash and tells him to just stay so that she doesn’t have to worry about him eating sad breakfasts alone anymore, and he lets out a little sigh, contemplating the family photo on his nightstand.
Chan-soo and his wife go slackjawed at the mountain of gifts from Chaebol Mommy, along with the massively thick envelope of money she’s offering him. He starts to waver, but Dal-po made sure to send Hyun-kyu to the scene with a camera, and when push comes to shove, Chan-soo rejects the bribe and declares that he’s a police officer and won’t be bought.
Chaebol Mommy has another fit, and this time she decides she’s done playing nice. She says it’s time to do things her way, and from the ominous look she gives, I’m thinking her way involves scorched earth. Beom-jo listens to all of this outside her door with tears streaming down his face, and whimpers alone, “Please, mother… stop…”
Song Cha-ok gets fired from MSC entirely, but she doesn’t seem all that fazed by the news. In-ha finds her sleeping at the office, and Mom just says that she never slept properly for fifteen years and suddenly all she wants to do is sleep.
When In-ha starts to go, Mom grabs her hand and asks her to stay for just a little longer to block the sun from her eyes, and In-ha stays. Mom never once opens her eyes the whole time, but she squeezes In-ha’s hand silently.
Dal-po finds In-ha lost in thought at the precinct, and asks if she’s okay. She says she is but lets out a little hiccup, realizing that she isn’t.
Dal-po hugs her tight, and In-ha says through tears, “I should’ve hugged you like this back then. Even when you told me not to worry or comfort your or do anything. I still should’ve hugged you.” YES. YES YOU SHOULD HAVE. Okay, I don’t know about you guys, but I feel better now that she said that.
Later that night at the station, Dal-po asks if Yoo-rae wants to carpool to Chan-soo’s housewarming party, but she gets all huffy wondering why she should ride with him and his girlfriend. She quickly says she’s going with her sidekick, who says he’s busy, and then in a moment of desperation, she asks Gyo-dong if he wants to go.
He shocks them both by saying yes, and they just stare and stare, wondering why on earth he’d go to their friend’s housewarming party. Dal-po looks back and forth between them and asks why she invited him, and she admits that she never thought he’d say yes.
It’s even more awkward when they get there, and In-ha whispers to ask why Dal-po brought his boss while Gyo-dong stuffs his face with meat. Chan-soo tells them about rejecting the bribe and notes that Dal-po’s gift is awfully modest, though he adds that it’s better than some people, who came empty-handed. Oh no, Cap, you didn’t!
In-ha asks out of the corner of her mouth, “I thought you said your cap was totally cool!” and Dal-po buries his head in shame.
After dinner, Gyo-dong can’t take his eyes off of Yoo-rae as she takes cute selcas with Chan-soo’s son. Meanwhile In-ha and Dal-po are watching the baby and marvel at Chan-soo’s family picture, wondering how they made such a big family at their age.
Chan-soo’s wife snaps pictures of them holding the baby and tells them they can do it too. Yes, please, with many great-grandchildren for Grandpa!
For their after-dinner entertainment, Chan-soo cues up the tape of their old quiz show competition, and Yoo-rae’s jaw drops to see Dal-po looking so homely. Dal-po wails in protest, but they insist on watching it.
Beom-jo arrives outside Chan-soo’s house, but when he sees that everyone is over and having a great time, he turns back to leave. Dal-po happens to see him outside the window and makes a beer run to catch him before he’s gone.
Beom-jo admits that he came by to ask Chan-soo to forgive his mother, but he didn’t realize everyone else would be here. He’s stuck because there isn’t much he can do—he knows that his mother won’t apologize or feel remorse, but then he doesn’t have the courage to turn in his own family like Dal-po did.
Dal-po says he has no intention of convincing Beom-jo to turn on his family, because he knows better than anyone how difficult that is. He says it’s been a while since he let go of revenge and hate.
Naturally Beom-jo thinks he’s just saying that to make him feel better, but Dal-po suddenly takes a step closer and grabs Beom-jo by the shoulders and says, “Seo Beom-jo, I like you.” Beom-jo shrugs him off and Dal-po laughs, “And I like In-ha more. So much that every second of every minute that passes by is precious.”
Beom-jo scoffs that he’s confessing that to the wrong person, but Dal-po finishes his sentence: “Because that time is precious, I let it go.” He says that he’s done wasting time on revenge and hate, and just wants to be a reporter who can say good is good and bad is bad. Good for you.
He goes to visit Hyung in jail and says the same thing, and says he’s sorry for forgiving and letting go so easily. But he could feel himself becoming like Song Cha-ok, and doesn’t want to lose sight of the things that matter in his life.
Hyung tells him that Dal-po doesn’t need permission to let go, and says that he lost the right to hate or forgive anyone when he became a killer. He reminds Dal-po never to lose that right, and Dal-po nods quietly.
Beom-jo gets all dressed up for the big groundbreaking ceremony for the new shopping mall that Chaebol Mommy is building, and finds her practicing her speech. He’s somber today and tells his mother that he never knew how tirelessly she worked to provide everything that he enjoyed in life.
He hugs her, and she tells him sincerely that he doesn’t need to know those things, and he can just go on enjoying that life. All he says in response is, “I’m sorry, mother.”
Yoo-rae shows her sidekick the pictures from the housewarming party, and they find Gyo-dong in the background staring at her in more than a few of the shots. So busted, dude. They wonder what’s going on with him, and Yoo-rae agrees that he’s being weird lately.
Beom-jo goes to the prison to visit Motorcycle Boy (who attacked the news stations with a nail gun), and introduces himself. Curiously he just conveys the message that he’s doing well, and not to worry about what was promised to him. What are you up to, Beom-jo?
In-ha is surprised when Dal-po tells her about Beom-jo only pretending to return to his mother’s side and having a hard time, and she realizes that she misunderstood him. They both get assigned to cover Chaebol Mommy’s groundbreaking ceremony today, though for entirely different purposes.
Dal-po gets told to get interviews with as many conspiring politicians as he can, while In-ha is instructed to do a fluff promotional piece. She wallows that her job is a big fake, and wonders if she should quit. Dal-po reminds her that she’s supposed to endure, and she yanks at his cheeks in frustration, since it’s easy for him to say when he works for YGN. Touché.
Beom-jo walks into the police precinct and smiles wistfully to see a pair of rookie reporters sitting on the steps just like he and In-ha used to. Aw, you guys were so cute back then. He runs into In-ha on her way out and gives her a big smile, and she wonders if she worried for nothing because he looks happy.
He tells her that he’s not going to his mother’s ceremony today, and says that if she happens to interview his mother, to convey a message from him. We don’t hear the message, but the next thing we know, Beom-jo walks up to the detective chief and says that he’s here to confess his crimes. What. Omg, is this how you’re going to draw your mother out?
Yoo-rae listens in as Beom-jo confesses to ordering Motorcycle Boy’s attacks on YGN and MSC. He repeats the things he overheard his mother saying, and it all fits, including his visit to the prison, which confirms that they made contact.
One by one, the politicians who are on their way to support Chaebol Mommy get word that Beom-jo just turned himself in for attempted murder, and they all turn their cars around to get the hell out of dodge. The groundbreaking ceremony gets delayed, and everyone wonders where all the guests are.
Chaebol Mommy’s secretary runs up to the stage to whisper the news about Beom-jo in her ear, and then a second later, Dal-po gets a call from Gyo-dong that Beom-jo turned himself in. Cell phones go off all around them, and In-ha can’t believe it when Dal-po tells her.
It dawns on her now that Beom-jo’s strange request to pass along a message was because he was preparing for this. Reporters crowd Chaebol Mommy and she just walks numbly ahead without registering any of them, that is until In-ha pipes up to tell her that she has a message from Beom-jo.
We see Beom-jo as he gives In-ha the message earlier that day, as In-ha conveys it now to his mother: “That I will take responsibility with my mother for everything I have enjoyed in life and will enjoy in the future. That I’m sorry I didn’t know, and left her all alone. And that from now on, I will always be with my mother.”
Tears fill his mother’s eyes, and cameras go off all around them as the other reporters wonder if that means she’s in on it too, and if what In-ha is saying is true. Her colleague from another station tells everyone that she’s a Pinocchio—it’s all true. Beom-jo’s mother just asks where her son is before being ushered away in her car.
In-ha sighs at the microphone in her hand, knowing that her interview will never make it on the air at MSC. But Dal-po looks around and tells her not to worry because all the other stations will air it.
He seems calm until Beom-jo finally finishes his confession and calls him back, and Dal-po rails at him for being crazy. Beom-jo says this will be his last call before going to jail, and Dal-po tells him to hurry up and take it all back.
Beom-jo says this is the only way, and starts to cry as he tells Dal-po that he should’ve pressured him to turn his mother in: “You should’ve said you were mad, that you hated me.” He says that if Dal-po had, it might’ve been easier to ignore his conscience and endure a little longer.
Beom-jo says he doesn’t have any other reason—he just wants to tell the truth, and say good is good, and bad is bad, like Dal-po wants to do. “I know it was just for a short while, but I was a reporter too.”
Dal-po’s eyes fill with tears, and he asks why Beom-jo is going this far. Beom-jo: “I told you before, that I’m on your side. How much would I be on your side to go this far?” He adds half-jokingly, “Do you believe me now?”
Dal-po: “I believed you the first time, you crazy bastard.”
Ugh, heart-tugging bromance, where’d you come from? Does the crazy bastard line give anyone else the urge to re-watch School 2013? That show had the best man-love declarations, I swear. The emotion in that final scene makes me regret that Beom-jo and Dal-po’s bromance was underdeveloped in the series, because clearly it had so much potential. Beom-jo just spent a lot of time focused on his unrequited love for In-ha, but I actually liked it much better whenever the two boys were working together or even getting into fights. (Though of course my favorite moments were the funny ones where Dal-po gave him a hard time about being a spoiled braggypants.) The same goes for Yoo-rae, who spent too long pining for Dal-po when her freaking adorable budding relationship with Gyo-dong could’ve been given more attention early on.
Still, I’ll take what I can get, because this episode was a satisfying turn for almost every one of our characters. I didn’t expect Beom-jo to take the fall for Mommy’s crimes, but it’s clear that he’s been feeling guilty ever since he found out the truth, in a more direct way—she told him that his life of luxury was the reason that she did everything (in her totally misguided, crazy sociopathic way), and it says a lot about his character that he felt guilty for the happiness that she stole from others to give to him.
He doesn’t need to do penance quite like this, but it’s a smart way to take away the one thing Chaebol Mommy truly loves: her son. It really did seem like she’d never feel remorse or admit to doing wrong, but with her baby on the line, she just might take responsibility for her actions. We’ll have to see how it plays out in the finale, but I think that for the most part, we’ve slain all our dragons and set up all our dominoes to fall into place; we’re likely due for a swift conclusion and more of an epilogue that wraps up everyone’s storylines, which is fine by me.
Today’s episode takes its theme from one of Aesop’s Fables, about a battle between the North Wind and the Sun to make a traveler take off his cloak. No matter how hard the wind blows, it only makes the traveler wrap his cloak tighter, but all the sun needs to do is shine down, and the man removes his cloak because it’s warm. It’s a fable about persuading with goodness over forcing someone’s hand, which we see play out twice: first when Dal-po refrains from judging Beom-jo and doesn’t pressure him to turn on his mother, and then when Beom-jo chooses to sacrifice himself knowing that a show of love will move his mother more than any attempt to bring her down would. It’s in many ways the theme of the show as a whole.
There were a few beats that I really liked in this episode. The first was In-ha’s regret that she listened to stupid Dal-po’s stupid guilt-driven requests for her not to hold him or comfort him or do anything. Because he’s there for her now in the reverse, and they’re both wiser this time around. It’s so simple, her realizing that a hug means everything when you’re lost and hurting, but I like that she bothered to point it out, that she shouldn’t have listened to him and just been there for him anyway. They had some frustrating moments along the way, but it was satisfying to see that they’ve come far enough to look beyond the stiff upper lip and know when “I’m okay” isn’t “I’m okay,” even without the hiccups to prove it.
But best of all was Dal-po’s growth in learning to let go of his revenge and forgive. Not because Song Cha-ok or anyone else deserves to be forgiven—they deserve to pay rightfully for the crimes they committed—but because Dal-po needs to live a different life from his brother. One person already made the mistake of living his entire life for revenge, and all he has now is regret. I don’t know why Hyung ever let him carry that burden, but I guess the important thing is that he figures out on his own that he can’t live his life filled with hate. And it’s not some morally higher ground that makes him realize this—it’s just love. He loves In-ha so much that time spent doing anything else seems like a waste. Plus he has Dad and Grandpa to love. And news to report. And babies to make, if they’re going to compete with Chan-soo. For once I’m glad that most of the conflict is in the rearview mirror with one episode left to go, because there had better be buckets of cuteness to be had in the finale, and no time for anything else, ya hear?
- Pinocchio: Episode 18
- Pinocchio: Episode 17
- Pinocchio: Episode 16
- Pinocchio: Episode 15
- Pinocchio: Episode 14
- Pinocchio: Episode 13
- Pinocchio: Episode 12
- Pinocchio: Episode 11
- Pinocchio: Episode 10
- Pinocchio: Episode 9
- Pinocchio: Episode 8
- Pinocchio: Episode 7
- Pinocchio: Episode 6
- Pinocchio: Episode 5
- Pinocchio: Episode 4
- Pinocchio: Episode 3
- Pinocchio: Episode 2
- Pinocchio: Episode 1