Well, hello there! Annyeonghaseyo! And welcome to this week's second installment of Pinocchio recapping. If we are just meeting now for the first time, my name is Dongsaeng and it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I will be handling the even episodes of this drama while Kmuse takes the odds. I, like my awesome bloggy partner, am extremely excited to tackle and recap this drama! If the rest of the episodes hold up like these first two did, we are in for one fun as heck ride, don't you think?!
I am kind of excited about the topic of this drama - the idea that rumors and assumptions can destroy lives, specifically how it relates to media. In my own personal, albeit, thankfully, limited, experience in this area, I have learned that what you see or read in the news is always just part of the story - an incomplete part. Here we have a perfect story, that, while fictional, may be closer to the truth than we would like to admit. I wonder how many lives have been destroyed needlessly by false rumors and accusations. Now, don't worry - this post isn't going to be a soapbox rant or anything, just throwing out some food for thought as it relates to our story here. But, I'm sure we'll have more time for that as the drama continues, so how about for now, we hop off the box and into the episode chat, shall we?
Here are my "7 strings" holding up this episode of Pinocchio:
1. Dal Po - Idiot No More
Dal Po comes out of his "idiot" closet and sheds his "All Zero" moniker. We don't learn the why until the very end. Of course, it's for love. He wants to stop a budding romance between In Ha and Know-it-All Chan Soo before it gets a chance to take root. The reason behind his act of stupidity these past 5 years? To protect Grandfather, his adoptive dad. The boy that Grandpa thinks he is was apparently an idiot, so therefore, in order to keep the illusion real for Grandfather, Dal Po hides his true genius.
2. This Coming Out is Not Without Its Pains
Now, suddenly going from Zero to Hero is not without its troubles for our leading man. Threatened and pretty much just a petty jerk, Chan Soo gets all butt hurt and starts rumors flying that Dal Po cheated.
Of course, being flawed human beings as human beings tend to be, everyone at school believes the rumors, spreading them and inflating them, until, eventually, Dal Po is utterly and completely maligned in the eyes of his classmates and teachers. His teacher demands a written confession/apology. When Dal Po refuses, claiming to be innocent, the teacher insists that he then prove it, to which Dal Po had the perfect response. He tells the teacher that he will leave the office and tell everyone that he, the teach, and a female teacher that just so happens to be in the office at the same time, are having an affair. Teach gets all infuriated and ends up having his own words turned back on himself - the idea that, if the rumor isn't true, the person accused should be the one to prove the rumor false.
This harks back of course to The Incident, aka The Night Everything Changed, and the accusations flying around Dal Po's father. This whole idea of "well, if it isn't true, prove it" is a game without a winner. Just how is he supposed to do this? How can he prove himself innocent? How can he prove he isn't a cheat? Without the rumor-starter coming forward and admitting he started it all, just what is the innocent-yet-accused supposed to do? In relation to the whole Incident for example, if those factory workers had told the truth in the first place, Dal Po's life would be completely different and so much less sad and pathetic. How many lives were ruined and even ended because three idiots couldn't admit their fault in a tragic accident?
Now, as in life, even trials and tribulations can bring good things. In this particular case with Dal Po, seeing her "uncle" falsely accused, sets In Ha on a quest to prove his innocence that ends up with some nice results as far as their relationship goes. She learns the truth about him, that he really is genius as opposed the the idiot he pretends to be, as well as a truth about herself - she wants nothing to do with Chan Soo and his confession.
It takes her three days of hiccups before she finally realizes what she believes to be true, namely 1) she doesn't like Chan Soo and 2) she doesn't believe the rumors about Dal Po and will fight to defend him, even if it means putting her own face on the line in a bet with Chan Soo (he gets to slap her 10 times if she loses). We could look at this from an optimist's perspective and use examples such as this to say that Dal Po's life will be better for all his troubles. If not for them, he wouldn't have met his "niece" and (eventually, because we all know how this will end) lived happily ever after. We could look at it that way, but we're not there yet. Right now we are still raging at the injustice of it all. So ignore all that there.
3. The Accident
This was a sweet scene that made my heart race, flutter and then laugh. Bent out of shape at his rejection from In Ha, Chan Soo kicks over her bike that he had given her. A bolt falls out, rendering her brakes useless. Hawk-eyes Dal Po sees this from his perch above and tries to warn her, but, being the Blabber Mouth Witch that she can be, In Ha doesn't let him. She talks right over him until he's frustrated enough to just let her go on and find out for herself. He's positive she'll notice the broken brakes on her own, but when she fails to do so, he must then fly to her rescue. We get a scene with a screaming girl on a runaway bike barreling down the road while our Knight In Shining Armor (aka a bike with a trailer and blue pinwheel) races after her. He reaches her just in time, grabs her off her wayward chariot, and they tumble to the ground. She gets up and starts whining about a little blood on her ankle, completely self-absorbed and ungrateful for the heroic feat that just saved her little tushie. That is, until she sees him lying there unconscious, blood streaming from his head.
At that moment, her true feelings start to manifest and she freaks out. She's a basket-case in the ambulance, going on and on about not wanting her uncle to die. What starts out as amusing quickly turns to hilarious as Dal Po wakens and she's still dramatically wailing at the poor EMT stuck with the two of them in the back. It was a cute demonstration of their dynamic relationship and personalities. In the end, we get a lovely sunset piggyback to make our little fangirl hearts swoon.
|The imagery here in this scene with the silhouettes against the sunset backdrop are simply stunning|
4. Throwing the Match and The Encounter
Knowing that In Ha has put her beautiful face on the line for his honor, Dal Po earns his way on to the quiz show for a showdown with Chan Soo. In the end, he throws the game. And manages to take the wind out of Chan Soo's sails while doing so as well as win the wager for In Ha and prove himself innocent in his accusers' eyes. It really is a big win-win-win for him, despite his loss. As they are leaving the studio, Dal Po is walking with Chan Soo and the station guy that was one of the reporters back at The Incident. When pressed about why he threw the game, Dal Po ends up launching into a tirade against media and the lies it perpetuates and the lives it destroys. Our Righteous Crusader makes some good points that you can tell strike right to the heart of this broadcast guy, who, rightfully so, flashes back to The Incident and the scene at the sea cliff with Dal Po's Hottie Hyung screaming about how they, the reporters, killed his family with their words. I'm going to go out on my first limb of the drama here and say that this guy ends up being a good guy. He appears to have a conscience. It was a very powerful and dramatic scene that just tore my heart in shreds. Love it!
5. Career Choice
It's career choosing time at school. What kind of profession is a girl that can't lie supposed to choose? Harder than one might think, it turns out. Lawyer? Out. Apparently the popular theory there is that being a lawyer will eventually get In Ha killed.
|I love how this drama is recycling actors/roles. First with the hero dad firefighter (Secret Garden), now with the psycho killer (I Can Hear Your Voice). Too cool for school right there.|
A couple of other ideas are tossed out there and eliminated for one hiccup or another. Finally, in a flash of self-realizing genius, she hits on it - she's going to grow up to be like Mommy Dearest - a reporter, since, as she so eloquently put on her form, she cannot lie. I'm sure this is going to go over well with Dal Po when he finds out that his lady love is on track to become the type of person he most despises in the world. But really, we had to see this one coming, right?
6. Even Granddad Knows
Dal Po's appearance on and owning of this quiz show business means that the cat is out of the bag as far as his fake idiot status goes. Even his "little" brother has had the truth revealed to him. The one thing that collectively they all agree on is that poor addled Gramps not catch on because the truth would be too much for him and pretty much kill him dead on the spot. Well, turns out that Gramps isn't as slow as they assume. Sure, he misses the actual show thanks to their lack of television, but he comes across In Ha's posters that she had made to prove In Ha really was a smartypants and not a cheater cheater pumpkin-eater. To his credit, he appears to handle the truth well enough, not keeling over or dropping dead or anything. Well, that's a relief at least. No one knows he knows at this point, but he does. And he looks like he's keeping this fact that he knows all to himself for the time being. Never underestimated the aged, folks. You don't manage to walk the Earth that long and not pick up a trick or two. Now, whether or not he still believes Dal Po to be his long-lost son, well, that's uncertain. At this point, all we know he knows is that Dal Po reads a lot and is probably not a stupid-head.
7. The Love
Ah, L'Amour. The second episode ends with some cute little puppy lovin'. In Ha has rushed over to the bus station to meet the returning Dal Po knowing he has no umbrella for the sudden downpour that has hit. In her haste, she has grabbed a broken umbrella, however, and we get a cute scene with her fighting this busted contraption while he adoringly looks at her and flashes back to his reasons for going on the quiz show - jealousy over Chan Soo's advancements towards her. He knows he shouldn't have these feelings for her, what with her being the daughter of his #1 nemesis and all, but, I mean, how could he not? She's cute and quirky and full of life. Who wouldn't fall in love with that when faced with it everyday? He's not made of wood. No, no - he is a real boy with real feelings and those feelings are directed straight at her. The caution cone hats they wear in lieu of the broken umbrella are stinkin' adorable! He nearly confesses to her, but in the end, doesn't. It's a super cute little scene with her hiccuping as she tries to explain why she's there, covering up her feelings with obvious lies. She then asks him what he was going to say to her on-air if he had won the show. His answer? "Don't get off my bike from now on". Well, if that's not a confession of true love, I just don't know what is. Now, of course, this sweet little innocent heartwarming scene has to end with some dark foreshadowing, like him talking about how he should have left at that point (remember, this is a flashback we've been in for these two episodes). We also see a brooding Hottie Hyung standing in the rain and missing his dad. Oh yeah, and a skull being uncovered by the rain at the site of the factory fire. Does this mean that Dad is really dead after all?? It seems a little premature to throw one of these out there, but, you know, I'm going to go with it anyway. DUHN, DUHN, DUHN!!!!
|I like you too, sweetie, I like you too.|
Yippee!!!! So far, so good with this drama. Equal parts sweet, mysterious, tortured, and heart-warming. The characters are spot on and beautifully complex with a lot of room for all kinds of angst and growth and whatnot. It certainly has me hooked and intrigued and I am excited for next week! And really looking forward to a nice haircut for our leading man.