But for now, back to Pinocch.
I have to admit that it has been a long time since a drama was able to extract such a reaction out of me that this episode extracted. Granted, a lot of that has been due to the fact that I have avoided the heavier dramas in lieu of the happy, fluffy rom-coms, but still.... I was ugly crying through parts of this one.
Yes. Ugly. Crying.
Hello feels! Welcome back!
I could launch into one of my many ramblings about how this is what makes Kdramas so superior to "regular" programming, but you know what? I've already said it, and you already know. No point in preaching to the choir. We all know. That's why we're here. So I will save us all the trouble and just say that this episode was heart-wrenching and wonderful and helps to continue to set the stage for what looks to be just an overall heart-wrechingly wonderful drama.
With that said, and without further ado, let's take a look at my "7 strings" from episode 4....
1. Caught and the Lamest, Dumbest Promise Ever
It turns out that the whole emotional scene we had between a distraught In Ha and Dal Po on the rooftop with fireworks in the background at the end of the last episode was witnessed, conveniently enough, by In Ha's father. And let's just say that he didn't necessarily get all giddy at the idea of his "older brother" potentially gettin' it on with his darling daughter. He saw the "fireworks" between the two of them as Dal Po stopped her from giving up her dream and joined in it with her that confirmed his suspicions he had had ever since finding her picture in Dal Po's wallet. The pieces are all starting to fall into place - genius Dal Po giving up his education and working to help support In Ha in her seemingly impossible dream. I mean, duh. Is it so big of a leap? Did it really take this many years to catch on? Can he blame him? Sorry, not a huge daddy backer yet. Mostly because he's bent on blocking our OTP, but also just because. Okay, no, it's all because he's trying to get in the way of the love and that's not cool. Not cool at all.
Back at the house, Hyungnim pulls Dal Po aside to basically tell him that he's not good enough for his daughter and to back off. Granted, in his defense, he did admit that no one would ever be good enough for his precious daughter (how funny was it when after all this, In Ha was walking around and being as unladylike as she could be, thus embarrassing Dad/Hyungnim for his earlier words?). Dal Po assures him that the feelings are only one-sided and that In Ha has no idea nor does he plan on pursuing anything with her for the sake of maintaining the balance in the family. He promises to stay away and keep his heart in check and forever deny his love towards her. Stupidest, dumbest, lamest promise ever. Why you gotta be like that? Obviously, it's a promise we all know that he won't be able to keep, but I'm sure it won't be without a whole lot of angsty effort that will torture us all acutely. Ugh. Dramas.
2. New Dad Rocks Socks - AKA Buh-bye Hair and HELLOOOO HOTTIE!
Gramps is my new hero. He catches Dal Po studying hard to become a reporter, and, just as we expected, is not taken by surprise at this. He knows Dal Po's actual smarts and so, instead of being shocked and fainting as everyone has feared, rises to the occasion. He's proud of his "son" and takes him for a major overhaul. New hair, new duds - one fancy stud! The scene between them on the bus as Gramps tells Dal Po that he's known ever since year 1 that he wasn't actually his long, lost son was so sweet and touching and beautiful. What a special relationship! It warms my heart to know that Dal Po is so loved - that the little orphan boy with such a painful and tragic past has someone to love him and care for him and be proud of him and the amazing young man that he is. You know of course what this means though? There's a good chance Gramps is kicking it soon. You know how these things work, right? Get all sweet and sentimental where things are going good and BOOM! Tragedy strikes. The tragic character has that shred of warmth and love torn from him and his heart shredded once more. Not to be a Negative Nellie or anything, I'm just trying to prepare myself. Hope beyond all hope that I am wrong here - please let me be wrong - but yeah, prepping my poor little tender heart just in case.
3. Go Team!
In Ha and Dal Po are studying and preparing hard for an upcoming audition/interview process at a local news channel. This interview, unlike others, is not taking in to account any education or resumes or anything like that. It's being done all as a "blind test". This means that Dal Po and In Ha both have an actual chance of making it, and they are working their little wanna-be-reporter butts off.
|This scene where she was studying, blocking the sun with her notebook, and he came up and sat in the window in order to shade her from the sun instead... SWOON!!!|
Teammate In Ha, while prepping for the whole reporter audition thing, also takes the opportunity to come to Teammate Dal Po's defense -- with her dad. Dad tells her that he has raised her with care and he doesn't want to see her end up with someone like Dal Po. Just hearing her father even mention something like her dating her "uncle" takes her by surprise as she's obviously never even considered the fact. She launches into a whole thing about how that is silly, how Dal Po has never seen her as a woman and she's never thought that way about him. Dal Po of course hears this, gets all sad, and then closes the door, most likely missing the part that comes next. The part where she comes back at her dad and defends Dal Po, citing all of the reasons why he's actually an awesome catch (which of course he is!). By the end, she's all flushed and warm, indicating that, while maybe she hasn't given it any conscious thought, there is a part of her that is very much into him and it's now rising to the surface with her father's opening of the floodgate of love.
|Is it getting hot in here, or is it just these two?|
4. Whoa. Intense Much?
The day of the audition/interview has arrived and a nervous and hopeful In Ha and Dal Po set off to go conquer the world and achieve their dream. Enter new guy. This is the guy that has been on the other end of In Ha's texts to who she thought was her mother over the past 13 years. He has fallen for this girl and is out to find her and meet her. And find her he does. He sees her on the bus and starts flirting. He sees her in the interview and continues to stare and smile relentlessly, causing both In Ha and Dal Po to question what is up here. He is intense in his attentions. You can see and feel the rivalry building between these two guys over this one girl, even without a single word ever being uttered. Oh, it's magical. I love a good rivalry between two gorgeous guys, don't you?
5. Ah, the Already Infamous "Toast Kiss"
Days before I even got to watch the episode, I started to see things about this "toast kiss" popping up all over social media. And now that I've seen it for myself? Wow. Talk about flutters and ooh la las galore! Of course, it's all a fantasy, dreamed up by a scared father at the idea of uncle and niece working at the same company, and they technically don't even kiss, but still.... Yumm-y! The intensity and chemistry between these two - holy moly! I think we may have just found the perfect partner for Shin Hye. I am all giddy at this idea! She has never smoldered on screen like this before with any other leading man. And it's not for lack of options. I mean, she has had some amazing co-stars (seriously, this girl did not merely save a country in her past life - she freaking saved the world a time or two at the very least), but this is the first time the chemistry has been so strong that it's practically melting the screen. Ah, the power and charisma of Lee Jong Seok. That boy, I swear, has superpowers. He's not overtly sexy, but it just oozes out of him so naturally and effortlessly. One minute he's sweet and cute, the next, I'm a lifeless puddle of goo on the ground. So yeah, nice scene. I liked it a little. ;)
The "toast kiss" scene may have been a fantasy, but this one was very, very real and also quite intense and nummy!
|I want both of you to make it too! Or should I say "make it"? *wink wink* ;)|
6. Cue the Ugly Cry -- Things Begin to Unravel
I know I've skipped a lot of the interview process here, but there's just so much to cover. Both In Ha and Dal Po make it past round 1 and have moved into round 2. Round 2 is to involve a debate. An old story is retold and they are to openly discuss it. The story? Dal Po's. The Incident that destroyed his family. Not only is he made to sit there and watch the report that took everything away from him, but then he receives the news that his father's body has just been found.
I. Can't. Even..... Seriously, just thinking about it, the tears are starting to form up again. This is the part I ugly cried through. The pain and the agony of having to live this over again and the tragedy of it all for our dear hero.... It's just too much. Not only that, but we see that Hottie Hyung is actually AT THE SCENE when the body is unearthed. So we have him crying, Dal Po crying, and probably every viewer crying. The rage and injustice of it all builds and surfaces as Dal Po attacks In Ha when she basically says that the reporters did nothing wrong - that it was a tragic accident with no one at fault. Of course she would say that - it's her mother, who, while being totally evil and awful to her, is still her mom and she loves her and idolizes her. Dal Po shocks everyone as he loses it there in the room and verbally tears down In Ha, or In Ha's statement, rather. And reveals that she herself is a Pinocchio too while he's at it. Oops. Bet he's going to regret that part later.
She gets upset and leaves and Not-the-Momma Love Rival guy goes after her. More on that in a second. First, back to Dal Po. He has left the room after his tirade, puked in the bathroom, goes outside and collapses to the ground, sobbing for his poor lost and maligned father. Okay, seriously guys, I can't. I just can't. We all know the tragedy here and why this is painful and significant. I can't dissect it any further or I'm going to lose it. I'm one lousy recapper, aren't I? Sorry :(
7. Or Do They?
Just as everything is seriously unraveling, we get a glimmer of hope. In the elevator with Not-the-Momma, an obviously upset In Ha is reeling. We of course assume it's because Dal Po has, in essence, just ripped her a new one without warning or apparent cause. We think she's upset with him for revealing that she is a Pinocchio and destroying any chance she had of getting the job. We're surprised to find out though that this isn't the case. No, she doesn't fault him for disagreeing with her - it was meant to be a debate and that's all he was doing in her view. No, the thing that has her so unsettled and upset is that he didn't take her side -- he didn't take her side and she is realizing that she wants him to side with her. Why? Drum roll please..... Because she likes him!!! When Not-the-Momma calls her out and asks her if she likes him, she denies it. And hiccups. Mind blown as far as she is concerned. It wasn't until this moment that her true feelings came to light for her. She tries to deny her feelings but can't. Can you see where we're going with this?? Dal Po has promised his Hyungnim that he won't pursue her. He overheard her saying that she's never thought about him that way. Her mom is his #1 enemy and her #1 hero. His life has just been re-flipped upside down and old wounds are reopened and enlarged. Our OTP has quite the obstacle in their way. This should be interesting. Angst-ridden and interesting. Agh!!!! Drama!!!! Why you do this to me?!?!?!
Okay, so...what do you all think so far? How are we liking this one? Do you see yourself sticking with it? Are you thoroughly invested at this point or on the fence? I'm dying to know! I, in case it isn't obvious from what I've said so far, am probably a little more involved emotionally than is probably healthy, but yeah, I think I'm in it for the long-haul, even without the whole "having to recap it" thing taken into consideration. I love that I have a drama I can be involved in emotionally once again. Where I come from, when a story can get you to ugly cry, that's a good story. ;) Until next time, be well and happy dramas! See you for episode 6!