Saturday, December 13, 2014

Pinocchio Episode 9 - Hurdling Towards Tragic Truths

Wow, so much was stuffed into this episode that I don't even know where to begin, or how to separate all my thoughts.  We see so many shifts in the various family dynamics that it is hard to keep straight on who you are supposed to like or dislike.  That inability to paint the characters either black or white is what I love most about this drama (that and Lee Jong Suk who will always be #1). 

 In the end it is all about choices and consequences.  I constantly think of what could have gone different, if Killer Hyung and had discovered that his brother was alive before he committed his murders?  Would things have turned out differently?  What if Ice Mom had not been so uncaring thirteen years earlier, would the boys mother still be alive, and would the same events be unfolding now?  If ice mom had not lost her phone, would she and In Ha have a relationship or would she have remained uncaring?  So many what if's swirling around the current events that it almost drowns us as we watch Dal Po, In Ha, Ice Mom, and Killer Hyung barreling forward towards a tragic fate. 
So without further ado, lets check out what fate (aka - the writers) have in store for our leading couple and their families.  Here are the 7 stand out moments of episode 9.

1. A Killer Smile
Killer Hyung just gives me shivers (if both the good and the scary variety).  On one hand, the boy is super hot (what can I say, I am shallow), not to mention he throws off that sweet lost boy vibe that makes you just want to take care of him.  But then there is the whole creepy, warped hatred, serial killer aspect.  Why do the writers have to make the killer so incredibly attractive.  It makes it really hard to focus on Hottie Hyung's negatives.  But then we get those moments similar to the following, and it refreshes our memories of his scary side.
After saving the boy from the drunk driver, Hottie Hyung is transferred to the hospital along with a In Ha who wants to get an interview with the hero.  Upon realizing who In Ha is, Hottie Hyung agrees to the interview and you just sit there waiting for the shoe to fall.  Is Hyung going to attack her?  Confront her about In Ha's horrible mother?  With this character, you never quiet know what is going to happen.  The interview proceeds normally until he begins to talk about the tragic past of his family.  A familiar evil glint enters his eyes as he begins to talk about the hateful reporters, specifically one, whose voice he remembers to this day.  That this reporter is still out there today, spreading filth.  He leans towards In Ha when Dal Po rushes in and grabs In Ha's arm dragging her away. 
2. The Couple Who Communicates Together Stays Together
The end of the world is upon us. We actually have a kdrama OTP who not only trusts each other, but actually have a solid relationship built on communication.  I guess that when you have such a huge part of your plot being miscommunication and secrets between Dal Po and Hottie Hyung, you don't have to add in OTP confusion as well.
Dal Po, after having dragged In Ha away from his brother, begs intently for In Ha to stay away from Hottie Hyung.  In Ha initially questions why, but the fight drains from her when Dal Po says: “Can’t the reason be me? Can’t it just be because it’s me, because I worry about you more than anyone? Can’t you just trust me?” And surprisingly enough In Ha agrees to stay away from Hottie Hyung, since she believes him when he says that HH is dangerous.  A touching scene from our OTP (One True Pairing), and yet another surprising shift away from the classic kdrama cliches.  So far we have no parents trying to force their kids to do stuff, scheming 2nd leads, or confused communication challenged OTP's.  Who knew that you could have an amazing story minus all of those well worn tropes.  YAY for good writing!
3. Don't You Think I am Cute?
My third favorite aspect of this drama is the mannerisms (jokes) used by the various characters.  From Dal Po smooshing In Ha's lips to get her to shut up, to In Ha's physically painful high fives.  These mannerisms cut up the angst scenes really well and add just another layer to an already well done character development.  
4. A Hero or a Monster?
I love the twist that Hottie Hyung becomes a national hero, thanks to the very thing that had destroyed his life.  It is almost like karma is trying to restore some of what had been taken away from him.  However Killer Hyung is not going to let this ease the anger within his soul.  Dal Po, aware that his brother could very well have done something unforgivable attempts to ascertain if his fears are true.  Going to his parents burial spot, he waits for his Hyung with a tie pin recorder turned on, as well as his phone set to record.  When Hyung arrives, he is enraged to see someone of the media at his parents resting place.  He orders Dal Po to leave, stalking away.  
He stops short when Dal Po questions him about the disappearance of the plant worker.  Killer Hyung simple replies that maybe the plant manager got what he deserved.  This confirms Dal Po's fears and he questions Hyung “Is it an apology you want from the world… Or do you want revenge?” Hyung steps closer to reply in Dal-po’s ear: “If you asked me to choose between them, it’d be revenge.”  He then snags Dal Po's phone and walks away, throwing the phone in a garbage can fire outside.  Oh please tell me that there is still hope for Hottie Hyung.  Even if he is a killer, I really want things to work out for everyone in the end.

5. Forced Mother Daughter Bonding
I guess i am going to have to stop calling In Ha's mom Mommy Wichiest (will now be known as Ice Mom) since there are definite signs that the writers are going to redeem her.  Surprisingly, I am OK with this decision since they are very slowly letting us see behind the Ice Queen facade which encloses a slightly less harsh woman.  Am I every going to love this character?  Probably not.  But I hope that I will learn to not loath her, which in this world of gray, seems to be the writers intent.
With the help of texting hottie it seems like we are on the verge of a mother/daughter reunion.  Out of his feelings for In Ha, Bum Jo returns Ice Mom's cell phone.  It seems that she had left it at his house 13 years previous while interviewing his mother.  He kept the phone going in order to read In Ha's texts (Hmmmm is that even really possible?) and through those he learned to love In Ha.  Bum Jo informs Ice Mom that if she reads them, she also will learn about her daughter. 
After she reads the texts Ice Mom really does start to loosen up around her daughter.  She makes an effort to converse with In Ah, even going to the lengths of eating at the same table (although Ice Mom did say that she did not want to be bothered with conversation while she ate).  In Ah is so happy (almost "I'm in love") giddy about her newly strengthened relationship with her mother, so it is all the worse when In Ha finds out about her mothers involvement in Hottie Hyung's incident.)

6. Family or Justice?
I can really sympathize for the horrible situation that Dal Po finds himself in.  Logically all of the clues point directly towards his brother in regards to the missing warehouse manager.  But even with all this overwhelming evidence, you could see that Dal Po really wanted to be wrong.  And in the case that his suspicions where correct, what does he do then?  Does he turn in his brother whom he had not seen in 13 years?  Or does he ignore everything since there is no definite evidence that his suspicions are correct.  If Dal Po decides to play ostrich, then his brother might be able to have a happy life that is his due.
Dal Po decides that he is going to let things go proving that family bonds do win over justice (or at least so far).  He decides that his brother is a hero right now and that maybe this will appease Hottie Hyung for all he had lost.  I find it interesting that in anything relating to his brother, Dal Po kind of regresses to that hurt lost little boy.  Because he can understand where his brother is coming from anger wise, he can overlook and hide from the situation.  I foresee him having to confront these problems  as soon as Hottie Hyung comes towards In Ha. 

7. Unraveling Threads
I found Dal Po's overlapping monologue very effective as he describes his decision to not pursue his brother's case but the threads of his crime were already starting to unravel.  It was a wonderful way of showing how small truths were starting to come forward at the police station, with the media, and most importantly, with In Ha.
In Ha's camera man pulls her into a room to view a series of videos taken from 13 years previously. All in an effort to have In Ha convince Ice Mom that she should cancel her lecture for fear that Hottie Hyung will be there for revenge. The action kind of backfires when instead of seeing the danger towards her mother, In Ha instead learns what we all already knew.  Her mom can be a cold unfeeling monster in a reporters clothing.  Shocked to see how her mother ruined Hottie Hyung's life, she is even more speechless when she spies a picture of the single shoe belonging to the brother who had committed suicide with his mother.  It matches a shoe kept at her home that had belonged to Dal Po when he was found in the ocean.  Quickly putting two and two together, In Ha rushes home and when finding Dal Po on the roof she tearfully asks if he is Ha Myeong?

My Thoughts:
I love that secrets are not lingering til we are all  sick of them.  For the most part the show is more about how people deal with the truth, than the secrets themselves.  It also makes me wonder if we will be having the brotherly reunion sooner than later since I can't see that secret staying a secret for much longer.  Especially with In Ha knowing the truth and we all know that because she can't lie the truth will have to be a lot more up front.  I am interested to see how In Ha will deal with her mother now that her rose colored shades have been removed.  Will she confront her openly?  Will Ice Mom admit her wrongs?  Can't wait to watch the next episode to find out.
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