Highlights: “Pinocchio” Episode 12

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I have a theory that the writer of “Pinocchio” is paid in Lee Jong Suk’s tears, because he spends so much of every episode crying. And on the one hand, he’s a really good crier, so it’s interesting to watch. But surely enough terrible things have happened to Dal Po by now, right? Isn’t it time for an episode of sunshine and rainbows and puppies? Please?

Well, we didn’t have any rainbows or puppies in this episode, but we did have one haunting smile. I’ll take it!

These were my five favorite scenes of “Pinocchio” episode 12:

1. “For YGN News, I’m Ki Ha Myung.”

This entire opening segment is wonderful, but my favorite part is when Dal Po finishes his report on Jae Myung’s confession under his real name. It’s such a simple action, but it speaks volumes. Choi Dal Po is many things—a son, a hyung, an uncle, a boyfriend. Ki Ha Myung is the son of a slandered father and a mother who tried to kill him, the younger brother of a murderer. But he’s made his choice—he’s Ki Ha Myung now, for better or for worse. (I confess that, like In Ha, I’m having trouble getting used to calling Dal Po Ha Myung. So I think I’ll continue to call him Dal Po for now, and we’ll see in the future if that starts feeling wrong.)

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2. “I don’t think I should be happy anymore.”

The trouble with being Ki Ha Myung is that Ha Myung isn’t a member of the Choi family. In an episode filled with upsetting scenes, the one that hit me the hardest was the one in which Dal Po leaves the Choi apartment, even though Grandpa, Dad, In Ha, and Dal Po himself all want for him to stay. But Dal Po knows he would feel too guilty to remain with a loving family while his hyung is in jail, so he leaves. Why can’t this boy just be happy?

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3. “I’m a murderer’s daughter, after all.”

This is a fairly Dal Po-heavy episode, but I loved this short, venomous scene between In Ha and Cha Ok. I don’t know if I agree with In Ha that her mother is a murderer (yes, she’s a negligent, amoral reporter, but she didn’t walk someone into a manhole and then cover it up with bricks, unlike someone I could mention!), but I find the transformation of In Ha’s feelings towards Cha Ok fascinating.

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4. Bum Jo wants to help

Oh no—I’ve been won over by Bum Jo! I just found him delightful in this episode, especially when he offered to help out Dal Po with his revenge. I hope Dal Po takes him up on it—I want to see this relationship develop!

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5. The shoe’s on the other foot

Oh my. Oh my oh my oh my. I loved this final confrontation between Dal Po and Cha Ok so much—or rather, I loved what came right after the confrontation. After causing Cha Ok to lose her cool in spectacular fashion, the same as she did to him and his brother 13 years ago, Dal Po strolls through the MSC lobby. And though he keeps a straight face for a bit, he eventually allows himself a small, chilling smile. It’s a great moment for Lee Jong Suk, and a wonderful peek into Dal Po’s head. I think this moment stands out for me so much because we see Dal Po clearly enjoying another person’s pain. He rattled Cha Ok, he made her yell—he broke through the icy layers that have always separated her from the world, and he didn’t do it kindly. And the kicker: he liked it. Hurting her made him happy.

I don’t mean to say that I think Dal Po is a terrible person, or a secret sadist, or anything like that. It’s understandable that he enjoys seeing Cha Ok at his mercy, in the same way his entire family was at hers. But I do think this hint of vindictiveness is a part of Dal Po’s personality even without Cha Ok—remember the way he deliberately lost the quiz show in high school. He humiliated Chan Soo on national TV for fun—he could have just answered the final question correctly and taken the prize money. But he wanted Chan Soo to feel shame. I find this wrinkle in Dal Po’s character absolutely fascinating, and hope that we get to explore it more in future episodes.

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Bonus: Lawyer Cha!

It’s Lawyer Cha! Lawyer Cha the flower boy! I loved Yoon Sang Hyun’s cameo as Jae Myung’s lawyer, mostly because I was incredibly happy to see dorky, silly, brilliant Lawyer Cha again. (And now I really want to rewatch “I Can Hear Your Voice”!)

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What did you think of this episode? Let us know in the comments below!

[tv]Watch Episode 12 on SoompiTV! [/tv]