Highlights: “Pinocchio” Episode 17

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Now that the truth has been revealed to a select few, the main question in “Pinocchio” episode 17 is just how are our heroes going to share what they know with the world. Though by “heroes,” I actually mean “hero”—and by “hero,” I really mean “In Ha.” In Ha is (awesomely) front and center this episode, as we explore just how much she’s willing to sacrifice in the name of the truth.

I have to be honest, though—this episode didn’t entirely work for me. I thought the first half was great. I liked how it seriously considered just what In Ha was giving up by becoming a whistleblower, while still staying true to her character and the spirit in which she entered journalism. The second half was a let-down, though. It definitely had good moments—and a fantastic ending—but I couldn’t help feeling like In Ha’s courage and resolve was being erased for no good reason. Of course, opinions will vary, and I hope that you’ll share your thoughts about this episode in the comments!

Without any further ado, these were my five favorite scenes in “Pinocchio” episode 17:

1. The difference between In Ha and Cha Ok

Given how visible (albeit subtle) Cha Ok’s discomfort over being Ro Sa’s puppet has been, it’s not exactly surprising to see that she was in In Ha’s place 15 years ago, planning on revealing the truth about MSC’s corruption to the world. Though I don’t find her eventual decision to keep quiet in exchange for a brilliant career sympathetic, I do think it’s understandable. The person who would choose ideals over security is very rare indeed. How satisfying it was, then, to see In Ha insist that she is different from her mother. She is willing to stand up for the truth—and that’s why she’s our hero.

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2. In Ha resolves to do the right thing

Of course, deciding to be brave is a lot easier than actually being brave, and we see In Ha struggle before handing the text records over to Dal Po. But the minute she sees Dal Po—Dal Po who she loves, Dal Po whose life was destroyed by these texts—her worries disappear. I found the way that In Ha gets strength from Dal Po here incredibly touching.

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3. “Tell me I did good.”

Dal Pyung is mainly used as a comedic character, but this scene, in which In Ha collapses sobbing into her father’s arms after handing in her resignation, was a great reminder that he’s not just a funnyman. I loved how Shin Jung Geun conveyed Dal Pyung’s simultaneous heartbreak and pride in his strong, scared daughter.

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4. Dal Po seriously couldn’t figure this out for himself?

I like Dal Po a lot, but he can be incredibly self-absorbed. I was appalled that he never once realized that In Ha would have to lose her job after giving him the text records. Thank goodness he has Gyo Dong, then, to remind him that other people have feelings and are impacted by his actions!

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5. “You were a reporter once.”

Oh, this scene! I have very conflicted feelings about this scene. On the one hand, I love the idea of Cha Ok being the one to expose the corruption that she was a party to. It’s a great redemption for a frustrating, fascinating character—and anything that gives Jin Kyung more screen-time is fine by me.

On the other hand… This development feels so very planned. I know that “Pinocchio” has always had a very loose relationship with logic, but even by its standards, this stretches credulity. Dal Po is seriously willing to hand over the evidence that his father was framed by Song Cha Ok to Song Cha Ok, trusting that her love for In Ha and her guilt—both of which have stayed pretty well hidden for 14 years—will inspire her to blow the whistle herself? Seriously? At what point in the 17 episodes leading up to this moment has Cha Ok proven herself worthy of such trust? I can’t believe that Dal Po actually thinks she’ll do the right thing.

This development also feels like it comes at the cost of In Ha’s journey. I loved how determined In Ha was to see the truth known, even if it meant that she had to lose her career as a reporter (though I also found it hard to believe that nobody would hire her after she blew the whistle on MSC. Is every news outlet in this show’s universe so corrupt that they would refuse to hire a reporter with demonstrated principles?). For her to lose her resolve just because Dal Po feels guilty doesn’t sit well with me—when has In Ha ever feared the consequences of telling the truth? And how can she let Dal Po throw away such perfect evidence with only a vague promise that he’ll expose Cha Ok and Ro Sa’s wrongdoings some other way? He seems to have forgotten that this isn’t just his private family affair—this is a conspiracy between government officials, a businesswoman, and a news station to actively cover up the truth and spread false information for personal gain. This story is so huge, so important, that I think one reporter losing her job would be a fair price to pay to make it see the light of day.

Like I said, I love the idea of this story being Cha Ok’s redemption. I just wish we could have come to this point in a more organic way.

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Wow—I did not realize I had so many feelings about this episode! Please share your feelings in the comments below!

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