Highlights: “Pinocchio” Episodes 18 and 19

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Finale week starts out with a double-header for “Pinocchio,” and I’m pleased to report that after last week’s less-than-stellar episodes, we’re back to the compulsive, occasionally dark fun that characterized the drama earlier on. With the end in sight, it’s time for our heroes to decide how far they’re willing to go, and how much they’re willing to sacrifice, to see the truth made known.

These were my five favorite scenes from “Pinocchio” episodes 18 and 19:

1. “Can’t we go back to how we were?”

It was no surprise that Bum Jo wasn’t sincere in his return to his mother’s side (after the multiple close-ups of his phone last episode, it was obvious that he was recording their conversations), but what I enjoyed about this twist is just how conflicted Bum Jo is about his mother and her criminality. After all, this is a woman who has been nothing but a benevolent source of limitless love in his life—how could he possibly start hating her now? He’s received so much from her, emotionally and materially, and he loves her just as much as she loves him. Kim Young Kwang plays Bum Jo’s conflict beautifully, so that the viewers can clearly see just how tempting it is for him to just pretend like nothing’s changed.

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2. Cha Ok has a conscience after all

If I were in the mood to be nitpicky, I could point out that Cha Ok seems to have switched from the side of the devils to the side of the angels shockingly fast. But I’m choosing to accept this plot point as consistent with her personality—Song Cha Ok does nothing by halves. When she was corrupt, she was really corrupt. And when she decided to finally be honest with the world, she resolved to leave no secret unrevealed. And I love the new Cha Ok so much that I don’t care. Seeing her confess to In Ha how much abandoning the principles of her youth troubled her was genuinely moving, and it felt sincere. This is the same Cha Ok we’ve known for 18 episodes, we’ve just never seen this side of her before.

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3. Sometimes you just need a hug

After all this time, Dal Po knows a thing or two about pretending to be okay even though you’re breaking inside. And he knows that there are no words that can make that feeling better. So when he sees how much In Ha is hurting over her mother’s sacrifice, he just hugs her. This moment of comfort is so lovely, especially because they both know that it’s only temporary.

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4. “I just want to reveal the truth as a reporter.”

FINALLY. I’ve been waiting for one of our characters to acknowledge that this case is about so much more than revenge or personal vendettas, and finally Dal Po does. Though I don’t entirely understand Dal Po’s calm attitude (just because this isn’t about you personally doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to be angry over systematic corruption!), I’m glad to see that he’s starting to think seriously about the duty of a reporter.

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5. Last phone call

In the end, it turns out that Bum Jo can’t turn his mother in—alone. So he turns himself into the police, with the intention of bring both of them down together. Although I don’t agree with his decision, I think it makes a lot of sense—Bum Jo has benefited from his mother’s choices his entire life. From his point of view, it wouldn’t be fair to make her bear the consequences for those choices alone. His phone conversation with Dal Po expressed those feelings perfectly, and was a great illustration of the grudging but earnest bond that has developed between these two characters.

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What did you think of last night’s episodes? Let us know in the comments below!

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