In terms of narrative structure this episode is mostly identical to the last one. There's little in the way of actual storyline movement except for the sudden surprising revelation at the end. Instead, we have character reactions to an as-yet mostly static situation. Mostly from In-ha, who is not at all happy with what her mother did to Dal-po. Although the question does come to mind- would she be as angry about this if Cha-ok had just destroyed a random family, rather than the one of someone In-ha cares about personally?
That much remains ambiguous, although the confrontation that makes up the episode's climax definitely has all the fireworks necessary to establish that the main cast at least has gumption. Take particular note of how In-ha uses her inability to lie to personal advantage. Normally this kind of situation would result in reprimand or termination. But by her hiccup, In-ha immediately begs the question of what her true opinion is.
This is in stark contrast to Jae-myeong. His long-term plan is still unclear. For that matter we don't even know his short-term objectives- his behavior at the cliffhanger is clearly inspired by the acquisition of hitherto unknown information. And given how huge the impact of the cliffhanger is going by the preview, it looks like this plot point will be a major momentum shift for the foreseeable future. The issue of the difference between lies and the truth becomes a lot murkier when the drama's biggest falsehood is straight up abandoned.
For all this interesting material, though, the drama remains mostly stagnant. Subplots are underdeveloped to the point that there isn't even anywhere obvious for them to go. The In-ha / Dal-po romance faces no apparent obstacles, even if a huge point has been made of the fact that they're working for rival news teams. Even the spectre of meddlesome parents is a fairly weak one. Although I do have to admit the reversed expectations of the coffee house scene were fairly funny. Kim Hae-sook is pretty good as the chaebol woman who doesn't at all act like one.
That's the main thing keeping "Pinocchio" effective television- consistently good performances even from lower level members of the cast who don't actually have all that much to do. The drama's not classic masterpiece level or anything like all that, but it's a fairly fun way to spend time, and does a fairly good job packing in dramatic heft without getting too overbearing. I'm willing to trust that writer Park Hye-ryeon knows what she's doing at this point, because the design is too deliberate and focused for me to think this was all accidental.
Review by William Schwartz
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org.
"[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 10"
by HanCinema is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
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