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[HanCinema's Drama Review] "Pinocchio" Episode 17


In-ha and Beom-ho end up deciding on confronting their parents with the evidence amassed. Beom-ho quickly tires of his ethical discussion, though it remains unclear what moral lesson he actually took from his mother's rationalizations. In-ha, by contrast, learns a significant bit of backstory along with Cha-ok's usual utilitarian arguments. The most interesting character ends up being the one about which we don't actually know very much- Dal-pyeong, In-ha's father.

As has become standard with "Pinocchio", this is another case of an apparent coincidence having much more complex causes than was originally implied. Dal-pyeong abruptly took his preteen daughter to the absolute middle of nowhere. And yet, note how perceptive and inquisitive the man is regarding the fact that he knows there was a woman in Dal-po's apartment. While Dal-pyeong is competent, as Cha-ok makes clear, he was banished to the domestic sphere for good reason.

Cha-ok presents two binary choices for In-ha- perform a noble sacrifice like her father and give up any hope of achieving her dreams, or make a deal like her mother and hurt people in exchange for satisfying that ambition. The exact same conflict has come up again and again- it absolutely dominates Cha-ok's thought process. So it should come as little surprise that, just as before, the main characters struggle to find a third choice. The secondary characters, well, they mostly just flit around the edges.

So let's focus on the main event for now. I don't know that I find the exact form of Dal-po's proposed solution to be all that convincing. Again we have the very deliberate implication that Dal-po has to protect In-ha in some way. In this case his determination is so outrageously foolhardy that even In-ha herself questions how he's possibly suppose to expose the situation. Dal-po's nobility is admirable, yet it feels somewhat maddening for him to insist on doing this fight alone.

...Well, to be honest that's not a totally fair appraisal of the situation. In-ha is the one putting herself at risk here, and it doesn't seem at all reasonable that this all be on her. In-ha didn't benefit from what Cha-ok did, nor did she particularly suffer as a result. Dal-po's actions, in this context, seem to be far more concerned with a genuine desire for true justice. He's refusing to believe that the world is as heartless as Cha-ok makes it sound- whether this idealism will get him anywhere, well, we won't find that out until the next episode.

Review by William Schwartz

"Pinocchio" is directed by Jo Soo-won and Sin Seung-woo, written by Park Hye-ryeon and features Lee Jong-suk, Park Shin-hye, Kim Young-kwang, Lee Yoo-bi, Lee Pil-mo, Kang Shin-il and many more.

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