Episode 4 “Romeo and Juliet” …
Episode 4 focuses on Choi In Ha (Park Shin Hye) and Choi Dal Po (Lee Jong Seok) both working to become reporters. Recall last episode Dal Po declared he wanted to become a reporter just like In Ha. In reality, Dal Po loathes the profession, but his love for In Ha trumped that.
Last episode In Ha’s father recognized that Dal Po likes In Ha. He is not happy about it. He talks to Dal Po who promises him to suppress his feelings for In Ha and not pursue her.
Grandpa realizes that Dal Po needs a makeover and takes him to a hairdresser for a new hair cut and department store for stylish clothes. My hat goes off to Grandpa for studying a current magazine to use as a guide for his choices. In the end, Dal Po goes from looking drab to looking fabulous. He stuns In Ha. In Ha’s father immediately worries that now In Ha will see Dal Po as a man not just a friend.
In Ha and Dal Po try out to become reporters at the same TV station that produced the quiz show Dal Po competed on in the first episode. The station tests their ability to watch a video snippet then report what the saw. Dal Po goes first and is matter of fact. One male candidate suggests a story for the video that may or may not be true but he presents it as factual. Though next in line, In Ha refuses to embellish on that line of reporting instead describing only what she sees as factual.
Both Dal Po and In Ha make it to the next round of the audition process.
During a break Dal Po and In Ha share a cute moment when he puts his hands on either side of her head. Uncomfortable with his nearness she slides down the wall. He slides his hands down too.
The audition ends with all the candidates in a conference room with the station interview team. The candidates are shown the video from years ago when Dal Po’s father was accused of causing the death of 9 co-workers and then fleeing the scene per a witness with Pinocchio syndrome. When the station reporter adds that only days ago a body was found and confirmed to be the missing fireman, the room falls silent. The moral dilemma is clear. Did the reporters cross an ethical line when they wrongly reported the missing fireman had fled based on the statement from the Pinocchio syndrome witness? Dal Po is pushed to the brink of losing his self-control. In Ha states the reporters reported what they knew at the time, which was regrettably wrong, but correct procedure. This feels like betrayal and a stab to Dal Po’s heart and family. He retaliates by indicating In Ha may be a Pinocchio. Now In Ha feels the sting of betrayal and shame as she cannot lie when asked if she has Pinocchio syndrome. Mortified she leaves followed by the tall boy Seo Bum Jo that unbeknownst to her is text guy, who has had the cell phone she thought was her mother’s for the last 13 years.
He asks if In Ha likes Dal Po. She denies this. The immediate hiccups reveal the opposite. In Ha is appalled to learn her true feelings after Dal Po betrayed her.
Meanwhile Dal Po is grief struck after finding out that his father is dead. He cannot believe his hopes his father might be alive were dashed and at an interview in a tv station, of all places. The grief overwhelms him and he sobs.
* The writer, Park Hye-Ryun, made some smart choices this episode to move things along. Each episode progress has been made. My problem lies with observing rather than feeling this show. I’ve decided to simply accept that this show does not grip me but it still has merit and is worth watching. My respect for this writer is born out of my love for I Hear Your Voice and I cannot believe he will misstep with this show.
* Thumbs up to Grandpa admitting that he knew Dal Po was smart and supported his pursuit of becoming a reporter. I was pleased he gave Dal Po permission to be himself. When Grandpa admitted that he had pretended for so long because “I wanted you (Dal Po) around me”, that felt realistic. Count me as impressed that Grandpa used a current magazine as his reference to Dal Po’s makeover.
* Does In Ha’s father’s rationale for not wanting Dal Po to become involved with his daughter have merit? Most Korean dramas mothers or fathers do not need a rational reason to dislike a potential love interest for their child, so this is par for the course. At least In Ha’s father is concerned but not crazed about the potential pairing.
* In Ha’s mother, evil reporter Song Cha Ok is riveting. When this character is on screen, she has my attention. Even though she was only briefly on screen this episode, I wondered what she was plotting. How will she utilize In Ha’s pursuit of becoming a reporter to her advantage?
* If Dal Po’s father is dead, what is left for Dal Po and his brother Ki Jae Myeong? Jae Myeong unfortunately was on site when the body, that everyone believes is his father, was found. I do not see how their story can go forward effectively if their father is dead. The only thing left for them would be to find each other and grieve together for their father. That does not seem sufficient to me. But the forensics testing supposedly proved the body was Father. I am stymied on this plot point and the way forward.
* Super tall Seo Bum Jo has more of a harmless stalker vibe than interested rival at this point. Looking forward to finding out his story and why he is interested in In Ha. I expect as the show features Bum Jo more, he will become more human and less one note.
* Dal Po outing In Ha as having Pinocchio syndrome was reasonable under the circumstances. On the other hand, In Ha’s statements about the news coverage of Dal Po’s family seemed reasonable for her point of view. It makes sense she felt betrayed when Dal Po outed her. What will she do? The evidence that she likes him is hiccuping throughout her body.
* My favorite moment of this episode was Dal Po framing In Ha when he put his hands to either side of In Ha as she leaned against the wall. The physical set up of the scene was done well, the actors delivered the cute, and the camera captured it perfectly.