Pinocchio Episode 17 “The Orange Letter”…
In Ha and Dal Po are determined to reveal the truth of what happened 13 years ago. Bum Jo’s mother believes she cannot be severely hurt ih the truth is revealed. In Ha’s mother details how she got in Bum Jo’s mother’s clutches. The evidence is transferred to an unlikely person. In Ha and Dal Po grapple with the question…can they allow each other to suffer in the pursuit of the truth?
In Ha (Park Shin Hye) confronts her mother. She is disappointed 13 years ago her mother did not follow her conscience but instead succumbed to Bum Jo’s mother’s orders.
Bum Jo confronts his mother. He demands she deny that she framed Dal Po’s father 13 years ago. She asks that he stop being a reporter and start being her son if he wants the truth. He calls Captain Kim and resigns. Bum Jo’s mother then admits to helping a powerful senator by changing the flow of the story away from the powerful senator and towards Dal Po’s father. She is unrepentant. In her opinion, she only did a friend a favor. It was not illegal. Bum Jo asks what would happen if the text evidence were made public. His mother is unconcerned, stating she could weather any bad publicity. Bum Jo asks, what does she gain? She dryly states, the lifestyle they have both enjoyed.
In Ha tells her mother she will expose the texts between her and Bum Jo’s mother. In Ha’s mother flashes back to telling her boss she would expose his collusion with Bum Jo’s mother. His threats to have her fired got her attention. In present day In Ha’s mother says the same words to In Ha her boss said to her. Correspondingly In Ha echoes what her mother said in the past. Oh, the irony of the situation. In Ha’s mother states if In Ha elects to be a whistle blower then she will be ostracized and will not be hired. In Ha’s mother surprises In Ha telling her she was once an idealist reporter but quickly learned powerful people have the ability to pull strings and make you a puppet. She implores In Ha not to be a whistle blower and continue becoming a reporter. She shakes In Ha up when she says “I’m not asking this as your boss, but your mother.” Ah, the motherly concern In Ha has craved for years is being offered. She surprises In Ha (and me) when she shares that In Ha’s father was a whistle blower ruined by telling the truth. She explains father used to be a powerful manager at a bank. When he reported embezzling to a newspaper, he was black listed in the banking industry. In Ha’s mother asks who is more successful – her father or her mother. In Ha is outraged for her father’s sake and declares she is proud of him for making the hard choice to be honest. With fervor, she is adamant that she will choose a different path than her mother did.
In Ha’s father is peeved Dal Po (Lee Jong Suk) has a girlfriend. He tells Dal Po he found a strand of hair at his apartment. He is disappointed the great love Dal Po purported to have for In Ha vanished so quickly. Dal Po clarifies the strand of hair belonged to In Ha who was visiting him at his apartment. In Ha’s father is relieved then horrified as he realizes In Ha visited Dal Po’s apartment alone. When In Ha goes home to talk to her father about the whistle blower story her mother told her, father is not happy she visited Dal Po alone. She realizes she could never be disappointed in her father for doing the right thing.
In Ha takes the text evidence between her mother and Bum Jo’s mother to Captain Kim and Il Joo. They agree that no one in the MSC management chain would allow this story to be reported, as it would put a bad light on MSC, it’s president and a top reporter. They tell her if she takes the story to YGN, she will be ostracized for being a whistle blower. They apologize but are clear, they will not risk their status and their incomes to bring this truth forward. In Ha declares she is ready to be a whistle blower, but begins to hiccup, indicating that is not true.
Bum Jo has a shower fully clothed replaying his’s mother’s candor that her choices, though appalling to him, provided the lifestyle they had, have, and will have.
In Ha’s mother recalls meeting with YGN’s Captain Hwang with the intent to give him the evidence of collusion between her MSC boss and Bum Jo’s mother but backing out.
In Ha stands in the YGN lobby hiccuping telling herself she can become a whistle blower. Dal Po sees her and instantly she calms down. She hugs him. Manager Lee walks by and teases them about enemies fraternizing.
In Ha knows that she must share the evidence with Dal Po and let him report the story. She gives him the cell phone and the text evidence. The text evidence between In Ha’s mother and Bum Jo’s mother includes “frame fireman Ki Ho Sang for negligence. If needed, use his family, too.” stuns him. He crushes a glass in his bare hand startling In Ha. He gets a steely look in his eyes that undoubtedly spells retribution.
As In Ha bandages his hand, she tells him MSC will not report the story and he must. He asks if Bum Jo knows. In Ha confirms Bum Jo is aware of his mother’s actions. He asks what her mother has to say. In Ha tells Dal Po her mother admitted the text messages were true and knows MSC will not report the story. Dal Po thanks In Ha for bravely bringing the evidence to him. He vows to report the story.
He shares the text evidence that destroyed their family with his brother. They both cry.
Bum Jo sees In Ha as she exits the police station packed to return home. She asks what his mother said about the text messages. Bum Jo flatly says the truth will not hurt his mother. He recommends they not bother with the story. In Ha is shocked. He tells her he is returning back to where he belongs too.
Captain Hwang is astonished to read the text evidence. Dal Po tells him In Ha gave him the messages and her mother confirmed their validity. Captain Hwang realizes collusion between MSC and Bum Jo’s mother has been on-going for 13 years. He puts together Yoo Rae, Ho Choi, and Hyun Gyu to support Dal Po’s investigation and reporting of the story. He warns them they must be cautious as they are directly reporting on a competitor.
At MSC, In Ha declines the offer of full time employment and instead resigns in front of her mother, Captain Kim and Il Joo. They are surprised.
Her mother grabs her in pulls aside asking if she is really going to turn down full time employment to become a whistle blower. In Ha tells her it is too late. She has become a whistle blower. In Ha’s mother is stunned then angry shaking In Ha for doing this. In Ha states she is only doing what her mother should have had the fortitude to do 13 years ago. Now In Ha can apologize for her mother’s actions. In a touching moment, In Ha admits she cannot abandon her relationship with her mother. This is the only path she can take. Dumbfounded at the declaration, In Ha’s mother’s hands drop away from her and In Ha flees in tears.
Dal Po texts In Ha that the investigation by YGN has become. She texts back encouraging him to investigate thoroughly.
In Ha returns home telling her father she quit her job. He asks if she got fired. She states that she wanted to tell the truth, like he did years ago, so she fired MSC. It is a touching moment between father and daughter when she begs him to say she did the right thing and won’t regret her choice. He puts his arms around his crying daughter and tells her she did the right thing.
Dal Po confronts Bum Jo’s mother with Bum Jo next to her like a dutiful son. Bum Jo’s mother denies remembering the text messages from so long ago. Dal Po seizes the fact that she admitted the texts were from long ago as proof she engaged in texting In Ha’ mother. Irritated, Bum Jo’s mother leaves. Bum Jo’s mother texts In Ha’s mother that they need to meet.
Dal Po texts In Ha that Bum Jo’s mother admitted to the texts. She tells him to keep going and not get cocky. LOL when he smiles and mutters “same Blunt Talking Witch”.
Grandpa and father support In Ha’s decision and quest for a new career. Grandfather is 100% right when he tells her that those that do not tell the truth should be ashamed. He encourages her not to feel bad.
Captain Kim tells Captain Hwang that In Ha resigned from MSC so no one else would get the blame for the information she gave YGN.
Captain Hwang tells Dal Po that In Ha is now a whistle blower and resigned from her job. Why this is just occurring to both of them stymies me. Captain Hwang asks Dal Po to check in In Ha. Captain Hwang gives Dal Po the good advice to take a step back to ensure revenge is not clouding his reporting.
Cute scene beween Yoo Rae and another cub reporter when Captain Hwang gives her a soda (recall he took her soda earlier). Yoo Rae makes the jump that Captain Hwang is putting the moves on her. When cub reporter reveals Captain Hwang also gave him a soda, Yoo Rae realizes she imagined it all. Yes, yes, she did.
Dal Po confronts In Ha about her resignation. She is unperturbed knowing he would be upset. He vows to find another way to expose the truth without using the information In Ha gave him. What? Are you kidding me? In Ha is astonished. He forces her to say whether or not she could use the information if it meant destroying his career. Turns out the answer is no. This solidfies his resolve to find another way. He tells In Ha to return to work. In Ha cries they were so close to exposing the injustice done to his family. Frankly I’m not sure I agree with the writer’s choice to do this. It feels like a stretch to the storyline. But Dal Po cannot hurt In Ha for his own sake, so I guess I can live with it.
In Ha tells Dal Po that her mother sold out her conscience to keep her job and became a puppet to the MSC President and Bum Jo’s mother. In Ha declares she could not make the same mistake. She does admit to being scared of the consequences of handling the evidence over. She shares her father did a similar thing and it forever changed his life. She explain her father was a bank manager that exposed embezzlement and he was ostracized at work. He eventually quit. This is what lead to her parents divorce. Dal Po and In Ha wonder if there are regrets about her parent’s choices.
Finally we have a schism between In Ha’s mother and Bum Jo’s mother when Bum Jo’s mother wants to use In Ha against Dal Po. In Ha’s mother is startled at the suggestion. Bum Jo’s mother blithely tells her she is so nice that people cannot say no to her. She states she simply wants to create a special relationship with the daughter just like she has with In Ha’a mother. Bum Jo looks concerned. It appears that he is working against his mother surreptitiously when he holds his cell phone in his hand (recording their conversation is my assumption).
In Ha asks her father if he regrets his actions of being a whistle blower. He forthrightly states he does not regret being a whistle blower but he does regret leaving his job too early, just because people ostrichized him.
With those words, In Ha heads to her job at MSC. Dal Po sees her outside the building and is pleased she has returned. She declares she’ll have better luck finding another way to expose the truth from the inside. They are cute as they transfer of kisses with their hands to each other’s forehead. They both head into MSC.
Surprising In Ha’s mother, Dal Po returns the cell phone and data retrieved from it. He tells her he’ll pretend he never received this so In Ha cannot be considered a whistle blower. He tells her he understands he is handing her the evidence he needed to prove the collusion and slander against his family. She wants to know why he won’t use the evidence. He says states he cannot ruin In Ha’s life to expose the truth about what happened to his family. He tells In Ha’s mother she bears the burden to let the truth be know not In Ha (excellent point). As she walks away In Ha’s mother recalls her daughter’s hope that she can have faith in her. Now Dal Po piles that similar kind of faith on her. It is more than she can take. The icy controlled woman…cries.
* Thrilled that In Ha’s mother sees that Bum Jo’s mother wants to use In Ha as she herself was used. As a mother she was not pleased Bum Jo’s mother was willing to use her daughter. A glimmer of caring about In Ha in that situation. I liked how In Ha’s mother is starting down the path to redemption. She tried to stop In Ha from destroying her career by becoming a whistle blower. She finally saw that In Ha was willing to apologize for her. Dal Po was frank that she must clean up the mess she made not In Ha. She has the text evidence. What will she do with it?
* Lee Jong Seok portrays Dal Po with a gentle touch and a steely undertone. He wants his family’s name cleared and the collusion between MSC president, Bum Jo’s mother and In Ha’s mother to be made common knowledge. When he elected to return the evidence to In Ha’s mother. He made it clear, this was her mess to clean up. He put his faith in In Ha’s mother and that is a gamble. I was glad to see Dal Po keep In Ha aware of the investigation progress and not keep her in the dark.
* Park Shin Hye’s portrayed In Ha’s willingness to become a whistle blower with the right amount of bravdo and fear of the ramifications. Several excellent scenes with her mother. In Ha and Dal Po work as a couple, even when the romance is on hold. They have an easy chemistry that is lovely to watch.
* Bum Jo was upfront in confronting his mother. Her unrepentant attitude must have been a bitter pill to swallow. Do you think he is working undercover gathering evidence about his mother? I did miss Bum Jo’s reduced screen time this episode.
* Yoo Rae continues to be the weak link of our foursome of reporters.
* I’m checking out OST Part 1, “First Love” by Tiger JK featuring Punch released November 20, 2014. Listen via the link or the embedded video below.