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‘Pachinko’ Episode 5 Review: Yuh-jung Youn And Minah Kim Brilliantly Express The Pain Of Leaving One’s Homeland

April 08, 2022 | by Preeti Singh

I remember when I first heard that Hallyu superstar Lee Minho and Academy-award winning actress Yuh-jung Youn will feature together in a series titled Pachinko, I immediately googled the word for the very first time. FYI, Pachinko is a popular gambling slot machine that can be found in Japan. However, I didn’t understood why an acclaimed book and series based on a Korean immigrant family and filled with intense drama is named after a slot machine game. When I started watching the series starring Minah Kim, Lee Minho, Yuh-jung Youn, and Jin Ha, I understood the true meaning of Pachinko and the story that touches the heart of the viewer.

The 8-episode series is created by Soo Hugh and directed by Kogonada and Justin Chon. The cast also includes Steve Sang-Hyun Noh, Anna Sawai, Jimmi Simpson, Junwoo Han, Eun Chae Jung, and Soji Arai.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Minha Kim (@minhakim__)

EPISODE 5

After witnessing the emotional roller-coaster ride of episode 5, this episode shows the contrasting lives of elderly Sunja and younger Sunja. During the changes in the timeline, we see Sunja has finally landed in Japan with her husband. And the first thing that she notices in the city is how everyone around her is looking at them like they are some creatures and not human beings. Sunja also notices a man dressed like Hansu and we remember his words when he says that she will never forget him but I think she was just trying to find a familiar face in the crowd full of strangers. Here, we see Sunja’s transformation into a mature and married woman. Meanwhile, older Sunja is having a really good time in Korea like a super excited child in an amusement park.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Apple TV+ (@appletvplus)

On the other hand, our good boy Solomon finds himself surrounded by people who wanted to see him fail miserably and he did after the Korean lady rejected the offer (this guy needs some new friends). We also have a character named Hana, Solomon’s first girlfriend who ran away from her home. He is willing to do anything to meet her but we can see there is something cooking between him and Naomi as well. 

Also Read: ‘Pachinko’ Review: Yuh-jung Youn, Minah Kim Are The Heart Of This Epic Heart-Touching Family Saga And Lee Minho Is The Brain

Did I forget to tell you that Isak is the purest soul I have ever seen?  I mean, he did the bare minimum by marrying Sunja but let me tell you, he respects her so much and you can see it in his eyes, it’s full of acceptance and fear that he might turn a burden for her and his unborn child. You may feel like Sunja should have chosen Koh Hansu instead of Baek Isak. However, I believe that respect is the most important thing in a relationship and Isak definitely respects Sunja. 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Soo Hugh (@soozhugh)

Personally, I loved the friendship between Kyunghee and Sunja, the way they care and support each other in a country that isn’t their own homeland is so heart-warming. There’s a scene where Sunja asks her about the pain of leaving one’s homeland and when does it end, we can see that Kyunghee is also dealing with the same pain. They are each other’s solace in this difficult time. Also, Eun Chae Jung as Kyunghee is looking so beautiful!

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Minha Kim (@minhakim__)

Talking about women, we see elderly Sunja meeting her friend Bokhee in Korea after  50 years and she’s none other than the k-drama world’s official Halmeoni (Kim Young-ok). She tells her that she and her sister Donghee went to live in Manchuria after she left. But what happened to Sunja’s mother and what happened to the sisters in Manchuria that made Donghee take such a big step? 

Also Read: ‘Dasvi’ Review: Abhishek Bachchan, Yami Gautam Nimrat Kaur Score Full Marks For Performance In This First Class Social Comedy

While searching for Hana, Solomon meets a long-lost friend and learns that you don’t need money to live a happy life. I would say it’s a cliché but it was an important lesson for Solomon who is so confused about his life and career. 

It’s time for some big reveal, I really thought we would never see Lee Minho in this series again but thank god, I was wrong. Our insanely good-looking bad guy is back and how! To be honest, he is looking even better as a villain. He is always watching Sunja and his new family because he’s a powerful and wealthy man in Japan and has many connections. He’s kind of obsessed with her. But is he in love with Sunja or just cares about his unborn child? We just have to wait and watch. 

Overall, the episode is full of life lessons and shows that life is like a Pachinko game. In the game, the player thinks that he can control the ball and win the game but as Mozasu said, nobody can control the ball, winning and losing only depends on the player’s fate. Likewise, human beings cannot control their life and only their fate decides their future. Yuh-jung Youn and Minah Kim quite brilliantly expressed the pain and emotions of leaving one’s homeland.

Pachinko is available on Apple TV+

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