Pachinko Season 1 Episode 6 Review: New Aspirations
Solomon continued to deal with falling choices at work while finally finding Hana.
Pachinko Season 1 Episode 6 added another layer to the story: Sunja’s first son.
When we thought they were planning to keep this character out of the show, they introduced a strong book character towards the end of the season.
Sunja’s second son, Muzasu, has been a supporting character in the series since Pachinko Season 1 Episode 1, but her other son from the novel, Noa, is missing.
The timelines in which the series settles appear after Noa leaves the family in the novel, so it makes sense that they use it as a twist.
Sunja’s first son, Noa, is the son of Koh Hansu.
This means that the son we see a lot, Muzasu, is the legitimate son of Isak, Sunja’s husband.
Grandmother Sunja told the story of her other son and that she ruined her life, Hana.
Salomon (and all his family) finds Hana in a hospital: she is dying of AIDS.
At the end of Pachinko Season 1 Episode 5, Hana revealed to Solomon that she ended up in the hospital and was dying.
However, we learn that they had a closer relationship than previously revealed during this episode.
This makes us think they would be good romantic partners because Hana’s mom is dating Solomon’s dad.
Hana’s mother, Etsuko, fought the doctors to keep her in the hospital even though they wanted to deny her treatment as an AIDS patient.
Pachinko already deals with many serious subjects such as family trauma, racism and unmarried pregnancies in the early 1900s.
Making Hana a bigger character than in the book turned out to be a big difference, but a good one.
We’re a bit fed up with the disjointed storytelling, and it’s been a bit distracting for that hour.
We understand that the characters remember things and the story is told at different times.
But the back and forth in the middle of the conversations discouraged us during this episode.
It didn’t entirely affect the main plot of the story or the quality of the episode, but it was a bit distracting.
We were surprised to see young Solomon, but it helped establish the kind of relationship he had with Hana (and her father).
Mozasu decided to send Solomon to America after he was caught shoplifting (Hana influenced him).
Solomon blames his family for many things, including the fact that he blames his grandmother for losing her job.
They argued about the true meaning of success, and it touched our hearts.
The performances on this show have always been amazing, but this segment provided us with some fantastic plays.
Seeing Hana in person was a real treat, and Mari Yamamoto proved to be a great addition.
One of the most beautiful parts of the episode came from Etsuko’s (Hana’s mother) relationship with her daughter.
Hana: Do I… look hideous to you?
Etsuko: I’m only afraid you’re in pain. You are still my Hana. Nothing will ever change that.
Regardless, Etsuko swore to stay with her daughter and take care of her.
It was a beautiful moment, and it stems from a story that isn’t often talked about on modern screens.
We often don’t see women as victims of AIDS in the mainstream media, let alone Asian women.
Seeing this aspect of AIDS history around the world was unexpected but greatly appreciated.
It adds another absorbing layer to this multi-layered spectacle, and it’s something that can prove a bit provocative (but in a good way).
The authors seem to approach it with respect while elevating the conversation about AIDS in other parts of the world: it’s not something you see too often.
We see many different stories about AIDS from men in America or Europe, but it’s rare to see any from a woman in Asia.
It’s a brave story to tackle, especially because her diagnosis wasn’t directly mentioned in Min Jin Lee’s novel.
Making it part of the main storyline, so far, has proven to be a necessary change for the novel, because it’s brilliant.
We enjoy the non-serious parts of the show, but they handle the harsh storyline with grace and respect.
Pachinko continues to amaze us.
Panoramic landscapes, wide camera angles, and stellar performances combine to create a near-perfect series.
We seriously hope that the last two episodes of the season will not be the last of the series.
Every week we are more and more impressed with the script, direction, production value and beauty of the series.
The book is packed with a lot more stories and plot threads, and it seems like an easy thing to expand on (considering they just introduced a major character from the book more than halfway through the season).
Hopefully we can see many more seasons of Pachinko, but for now, let’s celebrate these incredible segments.
So Fanatics, what did you think of the other son’s reveal?
Were you as shocked as us?
Let us know in the comments below! Pachinko is presented in Japanese, Korean and English and airs Fridays on Apple TV+.
Michael Stack is an editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.