Episode 5 of “Pachinko” revolved around Sunja (Minha Kim) and Isak (Steve Sanghyun Noh) reaching Japan and into Yoseb (Han Joon-woo) and Kyunghee’s (Jung Eun-chae) home, and trying to find a balance between their interpersonal relationships and financial burdens. In 1989, Sunja (Youn Yuh-jung) and Mozasu (Soji Arai) arrive in Korea to scatter Kyunghee’s ashes in the sea and find her father’s grave. Sunja’s search for the relocated graveyard brings her across Bokhee (Young Ok Kim), who fills Sunja in on all the things that happened after she left for Japan. Meanwhile, Solomon (Jin Ha) does some soul-searching around Japan and looks for Hana (Mari Yamamoto). But he only ends up coming across Haruki (Hiromitsu Takeda), an old friend of his father’s, who in turn gives Solomon a reality check. During the episode’s closing minutes, Solomon learns that he has been fired by Shiffley’s, stranding him in Japan, and he receives a distressing call from Hana.
Major Spoilers Ahead
Hana Returns, But At What Cost?
Directed by Justin Chon and written by Lauren Yee and Soo Hugh, Episode 6 of “Pachinko” opens in Osaka, 1975, where a young Hana (Yebin Jung) is seen marking her territory around a young Solomon (Kyung Ho Yoon). Hana is clearly possessive of Solomon, and Solomon clearly likes Hana. But there’s a wall between them that Hana tries to break by making Solomon steal something. Unfortunately, that lands Solomon in police custody. Mozasu comes to the rescue but fails to convince the Japanese police officer to let Solomon go because it’s only his first offense. It’s actually Hana who comes to Solomon’s rescue as she uses her influence to free him. Mozasu isn’t completely relieved by this turn of events, as he fears that Hana is somehow going to completely ruin Solomon. So, he sends him to the USA.
Then we cut to 1989, where an adult Hana has been found, and she is diagnosed with AIDS. The hospital head doesn’t want to keep Hana there out of fear of contamination. But a young doctor steps in and assures Mozasu and Etsuko (Kaho Minami) that he’ll make sure that Hana gets the treatment and care she needs to spend her last few days as painlessly as possible. Solomon sits down with Hana to convince her to go to America because they’re making some strides in terms of treating AIDS. Hana refuses and tragically rants about the source of the disease. When Solomon asks why Hana is telling him all this, Hana says it’s because she wants Solomon to know the kind of life she has lived after Solomon abandoned her to go to America. She reminds him that the Hana he knew is gone forever.
Realizing that the Solomon Hana knew is gone too, Hana tries to speak to Solomon’s conscience by telling him that although he does everything in his power to be like the Americans or the Japanese, he’s never going to be. We cut to Solomon emptying his office at Shiffley’s and subsequently getting a visit from Mr. Yoshii (Louis Ozawa), who calls him in for a meeting, saying that they’ve a lot in common.
Isak Has An Awakening
Yoseb argues with Kyunghee and Sunja about going out of their way to pay his debt, as he thinks that their actions have diminished Yoseb’s respect on the streets and storms away. Kyunghee returns home to find that Sunja’s water has broken. Meanwhile, Isak is seen assuring a mother, pleading with him to help her drunkard son. While talking to the son, Isak tries his usual methods of pacification. But instead, he’s shown the oppressive conditions that the Koreans are living in Japan. Isak fears that the son’s critique of the Japanese is not only going to harm his mother, but also to the rest of the Koreans living there. The son tells Isak that he’s well aware of that. However, he has reached his breaking point, and he could care less. At the end of the conversation, Isak finds himself converted and wondering about freedom.
Isak returns home to find Sunja on the brink of giving birth to her son. Kyunghee informs Isak that Yoseb has been missing for some time, and she’s worried that he’ll do something stupid out of anger. Isak doesn’t want to leave Sunja in that condition. But Sunja insists Isak find Yoseb before something goes wrong. While all this is going on, Yoseb is busy getting drunk and calling himself a nobleman in front of a bunch of drunk Koreans. Yoseb almost gets into a fight because nobody believes him. That’s when Isak steps in and briefs him about Sunja’s situation. Isak realizes that Yoseb is in no mood to leave. So, he sits down with Yoseb to have a drink. Yoseb says that Isak should go home to his pregnant wife. Isak says that Sunja has ordered him to get Yoseb, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.
‘Pachinko’ Episode 6: Ending Explained – Is Solomon Making A Deal With the Devil?
Yoshii brings up the topic of Solomon’s father’s pachinko business and how he intends to invest in it. Solomon wonders why, because he thinks pachinko is a dead-end in Japan. Yoshii says that he doesn’t want to make pachinko parlors in Japan, but in Korea, Macau, Thailand, and even Vegas. Since Solomon is aware of Yoshii’s history, he asks Yoshii if this business is legitimate. To which Yoshii says that he is aware of his grandfather’s corrupt past, and he is aware of the baggage that comes with it. But he ensures Solomon that he is not his grandfather and that he doesn’t need to worry about the past repeating itself.
Hana has a confrontation with Sunja, someone whom Hana blames for her and Solomon’s separation. Not just that, Hana blames Sunja for coaxing Hana into running away from home. Sunja appears visibly confused. Hana reminds Sunja that she told Hana that it’s a good thing that Solomon went to America, or else they would have ruined him. And by “they,” Sunja meant Hana, who would ruin Solomon. Sunja corrects Hana that that’s not at all what she meant. Sunja was merely referring to herself because she had a son other than Mozasu. Sunja believes that since she ruined that son’s life, he’s gone. That’s why she didn’t want to repeat the same mistake with Solomon.
Sunja has a complicated delivery which is completed by Kyunghee and her neighbor. Isak and Yoseb’s drinking is interrupted by Japanese soldiers. That prompts Isak to tell Yoseb about his feelings of rebellion and whether he wants future generations of Koreans to be born under the oppression of Japan. And as they contemplate their next steps, Noa (Sunja’s first son and named by Yoseb) enters the world.
Hana, partly free of her anger after talking to Sunja, reconciles with Etsuko. Solomon confesses to Sunja that he has been fired, and he blames Sunja for it. When Solomon starts ranting about hard work and success, Sunja reminds him that it doesn’t matter what kind of success you have. It matters how you achieved that success, and that if Sunja wanted, she could’ve been rich too. But she didn’t want to lead a dual life. That’s when we finally cut to Hansu (in 1931), who says that he doesn’t need his wife anymore since Sunja has given birth to their son.