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Pachinko (Season 1) Episode 5: Recap & Ending Explained

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Justin Chon actually moved us with the fourth episode of Pachinko. In an episode complete with equal parts poignancy and catharsis, he completely sidelined the expanse and immersion of Kogonada’s fascinating build-up. Instead, he chose to go with an original tone of his own, which paid off as the show’s finest hour.

The same emotional treatment continues with his fifth episode. There still are points to be made about the classic question of identity and roots and what they mean. However, this is a particularly stretched and unentertaining episode. The absence of extraordinary visuals results in an overall damp and diluted piece. It is further let down by an unexpected and unnecessary cliffhanger. However, the charm and magic of the previous episodes keep you invested in this as well.

Before we deep dive into Pachinko Season 1 Episode 5, do read the explainer on the fourth episode.

Pachinko Episode 5: Recap

1931, Osaka

The ship into which Sunja and Isak had boarded, finally reaches the shores of Japan. There in Osaka, Isak’s brother Yoseb is already present to receive the couple. Although not hostile, Yoseb doesn’t seem really happy to meet them. He admits that he and Kyunghee didn’t see that coming. Here, Sunja feels like an outsider, since her language is considered inferior. As the two brothers talk, Sunja is silent.

 

Anyhow, they reach home, a seaside town named Ikaino. Kyunghee is relatively more peaceful with Sunja’s presence. She lays out a tray full of dinner in front of her. Upon seeing the rice, Sunja starts feeling homesick and starts crying. In private, Yoseb worries about his trust issues with Sunja and also states his suspicions about her trying to trap his brother. Meanwhile, in bed, Sunja and Isak talk to each other. He promises her that he will always be with her whatever the odds. At the same time, he feels like he doesn’t belong in Japan. They end up making love.

We leap forward by a month. Sunja is heavily pregnant and is sleeping late in the day. She quickly wakes up and asks Kyunghee if she can help her. Kyunghee says that she mustn’t strain herself at this stage and must rest. Suddenly, Sunja starts crying holding her clothes. Actually, Kyunghee has washed them and the fragrance of her homeland is now gone. Kyunghee comforts her and says that she will have to learn how to live with it.

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The family is in great trouble with the Japanese loan sharks. They actually owe the sharks a sum of 160 yen, which was borrowed by Yoseb to get Sunja and Isak back home. Due to interest, the debt has been doubled. Sunja overhears the dialogue between Kyunghee and the loan sharks and decides that she’s the one who is responsible for the debt. She goes down to a pawn broker’s shop and sells her Swiss watch (the one gifted to her by Koh-Hansu) for 300 yen.

Kyunghee and Sunja go together to the broker’s office and pay him the debt. They also receive a stamped paper confirming the repayment. They are satisfied, and as the wind blows, they run through the streets. Meanwhile, Koh-Hansu buys the Swiss watch from the pawn’s shop. He tells his assistant that Sunja has actually married a man weaker than she is, and she’ll have to pay a great price for the same.

1989, Busan

Sunja is walking through the streets of Busan and she’s enjoying the familiar view. Meanwhile, Solomon is back in Tokyo. He plans to go back to New York but has heard the rumors of Mr. Andrews having problems with Solomon’s finances. His little stunt with the deal will have him pay dearly. Meanwhile, back in the city he meets one of his school friends.

Solomon is also hell-bent on finding Hana out. It might just be that Hana is situated in the Uguisudani area of Yoshiwara. There, he happens to meet Naomi at a Japanese friend’s party. The pair discusses Solomon’s early life and his love for Hana. The conclusion is that they split when Solomon left for his higher studies and job in America. Solomon takes leave and descends further into the grim alleys of Yoshiwara. When asking around, he chances upon Haruki, a man he knows. Haruki is related in some way to Mozasu, Solomon’s father.

Haruki and Solomon have a pleasant evening together. Solomon is introduced to Haruki’s family. They are visibly delighted to see Mozasu’s grown-up son. They dine together.

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Back in Busan, Sunja scatters Kyunghee’s ashes into the sea. We also learn a significant lot about the nature of their intimate relationship and sisters-in-law. Further, Sunja tries to find out the details of Isak’s burial. The location has been clearly relocated- there’s a huge complex in the area instead. But exactly when she’s starting to get hopeless, she finds a file related to the relocation that reads Shin Bokhee. This is actually one of those girls whom Yangjin had taken in. The pair has an emotional reunion over a dinner platter. She shows Sunja her father’s burial, much to Sunja’s delight.

Sunja then asks Mozasu to have them board the return flight. When Mozasu says that they still have a couple of days left, she says that she thinks she must go. Moreover, she expresses her happiness over the shortened distance and says that she can comfortably come back.

Pachinko Episode 5 Ending Explained:

Back at his cabin, Solomon phones Andrew. Although Andrew is not angry anymore, he tells him that there might be trouble for Solomon back in America. The banks have blacklisted him, and his VISA is actually sponsored by the Shiffley’s (the firm for which he works). If he is fired, he’ll have to stay back in Japan.

The episode ends on a cliffhanger when a coughing Hana calls him again. She’s crying, and she tells Solomon to come as fast as he can. He asks where, but the call has been cut already.

 

You can stream Pachinko Season 1 Episode 1 – 5 on Apple TV+

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