Pachinko 1×08 Chapter 8 (Here’s to you now, here’s the future) with episode reviews

There is currently no episode description for Pachinko 1×08: “Here Now, Here For The Future” available.

I bet a hundred cabbage kimchi files that pachinko will always have a place on any serious annual menu. The Apple TV+ Asian-American historical drama, which has now completed its first eight-part season, was a masterpiece with a message — and continues to surprise many. Series creator Soo Hugh (The Whispers) had plenty of prep time planning every detail, and by her own account, she never had to settle for the second option (and that goes for both positions in front of and behind the camera—here, by the way, is our interview with Florian Hoffmeister, one of the two photographers in production).

Hugh entrusted production to two very different directors, Kogonada (“after yang‘) and Justin Chun (“)blue bayou‘), which breaks the style after the third episode, but fits perfectly with the script that the model wrote in large parts herself. The bestselling novel of the same name was adapted by journalist Min Jin Lee, which was published in 2017 (Apple bought the rights to the book only a year later, although the in-house streaming platform was not online at the time).

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Academy Award winner Yoon Yeoh-jung (“Minary‘), Jin Ha (Devs), Soji Arai, Kim Min-ha and Korean star Lee Min-ho have been selected. Three time levels cover most of the 20th century, which was also very turbulent on the Asian continent. We travel from Korea through Japan to America – and always come back to where it all began.

A woman bearing the burden of the future in the present

The link to the story is Sonja, who experiences Japanese authoritarianism in her Korean hometown of Busan in the 2000s. When I was a teenager (then played by Kim Minha – see title photo), there was a fateful encounter with the shady port merchant Hansoo (Lee Min Ho), who actually lives in Osaka. Despite the initial mistrust, Sonya soon falls in love with a handsome businessman who has promised her the moon but never wants to propose to her (because he already has a family in Japan that Sonja didn’t know about).

And it gets worse when Senja gets pregnant, threatening her life in the gutter as a single woman. Then unexpectedly a miracle knocks on the door: a seriously ill itinerant preacher Isaac (Steve Sangyeon Noh). After being nurtured by Sunja and her mother Yangjin (Jeong In-ji) to get him back to health, he wants revenge by marrying Sunja. When he proposes to her and asks if she can imagine loving another man – meaning that – the series reaches an early emotional climax. Senja’s farewell to her mother was very painful because the two would never see each other again. But Yangjin sends her daughter on her way with a message that her father always wants her to fly away from Busan, while she would rather see her child take root.

It is important to reconsider this hypothesis about Senja’s life, because everything else depends on it – even the fears of her grandson Solomon (Jin Ha) later. Sonja’s somewhat involuntary move to Japan and the hostility of its new compatriots form the foundational myth of the family. It is only thanks to Senja’s strength against all odds that the family exists at all (and such a super character is probably found in most families in the world). Meanwhile, Sunja’s special support was her sister-in-law Kyunghee (Jung Eun-Chae), who stayed with her until the end. Finally, her first son, Noa.

On the other hand, her second son Mozasu (Soji Arai), owner of the pachinko arcade game of the same name, is the one who gives Sunja the most important wish that lies in her soul in old age. She wants to go back to Busan again and visit her father’s grave. But then she realizes that the cemetery is long gone, because there is now a multi-storey car park – a perfect exaggeration of the brutal wheel of time. However, it will be a rich trip, because a few of your old friends are still around. A reunion with an old friend gives us the following dialogue scene of the Gods, which there are sure to be a bunch of on the show.

In the same way, whole treatises can be written about the independent episode Endless Love (1×7), in which we see the struggle of the alleged serial villain Hansoo, an unfortunate witness to the Yokohama earthquake of the century. Here German picture designer Hofmeister can once again prove all his skills, especially since you can frame almost every scene in this series and hang it on the wall anyway. By the way, the great introduction and soundtrack of Niko Mohli or the acting of Grand Dame Yun, as well as all other supporting actors, deserve more attention. It is simply a masterpiece on all levels, which eventually gains an extra dimension of importance with real interview clips.

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Finally, instead, the focus should turn to little Senja, the heart of it all. It’s about the last shot in the first season finale. We see Sonya driving to the market at the train station with the kimchi platform. And she does what she always does: Despite being uprooted, she transcends herself so that her family can survive. She has no time to be shy. She throws herself into battle and sells her cabbage, which she proudly wears in support of her homeland (we’ve already written an entire column about the importance of food on the show).


This last minute is the perfect finale to this amazing season of family drama Pachinko, which is sure to make a comeback on Apple TV+ (we’ve reported on it). It is without a doubt one of the strongest shows of the year, which everyone who watches it will find something to enjoy (because the themes are very global). And technically, there is hardly a flaw, because every little thing has been thought out perfectly. Not an accidental masterpiece, but a desirable and well-deserved one.

What’s particularly impressive in this context is that even the storylines, which at first seem a little squiggly – above all the story of Solomon or his awkward romance with Hana (Marie Yamamoto) – make sense again in the end, as do the sentimental conclusions. This is extremely rare in a series that spans across multiple timelines, because usually one level always falls by the wayside. But here the strong levels lift the weak again, because once again it’s Senja who puts everything into perspective and ties everything together.

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Finally, here it is again Trailers To the Apple Pachinko series:

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