REVIEW: ‘Trolley,’ Episodes 9-10 “Sincerity” and “Doubt”

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Trolley Episodes 9 and 10

With the discovery of why her son took his life at the beginning of the series revealed to her, Hye Ju was left in a shattered state at the end of the last episode. Trolley Episodes 9-10 explore the emotional fallout of this revelation and move the larger plots forward in ways that don’t look great for some of its key characters.

From the opening moments of this series, it was apparent this wasn’t going to be a happy show. With themes like sexual assault, harassment, and suicide sitting at its core, Trolley has had plenty of brutal moments throughout its rue. However, with more side elements and new revelations surrounding supporting characters, the show’s focus on the trauma and pain that the world inflicts on people rapidly passes a tipping point. It is at a junction where introducing new backstories and side moments that showcase another character’s pain is no longer helping to reinforce the themes. It’s just making it so I don’t want to watch it. The series has always been emotionally oppressive at times, which makes sense given its subject matter, but Trolley Episodes 9-10 have moments where I feel like I’m drowning. And that doesn’t help my desire to keep tuning in.

The first episode in this week’s pair deals mainly with the emotional turmoil that Hye Ju suffers over her discovery. With all the strain she was already under thanks to her husband’s struggles at work, Soo Bin’s presence in her family’s life, and Seung Hee’s renewed determination to pin her brother’s suicide on her, it is easy to see why this latest punch hits even harder than one might expect. One cannot help but feel a renewed sense of concern for the character. As she grapples with her ever-darkening world, actress Kim Hyun-Joo delivers her character’s failing strength incredibly. She shows her pain and anxiety not only in a convincing fashion but in a way that feels wholly authentic to who we have seen Hye Ju to be.

Playing a secondary role in the first episode but coming fully into focus in the second, Trolley Episodes 9-10 see a renewed push on the political side of its narrative as both sides leverage public opinion in several ways through several means. This look to weaponize the victims of these tragedies is handled in a nuanced and careful way. While some motivations are largely good, in all instances, there is an overriding sense of pressure on those who are struggling to move past their tragedies to put themselves into the limelight to help one cause or the other. Given what the series has already amply shown about how cruel the public can be, with these episodes only building up that cruelty even further, it hurts so much to see the pressure placed on these victims. While it is always noble to want to use your life’s experiences to further progress and help others, that is a choice that should never be expected of someone.

Trolley Episodes 9-10 are a mixed bag for me. While they deliver some great acting and truly emotional moments, the show is in danger of drowning in its sorrow. Rather than continue to heap new trauma on the viewer through side stories that don’t feel necessary, it should focus back in on the powerful stories it already has.

Trolley Episodes 9-10 are streaming now on Netflix, with new episodes airing on Mondays and Tuesdays.


Trolley Episodes 9-10
  • 8/10
    Rating - 8/10
8/10

TL;DR

Trolley Episodes 9-10 are a mixed bag for me. While they deliver some great acting and truly emotional moments, the show is in danger of drowning in its sorrow.

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