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Heartwarming / Chernobyl

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As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

  • In Episode 4, after the Liquidators finish clearing the rooftops, General Tarakanov personally congratulates each one of them. They're all irradiated and still wearing their gear, but Tarakanov doesn't care.
    • In the same episode, Bacho's treatment of Pavel: While he's very blunt and strict, it's made clear he cares for the newbie and when seeing Pavel's distress at killing the pets, he makes it clear he doesn't enjoy it either, but it gives the animals a faster death.
      • Related to the above point, when the two men come across a newly born litter of puppies and their mother, Pavel can't bring himself to shoot them. Bacho gives him an understanding look and orders him out of the building before doing what must be done himself.
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    • Another small moment from the same episode: during the rooftop cleanup, one Liquidator struggles to lift a rather large piece of graphite until another Liquidator wordlessly helps him.
    • And before it all, the moment when the first robot worked. After a seemingly hopeless work one after another, Shcherbina and Legasov finally get a glimpse of hope, and they share a genuine, happy smile, before hugging each other.
      Shcherbina: Valery, what's that? A smile?
  • Pikalov chooses to measure the radiation himself instead of sending in a subordinate. The radiation level is 15,000 roentgen, and he's an older general; he understands that his word would mean more than a random soldier who may misread or misunderstand the radiation level.
  • When Khomyuk pressures Legasov to go public with the truth and insists that she would do it if she had the chance, Shcherbina snaps at her that a lot of people think that they'd do the right thing at any cost - right up until it's their lives and their loved ones on the line. While it's cynical, he's also clearly protective of his friend, and not about to let him be shamed into martyring himself.
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  • During the flashback scenes in the final episode, Akimov steadfastly helps Toptunov, telling him "we'll work together", since he knows they're being pushed to do a test they haven't had time to understand or prepare for (and Toptunov has only been on the job for four months). Akimov really comes across as a benevolent, understanding superior (he was technically shift leader, Dyatlov was deputy chief engineer and was supervising the test).
  • Shcherbina in the final episode, sick and pondering his death, confesses to Legasov that he's "an inconsequential man" — he's always been adjacent to greatness, without being great himself. Legasov counters that given the amount of effort he put into containing the disaster — moving men and material, forcing the rusty machinery of the Soviet state into action — Shcherbina is a man of towering achievements.
    Legasov: Of all the ministers and all the deputies, entire congregation of obedient fools they mistakenly sent the one good man. For god's sake, Boris,you were the one who mattered most.
    • Seeing his friend sick and probably not going to live for much longer like him is what prompts Legasov to finally tell the truth about the RBMK reactor's flaw.
    • The conversation ends with Shcherbina finding a caterpillar crawling on his hand and remarking on how beautiful it is.
  • There's some heartwarming that despite being told she would never have children, Lyudmilla would end up having another child, who she lives with in Kiev, Ukraine.
  • The series ends with a slate dedicating the series to those who suffered and died at Chernobyl.
    In Memory of All Who Suffered and Sacrificed
    • On a meta level, nearly every comment on social media regarding the miniseries and the disaster itself has been in praise of the Liquidators' — the divers, the miners, the "biorobots" — sacrifices.
    • The epilogue also explains that Khomyuk is fictional and represents the hundreds of scientists who worked at Chernobyl in the aftermath. So yes, there were people other than Legasov who did their damnedest to prevent this horrible disaster from engulfing the rest of Europe, even as the Soviet government continued to hamstring their efforts just to save face. For these scientists, Cold War politics can take a backseat when the lives of millions are on the line.

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