The Squid Game premiere ended whereas we had been nonetheless recovering from the shock of getting witnessed tons of of our bodies left for useless within the aftermath of Red Light, Green Light. Its second episode, “Hell,” begins with a subtler shock. As the guards wheel life-sized, gift-wrapped bins into an incinerator room, a hand and a groan escapes from one of many bins. A guard calmly shoves the hand again in, nails the casket shut, and pushes the contestant into the incinerator to be burned alive. One horrible revelation after one other makes it abundantly clear that this recreation is not going to let up on us.
But surprisingly, that’s what this episode of Squid Game does. After the gamers be taught the actual nature of the video games, a number of of them start begging the guards to spare their lives, led by a lady, participant 212, who admits she has a daughter again house that she hasn’t even named but. According to the sport’s guidelines, if a majority of gamers conform to cease the sport, then all of them can go away, free and clear. The guards arrange a vote, however not earlier than revealing how a lot money is up for grabs: every fallen participant is value 100 million received ($84,000) and, if there is just one participant left, the pot can go as much as 45.6 billion ($38 million).
With this vote, the 201 gamers are left to resolve whether or not to stay with the recognized hell of monetary smash or the unknown hell that awaits within the subsequent spherical. After 200 gamers cast their votes, there’s a tie with one vote left — participant 001, the aged man. Surprisingly, contemplating his grin all through the primary spherical, 001 votes in opposition to persevering with, and with that, the sport ends, although it will possibly restart if a lot of the gamers conform to return. We know that every one our fundamental characters will return (there are seven episodes left, in spite of everything), so this pause capabilities as a chance for some character constructing to point out why they’d moderately face dying over debt-ridden poverty. This may even be the final pacing lag of the season, so if there may be an optimum time to go to mattress earlier than you find yourself binging till 5 a.m., it’s after Sae-byeok leaves Gi-hun tied up within the highway.
It seems that Sang-woo is in much more hassle than beforehand said, with the police blowing up his cellphone and providing him the prospect to give up himself. And the difficulty doesn’t cease with him; he’s mortgaged his mom’s house and her market stall on a failed guess, which is for six billion received ($5 million). He would be the neighborhood’s pleasure, the valedictorian who bought into Seoul National University (suppose Korea’s Harvard), however his mind can’t get him out of this mess.
As for Sae-byeok, she’s a North Korean defector who made it to Seoul together with her little brother. She has to depart him in a kids’s house, and a dealer has stolen the money she raised to convey her mom. She’s additionally a badass who will throw espresso in a person’s face and take a knife to his throat whereas robbing him.
Ali got here to South Korea from Pakistan to make money, bringing alongside his spouse and child, however his boss on the small manufacturing facility he’s employed refuses to pay him. After he crushes his boss’s hand in a combat, he runs off with the money and buys his spouse and youngster flights again house. Everything about Ali’s story is heart-breaking, however he retains up his friendship with Sang-woo, so a minimum of he’ll have a very good ally again within the recreation. We additionally be taught that different gangsters are looking Deok-su, so he goes again. It’s a dramatic scene, a number of stabbing.
Gi-hun nonetheless has the bottom stakes of all of the characters, and he’s the primary participant who voted in opposition to persevering with the sport. However, his conviction wavers when his mom refuses to remain within the hospital and get surgical procedure to deal with her diabetes due to the big prices. He then runs into participant 001, who reveals over soju and ramyeon that he’s going again into the sport moderately than wait to die in actual life. The last nail for Gi-hun comes when he finally ends up punching out his spouse’s new husband in entrance of Ga-yeong, reminding him that she’ll quickly be whisked to the U.S., presumably endlessly. With all that weighing on him, he decides to return to the sport.
We additionally get the start of the present’s detective drama subplot. Though the cops don’t imagine Gi-hun’s story of the lethal children’ video games and tens of billions of received, the story sticks in younger detective Hwang Jun-ho’s head when he finds one of many recreation’s business playing cards in his lacking brother’s room. Jun-ho tracks down Gi-hun, however Gi-hun says he’s not within the position to assist anybody. That doesn’t cease the detective, who tails the shuttle van taking gamers again to the sport. And with that, the episode leads us again to the sport. Buckle your seatbelts; the journey will proceed.
• That haunting rating is courtesy of Parasite composer Jung Jae-il. It could possibly be The White Lotus theme’s demented cousin.
• For extra on SNU and the aggressive admissions rate, see the superb k-drama Sky Castle.
• We be taught a bit extra of Gi-hun’s backstory: He missed his daughter’s beginning as a result of a coworker collapsed and died that day.
• Sang-woo’s mom could also be primary on my actually-deserves-45.6-billion-won record.
• One of the books on Jun-ho’s brother’s desk is by Jacques Lacan, a controversial French psychoanalyst.
• Would you survive this recreation? I’m gentle as hell, but when a mortgage shark had been coming for a kidney and a watch, I’d in all probability return to the Game.