The cliffhanger of Episode 9 of The Squid Game, Lucky Day, raised several questions at once. But what happened in the final episode of the Korean Netflix show that took the world by storm?
The global Netflix phenomenon is causing a lot of buzz for several reasons. This brutal survival series made a splash by highlighting a multi-layered story of human greed and a unique narrative. And with its ever-growing audience, there is growing curiosity about what comes next.
The Squid Game is a nine-episode series that draws attention with its intrigue and cruelty. The latter ends with an open ending, which hints at a continuation.
The main story revolves around 456 highly indebted people from all ages and walks of life who participate in six rounds of various children’s games to win a huge amount of money. They gather together in an unknown camp, not suspecting that losing even one game will cost them their lives. The show highlights the economic struggles and class divisions in South Korea, with eight characters starring.
However, when we get to Episode 9, the five main characters are dead, and Song Ki Hoon (player 456), Cho Sang Woo (player 218), and Kang Sae Byuk (player 067) become finalists. The trio are treated to a hearty steak dinner the evening before their last game. It is revealed that Se Byuk is badly injured and is bleeding to death from an injury sustained in the previous game. At the end of the meal, all three remain with a knife on the table – a trick for two to reach the final.
Ki Hoon, knowing full well that Sang Woo would do anything to win, tries to kill him in his sleep, but Se Byuk reminds him that he is not a killer. Ki Hoon offers to team up against Sang Woo, but she realizes that his promise means that there will be one winner. They make an agreement that the winner will take care of the other’s family. When Se Byok’s condition deteriorates, Ki Hoon goes to ask for help – while Sang Woo kills her.
At the same time, police officer Hwang Joon Ho, who is on the run, comes face to face with the frontman, who turns out to be his brother Hwang In Ho, whom he has been looking for all this time. In Ho shoots at Jun Ho and then falls off a cliff into the sea.
Mourning the death of Sae Byuk, Ki Hoon enters the last arena to play against Sang Woo in a squid game. The two engage in a fierce battle, and just as Ki Hoon wins, he refuses to take the final step to end the championship. He asks a childhood friend to join him and call for the cancellation of the game according to the last clause of the agreement. But Sang Woo stabs himself in the neck and asks Ki Hoon to take care of his mother.
Upon returning home, Ki Hoon is in mourning and guilt. He discovers that his mother is dead and, despite receiving all the money, leaves it intact in the bank for several months. One night he receives an invitation card. He goes to a meeting with a man who turns out to be none other than O Il-nam (player 001).
In fact, he is also the mastermind behind the game to entertain dirty, wealthy, life-changing people like him. He also reminded Ki Hoon that many players returned to camp voluntarily.
All the games were from his childhood, and out of nostalgia he dressed up as one of the participants. He challenges Ki Hoon by betting if someone will help the dying man by the side of the road before midnight. Although Ki-hun wins, Il-nam dies due to a brain tumor.
Keeping promises made to Se Byuk and Sang Woo, Ki Hoon transfers money to their family members. On his way to the airport to meet his daughter in Los Angeles, the hero sees that the same recruiter is playing hanji with another man. While the recruiter escapes, Ki Hoon snatches the card from the person and calls the number to see who is still playing.
A voice, presumably the frontman, asks Ki Hoon to get on the plane and stay out of his business. Ki Hoon instead acts differently and stays in Seoul with a promise to uncover the secrets of the games.
WHO IS FRONTMET?
Episode 8 reveals that In Ho, the cop’s missing brother, has been behind the frontman’s mask the entire time, but when – and why – did he become in charge of managing the game?
Viewers learn for the first time that In Ho won the game in 2015, which means he left the island a few years earlier with several billion won; however, in the eighth episode, it is revealed that he is in fact the mysterious masked figure who supports the game.
In Ho’s return to the game as an overseer is probably due to the reasons he wore the black mask. In the second episode, it is implied that In Ho’s disappearance happened recently, but this is not clarified. That being said, the storyline seems to create one of the biggest story holes.
As evidenced by Ki Hoon’s reluctance to spend his prize money in the final episode, it’s likely that many of the game’s winners are struggling to adjust to a normal life after the competition. Surviving all other players will undoubtedly influence the winner, and while this is tough for Ki Hoon, the frontman’s speech about equality in the game indicates that he prefers the simplicity of life on the island. Based on this, it can be assumed that In Ho was unable to reintegrate into society after the victory.
If Ki Hoon can fight the frontman and stop the games, we will find out in the second season. So far, there has been no official announcement of the sequel.
Explanation of the ending of the series “Squid Game” (2021)
South Korean web series in the genre of survival, action adventure, thriller and drama. It was directed and written by Hwang Dong Hyuk. The series consists of nine episodes and premiered Squid Game on September 17, 2021 on the Netflix platform
In the series finale, Ki Hoon, the main character of the show, wins the game. After winning, he learns that the game was created by O Il Nam. The latter really dies of brain cancer, but it soon turns out that the game will continue on without the one who created it. As a result, Ki Hoon decides to stop the game – in the finale, he calls the host and says that he is following them.
The ending explained
After the victory, the host takes Sona home. They throw him out on the street and put a bank card in his mouth – that’s where the money is. The password for the bank card is his serial number in the game – 0456. Then he goes to the nearest ATM, where he withdraws 10 thousand won and sees the balance on the account – 45 billion 599 million 990 thousand won. On the way, he buys fish from Cho’s mother and tries to give 10,000 won, but Cho’s mother refuses. Then Sleep returns home and sees his mother lying on the floor. She does not breathe and does not show signs of life.
Throughout the year, the Dream lives the same life as before: it borrows money, is in poverty and does not work. One day he sits on the shore, and a woman comes up to him and very much asks to buy a flower. Sleep buys a rose with the last cash and finds there a card with a familiar logo on which the place and time of the meeting is written.
The dream goes to this skyscraper, rises to the seventh floor and sees O Il Nam – the same old man with the number “001”. It turns out that he is the creator of this game!
Further, O Il Nam says that he made this game for entertainment, and he himself entered the game because he wanted to remember before his death how he had fun playing these games as a child. O Il Nam saved Son Wu’s life because he was fun to play with and thanks to him he remembered things from the past that he had long forgotten about. After these words, the old man dies.
Son then remembers her promise to Kang, changes her appearance and takes her brother Chol. He gives it to the care of Cho’s mother, leaving a huge suitcase with money – there are exactly half of the winnings.
Sleep decides to fly to the USA in order to get his daughter back. In the subway, he sees the same man playing with another stranger in hundreds and trying to catch up with him to ask a few questions, but he leaves.
He takes the business card from the stranger and calls the number on the way to the plane. He is invited to play a game, and a dialogue takes place:
- Sleep : “Listen carefully. I’m not a horse. I am human. So I want to know who you are and how you can commit such atrocities with people. “
- Mr. X : “Player 456. Don’t be silly.”
- Dream : “Therefore, I cannot forgive you for what you are doing.”
- Mr. X : “Just get on the plane. For your own good. “
The conversation ends, the Dream turns around and leaves. End of the season.
The second season will definitely be! Director Hwang Dong Hyuk initially did not expect his project to become so popular, as a result of which he did not even think about a sequel. Now the situation has changed so much that he is ready to reveal a new part of his story.
There are too many questions left that the viewer did not know the answer to.
- Who are the people in pink suits and how do they get to work?
- How can a game play without a creator?
- Why did Son decide that getting his daughter back was not the main goal after the game?
- What did his mother die of?
- What’s the next game going to be?
What are you looking forward to in Season 2 of The Squid Game?
That’s all you need to know about the ending of The Squid Game.
9+ fan theories in the Squid Game: who are the people in pink, allusions to the death of heroes and the secrets of the first player
1. People in pink suits chose a red envelope in a hundred square meters game.
Many theories about playing squid come from how people get involved in the game. One compelling theory has to do with the weave game. Song Ki Hoon is asked to play on the subway in the first episode.
Viewers will remember that Song Ki Hoon won 10,000 won (sounds a lot, but this is equivalent to roughly £ 6.20 in British money) every time he managed to flip his opponent’s envelope. If his opponent manages to flip Song Ki Hoon’s envelope, he gets a slap in the face.
The stranger asks Song Ki Hoon to choose between a red or blue envelope for the game, and Song Ki Hoon chooses a blue one. When he arrives for a competition later in the game as a contestant, he is wearing a blue tracksuit.
Some theorize that those who opt for the red envelope instead become masked guards – pink-suited guards who oversee the competition and help “eliminate” the participants.
2. Son’s red hairstyle at the end of the season has a deeper meaning
In the final episode, Song Ki Hoon dyes her hair red after winning games for the prize money. While it may just be a cinematic decision to show that the once affable and light-hearted character has now changed after seeing so many people die, including his friends, others see it as an omen; Song Ki Hoon chose “red” and will return as a masked guard to film the games from the inside. It’s a bit of a stretch, but we’re ending the series with Song Ki Hoon determined to hunt down whoever is still letting the games continue – so maybe those suggesting this theory are up to something.
3.O Il Nam – the father of the protagonist
Song Ki Hoon has a relationship with old man Oh Il Nam or member “001”, but some indicate that the couple’s friendship stems from family ties. Eventually, we see Song Ki Hoon at home with his mother, but his father is not mentioned or discussed at all.
There are clues in the narrative that the couple is connected – the scene in which Song Ki Hoon asked the unflappable guards for chocolate milk, saw Oh Il Nam chuckle that his son was “like” him. In another scene, the couple discuss the similarity of the set in one of the games to their growing up, again leading many to assume that the old man was Song Ki Hoon’s father.
The show’s twist, which reveals that Oh Il Nam was a VIP player who helped create trouble, has led many to argue that the entire tournament was invented by Oh Il Nam to find his lost son, especially when he gives Song Ki Hoon his jacket “for defense ”in games and adds that he was“ fun to play with ”. Are tournaments just a ploy for father and son to have fun in childhood that they never could?
4. Games were adjusted to protect O Il Nam
From the very beginning, O Il us stood out compared to other members. He is much older than those around him, he has no backstory, and he is surprisingly smart for someone who is quite seriously ill.
But there is stronger evidence that the ‘001’ participant was more deeply involved in the competition. Many viewers commented on how enthusiastic Oh Il Nam was for each game, despite its obvious flaws – it soon turns out that this is because he really helped choose each round.
If you look closely, the rather cheerful O Il Nam, who happily rushes forward, despite the fact that he watches hundreds of people being shot, is barely visible in the game “Hush the ride, the further you will be.”
Another clue to O Il Nam’s true identity is seen in the riots: one of the few things that the guards or the VIPs watching them have any kind of control. Even though many of the members were killed, the Frontman only intervenes when Oh Il Nam pleads with the cameras that he is “scared” because he knew he was a weak, easy target that could be easily killed if the scuffle continued.
5. People in pink suits – winners of past games
Another theory about the personality of those working on the games is that the guards in red are actually all previous winners from older games. This is not impossible given that the Frontman is In Ho, Detective Jun Ho’s missing brother.
As we have seen, the winners of each game win a significant amount of cash, but some of these players already owe millions of won, and handing out huge stacks of banknotes to gamblers will only make them indulge in their vices even more.
Perhaps when the winners return to the outside world, they recklessly spend all their prize money and end up in debt again?
Oh Il Nam can clearly follow the players – we see him “find” Song Ki Hoon when games are canceled for the first time. So maybe he can track down the winners – and give them another chance to pay off their debt by working as security guards for a period of time.
It would also explain why past winners are recruited; the guards are portrayed as cold-hearted and cold-blooded, and nothing can make someone more cruel than watching and killing other players in pursuit of money.
But we have to consider the teenager who turned out to be the guard in Episode 3. Could he really have won the previous tournament? Or are there even darker circumstances surrounding games that we can’t even understand?
6. People in pink suits – those who refused to play after the first game
After games are canceled after the first vote, most players return to the game as they are all in desperate need of money. But 14 out of 201 players decided not to return because they didn’t want to put their lives at risk. Fair.
We see the Frontman telling the other guards to keep an eye on those who did not return – but what could he mean? One theory is that these 14 people will be given the opportunity to pay their debts as workers on the game.
Workers, for the most part, are protected from harm if they follow the rules. It would also serve as a surefire way to prevent their knowledge of games from leaking out to the outside world.
If we look at the 14 members who did not return to this game, along with the former members who did not return in previous years, that would mean there are over 100 players roaming around, which is similar to the number of armed guards.
7. Some deaths could be predicted
We can already guess the fate of some of our outstanding gamers just by looking at how they behaved in the outside world, as many of their actions poetically indicate how they all die.
Let’s take a look at Sang Woo: he kills himself at the end of the games and planned to do so before he was pulled into the competition again in Episode 2.
Elsewhere, gangster Chan Dok died after falling in the Glass Bridge game, and this is how he escaped from those who were following him.
North Korean defector Sae Beck got her throat cut in the final game, and that is how she threatened her rogue in the outside world.
And Ali’s death (probably one of the most heartbreaking in the series) comes from Sang Woo stealing his marbles – just as Ali desperately stole his boss’s money before the tournament.
8. Son’s daughter’s stepfather is involved in the game
This theory may be far-fetched, but some viewers believe that Song Ki Hoon’s ex-wife’s new husband is playing games. Why? Well, there are a few clues.
This person clearly has no shortage of money, he easily gives money for the operation to Son’s mother, but he also has a vile and vindictive trait, as he insists that he leave their life forever.
It is clear that the person in charge of the games can speak English, since we hear them talking to someone, and since the family is moving to America for work, he is most likely fluent. Could he really have been the inspiration, or at least had something to do with it? It is unlikely, but playing with squid showed that anything is possible.
9.O Il Nam on purpose lost in the fourth game
Moreover, he was definitely not going to participate in it. Several facts indicate this:
O Il Nam did not get out of bed until the last, citing illness. Most likely, he deliberately wet his pants with water from a bottle. At night, they wet a rag with water from a bottle that was placed next to him. In the morning the bottle was empty.
Since there were an odd number of participants, and the players needed to be divided into pairs, the old man immediately sat down in a secluded place so that no one would notice him and would not choose him as a partner. However, he failed. Song Ki Hoon extended his hand to him – this gesture meant choosing a partner.
Then he deliberately let himself be tricked by Sona, so that he would win at stones. It is for the next game (Glass Bridge) that VIP-clients come. Surely, this moment O Il Nam could not miss in any way.
What other theories do you know? Write in the comments!
9+ parts of the Squid Game you missed
1. The viewer could have guessed that Oh Il Nam is the creator of the game
It is the old man with the number “001” who is the most mysterious character during the first four games. The show gives us clues that it has something to do with the game, but then breaks down all the guesswork after playing Kganbu. Judge for yourself:
- With a smile on his face, the game “The quieter you go – the further you will be” is played, while behind him there are more than a hundred corpses.
- It was he who suggested to the team the tactics in the “Tug of War”.
- The old man “almost remembered” about the game of “Sugar honeycomb”.
- After his request on camera, the night brawl stopped – when other participants asked for help, no one responded.
- In the very first game, the doll does not scan it (this is very difficult to notice when you first view it).
- The viewer was not shown the moment the old man was put to sleep when he returned to the game – he just entered the van and that’s it.
- Oh Il Nam “accidentally” finds one of the players on the street (Song Ki Hoon – 456) and says that he would like to return to the game.
- It was the old man who tried to leave the game before the game “Kganbu” – he sat in a secluded place to be without a partner, and also “got sick” before the day of the game. Moreover, the moment of the murder was not shown to the viewer.
2. Participants could find out about all games in advance
Player 111 (the surgeon who helped with the organ harvesting for sale) wasn’t the only one who could learn about further games. If we look closely, we will see that all the games that the participants played were painted on the walls. Nobody paid attention to them due to the large number of beds, but they were there. They can be seen in more detail after the fifth game of “Glass Bridge”.
And here is some evidence that the drawings were before that:
Tug of war
The quieter you go, the further you’ll get
3. Was the cause of death in the game predictable?
In a sense, yes. The deaths of some characters are very related to how they got into the game. For example:
- Woo-Sang: He kills himself at the end of the games and planned to do so before being pulled into the competition again in Episode 2.
- Gangster Chan Dok: Died after falling in the Glass Bridge game, and this is how he escaped from those who were following him.
- Sae Bek’s girlfriend: cut her throat in the final game and this is how she threatened her rogue in the outside world.
- Pakistani Ali: Sang Woo steals his balls – just as Ali desperately stole his boss’s money before the tournament.
4. Gift from daughter Sona
At the beginning of the series, Sleep gives his daughter a box with a ribbon for a decade, which a random boy helped him to get from the machine. Inside is a pistol-shaped lighter. There she is:
Doesn’t it look like anything? That’s right, in similar “boxes” the servants carry away the bodies of the retired participants from the games, and the pistol means death.
5. Escher’s ladder
An interesting side note: the ladders for the next game are very similar to the “Escher Ladder” optical illusion. Is she related to the show? One can only guess.
6. The actress who played Kang Se Baek is a model
This is not mentioned in the series, but the fact is interesting. For Jung Ho Young, the role of Kang Se Baek is the first in her life. Project director Hwang Dong Hyuk invited her as soon as he saw the casting. Moreover, her Instagram at the time of the release of the series did not have even a million subscribers. Now she has almost 13 million followers.
Where can we go without them? Three of the most obvious blunders in the show:
1. At the beginning of the series, when Son tries to withdraw money from his mother’s card, he enters his date of birth as a password (0426 – April 26), and in his personal file on the game, the date of birth is October 31, 1974. What to believe?
2. Remember that glazier who helped the players on the Glass Bridge almost to the end? The frontman logs into his profile and sees the dates of work at the plant. Stop, how long did he work there? 123 years old?
3. In the second episode, we were shown Song Ki Hoon’s mobile phone, the Samsung Galaxy S7. Moreover, in the final episode in the subway, he communicates using it. But at the airport, when he examines a business card, we see a Samsung Galaxy S3 in his hand. Why?
8. O Il Nam’s personal card is missing from the Frontman’s archives
When a police officer opens a magazine with personal cards of players, the countdown starts from the number “002”. And where is O Il Nam? This is another fact that proves that Oh Il Nam has something to do with the game.
9. The phone number on the business card that potential players receive belongs to a real person
This is true! It is not known how the creators of the series managed to admit this. The owner of this number said that in the early days of the series’ release, he received over a thousand calls per day.
* * *
Will there be a Sequel to Season 2 of Squid Game?
The creator of “Squid Game” Hwang Dong-hyeok did not rule out that there may be a sequel to the nine-episode show in the future. However, if that happens, it will not happen soon – after the success of the project he wants to concentrate on a full-length feature and is far from writing a sequel for now.
“I used to drink half a bottle of Korean liquor a day to create. But now I can not afford it – admits the filmmaker. – I am very hard to give the script for the series, because I originally conceived the project as a film. In the end, I had six months to correspond only the first two episodes. And now I’m tired to think about the sequel. But if I do it, then I will not do alone, and hired a team of writers and directors.
That said, the director does have a little work to do – in his words, he wants to continue to dedicate the antagonist Leading, the character who is the organizer of the death games.
As for Netflix, the streaming service is naturally set on a sequel – and is currently in talks with the project’s creator.
“We couldn’t have imagined that the series would become so successful worldwide. We knew it would be the leading show in Korea, but no one could have imagined that it would be such an impressive international success.”
A review of the TV series Squid Game
The popularity of the series can be criticized, seeing its script as overrated and not the most original survival story. The new hit from Netflix does conjure up associations with existing movies, and showrunner Hwang Dong-Heck honestly admits that he drew inspiration from the manga Battle Royale, Liar Game, and Gambling Apocalypse: Kaiji. If you really want to pick on them, the most attentive viewers will easily find not only similarities with the comics, but also a number of minor flaws and inconsistencies (not to mention all of them without spoilers).
However, these remarks are unlikely to spoil the overall impression of an intriguing story, which English-language reviews classify as “enjoyable to watch”. And it’s true, the series is entertaining, you want to watch it without pausing to see the variety of challenges prepared for desperate characters (by the way, there are dozens of clips on YouTube with an interesting analysis of the details, pointing out important plot nuances – there are much more than visible inconsistencies).
The characters in the series are people who are on the edge and can’t pay off their debts. They are offered a simple chance to make money: over the course of six days, they must play six children’s games. The winner, who reaches the end and does not break the rules, will receive a large cash prize. At first glance, everything seems pretty simple, so 456 strangers agree to the terms of the contract. During the first game, they find out that the tempting offer has another rule – if the player drops out, he immediately dies.
What’s most fascinating about Squid Game is how the death games are set up, which have managed to attract hundreds of participants. The competition organizers are anonymous, who control the situation by looking at numerous monitors. The players themselves are in a huge barracks that resembles a prison cell. They emerge from there only to go to the next outlandish location, where they will be told the order of the next steps. Players are surrounded by soldiers dressed in identical uniforms, whose faces cannot be seen behind black masks depicting geometric shapes.
The plot of the series gradually reveals how this mysterious place is arranged, replete with bright colors. The rainbow-colored grounds become a frightening backdrop for the bloody events, and the impeccable surveillance system hides its secrets, which better not come out (it’s notable that the creators of the series tried to resort to CGI as little as possible, so many sets were constructed for weeks on the set, even the giant doll from the first series turned out to be real – now it is in the South Korean museum Macha Land).
Squid Game has often been compared to The Hunger Games in movie reviews, but the South Korean series is much harder and more ironic, and there are no love lines with teenagers. It’s also worth pointing out that Squid Game is not an anti-utopia, the series takes place in contemporary Korea, where there are more and more people who owe large sums to banks and loan sharks (not coincidentally, in the background of one episode there’s a news report that South Korea ranks second in the world in lending to the population).
Describing the idea for the series, showrunner Hwang Dong-hek says that he wanted to write a story that would be an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, where competition turns into a struggle for life. What’s really interesting is that in the series, this struggle for survival takes place within the framework of Korean children’s games (the rules are clearly explained to viewers, so there’s no problem with understanding them). The characters are forced to cunning, team up, rely on luck, and in the end decide if they are ready to cross the line by losing their humanity.
It must be said, over the course of events the creators manage to reveal the characters of the key characters (despite the fact that there are a lot of players at first), show their ambiguous sides and pay attention to what has forced people to find themselves on the death ground decorated with festive colors of their own free will. Not only are the breathless bodies left after the games a reminder of the grim side of the place, there is also inappropriately upbeat music in the background, transitioning into a disturbing melody, and participants are sent to the games to the soothing sounds of a Johann Strauss waltz.
The weakest point of the series is the episode in which several foreign actors appear – their acting is so awful that it spoils the overall impression of the story. Fortunately, all the attention returns to the players, who surprise, sympathize, and outrage with their actions in good time. Just as importantly, by the finale, Squid Game is laying out the answers to the main questions, while leaving a hint of a second season.
Like all Korean movies, it’s better to watch the series in its original language with subtitles – that way you don’t lose the actors’ intonations, which are important for conveying emotion (this is confirmed by director Taika Waititi, who tweeted this advice: “You don’t have to watch Squid Game dubbed in English”).
4.5 my rating
PLUSES: plot built around Korean children’s games; character reveal of key characters; playground design and anonymous soldiers in masks; soundtrack; it’s not dystopia, the action takes place in the modern world
MINUSES: there are minor inconsistencies; a group of foreign actors with terrible acting
CONCLUSION: “The Squid Game” is a fascinating nine-episode survival thriller with memorable characters, shot with irony and intrigue. Fans of the Japanese series Alice in Borderland will probably enjoy it.
Which of these details did you notice when you first viewed it? Share it in the comments!