Squid Game Pushing It’s Way to Netflix’s Number One

Spoilers Ahead

“Squid Game,” a series created by Hwang Dong-hyuk, appeared from almost thin air, and is now becoming one of the most talked-about Netflix shows. This nine-episode series features 456 ‘players’, each one poverty-stricken, racing to win a cash prize of 45.6 billion won ($38,460,271 USD) by playing children’s games. Yet, until the games begin, none of them know what they are betting, each of these games having a gruesome twist. The episodes follow Seong Gi-hun, a broke, divorced man with a gambling addiction who has been outrunning those he owes.  He attempts to stay alive until the end of the games to prove himself to his daughter and mother. Other stand-out characters include an elderly man with a brain tumor, a North Korean runaway, and a scholarly man who grew up with Gi-hun and was the pride and joy their hometown.  

This show has been making its way to becoming Netflix’s most-watched show and it isn’t hard to see why. This buzz-worthy show depicts the bendable parts of humanity and how little it takes for one to snap. After playing the first round out of six, more than half of the competition for the games is ‘eliminated’. After seeing this, the majority voted to stop the games, Gi-hun being among this group. This sent the remaining  players back to their poverty-stricken lives.

In the second episode, we learn about the background of the remaining players, this gives the reasons on why they would want to return. An elderly man who was introduced in the first game, Oh Il-nam, reconnects with Gi-hun and convinces him to return to the game. In their conversation, he explains how he saw it as ‘pathetic’ to be sitting around with a brain tumor and waiting to die when he had a chance to win the prize offered. This episode was not the most entertaining to watch, it seemed to drag on and you wished for the juicy parts of the show to return. But, when looking at it from a different angle, I understood why it was there. The episode needed to highlight why the competitors would’ve voluntarily returned and risked their lives, for an ultimate cash prize. This aspect makes up for the seeming filler episode because it shows the stakes the characters were willing to push through. 

Once players begin to return is when the real show starts. Games get harder and the stakes get higher, as the number of contestants dwindles down. Famous episode number six, which seems to be mentioned the most on social media, is when friendships are truly put against each other. (Major spoiler alert)*The game ends with  childhood friends, Cho Sang-woo and Gi-hun, playing against each other in a game of life or death. When Cho Sang-woo is on the ground, Gi-hun begs for the game to be stopped, willing to lose all of the money just for the death of yet another person to be stopped. But before he can further his argument Sang-woo ends the game himself, and ultimately his life, not allowing Gi-hun to let everything go to waste. After the games are over, Gi-hun goes home, money in hand and the deaths of 455 people weighing on his shoulders. He gives his money away to a brother of one of the former contestants and  Sang-woo’s mom. On his journey to see his daughter, Gi-hun receives a call and turns away from his flight, seemingly on a new mission. 

The final scene gave somewhat of a platform for the writers to continue the series if they wished, however, I don’t think it would be in their best interest. Shows like this don’t often need any more than what is already out, the sequels and extras do nothing more than try to make more money on a dead story line. But as in any show, there are theories and conspiracies that somehow one of the characters escaped their fate. If there ever were to be a sequel I would watch it, hoping it will impress just as this one did. Overall, I found this show one of the most entertaining I’ve watched, sweating as I watched the characters make their way through the games.