Squid game, the Korean drama series which was released on September 17, 2021, has had everyone on top of their seats since it was revealed on Netflix. The skull chilling drama which is directed by Hwang dong-Hyuk has captured the attention of viewers from all over the world, not just k-drama lovers. Individuals who have never in their life seen a glimpse of Korean shows or dramas have fallen in love with the new show. Even though being released just this year, the show might win the title of being the most-watched show in Netflix history. Being praised for its amazing direction and captivating storyline, the Squid game gets you hooked throughout the episodes. Another point that we can take into consideration is the attention to detail, the director Mr. Hwang did an amazing job showcasing his direction skills through this show. Some even say this show is a dream for a Film major to study on.
The show is equally mysterious but compelling, it talks about many different social issues in Korean society which isn’t talked about publically. Through the amazing directing skills of the director and the personality of the characters, it adds many layers to the show which can be dissected through different parts. Now, let’s talk about the cast and the main storyline, and then, we can get into the ending part for which we’re all here.
Lee Jung-Jae takes the lead as Seong Gi-hun, Jung Ho-Yeon as Kang Sae-byeok, Park Hae-soo as Cho Sang-woo, and Wi Ha-Joon as Hwang Jun-ho. Yes, there are other amazing characters that we all admire but these are the main individuals of the show. The show is about A fatal game where participants fight for a 45.6 billion (about $38 million) winning reward over numerous rounds of children’s games. Eliminated players are killed summarily in a horrific spectacle in Korea today in full secrecy. At first, when you watch the show you might not have any idea of the bloody violence that is about to take place but don’t worry you will catch a glimpse at the end of the very first episode.
Now, it’s SPOILER TIMEEE!!! If you’ve just started to watch the show and don’t want any spoilers it’s best to exist right for your own good. But, for those who’ve already finished and want to all about the ending and plot twists, this is for you.
The final episode opens up with the two final survivors Gi-hun and Sang-woo tossing a coin for the final game, which is the identical Squid Game as the first season. After Sang-woo killed Sae-byeok at the end of the blood-wrenching episode, Gi-hun is out for vengeance. The Front Man informs the VIPs that Squid Game was the most physically demanding and brutal game played by Korean children, and it lives up to the hype, with old childhood buddies battling to the death with steak knives in the rain. Gi-hun finally gains the power and pins Sang-woo to the ground, knife in hand. But, despite his rage, he does not murder his old buddy. Instead, he walks over to the finish line, where an attendant is waiting to shoot Sang-woo if he wins. Gi-hun recognizes this and decides to end the game and give up the money rather than let Sang-woo perish. However, in the final moments of his life, Sang-woo stabs himself, allowing Gi-hun to receive the prize money and asking Gi-hun to assist his mother.
Gi-hun is upset and is left off in Seoul with a debit card containing his earnings. On the way back, he has a conversation with the Front Man, in which the game master encourages him to forget about the game and explains, “You place bets on horses. It’s the same here, but we’re betting on people. You’re our steeds.” Gi-hun returns home, seeing Sang-anxious woos mother along the way, and finds that his mother has died at their residence. A year later, an untidy, bearded Gi-hun is taking the train. We discover through a meeting with a banking executive that he has scarcely used any of the prize money that has been sitting on that debit card. We don’t know why, but we watch him ask the bank executive for 10,000 won (approximately $8), which he spends on a drink and flowers from a street seller. It appears to be a decision based on sadness and the pain he hasn’t processed from the brutal game.
Now, that we’ve covered the ending part, let’s get on to the plot and the mastermind who was behind all this chaos. To create some suspense, let’s imagine a drumroll before I explain who the frontman is, now we’re done with all that. Let me tell you who the frontman is, it’s no one other than the old man Oh Il-Man( Player no.001) who has been in the game since the start. I know we were all very upset when we saw that he died in episode 6 but soon we realize that he was the one who was behind all of it.
Gi-hun purchased a bouquet from the woman, which included a business card for the Game as well as an invitation to a random high-rise that night. When he arrives, he finds Player 001, true name Oh Il-nam, who we thought dead after losing the marble game. Instead, he’s awake and conscious, albeit in a hospital bed hooked up to an oxygen machine. Il-nam turns out to be quite wealthy, however, his excuse is that he “makes a livelihood lending out money.” Everything he revealed in the Game, including his identity and the brain tumor, was genuine, yet he entered the game after years of watching as a VIP. He was even present when the Game was established out of boredom among the wealthy. He claims he participated because he wanted to experience the genuine thrill before dying, rather than merely spectating.
Il-nam got Gi-hun to play another game even as he lay dying. He points out the window of the high-rise to a man on the street who is passed out drunk in the snow. He expresses his opinion on whether anybody would assist the man, exposing his true character by referring to him as a “disgusting, stinking drunk, tiny bit of trash.” Meanwhile, Gi-hun is clearly enraged, questioning Il-nam as to why he is the only one who gets to survive. Il-nam doesn’t care, and he makes a bet on whether anybody will save the man before midnight, showcasing his depravity and lack of empathy. Gi-hun promises to wager anything on the intoxicated man’s life since he no longer cares about himself. Throughout Il-confession, names he keeps a close eye on the situation to see if anybody can assist. Il-nam questions if Gi-hun can trust anyone after the game (which is a legitimate issue), but Gi-hun still believes in mankind. Some officers assist the man at the last second. Gi-hun can see, but Il-nam cannot. He dies with nothing to counterbalance his dismal ideas.
After the meeting with Il-nam, either getting an explanation for the Game or regaining his faith in humanity, sparks a change in Gi-hun. He cuts his beard, gets a k-pop idol-inspired haircut, and goes to visit Sae’s brother in the orphanage. He brings the child to Sang-woo’s mom, who will take care of him while Gi-hun goes to visit his daughter in America, and also gives her half of his winnings. With that, he’s able to keep his promise to Sae-byeok and Sang-woo. While he is on the phone with his daughter on the way to the airport, he notices The Salesman (which we saw in the very first episode) recruiting a new player. He accepts the Game card, and just before boarding the plane (literally on the jet bridge), he phones and informs them that the Game must come to an end. The voice on the other end of the telephone urges him to simply get on the plane. He turns and goes away.