Alice In Borderland – Season 2 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Massacre at Shibuya Crossing

Episode 1 of Alice in Borderland Season 2 stars with Arisu running for dear life at Shibuya Crossing. Sprays of gunfire take out numerous people left and right… but that’s not where we start. In fact, we jump back 13 minutes earlier to an eerily quiet crossing. Usagi, Kuina and Chishiya have been waiting over an hour now for the games to begin, but nothing seems to be happening. That is, until an ominous rumbling sounds in the distance.

Numerous different cars show up with a whole bunch of beach people inside – those who survived anyway. They ended up seeing the blimps and decided to come and investigate. Only, an anti-tank rifle suddenly smashes through several different people. No rules or reason has been given behind this; it’s a massacre.

Arisu leads the charge as they rush across the square and try to find a way out. Usagi and Arisu hide behind cars, as that ominous blimp flies above, brandishing the King of Spades banner. A cloaked figure approaches from afar, whom they presume is the King of Spades, and try desperately to get away. Thankfully Ann and Tatta show up with their car and they scramble inside. Unfortunately Chishiya is stopped by a grenade and forced to retreat.

As the survivors drive out the hotspot of fighting, Arisu deduces what’s going on here. It could well be that this is a boss fight and the only solution is to defeat all four suit masters (symbolized by their blimps flying about) so then they can move onto the next stage. That explains why there are no rules and this Mira they saw in the game-room during the finale, could well be one of them. And in order to get home, they need a full deck of cards, at least if Hatter’s theory is correct.

Suddenly, the King of Spades comes flying up next to them, brandishing a gun and firing at their vehicle. Ann takes the wheel and bombs it down the street. Unfortunately they plough straight into another car and flip upside down. Everyone is still alive but no sooner do they make it out the car, gunfire starts again. The King of Spades sprays bullets across the road but thankfully, our characters manage to find refuge in an abandoned convenience store.

Whilst there, we see a bit more of the past, including Arisu hanging out with his friends and Usagi forced to face her father leaving. She lost her father right before all this happened, with her last words calling him a liar, just before heading out for a climb up a mountain. He was never heard from again after that.

Arisu offers a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on, telling her he understands. After all, Arisu hated the world prior to this but these games have pushed him to become a better person. He’s determined to do right and part of that comes from protecting Usagi no matter what.

Night turns to day and the King of Spades draws closer. Arisu suggests they try and stay off the radar for him by mixing in another game. With only so much time before their Visas run out they need to do something. Although they’re not fans of playing more games, it could be the solution they need to buy more time. Their target would be the King of Clubs, which is the closest near here and those games are generally all about teamwork, so they wouldn’t be pit against one another.

The four show up at the harbour – Tatta, Kuina, Usagi and Arisu – but there’s a problem. For their team game they need 5. However, behind them Niragi inexplicably shows up. He’s still alive but there are concerns he could sabotage their game completely. Still, it’s a risk they’re willing to take. Each put on their bracelets and prepare for what’s to come.

Heading out into the wide open game field, the King of Clubs shows up (naked I may add) alongside his team. They’re all completely shocked by his appearance, especially when he reveals that they’re residents of this city.

The Episode Review

Alice in Borderland is back and the first episode wastes absolutely no time getting right to the crux of the drama. Arisu and the others find themselves under heavy fire by the King of Spades and they have no choice but to get back into playing the games again. It would seem that we’re going to circle back to the Spades boss but for now, it’s onto the King of Clubs and his group.

The oft-overlooked Japanese brother of Squid Game is arguably much more complex, with deeper world building than it’s Korean sibling and this episode is no exception. The way the show jumps back into flashbacks to flesh out certain aspects of character history is really nicely done and it’s helped tremendously by the acting, which is solid across the board.

The ending hints that bigger things are afoot and with most episodes now clocking in at around an hour or so, it seems we’ve got lots more drama to come!

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You can read our full season review for Alice in Borderland season 2 here!


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