The Queen’s Team
Episode 5 of Alice in Borderland Season 2 starts with Usagi alone in the woods, calling out for Arisu. However, Arisu is with Aguni, who we learned last episode is still alive. Arisu points out that the group are all separated and Tatta didn’t make it. As for Aguni, he intends to strike down the King of Spades and likens all of this to a battlefield – the last battlefield they’ll compete on.
Through flashbacks, we see exactly how this girl, Akane, has made it this far. The first game she played ended up being her last. She was forced into a game called Boiling Point, where an arena completely crumbled and exploded, with her still inside. She was hit by one of the blasts, impaled through the leg by a spike. When she awoke, within the rubble, all of her fellow contestants were dead.
Akane managed to free herself and crawled through the vents and away. However, her wound ended up completely infected and she had no choice but to sever her own leg, thanks to a drunk doctor’s expert opinion nearby. Akane remained defiant until the end and this explains her drive to survive and why she’s risking it all to keep fighting.
Back in the present, the trio head out together, with Arisu given a gun to protect himself. Aguni points out they need to keep their wits about them, especially as the King of Spades could be tracking them even now. They need to find a good spot to ambush him. They find a cliff-face nearby and decide to lure the King of Spades there. With trip wires and smoke bombs at hand, the three work together to set these in place and wait for the boss to arrive. And arrive he does.
Wearing night vision goggles, he hones in on Arisu’s position and even manages to get round the trip wires. Just before he fires, a flare goes off, and both Akane and Aguni jump on his location. The boss is not down for long and it seems Arisu was actually being used as bait all this time. The King of Spades drops a grenade at Arisu’s feet. As it explodes, he dives out the way. The explosion though sends him sprawling into the river below.
As for Aguni and Akane, the former ends up shot and passes out. Akane survives. Thankfully the boss turns and leaves, with the plan a complete dud. Arisu is separated from the others and wanders alone through the streets until he comes upon a tent. It’s not Usagi though, unfortunately, as she happens to find several survivors of her own, including a young boy called Kota and a girl. The former seems to have lost his parents, which is something Usagi can obviously empathize with.
Arisu heads back into the heart of the city, where another blimp goes up in flames and a whole bunch of survivors head out of a parking lot. Thankfully though, Aguni is still alive and is patched up by Akane.
Arisu continues on and ends up in an overgrown part of the city, completely overcome by nature. Vines choke the skyscrapers but still he presses on. As for Kuine, she manages to compete in more games and comes out the victor, buying her precious time on her Visa. Unfortunately she sports numerous cuts all over her body for her troubles.
Ann makes good on her promise from the video Kaito had recorded. She manages to make it through to the edge of the city but the mountain ranges stretch on ad infinitum. While she’s unclear over what to do, Usagi and Kota are not.
Usagi and Kota head into the next game, this time for the Queen of Spades at a construction site. Thankfully Arisu manages to catch up with them there and the pair end up reunited. There are only two physical games left to play, according to Arisu, and he knew she’d be at one of them. The pair hug tenderly but it’s quickly interrupted by the Queen of Spades showing up on a big screen.
The Queen’s team is made up of four members and one is chosen to be the King. It’s the same for the Challengers, with Kota chosen as the King for the Challengers. Each team alternate turns for a total of 16 rounds. The Queen Team’s players chase the Challengers to begin with. If the button on their back turns red, they turn to the Queen’s team and may not move for the remainder of the round.
The next round, that player will then be considered part of the Queen’s team. The Kings cannot be turned, and the opposite is true for the Challengers team. Whoever has the most amount of members at the end of the game will win… and the losers will die. It’s basically a mashup of manhunt, tag and chess.
Each member is forced to wear vests to make all of this official. And of course, the Queen’s Team immediately begin charging up the stairs for them as the buzzer begins. Kota is forced to stay alone in the middle of the rooftop while the turns alternate. The Queen’s Team work to make sure they have the upper-hand, preventing any tagging on the Challenger’s Turn. Of course, as the Queen can’t be turned, she has a distinct advantage, given she’s at the forefront of all this. Kota is left all on his own on the roof. Naturally, the Queen ends up with a distinct advantage and it ends up with a 17-3 lead against Usagi, Arisu and Kota.
The Queen is adamant that she wants Arisu on her side, and our characters soon suss that out. However, the episode comes to an agonizing close before we can find out an answer.
The Episode Review
Alice in Borderland returns with another really good episode, one that sees all of our characters separated temporarily, allowing for deeper worldbuilding and interesting locales to bleed into the show. Seeing snippets of Ann, Aguni and Chishiya helps to give more context over exactly what’s been happening to each of them and I’m sure we’ll see Arisu and Usagi joined with Chishiya down the line… if they make it that far of course.
This maniacal game of manhunt looks set to take a turn for the worst and with some of the longest episodes of the whole series up next, it’s anyone’s guess exactly what will happen next and who will come out on top. Bring it on!