Episode 2 of Squid Game begins right off the back of the first game. During the lull between games, Gi-Hun thanks Sang-Woo and the other contestant who helped him during the game. This is short-lived though as the staff arrive in the big dormitory.
Only 201 people have survived the first round. Sang-Woo decides to organize a coup though and tries to get the players to vote in a majority to stop the games completely and head home. Before they vote, the prize money is counted up.
With 100 million won per contestant, there’s 25.5 billion won up for grabs already. If they all quit, this money will be divided up to the deceased but the living will go home with nothing.
The vote comes down to the wire, with Player 001 casting the deciding vote. Well, he chooses not to keep playing, ending the process completely. Half the room is ecstatic; the other not so much. Just before they’re dumped back into their old lives, the group learn there could be another opportunity in the near future if they change their minds.
Sang-Woo, the orchestrator for this coup, finds himself back in the same humdrum life from before. Text messages are relentless, reminding him he owes a lot of money (6 billion won to be precise.) Despite his struggles, he still helps out a fellow contestant in the games who shows up. This is Ali, who we’ll speak about a bit more in a minute. Before that, Sang-Woo happens to have an arrest warrant out for him and unfortunately when his mother finds out, it completely crushes her.
Ali however, is being screwed over by his boss. The man refuses to give him the money he’s owed and it eventually leads to a skirmish between the pair. One thing leads to another and Ali’s boss has his hand crushed. When he drops a wad of cash, Ali scoops it up and runs. Back home he speaks to his wife, handing over the money and telling her to pack up and leave.
Meanwhile, Gi-Hun heads to the police but his incredulous story draws concerns over his mental wellbeing. The number on the business card even connects through to a random woman who seems to be unconnected with the games. It seems these contestants are on their own.
Gi-Hun is soon rushed to the hospital though, with his Mother in a bad way. She’s diabetic and could even have her feet amputated too. However, she knows they’re struggling for money and limps out the front door without being seen to. This tough cookie refuses to land Gi-Hun in even more debt and walks off. As she does, our protagonist promises to get her all the money she needs.
As fate would have it, Gi-Hun runs into Player 1 again. The pair share dried ramen and soju outside a shop, with the latter deciding he’s going to re-enter the games after all.
Meanwhile, Deok-Soo (Player 101 and the mob boss from the games) is actually just a middle man. There are bigger bosses after him, which sees the man decide to turn back toward the games as a way out. Only, he intends to be ready this time. With tens of billions of won, he wants to blindside hose in charge, stealing all the cash for himself.
One officer who does believe Gi-Hun’s story from the station is Joon-Ho. He has his own reasons for getting involved, stemming from his brother who also received a business card and is assumed to be missing. He wants Gi-Hun’s help but the man refuses to do so. However, Gi-Hun does receive a business card of his own when he shows up back home.
As the episode comes to a close, all of our main characters prepare to be part of the games once more, willingly entering the cars and allowing themselves to be drugged. Only, Joon-Ho happens to be watching and he tails them in his own car. Interestingly, 67 also comes prepared, only pretending to be knocked out from the gas.
The Episode Review
The second episode of Squid Game slows things down a little, showing the dire circumstances surrounding our main characters and why they’re back in the games again. This works well too, showing just how desperate all of these people are.
It would also seem like most of these characters are going to meet a grizzly end by the finale, and quite who will survive when the games are over remains to be seen. This is designed to be a “calm before the storm” chapter, intentionally showing the lives of these different characters before being thrust back into these games once more.
Of course, this also adds more high-stakes and allows for a deeper examination of each key player too. Who will come out on top by the end?