The Man With The Umbrella
Episode 3 of Squid Game begins with Joon-ho following the cars down to Moojin Port. He watches as all these identical cars prepare to board a ferry to the island.
Instead of calling for backup or taking pictures though, Joon-Ho messages the chief, telling him he’ll be late, and stows away inside one of the cars. After knocking out a guard and stealing his outfit, Joon-Ho blends in with the others, dumping the body out at sea with his own ID.
There are a lot of staff working on this island, and they silently work to strip down each candidate before placing them in the dormitory. They take their belongings and wait for the men and women to wake up.
In fact, 187 people have decided to come back. Gi-Hun is among them of course and immediately decides to form a faction with Sang-Woo, Ali and Player 1. Speaking of factions, Deok-Soo follows suit and begins to form a group of his own.
With the contestants all fed, the staff return to their quarters. Only, it’s pretty much a prison for them too, unable to remove their masks and being watched 24/7. And who are they being watched by? More staff. It seems there’s a hierarchy among all these staff members, with different symbols on their masks to reinforce this.
When the next game begins, four different doors sporting a symbol on stand before them. A triangle, circle, umbrella and star. Each shape is representing the game they’re playing, which is called Sugar Honeycomb.
It turns out those shapes are etched into a chunk of honeycomb and each contestant needs to remove the shape without snapping or breaking it. If they do, they’re shot dead. Sang-Woo has an inkling over what this game is, thanks to overhearing 67’s conversation the night before. Now, she snuck into the vents and noticed the staff cooking up something sweet that smelt like burnt sugar. While talking about it that night, Sang-Woo caught the tail-end of her conversation.
Given the games being played, and some flashbacks from Sang-Woo, he had an idea that sugar honeycomb could be the game being played. Anyway, he decides against telling Gi-Hun who chooses the hardest shape – an umbrella. Sang-Woo chooses the easiest which is a triangle.
As the 10 minute time limit start, Sang-Woo, Ali and Player 67 all pass pretty easily. One by one the players start to pass but among those in attendance is a sneaky little player called 111. He has a distinct advantage over everyone else given he has someone on the inside, helping to pass each game. He’s been receives notes smuggled in food, with the first hidden inside a bread roll.
With the time whittling away, and some players gaining a distinct advantage over others thanks to clues and a lighter, Gi-Hun figures out that licking the shape can help to thin it out and make it easier to cut the honeycomb.
It’s ingenious in truth and one that sees many other players notice and follow suit. Gi-Hun and Player 1 both pass right at the death. With the rest of the contestants killed, one man steps up and holds a staff member at gunpoint.
Unwilling to kill the kid after forcing his mask off, he turns the gun on himself and fires. Only, The Front Man arrives and kills the unmasked staff member; a reminder that they cannot give away their identities to anyone.
Just before Joon-Ho helps with the cleanup duties, he grabs the boy’s mask from the ground to blend in with the authorities.
The Episode Review
The third chapter of Squid Game starts to deepen the ties to this game as it seems Gi-Hun is turning into quite the formidable player. It also seems like 111 has got inside help too, and could well turn out to be one of the wildcards of the entire game. It’s pretty sneaky the way he’s been playing, feigning ignorance and clearly receiving inside help.
The game itself was suitably tense this time around, while Joon-Ho’s inclusion helps to see a little more of what goes on behind the scenes and how these staff member are basically prisoners themselves. There’s a really interesting dynamic here and it seems even the staff are part of a hierarchy too.
Quite who this Front Man is and how that all ties into this game though is a mystery, but it’s undoubtedly a tantalizing one nonetheless. The cliffhanger leaves the door wide open for more though so let’s not wait around and jump straight into that one!