Episode 7 of Squid Game begins right off the back of that devastating end to the previous episode. The clean-up crew begin taking out the deceased as the Front Man learns the intruder (Joon-Ho) is still on the loose. Well, there’s more pressing matters to deal with given VIP investors are en-route to the facility.
As the survivors trudge back to the dormitories they learn that Mi-Nyeo has survived too. She was simply taken back to the dorm to wait for the next round. Going into the fifth round though there’s 17 players left, for a grand total of 43.9 billion won.
The Front Man senses that the intruder is in his office, figuring out that the phone receiver was put back the wrong way round. Now, Joon-Ho happens to be waiting in the basement but thankfully the Front Man receives a message from his subordinates before he can find the officer.
A body has been found on the Northern shore of the island. It’s the dead body of the staff member from before but Joon-Ho’s police ID seems to be enough to convince the Front Man that he’s the intruder.
The VIP guests arrive, complete with masks, and are invited in to the building. The Host has “urgent business” to attend to so it falls to the Front Man to greet them. They’re clearly here to make some sort of investment but before that, want to see how the games operate – and to bet on them.
Joon-Ho happens to be in the vents and he listens to all of this transpire. Given everyone here wears a mask, it makes Joon-ho’s job easier to skip around and pose as different workers. And that’s exactly what he does when he takes the mask and outfit for one of the VIP caterers.
Player 69 hangs himself just before the start of the fifth game, following the death of his partner in the previous round. This evens everything up going into this next challenge. The VIP guests get settled in while the remaining players prepare for the penultimate game.
First up, each player is told to choose a mannequin and put on the corresponding vest they’re wearing. Now, these numbers actually correspond to the order these guys will be playing. Player 96 decides to go first, leaving Gi-Hun to reluctantly pick vest 16 meaning he will go last.
With the order decided, now it falls to the actual game itself. This game is called glass stepping stones. There’s tempered glass and normal glass, with each player told to hop forward to figure out which is the right one. As one may expect, normal glass will just break under the weight of one person while tempered will hold you up. Basically this is one big leap of faith.
There’s a 15 minute time-limit as well, and that goes for all of the players to cross in that time period. It doesn’t take long for 96 to fall to his doom.
The others soon step across the glass, taking it in turns to jump from left to right. With time running out, each player begins to grow impatient, pushing the one in front. The religious player starts this trend, and soon it follows all the way down the line. Well, that is, until Deok-Soo ends up at the front.
He refuses to take a step forward, demanding the others behind him go ahead. Well, that is until he comes face to face with none other than Mi-Nyeo. She sacrifices herself, taking Deok-Soo with her as the pair fall to their doom below.
Inside the VIP room, Joon-Ho is put in an uncompromising position with the VIP guest. He wants Joon-Ho to unmask but he he refuses to do so, knowing he’ll die if he does. Instead, Joon-Ho encourages the sleazy old man to take him somewhere private.
With the man stripped down, Joon-Ho holds a gun up to him and starts recording, demanding to know everything about the games. The Front Man assumes something is up though, given their lengthy departure, and sends help after them to figure out where they are.
Player 13 figures out the difference between the glass and seems to have known since the very beginning. In fact, he once had a job as a glass manufacturer, which the different VIP guests soon learn of. Anyway, he stayed quiet before because with guys like Deok-Soo part of the game, he didn’t want these killers getting ahead.
The Front Man and the VIPs figure out this advantage and with only one panel left, shut all the lights off. It’s going to come down to a leap of faith. Or, more specifically, Sang-Woo showing his true colours and pushing the man forward to his doom.
Thankfully, Sae-Byeok and Gi-Hun all make it to safety. And just in time, as shards of glass fly through the air like confetti.
With the game over, the VIPs delighted, and Joon-ho on the move, the final scene of the episode sees Joon-Ho out away from the island, deep in the water. Unfortunately, the Front Man and his goons are in hot pursuit and aboard a boat. Will he manage to evade them in time?
The Episode Review
The fifth challenge sees the game change slightly, bringing in these VIP guests as some sort of nod toward The Hunger Games and The Purge. There are definitely similarities between the two and Squid Game makes no illusion that this is what the show is basing its idea around. There’s also a hint of Takeshi’s Castle in here too – only with killings rather than eliminations.
Deok-Soo and Mi-Nyeo both being eliminated is something that caught me off-guard, believing they’d be here until the end, while Sang-Woo once again shows his true colours. With very little to choose between these characters, it could well come down to Sang Woo VS Gi-Hun in the final. And who do you pick out of these two?
Either way, Squid Game has been absolutely enthralling and this episode only reinforces how bingeable this show has been. Will this one end on a cliffhanger? Or will we see a definitive conclusion? We’ll have to wait and see!