The 8 Show – K-drama Episode 2 Recap & Review

Extending The Timer

Episode 2 of The 8 Show begins with 8F’s story. She is the 2nd participant and she shows up in a gown. She is super chirpy and excited as she jumps into the fake pool and breaks her nose. She then reaches her room which is empty. She first smokes, gets fully naked before changing into the uniform and burns her old clothes.

Once the game begins, she gets 340k a minute and starts splurging on items like silk nightgowns, beds, pillows, toilets, a mirror, a dining table, books and bathtubs. In return, she gets 12 sets of meal kits and water of different varieties. But she barely eats anything. She also uses the drinking water to take a bath. She spends all her money but earns it all back when she sleeps.

At present, the rest reveal their earnings – 7F gets 210k, 6F gets 130k, 5F gets 80k, 4F get 50k and 2F gets 20k. 7F realises that the prize money is calculated by the Fibonacci sequence. This sequence creates the golden ratio which is always pleasing to the human eye, a bonus for a TV show. 

They then start going through each room and it gets smaller and smaller. While the other members are conflicted by this turn of events, 8F enjoys the trampoline which gets on their nerves.

For food, 7F comes up with a plan. They all select one meal. The leftovers will be on the first floor and everyone can sit together and eat it to build trust.

But chaos ensues when 8F uses up all the time to buy clothes. They have 13 minutes left and everyone panics. 2F confronts 8F who claims the timer can be extended via the stairs. But she will only tell them if 2F apologises for being rude to her. They have a stand-off but a desperate 1F starts running up the stairs and everyone joins him. They go up and down till the timer ends. However, it again resets to 24 hours. 8F knew this because she had spotted the timer increasing when they were doing their room tour. 

After the day ends, Jin-su recalls 7F’s hypothesis – he thinks the game runners want the participants to fight each other. They will only win if they cooperate. Jin-su is also frustrated with his makeshift toilet and he orders a porta-potty. That night, everyone is suffering with their minimal essentials except 8F who prances in her clothes and 7F who writes down everything they have learned.

The next day onwards, all of them start running the stairs. The timer extends, so does the money and all of them get to eat food daily. But the 12 daily kits are not enough and they split up into 2 teams. The teams will alternate on the stairs and the leftovers go to the team that runs on that particular day.

They pick odd and even numbers but 2F refuses to be with the evens as it has 8F. 1F joins them instead. On one day, 1F falls and almost causes an accident. As he rests, 6F twists his arm for wasting time. Everyone is shocked and 2F subs in. The next day, 2F is exhausted as she runs her actual turn.

The day after 1F struggles again as his leg worsens. Jin-su sees that 2F is going to sub again and he takes over. He feels good about helping but is exhausted by the end of the day. 4F causes problems by telling 1F to give his share to Jin-su. 2F points out that the evens team anyway gets 8F’s share since she barely eats. 1F feels guilty and Jin-su is hungry but everyone is altruistic and makes 1F eat the leftovers. 

However, with everyone subbing in for 1F, he decides to use the chute to store everyone’s waste in his room. A society is created with 8F’s meal leftovers being divided among the rest, 2F subbing in whenever she can as she is strong and 1F is given some extra necessities. But he starts running out of room due to the waste and Jin-su can barely stomach the leftovers from the smell.

He joins 7F who notices a glitch — the time has slowly been reducing every day despite the same amount of stair running. Suddenly 10 minutes go up but everyone is resting.

The next day, everyone else also notices the timer slowing down. 8F tries to take a break and 2F picks a fight. 8F points out that the ones on the lower levels should work harder for the time since they refuse to spend their money. Jin-su realises that an hour on 2nd floor is only 1.2 million while on the 8th floor it is 20.4 million. 8F has no reason to spend the shared time as she can just use her prize money for things.

But she is running so that 2F can use the shared time for buying essentials. This means the upper floors are actually doing more work. 6F realises this too and takes a break. The others join the remaining team members but despite running for 6 hours, the timer doesn’t go up. They only have a couple of minutes left before midnight but suddenly the timer goes up 20 minutes. It keeps increasing again and again and they think it was just a glitch.

But the next morning, the timer doesn’t reset anymore and they frantically start running. 4F suddenly has a seizure and they need to order medicine. 6F refuses as it would use up their time. He reasons that 4F won’t die from a seizure and gets handsy with 2F when she tries to get to the intercom. Soon everyone jumps in to stop 6F and order the medicine.

They are all bleeding and struggling on the floor only to stop when they hear 8F laughing. She shows them that the timer has increased by 40 hours. At the end of The 8 Show Episode 2, 7F remembers the camera and realises that a show is only successful if it is entertaining. 

The Episode Review

If we watch The 8 Show Episode 2 closely, the signs were all there from the beginning. We knew there had to be a reason why on Day 1 the timer had gone to 35 hours. It was all 8F’s antics on her first night there, wasn’t it?

She got naked, burnt her clothes, kept splurging her money, and kept doing whimsy things like taking a bath with drinking water. The ratings must have gone off the roof. So, if we are to break the 4th wall, it means the more popular The 8 Show is, the more time the showrunners give the participants. To be popular, the participants need to be entertaining so that more viewers tune in.

And if we are to really break the 4th wall, this Netflix show is a mirror to our real world and entertainment business. If a TV show is entertaining, more people tune in. In exchange, like the participants entertaining the fictional audience, in real world, the network rewards us in return by renewing a show for a second season. Phew, really blew our minds there for a second. 

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Read our Season 1 Review of The 8 Show here!

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