Did the Lame ‘Squid Game’ Finale Ruin the Whole Thing?

Laura: Now that Squid Game has been out on Netflix for greater than two weeks, I feel we are able to discuss overtly concerning the ending with out getting yelled at? Anyway, simply in case—spoilers!

Kevin: You’ve gotten all been warned and I don’t need any offended tweets.

Laura: I used to be re-reading your piece concerning the present and how much it disturbed you, and one concept that jumped out was that a few of us watch reveals like this intensely whereas others watch with a sure diploma of take away. I discussed this throughout our assembly this week, however I made the questionable alternative to look at the complete collection in someday and cried a number of instances per episode!

Kevin: Laura! I’m undecided a human being is provided to deal with the trauma of Squid Game in someday.

Laura: It’s known as hubris, my buddy—and a determined have to know the way it ended proper then and there! The ending, nonetheless, was one of many few facets of the present that left me actually chilly.

Kevin: Oh wow! I wasn’t anticipating that from our crew’s Chief Squid Recreation obsessive.

Laura: Gi-hun returning house to search out out that his mom died within the days he’d gone lacking to win all six video games and develop into a billionaire was so completely devastating. The second I noticed what was occurring, I bear in mind considering, “They need to finish it right here however they gained’t.” And certainly, we simply have to flash ahead to a 12 months later, when Gi-hun discovers that the outdated competitor he’d come to care about so deeply, and who he’d thought died through the video games, had really been working the entire thing. I… actually hated that twist! What are your ideas?

Kevin: I used to be disillusioned that, for a collection by which the twists had been the massive motive why everybody was screaming, YOU NEED TO WATCH, that last twist with the “Previous Man” was so low-cost.

Laura: I used to be slightly bit torn on whether or not I felt prefer it was low-cost or simply form of a cop-out. On the one hand the twist subverts the admittedly drained trope of the helpless outdated man—which I completely fell for!—however it additionally distances us from the emotion of Gi-hun’s loss. It simply felt just like the present shied away from ending on sheer devastation—however that’s the suitable ending for the present we’ve watched till that time!

Kevin: Worse than a cop-out, it was a cliché to me. I used to be affected so deeply by this present as a result of the whole lot that occurred, as excessive and violent because it was, appeared rooted in a actuality I may perceive. It elevated the present from Starvation Video games/The Most Harmful Recreation rip-off to one thing that was a haunting mirror to how all of us reside immediately. However that took it again to pulp silliness for me, and I used to be actually let down by it. As a result of it was so good till then.

Laura: Completely agree. I lied, really, about crying at each episode; the primary downpour got here a pair episodes in, with the primary nighttime homicide spree.

Kevin: And as a self-care precaution, we is not going to focus on the marbles episode.

Laura: When “Previous Man,” AKA Oh Il-nam, began screaming about how scared he was, I burst into tears. He jogged my memory a lot of among the aged individuals in my life, and the way shocked and scared—and disgusted—they’re by the world they see round them. I dunno. I simply form of want they’d left that story alone. Extra importantly, although: Ideas on Gi-hun’s new hair?

Kevin: Clearly the purple hair was hideous, however I used to be enticed by the potential storyline there. After the the whole lot of all of it—you realize, surviving a blood-sport sport by which 455 individuals died for the leisure of bored, rich gamblers—he appeared like he was making a gesture towards progress.

Laura: Bear in mind, Kevin, it was technically 454—as a result of the outdated man didn’t die!

Kevin: What would that progress imply? Acceptance? Denial? Retribution? All of that was fascinating to me. How would an individual who willingly participated in what he went by way of course of that? The lameness of the “Previous Man” twist apart, it felt so meh about the truth that he ended up simply being a pawn in a season two cliffhanger, a twist probably as cynical because the video games themselves.

Laura: Ought to I be embarrassed that it really didn’t even happen to me that there could be a second season? This feels, to borrow the phrase you used earlier, low-cost in the identical approach that, say, The Handmaid’s Story did when it acquired renewed. I fear I’m being unfair however when reveals about darkish, trauma-based materials lengthen previous what looks like their pure endpoint it simply begins to really feel like they prize longevity over that means—which, in a venture like this, appears form of hypocritical?

Kevin: I really feel like the one motive he didn’t get on the airplane was to arrange season two. Positive, some individuals would possibly excuse it as him feeling so obsessed with not subjecting anybody else to the trauma he witnessed that he had to return, however I really don’t purchase it. Am I loopy?

Laura: I imply. You wouldn’t catch me going again there! I notice the police weren’t that helpful to Gi-hun at first, however like… one has to think about there’s a greater approach. Is that what we expect he’s doing, although—going again to infiltrate or in any other case sabotage or shut down the sport as soon as and for all? I wasn’t positive if it was that or a sense of paranoia that “they” had been watching him board the airplane and would possibly crash it. I used to be a bit overwhelmed by the top of my marathon!

Kevin: I’ll say that we’re conditioned to count on pleased endings. As morbid as it’s, for one thing like this meaning, to start with, he survives and “wins.” Which he did. And it was good to not finish the collection there, to disclose that “successful” made him depressing, even with all that cash. That subverted what we count on from a story like this.

Laura: Completely! I simply want they’d left it at him realizing his mother died whereas he was competing, which I feel alerts that the life he’d thought he may construct after the sport won’t ever come collectively.

Kevin: With all that stated, there may be nonetheless one thing to that happy-ending expectation. Particularly after the haircut and his seeming enhance of confidence, you need to see him board the airplane and see his daughter.

Laura: His daughter who’s so unbearably cute!

Kevin: You need there to be a motive this was all value it. If you’re rooting for him in all these violent video games, what you’re really rooting for is him discovering a method to be a superb father to his daughter once more.

Laura: It’s attention-grabbing to think about “rooting for” somebody on this collection, which so relentlessly revolves round the concept that doing so is futile. None of those individuals stand an opportunity inside or exterior the video games, which additionally indict the system that created them.

“None of those individuals stand an opportunity inside or exterior the video games, which additionally indict the system that created them.”

Kevin: I do know what you’re saying, and that’s completely the textual studying of why this present works and is so good. However we’re nonetheless popcorn-movie viewers, and this present is written with a look of that in thoughts. It knew that we’d be rooting for Gi-hun. It gave him the principle storyline, and knew that we’d be invested.

Laura: With or with out cash, I feel Gi-hun now is aware of that whenever you’re wading by way of a pool this poisonous and corrupt, there’s no actual “successful.” Even the VIPs are so depressing and bored that they’ve been diminished to… this.

Kevin: I’m not rejecting the nihilism of this present, one by which the winner of these video games could be incapable of placing into movement a happier life. However the “Previous Man” twist, like I stated, felt so low-cost to me that I don’t suppose there was sufficient motivation for him to not get on the airplane and return. So I felt robbed of my pleased ending, which, once more, is truthful, but in addition robbed of a personality arc that, till then, had been so rigorously drawn.

Laura: That’s a very reasonable frustration—one which I undoubtedly agree with. The guess between the 2 males about whether or not or not anybody would assist the drunk man freezing to demise on the sidewalk exterior additionally felt cliché and lacked the nuance that I so favored concerning the present’s metaphors as an entire. I do know we’ve been chatting for a minute, however since we’re discussing the ending I do really feel compelled to ask, what did you consider Cho Sang-woo, who appears to have develop into the present’s most divisive character? How did you are feeling about his demise and the best way it occurred?

Kevin: It’s a type of issues the place, if you happen to requested me early on within the collection how this present would finish, I may have predicted it will be a showdown between him and Gi-hun.

Laura: Completely. Squid Recreation actually confirmed its hand too early by making his sabotage so clear to us within the first sport; by the point they really duke it out, it’s slightly anticlimactic.

Kevin: I feel the intelligence of this collection is that you would perceive each determination Sang-woo made, even those that we’d, in our vocabulary discovered from a long time of heroes vs. villains on this style, rule “evil.” However as a result of it was so predictable {that a} last showdown could be between these two outdated pals, I weirdly felt an absence of pressure whereas watching the Squid Recreation—despite the fact that the stakes had been so excessive. Am I a monster for feeling so meh about that scene?

Laura: I agree that the good factor about his character is how we’re led to grasp his decisions, even when we perceive them to be deplorable. Nonetheless, I want the present had dug simply slightly deeper into Gi-hun and Sang-woo’s dynamic. I really feel like the purpose we’re meant to remove is, as you stated, that this sport corrupts everybody—however Sang-woo taking his personal life and permitting Gi-hun to win with out actively killing somebody deflates it a bit for me.


Kevin: It leaves on the desk what I feel is probably the most lingering query for Gi-hun, and for all of us as viewers making an attempt to think about ourselves in that place: How far would he have gone to outlive, to “win?”

Laura: To win this sport one should, in impact, arrive on the identical emotional place Sang-woo has occupied from the start. Gi-hun performs the sport from an emotional place, however the present by no means totally connects the dots as to how his sense of righteousness is, in itself, a delusion that enables him to absolve himself of guilt in the same method to the person who wouldn’t cease praying. (Ugh that man!) I assume I simply want the present had been rather less desperate to reveal Sang-woo’s pure gameplay strategy so early as a result of I feel it obscured what we’re meant to remove about him.

Kevin: I feel the collection was overwhelmingly good, however I hated the top a lot. There was a lot that didn’t reside up its potential. And a significant a part of that was making us, as viewers, “dislike” Sang-woo. Or suppose he’s dangerous—or possibly on the very least, much less morally “good” than Gi-hun. The nuance and the practicality of these earlier episodes had been what made it so disturbing, and so good. However the final hour pandered to cliches and predictability. The enchantment early on was that you simply couldn’t watch this from a spot of take away—it was so actual—however then it completed whereas leaning on the tropes that encourage a take away from viewers.

Laura: With all that stated, and within the curiosity of conserving this put up from hitting 2,000 phrases, I’ll ask you one last query: Is it simply me, or is Sang-woo ridiculously dreamy regardless of, you realize, the whole lot else about him?

Kevin: All I do know is that I’m ready for my king to slap me.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/did-the-divisive-squid-game-finale-ruin-the-whole-thing?supply=articles&through=rss | Did the Lame ‘Squid Recreation’ Finale Wreck the Entire Factor?


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: clarefora@interreviewed.com.

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