‘Squid Game’ Episode 4 Recap: “Stick To The Team”

With over half a season left, Squid Game nonetheless feels prefer it’s entered the lightning spherical. Its fourth episode (“Persist with the Crew”) shouldn’t be solely its most viscerally violent—by way of savagery, if not physique rely—but additionally its most plot-heavy. New characters emerge, new alliances kind and dissolve, new cracks within the facade of the game-masters’ united entrance start to indicate, and, in the end, a brand new ethical burden is pressured upon even the most important babyfaces (that’s wrestling jargon for “good guys”) within the sport. It’s tense, terrific filmmaking from begin to end.


We’ll begin with the emergence of participant #111 (Yoo Sung-joo) as a significant component. For starters, he’s a physician, which makes him invaluable to the gangster Deok-su’s faction when combating among the many gamers breaks out. (Extra on that later.)

However extra importantly, he’s in cahoots not simply with different gamers, however with their pink-suited, masked-up handlers. We see him working in secret with a handful of pink guys to reap the organs of useless contestants—they mark the gift-box caskets of the not-quite-dead ones with a pink cross of blood, presumably as a result of their organs can be the freshest. In trade for his companies, the guards tip him off as to the following sport everybody shall be pressured to play, through a tiny pink scroll of paper inserted into his meals rations. (No, I don’t understand how they insert a bit of paper right into a hardboiled egg. No, I don’t actually care.)

As for the gamers themselves, issues get a complete lot extra “Hobbesian warfare of all towards all” on this outing. After the gangster Deok-su and his minions sneak again in line for a second serving to of their meager dinner of an egg and a few seltzer, different gamers are left with no meals or drink in any respect. When a younger girl narcs on them, one of many gamers who’s gotten stiffed raises a ruckus—and promptly will get crushed to dying by Deok-su.

Which implies the jackpot out there to the winners will increase. Which mainly ensures that the gamers will begin killing one another.


In actual fact, that is thought of by the game-masters to be a secret “sport” in its personal proper. After lights-out that night, gamers start attacking each other, and their guardians hit a strobe mild to extend the sensation of utter chaos. As individuals are butchered of their beds, primarily however certainly not solely by the gangster’s group—which now consists of participant #212, who ingratiated herself to Deok-su by handing him her lighter through the “honeycomb” problem and who has intercourse with him after the bloodbath as a option to blow off steam—our heroes, led by Gi-hun, collect collectively to fend off their attackers. There’s security in numbers, at the least to an extent.

However this orgy of violence—which stands out as the collection’ most harrowing sequence to this point—is simply an overture for the official sport to comply with. Because the physician and the gangster know for sure, and as Sang-woo theorizes for our group of more-or-less good guys, it’ll require brute energy. That’s one thing that our heroes—who embrace an previous man who can’t bear in mind his personal identify, the scrawny feminine pickpocket (whose identify we study is Sae-byeok), and eventually loopy previous participant #212 (whose identify we study is Mi-nyeo), who’s been rejected by Deok-su’s group, a lot to her chagrin—are sorely missing relative to the competitors.

The sport, it seems, is tug-of-war, performed on elevated platforms erected on towers excessive above the bottom, the place the losers will plummet to their deaths.


Solely the short pondering of the previous man—who, in a kind of quirks of dementia, can bear in mind the best way to win tug-of-war regardless that his personal identify eludes him—saves our group from sure dying. (Their workforce of ten gamers consists of a number of random males and one new girl, #240, performed by Lee Yoo-mi, who’s even youthful than Sae-byeok.) Because of his technique, it appears as in the event that they’ll be capable of keep away from the destiny that befell the workforce pitted towards Deok-su and his goons…however the episode cuts off earlier than the winner is determined.

So we’ll see how issues end up after the sport is resolved…properly, no, truly, we all know how issues will end up: The workforce with the entire important characters on it’s not going to die. What I imply is that the tug-of-war sport might be a pivotal second for the collection, for a single, stark purpose: It’s the primary sport—the primary official sport, anyway—that requires its members to kill each other with a purpose to win.

Even through the lights-out free-for-all, our heroes have been in a position to dodge the duty of homicide, since all they did was look out for each other and defend themselves, and none of them had to take action to the dying. After this tug-of-war sport, although? Even sweethearts like Gi-hun, Ali, and the previous man could have blood on their arms. How will that change them? The way it will have an effect on their outlook in the direction of the video games, and in the direction of each other? It’s a really wealthy dramatic vein, ready to be mined.

That’s why the pointless cliffhanger ending doesn’t trouble me that a lot. Sure, it’s apparent that our heroes will emerge victorious, so in that sense the cliffhanger is increase non-existent suspense. However what victory will really feel like to those (principally) mild-mannered individuals—that’s an open query. I’m each excited and afraid to study the reply.


Sean T. Collins (@theseantcollins) writes about TV for Rolling Stone, Vulture, The New York Occasions, and anyplace that will have him, actually. He and his household reside on Lengthy Island.

Watch Squid Game Episode 4 on Netflix

https://decider.com/2021/10/18/squid-game-episode-4-recap/ | ‘Squid Sport’ Episode 4 Recap: “Stick To The Crew”


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