‘Squid Game’ Episode 6 Recap: “Gganbu”

It has stress and terror to spare, however Squid Game has largely eschewed tugging on the heartstrings—till now. The present’s sixth episode is titled “Gganbu,” a time period for childhood finest buddies who share every little thing, a relationship cemented by the solemn ritual of a pinky swear. For those who guessed that few, if any, of our heroes would wind up preserving such a mutually useful settlement within the face of their masters’ manipulations, you guessed proper.


Aside from a quick scene through which undercover cop Jun-ho overhears the Entrance Man fielding a phone name concerning the arrival of the video games’ mysterious VIPs, the motion is targeted squarely on the gamers and their subsequent recreation. For starters, they’re all paraded previous the hanging our bodies of the guards and the physician who’d been dishonest, to additional emphasize the egalitarian nature of the competitors. I’ll wager everybody felt very reassured after that.


The gamers’ subsequent activity is to separate up in groups of two. Naturally, after the tug-of-war recreation, everybody assumes that they’ll be working with the individual they pair up with, not towards them. Sang-woo and Ali choose one another, a brains-and-brawn tandem who additionally occur to love each other. Sae-byeok, the North Korean pickpocket, is satisfied to hitch up with participant #240, the younger lady who joined the primary characters’ tug-of-war crew. Deok-su, the gangster, chooses considered one of his minions, #278 (Kwak Jah-hyoung). Mi-nyeo, the conniving participant #212, winds up alone, carted off by guards, her destiny unknown. And regardless of his preliminary trepidation, Gi-hun companions up with the outdated man, whose dignity he’s helped protect by tying his personal jacket across the man’s waist to cowl up the moist spot from when the poor man moist his pants.

Sadly for everybody, the following recreation is marbles—and your associate just isn’t your ally, however your opponent.

That is extra of a bind for some groups, just like the poor husband and spouse combo who’ve a bit half within the present, than it’s for others, like Deok-su and his chief henchmen, neither of whom really give a shit concerning the different. The gangster winds up profitable after efficiently petitioning his guard to alter the sport they’d been taking part in (and at which he’d been shedding badly) to what’s successfully a recreation of marble golf; his opponent’s final marble bumps his into the opening, awarding him the sport and saving his life.

For our different heroes, issues are trickier. Neither Sae-byeok nor her associate 240 know the right way to play marbles—240 dismisses the sport because the province of “boomers”; basic millennial transfer—so they comply with wait till the final minute and kill the time sharing their unhappy life tales. We study that Sae-byeok’s father was shot and killed throughout their try to flee North Korea, whereas her mom was returned residence by safety forces. Participant 240 was sexually abused by her pastor father (therefore her rejection of faith within the earlier episode), whom she finally got here residence from faculty to seek out having simply murdered her mom. She stabbed him to dying in flip, and was launched from jail solely to come back straight to the video games. She had nowhere else to go, she explains. Ultimately, she throws the sport and permits herself to be killed, sparing Sae-byeok’s life. As they half methods, she reveals that her identify is Ji-yeong; I can’t resolve if this makes her self-sacrifice more durable or simpler for Sae-byeok to bear.


Like most of the different groups, together with Gi-hun and the outdated man, Sang-woo and Ali start by guessing whether or not their opponent is holding both an excellent or odd variety of marbles in his hand, betting a few of their very own marbles within the course of. Sang-woo freaks out when Ali takes a considerable lead, first accusing him of dishonest, then begging for his life, and at last devising an alternate plan. He sends Ali out to seek out one other crew that appears prefer it would possibly wind up with out a clear winner, below the belief that if their recreation additionally doesn’t attain a definitive conclusion, they’ll go up towards that different crew collectively as a substitute of being pressured to combat amongst themselves.

What Ali doesn’t notice till far too late is that Sang-woo swapped his bag of marbles out with a bag stuffed with pebbles, taken from the faux avenue set through which the marble recreation is performed. A lot for his or her stunning friendship, and a lot for Ali, who dies feeling the sting of betrayal from a person he thought was his good friend.

Gi-hun and his aged associate additionally play the odd/even guessing recreation, although it takes some doing to get there, because the more and more dementia-addled outdated man believes the faux avenue to be the road the place he grew up. Ultimately Gi-hun convinces him of the necessity to play…however he additionally takes benefit of the person’s declining psychological schools, twice rigging the sport by altering an “odd” wager to “even” and vice versa to be able to win rounds when the outdated man forgets what had initially been mentioned.

However Gi-hun miscalculates earlier than he can obtain victory, and discovers the outdated man has one final marble left. However he winds up wandering off by way of the faux streets once more, till he finds what he believes is his residence. An more and more frantic Gi-hun begs him to complete the sport, and the outdated man recommend taking part in one final spherical for all of the marbles. When Gi-hun, who has an enormous numerical benefit at this level, balks on the suggestion as unfair, the outdated man pointedly ask if deceiving him, as Gi-hun has completed, was honest. However slightly than press the problem, he merely fingers Gi-hun the final marble. They’d promised to be “gganbu,” in any case, and thus the marble belongs to Gi-hun as a lot as to him.

And like Ji-yeong, the outdated man lastly affords up his identify: Il-nam. Then he will get shot to dying.

That is Squid Recreation‘s most intense and emotionally taxing episode so far; even writing a plot abstract just like the one you’ve simply learn takes so much out of you. But it surely additionally feels inevitable given the ratcheting-up of the ethical stakes in every recreation. In the course of the tug-of-war recreation, the groups had been pressured to homicide each other, however at the least they weren’t pressured to kill the folks they’d teamed up with. There’s no such exception made right here; certainly, it’s probably the sport masters meant for the gamers to decide on the folks they had been most keen on as companions, to be able to make the consequence much more painful.

There’s a cheerful sadism in the way in which the video games are constructed—severely, are you able to even stand yet one more satirically colourful set, yet one more chipper announcement that the sport is about to start over the strains of “The Blue Danube”—that belies the Entrance Man’s insistence that their aim is to assemble a good world in opposition to the unfair one outdoors the complicated’s partitions. About the perfect factor I can say about Squid Recreation is that, for all its brutality, it doesn’t appear to share the video games’ sadism itself. The eventualities it rolls out for us are terrible to ponder, to make certain, however the awfulness is the purpose. Creator/author/director Hwang Dong-hyuk values the interpersonal connections he’s creating, at the same time as he destroys them. It’s an exploration of violence, not an exploitation of violence. He’s ensuring that when he kills folks you care about, you recognize their names.


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 stay on Lengthy Island.

Watch Squid Game Episode 6 on Netflix

https://decider.com/2021/10/20/squid-game-episode-6-recap/ | ‘Squid Recreation’ Episode 6 Recap: “Gganbu”


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