“The Man With The Umbrella”

Sport on! In Squid Game Episode 3, our heroes and almost all of their fellow gamers—187 in whole, and if that’s a play on the notorious police code quantity for homicide, bravo—return to the mysterious lair of the Entrance Man and his numerous circle, sq., and triangle-faced pink goons. The gamers are wiser. The jackpot is larger. The sport is tougher (even when fewer gamers die within the try). And a few gamers are beginning to attempt outfoxing the sport masters.

The episode opens with Jun-ho, the plainclothes cop from the earlier episode, tailing the van carrying Gi-hun. It quickly arrives at its vacation spot: a barge, stuffed with such vans, on its option to a abandoned island. Jun-ho pulls a Cape Concern by squirming underneath one of many vans and holding on, letting it ferry him onto the barge. Ultimately he will get the drop on one of many circle-faced pink guards, chokes the man out, steals his uniform, and dumps him over the facet of the barge to drown. (I’m not satisfied that is within the police rulebook.)


As soon as he’s inside, we watch him wrestle to faux his means by way of the pink guys’ numerous protocols—the place to go, when to talk, what to do, and so forth. On the barge, he fakes seasickness to clarify his tardiness; in the course of the second recreation—extra on that coming quickly—he merely says he received confused. The episode ends with an implied menace that he’ll face some type of consequence for that confusion. All in all, it’s a high-risk enterprise.

He’s removed from alone relating to risk-taking. Because the gamers reunite as soon as they arrive to following their dose of sleeping gasoline, a number of cliques kind up, with the concept that there’s security in numbers. Most of our heroes—Gi-hun, Sang-woo, Ali, and the outdated man—congregate collectively. The gangster, Deok-su, shortly assembles a small coterie of minions; he will get rejected by the pickpocket, and he rejects participant #212 (Kim Joo-ryoung)—the mom of a new child, who’s received much more tips up her sleeve than you may suppose.


Certainly, the mom and the pickpocket wind up forming a team-up of their very own once they’re each permitted a rest room break. Because the mom—who smuggled cigarettes and a lighter in a small container inserted into her vagina; hey, smoke ’em should you received ’em!—loudly fakes a bout of constipation, the pickpocket wriggles her means into the air flow system, the place she spies on the pink guys melting giant batches of sugar.

Now right here’s the place issues get a bit bit sketchy. Sang-woo learns in regards to the sugar from the pickpocket, however he doesn’t share this data along with his alleged teammates. One other contestant, #111, finds a tiny piece of paper studying “honeycomb” in his breakfast, which provides him a bonus as nicely.

The gamers are all herded right into a set made up like a giant-sized playground, with a towering jungle jim and an adult-sized slide and so forth. They’re requested to line up in entrance of a form of their selecting: a circle, a triangle, a star, and an umbrella. Sang-woo virtually, however not fairly, warns Gi-hun to not take the umbrella, however ultimately he retains his mouth shut. (I’m not likely certain why—it’s not as if steering Gi-hun in the appropriate path would have put Sang-woo at any type of drawback himself, although I suppose he didn’t know this on the time.)


Then the sport is revealed. Every participant is given a skinny sugar wafer with the form of their selection imprinted in it. They’re given a needle and a restricted time to select the form out of the wafer with it. In the event that they’re too gradual, or in the event that they break the form, it’s recreation over. And you realize what meaning.

It’s a nailbiter, particularly for Gi-hun, who chosen the umbrella form. (Bear in mind how he left his umbrella in his ex-wife’s place final episode, which is the rationale why his daughter, who popped out to return it to him, noticed him deck her stepdad? Apparently he’s been dropping umbrellas since he was a child.) As gamers win and lose throughout him, sweat begins to pour from his face onto the wafer, partially melting it. This, he realizes, is the important thing to successful: If he licks the wafer, it can get thinner and thinner, making it simpler for him to pop the umbrella form out.

The mom, in the meantime, makes use of her smuggled lighter to warmth the needle, which additionally melts the wafer and makes her job simpler. As soon as she wins, she passes the lighter to the gangster, in a bid to earn her means into his good graces.

One after the other, all the foremost characters succeed. However one of many losers steals his guard’s weapon and holds him at gunpoint. After he watches all the opposite losers get gunned down, he forces the guard to take away his masks, and marvels at his younger age earlier than turning the gun on himself. The maskless guard is then executed personally by the Entrance Man, who reminds the pink guys that if the contestants see who you might be, you’re useless.

Three episodes in, a giant a part of Squid Sport‘s darkish appeal is the distinction between the benign, playful, childlike nature of the video games and the sadistic, deadly penalties for dropping them. On a sure stage this goes with out saying: Individuals shouldn’t get shot to dying for dropping Purple Gentle, Inexperienced Gentle. I imply, duh.

However as soon as Squid Sport and its creator, author, and director Hwang Dong-hyuk, sink their enamel into one in all these video games, they chew onerous. Take the sugar-honeycomb recreation from this episode: How viscerally upsetting is it to see a big youngsters’s playground, full with a multicolored picket fence, crayon clouds towards a vivid blue sky, and a layer of sand on the bottom, lined in blood and useless our bodies? That’s a picture that’ll follow you for some time. It’s no much less efficient for its obviousness. And the relative quiet of the sport—everybody simply sits on the ground working diligently—makes for a stark distinction with the fast-paced scrambling chaos of the Purple Gentle, Inexperienced Gentle spherical.


The present’s means to make you care in regards to the gamers it singles out for consideration is spectacular as nicely. Gi-hun and Ali and the outdated man come throughout like large sweethearts. The pickpocket’s survival instincts make her straightforward to root for. The mom’s scheming is humorous and perversely endearing. Even the cop, Jun-ho, is sympathetic as a man in means over his head, making an attempt desperately to remain afloat. 

The large exception for the time being, apart from the gangster, is Sang-woo. Why is he so reluctant to share his information along with his alleged comrades? Specifically, why didn’t he warn Gi-hun towards deciding on the tough umbrella form? For all Sang-woo knew, he was handing his outdated good friend a dying sentence. Is he secretly making an attempt to winnow down the competitors with a view to improve the jackpot on the finish of the video games? Does he resent Gi-hun personally for causes we’re not aware about but? Is he merely a secretive sort, paranoid and self-interested, maybe as a result of years he’s spent one step forward of the legislation?

It speaks nicely of Squid Sport‘s success fee that I’m discovering these sorts of questions as compelling to ponder because the video games themselves, or the thriller of how they’ll muster so many a whole lot of henchmen for a clandestine enterprise this sadistic. (I briefly entertained the concept that the pink guys had been all both aliens or robots, till Jun-ho dumped the clearly human man he changed off that barge.) I’m undecided any of those characters are gonna wind up being as advanced and nuanced as, like, Tony Soprano, however they don’t should be. action-thriller want solely create convincing sketches of individuals, supplying you with simply sufficient to latch onto in order that their misadventures imply one thing to you. In that exact contest, Squid Sport has already received.

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

Watch Squid Game Episode 3 on Netflix

https://decider.com/2021/10/16/squid-game-episode-3-recap/ | “The Man With The Umbrella”


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