After watching the end of the Squid game, you might have a lot of questions. The finale of the popular Netflix show is as controversial and at times confusing as the show is addicting.
In fact, you may feel like the end of the Squid game is letting you down. But if you’re still trying to make sense of it all, we’ll break it down for you. Of course, beware of spoilers for the entirety of Squid Game below!
Endgame Squid: The Endgame
Seong Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo approach their sixth and final challenge in fairly difficult condition. Sae-byeok just died, and we’re all pretty sure Sang-woo killed her, and immediately after she passed, it’s time to play another game.
Gi-hun wins a coin toss for the right to choose attack or defense for Squid Game, the game we first saw at the start of the first episode. He chooses the offense. Winning the Squid game occurs in two ways. An offensive player may hit the “squid head” on the field, overtaking the defender, or one player may be last standing (ie his opponent dies).
Gi-hun is forced to jump on one foot as he attacks, as the attack must have a handicap until it pierces the “squid’s neck”. Before he gets there, however, Gi-hun (enraged by the current situation), throws a handful of sand at Sang-woo’s face, to blind him. He then reminds his opponent that this was a game they played as children. Except they didn’t have any knives back then, because that’s the bad turn of this lathe.
As the rain begins to fall, the two get into an argument and Sang-woo admits to killing Sae-byeok (although she has already bled profusely). Gi-hun says she could have been saved, but Sang-woo admits that he feared an alliance between her and Gi-hun – and that he would rather kill than risk leaving the games with no money. Gi-hun tells Sang-woo that Sae-byeok had practically protected him, preventing him from killing Sang-woo.
As the two fight, Sang-woo stabs Gi-hun twice – one in the thigh and the other (shockingly) in the hand – but Gi-hun refuses to stay on the ground. He also says he refuses to let Sang-woo go with the money. But, in the end, Gi-hun refuses to cross the line Sang-woo crossed, showing him mercy when he nails him to the ground. He tries to end the game by simply walking towards the “squid head”.
But then a guard points his gun at the Fallen Blood-woo, forcing Gi-hun to demand that the games end with a vote. Sang-woo doesn’t let that happen, and after telling Gi-hun to help his mother, he stabs his throat.
Once the match is over, the Front Man takes Gi-hun home. Before throwing him out of a car, he compares the fights the Squid Game contestants had to the horse races Gi-hun bet on earlier in the season. He even says, “you are the horses”, to make sure it sounds as disgusting and inhuman as possible.
The rest is difficult to live with
Left in the rainy streets of Seoul, with a gold debit card (unlockable with his Squid Game uniform number ‘0456’) in his mouth, Gi-hun earned his 45.6 billion won. But, as we always say, “at what cost?”
With 455 players dead in his shadow, Gi-hun walks to an ATM and withdraws 10,000 Won. On the way home, Gi-hun meets Sang-woo’s mother who shows that she is one of the best people in this series: giving him free food and asking for news of her son. But she also says Gi-hun’s mother hasn’t been to work for two days. It’s a somewhat tonic warning to the public, as Gi-hun’s return home confirms our fears: his mother is dead. He finds her on the floor, thinking that she is sleeping until she doesn’t wake up.
Gi-hun then spends the next year – which takes place in a flash-forward – in a depression. He leads the same kind of life as before, drinking beers by the Han River, rather than spending his winnings. Her daughter also moved to the United States with her mother and stepfather.
Gi-hun, seen neglected on a train with a lot of facial hair that has grown in those months, goes to a bank. The bank manager summoned him to ask him why his money was left there, unspent and not earning much interest. The bank manager offers him one of the many ways to earn more interest, because the bank offers new products for “VIP”. Hearing this word, which refers to the men who watched the Squid Games, Gi-hun stands up and simply asks for 10,000 Won of his savings. He then goes to drink by the river, continuing the life he had before he got rich.
But when Gi-hun buys flowers from a woman who sells them on the water, he notices that a special card was attached to his purchase. A card containing a sparkling gold Squid Game invitation card. It is addressed “from your gganbu”.
The big reveal from the end of Squid Game: It was Il-nam the whole way
Gi-hun follows the invitation to a skyscraper where he enters a cavernous room Il-nam (the old man with player number 001), is on life support. Yes, he did not die at the ball game.
Il-nam shows the streets, a man he believes to be a homeless man who is on the streets and who is at risk of freezing to death if he is not helped. Il-nam asks Gi-hun if he would help this man, “that stinking human trash.” As Gi-hun angrily asks what’s going on, Il-nam then offers a bet: if no one helps the poor man before midnight, Il-nam wins. If someone helps him first, Gi-hun wins. Angry, Gi-hun threatens to break his neck. Il-nam tells her to play along or risk not getting answers.
Il-nam confirms that this is his real name, and that he has a growing tumor. A stranger almost helps the homeless, but doesn’t. Il-nam asks for information about unspent earnings and Gi-hun’s guilt.
We then learn that Il-nam is the creator of the game. It was a project that Il-nam and his rich clients had conceived because they were too bored with the joyless life of being filthy rich. Il-nam even claims that living isn’t fun for the super-rich. Il-nam played the games because he wanted to feel something one last time before he died. And that Il-nam had just let Gi-hun win the round of marbles because he liked to play with him.
Then the cops come to the aid of the homeless man, just as the clock strikes midnight and Il-nam dies. Again, winning is worthless.
Endgame Squid: Gi-hun’s Red Hair & Airplane Decisions Explained
We then see Gi-hun at the barbershop, where he decides to dye his hair bright red, after seeing a photo of the model with the hair the same color on the wall. That decision, according to Squid Game writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk (speaking with Zapzee), is to show Gi-hun’s inner anger.
Specifically, Dong-hyuk said, “I thought about it intuitively, thinking about how Gi Hun should change his hair in a barbershop. I imagined being him and I was like, ‘What is the color you would never choose to dye your hair? ‘ Then I came to the conclusion that Gi Hun would never dye his hair red. It would be the craziest thing for him to do. So I chose the color and thought it really showed her inner anger. “
Next, Gi-hun goes to meet Sae-byeok’s younger brother, who asks him where his sister is. We don’t see Gi-hun explaining or refusing a response to the child, but he says he and Sae-byeok were friends. The two then meet Sang-woo’s mother, who adopts the child, whose name is Kang Cheol. Next, Sang-woo’s mother wishes Gi-hun a safe journey before finding out that her luggage is filled with Gi-hun’s earnings.
On the way from the airport to the United States to see his daughter, Gi-hun sees the salesman (Gong Yoo) performing the same set of slaps and sheets of paper on a brand new. Gi-hun runs to get his hands on the man, but he’s gone. He then demands that the guy not accept this offer.
Just before Gi-hun gets on the plane, he comes to a halt. He picks up his phone and calls the game masters to register for the game. He reveals his identity to the person on the other end of the line and declares that he is not a horse but a person. That he needs to know who’s behind it all. On the other side, the Front Man phones, identifies Gi-hun as Player 456, and encourages him to get on the plane.
Gi-hun ignores this advice and walks away from the plane for a potential Season 2 of Squid Game.