Home Doll market Squid game episode 1 recap: red light, green light

Squid game episode 1 recap: red light, green light

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With a warning from TV-MA regarding language, violence, sex, nudity, suicide and smoking and its exceptional effect on audiences around the world, I knew that Squid game would serve as an unhealthy, tightly constructed provocative drama. (Side note: Shouldn’t the series be categorized as Drama / Horror?) The South Korean Korean-language production, written and directed by Hwang Song-Hyuk, has already won the # 1 most watched place on Netflix and could become the most watched series on the streaming platform. For the reader’s sake, check out her promotional image on the Netflix homepage: a huge Bride of Chucky-like doll with blood on her freckled cheek and definitely something wrong with her eyes . In the background, people are freshly murdered, lying like garbage strewn and piled up. This is going to be fun.

The series opens with a flashback to eight children, focusing on a boy who is possibly a young Seong Gi-hun, the protagonist of the soon to be revealed series, playing the eponymous “squid game”. He looks like a rugby mix and captures the flag; basically you have to go side to side, staying within specific perimeters, and along the way you fight your opponents. The boy at the point of view wins.

squid-game-doll-social-featured

Image via Netflix

RELATED: ‘Squid Game’ Actors & Characters Guide: Who’s Who in This Savage and Deadly Competition?

Flash forward to an adult Seong (Lee jung-jae) at home with her mother, Oh Mal Soon (Kim young-ok). She gives him money to take her ten year old daughter, Ga-Yeong (Reagan at) at dinner on his birthday. He wants more, saying he has to give her a present. They are in debt – her mother mentions her loan – and with her back hunched, she goes to sell vegetables. Once she’s gone, he finds the credit card she hid.

After finding the PIN code, Seong is stunned. He heads for the betting track with his friend, winning big; these scenes are artfully staged, amplifying the stressful atmosphere and confirming that Seong is a gambling addict. He calls Ga-Yeong, tells her that she can have whatever she wants for dinner. There is something beautiful and disconcerting about the purity of his fatherly love and the damage he creates for himself. Next come the loan sharks.

squid game image

Image via Netflix

The violence is alarming, like Mr. Blonde and Mr. Orange. Seong is forced to sign a “physical rights disclaimer.” It means Mr. “Softee” (Pub-lae Kim) will take one of his kidneys and eyes if Seong doesn’t pay him back next month. After getting some money in the bank, he tries to win an arcade toy for his daughter, and failing that, a nice boy helps him win a box in gift wrap.

At dinner, Ga-Yeong is sensitive to his father, knowing that he fights, still smokes and feels guilty that he cannot give him more. When she opens the arcade giveaway, it’s a gun-shaped lighter, preventing the story’s mix of humor and violence. He brings her home, lovingly, asleep on her back, and is berated by his ex-wife (Kang Mal Geum) for being late. When Ga-Yeong turns to say goodbye, rushed by her mother, Seong encourages them to enter. He breaks down, but his love for his daughter is the clearest part of his life. It will be important.

The first scary thing happens. Seller (Gong yoo) finds Seong on the subway platform after dropping off Ga-Yeong. It is a blue pill or red pill interaction. It’s a simple game, ddakji – making one piece of paper bump into another so that it flips over and you get money – but until Seong wins he gets slapped without pity. “Call me,” said the man at the end, with Seong’s silver-drunken eyes and bruised cheek, if Seong wants to make more money by playing more “games.”

Gong-Yoo-Squid-Game-Recruiter

Image via Netflix

Seong feels good and stops at the fish market. He asks the seller about his son, Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), a successful friend who is currently on “overseas business trip”. (Keep that in mind for later!) Later at home, her mother doesn’t believe Seong got her new batch of money without stealing or gambling. “I worked my hands, my face and my body to make this money,” the truth and a red herring for the real game to come.

The episode’s turning point comes when his mother then tells him that Ga-Yeong, mother, and stepfather are moving to the United States. Maybe if he shows he can financially support Ga-Yeong, she can stay with him in South Korea. He is lying in his bed, tenderly looking at the photos of his daughter. He pulls out the vendor’s card and shortly thereafter is picked up in a discreet van.

The horror begins immediately. Everyone in the car seems to be sleeping, but they’ve been gassed, which happens to Seong after he gets on. mark their player number (the order in which they arrive).

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RELATED: ‘Squid Game’ Games, Ranked

When they wake up to classical music, we find that they are all crammed into beds, like war bunkers. There is a Fancy element to the synchronization of their movements and aerial shots as they get out of bed towards the stage. But, this place is more Charlie and the chocolate factory; a hell in the making, a prison camp.

They are addressed by scary people in red coveralls with black gas masks (it makes me think the gassing is going to come back). They are called “players” – Seong is the last, at 456 – and asked to sign consent forms. This is hexadecimal consent, which says you cannot not play the games, but if you don’t play the games, you will be eliminated. But, the spooky people in the red suit are putting out videos for everyone to see, showing how “pathetic” each person is in their debt transactions and lives outside of the game. Do you want to go back and face your creditors, they ask?

Everyone signs the consent form.

netflix squid game

Image via Netflix

We are introduced to the scary king resembling Darth Vader, the Front Man (Lee byung hun), the only character who speaks in English, giving a command over the phone to leave the (Hunger) the games begin. He sits down with a scotch tape, an odd diorama of a jazz band playing “Fly Me To The Moon”, as he watches the arena in real time on a huge flat screen. In a particularly frightening sequence, current players are invited to smile as their photo is taken before they enter the arena, we see them preening, oblige, but we know that this promise of friendliness and belonging is fake.

The first game for players is “Red Light, Green Light”, and the directions are exactly like in the childhood game. Move when the host tells you to move and stop when they turn around. The host is the aforementioned doll; she’s a motion detector for murder. Players who only move a muscle when they shouldn’t are downcast as if they were nothing, their smiling faces disappearing one by one from the virtual checkerboard the Front Man oversees.

For those who cross the finish line within the required five minutes, their victory ends in the adrenaline rush of terror and disbelief. Seong does, along with other featured characters, including Seong’s friend Sang-Woo – who is not “on an overseas business trip” at all – quick-witted Kang Sae- byeok (Jung Hoyeon), the nice old man Oh II-Nam (Hideo Kimura), which is 001, the villainous Jang Deok-Su (Heo Sung-tae) and Ali (Anupam Tripathi), who restrains Seong by his sweatshirt, almost suffocating him, to keep him from being eliminated. In the last sequence of the episode, a roof gently closes the arena, painted like the surrounding forest, camouflaging itself perfectly. As the camera hovers over the forest and heads towards the island it’s on, we get it. This arena is a place where atrocities happen and no one finds out.

KEEP READING: “Squid Game” Deaths, Closed


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