While there are some episodes that leave you on the edge of your seat, Squid Game arguably leaves many unsatisfying endings. Throughout the show, the intense presence of the doctor, Byeong-gi (Brian Kim), and his removal of organs draws in the viewer. The infiltrating police officer Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon) adds to the excitement. This all provides excitement in the first few episodes of the show but leads to a stuttering shut down.
What could have provided a more intricate understanding of the games ended simply and unsatisfactorily with the death of the organ traffickers and no answer to where the organs are going or how they get there.
This similarly happens in the last episode of the show.
We rooted for the old man. We felt shocked at his death. His reveal as the mastermind of the show feels random and unnecessary. There is no build-up to the reveal and hence, no emotional connection. The meat of the show was in the game, and the remaining 30 minutes following Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) watching the world do not match the previous intensity and pace of the game.
On the other hand, Squid Game does portray human nature in a thought-provoking manner that cannot be denied. Will we resort to violence when so driven by greed and desperation?
Yet, this cannot be said about Seong Gi-hun. His heartbreaking deceit when playing with the old man in marbles turns him into a naive character, staunch that more than one of them can win and escape. He quickly turns on his best friend disagreeing with this belief. Perhaps, this could be argued to be a sign of goodness in humanity and the ability to deny the bad.
Squid Game also provides insight into the class systems in both South Korea, and worldwide, with physical metaphors of appearance in the masks of the rich who come to watch the show and their demanding nature. Capitalism, gambling, and the discussion of morality are root themes throughout the show, presented as an exciting watch, but conveying potent issues. The metaphor and hopeful ending after such turmoil that is Squid Game is a disturbing representation of human nature, and hence, a show worth the hype, despite its occasional abrupt sub-plots.
Squid Game Season One is available to stream on Netflix.