February 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Squid Game “VIPS”

Season One, Episode Seven

Oh look, another game that is supposedly “fair”.

I have something to say about that.

It’s the next to the last game.  There are 17 contestants left.  Mi-nyeo, the only one not to get a partner for the marble game, wasn’t killed afterwards.  She just didn’t get a chance to play.  She’s still alive, and she is there to let everybody know it.  There was the husband-and-wife team.  The husband survived.  His wife is dead.  He soon hangs himself.  No one else wants to quit a second time.

So, 16 contestants, and the VIPs show up.  These are masked, wealthy men who have been betting on the contestants.  The Host is, for some reason, unavailable.  The Front Man is there to entertain them.  Also in the room is Jun-ho, now undercover as a waiter.

He actually makes some progress here towards exposing the whole thing, but to let him prevail doesn’t seem likely.  He’s not the main character (that’s Gi-hun).  He doesn’t do much some episodes.  He’s there probably to show how futile trying to stop the rich and powerful actually is.  So, I’ll skip his subplot this episode.  I don’t have much hope for the guy.

Instead, the contestants are down to 16 people.  They get asked to pick numbers.  Why?  Who knows?  They don’t.  Not right away.  The quick-thinking grab numbers in the middle.  Not first to put themselves on the line, and not last to keep themselves from running out of time.  Gi-hun thinks too much about it, and he’s down to 1 and 16.  He’s about to pick 1 when a man asks to have it instead.  This guy is tired of being timid and hiding behind others.  He wants to be brave for once.

OK, what’s the game?  Well, it’s about jumping across a chasm onto panes of glass.  Each of the various steps has two options.  One is tempered and can hold the weight of two people.  The other is weak and will break.  Guess the right combination, and you get across easily.  #1 does the first one right.  It’s the second that breaks when he lands on it.

Oh, and they have 15 minutes to get across.  Everyone behind a person will die if they wait too long.

Sheesh, these games are terrible.

But they aren’t all bad.  Deok-su, from the middle of the pack, tries to force people to go ahead of him so he doesn’t have to test the glass.  That’s both evil and smart.  But then it turns out Mi-nyeo is really mad at him and decides she’s gonna go down and take the gangster with her.  So, I’m running out of contestants whom I know names for.

In fact, the last four contestants are Gi-hun, Sae-byeok, Sang-woo, and one man who worked with glass for a living and can recognized tempered glass by how it reflects off light.

Wait, that’s a stroke of luck!  He’s in the front!  He can guide the others to safety…and he doesn’t, right?

Of course not!  The Front Man cuts the lights.  Now, with one pane to go, the contestant doesn’t know which one of the two is the safe one.

So, all that talk about the games being “fair,” that doesn’t actually count, does it?  I mean, this man had a way to beat the system that wasn’t cheating.  He just happened to slip through the cracks to this point.  If bringing skills and knowledge to a game isn’t cheating, then it must be fair, right?  But no, the Front Man, perhaps to appease the VIPs, just makes it harder on purpose.

Naturally, Sang-woo has a solution that is incredibly self-serving:  he pushes the man who can’t see which glass is which anymore, and that guy finds the regular glass with his body.  Only one left, and Sang-woo crosses, followed by Sae-byeok and Gi-hun.

Noteworthy:  Sae-byeok actually helped Gi-hun remember where the safe panels were.  She’s come a long way from the woman who didn’t seem interested in helping anybody.

Of course, the bridges blow up when time hits zero, and it looks like all three got some cuts from flying glass.  But really, the games aren’t fair…as if I didn’t know that already.  I must have a different definition of “fair” than the people running these things.