Squid Game official trailer from Netflix
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Squid Game is a show that confronts viewers with a moral dilemma, one that asks what the cost of wealth truly is. Throughout the Netflix show, a cast of characters are thrown into a series of childlike challenges, but if they fail, they pay with their lives. However, they are not forced to participate, with many choosing to leave the game early on. Here is what happened to those that left.
What happened to the players who did not return to the game?
During episode two of Squid Game, titled Hell, the contestants are offered a choice to leave.
All the players individually vote, with the decision being split 50/50 right until the final player chooses.
This player is 001 or Oh Il-nam (played by Oh Yeong-su), who also decided to leave the game, causing everyone to go home.
Once Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) and the rest of the players return to their normal lives, they are confronted with all the reasons they went to the games in the first place – poverty, family problems, and illness.
It isn’t long before temptation returns, and the vast majority of the players agree to go back on their own accord and fight it out for the 45 billion Korean won prize.
“Out of 201 players, 187 players have returned,” one of the soldiers tells the Front Man (Lee Byung-hun), “the re-entrance rate is 93 percent”.
The Front Man replies: “Continue to monitor those who didn’t return, and keep me posted”
However, after this moment, the players that didn’t return are never seen or mentioned, leading to some fans questioning what happened to them.
Taking to Reddit, user Candycoatedmuffin2 wrote: “Hopefully we’ll see what happens to the people who didn’t go back to the game. They imply that these people are going to be watched, but why?”
The open-ended nature of the plot thread has made some fans hopeful for a second season again.
Wonderful_Hunter_214 replied: “Yeesss I remember the guy with the black mask said to keep an eye on them.
“I feel like Gi-hun will participate in the game but not as a player and will do whatever he wants to do.
“Also, Squid game got really popular, and one of the most liked cast was Sae-byeok, I think they might come up with something and bring Sae-byeok back in season 2.” (sic)
Why the missing players are not seen again, it is likely they are simply being monitored in order to protect the secrecy of the games.
At the very end of the season, after Gi-hun won the games, he calls them back to participate again.
The voice at the other end of the phone warns him not to interfere and board his plane.
Gi-hun was on a plane bridge about to leave for LA to visit his daughter, but instead, he turns back, again inviting the possibility of season two.
However, the scene also shows that all former players are being watched at all times, as the games knew exactly where Gi-hun was when he called.
It is still possible for the missing players to come back in a sequel, but the director of the show Hwang Dong-hyuk recently poured cold water on season two.
While not ruling it out, he did admit it wasn’t something he was currently considering, or even thinking about.
Speaking to Variety, Hwang said that he’s “not great at teamwork,” before confirming season one took years of work to develop.
While disappointing for fans, they can take solace in the fact the show is now the most successful launch in the history of Netflix.
Dominating the top of the charts for the weeks since its launch, the show is just as popular in the USA and UK as it is in its home country of South Korea.
As such, Netflix will be keen to capitalise on the success of the series and greenlight a sequel season.
For now, this is just speculation, and the fates of the missing players remain to be seen.
It seems clear they are out there somewhere, being watched by the soldiers of the games.
Squid Game is available to watch exclusively on Netflix.
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