Saturday, July 30, 2022

Emmy Catch-Up: Squid Game

Squid Game: Season 1, Episode 8 “Front Man” (B)

It’s always strange to see in the age of streaming where episodes can be however long an installment that’s considerably shorter than the rest. Maybe it’s a sign of good storytelling, that a particular piece of the plot wouldn’t take the normal length and so it’s not overstuffed, but it was still jarring to have this episode clock in at just thirty-two minutes when the rest have been much closer to an hour. There were still plenty of big developments, namely the death of two main characters, leaving just two players left. After tricking Player 1 into losing the game of marbles and then getting a sentimental thank you for playing with him, Player 456 took a very different approach with Player 67, who had apparently been wounded by the glass from the previous game and didn’t display much of an appetite for that steak with a side of steak knife to go. Pounding on the door for a doctor when he saw that she was bleeding was a sign of compassion, whereas Player 218 seized that moment to slit her throat and ensure that Player 456 was his only competition. Their argument at the beginning of the episode guarantees that things won’t end peacefully, but Player 218 is the more skilled and intelligent, so it will be an uphill battle for the main character of this show to win the whole thing. The Front Man revealing himself to be Hwang’s brother was a twist that didn’t entirely make sense given that they’ve been in close proximity and Hwang has heard his voice, but it does beg the question of whether the Front Man is actually in charge of anything or if he’s trapped in this depraved game too.

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