Player 456.

Red Light, Green Light part 2.

Listen on Apple Podcasts on Quite The Thing Media

Meet Cho Sang-Woo’s mother in the market – already gets the feeling that there is social commentary on bankers, future traders, capitalism here – he’s ‘on a business trip’.

Feeds the cat on way home – again – he’s a decent guy

Turning point here… When he finally returns home to his mom’s, she informs him what his kid balked at telling him herself: His daughter, her mother, and her stepdad will all be moving to the United States next year. It’s the icing on a really shitty cake.

Money = Custody…So he does what any desperate man might: He calls the mystery money man and takes him up on his offer.

The use of classical music runs through the series and it just “fits” – Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto in E flat major; Strauss’ By The Beautiful Blue Danube; Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings (our theme is Tchaikovsky)

That’s when the real weirdness starts. He’s picked up by a van full of sleeping people, and promptly gets hit with a knockout dose of sleeping gas himself. He wakes up in a massive dormitory wearing a numbered green tracksuit labeling him contestant number 456 out of 456 contestants total.

As he and his fellow players wake up and try to suss out their surroundings – his first engagement with 001, the old man – any thoughts that he might be Gi-hun’s dad (clues for this float about later is series)

They’re approached by a phalanx of masked people in pink jumpsuits, who run the show under the guidance of a guy in a black mask and hood called the Front Man (quite an interesting guy) … Darth Vader/Star Wars evil … The ‘entry music’ and synchronisation is just cool as fuck here.

Lee Byung-hun as The Front Man / Hwang In-ho (Episodes 8–9)

  • Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and its sequel, G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  • RED 2
  • Terminator Genisys
  • The Magnificent Seven…
  • On August 28, 2014, Lee was blackmailed by singer Dahee from K-pop girl group GLAM and model Lee Ji-yeon for 5 billion won (about $4 million) in exchange for not releasing, on the internet, a compromising video of him making sexual jokes while drinking with them on July 3. Dahee and Lee Ji-yeon were arrested on September 1,after Lee reported the crime to police when they handed him two suitcases to transport the money 
  • Lee was sued by his girlfriend with whom he broke up in 2009. His girlfriend claimed Lee hurt her mentally and physically because he only used her for entertainment, and sued him for compensation and chronic gambling charges worth 100 million won

There is a synchronization of their movements and overhead shots as they shuffle out of bed towards the stage. But, this place is more Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; a hell in the making, a prison camp.

Allegedly, the drawings of every game the contestants play can be spotted on the dormitory walls…?

The leading pink guy, who sports a square logo on his face mask (everyone else’s is a circle), gives them the rundown. Everyone there, he says, suffers from crippling debt.

All of the players that were highlighted actually owe more than Gi-hun, hinting that he may not be the player who will stop at nothing to win the money.

The circles, triangles and squares

The circles, triangles and squares in Squid Game

The workers wearing circle helmets tend to be the lowest rank. They cannot speak unless a worker with a higher ranking speaks to them first. They are given the job of carrying away dead bodies after the contestants are killed.

Those with triangle masks seem to be a higher rank than circle employees, but they must still obey orders given to them by those with square masks. Workers wearing triangle masks appear to have the authority to hold guns and shoot contestants who fail the games.

Employees with square masks hold the highest authority out of the workers in pink jumpsuits and they answer to the Front Man. They are allowed to man the CCTV cameras dotted around the game’s facilities and are often the ones speaking to the contestants behind the start of each round.

Here, they have a chance to win enough money—how much is unspecified, but apparently it’ll be enough to fill up a giant glowing piggy-bank they lower from the ceiling—to pay off their debts and start fresh, provided they sign a simple consent form.

The Squid Game contract

The first clause says that the Player is not allowed to stop playing although the third clause says the Games may be terminated if the majority agrees.  The second clause says that the Player who refuses to play will be eliminated. But the terms are ambiguous, don’t you think?  Who is the “majority”?  Is it the majority of the participants or the freakily masked officials?  What happens if a Player stops playing?  Most importantly how will the Player be eliminated?

That scene demonstrates once again that the rational actor is a rare (non-existent) creature indeed, especially if you have money troubles, peer pressure, physical fatigue and optimism bias.

So after dutifully signing, everyone makes their way through a set of staircases that look like Sesame Street designed by M.C. Escher… also called Relativity