Final part of “Stick to the Team”.

Before the third full game begins, the players are told that they will be playing as a team. They have ten minutes to split into groups of ten. Between Gi-hun, Sang-woo, Ali, Sae-byeok, and Player 001, they still need five more people.

Massive change in colour palette here from the bright childlike colours we have seen so far, to a brilliant white. 

The doctor and Deok Su are already plotting about getting a team of big strong men and are already looking to dump 212.

Sang-woo advises everyone to split up and bring back one person, but he says they can’t have any more women on the team because it has been proven that men perform better in the games. Tell’s Ali to hide his fingers as he will look weak.

Sae-byeok brings back a woman… Player 240 (Lee Yoo-mi) and when Player 001 doesn’t bring back anyone, they get stuck with Player 212, who is completely floored when Deok-su forms a team of 10 of the strongest men. She looks broken here and falls to her knees, he knocks her to the ground, calls her a pathetic bitch and to get his hands off him. A truly awful, awful human being.  “Call me babe again and ill cut your throat out.” he walks back to the team and says “she wasn’t worth it anyways”

Ali’s gesture to the man he recruits is called Adab…  meaning respect and politeness (of course). Player 001 doesn’t bring a player so 212 joins.

We meet 240: Ji-yeong (played by Lee Yoo-mi), a young woman who was just released from prison after killing her abusive father.

The next game is one that relies on strength: Tug of war. They will be playing a deadly version of the game on a suspended platform so that when one team loses, they will fall to their death.

First game that the ‘normal’ contestants are forced to kill – how would that affect you?

Squid Game podcast - shapes

Deok-su feels smug and confident since he has gathered the strongest men for his team. Thankfully, he and his crew are not pitted against Gi-hun and his team because Deok-su and his team easily win in the game’s first round. Horrifically some of the losers are still alive after the fall but are put into coffins anyway. 

A subtle detail in this episode is the shapes in the guillotine… The square base, the circle cutout, and, at the centre, a triangle flag.

Gi-hun’s team is called next to go against, to their dismay, a team made up of only men. It seems they are doomed.

On their way up to the platform, however, Player 001 shares his wisdom from his experience playing tug of war as a child. He says it isn’t necessarily about strength — even the teams that are up against someone stronger can win if they follow the right strategy.

He advises them to place the rope in the middle and stand on alternating sides, keeping their feet planted straightforward and tucking the rope underneath their armpits. The next step proves to be crucial: in the first ten seconds, they must plant their feet and tilt their body backwards.

“We need a strong leader in the front… and a dependable man in the back”

Player 001

As Player 001 predicted, this instantly throws off the other team, who is unable to pull them forward. Then, the very moment the other team begins to lose their rhythm, Gi-hun yells for them to start pulling.

Player 001’s strategy appears to be working as the other team begins to struggle, and in turn, lose their lead. 

They are able to pull the rope back to their side and in a moment of panic, it seems that Gi-hun and his team’s fate is sealed. Sang-woo tells them to take three steps forward on his count, in hopes it will cause the other team to trip. On three, the camera zooms into their feet as they take their three steps and.. on that note, the episode ends.


Faith (on email)

Hi Colin and Jack

Absolutely loving your podcast and in-depth analysis on Squid Game, and delighted to have discovered it as it’s being recorded. Also, I’m down the road from you in Edinburgh, so it’s schweeet to hear local accents.

One thing I haven’t heard mentioned anywhere is how similar the use of classical music is to A Clockwork Orange – the softness and highbrowness jars against the violence in exactly the same way. Is this a popular film ‘trope’?

I’m off to listen to your podcasts now while you record the next Play 456 episode!

Thanks so much


PS… Here’s a post I wrote on episode 3

The show has inspired a crypto currency called Squid, which has turned out to be a scam, with its developers reportedly making off with around £2.5m.