Squid Game Episode 5 Recap: A Fair World - VRGyani News and Media

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Saturday, October 16, 2021

Squid Game Episode 5 Recap: A Fair World

[Editor's note: The following contains spoilers for Squid Game, Season 1, Episode 5, "A Fair World."]

While Squid Game episode 4 ended with a big cliffhanger, episode 5 begins by quite literally throwing people over the edge: after Sang-woo (Park Hae-Soo) comes up with a last-minute plan, his team manages to win the tug of war. However, convincing everyone to take three steps forward to force the other team to the ground isn’t an easy task. After all, there’s no denying it sounds like a completely insane plan, one you can only get on board with if you truly trust your teammates. In the end, that’s what “A Fair World” comes down to: Trust.

After winning the game, Sang-woo, Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), player 001 (Oh Yeong-su), Ali (Anupam Tripathi), Sae-byeok (Jung Ho-yeon), Mi-nyeo (Kim Jo-ryeong), and players 240 (Lee Yoo-mi), 244 (Kim Si-hyun), and 196 (Kim Dong-hyun) go back to the main room as the guards clean off the blood of the opposing team from the floor. But tensions rise even before they get to the playroom’s first floor, in the elevator that takes them to the platform. Player 244 drops to his knees, praying for the Lord that has allowed them to live, and annoying 240 in the process. Player 240 says he should be thanking 001 and Sang-woo, and not God, and mocks 244. Sae-byeok tells the two of them to shut up, and refuses to tell 240 her name when the girl approaches her, trying to chat. As the team of unlikely winners arrives at the main room, Deok-su (Heo Sung-tae) and his men stare at them. Mi-nyeo, especially, exchanges very menacing looks with her former lover and team leader.

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Meanwhile, in the furnace room, the circle guards are burning the bodies of the deceased. One of them, however, signals at the security camera, and, from the control room, a square guard releases one of the gift box caskets before activating the fire. The casket falls to another room, where two triangle guards open it up and find an unexpectedly dead man inside, prompting them to call the doctor (Song Hyung-soo).

Back in the main room, bedtime is announced, and Gi-hun and Sang-woo’s team fear another fight might break out during the night. Showing everyone he has learned nothing from the previous game, player 196 says they have no hope of surviving an enemy attack, considering they have three women and an old man in their ranks. Echoing his partner’s concerns, 244 suggests that they should pick a weaker team and attack first. Once more, player 240 is not having it, and neither is Sae-byeok: she recalls seeing a man murdered by one of his own allies in the other fight and asks the rest of the team if they trust her, because she sure doesn’t trust them.

It’s Gi-hun that comes up with a solution for the problem: instead of attacking others or waiting to be attacked, they should build a barricade and take turns standing guard to make sure they’ll all live to see another day. As they put up a structure of bed frames and sheets, Deok-su approaches Gi-hun and tries to scare him, saying the barricade won’t stop the others from killing them. But his plan backfires when Gi-hun asks him if he can really trust his own man, claiming that, if he was one of Deok-su’s minions, he would take the first chance he got to finish off his boss, considering he’s the game’s strongest player. Looking concerned, Deok-su goes back to his side of the room and tells his men to rest for the night, but not before noticing the doctor’s absence.

At the barricade, the first two on guard duty are Ali and Sang-woo, who bond over shared food and Ali’s life story. Still thankful for the help Sang-woo offered him when they were taken back to the city and for what happened at the tug of war, Ali offers the former businessman a corn cob he saved from his dinner. Sang-woo splits the corn cob in two and tells Ali to stop calling him “sir”, officially turning their relationship into a friendship of sorts instead of a mere bond of gratitude.

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At the control room, a square guard watches as the doctor and a triangle guard move through the colorful maze of staircases, erasing the footage afterwards. He does the same with the two circle guards we will soon find out are number 28 (Heo Dong-won) and Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon), pretending to be number 29. The two walk down a secret flight of stairs and arrive at an improvised operating room, though not before 28 scolds Jun-ho for not having shown up the previous night, telling him the others wanted him dead.

In the operating room, Jun-ho finds a pile of bodies inside gift box caskets beside a table that is being used by the doctor to cut a man up. Two triangle guards watch over him, and one of them complains about 29’s absence the other night. Number 28 comes to his defense once more and tells the doctor to hurry up, reminding him that they provide him with information on the upcoming games in exchange for his work.

Through most of its runtime, “A Fair World” goes back and forth between the barricade and the improvised operating room. In the first location, Gi-hun and 001 take over Sang-woo and Ali after their shift ends. Gi-hun hallucinates a smoke bomb being thrown inside the room and policemen appearing out of the blue to beat up a group of people. One man crawls over to him and calls out his name before receiving a blow to the head. Gi-hun tells 001 a little bit about his life before the game, more specifically about a strike he took part in at a car factory where he used to work. After being unjustly fired, the workers occupied the factory the same day Gi-hun’s daughter was born. Player 001 claims he saw the strike on the news and remembers that someone died in the occupation. This is a throwback to episode 2, “Hell”, in which Gi-hun’s ex-wife accuses him of having missed their daughter’s birth, and Gi-hun says he saw a friend of his die on that day.

During the conversation, Gi-hun notices there’s something wrong with 001 and realizes that he has a fever. He helps the old man lie down, and Sae-byeok gives him a bottle of water to help lower the fever, saying he must pay her back the following day.

Back in the operating room, we find out the doctor has killed a man by malpractice, which probably led to him losing his job and his money. The guards chat about the people whose organs they harvested, calling them zombies, and a story about someone with one kidney draws Jun-ho’s attention. He asks what happened to the player with one kidney and raises suspicion, but, luckily for him, the doctor gets mad at all the chit-chat and tells the guards to shut up. The organs are put in big delivery bags that are taken away by Jun-ho and number 28.

At this point, the players in the main room take a backseat to Jun-ho’s and the doctor’s plots. While the doctor freaks out and kills one of the triangle guards when he finds out they still don’t know what the next game will be, Jun-ho follows number 28 through the game complex up to another secret room with scuba-diving equipment and an underwater tunnel. Along the way, he asks a number of other questions that raise some red flags for 28, and, upon reaching the secret room, the guard pulls out a knife at Jun-ho and demands to see his face. Jun-ho obeys, but pulls out his gun and tells the guard to take off his mask as well. Now both unmasked, he confronts the guard about the so-called “zombie” with one kidney, who he believes to be his missing brother, who has given him a kidney in the past. The guard assures him that the zombie couldn’t possibly be Jun-ho’s brother, since it was a woman whom they all took turns raping before the organ harvest. He also reveals that there are files at the Front Man’s room containing information on all the players. As Jun-ho is about to lower his gun, the guard says he can keep the money from the organs if he wants to. Disgusted, Jun-ho shoots him in the head.

In the game complex, the doctor runs through the staircases, chased by the surviving triangle guard. The two of them arrive at the huge playground from the second game, and the guard tries to negotiate with the doctor, claiming he can go back to the main room and that no one has to find out about their scheme. The doctor then asks, “How can I trust a scumbag like you?”, prompting the triangle guard to put down his gun and take off his mask. Seeing his former associate’s face, the doctor feels more inclined to accept the other man’s terms, not knowing that he’s about to get stabbed in the back - literally. But, before the triangle guard makes his move, the Front Man comes in, followed by a group of square guards, and shoots him in the head. The Front Man accuses the organ harvesters of tainting the game, violating the principles of equality and fairness that guide it by giving one player secret information. He departs in search of the other rule-infringing guards, leaving the doctor to be killed by one of the squares that followed him in.

The Front Man and his minions find the bodies of the dead triangle and circle guards. Upon noticing all the oxygen cylinders are still in place, the Front Man realizes the circle guard’s killer must still be in the game complex. And, indeed, Jun-ho is at the Front Man’s room, looking for the files number 28 told him about. As the Front Man examines the bullet that shot 28 and an alarm goes off, waking up players and guards alike, Jun-ho finds a room full of binders dating back as far as 1998. He looks for information on his brother in the 2020 binders, but finds nothing.

In the main room, the guards walk in, guns in hands, ordering the players to get up and gather in the middle. They all obey, except for 001. A guard approaches him, and Gi-hun shouts out that he is sick. Disregarding Gi-hun’s comment, the guard pulls off 001’s blanket, revealing he has wet himself.

“A Fair World” ends with Jun-ho finding a small gift box in the archive containing a list of all the game’s previous winners. His brother, In-ho, is listed as the 2015 victor. He goes to the 2015 binder and, inside, he finds his brother’s file. This raises an important question: if In-ho won the game, why is he missing? Did something happen to him afterward? Are the game masters telling the players the truth? Or is it Jun-ho that should be wary of his own flesh and blood? As the credits roll, we are left with the feeling that it isn’t just Deok-su that should think twice about who he trusts.

KEEP READING: 'Squid Game': Every Question Season 2 Needs to Answer



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