Warning! Massive spoilers for Squid Game's final episode below! Hwang Dong-Hyuk's Squid Game has quickly taken over Netflix since its debut last month, and it's easy to see why as it offers not only a bleak take on the economic struggles of those in North and South Korea, but twists it all into a death game where those involved gamble their lives for the chance at winning a massive sum of money. The first season's nine episodes indeed ends with a winner being decided, and has some huge implications about where this world could potentially be going next.
Final warning! Spoilers for Squid Game's ending to follow! The final episode, "One Lucky Day," pits Gi-Hun and Sang-woo against one another as the final two players left in the game. It's revealed that the final game in this particular year is the titular Squid Game, with Gi-Hun winning a coin toss to become the attacker while Sang-woo has to keep Gi-Hun from reaching the head of the squid pattern in the dirt. Gi-Hun tries to quit the game when he's about to win (thus meaning Sang-woo will be killed as a result), but Sang-woo takes his own life so that Gi-Hun can win the money. But that's only the start of where things really get interesting.
It's soon revealed that after Gi-Hun returns to "regular life" that he has indeed won the 45.6 billion won (which is about a little over 38 million USD), but upon returning home he finds that his mother has died. Left desolate by this news, it's revealed after a year long time jump that he has not been spending any of the money and left in a rough state where he's basically living the life he had been before the Squid Game. He soon gets invited to meet with the game master, who's actually revealed to be Oh II-nam, the old man that Gi-Hun had bonded with over the course of the game.
He reveals that this game was a result of those with lots of money like himself creating the game in order to have some fun. He ends up joining this most recent game because the tumor in his head was real, and soon dies after he an Gi-Hun have one final game where Oh II-nam asserts that no one would help an old drunken man on the street. When some does, Gi-Hun gets the burst of passion he needs to soon live on his life with this new money. He dies his hair red (which is Gi-Hun's way of reclaiming himself and thrusting into his new life), and is nearly ready to fly and visit his daughter in the United States.
But when he sees that a new person is playing the introductory game for the Squid Game, and has gotten a card of their own, he finds that the games are continuing despite Oh Il-nam's death. Rather than deciding to go to the United States, Gi-Hun enrolls himself in the next game. It's unclear, however, whether or not that's going to be possible but what is clear by the final moments is now Gi-Hun is dedicating himself to uncover the entire mystery behind the Squid Game and expose everyone involved.
The series did open the doors to a much wider world, and while a second season has not been confirmed or even discussed, this ending is open enough that it could theoretically continue with a new season featuring Gi-Hun and a new death game. But as it now, it's a definitive ending enough where Gi-Hun has indeed escaped his initial game, and had the chance at a bigger life before deciding to dedicate himself to fighting against the inherent justice of the capitalist system and these cruel games.
What did you think of Squid Game's ending? What would you want to see in a Season 2 if that happens? Let us know all of your thoughts about it in the comments! You can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!