The games return in “The Man with the Umbrella”, though this time more players are ready for them.
This recap of Squid Game season 1, episode 3, “The Man with the Umbrella”, contains spoilers.
There’s a new player to enter the Squid Game in “The Man with the Umbrella”, though he hasn’t been invited. And thankfully, his infiltration gives us a bit more helpful knowledge of these games, logistically, since he follows a fleet of Hyundai people carriers, all containing unconscious players, to the port, where they’re loaded onto a ship and scanned. Jun-ho establishes his badass bona fides by choking out one of the staffers when he tries to pose as a player, stealing his outfit and dumping him overboard. Finally, someone capable has entered the games. He’s told off for speaking without being invited to by a superior by a staffer with a loose button dangling from his coveralls, but he’s able to maintain his cover.
Squid Game season 1, episode 3 recap
But shenanigans are afoot! Some players, including the pickpocket, have some hidden advantages — she’s passed a switchblade during the processing phase. Gi-hun, Sang-woo, and 199 decide to form their own little squad, along with 001, who is so absurdly charming I’m going to be devastated when he inevitably dies.
Teams are beginning to form everywhere. 067 seems on her own side, using the knife to unscrew the vents in the bathroom where 212 is enjoying a cheeky smoke. But 101 has plenty of influence given his underworld connections, and whether you’re inspiring loyalty through fear or charisma, it’s more or less the same thing. But it makes everything much more compelling. With several players having their own agendas, and Jun-ho having infiltrated the game’s staffers, there are many more dynamics at play here than there were in the premiere episode. It also gives us a new angle on the staff, who don’t seem to be the perfectly organized and unified front that they first appeared as. Most of them are just employees, probably almost as scared as the players.
In the vents, 067 spies the staff melting something down in large pots — it smells like sugar. And there’s definitely a sweet theme to “The Man with the Umbrella”, which becomes more readily apparent once the latest game is revealed. The room has been done up as a giant playground. Four symbols — circle, triangle, star, and umbrella — adorn the walls, and the players are to organize themselves under each one. Sang-woo, who overheard 067 talking about the sugar, has some brief flashbacks to childhood, trying to determine what the game is going to be. He advises their “team” spread themselves out among the symbols, just in case. Sang-woo goes triangle; 199 circle. Gi-hun becomes the man with the umbrella, and 001 takes the star. Let the games begin.
Each of the players is given a circular case. The cases contain a circular piece of sugar honeycomb printed with one of the four symbols, and each player must cut out their shape with a needle without it breaking or cracking. Sang-woo had some prior knowledge of this, so went for the triangle for ease; Gi-hun, who has the hardest shape, realizes he’s probably screwed. The staff keeps a watchful eye on everyone, and anyone who fails is promptly executed. After the high tension of the first game, this seems a little reiterative, but the little advantages some players have — 212’s lighter, for instance — gives it a slightly different vibe. Sang-woo and 067, both triangles, are able to pass with no issue. 199 also makes it. Gi-hun once again goes down to the wire. As he nervously sweats on the honeycomb, he gets an idea to melt it from the back, thinning the outline so he can more easily remove the umbrella. A successful 212 drops her lighter for 101, but everyone else follows Gi-hun’s example and starts frantically licking their honeycomb. With a second left, Gi-hun succeeds and breaks down in tears.
In a desperate move, one of the unsuccessful umbrella players attacks one of the staff members, holding him hostage. He orders him to take off his mask and turn around, discovering that he’s a very young man, scarcely more than a child. Seeing this, the player kills himself, and then the frontman in the black mask executes the staffer. He reminds everyone that if the players see who they are, then they die. I bet this job doesn’t have a good pension scheme either.
You can stream Squid Game season 1, episode 3 exclusively on Netflix.