Squid Game season 1, episode 7 recap – “VIPS”

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: September 17, 2021
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Squid Game season 1, episode 7 recap - "VIPS"


“VIPS” sees the arrival of some new guests as the games recommence, and the number of players continues to dwindle.

This recap of Squid Game season 1, episode 7, “VIPS”, contains spoilers.

The arrival of certain anonymous VIPs has been looming over the first season of Squid Game thus far, and with Jun-ho still on the loose, the Frontman is clearly starting to panic as these supposedly very important people get closer and closer. Since the last game killed a couple of major cast members, it’s almost a relief to see Mi-Nyeo waiting for everyone to return. Since she was determined the weakest link, she basically got a free pass to the next round — it’s all part of the game’s underlying ideology, not allowing the weakest link to turn into an outcast. Deok-su is understandably devastated by this news.

Squid Game season 1, episode 7 recap

More determined than ever to track the imposter down, the Frontman discovers he has been in his personal quarters thanks to the position of the phone, but he’s pulled away before he can discover him by news of a body being washed ashore. The Frontman expresses some knowledge of the Korean police, and I think at this point we have to consider the possibility that the Frontman himself is Jun-ho’s missing brother. Perhaps former winners become the new Frontman? The body that’s discovered, by the way, is the one Jun-ho tossed overboard during his infiltration and planted his ID on. The Frontman takes a good long look at that ID, only strengthening the brother theory.

The remaining players, meanwhile, are not in a good mood, especially not 069, whose partner in the marbles game was his wife, and Gi-hun, who still feels responsible for the death of 001. 069 has a mid-level breakdown until Sang-woo lectures him into shape. He gradually starts addressing the entire room, and you can just tell he’s rationalizing his own actions having essentially sentenced Ali to death.

The VIPs all arrive wearing very fancy animal masks. The Frontman greets them and laments that “The Host” can’t be there personally due to some urgent business. They’re all present to watch the next game and have been betting on the outcome, as predicted. One of them had a big sum on 069, who, as they can see on the video screens, is about to hang himself. Jun-ho, meanwhile, is still nearby and takes it upon himself to knock out the waiter and steal his outfit to get closer to the VIPs. It’s kind of hilarious how he’s basically been playing his own game of Hitman all throughout the season.

When the players wake up the next morning, they find 069 dead, hanging from his bunk, as the chirpy announcer’s voice tells them he’s been eliminated, and the piggy bank fills up a little more. The fifth game is about to begin. Everyone is much more melancholy as they make their way up the staircase. The Frontman introduces the game to the VIPs, who are lounging around with human footstools, and the staff introduces it to the players. Each is ordered to choose a mannequin and take its corresponding vest, numbered 1 through 16. After some fretting about the relevance of the numbers, the announcer pipes up again at the push of the Frontman’s button, explaining that the numbers determine the order in which they’ll be playing. As Gi-hun deliberates, everyone else grabs the remaining numbers, leaving only 1 and 16 — the two most dangerous numbers, he theorizes. Luckily, the decision is made for him. One of the other players, 096, politely requests to be number 1; after a lifetime spent cowering from everything, he finally wants to take ownership of his life.

The game works thusly. There’s a giant bridge. It’s full of alternating stepping stones made of either tempered or normal glass. The tempered glass will hold the weight of two people; the normal glass won’t even support one. The vest numbers determine the order in which you cross the bridge. The time limit is also 16 minutes. Everyone must cross. 096 makes it one step before falling to his death. Attempts to figure out a pattern to the glass fall flat. Obviously, with each unsuccessful attempt, it gets easier for the next person. Meanwhile, in the VIP area, one of the most obviously detestable and lecherous guests takes a shine to the disguised Jun-Ho, ordering him first to sit beside him to fill his drink, and then to remove his mask. This is a problem, obviously, since the Frontman has seen his police ID and would recognize him. So these two tense sequences are playing out simultaneously as if one wasn’t enough.

Eventually, the players in the back of the line start to get anxious about the time limit and begin shoving the players in front through the panes of glass. Gi-hun brings up the rear, but the fact he can’t even remember which of the first two panels is the correct one doesn’t exactly bode well. After a while, Deok-su finds himself the leader of the pack, with several more panels to clear and only about six minutes left. Of course, he flat-out refuses to proceed unless someone else goes ahead of him. Meanwhile, Jun-ho, still being badgered about taking his mask off, persuades the VIP to take him somewhere they can be alone. The VIP gets his gelatinous body out and promises to change Jun-ho’s life if he can satisfy him within five minutes, but he gets more than he bargained for. Suddenly at gunpoint, Jun-ho gives him five minutes to tell him everything he knows about the games.

On the bridge, Mi-nyeo confronts Deok-su and has run out of patience for him. She agrees to go ahead of him, but when she steps on his panel, she grabs him around the waist and refuses to let go. He said they’d stay together until the end, after all. She said she’d kill him if he betrayed her, and he betrayed her. So, here we are. She pulls him back through the next panel and they both fall to their deaths. Sang-woo, Sae-byeok, and Gi-hun are among the few remaining, including a glassmaker who can identify the faint stain marks in the tempered glass. Since the glassmaker is able to examine the refraction of the light through the glass, the Frontman changes the settings to make it harder for him. I thought this whole thing was supposed to be fair? Anyway, in the dark, the glassmaker needs to analyze the sounds of the glass in order to make a decision, so he throws the only thing he has available — 001’s marble from the previous game, which Gi-hun has been carrying ever since. But one marble isn’t enough for two panes of glass. Since he’s taking too long, Sang-woo pushes him through the final pane to his death, and the three main characters make it across. Seconds later, all the remaining panels explode behind them. All three get slashed by the debris — judging by Sae-byeok’s reaction, she perhaps got hit worse than the others.

Meanwhile, Jun-ho escapes from the facility using one of the dive packs. The Frontman and several goons pursue him in a speedboat.

You can stream Squid Game season 1, episode 7 exclusively on Netflix.

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