The resolution of Solitary Confinement and some wider worldbuilding keep the second season ticking along nicely.
This recap of the Netflix series Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 4 contains spoilers.
Let’s get the first order of business out of the way — the culmination of the Solitary Confinement game, which in Episode 3 saw Chishiya temporarily incarcerated with a bunch of other players, trying to deduce who the Jack of Hearts was in a game of trust and manipulation. My prediction here was that the real Jack was Yaba‘s oppressed girlfriend Kotoko, and I was… dead wrong, actually.
Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 4 recap
As it happens Kotoko is the only one of the remaining players who actually dies. Her lying to Yaba about his symbol inadvertently gets her head blown off, because it exposes a partnership she had formed with Matsushita, based on the color of the snacks they were picking up. It’s Chishiya who figures that little ruse out, though everyone deduces that Matsushita is the Jack of Hearts. Chishiya leaves when Yaba and Banda set about Matsushita with a blade to try and learn more about the Borderland hierarchy.
I said in the previous recap that this game was really a showcase for Chishiya, and I still had that impression as he swaggered calmly out of the prison having outsmarted everyone. It’s curious, though, that he didn’t indulge in torturing Matsushita. Is he just not interested in the answers that he might have provided? Is he not willing to stoop that low? This is kind of an important question since this second season, as well as being about the escalation of the games, has also really explicitly been about figuring out what exactly is going on behind the scenes.
This is what the back half of the episode is about, in large part. Kuina divorces herself from the main group to try and rally Ann and Chishiya, leaving Arisu and Usagi on their own, continuing a trend of this season to split the group up into different formations and segment the drama. Arisu and Usagi eventually stumble upon an RV and the film of a man named Kaito which allows them to connect some dots about the inception of the city-wide games.
In my season review — linked below — I made mention of how sometimes this season feels reticent to really give too much away, and I definitely think you can feel that here, though there’s a broader shape that’s starting to become visible. It’s also a useful way to reintroduce both the King of Spades and Aguni, who Arisu runs into at the end of the episode. The games are still very much the focus, but it’s interesting to see how the worldbuilding is being developed as we go, how the characters are being partitioned off, and how there’s really no sense yet of where any of this might go.
Thus far, Alice in Borderland Season 2 has been quite the worthwhile follow-up.
You can stream Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 4 exclusively on Netflix.
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