As we enter the back half of the season, Alice in Borderland expands its scope and explores multiple perspectives at once the sustain its pacing.
This recap of the Netflix series Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 5 contains spoilers.
As we enter the back half of the season, Alice in Borderland season 2 begins to divide its cast even further, taking the world in from multiple perspectives and angles while sustaining the pace of the plot. This is smart structuring and definitely helps these long episodes to feel breezy.
Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 5 recap
The fifth episode finds Arisu with Aguni, who in Episode 4 we learned was still alive. Arisu gives him a quick rundown – the group is scattered, Tatta is dead – and the episode gives us some context around Akane. We see her first game, Boiling Point, collapse on itself quite literally, and see her determination to crawl from a terrible injury (she skewers her leg on a spike) into gruesome self-surgery (she amputates the offending leg). This is an instantly compelling character.
Given its pace, this season of Alice in Borderland has a tendency not to linger on the new faces – Kyuma only got one and a half episodes, after all, and he was such a charismatic presence that it’s a shame. But Akane fares a little better. With Arisu and Aguni, they plan to ambush the King of Spades, laying traps and waiting to strike.
The boss character isn’t so easily toppled, and rightly so, and the ensuing conflict injures Aguni and separates Arisu. Alone, he heads back into the heart of the city, and through an overgrown part overwhelmed by nature.
Elsewhere, Usagi happens upon some survivors, most notably a young boy called Kota who has lost his parents, whom she accompanies to the next game at a construction site, playing against the Queen of Spades. This is where Arisu catches up to her, ready for one of the remaining physical games to get underway.
This is a kind of tag-style affair with some tweaks relating to chess. Each team has four members, one of whom is declared King (it’s Kota for the players’ team). Teams alternate turns for 16 rounds. They’re all wearing vests. If the button on their back turns red they’re turned to the Queen’s team and can’t move. Kings can’t be turned. And so on, and so forth.
It doesn’t take long for the Queen’s team to amass a sizeable advantage, leaving us on a nice cliffhanger for the next episode.
Elsewhere we check in briefly with Kuina, who is competing in games of her own to extend her visa, and Ann, who manages to make it to the edge of the city, making her next move a difficult one.
As we press into the back half of the season here there’s definitely a sense of the show’s scope expanding, taking in multiple viewpoints at once and showcasing multiple distinct locations.
You can stream Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 5 exclusively on Netflix.