Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 6 recap – how is the Queen of Spades beaten?

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: December 22, 2022 (Last updated: January 1, 2023)
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Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 6 recap - how is the Queen of Spades beaten?


Everyone gets on the same page just in time for the final two episodes, as the structure is tweaked slightly to accommodate another game.

This recap of the Netflix series Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 6 contains spoilers.

It occurs to me that a lesser show than Alice in Borderland – dare I say it, perhaps even Squid Game – would do the obvious thing and devote a game to each episode. But the pattern that has repeated thus far this season is to cut the games off mid-way to build a nice cliffhanger in the middle while also making sure there’s plenty of time and space to explain exactly how the games work and let them unfold as organically as possible. This season hasn’t been perfect, but there has been little to quibble about regarding its structure and pacing.

Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 6 recap

So, the sixth outing picks up where Episode 5 left off, right in the midst of the game against the Queen of Spades. The logic of the games intersects nicely with the show’s underlying themes here, as a passionate speech about the potential of getting back to their own world helps to sway the players to the right side. Once again, though, the show’s reticent to explain anything. Even when cornered, the Queen refuses to give Arisu any straight answers beyond advising him to complete all the games, before jumping to her death – though the laser hits her before she hits the ground, making a point about how impossible it is to escape the rules here.

A nice moment between Arisu and Usagi in the stadium where Akane was impaled is ruined by the reality of the situation that is literally in the walls around them; another neat thematic reminder that the games and their consequences are impossible to escape from, and an eventual return to any semblance of normalcy might not even be possible.

After snippets of time spent with Kuina and Ann, who is also compelled to return to action through the power of metaphor, we finally check back in with Chishiya, who is taking part in another game, this one called Beauty Contest. It’s a numbers game involving choosing a figure between 0 and 100 and trying to get close to an average – those whose points fall to -10 will be dissolved in acid, which is a particularly nasty way to go. This is all at the behest of the King of Diamonds, and there are strong, obvious themes of law and order and justice buried into the action.

As the stakes get higher and the number of players reduces, new rules and wrinkles are added to complicate the game. Naturally, Chishiya is one of the final two players remaining, along with a former idealistic lawyer named Kuzuryu. It’s another clever, thought-provoking psychological game, this, and further cements Chishiya as the most interesting character to follow this season. He comes out on top thanks to a noble self-sacrifice by Kuzuryu.

With pretty much all of the main characters alive, including Akane and Aguni, though the latter only just, there’s a distinct sense of everyone being on the same page just in time for the final two episodes. I’m sure there will be some big surprises and developments in store to cap off this stellar follow-up season. But can it stick the landing?

You can stream Alice in Borderland season 2, episode 6 exclusively on Netflix.

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