"Squid Game" Season 1 Recap: Everything You Need To Know Before Season 2

🚨🚨 Warning: Major Spoilers 🚨🚨

Squid Game Season 2 is on its way!

When Squid Game first premiered on Netflix, it took the world by storm with its suspenseful, one-of-a-kind plot and gut-wrenching twists and turns that had me paranoid for weeks.

"Actors from Squid Game in red jumpsuits and masks stand on a platform, while participants in green tracksuits with numbers listen to instructions."
Noh Juhan / ©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

But it's been a hot minute since we first joined a bunch of randomly desperate green jumpsuit-wearing contestants in a deadly game of survival, so I figured we were overdue for a quick recap before Season 2 hits the streamwaves.

"Squid Game" scene showing several contestants in numbered green tracksuits, including Player 456 (Lee Jung-jae) and Player 001 (Oh Yeong-su). Guards in pink uniforms
No Juhan / ©Netflix / Courtesy Everett Collection

Here's everything you need to know about Squid Game, Season 1:

🚨MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD🚨(This is your final warning.)

Squid Game is about 456 very desperate contestants who compete in a series of deadly survival "childhood" games to win 45.6 billion won (which is a little over $38 million). To keep things in order, they're watched over by masked, armed guards in pink jumpsuits and their leader in black — The Front Man.

A scene from "Squid Game" showing many players in green tracksuits facing guards in pink jumpsuits standing on a stage in a large dormitory room
Noh Juhar / Netflix

Each contestant has reasons for needing the cash, some more sinister than others. Yet, the series focuses on Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), a gambling deadbeat father with insurmountable debt and an ailing mother.

A man making a funny face sits across from an older woman at a low table with takeout food containers

After playing Ddakji, a Korean children's game, with a mysterious salesperson, Gi-hun is invited to a remote island to be the 456th player in a series of six seemingly innocent games.

Noh Juhar / Netflix

The first game is Red Light, Green Light, and Gi-hun quickly learns that you straight-up die if you fail to complete any of the games on the island. As the games continue, the winnings increase, the stakes are higher, and the players become more desperate and dangerous every second.

Giant robotic doll from "Squid Game" stands by a tree in the "Red Light, Green Light" game scene. Contestants in green tracksuits are lined up in the background
Noh Juhar / Netflix

Aside from Gi-hun, another notable player is Kang Sae-byeok (Jung Ho-yeon), aka Player 067, a taciturn woman from North Korea fighting to get her family across the border.

HoYeon Jung in 'Squid Game' wearing a sports jacket and t-shirt with number 067, standing outdoors surrounded by greenery
Noh Juhan | Netflix / Netflix

Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), aka Player 218, is another notable contestant, Gi-hun's childhood friend, and a businessman on the run after stealing money from his clients for bad investments.

Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo in green tracksuits with numbers 218 and 456, respectively, in a scene from "Squid Game," standing in a large, stark room
Noh Juhan | Netflix / Netflix

Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon) is a police officer who disguises himself as a guard in a pink jumpsuit to find his missing brother on the island.

Woo-sik Choi, wearing a hooded outfit, crouches in a dimly lit scene, holding a flashlight up to his face
Noh Juhar / Netflix

And then, there's Oh Il-nam (Oh Yeong-su), aka Player 001, who is an older man with a brain tumor who joined the games because he doesn't want to die in the outside world.

Oh Yeong-su in a green tracksuit with number 001, in a scene from what appears to be a dramatic outdoor activity
Noh Juhan / Netflix

Gi-hun starts an alliance with his childhood friend and the older man, and they each survive the next game, Ppopgi, in which they must remove a specific shape (triangle, star, circle, or umbrella) from dalgona, a honeycomb toffee candy and traditional Korean street food.

Lee Jung-jae in "Squid Game" holds a Dalgona candy while pink soldiers in masks stand in the background
Noh Juhan / Netflix

Eventually, the gangsters and shadier contestants join forces to gain the upper hand in the games, and they begin to murder other contestants to increase the pot.

Three actors from "Squid Game" in green tracksuits with numbers 456 and 199 appear tense inside a dimly lit dormitory setting
Noh Juhar / Netflix

Despite all the odds, Gi-hun's ragtag alliance (which picks up a few new members) successfully wins the next match, Tug-of-War, thanks to a tip from the older man.

Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo stand in line wearing numbered green tracksuits in a scene from "Squid Game"
Noh Juhar / Netflix

However, everything falls apart when the alliance is pitted against each other for the next game — marbles.

"Squid Game cast in green tracksuits with numbers, standing on set with a person in a pink jumpsuit and black mask."

Only Gi-hun, Sang-woo, and Sae-byeok survive the next game, which involves a series of glass stepping stones that can randomly break if you step on the wrong one. Unfortunately, Sae-byeok gets badly injured in the game.

Three actors from Squid Game, wearing numbered tracksuits, stand in a tense scene. The one on the right is holding his bleeding hand
Noh Juhan / Netflix

Before the final game, Gi-hun and Sae-byeok make a pact to help each other's families and agree not to betray their alliance and kill Sang-woo. Unfortunately, Sang-woo kills the injured Sae-byeok when she is left alone.

Lee Jung-jae and HoYeon Jung in a tense scene, sitting against a tiled wall with an arrow. Lee is blurred in the foreground, HoYeon in a tuxedo jacket, looks pensive
Noh Juhar / Netflix

Elsewhere, Jun-ho, the disguised cop searching for his lost brother, discovers the history of the Squid Game and the identity of the evil masked host of the games known as The Front Man — it's his brother!

Masked guards in pink suits with triangle symbols holding guns and a masked man in a black hooded coat stand in a forest scene from the show "Squid Game"
Noh Juhar / Netflix

In the final event — Squid Game, a children's playground game — a vengeful Gi-hun wins and attempts to end the competition (Hunger Games style) instead of killing his friend, but a regretful Sang-woo kills himself so Gi-hun can win the money.

Children playing a game on a school playground drawn with lines, surrounded by trees and some distant buildings in the background
Noh Juhar / Netflix

With his untouched prize money, Gi-hun receives a mysterious invitation and meets the creator of the games on his deathbed. It's the older man, Oh Il-nam!

Actor in a dimly lit room, wearing a long coat, looking intensely at the camera; scene from a TV show or movie

Il-nam, a sinister man who created the deadly games to entertain wealthy people, makes one final bet with the shocked Gi-hun and loses right before he dies.

Noh Juhar / Netflix

Fortunately, Gi-hun manages to carry out the dying wishes of his friends. Yet, when he is about to take a plane to see his daughter in the United States, he runs into the mysterious salesperson again. The salesman manages to get away but drops a card.

A hand holds a card with symbols of a circle, triangle, and square, resting on a plaid bedspread

Gi-hun calls the number on the card to get more information about the deadly competition but is told to let it go. Instead of getting on the plane and moving on, Gi-hun decides to turn around and go back.

Noh Juhar / Netflix

And that's where Season 1 leaves off! I can't wait to see what Season 2 has in store. Will there be new deadly games and more desperate contestants, and will Gi-hun succeed in taking down the entire organization?

Nine masked characters from 'Squid Game' stand in a formation, dressed in red jumpsuits and black gloves, under a modern, arched ceiling
Noh Juhar / Netflix

Stay tuned!

Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix.

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