This Squid Game article contains MAJOR spoilers.
One of the most intriguing unanswered questions in Squid Game‘s nine episodes is how Front Man In-ho, revealed to be not only rogue undercover cop Jun-ho’s missing brother but also a previous winner of Squid Game, went from a desperate contestant in the deadly competition to an active part of its execution. Now that the Korean social horror has become the most-watched original Netflix series ever, there’s a good chance we could get another installment of Squid Game sometime in the future. And, while creator Hwang Dong-hyuk did not set out with the intention to make anything past these nine episodes, he does have some ideas about what a potential Season 2 could look like. And one of them centers our complex Front Man…
“If I do get to do [another season],” Hwang told The Times in a recent interview, “one [idea] would be the story of the Front Man.” The Front Man is one of the central antagonists in Squid Game‘s first season. Before we meet any of the VIPs who bet on the contestants’ lives with an air of bored glee, the Front Man is our main insight into the machinations behind the horrific game. He monitors the rounds, watching seemingly dispassionately with a drink in hand (a coping mechanism that could hint at his own misery) as players die on the video screen in front of him. He lives in a luxurious apartment within the Squid Game complex where he receives phone calls from him higher-ups and updates them on the state of the games. When the VIPs arrive in Episode 7 to watch the game in person, he is their host.
In Episode 8, the Front Man is revealed to be Jun-ho’s brother, who the cop risks his life to search for within Squid Game. While it’s initially implied that Jun-ho’s brother, In-ho, was a contestant in the competition who was culled in the bloody first round, we learn by season’s end that In-ho is actually a former winner of the Squid Game and now the game’s chief on-site administrator. For some reason, after winning the game and its massive prize, he decided to return to the fold as an employee of the global gambling enterprise. The Front Man is played by Korean actor Lee Byung-hun and is likely one of the most recognizable members of the Squid Game cast for both domestic viewers and those international viewers who otherwise haven’t watch a lot of Korean-language content (he plays Storm Shadow in the G.I. Joe franchise, and has also appeared in Red 2, Terminator Genisys, and The Magnificent Seven).
Presumably, a Squid Game Season 2 story focused on In-ho would also follow-up on the fate of his brother, Jun-ho. The last time we see Jun-ho, he has just been shot by his brother (notably, not in the head) and has fallen off an island cliff into the sea below. If we never get another season of Squid Game, it seems fair to assume that Jun-ho is dead. But, if we do get another season, it would make sense to bring Jun-ho back, as he presumably represents one of In-ho’s strongest tethers to his life before he became tangled up in Squid Game.
For creator Hwang, who set his thematic sites on wealth inequality in Season 1, a potential second season could use In-ho, and perhaps his brother Jun-ho, as a gateway into the exploration of policing as an institution. Hwang told the Times: “I think the issue with police officers is not just an issue in Korea. I see it on the global news. This was an issue that I wanted to raise. Maybe in season two I can talk about this more.” Apparently, In-ho is a former cop, which is not a detail I absorbed in watching Season 1.
An exploration of cop culture is a heavy issue, one that simultaneously has both global relevancy and can be incredibly culturally specific. As an American, I can’t speak to the state of police institutions in South Korea, but I would definitely be interested in learning more about it, especially from someone like Hwang, who has proven himself adept at handling the exploration of complex social issues in a fictionalized series format. Netflix would presumably be up for it as well. One of their other recent Korean releases is D.P., short for Deserter Pursuit, a drama that follows military police assigned to capture deserters. The series has struck up a conversation, in particular in Korea, about the mental and physical abuses depicted as an institutional issue within Korean military service, which is mandatory for all able-bodied men in the country.
Would you want to watch a second season of Squid Game? If so, what would you want it to be about?