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The Chekhov's Gun In Squid Game That Has Fans Theorizing About Season 2

Contains spoilers for "Squid Game" Season 1

If you're a film pedant like us, perhaps you've already heard the term Chekhov's gun. It's a principle in storytelling attributed to playwright Anton Chekhov, and it basically means that stories should only include details that are essential to the plot. So for example, if you put a gun onstage in act one, it had better go off before the play is over, or else the audience will feel cheated. If you spend enough time immersed in the world of movies and TV, you'll start seeing Chehkov's guns everywhere.

Take the first season of "Squid Game," the Korean dark survival series that became Netflix's top show this week. The series follows Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), an everyman who's down on his luck until he's invited to participate in a series of deadly children's games along with 455 other people, all for a big cash prize. By the end of "Squid Game" Season 1, Gi-hun has become disillusioned and disgusted by the whole affair, and the finale ends with him vowing to take down the game and its wealthy organizers.

That's a great cliffhanger that gives just enough of a hint of where Season 2 is headed. But several fans have noticed a subtle Chekhov's gun moment in the first season that gives an even clearer picture.

This detail hints that Squid Game Season 2 could get explosive

Redditor u/Atlantic789 gets credit for noticing the Chekhov's gun moment, which happens about 31 minutes into the fifth episode of Season 1, "A Fair World." The undercover police officer Hwang Joon-ho has infiltrated the island's unit of red-suited guards, and he's climbing down a ladder inside a secret passage. When Joon-ho spots a bomb inside the passage, another guard warns him not to touch it. The guard explains that the passages were built to allow the VIP guests to escape the islands in case of emergency. Once they get through the passageway, the bombs can be detonated to seal off the exits. The guard suggests that there are enough bombs planted throughout the island to bury all traces of the deadly competition.

The bombs never go off for the rest of Season 1, which means that either they're a loose plot thread, or that the writers have plans for them in the future. When Season 1 ends, Gi-hun still has no idea where the actual island is located, since all contestants are taken to the island in a drugged state. If Season 2 sees Gi-hun locating the island and returning to dish out some revenge, it would be the exact sort of emergency these bombs were planted for. 

We'll have to wait until Season 2 to see Chekhov's bombs go off.