Watch out! This post contains spoilers.
The news every Squid Game fan has been waiting for has finally come! On Tuesday, Nov. 9, the director of Netflix’s Squid Game, Hwang Dong-hyuk, confirmed the show will return for a second season. “There’s been so much pressure, so much demand and so much love for a second season. So I almost feel like you leave us no choice,” he told AP. Although he didn’t reveal when fans could expect it or what it will be about, he did promise one thing: “Gi-hun will come back, and he will do something for the world.”
Fans have so many questions about what could happen next in Squid Game, but the biggest one of all is whether we’ll see any other familiar faces besides Gi-hun’s. The heroic police officer, Hwang Jun-ho (played by Wi Ha-jun), was a fan-favorite character during the first season, which is why viewers had mixed feelings about how things end for him. He is presumed dead in the season finale, but some fans are convinced he’s still alive. So, what are the chances we could see him again in season two? Let’s investigate.
What Happens to Hwang Jun-ho in the Squid Game Season 1 Finale?
At the beginning of the series, we learn Jun-ho is a police officer trying to find his missing older brother, Hwang In-ho. He believes that In-ho might have been involved in the games, so he follows Gi-hun to the mysterious island where they’re held to try to find In-ho. After sneaking into the game as one of the Pink Soldiers, Jun-ho learns the truth behind the games and gathers evidence on his phone to bring them down. However, when he escapes to a nearby island to try to send the evidence to the police, he is cornered by the Front Man on the cliff of a mountain. Jun-ho shoots the Front Man, but it’s a superficial wound. Oddly, instead of immediately killing Jun-ho, the Front Man asks him to back down and return to the island alive, a spark of concern that tips Jun-ho off to a devastating realization. He asks the Front Man to reveal his identity, and the Front Man obliges, taking off his mask and revealing himself to be In-ho. Jun-ho refuses to be complicit in his older brother’s crimes to save his own life, so In-ho shoots him, causing him to fall off the cliff and into the ocean meters below.
Is Hwang Jun-ho Really Dead?
The audience is left to believe Jun-ho doesn’t survive In-ho’s bullet. However, since In-ho survives Jun-ho’s shot to his shoulder, Jun-ho may survive, too, since he is shot in the same place. We also never see his dead body, meaning he could have washed ashore somewhere and gotten help. It’s also possible In-ho plans to recover Jun-ho from the ocean himself. During their confrontation, In-ho hesitates to shoot Jun-ho and expresses remorse later when he’s alone, so he may not have shot to kill on purpose in hopes that Jun-ho survives.
Wi, who plays Jun-ho in Squid Game, admitted he’s “not really sure” about his character’s fate at the end of the first season. “I believe the detective was not fatally wounded,” the actor told Newsweek during an Oct. 19 interview, adding that there’s likely more than meets the eye with In-ho. “[In-ho] has a deep affection for his younger brother. So I believe there must be a reason why he became the Front Man. It’s difficult to define him simply as a villain or not. But perhaps only really the director knows the answers to all of this.”
Will Hwang Jun-ho Be in Squid Game Season 2?
The season one finale hints Gi-hun plans to infiltrate the games and stop them once and for all. If Jun-ho is alive, he and Gi-hun could work together to finally get credible evidence to the police to expose the operation. Before Hwang confirmed season two, he told The Times in an Oct. 4 interview he would like to explore a storyline surrounding the police. “If I do get to do [another season] — one would be the story of the Front Man,” he said. “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.”
It seems fans will have to wait until Squid Game returns to find out if Jun-ho really died.
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