'Squid Game': Who Is the K-Drama's Front Man and His Story?
Squid Game has taken over social media, news outlets, and Netflix, becoming the number one original Korean drama of the year. The drama has many notable characters. One, in particular, is the Front Man (Lee Byun-hyung). The elusive character was only known as a masked figure who helped maintain and control the Games.
By the end of Squid Game, Front Man’s identity was a plot twist that some viewers might have seen coming. With the K-drama’s popularity, fans want to see Front Man’s backstory explained. Much like fans, director Hwang Dong-hyuk also has a desire to bring his story to life.
[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers about Squid Game.]
Who is the Front Man in ‘Squid Game’?
Fans are not given a lot of information about Front Man in Squid Game. He is a mysterious character who wears a unique mask that sets him apart from the other workers. It is clear that he runs the show for the creators and ensures nothing goes wrong. In the drama, small details about Front Man are revealed. He has the ability to speak English to communicate with a secretive someone on the phone.
As Squid Game progressed, more clues to Front Man’s identity slowly came to light. Fans are introduced to Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon), a police officer plagued by the mystery of his older brother’s disappearance. He believes the Games have something to do with it. Jun-ho infiltrates the Games as a guard and comes across the players’ profiles.
Amidst his sleuthing, Jun-ho finds a list of past winners. His brother won the game five years ago but has no information of his whereabouts. In episode 8, the Front Man is aware of Jun-ho and chases him to the island’s edge. During the confrontation, an easter egg about Front Man’s identity is revealed. Front Man makes a comment about government-issued police firearms.
Instead of killing Jun-ho right away, Front Man tries to coerce him into becoming an ally. These clues make sense when Front Man removes his mask to reveal he is Jun-ho’s brother, In-ho. Fans will never know why or how In-ho joined the Games and why he decided to stay despite witnessing its brutal reality.
Will In-Ho’s past before the Games be explained?
There is one key detail fans know about In-ho, aka Front Man. In-ho was also a former police officer before becoming the Front Man. His past explains his knowledge of police-issued firearms and the number of bullets in the cartridge. It can also allude to how Front Man is able to help the Games evade the attention of local authorities. It is not easy to conceal 456 missing players who take part in children’s games with fatal consequences.
The Front Man’s story has a lot to flesh out, and fans have wondered if they will ever get to see it happen. In an interview with The Times, Hwang explains if he were to do a second season of Squid Game, it would focus on Front Man. His backstory would be more complex than Seong Gi-hun’s (Lee Jung-jea).
Fans can deduce In-ho joined the Games due to surmounting debt from illegal activities or other circumstances. “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,” said Hwang. It is a tantalizing storyline of an officer of the law turning his back on the justice system to become the head controller of the Games.
Fans want to see a Front Man origin story and backstories to the guards
Hwang is not the only one who wants to see Front Man’s story explained. In a Reddit thread, fans are curious to see Front Man’s origin story and his reasoning as to why he decided to stay. Fans also speculate Jun-ho might not be dead and want to see if In-ho really had the guts to kill his brother or if it was a trick. In Squid Game, In-ho shoots Jun-ho in the shoulder and falls off the cliff into the ocean.
Some fans came up with possible scenarios for a second season. One fan explains the second season can instead focus on Front Man developing a new series of Games in Japan. In the thread, fans had a unanimous desire to see the backstories behind the guards in the pink/red suits.
In Squid Game, no information is given as to who they are or how they got there. Online theories suggest a player and guard are determined by what color they pick when asked if they want to play a game of ddakji. Gi-hun picked blue and became one of the 456 players.
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