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Episodes
Red Light, Green Light Hell The Man with the Umbrella Stick to the Team A Fair World Gganbu VIPS Front Man One Lucky Day

"VIPS" is the seventh episode of the first season of the television series Squid Game. This episode features Glass Stepping Stones, the fifth and second to last game.

Official Summary

The Masked Leader welcomes VIP guests to the facility for a front-row viewing of the show. In the fifth game, some players crack under pressure.

—Official Netflix synopsis

Plot

The survivors of the fourth game return to their room and discover Han Mi-nyeo was not executed, despite not having participated in the game. The players are all shocked and disgusted by her callous attitude, especially Deok-su. The Front Man welcomes the VIP guests to the facility for a front-row viewing of the show.

The mood back in the dorms is solemn; with most players having lost the person they were closest too in the games. Gi-hun is still shaken by the previous game, while Sae-byeok slowly eats her meal. Sang-woo, however, seems to be unaffected, and tells Gi-hun not to worry so much as his partner, Il-nam, was merely a random person he met a few days ago. He points out that Player 069 has beaten and thus lost his wife, Player 070 in the marble game. Player 069 slowly climbs off his bed and begs the remaining players to vote to end the games, clearly in agony over losing his wife, but Sang-woo steps in and berates him, saying that all their effort will be for nothing if they quit. Gi-hun and the other players can only look on in pity, knowing Sang-woo is right.

The next morning, the players wake up to find that Player 069 had hung himself out of heartbreak from the trauma. Most are shocked, while except for Sang-woo is neutral and Deok-su is overjoyed as his chances of winning have only increased. Eventually, the players are led to their fifth game, but first enter a room with 16 mannequins, each with their own numbered vest. When the PA announces that the numbers on the vests correspond to the order in which they will play the game. Naturally, the players rush to get the middle numbers as they seem to be the safest, but Gi-hun is too slow and is left with only 1 and 16; first and last. Before Gi-hun can pick the first vest, Player 096 approaches him and asks to have Vest 1 instead, to which Gi-hun agrees.

The group is brought into the next room, which is modeled after a circus tent, with two columns of multiple glass panels ahead of them. The PA announces that the fifth game is Glass Stepping Stones, and that in each row, there is one tempered glass panel which can support the weight of two players, and a normal glass panel, which will break if even one player lands on it. The objective is to cross to the other side before the 16-minute time limit runs out. Player 096 quickly realises that he will be the first player to guess the correct panels, and looks back to Gi-hun in horror; the latter can only look away sympathetically. Player 096 steps up to the edge of the platform, but is hesitant to jump onto the first row. The other players beg him to not waste time, and Deok-su walks up to him, threatening to push him off if he doesn't go. Eventually, Player 096 jumps onto the first panel, and reveals it to be safe, but isn't as lucky for the second row, and falls to his death.

Jun-ho subdues a waiter and assumes his identity. He serves the VIPS as they watch the fifth game, with them betting on players and using other people as body pillows. VIP 4, who develops a sexual attraction to the waiter, orders him to take off his mask, and threatens to kill him if he doesn't comply. Knowing he will be executed if he removes his mask, Jun-ho asks him to go someplace where they can be by themselves, in which they both subsequently enter another room. In the secluded room, the VIP takes off Jun-ho's mask and then takes off his own clothes. The VIP attempts to molest him, but Jun-ho attacks him offguard and holds him at gunpoint, taking the VIP's mask off as well. Jun-ho then films the VIP, offering to spare his life if he tells him everything he knows about the game. The VIP is later found alive but unconscious in that room, but Jun-ho has already escaped, with the search for him continuing.

As the game progresses, the players near the start of the line fall to their deaths, while at the same time marking out a clear path for the remaining players. Gi-hun notes that there are enough glass tiles left for the last few players to cross without having to guess, but Sang-woo warns him that if the players in front waste time, they too will be in danger at the back. When Deok-su gets to the front, he refuses to continue, confirming Sang-woo's warning. Mi-nyeo taunts Deok-su and calls him a coward, but the latter still refuses to budge. Mi-nyeo tells Deok-su she will go first, but when Deok-su allows her to cross, she wraps her arms around him. Deok-su struggles, but is unable to pry her off of him. Mi-nyeo, as an act of revenge for him betraying her in the third game, throws the both of them off the glass, killing them both in a murder-suicide.

As the timer runs down, only 4 players are left: Gi-hun, Sae-byeok, Sang-woo, and Player 017, the lattermost being at the front of the line. He claims to be have been a glass manufacturer with over 30 years of experience, and says that if viewed from a certain angle, tempered glass will have faint stain marks. He correctly guesses the next correct panel, to the relief of the other three. However, when the Front-Man turns off the lights, he is unable to determine the last correct panel. With time running out, Sang-woo mercilessly shoves Player 017 off and into the last trick panel, sending him falling to his death. Sae-byeok and Gi-hun are in shock, but have no time to react as the timer approaches zero. The remaining three players safely make it across just as the timer runs out, and the remaining glass panels are shattered, sending sharp glass shards among the three remaining players.

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