Netflix’s Squid Game has proven to be not only a global phenomenon but a show that packs an emotional punch. Perhaps no better episode is representative of that than episode six, which revolves around a game of marbles.
In the episode, we see how far our main characters are willing to go in terms of betraying others for the chance to succeed and walk away with their lives. But we also see the bonds of loyalty being formed, as is the case portrayed by the partnering of Kang Sae-byeok, played by Jung Hoyeon, and Ji-yeong, played by Lee Yoo-mi.
If you’re not familiar, the show is centered around people on the brink of financial ruin getting recruited by a shadowy organization for a macabre contest where the stakes are life or death. There are 456 competitors all trying to become the sole champion for a prize of $38 million in a series of children’s games where the losers receive a death sentence.
The marble game episode is proving to be one of the most emotional in terms of audience response. Actress Hoyeon, whose Instagram account has exploded with followers in the wake of the show’s success, has now said in a recent interview that the marble episode made her cry upon first read.
“When I read the script I was sobbing. It was one of the big excitements for me to meet Ji-yeong in person. Because at that time I had to imagine Ji-yeong from the script, but when I met [Lee] at the table reading, I just felt that she’s the one,” she in an interview with TIME.
That shouldn’t be a surprise to fans of the show, as Sae-byeok is given the chance to continue living thanks to the selfless sacrifice of Ji-yeong and losing her life. Over the course of the episode, both contestants knew only one would be allowed to live and one would be allowed to die, so they hold off on playing the marble game until the last minute. After getting to know each other a little, and becoming friendly, Ji-yeong realizes her opponent has more to live for and so sacrifices herself.
You can watch all nine episodes of Squid Game on Netflix right now.