“The 8 Show” Plot and Ending Explained: Which Participant Dies at The End of the Show? 

The 8 Show Plot and Ending Explained
The 8 Show Plot and Ending Explained

“The 8 Show” is a newly released Korean thriller/dark comedy series on Netflix that puts eight strangers in a high-stakes social experiment, thus obliterating all the boundaries between reality TV and survivor drama. Written and directed by Han Jae-rim, the series features Ryu Jun-yeol, Chun Woo-hee, Park Jeong-min, and Lee Yul-eum, among other actors. “The 8 Show” takes its inspiration from the webtoon “Money Game.” It is a dark and suspenseful exploration of human nature pushed to extremes.

Plot Summary

The plot of this K-drama revolves around eight individuals who are not rich. They compete in a show called Money Game to win a jackpot worth 44.8 billion won. The prize will be divided equally among the winners. All they have to do is stay in a studio that has eight rooms for some time. Unfortunately, these periods are extended due to various reasons. Now here comes the tricky part: In The 8 Show, participants are given a few basic rules, one free meal, and water for the day. Beyond that, they have to pay for everything else, including using the toilet. Everything is priced at a “special rate,” meaning it costs 100 times more than it would in the real world. These eight require teaming up together in order to survive within the room where they are stationed, but soon they realize they might be stuck there forever. 

How Did Bae Jin-su Enter the Game?

Bae Jin-su from The 8 Show
Bae Jin-su from The 8 Show

As the show starts, it is revealed that Jin-su obtained funds from moneylenders based on advice given by a reliable pal. His business failed, and he could not pay back the loans. Despite efforts made, he was unable to earn his livelihood through legal means since he lacked particular skills and finding high-paid employment is hard. Working at some temporary jobs did not help either because there was no way he could earn enough for his arrears. It was at this time that he felt hopeless and decided to end his life by going to a bridge.

Just as he was about to jump, a limousine showed up, and Jin-su hopped in, unsure of what would happen next. Upon reaching there via a car, Jin-su received a text message stating how one can make lots of money by participating in the game. He knew nothing about the game or who organised it. In the theatre building, he was asked to pick one card from those placed on the table. Though frightened and tempted to back out, another notice and transfer of cash into his bank account pushed him on with it when it comes to dealing with strange people behind unknown messages.

Jin-su picked card three and went into the game. There were eight rooms, one on every floor. The digital boards tracked each player’s money, which doubled faster as they went up to the next floor. The participant on the first floor was the lowest paid, while the participant on the eighth floor earned the most per minute. Nonetheless, everything within the arena was very costly; even simple things like sleeping bags or blankets were worth millions.

For this reason, there were no toilets at the arena, so participants had to find other ways of dealing with that matter. Instead of using names, Jin-su and others chose floor number titles to call each other by. Living conditions vary greatly; compared to the luxurious room on the 8th floor, the first one looked like a warehouse. This woman on the 8th floor, who made a substantial income, could afford anything she desired.

How Did The Participants Figure Out How to Increase The Time?

Performer 8F changes clothes and burns old ones
Performer 8F changes clothes and burns old ones

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The second performer in episode 2 is 8F, who jumps into a pond in a dress and breaks her nose with great excitement. Then she changes clothes and burns her old ones. After this start, she spends about 340k in one minute buying items like silk nightclothes, beds, pillows, toilets, a mirror, a dining table, books, and bathtubs while getting 12 meal kits and various water types as replacements for these purchases. She seldom eats food but instead uses the drinking water to bathe. She spends all her money, then gets it back after sleeping. 7F earned 210k, 6F earned 130k, 5F earned 80k, and 4F earned 50k.The prize follows the Fibonacci sequence, which is visually pleasing as it creates a golden ratio that makes the show more attractive.

The participants of The Eight Show needed to first understand the rules of this game that would allow them to earn more money by increasing their time spent on the game. This guy from the seventh floor seemed knowledgeable but could not understand what prompted creators to invent such plans. Having initially thought walking up and down stairs would increase their earnings, they realised it was the wrong theory.

When the girl on the 2nd floor and the guy on the 6th floor had a fight, everyone noticed that the time increased. It became clear that the gamekeepers wanted conflicts; the more dramatic the conflict, the more time was added. This meant the participants had to create constant drama to stay longer.

What Happened At The Voting Game?

The voting game from The 8 Show
The voting game from The 8 Show

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A talent show was unanimously agreed upon by everyone, in which they could perform anything they wished. This seemed to be a simple way to take away time, but what they did not know was that controversial or scandalous acts would prolong the time. Every one of them had an arrangement, apart from Jin-su, who did not have any idea what his talent was. The activities included singing, breaking tiles, high kicks, sliding, and off-key yodelling, among others. Jin-su danced awkwardly, and he got only 18 minutes as his total score.

Floor 3 recorded the minimum increase, and this made him upset because it appeared that he had performed worst among all participants. However, the girl from Floor 8 announced that she would sleep with the guy from Floor 6; this looked indecent, yet it took the most time out of all the acts performed during the parade. Others had to figure out whom they would keep bags of faecal matter for. A smart move by the girl on floor 4 meant voting. She knew if she used her mind about the results of the talent show, then floor three, and she would end up having those bags. Everyone voted, and when it came to 8F, it was a unanimous decision. It appeared right, as she had the biggest room and most cash.

On her part, though, the girl locked herself in her room and prevented others from accessing food and water. She wanted to use her privilege so as not to negotiate even at another person’s expense.

Why Did The Lower Floor Members Revolt?

Why Did The Lower Floor Members Revolt
Why Did The Lower Floor Members Revolt

The show got worse for the lower floors once the 6th-floor man and 8th-floor woman established a dictatorship. They made the residents of the bottom floor take part in strange and bloody games, which they followed their commands. People on the lower floors earned their daily wages based on performance and used them to buy food and water. In addition, the higher floors broke the intercoms in their rooms so as to keep them under an oppressive class system. The rich in those upper apartments had many privileges that were denied to those who lived on lower levels.

At last, a time came when the lower levels resolved to rebel. Together with the assistance of 7F, they plotted secretly for a successful coup. This coup led to the removal of 6F guys and 8F girls who were responsible for their suffering. Jin-su’s team held a party after overthrowing both of them because they did not have to be scared any longer.

Who Assaulted The 6th Floor Guy And 4th Floor Girl?

The most bizarre episode was when the sixth guy on floor six and the fourth girl on floor four were savagely attacked, a situation in which no one could identify who caused it. Immediately after exiting their room, the second guy on floor two suggested ending the game and leaving that place. The first guy on floor one wanted to go for a billion won, while the second girl on floor two said she could just lend him some money since she did not need much. Suddenly, time in the digital clock increased, which signalled that something had caused an extension in playing hours.

At the end of episode 6, they took control again and freed themselves from captivity. Mentally tortured by her actions, the 5th-floor girl was manipulated by this sixth-floor boy. He demanded to know who was guilty of now nearly torturing everybody into confession on any single person’s part at all.

“The 8 Show” Ending Explained: Who Dies At The End of the Show?

Chaos reached another level at the end of “The 8 Show” when the 8F girl seized power. The suggestion of using CCTV footage to establish the perpetrator was made after the guy from the 7th floor was shot by a guy from the 6th floor. It came out that it was 1F who had tortured both the young man on the sixth and another lady on the fourth floor. For him, he wanted revenge, but alas! Unfortunately, she pushed him down the stairs, which resulted in a serious injury to his body. Then she took over and subjected everyone to severe bodily torture, including sleep deprivation, that made them hallucinate things.

The 4F girl teamed up with the 1F man to swap rooms for one billion won, only to learn that this amount could only buy directives rather than actual room changes, which required much more money. A clown performed last, but as a box containing film stripes caught fire, he got burned and died. After shooting cameras, a furious Jin-su finished the show.

It was not until they saw money in their accounts that participants struggled with traumatic recall, as they were unsure if what happened was real or not upon leaving. Jin-su arranged for a funeral for this person who died on his territory; he invited girls from the second, fourth, and fifth floors there as well. He gave them public tribute while game developers still remained anonymous, and little about both their identities and aims was known.

No one knew who made the game or what they wanted to achieve with such a weird game. Towards the end of the credits, show Philip, 7th floor, wrote and pitched a new show based on his experience. One producer intimated that he was in The 8 Show and earned handsomely from it before saying it was all a lie and the story was fictional.

The 8 Show ended on a cliffhanger, implying that there might be another episode where they would explain who ran the show and what exactly its purpose is.