‘Alice in Borderland’ season two ending explained
(Credit: Netflix)


‘Alice in Borderland’ season two ending explained

Based on the popular manga series of the same name by Haro Aso, Alice in Borderland took Netflix by storm when it arrived on the platform in 2020. Shortly after, it was swiftly picked up for a second season. Viewers who had not read the manga were curious to know what exactly led to the mysterious Battle Royal-esque games. A significant reveal was made at the end of season two.

Written and created by Shinsuke Sato, this live-action version of Alice in Borderland stars Kento Yamazaki as Arisu, the protagonist plunged into a deadly game of survival in an alternate reality along with his closest friends. The first season merely sets the stage, introducing viewers to Arisu and his friends, as they find themselves trapped in a deserted Tokyo where they must compete in deadly games to survive. 

Season one saw the demise of several characters, including Tatta, Kyuma, Matsushita, Kuzuryu, and the Game Master, Mira. But it ended on a major cliffhanger with very little clue as to who was conducting these deadly games.

As the second season unfolded, it became evident that the stakes were higher and the challenges more intense. New characters were added to the line-up—some allies and some foes, from the ruthless King of Spades to the sly Jack of Hearts. However, if you need a refresher on how things ended in season two before season three arrives, then read on.

What happens at the end of Alice in Borderland season two?

The climax of season two brings a crescendo of tension and emotion as Arisu and his comrades face their greatest challenge yet. Battling against the King of Spades, they endure near-fatal wounds, leaving them on the brink of death. However, Arisu’s determination keeps him going, as he drags Usagi into the final game despite their injuries.

In this ultimate showdown, Arisu confronts Mira, the Game Master, in a game of croquet that symbolises the struggle between illusion and reality. Arisu starts hallucinating that he is stuck in a psych ward because of Mira’s mind games. Usagi ends up slashing her wrists to pull Arisu out of the stupor so he can save her and win the game.

The series culminates with a big revelation: the Borderlands, the harrowing realm of survival games, is revealed to be a limbo between life and death. The final survivors are ultimately given a choice: either stay in the game, aka the liminal space or leave the game and return to the real world. Season two delivers a staggering blow with the demise of several characters, from Tatta’s sacrifice to Mira’s death. 

Arisu and Usagi choose to leave, and they wake up in real Tokyo, where it turns out a meteorite crashed, killing several. Arisu’s brother tells him that his heart went into cardiac arrest, and he was dead for all technical purposes for a whole minute. Arisu and the other survivors from the Borderland games do not remember any of their time in limbo but feel a vague familiarity with each other. 

The show ends with Arisu and Usagi seeing each other at a vending machine and deciding to take a walk together, as they often did in the Borderland. The camera then lands on a table full of playing cards, where the Joker card is in focus.

What does the Joker card mean in Alice in Borderland?

The Joker card, a symbol of ambiguity and unpredictability, left viewers of Alice in Borderland pondering its significance. This is a nod to the Joker character in the manga, who speaks to Arisu before he leaves the game. He is not exactly the god of death but more like a Charon figure, the underworld ferryman in Greek mythology who helps souls cross over.

With the confirmation of a third season, the journey of Alice in Borderland is far from over. You can tune into Alice in Borderland on Netflix.