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Alice In Borderland Season 2 Ending Explained In Full

Summary

  • Alice in Borderland season 2 reveals that the characters were in the hospital the whole time, as the “Borderland” depicted is an intermediate state between life and death.
  • The Joker card in the finale suggests that there is still one game left to be played, deviating from the manga’s portrayal of the Joker as the Ferryman.
  • Viewers are left wondering if Alice in Borderland season 3 will create an original story based on the Joker card or adapt the manga sequel, Alice in Borderland Retry.


The Alice in Borderland season 2 ending explained what Borderland was and why everyone was sent there. The finale had a shocking twist that answered a lot of questions, but it also created a few mysteries regarding the future of the Netflix show. Two years after Alice in Borderland season 1, the action-packed battle royale Netflix series returned for season 2 with bigger, even deadlier games now commanded by the Face Cards. As Arisu suspected, beating all the Face Card games would bring the answers they were looking for.

Netflix’s Alice in Borderland is based on the Alice in Borderland manga published between 2010 and 2016. Most of the events of the binge-worthy Netflix show were directly adapted from the manga, including Alice in Borderland season 2’s ending. There were a few differences, though, especially regarding the Joker card at the end and what happened to Arisu and Usagi when they returned. That has made it so fans need to dive a bit deeper to really understand what went down.

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Was Arisu Dead The Whole Time?

Alice In Borderland’s Ending Twist Explained

Injured Arisu in Alice in Borderland

Arisu was close to death since the beginning of Alice in Borderland, yet only one minute had passed in the real world this entire time. Arisu suffered a cardiac arrest after being caught in the explosion caused by the meteorite that hit Tokyo at the very beginning of Alice in Borderland. The “fireworks” seen during Alice in Borderland season 1, episode 1 were actually fragments of the meteorite, all of which hit Tokyo and caused hundreds of deaths sending several people to the hospital. The Alice in Borderland season 2 ending explained that the characters were in the hospital this whole time.

“Borderland,” in this scenario, means the land that exists between two states of existence, life, and death. Arisu, as well as the other brave Alice in Borderland characters, were in critical condition at the hospital. In other words, the Alice in Borderland characters were on the border between life and death. They had all suffered cardiac arrests, and this near-death experience was translated into a world where they literally had to fight to survive. Therefore, none of the Alice in Borderland games actually happened, at least not in the real world. The “Borderland” depicted throughout the Netflix series was therefore an intermediate state between life and death.

Alice in Borderland season 2’s finale, just like the Alice in Borderland manga ending, does not reveal what forces were behind the Borderland games. However, instead of aliens like the Queen of Hearts joked about, it’s clear that whatever was behind Alice in Borderland’s purgatory is something more metaphysical or spiritual. The souls or the consciousness of those who were between life and death were “uploaded” in Borderland, a place where they had to fight for their lives while their real-world counterparts were doing the same. The Alice in Borderland season 2 ending explained that Arisu, Usagi, and others were in hospital beds, and none of their interactions were “real.”

What Alice In Borderland’s Joker Card Means

It’s Different From The Face Cards

Alice in Borderland Joker card

Alice in Borderland season 2’s finale can be considered a happy one, as most characters got to wake up in the real world after realizing they wanted to continue living, but what about the Joker card? Throughout Alice in Borderland’s games, the characters encounter a challenge for each playing card, including the face cards, except for the Joker. In the original Alice in Borderland manga, the Joker was not a game master like the Queen of Hearts or the King of Diamonds but rather a shadowy figure that appeared to Arisu after the story’s final game. The Joker, as Arisu realized, was the Ferryman of the Borderland.

Therefore, Alice in Borderland’s Joker exists to take those who decided to leave Borderland back to the real world, at least in the manga. Netflix’s Alice in Borderland season 2 didn’t bring in the Joker as the Ferryman like in the manga. Instead, Alice in Borderland season 2’s finale ended with an ominous zoom-in shot of the Joker card when everything seemed fine. The Netflix show could be setting up the Joker as the next opponent, though that would be an original story. Alice in Borderland season 2 finale’s Joker card suggests that there was still one game left to be played, which is not something from the manga.

What Happens To Those Who Stayed In Borderland?

Do They Become Game Masters?

Alice in Borderland season 2 ending finale the ones who stayed in Borderland

Those who decided to stay in Borderland in the Alice in Borderland season 2 finale will get to become citizens of that world. Therefore, the ones who chose to stay in Borderland will become the recurrent players and Game Masters of Borderland. For example, Alice in Borderland’s King of Clubs or the Queen of Diamonds were players who had chosen to stay in Borderland at some point. Now, if all the Borderland residents were victims of the meteorite that hit Tokyo, why did characters like the Game Masters arrive earlier? The confusing time-bending answer is that time was not running equally in Borderland for all victims.

Do Arisu And Usagi Remember Each Other?

There’s Some Kind Of Connection Still There

Arisu and Usagi do not recognize each other at the end of Alice in Borderland season 2. In fact, none of the characters remembers anything that happened during that “one minute.” The events of Alice in Borderland were a near-death experience for all the characters, Arisu and Usagi included. Curiously, Arisu and Usagi were close to each other when the “fireworks” were first spotted in Tokyo during Alice in Borderland episode 1. That being said, Arisu and Usagi both feel like they know each other somehow. Arisu and Usagi’s love brought them together again in the real world despite the forgotten memories.

Do Arisu And Usagi Get Together In Alice In Borderland?

In A Manga Sequel, They Have A Family

Arisu and Usagi in Alice in Borderland season 2

Alice in Borderland season 2 ends with Arisu and Usagi going for a walk in the real world, something they had done several times in Borderland. The Netflix series is now caught up with the original Alice in Borderland manga, which also ended with Arisu and Usagi going for a walk. However, in Alice in Borderland Retry, an Alice in Borderland sequel set a few years after the original story, Arisu and Usagi are married and expecting a baby. Neither of them remembers what happened in Borderland, yet they build an entirely new relationship. Arisu becomes a psychologist while Usagi continues her father’s legacy as an alpinist.

What Alice In Borderland Season 2’s Ending Really Means

It’s About Survival

People eating at a table in Alice in Borderland

Alice in Borderland has always been about fighting for survival, and the Alice in Borderland season 2 finale reveals that staying alive was the story of the show after all. Arisu and all other Alice in Borderland characters were on the verge of death existing in a simulation world while their hearts were stopped. Most of the Alice in Borderland main characters, however, were lacking something in the real world, be it empathy, love, or purpose. For example, Arisu was dealing with depression, Usagi was dealing with grief, and Chishiya no longer cared for other people’s lives. The Borderland games showed them that life was worth fighting for.

At the end of Alice in Borderland season 2, when the characters have to decide whether to stay in Borderland or not, they are choosing whether they want to continue alive. The near-death experience offered Arisu, Usagi, and the other Alice in Borderland characters a second chance, not to mention how it changed their perceptions of the world despite them not remembering what exactly happened there. For example, similar to the Inception ending, Chishiya wakes up feeling different toward the world despite not knowing why. Alice in Borderland was all about moving forward despite the circumstances, a message that prompted Arisu and his friends to survive in the real world.

Will Alice In Borderland Season 3 Happen?

It Is On The Horizon

Alice in Borderland season 3's Joker card

In September 2023, Alice in Borderland season 3 was confirmed by Netflix. It’ll be interesting since Alice in Borderland the series has now covered the entirety of the Alice in Borderland manga. In other words, there are no more Alice in Borderland arcs or storylines in the manga for the show to adapt except for the sequel, Alice in Borderland Retry. An Alice in Borderland season 3 would have to either create an original story based on the Joker card or adapt the Retry manga.

Related

Alice In Borderland Season 3: Renewal, Cast, Story & Everything We Know

With most of the storylines wrapped up, here’s everything we know about Netflix’s Alice in Borderland season 3 following season 2’s shocking ending.

How The Season 2 Ending Could Play Into An Alice In Borderland Season 3

Season 2 Leaves A Lot Of Questions Answered

Characters playing Croquet in Alice in Borderland

The Alice in Borderland season 2 ending explained that the survivors of the game were survivors in the real world. The Joker card meant that they returned to their bodies and survived to move on in life. However, there was one problem when it came to the manga. This ending had a twist that means the show could move on. Could the Netflix series have the Joker card mean it was time for a new game? Are the games really over with? This isn’t how the manga continued the story, but this is something that could happen on Netflix to give viewers more dangerous games. There could even be a new incident with the gamemasters back with a new cast of characters

However, if Alice in Borderland season 3 follows the manga, that is not what viewers should expect. This could lead to the second idea for a third season, one involving Arisu and Usagi. They had no memories of Borderland, but they knew that they knew each other from somewhere. In Retry, the manga sequel, they got married. However, Arisu ended up in an accident and found himself back in Borderland while Usagi was pregnant with their child. Since they ended season 2 happily together, this upped the stakes for Arisu, but with viewers knowing what Alice in Borderland really is, the tension of the series might not be the same.

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