‘Alice In Borderland’ Season 2, Episode 8: Recap And Ending, Explained: Did The Fantasy World Exist?

The seventh episode of “Alice in Borderland” Season 2 ended on a heartbreaking note. Ann, Akane, Chishiya, Kuina, Niragi and Aguni were severely injured. Now, with the King of Spades dead, only one game was left, and that was Queen of Hearts. Arisu and Usagi reached the arena, where Mira was waiting for their arrival, and the game was called “Queen of Croquet.” There are three rounds, and they have to finish them: there’s no winning or losing here. There are four different balls: blue, black, yellow, and red, with six hoops presented in different positions. Arisu played against Mira, and soon the game began. Well, the game was pretty simple; Mira won the first round, and Arisu won the second. Usagi and Arisu were pretty skeptical about this since it looked like Mira was distracting them from something. Moreover, Usagi’s leg was bleeding profusely, and Arisu wanted to finish this level as soon as possible, but Mira kept delaying it. After the second round, Arisu was waiting for the third round to commence, but Mira wanted to take a short break and offered them tea as a snack. Arisu tried his best to convince her to continue the match, but Mira was adamant about her decision. She was desperately waiting for their response since Arisu was in a rush to end the game. Arisu answered that he wanted to know about this world as he had lost his best friends, and he intended to return home.

Even though Arisu wanted to go back to his world, a part of him wanted justice for his best friends, Karube and Chota. Upon hearing this, Mira decided to share some details with Arisu. Mira spoke about all the various technologies that mankind has brought into the world using different scientific technologies like artificial intelligence, cryogenics, and cell generation. Arisu couldn’t understand her motives behind sharing all these details, but Mira simply replied that she highlighted thousands of years of human life into the future. According to Mira, humans lost their interest in living in the current world, and after 500 years, a dose of dopamine was enough to grant them mortality. Suddenly, Arisu spotted a camera in the bushes, and Mira talked about virtual reality; she told them that they were a part of this game virtually, and Arisu completely lost it. Soon, Mira started laughing, stating everything she said was fake. Then Mira started talking about genetic mutations as Shibuya city was filled with plants, and aliens took control over Earth and forced humans to play certain games. Plus, their memories had been completely erased. 

But there was a set of people who believed that the aliens theory was completely fake, and according to them, Earth was destroyed due to the Nuclear Holocaust, and the rich people were using their powers to bet on different players, as looking at them was a fun experience for them. By this time, Arisu had lost his patience completely and demanded to know if there was any truth to this theory. Yet again, Mira lied and simply changed the topic by claiming that she didn’t know anything. Mira started mocking Arisu for his desperate attempts to know the truth. The story took a different turn when Mira told him about the seven of hearts game. All this time, Mira wanted to separate Arisu from Karube and Chota because she hated their friendship. Arisu lost all control over his mind and pointed the assault rifle at her. Usagi tried to stop him, but Arisu’s heart was filled with rage. Soon, Arisu paused for a while and realized that it was all a way to stop the game. If Mira gets killed, the game will not be completed, and humans will be stuck in this world since the Queen of Hearts is the final face card game.

The Painful Reality 

Usagi believed Mira was a master manipulator, and she was controlling Arisu’s mind into believing that this world was real. But in reality, the entire world was fake. It was an illusion created by Arisu’s mind. He started playing these games within himself, and everything was connected to the loss of his best friends, Karube and Chota. Soon, Arisu lost all consciousness and started to go numb. Furthermore, Mira also said that she is his psychiatrist and that she is treating him for his diagnosis. The loss of his friends plunged him into a deep shock, which caused him to lose his memories one by one. The scene changed, and now Arisu was a patient at the hospital, undergoing therapy with his doctor, Mira Kano. Moreover, Usagi was a patient in the same hospital; she was undergoing therapy as well, and her sessions were connected to her father’s death. In reality, Chota and Karube never made it to the public washroom like was shown in the first season. While they were playfully running around the street, Chota and Karube met with a fatal accident and lost their lives, while Arisu survived and witnessed everything with his own eyes.

In “Alice in Borderland” Season 1, the first episode dealt with Arisu’s life. He often spent his time playing video games and never tried to find a job. So, he decided to meet up with friends to have a fun time. According to his illusions, they were messing around on the road and causing a car accident, but Arisu, Chota, and Karube escaped and hid in a public washroom until the world changed into a different place. The entire world was an illusion created by Arisu’s mind, as his friends didn’t exist anymore. Arisu blamed himself for their deaths and couldn’t vent his guilt. Arisu got his memories back and remembered the whole incident. A part of his life was negatively impacted after he lost his mother, and since then, Arisu has never believed in living. Then, Karube and Chota stepped in; they changed his life and gave him a reason to live. Arisu’s father lost all hope in his career and life, and he always praised his older son. From the very beginning, Arisu wanted to feel loved, and because of his loneliness, his mind began creating these games and his fantasy world. But things started changing when Arisu’s mind began asking for answers about the fantasy world. These thoughts clashed with his memories of the accident, and his encounter with Mira Kano led him to remember everything again.

An Unexpected Twist 

Arisu believed that his life had no purpose in this world. Suddenly, Usagi emerged from the other room and started talking to Arisu. She told Mira to stop, but Mira insisted that he was trying to remember his past to recover from the pain and guilt. Mira just wanted to know one thing that Arisu planned on giving up, and once he shared that, the game would end forever. But there’s a catch; Usagi’s legs suddenly started bleeding again when she realized that the game was indeed real. She was a part of these games as well, so there is no possibility that it could be an illusion. Mira was manipulated into believing that the games were fake, and she handed him a pill, forcing him to quit the game. This way, the game will end, and Arisu will die. But Usagi pushed him down and took a piece of glass to cut her wrist. She did this to make him realize that the time they spent together wasn’t fake at all and continued to motivate him, as Arisu was the reason why Usagi believed that her life was important. At times, when Usagi had wanted to quit, Arisu inspired her to keep going. 

Arisu overcame his dilemma and started conversing with Usagi; he wanted to be next to Usagi for the rest of his life. Together, they found the true purpose of their lives and a strong reason to survive. Instead of taking the pill, Arisu called out to Usagi, who was losing consciousness from heavy bleeding. Arisu realized his love for Usagi, and the two promised to stand by each other despite all the challenges in life. Mira realized that she was about to lose the game, so she decided to commence the final round. Arisu came back to consciousness, and everything returned to the final game venue. Soon, Arisu and Mira began the last round of croquet and the whole day passed, but Arisu stood firmly by his decisions and didn’t quit. So, he won the match, and the Queen of Hearts round was finally over. Now, Arisu asked Mira to tell her about this fantasy world, but Mira gave him a condition: she said they’d be given two choices, and it doesn’t matter which one he picked; he would get the answer, and this answer would help Arisu learn about this gaming world. The laser killed Mira, and the sky was filled with fireworks. The announcements began to echo around the whole world, where players had to choose if they wanted to live in this world or return. 

‘Alice In Borderland’ Season 2, Episode 8: Ending Explained – Did The Fantasy World Exist?

Usagi and Arisu chose to return, and all the other players, like Chishiya, Niragi, Kuina, Aguni, and Akane, also chose to go back to the real world. Suddenly, the world went back to normal, and Arisu was sitting in the bar with his friends Karube and Chota. The next day, history repeated itself, and the trio was having the same fun on the road while they ran around, causing a car accident, and even the cops chased them. At this time, all the players were around each other. Out of nowhere, a meteorite hit Shibuya, destroying it completely. Those who survived the game were also alive in the real world. But the ones who died suffered the same fate. Usagi and Arisu met again, but neither of them recognized the other or remembered anything from the fantasy world. Meanwhile, Karube and Chota’s death didn’t affect Arisu much. Even though Arisu didn’t remember anyone, he knew that he had met Usagi somewhere before. The two decided to take a stroll outside the hospital, and there was a table full of cards that flew in the air, revealing the Joker card. 

There is a huge twist waiting for the players. It is true that, until the very end, the Joker was never revealed, and no one spoke about that game. Maybe the memories about the meteorite are also a part of the game that these players didn’t expect. Moreover, as their memories vanished, the levels were going to be very difficult. In reality, the Joker card symbolizes the path of a trickster, and it is closely connected to the series as the Joker might be tricking them into believing that the world is a better place. But, in return, the Joker might take them through immense pain and problems. Until then, the players will get to live a happy life, but things will take a different turn once the Joker steps out of the darkness. 

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Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya
Raschi Acharya is a Mass Media graduate and she is currently working and living in Mumbai. From a very young age, Raschi was heavily interested in reading and writing. She prefers to write everything that her mind nurtures her to do as shaping up her imagination is her forte!
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