‘The 8 Show’ Ending Explained: What Is The Meaning Of The Mid-Credit Scene?


Netflix’s The 8 Show was quite a disappointment as a show that is meant to be a dark comedy depicting the true nature of human society. The show tells the story of eight financially desperate characters who are on the brink of death when they’re given a big sum of money to participate in a little game. The longer you stay in this game, the more money you get. The money game is played hierarchically. The higher you are, the more money you make, literally. The 8 Show incorporates many interesting ideas about the human psyche to ultimately create a show that is more about entertainment than anything else. I think this was the big flaw in 2021’s Squid Game too. As they say, it’s like having your cake and eating it too. The 8 Show excels at showing the many ways in which the human brain works and how we go from cooperation to conflict to ultimate hatred. The eight participants in the game are all in desperate situations, suffering from destitution. What the show offers is for them to sell the time they were meant to give up, i.e., their plans for early death, in order to get substantial prize money. Is it an opportunity you wouldn’t give up? There are always strange caveats in such games; however, the desperate are always willing to take a chance. 

Through the series, we are unfortunately not offered much about the characters except a meager background check, giving us a substantial reason for their arrival at the money game. Now, the subject matter changes because it goes from how money can really buy you anything to what you can do for content. I guess it’s something like the Hunger Games movies as well, where the opulent shower their money on the poor to see them go at each other’s throats. It is a survival game, but in this case, at least, everyone must survive and everyone must entertain. While at first everyone cooperates, it slowly becomes a bloodthirsty game of violence, the most entertaining act of all (apparently). What’s heartbreaking is that the participants all feel like the game is authentic, and those watching genuinely want to help them in their own sadistic ways. However, in the end, the duplicitous nature of the money game completely throws them off, making them realize how expendable they truly are. 

What Happens to the 1st Floor? 

When 1st floor realizes that he can’t change his room as he had planned for the duration of the whole show, he’s completely defeated and decides to take matters into his own hands. Unless everyone cooperates, they can’t remain in the show longer, so they can’t make more money. 1st Floor literally puts his life on the line by walking a rope way up high and using it as a trampoline to reach as high as possible. All he wanted was to be at the top because, his whole life, he’d been at the very bottom rung. And, for a brief moment, he does get that elevation, only to fall from the top. When 1st Floor falls into the burning fire of the projector, the “nice” participants, that is, all the bottom floors along with the righteous 7th Floor, desperately try to help him. Of course, they can’t watch someone die in front of their eyes. However, seeing the touching scene ends up giving the participants way more time in the game. Desperate to get 1st Floor to the hospital, the participants try to call out to the showrunners, break the doors open, and get out, but nothing works. Ultimately, the only way to stop the game is by destroying all the cameras and getting to the root of things. If people can’t watch the show, what are they paying for? 

Unfortunately, this takes longer than anticipated, and 1st Floor ends up passing away in grave pain on the fake swimming pool floor. However, the rest of the gang can now freely walk out of the game and receive their prize money. I suppose the desperation to save their fellow soldier’s life was the most “entertaining” content for the viewers because they would never get to that level of torment or sadness. Maybe it’s what they were looking for—emotion. 

Why does Jin-Soo host a funeral? 

After struggling with going back into the real world, Jin-Soo, who now has more money in his bank account than he could ever have dreamt of, can’t bear to do anything but sleep. Alternating between sleep and the variety shows that may have reminded him of the kind of things they did in the money game, Jin-Soo finds himself as depressed as he was before the show because of how he witnessed 1st Floor’s death. Finally, he finds a purpose for the money: to host a funeral for 1st Floor so that the game players can all meet up in real life and check on each other. With the money, he is able to put up billboards with the message, “Come to 1st floor’s funeral.” 

As expected, the people who show up are all the lower bunkers, the poorest of the lot, who happen to be the most humane of them. What is strange is that 6th Floor sends a huge flower arrangement for 1st Floor, too, proving that his experience within the game brought a real change to his personality (I suppose castration would do that to you). Jin-Soo then informs the gang that he found 1st Floor’s family and heard that they’d received money (worth a lifetime) from a man with glasses and been told that 1st Floor was working in the US. It seems 7th Floor already did the work and even used the money he received for a novel purpose: to help out 1st Floor’s family. 

On the other hand, it’s revealed that 8th Floor, who made the most money, ended up destroying an art gallery, which always insulted her as a performing artist because she used to play in front of the gallery and create a scene. She also titled her work “This is not art” for irony, making sure to leave a mark in the world and then conveniently going to prison. 

In The 8 Show‘s ending, Jin-Soo wonders if it’s worth living a good life in this terrible world. I guess that’s the whole point we’ve been trying to understand since they went into the money game. Are these people going to be satisfied once they have money? What about the violent streak? What about everything they’ve seen within the game? To me, it seems like even if they’re still as depressed as earlier, they will live on for each other. It’s almost as if they became a collective family that encouraged each other to survive, and for that reason, as well as to be able to look at the real world, or, as they say in the show, to look at the sky once again, they must “march on.” 

What Is The Meaning Of The Mid-Credit Scene? 

There are a lot of ways The 8 Show‘s mid-credit scene can be interpreted. For one, I guess we can imagine that 7th Floor planned this whole game out to try and understand what people want as a scriptwriter. He was so desperate to understand the viewers that he decided to use it to experiment. On the other hand, when he discusses the script with the other guy, who claims he’s played the game, too, 7th Floor is a bit flabbergasted by the idea. This makes it feel as if he, too, didn’t know where the show came from or who set it up, but he used it as an advantage to write his script. Anyway, he gave all of his money to the 1st Floor guy’s family. They also discuss whether the audiences will be interested in seeing what happened to the top floors because, at the end of the show, we don’t hear from them directly. 7th Floor says the audience would not want them to have turned out happy because of everything that happened within the game. Personally, as an audience member myself, I didn’t root for anyone on the series, and I didn’t really feel for anyone because of how the show played out. It’s more about the spectacle than anything else because, in conclusion, the series doesn’t really give you any answers for who, what, and why. It simply allows you to decide the conclusion for yourself because any real conclusion would certainly receive backlash.

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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