Alice in Borderland season 2 ending explained

With questions answered and new questions posed, there's plenty to discuss with our guide to the Alice in Borderland season 2 ending explained

Alice in Borderland season 2 ending explained:

What does the Alice in Borderland season 2 ending mean exactly? The hit Netflix series has just wrapped up its second season, and while we are now patiently waiting for news on Alice in Borderland season 3, there’s lots to digest from that spectacular finale.

Based on Haro Aso’s manga, the TV series adaptation has been a massive success for the streaming service since it first aired in 2020. With the final episode of season 2, we saw lots of questions answered, and everything feels fairly conclusive. But there’s still a few new loose ends on the table, too.

If you haven’t watched the finale of the thriller series yet, be warned, spoilers lie ahead as we dive into the Alice in Borderland season 2 ending explained.

What happened in the Alice in Borderland season 2 ending?

The big reveal in the finale of Alice in Borderland season 2 shows the characters have been in hospital the whole time. Essentially, the Borderland in this instance refers to the state of existence between life and death.

This plot twist reveals Arisu and the other characters had all suffered cardiac arrests after being caught in the explosive aftermath of the meteorite crash in Tokyo at the start of the first season of the show. In fact, the fireworks we see in episode 1 of Alice in Borderland are actually the fragments of the meteorite.

The near-death experience the characters suffered in real life became a stream of consciousness in which they all, very literally, had to fight to survive. But, the battle royale style games they partake in throughout the show don’t actually happen in the real world, they are merely scenarios being played out in the purgatory-like state the characters find themselves in.

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Although we see the Game master Mira (aka the Queen of Hearts) defeated, we don’t actually find out who is behind the Borderland battle royales (except for one hint later on). It is heavily implied that some kind of spiritual element is at play.

The souls of the characters were all “uploaded” to Borderland. So, who or what has been orchestrating this has some pretty special skills and powers. While the finale sees our heroes wake up and re-enter the real world, there is one final sting in the tail that could ruin the happy ending – the joker card!

Remember that hint we mentioned earlier? Well, in the original manga, the joker is a mysterious figure who appears to Arisu after the final game as a kind of guardian for those leaving the game. Meaning, he has some kind of deep knowledge of Borderland. The drama series’ last episode implies that there is more ominous meaning behind the card, which could open the door for season 3 and suggests the game is not yet over.

For more of this kind of show, check out our guide to the Squid Game season 2 release date, or dive into the Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes release date, a new movie from the Hunger Games franchise.