The 8 Show summary and ending explained

The 8 Show revolves around 8 individuals who enter a reality show to win money but are pushed to their moral limits. The series is streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary:

Bae Jin-su is an average Joe who is in trouble with some loan sharks after making some bad investments.

He considers ending his life when an unknown number sends him a message offering money for his time.

After getting deposits of several million won, he agrees to see what the whole deal is. He is taken to an empty theatre and given an option.

20 million won to forget whatever happened and leave, or the chance of earning millions more by choosing a random number from 1 to 8 and playing a game.

He picks the number 3 and goes through a stage curtain. On the other side is a building with 8 floors, a square filled with fake storefronts, and a timer in the front.

The timer has 24 hours on it and Jin-su deduces that he’s on the third floor since he picked the number 3.

His room is modest, with fake windows and a freight elevator connected to an intercom. There’s a uniform and rulebook inside the elevator, and he is asked to remove all his belongings.

There is also a counter in his room that increases by 30 thousand won each minute, signifying his prize money.

The next morning, Jin-su meets his fellow contestants and they discuss everything they know about the rules of the game.

They also decide to refer to each other by the floors that they are on rather than revealing their true names.

They are not allowed to leave their rooms from midnight to eight in the morning. They can purchase anything from their intercoms, but it comes at ten times the normal rate.

They soon discover the size and earnings of each room decrease from the top and go according to the Fibonacci sequence.

While first floor earns 10 thousand a minute, eighth floor earns 340 thousand per minute. There is some tension between the contestants because of the discrepancy, but they overlook it for the time being.

First floor has a limp, which is why he took the first level. Second Floor is a tough woman who doesn’t mix well with others.

Bae Jin-su got the third floor, and a young girl who whines a lot got the fourth. Fifth floor is a slightly older woman who doesn’t want to see conflict.

Sixth floor is a big man who doesn’t mind throwing his weight around. Seventh floor is a clever man who takes the lead in figuring out their situation.

And finally, eighth floor is a slightly unhinged woman who doesn’t care how she spends her money.

There is also an elevator in the square for common purchases, but those cost the overall time they spend playing the game, reducing their chance to earn more.

Eighth floor tells everyone else that going up and down the stairs increases the time, so everyone starts running the stairs.

They also decide what supplies to buy collectively and share it with everyone. They were informed that food and water would be provided for free, but they didn’t get any.

Eighth floor says that she received 12 meals and assumed it was all for her They figured out a plan to distribute the food fairly as well.

Days go by and the time earned from walking the stairs slowly reduces. They had also split into shifts to improve productivity, although first floor’s leg meant he couldn’t contribute as much.

He offers to store everyone’s waste as a compromise, with everyone else readily agreeing. Meanwhile, seventh floor records everything to get a better understanding of the place.

When fourth floor has a seizure form overworking herself, the others rush to square to ask for medicine. Sixth floor doesn’t want to reduce the time and starts fighting back.

Death was a condition for the game to end and he argues that she wouldn’t die from a seizure. They order the medicine after a scuffle and the time increases.

That is when they realize that to earn time, they need to entertain the people watching from the cameras all around.

Their first plan is to have a talent show, and every one offers up something. First floor does a magnificent clown routine, while Eighth floor has sex with Sixth floor in her room.

Jin-su does a terrible dance routine and only earns minutes. First floor asks if someone else can start storing the waste since they don’t need to run the stairs anymore.

They hold a vote and Eighth floor is selected. She seems unperturbed but then deprives the others of the food to make a point.

Jin-su agrees to hold the waste since he did the worst in the talent show, and Fourth floor offers to split since she was second last.

However, she doesn’t take any of the waste. Eighth floor suggests they play the game King to increase the entertainment factor.

It quickly turns violent as Eighth floor makes Second floor and Sixth floor fight each other. The balance of power shifts as Eighth floor, Sixth floor, and Fourth floor rig the game.

Fourth floor just joins the other two as a lackey since she didn’t want to get into trouble. Seventh floor catches her and asks her to keep things fair, but the upper floors aren’t ready to give up their power.

They order weapons and destroy the intercoms of First, Second, Third, and Fifth so that they can hold more control over them.

They make the others play violent games with even more terrifying punishments. The lower floors are made to earn time in exchange for meals and water.

Seventh floor is a helpless accomplice as he watches on with the others. The lower floors decide to fight back, and revolt with Seventh floor’s help.

They tie up Eighth, Sixth, and Fourth floor and enjoy the remaining time they have left. First floor said that he wanted to reach one billion, but only reached around 700 thousand.

Second floor offers to give him the balance and they wait out the clock. On the final day, they are in for a shock as the time increases.

They aren’t able to figure out who did it, and the next day, Fourth floor wakes up with one of her teeth pulled out.

Jin-su discovers that on the first day, Sixth Floor’s toenails were ripped out but he didn’t say anything.

Second floor locks everyone up to figure out who increased the time, but no one confesses. Fifth floor begins to feel guilty and starts hallucinating out of stress.

She frees Sixth floor and the upper floors take back control. Sixth floor orders a gun and starts playing Russian Roulette with the others to find out who hurt him.

He shoots Seventh floor and is about to shoot First floor when Jin-su says they can buy the footage and find out.

Everyone simultaneously finds out that First floor was the one that tried to keep the game going because he wanted to earn the one billion.

Before Sixth floor can punish him though, Eighth floor stuns him with a taser. She then takes control of the entire game and has everyone tied up.

She makes Fourth and Fifth floor her lackeys as everyone else is set up with sleep deprivation situations.

She started watching live feeds of all the floors as they suffered and she enjoyed herself while Fourth floor assisted her.

Fifth floor became numb to the situation and just helped mindlessly. First floor finally tells Fourth floor that it takes one billion to change rooms, so they can overthrow Eighth floor.

Ending explained:

A huge misunderstanding

Fourth floor kept Eighth floor occupied while Fifth floor untied the others. Eighth floor realizes something is up but before she can shoot them, Fourth floor knocks her out.

They tie her up and Fifth floor says she has one more thing to do. As part of the agreement to help, she wanted to hurt Sixth floor for the way he treated her.

She castrates him with the proper tools so that he can live on as a eunuch. They finally agree on the new room numbers to pick out.

They decided on using Eighth floor’s money to change rooms, but First floor insists on using the money he saved up.

Unfortunately, the one billion was only for a sheet of paper telling them the exorbitant costs of each room.

One final performance

Felling defeated, they decide to just end things by using up the time. First floor isn’t ready to let things go and in his desperation grabs the gun.

He has everyone tied up in a row and then sets up a massive tight rope for his grand clown routine.

He walks the rope with some tense moments and then bounces on it to the point that he reaches the projector on the ceiling.

He tries to hold on but he falls with the projector and catches fire. The others free themselves and try to put him out.

The time increases even though they plead for it to end and Jin-su starts destroying all the cameras in the square.

With no way to watch them anymore, the game ends. First floor dies in the square while the others get to leave with their incredible earnings.

Getting back to society

Jin su has a tough time coming to terms with what he went through. He considers suicide a few times but is unable to go through with it.

After a few months, he decides to do something with his money. He buys out billboards all around the city and then organizes a funeral for First floor.

He finds First floor’s family by tracking down the circus troupes in the city and finds out that someone resembling Seventh floor visited and tells them that First floor was on a job abroad.

He also hands them a lifetime’s amount of money. Second, Fourth, and Fifth floor show up for the funeral, while Sixth floor sends a wreath with his condolences.

They read an article about Eighth floor, who was a performance artist. She destroyed an art gallery as part of an act and was sentenced to prison, while her money was used to pay off the damages.

Everyone moved on with their lives after the funeral, and Seventh floor wrote a screenplay about the entire experience.

He was a writer who couldn’t come up with a good story before he went in, but this story is considered good with the possibility of a sequel.

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