Joker's Wild

Alice in Borderland Season 3? How the Season 2 ending sets up a new chapter

A wildcard twist could change everything.

Alice in Borderland, the hit Japanese manga adaptation now streaming on Netflix, has always leaned hard into its loose Alice in Wonderland inspiration. The biggest motif it borrows is the concept of a classic deck of cards identifying not only the deadly games the characters play, but also the conniving game masters who Arisu, Usagi, and co. come face to face with in Season 2.

The final showdown between Arisu and Mira, the Queen of Hearts, seemed like the natural end of the story — and was actually the end of the manga source material. But one final shot teased a whole new chapter of the story, and it looks to be the most dangerous one yet. Here’s everything you need to know.

Warning: Spoilers for Alice in Borderland Season 2 below.

In the last moments of Alice in Borderland’s spectacular 80-minute finale, Arisu finally defeats the Queen of Hearts in a game of croquet and Mira tells Arisu (and, essentially, the viewer) that the answer will be revealed.

And she’s not bluffing — we find out just what happened to all the players who were stuck in the Borderlands. They were the victims of a freak meteorite attack, and those who made it to the end and chose to return to the real world survived.

Mira during the final game in the Borderlands.Netflix

Arisu wakes up and reckons with massive survivor’s guilt knowing he survived and his friends didn’t. He then meets Usagi, and while they don’t know each other in this world, they seem to recognize ... something.

They walk through the hospital together, and the camera cuts to the hospital courtyard, where survivors chat and reconnect. An abandoned card game is on one of the tables, and as the wind blows, all but one card flies off the table. That card is the Joker — the only type of card we had yet to see in the Borderlands.

The lone Joker on the table, an omen that more deadly games are still in the cards for Arisu and Usagi.Netflix

The Joker actually does make a brief appearance in the manga as a sort of intermediator between life and death and appears to Arisu before he wakes up in the hospital. It looks like the TV adaptation avoided that scene so the Joker could appear as the Big Bad of Season 3, if the series is renewed once again.

It looks like Alice in Borderland is taking the Game of Thrones approach and spinning its own tale once it ran out of source material. Hopefully, it goes better than the HBO epic’s disastrous last season. There’s only one question looming over the series: just what will the Joker look like, on a spectrum from Jack Nicholson to Joaquin Phoenix?

Alice in Borderland Season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.