Sacred Games season 1, episode 5 recap: ‘Sarama’


Episode 5 of Netflix series Sacred Games is a chaotic, entertaining mess, as we see Gaitonde’s criminal underworld form and unravel.

“Sarama” begins with a splat, as crime boss Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is shown splattering a guy in a flashback sequence. Things get very bloody.

Quickly into the episode, we also see that Gaitonde’s love interest, Kuku (Kubra Sait), has apparently committed suicide. Despite the devastation (or perhaps because of it), Gaitonde announces that God can’t harm him, because he is above him. In fact, he gets as blasphemous as one can get, by declaring himself the one true god.

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The Present is Also Bloody

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In the present, one of Gaitonde’s main henchmen, Bunty (Jatin Sarna) is still in crisis mode. He has kidnapped a famous actress, Nayanika Sehgal (Geetanjali Thapa), who was caught with a spy cam in her purse. It’s obvious that Bunty won’t go easily, that there will likely be gunfire and corresponding bodies.

Meanwhile, the main officer (and main character) pursuing Bunty, Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) meets with criminals turned informants for a leg up on the situation. When Sartaj confronts Bunty (again), Bunty urges Sartaj to leave. In fact, Sartaj’s fellow officer, Anjali Mathur (Radhika Apte) urges him to leave, too, as she had already struck a deal with Bunty. Still, Sartaj just isn’t hearing it, proceeding headlong into a shootout with Bunty and his gang.

As one might expect (based on how Sacred Games works), the shootout results in fatalities, including Nayanika Sehgal — the person Sartaj was ostensibly there to save! As if illustrating the futility of violence, Bunty is also shot in the head from a rooftop sniper, and his wheelchair careens into an oncoming truck’s path, like a double dose of death!

Gaitonde’s Vow of Violence

Back in the past, Gaitonde gets serious about his life’s mission, which is no longer just about making money, or even power. He is animated primarily by revenge. He stops manufacturing alcohol altogether, vowing to kill 50 of his nemesis Suleiman Isa’s (Saurabh Sachdeva) men within 1 month. Like a true gangster, Gaitonde considers them all pawns anyway — expendable assets under his god complex. Isa himself creeps off to Dubai, leaving many of his crew behind to face certain doom.

Kanta Bai (Shalini Vatsa), one of Gaitonde’s main business partners, asks Gaitonde to save the city of Gopalmath from turning into a graveyard, but he does not abide. As Gaitonde notes during a dream sequence, the same leopard spirit that gave him the strength to fight has now become the god of death.

Even Gaitonde’s gentler side is stained by death. He had urged Bunty to allow his sister to marry a Muslim, which was a peaceful gesture. At first, it seems like the wedding’s cheerful, and full of promise. However, Paritosh Shah (Muni Jha), an associate of Gaitonde’s, is assassinated by Isa’s men as a wedding present. Gaitonde immediately blames Bunty for Shah’s assassination, as he was out with a woman. Gaitonde physically punishes Bunty. It’s a memorable, crazy Sacred Games moment. Even though Bunty is a villain in his own right, it is still a harrowing and compromising scene, which no doubt deepened the character Bunty’s own brutality.

Day 20

In the first episode of Sacred Games, Gaitonde initiated a 25-day countdown until something for devastating would happen. Indeed, his predictions seem accurate. On day 20, Sartaj surveys a scene of carnage, and he gets chastised by Anjali Mathur for his “go-it-alone,” wild west shootout. In any case, it’s apparent that Bunty was assassinated by a member of Gaitonde’s gang.

We also see Sartaj’s boss, Parulkar (Neeraj Kabi), hack into politician Bipin Bhosale’s (Girish Kulkarni) e-mails, supposedly to learn about his connection to crime (though it’s been hinted at that Parulkar has his own criminal linkages, and therefore may already know about Bipin).

Darkness also envelops the acting world, as a talent agent named Jojo Mascarenas (Surveen Chawla) is known as an actress’s pimp, and one of Gaitonde’s clients. In fact, this information is used to blackmail an actress into accepting a role she doesn’t want (though the actress hits herself in the forehead with a weight, possibly to simulate injury, to blackmail the blackmailer).

Meanwhile, in one of Sacred Games‘ sadder moments, we see that Sartaj flat-out lies in front of an official inquiry. As directed, Sartaj says the teenager Junaid Sheikh (Raj Kashyap) had fired at Parulkar first during a shootout.

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In reality, Parulkar killed Junaid as he was clearly trying to surrender. Exiting the inquiry, Sartaj sees protesters carrying a sign saying, “Justice for Junaid,” and it’s obvious that Sartaj has crossed a line into corruption.

That’s it for this Sacred Games recap. Any thoughts on the carnage? Let us know in the comments!