Sacred Games season 1, episode 8 finale recap: ‘Yayati’


As Netflix series Sacred Games finishes its first season, the death of an officer turns out to be the least of Mumbai’s worries.

As we saw in episode 7 (“Rudra”) of Sacred Games, officer Anjali Mathur (Radhika Apte) has now been assassinated. As her death is investigated, we learn it’s a tall, white man with short hair. We also saw that Sartaj was following a hot lead.

Day 15

Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) has snuck onto a train. Where is it going and why is its cargo being so fiercely protected? Sartaj is caught by henchmen. This is where we meet Malcolm (Luke Kenny), Anjali’s killer, who seems to be a rather religious guy. After Sartaj is tied up, Malcolm says they were predestined to meet. He then chops off Sartaj’s finger with an ax — which means destiny has a few quirks.

More. Sacred Games season 1, episode 7 recap: ‘Rudra’. light

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When Sartaj brings up Gaitonde, Malcolm insists it was Gaitonde who betrayed him. Malcolm also discusses Habil, “the world’s first martyr,” and Qabil — alternate names for the Biblical Cain and Abel. He also explains that, at some point in time, there will be a type of cleansing, like hitting the reset button on humanity. However, before he can elaborate much on his theories, the place is surrounded and the assassin leaves. Like a true professional, Sartaj escapes his bonds, tracks Malcolm down and hits him in the back with the same ax that chopped off Sartaj’s finger. However, due to Sartaj’s blood loss, Malcolm still gets away. However, Sartaj does locate a truly massive warehouse full of military-grade guns, and this is where other officers find him.

Flashback to Gaitonde

Previously on Sacred Games, the flashback version of Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) was in deep, deep trouble. As “Yayati” begins, he’s certainly doing no better. In fact, regardless of how one feels about Gaitonde, one has to admit he’s also suffered. Now Patulkar (Neeraj Kabi), the Police Superintendent, brutally drives that point home. Gaitone has actually grown used to the beatings.

Surprisingly, Gaitonde also sees Mathu (Vikram Kochar), his old associate, and one of the few people who wouldn’t likely stab him in the back. Other than that, Gaitonde is treated fairly well by Dilbagh Singh (Jaipreet Singh), Sartaj’s father. In his flashback narration, Gaitonde informs us that, in retrospect, he knows his enemy Suleiman Isa (Saurabh Sachdeva) is not behind this torture. Instead, it’s Parulkar, Bipin Bhosale (Girish Kulkarni) and Trivedi (Chittaranjan Tripathy). However, Gaitonde still faces Isa’s men, and surely almost feels obligated to plot revenge against them. This is where the now wheelchair-bound Bunty (Jatin Sarna) comes into play. However, Gaitonde does point to Dilbagh when meeting Bunty, saying, “He’s a good guy” — meaning he is to be spared.

Interestingly, we also see Gaitonde meet Jamila before she becomes superstar Zoya Mirza (Elnaaz Norouzi). Of course, they don’t just meet in the conventional sense, as she is there to do a certain job for him (presumably arranged by Bunty). Not long after that, a slew of Isa’s men are slaughtered and Gaitonde modestly proclaims, “Even in jail I am god.” As if to take him down a notch, Gaitonde is put in a tiny isolation cell, where he’d be in total darkness with Dilbagh Singh’s flashlight. They nearly break Gaitonde, but he just won’t die. They have him begging for water, and he’s kept in that cramped space for over 2 weeks. Things aren’t much better when he’s freed, though. Now he and Mathu face about 40 of Isa’s men! Gaitonde is then saved by a mysterious figure he calls his third father.

Back to the Present: Day 14 and 13

As it turns out, Gaitonde’s 25-day countdown is no joke. Still, Sartaj has to unravel the mystery. When faced with interrogation, Home Minister Bhosale is not saying anything, so there aren’t many leads there. However, Sartaj makes a few interesting discoveries. While watching a religious TV show, its host, Khanna Guru Ji (Pankaj Tripathi), mentions the Western Oedipal complex versus the Eastern concept of Yayati. Under Freud’s Oedipal theory, a son wishes to kill his father. Under Yayati, however, it’s believed that every father must sacrifice a son.

Guru Ji also prominently displays the Mandala religious symbol, which Sartaj recognizes from Gaitonde’s hideout. As fast as possible, Sartaj heads back to that place and locates a tile where a Mandala symbol appears. He removes it and finds a secret room containing an unconscious (or maybe dead) Trivedi (Chittaranjan Tripathy). Trivedi is the one person Gaitonde said would survive, and his being in an underground bunker explains how he might believe that.

A few things are learned in the process. Guru Ji is likely Gaitonde’s “3rd father,” and presumably a force to be reckoned with if he broke a man like Ganesh Gaitonde (Indeed, actor Pankaj Tripathi has said this character will be as big as Gaitonde in season 2).

Next. Sacred Games season 1 premiere recap: ‘Ashwatthama’. dark

We also know that Gaitonde was betrayed by Guru Ji, which is why he killed himself to begin with. Most startling of all, though, is that the survival bunker is designed for a nuclear war. This, of course, harks back to Malcolm’s words about a cleansing. Basically, this is bigger than seeing Gaitonde killing his mother (which is another hallmark of this Sacred Games episode).

Basically, this was a huge episode, and a lot of loose ends tied up very nicely, without seeming too convenient for plausibility. Not every highly acclaimed TV show/movie deserves its praise, but Sacred Games certainly does. In fact, season 2 is surely to start massively and end massively. Will it be with a bang?

That’s it for this season of Sacred Games! What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!