Sacred Games season 2, episode 4 recap: Bardo

Photo: Sacred Games: Season 2.. Zishaan A. Latif/Netflix
Photo: Sacred Games: Season 2.. Zishaan A. Latif/Netflix /

In season 2, episode 4 of  the Netflix series Sacred Games, Sartaj gets closer to infiltrating Shahid Khan’s organization while Gaitonde is reborn through additional carnage.

Previously on Sacred Games, Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) spearheaded an autobiographical flop. Not only did it bomb but one of its stars, Zoya Mirza (Elnaaz Norouzi), was questioned about her links to Gaitonde, a notorious gangster. Meanwhile, in the present, Inspector Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) tracks more info about an apocalyptic religious cult. This episode begins with a fight during a cricket match. This leads to the disappearance of one of the players, named Saad (Chetan Sharma). Sacred Games hops back and forth from past and present, but we’ll look at the present first, then examine the Gaitonde flashbacks.


Sartaj has learned that religious extremists, Malam (Nitesh Kumar) and Alam (Nilesh Kumar), transported tubes containing lithium deuteride boosters for a fission bomb. Now Sartaj and his team are coordinating in a Hizbuddin chatroom, hopefully, to prevent a possible terror operation. At this point, they don’t fully understand the cryptic numbers listed in a diary by fallen officer Anjali Mathur (Radhika Apte).

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Sartaj has plans to meet Shahid Khan (Ranvir Shorey) but also calls Markand (Samir Kochhar) about a large amount of stolen money found in the home of Jojo Mascarenas (Surveen Chawla). They begin to negotiate with Khan (or someone operating at his behest) but online password protection stalls them.

Later, Sartaj sees Megha (Anupriya Goenka) at her wedding party. Megha says she’s happy and pregnant, and Sartaj wonders where their relationship went wrong. It inspires him to visit Batya Abelman (Kalki Koechlin), a follower of the cult of Khanna Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi). In addition to being attracted to her, he’s vulnerable enough to fall prey to the leader he’s investigating. We learn that Batya had Palestinian and Jewish parents. That aside, Sartaj learns a few key things, including that there were traces of radiation on a truck that recently crashed.

They also discover the password to Khan’s chatroom. Malaam is a resident of Mandvi, there was a ship called Jabrile (Gabriel), and the truck with radiation had a 1498 license plate. It’s based on Vasco da Gama, the first person to sail from Europe to India, which he did in 1498 on a ship called the São Gabriel.

The past

This Sacred Games episode focuses a lot on some pivotal changes for Gaitonde, shown in flashbacks. For most of season 2, the miscreant has been serving the interests of Kusum Yadav (Amruta Subhash). Because of her, he now must meet with his arch-nemesis, Suleiman Isa (Saurabh Sachdeva). Rather than killing him on sight, they meet as part of a plan to assassinate Shahid Khan. Isa even has Gaitonde eat some salt as a sign of trust.

Also, Isa demands that Gaitonde provide an Indian passport. In his narration, Gaitonde laments how his loyal servant, Bunty (Jatin Sarna) has become a poet as he is now a puppet of Yadav (and, by proxy, the government). Though he feels like a clown, Khanna Guruji calls him on his birthday, telling him he must be reborn.

Reborn by sacrificing self-doubt

In a scene uniting past and present, both Gaitonde and Sartjaj separately take gocchi, which is some powerful hallucinogen. Sartaj sees his troubled relationship with Megha and seems to gain some vague insights into his character. However, the big Sacred Games moment is that the drug’s powerful enough to make Gaitonde cry! Normally tough as nails, he has a vision of his father pleading forgiveness. Guruji instructs Gaitonde to be born again and to sacrifice self-doubt. Of course, Gaitonde interprets this in a rather violent way.

Although he has a bomb for the Shahid assassination, he wonders if he should kill him and remain a slave to Yadav or bomb Isa instead. Well, people who know Gaitonde will know exactly which choice he makes. However, as a result, Gaitonde scrambles to get out of Kenya, leaving a note for Yadav saying he’s leaving his fear behind.

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Yadav soon calls Zoya Mirza/Jamila, asking if she wants to be free from Gaitonde. When Zoya shows up to tempt Gaitonde sexually, he immediately distrusts her sudden presence there. His instincts are right, as there is a shootout which he barely escapes. When he does, he ends up out on the ocean again, though this time he won’t likely let Yadav get a leash around him.

What are your thoughts on this Sacred Games episode? Let us know in the comments!