The season finale of Netflix series Sacred Games threatens to end with a bang and has plenty of pulse-pounding thrills and surprising moments of introspection.
Previously on Sacred Games, we saw Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) kill another of his “fathers” — apocalyptic cult leader Khanna Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi). This allowed Batya (Kalki Koechlin) to take over his nuclear armageddon operation.
Also, Inspector Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) returned to Guruji’s ashram to give them a holy book, while seeming to join their flock. Meanwhile, the police narrowed in on Shahid Khan (Ranvir Shorey), an active agent in initiating the nuclear conflagration intended to restart the world as a purer place. If that all sounds intense, that’s because it is.
Oddly enough, the Sacred Games Season 2 finale almost starts on a gentle note, with Shahid Khan speaking to his mother, Navneet (Tripta Lakhanpal), about the golden temple. Then again, we see in a flashback to 1947 that Navneet’s family was gunned down after she ran out to check on the family dog, Sheru, while they had car troubles.
This context isn’t entirely clear, but we know that Shahid’s mother was impacted by the partition, which no doubt helped put Shahid where he’d end up later on. It definitely suggests a cyclical destructive timeline, and almost implies a sort of cosmic fate (not entirely unlike what Guruji himself strongly suggests).
In the day before the possible nuclear catastrophe, the police are still looking for Shahid Khan, and there’s a gruesome scene where someone’s toenails are forcibly removed to extract information and avert the terrorist plot.
Meanwhile, reporters are catching on that the tsunami warning is a hoax, speculating that it’s a nuclear terror threat instead. Home Minister Bipin Bhosale (Girish Kulkarni) gets aggressive in his response to the reporter, which only helps the country begin panicking even more.
As this goes on, Sartaj is still in Batya’s cult, in their secret underground prayer bunker. Meanwhile, in a flashback sequence, we see Gaitonde meet Trivedi (Chittaranjan Tripathy), and Gaitonde orders him to call of the bomb attack. When Trivedi tries to attack Gaitonde, Trivedi gets swiftly overpowered.
So Trivedi decides to undermine him psychologically, knowing that Gaitonde is driven by his need to appear authoritative, godlike. In contrast, Trivedi compares Gaitonde to a pitiful stray dog. He also says that even his sex life is pre-arranged, claiming that he sent Zoya Mirza/Jamila (Elnaaz Norouzi). To reinstitute his power, Gaitonde insists he is “Ashwatthama” and savagely beats Trivedi with a pipe.
Checking up on Isa/Apocalyptic visions
Gaitonde soon calls Suleiman Isa (Saurabh Sachdeva), who was his sworn enemy throughout most of Sacred Games. It’s established that Isa is probably dying anyway, so the phonecall functions almost as a semi-respectful goodbye between old foes (also showing that even Gaitonde wants dignity in death).
Sacred Games then looks to the present, where Parulkar (Neeraj Kabi) visits death upon Home Minister Bipin Bhosale, then kills himself for his role in the apocalyptic mess.
Also, Sartaj has a vivid, partly drug-induced dream sequence where Batya reiterates Guruji’s talk about a new, pure world, while also envisioning his relationship problems with Megha (Anupriya Goenka).
However, in an even more oddly beautiful moment, we see that Gaitonde actually saw value in everyone’s lives before shooting himself in the head (though it’s still frustrating he didn’t stick around to at least help Sartaj, and the others literally defuse the situation).
Things wind down (or maybe ratchet up) in rapid succession. For a brief moment, Shahid kicks back and relaxes with a cigarette before the bomb is set to explode. However, upon awakening from his dream and shoots up Batya’s cult, including her. Also, Majid (Aamir Bashir) does more interrogation regarding the bomb’s location.
There is also an exciting interplay of scenes between Gaitonde shooting JoJo (Surveen Chawla) in the flashback and Batya crawling on the floor in the “present.” Sartaj takes back Guruji’s holy book, flees underground compound, and promptly drives off in his vehicle. The obvious implication is that, in some ways, even the law-and-order symbolizing Sartaj is similar to Gaitonde, in some respects.
The police do find the bomb, but Majid is shot by Shahid. This leads to them tracking down Shahid, who gets roughed up. By the time Sartaj shows up, the bomb is winding down its timer. When it reaches 1 minute, 43 seconds, and five attempts left to use a password pattern, Sartaj shoots Shahid Khan dead when he refuses to give the code.
Running low on time, everyone but Sartaj gives up trying to shut down the bomb. Sartaj draws one final pattern with mere seconds remaining. The pattern? It’s the shape of the Radcliffe Line or the international border between India and Pakistan during the partition of India.
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