Netflix's sensational crime-political-terrorism-underworld thriller Sacred Games is among 2018's best new shows, whether in India or abroad! It has been meticulously made by top-notch directors Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane, has credible source material from an award-winning book of the same name by Vikram Chandra, and, most importantly, a talented cast with star heft that would excite just about anyone. Little surprise then that review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes has given it a 100% 'Fresh' rating. However, with the 8-part series already binged, fans are most definitely going to be asking (at least) one very key question: What's next?
As we've pointed out in this story about how Sacred Games has put India on the map in terms of world-class binge-worthy entertainment, the show's complexity and parallel timelines mean that it has great rewatch value and more things are likely to become clear upon revisitation. Here, though, we try to make a sense of the ending and make a case for why there simply has to be a season 2.
Is there going to be a Season 2?
There's no official word from the show's makers but the first season is said to have used only a part of the book's material. Saif Ali Khan has reportedly suggested that filming for a season 2 will begin in September. Whether or not you consider all this, however, there's little doubt that the current show ended on a big cliffhanger!
What the ending of Season 1 tells us
So it turns out that the man who is Ganesh Gaitonde's 'third father' (teesra baap) is a sort of religious guru who is the godfather of the symbology that's a recurring feature of the show. It is this revelation that leads Inspector Sartaj to discover a portal beneath Gaitonde's bunker of a hideout where he finds the mysterious Trivedi, gagged, bound and seemingly unconscious. It becomes apparent at this point that the reason that Gaitonde was so sure that Trivedi would survive was because he had provided him with all the means. These 'means', however, are what will have scared inspector Sartaj the most because Trivedi's 'bomb shelter' appears to be equipped for both a chemical and nuclear attack.
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How Sartaj won the battle but the war still remains
The terror plot Sartaj busted, which implicated the Maharashtra Home Minister, revolved around guns. He discovered a positive arsenal of the kind of weapons that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger (circa Terminator 2 and Commando) blush. This got him onto the front page of a national daily and made his mother proud. However, the deadly terrorist Malcolm (Malcolm right?) escaped and is currently on the run. The IB has exit points sealed but until Malcolm is nabbed and interrogated, the complete plot remains a mystery.
Who is behind the terror plot and why
This is a big question. Malcolm's involvement, as well as what we know of Isa (a clear Dawood parallel) indicate that the threat is external. Radhika Apte's character had such a strong hunch about this that she ended up getting to the truth only to be murdered. However, the Gaitonde chronicles and 'teesra baap' angle allude to there being a mastermind somewhere in central India, perhaps Bhopal -- very much internal. This angle has clear communal overtones too. So who is really behind the plot?
What about the rest of Gaitonde's story?
The most mysterious aspect of this whole affair is what got people hooked to the show in the first place: Why has dreaded mobster Ganesh Gaitonde returned and what could possibly have caused him to reveal and subsequently kill himself? Last we heard, he was kidnapped (read: prisonbroken) by members of the 'teesra baap' clan. What happened in the intervening years? What has he been up to, apart from financing mythology-based TV serials and becoming computer-literate enough to operate a sophisticated mayhem-causing communication scrambler system? Where's Isa? Did they settle their score or not?
What about Zoya Mirza and Sartaj's father?
Sorry Mrs Singh, but there's more to your late husband than meets the eye. Why did he have pity on Gaitonde -- a man whom he must have known to be incredibly dangerous and as a perpetrator of mass murder of innocents. As a seasoned cop he must have known about the solitary cells (anda cells) and how they're meant to break a person. Why run the risk of giving him a torch, a few rotis, a kind word, and most importantly, a conversation with an unknown limerick-spouting person at a day-and-age when cordless phones were a very big deal. And why was Mr Singh posted there for just two months anyway? It's all very strange.
The only thing stranger than this is the Zoya Mirza angle. At a point it appeared as though her deep dark secret was that she had once been employed as an escort to Ganesh Gaitonde. However, she too now is an international woman of mystery. Who was it that visited Gaitonde in prison all those years ago (surely not Mirza, she's got to be in her late-20s max!). That girl, who is certainly related to Zoya Mirza in some way claimed to be from Afghanistan, whereas the passports in the file Sartaj recovered from Jojo showed Pakistan and two more countries that are not Afghanistan. And in what way did Jojo betray Gaitonde that prompted him to set all these events in motion? Was Zoya involved?
Parulkar and the Home Minister
DCP Parulkar is perhaps the most enigmatic character in the entire first season. He's a crooked cop. He's a murderer. He's been there the whole time, through both storylines. And he's managed to say more with only looks than Katekar (bless him) said through all his expletives. Also, as much as the show tries to make it look as though his relationship with Zoya Mirza is normal, it simply cannot be.
The other person who knows more than he's letting on, even to the IB, is the Home Minister, who was just an upstart politician at the start of things but has risen to be the most powerful person in the entire puzzle. He is implicated in Malcolm's gun plot, that we know. Gaitonde also knew something about him that Parulkar didn't. And his manic fearmongering rant in the final episode is very confusing. Does he know that there is a 'sankat', or is he saying so to save himself? Going by the thumb rule that politicians crave power, he's either doing what he's doing to remain in power or to grow in power. He's probably got the most devious angle in this entire affair.
There seemed to be something very inescapable about Gaitonde's 25-day doomsday clock and the good guys (whoever they are) are best advised to view it as such. The season ended with 14 days still remaining. Time will march on and the clock will tick and each stroke will bring us closer to that fabled day of doom.
And hence, there has to be more. The (Sacred) Game has just begun!
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