Review: Sacred Games Season 2 Episode 4

Episode 4, titled ‘Bardo’, rounds off an hour with an ending that is by far the best revelation of this season till now. Even the boundaries between the narratives of the two parallel stories start to diminish and a lot of common ground can be seen between Sartaj’s and Gaitonde’s lives. This episode also further presents the idea that no matter what one presents from outside, deep within everyone is being controlled by someone else in one way or the other.

Gaitonde, who once claimed to be God himself, now completely reforms his beliefs as Guruji further baits him by promising him immortality. For obvious reasons, god and religion have always been major themes of the show. What’s really starting to stand out about season 2 is that it not only focuses on one mythology but brings in ideas from many others as well. It is also great to see that Kalki gets a lot more screen time in this episode. The pace at which her character is being fleshed out, it only seems like she will have a more significant role in the subsequent episodes.

Sacred Games Season 2 Episode 4 Recap

After becoming powerless all over again, Gaitonde is forced to work for Yadav. He finally meets Isa and despite being treated like a stray dog, he stays calm and asks Isa for help. Isa agrees to get him in contact with Shahid Khan but makes sure that Gaitonde feels absolutely powerless in front of him. Gaitonde is now left adrift and helpless after he realizes that he is nothing but a pawn of the government. With no cards left to play, he again drifts towards Guruji who takes his vulnerability for granted and manipulates into believing that “To win over death, he’ll have to first die a lot of times.” This simply suggests that to have the life that he seeks, he must first learn to sacrifice.

When he finally gets the opportunity to kill Shahid, he finds himself at a crossroad where if he chooses to kill him, he’ll get to live a free life but he’ll still be Yadav’s “slave”. But if he decides to defy her and save Shahid, he could be one with Guruji and live the rest of his life in peace. Almost unanimously, he chooses to follow the path of betrayal that Guruji is paving out for him. To get back at Gaitonde for his betrayal, Yadav somehow finds his location through Jamila and tries to get him killed. But he escapes unscathed and decides to leave his old life behind him. He then joins Guruji and for a while, everything seems to be at peace for him. But at that moment, little does he know that it’s simply the silence before the storm.

Meanwhile, Sartaj and his team dig deep into every single clue they can get their hands on. They end up finding a deep web chat between Shahid and his suppliers which they try to decipher to get more clues. From what they find, they incur that the D-Day is probably scheduled for 16th of July. We also get to see a few more flashbacks of Sartaj’s relationship with his ex-wife. When he turns to Batya for help, she offers him a drug to ease his pain and correspondingly, Guruji offers the same drug to Gaitonde. Both of them are sucked deeper into the toxic memories of their past and while Sartaj ends up making love with Batya, Gaitonde also gets intimate with Guruji. This is when a little more is revealed about Batya’s traumatic past as well.

The most significant scene of this episode is somewhere around the end where Sartaj revisits Yadav and tries to get something out of her. This is when she reveals that everything Shahid does is, in one way or the other, influenced by colonial history. Suddenly, everything starts to make sense and all the clues that they’ve collected until now align with their reference to colonial history. Sartaj is finally able to decode the password that leads them to Shahid.

Sacred Games Season 2 Episode 4 Review

By this episode, you actually start noticing the difference between the visuals of season 1 and season 2. While season 1 was more raw, graphic and violent, season 2 has this simmering underlying tension that slowly grows on you. Even the effects, especially during the scene where the two characters are drugged, are exquisitely done. They are far and above Bollywood has ever experimented before.

As I mentioned earlier, this episode also sets a common ground for several characters all at the same time. It does this by portraying what they’re going through, solely through the use of its visuals. Yet again, the credit for this goes to Aarti Balaji who has done a fabulous job with the editing. Even at this point of time, ‘Sacred Games‘ seems to bring in a lot of loose ends but it tries to balance this out by simultaneously answering a few unanswered questions. With so many major revelations and immense character development, this is the best episode so far.

Rating: 4.5/5