REVIEW: Sacred Games S1E5 – “Sarama”

In the starting point of the second half of the season, our three main characters all undergo personal setbacks in their professional lives.

In the aftermath of Kuku’s death, Gaitonde sinks into a deep depression. He, almost impossibly, becomes more hardened and arrogant than before. He proclaims to be above God, makes his way through a brothel to feel anything, and vows to kill fifty of his rival Isa’s men in the span of one month. The latter proves to be for nothing, as all he manages to do is kill of the “pawns” while Isa and his higher-ups escape. The former leads to Gaitonde having a stricter rule on his men and the city. He prohibits all alcohol, and doesn’t allow any enjoyment in the city until Kanta Bai talks some sense into him.

A brief scare with death has Gaitonde wanting to be married, and he convinces Bunty to let him wed his sister despite the religious difference. At the wedding Bunty gets distracted by a prostitute while Isa gives a wedding “present” to Gaitonde by killing his mentor Paritosh. Enraged, Gaitonde beats a very naked Bunty and ends their partnership, at least for now. Gaitonde still wishes to wed, and literally chooses the first girl he sees.

Back in the present, Sartaj seeks to rescues Nayanika from Bunty. Unfortunately he ends up ruining the deal Anjali struck with Bunty. In a shootout between Bunty’s gang and several police informants, Bunty is killed but not before Nayanika stabs him. Sadly, Nayanika is also killed in the line of fire. Anjali is understandably furious with Sartaj and chews him out. Anjali is under fire for the shootout, while Sartaj is questioned about the death of the innocent boy Junaid that happened before the show began. Both lie to keep their respective jobs.

While all this is happening, a talent agent approaches the actress Zoya Mirza, who has so far been a very minor character, to star in his father’s horrible film. He threatens to blackmail her and talks about how she was essentially one of Gaitonde’s “clients.” Zoya knocks herself out for an unknown reason.

This episode didn’t advance the plot as much as the previous one did, but we did see a common theme between the three main characters as they suffer setbacks in this episode. The viewer is still unaware of how Gaitonde knew Sartaj’s father, but it seems that the flashbacks are a letter from Gaitonde to Sartaj. In the voiceover where Gaitonde recounts the past, he uses Sartaj’s name directly for the first time. Where the series goes from here is unclear to me. Bunty is dead along with other gang members, leaving Anjali and Sartaj at a standstill in their investigation.

Zoya’s role in the series is still unclear as well. She does have a connection to Gaitonde, but thus far her story has been contained to just her and none of the other major characters. I don’t know where they’ll go for episode 6.