The much-awaited second season of Netflix’s Sacred Games was dropped on Indian Independence Day, and if you want us to save you some time… we’re disappointed.
It isn’t easy to be divided between watching Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) back in action and sticking to the idea of shunning Indian productions at a time when Pakistan and India aren’t the best of friends.
However, having watched the eight-episode series, we can guarantee that you won’t miss out on anything as great as the first season, in case you’re planning not to watch it.
Expanding beyond the novel by Vikram Chandra, the second season has left us disillusioned of Anurag Kashyap and co.’s ability to do wonders.
To quickly recap the first season, because Netflix won’t, Sacred Games is one drawn-out game of cat-and-mouse between notorious Mumbai gangster Gaitonde and his chosen police mark, Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan), trying to figure out the former’s dastardly (and as-yet-unknown) plans set in motion.
The second picks up halfway through the 25 days left to save Mumbai from uncertain calamity. Singh dives back into the investigation, following a trail that points to nuclear weapons, terrorism and Gaitonde’s link to Khanna Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi).
Gaitonde, still narrating to Singh but actually to us, calls Guruji his third father, to whom he and so many others are drawn like moths to a flame.
But, as one could’ve imagined (keeping in view flashbacks and those mysterious mandalas from the first season), the ashram is actually a cult and its leaders the liaisons between Gaitonde’s drug trade and the weapons Singh suspects will be used to attack Mumbai over a decade later.
Just after the new twists are registered – and half the season is gone – one starts waiting for things to get as interesting as promised by cast members time and again. You start looking forward to something big enough for the season to beat its predecessor… and in all honesty, to make sense.
It isn’t later you realise that Sacred Games has successfully pulled a Game of Thrones and disappointed you more than Gaitonde was upon realising how Guruji deceived him as a pawn, for his own plans to create a “new world”.
All this remains the tip of a story lost somewhere between juggling too many balls – crowing Singh as the hero, unnecessary exaggeration, Pakistan being portrayed as the villain, gang wars, Soviet-Afghan War, 9/11 and 26/11 attacks and so much more.
Without spoiling the not-so-much a cliffhanger finale, it’s safe to say that both Gaitonde and the show might have lost the legacy which followers strived to honour after the first season (and we don’t really mind).