While Manna Dey and Lata Mangeshkar cast their spells in the song ‘Mausam Beeta Jaye’ in the background, Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) shoots Jojo Mascarenhas (Surveen Chawla) in the stomach then drags her to finally pump a bullet in her head. This scene is filled with so much of drama-the angst and the betrayal felt by Gaitonde complimented by the submissiveness and fearlessness of Jojo at the hands of death-that it will remind you of Queintin Tarantino. These emotions aren’t felt when the makers deftly show us glimpses of this scene in the pilot of Season 1.

Scared Games 2 answers most of the questions left unanswered in the first season. The writers delve further into the main characters’ consciousness. The character arcs come full circle. Guruji (Pankaj Tripathi) is the missing piece in Season 1 and he forms an integral part of the whole story. Pankaj Tripathi is just getting better with every appearance and the uniqueness with which he approaches his roles makes him one of the best actors in Bollywood. It’s always a treat to watch Nawazuddin and Pankaj Tripathi together on-screen.

Batya(Kalki Koechin) is another pivotal character. Koechin does justice to the role and again she is in her comfort zone playing a foreigner with a dark past. 

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If Season 1 was the skeleton, Season 2 definitely forms the flesh and blood of the plot. Season 1 was all about what happened in the beginning and what’s happening in the  present. Season 2 takes you through the journey from the beginning to the present. The writers explore the personal life of Sartaj Singh(Saif Ali Khan) and dig deeper into the subconsciousness of Ganesh Gaitonde. As a viewer you would know Sartaj and his vulnerabilities by the end of Season 2, you would also know Gaitonde’s inner demons. This is beautifully done by capturing the hallucinations of Sartaj and Gaitonde under the influence of a psychedelic drug named ‘Gochi’.

Saif Ali Khan does justice to the righteousness of Sartaj Singh.The conflict between giving up on the world and holding onto the positivities is portrayed so convincingly by the Nawab that you would almost forget him as one of the mainstream Bollywood heroes playing larger than life roles.

The writing is convincing because the plot  has references to real-life events. Shahid Khan played by Ranvir Shorey is a powerful character. The character seems to be based on Dawood Ibrahim and Ranvir Shorey steals the show in the limited screen time he is allotted. The writing deftly explores his mother’s past dating back to 1947 and vividly explores his weakness. 

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Besides all the characters in Sacred Games, religion is the most important character around which the entire plot revolves.In season 2 we have interesting references to Hindu mythology. What the makers are trying to show us is that  any religion can be used for brainwashing. It’s not always Islam that’s the root cause of terrorism. It can also be a blind faith in ‘Satya Yuga’ and ‘Balidan’ and the need for a nuclear appocalypse which will ultimately end ‘Kalyug’  that can propel a man towards terrorism. The story has a secular take on terrorism. What the makers are trying to say is that even Hinduism can give birth to terrorism.

All in all, if you can ignore Nawazuddin’s missing Marathi touch in his dialect, a few scenes that seem to have been rushed, Sacred Games 2 is a treat to watch!

Rating : 3.5/5