Episode 2 of Betaal begins with Sirohi and the others firing back and trying to fight off the undead soldiers hiding in the shadows. Eventually they shoot the locks off the door and spill inside the abandoned barracks. Unfortunately several of their group have been injured or killed in the skirmish, including a nasty bite for Nadir Haq on his leg.
As Sirohi tries to work out the next best course of action, the group secure the door and nail it shut. Whispers in the dark with Mudhalvan confirm the blast that started the shooting was actually planned by Mudhalvan himself. For now though, he keeps things quiet despite his daughter hearing everything.
Meanwhile, Sirohi examines the bullets being fired at them and discovers they’re from ancient weapons. Ahlu secures the barracks with cameras while Tyagi continues to suffer from severe shock in the wake of what she saw in the tunnels. “He’s growing stronger Sirohi,” Tyagi mutters before passing out again.
The group struggle to radio through to the outside for help given the weird static noise they’ve been encountering but as they talk, the group realize that reinforcements may be on the way to surround them at the barracks, leading the group to split over what to do from here.
Their conversation is cut short though by the radio crackling into life, with a strange voice telling them to bring the little girl while the ominous instrumental of God Save The Queen sounds in the background. Yadav’s screams pierce the air as two of the dead soldiers return to life and slaughter him.
Sirohi manages to get inside the barricaded room where he meets a local by the name of Puniya who tells him about Betaal’s curse and how the tunnels are haunted. The Colonel is Betaal and his army are the ones who happen to be outside. Aunty could communicate with him but now that she’s dead, Puniya’s burning effigy and salt lines are all that’s holding back the evil from washing over the facility. If they don’t take care of the dead inside their walls, they’re in big trouble.
Ahlu takes control of the group and decides they should leave instead of staying put. Mudhalvan snatches the radio and tries to negotiate with those outside but upon hearing nothing, he follows Tyagi into an office where she holds a journal relating to Betaal, talking to him about the evil they’ve unleashed.
After Sirohi is knocked out by one of his own and thrown in a bath with his hands bound, Saanvi awakens in the middle of the night to find one of the undead soldiers creeping across the ceiling toward her. Thankfully Sirohi makes it to her before it’s too late.
The group reconvene in the main atrium where everything escalates and chaos reigns down upon them. The electricity goes out as the storm rages outside, prompting the salt lines to disappear and the undead soldiers finally allowed to move forward, which is where the episode ends.
With a slower pace this time around, the first half of the episode relies heavily on building tension before presumably descending into action for the next episode. As an outright horror, Betaal doesn’t really nail many of its moments involving the soldiers but the scene involving Saanvi and the creature on the ceiling is definitely a highlight and a really well-worked segment.
Tyagi’s screeching in the main atrium is another small but welcome inclusion to build up this aforementioned tension but beyond that, Betaal plays out much closer to a cliched and simple thriller.
Given the condensed 4-episode run that’s not necessarily a bad thing and the quickened pace keeps things exciting while allowing for less jump scares to infiltrate into the series and cheapen the effect of the few unnerving moments. There seems to be a divide between those who have “turned” becoming maniacal and animalistic compared to the more organised army outside so it’ll be interesting to see if this becomes a consistent trend going forward.
This second chapter is an improvement over the first though and with plenty of scope to progress going forward, it’ll be interesting to see what direction this takes and quite who and what The Colonel is.
Published: 24 May 2020 at 11:05am on