The season 1 finale of Betaal begins with the undead deciding to pound on the doors once more but with the group stuck inside, Sirohi and the others deliberate over the best way to move forward. Sirohi realizes that Tyagi is being controlled by the Colonel. The Colonel telepathically speaks to Sirohi and suggests he “carry” him to become a good soldier but Sirohi resists.
It turns out the Colonel is looking for a sacrifice so they can spread out beyond the mountain. Puniya and Akbar remain trapped in the bathroom though leaving Sirohi and the others to commandeer an abandoned cannon inside the room Saanvi is hiding in. After a cheesy line about hard Brexit, the cannon blast kills all the undead soldiers who cautiously tread into the room after they open the doors.
Upon seeing Ahlu dead and her radio on the ground, Sirohi decides to take revenge and stop the Colonel once and for all, sealing up the tunnel. As the group sneak outside, the undead soldiers continue to patrol with their guns this time while the group head up to Betaal Mountain with explosives, intending to trick the Colonel with a fake body disguised as Saanvi wrapped up.
Unfortunately they hit a snag when the CM team reinforcements arrive at the scene and find the place abandoned save for the undead soldiers watching from afar. Puniya heads over to save them, running into the open fields but the undead get there first and kill the soldiers. Although Puniya manages to get away, she decides to go after Sirohi and prevent Saanvi meeting a terrible fate.
Sirohi is approached by Tyagi once more who arrives at the mountain and demands Saanvi be handed back. When this doesn’t work, the Colonel jumps across to Sirohi and possesses him. Despite her pleas, Sirohi leads Saanvi deep into the tunnels. Once there, we see Mudhalvan is trapped inside a cage while Sirohi holds a knife up to Saanvi’s throat on a table with The Colonel whispering for him to kill her. Only, he’s conflicted over what to do and eventually comes to his senses, dropping the knife and apologizing.
The Colonel materializes in his actual form behind him, descending from the heights of the cave and guiding Sirohi’s hand back to picking up the knife. He forces Sirohi to reveal what happened in his past, which involves killing an innocent girl. As The Colonel talks to him about following orders, he commands Sirohi to kill Saanvi once more. Only, Sirohi fights back and stabs The Colonel in the face. It’s not enough though and he ends up surrounded and killed by the undead.
Saanvi meanwhile, grabs the detonator and presses the button, destroying the shrine before staggering out the tunnel and into Akram and Puniya’s car. As they drive away, the trio hear the squadron is under attack. It turns out destroying the shrine is a bad idea and the worst possible thing they could have done, unleashing chaos across India. Reports of attacks spread as the series ends with old pirate ships sporting the British flag heading toward India’s shores from the distance.
It’s difficult to know where to begin with this finale. Betaal is one of the more frustrating horrors to watch given the promise it had early on. The zombie motivations are a particular problem here, jumping between using guns and becoming animalistic, brainless animals. Seeing these undead cautiously step into the room and then completely blown up by the cannon by walking infront of it is arguably the worst action scene of the year, not to mention the “hilarious line about Brexit.
It’s even more damning given the scenes that follow involve the undead patrolling with guns. This becomes a contradiction throughout the series that’s only made worse by The Colonel himself.
Why did The Colonel have a physical form? If he needed to get free all this time why didn’t he just blow up his own shrine? Or failing that, if his plan was to sacrifice Saanvi why not jump from Tyagi to Saanvi, pretend to being okay and then run to the tunnels to sacrifice herself? Given he clearly has a physical body it’s not like this would actually make much of a difference to his plan anyway.
Most of the first 20 minutes of the previous episode were taken up by exposition, including reading from the book itself, making the fact everyone missed the most important part about destroying the shrine even more damning. It would have made more sense if the group destroyed the shrine with the Colonel pretending to be shocked but actually this was his plan the whole time given he’s unable to do it himself thanks to some plot mcguffin.
Either way, the cheap ending and the way these last two episodes have completely dropped the ball is a really disappointing way to end this promising Indian series. It’s such a shame because this one had a lot of potential early on but unfortunately this is not one to remember.
Published: 24 May 2020 at 1:30pm on