The Child Auction House
Leila picks up with episode 4 right where we left off from before with our big cliffhanger. Shalini pleads for her life and explains that she was only trying to help. She mentions that she has a package from Mr Dixit and in a bid to try and distract him, throws sand in Bhanu’s face and drives away.
As she reaches the fertility clinic to find out more about her daughter, she sees a poster showing one of the fertility doctors who she recognizes as one of the men who came to kill her husband and kidnap Leila. Unable to go any further, she decides to go back the next morning to interrogate him. She almost gets arrested while getting out but is saved by Bhanu at the last second. He questions her about the package and she tells him that if he takes her to the clinic first thing tomorrow, she will give it to him.
Back at the camp, Madhu congratulates Shalini for her help catching Mr Dixit. She then asks to be given Madhu’s job so she can get into the clinic in the morning. As sirens and soldiers wake the labour camp residents, they find incriminating evidence under Madhu’s bed and she gets sent to a construction site where she will now work.
The next day, Shalini gets assigned to a different job, this time in Rao’s mansion for 7 days. She later purposely drops tea on Rao which gets her fired. Bhanu takes her away but they are both later stopped by the police before being shown footage of when they helped Mrs Dixit escape. They ask her who the man in the video is but Shalini lies, telling them she doesn’t know. We then see a news report showing an assassination attempt on Joshi by Dixit. As he was involved in a conspiration, we could assume that Dixit was framed for this crime.
After they are released, Shalini finally gives Bhanu the package which contains a video of Dixit explaining that the Skydome will be like a giant air conditioner with vents blowing hot air outside of it, with power the equivalent of 500 jets taking off at the same time. This will then cause a terrible fire outside and obliterate all of Unati.
In the morning, Bhanu takes her to the clinic where she meets with Dr Rakesh who tells her he can get her any child she wishes for, but it will be a mixed child. She then describes her own daughter which prompts him to show her a video of children in cages before we finally see Roop again. Shalini hastily chooses her but unfortunately she has already been sold. He admits to her that he is the head of the repeaters and has a list with all the mixed blood children on it.
After creating a diversion, she manages to check his computer to look for the whereabouts of her daughter. Sadly, she discovers that she is deceased, causing her to attack Dr Rakesh and be taken back to Guru Ma.
The similarities to The Handmaid’s Tale is something I’ve brought up a lot when it comes to Leila but here we really do see a lot more echoes of that show but with a few differences, namely that privileged families are unable to conceive and instead, are allowed to buy children that have been taken away from their parents. Whether Shalini will persevere and search for Roop going forward is still up for debate but it’ll certainly make for an interesting plot twist if she does.
Leila delivers another slow but relatively decent episode here with enough drama and plot twists to keep you coming back for more. It’s not perfect, and it’s not quite hitting the same standard the early episodes achieved, but there’s enough here to keep you hooked nonetheless.