Sleepless in Seelampur
Episode 4 of Paatal Lok begins on a train as two young children, Cheeni and Kaaliya, steal a woman’s bag and proceed to sift through the belongings trying on make-up and lipstick.
As we cut forward to the present, Chaudhary returns to the police station where Bhagat is not happy following Tyagi’s name being plastered all over the media. As they walk and talk, Chaudhary reveals that Tyagi’s brother is a man named Gwallar Gujjar who is a big businessman with political ties. This reinforces his theory that there’s someone higher up the chain that’s responsible for the hit on Sanjeev.
For now, that’s put on the back-burner when he learns Ansari has cleared the Civil Test. Only, Chaudhary takes offence when he isn’t the first to hear and remains frosty around him. When he mentions another lead regarding Tope Singh’s girlfriend, Chaudhary tasks him to pursue it.
Meanwhile, Chaudhary visits Sanjeev and confronts him over recognizing Tyagi in the police line-up. As the two stare one another down, Sanjeev tells him to leave.
Back at the police station, Chaudhary and the other officers uncover a big secret with Mary when she happens to be a transgender. After beating her relentlessly in the cell so the other men can see, Chaudhary sits her down in his office and tells her to talk. It’s here she discloses the name Mukesh Talreja, who happened to offer her a lot of money to be in the car to make things less suspicious.
It turns out her real name is Cheeni – which is the same name as the boy we saw from the start of the episode in the train. Finally starting to get somewhere, Chaudhary hits even more obstacles when Virk returns from leave to take over the investigation. However, our officer manages to pull some strings and is granted a further 24 hours to follow the leads he has before the investigation is lost to him.
Down by the docks they uncover Taariq’s body and realize he’s been strangled to death.
Meanwhile, Sanjeev attends an awards ceremony and as he sits and talks to Dolly, they contemplate whether anyone there is responsible for the hit on his life. As he heads off to ask one of the men, he’s stopped by Singh who tells him they’re drawing up a press conference. Only, Sanjeev has enough material to use against Singh to prevent that happening and the conversation ends with a stalemate.
Back at the station the team begin to extract the information from the burner phone obtained from the water, including a video of Sanjeev outside his house. They also find pictures of Tope Singh’s mistress Chanda, which is their next route of inquiry.
Unfortunately the press catch wind of the Mary scandal and swarm the station. It’s one step too far though and Dahiya suspends Chaudhary and informs the group that the CBI is taking over the case, which is where the episode ends.
Featuring a nice twist with Cheeni halfway through the episode, one of the best elements of Paatal Lak has been the way we’ve come to know each of these troubled four through their backstories and what’s led them down this dark path.
At times the series is a little slow and some of the character work is a bit cliched, especially the end result with Chaudhary being suspended. I’d imagine we’ll see him prove himself independently and join back up with the force before the season’s end.
So far this mystery has been bubbling up nicely and Paatal Lok is certainly one of those shows that feels ripe for a binge-watch.