Shantaram – Season 1 Episode 9 “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” Recap & Review

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Flashbacks and episode openings have become a thing for Shantaram. Episode 9 also opens with a look back at the time when Lin escaped jail and its aftermath. His mother is proud of Lin and suspects the officer had something to do with the jailbreak, as Lin himself confessed in court to serve time. He is not able to visit her as the police constantly watch the house. His mother is okay with the idea as long as it means a longer life for Lin. In the present day, Lin is saying his goodbyes in Sagar Wada. He is handing over the reins to Parvati, as he expects Didier to be readying the passport for him. Lin requests to go to Prabhu’s village like they planned when the young tour guide tells Lin he will be a taxi driver by night.

Parvati and Prabhu are about to go on their first official date together that night. Lin is actually serious about Karla and it seems like she is also reciprocating his feelings. She finally understands that Lin understands what it is to be with her. Maurizio threatens Lisa and takes away her and Modena’s passports. Modena has actually taken the money they earned selling the drugs, planning to run away together. Lisa is pissed at Modena for doing so without her involvement and asks him to go away with the money.

Didier recalls how he left his former lover, Alberto, when he saw he had gotten old and lonely. Didier now feels he is turning into a man like Alberto and has not left the house for the past week. He is traumatized after the beating and the shame that was brought to him. But he has not been able to make the passport for Lin, who finally reveals his own chequered past to give Didier a sense of how desperate he is.

Pandey falls onto Karla’s trap and meets with Sunita. They get pictures of them and recordings of shady dealings. He is left with no options now and concedes to Khader’s demands. Karla takes a moral high ground to the entire situation and feels they exploited Pandey’s vulnerability and love for Sunita. Khader lives up to the promise he made to Karla in episode 6 and allows her to move away from this life with a decent amount of money. Khader also agrees to Karla’s request to pay off Sunita’s debts and free her. Karla and Lisa once again unite and discuss their feelings about Lin and the regrets of their past relationships.

To save his own skin, Maurizio makes Lin culpable as the one who has run away with the money to Raheem. Despite having the chance to leave, Karla decides against it while on the date with Lin. There is an unsaid mutual sadness in their eyes but both seem helpless to do anything about it. Nightingale, who is waiting for an iota of encouragement to take down Lin, strikes gold luck as Nishant gets desperate and sends out daces with Lin’s photo to various police stations in the Oceanic twins. The sergeant feels they have finally got their man and reverse to Nishant that Lin is their man.

Charlie is soon found out too, owing to him using someone else’s name for the money. At his hideout, he is unfortunately killed in the crossfire. But not before helping out Lin in a big way. Nightingale asks him about Lin’s whereabouts. Charlie refuse to give him up and even admits that he killed Flores, not Lin. What will the officer do about his situation? Will he give in to his personal enmity or remain professional and report back neutrally?

A twist in the story awaits as Karla betrays Khader by giving him up to Kavita for interest to save Lin instead. But that ship has sailed, most honestly, as Nishant has already sent the fax to Nightingale. Despite Didier’s best intentions to keep Lin safe, Raheem has them followed and Lin is almost killed. But he has no idea what is going on and the episode ends abruptly with Lint trying to figure out what went wrong exactly.

The Episode Review

For all their faults, the characters of ‘Shantaram’ do have a certain charm about them. It rarely surfaces but it can be quite gratifying to witness. This episode had many manifestations of that dynamic in the form of Lin and Didier and Karla and Lin.

Karla has turned out to be the dark horse everyone underestimated. It remains to be seen how much control she can actually exercise when push comes to shove.

There are a lot of moving parts in the story right now. But I do not like how Walid’s threat has been neutralized for now. Maybe with Pandey’s betrayal, he will again come to life. The tall rivalry that was projected pitting Walid and Khader up against each other has not manifested in the water wars. Surely, there can be more? There must be.

Given how slow and circuitous the show was till a couple of episodes back, it’s good to see that it’s redeeming itself and might just be headed for a really strong finale.

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