One of the top shows in Indian television returned for a second season last August, and it felt different. The plotline of Sacred Games now goes further than what transpired in the crime thriller novel by Vikram Chandra and is on its own adventure. And to sum up what the following Sacred Games Season 2 review is about, the new adventure is going well.

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Same Sacred Games, with more cults

Just like Game of Thrones or The Handmaid's Tale, Sacred Games Season 2 extends on the source material without being paradigm-shifting. But it doesn't mean the show fails at keeping the viewer on edge with fantastic performances and head-spinning conspiracies.

If anything, the prospect of Indian serial TV looks hopeful with such an abundance of quality acting and enthralling stories still yet to be told. It's just that, the 2nd season is just not an exemplar among Indian TV in the same way the first season is.

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The series continues the suspense seen in 1st season

But it's not to the show's detriment whatsoever. Not many TV serials save for the very best can do this while no longer relying on the source material, or any material to begin with. Now that we are done praising the show and dissecting the flaws, which is what a Sacred Games Season 2 public review is obliged to do, let's delve further into the criminal underworld of India as told by Sacred Games.

>>>See also: Netflix Sacred Games Season 3 Release Date, Predictions, And More

Sacred Games Season 2 review (1/4)

Firstly, it's important to have a quick look at Season 1, then a brief Sacred Games Season 2 Episode 1 review. The episode itself is an important link between the plotlines of Season 1 and 2, but you won't get a recap from Netflix for that.

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Let's look at how 1st season went...

Season 1 is the story of one Mumbai crime lord Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) and his nefarious plans. After selecting troubled officer Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) as his playmate, the two become intertwined in a game of wits and sadism. In this season, we get to understand what motivates Gaitonde's plan and how he became who he is. The story ends when officer Singh tracks him down only to find the criminal dead and his plan left unresolved.

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So now we're picking up right at the end

So the 1st episode of Season 2 takes off right there, with time remaining for Singh to uncover the plan and prevent it from occurring. The hardboiled police officer, who is without one of his digits, must continue the case destined for him.

His investigation unlocks more than what one man should be allowed to know. Terrorism, nuclear weapons, apocalyptic ashrams are all a part of one man's seemingly unhinged death wish.

Sacred Games Season 2 review (2/4)

It's important for a Sacred Games Season 2 review to mention the subplot of Constable Katekar's son, Rohit. His transformation into a Hindu fundamentalist over his father's death maintains a link to societal problems just like the first season does.

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Many plot points parallel to the main one

Other notable plot points include the similarities between the beleaguered hero and the disillusioned villain. Or when a suspect snidely responds to Majid's questioning with "Do you really need a reason to pick up a Muslim?" The second season continues the tradition of the first with replete references to what we understand is our actual societal boiler.

Continuing Sacred Games Season 2 review, the show continues to provide excellent cinematography to build tensions. Especially the part when the camera follows Sartaj Khan being after a suspect, and climbs with the officer on the stairs to the terrace of a building, in one shot.

Sacred Games Season 2 review (3/4)

Such camerawork helps with upholding the season's sense of urgency as the story tends to not keep up as well. There are a total of eight episodes, yet it feels dragged out in the latter half. This is where the lack of source material hurts the season when the first one sustains the thrilling chase from beginning to end.

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The camerawork continues to be a strength

Siddiqui and his soliloquies about his character don't bring much to the characterization of the villain. They kind of depict the same mindset as Guruji monologuing about sacrifice and the world can rise from the ashes like a phoenix. Then we have to bear witness to Gaitonde making an autobiographical movie complete with singing and dancing.

There's a part in the first episode where Gaitonde is stranded at sea with nothing but the boat he is on. He helplessly tries to find the direction of shore but nothing is happening. Gaitonde's predicament is an appropriate metaphor for what the story in Season 2 feels like at times.

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This is just a cool collage

And then there is the 9/11 reference with footage of what happened. The whole ordeal feels like an icky attempt at bringing relevance to the show or Indian cinema by including that event. After all, no one would like it in India if the national wounds were to become a mere prop in a commercialized product, as excellent as it can be.

Sacred Games Season 2 review (4/4)

Still, Saif Ali Khan and Nawazzudin Siddiqui are quality end-results of that commercialization and they do not disappoint. The plot is full of epical themes and high-brow literary devices. The villain is aware of his own weaknesses but cannot accept them. With every crime he commits, Gatonde tries to make Singh see the invincible image he wants to project to everyone else.

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Anyway, most of us will be looking forward to season 3

And with all that said, this Sacred Games Season 2 review doesn't seek to do hairsplitting criticism over some of the lower points of the season. The show is finding its own way and for the most part, is successful at it. There are many world-renowned shows that do faceplants the moment the literary handholding stops, and Sacred Games can only improve.

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