An already bad show gets worse still in “The Battle”, an inappropriately-named penultimate episode with enough lumpen expository dialogue to weigh down even a much better affair.
This recap of Betaal season 1, episode 3, “The Battle”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
If you were hoping that things were going to get better in this misguided Netflix Original, Betaal episode 3, “The Battle”, makes for a strong counter-argument. A tedious expository opening and a badly-paced descent into chaos do little to make a case for a show that has unimpressed thus far and only seems to be getting worse as it goes.
Backstory: Colonel John Lynedoch, trapped and buried inside the tunnel by rebels, sacrificed his own son to please Betaal – such gestures always tend to appease bloodthirsty deities, after all. It’s time, then, for Ahu and Sirohi to get on the same page, since ominous drumming never bodes well, especially once the offending percussionist is dropped and then rises again, enthusiasm never wavering. With Nadir Haq possessed and Tyagi ensnared by the drumbeat, the barracks seem to have a limited shelf life.
All this, and there’s hardly solidarity among the ranks. With Saanvi (Syna Anand) proving to be an enticing prospect for seemingly everyone, Tyagi tasking Sirohi to deliver her and Ahu seems a bit suspect and causes even more dissent. The undead, meanwhile, continue their pounding unabated, as Mudhalvan plans a sacrificial plot reminiscent of the ill-fated Colonel’s. History repeats itself, and all that, and this conspiring leads to the death of Ahu and the welcoming of the zombie horde. Yikes.
A last-minute cliffhanger does little to savage Betaal season 1, episode 3, which is contrived and leaden with on-the-nose expository dialogue just when the show should be picking up steam in the march to the finale – a merciful proposition, at this point.
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Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.