A disastrous finale in “The Colonel” closes out a show that was very much dead on arrival, and the potential for a second season seems more threat than promise.
This recap of Betaal season 1, episode 4, “The Colonel”, 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.
And with Betaal episode 4, India’s misguided efforts in zombie-error come to a welcome conclusion. Opening with the now-familiar premise of the undead pounding on the doors of our heroes’ shelter, “The Colonel” does little to make up for lackluster previous efforts with the same tired debates about how to proceed and the played-out gimmick of telepathy doing nothing to liven things up.
Neither, for that matter, does a scene involving a cannon, which is saying quite a bit. This finale pits Sirohi directly against the Colonel, who requires a sacrifice for the evil to spread beyond the dank confines of the tunnels, which nobody wants – least of all me. The bright idea is to trick the Colonel with a fake sacrifice disguised as Saanvi, which is predictably a write-off.
Apparently bored with possessing Tyagi, the Colonel puppets Sirohi instead, who leads Saanvi into the tunnels and comes just this close to sacrificing her when clearer heads prevail. It takes the arrival of the Colonel in his true form to force Sirohi into revealing his assembly-line traumatic backstory; a last-ditch effort at heroism amounts to little.
At least the explosive subplot that I couldn’t be bothered mentioning until now pays off – or does it? Saanvi is able to destroy the shine and escape, but that turns out to have been a bad move, unleashing chaos across India just in time for a second season that one has to hope public opinion smothers in its crib.
Betaal season 1, episode 4 proves the show thoroughly misguided, inconsistent, and ultimately banal, squandering its scant potential on illogical plotting and a parade of tropes. The grating po-faced seriousness was only punctured by a thoroughly misjudged helping of cheese, and there was so little logic in the plans of anyone, from heroes to villains, that the overwhelming sense is of a story being made up on the fly by brains indistinguishable from those of the undead.
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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.