Bombay Begums season 1, episode 1 recap – the opening chapter explained

March 8, 2021
Daniel Hart 0
Netflix, TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

“Women Who Run With The Wolves” sets the scene with various women all in different phases of their life — from power to family planning; the Netflix series throws many problems facing women today.

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3.5

Summary

“Women Who Run With The Wolves” sets the scene with various women all in different phases of their life — from power to family planning; the Netflix series throws many problems facing women today.

This recap of Netflix’s Bombay Begums season 1, episode 1, “Women Who Run With The Wolves”, contains significant spoilers.

“Women Who Run With The Wolves” begins with Rani, a newly appointed bank CEO taken part in a photoshoot — Rani’s stepdaughter Shai does not want to take part in the shoot but does so awkwardly — throughout the chapter, she references how her birth mother is dead and questions if love is real. It then flits to Fatima, who learns her recent IVF treatment has worked — she’s pregnant and overwhelmed with emotion.

The theme of women in power in a male-dominated workplace takes hold in Episode 1. Rani attends the first board meeting; they want to sell her as a sensible housewife, but she brushes the men off, and she wants to tackle the debts the bank is in — the audacity that the men want her to be reduced to something else when she’s a CEO is jawdropping. A few men in the room disagree with her. Suddenly, Rani is flushed and has to go to the bathroom.

Fatima promotion opportunity and Ayesha is fired

As for Fatima (who also works at the bank), she is trying to secure deals with investors; she is bullish about the latest deal despite issues with contracts. Afterward, she tells Ayesha she is fired for messing up a deal; Ayesha begs her to give her a chance, but Fatima isn’t having it. Following on from this, Rani tells Fatima about a promotion that’s available to her — Fatima reveals she is pregnant, but Rani explains women can have a job and family — when Fatima turns down the offer, Rani is verbally disappointed with her. Fatima believes she lives in a world where women cannot have both things.

In a meal later, Fatima’s husband reveals the family plans, but then she reveals how she has been offered a prestigious position at the bank; her husband sits there, silently stewing. His expectations are for her to be a stay-at-home mother despite her career success.

Zuravur gets into a spot of trouble

“Women Who Run With The Wolves” opens up a potential scandal for Rani and one that’s not her fault.

After sleeping with a sex worker named Laxmi, Rani’s son Zuravur runs someone over on the way home. Laxmi wants a lot of money to cover up what’s happened — he ran over her son, and he was also drunk. Rani agrees to her terms, and Zuravur is off the hook. Laxmi tells her son in the hospital to not tell the truth.

A new opportunity

Rani bumps into Ayesha in the work bathroom; the young woman breaks down, stating that Fatima fired her and that her landlady threw her out. She’s ended up sleeping at work and has nowhere else to go. Rani asks Ayesha to go to her office, and she gives her a meal — she also gives her a new opportunity. Afterward, Ayesha moves in with her ex, who has a new girlfriend, in a cramped apartment. In the middle of the night, the ex sleeps with Ayesha secretly.

Speaking to HR

We already knew Fatima’s husband is stewing, and his controlling nature takes hold in Episode 1.

Fatima’s husband is getting increasingly frustrated with his wife and wants her to speak to HR so they can focus on the pregnancy; he forces her to tell them that she will not take on the job. At a work event, Fatima asks Rani if the role is still available. Rani then gives a speech and announces Fatima as the new deputy MD.

Laxmi turns up at the work event and talks to Rani in the bathroom. She tells her she could lose everything in one call. Rani tells her she has worked hard for everything. Laxmi demands that her son is given the same opportunities as her son. Rani says, “bye,” so Laxmi walks off. Audiences can already tell that this is not over.

The ending

When Fatima returns home with her husband Arijay, he’s furious and gives her a sarcastic “congratulations”. Fatima insists the baby will be fine. In the middle of the night, Fatima sees blood over her legs — she’s miscarried; she cries alone in the bathroom. How her husband will react feels like an awful moment waiting to happen.

When the work event ends, Ayesha stays behind and talks to the singer from the stage. There’s an instant intimacy between them, and Ayesha plays with her hair.

Bombay Begums season 1, episode 1 sets the scene with various women all in different phases of their life — from power to family planning; the Netflix series throws many problems facing women today.

Additional points
  • Rani asks board member Deepak for his full support.
  • Ayesha introduces herself to Deepak at a work social event. He tells her if she tries hard enough, she may work for him one day. Fatima turns up and wonders what she’s doing here — she explains that Rani hired her for the CSR department.
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