Shantaram season 1, episode 4 recap – what happened in “Bad Medicine”?

By Adam Lock
Published: October 21, 2022 (Last updated: January 26, 2024)
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Prabhu continues to be a light-hearted highlight in this otherwise murky drama. There are some odd romantic subplots throughout and stereotypical gangsters on display, while Lin’s redemption arc feels labored and repetitive now.

We recap the Apple TV+ series Shantaram season 1, episode 4, “Bad Medicine,” and so it will contain spoilers.

The fourth installment, “Bad Medicine,” follows Lin’s (played by Charlie Hunnam) eventful mission to get adequate medicine for the kind, slum folk. While Lin seeks out Bombay’s black market, a new Minister discovers just how corrupt his new position is, with Walid and Khader vying for that all-important business deal. It’s another average episode, filled with heavy-handed character development and stereotypical gangsters.

Recap – what happened in Shantaram season 1, episode 4?

Another flashback opens this chapter, as Lin talks with his lawyer in prison. They are confident that they can get Lin off without any prison time. He was never placed at the scene of the crime, he wasn’t seen attacking the officer who died, and overall, he looks pretty innocent. Lin isn’t that bothered by this good news though, he just wants to contact the dead man’s wife and apologize. Against the lawyer’s better judgment he then goes and pleads guilty in court.

We revert back to the present timeline and Lin is going about his morning routine in the slums. When he returns to his hut, there is a huge queue waiting outside. One particular old lady has been there numerous times and on each occasion, Lin has sent them off to the hospital. This lady needs emergency intervention or she will die, but continues to be sent packing from the hospital without any medicine. Lin vows to go with her to the hospital and sort this out once and for all, but of course the hospital is just as corrupt as everywhere else. The doctor wants paying if she is to jump the queue.

Rujul’s dead body is found on the streets and Abdullah pays off the police that found him. Then Walid’s associate Rafiq makes a bribery payment of his own, presenting the new Minister, Akash Pandey, with a suitcase full of cash. This petrified new Minister fears for his own safety and accepts the money, even though Karla and Khader want to make their own offer. Walid then crashes Karla’s meeting and threatens his enemy. This is all-out war between these two gangsters.

Meanwhile, Lisa continues to go cold turkey with help from Modena. He is madly in love with the prostitute and wants to support her however he can. Although, he has quite a funny way of helping out and offers her more drugs instead. She screams in his face, demanding that he says no to her, to stop her from relapsing in the future. This is just one of the many odd couples in this trundling affair.

Lin reteams with Prabhu and hustles on the streets of Bombay, hoping to raise enough money to buy the medicine outright. But he doesn’t have any contacts within the black market, except for mob boss Khader. Lin organizes another meeting with the gangster and asks for a lead on this illegal medicine. Khader is more than happy to help out, but doesn’t provide Lin with the answers straight away, preferring to make the fugitive to sweat a little in the meantime.

Khader orders Karla to do some more digging on Minister Pandey, so they can manipulate this man for their own gains. Karla then tries to talk with Lisa, but her old friend has moved on and doesn’t want anything to do with her anymore. Afterwards, she seeks out Lin, paying Prabhu for information on his whereabouts. They meet again, this time in the slums and Karla pressures Lin for answers. It’s another odd romance that doesn’t seem to quite work. Lin is misty eyed for this unusual woman, despite the red flags.

The ending

Lin is then taken to meet with the medicine smuggler in a shunned community. The villagers all appear to be disfigured and diseased, but Lin confidently drinks from their cups to win over their trust – isn’t he such a good man? He tries to negotiate on the meds, but they can’t reach an agreement. Lin only leaves with a small amount of the lifesaving drugs, a lot less than he needs. On their way home, Abdullah is attacked by his rival Rafiq. Lin intercedes and saves Abdullah’s life.

The old lady is saved, thanks to Lin’s dogged determination. And the criminal Abdullah returns to the slums with all the medicine Lin required in the first place, as a thank you for the earlier intervention. He accepts these gifts fully knowing that he has practically made a deal with the devil and is now indebted to Khader. Lin narrates over this end scene, stating that he is actually excited to be working with Khader, even though he is aware of the dangers ahead. The criminal can’t seem to change his ways, he feels drawn to this life of crime.

What did you think of Shantaram season 1, episode 4? Comment below.

Additional Reading for Shantaram

Apple TV+, Streaming Service, Weekly TV
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