Asur season 2 has been a huge letdown at the end of a long wait. The one character who was the most intriguing, Shubh, was also the one least explored. Asur Season 1 had set a really high benchmark for us, and it is in relation to that that we are disappointed by Season 2. Regardless, it had its moments, and here is a recap of them.
Who Is Shubh? What Was He Planning To Do?
A major chunk of the Asur Season 2 narrative has been Shubh’s plan instead of his philosophy. We believe it was an actual disservice to the character and how menacing he could have been. But one step in deciphering his plans has been for the ATF to trace his past, to which every episode of Asur has dedicated its first few minutes. We know from Season 1 of Asur that Shubh grew up in an abusive household where his father considered him a demon since he was born with the wrong horoscope, and his mother passed away as soon as she gave birth to him. Shubh only had his grandfather to turn to, who was the one person who tried to get him the help he needed but to no avail. One day, Shubh killed his father, not able to bear more of his cruelties. Dhananjay and Nikhil were investigating the case, and the former fabricated the evidence against Shubh since he knew that he was the killer anyway. That proved to be a mistake, and years later, this is why he continues targeting Dhananjay and Nikhil. But before that, Shubh has to spend some time in jail, where he quickly gains three loyal followers, and all four of them escape one fine day. Shubh sends them all off on separate missions, though he kills one of them, whom he says has fulfilled his part in the quest.
Shubh joins an ashram, where he stays for two years, and when the time comes for him to take control of the place, he poisons the people residing there and leaves for the next stage of his journey. Shubh said that the ashram was just a stop on the way for him. Once its purpose was fulfilled, he had to move on to bigger things. We believe that Shubh had already met the professor when he was in the ashram and started working for him. The professor’s assistant died very recently, and we are sure that Shubh had something to do with it. Either way, he takes the place of the assistant, and both he and the professor start working on the AI system. That system was supposed to constantly collect data on people and help improve their lives by finding common patterns of behavior and predicting their needs. While some would argue that Facebook already has a system like that in place and is using it to trap its users in a very consumerist cycle, in Asur series, it is a new thing, and Shubh works on it with the professor. Once he doesn’t need the man anymore, Shubh kills him and dumps his body in the river.
Shubh further works on the model as per his needs, and when it is just about ready, he sets off to wreak havoc on the world. In his journey, he has also gathered a few other people by helping them overcome their losses dealt with by the existing law and order. He helped a woman who was suffering due to domestic abuse by her in-laws and her husband. Then there was a man whose wife had been run over by a minister’s son when he was drunk. These were people who had been let down by the world, and when Shubh helped them, he became their God. Four months before the current events of Asur Season 2, Shubh kills his grandfather, severing all his connections to the world and, according to his logic, giving him his “release from the troubles of the world.”
What Was Rasool’s Real Identity?
As Season 1 of Asur ended, the biggest shock and question we were left with was whether Rasool was Shubh. Season 2 answers it right away: he wasn’t. He was one of Shubh’s soldiers and is working for him by being a mole in the ATF. Ishani already suspects Rasool of killing Lolark since she finds that the evidence presented by Rasool regarding the officer’s death is a little too clean. While she has to set her suspicions aside due to a lack of evidence, that doesn’t stop her from investigating him. She asks for an autopsy on Lolark’s body to be performed once again, in secret, so that she can confirm whether her suspicions have any ground to stand on. In the meantime, she also breaks into Rasool’s house and steals a pen drive, where she finds multiple videos of herself and others as if he were spying on them. She communicates this to Nikhil, but while he agrees with her, he doesn’t want to focus on it for now. That proves to be a mistake since, by this time, Ishani has been kidnapped by Rasool and killed. Nikhil is too late to save her. He has found the irregularities in Lolark’s autopsy, and it is direct proof that Rasool is responsible for his death. By not trusting Ishani sooner, he has lost her as well. When the officers dig into Rasool’s past, they find that he had taken on the identity of someone else, and in fact, he is one of Shubh’s followers. His real family was under the impression that he had passed away many years ago.
Now that Shubh’s truth is out, he bargains with the ATF. Rasool has kidnapped Nusrat, and in exchange for her life, he wants Kesar to be released and the destruction of the data collected by Naina and her team. This is also when ATF comes to know that DJ and Naina have been working on their own, have Kesar with them, and have probably killed Swati. This ploy almost works, and the ATF team uses a bit of a distraction to save the data. Nusrat is also rescued in time, except that she is further traumatized for life. She was given a choice to either protect her sister, whose crime Nusrat had covered up years ago or protect a completely innocent woman. Nusrat had chosen her sister, and that is a blot on her conscience forever. Meanwhile, Kesar is handed over to Rasool, but he is shot dead by Dhananjay. Looking at the forces closing in on him, Rasool says that only he is the master of his life and death and ends up shooting himself.
What Is The Ashwini Nakshatra Plan?
At the beginning of Asur Season 2, we saw that Dhananjay was living in a monastery so that he could avoid more destruction in his life and that of others. But he doesn’t stay there for long, especially after Naina comes looking for him with evidence of having found Swati, her daughter’s killer. DJ turns her away, but when he sees the havoc caused by Shubh, he is unable to stay detached any longer and jumps into the fray with Naina. They both trace Swati, and DJ kills her but stages the scene as if it were Shubh’s work. They had kidnapped Kesar because the court had ordered his release within seven days in the absence of any concrete proof. The kidnapping happened when he was on his way to be a free man. Between all these challenges, Shubh reveals the biggest plan of all: an attack supposed to happen on the day of the “Ashwini Nakshatra.” The ATF is scrambling, thinking that Shubh will be murdering scores of people, but his plan is far more complicated than that. In fact, he has even predicted how the ATF’s investigation will go and has left messages for them accordingly. That is why, by the time DJ gets the clue from Vrinda that leads him to the place where Shubh was working with Professor Venkat Rao, there is a message for him. It says that no matter what DJ does, the result is pre-decided by Shubh. Either way, the team finally figures out that Shubh is using AI for his plans. However, as the day of the attack looms close, the team discovers that it was a financial scam that Shubh had planned as an attack.
Arjun Bhalla, one of India’s top industrialists, had been manipulating the stock market with the help of bots. Nikhil understands that they cannot arrest Arjun Bhalla since that would cause the market to crash, and many people would lose their entire lives’ earnings and most of their livelihood. It took a while for it to click, but this was exactly Shubh’s plan. The brunt of a country’s financial mistakes is always borne by the common man, and in light of this revelation, the country goes into a state of turmoil, and the populace starts blurring the lines between right and wrong in the face of survival. The attack of the Ashwini Nakshatra was this: a financial attack.
The team has also uncovered how Shubh has always stayed one step ahead of them. He has done so because he has been spying on all of them and has used his AI to predict their behavior constantly. The people he killed were those his AI had predicted would be a threat to his plan.
How Do Dhananjay And Nikhil Find Shubh?
Shubh’s greatest strength so far has been his ability to predict the future. If the ATF hopes to beat him, they must do something he couldn’t have expected. This is when DJ steps in with his plan. When he was in the monastery, he met a child whose aura and wisdom were godly enough that DJ knew he could be a valuable asset to them. Shubh believed he was Kali, the herald of the Kaliyuga, which can only be destroyed by Kalki. The one thing that could counter Shubh was the Kalki avatar himself, and DJ Jad carefully curated the child’s image as the protector of the masses. DJ stages a bank robbery and makes it look like Anant, with his wisdom and godly powers, has prevented a disaster from happening. This is an open challenge to Shubh to ask Anant to have a live debate with him. Of course, nobody is in a position to deny Shubh, and during the debate, Shubh gives Anant two options: he can either kill people who trust in the existence of God or annihilate those who don’t. He must choose; otherwise, all will die. The team’s investigation reveals that Shubh has targeted a science conference and a religious gathering simultaneously. As ATF scrambles to prevent these attacks, Naina and Nikhil set out to look for Shubh, or at least his system, which must be in control of everything.
ATF discovers that Shubh plans to kill people by using a sonic bomb. He tells the people that they can either kill Anant, who has failed to make a decision, or they can choose to die. There is mass panic, and everyone is almost convinced that it wouldn’t be wrong to kill a boy in exchange for hundreds of lives. Anant calms them down and says that they shouldn’t let Shubh win by releasing the Asur within them. But the time is ticking, and DJ is given the order to shoot Anant. However, DJ realizes that Shubh must be around them, and he asks Nikhi and Naina to hold off on disarming the bomb. DJ’s trick works, and as soon as the sonic bomb goes off, Shubh steps out of the shadows. DJ shoots him, and Nikhil turns off the bomb.
At the end of Asur Season 2, Shubh is in jail, but he says that he is not the only Kali out there in the world. He might be confined within the four walls now, but there are others like him who are carrying out his work. Nikhil listens to it all, deeming it a problem for another day. For now, he poisons Nikhil on the pretext of a handshake, finally avenging his daughter.
Will There Be A Third Season?
Asur Season 2 got so hyper-technical that it was difficult to keep track of its developments. There is bound to be a third season considering the loose ends left in the finale, but we can only hope that it will not follow the path of the second season and will focus on the richness of the story instead. Indian mythology is made up of a myriad of stories, and a modern take on its intricacies deserves something much better than AI eclipsing it. Jio Cinemas is running with the slogan that they are giving us what we are asking for, so hopefully, they will do that for the rest of the narrative of Asur.