Breathe Into the Shadows ending explained: Does Abhishek Bachchan vanquish J? What does C-16 mean?

Hindustan Times | By
Jul 17, 2020 11:03 AM IST

Is there going to be a third season of Abhishek Bachchan’s Breathe Into the Shadows? Has the evil J been vanquished? What does C-16 mean? Read on.

Actor Abhishek Bachchan’s debut digital project, Amazon Prime series Breathe: Into the Shadows, dropped on Friday. The 12-episode thriller is about a couple’s search for their missing daughter, and the manipulation that they face at the hands of a masked kidnapper.

Abhishek Bachchan in a still from Breathe Into the Shadows.
Abhishek Bachchan in a still from Breathe Into the Shadows.

Abhishek plays a psychiatrist named Avinash, while Nithya Menen plays his wife Abha, a chef at a five-star hotel. When their daughter Siya goes missing at a friend’s birthday party, the couple turns to the police, but months go by without any progress. At the end of episode one, Avinash and Abha receive a mysterious package, which reveals that Siya is, in fact, alive.

Here’s a spoiler alert, read ahead only after watching the show.

But along with the package, the couple is also given a set of instructions. In order to save Siya, they must carry out a series of murders, based on the 10 ‘sins’ of Raavan. But Avinash and Abha don’t have it easy. A determined cop, played by Amit Sadh, is onto them.

Also read: Breathe Into the Shadows review: Inept and illogical, Amazon’s strangest show lets Abhishek Bachchan, Amit Sadh down

At the end of episode five, Breathe: Into the Shadows makes its first big reveal: The kidnapper is none other than Avinash himself. But he is an alter-ego who walks with a limp and goes by the name ‘J’. It is explained that because of childhood trauma, Avinash’s personality split into two, and thus the vengeful J was born. The people on J’s kill-list are those who caused the childhood trauma, and he’s getting the favoured Avinash to do the dirty work.

The depiction of childhood trauma causing criminal behaviour in individuals was recently criticised in M Night Shyamalan’s Split. Mental health advocates warned that the film stigmatizes dissociative identity disorder and may directly impact those living with it. “You are going to upset and potentially exacerbate symptoms in thousands of people who are already suffering,” psychiatrist Dr Garrett Marie Deckel, a DID specialist at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine, said immediately after seeing the film, according to CNN.

In the finale episode, Inspector Kabir Sawant nabs Avinash/J, who is sent to a psychiatric facility. Abha, who was an accomplice in many of the crimes, is let off, because Kabir has a change of heart. A while later, Abha visits Avinash at the facility. Avinash tells her that he wants to meet Siya, and that he has made progress. He hasn’t turned into J in a year. But Abha tells him that Siya is afraid of him, and calls J ‘bad uncle’.

The show ends with Saiyami Kher’s character visiting Avinash at the facility, and receiving a piece of paper with ‘C-16’ written on it. That’s also the title of the episode. C-16 is the code word that J told Saiyami’s character he’d give her if he needed her help, in one of their chats in a hotel room. He is probably staging a breakout. It is revealed that Avinash was lying, and J has fully taken control of his mind. In the final scene, we see him walk onto a stage, with a limp, implying that J is back.

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