Jaideep Ahlawat as Inspector Hathi Ram Tyagi in a still from Paatal Lok.
Jaideep Ahlawat as Inspector Hathi Ram Tyagi in a still from Paatal Lok.

Paatal Lok ending explained: Who is Masterji, why does Bajpayee want to stop Gwala Gujjar

Paatal Lok’s ending was just as complex and layered as the show itself, revealing deep-rooted political conspiracies, corruption and power struggle. Here’s a recap.
Hindustan Times | By HT Entertainment Desk
UPDATED ON MAY 20, 2020 03:31 PM IST

The ending of Amazon Prime’s Paatal Lok was just as complex and dense as the show itself. And even though the lead character Hathi Ram Chaudhary sits down to connect all the dots in one scene, it’s always good to have a recap. Spoilers ahead.

In the final episode of the show, titled Swarg ka Dwaar, Inspector Hathi Ram Chaudhary (Jaideep Ahlawat) arrives in Sanjeev Mehra’s office after his exploits in Chitrakoot and lays out his findings. Beginning with an anecdote from the Mahabharat, Hathi Ram tells Sanjeev that his life was spared because of a dog. “The man who loves dogs is a good man,” he tells Sanjeev, who in the show’s opening episode is led to believe that he was the target of an assassination attempt.

Sanjeev, a one-time invincible TV journalist faced with dwindling ratings, decides to take the populist approach and declares in a live telecast that the men behind his assassination attempt were, in fact, ISI operatives. This is not true.

The men -- Hathoda Tyagi, Kabir M, Tope Singh and Cheeni -- were involved in a deep conspiracy. In a flashback, it is revealed that Tyagi began his criminal life when he took revenge on three boys after his sisters were raped. His school teacher took him to the local gangster, Donullia, for protection. Donullia is described as a man who is both feared and revered in the community. Tyagi becomes his disciple. To establish his devotion, he even chops off his own thumb. He begins referring to Donullia as Masterji.

But later, Hathi Ram’s findings reveal to him that Donullia has died, but his brother-in-law Gwala Gujjar, also a gangster with political ambitions, has kept his death hidden. We never see Donullia, but we do see a man in a cloak, and also what is seemingly his dead body, being examined by a doctor. The doctor is immediately killed when he tells Gwala about Donullia’s death, ensuring that the information stays secret.

Gwala wants to contest the elections against a man named Bajpayee, who uses caste politics as his policy. Bajpayee learns of Donullia’s death and Gwala’s decision to enter politics. He also knows that Gwala can hire Tyagi to have him killed off. So Bajpayee concocts a plan to have Tyagi killed in an encounter. The only way to do this is to have Tyagi framed in a crime.

Also read: Paatal Lok review: Anushka Sharma’s show is Amazon’s black-hearted yet brave answer to Sacred Games

Hathi Ram tells Sanjeev that the only reason Sanjeev was even involved in the entire case was because he was high-profile enough to get attention. The real target wasn’t Sanjeev, but Tyagi himself. The DCP was informed about the assassination attempt and was about to kill Tyagi, but the unexpected presence of a media van stopped them in their tracks.

When Tyagi was waiting to kill Sanjeev, he spotted his wife playing with a dog, and began to question himself. Desperate to talk to Masterji, Tyagi tried to get in touch with him, but couldn’t. When Hathi Ram meets Tyagi in court, and gives him Masterji’s rudhraksh, it is enough of a sign for Tyagi that his ‘guru’ is no more, which is when he pulls the trigger and takes his own life.

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