Great episode, so much happens, and I find it all fairly believable! You know, grading on a curve and all of that. (full index of Breathe reviews here)
Story: We open with alter Abhishek beginning to execute his plan, signing a power of attorney for himself to transfer money to an account in his name, finding a good possibility for a hide out, decorating it, finding the topper at the local medical school to kidnap to care for Siya, making his mask, and finally taking Siya. Then we move on to real Abhishek who is increasingly isolated, even from Nithya. He is the lone voice with the police trying to steer them away from studying the victims for connections and consider them as random again. He begins to see Amit more as an adversary than a friend and vice versa. Amit is isolated too, learns Plabita is moving away and is throne to the media as the female cop stirs up trouble around his abuse accusation. Amit isolates Nithya too, surprises her at work to ask why she seemed less than surprised to learn Siya was alive, how she met Abhishek, and so on. And both our constables end up isolated, the Bombay constable breaks free from his little fantasy with his ex-girlfriend and the Delhi constable breaks free of the regular police when he goes to warn Amit he is losing the case. Finally, Amit has the ultimate isolation, his injury flares up enough to force him into the hospital and there, alone in his bed with the two constables feeding him information, he begins to put it all together, to see that the victims all have a connection to Nainital, where Abhishek went to school.
I think this episode is telling us that isolation brings strength, and clarity. It goes along with the “attachment” theme of the previous episode. Alter Abhishek broke free of his connection to “real” Abhishek and, all on his own, formulated the perfect plan. Amit pulls away from the group work of the police station, and is able to finally get close to the truth on his own. Nithya talks to Amit without Abhishek and is smart and capable and reveals more of herself than we have seen before. The constables make their moral decisions to break free of attachments and go their own way.
But there is also connection. I suppose it’s about breaking free from bad attachments? Amit needs his constables to bounce ideas and help him, but he doesn’t need fellow detectives muddling his thinking, or a boss pushing him. He also gets a hint that the limp may not be physical when he takes Plabita in to meet her doctor, that outside of work connection is paying off for him too. On the other hand, alter Abhishek is almost caught when the Bombay constable sees him with Saiyami and greets them. Saiyami is a liability for him, a dangerous attachment.
Biggest open question which I didn’t even realize until the end of the episode: where are the hostages???? I think this is the first episode where we don’t see Siya or the medical student the whole time. When last seen, they were trying to escape. I don’t think Alter Abhishek harmed them, but I could believe that as Saiyami and his other interests distract him, he could forget about them. It’s not just a matter of capturing Alter Abhishek, it’s also rescuing the hostages, buried somewhere below the earth, needing the food and other supplies he brings them to survive.