Breathe Season 2 Episode 9 Recap/Review: The Selfishness of Fear

Okay, either this episode is better than the last few, or I’m just in a better mood watching it.  Let’s say the first!  Once again, I can find a strong central theme tying it all together, and the past storyline ties much more firmly into the present than in other episodes. (full index here)

Story: Abhishek starts investigating the new target and remembers him from medical school.  He started a fire in the teachers’ lounge in order to burn his test results, and accidentally killed Abhishek’s best friend who was there getting pills for Abhishek.  Afterwards, he went to jail for years where he was raped every night, he self-medicated with drugs after his release, and now has finally gotten his life together but remains terrified of the dark.  At the same time, the note Siya threw out her window driving away from the hospital is found and the police break the news to Abhishek and Nithya that Siya is alive and being held captive with the seemingly unrelated medical student.  They also bump into the medical student’s parents as they leave the office.  Abhishek begins to question if it is worth it to keep killing, if they can move on when this is over, but Nithya encourages him to keep going.  Amit and Plabita make up after the fight at her party and he is driving her when she gets a call from the new target, her sponsee in NA, saying it is dark and he is scared and asking her to come to his house.  Amit and Plabita arrive just in time for Plabita to see Abhishek running away.  Despite the limping footprints in the room, Plabita says he did not limp when he left.  Abhishek is already putting together the drawing from Siya of a man with a limp and the limping murderer, and now he might be getting close to a version of the truth with the idea of a killer who is pretending to limp.  Oh, also alter Abhishek continues to go out with call girl Saiyami and is a little jealous of her younger brother whose calls she takes while they are together.  And Amit’s rival female cop is setting him up to be caught in a scandal over slapping some party workers who were blocking traffic.

Breathe Into The Shadows review

So, theme!  Fear, and selfishness.  It comes up in every story EXCEPT Amit and Plabita.  And that is on purpose.  They are our examples of what we should be, without fear, without lust, without anger, all the sins covered so far.  They have overcome their sins, Plabita her drug addiction and any misery she may have felt about her accident, Amit his pride and concern with how he appears to others.  We see it in this episode, Plabita learns the truth about what her boss was saying that made Amit hit him, and insists on talking to Amit and acknowledging he was right and she doesn’t blame him.  No misunderstanding, no confusion, no holding back.  And while the female cop is trying to appease the reporters and keep them happy, Amit suggests just cutting off access, filing a court order to keep them from showing the murder videos and reporting on the story.  No pride, no effort to make himself look good, just wants to solve the case.

But let’s look at the other stories.  Back in the past, the victim’s sin came from fear.  He was afraid of disappointing his parents, so he thought only of himself and started a fire to hide his poor marks on his test.  Yes, he didn’t know someone else was in the room.  But he still started a fire in an enclosed building, which is just asking for danger.  Heck, he burned everyone else’s tests without thinking about their good scores, just his bad one.  Abhishek and Nithya are doing what they are doing for fear of what might happen to their own daughter, but in this episode they are confronted with the family of the other girl and the realization that in their selfishness, they have not even considered her.  Alter Abhishek responds to Saiyami taking calls from her brother with fear that it is a boyfriend, with seeming unhappiness and jealousy, instead of unselfishness happiness for her.  Oh, and our captives!  The medical student is able to fully start plotting an escape, now that she is freed from fear, she has realized that they have not been hurt up to this point, so their captor will not hurt them, she does not have to fear that.

Of course there’s also the cop rival.  Who is transparently ruled by fear, and ego.  She is afraid of losing her spot as the “hero cop”, she is afraid the press will stop paying attention to her, she is afraid Amit will outshine her.  So she selfishly makes moves that will not only discredit Amit, but will derail the investigation, putting her needs above public safety.

Mostly I’m glad this episode answers some questions!  A little late, but better late than never.  We see the family of the other captive and have Abhishek and Nithya go “oh right, there’s another set of scared parents we have just been ignoring”.  We have Amit begin to put together that this helpful psychiatrist is also the parent of a missing child and what that might mean.  We have the captives realize they are in no real physical danger and feel freer because of it.  We get confirmation that Saiyami has been calling her brother all along, and that she is only working as a call girl to support him. 

Still some questions pending, of course.  Is Amit going to see the whole picture now, that the limping man is the kidnapper not the killer but the killer wants him to think it is the limping man?  Or is he still farther off?  Most of all, are we going to have Amit use his Grieving Parent SuperPowers?  There was one moment when he was watching Abhishek and Nithya fake relief at the news that Siya is alive that felt like he was comparing their emotions with his own and finding them wanting.  That would be a very cool tie in to his character, and a nice subtle nod to the driving force of the previous season (his guilt over his daughter’s death).

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