In episode 10, Chief Minister Madhuri Yadav makes big moves and resets Mirzapur’s status quo.

Akhil Arora, a member of the Film Critics Guild and a Rotten Tomatoes-certified film critic, who has watched all 10 episodes of Mirzapur season 3. He has been reviewing TV series since 2015 and has written for NDTV and SlashFilm.

Kaleen Bhaiya Mirzapur season 3 episode 10
Pankaj Tripathi as Kaleen Bhaiya in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10 // Photo: Prime Video

For all of Mirzapur season 3, Pankaj Tripathi is a peripheral presence. Kaleen Bhaiya has either been sick or confined to a bed. He’s been missing from several episodes, including the penultimate one. Save for a few choice moments, he’s processed his grief over losing his empire and his son Munna essentially offscreen. And even when he’s been on screen, he hangs on the sidelines, providing a bit of counselling or sharing an important titbit. As a character, Kaleen Bhaiya hasn’t really mattered this season. Yet, in the concluding moments of the tenth and final episode, he takes centre stage. Kaleen Bhaiya is so beloved that the creators can’t resist him. Mirzapur season 3 brings him to the fore, but it feels forced and half-baked.

Episode 10—the season finale, directed by Gurmmeet Singh and Anand Iyer and written by Apurva Dhar Badgaiyan—begins with Golu (Shweta Tripathi Sharma). Having escaped Chhote’s clutches in episode 9, she arrives half-dead at the weapons factory, shocking everyone as they have long believed her to be dead. After she tends to herself, Golu learns that Guddu is in jail and that her dad killed himself. With no time to grieve, Golu rings up the political connection, Satya (Ashish Shukla), and asks him to fix a meeting with J.P. Vadav.

In Varanasi in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10, J.P. Yadav (Pramod Pathak) is seeing someone else: Zarina (Anangsha Biswas). Zarina knows Yadav could’ve asked to see her for only one reason. He wants the current government to fall. After Yadav asks her to name her price, Zarina resists, mulls it over, and says that she only helps herself now. She will bring the government down only if she gets to be the Chief Minister. Yadav thinks she’s getting ahead of herself. For now, he wants her to undress and do as he says. But this is a new Zarina—she’s the one in charge and gets on top of Yadav. Mridul (Vivek Doshi), Yadav’s new lover, joins them soon.

Over in Lucknow in the season 3 finale, the current Chief Minister, Madhuri Yadav (Isha Talwar), is busy inaugurating her dad’s unfulfilled pet project, Aam Bagh. Meanwhile, Zarina is pretending to help orchestrate her downfall in episode 10. While on a bus full of her government’s elected representatives, she promises the opposition leader, Kushwaha (Shashi Bhushan), on a call that she’s bringing them to him. Instead, she takes them to Sharad Shukla (Anjumm Shharma). Since all of them have sold themselves to Yadav, their lives are useless, per Sharad’s logic.

Madhuri Yadav Mirzapur season 3 episode 10
Isha Talwar as Madhuri Yadav in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10 // Photo: Prime Video

In Varanasi, Yadav frowns as he knows he’s been outmanoeuvred. Fortunately for him, a new opportunity has presented itself in Golu. But when she arrives in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10, Yadav signals no interest in talking to her because she doesn’t have the money she promised. Golu notes that Yadav needs them—Madhuri is too strong to be fought alone. And after all, they have shown they can do it in Mirzapur. So, what is the solution to all of his problems? The imprisoned Guddu, Golu says. She’s trying to hit two birds with one stone. Good try.

With the evidence Dimpy (Harshita Shekhar Gaur) got from her father in episode 9, she goes straight to CM Madhuri and gives her the proof that Sharad was involved in the murder of Madhuri’s father, the previous CM. Dimpy is not looking to secure Guddu’s release but simply punish all the bad guys. A criminal is a criminal, Dimpy adds in the season 3 finale. Madhuri is disturbed clearly, for she not only brought Sharad into her inner circle but had planned to take things a step further.

When Sharad comes to see Madhuri at night in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10, she tries to get him to confess. Sharad’s face changes—he says he doesn’t want to hide anything and hopes she can understand why he did what he did. He then tells her that Kaleen Bhaiya is alive. Except that’s not what she was hoping Sharad would confess. As Madhuri processes this new bit of information, you can see the gears turning in her head. He’s been keeping more than one secret from her.

Madhuri wonders if there’s anything else, but Sharad stops there in the season 3 finale. He adds that Kaleen Bhaiya is a core part of the Shuklas now. Madhuri says she wants to meet him in person—she’s his family first and he should’ve trusted her. Sharad says he has changed a lot. But the mood has shifted, and Madhuri is curt with Sharad. She instructs him to arrange the meeting and give her space as she needs time alone to herself.

Right after in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10, Madhuri goes to see Beena Tripathi (Rasika Dugal) to tell her that her husband is still alive. But Beena talks first and says she wants to run Mirzapur. Madhuri tries to tell her about Kaleen Bhaiya, but Beena completely misses the forest for the trees. This is very unlike Beena, I must say. This is likely the first time that Beena has made the first move and lost ground. Beena then lets on more than she ought to know and notes that Kaleen Bhaiya was hit with three bullets. How does she know? Overheard in the Tripathi manor. Madhuri is clearly figuring out that there’s more to this, so she decides to keep her cards close to her chest.

Beena Tripathi Mirzapur season 3 episode 10
Rasika Dugal as Beena Tripathi in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10 // Photo: Prime Video

For the first time this season, J.P. Yadav leaves the safety of his home and goes to see the aggrieved Home Minister Solanki (Gyan Prakash) in episode 10. He tells him that they can still wrestle power away from Madhuri who seemingly has it all. They have a gangster in their corner who will work for them if they get something in exchange. Of course, it’s Golu who then dishes out the full plan to Solanki that’s kept hidden from the audience.

At the Shukla manor in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10, Sharad speaks with Kaleen Bhaiya. He says that everything is falling in place, but they still must resolve one matter. He doesn’t want them to be on opposite sides at the end of all this. Sharad saved him because he wanted to end the enmity between the two families that started with Sharad’s father attacking Kaleen Bhaiya’s father. But he never thought Kaleen Bhaiya would become a part of his family. Kaleen Bhaiya says he’s already vowed that Sharad would sit on the Mirzapur seat of power and asks him to call a meeting.

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Sharad then notes that Madhuri knows he’s here. If he sees her, he can meet Beena and his son, too.  Kaleen Bhaiya notes that he’s already made the mistake once of trusting Madhuri. Sharad says he trusts her and asks him to go see her for his sake.

Madhuri and Kaleen Bhaiya meet by a waterfall in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10. He goes first and says that whatever Sharad did was personal—against him, not her. He has moved on from it and he intends to fulfil his promise to Sharad. Madhuri notes that he has always done what he thought was right. He never listened to Munna and never considered Madhuri as his daughter. If Kaleen Bhaiya wants his family and Guddu, he will have to play by her rules now. Has Kaleen Bhaiya been outplayed?

Cut to the meeting in Prayagraj in the season 3 finale, where the mediator Munnawar (Ayaz Khan) reveals that Purvanchal will be under West’s protection until everything is back to normal. Think of it as the President’s rule but for gangsters. Sharad isn’t pleased, naturally. He says Munnawar was a guest in this region, since when did he start aspiring to be its owner?

Sharad Shukla Mirzapur season 3 episode 10
Anjumm Shharma as Sharad Shukla in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10 // Photo: Prime Video

The balance is upset by the arrival of Kaleen Bhaiya in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10. Sharad smiles because he feels he’s won the argument. Munnawar wants Kaleen Bhaiya to reclaim the seat that belongs to him. The Tripathi patriarch then delivers a lecture about the meaning of the seat, places the crown on Sharad’s head, calls him the last king of Mirzapur, and then shoots him dead. The police move in shortly after, led by IG Vishudhanand Dubey (Manu Rishi Chadha) which tells you that Kaleen Bhaiya is a pawn in Madhuri’s plan. He has placed his own survival and that of his family over Sharad—what else would you expect? In his final moments, Sharad crawls to the chair to get an idea of what it feels like to sit on the throne. He’s presiding over a dead durbar.

After a bloody title-card drop in the season 3 finale, CM Madhuri’s assistant Anand (Rohit Tiwari) reunites Beena and her baby with Kaleen Bhaiya. He smiles at the sight of his son (Arjun Khare) and hugs Beena whose thoughts are clear from her face. She’s back in the lap of terror again, the one that she tried so hard to escape. Madhuri has played the game well.

Kaleen Bhaiya then goes to see Guddu in jail to rub his victory in his face. But turns out Guddu has escaped—with the help of J.P. Yadav and Home Minister Solanki, no doubt. Cut to a riverbank in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10 where Guddu (Ali Fazal) is greeted by Golu. They have both been through a lot this season and have somehow found their way back to each other. They kiss! Golu and Guddu may have lost or destroyed everything in their lives, but they have one another. And that’s all that matters, yeah?

That’s not all, though. There’s another scene in the season 3 finale after the credits are done. At a quarry, a man walks up to “Khan Sir” and tells him there’s someone here to meet him. In a voice-over, a woman’s voice reads off a book, “To know one’s strength, perhaps one has to break down. To know one’s importance, perhaps one has to be forgotten. To find those one can love, perhaps one has to lose oneself. I am learning to read people. Perhaps more is written on the face than in books.” Of course, it’s Radhiya (Prashansa Sharma) who’s been on a mission all season to remake herself. She tells Maqbool Khan (Shaji Choudhary)—once Kaleen Bhaiya’s henchman and later his sworn enemy—that Beena wants to talk to him.

Mirzapur season 3 episode 10 is out now on Prime Video.

Stray observations in Mirzapur season 3 episode 10

  • Wait, what happened to Saloni Tyagi? Last we saw her, she was bleeding out in her brother-in-law Shatrughan “Chhote” Tyagi’s arms. But the season 3 finale seems to have no time for her or any of the Tyagis. Is it just me or does that storyline feel incomplete?
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