In episode 2, Guddu weaponises a failed assassination attempt to turn the tables.

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.

Guddu Mirzapur season 3 episode 2
Ali Fazal as Govind “Guddu” Pandit in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2 // Photo: Prime Video

With the meeting of regional leaders not having gone the way he hoped it would, Guddu (Ali Fazal) has decided in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2 that he’s only going to listen to himself. That means swatting away a new piece of advice offered by Beena Tripathi (Rasika Dugal) and defying Golu’s (Shweta Tripathi Sharma) orders. Even though the Chief Minister is gunning for him, Guddu doesn’t give two hoots about protection. He goes to a regional bodybuilding competition—his first love—and lands himself in the trap laid by a cop who’s been assigned to execute him. Guddu finds a way out in episode 2 thanks to plot armour more than anything else I would argue. But he also finds a way to turn the situation to his advantage, showcasing that he does have a few grey matter cells up there.

The second episode of Mirzapur season 3— directed by Gurmmeet Singh and Anand Iyer and written by Avinash Singh Tomar—begins in Unnao. A cop, Balmiki (Azar Qureshi), is narrating a story, while three men are tied to a tree, and one of his men is counting wads of cash. Most of his men clearly aren’t interested in his philosophical tale. It seems they’ve heard it before. Just as the guy counting the cash is done, Balmiki stops. One of his underlings knows what’s about to happen and puts his fingers to his ears. Balmiki shoots all three of them. When the guy next to him wonders why he shot at them from the front, the guy says it’s not an “encounter” but an “ambush”. When there’s little accountability, you can pass it off as anything, honestly.

After Balmiki gets a call from IG Vishudhanand Dubey (Manu Rishi Chadha) in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2, he tells his men they are going to Mexico. He means Mirzapur, which is basically the creators telling the audience what their inspiration for this show is.

In Siwan, Kaleen Bhaiya continues to be bedridden in episode 2. Shatrughan “Chhote” Tyagi (Vijay Varma), who’s passing as his dead twin brother Bharat “Badde”, gets a call from his not-wife Saloni (Neha Sargam). She’s wondering when he’s going to be home, hinting that he has been avoiding them for some time. Sharad Shukla (Anjumm Shharma) joins him and says he’s been through the feeling that Fake Badde is going through. (Let’s call the real Chhote Fake Badde to avoid confusion.) He blamed himself for his father’s death, just like he’s blaming himself for Chhote’s death.

Fake Badde says there isn’t anything of that sort. Chhote raised a gun on him because of a woman, which essentially put an end to the brotherly love. Sharad concurs, adding that Golu used Chhote for her own benefit. Chhote lost his life and the Tyagis their respect. Sharad then asks him not to change who he is, otherwise, he’ll lose himself. Hah—if only he knew that Chhote is literally posing as someone else. (This is good dialogue writing in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2, I must say.)

Chhote’s father Devdatt (Liliput Faruqui) then shows up and sits down with Sharad in episode 2. Devdatt can’t understand why Sharad is trying to save the guy who his father hated. Sharad thinks killing Guddu won’t accomplish anything. If he’s going to take the seat of power in Mirzapur, he must have Kaleen Bhaiya standing beside him. And why is Dadda helping Sharad? He wants Golu’s head on a platter for what happened to his son. Sharad says he will deliver that before he removes Guddu from power.

Back in Mirzapur in season 3 episode 2, Balmiki and his team have arrived to surveil—and no doubt assassinate—Guddu on IG Dubey’s orders, following CM Madhuri’s directions in episode 1. Inside the Tripathi manor, Beena isn’t pleased that Guddu went to the meeting without even talking to her. An annoyed Guddu says he went to the meeting on Golu and Beena’s advice. Now, he’s going to do what he wants. I’m sorry, what hasn’t he already done he wanted? Guddu says he’s going to focus on growing the business. When Beena wonders if he’s thought of political protection, Golu chimes in to say that she’s building on that front.

A sniper working for Balmiki has Guddu in his sights in episode 2, but he feels it’s too windy and he could hit the wrong target. So, they follow Guddu instead when he leaves. (I love how one man on a bike follows three SUVs on an empty road and no one in Guddu’s camp seems to notice.) At the factory, Guddu questions why production has stopped. Apparently, a supervisor’s wife is pregnant. Well, that’s laughable. New supervising staff is soon brought in, with Golu recruiting the brightest from her former college. A quick montage later, everything is fine and dandy.

In jail, in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2, Ramakant (Rajesh Tailang) is processed. Turns out the opium entrepreneur Rauf Lala (Anil George) is in the same prison. His daughter, Shabnam (Shernavaz Jijina) is there to see her father, as well as that lawyer (Akhil Kattar) we briefly saw in episode 1. The lawyer notes that Guddu isn’t named in the chargesheet and that Lala is being denied bail due to political pressure. Lala wonders who provided the evidence to lock him up—Mirzapur gives us the answer as it cuts to Radheshyam “Robin” Agarwal (Priyanshu Painyuli) in the Pandit household. There, his fiancée Dimpy (Harshita Shekhar Gaur) is meeting with Golu’s cop dad, Parshuram Gupta (Shahnawaz Pradhan), and other friends of her dad. She pleads with them to drag out the proceedings and that she will try to convince her dad meanwhile to fight the case.

Dimpy says there must be some evidence that SSP Maurya—the cop who Ramakant killed—was arresting Guddu in season 2. Cue a concerned Robin, who has access to said evidence. Dimpy notes that with the evidence they can prove this was an extrajudicial killing which would make Ramakant’s actions self-defence. As the guests are about to leave in episode 2, Parshuram requests a private word with Dimpy. Golu doesn’t talk to him, so he doesn’t know who to ask. He wants to know if Golu and Guddu are sleeping with each other. Cut to them in their private home gym, being very close physically. If they are together, then the audience is in the dark as well.

Later that day in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2, Parshuram comes to see Golu with an important file. She won’t even look at him though she’s happy to grab the file. The file reveals that the former Chief Minister’s brother J.P. Yadav left land to Munna, which has now passed to new CM Madhuri. Guddu wants them to get at it, but Golu feels it’s too risky since they are already in her sights. Beena, wandering in the background, says controlling the flow of opium is everything. She asks them to consider their old connection: Lala. He might be in jail, but the daughter is free. It’s a sensitive topic for Golu and Guddu and they have no intent of listening to Beena. She makes a face and walks away, seeing that her ideas aren’t even being considered.

Once again, as in episode 1, Sharad has the same idea as Beena in episode 2. He goes to see Lala in jail and offers to help speed up the bail process in exchange for access to his drug supply. Lala is all about profit, so he’s happy to listen. Sharad warns him that there’s no room for turning back on this deal. Later, Sharad’s money man warns him that he’s taking a huge risk with this investment. If the Chief Minister doesn’t listen to him, it will all backfire.

Speaking of Madhuri (Isha Talwar), she’s been made to wait by her Home Minister Solanki (Gyan Prakash) in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2. Arriving late to a cabinet meeting, it’s clear that he rules the room. Madhuri is unable to get her way and the HM notes that elections are won with money and enforcers. These days, they have neither. Her agenda to eliminate them has alienated all. Solanki then infantilises her, noting her age and that she ought to rely on more experienced individuals like him for guidance. With the room slipping away from her, Madhuri lets everyone know that she’s not here to be a puppet CM. And if any member of her cabinet has a problem, they are free to resign.

Guddu Mirzapur season 3

Mirzapur season 3 cast — the full list

The Pandits, the Tripathis, and all the other major clans return for the third season of Mirzapur. It’s time for a refresher.

Back in Mirzapur in episode 2, with Guddu sticking to a fixed routine, Balmiki proposes a new idea to IG Dubey. That involves inviting him as the chief guest to the bodybuilding competition Mr. Purvanchal. This is the very thing Guddu was obsessed with in season 1. Golu notes it’s not right to go when you’ve been asked last minute. Naturally, Guddu disagrees. He feels this is an opportunity to tell people that Kaleen Bhaiya is the past and he’s the future. Of course, seeing the competition is a draw—likely a bigger one—and he doesn’t hide it. Guddu wants to feel important and if he gets to do that at his favourite event, nothing like it. Golu relents but only if she goes with him, too. Guddu says he doesn’t need security—he didn’t become the king of Mirzapur to live in fear. But Golu isn’t having any of it.

Over in Bhadohi in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2, Golu goes to see the potential political connection—Satya (Ashish Shukla)—that her father offered. She finds a way to get his attention and introduces herself as a worker. Satya clearly wants to sleep with Golu and even threatens to sexually assault her. An unfazed Golu parts the curtains to reveal the firepower backing her. She wants J.P. Yadav’s address and says her proposition can benefit both of their positions. Satya tries a second swipe at her, and Golu delivers the perfect comeback: “If you want your photo to get bigger on the poster, it’s time to end these small antics.” Ooooh, burn!

The episode 2 scene, strangely, doesn’t end there. After Golu leaves, it turns to a poet—Raheem (Pallav Singh)—who’s barked at for delivering romantic sermons on a stage meant for patriotic ones. He quickly changes his tune and falls to the level of the swearing political loony. Insulting the politicians won’t get you very far, though, as Raheem runs off stage to save his neck.

Guddu Mirzapur season 3 episode 2
Ali Fazal as Govind “Guddu” Pandit in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2 // Photo: Prime Video

Cut to the Mr. Purvanchal contest in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2 where Guddu has arrived without Golu. She’s stuck in a traffic jam thanks to a police blockade no doubt arranged by Balmiki, giving him enough time to put his plan into motion. What is the plan? They are going to take out Guddu’s security while he’s on the chief guest sofa and then deliver the killing blow right as he’s about to go on the stage himself. But Guddu isn’t the only chief guest. The organisers had already invited major Bhojpuri star Suttan Jha (Ajay Kumar) before the cops added Guddu to the list. And it’s clear that Guddu doesn’t like being upstaged—especially at Mr. Purvanchal.

Balmiki’s plan in episode 2 goes swimmingly—Guddu’s guards are taken care of—but derails when they arrive backstage with Guddu and Suttan. Guddu eyes the actor very closely and the actor doesn’t take it well. His tune changes once he learns that Guddu is the boss of the town. Suttan tries to make light of it and cracks a joke but only puts his foot in it. He says he couldn’t recognise him because Guddu’s face isn’t as famous as his. Ouch! Guddu doesn’t take that insult well, as you can imagine. Balmiki steps in to save Suttan but only makes a mess of things.

A shootout ensues in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2, with the public fleeing the chaos. The cops manage to corner Guddu in a tent, but Balmiki gives him a chance to live, sending one man at a time. At least the director and action choreographer make it funny. Guddu uses different kinds of weightlifting equipment to kill the cops who come at him. Still, Balmiki somehow manages to square off with an unarmed Guddu. But then he commits a second error. He does the classic James Bond villain thing—waits for too long, loses the opportunity, and gets rammed by a car that he ought to have heard or seen coming.

Way to bring Balmiki down. He starts off episode 2 as this colourful character who has no qualms about extrajudicial killings. He spends the entire episode setting up a surveillance operation and has a sniper trained on Guddu, but the trigger is never pulled. By the end of the episode, the character is killed off almost comically. Just another fellow entering Mirzapur and not walking out alive.

Worse, Balmiki is still wearing his government-issued weapon belt. Guddu, still seething from the insult delivered by Suttan, uses the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2. He blows off Suttan’s face with Balmiki’s gun and then places the weapon in the hand of the dead cop. As expected, it leads to a backlash against the populist Chief Minister. IG Dubey is being questioned by reporters and the opposition leader is having a field day, lobbying accusations of “gunda raj”—the rule of gangsters—at the ruling party.

Meanwhile, Guddu rolls up to the Mirzapur city square the next morning in episode 2 with a hammer. He may not have Kaleen Bhaiya’s body, but he can destroy the figure that symbolises his power in town. As his bust is knocked off his perch, the real Kaleen Bhaiya (Pankaj Tripathi) gets up from his sick bed. With the Mirzapur crowd chanting his name, Guddu is happily hacking away at the fallen marble bust. But his grip on power is futile. Until Kaleen Bhaiya is alive and his body isn’t paraded for all to see, no one’s going to take Guddu seriously. He can destroy Tripathi marble busts all he wants. It won’t get him any closer to making Mirzapur truly his own.

Mirzapur season 3 episode 2 is out now on Prime Video.

Stray observations in Mirzapur season 3 episode 2

  • Beena asks the house help Radhiya (Prashansa Sharma) to arrange for drugs. When Radhiya protests she used to do that for Munna, Beena notes that everyone is Munna. It’s clear that it’s meant for Guddu. But what exactly is Beena planning?
  • At the poet symposium in Bhadohi, Golu’s gun disappears a second after she brandishes it at one of the women to get her to abandon her seat. Looks like the continuity folks were fired on episode 2.
  • Vijay Varma has had nothing to do for the first two episodes. Hopefully, that will change soon.
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