After an exciting and well-received Season 1 of Special Ops, the much-awaited ‘Special Ops 1.5: The Himmat Story’ is here, and let’s begin by saying that it delivers what it promised – A full-fledged story on the making of Himmat Singh, a crooked but unarguably brilliant RAW agent.

With Kay Kay Menon’s flamboyant and flawless performance coupled with Vinay Pathak (reprising his role as Abbas Sheikh) and Aaftab Shivdasani (playing a RAW Spy & Himmat’s college friend), the show is at the very outset not short of extraordinary actors who can be trusted to deliver excellence. Aadil Khan plays the principal antagonist who goes head-to-head with Himmat’s warpedness and comes off as artfully sinister and wicked.

Neeraj Pandey’s Special Ops universe is an interesting amalgamation of thriller, drama and action and with ‘Special Ops 1.5’, he adds more scintillating layers to this story. The show not only revolves around personal and professional confrontations of Himmat Singh but also takes you into the enigmatic world of honey trapping, and sexpionage. The show is narrated from Abbas Sheikh’s perspective as he recounts Himmat Singh’s story to the same Banerjee and Chaddha that grilled Himmat in the first season. This interview team has summoned Abbas to question him on the happenings and exploits of Himmat who is a year away from retirement, and the superannuation package of the same depends on Abbas’ testimony.

“The less competent, should not judge the more competent”, says Banerjee at the end of the mini-series, a feeling I carried through the first season and this new one. After all, a seasoned, and brilliant man shouldn’t and can’t be under the scrutiny of people that are not half as good as Himmat is. However, perhaps that is what Special Ops 1.5 is about – the tragedy and talent of being Himmat Singh. The first season already showed us the talent and it is this current season that gives us a peek into the tragedies in the life of this character.

“It is sad to see that officers like you have to suffer because of politics”, says the then leader of the opposition to Himmat, who iconically replies with, “No ma’am, it hurts to see the country suffer because of politics”. This exchange of dialogues perhaps surmise who Himmat Singh is as a person, as a public servant and most importantly as a patriot. In current times when patriotism, nationalism, and jingoism are terms one hears often, Himmat Singh defines what a true patriot looks like.

The story has everything – cat and mouse chases, thrilling action sequences, exciting espionage, personal tragedies, and an impeccable ride through a world of crime and politics that demands balance as it dances on the edge, with Himmat at the centre of it. And Neeraj Pandey, with his exquisite cast and crew, takes the audience on a crisp, and riveting ride through this world.

For any follow-up series to work, it has to match the eminence of the original, a task many falter at. However, ‘Special Ops 1.5’ goes a lot further and makes its mark as a sequel and even individually. A shining star in the world of Indian web series, the ‘Special Ops Universe’ is one that deserves to be treasured and prospered.

‘Special Ops 1.5: The Himmat Story’ is now streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.



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