At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we must say that there is officially too much content. A cop with a dark past is a concept done to death, and it is really impossible to offer anything new when you try to write a story around this. But if you insist on doing so, at least do it right. We doubt the viewers who tune into this genre are expecting anything new. It has to be the comfort of knowing what to expect. So, give them that. Don’t irritate them. Self-awareness is extremely important when you are not even attempting anything new. And that’s where “London Files” fails. It would be unfair to say more before we tell you what the story is about. We will also reserve our comments on the storyline till the conclusion.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘London Files’ Season 1: Plot Summary – What Is It About?
The first episode of “London Files” starts with Arjun Rampal as Om Singh, preparing for a surprise birthday party for his son, Yash. His wife, played by Sapna Pabbi, is heavily involved with the preparations, whereas Om just seems to be playing along tolerantly, in the typical Indian father fashion. There are other people at the house as well, presumably parents of the friends of his son. It is a happy scene in action when suddenly, one of them receives a call. We don’t hear what is said, but we do see the color drain from the person’s face. Subsequently, everyone in the house starts getting calls and has similar reactions. As they all rush out of the house, Om seems to be the last to get the dreaded phone call, and he rushes out and runs all the way to his son’s school. It’s literal chaos there.
The story has moved forward by two years. We see Om Singh, living alone and on his way to work. He stops at his son’s school for a while, but is unable to get out of the car. As he looks at the kids going in, we see that he vapes for a while before eventually picking himself up and getting to his job as a police officer. In the middle of these scenes, we also come to know that the UK is pushing an anti-immigration bill, and one of the major supporters of that is Amar Roy, played by Purab Kohli, who is a journalist for a leading news channel.
In the present, when Om reaches the station, his boss introduces him to Amar Roy and tells him that he is being put in charge of finding his daughter, Maya Roy. Om is surprised at this as he usually deals with homicide cases, but his boss assures him that this is because he is the best detective in the department, and Amar Roy can’t settle for anything less than that for his daughter. Om tries to ask Mr Roy some questions, but it is evident that they are not sitting well with the latter. Both the men don’t seem to get along at all, considering Om’s brusque manner and Roy’s inflated sense of self-importance. It comes out during the questioning that Roy has a habit of living in hotels once in a while, something he doesn’t care to explain too much.
Om goes to Maya’s hostel room and meets her hostel roommate, Carol. As he is going through her stuff, he sees a notebook, and within its pages is a picture of a snake eating its own tail. On the next page are written the words, “Only after absolute chaos comes absolute silence.” He is taken aback by this and asks Carol if she knows what it means, to which she responds that she has no idea. Om continues his investigation by reviewing some of the CCTV tapes from one of Amar Roy’s hotel stays, and he comes across one in which Carol was dropping off a visibly drunk Amar to his room, which immediately switches to her trying to escape from there. It looks as if he has tried to harass her. Om takes this to Carol and questions her about it. She breaks down and tells him that she was forced by Amar and when she tried to tell Maya about it, along with proof of other multiple out-of-court settlements her father had been involved in regarding similar cases, she was met with silence. This scene is revealed through flashbacks, where we also see that Maya was against the stand her father was taking regarding the draconian law. He questioned her; if that’s how she felt, then what was she doing about it? If she was just going to talk, then he already had enough people doing that.
Back to the present, Om reveals his findings to his colleague Catherine, with whom he also seems to have a close relationship. Just then, they get a call that they have found a body that looks like it could be Maya’s. When they reach the scene, they see a body whose face is completely destroyed, making identification impossible. Amar Roy is brought in for identification and he lets them know that she could not be his daughter. Om asks him how he could know this, which visibly irks Amar. He calls up Om’s supervisor and tells him that an idiot has been assigned to his case, to which Om replies that Amar is hiding something.
Later that night, Om calls one of his friends, Shubro, who is also a technical expert. Om asks him to help him find out who all Amar is meeting with and where all he goes. Shubro retorts, asking him how he has time to solve another Indian’s case when he has not done anything to investigate the case of his missing wife, Pooja. Om replies that the case is not closed yet and he would do what he could. Shubro agrees to help him. Om then goes to Amar’s house when he is not there to talk to his wife. He asks her if Amar ever had any arguments with his daughter, and she replies “which father and daughter don’t.” It looks like Om’s questions are making her angry, and she tells him that she has answered everything she can. We can’t help but think that she is intensely irritating. As Om gets ready to leave, he tells her that he has left his diary upstairs, and she offers to get it for him. Taking the chance, he goes into Amar’s study and finds the pen of Sarah Jones, the Home Secretary of the UK. Other than that, he doesn’t find anything but is caught by Amar’s wife, who tells him to leave.
In another flashback scene, Maya confronts Amar about the harassment allegations, and he is flippant about them, saying that it is his enemies who are trying to frame him. He sounds vague and deflective, which convinces Maya that the allegations are true. Back to the present, Amar finds two witnesses who saw the dead body being disposed of and they claim that they saw Amar Roy disposing of the body. One of them even describes him to a sketch artist, confirming that it was indeed him who did that. Om has had enough, and he goes to visit his son, who is confined to his hospital room. Yash seems to understand everything his father is saying, though he is unable to respond except for a few reactions in the form of his body twitching. Om tries to connect with him by talking about the activities they used to do together, but Yash doesn’t respond well to any of them, causing Om to immediately change the subject. At one point, Yash starts convulsing and starts saying, “Only after absolute chaos comes absolute silence.” This shocks Om, who now starts suspecting a deeper conspiracy behind the whole thing.
The next scene is another flashback, this time from Om’s life. We are taken back to that fateful day two years ago, and the actual events that transpired are revealed. Yash had shot all his classmates and then injured himself. This was the single incident that changed Om’s life. His wife left him, and all of his friends now wanted nothing to do with him. In the next scene, he goes to visit his ex-wife and asks her about their son, if he had been spending too much time with anyone before the shooting, and what all was going on with him. She is visibly angry at these questions and replies that Om was the problem all along. He and his expectations of his son due to his toxic masculinity pushed Yash to do what he did. She tells him to look inside himself for the answers. In the meantime, Amar Roy is arrested for the murder of his daughter, though by now, Om suspects that there is a lot more to the whole thing and that the former might just be innocent. He goes to talk to Carol again and finds her at a party where he sees that she has a mark on her body of the serpent eating its own tail. Carol sees him and realizes that she has been found out and runs away while Om is unable to catch up. Following this, he is reprimanded by his boss, saying that just this morning, he was being applauded as a hero for having caught Amar Roy, and now he was acting like a fool, trying to throw away everything that he had worked for. He tells him that he must return to therapy or lose his job.
The following scene goes back to the past and shows that Maya has joined a cult that claims to work in favor of the oppressed. In the present, Om goes to talk to Amar, and he asks him to tell him something that could lead to the truth. Amar replies that he might find something from a boy called Aaron, who had gone to a music festival with Maya and Carol. He also mentions that Om looks like a changed man and that it is okay to be a bad father.
Upon investigation, Om finds out that the park where the dead body was found belongs to Aaron’s family. Putting two and two together, he figures out that both the witnesses who testified against Amar were part of the cult. Also, he finds that Shubro’s wife, Pooja, is the person whose dead body was found. Not just that, Maya is alive as well.
But when he reveals this information to his department, he is told to go back to his meds and continue with his therapy. He is also informed that he cannot continue with his job for the time being. Losing his job sends him down a spiral of depression, and he is unable to come to terms with his life. Later, he goes to meet Catherine, and he asks her how she was there during all the times when his investigation was derailed. He has figured out that she is part of the cult as well, and she was the mole within the department helping them. She admits to this before telling him that she loves him. She also says that she cannot let him hamper their efforts and shoots herself. Seeing a dead Catherine with Om in the room, the police come to the conclusion that Om is the culprit, forcing him to go on the run.
He goes to the place where he had traced the cult to be but is caught as he tries to eavesdrop on them. Om is imprisoned and regularly brainwashed, and it looks like he is succumbing to it. Eventually, he tells the cult leader that he is ready to join them and is branded with the snake symbol on his body. It is also the day when the cult takes hostages at the BBS Tower and declares their demands. They want the anti-immigration bill to be revoked by the next morning.
By this time, Om Singh is already out of captivity, and he meets up with Sarah Jones, who seems to be aware of what is going on. She offers to give him back his job, which he respectfully declines. He offers to carry out the assignment anyway. Before leaving, she tells him, “Only after internal chaos comes internal silence.”
‘London Files’ Ending Explained – Does Om Manage To Rescue The Hostages?
Sarah Jones makes a public announcement that she is going to revoke the bill and asks the members of the cult to release the hostages. Maya, who is one of the leaders at this point, agrees to do so. Om has arrived at the place. But just as they are about to release them, they get a call from their leader. What follows is a prime example of just how badly written the show is. The leader says that they must kill the hostages and blow up the place with them in it to send a message, because only after absolute chaos comes absolute silence.
Om tells Maya that this is not a good idea and that she has been misled. All of the harassment allegations against her father were fabricated by the cult to get her to join their cause. Not just that, he is currently serving time in jail for her murder. Om tells them that the leader has no interest in the bill being revoked and just wants to create chaos. That is the reason he is not there. He also tells Maya that the real chaos is in her heart and that the only way for her to silence it is by forgiving him. Maya cannot help but agree with Om and is ready to release the hostages, which she does. Om, having foiled the plan, is reinstated to his position, and he successfully goes back to therapy. Maya is reunited with her family, and the cult leader is forgotten. With this, “The London Files” ends.
It is so important to understand the format of the story. If you want to spread your story over six episodes, with each one lasting about 35 minutes each, then you must write it accordingly. “London Files” tries to do too much in very little time. It tries to address racist laws, cults, toxic masculinity, and the messed-up fact of school shootings, and it does neither of them well, leaving the audience confused and unable to invest in the show. Arjun Rampal looks more confused than depressed, while the audience is both. And it is impossible to fathom how there are so many accents. We know nothing about the characters, and there are so many loopholes. How did Maya think that joining a cult was the best idea to fight her father? How did the police not even investigate Catherine’s death and just jump to the conclusion that she was murdered? What did the cult leader even want? How was Shubro’s wife involved in all this? And the thing is, we are not even sure we want the answers. We wouldn’t like “London Files” more even if it was explained properly. Arjun Rampal looking like a snacc is the only saving grace of the show, but it’s not enough to make us want a Season 2. The online platforms have taken the route of quantity over quality, and the results are getting more and more disastrous with the lack of effort becoming evident.
“London Files” is a 2022 Indian Crime Thriller series starring Arjun Rampal.