‘School Of Lies’ Ending, Explained: Are Vikram And TK Punished For Their Crimes?

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School of Lies is set in a fictional place called Dalton Town and is centered around the River Isaac boarding school. A 12-year-old kid called Shakti goes missing, thereby launching a town-wide search for him that unearths several other crime rackets that are happening there. Simultaneously, two senior students, TK and Vikram, find themselves in the middle of the investigation because they belong to the same house as Shakti, i.e., Rajpath House. That also ropes in Sam Sir since he’s the House Master. And these three characters lead us into a larger conspiracy that involves a large sum of money, illicit sexual relations, and a gardener named Bhola. If you are reading this article, it means that you have reached the end of the show and know everything that has transpired. So, before getting into the bigger spoilers, let’s get one minor spoiler-y thing out of the way. The show takes place in two timelines, even though it’s made to look like things are happening simultaneously. Everything that’s going on with Shakti and Chanchal is a flashback sequence. Almost everything that we learn about TK and Vikram happens in the present.

Spoilers Alert


What Happened To Shakti?

With all the timeline shenanigans out of the way, here’s how things unfolded in a linear fashion: Shakti was the result of an unplanned pregnancy in Trisha and Anirudh’s relationship. Anirudh and Trisha split up because Anirudh was an emotionally unavailable man, and Trisha entered a relationship with Adil. Due to a brilliant stroke of genius, Trisha decided to put Shakti in the River Isaac boarding school because she thought that that’d help him overcome his depression. At one point, the show does wonder why parents don’t take care of their children and leave it up to total strangers to instill discipline in them. Maybe that should’ve been the whole point of School of Lies, and for the most part, it was, as we learned, that Shakti saw Trisha as the villain and perceived Anirudh as some kind of hero who would save him from this boarding school life. He explained all this during his outing with Bhola’s son, Chanchal, by the way. And after knowing a lot about each other, they made a pact to take a trip to meet this religious seer and then live together at Anirudh’s farmhouse.

Since this endeavor required money, Shakti stole it from the funds reserved for the school magazine’s editorials and kept storing it in a bag hidden in a building beyond the boundaries of the educational institution. One fine day, Shakti came to the realization that Anirudh was a selfish human being, and he didn’t want anything to do with him, so he ran away. Unfortunately, TK and Vikram were returning from Sam Sir’s cabin at that exact time, and they spotted him. They chased Shakti down and started abusing him for ruining their house’s reputation a second time. When Shakti fought back, Vikram accidentally shoved him too hard; Shakti’s head hit a rock or the trunk of an uprooted tree, and he died on the spot.


What Happens To Sam Sir?

We’re wading into problematic territory here, so viewer discretion is advised. Vikram is shown to be the son of an army officer who died by suicide. He has a mother, Pallavi, and a brother. He technically has a girlfriend, Pritika, but he’s in a polyamorous relationship with his mathematics teacher, Sam Sir, as well as his classmate, TK, who is also “entangled” with Sam Sir. TK comes from an affluent family. Sam has suffered sexual abuse at the hands of his former classmate, Alden (who is ironically played by Mohan Kapur). So, as you can see, the show tries to draw a straight line between abuse, trauma, and queerness. I could be wrong, but it does seem that way in this case, and my feelings for it keep oscillating between being grossed out and being angry because we don’t get a lot of good queer representation in Hindi entertainment. When we do, it’s this! But wait, it gets worse.

Vikram and TK have to pay Bhola (the gardener) a lot of money. We are supposed to think that it’s because of the marijuana that the students buy from him. However, that’s not the case, and we’ll come to that in a bit. Now, after Vikram and TK burn through the money they have, they try to blackmail Sam because their relationship comes under statutory rape. That plan goes down the drain when Alden beats Vikram and TK to a pulp, and Sam’s secret is secured. It doesn’t stop the authorities from suspending Sam, though, because Shakti has gone missing during his tenure as the housemaster. Still, Sam stays in touch with Vikram’s mother to ensure that she feels that her son is safe. Things get a little dicey when Bhola is accused of extorting the students and possibly having a hand in Shakti’s “kidnapping.”

When TK realizes that Bhola is going to lead the police directly to him and Vikram, he tries to commit suicide. Sam actually saves him, and when the time arrives, to tell the truth about Shakti, Bhola, and Sam, TK chooses to accuse Sam of sexually exploiting him and Vikram. Under the POCSO Act, Sam is arrested. By contrasting Sam’s case against Alden with that of Vikram and TK’s case against Sam, I guess School of Lies is trying to say that if you are being groomed or if you are in an illegal sexual relationship, you should speak up sooner rather than later. However, the way it’s presented, it sounds like a false case of sexual harassment. I am not fully equipped to judge this from a moral, ethical, or legal point of view, but something about the way all this plays out just doesn’t sit right with me.


‘School Of Lies’ Ending Explained: Are Vikram And TK Punished For Their Crimes?

While all the shenanigans with Sam and TK are going on, Vikram decides to deal with the whole Bhola situation by meeting him at his cabin in the woods and killing him. Yes, the parallel between the description of Vikram’s father’s brain and the image of Bhola’s cracked skull isn’t lost on me. But I don’t understand the meaning behind it. Is it supposed to be about two fathers who died due to a blow (one is a gunshot, and another is a strike with an earthen or metal vessel) to their heads? There’s another gruesome shot in that same cabin, which is of a chicken eating a poached egg. Is that supposed to be about parents leading their children to their deaths? I don’t know. The metaphors are going over my head.

Anyway, coming back to the plot, Vikram baits Nandita into that cabin, and when she sees Vikram and Bhola in that state, she assumes that Bhola attacked Vikram, and Vikram retaliated. However, while recovering in the hospital, Vikram admits to Nandita that he is guilty of not only killing Bhola but also murdering Shakti. This is proven through the aforementioned flashbacks, and we also learn that TK paid off Bhola to get rid of Shakti’s body. So, that is the favor that Bhola was cashing in on. When Nandita tries to convey all this to the police, she becomes overwhelmed by the knowledge that Sam has been accused of having illicit relationships with minors. Since Vikram sticks to the narrative involving Sam, TK, and him and forgets all about Shakti, Nandita has no other option but to bury her opinions about it as well. When Trisha (Shakti’s mother) confronts Vikram, he subtly hints that he is a murderer just so that she can get some form of closure. Most of the characters in that scene don’t get it, but Trisha and Pallavi surely do. TK is seemingly whisked away into an underage marriage, which serves as a scathing critique of upper-class families who don’t seem to bat an eye while getting minors engaged, unofficially, of course.

At the end of School of Lies, due to the might of their family lawyers, Vikram and TK get to walk away without facing any consequences. I think it’s supposed to say something about how affluent people never have to suffer, especially if they don’t have a conscience, but the showrunners fail to state it in an impactful way. They manage to show how the endless cycle of violence continues through Chanchal, who is seen to be in a distraught state and living with the religious seer after witnessing his father, Bhola, dismembering Shakti. And that’s where the show chooses to conclude its confused and scattershot journey. I don’t know if it has its heart in the right place when it wants to talk about abuse, neglect, and bad parenting because of the way it shoves queerness into the mess. I hope that it doesn’t create a negative sentiment about boarding schools or schools in general because the state of education in this country is already a mess. I do hope that it starts a conversation amongst people who are about to be parents or about to get married regarding whether or not they should have kids. It’s important to be well-adjusted individuals first, deal with one’s issues second, and then maybe wonder what’s going to happen to your family’s bloodline. Speak up against crimes that your friends and family are committing; protect your loved ones; and if you can afford it, seek therapy.


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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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