‘Killer Soup’ Ending Explained & Recap Spoilers: Does Swathi Get Her Dream Restaurant?

Killer Soup is India’s answer to the “eat the rich,” “let’s use food as a metaphor for life” situation happening across world cinema. In the last year, I’ve seen food shows in a dozen languages that fall under the morbid-thriller genre that we all love so much. Given the situation, India needed to buck up, and here we are with the Konkona Sen Sharma-Manoj Bajpayee starrer Killer Soup. Prabhakar Shetty, aka Prabhu, and Swathi Shetty are a happily married couple who live in Mainjur, Tamil Nadu. They’re a fairly rich family with a son who’s moved out for college. The show begins with Swathi making what seems to be her delectable “paya soup.” However, immediately after receiving a bowl of it, Prabhu is disgusted. He discards it when Swathi isn’t looking, and she steals some money from his wallet simultaneously. This scene depicts their relationship perfectly. Full of lies and deceit, but on the outside, everything is “tip-top.”


Spoilers Ahead

What Happens In The Show?

Prabhu is one of those guys who has no idea how to handle money and uses his brother’s wealth to start new, failed businesses. His “anneh” (older brother), Arvind, doesn’t care to support Prabhu’s ventures anymore because he’s certain they’re going to fail. Prabhu and Arvind always meet up at this specific spa, where a man named Umesh works. Umesh and Prabhu look very alike, except for the fact that Umesh has a squint. Interestingly, Swathi is secretly having an affair with Umesh, and she rushes to meet him every day in a burkha that she wears to a secret cooking class. Yes, it’s all lies and deceit. It seems like the only reason Swathi is with Prabhu is because he’s promised her a dream restaurant. She comes from a less-privileged background in comparison to her husband, who claims he’s given her everything, despite not fulfilling her one big dream. At least, this is something that could turn out to be successful.


On the other hand, Prabhu is living in his own pink dream, the fanciest luxury resort in all of South India, “Hotel California” (really?). Undeniably, there’s only one person who can aid him financially, and that’s Arvind. So Prabhu sets up a fancy party for his brother, inviting Russian girls and setting up blow-up swimming pools in a dreary old building for them to have some fun (ew). Arvind doesn’t want any of it, though, and he blatantly tells Prabhu that there isn’t going to be any “Hotel California.” While on her way back from her rendezvous with Umesh, Swathi shockingly realizes that there’s a private detective following her. Nadar is trying to take pictures of her when she sees him. Fortunately for her, the car doesn’t move as Nadar wants, and she grabs the camera that’s around his neck and pulls with full force. He somehow manages to start the car then and reverses, not realizing that she’s taken the camera. Before he knows it, though, he’s smack in the middle of the road and gets hit by a truck, left for dead. This is only the beginning of a pattern for Swathi in Killer Soup. Despite having many enemies, she always ends up witnessing crime rather than actually committing it herself. How convenient.

Now she knows her husband has learned something about her affair, so she tries to figure out what to do with Umesh in her own house. A disgruntled and drunk Prabhu returns as his night of debauchery doesn’t go as planned. He tells Swathi that Arvind has agreed to all his demands, and Prabhu is also ready to finally open that restaurant for Swathi. This is only to get her to do the sultry samba with him (if you know what I mean). When Prabhu’s finally asleep, Umesh, who has been hiding under the same bed (bleh), has to make his way out of the house. He seems unbothered that his girlfriend’s husband is right in the room, making a scene with Swathi. Prabhu wakes up and sees the pictures on the camera, which Umesh was meant to take with him, but has conveniently forgotten (obviously). Enraged, he tries to choke Swathi, but she’s saved by Umesh smacking Prabhu on the head with a blunt object. You know the drill. Prabhu is dead, and that leaves Swathi to clean up the mess.


How Does Umesh Replace Prabhu?

Swathi used to be a nurse; that’s how she met Umesh, who also worked in the same hospital. Umesh Pillai is supposedly from Bihar and is actually called Umesh Mehtu, but we learn about this much later in Killer Soup. For now, he’s about to transform into the great and feisty Prabhu Shetty. Swathi’s big plan is to use acid to burn the left side of his face so that he’ll have to get facial reconstruction surgery. This way, Prabhu would’ve gone through a traumatic incident, messing everything up for him. His face, his voice, and his temperament. They hide Prabhu’s body near a suicide point somewhere and, while returning, buy the acid. Swathi thinks her plan is foolproof until, high on morphine, Umesh drops the bottle of acid on his face (yikes).

In the meantime, there’s a new police officer in the department, and we have yet another excited rookie, cantankerous old chap combo. Thupalli is determined to solve Nadar’s murder case using the most by-the-book methods, whereas his senior Hassan hopes to get things done in the slow and tedious, more up-to-speed way of the Mainjur police force. They manage to connect the dots between Nadar and Prabhu. However, Prabhu is dead, so Swathi pretends he’s sleeping when Thupalli tries to reach out. This is when Umesh “acid attacks” himself, with no way of answering Thupalli and Hassan’s questions. Hassan sees Swathi as a victim; however, Thupalli follows his hunch and shows up at Prabhu’s makeshift grave when she’s planning on burning his body. The forest area is out of network coverage, but Thupalli tries desperately to reach Hassan. The only spot where the call goes through is the edge of the cliff at “suicide point.” Comically, while he tells Hassan everything on the phone (so he believes), Swathi creeps up on him. Believing she’s a cold-blooded murderer, Thupalli brings out his gun, but in a fright, he falls off the cliff, leaving Swathi a witness and associated with yet another dead man (this body count though).


Who Is Manisha Koirala, And Who Was Blackmailing Prabhu?

The big mystery that Thupalli was trying to unfold ends up costing him his life. Before Umesh became Prabhu, Swathi called herself Manisha Koirala when she went for cooking classes in the burkha. Unbeknownst to her, Umesh himself was blackmailing Prabhu so that he could run away with Swathi some time in the future and get her that dream restaurant. What Umesh didn’t know, though, was that Prabhu was already bankrupt (another shock to Swathi). But look now, Swathi wasn’t the only one stirring the pot. Prabhu was having an affair with his assistant, Kirtima. Unlike Swathi, Kirtima knew of all of Prabu’s failures and how he took out a dozen loans under Swathi’s name. Kirthima and Prabhu’s affair came to a close just before the incidents took place, but her love for him is rekindled when she sees him in bed with a mummified eye.

On the other hand, all Arvind really cares about is the blackmail. When Swathi learns that it was Umesh who was the mastermind behind it all, she decides to stick to the story and pretend he’s the one who attacked them as well. With no Prabhu in the picture, nobody will know, and the real Umesh won’t be in trouble.

Why Does Hassan See Thupalli’s Ghost?

When Thupalli was around, Hassan was annoyed by his impeccable work ethic and wanted him to leave things to the more experienced. However, when he learns about his death, he feels remorse for his actions and is also devastated by the fact that he died so young and while working the case that Hassan was in charge of. In Thupalli’s house, Hassan finds “the Stoic Heart.” Hassan picks it up and suddenly starts to see the ghost of Thupalli in his yellow raincoat. It’s actually the book that has the many clues that Hassan is looking for; however, they manifest in the form of Thupalli’s ghost. It’s almost like a defense mechanism for Hassan to find closure for sending Thupalli into the lion’s den alone. Technically, it is Thupalli that leads Hassan to the beacon in the fog.

Why Does Appu Start Blackmailing Prabhu?

Maybe instead of Killer Soup, this show could’ve been called “Blackmail Soup.” Appu, Arvind’s daughter, is the white sheep of the family. Sure, she’s into art, but at least she’s not evil like the rest of the family. When Appu realizes that her father will not let her go to Paris to the university of her dreams, she decides to blackmail her uncle for 2 crores, learning from the accounts of her father’s company “Rising Sun” that Prabhu has stolen over 30 crores from her father through his many businesses. Arvind is also dealing in mushrooms in the middle of all this mess, and he’s planning to sell the businesses to a guy in Chennai. This is a big deal for Arvind, but the whole Prabhu mess in between has rocked his boat. Finally, there’s also Lucas, a bodyguard/driver that Arvind treats as family and Appu calls “maama” (uncle). But hold up; there’s a bigger connection there. Appu is actually Lucas’ daughter, and Arvind knows it too, but he’s been bringing her up as his own (scandy). She’s identical to her mother at this age, so she’s especially difficult to look at for Arvind. Appu’s mother died in childbirth, so she assumes he doesn’t want to talk about her simply because he can’t bear the sight of her. So, Swathi uncovers that it’s Appu who is sending Prabhu (Umesh) the blackmail emails and then devises a plan to have them work together in a group to extract money from Arvind, solving all their problems.


How Does Arvind Die?

The plan is to pretend that Umesh is asking for ransom to keep the mushroom business out of the news in order for the Chennai deal to work. Arvind gets his men to follow “Prabhu” with the money when he’s ready to give it, and it leads him straight to Swathi and Appu. In the middle of the mess, Lucas tries to take Appu back home, but she refuses to go, Swathi almost tells her the truth, and Lucas almost tries to kill her. Appu never learns the truth; however, frustrated, she picks up her father’s gun and aims it at her own head. She wonders why her father hates her so much, and when he’s about to answer her, he tries to tackle her with the gun, getting shot in the stomach. Arvind dies in the hospital (to Swathi’s relief) after apologizing to Appu, telling her that he really loved her. 

Does Swathi Get The Restaurant?

Appu inherits everything from her father, and when Lucas tries to sell off the company to the Chennai guy, Appu refuses to do so, finally stepping in as a real businesswoman. With Paris in the ditches, Appu now wants to take over her father’s business. Seeing as she’s always been supportive of her aunt, who has also shown her all the love in the world and been like a second mom to her, Appu decides to give Swathi the investment for a restaurant. Ultimately, Swathi does get the special restaurant she’s always wanted, called “Diamnt De Mainjur”—”The”Diamond of Mainjur.” However, this is when Hassan comes to Prabhu with the whole truth. You see, Kirtima saw the things that transpired when Appu shot Arvind, and took a video. She decided to use that to blackmail Swathi into getting a divorce; however, after having a nice Kalaripayattu fight with Lucas, she ends up falling and snapping  her neck. Yet another murder around Swathi. She’s the Grim Reaper at this point.


When Umesh realizes that Kirtima died because of Swathi, all his fears materialize. He believes Swathi never loved him and only used him as a means to achieve her goals. He never brings up the subject with her, but he has a big plan set up. Hassan doesn’t know just yet that Umesh is Prabhu, but he does know about the self-acid attack. At the launch party, everything goes well until Hassan shows up. Swathi’s cooking teacher has brought to her knowledge the secret ingredient for her “paya soup,” a dark-looking fungus born from the dead. This is what makes the soup extra special; however, if one ingested more than the small amount required for taste, it would become deadly. Swathi gets found out by Hassan, and when she’s trying to avoid him, she leaves Umesh with the mushroom powder and his soup. He gets excited and dumps the whole thing into his mug. The drunk husband makes a toast to Swathi in front of everyone, announcing the truth about Prabhu being dead. He finds a gun and decides it’s time to end it all; however, when he trips on some wires, Swathi takes the gun in her own hands. She admits to her connection with all the tragic deaths, finally speaking the truth.

At the end of the day, the question is: who is worse, Swathi, or Arvind and Prabhu? According to Swathi, it is Arvind and Prabhu who deserve the judgment that she faces. She finally got what she wanted, but it’s gone in seconds. Umesh vomits blood, scaring everybody in the party as they rush towards him. This gives Swathi an escape, and she rushes to the suicide point. Hassan is there, having followed the clues in the book, while he tells his subordinate to take Prabhu to the hospital. Prabhu escapes, and Swathi jumps off the cliff, knowing there’s no salvation left for her. As she hits the water, her eyes open, and she realizes she’s still got a second chance. She swims out of the water and ends up in a bus, next to Umesh, resting her head on his shoulder, on a bus out of Mainjur.


One can say this is a dream sequence, since technically it’s an unreliable narrator we’ve got. At the end of Killer Soup, the two lovers escape, just as they had planned all along, but it took so many people to die and all of the crazy events to happen for them to do so. Maybe, if they hadn’t tried so hard, they could’ve lived a better life outside of Mainjur somewhere. The more cynical take, though, would be to imagine that Swathi and Umesh both died that night and in their afterlife, they meet again to make their Killer Soup away from all the chaos of Mainjur.

Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika, or "Ru," is a fashion designer and stylist by day and a serial binge-watcher by night. She dabbles in writing when she has the chance and loves to entertain herself with reading, K-pop dancing, and the occasional hangout with friends.

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