‘Kohrra’ Recap & Ending, Explained: Who Killed Paul? Is Liam Dead?

Kohrra, the brand-new murder investigation drama on Netflix, created and written by Gunjit Chopra, Diggi Sisodia, and Sudip Sharma, takes us through a different Punjab. The class divide, rampant patriarchy, and unending drug menace dominate the landscape of this Punjab we get to see. Amidst all of this, the murder of a British national of Indian origin sparks uproar, and the police are under tremendous pressure to solve the case. This murder investigation only helps in understanding the above mentioned aspects in depth. Their findings throughout this process make the show highly watchable.

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Spoilers Ahead


A Murderer And A Missing Person

The show begins with a young boy and his girlfriend finding the body of a man with his pants down in the fields of  a large farm, which they then inform the police about the same. The deceased man is identified as an NRI British national named Paul Dhillon, who was in town for his wedding. His nationality is proof of his being from a well-to-do family, which makes the case high-profile. It is also quickly discovered that Paul’s best friend, Liam, is missing. Liam Murphy, a British national himself, was in town for the wedding, and his disappearance broadens the scope of the investigation.

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The team led by Sub Inspectors Balbir and Garundi has two tasks at hand: find the culprit who killed Paul, and locate Liam as soon as possible because they feel he would know about the murder. As per the information provided by Paul’s parents, he and Liam were inseparable, and that’s why getting hold of him was of utmost urgency. The setup is intriguing because it helps the audience understand the seriousness of the situation at hand. It is obvious from the murky scenario that this case is just the tip of the iceberg.

The murder also brings attention to the relationship Paul had with his father growing up in London. It was a typical toxic father-son relationship where Steve constantly physically abused his son. An example of a patriarchal household where abuse of this scale is swept under the rug. The viewers watching Kohrra are also under the suspicion that it was Steve who might have killed his son during one of his fits of anger. The theory seems plausible because Steve, so far, since the news of Paul’s death, has restrained himself from showing any emotion. Either the man is guilty, or he feels it is against his general rule of masculinity to show emotions in public.

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Garundi’s Life

Garundi comes from a middle-class upbringing, and he does not have many ambitions for himself. He lives in the same town where he was born, and by the looks of it, he does not intend to leave this place. There is not much explored about Garundi’s life by the writers. The only aspect that is covered extensively is a decade-long affair of his with his brother’s wife, but there are no explanations as to why the relationship began. It could be because his brother was mostly away, and Rajji, his sister-in-law, turned to the only man she knew in the vicinity who desired her. Relationships such as this one hold a mirror to a society where they do not talk about the physical pleasures of love, and it is widely regarded as a taboo topic. That does not stop men and women from seeking pleasure from someone else. Garundi knows this affair should cease because he eventually wants to get married and start a family of his own.


Nopi The Informer’s Wife, Indira

Balbir Singh frequently meets Indira, the widow of an informer named Nopi, who died on duty, as he claims. He feels guilty about Nopi being killed under his watch, and he sees it as his prerogative to help her. The two of them initially feel awkward while interacting but both of them slowly start spending time. Balbir and Indira have both lost their spouses, and they seem to find comfort in each other. For Indira, it is difficult to seek a man’s company because, as a widow, she is expected to spend the rest of her life pining over her deceased husband. Meanwhile, the rules are different for Balbir. Indira, though, is a resilient woman who does not believe in the rules of society.

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Two Routes To Investigation

As the police investigation begins, their first suspects are Veera and her ex-boyfriend Saakar. Veera and Saakar had an ugly breakup due to her upcoming wedding with Paul. Sakkar is brought into custody because CCTV footage is found of him attacking Paul and Liam, and later Veera is also detained and aggressively questioned about her last meeting with Paul. She denies meeting him on the night of the murder, while the postmortem report and DNA report collected by the police state it was Veera’s DNA that was found on Paul’s genitalia.

This is the breakthrough that the police were looking for, and they were quick to arrest the two of them for further questioning. Veera-Saakar’s angle makes sense to some extent because Saakar has the motive, but unfortunately, Veera does not seem to have one because she’d only known Paul for two weeks. Veera and Saakar’s relationship pattern reflects the kind of toxic tropes that many of the younger generation resort to. Veera and Saakar’s constant on-and-off relationship made them believe they were meant for each other. Their relationship cycle carried on, which led to this trouble, and they had no way to prove their innocence.

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Balbir and Garundi also learn of a car accident that Paul was in a while back. The CCTV footage reveals that it was not an accident, but someone was trying to kill Paul by purposefully ramming a speeding bus into his car. The person who tried to kill Paul could have very well murdered him. Their investigation leads them to Pramod Kumar, the driver of the bus in the footage, whom they could never get hold of. Turns out, Pramod Kumar was hired by Happy, Paul’s first cousin, to get rid of him because of the property dispute between Paul’s father and Happy’s father, Manna. Happy wanted to prove to his father that he was a capable man, and by getting rid of Paul, he would get the validation and attention he had been seeking. Paul’s death would weaken Steve, which would make it the right time for Manna and Happy to jump in and win the property dispute. Happy’s relationship with his father also reeks of patriarchy because the man goes to the extent of taking up violent means just to get his father to notice. The relentless need for a son to prove his worth instead of focusing on their own strengths and interests is what is wrong with Happy and men like him. Fortunately for him, his involvement in the actual murder was not proven.


Shinda And Toti

The truck driver, Shinda, is making sure the cleaner, Toti, stays close to him. The odd behavior could mean he has done something wrong. Toti is a young boy who seems to have been mentally disturbed because he keeps seeing blood on the truck and constantly tries to clean it. The interaction between the two suggests that Toti has witnessed something he shouldn’t have. This piques the interest of the viewers as well because we would want to know if they were involved in Paul’s murder or perhaps if they were instrumental in the disappearance of Liam.

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The build-up to their worry and fright is riveting, and one can’t wait to find out what they did. Toti ends up in the hospital while he keeps screaming his lungs out. The young man has some pent-up guilt, which comes out in the form of a meltdown. His words could mean that Liam is probably dead as well. He is Paul’s best friend, and for him to not show up at his best friend’s final rites would be heartbreaking unless Liam was the one who killed Paul and ran away. The police finally find another breakthrough with Toti talking about the white man, but since the young man is mentally disturbed, his statement will not be considered of consequence, which is why they need to get hold of Shinda to acquire more intel and figure out if it was Liam they encountered on the night of the murder.


Balbir And His Daughter

Apart from Balbir’s life as a policeman, his daughter Nimrat and grandson Golu live with him because Nimrat has walked out on her marriage and is seeking a divorce from her husband, Raman. Raman is on good terms with Balbir. He wants him to convince Nimrat to come back. Nimrat did not claim Raman did anything wrong. We can infer from this statement that she probably never loved him, and right now, she feels she is compelled to stay in the marriage for the sake of her child with him. Nimrat comes across as a headstrong woman who has realized that her life is too small to be living in a perpetual state of sadness.

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Balbir, being a product of patriarchy, is not likely to try to have a conversation with his daughter about the situation. All he cares about is the shame she has caused by separating. Balbir belongs to an era that believed in making a marriage work even if there was no compatibility between the couple. Balbir had a history of being physically abusive to Nimrat’s mother as well, and this led to the relationship between the father and daughter becoming worse.

He also does not stop being abusive to her, but Nimrat refuses to back off. Nimrat is in a relationship with her college boyfriend, Karan Gill. It can be assumed that Balbir forced them to break up so that she could marry the man of his choice. She was never given any alternatives. Seeing Karan back in her life, Balbir physically attacks the man to show him that Nimrat is off-limits because she is bound to go back to her husband no matter what. She is in a relationship with another man, which is disgraceful to him as society would question his inability to control his children. The father-daughter relationship worsens as a result, and only time will tell if they find a middle ground and work on their differences to live a peaceful life.

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Who Killed Liam And Paul?

Since this show is an investigative drama, there is a flow of things that take place as, one by one, revelations are uncovered, and each of them takes Balbir and Garundi closer to finding out who killed Paul and what happened to Liam Murphy. This is when a petrol pump executive comes forward, claims to recognize Liam from the lookout posters, and reveals that Paul and Liam had asked him about a 24×7 liquor shop. The liquor shop attendee also remembers the two who had asked for some hard drugs along with liquor. One could wonder how these two men remember faces when they must have seen many individuals in their line of work. The reason could be that the murder had happened only a few days ago, and Liam, being a foreigner, stands out in the crowd, unlike Paul.

The liquor shop attendant redirects them to Kulli, a drug supplier. Balbir and Garundi get hold of Kulli, but he’s a drug addict. He is arrested, and the police torture him by denying him his daily dose of narcotics. Out of desperation, Kulli divulges that Liam and Paul approached him but they did not buy from him. Kulli was already high while he was dealing, and his clouded state of mind made him follow the men out of frustration. He spotted their car amidst the farm, and he was horrified to see Paul lying on it with his throat slit. Kulli stole Paul’s watch and engagement ring and killed him by smashing his head with a heavy stone. Kulli claims to have killed only Paul, and he did not find Liam anywhere.

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It is not clear why the police would believe a drug addict, but the team also has no other reason not to believe him because his statement matches with the postmortem report, which stated that a head injury caused Paul’s death and not the slit throat. The lead-up to this revelation took a lot of time, but the eventual payoff worked in favor of the narrative because it only made the storytelling compelling. The police still have a lot more to work on. Liam’s disappearance and the mystery of who slit Paul’s throat before he was killed are the questions that need to be answered.

The entire focus of the viewers is now on Shinda and his cleaner, Toti. Toti’s meltdown and partial confession over the killing of Liam lead the police to Shinda. Shinda is caught by Garundi through the former’s love interest, Roop, a transwoman. Roop had no choice but to help the police because a person like her would never want to be in their bad books. Garundi and Balbir are not gold-hearted men, and they will harass her if she refuses to cooperate with them. Shinda is finally arrested, and he takes them to a well where he and Toti dumped Liam’s body after their truck ran over him in the middle of a foggy night. After a thorough postmortem on Liam’s body, the doctor reveals that he had come across Paul’s saliva on Liam’s genitalia. The big revelation of the show is that Liam and Paul were lovers, and they were good at hiding their relationship under the garb of friendship. They knew Steve would never accept it, and there was a genuine fear of Steve physically harming them. It is Balbir’s prerogative to inform the family about Liam and Paul’s relationship, which came out most unexpectedly.

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Steve is livid because he cannot comprehend the fact that his son was gay. For Steve, it is a matter of shame that his son liked men. Clara, Liam’s mother, confesses that she knew about their relationship. Clara as a mother was willing to accept anything that makes her son happy. Paul’s mother surprisingly has a similar reaction because she is upset about the fact that she was kept in the dark about this detail.

Maybe if Paul had gone to her, she could have stood by him and resisted Steve’s dominance. Paul could have relied on his mother, and she would have always supported him. Paul’s mother feels guilty for letting her son down. This seems like a standard emotion a mother feels because the onus is always on them to take care of the children and understand who they are. Steve, on the other hand, is feeling anything but guilty for what he put Paul through as a child because, as a father, his only job is to feed the family and be emotionally unavailable. It is wrong, but that is how patriarchy works. None of that matters now because both are gone, and the family will have to live with this pain forever.

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Clara reveals that she received a final voicemail from Liam on the night of the murder. Through a flashback sequence, the audience is taken through a sequence of events leading up to the murder. Veera lets Paul know of her past and indulges in oral sex with him to demonstrate her love. He meets Liam at the farm and lets him know that he cannot let his family or Veera down, and that is why they will have to break up. At some point, between his emotional talks, Paul initiates intercourse by performing fellatio on Liam, but an angry Liam pushes him away because he cannot believe their relationship is ending in this manner. He slits Paul’s throat in pure rage. Liam’s thought process must have been along the lines of ‘he cannot be living with someone else while remaining gay and in love with Liam.’ He immediately regrets killing Paul and gives up on his life almost immediately. He walks up to the road, where he is run over by Shinda’s truck. Their love led to their deaths, which could have been avoided if Paul had been given the space by his family to live openly as a gay man.


Will Balbir Let Nimrat Live On Her Terms?

Balbir, on the other hand, almost loses Nimrat to a suicide attempt, but she survives. Nimrat, who is on her way to recovery, reveals her life is everyone else’s except her own. She says with every bit of honesty that she never wanted to get married and have kids. Now that she has one, she would want to take care of him, but the truth is, she never wanted one. It implies that she was forced to marry Raman against her will, and Balbir never bothered to ask what she wanted to do with her life. She was treated as an obligation from the start until the day she was married. Now that she is back, she is still treated like one. Balbir, after getting a glimpse of Steve as a father, realizes he cannot let emotional distance come between him and his daughter. As Karan comes to check up on her, Balbir gives his blessing. Balbir is finally on the path to making things right with Nimrat.

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The show ends with a series of montages, including scenes from what the lead characters are up to now that the case is closed. Nimrat leaves hospital with Karan Gill in the hope that she will be happy with him. Garundi finally gets married because this is what he always wanted for himself. Veera and Saakar finally break up, and she is about to get married to someone else. This is their way of finally growing up, not playing any mind games, and moving on. Steve finally holds Paul’s wedding attire and breaks down. It is his way of apologizing to his son, whom he could not embrace one last time. He failed to understand who his son was as an individual. The writers beautifully tied up all the loose ends by the last episode. It was a melancholic ending.


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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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