‘Kota Factory’ Ending Of Season 3, Explained: What’s Up With Uday, Shivangi, And Vartika?

A month hasn’t passed since the release of the third season of Panchayat, but our favorite Sachiv Ji is back again. Of course, he’s playing IIT-alumni turned physics teacher Jitendra Kumar, aka Jeetu Bhaiya, in Netflix’s Kota Factory. Not only is the character named after the actor himself, but he can very well be passed off as an exaggerated fictional version of the man. How remarkable it is that an actual IITan is playing one on screen! Although Jeetu Bhaiya is not exactly the main character of the show, he’s undoubtedly the focal point. While the first two seasons portrayed him as almost a friendly neighborhood messiah (and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, because Kumar is genuinely believable) who appears as the solution to everyone’s problem, in the current season, Jeetu Bhaiya needs a bit of saving of his own. While the first season of the show was a charmingly realistic portrayal of IIT aspirants and their struggle in the city of Kota, the second season didn’t quite manage to replicate the charm. In many ways, it felt like the show was tripping over its own two feet. The latest season takes more of an introspective turn rather than loading the narrative with too many events. I’m not sure how you’re all going to perceive it, but for me, it was a sign of clear improvement. 


Spoilers Ahead

What Happens in This Season? 

Jeetu Bhaiya has gone AWOL for a while. He’s not taking calls or classes and has completely isolated himself following Varnali’s suicide (from last season). AIMERS is still running, thanks to Gagan Sir and Pooja Didi (Tillotama Shome is a good inclusion in the cast), Agarwal’s daughter, who’s staying in Kota for a year for her ailing father and has decided to help out. However, AIMERS (and the show itself) can’t go on like this, so Jeetu Bhaiya eventually returns to class. We get a Naveen Kasturia cameo (as Jeetu Bhaiya’s NRI friend with a heart of gold), which doesn’t serve much purpose, but it’s always nice to see the actor. Anyway, even after returning, Jeetu Bhaiya’s struggle continues. He starts seeing a therapist, Doctor Sudha, who suggests he not get too attached to the students. Meanwhile, for our main group, Vaibhav, Meena, Uday, Vartika, and Shivangi, IIT JEE (NEET for Shivangi) is not too far away, and this is clearly the time for burning all the midnight oil. But when Vaibhav’s cousin Minku comes to visit him after giving a trial for the IPL, the group has some welcome distractions. Jeetu Bhaiya is not too happy about it, and neither is Vaibhav, who gets jealous of his cousin’s success. Especially his friends and girlfriend going gaga over Minku (dude has bowled Virat Kohli in the nets, come on!) bothers him a lot, and he stays away from all their gully cricket action. Minku leaves after a day, but Vaibhav can’t let his jealousy go. He believes Minku has it really easy with a career that’s already settled, while his struggle is endless. However, a conversation with Jeetu Bhaiya offers Vaibhav a fresh perspective and the realization that Minku’s struggle is no less after all. More importantly, it is Vaibhav who has chosen his own path, and he should enjoy walking on it. 


What’s eating Balmukund Meena?

Meena is the purest character in Kota Factory, and watching him struggle financially is bound to make you feel for the guy. This is the kind of story arc that we have seen in so many things, but Meena refusing to take monetary help from his friends does bring in an interesting conflict. Meena’s innocence and self-respect turn out to be a little too much for his own good when he starts tutoring local kids for pocket money, which effectively harms his IIT preparation. Thankfully, Jeetu Bhaiya sits down with him and makes him realize that there’s no harm in taking help when you really need it and people are willing to lend it to you. He gives the most practical example of his own: opening AIMERS with the loan he has taken from Dhruv. Had that not happened, Meena probably wouldn’t have been able to crack the all-important JEE advanced exam.

What’s Up With Uday, Shivangi, And Vartika?

One of my biggest issues with Kota Factory is it not properly developing its female characters, who should be as important as the male ones in an ideal world. But in this season, it looks like the writers have given a thought to fleshing out both Vartika and Shivangi. It seems half-hearted, though, as they still get pretty much sidelined. But we do get a glimpse of Vartika’s issue, which is her feeling inferior while studying with her boyfriend, Vaibhav, who has a much higher IQ. As far as Shivangi is concerned, her trouble with the NEET examination is a very generic plot, but it at least seems believable, and Ahsaas Channa finally has something to do (other than supporting the boys).


Uday’s main arc is as tropy as it gets—he has an accident right before the main exam, all thanks to drunk driving. His concerned parents now want to pull him out of Kota to save him from bad influences. But thanks to Pooja Didi reasoning with his mom, Uday gets to stay (with his mom around him though) till the end. 

Does everyone get into IIT?

By everyone, we obviously mean the five kids we care about: Vaibhav, Meena, Uday, Vartika, and Shivangi (alright, Meena, we care about Meenal too). Kota Factory is not exactly 3 Idiots, so all was never going to be well here, which is only natural and logical. Everyone does clear the JEE mains, but the real test is always the JEE advanced—the final frontier you need to cross to fulfill your dream of becoming an IITan. Meenal ranking 154 and making “Prodigy” proud is not at all surprising, and so is Meena getting in with a 3000-something rank. It wouldn’t have made any sense if Meena was deprived, after all the hardship he went through. Vartika gets through with an 8000-something rank. This is clearly a triumph for her, and I really wish the writers had focused on her arc a little more. Uday’s missing out is something that wouldn’t surprise anyone, including himself. The real heartbreak here is Vaibhav failing to make the cut. Among all the kids, he was definitely the smartest one, and his not being able to do it might come off as a surprise to you. But if you think about it, Kota Factory as a show is an attempt to critique the education system. Especially in this season, Jeetu Bhaiya has made it abundantly clear that the preparation and struggle one does for years in order to achieve success matters, even if the desired success is not achieved. Vaibhav might have failed at cracking IIT, but his hard work for three seasons does count. It’s obviously a message, especially for the parents (and the kids) who break down in similar situations. By making its lead character fail, the show has done the right thing. If Vaibhav had passed, this would have just remained a Netflix show you watch for fun and don’t take anything away from it. By the way, did the makers completely forget about Shivangi’s result?


Does Jeetu Bhaiya leave?

The best thing Kota Factory has done this season is humanize the characters. As much as we love Jeetendra Kumar, his Jeetu Bhaiya in seasons 1 and 2 was too good to be true. It kind of felt more like a concept than an actual human being. But the Jeetu Bhaiya we see in season 3 appears to be a normal human being, and his over-attachment to the students has taken a toll on him. Sadly, therapist Sudha’s suggestion of disassociating the “Bhaiya” from the “teacher” is also unrealistic. He’s clearly someone who cares a bit too much, to an unhealthy extent. The dissociation fails because he’s unable to balance things out. The result is him snapping on more than one occasion—once with Gagan sir, who is not harmful but a pragmatic person—and then with Uday’s parents. 

Considering all this, the best possible thing for Jeetu Bhaiya was to leave Kota and try to do something much different. And the opportunity came on a silver platter for him: a job at the education ministry, which I thought was a bit too convenient. The show also didn’t need to give Jeetu Bhaiya a Main Hoon Naa farewell moment, but given the actor is OTT’s own SRK, I guess they couldn’t help it. By the way, I’m glad that nothing romantic happened between Jeetu Bhaiya and Pooja Didi, which would have been cringe-worthy. So at the end of Kota Factory season 3, Jeetu Bhaiya leaves. While driving away, he sees a newly determined Vaibhav in an auto beside him. Vaibhav has decided to go through the grind again because Jeetu Bhaiya has made him realize that hustle counts, irrespective of the result. It doesn’t make any sense for them to just stare at each other and then go their different ways, almost paying homage to Vin Diesel and Paul Walker from Fast and Furious, but the show chooses to end things exactly that way, which doesn’t quite sit right with me.

Will there be a fourth season?

Replace the “will” with “should,” and my answer would be a clear no. The ending of season 3 is fitting enough for this show to draw the line. Another season means they’ve got to bring Jeetu Bhaiya back to Kota somehow. There are times in this season where Jeetu Bhaiya is unable to save the day, and other people step in: Gagan sir with Vaibhav’s meltdown (not too fond of that rant, by the way; it seems too flimsy) and Pooja Didi with Uday’s parents. But we all know for a fact that Jitendra Kumar is the selling point of the show, and without him, the audience probably wouldn’t care much (remember Pitchers 2? You probably don’t, because you skipped it.) So Kota Factory should let Jeetu Bhaiya be, and the rest as well. Yes, we wouldn’t know if Vaibhav succeeds a second time around, but I would rather have that remain ambiguous. Hopefully, the next time, he will make sure that he reaches the right exam center well in time.

Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

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