‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’ Recap (Episodes 1-8): Everything That Happens In Zee5 Global Series

Politicians in India often make the news for their involvement in some sort of crime, but what happens when the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu is on the verge of facing jail time? Veteran director Vasanthabalan’s political thriller series, Thalaimai Seyalagam, deals with such a tricky premise with great execution. Unlike most political dramas, Vasanthabalan’s series mostly shows the power struggle within the CM’s own family and party. Here’s a quick recap of the eight episodes of this engaging political drama.

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Spoilers Ahead


Episode 1: The King’s Gambit

CM Arunachalam’s 63rd birthday isn’t what one would expect it to be, as the party members and family are in a state of worry rather than celebrating. He’s being presented in the special court of Andhra Pradesh for his involvement in the Kuzhaichalur Car Company. This is supposed to be the last hearing before the court issues a date of judgment, and things are not looking good for the CM. In court, Arunachalam makes the point that the central government is walking around with its head held high, when they’re the ones who are not letting the states operate freely. He believes that it’s the leaders of the ruling party who are benefiting from this trial. Arunachalam’s daughter, Amudhavalli, talks with the lawyer, and it’s clear that the CM is going to prison if they don’t do anything within a month before the judgment. Amudhavalli is a shark, and she is worried about the aftermath of the judgment and whether she’ll be named the successor or not. Kotravai is a journalist who advocates for the chief minister, as she’s the main political advisor to him. Kotravai and Arunachalam are very close to each other, and it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Arunachalam considers her his closest confidant. Kotravai’s daughter Maya is a teenage rebel and despises her for the relationship she maintains with the CM. She throws away the birthday cake Kotravai made for the CM very casually. Maya also slut-shames Kotravai and refuses to behave nicely with her, even though Kotravai is nothing but patient with her habits. Arunachalam comes to Kotravai’s house for the birthday dinner, and from their relationship it looks like they both immensely respect each other. 

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One of the subplots of the show revolves around a missing bandit queen, Durga. A man named Tiwari was killed by her, and the people of his village have been waiting for her arrest for more than a decade. The judge issues an order for a CBI officer to look into the matter and take Durga into custody. Just after Arunachalam takes his leave from Kotravai, Durga shows up at Kotravai’s house. They’ve been friends for a long time, and she asks Kotravai to help her clear a shipment that has been obstructed by the security forces of the harbor. Kotravai refuses to listen to her as she has never asked the CM for any favours, but Durga is furious and flips a table in disappointment. Kotravai’s mute housekeeper, Cathy, also knows Durga, and Durga leaves the house, warning Kotravai she’d better help her. On her way back, Durga gets stopped at a checkpost, and Tharun, the guy who’s accompanying her, talks with the police, and they let them past.  Durga senses that Tharun is a vulture, and she kills him by whipping him to mark the end of the first episode. 


Episode 2: An Innocent Turmoil

Crows eating from a dumpyard isn’t something uncommon, but it’s pretty freaky when a crow flies off with a severed human hand. The hand falls onto a woman’s car, and the police start looking into the matter. The CBI officer appointed by the court is Nawaz Khan, who walks into his new assignment while humming ek pyaar ka nagma hai. Nawaz exudes charm, and his big frame only solidifies his authoritative presence in the room. Meanwhile, the power struggle continues as the opponent’s lawyer, Krishnamoorthy, manipulates one of Arunachalam’s party members into becoming his informant. Arunachalam is clueless in his party meeting, as it seems inevitable that all the doors are closed on him. He only has two options in hand: to beg for mercy from the petitioner, Rangarajan, or to give in to the ruling party, which runs the central government. To add to this misery, the general secretary of his party, Selva, goes to meet Krishnamoorthy and Rangarajan. Both of them offer to make Selva the next chief minister if he joins their cause, but Selva’s loyalty to the party stands taller. As he leaves, the media catches him leaving Rangarajan’s house, and Krishnamurthy confirms to the media that he’s had a meeting with Selva. When Amudhavalli confronts Selva over it, Selva feels insulted. Selva’s father was the one who formed the party, and he made Arunachalam the Chief Minister because he thought he’d be worthy of the chair. After going to prison seven times over the course of his career, he refuses to be disrespected by Amudhavalli, resigns from the party, and quits politics as well. Arunachalam’s son-in-law, Hariharan, also a minister in his party, is a believer in tasseography, which is basically predicting your fortune by using the patterns of tea leaves or coffee grounds. He’s in trouble as he’s taken a huge bribe of 300 crores from an underworld boss Dubey. In exchange for letting an illegal helium gas project pass in Tamil Nadu. Since Hariharan has failed to do so, he’s being threatened by Dubey.

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The severed hand is revealed to be an undercover cop’s. Gowtham has helped seize over thousands of crores of assets, from diamonds to dynamite. He was one of the most successful undercover officers in the department and has been missing for the last four months. Inspector Manikandan and his assistant and girlfriend Sundari are assigned to search for Gowtham. The CCTV footage leads them to Kotravai’s house, and they go to ask her a few questions. Kotravai tells them that the woman who visited her is an old batchmate of hers from DNU, and the man who came with her identified himself as Tharun. Manikandan realizes that Gowtham was working undercover, and Kotravai tells them that her friend wanted a favor from the CM, which she refused to help her with. Manikandan and Sundari leave soon after, but both of them are suspicious that Kotravai is hiding something. 


Episode 3: Whisper of Deceit 

Manikandan and his team find a decapitated head in the dumpyard, and they find a burnt car, which they saw on the CCTV footage. Nawaz Khan compares Tiwari’s death to an ex-MP’s murder. MP’s son wanted to get hold of Durga, but he also didn’t want the details of his father’s death to be out in the public, as she put his own junk in his face following her pattern. Since Durga killed Tiwari, the son used that to file a case so that the court would order a search for her. The son tells Nawaz that Durga was pretending to be a reporter for Muqbir Magazine. After murdering Chauhan, Durga looted all the jewelry from his house until she got caught by Tiwari, the leader of Chauhan’s henchmen. Tiwari gruesomely tortured Durga to make her suffer before she died, but she managed to kill Tiwari and all his men single-handedly. Durga’s pattern of killing involves castrating her victims and inserting their genitals in their mouths. Nawaz finds Robert, the journalist who ran Muqbir. Robert doesn’t know anything about Durga, but he tells Nawaz to pursue his informant, Neeraj. Neeraj lives in an area full of Naxalites, and he instructs Nawaz to dress up as a journalist if he wants to find him. 

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Kotravai goes to visit Selva and convinces him to return to the party. Since his departure, Arunachalam has been sick, and he can’t handle his emotions without Selva. Selva agrees to go, and Arunachalam embraces him. The reunion is perfect, but bigger issues are crippling the party. Amudhavalli blames Kathirvel, who leaked the pictures of Selva to the media. Kathirvel is an old member of the party, and Kotravai convinces everyone that it’s best if they don’t throw him out right away. Amudhavalli then calls up a famous political broker who comes up with ideas to halt the judgment and buy more time, but Kotravai finds loopholes in her plan. Riya, the broker, refuses to talk if Kotravai is in the room, and Arunachalam asks her to step outside for a while. Riya suggests that they must create a stir amongst the media and make a parliament member say that the report, which is being used by Krishnamoorthy as evidence, was secretly given in parliament. As per the plan, an MP from Nagaland claims that he doesn’t even know the CM of Tamil Nadu, and how could someone use his name in a parliamentary report without his knowledge? He thinks his parliamentary rights have been violated, and this incident makes sure to delay the judgment day. 


Episode 4: Interlocking Circles

Nawaz travels to Jharkhand to find Neeraj and waits in a market for two days before a kid comes to take him to Neeraj. Neeraj helped Durga get a fake ID from a journalist and also assisted her in making an escape to Odisha. Neeraj tells Nawaz to look for Inspector Shahid in Bhubaneswar, as he’s the only one who knows what happened to Durga. Manikandan illegally taps Kotravai’s phone to unravel the secret she’s hiding, but instead finds out that Kotravai is looking for Maya, who didn’t come home last night. Kotravai receives a text from Durga, saying her deadline is over. She fears that Durga has done something to Maya and decides to tell Arunachalam everything. When she arrives at Arunachalam’s house, Hariharan catches her in the middle and tries to talk her into his little helium gas project. Kotravai tells him how poisonous it is and how little the company cares about the safety of the workers. When Hariharan tries to bribe her, she snaps and insults him in front of party members. Kotravai calls Durga again, who just wants her shipment and isn’t willing to listen to anything else. Manikandan’s team tracks the location down, and she’s at a music festival where Maya is playing. Durga tries to talk to Maya and suggests to her that she should write songs about social suffering more than her own. Manikandan, Sundari, and the police force recognize Durga in the crowd, and a shootout follows between them and Durga’s men. Manikandan manages to shoot her in the arm, but Durga still escapes. 

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The fourth episode ends with Kotravai getting the news of her daughter’s safety and asking Arunachalam for a political position in his party. Arunachalam is more than happy that she wants to join, and they shake hands on a new beginning. Nawaz goes to Bhubaneswar only to find out that Durga has been arrested and is now in jail for killing a zamindar (land owner). 


Episode 5: A Web of Intrigue

Nawaz Khan finds a different woman being held in prison who’s impersonating Durga. Robert is confused by this, but Nawaz explains how 50 percent of Indian prisoners are unaware of their crimes. Nawaz finds out about the prison superintendent who was in charge at the time Durga was arrested, who’s opened a huge textile shop in the center of the city. Nawaz easily gets the information out of him, and he reveals that the zamindar Durga killed, his son paid him a handsome amount to let Durga go and replace her with another woman. Riya has made another move to delay the judgment, as she’s used the party’s resources to expose one of Rangarajan’s allies, Manish Pandey. Manish Pandey is a businessman who’s helped hundreds of Indian VIPs invest in foreign countries. Amudhavalli uses this sweet little victory to tell Arunachalam about Hariharan’s scandal. Arunachalam slaps and insults Hariharan in front of his family, and Hariharan tries to figure out who broke the news to him. Amudhavalli also wanted one of his loyalists to get a position in the party, and Arunachalam agreed. He announces Amudhavalli’s man, Ramachandran, as a deputy head and gives the coveted position of propaganda secretary to Kotravai. Amudhavalli isn’t happy about this, but the CM refuses to take her tantrums seriously. Hariharan plans revenge on Kotravai, as he thinks she’s the only one who could have ratted on him. 

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After the shootout at the music festival, Manikandan got suspended for snooping around Kotravai illegally and firing on an event full of civilians. But he’s hellbent on getting to the bottom of this, as Gowtham’s wife and son’s faces constantly haunt him. Manikandan sneaks into Kotravai’s house, looking for information. Kotravai soon comes back and goes outside again to feed the stray dogs, and two men on a motorcycle open fire at her. Kotravai gets shot, but it’s her housekeeper Catherine who takes more bullets, trying to save Kotravai. Manikandan helplessly watches this unfold from upstairs. 


Episode 6: Chasing Shadows 

Nawaz plans to lure the Zamindar’s son into finding them instead of directly going to investigate him. His plan succeeds, as Pandit Jr. and his men surround Nawaz and Thomas in their hotel. Nawaz warns him to divulge any information he has, as within ten minutes the CBI team is coming to arrest him and his men. Pandit Jr. gets scared and tells Nawaz how his sister-in-law and his father had an affair, which led to his brother committing suicide. Pandit Jr. was in love with his brother’s wife, but his mother held her responsible for her son’s death. She beat up his sister-in-law and drove her out of the house, and he was furious at his father for causing all this. When Durga came to their house and planned to murder him, he helped her and gave away his father’s valuables. He even helped her avoid prison and made another woman take the fall for her. Nawaz manages to get the most important information out of him, which is that Durga used to have a file with her, which had a parliament committee list. 

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Kotravai’s surgery was successful, but Catherine lost her life trying to save her. Manikandan tells Arunachalam how he ended up saving Kotravai’s life. Arunachalam recognizes his spirit and appoints him to identify the shooters. Manikandan safely escorts Maya to the hospital and tells her to contact him if Durga gets in touch. Maya is still being her usual annoying self, and Arunachalam criticizes her for being shallow-minded despite belonging to a younger generation. He describes how he and Kotravai have always maintained a platonic relationship, and how he only asked her to be his political advisor because of her incredible political wit. Maya tells him to save the lecture and then goes to see Kotravai, only to tell her she wishes that Catherine had survived instead of her. Kotravai tells her to go to Berlin and fulfill her dreams of studying music, but Maya says she doesn’t need her help for it. Maya meets Durga and offers to arrange for the clearance of her shipment in exchange for a heavy commission. Manikandan finds the shooters, who are laborers on a construction site. The chase is over when he catches one of them, but just when he’s about to grab him, the shooter falls from the building’s roof and dies immediately. The other one sees all this unfolding from a distance and flees the scene. Manikandan wants to go to Delhi and find out where Durga and Kotravai originated from and what might be their motives.

Meanwhile, Nawaz finds the list Durga had, and it’s a list of a parliamentary committee from 1998. Chauhan and Pandit were both part of an anti-terrorism committee, and Arunachalam was on that committee too. Five of them were murdered, but there haven’t been many investigations into it since all of them are ex-MPs. Nawaz figures that only two of the members of this committee are alive: CM Arunachalam and a Professor of political science who teaches at DNU. 

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Episode 7: The Final Stand

Sundari and Manikandan are staying at the same hotel as Nawaz, and they even leave together, heading to DNU. Sundari thinks Nawaz is following them, but Manikandan lets it pass. Manikandan doesn’t find any student in the records named Kotravai or Durga, and when he digs deep into the records, he finds out that Kotravai’s real name is Shakthi, hailing from a small village in Jalpaiguri, West Bengal. Another student’s address matches Kotravai’s, and now they know where to look if they’re to solve this case. Nawaz got hold of Professor Vipin, who told him how the committee only functioned for a year and that the government dissolved before it could implement the committee’s suggestions. 

The committee was formed to put an end to the growing unrest the rebellious laborers caused throughout the rural areas of India. In the committee, only Vipin, Arunachalam, and Leela were in favor of educating the tribal children and providing jobs to tribals to stop the rebellious groups. The rest of the committee members wanted to give guns to tribal kids to fight off the Naxalites. Even though the committee’s suggestions never got adopted, people like Chauhan and Pandit implemented this plan in the cities they lived in. That caused thousands of rebels to die at the hands of tribal children. While leaving the campus, Nawaz bumps into a kid, and his files get scattered all over the floor. Manikandan and Sundari come to help him gather the things, and they see Durga’s sketch in his files. After both parties identify themselves, they join forces to get to the bottom of things. Manikandan asks Nawaz to look for Durga in Tamil Nadu, as she’s already on his radar, and tells Sundari to assist him. He himself decides to go to West Bengal to try to dig into Durga’s origins. 

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Arunachalam faces a dilemma when Amudhavalli brings a marriage prospect for his niece Sapthami, who’s just started college. The groom is the union minister’s son, and this marriage could help him get rid of all the problems he’s facing. Despite his rejection of this idea, all of the family convinces him to say yes, including Sapthami herself. Maya meets up with Hariharan to ask him if he can help her with the shipment, and he agrees. Hariharan cracks a deal with Durga, threatening her that he knows that the shipment consists of 1000 crores worth of gold. He asks for a 50 percent share to get it done, and Durga agrees, but only after making sure that he’d give Maya her two percent commission. Kotravai convinces Arunachalam to break off the wedding and save her life, and in this scene, you really see how important Kotravai is to Arunachalam. She’s the Chanakya to his Chandragupta. Arunachalam breaks off the wedding during the engagement ceremony, and Sapthami hugs him in joy. The union minister is not happy with the embarrassment, and he swears that Arunachalam will have to face the consequences. The next day, the Supreme Court rejects the stay order and allows the High Court to proceed with the verdict, and the judgment day is set to be on July 14. Arunachalam holds a party meeting and announces that he’s named his successor if he goes to prison, and he gives Selva an envelope that is to be opened if Arunachalam goes to jail. Amudhavalli thinks that it’s Kotravai whose name is in the envelope, and the father-daughter get into an ugly fight over it. Arunachalam declares that it’s his party and position, and he’ll give it to whoever he wants. Hariharan, who just got a sniff of fresh money, calls Krishnamurthy to let him know that he has the 500 crores, and now it’s his responsibility to make him the CM. 

Manikandan comes to Kolkata, and you could tell he’s in Kolkata. Vasanthabalan portrays the City of Joy in all its glory as Manikandan walks around pretending to investigate against some of the most beautiful and iconic backdrops the city has to offer. Things get real when he goes to the village in Jalpaiguri and starts to investigate Durga. Nobody’s willing to say anything when he shows Durga’s picture, and a tea shop owner warns him to run away before he gets killed. Manikandan refuses to run, and a group of men nab him and beat him up. When he wakes up, he sees the village celebrating a festival, which is ambiguous and creepy. 

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Episode 8: The Coronation 

The final episode begins with Arunachalam, Selva, and Kotravai going to court to face the impending judgment. Hariharan is still getting threats from Dubey, and he abuses Dubey, saying he’ll get the money before the day ends. In the court, Kotravai’s phone rings and causes unrest. Just when the judge is warning her for misbehavior, the same thing happens to all of the party members who are present in court. Everybody’s phone rings at the same time as the ‘Order, Order’ fails to establish order. This was Kotravai’s scheme to delay the proceedings as an emergency mail came to the court. Krishnamurthy’s one major piece of evidence was based on the autobiography of an American businessman, who himself went to the Supreme Court and said his autobiography which was provided as evidence isn’t valid as evidence. His autobiography has many lies in it, and his company’s account has a lot of discrepancies in their accounts. The Supreme Court has ordered the Andhra high court to stop the verdict, saying the investigation should start again after 17 years of this case running on false evidence. Kotravai smiles as everybody around her applauds her wit. Arunachalam comes out of the court with a massive ovation from his party workers, and he leaves in his helicopter. The seemingly happy ending to this saga soon fizzles out as the helicopter crashes in the dense forest regions of Andhra Pradesh. 

Hariharan meets Durga after the shipment has safely arrived in Andhra Pradesh, but now he wants the whole shipment. His greed knows no bounds, and Durga’s men and his men stand against each other with guns out. Their standoff is interrupted by Nawaz and Sundari, who arrive with the police force to arrest Durga. A shootout follows, and at the end of it, Maya shoots Durga. Maya was playing a double game all along, and Durga reveals that she’s her actual mother before she passes away. The truck didn’t have gold, but a lot of guns, which makes a lot more sense. 

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Arunachalam’s death is confirmed, and the party holds an emergency meeting to name the successor. Selva opens the envelope to crown Amudhavalli as the new CM, but Kotravai is shocked. She realizes that Amudhavalli got her father killed for the chair, and she accuses her of being a murderer. The meeting soon turns into chaos, and Kotravai is taken away by the party members. Arunachalam’s death divided the party into two. Soon, the injured pilot confesses that Amudhavalli and Arunachalam’s father-in-law, Nagarajan, paid him off to kill the CM, and Kotravai is chosen to be the successor. Manikandan returns from West Bengal, and Nawaz asks him if he found Durga. Manikandan reveals the Durga that got killed wasn’t the real Durga, and the real Durga is taking the oath to be the new chief minister as they talk. He saw the whole village worshipping a statue that looks exactly like Kotravai, and a villager confirmed she’s indeed Durga, the savior of the poor. 


See More: ‘Thalaimai Seyalagam’ Ending Explained


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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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