‘The Freelancer’ Part 2 Recap & Ending Explained: Was Aliya Safely Extracted?

Part one of The Freelancer must be one of the most riveting thrillers to have come out of Disney+ Hotstar. This Neeraj Pandey venture is all about action and the politics of the religion that has engulfed a certain part of the Middle Eastern region. There is a lot uncovered by the makers of the show in the first part about radical and moderate Islamists and how these ideologically different groups of the same faith operate. Besides all the above, it was about saving a young woman named Aliya who was forced by her husband’s family to live in ISIS-occupied Syria.


The first part of The Freelancer ended with Aliya’s brother and sister-in-law blowing themselves up inside a crowded medina. Aliya was soon able to fathom the brutality with which ISIS operated. Aliya is yet to be rescued by Avinash, along with the assistance of the CIA, but a lot needs to be done before the operation begins. This article will take the viewers through the last three episodes of the showdown around the rescue mission.

Spoilers Ahead


Why Was The Terrorist Outfit Trying To Kill  Avinash?

As seen in the first part of the show, Avinash had visited Farhat Khaala, one of the major recruiters for the ISIS brigade in Mumbai. She made sure to inform the leadership at Dayr Az Zawr about the possibility of a mercenary visiting their territory. Commander Al Hindvi was quick to hire his men to trail Avinash to neutralize him. One of the men was killed by Avinash, who was aware the terrorist outfit would put him on the hit list. Al Hindvi was worried that the mercenary was coming too close to the town where they were operating. Fortunately, Avinash survived the attack, and his plan was set in motion. Avinash’s movements will keep the terrorist outfit occupied till he comes up with an elaborate plan with the CIA to extract Aliya.

What Is The Reason Avinash Hiring A Doppelganger Of Aliya?

Avinash and his contact, an expert forger, formulated a plan to hire an actress resembling Aliya. After many failed auditions, he hired Sonia Shah, who was willing to take up the job. Sonia Shah was a struggling actress herself, and she took the assignment purely for money. She would have to enter the UAE under the name Aliya Khan, live in Dubai, and come back to Mumbai as Sonia Shah. More details about the plans were not discussed this early in the show, but Avinash was in control of how he wanted his operation to work.


What Is The New Deal Made By Avinash With The IB?

IB Officer Raghvendra Setu was keen to know a mercenary’s interest in saving a young Indian citizen from an ISIS-occupied town in Syria. It not only raised eyebrows but also brought into question if the man was hired by an organization that would profit from having Aliya on their side.  Avinash had lost faith in the CIA, which had initially agreed to extract Aliya from the town, in return for her offering intel about the geographical locations of the town. The CIA’s main concern was Aliya’s brother-in-law, aka the Pilot. The CIA had every reason to back away from the deal and focus on bombing the house where Aliya lives in the hope the young man was neutralized. The CIA refused to rescue Aliya now that they had all the information provided by her. 

Avinash was livid at the CIA for stepping back from the original deal. He shook hands with the IB and demanded that they open a channel of negotiations with the CIA. Avinash was willing to sell all the intelligence he had about ISIS-occupied Syria, which he’d extracted from Mohsin’s system after hacking into it. This intelligence could be negotiated with the CIA by the IB and the R&AW in exchange for Aliya’s extraction. This mission was a personal affair for him, and Avinash would go to any extent to make sure Aliya remained alive and was rescued. A press conference held by the IB would also help Avinash mislead the ISIS leadership into thinking that the Indian intelligence was misguided.


Why Was Nabila Blackmailing Aliya?

Nabila, the British Pakistani woman living next door to Aliya in Dayr Az Zawr, had become fast friends over the stories of shared trauma. Just like Aliya, Nabila was forced to follow her husband’s family into this place. Nabila was the first person to notice Aliya carrying two phones. She was quick to deduce that Aliya was using the other phone to stay in touch with her family back home. Nabila confronted Aliya about the phone, something she vehemently denied, to avoid being snitched out to the authorities. At this point, Aliya could not trust anyone, including Nabila, who was desperate as well. Nabila resorted to blackmailing Aliya because the woman was helpless and wanted an out for herself. Nabila went from friend to foe and was willing to blackmail the only ally she had in this town. Nabila was made to believe her blackmail worked as Aliya informed her about Avinash reaching the town to rescue her, and Aliya would expect her friend to remain alert most of the time because the extraction could happen anytime. The false hope was the only way to stop Nabila from outing her, which could lead to Aliya’s death as well.

What Was The Plan Hatched By Avinash?

Avinash was aware that the CIA might carry out a strike to kill the Pilot in forty-eight hours, which made him assemble his team and head towards Dayr Az Zawr to rescue Aliya way before the bombing began. As the plans changed, the strike had barely an hour to go when Avinash and Raghavendra Setu got into a negotiation mode with the CIA. It was not disclosed what would be given to them in exchange for putting the strike on hold. Avinash claimed to have created a video and an affidavit that could implicate the CIA if anything were to happen to him or Aliya due to the air strikes that the CIA was planning. This probably gave Avinash an edge, and the American intelligence granted him another eighteen hours to extract Aliya from the ISIS town.

Avinash may have promised to offer Aliya to the CIA for detailed interrogation about ISIS in exchange. The plan was not as easy as it sounds, but this was the best he could come up with because the CIA was not willing to let go of the Pilot, the man they figured was a bigger threat to their country. It was essential for them to neutralize or capture the man before he would cause some sort of incident on American soil, implying a 9/11 kind of attack. Avinash, on the other hand, was on a mission to fulfill the promise he made and make sure his friend’s death did not go in vain.

Was Aliya Safely Extracted From Isis-Controlled Syria?

In the eighteen hours given to them, Avinash and his team of fighters entered ISIS-controlled Syria. The team entered the town during the Friday prayers, and the team would be given ample chance and space for Aliya to be removed from the house. Back in the house, Nabila is invited over by Aliya as per the instructions which were to mislead her. The British-Pakistani girl realized Aliya had no plan to help her, and the women got into a physical altercation that led to Aliya being rendered unconscious. Avinash and his team took Nabila with them by mistake because every woman in this region wore a head-to-toe burka. As mentioned above, Nabila felt betrayed by Aliya, but she also forgot that she’d resorted to blackmailing to get things done her way.  This back and forth led to a last-minute altercation that put Aliya on the back foot.


Nabila is caught and killed at the security checkpoint under the protection of Avinash, who believes Aliya died on the spot. He recognized the woman he rescued was not Aliya and quickly headed back to the town to finish the mission. It was a race against time because the Friday prayers would end, and the house would be bombed as well. Aliya was being safely removed from the house until Mohsin confronted her, but Avinash killed him instantly. The house was also blown up with no time to spare. Avinash and his team timed it perfectly and made sure there was no trail left. None of them wanted any of ISIS’s leadership to follow them or Aliya. There was always a fear that Aliya might speak about her life in the Caliphate. Aliya was an asset because Mohsin was in a prominent position because of the money his family donated. Aliya was shipped off to Dubai via a ship to avoid unwarranted attention and getting traced. ISIS was a strong outfit, and they did have the latest technology to locate the girl.

As The Freelancer reached its finale, Sonia Shah was asked to leave Dubai with her real passport while her fake identity as Ruksar Ahmed was handed over to Aliya. Aliya was to stay in the UAE under a new identity, and Avinash planned this operation with a lot of meticulousness so that no one would be able to find a loophole and take advantage of it.


A lot of them would assume Aliya might have died in the bombing of their house in Dayr Az Zawr, but the real Aliya would have to lay low, possibly away from her mother, and get over a tragedy of monumental scale. Aliya will go through a lot of PTSD, so here’s to hoping her new identity will help her get over the old wounds. There was no family of Mohsin alive to follow her to the grave, which would make it easier for her to move on and build a new life.

The end credits of The Freelancer brought closure to the entire series. The CIA is not happy with Avinash not holding up his side of the agreement. He did not send Aliya for CIA interrogation. This was probably the reason Aliya had to live in a new city with another identity to avoid being tracked by the CIA. Avinash risked his life, as stated by Raghavendra Setu, and he would not give up on the girl because she is family. It was delightful to watch Raghavendra speak in favor of Avinash after all this being against the mercenary. He could also join Professor Khan’s work and start building a network to help Avinash in his future projects. The mercenary work would never end, which means Avinash will go back to Tangiers and continue his married life with Mrunal by his side.


ISIS in Syria acquired a video recorded by Mohsin’s neighbor of Aliya being rescued by Avinash and another woman. This evidence was enough for the terrorist outfit to be worried about what the man could be capable of. The leadership asked everyone to disperse, which we assume was rare for a terrorist outfit to declare as such. We assume the makers took cinematic liberty to proclaim Avinash and his team of mercenaries to be far scarier than the organization that has terrorized the whole world and has managed to create a state based on the extremist ideas attached to their faith.

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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