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The Family Man Season 1 Recap and Ending, Explained

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‘The Family Man’ is an Indian spy thriller series that follows the intrepid Srikant Tiwari as he tries to juggle his life as an intelligence agent with his domestic responsibilities. With the threat of terrorism looming at large, Tiwari attempts to uncover and hunt down the elusive network of terror sleeper cells that threaten the country whilst trying to fathom the intricacies of having a teenage daughter and an unfulfilled wife.

We last see him looking blissfully unaware of the fact that both sides of his life — domestic and patriotic — are simultaneously in dire straits. The explosive season finale is a breathless unfolding of twist after twist, and we are left teetering on the edge of a cliffhanger that possibly had you screaming at your screen as the credits rolled in. Well, let’s see how much we can uncover from the ending of ‘The Family Man’ season 1. SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Family Man Season 1 Recap

‘The Family Man’ opens with Srikant Tiwari going through his domestic duties as a father. A very clearly middle-class citizen of Mumbai, complete with a jalopy that draws criticism from his kids as he drops them to school, Tiwari seems understandably and equally frustrated with all things around him. We then see him in his alternate avatar — an agent of the Threat Analysis and Surveillance Cell (TASC), a branch of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). During a handoff of suspected terrorists at the airport, he is called by his daughter’s indignant school principal regarding pills found in his daughter’s possession.

The handoff is botched, but the suspects are injured and apprehended. The TASC team, upon interrogation, find out that they are a part of a sinister plot for a large-scale attack somewhere in the country. However, its details remain elusive until Tiwari is sent to the turbulent region of Kashmir in North India. There, after briefly slipping into the Pakistani region of Balochistan, he is able to uncover the plot, codenamed Mission Zulfiqar, which involves smuggled nerve gas being used to mount an unprecedented attack on the country’s capital of New Delhi.

On the home front, Tiwari’s relationships with his wife and kids suffer due to his constant absence. His wife Suchitra, fed up with handling the household and kids all by herself, begins to look for professional (and personal) opportunities in her husband’s absence. Tiwari’s crumbling family life is further emphasized when we see his young son Atharv find his father’s gun and, left alone at home, proceed to dangerously role-play with it.

By the time the agent returns from his clandestine mission in Kashmir, there is a marked distance between him and his wife, which he tries to half-heartedly close but to no avail. His daughter also berates him for being detached from the family and hints that her mother might be having an affair, something Tiwari is seen being suspicious of earlier. Tiwari’s son attempts to blackmail his incredulous father for a new mobile phone by threatening to uncover the fact that he has stashed a gun at home.

Tiwari is pulled back into the quickly emerging terrorism crisis as he realizes that the explosive Mission Zulfiqar is aimed at attacking India as well as destabilizing the Pakistani administration. With the governments of the two countries cooperating by sharing information, Tiwari and his team ambush the nerve gas canisters whilst they are being transported to Delhi. However, Sajid, the man transporting them, escapes.

Sajid then reaches Delhi and joins up with his longtime ally and notorious terrorist Moosa, who is also known for his war crimes in Syria and is 6th on the FBI’s most-wanted list. He informs Sajid that he secretly worked on a “Plan B” and that despite the canisters getting captured, their plot to attack New Delhi will go ahead as planned.

Tiwari, amidst celebrating with his team the foiling of the terrorist plot, is informed about the existence of a Plan B. Left with no other option, he circulates the photographs of Moosa and Sajid all over the country in the hope of finding any information that will help locate them. This leads to Moosa’s mother being found in a small village in South India. Tiwari, aware of the terrorist’s attachment to his mother, then proceeds to circulate a video of the mother pleading to her son to turn himself in.

Moosa and Sajid, meanwhile, break into a chemical factory in Delhi and force the supervisor to override its safety protocols. Moosa, an engineering student in the past, begins to mix the factory’s massive stores of chemicals to release a poisonous gas over the entire city. He details to Sajid how the gas, like the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, will disable and disfigure the residents of the city for generations to come.

The Family Man Season 1 Ending: Does Moosa’s Plan Succeed?

As Moosa and Sajid flee from the city, the chemical containers in the factory build up and get closer and closer to releasing the fatal gasses. Unaware of the silent ticking chemical time bomb, Tiwari’s colleagues Milind and Zoya check the chemical factory on a haunch. There, seeing the dead supervisor, they realize that something is amiss and soon get into a gunfight with men Moosa has left behind to watch over the factory. Outgunned and injured, Milind tries to contact Tiwari for backup but is unable to reach him.

Moosa finally sees his mother on the news and realizes that she is in Delhi. He attempts to go back to the factory to disable his deadly scheme, explaining to Sajid that he will attempt the attack again in a few days, once his mother is safe. Sajid, however, attempts to stop Moosa from returning to the chemical factory and a brutal fight to the death occurs in which Moosa is repeatedly stabbed through the neck by his accomplice.

In the closing scenes of season 1, we see Tiwari looking vaguely satisfied after seeing Moosa’s corpse, unaware of the impending gas explosion in the chemical factory. We briefly see an industrial gasket explode from pressure before the credits roll in, leaving us wondering whether the sinister plot that season 1 has been building toward actually comes to pass or not.

So let’s see if we can figure out whether Moosa’s plan worked. Despite the plan’s perpetrator being dead, the technically savvy terrorist has set in motion events that cannot be easily stopped. Going so far as sacrificing his men by ordering them to (unknowingly) stay back at the factory until it exploded, Moosa even took into consideration the possibility that his clandestine plan would get discovered by the authorities, and we see happen when Zoya and Milind decide to investigate. The very same men left behind by Moosa manage to outgun the two TASC agents, delaying their call for backup, which could have resulted in the factory’s critical condition being noted.

This, in fact, is the most dangerous aspect of Moosa’s plan that hints at its success — no one (except Sajid), not even his own men, know that the factory is about to explode. Even the agents trapped in there, who know that something sinister is going on at the factory, don’t truly know the magnitude of the situation they have walked into. And completely oblivious, which is a new look for him, is Agent Tiwari who, after seeing Moosa’s corpse, possibly thinks that the threat of an imminent terrorist attack is over.

Earlier, whilst driving away from the factory, Moosa mentions in passing that within 2 hours, all of Delhi will be covered by poisonous gas. If we take this as the time limit for his attack to reach its peak of destruction and consider that Moosa’s subsequent fight with Sajid lasts about an hour, this gives the TASC team roughly 1 more hour to possibly limit the destruction caused by the factory.

Most likely, this is what happens. We have seen violent terrorist attacks, like the scooter bomb at Kala Ghoda, occur on the show. Hence, it is possible that Moosa’s plan also succeeds, up to an extent, and kills the people closest to the factory. The all-out destruction of Delhi, as envisioned by Moosa, is unlikely because it would change the course of the show into one of war between 2 countries. On multiple occasions, it is pointedly stated that a large-scale terrorist attack on India will result in military action.

Lastly, as a final confirmation that Moosa’s plan doesn’t end up destroying the capital city and plunging the nation into war is the season 2 trailer, which shows a relatively “calm” Tiwari working at a desk and missing the action of the field. His partner, JK, is handling a hostage situation in Chennai. This would not be the case if the factory had exploded with its intended intensity that endangered millions. Hence Moosa’s plan, for the most part, is unsuccessful.

Do Zoya and Milind Survive?

The last time we see Tiwari’s TASC colleagues, Zoya and Milind, they are left injured and trapped in the rapidly deteriorating chemical factory. Unaware of just how dangerous and destructive a situation they have walked into, Zoya and Milind are unable to call for backup as they are continuously buffeted by bullets from Moosa’s accomplices at the factory. When Milind, injured by a bullet, attempts to contact Tiwari, the latter is unable to pick up as he has left his phone in the office whilst going to inspect Moosa’s body.

Zoya and Milind’s survival is crucial at this point as they are the only TASC agents that know that something is amiss at the chemical factory. Hence, to have any chance of disabling the industrial time bomb rigged by Moosa, they must contact their team. The simplest possibility is that Milind calls Tiwari’s colleague JK, who is with him at the moment, or one of his other colleagues at TASC, for backup. Of course, whether Milind, who seems to be in a bad shape, even survives long enough to make another call after his first, unsuccessful one to Tiwari remains to be seen. Zoya also is trapped under a barrage of bullets and seems to have exhausted her own but she may be able to call for reinforcements amidst the chaos.

Though there is hope that one of the two characters is able to call for backup, their chances of survival appear bleak — Milind, due to his injuries, and Zoya is trapped, out of ammunition, and cowering from an advancing gunman. Even if they survive the gunmen, the two agents are literally at ground zero of the massive chemical attack. Hence, even if the attack is contained in a smaller area and doesn’t destroy the city, it is highly likely that it will kill everyone in the factory, including Milind and Zoya. The fact that the two don’t appear in the season 2 trailer doesn’t bode well for them either.

Does Sajid Survive?

The lone wolf responsible for the scooter bomb near the beginning of the show, Sajid, is one of the last remaining perpetrators (that we know) of Mission Zulfiqar. Though almost killed in his fight against Moosa, we eventually see Sajid stand up and start walking away from the corpse of his co-conspirator. Throughout season 1, Sajid has narrowly escaped capture and death on multiple occasions, including being imprisoned as a suspected college student but being let go, getting chased by Tiwari in Kashmir, and finally evading capture whilst attempting to smuggle nerve gas into Delhi.

He also survives the battle with Moosa. Tiwari’s frustration at never being able to uncover the man responsible for the scooter bomb attack is seen on multiple occasions, making it all the more poetic that it is Sajid that survives. Single-minded in focus and good at working alone, Sajid’s survival is most likely going to continue to be a thorn in Tiwari and his team’s side.

What Happens to The Family Man’s Family?

The other great “battle” that Tiwari is fighting is the one at home, against his rapidly unraveling family life. Initially seen to be slightly negligent, we see the agent’s absence in family matters increasingly affect his wife and kids, eventually resulting in his wife Suchitra most likely having an affair with her colleague Arvind.

And whereas his son has found a convenient way of shaking down his dad for pizza and ice cream in return for his silence, Tiwari’s teenage daughter is seen becoming disillusioned by her family and wondering whether her parents are going to get a divorce. Hence, as things are left at the end of season 1, it seems as if The Family Man’s family is falling apart.

However, it is apparent from Suchitra’s hesitation in her interactions with Arvind as well the childrens’ loving admonishes to their father that the family is still rooting for Tiwari and, with some love and attention, he will be able to set things (sort of) right. However, as before, it will be the balancing his all-encompassing job of protecting the country with his family that will test Tiwari going forward as well.

What Will Kareem’s Girlfriend Jonali Do?

Kareem is the young college student killed for being a suspected terrorist by Tiwari and his men. Soon after the encounter, when it is discovered that the boy was transporting meat and not weapons, Tiwari is racked by guilt. His conscience is further burdened when the boy is labeled a terrorist by the face-saving government agencies responsible for his death. At one point, he decides to reveal the truth about Kareem but is stopped by his supervisors.

Unable to help himself, Tiwari anonymously informs Kareem’s grieving girlfriend Jonali that her boyfriend was not a terrorist. She then follows the events leading up to her boyfriend’s death and finds a recording hidden by him moments before being gunned down. In it, he professes his innocence and specifies that it was meat, and not weapons, that he was carrying. The footage also shows a menacing-looking Tiwari in the background, wielding a gun.

Hence, Jonali and her mother, who earlier threatened to go to court for the wrongful death of the young student, now have definitive proof. The matter, thought to be buried by the heads of TASC and the NIA, could open up a can of worms for everyone involved when Kareem’s final footage comes to light. More than anyone else, the footage will incriminate Tiwari for an error of judgment that he already feels very guilty about. It is worth considering that with the footage coming out, Tiwari will most likely be fired from TASC, which is why we see him at a different, tamer desk job in the season 2 trailer. However, nothing can keep Tiwari from getting his hands dirty.

Read More: Is The Family Man Based on a True Story?

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