Cartel (2021) ending explained: Who finally takes control?

‘Cartel’ is a crime-drama series that follows the city of Mumbai and the five underworld gangs that operate in its different regions. After an assassination attempt, the hierarchy is unstable and several plays are made to capitalize on the current mayhem. The series is now streaming on ALTBalaji and MX Player.

An Ekta Kapoor creation, ‘Cartel’ focuses on the ‘Angre’ family gang and its leader, Rani Mai (Supriya Pathak), as she aims to keep the peace between the five gangs of Mumbai and maintain their position at the top of the mountain.

When an attempt is made on Rani Mai’s life, sending her into a coma, it falls on her nephews Major (Tanuj Virwani) and Madhu (Jitendra Joshi) as well her own son, Abhay (Rithvik Dhanjani), to take the reigns and find out who called the hit on their family.

The other gang leaders all drop by to pledge their support and claim innocence with regards to the attack, but there is definitely trouble brewing in the background. Meanwhile, a contract killer is taking out targets who might lead to the real mastermind.

Dhaval (Amey Wagh), is an activist who fights for the truth and the general public but he’s also in a relationship with a member of the Angre family and this leads to conflicted mindset as he navigates the murky waters of state politics.

Abhay falls head over heels for Maya (Monica Dogra) who along with her uncle, Nevelle Dorabjee (Samir Soni), are only using him as a pawn in their own powerplay. They are content with working in the background until they have no choice but to reveal themselves.

Eventually, when Rani Mai wakes up from her coma and recovers sufficiently, she calls a meeting of the leaders that she’ll be passing on the responsibility of their gang to Major. This sends Abhay over the edge as he believed it was his birthright to assume the leadership.

Ultimately after all the scheming and planning, something had to give. With all the animosity between the gangs, who will finally reveal their true colours and take a step towards capturing the throne?

Cartel ending explained in detail:

A game of chess

After an attempt on Major’s life goes awry, Dorabjee calls a meeting of the remaining gang leaders to convince them to take his side. Gajraj agrees to go as the Angre gang’s inside man in order to stay two steps ahead.

At the meeting, Dorabjee lets the others know about his plan. For it to succeed, he needs the support of the others in taking out Major and the rest, and install their own puppet as head of the family, Abhay.

Gajraj relays this information back, claiming that they plan to launch a full-scale attack on the 11th day of the Ganesha festival as the entire police force will be preoccupied that day.

Major suggests launching their own counter offensive on the 7th day to catch the enemy by surprise. Gajraj is in agreement and pledges his support for this plan.

The Bait and switch

Gajraj and Rani Mai go to his garage to prepare for the assault. This is where Gajraj reveals his true intentions. He’s been holding a grudge ever since Rani Mai decided to take over the business instead of handing it to him when her husband died.

Meanwhile, Madhu is led into a trap with the help of his mistress. There lies Anna’s son Chiru ready to take him out.

Chairman attacks the Angre warehouse and Abhay leads an assault on the farmhouse against his own family.

The final showdown

Abhay storms the farmhouse with the sole intention of eliminating Major. He’s ordered his men to take out everyone but leave his brother alone so that he can deliver the final blow.

He combs every room, letting out a hail of bullets in frustration. Unbeknownst to him, his sister, Sumi is hiding in a closet and she falls out, her body riddled with bullets.

Major rescues his nephew Raghav and makes a run for it, with Abhay in tow. Reaching a cliff side, Major takes a leap of faith. At the garage, Gajraj murders Rani Mai with a bullet to head.

At the end, Abhay is standing in front of Sumi’s funeral pyre with Dorabjee and the other leaders by his side. Major is shown to have survived, and he claims to seek revenge on each and everyone who hurt his family.

The final shot is on Madhu’s bloodied body that was dumped in a trash yard. A close up of his hand shows one last flicker of life, proving that he may not be dead just yet.

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