Decoupled summary and ending explained

Netflix’s latest comedy drama, Decoupled, puts a separating couple — a novelist Arya Iyer (R. Madhavan) and his start-up founder wife, Shruti Sharma (Surveen Chawla) — in a huge dilemma when they try to figure out a way to make their divorce public without hurting the feelings of their 12 year old daughter.

Summary

The story kicks off with Arya and Shruti arguing about the status of their marriage as the duo heads off to a meeting with a potential investor for the latter’s start-up.

Once there, Arya is confronted with a situation that triggers his peculiar OCD. He refuses to shake the hand of his new neighbour, Dr. Basu’s son, stating teenage boys’ habit of masturbating and not washing hands after, to be the problem.

This incident opens the Pandora’s box of Arya’s misanthropic and no-filter attitude towards life, that always gets him into trouble and leaves Shruti in a state of embarrassment. He gets irked at random things and tries to force his opinions onto everyone around him, not taking into consideration the situation or place.

The two are long done with their marriage and blatantly fallen out of love with each other but still live together in their Gurgaon bungalow for the sake of their daughter, Rohini, who they believe will not be able to digest her parents separating.

Arya’s daily ranting and obnoxious antics see him added to the no fly list, being labelled an anti national, beaten up in a restaurant, and more. Despite all those issues, the biggest thorn in his life as a famous pulp fiction writer is his rival and India’s best-selling author, Chetan Bhagat (playing a fictional version of himself).

However, he sees a ray of positivity when Netflix approaches him for a collaboration and urge him to pitch an idea. He consults his director friend, Mayank (Aseem Hattangadi) and they suggest a talk show featuring a conversation between Arya and their CEO turned spiritual guru friend, Agni (Atul Kumar), to the company’s representative, Reema (Dilnaz Irani).

Meanwhile, Shruti meets a new Korean investor, Mr. Lee and they hit it off. This brings forth the conversation of making their divorce public as the opportunity to date new people arises.

The following episodes deal with various tit for tats which Arya and Shruti indulge in to assert dominance that lead to hilarity for one and humiliation for the other. Arya runs into an ex and tries to make Shruti jealous whereas she sabotages a literary meet where Arya is a speaker, causing him to be beaten and kicked off stage by a group of house maids.

Eventually, both of them have an affair — her with Mr. Lee and him with an air hostess, Masha, whom he meets on a flight to Mumbai. One night after a neighbourhood party where Arya has one of his outbursts, Shruti publicly calls him out. On the walk home, the parents finally reveal to Rohini about their intention to split.

After much deliberation, they come to a consensus about throwing a decoupling party in Goa to normalise divorce and present a positive picture around it for Rohini’s sake, who doesn’t take the news well, and agree to still live in the same house.

They invite all their friends along with Shruti’s parents and the group travels to Goa for the big event.

So what happens when the party finally arrives?

If you still have doubts from the final episode, here’s a full breakdown.

Decoupled ending explained in detail (Episode 8: The History of a marriage)

New partners

In the previous episodes it is hinted that they slept with their respective flings but a flashback reveals that such is not the case. Arya was kicked out from the hotel room by Masha for offering her a necklace in exchange for sex whereas Shruti let her patriarchal training to be loyal to her husband turn down Lee’s advances.

However, once in Goa, they are ready to be fully involved with new people. Fortunately for them, Lee texts Shruti that he’s flying to Goa and Arya runs into Masha as the flight staff of her company is stationed in the same property.

Arya makes up for his prior actions and sleeps with Masha but Shruti gets a surprise when she walks into Lee’s suite. He isn’t there in person but on video call and reveals to her that he’s starting a new hedge fund in London and wants her to move and lead the team.

Shruti is taken aback by the offer but consciously makes a decision to accept it once the decoupling is over.

Nostalgia

The moment finally arrives and all those gathered, sit around a dinner table as they ponder upon the history of Arya’s and Shruti’s marriage.

In a very jolly manner, they discuss their initial romance and sex life, alongside how it fell apart. In a surprising speech, their driver Ganesh narrates his experience of witnessing their degrading relationship in the backseat of their car over many years, which touches everyone.

They then move to the decoupling ceremony and throw their rings back to each other. All is good except Rohini who seems visibly shook by the events. She confides in Agni that she feels like she doesn’t know her parents anymore.

He comforts her and urges her to observe her parents from a distance as that will allow her to see them as regular human beings with regular issues and not an entity that always belongs together.

Shocking revelation

After all is said and done, Arya and Shruti fly back to Gurgaon and Mayank decides to make a conversation show featuring them. He explains that literally everyone will be interested in hearing what a separating Indian couple has to say about marriage.

As they sit for a recording, Arya gets a video call from Bhagat who mockingly reveals that Netflix wants to buy his books. He asks him if his deal with the streamer went through and how much he charged so that Bhagat can charge ten times that (as according to him he is that much more relevant than Arya).

Before the conversation can move further, Bhagat notices Shruti sitting besides her ex husband and mentions her taking up the job in London and soon moving there with Rohini. He says that he came to know about it through their common friends.

This news drops like a bomb on Arya’s head who is shocked and looks at Shruti for answer as the screen cuts to black.


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