There's always something new in each episode but it also manages to grab your attention.
Events around Dr. Homi Bhabha's death unfurl. With that, events of history come to the forefront.
"From the end, spring new beginnings." Rocket Boys 2 is all about endings. It is the end of slavery and after a point, end of brilliance thanks to the control of power.
"When the power is divided, will you find peace," Dr. Homi Bhabha says on the show. Rocket Boys 2 absolutely taps on the powerplay but equality, not so much. It focuses on the guilt and regret this time around.
May 17, 1974. That is when the story of Rocket Boys 2 commences. It starts at a slow pace and makes you wonder, till you realize that it is related to Dr. Homi Bhabha's death.
Soon, the story moves to Pokhran, where the bomb testing originally commenced.
Arjun Radhakrishnan, who plays Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam enters the show in a mysteric scenario. He enters even before Jim Sarbh's Dr. Homi Bhabha and Ishwak Singh's Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.
Ishwak finally enters with Arjun. The bond is between Dr. Sarabhai and Kalam this time and it is not the same as Dr. Bhabha-Sarabhai.
Ishwak is great at expressions and even more than that, the dialogues work in his favour. The best description for him comes from Saba Azad's pipsy - idealistic and morally conflicted.
Regina Cassandra is back as Mrinalini and she is sensitive yet smart, just like the last time. The actress makes her role better with her eye expressions. She has also perfected the Tamil accent. Her performance at the concert hits the spot.
Jim's Dr. Bhabha is introduced in his very style - shooting a video for his US friends. He livens up the otherwise slowly-paced story. He couldn't possibly have a better introduction to the show.
Dibyendu Bhattacharya as Raza gets into his role instantly. His bromance with Dr. Bhabha is absolutely worth it. The scene gets intense soon after, proving the legend Dr. Bhabha knew how to have fun while being absolutely certain about his work too.
Dibyendu kills it as Raza. He is at par with Jim when it comes to acting.
Despite everything, Dr. Bhabha has a secretive side to him this time. Fortunately, that also works with Jim in the role.
Morarji Desai is mentioned in the series. By the third episode, he plays a major role in the story.
Namit Das is back and his pauses make his role a worthy watch. As Prasenjit Dey, he leaves an impression.
This time, Dr. Bhabha and Dr. Sarabhai's stories run parallely. There is no more going deep into their personalities but seeing the eagerness as well as trouble with every new project.
The rocket is launched for the first time on the show. While almost a memorable moment, this sticks true to the theme of the series - trying despite failure.
Saba Azad's Pipsy enters the show in the second episode. She grows on you every single time this actress is in the frame. She has actuallly perfected her role.
Dr. Bhabha supporting Dr. Sarabhai in private makes for a great moment. On the other hand, Dr. Sarabhai thinks about Dr. Bhabha in public. This speaks volumes about their bond this time - where they look for one another but learned from them and moved on with their life.
Jim and Saba's bond is not what you expect but something that leaves you feeling complete. Their long hug, on the other hand, leaves you feeling broken.
Jim's bun-maska dialogue comes at an apt time. It is Homi Bhabha's sarcasm at best. His attitude with the Americans is typical of him. It is the best thing to watch since the season started.
Rajit Kapur as Jawaharlal Nehru is seen with Lal Bahadur Shastri this time. Indira Gandhi is casually mentioned early on the show but eventually, she plays a huge role in it. It is after Lal Bahadur Shastri's death is spoken about. She then takes all control in her own hands.
Little things like the Zarathushtra (Parsi God) at Homi Bhabha's office make the show whole. There's also the use of languages apart from Hindi from time-to-time which work wonders.
The show makes some very subtle statements. Right from hinting that Dr. Bhabha might have been a bisexual to claiming if a death is murder or accident, the show does not shy away from making a statement or leaving anything hanging.
Arjun plays a good role in this series too. He brings in the Tamil influence and it just flows with the Hindi dialogues, barely disrupting your viewing experience.
We get to see Dr. Sarabhai's association with the IIM and it is complicated. That is to say the least.
The series sees extreme lows. The depression is lingering for the longest time.
Dr. Bhabha and Dr. Sarabhai's meeting, as expected, is one of the best things about the series. Whether in reality or in the fantasy world, they are the absolute best thing to happen to Rocket Boys.
The reign of Indira Gandhi is touched upon and explored. It comes in bits-and-pieces but that's all there is to it.
History is not on point when it comes to this series. If one can ignore that, Rocket Boys 2 can work for you.
Dr. Bhabha's new talent is explored in the series. It is related to music. Saba's Pipsy accompanies him in that. When there's a happy moment on this show, you can be sure it will be followed by an emotional scene. That is exactly what happens even here.
Saba's breakdown scene works really well. This happens just when you think that things are healing, which leaves a bigger impact.
There is always something that every episode of this series offers. Every character, whether small or big, has a major role to play in this show.
The scene before Homi's flight and Vikram picking up the call is absolute brilliance. Everything since keeps you at the edge of the seat and rightfully so.
The focus this time, shifts to the political scenario in India. All the Prime Ministers over the years are touched upon.
Kalam ends up being the second Homi. Vikram, on the other hand, is absolutely the same.
The trauma doesn't end with Dr. Bhabha's death. There's another one too. However, as they say, the old have to die for the new to bloom.
The story shifts to Pokhran and the Smiling Buddha project. Of course, the curiosity is at the next level when it comes to testing the nuclear power.
The show ends on a fantasy note. However, there's a feminine touch to that as well. It is one of the most beautiful endings the show could ever ask for.
There is no particular update on whether the series will continue any further. Of course, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam will be the focus, if the story moves ahead.
Abhay Pannu's Rocket Boys 2 gets deeper. The story is a more matured version - of how life played with the brilliant scientists like Dr. Homi Bhabha, Dr. Vikram Sarabhai and somewhere, even Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam.
The show begins at a slow pace but as it moves forward, you find yourself instantly attracted to at least one thing in each episode. If you can stay with the slow pace of the story and history being distorted, this show stands up to its promise of delivering good content, if not great.