"Jab jab aapko lagta hai ki aap Bihar ko samajh gaye hain, Bihar aapko jhatka deta hai (Everytime you start believing you have understood Bihar, the state proves you otherwise)," says Pramod Pathak's character of Satyendranath Mishra in Season 2 of the streaming political drama show 'Maharani'.
The dialogue doubles as the logline for the new season as well.
Season 1 saw Bheema Bharti being jailed following a scam; Season 2 takes the narrative forward and presents a story that is laced with political twists and turns and spreads out like a game of chess where one wrong move could change the equation completely throwing every bet off the table.
Season 2 brings Bheema out of jail as he tries to pull away the MLAs under his wife Rani Bharti's command to form a new political party. But he is stunned by how fast his wife has learnt the ropes of politics. The season presents the husband and wife at the opposite spectrum of morals and values.
Bheema's every move is directed towards getting his hands on the Chief Minister's chair and the inexplicable power that comes with it, for Rani single point focus to maintain the incumbency is to serve the people of Bihar -- a little over the top and a fully sanitised version of a normal Indian politician without any dark secrets.
The series is partly inspired from what happened in Bihar during the 1990s when former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav made his homemaker wife Rabri Devi his successor after he was named the prime accused in the fodder scam.
This time around the series neatly touches upon every social and political aspect that has cast its shadow on the state be it the jungle raj, open threat to life, the bug of corruption that finds itself in every file of Bihar administration, the inquiry commission following a murder posed as an untimely death, or the 'Verma Commission' -- a not so subtle reference to the Mandal Commission as the series uses the creative licence generously.
New unlikely alliances are formed, friendships and loyalties are tested, political killings peppered with a healthy dose of collusion of administration and political muscle as the race for Chief Minister's chair gains momentum.
Season 2 fares better than its predecessor, not to forget the impeccable performances of Huma Qureshi, Amit Sial, Pramod Pathak, Vineet Kumar and Dibyendu Bhattacharya, who never fails to impress, never!