Anaa is a show that continues to keep viewers on their toes. This is not due to the pace or the story, as this has been predictable throughout the show. What makes Anaa interesting are the dynamics between characters and the ever-changing nature of these relationships. Whether touching upon messy romantic relationships or dealing with estranged family relationships, the writing continues to explore these dynamics. Layers are uncovered and characters that have seemed hard and unrelenting are left exposed in softer moments. These are the moments that make Anaa a show worth watching.
The episode begins with Areesh (Shehzad Sheikh) and Anya (Areeba Shahood) sharing a “sweet” moment together, Areesh complimenting her for being a good wife – and stating that he will try to be a good husband. The irony of this scene is not lost on the viewers, regardless of whether it’s meant to be ironic. Areesh has left Daneen to her own devices, though both he and Anya claim concern for her – but actions speak louder than words. This happy-and-in-love couple do not seem to realize the severity of their actions and what impact their behavior has had on another individual. This makes it difficult for the audience to root for them, but also makes it difficult to muster even an ounce of sympathy for either one.
In this episode, we are exposed to a softer Nazia (Tara Mehmood) than we’ve seen to date. We see Nazia extending an olive branch to Sadia Begum (Seemi Raheel) after witnessing Ghazanfar (Shamil Khan) mistreating her and how she no longer rules her household. Nazia opens her home to Sadia, saying that they will always be connected and she will be respected there. Sadia almost softens until she remembers her dead son and wishes for Nazia’s divorce. We immediately see Nazia turn stoic once again, wishing divorce in return for Areesh and Anya along with the birth of an abnormal son. This scene turns from one of kindness to one of sadness within minutes – but the audience has now been introduced to a good human being inside Nazia, one that continues to be seen throughout the episode where she’s seen helping the underprivileged without desiring any credit.
Viewers finally see progress being made between Altamash (Usman Mukhtar) and Izza (Naimal Khawar). It’s revealed that Altamash agreed to an engagement with Nashwa (Javeria Kamran) in order to buy her time for admission into an art school – an agreement Nashwa tries to forget. Altamah takes Izza to his house in order to discuss the Areesh-Daneen situation and it is here that he tells Izza that while he didn’t agree with her initially, he now does and will support her in her decision to help Daneen. Altamash and Izza share a warm moment of understanding and kindness, a scene the audience has been hoping for since the show’s start. When Izza arrives home, Kabir (Muqeet Khan) confronts her as to why she went to Altamash’s home, resulting in an argument. Altamash continues to confide in Izza, later informing her of his fake engagement to Nashwa, leaving Izza surprised.
Finally, Daneen (Hania Amir) experiences the brunt of backlash due to her affair with Areesh. Saif (Alamdar Khan) has refused to divorce Daneen and witnessing her depressed state, chooses to deal with the situation by punishing her. She is forced to clean and work throughout the day – and while her mother-in-law convinces Saif to forgive Daneen and relieve her of this punishment, Daneen refuses to bow to Saif’s wishes and continues to work. She holds on to her belief that Areesh will come “save her,” as he is her only hope. When Nazia visits, she immediately takes note of Daneen’s condition and tells her to leave with her at once. Yet again, Daneen refuses to leave, saying that her father will only send her back and her only hope is Areesh.
Episode 19 paints a grim picture of society and the treatment it bestows upon women. Regarding Nazia’s life choices, she chose to fall in love with a man other than her fiancé and ran away to live life with him – in return, her fiancé killed himself, affecting his entire family negatively. The blame for his actions fall squarely upon Nazia’s shoulders without any thought of his mental health, nor does he receive any blame for what he did to his family. Years later, Nazia is still criticized, insulted and blamed for her actions over twenty years ago. Likewise, Daneen is abandoned by Areesh and later, when Daneen makes every effort to remain loyal to her loveless marriage, Areesh spends months urging Daneen to escape her marriage, as he will be there to support her and hold her hand through the backlash afterwards – and now that Daneen has confessed everything to her husband, Areesh is too busy romancing his wife and planning a honeymoon and celebrating Anya’s pregnancy to even check in on Daneen. Areesh continues to be the beloved heir of his family, while Daneen faces the brunt of abuse and mistreatment due to their relationship. Society continues to blame women and let men off without much thought or punishment, holding on to the “homewrecker” mentality. With only a handful of episodes remaining, one has to wonder how this show will clean up the mess of relationships as they stand at present.