Cheekh, Episode 28: Intolerable Tale of Justice
In ARY’s Cheekh, the performances by Saba Qamar, Bilal Abbas Khan and Aijaz Aslam keep the show afloat.
At times, a show manages to lose its focus and go so far off-track that it becomes difficult to reel viewers back in. This is what has happened to Cheekh. Cheekh started off as a fascinating show with interesting characters and a strong premise; however, this is no longer the case. Watching this show has now become a chore, rather than a joy. It’s no longer a show that can be watched with full focus, rather it’s a show that’s viewed in passing while accomplishing other tasks like folding laundry, vacuuming, ironing, cooking and so forth. The show has become “background noise” – and the reason is very simple: the plot is nonsensical.
Episode 28 of “Cheekh” is not particularly eventful. Mannat (Saba Qamar), now waiting out her “Iddat” in Shayaan’s family home, is starting to fight back against Wajih (Bilal Abbas Khan) in subtle ways – like putting an “X” on his face in all the family photos. This kindergarten plan is seeming to work, as Wajih is already starting to fall apart – which is laughable on the part of the writer. The main event that takes place in this episode is Yawar’s (Aijaz Khan) collapse. Brooding over his divorce from Shahwar and his behavior towards Shayaan before his death, disturbed by how his support for Wajih culminated into such misery, Yawar displays signs of illness before collapsing in the hallway of his home. Discovered by Hayaa (Azekah Daniel), he is rushed to the hospital where Wajih and Hayaa are informed that Yawar is now paralyzed and will not be able to communicate effectively. While this prognosis is not permanent and there is hope for recovery, this greatly affects Wajih, who is put in charge as head of the household – which will be greatly taken advantage of in the coming final episodes.
It has to be said that while the episodes themselves and the logic regarding the events in the episode are disappointing, the performances cannot be criticized. Saba Qamar is in top form, proving that she is a powerhouse of talent. Bilal Abbas Khan holds his own against her, proving to be one of the shining stars on Pakistani television. Special mention must be given to Aijaz Aslam for not only this week, but also the last episode, where he has enacted Yawar’s inner turmoil over his actions and their tragic outcome with a natural sincerity.
Mannat, at this point, has lost her best friend, her baby, her mother and her husband because of Wajih and her case against him. With each loss, Mannat seemed to lose her desire to fight more each time. Towards the end, it was no longer Mannat’s fight – it was Shayaan’s fight. Shayaan handled everything, managed everything, took care of Mannat and lost his life fighting to defend Mannat. When Mannat has now lost everything, suddenly she has the desire to fight a dirty game against Wajih? And for what purpose? If Hayaa is in on this plan, is the plan to make Wajih realize the error of his ways? Newsflash: That doesn’t happen in real life with psychopaths, which Wajih is. They do not realize that they were wrong all along and repent. This is a man who took a woman’s life for rejecting his advances, a man who killed his own brother in an argument and a man who ran his pregnant sister-in-law off the road and killed his unborn nephew. Why would he repent now? Or is the end game to drive Wajih insane? And again, why would he be driven insane at this point by kidnapping his sister? On the flip side, if Hayaa is not a part of this plan, is this plan by Salman and Mannat justifiable on any level? Hayaa has supported Mannat through the worst and if Mannat has suffered, so has Hayaa. Basically, either way the show flips this angle, it will still be an illogical one that will not have a satisfying end. With the end in sight, at this point, audiences are just waiting for this grim tale to come to a close.