Inkaar, Episode 19: Rehan’s Family Politics are Exposed
TV/Streaming Reviews

Inkaar, Episode 19: Rehan’s Family Politics are Exposed

In Imran Ashraf and Yumna Zaid’s Inkaar, this episode focuses on Rehan’s upbringing and the powerplay between his mothers

Inkaar continues to surprise viewers, while keeping the pace relaxed and the content of the show subtle. In the episode today, some aspects of Rehan’s (Imran Ashraf) complicated upbringing is revealed. While viewers understood that Rehan came from a broken home with complex relationships, the underlying issues for his behavior had yet to be revealed – until now.  It’s true what is said, that things are not always what they seem. Outwardly, Rehan’s father and stepmother have been a perfect picture of support – and perhaps, Rehan’s stepmother is the perfect picture of support.  But what exactly does “support” entail?  To what extent can a behavior be referred to as “support” when said support is harming the individual? Aisha, Rehan’s real mother, has long since displayed a dislike for Rehan’s stepmother, blaming her and Rehan’s father, Wajahat Chaudhry, for Rehan’s behavior.  In episode 19, viewers are given a window into how exactly Rehan’s stepmother has played with Rehan’s personality and life. 

As episode 19 opens, Rehan is in a panic, searching for something in his drawers.  Rehan’s stepmother (Munnazah Arif) steps in, holding a bag and hands it to Rehan, much to his relief.  It is here that the audience finally understands that Rehan’s stepmother has been willingly giving Rehan drugs and feeding his every desire – but for what reason?  Is her mothering style simply to give a child whatever he wants and have absolutely no concept of self discipline?  Or is she up to something a bit more sinister?  Discussing Hajra with his stepmother, Rehan makes an alarming confession as to when he fell in love with Hajra.  He describes in detail how, while stabbing her, he glanced at her face and saw a look of hatred – and that look of hatred is what made him fall in love with Hajra.  As bizarre as this is, Rehan’s stepmother does not flinch and promises that she will take his Rishta to Hajra’s house.  She follows through on this promise and, much like Rehan, displays the willingness to use force in order to get her way.  She threatens physical harm on Hajra and her family.  Hajra’s fear and disappointment in herself is evident here and viewers know she’s thinking exactly what they are – how could one mistake in recognizing a person lead to such an imposing mess?  Had Hajra not fallen for Rehan’s charms, could all of this have been avoided?  Victim blaming is real, but self-blame is something human beings are unable to escape.  What is impressive about this scene is the way Hajra’s mother handles the situation, protective yet diplomatically trying to de-escalate the scenario.

Rehan’s real mother, concerned about Rehan in the present environment, begins packing Rehan’s things.  While Rehan initially protests, she reminds him of his simple, pure upbringing, one without the corruptive desires of his present world.  Rehan agrees to his mother’s wishes and is ready to leave with her – until his stepmother steps in and reveals that Hajra has agreed to marry him.  Rehan embraces his stepmother as his real mother looks on in horror, understanding how bad things will get here on out.  The difference between Rehan’s two maternal figures is like night and day, one with the best intentions for her son, while the other is caught up in a strange sort of ploy of ownership. 

Shayaan comes to meet Hajra, but she has him sent away, stating that she sees Rehan’s face in his.  This scene is an excellent demonstration of Sami Khan’s acting abilities, the shock and horror on Shayaan’s face clearly present.  The following scenes showing Shayaan struggling and fighting this statement, mentally disturbed by it, wondering how to erase Rehan’s face from his own and have Hajra love him once again is a brilliant display by Sami.  He deserves a round of applause this week for his performance.

Rehan Sheikh, as Hafiz Ilyas, is in full form, as always.  In a quiet, yet poignant scene, Hafiz Ilyas discusses his disappointments in how the neighborhood is treating his daughter.  He tells his friend that he now understands why men tell their women to keep quiet – because the world tears them apart and blames them for things that are not their fault.  His despair in this scene weighs heavy on the heart and viewers find themselves crying along with him.  “Hum jaanwaron mein rehte hain” (We live amongst animals) is his parting thought and it hits the nail on the head.

In the last scene, Hajra panics and rushes over to talk to Shayaan.  Still disturbed about her statement, he decides that he will murder Rehan and then she will no longer have to marry him – and possibly his vision will be erased from Shayaan’s face.  Watching Hajra and Shayaan in this moment is heartbreaking, as they are making plans to take a step that will endanger their futures – yet what choice do they have? 

The episode today is compelling and bestows the audience with some new revelations.  Inkaar is a show that brings the topic of harassment, stalking and the simple statement of “No means no” to life. The message of the show is clear and at the forefront during each episode, never losing focus.  This is a refreshing change, considering many shows start off strong and slowly lose steam.  Inkaar continues to rank high on the list of must-watch shows.

Watch the episode here:

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By Sophia Qureshi
Pakistani Drama enthusiast, Bollywood fan, elementary school teacher, writer, reader, photographer, lifelong student and mother