Regarding content, “Inkaar” continues to be one of the most-discussed shows. With a gripping storyline (based on a factual incident) and gripping performances, this is a show that consistently puts out quality episodes. There is not only one star performer in this show and that is the true beauty of it. Whether it’s Sami Khan as the loyal lover Shayaan, Imran Ashraf as the psychotic Rehan, Yumna Zaidi as the silent but resilient Hajra, all three main leads excel in their parts. Rehan Sheikh as Hafiz Ilyas is spell-binding, creating a space in the viewers’ hearts for this character. Even Kinza Malik as Zulekha and Munazzah Arif as Rehan’s stepmother are brilliant in their roles. What makes this show so powerful is that each character has been cast perfectly with each actor playing their role with utmost sincerity.
Episode 21 opens with Rehan’s television interview. Rehan acts his way through this interview, character assassinating Hajra, essentially calling her a psychopath. He claims that Hajra stalked him, would threaten to commit suicide and, ultimately, stabbed herself. After watching this interview, Hajra and her family are left shaken, shocked at the audacity of his lies. Shayaan takes this opportunity, in a moment of anger, to go live on social media, exposes Rehan and the news anchor and tells the real story from Hajra’s point of view, clearing Hajra’s name.
In a domino effect, chaos ensues following this media uproar. Rehan’s stepmother (Munazzah Arif) pays a visit to Malik (Noor Ul Hassan) and threatens Shayaan’s life, letting Malik know that if Shayaan continues to go near Hajra, the outcome will not be good. As a result, Malik has Shayaan escorted home and he is then placed under house arrest with guards placed at every door.
While Shayaan battles his home situation, Rehan takes extreme steps to coerce Hajra into doing what he wants – which continues to be marriage. Rehan has Hajra’s brother kidnapped and holds him as a bargaining tool with Hajra. The family, under extreme duress, tries to decide what to do. Hajra’s mother, Zulekha (Kinza Malik), has an outburst, blaming Hajra for everything that has happened to their family. She tells Hafiz Ilyas (Rehan Sheikh) to have Hajra married to Rehan. She states that some husbands hit their wives after marriage, they can just accept that it has started before marriage. Hafiz Ilyas fights her on this mentality and refuses to allow this to happen.
Shayaan escapes from his house arrest and makes his way to Hajra’s house. Once there, Hafiz Ilyas tells Shayaan and Hajra his plan to get out of this mess and tells Hajra that she should marry Shayaan. The two agree, but Zulekha tells Hajra that if she marries Shayaan, her son will be killed. She places blame on Hajra and as the nikkah is being carried out, Hajra glances at her mother, confused as to how to proceed.
This episode of “Inkaar” makes for exciting viewing, but also casts a grim shadow of societal reality on the happenings. Zulekha is beginning to unravel more with each episode, turning into a stereotypical toxic parent, one who is only concerned with “log kya kahenge” (what will people say?) and now placing more value in her son over her daughter. While Hafiz Ilyas continues to argue with her and call out her regressive mindset, Hajra is torn between her two parents and their way of thinking. While her father is her supporter and always thinks of what is best for her, Zulekha is….her mother. She cannot imagine letting her down and she cannot imagine the idea of Rehan harming her brother. With this last scene, the audience is left wondering what Hajra will do. Will she give in to Zulekha’s demands and agree to marry Rehan in order to free her brother? Or will she do what is best for her, marrying Shayaan and leaving the rest to the law/God/fate? This week, “Inkaar” succeeded on leaving viewers hanging on a fairly intense cliffhanger.