Ishq Zahe Naseeb, The Finale:  The Loose Ends of Sameer’s Childhood Are Tied Up
TV/Streaming Reviews

Ishq Zahe Naseeb, The Finale: The Loose Ends of Sameer’s Childhood Are Tied Up

In Ishq Zahe Naseeb, Zahid Ahmed’s performance as the complicated Sameer continues to win viewers over as the show winds up its final episode, bringing Sameer’s story to an end

It’s difficult to review the finale of Ishq Zahe Naseeb, only because this is a show that has consistently delivered and created a space in the hearts of its viewers.  Ishq Zahe Naseeb is a show that has been underrated throughout its entire run, a show that deserved more attention, more buzz and more praise from all angles.  Not only does it touch upon a topic that is important in this day and age (mental health), the story has been sensitively written and allows the audience a window into a situation that has very rarely been discussed on screen in the South Asian subcontinent.   

In the finale, viewers see Goher (Sonya Hussain) released from jail after Sameer (Zahid Ahmed) wakes up and declares her innocence.  He also confesses to the murder of Zoya (Azekah Daniel).  Kashif (Sami Khan) visits Goher in jail and the two share a moment, reminding the viewers of their past and the prophecy made by the woman at the mazaar.  Kashif takes Goher to the hospital to meet Sameer and it’s here that Donia (Zarnish Khan) runs into the two.  She gives Kashif and Goher her blessing before leaving – but ultimately, Kashif and Donia reunite when Kashif makes his loyalty to her clear.

In an important scene, Goher and Zoya’s sister have a discussion about Zoya’s death and Zoya’s sister makes it clear that she won’t forgive Sameer, but she understands that he didn’t mean to kill her.  Jahangir is jailed for his crimes against Goher, while Sameer is forgiven by the court due to his mental health and the circumstances in which his crime was committed.  Sameer is sent away for treatment and upon his release, Goher and Sameer share a beautiful reunion at the mazaar.

Honestly speaking, much like most finale episodes of shows, Ishq Zahe Naseeb also rushes to tie up loose ends.  The viewer is left thinking that if only the show had focused less on Sabiha and Jahangir’s plot to blackmail Goher and Kashif, there would have been more time to focus on things that were more important.  For example, Sameer’s decision to commit suicide comes quickly and with little build-up and likewise, Sameer’s decision in the finale to confess to Zoya’s murder also comes like a sudden blow.  Where did that thought even come from?  Of course, the most jarring part of the finale is that despite “shedding light” on the situation with Shakra, the director and writer choose to present the reveal in a non-verbal way, again leaving the audience to connect the dots – and the dots are difficult to connect!  At present, my understanding of it is that Shakra was actually Suraiyya and when Sabiha entered the house, Suraiyya was sent away to an institution.  When she returned, she and Sabiha came to a deal for her to stay in the house and changed her name to Shakra – and she unknowingly began taking revenge on her own child, who she thought had been murdered.  Drawing these conclusions though is a tedious, frustrating task and it shouldn’t be this difficult to get a clear answer to a story in its final episode.

The angle with Kashif and Donia also seems half-baked, only because while Kashif and Donia had an understanding, their relationship never received the attention and development needed for the audience to actually root for them.  To date, it’s been a debate about whether Goher should end up with Sameer or Kashif.  The debate of whether Kashif should end up with Goher or Donia hasn’t really been a topic of discussion at all, only because the Kashif-Donia relationship was highly underdeveloped and it deserved much more attention.

Does it sound like I’m highlighting only negatives?  The show is, of course, a show that has been brilliant from start to finish, but final episodes are always bittersweet in this way that they try to pack too much in too little a space and so these thoughts do get left behind.  There’s a beautiful message tied into this though – from the beginning, many viewers, myself included, held on to the prophecy made by the palm reader at the mazaar, the prediction that Goher’s first husband would die and she would remarry.  And while the prediction was set to come true, the show ended up having its own message wrapped up in this angle – God’s will is what is important and what will shape our futures, along with our own resolve, kicking up the idea of palm-reading and future predictions into dust.

What Ishq Zahe Naseeb successfully highlighted is the fight individuals face within themselves when suffering from mental health issues.  Sometimes the greatest struggle a person can face comes from within and when Sameer makes the decision to end his life, he gives up on the battle, showing the severity of his condition.  What comes across as refreshingly different is that Sameer’s outcome is a positive one – and while I will admit that I was rooting for a Goher and Kashif reunion (someone please cast Sami and Sonya in a show together where they actually do end up together!), Ishq Zahe Naseeb ends with a great message:  we are not victims of our circumstances.  We can fight against our circumstances and emerge as winners with the right amount of encouragement, support and will.  Despite having dissociative identity disorder that went untreated for years. Sameer is able to overcome it all with Goher by his side.  And that final scene, a scene showing Sameer as a changed man, a confident man, comfortable in his own skin, basking in the love of his wife, is one that stays with the viewer long after he episode ends.

Zahid Ahmed deserves every award for this performance, he has outperformed all his peers this year in this role.  If Pakistan had a version of the Oscars, Zahid Ahmed would be nominated without a doubt, his performance is just that good.  Yumna Zaidi deserves credit as well, portraying Shakra in such a way that she’s both terrifying and vulnerable at the exact same time.  The entire cast of Ishq Zahe Naseeb, whether it’s Sami Khan, Sonya Hussain, Ismat Zaidi, Khalid Malik, Zarnish Khan, everyone has just done a brilliant job with their roles and this is an ensemble cast that will be missed.  This is a show that will be missed.  Thank you to the entire team of Ishq Zahe Naseeb for giving us a show that will be remembered for years to come.  Friday night will be incredibly empty without this beautiful show.  Thank you.

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