Episode 10 opened up with a bittersweet flashback of the beginning of Asher and Neha’s marriage. In fact, most of the episode aimed to remind us of the emotional baggage that this relationship carries in the hearts of all the characters, from Asher and Neha themselves to Arsal as well. This episode felt like a filler that prepared us for oncoming events, but it did more for Asher and Neha’s development than any other episode.
The couple picked up where they left off with Asher agreeing to move out temporarily, and he is shown to have become weary and strangely melancholic. Neha too mirrors Asher, conflicting with her prior adamancy for separation. However, the reason for their misery is revealed in the small flashback to when the two first buy their house together. The love and affection they have at the beginning sharply contrasts with the mess of a marriage they have now. As Asher gives in and is to move out tomorrow, both of them decide to spend one last night reminiscing about the past.
They start off by talking sweetly and then spiral back to their bickering. This is depicted in a very clever shot and the direction must be applauded. In a matter of seconds, it perfectly encapsulates the timeline of most failed marriages, summed by how every tiny thing becomes a huge obstacle between the husband and wife.
Another laudable aspect of this episode, and perhaps the drama as a whole, is the way the separation affects the children. The psychological effect is shown as the children foster hope for a normal home after they overhear their parents talking, yet those hopes are shattered the next morning. Such portrayals are largely missed out in any dramas dealing with depression, and it is really important that the main victims of any broken home, the children, are represented accurately!
There is a huge stigma surrounding divorce in Pakistani society, and dramas like Tajdeed e Wafa really are a huge step towards bringing these subjects to the forefront of discussion. Ashar and Neha’s children are accurate representations of these subjects, and their trauma must be presented as it is so the real sufferers of divorce are not glossed over.
Arsal’s story arc was relatively bland and monotonous, however Vareesha and him become closer and there are a few lighthearted moments here and there but it still is as grim as before. What is disappointing to see is how predictable it has become, and the once blossoming relationship between Arsal and Hareem has now dissolved into the same failed love story that we have seen before.
A plot twist at this point in time would really help because otherwise, interest slowly wanes from the same old trope. Of course, Asher and Neha’s fate is sealed and the only thing left to see is how the news affects Asher’s family. But the way the writer and the director handled the breakup’s effect on the couple as well as the children was a breath of fresh air and definitely something other dramas should follow.