“Phaans” is an example of a strong story that takes off with a bang, but then slows down to a trickle almost immediately afterwards. A story focusing on a rape victim and her quest for justice, “Phaans” has been slow to pick up in recent episodes with viewers still waiting for it to take off. “Phaans” has been written by Sameena Aijaz, directed by Syed Ahmad Kamran and stars Zara Noor Abbas, Shahzad Sheikh, Sami Khan, Yashma Gill and others in lead roles.
Episode 7 of “Phaans” largely revolves around Hashim’s arrest. While Zeba (Zara Noor Abbas) and Shakeela visit the police station in an attempt to have Hashim released, they are quickly informed that the police has the power to keep Hashim locked up indefinitely for this crime. What’s terrifying about this is that the victim herself does not have control over her own case. Her words of Hashim’s innocence are meaningless, because the “opposing side” is much more powerful than she is. Samad (Sami Khan) also visits Hashim in jail, questioning his motives. More than anything, Samad appears to be angry as to why Hashim and Zeba would target an innocent – Saahil (Shahzad Sheikh). Somehow, this question raises a red flag and makes one wonder if Samad really did have something to do with the attack. Is Hafsa’s (Yashma Gill) guilt and groveling warranted or was her initial suspicion more than just that? Was it intuition? Little else of worth occurs in this episode, other than Zeba’s Khala (Hashim’s mother) visiting Saahil’s home and striking a deal with Saahil’s father – that if Zeba will retract the case, he will have Hashim released. Of course, this places more pressure on Zeba to drop the case, something which she refuses to do. Much of this episode feels repetitive and drawn out.
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However, at the very end of the episode, a new twist is introduced into the story, which will give the currently repetitive proceedings a new direction. While at home with her family, Zeba begins to feel ill and (stereotypically) begins vomiting. Once at the hospital, Zeba and her mother are informed that Zeba is expecting. While the doctor is ignorant of the circumstances behind this pregnancy, both ladies are left shocked at this revelation. Rape is a difficult enough situation to face, but when a child is brought into the world as a byproduct of this crime, it’s a difficult pill to swallow. How will Zeba cope with this information? Will she choose to keep the child? Of course, we also can’t overlook what this child means scientifically – that Zeba now has DNA evidence to prove the paternity of her child and, therefore, proof of who her rapist is. “Phaans” has been stagnant for the last 3-4 episodes, post Zeba’s attack. While it’s understandable that its necessary to maintain the “mystery” around who Zeba’s attacker is, that aspect of mystery has also held the show back from moving forward in any way. A new suspect each week, viewers are simply left wondering when something of meaning will take place – and with this revelation, one can hope the show is now finally set to move forward in an interesting direction.