Jackson Heights ~ Episode 21 Review

J4Rather than being overly concerned with the destination, I wrote last week, Jackson Heights is the story of the journey towards that destination, a charting of the growth of various characters as they evolve, or devolve, on account of their changing circumstances. Ab because this a journey tau potholes bhi hongey and jhatkey bhi lagen gey, un mein se some can be ignored and some that make you go hmm… and this latest episode was a mixture of some ignorable jhatkas, a couple seriously hmm type moments and then there was Marina Khan and her stunning smile and phir bas … all I could do was to go back and dekho that smile a couple more times.

Before we got to that fabulous Marina moment, however, Bhatti bhai’s melodramatic departure did not sit too well with me. To begin with, I appreciated that we got some touchy scenes with Bhatti and his adopted family. These tender moments made for a fabulous contrast with all those earlier times when Bhatti had only talked about Kathy and Izzy in negative terms; infact even later in this episode he alluded to Kathy’s hostility towards him.

Like it happens in every other family a lot of harsh words had been exchanged over the years, from both sides, but as was evident today it had not always been as grim as Bhatti had psyched himself into believing. All this I got. What I did not quite get was why Vasay and MJ choose to go the emotional atychar route for these scenes. Ex-bhabhi Bhatti and her pleading reminded me of those Lollywood/Punjabi films where the sobbing heroine rokos the jaaney wale shohar’s raasta and spouts off lines like sartaj agar aap ko jaana hi hai tau aap ko meri laash par se guzar kar jaana hoga! Surely the point could’ve been made without turning ex-bhabhi into a weepy filmi heroine?

Magar hamarey Bhatti bhai ain’t no Lollywood ka seedha hero ke he would be as easily swayed by a roti mutyar. Un ko jana tha aur woh gaye. Forgotten were all his immigration issues, a jhat pat talaaq arranged, ghar handed over to ex-bhabhi and bhai jaan yeh jaa woh jaa. Woh tau chaley gaye, but his departure opened up other avenues of thought. If Kathy’s house was his, then why had he stood by silently and watched Kathy throw out Jamshed?

It is at points like these that the subtlety of writing really stands out. The fact that Bhatti basically kept quiet all along indicates that though it might have started out that way, his extended stay in the US was no longer on account of financial issues… if he had enough to buy Kathy a house, he certainly had enough to return to home.

He gave in to his wife on all matters because he couldn’t afford to irritate her. His immigration was that important to him… more important than taking a stand for his bhanja. For a character with more colors than a crayola box, mamu seems to always come across as such a shareef bechara sa guy, Hats off to Nauman Ijaz for his brilliant potrayal of Bhatti.

Salma had been so right earlier. He probably had no intentions of ever returning to settle in Pakistan. It was easier for him to send money and continue complaining about his brother’s harkatsMagar ab jab Bhatti is in love tau immigration status, handing over the house, all meant nothing. Itni jaldi thi un ko ke he never even bothered to inform Salma he was walking out of the house and his marriage! Kya ho gaya hai aap ko Bhati sahab? Have you also become love mein ghum like my girl Michele? 

On Michele, this mareez-e muhabbat has in very critical condition. Itna ziyada ‘ishq mein andhi ke can’t see anything beyond jalebi Jamshed. Michele, sweetie, I get that he’s hot and charming, but yaar!! I am having a great time with this track, but really did Michele have to have such a kamzor qareeb ki nazar?

Like last week, the scenes with rejected Rizwan and jalebi Jamshed were so good. Adnan and Adeel have fabulous chemistry. The disdain with which Rizwan looked down his nose at this kal ka chokra and in return the way this upstart reminded him of his white hair was hilarious. But then it was beyond cruel to have Rizwan sit there and watch his sober Michele go all giggly and agree to becoming Mrs. Jalebi. Later on as well our oblivious to everything Michele has Rizwan trying on watches for his rival. Love mein itni ghum ke she’s even forgotten she’d just bought him a watch, a few weeks ago. Umm, hello! Earth to Michele!

Much as I am enjoying this May-December track, did Michele really have to be so hard on Rizwan? I mean, okay fine … don’t marry him, magar becharey ke saath aisa zulm? What did he ever do to deserve this? For the first time in this serial we, along with Rizwan, saw Michele’s million watt smile … woh bhi Jamshed ke liye? I had never appreciated how strong willed Rizwan was, but aaj dekh liya. Marina, Adeel and Adnan are all so much fun to watch together!

Jalebi knows he is pushing Rizwan to the edge with all his chichori harkats, and he’s thoroughly enjoying rubbing it in to the older guy, but I have a feeling that so far we have seen only one side of Rizwan. Still waters run deep ‘n all that jazz, so much as Jamshed may think he’s winning, I think Rizwan might have a trick or two to teach this young man … after all yeh baal dhoop mein to sufaid nahin kye hain na!

Where bhanja is extremely confident as of now … mamu ko tau ghar se nikalte hi zabardast jhatka laga. Bhatti was in such a rush ke he forgot he had fallen in love with a very complicated woman. Sikander’s accident and subsequent serious injuries have once again brought back familiar feelings of familial responsibility, wifely duties, etc. Add to this Iman’s need for an anchor to ground her in a very turbulent family situation, tayi jee’s taanas, and pressure from Bhatti and it is easy to seen Salma’s increasing frustration at feeling pulled from every direction. I love how Aamina plays Salma with so much dignity that  never once does she come across as a bechari.

It is very easy for Aliya and Bhatti to tell her to give up on Sikander and move out, but for a girl, wired as she is, it is hard for Salma to turn her back quite that easily. Ok, so far on board with all this. What I didn’t like was the fact that the jewelry was in focus yet again. Last week it sounded like it was all a done deal, but here again we spent so much time hearing about the zevar. Did we really need the long-winded reminder?

I don’t know what kind of a person this makes me, but I’ve actually missed seeing His Evilness in action. Rather than all the zevar talk, I ‘d rather have seen Sikander suffer a bit more. Perhaps falling off the couch? Maybe slipping on the driveway? Ok, now I sound just as evil, but basically Ali Kazmi has done a fab job with this very dark role, and I would’ve loved to have known more about this crazy guy’s current state of mind. We know he’s devolving, and pretty fast at that, so I can’t help but wonder about how he’s processed, read rationalized, this failed murder attempt. Hopefully we’ll get more answers next week.

All in all this was a mixed bag of an episode. Nuanced underplayed scenes have been the hallmark of this serial, but today there were times when I missed the patented MJ touch. Also, the repetition, 19k payment, slowed down the narrative pace. From the precap it seems like we will get a more happening episode, so lets wait and see what Team Jackson Heights has in store for next week. For now, anybody has any guesses for a likely ending scenario? Salma with Bhatti or Salma with Sikander? Michele with Rizwan or Michele with Jalebi? Mamu and bhanja permanently in Pakistan or never leaving NYC?

Written by SZ~

15 replies

  1. Hmm, I don’t really know how I felt about yesterday’s episode – I mean I loved it! But so confused! Nevertheless Michelle just makes me happy, you’re so right about the smile and her giggling – KILLED ME (as always) 💔
    In terms of the Bhatti/Salma/Kathy triangle this was by far my favourite episode! Can not flaw Nauman Ijaz one single bit. The scene between him and Kathy = 😭
    I just want to slap Jamshed which I guess is a good thing, means that AH is portraying the role well lol I want to believe that he’s intimidated by Rizwan in SOME way, maybe like you said jealous of Rizwan and Michelle’s bond. That’s why he brings out those quirky one liners – the one about shikaar? 👏 I just want Michelle to see sense, Jamshed to realise his mistakes and run to Michelle (like the DDLJ scene😂), then Michelle to forgive him and we all live happily ever after!! Lekin I hope MJ does not make it that easy.
    Predictions for the ending – Mamu and Bhanja in Pakistan AND Michelle in Pakistan too! That one scene in the promos is making me think she’s going to leave America. Salmas story is too complicated for me to even guess where she’s going to end up! But loving her and of course loving JH.


    • @Shameen: Agreed .. Nauman Ijaz is one of our finest actors if not the best among make actors, and I dont think anybody couldve done what he’s done here without reducing it to a caricature … 🏆👏

      Haha! Yes, I too love the one liner insults that JJ and RR exchamge and bechari love mein ghum Michele has no clue ke whats going on around her!😱


  2. Superb review SZ.. As always 🙂
    I actually liked bhatti biding farewell to kathy and kids.. Best was with Mark..that kiddo was so good with Bhatti.. bhabhi bhatti ko rota dekh i too was like naa jao bhatti sahab :p but yes the scene about calling cops was totally uncalled for.. I was like hain ise kya hua n why to show that.. Anyways moving along Aamina Sheikh was just brilliant in showing her anger when Taae Ji was bakwasing non stop when Sikander came home… Just fabulous…poor Salma ajeeb musibat me phas gayi he… But the precap was rocking man… Ahh thand pargaye Salma ko aise Sikander se baat karte dekh kar 😉

    Ok now the track i am enjoying literally so much.. Marina Khan gosh lady how and why you are so beautiful and that smile…too good..never knew Rizwan comeback will be so interesting.. Adeel and Adnan were on roll in dinner scene.. Cmon Rizwan show to Jamshed k waqai ye baal dhoop me safaid nahin kiyae… So excited for upcoming episodes.. Ending ka i this im sure no shaddi happening.. Bhatti will be going back.. Or may be Jamshed too lol..

    As @Shameen even i have no clue for Salma-Sikander end.. 🙂


    • @Rehmat: Hahaha!! Chalo ji now I know you’re a sucker for the senti type drama and films 😉
      Waisey that cop threat made sense if you think ke she had been saying stuff like hat all along and it was held him back .. but now that he had made up his mind nothing was gonna stop him ..

      Next week ka precap seems like Bhatti is def going back .. baqi Jamshed maybe not yet, but one of the promos showed him with naani . so Im guessing ke laut ke buddhu ghar ko aaye …


      • Haha big time sucker…and always forget to keep tissue with me… Socho DeS me kya haal hua hoga 😉 .. Oh ab you saying tou haan it makes but itni achi kathy ko dekh kar ye wali kathy hazam nh hui… Hahah

        Oh i see.. That will be awesome then


  3. If Kathy’s house was his, then why had he stood by silently and watched Kathy throw out Jamshed?

    Same way my coworkers wife tossed out the same in-laws who had bought them that house!!! Yes wives can be b*****s


    • @saadia rehman: In general I agree with you, but her I was not referring to Kathy at all. I brought this up in reference to Bhatti and his pity parties, the way he always blamed Kathy whenever he referred to her in any of his conversations with other people. His walking out on her, despite her pleas, shows him as capable of asserting himself if he felt strongly enough about the matter. Clearly he’s not quite the bechara he had made himself out to be …

      Also, fyi, I have edited one word in your comment on acct of language issues and wp policy….


  4. Firstly if im not wrong bhatti’s house wasnt only bhatti’s one of the previous episodes show he and kathy both owned it as they both payed for it….and secondly,why is jamshed doing such ‘ghattiyah harkateyn’….i mean he was like a hero in the start gaining audiances sympathy and now hez acting like a villain l….i too feel like slaping him i wish i could..hes not being good to rizwan just becuase the bonding btw michalle and riz…thats quite silly and unfair aswell.. now i too want jamshed kicked out by michalle herself….and Salma….Oh God why there r such girls on earth…how could she be so sachi sawatri and so coward living in such a country where she can stand for herself right away…..i dont want this anymore now enough of this nonsense from salma…now stand up and show sikandar and family what u can do to them….u r an endependant woman…for God sake..!!!!….and bhatti sahab aap ko tou saat khoon maaf hain! ALLAH aapka bhala karey..bulkey…aap ko salma dey……despite of the impact from preview that bhatti seems to be going back..but having salma along or alone…lets see..
    And last but not the least…im luving the review…


    • @RW: Thank you, yes, I did mean to say they owned the house jointly, but he must’ve had the money to put in his share of a 15/20% down payment – and knowing Kathy she couldve made him cough up the down payment – and then we know he was paying his share of the mortgage, monthly expenses as well .. and all this in addition to sending money to his mom .. so clearly he had money that he couldve put together and taken a lump sum back home and invested there .. but he didn’t ..

      LOL, OK, so you’re a Bhatti fan and a Bhatti+Salma supporter .. chalein lets see if in ki baat banti hai ya nahin 🙂

      Re: Jamshed and his harkatein .. ab what to do .. Michele ka tau dil aa gaya inhi harkaton pe! 😉


  5. SZ, Mujhay laga you gave a free pass to team JH this week in your review. In my opinion, there were too many gaping potholes, not small bumps that can be ignored! The Michelle-Rizwan scenes were seriously cringe-worthy, to be honest.

    I can see what a patient guy Rizwan really is, his dilemma and sadness are brilliantly portrayed by Adnan. Adeel-Adnan scenes have really stood out for me.

    Overall in this drama, I feel sometimes what was in the script hasn’t quite translated well on screen – for instance, Salma is a kind-hearted soul, but in her khidmat walay scenes she came across as a weak person (which she actually is not).

    What do you think?


    • @VZ: LOL @ free pass ….yaar, I brought up the laundry list of issues that bothered me … potholes and jhatkas both… but again there weer always be issues that affect us differently .. I thought Bhatti’s khudahafiz scene was OTT, but other friends thought it worked so aisa tau hota hai aisi baaton mein 🙂

      Re: Rizwan – Michele scenes being cringeworthy, Im a little confused .. did you mean Michele and JJ?
      If so, yes, they are OTT chichorapan (and I did call it that) … but then isnt that the point? I mean its to make us all see ke something so obvious is totally flying over Michele’s head … itni ishq mein andhi ke she cant see something thats right in front of her eyes .. and this is exactly how infatuation works .. I think just because of her age we somehow think ke she should be above and beyond all of this ..but woh gana haina dil tau baccha hai ji 😉

      Re: Salma: I agree with you and wouldnt really call what she is doing as being a result of her kind hearted soul .. but rather its her upbringing and cultural socialization that has her doing stuff for Sikander … she knows him for what he is and there is no love lost between the two of them but she is doing this out of a sense of obligation: “ab jahan itney saal laga diye in ke saath wahan do teen haftey aur” is what I see Salma as thinking to herself .. so if she appears weak to you I think its only because there is an internal conflict within her .. she doesnt want to be in that house but she cant walk out on him at this point in time … this is just my reading of what’s going on based on what Ive seen and observed…

      As for what the writer intended vs what we see ,, I think that’s a question for VC or MJ 🙂


      • Thanks for your detailed reply 🙂

        I meant Michelle-Rizwan scenes were cringe-worthy because the whole watch scene, let’s buy gifts, please propose to the girl you like dialogues sounded, well, not very nice on Michelle’s part, given she knows how Rizwan had feelings for her. But then again, may be it just goes to show that for her part, Michelle thinks Rizwan has moved on? I fully understand how M behaves with J, but her interaction with R was so unlike her? You have brought this up in your review as well…

        Regarding Salma, I get your point about her feeling an obligation, even just plain insaaniyat not to leave at this point…

        My predictions – I feel the two girls are quite strong to be on their own, do they really need a Bhatti or a Rizwan as life-mates? I for one would like to see them stand up for themselves, see their inner strength pulling them through. For example, I sincerely hope Michelle picks herself up given how her first marriage broke all her trust, made her withdraw into a shell, I want to see her emerge stronger this time. May be I am in the minority who thinks this way? With Jamshed’s character, he does care for his nani – somewhere down the line he has pushed his conscience to one corner and is just concentrating on mission green card – he needs a shocker to jolt him back. Rizwan might just have what it takes to do that…


        • @VZ: Re: Michele Jamshed: Gotcha! Now I get what you mean .. thanks for clarifying 🙂 Yes, I did feel it was a bit too in your face and I while I was enjoyed the OTTness of Michele and JJ I felt really bad for Rizwan who had to sit there and watch the love of life giddily accepting this kal ka chokra’s proposal … what with all the gulping he was doing it really did seem like he was about ready to throw up! But yes, the watch and stuff was cruel .. but here’s the thing, tough it was weird and thy couldve dome without it, it made for an interesting juxtaposition against the uber thoughtful, careful Michele of the past …this Michele has just completely lost it .. and another thing is that thiugt Rizwan had propose to her earlier, I dont think she ever took it to mean he was crazy in love with her .. the way she responded to his proposal,or Rizwan’s sisters suggestion, it was almost like she was taken aback at that thought because she had never ever loved him like that .. and then to preserve his dignity, Rizwan too kind of waved it off as no biggie, when it actually was to him … so I think as far as she is concerned shes no different than any other girl who is seriously infatuated and sees nothing wrong in sharing this feeling with the whole world … ofcourse shes being terribly selfish and self-centered but then isnt that how we all are .. apne aagey kuch aur dikhta hi nahin … Again, just my interpretation of what was happening there … I understand it but doesnt mean I like it … Michele, girl, snap out of it warna you’re setting yourself up for some serious heartbreak!

          Re: the ending … Dont know if you saw KPKP or not, but one of our objections (dont know about others , but at least @DB’s and mine) was that at the end Muju got away with everything, without paying any kind of a price .. yes, his ego got hurt, but he ended up fulfilling all the dreams he had left PK with .. marrying the rich cousin, becoming ameer, owning a business …. and here I see JJ and Bhatti in the same position as Muju… as in they too left the country with stars in their eyes . rather than trying to make a go of their lives at home they chose to go abroad and take the shortcuts .. even after Bhatty failed to get his visa extended legally he chose not to go home, opting instead to get involved in a paper marriage … the money he could’ve taken back and presumably started a business etc with, he chose to invest in a house which he shared with Kathy … Similarly Jamshed too is following in his footsteps.. so now for the ending, unlike the happily ever after we saw in KPKP I would like them both go home with their hands empty (as in without a green card) but their heads filled with life lessons they learned in the US … so I am hoping when the serial winds up with them reflecting on their journey, realizing that they had been running after mirages, and ends with them appreciating the real value of home, love, family, none which can be bought with money….

          Re: the ladies .. I agree both are strong ladies and can do much better than the likes of this mamu bhanja pair .. and given they’ve made their way through life pretty much on their own I dont think they need a man to hold their hands … and so yes, like you I dont think I would like a shadi type ending here… I think Michele needs time to learn from this experience and figure out what was it about JJ that got to her .. clearly being with slow and steady Rizwan was not cutting it with her …. she should remary only if she wants to and thinks shes found the right man for herself .. not just who the world thinks is right for her … For Salma too, I think she’s lived under Sikander’s shadow for so long that I would like her to spend some time basking in the sunshine of freedom and then thinking where if at all does Bhatti fit in her life … For all his charm, we know that in his own way Bhatti too is a pretty pushy, demanding, my way or the highway kinda guy .. and I dont think Salma is emotionally ready to be in yet another relationship where she is expected to be the submissive partner … so lets see…


  6. SZ, thanks – it’s lovely interacting/discussing these sort of finer details here. Let’s see what team JH has in store for us. 🙂


  7. @SZ. Rejected Rizwan and Jalebi Jamshed! LOL!
    I agree Marina Kahn’s smile is to die for. As to why she prefers JJ to RR? Hmm…RR is suave and sophisticated, whereas JJ has the subcontinent-style hypermasculinity. Michelle you dare-devil, dare I say it?
    This is a great ensemble. But I must say I’ve seen N.Ijaz in some dramas as the adulterous husband, the oppressive politician/husband, the impotent businessman, and so on. However, this character he’s portrayed – Bhatti saheb – is by far my favorite. There’s a simplicity in terms of the matter-of-fact acceptance of the reality of the immigrant life of 15 years that comes across. There’s a sadness even when he laughs and smiles, and I think Salma would have filled that gap for him.
    And you don’t see NI or any of his earlier characters or their mannerisms, you just see Bhatti saheb. Brilliant!
    My prediction is that Bhatti saheb will go back to Pakistan with no money, having given it all to people he loved and helped in Jackson Heights and in Pakistan.
    Excuse me while I reach for a tissue…sniff sniff
    [Did he pay off Sikander’s gambling debts all for the love of Salma? Or is he some kind of cabbie mafia king whose tentacles reach into the underbelly of Jackson Heights?] 🙂


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