Now that she’s at her aunt’s house, Sarah has an opportunity to dig deeper into her mother’s past. Everyone she asks gets teary-eyed and walks out of the room, so she looks herself for clues, and finds shocking evidence that Arfeen and her mother were once married. Meanwhile, the flashback segments show Afreen who has travelled abroad to study, and his family’s frustration (in particular his mother) at him phoning Saba constantly but showing almost complete disregard for his own family.
Delaney acts swiftly in making allies for himself. He acquires eyes and ears in the form of a whorehouse, partners himself with his father’s old lawyer, initiates a spy network through the streets of London and settles all his father’s financial debts. However, there’s one debt still to be payed – a widower of James’ father has revealed herself, an appearance which would only serve to complicate the matters of James’ inheritance, to which she is now owed half. Delaney seeks out a meeting with the President of the US through a spy he discovers, which shows just how lofty his ambition is. The East Indian Company makes a futile attempt on his life, but it leaves a wound.
From the creator of Peaky Blinders and Locke, Taboo concerns James Keziah Delaney, played by Tom Hardy at his creepy-weirdo best, who returns to 1814 London in order to claim a legacy left by his father after a mysterious 10 year absence spend in Africa. He finds himself at odds with the greedy East India Company, who want the land that Delaney has inherited, amid a war between the British and the Americans.
In the past, Arfeen’s arrogance proves too much for his parents, and they agree to allow him to be wed to Saba. The two enjoy some conversations with each other, and Saba paints a picture of Arfeen, her first of a person. She becomes saddened when Afreen leaves Pakistan for a course. Saba’s younger sister is very involved Arfeen and Saba’s relationship, often expressing her distaste at Saba’s constant remembrance of him when he is not present. We frequently cut to present times, where Saba’s sister, now middle aged, phones Afreen wanting to speak to her niece, a (harshly-spoken) request that he denies. Meanwhile, Sara is introduced to members of her family that she has never seen before, including Afeen’s two sisters. Sara is invited to stay with one of her aunties with the promise of showing her Saba’s old home, a request that Afreen reluctantly accepts.
Taking place mostly in the past, we are invited to explore the roots of Arfeen and Saba’s relationship. Arfeen’s family’s resolute stance on his marriage proposal is only matched by his stubbornness in the matter. He falls completely head-over-heels over her and goes out of his way to meet and converse with her. The two are shown to have great chemistry and enjoy each other’s company amid the displeased neighbourhood. They are like two roses intertwined together surrounded by a barren land. It seems as though Arfeen’s parents have reluctantly begin to accept his longing for Saba as a wife, but they are met with some visibly devastating news in the form of a cliff-hanger which concludes the episode. Meanwhile the wires between Haider and Sara have begun to spark.
Whilst Sara attempts to settle into the household and Arfeen continues mourning the death of Saba, the episode is dominated by flashbacks which begin to unveil the connection between all the main characters. We learn that Afreen and Saba first cousins, and the latter’s extravagant and liberal nature caused her disrespect within the neighbourhood. She was a known as a ‘haraab’ woman, or bad seed, for her characteristics.
As part of my quest to improve the level of my Urdu, I’ve started the series ‘Meri Zaat Zarrae Benishan’ which translates to…well, I don’t actually know what it translates to. Oh well – that’s why I’m here I guess.
Moving on from the great-but-forgettable ‘Jungles’, this latest entry in the series opens with a magnificent sandstorm reminiscent of the terrifying but awe-inspiring ones shown in Attenborough’s ‘Africa’ series. It was always going to be a great episode since there’s so much to do with deserts, from showcasing the beauty of the scenery to the surprisingly richness of the wildlife. OK, so maybe ‘richness’ is pushing it a bit, but the little life that can survive in a desert is going to be something worth seeing, for one reason or another. And ‘Deserts’ is definitely worth seeing.
Planet Earth returns for another hour of beautiful images in ultra HD, this time focusing on glimpses in the world’s jungles.
Though I’m not taking anything away from the brilliance of the series nor the sufficiency of the episode, “Jungles” does feel a step down from the previous two episodes, if only for the reason that they were so brilliant. Aside from one or two scenes, this episode doesn’t show much that Attenborough hasn’t already given us in other documentaries.
Planet Earth II’s second episode rises as high as any of the mountains showcased in it. It’s difficult not to get repetitive when describing the episode and the series as a whole. How many times can you punch in adjectives like mesmerising, majestic, stunning, gorgeous and spellbinding before you say “Just watch the damned thing!”?