WORK OF THE LIPS
If there is one lesson the last episode of Afili Aşk taught us, it’s to never EVER miss the first minutes of a new Bölum. Starting strong right where we left of, aka on Kerem’s mouth crashing on Ayşe’s lips, episode 21 offered us a glorious second round. Not only Kerem couldn’t help deepening the kiss over and over again, but he also seem to be in no hurry to separate his lips from Ayşe, even when the director of the advertising told them they could stop.
We’re now used to it : from Kerem’s face, still eyes closed, after the kiss of episode 9, to his smile when Ayşe kissed him in episode 18, it is clear that Mr. Yiğiter wants to enjoy every second of every kiss with his wife. Symbolically, their kiss on the rain represents the end of an area and the beginning of a new one. For the first time, Kerem couldn’t hide behind the circumstances to explain his behavior. He wasn’t forced to play a couple in love like he was in episode 9. No, this time he chose to be there. He wanted to be there. As he said it himself, when Ayşe asked him what he was doing: “I’m kissing my wife”. Sure, Kerem could try to downplay it with a little smirk on his face, but the words were out. For the first time, Kerem normalized his behavior, and doing so, their relationship too. Ayse is no longer a “fake” wife according to their little secret. Their marriage is finally real, not that we had any doubt about it, but it feels good to hear so. Sure, the audience and Ayşe herself were still dying to hear the big love declaration, but we know the drill, Afili Aşk’s writers love to make us wait for it.
At least we could count on Gonca to reassure us as she kept telling Ayşe all along the episode that Kerem’s confession would necessarily come soon. And she was right. For two hours, we saw Kerem trying to find the right opportunity to confess his feelings, and being stopped in his track by events, that we must admit, were in big part beyond his control. The first one being, and let’s all scream it :
How many times do we need to say it ? Generosity is a virtue, but there are things people are not supposed to give to one another. For example, women should not, under no circumstances, share their lipstick, panties, or boyfriends (hello Gonca!). And for men, what would probably come on top of the list is a diamond ring bought for one’s wife.
Kerem ne yapıyorsun ?? The writers found the perfect scenario to delay the love confession while not making Kerem look too bad. The poor man, guilt trapped by a Samet who forgot his wedding’s anniversary, had no choice but to offer the ring he had bought to his brother, and with that, the romantic dinner he had planned for Ayşe.
For the first time Samet’s cowardice towards his wife stopped being cute to become problematic. If we can easily forget Kerem, who looked as disappointed as Ayşe that his evening didn’t go as planned, it is harder to understand Samet’s behavior this time. How could he accept such a personal gift, that Kerem had obviously bought for Ayşe without any hesitation ? And worst, how could he play the part and offer it to Hülya, in front of Ayşe, without a glimpse of remorse ?
The audience felt like a Hülya, was a Hülya, wanting to scream Sameeeet!! He had made such progress in the previous episode to stand up to his wife that that episode 21 felt like a setback. Hopefully he will go back to learn how to confront Hülya, even if it’s to confess his own mistakes.
Talking about mistakes…
KARMA’S A B*TCH
As the famous philosopher Justin Timberlake once said, what goes around comes around. Volkan and Kerem are no exception to the rule, neither is Gonca.
First Volkan had to face the consequences of his recent affair with a random girl. After pulling a Kerem and fainting on the floor when the girl showed up at his office, he finally found the strength to admit his adventure to Gonca…. Right after he told her he loves her... Hum... Hello ?? Sure we do love sincerity, but the timing of both confessions seemed a bit weird. First of all, it was a bit presumptuous from Volkan to think that his feelings for Gonca could make her forget what he had just done. Of course, she would and she did throw him out in tears of the apartment.
Second, Volkan’s love confession couldn’t move the audience as we were all waiting for Kerem’s declaration instead of his. However, this succession of events had at least one merit : showing the difference between Kerem and Volkan’s actual states of mind. When the first one followed all the necessary steps to progressively accept his feelings, which included staying faithful because his heart couldn’t even look at someone else, Volkan, not helped by Gonca’s behavior, missed all that development. Both started on the wrong foot, by sleeping with each other while refusing – at least on her part – to fall in love. And as in every romantic comedy with that plot, the audience knows this situation always leads to misunderstanding and heartbreaks. It’s even hard to consider that Volkan cheated on Gonca, as the two never promised a thing to one another. Worst, Gonca was the one who insisted for a long time to keep no strings attached.
As much as we could feel for her, who truly looked heart broken, this was certainly a necessary step to make her character progress. She needed that reality check to finally get what Ayşe went through because of her affair with Berk. We, the audience, also needed it to stop seeing her only as the unfaithful friend. And finally, she needed that wake-up call to stop playing the cold-hearted girl with Volkan. Gonca probably has a big heart, which only needs to be unleashed.
But that’s not all ! Volkan and Gonca’s little drama dragged Kerem down with them.
Made aware of Volkan’s affair after the restaurant with all the boys, Ayşe immediately thought that Kerem had also cheated on her. Who could blame her ? Berk’s and Gonca’s ancient betrayal makes it hard for her to trust men again, and Kerem’s past of a womanizer truly doesn’t help.
It’s a good thing that the show instead of presenting womanizing as a cool thing like in a James Bond, tells the audience about its unfortunate consequences. Kerem could scream his innocence to Ayşe, she was not ready to listen, and more importantly, she was in no position to believe him. Prior to that event Kerem couldn’t stop criticizing Ayşe’s look on her shooting for Modamu’s new advertising campaign. That only brought confusion to the girl’s mind. We’re still trying to understand why he thought this was a good idea to be so harsh with her. The girl was gorgeous, we know it, he knows it, everybody knows it. Adding on top of that her disappointment with their diner ruined by Samet the night before, and Kerem’s lack of explanation for it, Ayşe had little to nothing to hold on to his claim of innocence. The most frustrating part of it all is that the audience was well aware of where Kerem was that night of Volkan’s affair. It was probably the most romantic gesture Kerem had done at that point : sleeping in his car in front of Ayşe’s house to stay close to her. Why not confess it ? Ah Kerem ah !
All those mistakes though are nothing in the grand scheme of things, ‘cause if there’s one character who truly deserves to be hit by Karma, way more than anyone else… It sure as hell is Ceyda !
THE SNAKE IS IN THE HOUSE
Did you really think Ceyda had destroyed the recording of Ayşe and Kerem talking about their wedding’s secret arrangement, back in episode 7 ? Ah ah ah, me neither.
Of course, the snake had kept a copy of the original recording and decided to share it with no other than Yelda, to prove her son and Ayşe’s little game. As if that wasn’t enough, Ceyda made sure Yelda would think her son was manipulated by an opportunist Ayşe into falling in love with her and therefore stay married. Of course, Yelda was the perfect confident for Ceyda. Completely blinded by her love for her son and her over protectiveness of him, she was bound to fall for Ceyda’s weird distortion of the reality.
Look, we know a romantic comedy always comes with an antagonist willing to do anything and everything to separate the main couple, but with Ceyda, the writers of Afili Aşk have brought this role to a whole new level. Ceyda’s craziness is never fun or cute. No, it’s full on scary and pathetic. When the poor girl puts all the blame of AyKer’s wedding arrangement on Ayşe, is she really trying to manipulate Yelda, or is she trying to convince herself ? Since the beginning, no matter how many times Kerem rejected her love or Ayşe made her face the truth, Ceyda has always refused to hear it. Instead, she chose to believe Kerem was under his wife’s bad influence to explain his behavior. Reality seems to never kicks in her head. Being evil is one thing, but how do you deal with someone who doesn’t even realize her wrongdoings ? The writers have given us probably the most entertaining kind of antagonist, because the audience is slowly realizing Ceyda truly has no limits, and in consequence can expect the worst from her. The many girls Kerem dated before Ayşe didn’t stop her, Kerem’s love for Ayşe doesn’t stop her, so what will ? Nothing, if not professional help. I must say, it’s pretty ironic to see almost all the characters going to see a therapist when the one who truly needs medical attention still walks freely on the hallways of Modamu.
Kudos to Zeynep Tuğçe Bayat, who progressively gives to Ceyda’s character more and more length to her craziness, from the work on her voice breaking more and more every time she tries convince someone of her own lies, to the blank expression on her face when Ayşe tries to make her face reality. Ceyda isn’t just evil, she’s full on insane. If there’s one good thing about all this, it’s that Ceyda’s unwillingness to let go of Kerem doesn’t damage Kerem’s image to the audience. On the contrary, it teaches us more about who he is. Without being mean, the man has always been very clear with Ceyda. Pretty aware of her feelings for him, it appears he never tried to play with it, but felt compelled for years to keep her in his life as the result of a last long friendship of her with him and his family. It took him to realize Ceyda has endangered his father’s health with her sick plans for him to finally put a stop to his friendship with her. Loyalty seems to be a very important manner in Kerem’s attitude towards people close to him, and that can only predict the best outcome for Ayşe and Kerem’s love story.
Talking about their love story, it’s finally time to dig into the best scene of the episode, if not one of the best scene of the show !
WORDS OF THE HEART
All good things come to those who wait. Obviously the adage works as much for the audience as it does for AyKer. For us, it has been 21 long weeks of waiting for that exact moment. Sure, the longing was excruciating, but it was all worth it. This time was needed for Kerem and Ayşe to fully get ready for that emotional moment and bring us all to tears.
21 weeks, it’s what it took for Kerem to learn how to speak words of the heart, and for Ayşe to learn how to hear them. The evening started with Rıza abi revealing to Ayşe that Kerem had stayed the night of Volkan’s affair in front of her house, longing for her. With that revelation, Ayşe finally realized Kerem was no Berk, that she could trust him, and trust his words. As for Kerem, almost losing Ayşe this episode due to the failure of his elaborated plans made him realize that when it comes to a love declaration, context doesn’t matter, only the words do.
Reproducing the scene from their childhood memory, Kerem asked her to open her palms so he could place a swan of paper on them, so he could finally give her what he wanted to give her twenty years ago : his heart. With this gift, the show proved that once again the greatest gestures come from the simplest things. The symbolic of the bird is way more precious than any diamond could every be. After all, why would Ayşe need a new ring? Kerem already offered her two. A swan, she had waited all her life to get one from Kerem’s hands.
Not only Kerem said it out loud, that he loved her and wanted to be with her for the rest of their lives, but he even admitted his regret of not sharing her past, as if he had missed something, someone, her, all those years. This, my friends, is as far as love can get.
If the words were not enough to make you cry, Çağlar Ertuğrul’s loving eyes during that scene were there to melt all hearts: Ayşe’s heart, and ours by the same occasion. There is one thing very distinctive about Çağlar’s acting, it’s his capacity to transmit a thousand emotions with micro facial expressions. Nothing is over-done or over played, everything looks natural and so more powerful. From his little smile that kept appearing and disappearing during his confession, to his eyes locked on Ayşe that we could feel were fighting against shyness and fear, Çağlar let the audience get in the whirlwind of emotions that were running through Kerem’s soul.
That’s when Burcu Özberk’s talent now comes into play to end us all.
Ayşe was caught in the worst situation possible at that moment. Yelda had just told her she had discovered everything about Kerem and Ayşe’s wedding’s secret arrangement. Blackmailing her with the threat of revealing everything to her family and to Muhsin Baba, who Ayşe knows risk having another heart attack, Yelda forced Ayşe to remain silent about her discovery and wait for her instructions. Even if Yelda did not give details yet of what she intended to do, Ayşe and the audience could easily guess it only meant big trouble for our lovely AyKer. And so, when Kerem made his love declaration, we could see and feel Ayşe’s struggle, her dream becoming true in the same time as her absolute nightmare. Her eyes kept looking back and forth at Kerem and inside the house, symbolising that if her heart was with Kerem, her mind was still in that damn kitchen listening to Yelda's words.
Did Kerem realized something was wrong ? Maybe. When the sprinkler in the garden started pouring water over them, Ayşe lost in her thoughts and unable to face Kerem, sought refuge in his open arms, as if he had intuitively understood she couldn’t say a word, and only needed to be close to him, to feel him. Boy, she truly changed this man !
WHAT’S NEXT ?
The first fragman of episode 22 gave us precious knowledge of Yelda’s plan to separate Ayşe from her son. Forcing her to remain silent by threatening to reveal AyKer’s secret arrangement to her family, Yelda wants to use this opportunity to also force Ayşe to disappoint if not disgust Kerem of her.
We can only imagine how hard it will be for Ayşe to pretend to be a gold digger, only interested in Kerem’s money. No one has forgotten her emotional reaction in episode 18 when Kerem described her as a superficial girl in front of their therapist. The complexity of relationships between rich and poor people has always been addressed in a profound and meaningful way when it came to Ayşe’s character. Forget about the cliché of the girl amazed by the wealth of her prince charming, Ayşe has never been one of those. In fact we’ve never seen her ask for anything. Whatever she got that was out of her financial capacity, clothes, parts in Yiğiter’s company, it has always been offered if not forced on her. That being said, we can still hope for Ayşe to have some fun with the situation, as she’ll see a Kerem fill all her requests. Because that’s the point of the plot : opening Ayşe’s eyes on the strength of Kerem’s love for her.
However there’s one important thing Ayşe should not forget, it’s that things always work out for the best when her and Kerem talk openly. So what if Kerem learns that his mother knows the truth ? Surely he would find a solution to get Ayşe and him out of trouble without risking their relationships with both their families. Hopefully, Kerem will know his wife well enough to notice she isn’t herself anymore. That’s what the second fragman of episode 22 seems to indicate. On two scenes who already promise to be emotional for the audience, Kerem confide to Ayşe that he feels she’s running away from him, and then let his heart explode about it. Ayşe will be left with no other choice than either lose the man she loves or revealing the whole truth. Hopefully, she’ll choose the second solution, and a BTS video shared by the cast showing Ayşe, Kerem and their families all having diner at Ayşe’s old house tend to reassure us.
Talking about houses, isn’t it weird that different plots about moving out are popping up all at the same time ?
First, we heard in episode 21 Nazmiye ask Riza to move out and live on their own in a new house. And now, the fragman of episode 22 showed Yelda asking Ayşe to move out of the Yiğiter’s house. Is it all a pure coincidence ? Or could those two plots be linked ? It is very unlikely that Nazmiye and Riza would ever leave Melahat alone in her house. So is their potential moving out an opportunity for Ayşe – with Kerem? – to move in ? Or is Ayşe’s potential exclusion of Kerem’s house the opportunity for Nazmiye to realize her luck to live with a welcoming mother-in-law?
All scenarios are at this point pure speculation of course, but this potential development could be extremely interesting. If now or later Yelda does succeed at throwing Ayşe out of her house, Kerem will necessarily be confronted to the choice of living either with his family or with his wife. As he said it himself, once he assumes his love, he will move mountains for Ayşe. What better proof of love than choosing her over everyone else in this world ?
The future that awaits AyKer and the audience might be worrisome on some aspects, but for sure it will also bring out the most romantic gestures we have to see. So let’s keep dreaming, and let’s dream big !
- Kerem donating the profits of Ayşe’s advertisement to an education fund? And in her name ? Best husband award.
- The person in charge of Burcu/Ayşe’s wardrobe this episode deserves a raise and to keep on working like this. Give me the beautiful dresses, nice curly hairs, I want more !
- Taner Rumeli’s acting deserves more recognition. From interpreting a violent Riza in the beginning of the show, to playing a business man interested in hairdressing in the dream of episode , and now a shy and terrible dancer, the man seems able to do everything. Give him more roles on television !
- Talking about Riza, his character’s evolution is exactly what we’re here to watch and want to watch on tv these days. Sure, the man still has his old habits of judging harshly Ayşe’s and Nazmiye’s looks, but he’s softening progressively and learning to let the women in his lives decide for themselves what to wear, what to do, and what to say.
- Erkut doing a photoshoot for Ceyda but still being happy for AyKer’s team’s win ? We love a supportive brother. We also love to see him and other characters discover his talents instead of being constantly humiliated. I believe in you Erkut !
- The first fragman of episode 22 shows Kerem buying Ayşe a car, which raise the obvious question… When did Ayşe learned how to drive ?! Did Kerem forget what happened the last time she tried to hold a steering wheel ? Because oh boy we didn’t !