Ariza: Season 1, Episode 23 Review

Ep 23 Cover 1


As soon as Ali Riza sees the video that Halide has been kidnapped, he immediately suspects Balaban.  He calls him demanding to know where she is but he denies involvement and suggests it could be the Russians, specifically Sergei, who may be retaliating for the weapons that were stolen from him.  Balaban gives Ali Riza a location where he can find Sergei, so both Ali Riza and Ferit rush to get there and together they attack the location killing anyone they encounter but ultimately Halide is nowhere to be found.  A few minutes later, Haşmet arrives to check if Ali Riza found Halide but when he finds out she isn’t there, Haşmet blames Ali Riza for not protecting her.  Ali Riza also gets upset and tells Haşmet he’s just as worried as he is and will do whatever they want to get her back safely.

Meanwhile, Halide is being held captive on a ship by Sergei and the Russian mafia.  He tells her he’s using her to exchange for the merchandise that was stolen from him.  He assures her that no harm will come to her if Haşmet and Ali Riza follow his directions.  

The Ihtiyar questions Burak about his involvement with the stolen weapons that Ali Riza recovered.  Instead of betraying Mithat, Burak attempts to explain that he stole the weapons from the Russians with the intention of returning them to her but claims that Ali Riza refused to listen to him.  The Ihtiyar doesn’t believe him and tells him if that were true then he would have been working with Murat instead of going behind his back.  Afterward, Burak visits Balaban to ask him why he kidnapped Halide if it wasn’t part of their plan, but he denies his involvement. 

Burak doesn’t trust him, so he warns Balaban if he did have Halide kidnapped then there will be a conflict between them, however, Balaban tells Burak that perhaps the Russians did it since he stole their money and their weapons.  Burak is surprised that the Russians know about Halide, so Balaban explains that it’s possible they picked her since she’s Haşmet's daughter and Ali Riza’s girlfriend so she’s the perfect pawn to get what they want.  When Burak demands to know where Halide is, Balaban tells him Ali Riza is already attempting to save her. 

Mithat confronts Melek to find out if she’s responsible for informing Murat of his plans with Burak to take over the stolen weapons from the Ihtiyar.  She acknowledges her involvement but assures Mithat she never mentioned his name, so the entire blame fell on Burak.  Upset, Mithat tells Melek that Burak had the opportunity to expose him with the Ihtiyar but he didn’t.  Melek continues to refuse to allow their daughter to marry a killer no matter what the Ihtiyar wants.  

Another confrontation takes place between Murat and Burak.  When Murat accuses Burak of working with Mithat who he says is their enemy, Burak tells him he did the exact same thing when he partnered up with Ali Riza to seize the weapons from him.  Burak defends himself by explaining that is how he works, he uses people to get what he wants, and then he destroys them.  He says he will continue to destroy anyone and everyone who gets in his way, so when Murat asks him if he’ll destroy him if he gets in his way, so Burak tells him he did when he chose to work with his worst enemy.    

Ali Riza takes the weapons from the Ihtiyar to exchange them for Halide.  After he informs Balaban that he has the merchandise, Balaban is in the process of meeting with Sergei, who tells him Ali Riza is following their plan.  However, as Ali Riza is transporting the weapons, he’s intercepted by Safir, who tells him the Ihtiyar has ordered him to return the weapons.  Ali Riza refuses and calls the Ihtiyar and tells her he needs the weapons to get Halide back and promises that he will return them as soon as Halide is safe.  Ultimately, the Ihtiyar agrees.  

Once the Ihtiyar hangs up with Ali Riza, Muzaffer is there to inform her that he’s still trying to get information on who’s responsible for Halide’s kidnapping as well as information on Balaban.  He points out that Balaban’s history appears to have been erased so the Ihtiyar requests he continues to investigate until he finds something on him.  She comments that she has a lot to lose if Ali Riza’s plan doesn’t work out but Muzaffer points out that if something happens to Halide, they will not be able to control Ali Riza.  He also informs her that Ali Riza is refusing to work with him until he knows the truth about his father, however, the Ihtiyar tells him they need to solve this problem first before she decides how to handle that dilemma.  

Ali Riza finally gets a call from Sergei who tells him they will meet the following morning to make the exchange, however, Ali Riza and Haşmet insist on taking care of it immediately.  Sergei informs them it will need to wait because along with the weapons, he also wants the money he gave Mithat for the weapons.  Sergei tells them they will hear back from him with the time and hangs up.  Later, Sergei calls with a video so they can see that Halide is alive.  After Ali Riza upsets Sergei, he tells him he doesn’t trust him to keep his word, so he tests him.  He makes him put his gun to his head to check if he’s willing to die for Halide.  

When Ali Riza performs the test fearlessly, Sergei tells him he’s convinced that he can trust him and gives him the time for their meeting the following morning but refuses to give the location ahead of time.  As Ali Riza leaves his office, he informs Safir the exchange has been set-up and warns him to stay out of his way because he’s not going to risk Halide’s life for the weapons.  

Mithat thanks Burak for not betraying him with the Ihtiyar for his involvement with the weapons deal, but Burak tells him he would never betray his future father-in-law.  Mithat expresses his frustrations that although he’s the patron, everyone else is making plans except him.  Burak feeds into his anger and tells him he also witnessed Haşmet, the Ihtiyar, and Ali Riza leading the consortium.  He suggests he make him head of his family so he can help balance the consortium.  When Mithat asks him how he’s going to remove Murat from that position, Burak tells him if he doesn’t move willingly then he’ll have to move him forcefully. 

Later, Ali Riza goes home to find his family worried about him and Halide since they haven’t been able to reach either of them the entire day when they were supposed to get together after the news of their engagement.  Ali Riza is too emotional to speak with them, so he retreats to his room where he recalls his proposal to Halide.  At the same time, Halide is doing the same thing as she recalls their conversation after the proposal when she confessed her secret to Ali Riza about her fear of death.  She admits that after her family was killed and she left Istanbul, she had a hard time dealing with the trauma, so she received help from a therapist.  It was determined that her fear of death was not about her own death but rather a fear of her loved ones dying.  She explains to Ali Riza that is why she gets upset when he doesn’t answer her calls or text or she doesn’t know anything about him.  She immediately thinks the worst has happened to him.  Ali Riza assures her nothing will happen and promises they will get married, go on a honeymoon, have kids, and live a long happy life together.     

Burak reports to the Ihtiyar who orders him to find Balaban and bring him to her because she knows he’s behind Halide’s kidnapping.  Burak is surprised she’s asking him for help but agrees to help find him.  She also tells him to settle the issue with Murat as soon as possible so his family can be as strong and powerful as before and reminds him that he must marry Derya soon.  After Burak leaves the Ihtiyar’s house, he meets with Mithat to let him know that she wants him to help find Halide by capturing Balaban.  

Melek visits Haşmet to see how he’s doing and to check if he’s heard anything about Halide.  He tells her they have something planned for the morning, so he won’t be getting any sleep soon until she’s back safe.  He tells her perhaps he should send her away to try to protect her from their world.  Melek informs Haşmet that she kept in touch with Halide after she moved away and became concerned when she stopped answering her calls, so she decided to visit her to check how she was doing.  She says when she arrived at her apartment, she found Halide alone, frightened, and looking lost.  When she asked her what was wrong, she told her she was dying inside and confessed that she left because she knew her father hurt every time he saw her.  Haşmet blames himself for not being a better father but Melek assures him that he’s one of the best fathers she knows.    

In the meantime, Halide attempts to escape by beating one of her captors, however, once she’s outside, she comes face to face with Balaban.  

He tells her he wants to show her who her boyfriend really is and the secrets he’s been hiding from her.  He points out that he used to work with Ali Riza’s father who is responsible for her family’s death.  Halide refuses to believe him, so he shows her the video of Fuat receiving orders from Ali Riza’s father to kill Haşmet's family.  Halide doesn’t believe the video is real, so before Balaban leaves, he tells her to ask Ali Riza the next time she sees him. 

The following morning, Burak takes Balaban captive.  He immediately guesses the Ihtiyar sent him and reminds him that working with her is going against his father’s last wishes.  However, Burak tells him he originally denied responsibility for Halide’s kidnapping and now he’s going to have to pay for lying about it.  Balaban tells him she hasn’t been harmed and she’s just part of his plan, but Burak doesn’t want to listen to him.  He tells him he made a major mistake when he involved her.  Balaban acknowledges his mistake and says he planned everything except for Burak’s feelings towards Halide.  Ultimately, Burak drops off Balaban at the Ihtiyar’s house.    

At the same time, Ali Riza and Ferit arrive at the location arranged by Sergei to deliver the weapons and get Halide.  When Sergei arrives, Ali Riza has the money and the weapons ready for the exchange, however, Sergei tells him he will release Halide later that evening.  Ali Riza refuses the deal and tells him he’ll be receiving a call from Balaban to cancel their plans, however, when Balaban does call, he orders Sergei to kill Ali Riza and Halide.  Ali Riza is ready and takes cover as Haşmet's men come out of hiding and the assault begins.  Ali Riza runs after Sergei before he can escape and brings him back in time to confront Haşmet.  

They both question him for Halide’s whereabouts but before Sergei can reveal her location, a hidden sniper shoots and kills him.  A few minutes later, Ali Riza receives a call from Balaban with Halide’s location so both Ferit and Ali Riza rush to find her.  Once they arrive at the ship, they bravely attack the guards and Ali Riza finally finds Halide but comes face to face with a shock - Balaban has a bomb strapped to her body and if they attempt to remove it, it will explode!  Ali Riza calls Muzaffer to see if he can help, but after he checks it out, he tells Ali Riza it’s a professional job that only the creator will be able to deactivate.  When Muzaffer suggests to Ali Riza that he leave to and save himself, he hangs up on him.    

The Ihtiyar questions Balaban and wants to know where he gets the courage to go against her, he responds the streets.  He explains he grew up living on the streets, so he didn’t have anything to lose.  The Ihtiyar asks why he’s doing all this if they had already agreed to discuss him joining her consortium, so Balaban tells her he wanted to even out his chances.  He says that’s why he used Halide as a pawn so they could be even when they sit down to discuss his request instead of her having all the power to make the final decision.  The Ihtiyar refuses to give him an answer until after Ali Riza rescues Halide and order Safir to take Balaban away, but he tells her she needs to see their reunion and the surprise he has planned for them.    



Mithat tells Melek that Derya and Burak’s wedding is going to happen very soon with or without her consent, and since he no longer trusts her, he wants a divorce and kicks her out of their house.

Muzaffer rushes to the Ihtiyar’s home to ask what she’s doing to help Ali Riza and Halide.  She tells him she has Balaban, but she refuses to give him power over her.  She believes he’s bluffing to try to get her to agree to his terms to join the consortium.  Muzaffer becomes angry that she would risk Ali Riza’s life and asks what if he isn’t bluffing and the bomb actually explodes.  When the Ihtiyar remains quiet, Muzaffer yells at her that she cannot let Ali Riza die because she’s his mother! 

As Haşmet also rushes to the Ihtiyar’s house to make sure she isn’t playing games with him or working with Balaban, Burak stops him on the street.  He tells him he’s there on Balaban’s behalf because he sent him a video of Halide with a bomb.  He explains that Balaban’s intent is to join the consortium and wants Haşmet to support his request and convince the Ihtiyar to agree otherwise he will blow up the bomb killing both Halide and Ali Riza. 

After Ali Riza hangs up with Muzaffer, the clock on the bomb starts counting down, Halide pleads with Ali Riza to leave however he tells her he will die if she dies so they might as well die together.  He reminds her what he said to her after he proposed, and it was that he wanted to hold her hand when he died.  As the last seconds run out, they both profess their love to each other, kiss, and wait for the bomb to explode…. 


What I Loved:

I was happy that we got more scenes surrounding the proposal.  The flashback scene with Ali Riza and Halide in the taxi celebrating their engagement together alone was perfect.  I especially liked that she revealed her secret to him concerning her fear about death that required therapy in the past to deal with the trauma she experienced after her family was killed in front of her eyes.  This definitely explains why she was being so harsh in the previous episode; it was because she panics when she doesn’t know how or where he is.   

I loved the conversation between Ali Riza and Ms. Rukiya.  Without being pushy or nosy, she encourages him to talk to someone about what he’s dealing with so it doesn’t poison him from inside.  She also tries to give him hope by telling him that even though he feels like it’s the end of the world when the new day begins, the sunlight will make everything better.  I thought it was ironic she said that because of how Halide and Ali Riza both told each other they are the sunlight in each other’s lives.   

I’m really loving Melek’s change and how much she supports Haşmet and Halide.  I loved hearing her revelation that she watched over Halide after her family was killed even though she was not talking to Haşmet during that time.  I hope that she reveals the truth about Burak and Murat soon to Haşmet if Mithat really kicks her out of her house so she can ruin his plans to unite their families.  

I absolutely love the brotherhood between Ali Riza and Ferit.  They have such a strong bond and support each other no matter what situation they’re dealing with.  Ferit is always protecting Ali Riza and was especially supportive in this episode when he saw Ali Riza was beginning to lose it as they waited to make the exchange for Halide.  He assures him he’s done everything possible to get Halide back and tells him to stay calm otherwise he’ll make a mistake and ruin the plan.  When Ali Riza tells him it’s been difficult for him to not be able to do more, Ferit tells him the most difficult thing is watching your loved one die before his eyes.   

I actually liked Muzaffer in this episode because he attempted to help Ali Riza and even confronted the Ihtiyar when she wouldn’t do more to help him.  He called her out for caring more about her power than her own son.  Bravo Muzaffer! 


What I Disliked:

I don’t understand why Balaban told Halide about Ali Riza’s father’s possible participation in her family’s murder.  He was so intent on having Ali Riza on his side so by doing this, he just made himself his enemy.  I feel like he did it just to break them up because he’s jealous of him.   

I hate that Burak is trying to deceive his brother into believing that he’s going to support him as his patron but in actuality, he’s already planning on taking over his position.  He’s just as bad as Mithat and only cares about power.  I’m glad Murat has his doubts about Burak and continues to watch his back. 

I really dislike Mithat’s attitude, who is starting to act like Derya.  His greed and jealousy will get him in trouble with the Ihtiyar if he doesn’t watch out.  He should be concerned about his daughter instead of trying to marry her off to a psycho killer.  And to top it all off, telling Melek to leave their house is absurd! He wants the divorce so he should be the one to leave.        

I can’t believe the Ihtiyar was more concerned about her power than about Ali Riza’s life especially since she’s his mother.  Is it because she doesn’t love him since she didn’t raise him?  Does she really consider the consortium a priority over her son?   


Questions Left Unanswered:

Will the Ihtiyar accept Balaban’s conditions to save Ali Riza and Halide before the bomb explodes? 

Why does the Ihtiyar want Burak and Derya to marry?  What is the intent behind that union?

How will Burak remove Murat as head of the family if Murat doesn’t want to do it willingly?    

Will Melek leave her house like Mithat told her to or will she kick him out?    

Will Halide ask Ali Riza about his father’s involvement with her family’s death? 

Why did Balaban reveal that information if he wants Ali Riza on his side?  


My Thoughts:

My suspicions were answered in this episode that the Ihtiyar is really Ali Riza’s mother.  That is definitely going to add so many more levels to the story especially since Ali Riza has vowed to kill the Ihtiyar for ordering his father’s death.  I wonder how this will change Ali Riza’s path once he finds out.    

I loved learning more about Halide’s past, but I think it would have been better if we could see it in flashback scenes so we could get a glimpse of her life away from her father as she dealt with her family’s murder and tried to live a normal life.  Her secret explains her harsh behavior towards Ali Riza in the previous episode and now I understand that she wasn’t just mad at Ali Riza, she was scared for him.   

And last, Tolga Sarıtaş definitely brought his A-game and showed us his superb acting skills in this episode.  He displayed so many emotions that made us feel exactly what he was portraying.  We could feel his anger as he yells at Balaban and Safir, we felt his desperation as he begged Muzaffer to help with the bomb, we felt his agony when told Mert that Halide had been kidnapped and we also felt his powerlessness as he waited to hear from Sergei.  We especially saw the love when he refused to leave Halide alone as the bomb clocked down to the last seconds and told her that he loved her.  Fabulous job Mr. Tolga Sarıtaş! 


Last Updated: Feb 26, 2021 18:51 pm (UTC) Filed Under:
Dee Lo ~ Guest Contributor
I love Turkish dizis. Huge fan of Tolga Sarıtaş and Ayça Ayşin Turan.