Aaaaand I'm back. I really thought my three episodes worth of thought vomit was gonna be a one-time thing, but then the new episode came around and it turned out I have a lot to say about it too. The plot is thickening, lies are coming out and yet we are no closer to finding out the truth.
This week we even had a new suspect introduced. I also noticed a bit of a theme going. In the first episode, they introduced us to the story. In the second they started presenting us with evidence against İlker. The third episode was all about Ela and how her "obsessions" may be the cause of the entire thing. And now in the fourth, the writers set their pens on İrem. It’s like in every episode the story is told from a different angle.
I'm wondering if they are going to keep giving us backstories to all of the characters, to show us that each one of them had their motives, and only then will they reveal the whole truth about what really happened that night. Or maybe, just as it started, this is something between İlker, Ela and İrem only. Whatever happened, whoever did it was one of those three or some kind of a mixture between them.
Let's dive in and see if I can make some sense of the stuff going through my head right now.
First, a quick recap of the major plot points. We start with İrem swallowing a bunch of pills and washing them down with some champagne, blaming Ela and İlker for her suicide. Then we shift back to the hospital, a few days earlier, where a guilt-ridden İlker explains everything to Ela. Her mother catches him in her room, he gets taken away by the cops and put on house arrest.
Evidence surface, against İrem. Video footage shows her trying to get a shady club owner to attack Ela and pin the crime on İlker. She does that because earlier in the evening she was with İlker in the said club, having fun until Ela showed up. They have an unfortunate rendezvous in the bathroom where Ela purposely pushes on Irem's buttons, which leads to a very drunk İrem tearing off an earring from Ela's ear and sending her to the hospital to get six stitches. After the footage from the shady owner’s office gets out, İrem is now the public's main suspect. She starts losing followers, İlker is pissed at her and all of this eventually leads to her attempting suicide.
That's basically it. Now, let's go deep.
Okay, first let me tell you right now, that hospital scene broke me. B-r-o-k-e m-e. The pain and torment Ela and İlker are going through at that moment are excruciating. They both have so many questions. Ela questions whether her memories of İlker and the relationship they had are real after his lawyer labelled her as crazy in court. İlker questions what happened the night of the attack. Did he really do this to her? Is he capable of it?
By seeing İlker there, Ela realises that everything between them was not part of her imagination. She is not sick. She is not what his lawyer made her out to be and told the whole world about it. But the fact that he let everyone think that about her is what hurts the most at that moment. Just like before, she feels insignificant, unloved, unwanted and most of all betrayed.
Especially because the answers to her questions are so simple. There are no records of him calling her because he bought them burner phones to use. İlker blocked her on his personal phone and social media because she was stubborn and was not using her burner. Blocking her was his way of forcing her into doing things his way. She bought herself the expensive necklace only so she can post a picture with it and make İrem jealous, by making it look like it was İlker who gave it to her.
The scene was very heartbreaking. Both of them were crying. Both of them trying to make sense of everything and put the pieces together as to what happened to them. His quiet knowledge and acceptance of the fact that she doesn't trust him and feels threatened by him were very powerful.
What was very interesting to me in that scene is that for the most part of first seeing her, İlker was fairly composed. He only started crying when he saw her crying, the moment Ela realized their relationship was not a lie. That it was real. That was the moment they broke. Her getting the confirmation that she was not sick and crazy, and him feeling and seeing the pain of the hell he put her through.
Just as Ela is looking for answers from İlker we find out that he is here for the same thing. İlker doesn't remember that night. He went to Ela in hopes that she will remember what happened to them. He looks tortured over not remembering, doubts himself and wonders if he is capable of doing this to her.
He believes they can find the answers to their questions in each other because it was they who lived through it. Only they know the intimate details of their relationship. Only they were there in that house on the night of the attack. People around them are trying to fill the pieces for them but it's not working. Sure of his guilt up until now, Ela starts to doubt. Both him and the story that people keep telling her.
They are interrupted by her mother who walks into the room and goes off on İlker when she sees him standing so close to her daughter. I think it’s important to take notice of the fact that while Bahar and Ela’s childhood friend Umut were both hitting İlker and had him pinned against the wall, he did nothing to defend himself. He kept his eyes solely on Ela, who at this point was in violent sobs, curled up into a ball by the bed. The hospital security takes İlker away and he is arrested. But not before he, very subtly, leaves Ela with a way to contact him. More specifically the number of the burner phone he still has.
While İlker was with her Ela starts to question why did the police never find her burner phone. You may remember that last episode we saw Ela throw away the phone on the street after that fiasco of a coffee date with İrem and İlker. What we didn't see and is just now revealed is that her snake of a cousin took it and made a deal with the assistant/mistress to hand it over to Hale, İlker's mother. And this is not the only time in this episode we see Hale hiding or buying crucial evidence. Bear with me, we’ll get there.
In light of İlker going to the hospital, his court case is severely hurt. Since he visited her, that must mean Ela is not lying about them having a relationship. To try and save face in front of the public, his mother and the assistant/mistress hatch up a plan to have İlker give a press conference. The kind of press conference where even his gulps and trembling lips were choreographed.
İlker once again throws Ela under the bus saying that she was a one-night stand after he briefly broke up with his "beloved" wife İrem before they got married. He profusely apologizes to Ela, her family, his family, and most of all his wife. Ela feels deeply betrayed and cheated even. Just one day before he was with her and telling her how sorry he was, assuring her she wasn't crazy, and there he was, thinking only of himself again. She calls him, and just like the day before he defends himself by saying that he had no choice. He was forced by the circumstances. He had to defend himself.
İlker and Ela's interactions in this episode once again make us question whether or not he really cares about her, or if he is just trying to save his own skin. He is manipulating her once again, no doubt, but maybe there is something underneath. And he made some kinda good points along the way.
İlker convinced Ela to tell the court that she was the one who called and asked him to come to the hospital, in order to not go back to jail and get his ankle monitor taken off. He fed her the lines so well that Ela even used them against her mother after court, but he is not entirely wrong. If at all.
Neither Ela nor İlker remembers what happened, and as far as we know so far they were the only ones there that night. Her mother is very sure and set in her ways to make İlker pay for his crimes, but as someone who is not sure of his fault, I tend to agree with İlker and Ela. Bahar wasn't there. She has no idea what happened. And I can't help but ask the same question Ela did, does Bahar want the person who did this to pay for his crimes, or does she want İlker to pay for it? Guilty or not.
There are still a lot of questions regarding İlker in my head. Does he love Ela, or is he just deeply guilt-ridden? I still don't understand his attachment to İrem, if there is any. It didn't look like it this episode, so what was the reason for the entire affair if he has no feelings for İrem, but does have them for Ela? And why is he so helpless against his mother? It's like he is a puppet. She tells him what to do and he just does it. Happily. During the choreographed press conference she was mouthing out his words, mimicking his gestures. She was there in the front row, like a mother at her son's first school play and he never looked away from her.
I'm starting to think İlker was physically abused by his father when he was young. When he got home after he was released from custody, his father was furious that he once again İlker tarnished his name and reputation by going to see Ela. His father raised his hand to hit him and while İlker did absolutely nothing to defend himself, if anything he looked totally ready for it like he knew it was coming, his mother stepped in and protected him. If his father abused him as a child, his mother must have not been around for some reason, because I don't see a possibility of that happening with her there. She will never let anything happen to İlker.
Hale clearly does not care about the company İlker's father loves so much, not even a tiny bit. He goes into one of his fits about how she and her son destroyed their reputation and she just barely listens to him and dismisses him. She doesn't give a crap about him and his image.
Speaking of his mother, she is a character that raises a lot of questions as well. Why is Hale trying so hard to stuff İrem down İlker's throat? What's with that?! So far there has been no mention of any significant company troubles, it doesn't look like they are trying to marry the children for the Ilgaz holding to get their hands on Harun's money. Again, Hale doesn’t look like she cares about the company that much. So why is she trying so hard?! Irem's father is painfully aware of it. He sees that İlker and Irem are miserable together. They are not happy. Neither of them, they haven’t been for years. So why?
And Hale is seriously going for it. She is blackmailing Harun into backing off, because of something İrem did in the past, we still don't know what, it was simply insinuated. She is even trying to turn İrem against her father. Hale is manipulating her because she knows there is nothing Harun won't do for his daughter. She plays on her insecurities like a very skillful musician plays his instrument, because she is aware that as soon as she takes her hand off her throat and stops practically choking her, İrem will run back to her dad. She will not stay a second longer glued to the side of the woman that's constantly forcing her to humiliate herself in front of İlker and the public.
Harun is not stupid. He is trying to reason with İrem, get her out of the toxic situation he got herself into and he is aware that all of this is a result of Hale's manipulation. Also in this episode, we have him telling İrem for the second time in the series so far that if Hale wants something from her, it's certainly not for her benefit. Hale wants it for herself and her own agenda. And he is absolutely right. I love it that he sees right through Hale.
In court, just before İrem is arrested after that video of her seemingly making arrangements with the shady club owner for Ela's attack, we see her sitting next to Hale. Her dad is also there, a few rows back, a great representation of him having her back, but still keeping his distance from the whole mess. He doesn't want to be involved in the Ilgaz family drama, and he doesn't want her involved either. But he does show up. For her.
İrem turns around to seek comfort from her dad and he smiles lovingly at her. Hale notices this and puts her hand on top of Irem's. It's like she is trying to keep her caged to her side, a not so gentle reminder as to who she belongs to now. İrem is the possession of Hale right now, to use in her games however she pleases. And Hale uses every opportunity to remind her of that, because, as I said, she knows that if she loses her grip on İrem, she will go back to her dad and Hale will no longer be able to control her.
In the Ilgaz house, after İrem is released from police custody, İlker starts blaming her. A very bad move on his part. İrem's defence for potentially ordering Ela's attack is that she was very drunk and angry after their little confrontation in the club's bathroom. Does that sound familiar? İlker's defence for not remembering the night of the attack is the same. So in all fairness, what the hell man?! The only difference between their situations is that while İlker doesn't remember anything, İrem does.
İlker verbally attacks her in front of their parents. He screams in her face, blaming her for almost ending up in prison for the rest of his life, for a crime she seemingly set him up for. He calls her dangerous and sick and I feel there is more to the story there. Hale tries to calm him down by saying "don't do something that's going to make you the person who is wrong, while you are being right". With the knowledge of what happened that night in the club before he left her there (tearing off Ela's earring), İlker now looks convinced that it was İrem who arranged the attack on Ela and he is pissed.
Harun on the other hand seems sure that it was İlker who did it all along, you can see it in the way he jumps in to protect her when İlker starts yelling and grabs her hands. Harun thinks İlker is now trying to shift the blame onto his daughter. But when later confronted by his girlfriend, she was trying to make him feel better about the situation, he didn't seem so sure that İrem is not the one to blame. Yet he never left İrem's side. The contrast between how one father stands behind his child, guilty or not, while the other doesn't is deafening.
In conclusion. İlker finding out about the implicating video causes a big rift in his relationship with İrem. He completely shuts her out. He doesn't talk to her, he avoids her, he moves out of their bedroom and locks himself in the guest room. His obvious hatred towards her put together with Hale's mental abuse, his recently renewed secret phone calls with Ela, the public shifting the blame of the attack from İlker to her is what eventually leads to İrem's suicide attempt at the end of the episode.
We the viewers are once again left with the question, who attacked Ela? Was it İlker, or was it the shady club owner per İrem's request? Is the reason Hale is so set on keeping İrem in the family, her trying to set her up for the attack because they did show us, Hale, making a deal with the shady dude for the footage and Ela's earring and then hiding him away in another country. Remember when I told you the burner phone is not the only crucial evidence she had in her hands?
But here is where I stumbled a bit with following the timeline. In Hale's meeting with the shady guy, he gave her both the footage and Ela's earring which was left on the club's bathroom floor. But Hale gave the earring back to Bahar almost immediately after the incident. That means that she had the footage of İrem all this time, and during the month her son spent in prison. Why didn't she use it earlier?
Ela is falling for İlker's games again, partly because from what I see she still has feelings for him, but also because she is doubting he was the person who attacked her. Especially after she remembered that İrem, forced by her dad, came to her home to apologise for the earring incident, and ended up smashing a vase over Bahar's head. That feeds both Ela’s and İlker’s suspicions of İrem’s guilt. His claims about her being dangerous are looking very legitimate. Most of all she wants to know the truth too. What happened that night? She feels alone in her pain, she can’t handle the blank spaces in her mind anymore, and her father’s constant reminders that everything people will see in her from now on is that she is a one-night stand kind of girl, are leading her to emotional break downs.
But again, is İlker playing a game? If it was not for him so obviously pulling on Ela's heartstrings and doubts, I could have sworn he loves her. I saw it in his eyes in the hospital, I saw it when he couldn't keep his eyes off of her in court before İrem was arrested. I saw it when he told her so many times throughout this episode that he is sorry, he even said it after she hung up on him, he was alone in his room and there was no one around to put on a show for.
I am really rooting for his innocence here, because and I'll admit this, I am incredibly biased when it comes to Serkay. I just love him so much, I don't want him to be a monster. I am begging for the writers to let me love him and I am desperately holding on to every single lead, however flimsy it might be, that points me to his innocence.
The fragmans for the next episode do not look that promising where his innocence is concerned, but if I have learned anything about this dizi, is that absolutely nothing is what it seems. There is always something lurking underneath that changes the entire narrative.
The episode ended with Ela and İlker coming face to face at the crime scene, his secret house. The frags suggest she is starting to remember what happened that night. She is also remembering the baby she lost and I am very interested in both how the writers will deal with her loss and how İlayda is going to act on it because she is amazing!
In the end, I am exactly where I was last week. I have no idea who the attacker is and I can't wait for the new episode on Wednesday! At least I'm consistent.