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Masumlar Apartmani, Episode 13


These episodes are a journey. From where we start to where we end, there is so much plot development that I must remind myself how much has happened. Read on to learn about the key developments in Episode 13 of Masumlar Apartmani. (Spoilers follow) 


Han called the police. He called the officers to take Gulben to the station to question her about her role in Esra’s injuries. Gulben’s behavior has been escalating, and he feared there was no end in sight. The endless stream of text messages to Esat, the threatening phone call to the radio station, the doll incident, and now the push that sent Esra to the hospital. He confesses to Inci that he was the one who called the police; he “turned her in” because he felt powerless and defeated in his ability to protect her. He had already tried grounding her, and taking away her phone, but these actions were all for naught, as Gulben ultimately found a way to reach out to Esat, once more. The imprint of their mother’s cruelty is impacting all four children, but in Gulben, because she experiences much of her mother subversively through Safiye, her reality is entirely distorted: fact and fiction hold no difference in her mind. Safiye was her savior in many ways, but now she is the one who inflicts harm upon her; this dynamic has led Gulben to live entirely in a world of her own creation. Of course, she has moments of lucidity, where she questions why she cannot manage her own body the way other women of her age can, and why nobody would like to make a family with her, but these moments are brief and with no one but Safiye to hear her gut-wrenching musings, these illuminating thoughts fade to the background as quickly as they appear, and are replaced with whatever new fantasy Gulben has concocted. 

Han has a heavy burden on his shoulders and has yet to make a mistake that he was called out for in managing his family. However, Hikmet Bey and Safiye fault him extensively (and somewhat unfairly) for orchestrating Gulben’s trip to the police station. Hikmet Bey, in particular, was especially harsh towards Han, failing to realize that his past neglect forced Han to take such extreme measures. Safiye too, tried to protect Gulben from herself, forcing her to try to forget Esat, albeit in a much more cunning, but effective way: she told Gulben that Han had told Esat about her soiled sheets, and that caused him to not love her. Her words, used Gulben’s most embarrassing vulnerability against her, and accomplished what Han’s planned excursion could not; Gulben finally declared that it was over between her and Esat, and that he was no different to her than any other man. Unfortunately, before she came to this conclusion, Gulben, in a fit of anger, set fire to the black bags in the apartment suite above. 

As Bayram put the flames out, Naci rushed inside to search for and carry Gulben out of the suite. If only their roles were reversed and Bayram had carried her out! Gulben’s forthcoming fantasy about her and Naci is difficult to empathize with. She has been thinking of Esat since childhood and to have her so quickly cast aside her leading man with someone who she has only just met, is ridiculous; however, it does showcase how desperate her condition is. It also quite pointedly highlights how sometimes the idea of love or being in love is so seductive that we fail to ask ourselves the hard questions that help us accurately decipher whether the subtle, but meaningful glances, touches and interactions implicit in new beginnings between two people are evidence of deep emotion or simple cordiality. Of all the pairings on this show, I’m not necessarily rooting for a Gulben-Bayram romance, but of the men she has interacted with, he is the only one she does not notice, and he is the only one who, somewhat ironically, loves her in the way she seems to want to be loved.

The exchange between Han and Inci in the car was perhaps the most honest conversation that they have had about his family. Having not ever made a mistake, and having never been scolded by his father, Han has developed his own rules and behavioral code when it comes to his loved ones that has seemingly never been challenged. His words were especially helpful in understanding why he failed to thank Naci for saving Gulben from the fire, and instead accused him of taking an improper interest in his family. Naci has intentionally tried to unnerve Han from their initial encounter, but his intentions, as have been revealed so far, do not seem to be bad. It was ugly of Han to order Inci to stay away from Naci, but was on point with his character, who when threatened, responds with aggression. 

With Naci, the most obvious question that comes to mind is why he, despite his many professional accomplishments and successes, has returned to this place, to his Safiye, who remains so hidden behind her mother that she rarely surfaces, if at all. It is only in the brief moments where Safiye covertly tries to gaze at Naci, or lovingly touches her arm in the place where he had touched her that we can see that her mother and the young woman that she was, are both trapped within her. If Naci can help resurrect the young Safiye, then their story may have hope, yet. Safiye must find a way to consciously accept that her mother was a cruel and abusive person, so that she can maybe begin to divorce herself from her.

The exchange between Memduh Bey and Ege regarding his friendship with Neriman provided some much needed comic relief, as Memduh Bey wisely tells Ege that he believes that they are just friends and is glad that Ege acts as an abi towards Neriman. Ege’s reaction was priceless, as he has clearly developed feelings for Neriman that are not brotherly in the least. It is nice to have some lighter moments to balance many of the heavier plot points in this dizi. 

Inci’s anger towards Esra arose from her mistaken belief that Esra had filed a complaint against Gulben, but her tirade against her friend only served to exacerbate the already widening rift between them. Seeing this discord, Esat reached out to Han to try to make sure that their friendship was still intact. Although Han assures him that they are fine, the nature of the friendship between Han and Esat and between Inci and Esra offer some key insights into how distance and formality can sometimes be helpful in allowing relationships to withstand the test of time. Inci has all but bared her soul for Esra, but Esra has not done the same for her. Perhaps, part of the reason is that Esra knows that her relationship with Cuneyt is something that Inci would vehemently disapprove of and by keeping her in the dark about this relationship, she is letting her see only a version of herself that she likes. This omission is critical because if Inci had known about Cuneyt, she might have understood why Esra sought out Esat in the first place, and why she may have felt envious of her union with Han. This understanding could have helped minimize the growing misunderstanding between them. In contrast, the friendship between Han and Esat is more formal and Esat clearly has much to learn about Han’s family, but this lack of knowledge enables them to overcome the awkward hurdles that would cause an irreparable rift in other friendships. 

It was a brief moment and only a single line where Esat lightly tells Esra that he would not open the door to his home if Gulben was there, but this silly remark highlights the difference between family and friendship. The severity of Gulben’s situation is lost on Esat and Esra, who only see her as ‘crazy’. In contrast, Inci sees Gulben with Han’s eyes, as a sister, who may be walking on the wrong path, but who is still good at heart, but just needs help. Its a subtle difference, but important to emphasize because it helps the audience understand why Han has isolated himself from the world for so long; he felt, and perhaps rightly so, that nobody could understand the difficulties that he deals with for his family and with his family through a compassionate lens.

Inci finally discovered that Memduh Bey has become a taxi driver. I’m glad that there was some forward movement here, as this job is clearly too taxing for her grandfather. 

Memduh Bey has transformed since entering the apartment building in the second episode. He now understands Safiye in a way that no one else seems to. Their interactions add an elegance to this dizi that is hard to come by because these two characters could and should hate one another. They have enough reason to, but despite her brother and his granddaughter, and all the insults that have been exchanged between them, respect is flourishing between them. And, respect, which is the foundation of so many interpersonal relationship, by itself, is one of the hardest emotions to translate on screen between strangers. Excellent writing and masterful performances have made these interactions exceptional. 

It was wishful thinking on my part to hope that Safiye would return to herself so quickly after meeting Naci. Perhaps, a part of me was hoping that she wouldn’t need to exhibit all of her behaviors in front of him (i.e., her rants on cleaning/dirt, etc.), but she did. He is shocked and stunned that a simple touch of her arm or his presence in her apartment suite would horrify her so intensely. He explains it away as shock, but he can probably intuitively understand that her behaviors are rooted much deeper than shock from the fire. Han had wished that as he has found Inci, Safiye could find someone who loved her just as much. His wish may have been granted as Naci has reappeared possibly solely to reconnect with Safiye, and help her fight her inner demons. I hope that Han will look at Naci as someone who can help Safiye, and his family, in time, and not as someone who he needs to protect his family from. 


Last Updated: Dec 12, 2020 11:22 am (UTC) Filed Under:
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