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Masumlar Apartmani, Episode 14 Review

Han and Inci

Spoilers from Episode 14 of Masumlar Apartmani are included in the following discussion. 


“Separation is the sudden growth of a child whose smile is no longer able to move a leaf.”*

Han understood that giving the note to Naci was wrong, but he did it, so that his mother would let him play outside. He took a dangerous shortcut to achieve a small goal, but soon after, felt guilty, and wanted to confess the truth to Safiye; unfortunately, his mother's words gave him pause, as she told him that his confession would cause Safiye to leave him. So, he stayed silent, not wanting to lose his elder sister, whom he loved so dearly. Years later, it is no surprise that he is still taking the same dangerous shortcuts to achieve his goals. He wanted to know who Inci was speaking to, so he purposefully spied on her, followed her the next morning to witness her meeting, and promptly concluded that she was cheating on him. Such insecurity and distrust is not surprising considering the abuse that Han suffered as a child, and his lonely experiences at boarding school: it makes sense that he would not see himself as being worthy of love, and believed that the only way he could be loved, was if he was in control of every aspect of his partner’s life. And, although he has made some distinct strides in opening up to Inci, he is still having trouble finding the right path. He was as honest as he could be with her when he said that he doesn’t know whether he will behave the same way again. Knowing right from wrong is not the same as doing good acts, instead of bad ones. There’s an ocean of difference between knowledge and action. 

And, although Han clearly took some big missteps in regards to Inci this episode (and has, perhaps, consistently throughout the show), her lies and omissions were not given enough attention. He is clearly not the ‘tin soldier’ she had envisioned when they first met, but she is also not the ‘angel’ that he believed her to be. She has a pattern of deceiving the people closest to her, not only to protect them, but also to let them see her as she wants to be seen. After lying to her grandfather for years about Uygar, she is very adept at hiding her truths. The thing that troubled me about their dynamic this episode was that the root cause of why she hid the sale of her car from Han was not directly discussed, and didn’t entirely make sense. After the entire incident with Ege’s school fees, she made it clear to Han that he was not to ‘solve’ her problems for her, but rather they were to discuss issues together. Knowing Han’s overbearing personality, it was a bit of a stretch to have Inci believe that he would not be curious about the multiple phone calls she was receiving at dinner. Also, she seemed to love the car that she was trying to sell; if Han could have helped her retain it, why would that be so loathsome to her? This was a small disconnect for me. If the terrace scene had followed a bit more dialogue about trust, rather than love, and perhaps touched on why Inci had decided to hide the sale of her car from Han in the first place, their story would have felt more satisfying. That being said, I don’t doubt that these issues will be revisited in future episodes. 

Many of the characters in this dizi have shades of grey, with both a good and a bad side. Hasibe, the mother of Han, Safiye, Gulben and Neriman, is an exception, as she is entirely kotu, so much so that I’ve started to dread seeing her on screen. Not only did she steal Safiye’s letters, write to Naci impersonating Safiye, and convince Safiye that he didn’t love her because she was an ‘abhorrent, loathsome’ girl, but she physically abused her. The cruelty that she has inflicted on her children, especially her eldest, is unconscionable and truly deplorable. Motherhood holds such an esteemed place in society, especially in traditional cultures, and to have such a vile character portrayed on screen that contradicts all positive stereotypes about mothers, shines a light not only on abused children, but also on the variety of abusers that exist, and the horrific torture they inflict. 

The only character to completely see Hasibe for the true villain that she was, is Naci. His abhorrence of her and his experience with her cruelty, helps him unnerve Han. If Naci had not brought up Melek (Han’s former teacher) and her departure from school, Han may not have burned the doll that had come to represent her. From his initial interaction with Han, Naci has intentionally tried to make Han uncomfortable, and he has been largely successful. But, this tension is positive because it forces Han to interact with his demons in a way that he has not been forced to do before. Although Inci has helped him break down some of his more toxic habits that helped him cope with his day to day before her, Naci’s arrival has forced him to forgo more of these behaviors that he could still hide from Inci. In the past, when Han has felt threatened, he has always responded with aggression. And, although he tried to show the same bravado with Naci, it didn’t work. Naci’s knowledge of him and his family makes Han vulnerable in a way that is both confounding and liberating. Han doesn’t have to pretend with Naci or put up a front with him, which may allow Han to finally reconcile the different parts of his character and start to heal from past traumas. 

Although Naci is well aware of the harms that were inflicted by Hasibe, his intention for returning are unclear. The way he stroked the photograph of Safiye in front of Han was a bold move, but was likely done more to unnerve Han than to demonstrate an obsession. In his interactions with Safiye, he is as giddy to see her as the young Naci was. He is eager to hear about Safiye from Ege, and was overjoyed to hear that Neriman’s abla had come to the hotel to visit him. When Safiye finally invites him to speak to her on the street below, he happily complies. Once again her planned words don’t have the intended effect, as upon seeing Naci, the battle between young Safiye and the-Hasibe-living-within-Safiye ensues once more, and only by encouraging Safiye to look upon the sky, can Naci help pause her words. This moment between these two and the scenes they shared were electric. Naci is a bit boyish when he is around Safiye, and she can’t help but respond to him as she used to. 

The letter that the young Safiye wrote to Naci details how close the two were, and that their love had progressed so far that escaping together was a viable possibility for the two of them. It also explains why Safiye, after her mother’s death, remained indoors, where she is unable to see the sky, remaining in the same state that her mother had grounded her in. The two young actors did a wonderful job portraying their young love, and the tears that welled up in Naci’s eyes at the memory of their long past rendezvous demonstrate the depth of feeling, longing and desire that still remain despite their decades apart. 

Whether or not Naci is married or divorced, he still has deep feelings for Safiye, and I’m glad that Gulben’s affection for him was extinguished as quickly as it arose. We have already seen her go through a one-sided fictional relationship with Esat; watching her do the same with Naci would have been exasperating. I’m hoping that she stays true to her words that she will not find a new fantasy to indulge in, though I expect her eye will soon land on some new dream. I just hope that its not about a man; maybe it could be about something else?

The tears that she shed, and the distance that Esra and Inci have had these past few episodes, have helped Esra come to terms with her relationship with Cuneyt. To spend five years with a man, who not does not permit her to keep her toothbrush at his place, but mixes her brush with the toothbrushes of ‘other’ women is the very definition of a toxic relationship. I’m glad she finally opened up to Inci about her failed relationship and explained to her why she felt that Han was such a good match for Inci, initially. The solid friendship between these two women is a key part of this dizi, and I’m glad that they finally had a heart-to-heart. Inci is right when she said that had she known about the extent of her affair with Cuneyt, she would not have let Esra continue to meet him. It is a high-handed claim, but sometimes when you are on the wrong path, you need a loved one to help you find your compass once again.  

Esat teaching Esra to drive a car was a wonderful scene. They may not share an intense attraction, but there is a budding friendship between them, and it was a nice light-hearted moment. 

Ege has been very supportive of Neriman, especially at school and is likely right when he said that he is her only friend. Emre and Gamze are horrible to her and contribute to her harming herself. I loved the concern that both Naci and Emre showed for Neriman and the way they tried to protect her, not only from others, but also from herself. 

Haluk Bey made an appearance, this time at Ege’s new place of work. He has returned to make his final goodbyes to his children. Inci may treat him differently, given the stakes and his situation, but his character inspires very little sympathy. I expect he will make things worse for Han next episode. 

I expected Han to try to help Memduh Bey, and although it was manipulative and secretive, there was good in his actions. By helping Memduh Bey get a job as a teacher through one of his contacts, Inci’s grandfather no longer has to drive a taxi, but can still pay for Ege’s school fees. Inci may or may not agree, but I think Han’s actions were admirable. 

Hoping for more interactions between Naci and Safiye next episode. Can’t wait for Bolum 15!


*Ahmet Haşim, Turkish Poet (1884-1933) 

Last Updated: Dec 20, 2020 02:09 am (UTC) Filed Under:
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