For last year's words belong to last year's language And next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.T.S. Eliot
So some of us got a new year’s present we didn’t want with the news that writer Ayşe Üner Kutlu and her team will no longer be writing for Sen Çal Kapimi. For me, this is a real loss to the story and to the fandom. Ayşe was the draw for me to start watching Sen Çal Kapimi. My first dizi was Erkenci Kuş, which was written by her and her team, and suffice it to say that I binged watched the first 14 episodes in about 3 days. The depth of her writing and the kind of storytelling she does so well made me fall in love, both with her characters and with her writing. So when the announcement came that she was writing a new series I was onboard from minute one. Sen Çal Kapimi benefited, as did Erkenci Kuş from stellar casting and in interviews Kerem Bürsin has stated that it was the story that made him sign on to the show. I had seen Hande Erçel in Ask Laftan Anlamaz and thought she was good, and Kerem in the Netflix series Immortals, which let's face it isn’t a good showcase for his talents except for his swagger, but they were not the draw for me, it was that I knew Ayşe was going to create another amazing story.
And she has. We are here at episode 24 and have come to the end of her story for these characters. I am very disappointed that she will not be finishing out the series, but hopefully the new writers will carry on in her intended footsteps. But we will likely be saying goodbye to the aspects of Ayşe’s writing that makes her take on the rom-com genre unique. So we say goodbye to flower symbolism, the Little Prince, Madonna in a Fur Coat, mythological references and the many other layers of writing that Ayşe adds to her stories. I appreciate that not everyone cares about these things but for those of us that do it will be a palpable loss.
The one ray of hope is the tweet that producer Asena Bülbüloglu made after the announcement that Ayşe was leaving where she said, and I’m paraphrasing a translated version so bear with me, that Ayşe was giving up writing for SÇK to move onto another project with her. My take on this, and this is purely speculation on my part and I have no facts to back this up, is that this was the plan all along. Maybe Ayşe is under contract to write another summer dizi for MF Yapim, and no one anticipated that Sen Çal Kapimi would carry on into 2021, I certainly didn’t. So when it did they had to pull her away to begin prepping and writing for the new show. The show’s longevity is unexpected, the ratings have stayed good, there is great fan response, and the show has been sold to 70+ other countries, so they are carrying on with it. But it does mean that they will have to bring in new writers.
So, we have to say goodbye to Ayşe and her team, my one hope is that she does come back to write the finale, she deserves to get to finish off her story. I want to thank her and the writing team for the beautiful story they gave us, it was the brightest spot in a terrible time, and I can’t wait to see the next one.
And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been Rainer Maria Rilke
New Year, New Page, New Start
There were parts of this episode that I really loved but it was overshadowed by the news of Ayşe leaving. I wish they had waited until after the show had finished airing in Turkey before dropping that bomb as it coloured my enjoyment of the live watch of the episode. Episode 24’s main theme was a new start, multiple people said it multiple times. This was a very unsubtle nod to the changes that are in store, not only for the characters but also for the show itself. It was a good episode and a lot happened not least of which was the introduction to Eda’s grandmother. We also got a shift in the relationship of Serkan and Eda and a look at the next roadblock to their happiness.
What I loved/liked
Eda and Serkan actually talked!! Glory Hallelujah. Their dynamic shift was interesting. It is now Eda who is having to take steps towards Serkan and at this point this is appropriate. He has laid out his heart for her multiple times in the last 5-6 episodes and he’s now getting a bit weary of having to do all the work in their relationship. Eda has told the girls that she is still shy about giving him another chance but her actions in this episode demonstrated that she realizes the consequences of giving up on him. She loves him with all her heart and is so close to being able to tell him and give in to that love again. Serkan is hurt by her reticence and is less demonstrative to her. His speech to her during the shaving scene he vocalizes that he isn’t the same man anymore and he longs to have her hand on his heart again, she tells him that even when they were separated that they were together and she is willing to move forward into the future with him, they will face what’s coming together. She literally places her hand over his heart as he allows her to take the shaver to his neck. They are so close to being together that it is painful to watch them not take those last few steps. However, it seems that on the balcony, where a lot of their big emotional scenes have taken place, that they have bridged that last bit of distance between them. The gift of the charm bracelet has really touched her and she throws her arms around him. Of course, her grandmother witnesses this and springs her trap for Serkan.
I’m very happy that the craziness of jealous Eda has stopped and she is fully confident of Serkan’s love and realizes that Balca poses no threat to that. I loved her insisting that Serkan go over to pick up Balca’s present for him because she was dying to see what it was, and her reaction to the bust of Serkan. What a crazy gift, I wonder if it has a hidden camera?
Ferit came up with the plan to start completely over with Ceren, including recreating the ‘meet cute’ of bumping into her and making her drop her files. It’s good for them to have a new beginning without the spectre of Selin hanging over them. I will say again how much I love what they have done with the Ferit character. He has gone from a clueless idiot to a good friend/partner to Serkan and hopefully a great boyfriend for Ceren. I appreciate so much that they fleshed out a two-dimensional side character into a decent man, the growth in his character was unexpected but is so good.
Piril and Engin eloped because Engin sees that the thought of going through the big wedding planning and family drama it would bring was really stressing Piril out, so being the sweetheart that he is he sweeps her off to a quiet ceremony with only Leyla and Erdem as witnesses. I do wish that Serkan could have attended though.
I think I am getting my last wish for Ayfer and Aydan to be best friends and I hope it isn’t ruined by a love triangle with Chef Alexander. Ayfer introducing Seyfi as Aydan’s son was hysterical and his ‘Anne’ genuinely had me laughing out loud. I really loved the multi-language interactions with the scene at Serkan’s, it’s always such a treat for us English-language viewers when the characters speak English, and my Italian is better than my Turkish so that was an added bonus.
The hate flirting of Fifi and Babanne’s bodyguard, Tahir, was intriguing.
Personal theory time
A few people have mentioned on social media that Serkan was a bit out of character this episode so allow me to speculate on what I think is going on with him. Serkan is very smart. If we remember back to early episodes, he figured out that it was Art Life’s CFO that was selling secrets to Kaan and laid a trap for Kaan that basically bankrupted him. Serkan did all this without mentioning it to anyone else. Piril, Engin, his father, were all kept in the dark. I think that he is doing the same thing now. Serkan recognizes the threat that Eda’s grandmother poses and worked throughout the episode to gather intel and make some plans. When Semiha hanim shows up he leaves the office and goes home and really doesn’t come back the entire episode, he’s working at home. This says to me that he wants to be away from her to make his own plans.
He is also a bit distant from Eda for the same reason, he wants to see how she reacts but also doesn’t want to influence how she interacts with her grandmother. If he lets her in on his plans, she may inadvertently say something to her grandmother in a fit of anger, so he is keeping her out of the loop.
What I disliked
Well, they wasted no time in portraying Babanne as a dragon lady complete with her own throne. There is absolutely no subtlety or finesse to her character and we immediately are privy to her bald and blatant plans to break up Serkan and Eda. I might have thought they might play this out a bit less obviously, but no. Eda is immediately on red alert and if Babanne really wanted to build a relationship with her granddaughter is has to know that this is the absolutely wrong way to go about it. This is a person who has shunned you for close to 20 years and you think that you can barrel in and dictate her life and she will love you for it? I understand culturally that the elders in a family do have some say in what happens in their children/grandchildren’s lives but having been rejected for so many years it isn’t logical to suppose that they will allow you to do this or take kindly to your trying. This is a weakness in this storyline, unless it is revenge that Babanne is really after and she is hiding behind ‘doing it for Eda’ to seem like less of a monster. Because her revenge on the son and wife of Alptekin, who had nothing to do with the death of her son, isn’t honourable.
I was very excited about the introduction of the grandmother character and now I am not. She is as currently presented a full-on villain, which I guess we had to have, but I was hoping for someone a little less fire breathing and stereotypical. The fact that she immediately honed in on Balca proves that she is smart and cunning and that’s interesting, and Sen Çal Kapimi has lacked for a strong villain but I had hoped for some subtlety. I’m hoping that the new writers don’t forget just how clever Serkan is and allow him to be more than a match for her.
I am forgoing the usual ‘what needs to happen next’ section because with new writers coming in I am at a loss as to how the story might unfold now. Will we get the ubiquitous dizi storyline of Eda saying no to Serkan to protect him from her grandmother, which we have already seen in SCK, or will they be together in secret, or will they defy her altogether and be openly reconciled? I have no clear idea which way this new team will take the story, it might depend on how many more episodes they are expecting to have to write. I imagine that this is the most challenging part of writing for Turkish television, not knowing how many weeks you are going to have to tell your story. So, do these writers drawn things out and keep Serkan and Eda apart for the foreseeable future, do they put them back together only to break them up again later, do they keep them together and have them fight Babanne together (which would definitely be my preference)? If Ayse was continuing with the story I would not have any worries about going along for this ride, with new writers coming in I have less confidence that the story will play out in a satisfying way.
Having said that I am determined to try and remain positive and hopeful, and I will be watching and reviewing until the series is finished. The cast and the crew have been amazing and are staying on so I know that at least the chemistry between the characters and the camaraderie between the actors will remain.
From the end spring new beginnings. Pliny the Elder