They shall have stars at elbow and foot;
Though they go mad they shall be sane,
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;
Though lovers be lost love shall not. *
Tamam. They are going with amnesia.
I made a promise back in the review for episode 25 that I would try and be as positive as I can about reviewing Sen Çal Kapimi and give the writers and creators as much leeway as possible. It’s challenging to pick up a story that’s not yours and they have the burden of having to stretch it out, but an amnesia plotline is going to be a hard row to hoe for me. So, I may re-neg on my promise not to be negative just a little bit.
I want to address two things before I dive in. One is the knowledge that diziler are produced to make money, full stop. The production company will do what they can to continue to get to make the show because the longer it runs the more money they make, and the more other countries will be interested in buying the series. This is how business works and unfortunately, this has to be factored into the storytelling equation. So, the writers and producers will be looking at the story at this stage in the game to see how can they stretch it out and how they can they keep their audience.
What they are not necessarily worrying about as much is telling a story that makes sense or is palatable to the audience who has watched from the beginning and are invested. Their hope is that they can tell a good enough story that people don’t abandon watching. So, even though a large portion of the audience may yell and scream that they don’t want an amnesia plotline, they will do it anyway because it’s a tried and true way of extending the story and enough of the audience will just go with it because they know eventually the lovers will be back together. I have only been watching Turkish television for 2.5 years and I have already seen it used three times. SCK’s Turkish audience seems to be okay with it given that the rating went up this week, and even though the international audience was split on whether they were okay with it, it still managed to create a lot of buzz on social media. So, it’s a win/win for the production company.
The second thing is that in order to extend the story they are going to have to create more conflict for the lovers and in this case, they are also going to have to regress a few of the characters. The most obvious of these is Serkan but the worst of them are Aydan and Selin. There are also some plot holes created as a result of having to put the brakes on the love and marriage of Serkan and Eda. The writers have chosen to fill in those plot holes with bubble gum and cat hair but more on that later.
What I loved
The writers and producers of SÇK should thank their lucky stars that they have such a talented cast because it was the acting that saved the day this episode. Hande Erçel was once again called on to do all the emotional heavy lifting this week and she knocked it out of the park. The sheer volume of minutes she had to emote all those intense feelings was astonishing. It must have been an exhausting week for her. I’ve said it before but playing these kinds of scenes without descending into melodrama is not easy but Hande made us believe that Eda was suffering the worst pain of her life.
Kerem Bürsin was also stellar however he had an easier task. I first watched the episode live without subtitles and was furious at how cold and detached Serkan was being to Eda. However, a conversation with a friend who has personally suffered memory loss from an accident (nothing as severe as what Serkan is experiencing) gave me a different perspective that it’s a very scary experience and some of what Serkan is displaying are as a result of likely PTSD. For a man so used to being in control to then have to have other people tell him about his life and have residual brain trauma on top of that, it’s easy to see that he is unable to be sympathetic to Eda like old Serkan would have been. And we are seeing Old Serkan, but also not, because this is what Old Serkan would have been like before we were introduced to him and before he had a head injury. So, we can’t even expect him to react like episode one Serkan. Kerem has the ability for subtle physical acting and the few glimmers of the Serkan who was in love with Eda were only seen through his eyes.
So, kudos to both actors for giving us tremendous performances and being, along with Sirius, the only shining lights in the episode.
My tears are like the quiet drift
Of petals from some magic rose;
And all my grief flows from the rift
Of unremembered skies and snows.
What I liked
Engin and his tearful congratulations to for her award Eda and telling her that Serkan would be proud of her broke my heart. He is such a good friend and is a really decent human being. He’s trying to tell Serkan about how things were with him and Eda but Serkan just dismisses him outright. Selin has managed to get in deep enough so that Serkan doesn’t even trust what his best friend is trying to tell him. Poor Engin too, he thought he was going to be a father but it turns out that Piril just wants to get a cat.
Ferit also is trying to be a good friend, this time to Selin, but she has her head so far up her own butt that she can’t see it and accuses him of being jealous. Ferit should just try and forget that Selin exists because if he doesn’t it may cost him Ceren. And what was up with Ceren flirting with Deniz by the way? That was odd.
We have put to bed the Ayfer/Alex/Aydan triangle, thankfully, although no one knows that Ayfer and Alex are together but Deniz. This is stupid and childish but I will take it over two women fighting over a man any day.
What I disliked
Alright so hang on this is where I might get a little rant-y.
Serkan and Selin
Selin left the last time in disgrace. Let’s look back on her crimes: was left at the wedding table by Ferit because he overheard her tell Serkan that she loved him and would leave Ferit for him, blurted out the secret of Eda’s parent’s death and the Bolat’s before Serkan could and then had Serkan tell her to her face that he had never loved her, put the paparazzi onto Serkan and Eda and been caught by Efe and then had to sell the last of her holding shares, and as a parting gift gave Balca some ammunition to help her get close to Serkan. She loved Serkan for years and at the beginning, we could feel sympathy for a woman who’s love of her life didn’t feel the same, but she became bitter and twisted by the end, and when she left she showed no remorse for her actions. Instead of felt that she was justified because Serkan had been so terrible to her.
Fast forward to now and I honestly thought when we found out that she was coming back she would be a full-on villain who would do what she’s doing right now but because she was trying to make Serkan and Eda pay for her perceived slights. Instead, she has lost all self-respect and is trying to get back together with the man who had told her he never had loved her. In all the years they were together he had never loved her. So, instead of character growth, or even character consistency, we have delusional and pathetic Selin who is using her friendship and position of trust in Serkan’s life to poison him against the woman he did fall in love with. As a woman, I am more than a little pissed off at this characterization of a woman who loves a man so much she would give up her dignity and self-worth for a possible shot with a man who doesn’t love her. It wounds my feminist heart that they would do this to any character, even one we don’t like.
So, we have Selin using her knowledge of what makes Serkan tick to play with his fears and use his trust in her to brainwash him. She tells him that his love for Eda was a ‘mistake’ and we know that Old Serkan’s worst fear was making a mistake. She plays out the story of his love with Eda as ridiculous and far out of character for him so that he believes that somehow Eda has blinded him and played him for a fool. How many times did Serkan say that the love he shared with Eda or the things they did were ‘saçma’ (ridiculous)? What kind of a person does it take to take advantage of an injured and traumatized person? She believes she is justified because she was the first person he called and now thinks that this is her second chance to be with him. This plot is saçma. Piril and Ferit both warn her that it’s likely to blow up in her face once Serkan gets his memory back but she’s taking her shot anyway. For once, I would like a SÇK villain to really get a comeuppance and it looks like Selin might be the winning ticket.
I really have gone back and forth with this character and this week’s episode puts her back on the problematic list. She knew that Serkan was alive but wouldn’t tell his friends or fiancée? The excuse was that her brain-injured and traumatized son asked her not to, so she watched as Eda is devastated and destroyed knowing that she could relieve her suffering. No, NO. We have come to see Aydan profess that she loves Eda like a daughter but actions speak louder than words and she has proved again that it’s only Serkan that she really cares about. There is no excuse for this, if you have to, lie to Serkan and tell him that you won’t say anything and tell Eda anyway. There is absolutely no justification for this. I don’t know how or why Eda will ever forgive her for this. Saçma.
I think, that if I touched the earth,
It would crumble;
It is so sad and beautiful,
So tremulously like a dream.*
What needs to happen next
- Serkan needs to start listening to his other friends and see that Selin doesn’t have his best interest at heart
- Serkan’s memories need to start coming back right away
- Eda should stop trying to force Serkan’s memories to come back, it isn’t working and is just causing him to make bad choices
- Aydan should sit Serkan down and tell him of all the wonderful things that Eda has done and all the terrible things that Selin has done, he might believe her
I have no idea how long the writers plan on stretching out the amnesia plotline but I whole-heartedly wish that it starts to be resolved, if not fully resolved, by the next episode. It’s such a clichéd plot. While I appreciate the chance to watch Serkan and Eda fall in love again, the pain outweighs that, and I am offended that they couldn’t come up with anything more original than amnesia. Also, making a female character who has all the opportunities in the world debase herself to be with someone who doesn’t love her is maddening.
Eda and Serkan will be back together and hopefully sooner rather than later, of that there is no doubt. How much time we are going to spend with them truly at odds remains to be seen but I really want Serkan not only to remember Eda but start to appreciate her even before he remembers, enough of this coldness towards her.
Love is the last light spoken.*
* all verse by Dylan Thomas