A story has its purpose and its path. It must be told correctly for it to be understood.Marcus Sedgwick
Tamam. Here we are at the end of episode 31 and we are no closer to Serkan getting his memories back or the reconciliation of Eda and Serkan. In fact the two of them are spending less and less time together. They had a total of 23 minutes of screen time together this episode and showing flashbacks of previous episodes doesn’t make up for that lack.
I’m going to change up the format for this review. I’m going to start with what I feel are the positives and then move to the negatives, therefore if you are not wanting to have to deal with negativity you can just read the beginning part and skip the latter part. I know that there are those of you who are still happy with the show’s trajectory, and who am I to rain on your parade?
The best thing about the show at the moment is the cast’s chemistry with one another. Hande and Kerem are getting better and better at playing the quiet moments. I really like their interactions on the boat from the ‘Hey’ ‘Hey’ to the awkward boob touching, to the star gazing, they were really great to watch together. The fact that their story is stalled doesn’t mean that the scenes they do get together aren’t enjoyable. And at least Serkan seems interested in talking to her so that’s something.
This might have been the first episode where I really liked Piril and Engin together. They have finally allowed Başak Gümülcinelioglu to play notes other than just annoyed or angry at Engin. Her hormonal crying jags were cute and funny and Engin consoling her was very sweet. Am I bitter that Piril and Engin get to have a happy marriage and a baby on the way while Serkan and Eda are so far from that? Maybe a wee bit.
Melo continues to be the best friend ever, she is the last good friend that Eda’s has on the show. She’s working hard to get Eda and her enişte back together. She’s even willing to lock Selin up to give them a chance to be alone. My one complaint about Melo is that you should not give out your friend’s medical history without their consent, Melo telling Ferit about Ceren’s mental health issues was not appropriate at all.
After watching with subtitles, Ayfer leaving for a trip with Alex didn’t seem so bad. They are only going for a couple of days and Eda is happy for them. Plus, Eda now knows that they are a couple so we won’t get anymore stupidity around that.
Ferit is gentlemen among men. He’s is taking a lot of flack from Ceren and still trying to help her. It seems like he’s now not in love with her but still is fond of her and doesn’t like to see her in distress. Couple this with trying to get to Selin to see reason about the situation with Serkan and he is almost too good to be true. However, letting yourself into someone’s house and going through their stuff is not okay, so one misstep.
I was thinking that if we count episodes 1-28 as a complete dizi, all the components of a traditional love story are played out, meeting, falling in love, breaking up and getting back together. What is happening now is a new story for Serkan and Eda, he doesn’t remember any of their history so none of their past happened for him. So, it is technically a brand new story, one where we assume they are going to fall in love again. If that is the case then how do the new writers expect them to come back together when they share so little time on screen? Eda and Serkan spent 23 minutes alone out of a 130 minute episode which is less than 20% of the total time. Compare this to earlier episodes where they would spend practically the whole episode in each other’s company. If the writers are trying to create a new story, the couple needs to spend a heck of a lot more time together. I think Erdem and Leyla spent more time together in episode 31. One assumes this is because the writers are being asked to stretch out the plot as much as is possible, unfortunately it means that we spend 80% of the episode with secondary characters.
If the hope is that eventually Serkan will get his memories back can we lay a little more groundwork down for that? He and Eda have had all these moments where something could have been triggered, kisses, yellow dress, handcuffs, star gazing, Apollo story, but nothing seems to be doing it. This is both sad and bothersome in that it implies that all these moments that we loved as an audience weren’t special, or not special enough to be memorable. This situation chips away at the mythology of the great love of Eda and Serkan for us and for the characters. I get now why Selin is more and more confident, I would start to think that their love wasn’t so special or great too. The writers have broken more than Eda’s heart, they have broken the heart of the love story.
Serkan’s characterization is bewildering as well. I understand that we are back to Serkan with a brain injury and before he had Eda’s angelic influence, but even episode one Serkan had more of a heart than this new Serkan does. The scene at the end when his friend asks when he and Eda are getting married and he bluntly states ‘Never’ was awful. The old Serkan was never mean or cruel in this way, and even if his head trauma has caused him to be less empathetic, this comes after Eda tells him how painful it is to be forgotten so it’s not like he’s unaware how much she is still hurting. Unfortunately, I think the new writers have gone too far towards Robot Serkan, more than he ever was before, so this coupled with humiliating Eda at his welcome home party by asking Selin to marry him right in front of her has made him seem like the worst callous jerk. I think if I were Eda I would be on the first flight to Italy.
But Eda is determined to make him remember or at least make him jealous enough that he calls off the marriage to Selin, at least I think that’s what’s going on, it really isn’t clear. So, now we have a fake engagement between Eda and her childhood friend Deniz, who unfortunately harbours real feelings of love for her. Deniz has apparently teamed up with Selin, but it is not yet clear if this is him playing Selin to help Eda or if he is making his own play for Eda. This is messy and frankly unnecessary, but here we are. Also unfortunately Ceren has been in love with Deniz since high school and is now very angry at Eda, this is also a confusing story line.
The entire Ceren story, leaving Serkan and Eda aside, is my biggest complaint of these last two episodes. Using previously unknown mental health issues as a reason for bad behaviour isn’t okay. Sen Çal Kapimi doesn’t have a great track record with dealing with mental illness, but this is far more damaging than having agoraphobia cured with special tea. At least Aydan was seen going to therapy. I get that maybe the writers were at a loss as to how to give the Ceren more to do. However, having her at odds with a completely unaware Eda, and lashing out at everyone, and using mental illness, that we have never seen the character even mention before as the reason for that, is lazy and offensive. Also, the Kizlar have been such a great illustration of female friendship and how that friendship can help us get through the tough times, to now have them have a falling out over a man is rage inducing. The magic of the four young women bonding together to form a family because they don’t get what they need in terms of love and support from their biological families was beautiful, but it has now fallen as a victim to the new storytelling.
Aydan continues to have regressed back to a selfish, terrible person. She has decided that the only person suitable for Alex is her and is actively plotting to break up Ayfer and Alex, and Seyfi seems to be going along with this plan. Where has all the character growth gone for Aydan? Also, if she really wants Serkan and Eda to get back together it means she will be seeing Ayfer for the rest of her life, even if they are not friends do you want be the person who tried to break up her relationship? Plus, is Alex the only middle-aged bachelor in all of Istanbul? Find someone else! Another plot pitting women against each other is wholly unwelcome.
So, if it isn’t obvious, I’m not happy with the direction the show is taking and I can only tell myself that this is just a filler episode for so long before it becomes obvious that this is actually the story now. Again, I recognize that this is a product of the fact that the writers are being asked to stretch out a story beyond its breaking point and they have no idea how much longer the series will continue. I remain unconvinced however that amnesia and all these messy situations are the only story they could have come up with. Why are we not allowed to have multiple episodes of a happy couple dealing with what life throws at all of us? I refuse to believe that no one would be interested in watching that.
If Ayse Üner Kultu hadn’t write us such a beautiful and magical beginning to this show, I think where we are now would be easier to take. But as the flashbacks have shown us in these last few episodes, her story was rich and engaging and it makes the contrast of the storytelling now so apparent. From the fragman it seems as if Serkan is finally having a few more flashes of memory, whether that means we are on the way out of the amnesia fiasco or will have several more episodes of him without his memory remains to be seen.