Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure; seldom can it happen that something is not a little disguised or a little mistaken.Jane Austen
This week’s episode was what I had wished that producer Asena Bülbüloglu had meant when she said that Sen Çal Kapimi was a romantic dramedy. We are getting to watch the leads of SCK traverse some true-to-life emotional hardships instead of the amnesia plots, delusional ex-lovers, or vengeful grandmothers that we were subjected to after Ayşe Üner Kutlu left. This is not light and fluffy fare, this is a painful, emotional look at life after the fairytale wears off.
It’s challenging to watch a love story that has fallen apart, especially one that we rooted for so hard, however, the story that is unfolding now is only occasionally tackled in Turkish television. Generally, the show is over when the lovers finally get together (or to be fair, when someone dies) what happens when they have their happily ever after but it is short-lived? What does it look like when two people love each other completely but can’t seem to make that love transition into a life together?
These final episodes of Sen Çal Kapimi are a semi-realistic look at just how difficult relationships can be and the labour and emotional work it takes to build a life with someone else. I recognize that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and if this had been how SÇK had started last summer most of us would have found something else to watch as it is a more challenging storyline to fall in love with. But we have seen the history of these characters, we know the depth of the love they have for one another, so we can have hope that they will go through the hard times and come out the other side. I am all in for this journey, I am willing to give all the characters the benefit of the doubt and I trust that the writers have something beautiful planned to wrap up the series.
All the characters are worth rooting for, well with a couple of exceptions, and we can love them despite their flaws and the bad choices they have made. We have not really yet seen Serkan’s side of the events of five years ago, so for the moment we are left to fill in the blanks and I will taking my turn to try and rationalize why I think Serkan and Eda acted as they did then and mentally where they are at right now.
Serkan Bolat: Perfectionist and Control Freak
We know Serkan has issues stemming from his childhood that make him terrified of making mistakes and cause him to lash out in situations where he isn’t in control. He broke down some of these fears in admitting he loved Eda and allowed her into his very tight boundaries. He had never done this with anyone before but he loved her and wanted her close at all times. They went through a lot of trials, including cancer treatment and recovery, and one would think that after treatment and getting a clean bill of health, that they would be as strong as ever. But something happened and Serkan became scared, of what we can only assume the fear of cancer coming back and he would have to leave her. It could also explain why he didn’t want to have children, the fear of leaving them. If it’s something more, the writers have not yet let us in on the reasons.
Serkan has experienced a lot of trauma and at a young age lost his brother to an as of yet unexplained illness, he knows the pain of losing someone like that. He may have been projecting that pain and fear onto Eda. So, he pushed her completely out of his life, she was to leave and he didn’t want any contact between them. He might have been trying to prevent her from mourning him, even from afar. He always underestimates his importance in her life, his insecurities have him believing that she is better off without him whenever things are difficult. He believes that she is a better person than him and therefore if he isn’t able to be the man he wants to be for her, she is better off without him.
His behaviour now, five years post-remission is understandably more optimistic. Five years is generally the point at which, if cancer has not returned the patient can be considered ‘cured’. So, he might mentally be over the fear of dying early and leaving her. Why he still doesn’t want children is not explained by this, however. Serkan didn’t express a desire for kids until after Ayşe left the show, so we may be reverting back to a version of Serkan that she imagined. Or he was told that he might not be able to have children because of his cancer treatment.
I am very curious if the lack of Serkan’s point of view of the past is a conscious choice by the production and writers or an oversight, if it is the latter I will be very upset. I am hoping that they just are holding on to those scenes to keep the story unfolding slowly.
Eda Yildiz: Caretaker
Eda is easier to understand because we have seen more of what happened with her and her point of view of events is being discussed with other characters. She was willing to be with Serkan in good times and bad but he pushed her away so hard that she left and never came back. We need to see these scenes. Eda is stubborn and strong, it would have had to be a really bad breakup, and he must have been very convincing for her to leave and not keep trying, especially if she suspected she might be pregnant.
I have stated in previous reviews why I am sympathetic to Eda for not telling Serkan that they had a child together in the past, so I won't go over that again. But I acknowledge that it was annoying for some that she put Serkan through an afternoon together to see how he reacted to Kiraz before deciding to tell him he’s a father or not. Bear with me while I try and rationalize why this wasn’t a mean and judgemental thing to do and why I think it was a conscious choice on the writer’s part for this to happen.
Eda has had five years to come to grips with Serkan’s choice to sever all ties with her, and she had made peace with it as best she can. She has a big heart and is willing to forgive a lot in a person, and she does so with Serkan at various times. She now believes that he chose work over her, maybe not because he didn’t love her, but he couldn’t handle being in love and in a relationship. He made the hard choice to be alone and she had to live by his choice. But now they have Kiraz and she wants to see if he is willing to let the little girl through his walls.
It seems to us and to Eda that he doesn’t, he’s annoyed by Kiraz and doesn’t want her around him while they are trying to work at his house. We can see the disappointment on Eda’s face as he folds up Kiraz’s drawing for him without even looking at it. What we and Eda don’t see is the conversation between Serkan and Kiraz where he tells her about his brother, Sirius, and how he loves a Peri-kiz very much. If this isn’t just that the production couldn’t find time in the schedule to film this scene, it could be that it’s a metaphor for how hard it is to see the other person’s point of view and that Eda may be biased to believe that Serkan wouldn’t be able to bond with his little girl. Eda realizes that she is wrong after a conversation with Kiraz as they are leaving and goes to tell Serkan that they are the actual parents of Kiraz.
It hurts to let go. Sometimes it seems the harder you try to hold on to something or someone the more it wants to get away. You feel like some kind of criminal for having felt, for having wanted. For having wanted to be wanted. It confuses you, because you think that your feelings were wrong and it makes you feel so small because it's so hard to keep it inside when you let it out and it doesn't come back. You're left so alone that you can't explain. Damn, there's nothing like that, is there? I've been there and you have too. You're nodding your head.Henry Rollins
What I loved
The callback to Erkenci Kuş with the letter in a bottle was so wonderful for those of us who loved Ayşe’s previous dizi. She had promised before Sen Çal Kapimi even aired that she would tell us what was in the bottles that the EK character Sanem had thrown in the sea. She didn’t have a chance to do it before she left the series but she hasn’t forgotten her promise and it was a real gift for the EK fans and also fit in perfectly with Eda and Serkan’s story now.
Serkan and Kiraz are already building their own relationship and it seems as if Kiraz already has an idea that Serkan is her dad. She wants to spend time with him, goes to him for safety, and hugs him when he helps her with her problem. This really is very sweet and I am so glad that the interactions are exactly perfect to who Serkan is, he doesn’t turn into a marshmallow with her but he shows her a soft side of himself and opens up to her which is unlike his behaviour with anyone who isn’t a close friend or family member. They are so very similar, except that she has Eda’s free spirit.
I love the summer vibe of the show and I am glad we have mostly switched locations to Şile, it’s nice to be somewhere new to create new memories for the characters and for us.
What I liked
Pina and Kerem are cute together, she is the most honest of the Bolats and he is lovable, it’s too bad he overheard her telling Aydan that she lied to him about coming to see him, even though I think she does like him.
Burak so far is a good man and there are no signs that he will turn into a stalking psychopath ala Selin, Balca, or Deniz.
There were a few very funny scenes. The incorrect reveal that Engin is the father of Kiraz scene and Piril’s reaction to their stupidity was particularly well done. The waiters with Serkan’s face was bizarre and hilarious and Deniz really is demented, I loved her missing her ex, and when they ask sarcastically ‘which one’ she states ‘any of them’. I actually don’t mind her character, of all the women running after Serkan throughout SÇK she is the least offensive. Serkan telling Engin that they had to hide out at the indoor pool so Deniz wouldn't see him in a swimsuit was awesome, we are retaining the Serkan who recognizes when women are inappropriately hitting on him and does something about it. Ayfer et al. drunk at dinner were mildly entertaining.
What I didn’t like
Why do they make Erdem so annoying?
I could have done without the whole ‘DNA collection’ caper. I get it was supposed to be the comic relief, but it really wasn’t all that funny and took up way too much screen time. I would rather they just shorten the episodes if they don’t want to spend too much time with Eda and Serkan at this point.
I didn’t agree with Eda’s decision to take Kiraz and leave. Things need to be addressed now, running will do no good as she’s got to know that Serkan is determined now to win her back and he will just come after her anyway, but I understand if she does it to get away from Aydan.
I really wish that Melo hadn't been religated to babysitter, she is one of the best characters and she deserves to find her own happiness with someone who is worthy of her.
What needs to happen next
- We really do need to see Serkan's side in the flashbacks, we have created our own scenarios as to his reasons and it will be good to see if we are correct that it was his fear or there is something that we don’t yet know about
- Aydan needs to go on a long cruise far, far away.
- I hope we get some good, serious conversations between Serkan and Eda and that he is at least self-aware enough to recognize why she didn’t tell him about Kiraz even if he angry about it
So, Serkan knows about Kiraz now, sooner than I thought. I am enjoying the journey of this little family finding its way back together but I acknowledge that it might not be palatable for everyone. SÇK is a messy story, as most diziler are that have carried on longer than the original plan. Couple that with several writer changes and some truly stupid plotlines in the non-Ayşe episodes, we are understandably a bit jaded with the series, and might just want some mind-less happy plots to fill the summer weeks. However, we are getting something with a little more bite and I’m satisfied so far with the direction of the show.
The reality of how hard it is being with someone and traversing all that life can throw at you is being explored now in Sen Çal Kapimi, and love it, hate it or something in-between, I think it’s a journey worth taking with these characters that we love so much.
If you stand in the way of two people who were meant to be together, destiny's train will run you over.Matshona Dhiliwayo