Every once in a while in life you get everything you ask for and it is a beautiful thing. Me
Episode 43 was one of those moments. Other than too much time spent on other characters, this was the ultimate Sen Çal Kapimi episode. This was the one where Eda and Serkan put aside any pretense, any pride, any attempts to shield the other person from some ugly truths and laid it all out. I’m not embarrassed to say that I cried several times. Both for the plot and the performances, but also for finally getting to witness these conversations between Eda and Serkan. It has been a very long time coming.
Sen Cal Kapimi has suffered from writing changes and mediocre storylines since Ayşe Üner Kutlu left after episode 24, even before then there was an obvious shift from the original plotline to accommodate having to extend the series. I believe we are now witnessing the original final plot for SÇK that Ayşe envisioned, tweaked to accommodate at least some of the plot lines of the episodes that she and her team didn’t write. This is how Ayşe planned to heal Serkan and Eda and have them in a strong relationship. Even in this iteration, it is messy and painful but as realistic as a rom-com is likely to be. Love is hard, and staying together even harder, so the trial and tribulations that Eda and Serkan go through, albeit on a more extreme level, are things that normal people go through. So, while it is sometimes tough to watch two people who love each other hurt one another, when they finally come to the resolution it is magical.
SERKAN: All his fears exposed
This was Kerem Bürsin’s episode to shine in the role of Serkan and he was masterful in his quiet portrayal of a man with lifelong psychological issues that have cost him everyone he loves. We were mesmerized as, without any histrionics, he laid out for Eda why he forced her away and why he feels now that he isn’t capable of being a father to Kiraz.
It was the moments and the conversations between Eda and Serkan that we have wanted since the beginning of the series. Serkan finally laid bare for her all his insecurities and fears and how desperately lonely he has been since his brother died, except for the brief time that they were together. This was so raw but so beautiful and it was perfectly embodied by Kerem Bürsin. This is the crux of the Serkan side of the love story that we as the audience have been desperate for. We needed to know and understand the psychology of a man who would rather drive the woman he loves away and break her heart than risk dying and leaving her.
This episode gave the audience everything it had been clamouring for all these months. This was the culmination of the journey of Serkan and the psychological issues that have kept him from fully committing to Eda. These issues encompass more than just his fears about dying and leaving her, but also his deep-seated fear that he has never been good enough for her and that she would eventually realize this and leave him. He told her how he has never felt worthy of her, how he is scared of dying and leaving her, and now Kiraz, how he has never forgotten her, and that she is the only bright light that he has ever had in his life.
He also told her of what he had been keeping from her, that the doctor had told him that he couldn’t have children because of the cancer treatment and that he had a seventy percent chance of his cancer coming back. For these five years that she has been gone, he has thought that at any time his cancer can return and he might not survive it again. Which makes it a little surprising that he pursued her in Şile, but maybe seeing her again made him realize it was worth the risk. Regardless, due to the prompting from Engin, Serkan in the present day has a consultation with his doctor and learns that he is now no more likely than the average person to have cancer, that five years is the benchmark to be considered to be cancer-free. Why the doctor wouldn’t have already told him that is a mystery but neyse. So, Serkan’s two biggest fears when it comes to Eda, are put to rest. He feared that she would want to have a baby and he couldn’t give her one and that he would die early. Both of those fears have been proven to be false. Which is overwhelming in and of itself, but he is also dealing with the knowledge that Kiraz is his daughter and Eda never told him.
I was pleased with how deftly they handled the Kiraz reveal and Serkan’s reaction. He is floored but not angry. He understands right away why Eda wouldn’t tell him and confirms that he likely wouldn’t have wanted her to continue with the pregnancy if she had told him from the beginning. I can see how some people may view this as letting Eda off the hook, but we see her remorse in not being able to tell him, and her guilty feelings, and we also see that she did try and reach out to him once she was in Italy but he had cut her off completely. I was also very pleased with the calm way they talked to each other, there were no insults thrown and no screaming, which I appreciated.
We, as the audience, have waited so long for these conversations to happen, not just in season two, but in a good portion of the first season. This has been the one failing that we have complained about for pretty much the entire run of Sen Çal Kapimi, that Eda and Serkan don’t have enough meaningful conversations. This can be mostly explained by the insane Turkish television tradition of shows continuing until they are canceled, as long as they are still making money and all the parties involved agree. This means that plots are extended, writers are let go or leave, actors will come and go, and the audience is left having to deal with the plotlines that no longer make sense or entertain us. What suffers is the story, and SÇK is no different. But what is on the screen now is the end that Ayşe had planned, likely, and therefore we are getting the payoff of all the meaningful dialogue that we have waited for.
There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life. John Lennon
EDA: Finally knowing the whole story
Eda came clean to Serkan about their daughter because Kiraz told her mother how much Serkan tried with her and how much she likes him. This was news to Eda who only saw that he appeared annoyed with Kiraz. Understand it or not, Eda is working from the information she has when she decides to leave and it’s only after that she realizes that she didn’t have all the information, which is a theme for Eda’s character in this episode.
She discovers throughout the episode that he has loved only her for all these years, that he drove her away because of his fears about his health, the fact that he thought he couldn’t sire children, and that he has never felt that he deserves her. She may have had an inkling of some of these fears of Serkan but he was harsh enough in his dismissal of her that she might have very well thought the excuse of him wanting to focus on his working was the true reason for the destruction of their relationship.
He finally decides to lay it all out for her over a couple of conversations the most poignant for me is the one outside her house where he tells her that he could still die and that is his greatest fear now, being with her and Kiraz and then having to leave them. He understands that she would never leave him, even if things were terrible so he kept himself away from her and now will keep himself away from Kiraz. He does tell her that he can’t stand the thought that she forgot him so for her not to tell him that.
This, of course, breaks her heart, but she’s a mother now and has to do what is best for Kiraz so she rightly tells him that he has to decide, if he can’t be a father then they can’t have a relationship either, she and Kiraz are a packaged deal. He tells her that he can provide for Kiraz financially and ‘morally’ (I’m not sure what the meaning of this is, translations were unclear) but she tells him that Kiraz already has lots of support, Ayfer, Melo, Burak, Kerem, and others, what she doesn’t have is a father. He tells her that he can’t do it, and to be fair, he has only had a day to figure all this out so this conversation may have been a bit rushed by Eda. However, she calls him when Kiraz is missing and he comes right away. She half embraces him as she needs comfort and it is fitting that it is Serkan who figures out how to find her. His baby has gone to send a message to her dad, who she desperately wants to see on her birthday and he puts aside his fears to make Kiraz’s dreams come true.
The Pivotal Scenes
At Serkan’s house, he and Eda have a conversation about Kiraz and Eda explains to him why she didn’t tell him, that she did want him to know but she was afraid of his reaction. It seems obvious that she was afraid that he would tell her he didn’t want her to go through with the pregnancy and he confirms that he would have probably asked her to get an abortion. Her fear is both stressing him out with the news and having to live with the disappointment of him telling her to get rid of the pregnancy. This was a tough but honest conversation and I am so grateful that there were no recriminations from either of them. They both understood where the other was coming from. She leaves him with a photo album and a USB key of memories of Kiraz but he doesn’t look at it right away.
At the hotel, Eda is thrilled that Serkan has shown up and gets Kiraz dressed up to meet with him. Eda is quickly disappointed when he says he’s only there for work. She tells him that she doesn’t want him around Kiraz or herself until he’s made a decision and they can talk about it. This seems a bit unfair as he had asked her to give him some time and it hasn’t even been a day. However, he says okay let’s talk and they head to the beach. He tells her that he can’t be a father to Kiraz, his own experience has caused him to think that he wouldn’t be a good one but he will support Kiraz any other way that he can. Eda is devastated. She tells him that they don’t need support, Kiraz wants a father, he tells her that he can’t. She tells him that she won’t be with him without Kiraz, the two of them are one unit.
Serkan comes to her presentation and finagles an invitation to dinner with another couple and after they leave he insinuates that he knows something from a previous presentation of hers’s she realizes that he was at her graduation.
After dinner, Serkan comes to her house to finally tell her why he distanced himself from her in such a brutal way five years ago. He thought it was likely that his cancer would come back and the doctor had told him that he couldn’t father children. She is shocked and asks “what about Kiraz?” and Serkan calls her a miracle. He also tells her that he thinks about her every day, that he hallucinates her, and for her to not say that she forgot him as it is too painful for him.
Engin comes to Serkan’s to talk to him about why Serkan refuses to accept that he is a father. Engin asks him if he loves Eda and Serkan says he does, he then asks him if he loves Kiraz and he has to admit that he loves her too. Serkan tells him that the doctors told him his cancer could come back and Engin reminds him that was five years ago. He tells Serkan to talk to his doctor again and if he says the same thing Engin will not push Serkan anymore to be a father to Kiraz. Engin, with tears in his eyes, also reminds him that other people love him too and who would miss him if he was gone.
Serkan finally looks at the pictures in the Kiraz album and then loads up the USB key that Eda had left. It’s a video diary of her pregnancy and Kiraz’s early years and if you weren’t crying by the end of this scene you are one tough cookie. There is no dialogue from Kerem it’s only his eyes that tell you the despair he feels at not having been with Eda during her pregnancy, at their daughter’s birth, and all of Kiraz’s milestones. Kerem Bürsin owned this scene and his heartbreaking performance solidified for us that he is a very talented actor and this performance was understated but amazing.
Kiraz goes missing and a frantic Eda calls Serkan who eventually finds her. She tells him that she’s sending a message to her dad because she wants him to come for her birthday. Serkan realizes that what his daughter desperately wants is her dad. When she asks if Serkan thinks her dad will get the message he tells her that he’s sure he will. The final scene is Serkan arriving at Kiraz’s party in an astronaut suit, he has put aside his fears and issues to make his daughter happy. Cue the crying.
AYDAN and AYFER: The Villains of Season Two?
I never really like to say I hate a character if they are not written as an outright villain. I try my best to understand where they are coming from and/or what their purpose is in the story. However, Aydan is now on my list for characters I truly hate. I have more empathy for Ayfer, at least she has some redeeming qualities even though she will likely try to impede Eda and Serkan.
Aydan currently has no redeeming qualities and the well of sympathy I might have had for the pain she suffered from losing a son and having another one be seriously ill has long since dried up. I have gone back and forth with this character for the whole of the series, but keeping the news of Serkan being alive from Eda after the plane crash (man, I am so glad I don’t have to write sentences like that anymore) solidified for me that she is a not a character to root for. She is narcissistic and selfish, and cannot fathom that she might be in the wrong when it comes to the Kiraz situation. I don’t find her funny and the voice she uses to play ‘unhinged’ causes me to mute the television. Seyfi as her apologist is also on thin ice.
We only have to look at the mental health of their respective ‘children’ to know who was there for their children, Aydan or Ayfer. Both Serkan and Eda experienced significant trauma as children, but how they are as adults speaks to how their parents helped deal with that trauma. Eda is strong, self-confident, and kind-hearted. Serkan is cold, anxiety-ridden, and self-loathing. Ayfer has managed to raise Eda into a mentally healthy person, where Aydan has not helped Serkan with his issues. She of course was traumatized herself, but at some point recovered to the point where we meet her in episode one. But she has seemingly never helped Serkan recover from his trauma or the disapproval of his father. She sees nothing wrong with his behaviour and blames everyone else for his shortcomings.
The Aydan we are seeing in season two is a throwback to the original Aydan and I have to wonder what Ayşe’s original plan was for her. Aydan has regressed to the one who thinks that Eda and Ayfer are beneath the Bolats and treats them as such. The way she is written there isn’t any amount of ‘comedy’ that can redeem her. And her plan now to try and wrestle custody away from Eda without Serkan’s knowledge puts her firmly in the villain category. The Yildiz’s are not fit to raise her Bolat grandchild, even after all that Eda has done for her and Aydan telling Eda that she should think of her as a mother back when Eda and Serkan were getting married.
Where this plot will go and whether the writers will attempt to redeem her character is unknown but after all most a year of her inconsistency, I can confidently say that there isn’t anything she can do, short of dying to save Kiraz or some such, for me to ever care about Aydan again. Aydan is the villain for this season and unfortunately, Seyfi is her henchman.
Ayfer is also an antagonist to Serkan and Eda but one with a very solid reason. She has been a witness to all the pain that Serkan has caused Eda and without having the unfailing optimist viewpoint that Melo does. She sees no good in Eda and Serkan rekindling their relationship, and from her viewpoint, she is right. If Eda was a friend you might be telling her to steer clear of Serkan too. I don’t like that she is pushing Burak at Eda so much, but Eda is strong enough to push back, and again we can see why Ayfer would do this. So, while she isn't a villain, she isn't going to be too happy with the reunion of Eda and Serkan.
I’m sure Ayfer will try and stand between Serkan and Eda but unlike Aydan, she is less likely to be underhanded and mean about it. So while Ayfer will not be happy about Eda and Serkan getting back together I don’t see her doing anything to break them up, especially as Kiraz now knows Serkan is her father.
What I loved (beyond the obvious)
The Kiraz and Serkan scenes are wonderful and I loved Serkan replaying in his head all the times she was so like him. She also gives him some advice to try and stop all the noise in his head that was precious and good advice and he tells her that. She kisses him on the cheek and declares that she likes him now.
He is the one to figure out where she has gone and the realization that all his daughter wants for her birthday is her dad is so heartbreaking, but also she tells him that she uses the knot he taught her to tie her message to the balloon so it wouldn’t come apart. He helps her launch her balloon and tells her that her message will get to her dad and when he shows up in the astronaut suit he has a red balloon.
Eda and Kiraz arguing about who loves who more and Serkan overhearing that was very sweet. Also, I think that Burak being there and taking Kiraz inside for dinner might have been a little nudge to get him to want to claim Kiraz.
Engin is back to his original incarnation and how I have missed him. He is a good friend to Serkan again and gives good advice. Add him to a more human but less shrill Piril and I am finally in love with this couple.
What I liked
Pina and Kerem are cute together, they aren’t really necessary in the story at this point but I would much rather watch them on screen than Aydan.
Sirius is back!!!
Deniz is better at comic relief than Erdem has ever been.
What I didn’t like
Aydan is going to be at the top of this list every time. Beyond what I have already said, she has both Kemal and Seyfi rounded up to help her in her bid to win custody of Kiraz. I hope one or both of them can talk her out of this insanity. I’m guessing that this is the next bit of drama that Eda and Serkan are going to have to traverse. Kemal seems like a genuinely decent man so I hope that he can screw Aydan head on and make her see that this is a terrible, destructive idea because Seyfi is right when Serkan finds out he is going to blow a gasket. Aydan in her bid to gain a granddaughter could lose her only son.
I don’t love that it seems like Burak is being set up as a love interest for Melo. They have never done right by her character. She is such a good person and an interesting character but they have never really developed her, and now she is relegated to babysitter/cheerleader. I can see the bones of the Burak relationship, she likes him and he is starting to see her, but he’s been in love with Eda since they met and I hate the idea that Melo only deserves someone who chooses her after he can’t have Eda.
What needs to happen next
- Honestly, to ask for much more than what we got seems greedy but there are a few more beats I hope that Sen Çal Kapimi hits before the series is over
- Eda and Serkan need to fully commit to one another, this doesn’t have to be a marriage but they need to be living together with their baby, away from Ayfer and Aydan
- Melo needs a happy ending, whatever that looks like
- Aydan needs to realize the part she played in her son’s unhappiness and there needs to be a reckoning, however knowing how SÇK has dealt with the antagonists in the past, she will likely just go off into the sunset with Kemal
This episode was truly outstanding and we finally got Serkan’s side of the story and incredibly both he and Eda were truthful about their struggles and their fears and regrets. We have finally reached the point where everything is laid out. Now comes the slow, joyful rebuilt of their relationship and the coming together of their little family. This episode was a year in the making really, we have been asking for honest conversations between the two of them since the beginning of the series.
Ayşe Üner Kutlu and her team have been allowed to come back and tell the end of Ayşe’s story of these two beautiful, broken people and if we had to slog through a dozen meaningless episodes to get here, it was worth it. Like love, watching a dizi like this can be hard work, but getting to watch an episode like this week’s makes it all worthwhile.
Being that there are still seven episodes left it’s not going to be smooth sailing from here. Undoubtedly there are going to be bumps in the road for Eda and Serkan, namely a selfish delusional mother, but after this episode, I am confident that we will be happy with the resolution of the Sen Çal Kapimi story.
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.