Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation. Kahlil Gibran
Full disclosure, when the news first broke that Sen Çal Kapimi was getting a second season, I was a little iffy, especially with what we had to endure with the extended middle of the series. In my opinion, summer diziler should only play in the summer, there should be an appropriate beginning, middle, and end to a romcom. When I heard the news of the renewal for another summer season after I recovered from the shock, I thought, okay, a bit of a break and then the show can come back and hopefully have a reboot and a good ending. However, then the news broke that Ayşe Üner Kutlu was coming back to write the second season and that created a whole new ballgame.
I want to acknowledge right off the bat my bias towards Ayşe Üner Kutlu’s writing, I am a big fan. And episode 40 of Sen Çal Kapimi was another illustration of just why I hold her in such high regard. Those of us who are big fans of her’s are so because she creates scenarios where we can root for all the characters, even when they are behaving in a way we don’t like or don’t approve of. Serkan broke up with Eda because he was scared and likely suffering from PTSD. Eda kept Kiraz’s existence from Serkan because she thought he didn’t want to be a father, or wasn’t capable of being a father, and didn’t want her child to go through life feeling unwanted. Both decisions are ‘wrong’ but both are understandable. There doesn’t have to be a ‘Team Eda’ or a ‘Team Serkan’, both characters are worthy of love and empathy.
The greatest strength in Ayse's writing is her ability to give us characters to empathize with. It is surprisingly challenging to do well, so often we automatically pick the side of the character we both identify with and can empathize with, but Ayse presents us with realistic reasons to side with both. She also shows us and tells us what is happening in the inner lives of the characters, we have ‘symbolic' scenes but also the dialogue between characters that tell us what the character is thinking and feeling. That was a huge problem I had with the amnesia plot, we didn’t know what Serkan was thinking because he wasn’t talking to anyone and there were so few scenes that demonstrated his inner thoughts. In the premiere episode of Season 2, we see that Serkan keeps Eda’s necklace (that formerly was her flower ring) in the safe of his office because it’s precious to him. No dialogue necessary in the scene to know this is the case, this is what I mean by the symbolism of Ayse’s writing giving us layers. All the best writers utilize visuals and metaphors to illustrate the point they are trying to get across without having to write it out in dialogue.
Speaking of that, we did get actual good conversation as well, Serkan and Eda spent some time alone together and got to talk about the pain of their breaking up and not seeing each other for 5 years. Eda was able to articulate that while he thinks they had an amicable break up it was devastating for her and she still isn’t over it. It’s so interesting that it was after his treatment was over and he was ‘recovered’ that they fought and broke up, but again we wouldn’t be able to root for Eda as a character if she left him during his treatment.
I was on board with both the time jump and the new life for Eda with Kiraz as it allows us to have a brand new story. I for one was not looking forward to living through Serkan’s cancer treatment scenes. Too many of us have done that in real life, I don’t really want to see it in my rom-com. The big time jump allows for all the stupidity of the amnesia plot et al. to be ancient history and we never have to hear about it again. The long time jump also allows the characters to be a bit more rational about their break up, if it was only a few months or a year it would still be too fresh to be able to calmly talk about it. We heard Eda’s side of the story, I’m looking forward to Serkan explaining what he was feeling then and why he pushed her away as hard as he did.
What I loved
Where to begin?
I think the main thing that I identified that I loved was the overall tone of the episode. There is just a certain vibe that was missing since the new writers took over. It also seems obvious that the cast is thrilled to be back and back together.
Eda and Serkan have apparently been apart for 5 years but it seems Serkan has been at least keeping tabs are her, and I think that it’s pretty likely that he attended her graduation in Italy. He’s daydreaming of her constantly, has this happened for the entire 5 years or a new thing as a foreshadowing of them meeting again? Whatever the case may be, it’s obvious that not only is he not over her, he’s still actively in love with her. Eda still loves him too, but he hurt her so deeply throughout their whole relationship it isn’t going to be easy for her to trust him or their love again. This is such beautiful angst and made better by the fact that we can empathize with the state of mind of both characters. I’m glad that they didn’t ignore all the ways that Serkan has hurt her, starting from the first breakup. She talks about how she was waiting for him for so long, after the first break up, for him to get his memory back, for him to go through his treatment, for him to recover from his treatment, and just when she thought that they could put all that behind them and start living their lives together, he pulls away from her and ultimately breaks up with her. That is just heartbreaking. Plus, the parallel back to the Apollo story Eda told Serkan in episode 5 about the woman waiting for Apollo to come back to her but he never does, is so wonderful.
Serkan is such a complex character. Given his history of abandonment and the death of his brother, his greatest fears were people leaving him and disease/death. In the flashback we see him say to Eda that he is scared, of leaving her and of dying. This makes logical sense for who we know the Serkan character to be. All the kudos to the writers for getting this right. This is the core of Serkan, these are his issues, and it’s understandable that he reacted this way during his treatment. What is less obvious is why he would cling to her during his treatment and then push her away when he recovered? They touch on the possible why, that he wanted to leave a lasting legacy of architecture and design and maybe thought that trying to have a relationship would slow him down, but that doesn’t jive with Serkan constantly daydreaming about Eda and immediately wanting her back when he sees her again. Unless he’s worked through that and now is ready for a relationship.
Eda has found herself again. She went to Italy like she always dreamed of and finished her degree there. She then founded her own landscape design business and had some great success in Europe. She returned to Turkey a year ago, why she did was not explained. To be able to spend more time with Kiraz rather than traveling and working? Had she slowly been turning into Serkan and needed to make a change? Regardless, this is the Eda we first fell in love with, capable, smart, and loving. I loved her telling Kiraz that a princess can do anything she wants, she shouldn’t wait for a prince. She knows this from painful experiences.
I absolutely love that the conflict between them is going to be realistic and organic. Eda is not going to want to be with him after how he treated her in the past and she doesn’t want to subject her daughter to a father that hates kids. There is no need for other people to come between them, or for one of them to have a life-changing medical issue, or for their parents to interfere, there are more than enough actual problems between them to keep them apart. This makes me want to cry tears of happiness.
They had a brief argument and a heartfelt conversation in the episode. I do hope they expand or exactly the circumstances of Serkan telling Eda that he doesn’t want her. I really want to see that version of Serkan to understand how that could have happened. I’m hoping this is a trend of lots of conversations to come.
I have to love that the two new male characters are possibly the least threatening actors they might have cast. Serkan will not be jealous of either of them and I have to wonder if this was a conscious choice so that the fandom wouldn’t automatically hate them on sight like they did the actress who played Balca. In the same vein, Deniz the hotel owner, while beautiful, isn’t very smart so also not a character that will raise the ire of the fans. If this was all a coincidence and not planned by the production, I will eat the cake that Kiraz made.
What I liked
Lots of good things here, too.
I’m always dubious when they introduce kids into television shows that had previously only featured adults. Too often it completely changes the dynamics of the show and the kids are often really annoying because the writers write for them like they are small adults. I was pleasantly surprised that I liked the characters of Kiraz and Can, although Kiraz is a bit too ‘bratty’ for my tastes, however, this allows for Serkan to be bratty back to her, which is hilarious. Can is great, I love that he’s super smart, Piril’s line that ‘Erdem can look after Can and maybe Can can teach him math’ was very funny.
Piril has obviously kept in touch with Eda and knows about Kiraz. This was a surprise. I’m hoping we will get the back story on that situation. Piril is one of the many characters on SÇK that has suffered from inconsistent characterization. She has been a friend to Eda at certain times, but not always, and their relationship didn’t have a logical progression into true friendship instead went back and forth between friendly and indifferent. Obviously, the two of them are close now and I am so glad we have left behind shrill and manic Piril for this new incarnation. It’s nice too because we have lost both Fifi and Ceren, so it’s good for Eda to have another friend to support her. She and Engin have a realistic marriage for people 5 years into in with a kid.
Engin is back to being a good friend to Serkan, and one that he actually talks to, what a relief. Engin really has been absent from the narrative other than dealing with the insanity of pregnant Piril for a very long time, and the character and actor deserve better. He is so good with advice for Serkan and it’s obvious that neither he nor Piril agrees with how he treated Eda and are on her side in any dispute between them.
Melo continues to be the best friend ever to Eda. It wasn’t clear, did she go with her to Italy? I assume both she and Ayfer went to support her. Melo is working as the cafe manager at, I think, a part of the hotel that Eda is helping restore. She’s also a part-time babysitter for Kiraz but she’s not very good at it. She’s still single but is actively hitting on any good-looking man she sees, love it. I’m hoping that she does find love before the show is over. Melo is the epitome of a loyal best friend and I’m glad that, even though we lost the Kizlar, we still have her there for Eda.
What I didn’t like
There were a few characters and situations that I didn’t like but, to be fair, I haven’t liked them for a long time so this isn’t specific to this episode.
Aydan is in a relationship with Kemal, we assume that it has carried on since we saw them last, so five years, but still hasn’t told Serkan. What could possibly be the reason for that? He would be happy for her so this makes absolutely no sense. Kemal is rightfully fed up with the situation, if it was me I would have been gone a long time ago. It also seems possible that Serkan has already figured this out, let’s face it, Aydan is not a good liar. I don’t understand the point of this scenario, except it’s my long-held theory that Kemal is Serkan’s real father and she’s worried that if the two of them spend any time together they will figure it out. I still haven’t forgiven Aydan for keeping the fact that Serkan was alive from Eda after the plane crash, and it seems like she is back to hating on Eda and Ayfer so for me this character can never be redeemed now.
Ayfer is still trying to control Eda, they haven’t progressed her character at all, she’s still nosy and intrusive and it’s why Eda still feels the need to keep things from her. So, while we can appreciate that she has supported Eda these last five years, she needs to let go and treat Eda like an adult fully capable of making her own choices and back off.
Why oh why did they name the hotel manager Deniz?
Erdem is a character I have never warmed up to, and he hasn’t changed either. I like the actor who plays him, Sarp Bozkurt, and I would not want him to be unemployed, but I would much rather they had kept Leyla rather than Erdem. Plus, the reason for Leyla leaving was that Erdem cheated on her? Facepalm. It was funny however when he and Melo met up and each told the other that they didn't miss them.
Serkan is a bit of a mystery to me at this point and I did not enjoy him telling Eda that his biggest mistake was letting her into his life at all, even if he did apologize for it the next day. He seems a little cavalier about the last breakup like it wasn’t a big deal and they can just get over it without any problems. I’m not sure where this attitude is coming from. Was he perfectly fine with their breakup and Eda leaving, didn’t that hurt him at all? This really needs to be explained more thoroughly.
What needs to happen next
- It seems from the fragman from episode 41 that Serkan doesn’t know that Kiraz is Eda’s daughter, they have lied and told him something, I cannot wait for the reveal that she is his and Eda’s daughter. He is going to be devastated. Imagine how hurt he will be that not only didn’t Eda tell him about their daughter but also that Eda hasn’t told her anything about him.
- We need the full backstory on the breakup and Eda’s pregnancy, did she try and tell him? How and why does Piril know?
- We need to know why Serkan didn't try and contact her for 5 years if he's still so in love with her?
- There needs to be slow progress on Eda and Serkan’s relationship, they can’t realistically get back together soon, and definitely get can’t get back together until Serkan knows about Kiraz.
- I would like to spend as little time as possible with Aydan and Ayfer, let Seyfi come and hang out with Melo and the new characters.
So, we are back with the show that we love and it looks like Sen Çal Kapimi might be the summer’s hit two summers in a row. Last July when I first started watching and writing reviews for SÇK I couldn’t have imagined that the series would have lasted this long, and I have to admit that I was hoping the show would just have ended when Ayşe and the original writing team left. We have all suffered through other shows that outlive their original plot or premise and most of the time they are never as good. This was unfortunately true for SÇK, but here we are now with the creator of the original story teamed up with writers Deniz Gurlek and Melek Seven, who have lots of writing experience of their own, to give us what amounts to a new story starring Hande Erçel and Kerem Bürsin. I am choosing to forget as best I can the dreaded episodes between episode 29 and now.
Even with Ayşe returning there was some justifiable concern about the show coming back, and the time jump and secret child were not universally popular. I think that episode 40 put a lot of the worry aside for people. The characters were recognizable and their actions and situations are understandable and organic to who they are as people. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have any moments where I was disappointed while watching with what they were having the characters do or say, with the possible exception of Aydan.
Instead, I could just bask in the beautiful scenery, marvel at the return to previous iterations of characters, cheer on the character developments, and feel hopeful that we are going to get 10 more beautiful episodes and then the ending we deserve. This is back to being the show that I first loved. It was so gratifying to see the cast and crew watching the first episode together. What has held a lot of the fandom together was the obvious love and affection among the cast and the crew and it makes me happy that they have a show again that they can enjoy working on. I have faith now that Sen Çal Kapimi will end as it began as one of the best Turkish romcoms.
Loneliness isn't gray. It is the color of the sky when it bleeds crimson rays in the horizon while there you are standing on the edge somewhere in this boulevard of broken promises, waiting, and waiting for a love that already left.Verliza Gajeles