The Big Lie
Well I didn’t think I’d say this after the last episode, but this one just didn’t work for me. Or as they say in Turkish, olmadi. I felt as if the episode was written by a completely different group of people, or maybe the same people but in some unusual state of mind. But in the spirit of generosity I will say that I think I know where they’re trying to take us. I just think the episode could have accomplished the same goal and still maintained its integrity.
Let’s recap shall we?
When we left our unfortunate couple last episode, Hazar had just told a big whopper of a lie. He looked point blank at Miran and said that it was Miran who had pushed him. We learn in this episode that it was actually Elif who pushed Hazar… by accident. Nevertheless Hazar is convinced by Zehra that the only way to save Reyyan from certain death at the hands of the Aslanbeys is to lie. She had seen Azize standing over Hazar earlier and had heard about Azize’s plot to kill Reyyan, so she decides the only way to save her daughter is to take her from Miran and bring her into the warm and fuzzy fold of the Shadoglu family. Regrettably Hazar, the man who has lived with the stigma of being wrongly accused for killing Miran’s parents, goes along with this brilliant plan and lies. Well, he does object a little initially, but is quickly made to see the light by his loving wife.
Miran is devastated and shocked and immediately cast out by Reyyan. When he begs her not to leave without finding out the truth, she tells him she will leave him like he left her, not for revenge, but to save her father’s life. Indeed. This is actually a recurring theme throughout this episode. Hazar tells Miran something similar when he is confronted a bit later. “How does it feel to be blamed for something you didn’t do? “ he asks almost smugly, “The difference is that I didn’t lie for revenge, I lied to save my daughter’s life.” Of course! this makes everything all right. Because the wrong that is being done is not for revenge like Miran, but to save a life… If the writers were trying to get across some message here, it was completely lost on me. If they were trying to appease the contingent of Reyyan sympathizers who think Miran has to experience exactly what Reyyan had experienced at the beginning of their relationship, then I suppose they’ve succeeded.
Let’s continue shall we? After Miran is cursed at, yelled at, and humiliated by the entire Shadoglu family, he goes to the Shadoglu mansion! Yes, he goes there to try and convince an unyielding Reyyan that he is innocent. But now, Reyyan doesn’t only think that Miran has pushed her father, but that he had this whole thing planned. She tells him he pushed her father to his near death, read the letter afterwards and decided to take the letter so that no one would think that Hazar was right. I think Reyyan must have taken a fall along with her father because she evidently forgot the last few day when he was by her side constantly, consoling her, lifting her up when she blamed herself, and attending to her every whim.
Anyway, I digress. Of course, Miran’s presence in the house doesn’t go unnoticed. Azat who somehow believes he has the liberty to barge into Reyyan’s room at night, finds the two together and chaos ensues. Firat finds out about this courtesy of busy body Yaren, and Hazar finds out about this courtesy of Miss Gul. True to form, Nasuh points a gun at Miran and threatens to kill him for trying to kill his son. I suppose attempted murder is equivalent to actual murder in Turkish dizis. Reyyan jumps in front of Miran and ask Nasuh to kill her and end this whole thing. And then she immediately tells Miran she never wants to see him again. If that confused you, join the club. Right at that moment, Firat appears (with a gun) and declares “Miran is not a killer. If he was a killer, would he have given his blood to save Hazar?” And then he says probably the most salient and coherent lines of the whole episode. “Miran’s blood is coursing through Hazar’s veins.” Everyone gasps in shock including Hanife who has a very grim look on her face.
Miran leaves the mansion completely disheartened, and shortly thereafter, for some ungodly reason, Hazar who has heard about all this, shows up in an ambulance to protect his daughter from the killer, Miran. I assume we’re supposed see the great love he has for Reyyan here, but I simply saw a weak and insecure man who doesn’t think his daughter is capable of making decisions on her own. Zehra thinks even less of of Reyyan’s decision making abilities, because she has already had her lawyer prepare divorce papers and tells Reyyan the only way Miran will leave her alone is if she divorces him. And not surprisingly, Reyyan agrees.
Fast forward to the next morning when Reyyan decides to go for a ride and is followed by Miran. Here I suppose the writers are trying to impart some sort of message. After doing every trick in the book to get Reyyan to listen, Miran gets her to concede. She tells him she’ll listen to him even though he didn’t listen to her when she asked him to talk to her father about his mother. It seems that everything Miran has done wrong is coming back to bite him in the bum and Reyyan is making sure he knows it. He asks her if he was the one that pushed Hazar, then wouldn’t he have to have been up at the top of the stairs like she was instead of standing over him? Well, she doesn’t have an answer for that, but it doesn’t matter. Her father has never told her a lie. So he must be telling the truth. When she decided that their talk was over, she calls Azat abi in front of Miran and tells him to come pick her up. This should have sent warning sirens off in Miran’s head, but alas…
There are scenes of a forlorn Miran wandering the streets, mooning over Reyyan, and scenes of Reyyan crying for her lost love. And there is Zehra sobbing silently while watching her daughter go through the pain she put her through. A beautiful song plays in the background, sung by the lead actress, Ebru Sahin. There is excellent editing of the clip and superb acting, but all of this is lost on me. I know I’m supposed to feel that Zehra has done this to save her daughter, and Reyyan has done this because she can’t trust Miran. But I can’t feel any sympathy for these two. I just can’t relate to the injustice.
The next morning, Elif who has been living with this secret, finds Miran on the roof of the Aslanbey mansion looking lost and alone. He tells her he has no hope, but he can’t give up. That he can’t breathe without Reyyan. Elif sees his pain and seems to decide as she’s walking away that she will come clean. We are led to believe she will go talk with Reyyan, but of course, we don’t know. And we don’t see that in this episode.
Meanwhile, Firat who seems to have come into his own in this episode, probes Esma about Miran’s parents. We learn that poor Dilshah had lived with years of physical abuse at the hands of her husband and no one in the mansion did anything. Esma was a witness to it and turned a blind eye. Of course she doesn’t tell Firat any of this. We learn this through flashbacks. She tells Firat next to nothing. But Firat’s genuine worry for Miran and his hopelessness about his own future living through this revenge, jolts her into action. FINALLY!
The final scenes of the episode show Reyyan walking with papers in hand (we assume the divorce papers) Miran and her father’s words running through her head, Elif walking tentatively somewhere, we assume to find Reyyan with someone’s words through her head, and Esma walking the streets with Firat’s words in her head. Each appear to be grappling with their own dilemma: Reyyan with trying to prove her father’s innocence, Elif with her guilt and Esma with all those years of deadly silence. With everyone walking at the same time, it’s a wonder they didn’t all run into each other.
The shocker of the episode is Esma giving Dilshah’s note to Zehra (of all people), to give to Hazar. She tells Zehra that he needs to save his daughter and his son. “His son?” “Yes, his son. Miran. He isn’t Mehmet Aslanbey’s son. He’s Hazar and Dilshah’s son.”
The episode ends with Reyyan storming into the Aslanbey mansion, yelling Miran’s name and ordering him to come down (you’ve come a long way baby!). She stands with the papers in her hand and confronts an unsuspecting Miran. “You came!” he says, and the screen goes blank.
The big developments of the episode were the reveal to Zehra that Hazar is Miran’s father (which we saw in the trailer to this episode), and the confirmation that Elif was the pusher (it was pretty obvious last episode from Elif’s strange behavior). Other than that, we saw a Reyyan who bordered on cruel and overbearing, and a Miran who has basically been neutered. I would say that we are back to square one, except that it is even further back than that. When Reyyan didn’t trust Miran before, it was for a good reason. He had lied to her and she had very little history with him. This time however, Reyyan was able to somehow erase all that they had experienced, and went back to where they started. In other words, it seems as though for Reyyan time had stood still. While Miran was growing in their relationship, Reyyan was stagnant. Her expressions of love, and her marriage to Miran were the whim of a young 20 something. When the real test of faith came along, she reverted to her comfort zone. I can’t say I blame her, this kind of love isn’t for everyone. It’s not every day that you fall in love with a man who wants vengeance from your family. But it’s also not every day that a man will walk through fire for you either. To her credit Reyyan realizes this. She realizes she can’t do it. It’s Miran who won’t give up. And I’m not even sure anymore why? If Miran were to ask my opinion I’d tell him if a man puts himself down in front of a woman like a doormat, then he shouldn’t be surprised or disappointed when she walks all over him.
It’s my theory that the writers are attempting to move Reyyan out from under the control of her parents and Hazar and Zehra’s lie is their means to achieve this. This is actually quite clever and well thought out. Reyyan will be devastated to learn that her parents could do this to her. And when she learns that her paternity has been kept a secret all these years, that will be the final straw. She will forgive them of course, because that is her nature, but she will be free from their control and free to make her own decisions. If that was all they did, I would have been happy, but I am puzzled as to why the writers felt that they had to humiliate Miran’s character in the process. Were they trying to make Miran feel the humiliation Reyyan felt when she was thrown out in the square? Were they trying to simulate Karma? I don’t know. I sure do hope the writers let us know sometime soon. And more importantly, I hope the writers realize that the whole allure of Hercai is contingent on the confidence and mystery of Miran’s character and the warmth and compassion of Reyyan's character. I wonder whether the writers think showing Reyyan as overbearing and unyielding makes her appear strong. Reyyan's charm was always her quiet strength, her generous nature, and her belief in dreams. It was through her kindness and compassion that Miran's ice cold heart would melt. Perhaps I was wrong.
Now that I’ve said all that, let me say that the series is still one of the best out there. The writers have managed to keep a steady audience coming back week after week to find out what happens next. If that is their goal, they have achieved it. However, from the beginning I have felt that Hercai has the potential to be a classic, a great drama series. For that to happen the story must go back to its essence, to its original allure of mystery and fantasy. If we are to believe that Reyyan and Miran have a great love, then that love must be two sided. Jumping in front of guns and crying over wilted plants don’t cut it. I suspect the writers have something wonderful in store for us. I’ll tune in next week and every week to see if I’m right.