Back from Gocek, all our favorite pairs are in the phase of trying to define the new normal in their relationships. Cansu is finally at her rope’s end with Levent’s elaborate procrastination tactics about telling his daughter about their relationship. Deniz has unleashed her wrath on Ozan for being honest and telling her that he knew she was being prickly with him because of her secret attraction towards him. Ozgur and Ezgi both know they are affected by the other, but with Serdar still in the picture, neither wants to be the one to take the first step towards expressing their feelings.
Within this angst, it is Ozgur’s voice of reason that serves as the glue of understanding for the dynamics of each relationship. Ezgi parrots Ozgur’s words to Cansu and tells her that she needs to make herself less available to Levent, and take the time instead to focus on her own growth. Ozgur counsels Ozan on keeping his distance from Deniz and not smother her with his loving affection. In his own love story, Ozgur is miffed about Ezgi’s date with Serdar and even though she offers to cancel on numerous occasion, he does not take the step to say the words she needs to hear.
During one of their exchanges, he explains to Ezgi that a meaningful relationship is one that unpeels in layers. One cannot be hasty in giving away their hand and it has to be a dance of each one taking off a layer at a time until they are completely bare in front of each other. But both Ozgur and Ezgi are so gun shy about being vulnerable in love, that neither is willing to be the first one to unpeel the first layer.
As Ezgi reluctantly prepares for her first date with Serdar, she comes out to the terrace in her full regalia to find Ozgur there as well. In her heart, she wants Ozgur to take a step towards her, but she tests him with a sensual interlude, asking him if he is affected by her. It takes self-restraint of Herculean proportions, but Ozgur does not give in except to acquiesce that he is affected. At the last minute, Serdar cancels their date, leading to Ozgur and Ezgi enjoying a wonderful evening together over a home made dinner on the terrace. It is followed by a domesticated stint in the kitchen as they wash and put their dishes away. The spell is eventually broken by the demands of hysterical girlfriends.
In reality, Ozgur is deeply affected by Ezgi, and dreams about her that night. In his dream, he kisses her only to find that she is with Serdar and they are living in the apartment together. In the morning, he tries to keep Ezgi at a distance, even while they are at work together. Ezgi has already started work at Ozgur’s restaurant and brings fresh new ideas to promote the establishment. Yeshim, who’s been fed by Serdar through Levent that Ozgur is in love with her, drops by to see Ozgur while Ezgi is contemplating whether she should cancel on Serdar altogether. Ezgi is genuinely conflicted about her feelings but doesn’t fully understand the rules of the game of pursuing love with someone as experienced as Ozgur. However, tarty Ms. Yeshim makes the decision easy for Ezgi with her flirtatious behavior with Ozgur in front of her, and Ezgi reconfirms her date with Serdar. Ozgur, unaware of Ezgi’s reasons, once again does not take the step to stop her.Later, as Ezgi prepares for her date, she day dreams of a beautiful wedding where Ozgur is the groom. Both these stubborn people desire the other deeply.
Later in the evening, Ezgi cancels on Serdar at the last minute because her parents are in town and she takes them to dinner instead. Ozgur and Ezgi had already decided to continue with their charade of being in a relationship for their parents’ sake as Ozgur’s mother is now hell bent on getting him introduced and married to some other girl after her brush with the crazy side of Ezgi. Ozgur calls Ezgi to ask if she’s at dinner, which she says yes to, but before she can clarify that she’s with her parents, he disconnects and goes back home with Yeshim.
At dinner, Ezgi’s stepfather tells her it is so obvious that Ozgur is in love with her because it is evident in how he looks at her. Feeling brave from having this revelation, Ezgi rushes home to chat with Ozgur, only to come upon his tryst with Yeshim, where Yeshim starts to kiss Ozgur.
Bay Yanlis provides a mature commentary on relationships for singles who have been around the block a few times. This is not the story of the innocent kind of love where it is the first time for the girl with an older, more experienced man. These are thirty something year old people who understand what it means to be in love and what it means to be burnt. In spite of their experiences, there are some who remain hopeful about love and some who remain adamant about keeping their hearts closed. This story is about people who have the opportunity to build a meaningful ever after with worthy partners, and the different paths they traverse to get to an equitable relationship that is built upon mutual respect and desire.
We don’t yet have insight into why Ozgur is so resolute against a relationship. Given his interactions with his family, it is evident that he grew up in a close-knit loving family, but something makes him uncomfortable about embracing the vulnerability that comes with true love. His subconscious, which reveals itself through his dream, tells him that Ezgi is the one for him, but in the same dream he sees Serdar with Ezgi. Does Ozgur feel insecure that due to his philandering ways, he has usurped his chances for settling down with a solid girl like Ezgi? That only a stalwart like Serdar deserves the ‘good’ girl? Perhaps this insecurity also keeps him for making advances on Ezgi; he values her too much to be the reason she is hurt and he doesn't trust himself to not hurt her.
Ozgur is an interesting man. Under his playboy persona is a smart businessman who is a keen observer of human interactions and who is emotionally intelligent enough to understand human dynamics. He understands egos, intentions and what drives the human psyche. His analysis of the male female mating dance is spot on. However, his judgement is clouded when it comes to his own love life and herein lies a fundamental truth about life. It is far easier to be objective when dishing out advice to others. While Ozgur is successful in guiding Ozan and Ezgi towards the partners they want to date, even though he desires Ezgi, he is making all sorts of choices that sabotage his chances of being with her.
Ozgur’s inner conflict is captured well by Can, more in his silence and brooding moments. The physical comedy was muted during this episode but the physicality had other expressions. Ozge as the flirtatious Ezgi testing Ozgur’s resolve on the terrace was fantastic. It is mature and sensual, and speaks to the comfort the two actors have with each other.
The next episodes will be a study of how he overcomes his insecurities to claim what is meant for him. It will also be a study of Ezgi’s emotional growth in how she learns to establish her boundaries with her man, without compromising on the equitability of their relationship. When these two come together, it will be a celebration of those of us who are on a path of building a mature, passionate relationship that is rooted in realistic expectations off each other.
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