Incredible! I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of this episode. The writers deserve applause for their amazing work. The dialogue was superb, the dream sequences breathtaking, and the acting was outstanding as usual. A shout out to Ebru Sahin because this episode was her episode and she shone. Reyyan’s love was on full display, and what a love it is! This episode marked a sea change in Miran and Reyyan’s relationship.
Let’s recap shall we?
In the previous episode, Elif had confessed to the Shadoglus in the presence of Miran and Reyyan that she pushed Hazar. This episode begins with Reyyan accusing Miran of getting Elif to lie on his behalf to avoid losing her. After Miran storms out, Hazar confirms the truth of Elif’s declaration. Regretting her unfortunate words, Reyyan runs after Miran to apologize, but something has snapped inside Miran and he is unreachable to Reyyan.
Azize and Cihan face off outside the Shadoglu mansion where Cihan shows he is a force to be reckoned with. In the same scene there is a skirmish and Azize drops her worry beads which are picked up by the ubiquitous Yusuf (Nasuh’s old friend from the farm). He recognizes the letter "A" on the beads before they are snatched away by Azize (the significance of this will likely be made clear in future episodes). Meanwhile Elif and Azat begin to establish a bond.
Zehra meets with Esma and tells her not to tell Hazar that Miran is his son. She rationalizes that if she tells Hazar Miran is his son, she will have to tell Reyyan Hazar is not her father. This, she fears, will turn Reyyan away from them forever. She promises Esma that she will tell him everything at the right time. Unfortunately for her, the longer she waits, the more likely it is that she will lose Reyyan forever. In her hands, Zehra holds the one document that can end the enmity between the two families and change the course of events. However, her selfish and cowardly nature is likely to be the downfall of those she purports to protect.
After an altracation with Reyyan, Yaren finally crosses the line with Nasuh who gives Cihan 3 days to find a suitable husband for her. In retaliation Yaren forges Reyyan’s signature on the divorce papers that were drawn up courtesy of Zehra, and sends them to Miran at the Aslanbey mansion.
At the Aslanbey mansion, Azize overhears Sehriyar talking to Yaren about the divorce papers, and fires her and threatens to send Elif, Esma and Gonul overseas for their own protection.
After his admission, Hazar meets with Miran and unsuccessfully pleads with him not to leave Reyyan. While Reyyan is pursuing Miran, he receives the divorce papers and heads to the hut to ruminate. At the hut Miran relives the day after his first wedding, but with a different ending. Reyyan comes to him to convince him to go back to her not knowing that he has the divorce papers in his hands. Miran takes a protesting Reyyan to the Shadoglu mansion and signs the divorce papers in front of her. Shocked, she confronts her parents who deny any connection with the forged documents. It doesn't take Zehra long to figure out Yaren was the instigator of this dastardly deed and confronts her.
Devastated by notice of the divorce, Miran leaves the next morning for his mother’s village because it is the only refuge he has. Reyyan follows him there and tells him her signature was forged. She rips up the divorce order and tells him even if he has signed the document she won’t give in. Miran continues to be obstinate and is about to walk away when the old woman reveals that she is Dilshah’s mother, Miran’s grandmother.
Those are the events in the episode, now here’s the analysis.
When Miran first arrives at the hut with divorce papers in hand, he recreates that fateful day of betrayal, but with an alternate ending. One where instead of leaving, he returns to her. The scene is beautifully executed expressing the myriad emotions over the past several episodes. If only he had come back instead of leaving her. If only he had listened to his heart. But alas he did not… And try as he might, he cannot go back to that instant and do things differently.
The writers have skillfully carried forward a thread started in the first season. In episode 10 of season 1 Reyyan had taken Miran to the ruins of the old hut with the intention to make him understand why their love would not work. In that scene Reyyan had told him that in her heart she had burned Miran along with the hut. But she also told him that everything would have been different if he had come back to her that day. If he had come, she told him, she would have forgiven him. In this episode, Miran realizes that his efforts after that moment; the reconstruction of the hut, his constant presence in her life, his second marriage to her, were all in vain. The shock of the act was too great for Reyyan to overcome. Nothing he had done so far had erased the impact of that day. Indeed its effects were just beginning to manifest themselves, in particular through Reyyan's mistrust of him. But more importantly, Miran realizes that he, himself, cannot forget what he did and in fact, he cannot forgive himself. The scenes I’ve just described are not only relevant to Reyyan’s state of mind, but to Miran’s as well. In reality, regardless of whether he wins her forgiveness, for him the knowledge of the sin is too great to overcome alone. He has tried everything to atone for his sin but he cannot erase that stain. Unfortunately, if he does not forgive himself, there is no real path in their relationship regardless of what Reyyan does. (It will be interesting to see how the writers absolve Miran of this sin.)
Realizing this, Miran uses a salient analogy to explain their situation to Reyyan. In another scene at the hut, he breaks a glass against the wall and asks her whether she can fix it. He tells her even if she is able to glue the shattered pieces together, the glass will not be able to hold water without leaking. At first blush it appears as though he is using this analogy to describe the affect of her words against him, but in reality he is describing what he has done. How it is his betrayal that has shattered their relationship and how it is his betrayal that has caused their love to leak from the cracks. And Reyyan, who he sees as the glue in their relationship had just shown with her mistrust, that she cannot keep their love from leaking through the cracks. To further demonstrate this point he follows up with another analogy. He describes a beloved land that is ravaged by bombs of war. He says one’s love for their beloved land becomes apparent only after the land has been destroyed. Will someone who declares love for the land stay to fight and rebuild or will he move elsewhere? With the knowledge of the divorce papers, he believes Reyyan has left.
In the final scene at the hut Miran tries to explain to Reyyan his understanding of why they cannot be together. He tells Reyyan that what he has experienced and what he has put her through are a test which he will pay for all his life. He is resigned to this fact. With her or without her, it was an act that he committed knowingly. He bears the full responsibility of it and the impact on him is tremendous. Perhaps time will lessen its impression, but for now it weighs him down. He then tells her that how she responds to him is also a test for her. A test that he does not want her to pay for her entire life. In other words, knowing the intensity of his guilt and his sensitivity to her reaction in regards to his guilt, Miran sees a future where Reyyan must constantly measure her responses to him. The events of this episode are just a glimpse of the mistrust, accusations, guilt and desperation that would plague such a relationship. He has seen this, and he does not like it. In order for this relationship to work, there must be a sea change and we see the first phase of that with Reyyan.
Up to this point the audience was shown Miran’s persistent love for Reyyan. Reyyan yoksa Miran yoksa! Reyyan’s love for Miran thus far has been kept hidden within her. He wronged her and he betrayed her, yet she still cannot resist him. In the first episode of season 2 Reyyan told Melike that every time Miran touched her she went back to the day he betrayed her. Hence in their second marriage Reyyan would not let Miran touch her. How could she? With every touch she would remember his betrayal. A love cannot fully manifest itself until its consummated and since their first intimate act was an act of betrayal, her love remained dormant.
No one can blame Reyyan for her distrust but even in distrust one can choose their words carefully, a lesson she learned too late. Reyyan’s choice of words after Elif’s confession revealed her blatant disregard for Miran’s character. She believed Miran would stay with her regardless of how she treated him. She had seen him come to her again and again after humiliation and defeat. She believed he owed her this. And perhaps in a way this is true. He did owe her, and he worked to pay her back. A relationship born of obligation may last, but it is painful and incomplete, and we find out in this episode that it is unacceptable for Miran.
Now that Reyyan is certain that Miran is innocent she realizes her mistake. But like the shattered glass in the hut, the realization comes too late and in a less than ideal way. She only believes Miran’s innocence after Hazar confesses. Indeed it is this fact that convinces Miran of his decision to separate. She understands the damage of this but this is not something within her control. She has every right to doubt Miran’s veracity and Miran is convinced this is how she will feel always. After all, he tricked her before to win her love. But does that matter? Is it worth losing a love for a mistake regardless of how evil the mistake is?
In a beautiful scene after the hut, Reyyan goes to Miran while he is sleeping. She’s afraid to wake him up. “That icy gaze you give to everyone else, it turns into a warm glow when you look at me. If I wake you up will you look at me that way again, or will you look at me the way you look at everyone else?” She realizes how much his special look for her means to her.
It’s only when Reyyan realizes she can become like anyone else in Miran’s life that she understands what she is losing. And it’s here that she decides that she will do anything to have Miran look at her with his warm and loving gaze again. I believe this is the point she decides to surrender to her love. And what a surrender it is! She goes to him over and over again despite his obstinance and his rejection of her. Ebru Sahin brilliantly portrays Reyyan’s sense of regret and desperation. I think in this episode, when she realized that she may lose Miran for good, Reyyan put the act of betrayal behind her.
Note of interest:
After failing to convince Miran that her words were not from her heart, the two lovers separate. Miran goes to his hotel and Reyyan back to the Shadoglu mansion. There, each sleep in their own bed but share the same dream. In this beautifully executed dream sequence the two are on white bed, Reyyan in white and Miran in black, like Yin and Yang. The two are so different, yet so complementary to each other. Reyyan tells him she doesn’t want them to separate but he tells her his heart is very tired. She tells him to hold on to her heart, it will carry them. He tells her that her heart didn’t carry them, it couldn’t carry them. This is symbolic for Miran’s resignation. He has tried and failed. He wasn’t able to carry the two of them. The burden of his sin, her rejection of him and her mistrust has worn him down. Some may argue that Miran is overexaggerating the situation and that he should forgive and forget. But I think his reaction is quite valid. This is not a matter of forgiving. In fact, Miran has probably already forgiven her. The problem is deeper than one simple event. It is the culmination of the failure of all his efforts, the weight of the initial act of betrayal, and the inability to remove the stain on their love. Perhaps Miran will be content if they lived apart but in the same city breathing the same air.
This episode served as an awakening for Reyyan. She knows now that she loves Miran more than she loves herself. She will die for him, and she will fight for him. This is equal to Miran’s love for her. But this is not a love that only one of them can carry. This is a love that the two must bear together. They must still face many obstacles on their journey to happiness. With this episode the writers have skillfully put both lovers on equal footing. Once Reyyan convinces Miran of her sincerity the two can tackle the many challenges they've yet to face together. Don't forget, Azize is still unaware of Miran's discoveries, Reyyan and Miran still don't know their true paternity, and Miran still sees Hazar as his enemy. There is cok cok work to be done.
In the meantime enjoy two beautiful clips from episode 25.