I rarely shed a tear when I watch a drama show. I mean after all, what we see on the screen is someone's imagination. It's not real. But sometimes what you see on the screen strikes such a chord within you that you can't hold back. That's what happened to me in this episode of Hercai. I've been struggling to find the right word to describe it and the best I can come up with is "universal". It's not a very romantic term, but it captures the essence of the episode. You'll see what I mean.
But first the recap.
The episode picks up with our couple at Dilshah's house and Reyyan having just ripped up the forged divorce papers in front of Miran. The old lady throws a curve ball by telling Miran that she's his grandmother, Dilshah's mother. As expected Miran is having none of this. He calls her a liar and storms out with Reyyan in tow. The two spend an emotional few moments in the middle of road where we see Miran come completely apart. His whole world has shattered around him and he doesn't know who's life he's been living. Akin Akinozu's performance here was superb. You could see the panic slowly take over being as he realizes the potential implication of what he's just learned.
Reyyan calms him down and the two return to the Aslanbey mansion where Azize has just confirmed that she will be sending Gonul, Esma and Elif abroad to "keep them safe" from the wrath of the Shadoglus. Gonul refuses to go, and Firat refuses to let his mother leave, but Elif announces she's leaving to escape Azize and her oppressive house. When Reyyan goes to talk with Elif about her decision to leave she learns that Elif is in love with Azat and wants to leave because she can never have a life with him.
At the Shadoglu mansion Hazar learns two truths that send him deeper into guilt and despair: That it was Miran's blood that saved his life, and that Yaren knew about the Aslanbey revenge plan and did not tell anyone about it. His expressions of guilt and despair lead Zehra to make a visit to the Aslanbey mansion. Of course, it never occurs to Zehra that she should give Hazar Dilshah's letter, she just goes there to clear her own conscience.
Also at the Shadoglus, the mansion is bustling with preparations for Yaren's impending nuptials. A wealthy family from Urfa is coming to ask for Yaren's hand in marriage for their handsome young son. Yaren accepts the proposal thinking this was orchestrated by Azize. In order to get out of the marriage, she had made a deal with Azize to find a family who was willing to act out the part and then later break the engagement. However as fate would have it, Azize had not yet acted and the family is indeed seriously interested in the marriage. We'll see how Yaren is able to get out of this, or whether she even wants to get out of it.
Also at the Shadoglus Cihan once again tries to convince Azat to marry Elif. Cihan reminds Azat of Azize's threats and explains once again that if Elif is a Shadoglu and living at the mansion, Azize will never dare to harm Reyyan. If I'm not mistaken Cihan and Handan have either separately or together discussed this same issue with Azat several times. This repetition appears to serve as filler dialogue. In a later scene, Azat meets with Sultan who tells him that Azize plans to send Elif out of the country, and she tells him that after Elif leaves and is safe from harms way, she will aggressively carry out her plan to remove Reyyan. Azat is torn, as he loves Reyyan and wants to keep her safe but he does not want to use Elif in this way. Nevertheless this time the conversation seems to have an impact because Azat calls Elif presumably to discuss this issue with her.
Back at the Aslanbey mansion Zehra comes to visit Reyyan and Miran to tell them that it was she who forced Hazar to lie by threatening him. Her excuse: That she wanted to save Reyyan's life. She had seen Azize at Hazar's bedside in the hospital and heard her threats and she did not want Reyyan to go back to the mansion. Reyyan is furious and refuses to accept her apology but Miran tells her there is no need for her to apologize.
Gul Hanim had followed her mother to the Aslanbeys and stays for a while to visit her sister and Miran. While there she finds a picture of a young beautiful woman in Azize's armoire. The girl looks like "the black eyed woman" (Azize) that Gul is afraid of, but Gul discounts that because she doesn't looks scary. This detail is likely to come in handy at some point, either for the audience or for the characters. Clearly it is to show that at some point Azize was not the vengeful person that she is today.
Azize tells Reyyan and Miran that Yaren had forged the divorce papers and that the Shadoglus were gathering their forces and plotting against them. Hit with all these unfortunate realities on top of Reyyan's distrust, Miran tells Reyyan he needs time alone and walks away. Reyyan isn't ready to give up this easily and calls him to the hut for one last time.
There, she uses a creative method to walk him through their past. Through a voice recording and strategically placed memorabilia, she shows him her feelings during the course of their relationship. She tells him she will not ask him to stay, but she begs him to listen to the voice in his heart. She will live with whatever he decides. Miran does just that, and the voice in his heart tells him that he cannot be without Reyyan. At that hut, the very place everything started and ended, Miran apologizes to Reyyan and begs her forgiveness for what he'd done to her. Reyyan responds by putting on Dilshah's ring for the second and hopefully the final time. In a beautifully filmed scene the couple express their love for each other and vow never to part.
The next morning, confident in each other's love and with renewed trust, the couple head back to Dilshah's home where Miran finally accepts his grandmother. The scenes between Miran and his grandmother are some of the most heartwarming I have seen. Kudos to veteran actress Guven Hokna for her brilliant portrayal of Sukran. She and Akin play off each beautifully in these scenes. I defy anyone to watch it without tearing up. Miran who is starved for any trace of his mother is finally united with the next best thing: His mother's mother.
The couple then head back to the Aslanbey mansion with their very valuable guest where Azize and Sukran come face to face for the first time in decades.
Those were the events of the episode, and now here's my take.
In this episode the writers are trying to get beyond the act of betrayal that started the chain of events. Up until this point, our couple has been in limbo. We know they love each other but they can't live their love because the ugly spectre of Miran's betrayal is always present. It manifests in Reyyan through her distrust, and in Miran through his desparate and exaggerated attempts to atone for his sin. Overwhelmed and broken by the series of unfortunate events, Miran is on the verge of ending their relationship, not because he does not love Reyyan, but precisely because he does love her. He has been unsuccessful in removing the stain that he put on their relationship and he cannot put Reyyan through a life of mistrust and uncertainty. What they had experienced after Hazar's lie was for Miran a snapshot of what their lives would be like. He tells Reyyan "Do you know what scares me most? I know myself in your heart, but I don't know myself in your mind. I can't predict the metes and bounds of what you think of me." He doesn't blame her for feeling this way because their love began with a big lie, but he sees no way out of their situation.
This, in a nutshell, is the problem. While it was Miran who put that stain on their love, it is Reyyan who can remove it. This is a universal truth. Only the person who is wronged has the ability to come to terms the wrong doing in their mind. The ball is squarely in Reyyan's court. This in no way absolves Miran of the need to continue to make amends, but it is her reactions, it is her state of mind that will determine the course of their relationship. If her reaction to Hazar's fall is any indication, Miran sees no future. He finds himself in a hopeless situation. He cannot stay and it will be near impossible for him to leave, but in his mind he has no choice. To stay would be to condemn both of them to a life of bitterness and misery.
As for Reyyan, I suspect that she had forgiven Miran long ago. Reyyan is a generous soul incapable of sustaining hatred and anger, and Miran had shown her ample times that he was trying to atone for his sin. But even if one forgives the act, one does not forget and indeed, should not forget. But even more importantly, one cannot escape the repercussions of the act. Miran knows this well which is why his emphasis has always been to try and make her forget. In her mind, he will forever be a man capable of deception. But in her heart, he is the man who would walk through fire for her. She yielded to her mind when her father lied when she should have listened to her heart. But Hazar's accident served as a lesson to her. With that one event she came out from under her parent's control and is free to follow her heart. Miran made a collasal mistake with his betrayal for sure, but Reyyan made a mistake as well. Her cutting words to him were unwarranted and uncalled for and were what made him withdraw from her.
I think Reyyan realizes that with Miran, she need only to listen to her heart. Her heart will not mislead her where Miran is concerned. This too, is a universal truth. In all relationships there are moments of pain, anguish, uncertainty, and even deception. But it is the heart that has dominion over love and love can never truly flourish if the mind reigns. This does not mean that one should forget because this is wisdom and experience that can ultimately build a character, or enrich a relationship. Reyyan expresses this beautifully when she tells Miran the day after their reconciliation "Whatever it was, as bad as it was, it is the reason for our closeness now."
Once she realizes this Reyyan sets off to fix her relationship.
She realizes the reason why Miran is withdrawing from her and now she knows how to live with him. She tries to bring him to the same point she is by walking him through their past. She bares herself of her innermost feelings. She tells him she loves him still, but it is his choice to leave or to stay. This is a sign of trust. What she fears most is him leaving, but she trusts him not to leave. And he doesn't. Instead he apologizes for his mistake, not just once but for a lifetime. He tells her he wanted to beg for her forgiveness but he could not. "You apologize for something you did wrong, or something wrong that you said. But what I did..." he could not even finish his sentence, because the magnitude of his pernicious act was so calamitous that it could not be deemed a simple "wrong"... he saw it as a sin. Something he did not think he deserved forgiveness for. Nevertheless, he begged for her forgiveness. When he uttered the words, the anguish poured out of him and relief began to seep in. And for Reyyan the words had a similar affect. With each apology relief washed over her. With his apology Miran showed Reyyan that he had the intention to stay in the relationship. He cared enough to share his shame with her. And this is the final universal truth. An apology is not only the first step to repairing a shattered soul or to healing a broken heart, or to fixing a wrong, but it is the touching of two hearts.
Miran and Reyyan have climbed that treacherous mountain and now sit atop it hand in hand. Will their love never be tested again? Highly unlikely. But for now, that broken thread has been repaired and will hold them till the next shock.
Some questions of interest.
Miran's grandmother (Dilshah's mother) is as much of a mystery as Miran's past is. How much does she really know? Does she know that Hazar is Miran's father? Why didn't she tell Miran she was his grandmother when they first met? How much does she know about Azize's revenge? Is she the one responsible for the mysterious blue notes?
It is clear that Zehra has no plan to give Hazar Dilshah's note anytime soon. Will the note fall into the wrong hands? When will she tell Reyyan of her paternity? Or rather will she tell Reyyan or will someone else tell her?
What is Azize planning to do after she sends Elif and Gonul away? How will Miran's grandmother's presence affect her plans? And not to beat a dead horse, but why exactly is Azize doing all this? We know it's not to avenge her son, but 26 episodes into the series, we still know nothing more than that.
There are many outstanding questions and now many new ones to ponder. If the writers are pacing themselves, I'd venture to guess that at least one big secret has to be revealed in the coming episode.
I truly enjoyed this episode both in terms of acting, and in terms of dialogue. The writers have skillfully moved the lovers beyond the act of betrayal and towards renewed trust. They are stronger and more united which is a good thing because the truth about Miran's past, his paternity, Reyyan's paternity and Azize's never ending vengeance will come as one shocking blow after another. My only worry is that Miran's paternity will be revealed before Reyyan's is. Such a revelation, even if it is cleared up immediately, can have a devastating and irreparable affect. For either of them to think even for one moment that they are siblings would change forever the nature of their relationship. Other than this nagging concern, I continue to be captivated by the series and after each episode I wait eagerly for the next. I suspect I'm not alone in this.