The Anatomy of Love
One of the reasons I enjoy watching Turkish dramas is because it transports me not just to another world, but to a whole other culture. Having grown up in the United States I'm used to the Hollywood depiction of romance. Boy meets girl; boy and girl like each other; they flirt over a drink or two; girl takes boy to her apartment; they fumble with their clothes and spend a passionate night making love; boy leaves girl in the morning and maybe they have a second date. Sometimes it can take two dates before the love making but that's a rare occassion. So when I see a romance the likes of that which is depicted in Hercai, I have to take some time to think about it.
We are 27 episodes into the series... 27 two and a half hour episodes... And we have witnessed 3 kisses between the lead couple.. The first didn't really count as a kiss because it was more a collision of the lips, albeit a very romantic collision. Here we have a couple who love each other and are desparate for each other, yet they barely touch! Why is that? And why is it that I get butterflies in my stomach when I see Miran kiss Reyyan's forhead, or hold her hand? I decided to dissect their love.
We know that their love began with a lie and a betrayal, and we know that it took time to rebuild trust. Over the past two dozen episodes we have seen Miran's relentless quest for atonement and Reyyan's generosity in her forgiveness. Last episode, apologies were extended and forgiveness was bestowed. The two overcame a huge hurdle in the last several episodes to arrive at of a point of mutual understanding. And in this episode the two shared a bed. They slept in the same bed but they did not make love. In fact, they didn't even kiss. Why?? Hollywood would have had a field day with this...
Let's walk through their journey in this episode to find out.
Reyyan and Miran returned to the Aslanbey mansion with Miran's grandmother (Dilshah's mother). Azize was not in the least bit happy about this development but she didn't miss a beat. She told Miran she kept his grandmother's existence a secret because she didn't want to hurt him. According to Azize, his grandmother is a fortune hunter who was only after money from her daughter. Dilshah's mother, Shukran, vehemently denies this, but Miran who for some reason still believes Azize, is confused about what he hears. He takes refuge in Reyyan's arms and she is there for him, holding him and comforting him.
Feeling strong with her nearby Miran tells Reyyan that they have to find who is sending the blue notes that not only frighten Azize but also are leading them step by step to the truth. Then the two go in their room to rest. For 15 episodes in this season, the husband and wife slept separately, Miran on the floor and Reyyan in an armchair. The big beautiful bed was left unused. Now, even after the two had reconciled and given each other their vows of love, Miran sat down on the floor to take some rest. Let's ponder this for a moment. Early in their marriage Miran told Reyyan that he would not sleep in that bed without her. He also told her that in their room, nothing would happen that Reyyan did not want. Miran, a hot blooded young man, quieted his urges purely out of affection and compassion for his wife. He would make no move without her consent, and would break no promise he made. He honors his word, and he honors her.
But it seems that on this day Reyyan is ready to sleep on the bed and while the two lie together she asks him a question: "Why is it that with all that we've been through, and everything we've experienced you only just told me you love me the day before?" He replies, "Reyyan, my feelings for you, my love for you can't be described with just those three words. I love every part of you separately." And he goes on to explains his love to her in beautiful words. "Reyyan, do you know what it is to miss someone? When other people say I miss you, they mean you're not by my side. But when we say those words, it means you are my essence. You are what makes me, me. If you're there, I'm me. If you're not, I'm not me. That's how I love you. If there is no Reyyan, there is no Miran." Nevertheless Miran does say the words "I love you" to Reyyan and she tells him she misses him.
Miran doesn't want to miss a single minute of living with her and takes her for a walk in the city where they eat oranges, watch the sunset together and share words of love.
After a beautiful day together the two sleep peacefully in the same bed. The next morning Miran senses Reyyan's discomfort at being touched and tells her that his touches and his gazes are all expressions of his love for her. What Miran is trying to say is that every move he makes, everything he does in relation to Reyyan is an expression of his love. He makes love to Reyyan with his actions. The physical act itself is just one piece of the broader picture. It's just one way to show his love. It is not the only way.
Reyyan tells him she wants to live like a normal couple but she's not ready.
Why is Reyyan not ready if she clearly loves this man? In a sense, she too is making love to Miran with her actions. Her loyalty, her forgiveness, her compassion, and her support are all expressions of her love. Why does she not take the final step? And the answer is likely that she doesn't yet fully trust him. She trusted him once completely and was burned. She will not make that mistake again with anyone. However, now Reyyan has made the commitment to try to trust him. She is testing the waters slowly, first by walking him through their story and trusting him to stay with her, and next by laying with him and trusting him to keep his word. With every small step her trust in him will strengthen and when she trusts him fully she will take the final step. And Miran will wait for her patiently, all his life if he has to.
What the writers are brilliantly portraying is the chronology of love through romance: the glances between the two lovers, the soft touches, the innocent kisses, the loving embraces, the words of love, the show of respect and support and more important than all, trust. These are all expressions of love. The act of making love is a culmination of all these expressions. What I have realized is that Hollywood has turned love on its head, or perhaps it has confused passion with love. When a boy and girl meet they might have uncontrollable urges, but love is more than an urge. Love can only be fully realized through romance. And not romance in the way we think, with flowers and wine and quiet dinners alone... but romance every day, through every look, through every word and through every action. For some, love manifests in days or weeks, and for others in months or years, but the ingredients are universal.
While Miran and Reyyan are living their love, Yaren who has been trapped into marrying someone she doesn't know, is trying to get out of her predicament. She goes to meet her future fiance to get him to change his mind and discovers that the young man, Harun, is not what he seems. He refuses to break off the engagement and is aggressive with her. Firat sees the exchange between the two and discovers that the two are to be engaged. Yaren appears to show remorse for her actions with respect to Reyyan and tells Firat she wishes that he could have been the one to help her find her way. Whether Yaren's remorse is real or an act is unclear at this point, suffice it to say that Firat is convinced. It's too late however, because later that evening Yaren and Harun become engaged.
At the Aslanbey mansion Azize decides that she will transfer all the Aslanbey assets back into her name but is met with resistance from Firat in whose name everything is written. Firat tells her that such a thing would be unwise in her current state of mind and is backed by the other Aslanbey heirs. This rebellion shocks Azize and emboldens Esma to also rebel. Esma confronts Azize in her room only learn that it was Azize who ordered the shelling of Miran's house. Azize tells Esma that she will stop at nothing to get her revenge, even it means eliminating Firat and Esma. Later in the day, Azize who is trying to regain control over events, pays Shukran a visit in her room to convince her to leave. Shukran seems nonplussed by Azize's threats and gives her a blue note that she was asked to deliver. Needless to say the note throws Azize completely off balance. It's unclear how Shukran got the note in the first place though I suspect either she, or someone she is close to, is responsible for the notes.
Also at the Aslanbey mansion, Elif who has agreed to go abroad, says her goodbyes and heads off presumably to the airport. Later in the evening, Azize discovers Elif did not go abroad and that she has disappeared. The Aslanbeys storm the Shadoglu mansion believing that the Shadoglus have kidnapped Elif only to find out that Azat and Elif have gotten married. The episode ends with Azat announcing "Elif is now a Shadoglu!"
The shock of this revelation aside, the concept has been discussed ad nauseam by Cihan and Handan and even Nasuh. It was bound to happen. But the reverberations of this announcement will likely be enormous. Elif who is Azize's most precious grandchild and the only person she cannot sacrifice is now in the den of the Shadoglus. Physical harm to Reyyan is out of the question now for Azize, but was that ever her goal? I doubt it. As long as Reyyan exists in Miran's life her revenge plan cannot progress. Her attemps to remove Reyyan from his heart were fruitless, and presumably with Elif out of the way in London, she would have tried to physically removed Reyyan... but now that plan is also off the table. However, the only reason she wants Reyyan out of the way to carry out her revenge plan which consists of Miran killing his own father. This plan can still proceed. Miran is still burning with anger at his mother's supposed disgrace and brutal murder at the hands of Hazar and I am sure Azize will try to use Elif's marriage to add fuel to this fire. But now, with Shukran's presence at the Aslanbey mansion, Esma in full rebellion, and Reyyan safe to continue injecting her antidote to Azize's poison, Azize's task will not be as easy. And we can't forget the person or people who are sending Azize the blue notes. Nevertheless, our lovers will be in for a very tortuous ride in light of these events. It will be interesting to see how they weather this storm.
Another thought of interest.
Shukran was in possession of a blue note from Azize's mysterious enemy. Could she be that mysterious enemy? In season 1 episode 3, Reyyan was saved by an elderly gentleman after her disgrace in the town square. Hazar was seen talking with that same man in a later episode. What are the chances that this old man is Shukran's husband and Miran's grandfather? Is it possible that the old man and Shukran having discovered that the Aslanbeys had returned back to Midyat devised this plan to bring an end to Azize's evil?
We'll find out over the course of the next few months whether there is any plausibility to this theory. In the meantime, the series will be in hiatus for the next two weeks, returning again on January 17th. This will give Hercai fans ample opportunity to theorize.