Episode 2 of Season 2 (Episode 14) of Hercai was another well thought out, well written episode. When we left Miran and Reyyan in the last episode, Reyyan had accepted Miran’s proposal of marriage. After exchanging rings (with poetic words from Miran) the two go to the Aslanbey mansion to tell the inhabitants the news, and also the with the surprise info that they will be living in their own house. Reyyan then goes to her home to silently say goodbye to her parents because she knows that they would never accept her decision to marry the enemy. She spends a beautiful, heartwarming day with her family (with a couple of minor annoyances orchestrated by Yarin and her father, Cihan) and then heads off to the Aslanbey mansion to marry Miran. Hazar finds out about the marriage and heads to the mansion to stop it. He arrives while Reyyan is in mid-signature. We hear from Reyyan her declaration of love for Miran after she signs the marriage papers in front of Hazar. But her words lack the strength of conviction. It's unclear whether this is from stage direction or a weakness in the actress' delivery. She speaks her words with sadness and defeat. Miran, as always, hears only what he wants. He is ecstatic and almost gloating. Hazar leaves the mansion feeling completely betrayed, and of course, back at the Sadoglu farm, all hell breaks loose when they realize what has happened. Azize and Gonul are shocked to learn that Miran intends to take his new wife to their own home, separate from the other Aslanbeys, and how they plot to keep them there is a sight to see! The episode ends with Miran and Reyyan coming back to the mansion after a terrifying attack on their lives in their new home.
This episode was the culmination of what Azize Aslanbey started in the final episode of the last season. Her silent words to Miran: “In that case, if you love her so much, then I will bring her in to my game too.” By the end of this episode we find out that the events we witnessed in the previous episode and the current one were masterfully orchestrated by Azize: Azat and Miran’s confrontation in the square, the shooting of Miran’s car and the attack on Miran and Reyyan’s new house. The goal was to get Reyyan to marry Miran and have them both back at the mansion, and she succeeded. But we can’t forget her ultimate goal which is to wipe out the Sadoglu lineage forever. In this regard, there are some critical bits of information, which if revealed will tear holes into the foundation she has built. Hazar’s paternity issues, the truth about Miran’s parent’s death, and the actual truth about what happened at the farm.
Now onto the character and plot development in the series thus far.
Even though Reyyan’s words to Hazar lacked conviction, it is clear that she loves Miran. But she marries him for two reasons. To protect Miran and her family, and to stop the bloodshed.
This episode is filled with a sense of sadness and acceptance of fate. Reyyan was the dominant force in this episode and her sadness and acceptance drove the tone for the episode. She made the decision to marry Miran with full commitment. She did so knowing that she would have to disconnect from her family, both because of Azize’s demand that she do so, and also because her own family would feel betrayed by her. Reyyan’s love for her family is admirable, and the sacrifice she makes, knowing that her life in the Aslanbey clan will be miserable, makes her sacrifice even more impressive. For someone coming from a western perspective, her decision seems almost idiotic. Who would willingly choose to commit themselves to a life of insult and harassment? We saw the first glimpses of this harassment during the wedding dinner when Sultan mercilessly attacks Reyyan for unknowingly wearing Gonul’s dress.
But looking at the situation through Reyyan’s eyes, it was an honorable and appropriate decision for a Sadoglu to make. In the eyes of Midyat she was already a fallen woman. And to cleanse her honor, she had to marry the man who had dishonored her. But even more, she had the power to stop bloodshed. Her cousin Azat’s life was in danger because of his defense of her, and more importantly the life of the man she loved, but who turned her into ice when he touched her, was in danger. Reyyan shows her character in the decision she makes. As much as Reyyan appears to be ready to take on her new role as the Aslanbey bride though, she is in for a very tough ride. Azize Aslanbey, Gonul and Sultan will make her life in the mansion a living hell. Azize explicitly promised that to her when she put the Aslanbey necklace around Reyyan’s neck. We will see whether she has true conviction and grit as she lives the horrors we anticipate she will live in the Aslanbey mansion.
Now onto Miran… The handsome (Miran gets a becoming hairstyle this episode) and hot tempered Miran has yet to wake up to the grave danger that surrounds him. Miran is the biggest victim in this story. In this episode, we see very clearly Azize’s true feelings for Miran. She abhors him and views him only as a pawn in her game. Any notion that she might have tender feelings for him was put to rest at the end of episode 14 when Azize tells her henchman Mahmut, that Reyyan and Miran are coming back to the mansion, “whether on foot or in a coffin.” Nevertheless, Miran, oblivious to this venom, is ecstatically happy that Reyyan is his wife. She has given him a glimpse at a new life, and he has woven for her, and for himself, a fairy tale. He’s convinced that Reyyan agreed to marry him for love (which is only partly true). Right now it appears that Miran’s transformation from a cold hearted vengeful man, to a man basking in the glow of love, has stripped him of his power and calculation. This is very disappointing. Miran tells Firat that he looks at Reyyan with his heart. He says that if he looks at the entirety of the situation with his mind, none of this would work. This is Miran’s mistake. And it is a mistake of understanding to view love that way. True love is not blind. True love shows the truth and gives one power. Miran must take the next step in the chronology of love to be able to protect himself and Reyyan. Right now, Miran is not only a danger to himself, but to Reyyan as well.
Azize Aslanbey has truly outdone herself. Her cold, calculated planning was instrumental in Reyyan’s decision to marry Miran, and keep them at the mansion. Everything is going according to plan. But there is a risk that Azize's character may become a caricature. Up to this point, Azize could have been viewed as a woman driven to revenge by a horrid act perpetrated on her family. Depending on the nature of the act, one could almost sympathize with her and one might feel that she might perhaps someday be redeemed. But after this episode, redemption is highly unlikely. It would be very disappointing if Azize’s character becomes like so many other Turkish drama villains. One dimensional and pure evil.
Extraneous plotlines which are delaying the revelation of the secrets, unfortunately, will weaken the strong story. Azat’s obsession with Reyyan which seems to be raising its head again in the previews for the next episode, and Yarin’s ridiculous plotting to get Miran are a drag on the story and add nothing. The story is rich enough, and full of possibilities without these distractions. It seems likely that the writers will carry this distraction along for the next couple of episodes, but one can only hope that the writers wrap these up neatly soon. And now Gonul knows that her brother is alive and she has established herself as a manipulator as well, separate from Azize. How will she achieve her goal of taking back Miran and her brother? How will all this fit into Azize’s plans, for as we know, Azize doesn’t leave much to chance.
And what about Hazar? He wants to find out who orchestrated the attack on Miran. He is likely to find that out soon. But what will that do for the plot? How will the writers deploy that? Hazar will likely make Reyyan believe that she was duped into marrying Miran. How will Reyyan react? Will she blame Miran? or will she see it as the danger that it is? Azize Aslanbey’s deep seeded hatred of the Sadoglu’s with complete disregard to Miran’s (her own “grandson”) life.
Nevertheless, the first two episodes of this season were designed to do two things: set the stage for the real revenge plan of which Miran is an integral part; and begin the unveiling of the secrets. It was surprising to hear Azize say she didn’t care if he was brought back in a coffin because according to her plan, Miran is supposed to destroy his own true family with his own hands. Let’s call this an inconsistency. Obviously, if he learns Hazar is his father and not Reyyan’s, this will unravel Azize's plans. The question is, who will actually bring this secret to light? Will Hanife or Esma spill the beans? Will Miran investigate further his suspicious from last season? Or will it come from some other quarter that we have not yet considered? In my opinion, the first secret to be revealed must be that Hazar is NOT Reyyan’s biological father. Let’s see if I’m right.