The Twisted Truth
Wow! What an episode! It was simple yet elegant. A very fitting departing episode for director Cem Karci, co-director Benal Tahiri and their crew. After one year of sitting in the director's seat, Karci and Tahiri said their goodbyes to the cast and crew of Hercai. They left behind them a beautiful story of love and mystery. This episode set the foundation for a new beginning for incoming director Baris Yos. All that's needed is some vision and focus on the key elements. Let's start with the recap.
The episode begins with both Hazar and Miran learning painful truths that will change the course of their destinies. Hazar learns about his father's callousness towards his beloved Dilshah from her old friend Ayla and Miran learns of his grandmother's insidious lie from the crime scene detective. Miran not only learns that his mother was never raped, but also that she had marks on her body from previous beatings. The detective tells Miran about the sudden fire that destroyed all the evidence and Azize's tormenting which made him leave his profession. He also mentions a witness, a shepherd, who might be able to give him more information about what he saw that night.
The information Miran receives from the detective is devastating to him because the sole reason for his willingness to target Reyyan in the manner he did was to pay Hazar back for the "rape" and murder of his mother. In a flashback we see Azize's order to Miran: "You will meet the Shadoglus, win their trust, marry their daughter, use her and throw her at their front door."
Miran resists at first but Azize reminds him what Hazar did to his mother and convinces him that this is justice. Guilt ridden and devastated about what he did to Reyyan based on that lie, he asks her to leave. Don't worry, this is short lived because Reyyan has no intention of leaving and tells him so. She does however remind him that regardless of whether his mother was raped or not his actions were wrong. This is something Miran knows only too well. His guilt and remorse follow him this entire episode. (I'm hoping this is the last episode where we witness Miran's remorse and regret. I think this has been portrayed fully over the past several episodes. It really is time for him to move on before it becomes overly repetitive.)
Hazar is now guilt ridden with the knowledge that he could have prevented Dilshah's torment. Had he known that Dilshah was in a difficult situation, he would have come to her and married her. He feels he's been betrayed and no longer has a father. Needless to say there was brilliant acting by Serhat Tutumuler and Serdar Ozer (Cihan) in these scenes where Hazar finally digests the magnitude of his father's action.
Burdened by the weight of what they just learned, Miran and Reyyan spend a troubled night on a bench along the Bosphorus and return to Mardin the next day. (It seems we are regressing in the sleep department.)
The next day after an explosive confrontation with Nasuh, Hazar heads to the cemetary to visit Dilshah's grave. Coincidentally, Miran and Reyyan come to the cemetary too. There, the two men, both in possession of at least a portion of the truth, go solemnly to the gravesite. Each talking to Dilshah indirectly tell the other of their regret and agree to continue their partnership in search of the full truth. Reyyan couldn't be happier to see the two men she loves together side by side.
Miran tells Hazar that they have to find the shepherd and Hazar tells of his meeting with Ayla. He also tells Miran that his Anneanne is at the Shadoglu mansion after a quarrel with Azize. The two go back to their respective mansions.
At the Aslanbey mansion Miran tells Azize that he saw the detective in Istanbul and the detective corroborated what she had told him about his mother's death. He reaffirms his vow of vengeance against Hazar, but also says he must find the shepherd. He tells Azize he will bring the shepherd to Reyyan and show her Hazar's true face. This is all an act of course, but Azize is surprised nevertheless. When Miran learns from Reyyan that Shukran is at the Shadoglu mansion, he runs off to get her and creates a scene to convince the inhabitants that his enmity is still full force. He puts on a similar act at the Aslanbey mansion reproaching Shukran for going with the enemy. All of this screaming and yelling, especially at Shukran and Reyyan, makes Azize suspicious. She decides to find the shepherd and remind him to remain silent.
Meanwhile, Harun, talking on the phone to the third party, learns that the Shadoglus are bound by contract to provide 20 million dollars of cash to the company funds or lose the chairmanship. His plan to end his engagement with Yaren is put on the back burner as the opportunity arises for him to buy shares in the company. Later in the episode he tells the Shadoglus he does not intend to break his engagement and in addition, he will buy shares in the company to provide the funds needed to keep the chairmanship. The latter offer doesn't go over well with the Shadoglus, and the offer is rejected. Harun isn't discouraged because he knows that the Shadoglus don't have 20 million to bring to the table, and believes they will eventually come around.
After Miran's tirade at the Shadoglu mansion, Hazar and Cihan head off to find the shepherd but not before Azize gets there. As Azize is intimidating the poor shepherd, she learns that Miran has come. Knowing that Miran is listening to their every word she tells the shepherd that he must never tell anyone that Hazar and Dilshah were sleeping with each other. She emphasizes that Miran must believe that his mother was raped because it would tarnish the memory of his mother if he knew that she was an adultress. Miran hears every word of this just as Azize had planned and heads off to the hut to digest everything he has heard.
Shortly after Azize leaves the shepherd, Cihan and Hazar arrive (this is probably the most visits the poor man has had in his life). They learn from the clearly flustered shepherd that the night of the murder a green car with a dented fender and a broken headlight was at the scene. Cihan appears to recognize the car from the description but doesn't let on. The two frustrated by having learned nothing, leave the shepherd to go back to his quiet life before all the excitement. After they leave however, the shepherd calls Azize's henchman and tells him to inform Azize that the two brothers paid him a visit and that he told them exactly what he had told the police years before.
At the hut Miran remembers his grandmother's words about Hazar and Dilshah over and over again in his head. While he's stewing in his self pity and guilt, Reyyan joins him. He has another meltdown about having sinned against her and once again he is reassured by his loving wife that she will always be with him... that she is happy with him... and that she loves him very much. It seems that Reyyan has long forgiven him even though he can't bring himself to forgive himself. Reyyan is distressed to learn that he overheard his grandmother talking to the shepherd, but much to her surprise and the surprise of the audience, Miran directs his anger toward Azize. He tells Reyyan that in order to continue her lie, and to keep him in her revenge plan, Azize had dishonored her mother. It appears that Miran does not believe Azize's accounting of Dilshah and Hazar's relationship and he is infuriated that she would lie about his dead mother.
We find out later that the shepherd having heard that Azize was looking for him, had called Miran and told him to come listen to what his grandmother was making up about his mother. So it appears that Miran was already forewarned when he was eavesdropping on Azize's conversation with the shepherd.
A determined Miran tells Reyyan he will bring an end to all this and makes a call to Firat.
Back at the Shadoglus Nasuh tells Hazar the reason he turned Dilshah away all those years. Apparently a week before Dilshah asked for his help, Nasuh was confronted by Mehmet Aslanbey. Mehmet told him that he and Dilshah were engaged to be married and not only that, he and Dilshah had been intimate. He told Nasuh that if Hazar came around Dilshah or continued writing to her, that he would kill Hazar. Hazar doesn't believe any of this, but Nasuh insists this is the truth. He tells Hazar that he wanted Dilshah for Hazar and would have given them a beautiful wedding when he returned from the army, but when he heard about Mehmet and Dilshah's intimacy he had to reconsider.
(I have to say that Mehmet Aslanbey was quite a handsome devil. In my opinion he has a strong resemblance to Miran and if we didn't have Dilshah's own words in the letter tucked away in Gul's doll, I would think he was Miran's real father).
After this interaction between Hazar and Nasuh, Cihan tells Nasuh he knows that the green car at the scene of the crime that night was Nasuh's car. Apparently the day before the incident, Cihan had secretly taken his father's brand new green car for a joyride and had dented its fender and broken its headlight. The description of the car given by the shepherd had jogged his memory and now he demanded to know what happened that night. He tells Nasuh that he knows that he was there at the scene that night and that it was either Nasuh that killed Mehmet Aslanbey or it was his brother. At that moment, Nasuh confesses, "I killed Mehmet Aslanbey!"
At the same time, the residents of the Aslanbey mansion are woken from their slumber by a thundering Miran. He is there with Reyyan and with Hazar! He summons Azize before him and tells her he knows the truth. And as evidence he has with him the shepherd courtesy of Firat. Everyone at the Aslanbey mansion stands dumbfounded in their pijamas as Miran tells Azize to pack her stuff because he has a car ready for her. And the episode ends.
A few other notes of interest:
It seems that the Aslanbey hotel has a new public relations director; Gonul. She managed to get Azat to hire her much to Azize's surprise.
Elif and Azat's relationship continues to blossom as Azat gives Elif her favorite perfume as a gift. This backfires a bit because apparently he is severely allergic to the perfume and has to sleep in another room (much to Elif's dismay).
Firat who Miran has put in charge of finding out about Harun learns that there was no information at all about where Harun's family lived when they had disappeared a while back. He also learns that Harun has met a friend. The identity of this friend is not known but Firat tasks his man to find out who this person is. I am going to take a guess that perhaps this "friend" is Denise... though it is not clear at this time.
Now on to the review.
The transposition of Hazar's realization and Miran's realization was beautifully done. It was set against the rich voice of Ahmet Kaya with the song Nerden Bileceksiniz (scroll down below to listen to the music). The first 12 minutes of the episode showed the two men absorbing the facts they were given. Hazar wandering aimlessly in a muddy field with his brother Cihan behind him, ready to catch him if he fell.
How would life have been if Nasuh had told Hazar about Dilshah's request? With 20-20 hindsight Hazar believed he would return, he would marry Dilshah and none of this would have happened. And perhaps he would have. But would that have stopped the vengeance? Since the root of all this hatred goes far beyond even Hazar's birth to Nasuh himself, it is unlikely that Hazar or Dilshah would have been safe from Azize's wrath. The vengeance would have a different course, but there would be vengeance nonetheless.
And Miran... what about Miran. He has never known the truth. As he said to Reyyan at the height of his anguish even his "hatred was made up." Azize had fueled his rage by describing a fictional unspeakable assault that had been made against his mother. Miran believed his mother was raped savagely by Hazar and then killed. One's imagination is often more vivid than what real life shows us, and Azize had done a stellar job of penetrating Miran's soul with this lie. Would Miran have used Reyyan in his revenge if he had known that his mother was not raped? We get a hint in this episode that he would not have. In fact, he was reluctant to carry out the version of revenge put forward by his grandmother. But Reyyan is right, regardless of his mother's experience, Miran's quest for vengeance is what plagues him. His idea of revenge was different, but it would have been revenge nonetheless.
As Miran is digesting all this, with thoughts whirling around in his head, Reyyan walks behind him, stalwart and patient, ready to hold him if he falls.
These beautifully transposed scenes show the deep compassion Cihan has for Hazar and Reyyan has for Miran. They walk behind their loved ones, aching for them, feeling their pain, yet giving them the space to go through it... to feel. Just these 12 minutes are worth the entire episode.
Now onto Azize. As powerful as the final scene of the episode was, I don't think Azize is going anywhere. I mean we're talking about Azize after all. She probably has plan B, C and D tucked safely in her thigh high boots. In fact, she probably has as many plans as she has blue notes. Miran may not be an Aslanbey by blood, but he is an Aslanbey by name and title. As far as anyone knows, he is the heir to the Aslanbey fortune. The fortune which is currently under Firat's control. Unless Miran convinced Firat to contrive some sort of transfer, Azize isn't going anywhere.
Furthermore, Azize didn't believe Miran's act. If she had she wouldn't have staged it so Miran heard about his mother's "adultery". She knows Miran is suspicious, and he is looking for the truth, but he's been looking for the truth for some time now. She believes that Miran can still be manipulated. She need only to have him believe that she was protecting his mother's honor by making up the rape. After all being raped is not one's own decision, but adultery is.. And if Miran believes that Azize made up the lie to protect him, he would overlook it, as he had before. She is so sure of Miran's love for her, or rather his need of her love, that she believes she can smooth this lie over as well. And frankly, as obstinate as Miran has been, she may have been successful.
But Miran heard the truth from the shepherd. The shepherd kept quiet about what he saw, but apparently defaming a dead woman was too much for him. We don't know what the shepherd saw from this episode, but perhaps the next episode will elaborate more. He was sitting a very long time near the scene of the incident. Perhaps he heard Hazar and Dilshah.. maybe he saw Mehmet coming.. maybe he saw the whole thing.
The only gnawing doubt in my mind has to do with the phone call the shepherd made to Azize's henchman. Why did he do that? Did Azize know that Hazar and Cihan were going to see the shepherd too?? Why the big deal about Nasuh being at the scene? We already knew that from previous episodes. Afterall it was Nasuh who had taken Hazar to the hospital. I thought everyone knew that! Perhaps this is a plothole, or maybe the significance will be made clear. We'll have to wait and see. The one thing I'm sure of is that now Miran is disgusted that his grandmother defamed his mother. And Azize attempt to cover things up have now confirmed for him that his mother wasn't raped. His anger towards Hazar has diminished dramatically and he is completely regretful of what he did to Reyyan. The only outstanding question for him is who killed his parents. Knowing Azize, she probably anticipated such a setback. Perhaps plan B will have a solution to this.
I'm also not convinced that Nasuh killed Mehmet Aslanbey. I think he's covering up for someone, most likely Hazar. He may have seen, or he may believe that Hazar actually killed Mehmet. It's clear that there is more to the story about that night from Nasuh's perspective that we don't know yet. For example, why did he take so long to make this confession anyway? Why didn't he tell Azize this when he first found out about her revenge? And while we're at it, why did Mehmet Aslanbey say what he did? Was he Azize's first victim in her revenge plan? Did she groom her son (if he is indeed her true son) to help her put in motion her revenge plan? And if so, is it possible that Azize killed Mehmet? She may have needed him dead so that she could groom Miran for the ultimate revenge. The revenge of watching Miran kill his own father. It sounds crazy but we're talking Turkish dizis after all. I wish Hazar would remember what happened that night!
This all leads me to the big question of the night; does the Turkish justice system have provisions for cold cases? Since new evidence is popping up all over the place, why doesn't the police reopen the case? Did they just quit investigating a double homicide just because of a fire? So many questions and so few answers.
And finally, how did the third party know about the 20 million dollar requirement? Azat had just learned about it the day before. Azize hasn't talked to anyone but Firat about it and Harun found out from the third party. Who is this omniscient third party that sees everything and knows everything?? And for that matter, who is Harun? Is he Ahmet Aslanbey's son and if he is, why doesn't Azize know anything about him?? What's the significance of Harun's family's disappearance? With every episode we are left with more questions than we have answers.
Having said that, there was movement in this episode. Miran is free of Azize's power (at least I hope) and he seems to have moved closer to Hazar. Whether Miran fully trusts Hazar is a big question mark. In fact, I doubt Miran will be able to fully believe or trust anyone, least of all Azize. I hope he sticks to this and continues to use his head. He was taught by the best of the best. It's time to use his carefully honed skills. Afterall, a civil war is about to break out in the Aslanbey family. I wonder who's side Sultan goes on.