“One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.” *
All right fandom, how are we? Recovered a bit from a wild ride of an episode?
Episode 14 is the beginning of the part of the rom-com playbook I’ve entitled ‘the separation’. We knew it was coming after last week when Serkan learned of the role his father played in the death of Eda’s parents. Even though Alptekin’s involvement was only peripheral and Serkan has no guilt in it, Serkan has taken the blame upon himself where Eda is concerned. Even though at the beginning of the episode, he stated that it has nothing to do with him or Eda, after conversations with Eda and his mother he believes that Eda will lump him into the people she blames for her parent's death and decides that it’s better for him to be the one to break things off.
Serkan is trying to do the best he can for her, he believes that a clean break between them where he is the bad guy is the kindest thing he can do for the woman that he loves. It means breaking his own heart and hurting her, but he has decided that is better for her than knowing the truth about her parents and his father. Whether this is true or not remains to be seen, but it is completely in character for Serkan to react this way. He really doesn’t believe in the depth of her love for him, his insecurities still have him thinking that she is going to get bored of him soon. So in his exhausted, devastated state, this is the best solution. It makes me want to both shake him and hug him.
Full confession, at first there wasn’t much I was positive about in the episode. I was disappointed in the cliched direction that the plot was taking and wondered why Ayse Üner Kutlu and her team of writers had fallen back on the overdone scenario of the man sacrificing himself for the love of a woman. Then I took a deep breathe and had a good night’s sleep and looked at it all with fresh eyes. These kinds of scenarios are done again and again because they work to move a love story into its next phase and as much as we may dislike them they are necessary for the full story to unfold. We must get through the pain of the heartache and the separation to enjoy the glorious reunion.
Love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation
What I loved
I have talked a bit in previous reviews about the different kinds of love present in Sen Çal Kapimi, and in this episode especially, love, in all its forms, was represented. Serkan and Eda are new, passionate, romantic love; the kizlar and Eda are love in friendship as are Serkan and Engin and Piril and Selin. There’s mature love in Alptekin and Aydan and mature love newly discovered in Piril and Engin. There’s unrequited love with Erdem’s love of Fifi. There are first flashes of possible love in the flirting of Ceren and Ferit. There’s romantic love destroyed by betrayal in Selin and Ferit. There’s familial love with Serkan and his parents and Eda and her family. I really do appreciate that the writers are attempting to showcase all these iterations of love, this is a story about love, and not just Serkan and Eda’s love.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires: To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To know the pain of too much tenderness. To be wounded by your own understanding of love; And to bleed willingly and joyfully. *
Eda's initial over-the-moon happiness is so wonderful to watch but it’s tempered by our knowledge that things are about to turn ugly sooner rather than later. She tells the girls about Serkan’s concrete plans to move to Italy with her and she is so happy she even put on red lipstick! She gets to spend the morning with Serkan shopping and buys him a toy robot, and she’s obviously delighted with life. She notices that something is up with him but he tells her that he will tell her later, he just wants to enjoy spending some time with her.
They also get to go on a proper date to the movies, but of course, Serkan being Serkan, he rents out the whole cinema for just the two of them. It’s very sweet, they have popcorn, she snuggles up next to him like she promised she would, and he ends up watching her watch the movie. Again, all the sweetness is shadowed by the looming conversation they need to have.
Serkan confides in Engin about what he has learned from his father and I am so glad, as he desperately needs someone to talk to and Engin is the voice of sanity and reason and tells Serkan that Eda has to know about her parents and Alptekin, and initially Serkan agrees. I wish he could have kept to this line of thinking. Engin is also so great to Eda after she and Serkan have a fight at brunch.
I loved all the little Eda and Serkan moments, the hand-holding, the face-touching, the hugs. Did you notice Eda feeding him a bite of pancake? He didn’t even object as he usually would. Instead, there was this look of fond resignation on his face as he accepted the bite. Her curled around his arm at the movies and him stroking her arm as she watched the movie. He did a magic trick with a flower to please her at brunch. She brought her mother’s seeds to plant at the office because it’s a place that she loves now. She replaced his scratched out picture with a new one and drew a heart in the corner of it. All these beautiful little moments of them being together and being in love.
Serkan telling Efe that he has three friends, Engin, Piril and Sirius was awesome. Notice that Selin was not mentioned.
What I liked
We got further movement with the Engin/Piril relationship. They had a proper date and went bowling, which was an interesting choice and maybe not Piril ideal date. It was cute how competitive she is and how she tried to teach him better bowling technique and his face basically was saying ‘please don’t embarrass me in front of my friends’. I still have a hard time with this pairing, I really like both of the actors and both of the characters, and they are appealing but together, they don’t have much of a spark. I’m not sure what the problem is there.
Ceren is tired of the men in her life using her to vent to about the problems in their lives and in turn, she took it out on Ferit. Justified somewhat, but she felt bad later and they have a conversation and a bit of a flirtmance and makeup. It will be interesting to see where this relationship might go.
It takes a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone… but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.*
Melo has declared her allegiance to Selin, friendship-wise, and they have a couple of nice interactions. Melo and Eda both ask Ceren to cool it a bit with the flirting with Ferit in front of Selin, a nice show of compassion towards a character they could understandably not care about. Eda also goes above and beyond and helps Selin therapeutically cut up her wedding dress and gives her a bit of advice on how to move forward and not take any crap from Ferit. I’m very happy the writers have chosen not to pit Eda and Selin against each other, at least for the moment. It’s nice to have a mature approach from them both about the situation that they are in. Eda is understandably not pleased to see pictures of Serkan and Selin back when they were together but hopefully, this isn’t foreshadowing the downfall in Eda and Selin tenuous friendship.
I have reluctantly come to really like the Ferit character, an unexpected surprise. He seems like a genuinely good person and he is in the right in all his interactions with Selin. They are both very angry at one another but he is correct when he says that she wouldn’t be angry or hurt if Serkan had chosen her and not Eda. He truly loved her and she was just using him. That’s not to say he was right to leave her at the wedding, that was really bad timing, but he was right in breaking up with her.
The conversation that Ayfer and Eda had about Serkan was refreshing in its focus on trust between them. Eda wants Ayfer to give Serkan a chance, even after finding out about the contract. Ayfer is understandably concerned and says that she doesn’t trust Serkan but Eda asks her to trust her then. How is Ayfer is going to react to the news of their break up, let alone how she will react when the Alptekin news eventually comes out? This could be very messy and Serkan might be finding out just how fierce curly-headed Mardin women can be.
What I disliked
Alright, I want to preface this section by saying that I am not disliking any characters or any of the writing here, my ‘dislike’ is for the situations that the characters find themselves in. The only exception to this is Aydan and Alptekin, so let’s start there.
Aydan for the moment is being completely self-absorbed and frankly a terrible mother. She seems unwilling or unable to see the amount of pain that her child is in. Serkan is dying inside and she’s telling him that she knows that he will do what is necessary for the good of the family and that these bad times will pass. I don’t know if it’s willful ignorance or that she really doesn’t have any idea the depth of feeling that her son has for Eda, but coupled with the fact that she and Alptekin shipped him off alone to boarding school during the worst period of his young life, she is being portrayed as a cold and unfeeling mother. The story she relayed to him of how her own first love didn’t serve her as well as she might have thought it would. Sending Sayfi over to Ayfer and Eda’s house to investigate Eda further was beyond the pale and I’m sorry that Sayfi went along with it. I am curious as to where this character will go. Will they redeem her and have her realize her errors when it comes to Eda and Serkan or will she continue as a superficial, calculating and unfeeling mother? Alptekin, at least, is feeling somewhat guilty for how his actions have hurt Serkan, but even so, he and Aydan had a lovely evening making manti while their son’s heart is breaking. Not happy with either of these two characters. Serkan deserves better.
Just when I think I’m at the end of my patience for Erdem, they manage to make him a little more sympathetic. He’s trying his best to be the person who Fifi could like but it isn’t working because it’s isn’t right to change yourself to suit someone else. She told him as much, she isn’t very patient with him and I don’t blame her, she doesn’t own him anything. I disagreed with the girls trying to tell Fifi to give him a chance because he loves her so much. That is terrible advice. All she owes him is any kindness she would show anyone else. I’m really hoping they don’t try and make this pairing a thing. It sets bad precedence as Erdem has been awfully close to a stalker at times.
Selin is being a little too sulky about a man she didn’t even love. I get that she was embarrassed and humiliated by him leaving her at the wedding, and she must be feeling foolish about having sold the majority of her shares in her family's company, but she is the architect of her own problems here. I run hot and cold with her, on one hand, she is sweet with Melo and tells her that Eda is lucky to have her as a friend, and then she is slouched down in her chair, pouting like a teenager the next minute.
On to Efe...
Efe is seeming more and more like a shady character. He comes off as affable and genuine but is a little too interested in Serkan and both the holding and Art/Life. I want there to be a twist with him but I think he is predictably going to be Eda’s grandmother’s agent and be out for the ruin of the Bolats. It’s too bad, because I like his interactions with Serkan and it seems like both men thrive on the competition so that could have been interesting to watch, but I think we are in for a traditional villain role here. I’m still wondering if he is actually a relative of Eda’s.
Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.*
Serkan and Eda’s fight at brunch was again understandable but what Serkan said was mean, to say that he’s sick of her goodness and he would rather be single is a crappy thing to say. He’s upset about her siding with Efe and has the lingering fact of Alptekin’s transgression hang over him. He’s taking his stress out on her and it isn’t fair.
Okay, deep breath, deep breath…..
The end of the episode was as heartbreaking as we thought it might be. My hope was that Serkan would tell her the truth about his dad’s role in the accidental death of her parents but he chose instead to tell her that it’s over between them because his work and career are more important to him than she is and he can’t have both. It’s so harsh and so hard to watch. Eda is shocked and devastated and doesn’t understand how he can tell her that he’s madly in love and ask her to postpone her trip to Italy and then a few days later tell her that it’s over. It makes sense now why the writers had Fifi walk us through the five stages of grief at the beginning of the episode. Here, we see Eda go through denial and into anger. We see the pain and despair on Serkan’s face, he is near tears but he goes through with the lie and convinces her that he has chosen his career over a relationship with her. It ends with her telling him again, very vehemently, that she hates him.
As stated at the beginning, this is an expected phase of story-telling in romantic comedies, for dramatic effect the lovers have to break-up and if they are truly in love it has to be something really terrible for that to occur. So, that’s where we are now, in the separation. I may rage against this, and hate the way this and almost every other love story I’ve ever watched has handled this part of the story, but that’s because I hate conflict and just want the characters that I love to be happy!!!
What needs to happen next
I am going to stop suggesting that we need to meet Eda’s grandmother, I’m beginning to think she is a red herring and is never going to show up.
I would rather Eda not turn into the ‘woman scorned’. I really dislike this trope and find it demeaning. Adding to this, I don’t want her to try and use Efe to make Serkan jealous, no thank you.
I think it’s entirely possible Aydan will try and team up with Selin to try and ‘comfort’ Serkan. I’m hoping that Selin will have more self-respect than that but if this does happen, I hope Serkan shuts it down fast.
I would like Engin to try very hard to talk Serkan out of this stupidity, I’m sure he won’t have any luck, however.
I want to see pining Serkan, you know he is going to be dying to be close to Eda.
Serkan has lied to Eda, which is true to his character as it is done from a place of love. He truly loves her and believes that this lie is better than the truth and she will get over him quickly. This is his insecurity talking and he will come to see that she loves him as much as he loves her. However, now that he has given this as the reason, she is inheriting this insecurity, she wasn’t enough to hold his interest. Also, when she learns the truth, she is going to feel betrayed and may feel like he only did it to protect his own family, not for her sake. She may also be resentful that he decided how she would react to the revelation of his father’s involvement in her parent’s demise. He has denied her autonomy and not respected her right to know. This is going to be very painful and messy.
However, this is a love story and what comes next will be however many episodes of mutual heartbreak but we will eventually come out the other side to our lovers being reunited. We have all that to look forward to and I have faith the Ayse and the writing team will be giving us many heart-wrenching scenes of Serkan and Eda in the separation phase, and then eventually, the beautiful reconciliation.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.” *
* All quotes are by Khalil Gibran