Updated: Dec 21, 2020
I felt Episode 17 is an underrated hit in illustrating the realities of a budding relationship caught in the storm of unexpected circumstances. On the surface, it may seem like not a lot happened in this episode but, in reality, the writers have done a good job of building the foundations for what is likely to come.
Part of the appeal of the show is taking various aspects of a relationship and creating realistic scenarios that exemplify the beauty of good communication skills between a couple. The series has focused on the major elements of a healthy relationship, such as building a friendship before giving into passion, learning to co-exist while accommodating each other’s needs and habits, learning to embrace each other’s extended families and, most of all, being mindful of the other’s needs as they go through the stages of their relationship.
In 17, I felt that the broader theme also showcased the difference between how men and women approach relationships, with the underlying theme illustrating the effects too much honesty, or lack thereof, can have on the early stages of a relationship.
After Ibo’s faux pas of introducing Ayda to his ex-girlfriend who is now one of his closest friends, we see how differently the boys reacted to the situation than the girls. The boys took a self-deprecating approach and was able to laugh at their own lack of finesse. With Vedat the Sage sharing his usual wisdom about how one must be careful about how to pace out the truth and easing the hurt in the partner, we see both Ibo and Demir understanding better that sometimes unfiltered honesty can hurt the relationship more than help it. We don’t see the men needing to feel like they are in this together; they walk away from their meeting on their independent paths, each comfortable in taking the consequences of their actions. On the other hand, we see the girls banding together in their self-righteousness against all men, and even though Selin has no apparent reason to want a distance with Demir, she feels the need to join in with the girls and accept that they must maintain a distance with the boys. She reneges on her promise later in the night, but I found it interesting that writers chose to show how differently men and women deal with similar scenarios.
Another poignant moment was when Demir steps into take charge of Merve after her breakdown in the office. It was a powerful scene where Eylul hangs her head in shame as she silently acknowledges the pain she inflicted on Demir while Demir empathizes with Merve’s pain, the tears in his eyes a reminder of what he has survived to be where he is today. His strength of character comes through while he sits on the bench with Merve, letting her vent without defending himself. He tries to reach out to her but realizes that he is not yet prepared to cross the professional borders and be at par with his employees, extending a tissue to her instead. He is a man who solves problems and in addition to his compassion, he seeks ways to help Merve move past her moment by taking her to Vedat. From his own coping mechanisms, he knows that the only way out of such blinding pain is to focus on how to take the next step in life.
Amidst all the drama that plagues the people around them, Demir is trying to make sure that he and Selin can remain mindful about their own relationship. Even though Selin understands that they are getting close to moving to the next stage of their relationship, she is nervous about taking that step. She is so in love with Demir that she may be scared about adding in the physical intimacy which may take away from the purity of their love as they have it. For Demir, there is no doubt that Selin is the one that he loves and wants to grow with, but he feels the burden of Selin’s unawareness about the truth regarding his broken engagement with Eylul. This makes him want to extend Selin’s happiness as long as he can, and we see several instances of his restraint with her as he indulges her childlike requests and reactions. I think he wants her to feel loved no matter what, especially for when the truth comes out. He knows she is not likely to react well when she learns about Eylul, and this is further confirmed when she explains Ayda’s annoyance at Ibo for introducing her to his ex-girlfriend. Her vivid explanation about how a girl will wonder about her man being with another woman, how he would have caressed her and loved her, and how it would be difficult to be a part of the same environment as the ex-lover, made it even more real for Demir that even though his past with Eylul does not affect his love for Selin, it will have an irreversible effect on Selin and, ergo, on their relationship.
In parallel to ways Selin and Demir are growing together, we are also shown how Demir is making peace with his past with Eylul. His blinding rage against her is being replaced by an apathy. His interactions with her are professional and focused on keeping her at a distance from Selin to the extent possible. As he tries to walk this fine line of keeping his real love story thriving while slowly integrating the past into their fabric, the episode ends on Selin and Eylul getting stuck on the Princes’ Islands due to inclement weather. In spite of his many unsuccessful efforts to come clean with Selin, Demir is now left wondering if she will learn the truth from Eylul herself and will that lead to his worst fear of losing Selin?
I continue to love the script writing for Her Yerde Sen. All the characters are a mixture of real life forces that drive us – love, envy, pride, compassion, desire, ambition. Even Burak and Eylul, both of whom could easily have been painted as evil caricatures, have very human qualities. They are all working through the wounds life has inflicted on them, and each one is trying to find a path towards the light in their own ways. Some do it with more wisdom than others, but they all have the overarching desire to have a better life than what they have had. They all acknowledge that change is inevitable, and that they will have to find ways as the paths unfold. As they navigate their life experiences, we experience the changes in their characters. Demir has gone from a rigid man to one who now dares to hope of a happy ever after; Selin is slowly transitioning from being the one who always puts the needs of the others first to one who is focusing on her need to build her own life with Demir. As they continue to grow, will they be strong enough together to weather the storms coming their way as the truth about Demir’s past emerges? Will they be able rise above it? How will they do so? Interesting developments await us next week, and beyond.
Her Yerde Sen airs on Fridays at 8 pm Turkish time, and can be watched live on the FoxTurkiye channel online.
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