Updated: Dec 21, 2020
This episode broke all of my clichéd expectations of where the plot would go, and gave us two hours full of laughter, love and passion. The storytelling is sophisticated and shows both men and women with a kind of inner strength and a depth of emotional awareness that are refreshing and thought-provoking.
When Demir left home at the end of last episode, I was convinced it was because he had been broken by Selin in a way that would force him to confront his past. I was very sure that he would arrive at his father’s doorsteps, trying to mend his wounded past from the source of all the pain, thinking that by healing from within, he would be in a better place to build a relationship with Selin. However, the writers did it again and kept Demir consistent with the emotionally evolved character they have presented so far.
Demir’s departure was triggered by Selin’s outburst, coupled with the news that Demir’s professional reputation was in question thanks to Yildirim’s reaction to Eylul/ Burak’s blackmail fiasco. Contrary to the perception that Demir was broken by Selin, he actually took the time to step back and assess what needed to happen to help their relationship get back on track. He understands that Selin needs time to process Demir’s past, and be sure that he is fully hers. He knows that the sooner he can resolve the issues at work and Eylul returns to London, the better it will be. He realizes that no matter what he will say, Selin can continue endlessly in her world of imagination where she can question Demir’s intentions with regards to Eylul as long as Eylul remains within their immediate sphere. Even though it might have been easier for him to keep letting her give into these outbursts while he remained silent, it would have been counter-productive for Selin and for their relationship if, in her anger, her hurtful words will someday become a problematic pattern. Demir left, hoping to solve for many things in the process.
Watching Selin suffer needlessly is painful for Demir and he knows that staying away from her home, her roots, her children is disconcerting for her. Demir has lived such a vagabond life since he’s been in boarding school that for him to leave his house is only difficult because of Selin. Within the impasse they are in now, and with Selin away at Ayda’s, the house has lost its meaning for him. He wanted to take away physical traces of him from the home so that Selin could begin to feel his absence and come to appreciate that on the scale of being fully with Demir versus giving into her insecurities about Eylul and other issues, she will be far happier being with Demir.
If Selin didn’t face any consequence for her hurtful words, perhaps she would not easily realize that dealing with a life partner requires mutual respect and calmness, even when both have every right to be angry with the other. Once again Demir lives by example and calmly apologizes to her for his harsh reaction in the morning, and tells her that it wasn’t all about her. During the course of the evening, as she loses her temper again when he tries to transfer the house over to her, he remains calm and tells her that she is right in her assessment of Demir not being good for her at the moment. He might have been insinuating to her that if he’s the reason she keeps losing control of herself, then the distance is necessary for them to get a fresh start. He tries to get her to see that he hasn’t abandoned her and says they will be happy in this house again but that they have to travel on this refreshed path together for them to get there. He tells her that her pain hurts him but always the one with the famous last words, Selin spits out “I’m not as fragile as you think”. One would not have guessed from her prior conduct or from how she had been behaving since he left. Demir understands that molly coddling her fragility will be detrimental to their relationship, and he calmly walks out.
If Demir hadn’t pushed her out of her comfort zone of wallowing in her anger instead of confronting the situation, maybe she would not have the confidence and poise with which she came to work the next morning, forcing herself to be strong in his absence. This time she walks alone, without being flanked by Ayda and Merve at every turn. For as long as she uses others’ sympathetic ears as her crutch, she will not be able to find the truth in her relationship with Demir. It also helps that her true friends are beginning to tell her that her stubbornness might be misplaced. In addition, Selin will have to outgrow her need to protect herself from his departure. He has reassured her that he has not left their relationship; only the house so that she has the space to unclutter her mind about their relationship. Being co-dependent on each other so that they can each feed the other’s insecurities is a recipe for a disastrous relationship. The fact that they are both arriving at that conclusion around the same time can only be a good thing for a sustainable, loving relationship.
During their second day of separation, Selin’s old friend Arda shows up from Sinop, and she is happy to be connecting with her past, spending a long time chatting with him. This gives Demir an opportunity to illustrate to Selin that while he may have stepped away from home to force a distance, he didn’t love her any less nor feel any less possessive. During the evening while he forces Selin to work alone with him, their yearning for each other is obvious and she relents a little by resting her head on his shoulder for a short while. They share an amiable evening and he takes her home, for the first time leaving her at the door as a new boyfriend would. By reversing the order of events in their relationship, where a shared home ceases to be the reason why they need to be together, Demir and Selin have begun the arduous task towards being a couple irrespective of what home they share. This will also help Selin to rid of her insecurity that Demir’s love for her was one of convenience because she was there when Eylul wasn’t.
As Demir fights battles on multiple fronts, he comes over to the house the next evening to tell Selin that his uptight persona at work is necessary to navigate the particular situation they are facing but that is not how he wants to be with her. Ayda and Merve have also been telling Selin that she is creating a situation between Demir and Eylul where there may be none, and by doing so Selin is inadvertently pushing Demir and Eylul towards each other. With her guard already crumbling as she misses him deeply, while discussing Leyla and Muharram’s pre-marital troubles with Demir, Selin verbalizes that if two people are in love, they shouldn’t let small things get in the way of that love. She doesn’t want for Demir to leave, but does not have the words yet to tell him to stay. They both give into a moment of beautiful passion, but Demir forces himself to leave, knowing that she will regret everything the day after. He is happy about how deeply he can affect her, but wants to wait for the time when Selin ceases to have any doubts about Demir and his intentions.
The episode ends with the result of Burak’s machinations, that bring Selin to Eylul’s door where Demir had also been summoned to deal with a drunk and unpredictable Burak. An insipid man who struts around like an entitled cock on the strength of his father’s name and wealth, Burak hides his insecurities and inadequacies by being on a path to destroy Demir’s world. His underhanded ideas provided the perfect folly to showcase Eylul as a woman of strength and grace. She is focused on finding a solution, while Burak becomes the poster child for “small mind with small ideas”. I hope we get to witness Burak’s downfall due to his vindictive personality; trying to cleanse his sins through a haphazard love story with Eylul would be dearly inappropriate. Apart from making the wrong decision to walk out on her fiancé, Eylul has been shown to be an intelligent and kind person, who certainly deserves far better than a snake like Burak.
I end this week's post without further speculation around what is to come. This was a tough week for the fandom as we come to terms with rumors that the show only has two more episodes remaining. Even though the ratings are climbing slightly, it may not be enough to save the series. Without a final confirmation from the channel or the producers, the fandom is rife with conjectures about the actual truth and holding hope that the narrative will continue longer or get a worthy conclusion. The fantastically enacted characters have brought a layered story to life, showcasing healthy relationship goals for a young couple. A relationship that is based upon good communication, a growing mutual respect for each other but one that also has the underlying foundation of a passionate desire for each other. These are all important pillars in a thriving relationship.
Nothing about the physical intimacy between Demir and Selin have seemed inappropriate in the context of the relatively conservative but modern culture of Turkey. Istanbul is a cosmopolitan, progressive city with a blend of the East and the West, and within that we are shown Selin being respectful of her small-town roots. We are shown Demir being understanding of her needs and boundaries, even though his upbringing at a boarding school afforded him many opportunities to explore his sexuality. Most importantly, we are shown a love that tests their reason and emotions, but still holds true in the face of obstacles. While Demir and Selin are shown to grow together through very relatable life experiences, their love remains a little magical, peppered with fairy dust, which is what appeals to its fan base. We await the magic to continue for another couple of weeks, giving us a story that will be one for the times.
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