Episode 6 hits it out the ballpark with the depth and breadth of plot elements, told at a clip but meaningful pace. We get more insight into Serkan, his past and his family dynamics. We see how Eda, with her genuine compassion and love, is naturally able to comprehend, touch and heal wounds. We see the meaning of loyalty as teams get divided and also see growth in the Serkan/ Eda communication. We see how Serkan's famous walls crumble with Eda, and how that begins to affect Selin. And we see Serkan and Eda begin to understand that they are no longer indifferent to each other and share their first mutual hug, which didn't look designed for anyone's benefit but their own. I am tempted to just re-post the full episode here for another viewing pleasure because the various threads in my head threatens to weave into a novel of its own!
I DID IT FOR YOU
When Eda thanks Serkan for saving her from the paparazzi, once again feeling at fault for what transpires, Serkan makes it clear that he didn't do it because of her, but for her. Her willingness to take the brunt of the scandal touched Serkan and he was not going to let that happen to her. He walks away from his all-important work to save her and while they silently reminisce about times spent together on their first and last work vacation, Serkan remembers their night under the stars and Eda remembers their swim in the lagoon. Each activity was initiated by the respective person, where the desire for togetherness was mutual and both found immense joy in sharing it with the other. They are not self-aware enough yet to name their growing feelings.
Every August 19th, Serkan disappears and remains incommunicado throughout the day. Eda is desperate to understand where and why, and even asks Selin, who is the only person in the know. Selin is predictably cryptic, but even though at first blush it seems she is being smug about "Serkan only sharing special things with special people", when she follows that with "then he raises his walls", it makes me think she is also being wistful. For all that she knows about Serkan, Selin is painfully aware that she never really managed to penetrate his defenses. Their conversation leaves Eda still curious about Serkan's disappearance.
It is also tradition that Serkan stays away from the office for the whole day on August 19th, but this year he shows up at work. Even though it's not shown clearly, I surmise that Serkan listened to Eda's haughty phone message from the morning, and couldn't stay away without seeing her. Especially in case her car breaks down again and she is helped by the likes of Kaan!
EDA THE HEALER
When Serkan finally explains the reason for his disappearance, Eda's silent tears and her quiet holding of his hand is perfect. It is a testament to Eda's own tragic past, which we are yet to know about, and how her experiences arm her with the compassion she can extend to someone else who is similarly broken.
Grief is like an infinite well where certain people hear the echoes of pain, and I often liken this to something from Harry Potter, for those who have read/ watched it. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, this exchange is monumental:
Luna Lovegood: "They're called Thestrals. They're quite gentle, really... But people avoid them because they're a bit..."
Harry Potter: "Different. But why can't the others see them?"
Luna Lovegood: "They can only be seen by people who've seen death."
As she is no stranger to tragedy, Eda recognizes people by their wounds and she wants to heal them. That is what drives her decision to take on Mr. Fikret's impossible mission, what drives her to keep asking Serkan about his day and what motivates her to design the liberating experience for Aydan. Each and everyone of these skits is done in a sensitive fashion, with Hande doing a brilliant job of portraying the authenticity of a young, optimistic and caring girl who just wants to paint the world with love and color.
I await the unveiling of Eda's own past, to have a glimpse into all the hurt she has internalized to become the person that she is. Her willingness to give of herself is one of the most beautiful aspects of being Eda. Even when she takes on the role of the fake fiance and Serkan asks her why she would do it, she said 1) to atone for her mistake and 2) to help two lovers get back together. This selflessness can often come from one's own unhealed wounds because when we cannot mend ourselves due to things outside of our control, we try to mend others. Such is the heart of a healer.
TWO PEAS IN A POD
I have made the assertion in an earlier post that Serkan and Eda are kindred spirits in how intensely they relate to life, except that it manifests so differently it would seem they are opposites. Both are driven, competitive, talented, hard-working and stubborn perfectionists, which also lends to the passionate nature of their relationship. Their 'rivalry' keeps them on edge with each other and shows the potential for how their relationship can never become stale. They will always find things to challenge themselves with.
I love how Ayse uses Engin and Piril to reaffirm this dynamic between the two. Engin says that the two are more alike than he had imagined, and Piril alludes to the sense of rivalry.
In contrast, we already begin to see how Ferit acts like a doormat in his relationship with Selin. He has been hired into the holding to create value and yet we see him be more of an office boy, focused on Selin's sustenance. This is the dynamic between them that Serkan discerns. Selin is a consummate professional and good at what she does, whereas Ferit is the indulgent, laid back son of a rich father. Serkan is beginning to understand the sense of growing closeness with Eda for all the right reasons and he can see how Selin is headed for disaster for all the wrong reasons. Selin and Ferit are not two peas in a pod.
Mr. Fikret, who is an astute businessman, knew that in order for the firm to take on the impossible project for his wife's birthday, he had to appeal to Eda's kind heart. In Serkan's absence, Eda, impulsive and compassionate as ever, promises to try their best to deliver on this 24 hour project. Serkan, who runs a tight ship where he never compromises on the firm's professionalism, is livid and wants to take this opportunity to teach Eda an important lesson: the business world cannot be ruled by emotions. He decrees no one can help her but when Eda is able to form a team, he doesn't provide any real consequences either. He wants for her to try and fail, which she nearly does. The kindness with which he explains this to her and then steps into help deliver to her vision is beautifully done.
SPREADING THE LOVE
There are several funny skits in this episode but few that stand out are Serkan being jealous of the 'attractive young man' - twice; and his watch giving his heart away. I share the clips here, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't explain why they are particularly poignant to me. I'll present them one by one.
Attractive Man With Dog
Ever since Eda departs the office, Serkan is curious about where and what she is up to. He openly expresses this in front of Selin and Piril, and eventually makes Leyla make a video call. His reaction to Leyla's assertion that Eda is with an attractive man is obviously funny, but then he is flustered and cannot get out of there fast enough. In front of people who is in awe of his workaholic-ism and control, Serkan obviously loses control and he does not seem to care. He cannot even convince himself that he does this to keep up the charade of his love with Eda and, in the process, much like Seyfi, Leyla is also now drawn into being a champion for this love story.
This continues with Serkan taking Leyla aside the morning after, when the said attractive man shows up on site and he witnesses Eda spending time with him and his dog. Serkan asking Leyla's opinion on the engagement ring is indicative of his own insecurity about Eda, and allowing Leyla to see this side of him is an inadvertent admission that he is no longer the boss Leyla was only too happy to get away from. His willingness to expose himself in such unprecedented ways are subtle shifts in how Serkan himself is changing as a person.
Though out of sequence, this clip of Serkan and Eda falling asleep together is perfection. There is nothing forced or contrived about it. The plot thus far builds up to this outcome. After a long, tired day Eda is dead to the world and Serkan, who only knows the pleasure of holding her without fully understanding why, does so as she settles into his arms. In the morning, he wakes up first and recalls three moments that are special to him. I note that neither ever recall their kisses but rather moments where they mutually and genuinely appreciated the other's company and personality.
His heart rate setting off the alarm is not lost on Serkan, nor is it lost on Seyfi. Again, Serkan does nothing to resist Seyfi's good humored and correct interpretation of the scenario. He probably enjoys having Seyfi in his corner and it seems he is becoming less and less sensitive to what others think about his feelings for Eda. The other innocuous detail is Serkan telling Seyfi that Eda will come to her senses in five minutes. He says it in such a knowledgeable fashion that it becomes clear we were not shown enough of their morning routine in Antalya where they shared a room:)
THIS IS LOVE
This is the second episode in a row that an older man with experience in a meaningful relationship describes what love is. This time Mr. Fikret, who is going to great lengths just to see his wife smile, says that it is love to want to achieve the impossible for her sake. And, we see this play out for Serkan as he makes the impossible possible for Eda to finish her project overnight.
RESISTANCE IS FUTILE
Eda has a natural charm that is not designed to be manipulative for her own benefit. She manages to win over everyone with this charm, including the rigid Serkan. On multiple occasion we see Serkan indulging her requests, while he protests weakly with "Don't look at me like that."
In the last such episode, where Eda makes her request off him which is her prize for completing the project, the understated reality is that Eda sought out Serkan's lone company even when she had the opportunity to enjoy her evening with friends and entertainment instead. It seems these two remain oblivious to how fast they are hurtling towards each other and how painful it will be for them to part ways.
One of my favorite scenes this week is Serkan simply sitting back and enjoying Eda rip into the demanding Sevda for her arrogant ways. When Piril asks if they should intervene, he just says she will handle it herself. Whether by design or by instinct, Serkan knows Eda's strengths and weaknesses and part of the appeal of his character is how he naturally seems to complement where she seems to waiver.
Each episode leaves me with a heart full of hope and love, and I entreat Ayse to continue building the story in such a beautiful way. Trying to create superficial obstacles in a relationship that thus far has been built as being destined will be a disservice to where the character's individual and mutual journey can go. Selin's doubts are understandable and I can envision some upcoming issues from that but taking a long and circuitous route of self-acknowledgement for Serkan and Eda will undermine some of the emotional intelligence for the show. There are many dynamics to explore even after a couple comes together. So far, it has been wonderful to see two individuals who are self-assured and understand their own strengths. There is no worldly reason thus far as to why they cannot be together once they accept the truth for themselves.
As we learn more about Eda's past and how that interacts with the future she thinks she wants for herself, balanced against the future she can build with Serkan, it promises a beautiful journey of healing, acceptance and growth. So far, the path they have forged seems like a rustic walk through the woods, with detours and winding roads that are a little unexpected but as natural as the surroundings. This episode makes a stop along this path in their first meaningful hug, and the depth of emotion both Kerem and Hande bring to their characters make it easy to root for such a charming love story.
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