PC: @smoakfairchild/ twitter
It is wonderful to go back to watching a show that is joyful, filled with subtle, silly humor, and has several thematic strains that build faith in love. To watch Serkan's desire to transform so that he can hold on to his love, and for Eda to be continually reminded about why she had fallen in love, is a study of their personalities. Serkan, the rigid man without overt emotions, has been touched by someone who brings his inner soul to light, and Eda, the impulsive one, is incapable of moving on from this all-consuming love that she experiences for the first time.
Love means taking risks with what we are trained to protect - our heart - and it is the willingness from both to put themselves in front of the fire again and again, in various ways, that makes the depth of their love more comprehensible. While the fandom rejoices the long-awaited kiss at the end of the episode, it is the journey of getting there that stokes my imagination.
DON'T THINK, FEEL
Both Serkan and Eda are saddened when the other doesn't show up to their restaurant rendezvous. While Serkan goes back on his resolve to stop chasing her if she doesn't come and chooses to never give up on her, Eda readily believes that he prioritizes work over her again and swears that she will no longer believe in him. Using his logical brain, Serkan decides to stick to the letter of the contract and keep everything focused on work, believing that will make her stay. And in the morning, led by her emotions, Eda declares that as soon as Efe leaves, she will be leaving as well, putting a deadline on the time Serkan has to fix things.
This mode of "every action there is an equal and opposite reaction", as captured in Newton's third law of motion, is what lends to the poetic nature of how the best of their relationship has unfolded. When he goes up, she goes down and vice versa, until they will arrive at the moment where their movements in unison gives fruition to the potential they have together. Where they trust each other with their eyes closed, where they know in their hearts what the logic does not support.
While Eda is still reacting out of disappointment, the methodical approach Serkan takes to remaining within her proximity is a testament to his growth. He knows in his heart that she loves him, and he knows that she is protecting herself from further hurt. He allows himself to follow his instincts and not fall prey to restrictive logic. And with this, he lacks the desperation from earlier episodes where he had become crippled from his fear of loss or jealousy. In a liberating moment, he clearly asks her to not leave, something he was unable to do earlier.
Even though she walks away, he staidly plants himself wherever she is, willing to stick to her distancing requirements in the contract, just as long as he gets to be there with her. Later, when he asks Can to stay away, he has no insecurities in claiming that Eda loves him back just as deeply. With his calm demeanor comes the subtle hints to Eda that he is genuinely focused on reviving what they have.
To Serkan, his gravest mistake is lying to her about the accident; other than that he has been earnest in all his actions and words. Seeing that Eda didn't simply disappear after learning the truth, his faith in being able to fix things is now unshakeable. This comes to pass in this public exchange he has with Eda in Ayfer's living room, which is a great cinematic ploy to have everyone learn their truth at the same time as opposed to wasting air time down the road, having multiple conversations around this same topic.
VC: @authorsanem/ twitter
When Serkan learns that Eda had indeed gone to the restaurant, albeit the wrong one, and her actions throughout the day gets the required perspective, the forever logical Serkan invites Eda to just feel, and not think. This exchange is powerful because it encapsulates the journey taken by both through the course of their relationship together. Almost as though through the process of osmosis, Serkan has learnt to trust in his feelings and it is Eda who seeks logic to understand her feelings. Throughout their journey, they are two souls who are learning to converge on a path they can walk on together.
VC: @authorsanem/ twitter
Serkan still remains hesitant in how much he should express himself to Eda, looking to live in the moment where she is neither pushing him away nor running away from him. When they arrive at the restaurant and he convinces her to face her claustrophobia, it is an excellent choice to refer back to their time on the plane where she instinctively trusted him to help her get through her panic attack. Now, she has even more reason to trust him and he wants her to know that he will not leave her side.
In addition to the ending on a beautifully done kissing scene, the reenactment of their magnetic pull from the earlier scenes on the plane as she wants to melt into him, which Eda also recalls as one of her best memories, their mutual desire for this expression of their love perfectly captures their painful yearning of separation and their sense of home in each other. Love wins when there is trust, and showing Eda trust Serkan while she faces her biggest fear is flawless in its execution.
Contrary to what I assumed last week, it is insinuated that this recent affair is the first of Alptekin's known indiscretions in their marriage. I liked that Aydan is not shown to be broken by this but is more driven by her anger. She focuses her attention on helping Serkan reconcile with Eda, and she has no problems with the notion that Ayfer wants to hold Alptekin accountable for his failures. The comic exchanges between Ayfer and Aydan are endearing, and I love that it showcases how women can focus on the positives and thrive even when faced with life's many obstacles.
In contrast we have Selin, who has slid uncontrollably into an abyss of negativity and poisonous mindset. Followed by her switching the envelope, she hoists flirtatious Can onto Eda, goading him towards Eda. For all the choice of photographers she has, choosing Can is not accidental and once again glorifies Selin's pettiness.
It is quite satisfying then that after all her high-handed behavior with Eda, she is relegated to feeling as big as an ant when she discovers that not only Efe has means to blackmail her for her shares, Eda also knew about her lies regarding the press leakage all along. She ought be ashamed that despite the knowledge and her love for Serkan, Eda had still been willing to bring Serkan and Selin together when she believed Serkan loved Selin. Selin simply lacks this same magnanimity of heart and one hopes this recent revelation serves as an eye-opening experience where she begins to realize why a person like Serkan would become so mesmerized with Eda.
Justice in the real world is often elusive, which probably contributes to our joy when we find it in fiction or in the arts. Both Alptekin and Selin have hit rock bottom with the ways they have been self-serving and how they have hurt others around them. Showing both pay some price for their mistakes and choices will be satisfying to an audience who have been aggravated by them for so long. Kaan's departure was too abrupt; I hope there will be enough plot to hold these two characters accountable for the pain caused.
Through the Cerin/ Ferit/ Selin arc and Efe's blackmail of the journalist Fatma and his eventual blackmail of Selin, I liked a few issues that were dealt with satisfactorily.
First, I liked the character arc given to Efe, who clearly remained as a plant for Babanne and performed to his task perfectly. He was not an evil guy but a talented guy on a mission to expose the Bolats. His departure is also graciously handled, where he delivers to what he had promised to his mentor, and he remains confident in his abilities to head back to Italy and recover his business. Ali Ersan Duru did a great job with his character.
Second, I like the subtle ways we are shown how the media can be manipulated through the exploitation of established relationships, bribery, seeds of fake news and more. Serkan's desired persecution of these leaks is also an important message that shows how the sources of these misinformation can be held accountable. Due to the ubiquitous social media platforms and trigger happy liars/ attention seekers, the rate at which fake news propagates is unprecedented. Just as much the sources ought be held accountable, consumers of news also need to become more cognizant in validating information before spreading them or, worse, fighting over them.
Third, I love Ceren's characterization of a woman who is not only very competent at her demanding job, but has a strong sense of herself without needing to use other people as a crutch. I respect her character more than Eda's sometimes, especially how assertively she establishes her position. In Episode 16, when Eda questions her about her affiliation with Ferit, Ceren gently reminds her she didn't judge Eda in any of her decisions and perhaps she ought to remember that rule of engagement among friends. In this episode as well, she navigates her responsibilities as a friend and legal counsel appropriately, and the way she supports her loved ones as needed comes across as genuine. Over time, the more we have discovered of Ferit and his simplistic approach to life, the more their pairing seems a good, complementary one. Both are honest with those around them and, most of all, with themselves.
Even though these are ancillary arcs, they weave into the main plot very well and doesn't seem as redundant as many other arcs used in many other dizis. The trick is to keep them ancillary and not use them to take over the main story of #EdSer being told in each episode.
THE WINNING FORMULA
As mentioned in my opening remarks, it is wonderful to be back to watching a show rife in humor and a joyful plot. Whether we call it a romantic dramedy or not, Sen Cal Kapimi does not compete with the complex dramas like Seref Meselesi or Siyah Beyaz Ask that the dizi world does very well. We come here for the celebration of love and, within the simplified versions of complex characters, are looking for some laughs. The mix of growing love, unwavering hope interspersed with humor, and the good winning over evil while some 'muddle' gets resolved during the episode proves to be a winning formula, as is also captured in the higher ratings from this week's episode.
Belaboring a theme or a single point for too long gets boring, and I really loved how little time was spent on mulling over Aydan's discovery of Alptekin or Serkan's realization that Selin switched the envelopes. This article on "Cracking the Sitcom Code" was particularly enlightening on how formulaic some of these script choices can be.
Among many comical scenes that blended well with the overall narrative, I enjoyed the growing camaraderie between Aydan and Ayfer. Neslihan is quite amazing with her comic timing and expressions, and I appreciate her even more after watching her in more serious roles such as in Kuzey Guney. This was a cute scene between the women:
Another cute skit is Eda using the measuring tape to make sure Serkan adheres to the letter of the contract, which is even more funny due to the 6 feet distance requirement imposed by the current pandemic.
These are simple script choices but lend to the theme of lightheartedness of the show. Nobody expects Shakespeare out of a dizi that works under such tremendous industry pressures, but a coherent story well told at a clip pace makes a world of difference in how the audience can engage with a show and its characters as they grow over time. I have enjoyed the ways the characters have grown in the last couple of episodes and I am hopeful that the writing team has found the winning formula to keep moving in a positive direction.
Till we meet again.
If you enjoyed this piece, please go to the footer to subscribe to my blog!
* All pictures and video clips belong to their original owners. No Copyright infringement intended.