This week’s title – “Don’t Run From Love” – should be wrapped in gold for the #EdSer story because at the crux of their roller coaster ride has been Serkan’s propensity to run from love when they hit a wall as a couple. Whether he is deciding for Eda or whether he is protecting himself, at the root of it is the fear of the messiness that comes with love.
I already shared my hypotheses for why Serkan may have pushed Eda away five years prior. Whatever those reasons are, for him to expect that Eda will be willing to take up exactly where he left off is classic Serkan. He lives in his imagination and acts accordingly. He is not shown to explore and try to understand Eda’s personal growth during this time, beyond what she has achieved professionally. True to Serkan, he seems incapable of having a finger on Eda’s emotional pulse.
Without further ado, here are my top notes from this week.
ON MY TERMS
There is no doubt Eda is still affected by Serkan. Why shouldn’t she be? She didn’t stop loving him, moved far away from him because he said so and now raising his child by herself because he has made it plenty clear he wants nothing to do with having children. Her journey in this love story has been a derivative of Serkan’s journey of finding himself, whether it’s been working through his fears or a random stint with amnesia or in dealing with his life-threatening cancer (can the guy catch a break, please?).
To protect her heart and her child, she has built many walls, one of which is to stop being submissive to everything Serkan wants and the way he wants it. If he has failed to communicate his real reasons to her so that she might understand better, then that is growth that must come from Serkan.
At the end of Episode 41, when Serkan kisses her out of the blue, with little to no real remorse for violating her personal space, Eda kisses him back. It may have been instigated by her loneliness without him but she quickly regains her composure and ends it with, “You have no right to make the decisions regarding us.”
To some, this may seem that Eda is being rigid and wants everything her way but I do not see it that way. From the time Serkan asked her to step into his charade of making Selin jealous till he asked her to leave post-cancer, much of their story has been defined by Serkan with Eda trying to adapt without completely losing herself. She lost herself anyway because his never-ending troubles kept pushing out the time when Eda could begin to focus on her own growth.
Women, at some point, need to establish and maintain their boundaries or else the narrative for the relationship will be defined by the man’s ever-pressing needs, the higher importance of his career, or more.
The one scene that most bothered me in this episode is when Serkan talks to Engin and lays out his strategy for winning Eda back: he will prove to her that he is no longer a workaholic. In this scene, there is no hidden remorse on Serkan’s face about the causes for their parting, almost as though he accepts that his obsession with work pushed Eda away.
He then spends some comical moments trying to prove that he is no longer as attached to his work but Eda uses the opportunity to put him to the test with Kiraz. Her heart is bursting to tell Serkan about Kiraz but in order to protect Kiraz’s innocence, she doesn’t wish to hoist her on a father who will reject her without pretense. She creates the opportunity for the three of them to spend time together so that she can ascertain Serkan’s readiness to learn the truth.
From our and Eda’s vantage point, Serkan continues on his self-entitled path of behaving just like his mother – the epitome of the triple Ds; Demanding when it comes to his needs, Disdainful to everyone but those he cares about, and Dismissive of what he doesn’t want to deal with. However, what is hidden from us is the side of Serkan we had fallen for. A caring man whose kindness is hidden under his gruff exterior and whose heart is yet to outgrow his childhood need to be wanted for who he is, the way he is.
Sometimes, we get so disenchanted with life that we get reduced to accepting things at face value.
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
Within this predicament, Eda is looking for any sign that helps her feel that Serkan might welcome the news of having fathered a child with her. She remains upset that Serkan seemed to turn away from Kiraz throughout their day together, but continues to search for magic moments when this impression may change. Like a child, and with a throwback to their earlier days, she exuberantly goes after the bottle bobbing in the water in case it’s the one Serkan and Eda threw into the ocean together. Maybe it will remind them both about what they had shared and the dreams they had had.
In a lovely closure for fans of Erkenci Kus, Ayse has Eda find Sanem’s bottle instead, and Serkan reads it out. The words poetically connects both the love stories of Can/ Sanem and Eda/ Serkan.
These are beautiful sentiments that capture the idea that love does not come wrapped in a box with a pretty bow. As Louis Aragon said,
“there is no love which is not pain there is no love which does not bruise there is no love which does not wither and no greater than you the love for the country there is no love which does not live from weeping there is no happy love but it is our love to the two of us”
Both Eda and Serkan acknowledge that they have suffered but Serkan believes that they can still be happy again. Even though her heart desires Serkan, Eda asks him the all important question about children, and he again decisively says no. This leads her to decide that it is best for her and Kiraz to just leave, because she is now a mother first. She cannot reach for her own happiness with Serkan at the cost of Kiraz.
PRINCE & PRINCESSES
Not stated, but we are once again reminded of the iconic excerpt from The Little Prince –
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
Out of her insecurities regarding Serkan, Eda only believed what she thinks she saw with her eyes, not trusting her heart to know better. The Serkan she loves would have done exactly what Kiraz eventually describes him to do. A man who, with his own brand of kindness, got down to Kiraz’s level to give her the attention and respect she deserves just for being her. He didn’t need to know his biological connection to treat Kiraz as a human being as opposed to a mere child who doesn’t belong among adults.
This is a touching edit of a gorgeous moment between Serkan and Kiraz.
VC: @xrslowlyy, twitter
And, with this, we beautifully segue into the Cinderella theme because as she says,
"Where there is kindness, there is goodness. And where this goodness, there is magic.”
Kiraz may not be aware of the depth of her parents’ connection, but she feels a sense of connection with Serkan. She doesn’t question Eda’s decision to move away but leaves clues such that Serkan can find them again. She wants him to be a part of their life. When Eda finally hears Kiraz’s version of her day with Serkan, and understands how much Kiraz has come to regard Serkan, she feels it is time to disclose the truth to Serkan. In her heart of hearts, she hopes that Serkan will embrace them both with the same depth of desire he expresses for Eda. It doesn't matter that their bond has been broken, she wants to create a family that is bathed in love.
The lengthy episodes get trying when the real angst of the story moves so slowly. I have given up trying to find cohesion in the characters and have accepted that their enactments will be bent at will to fit the constraints of the production. Aydan has taken out a PhD in “How to be Obnoxious” and Neslihan is far too competent at her job. To have such a whimsical mother figure is difficult to stomach when women struggle in every culture to define their space. This is somewhat neutralized with the extensive growth in Piril’s character, and Basak’s growing confidence in playing her.
The other strain that bothers me is how Melo’s character is used only as a tool to enable Eda to live her story. Elcin is a fantastic actor, but the casting choice is no accident. She is never meant to be seen as a credible peer to Eda, in looks, professional achievements or relationship successes. This merely feeds the queen bee trope such that the subliminal message confirms high success is only meant for those who are pretty. Melo has such a beautiful heart, her notions about love is so pure, her loyalty is so complete, that it can only create another powerful arc to have her find her own credible story with her prince charming. I would be far more vested in that plot line than this awkward, amateurish love story between these two new random characters, Pina and Kerem.
Despite some of these aberrations, the summer vibes in the story and the renewed vigor in the fandom certainly make Sen Cal Kapimi my weekly happy place. I am looking forward to the Bolats becoming a family and for Serkan to fulfill his potential as a life partner and now a father.
Till we meet again.
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