We start our episode with the high and mighty Hosyar nosing into Anna’s business and trying to read the letter she took from Anna’s room.  Hosyar just can’t keep herself from these intrigues but fortunately for Anna, Hosyar cannot understand Russian.

Saliha is still at the fair with Civan Mert when a fortune-teller calls out to them, calling him handsome.  Saliha is a little incensed by her friendliness towards him and as they argue about it Civan Mert teases her and she stomps off, almost getting ran over by a horse and rider.  But never fear…..it’s her hero to the rescue.  Saliha and Civan Mert have a little moment, as he sweeps her up from almost being crushed by the horse, and wouldn’t you know it….Saliha botches it with her big, bratty mouth.  

Back at Esma Sultana’s dinner party, Namik Pasha continues to look at his watch and excuses himself from the party and Esma, of course, is not pleased.  Tatiana’s flirting becomes more bold, as she and Sultan Mahmud talk in the corner amongst themselves.  The Sultan is definitely taking advantage of this and eating it up. Anna, on the other hand, is so upset by this she cannot concentrate, so she walks away from the table to grab fresh air outside. While outside, she is imitating Tatiana and ranting (out loud) about her abhorrent behavior.  As luck would have it, the Sultan comes outside to check on Anna and catches her in the middle of this rant. She asks how long he’s been there and he tells Anna she is jealous of him, to which she denies.  She refuses to let the Sultan know she’s jealous, especially after telling him she thought it was a useless feeling. Esma, not happy with Namik’s early departure, is not happy that he is off to “see a friend”.  She decides to go and see for herself who this “friend” is. When she arrives she sees that Namik is in the company of another woman, which gets her hackles up, and she plans her attack.  As Namik takes his female companion upstairs for some time together, Esma decides to really liven things up by setting fire to the building, which drives Namik out.  Namik, who had hoped that Esma would show up, looks around in search for her and sees her in the shadows as she’s leaving the scene of her crime.  Namik just shakes his head at her stubbornness but is pleased to know that she is truly still in love with him and her protest were lies.  As the Sultan, Sergei, Anna and Tatiana make their way back to the palace in the carriage, Tatiana tells Anna that being the wife to the Sultan must be a nice thing and Anna reminds her of the harem.  Tatiana reminds Anna that most men in Europe and Russia have mistresses and Anna tells Tatiana that she could never accept that and says you can’t share someone you love with someone else, it’s impossible.  Tatiana tells her that she has interesting thoughts.  The Sultan is taking in the whole conversation. Hmmmm…..I wonder what he thinks about this revelation.

At the palace, Hosyar is trying to find a way to figure out what is in that letter and has an odalisque from the harem, that understands Russian, trying to decipher it.  Unfortunately the odalisque can neither read or write, so I guess Hosyar will have to find another resource to translate the letter.  I for one would like to cram that letter down her throat!

The next day, after the whole burning incident, Namik sends Esma a letter and in the letter there is one single match and it reads “My Sultana, this is what’s called a matchstick in the West.  I wanted you to have it in case you wanted to burn something too.”  In the meantime, at a meeting with the Sultan, Halit is blocked from attending. His position at the palace is getting more tenuous. The Sultan decided to send out a town-crier letting the villages know that anyone with information about Fettah will receive a big reward.

While the place is in search of Fettah, Civan Mert gets tired of Saliha just sitting around the farmette, so he lays down the law (which is much needed in Saliha’s world) and tells her she is going to make herself useful around the place and start doing everything they do (starting with barn work).  Saliha thinks this is going to be easy…..this coming from a girl who has a palace full of servants and doesn’t even know how to bathe on her own.  Saliha needs this lesson in life and I wish the Sultan could see her.  Saliha, while doing the dishes, tells Civan Mert, “How can you have so much stuff, did you bring the neighbors stuff too.”  He gets cheeky with her and she suddenly declares who she is and says, “Do you know WHO you are making fun of? You are speaking to the daughter of the EMPEROR, of these great lands, Sultan Mamuthan!” Civan Mert says, “you turned into the daughter of the Sultan all of a sudden?”  Then he tells her he’s leaving for the MEAT-market and the dishes better be done when he returns, or she can’t stay there.  Saliha just can’t get away from her punishments.

While Civan Mert is out he meets up with another janissary.  The janissary asks him where he’s been and he tells him how he was in the woods and had to rescue this girl from bandits, when she hit her head and passed out.  The janissary asks him if she is pretty and Civan Mert lights up like a Christmas Tree and says, “she is truly pretty but she is the most stubborn person and causes me trouble.”  The janissary tells Civan Mert that he’s fallen in love and Civan Mert responds, “God forbid, not even if she was the Sultans daughter.”  Oh Civan Mert…..if you only knew!!

The edict goes out for Fettah’s capture, and Fettah hears this.  He also hears the couple discussing the possibility of him being this fugitive the palace is looking for, so Fettah decides to kill the couple in a desperate attempt at escape.

Hosyar finally tracks down Hayrettin Aga, to ask him to translate the letter for her, but she doesn’t tell him that it’s Anna’s letter.  She claims that SHE received the letter and that it’s in Russian and important that he translate for her and keep it confidential.  Hayrettin Aga agrees.

The day arrives for Sergei (the Engineer) to show the guns to the Sultan.  Anna and Tatiana are along as well.  They come across Ambassador Dimitri (Anna’s uncle) but this is not information that the Sultan is privy to.  The Sultan greets Dimitri and tells him that he must know the “teacher”.  Dimitri says “yes”.  Anna says, “no”.  The Sultan is confused by this.  Dimitri, who is a snake and a professional liar, tells the Sultan that he knows Anna’s father, who is their clerk, and knows her through her father and her teaching of the children in the Embassy.  The Sultan goes along with it but I think he knows that there is something off about this Ambassador.  Who wouldn’t?  Zahir informs the Sultan that Saliha’s carriage has been found and that her guards have all been murdered and she is missing.

Anna heads back to the palace to give Abushan (Saliha’s mom), Cevri Kalfa, Amber Aga, and the harem the news that Saliha is missing. Hosyar blames Anna for Saliha’ disappearance. The Sultan, Pasha Namik and the personal guards are all out roaming the countryside looking for Saliha and her cloak is all that can be found. They soldiers inform the Kadı (the local judge) that Saliha is missing and when Civan Mert is on his way back home, the Kadı stops him and tells him that the girl that’s at his cottage might be the Sultan’s daughter but now she is missing from his cottage. Civan Mert goes in search of her.

Anna blames herself for Saliha’s disappearance and Ayperi tells her that Hosyar was just seen in Anna’s room and Anna should never listen to her becauase she’s always up to something evil.  Anna searches her closet and realizes that Hosyar has stolen her letter.  She goes to Hosyar’s room to demand her letter back. Hoysar tells her she’s crazy and orders her to leave.

Saliha, who had enough torture, is traveling aimlessly down the road and trying to find home.  As she wanders, lost and complaining, she runs into a man and asks him for help finding her way to the palace. He says her name and she’s pleased that someone in this place knows who she is, not realizing he’s Fettah and her worst option.  While speaking to him she notices he’s wounded, and carrying a knife, so she tries to get away and he threatens her.  So along the way she tells him she has private business to do in the woods, thinking this will be how she can get away.  He threatens her again and she tells him she won’t run away. Once his back is turned, Saliha starts running and Fettah starts running after her, and she screams as he starts to catch up with her, grabbing her and placing a knife to her throat.  That is short-lived because here comes her hero, once again, to save the day!  The brave Civan Mert.  Well….Saliha’s mouth strikes again and instead of thanking him, she gets him stabbed in the leg, and the prisoner escapes. Vay be!  Too bad duct tape wasn’t invented then.  The good news….Saliha will be out of Civan Merts hair soon.  Inshallah.

Saliha and Civan Mert (who is still being very kind and gentlemanly despite her wenchy attitude) head to the palace and Saliha makes a very revealing confession.  She tells Civan Mert that she really knew who she was the whole time and explained that her father had banished her from the palace.  She tells him that while leaving the palace she realized that not many people loved her.  Civan Mert responds, “If you want to be loved, you have to love first, rich girl. No one can enter your heart if you keep it closed.”  PS.  I love when he calls her “rich girl”.  Anyway, that was very revealing for Saliha to admit that people don’t like/love her.  She tells Civan Mert her real name  is Saliha and he tells her that she has such a nice name but wishes her attitude was as nice as her name.  Oh boy.  So funny.  Who else can talk to her this way?  He gets her so flustered.  It’s almost like Anna with the Sultan.  So, they reach the palace and Amber Aga greets Saliha at the door with hugs and brings Civan Mert inside to meet the Sultan to be rewarded.  The Sultan tells him he can ask him for anything and Civan Mert tells the Sultan that he only wishes the Sultan live long and have eternal power. Then tells him that Fettah is still alive and nearby. Saliha makes her way to the harem to show her mother, and everyone else, she’s alive and well.  She hugs everyone, she’s nice to her mother, and is even cordial to Anna, which is a FIRST.  Dare we hope that she’s turning a corner?  The only person who doesn’t get a warm response is Hosyar, who Saliha lets know that she’s not the old Saliha and she better watch out.  Hmmmm….Hoysar…..you better worry about this one.

Halit is denied entrance once again to the palace but learns that Fettah is still alive.  He orders a carriage to Esma’s home to tell her about the news and Namik decides to follow him to see what he’s up to.  Along the way, Halit hits a roadblock and realizes that Namik is on his trail and decides not to go to Esma directly.  Anna, while touring the land for the new factory with the Sultan, Sergei, Dimitri and the council, tells Dimitri that she wrote a letter to her father confessing everything and that Hayrettin Aga has the letter.  Dimitri tells her he will take care of it.  Dimitri has his man, go to Harettin’s home and steal the letter and replace it with a new one.

Namik Pasha receives a box at the palace and in the box is a bottle of water and a letter.  The letter reads, “this is called water.  The fire in your heart is still there obviously. You may use this to pour on it, in order to not get burned.”  The letter is from Esma.  Let the games begin!!

Fettah makes his way to Esma’s house and threatens to shoot Halit and Esma.  Esma is able to get he guns from him and shoot Fettah instead and then sends Halit to the palace to get his place back with the Sultan.  When the Sultan sees that Halit has brought Fettah to him, he praises Halit and scolds Namik.

Now to my favorite part of the episode. Anna and the Sultan are alone in his chambers, where Anna is teaching him, and the Sultan is teasing her about the part of her letter that he read (when he caught Hosyar with it) saying, “it’s impossible not to be affected by my greatness and my character.” She says “who wouldn’t be affected by our Sultan.”  He tells her he is asking for HER thoughts and not other people’s.  Then in Anna’s great skill at avoidance, she reminds the Sultan that he promised to teach her calligraphy.  He agrees and while teaching her he gives her this lesson along with it. He tells her that calligraphy is a work of patience, like life, to be patient and not to run from her feelings, to live them. To pour it all on paper. Anna tells him that sometimes you can’t do it, no matter how much you want it.  He tells her that life is too short to hesitate. A coward misses all this beauty and people shouldn’t be wasting their life regretting the things they didn’t.

Oh my Lord….why did we not get a kiss here!!! How can she sit there, in that stare of his, and not just kiss him???? I want to kiss him and I’m not even there!! Allah Allah

Ok, the rest…..well….Anna leaves on cloud 9 (without a kiss) and she runs into nosy Amber Aga, who grills her about her joyful dance out of the Sultan’s chambers. So what does Anna do, spills the beans about teaching the Sultan French to shut Amber Aga up.  We all know Amber Aga can’t keep his mouth shut, so this will be the end of happy times for Anna.   Ufffff.  Not the way I wanted to kill my joyful moment.  Where again is that duct tape!!!

Let’s just hope that Anna can talk her way out of this one…..eventually.

Until next time………


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Written By – Dawn Meyer


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