Well, well, well – as you remember from last time, we were left hanging (ok, pun intended)…it’s not off to a good start since the janissary rebels show up in the square to find their leaders hanging as a warning to them for their misdeeds.  But they are the janissary and who dares to challenge them?  Now the line is drawn and vengeance will be sought for these deaths – the only thing left to do is to riot and raid the palace!

Meanwhile, the ever so handsome Sultan is back at the palace waiting for the reply to his message of the hangings, and the harem is getting anxious with talk of the janissaries rioting and coming to the palace – gossip travels so fast, even without modern conveniences. Anna is worried about Abdulmecit since he doesn’t have a mother to take care of him and asks permission to go and comfort him. Cevri Kalfa pauses for a moment and then agrees for Anna to help.  Abdulhamit is with “mommy dearest” Hoysar but he’s not liking it, AT ALL (do you blame him), and asks for Anna – that didn’t go over too well as you can imagine. But, the bright eyed tyke goes to stay with Anna and Abdumecit. Hoysar tells Gulizar that she is afraid that they will do something to Abdulhamit – is she seeing her opportunity to rule with her little prince in the near future…maketh me wonder.

While Esma is adjusting her crown and getting ready for throne duty, Civan Mert races to the Palace to inform the Sultan about the riot and to let him know that many janissaries have left but a large number still remain and will march on the palace. The Sultan has issued an order for the soldiers to block the roads and conniving Halit tries to get the Sultan to listen to what the janissaries want, which of course we know is another stall tactic of Halit and a way of getting the Sultan killed.  But our Sultan has plans of his own and proceeds to tell of his plans to protect the palace.

Musa and Namik Pasha lead the personal soldiers of  the Sultan to face off with the janissaries right outside the palace walls. Musa warns them that if they don’t leave, they will lose their heads.  Even though there was shuffling of feet and side glances, not one janissary leaves and the soldiers begin shooting at the janissaries.  Definitely a wise choice bringing guns to a sword fight – way to go Musa!!  With all the hollering and noise outside, Anna is in the room with all of the children, including the girls, and decides to read them a story to keep their minds off what’s happening, but they can still hear the battle raging outside the palace.  The soldiers to the Sultan are victorious and the janissaries retreat and decide to pillage the city as they go.

But, it’s not over til it’s over…Sneaky snake Halit finds a way to get out of the palace and breaks the news to Esma that the Sultan hung the janissary leaders, which caused many janissaries to leave and that her plans were foiled once again.  Esma cannot understand how the Sultan is always one step ahead.  But we all know that our Sultan is not only handsome, but extremely clever.

The Sultan goes to check on the children and expresses his sincere gratitude to Anna for taking care of all the children – in natural Anna style, she claims it was her duty.  He lets her know that what she’s done was above and beyond her duty and very much appreciated.  Anna realizes she’s made a grave mistake by leaving the note in the garden and tries to retrieve it but it’s GONE.  Anna is in a panic.  While searching everywhere in her room, Ayperi questions her about her whereabouts in the morning.  This leads me to believe that Ayperi was the cloaked figure that took the note in the garden…Hmmmm??? Yes, no, maybe – we can only hope.

Evil Dimitri goes to Esma and gives her an idea, since her plans seem to keep failing, he suggests that the janissaries set fire to Istanbul and then refuse to put the fires out.  This would cause substantial damage to Istanbul and the Sultan would only have the choice to concede and cooperate with the janissaries in order to stop the fires. Halit speaks to the janissaries and talks them into this plan, he also adds to the plan and tells them that they need to tell the Sultan that the only way they will put the fire out is if he gives up Namik Pasha’s head in exchange…oh Halit, what evil and jealous blood runs thru your veins!

Esma’s eyes flicker with excitement when she sees the flames. The Sultan is enraged about the fire and the harem is distressed about the fire.  Namik Pasha, Musa and the soldiers are in the city working hard, helping the people put the fires out in their homes and businesses.  Back at the palace, Anna begs Cevri Kalfa to let her go to the city to save her father because he’s injured and cannot walk.  Cevri Kalfa hesitates, but then agrees to let her leave the palace, alone.

The Sultan asks for an accounting of the palace from Cevri Kalfa and she tells him that the people working are worried about their families and want to go to them.  He mentions that they should do something for Anna’s father and asks for Anna.  Cevri informs the Sultan that Anna has gone into the city to help him and the Sultan is upset that she’s gone alone and orders Zahir to go find Anna and make sure she’s ok and to help her.

Anna races through the city and as she reaches her father’s home, it’s in flames.  She rushes in and reaches him in time.  Anna is still in the process of getting him out when a beam falls, blocking their way.  As Anna is trying to put the fire out, Zahir shows up and helps with the rescue – our Superman hero saves the day.  Zahir wants to take Anna to the palace but Anna refuses (no surprise with that, huh), telling him that she will help all the other people first.  Poor Zahir, he is not very pleased with this answer. The viziers go to meet with the janissaries to find out what they want, the viziers are told what they want in order to take care of the fire that they’ve started.  The janissaries send them back to the palace with a message to the Sultan that they want Nami Pasha’s head in exchange for their help.  The Sultan is FURIOUS and is not about to give Namik up.  Namik is ready to sacrifice himself but there is no way the Sultan will sacrifice his right hand man, and his best friend.  Namik tells him he needs to think about his reign and not with his feelings.

Everything seems to be hitting the fan all at once.  While the people continue to battle against the fire  the winds are blowing the flames towards the palace and Zahir and Anna race to the palace to warn the Sultan and the harem.  Gulfidan faints when she hears that the janissaries want Namik Pasha.  The ever sharp tongued Hosyar tells them that the Sultan will sacrifice anyone that needs to be sacrificed… She’s such an evil wench. Anna tries to calm the harem down and tells them to support the Sultan during this time because he will find a solution.  Hoysar, as usual, steps in and tells Anna that the palace is their only home and she’s going to talk to the Sultan about evacuating.  God forbid she do the right (and supportive) thing.  The Sultan gives the order to Cevri Kalfa to take the harem to the winter palace.  Anna begs him to go with them and he refuses.  She tells him she won’t leave the palace, he orders her to go.  The harem packs up and is ready to leave but Anna, true to form, stays behind.

The harem is on the road to the winter palace when Civan Mert stops them to let them know they won’t be able to go any further because janissaries are hiding out at the palace.  One of the Aga’s on the caravan argues with Civan Mert and Hosyar asks Mert why they should believe him since he’s a janissary too.  Cevri Kalfa sends the Aga and another guard to the palace to see if Civan Mert is telling the truth.

The Sultan asks Anna if she’s afraid of dying and she tells him that when she’s with him, she’s not afraid of anything. He tells her that he doesn’t know what to do with her (a kiss would be an excellent start) because she starts to cry when he raises his voice, yet she’s not afraid of dying with him.  She explains that losing the ones she loves is worse than death to her. Ufff Mahmud, kiss her.

Esma finds out, from her handmaiden, that Namik is to be sacrificed and she races to the palace to stop this.  She encounters Namik on the road on the way there and begs him not to go.  She tells him she will do anything if he simply won’t turn himself in. But all he asks from Esma is her forgiveness, for the mistake he made….once upon a time – oh the tugging of the heartstrings.

The guards make it back to the harem and informs them that there aren’t janissaries at the other palace and they are trying to decide who to trust.  Hosyar doesnt’ trust anyone.  Saliha tells them that she trusts Civan Mert because he’s saved her life many times, so she knows he’s not a traitor and is supporting him.  She commands them to lower their swords. When they don’t listen, Abdulmecit commands in the name of the Sultan for them to lower their swords – that’s our precious little Sultan in training.

As the Sultan is getting ready to head to battle…..and the harem is trying to figure out where to go…..and Namik Pasha is on his way to give himself up so they will put out the fire…..a miracle happens……the Heavens open wide and IT STARTS TO RAIN!!!!  Hallelujah!!  Hugs and happiness all around, even between Anna and the Sultan. The only problem is….the janissaries catch up with Namik Pasha, so no worries about giving himself up because now they are just going to haul him in and there is nothing the high and mighty Esma can do.  Apparently they didn’t get the memo that she runs the janissary show.

Musa finds out that Namik left the palace to sacrifice himself to the janissaries. He gathers the troops and heads out to save his comrade.  Esma gies to get Halit to stop the hanging but Halit says that he can’t do anything because the janissaries have lost control.  Musa arrives at the Et Center with the guards just as Namik is being hung and he tells them to let him go or they will shed blood.  One of the leaders of the janissaries arrives and tells them to stop.  The janissary rebels say they will listen and give up Namik because the leader commanded it and not because the Sultan is commanding it.  There was a fancy “gun shot and rope trick” moment that was VERY impressive.

The harem arrives back at the palace safe and sound.  Anna tells Ayperi how she hugged the Sultan when it rained.  Ayperi tells her that she needs to admit that she’s completely in love with the Sultan but Anna still denies it and says it was just happiness.  Ayperi tells her that if someone stays with the other, even at the risk of death, that is love.  Anna tells her that it doesn’t make a difference, and even if she did love him, because he has a room full of odalisques, it just isn’t possible.

Hoysar confronts Anna regarding her remaining at the palace with the Sultan and fighting fires in the city.  She tells Anna that she can’t win approval with the Sultan this way.  Anna lets her know that she doesn’t seek anyone’s approval and she only follows her heart with her actions.  She reminds Hoysar that it should be her decision as well as the Sultan’s lover.  Of course Hoysar blows it off saying that she has a prince to think of and can’t think of love.

Halit once again tries to get the Sultan to do something that will endanger himself, and his throne, by advising him to punish the janissaries.  The Sultan says that no one will be punished and they will indeed start an assembly that includes janissaries, viziers and others that can discuss reforms and issues together.  What’s that Halit???…..Stopped again- Cha Ching!!

Esma confronts her mother for keeping the plan to hang Namik from her.  Her mother tells her she can have Namik, or the throne, but she cannot have both.  Esma tells her mother to pack her bags because she’s not going to stay anymore, she’s going to the old palace.  Man…..maybe Esma can ship Hoysar out with the valide too!!   Esma also realizes that Halit has betrayed her by hiding Namik’s fate from her.  She tells Halit that she will end everything if he ever does anything like that again.

Civan Mert gathers the janissaries and informs them that the Sultan is not only forming an assembly that includes the voices of the janissaries but he is not planning to punish anyone who rioted against the palace and city.  Some of them are starting to realize that maybe they made a mistake in their judgement of him and a mistake in their actions.

The Sultan plans a big party to celebrate with the harem the end of the battle with the janissaries and the fires.  The harem is getting ready to entertain him and even Anna attends the hammam but she tells the harem to have honor and pride and not go after the same guy.  Oh Anna…..you love this same guy as well.  Anna wants nothing to do with this party but the Sultan tells her he wants her there and she can’t refuse him.  Hoysar sits at a table with the Sultan at the entertainment and I’m literally sick seeing her there.  Anna is not so happy seeing here there either.  Thank goodness Esma shows up so Hoysar has to leave that seat.  When the belly dancing starts, Anna can’t take it anymore and bids the Sultan goodnight.  She gets to her room and finds that the Sultan had a gift of a piano left there for her with a note that read, “To the fearless dove.”  Oh Anna, you’re a goner now.  Hoysar hears the music from the piano and asks Gulizar where the music is from and finds out the Sultan bought Anna a piano and goes crazy!

Anna goes to see the Sultan and thanks him for the gift.  She tells him that she didn’t stay with him because she expected anything, but because if she were in the same situation he would do the same for her and not leave her alone.  He asks her why she thinks that.  She says, “because I know you care about me too, as much as I care about you.”  He responds, “Just care…..”

He leans in for a kiss……The END!!!

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Written By – Dawn Meyer


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