SEN ANLAT KARADENIZ EPISODE 31
I think the writers’ have reached a point where they don’t know what to do next. This episode is full of frills and frolic: wedding preparations, singing and folk music, happy family moments, silly attempts at humour, and a little mystery. If anything, it looks more like a romantic comedy than a drama about spousal abuse and violence. There are long tedious moments of the camera focusing on the faces of the characters with no dialogue. Perhaps this episode is an interlude before a surprisingly violent ending. Whatever it is, the pacing has slowed so drastically that I found myself skipping through scenes just to reach the end.
Walking by the sea, Tahir tells Nefes that he wants her to have a real wedding, a genuine celebration of their relationship, unlike the first wedding which was done for the benefit of Yigit’s custody. He tells her that he saw the worry reflected in her face the day of the earlier ceremony when she was still afraid of Vedat. Now he wants her to have the long white gown and all of the benefits of a traditional wedding. This will be a renewal of their vows and a celebration of defeating Vedat’s plan to have them divorce.
Mother Saniye, visiting Sakine’s grave, receives a phone call from Fikret who tells her that her guilty conscience brought her there. He tells her to go home and accept the one who comes to her house as redemption for the one she turned against. Is he talking about Nefes?
Vedat, upset about Tahir’s trick, is questioning one of his men about the boxes that were delivered to his house. He’s angry that the illegal guns on the ship didn’t implicate Mustafa and that Tahir was able to get the gun that was evidence against Nefes, thus upsetting his plan to force the couple to divorce. He receives a call from Rustem, the man Fikret has gotten out of prison, the man who took the blame for so many of Vedat’s crimes. Rustem’s freedom is a threat to Vedat.
Tahir takes Nefes back to the Kaleli home so that she can begin making wedding plans. As he returns to town, he is stopped by Vedat who blocks the road. Thinking that Tahir is responsible for Rustem’s escape from prison, Vedat tells Tahir to be careful, that Rustem is a dangerous man. Tahir doesn’t understand what Vedat is talking about.
Mother Saniye returns home from the cemetery to find Asiye and Nefes discussing the proposal and Tahir’s promise of a “real” wedding. When she sees Nefes, she understands what Fikret meant when he said she should “accept the poor one” as her redemption, but she ignores the women. When she comes into the kitchen for water later, Asiye tells her about the proposed wedding, but Saniye simply offers congratulations without her usual outbursts of criticism and rebukes. Asiye thinks Saniye might be in the first stages of Alzheimer’s since her behaviour has been decidedly uncharacteristic of late, pleasant one minute and typically “sour” the next.
Tahir calls Ali to tell him about meeting Vedat and Vedat’s assumption that he is responsible for Rustem’s escape from prison. Tahir tells Ali that they need to find Rustem before he can leave the country because Rustem is their source for most of Vedat’s crimes.
Fikret writes a note and puts it in the body of a musical instrument (a kamencha) he is making just as Vedat arrives to speak to him. Vedat is annoyed that Fikret continues to work, but Fikret doesn’t care. When finally Fikret sits down to talk, Vedat tells him that Rustem has escaped and Vedat thinks that Tahir has him. Fikret tells him that he, Vedat, should have kept his promise to Rustem, just as he should have kept his promise to him. Fikret says Vedat must have patience.
Tahir goes to Father Osman to tell him about the wedding plans, then he calls Mustafa to say he’s on his way to the office to give him some good news. Mustafa wants to know the whereabouts of the slackers, but Tahir says he will explain everything when he arrives.
At the Kaleli home, Esma and Berrak have joined Asiye and Nefes to discuss wedding preparations. The girls have decided to enjoy a day at the hamam, a Turkish bath. As they are putting together details, Asiye explains that they will include Nazar and Mercan in the group, for Nazar has been very helpful so many times. Mother Saniye also wants to be included, although she doesn’t say so explicitly.
At the Dagdeviren house, Turkan reminds Nazar and Mercan that they mustn’t get too close to the Kaleli family because of the risk of hurting their father. At that moment, Cemil comes home to lecture his daughters. He tells them that Murat returned his “goods,” the guns, but that he’s now in debt to Vedat. He continues to admonish them about “degrading” him in public, but his mood is quieter and his tone softer.
Murat and Fatih arrive at the Kaleli office where Mustafa awaits them with a cup of tea and a bat. The boys know they’re in trouble with their brother. Just as they are getting ready for their punishment, Tahir arrives to save them. Mustafa tells the boys to get to work, but before they do, Murat tries to give Fatih some lessons in how to court Berrak. Fatih is a hopeless failure in “love” talk. While they practice, Tahir tells Mustafa about sending the illegal guns to Cemil and getting the gun evidence from Vedat. He also tells him about the wedding plans and that they must secure a home for Osman Hoda. Asiye and Nefes come to the office for money before they go shopping for wedding items.
The night has arrived for the marriage proposal and visit with Osman Hoda who acts as the father of the bride. Tahir emerges from a house dressed up for the evening while Asiye and Berrak get Nefes ready with makeup and hair styling. The scene shifts to Vedat’s house. Nazar has returned from her family home, defiant in the face of Vedat’s sarcasm, saying she isn’t a ten-year-old child to be frightened by him.
The evening goes as planned at the Kaleli home with all of the traditional elements of a marriage proposal intact. The groom arrives with flowers and chocolate, the salted coffee is served to the groom, Mustafa makes the request for the bride to Osman Hoda, and the proposal is accepted. In an attempt at humour, Mustafa and Osman Hoda make the ceremony agonizingly lengthy with stories and off-hand remarks, but finally, admit they have played a game with Tahir and Nefes.
Vedat has a dream. He sees Nefes dressed in a wedding gown, looking down at him imperiously as he asks, “Why didn’t you love me? For eight years, you have looked at me this way, and still, I have loved you. Why didn’t you love me?” In the dream, he says that it was her look of disdain that drove him to beat her, and after every beating, he went to the “dungeon” and beat himself. He removes his shirt to display his self-inflicted scars as he continues to beg for her love. Is this scene an effort by the writers to gain sympathy for Vedat? If so, it’s much too late.
After the evening’s festivities, Murat and Fatih sit outside, musing about their love life because they’re unable to sleep; in the bedrooms upstairs Nefes tries to explain her sense of happiness to Tahir, and Asiye tells Mustafa about the girls’ hamam plans for the next day. The next morning Ali drives Mother Saniye and the girls to the bathhouse where they are presented with beautiful baskets containing flowers, soaps, oils, sponges, combs and perfumes. A fight between the women ensues when two women refuse to move so the wedding party can sit together in the steam room. Later, the girls enjoy their sarma and Asiye sings a ballad.
Fikret visits the Kaleli office to give the musical instrument he has made to Mustafa, and when Mustafa says he doesn’t know how to play it, Fikret tells him to keep it because the instrument will find its owner. When Tahir arrives at the office, he greets Fikret, and, after admiring the instrument, invites Fikret to his wedding.
At his house, Fikret has dressed to attend Tahir’s wedding, but he has an unexpected guest. Vedat has come to see if Fikret can help him find Rustem. Fikret says he has people looking for Rustem, that they must be patient. He tells Vedat he must leave, and when he goes to his car, Fikret tells his henchman to get rid of Vedat so he won’t discover that Rustem is there. As far as we know, Vedat doesn’t know anything about the renewal of wedding vows by Nefes and Tahir. The Kaleli house is buzzing with the family members getting dressed in their wedding attire.
At the Dagdiveren house, Cemil asks about his daughters, just as the nosy neighbour, Naciye, comes by. She wants to know why they aren’t dressed for the wedding. Turkan says they have no reason to go to the wedding. Naciye says that’s strange since Nazar and Mercan were a part of the wedding party at the hamam. She goes on to say that she thought Cemil had restored his friendship with the Kalelis. In a burst of anger, Cemil goes into the girls’ bedroom and slaps Nazar, telling her to get out, to go to her husband’s house. Finally, Mercan confesses to her mother that it was Vedat who hanged her.
When Nazar arrives at Vedat’s house, he asks her why she has come home, and when she doesn’t answer, he threatens her. She spits in his face, he grabs her by the hair and forces her into a room where he beats her.
At the wedding, Fikret sits with Osman Hoda, Ali, and Esma. Osman Hoda is drawn to the symbol on a ring that Fikret wears and asks him if he knows what it means. Fikret says he does, that it signifies man standing before the one God, rioting against the “other gods.” The wedding commences with a happy couple sitting at the marriage table with Yigit and later greeting their guests who give the bride gold bracelets.
Murat encourages Fatih to talk to Berrak at some point during the evening: before this can happen, Berrak, Nefes and Esma do a folk dance. The lively, happy dance contrasts with the scene of a beaten Nazar, sobbing as she makes a call.
Nazar calls Berrak to tell her that she has been beaten and that she is locked in the torture room. Murat intercepts the call and immediately leaves to rescue Nazar with Berrak and Fatih following him. While the wedding guests give Nefes gifts of gold, Murat is speeding to Vedat’s house to rescue the woman he loves. As he calls out for Nazar, Murat approaches the house with a gun. Fatih and Berrak stop him before Vedat’s men can open fire on Murat, but when Fatih takes the gun from Murat’s hand and turns, one of Vedat’s men shoots him. Fatih falls into Berrak’s arms.
What is written on the note that Fikret places in the musical instrument? Why does he admonish Saniye to accept the “poor one” as redemption for her cruelty to Sakine? How is he connected to Nefes and what does he mean in saying the instrument will find its owner? What will Vedat do when he learns that Nefes and Tahir have renewed their wedding vows? What will Cemil do when he learns that Vedat is the one who hanged Mercan? How will Rustem’s escape affect Vedat? Will Vedat finally answer for his crimes? What is Fatih’s fate?