Everyone who watched this episode would have needed very acute listening to understand what was happening. Bookended by two extended periods of very emotive conversation, this was one chapter where what was said seemed of even more importance than what happened. And the characters were required to listen hard too, mostly without interruption. In this review, I’ll focus on what people had to say to one another.

The first part of this week’s episode picked up from last week’s abduction of Feride, as we found out, by Aziz’ father, Tahsin Korkmazer. I feared he was about to toss her over the nearby cliff, but eventually, she was able to remove her blindfold and there he was, bullyboy Tahsin, bulky, menacing and smug. Feride didn’t seem afraid of him at all, rather she was furious and an angry Feride was a sight to behold.

Aziz had followed and, staying back in the shadows, was able to watch his lover more than hold her own in verbal combat with his father. He enjoyed her strength and ability to stand up for herself but was enraged at his father’s threats and the ultimatum that Feride should disappear forthwith. Tahsin stated that his relationship with Aziz would not be compromised by her presence in his son’s life.

“You can buy people with money, but I’m not for sale”, she told Tahsin who informed her that other members of her family had been bought already. (They are his mother and his brother. I’m avoiding the pair of them this week.)

The reason for all of this?
“I’m scared of my son who loves you. I’m scared of losing my son.” And he told her directly that her siblings would be in danger if she didn’t accept his wish for her to disappear. He gave her a deadline to accept his terms and drove off in one car while Feride was driven back towards home. Emine had witnessed the abduction and was beside herself with worry for her friend, Yalcin and Yagmur set about tracking her. To everyone’s relief, she was returned to the neighbourhood and both young women headed off in the direction of Salih’s antique shop. Yalcin was furious when he found out that the abduction was on the order of Tahsin Korkmazer.

Meanwhile, Aziz followed his father, forcing his car to the side of the road then bundling him into his own vehicle and speeding off. The older man was forced to follow Aziz through the gravestones of an unfamiliar cemetery.

He had no idea why he was there until Aziz pulled up at a gravestone. Tahsin was visibly shaken to arrive at the grave of his other son, Firat Korkmazer.

While the two Korkmazer men were travelling, more talking was going on in Uncle Salih’s shop, this time between Chakal and Ali concerning the murder of Chakal’s family years ago. They left together and more visitors arrived at the antique shop. First, “Sir” Abdullah who headed straight upstairs to sleep on his regular couch, then later Feride, seeking refuge,
It seems Uncle Salih is the regular “go-to” person for many and his shop a safe house for troubled souls to catch their breath, to listen and to rest. Feride needed to sleep after what had been a very stressful day. She reminded Salih of the many times she had come to him as a child for a story and a rest and asked for the same again. Salih is a substitute father for those whose own fathers are missing or not functioning. His very presence is warm, safe and comforting. The regular game was different this week. Salih and his own sons were the only players. I felt that family time was a real luxury for the three of them.

In the graveyard, Tahsin was stunned at the words his son had for him.
He spoke, ‘This grave…” and Aziz responded
“It’s not a grave, Dad, it’s your younger son. Your son that you don’t feel responsible for because you forget him.”
Tahsin had, he continued, left his son behind and his wife to suffer the pain of child loss, which was so intense that she left her life when it seemed her elder son may never wake from his coma Aziz, with a wisdom not usually seen in someone so young, explained to his father that his mother loved him for two children and attacked anyone who got close to her remaining boy. Even though Aziz understood her “infectious” love and fought with her regularly, he never got mad with her because he understood her pain. Aziz accused his father of neglecting his mother, saying he had seen his father putting flowers on her grave, but asking whether he had ever given flowers and kind words for her when she was alive.

Aziz knew that his father had set up the poisoning attempt on Feride and could have killed both her and his son, the one he professed to be afraid of losing. His father was to keep his hand off Aziz’s Feride, the beautiful and innocent woman who was the only one he had ever loved in his whole life
The arranged marriage with Nehir was, he said, only a company affair. If Tahsin told anyone that Aziz did remember and had been pretending, Aziz
warned his father that he was prepared to create such a storm that no-one would survive. His father did indeed need to fear him, because he had
lost his son already. Aziz’s final accusation was that Tahsin loved only himself and at the very least should have the courage to admit that.
It seemed that even after these accusations from his son, Tahsin was still determined to have his own way and later in the episode was seen paying a contract killer to deal to both Chakal, who had information on Tahsin’s past, and Feride.

Nehir had noticed a shift in Aziz’s attitude to her and was fearful that he was moving back towards his former lover. Despite all her efforts, nothing Nehir did seemed to convince Feride to leave the company. In this Feride continued to be supported by Kerem, her immediate boss, who was also appreciating the care and love she gave to his grandmother, Aneta. Kerem seemed settled down to his work in his Ready Wear division of the Holding, a change which Aziz noted with pleasure. At the same time, Kerem is determinedly setting about discovering the history of the house where his family lived in the old district. He and Aneta had found it in their walkabout, in its sorry state still after a fire many years ago. Gulten is aware of the photo hehas of himself as a small boy with his mother and understands his need to search for her.

Nehir was incensed when Aziz called Feride to his office, asking Nehir to leave and to shut the door after her. She would have been even more enraged if she had seen Aziz deliberately flirting with Feride, walking backwards and forwards behind her, as he had done in pre-coma days, using his baritone speaking voice close to her ears, talking about business, but meaning something entirely different. I think he was trying to tell her that he did indeed remember her.

Aziz is an accomplished flirt. Not so for the new and gauche young accountant who gave Aziz the warning about discrepancies in the Holding
’s books, but who seems clumsy in affairs of the heart. We found out that Feride is not the object of his affections, rather Serpil, who is oblivious to his feelings. I think this might present us with some light relief overcoming episodes. I really like both characters a lot.

Back to the aftermath of this very eventful evening for the Korkmazers which started with the family dinner at which the subject of Firat’s anniversary was never mentioned. No sadness was shown by a father who didn’t even know that his dead son’s body had been repatriated from Germany by the boy’s older brother, fifteen years ago. Tahsin must surely begin to understand how much Aziz despises him.

Aziz was emotionally drained He headed for the antique store and Salih who understood that something very big had happened to Aziz. He hugged the younger man, much in the way a caring father might do and sent him to rest upstairs, near to Abdullah. Not before he drew Aziz’s attention to Feride, already asleep and safe on the downstairs couch.

Aziz fell into a troubled sleep and dreamt vividly of a strange place with large bows standing on plinths, where he wandered through misty air, hearing Feride calling for him in many different intonations of his name, ever looking for him. Was this the very point where he needed to listen to his inner voice and decide to tell her the truth about his remembering? His dream told him she was in urgent need of finding him.

Aneta was another person who needed to be listened to carefully in this episode. Hasibe, wanting to get on with her plotting with Nehir, had woken with toothache and insisted that Feride take care of Aneta for the day, even though she had work . After many attempts to find someone to “elder sit”, she came upon the ever-lovely Altan who, bemused by the prospect of entertaining an old lady for the day, was pre-empted by Aneta who got herself into his car and indicated she was up for a new adventure.
They ended up at Altan’s home, where Aneta relaxed contentedly in the fresh air and drank the tea that Altan made for her, with gentle hands. Abdullah seems always to know when his presence would be welcome and a comfort. Joining Aneta in the outside bower just like old friends, which it turned out they were, he smiled contentedly as he too took some time out.

A gathering of friends evolved and Aneta, despite her failing memory of more recent history had a rich recall of the neighbourhood and her growing up time. The others at the gathering listened intently, caught up in the histories of people whose names they had heard but whose lives were mostly unknown to them.

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Aneta knew about the seemingly small things that made for memories…the naughty girl who had climbed the tree to steal plums and was too afraid to come down, the fact that Abdullah only ever drank water and ate bread so offering him coffee was pointless, who had been friends in the old days and who had not. She held the floor and the younger ones listened, especially those whose present lives were still affected by the secrets held over from the time of these, their parents and grandparents. It was as if Aneta had turned the locks on some doors that had needed to be opened a long time ago.

Aziz had arrived at Altan’s with Sultan who Aneta had thought for a long time was the long-lost Alice. Sultan played along with her once again, telling Aziz that she didn’t mind accommodating the old lady’s failing memory if it gave her some pleasure and the warmth of a ’daughterly’ hug. He was unaware of Feride’s presence until the two encountered each other suddenly. No-one had thought of the possible consequences of both being there. A phone call from an increasingly anxious Nehir was answered politely by Aziz, but in the background, she could hear someone calling Feride’s name. Furious, she realized that Aziz and Feride were somehow in the same place and she got into her car, speeding off into the night.

As Aziz and Feride realized the depth of their longing for the other, they did not speak but could not disguise their feelings for one another. Sultan saw it and was delighted. They sat opposite one another throughout the meal until their companions pointedly peeled off from the table, leaving the two of them to have the conversation that everyone knew was long overdue.
Feride moved to clear the table. Aziz grasped her wrist and asked her to stay. He had never forgotten her and was so sorry he had hurt her, he said. Feride broke down and wept and Aziz held her close, both so glad to be in one another’s arms.

She had always known he was pretending, she said, and that’s what made it so hard. She told of the pain she had felt, the hurt in her heart when he touched Nehir and the effort it had taken her not to fall apart. As she talked out her misery and her longing for him, Aziz did not interrupt but listened intently. I don’t think that he had understood how hurt she had been, especially seeing him every day and his public coolness towards her, when she was playing out her faith in him. Feride reached into her bag, pulling out the old watch she had in her safekeeping and the engagement ring Aziz had given her. She pulled the eternity necklace, also a gift from him from her neck, opened up his right hand and put all three precious items into his palm.

She told Aziz that she would leave these things with him until there was a time when they both could deserve and celebrate their meaning. However, she said, it was up to him when that might happen. He should hurry up and get it done because her heart could not stand much more.
“I love you so much, Aziz”

On a busy Istanbul highway, the enraged Nehir put her foot down hard on the accelerator, did not see the oncoming vehicle and slammed head-on into it. Thrown forward in a whiplash motion, she hit her head on the steering wheel and lost consciousness. What possibilities and/or problems will this turn of events have for all the other players?
And since when has Kerem been keen gardener?

WRITTEN BY: Judith Kelleher



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