The first part of this episode, the confrontation between Aziz and Salih Baba, features some of the finest acting in a series which, for me, showcases the talents and commitment of some of the very best male actors from Turkey. I have had to watch the sixteen plus minute segment several times to pick up the nuances of meaning in the dialogue and the free and sincere expression of emotions from both men.

A great divide has opened between the young man who put Salih on a pedestal and the ex-surgeon who Aziz now blames for his arrogance in attempting surgery on his wounded brother when all others did not dare to try. Aziz feels betrayed by this man and accuses him of playing with his life and destiny. Quickly, Salih interrupts, telling Aziz to “Stop right there, kid, only God has control of destiny and he decides on life and death.”

Aziz acknowledges the “…power that can even control my dreams.” From the outset of “Vuslat” we have become aware that his subconscious is busy codifying his awareness, emotions and even projections into the future when Aziz is asleep. Right at the start, for example, he “meets” Feride who stands by the well in which he is floundering in his dream. This before, in ‘real life’ he almost runs her over, in his car. She would be, in time, a key to his way out of the well into which his little brother slipped through his hands. Try as he may, he can’t understand what the control of his dreams is about and Salih warns him that he is not dealing with the business of his company now. He is unlikely to be able to figure out all that is happening at once.

Looking around the antique shop, Aziz comments that it contains a Pandora’s Box of secrets and he asks whether Salih had given Holding documents to Firat. He had done so and Firat had passed them onto Tahsin. There was, he says, nothing personal in anything he had done.

Aziz is incensed and lashes out, accusing Salih of feeding his ego, sinking into his pride and playing God. A tearful and enraged Aziz hugs his pain to himself.

Salih acknowledges that whatever Aziz has heard about his actions is true, confirming that,
“I accept whatever you say about this.”
Moving to the game board, Aziz picks up the Wheel of Fortune spinner, placing it on a square close to the top. Salih moves it down the snake to position 7 at the bottom and states,
“Everyone starts from the bottom in this game. I started from ignorance, too, when I thought I was the most wise person.”
Bitterly, as Aziz makes seemingly random placements of the “Traveller” piece on the board, he accuses the older man of betraying his humanity and his profession. Salih is visibly shaken by Aziz’ ferocity and reaches out to steady himself on his feet.

The heart of the matter for Aziz follows. We have known right from the start of the series that he could not hold onto his small brother who fell into the well, but I don’t believe that we have understood the full impact on him of that tragedy till now. He spells it out.
“We killed Firat together, Doctor. I lived this pain when I didn’t even have a time when I can forget about him. What did you pay for? How can you stand across from me?”

Salih moves the Traveller to position 14 on the board, Gehenna/Hell, as he answers Aziz. “Good and bad things burn. When it’s over, the fire starts again. Hell has so many floors.”
What follows from Aziz is, I believe, his growing understanding of the importance of the quest he is now on. He wishes to love Feride with the fullness of his being. He knows that the grief and pain have stopped him from loving himself and,
“You can’t love someone else without loving yourself. I’ve grown up with the guilt feeling and couldn’t have loved myself.”
I think he undervalues his capacity for love…he has touched on it with Feride but there is so much more he can feel, once he is free of the pain. And what of the sister whom he loves, protects and nurtures? What of his kindness even to the awful ex when he rescues her from the police?
So, for all of you who are overly impatient for the HEA ending, sorry, not possible till the soul work is done!

The Traveller now moves to place 59, or Sevgi/Love with the comment from Aziz that you can understand everything by its opposite, not Hate as one would assume, but Carelessness in opposition to Love This, according to Salih and agreed upon by Aziz.

“Carelessness, it’s the anthem for my life. I missed the main thing. I missed love.”
Salih tracks the conversation, moving pieces around the board as the “What ifs…” start. Position 37 is Acizlite, , Inability/Helplessness. Somethings we cannot know or change. Aziz dislikes the “we”, not wanting a common destiny with the doctor. He summarises.
“Firat slipped through my hands. But you, with your hands…” Salih replies that God made the choice of who lived and who died when he operated. Aziz is adamant that a “…little kid died because of your arrogance.”
The only possible future for Firat without surgery would have been a lifetime on a bed so Salih decided to give him the only chance to run and play again. Still Aziz accuses him of believing so much in his own abilities that he didn’t listen to others. What’s worse, Salih got close to him by hiding truth. “Two-facedness?” But Salih is OK with his destiny, some of which one can know and some which can’t be seen.
Aziz wonders whether there are even more secrets and whether Salih is playing with his destiny on the board. The younger man is, according to Salih, unable to think because of his anger. In the end, the board and the Wheel of Fortune mean nothing. It’s about what’s written in your head.

“Nobody can ignore my will power. If you’re playing a game in here, I’m in the game from now, too!” Aziz has a flash of arrogance himself and sets the Wheel of Fortune in a spin which seems to go on forever, until Abdullah, as is his habit, materializes and intervenes by snatching the game piece, glowering at Aziz….

….and touching the tearful Salih on the shoulder. Abdullah, ever the comforter of those who hurt reassures Salih,
“God is with whose heart is broken.”
Aziz leaves the store, still hugging his pain to himself.
The Caglars are moving house and the atmosphere in the old place is decidedly hot. Hasibe doesn’t want to go and Faik has made up his mind that they are shifting. Can and Feride work on researching miniatures on the computer until the verbal war between Faik and Hasibe becomes increasingly loud and unpleasant. Hasibe resists with all her might, complaining to Firat, but he’s able to soothe her with talk of extra money and possible partnerships at the Holding Company.

As always, her greed wins. Later in the episode, Feride finds the secret stash of money which Hasibe took from Nehir with a promise to eliminate her stepdaughter from the race for Aziz’s affections. Hasibe snarls and grabs at the bundles of cash as Feride questions their origin.
.Aziz has gone missing. No one can track him down and everyone is looking. Salih has not opened his shop this morning and the two young men who call him father are very worried. Feride thinks they may be together, but neither Yalcin with his police resources nor Altan with his first- hand knowledge of Aziz’ behavior patterns can find anything out.

Necmi knows nothing either. Nor do his staff or his family who have been called by Tahsin to an urgent meeting about the precarious financial position, so he says, of the company. Tahsin is, of course, carrying through the instructions he received last episode from Bulent to squeeze Aziz out. Now is the perfect opportunity whilst his son is nowhere to be found.
I don’t know what to make of the lengthy sequence during which Salih and Aziz are indeed together in the forest tramping, axes over their shoulders, as they search for and prepare wood in a specific way for two individual fires.

I’m adopting a strategy I’ve used before with “Vuslat” when odd, unrelated things happen. I’ll just wait and see if an answer is forthcoming in a future episode.
A good example of the “mystery” scene happened last week with Aziz, in a dream, being instructed by a faceless voice to wind a covering around a hat in a prescribed fashion after he tended to the draping of a coffin. This week we find that the hat covering is the task of Salih and we witness his terrible grief as he weeps in the presence of that coffin, his back against the wall. Whose body is in the coffin we are not told, nor am
I clear whether this is a ‘real’ scene or a dream. This sequence is at the very end of the episode. An answer next episode, perhaps?
I find myself responding angrily to the behavior of the older men from the families of the three seekers. Faik is blind in his hatred of all things to do with the Korkmazer name and informs Feride that no father’s blessing will be forthcoming should she continue her relationship with Aziz. Faik insists that the younger man has bad blood. Feride is very hurt, but it’s my guess that Aziz would come first should a choice need to be made.
Bulent is in full bully made. He has found out that Kerem has collected up his mother and grandmother in a bid to rebuild his family. He calls Kerem to a meeting in the woods where he states that he wants into the new arrangement. His grandson is adamant that Bulent is not welcome, which may become a situation of danger for Kerem. Both his mother and grandmother are now in the Korkmazer mansion and keeping Alice’s presence quiet is very tricky.
Tahsin is unbelievably arrogant. He treats the staff at the Holding Company like underlings.


He table thumps at the business meeting he arranges and sets up Nehir to confront Feride, who wants to know about the money Hasibe has been given.

Tahsin manipulates people then discards them when they have no further use for him. Feride has learned to stand up for herself and tells him bluntly that Aziz has been damaged the most by his family. Certainly, his attitude and behavior make his show of sadness and loss while playing old family movies during the last episode into a cruel and devious ploy to get his grieving son on his side. He has been playing with Aziz’ emotions from the start.

Tahsin is a heart attack looking for a place to happen. He consumes large quantities of unhealthy food, is a pasty colour, carries too much weight and does not cope with stress. I wonder how long he can last at his game?
Necmi has checked in with Feride and told her that her part of the task has been completed. She has found the vinyl recording, listened to it and identified the song in which the story of a miniature is told. She has played the song for Aziz who picks up the next part of the quest. He is on the hunt for the miniature and finds himself in the apartment of the now elderly granddaughter of Mrs Cemile Nihan, who received the miniature as a lover’s gift.

Sadly, the miniature was sold by her mother who had to provide for her children on her own. A man had turned up at her mother’s door offering many times the value of this reminiscence. He had left a photograph behind and his name was written on the back. Mehmet Sefik Korkmazer. Aziz’s grandfather.

The old lady has been captivated by Aziz’s respectful and courtly behavior and insists that he take the photo, especially since his grandfather’s name is written on the back. As he descends the winding staircase outside her apartment an elderly man comes out of another door in a seemingly random meeting. Ever the gentleman, Aziz helps the elder downstairs and then insists on driving the man to “visit his grandchild.” The drive takes a very long time. The old man had seen the photo. Without any kind of warning, there is a pistol at Aziz’s temple.

The old man takes the photo whilst the driver of a mysterious black car keeps a gun trained on Aziz. Both strangers get into the black vehicle and Aziz is left pondering what happened. Another piece of the puzzle for next week? Just who is this random old man?

For the romantics who are hanging out for Aziz and Feride “to get back that loving feeling.” Just think about that lovely little conversation when she is anxious that the Road will take him away. Aziz reassures her that if he couldn’t look back and see her, he would leave the Road. She is what is keeping him going. He loves her very much. He knows that completing the Quest will help him love her even more.

I also noticed in the newest trailer that a wedding dress has appeared. Who it belongs to I’m not sure, but all the HEA fans should breathe easy…I think it may have been Ferida’s Mum’s gown getting ready for a second outing with a few designer retouches, I imagine. What do you think?

WRITTEN BY: Judith Kelleher



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