Something newsworthy and unpleasant has happened to Aziz. As the episode opens he is greeted by a pack of reporters and photographers who are baying for blood. What scent of scandal has drawn them there we’re not yet sure but Aziz struggles through them, not commenting at all until he reaches the relative security of his ca. rHe pauses briefly to catch his breath then drives off.

We are about to find out what brought the reporters to the steps of Korkmazer Holdings. We’re also going to learn some of the secrets which have kept these families entangled and stagnant for three generations.

Aziz knows that the sea will be significant in the present stage of his journey. His last Satranc-i- Urefa “lesson” with Salih led him to understand that solitariness, such as that felt by a person lost in the sea, would be an experience to embrace. Faith that he would be returned to the land in some form and that god would be in charge would help him endure the necessary separateness.

The guide and the Traveller are at the water’s edge this time It is a still, cool night lit by a full moon as they huddle over the game board laid out on a low table. The spin throws up a three which takes Aziz to a place that Salih describes as “a rough scene”. He reminds Aziz about saying “Yes”, both to the goodness that comes with destiny and the evilness that brings trouble. Aziz, intent on understanding, replies that he can recognize the need for submission.

Submitting is, of course, much easier on a good day than on a bad one. Salih illustrates with the glass of clean water which he holds up for Aziz to observe, before reaching down for some soil which he adds to the glass.

He likens the dirt that muddies the water for everyone with the seeds of discord that are thrown and which everybody must deal with. Aziz remembers his last lesson about humans being made of both water and earth and wonders whether, at the right time, the water can be clear again. Salih thinks that is possible, if one can identify the creators of the discord first. Ruefully, Aziz comments that those people are slippery and can be hard to distinguish. They are, he says janus-faced, referring to the Roman god who was known to have two faces, like a coin. Janus gives his name to the first month of the year, looking back at the past and forward into the future. These people are hypocrites and slanderers who come with conflicting messages, yet one must understand them to defeat them.

Pretending to believe when they don’t and using that for their own purposes, Salih reminds Aziz, leaves these people to face their own devils. These are just the kind of people that Aziz is being faced with in the business world, hypocrites who will say one thing to his face and another behind his back. People like this are so, says Salih, because “…their hearts are inside out. Sometimes like this, sometimes like that.”

The lesson is completed with one of Salih’s rich repertoire of parables, this one about the boastful hunter who went looking for snakes and found a dead dragon instead. Claiming it as his kill in the market-place in Baghdad, he talked up the story, unaware that the dragon had merely been in suspended animation and was now waking up. The people and the place became the dragon’s food and fuel for his fire. All were consumed by this creature, the dragon being symbolic of ego. People such as those Aziz is dealing with eventually burn in the fire which they create Faith is the best weapon with which to defeat them and to get rid of one’s immaturity.

This very carefully crafted lesson arms Aziz for the mission ahead. On his own despite Altan’s worried objections, he sets up a meeting with Bulent by forcing him off the road and asking “Sir Kelebek”, as he calls him, to step out from the shadows and meet him, face to face, over tea.

As they head off to meet, Yalcin is calling on Feride’s home. It’s evening and everyone is in the lounge as Yalcin knocks. Plainly, it’s a sensitive matter and Faik is unsettled, knowing only that Feride has been speaking to the police. Without elaborating, Yalcin informs a reluctant Faik that everyone, including Can is needed at the police station to make a statement.

Aziz and Bulent are at an open-air tea stall. Expressing surprise at how easily and quickly Bulent had been able to get himself out of jail, Aziz is direct and uncompromising in asking why Bulent, who seems to have it all, would be bothered to mess with him, his family and his company. It’s all about waging war and winning, says Bulent and it doesn’t really matter what or who it’s about. Only victory matters. His arrogance is breathtaking as he tells Aziz that his statement that he would give everything for the people he loves is a naïve, meaningless approach. Mehmey Sefik Korkmazer and others, Bulent says, had a similar approach to life and ended up getting “…their heads smashed.”

When Aziz states that he won’t allow the seeds of discord which Bulent sows to take root, Bulent scoffs at him, saying that Aziz’s world and that of his father is about to come crashing down. Already, he says, “Those seeds sprouted, became a tree, became a forest.”

Aziz comments, leaning back and comfortable in his own skin, that though Kerem is a naïve kid and his father is scared, he himself is not afraid. Neither is he naïve, he is seeking the truth. Again, Bulent sneers at this “…meaningless approach”, but isn’t averse to asking Aziz to join him. Aziz is amused and unmoved at the older man’s effrontery.

Trading guarded insults, the two finally get to the point. Aziz asks, “Tell me, Sir Butterfly, what is your problem with me?” Bulent begins to disclose the information that Aziz has long wanted. It’s Aziz’s grandfather who is Bulent’s problem, not Aziz personally.

The story that Bulent tells starts with a blunt statement that Aneta, his wife, was a rich woman. Mehmet Sefik Korkmazer didn’t like Bulent being married to Aneta, he said, because it made him more powerful than Aziz’s grandfather.

The foundation of the Holding is the bottom line for Bulent’s need for victory. As Aneta’s husband he asserts that he had the right to act with her money and that she gave him that right. Aziz does not look convinced. Though the other partners, Aziz’s grandfather and Faik’s father, were partners at the beginning, Bulent states that it is now time for the Holding to revert to its true ownership. He claims that he is the true founder of the company.

Aziz replies that the dragon which Bulent thinks he has caught will one day burn him and everyone around him. Bulent, for all the knowledge he brags about, does not know Salih’s story of the snake hunter and the sleeping dragon. Bulent is furious that Aziz, whom he thought a soft pushover,r is standing up to him and telling him that he is no sheep. Aziz walks away leaving the enraged “Sir Butterfly” to sit alone.

The mood at the Caglar household is ugly. The upcoming visit to the police station has unnerved Hasibe and the two boys look bewildered. Firat comments that this is the first he’s heard of an aunt who was murdered and Hasibe is blaming Feride for handing the gun over to the police. Faik looks troubled and tries to shut the conversation down but he supports Feride when she stands up to Hasibe’s ranting.

Can, who acted so responsibly in handing the gun over to his big sister, is very upset and confused at the tension. Feride heads off to give her testimony, leaving the others to follow.

Kerem has arrived at Tahsin’s office to demand the transfer of his shares. When Tahsin uses delaying tactics and offers to support Kerem in exchange for keeping the shares, the answer is a blunt “No, I don’t want it!” He just wants Tahsin to transfer the shares, the same, he says, as Nehir did, without him having to ask twice. He’s bought all Nehir’s interests, it’s time for Tahsin to hand over and once he does, Kerem will be the biggest shareholder.

There will be no money paid to Tahsin. In exchange, Kerem will not give incriminating documents, which came from the back of the miniature over to the police. Kerem will pay by keeping Tahsin out of jail for murder. Tahsin is unnerved by the mention of Rustem’s name, who Kerem tells him has returned from the grave. Rustem, he says, should be found and killed but that’s up to Tahsin.

Kerem goes looking for Enes and discovers that he left the Holding with Aziz the day before. Food for thought…

Feride and Aziz agree to meet at the antique shop. Salih’s not home so they call into Uncle Necmi who might know where his friend is. As they wait for the coffee Necmi insists on making them, light-hearted banter about Feride’s reputed naughtiness as a child breaks out. They are easy together, but there’s still a lot they don’t know about one another.

Insisting that she was a good kid, she challenges Aziz to think about how naughty he probably was. He tells her of a lonely childhood with parents who didn’t pay him much attention, a problem brother in Kerem, no neighbourhood like hers and solitary play. In a very sad story, he tells her about playing Hide and Seek against himself where he both hid and sought. She understands him from her heart, “You even were hurting yourself when you were a child, Aziz.”

Aziz dreams of a different life for the children they will have. Smiling, they share some of their dreams for the family life they want to create.

Kerem is still looking for Enes. Serpil is cagey with him, pretending not to know anything. She says she’ll try to find Enes by phone,but doesn’t seem enthusiastic for the task.

Over coffee with Necmi, Feride and Aziz learn that his part of the miniature story was to hide two letters in the frame of the artwork. One had information about Bulent, the other was about Tahsin. Aziz has said that his father seems afraid and he had been thinking this had something to do with the miniature: Kerem was threatening him.

Feride asks why Necmi didn’t just hand the letters over to them. It was done according to Mehmet Seyfik’s will, he says, and Aziz understands from what Necmi tells him that his grandfather set a test for them all.

Kerem has chosen his side and no longer has anything to do with them in this matter but Aziz and Feride must go on until they find the next part.
It is not his job to help them with this: Salih is the one who knows how they should go ahead with the next part of the search.

As they leave Necmi, Feride is quiet and distant, saying that she will go to her father. Aziz is worried. He tells her he needs her and not to get too upset. They part in the street and there seems to be a tension growing between them. He seems worried.

Kerem has contacted Altan by phone asking for Aziz’s whereabouts and whether he might be doing some private business with Enes. Enes is sitting next to Altan in the company car. Altan gives nothing away.

Faik is at the police station giving testimony. His body language shows his emotional pain as he is asked to bring to the surface memories he has tried to bury for years. Yalcin asks him if there is anything he wants to add to statements he made years ago.

Faik does not know how the gun got into the house and does not want to stir up old memories. He signs his statement and leaves.

Altan is taking Enes to his family home to see why the young man sold out to Bulent. A phone call en route from Aziz establishes the existence of a notebook Kerem has kept which has records of every wrong thing done by
everyone involved in the company and more. Bulent had told Enes to locate the notebook and to give it to him should Kerem cause any problems.
The search for this notebook by Aziz and Altan takes up a good deal of the rest of this episode and will eventually come to a tragic ending with a shooting. It is concealed in the case of the set of personalized billiard balls Kerem had made with the faces of his enemies within his family.

Before this, Aziz and Kerem will have a “game” of billiards. The “rules” they make up will allow the winner of each point to ask the other anything he wants. It becomes more and more bitter as the game progresses. This is a last-ditch attempt by Aziz to reach his stepbrother, but it is fruitless. Kerem has decided to trust his grandfather this time. After all, the Korkmazers had deceived him, especially Aziz, all his life, he says. Aziz tells him it is sad that he has chosen not to see the true face of his grandfather, who has been bankrupted many times in the past and then manipulated others to build back. Aziz does confirm that there is such a black book as Enes said and Kerem boasts that his grandfather has recorded every story about his misdeeds in it. Kerem has possession of the book. The bitter and tense game ends in a declaration of war between the brothers, no quarter to be given.

Faik has left the police station where Hasibe is giving evidence that is alerting Yalcin to some inconsistencies. He trudges slowly towards an unknown destination, not aware that Feride is tailing him. He is heading towards a place that will be traumatic for them both.

It is a cemetery, and he locates two graves, his dead wife and murdered sister side by side.

Faik prays and pulls a few weeds, breaks down and cries. A weeping Feride tries to comfort him. This is the first time she has seen her mother’s and aunt’s resting places.

Faik leaves Feride . She kneels between the graves, a hand on each and the grief in her eyes is almost too hard to witness. (I think this is some of her finest acting in “Vuslat” from this young woman)

And there is messenger angel, Abdullah, who has arrived at the graveside with a letter from the past from her aunt, to her mother before she married Faik.

The first Feride was glad that Suheyla was marrying her brother and after cautioning care, made a request that will help to settle the younger Feride’s heart. She asked her soon to be sister in law to name any daughter that she and Faik may have after her. Feride was named so by special loving request.
Zehra and Alice call into see Salih. There has been some improvement and Zehra is asking her friend and former brain surgeon for help. Alice is enchanted by the shop and seems to have some memories of it from her past.

Tekin and Ahmet are curious about Alice. Salih tells them who she is, then tells the story of Necmi who had and protected both Alice and her mother, Aneta from the emotional and psychological abuse of Bulent for years.
As Aziz and Altan sort out ongoing support for Enes’ family when he is eventually charged and imprisoned for his offending, they are also focused on finding the black book. It is found in the billiard ball case.

And Kerem is furious to find it missing. Bulent has ordered him to deal with Enes who has “betrayed” them, in a manner fitting his grandson, not in a soft Korkmazer way. Enes is the means that Aziz will use to defeat them unless he is permanently dealt to.

Kerem is tracking Aziz, Altan and Enes who are driving and Bulent realizes that he has lost possession of the black book. His grandfather tells Kerem not to worry, he has other plans, as two cars block the car carrying Enes. Altan and Aziz use their military training to deal with the four “heavies” sent by Bulent.

They deal to Bulent’s men, but find that the waiting Enes has disappeared from the car where they told him to wait.

Yalcin and Feride have tracked down Rustem to a private hospital where he is under police guard and in a coma. Feride keeps vigil, waiting for him to awaken so that she can find out who really was responsible for the murder of her aunt.

Tahsin has been desperately trying to find Rustem after Kerem’s threats to disclose the information found in the miniature. He had thought the man dead in a shootout. He has a private detective chase down the location and prepares a plan to kill the comatose man.

The episode hurtles towards a tragic ending. There will be a death in the hospital as the police guards are overpowered. Rustem’s plug is pulled by Tahsin and he dies.

Tahsin will arrive at the hospital in time to devastate Feride with a terrible story of his compulsive love of her mother and the admission that he shot her aunt who moved in front of Suheyla to protect her.

Enes will be shot in the forest as Kerem who has taken him hostage demands his notebook back. We don’t yet know whether he has died.
And Kerem will release online the video of the very first event in the first episode of “Vuslat”, the fight involving Aziz, upon which Feride had stumbled. This is an act of war by Kerem. The story spreads very fast. Sultan is the first to make Aziz aware of the online video. Her distress and disgust are plain to see as she plays it on the screen in his office.

This event is the point at which we entered the episode and is where we leave it. Salih’s careful preparation and training for Aziz’s isolation and loneliness, his stories about the sea and about snakes and dragons will be crucial to his survival as the rest of the story plays out.

WRITTEN BY: Judith Kelleher



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