The catastrophe is at hand, the unravelling brutal, the pain immense.
The news of his father’s death is a body blow to Aziz who clutches his sister close. Feride looks on, shocked and helpless.

Kerem comes upon the scene and is pushed away by Sultan who bitterly blames him and his ambition for what has happened. He has no idea yet what she is talking about, but soon the full horror of the situation is revealed as Yalcin arrives, offering condolences to the Korkmazer siblings, but more urgently needing to take Feride aside.

Faik, looking as if he has aged several years in a few minutes, has arrived wanting to be the one to tell her that Firat has done what he has long threatened. Yalcin recounts the details. Firat has managed to get himself into the remand section of the prison and has stabbed Tahsin to death. In the melee which followed, Firat too has been stabbed and has died. “Firat’s gone”, sobs Faik. The rupture between the two families is complete.

Kerem, as usual, is separated from the others and seems shocked to the core, no doubt recalling his disastrous relationships with both dead men. Is he thinking about his grandfather’s role in the double slaying? I think so… but what is that small smile, and the tears welling up as well. Just how conflicted is this foster son of Tahsin Korkmazer?

A funeral procession can be seen approaching, slow, solemn, in keeping with tradition.

It’s Tahsin in that coffin. Altan helps Aziz carry his father to his final resting place.

Another procession halts briefly, allowing Tahsin’s coffin to pass. This is Firat being carried by Yalcin, Tekin and Necmi, among others.

Many of those following the coffins could have been in either procession. The double fatality will have impacted many people. How that might be for some of them we’ll find out soon But for now we see grieving women following either coffin, trudging, ashen-faced, eyes downcast: men are stoic and separate from one another as they escort their friend or family member to his grave.

The burials take place at the same time, close to one another. In the background, Salih can be seen communing with his old mentor and stepfather, Mehmet Sefik Korkmazer, who is buried close by. I wonder what thoughts and words might pass between them if Aziz’s grandpa was still alive. Abdullah is alongside Salih, watching.

Aziz is aware of their presence. He looks out over the mourners, as if he is seeking Salih out.

At Firat’s graveside, Feride seems turned in on herself, eyes downcast, disconnected from those around her. She remembers painful conversations with her brother

Necmi’s courteous thank you to the sextons for their promptness in digging the graves helps us to solve a mystery. They had arrived to dig the graves that morning but found them prepared already. We recall Abdullah digging in the dark last episode, on a mission seemingly unrelated to what was happening. Does this ”knowing” about two deaths before they occurred strengthen my claim that he IS an unworldly figure? Is he indeed an angel, albeit heavily in disguise?

Sultan weeps both for her father and for Firat, remembering their last conversation where he had asked for her foregiveness. She had told him she chose to remember now what people did rather more than what they said. This, before he chose to kill her father. She watches with Gulten as Aziz, standing in the open grave, receives and gently lays down his father’s shrouded body.

Just as Tekin, acting for the Caglar family, lays the boards over Firats’s body…

Aziz is doing the same in his father’s grave.

Hasibe is devastated by the death of the beloved son who could do no wrong in her eyes and we are reminded how he died, calling out for his Mum. Losing control, Hasibe runs towards Tahsin’s burial ceremony, Faik trying to restrain her.

She screams accusations that her life has been ruined by Aziz, who looks up, dazed by grief from his father’s grave. No one seems to be paying attention to her other son, young Can who stands, silent and solemn, next to his parents.The camera pans around both grave sites capturing the sadness and loss on the faces of so many friends and family members. Salih and Abdullah continue their silent vigil next to Aziz’s grandfather’s grave.
Aziz looks up and outwards for their silent acknowledgement before he begins the ritual of shoveling the earth back over the boards and over his father’s body mourners all around him.

At the same time, Yalcin, Tekin and Ahmet are filling in Firat’s grave. When he has taken his turn Ahmet leaves, indicating to Tekin that he is going to the other funeral.

Altan is first to take over from Aziz, when suddenly Kerem is there, having stepped out from the concealment of the surrounding trees. Aziz takes the shovel from him, his face hardened against the foster brother who had turned on their father. Instead, he hands over to Ahmet, who having done his duty for the Caglar family, has left Firat’s graveside to support Sultan, with whom he is in love, and the man whom he calls, “Aziz, brother.”

Kerem, sunglasses on, steps back and watches from the tree-line.

Mehmet Sefik Korkmazer’s grave hides a secret, indicated by Abdullah to Salih without one word being needed. A look suffices and soon the metal box hidden by Tahsin just before his death will be exhumed and the grave tidied so no one would ever know. And we don’t know, yet, what message Tahsin has left with his father.

Salih prays, surveys the funerals and leaves the cemetery, thankfully. We leave as well. It has been a very painful affair and I’m impressed with the skill, rigour and dignity which the cast and crew have invested in this exceptional passage of film-making.

Three days later, Salih and Tekin are being served tea by Ahmet…

…who is worrying about Aziz’s self-imposed isolation upstairs in the antique store.

Salih’s not worried, Aziz will come out of seclusion when he’s ready. Often it’s easier to be alone and silent when the weight of grief is heavy and fresh. It’s like when the body is sick and appetite disappears. Neither the body nor the soul need weight when they are self-healing. Feride isn’t around either and they observe that she is probably going through much the same as Aziz. The best their friends can do is wait and pray.

Another friend is there, too Altan has been keeping vigil outside the store, as his friend grieves alone, inside and upstairs. Ahmet takes him tea.

Zehra and Emine are worried, too, about Feride who has isolated herself, in the atelier. She hasn’t eaten for three days, nor has she left the building. Aunt Zehra lets them in with her keys and they find Feride sitting, almost catatonic, in the back room, tears in her eyes. Taking charge, they manage to get her moving. Getting her to go home proves to be impossible without Emine’s promises to stay with her. Feride is adamant that she doen’t have the strength to deal with Hasibe.

At the Caglar home, Can is struggling to deal with his brother’s death. He asks his heartbroken father whether Firat was a bad person. Bothmiss Firat, but neighbourhood gossip has left its mark on the boy and he needs his father’s reassurance.

Feride’s absence is painful, and Faik reminds Can that she is also hurting and will come back when she is ready.

Bulent has seized the chance to assert what he sees as his “rights” at Korkmazer Holdings. He sweeps into the building and arrogantly demands to be taken to Tahsin’s room.

When security personnel attempt to intercept him he tells them he is there by right as Kerem’s grandfather and will do as he wishes. Whilst his grandfather is attempting a take-over, Kerem is playing with old “toys” he’d forgotten about.

Howevern,o matter what his games, Bulent’s power will start to diminish soon as Kerem brings attention back to what is most important to him. The well-being of his mother and grandmother will take all his time and effort as he and the hypnotherapist take some big risks. They will use innovative but difficult steps to help Alice relive parts of the trauma which made her retreat into a world of “not-speaking”.

Before this, though, he’ll need to give his grandfather, loud and clear, the message that Tahsin may, indeed, be dead, but Bulent is not the natural successor. Kerem’s been seeing through Bulent for s little while now, beginning to understand the one-sided rules of engagement his grandfather has been constructing in readiness for Tahsin’s demise. Bulent’s fatal flaw would seem to be the arrogance which blinds him to his grandson’s prodigious though under-used intellect. And cunning, probably enough to match his own. Bulent won’t win this Battle of the Holding. Kerem won’t say, “Hail the new king,” for him.

Abdullah’s dropped into the antique store and glances at the current position on the Satranc-I Urefa board. To his unspoken query, Salih indicates that, yes, the Passenger in question IS, Aziz and that he’s upstairs. Picking up the Passenger piece, Abdullah heads upstairs, placing the little statue on a ledge directly in view of the sleeping Aziz. Time to get on with the Journey, Aziz, as soon as you wake up.

The struggle for control of the Holding is, under way, though not verbally acknowledged between Kerem and Bulent who sits in Tahsin’s chair as if it IS his new throne.

The conversation they DO have leads Bulent to think he is welcome and has the upper hand. Outside the office, Kerem talks under his breath, telling Bulent to always be nearby so that it will be easy for Kerem to take his revenge for what his grandfather has done to Aneta and Alice.

Feride arrives at her house, Emine reminding her that this is the home that she owns, she has a right to be there. She’s reluctant to go in for fear of Hasibe. She’s right, Hasibe attacks in the nastiest possible way in front of other women from the neighbourhood. Feride leaves her, a mess of self-pity and poisonous invective. Faik has found out that Firat had paid off his father’s debts. He seems not to ask how, or when. Another example of the Caglar parents expecting their children to take care of them, rather than the other way around.

Aziz has emerged. He joins Salih, waiting for him at the Satranc-I Urefa board. Abdullah observes. Aziz places the Passenger where it had last been and recites the names of the next six possible squares, dependent on the spin. He is taken to Kamil-I Mursit, for Salih once a key in his own journey to find his true self.He couldn’t find at that time, even though he was Professor Doctor Salih Koluber, a way to heal his own spiritual sickness. The answer was through obedience to hard rules by choice, rather than through the oppression of being forced into a kind of slavery. Aziz seems to get what he means. He’s interested again, engaging with his journey.

Kamil-I Mursit may be, he thinks, about finding what is the good and choosing it over the bad. Not because someone makes you, but because you have found and understand a Known Truth and choose, after thinking and weighing up, to follow it.

Kerem has been spooked by Bulent’s increasing arrogance and is pushing for ways to get his mother to talk. There is clearly a very big secret and he wants the answers. An agreement is made with her therapist to take Alice back to the scene of the trauma which has silenced her, in the hope that with appropriate support, reliving at least part of it will help her to speak . She could be empowered to express the emotions which she has hidden for so many years. And Kerem will learn what happened to his father.

Zehra has come to consult with Salih, again. She’s already talked about the matter on her mind with Necmi. They are all very concerned about the terrible events that have plagued the neighbourhood as the result of the ongoing family feud. The years of pain can only be healed in one way, they agree, and that is the bringing together of the wounded parties through the marriage of Aziz and Feride, who love each other so much anyway. The plan needs some support, the main obstacle being Faik and his refusal to consider Aziz as a suitable match for his daughter. Salih will tackle Faik, Zehra will take on other tasks including talking with Feride, but they’ll make it happen.

Drowsing upstairs, Aziz hears the conversation and falls back into dreams of times when he and Feride were so happy. And when he first realized he could rely on Salih to love him, too, as a father figure.

Feride dreams of times when a life with Aziz seemed possible, but tells Zehra and Emine that such seems impossible now. Throughout this episode the lovers are separated by the events around them and by their individual pain which must be attended to before any reunion is possible.

Sultan, incensed at Bulent’s presence in her Dad’s office, enlists Altan’s help to evict him. Guns are drawn and Bulent leaves in a fury, stating that either he takes any place he wants, or he burns it, with everything inside it.

This is a very big hint of the explosions to come soon. Alice has been taken to the old factory, accompanied by Mrs Canaan the hypnotherapist and Kerem, holding her arm and reassuring her. She is very afraid. All of them feel the oppressive and ugly mood of the place.

Alice talks of fire and that “he” burned it. Mrs Cannan wonders who he was and what he burned. Kerem picks up charred remains of old -fashioned fob watches. Whose were they? What was this place?

Alice is hyper-vigilant, wired, afraid, Kerem totally tuned to his mother’s actions and words. He keeps reminding her that he is there, with her. The hypnotherapist lights a small fire

The hypnotherapist is pressing for answers about the fire and now, about the screams, too, which Alice seems to be hearing. She has regressed to the time of the fire as she stands still, suddenly. Sweating, she screams siliently. Something very strange is burning within the flames of the fire she sees in ehr head. she picks up a glass of water …her mind fights the memory of pouring water from such a glass in an attempt to douse the body of Mehmet…

…her husband who has been set alight, alive, by order of her father, Bulent. Because she had eloped with the man she loved. And had a baby. A boy, Kerem, who can see his mother pouring water over an imaginary object in an imaginary fire, unseen to him but real to her. The answer is coming, however, from his mother, her voice set free by remembering
“He burned the place. Mercilessly. With whatever was in it.”
“Your grandpa.”

His mother tells him of the torment inflicted on them both by Bulent and the subsequent rescue by Necme, who then hid and protected them while Bulent hunted them like prey.

Eventually the little family escaped to Germany. Kerem is about to discover that everything his grandfather has told him is a self-serving fiction. Tahsin was his parents’ friend who had protect them all from Bulent. He took Kerem and created a new identity for Alice and Mehmet, helping them to escape. Life was good for them all, in Germany They became the Aslan family, though Kerem kept his father’s name Saltuk and was fostered by Tahsin.

Firat’s death in the well brought the Korkmazers and Kerem back to Turkey. The pain of longing for her small son meant that Alice and Mehmet followed despite the danger from the vengeful Bulent. The burning of her beloved husband, alive, was the culmination of years of hatred and the point at which Alice entered her Great Silence. In denial, Aneta began ‘forgetting”. Necmi took responsibility for their safety now. And her great friend Zehra has always loved her, wondering what had become of her.

Kerem is appalled, hearing what happened to the women. This family secret has been the foundation of his whole life. Not only has he misjudged Tahsin, who kept quiet for years in order to protect Kerem, but his hatred of Aziz has been founded in a further secret.

Haltingly, he asks his mother why Aziz might have said he saw Tahsin shoot his parents. Alice explains that the people shot were a couple Bulent had sent to steal baby Kerem away. Tahsin, she says,

“…had to shoot them to save you.”
And Aziz could very well have seen this. Appalled, Kerem realizes how he has been tricked into resenting and hating the brother who had always loved and protected him.

Bulent’s days are numbered. Not only will Kerem, armed with this new story, hunt him down, but Gulten has also been asking questions of Alice. She’s discovered the complicated and illegal ways in which Aneta has been tricked into handing control of her assets to Bulent. There is a way, Gulten says, for this to be reversed legally, Aneta, tricked in her innocence and failing memory, can divest Bulent of his financial power and take back what is left of the considerable fortune she inherited from her father.

Mehmet Sefik Kormazer had helped set up some protective financial documentation for Aneta, which seems to have gone astray, and she had left everything in her will to her grandson, Kerem, anyway. About time she talked about all the financial stuff with Kerem himself, Gulten suggests.

What else happens in this episode, now that the skids are under the evil kelebek man? Here’s some of it…

Feride still struggles with her prospects for a life with Aziz. The double murder has pushed them further apart. They are both aware of this widening divide.A fresh breeze blows through the antique store where Aziz drifts in and out of sleep. The miniature waits for him nearby.

Soon, he and Salih will ponder its remaining mysteries more closely. They will realise that the story the painting tells and so many of the objects contained within it have been predictions of the events he has lived through over recent times. His grandpa has been talking with him through this treasure which he surrounded with mystery and magic in order to set Aziz on the Passenger’s journey to Vuslat. Mehmet Sefik Korkmazer probably knew about Feride, too. He seems to have been a remarkable human.

Alice returns from the factory, looking different. Communication between her and Aneta improves as memories slowly return and her mother recgnises her more easily.

Salih has two more Passenger statuettes which he hands to Abdullah, for distribution. One will go eventually to Feride, the other to Kerem. Are these personal invitations to the Satranc-I Urefa board?

How might any future journey by Feride towards Vuslat affect the outcome of Aziz’s present travels, should he reach Reunion while she would be a new Traveller?

The ever welcoming Salih, invites Faik, seemingly lost and drifting, back into the antique store. He’s not been there for a long time. Firat pours out his sadness over Firat and is carefully led by Salih to consider the love between Aziz and Feride. Upstairs, Aziz hears all the conversation, including Salih’s statement that the marriage will take place and that it is the only thing that can begin to heal the past. Such a thing seems light years away to Aziz right now. Faik is still bitter and leaves, stating his intention that Aziz will still suffer over the Korkmazer sins of the past.

Aziz understands the wholeheartedness of the support that Salih man is offering him as the older man poses a question which is surely at the very heart of this “Vuslat” series.
“Can we give a child his father’s sin?”

Altan and Emine, keeping watch over their grieving friends, have been worrying that Feride and Aziz may never talk to one another again. Time is passing fast and Altan realizes he must move in his own love story. He has brought the ring, finally making the proposal Emine has been longing for.

Aziz lingers in seclusion while Salih, Tekin and Ahmet inside and Altan outside, respect his need to be alone and wait.

Sultan has moved into the neighbourhood and comes visiting. The romance between her and Ahmet has been growing. She asks him to sing and he is reluctant at first, about the appropriateness of such a time for songs. Salih and Tekin encourage Ahmet, for these songs that they love tell important stories which can be carried from one generation to the next. Songs heal. Ahmet starts to play and sing, and Sultan waits for the right moment to join the song.

The song is the trigger for Aziz to rise, shake his head, rub his eyes and come downstairs, Sultan smiles. Aziz doesn’tlift his head just yet and sits away from them near the game board, but she is satisfied that he has at least come down, near people again.

Faik is at the atelier, visiting his daughter when Hasibe bursts in ranting at him and once again attacking Feride. She’s in a blind rage spitting hatred and accusations and Faik can see for himself what Feride has had to tolerate for so long. Even now, he doesn’t stand up for Feride as he should, leaving her to cry alone. I wish she’d see the weakness in her father.

Aziz seems to be waiting for the Traveller to continue his journey. Sultan is watching him carefully. She says he must stop blaming himself for what has happened. His silence frightens her. The first sign that he is hearing her happens as he lifts his head slightly when she says she needs him. His grief and pain are palpable as he apologises to her “I’m sorry, Sultan, I can’t talk to you because I can’t look at your face.”

As she moves close to him, Aziz adds that he tried to fix all the mistakes of the past, but that he failed. Sultan understands, She wonders had she acted differently, whether Firat would still be alive. They are both caught up in “if only…’ People hated that he and Feride were together, Aziz explains, so that is no longer a possibility. That Feride’s brother is now their father’s killer is a huge load to bear, or even to think about.

At the Satranc-I Urefa board the next step awaits him. He recalls the fateful night Abdullah announced that the Passenger had arrived and he started his journey, Abdullah arrives again to watch this fateful spin, with the Passenger so close to Vuslat.

“Sir Abdullah,” Aziz asks, “Being a passenger, why is it so hard? Did you pass by this road? Did you play this game? Did you meet my grandpa? Were you a Passenger?”

No words in reply, but from Abdullah’s pocket, a broken Passenger statuette
”So they ruined you, too? “ Abdullah is agitated and Salih steps in, angry at Aziz’s presumptuousness. If Abdullah had wanted to talk, why would he have decided to be mute most of the time, salih asks. Aziz apologizes and Salih tells him that if he really wants to know the answers, he could try looking in the mirror at the bottom of the game board.

“Look at it well, Azi.z” Abdullah rocks in agitation in his current day chair. In the mirror, in another place and probably at another time, Abdullah is
busy at work creating and carving the very board on which Aziz is playing now.

Aziz was told his grandpa’s board was made centuries ago, when the game was fresh and new. Then who is this master carpenter, this Abdullah? What time was this? What is there to believe now? “ “Did you make the board?” In reply, Abdullah looks long and hard at him, then leaves, Salih stands, stern and seemingly reproving for some time before his cryptic response.
“Crazies are the god’s special people. So we can’t understand what they are actually doing. If you could understand what they are doing then god forbid you might lose your mind, too.”

Abdullah is wired differently so we try not to upset him, adds Salih, sitting down at the board and asking Aziz if he’s ready.

Where can Kamil-i Murcit take Aziz? Up the ladder to Beka-billaha, the door close to Vuslat, to Reunion where a wrong spin can take one plummeting down the snake to the bottom. Famous lovers have found themselves at Beka-billaha, Romeo and Juliet, Ferhat and Sirin, Kerim and Aslie. It’s a hard place to be and Aziz must spin.

Salih urges him on, to take the true reminiscence and gift from his grandpa, Mehmet Sefik Korkmazer: Reunion/ Vuslat with the one he loves and the one who has vowed never to turn her back on him. He must take his chance, ask for God’s help and lift his eyes to the sky.

WRITTEN BY: Judith Kelleher



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