The casting directors hit a jackpot when they cast Akin Akınözü as Miran in Hercai. For many of us, Hercai is the first introduction to the actor and to say he has amazed us thus far would be the understatement of the century.
Lately, the internet has been flooded with comments on the lack of progression in the storyline of the series but if there's one thing we can all agree on, it is that the acting performances by its cast is solid in its consistency. The latest episode, however, puts a spotlight on Akin's triumphant performance as an emotionally stunted Miran, upon discovering one of his grandmother's many tales was indeed a lie.
Coming to terms with the fact that everything he has known to date has been nothing but mere fabrication has been tough for Miran to accept, even with all the evidence starring in he the face. After jumping through many hoops and covering all his bases, the facts became too hard to dispute. "It's not possible. This is too much. My grandmother would do anything but she won't do such a thing," he whined, as Reyyan tried to console him.
This episode covertly walked us through the five stages of grief, thanks in no small part to Akin Akınözü powerhouse performance. With the major revelation that his mother's honor was not "stained" by Hazar Şadoğlu, Miran reached his breaking point, thus delivering Stage 1 – Denial. "Olmaz" had become a stable in Miran Aslanbey's vocabulary but this time, the impossible was indeed possible and his grandmother sure had a lot of explaining to do.
Stage 2 (Anger) subsequently followed with Akin offering a blistering, gut-wrenching performance as Miran drove himself crazy re-living all the lies his grandmother ever told him. Regret stung but the guilt of all of the things he had done up until this point, especially to Reyyan, overwhelmed him. Even more so with Reyyan choosing to remain by his side despite knowing and steadfastly believing in her father's innocence. "Why are you still next to me," he bawled as Reyyan reverted him back to his senses with one hot, much-needed dirty slap.
"What Ifs" and "If Onlys" soon followed in Stage 3's Bargaining as the shame of what he had done to Reyyan once again confounded him. "What If I listened to Reyyan when she said [Hazar] was a good man?" "If only you'd divorce me, Reyyan."
Perhaps the most powerful scene in the entire episode was Miran visiting his mother's grave and standing right next to Hazar Şadoğlu, apologetic for all of the wrong he had done and noticeable, not yelling. Somewhere in the heavenly skies, Dilşah had found an ounce of peace as her son and his father had found a common ground, each one burdened with the harsh realities of what they had just learned.
Knowing his grandmother's mastered skill of lying her way out of every confrontation, Miran had a game plan in mind – catch his grandmother red-handed. Seeing as this was his first time playing such an auspicious game, Miran made some mistakes along the way that raised red-flags with his grandmother but these unexpectedly turned out to be helpful in putting the nail in Azize's coffin. Now that he grasped what his grandmother had done, Stage 4's depression kicked in as he isolated himself at the scene of his biggest revenge plot – the hut. Walking through the occurrences of the last 24 hours was a difficult pill for Miran to swallow but luckily for him, he had an extremely understanding partner, who though had suffered at this hand, was still willing to absorb part of his suffering, a dizi specialty.
Coming face-to-face with the woman whose every word used to be his point, blank, and period was the beginning of Stage 5 (Acceptance). Akin's commanding presence as Miran played his grandmother's game was in one word – glorious. An episode without Miran's signature rage fits would be incomplete so of course Akin came through, screaming at the top of his lung in a bid to convince his grandmother and the others present that he was still out to get Hazar Şadoğlu. With every single doubt in his mind now absorbed, it was time to take action. 34 episodes later, we, the fans, finally got to witness Azize Aslanbey grovel.
As night dawned, Miran's loud call soon awoke the residents of the Aslanbey mansion and to our and their amazement, Miran had had enough of Azize's shenanigans. Akin's full-fledged embodiment of his character in this very scene is astounding, so much so he had us literally shaking in our boots and (almost) worried for Azize's safety, as though it was real life.
Far too rarely we are awarded the opportunity to witness someone who feels like they were born to act in a particular role, but week in week out, the over-the-top stew of emotions displayed by his character Miran surely cements Akin Akınözü as that rarity.