‘I’m beginning to understand’ said the little prince. ‘There is a flower…I think she has tamed me…’”
-Antoine Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince
Oh my heart. Episode 7 of Sen Çal Kapimi was a masterclass into how to rip the still-beating heart out of the viewers. Ayse Üner Kutlu and her writing team delivered a one-two punch of Eda trying desperate to save her own heart by distancing herself from a man she believes loves someone else, and then the perceived betrayal of Serkan by the women he has fallen completely in love with. The was the best, worst kind of angsty scenario that we have come to expect from romantic comedies from Turkey, but taken up to the next level.
I’m going to just come out and say that, yes none of this is in anyway original storytelling. There are elements of Erkenci Kus, Ayse’s previous dizi, similarities to Kiralik Ask, Dolunay, Ask Laftan Anlamaz and others. I officially don’t care. I am so enjoying the writing and performances in SÇK that the well-worn path that the show is taking isn’t bothering me in the least. The story that Ayse and her team are creating has me completely enthralled, partly for the perceptible, wonderful love story and partly, because of Ayse’s love of literature, art, botany, and astronomy that adds other layers, the depth of the narrative about the cosmic origins of life, love, loss and what it means to be alive. We see it in the Serkan and Eda story but also in the secondary characters that we are slowly learning about; Serkan’s mother and the rest of his family, Eda’s gang of girlfriends, Engin and Pyril, and even in our ‘villains’ Selin, Ferit and Kaan.
The hashtag for this episode translates to ‘Love is a game’ but the story is veering into the idea of what happens when it is no longer a game. Serkan and Eda have some very obvious feelings for each other and surprizingly it’s Serkan who is handling that better. But they both have a lot of issues and neither one are used to being in a relationship like the one that is developing between them. Trust is the main theme of the episode and the new bourgeoning relationship between Serkan and Eda.
What I loved
When Serkan goes to dinner with Selin she gives him both her present and one from his father. The relationship between Serkan and his dad is so terrible he won’t even give him a present in person. The gift seems to be one he gives him every year, a first edition of a book. This year’s present is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which made me giddy when I realized. Part of this very esoteric story is a love story between a little boy prince and a rose. The narrative and the language can be easily see as a metaphor for the fraught love of Serkan and Eda. This was such a powerful choice for a book from Ayse and they just slip it into an almost throw away scene.
Serkan and Eda
“‘Just as for the flower. If you love a flower which happens to be on a star, it is sweet at night to gaze at the sky. All the stars are a riot of flowers.’” -A. Saint-Exupéry
This week we see Serkan seemingly fully enamoured with Eda, although not having said anything to her. He had taken her to where he spends his ‘dark’ day and spent the evening playing guitar for her. They share their first real hug, unbeknownst to them watched by Selin, and he drives her home. As is his new habit he gets out of the car when they arrive and she thanks him for the evening. He semi-threatens her that no one can know about the guitar playing and she jokes that she’s going to tell everyone. She then says it will be their secret. He says that he has shared a lot of secrets with a woman that he barely knows. She asks if he regrets it, he smiles but doesn’t answer. He asks her if she still regrets being engaged to him and she tell him that their circumstances are different now, another allusion to Pride and Prejudice? He gives her a present, a guitar pic, and says that she can replace the darts next to his picture with the pic. She is tickled with this gift and says she feels like she got it from a rockstar; she is genuinely pleased with the gift. He tells her that she is an original to be as happy with a piece of plastic as other woman would be with diamonds.
“But one day, from a seed blown form no one knew where, a new flower had come up; and the little prince had watched very closely over the small shoot which was not at all like any of the other shoots on his planet.”
Serkan arrives home to a very small celebration, it’s just Aydan and Sayfi, and a present from his mother. She plays music and they hug, and he tells her to turn it down because they might wake up Alptekin, and that is exactly what has happened. Alptekin comes to the balcony and looks down on them as Aydan is complaining that he’s already in bed, that he’s had the same routine for 35 years, and that she’s bored of it. Serkan says routines are important and Aydan says she wishes for some spontaneity ‘like your florist girl’. Serkan says, ‘oh are you starting to warm up to Eda?’ But Aydan denies this. The audience sees Alptekin go back inside but not before he makes a grasping motion with his hand towards Serkan, trying to hold on to him?
The next day is Serkan’s birthday, and Eda has prepared a small gift for him. Eda is freaking out because Ayfer had told her the night before that it seemed like Eda was falling in love with Serkan. He comes to pick her up in the morning and she is weird with him, and he notices. She does ask him if he has plans for that night and he says no, so we are left thinking that the two of them will spend his birthday evening together.
Through the day Eda is awkward with Serkan, she tried her best to stay away from him but he doesn’t want that at all. At one point he even tells her to sit next to him on the couch for no reason, only because he wants it. Eda quizzes Leyla and Erdem about Serkan’s birthday and they tell her that they don’t celebrate it, he doesn’t want gifts and any he gets from clients and customers he gives away to the staff. She asks if he is alone on his birthday and they tell her he’s usually with Selin.
The company has sold a design for a chandelier to a hotel chain, a huge coup for the company. They are thrilled, this is the first design to be sold and could lead to many other chances, the first thing they must do is register the design. Eda volunteers to go to the patent office, saying that she was bored there, even though she has no idea how to apply for a patent or use a notary republic. She just needs to get away. Serkan has also asked her to put together a bouquet of flowers as a thank you for Selin as her contacts were crucial in getting the contract for the chandelier design. With Fifi’s help she sorts out the documents and then heads to the flower shop to put together the bouquet for Selin. On the card she writes ‘Your presence makes life beautiful’ (sic) Serkan Bolat. We can see that she is upset at having to write what is basically a love note to another woman.
She finally has to talk to someone about her situation and Ceren, her missing for a few episodes, lawyer friend comes for a talk. Eda spills her guts and tells her about the contract, but also she also tells her how attracted she is to Serkan, how he knows all the stars and smells really good. Eda begs Ceren to help her, to remind her that Serkan ruined her life and will never be hers because Serkan is in love with Selin.
Eda goes inside her house to take a shower, leaving the patent documents and the designs on the bench in the hall of the house. Melo, who is still seeing Kaan on the sly has brought him home to have lunch, not realizing that Eda is at home too. She goes to get Kaan a drink, he notices the documents, takes picture of them, before he is hustled out because Melo realizes that Eda is upstairs.
She heads back to the Bolat estate where everyone is working and Selin and Melo arrive, Selin give Serkan a big hug as a thank you for the flowers, he looks vaguely confused because he doesn’t know the romantic thing that Eda had wrote on the card. Selin asks Eda to schedule a dinner between Serkan and Selin as they need to talk, Eda tells her that he’s free that night.
Serkan isn’t happy that Eda scheduled the dinner for that night, I think he was assuming because she asked him if he had plans that they would spend the evening together. He even complains to Engin that Eda had completely ignored his birthday and hadn’t planned anything for him. She was even sending him out to have dinner with Selin that night. Engin reminds him that he doesn’t celebrate so how was Eda supposed to know that he wanted to spend the night with her. Engin tells him that he’s been taking coaching from Ceren about woman and that sometimes a woman can be jealous with out ever seeming like it. Serkan is skeptically and the two men have a brief, hilarious conversation that illustrates that they are both clueless when it comes to women.
After the dinner with Selin, Serkan goes to the soup restaurant where Melo had told Serkan Eda would be; much to her delight he is going to eat with her. He tells her that she is right, fancy food satisfies the eye but leaves you hungry. He walks her back to her car and asks if she bought him a birthday gift, he knows she has thanks to Melo. She gets it out of her car as Serkan gingers sits down on the stairs, his face when he had to sit on the dirty stairs was priceless. She gives him her gift saying that it isn’t much, what do you buy the man who has everything? He answers ‘The world?’ as she has bought him a magnetic globe. He loves it and gives her a very sweet kiss on the cheek.
“He just stood there, quite bewildered…….. He did not understand this quiet sweetness. ‘Of course, I love you,’ the flower said to him. ‘If you were not aware of it, it was my fault. That is not important. But you have been just as foolish. Try to be happy…’” -A. Saint-Exupéry
The next day, after having to chase Eda down, Serkan and Eda go to the site where she has been asked to help design the landscape for the golf course, marina, and hotel that Serkan is building. She is again being weird with him and he asks if she is okay. She is nervous about the project and he tells her that he has faith in her, and she says ‘you trust me’ and then he says that she will be supervised by an experienced landscape designer and she says ‘you don’t trust me’. He says that she is very smart and talented but inexperienced and needs guidance. She thanks him for the opportunity.
After the consult for the property they take a walk to the coastline and look out. He tells her about swimming her as a boy with Kaan and Engin. Which I think is an inconsistency, I’m sure is was said in an earlier episode that Serkan and Engin had met in university in London but whatever. He asks her if she wants to come back to the house for a coffee but she declines. On the way home Serkan calls Engin to tell him to assemble the team at Serkan’s house, that he wants to go over any last minute details with everyone. Eda say ‘I guess I’m coming to your house then.’ Did he make the whole team shlep to his house just so Eda wouldn’t go home?
Ayfer hypnotizes Melo into confessing about her relationship, I know this was a bit cheesy but I loved it and Ayfer is quickly becoming my favourite secondary character, even though she really has very little screen time. I hope that changes in the future.
What I liked
The dinner with Selin solidified to me that Serkan is definitely not in love with Selin and isn’t trying to get her back. I think that she came to the dinner expecting some sort of declaration from him but basically what he wanted to talk to her about was the company and the fact that he thinks that Ferit isn’t right for her because of his connection to Kaan. She tells him that Eda isn’t right for him either, he agrees but not in the way that she thinks, he is thinking that Eda, because of her cool attitude towards him, is getting bored with him. He tells Selin that she should sell her shares to him if she insists on staying with Ferit.
Ceren is back! She seems to have become a relationship coach for Engin, which is too bad as I had hoped that they were setting up for a romance between the two of them but I am always up for a platonic male-female relationship. Ceren is now his lawyer and comes to the firm to go over some things with him. This makes Pyril jealous and she desperately tries to stake her claim on engin which I guess was what the plan was.
Aydan is still very happy about the fact that she had left the estate briefly with Eda. She keeps watching the video and wants to share it with her husband. He has no time for her and has seemingly changed his ‘look’, undoubtedly because he overheard her say he was boring. Throughout this episode he brushes her off and is cold to her even when she calls in tears. She does try again to exit out of the gate but doesn’t succeed on her own. I truly think that Eda and her family will be the catalyst for some healing to happen for all the Bolats, and I think as the story progresses that the Bolats will help them too.
What I disliked
Kaan is unashamedly using Melo as a conduit to Serkan and his business and it’s working incredibly well. Because he has access to Melo and Eda apartment he has the opportunity to take Serkan’s designs and give them to another company to produce, making it appear as if Serkan has stolen or plagiarized the design. This character has spent all of his onscreen time devoted to making Serkan pay for whatever it was that Serkan’s father did to his father, it’s getting a bit much.
Serkan/Eda - the ending scene
Kaan calls to gloat about the corporate espionage he has undertaken with giving Serkan’s design to someone else, honestly, aren’t there laws against this? Unfortunately it seems as if it can be no one else but Eda who has given the design to Kaan. So hear me out here, Eda has been acting very weird and distant from Serkan for the last couple of days, she is constantly running away from him and acting strange. Also, she was the only one to have custody of the drawings and the dossier, so it isn’t necessarily out of the realm of possibility that she is the weak link in the chain here. However, Serkan goes right to ‘did you give the file to Kaan?’, he accuses her without even listening to her. She is devastated that he would think that of her and he is beside himself that a person he trusted has betrayed him. The looks on both of their faces at the end of this scene are heartbreaking and Eda tells him if he really thinks that of her then she will leave and he will never see her face again. He says “go” and the whole fandom wails!
“At the time, I was unable to understand anything! I should have based my judgement upon deeds and not words. She cast her fragrance and her radiance over me. I should never have run away from her! I should have guessed at the affection behind her poor little tricks. Flowers are so inconsistent! But I was too young to know how to love her.”
What need to happen next
Well, I think this one is a no brainer, Kaan needs to be found out by Melo and kicked really hard to the curb, if she kicks him in a few delicate places, that would be good too
Eda needs to clear her name and hopefully not be too mad at Melo for being naive, I also hope there is no professional consequences for Melo if her part of the Kaan con is found out
Serkan needs to take a breath and look at all the good things that Eda has done for him and think hard about from what he knows and has seen of her if she is capable of betraying him
Performance of the week goes to Kerem Bürsin. I love the longing and desire written all over his face when he looks at Eda and in the last scene the despair that he was feeling was all there in his eyes.
With excellent ratings Sen Çal Kapimi has cemented it’s place as the romcom of the summer and this episode shows why. With a winning and layered story and great performances the Sen Çal Kapimi team have risen above the romantic comedy cliches a provided a charming, fresh and yet heartbreaking take on falling in love.