“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.”
― Pablo Neruda, 100 Love Sonnets
I wish love came with a guideline. Some of you may think we are born with the ability to love but I disagree. Maybe the love we have for family, friends, pets or for life comes natural to us, but the kind of love that marries desire that we feel for another human being, whether it is for a man or a woman, doesn’t really come that natural to us. Otherwise no one would have disappointments in love, would they? What I see as true love is two people sharing something rare, something that satisfies not just their human bodies but their souls.
Although there’s no official essentials guide to true love, for centuries, many stories give us elements that help us understand and appreciate true love. The Sen Çal Kapımı episodes I’m going to talk about today; 21, 22 and 23, kind of stand as an essentials guide for me. It’s because they demonstrate the building blocks of a healthy and beautiful relationship. I must say, the episodes and characters that really made me angry at the time, stopped me from noticing some really important messages. That’s why it’s great to be looking back and noticing them now. Come along, we have some great things to discover!
Episode #21: Honesty
Episode 21 is one of my favorites and not just because it includes one of the best onscreen elevator kisses. I love it because it’s an episode where slowly but surely EdSer choose to be honest about their feelings. Especially Eda finally lets Serkan see her vulnerable side and Serkan understands that he needs to take the matter in his hands even if it means that he might get a bit battered along the way.
It’s an episode that really shows honesty is rewarded by sincerity. Eda saying she waited all night for Serkan in the restaurant allows Serkan to say he too waited for her. This episode I really enjoyed how sure Serkan was of his emotions and how he pursued Eda without shame. First at the office he doesn’t go to an important client meeting telling Engin that Eda is his priority. He even mentions this conscious change to Leyla when she complains about Serkan using her as a spy to learn where Eda’s photo shoot will take place.
Being honest is not always rewarded but it does make us a better person. Like Ferit and Efe who suffer the consequences of admitting their mistakes. Initially coming clean from a wrong we have done may give us a headache and cause our friends to put a distance between us and them. But in the end, they will understand that we are genuine and the foundation of any valuable relationship should be built on honesty not lies. Even the lies we tell in the name of protecting loved ones end up hurting them more in the end. Serkan has already experienced this so it’s clear on this episode that he wants to right this wrong.
EdSer is a couple who have eyes only for each other. Serkan is willing to change for Eda and he underlines this a few times in the episode. He has no intention of giving up on her. Same goes for her. Eda is willing to climb 25 floors of stairs just to have a dinner with him. Being honest means being honest about our feelings too. Even if it hurts, denying our feelings especially if we are in love is not a mature approach. We can admit to loving someone and still think we’re not right for each other. Mistakes must be acknowledged as Serkan does this episode.
Being honest about our feelings sometimes means claiming or pursuing the person we love. Just as Serkan, going to the photo shoot and making sure it is known that he is Eda’s boyfriend.
Episode 21 also has one of the funniest scenes in SÇK history. When the girls think that Serkan and Aydan are there to ask for Eda’s hand but actually they’re there to ask for Pırıl’s hand, it becomes a mayhem. The episode ends up having great resolutions for Selin and Efe and it also serves as an exit for both of them. It also leaves us with a great lesson on being honest in relationships even when it doesn’t seem convenient. Honesty always pays off, if we are not a trustworthy partner we are not worthy of love. This is also the last episode Ayşe and her team wrote the script for.
Episode #22: Patience:
Episode 22 is the first episode written by Fikret, Kerim, Günsu and Elif. This is the set of writers that will also be writing the second season. This team’s take on EdSer may not seem as deep as Ayşe’s take. It is a more worldly relationship (less magical) and also a more sensual one. The episode starts with the elevator kiss and then Eda’s slap is quick and surprising. Thankfully Serkan is patient and doesn’t really get offended by Eda’s slap as he knows her even better than anyone now. He kisses her a second time and this pacifies her and even lets her mind wander to musings about potatoes and how they can miraculously be turned into a delicious meal.
In this episode Serkan finally finds a hole on Eda’s walls that she built to stop him. Selin’s confession reveals that Eda has kept the contract leaking to the press from Serkan. In return Serkan asks for 3 wishes from her and she reluctantly accepts. This gives way to a hilarious scene between the girls. Ceren says it’s exciting because it keeps you wondering what he’s going to wish for and then they break out laughing as all their minds go there, yeah, I mean ours went there too, right?
This episode marks the arrival of a new character who has been hated amongst the fans passionately. Looking back now, she holds second place since she hasn’t been hated as much as Selin. However Balca was a character that was probably introduced to show an unhealthy way of attraction and love. Balca’s feelings for Serkan are based on a false belief, actually made up by a astrologist of some sorts. She lets Balca believe that Serkan Bolat is the love of her life and that she should do anything and everything she can to have him.
Sometimes we forget that even though there is something called love at first sight, that is only an introduction to love, a mutual attraction maybe. True love is like a delicate flower that requests patience to blossom and that needs to be nurtured and cared for. Just wanting to have someone is not love but lust or greed. We need to care enough about that person and make sure that he/she wants us too. We need to make sure the attraction is mutual and not just our desire to have that person for ourselves.
At the pottery studio the lady that explains how to shape the clay says, you need to do it with patience and compassion. We all know that she isn’t just referring to the clay. EdSer are learning to love each other the way they want and need to be loved. That is why Eda starts to question herself about asking too much from Serkan by asking him to change. Balca’s necessity as a character is proven simply by that remark (although it could have been said by anyone really, why her?) she makes at the meeting when she says, it’s not logical to try to change people.
The patience theme is evident in Ferit and Ceren’s relationship too. Ceren makes sure they take things more slowly by keeping their dinner date short. By allowing Ferit the space and time he needs for recovering from the break up he had with Selin, she shows her mature side and Ferit appreciates this. Sometimes to make someone feel loved is as easy as letting them be who they want to be.
All in all a great episode on how to act maturely in a relationship. Be like Serkan, and if you have a behavior and habits that come between you and your lover, tone them down or quit them. Be like Ceren, give your potential lover some space if you see him struggling to get over something and you know that he’s interested but he’s also recovering. Be like Eda, don’t be afraid to speak about things that upset you in a relationship and demand honesty from your partner. It takes two to tango.
Episode #23: Respect:
It’s fun to look back at these episodes and see how they were structured. After everything that EdSer went through 21, 22 and 23 are like building blocks of a solid relationship. In a relationship, if honesty and patience are two of the most important virtues a partner should have, the third should be respect. Of course, we are not even questioning love because this is EdSer after all.
Eda is a clever woman so at the end of episode 22, she gets that Balca is not here to play. However Serkan is acting like he hasn’t noticed this behavior or he enjoys challenging Eda, having missed having her attention on himself which is a bit understandable. Both Eda and Serkan know Balca doesn’t stand a chance with Serkan. So why we as the audience hated her this much? Honestly I blame 2 things, the way she was written and the actress, how she kind of took her role as a villain too seriously. If Balca was a bit more goofy and funny, the audience would never take her so seriously and her scenes wouldn’t get this tense.
With Balca being in the game, Eda’s possessiveness resembles Serkan’s. I’m a firm believer that jealousy is toxic but the way it’s portrayed in EdSer’s relationship usually serves as fuel to the fire. They always blame third parties and never each other. The scene in the restaurant is a great back and forth between Eda and Serkan especially with Eda barely holding it together while Balca openly flirts with Serkan.
Again this is show and don’t tell. The storyline shows us how not to pursue someone who is clearly interested in someone else. Balca had time to observe Eda and Serkan at the party and she saw Eda dropping by at Serkan’s house with popcorn, so why still pursue someone who is clearly interested in someone else? That’s not just stupid but it’s also crossing boundaries which is disrespectful.
Since Serkan doesn’t seem to accept Balca’s interest in him, Eda finally asks him, what has to happen so that he believes it. Serkan replies that in order for him to be convinced that a woman truly loves her, he needs to see it in her shyness, in her look, even in her smell. Of course we see all of this in Eda and none of it in Balca.
Eda’s love is not suffocating and not demanding. She’s strong, holds her head high and doesn’t give in easily. At the same time Serkan also knows she has compassion for the people she loves, she gives them everything she has. Her respect and admiration for Serkan is more precious because he has earned it in time whereas the professional and physical admiration Balca has for him, is merely for his name and not his real personality.
Therefore if mutual respect is one of the necessities of true love, Serkan knows that he has that with Eda. He is already aware that what Balca or other women, like Selin have for him, can’t be compared to what he has with Eda. In Eda he has a woman who loves and respects him enough to talk back and say it when he is wrong. In Balca he merely has another fan. Respect is something we feel for people that we truly admire. When our interest is just out of longing to be with someone or to obtain something, what we demonstrate is not respect but just a fake response to have what we want.
Dear reader, thank you for reading so far and I hope you enjoyed this. I’m overjoyed by going back to these episodes and to be back at writing about Sen Çal Kapımı. I’m also finding it impossible as I watch, to not think when and how Hande and Kerem fell in love with each other. Add that to my favorite things to do in these lockdown days. Let me know what you think of this write up and these episodes, I love hearing from you. Find me as @edsavaseri on Twitter.
Have a great day wherever you are in the world right now, I’m sending you peace, love and light from a sunny Istanbul afternoon. Stay safe and healthy.
Check the recaps of other episodes:
Part 1: What’s In A Love Story?
Part 2: Are They Already In Love?
Part 3: Love Is Like A Fever
Part 4: Love Makes Us Stronger
Part 5: Growing Older and Wiser Together
My other articles on Sen Çal Kapımı: