Son Yaz - The Real Price of Prejudice
“Even god doesn’t propose to judge a man till his last days, why should you and I?”
― Dale Carnegie
A great storytelling method is showing the reader or the viewer how the same concept/theme applies to different characters and situations in the story. By creating similar circumstances for different characters it’s easier to convey a message and this also helps to reinforce the effect that the message has. Episode 7 of Son Yaz is about prejudice and let me show you how masterfully the Son Yaz writers handle prejudice as a feeling and as a behavior in this episode.
Episode 7 is titled “You Are The Reason” and I can only assume, this refers to more than one character. This is because many characters are doing things for the sake of others in this episode. Once again, it’s a brilliant episode that puts forth important messages.
When Prejudice Breaks Them Apart
Selim and Canan are divorced and it hits both of them hard. Of course Canan has no idea about why Selim changed his mind at the last minute because just the night before he messaged her to say that he didn’t want a divorce. Selim is trying to process the new information he just found out. He found out he and Canan lost a child 6 years ago and Canan never told him about it.
They obviously still love each other, after they are legally divorced, this is portrayed elegantly with 2 small details as they leave the courtroom. The first detail is Canan going to the bathroom to cry and her dropping the wedding ring in the sink. She panics when she thinks she lost it and as she finds it, she puts it right back on. The second is Selim waiting outside the Court House, sitting on a bench and watching Canan. He looks as though he’s trying to crack the code of a difficult puzzle with the frown on his face.
When they go home to announce the official divorce to their kids to assure them that everything will be okay, Selim acts strange and drives Canan crazy, because she thinks he’s just being himself and he’s ignoring her pain. It’s Altay who sees Selim’s pain and not Canan and Yağmur.
Selim and Canan’s marriage is a difficult one. On one side Selim has a job that puts his and his family’s life in danger. He chooses to stay away or is forced to stay away from them by Canan moving away with the kids to protect them. Even though he loves his wife he doesn’t completely understand how difficult this is for her. Canan had to raise two kids all alone. She also chose to suffer the loss of her third child alone. Canan’s prejudice about Selim putting his duty over his family made her feel like he lost his rights over her decisions. Canan felt like she was a widow even though she was married.
Two things reminded Canan that what she considered as dreadful may not have been that bad. The first she noticed during her chat with Serap when she said “now you will really see what it means to be a divorced and single woman”. Canan never considered that even the mention of having a husband changes the way people treat you. The second is when Latif’s wife Banu says she would be happy to never see him again if she just knew he was alive and well. I felt like these two things brought a new understanding of her feelings about Selim and also removed some of her prejudice against him.
What really brought them together though was when Canan found out that Selim knows about their lost child Deniz. When Selim starts to pack his things and announces that he’s leaving, Canan stops him. Then Selim says he can’t work and concentrate and he needs to solve this case because Latif is out there and is in danger.
This is very interesting because then Canan wants to help and calm him down and also tries to console him. I think Canan’s problem is not Selim being so focused on his job, she just wants him to share it with her. Don’t we all act like this? We do want our loved ones to be happy, have their work and hobbies that they love but we also want to get to share it a little with them. If they are stressed we want to know what’s going on and see if we can figure out a way to help. When Selim shares that he is not so sure of himself at his job as Canan thinks, this breaks down the image of him that Canan has. He’s not perfect and he needs help like anyone else.
When Canan tries to help him and even convinces Latif’s wife Banu to arrange the meeting, Selim sees that Canan is genuine in wanting to help and she’s also useful and good at what she does. They work together to try and get Latif to safety. This also breaks down Selim’s prejudice about Canan not wanting him. He notices that she’s still wearing the ring and even asks her “what are you trying to do?” Canan can’t reply. Because let’s face it. We don’t always know what we are doing. Especially when we are in love. When they succeed in putting their prejudices about each other aside, Canan and Selim see that they make a fine pair. And we all adore them, don’t we?
Like Father Like Son
Akgün’s prejudice against Selim is because of what Ahmet told him and because of the photo he has of Selim and his mom. He conspires against Selim and helps Halil Sadi up until a point but of course when Soner wants him to shoot Latif he doesn’t do it. Finally this episode Selim gives Akgün the second page of his mom’s letter. Selim sees that Akgün somehow connected the dots between his mom and himself. Akgün identifies with Latif because he believes Selim forced his mom to testify against his father.
When Selim reads him the letter and hands it to him afterwards Akgün’s initial reaction is to deny it’s real. Usually Selim is short tempered but he really acts like a patient dad this time. He lets Akgün take his time a bit with the letter. Even when Akgün accuses him of making decisions on his behalf all the time he stays calm.
The next day Akgün realizes that Selim is telling the truth about his mom. So he asks him what his mother was like. When Selim describes her as being brave Akgün is surprised. This woman Selim is describing is different from how he imagined his mom to be. That’s why in his second dream of her on the episode he tells her that she left them mid-road. And she replies it was for his own good.
I loved, loved, loved this heartfelt talk shown below, between these two men. Akgün tells Selim he feels betrayed by his mother but Selim says, you don’t understand because you have never been a parent. He tells Akgün that his mom tried to give him a better life and to get him out of the life that he was destined to lead if she didn’t do anything. But this makes Akgün feel guilty and useless because according to him, he didn’t turn out to be someone his mother hoped he would be. Selim tells him not to blame himself.
When Akgün tells him he’s afraid and he feels alone, Selim reminds him of Selçuk. However this isn’t enough for Akgün to not feel alone because he tells Selim that Selçuk is the reason Akgün turned out to be who he is. So Akgün comes to the conclusion that it’s all Selçuk’s fault. This is when Selim gives him a big secret. He tells Akgün that he hasn’t seen his own father since 30 years and his father is still alive although he told everyone he is dead. Selim has rejected his father and hasn’t looked back.
Moral of the story is “you can’t choose your family” which is a powerful message. We do not have to carry the weight of what wrong our parents may have done. After this confession Akgün asks for forgiveness from Selim and just when he’s about to tell him how he was the one giving information away to Halil Sadi’s men, Altay interrupts them.
“I Loved You So Much”
Love always includes some minor prejudice, maybe because we quickly want to understand the other person without giving it enough thought. All through episode 7 Akgün is worried about Yağmur getting hurt by Soner because of what he did (for saving Latif). As he runs around like a headless chicken, Yağmur gets suspicious of him and starts to investigate in her own way to see what kind of trouble he got himself into this time.
When Akgün asks her to spend time together the next day (to make sure he can be with her to protect her) she tells him, with her mom already agitated with the divorce she can’t see him. It’s endearing to watch them fall in love slowly, how they react to each touch that comes from the other. A simple hug, or a small gesture to tuck some hair behind her ear feels huge to Yağmur because it’s coming from Akgün.
When Kaan wants to kiss her, she doesn’t want that. When Akgün gets close to her however she can’t help but get closer. I have read many comments saying Yağmur is at fault here and she should leave Kaan first and then start to flirt with Akgün. The truth is I don’t think those people have ever experienced falling out of and in love at the same time. Yağmur hasn’t come to terms with her own feelings yet, when she does she will let go of Kaan and own her feelings for Akgün.
I love the song choice in the episode in their scene below. When Yağmur wants to stay alone, Akgün follows her secretly and watches her from a distance as she sits on a bench near the sea, trying to read her book. I did my best to translate the lyrics to this beautiful song by Cem Adrian. I see him as one of Turkey’s national treasures. Some of you might remember his song “Kül” from Maraşlı’s third episode in the mountain house. I think “Ben Seni Çok Sevdim” fits this scene perfectly, especially with the added clips of Canan-Selin and Emel-Metin.
I said that this episode Akgün dreams of his mother twice. The first time his mother takes him to Yağmur who is waiting outside the house. This is what Yağmur says to him in his dream:
“I know everything. I can read through you. I understand you without words. I understand you even if you don’t tell. I hear you even when you don’t speak. I know everything.”
Beautiful reassuring words from the woman he loves! Akgün’s dream solidifies my opinion of their love. They really need no words to know or understand what the other needs. A hug, a kiss, a gentle touch, sometimes a little tough love. They don’t need any incentive to help each other, they just take action without hesitating.
Yağmur understands that Akgün is in some kind of trouble and that he’s afraid she might get hurt and that’s why he keeps following her. So Yağmur starts following him around and notices Akgün hiding something under a tree in Adalet Sitesi.
When she secretly breaks in the house where Akgün and Selim live while Akgün is in the shower, she sees a photo of her taken from behind while Akgün was on surveillance. I am not going to act like this wasn’t intrusive on her part but it was also very cute.
When Yağmur finds the gun Akgün hid under the tree she offers to help him but he says he’s in too deep and no one can help. Of course Yağmur is not the type who gives up easily and she calls Soner and they decide to meet the next day. I love how she hugs him under the tree before she leaves and says she’d do anything to help him. Akgün is already smitten with her at this point and this makes everything harder for him.
Having already watched the entire season and looking back at these episodes to write these recaps, I see how similar Yağmur and Akgün’s paths have been designed. It will be interesting to see how everything evolves for them on season 2. I just hope they never let go of each other.
As far as prejudice goes, although sometimes they rush to decide about each other, their negative opinions about each other never last. Their love shines like a bright light and in this episode once again they demonstrate how a strong love overcomes all judgement and puts us on a path to the one we love. The only salvation we have on this world is to love.
What Other People Think
Son Yaz writers are so brilliant, they use the side characters’ storylines perfectly to reinforce the obvious theme of the episode. So there were a few scenes about different kinds of prejudice throughout the episode.
When Serap comes to Canan’s office to celebrate the opening of her law practice, she tells her the society treats divorced women quite differently and being a widow is not easy. It’s a great way to send a message of how prejudiced people can be against women who have been divorced. There is a double standard because divorced men go on about their lives while divorced women are seen as unprotected women who can be pursued more easily.
Another great scene is between Naz and Eray. When Naz asks Eray if Soner is coming back and he acts like he was the one to send Soner away, Naz doesn’t buy it. She tells him she doesn’t like people who act like someone they aren’t. So Eray acts more honestly and says he doesn’t know, revealing he has no power over Soner. This is also when Eray tells Naz she is different from how she looks, meaning he didn’t know she was so confident and she could express herself like this. A great way to make people’s prejudices about us disappear is to be honest and ask questions and demand honesty from them.
Prejudice comes between Emel and Metin this episode when she finds out Metin lended money to Serap without telling her. When Emel keeps questioning why he didn’t tell her about it, Metin lashes out at her and reveals that he thinks she is accusing him of having a thing for Serap or cheating like 10 years ago. He says Emel will never forget that he cheated. It was interesting for me to try to understand who is prejudiced here because Emel didn’t say anything to Metin about that. It was him that thought she meant that.
Finally Kaan’s behavior when he found out his mom took money from Naz’s parents show how prejudiced he is about his mom. Kaan is very hard on Serap for not handling their finances well enough. It was also interesting how Serap decided to accept Metin’s offer while she was speaking to Canan when Canan said that she needs to learn to accept help from others. Prejudices are sometimes our beliefs that have been formed through the years and sometimes we should be willing to let go of the ones that don’t serve us.
The ending of the episode was a shock to me. I kind of knew Latif wasn’t going to make it. That wasn’t the shocking part although I was still very sad for him and his wife and kid. In my prejudiced mind, I was getting prepared for Soner to do something to Yağmur but in the end it was him that got hurt. What a way to end the episode, showing us viewers how prejudiced we can be about a character who looked like a villain but actually is just another victim of his father. Touché Son Yaz writers, touché!
Dear reader, thank you for reading so far. I hope you enjoyed this recap of episode 7. What do you think of the song choice of the episode, I feel like it was spot on! Let me know your thoughts about the prejudice theme and your general thoughts. You can find me as @edsavaseri on Twitter, I love hearing from you. Have a great day wherever you are in the world right now. I’m sending you good vibes from an extremely hot Muğla morning.