Dogdugun Ev Kaderindir Season 2 REVIEW
Episode 13 by Joan Hiver
If Zeynep were a hero in a Shakespearean tragedy, her tragic flaw would be her innate inability to preserve something for herself. In many ways, she is her own worst enemy. She sacrifices for others to a fault, forgetting that a person must also look after oneself. In her season one decisions to stay married to Medhi and later to accept the whole Benal situation, Zeynep has decided in favor of love over reason. Abstractly, she has considered the consequences. However, it is one thing to consider consequences in one’s mind and quite another to experience them on a regular basis. The idyllic period has passed and in the season two opener, Zeynep must stare the inevitable every day reality of her decisions in the face. Moreover, Zeynep and the viewer discover that Zeynep has regressed into old positions of insecurity and self blame.
The writer uses the visit to the psychiatrist’s office as a plot device to recap events and conflicts from season one. More importantly, the writer uses it to highlight Zeynep’s basic personality traits and flaws, her dilemmas and decisions.
As we observe Zeynep in the psychiatrist’s waiting room, our first clue that she has lost some ground in her journey of self awareness, is the presence of little girl Zeynep sitting right next to adult Zeynep. The next day, Zeynep is supposed to interview for a position at a prestigious law firm. In itself, this prospect creates anxiety, but that event is not the real source for her state of mind or her visit to a psychiatrist. Zeynep confesses to the doctor that she feels pressured from all sides as though she were in a vise.
She reveals that the major reason for this is that a woman whom her husband was in a relationship with prior to his marriage with her, is pregnant. Moreover, this woman is now living under the same roof as she and her husband, her husband’s family, her mother and an adoptive daughter. Feeling once again the need to accommodate everyone except herself, Zeynep is on the brink of a break down, as she was at the beginning of season one. She has to deal with the opinions of her mothers, who are united in wanting Benal gone from the house. Nermin still claiming that her marriage is a mistake and Sakine parroting to Nermin that Medhi loves Zeynep. She must experience the smarmy behavior of Mujgan speaking to Benal’s abdomen. Simultaneously, she must listen to some criticism regarding how insensitive she is towards Benal. Not least, Zeynep must help Kibrit adjust to her school. Most of all, she must be an understanding and loving spouse. To all of this confusion and emotion, Zeynep describes herself as being in a nightmare where she is like a numb observer.
Having Benal in the house with them has brought many of the issues regarding Medhi’s fatherhood to the forefront much sooner and more flagrantly than if Benal were in her own place removed from Zeynep and Medhi. As is pointed out to Zeynep, it is as if Medhi has taken a second wife.
When Zeynep is questioned about Medhi’s thoughts and reactions, Zeynep says that he is excited about the baby. Medhi is not to blame. Everyone is right. Zeynep falls back to her usual positions where she tries to find fault with herself, questioning, yet again, where she belongs. Is she superfluous in the house ? Zeynep’s answers about Medhi to the psychiatrist include how loving he is to her and how she learned about love from him. The doctor reveals through her inner thoughts to the viewer that the question is not whether Medhi loves Zeynep or not, but that Zeynep must love herself!
Zeynep has a wonderful gift in her ability to be able to walk in everyone’s shoes but she must learn to draw some boundaries. As Nermin puts it, she must learn to value her life. Medhi’s silence as he tries to adapt and cope, coupled with his inability to find a solution other than having Benal in the house, is only complicating the problem further. He wants to enjoy his excitement about the child. He wants to be a good father and he expects understanding from Zeynep regarding these emotions. He wants Benal and the child protected, of course, but he is not able to comprehend that both Benal and Zeynep have their own very different emotions in this triangle. Neither can Zeynep share these feelings about a new baby that she is not having with him, nor can Benal be a mere incubator. As the psychiatrist proclaims to herself, real life is a continually surprising thing. Mehdi’s comments to Nuh indicate how short sighted Medhi has been thus far.
The season’s opening episode takes place approximately one month after the lovely summer hiatus at Nermin’s hotel. However, there is nothing relaxed or lovely for the characters in the drama, as life for all of them now moves into an adaptive state, forced either by the machinations of fate or by decisions they, or others, have previously made. Not one of the characters escapes this and, more than likely, one of the themes that season two will explore is whether love or reason is the wiser guide
Ekrem’s embezzlement has bankrupt Nermin and she is forced to adapt to a life in low rent housing and poverty, needing to sell her ring for needed cash. Nermin has kept the truth from Zeynep, who believes that her mother is still at her hotel.
Nermin is trying to come to terms and adapting to the reality that the man she loved and thought she knew for over twenty years has become what amounts to a stranger in just two days. Sultan, too, is trying hard to adapt to Emine’s decision to leave her and their life in the mahalle behind in favor of a life with Faruk. Sultan rises to fill the void left by Emine by changing lifestyle and habits and shedding weight. She confesses to Cemile that she has lost not just a daughter but a friend and a work partner. Sultan tries to cope by implementing modern marketing strategies into her shop by stocking healthier products and she takes Cemile on as a shop assistant. Try as she does, Sultan cannot escape the roar of the silence left in the house by Emine’s absence nor can she get past the embarrassment and betrayal she feels towards Zeynep resulting from Emine’s affair with Faruk.
When Zeynep suggests that Sultan calls Emine, Sultan hesitates, explaining to Zeynep that Emine has not measured the sacrifices which Sultan has made for her. Cemile must also adapt to her changing role as the mother whose daughter has gone to university. She feels that she needs to work to support her daughter and gain personal independence and not rely on Medhi for this support.
Even Kibrit faces her own set of challenges as she must attend school and leave behind the familiar world of Medhi’s auto mechanic shop.
Adapting to the environment of the school room proves more than Dilara can manage on her first day and she seeks refuge in the garage from the mockery of her classmates. Sakine is adapting to her situation in the house with a pronounced dynamic of voice and action. She has made herself right at home, showing off her green thumb, happily choosing the foods and cooking for the family and in some way taking over the role vacated by Medhi’s mother regarding the household duties.
Sakine misses no opportunity to make sure Mujgan’s venomous words are not being left without a verbal antidote. On the other hand, Sakine is not adapting well to the presence of Benal in the house. She views her as a threat to Zeynep and Medhi’s peace and order. Sakine’s overall disapproval is creating an unpleasant atmosphere for Benal and Zeynep. She goes so far as to doubt that Benal faces any real threat from her ex. Sakine is pressuring Zeynep to stand up for herself and demand to Medhi that Benal leaves the house.
Mujgan seems to be enjoying her mission as protector of Benal and the unborn child, and although she claims to be tired of the tension she relishes being the thorn in Zeynep’s side. She tries by every word, deed and nuance to prove to everyone, especially Zeynep, that Benal and child are of ultimate importance; that Zeynep will eventually show that she cannot cope and will leave.
Mujgan encourages Benal to be more aggressive and proud and defend her child and herself otherwise Zeynep might take the child to raise with Medhi. Although these words get the needed reaction from Benal, the viewer encounters a very passive, uneasy, uncomfortable and depressed Benal in blatant contrast to the strong, feisty, determined Benal of season one. She is almost pitiable as she tries to find her place in the household. Her prolonged gazes of Medhi and Zeynep’s intimacy renders both viewer and protagonists uncomfortable. She may have wanted to be under the same roof as Medhi in the previous season, but the reality of her immediate situation is proving far different from that of her dreams.
Even Nuh is left to manage a new norm as Emine’s decision to live with Faruk has crushed his every hope and perception of her. His adaptive abilities are not as great as those of the others and when he shares his internal feelings with Medhi, he gets no sympathy whatsoever; just a callous remark that he and Emine were never an item so he should not be acting devastated.
Just like the other characters, Emine and Faruk are presented with individual and collective circumstances in their lives, to which, they too, must adapt. The discovery by Zeynep that Emine is having an affair with Faruk has cost Emine her friend and she must adapt to living far removed from Zeynep’s life.
Likewise, she must cope with her estrangement from her mother. Emine may be adapting surprisingly well to the ways and means of the privileged, but her losing Zeynep and Sultan has been costly. Emine may have adjusted to not having Faruk’s father’s approval, but the discovery that Faruk has some other woman in his life provides Emine with a major challenge.
While every character in the episode is learning to adapt, no one is so experienced at it as Zeynep. From a little girl, she has been adapting in order to please others in this way hoping to pay her debt to life for having experienced such advantages from Nermin. Likewise, she has adapted in order to pay back Sakine for cleaning houses in order to raise her. In this first session, the doctor decides not to bombard Zeynep’s mind with too much to ponder, so she leaves Zeynep with an important axiom: that a person, oneself, must draw the lines that others may not cross over. The psychiatrist proclaims to herself that it will be her duty to protect Zeynep from self destruction and teach her what life has not taught her yet.
Although the episode focuses on everyone’s state of mind and the lack of peace in their lives, it presents us with a major event in Zeynep’s life. At the end of season one, Zeynep graduated from law school. In this season, she is seeking employment as a lawyer. When Medhi drops her off at the towering steel and glass building which houses the offices of the law firm for her interview, the camera’s drone shots draw our attention to how incongruous Zeynep’s new world will be for Medhi.
He remarks to her when he drops her off that he is not sure what he will do without seeing her all day. Later, describing the buildings and the environment to Nuh, he reiterates concerns from season one about the contrast between Zeynep’s and his world and how inconsequential he felt in that environment. Another of Zeynep’s decisions from season one will be tested, it is certain, in coming episodes.
The tone of the season two opening episode is deliberately melancholic, grave, unrestful. The characters all worried, confused, trying as best they can to make the best of situations which have arisen either by fate or choice. Happiness is not the same as peace according to Zeynep. The problems were set in motion last season and they have just been lurking. Some new characters have appeared. Mujgan’s boyfriend from the past and Zeynep’s new job. Life, as the psychiatrist says, is a surprising entity.
_________________________________________________________________________________Article Copyright by North America TEN authored by Joan Hiver
Author: Joan Hiver is a retired English Literature Professor who has taught English Literature at both secondary school and university levels. For many years Joan also served on the Board of Directors of an International Private School. At the moment, she is trying her hand on writing a children’s book. A native of Canada , Joan moved to the United States after her marriage. She is the mother of three children. Joan discovered the Turkish dizi when she and her family lived in Europe. Besides being a die-hard fan of Turkish dizis since 2006, she enjoys sewing, needlepoint, gardening, cooking and detective fiction of any kind.
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