Another amazing episode which flowed smoothly from the one before it in elaborating further on the factors at play along that perilous frontier that, we are shown, wasn’t unlike a chessboard with three players (four if you include the Papal agents) – with each trying to reign supreme, to outmaneuver the other two in a never ending cycle of strategies, tactics, traps & bloodshed.
I loved how subtly the scenarists make us see & understand the forces & incentives that fuel these three players and their commitment to their game.
Relatively uncomplicated love for taxes/gold/ riches/ pasture lands for the Mongols.
Dreams of unifying/ rebuilding a great empire in decline for the Papal agents.
Nikola’s quest for power and glory & contempt for a displaced population he sees as uncivilized nomadic shepherds squatting on lands his people had historically owned. And now, his thirst for revenge for his friend.
Osman’s dream of establishing a state – a state based on faith-based principles of justice & equity – for not just his own chaotically scattered people but for all oppressed people, for all ‘sparrows’ of the world, regardless of religion or ethnicity.
Osman Bey: Struggles & Evolution.
His struggle against his enemies.
His struggle against his flaws.
His struggle against his own nafs.
At the beginning of this season, we were introduced to an Osman, who, despite being as single-minded, as passionate as before where his dream of a state was concerned, was different from the one we were introduced to in Season 1. Different not only in physical appearance but also in terms of how stronger he now was in keeping those ‘wild horses inside his heart’ reined, how successful he now was in the ongoing jihad against his ‘nafs’ – in practicing ‘sabr’, in keeping his intentions pure and his flaws (his anger especially) under check.
I am reminded of the night of the beylik ceremony, which I believe, was a high point in this struggle to self purify, to remain God-conscious at all times, to reach out for a state of perfection in his servitude to Him, and Him alone. That scene is my most favorite scene from both DE & KO combined. That moment when surrounded by dervishes, Osman Bey stood & gently swayed in Dhikr, his existence, his consciousness focused on His creator alone, his throne all but forgotten in the background.
Of course, he is only 24 still and has a long way to go, as we all do, and I do love how realistically human and flawed he is shown. He still slips and makes mistakes but, in my humble opinion, what makes him an exemplary human & better than someone like Omer Bey is the way he doesn’t allow himself or his ego to rationalize/ justify his faults or mistakes.
He is strong enough to realize his mistakes and apologizes – as he did to his alps in this episode. It was a heartwarming scene and I wish they’d show his bond with his alps, his brothers, more.
Osman Ghazi was just as well known for his clemency & compassion as he was for his ferocity on the battlefield and his wrath for traitors & oppressors. I love how the scenarists balance & bring to life these different dimensions of his personality to life.
The scene where Omer Bey visits to offer his condolences for Abdul Rahman’s martyrdom was intense. I thought Osman harshness was completely justified in this particular instance.
His dialogue delivery, his expressions as he says toy benim toyumdur, mesuliyet benim mesuliyetimdir, İntikam benim intikamımdır were incredibly impactful in portraying the fire in his heart, in conveying that he’d had enough.
Some really brilliant lines – You can’t float your merchant ships on seas of blood…
The way he turns his back towards Omer Bey in self restraint & concludes with these chilling matter of fact words – My sword will always be pointing toward Nikola now, don’t come in front of it.
Some thoughts on Showing vs Telling: “You are always like a mountain behind me”
Although moviemaking (or series-making) is a visual medium & showing not telling one of its most important rules, it’s interesting to observe how often it’s neglected.
One of the reasons why I enjoy KO’s storytelling, why I think it’s brilliant in its sheer impact on viewers’ hearts and minds, is the scenarists’/ script writers’ reliance on showing more than telling. On allowing visuals to carry the story forward more often than lengthy dialogues which, if used excessively, can become monotonous.
We saw an excellent example of this in Osman & Bala’s scene from the last episode…where Osman is shown pacing, his heart afire, his shoulder weighed down by a million worries & at that moment, the worst possible moment, Bala lets escape her – not entirely unwarranted – insecurity in the form of a weighted question – Was Osman so agitated because he was concerned about Malhun?
What followed was a short dialogue – 3 short questions & their answers – but what made the scene impactful & memorable was the way it was conceived & executed & brought to life by the two actors – the focus on facial/ eye expressions, the masterful utilization of silence, the choice of soundtrack.
With minimal words, it not only ‘showed’ us what was going on between the two of them but also conveyed to us multiple layers of meaning – lending an unforgettable depth to the interaction, turning it into a memorable scene that was artistic in its subtlety.
On the surface, the conversation was about friends, purported allies, like Umer Bey & Malhun who were allowing their ego to act as an impediment to Osman’s cause but just under this layer, there was another silent conversation – where Osman was gently rebuking Bala without actually spelling it out. With masterful direction, zero words & effective utilization of pauses & facial expressions we were not only ‘shown’ that Bala understood the second layer of meaning but that Osman, who could never see her hurt, decided to lift his chastened wife’s spirit by backtracking a little, but adding that she was different, that she was like a mountain behind him…
Osman & Bala: “We will have happy days, my Bala”
This week’s episode had another memorable Osman & Bala scene that highlighted the beautiful bond they share. To Bala, who has known & loved Osman Bey since he was just a young boy & not a powerful Bey, he will always be just Osman’m, her Osman – the one who is always able to, without reservations, bear his heart, share his dreams with her.
“We will have happy days, my Bala. Our children will grow are without worry. Our weddings & our celebrations will be without shadows over them. Our seniors & our women will not need to fight. We will have an army. We will have a state. If Allah wills”.
Malhun Hatun: A Callused Heart?
I liked how we got a glimpse of her backstory – and how that short scene went a long way in helping us empathize with her character.
The vulnerability in her eyes as she looks at her callused hands and wonders if, along with her palms, her heart was callused as well. It was very poignant to see cracks in her strong warrior woman front.
With her companion implying that she was past her girlhood, why do I get the feeling that she is being shown as a little older than Osman? Around 27-28?
Not that it matters…
And of course, as veteran viewers of these series, we all know that anything a hatun gazes at her reflection while absently running a wet comb through her hair – she is probably more than half in love with a valiant & righteous Bey close-by!
I sense in her a shift – remorse (Are we being unfair to a valiant Bey?) mixed with admiration for his courage, an increasing belief in his cause. An increasing desire to be Osman Bey’s ally in the real sense of the word mixed with a perhaps more personal desire to earn his good opinion – to no longer be subjected to the contempt in his eyes.
PS: Malhun Hatun definitely needs a better wig! Please.
Martyrdom & Revenge:
The opening scene was heartbreaking. So many martyrs, lifeless bodies, blood seeping into wet earth. Abdul Rahman’s martyrdom. It was as hard to bid adieu to a character we’ve known for seven long seasons as was to watch the grief of those left behind.
From the utter loneliness in Bamsi’s eyes and his reluctance to let yet another loved one cross over to the other side…to Osman’s single tear falling in his pain at not being able to protect his father’s ‘legacy’…to his fist closing around dark earth in his rightful desire for revenge.
Everyone’s reaction looked so realistic – Baysungur’s, Gunduz’s, Saltuk’s, Goktug’s, Cerkutay’s…even Gence Bey’s!
Storyline of Episode 52
I think they did justice in giving such an important historical character his due respect & honor. I hope this will inspire people to search up old forgotten pages of history – to read up on him, to know him, to appreciate him, to send up prayers for him.
Such a beautifully executed & enacted scene – its unnerving calmness a perfect foil for all the fire and fury that followed – and that a subsequent acceleration in the pace of the episode was very effective in making us experience.
Another beautiful scene was where Bamsi & Cerkutay, both brilliant actors, were shown by the fresh grave.
“The Believers are but a single Brotherhood: So make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; and fear God, that ye may receive Mercy.” (Quran: 49:10)
This was another sublime scene. I just love the relationship between Osman and his spiritual teacher, Edebali. How respectfully Osman listens to his each & every word. The alacrity with which he responds to his summons. The sheer reverence & humility in his demeanor when he is in his presence.
I love how their relationship has progressed since Season 1, how well pleased Edebali seems to be with regards to his student’s spiritual progress…
I love how Bala, despite her own reservations, took the initiative to approach her father regarding the two contending beys – to get him to mediate a peaceful resolution of the escalating conflict, to get his help in guiding Umer Bey & helping him see what the Quran & Sunnah expected of him.
All things considered, this was yet another sublime episode that left us with many memorable scenes, many emotions, many thoughts to ponder upon.
And then it left us with an absolute killer of a cliffhanger. Osman knows. Osman finally knows!!!
Watch Kurulus Osman Episode 53 English Subtitles
Will be available soon. IA