The first episode review and translation can be found here.
The third episode review and translation can be found here.
This episode was well-done, if very long and difficult to watch in some respects. It features a powerful scene toward the end where the new young sultan has ordered his executioners to kill his adorable young brother for the stability of the Ottoman throne. The tension is most unbearable as the little boy, a terrific child actor, realizes what is apparently about to happen to him. You are left screaming at your screen, “Don’t do it, hunkarim!”
Sultan Ahmet is really growing up and coming into his own. He seems much more sure of himself and more confident in his ability to wield power. But his confusion over what to do about his little brother and how to handle the many factions who are all intent on betraying him and jostling for power, clearly causes him great emotional pain.
I do feel, though, that these episodes requires between more editing, since both episode 1 and episode 2 dragged in some parts (especially the Janissary sections in ep. 2…interesting, but not so interesting that I wanted to see so much of their training). Plus, the plot points that are very similar to the first, great Muhtesem Yuzyil are just a reminder that this program lacks the charisma of such characters as Suleyman, Hurrem, Ibrahim, Hatice, and Valide Sultan. It feels as if old ground is being covered, but without the same zest, excitement, and dynamic writing that we saw in the first series.
What follows is an English synopsis and not entirely complete translation. I tried to translate as much as possible of the important scenes, especially those involving Ahmet, Safiye Sultan, and Anastasia.
This episode begins with a shot of Shehzade Mustafa sleeping and a knife approaching his face…to cut a lock of his hair. It’s his mother, and she’s apparently doing some kind of spell.
The shot switches to the other innocent—Anastasia—lying in bed beside Ahmet. She sits up and looks around,
Halime is interrupted by her servant, who is not happy to see she is doing a spell. Halime explains she wasn’t able to save her older son, but she’s determined to save Mustafa.
Back to Anastasia. She discovers the portrait and is surprised and, then, angry. Ahmet gets up and asks her if she likes it, but she strikes out at him. “Like it?!”
“I saw the portrait in Safiye Sultan’s rooms and then—“
“And then you gave an order and I was brought here! What am I – a horse, a goat? An olive? An egg?”
“I didn’t give the order. I didn’t know. Safiye Sultan arranged it as a gift to me.”
“I’m not a gift. I’m a person. I have a family, just like you. It’s a shame! You are cruel. I will escape. You’ll see.” She knocks over the portrait.
Ahmet: “No one can escape from here.”
She leaves in a huff.
Ahmet is restoring the portrait to its easel when his mother and Dervish come in and tell him Halime Sultan and her son have escaped.
Cennet kalfa rings a bell to wake the girls and yells at everyone to get up.
Reyhan aga walks in with Anastasia and tells Cennet to do whatever is necessary with her, and then leaves. “Where are you going?” Cennet asks him.
“To the depths of hell. Want to come?”
Cennet then declares to all that Mahpeyker is now a gozde (special concubine favored of the Sultan) and should be moved to her own room on the higher floor. She tells Mahfiruz to help her move. Neither girl looks too pleased about this.
Handan is worried because of the Halime’s escape. She says to her son: “I knew it…it’s because you were merciful.”
Ahmet: “Where could they escape to?”
Dervish: “All the Bostanci guards are searching and all roads to the harbor will be blocked.”
Handan: “What if the Celati rebels find them?”
Ahmet “Enough, Mother! Dervish, find them. Bring me my brother or your head will roll.”
“I’m at your command, your Majesty.”
Outside the sultan’s room, Handan expresses her fears to Dervish. He assures her that he is devoted to protecting her life and her son’s. She tells him she has complete trust in him.
He encounters Bulbul aga and Reyhan aga in the corridor. To the latter, he says, “Is this how you protect the Sultan’s harem?”
Bulbul talks back, saying “watch what you’re saying. You’re just the head of the Bostancis, but he is a head haram eunuch.”
But Dervish interrupts and puts him in his place. “That’s not all I am. I’m the sultan’s eyes and ears. And I carry out his commands. I want everyone in the harem questioned. I want to know what they saw and what they heard.”
Outside the city, men on horseback
These are the Celati rebels. They are surveying their (future) territory. First they plan to get the Shehzade and then they’ll take the head of Sultan Ahmet.
Anastasia is shown to a private room. Mahfiruz is there, helping fold her clothes. She asks why she looks so discontented. She has a great room. Now she’ll also have the best fabrics to make the best clothing. And then gifts, jewels, etc.
Anastasia says she doesn’t want all those things. “You can have them.” She just wants to paper to write to her family. She asks Mahfiruz about her family, but Mahfiruz says she doesn’t even remember them. Her home is now the harem. She dreams of being taken to bed by the sultan and giving birth to his child.
Anastasia says she doesn’t even want the cruel king. “Why are you acting this way? asks Mahfiruz. “You just did it with him. Maybe you’re pregnant already.”
Anastasia crosses herself in horror. “That’s impossible. Because…” She hesitates, and then says, “The halvet didn’t happen.”
Mahfiruz looks pleased to hear this juicy bit of information.
Safiye Sultan’s rooms
Safiye Sultan: “Now you’re telling me this news?”
“Forgive me,” says Bulbul, “But we didn’t want to disturb your sleep.”
“The prince has left the palace and you talk about sleep!” She orders Nasuh Aga (the man whom she sent to retrieve Anastasia) to appear before her immediately.
Sultan Ahmet is announced. He comes in with his mother. Safiye says she just heard that her grandson and his mother Halime have run away from the palace. Basically, Halimemhas abducted the young shehzade.
Ahmet asks if Safiye has any idea who might have helped them. She notes they have many enemies.
Anastasia is returned to the common room with the other girls, where Cennet tells everyone that the halvet didn’t actually take place and she is still a virgin. She reveals that she learned this from Mahfiruz. Anastasia is obviously annoyed at having her confidence so quickly betrayed.
The harem rulers (Bulbul, Dudu hatun and the mute woman, Golge) show up to question the girls about Halime’s disappearance.
Anastasia remembers seeing someone flee with two kids through a secret passage.
We see Dervish and the other bostanci guards leaving the palace to search. Mustafa pasha is outside with some other pashas and he pretends not to know what the problem is.
In a jeweler’s shop we see the younger Giray brother, Mehmet, picking out jewelry. He asks the jeweler to show him the good stuff. The jeweler pulls out another case of jewelry, and notes that this must be for a very important woman.
He steps out in to the marketplace and sees the search going on. Dervish is there, ordering his men to talk to all the shopkeepers.
Safiye Sultan is talking to Nasuh and ordering him to find the prince. He says, “But if we bring him back, the Sultan might kill him.”
Safiye: “Find him first and let me worry about that.”
There’s a scene with the Giray brothers where the elder brother, Shahin, is dissecting a lion, presumably the same lion he’d given to the sultan. He’s removing the organs.
Mehmet tells him what he’s seen at the marketplace. Shahin is not surprised. The lion cub fled. He hopes they find him first.
“Maybe I’ll make you king of the Crimea.”
“What do you mean?”
Mehmet asks why Shahin is willing to give the Crimean throne to him.
Shahin: “I have a very different dream. Very different. When the right time comes, you’ll learn what it is.”
Anastasia is being questioned. She relates speaking to the prince about his favorite chestnuts, and explains that he was taken away by a servant. She claims she saw nothing more. Reyhan aga says that if she’s lying, he’ll put her in a bag and throw her into the Bosphorus. But Ana insists that is all she knows.
Alex and the other young recruits arrive at the camp in Istanbul. They are checked in to the camp, having been circumcised. They give their names and are added to the rolls. Alex takes the name Iskender.
While Anastasia is searching for the secret passage, she is caught by Cennet kalfa. She asks Cennet to post the letter that she’s written to her family, telling them she’s alive. Cennet looks at it but can’t read it since it’s written in Greek. “Forget your family. You no longer have a family. It’s forbidden.”
Anastasia again threatens to reveal that Cennet was meeting a man, and Cennet threatens her. Ana points out that she’s precious to the sultan and that she’ll tell on Cennet if she doesn’t help her. Cennet says it’ll be your word against mine. Ana insists that they aren’t enemies; she wants them to be friends. All she’s asking of her is to get the message to her family somehow.
Zulfikar is giving another speech. “There are two worlds—the world of the Janissaries and the world of everyone who is not a Janissary.” The chief tells them this is now their family—forget their mothers forget their fathers, etc. This is where they will live and train, this is where their meat and soup will be prepared in the famous Janissary pot that was gifted to them long ago. He points out where the mosque is where they will make their prayers, etc.
But right now running is the most important thing. He tells them to race. The winner will be the head boy of the recruits. Some blond guy deliberately knocks Iskender down, which is against the rules, but Iskender flings his cap across the finish line. When his adversary claims that he’s the winner, Iskender says, nope, I won. You pushed me.
They tussle until the Janissary leaders stop what might have been a fight. Iskender is declared the winner. When his adversary protests that this is not fair, he’s told that a Janissary must use his brain.
As the guys are given their beds in the dormitory, another young man challenges Iskender, claiming to know that he used a false name. This boy says he knew the guy whom Alex claimed to be and that he isn’t him. He speculates that maybe Alex is illegitimate and not elegible to be a Janissary. Alex says he must be mixing him up with somebody else. There is something Iskender doesn’t want to reveal (we don’t know why yet) and he tries to convince the other man not to mention it, but he looks a bit worried. He clearly has some secrets…
On a balcony in the Janissary camp
Zulfikar and another leader speak about the overdue bonus payment expected when a new sultan takes his throne. But Zulfikar hears there is a more serious problem–Shehzade Mustafa is missing, which is a serious threat to the new ruler.
The Sultan sees a fortune teller who has been associated with Halime. He asks where Halime is. The woman says she has to touch his hand. He permits it.
She tells him she sees dark clouds gathering around him. But Mustafa will return. Just as he seems relieved, she adds he’ll return to take Ahmet’s place on the throne. (This is of course true…but not for many years).
Ahmet is clearly disturbed by the fortune teller’s words. He tells Dervish to leave him alone, but Dervish gives him another pep talk, saying only God knows his destiny. Ahmet wonders what is written in his fate, and Dervish assures him that, God willing, he will achieve many magnificent victories in his future.
Halime with her kids
A man is shown in to the room where Halime is hiding and says the pasha is ready for her. They’ll leave tomorrow. Outside, Reyhan pasha is watching.
Halime tells her son that there is an army waiting for him and that tomorrow they’ll meet it. Mustafa wants to go back to the palace. Halime tries to explain to the little boy why this is not possible. She says the angel of death awaits him there. “But who is the angel of death?”
“Your brother. Ahmet.”
Anastasia is brought into Safiye Sultan’s chambers. The sultana asks her if it’s true that the halvet didn’t happen. If not, what did she do all night in the sultan’s bedchamber? It’s a matter of the Ottoman dynasty, she adds, when Anastasia seems reluctant to answer.
“We talked, Sultanim. Afterwards, I fell asleep.”
When the sultana turns her attention elsewhere, Ana rushes over and tries to continue the conversation. “You’re a Venetian. How did you forget your family? Didn’t you miss them?”
Safiye is surprisingly tolerant: “It was my fate–the Venetian Sofia became Safiye Sultan of the great Ottoman Empire.”
“The other girls don’t remember being free. They don’t remember their parents. But I do. How can I forget them?”
“You were born free, but you didn’t do anything to earn that life. Now you’re no longer free. Accept it. But you can be reborn here. You can make your own nest, your own family here. Most people never have the great opportunity you will have here. Like the Phoenix, you can be born again to fly.”
Cennet makes fun of her as they leave the sultana’s chamber. “There’ll be no escape for you,” she insists.
“You sent my letter, right? You promised.”
“It’s not that easy. At a convenient time, I’ll send it.”
Halime and children
Mustafa pasha has come to take Halime and her kids to the rebels. Mustafa is dressed as a girl, and he objects. His sister calms him down, telling him it’s all a game, and they set off.
The rebels are waiting in the harbor. They walk through the marketplace. But Shahin shows up to block their path. Mustafa runs away without making any attempt to help Halime or her children.
She and the children run and nearly get to safety, but Shahin is there. Halime pulls a knife and calls him a dog, but he strikes her and she falls. Her children start screaming, “Mother, mother!”
The rebel comes up on Shahin with a blade, but Shahin points out, as his men arrive, having captured Mustafa Pasha, that the rebel has two choices—give his life for the Shehzade or leave now and save his life. He chooses the latter.
They both vow to meet again someday.
Sultan’s throne room
Shahin Giray stands before the sultan and expresses his concern over the disappearance of the prince. Dervish assures him that the problem will soon be solved. Shahin basically says, yes, I’ve solved it for you, and ushers in his captives.
Ahmet loses his temper when he sees Halime and half-strangles her while, again, his little brother screams for his mother and begs his abi not to hurt her.
“How dare you take the Shehzade away?”
Halime says, “You promised to spare his life. But when I heard you were asking for permission to kill him, of course we ran away.”
Ahmet orders the mother and son locked up in cells and the daughter locked in her room. As for Mustafa pasha, he orders his execution. Immediately.
Halime: “What’s my fault? What are you accusing me of? Protecting my son? I’ve already lost one son. Your father sent the cellats (the mute strangler dudes) for him. Hunkarim, I beg you…”
He doesn’t listen to her. The guards take her away.
Halime and Mustafa are taken past the girls’ room, screaming. Everyone goes to look. Mustafa is calling, “Mother, mother, don’t leave me. Don’t leave me!”
Anastasia asks what’s going on. Cennet says the sultan is going to have the little boy executed.
“But that’s a terrible thing.”
Dudu hatun: “Be quiet. Is it up to you to question the decisions of the most high sultan?” She then yells at Cennet for not teaching the girls their manners.
Outside, in the palace courtyard
Mustafa pasha pleads for mercy and asks to be pardoned. The sultan ignores him and he is executed.
Safiye Sultan is watching the proceedings from the tower window. “May his sins be forgiven.”
Nasuh aga asks her “Now what? The sultan will now execute the Shehzade.”
“What do you suggest?”
“I could go talk to the mufti. The sultan can’t execute him if he doesn’t have the imam’s permission.”
She tells him she appreciates having such good advisors.
Ahmet is about to go inside, when a member of the sipahi (calvary) asks forgiveness for calling out, but he has a matter that he wants to bring up with the sultan. They haven’t been paid their bonus. Ahmet asks Zulfikar what the Janissaries have to say about this. He agrees that it’s true they haven’t been paid. But he says for the Janissaries, the sultan’s word is good enough for them.
The sultan declares that he doesn’t want any of his soldiers to have problems, but that shortly the money will arrive from Egypt. His minsters agree that the funds should arrive soon and as soon as they do, inshallah, the money will be paid.
Handan is with Ahmet and saying thank God the prince has been returned. This business must now be finished. As they approach the sultan’s room, they find Safiye Sultan waiting.
Alone with Ahmet, she gives her advice. It’s not appropriate now to kill the prince. There are no other princes of the Ottoman line. Of course it is his decision, but she thinks he should wait until he has a son of his own. At that time, he can give the order.
But Ahmet has already made up his mind. He indicates that when he receives the permission, he intends to give the execution order.
We see Nasuh aga offering a “gift” to the imam to make sure he makes the right decision. But another court official turns up and notices what’s going on.
Dudu hatun reports to Handan that the sultan refused the cariye they sent to him the previous night. Handan is worries and wants to find a solution. She sees Anastasia and orders her to be brought before her.
Ahmet is planting jasmine in his secret garden. He knows that Anastasia likes the smell. Dervish arrives saying he doesn’t want to spoil the sultan’s pleasure, but the response has come from the mufti.
It says, “Because Shehzade Mustafa is the only prince of the dynasty, it is not appropriate to put him to death.”
The man who saw the bribe being delivered turns up and reveals what he knows to the sultan.
Anastasia is shown in. She says, “Who are you? What am I doing here?”
Dudu hatun tells her to shut up and listen to the Valide Sultan.
Anastasia: “How many Valide Sultans are there in this palace?” (LOL!)
“There’s only one—Handan Sultan, the sultan’s mother.”
Anastasia, smiling and excited: “You mean you’re Ahmet’s mom?”
Handan: “Who are you that you use the King of the World’s name so freely?”
“Forgive me, Sultana, but—”
But Handan orders her out. This disrespectful brat is not suitable for her son. Handan orders Mahfiruz to be presented to her son and wants everything done right this time.
The sultan is announced. The mufti apologizes for not being in a state to receive him. Ahmet says, “What would you have done if you’d known I was coming—notified Safiye Sultan?”
Dervish says to the imam, “How do you dare to go against the commands of your padishah?”
The mufti tells him to know his place. He informs the sultan that since he doesn’t yet have a son, this is the right decision for the state.
Ahmet says, basically, the sultan is the state. And I am the sultan.”
He demands the official permission. Either that or the mufti can suffer his judgment. He tells the imam that he knows the law. What he did not know until today was the mufti’s true face. Now he knows that, too.
Safiye Sultan goes to visit Halime and scolds her for putting her son in this danger. Halime says, “What would you have done, if you were in my place? Safiye reminds her that when her son became sultan, she watched 19 coffins being carried out of the palace, including her littlest one.
“On that day, you had no hope. Sultana, I beg you, help me.”
Safiye looks in on the sleeping Mustafa. “This child, who put him in this mess? You.”
Halime calls after her as she leaves, accusing Safiye of having no conscience, no heart, no mercy. She might be able to fool everybody else, but she can’t fool Halime. Safiye wants to use her son as a pawn against Sultan Ahmet, that’s all.
Ahmet is there. He reads the law regarding the execution of brothers aloud. Ahmet tells Safiye that he knows she used pressure on the mufti regarding the order.
“I don’t want you here in this palace any longer. Make your preparations immediately. I’m exiling you to the Old Palace.”
Safiye: “You might be able to silence me, but what about the voice of your conscience? Can you silence that? A darkness will envelop your heart. Everywhere you look, you’d see the innocent face of your brother. Before you there are two roads, Ahmet. Just like two doorways. One is the path of mercy, the other is the path of cruelty. Which one you choose is your decision. But don’t forget, if you choose the cruel way, you will always be cruel.”
The Shehzade is given a meal, but he pushes it away. “I won’t eat. I want my mother.” Calls for his mother.
She answers. “I’m here, my son.”
“Mom, where are you? I’m scared.”
“Eat your food so you’ll get strong.”
“I want chestnuts. They won’t give me any.”
Heartbroken, Halime calls out from her cell an order to bring chestnuts for the prince.
He smiles as he remembers his night with Anastasia. We see a flashback:
She said to him, “You’re not the sultan, you’re a liar. You said you were Bahti.”
“I didn’t lie. I am Bahti. That’s the name I use for my poetry.”
He gives her the word in Italian, and recites some poetry. She smiles and says “You speak Italian?”
“I’m learning. As for poetry, I read some of Suleyman’s poetry.”
He shows her a book with a map of the Greek islands.
We also see that Anastasia is remembering. She unfolds a page from the book that she has been hiding in her dress.
In the flashback, she points out to Ahmet where her home is. She tells him that her mother was Greek and her father was from Venice. Her father’s mother was also Greek. She asks if all the land on the map is his. “You’re the sultan, right? You can do anything you want? Then give the order for me to return home.”
He says, “You’re here because the Lord wants it, Anastasia. No one can stand against fate.”
“But you promised me. You said you’d rescue me. I beg you.”
“Anastasia, I can’t do that. Your home now is here.”
‘What do you mean, you can’t? You’re keeping me here by force.”
“I’d prefer it if you wanted to be here.”
She makes as if to throw an apple at him. He says harshly, “I’ll call the aga to come and take off your head.”
She hesitates, and he adds, “Didn’t they tell you that I eat young girls’ hearts?”
They both start laughing and she does throw the apple.
At one point, they nearly kiss, but she turns her face away. Then she nervously asks him about the halvet. He tells her that it won’t happen if she doesn’t want it to. He’ll wait until she’s ready. She’s relieved to hear this.
Like Ahmet, Anastasia is remembering these things. But she snaps to attention when she sees Mahfiruz being prepared for a night with the sultan.
Mahfiruz is arrogant about it. “You sleep, I’ll be pleasuring our sultan. In the morning I’ll have a son in my belly.”
Anastasia: “You what?!”
Mahfiruz tells her that the sultan called for her specially.
When Anastasia bristles, another girl tells her that jealousy isn’t permitted here.
Ana says, “Why should I be jealous? I’m being sent home. I’m never going to be like you.”
Mahfiruz shows up and presents herself to the sultan. This time she doesn’t wait for him to do something, but takes the lead, undressing him and herself.
Dudu hatun appears a little later in Handan’s Sultan’s rooms with a basket that appears to contain a bloody sheet. (How they got this away from the sultan’s bed is not clear, especially since in the next scene we see Ahmet and Mahfiruz still in that bed). She is now wearing a nightgown that she didn’t have when she arrived. He goes out onto the porch, and she sees the portrait. When Ahmet sees her looking at it, he sends her back to the harem. “Çekilebilirsin!”
Anastasia observes her return and sees her crying yet again.
The guys are awakened. Iskender is the leader of their small group. They see men practicing wrestling and swordplay, but they are taken to the kitchen and given work there, chopping onions and making soup. The cooking ritual is very important to the Janissary corps.
Fahiye Sultan (Safiye’s daughter) sees her mother and asks why she’s being exiled. Safiye says that this is Handan’s work–she is trying to make an enemy of her in her grandson’s eyes. But don’t worry. No one has the strength to send her away.
Meanwhile Mahfiruz is bragging about her night with the sultan, and the girls all gather around asking for details.
“It was like a dream. I was there all night with him,” she claims. “I’m so tired!”
Safiye Sultan arrives in the corridor outside the girl’s main harem chamber. Handan comes from the opposite direction and the two Valide sultans have a confrontation.
Handan: “I was just coming to visit you.”
“Great, you were coming to kiss my hand.”
“I will pay my respects, of course. But my son has exiled you to the palace of tears.”
As they spar a bit more, Anastasia asks, “What’s the palace of tears? What does that mean?”
Cennet explains that that’s where you get sent when you fall from grace. Inside those cold walls, you weep endlessly; that’s why it’s call the Palace of Tears.”
Cennet: “Girls get back to work. The entertainment’s over.”
They make the soup, according to a practiced ritual. All the ingredients are ceremonially dumped into the huge Janissary kettle. A young boy he’s talking to notices that Iskender has a ribbon wrapped around his wrist. (The ribbon Anastasia gave him in episode 1). The boy asks what it is. Iskender says it’s nothing. Just a reminder.
Mahfiruz is being told that now she’s a favorite. She’ll get jewels, new outfits, etc. Mahfiruz orders Anastasia to help move her stuff.
“Move it yourself,” Anastasia says.
“I helped you.”
Ana: “I’m not you. If I don’t want to do something, no one can force me. Plus, you claim you spent all night? Really? You returned very quickly.”
Other concubine: “Is that the truth?”
Mahfiruz: “No, she’s jealous. She’s lying. I stayed until morning.”
Ana: “If you want, ask Cennet kalfa. Let’s see what she says about it.”
Mahfiruz: “Don’t mess with me, little virgin. Our sultan doesn’t even want to see your face.” She shoves Anastasia.
Angry and trying to prove she doesn’t care that Mahfiruz has just had sex with Ahmet, Anastasia says, “I don’t want him anyway. He’s cruel. He kidnaps girls and makes slaves of them. He’s going to kill his little brother, like a barbarian. “
Mahfiruz slaps her and they start fighting.
Dudu, Cennet and the aga appear. The girls are taken to Handan.
Mahfiruz claims she was attacked and had to defend herself. When Anastasia replies, Handan tells her not to open her mouth until she has permission.
Mahfiruz says, “She said vicious things about the sultan.”
Handan asks what she said. Mahfiruz claims everyone was a witness that Ana said the sultan was cruel and a barbarian. Handan doesn’t need to hear anymore. She orders Anastasia locked in a cell without food or water.
At least Golge leaves her a torch.
Fahiye is asking that her mother not be exiled. Ahmet says he didn’t want it, but he has no choice. Mehmet Giray shows up and letters pass between him and Fahiye.
Obviously, she was the one he was buying the jewelry for. But they pretend they haven’t met.
The sultan tells Shahin Giray to ask whatever he wants, since he did him a great favor. Shahin says he has nothing he wants now, but perhaps in the future he might make a request. Then he says that everyone is wondering what will be the fate of the young prince. It would suit his own purposes (claiming the throne himself) if young Mustafa were executed.
He notes there a saying that once a rock has been lifted, it can’t be put back in its place.
Poor Mustafa is miserable, alone in his cell. His mother is allowed in briefly. She has brought him some chestnuts. He asks if they’re going to kill him. If they kill him, she promises that she’ll give birth to him again. She hugs him and tells him not to be afraid. The jailers tell her she has to go–she’s had long enough with her son.
Outside the sultan’s room
Ahmet remembers what the fortune-teller told him about his brother returning to take the throne he’s sitting on. He calls Dervish and tells him to notify the executioners. This night he wants this business to be finished.
Fahiye reads her letter and lies on her bed thinking of her lover. Mehmet Giray also reads his letter. They are in love, but she is afraid they will be caught and he will be killed.
Anastasia fights rats in her cell and tries to keep her torch burning by ripping up some of her dress fabric and feeding it to the flame. Eventually she falls asleep.
Ahmet finds the stuffed lion in his chamber. Shahin Giray has had it sent over after he had it stuffed—that’s why he was removing the lion’s organs.
Ahmet looks into its eyes. Then he looks at Anastasia’s portrait and calls for his aga.
“Call Anastasia. And take this thing away.” Reyhane looks dismayed, but hurries to obey.
Meanwhile in the cell, Anastasia has fallen asleep and is dreaming of her family and the letter she wrote to them, which we now hear. She wants to come home, but if she isn’t able to do so, she expects she will die. She wakes up in the sultan’s secret garden, where he had presumably ordered her brought. She notices the smell of jasmine, a flower the sultan knows she likes.
A storm begins. A drop of rain falls on Ahmet’s face, and the call to prayer sounds from a nearby mosque. Ahmet seems entranced.
In a truly heart-rending scene, the cellats come for Mustafa. His mother is screaming and poor little Mustafa is crying in terror. He tries to give the executioner a chestnut, but it is cast aside. Dervish doesn’t look too happy about what is happening.
Ahmet remembers his older brother and thinks he sees his ghost. At the last minute, he changes his mind.
He races down to the palace cells to stop the execution. He gets there just in time.
Ahmet tells his little brother, “Forgive me, my brother, forgive me,” over and over. Then he picks him up in his arms and carries the boy out of the cell. He sees his mother crying in her own cell and nods for her to be released. The little boy runs into his mother’s arms.
Ahmet tells Halime: “The smallest mistake and I will take your life.”
She thanks him for sparing her son, but he walks wearily away.
Ahmet returns to find Anastasia in his room. “Where did you go, Ahmet? What happened?”
He sits beside her on his bed and tells her, “I couldn’t kill my brother.”
She is happy to hear it. She lays her head on his shoulder. He continues, “Being taken from your home and separated from your family will be a memory one day. Because your place is here. In this palace. At my side.”
But she has fallen asleep with her head in his shoulder. Ahmet smiles.
The final scene is between Bulbul aga and Valide Sultan Safiye. She’s preparing chests of money to be given to the janissaries and sipahi, whose payments are in arrears.
“Let Ahmet understand the price of exiling me.”
Note: My Turkish is not perfect; all mistakes are my own.
This is an English summary of episode 2. The first episode review and summary can be found here.
The third episode translation can be found here.
Linda’s Facebook Page with more Muhtesem Yuzyil.
This article was written by Linda