There is a person in the street dreaming each day of becoming like someone sitting at the top of the hierarchy ladder. Looking at them from a distance, an aspirant sums up their journey in a single word and calls them “Lucky.” The people of this generation believe that the person who has achieved something in life is either born with a silver spoon or may have destiny in their favor, and with this belief, they undermine all the blood and sweat a certain successful person has put into his or her journey. Well, you cannot really know what that position feels like until and unless you have been in someone’s shoes, but instead of that labor, we are looking for the shortcut, and hence spend our lifetime looking for the shortest distance between us and our dreams. The shortest distance is what the phrase used in the Turkish drama series “As the Crow Flies” refers to.
Directed by Deniz Yorulmazer, “As the Crow Flies” may remind some people of the 2022 series, “Swimming with Sharks,” which has exactly the same premise. But while “Swimming with Sharks” depicts the dark side of a Hollywood studio, the Turkish series revolves around a news studio and speaks volumes about ethics, fake news, and the increasing impact of social media on the news networks. At the center of the conflict is a young girl named Asli Tuna, a journalism student who aspires to become like the nation’s most popular news anchor, Lale Kiran. Like any newcomer and obsessed fan, Asli is in love with the position that Lale is in and, in her blind obsession, overlooks Lale’s hard work and years of hustle. She wants to believe that Lale just got lucky. There are many layers attached to a story. A person’s journey from rags to riches is never a straight one but a collection of ups and downs that not only transforms their character into a better being but also gives them enough experience to fight different battles in the future. But evidently, an impatient dreamer like Asli neither has time nor talent for such philosophical understanding and is just looking for a shortcut. Thus, without any further ado, let’s follow how Asli, in her greed for power, makes Lale’s life a living hell.
‘As the Crow Flies’ Season 1: Plot Summary – What The Series Is About?
The opening sequence of “As the Crow Flies” depicts how brutally Asli hits Lale at her own house and leaves her unconscious on the floor. However, that’s not the beginning of the story, but the end of it. So let’s roll back.
Asli Tuna meets Lale for the first time when she arrives at her college as a guest lecturer for a seminar. As she is about to leave the college, Asli greets Lale inside the washroom and, like an enthusiastic fan girl, reveals to her that she has been obsessed with her since the age of 11 and wants to become like her. It is when Lale, without even looking at Asli, tells her to have more realistic goals and should chase news stories instead of people like her, if she wants to become a real journalist. In just a brief exchange, the narrative puts forth the difference in ideology of these two characters, who are later going to be transformed into potential protagonists and antagonists.
We are soon introduced to the professional and personal lives of Lale Kiran. She has been working as a news anchor for a show called “The Other Side,” which she started with her loyal mentor/ex-boyfriend, Kenan, the producer of the show, and her best friend, Muge Turkmen. The three of them work for a broadcasting network, MON5, that is managed by a woman named Gul. In her personal life, Lale lives with her husband, Selim, who owns a restaurant in the city, and the couple together have two pre-teen girls named Meslia and Mila.
Following her blind ambition, Asli chases Lale to the studio and decides to start working as an intern at MON5 in order to invade Lale’s territory and eventually conquer it. Along with Asli, a few more interns join the studio to start their career in the field. However, Muge informs them that only one of them will get a job. Therefore, in order to secure her position, Asli tactfully gets rid of other interns and eventually gets hired for the network.
Meanwhile, while working at MON5, Asli uses a series of fake social media accounts to take a dig at Lale and defame her whenever possible and also befriends another nobody named Yusuf Tunca, who operates a fake social media account, “BusBus,” and leaks personal and professional information about his bosses on the internet to attack their privacy. Slowly and gradually, Asli becomes an integral part of Lale’s circle and starts working as her PA. She uses her privileges to create a misunderstanding in Lale and Selim’s relationship. Asli deceivingly manipulates Selim into believing that Lale is getting close to her old-flame Kenan, while on the other, she lies to Kenan about Lale’s feelings for him. The mess created by Asli eventually breaks apart Kenan and Lale, and the lioness whose face once glowed with victory is now slowly fading away. The question here is, will Lale be able to find out who is attacking her from the shadows and trying to bring her down?
How Did Lale Find Out About Asli’s Ploy?
Asli had been telling a lot of lies to the people, and she was going to get caught red-handed sooner or later. To get the position of Lale’s personal assistant, Asli created a misunderstanding between Lale and her PA, Ozge. Ozge felt devastated after her termination, and while returning home, she faced an accident on the road. Later, when Lale visited the hospital to see Ozge, Asli met Lale at the entrance and bluntly told Lale that Ozge didn’t want to see her anymore. In “As the Crow Flies” Episode 6, Ozge called Lale and invited her to be the maid of honor at her wedding. Lale attended the event and while she was leaving the venue, Ozge told her that she felt really terrible when someone told her that she didn’t want to visit her at the hospital, and thus had believed that Lale wouldn’t even attend the wedding, but in the end, she was grateful to her. Lale, on the other hand, was able to connect the dots as she never told anyone about not visiting Ozge; instead, it was Asli who told her not to see Ozge. She even recalled a previous incident when Asli pulled out a phone during the broadcast and spelled out the name “Melisa,” the name of Lale’s daughter, while Lale was live on camera. She did so in order to get Lale worried about her daughter and in turn diverted her attention, as a result of which Lale zoned out for a moment, which was Asli’s plan all along. She wanted to embarrass Lale in front of the public, and Lale could finally understand what Asli was trying to do.
The very next day, Lale confronted Asli with the truth, but instead of feeling sorry for her actions, Asli verbally attacked her and called her “Lale The Ancient” while promising to destroy Lale’s personal and professional life altogether. But Lale didn’t retaliate like a reckless teenager. She could have fired Asli for her conspiracy, disrespect, and dirty tricks, but instead, she gave her a second chance to redeem herself and sent her to the Ankara office so that Asli could learn a few things about field reporting as she really wanted to become a journalist like Lale Kiran. But guess what? Asli was the product of the new generation. She didn’t want to hustle but wanted to get everything served to her in the cradle. She wanted the shortcut and thus returned back to the studio within a week to take revenge on Lale, who had already been struggling with her emotional mess.
Why Did Lale Choose Selim Over Kenan? Did Kenan Leave The Job?
Everybody knew that Kenan was a womanizer with little or no moral ethics. He didn’t care about the news or the media network and was just sticking around because of Lale. Kenan and Lale shared a relationship when they were young, and it was Kenan, Muge, and Lale who pitched the show, “The Other Side” to the network. However, Lale had her share of Kenan’s toxicity and thus decided to break up with him, soon after which she met Selim and married him. But even though Lale was a married woman with two kids, Kenan, the heartbroken lover, was still waiting for her perfect jewel to return to him someday, which was the reason why Selim, enviously, used to call Kenan, Lale’s second husband, at the office.
Nevertheless, after Asli re-flamed the love in Kenan’s heart and lied to him about Lale’s feelings for him, Kenan believed it was the right moment to make a move and get back with her ex-girlfriend. However, when Lale revealed the truth, Kenan felt embarrassed and realized that the two of them had hit the end of the road and nothing was going to be the same between them. They couldn’t be lovers or friends. Kenan was just waiting for the contract renewal thing to get over so that Lale could secure her job at the network, and eventually, Kenan would part ways with her on happy terms. Unfortunately, in the end, it was Lale who decided to walk away from the position she had been holding for so long in order to spend time with her family. It wasn’t revealed at the end whether Kenan left the network or not, but it could be surmised that he would eventually do so as he was doing the job only because he believed in the possibility of getting back to Lale, but at the end of it all, Lale cleared the air and clearly told him that things would never work out between them. Hence, it was time for Kenan to move on with his life and his job.
‘As the Crow Flies’ Season 1: Ending Explained – Why Did Lale Leave Her Job? Did Asli Become The New News anchor?
After Kenan and Lale fell out, Asli believed that Kenan would be her stepping stone to rise up the rank, but she made the wrong move. After she revealed her true intentions to Kenan and slept with him, Kenan fired her from the job the very next day, and Asli was devastated. She believed that it was Lale who removed her from the office, and thus, in the heat of the moment, went to Lale’s house and started arguing with her. When Lale held up a mirror in front of Asli, she lost control of herself and smashed a glass on Lale’s head while also assaulting her with other items. It was exactly the scene that was depicted at the beginning of ‘As the Crow Flies.’ But even after such an attack, Lale didn’t report Asli because she didn’t want to bring this issue into the news, which could not only have hurt Lale’s public image but also destroyed Asli’s future.
It could have been the end of it all, but there was someone else who wanted to play dirty. Ozge, the CEO of the network, got hold of the video that revealed to her that it was Asli who stole a pen drive from Muge’s desk in order to get rid of Ozge. Gul believed that Asli could become a lethal weapon in her pursuit to control Lale and stop her from leaving the network. Earlier, in “As the Crow Flies” Episode 2, she clearly pointed out that there was a clause in the contract according to which if there was a breach of broadcasting ethics, then the network could implement a penalty clause according to which one had to serve the network for 3 more years after the contract ends under the same payout. It was for this reason that she hired Asli to conspire a plan to destroy Lale. Asli coined a plan and manipulated Lale’s best friend, Muge, who was already jealous of Lale as she stole all the limelight from her, after which she had to continue with a desk job forever. Together, they planned to give Lale fake news to report that would probably destroy her public image. Muge had cunningly taken away Lale’s phone because of which she had no way to confirm the authenticity of the report that she was going to present that day, and hence she requested the security guard’s phone to call a friend to confirm the news, and was quite shaken after discovering that her own best friend had betrayed her just to embarrass Lale in front of the public.
That day, Lale did deliver the fake news, but stopped soon after and revealed to the public on live camera that the entire thing was a dirty prank played by her colleagues. Muge and Gul tried to stop the broadcast, but Kenan wouldn’t let them enter the broadcasting room, and eventually, the entire team of the network sided with Lale because she was doing the right thing. In order to save her honor, Lale left the show while bidding the last goodbye to her viewers. It was not the end of Lale Kiran, but the end of the show, because companies will come and go, but talent will thrive for the better. Everyone’s grand ploy to bring down Lale Kiran went down the drain, and eventually, she became people’s hero. The general public not only lauded Lale’s brave efforts but also gathered outside her home to celebrate the spirit of one ethical journalist who deserved their love much more than anyone else.
At the end of “As the Crow Flies,” Lale Kiran finally left her job and decided to spend time with her family. She kept her trophies inside the drawer and might not return to the camera again, or maybe she would. No one knows what the future holds, but what is certain is that she would never go back to MON5. Gul and Muge, on the other hand, gave Lale’s anchoring job to Asli, who, as apparent from the beginning of the series, failed to fit into Lale’s shoes or even touch the bar set by her. In the closing shot, Asli, who was probably going to face the camera as a news anchor for the first time in her life, got nervous, and her body turned cold. She saw a bunch of new interns sitting on the table outside the set, and suddenly her insecurities kicked in. Asli had gotten the job the easy way. She deceived people and tricked them in order to climb the ladder. And whatever comes easily doesn’t last long. She knew that she was easily replaceable because neither she had the talent nor the experience. Instead of being an ethical journalist, she wanted to become Lale Kiran. She was chasing down fame, name, and money, while Lale actually wanted to deliver trustworthy information to her viewers, and that’s one of the most important distinctions between the two. While one reported from Ankara and Afghanistan to polish her skills, the other spent her time on cheap politics to cut off people from the queue. And like everyone around Asli told her, in the end, it doesn’t matter how you reach the top but how you maintain your spot. Lale had years of experience tackling every difficulty that came her way, but Asli was indeed going to fail miserably in that, and hopefully, that would be the end of her career.
“As the Crow Flies” is a 2022 Turkish Drama Series streaming on Netflix.