The Turkish series “Hot Skull” took us inside a pandemic-stricken world where a scientist named Murat was questioning his own existence and trying to find the answers that were kept hidden from him. Murat Siyavus was well aware of his extraordinary condition, in which he was immune to the ARDS virus, a.k.a. Jabbering. Apart from his magical immunity, Murat’s IQ had increased many folds, and he could do things that an ordinary mind couldn’t even imagine. He could do complex calculations and solve any puzzle with ease. But instead of considering it a privilege and being happy about it, Murat considered it a curse. He knew that if the AEI (Anti-Epidemic Institution) caught a whiff of his situation, he would be immediately taken into custody, and all sorts of experiments would be performed on him. Murat was living proof of the fact that the virus could be contained, and that made him a threat to the people who didn’t want a cure for the virus. The world was falling apart, yet there were people who were ready to let it burn if it served and fulfilled their agenda.
Fazil, who was in-charge of the Marmara region, was one such person whose self-centeredness and greed had killed all the empathy inside him. He had given a bad name to AEI, and people started seeing the organization as being autocratic in its approach. Though Murat wanted to keep his identity concealed, he came into the public eye when he accidentally got stuck in a supermarket with an infected person. To save a child from the infected person, Murat took out his headgear and made the kid wear it. People saw that even though Murat was exposed to jabbering, he came out of the supermarket almost unaffected. When Anton saw him in the CCTV footage, he realized that there was something that Murat was hiding from everybody.
Anton had been secretly doing his research on Project X, where claims were made that a cure for the virus was available. Anton’s wife and child had been infected, and he was desperately searching for people who could help his cause. Commander Cevat, who was helping Anton with his research, had told him that the Project X team, led by Ozgur, had made some gigantic discoveries, which for some unknown reason, were kept hidden from the general public. Ozgur and others died in a fire that broke out in their lab, but Murat had somehow escaped. Cevat found out that Murat had been admitted to the emergency room many times after the fire incident. Cevat was of the opinion that the guy in the CCTV footage was not Murat, though Anton was still not convinced. He asked Cevat the reason why Murat had been admitted so many times and if there was some chronic illness that he was suffering from. Cevat told Anton that Murat had a high fever, strangely only in the cephalic region of the brain. Anton knew the guy caught on the CCTV camera was Murat Siyavus. Through thermal imaging, Anton saw that though Murat was infected, the virus wasn’t able to penetrate his body. Anton wanted to know how his body was able to do it, and he was also hopeful that it would eventually lead him to find a cure for the disease. But the thing was that even Murat was as clueless about his condition as anybody else. He had gotten to know that Ozgur Caglar, the scientist who conducted the experiment on him, was still alive. He wanted answers and so he set out on a quest to find Ozgur, which led him inside a turbulent neighborhood known as Zone 6.
Who Was Haluk? Why Did Murat See Him In His Dreams?
In the 5th episode of “Hot Skull,” we saw that Victor had a hospital where he provided medical care for the jabberers, and though he did conduct experiments on them, he treated them in a humane manner. Victor conducted a few tests on Murat to understand his condition and see if there was any way through which his brain could be rebooted. Victor found out that there was a peculiar increase in the plasticity of the neurons in his brain. Victor wanted to keep Murat with another special jabberer and examine what kind of reaction his mind had. This jabberer was named Haluk. Surprisingly, both Ozgur and Murat knew him from before, as for some time, he was kept in the laboratory where they used to work. Haluk was different from other jabberers, and he had a very mystifying aura. Haluk had a strong mind, and every jabberer became docile in his presence as if they were being controlled by him. Haluk, unlike other patients, had complete control over his impulse to speak, and the scientists weren’t able to fathom how he was doing that. Generally, anybody infected by the virus constantly spoke random meaningless stuff and they didn’t have any control over it. It seemed like Haluk was using the virus as a weapon, and he had some sort of plan going on inside his mind. Murat started having weird dreams after he met Haluk and spent time in his company. Murat used to sit idly and watch Haluk from outside the glass chamber. Though Haluk didn’t speak a word, he was communicating through his mind, something on the lines of telekinesis. It was Haluk who had planted the idea in Murat’s mind to use the centralized air conditioning system of the AEI building to his advantage. Murat used that information to make his mother escape from there. Murat knew that the key to resetting his brain and finding a cure to the virus lay in his dreams.
Murat once again went to Ozgur, as he believed that he was responsible for the connection he shared with Haluk. But Ozgur said that even he didn’t know how he had developed that connection. Ozgur had tried doing the same experiment with a lot of people, but they hadn’t shown any such signs. Ozgur told Murat that nobody knew how Haluk could communicate through body language. Murat spent a lot of time in Victor’s laboratory, and he waited for the conniving old man to say something, but nothing happened. Murat often had this dream where he saw Haluk standing at the edge of the forest and staring at him. He was quite surprised when Victor told him that Yusuf, the jabberer dealer, had found Haluk on the edge of the forest in Bolu. Murat realized that whatever he saw in his dreams was somehow related to his reality. He knew that Haluk was trying to tell him something through the dreams, though he was not able to understand what exactly it was.
When Murat finally left Istanbul with others, he took Haluk with him. Murat had decided that he would have to go to Bolu, where Haluk was found, in a hope that he would get to know what he had in common with the old man. Murat was pretty sure that there was some message hidden in his dreams. His dreams had led him to Bolu, and he was hopeful that it would further help him in his endeavors. It is pretty much possible that the cure to the virus was hidden in those dreams that Haluk was making Murat see. The series left us on a cliffhanger, and maybe in the upcoming seasons of “Hot Skull” (if there are any), we will get to know how he developed that connection and why he was chosen out of the multiple patients who had been experimented on.