‘The Club’ Season 2 Ending Explained & Series Summary: Is Matilda Dead?

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After an impactful first season, The Club (Kulup) returns with a second installation centered around Matilda and her daughter, Raşel. The first season was a lot more than the reunion of the mother-daughter pair. The political climate during the 1950s in Turkey played a decisive role, and along with it, we had supporting characters worth rooting for. One such character was Selim, a brilliant performer and the star of Club Istanbul. Even after five years, Selim was his usual glorious self, but he was envious of his new competitor, Keriman. The girl whom Selim once found on the streets was turning heads at the club. Selim was afraid of losing his popularity, and he could sense that Keriman had some evil motive. The second season of The Club is told from the point of view of Raşel and Ismet’s daughter, Rana.


Who Is Fikret Kayali?

One of the most prominent characters this season is Fikret Kayali. After the Istanbul Pogrom, Kayali’s father bought properties all around Pera for dirt-cheap prices. They were known for forcefully taking over any property they liked, and people, in general, despised them. Fikret conducted most of his father’s business, but he had grand plans for himself. He tried to convince a loan shark, Faruk Cider, to strike a deal with him, but the moment Cider disregarded him and went on to call his father, he shot the man dead. Clearly, Fikret was operating outside his father’s radar, and he did not wish for him to learn of his plans. Fikret also had his eyes on Club Istanbul, and he was aware that Çelebi had entrusted his money to the loan shark to invest. By shooting Cider dead, Fikret made sure that Çelebi was left without any money to pay the tax bill. In Season 1, Part 2 of The Club, the owner of Club Istanbul, Orhan, burns himself to escape from the hateful mob. After five years, he is still considered missing. Without an owner in place, the club was eligible to be sold off, and Çelebi and Matilda had planned to buy it. They had been saving money to buy the club, but it was all lost within seconds. With a large tax bill to pay, Çelebi had become completely hopeless.

In season two of The Club, we learned that Matilda and Çelebi were romantically involved, and Matilda continued to support her partner even though the situation was slipping out of control. While Fikret Kayali had assumed that he could bring Çelebi to his knees once he lost all his money, he was unaware that the club had become a family to the couple. Once Çelebi announced that they were penniless, every employee chipped in whatever they could to save their club. The employees became partners as a result of their investment, and the club was once again open and functional. Fikret came up with a new plan to take down the club. He took a liking to Keriman, and she was ready to sleep with one of the most powerful and wealthy individuals in Pera. Fikret ordered Keriman to plant drugs in Çelebi’s room to ruin him completely. With a destructive tool in her hands, Keriman decided to use it to her advantage. She had no enmity with Çelebi, but she detested Selim and decided to make him suffer. Selim had openly insulted Keriman; he threatened to fire her and tried to influence people to go against her. She made a call to the police after planting a packet of cocaine in Selim’s dressing room. He was immediately arrested, but he continued to claim innocence.

Çelebi had to find a way to stop the newspapers from publishing the news of Selim’s arrest, and he ultimately ended up begging Fikret. The cunning man was ready to help Çelebi, but in return, he wanted to become a silent partner at Club Istanbul. Even though Çelebi was aware that he was shaking hands with the devil, he had no other choice. Selim was released from prison, and he immediately came up with plans to gather a large crowd at Club Istanbul.


Who Murdered Selim Songur?

Selim made an elaborate plan to draw the usual crowd at Club Istanbul. He considered the arrest a slight bump in the road, and he was back again to spread his magic. The one thing Selim was certain of was that the drug was planted by Keriman. Even though he had not seen her do so, he was aware of her selfish ways. Keriman was the only person who would have had an advantage if Selim was locked up in prison. No one paid any attention to the accusation Selim made, and Keriman pretended to be innocent.

Supporting Keriman was Raşel; the two believed that they did not belong with those who worked at the club. They were tired of being ignored, and even though Selim adored Raşel, she remained silent just to watch him suffer. For the last five years, Ismet had not contacted her, and her heart had never stopped aching since. She believed no one could ever truly understand her pain, except for Keriman, who knew what it was to feel rejected. With Matilda always busy at the club, Raşel decided that it was fair that she, too, suffered a little. She had watched her mother give all that she had to save the club, and at times, she wondered whether her mother valued the club more than her happiness.

Keriman’s dream was shattered when Selim returned to the club. He was once again the center of attention, and everyone was overjoyed to have him back. No one cared about her opinion anymore, and she was done waiting in line. She wanted to become the headliner at Club Istanbul, and she was ready to do whatever was necessary to make it happen. Even though Fikret Kayali was against her becoming a headliner, she did not care. Selim had designed an elaborate stage to bedazzle the audience, and Keriman was determined to make sure that it backfired. All the important guests arrived at Club Istanbul to watch Selim perform, and after noticing the pride in Selim’s eyes, Keriman made up her mind to cut off the rope that held the prop right above his head. The prop fell on Selim, and he died on the spot. When Fikret questioned her, she acted innocent, but she was unaware that a button on her costume had fallen off backstage.

Raşel’s daughter, Rana, had grabbed hold of it and used it to create a headband for her doll. When Raşel noticed the jeweled button, she recognized it. Raşel did not expect Keriman to go to the extent of murdering Selim out of envy. She was hopeful that Keriman would confess the truth to the police, but Keriman refused to do so and threatened to expose Raşel if she dared to speak the truth publicly. After all, Raşel was an accomplice in the drug planting case, and she was aware that Matilda would be devastated if she found the truth. Selim died an unexpected death, and he passed away on stage doing what he loved the most. Matilda had a tough time coping with Selim’s sudden demise. Keriman’s dream of becoming a headliner was fulfilled, but she did not have the influence that Selim did. She was treated as a performer but not a part of the family; she eventually realized it was impossible to replace Selim Songur.


Why Did Ismet Decide To Stay?

Raşel never stopped writing letters to Ismet, and even after five years, she hopefully waited for him. Even though Rana was a little girl, she realized that her parents shared a complex relationship. From a young age, Rana had grown up watching her mother steal when they went out on errands. Raşel made Rana believe that those were little games that they played, and Rana picked up the habit from her mother. She stole a lipstick from Keriman and gifted it to Raşel. Rana barely saw her mother happy, and she noticed that when Keriman had applied lipstick to her mother’s lips, she had a smile on her face. That day, upon seeing the lipstick, Raşel realized that she had failed as a mother. Raşel harbored hatred for everyone around her because her life was miserable. She was tired of waiting for Ismet, but at the same time, she could not give up on him.

Çelebi realized that both Raşel and Rana needed Ismet, and he used Ali Seker to reach Ismet. Once Ismet learned that his father planned on making Rana’s identity official, he returned to Istanbul. Since Rana was born out of wedlock, only her father could initiate the identity book. Ismet only intended on getting the legal documents straight, and once he was done with them, he planned on leaving again. But when Ismet saw Rana standing right in front of him, he could not think of abandoning her. He had disappointed her once, but he wanted to make sure that he did not make her life any more miserable. Ismet loathed his father, and he had attachment issues because he had grown up in a broken household. He did not wish for Rana to go through the same pain that he once did. Ismet decided to be there for his daughter, to win her trust as a friend and offer her unconditional love as her father. Raşel had a tough time accepting that the only reason Ismet returned was their daughter, not her. She converted to Islam to win his heart, but even that did not help her cause. Ismet believed that in the last five years, he had changed, and he was not the person Raşel fell in love with. It was only after realizing how completely broken Raşel was that he decided to give their relationship a chance. Ismet was also aware of how important the idea of a family was to Rana, and he tried to fit into the image.


Why Was Matilda Shot?

The employees at the Club Istanbul refused to work when they learned that Fikret Kayali was a partner there. Most of the employees had been, in one way or another, betrayed by Kayali, and they refused to support Çelebi and Matilda’s decision. It was Raşel who made the announcement after she had a heated argument with her mother. She wanted Matilda to suffer, and she knew that once the employees at the club found out that Fikret was a partner, they would all move away. Raşel’s immaturity resulted in Matilda and Çelebi losing their most trusted people. Matilda decided to meet Fikret’s father after Keriman confided in her that it was his father that Fikret feared the most.

Matilda was shaken when she found out that Fikret’s father was Kursat, one of the main conspirators who plotted against her father, Salomon Aseo. Mumtaz was one of his henchmen, and Kursat was the one who ruined her family. While she no longer had any intention of killing the man, she demanded that he leave the family that she had built over the years alone. After meeting Kursat, Matilda realized that even though she had assumed that by killing Mumtaz her suffering would end, in reality, the past continued to cause her immense pain. Matilda apologized to Raşel for murdering her father, a crime she committed in the hopes of easing her pain.

Matilda admitted that her decision had left Raşel forever scarred. Raşel finally felt seen. All she ever wanted was for her mother to understand what she went through over the years and sympathize with her. The apology changed the relationship between Matilda and Raşel; Raşel could finally let go of the past. She also realized how important the club was to her mother and that she was responsible for making everything a little difficult. Raşel tried to convince Keriman to admit the truth to the police, but she refused. By then, Raşel had also found out that Ismet and Keriman had spent a night together, and she had lost trust in her best friend. She wanted to go to the police, but she did not have any concrete evidence against Keriman.

Since Orhan had been declared missing for five years, Club Istanbul was up for sale, and Kursat had his eyes on the property. Kursat could no longer trust his son after he kept the partnership with Çelebi a secret from him. He tortured Fikret and kept Keriman captive. He hid her identity book to have complete control over her. When Keriman stepped out to shop, she managed to escape and ended up at Club Istanbul to take away her belongings. Raşel was not ready to allow Keriman to leave. Raşel tried to make Keriman realize that escape was not the next best option, but she did not care. She was ready to be on the run for as long as required, but she could not afford to be locked up in prison. Upon hearing the chaos, Matilda entered the room, and she locked the room once she discovered that Keriman was Selim’s murderer. Keriman pulled out a pistol and threatened Raşel and Matilda.

Keriman was aware that Raşel only had Matilda to fall back on and decided to take that away from her. She shot Matilda and was eventually arrested by the police. It was only at the end of The Club season two that we found out that Keriman had a son. It explained her desperation to earn as much as she could. She lived on the streets once, and she did not wish the same for her son. In the hopes of living a lavish life, Keriman destroyed everything she had. She proved how incapable she was of maintaining any form of relationship, and her need to get her hands on anything she liked caused her trouble.

During the ending of season two, Matilda died just upon reaching the hospital. On the way, she and Çelebi exchanged wedding rings. Matilda died in the arms of her daughter, with her husband by her side. She had no one when she was released from prison, but after all these years, she managed to build a family of her own. Matilda’s life had never been easy, but it was impossible to deter her confidence. She never gave up on her daughter, even though Raşel often made terrible choices. Matilda ultimately reunited with her best friend, Selim.


What happened to the club?

The ex-employees gathered at Club Istanbul to commemorate the death of Matilda. Kursat warned them to get off his property, and before he could take any action against them, his son entered the club. Just as Çelebi had predicted, the father and son plotted to destroy each other. As it turned out, at the end of The Club Season 2, Fikret had plotted against his father and turned all of Kursat’s men against him. Fikret had developed a good relationship with the military officers and their supporters, and he blamed his father for the deaths of Berkant and Faruk. It was Kursat’s interest in the Taksim Project that led to the fall of his reign, and his people ended up supporting his son. Fikret announced that Club Istanbul would remain open. The employees made it clear that they would not consider Fikret a part of their family. Raşel struggled to accept the sudden demise of her mother. She blamed Rana for her miserable existence and attempted to take her life out of guilt.

During The Club Season 2’s ending, Raşel returned to Club Istanbul and made it clear to Fikret that even though he was the owner of the club now, he must not expect his employees to be inviting. Fikret was aware that without the dedicated employees, it was impossible to relaunch the club, and he agreed to maintain a distance as long as the club functioned smoothly. That day, Raşel established herself as the new decision-maker at Club Istanbul, just like her mother once was. The political climate was changing, and a military coup was declared. And as a little girl, Rana realized that peace was nothing short of a dream, but if one wanted to hold on to what they loved, it was important to fight for it. Her mother had set an example for her by stepping in to make sure that the table at Club Istanbul remained unharmed.


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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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