“Wild Abandon” is a Turkish series that revolves around an architect who has a stable life but craves his freedom. And it is not just Oktay Uysal who lives a double life, but also the rest of the family members who are keeping their secrets hidden. The family consists of Oktay’s wife, Nil, his son, Ege, and his daughter, Ece. The grandfather, Olcay, starts staying with the family as well. The series starts with Oktay waiting to fly away from his family at the airport, but his flight gets indefinitely delayed due to fog. He takes this as an indication and returns home. He hid the goodbye note he wrote to his wife and went to bed as usual.
Major Spoilers Ahead
‘Wild Abandon’ Plot Summary: What Were Oktay And His Family’s Secrets?
Oktay used to be a punk during his teenage years. He fondly remembered those days over a drink with his friend, whom he met at an old bar. The bar used to be their place of freedom, where they could play their music loudly. He confided in his friend, Fevzi, how he was about to abandon his family to live his life the way he wished to, but then he could not do it. Oktay eventually started living a dual life. He booked a room at a hotel where he dressed like a punk and explored the streets at night.
At home, his wife was obsessed with looking younger than her age. She was an engineer, but she had to leave her job to take care of her family. She wanted to prove her worth to her husband and felt confident about landing a job. After rounds of interviews, she finally received a call offering her a position. But upon reaching the office, she was informed that they had misread her CV and thought she was younger than her actual age. Feeling rejected, she went to a bar where she met Yamur, a working woman who loved to socialize. Nil lied to her about having a job, but it was her only way to live her dream. Their son, Ege, suffered from mental illness and had to take medication for his condition.
Ege gifted a diary to Oktay, expressing all that his mind went through, but his father never had the time to open his present. Frustrated by his father’s lack of presence, he burnt the diary to ashes. Ege started following a woman who worked at the women’s shelter. When she confronted him, he fabricated a story about his father being in jail and his mother living at a shelter. The two gradually became friends.
At the office, Oktay met a client named Berhudar, a man nearly his father’s age who dreamt of building the best prison in Europe. He forced Oktay to work on the ground where the prison was set to be built. Frustrated with Berhudar, Oktay spray painted the container where they worked. This incident made Berhudar paranoid, and he started to take steps to protect the place.
Later on, we learn how Berhudar destroyed the container one too many times to create an excuse to stay in Istanbul and not return to his home in Ankara. His family was unlike the image that he portrayed. He was rejected by his wife and sons. In Oktay, he found a son, and he cherished the time he got to spend with his family.
“Wild Abandon” ends with the surfacing of truths. The family had to confront and admit the secrets that they had kept hidden from one another.
What Was The Anakara?
Oktay was in search of other punk lovers, and that is when he met Rubble, an outcast, and a young couple who performed together and called themselves Deniz. Oktay had found in them the rebellious spirit that he hoped to embody. When he learned that they did not have a place to stay, he introduced them to an abandoned infrastructure that he later named Anakara. The building was their capital, and they expressed themselves through the graffiti on the wall.
Along with the punks, a circus group started to take shelter. They would perform in every war-torn country to entertain the children who were stuck in the chaos. Anakara became the place where those who were looked down on or rejected by society could live. They could be themselves without altering their personalities according to the people who never understood them. Oktay yearned for that life, but he could only express himself at night, in the dark. An architect by day and punk at night, hampered Oktay’s identity. He wanted to be the ‘chaos lover,’ but he was too scared to live the truth.
‘Wild Abandon’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Oktay’s Family?
It was not just Oktay and his family who had their secrets, but also his father, who was involved in a romantic affair with his late wife’s caregiver. He came to Istanbul to reconnect with her and found that she was pregnant with his child. He wanted to be there for his family. He wanted to be a better father than he was to Oktay. After much persuasion, Sofia agreed to live with Olcay at Oktay’s house. The two secretly got married, though Olcay feared confessing his truth to his son.
Meanwhile, Nil partied with Yamur and met her friends. She was introduced to Suat. The two were attracted to each other. She wanted to enjoy the fling and therefore pretended to be divorced. They barely knew anything true about Nil. Nil and Oktay had not made love for two years now. She wanted physical contact, but he was barely there to be by her side. With Suat, Nil could be the girl she wanted to be; he did not know her well enough, which is why she could easily create an image.
After they shared their first kiss, Nil wanted some time to better understand who she was and what she wanted from life. Though later, Suat had found out about Nil’s secret, he knew that she was not working at the company she said she used to. Nil wanted to discontinue her friendship with him, but he was persistent. They chanced upon each other at the psychologist’s chamber, where she saw him with his wife. The two had lied to each other, but Suat desperately wanted to be Nil. He blackmailed her with a video of their time spent together. Nil was scared of the truth surfacing as Suat knew the place she stayed in.
Ege’s life was also not simple. He saved every Xanax he was prescribed. He had initially planned to inject the Xanax solution into the social worker’s drink to make sure that she failed the exam she was preparing for. He followed her for days because he despised her for not allowing him to enter the examination center where she was the invigilator. He held on to the grudge to later find her and ruin her life as well. But then he chose not to go ahead with the plan, thanks to his sister, who spoke about how often we are the reason for our failures, but we tend to blame others for it. Ege then realized that it was not her fault that she did not allow him to enter, but rather his fault that he daydreamed while standing in front of the examination center. After hearing his story, she wanted to help him and be by his side. She wrote a letter to him that Ege did not wish for others to find out.
Oktay’s free Anakara became a land of consumption, where the rich and popular frolicked to party. His friend, Mert, opened the door to Anakara to those with money. The outcasts did not have a place to live once again. Amidst this chaos, Rubble overdosed on heroin. He was admitted to the hospital, though he later escaped. Oktay’s friend, Fevzi, confronted him about telling his wife the truth. He accused Oktay of living a dual life where he was dishonest in both. Oktay started to question his identity and regret the loss of Anakara.
At the end of “Wild Abandon,” the family is brought together inside a model prison built by Berhudar and Oktay. Berhudar found the note Oktay wrote to his wife before leaving his family, and he wanted him to confess the truth. Berhudar had lost his family, but he wished for a better future for Oktay. As he locked them inside, he shot himself right outside the model prison. Ece listened to music while the family quarreled. Meanwhile, far away, Rubble found the place he had always wanted to be, a place where people could return to be free. He named it Returnistan.
Throughout the series, there is the presence of the haze that is termed “fog” by those living in denial and “pollution” by environmentalists. The ones who dared say the truth were termed lovers of chaos. After all, living in denial is peaceful. The haze, along with the collapse of multiple structures that the characters watched on their phones, adds to the internal friction between the family members. The grandfather, who never supported his son, then started living an unfulfilled life, forcing him to search for an alternative, though he continued to fear the consequences.
The wife was tired of the husband’s absence and wanted to be more than just the wife of an architect. The son suffered mentally, torturing himself simply because he could not decide what he wanted to be in the future at the age of 17. Perhaps it was only Ece who saw things the way they were. She rolled and cried when her grandfather gifted her a phone. She hated the device that kept every person around her busy, and she did not wish to be the same. But in the end, the absence of her family members and the rejection by her friendly neighbor forced her to pick up the device.
“Wild Abandon” comments on various social issues, be it the complete denial of environmental changes or how the affluent class continues to enjoy a sumptuous meal when the world around them is collapsing. It is not just a family drama but also an attempt to comment on society. The ending makes one wonder if the family would ever leave the prison where they were locked by Berhudar, who later shot himself. Was it perhaps Berhudar’s way of bringing the family together forever? While the rich were trapped in prison, the outcast (Rubble) found his land of peace and freedom. With too many characters and plots to explore, the series sometimes tries to discuss every possible issue in one go!
“Wild Abandon” (or Uysallar in Turkish) is a 2022 Comedy Drama series directed by Onur Saylak.