This article contains major spoilers for The Club Part 1’s ending.
Netflix’s The Club Part 1 is a slow-burn Turkish drama about, primarily, a mother and her estranged daughter, all set against the beautiful backdrop of ‘50s Istanbul. But the driving force behind its story is a genuine sense of now knowing where it’s going. This isn’t simplistic pop entertainment, as I mentioned in my spoiler-free review. It’s a layered drama about complex, contoured characters whose decisions and intentions aren’t exactly predictable, and even by the end of the six episodes, it isn’t always obvious what people are thinking.
The drama is centered, though, on Matilda, a woman who killed the father of her child and the betrayer of her family and spent 17 years estranged from her daughter, Rasel, as a result. Now free from prison and forced to navigate a world of old acquaintances, some of whom are possibly out for revenge, she tries to reconcile with the daughter she was forced to give up at birth.
A particularly consistent relationship throughout the season is the one Matilda shares with Celebi, an unpleasant man who is obviously obsessed with Matilda in a way that falls somewhere between a desire for revenge and unhinged sexual attraction (he makes a prostitute wear her earrings). Also, Selim, a singer whose family aren’t exactly fond of his vocation, is close to Matilda, turning to her in his lowest moment following the death of his father, consumed by the belief that he has nobody but her.
The Club ending
Through Rasel, The Club explores themes of history repeating itself, as she is pregnant with Ismet’s child though can’t bring herself to abort it or allow it to grow up an orphan or bastard as she did, reassured somewhat surprisingly by Mordiko, who recommends they flee to Israel for the child’s sake. Of course, still strongly defined by her relationship with her own mother, Rasel takes this option. With both her and Celebi having departed Istanbul Matilda is left alone, having been stripped somewhat of her purpose.
Given all this, it’s unsurprising that this is only The Club Part 1. There is still plenty of story to be told here.
You can stream The Club Part 1 exclusively on Netflix.