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Series / Innocent

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Innocent (Masum) is a 2017 Turkish miniseries starring Ali Atay, Haluk Bilginer, Nur Sürer, Okan Yalabık and Tülin Özen. It is based on the play "Bayrak" ("Flag") by Berkun Oya, who also served as screenwriter for the show.

Assigned to a bewildering unresolved case, Istanbul detective Yusuf returns to his childhood hometown, where he is reunited with his former mentor, Cevdet Bayrakçı — who also happens to be the target of the investigation. Set to enjoy a quiet retirement with wife Nermin, Cevdet's life was rocked by a series of tragic events that resulted in the death of his son, Yusuf's childhood friend Taner, and the mental deterioration of Taner's younger brother, Tarık. The sudden arrival of Yusuf not only reopens fresh wounds, but threatens a fragile peace as he uncovers family secrets best left concealed.

As he is pulled into the complicated lives of the Bayrakçı family, Yusuf finds himself mired in a mystery fraught with terrible secrets, shocking crimes, and hidden motives.

Not to be confused with the British drama with the same name. Or the manga with the same name. Or the Harry Potter fanfiction.

Innocent contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Accidental Murder: When they were children, Yusuf and Taner were caught stealing a camera from an elderly homeowner; when confronted, Taner whacked the old man over the head, ultimately killing him. Yusuf has been haunted by the incident since.
  • The Alcoholic: Tarık is a chronic alcoholic who turned to excessive drinking after the death of his wife.
  • Anachronic Order: The narrative bounces between Yusuf's present-day investigation, the recent history of the Bayrakçı family, and the occasional flashback to Yusuf's youth.
  • Awful Wedded Life:
    • Over the course of the series it is slowly revealed just how much Cevdet and Nermin resent each other.
      Cevdet: That evil mouth of yours has tortured my ears more than I tortured any of those anarchists down at the station!
    • Rüya and Taner have a caustic and complicated marriage, largely due to her maintaining a "contract" with another man and compounded by his Jerkass tendencies.
  • Batman Gambit: Talented detective Yusuf is assigned a difficult and personal case by his boss Selahattin, who is less motivated by a sense of justice than by eliminating Taner, who he suspects is still alive. Directing the intrepid Yusuf to follow the trail (and unleash chaos as a result) is all part of his plan to Murder the Hypotenuse for good... which Yusuf realizes only after all is said and done.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Tarık grows one in the six months after Emel's death, indicating a lack of self-care and grooming habits in her absence.
  • Broken Pedestal: Yusuf's opinion of his mentor and former chief Cevdet deteriorates over the course of the series. He even discusses the trope as he tries to persuade him to do the right thing, warning he will fall in the eyes of others if he doesn't.
    Yusuf: You're a hero in that station. Don't walk in there in handcuffs.
  • Daddy's Girl: Yusuf is a doting dad to daughter Elif, who runs off to join him after fighting with mom Feride and wants nothing more than for them to live together again.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Tarık converses with hallucinations of Emel.
  • Defective Detective: Yusuf's character has elements of this trope at the start of the series, having a preteen daughter he rarely sees, a tumultuous relationship with his ex-wife, and a tendency to harass said ex-wife's new paramour. By the final episode, things are looking a little better for him.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Tarık self-medicates with alcohol after Emel's death, whom he believes he killed himself during a heated argument.
  • Faking the Dead: Taner fakes his own death after killing Emel and failing to kill Selim.
  • The Film of the Play: The series of the play, which was also penned by the series scriptwriter, Berkun Oya.
  • First Father Wins: To his daughter's delight, Yusuf and his ex-wife Feride grow close again after her boyfriend Tunç is revealed as a cheating bastard.
  • Hallucinations: Tarık suffers from auditory and visual hallucinations, which frighten his wife and at one point lead to a bar fight.
  • Hopeless with Tech: Yusuf appears genuinely baffled by how quickly Tunç uploads a video of Yusuf accosting him onto the internet. Selahattin tells him he needs to get a smartphone.
  • Make It Look Like an Accident: After strangling Emel, Taner buckles her into the passenger seat of his car and with Cevdet's help, sends it rolling over the precipice. This serves a double purpose, as it also appears as though Taner has died.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Tarık has a moment after he believes he has killed Emel during an altercation. Unable to cope with what's happened, he calls his brother to deal with the problem, which only makes things worse.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Nermin not only dismisses Emel's concerns about Tarık's mental health, but rags on her for not being an ideal housewife as though it's the source of their troubles.
  • Parental Favoritism: While Cevdet cares for his sons equally, Nermin blatantly favors Taner over Tarık to the point of dismissing the latter's struggles. Cevdet calls her out for her lack of concern.
  • Police Brutality: When Yusuf (rather unjustifiably) follows Tunç and accosts him on the street, the latter films the encounter while claiming police brutality, and uploads the footage to the internet. The viral video not only causes trouble for the police department, but also lands Yusuf in hot water with Feride.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story:
    • Yusuf learns Cevdet helped Taner fake his death after covering up Emel's. But Taner is killed before he can face justice, the full extent of his deeds dying with him, at the hand of his brother Tarık... who as a result will never know the truth behind his wife's death.
    • To make matters worse, the investigation into the Bayrakçı family is re-opened as a ploy by Selahattin to ensure Taner is truly dead. Yusuf and his investigative skills play right into his plan.
  • Signature Item Clue: When Yusuf finds Taner's camera-lens pendant in a secluded wooded area, it makes him suspect that his old friend is in fact alive.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Selim secretly records Emel's appointments with her therapist, pursues her aggressively when her marriage falls apart, and breaks into her house, where he speculates about her marital life.
  • Sunshine Noir: Much of the story is set against the backdrop of a rustic seaside town surrounded by turquoise waters and sundappled forests.

Alternative Title(s): Masum