Tim Tan Huynh

Gomorra La Serie, episode 102

19 Sep 2014 — The Savastano gang deals with the aftermath of their assault against the Conte gang. Don Pietro realizes that an informant is among his ranks and, feeling pressured, he brings Gennaro deeper into their trade.

“Do You Trust Me?”

Savastano gang member Zecchinetta surveys a shipping dock at night. Law enforcement officers arrive and inspect a shipping container; they find a cocaine package hidden inside a can of fruit. Zecchinetta makes a cryptic call to Pietro, who tells him to leave the scene. The next day, Pietro meets his informer Nunziata on a beach. The boss suspects that the authorities had been tipped off, so he tells Nunziata to investigate.

Ciro is visiting Attilio’s widow Atonietta. He admits that the local clergy won’t allow Atillio’s funeral inside the church. Not pleased with Pietro, she taunts Ciro when the boss calls him and then tells Ciro to never return. Ciro goes to Pietro’s home, but Imma escorts him to their neighbor’s home where the gang is gathered because it’s safer.

Pietro tells his men about the so-called rat. He realizes that Bookie is missing and is told that the man could be in police custody, again. Malamo says that Bookie had already been questioned for an entire day following the factory assault, but Bookie had been released without incident. Bookie arrives as if on cue. He explains that there’s a problem in Casavatore, and Genny is responsible. Pietro tells Imma to get ‘her’ son.

Bookie drives Pietro, Ciro, and Genny in the lead vehicle of a two-car motorcade. They pass a strong showing of police. Pietro scolds Genny for approaching the girlfriend of a man who has ties to the local boss: “We have to get along with everyone right now,” says the elder Savastano. They arrive at the public square that Genny has vandalized in retaliation for his motorcycle being destroyed.

The gang visits the home of the ruling boss. Despite Bookie’s protest, Pietro accepts a pat-down before he meets with Parisi, a younger boss who has assumed leadership from his now-retired father. Pietro asks how much money will resolve the situation; Parisi wants Genny to clean up the mess. Insulted, Pietro patronizes Parisi and secretly tells Ciro that they have to kill the man. On the way home, they are subject to a police search at a checkpoint.

At dinner in the Savastano home, a news report describes the bust at the shipping dock. Genny asks Pietro for a new motorcycle and specifies that he’d like a red one. Pietro promises to get it and Genny leaves. Afterward, Pietro laments to Imma about their son’s lack of schooling in the family trade; Imma says that they’ve spoiled him.

The next day, Ciro and Genny watch from a distance as Attilio’s casket is buried in a low-key ceremony. Ciro describes Attilio as an “easy” father. Genny says that Ciro would be the same to him. Elsewhere, Pietro meets Nunziata, who confirms that an informant is among them. Nunziata explains that the informant had approached an anti-mob agency and, calling from a pay phone, had alerted the authorities about the cocaine shipment to prove his credibility.

Malamo drives Zecchinetta, Bookie, and Ciro to a meeting about killing Parisi. Bookie is unhappy with the job, especially in light of the increased scrutiny and the unknown informant. He is also unhappy with the prospect of Genny assuming leadership. Malamo drops off Bookie without argument. At the meeting, Pietro is distracted while Zecchinetta explains that Parisi goes to a resort in Miliscola every Saturday, which is that particular day.

Comparing his son to Parisi, Pietro privately asks Ciro about what the others think of Genny. Ciro gives a flattering, though vague, answer. However, Pietro reveals that he agrees with the consensus of Genny being incapable. Knowing that Ciro is fond of Genny, Pietro tells Ciro to help Genny with an important rite. Imma later finds her pensive husband sitting outside. She reassures him with a pep talk.

Ciro takes Genny, unapologetic and unsuspecting, to an apartment complex. While the latter tells his romantic wish, the former takes a stashed revolver. Ciro summons a resident, Felice, and gives drugs to him. Ciro furiously tells Genny to kill Felice. Genny shoots the trapped man in the gut; Ciro follows up with a point-blank shot and then another, fatal one. Before they leave the scene, Ciro tells Genny to claim the kill or else they’ll both be in trouble.

Genny returns home and finds Pietro waiting. “Killing is fucking easy,” claims Genny. Satisfied, Pietro says that the new motorcycle is ready for pickup. He asks how many shots had been fired, and Genny says “One, just one.” At the motorcycle dealership with his friends, Genny is preoccupied. Pietro meets his accountant Musi at an empty restaurant to make sure that the Savastanos’ wealth will be safe in any case.

Zecchinetta and Malamo arrive at the resort where Parisi is having his weekly tryst with a Romanian woman. Equipped with police lights and outfits, they get the key to Parisi’s room from the reception clerk without question. Inside the room, Malamo kills the woman while Parisi desperately uses her as a shield. Three more gunshots are fired. Malamo makes a cryptic call to Pietro and, believing that Bookie is there, the boss congratulates them.

Malamo reports that only he and Zecchinetta have done the job, but he claims that Bookie had been busy. Upset, Pietro visits Bookie who also claims that he had been busy and notes that he has just collected over 50,000 euros in cash. Pietro questions Bookie about his time in police custody following the factory assault. Pietro then notes the discrepancy between Bookie’s claim of a few hours compared to Malamo’s claim of an entire day.

Bookie argues his case and only seems to increase suspicion on himself until Pietro leaves the apartment. However, Pietro soon turns around and rings the door again. Bookie is ready to give the cash, but Pietro comes in swinging. After a brief struggle, Pietro beats Bookie to death with a statuette. The boss cleans himself, takes the cash and a jacket, and later watches two of his men set fire to Bookie’s body.

At a nightclub meeting, Pietro toasts Genny for his first kill. Pietro also declares that Bookie had been the rat. The others are surprised and even skeptical. Pietro soon makes everyone except Ciro leave and tells him to describe the kill. Ciro claims that Genny had fired once from afar and then fired the fatal shot from in-close. Pietro reveals that he knows Ciro has lied, but Ciro counters that Genny had intended to kill.

Despite the dishonesty, Pietro is satisfied. He anoints Ciro as the future second-in-command and tells Ciro to stay close to Genny when Genny becomes the boss. Pietro then urinates into a champagne glass while overlooking the nightclub visitors and gives the glass to Ciro. The boss explains that Ciro must drink to atone for his dishonesty and to prove his loyalty. Ciro forces himself to gulp down the drink.

Later, Ciro washes out his mouth in a washroom and stares into a mirror. He takes a scrap of paper from his pocket: a phone number is written on the paper. Later, Pietro is called to an emergency meeting with Nunziata, who reports that the informant has just called the anti-mob agency and is on the verge of betraying everyone. Nunziata assures Pietro that they’ll find the undecided informant before he commits to the authorities and calls them again.

Genny rides his new motorcycle, sans helmet, to the scene of his and Ciro’s crime. After he pays his respects at a makeshift shrine to Felice, Genny rides through the city with abandon until he crashes into a car. Imma is awakened with a call about Genny, and she calls Pietro, who speeds to the hospital when a police car pulls him over. The officers arrest Pietro after they find Bookie’s cash in his trunk as well as drugs Bookie’s jacket.

Ciro stops his car by a payphone. He is moments away from making the fateful call to the anti-mob agency when Malamo calls with news about Genny. Ciro rushes to the hospital where Genny is undergoing surgery and finds Imma as well as Genny’s friends. Malamo and Zecchinetta arrive soon afterward. News of Pietro’s arrest has reached them; Imma tells Ciro to contact the gang’s lawyer.

Outside, Ciro gets a call from his wife Debora, who asks about the consequences of Pietro being arrested and Gennaro being injured. Ciro is unsure and says as much, but after the call, he burns the scrap of paper that has his contact number for the anti-mob agency.

Thoughts

The Good

  1. Ciro being the informant is an excellent plot twist. There are a couple of hints that I’ve noticed while re-watching the episode, but they’re subtle: Ciro reacts to Pietro when the man first mentions the informant, and Ciro initially declines to teach Genny how to kill.
  2. Pietro confronting Bookie is really suspenseful. I like Bookie, but it’s interesting to see the boss be genuinely intimidating. Pietro looks more like he’d be the accountant or lawyer, so him literally getting his hands dirty is still a bit surprising to see.
  3. The way Zecchinetta and Malamo disguise themselves as police officers to kill Parisi is uniquely plausible and sophisticated. Without saying anything, they get the number and key to Parisi’s room from the reception clerk. The clerk might be in collusion with them, or they could’ve called the resort in advance and pretended to be police officers while asking about Parisi.
  4. The pistol shots in this episode look and sound better from a technical view than the ones in most movies and shows.

The Bad

  1. The scenes of Ciro staring at his paper scrap and later burning it are clichéd. I understand that they show Ciro’s thinking to the viewer, but they serve no real purpose to him. The scrap reveal in the washroom is especially pointless; if I’m directing or writing the episode, I still have Ciro look into the mirror, but I save his reveal as the informant for the scene at the pay phone.
  2. Some scenes are amateurish. Ciro talking to Antonietta about Attilio’s funeral, Imma reassuring Pietro about Genny’s future, and Ciro staring into the mirror at the nightclub are scenes in which the actor is overdoing something. I put more blame on the direction and the writing, though.
  3. The show uses the overused effects of muted sound and partial slow-motion to convey Genny feeling disconnected when he’s at the motorcycle dealership with his friends.

The Rest

  1. I’m surprised that the local church shuns the gang; Attilio’s body isn’t allowed into the church and no clergy attend his burial. I suppose that the gang could bully or bribe them, but on the other hand, the Camorra on the show respect their religion. In the first two episodes, Conte pays respect to the shrine outside his mother’s apartment, and Ciro and Bookie have shrines outside of their apartments, too.
  2. The show depicts some interesting protocol for police searching people from a stopped vehicle. They tell the driver to place the keys on the roof, step out, shut his door, and put his hands on the roof. Everyone else does the same when called, one by one. This sort of technical insight makes the world depicted in the show seem credible.
  3. I like the song playing while Genny is riding through Naples. It’s is a remix of “One Day” by Asaf Avidan.

Predictions

  1. Pietro dies in prison and soon. If I have to guess how, I say that he commits suicide in his cell, if the preview for episode 103 is any indication. He might do it out of shame or he might do it to benefit his family and/or gang.
  2. Ciro assumes leadership, even if temporarily. If anybody suspects that he is, or has been, the informant, then Ciro will end that person.