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 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 man 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, where Imma leads him to their neighbor’s home, which is said to be 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 just then. 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 unexpectedly meets Parisi, who has assumed leadership from his now-retired father. Pietro asks Parisi 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 shipment bust. Genny asks Pietro for a new motorcycle, a red one. Pietro agrees before Genny leaves. Afterward, Pietro laments the lack of Genny’s 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 tipped off the cocaine shipment to prove his credibility.

Malamo is driving 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 traitor. 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 assures 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 about 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. With police lights and outfits, they get the key to the 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 the three of them.

Malamo reports that only he and Zecchinetta have done the job, but he claims that Bookie had been busy. Upset, Pietro visits Bookie. Bookie also claims that he had been busy, though he has collected over 50,000 euros in cash for the boss. 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. The boss 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, taking 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. The boss soon makes everyone except Ciro leave. Pietro 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 then gives it 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 contents of the glass.

Later, Ciro washes out his mouth in a washroom and stares into a mirror. He takes a scrap of paper, on which on a phone number is written, from his pocket. 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 exposing 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 respect 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 her husband. The boss is speeding to the hospital when a police car pulls him over. The officers arrest Pietro after they find the cash in his trunk and [edit: drugs] in his 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 meets Imma as well as Genny’s friends there. Malamo and Zecchinetta arrive. News of Pietro’s arrest has reached them; Imma tells Ciro to contact the gang 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 with 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 I’ve noticed while re-watching the episode, but they’re subtle: Ciro reacts to Pietro when the boss first talks about the informant and Ciro initially declines when Pietro wants him to help Gennaro 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. [Edit: The clerk is might or might not be in collusion with them. They could’ve called the resort in advance and pretended to be police officers while asking about Parisi.]
  4. The pistol gunshots in this episode look and sound better from a technical view than the ones in most movies and shows.

The Bad

  1. Ciro staring at his paper scrap in the washroom and later burning the paper scrap outside the hospital are clichéd. I understand that these acts show Ciro’s plans 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 when he talks to Antonietta about Attilio’s funeral, Imma when she reassures Pietro, 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 tried-and-true effect for a character feeling disconnected from his surroundings (muted sound, partial slow-motion) when Genny sees his new motorcycle at the dealership

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 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 them outside their apartments, too.
  2. The show depicts some interesting protocol for police searching people in a car. 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. Don 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.