Tim Tan Huynh

Gomorra La Serie, episode 104

16 Oct 2014 — Pietro deals with cocaine sellers who want a better deal. Ciro continues to school Genny in their trade.

“African Blood”

A group of African immigrants sell cocaine at a den. A would-be customer snatches a bag of cocaine and flees. Tokumbo, a burly African, chases and eventually catches the thief. The next day, Chukwu, the group’s leader, calls the police and makes a fake complaint. Tokumbo says goodbye to his comrades and then waits outside until a police car arrives. He throws a bicycle at the windshield and is forcibly arrested by two police officers.

As planned, Tokumbo is taken to the facility where Pietro is being detained. Tokumbo approaches Pietro in the courtyard to talk business, but the latter dismisses the idea. Pietro later meets with his lawyer and learns that the hearing has been postponed, again, for nine months. Pietro declares that “in a year it’ll be too late,” so the lawyer presents a transfer request that Pietro signs.

Tokumbo approaches Pietro outside of the showers and explains that, instead of 50 percent, the Africans will give 10 percent of their earnings. Pietro responds with a threat. Later, Chukwu makes the same proposal to Malamo and Zecchinetta at a boxing gym. Zecchinetta re-iterates that Pietro sets the percentages, so Chukwu declares that he’ll decide the new percentages. Malamo responds with a threat like his boss.

Imma visits Pietro and explains that the Africans won’t work if they can’t talk to him. Pietro instructs his wife to tell Ciro to take a ride with Genny to make the Africans change their minds. After Imma suggests dialogue, Pietro holds his position: “we’ll solve a small problem and find another hundred on our backs.” Ciro later drives through the Africans’ territory with Genny, who questions his father’s view of the place.

Imma and Genny visit Pietro again. Genny affirms that the Africans control the territory; Pietro says nothing and the visit period ends. Later in the courtyard, Tokumbo motions the number “25” to Pietro and sends a messenger. Antonio intercepts the messenger and relays the message to Pietro: the Africans won’t pay anything more. Pietro says nothing and the recess ends; one of his followers discretely stabs the messenger as everybody leaves.

In retaliation, Tokumbo slashes Antonio three times in the shower and escapes detection. The warden immediately moves Pietro to solitary confinement and suspends his visit and package privileges. Two of Pietro’s followers later try to stab Tokumbo and his messenger in a stairwell, but the latter two surprise and slash the would-be attackers. Pietro is eventually returned to his usual cell; a guard explains that “this tension’s no good for anybody.”

However, Pietro gets bad news and honest advice from his lawyer: the transfer request has been denied, and his stance should be softer. “Do your job and I’ll do mine,” replies Pietro. At night, his cell floods during rainfall. As he and his cellmates are later being assigned to different cells, Pietro tells a guard to put him with the African. Face to face with Tokumbo, Pietro says that he’ll take 30 percent if the man helps with something tomorrow.

The next day, as the inmates return to their cells after recess, they surprise the guards and barricade the cell-block door. The warden soon offers to negotiate. Pietro meets the warden in the man’s office. Shortly afterward, Tokumbo is re-assigned, Rino is re-transferred, and Pietro gets a cell phone. Pietro calls the gang and boasts that they will expand their influence. He then privately tells Ciro, “we gotta end it with the ‘black market.'”

Disguised as police officers and armed with automatic guns, Ciro leads several others in a nighttime massacre of bystanders. Ciro orders Genny, one of two drivers, to stay in their car and keep it running. Genny becomes uneasy and approaches the scene. Ciro ushers him away and, after their escape, angrily indoctrinates Genny about being ready to run and surpressing his fear. At home, Genny vomits while Imma tells him to toughen up.

The next day, Malamo warns Chukwu that the next attack will be in daylight, when the gang doesn’t “miss.” From his lawyer, Pietro learns that he’ll be transferred to a maximum-security facility. The lawyer reveals that the warden had used Rino and that last night’s phone call had been bugged. Along with the confiscated drugs and attempted bribe during Pietro’s arrest, the authorities have the evidence that they need.

Genny rides in a limo with Noemi and goes to a run-down neighborhood where Ciro is working. The mentor and the protégé are in good spirits. The former toasts the latter before the limo drives away.

Thoughts

  1. This episode continues the trend of every episode having at least one plot twist. The twist in this one is the unseen trap that the warden sets for Pietro. I have to admit that the warden seems weak when he immediately offers to negotiate during the riot. I don’t think that plot twists are important for interesting stories, but I don’t mind being surprised.
  2. The technical depiction of violence continues to impress me. The open stab wounds on Antonio’s back look painfully real.
  3. The massacre wasn’t shocking to me; sadly, it was more true-to-life than most people might realize. It reminds me of a video that I’ve seen a month ago.

Predictions

  1. Pietro tries to stay resilient in his new home, which clearly separates inmates and visitors.
  2. Musi plays with fire. He either collaborates with the authorities or his investment fails.
  3. Genny impregnates Noemi, who looks more disinterested whenever she appears. The notion of a baby in the Savastano line, especially one born out of wedlock, complicates the gang situation.
  4. Imma becomes disappointed with one or both of the men in her life. She might conclude, rightly or wrongly, that Pietro is finished as the boss, for example. She could also hate the prospect or reality of a grandchild being born to Noemi, whom she dislikes.