MAMMA’S DIARY – DIARIO DI MAMMA
Every episode of Gomorrah continues to run like a thrilling movie. Regardless of the gruesome violence, you can’t turn away. What continues to fascinate me are the references to religion. Of course, it starts with the title, which refers to the Gomorrah of the Bible and how Neapolitans say Camorra, the name of their crime syndicate. In the Bible, Gomorrah and Sodom are cities in which the people are committing such grave sins that God eventually showers them with burning sulfur.
In Gomorrah, the TV series that airs Wednesday nights on Sundance TV, the metaphoric sulfur shower is coming in a slow and steady stream. We are witnessing the unraveling of characters because of the seven deadly sins. In episodes 7 and 8, greed was on tap.
Follow the Money
At the start of these episodes, you see a family who had won a road trip in a rental car. When they are returning the car, they express gratitude for the decency of the contest. Often, these kinds of contests turn out to be fakes and the “winners” get nothing but heartache. They say how happy they were that it turned out to be legitimate. Then, they go on their way. Out of the car they just drove across Italy comes tons of drugs hidden inside. From the beginning of this season, we’ve been seeing where the drugs come from. We’ve seen it come out of statues of the Madonna, pineapples, and now vehicles.
New Money Kills
Viewers recently got to know Gabriele, who was also referred to as “principe” or “prince” because he brought in the most drug money. Ciro is impressed with him. When others in the new crime family start getting jealous, Ciro puts the kibosh on the concerns. Rosario, known as u’ nano or dwarf, suspects Gabriele is betraying the democratic alliance. Ciro tells Rosario, who is one of his oldest and dearest friends, to quit being jealous. He explains that Rosario and the others are getting their pay day and their say in this new democratic crime family. Gabriele is buttering their bread. And he warns u’ nano that there will be trouble if he messes with Gabriele’s success.
In the meantime, viewers know that Gabriele is actually playing both sides. He’s working for Ciro and Gennaro at the same time. He is also using all these riches to make some pretty showy purchases. He lives in a swanky apartment with his steady girlfriend, a black woman who owns a salon in town. He buys himself three sports cars and gets her a panther. Yes, an exotic animal is among the stars of this episode. One of his friends in the crime family warns him to live more humbly or risk getting ratted out by a jealous figure. Or looking suspicious to the police. His girlfriend agrees and says, “Money is not going to stop a bullet from killing you.”
So, Gabriele sells the cars and moves the panther away from his home. He keeps him in a cage.
Father v. Son
Don Pietro is still holed up in a shack. Patrizia is his confidant and passes him his medication. When he wants to find out who the highest earner is among Ciro’s crew to kill him. Patrizia objects. He gets offended, and she runs off. She decides she doesn’t want to do this job anymore. But her uncle Malamore comes to see her and explains that you can’t just leave a job with Don Pietro. He might have her killed. So, she returns and hears him out. He tells her she is not getting paid to have an opinion. While she was gone the highest earner gets security men and starts to cover up his money making tracks because Ciro and his friends have warned him. Don Pietro explains that killing the highest earner in Ciro’s gang will splinter the alliance. Patrizia confirms who the highest earner is, and he decides to have Gabriele killed. But for a moment Don Pietro seems to wonder if Patrizia is the one who warned him and thus he now has some security.
No One Is Really Family in a Crime Family
Rosario doesn’t care what Ciro thinks. He’s suspicious of Gabriele and thinks he’s not evenly splitting his earnings. To send a message, Rosario shoots up Gabriele’s girlfriend’s salon during the night when no one is in there. Gabriele comes to the entire alliance and pleads for them to make this right. He’s been slapped in the face. It should not happen if they are all committed to a true democracy. Despite the fact that Ciro and Rosario are like brothers, Ciro has some thugs beat up Rosario in front of the neighborhood. The thugs tell him he’s out of the alliance for what he did. Rosario runs to Ciro’s house with his face all bloodied. They have an argument. But Ciro tells him he can make things right by apologizing.
While this is happening a guy named Angelo takes Gabriele to feed the panther. He’s down because his girlfriend wants nothing to do with him after the salon got destroyed. Near the cage where they are keeping the panther, Don Pietro shows up with his henchmen and shoots Gabriele in the head even though he had begged for his life and explained that he was working with Gennaro, too. He’s dead. The revelation that he was working with Gennaro, too, seemed to make Don Pietro all the more convinced killing him was the right path.
Death Is All Around
After Gabriele gets killed, the word is that Rosario did it. After all, he had destroyed the salon. Ciro encourages the alliance to investigate and determine who really did it before taking revenge. He sends Rosario away to the beach with his wife and young daughter. The family is emotional. While the young girl is playing on the beach, Rosario and his wife are sitting in a restaurant drinking water. Rosario expresses his concern. He tells his wife about Ciro killing his own wife Debora, which is a shock. Rosario goes outside to play with his daughter. From the restaurant, his wife sees two henchmen running onto the beach to shoot Rosario from behind. Their young daughter is trying to revive her lifeless father.
Ciro heads to the family’s home to give his condolences. There, Rosario’s wife slaps him in the face. She tells him that she knows what he did. He tells her it would be better for everyone if she kept that to herself. Ciro does not believe Rosario killed Gabriele. So, he tells the alliance to put off making any other moves. He wants to figure out what happened. He insists on tracking down Angelo. Ciro gets an undertaker to let him into the cemetery after hours and picks a gravesite for Rosario. They dig the hole for the casket. Then, the undertakers leave Ciro in the cemetery with the door unlocked.
Burying the Hatchet
Next, Angelo, who is making love to a woman, gets ambushed. He runs out of the apartment in his underwear and is lured to the hole in the ground, where Rosario is supposed to be buried. While in there, Ciro makes him talk. He says Gabriele was shot by Don Pietro and that he had been working with Gennaro, too. The alliance is invited to hear the story firsthand from Angelo, who remains in his underwear, shivering in the dirt, believing he is getting buried alive. Everyone leaves. Ciro helps him out of the hole and sets him free. He doesn’t kill him.
Throughout this episode, you see glimpses of humanity in Ciro. He feels loss. He looks at his wedding pictures, which included Debora, of course, and Rosario, his best man. He is also taking great pain to care for his daughter. He does homework with her. He asks her about boys. He even helps her get dressed. In those father-daughter moments, he seems like any other guy you might know. In reality, he’s a cold, calculating mob boss. So, what will he do in the face of this latest revelation? The alliance has taken note; Don Pietro clearly knew Gennaro and Gabriele were aligned and he didn’t care. And Rosario, which Ciro points out, was right about Gabriele all along.
Di Meglio has written the Our Paesani column for ItaliansRus.com since 2003. You can follow the Italian Mamma on Facebook or Twitter @ItalianMamma10. For more handmade crafts and party gear, visit the Italian Mamma store on Etsy.