'Baby' Season 3: More focus on Brando and Fabio's relationship would've done Netflix show a world of good
The duo's story definitely deserved more than just a secondary storyline because of the many social angles it was touching upon
Spoilers for 'Baby' Season 3
The main narrative of the Italian series 'Baby' circles around the underage prostitution ring in Parioli, Rome but there are many sub-narratives that help make up the final Season 3. One of these is the relationship between Brando De Santis (Mirko Trovato) and Fabio Fedeli (Brando Pacitto). Brando comes from a rich family that holds high importance in their society and Fabio is the son of Collodi Institute's principal. In Season 2, fans were overjoyed when Brando and Fabio had gotten together, but there was one thing in the way — Brando's pride.
Being the son of an extremely homophobic father who uses slurs like "fag," Brando wants to keep the fact that he was gay a secret. Fabio, who was already out, was in love with Brando but decided to keep his distance and forget him. Not to mention, Brando was part of the school's "cool" crowd where he would have been made fun of had he been honest about who he was. In this season, we hoped that their relationship would be explored more but that wasn't the case. While Brando did finally get up the courage to stand up for himself, we think one of the best couples' plotlines of the series was not given enough screen time.
The series focused on many themes such as abuse, manipulation, grooming, and prostitution. But, with Brando and Fabio they also explored the stigma that homophobia gives to people from LGBTQIA+ community. In this day and age, such a plotline not only hits many nerves but invigorates the call for equal rights and justice. Both Brando's and Fabio's characters were incredible in showcasing the realities that many from the community face. The series delves into deeper themes such as shame, denial, acceptance, approval, and the simple need to feel loved but lacked in propagating this plotline forward.
In Season 3, it becomes even more clear that Brando was struggling to come out not because of his feelings but because of his intensely homophobic father. After receiving a video of his father engaged in sexual activity with an underage girl, Brando was armed with the only thing that could take down his father. Stuck at home with his father forbidding him from meeting Fabio, Brando releases the tape to the cops anonymously and this starts a series of events that end up with the pimp Fiore (Giuseppe Maggio) being caught. Instead of focusing on what Brando feels like living with this father, his anger leads to him releasing the tape which yet again took attention away from the plotline that involved him and Fabio.
However, the audience gets one scene where Brando stands up to this abusive father and finally is himself. After admitting to his father that he was the one that released the tape resulting in his father being sentenced to house arrest, his father says to him, "at least I don't walk around allowing people to call me a f*g." When the argument led to his father slapping him, Brando's mother finally did the one thing her child was hoping she would — she kicked her husband out of the home. With the abusive part of his home life finally lifted, Brando was able to be himself. We think that if the series spent a little more time on these two characters, it would have done well for the many social angles that it seemed to touch upon. The duo was the only gay couple in the series and therefore held quite a responsibility to deliver a performance that made people aware of the struggles. The actors did an excellent job bringing Brando and Fabio to life but were definitely more deserving of a plotline that was solely theirs.
What we did thankfully get though, is Brando's extreme character development. He became a man of responsibility after he admitted in court that he had blackmailed Chiara, and also a free man when he decided the "cool" crowd wasn't for him — rather his relationship with Fabio was more of a priority. No one would have guessed that Brando, the young man that hid behind a fake girlfriend would walk into Collodi and kiss his boyfriend Fabio publicly.
'Baby' Season 3 is now available to stream on Netflix.