'My Brilliant Friend': Season finale heralds a new chapter in Lila's life
As Lenu fears, Lila's early married life could result in her ultimate downfall but at the same time, it will also give her the power to live the life that she always wanted.
HBO's adaptation of the first part in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan series, 'My Brilliant Friend', is drawing to a close, with Elena and Lila soon about about to embark on an unknown journey.
Starring Margherita Mazzucco (as Elena/Lenu) and Gaia Girace (as Raffaella/Lila), the Saverio Costanzo-created show is set against the dangerous but fascinating backfrop of Naples in the 1950s. The show follows two young girls whose friendship is put to the test not just by the feud in the neighborhood between the rich and the poor, but also by how the brilliance of one friend is perceived as an intellectual threat by the other.
The sixth episode saw a turning point in Lenu's life as her sparkling summer in Ischia comes to an injudicious end as she was left raging in disgust at Donato's sudden approach and eventual act of molestation.
Although Lenu was shocked at the incident, her disturbed state of mind prevented her from protecting herself, and she haplessly succumbed to Donato's ill-humored act. The next day she doesn't waste any time in returning home, where Lila is waging her own war against the entire neighborhood, which is coaxing her to tie the knot with Marcello Solara.
However, when Lenu returns after her long summer break, she realizes that nothing is the same at home. Her newly-minted perspective doesn't quite agree when Lila stretches out her affection to Stefano, instead of Marcello.
Lenu understood quite well that Lila was primarily doing it to get rid of Marcello, but Stefano's apparent gentility had swept her off her feet. As a gesture to showcase her affection she even gifted the shoe, that she and Rino had been working on, to Stefano who in turn promises to invest a sufficient amount to the Cerullo shoe-business.
Lila's relationship with Stefano was primarily established in an attempt to overturn Marcello who - being a Solaras - does not take "no" for an answer, but it was soon revealed that the two share a mutual interest in business and leaving their poverty-stricken lives behind.
Their shared interest in profit was interpreted as love, and with the season finale, Lila is about to enter a life from where there will be no turning back. Stefano certainly seems to be the best possible option in the neighborhood - Pasquale was passionate but poor, Marcello was rich but loathsome, and none of the rest stood up to Lila's brilliance or her radical take on the workings of the world.
Stefano seemed to be the only ideal option because he is the only one in the neighborhood who offered peace. A complete contrast to his father, Don Achille, who Elena would often compare with a mysterious, dark beast, Stefano urged the entire neighborhood to put aside their differences and work for a better future. Stefano has as much money as Marcello and is as smitten by Lila as Pasquale. He was a non-compromising asset for Lila who had been searching for every available opportunity to get out of the life that she's living. Stefano was the best option because he seemed sensible.
The finale eighth episode will see the teenage Lila take her first step towards a new chapter. The description reads as, "As Lila approaches a milestone, Stefano goes to the Solaras for help with the Cerullos' shoe business, while Elena prepares to see her name in print for the first time."
Stefano did agree to support the Cerullos with their business but there are certain things for which he will require the Solaras. However, it is only a matter of time before Lila realizes Stefano's dependency on the Solaras and she will certainly not approve of it. As Lenu fears, Lila's early married life could result in her ultimate downfall but at the same time, it will also give her the power to live the life that she always wanted.
Watch the preview to episode 8 below: