My Brilliant Friend: Season 2 Episode 4 “Chapter 12: The Kiss” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Lila and Nino looking down at Elena.

As Pinuccia comes to terms with marrying Rino, Lila finds a new means of getting under Elena’s skin – just as it seems they could reconcile.

As Pinuccia comes to terms with marrying Rino, Lila finds a new means of getting under Elena’s skin – just as it seems they could reconcile.

Directed By Alice Rohrwacher
Written By Elena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci, Saverio Costanzo
Aired (HBO) 4/6/2020
Introduced This Episode
Bruno Francesco Russo

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

The Life I Could Have Had: Nino, Bruno, Pinuccia, Rino, Elena, Lila

For Elena, Rino and Pinuccia’s wedding started off a bit awkward. Mostly due to her going alone and, once again, forced to feel like an outsider despite being surrounded by people she grew up with. But, as usual, her eyes are drawn to Lila. Someone who decides to act up, as her lack of ability to get pregnant is thrown into her face. Leading to Elena speaking to her old friend and in Lila opening up about the one thing she can’t do currently, her weakness, this causes Elena to forgive without being apologized to.

But what also helps is Lila inviting Elena to spend time together in the summer. Mind you, partly because she doesn’t want to spend time with Pinuccia and Nunzia alone, but maybe because she misses the one person who keeps her sharp? However, Elena has to work, and with that said, Lila counters with she’ll not only pay Elena but handle Elena’s mother objecting.

So, because she sees that she has the power in the situation, Elena pushes Lila to have them vacation at Ischia. Why? Well, because that is where Nino is and she wants to see him.

Bruno (Francesco Russo) at the beach.
Bruno (Francesco Russo)

Now, we’ll get more into how things are with Nino in a second, for what is of interest for this topic is Pinuccia meeting a young man named Bruno. From what we’re told, Bruno is the heir to the Soccavo Salami Factory, which his dad owns, and he takes a liking to Pinuccia. Such a liking that while Pinu doesn’t cheat, you can see she clearly seeks out Bruno’s time and companionship far more than her husband’s.

Which, as the summer wears down, and conversations between Nino and Lila remind Pinuccia of her ball and chain, she finds it harder and harder to face Rino. Ultimately leading to Rino knowing something is wrong and, as always, blaming Lila. Someone who, for the first time in a long time, actually has no reason to get any flak for what is going on.

Always A Competitor, Rarely A Friend: Nino, Elena, Lila

Getting back to Nino and Elena, what was initially supposed to be a summer of fun for Elena, without having to worry about Nadia getting in the way, is tainted by Lila. Mind you, it isn’t clear if that was Lila’s goal, but with her reading and having interpretations which stimulate Nino’s mind, it triggers old feelings for him. Which, mind you, come about as he spends time with Elena, is affectionate towards her, and probably presents the most consistent signs he may see her more than a girl from his old neighborhood.

However, it becomes clear in time, like his father, Nino might not be a man worth trusting. For never mind questioning what is his status with Nadia, but it seems clear that as much as he has an interest in Elena, so does he in Lila. So even showing of affection Elena gets, Lila gets one too. Leading to a moment in the water where Lila and Nino swim off, and we’re told, from Lila, that Nino kissed her – despite her multiple notions that she is married before the moment.

Elena questioning why Lila is reading again?

This is told to Elena, who was already jealous of the attention Lila was getting, and this brings her to tears.


Pinuccia Realizing She Could Have Done Better

If there is one thing that is becoming increasingly clear, it is that the neighborhood, as much as it is home for many, it also has the potential to be a cage. Hence why Elena increasingly doesn’t spend time there, and Lila is slightly threatened by the world outside that cage. Especially since, within that cage, as noted, she is queen.

However, for Pinuccia, she has no power, no claims, so the world outside that cage, her neighborhood, brings her mixed feelings. In some ways, she feels like Lila, in terms of thinking the outside world is filled with those who are too intellectual for their own good and are off-putting due to the way they flaunt it. Yet, then there are those like Bruno who remind her of the lack of options she has had in not just education, but men.

For really, what does Rino have? He relies heavily upon Stefano and the Solara brothers for work, might even owe a debt to them, and he is quickly showing himself as someone who is without noteworthy qualities – besides functioning sperm. And we saw how that was a problem in the last episode as Pinuccia whined about not having a wedding like Lila. So imagine her being able to, while pregnant, have someone like Bruno take care of her, show her affection, and be glad to see her? That’s a man while she is dealing with a boy, and the frustration of how trapped she now is seems to lead her to despair.

The kind which, as Nunzia points out, she can’t really even express since it’ll lead her to get smacked around.

On The Fence

The Back and Forth Between Lila and Elena Grows Tiresome

Elena looking over her shoulder at Lila, as Nino looks at her.

With nearly every other episode, Lila and Elena find themselves fighting or making up, and the back and forth has honestly grown tiresome. Almost to the point of wishing we’d return to the present day and follow up on the fact this whole retelling began since Lila went missing. For, right now, there is such a need to break up this constant pattern, and giving nods to the other ladies or their significant others doesn’t feel like enough.

Heck, I’d even love to see maybe an episode without one of the girls. Be it Lila or Elena.

Listed Under Categories:

User Review
0 (0 votes)


  1. I like your review but why see an episode without those two girls? beacuse the series is about them and for me this is great, it’s another way to make a series and for me it’s far more better than the type let’s-find-out-bout-everyone-but-with-very-predictable-emotions kind of series.. I mean that’s what I enjoy about this series, that is so complex, and down-to-reality, that you cannot catch this range of emotions if you’re not focusing on some characters more than others… even Pinnucia’s feelings, seemed that were there to highlight Lila’s situation somehow

    1. I meant without one of them. So either one, similar to last season’s when Elena was on vacation, that wholly focused on her, or with us solely focused on Lila.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.