In “The Fever,” we catch up with Lila, whose life continues a downward spiral as one of her demons catches up to her.


Aired 3/8/2022
Network HBO
Directed By Daniele Luchetti
Written By Elena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci, Saverio Costanzo
Introduced This Episode
Gennaro Giuseppe Cortese

Recap

What A Giant Farce – Pietro, Vittorio, Immacolata, Elena

Pietro officially proposes to Elena after getting Vittorio’s blessing to marry Elena. However, as always, Immacolata had to make things difficult. From saying Pietro was ugly and with crooked feet to having Vittorio push the issue of Elena not getting married in the church, she doesn’t act up but definitely acts out. But, Pietro rolls with the punches, and when he wins Immacolata over, she just warns him not to hurt her child, the one who has never disappointed her.

Now, before you get teary-eyed, know this, Elena isn’t as happy as she seems. In fact, she has a pseudo-nightmare about being forced to marry this man she doesn’t love while he puts the ring on her finger. Which makes her old friends from the neighborhood appearing not too long after Pietro leaves a blessing.

The Long Decline – Enzo, Pasquale, Nadia, Lila, Bruno, Gennaro, Elena

Who are the old friends? It’s Enzo and Pasquale, and they have come to bring Elena to Lila, who has been asking for her and also is quite sickly. Why? Well, that is a long reason that Lila goes into once she forces Elena into the promise of raising Gennaro if anything happens to her. Now, what is or could happen to Lila?

The story is, for quite some time, Enzo, Lila, and Gennaro lived their life peacefully until Enzo ran into Pasquale. With him being so political, he wishes to engage Lila and light that fire he saw when they were younger, for seeing her make herself small as she has is foreign and uncomfortable. The problem is, when she gives a passionate speech, Pasquale, alongside Nadia and the rest of their communist party members, they print and distribute what Lila says, making her job at Bruno’s sausage plant harder. And mind you, she already had to fight the man off from trying to assault her in the meat drying room, so this makes him go ballistic.

Yet, it is one thing to remind people, including your boss, you are not some promiscuous woman who will sleep with anyone you keep your eyes on for too long. It is a whole other thing to make it public and appear to make a stink, that you are sexually harassed by nearly all men, and the conditions are so terrible that you are damn near an indentured servant. All of which comes from people like Nadia, who make no sacrifice in using Lila’s words for a revolution she has no desire to be part of.

The Destruction Of My World – Michele, Lila, Elena, Bruno, Enzo, Nadia, Pasquale

While Nadia and Pasquale bring chaos to her workplace and lead her to believe her health is failing, Enzo stands by questioning what is going on and why does he not know anything? He lives with Lila helps take care of her son, yet doesn’t know what happens to her at work, issues with her health, nothing.

This disturbs and angers him to the point Lila has to shut him out for a bit. But, with losing her relationship with her brother, father, and mother, Enzo is family now. So is Pasquale, even though he is part of all this mess. So to ease the tension, she offers herself to Enzo. However, he doesn’t want her out of pity or desperation, so while they sleep together, it is just side by side.

Michele getting comfortable in Bruno's office

But, while things at home cool down, work only worsens as Michele shows up and presents the idea that Bruno’s business now has a new financer and potential boss. With that, Lila finds herself once more in the realm of influence of the Solara. Which, when you combine her being malnourished with a potential heart murmur and other health ailments, is overwhelming. It is even noted that after Lila quit, Lila had a nervous breakdown on her way home.

Yet, thankfully, she made it home and is alive in the presence of the only consistent and reliable person in her life. And with that, she finds peace.

Things To Note

Question(s) Left Unanswered

  1. Was helping Enzo with his studies what led Lila to get into IT?
  2. How many days, or weeks, passed in Lila’s story?

What Could Happen Next

  1. I dearly hope we return to the present, or sometime close to it since we haven’t done that since early in the first season. This has instead just been a How I Met Your Mother-styled long story.

Review

Highlights

Even At Her Lowest, Lila Still Has Her Dignity

Lila’s strength and allure always came from her having no desire to appear demure and make herself small to make any man in the neighborhood not feel emasculated. What she wanted, she’d get, one way or another, and always with her head held high – even if she had to have a physical altercation.

But, that was when her social status was up there due to her youth, being childless, and being seen as a prize. Now? While still a formidable beauty, she is clearly working class, and what delicate features she once had are now with edge. Thus giving her a new kind of appeal and perhaps a more appropriate physicality when paired with her personality.

Yet, no matter what her class and what she has to do to survive, you do not see Lila hang her head low and allow disrespect. Whether it is her co-worker, the boss whose employment she relies on, or Nadia, who sees herself as harmless but complicates Lila’s life and everyone who works at the factory, Lila doesn’t endure. In this episode, we see why, all these years later, Michele still wants to break Lila in like the wild horse she remains.

A Revolution Off The Backs Of The Poorest Around

Unfortunately, for change to come, it is almost always thanks to the sweat, bloodshed, and sacrifices of the underprivileged and oppressed. But, as shown through Nadia and Pasquale’s efforts, it is one thing for those with privilege to sacrifice what they have, or could gain, due to arrest, fights, and disrupting the system. It’s a whole other thing to force those who already struggle to join the fight, and get mad when they aren’t grateful for what you are doing.

I’d add how Lila goes off on Nadia shows you the other side to what happens when well-meaning people come in to disrupt the status quo with grand ideas of bettering things. They are the ones who cause managerial staff to crack down, cut hours, if not people, and turn a trying job into one, which is pure hell. Meanwhile, these well-meaning people often can go back to their nice homes, pat themselves on the back, and eat a meal fit for someone middle class.

Meanwhile, those like Lila, working paycheck to paycheck, whose life apparently needed the hands of the upper-crust to be saved, have no relief. Now their worries have doubled because of someone else’s consciousness awakening that there is a world they were cut off from. And let’s add in this important fact: Nadia and her people don’t have anyone who looks like Lila or is in her position as a speaker or lead. Which is why Pasquale brought her on, but clearly under duress and in no position to be the fighter he saw.

What Elena Means To Lila

Lila asking Elena to watch over her always

Lila’s life and world is chaotic. She was betrayed by her father, who rarely invested in her. Her brother, who once was her champion, turned his back on her for money and opportunity. Lila’s mother didn’t have the spirit and backbone needed to sway the men in her family, so Lila has been alone for quite some time.

I mean, add in the men in her life from Enzo, Pasquale, and her husband, they all wanted something from her. They wanted her beauty, her charm, attention, her power, with not enough in return to make it worth her time. Elena was the only one who was different. She challenged Lila and admittedly made her uncomfortable. But in that discomfort, she grew to know herself better, rather than learn who others are.

Hence why, no matter how much time passes or the fights they have, Lila doesn’t allow Elena to vacate the space she takes in her head and heart. She is her friend, the one who neither kisses Elena’s behind and put her on a pedestal nor berates her every chance she gets. Is there sometimes envy and hurtful words exchanged? Yes. But with a long history comes many battles, and the reason anyone dares to argue with another is that there is a desire for eventual reconciliation.

My Brilliant Friend Directory

Network(s) HBO
Created or Developed By Saverio Costanzo
First Aired 11/18/2018

Character Guide

Created

Season Reviews

Season 1

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Amazon

TitleExcerpt
My Brilliant Friend: Season 3 - Summary/ Review (with Spoilers)From raising children, creating new families, and rediscovering themselves, Elena and Lila may struggle in their friendship but find ways to flourish in their individual lives.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 3/ Episode 8 “Chapter 24: Those Who Leave, Those Who Stay” [Finale] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As Elena closes a major chapter in her life, we're introduced to the next actress who will play her in Elena's next chapter.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 3/ Episode 7 “Chapter 23: Try Again” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)In an almost complete Lila-less episode, Nino returns to Elena's life, and between old feelings and him supporting her writing, it complicates Elena's marriage to Pietro.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 3/ Episode 6 “Chapter 22: Becoming” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As Elena returns to Naples and is coerced to fully be involved in what’s going on, Pietro gives the kind of observations that disturb her perceptions of everyone – including Lila.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 3/ Episode 5 “Chapter 21: Terror” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As political violence starts to engulf Naples and surrounding areas, Elena is asked to keep her godson for the summer, with very little context as to why.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 3/ Episode 4 “Chapter 20: Cold War” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)We jump through at least 2 or so years as Elena gets married and has her first two children while struggling immensely in her personal and professional life.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 3/ Episode 3 “Chapter 19: The Treatment” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)With feeling like she'd be better as a big fish in a small pond, Lila makes it her goal to return to the neighborhood, and Elena lays the groundwork for that to happen.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 3/ Episode 2 "Chapter 18: The Fever" – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)In "The Fever," we catch up with Lila, whose life continues a downward spiral as one of her demons catches up to her.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 3/ Episode 1 “Chapter 17: Indecencies” [Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)In its long-awaited return, My Brilliant Friend focuses on Elena, Lila's name haunts every conversation and accomplishment.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 2 Episode 8 “Chapter 16: The Blue Fairy” [Season Finale] – Recap/ Review with SpoilersIt's 1967, and what Elena has long wanted has come to her. However, thoughts of Lila always lurk, and Elena once more is drawn to them and her.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 2 Episode 7 “Chapter 15: Ghosts” – Recap/ Review with SpoilersWith a time jump of three years, we learn whether Elena’s time away from the neighborhood changed her or confirmed what she already knew.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 2 Episode 6 “Chapter 14: Rage” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As both Lila and Elena seek freedom from the neighborhood, one potentially finds bliss as the other is practically forced back.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 2 Episode 5 “Chapter 13: The Betrayal” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As the vacation comes to an end, both Elena and Lila are faced with a change in their life. One neither were prepped for but realized must happen if they desire happiness.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 2 Episode 4 “Chapter 12: The Kiss” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)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.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 2 Episode 3 “Chapter 11: Erasure” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)After Elena spending so much time in Lila’s world, things are flipped, and with that, we see some old demons pop out.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 2 Episode 2 “Chapter 10: The Body” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As Elena observes what it means to be a wife, mother, and what can be lost in the process, her understanding of Lila reaches a new level.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 2 Episode 1 “Chapter 9: The New Name” [Season Premiere] – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)In “My Brilliant Friend’s” return, we learn whether or not Lila made a huge mistake and if Elena may have finally found herself not seeking other people's validation.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 1 - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)My Brilliant Friend is a true statement to the power of girls and young women despite a world which tries to undermine and oppress them.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 1/ Episode 8 "La Promessa (The Promise)" [Season Finale] - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)Despite the brilliance of both young ladies, the lessons aced and the idea they were ahead of the curve – life shows they have so much left to learn.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 1/ Episode 7 "Fidanzati (The Fiances)" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)Lila makes drastic moves in order to free herself from Marcello and Elena takes notes on her friend’s social intelligence.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 1/ Episode 6 "L'isola (The Island)" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)It’s a (mostly) Elena focused episode and we get to see her reach a personal high, and low. Meanwhile, Lila deals with Marcello’s advances.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 1/ Episode 5 "Le Scarpe (The Shoes)" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)Lila and Elena continue to take diverging paths and Elena may have finally reached a point of breaking away and getting ahead.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 1/ Episode 4 "Le Smarginatura (Dissolving Margins)" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)As Elena tries to find ways to keep up, maybe surpass Lila, she comes to a point of realizing that girl is in a league of her own.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 1/ Episode 3 "Le Metamorfosi (The Metamorphoses)" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)We jump to the teen years and as the girls get a taste of being seen as women, neither one seems fond of what that brings.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 1/ Episode 2 "Soldi (The Money)" - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)Lila continues to face adversity and yet despite being born poor, a girl, and being a girl who is headstrong, she continues her arduous journey.
My Brilliant Friend: Season 1/ Episode 1 "Le Bambole (The Dolls)" [Series Premiere] - Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)While My Brilliant Friend overloads you with character introductions, the leads keep a tight enough grip for you to not end up lost.
Lila standing by a window
My Brilliant Friend: Season 3/ Episode 2 “Chapter 18: The Fever” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)
Overall
With Elena's other half returning and catching us up on her life, the season feels like it has truly begun and is ready to take us on to the next chapter.
Highlights
Even At Her Lowest, Lila Still Has Her Dignity
A Revolution Off The Backs Of The Poorest Around
What Elena Means To Lila
Disputable
85


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I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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