If you look at life through the eyes of an artist, it seems invigorating no matter how many ups, downs and struggles it brings. The Netflix limited series “From Scratch” follows the lives of two artists, Amy Wheeler and Lino Ortolano, who meet by chance and gradually fall in love with each other, leading to married life afterward. In a way, the two complemented each other. They understood the risks involved in each other’s professional careers, but assumed them with sincerity. Amy is a painter and art patron, and Lino is an Italian chef. Together they tackle all the problems and savor every moment spent together. So, let’s look at the obstacles that stood in the way of lovers and how they overcame them for the better.
‘From Scratch’ Plot Summary: What is this series about?
Amy (played by Zoe Saldaña), an American from Los Angeles, moved to Florence, Italy to study sculpture and art. A young Sicilian man, Lino (played by Eugenio Mastrandrea), stumbles upon her on the elegant streets of Italy. Lino was a chef who showed his artistic individuality through his cooking. After their many encounters, Lino fell in love with Amy, but Amy was dating Giancarlo, the owner of a prestigious art gallery. Amy later realized that she preferred Lino over Giancarlo, so she confessed her love to Lino. The two connect like soul mates. Gradually, their relationship began to grow, and Lino decided to move to Los Angeles with Amy.
In America, Lino started working as a waiter in a restaurant, but he was not satisfied at all. He even felt isolated from Amy’s family, but she was always there for him. Amy discovered that Lino missed his homeland, so she took him to a bar to watch his favorite sport. Lino was delighted to see Amy take her side. They both wanted to get married. As Lino’s family had abandoned him for marrying an American, Amy and Lino only married in the presence of Amy’s family. Amy once quit her job at an art gallery to teach kids at art school, and Lino opened her own restaurant. Although life began to become happy, the peace of mind was short-lived. Lino was diagnosed with tissue cancer, leiomyosarcoma, in his knee. Amy and Lino have decided to fight together.
Meanwhile, Lino’s parents discovered their son’s terminal illness and arrived in America to see him. Their families were eventually reunited and Lino was also able to bridge the gap between him and his father. Eventually, through chemotherapy and surgery, doctors were able to remove the cancer cells from her body, but the chances of it recurring were high. Therefore, Lino’s oncologist, Dr. Atluri, suggested Lino enroll in a new drug study, which later helped him minimize the risks. For a while, Lino’s body was cancer-free, but doctors told him to continue testing and screening because the cancer could come back at any time. The couple were happy for a while, but they knew they couldn’t live a risk-free life. “From Scratch” further explores their struggle as they deal with Lino’s terminal illness and try to stay happy despite all odds.
How did cancer ruin Lino and Amy’s life?
Cancer is like an invisible monster that once inside your body will not leave you alone. Lino and Amy’s life is turned upside down when an unwanted guest knocks on the door. Lino left his native Italy to start over in Los Angeles, but his creative identity seemed to have been lost somewhere along the journey. But Lino didn’t give up, as he always had an inspiring aura. He tried to find his artistic sense through his food. Despite financial difficulties, he pursues his desire to open his own restaurant, a success after a few days, but cancer strikes and shatters his ambitions one by one. However, when Lino made a full recovery thanks to surgery and new medications, he took a second chance to rebuild his career. He had difficulty walking since undergoing knee surgery, so he considered taking a cooking class instead of resting all day. He knew the cancer might have come back, but it didn’t stop. He kept writing down his recipes in a notebook Amy had given him.
Lino was aware that the cancer would eventually kill him, but he planned to keep himself alive through his designs. Eventually, after seven years of good health, Lino’s cancer returned to his body, this time in a major organ like the lungs. Lino was always optimistic. He organized himself even in the most difficult circumstances. Amy was there for him the whole time. She may have left him and pursued her own career, but it was Lino she loved the most. Amy and Lino didn’t deserve any of this pain, but the control of people’s lives and deaths was not in their hands. Amy renewed her insurance to give her husband the best possible treatment and facilities. Many doctors continued to monitor Lino in the hospital, and it was eventually revealed that Lino’s liver had failed. The doctors informed us that any type of treatment would no longer work on Lino. Therefore, he was eventually taken home. Lino took one last look at the familiar faces that had gathered to greet him. He sobbed his head off as he read his recipes in the notebook for the very last time. He may never get up to cook or take care of his wife and child again, but his cookbook will live on as a memory. Lino finally breathed his last and said goodbye to his family. Cancer took Lino away from Amy and left a void, but she knew life had to go on. Amy was completely depressed after losing her husband, but she was not afraid to face reality. The initial struggle she and Lino had to get rid of the cancer didn’t succeed the second time around, but they knew they had tried. So it’s wiser to fight and survive than to feel miserable about it. Thus, his character and mental development take place. Amy pulled herself together, knowing that Lino would never be at rest if those close to her were in pain.
Why did Lino and Amy choose to adopt a child?
When Lino was first diagnosed with cancer, doctors made it clear that chemotherapy would destroy his sperm. Thus, they were advised to save Lino’s sperm before the operation. When Lino’s surgery was finally successful, Amy insisted she wanted to be a mother. Lino and Amy immediately tried to conceive, but Amy’s doctor told her it would be too risky for them to have a biological child. They considered IVF, but after Lino’s repeated surgeries, prescriptions, and visits to the hospital, Amy didn’t want to have any more surgeries. Both were mentally, physically and emotionally drained after what they had been through. Therefore, at the end of the day, all they wanted was peace. Amy and Lino decide to adopt a child. For once, the couple didn’t worry about having a child of their own blood, like most people do. So they contacted an adoption agency and adopted the baby from a young mother, Rose. Rose was given the name Idalia. Idalia grew up in this lovely family of Amy and Lino, but unfortunately cancer took Lino away from her. Amy never hid Lino’s death or her battle with cancer from Idalia. She knew that life and death were two natural phenomena in our lives that Idalia needed to understand the existence and importance of. Idalia missed her father in his absence, but in the end she decided to leave behind a painful past like her mother. She took Lino’s memories with her as she moved through her life.
‘From Scratch’ Ending Explained: How Did Amy Find Lino’s Closure? Will she return to Sicily?
Amy was devastated after Lino’s death. Even though she knew that one day she would have to face the loss, it still saddened her gravely. She was so depressed that she stopped caring about her child, Idalia. His sister Zora, who had always been by his side, stepped in to help him. She explained that Amy needed to get out of bed and take charge of her life to move on. She also had to raise Idalia. Amy realized that her predicament could be resolved if she wished. She traveled to Sicily, where Lino grew up. She took Idalia to meet her stepmother, Filomena.
Filomena was also in agony, but she reassured her granddaughter that Lino was still there with them. He could still be there in Idalia’s heart when she grows up and cooks for her family. Lino will live through his notebook full of recipes that will one day serve Idalia. Filomena wanted Amy to move there, so she asked her to sign a property document. Amy disagreed because she felt she should pursue her career in Los Angeles.
Every street in Sicily reminded him of the good old days. She could feel her husband’s presence everywhere, so much so that she didn’t want to go back. Lino’s presence in her heart was something she longed to adore. She also encouraged her daughter to feel the presence. Idalia remembered the story of Antonio that her father had told her one day. Lino told him that Antonio never saw the goat again but that the goat was an invisible cord that was connected to Antonio’s heart. Idalia felt a similar bond with her father. Idalia and Amy realized it wasn’t a made-up scenario when they saw Antonio in Sicily. Amy remembered how much Lino loved his homeland when he asked her to take his ashes to Sicily. Amy appreciated every word her husband said to her. Not only did she love her husband, but she embraced his Italian culture, family, and native language. She therefore concluded that Lino deserved to be rooted in his birthplace.
Amy gave Lino’s ashes to Filomena, but kept a pinch for herself, which she kept in her locket to keep Lino close to her heart. She finally blew out the ashes, standing on a green farm in Sicily where Lino’s father might have once plowed. Therefore, she let Lino’s spirit walk freely in this land. She finally found closure with the love of her life. No, she hasn’t forgotten Lino, but she can’t hold him anymore. She told Filomena that she would sign the documents and return to Sicily as well. Although “From Scratch” didn’t reveal if Amy did it, it was plausible that Amy was putting her love ahead of her career. She saw that Idalia had absorbed Italian culture, so she might not want to detach her daughter from her paternal place. She started her artistic journey in Florence and finds herself in Italy again, which can be seen as a sign that she will continue her artistic career from here, taking with her the memories of Lino.
“From Scratch” is a touching series that depicts a couple’s journey from affair to ultimate dilemma. In a beautifully woven narrative, the series combines an artist’s struggle, marital stress, and the struggle for life amid a terminal illness. The series is filled with excellent performances and aesthetic cinematography that will make you cry at least once. So if you want to enjoy the romance while sobbing through the emotional scenes, “From Scratch” is a perfect choice.
“From Scratch” is a 2022 Drama Romance limited series streaming on Netflix.