‘The Life You Wanted’ Ending Explained: Does Gloria Get a Happy Ending?


Netflix’s Italian original, The Life You Wanted, is a series about a transgender woman who abruptly learns about her biological son from her best friend from 15 years ago. The show is an Italian soapy drama that brings in new twists and turns every episode for an exciting viewing experience (if you’re into that kind of thing). As it goes for most media today, The Life You Wanted attempts to approach a lot of moral themes in an ambiguous way to foster a nurturing viewing experience; however, personally, I think it fizzles out by the end of the series. I mean, it is, after all, a love story, a unique one, surely. Gloria’s life is upturned when Marina, a friend from 15 years earlier, shows up unannounced with her two kids and a bun in the oven. Marina’s kids are all from different dads, and soon we learn that the eldest, Andrea, who is 15, is, in fact, Gloria’s son from way back when. At first, Gloria is averse to the idea of having a child because it reminds her of a time and body she has long forgotten. However, after spending some time with Andrea, she develops a bond with him. However, there’s much more to the story. The reason Marina showed up with her kids was that she wanted her son Andrea to know who his father was. See, she’s got cancer, and she’s worried that if the treatment doesn’t work, her son will never find out. 

But there’s more. Marina’s second child, Ariana, is Sergio’s daughter. Sergio’s been in their lives for many years now, and Andrea now calls him dad too (scandy). Still, Marina was never interested in marrying anyone. Apparently, she’s always been in love with Gloria. But the real drama is that the father of the third child is a psychopath who hit Marina. She decided to keep the baby anyway, but she’s afraid of the guy. Unfortunately, Pietro shows up right before Marina is about to get surgery for her brain tumor. He threatens to kill her if she doesn’t agree to go away with him and their child. Marina tells him that she won’t leave her other kids, and Pietro throws her off the building (what a guy). This leaves Gloria and Sergio in charge of the kids. Will they be able to save the kids and have a happy ending? Let’s find out.

Spoiler Alert

What Happens to Pietro? 

Pietro tells Gloria to bring his baby to a crowded space so they can exchange children. He’s kidnapped Andrea and threatened to kill him if she doesn’t bring his baby to him. Gloria places a toy in the basket and lays it down in the crowd, telling Andrea to run as soon as he can hear her. By this time, Sergio knows where Gloria is, and the police have been notified, too. Andrea manages to escape, but Pietro gets a hold of Gloria, taking her to an empty street nearby. Sergio finds them, and Pietro points his gun at him. Gloria has a gun, too, but it turns out it isn’t real. So, when her father threatened her all those years ago, was it always a fake gun? I’m not so sure, but we can assume he never accepted her. Anyway, Sergio and Pietro get into a physical fight, and finally, Sergio shoots Pietro right in the heart, saving Gloria and himself, just before the cops make it there. With Pietro dead, everybody is now safe. 

What Does Andrea’s First Hug to Gloria Signify? 

In The Life You Wanted, Andrea’s left questioning his masculinity, specifically because of how those around Gloria treat her. At first, he calls her a gorgeous woman, but when he learns that she is his father, he feels his masculinity is threatened. To add to that, Pietro calls him names and emasculates him when he pees his pants in fear. Later, though, when Andrea sees Gloria sacrifice herself for his own safety, he finally realizes how much she cares for him and how “strong” she really is. Finally, Andrea gives her a big hug when he finds her alive and Pietro dead on the floor, a proud son who has gained a new mother. Andrea finally accepted Gloria and let go of all of his rage, not just in regards to her but to Marina as well. 

Does Gloria Get a Happy Ending? 

In The Life You Wanted‘s ending, we can assume that Gloria is soon going to be living the life she dreamed of, only without Marina. Sergio tells Gloria that he’s planning on getting transferred to Lecce so the whole family can be together for real. It’s basically him confessing his feelings to Gloria (kind of sweet). The kids can finally grow up in a sheltered environment with parents like a proper family. Gloria accepts Sergio’s proposal because it seems they’ve been slowly inching closer together since they met. Maybe Marina knew this would happen (you know, soap opera stuff), and so she brought Sergio to Gloria so they could have the happy ending they both deserve. The Life You Wanted sees Gloria struggling with the acceptance of her biological child because he comes from a time when she wasn’t happy with herself. However, this isn’t something that should stop her from loving him. She realizes slowly that she wants Andrea in her life, even if he’s a spitting image of the guy she never wanted to be. I’m sure it takes a whole lot from her to start loving him, but by the end of the series, Sergio and Gloria both know that they want Andrea in their lives and they want to be with each other, making for a very convenient and compelling end. 

Ultimately, the kids put on the song “Gloria,” which Gloria always sang at the clubs, and they all sing it together like a happy family, celebrating life and Marina all together. Now, Gloria didn’t want one child, never mind three, but I suppose one adapts, so I’d say she did have a happy ending! 

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Ruchika Bhat
Ruchika Bhat
When not tending to her fashion small business, Ruchika or Ru spends the rest of her time enjoying some cinema and TV all by herself. She's got a penchant for all things Korean and lives in drama world for the most part.

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