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The Ending Of From Scratch Explained

When "This Is Us" ended, it was understandable when certain viewers immediately started looking for another show that might evoke the same sensations of loss, love, and the passage of time. "From Scratch" was, luckily, all of that and more. The themes of family and reinvention in "From Scratch" are as complex as they are subtle, and critics rightfully raved about the series.

"From Scratch" was initially experienced by fans as a book. Tembi Locke, a character actor who has appeared in sitcoms such as "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air," "Martin," and "The Jamie Foxx Show," wrote the memoir. Over a few years, the book and the Netflix limited series follow Amy Wheeler (Zoe Saldaña), a fictionalized version of Locke, as she advances in her career and develops a passionate relationship with her Italian husband, Lino (Eugenio Mastrandrea). The story takes the viewer on a pleasant and tragic journey as it explores the numerous forms family can take.

Reese Witherspoon, who had an excellent mid-career run when she flipped her talents to move behind the camera, leads the show's production team. Her production firm is behind some massive recent hits, including "Gone Girl" and "Big Little Lies," so it's no surprise that "From Scratch" was also excellent. However, with works as grounded as this, some thematic elements may be lost on some viewers, especially the series comes to its emotional conclusion. As such here is an explanation of the ending "From Scratch."

Amy is ready to move on with her life

The finale begins after Lino dies from cancer. Amy is devastated. Amy's daughter tries to make her eat something, but Amy is too depressed. She stays that way until her strict sister Zora (Danielle Deadwyler) enters her room and gives her younger sister a much-needed comforting shoulder. Zora then manages to not only convince her to leave the bed — she also makes her laugh.

Amy and Zora's bond is one of the most powerful in their extended family. While Amy always thinks she can rely on her sister, the opposite has never felt true for Zora. They then have a big fight when Zora says she feels like she has always been asked to be "the strong one," but she can't do that anymore since she also needs someone to take care of her.

Zora's relationship with her partner becomes more stable as the show progresses, and she even starts a family with him. Zora and Amy gradually learn how to solve their problems. Their relationship matures with Zora's life in mind, but she never stops caring for her baby sister, Amy. In fact, with her support structure in place, she could be much more present for her sister. When Lino's sickness was at its worst, Zora's husband occasionally stayed with him.

Later, Zora promises Lino that, after he dies, she will look after Idalia as if she were her own daughter. Part of that care includes keeping an eye on Amy.

Amy keeps her promise to Lino

When Amy is finally able to get out of bed and resume living her life, the first thing she does is keep her promise to Lino. Lino requests that Amy make sure their daughter learns more about his Sicilian culture after he dies. Even though Amy finds this arduous, she packs and transports Lino's ashes to Sicily.

Earlier on, before Lino and Amy ever had a daughter. Lino had just beaten cancer, and they had two options — undergo medical procedures to get a biological child or adopt one. Amy, having been exhausted by all the trips to the hospital, opts for adoption — which is how Idalia comes into their lives.

Idalia grows up to be an unassuming youngster with her father's warmth and sense of humor. She becomes so close to Lino that Amy becomes jealous that she is too preoccupied with work to be as present as her husband. Later, when Amy travels to Sicily with her daughter, they not only become closer than they have ever been, but Idalia also begins to improve her Italian and gossip with the town ladies. That's precisely what Lino would have wanted.

Lino has always stated that family is vital to him and that he would never want her daughter to be separated from his culture. Amy makes sure she won't.

Lino's family accepts Amy as one of them

Lino's family does not attend his wedding to Amy in Florence, even though they are pretty close by. Amy's relationship with her in-laws is obviously strained as a result of this. Furthermore, Amy and Lino only reach a compromise with Lino's parents after Lino becomes ill. Even then, things are far from perfect. So when Amy decides to take Lino's ashes to Sicily, she has no idea her mother-in-law plans to prepare the entire town to receive her when she arrives.

Amy's bond with Filomena (Lucia Sardo) evolves beyond their attachment to Lino during her stay. When an outsider is in a minor car accident with the mayor of their town and only speaks English, Amy is called upon to translate the heated exchange. Even though the mayor is probably at fault, Amy persuades the tourist to let it go. Later in the day, Filomena inquires about the resolution of the matter. Upon hearing what Amy has accomplished, she expresses her delight that Amy took their side — symbolizing her ability to be loyal to her new home.

Amy realizes why Filomena chose to skip the wedding — it was because of her loyalty to her husband. Filomena is pleased that Amy understands that, and tells Amy that she is leaving her plot of land to Amy and Idalia. This is Filomena's way of formally accepting Amy into the family.

Filomena realizes Lino never dishonored his family

Like many others, Lino's small-town favorite pastime was gossip. However, there is a doctor who lives up the street and loves to keep to himself, which leads the town ladies to have long wondered if his mansion is as opulent as they've heard. As such, they insist on taking Idalia to the doctor's house after a minor incident, even though she is fine. They send Filomena and Amy into the home with Idalia to see if the doctor has as much gold in his living room as they've heard.

What they instead discover is more valuable than gold. Lino's handling of his education contributed to his falling out with his father, which resulted in his family skipping his wedding. However, Lino's father ensured that Lino received a decent education as a translator. However, when Lino decided to switch careers and become a chef, his father was disappointed and felt Lino took the opportunities his parents provided him for granted. When the doctor shows Filomena a picture in his living room of him and his son outside of Lino's restaurant in Florence, Filomena realizes that even if he didn't become a translator, Lino's work was highly regarded.

Filomena sobs as she realizes the idea that their son was not exerting himself, which had kept them apart for so long, was not true. Fortunately, Lino and his father had already repaired their relationship before their deaths.

The Saint Anna Festival brings the theme of motherhood full circle

After Filomena and Amy become closer, but before Amy is about to depart for the last time to return home to Los Angeles, Filomena guilts her into staying for the Saint Anna Festival by reminding her that this is definitely what Lino would have wanted. As a result, Amy decides to remain a bit longer.

When Amy inquires about the festival's significance, Filomena informs her that Saint Anna is the mother of Mary. As the mother of Jesus, Mary is a colossal figure in Catholicism who deserves a lot of respect. According to Filomena, her mother, Saint Anna, is considered the mother of all mothers in her culture. Amy then invites her family to the town so they may enjoy the event together.

During this event, Idalia learns the power of motherhood. In that aspect, Idalia leads a very privileged life, and through her the audience can witness how motherhood, an underlying theme throughout the show, can manifest itself in different ways. The Saint Anna Festival sequence celebrates all the various forms of motherhood. Adoptive mothers, biological mothers, in-law mothers, and even aunts. At such a young age, Idalia has experienced it all. She is better off having witnessed that — as is the audience.

Amy and Idalia finally understand the Tonino story

When Amy considers accepting Filomena's offer to inherit the land, she walks around the property with Idalia. When they stop to admire the scenery of the Mediterranean, they come upon a man wandering with a goat. He begins talking to them and then tells them he was close to Lino when they were younger. As the story progresses, Amy and Idalia stare at each other wide-eyed before both cries out, "Tonino!" The man agrees, chuckling, and says that he is, in fact, Tonino.

Tonino was once the focus of all of Lino's bedtime stories for Idalia. The story always changed and sometimes took a fantastical turn, but neither Idalia nor Amy ever gave it much thought. It isn't until now that they realize Lino wants Idalia to know about his childhood. Lino always wanted Idalia to return to Sicily and feel at home, and this was his way of making that happen.

When Amy and Idalia initially land in Sicily, the only thing that genuinely bothers Idalia is that they will leave her father's remains in Sicily. She feels sad because this means she will have to say goodbye forever. After all, the initial idea is that they would never come back. However, the trip in the finale makes them both realize that Sicily is also their home now — which means they can always come back.

Amy finds out what is in Lino's journal

Amy is established throughout the program as a grounded individual who is indifferent to material possessions. This becomes clear when she confronts an artist she discovers at the gallery where she works about being overly concerned with money and critical acclaim. What matters, according to Amy, is the art. This understanding of her personality explains why, despite her initial hesitation to accept the significantly more costly plot of land offered by her in-law, she prizes the notebook Lino leaves her.

Lino is often seen writing in his journal throughout his final days. However, it is never revealed what he is writing. Lino's use of a journal could lead the viewers to assume he was keeping a diary of the important events that occurred in his life. However, it is revealed to the audience after his death that he was writing down recipes.

When Amy cooks some of these recipes with Filomena for their extended family, Amy discovers that they are variations of what his mother used to cook for Lino when he was younger. Lino saw these recipes as a means to connect his two families.

Amy finally learns how to accept Lino's death

While it is evident up until the last episode that Amy relies only on Zora for emotional support, only Filomena has the wherewithal to grasp her grief. Moreover, Filomena is in a unique position to comfort Amy since she not only loved Lino as much as Amy did, but Filomena also lost her husband. Beyond that, Filomena understands what Amy's child is going through because she, too, lost her father when she was young.

However, like everything else Filomena does, her approach to dealing with grief is unconventional — especially from Amy's perspective. When Lino was at his sickest, Filomena was the first to believe that his health would not improve, but Amy thought she was merely scared and giving up. That, however, was not the case – Filomena had just accepted what she knew was inevitable. Now that Filomena has finally embraced Amy as a member of her family, she shows Amy the clothes she wants to wear when her time comes.

All this initially overwhelms Amy, but Filomena tells her a story about a legend in her hometown about Jesus leaving his garment there during his journeys. Filomena explains that she feels that we are all just passing through life and that what is important is the legacy we leave behind. Amy finally understands that and realizes that Lino will always be with her in her heart.

Amy teaches Idalia about family

Lino is probably closest to Idalia during his final days. Lino is as concerned about her upbringing and well-being as any decent parent would be, and Idalia adores him for it. However, following Lino's death, all attention on who to console was undoubtedly focused on Amy. At one point, Idalia tells Amy that everyone knows Amy lost her husband, but no one remembers Idalia also lost her father.

From then on, Amy takes the role of Idalia's confidant. Throughout the episode, she displays her concern and reassures her. One such instance is when Idalia asks her mother if she can call herself Italian despite having a different ethnic heritage than other Italians. Amy assures her that family is more than the shade of your skin or even your genes. Amy tells her that family is determined by who you choose to love.

Amy's life has not been without ups and downs on both sides of the family, but the choice aspect remains constant. "From Scratch" consistently emphasizes that the aspect of choice in a family is just as vital as any biological link.

Amy's mothers finally appreciate each other

Lino's family is not the only one that makes life difficult at his wedding to Amy. Amy's father wants to escort Amy down the aisle with Amy's stepmother, Maxine (Judith Scott), but Amy's biological mother, Lynn (Kellita Smith), is adamantly opposed. On the surface, Amy's father's request appears unreasonable. However, Amy's biological mother abandoned Amy and her sister when they were small, and it was their stepmother who cared for them until their biological mother returned to their lives later on.

This is far from the end of the feud between the two mothers. When Amy is preparing to care for Idalia as an infant, Maxine feels disrespected by Lynn's constant reminders that she is not Amy's biological mother. Maxine then pushes back and informs her that there is more than one way to be a mother, and Amy's decision to adopt demonstrates this. Lynn agrees with Maxine and explains to her that's never been what she thought of her.

When Filomena and Amy are cooking dinner for their family in the finale, Lynn is the one who tells Idalia that Amy is fortunate to have three mothers now. Maxine beams at Lynn, demonstrating how much they value each other's roles in the family.

Amy connects her two families

The importance of family is clearly one of Lino and Amy's shared values. The first time Lino sees Maxine and Hershel (Keith David), Amy's father, they are meeting Amy's ex-boyfriend at his restaurant. Even though Lino manages to entertain Amy's parents in that awkward setting, the two develop a frosty relationship in the future. That, coupled with Lino's family missing their wedding, means it is not always rosy between the two families.

Amy continues to rely on her family for assistance as time passes. Lino discovers that this is not because Amy doesn't believe in his ability to provide but because Amy has always kept her family close to her heart. Amy also extends this courtesy to his family. Even though Lino and his family don't always get along, Amy makes sure that she gradually rebuilds this relationship.

It is, however, unexpected that she goes even further to ensure that Idalia's paternal and maternal families get along. When she invites her family to the festival, they have a terrific time together. Every family needs someone to be the strongest link, and Amy is always willing to fill that role.

Amy finally finds closure

Amy brings Lino's ashes to Sicily, but she carries part of them with her so she will never forget him. However, her transcendent experience in Sicily convinces her that she doesn't need physical reminders of Lino. This realization makes her decide to blow the ashes from her locket away above the fields of Sicily. She then expresses gratitude to Lino for guiding her there because that is the only location where she could find the clarity she needs for closure.

Amy's family grows in size and quality when she meets Lino. All of the struggles their families overcame are connected to Lino. Such is the power of this healthy relationship — it has helped everyone weed out the traits that made their families distant.

When Amy realizes that all their relationships are now rooted in the love that Lino brought to their world, she feels ready to find closure. So she blows the ashes and whispers to them, "You're home."