In Hulu’s mystery series ‘Black Cake,’ Mabel Martin hides the “whole truth” about the father of her son Giovanni from him. She also doesn’t tell him how she met the person, which bothers her now. She is worried that Gio will hate her for harboring the secrets concerning his father for several years. When Mabel confronts the truth about her biological mother Eleanor Benett and her adoptive parents’ secrets concerning her birth, she gets forced to reconsider what she has been doing to her son. Since she is not able to accept her guardians’ explanation that they hid the truth to protect her, the food critic isn’t able to tell herself that she is trying to safeguard her son as well! SPOILERS AHEAD.
The Mysterious Paolo
Giovanni’s father is most likely Paolo, the love of Mabel’s life. The secrets concerning the sixteen-year-old’s father may not be about the identity of the same but who the person was. Paolo might have been someone unacceptable to everyone around Mabel. One of the possibilities is that Mabel conceived Gio without planning to have a child. She might have gotten together with Paolo for a one-night stand, only to get eventually get pregnant. Gio’s birth might have brought Mabel and Paolo closer. If the food critic was forced to welcome Paolo to her life due to her pregnancy, it isn’t a surprise that the Martins didn’t approve of the Italian man.
Mabel must have decided to hide the truth about her accidental or unplanned pregnancy to not make Gio feel he was born unwanted. She might have thought that her son would think that he is a burden to his parents if he came to know the truth. Another possibility is that Paolo is just Gio’s parent but not the biological father. Mabel and Paolo might have opted for a sperm donor to welcome a child if they were not able to have a kid on their own. The food critic may have been thinking that Paolo is still Gio’s father irrespective of whose cells were used to conceive the boy.
A sperm donor’s possible involvement explains why Mabel’s adoptive mother equates her secret with the food critic’s. The old woman must believe that the secrets about the biological parents of both Mabel and Gio are similar. That can be why Mabel’s mother accuses her of doing something she has been doing for decades.
‘Black Cake’ primarily is an exploration of secrets and the significance of the same in one’s life. Most of the characters, ranging from the protagonist Covey/Eleanor to Mabel, harbor some sort of secret in their lives. Rather than trying to unravel the same, the mystery drama depicts how they affect one’s life. Irrespective of the identity of Gio’s father, the show’s focus is on what Mabel will do about the secret concerning the former. After learning about her biological mother, Mabel now knows what it feels like to live a lie. Every time she blames her adoptive parents for keeping her in the dark about her real mother, she is crucifying herself for not telling the truth to her son.
Mabel may reveal the truth about Gio’s father to him. Learning that Eleanor is her biological mother leads her to a brother and sister who love and care for her. In the series finale, Benny reaffirms to her that she is there for the latter regardless of where they are or where they live. After gaining such a caring family, Mabel can be grateful to Eleanor for deciding to not bury the secret about her birth. She may do the same with Gio, hoping that the consequences of the same will be pleasant rather than hurtful as she has always imagined. Once she does that, Mabel may even succeed in reconnecting with her son. Gio may appreciate his mother’s honesty and mend his relationship with her.
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