Directed by Salvatore Ficarra and Valentino Picone, Netflix’s Italian series ‘Framed! A Sicilian Murder Mystery’ revolves around Salvo and Valentino, two TV technicians who get entangled in the murder of Alberto Gambino. Starring the acclaimed Italian comic duo and the directors of the show — Salvatore Ficarra as Salvo and Valentino Picone as Valentino — the comedy series is an absurd-yet-engaging rollercoaster. The first season of the show ends with a cliffhanger, leaving pivotal questions unanswered. Inspired by its ambiguous end, we have taken a detailed look at the ending of season 1. If you are curious about the same, let us share our findings! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Framed! A Sicilian Murder Mystery Recap
‘Framed! A Sicilian Murder Mystery’ begins with an old man threatening Salvo and Valentino at gunpoint as Valentino blames Salvo for the trouble they are in. The narrative shifts to fourteen days earlier. Ester, Salvo’s wife, complains to her husband that he does not give any attention or importance to her. He ignores her complaints and leaves home to work with Ester’s brother and his colleague, Valentino. They go to the apartment of Alberto Gambino to repair a television. Parallelly, an anonymous killer kills Gambino in his apartment. Salvo and Valentino arrive at the apartment and walk into the apartment since the door was open.
As they wait for Gambino, Valentino takes a look around the apartment. He comes to see that the house owner is dead in the bathroom. He calls Salvo, who finds out that the TV is properly working. To avoid suspicion, the brothers-in-law clean the entire apartment to erase their fingerprints. As they are about to leave, Ester calls Gambino to tell him that she is coming to see him. Salvo realizes that his wife is cheating on him.
When they leave, two kids in the building see Valentino. They are also given a parking ticket, which compromises their plans to create a fake alibi. Meanwhile, Valentino meets Agata, his boyhood crush and the current Deputy Chief of Police. To avoid raising suspicions regarding their presence near Gambino’s apartment on the day of his murder, Salvo and Valentino try to settle the parking ticket using bribes. However, their attempts lead to their abduction by the mafia.
Since Gambino was a police informant who betrayed the Holy Father, the leader of the mafia, after working for him as an accountant, Valentino tries to trick the mafia by saying he and Salvo killed Gambino for having an affair with Ester. Since Gambino’s death comes to the advantage of the Holy Father, the mafia leader spares Salvo and Valentino’s lives. He orders Valentino to spy on Agata and Salvo to kill Ester in case Gambino had leaked any information regarding him to both women.
Salvo stages the fake murder of Ester and keeps her in a monastery, protecting her. Even though Valentino succeeds initially to spy on Agata, he gets exposed when the children from Gambino’s apartment building identify him accidentally in front of Agata and other police officers. He and Salvo reveal the trajectory of events to Agata and other police officers. The police department devices a plan to capture the Holy Father through the brothers-in-law by using them as baits.
Framed! A Sicilian Murder Mystery Ending: Who is Gambino’s Killer?
Alberto Gambino’s murder remains unsolved and his killer is unknown. When Gambino’s death gets revealed, the mafia tries their best to find the killer. Since he was their accountant, they abduct Salvo and Valentino to kill the brothers-in-law as retaliation. Since they weren’t aware of Gambino’s dealings with the authorities, the Holy Father and the mafia can be ruled out as the possible suspects. They believe that Salvo and Valentino did the deed. The police, on the other hand, have enough reasons to protect him as an informant. Thus, the killer is possibly someone who is not part of the mafia or police.
Since Salvo and Valentino’s revelations lead the police to the Holy Father, the authorities put the murder investigation on hold. Their ambitious pursuit to capture the mafia leader deviates them from finding the killer of Gambino. Meanwhile, Salvo comes across a vital detail concerning the murder at the end. He remembers that the television they were called to repair was in fact functioning properly and the duty call they received could be a trick the killer pulled to frame them for Gambino’s murder.
If that’s the case, the killer can be someone who is familiar with Salvo and Valentino. The anonymous individual may have had prior knowledge of Ester’s affair with Gambino to try to frame the brothers-in-law with a motive present. Tonino’s unexpected entry into Salvo and Valentino’s lives at the end points towards the “Useless Thing” as well. Considering the ambiguity regarding Gambino’s murder, we may need to wait for the potential second season of the show to know the real identity of the anonymous killer.
Who is the Holy Father? Is the Holy Father Dead or Alive?
The Holy Father is Mr. Martorana, the doorman of Alberto Gambino’s apartment building. As the leader of the mafia, the Holy Father lives a very secretive life. Even the police officials fail to acquire a photograph of the leader with the exception of his childhood photograph. The reason behind his mysterious and mythical existence is his alternative identity as a doorman. According to him, the best way to remain anonymous is to be out in the open, where he will not be sought. His existence as a doorman allows him to remain anonymous from the police since the identity displays him as an irrelevant being.
The Holy Father/Mr. Martorana’s encounter with Salvo and Valentino jeopardizes his safety and anonymity from police as Agata succeeds to track him down. Still, he escapes with the help of Useless Thing/Tonino. However, he gets hit by Salvo and Valentino’s van in the end. As Valentino and Salvo try to attend to him, Tonino appears with a gun. Even though he is hit, the Holy Father doesn’t die and he moves his hands and lips while laying on the road. As far as his life is concerned, Tonino may not wish the best for his survival. His ambitions to become the mafia leader himself may motivate Tonino to put an end to the Holy Father’s life.
Do Salvo and Valentino Die? Does Tonino Kill Them?
No, Salvo and Valentino do not die. As the ending of the season reveals, Tonino is the old man that threatens Salvo and Valentino at gunpoint in the opening scene. When the brothers-in-law lament about their predicament unceasingly, Tonino asks them to be silent and slides the slider of his gun, getting ready to pull the trigger. As far as the timeline of the first season is concerned, the narrative ends with Salvo and Valentino at gunpoint, facing death right in front of them.
Salvo and Valentino’s fates are ambiguous since Tonino does not reveal his intentions to come back to their lives and possibly kill them. If his actions are based on more than vengeance, the duo may not die at the hands of Tonino. Since the actions of Salvo and Valentino pave the way for Tonino to become the next leader of the mafia, chances are less that he will kill them. Instead, there’s a possibility that he may use them for his needs. If that’s the case, Tonino may decide against killing them. To be absolutely certain of Salvo and Valentino’s fates, we may need to wait till the potential second season of the show.