The Life You Wanted summary and ending explained

In The Life You Wanted, Gloria’s comfortable existence is shaken when a figure from her past shows up after 15 years. The series is streaming on Netflix.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary:

Gloria Prioli manages a successful art gallery in Lecce with her assistant Eva. Her life is pretty cushy until her old friend Marina shows up.

Marina is pregnant and brought along her 15-year-old son Andrea and 9-year-old daughter Arianna.

She tells Gloria that she needs a place to stay for a while but Gloria is having none of it since Marina abandoned her 15 years ago.

Gloria was a biological male who was going to Barcelona for her transition surgery, but Marina dropped out of the plan at the last moment and then cut off contact.

Now she is back and she needs help hiding out from the fathers of her children. Arianna is Sergio’s daughter, and she’s pregnant with Pietro’s son.

Sergio is a reasonable man who cares for Andrea like he is his own son, but Pietro has a mean streak and is often abusive.

Arianna and Andrea learn a little about Gloria’s past as a singer at a club and get to see a live performance too.

Marina admits that Andrea is Gloria’s son from when they slept together before her transition. Gloria isn’t ready to have a child in her life and offers them money to go away.

Sergio shows up after finding out where they are and he is very cross with Marina. She doesn’t trust him because he took Arianna away from her once before.

Marina reveals in front of everyone that Gloria is Andrea’s parent. Andrea doesn’t know how to process his feelings about the situation.

Meanwhile, Pietro discovers their location and contacts Gloria to find out exactly where they are.

Marina and her family have to move for their safety and Gloria gets help from Ernesto, a realtor that she’s been having an affair with.

They go out to his summer house to hide out until the trouble is taken care of. Andrea finds out that Gloria is ready to pay for him to disappear.

He travels to the city to confront her but Pietro is there too and he questions them about Marina’s location.

Gloria comes up with a plan to distract Pietro while Eva takes Andrea back to his mother. Sergio finds out where Gloria is taking Pietro and heads there to help her out.

Marina goes into labor and Andrea gets her to the hospital with Arianna coming along. Gloria and Sergio get there eventually and Marina asks Gloria to be with her in the labor room.

After giving birth to a boy, the doctor tells Gloria that Marina has cancer but she’s ignoring treatment advice.

Gloria asks Marina about it in front of Sergio, and they ask her to be honest with Andrea or risk pushing him away further.

Andrea feels very unwanted after learning about his parentage and observing his mother’s reckless behavior.

She tells her son about her sickness but suffers a seizure later that night which intensifies the need for surgery.

Marina gets cold feet and runs away from the hospital, leaving Gloria and Andrea to find her while Sergio watches over Arianna and the new baby, Salvatore.

They have to move to Gloria’s unfinished beach villa after Ernesto’s wife finds out that someone is staying in her summer house.

Pietro remains resourceful and finds out that Marina gave birth to his son. He starts visiting hospitals in the area trying to find her.

Gloria tracks Marina down and convinces her to get the surgery. While everyone else is at home, Marina responds to a voicemail from Pietro and tells him where she is.

She tells him about her sickness but he gets paranoid and doesn’t believe her, pushing her off the terrace wall to her death.

Everyone assumes that she committed suicide because she wasn’t sure about the surgery but Gloria is convinced that it wasn’t an accident.

Marina made Sergio promise that if something happened to her, he would make sure Gloria remained a part of Andrea’s life.

He lies to her because he cares for Andrea deeply and doesn’t trust her to keep him happy. The police suspect Pietro and Gloria asks them to follow that path for evidence.

Pietro gets some help from Eva’s abusive boyfriend, Carmine, and finds out where Gloria’s house is.

He sneaks over there and Sergio asks them all to escape while he holds Pietro off. Pietro shoots Sergio but doesn’t get to his son in time.

Ending explained:

A difficult past

Gloria’s dead name was Alessandro and she came from a rich family. Unfortunately, her father did not respect her identity and beat her as a child.

When she moved to Naples for college, she moved in with Marina and became close friends with her.

Gloria would attend classes during the day and sing at the club at night, but she also faced discrimination for who she was.

When she went back home with Marina after her graduation, she dressed up in what felt natural and was kicked out of the house by her father.

A safe place

She goes back to that same house with Arianna, Andrea, and Salvatore. The house is run by Gloria’s sister, Celeste, who loves Gloria.

Sergio is only grazed by the bullet and he rushes to Gloria’s farm as soon as he can. They are told by the detective to stay put while the authorities look for Pietro.

They are all convinced that he killed Marina. Sergio tells Gloria what Marina’s true wish is and hopes to work things out for Andrea’s sake.

Andrea goes riding on the farm with his cousins and gets kidnapped by Pietro.

For the love of family

Pietro tells Gloria to bring Salvatore in exchange for Andrea and to keep the police or Sergio out of it.

Sergio finds out just as Gloria leaves and calls the detective immediately. They question Carmine who says that he told Pietro a good place for an exchange.

She goes out to a village where a festival celebration is going on in the square. Gloria brings a decoy baby and uses the chaos to tell Andrea to run.

He gets away long enough to find Sergio and the police. Sergio goes after Pietro who has Gloria hostage.

There is a scuffle and Gloria tries to shoot him with her father’s old gun, but it turns out to be a prop.

Then Sergio and Pietro scramble on the ground till Pietro is shot. With his death, the troubles following Gloria are over.

Starting anew

18 months later, Gloria’s villa is finished, and she gets along well with Andrea, Sergio, Arianna, and Salvatore.

Andrea chooses to shift to Lecce for his final school years so he can be closer to Gloria. Sergio tells her that he will put in for a transfer and kisses her too.

Everyone celebrates Andrea’s birthday as one big happy blended family.

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