From Scratch ending explained: What happened in the finale of the Zoe Saldana Netflix drama?

everything that happened at the end of the tragic tale

Zoe Saldana as Amy Wheeler, Isla Colbert as 7 Year Old Idalia in episode 107 of From Scratch
(Image credit: Jessica Brooks/Netflix/Future)

It was a tear jerking rollercoaster of emotions, but what did the series ending mean for Amy?

Netflix released the romantic drama From Scratch on October 21st and viewers found the series so watchable, most have watched all 8 episodes already. The heart wrenching source material From Scratch is based on (opens in new tab) comes from the New York Times best-selling memoir by Tembi Locke, and follows protagonist Amy as she spends some time in Florence. Amy is studying law but wants a break - taking time out to study art in beautiful Florence, Amy immerses herself in the local culture. When she meets chef Lino, her life is changed forever, followed by romance, surprises, and eventual tragedy. 

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From Scratch: Ending explained

Lino passes away after fighting cancer for 7 years - it had spread to his lungs, and his organs began to fail

With the couple living in America, Lino’s final wishes are that Amy returns his ashes to Sicily. Following his death, Amy immediately falls into a dark depression, and is unable to leave her room or take care of herself. She avoids the trip to transport the ashes to Italy, but eventually finds the strength to go, supported by her sister. 

When Amy and daughter Idalia arrive in Italy, Lino’s family join them in a deep state of mourning. When a priest visits, Lino’s mother and sister break down as his ashes sit before them on the table. Amy and Idalia become so upset, Amy has to take her daughter to another room. She also comes under fire from the locals who are used to seeing grief displayed in a different way - they are angry she isn’t wearing black, and not behaving in the way their custom dictates. 

Filomena makes it clear she would like Amy to stay in the country longer, and even drops hints about her moving there permanently. After Lino’s estranged father prevented a strong relationship forming between the two, Amy and Filomena are now able to build a bond - Filomena even offers Amy the deeds to the family home, as the wife of her eldest son. This would make it easier for Amy and Idalia to move to Italy, with a home already waiting for them. Amy is persuaded to stay for La Festa di Sant’ Anna, a procession for the patron saint of widows and travellers, having initially only wanted to scatter Lino's ashes and leave.

Amy ponders Filomena's offer of the deeds to the house and is reluctant to accept, beginning to feel the weight of Lino’s death weighing down on her once more. Taking a stroll through the grounds of his family home, Amy stumbles across a local farmer. From the tales he tells her, Amy deduces she is talking to Tonino - the star of the bedtime stories Lino told Idalia. In the stories, Tonino and his goat would go on many adventures. Amy didn’t know Tonino was a real person Lino knew as a child, and that he based his adventure tales on him. Her journey to Sicily begins to feel like a reawakening, and a chance to get to know more about her husband and his culture.

Amy’s family arrive from America to join in with La Festa di Sant’ Anna, at the invitation of Filomena. Contemplating what she has learned about Lino's hometown during her extended stay, Amy tells Filomena she would like to accept the offer of the property. In turn Filomena shows Amy the clothes she would like to be buried in when she dies - this is to let Amy know that she considers her a daughter now, and is letting both her daughters know her final wishes. The finale ends with Amy opening the locket she wears, containing Lino’s ashes. She blows what she has left of him around his family’s property, tearfully letting him know “you’re home”.  

Eugenio Mastrandrea as Lino Ortolano, Isla Colbert as 7 Year Old Idalia, Zoe Saldana as Amy Wheeler in episode 107 of From Scratch.

(Image credit: Jessica Brooks/Netflix)

Does Amy stay in Sicily?

Amy returns to LA but her newly formed connection with Sicily and acceptance of a home there, points to potential frequent future returns.

When Amy’s family joins her in Sicily, she realises just how connected the two families have now become. Not only that, she has learnt more about her husband’s family and hometown than she'd ever thought possible - she wants to keep Idalia connected to her Sicilian roots.

Feeling closer to her husband than ever before, Amy knows travelling to Sicily and maintaining a bond with Lino’s family and friends, are the best thing for her and Idalia. Even though the pair return to LA, they know they’ll always have a home in Sicily, and promise Filomena they will return. 

Zoe Saldana as Amy Wheeler, Isla Colbert as 7 Year Old Idalia in episode 107 of From Scratch

(Image credit: Jessica Brooks/Netflix)

From Scratch book ending: How is it different from the series?

The series ending stayed very close to the book ending, apart from detailing another visit made by author Tembi Locke to Sicily three years in the future where she still hasn’t moved on. The character’s names have also been changed in the series.  

Tembi Locke in the book, is known as Amy in the series, while Saro becomes Lino. In real life, Tembi and Saro’s daughter is called Zoela, while she was named Idalia for the show. Filomena from the series was never given a name in the book, being known only as Nonna.

While the series ends with Amy accepting Filomena’s offer of a house in Sicily, the book ended with Tembi’s visiting Sicily in the future. However, she has been celibate for three years, and completely unable to move on from her grief. The series therefore ended on a more uplifting note than the book, which took a stark look at the long lasting effects of grief, and the different ways people deal with, and endure it.

From Scratch based on a true story

(Image credit: Netflix)

What kind of cancer did Tembi Locke’s husband have?

Tembi Locke’s husband Saro, had leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

According to Mayo Clinic (opens in new tab), leiomyosarcoma begins in smooth muscle tissue, usually in the digestive system, urinary system, and uterus - most commonly, it will begin in the abdomen or uterus. It begins as a growth of abnormal cells that quickly grow to invade and destroy normal body tissue. Symptoms of leiomyosarcoma will depend on where it starts, and can include pain, weight loss, and lump or swellings that can be felt through the skin. It is a type of soft tissue sarcoma, or a broad category of cancers beginning in the tissues that connect and support other body structures.

Tembi Locke’s website The Kitchen Widow (opens in new tab), says the couple hoped that diet, meditation, and love would prolong Saro’s life, saying “If we did all the ‘right’ things, we’d find our way into a lifetime of tomorrows. Cancer would be a part of our narrative, but it wouldn’t define it”. With doctors, nurses, clinical trials, and a good diet, Saro lived with his diagnosis for years. The couple were together for a decade altogether.   

A post shared by Tembi Locke (@tembilocke) (opens in new tab)

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Will there be a season 2 of From Scratch? 

There has been no announcement made about a second season of From Scratch, and it appears unlikely one will be made, as the show is billed as a limited series. 

Limited series rarely get renewed for a second innings, and this has only happened with a very small number of shows. The season finale also ended with Amy reconnecting with Lino's family, and accepting Sicily as his home and somewhere she'd be connected to forever. This is a full circle moment, bringing closure on the turbulent time she had with his family at the start of her journey - they were unhappy about cultural and racial differences in the marriage. 

Apart from Tembi Locke's ongoing battle with grief, her story has been told by the show, and there is very little left to tell that Netflix would find useful for an entire series. According to Entertainment Weekly (opens in new tab), Locke described the series beginning with “young, passionate, erotic love” ending with how “Amy and Lino were going to grow up and have to deal with all this stuff with the family.” This again indicates that the story has been told in its entirety. 

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