Fanatico comes full circle with a tragic finale that proves our worst impulses are often our strongest and offers no redemption for its lead character.
This recap of Fanatico season 1, episode 5, “Lazaro”, contains spoilers, including an open discussion of Fanatico’s ending. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.
Lazaro is beat-up, black-eyed, and strung out after Pompa and his goons assaulted him. This finale intersperses the beating with a close-up of Lazaro bobbing his head in a neon-drenched club as the beat drowns out his claims that he deserved it. He did, of course. And where does a young boy at his lowest ebb turn when he has nowhere else to go?
Yes, he goes home to his mother.
Fanatico season 1, episode 5 recap
The problem Lazaro has is that his mother, Carmen — and indeed Clara, who is living there — isn’t falling for his nonsense. Lazaro schleps into the apartment and starts trying to throw the promise of penthouses around. He’s delusional enough to think he’s made it, and that everyone else should be envious of where he’s at. But he’s bruised and alone, living a dead man’s life. His disparaging remarks about how his mother has been “stuck” in the same humble apartment for two decades only make him seem more ridiculous. As his mother reminds him, she’s there because she chose to be. And as she also reminds him, despite his claims to the contrary, he never wanted for anything. She worked hard, and honestly, to provide for him. His sob story about escaping from poverty and abandonment is an insult to her.
Lazaro has a show. But it isn’t his show really, is it? It’s Quimera’s. The finale draws deliberate parallels to the premiere as we see Lazaro drowning his pain in alcohol, wrapping it up in joints, staring at himself in the mirror to try and find a face he recognizes. The plan is for him to lip sync and prove to the label that this “new” version of Quimera can still bring in the big bucks. But he’s also responsible for a legacy now; it’s his job to keep Quimera’s art and music alive, which is a tall order considering he didn’t rise to this position based on his talent, but a facile resemblance. So, predictably, Lazaro starts to break down.
After vomiting in front of the record label, Lazaro stumbles out onto a rain-lashed balcony, letting reality hit him in furious drops. He staggers back inside, gets changed, and tries to flee — right into the adoring crowd. His efforts to sneak out are futile. The fans spot him, crowd him, and eventually raise him aloft on their hands, passing him along as a neon crucifix comes into the frame. This is called the resurrection tour, after all. Lazaro is eventually deposited back on the stage.
Is it a happy ending? Well, that depends on your perspective. For Lazaro, maybe, or at least for now. Alone on the stage, surrounded by “his” adoring fans, he eventually drags himself to his feet. And hearing the crowd cheer for him, he smiles and begins performing the song that isn’t even his, jumping into the crowd to be among them. The transformation is complete. Lazaro was willing to give up everything just to be beloved as someone else.
For anyone in their right mind, this is a thoroughly miserable ending. It’s a reminder that there are those among us — perhaps many more than we realize — who would be happier to live a lie than the life their loved ones fought to provide them.
You can stream Fanatico season 1, episode 5, “Lazaro” exclusively on Netflix. Do you have any thoughts on Fanatico’s ending? Let us know in the comments.