Holy Family ending explained – who is Gloria really?

October 15, 2022
Jonathon Wilson 0
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This article contains major spoilers for Holy Family season 1, episode 8, including a discussion of Holy Family’s ending.


It’s obvious from the very beginning of Holy Family that many things are amiss, so allow us to do what we can to unpack them. Fair warning, though – this show is kind of bonkers and is best enjoyed in real-time, trying to put the pieces together for yourself in the same manner as the stained-glass windows that form the stylish opening credits. Still, if you’re here, it’s presumably for a reason, so let’s get into the details.

Meet Gloria, a single mother moving among upscale circles in Madrid with her infant son, Hugo. Hugo has an au pair named Aitana who is really Gloria’s daughter, and she also has a son, Abel, whom she hides in a basement room and only lets out at night. And this is just the beginning!

Gloria is friendly with Blanca, who has a son named Lorenzo with some obvious learning difficulties, and Alicia, a teacher who cannot have children with her husband and is hoping to adopt. New neighbor Catarina quickly embeds herself in this circle, but she and her husband are deeply suspicious and obviously have an agenda of their own.

That agenda involves Gloria, whose real name is Julia. She’s in hiding in Madrid because Hugo is technically not her son – she was a surrogate for her son Santi and daughter-in-law Natalia since the latter couldn’t survive a pregnancy. Santi died trying to save Aitana from drowning and Gloria, unable to live away from the last remaining connection to her son, kidnapped Hugo and faked the deaths of her and the kids.

Catarina and German, then, have been hired by Hugo’s grandfather to retrieve him. They’re not really a couple and their infant daughter is being hired from a junkie to complete the illusion.

Holy Family ending explained

As ever, relationships begin to get in the way of things. German and Abel are both gay, for instance, and after a couple of chance night-time encounters, they begin seeing each other in secret, which proves problematic when German is later ordered to deal with (read: kill) the family. Aitana also gets embroiled with another student named Marcos, and through that connection, Natalia can track her down. When Gloria learns of the extent of this relationship and the potential dangers it causes, she kills Marcos.

In learning German’s real identity and using his relationship with Abel to trap him, Gloria inadvertently pushes away both of her children. They lock her up, but Abel can’t leave her behind. Aitana can, though leaves her a letter. She attends Marcos’s funeral and runs into Natalia, who has traveled to Madrid from Argentina looking for Hugo. Fernando, Hugo’s grandfather, is also in Madrid.

Abel frees German, who reveals to Catarina that their identities have been exposed. He tells her to meet him at Gloria’s house and then kills her in a vehicular accident that also gravely injures him.

Holy Family builds to quite a cliffhanger as all roads converge. Aitana wants to deliver Hugo back to Natalia, but Gloria arrives just in time to stab her, and then Abel arrives just in time to pick everyone up in Gloria’s van, including Natalia, driving past the site of Catarina and German’s crash as they go. Whatever next? I’m sure the inevitable second season will tell us.

You can stream Holy Family season 1, episode 8 exclusively on Netflix.

Additional reading:

  • Will there be a Holy Family season 2?
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