Each week is like a smorgasbord to choose from – murders and covering up crime, to a mother changing her ways and trying to be good. It’s all here on the weekday half-hour drama. And don’t worry if you weren’t home to watch – you can find everything, from episode 1 up to these highlighted episodes, on Showmax and DStv Now.
Just a boy
In episode 31, wannabe gangster Ntokozo’s real colours shine through and it’s clear how much of a boy he still is. The high school student’s foster brother Teddy bursts through his bedroom door while Ntokozo is shoving his belongings into a black plastic bag, ready to leave his loving home.
Turns out that Ntokozo has been having panic attacks and not just because of flashbacks from episode 1 when he murdered Mbongeni in a hijacking-gone-wrong. Remember when Teddy’s drunkard mom Zodwa put a knife to Ntokozo’s throat, demanding that Teddy be given back to her?
“I can’t deal with this. I told you that I’m leaving,” he says to Teddy. “I can’t stay here and wait for that old woman to come attack me here,” with panic etched on his face, reminding Teddy that it was Teddy’s mother who was ready to kill him.
“I don’t want to sleep in the same house as that person. I need to leave.” Suddenly it seems that Ntokozo’s need for “excitement” in a dull, goody-two-shoes life was the very biggest mistake he could’ve made.
A mother’s love
Episode 32 starts with one of the most touching scenes not just on Gomora to date, but on any telenovela we’ve seen in a long time. Township drunk Zodwa sits down with Melusi and Gladys, the couple who’ve been fostering her son Teddy as they try to give him a safe environment to grow up in and get educated.
But it’s not a drunk, slurring, angry Zodwa before them. She’s calm, clean, speaking clearly and in a polite tone to the couple.
“My counsellor said, now that I’ve been released (from rehab), I should be surrounded by my loved ones at all times,” says Zodwa, hinting at what she is truly asking for. “So, I’d like Teddy to come home with me.”
It’s a massive request of Gladys and Melusi, not just because they love Teddy as their own and they are a good, loving couple who are trying to help the boy, but also because Zodwa attacked their own son, Ntokozo.
It’s wonderful to see how Zodwa has changed and cleaned up her life, but it’s equally important that Melusi and Gladys think clearly, with Gladys telling her, “First you need to go home, clean up your place and make sure that everything is in order.”
She’s not saying “no” outright to Zodwa, but she’s taking the woman under her wing for a bit, helping her raise a teenage boy.
Defending the truth
The most surprising scene in Gomora takes place in episode 34 as Teddy and Ntokozo are chatting outside the school toilets. A school boy comes up to Teddy and hands him a R10 note, telling him to give it to his mom Zodwa as a tip for “serving us some delicious meat”.
Surprised, and unsure why the boys are grinning, a confused Teddy says “I don’t need any unnecessary nonsense. What’s going on, gents?”
When Ntokozo tries to intervene, knowing what the two troublemakers are hinting at, he’s told to shut up.
There’s a change in Teddy, a sudden fire in his eyes when the boys tell him that not only does Zodwa work at the shisanyama, she’s a “working woman” and her prices are dirt cheap.
“We heard she serves other things too. When she desperately needs a beer, my older brother told me she gives it up for just R15,” is the comment that riles up Teddy.
The normally placid young man snaps and he lashes out, “Don’t talk about my mother like that, do you hear me? You’re testing me, boy. Do you want to fight me?”
Seeing the youngster defend his mother’s honour, even though his antagonists are probably right with their statements, is sweet. But it’s also surprising, given how he’s stayed so calm through so much already.