Episode 6 of Ristorante Paradiso, “A Certain Married Couple”, begins with a husband and wife at a restaurant for a makeup dinner. Nicoletta, Teo, and Furio also happen to be at the restaurant as a learning experience for Nicoletta, except Teo complains that the quality of the food has gone down and that making the trip to the restaurant a waste. The husband mentions that Teo is being overly harsh, although he admits that the food is indeed not as good as before. This is a mistake, since the wife concludes that he had went to the restaurant with another woman before in light of his claim that this was his first time at the restaurant.
After the opening sequence, we see the wife at the wine bar Enoteca, and when she asks for advice on which bottle of wine to buy, the owner enlists the help of GiGi who just happened to be there on his own errand. As the owner and GiGi discuss which wine might be appropriate for the wife, whose name happens to be Lucia, an old lady talks to Lucia about having seen her husband eating at a restaurant with another woman. It doesn’t matter more than usual for Lucia since she knows about how her husband flirts with his clients, but it’s different this time when the old lady mentions that it was the second time that her husband was seen with a particular woman.
This has Lucia being very sardonic against her husband back at home about a supposedly hypothetical story about a husband having an affair, but presumably his lack of defensiveness could mean that he’s trying to hide it, which in turn means that he might be having a serious affair. At least Lucia thinks it might be serious, which has her soon looking for the services of a divorce lawyer. And this being a small world, the divorce lawyer ends up being Olga, who is quite professional. Olga points out the amount of work required even before divorce proceedings could be started, which has Lucia getting second thoughts. Incidentally, we get to see the name of Olga’s law firm, which is the Studio Legale Cardinal.
Meanwhile, Nicoletta has finally been able to participate in Furio’s cooking class. Unsurprisingly, most of the students are ladies that have more than just cooking lessons in mind, which turns Nicoletta into the focus of jealous anger after Furio pays her a bit more attention. This shouldn’t last long, especially if they learn that Nicoletta has eyes on another particular gentleman at the casetta dell’orso … There is one student who is not jealous at all. It’s a woman about Nicoletta’s own age, and it turns out that she’s Vito’s wife Marina.
Later, Nicoletta wonders if Marina wouldn’t worry about Vito flirting with other women at the restaurant or whether it would be a potential problem for Vito and Marina, to which Claudio responds that one would have to ask the married couple themselves. So Nicoletta does just that after work.
Vito is the naturally flirty type, so he thought he would never marry out of fear that he would end up hurting his spouse. Then one day he encountered Marina at a sports gym, and after having fallen in love with her at first sight, he had set up surreptitious encounters and wooed her until they ended up married. Or so Vito claims. Nicoletta is quite dubious about how much of it is true. In fact, the way Claudio suggests to Vito that he tell her the detailed story behind his marriage seems to suggest that there is much more to the story than Vito revealed.
As for Lucia, she thinks about how it’s not lack of love which has her looking into divorce, but rather how angry her husband’s flirting makes her. It’s just worse that the anger seems to be going one way. So she comes up with the “brilliant” idea that she would have an affair, too, not that she necessarily intends it to be a serious one.
On yet another day, the casetta dell’orso has another group of special guests. It is Marina, her sister, and her brother-in-law. Marina’s sister and her husband live in another country, so this is a rare chance to get together. For that matter, the husband is not Italian. Nicoletta learns that Marina used to live with her sister and brother-in-law in Rome, but for some reason Marina stayed behind when her sister and brother-in-law moved out of the country. I’m pretty sure the backstory behind this is somehow closely related to the courtship between Vito and Marina. It’s mentioned that Marina is much happier thanks to Vito and vice versa.
After the restaurant closes, everyone heads to the wine bar. Vito is also heading to the wine bar instead of following his wife and in-laws, which has Nicoletta wondering whether this would be fine with Marina. Vito must be very confident about his relationship since he doesn’t worry. But at the wine bar, they encounter Lucia who is waiting for GiGi to invite him to dinner. This surprises everyone, of course. If a woman is going to fake an affair, GiGi would be a pretty bad choice: it won’t look like an affair. It still works when the husband shows up at the wine bar: he doesn’t have to see his wife with another man, it’s enough that he hears about it. And Vito gives him sound advice that he should think hard of what he needs to do if he wants to maintain his marriage.
After a few days, the husband and Lucia have given their relationship plenty of thought. Lucia wants the marriage to go on, which will work only if the husband gives up something. The husband had come to the same conclusion: he needs to give up flirting, or at least not flirt too much, considering his job supposedly still needs him to be nice to the ladies. And as is the tradition for the couple, the husband claims that he had reserved a table at a restaurant for a reconciliatory dinner and that he was just waiting for Lucia.
He was waiting for Lucia while worrying whether she was having an affair, something he need not have worried about, but amusingly he did not actually have a reservation ready. This has him scurrying for a restaurant they had not gone to before, and it just happens that the restaurant he finds is the casetta dell’orso, where he’s surprised when he sees the gentlemen from a few days ago. Luckily for him, there’s a table open. As the couple have their make up dinner, the mood is much brighter than the dinner in the beginning of the episode (GiGi’s cute way of eating is a particular topic of amusement), indicating a much brighter prospect for their marriage.
The episode ends with Vito flirting with a lot of women at the gym, who immediately stops as soon as the bemused Marina shows up and declares that he needs to be returning to his loving wife, which just makes him look cooler for his fangirls. This episode may have seemed to be out of pattern for Ristorante Paradiso as it could look like it’s about Lucia and her husband, but it’s not: it’s really about Vito and his wife. It does make me wonder what had really happened between Vito and Marina before their marriage, which must have been the seed for a very strong relationship.