I’ve watched dozens of drama (both local and foreign) and I hate this part of the series where the leads are going through suffering. I feel like it’s needlessly stretched out, with gratuitous scenes of the leads crying, looking miserable, their supporting cast crying with them. Like the scenes are framed solely to showcase how good they are in doing drama. But pain and suffering is vital for character transformation so I get it that this season has to be fleshed out to understand why Benjie and Sinag would change. And I have to admit, the schadenfreude is a guilty pleasure.
So in this episode, more $h!t will blow up in Benjie’s face. He not only has to walk through Pelangi and hear people talk about him in whispers, he has to face Teddy (who painfully restrains himself from hitting him), Marjorie (who finally gets the confirmation that yes, Benjie has truly, madly, deeply fallen for Sinag), Don Vicente and Catalina (who tell him he’s a bigger disappointment than his father), watch his face mural get splashed by paint by Sally, and get hit (again) by Sinag as he grovels for forgiveness in front of her. Yep. We’ll see a lot of Alden crying and we will be crying with him.
Wow. Don Vicente wasn’t wrong when he said that Benjie has balls. He actually went to Bahay Obispo where the Obispo men are outside, as if guarding the princess in her tower. So there was Benjie, asking Sol to let him talk to Sinag. Lolo Elvis makes a brilliant point when he tells Benjie that his attempt to talk to Sinag is too soon. But Benjie still begs him to let them in because he’s not sure if he’ll have a next time to talk to her.
Mang Teddy comes out and he confronts Benjie. As much as Mang Teddy wants to kill Benjie he can’t because of his utang na loob (not only did his dad save his life at the cost of his own, Benjie also helped them raise funds to save Tala and avoid having to sell off their house), which he will pay in full. Benjie has no choice but to leave at the order of the Obispo patriarch.
(I think it’s because it’s the Lenten season, that’s why I am seeing this metaphor, which of course does not even come close what I am referencing and should not be taken seriously) So that’s one station of the cross. Benjie walks to Bahay Pag-ibig amidst the jeering, hateful and taunting crowd, carrying his cross that is steeped in his sin alone. In comes Jason as a Simon of Cyrene of sorts, only Benjie ignores him to continue his walk to Calvary. (…and end metaphor.)
It’s night time at Pelangi and Benjie is back at Bahay Obispo, relentless in his desire to talk to Sinag and explain his side (which would not do any good because what he did was unforgiveable. Even if he explains that he wanted to impress his grandfather—uh, newsflash! There was nothing in his order for you to pretend and play around with someone’s heart and trust. And let’s be honest, he’s only doing this to make himself feel a little better because at least he has aired his side). As Benjie listlessly walks towards the property, their past moments flash in his mind.
Lo and behold! At that moment Sinag comes out to talk to his face mural, where she says that yes, she is in love with him. Both Benjie and Nanay Sally overhear her tearful monologue (somebody make sure sharp objects are away from Benjie). Sally apologizes again, regretting everything (she does have a point. Just because he saw Benjie’s face in her vision does not mean he’s her soulmate. What if the reason why she saw him after touching her daughter’s hand was because it was a warning, like how she saw Tala’s accident?). Sally then gets a bucket of paint and splashes it over Benjie’s mural face…while Benjie was looking (kinda feels like it was Benjie himself who was splattered with paint).
And just when you thought that that was the last crying scene, of course not. Benjie opens up to Jason at Bahay Pag-ibig, reflecting that he didn’t expect that his pretend game could become real in the end. While he’s still reeling from his lost chance at love, Jason (ever the reliable bestfriend) reminds him that he has more things to worry about. Like his grandfather finding out what he did.
And lo and behold! Don Vicente and Catalina have arrived in the middle of the night, with Lola Helen in tow. (They took a chopper, left Manila in the late afternoon and for some reason arrived at Pelangi in the dead of the night. For more drama.)
Don Vicente confronts Benjie (When he puts it that way, Benjie is indeed his father’s son. Because of love, he threw away everything) and gives his kontrabida line: “My god, you’re exactly like your father. No. Wait. Let me rephrase that. You’re a bigger disappointment than your father.” Helen and Catalina play the cartoon angel and devil on Don Vicente’s shoulders. Basically Don Vicente tells Benjie that he has lost his chance and walks away, with Catalina following after him. Lola Helen gives him a sympathetic look and follows her husband.
In the car, Catalina affirms her father’s decision because Benjie does not deserve a second chance (YASSS!!! I totally agree with Catalina. He totally wasted company money in his whole stay in Pelangi and even had the gall to ask for more for the radio station antenna, only to sabotage the team project in the end). Lola Helen asks what they plan to do with Benjie, and goes on an irked grandma tirade. “Are you intending to turn him away, like you two did to Gabriel? My God Vicente. This is not some random kid. This is your grandchild. Catalina, this is your nephew. Don’t push him away. Don’t do to him what you did to Gabriel. So what, you’re going to see who has the bigger pride? And look what happened. Vicente, at this point, you will not only give Benjie a second chance, but yourself as well.” (While she makes valid points, it doesn’t mean that they need to retain him in the company to acknowledge him as part of the family. This is not about Benjie disappointing his grandfather. This is about junior architect Benjie Rosales acting completely against a company project, which is indicates that he does not have the company’s best interest at heart. Donya Helen has to acknowledge that fact and not make excuses just because he’s her grandson because he could possibly cause the company to crash with his actions.)
Sinag is still thinking about Benjie, looking back at how she fell for him, going over what he said to her, devastated that they were all lies.
At Bahay Pag-ibig, Jason wonders what will happen to them. “Will we get fired?” Benjie assures him that he will not let him get tangled in his mess but Jason counters with his own assurance that he will not leave him. (My heart really goes for Jason. Because of Benjie’s plot, even his job is in danger even though he had nothing to do with it. But he still doesn’t blame Benjie and would even take the fall with him voluntarily). And thanks to Jason, Benjie finds a reason to smile for a moment. Like the sun peeking from a behind stormy clouds, Lola Helen comes back to tell Benjie that he was not fired. She invites him to join her at the Mayor’s house to spend the night before returning to Manila (uh, Lola Helen, you’re practically throwing your grandson in a lion’s den). Of course he cannot say no, because she goes on to say that doing so would prove to his grandfather that he was worth the second chance he was giving him.
The next day, DJ SInag is back on air as if nothing horrible happened the day before. She goes on to share to her listeners how she used to get puzzled why some people want to listen to sad music when they are sad. “Now I understand. What the heart cannot express, songs can relay.” Of course, Benjie is tuned in, wanting to hurt himself as he listens to Sinag deal with the pain he caused.
And because the theme of this episode is “Benjie’s torment,” of course Marjorie has to be on the scene as well. She
comes barges in, telling Benjie that he should be thanking her for what happened, because according to her he can finally stop pretending that he likes Sinag. And so Benjie pops her delusional bubble and tells her upfront that he does genuinely like Sinag. Marjorie gives a whiny “Why?” which Benjie answers with a strong “Why not? Marjorie, out of all the women I’ve met, Sinag is the kindest, the most caring. When I’m with her, she makes me smile. She makes me laugh. And like her name, she brings sunshine to everyone around her. And now that she’s gone because of you, I don’t know how I’m going to smile, how I’m going to laugh again!” (This scene is so much win. Pissed off Benjie is kinda bad@ss) Jason reminds Benjie that they need to be at the mayor’s mansion to join Don Vicente’s trip back to Manila. But he simply says sorry again. Marjorie is in disbelief that he’s going back to Sinag.
At Bahay Obispo, Tala drags out Sinag to see their mother’s new mural: her face. Her family, friends and some allied neighbors have come out to see her smile again, because she’s the friggin Amaterasu of Pelangi. The state of her heart is a grave community matter.
Marjorie tries to flirt with Catalina again (I can feel Catalina’s internal shudders), reporting on Benjie. Which gets her a “thank you” and a look that makes it clear that she doesn’t want to share the same breathing space as her. (Deym. Catalina takes the term “smoking hot” literally)
For some reason, Sinag goes to the aviary alone. (Yet another reason why Benjie is such a jerk. Because he staged one of his romantic moves in Sinag’s special place, she can no longer visit the place without thinking of him. What a grade a @sshole). Of course, Benjie shows up as well, because he has developed a Sinag-radar in his brain. He immediately jumps at the chance to talk to her, asking her to forgive her, telling her he’ll do everything. She tells him to leave and the jerk friggin bargains. (*facepalm*) He kneels down, as if that would help his case and Sinag just ends up hitting him. (Oh my God, my brain is exploding at Benjie’s utter chutzpah. He has the gall to tell Sinag to “not do this to him,” after his betrayal. Wow. He and Marjorie would certainly make an awesome couple). After beaten to the ground, he stands up and tells her he’ll leave if that’s what she wants. (Argh!!! It’s ridiculous that he’s acting like he’s the victim).
Badong comes in and punches Benjie, forcing him out of the aviary. (I feel like after a month, Badong finally earned his right to be the extra wheel. Or, at the very least, his screen time) He hugs Sinag as she cries, with Benjie dejectedly watching from afar. (Also, can I point out that Sinag was totally in control and didn’t need his hug?)
At the mayor’s office, Don Vicente has had enough of waiting and tells the group that they’re leaving (ah, Benjie’s selfishness and egocentricism never fails to amaze me. Imagine, he’s causing delay in the schedule of the company president and the top executive/architect because of his whims. He didn’t even give them the courtesy of letting them know if he’s turning up or not. My ghad!) Lola Helen of course wants him to wait for a little longer for Benjie to show up, to give him another chance. Don Vicente is incensed because he has indeed given him a lot of chances. Just as they were about the leave the mayor’s place, Benjie shows up with Jason. Lola Helen immediately notices the bruise on his face and Don Vicente asks him if he really wants this second chance. Catalina tells them to go on ahead because she’ll accomplish the tasks Benjie failed to do. (Notice the sinister music after she said those words? That’s a real kontrabida right there. Even Donya Helen is wary and that’s her friggin daughter. Can we please get rid of the Escobar girl now?)
* To be fair to the actor playing Sol, he can be menacing when the scene needs him to.
* Mang Teddy’s scene with Benjie is sooo effin good.
* I’ve mentioned in the last episode that it’s kind of a relief that most people in Pelangi have sold their property and left town. It’s also a relief that most of those who stayed are allies of the Obispos, so despite the public humiliation Marjorie intended, people are actually on Sinag’s side.
* Why is Alden sooo effin good in looking miserable?
* The background music is kinda awkward.
* I love how Catalina transforms into a bratinella, like she’s back to being young Pirena all over again. The eyeroll and side eye (I didn’t even know you can do both) was priceless. Can we please have her as the sole kontrabida and ditch that Escobar girl? Even in being a brat, she does it better and classier. I’m sure she’s enough to make Sinag’s life miserable too. Please. Send Marjorie away to a trip abroad and never bring her back.
*CATALINA OOTDS FTW! A leather jacket on top of corporate wear. So fab!
* It’s funny that Benjie was more devastated after encountering Mang Teddy than getting fired by his grandfather. Or maybe he’s already too emotionally exhausted to care? It has been a long day.
* You know who else Benjie screwed over with his stupid plan? Jason, his bestfriend. Not only did he have to endure staying in Pelangi against his will, he may be subject to a company sanction for being an accomplice to Benjie’s ruse. What a jerk.
* Am I the only one who thinks it’s weird that Catalina is seated at the back of the van? Like a teenager. Couldn’t she have ridden in the shotgun seat? Can you imagine her trying to squeeze in the back?
* Benjie’s regret and desolation does not give him a free pass. He is still a jerk. If he did not fall for Sinag, would he be suffering as greatly as he was now? I sincerely doubt it. Sure he’ll feel bad that he duped good people but he wouldn’t be as miserable as this. And that’s the problem. What he did was despicable and whether he fell or not does not make his actions any less despicable. And no matter how heartfelt his remorse, he can’t get away with this. He has to go through the consequence of his betrayal (which includes not being forgiven). He has to learn that fairy godmother Helen cannot fix everything.
* Ugh. Marjorie’s outfits (no actually how she wears them) are such a travesty to all respectable fashionistas all over the world.
* I want to know what was going through Maine’s head as she practically mauled Alden’s face in this scene. And also when she slapped him. That must’ve been epic. Can’t they have another facebook live?
* Another kalyeserye scene comes to mind. Just as heartbreaking.
* Catalina never wins even when she succeeds. It’s so sad. And now she’s stuck with the Escobar girl. No one is so bad that they have to endure the company of such an infuriating creature. If Catalina hated Benjie before because he was threatening her place in the company and her father’s heart, she’ll hate him even more now.
As much as I hate Benjie and believe that he is indeed a jerk through and through, this episode is too much. 80% of this episode consists of Alden and/or Maine crying. Too much suffering in one episode.
And it’s ridiculous that this whole episode was written so we’d sympathize with Benjie. Why the ef should we? He practically got off the hook! He kept his job (after failing miserably at the one task for which he was sent to Pelangi) because of his grandma (who has no idea that her esteemed grandson deceived the town and a whole family and played with a girl’s feeling just to get them to sell their land). Sure he got slapped, punched and shoved to the ground but that is nothing compared to the pain and self-doubt he has inflicted not only on Sinag but her whole family. He is still as selfish and self-centered as ever. (Because again, he’s doing the groveling for forgiveness to feel better about himself. And notice that he was not sorry about what he did against the company, the same company who has been paying for his accommodation in Pelangi this whole time?) How can you root for a guy like this?
In the next episode, he’s back in Manila, he is still “Architect Rosales” while he has left the Obispos to deal with Catalina. Who will definitely get the Obispo land by hook or by crook. Instead of “saving” them when he thwarted the sale of the land, Benjie has left the family vulnerable to Catalina, who will make sure that they will lose the land even without selling it. Because she is smart and her eye is on the prize (to get back to Manila and get away from Marjorie as soon as possible).