Sibling rivalry is among the many facets of human relationships explored in the military series A Soldier’s Heart through the characters of Elmer (Vin Abrenica) and Alex (Gerald Anderson). Seeds of bitterness were planted on Elmer’s heart the moment when an orphaned Alex stepped on the Marasigan residence. He wasn’t pleased with Alex’s surprising entry in their lives until, over the years, the ill feelings grew into a grave discord and crystallised into a bigger envy.
The first time we witnessed Elmer’s emotions took a toll on him was when Alex expressed the desire to become a soldier. Elmer felt bad enough sharing parental affection with his brother but to have his secret rival conquer the world he thought he dominated was a complete threat to him. The announcement ended up with Elmer straining to beat Alex in front of their parents.
As the two Marasigans meet at the training camp, Elmer is often unable to hold the personal issues running riot inside his heart. And when left unshackled, the inner conflict would always lead to an insidious display of anger even towards the people close to Alex. We’ve seen Elmer abuse his powers to attack a defenseless Benjie (Yves Flores) in front of the other cadets due to tardiness. Seemingly unsatisfied, he then punched and taunted Alex knowing that his stoical brother wouldn’t dare fight back.
When he caught Alex teaching Michael (Nash Aguas) the basics of underwater survival beyond the accredited hours, Elmer lashed out at his brother once again and threatened to terminate his trainings. Alex managed to spin the argument to Elmer’s team’s negligence much to the older Marasigan’s fury. Elmer released his anger by pushing both Alex and Michael in the pool.
Tension ran high all throughout the course of the training. During a marksmanship drill, Elmer volunteered to fire the rifle while Alex held the actual target from a far distance, thereby making it a test of trust as well. Elmer smoothly hit the aim. He then poked fun at Alex’s apparent fear but only to get struck when reminded of their relationship as brothers and leaving their personal rift outside the camp.
Yet, the pernicious effect of Elmer’s envy just became more visible. Being the second best wasn’t part of his plan, so Elmer had to pull off Alex’s downfall. The night when the cadets were blindfolded and beaten up still as part of the training, Elmer brought Alex to a separate corner and had him tortured. Elmer did his best to inflict pain on his brother, such the depth of hatred he feels. His punches were like flaming punishment for a crime Alex knew nothing about. But just as when he was looking forward to Alex’s failure, the latter still managed to survive.
It didn’t help that his brother is a natural charmer and affectionate while he is on the egotistic side. For instance, Alex won a point when he granted their mom the permission to attend her project’s launching event, leaving the rigid Elmer out in the family decision-making. Elmer acted cool in front of their parents at first but he later on threatened Alex in secret.
The good thing, though, Elmer is slowly stripping himself off the envious persona as fatherhood spawned beautiful changes in his heart. But will the recent reconciliation be enough to cement Elmer and Alex’s brotherhood or will a new conflict break their bond once again? Find out on A Soldier’s Heart.