REVIEW: Gripping surprises, delightful performances in Born For You finale

While most finales would simply just connect the dots, fill in plot holes, and iron out previous conflicts, the last episode of Born For You remained a must-watch as the audience remained uncertain of what will happen in the end.

And this was executed well with impressive build-up and climactic scenes to make us root for our protagonists Sam and Kevin or SamVin (Janella Salvador and Elmo Magalona) to the top of our voices.

The idea of the fitting end on a concert stage was excellent, as this truly sums up what Sam aspires for as an artist, having not only her popular songs to perform but also a confirmation that she has reached the pinnacle with fans going out of their way to see her sing.

There was indeed a moment when we just splurge with our wow and angry emoticons in disgust as Marge (Ayen Munji-Laurel) did everything to stop Sam’s first major concert, even to the point of reaching the stage and embarrass her in front of her fans, by declaring that her latest hit was a “stolen” tune composed by her son Kevin.

Sam, who was joined by mom Cathy (Vina Morales) and Marge’s husband Mike (Ariel Rivera) on stage, was shocked and left the stage humiliated by the turn of events. Mike and Ralph (Freddie Webb) urged Marge to stop and with Kevin joining the fray, pleaded to his mom to cease destroying Sam or else he would disown her.

As they all faced each other backstage, Marge revealed that contrary to what Kevin, Mike and Ralph was saying that her actions was actually destroying the family, she said she was doing it for them, especially for Mike, whom she said she truly loves. And then she made a startling revelation that she had also “stolen” the song Born for You from Sam’s late dad Buddy (Bernard Palanca) to boost Mike’s singing career.

Ralph then told Marge that everyone heard her “confession” and it was time that she should finally resolve and fix the situation. And, as Kevin urged Sam to go back to stage and sing the song he wrote and Sam expressed her fear that Marge will sue her, the feisty record producer now showing remorse told her that she could continue her concert and perform.

Kevin accompanied Sam to the stage to the shrieking delight of SamVin fans. They finally sing Born for You after Kevin announced that the song indeed was written by Sam’s father Buddy, and Sam thanking her mom, grandmother Caring (Gina Pareno), Mike, and even Marge, whom she said gave her the first break she needed. But special mention was left for Kevin, who supported and loved her throughout her difficult journey.

After the concert, Marge, Mike, Cathy and Caring faced each other by Buddy’s grave and finally settled their long-standing feud over the rights to the song Born For You. Marge said she would give back all the royalties earned by the song to Buddy’s family and that proper attribution will be given to him. She then asked Cathy and Caring for forgiveness for all the suffering she has caused, which they wholeheartedly accepted.

And as her career flourished, Sam revealed that she and Kevin agreed to part ways as they still had to discover themselves fully as individuals and even as artists, with Sam moving on as a pop singer and Kevin choosing to stay out of the limelight and become a songwriter.

But even as they did not continue their romance, the “red string of fate” was still there to do its work. That is, having a distressed Sam stuck in traffic see Kevin jamming with street folks in Manila. She alights and see her “destiny” eye to eye once more, not to rekindle a romance, but to join the jamming and sing. Maybe that heartstring will still have to do more.

It was an enjoyable, heartfelt end with themes of forgiveness and redemption in the finale’s core. Yet, the most glaring, scratch-your-head moment, especially for a romantic series, is why the writers decided to end, albeit temporarily, their relationship in the end. Maybe it could have ran the commitment of having the “SamVin” tandem reach its heights, or go separate ways as artists but still remain as lovers. But their parting still supports the foundation of the story, which despite its obvious reference to destiny, there are still factors among fated lovers to resolve first before diving into a serious romance—and then finally validate that true “red string of fate.”

In terms of acting performances, a standout was Ayen Munji-Laurel, who gripped us with a sensational portrayal that left us gasping, especially during those live sequences at the Kia Theater. Truly, a thespic gem, given her roots in theater. Vina Morales, despite having shorter lines in the finale, still rivets with her awesome face acting as Cathy. Ariel Rivera was always his charming self throughout with his delightful essaying of Mike. Freddie Webb is also a great thespic surprise with his cool, composed and realistic depiction of recording bigwig Ralph.

Janella Salvador and Elmo Magalona are brilliant young artists showing much promise in the major teleserye format. Their live acting on stage was exceptional, given that they were like performing for a stage play. Hopefully, with more experience and exposure to more of the network’s centerpiece projects, they will indeed breakout as a leading romantic tandem.

For netizens, it was likewise pure thrill and enjoyment as well, even revealing one precious moment we did not see on TV: