It was forever, again with a twist.
For the past five months, we’ve watched a compelling story with the most shocking revelations at every turn. In its finale #DuloNgKailanman, we surely again didn’t expect what fate had in store for the star-crossed lovers Inno (Joshua Garcia) and Eva (Julia Barretto).
As Eva had seemingly escaped from the clutches of a wrathful Oliver (Jameson Blake), Inno had rushed to her aid only to find his brother up and about, pointing a gun at them. At that time, Stella (Alice Dixson) and Rebecca (Iza Calzado) had their own gun-toting altercation, yet the latter had been pleading for them to bury their hatchet as their hostilities had since affected their children. They would them receive word about the whereabouts of Oliver, Eva, and Inno.
And nothing can be farther from the truth, as Oliver had been aiming his gun at Inno and Eva relentlessly, venting a lifelong ire on Inno for being their late father Hernan’s seeming favorite and on Eva for her mom Rebecca’s supposed slaying of his mother Stella. Inno had repeatedly assured Oliver that such is not the case—Stella is very much alive, and even revealed that Inno was not her son and confessed she was behind the death of their father, who protected her real target, Rebecca. He also told him Hernan had unconditionally loved him.
But Oliver would have none of that. After telling Inno to leave him alone and the couple had begun to flee, a distraught Oliver called them chillingly.
As they stopped, Inno and Eva stared back and heard one terrifying remark.
It was as if the world came to a halt, when Oliver suddenly brandished his gun and mercilessly shot Eva and Inno, who tried to shield her from the gunfire as they both rolled on the sandy ground.
Mortally wounded, Eva could only look at Inno, who still calmly assured her that he would be fine and take her to a hospital. And as he carried her, Inno would also succumb to the bullet that pierced his body.
They fall and gasping their last breath, they glance at each other one last time, whispering faint utterances of a love that could not be broken, not even by a tragic fate that befell them. And as they held on to one another, each pass on, leaving a distraught Oliver who could only say, “What have I done?”
Police arrived as the sun rose on that majestic yet gruesome beach, police arrived, finding Oliver still shocked by his own actions and remaining near the lifeless bodies of Inno and Eva. He would then point the gun at them but an officer shot him first, making him sprawl to the ground. Oliver would then be shocked to see a very much alive Stella approaching, weeping as she went by his side and had him taken to a hospital as he was arrested for the murders.
Stella would only then glance at Inno and Eva’s lifeless bodies, before Rosa (Rio Locsin) and Rebecca (Iza Calzado) arrive, crying unabashedly over their terrible loss.
But, beyond the grief everyone felt, Inno and Eva’s deaths were actually blessings in disguise to achieve peace and forgiveness. An incarcerated Stella would become remorseful over her actions and asked Rebecca for her mercy when the latter visited her in jail. But Rebecca was even more regretful for the vengeful rage she harbored that eventually led to the death of her daughter. But before they could ask forgiveness from each other, Rebecca said it was more pertinent that they could forgive their own selves above anything else.
It was touching to see the Corteses and the Mapendos enjoying a hearty meal together, with Rebecca joining them and eventually reconciling with Dona Carmen (Rosemarie Gil), who also faced such profound loss with the deaths of son Hernan and grandson Inno. She would then give back the necklace Nostalgia, a Cortes family heirloom inherited by her late husband Rodrigo (TJ Trinidad) from the Cortes patriarch Don Julian (Dante Rivero).
And by Inno and Eva’s tombs, Rebecca would ask them for forgiveness and to help her achieve the inner peace she longs for.
Eva’s soul would then reawaken in a small boat at an island paradise. As she alights, Inno would then emerge from afar. Eva then screams his name, and they both run to each other and embrace tightly. Vowing that they are now together for all eternity, Inno and Eva would then walk towards the same beautiful light they encountered, when they also faced near deaths when they were children. It showed how their destiny was from the onset—being together in love, in this life and beyond, now and forever.
Ngayon at Kailanman’s not-so-ordinary conclusion was indeed a fitting end to all the heart-rending, vicious complexities that involved the well-played out characters. Its theme of achieving peace and forgiveness is the drama’s defining moment in leaving an indelible mark in viewers’ hearts and minds.
Yet while the tragic end of Inno and Eva was already foretold in the beginning of the series, we still are shocked with how things turned out, a definite “unusual” ending in a conventional teleserye. But its romantic statement is by no means scuttled. It even emboldened the kind of love Inno and Eva shared in quite a Shakespearean manner—love that is held, nurtured, flourished beyond life albeit tragically. This tragedy, however, springs a better life for those involved, and most especially for the two who had their deaths made their forever possible.
Viewers are dumfounded with the superb visuals, production quality, and how the scenes were laid out. As always in the series, the episode showcased breakthrough, intense acting that truly marveled us. From Iza Calzado’s on point, deeply felt characterization of the vengeful yet forgiving Rebecca to Alice Dixson’s mesmeric, best ever dramatic performance as the fiendish Stella. But we were really not prepared to witness how Jameson Blake really emerged as a brilliant actor, whose character swayed left and right, up and down in eventually doing the unthinkable.
We are definitely still most impressed with the way Julia Barretto and Joshua Garcia scaled thespic heights in portraying Eva and Inno. And in this episode, they took this further with their exceptional depiction of those excruciating moments in their characters’ slow demise. They gave us a natural, memorable, unblemished performance that truly broke our hearts.
Netizens were also so moved emotionally…