And so "La Luna Sangre" ends, as many viewers might have suspected, in love prevailing over evil.
The joy of watching Tristan played by Daniel Padilla and Malia played by Kathryn Bernardo hold hands as they defeated Sandrino portrayed by Richard Gutierrez in Friday's episode certainly adds weight to the idea the show has been pushing in its final weeks: that there is a thing more powerful than a heart that beats for someone.
In the climactic battle, fans saw Sandrino stab his brother Tristan and Malia through their chests. His fatal mistake is not ripping their hearts out when he had the chance. A blinding light flashed as Tristan and Malia clutched each other's hands, tossing Sandrino back and ending his life. Left on the ground was his other self, the human side of him that is the one still capable of reasoning. The show runners went for a big emotional impact and gave Tristan's dying brother a moment to tell him: "Mahal kita, kapatid ko. (I Love you, my brother.)"
Essentially, the last two episodes of "La Luna Sangre" was all just a setup for Friday's finale --rallying speeches about how evil should not triumph, a foreboding prophecy and a goodbye hug between Malia and Tristan. In the darkest corners, Sandrino has set the wheels of his world domination plot in motion. Take what you will of seeing a dark, messianic figure turning anyone with a mobile phone into a member of his zombiefied horde though brainwashing. One might be tempted to say it was all filler for Friday, but it's hard to ignore one of the key moments that captures the show's message ahead of the inevitable bloodshed.
Having lost a loved one, Malia delivers an impassioned speech about finding humanity deep inside oneself amid the horrors of war. They may only be half-humans, but it's worth remembering that side of them capable of mercy and forgiveness. This moved Tristan, who could only watch in horror as Sandrino killed his beloved grandfather and grandmother right before his eyes. It convinced him, especially after also seeing his half-sister lose herself to anger, that Malia's plan to slay Sandrino will not break this cycle of revenge. Violence can only result in further violence. Note how all this began: Sandrino lost his father. He avenged them by killing Malia's parents. Now, she's the one out for blood.
Determined to end this senseless circling around, Tristan then proposes to talk to Sandrino and try to convince him that he is loved, that he still have kindness left inside of him, and that not all is lost for him as he still has a brother.
One of the memorable moment of the last episodes is the death of Baristo portrayed by the actor Joross Gamboa, the lobo or wolf who stood as a father to the young, orphaned Malia and helped raise her to become a strong warrior worthy of the "chosen one" tag. His death may have been swift a brutal stab to the heart but it was no less brave, and one that would definitely resonate with the many fans of the show for a long time.
He died protecting their hideout in this tense episode that had viewers feeling melancholic one minute and then rage the next, as the evil Sandrino showed Tristan the hefty price of standing in the way of his plans. Our heroes find themselves in a seemingly hopeless race to save Tristan's foster grandparents, who were kidnapped by Sandrino. Tristan is given two choices: save his beloved grandparents by killing Malia, or watch them die.
He ended the episode no closer to making a decision, as he struggles to stab Malia, the woman who has his heart. The weary look in his face hinted that he may just give in to Sandrino and hand him over his cursed tattoo, making his brother the strongest vampire of all, just to keep his loved ones alive.
Fans sung praises for Baristo, who will be remembered as the loving father-figure he was, and for the running gag of him always ending up shirtless after he transformed into a wolf. It helped catapult his name to one of the most talked about topics on Twitter, even an hour after the episode finished. Here are some of the tweets of the viewer after the death of Gamboa’s character in the show.
From Joche@jochendria she said “Tatay Baristo is one of the characters that I admire the most in LLS. He's been there for Malia since then - her greatest comfort in times of trouble and her most trusted friend above anyone else. Thankful for your existence, Tatay Baristo. #LaLunaLastStand”. Another from Queen Rodriguez@kweng_queen says “Heartbreaking scene! Tatay baristo with malia #LaLunaLastStand”. This one is from @destinynchances says “He has always been there for her, has always protected her. He always believed in her. He fought for her until his last breath. He has always loved Malia like his own. Paalam, Tatay Baristo (Goodbye, Baristo). #LaLunaLastStand” Another from eidrefangelo@eidrefangelo says “Tatay Baristo is the Best Father in LaLunaSangre #LaLunaLastStraw it made me cry ,afraid of losing his character tonight.”
This one is from Sars@sarsmjln says “Malia and Tatay Baristo you both are making me cry out loud #LaLunaLastStand”. One more tweet from Bb. chiqui@charleeeeeeene_ says “Malia had lost someone who is special to her and that is Tatay Baristo #LaLunaLastStand” This one is from メアリー@maryjulienhere says “Anyway, hats off to Joross for portraying Tatay Baristo's character really well. He deserves the recognition.#LaLunaLastStand”
If one were looking for an uplifting, wishful story about how even the evilest of people are capable of love, they'd be satisfied. Although some might feel short changed as one of the show's biggest mysteries: the identity of Jacintha played by Angel Locsin was never confirmed. But the episodes prior to the finale drops some clue to the theories. So there is Malia then, wearing a red cloak similar to the one Jacintha played by Angel Locsin donned. In what has proven be something of a typical move, "La Luna Sangre" drops another major clue to support the long-standing theory that Jacintha was indeed Malia from the future only to hide behind vagueness. Thus fans are again left wondering if Malia's transformation into a vampire is the confirmation they have been waiting for all along. Driven by her desire to defeat the evil Sandrino after witnessing his cruelty, Malia runs out into an open field at night and desperately pleads to the moon for strength.
She remembers what her father told her when she was little about how she was different from the others, possessing both the powers of a vampire and a lobo (wolf). Cue a fantastical transformation and her untapped potential manifests physically shown through the streaks in her hair. As fans know, Jacintha also shares the blood of both clans. Sans Malia, no other character in the "Moonstone" trilogy has these. If this was the "reveal" the episode's hashtag suggested to be the "last" ahead of the show's finale last Friday, it is still worth noting that nothing has been set in stone just yet. All clues appear to pointing to that fact, however, as was telegraphed a few episodes back when Jacintha's face was overlaid with Bernardo's features before she disappeared.
Still, it's a fantasy and some things might be better left to the imagination, discussion boards powered by fan theories, or the book that the show will be releasing as part of an "Untold Saga" series. The non-reveal did allow them to tell a straightforward finale, with an interesting notion about finding humanity in monstrosity, and vice versa. As Malia muses before the credits rolled: "Hangga't may naghahangad ng masama sa kapwa, mapa-tao, lobo, o bampira --hindi matatapos ang kalbaryo ng buhay. (Until someone is still wanting to harm other people, may it be a wolf or vampire, the Calvary of life will never end.)"