After a few straight episodes that focused on Iris and Basti’s marital issues, tonight’s episode shifted the focus to the other relationships in the show such as Stephen and Ali and Val and Nestor. It still had some sweet IsTi moments injected for good measure but viewers can tell that its gearing for the next arcs in the story.
The LOWDOWN: Business is booming at the Love Team with the holiday season fast approaching and Basti and Iris begin to build their nest egg for the future. The young couple begin to find a rhythm between work and home life and seem content with the steps they are making to prepare for their future. Meanwhile, Stephen and Ali finally patch things up and Stephen finally confides to Ali about his own “Basti” experience. And while Val tries her best to work on her relationship with Nestor, it seems that he’s taking her for granted, feeding into her insecurities all the more.
While the story seemed to move on from Ali’s unrequited love for Basti after his best friends got married and he took on the role of good friend, mediator and confidante, the show did manage to inject the question of whether Ali has truly moved on when he dropped his Baguio plans too quickly for comfort when Basti called him.
Tonight, as Stephen opened up about Gab, his one true love and the one he still pined after, it became clear that both of them were on the same boat — of still holding on to their feelings for their first loves. My heart broke for Ali and Stephen because no matter what gender, unrequited love is painful and viewers can feel the vulnerability in the characters especially when they looked each other in the eye and Ali said yung outgoing personality mo pala, may dinadala kang mabigat.
It was a great reflection on how many members of the LGBT community show up a brave front, but in truth are dealing with their own struggles. TIMY is doing a great job in making sure that people become more sensitive to the plight of the LGBT, given that most of them, like Ali and Stephen are naturally selfless and kind, undeserving of ridicule but rather admiration for the strength it takes to deal with their situation. I hope Ali and Stephen find love, hopefully with each other or maybe with others because these two characters deserve to be happy. Stephen confiding to Ali about his big secret was a major development in their friendship because he gave his bro his full trust and exposed his weakness to him because he knew that Ali was the kind the kind of person that can be trusted.
While Ali still carried a torch for Basti much like Stephen still kept feelings for Gab, I felt like Ali stuck around not just for that reason but because he also loved Iris so much. Their connection is too strong that they would drop everything just to see each other happy. Remember the time Iris was willing to cut off her ties with Basti just because Ali was hurting? Their friendship is so strong that they understood each other better than anyone else and the show made sure to establish this from the beginning.
Still, I liked Mama Agnes’ advice to her son to spread his wings and find himself, not as part of the package that includes Iris and Basti but as Ali, an individual who deserves to be loved and recognized for himself. While Ali’s loyalty and love as a friend is laudable, at the end of the day, he will need to chart his own path just as Iris and Basti explore their own journey as husband and wife.
Elsewhere, Val grew even more insecure with the way Nestor has been ignoring her in lieu of working. As if her suspicions about his feelings for Cass was not enough, Nestor simply has not shown any regard for her feelings at all, even appearing annoyed at her attempts to spend time together, which wasn’t unreasonable for a Sunday. I felt sad for Val because the relationship was obviously lopsided. Val was giving too much while Nesor was giving too little. And if Val doesn’t shift the balance, Nestor will walk all over her, oblivious to her feelings.
I feel tense for tomorrow’s episode when The Love Team takes on their biggest event and is faced with mishaps along the way. I hope the team can power through it given all the effort that they gave to the project. *fingers crossed*