MANILA—Until its final episode, "Wildflower" managed to surprise viewers with big revelations involving its web of heroes and villains, this time by introducing a totally new character so late into the game.
In the finale dubbed the "Wildest Ending," Julio (Tirso Cruz III) narrowly survives being shot multiple times by his daughter, Emilia (Aiko Melendez), who is anguished to find out her father was, in fact, behind the death of Helena a.k.a. Red Dragon, her mother (Zsa Zsa Padilla).
While Julio appears dead after a three-way confrontation among him, Emilia and Lily (Maja Salvador), he is later shown in a room being intravenously given "Red Dragon Poison." Soon after, the silhouette of a woman is shown -- similar to that of Helena with her signature hairstyle.
Viewers aren't kept long in the dark as to the woman's identity; she is indeed connected to Red Dragon. Venus, played by Padilla's real-life daughter Karylle, introduces herself as the real inheritor of Red Dragon's Triad crime group.
It is revealed that Venus -- named after the carnivorous fly trap plant, rather than the Roman goddess of beauty -- was a former street kid adopted and trained by Helena to become her successor. However, when Helena learned that her biological daughter, Emilia, was still alive, Venus felt she was made dispensable by the woman she called her mother.
Driven by hate and revenge -- not unlike Lily's alter ego, Ivy Aguas -- Venus sought out Julio to "erase his existence." As they first come face to face in the finale, Venus makes certain she accomplishes that goal in the "most painful way."
While it isn't shown, Julio is implied to have died in the hands of another woman whose vengeful journey he unwittingly put into motion.
On Twitter, viewers of "Wildflower" were surprised by the cameo appearance of Karylle, with many finding the casting inspired, as Karylle bears not only a physical resemblance with but sounds like her real-life mother.
Venus' scene served as contrast to Lily's character arch at its tail end. Whereas the new character has started taking vengeful steps, a settled Lily realizes that justice, not revenge, is the ultimate answer, as the latter risks pulling one to a much darker path, rather than being freed from hatred.