Created by Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo from their top-rated Philippine komik series of the same name, ‘Trese’ is a horror-thriller anime-styled web show. It revolves around Alexandra Trese (Shay Mitchell), a paranormal detective who deals with the weird and the supernatural in the city of Manila. In this fantastical version of the Philippine capital, humanity co-exists with elemental beings, dragons, and various entities from Philippine folklore. Aside from being a private investigator who often helps the police, Alexandra is also the lakan, a title she inherited from her late father Anton (Carlos Alazraqui).
As the lakan, she is in charge of upholding the accords between humans and the other races. But when stranger than usual incidents start to occur and casualties begin to pile up on both sides, Alexandra realizes that there is a shadowy figure pulling the strings from behind the scenes and races against time to find them before they destroy the city she calls her home. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Trese Season 1 Recap
Although most residents are not aware of it, Manila is the home of a variety of supernatural beings, some of whom are from the Underworld, while the others are from the Skyworld. As the lakan, Alexandra treads the line between the ordinary and the extraordinary. Her constant companions are twins Crispin and Basilio, the easy-going, often sarcastic, and significantly powerful children of the Bukidnon war god Datu Talagbusao (Steve Blum).
When they were younger, their father killed their mother and tried to devour them, but they were saved by Anton and Alexandra. The Accord members were reluctant to keep Talagbusao’s children alive, but Anton convinced them, knowing that one day the God of War will return, and humans and non-humans alike will need the help of these children.
It is revealed that there is a dark prophecy about Alexandra. As the Emissary of Death tells her, she is destined to rule the Underworld as the sixth child of the sixth child. Alexandra is adept at magic, and her primary weapon seems to be a supernatural kris knife named Sinag. Her father told her that the knife is infused with a part of her stillborn twin sister’s soul and implored her to carry it all the time.
In the course of the series, she rescues people from an aswang (a broad term that denotes several malevolent creatures from the Philippine folklore) trafficking ring. She finds a missing girl while tracking Maliksi, the son of the tikbalang (humanoid creatures with horse heads and hooves also from the Philippine folklore) leader, and Bagyon Kulimlim, the son of the lightning elemental leader. She then discovers that a popular actress created a tiyanak by abandoning her child. In episode 4, Alexandra helps Captain Guerrero, a father figure in her life, fight zombies.
In episode 5, Alexandra finds out that Mayor Sancho Santamaria, a man she helped incarcerate, is seemingly behind everything that she has been investigating in the past few weeks. It is also revealed that Nuno sa Manhole, a longtime associate of Alexandra, has joined forces with Sancho. Although she and her allies manage to defeat them, the real puppeteer turns out to be Talagbusao, who has orchestrated his return by manipulating Sancho and Nuno.
The season finale spends considerable time offering expositions about who Alexandra is and what her father has done to prevent her from attaining her horrible destiny. It not only offers context to the story until this point but also sets it up for future seasons. Talagbusao tells Alexandra that her twin, whose name was Sinag, wasn’t stillborn. But knowing that Sinag would become the warrior that brings the world to its knees for Alexandra, Anton killed her. He tried to hide Alexandra’s true destiny from the other members of the Accords. However, after Alexandra entered the Balete Tree for her trial, the dissidents came for her, and her father had them killed.
Trese Season 1 Ending: Where Does Alexandra Send Talagbusao?
Although Alexandra doesn’t necessarily believe what Talagbusao tells her about her father, she is nonetheless stunned and disturbed by it. But Guerrero’s death in Talagbusao’s hands brings an amount of clarity to Alexandra. She recalls her conversation with her father before her trial and relearns the value of family. Through that familial connection she has formed with Crispin and Basilio, she reaches out to them and helps them break free of their father’s control. She then uses dragon’s blood to open a Dragon’s Gate, which is a type of sigil that can teleport people across space and time and even dimensions. She then traps Talagbusao in an unknown realm before returning to her world.
In the komik series, Alexandra traps the God of War inside a version of the game that Jobert is seen playing in episode 3, ‘Eternals 4.’ The komik series depicts that after Talagbusao is trapped in the game, Jobert gets hundreds of players from around the city to attack the god so that his bloodlust and penchant for war will continue to be satisfied. The show might have a similar scene in the next season.
What Is the Significance of the End-Credits Scene?
In the end-credits scene of the season finale, a supernatural entity in foreign clothing attacks two dock workers. The episode ends as she utters the word “Trese,” revealing that she has come to Manila for Alexandra. The entity has a paper talisman attached to her hat, which, combined with her long and braided hair, features, and clothing, likely makes her a jiangshi, a type of malevolent being from Chinese folklore. These creatures are reanimated corpses and have quite a few similarities with the vampires. For instance, the jiangshi stays inside coffins and in other dark places during the daytime, only hunting after nightfall. However, unlike the vampires, they don’t apparently drink blood but consumes the qi of living beings.
What is the Balete Tree?
The Balete Trees are supernatural fig trees that connect the Underworld, mortal world, and Skyworld. Their roots extend into the Underworld, trunks are in the mortal world, and the branches and leaves touch the Skyworld. This has seemingly made them portals to traverse between realms. To complete her trial, Alexandra enters a Balete Tree, so we can assume that she traveled to other realms. In her absence, her family, both biological and adopted, protected her and the tree. When she returns, she finds Hank waiting for her. He tells her that five years have passed in the mortal world, and her father died holding the line in front of the tree.
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