3%: Toaster

98,6% of incompatibility.
"After everything we've been through, we have the right to live the life that we want to."

The first episode focused on Michele and Joana. Now it's Fernando and Rafael's turn.

Rafael had a much calmer first year in the Offshore than Michele did. While she was imprisoned at RTC, he went out on dates. It was so jarring to see people flirting, making out and just being happy. But that's what Offshore is all about, right? It's the dream. What about that dating tech that informed how compatible you were with someone else? Very Black Mirror.

Of course, Rafael ended up with the person he was supposedly least compatible with, Elisa. Their connection was built because of that 1.4%, and also because Elisa had her eyes on him since their first encounter. And let me tell you, that number was clearly wrong. Good thing that they are old-fashioned people who don't mind what algorithms tell them about their hearts and desires. They make a cute couple.

That means, of course, that Elisa is in danger, especially now that she knows about Rafael's transgression. She could be locked up for treason or worse: if we go by what happened in Rafael's simulation, she could be dead by the end of the season. The simulation within the simulation was the best moment of the episode, and a display of this show's ability to pull off effective twists. I was shocked, then relieved.


In the Inland, Fernando is in much better shape than when we previously saw him. He reluctantly helps a group of 20-year-olds who are hopeful to pass the Process. He is hard on all of them, which shakes his good friend Glória, the one who asked him for help in the first place. But it's that kind of training that can make all the difference in the world. The more you know about the Process' toughness and unfairness, the greater your chances of approval are.

Fernando is reluctant again when Joana appears in his room asking him for another kind of help: to bring down the Process. Silas will only back away from his plan of mass murder if Joana comes up with a better plan to end the Process, so Joana turns to the best brain she knows. Fernando wants nothing to do with the Cause, but preventing Glória and everyone else's deaths is a big enough reason for him to commit.

And so the introductory chapters of season two leave each protagonist with a different mindset and agenda. Rafael wants to help the Cause, Joana wants to bring down the system in her own terms, Fernando is okay with the status quo but will help Joana to prevent a disaster, and Michele is a question mark, guided by the desire to free her brother. It's an intriguing mix that will certainly lead to exciting conflicts throughout the season.

Bits and Pieces

- Kids, you do not start studying for the ACTs five days before you take them.

- RIP, toaster. Your sacrifice was for nothing. Side note: toaster in fiction always reminds me of, uh, toaster oven in fiction: (1) Anya saying that the Buffybot was the descendant of a toaster oven, and (2) Barney's theater presentation in How I Met Your Mother. "Toaster oven, you were born for me."

- Rafael is a terrible, terrible spy. He is good at improvising, but that's it.

- This episode showed two women kissing, then two men making out, and a trans character was added to the mix. They went from having zero LGBT characters to featuring lots of queerness in one episode, and for some reason I thought that abrupt transition kind of hilarious. In any case, diversity is always welcome.

- The Process hasn't started, but both episodes managed to include Process-like tests for the main characters.

- When do people receive formal, good education? Some inlanders have skills – we've seen medical and engineering – but it's nothing advanced. I figured that their first few years in the Offshore would be dedicated to learning, but we haven't seen it with Michele and Rafael. Rafael practicing to become a guard doesn't cut it. Offshore is a technologically advanced place, when do its citizens learn the science to keep it moving forward? I'll take a magical chip that's inserted in their brains or a Dollhouse-like imprinting of abilities, just give me an explanation.

- Less swearing than the first episode had, but there were still a couple of cursing moments that just felt out of place.

Quotes

Interviewer: Is your style more tasting menu or do you prefer the same dish every day?"
Rafael: "Dish? I don't know, the same, yeah."
Interviewer: "And what kind of sex do you prefer?"
Rafael: "What was that?"

Rafael: "I'm very good with second chances."

Three out of four stars. Or 75%. That's a date, right?
--
Lamounier

4 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I haven't started season two yet because it's May and I'm going sort of nuts and falling behind with everything, but Cylons were called toasters on Battlestar Galactica, too.

Lamounier said...

Yes, of course! I totally forgot that.

magritte said...

BSG was my first thought, too. I wonder why the algorithm shows them as so incompatible. Is it just that badly designed or does it having something to do with Rafael's not responding honestly to the system.

Maybe the tech they have is so user-friendly, it doesn't require any training? Michelle sure got to the point of designing 3-D spaces quickly in episode 1.

Finally, is it just me, or does Rafael still come off as a bit of a jerk?

Lamounier said...

magritte, I don't know. During the first half of season one I thought he was a complete jerk, until they revealed he was part of the Cause. Now my impression is that he is a little dumb, actually. He is somewhat self-entitled, though, which might be why you think he comes off a bit of a jerk.