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3%: Bottles

"The greatest beauty of the Process is that it is about the future. All you have to do is believe."

This was a great episode. Very middle of the road, definitely not the turning point that the previous one was, but very well done nonetheless.

Season two could have focused on yet another Process, but by focusing on the days leading up to the Process, it is dedicating its time to delve into the worlds of the Inland and the Offshore like season one never did. The writers certainly made the right call there.

"Bottles" is a great exploration of life in the Inland. The story is told through Glória's perspective, and at this point it's safe to say that, out of the new characters, she is the most fleshed out one. Her personality is shaped by the trauma of being raised by a mother who psychologically abused her, and there is a duality to the way she thinks: most of the time she is determined to prove that she is worthy, but some of the time she can't escape the things her mother kept saying to her.

When Glória told Geraldo that she had done something horrible, I thought the episode would reveal that she had killed her mother. Instead, we learn that Glória, as a child, was somewhat responsible for Fernando becoming disabled. Fernando, upon hearing her confession, has the best reaction possible and it's easy to see why these two young people have such a strong relationship. It's also easy to understand why Glória is so faithful to Fernando, even when she completely disagrees with his point of view and actions.

Fernando really rose to the occasion this time, as he went through with his idea of spreading some truths to the inlanders. He is a very brave man, just a few episodes ago we saw him being beaten up for saying much less. I loved that he had the nerve to do it during the Procession, right after his father had given a passionate speech about the Process.

The Carnival Procession scene was gorgeous and it brought together different aspects of the story: Glória's struggle, Fernando's stand against the Process, Geraldo's role as a prophet of the promised land and, most of all, the feeling of hope and joy rising above the reality of poverty and despair. It was one of the best scenes 3% has delivered yet, a great blend of Brazilian culture and the country's reality with the show's mythology.

Joana and Michele's plot also collided with the Procession, as the two women ran away with the bomb. They worked really well as a duo, but the episode kept indicating that Michele would betray Joana until she finally did. Still, when Michele told Joana that she could trust her, she meant it. I doubt that Michele is going to be faithful to the Offshore now. She is quietly writing her own tale.

This series is an never-ending chess game, and every episode moves the chess pieces to new and surprising positions. I'm usually not a fan of a story delivering twist after twist after twist, but 3% does it very well and, more importantly, grounds it with believable character motivation. That combination of good character work and well-pulled twists is, without a doubt, this show's greatest strength.

Bits and Pieces

- Rafael left the radio with Fernando, and now Fernando knows Rafael is still with the Cause.

- The Cause remains the show's biggest misstep, or missed opportunity. I like what they have done with it thematically, but for an organization that's been against the status quo for decades, they are incompetent and unorganized. Case in point, Silas hides the bomb but leaves no one behind to guard it. Surely there were a few Cause members that were unoccupied, right? They literally had nothing else going on besides that freaking bomb.

- The song that played during the Procession was "Preciso Me Encontrar" (I must find myself), a classic samba by Cartola. It was performed by singer Liniker and band Ilú Oba de Min (that's not Portuguese, it's Yoruba, and it means "feminine hands that play for Shango"). I'm in total love with their version of the song. And Netflix released a music video.

- There were no subtitles for the song, not even in the CC option. So I copied a translated version of the lyrics below. I also sent Netflix a request to include subtitles in the closed captioning. If you have the time, please do the same. Closed caption is important.

I Must Find Myself

Let me go
I must wander
I'll go around searching
Laugh so I won't cry

I want to see the sunrise
See the waters of the rivers flow
Hear the birds singing
I want to be born
I want to live

Let me go
I must wander
I'll go around searching
Laugh so I won't cry
If someone asks for me
Tell them I'll only be back
When I find myself

- Joana about old cellphones: "a bunch of black bricks."


Michele: "Be calm."
Joana: "I fucking am."

Man: "Sorry, you two, I didn't see the child."
Michele [to Joana]: "Come on, honey, let's go."

Four out of four betrayals, and I really want to see the core four bring the Process down.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this episode as well, even if it didn't advance the plot all that much. And I particularly like your comment about how they chose to do things with Season 2 that were very different from Season 1. I've seen too many shows that get stuck and repeat themselves. Quantico is a particularly egregious example: I can't believe they thought it was a good idea to have a second season with a terrorist/corruption investigation timeline and a training timeline.


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