3%: Fog

"When you're having such a wonderful time, it's easy to forget the rest of the world exists."

Five minutes into this episode, I thought it was going to be a filler. Boy, was I wrong. "Fog" offered a great look into the characters' minds and moved the plot forward in meaningful, unexpected ways.

Rafael is a complicated fellow. He has good intentions, but his method of working for the Cause is leaving a trail of hurt and emotional damage. One year ago, he stole his brother's identity and chance to pass the Process, and now that brother has done the same thing to their younger brother. He has lied to Elisa at every turn, and now he left her behind in the worst way possible.

I understand that Rafael needs to lie. He can't explain to his family nor to Elisa why he stole his brother's chip, which keeps them from seeing the redeeming aspects of his actions. But did he really need to steal his brother's identity in the first place? Was it really about the Cause, or Rafael simply couldn't accept that he didn't pass the Process? It's a combination of the two, I believe. Rafael is a man-child, which is why he can't face his family after what he does to his brother. It's also why he can't say "no" to Elisa. Instead, he lures her into thinking he will be there for her and quietly leaves her behind. It's cowardice at its finest, but Rafael isn't one of the bad guys. He cares about Elisa, he cares about his family, he just doesn't know how to act as a grownup. Being with the Cause would lead him to make sacrifices anyway, but he finds ways to pull a rafael and make it even worse. I don't hate the dude, though, in fact this complex writing for a character is exactly what I want to watch on a TV series.

At first, I thought the opening scene with Elisa pointing the gun to Rafael was just weird foreplay, but the more I think of it, the more I see it as an illustration of their relationship. Elisa has the gun but is unable to pull the trigger, as in she has all the elements that incriminate Rafael, but she can't bring herself to see him as a liar and a traitor. In this episode alone, she was lied to, got shot, recovered and returned to the Offshore all by herself, which built her as a tragic figure. I do like Elisa, though, and I hope she rebounds. She has a sense of humanity that you don't see in other offshorians, and that makes her someone you want to root for. I even thought that Rafael was going to talk her into helping the Cause, since she has access to the database Rafael wants to erase. But for now, she is out.

Which makes me wonder just how exactly Fernando and Rafael are going to pull off their plan. The first half of the season focused on the bomb plot that Ezequiel came up with, and now it looks like we are headed to seeing Fernando's plan come to fruition. I digged a lot seeing Fernando and Rafael join forces, but wouldn't people be suspicious of Rafael meeting Fernando all the time? Last season, Ezequiel was onto Michele, I hope Rafael's supervisors are onto him already, because a good mole he ain't, and otherwise they will look bloody incompetent.

Joana was in the limbo for most of the episode. I kept expecting a confrontation scene between Joana and the militia's boss, but it never came (I hope they saved it for a future episode). Instead, Joana briefly escaped just in time to get face to face with... Marco! 3% sure loves its twists, doesn't it? During the long break between seasons one and two, I wondered if they were going to bring Marco back or keep him dead. And if they brought him back, would it be a good twist or one twist too many? Well, if the final scene of this episode is any indication, it's a good twist. Marco's partnership with the militia instantly makes them a much more interesting element of the story, and I want to see if he blames Joana for getting eliminated in the Process.


In the Offshore, Cássia put Michele in the Machine of Memory Erasure. I always enjoy when a character goes through a journey inside their own mind, and this time it was no different. It took me a while to realize what was going on, and I was impressed by how Michele kept trying to wake up from the program. She drowned herself and that didn't work, then she walked into the labyrinth she created and the algorithms couldn't follow her there. Impressive. Michele is clever, but this was the smartest she has ever been. Her focus and drive finally paid off, as she knocked Cássia out and rescued her brother. We don't know him as a character really, he matters to the audience because he matters to the protagonist, but even so, their reunion was sweet and the actors did a nice job. And I'm happy Michele has turned her back to Offshore in a way that offers no return.

Bits and Pieces

- Joana's reaction upon seeing Marco alive was, as her reactions often are, priceless. "Am I in hell?"

- Kudos to the director for making Marco look like a character walking out of a horror movie. On the other hand, the quick fight between Michele and Cássia was weirdly shot.

- It seems that the Old Man was erased from Michele's memory. Or did she prevent that memory loss by escaping the program before it was completed?

- The flashbacks to Aline's scenes in the Recovery and Treatment Center were unnecessary, especially since she made a brief appearance later in the episode. Let the audience make the connection, writers, there is no need to spell things out like that.

- Rafael has five brothers.

- Zebras and lions don't exist anymore, according to Rafael.

- I don't wanna repeat myself, so this is probably the last time I'm going to bring this up, but my god, there is too much swearing. There was a moment during Rafael and Fernando's discussion that every line contained a profanity. I'm not a prude, I use profanity here and there, I'll quote a good line with a bad word, but the amount of swearing this season is ridiculous. I hope season three tones it down.

- Yes, there is going to be a season three. :)

Quotes

Elisa: "Looks like you started a trend in your family. I feel bad for the youngest one."

Elisa: "Should I really trust you, Rafael? Would you?"

A fascinating character driven episode. Three or three and a half out of four mind traps?
--
Lamounier

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