3%: Necklace

Samira: "We are here to create a better world for all."
Vítor: "No. We are here to create a perfect world. By definition, it can't be for all."

3% always makes good use of flashbacks and they knocked it out of the park with this episode. The tales of two murders, set one hundred years apart from one another, are interwoven with present time, bringing the entire season together and setting things up perfectly for the finale.

The first episode of the season revealed that the Founding Couple were initially a Founding Trio. Now we learned that they lived in a time when resources were already scarce, and investors financed their idea of creating a safe haven for humanity.

While Vítor and Laís conceived the Offshore as a place for "the ones who are worthy," Samira had a more humane approach to the project. The three founders were a tight unit, but when the crisis hit them, Samira's different views and upbringing set her apart from her lovers.

Interestingly, Samira was the one who cared about the ones in need, even though she was born to a wealthy family. Meanwhile, Vítor and Laís, who struggled with poverty as infants, seemed to lack empathy for those who were still poor. In fact, their sabotage of the Inland condemned all inlanders to a life much worse than they had ever had.

The trio were faced with an impossible dilemma and came up with flawed solutions. I applaud Samira for trying to think of a better way out of the situation, but she was being naive. To create other places like Offshore would have been great, but odds are they would not have the time nor the resources to do it. Laís and Vítor's more pragmatic and selfish approach also didn't hold. They cursed the investors, seeing them as parasites and unworthy of the Offshore. Dear Laís and Vítor, darlings, the investors freaking financed your precious Offshore, of course they were worthy of it, at least in some capacity.

The remaining Founding Couple didn't care about logic or other people, though. They were obsessed with saving their project, their restricted worldview and, more importantly, their asses. In the process, they killed their wife – accidentally, but still – and lost their humanity. Or maybe they never really had one. When Laís told Samira that she had never seen the bad in the world, Samira was quick to answer: "I'm seeing it now."

From the very beginning, 3% has presented people who are just like the remaining duo of the Founding Trio: started off as poor, became rich and completely forgot about their origins. Very little or no empathy for those who still struggle with the absence of basic resources. Why is it like that?

More shocking than the events surrounding Offshore's foundation is the revelation that André is indeed a murderer and, worse, that he murdered someone because he believes in Offshore enough to kill for it. He has absorbed the ideology that the "worthy" ones are superior, to the point that he compartmentalizes the information that the Founding Couple were responsible for wrecking the Inland. That should be enough to put to shame any idea of worthiness, but André is so brainwashed that he is willing to kill to hide the truth. By doing that, he kills the truth itself, which allows him to remain unbothered by the immorality of the social divide he defends.

It really is the repetition of the Process' ideology – that the worthy ones will inherit a better life – that makes André think and behave the way he does. If someone does not have a good life, it's because they don't try enough. Why should I bother? It relieves the ones with condition to help from the responsibility of helping. It's how the Founding Couple reasoned with their decision, it's what they based Offshore upon. It's our world's ideology as well. We are told very early on that we will have a good life if we try hard enough. But we aren't told as much as we should be that we need to share. We are educated to be worth it, to conquer, to be a winner. But we are not told enough to be good human beings.

Michele is completely heartbroken when she looks at her brother and sees that he is not a good person. She spent the last year of her life – since the moment she learned that he was alive – yearning for the moment she would have him back by her side. She finally reunited with him, but he is not by her side at all: they are at opposite sides of this tale. This episode shows us over and over again just how ideologies can wreck families. It drives Samira away from her father, it leads her husband and wife to kill her; it puts Fernando at odds with his father, and it makes his father deliver him to imprisonment; it turns André into a killer, someone his sister can't look up to.

Michele's goal was to be with André all along. She double-crossed both inlanders and offshorians, both allies and enemies on her path to her brother. He was her agenda, he was her cause. But, alas, he was only a mirage. I think it's inspired writing to have Michele pursue something so strongly the entire season, only to pull the rug from under her like that. Devastated by everything that she learned and reevaluating her role, Michele finally takes a stand. In an obvious but effective symbolism, she takes the necklace from Samira's skeleton to herself, and finally marches to join her friends in their little uprising.

I have not watched the finale yet, but regardless of what happens, this season will have been worth it for Michele's character development alone.

Bits and Pieces

- Samira woke up dreaming and wanted to sleep 15 extra minutes, as opposed to Laís and Vítor, who were quick to wake up for another day of work. I don't know if that was intentional, but it foreshadowed Samira being the dreamer, and Laís and Vítor, the more pragmatic ones. Either that or I am reading too much into a simple bed scene.

Also, the isolated cup.
- Samira told Laís and Vítor that they needed to work together. A couple of scenes later, Rafael echoed her words to Joana and Fernando. But Samira improvised and presented her idea to her father without discussing it with Vítor and Laís first. 3% likes its parallels; I wonder if Rafael will betray Joana and Fernando's trust next episode.

- The main characters in this show are so consistently well written. Despite Glória's protests that she didn't give away his location, Fernando didn't see what should have been obvious to him: that his father was the one who did it. I felt for him when he finally heard the truth from the guard, though.

- Speaking of that guard, I really like her. She is mean and all, but I don't know, I think the actress has unavoidable screen charisma. :)

- The Founding Trio weren't the standard "one men with two wives." The women were very much in love with one another as well.

- Offshore was built 107 years ago, two years before the first Process.

- All the data is stored in a bio-technological disk.

Quotes

Samira: "I believe in something, Father. It's just different from what you believe in."

Vítor: "The average human is rotten."

Laís: "You've never seen the bad in the world."
Samira: "No. But I'm seeing it now."

Michele: "All we went through, running after food, living in fear, you'll fight to make that go on?"
André: "Suffering makes people stronger. It sets the worthy apart from the unworthy."

Marcela: "Suffering is good. It sets the strong apart from the weak."

Michele: "You believe in something rotten."
André: "What about you? You don't believe in anything. You don't defend anything."
Michele: "I used to believe in you."

Excellent episode. Four out of four stars.
--
Lamounier

2 comments:

magritte said...

I am amazed by the discipline you've shown in not watching the final yet. I devoured the whole season in a week or two, I think. The second season was stronger than the first, in its storytelling, in the consistency of its writing and characterization, and in how it presented the ideology of the offshore.

Lamounier said...

magritte, I agree that this season was stronger.

As for the discipline, I got used to watching shows slowly, even streaming ones. However, this season is taking me longer to finish mostly because it's taking me longer than usual to write the reviews. Your comment prompted me to watch the final episode, though. :)