Monday, August 28, 2017

3%, Season One, Episode Two: Capítulo 02: Moedas

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3% continues to be extremely fascinating, even though I really see it as low budget Hunger Games. The contestants all want to get to the offshore but some are far more willing than others to be ruthless about it.  At this point, I feel as though we are getting to know a little bit about the characters and their backstory. The writers are also beginning to fill in the world just a little bit as well.

Capítulo 02: Moedas, made use of a flashback to show us Fernando as a child. Fernando has been raised to believe in the Process and that one day he will take the test and pass.  We see Fernando's father giving a sermon to the people and it's clear that the social stratification between the 3% and the land locked has been elevated to a religion.  Fernando's father counsels his listeners to believe in the Process and even more specifically, in the Original Couple.  This really caught my attention because it seems as though a sort of Adam and Eve are at the heart of this religious belief. Where and how they fit in, we still don't know. We don't even know what drove humanity off of the land onto the so-called offshore oasis. 

The very first test this week is a medical test and as predicted, Fernando does not immediately pass.  Fernando is pulled aside for testing and it's clear that he is frustrated as the doctor pokes his legs repeatedly, testing for some kind of feeling. Fernando has become used to his disability and has learned to adapt. The doctor then injects something into Fernando's spine and suddenly he gets feeling. Fernando is informed that should he pass, there's a good chance that he will be able to walk again because medicine is more advanced offshore. 

I must admit to being disappointed with the very idea of a cure for Fernando's disability. I'm tired of seeing disability erased or magically cured.  Disabled people exist and deserve to be represented.  As you might well imagine, this throws Fernando for a loop. Learning that he might be able to walk one day shakes his very core. The only person Fernando initially tells about this is Michele, and she immediately congratulates him.  Fernando makes it clear that he didn't take part in the testing to cure his disability and feels that he is able and competent just the way he is, furthermore; Fernando feels that if he is magically cured of his disability that all of his struggling will have been for nothing. 

Joanna uses this break time to have sex with Lucas, after noticing him eyeballing her. Joanna and Lucas have sex in the bathroom with Joanna clearly taking the lead. Every damn thing that Joanna does is purposeful, so Lucas had better watch out. 

The next testing that the group engages in tests their ability to problem solve and to use logic.  A group of them are placed in a room which has been staged.   Mannequins are staged at a table and the group is told to figure out why one seems to be in distress. If the group comes up with the wrong answer, the entire group will be eliminated.  Fernando is the first one to look at the scenario and come up with a suggestion.  Fernando believes that the woman has been poisoned. As the group questions Fernando about his conclusions, they hear over the loudspeaker other groups being eliminated. 

Fortunately for the group, this is when Rafael pipes up. It seems he's figured out, based on the jewelry that the mannequins are wearing, that the woman has had an allergic reaction. Joanna, who sat back and appeared to be stepping out of the challenge, pipes up to back up Rafael's hypothesis, even pointing out that one of the mannequins is blind. This means that even in the perfect utopia of the offshore, disabled people exist. Rafael's answer is submitted and they all pass except for the one member of the group because he didn't participate and thought that he could ride on the coattails of the others.  Fernando is allowed to pass even though his original guess was wrong because he tried. 

With another test out of the way, Ezequiel tells Aline that he is behind setting up more testing and asks her to take over for him.  Ezequiel gets dressed up in rags, grabs some food and heads inland.  Ezequiel does his best to avoid the cameras but Aline is able to follow him for most of his journey.  When Ezequiel returns, he alters the tapes of his travel, obscuring his identity.  Aline, who is on to Ezequiel, reports his actions to Matthaeus, and is ordered to keep looking for hard evidence. 

In the third test, the contestants are all placed in a room with a bag containing 6 coins.  Joanna and Rafael immediately grab coins, questioning what they are for. The contestants are then informed that there 6 coins but 7 of them in the room. Together they must agree upon one of them to be eliminated and they must all keep in mind that they will be working together on the next challenge. The contestants are given 15 minutes to make their decision and if they fail to choose someone, they will all be eliminated. 

Rafael's is quick to declare himself safe because of course he has a coin and tells the others to fight among themselves. Marco isn't about to the let this stand and he wrestles Rafael to the ground, forcing him to drop his coin. Marco then tells Joanna to drop her coin in the container.  The group decides to talk it out and Rafael is quick to suggest that the group should get rid of Fernando because if the next challenge is a physical one, Fernando could hold them all back. The group just sucks it all up and things don't look good for Fernando. For his part, Fernando votes for Joanna, who he feels is behaving in a disinterested way in the whole process.  Because Joanna can reveal his identity, Rafael is quick to jump to her defense. Michele pipes up and tells Fernando to tell the group what he learned in his medical exam about his physical condition. It's clear that it costs Fernando to reveal the possibility of a cure and to play on people's sympathies but with the possibility of elimination hanging over his head, he feels as though he has little choice. 

Using Agata's scarf they decide to essentially draw straws, with the person drawing the shortest straw being eliminated. One by one, they all take their turn and it's Joanna how draws the short straw. One by one, they grab a chip and start leaving the room. Joanna is left behind with Lucas and this is when we learn that Joanna didn't drop the chip when ordered, she simply palmed it.  Joanna is able to walk safely out of the room, leaving Lucas, who should have been safe, behind to be eliminated. A snarking Joanna says the point wasn't to get the longest piece of scarf but to get a coin, which she managed to do. 

It's clear that to win this game one has to know when to help someone and when to be cutthroat.  We've seen this strategy work for Joanna, Raphael, Michele and Fernando.  The closer the candidates get to the finish line, I suspect the more they will have to do underhanded things to succeed.  It makes me wonder how it is that these same people go on to live productive lives off shore? 

I am really curious to know why exactly it is that Ezequiel is regularly sneaking inland.  We know from Marco's background that even if your parents are off shore, it doesn't necessarily mean that this is where you'll end up. It makes me wonder if Ezequiel has family members who failed the test and are now living off shore? Why else would Ezequiel sneak food in land?  Could Ezequiel's child be in land awaiting their turn to take the test? We don't know at what point children get seperated from their offshore parents.  

The mannequins suggest that there are disabled people off shore. What we don't know is if they competed as disabled, or if the became disabled when they won their place off shore.  We also learned that the people who live offshore have been vaccinated, what we don't know is what they have been vaccinated for. Is there some sort of disease that drove people off the land?  Is this why the Original Couple left in the first place?  Speaking of the Original Couple, how did this religion start and are the 3% actively using it to control the population?