Monday, October 9, 2017

3%, Season One, Episode Six: Capítulo 06: Vidro

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With only two episodes left, 3% is clearly leaning towards its big finally. Unlike previous episodes, Vidro isn't about filling in the back story of the characters but exposing the characters to the consequences for taking part in the process. The contestants are no longer competing as a group but individually thus raising the stakes even higher. 

It all begins when the contestants are given individual rooms for the very first time. It serves as a hint of the comfort that awaits them offshore should they be successful.  What they don't expect is that the allotment of individual rooms also comes with a new test.  In each room, is a huge container of money.  The contestants are free to take the money, which will drastically change their lives and return inland, or they can risk it all and continue trying to make it to the offshore. The money is no big deal to the people off the offshore because apparently, they don't use currency. 

Fernando is reunited with his father and though the two are happy at first, the reunion does not end well. After everything he has seen, Fernando is ready to quit the process. The money means that his father won't have to work so hard and that they can fix up there home. Fernando's father however won't hear of his son quitting because he believes fully in the process. When Fernando points out that though he was raised to believe in the process, he has come to recognise that this is his father's dream and not his own, Fernando is told that if he quits the process he will be disowned.  Having the possibility of returning home removed from him, Fernando has no choice but to continue on with the process.

Raphael is greeted by his mother who is excited to see the money that Raphael will gain if he quits.  Unlike Fernando, Raphael very much wants to stay in the process despite the fact that the money would help to lift his family out of abject poverty.  Raphael's mother is shocked by this and points out that she always did the best she could by him but Raphael feels differently and points out how many siblings he has.  With an impasse established, Raphael's mother threatens to tell the people overseeing the process that Raphael is actually Diego and that not only did he steal his brother identity, this is the second time he's going through the process. Raphael is shocked by his mother's threat but balances the conflict by saying that he will tell the people in charge of the process that she was in on the scam, thus ensuring that none of her other children will ever qualify for the process again.  Aware that she's beaten, Raphael's mother leaves his room but she yells loudly so that everyone can hear that Raphael has betrayed his family and is not who they think he is. 

Joana is greeted by a man who supposedly lied and claimed that he was her father in order to have access to her. Joana is given two choices, she can either quit the process and walk out with the stranger pretending to be her father,  then surrender her winnings, or he can kill her and go and get the reward from the mob boss whose son she killed.  Joana is stunned and unsure of what to do. In the end, Joana decides to fight back and when she becomes overpowered, she tells the stranger to kill her because she wants to be there and will never quit the process. It turns out that the entire scenario was a test and that Ezequiel knows Joana's background. Ezequiel designed the test to ensure that Joana actually wants to be on the offshore and not simply escape a problem inland.  Joana is relieved when she is informed that she passed her individual test. 

Ezequiel gets the news from Nair that Aline has submitted her review of his work and declared that all of his methods during the process are even handed and fair.  This means that Ezequiel is untouchable unless he decides to quit being the process leader.  Given that Aline is blackmailing him Ezequiel to quit, this heightens Ezequiel's depression.  Cássia finds a depressed Ezequiel in his room and he admits to being blackmailed by Aline. Cássia makes it clear that she believes in Ezequiel and is on his side but says that he has got to pull it together if he is going to rally the troops.  Cássia wants to know what dirt Aline has but at this time, Ezequiel believes it would be better if she didn't know.

Ezequiel goes to see Augusto to tell him that he cannot come to visit anymore. When the child tells Ezequiel that he doesn't want him to go, Ezequiel tries to spin and claims that being alone will make Augusto grow big and strong.  Augusto places his head in Ezequiel's lap but it's more that Ezequiel can take so he stands and leaves the little boy alone. 

Having not given into temptation, Fernando and Michele have sex.  At this point, all Fernando cares about is ending up wherever Michele does.  It's been a long time coming but it's worth noting that these two really have zero chemistry and their kisses don't look like passion, as much as attacking each other with their mouths. At least part of the problem is that their physical relationship began with Michele trying to shut Fernando up. 

It's time to plan the next stage of testing for the contestants. As the leader of the process, this is something that Ezequeil should clearly be in charge of but currently having the upper hand, Aline throws her weight around in what is clearly a challenge. 

Michele's private room test was pretty simply because she didn't have any family to think about.  The testers decide to up the ante and have Michele tell Burna's parents that their daughter is dead and then convince Bruna's parents to sign up their younger daughter for the process when her time comes.  To do this, Michele has to become vulnerable and she talks about her brother dying in the process and having to forgive the person she blamed for her brother's death in order to participate in the process. Michele claims that she entered the process to honour her brother's memories. It's emotional and painful to watch but by the end of it all, not only do Bruna's parents agree to sign up their younger daughter, Bruna's mother thanks Michele for convincing her to do so.   When Bruna's parent's leave, Michele lies and claims that there wasn't any truth in the story that she told Bruna's parents before storming back to her room. Once back in her room, Michele digs some broken glass out of the wastebasket and uses to to slice her hip open to remove some sort of device or pill (it's hard to make out) that she smuggled into the process centre. 

In comparison to Michele, Fernando's task is really rather minor. Fernando is taken to a private room and shown all the different tests that the process has used  to choose who will get to live offshore. Fernando is given half an hour to devise a new test.  Rather than coming up with something new, Fernando suggests that there is a fault in the test he just took. Fernando suggests that offering people money to leave the process is not an accurate measure of how much someone wants to live off shore because they could be motivated by other factors.  Fernando says that the candidate should be told instead that someone they love is dying and given the choice to go and be with their dying loved one, or continue on with the test.  Because this is something that the testers hadn't considered, Fernando is passed to the next stage.

Raphael's test is to get two images of the founding couple to appear on a wall at the same time.  To do this, two switches must be pushed at the same time but because the switches are at opposite ends of a really large room, Raphael must find one of his fellow contestants to help him.  This is a tall order given that Raphael cheated on the first test, recommended Fernando for removal and helped defeat, Marco.  Raphael tries to reach out to Joana, counting on their alliance to come in handy but now that Joana knows that Ezequiel is aware of her past, she's not inclined to help out Raphael unless he reveals why he cheated his way into the process. Unwilling to reveal his connection to the resistance to Joana, Raphael instead turns to Fernando.  Fernando isn't interested in helping Raphael because of how he played the game and so Raphael admits that he is part of the resistance.  Fernando is horrified to learn that Raphael is part of the resistance because of course, the resistance is illegal.  Raphael argues that it's unfair that 3% of the population lives in comfort while the rest suffer with privations.  Raphael says that he didn't enter for selfish reason but for the chance to make things better for everyone.  When Fernando still is not convinced, Raphael reveals that Michele is in the resistance as well and argues that if it comes out that Raphael is part of the resistance that the leaders of the process will learn about Michele as well.  Because Fernando is in a relationship with Michele, he feels that he has no choice but to help Raphael out.  With Fernando's help, Raphael is able to pass his test. 

Even though Ezequiel is at a loss for what to do about the fact that he is being blackmailed, I'm very much suspicious of him allowing Joana to continue with the test, given that he knows that she cheated her way into the process. Certainly Ezequiel recognises Joana's tenacity and might even empathise with someone so poor being desperate to get out, given his contact with Augusto but something doesn't ring true to me. Why is he allowing her to continue on with the process?  I'm no longer certain that Ezequiel plans on using Joana against Aline.

Things are going to get rough between Fernando and Michele because he's going to feel betrayed.  Fernando told his father that he didn't believe in the process and wanted to just take the money but that doesn't mean that he feels the entire system should be over turned.  Because I'm not overly invested in Michele and Fernando's relationship, I cannot say that I'm overly disturbed by these two ending their relationship.

Raphael has really grown on me since he cheated on his first test. While Raphael may love his brother, it's clear that he doesn't exactly have a loving relationship with his mother.  Given Raphael's commentary on his mother's fertility, I cannot help but wonder what access to birth control exists for people who live inland? Raphael makes it seem that his mother's pregnancy comes from a place of irresponsibility and something she did to hurt her children. What seems more likely is that birth control isn't readily available and that Raphael felt that his mother should have practiced abstinence.  I'm not at all comfortable with this position, given how frequently poor women are attacked for their reproduction and how pregnancy is held up as a moral failing when for most people, the desire to have sex is natural.  Though this scene took up a small part of the episode, it reveals how little we really know about life inland, beyond the fact that the people live with privations.