In a post-apocalyptic future, the remnants of humanity struggle to survive in an on-going battle between the Inland, where poverty and disease and death are rampant, and the Offshore, the last green place purportedly left on Earth that everyone wants to get to. Every person in the Inland after they pass a certain age has the chance to take the Process, the series of tests that allow or deny entry to the Offshore, but only 3% of those people are chosen. This is where our story begins.
In damn near every journey ever, the idea of paradise on Earth comes at a great cost, and ‘3%’ is absolutely no exception. Those who fail the Process are unceremoniously sent back to whatever Inlander hovel they crawled out of, and many of them are bitter and enraged. Some few rebels outright refuse to take the Process and are usually shunned by their fellow Inlanders as weirdos of the strongest caliber; who wouldn’t want to do everything they could to be where there’s fresh food and green growing things? The rebels and castoffs and those who failed to pass the Process, a lot of them have banded together to take down the entire Process and those behind it, and as tattered and disorganized as they are, the rebellion for the Cause is beginning to attract attention. The Process Directors, the guards, and the equivalent of the government that police the Inland, all want the Process to continue without any kind of hitch, and thus the Cause needs to be stamped out, without mercy or hesitation. Already some of the rebels have learned that the best way to take down a regime is from the inside-out, but even if you pass the Process and make it to the Offshore, there’s still that great cost I mentioned to pay, for the privilege. And that’s just season 1!
Read my take on the first season of ‘3%’ here –
From Season 1, clear leaders from various sides have emerged. Most of all is Michele (Bianca Comparato), after passing the Process and her dubious rehabilitation at the hands of Ezekiel, finds herself once again reluctantly aiding the Cause against the Process, all in favor of saving her brother Andre (Bruno Fagundes). And as much as Season 2 has plenty of other amazing characters – the incredibly strong and determined survivor Joana (Vaneza Oliveira), the weasel-like Rafael (Rodolfo Valente) who generally always seems out for himself first, ruthless military commander Marcela Alvares (Laila Garin) and her hapless disappointment of a son Marco (Rafael Lozano), wheel-chair-bound Cause enthusiast Fernando (Michel Gomes) and his girlfriend Gloria (Cynthia Senek) – the main story of season two revolves around the Founders of the Offshore in the past, and the foundering relationship between Michele and Andre. Michele’s beloved brother seems to have fully embraced the radical Offshore ideology, while Michele herself determines to fight to find a different way from both the Inland and the Offshore. Coincidentally enough, a secret third option was already in the works, hidden in the mysteries of the Founders that Michele and Andre unearthed, and it will literally change the world!
Check out Moxie’s review of ‘3%’ season two here –
Seasons 3 and 4 of ‘3%’ have a great deal to do with the major surprises dropped in season 2 and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. Suffice to say, Michele is still leading as best she can, beset on all sides but most directly by Commander Alvares, who is bound and determined to not only undermine Michele’s efforts for her people but to flat have Michele executed for her troubles. The Commander’s son Marco has shown back up at the most inopportune time, though he’s rather preoccupied with confronting his grandfather Leonardo Alvares (Ney Matogrosso) and all his pro-Offshore and pro-Family philosophy. Joana now occupies another leadership position by dint of few remaining options and her strength is indomitable, though in the later seasons of ‘3%’, Joana allows her heart open a few cracks and we delight in a little romance with Natalia (Amanda Magalhaes) for our ebony warrior. Poor misguided Gloria can’t seem to decide which would be the best way to jump, and she and her little transgender friend Ariel (Marina Mathey) make life quite difficult for Michele and her allies. It doesn’t help that Michele’s beloved brother Andre has taken up with the Offshore ways too, and is directly acting against the Shell and Michele herself. The Process continues, by means both fair and foul, but those for and against it are coming to a powder keg of a confrontation, and it comes with deadly repercussions for all!
The show showcases all sorts of desperation – parental, romantic, and most especially, simple continued survival – and the staggering, often violent, lengths people will go to, to get what they want. Covered in excellent performances from people who began as ordinary, and learned they could become extraordinary through their own merits, ‘3%’ boasts four whole seasons of brilliant Brazilian (yes the show is in Portuguese, they have dubbed options or you can enjoy subs) television to binge on Netflix now!