Sometimes it’s all the little things that make life worth living. I could say the same of what’s made Sense8 worth watching. Some parts mad and all parts fascinating, the show’s never shied from asking the big questions about humanity to powerful effect with wit, honesty, and surprising subtlety when you least expect it. Against all odds, Sense8‘s made eight strangers from around the world feel like one big, unlikely family and despite my expectations, I’m actually finding it hard to say goodbye.
In its last three episodes, the remainder of Sense8′s basically in wrap-up mode. Back home in Iceland, Riley attends the orchestra with her father while Wolfgang sets out to avenge Felix in Germany. In India, Kala ends her wedding plans and in Mexico, Lito makes things right with Daniella. On two other sides of the planet, Sun and Capheus team up to save a gangster’s daughter. It’s during these events that somehow, some way, we end up witnessing eight newborns popping out of eight mothers. Onscreen. Eight.
The joys of mind-swapping sensates is something have explored at their peril, but just how deep their connection goes – and how far back – is something else entirely and the naked truth is…revealing. The resulting montage of births (including one by Caesarian section) is as authentically graphic as the show makers seemingly intended, it seems almost mired in the series’ metaphoric imagery. How it all comes down to seeing what the Wachowskis claim is at least one real birth is something What is Human? begs to ask, something that our mystery man, Jonas, has answers for. Apparently our sensates share more than the same birthday – they share all their memories, all of them, including day one of life on earth. Just don’t do drugs while a sensate, kids.
No one must’ve told Riley, as the birth trip leaves her hospitalized and in the hands of the boys at the still unexplained BPO (Biologic Preservation Organization), which takes our cluster on a long-distance rescue mission to Iceland via Will. By now, the characters’ skill-sets are relatively established: Sun has her fists of fury, Will’s good with a gun, Capheus burns rubber, Nomi knows her way around a computer, and Wolfgang’s just dangerous. It’s here that everyone else’s more unapparent talents come into play. Lito, we learn, is finally good for something: lying his butt off like only our tequila-chugging, pretty boy knows how. Kala, it turns out, knows how to MacGyver a explosive drug cocktail. Watching all of them work in sync is a marvel of the series’ parallel shots and editing.
We’ve known by now how emotionally connected our characters are, but it’s here that we see how intelligently they’re paired. Naturally, everyone’s got their share of unfinished business to take care of meanwhile, namely Team Lito and Wolfgang. Seeing Lito charm himself through a gun fight and Wolfgang simultaneously unloading an RPG on poor fools is just dumb fun, Lito’s slo-mo jawbreaker included. It’ll be interesting to see how this much violence rub off on the rest of the cluster, but I’m guessing Wolfgang isn’t one to care. At least, a lot less than men and cars. Nomi’s got that right.
That point of no return feeds the urgency that charges some of the most unbelievable bad-assery of Turn the Wheel and the Future Changes. Sun, who’s arguably served as the series’ default butt-kicker, has had to make the most out of the smallest scenes and she gets hers with her douche-bag brother behind bars as well as a splatter-fest of a machete fight helping Capheus get his Van Damme on. Wolfgang certainly has his share in the bloodshed, pumping a Matrix’s worth of lead into any number of people – so much so it might’ve decidedly thrown his and Kala’s “thing” under the proverbial bus.
It’s family of all kinds that drives Sense8, good, bad, or otherwise and Riley’s may be the latter, as I Can’t Leave Her reveals. Among everyone else’s “superpowers,” if you will, Riley seems to share a lot more with our fair-haired Angelica than toe-blond hair. It’s Riley’s maternal instinct as much as her traumatic past, in a sense, that rescues Will and the cluster in the end which Tuppence Middleton plays powerfully in the season’s tear-choking finale. It’s men saving women and women saving men that the finale reverberates in the series’ subversive fashion and that’s a refreshing rarity.
By the time it sails off into its literal sunset, Sense8 rounds out its season as the Wachowski Brothers’ richest, most rewarding work to date and some of the finest writing by Michael J. Straczynski. The Cloud Atlas the Wachowskis simply couldn’t make in 2012, the series serves as a brilliant testament to the power of on-demand television and the storytelling sci-fi is capable of. Even in its most bewildering moments, Sense8‘s never ceased to remember what’s made it so utterly – and beautifully – human. I hate to see it go, but I know we’ll be together again.
All twelve episodes of Sense8 are available for streaming through Netflix on TV, PC, tablet, mobile, and game consoles. Check out what Sense8 reviews you might’ve missed and more on all your favorite games, movies, comics, and TV here at BagoGames.