Sense8 is a lot of things. It’s a cop show, it’s a prison drama, it’s a soap opera, it’s a philosophy textbook as thick as the existentialist crisis of eight people all joined at the brain eight worlds away. For six episodes, it’s been anything but a sci-fi show since its opening shot. There must be something about a gun to the head that always turns everything around for Sense8 – forever.
For half the season now, it’s the series’ selling feature, our sensates’ mental connections, that’ve escaped explanation or cause. Who, how, where, when, and why they happen like they do (orgasmic or otherwise) is likely the show’s great mystery going forward long into future seasons. Be that as it may, the here and now’s all about our sensates taking matters into their own hands and boy, do they do that splendidly.
There’s arguably a diverse skill-set spread out among our cast of eight and it’s that we see them use them in tandem, however imperfectly, like W.W.N Double D. This time, we finally get a lead on Nomi’s captor, Dr. Metzger, San Francisco’s resident evil surgeon and probably sole Dick Cheney fan. So naturally, it’s Nomi and Amanita to channel their adorable inner Nancy Drews and get sleuthing with some long-distance assistance from Will. Of course, young adult mystery novels are no substitute for “Burgling for Dummies” and things get messy quickly. Cue the randomly placed smart car.
In what’s arguably the best/dumbest chase scene you’ve likely seen since the last Fast & Furious, Nomi “summons” the better half of the sensates in the tiniest of tiny cars barreling down San Francisco, courtesy of Capheus’s impromptu “help.” He saw it in a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie, okay? Sun’s kicks, Will’s fists, Capheus’s driving, Nomi’s hacking – the sensate squad assembled here’s a wonderfully chaotic display, so much so you have to wonder what the finale’s inevitable cross-over has in store.
It’s safe to say that W.W.N. Double D is the big one as far as this season goes, and we get some mighty big answers to the show’s biggest questions. Whatever sensates are, we know how valuable they must be to a certain someone out there and just how close the danger is here. The pseudo-scientific, corporate conspiracy it all converges with seems bred from Assassin’s Creed minus the Nolan North and W.W.N. Double D proves how dead this series would be with commercial breaks. The bullets are all real this time as are the friends they hit with what I’d expect is going to be a sizable body count, even for the Wachowski Brothers’ standards.
As far as the rest of the sensates are concerned, things are getting serious in a lot more places than the bedroom. From the get-go, connectedness has meant a lot of feelings, love included. Sense8‘s already begun selling us on its super couples in that regard, namely Woflgang and Kala and Will and Reiley. I’ll admit that I’ve fallen madly in love with Tupence Middleton’s Riley and I’m warming up to Kala, but somehow I’m not sold on their guy friends. Will’s been limited to his cop tropes and Wolfgang’s seemed like an extra in his own scenes, but in a series based around mental connections, I’ll give benefit of the doubt that our leading ladies owe the new dynamic to the show’s psychic speed-dating.
Sense8‘s always been one for juxtaposing exposition with truth or dare, but its sad story time weirdly, but its oddly candid monologuing is no less effective this time around. We now know that Wolfgang chooses his kick-ass friends pretty well and Riley’s native Iceland has the best-dressed flannel men in the world, but it’s the perspective that comes with them that resonates with Kala’s musings. That religion is a different dialect of the same scientific language is rather brilliant analogy of the show’s almost supernatural phenomena. What’s one man’s world of “eating, drinking, sh*tting,” err, something, something, is someone else’s treasure, as W.W. N. Double D‘s breathtaking shots of Kala’s city conveys.
We Will All be Judged by the Courage of Our Hearts certainly lives up to the mantra of its namesake and thanks in no small part to its quoter. Besides providing us with gimmicky episode titles, I’ve thought of Lito, Hernando, and Daniella’s risqué game of cloak and dagger amusing. I think of it as a whole lot more now. A vengeful ex in a luchador mask is all you need to break up a love(?) triangle – and one that’s got dirt on your gay roomies. It’s Daniella’s heartbreaking choice to make it all go away that sure sheds a light on Lito’s courage (or lack thereof), one I know will go exactly as I imagine, but am dying to see nonetheless. We’re all left with tough choices for family – Capheus should know if he wants to keep his hands.
That may pale in comparison to the deluge of sad that is Death Doesn’t Let You Say Goodbye, if it’s title didn’t sufficiently convey such. Besides sharing the same birthday, being a sensate means being a shoulder to cry on as much as sharing your tears – quite literally, in fact. Sharing you heart might mean breaking it, as our sensates’ elders advise. Though Jonas’s hasn’t amounted to much more than a talking head, he’s certainly proved to be a nice talking head. I’m not so sure about his foreboding friends who seem to doubt our sensates. Love pushes boundaries in a revealing conversation between Lito and Nomi. It also kills – or invites it. Poor Riley. Poor Lito. Poor Sun. Poor you by the end of this episode.
In its latter half, Sense8‘s emerged as a powerfully moving force to be reckoned with on a growing scale that surprises me with each episode. As often as its characters may fall into your average TV tropes, they nonetheless succeed in subverting them in the most spectacular ways. As our sensates grow closer, it’s as if the series has finally opened its eyes in its infancy and seen the bigger world before it. For once, I can say that I’m more excited than intrigued about Sense8‘s conclusion. Until then, let me go find a tissue box.
All twelve episodes of Sense8 are available for streaming through Netflix on TV, PC, tablet, mobile, and game consoles. Check back for our review of episodes 9-12 of Sense8 and more on all your favorite games, movies, comics, and TV here at BagoGames.