In the eighth episode of the first season of Sense8, WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING ON THIS SHOW. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Sense8.
Trigger Warning: For child abuse and domestic violence, bullying, outing.
Holy shit, this show really is fucking incredible.
This episode seems to be a perfect combination of emotional character development/revelation and THE PLOT BEING ABSOLUTELY NOT OKAY. But I appreciate that the insight we get into these characters’ lives is such a huge part of the experience of watching Sense8. Simply put: I did not expect to learn so much about Felix and why Wolfgang has been so close to him. It’s heartbreaking to watch because it puts their entire story-to-date into a new context. Felix was always willing to do anything for his friend. He protected him from bullying time and time again, and he stood up to Wolfgang’s abusive father. And now, he’s laid out in the hospital after taking a shotgun blast, and Wolfgang feels nothing but guilt.
If the episode’s title is also the theme of this episode, then it’s clear that Felix is one of the most courageous characters in the whole show.
The same goes for Sun, who demonstrates once more that she’s willing to do things for others at great risk to herself. She stands up to Lina, knowing that it’s only a matter of time before the woman tries to get her revenge. (It’s also fascinating to think of this episode in terms of the revenge narratives that play out, since there are a number of them here!) When she fights Lina and her supporters, she’s stabbed in the process, so she’s clearly risking her life for someone she just met. (I actually don’t know how long Sun’s been in prison, but she can’t have known Soo-Jin for long.) And then she risks what very little freedom she has when she’s placed in solitary confinement for the fight. Again, it’s just so surreal that Sun’s story has come to this point, but I’m so thankful to watch someone just be good with no expectation to ever get anything in return.
GODS, WHAT IS HAPPENING. I suspected that Rajan’s father wouldn’t be satisfied with Kala’s request to hold her wedding ceremony in Ganesha’s temple, BUT I DID NOT EXPECT WHAT WE SAW HERE. I was shocked and saddened by the man’s unrepentant dismissal of her entire faith, and then I was angered by his refusal to let his son marry the woman he loves. Which is admittedly a weird reaction! At a distance, this might seem like something that Kala would want, no? She didn’t want to marry a man she did not love, but I don’t think she envisioned this.
NOR DID SHE EXPECT HIM TO GET STABBED BY A TON OF MASKED MEN WHO PROBABLY HATED HIM FOR WANTING TO DESTROY THEIR TEMPLE. WHAT THE HELL.
If we’re judged by courage, then where does that leave Lito?
I won’t deny that his situation is hopelessly complex and terrifying. I know exactly what the dread of being outed feels like because it happened to me. I know what it feels like to live in fear that your true sexuality will be spread, without any context or support, and that it will ruin your life. I mean, I moved away from my hometown just after being outed because I needed to believe that I could still have a life. I say that because for a couple months, I genuinely thought it wasn’t possible. I thought it was all over for me.
I get Lito feeling like his life will be over. In the end, though, he is too quick to blame Daniela for being in an abusive relationship, one he can’t even deny exists. He’s seen the evidence himself. By continuing to work, comforted that he can still remain in the closet, he guarantees that Daniela can’t escape. Obviously, Joaquin is ultimately responsible for the abuse, but Hernando breaks up with Lito because he finds the act cowardly. Daniela’s life is not worth this. Lito might have his reputation ruined, but Daniela might die.
EVERYTHING IS AWFUL.
I actually think that Capheus has a worse decision, though. Neither of the options given to him here well. If he hands over Silas’s daughter to the man’s enemy, then Silas will assuredly kill him. We know this. If he does not? Then his mother will be killed, and he’ll probably die anyway. How can you be given a choice like that and expect to make it? What the hell is he supposed to do?
I don’t think that Amandi should be brought into this, and as horrible as Silas might be, she does not deserve to pay the price for this. I think that’s what Capheus will choose, but I don’t envy that decision.
I said this in the video for this episode, but now that we’re miles away from the opening of Will’s character, I like him a lot more. He’s endearing and charming when he’s not being set up as the perfect savior of everyone around him. His scenes with Riley are as entertaining as they are because he comes off as humble and kind of dorky, and I see what someone like Riley would see in him. I think that his pursuit of the case against BPO – which I’ll get to in Nomi’s section – is admirable because, like Sun, he’s willing to do it at great expense to himself. He’s suspended without pay in this episode! That’s a huge blow to his progress, though I wonder if he’ll use the sensates for help.
Well, I’ll talk about that if it happens. Let’s just discuss the best thing about this episode.
SHE KEEPS GETTING THE BEST PLOTS AND IT’S THE COOLEST SHIT EVER. I’m so goddamn amazed that the show has completely moved past the need for exposition or long scenes explaining what the fuck is going on. In other hands, you might have more of Jonas conveniently showing up to spout long monologues about purpose and providing us with all the necessary worldbuilding. That’s not to ignore that Jonas did provide guidance to Will, but the show doesn’t rely on it at all.
Instead, we’re just dropped into the logistical nightmare and beauty of the sensates’ powers. Both Nomi and Will are at points in their development where they’re openly talking to those in their cluster IN FRONT OF OTHER PEOPLE. Which is really weird for Diego. OH MY GOD, THAT SCENE WHERE HE CATCHES WILL MAKING OUT WITH RILEY IS SO FUCKING FUNNY. But as Whispers arrives at Amanita’s mother’s place, we’re given yet another demonstration of the unreal capabilities of the cluster. Nomi begs for help, and both Will and Sun show up to provide her with assistance. Will advises her on the behavior of cops while Sun helps her fight them off. AND THEN CAPHEUS HELPS HER ESCAPE IN THAT SMART CAR. Oh my god, this show gave us a chase sequence on a fucking bicycle. I cannot imagine a more San Francisco-esque police chase if I tried.
Incredible. INCREDIBLE EPISODE.
Mark Links Stuff
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The video for “We Will All Be Judged by the Courage of Our Hearts” can be downloaded here for $0.99.