In the seventh episode of the second season of Sense8, Riley goes to a mysterious location in Chicago for information, while the rest of the sensates struggle with complicated developments. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Sense8.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of homophobia
Hi, I loved this, I am pretty sure no one is surprised, LET’S DO THIS.
So, I have a concern: Did Rajan actually fix things in the span of a day, or is his promise to Kala just that: a promise? I was previously worried about what his pharmaceutical company was doing, but this episode introduced a far more direct problem: they were shipping substandard and faulty drugs to people in order to clear out their stock. They knew this, and it was, as Rajan states, just part of the cost of doing business. On top of this, he didn’t even really try to hide this from Kala! He just assumed that she would fall in line with company policy. So, on that level, I get why her reaction is so shocking that he has an immediate change of heart. And I also get that sometimes, something over the years seems very normal to a person until an outsider says, “HEY, WHAT THE FUCK.”
That being said: what exactly has Rajan done? Or what will he do? Is he going to be on the receiving end of a backlash from people like Arjay, who don’t view the people affected by their policies as victims, as Kala does? I’m worried!!! I believe Rajan, but Rajan is up against years and years of this policy. Can he really change it?
Wow, fuck Joaquin? Like, we already knew he was demonstrably the worst, and then he showed up, and HE MADE EVERYTHING WORSE? Well, for the moment, I should say. The titular theme of this episode is highlighted throughout Lito’s story, since he and Hernando demonstrate an incredible love for Daniela. When faced with being disowned, Daniela doesn’t back down, but neither do her friends! And I loved that scene where Lito taunted Joaquin back, throwing the slur in his face, all while focusing not on his hatred of Joaquin, but his love for Daniela.
It hurts, of course, that such a gorgeous scene—though a heartbreaking one, since it involves Daniela possibly losing her family—is followed by something so gut-wrenching. It wasn’t surprising that Lito’s agency fired him, that they did so after the Pride appearance, and that it was due to the homophobia of other clients. This story is achingly familiar, both from personal experience and from seeing people I know denied opportunities, success, and work because of who they are. And yet, Sense8 takes this undeniably dark moment, and it gives us light. That scene in the elevator—where a young queer person hugs Lito and thanks him—is just so goddamn meaningful. And for those of us who found some freedom or catharsis in the bravery of others, we know what that moment meant. There are so very many people over the years that, at immense cost to themselves, paved the way so that others could follow in their footsteps. And that’s what Lito has done. I was so happy that this show reminded him of that.
So much of this episode is about choosing love and optimism, despite that crushing cynicism would actually be the more rational choice. Capheus’s mother has every reason to despise the fact that Capheus has decided to run for office. Her own husband was murdered after doing the same thing!!! As she puts it, Capheus is all she has left of the man she lost. And yet, she does not choose hatred or bitterness: she chooses to love her son and support him. She chooses to be hopeful—yet still wary, of course—for the future, for one where Capheus may be able to help make the world a better place.
JESUS, THIS WHOLE SUBPLOT SHREDDED ME TO PIECES. One of the many things Sense8 does well is to discuss the binding of humans: how we have much more in common than we may think we do. I have a lot of scenes I adored in “I Have No room In My Heart For Hate,” but that moment where each of the sensates comfort Sun while she is at her parents’ grave? YEAH. HI, HELLO, I’M A MESS. The things that they offer her are not identical, of course, but I love that thing we humans do where we offer empathy in this way. We say, “Hey, here’s something similar to what you’ve gone through, and here’s what I know about it.” We bridge understanding through acts like this, and it cements the cluster as a larger family, one that’s uniquely aware of the flaws and struggles of each member.
Now, I also have to out myself as UTTER TRASH for the trope that appears once Detective Mun arrives. Y’all, I love characters who fight, start to develop a physical attraction during the fight, and then kiss at the end. Granted, Detective Mun and Sun have a history, since this trope already appeared in their backstory, but HOLY SHIT. Everything about this sequence is gorgeous. It’s so much more violent than their match, and I love that it works as a metaphor for the sparring that happens between two very different people who have different needs and desires. The cinematography is gorgeous, particularly that kiss. Who allowed this??? I am but one human??? I also feel like Mun has possibly shown that he’s actually on her side, but I still can’t tell. Should she trust him? He could be an actual ally!!!
Watching Will freak out over Riley leaving? Their tenderness? The “reunion” with Diego? This plot was also intensely emotional! I feel like most of this episode was introspective, saving the major serialized beats for the final quarter of the story. Which is perfectly fine! I had a blast watching this, and y’all know I love it when this show allows its characters to breathe and live out complicated stories. That includes Diego’s reunion, which I found breathtakingly realistic. Not everyone is going to be pleased by the reveal of the sensates and their ability, and in Diego’s case, this was exacerbated by Will disappearing for a year from his life. Diego is raw over the lass of his friend, and most likely, there’s some grief mixed in there, too. Yet at the end of the day, Diego still supports Will, albeit through a strange manner. He has to interact with Riley the entire time. But he does keep her safe! Well, right up until she returns to THE church and wants to go down into the creepy basement. I still think it’s kinda funny that Diego was all, “Yeah, NOPE.”
But let’s get to that BPO contact. Because HOLY SHIT. I love how tense and emotional it all felt, particularly since it allowed me to believe just how terrified that woman was. It was clear she’d never done anything so risky before, and even then? That’s the nature of this nightmare. At any moment, something could ruin it all. Yet she also came off as relieved to finally be able to tell an outsider just what Whispers—WHOSE FULL NAME WE FINALLY GET—has done since joining BPO. And what a bold fucking move, y’all: She straight-up gave Riley WHISPERS’S ADDRESS. That cut to the shot of his home was ridiculous enough, but then a potential assassination is interrupted by JONAS??? Who is fucking ALIVE???? Why is this show like this!!!!!
The video for “I Have No Room In My Heart For Hate” can be downloaded here for $0.99.
Mark Links Stuff
– The paperback edition of my debut, ANGER IS A GIFT, is now OUT! If you’d like to stay up-to-date on all announcements regarding my books, sign up for my newsletter! DO IT.