Mark Watches ‘Sense8’: S02E10 – If All The World’s a Stage, Identity is Nothing But a Costume

In the tenth episode of the second season of Sense8, multiple characters make major advancements while one has a setback. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Sense8.

Trigger Warning: For discussion of drug use.

I know I’m a broken record at this point, but I love so much that this show cares about it’s individual characters and their stories. There’s not really much progress at all made on the BPO front, and Whispers only appears to taunt Will about the death of his father. (Lord, why did I write what I wrote at the end of the last review.) I’m perfectly fine with this. I’ve got the “last” episode of the season and the super long finale special left, so that’s a whole lot of time to wrap up a number of plots. Instead, “If All the World’s a Stage, Identity is Nothing But a Costume” spends almost of all of its running time bringing multiple characters to very important points in their arcs. LET’S DISCUSS.


This felt like more of a set-up, but it’s still significant that she and Wolfgang are finally, FINALLY open about what’s been going on between them since last season. Yes, they’ve discussed it before this episode, but Kala’s confession that she feels as Wolfgang does is something that’s been a long time coming. In this confession, though, is Kala’s desire to finally tell her husband the truth. Personally, I can’t wait for this scene, even though I suspect it’s going to tear me to shreds. I really like Rajan, and I don’t see how this isn’t going to hurt him a whole lot? Even if he understands and ultimately supports Kala, it’s still gonna be hard to hear that she’s in love with someone else. (But also him? Because I do feel like she loves him.) Ugh, WHEN IS THIS GONNA HAPPEN.


Y’all, no one tells you that success can be incredibly, incredibly painful. NO ONE. And while I can’t possibly say that Lito’s good fortune with his new role is on the same level as me finally publishing a book, there’s a set of lines that Hernando gets that strike right at the heart of the terror of artistic creation and success. It is mortifying to put something out into the world, and trust me when I say that I know this is the case for creators—artists, musicians, novelists, comic book illustrators—who don’t have anxiety or depression. So it’s not just a case of the intersection of mental illness and success. Like Hernando says, the creation of art is a risky, frightening experience. Lito got the part he wanted, but he’s using a different kind of creative muscle this time around. This role in Iberian Dreams isn’t like the over-the-top roles he acted in while in Mexico. (I just wanna say that I adored that Sun’s decision to open up about herself is what helped Lito land the role. THE MEANING, THE SIGNIFICANCE, THE IMPLICATIONS OF IT ALL.) He’s trying something that’s very new for him, and he’s worry that not only will he fail, but the world will see him as a fraud.

Imposter syndrome certainly plays a part in this, and that’s another thing I’ve found is a part of the creative process. Y’all, I have written two books at this point, I’ve got four more short stories out in the next year, and so many other projects are coming down the pipeline. By all rights, I’ve made it! I should see this as a sign not just of my success, but that I possess even a modicum of talent. I have to be somewhat good at what I do, right? But it’s so much easier for my brain to assume the worst, to believe that this is all a fluke and that I’m not a good writer at all, that everyone’s just playing along and will reveal the joke to me at the most inopportune time imaginable. So I’m glad that Lito has Hernando to keep him grounded amidst such a bizarre and surreal situation. Seriously, y’all, all those scenes at Kit Wrangler’s house were A LOT. marc Jacobs??? What the HELL. (Also, I literally forgot Andy Dick existed, and I unfortunately now had to remember how creepy and gross he is.) 


I commented on this on video, but I loved that the show waited until this episode—until Capheus arrived to give his speech as the candidate for the KDRP—to reveal just how much support he had from the general public. It’s so much more powerful that way, and from a character perspective, it allows Capheus to begin to understand just how impactful his behavior and his words have been. It also makes him realize real fast just how serious this all is. He can’t pretend that this isn’t a big deal anymore, you know? 

Like any of the huge moments in the show, the cluster assembled to offer their support to Capheus, and y’all, this episode, more than any other, made me wish for a cluster of my own. It’s not like I haven’t appreciated the unique emotional intimacy of this experience, but seeing how the cluster can teach, can comfort, can support, can believe, can course correct… it’s truly astounding. Capheus borrows some of that strength, but he also gives a speech from the heart, one that is devoid of the sort of posturing that I’m sure many of those people are tied of hearing. 

I hope that the other members of the KDRP are right in that the speech was so powerful that the violence will be overlooked. I don’t think they’re wrong. But lord, that whole scene was terrifying. And it’s Githu who comes to the rescue??? Look, I am in love with the trope of an antagonist saving the protagonist because they want to be the one to kill said protagonist. (Now I’m thinking of Londo and G’Kar from Babylon 5…) Well, there’s also more to it than that; Githu finally expresses that he’s not pleased with Mandiba, that Capheus understands the situation better since he’s actually from Kibera. THIS IS AN INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE.


Grief is a terrible thing, and I want to offer some empathy to Will because I know how grief can make you do things you otherwise would not do. I don’t say this because the show doesn’t offer this; I actually found this to be a very caring portrayal. Even the way the cluster comes to Will to criticize him felt immensely tender. But Will’s grief is compounded by guilt and regret, and as someone still dealing with many of these same emotions, I get it. It hurts in a way that feels inescapable, that eats away at your heart and your spirit. Will is dealing with the loss of his father, which is horrible as it is, but he obviously feels complicit in his death, too. So, as sad and distressing as it was to see, I get why he relapsed. He just wanted the pain to stop. Well, there was also Whispers’s presence, which certainly didn’t help. I’m hoping that Kala’s development of blockers will make this easier for him, but I also know it’s going to take some serious time and self-care for Will to get through this.

Also, this was the first time we saw someone in the cluster fuck up one of their experiences! I’m so used to the sensates being the right person at the right time that Will’s presence was jarring. And that’s the point! Instead of providing the support to Capheus that he needed, Will was overwhelmed and sloppy, and Capheus could have died. But it seems he learned — albeit the hard way—that he can’t risk this sort of decision-making at a time like this.


IT’S HAPPENING. OH MY GOD, Y’ALL. She made it into her brother’s gala. THE SHOWDOWN OF THE ENTIRE SERIES IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. I just deeply, deeply love that it’s Kala who folds Sun’s hand into a fist while promising to devote everything to helping Sun achieve what she wants. IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. And it looks like the plan is more concrete: they are trying to get Joong-Ki out of the gala and to a place where they can somehow get a confession out of him. But it won’t be admissible? Shit, maybe it doesn’t have to be; maybe they can just ruin his reputation using the news cycle, just like he did to Sun. AHHHHH, I NEED THE NEXT EPISODE RIGHT NOW!!!

The video for “If All the World’s a Stage, Identity is Nothing But a Costume” can be downloaded here for $0.99.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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