In the first part of the Sense8 series finale, this is already too much, and I still have so much more to go. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Sense8.
Trigger Warning: For discussion of torture, nonconsensual medical procedures.
It’s all coming together, friends! Look, I haven’t even watched the entirety of this finale, and I already know that I’m thankful that the special is as long as it is. There’s so much ground that this finale needs to cover, and in just these brief 51 minutes, the show JETTISONS FORWARD. Oh, it’s so very exciting!!!
The cluster’s first meeting happened so fast at the end of the last episode, though I understand why. It was part of the trick pulled on Whispers and the audience, since we were so used to seeing them “visit” one another. Realizing they were physically in the same location was powerful to watch, and that energy carries over into this special. I just can’t get over the fact that they’re all in the same home! That most of the time, they’re not visiting anyone (though that does still happen), but actually interacting with them in person. It’s magical. Thrilling. SO DAMN EXCITING. And what a great place to set the beginning of this story. (I say that because I’m anticipating they’ll have to travel elsewhere to find Wolfgang, since I don’t believe that facility is in Paris.) Paris feels big and strange and exciting, and then it has a wonderful personal meaning for Amanita, which allows for her and Nomi to bond further over their love for one another with the Eiffel Tower in view. I LOVE THEM SO MUCH, Y’ALL.
Into the Fold
Three separate sets of people are finally, FINALLY added into the fold of the group, and the script for “Amor Vincit Omnia” handles them each in various ways. Early in the special, we get a scene of Lito describing the basic features of the cluster to Daniela and Hernando, but it’s clear this wasn’t the first conversation. Since the group is plotting out what they know of BPO and the mysterious Chairman, Lito has to help them understand how Will’s conversation works when the other sensates aren’t in the room. Later, Bug, who already knew the truth, gets to experience seven of the cluster in person and together for the first time, and it’s a touching moment. Especially the line between him and Lito! The only one we get to see more or less live is Rajan, but more on that in a second.
One of my favorite things about how this is done is that the group just readily accepts these people in to their inner circle without any grief. Neets is right in the midst of the action, but then again, she always has been, hasn’t she? She was one of the first (actually, probably the first) non-sensate to learn about this cluster, right? Maybe my memory is off, but that’s what I recall. ANYWAY. Yes. YES. I love big group dynamics like this.
Lord, do I love some good visual storytelling. You can tell a whole lot about how the cluster feels towards Jonas and Whispers based entirely on how they are kept. Honestly! Strip out all the dialogue, and just give me the sets, the design of the rooms, the wardrobe… it’s all there. Whispers is kept in a room that seems to be falling apart; his glasses are still shattered; shadows lurk in the corners. He’s treated with no respect, no kindness, no consideration, and most importantly: Kala developed liquid blockers to inject in him to keep him from connecting with anyone else. He still manages to be terrifying and intimidating, even when stuck in such a powerless situation, so THERE’S THAT.
In contrast to this, Jonas is in a room that is well-lit. Well-stocked. He’s still chained up, yes, but at least he’s on a bed and not in… I don’t know. A shadow basement from Hell? The dialogue is a sign of this as well; Will taunts Whispers, but, through Nomi, will interrogates Jonas. It’s a different kind of forceful, and it speaks to how Jonas is viewed.
It’s always interesting to have a major character appear in a story when they’re not alive. Since the first scene of the show, Angelica has been a specter of sorts, an image from the past, but still very much a part of the present. Her mysterious intentions have also comprised a great deal of the conflict at the heart of the show, too. Why did she work with Whispers? Why did she seem to hand her cluster to BPO, and how was the cluster she birthed supposed to reckon with this?
So, I’m curious as to why Jonas finally opened up. Exhaustion? Perhaps this was yet another chance for him to demonstrate to the cluster that he was on their side, and I’m choosing to believe what he’s said before, that we may not understand him, but he’s doing the right thing. It’s an echo of what we learn of Angelica, who used some of Whispers’s research to discover a means of locating her cluster. And what a profound statement in doing so: We are bonded to one another by pain more than anything else. Because of course we are! It’s just that Whispers has now taken this technology and Angelica’s discovery, and he’s used it to hunt sensates as the Cannibal. He’s used it to develop a drone program that can commit any act that is desired of them, and do so without fear of repercussion. The plan is flawed, though, since Whispers is the only person able to control the drones, and the cluster’s possession of Whispers has granted them some actual leverage.
But what’s the endgame here? To have more people like Whispers controlling the drones? WHO IS THE CHAIRMAN?
From a more realistic standpoint, I appreciated that this script openly acknowledged how challenging it was for these characters to discard their lives to be in Paris. Yes, it’s wonderful that they’re all together, I’m loving every second of it, but also: Lito just got cast in an incredibly important role. Capheus has a campaign to run. Kala left behind a husband and a job. The remaining characters are used to being on the run! So it felt real to see Lito, Kala, and Capheus trying to cope with having to put their lives on hold. They don’t stray from the core reason they’re there, though, and Will helps remind them of that. They’re trying to save Wolfgang. But it does bring up an interesting question: Can these people ever have a “normal” life again?
Can I just first state that nothing is funnier in this episode than Rajan walking past the kitchen to the sight of Sun holding a knife? IT’S SO DAMN HILARIOUS. And while Rajan’s arrival is mostly played for humor at first, the show doesn’t deny how intense and important this moment is. One thing that makes it clear how much Rajan loves Kala is how quickly he comes to accept and believe what she has told him, despite that it doesn’t make much sense to him. Well, sort of, since he’s able to remember moments where Kala was behaving strangely. Unfortunately, Kala doesn’t tell him the whole truth, but in hindsight, I’m not sure that it was the right time. Like, she just told him about being a different species, that she and the others are being hunted, and that they’re trying to rescue another friend. Maybe not the best time to admit that you’re in love with the guy you’re trying to save? But I also imagine that it’s going to happen REAL SOON, since there’s not much left in this special?
Which is why it’s sometimes challenging to deal with splits, since I’m only analyzing part of the story, not the whole thing. I know there’s so much more to come, and I can see the set-up for it. The cluster is ever closer to the Chairman, to finding out how all these pieces fit together. And then there’s Jonas, who ESCAPED. What the hell is he gonna do??? WHERE IS HE GONNA GO???
The first part of the finale can be downloaded here for $0.99.
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