A sense8 Binge-Watch and Blog-Along (Part Four: Eps 10-12)

Welcome to the final installment of the sense8 Binge-Watch and Blog-Along!  This blog post will cover episodes 10-12 of the new Netflix series.  Fair warning, it’s a long one!  You can find reviews of previous episodes in Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.  This Blog-Along will also be followed by an overall Season 1 Review.  Stay tuned!

Episode 10 – What is Human?
This episode was all about choices.  (It also featured an extended scene of flashbacks to each of the sensates’ births.  Which, while interesting in some aspects, was kind of long and random… dat ending doe!)

  1. After her father decided to confess the truth, Sun had to choose whether to allow the hearing, or to continue taking the fall for her brother.  After much deliberation, she decided on freedom, knowing that in doing so, she was condemning her brother to be severely punished for his actions.  Things we learned about Sun’s birth:  She was born in a cemetery.
  2. Wolfgang had to decide whether to seek revenge for Felix’s injuries, or to roll over and let his cousin Steiner take the diamonds and the glory.  At first, it seemed that he was going to placate Steiner in an attempt to protect Felix from further harm.  And, in truth, all would’ve gone according to plan if Steiner wasn’t such a jerk.  So, instead, after handing over the diamonds and subsequently being beaten up by Steiner for telling the unbelievable truth, Wolfgang (and Lito) retaliated and shot all of Steiner’s men.  (When he opened his trunk to reveal the rocket launcher, I said, “Oooohhh snaaaapppp!” out loud to an empty room.)  Things we learned about Wolfgang’s birth:  His was a water birth.
  3. Kala came clean to her father about her feelings, and about what Rajan’s father said to her that day in the temple.  Her father assured her that whatever she decides, it will be whatever she knows in her heart to be the right decision.  Things we learned about Kala’s birth:  She was born under a statue of Ganesha during a rainstorm.
  4. The first scene involving Lito was not one of his own, rather, a visit with Wolfgang.  After helping the German with Steiner (“Lying is easy; it’s what I do.”), Lito is convinced to go make things right.  He decides that Hernando and Daniela are more important than his career, and confronts Joaquin.  I was expecting Sun to show up, all throughout the fight sequence, but it was so much more satisfying for Wolfgang to come and repay the help.  (“Fighting is easy; fighting is what I do.”)  Can I just say that I am fully behind this bromance?  We had not seen these two interact before, but their nascent friendship is already one of the better inter-cluster relationships. Things we learned about Lito’s birth:  While Lito was being born, his family enthusiastically watched television while standing around his mother.  (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — a bit on the nose, show…)
  5. While this episode didn’t specifically delve into the choice that Capheus needs to make regarding giving Silas’ daughter to the Superpower gang, there was a nice scene in which he and Kala watch Lionheart together “to find courage.” Things we learned about Capheus’ birth:  Nothing all that note-worthy, actually…
  6. Nomi was not featured in this episode that much, aside from a love scene with Amanita and her portion of the birth flashbacks.  Things we learned about Nomi’s birth:  She was born via caesarian section.
  7. Like Capheus, the decision that Will needs to make (telling his father that he was suspended from the police force), was not addressed directly in this episode, merely hinted at.  The other choice that Will, Riley, and the others need to consider is whom to trust.  There is a scene in the beginning of the episode with Jonas, but it stil isn’t clear whether he can be trusted.  Things we learned about Will’s birth:  He was born in squad car, delivered by his father.  (Sigh.  We get it show, we get it.)
  8. Riley’s arc did not seem to involve any major choices to be made (save for Will’s warning about whom to trust, and whether she should stay in Iceland).  But her storyline lead us to the concert where her father performed, and kicked off the birth flashback scene.  Things we learned about Riley’s birth:  Riley’s father was away during the birth, but he serenaded her mother by playing piano over the telephone.  (There are some times this show does a great job of handling its characters, but this sequence was not one of them.  It painted members of the cluster in such one-dimensional ways — actor, musician, cop, love of his mother’s life, spiritually-tied to Ganesha…)  HOWEVER — this extended scene ended with a bang.  After seeing the births of each of the sensates, we see a flashback to Riley giving birth to her daughter.  (It was unclear to me: Was the car accident directly after the birth — i.e., did she give birth in the car?  From the tombstone in a previous episode, we know that her daughter died the same day she was born.)  Whether it was from the trauma of remembering all of this, or from an unknown reason to be explained later, Riley suddenly stood up, blood dripping from her nostrils and promptly fainted.

I actually really liked this episode up until the extended birth flashbacks.  While interesting in theory, the scene boiled down to representing the characters as simplistic descriptors, and seemed altogether self-indulgent.

Doona Bae as Sun fighting a member of the Superpower gang (via IGN)

Episode 11 – Just Turn the Wheel and the Future Changes
It’s the penultimate episode and everything’s going pot.  Sun found out that her father died, and strongly suspects that her brother killed him to stop the trial.  Riley is in the hospital and will soon be found by Whispers.  Wolfgang moved Felix to a different medical facility, and is now putting an end to all of his family drama by looking to kill… Steiner? (If he’s somehow still alive.)  Maybe his uncle?

But there were a few good things that happened to our cluster.  Capheus successfully saved Silas and his daughter from the Superpowers, and Will and Nomi used their knowledge and skills to delay Riley’s doctors from figuring out she’s a sensate. (“It was easy; hacking’s what I do.”)

This episode did a fine job of kicking things up a notch before the finale.  So I will refrain from adding to this post’s already ridiculous word count and jump right on in to episode 12…

Episode 12 – I Can’t Leave Her
After eleven episodes of intertwining character arcs throughout the season, this episode focused solely on two main threads.

The first of these, Wolfgang’s story, definitely felt like a hold-over from last episode.  I understand that the plots have to be forced into the episodic constraints of around 50 minutes in length.  And Wolfgang’s scenes helped set the intense mood necessary for the finale.  But thematically, it seemed a bit out of place.  This, again, is likely due to the strange pacing of the show.  But in and of itself, this bit of closure for Wolfgang’s plot was well-done.

The majority of this episode was Will’s journey to Iceland and rescue of Riley.  Along the way he was helped via Nomi’s hacking, Lito’s acting and general sex appeal, Sun’s fighting (Wilhelm scream!), Kala’s pharmaceutical skills, Capheus’ car knowledge, and Wolfgang’s… er, heartlessness, I guess.  While I really enjoyed the cluster’s willingness to use each other’s skills, the way that this episode was framed felt like the other characters were mere accessories to Will and Riley’s story.

While many questions were answered, and most of the storylines stopped at a satisfactory place, there is still much to be explored in sense8.  This blog post is already grossly long-winded.  So, I’ve decided to put all my final thoughts into a season review found HERE. (*Note: Coming soon!) (EDIT: After an unintended month-long hiatus from blogging, the Sense8 season 1 review post has been put off indefinitely.  But I believe the four part Blog-Along did a sufficient job in reflecting my thoughts on the show.  While it was a bit “off” pacing-wise in the beginning, it turned out to be quite an exciting, interesting show.  Looking forward to Season 2!)

Thanks for joining me in the sense8 Binge-Watch and Blog-Along!  What are some of your thoughts and reactions to the show?  Let me know in the comments section!

‘Til next time, it was easy; blogging’s what I do.

Disclaimer: All images and videos shown belong to Netflix, the use of which have not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. This blog post is for non-commercial criticism and comment purposes only. I believe that this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law.


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