Sense8: Smart Money Is on the Skinny Bitch
June 12, 2015 11:40 AM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

Nomi is saved at the last moment. Capheus takes a number of risks, and some of them pay off. Lito's love life becomes even more complex. Sun Bak steps into the ring. May Jean-Claude protect you.
posted by jbickers (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I really liked that this episode spent a lot more time with Sun and Capheus after they were barely in the last episode. This is a good pattern.

And their fight was really fantastic; I'm really impressed by how clear this all is.

Also: this dialogue is frequently cringingly bad, but somehow that works as a positive for me. It seems to keeps the show from feeling over serious. It maintains a lightness which is key for fun.

This is a compelling fantasy story and its unfolding at a great pace.
posted by mountmccabe at 10:24 PM on June 12, 2015

[Since I seem to be the only one commenting in these threads who hasn't already binged (surprising how little chatter I'm seeing about Sense8 online; even the show's Wikipedia page only has a summary for the first episode), I should mention that roomie and I are now done with episode 6 so if folks want to start posting an episode a day to speed discussion along I'm totally fine with that.]

What struck me most about this episode, aside from the completely ridiculous and wonderful reveal that our favorite discriminated-against businesswoman Sun also happens to be a kickass underground MMA fighter, is the stuff about Indian pharmaceutical companies in Kala's story. It's difficult to know at this point how much these little digressions will matter and how much it's just the writers including Relevant Points they want to make during this sprawling show, but that one seems important.

Agree with the EW recap that it was great to learn more about Sun and Capheus this time. I love the international flavor of this show - again, more sharply and smartly done than almost anything else on U.S. television - and hope overseas popularity is a thing that helps the show find an appreciative audience.
posted by mediareport at 4:20 AM on June 13, 2015 [3 favorites]

I started to watch and watched the first three in a row. Then I decided I needed to slow down and enjoy this, so I only allow myself an episode a night. I'm on 5 now, or maybe 6, I'm not sure, I'll have to check when I get home.
Sun & Van Damme have become my favorite characters because of this episode. We'll see how long this lasts though, I enjoy all of the characters and the change from one place to the next.
posted by evilDoug at 2:02 PM on June 13, 2015

And their fight was really fantastic; I'm really impressed by how clear this all is.

Yeah, this was the first time I felt like I got a hint of how incredibly freaking cool it could be when these people team up in various ways, something we'd seen a little of before now but not really. The fight is amazing.

I'm kind of past the point where I can pick a favorite, but Capheus is a strong contender.
posted by sparkletone at 2:08 PM on June 13, 2015

surprising how little chatter I'm seeing about Sense8 online

Apparently they only sent out these first three to the press? The advance reviews I read after finishing the show were a bit middling, but the places I read doing episode to episode recaps seem to be enjoying it a lot more. I dunno. There were a lot of people in my twitter feed praising the show pretty highly the weekend after it came out. That's died down a bit with just some stragglers going through it now. And of course OITNB S3 coming out has drowned that out even further. I really hope it got enough views/blog posts/whatever Netflix uses to decide whether to renew something.
posted by sparkletone at 2:10 PM on June 13, 2015

In terms of online rankings and ratings, on netflix, it's close to 400,000 reviews with an average of 4.1, imdb has close to 14K reviews at 8.4. From the onset, the averages have been rising.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 2:40 PM on June 13, 2015 [2 favorites]

sparkletone, I'd love to find good recaps and analysis; where are you seeing some? Not enamored of the AV Club or EW reviewers so far; they're OK but not great.
posted by mediareport at 4:04 PM on June 13, 2015

I haven't been reading any, just noting the letter grades at AV Club, etc. Haven't gone spelunking on tumblr for good meta either, though I mean to soon. If I find anything particularly good, I'll try to remember to pass it along.
posted by sparkletone at 5:42 PM on June 13, 2015

The first good episode! I like when this show is like someone's very cheaty idea for a GURPS character that takes over a campaign. Less when it's, like, Riley making passive sad faces while nothing at all happens and the show hasn't earned the significance yet.

Also, as a person who cares about/notices unimportant stuff like opening credits, I just wanna say the opening credits to this show are really bad.
posted by nom de poop at 6:21 PM on June 13, 2015

So right by my bus stop in town, there's an STA Travel with a giant TV screen in the front and they keep on doing blipvert-style advertisements for all the amazing places you can see because you're young and you have money.

And that's exactly what the opening credits for Sense8 feels like - less about being for a show, more like a bad travelogue. And those guys! With the ice cream! Why do we focus so much on them! Does this mean something?

That being said, this is where it starts to get a lot more exciting. Cephus and Sun's fight is pretty freaking awesome, although I rolled my eyes at the fact that of course the Korean woman is also a martial arts superstar.

It does work a lot better when it focuses on only a couple of the storylines rather than trying to fit all of them into the same place. And this was where I went "Yeah, okay, let's watch a lot more!"
posted by Katemonkey at 11:40 PM on June 13, 2015

DON'T MESS WITH THE VAN DAMN. (Or his van.) I looooooved how she literally fought for him. And that the woman is a badass fighter. And for that matter, a lady who runs a company is also a badass Fight Clubber. I loved when she smashed the desk as she "left a message." Great foreshadowing on that one. Ditto the drug companies.

I love that old lady in the Van Damn. Go get 'em!

Burn that place, Amanita!

Yeah, this is fun!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:18 PM on June 14, 2015

I rolled my eyes at the fact that of course the Korean woman is also a martial arts superstar.

That is kind of eye roll inducing, but what I really like is that Sun is a nuanced person, not just a martial arts superstar. She is angry, just this tightly controlled ball of rage in a way I feel like female characters are rarely allowed to be. Sun dealing with her feelings with her fists feels like a character choice that makes sense for who she is and her context, and that's the way you turn potentially tired stereotypes into interesting storytelling choices.

In general, I think Sense8 does a good job of taking these broad strokes characters and fleshing them out into real people, and part of that is giving time and room for their stories to breathe, but a lot of that is thanks to the acting. Like I was fully anticipating finding Will tedious after his initial rather cringeworthy storyline, but damn if the actor doesn't totally sell Will's determined empathy and protective instincts. Doona Bae portrays a wonderfully subtle Sun who's more than just an asskicker. And the actor playing Lito helps to make him tremendously endearing, etc.
posted by yasaman at 10:44 PM on June 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

"And that's exactly what the opening credits for Sense8 feels like - less about being for a show, more like a bad travelogue."

There's some really beautiful shots in the credits, but others are pretty uninspired and the whole thing together lacks any sort of narrative or cohesion. They should have lingered on those beautiful shots, maybe panned across those eight locations. Less is more. More is cluttered and random. This isn't an advertisement for a travel agency.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:01 AM on June 15, 2015

I've been noticing in the opening credits there's a lot if activity between pairs of people and between pairs of animals. Group activities. Many pride references. There's more going on there than just zipping around the world. Not sure what's up with the scone though.
posted by kokaku at 5:10 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

There is a clear pharmaceutical/drug connection between many of the characters now. I assume that's going to be more than coincidental down the line...or is it more about some sort of societal theme that I'm not getting yet?
posted by tracicle at 7:54 AM on June 15, 2015 [3 favorites]

Hero cop is boring and the medical prison storyline is too stressful for me. But that fight scene--awesome. I'm in.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:26 PM on June 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

I found myself getting annoyed with the stereotypical nature of the storylines. The Kenyan lives in a shack and his mom has AIDS, Indian people do Bollywood dances, the Korean woman does martial arts, the San Franciscans are lesbian... I'm just disappointed at the lazy shallowness of it.

I am intrigued enough to keep watching and I'm wondering what's up with the counterfeit drug storyline. I hope that's not just a red herring.

And those guys! With the ice cream! Why do we focus so much on them!

I like guys, I like gay guys, I like gay guys with beards, I like ice cream, and it still made me shudder.
posted by desjardins at 10:00 AM on June 28, 2015 [5 favorites]

I like guys, I like gay guys, I like gay guys with beards, I like ice cream, and it still made me shudder.

Same here, minus beards. Seriously, food should go into one person's mouth, one alone. Even a milkshake with two straws is only tolerable if you pretend backwash is not a thing.
posted by ktkt at 11:26 PM on July 4, 2015 [3 favorites]

I watched up through this episode last night. If I was on the fence until this episode, the fight scene hooked me in for sure. So far, I find Sun's and Nomi's stories the most interesting, and am least interested in Riley's.

Oh, and I like the guys with the ice cream in the opening credits.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:00 PM on August 16, 2015

I am one of those who is hating the dialogue. I am especially not liking the Indian woman's story and I think it's because of her monologue in the first episode. I'm still annoyed by that. Also, Indian fiance dude, you have acknowledged that she is hesitant, back off a little!

Right now I am most interested in Sun (why do we know so little about the most interesting person so far??) and Noomi (mostly because being lobotomized against your will is horrifying and since she is a main character I know she won't actually get lobotomized so I want to see how she gets out of it).

Also, anyone else think the German thief looks like Jacob from lost?
posted by LizBoBiz at 8:37 AM on September 28, 2015

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