Sense8: We Will All Be Judged By The Courage Of Our Hearts
June 22, 2015 3:06 PM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

We learn more about Wolfgang's (and Felix's) past. Riley shows Will around her home in Iceland. Lito has some relationship troubles. Sun throws down in the yard. Nomi goes on the run. Kala is about to tell her potential father in law that she doesn't want to marry Rajan when they're interrupted.
posted by yasaman (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Man, episodes 7 and 8 were really painful. The stories got clichéd and terribly predictable, and the dialogue so bad we were laughing. And did we really need to linger so long on Lito having his breakdown? What the hell happened to the main plot? It's like they misplaced it somewhere, along with the antagonist. If the side stories hadn't degenerated into maudlin and/or silly junk (the hacker stuff was so absurdly dumb) the lack of forward motion on the main storyline would be fine, honest. But they did and so it's not.

After the joyous orgy in episode 6, this episode and the one before were a total slog. At times it's like watching two different shows - one full of wonder and neat ideas and cool action and powerful emotion, and the other full of ridiculously lazy writing and pacing clunkier than the worst Syfy schlock. We almost gave up after this one, but folks told us it was worth finishing. We'll see.
posted by mediareport at 8:15 PM on June 22, 2015

This episode did have the excellent chase scene with Nomi on the run from the bad guys though! It was a really thrilling scene, the first real glimpse at the new dimension sensate abilities can bring to what would otherwise be a standard on the run from bad guys scene. Because not only did Sun come to perform asskicking services, Will came to help Sun in a nice bit of teamwork. And then, in response to Nomi's "I don't know how to drive!" who should show up but Capheus! And man, his sheer joy is just so infectious. He was so clearly thrilled to be able to help, and thrilled to be living out a real life action movie of sorts.
posted by yasaman at 10:44 PM on June 22, 2015 [6 favorites]

After this episode (and the one before) my husband and I were so bored that we skipped straight to the season finale. I have gone back and skimmed through the one we missed, but yeah. There were moments of awesome but it was slow going and didn't feel like it advanced the plot, or the characters, very much.
posted by tracicle at 12:19 AM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

I lived a couple blocks from the start of the bicycle chase scene. Looks like they removed a guardrail to give a straight shot to the walkway. I was hoping they'd map out a course of escape maybe through Diamond Heights park. (That area is crying out for a foot/bicycle chase scene.) But she goes from there to approaching the Castro/Market/17th clusterfuck intersection from the north, which doesn't make much sense.
posted by nom de poop at 5:06 AM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah the chase was a ton of fun but all it did was contrast a short scene of intense coolness with 40 minutes of dullness. The lack of movement of the larger plot after 8 episodes is crushing the high hopes I had for the show, and the at times hilariously bad dialogue is grinding them into the dirt.
posted by mediareport at 5:30 AM on June 23, 2015

Was there anything non-clichéd and non-obvious about Sun's prison story, e.g.? Is there any doubt about where Lito's story is going after the breakup? Was anyone really needing to know the story of Felix and Wolfgang's childhood meeting? What exactly does that add here?

posted by mediareport at 5:34 AM on June 23, 2015

Huh. I pulled this from Wikipedia: "Initial writing was split between the Wachowskis and Straczynski every few episodes. The Wachowskis wrote episodes one, two, three, seven and eight. Straczynski wrote episodes four, five, six, nine and ten."

Seems like episodes 4 through 6 have been the ones pulling everybody in. Difference in initial writer? Can't help but wonder.
posted by dlugoczaj at 7:29 AM on June 23, 2015

I wouldn't call all that padding, because it's character work, and I for one always appreciate more/better character work over plot. But oh man, did Sense8 push me on that score when it came to episodes 7-9. I definitely recall getting impatient at about this point in the series, because it felt like the larger plot was spinning its wheels, and I admit to starting to tune out during the subplots that interested me less. Like, I confess that while in theory I appreciated the Wolfgang backstory, in practice I started drifting off and not paying attention, to the point that I didn't realize there was actually some interesting stuff going on in those flashbacks in terms of German reunification and how it presumably influenced Wolfgang's life.

Episodes 10-12 definitely regain traction though.
posted by yasaman at 9:28 AM on June 23, 2015

This episode was a little slower but I liked it. I'm glad that this show is interested in rich variation and spends so much time with these characters.

The show is also very interested in how these people were as children; have we seen every character as a child? I like that there are connections between the backstories and current situations of the different sensates but they are tenuous; everyone's experience is not the same.

The AV Club reviewer notes that he wishes we saw more of this side of Felix as an adult; I understand but this makes for a better story. I never quite liked Felix, but we get an idea of why Wolfgang does. This is another thing the show is good at: deep, family-like connections between people.

Nomi's escape - with lots of help - was fantastic. Also wonderful was Diego walking in on Will "kissing" "Riley."
posted by mountmccabe at 10:32 AM on June 23, 2015 [1 favorite]

Really nice character studies and development. Yeah, the main plot hasn't taken a backseat for the moment, but it's so worth it. Sense8 is an emotional journey with these people, it's ok to dial back the action as we learn more about them.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:28 AM on June 24, 2015

Just to be clear, I'd love it if these middle episodes had given us interesting emotional journeys and character development. They don't. They give us cliches instead. Again, there's little about Sun's prison laundry bully escapade that hasn't been done a million times in Oz, Prison Break, Orange Is The New Black and endless other prison bully stories. What was her character development there again? That we hadn't already seen?

There was none. Same goes for child Wolfgang and Felix. If the digressions had continued to be as interesting as the flashes we'd seen in early episodes - i.e., if they'd actually shown character development beyond the initial sketches we'd gotten early on - I'd have been so, so ok with putting the Sensate-origin/Whispers-hunt story aside for them. But they didn't, and I wasn't. It's fine if other folks feel differently, but at this point in the season, I'm surprised to find anyone who thinks there wasn't a ton of padding going on.
posted by mediareport at 8:13 PM on June 24, 2015

I loved the four person escape scene and Nomi calling on three different people for help. AWESOME. Also, really enjoyed the Will/Riley makeout scene and him being caught.

Poor Daniella. I want the boys to do a rescue, stat. It would probably get them killed, though. Also, that dad stabbing came outta nowhere!
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:06 PM on June 28, 2015

The slow parts did get a bit slow, but that escape scene was so epic that I would sit through a lot more slowness to see more scenes like it.
posted by isthmus at 8:05 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

And despite any slowness, I'm still very much enjoying the show.
posted by isthmus at 8:05 PM on June 30, 2015

Was anyone really needing to know the story of Felix and Wolfgang's childhood meeting?

Ohh, I was so entranced by how SERIOUSLY spot-on those kids were to their adult actor counterparts that I really enjoyed the backstory, more than usual.
posted by desuetude at 11:29 PM on August 2, 2015 [5 favorites]

Please tell me this show gets better. I want to like it, but I feel like I get 45 minutes of pablum for every five minutes of greatness. I was on board for about three episodes, and have been really struggling the last three.

I am totally bored with all of their individual stories. I am tired of the cliches, and I am tired of the simple ethnic caricatures. This show is so great when the Sensates are switching bodies, and so dull otherwise.

Is this it, is this just what the show is? Or is this some (a lot) of mid-season padding?
posted by kanewai at 6:59 PM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

This is what the show is. If you don't like that, feel free to bail now without guilt.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:26 PM on January 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think I was reasonably interested not only in the whole sense8 thing, but also in at least five of the eight individual stories. If you're batting 0/8 on the individual stories, this might not be the show for you.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:12 AM on January 8, 2016

Again, there's little about Sun's prison laundry bully escapade that hasn't been done a million times in Oz, Prison Break, Orange Is The New Black and endless other prison bully stories. What was her character development there again? That we hadn't already seen?

I'm actually really enjoying what I see of Sun's character development, but the actress is doing it very understated, and I'm not sure if I see what I see.

Where I think they're going is that Sun has to learn to value herself and her choices. She has always been a protector, but she's choosing who to protect. And in return, she is being admitted to the loyalty of women - which I get the impression she's been closed off from and hasn't experienced. She is learning to develop positive relationships, that good things bring good in return. For me, it's not about Sun fighting the bullies - it's about the paintbrush with her chopsticks.

That said, holy hell did I not expect Kala's story to go like that!
posted by corb at 10:38 AM on October 20, 2016 [2 favorites]

What was her character development there again?

she made a stoic sacrifice for somebody else, like she always does




the most life-changing series of moments any character has experienced so far. this is a very boring show considering how trashy it is, but Sun's slow discovery that she can be treated like a worthy human being and not a dishrag when she does good deeds, as long as she does them for people who deserve it, meaning other women and not men? that should be a dramatic cliche by now but I put it to you that it is not. it was incredible and her reaction to her discovery was the closest to subtle this show is capable of. so, not subtle at all but the actress sold it all the same. and it was set in motion by hearing herself say to the other woman, "you didn't have to help me." as you do say, when someone puts herself out for you, but nobody ever said to Sun herself.

and I dare say it was the only time the show allowed itself to subvert its own premise, by allowing one character to expand her consciousness and find real solidarity and connection in a way that was all thanks to her own good choices. Sun didn't need to be saved by the loving psychic care of her creepy instafamily brain friends, she just had to redirect her terrific personality to help people who deserve it. she thought she was tough enough to do without gratitude and respect, and she was, but it is easy to scorn something you never had. everything is different now that she's had a taste of it.

AND Felix can't talk anymore, for at least a little while. what a delightful episode.
posted by queenofbithynia at 10:56 PM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

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