Sense8: Death Doesn't Let You Say Goodbye
June 24, 2015 5:14 PM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Will and Riley find out more about Jonas, Angelica, and BPO. Nomi and Lito have an intense conversation about their experiences with being queer. Riley and Capheus have an intense conversation about their experiences with grief. And Lito loses a flip flop.
posted by yasaman (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Every moment I was frustrated with Sense8's weird/slow pacing and slow-moving larger plot was worth it ten times over for this episode's Lito/Nomi conversation. There were so many things I loved about it. I loved that it was this long, quiet, intense exchange of intensely personal stories. I loved everything about the flashback to Hernando and Lito's first date, which was another example of the show's beautiful portrayals of intimacy. I mean, look at how it's shot to draw the viewer in to their bubble of intimacy, with the camera always close and tight on Hernando and Lito's faces, their hushed voices. And wow, if you'd ever told me I could find a bathroom blowjob scene deeply romantic, I wouldn't have believed you, but Sense8 pulled that off.

And then Nomi shared her story, and it was awful and heartbreaking. But the fact that she was sharing that story with Lito, that Nomi was using it to connect with Lito and try to help him through his own struggles, just hit me pretty hard. This is the kind of moment that's edging into Very Special Episode territory, yet thanks to the grounding in character and emotion, it didn't feel pat or didactic at all when Nomi said, "The real violence, the violence that I realized was unforgivable, is the violence that we do to ourselves when we're too afraid to be who we really are."

I'm so grateful to the show for this scene, because I can't imagine any other show or platform letting this scene spool out over close to ten minutes, much less a scene that features two queer characters talking about their experiences with queerness. I was rapt and teary-eyed when I watched it the first time.

The Capheus/Riley scene was also lovely. And my god, tumblr is right, Capheus really is a precious cinnamon roll, too good and pure for this world, because his optimism and joy are just absolutely illuminating, and so clearly hard-won. He is a literal ray of sunshine, I love him.
posted by yasaman at 8:10 PM on June 24, 2015 [16 favorites]

Yasaman, you're so right about that scene. And to pull Frida and Diego into the scene — Frida who was bisexual, Diego whose true art (rather than a capitalist interpretation of it) could only be seen in this one quiet space... So many echoes.
posted by heatherann at 5:39 AM on June 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

Well said, yasaman. The show's pervasive humanism and interest in these different characters' abilities to use their own life experience to offer insight and emotional support to one another is what makes it really special despite other clumsiness. I feel like this is what LOST wanted to be, at points, but didn't quite earn.

I can imagine so many other shows with the same conceit that would not have gone in nearly as powerful a direction with it - they'd just have the chase/fight scenes and little else, probably. I love that Sense8 tends in the direction of having a lot of fun with the idea, while keeping the emotional center in mind.

I can't get on board with complaints about a slow plot because to me, the character interaction and development is what's really fascinating. I think the time the show spends here pays off as the season progresses, and you really come to be invested in the characters.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:13 AM on June 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Someone at Slate really liked the Lito-Nomi scene too.

In other news, Riley was married before?! To a guy who literally rode up on a horse?! Wowza.

Lito: you are staggering around in one shoe and one sock. GAAAAAAAAAAH. Dude, stop drunk dialing and remedy this situation immediately!
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:04 PM on June 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

As soon as they showed the cell phone blackmail plot, I was hoping Nomi would hack the phones and delete all traces of the photos. It still hasn't happened, but at least Lito and Nomi have a connection now, so I'm still hoping it happens soon.

I'm enjoying the slow plot too, although I confess my mind has wandered during a few of the very slowest parts of the last few episodes. Still totally on board with this show. Moving on to episode 10!
posted by isthmus at 8:03 PM on June 30, 2015

Also, it was nice to see Lito finally connect with someone.
posted by isthmus at 8:20 PM on June 30, 2015 [1 favorite]

That Slate review does a good job at what I find to be the toughest thing about talking about Sense8 - balancing the stuff you think is brilliant with the stuff you think is atrociously ham-handed.
posted by mediareport at 3:44 AM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

Did they show us how/why Riley's husband and child died? Wasn't sure if it was deliberately vague, since it was the Riley/Capheus conversation that was the real focus of that arc, or if I just was looking away at a key moment. (I mean, I completely missed the Lito/Sun PMS joke, so, I'm not always paying enough attention during this binge.)

Kala's fiancee was so solicitous of her feelings it felt unreal. I mean, his father is dying, he should be a wreck, and instead he was all "I'm sorry, you've been through so much"?
posted by oh yeah! at 6:53 PM on July 3, 2015 [2 favorites]

I complained in a previous thread about the slow pace of plot development, and there was again very little here, but this episode is the one that grabbed me emotionally. "Please call me back. I lost a flip flop" - I think many of us can identify with that desperate sort of grasping when you've fucked up in a relationship. And Nomi's story... man.
posted by desjardins at 6:12 PM on July 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

"Please call me back. I lost a flip flop"

I hope that if there is any group cosplay for Sense8 this summer that someone does one-flip-flop sad drunk Lito. (The Van Damme would be cool to see too.)
posted by oh yeah! at 6:25 PM on July 11, 2015

I mean, Van Damn (dammit).
posted by oh yeah! at 6:48 PM on July 11, 2015

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