Sense8: I Can't Leave Her
July 1, 2015 5:11 PM - Season 1, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Wolfgang takes on his uncle. The cluster takes on Whispers. Riley faces her trauma.
posted by yasaman (42 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Hello German
guys with guns
cu-cu-cu-cu-cu-cu-curry bomb!
posted by snofoam at 6:31 PM on July 1, 2015 [10 favorites]

Having Kala's Bollywood wedding crisis arc resolve with Wolfgang telling her to marry Rajan rather than her making a choice disappoints me. I really hope we get more development on her next season.
posted by bile and syntax at 4:44 AM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

"We had sex."
*boggle boggle boggle*

God, that was great.

Oh, Will. Hard to avoid, I know, but argh.

Riley's past trauma is genuinely goddamned horrifying. Holy shit.

I really liked this show overall. It's not to a lot of people's tastes (last night I was the only one in favor of the show where I was) and has tons of sex and violence and OMG BABY CROWNING (again!) and I really didn't need to see so much of the last bit, but...I still think it'd be kewl to be a sensate, except for the bad guys chasing you thing.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:22 AM on July 2, 2015 [2 favorites]

I have watched the whole thing, really curious to see where it was going ...and in the end came away with the feeling that it wasn't really going anywhere. I don't really feel that any of the characters grew (except Lito, and he was rewarded for that by almost disappearing for two episodes) and I still don't get the sense I know anything about the mythology or conspiracy.

If there is a Season 2 (and if they can continue to pull off that feat of logistics and expenditures, I'll be sincerely impressed), I don't know that I'll feel drawn to carry on with it.

Then again, if it turns out that all of them are murderers--since I think so far we've got Will, Wolfgang, and maybe Sun? on that list--I'd find it hilarious, just because it's such a dark flip to the "we're all connected, empathetic types" approach that the show has posited so far.
posted by psoas at 8:21 AM on July 2, 2015

I enjoyed the season overall. It seems like the things that worked well can only be repeated so much. (Sun kicking ass might be an exception, one extended birth montage was already too much for me.) I think it was wise to spend a whole season just developing the characters before setting up a unified conflict for the second season. At the same time, I have some fear about it. Will it turn into a gimmicky version of something cliché? The originality of this season came from how they stitched together loads of tired tropes and excecuted well enough to get a pass on cheesiness. Will the story they come up with be good enough when we are no longer distracted by trying to understand the premise? Eight separate stories built from pop culture fragments is also less obviously derivative than a single story, which seems to be what they are leading into.
posted by snofoam at 12:00 PM on July 2, 2015

I found this WSJ article an interesting (and spoilery) background for the show.

[Straczynski] says the creators treated the 12-episode first season like a 12-hour mystery, with the first few episodes serving as prelude. “You’re not going to know what’s going on necessarily in the first act. But everything that is set up in the show is explained logically by the end of the season.”

Until then, Straczynski offered an 8-point tutorial to help viewers make sense of “Sense8.” A caution to viewers who want don’t want to know more than the show reveals, there are general spoilers below.

I'm not sure it's true that "everything" is explained by the end (or in this list), but I really did love the slow reveal of what was going on.
posted by mountmccabe at 12:27 PM on July 2, 2015 [1 favorite]

bile and syntax: Having Kala's Bollywood wedding crisis arc resolve with Wolfgang telling her to marry Rajan rather than her making a choice disappoints me. I really hope we get more development on her next season.

I don't consider that arc by any means resolved, certainly no wedding has happened and Kala can still decide to not get married even if she can no longer feel the same way about Wolfgang (this feels like an AskMe question). What we know is that Wolfgang doesn't have a high opinion of himself, that his actions upset Kala, but that Kala is still bad ass, seeing more of what she can contribute to the group. I think it was important that Kala pushed on (making that bomb) when Wolfgang was ready to give up. It was also important seeing Kala helping wake up Riley even after the incident with Wolfgang.

It was also amazing to see Wolfgang sub in to drive the van at Mr. Whispers in the helicopter when Will wouldn't be a reasonable threat. I think this is a really key part of the show and I really hope it is explored and built upon in future seasons. It would have been dangerous for Will to reject Wolfgang's help there. The cop and the gangster are more powerful working together.

The characters start out looking like cliches, but they're not, really. It was all but necessary to help us get into a story this broad. I really, really, hope they are able to make several more seasons with this reach, with this scope, and that we get more time with all of the characters, and see more and more of them, and what they can do together.
posted by mountmccabe at 12:47 PM on July 2, 2015 [6 favorites]

I thought that was a theme of the show; Everyone's a cliché, until you get to know them.
posted by fullerine at 11:28 PM on July 2, 2015 [7 favorites]

Riley's backstory was gut-wrenching. I think all the time Sense8 spends slowly building our affection for and understanding of the characters pays off brilliantly in this episode. I've seen a lot of other shows that feature traumatic backstories and I'm just not engaged, but I felt it here. Geeze. It makes that last scene so fraught. Especially now that Whispers has a line into the cluster (that elevator scene!)

I read someone describe the helicopter chicken scene like this:

Whispers: You won't do it, Will. You give too many fucks.
Will: I know someone who gives zero fucks.
*Wolfgang appears*
Whispers: Fuck.

Finally, how great was the "by our powers combined" escape scene where everyone makes an appearance? SO SATISFYING.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 11:59 AM on July 3, 2015 [12 favorites]

I thought the season finale did a great job of resolving just enough that it was satisfying while still leaving a ton of questions/issues for future season(s). Basically the only things that did get resolved in terms of the bigger plot were Will and Riley being out of immediate danger from Whispers and BPO, and everyone in the cluster having "met" each other. I hate cheap "will this character survive????" or "lol let's just cut off mid-climax" cliffhangers, and Sense8 wisely avoided those by ending at a nice open-ended resting point in the narrative.

I'm intrigued by the linked WSJ article and JMS suggesting that it's specifically this cluster's range of diverse skills that makes them so dangerous in the eyes of BPO. Statistically speaking, the majority of clusters must be composed of average people, and a cluster of, say, a schoolteacher in Florida, a factory worker in China, a long haul truck driver in Canada, and an office worker in India is just not going to be that interesting or dangerous. Maybe some of them have some interesting skills to share amongst each other, but practically speaking, an organization like BPO won't give a fuck if the schoolteacher shares around her piano-playing skills and the office worker helps everyone become Excel wizards. But the Sense8 cluster? Now all those skills create a cumulatively very dangerous person.
posted by yasaman at 5:25 PM on July 3, 2015 [8 favorites]

It would make me happy if episode 1 of season 2 was just an extended party starting on the rooftop of the temple of Ganesha, moving to the rooftop in Nairobi that hosted Kabaka's daughter's birthday party, and culminating at Lito's apartment, where in the only plot twist of the episode it is revealed that one of the characters has the plumbing skillz to fix the damn hot tub.
posted by A dead Quaker at 5:29 PM on July 3, 2015 [8 favorites]

Count me in as another one who liked the show overall. Even though I'd seen that clip of the 8 of them on the boat before, in a promo or still shot, I still welled up when the camera kept pulling back to reveal them all. I hope we get another season, but if we don't, this was a unique rollercoaster to ride. And I look forward to giving it a rewatch sometime.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:43 PM on July 4, 2015

Did child-Will seeing the ghost girl tie in to the sensate storyline, or was it just a mystery dropped in for a possible future season's myth-arc?
posted by oh yeah! at 8:44 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

I remember seeing Sara Patrell captured and operated on, though I don't recall which episode that was in. It looks like she was (is?) a senseate from another cluster.

If say it showed us some about how Mr. Whispers and friends work and how long they have been at it.
posted by mountmccabe at 10:37 PM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Out of context, "Mr. Whispers and Friends" totally sounds like a kid's show.

There were a few eye-rolling moments in earlier episodes where I almost quit watching, but I'm glad I stuck with it. They found a good midpoint between "cliffhanger" and "resolution."

Except... they never explained one thing...

What happened to Lito's flip flop?
posted by desjardins at 8:54 AM on July 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

I think Sara Patrell is intended to still be a mystery. Given what we know now, it seems like she is also a sensate (senseate? I refuse to use Sense8 as anything other but a proper noun), one who just happened to be a kid in Will's neighbourhood when they were both growing up.

He saw her at one point, which gave them the ability to connect like Will and Jonas can. But being children and not having any convenient source of Jonasexposition, they didn't really know how to control it. So, when she was kidnapped, she could call out to Will for help but he was sadly powerless to do so.

Given all of the hate-on that some viewers have had for Will, it was kind of ironic to have his therapist going into the whole "don't try to be a saviour, kid" thing. I wonder if the writers recognized the cliche that they were creating with will and decided to hang a lampshade on it.
posted by sparklemotion at 12:50 PM on July 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

So this show is set up for a second season, right? Far too many mysteries planted with Whispers, the writing is designed to be extended. OTOH the budget for all these location shots must just be enormous. Boy I'd be sad if they made a second season on a lower budget and compromised the production values.

I didn't like the way the last two episodes wound up. Far too much implausible action movie stuff. Also if I never see another Wachowski slow-mo bullet fight in an elaborately decorated house, it will be too soon. I was really on board with the show for the first few episodes, establishing the premise and characters, the sense of confusion and wonder. To see it all build to a couple of action set pieces was a little disappointing.

I do like where they took Wolfgang though. He's a monster. So is Sun, really, her violence is just as brutal and personal even if we sense she's more of a victim. A second season exploring this theme of emotional rift, of trying to integrate violent psychopathy with sweet goofiness and love and vulnerability, that would be interesting.

(Also if you like the group-mind scifi premise, read A Fire Upon the Deep a great novel by Vernor Vinge. It has a zillion different things going on in it but one of them is a group mind semi-sentient animal species and all the weirdness that results in being able to see or touch another part of your mind that is external to you.)
posted by Nelson at 7:42 AM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]

Netflix hasn't decided on whether to do a second season, jms is optimistic that they may (The Mary Sue)
posted by oh yeah! at 10:31 AM on July 30, 2015

Has anyone spotted any Sense8 cosplay at this summer's cons? I'm hoping so hard for there to be a one-flip-flopped Lito at DragonCon that I'm tempted to try it myself and see if anyone gets it (but I am a red-headed lady-person, and while I could probably find the clothes, I don't think I have the dedication to get a wig or learn how to give myself fake stubble).
posted by oh yeah! at 6:56 AM on July 31, 2015

I really hope it comes back for another season bc the ending of will just being constantly under sedation (forever?) Is so unsatisfactory!
I have mixed feelings on the show on general. Some of it was interesting and beautiful and some was so heavy handed and poorly written. I liked the look of it and the premise and I think they did a good job sticking to their own internal logic for the most part. But some scenes really took me out of it or made me want to stop watching bc they were so cornball or implausible.
posted by rmless at 8:51 AM on August 3, 2015

Sense8 has been renewed for a second season! Looks like they were waiting for the auspicious date of the cluster's birthday to announce it.
posted by yasaman at 11:02 AM on August 8, 2015 [6 favorites]

posted by oh yeah! at 11:38 AM on August 8, 2015

Not sure if it's been mentioned here, but there is also a half hour making-of documentary on Netflix. I already had an idea of the crazy production set-up, but watching the making-of just made me appreciate the show and what they've done here so much more than I already did.
posted by noneuclidean at 11:27 AM on August 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

I watched the making-of this weekend. Too funny that Silvestre's first scene as Lito was the psychic orgy.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:24 PM on August 10, 2015

gifset of some of the actor switcheroos

I know there's some slang for this kind of practical trick (I remember Kurt Russell using it in the 'Escape From New York' commentary, pointing out how the stuntman jumps off the wall and lands out of frame behind a car, and then Russell pops up into frame from where he'd been crouching behind the car). A Texas switch maybe?
posted by oh yeah! at 4:32 AM on August 11, 2015 [8 favorites]

It was very cool to see the actors switching out. I figured there was some creative editing being done. For some reason it never occurred to me that the actors were just ducking out of the way or jumping in at the right moment.
posted by noneuclidean at 12:57 PM on August 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

I'm way late to the party, but after marathoning the entire series, I read every convo thread here. I'm not going to go through and comment on them at this point, because most of what I would have said has been said, and it's kinda too little, too late. BUT! I'm psyched that we're getting a season two, and I'll be able to participate then!

(I'm not the only one who refers to the orgy scene as the Cluster-Fuck, right?)
posted by tzikeh at 8:33 AM on September 2, 2015 [8 favorites]

Yay! Renewed for season 2!
posted by kokaku at 5:05 PM on September 16, 2015

Welcome to the party, kokaku. :-)

I made it to the one Sense8 fan-discussion panel at DragonCon during Labor Day weekend. The discussion itself was kind of a mess (room layout was such that you could only hear the questions from the half of the room you were sitting in, and the panelists would not shut down the schmuck in the front row who kept cutting in when other people were raising their hands to speak), but it was really heartening to be in a room with a couple hundred fellow fans. None of my IRL friends have watched the series yet, so the fandom has all been virtual for me so far.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:17 PM on September 16, 2015

That'll learn me to only look for new comments :)
posted by kokaku at 2:55 AM on September 17, 2015

This was the weirdest season of The A-Team ever.
posted by komara at 8:22 PM on September 24, 2015 [3 favorites]

No, wait, this was the weirdest adaptation of The Matrix ever, except instead of "I know kung-fu" it's now "I know someone who knows kung-fu" which is interesting in a different way, I guess.

Point is: I'm not sold on S02. I read all the FanFare discussions as I went through these episodes and it's clear that this show didn't grab me the way it did most of you. And I'm not saying I hated it or anything - if they said, "Okay so it turns out that S02 is a fish-out-of-water drama about Wolfgang moving to Mumbai to woo Kala and we forgot to film anyone else" I would probably watch that. I enjoyed a lot of the one-on-one interactions, but every episode felt so so padded with other garbage I got bored frequently.

Actual complaint: just before I watched this show I binge-watched Mr. Robot which showed that you can do an incredible show about computer hackers and have everything appear as realistic as possible while being entertaining and suspenseful. Going from that to ... whatever this show presented as hackerdom was really frustrating.

I do have to give mad props to the writers for keeping track of all the individual interactions. When Will first met Lito and didn't know him I was like, "Wow, I ... yeah, that's right. They haven't had a scene together. I mean except for that one scene but no one was doing introductions there." So kudos to whoever wrote it because they clearly cared about who had met whom and so forth. Likewise for the costumers for keeping track when filming the same scene in Seoul and Nairobi. Very well done indeed.

okay yeah I also have to admit that I would straight-up watch the Capheus show, regardless of what it was. That character is a delight, and Aml Ameen plays him perfectly. I was never ever bored when he was on screen.
posted by komara at 8:33 PM on September 24, 2015 [2 favorites]

Loved they used Saeglopur for the ending. So appropriate since Sigur Ros is from Iceland and the name translates to soemthing like "lost at sea". (Also I walked down the isle to that song at my wedding. Sigur Ros makes some of the most beautiful music I've ever heard.)

I have a co-worker who watches alot of Korean entertainment and he mentioned that just about every Korean person on screen is actually really big in Korea. He said it was suprising how many Korean stars were in thr shown with just bit parts. That and the dad-who-is-famous-Icelandic-musician makes me wonder ifnthe other stars are famous in their home countries too. Off to google!
posted by LizBoBiz at 10:14 AM on October 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Is Whispers' only "power" that he's constantly in your head talking to you? That doesn't seem to be more than an annoyance, and doesn't really explain why Jonas was so terrified of him. Perhaps his powers are more useful? And yet, he doesn't seem to try to control Will after making visual contact, so what's up with that?

I don't think Whispers can control a senseate until after he lobotomizes them. I think what makes him such a powerful threat aside from his puppet-master abilities is all the real-world resources he has at his disposal -- helicopters, henchmen, facilities -- so that once he has someone in his sights he can do things like getting a hospital to essentially kidnap Nomi.
posted by oh yeah! at 1:10 PM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]

Will: Shit. Four guards.
Sun: Is that all?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:27 PM on December 25, 2015 [4 favorites]

I watched the first 9 episodes last year and mostly enjoyed it, but got busy with other things and wasn't really watching TV or movies until the past few weeks. I had forgotten I had watched it until I saw the first bit of the first episode, then realized I had already watched.

Anyway, having now watched the last three episodes, I found the whole thing reasonably enjoyable, although with a bit too much on the cheesy action setpiece thing in these last three. Sadly, the ending was just disgustingly horrible to me. Worse than the crowning babies, which I could have done without but didn't hate. It was a really bad action movie ending to me. Not enough to ruin the show or anything, but having been spoiled by the ending of Manhattan (why didn't we do anything for that show?!), I just found it really unsatisfactory. It was like the writers couldn't figure out whether they were doing a summer blockbuster action flick or a show with actual thought put into it.

It just didn't flow well given the tone of the rest of the show, nor did it really fit with the rest of the episode to me. Oh well, at least it's only a season finale and not the full-stop end.

There also seemed to be a bit of fast and loose with the mechanics of the mythology in the last episode, but that was less jarring and may be due more to the unplanned hiatus my viewing had than anything wrong with the show itself.
posted by wierdo at 3:32 AM on February 11, 2016

Man, that sucks. I mean, if things were really that bad off-camera, I guess it had to be done, I wouldn't want to watch an orgy scene knowing that any of the participants despised one another, but, given all the clumsily racist crap in the storyline with Will and the young gunshot victim, I don't know that it's clear from the article or Jamie's tweets that all the bigotry was on Aml Ameen's part. I guess all the details will leak out eventually.

But it's going to be so jarring to see this new guy on the boat, if S2 picks up right where they left off.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:27 PM on April 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Oh man, I just finished Season 1 and am now freaking out about cancellation rumors. It's so good! I need more!
posted by corb at 7:01 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

What rumors? They finished filming S2 in September according to the wiki, it's just Netflix's release date that's still TBD.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:52 PM on October 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

After diving down deep on the internet, looks like it's mostly speculation because of losing actors and possibly one of the Wachowskis? Phew. Now I just have to dance on my hands for another however long. :)
posted by corb at 11:21 AM on October 21, 2016

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