First look Netflix UK TV review: Sense8 Season 2
Chris Bryant | On 05, May 2017
Watch along with our binge-reviews of Sense8 Season 2 here.
“Words – their inadequacy is a cliché.”
After a season and Christmas special preaching the power of love and empathy, while Whispers, a mysterious antagonist, quietly tracked the group of ever-connected telepaths, Episode 2 of this second season (or Episode 1, if you don’t count the Christmas special) suggests that dynamic is about to change in this adrenaline-fuelled return.
Who Am I? begins with the sort of multi-setting switch that Sense8 has a reputation for, a complex arrangement of conversations that the writing smoothly aligns in order to send their message – it’s a witty signature for Netflix’s hope-driven sci-fi, but the pace quickly changes. Bringing the telepathic cat-and-mouse game to the forefront, the show provides tension and twists the likes of which the crew have previously avoided, which only makes them all the more thrilling.
Season 2 already feels edgier, more dangerous. Having the Sensates take on Whispers in the opening episode is a striking move. Combined with the tactical drug use, exploration of Whispers’ past and upgrade in security for the team, everything points to Sense8’s second run being taut and exhilarating. Writers Lana Wachowski and J Michael Straczynski ensure that Whispers is given enough story to keep the audience fascinated, without ever letting him lose his superiority or terror.
Where the content shifts gears, the method of creation certainly does the same, or at least comes easier to the creators. While Season 1 meandered through the chaos of love, Season 2 straps in for the action. Smoother, sleeker, and more centred, the opening episode unites half the characters on a single mission, as opposed to skipping between their personal stories. While these secondary arcs are continued and hinted at, the bulk of the episode follows Will and Riley, with help from Nomi and Kala, and they play life-or-death chess with their torturous arch-enemy.
Succintly told, this return to the world of Sense8 is an addictive and welcome one. Having marvelled at the abstraction of connection for a season, the show has established that wonderous premise in a meaningful and heartfelt manner, but the injection of a new kind of adrenaline sets off Season 2 in a new way. If Season 1 was the heart fluttering with new love, Season 2 looks to make the heart pound with excitement and fear.
All episodes of Sense8 Season 1 and 2 are available to watch exclusively on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.