Netflix TV binge review: Sense8 (Episodes 10, 11, 12)
Chris Bryant | On 24, Jun 2015Reading time: 3 mins
Already seen Episodes 10, 11 and 12? Read on at the bottom for additional, spoiler-filled comments.
“I don’t know what’s true or not, but I know we have to watch out for each other.”
Sense8’s final three episodes combine to present the struggle of the Sensates against their mysterious adversary, known only as Whispers. Gritty, clever and at times wildly unrealistic, they manage to capture the best and worst of the show.
The episodes – particularly Episode 10 – draw a picture of the Sensates lives in relation to the non-Sensates around them and the effect their supernatural bond has on their normal relationships. Lito and Wolfgang face their fears, choosing to put others over themselves, as they fight for what they believe in. Will and Riley spend time with their fathers – both powerful scenes involving other Sensates dipping in and out of their joy. Riley’s orchestral sequence is especially potent, as the Sensates share, among themselves, the moment of their individual births. Riley finally shares why she moved away from home, as the experience becomes overwhelming and leads her into a more troubled place.
The trio build to a rescue sequence in which Riley’s hospitalisation draws too much attention from an unwanted party, finally culminating in an act which the group have been warned about from Episode 1. Finally, the characters are tested as a team, each bringing what they can to the foray. It’s a clever sequence, but raises many questions about Whispers and his motivation that seem paradoxical against the humane, inclusive nature of The Wachowskis’ creation. It’s an impressively action-packed series of episodes, involving car chases, shootouts and the now inevitable Doona Bae fight sequences, but this can occasionally hamper the show, the final episode being the most emotionally straining, but rarely pausing from the tense escape the characters are tasked with.
The story remains interesting, but it feels very much as though the careful planning stopped when the final episode began. The episode seldom takes a moment to appreciate life the way the others do, especially considering the stress and challenges it involves. Far more focus is paid to the Sensates’ conclusions of their individual stories. Lito, for example, finally confronts his own sexuality in a manner fitting for his status. A flamboyant, passionate few scenes show his fight to right his wrongs, with only a little help from his own cluster. It’s witty, warm and extremely stylised.
Overall, it feels like a suitable first adventure for the eight new heroes. It’s scrappy, it’s messy and they’re well crafted, as the underdogs against the better informed Whispers. Sense8 does a passable job of creating tension and action, as it always has, but thrives where a chance to explore true emotion presents itself. Delving into a variety of cultures and struggles, the show works far better as an exploration of the human, than the superhuman.
All episodes of Sense8 are available to watch on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription. For videos introducing each of the main characters, click here.
Additional notes (contains spoilers)
– Free from their personal dramas, it would seem the Sensates are destined to physically unite in a second season. Though The Wachowskis could’ve done far more with Whispers – he comes across as a standard bad guy in a show about the variations available in humanity – the newest cluster of connected heroes provides enough of a balance that their adventures could occur when they unite against him.
– Concluding on a clever move within a few episodes fraught with difficult choices, Will’s mental escape from Whispers could leave him to fight another day, if the others can mobilise without what appears to be their natural leader. With Will’s fate unknown – alive but perpetually sedated – the Sensates have some difficult times ahead.