Netflix UK TV review: Sense8 Season 2 (Episode 3, 4 and 5)
Chris Bryant | On 06, May 2017
Watch along with our binge-reviews of Sense8 Season 2 here.
Sense8’s second season, purposely more story-driven, keeps up the captivating new pace, as Will, Riley and their cluster fight mysterious organisation B.P.O. and try to find their place in the world.
Along with the new pace, stylish elements of a detective story are unveiled, along with the revelations they bring. Steadily delving into the world of Sensates, and the scientific answers to the questions fans are asking, the show manages to drip-feed the facts, while still taking every chance to tell stunningly human stories. Climaxing in a meaningful lesson and emotive speech in Episode 5, it’s becoming clear that the show has really found its place and its way of connecting with people.
A major triumph for the show is Terence Mann’s sinister idealist, Whispers. With Wachowski and Straczynski having developed the shadowy antagonist’s backstory almost immediately, it falls to Mann to ensure Whispers loses none of his malice. The script plays to this, with Whispers’ ruthless experiments and killings shown in detail, but the actor’s icy demeanour protects Whispers from losing his monstrously enigmatic nature. His motives seem to veer between destruction and preservation, reckless slaughter and the greater good. By blurring his motives, the show makes him a terrorising figure, and Mann adds to that by making him uniquely certain of his actions.
Focusing on the details of their fugitive lifestyle and relatable personal struggles, Sense8 Season 2 has so far withdrawn from the spectacle of cultures that made the first season so passionate. Ending Episode 5 with a scene reminiscent of these, the show depends on other atmospheric trademarks in order to ensure the link between the Sensates is felt as much as shown. Selecting an often ethereal electro soundtrack, the up-tempo beats compliment the character-switching visuals perfectly, whether it be showing parallels in their lives (the water struggle in Nairobi/Neets’ bike chase/the religious conflicts in Kala’s life), or displaying their hive-mind visibly (the body-swapping necessary for Sun’s escape).
Finding shock value in the on-screen killings, Sense8 capitalises on this by doubling down on the mystery of their global adversary and allowing the actors’ to turn that into suspense and audience reaction. At the halfway point in this second season, Sense8’s velocity, thrill and capacity for compassion combine with the complex performances of the talented cast to produce a wholly unique science-fiction masterpiece.
All episodes of Sense8 Season 1 and 2 are available to watch exclusively on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.