Sense8 is being coy. After two episodes of action and tension, the Wachowskis and Straczynski slam on the brakes in episode nine. Perhaps the stabbing of Kala’s soon to be father-in-law was supposed to be a big enough shock to carry bingeing viewers through this episode, but there really is precious little here other than people talking, and mostly indoors at that. Sense8 usually makes good use of its locales, and at the very least looks interesting even if not a lot is happening in the narrative. It seems that all of the wide shots, choreography, and exotic locations added up at once, and the producers decided a bottle episode was the best way to balance the ledger sheets. This construction also serves as an opportunity to sew up many of the threads that have been operating outside of the main plot line, and set up the final conflict, which may or may not be exceedingly trite. Sense8, you are a harsh mistress. The exception here is Lito, who is once again served well by the absence of gender confusion humor and hidden identity farce. The closest thing to urgency that this episode musters is his longing for Hernando. His shared recollection with Nomi of he and Hernando’s first date in the Diego Rivera Museum manages to be both steamy and wistful. It is also not ruined by Nomi’s upsetting story about shower abuse, which might be central to her character, but maybe not the right story to deploy in this particular situation. If this were happening anywhere other than episodic television, she probably would have told Lito the story of meeting Amanita. Since we as viewers already know this story and maybe Nomi’s family needs to be made even creepier than refusing to acknowledge her new identity and tacitly endorsing her lobotomy, her daddy issues are shoehorned in here. The timing issue makes Nomi look selfish and undercuts both her suffering and the eroticism and sorrow of Lito’s remembrance. Once again, it seems, active Nomi is much better than expository Nomi, even when she is dropping bombs about her childhood rather than government conspiracies. The heavy lifting to do with conspiracies is handed off to Riley this week, and it does little to mitigate her lack of participation in the narrative up to this point. She apparently lost her mother, husband and child at some point in the past, and her mother may or may not have been a sensate. I am not totally clear on any of this, and that’s okay, because I don’t think that it’s going to matter very much in the end. The end game for Riley is going to involve Whispers in one way or the other. The revelation that Jonas might be working for the baddies, combined with the first explicit mention of love among the sensates, her established tendency to get in over her head and existence on the periphery of the story sets her up as the likely McGuffin for the finale. That Whispers is coming for Riley is prettily heavily foreshadowed in this episode. Hopefully the creators will do a little something to turn the “woman in jeopardy” convention on its head. For all of its problems, Sense8 has strived to show viewers something they haven’t seen before. It would be a small let-down if the whole season comes down to rescuing the cute blonde, but if it does, I hope that Lito, Kala, and Wolfgang aren’t left out of the fun. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.