In retrospect, I guess that despite all the awkward body humor between Lito and Sun, Nomi periodically dropping bricks of exposition, and Riley’s continued irrelevance to the overall narrative structure of the season, I really did enjoy the first season of Sense8. Though the general uptick in the tone of my writing on the last few installments is evidence enough, the real proof is that the last episode of the season languished for a couple of weeks. I know that I can eventually return to this world, but there is at this point a finite amount of Sense8 in the world. Once the last episode is viewed, it will be at least a year until there is another chance to spend time with any of these characters, and any false steps taken by the creators will be simmering in the interim. I had such a good time meeting these people and sharing their adventures that I didn’t want them to end, and particularly, I didn’t want them to end poorly. It is therefore with much trepidation that I fired up the Netflix machine and rolled tape on “Just Turn the Wheel and the Future Changes.” The opening sequence of the show partially addressed the main gripe that I had with this season: Riley having nothing to do except be a woman in jeopardy. Her character is deepened in the explication of the full story of her lost family, but this is problematic on two levels. The first is simply that Riley is already in a situation from which she needs to be rescued, and the accident presents her in the same circumstance. There is something to be said for parallel structure, given that she is finally able to rescue Will in the final moments of the episode, but she alone among the eight never really had any role in the proceedings. One could posit that she was the “soul” of the group, but that is scant justification for her lack of motility in the plot. Hopefully Riley will develop a usable skill in the upcoming season; her character should offer more than window dressing to the show. More interesting and inscrutable is Wolfgang’s gunfight at the OK Corral, if it was located in Germany. The race for oddest part to this particular coda comes down to Officer Gorski offering Wolfgang unsolicited advice on committing a whole slew of murders, Kala devising a Walter White worthy bomb in the kitchen, or the reveal that Wolfgang is not so much a suave jewel thief but a cold-blooded killer who has been barely keeping it together. Whereas Riley was left a blank slate, Wolfgang’s thread, and particularly his relationship with Kala, pretty much writes itself; he is the wild card among the eight. Wolfgang has proven on two separate occasions that he will take a life for reasons that are advantageous, rather than justified. Sun has also killed and maimed people, but in the context of mirroring for Capheus, who is one of the most moral characters on the show. Wolfgang commits his murders purely for revenge; how the others, particularly Kala, process this is fertile narrative ground. The main set piece is exhilarating and disorienting. As the team switches quickly back and forth to play their part in the scheme to bust Riley, it sometimes becomes hard to focus on who is doing what, particularly when Lito employs his super acting power to put the moves on a nurse. As the action ramps up into a more traditional prison break sequence, this straightens out and Sun, Kala, and even poor neglected Capheus get their moment to shine in springing Riley. That Wolfgang’s new identity as a cold-blooded murderer also comes in conveniently handy is pretty nifty, and the show makes big steps toward a second season with the Will/Whispers interaction. Speculation at this point is idle, but if there were any frayed ends in the finale, they were here. The depth of the connection that Whispers made with Will was not fully fleshed out. Perhaps it was just me, but I couldn’t understand if Will was now linked forever with Whispers, or this was just a passing thing. The vagueness is actually a boon to the writers of the upcoming episodes, but the tension in the moment is dissipated by the confusion. Despite this muddiness, the finish hits its final mark as the whole cast is united for the first time, bringing a rousing, confounding, but ultimately satisfying season of television to an end. Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.