a sense8 season 2 review for the rest of us

This shitty review contains a lot of spoilers so fuck off if you don’t want none of that shit.

I binged Sense8 season 2, like I do with much of my favorite shows. The Netflix gods are gracious for not letting the show fall into the one-episode-per-week trap that most of the new originals seem to be doing. Damn you, Designated Survivor.

Anyway, yes, Sense8 season 2. Coming from the huge, dragging, glorious clusterfuck of season 1, the second time around was a little bit of everything in every episode. It feels more like a TV series now than a long-ass film, which was what the entire first season felt like. You have to remember that the Wachowskis (bless these women) worked in films, notably the Matrix trilogy, V for Vendetta, and Cloud Atlas. TV is a very new medium for these two. But in Season 2, they stepped up their game (well, one of them did. Lana sat this one out I think?) and completely changed the whole feel of the series.

For example, they have actual goals per episode now! Break into the lab, confuse the BPO agents, things things things need to be done per episode and it gives every single one a nice wrap-up, compared to last season’s cliffhanger-per-episode. Each season 2 episode feels a lot more compressed, but gives you a good sense of closure and a nice little cliffhanger at the end, just to keep you bingewatching. I love this season so much. It is simply

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Season 2 also lets the audience into the wider world of Sense8. Suddenly, there are other sensates, and that they are spread all around the world. There is a sensate conspiracy called The Archipelago, a huge network of sensates spread out all over the globe. There are now drugs that work against sensate visits called psi-blockers. BPO apparently isn’t as all-powerful and unified as it seems, and it looks like BPO’s original aims weren’t exactly about exterminating the homo sensoriums at all.

This kind of world-building is a true Wachowski quality, as they did with the huge fucking world of The Matrix. I love it: the sense of hugeness really draws you in, making you feel that you are with the sensates, fighting a bigger evil than you actually realized.

And then you have the sensates’ stories as well. Will and Riley are still hell-bent on getting Whispers (which they do, eventually.) Capheus runs for office (I know, right?) Lito is trying to figure out what to do with his career after coming out. Wolfgang struggles with Berlin, a new whore called Lila (SHE’S A WHORE OK) while still trying to maintain his and Kala’s “illicit” relationship. Oh, and by the way, Kala is still annoyingly troubled by her feelings for Wolfgang and her marriage. But watch on, because she gets sent to Paris because her husband is involved in some shady shit, which… you know. Next season, Kala and Wolfie are fucking. Nomi, awesome hacktivist as ever, provides background on BPO’s past, and all-around support for whatever shenanigans the sensates are up to, together with her uber-cute girlfriend (SOON TO BE WIFE OMG THAT ENGAGEMENT SCENE DOE) Amanita, and the ever-creepy Bug. I love Bug so much.

And now, for my bae. Sun finally manages to get the closure she needed against her brother, and I have to say, her arc is the best one in all of the stories. Mostly because I’m so in love with her character, but also because she has the best fucking action sequences, something that the Wachowskis have never faltered in. I’d post more gifs about it but I can’t figure out wordpress right now, so this will have to wait. WATCH THE FUCKING SHOW, GUYS, BECAUSE IT IS SO GOOD.

Another thing: they really bumped up the action sequences there, with a few homages to The Matrix. Particularly the shootout scene between Wolfgang and Lila, the clever use of columns as cover reminds me of the office building shootout in the first Matrix film. There are no bullet-time sequences, though, so the Wachowskis have done away with that. There is a 24-minute chase scene in the finale, where Sun goes all fucking Terminator in an attempt to finally rid the world of her shitty little brother. Fuck that guy so much. Anyway, those glorious 24 minutes, a car v bike chase scene set in Seoul, is one of the most intense moments of TV in history. Please watch the show if you haven’t yet because it is THE BEST SHOW.

Throughout the season, you see how much the cast’s dynamics have changed. Everyone is much more candid with each other. The cast have mentioned in a few interviews that the Wachowskis gave them a lot more creative freedom in how to portray their characters. Everything about their dynamic is much more natural, less scripted, and makes everything even more genuine. This season also had me laughing a lot more than the last one. There’s a scene where Nomi and Sun are making a battle plan on how to catch Sun’s brother, and they needed a bartender. Lito shows up and flairs, and then succumbs once more to sobs (he just lost his job at this point.) The way the camera pans out and completely cuts off Lito’s crying is comedic gold. The clever use of the cast’s dynamics, witty dialogue, stupid reactions, and perfectly timed camera pans really gets me.

All in all, Sense8 doesn’t make a whole lot of… well, sense. I still don’t get the rules of visiting (do they control someone’s body? are they like invisible poltergeist? how do psi-blockers work?) There’s so much happening that sometimes you forget what happened in the last episode. Conspiracies and deceptions are everywhere, and it gets kind of exhausting to remember everything. But what Sense8 does really well is fuse sci-fi, action, comedy, drama, suspense, social commentary, and porn in one beautifully crafted season, and that’s why I’ve come to love it. It wants to be many things. So many things. It pulls it off in a lot of respects, but fails in a few more — and that, my friend, is endearing. Its message: love. If everyone were as nice and empathic as our favorite gang of sensates, the world would be a much better place. And the message is received.

Tl;dr Sense8 season 2 is awesome and you should watch it if you’re not a horrible, baby-punching, puppy-kicking, cat-siopaoing psychopath.

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