After watching the first and second episodes of Sense8, there seems to be a common thread in the show’s set-up. The viewer has to get through the slower beginning parts, which take up three-quarters of the episode, in order to get to the intense and twisted storyline that is showcased at the end of the episodes so far.
Episodes one and two have ended as ‘cliffhangers,’ endings that complement Netflix well as many of the users are binge-watchers. However the show could be quite a tedious task for those who would rather watch it one episode at a time, as much of the episodes are background noise about the characters, rather than the telling of the sci-fi aspects of the series.
With episode two, I appreciated the focus on a fraction of the characters rather than trying to blaze through the lives of all eight. In this episode, the characters showcased include policeman Will Gorski (Chicago), transgender Nomi Marks (San Francisco), soon-to-be wed Kala Rasal (Mumbai), and actor Lito Rodriguez (Hollywood).
With a narrow focus, the second episode was able to dive deeper into the characters’ personal lives and therefore it was able to introduce a variety of stories that reflected different societal commentaries that are prevalent today. We, the audience, learn that Nomi must deal with a mother who is unaccepting of her choice to live as a female and insists to continue to call her by “Michael.”
With Kala, a character who is in the midst of engagement celebration, we find a woman set to marry a man that she is yet to feel a connection with.
Lastly we have the one story that I found most surprising. With macho actor Lito we are introduced to someone who attends a premiere with a beautiful woman on his arm. This is quickly contrasted as Lito goes home to his boyfriend, who he choses to hide away from his spotlight, presumably to guard his masculine reputation in Hollywood.
While watching episode two I felt myself anticipating more and more the supernatural aspects that we so briefly caught a glimpse of at the end of the first episode. However nothing of the sort came about until about 38 minutes into episode two.
This intense plot turn comes about with an increased presence of Naveen Andrews’ character Jonas Maliki. Basically it begins with him trying to explain and warn Nomi Marks, who is currently in hospital due to some sort of brain growth disorder, that she is in danger and should not be listening to her doctors and their proposed plan to basically “lobotomize” her. His efforts don’t last long as she is startled and unwilling to listen, which leads him to mysteriously disappear from the scene. It is clear at this point that he may be at least in on this secret connection that is drawing these people together.
Initially, Will is startled and defensive, as he tries to detain Jonas. This is delayed as Jonas begins to unravel aspects of the mysterious connection that both Will and us, as viewers, are without a doubt confused and curious about.
Jonas reveals that the woman that Will saw at the beginning of the first episode is known as Angelica, and this is Will’s birth mother. He also tries to employ Will in his venture to help Nomi, as he believes she is in grave danger (recall: she is currently in the hospital and doctors are saying she will need to have a brain operation due to unusual brain growth).
He goes on to explain all of the visions and feelings that Will has been experiencing in an attempt to gain his trust. However after failing to do so, Jonas finds himself in a car chase with Will. Soon Will finds himself transported from car to car instantaneously as Jonas tries to explain the connection that is going on between them and the others that Will has been entangled with.
Just as with the pilot, this episode took a while to acknowledge the mysterious plot that intertwines the characters. Although the beginning stories involving pretty much every current societal issue was nice to see, it really wasn’t I was looking for in the sci-fi series. However, once we got three-quarters the way through the second episode, things began to pick up and we began getting clues as to what the mysterious connection is. One thing is for sure, Sense8’s efforts to keep things under wraps for as long as possible have been successful.
While I have learned lots about many of the individual character’s lives and backgrounds, I am hoping episode three gives me a bit more insight into the plot that brings them all together.