Saturday, February 13, 2016

Sense8, Season One, Episode Nine: Death Doesn't Let You Say Goodbye

Riley walks along beach and enters a cave where she meets Yrsa.  It seems that Yrsa is from an older generation of Sense8s.  Riley finds herself transported to Yrs'a place and invited to sit for coffee.  Yrsa is the one who encouraged Riley to leave Iceland because she isn't safe there. Yrsa admits that she used to work to BPO and tried to save the Sense8s that she could.  It was Yrsa who saw Riley's blood reports when her mother took her to be tested for illness.  It lead to Riley to believe that she caused her own mother's death.  It seems Yrsa never had children because she was worried they would be Sense8s like her.

It flashes we move to a scene with Riley in a remote area holding an infant.  Riley demands to know why Yrsa didn't help her and Yrsa says that she felt Riley's pain and called the rescue authorities. A chopper arrives and Riley reveals that all she wanted was to be dead and to be with her former hsuband. Yrsa empathizes saying that when she lost one of their cluster, she thought the pain would destroy her. Yrsa is certain that if Riley didn't want another chance, she wouldn't have tried to find her. Yrsa starts to bid her goodbyes and says that if Riley is found, she will lead people straight to Yrsa.  Riley promises to be careful but Yrsa is certain that one simple slip will be enough.  Yrsa encourages Riley to listen to her cluster with her heart.

Will walks into a lab and sees a version of himself as a child.  Young Will looks at a body on a gurney and the body suddenly turns into Angelica. Angelica warns him that Whispers knows that he is there and that he must run and not look at Whispers.  Will awakes in alarm and finds Jonas waiting for him.

Will sees that Jonas is strapped to a table hooked up to various medical devices. Jonas says that he is being watched and measured and that if he wants to say something he doesn't want the people listening to hear, he has to come to Will.  Will wants to get Jonas out but Jonas has no idea where he is and believes that as long as he is useful, he will be allowed to live.  Will reveals that he has learned all about BPO.  Riley appears and Will reveals that he is talking to Jonas.  Riley says that she is with Yrsa who is like them.  Both Riley and Yrsa note the attachment between Will and Riley. Yrsa calls love inside a cluster  pathological whereas; Jonas says that love in a cluster is love in its purest form. Riley and Will learn that they are born on the same day and Jonas says that clusters take their first breath as one.  Yrsa calls love inside a cluster narcissism.   Riley bids her goodbyes and when she mentions Jonas, Yrsa drags her away. Jonas warns Will that he cannot let Riley stay in Iceland and that a lot of research on Sense8s is done there.  Yrsa reveals that Angelica birthed Riley and he warns that Jonas and Angelica were collaborates who gave birth to clusters and then hunted them. Yrsa warns that if Will is in contact with Jonas that Whispers will soon find her. Yrsa leaves warning Riley that she is on her own.

Lito is very much mourning the loss of Hernando and so sits at a bar getting drunk.  He still doesn't understand how his two worlds crashed into each other.  The bartender tries to empathize with him saying that he knows what it is like to live two lives.  The bartender then admits to having a secret self and he propositions Lito. Lito quickly pulls his hand away, finishes his drink and leaves saying that he is not a f@ggot.

Wolfie sits at Felix's bedside and he is visited by Steiner. Steiner makes it clear that he wants revenge for Wolfie's father's death. Steiner says that this can go no further and then warns him not to make him choose between him and Felix.

Kala is talking to the police and they want to know if she and Maendera were talking about religion.  The police inform her that Maendera was trying to pass bills to make certain religious acts illegal.  It's clear that the police suspect Kala and so Rajan sends them away saying that if they want to ask more questions then they will do so with her lawyer.  Rajan however believes Kala to be innocent and says that with the threats against him, Manendra had no business going to the temple.

We see Lito again and this time he is at the Diego Rivera museum - the site of his first date with Hernando. They speak about the nature of love and art. It's Nomi however who feels his sadness and that makes sense given that they are both without their partners at the moment.  Nomi joins Lito at the museum and though both admit that this is not a good time for either of them, they share their worries. Both are worried if they are ever going to get their lives back. About the end of his relationship, Lito says that he is a coward despite playing heroes on film.

Lito talks about his first date with Hernando and about the various passions Hernando has.  They sat together for hours before finally stumbling into the bathroom filled with passion.  Lito calls his first kiss with Hernando a religious experience.  He compares giving Hernando head to taking holy communion. Lito however from the beginning was adamant that they had to hide because of his fear of losing his career.  Nomi relates with that fear but says that there's a difference between what we work for and what we live for.  Nomi talks about an experience in a swimming pool locker room where she stood up for herself when she was called a f@ggot. The boys ended up holding her under the hot water, giving her second degree burns. Lito yells out stop it, clearly relieving the event with Nomi. Nomi reveals that the locker room made her the woman that she is because she stopped trying to fit in and learned that she didn't want to be one of the boys.  Nomi believes the real violence that  is unforgivable, is the violence we do to ourselves when we are too afraid to be who we really are.

Sun gets a visit from Bak Kang-Dae who claims not to have slept since Sun was imprisoned. Bak Kang-Dae actually admits that he is not a good person and that when Sun's mother died, he thought his goodness died with her. Bak Kang-Dae has come to realise that his wealth and reputation is meaningless without his daughter and swears to tell the truth.

At work, Rajan approaches Kala because his mother wants to see her.  In the hospital, Sahana says that she was born in Bombay and used to go to temple but stopped when she got married. Sahana declares her husband a good man and asks Kala to pray with her.

Riley arrives at a church with Sven, who says that he and Gunnar go there sometimes.  It seems that Gunnar went to the cemetery around back whenever he missed Riley. Without a word, Riley gets out of the car and heads to the cemetery. Riley says that she wasn't strong enough before now to come back.  Riley admits that sometimes she doesn't know who she is but still thinks of her husband.

Nomi is alone in her apartment when she hears a noise and so grabs a knife.  Amanita walks through the door and the two embrace crying.

Capheus gets in his bus to find Riley sitting in the back.  Seeing her sadness, Capheus asks Riley if she would rather be here.  Capheus takes a seat next to Riley and says that he has spent all night wishing this day would never come.  Capaheus wonders if animals waste time like humans wishing for things they will never get.  Capheus joins Riley at the cemetery and a crying Riley says that she couldn't go to her husband's funeral because she couldn't say goodbye.  It's Capheus who points out that she has now. Riley however believes that death doesn't let you say goodbye, it merely carves holes in your life.  Capheus tells the story of his sister who he loved but because they didn't have any food and his mother was unable to produce milk, his sister was dying.  To save her, they gave the baby to an orphanage.  Capheus says that saying goodbye was the hardest thing she had ever done. Neither of them ever say the baby again. Capheus said in a way his sister died but in another way she lived. Capheus learned that life and death are mixed up together;  some beginnings are endings and some endings are beginnings.

Amanita and Nomi are in bed together and Nomi explains that she used Will's badge number to BOLO herself - last seen on a plane to Australia.

Lito eats in his empty apartment. He is clearly lost as he walks around in his underwear with only one sock on.  Lito lies in his empty hot tub now drunk calling Hernando repeatedly.  With each call, Lito's desperation becomes worse.  The sun sets and he is in tears and so drunk that the booze pours down his face.  Finally, Lito leaves a message saying that this is all his fault and that he has let both Hernando and Daniela down. Lito is cut off by a message saying that Hernando's mail box is full. Lito collapses into the fetal position crying about the loss of Fernando.  He sees a gun next to him and picks it up. Lito puts the gun in his mouth but when he pulls the trigger, he learns that the gun is actually nothing more than a lighter.  Lito says that the gun is a fake like everything in his life.  Lito says that all he does is lie.

I like seeing the background of how Lito and Hernando got together as a couple.  Seeing Lito's pain at the loss of the man he loves was absolutely difficult to watch and cements exactly what Hernando means to him.  Up until this point we really have not seen much of that for the simple fact that the fetishist always got in the way.  That being said, we had another round of look how deceptive Lito is. A career is not an easy thing to just throw away and to position him as deceptive because he is closeted doesn't speak to the risks he would face as an out gay man.  Having him self identify as a coward and a liar is beyond problematic.

It's interesting that it was Nomi who came to him in his time of pain.  I think this is the first meeting of Nomi and Lito.  I wonder if they chose Nomi for this moment because she is the only other LGBT Sense8.  I do like that from her experiences she was able to show Lito how to move forward. I don't agree however that the worst violence we do is to ourselves, especially given the violence we saw Nomi survive in this episode.  It once again suggests that the closet which exists because of homophobia and transphobia is only harmful because LGBT people chose to hide and not because of the marginalizations that they are living with.  Despite having several pivotal LGBT characters I have really come to feel that in terms of the closet, Sense8 really fails.

We learned more about Riley's background and still yet, I find her to be the least interesting character. What they have done is filled in her backstory with trauma and sadness and that is not character building it's tragedy porn.  We had Capheus comforting Riley and the juxtaposition bothered me so much. Yes, they are both human and we all should have empathy for each other but they are pushing uncomfortable limits.  Let's face it Capheus's loss have everything to do with his poverty, and colonialism whereas Riley's losses are happenstance. These two losses are not equal though people died.