Saturday, February 6, 2016

Sense8, Season One, Episode Ten: What is Human?

The sense8s seem to be walking in some sort of maze in a holocaust museum but the camera focuses almost solely on Wolfie.  This is where Wolfie and Will meet for the first time. Wolfie questions why it's so loud where Will is and Will explains that its Independence Day. Wolfie takes off and Will tries to follow, only to find himself back in New York with Jonas, who suggests that Will find them somewhere to talk.

Sun's lawyer is there to see her and informs Sun that her father did everything he promised to and more.  The lawyer tells Sun that if she agrees, he may have her out of jail in less than a week. Sun hesitates and questions what will happen to Bak Joong-Ki.  The lawyer says that the court was lenient with Sun because she cooperated but they will make an example Bak Joong-Ki. Sun finally signs the paperwork.

Wolfie is by Felix's bedside when Steiner walks in saying that he heard that Sergei paid Wolfie a visit. Steiner says that it was hard to watch what happened to Felix though Felix brought it upon himself. Steiner adds that he has close friends at the hospital who agreed to keep an eye on Felix. Steiner is clearly threatening Felix, causing Wolfie to suggest trading the diamonds for a pass for Felix and himself.  Steiner responds that he is forward thinking and that they can all live happily ever after.

Jonas and Will are in a museum together and Jonas admits that while being born in India, he was raised in England and therefore he doesn't know where his allegiance lies.  Will questions if the sense8s are human and Jonas says that they are more human than any other humans. Jonas talks about his relationship with the father of his cluster. Jonas saying that the differences between Sense8s and others is very subtle.  Jonas reveals that their kind has been there since the beginning and in all likelihood were the beginning. Will asks Jonas if he has a secret and Jonas reveals that they will try to use him to get to Will and the rest of Will's cluster.  Jonas again warns Will to never look Whispers in the eye.  Will realises that Angelica killed herself to protect his cluster. Jonas says that the humanities isolation from each other has made killing easy because people feel nothing.

Kala sits with Sanyam and admits that she is confused about the wedding. Sanyam says that he knows.  Kala reveals that Manendra was at the temple to call off the wedding and that she didn't tell Rajan because she is confused about the wedding. Sanyam suggests that by telling Rajan now it will empower Manendra because it would then become Manedra's last wish.  Sanyam admits that Kala has a difficult decision but he is sure she already has the answer to what she must do.

Kala and Capheus are both lost in thought when they meet for the first time.  Naturally, Capheus is watching a Van Damn movie. Capheus explains that a big television is necessary because it takes you out of a slum.  Kala and Capheus sit to watch the movie and Kala is taken back by the violence. They both agree that life is violent.

Wolfie retrieves the diamonds which he had hidden in ice cubes. Wolfie arrives for his big meet up with Steiner.  Steiner orders Wolfie searched twice and only finds the bag of diamonds. Steiner taunts Wolfie with diamonds in hand and demands to know how Wolfie got into the safe.  Wolfie answers that he cracked it but this answer does not satisfy Steiner, who punches Wolfie several times. Wolfie starts to crawl away, as Steiner grabs a gun demanding to know if Wolfie thinks he is stupid.  Lito makes an appearance, as Wolfie looks at the gun he has strapped to the bottom of his car. Lito analyzes the situation with Wolfie and Lito suggests that Wolfie tell Steiner something he wants to hear. Wolfie however feels that he cannot lie because Steiner reminds him of his father.  It's then that Lito takes over.  He tells Steiner a lie about Felix having sex with a man.  Steiner calls Felix a cocksucker.  Steiner is distracted by the story giving Wolfie enough time to grab his gun and start shooting.  Steiner manages to get in his car and start to drive away but Wolfie pulls out a rocket launcher and blows the fleeing Steiner up.  Lito is excited by the action and the two men shake hands. Lito says that lying is easy and that this is what he does. Wolfie tells Lito that when you make a mistake, you can live with it or you can fix it.

Back home now, Lito calls Hernando and says that he made a mistake but that he is going to fix it.

Will carries beer to meet his father for an Independence Day celebration.  Will sees Riley look at the river and approaches.  They end up at the symphony where Gunnar is playing that night. Will reveals that he saw Jonas, who said that it was dangerous for Riley to be in Iceland.  Riley reveals that Ysra said that Jonas cannot be trusted because he worked with BPO. Will doesn't know what's true but believes they have to look out for each other. The two kiss again with Will clearly forgetting what this will look like to observers.

Lito walks back into the bar and sees the same bartender as before.  He drinks down two shots of tequila and then orders 4 shots of tequila. The bartender apologises for what happened before, as Lito downs the shots.  Lito pulls the bartender close and kisses him saying that he should have told him the truth.  Lito tells the man that his lips belong to another.  Lito reveals that he has already met the love of his life and that his name is Hernando. A triumphant and probably drunk Lito marches out of the bar.

Riley meets with Gunnar, who is in his tuxedo getting high with the other musicians.  Riley offers her father and the rest of the musicians ecstasy.

Will has arrived on his father's boat, ready for the celebration.

Joaquin is sitting with Daniela when Lito arrives.  Everything is in slow motion like it is happening in a movie. Lito gets out the car and he is all tough guy, sexy and serious like the heroes he plays in the telenovellas. Lito announces that he has come for Daniela, telling her that she is coming home with him.  Joaquin calls Lito by a gay slur and threatens him with the pictures.  Lito tries to continue acting as though he is in a movie but gets beaten for his trouble.  Lito pauses long enough to beg not to be hit in the face because unfortunately for Lito, he cannot fight and only manages to get in one solid punch. Lito does however manage to throw some potted plants. Joaquin continues beating Lito as Daniela looks on. Fortunately for Lito, Wolfie arrives to return the favor from earlier.  Joaquin swaggers over to Lito but unbeknownst to him, he is facing Wolfie now and Wolfie is not to be played with. Wolfie knocks out Joaquin with one strong upper cut.  Lito thanks Wolfie who explains that fighting is easy and that fighting is what he does.  Daniela rushes into Lito's arms and he suggests that they go home.

Will is on the river with Michael.  Michael says that the fourth of July is his favourite holiday. Michael talks about how much his father wanted him to be an electrician.  Michael's father was disappointed when he quit but he became a cop - the one thing he wanted to do.  Michael however was proud when Will became a cop.

The fireworks go off as Riley takes her seat at the the theater and Amanita and Nomi make love.  Sun and Capheus join Will on the boat and both of them love the fireworks.

Lito rings Hernando's doorbell and he is clearly bruised from his fight with Joaquin.  When Lito explains that he got into a fight, Hernando is concerned that with the bruises, Lito will not be able to shoot tomorrow.  Lito questions if Hernando still loves him and Hernando says that he does but he knows how important Lito's career is to him.  Lito tells Hernando that he was right and that he was a coward because he cared to much about things which aren't important. Lito now knows that Hernando gave up a lot to be with him.  Lito admits that he made a terrible mistake but adds that he fixed it.  When Hernando turns to the doorway, he sees a smiling Daniela.  Daniela says that Lito fought Jaoquin and that it was like a scene from one of his movies.  Lito reveals that he doesn't care about the pictures because while his career is important, it is not more important than Hernando. And what does the fetishist do? She takes a picture as the two men kiss. Hernando gives Daniela the eye and she points out that Lito said he didn't care.

Gunnar sits at the piano and begins to play.  Riley is joined by the other Sense8s in the audience.  Riley is taken back to her birth.  Her father wasn't there and so a phone is placed by Riley's mother's vagina, so that Riley would hear it as she was being born.  Will's birth is next.  He was born in the back of a police car with his father delivering him.  Next up is Kala, whose mother is surrounded by symbols of her religion.  Then we see Lito, who was clearly born at home surrounded by family, who are watching you guessed it, a telenovella.  Sun's mother is at a cemetery when she goes into labour. She gives birth to Sun between the tomb stones.  Nomi's mother has a c-section and is completely unconscious for the whole thing .We get to Wolfie, whose mother is in a birth tubbing when she gives birth to him. Finally it's Capheus's turn.  His mother is outside by a fire and it looks as though his father delivered him.  As each Sense8 see their birth, they are filled with happiness and several of them cry.

We then see Riley giving birth to her child and for her, it's a moment of sadness.  Riley delivers her in a car just before being involved in a car crash. Blood streams down Riley's face and she collapses.

A lot happened in this episode.  It really bothers me that Lito identifies as a liar.  It suggests that everything about him is a lie.  My issue is that the man was closeted because of how virulent homophobia is and not because he is simply a coward.  To be clear, people die because they are gay. People lose employment, housing and in some cases access to decent healthcare because they are gay. The casual assignment of Lito as simply some career obsessed coward without making it clear that there are plenty of real world penalties to coming out is beyond problematic.  Having Wolfie face homophobia because of some lie Lito told does not deal with the issue at hand whatsoever.

Also, can we please get rid of the fetishist now? I am so glad that Hernando gave her the eye when she started to take a photo but she still clearly doesn't see a problem with what she has done. This character is beyond irredeemable to me at this point.

I will never stop being bothered seeing Capheus turn to Van Damn for courage when he has the example of his mother's heroics.  Why does this fake action star figure so largely in the life of Caphaues?

Jonas remains as much a mystery to me as he did the first episode.  He is the quintessential magical person of colour at this point.  I do however like that we learned a little bit more about the sense8s. I think the notion that violence has become so easy because we have become disconnected from each other is interesting and in fact, I thought I rather agree with.  We are taught not to care about each other much and have developed a sort of anomie - a complete lack of social empathy for each other. I think it's interesting to wonder if our behaviour would change if we could feel each other's pain.  We certainly couldn't easily ignore the humanity of another.

It looks like the story is shifting to tell us more about Riley.  Unfortunately, she is the character I am the least interested in.  Clearly she has a background of pain, having lost her child, husband and mother.  I know that this counts as characterisation but it is the characterasation of loss and misery.  It as though they don't really want to develop Riley as a person.  I cannot see this getting any better unfortunately.

I do however very much like seeing Sense8s who have not previously interacted meet each other. This week was Lito and Wolfie's first meeting.  I hope that we will continue to get more interactions. I think pairing Sun with Wolfie for instance would be an interesting combination.  They would be equals of sort both with daddy issues and both excellent fighters.  I look forward to seeing how these new combinations interact with each other.