Sunday, May 7, 2017

Sense8, Season Two, Episode Three: Obligate Mutualisms

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After spending months on the run and Will risking his life by taking drugs in order to block out Whispers, the sensates have finally had the break they've needed. They've managed to track down Whispers when he's in a meeting with Croome.  Now they know at least one man of power behind the mystery and the sensates intend to leverage what they've learned.  Will has no problem goading Whispers, an honestly Whispers needs to be taken down a peg.  

Sensing that he's in a position of power, Will decides that it's time to make some demands.  Will asks to speak to the man in charge and orders Whispers to repeat exactly what he says, so that he can communicate with Croome. In order to encourage Croome that it is in his best interests to talk, Nomi does some hacking and informs Will that Croome ordered some flowers for a sick Aunt and that he also has a mistress named Rita.  Will's next request is for a meeting with Croome and Jonas without Whispers being present.  Whispers starts to hesitate about passing on the message and so Will has Nomi text Croome directly with his demands. Frustrated with Whispers, Croome orders him drugged and taken away.

This is the first time in months that the sensates no longer have the threat of Whispers hanging over their heads and they take advantage of it. It's a beautiful day outside and the sensates all take a walk on the streets of Amsterdam. The war is far from over but in this moment, it's time to celebrate and enjoy their small victory.  Even Sun, who is still trapped in a South Korean prison gets a sense of freedom. It's a powerful moment. 

Lito is on cloud nine when he enters the office of his management team to discuss his upcoming film project. The joy just leaps off of Lito as he talks about how beautiful the city is and how wonderful it is to be alive.  Lito's management is far more subdued because the news they have for him is not good. It seems that the film's producers have evoked a morals clause and have decided to drop Lito. This deflates all of the positive energy Lito walked into the room with. His management however still believe in him and hand him a large stack of scripts for him to consider. It's explained to Lito that they've had to turn down a lot of scripts in the past because of his busy schedule and though he's been kicked off one film, he still has the opportunity to find something else and fall in love with the story. 

Felix has been offered a free club by a local crime lord and so Felix and Wolfie head off to sign the paperwork.  Wolfie is caught unaware when he learns that the crime lord's partner is not only a woman, but also another sensate.  She is quick to initiate sex with Wolfie right under the nose of the crime lord. Wolfie is amazed that it feels like they are touching though they are actually sitting across the table from each other.  As the crime lord discusses his money laundering scheme, Wolfie and the woman have sex. This is the first time that Wolfie has visited with someone outside of his cluster. 

Sun is having a decidedly less pleasurable time.  Without warning, Sun is dragged out of her cell.  Sun instantly realises that something is wrong and she reaches out to Nomi. Because Sun is danger, all of the other sensates show up to help her out. It's Will who notices that these aren't regular guards because their uniforms don't fit properly and the tasers are pointing the wrong direction.  Nomi notices that the surveillance has been turned off in the room they are about to drag Sun in and tells her to fight. With the aid of both Wolfie and Will, Sun fights back but she's overpowered. Sun is dragged into the room and tased several times which each of the sensates experiences.  This is a dangerous thing for Caphues who is currently driving a bus. The fake guards get a rope around Sun's neck and begin the process of hanging her, which all of the sensates experience as well. In India, Kala falls to the ground choking unable to breathe. Fortunately, another prisoner enters the room and stabs one of the fake guards which causes Sun to fall to the ground. Sun catches her breathe and with the aid of Wolfie and Will, she takes out the rest of the guards. This scene is so damn awesome that I found myself cheering and carrying on. 

Sun may have avoided death but she now has the problem of being in a room with a bunch of dead guards. It's Lito who suggests that it's time for a jailbreak. The sensates come together once more to get Sun out of prison.  Capheus helps Sun hotwire a bus, Lito uses his acting skills to charm the person at the gate and Nomi, with the help of Bug, manages to lift the barrier at the prison so that Sun can escape, along with the prisoner who stabbed the fake guard. Once outside of the prison, Sun, Will, Wolfie and Capheus talk about what to do next. Once again, Capheus and Wolfie help her to steal a vehicle.  The woman Sun is travelling with suggests that they stay with a friend of hers.

Things are far less exciting for Lito. Having been evicted from his fancy home, Lito and Hernando need a new place to live.  Lito is not a fan of the first place they check out and so he asks to see another property.  Once at the new property, Lito and the Daniela The Fetishist fall absolutely in love. Hernando has some concerns because this place is far above their budget. Hernando is upset, saying that if he'd pulled his weight they could afford this new place. Hernando turned down a job paying three times his current salary in order to remain a teacher. Lito however reminds Hernando that doing what one loves is important and instead he takes responsibility for not saving his money.  Daniela The Fetishist interrupts the conversation to say how much she loves the place and that the three of them could fit into the tub.  When Daniela The Fetishist sees the look on Lito and Hernando's face, she starts to backtrack, admitting that this is something that they hadn't discussed. Daniela The Fetishist finally admits that if she gave up her apartment she could afford to share the place with the guys. Hernando sees this as the perfect solution and suggests that since they can all fit in the tub together that this was probably meant to be. 

Will finally gets to meet with Jonas at a train station. Will expects Jonas to physically be there but instead he psychically manifests.  Jonas explains that he chose the train station because it provides lots of exits for Will and is the place where he met his father for the first time. Jonas's father died of cancer surrounded by all 80 of his sensate children.  In this meeting we learn that any gender can give birth and it can happen at any time in their lives. Having any gender gives birth, doubles the fertility rate.  Jonas estimates that there are anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands in the world and BPO is concerned with speed at which the population is growing. This is the first real confirmation for the sensates that not only are they not alone but that they are from a sizable community. Jonas says that not all sensates are happy being born sensate.  Angelica gave birth to a  man named Todd, who seems to be a devoted Christian causing him to pray to be born normal. Jonas as it turns out is the last of his cluster. Will wants to know more about the divisions in BPO but is told that to learn more, he will have to have a chat with Croome.  Men enter the room where Jonas is being kept and drug him, thus cutting off his conversation with Will.

Will next meets with Croome in a museum and they discuss The Night's Watch by Rembrandt. Croome says that when Rembrant first painted it the people who commissioned the painting refused to pay for it and yet today, they've built an entire museum around it. Croome believes that the way people experience things has changed over time and that's all due to the sensates. Croome goes on to talk about how the view of sensates changed post 9/11 because sensates didn't respect borders and could be a terrorist.  Sensates foster community and such feelings don't buy into things like nationalism. Croome says that he wants to change BPO back to the way it originally was and despite Jonas's warning to be wary of him, I found myself trusting him.  Croome says sapiens and sensoriums are “obligate mutualisms,” meaning they can’t survive without each other. It's a fascinating theory I must be honest. 

Croome hands Will the same pills that Whispers uses to block others and asks for time and trust to see if he can set things right. The two men shake hands but barely is their deal set before Croome is stabbed from behind in the neck. That's right, Whispers is back and he's taken control of a young woman. The woman tries to stab Will but only manages to slash at his arm.  Being a cop means that Will's training comes in really handy.  Once defeated, the woman slashes her own throat. Will looks down in horror at the body of the woman and Croome lying next to each other. 

Sense8's overriding narrative is that at their heart, most people are good. This plays out when Sun goes into hiding in the home of a drug smuggler who went to jail after smuggling to pay off her husbands gambling fines.  With Nomi and Amanita, you can see it in the community of women who have been willing to risk their safety and their homes to offer them shelter. You can see it when Jonas talks about Angelica, and what a giving spirit she was.  Communicating through sharing feelings and experiences means that you cannot lie and that you have to be your most authentic self.  There's something I find extremely compelling about this notion.  Sensates are separate but the same. 

Breaking down borders, as well as the lack of secrecy offers an open exchange the like of which currently doesn't exist. Sensates who don't even speak the same language have no problem communicating with each other. Sensates could potentially tear down institutions and force a new way of doing things. We could no longer separate ourselves from suffering and claim to be above it all because we would personally feel the pain in the world. The only reason to get rid of sensates is to maintain the status quo.  What I want to know at this point is what happened to Whispers to cause him to betray his own kind so completely? Why does he absolutely relish the idea of violence against other sensates? Clearly not everyone is happy to be born a sensate as the story about Todd illustrates but at this point, we still don't know Whispers motivations for his actions. This lack of information makes Whispers a bit of a mustache twirling villain. 

Throughout this series I have called Daniela The Fetishist and that is something I intend to continue. Yes, she has a real relationship with both Hernando and Lito but she's always the third wheel. I really could live with that if she would stop masturbating any time Hernando and Lito get close to each other.  What part of two gay men having sex means it's okay to actively fetishize it? And why would it be okay to take pictures?  This kind of fetishism is gross by any measure and her quip about all three of them fitting in the tub together only emphasized it. Now the writers have Daniela The Fetishist living with Hernando and Lito, so that they can afford an apartment and so her behaviour can only be expected to become worse.