Review – Sense 8 Season 2

I can’t believe this will be the last season of Sense 8, especially with that cliffhanger! But I’m glad we got the chance to see much more of Sun, Kala, Wolfgang and Van Damme, who were a little neglected in season 1.

In the first half of this season, if you include the Christmas Special as well, we start off with Whispers, on the hunt for Will’s location so that he can use him to reach the rest of his cluster. In order to hide himself from Whispers, Riley prevents Will from knowing his own location and puts him under a drug-induced sleep whenever Whispers appears. Will’s connection with Whispers counteractively allows him to learn more about PBO (the company that is trying to capture senate’s), and Angelica and Whisper’s relationship.

Lito, his lover Hernando, and their friend Daniela, continue to suffer under the scrutiny of the Mexican entertainment industry after the sucker punch ‘Who am I?” speech Lito does on the red carpet with Van Damme and their cluster, as well as his coming out speech at the pride march. He becomes depressed, when his identity as a gay man kicks him out of his agency and makes him jobless. That is, until Daniela helps him get the part for a new Hollywood film.

Nomi is also on the run with her girlfriend Amanita, also known as Neets. To stop PBO and Whispers from coming after them, Nomi stages an E-death which wipes off all her traces on the internet, thanks to her friend Bugs. Together the trio helps Will in his search for Whispers’ location, information on PBO and their relation to Angelica, with their nerdy hacker skills. Their relationship also deepens through Teegan’s wedding (Nomi’s sister), when the police try to take Nomi, but find no warrant thanks to her E-death, as well as when Neets proposes to Nomi only to find out that Nomi had also been preparing to propose, and had been hiding the ring in a wooden box under the bed. Nomi, Neets and Bug also aid all the other members of the cluster in times of need, like Sun’s prison break.

Sun’s story deepens as her lonely yet harmonious stay in prison is threatened by the men sent by her brother to kill her. With the help of her cluster, who all experience her near death, she escapes prison with her prison cellmate Min-Jung, only to be chased by the police and be used as a media ploy by her brother to earn sympathy votes. One police officer, Detective Mum, shows a unique interest in her after a one-on-one fight. The two have history. Mum had fought Sun a long time ago in a competition and had lost. When Sun reunites with her beloved dog and her kick-boxing trainer to hide from the police and her brother, Mum visits. During his visit, he explains to Sun’s trainer, their history and leaves his business card to contact him if Sun gets into trouble, and to indicate that he is on her side. They meet once more when Sun visits her parent’s grave, where Mum, disguised as a worker in the cemetery, approaches her and proposes a deal; if she has a rematch with him, he will let her go freely, but if she chooses not to, she will tell him about what her brother has done on the record as evidence. The two have a hot, sweaty and bloody rematch. Mum reveals that he might know more about Sun than she might about herself and in the middle of their fight they kiss, bumping up his status from creepy detective to Sun’s first love interest. That is until Sun changes her mind and knocks him down. Sun brings her mind back to her original goal, to bring retribution to her brother. She disguises herself as a bartender at her brother’s party and tries to kill him. He escapes but with the help of her cluster, she tracks him down. It’s a sick action sequence in the bustling streets of Seoul. When she finally gets the chance, she fails to kill him because of the promise she made to her mother, to take care of Joong-ki and her sympathy towards him. She gets captured by the police once more, but escapes again thanks to another sensate, Puck, who Riley becomes acquainted with when she tries to find out more about the blockers Whispers used to block out other senate’s from visiting him.

Riley helps Will in fighting back Whispers by stepping out and exposing herself to another senate’s, which she does through DJ-ing at a big rave. She then connects with an old sensate named Mr. Hoy who, after some persuasion, trusts her enough to reveal more about what the senate’s are capable of as a species and the history of PBO and Whispers. She also travels to Chicago by herself, leaving Will behind in London, to learn more about Whispers with the help of Will’s police partner, Diego. During her stay in Chicago, she finds about more about Angelica’s relation to Whispers and PBO and helps Will say goodbye to his father when he dies before returning to London.

It took me awhile to get used to the new actor, Toby Onwumere, from Aml Ameen, but he’s proven to make Van Damme his very own character. Van Damme, whose real name is Capheus, rises to fame in Kenya after his interview with news journalist Zakia. The two form a romantic relationship and Zakia inspires him to use his fame to become a politician and make the corrupt state of Nairobi, a better place. However, everything isn’t as easy and dreamy as it seems. Capheus must convince his mother, who is strongly against him becoming a politician, because she doesn’t want to lose him like she lost her husband (who was killed for being a politician). Once she finally agrees to him, he then faces persecution from the public after his speech, and almost gets killed. Due to his exposure, from his very public speech, Capheus unknowingly connects to four other senate’s from different clusters.

Speaking of connecting with different senate’s, Wolfgang’s story takes a hot turn when he meets Lila. When Felix, Wolfie’s best friend, is offered the opportunity to own a successful club, run by Abraham, a well-known businessman, they are introduced to Abraham’s right hand, Lila, who Abraham doesn’t know is a sensate. Wolfgang’s first encounter with Lila consists of lots of heavy breath taking and steamy gazes across the room as Lila not only physically exists, sitting beside the Abraham, but is also doing naughty things to him whilst visiting him in the same space. Wolfie quickly learns that he could do the same thing and it’s a very sexy scene (but not as sexy as the Christmas Special episode when everyone has birthday sex!). During this scene, Wolfgang also grasps that Abraham wants to use him to protect himself from the gang wars. Wolfie later discovers that Lila can walk the streets confidently despite being a sensate because she made a deal with PBO. He also learns that she wants him, not only for his body, but to help her in her scheme for the war going on between the ‘kings’ (gangs) of Berlin. Lila then betrays Wolfgang when he is stubborn about not aiding her in her scheme and then we have the sick cluster-on-cluster fight between Lila and Wolfgang’s cluster; lots of guns, one-liners and action. Lila plays the innocent, abused woman when the police come and this turns Wolfie into a fugitive.

Last, but not least, we see a huge character growth in Kala. As the cluster’s main medic and pharmacist, Kala seems to make more of an appearance to cluster meetings and gets more screen time in season 2. She continues to struggle with her marriage, as Rajan’s pharmaceutical business improves and people continue to attack him and her father-in-law. Tensions are still high between their households and Kala also finds out about the corruption behind the medications and drugs her husband is selling, affecting those in Kenya (like Capheus). The introduction of Rajan’s friend and business partner, Ajay does not help, as he sends her annoying sexual innuendoes and contributes to the corruption of their company. Kala has an identity crisis. She wants to be independent and not have to live with the standards set towards her, and she is unhappy with herself, being married and successful. A key factor to this struggle is her relationship with Wolfgang, and yes, I have been leaving the best to last. Kala is in a perpetual state of confusion because of the drawstring tight sexual tension between her and Wolfie which constantly tempts and questions her morality. Oh man, are we going here? If it isn’t obvious yet, I am like the sniper on this ship. I’m willing to kill everything in its way because I do not want it to get in danger, and I want it alive and sailing forever. Ever since season 1, when Wolfgang made Kala faint bye appearing at her wedding stark naked, my fate with this ship was sealed. In season 2, many of my dreams for this ship come true… Sensorial-sex in the pool with Kajan kissing Wolfgang to wake Kala up, check. Kala confessing her growing feelings for Wolfie, and in turn Wolfie overriding Kala’s morals, saying that he’ll go to Mumbai for her, kiss kiss, and then Kala saying she’ll go to Berlin, and then them both agreeing to going someplace else, check. Then in the season’s finale, Kala tries to tell Rajan about being a sensate and being in love with Wolfgang, but fails when Rajan asks her to go to Paris for him so that she can stay safe and away from Ajay, who is now hell bent on taking vengeance for Rajan betrayal, first. This leads to the adorable scene when Wolfie and Kala visit each other whilst packing bags. They finally say their I love you, but then everything goes haywire.

Lila appears in front of Wolfgang, and it turns out she was allied with the Cannibal, another name Whispers goes by (Question. Why does he have so many names? It’s starting to get annoying). In the end, Wolfgang is captured and it is Kala who tells the rest of their cluster what has happened. Will’s plan to undermine Whispers is abruptly pushed forward and the cluster successfully kicks ass, capturing Whispers and another betrayer, Jonas, thanks to Kala’s homemade blockers and the PBO security disguises. Then the season ends with Will’s final line to a bloody and unconscious Whispers, “You want a war? We’ll give you a war.” Did you get shivers? Because I did.

I hate that this show had to be cancelled, especially because Kala and Wolfie never got the chance to meet in real life (within the story), but I’m glad that we were able to get a season 2 out of it. The sheer scale of the production and diversity of the cast of Sense 8 had be hooked and mesmerised. I hope this show will inspire new and upcoming series to include more global casts with lots and lots of representation, because seeing Korean faces on Netflix makes me feel proud.


Review by Mina Kang

Sense 8 season 1 and are streaming on Netflix now.

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