“Sense8” recap (1.1): Meet The Sense8s

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Okay, let’s get one thing straight—as I look at that sentence I realize it doesn’t really apply to me, so… Let’s get one thing gay: I know you are all six inches of rainbow-striped dildo into Sense8, gleefully obeying the Netflix directive to binge, but your humble recapper has to take it one episode at a time. So this is to be a spoiler-free zone. That being said, I have enjoyed the enthusiastic response the show has been getting on Twitter from those of you who have forged ahead, since the pilot episode left me interested but confused.

Let’s begin. Sense8 opens with a woman writhing on a filthy mattress in abandoned church, looking desperate AF. In due time, said damsel is revealed to be none other that Daryl Hannah, and everyone who kept up with the press for this show is like:

what are you doing here

She is shortly joined by Jonas (Naveen Andrews, who will always be Sayid from Lost to me), who comforts her and mutters some cryptic shit about how “it’s almost time.” Then, my understanding is that Daryl Hannah transmits or births some aspect of her consciousness into eight (which is really too many protagonists) people around the world.  At that moment, each of them have a vision of Daryl Hannah, but before they can request an autograph or ask her what it’s like to date Neil Young, she disappears.

Back in the church where she is birthing them, she tells Jonas to protect them, since they will surely be hunted. Then another man appears, whose vibe kind of reminds me of the Architect from the Matrix 2: Half-Cocked. Daryl Hannah can see both of them, but they can’t see each other, and seem to be merely projecting themselves into her mind. Then astral-projected Jonas disappears, and corporeal villain guy shows up to take Daryl Hannah (who I guess I should start calling Angelica now) into custody. But before they can snatch her, she shoots herself in the head, though whether that means she is actually dead remains to be seen.

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Then we are treated to a title sequence of stock footage from around the world. Whatever else you think about the show, that shit is sloppy and unfocused, and I plan to fast-forward through it for all future episodes. Let’s pause for moment though and say that the close-up on two bears licking out of the same ice cream cone is gross. If it provokes an “ew” reaction in you, don’t worry, you’re not a homophobe, you’re just someone with a reasonably evolved sense of hygiene and propriety.

From there we go to the stories of the Sense8 (is “sense8” a play on words that I’m just not getting?  Like “sensei” maybe?).  Since there are 8 of them, I’m going to narr8 one at a time, in order of least to most fascin8ing.

First up, we have Capheus van Damnne (that is what IMDB tells me his last name is, though I suspect they are fucking with me).

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Capheus lives in Nairobi, where he takes care of his mother and sells Jean Claude van Damme DVDs out of his van, because that is apparently A Thing. Capheus is a perfect human with no evident flaws as yet, which makes him mildly endearing but mostly boring.  The most interesting thing that happens to him is someone tries to pay for their bus fare with a chicken, because lol poverty.

On the other side of world, in Seoul, Sun Bak gets a vision of this same chicken, because she and Capheus are connected by their two-dimensionality. Sun is a Korean businesswoman who no one respects because she has one of those pesky vagina things.

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As one of  colleagues puts it “women don’t close things, they open them.” At this insult, Sun’s fist curls as though she would like to close this man’s mouth and open a wound in his face, but she restrains herself. The moment at least hints at a deep well of anger beneath Sun’s placid exterior, earning her one point above Capheus.

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