9/21/2015

Fixation Friday: Sense8 (Season 1 Summary)

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Are you sensate (aware)? Because that is what the Sci-fi drama "Sense8" is all about - showing you the bigger picture.  Get ready to be sucked into a complex world that deals with politics, sexualtiy, religion, different cultures, science, identity and humanity.

In honour of the announcement on Aug. 8th 2015 that the critically acclaimed series "Sense8" has been renewed for a second season, I decided to break down season 1 for you. After doing so, I will interpret and review the series.

Quick explanation "Fixation Friday": This is a new idea of mine, where I will discuss shows that got me hooked.
There are thousands of hidden gems around and I would love to discover more. 
Share your list of TVshows that you are obsessed with in the comments! (or on Twitter by tagging me)  



Short summery & definitions
Sense8 tells the story of 8 strangers around the globe, who suddenly have a special connection with each other and are being hunted by an organisation of extreme power because of their "abilities". These 8 people, who come from different parts of the world and all live in different cultures, are both mentally and emotionally linked. 
(Detailed summery further down)

Sensates

A "sensate" is a person that maintains a certain connection with other people. These people, who come from different parts of the world and all live in different cultures, are both mentally and emotionally linked. 
Sensates are not human. At least not human the way we define it. It is suspected that they were the first and original human species to live on earth. They are more human than the average person because of their bond to each other and nature.

Clusters

A "cluster" is a group of sensates. The cluster that is explored in the foreground of the show consists of 8 people. 

To find out more about the specific definitions, click here to read about the Mythology of Sense8. (I really recommend reading this, if you are new or old to the show)




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Characters

Nearly all of hem have a rather hard past, which we get to see through flashbacks or stories. Those memories still haunt them today and in season 1 we get to see them deal with those.

Throughout the course of the season the cluster grows closer to each other. Specific characters form tight bonds with others and they learn to act as a unit. 

There ability allows them to use each others skills, which helps all of them when in hard situations.


  • Nomi (Jamie Clayton) - a transgender female blogger, who lives with her girlfriend Amanita. After an accident she is told she needs a lobotomy - this causes some problems with her family and you get to watch her deal with the judgement, hate and misunderstanding she receives for being transgender. She manages to break free with the help of her girlfriend. Amanita is the only outstanding (human) person who knows about Nomi and her connection with the others and believes in it.
  • Lito (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) - a gay telenovela actor, who struggles with life in the spotlight. His sexuality is unknown to the public and he is scared of what would happen to his image if he would come out. His boyfriend Hernando and him start a relationship with a third party, Daniele. After a lot of drama, Lito realises he has to stand for who he is and has to be brave.
  • Will (Brian J. Smith) - a Chicago cop, who thinks he is going crazy when he starts to get visited/visits other sensates. He also forms a special bond with Riley, which eventually turns into love. He looks into Whispers eyes, which means his cluster is now in danger. Lets see what will happen in Season 2! He also spends a lot of time with Jonas.
  • Riley (Tuppence Middleton) - a DJ from Poland, who left her home to go to London after her Husband and child died. Riley becomes especially important in the last few episodes, where she has to make a hard decision in order to help her new love, Will. 
  • Wolfgang (Max Riemelt) - a german safecracker with a very dark past: he killed his abusive father. After his friend Felix is in danger, Wolfgang has to protect him from some of his own family members. He also gets to know Kala better and both of them support each other throughout the season. 
  • Capheus (Aml Ameen)- a bus driver from Nairobi, who gets involved with a drug lord and starts working for him. As the situation gets uglier, Capheus is torn between "quitting" and staying because that's the only way he'll get medicine for his sick mother. 
  • Kala (Tina Desai)- a scientist from india who is to have an arranged marriage. While unsure if to go through with the marriage, as the concept of tying the knot with a man that she does not love isn't quite how she imagined her wedding, she also can't shake the growing liking she takes to Wolfgang. 
  • Sun (Bae Doona)- to save the family company, Sun takes the fall for a crime her brother committed.  Just before her father wants to come out with the real truth, her brother kills him to save his own skin. Sun also struggles with feeling alone, but finds comfort and a new family in the cluster.
  • Jonas (Naveen Andrews)- isn't a part of the new cluster, but is a sensate. He tries to help the new cluster as much as he can.
  • Dr. Whispers (Terrence Mann)- is also a sensate and leads the agency that hunts other sensates for some unexplained reason (probably to neutralise or kill them) He can't visit members of the cluster if they don't make eye contact with him. 


The bigger picture

While living their lives, 8 individuals have a vision of a woman named Angelica shooting herself. This marks their rebirth as "sensates", humans who share a mental connection which allows them to access each others feelings, skills, language and knowledge. They can also visit each other and communicate while being in entirely different parts of the world. They form a cluster, their birthmother being Angelica.
In order to explain the phenomenon, they have to figure out more about their "condition". As Jonas, another sensate, steps in to guide them and shed some light onto their new sense, personal problems from the individuals start to grab the attention of the other cluster members and together, they learn how to control and use their new (and each others) skills. Jonas's end motive is to protect the newly formed group from Dr. Whispers, a sensate who hunts his own kind. 
In the last episode, Riley is taken captive. The only reason she is still alive, is because she is unconscious, which makes it impossible for her to look into Whispers eyes, so he can get access to her mind. As Will flies to Poland to break her out, he seeks help from the cluster and with joint effort they manage to break Riley out. But with their victory comes a new problem. Will accidentally looked into Whispers eyes. Still being followed by the Doctor, Will knows the only way the cluster will survive is if he doesn't know what's going on with them. He makes himself unconscious and the plan of escape goes smoothly, with all 8 cluster members (including an unconscious Will) on a boat, drifting into the sunset.


Interpretation & review

This show has had a lot of mixed reviews - I happily call myself someone who loves "Sense8". Though the characters and their personality are a little cliché at times, I don't really mind. And yes, (if you have read other reviews or find this yourself) the first two episodes are a bit confusing, as you get hit with so much information. But that's how the main characters must feel too. It does need getting used to and I'm not promising that everyone will like it, but please do give it a chance. Underneath the surface, there is so much more to the "Sense8". And you get that a lot in the show. Of course, everyone has a first impression, but as the story unfolds and you learn more about the characters, you understand their reasoning and get more invested in them and the show. At least it was like that for me. 
The series is probably the most unique thing I have ever watched. It's an original idea and deals with so much things that are important in this world, but a vast part of the entertainment industry chooses not to include too much, as things like politics, gender, sexuality and identity are things to which everyone has an subjective opinion. Things like those can risk a shows popularity. 
And that's why not everyone will like "Sense8". You need to be very open minded and give it a chance in order to enjoy it. This web series is different from anything I have ever watched. I'm not even sure if the words"series/show"even fit that well because "Sense8" is it's own thing. It is a pure individual among so many other stories out there and deserves to be recognised as such. 
If I had to choose one word to describe the message behind "Sense8", it would be empathy. In the end, the show shows us that everyone can connect with each other. It doesn't matter who you are or from where you are - there is always a way to bond with a person. This show reaches so far into humanity and doesn't question or judge people or their actions, but rather accepts them as a fact of life. Everybody has their flaws, but they don't define us 100%. And "Sense8" captures that perfectly. 
Hands down, Netflix has done a great job, but most importantly the creators and producers are the ones that made the show so special. Camera, locations, script and acting was breathtaking, I couldn't have hoped for a more unique cast. All in all, "Sense8" exeeded my expectations and pushed the boundaries of shows. 
What did you think of season 1? What is your take on season 2? Let me know!




"I'm loosing my mind."
"No, it's just expanding."

Trailer:

2 comments:

  1. It sounds interesting. I'll have to give it a watch!

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    Replies
    1. Yes you should! Definitely worth a try for everyone looking for a new great show :)

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