Nomi is being held against her will in a hospital after learning that there is something wrong with her brain, Lito finds himself hiding his love life from an amorous co-star, and Will looks for his own answers and deals with his choice to save the gangbanger.
The first episode of Sense8 was rather scattershot as it focused on multiple plotlines over the course of an hour. With the second episode, it chooses to focus mostly on a few and I think that works out better for it. I totally get that Sense8 is telling a larger story and that it will go slowly, but I feel that we haven’t even had a chance to know these people yet.
Nomi’s story looks like it was lifted out of some weird over the top episode of the Twilight Zone. Her mother is one of the most overblown stereotypical evil hags I’ve seen on TV in a long time, motivated strictly by her own stubbornness and homo/transphobia. I’m not overtly fond of Nomi either as she has really done nothing in the series but whine and cry. I do like Amanita as she displays some of the gumption that’s missing from Nomi’s story. I kind of wish it was more about her.
Lito is gay and has a boyfriend and, if you didn’t pick up on that before now, you really deserve to have it spoiled. This story delved into comedy and it was actually pretty funny to watch with a resolution that was both unexpected and hilarious. It really broke the mold I thought it was going to fall into.
Finally, Will’s story was the one that seemed to drive the overall plot of the series as he actually came face to face with the mysterious Jonas who teased the audience with what the heck the series is actually supposed to be about. You can definitely sense J. Michael Straskinski’s hand in all this given the teases he performed while writing Babylon 5. Will’s story culminates in a very fun chase sequence that teases some of the groups powers in pretty original ways.
The other members of the Sense8 cast show up briefly, but it’s more as a reminder that they exist than anything else, though I will say that I am annoyed at the cliched Indian girl getting married to a man she doesn’t love story… I don’t even remember the woman’s name, that’s how little it has affected me.
While the story and mystery of the series is still closely guarded and mysterious, I’m getting the feeling that each one of these characters are struggling with their identity in some way. In this episode, for example, Nomi struggles with her gender identity, Lito with his sexuality, and Will with his moral center. Right now, as with the first episode, Sense8’s long game is establishing their universe.
Being a long-time television watcher approaching my 4th decade of life, I have to readjust myself to the new binge-watching normal of Netflix and remind myself that storytelling has changed for the new model. It can take its time and be free of network constraints as Sense8 has done.
The mystery is unfolding and Sense8 is starting to have some much-needed fun getting in to it. Episode three, here I come.