Previously on Sense8, ‘Art is Like Religion’
Oh, so this is the episode everyone is talking about.
I get it. I’m not ashamed to admit I had the urge to rewind that part once or twice. Kudos to the music director for his or her part in creating what is arguably the best sex scene ever shown on television, because in my opinion the song is what makes it—Demons by Fatboy Slim featuring Macy Gray.
All of your demons will wither away
Ecstasy comes and they cannot stay
You’ll understand when you come my way
Taking those lyrics into account, what became clear to me in this chapter was just how much the Sensates are coming to rely on each other. In their moments of despair, they’re able to call on each other to wither away their demons.
But more than that, they seem to be doing all of this by using an ability present in the next stage of human evolution… whatever that is.
I’ve wanted to mention in past recaps how some of the conversations have felt a little like someone talking to their imaginary friend, and how beneficial that would be. Take away all the sci-fi and transcendent stuff for a moment and we’re left with a story about how people need other people to survive. Consider Sun’s situation as an example—she is completely alone in solitary confinement, but is probably not going to go insane because she has a constant companion there with her. It almost feels religious, in that sense.
“In that sense.” That phrase looks so odd when I consider the mechanism by which the Sensates are able to feel and visit each other. We’re all familiar with the five human senses—hearing, taste, touch, smell, and sight. But there is debate as to whether or not humans actually have many more, and not in the pseudoscientific sixth way like that movie by M. Night Shyamalan. Other than the five senses we’re taught about in grade school, things like hunger, temperature, and balance can be said to be senses as well.
So whatever kind of evolution has led to our Sensates’ abilities, it would seem to be an additional human sense. I suppose that’s downright obvious considering the title, but this week’s orgy scene really hammered it home for me. Because, damn… our senses are what makes us human. Our senses are what makes that scene so… enjoyable. When we connect with people who please all five senses, maybe that feels a lot like love. So if we were to connect with someone who can please the sixth, seventh, even eighth sense, well… who knows what that feels like. Macy Gray calls it “ecstasy” and that we’d “understand if we came her way.” Unfortunately, I can’t visit Macy. I’m not a Sensate. Maybe Jonas can, but we haven’t heard from him in a while.
Anyway, let’s take a better look at what happened in chapter sex six:
We catch up with Will as he enters some kind of bar/arcade to socialize with his colleagues. Meanwhile, Riley sits in London listening to her music at a restaurant. All of the sudden, she and Will visit each other and use their cell phones to prove to each other that they are real.
Riley asks if Will has had other visitors, and Will tells her about Jonas and the other eight, as well as Angelica, the woman they both saw at the abandoned church. At that memory, Will asks her just what happened to her that day, since she’d seemed scared (that was the end of the first episode, when Riley gets pulled away from Will into a blood bath). Riley gets uncomfortable says she needs to go to bed, and disappears.
In Seoul, the offices at Sun’s company are being cleared out. Nomi briefly visits her from her apartment, which is in a similar condition after having been rummaged through while she was in the hospital. Sun arrives at a podium in front of the press to admit to her “crimes,” as Nomi tells Neets that “they” aren’t going to stop unless they take action to stop them, and they need someone to trust.
Back in Riley’s apartment, Shugs is there doing cocaine and a man with a bandage on his face—Nyx, the guy involved in the shootout from episode one—asks him and Bambi to take a walk. The bandaged man asks Riley where the money is, and she says she gave it away. He doesn’t believe her, but she insists she’s telling the truth. Nyx isn’t having any of it, and puts a plastic bag over Riley’s head.
In the bar, Will struggles for air. He takes Riley’s place and breaks free from Nyx in London, while unbeknownst to him also battling people just trying to help him in Chicago. Once free, Riley runs out of the apartment, and Will is left in the bar gasping for air as everyone looks at him. Doubting Diego scratches his head so as to give us a clue that he is doubtful about whatever is happening to Will.
Nomi and Neets arrive at the home of someone they can trust—Neets’ mother, a professor in evolution (how convenient!).
Kala wakes up and finds herself in bed. It’s daytime—the day after her wedding ceremony—and her entire family is looking down at her, eager to see her wake up after her collapse. When they leave her, Wolfgang visits. Kala locks her door and accuses him of ruining her life. She doesn’t know if she’s losing her mind, or if the gods are angry with her and sent her a perverted demon who never wears clothes. He teases her for “looking,” and the two share a devilish smile.
Speaking of devils, in Mexico City, Lito, Daniella and Hernando are at a wrestling event where one of the wresters is dressed as a devil figure. Hernando explains to Daniella what the wrestler represents… “that fear we’re all afraid to face.” Hernando is very philosophical about things, and that’s why Lito loves him.
Kala goes downstairs to see Rajan, prepared to apologize and accept the fact that he’d want to call it off. However, he surprises her by saying he wants her even more—he will tell their children that their mother fainted upon catching one glimpse of their father.
In Nairobi, Capheus visits Silas at a swank outdoor club/restaurant where he introduces Capheus to his daughter Amondi, who has leukemia. Silas wants Capheus to escort Amondi to her treatments using the Van Damn bus, because Silas’ cars are too recognizable by his enemies.
The next day, Sun is denied bail and heads to jail while Lito is about to begin an interview to promote his latest movie. The interviewer asks Lito probing, personal questions as Sun is asked to do humiliating things, like strip and squat over a mirror so they can check for paraphernalia.
Meanwhile, Capheus picks up Amondi for their first trip to the treatment center. Amondi tells Capheus that her “real” name is Diana Prince, which Capheus recognizes as Wonder Woman. (Why do I have the feeling Amondi is too cute to survive?)
Demons by Fatboy Slim and Macy Gray begins to play and “that scene” starts. I won’t describe it because it has to be felt, however there are two amusing after-effects: Wolfgang sits in the pool completely (and visibly) flaccid the entire time, while Capheus sits in the van wondering why he’s getting so turned on watching Jean-Claude Van Damme movies.
Riley is crying on a bench overlooking the city. Sun, from her solitary confinement cell, visits her, and they introduce themselves. They muse on the fact that her name is Sun, because Riley admits that she goes to that place to converse with the spiritual sun. Sun wants to bum a cigarette but all Riley has is hash, so she tries it, but says it tastes more like a memory (because she can only taste it through Riley). Riley says “it’s not the drugs that make a drug addict, it’s the need to escape reality.”
Riley asks why Sun is there, and she says that she is “afraid I just made the biggest mistake of my life.” They relate to one another, because they are both in trouble for someone else’s crime. Riley asks if Sun has heard of “the Hidden People.” In Iceland, she says, there are small people, like elves, who live in the land. When she was young, she went into a cave and heard one singing a song her mother used to sing to her when she was young. It was a terrible song about a mother having to kill her baby, but Riley found it comforting. (This, presumably, is the same cave Riley was entering in a flashback way back in the first episode.)
Riley has heard her mother’s voice several times over the years, because she told her that if she stayed in Iceland, bad things would happen to her. So when her mother died, she believed it was her fault, just as Sun blames herself for her mother’s death. Riley says she wants to go home to Iceland and see her father, but she’s afraid. Sun says she’s safer there than where she is now.
Sun admits that she will be in prison the following day, and Riley asks if she’s afraid. Sun nods, and Riley repeats her own words back: don’t be… you’re safer there than where you were.
In Nairobi, Amondi is done with her treatment. Neets and Nomi share an embrace.
Then Sun, in a dream, meets up with her dead mother. Her mother tells her that she will always love her, but to be careful. “They are afraid of you, and will hurt you if they find out what you are.”
When Sun asks what she is, it is Angelica who answers: the future.