After four episodes of rather straightforward storytelling, we suddenly delve into another dark future that our sensates must face. The question now becomes, how are they going to pull themselves away from this abyss?
Fear Never Fixed Anything
Written by Lana Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by James McTeigue
With the news that Jonas has been killed, the cluster gathers on Bug’s (Michael Sommers) boat and shares their grief together. For the first time since turning the tables on Whispers (Terrence Mann) the cluster feels lost, but they know the only choice they have is to continue moving forward.
Capheus (Toby Onwumere) receives visitors: members of one of Kenya’s political parties who would like to have a word. And their word is a simple one: they saw the video of Capheus at the water riot in his later interview on television, and they would like to recruit him to run for office. Capheus is a little worried about this and tells the people that he doesn’t think he do any good, as he is not a politician. As they tell him, they’re not looking for a politician: they’re looking for a leader. And they believe they found it in him.
Still on the run, Sun (Doona Bae) makes her way to the home of her former martial arts teacher (Kay Nam Myung). Not only does she find a friend and a place to hide, but she becomes reacquainted with the one person in the world she loves the most: her dog.
Kala (Tina Desai) is at her father’s restaurant lost in thought as he talks about new dishes he’s preparing. It doesn’t take him long to figure out that she isn’t listening to a word he saying and he starts interjecting that he’s now seasoning his food with horse shit and other interesting delicacies. Kala’s like, “Uh, huh,” and continue staring off into space until she realizes Papa believes they need a word.
With the help from the images sent by Lito (Miguel Ángel Silvestre), Amanita (Freema Agyeman) has made a startling discovery: the equipment used by Angelica in the pictures is supplied by the same company that sells equipment of a like nature to the University of Chicago. You know, where Professor Kolovi and Whispers worked? Just another connection the big old BPO World.
And that’s when Bug comes in and says he has the solution to Nomi’s (Jamie Clayton) legal problems: E DEATH! No shit, the Bug is talking about a mythical program supposedly developed by the CIA and NSA to make a renditioned person “die”, at least on the Internet. According to Nomi and Bug, after a person has experienced E Death, there’s no possibility that any law enforcement organization is ever going to find them. But before this can happen, Bug has to talk to The Guy…
Kala is facing a lot of issues, not the least of which is that she simply feels incapable of doing the right thing anymore. She’s not bemoaning her life: on the contrary, everything there seems good, even if it is necessary to have a bodyguard with a machine gun follow her around. It just seems as if… she’s not who she should be. Well, Kala, maybe that’s because you married Rajan (Purab Kohli) and didn’t go to Berlin and fuck Wolfgang (Max Riemelt) like you wanted to do! Next time, listen to your feelings and tell your cluster.
Sun finally experiences a good night’s sleep and a great shower, but not before being licked awake by her dog. Her teacher has breakfast ready for her, and she devours it quickly, finishing it off with a loud belch. She must’ve liked it.
While on his daily route Capheus pulls over and tells his passengers that are making an unscheduled stop and they can get out and stretch their legs for fifteen minutes. He throws on an old suit jacket and heads across the street to a television station.
Breakfast is just about over when the news comes on. It’s Sun’s slimy ass brother answering questions about his big sister’s breakout and dismayed at the fact that she’s killed three more people—conveniently leaving out the fact that he sent those guys to kill her, but fuck facts, right? Sun still has a bad habit of smashing shit that happens to display her brothers image, but her teacher is cool with it, saying he would’ve smashed the television if she hadn’t.
Capheus goes up to the TV station and asked to see Zakia. While he’s waiting he starts catching shit from three dudes who first start ripping on his outdated suit jacket before moving on to the fact that he’s become a visible celebrity that was likely invented by Zakia. They also tell him that if he’s there to see Zakia, he’s shit outta luck because while she was going to Uni in London, she developed a taste for the ladies, if you know what I mean. These guys are not just insufferable assholes, but offer proof that the Bro Culture exist in Africa. And the heap more humiliation on what is already feeling, Capheus is told that Zakia is in meetings all day and is unavailable.
Sun is in total fight mode, working out harder than she ever has before and going at her teacher with brutal intensity. He asks about her plan and she says she has no plan: she has an enemy and she will go after her enemy and keep going after them until one of them is dead. Her teacher indicates he’s heard worse.
Will (Brian J. Smith )and Riley (Tuppence Middleton) awake to find they have a visitor: Whispers. But he isn’t there to track them down; on the contrary, he’s more or less there to thank Will and offers to do something he’s never done before…
Which is bring Will to where he sat, sitting across the street from the Parliament Building, specifically sitting in front of the statue of George the V while looking at the House of Lords. (Personal Note: Google Maps shows us that there is no bench in front of that statue.)
He let’s will know that he’s now in an extremely secure position within BPO and he’s pretty much done hunting Will’s asshole cluster. He has his eye on something far bigger and he can afford to be dismissive. Will tries to punch the shit out of him and nearly hits Riley instead.
Kala’s and Rajan’s families are together for dinner and the knives are out. Rajan’s father is going on about how these ignorant people are holding the country back and something needs to be done about them before they drag everyone back into the past. Kala’s father remarks that since the British were kicked out in 1948 the same inequities that existed while they were in power are still in place, and why haven’t they changed? Rajan’s father takes exception to the fact that one of these 98% assholes is telling him, a for sure 2% oligarch, that the rich have too damn much money, and fires back and insult about how some people were never meant to be anything but cooks. Kala’s father, who seems to be a master when it comes to preparing food, doesn’t take this as an insult: in fact he says it was his destiny to be a cook, just as it was Rajan’s father’s destiny to inherit a shit load of money and become the Indian Donald Trump. Kala and Rajan are like, “Oh, shit! Look at the time! We gotta go, everybody! Thanks for dinner!” and beat a hasty retreat after that last sick burn.
Lito, Hernando (Alfonso Herrera), and Daniela (Eréndira Ibarra) are going over that pile of scripts Lito was given, and the outcome doesn’t look good. It seems the only parts the studios are offering are of a bad guy who usually comes to a messy end, and Lito senses that he’s being typecast because of his outing. He seriously believes he’s fucked, but Hernando thinks there may be better times ahead, for he has an invitation made to Lito to come to São Paulo, Brazil, and be the Grand Marshall for the São Paulo Pride Parade. Lito doesn’t see how this helps: Hernando and Daniela see it as an opportunity to open himself up to a completely new group of people, ones who will see him for as a real person and actor.
Nomi, Amanita, and Bug head off to the Castro District to see a movie, but more importantly, to meet The Guy. They sit down to watch the flick and—what the fuck? Amanita wants to know what’s wrong. Nomi tells her: it’s Lito on the screen and he’s in her cluster. Bug asks how Nomi knows Lito Rodriguez, of whom Bug is a huge fan, and Nomi tells him that he’s one of her cluster members. Bug is feeling some serious fan boy shit at this moment, as he considers Lito a great actor in the foreign action genre. When he asks Nomi if she could pass that along, she tells Bug to tell him himself, Lito’s sitting right next to you. Which he is. Needless to say, Bug is one happy dude.
Kala interrupts Rajan while he speaking to his friend Ajay (Sid Makkar), who was the man she met a few days earlier at the art gallery showing. In the capacity she has with her new position in the company, she’s been looking at old shipping manifest and discovers there certain irregularities in what’s being sent out. Rajan blows that shit off, telling her she shouldn’t worry as the drugs were likely sent out anyway. Okay, I don’t have to be linked into a worldwide cluster to know this shit means someone’s up to no good.
Our Intrepid Trio is still hanging out in the movie theater when The Guy shows up and–what the fuck? It’s a dude in a Guy Fawkes mask. Because of course it is.
Just hang on to your shit ‘cause this is going to get good.
The Guy (The Guy: seriously, that’s how the role is credited) knows who Nomi is—turns out they’ve been tracking her “anonymously” for some time—and what she is, namely Homo sensorium. As The Guy states, anyone who is in search of the truth knows of Homo sensorium and her struggle with BPO. Since they can’t get at BPO, they can offer Nomi a little help to stay out of their sights—and he hands over the E Death memory stick, which looks like a key with a skull on it.
He says in return for granting Nomi E Death, they may ask something of her in the future. And what is that? Let’s let The Guy explain:When Amanita ask if he wrote that, he says, no, there’s an app for that.
(Personal Note: during this whole exchange I was both smiling and laughing the entire time. Why? Because this is how you lamp shade like a motherfucking boss. To find lamp shades this good, one has to go to Tiffany’s. I mean, let’s take a look at it: this anonymous dude shows up in a Guy Fawkes mask, which became rather popular after the movie V For Vendetta came out. Not only that, but when he speaks to Nomi about what they might have or do, he reels off a V-worded speech that may have been written/adapted by the writers of the movie themselves.
And who was it wrote and directed V For Vendetta?
In case you need reminding, one of those sisters helped write this episode and it’s being directed by the same guy who directed the movie. Like I said, lamp shading at its finest, where the writers and director are making a TV episode where it’s stated the cultural impact of a movie they wrote and directed is felt in this TV world. At this rate, it won’t be long before we start seeing some real Matrix shit happening…)
Wolfgang is looking for Fuchs, but he’s not around–which is strange as it seems in order was given to Wolfgang to appear. And that order was given by Lila (Valeria Bilello), who shows up all naked and wet so she can hang off of Wolfgang. Which she does while she still in the top. Because now that she’s made contact with him, she can just pop up wherever the fuck she feels like popping up.
She wants to fuck but Wolfgang doesn’t want any part of that. The real Lila comes out of the bathtub and confronts Wolfgang. She wants to know if he’s aware of what’s happening and he does: Fuchs is going after the other crime lords so he can take over Berlin. Lila is helping, but she lets Wolfgang know that she’s got something else in mind, something that could be good for her and other people like her. Just like before, Wolfgang tells her he’s not interested and storms off.
Sun’s teacher receives a visitor: Detective Mun (Sukku Son). He wants to talk about Sun, but he also wants the teacher to know that he thinks that there was a lot of shady shit going on at the prison and that her brother isn’t what he seems. As Sun listens while hidden, Detective Mun tells her teacher that after fighting Sun the other day on the rooftop, he remembered that she was a girl he fought during a martial arts tournament, and that the girl kicked his ass hard. He was embarrassed by his defeat, but tells the teacher that the humility help make him a better person. He hands the teacher one of his cards and says that he thinks Sun could use a friend.
Back at the boat Bug plugs in the E Death stick and sets the program in motion. The monitors go blank for a few moments then come back—and that’s when Amanita begins going oh fuck, oh fuck. All the alerts she had on the warrants, the BOLOs, anything related to Nomi’s arrest: all that shit is gone. And then the screens come back on with the message, sent by The Guy, “We The Dead Welcome You.” Ms. Nomi, she dead.
Lito heads back to the bar he entered a year before, the one where he drink tequila while struggling to come to grips with his sexuality. The bartender (Alberto Wolf) is there and immediately thanks Lito. What for? He was so impressed by Lito’s omission of being gay that he proposed to his boyfriend and got married.
Capheus shows up and reminds Lito that courage is contagious, and when one shows it, others pick up on it. As Lito looks at his letter for the São Paulo Pride Parade the other members of the cluster arrived and begin talking as Lito begins pouring tequila—
Given everything that is happened in the last day, starting with Jonas’ death, Will realizes they are in bad shape mentally and emotionally. He says he’s tired of living in holes and brings up an quote that he heard as a police officer: “A fugitive is always alone: a cop never is.” The others began to reflect as well. Sun states, “No one ever won by covering up,” and Nomi reminds everyone, “Your life is either defined by the system, or by the way you defy the system.”As they all sit along the bar, a shot of tequila in their hands, it falls to Wolfgang to state what is most obvious: “Fear never fixed anything.” (Title Callout!) With that they all toss back their shots ‘cause goddamn right they will.
It becomes obvious the cluster has to act. The only way they’re going to make contact with other clusters is to get their asses out in public and do just that. It’s risky, it’s scary, it’s life-threatening. But if they’re going to beat BPO at their own game, they’re not going to do it hiding like rats.
As the others prepare mentally, Will shaves and gets his hair cut. Riley gets out the hair goop and starts adding blue streaks to her blonde hair.
Fuck this hiding shit. It’s time to make some noise.
For the first time in a year Riley Blue walks out on to a stage and gets behind a DJ mixing console.Before she gets started she addresses the crowd. Most of what she says is lost in the excitement, but there is one statement that rings out as she looks up it Will and faces him at the same time: there are some people who need to know you love them. And Will lets Riley know he loves her back.And just like a year earlier when the cluster began coming together, Riley puts together a dance mix of 4 Non Blondes What’s Up?, otherwise known as the best song to which one should get a lobotomy. The cluster comes on stage and joins in the party along with Riley and Will. There are others watching as well: a Buddhist monk like figure with the tree tattooed on the back of their head; Puck from the lab, doing shots of tequila; and an old man (Sylvester McCoy) in the audience who happens to make eye contact with Riley and suddenly finds himself on the stage next to her.
Whispers shows up and tells Will that this was a foolish move. Will gives him a screw you, bitch, look and tells him, no, it was magnificent. Then he pulls out his pill of psi blockers and lets Milton know he’ll see him around.
The owner of the club gets word that the cops are on their way, and Riley and Will are hustled out the back. But no waiting getaway car for these kids: this is Amsterdam and that means you’ve got fucking boats on fucking canals. Making certain that Riley isn’t looking back, Will gets in the final fuck you, waving so long to ol’ Milt as the boat pulls away from the canal edge and speeds off to an unknown location.The sensates came out in public and made a stand. Riley’s gig was Periscoped across the Internet, so if there were other clusters, or cluster members, watching, they now know:
The August 8 Cluster ain’t hiding anymore.
As always, leave us a comment and tell us what you think!
Tuppence Middleton — Riley Gunnarsdóttir, Amsterdam
Brian J. Smith — Will Gorski, Amsterdam
Doona Bae — Sun Bak, Seoul
Toby Onwumere — Capheus, Nairobi
Max Riemelt — Wolfgang Bogdanow, Berlin
Tina Desai — Kala Dandekar, Mumbai
Miguel Ángel Silvestre — Lito Rodriguez, Mexico DF
Jamie Clayton — Nomi Marks, San Francisco
Freema Agyeman — Amanita
Terrence Mann — “Whispers”
Purab Kohli — Rajan
Michael Sommers — Bug
Alfonso Herrera — Hernando
Eréndira Ibarra — Daniela
Valeria Bilello — Lila Facchini
Kay Nam Myung — Teacher
Sukku Son — Detective Mun
Sid Makkar — Ajay
Alberto Wolf — Bartender
Sylvester McCoy — Old Man on Stage