This marks the halfway point in Season 2 of Sense8 and we are about to find out that the world is bigger than we thought, but with that largeness comes in even more dreaded sense of danger. But before we get to the danger, there’s a lot of other emotions to feel first—
Isolated Above, Connected Below
Written by Lana Wachowski and J. Michael Straczynski
Directed by Lana Wachowski
On a train somewhere in The Netherlands:
Riley (Tuppence Middleton) and Will (Brian J. Smith) are on a train heading out of Amsterdam, destination unknown. With the help of the beta-blockers, they both feel secure for the first time. It’s not long before Riley is visited by the man she saw on the stage the night before, a Scottish gentleman who wishes to be known as the Old Man of Hoy (Sylvester McCoy).It becomes evident that he’s worried that Riley and Will are BPO stooges looking to snare members of other clusters. As Mr. Hoy says, one doesn’t stay free for thirty years without being cautious.
Because of the near run-in with the police, Sun (Doona Bae) knows she cannot stay with her teacher (Kay Nam Myung) any longer. She is sorry to leave, as is he, but she is extremely sorry to be leaving behind her dog. He gives her a bag filled with clothes, money, and a few of the things. She says she hopes she is not brought him any shame; he says training her has been one of the proudest moments of his life.
Hernando (Alfonso Herrera) and Daniela (Eréndira Ibarra) are worried that Lito (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) is still upset about yesterday. They think that because he’s busy cooking breakfast, making his mother’s favorite omelet. As he explains, he tends to get quiet when he’s upset and he apologizes for that. He also says that he had a dream–one where he heard a voice. And the voice said, “Pack your bags, family, were going to São Paulo!” Group hug, everyone: you’re going to Pride below the Equator.
It’s a heartfelt moment as Nomi (Jamie Clayton) and Amanita (Freema Agyeman) return to their old apartment. With legal problems and fear of arrest by the FBI no longer a problem, they begin the process of returning to a normal life.
Capheus (Toby Onwumere) is out on his route when he is waived down by Zakia (Mumbi Maina). She wants to apologize for the guys he ran into at work the other day, dudes she refers to as asshole rich kids pretending to be journalist. He wants to know if it’s true that she’s interested in women and she says it is, but she’s also interested in men. As she states, she falls in love with a person, not their genitals, which likely makes her pansexual. It doesn’t take long before they kiss with everyone on the bus watching.
Transition Moment (Mumbai/Berlin/Nairobi):
Capheus goes back to Zakia’s place and it’s not long before they start making out—Back in Mumbai Kala (Tina Desai) can’t sleep and she goes out to the pool—
While in Berlin Wolfgang (Max Riemelt) is sitting in his room noticing a rather wet Kala, who is confessing to him that she’s tired of being the girl who has to follow every rules and she wants to do what she wants to do—
Which is to fuck Wolfgang.And while she’s fucking Wolfgang, Capheus is fucking Zakia, and we get cuts back and forth between this going on, thought we’re seeing a lot more upfront action with Capheus, who likely hasn’t been with a woman for some time and is really enjoying the moment.
Of course, Kala and Wolfgang are doing it all through the night, because this chick has wanted to fuck this dude since she first time she laid eyes on him, and that means he’s going to have to reach real deep to get to her scratch. All I can say is, it’s about goddamn time they got busy with this shit.
Capheus wakes up and cannot believe his good fortune. He heads into the kitchen and finds an automatic coffee maker. It isn’t long before Zakia shows up and she accepts a cup of coffee from him. She tells him that Kenya does coffee probably better than anything else in the country and it was the one thing she missed when she was at school in London. He agrees, but says that at least they have good tea in London. She wants to know how he knows that: he says he seen it in movies.
A smiling Rajan (Purab Kohli) brings the sleeping Kala breakfast. Dude is looking happy and there’s a huge spring in his step, which leads me to believe that Wolfgang wasn’t the only one Kala fucked last night. We see that she still sleeping in Wolfgang’s bed and he is sleeping next to her, and there is a moment when Rajan leans down to kiss Kala, but Wolfgang is the one who feels the kiss.
Over breakfast Capheus tells Zakia about being approached to run for office. Though he’s still doubtful about the offer, she knows the man who spoke with him and tells Capheus that if he came all the way out to the slums to see him, he considers Capheus a legitimate candidate.
Lito in his little family arrived in São Paulo and are greeted by the organizer of the Pride Parade. He’s extremely happy to see Lito and even somewhat surprised that he accepted. There’s a small group of people that have arrived as well and for the moment Lito is basking in their worship, taking selfies with these new fans.
Capheus arrives home just in time to see Silas (Peter King Nzioki) drop off his mother, who is all dressed up. There are a few awkward moments as they enter the house and it doesn’t take long for them both to realize neither came home. Capheus is happy that his mother has possibly found someone, but he doesn’t understand why she’s with Silas. She tells her son it’s simple: he’s also infected with HIV. And he tells her there may be a cure soon…
Riley and Will arrive at one of the places she’s used over the years as a crash pad between DJ jobs.She says these places are a bit like urban camp sites, and while traveling she always tried to leave something behind for the next person. It’s while they’re in the process of covering the windows that Puck (Kick Gurry) appears to Riley. Surprise! He’s also a sensate. And he’s here for one very important reason: he wants to fuck Riley. Or, as he says, “The dick wants with the dick wants,” though it’s a little confusing if he’s talking about his penis or himself. It becomes quickly obvious that he’s been using beta-blockers for a while, and refuses to tell Riley where his come from. He does let her know that if she ever dumps the grinning asshole who’s traveling with her, he’s more than willing to hook up so they can get to fucking.
Wolfgang and Felix (Max Mauff) are playing football and Kala, who is at work, is picking up on all the intense emotions Wolfgang is feeling. Which means she has to do a little cluster watching. Which means she starting to get a bit turned on seeing this hot, sweaty, shirtless Wolfgang engaging in some masculine athletic activity. For his part he’s digging it, though when he shows up in her office and starts making her think impure thoughts while people enter and leave, she lets him know: what they did the other night was a bit of a mistake and she can’t do that again. Of course you can’t, Kala! You only probably had the first orgasm you’ve ever felt in your life, so yeah, fuck that, it’s better to be a good wife and go back to Rajan. Holy Christ, these two!
São Paulo (night):
Lito, Hernando, and Daniela are out dining the night before the Pride parade. After watching couple of men share a tender moment, Lito looks a bit worried that perhaps maybe he’s not doing the right thing—
São Paulo (Pride)/Transition Moment:
The next day, however, the Grand Marshall’s float is packed and surrounded by tens of thousands of people. Lito is introduced and he starts to do the customary, “I’m so honored to be here,” bullshit speech when he stops. He admits that appearing here is the hardest thing that he’s ever done, and it should never have been as hard for him to say what he’s always wanted to say: I am a gay man. He says it several times, even shouting it at the end, admitting that this is the first time he has publicly admitted that he is gay. He brings Hernando over and introduces him and tells him that no matter what happens, it’s all worth it. And with that, they kiss.And as the parade starts and the festivities begin, the rest of the cluster appear on the float and join in with the festivities.
Riley’s back in her favorite park overlooking London and Sun is hiding out in an unknown building somewhere in Seoul. They remember the last time they were at this location: Sun was worried she was making a mistake and was going to jail, while Riley wanted to see her father. In a way, Riley says, it almost feels as if the roles are reversed. And neither know how they’re ever going to get out of the predicament they’re in.
Nomi is with her sister getting fitted for a dress. Why? Sister shit, that’s why? Now that all the legal problems are over, her sister Teagan wants her to be her maid of honor, and I start getting a touch weepy at this point. Nomi wants to know how her family is handling it and Teagan finally admits that their father says that Nomi’s black hole of narcissism is going to swallow them all and make the entire wedding all about her. Before they can go any farther, however, Amanita rushes overall excited and shit. She’s received a reply to one of her various inquiries and has discovered the location of the mysterious cabin—and no shit, it’s in Northern California near the commune where she grew up.
Will wakes up and a nice bed and is greeted by Riley—although, it’s not really Riley, and he’s not really Will. He’s piggybacking on Whispers (Terrence Mann) right now, seeing a little of what his life is like in the morning. Talking on the phone to big shots. Seeing where he keeps his hidden safe. And realizing that something bad is coming—
Wolfgang showering up when someone tries to shoot them in the head. That someone happens to be Lila (Valeria Bilello) and the crazy bitch is fucking with Wolfgang. Now he’s got her sort of alone he starts asking her about beta-blockers—and that’s when one of her cluster shows up and tells her to walk away from this Deutschland asshole. (Personal Note: all the while the scene was going on I kept getting a Quantum Leap-style Evil Leaper vibe from Lila and her cluster mate. It just so fits with the entire concept of one cluster being good and the other cluster being really bad.) Wolfgang finds out that Lila is hunting Volker Bohm (Martin Wuttke) and she’s about to eliminate him as one of the big bosses of Berlin. Which, with a suggestion from Wolfgang, she does rather easily. But when it’s all done, and Wolfgang tries to get more information out of her, she just points a gun at his head and pulls the trigger. Man, you just gotta hate that shit.
Riley and Will I having a bit of a nosh when Mr. Hoy appears. The same question remains: how did they trust each other? Mr. Hoy brings Riley to the inside of a large box where they sort of exchange pleasantries. She wants to know why he came to the party and he finally admits that maybe after surviving in secret for thirty years, he just wanted to get out and live.
Riley’s had enough the shit. Back in London, she tells Mr. Hoyt to follow her and they had up to the roof of the place where their staying, where the entire London skyline is laid out before him. She lets him know, if he’s with BPO, he knows where he can find her. Mr. Hoy takes this as evidence that Riley can be trusted, and they leave his box. After passing through his laboratory, he takes her out to the balcony and welcomes her to the high lands of Scotland.(Personal Note: I was speaking with Rachel earlier about Sylvester McCoy being in this episode and the previous one, and I mentioned to her that another site that does recaps—one that will remain nameless but that I know pay their writers—mentioned in their recap of Episode 5 that the character being played by McCoy was Australian. Sylvester McCoy, Australian? Bitch, please. First of all, you should know Sylvester McCoy was the Seventh Doctor in the original production of Doctor Who, and much was said then about his fantastic Scottish brogue which he did not try to hide. Second, in this episode he spends his entire time walking around in a kilt, so you narrow that shit down. Third, he refers to himself as the Old Man of Hoy, a well-known natural artifact in Scotland. And last, it’s Sylvester Fucking McCoy. He’s Scottish. One should know this shit. Also, as we know from watching Season 1 of Sense8, anyone Australian is automatically assumed to have Asperger’s…) Thanks for the clarification.
Mr. Hoy tells Riley that BPO started in 1952, and that there were papers signed by nations from several countries agreeing that the rights of sensates would be upheld and that they would not be used for military applications. Part of this was due to Ruth el-Saadawi having a twin sister who was a sensate that was killed, accused by villagers of engaging in witchcraft. Riley asked Mr. Hoy how he knows all this and the answer is simple: he was there when all of this was put together by Doctor el-Saadawi. It turns out he was her assistant at the time.
Nomi and Amanita are making their way to the woods looking for the cabin. Nomi finally asked if Amanita believes it’s true, that she’s really a black hole of narcissism, and Amanita, being the honest person she is, says it is a bit true that Nomi has kind of ignored her really cool, sweet, loving, stay-by-your-fucking-side-no-matter-what girlfriend and has been totally centered on herself. Nomi apologizes and says while it’s true her life is kind of been shit of late, that’s no excuse for taking Amanita for granted.
And that’s when it hits and she sees Angelica (Daryl Hannah). She not only sees her, but she can hear her, she can see the things that she was doing in these woods so many years before. She can actually see the cabin now as it once was. And the thing she notices the most about Angelica: she’s happy.
Riley asked Mr. Hoy about Whispers, who Mr. Hoy refers to as The Cannibal, as it’s rumored he destroyed his own cluster. He says that most sensates fear the man and if Riley and her cluster have managed to elude him for a year, Mr. Hoy has completely underestimated the skill of her cluster.
She wants to learn his real name and wonders if there’s a way that Mr. Hoy can help, as it seems there is some sort of intelligence network among sensates. He tells her there is something known as The Archipelago, a network of one sensate speaking to another, passing information along from person to person. Since one sensate only knows to others, it is, as Mr. Hoy says, isolated above but connected below (Title Callout!). But if Riley really wants to discover The Cannibal’s real name, he will put out the word—
Transition Moment — The Archipelago:
Mr. Hoy puts out the word, and that sensate passes it along to another sensate, who passes it along to another, and another, and another. All around the world sensate or speaking to each other and eventually one returns with the answer—
Riley finally comes to back in London. She tells Will she doesn’t have the name, but she was told how she could get it. The only thing is, she doesn’t think he’s going to like the news, for she has to travel to Chicago—and she must travel alone.
Nomi and Amanita arrive at the cabin as it is today: a burned out shell with little left to tell people that a building once stood here. But Nomi is still feeling things, seeing them, and she knows what happened:She sees the cabin being surrounded by BPO personnel, and Doctor Metzer, the guy who was going to cut out Nomi’s brain, arrives to speak with Angelica. Apparently, someone is inside the cabin and are getting ready to destroy everything.
And we see who that someone is: it’s Raoul who is head is forebrain operated upon and is now a member of Whispers’ zombie army. Only Whispers isn’t the one controlling him: Angelica is the one in the drivers seat, and she’s compelling Raoul to soak down the whole joint in gasoline—himself included—and burn the motherfucker to the ground. As it goes up Whispers, who was standing next to Angelica while he is elsewhere, bemoans the loss of all that work. Angelica says it doesn’t matter, she will re-create it—
Which she did by going to Chicago.
Will knows this, and now everyone else in the cluster knows it. It all went bad for Angelica the moment she traveled to Chicago.
And the same thing could happen to Riley and the rest of the cluster…
As always, leave us a comment and tell us what you think!
Tuppence Middleton — Riley Gunnarsdóttir, London
Brian J. Smith — Will Gorski, London
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/São Paulo
Jamie Clayton — Nomi Marks, San Francisco
Freema Agyeman — Amanita
Terrence Mann — “Whispers”
Purab Kohli — Rajan
Alfonso Herrera — Hernando
Eréndira Ibarra — Daniela
Valeria Bilello — Lila Facchini
Mumbi Maina — Zakia
Kay Nam Myung — Teacher
Max Mauff — Felix
Sylvester McCoy — Old Man of Hoy
Peter King Nzioki — Silas
Martin Wuttke — Volker Bohm
Kick Gurry — Puck
Daryl Hannah — Angelica Turing