Sense8 Recap: When Clusters Collide

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Photo: Murray Close / Netflix
Sense8

Sense8

All I Want Right Now Is One More Bullet Season 2 Episode 8
Editor's Rating 4 stars

Lila, the assassin who’s making very forward moves on Wolfgang, has been an enigma ever since her over-the-top introduction to Sense8. She’s a cold, sexy killer whose motivations are somewhat unclear, and the show hasn’t really played with that trope in a meaningful or enlightening way, making her character a weak spot in this season’s otherwise brilliant narrative web. “All I Want Right Now Is One More Bullet” doesn’t necessarily provide the answers I’m looking for, but it does use Lila to execute the show’s most riveting fight scene to date.

For the first time ever, the cluster goes up against another cluster. After a few episodes of randomly popping up into Wolfgang’s life, Lila finally does something significant, convincing Sebastian, the Berlin crime lord who’s courting Wolfgang and Felix, that Wolfgang is making moves against him. He teasingly tells Wolfgang this is her way of telling him she has a crush on him. And when he meets her at the restaurant, she rambles about turning Berlin into some sort of sensorium-run city. It’s unclear exactly what Lila is up to, but the rest of Wolfgang’s cluster realize he’s walking into a trap the moment they see him heading to the meeting.

When Wolfgang refuses to ally with Lila, his cluster rises for the impending fight and her full cluster rises behind her, too. Scenes that involve the entire cluster always have a certain magic to them, the camerawork effectively conveying how they are all one unit, that they all feel, react, and move as one. This fight sequence, which kicks off with Kala saying, “Bring it, bitch!” and throwing a bottle of wine onto the table, epitomizes that stylization. The synchronized fighting that ensues between the two clusters is visually compelling, striking in its dance-like intricacy.

Sense8 is a very aesthetics-driven show, but those over-the-top visual components add to the story, setting the mood or the genre, and evoking more than just stylish spectacle. The fight sequence isn’t the only stunning example: Earlier in the episode, a depressed Lito visits Sun, who rolls her eyes at his dramatics. Despite her impatience, he follows her into a love hotel, throwing himself on the bed and wallowing in his self-pity. Sun tries to put things in perspective by pointing out how much she has lost and how much he still has. Lito admits she’s right, but he also convinces her that maybe he’s with her because she, too, needs a good cry in bed. Thrown in blue light, they curl up on the bed together, Lito stroking her head as both clutch colorful plushies. The setting looks like something out of an action movie, yet the scene itself is a delicate, squishy one between two friends, pulling Sun out of her genre for a moment. Sun and Lito aren’t a common pair on the show, which makes the compassionate moment between them even more touching.

Kala and Will also share a rare one-on-one visit. Kala goes to Will to stop him from using heroin, distracting him by talking about her own problems and taking his vitals. She tells him she’s thinking of telling Rajan the truth about her abilities, hoping that it will encourage him to be more honest with her. Even though Rajan opened up in the last episode, he’s still up to shady business, making threatening phone calls late at night and pretending to get injured in an accident (which Lito recognizes as a lie). Will asks Kala if she wants to tell him the truth in order to get the truth out of him, or if she wants to tell him the truth because she’s in love with someone else. The other sensates no doubt know about Kala and Wolfgang, given that they experience each other’s sensations, lust and love included.

In other words, the other sensates feel the weight of Lito’s sadness. Nomi remarks to Amanita that he’s depressed, and Lito indeed wanders through the episode unmoored. Even though Sun puts things in perspective for him, his pain isn’t belittled or mocked. It’s treated as real, deep-rooted injury. Lito watches his mother’s favorite film, From Here to Eternity, which she and his aunts watched over and over when he was a young boy. Hernando knows Lito almost as well as his cluster does, and he explains to Dani that Lito always watches this movie when he’s depressed, analyzing Lito’s pain in the way he tends to critically think about all things. Hernando remarks that watching the movie was probably the first time Lito realized the power that movies could have over people, as well as the first time he realized he was different than a man like Burt Lancaster. Flashbacks confirm as much, as we see young Lito watching as the women around him watch the screen, enthralled by their enthrallment. The force of what Lito has lost is felt throughout his depressive ambling in the episode. (Also, Miguel Ángel Silvestre rocks the hell out of a onesie, because of course he does.)

While Lito descends, Capheus is on the rise, polling well against the incumbent Mandiba. But Mandiba is spending money on smear campaigns and fake news, twisting public perception of Capheus by releasing videos where people describe him as a thug. Capheus remains determined, his campaign built on courage and his image appearing all over his city, peering down at the people he genuinely wishes to help. He gets a visit from an old acquaintance — one of the ringleaders of Superpower, the gang he went up against last season — but their conversation doesn’t amount to much other than a foreboding feeling. “Politics is war,” after all.

Speaking of visits, the episode opens with Jonas explaining to the others how he’s still alive. Whispers was going to lobotomize him, but the chairman of B.P.O. stepped in, hoping to use Jonas as a “watchdog,” as Wolfgang puts it. The chairman and Whispers don’t see eye to eye on the inner workings of B.P.O., but the chairman needs to keep Whispers around for the neurographing program. If you’re a little confused, don’t worry — Sun and Nomi are, too. Their confusion is a winking acknowledgement of the fact that Jonas is all over the place all the time. For now, he doesn’t even seem positive of his purpose. He’s alive and doing much better since his deal with the devil, though he ruins Will’s shot at taking out Whispers, who escapes with his family before Will can do anything.

“All I Want Right Now Is One More Bullet” doesn’t focus too intently on the B.P.O. conflict, instead zooming in on the sensates’ individual problems before bringing them all together for that massive, awesome fight scene. It’s a relatively quiet episode, making the final action sequence all the more explosive. More clusters mean more opportunities for fun camerawork and special effects, and Sense8’s first cluster-versus-cluster showdown does not disappoint.

Sense8 Recap: When Clusters Collide