The two hour Sense8 Christmas special takes us on a tour of the lives of the 8 characters since the big blow up in Iceland and since Will (Brian J. Smith) looked into Mr. Whisper’s (Terrence Mann) eyes.
The episode opens with a beautiful water sequence. It begins with one swimmer and eventually all 8 of them are there. Like many scenes in Sense8, it was probably difficult to film, but it turned out wonderfully.
There were several more group scenes in response to one or another of the character’s needs, but the one that will probably be mentioned in many places is the group sex scene. All those naked bodies, all those different skin colors, all wrapped around each other like a pile of puppies. It’s stunning – more art than sex. A painting in motion, a painting that moves from hillsides to beds to men’s bathroom stalls. You have to admire the trust these cast members put in each other to make one of these group sex scenes. They get bare-assed again and again in numerous places and then roll around together like a ball of snakes.
As in season 1, the main characters interact with each other as needed. They show up if someone needs to know how to pick the lock on a pair of handcuffs or defeat 4 armed thugs in a Berlin parking lot. They share conversations about coming out and about having sex for the first time.
Sun (Doona Bae) is still in a Korean prison. Her brother sends 3 tough guys there to kill her but she overpowers them all.
Nomi (Jamie Clayton) and Amanita (Freema Agyeman) are in California, hiding anywhere they can be safe for a few days. Some persistent government goon is after Nomi and they have to be very careful.
Will and Riley (Tuppence Middleton) are together – I’m not clear about where they are, maybe Iceland. Will has to take regular doses of heroin to keep Whispers out of this head. They struggle to keep Whispers from figuring out their physical location.
Jonas (Naveen Andrews) shows up in Will’s head from time to time, as does Angelica (Daryl Hannah).
Kala (Tina Desai) married a guy named Rajan (Purab Kohli). He’s super rich. They haven’t had sex yet. The problem is Wolfgang (Max Riemelt). That’s who she really wants to have sex with. When she comes close with her husband, there’s Wolfgang watching. After several false starts with the handsome hubby and a trip to the hospital for a sprained penis, they finally get the job done.
Wolfgang is in Berlin. He hangs about in Felix’s (Max Mauff) hospital room until Felix gets out. His family wants him to take over the criminal enterprise he disrupted when he killed his uncle in season 1. Wolfgang isn’t interested.
Lito (Miguel Ángel Silvestre) and Hernando (Alfonso Herrera) are outed when a photograph of them having sex is published in Mexico. Lito could use his publicity team to deny it, but he decides to be honest about it. Daniela (Eréndira Ibarra) is still hanging around these two all the time.
Capheus (Toby Onwumere) is in Nairobi. His friends think he’s looking different these days (ha, ha). He blames it on a new haircut. He tries to fix his bullet riddled Van Damn bus, but manages to set it afire. The rich guy whose daughter he helped in season 1 gives him a brand new bus.
The imagery and cinematography in this series is gorgeous. A few scenes stand out: on Christmas eve Lito goes to mass with his mother. Nomi is at a gay men’s choir performance. Those two scenes get mashed up with all the gay men in Santa suits singing “Hallelujah” before a massive crowd of worshipers holding candles. The entire sensate group are there listening, in awe, much as they were in season 1 at the concert with Riley’s father. Angelica hovers above the choir like an angel.
The scenes of New Year’s Eve and all the fireworks were spectacular as well. There was a dynamic dancing scene. Really, everything about Sense8 is a visual treat. The transitions between and among locations and characters is smooth and interlaid like a mosaic. It’s masterfully planned and edited.
The science fiction aspects of Sense8 may not appeal to everyone, but I’m sure everyone who watches it will be touched by how lovingly it is drawn on the screen.
Lana Wachowski directed this episode.
New episodes of Sense8 will begin May 5, 2017 on Netflix. The group has to take on Whispers, get Sun out of prison, solve Nomi’s problems with the government and face several more challenges when the other episodes of season 2 reach us.