Sense8 Recap episode 1: Limbic Resonance

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Post by Tony Velez on Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:08 pm

Ahoy matey! There be spoilers ahead!

The Wachowski siblings take to Netflix for their latest venture, Sense8. And it is mercifully the exact opposite of…some of their other work…

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Though the distinct lack of Channing Tatum is disappointing, we do get a psychic orgy. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

The show starts with Darryl Hannah trying to be more pretentious than "Man of Steel" by sitting in an abandoned church and most definitely not trying to draw any religious parallels between herself and Jesus. She seems distraught about something, and keeps seeing visions of two men talking to her like a devil and an angel on her shoulder. One of the men is Jonas (Naveen Andrews.) The other is evil. You can tell because he has a magnificent beard.

Sidenote: What is it about villains and luscious beards anyway?

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Anyway, Darryl Hannah does…something, and then she suddenly apparates herself in front of eight stereotypes scattered around the world. We have Riley, the Icelandic DJ (and, okay, I’m not sure what stereotype this is, but I know it’s gotta be a stereotype somewhere); Lito, the Mexican gangster; Kala, the Indian Scientist; Sun the Korean martial artist; Will, the white savior cop; Capheus, the black driver; Woflgang, the German thief; and Nomi, the trans lesbian.

After doing…whatever it is she did, Darryl Hannah puts a bullet in her brain in order to avoid getting captured by magnificent-beard-man.

Then the show moves on to the characters we actually care about.

Will is having nightmares about foreshadowing a little girl. He wakes up in a cold sweat to the sound of dance music. He tries to get the neighbors to lower the volume, but when he opens their door (which wasn’t locked, apparently,) the room is completely empty.

We then cut to Riley, who is DJ’ing a party in London. Riley is an awesome DJ. You can tell because nobody will shut up about how amazing she is. Still, she seems sad about something. Her friend Jacks introduces her to a man who calls himself Nyx. Hey, Nyx, the 90’s called. They want their pointless ‘x’ back. Anyway, Riley’s been complaining about a headache and strange visions, which gives Nyx the perfect opportunity to drop the episode’s title on our lap, as he calls it a ‘Limbic Resonance.'

Then we cut to Lito who, to my immense relief, isn’t actually a Mexican stereotype. He just plays one on TV. Lito is also having strange visions, which make him fumble his lines. He decides to take a break in his trailer, only to develop a…problem betwixt his trousers.

Ironic, considering that Nomi and her girlfriend Amanita (Freema Agyeman YASS!!!) are in San Francisco having hot sexy times at that precise moment. Can I just say, as soon as the rainbow dildo hit the floor, I had already decided that this would be my most favorite show ever.

Meanwhile, in Seoul, Sun is meeting an important Chinese businessman. He refuses to do business with her because she’s a woman. He also says some pretty skeezy things to her. Then Sun’s brother, Joong-Ki, arrives and dials the uncomfortable up to eleven. And honestly? Sun has so much more restraint than I do. I admire her for not going all Spirit of Van Dame Korean Lady on their asses.

Speaking of Van Damme, or should I say ‘Van Damn’

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We cut to Capheus in Nairobi, who is tending to his sick mother all the while keeping a cheery, optimistic disposition in spite of his struggling business.  Every morning, he says “I have a feeling that today is going to be great day.”

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You know who’s not having a great day? Wolfgang, over in Berlin. He is at the funeral of…someone (it doesn’t matter who.) His cousin Steiner’s an ass, his friend Felix is a smug schemer, and his uncle insists he pay his respects to his late father. Wolfgang does so by taking a piss on his father’s grave. Classy.

And speaking of classy, let’s talk about Kala. She is a sweet girl living in Mumbai who is worried that she’ll get soaked if she can’t find an umbrella in time. Her father points out that it’s bright and sunny out. You know where it’s not bright and sunny? Berlin. FORESHADOWING!!!

Anyway, Kala is religious and goes to Ganesha’s temple to pray regularly. Right now, she asks him to help her with her dilemma. See, she’s engaged to a man called Rajan Rasal, who is by all accounts perfect (no, really, he is.) But the problem is she doesn’t love him. Still, she feels obligated to marry him because of what it would mean to her family. And also because his father is her boss, but the show kind of glosses over that part.

Having met all of our main characters, we can now carry on with the plot.

Will and his partner Diego are cops patrolling the mean streets of Chicago when they hear a gunshot. They go investigate and find a black kid named Deshawn, no older than 13, dying of a bullet wound. “What’s this?” Will said. “Someone in trouble? White Savior to the rescue!” In order to make Will look good, the show has both Diego (a cop) and the hospital nurse (who is black) both say that they’d rather let the kid die. Classy, Sense8. Real classy. Anyway, the nurse agrees to take Deshawn in but then guilts Will for trying to save his life. At this point, I’m banging my head against the wall.

Mercifully, we then cut to Lito, who’s still has an…ever rising dilemma on his hands. He dry humps the walls of his trailer and I’m sure there’s a ‘wood’ joke here that I’m too mature to make. A sexy (female, this is important) costar comes in and sees him…standing at attention. She offers to help him…cool down but he rejects her, claiming to already be in love with someone else. And that’s all we get from Lito this episode. Good of you to come. You can sit with Kala, Capheus, and Sun over in the POC corner and wait for further instructions.

Now let’s go back to the white people. Nomi and Amanita are celebrating Pride weekend by reminiscing about their first Pride together, when Amanita defended Nomi from a TERF. They then go to an event which Amanita is volunteering for. Nomi listens to her friends talk about the meaning of Pride. Then they sit in on a play about the AIDS epidemic. Notice a running theme here? Yeah, literally everything in this story so far is about LGBTQ issues and the queer identity. Literally everything.

So, obviously, we can’t spend too much time with a queer character. Not in the first episode we can’t. No siree. Let’s go back to our straight white people.

Wolfgang and Felix break into a…somewhere… and they try to steal some precious diamonds from this purportedly uncrackable safe. Apparently it was this kind of safe that Wolfgang’s father failed to crack some years ago, and it’s implied that this failure somehow led to his untimely death. Still, all we see of Wolfgang’s father right now is a flashback of him laughing at kid!Wolfgang choking up during his recital. Man, I already hate this guy.

Anyway, Wolfgang manages to break the unbreakable safe and steal the diamonds. He and Felix escape just as Steiner is breaking in to the building to…steal the diamonds. HA!

Over in London, Riley is coerced into going to Nyx’s place where her friends get high on…some nondescript drugs. Riley stares out the window pensively (she does that a lot) until Nyx interrupts her. At this point, I was absolutely sure that Nyx was going to make some sort of sexual advance on Riley. Part of me also thought that Riley had been expecting it. The show then surprised me when it turns out that all he wanted to do was talk about his feelings. It surprised me again when he offered her his ‘gift’: a bong. I did NOT see that coming.

Anyway, Riley gets super high and somehow winds up in Chicago with Will, who has just discovered the church in which Darryl Hannah killed herself. The two of them actually see and even talk to each other. Both of them are amazed that they can communicate as they are, given that they’re in vastly different parts of the world. Their conversation is cut short by the sound of gunshots…

Riley wakes up only to find Nyx had gotten shot by Jacks, who tried to steal Nyx’s money and drugs. Nyx comes out of nowhere, stabs some random guy, and then he and Jacks shoot each other to death, leaving a blood-soaked Riley with a bag full of money and drugs and a room full of corpses.

Okay, I really did NOT see that coming.
Tony Velez
Tony Velez

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Post by livimarie on Thu Aug 13, 2015 4:21 am

I love your writing! I can't wait for the next recap! Very Happy

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Post by Sherrie Ricketts on Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:33 pm

Thanks! I like hearing how other people perceived the show. It adds to my experience. Smile

I definitely noticed how they handled the kid who was shot. I think maybe they were trying to show that Will hadn't gotten that jaded yet, but it felt off and made me uncomfortable.

I think part of why the show is so good is that it wasn't just the Wachowskis, but J. Michael Straczynski. I get the impression that he may have helped ground them a bit.
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