Sense8 recap: What's Going On? |

TV Recaps | Sense8

'What's Going On?'

Kala and Wolfgang share an intimate moment while Nomi and Will make a break for it.



Season 1, Ep. 4 | Aired Jun 05

With each new episode, Sense8 gets more action-packed and more tense, the slow burn of the narrative increasing in pace. At the same time, the mythology of the show – the world building necessary to establish what the sensates are, how they came to be, and why we should care about them – is slowly taking form. There’s suddenly a connective tissue revealing itself not only in the form of “clusters,” which Jonas explains to Will while in solitary confinement, but in the form of drugs and pharmaceutical companies.

That overarching narrative that was missing from the first few episodes, the one that explains why these eight individuals are suddenly connected, is a bit more present in this episode. It’s clear that pharmaceutical drugs are part of the connection between them; Sun works for a company that has embezzled money, potentially from these pharmaceutical companies, one of which Kala works for.

Elsewhere, Capheus (a.k.a. Van Damn) is trying to get AIDS medication for his mother. After his kickboxing display in the previous episode, there are certain men looking to hire him. Silas, a suave drug lord of some sort who uses the local military to secure a meeting with Capheus, asks him to deliver a bag to a specific location by midnight.

Capheus initially balks at the idea of working for Silas, but the drug lord reminds him that finding legitimate medication in Nairobi is no easy task. He shows Capheus a briefcase of the drugs his mother would need, and Capheus relents, signing on for the assignment.

He’s not the only one making shady deals. Wolfgang and Felix, still fueled by adrenaline after pulling off their heist, organize a meeting with a man they believe can offload the diamonds they’ve stolen. They meet in an alley – the one that doesn’t smell like piss – to discuss the transaction. As their businessman says though, an alley is no place to discuss issues of money, so they relocate to a library.

There, Felix does most of the talking, as he’s wont to do. The man admits there’s a great risk in trying to sell the diamonds because he knows where they came from and therefore who will be coming to look for them. Still, he can’t turn down the opportunity. He buys half of the diamonds from the two, giving Wolfgang and Felix enough money to go buy a bunch of shoes (seriously).

What’s nice about these scenes, where the sensates are negotiating nefarious deals, is that they’re not shot or written in a way that’s dark or gritty. Genre television is meant to be fun, and these scenes are just that. Sure, they’re tense and have serious implications, but they’re also structured in a way that feels light, even optimistic.

In fact, that’s the thematic through line in the show so far: optimism. There’s a beautiful celebration of the human spirit and experience at the heart of Sense8. There are ups and down, kickboxing fights, embezzlement, and closeted sexuality, but that’s all part of what it means to be human. There’s the good and the bad, and Sense8 celebrates both.

NEXT: Will, Nomi, and a cross-coastal escape