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Sense8 recap: I Can't Leave Her

All the sensate come together to save Riley from BPO and secure their future.

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TV Show
Drama, Sci-fi
run date:
Daryl Hannah, Naveen Andrews, Jamie Clayton
Current Status:
In Season

Over the course of its first season, Sense8 has been steadily building its world. It’s been heavy on exposition from time to time, but for the most part, the show has done a good job of just letting its story unravel. Sci-fi/supernatural-leaning shows can sometimes be bogged down by the need to explain the rules of their world. Sense8 never really worried about that, choosing to just present the sensates as they are and slowly show off their powers and where they came from.

The result is a refreshing briskness to the storytelling. Without specific episodes that focused on only building the mythology of this world, Sense8 could just plow forward and trust that the viewer would follow along. That’s meant increasing visitations and a slow reveal of the sensates’ backstories.

If this season has largely been about establishing who the sensates are, crafting their own individual storylines that only occasionally cross over, then the finale, “I Can’t Leave Her,” is about coalescing those stories. By bringing the sensates together for what amounts to a glorious, innovative one-hour prison escape film, Sense8 has wrapped up the individual storylines of its first season while signaling a way forward for the group’s narrative.

The entire episode is built around one long set piece, which is the sensates coming together to get Riley away from BPO and therefore save all of their lives. BPO transports Riley to their own research facility in Iceland, meaning that the sensates only have so much time before Whispers gets to her and gets inside her head.

Before focusing on Riley’s storyline, the show wraps up Wolfgang’s blood feud with his uncle. He walks right into his uncle’s lavish living room and when a bodyguard searches Wolfgang and pulls out a gun, he grabs it and shoots everyone in the room.

The feud isn’t settled though. Will steps in and says that he heard a bullet hit Kevlar. Plus, he notices that the bodyguard is missing his gun. Sergei, Wolfgang’s uncle, is not dead, and he pulls a gun and starts shooting. This leads Wolfgang to flee the room and hole up in the mansion’s kitchen.

He’s got nowhere to go with henchmen trying to break down the door. That’s when Kala shows up and creates a makeshift bomb out of kitchen supplies. Wolfgang kisses her and lights the fuse, throwing the bomb out the door and killing the rest of Sergei’s bodyguards.

That leaves Wolfgang alone with Sergei. More than anything, his uncle just wants to know why he’s coming to kill him, why he’s betraying his family. It’s revealed that Wolfgang was the one who killed his abusive father and that he’s hated his uncle since he was a child because he never did anything about it. He just let his brother beat him constantly.

Wolfgang shoots Sergei numerous times in the face and it’s one of the goriest things the show has done. It’s purposefully visceral and ugly because Kala is watching. The act complicates her feelings for this man. As Wolfgang says after he’s done shooting, “that’s why you have to marry Rajan.” He’s of a different world than Kala and perhaps the two are too different to be together.

NEXT: Tonight there’s going to be a sensate jailbreak