With Whispers closing in on Nomi and her information, Will, Sun, and Capheus have to help with a thrilling escape.
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S1 E8
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“We Will All Be Judged by the Courage of Our Hearts,” the eighth episode of Sense8, is the slowest moving episode of the season. Not since the first episode has the plot felt so stagnant and rudderless. That’s not to say that this episode doesn’t have its moments, but rather that after a few fun episodes, Sense8 takes a step back here and focuses on smaller character moments.

Just about every sensate is in a place of sadness and rumination. The episode opens on Nomi and Amanita, who are watching the sunrise over the city. Nomi talks about the dissonance she’s experiencing, that feeling that everything in this moment is beautiful and yet everything’s changed after what they witnessed the night before, when Bolger killed himself, or rather Whispers prompted Bolger to kill himself.

Nomi explains it as hearing everyone in a movie theater laughing at a joke but not understanding what’s so funny. The scene then cuts to Kala sitting in a theater with her family, everyone howling with laughter and yet she has tears in her eyes. She excuses herself and goes to the bathroom where she encounters Wolfgang, also stricken with grief.

Wolfgang is by the bedside of Felix, who’s just barely survived the drive-by shooting in the previous episode. The scene is purposeful for two reasons: it gives us some welcome backstory in terms of the friendship of Felix and Wolfgang, and also enforces the bond between Wolfgang and Kala.

Wolfgang mentions that he can’t change the past, and that him and Felix are brothers, “not by something as accidental as blood” but by choice. It’s a touching moment and drives home the very idea of the sensates. These are people who are connected not by blood, but by some strange force currently beyond their understanding. But just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Thus, Wolfgang’s talk of connection is not just about Felix, but about him and Kala. He’s providing clarity to Kala, who is having an existential and spiritual crisis. She may not understand why Wolfgang is in her life or why he showed up at the moment when she was set to marry a man she didn’t love, but she can’t deny that his presence means something and that they share something special.

This moment of connection bleeds into the next, where Will and Riley visit each other and show off their homes. Riley shows Will the house she grew up in. He sees a picture of her mom, who passed away at some point, and sees Riley interact with her dad. He gets to experience the warmth and love of her home while Riley marvels at the city life of his apartment. There’s a subway that surely keeps him up at night, and Will laments how small the place is while tidying it up.

Riley likes it though, or rather she likes spending time with Will. It’s remarkable that the show can get so much out of characters just being around one another; Sense8 boasts simple pleasures in that way. As Will and Riley stare out the window, their hands touch and they kiss, and it’s a tender, steamy moment—seriously, this show knows how to do hot kisses and sex scenes. It’s also a hilarious moment because the camera cuts to Will’s partner who’s watching Will make out with nobody, like a nervous grade-schooler practicing their kissing skills before a big dance.

NEXT: Tampons and car chases

That kiss is perhaps the lone moment of happiness in this episode. Sure, Sun using her kickboxing skills to take down the prison-yard bully is satisfying, but it doesn’t exactly signal happiness, especially considering she’s sent to solitary for the outburst.

There’s no happiness left for Daniela, Lito, and Hernando. Daniela goes back to Joaquin and agrees to marry him in exchange for not blackmailing Lito. She tells this to Lito and Hernando at a late night meeting where she’s sporting a massive bruise on her eye. Hernando urges her to reconsider, saying that she can’t go back to someone so abusive. Lito doesn’t say a thing, silently accepting that this is what must be done to save his career.

That’s too selfish for Hernando though, who pays a visit to Lito on set the next day and breaks up with him. He utters the episode’s title, which is a line from Lito’s movie, as reason for breaking up with him. Hernando can’t stand that Lito would sacrifice Daniela that way, and while he knows it’s not his fault, he sees no other way around the pain.

Nomi and Amanita also have a very real threat in their life as Whispers draws closer and closer to them. Nomi, along with Will back in his Chicago precinct, manages to figure out that Whispers is part of the Biologic Preservation Organization and that they were paying Dr. Metzger to fly around the world and lobotomize people.

That’s as deep into the mystery as they get though as Whispers shows up at Amanita’s mom’s house and forces his way in with a bunch of federal agents. Amanita gets Nomi out the window and then gives her some buffer time by pouring red cough syrup all over a tampon and pretending to be in the middle of changing it when an agent barges into the bathroom looking for Nomi.

What follows is the most thrilling and inventive scene of the season thus far. We’ve all been waiting for multiple sensates to visit one another, and other than the orgy sequence, this is the first time. Nomi is stopped by two agents pointing guns at her, and she begs for help. Sun visits and takes over.

With a little help from Will, who tells Sun what’s about to happen during the arrest, Sun fights her way out of the situation and gets Nomi on a bike. She speeds through the streets and gets chased by a number of cop cars before finding a car for herself. “I don’t know how to drive,” she says as she hops behind the wheel. “I do,” says Capheus as he takes over and pulls off a death-defying car flip that loses the agents chasing them.

It’s a genuinely exciting scene, and considering that it’s followed by Papa-ji being killed in the streets right in front of Kala, signals a ramp up in pace for the next episode. “We Will All Be Judged by the Courage of Our Hearts” is certainly a more contemplative episode, and at times it feels like the plot is stagnating. It’s worth it in the end though, to see such an innovative and captivating action sequence that’s like nothing I’ve seen on TV before. It shows that Sense8 still has some tricks up its sleeves, even in an otherwise underwhelming episode.

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2015 Netflix series
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