As for Capheus, he has a rather light ride this episode. Sakia tells his mother about his ambitions for office, and a bit of a blowout ensues. Though she still attributes Capheus’ father’s death to his own political career, she can’t deny that her son has the power to do good for his home. It’s been really nice to see Van Damme explore a richer side of Nairobi this season, especially with a game Toby Onwumere in the driver’s seat. After the machetes, drugs, and death of last year, Capheus deserves romance, respect, and some intellectual discourse.
Speaking of discourse, this may be Sense8’s most political episode yet. A shooting in an NYC mosque prompts discussion among Nomi, Amanita, and Riley, and while it would normally come off as a bit strident for TV characters to all agree that guns are evil, it felt not only appropriate here, but just. Queer people have known plenty of suffering of late due to gun violence, and a fantasy of empathic, empowered avengers speaking out and fighting back may be just what we need.
After viewing a video of the shooting, Amanita snoops around — “the internet is a kind of psyllium!” — and connects the main target, a professor named Mitchell Taylor, to BPO founder Ruth Al-Sadaawi. And the killer: Todd, the shady anti-sensate sensate.
Now, back to the hugging. The cluster may be moving united in the battle against BPO, but Sun feels more alone than ever. She visits her parents’ graves and starts to unravel. “Everything I considered my home is gone.” She looks back fondly on her mother, who celebrated Sun even when she was terrified for her. Sun can’t forgive herself for failing her parents, and it takes hand-holding from all seven of her sensate siblings to give her some perspective. Wolfgang compares Sun’s brother to his father; Capheus shares his lessons of finding peace after his own father’s murder; and it all ends in a perfectly magical eight-way hug.
Detective Moon, who shall henceforth be referred to as Hot Detective, shows up incognito as the cemetery groundskeeper. He tells Sun that he’s onto her brother, and that with her help, they can set things right. He makes her an offer she can’t resist: a rematch to their fight in the rain. “May I propose a test to your invulnerability?” he purrs. If she wins, she walks away. If he defeats her, she comes in to the police department and talks. Naturally, the supreme baller of the show can’t say no to a good fight.
The five-minute face-off that ensues crackles with white-hot chemistry, and amid blood and sweat, Sun and Hot Detective lock limbs and lips, and it’s mesmerizing. The only thing in this world better than watching Doona Bae beat the hell out of a man in authority is watching her do it in culottes.
But as they duel, Hot Detective finds the words to shatter Sun’s armor. “You’re not fighting a person,” he says. “You’re fighting something else. You use the false identity to fight because of your father. I think you refuse to see, to understand how special you are.” That hits a nerve, and Sun nearly melts as they start to make out. But, remembering herself, she gives him the back of her hand and knocks him unconscious. Can we please invite him to the next sensate orgy?
Riley gets a tip for a meeting with an Archipelago connection. Of course, it happens to be the abandoned church from the first scene of the first episode. Against Will’s concerns, she goes down the stairs alone and cuts off her connection to her cluster by swallowing a psy-blocker pill. She meets a former colleague of Angelica and Dr. Milton’s, who tells her all about the corruption of BPO from its original purpose. We get more of a handle on the fight against BPO, and it’s shaping up to be a classic Wachowski anti-corporate battle royale.
But most importantly, we learn where Dr. Milton got his nickname. “[Angelica] told me that the voice in your head that tells you to cut your wrist, or to take a handful of pills or to jump from a height… that voice never shouts. It only whispers.” Our secret BPO contact gives Riley the address of the show’s big bad, leaving Will to finish him for good back in London. But he’s stopped with the arrival of… Jonas?
Oh dear. It looks like we’re heading into some Lost territory. After a first half of the season that so robustly mixed the X-Men plots with the more affectionate moments among the cast, I really hope that Sense8 can keep the balance. Plus… we’re due for at least one more orgy, right?