As much as a weird sci-fi masterpiece Sense8 Season 1 was, it also hadn’t fully figured out what it wanted to be. The same is true of Season 2, which gets lost a little along the way when it attempts to bring in sensates from other clusters.
We obviously haven’t spent as much time with these new sensates – we haven’t laughed with them, cried with them, or joined them as they chewed down their fingernails – so their actions often feel a bit hollow and inconsequential. They occasionally help to move the plot along, but it’s still hard to resist the urge to reach for your phone until members of the new clusters go away and the ones we like come back again.
The new season rather staggeringly seems to have even less main plot than the first, with episodes often feeling like set piece after set piece after set piece. This approach would be confusing and exacerbating were it applied to most sci-fi thrillers, but in the case of Sense8 it actually works.
Season 1 had a good range of especially memorable set piece, like the 4 Non Blondes karaoke scene in ‘What’s Going On?’, the fantastic sensate orgy in ‘Demons’ and the pretty graphic but weirdly affecting birth montage in ‘What Is Human?’. Season 2 is a little lighter on those moments, having appeared to have blown its load during the utterly wonderful, two-hour Christmas special ‘Happy Fucking New Year’, but they are still very much there.
Scenes like Lito (Miguel Angel Silvestre) giving an emotional but utterly uplifting speech as the grand marshal of São Paulo Pride Parade and Nomi (Jamie Clayton) talking about the meaning of family at her sister’s engagement party really show what Sense8 is about, and why so many people love it so much. It’s not just a sci-fi thriller; it also has a shitload of heart.
Very rarely does a TV series come along that just loves existing as much as Sense8 does. Everything is infectious, from the laughter to the tears to the feeling of wanting to go out and roundhouse kick a bad guy in the face, and confusing plot or no confusing plot, its beautiful heart will be what brings people back every time.