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There’s Nothing in the Rules About Gender

8 February, 2016 (19:51) | Dead Water, Goggle-eyes, Sense8 | By: Ian Burdon

Another Sense8 post. This one, further down, has spoilers. Don’t say you want warned.

(edited slightly post-posting after comments on Facebook)

Over the weekend I indulged in another binge re-watch of all 12 episodes, but this time I had a notebook with me. I probably missed a lot: the layerings between episodes and the parallels between the characters’ lives are many. I’m not going to type all my notes here, but will say that there is a lot of information and a fair sprinkling of meta-humour in the early episodes that passed me by on first (and second ๐Ÿ™‚ ) casual viewing. For example, I didn’t notice that when we meet Lito he is in a telenovella called “Love Has No Boundaries”; I hadn’t noticed that Lito’s director tells him (episode 3) exactly what JMS and the Wachowskis are doing:

The audience doesn’t know; the audience is with you. When you know, they know.

See also the title of this post (from episode 3).

I hadn’t noticed that both Lito and Hernando, and Nomi and Amanita have their first kisses in bathrooms (respectively the Diego Rivera Museum and the Lexington.) I hadn’t noticed how Wolfgang and Felix’s negotiations with Abraham in Berlin parallel Capheus and Jela’s negotiation with Mr. Fuck Off in Nairobi. I loved Nomi and Aminita’s shared lollipop (episode 7). I hadn’t noticed that in the final episode, when Kala visits the dispensary in Iceland, she is still in tears following what she saw Wolfgang do. Props to Tina Desai.

I did notice, that Beethoven’s Piano Concerto Number 5, central to episode 10, is what the blind busker is playing in episode 3 when Riley gives him all of Nyx’s cash

Anyway: I have too long a list of notes of parallels. I also have Dory Previn’s “Mr. Whisper” as an earworm in my head, though it isn’t in the show.

So, I’ve made a note below of 26 questions/thoughts I have for forthcoming seasons based on things I noted. Some of these are almost certainly misdirection by the writers, of course, and I think some of those misdirections come via Jonas Maliki (I’m not saying he’s lying, just that some of what he says doesn’t make sense to me). No doubt I’ve missed things.


  1. How is a cluster birthed?
  2. Nyx: who is he? Why was he keen to have Riley try DMT, which clearly accelerated her growth as a sensate? (also, Nyx; really? what’s in a name…?)
  3. Who is Daniella Velasquez’s father?
  4. Who is Mr. Moreno?
  5. Sara Patrell. She’s dead, so why did Will keep seeing her? And while we’re on the subject…
  6. … Will’s father and the Sara Patrell case. The missing person report for Sara is dated 21 June 1987.ย Sara was 10 when she disappeared so was born 1976/7. The buff folder that contains the MPR is dated 19 October 1978, ie when Sara is 1 or 2 years old: what happened then? How old was Will in June 1987? (see 21 below). Something screwy is going on (unless the production didn’t expect obsessives to freeze-frame, which is unlikely ๐Ÿ™‚ ). More to come on this, I think. There’s also a typo in para 3 of the missing person poster: “Amber was not seen…”
  7. Yrsa (She-Bear? Mad/Furious woman? what’s in a name…?): who or what hurt her so deeply?
  8. Will and Riley both had childhood sensate-like experiences. Nomi mentions “a feeling I’ve had all my life”. What about the others? And therefore…
  9. …who was the boy with young Kala at the Ganesh Festival?
  10. Comment, perhaps innocuous, about “DNA spanning the generations”.
  11. Metzger was also in Istanbul and Switzerland. What’s there? And where else?
  12. OK, we get it, Sun is bad-ass. But she also has a Masters in Economics and was a senior finance officer in the family business. So she should bring analytical skills to “following the money” in further investigations into Biologic, not just beat up the bad guys.
  13. “To the ancestors”
  14. Whispers and the University of Chicago “Special Research Group” (and Sara Patrell)
  15. Grace, Amanita and psycillium.
  16. Episode 12: Amanita is re-assured by Nomi and Will that the fact she has looked at Whispers doesn’t matter because she isn’t sensate. See point 15 above; hmmm…
  17. Episode 3: why is the problem with the “Evil Twin” of Lito’s character mentioned so often?
  18. Where’s Abraham gone, and why?
  19. Whispers, Jonas, Yrsa… It seems individual sensate clusters are isolated, not collaborative. Why? It must diminish their evolutionary potential?
  20. Whispers reminds Angelica Turing in the opening scene that she is “one of us”, and the implication is that he is not referring to sensates per se but to some sub-set of sensates.
  21. Nomi’s Australian BOLO: Date of birth is given as 22 July 1981. Really? That is (a) not 8 August and (b) would make her (and therefore Riley) four years older than Magnus (b. 13 April 1985). Misdirection? Her date of birth on the Federal BOLO is 26 August 1983, also not 8 August, and 2 years older than Magnus.
  22. What’s with all the haz-mat suits and respirators?
  23. Why is Lito in Mexico, not Spain? (ie was it only for career reasons he left Spain or some other reason; we know remarkably little about him).
  24. We’ve seen Riley be born 3 times (her physical birth, her re-birth as a sensate, the “birth” of the Riley that chooses life in episode 12 and leaves her dead husband and child behind). We know of 3 for Nomi as well (born as Michael, reborn as Nomi, reborn as a Sense8). Who’s next?
  25. Structurally Riley’s actions in the final scene of episode 12 parallel/mirror those of Angelica in the first scene of episode 1–lovely structure (JMS, I suspect) but 2. significance?
  26. Linkages: pharma; counterfeits; DMT; diamonds; “evil drug money”.


Comment from Gina
Time February 12, 2016 at 10:36 am

There’s also the recurring theme of “noble” suicide. Angelica does it, Riley is encouraged to do it, Will is encouraged to do it, Sun’s brother asks if that’s what his father wants him to do. Don’t know if it’s significant, but it’s definitely there.

Also (and this might just be for laughs), in almost every episode, someone mentions “this is real life, not tv/the movies!” Very meta.