In the opening scene of this episode we learn that Nomi is a reformed, paroled, hactivist (a woman who is a badass hacker, how much more can we love this character?) who now works for large security companies.
“It’s not hacking if you get paid for it,” Nomi insists when Amanita teases her about her criminal past, as they hold hands and stroll down the street. Honestly, this plot line alone is completely glorious. More plot advancement when Nomi describes seeing other Sensates to Amanita and wondering aloud if she is seeing things. We also discover that Nomi is often triggered by Pride, for very good reasons. Amanita tells her that maybe she should write about all the feelings she is having. Nomi worries that she is losing her mind.
“Honey, if I had your parents I’d be more than a little crazy, I’d be homicidal,” Amanita reassures Nomi. Foreshadowing!
In terms of actual plot, Will, the cop in Chicago, tries to uncover the mystery of Angelica (Darryl Hannah) dying in a dirty church basement and discovers that Homeland Security is looking for Jonas (Naveen Andrews, Sayid from Lost). Riley, the DJ in London, is stumbling around in shock after a violent incident. She and Will keep making eye contact through mirrors (this is a Sensate thing, apparently). Kala is psyching herself up for marriage while Wolfgang is celebrating a successful burglary by having fun sex and yummy food; they both keep catching glimpses of each other through their new shared connection.
In a slightly problematic and hilarious storyline worthy of one of the soap operas he stars in, we meet meet Lito’s super smart, hot boyfriend Hernando (Alfonso Herrera). Lito is not openly gay, but another actor and his occasional arm-candy, Daniela (Eréndira Ibarra) discovers his secret. Instead of being shocked she decides to move in with Lito and Hernando so that she can cover for Lito in the press but more importantly, because “this is a dream come true.” We don’t know exactly what she means by that until Episode 3 but we are treated to delicious make out scenes with Lito and Hernando. If nothing else about Sense8 interests you, at least stick around for the super hot sex.
Nomi is imprisoned in the hospital by a sinister surgeon who tells her that she has a brain abnormality, Undifferentiated Frontal Lobe Syndrome, that will kill her if he doesn’t operate. Her horrible monster mother also tells her that Amanita is not allowed to see her because the ICU is for “family” and Nomi rightly freaks out and says that Amanita is her family and that her biological mother is not. Her monster mother rolls her eyes and says predictably awful, scarring things in response. Is the brain thing making Nomi a Sensate? Are the other Sensates real or is she hallucinating them? What is even happening?
Will has a conversation with Jonas that exposes as much of the plot as possible which is great because at this point the audience still has no clue what the heck is going on. He also tells Will to go to San Francisco ASAP to get Nomi out of the hospital before she is lobotomized. Will is the first Sensate to control the ability to visit the other members of his cluster (this is what a group of linked Sensates is called).
FEMINIST MOMENTS THAT MAKE THE EPISODE
Nomi’s sublime and stirring blog post about Pride:
“For a long time, I was afraid to be who I am because I was taught by my parents that there’s something wrong with someone like me, something offensive, something you would avoid, maybe even pity. Something that you could never love. My mom, she’s a fan of Saint Thomas Aquinas. She calls pride a sin.” Saint Thomas, she explains, said that pride was the most deadly of the seven sins, but that shame and hate are not sins, according to Saint Thomas and her mother.
“I was afraid of this parade because I wanted so badly to be a part of it. So today I’m marching for that part of me that was once too afraid to march. And for all the people who can’t march, the people living lives like I did. Today I march to remember that I’m not just a me. I’m also a we. And we march with pride.”
It’s possible the Wachowskis spent the entire budget on spectacular aerial shots of the Pride parade in San Francisco. Squee, for gorgeous shots of Nomi riding on the back of Amanita’s motorcycle in the parade, but boo for Nomi suddenly losing consciousness and waking up in a hospital with her monster mother deadnaming and harassing her.
Best moment of course is from Amanita when she tells Nomi: “I will burn this building down before I let anyone touch that beautiful brain.”
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“I Am Also A We” is almost as confusing as Episode 1. We only catch glimpses of Sun and Capheus. The sub-plot with Will and Jonas works to advance the story, but the best approach to enjoying Sense8 seems to be to let the story wash over you and trust that the details will sort themselves out. Also, Amanita.