Actual plot things to get out of the way before talking about this episode:
Will wakes up in a hospital bed after having inadvertently gotten Jonas, the only person who seems to know what’s going on with the Sensates, arrested. Daniela’s abusive boyfriend shows up on the set of the film Lito is shooting and takes him out for a very uncomfortable lunch. Riley the DJ is wandering around London with a bag full of money and drugs, on the lam from violently dangerous criminals, looking for a place to crash. Sun is chain-smoking, avoiding phone calls and poring over a secret file in her high rise office. We also discover she’s a total bad-ass kickboxing champ/martial artist. Capheus is scouring the black market to find medication for his sick mother. The medication he finally finds and pays all the money for is promptly stolen from him when his bus gets jacked. Kala is still on the fence about getting married.
In a moving sub-plot, we learn a little more about Riley Blue during a conversation she has with friends about surviving suicide.
“Anyone watching what really goes on in this world, how fucked up it all is,” her friend says, “checking out temporarily, permanently, my darling, it’s the only choice that makes any sense.”
Just as the Sensates can taste, hear, and see what the others see, so can they feel each other’s emotions, and Riley’s depression becomes something that her cluster has to deal with later on.
Nomi is trapped in a hospital without Amanita, which is beyond tragic. She’s being terrorized by hospital staff who insist they can indeed keep her there against her will because her monster mother signed papers that said so. Creepy Dr. Metzger (Adam Shapiro) has told her that she will pretty much die if he doesn’t cut her head open, and that anything she is experiencing is a result of Undifferentiated Frontal Lobe Syndrome. Poor Nomi! She is restrained, all alone, in a strange and is questioning her sanity and reality.
We are still no closer to understanding why these people are connected to each other or how they are experiencing each other’s emotions or sensations.
FEMINIST MOMENTS THAT MAKE THE EPISODE
“I’m getting married, not lobotomized,” Kala says when asked by a colleague why she is at work two days before her wedding. High five! Fist bumps!
Amanita makes good on her promise to burn down the hospital by setting a fire while Nomi is drugged to the gills on an operating table. Nomi is rescued from surgery but sent back to her hospital room and locked in.
Sun, who promised her dying mother that she would take care of her idiot brother, has learned that he is embezzling from their father’s company. After being repeatedly rebuffed by her father’s receptionist, Sun punches a hole into her desk. With her fist! Squee!
So, it’s completely stereotypical and cliche for Sun, who is Asian, to be a martial artist, BUT, it is spectacular to watch a very small woman effortlessly beat the living hell out of an obnoxious man. Sun’s frustration has been growing visibly throughout the episode and we finally see her get to blow off steam through an exquisitely choreographed kickboxing match.
“What the hell is this?” Sun’s opponent sneers when she steps into the ring.
“There’s nothing in the rules about gender,” the emcee tells him.
“Are you kidding me? This has to be a joke. I’m not fighting that skinny bitch, I’ll kill her,” her opponent replies.
The emcee is amused. “Smart money is on the skinny bitch,” he says.
We also discover that the Sensates are able to borrow each other’s skills. When Capheus goes after the criminals who have stolen his mother’s medicine, it is Sun, through Capheus’ body (don’t worry, this gets less confusing as the series evolves) who gloriously decimates the entire crew while simultaneously kicking the crap out of her kickboxing opponent. And she wins the match. She rescues Capheus from a certain bloody beating and cements his reputation as a hero.
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There is only one flashback scene of Amanita in this episode, and Nomi is still stuck in a hospital bed. That storyline better get resolved ASAP. “Smart Money’s on the Skinny Bitch” is not as captivating as the previous episodes but does spend a little longer developing the story lines of Lito, Riley, Capheus and Sun. Wolfgang, who is easy on the eyes, is sadly nowhere to be found, but Sun is an absolute revelation in this episode and leaves the viewer wanting a heck of a lot more of her bad assery.
Will (Brian J. Smith) Chicago
Nomi (Jamie Clayton) San Francisco
Lito (Miguel Angel Silvestre) Mexico City
Riley (Tuppence Middleton) London
Capheus (Ami Ameen) Nairobi
Sun (Bae Doona) Seoul
Kala (Tina Desai) Mumbai
Wolfgang (Max Riemelt) Berlin
Hernando (Alfonso Herrera)
Daniela (Eréndira Ibarra)
Jela (Paul Ogola)