Sense8 Episode 4: ‘What’s Going On’

by | September 5, 2015
filed under LGBT, Pop Culture

Tina Desai as Kala

Tina Desai as Kala

Plot things:

Wolfgang and his totes adorb bestie Felix go shoe shopping, as one does, after selling some of the diamonds they heisted.

Capheus learns that his new status as the people’s hero who stands up to thieves is great for his business, but not great for staying under the radar of a big time criminal who wants to buy his ass-kicking services.

Kala finally has something to do that isn’t marriage-related when she stumbles upon a conspiracy to outlaw religious freedom of expression. The conspiracy is spearheaded by her future father-in-law, the head of the sketchy pharmaceutical company that might actually have something to do with the plot of the show.

Will meets with Jonas which is awesome because Jonas is the only character that exposes story details pertaining to why the heck a bunch of people can feel each other’s lives. Jonas tells Will that he is more than himself now, he has seven other selves, and if he doesn’t get to San Francisco in time to save Nomi from brain surgery, he’ll soon have one less self.

In a flashback, we learn that as a child, Sun promised her dying mother that she would take care of her younger brother and help her father, who totally ignores her existence, realize his dream of having his son take over his company one day. Present-day Sun finally meets with her father who is mad at her for busting up his receptionist’s desk in the previous episode. Check out how she is all sullen and totally smoking just to annoy her jerk dad. There’s something shady going on with pharmaceutical stocks and Sun’s brother is to blame. Will she keep her promise to her mother, doing whatever it takes to protect her totally undeserving jackass brother, including taking the fall for embezzlement and going to jail?

Nomi is still in restraints and harassed by the evil brain doctor. Her monster mother is still dead naming her. This sub-plot had better be resolved ASAP. High five for when Nomi informs the doctor that: “I don’t know what they taught you in med school but the word ‘helping’ doesn’t mean handcuff people and chop up their brains.”

In a sweet, campy Paul Thomas Anderson moment, the Sensates share a song, ‘What’s Up?’ by 4 Non Blondes, or “the perfect soundtrack for a lobotomy,” as Amanita calls it.


“Married men in India don’t wear rings, there’s nothing to show their commitment,” Kala’s fiancee Rajan says when asked why he wants to add a super expensive ring exchange to the already exorbitant wedding.

“I want the whole world to know I am bound to this woman.” Awwww! Good job, Rajan! Maybe not necessarily a feminist moment, but at least progressive.

Sun is looking for her jackass brother in a brothel but the bouncer doesn’t want to let her in.

“I don’t want to cause a scene, I know this is a sex club.”

“No chicks but naked chicks,” the bouncer says. A brief exchange of dialogue ends when the bouncer unwisely tells Sun to fuck off and she beats the crap out of him and strolls into the club.  There’s something so gratifying about a diminutive woman casually dropkicking a series of scummy bouncers that are trying to kick her out.

The symbolism of a trans woman restrained against her will to be “cured” by doctors is powerful. The loss of bodily autonomy and the despair that accompanies it are beautifully portrayed by Jamie Clayton. While Will “visits” Nomi to pick the locks of her restraints (visiting is when one member of a cluster is able to inhabit another) Nomi walks herself out of the operating room. This could have been a standard “knight in shining armor” moment with Will rescuing Nomi but instead Will was little more than a prop in Nomi’s escape. The real hero, aside from Nomi herself, is Amanita, posing as an orderly in adorable hospital scrubs.

She’s been hanging around the hospital all this time trying to gain access to her girlfriend, and appears like a goddess just as Nomi starts to draw attention from security. She wheels Nomi out of the hospital and into a cab. Two women escaping an institution hell bent on literally mutilating the brain of one of them is cause for ample celebratory kisses. When Amanita reassures Nomi that she’s safe now, it’s hard not to cry at least a teeny bit.

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Supporting Cast:

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