Sense 8, Episode 11: Just Turn the Wheel and the Future Changes’

by | November 15, 2015
filed under LGBT, Pop Culture

Ami Ameen as Capheus

Ami Ameen as Capheus

Plot things:

Content warning for physical violence.

Will and Nomi work together to save Riley from getting her brain sawed apart. Riley is trapped in a traumatic flashback. Capheus sets off to “settle a debt” with the gang that wants to kidnap Kabaka’s daughter. Sun’s despicable brother visits her in prison with some disturbing news. Kala has a heart-to-heart discussion with her fiancee. Wolfgang stashes Felix in a private hospital then continues his vendetta. Kala pleads with him to stop the violent path he’s on. There’s no way this ends well.


When Bug shows up to restock Nomi with her hacker gear, Amanita gives him the most epic eye roll when he dead-names Nomi.

This episode is all about Sun. Brought up to believe her purpose in life was to care for her brother, she has sacrificed everything, including her freedom, for the success of the men in her family. When her brother visits to deliver devastating news about their father, Sun’s brief moment of hope, that her father values her and will tell the truth to set her free, is snuffed out. In an entirely justified rage she administers an epic beating to her brother, one that the audience has been waiting for since we learned she can fight.

Later in the episode Sun shares Capheus’ experience as he faces a warehouse full of gangsters trying to force him to commit murder. The Superpower gang leader is holding Kabaka hostage, calling him a bitch and referring to him as “she” to shame and belittle him. Nothing is more awful than being called a lady and emasculation is the most heinous thing you can do to a man.

When Capheus hesitates he’s told: “The problem is you aren’t a man. You’re just another bitch.” But it’s Sun who responds. “Call me a bitch one more time and I will kill you,” Sun-as-Capheus warns, and then makes good on that warning. Once again, Sun saves Capheus’ life, single-handedly decimating half the gang in a beautifully choreographed fight scene. It’s emotionally rewarding to see a small woman wipe out a group of blood hungry men with just her fists, and more so when you know what kind of garbage she’s put up with her entire life.

Aside from the “of course she’s a martial artist because she’s Korean cliche, ” Sun’s storyline has always been full of surprises. She has no romantic interest, which is refreshing in a story about a single woman. She’s a champion fighter, which is rare for a female character.

The audience expects the prison to be horrifying, and it is because, hello, prison, but it’s also full of women who know full well the reason they’re there is because they live in a world that systematically privileges men. That Sun experiences moments of friendship and warmth in the company of other women who have also been subjugated by men is a frankly surprising concept for a television show to depict.

Later in the episode a weeping Kala visits Sun in prison, and asks her what to do about all of the conflicting emotions she’s experiencing.

Sun replies:  “I take everything that I am feeling, everything that matters to me, I push all of it into my fist.” She holds up her hand, the knuckles scabbed and swollen. “And I fight for it.”

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Supporting Cast:

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