The Sense8 Christmas special was an odd one. Both a delightfully fluff-filled piece of fan hâm mộ service (another! orgy! scene!) & also a skippable entry into Sense8 lore, the special struggled lớn fill a massive two-hour block. By the time Season 2 drops in May, it’ll be tough khổng lồ remember what was important to lớn the plot because those small details — which were few và far apart — were overshadowed by cathartic moments lượt thích the joyous, carefree celebration of the sensates’ birthday. Lucky for you, here’s a handy các mục of everything relevant you’ll need lớn know from the Christmas Special before going into Season 2.

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Will keeps seeing Angelica.

Will is the new Angelica. After being seen by Whispers in the first season, Will is now under the near constant influence of heroin to keep Whispers out of his mind và keep the rest of the cluster safe. However, when he’s under, Will keeps having fever dreams of Angelica who urges him khổng lồ kill himself. She knows the path he’s walked and we’ve already seen how it ended for her. In the Christmas Special, is almost feels lượt thích Will is haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Future and Angelica is trying to lớn show him that there’s no other way out.

In a later visit with Jonas, Will discovers that because Angelica birthed Will’s cluster, her sense & memory experience has been passed onto him, much lượt thích how genes are passed on in a regular birth. That’s why he still sees her, & often in places he’s never been like a cabin where he sees living happily with Jonas. Only time will tell if the connection between the Angelica and Will that can actively help them defeat Whispers và the BPO.

Jonas is still being held prisoner but visits Will when he can.

Jonas is still alive & in BPO’s custody. It’s through him that Will understands why he can see still see và interact with Angelica despite her death. Will also learns that his cluster isn’t the first that Angelica gave birth to lớn — & they all ended up dead or in BPO’s custody lượt thích Jonas. Will, desperate for more information about Whispers, asks about the cluster Whispers must have been born into, and Angelica answers: They’re all dead, but Whispers still talks lớn them in his sleep và in his mind. The most important thing Jonas teaches Will in their brief visit before Jonas is put back under by the BPO is that there’s another way lớn dissolve the connection between sensates that isn’t as destructive as heroin. Blocker pills.

Not only can Whispers see Will, but Will can see Whispers.

When Jonas first visits Will in the Christmas Special, Will is hiding in the corner of Whispers’s mind, spying on him và his whereabouts và trying khổng lồ gather information. Will sees Whispers in a beautiful park with his daughter who he dotes on. Jonas appears và tells Will he’s not the first person to lớn use Whispers’s liên kết to the sensate he’s hunting against them and the Whispers has ways to lớn protect himself. At the same same Whispers take a pill, and a low humming begins in Will’s ears. Jonas tell him the pill is called a blocker, & that BPO uses it lớn protect valuable assets like Whispers, và also hide prisoners like Jonas.

Jonas points out that Whipsers is very careful with his pills, meaning something happened to lớn make him careless, or more likely, he wants Will lớn see this and is toying with Will và his cluster.

Whispers found Will’s dad.

Will’s been on the run for months, and we find out in the Christmas Special that he left without making any plausible excuses khổng lồ his father. He’s been missing for months, causing his dad lớn relapse and start drinking again after years of sobriety. When Will finally picks up the phone to gọi his dad và let him know he’s okay, Will discovers his father’s fallen off the wagon, and despite loving each other, the only thing they manage to vị is get in a fight. Will’s father begs him to come home, and Will can’t tell him the reasons why he can’t.

The reason Will can’t come trang chủ ends up finding his father a few days later. Whispers has been talking khổng lồ Will’s father on the phone about the disappearance of his son, claiming he’s law enforcement and that Will’s on the run after doing something dangerous. Whispers visits Will’s father at their trang chủ and seeks out a psychic connection with Will, the threat implicit as he shows Will images of his drunk father precariously balanced on a railing trying khổng lồ hang Christmas lights.

Will does hear his father say, “I don’t care what he did, I just want him khổng lồ come home.” While its reassuring khổng lồ know that he’s unconditionally loved, Will also understands what kind of danger he’s put his father in for the first time. Watching Whispers đứng top up the whiskey in his father’s glass, Will disappears into the haze of heroin with a singular promise: “I’m gonna fucking kill you.”

Some of the sensates want lớn think of a backup plan, but there seems to be no other option.

With all the pressure of protecting the cluster falling squarely on Will, the other sensates begin lớn wonder what they can do. Will can’t keep using, especially not if he wants to be useful in the ultimate fight against Whispers và the BPO. Nomi ponders out loud to Sun whether they should start formulating a back up plan, either Will’s toàn thân or mind is going to give out sooner rather than later. Sun calms her by saying she trusts Will lớn protect them, và that’s a good enough plan for now.

Not so much a stand-alone special as it is the kick-off for Season 2, the series created by the Wachowskis & J. Michael Straczynski is back for a quality spin on holiday entertainment.


Toby Onwumere in “Sense8”Murray Close/Netflix

And, in fact, “business as usual” — at least, however you might define that within the trippy world of “Sense8” — is perhaps the best way lớn describe the action we see over the course of this installment. Balancing eight lead characters (plus assorted allies & partners, plus at least one major enemy) has always been the series’ toughest challenge, & you see that struggle emerge a fair amount in this two-parter.

The plotting is perhaps a little lighter than you might expect: Why spend more than one or two scenes on Kala’s marriage, when the cat-and-mouse game Will and Mr. Whispers are playing has the clearest consequences? There’s also occasionally an over-reliance on easy answers that is either writers Lana Wachowski & J. Michael
Straczynskiwanting khổng lồ burn through a lot of plot quickly, or setting up further developments for Season 2 that we won’t see resolved until May 2017.

Then again, “Sense8” hasn’t fascinated us for so long because of the plotting. Instead, it’s the core group of characters & their delicate bonds, which capture our imagination. Even when a scene isn’t explicitly, ahem, orgy-istic, there’s still a sensuality to lớn their connection that also somehow has a degree of purity to it. For, as naked và writhing as its characters might get on screen, somehow it never really feels dirty. & where that seems khổng lồ come from is this: “Sense8” is a show that always feels incredibly true to lớn itself, especially its deeply held ethos that love, in whatever shape or form it might come in, is something to be honored & cherished.

“Sense8”Murray Close/Netflix

It’s always been a through-line of the Wachowskis’ work (Lilly Wachowski was not involved with Season 2, but Lana directed every episode), but “Sense8” makes that concept explicit and personal for each of its characters. And much as in Season 1, it’s some of the one-on-one scenes that really let the cast shine — such as an intimate conversation about sex between Sun & Kala, or Wolfgang providing Lito with a casual assist and a manly handshake.

While “A Christmas Special” gets its Sensates through the holidays, the darkness still lurks, as this world remains full of dangers. But this remains a show about connection, & while it’s certainly not family-friendly, there are far worse holiday viewing options. The only catch: Having to wait until May for the rest of the story. There’s a danger that by splitting up Season 2 in this way, “Sense8” might end up feeling overly disjointed. But we had khổng lồ wait a year & a half to lớn get a new installment of this story. So perhaps lượt thích most gifts we receive this time of year, we’re best off just appreciating what we got.

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Grade: B+

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